Rage Against the Machine

It is no surprise that the policeman who shot and killed Michael Brown was not indicted.

I don’t think there is a riot in Ferguson. I think it is just “Hijinks”. After all boys will be boys? I am sorry? Are we reporting two cases of rioting in different ways? Is it okay to riot due to an out of control pumpkin festival but not if you have to argue about the rights of the police?

Activism among White Kids is more acceptable. Possibly because it’s a more genteel form.  It’s people angry about GMOs and Global Warming. But when people of colour get angry about things it generally doesn’t end well. We aren’t portrayed as passionate, we are portrayed as dangerous.

And there are some problems with the dialogue about this. Yes, even among atheists we see the problem. If there was any indicator of “you don’t get it”, there are enough of us who don’t get why people are so angry.

There is a puzzling notion that people should ALWAYS peacefully protest. I agree, peaceful protest is ideal but sometimes it is not possible. The point of powerful pacifist protest is to break the law. Willingly and Deliberately break the law. It is marching miles to make salt. It is purposefully sitting in the wrong seat. It is assembling after curfew.  [Read more…]

So what do you think about ISIL?

The issue with ISIL is branding and savvy ideology. Fighters were lured in with tales of Assad’s brutal often omnicidal attacks. So they live in the shadow of being epic douchebags fighting equally epic douchebags. So these guys started off as heroes fighting against a corrupt and brutal government. Plucky heroes gone horribly wrong… [Read more…]

Joseph Farah – Da’esh and Obama

I generally am amused by Ed Brayton’s stellar coverage of American Wingnuts but this one seems to have managed to limbo under his radar.

Observe as Joseph Farah enlightens us with a rather amusing article which simply doesn’t get how the world works or indeed the situation. Or maybe he does and he prefers the tired old habit of American Conservatives where they simply lie. [Read more…]

Sam Harris – Irony is Going to War for Olive Branches

I wrote a response to Sam Harris. It made the rounds as one of the few people who were atheist who were willing to speak out against a “Horseman” of atheism. I faced down everything, from the accusations of “drama blogging” and being contrary for the sake of it. To siding with terrorists. And the ever popular claim of “Secret Muslim” made a showing.

But at the core of my argument was me pointing out that the heart of the conflict was entirely based on ownership of land. And that in the grand scheme of things, Sam Harris has forgotten that the Palestinians are indeed the defenders and have suffered abuse upon abuse and attacks on their secular notions giving power to the only untouched institution that is religion. The secular PLO got sidelined and the hard-line Hamas came to greater power until it became what everyone feared. The elected representatives of the Palestinians.  [Read more…]

IS and James Foley – Why War Journalism has gotten more unsafe

I noticed general upswings in the number of readers due to the new front page format, so I need to do this from the beginning!

I am a big fan of photography. I got my first SLR from my dad, his old one. I learnt to shoot on film as a kid. I loved war photographers for what they did in telling the story of those who suffered. [TW – About the murder of James Foley and the transcript of his execution] [Read more…]