Monday, November 23, 2015

On Islam, Immigration, and Humanity: A Nation’s and Camel’s Dilemma

I’ve remained largely silent on the Syrian refugee issue. But the rhetoric flowing from the crisis, and the hysteria over the president’s intention of permitting 10,000 refugees to immigrate to the US, has gone beyond the bounds of reason, civility and decency thus I feel compelled to state my position.   

Anyone who has read my books or blog should be pretty much familiar with my perspective on Islam, its dangers, inequities, and the threat it holds for Western Civilization.   In my first book “The Atheist Camel Chronicles”, back in 2008, I wrote this in the afterword:

“As …[Islam] … immigrates to industrialized nations the danger that it represents to the most basic freedom, freedom of speech and expression, is threatened.  Already European countries whose Muslim populations are steadily growing are truncating the freedoms of their native populations out of fear of Islamic power.

The imposition of laws demanding “cultural sensitivity,” political correctness, and self-censorship under penalty of the law have been adopted by Great Britain, parts of Scandinavia and other Western European countries. These laws are in response to threats and intimidation, both veiled and overt, by an intolerant philosophy and insulated culture that laughs at the Infidel’s acquiescence and sees it as a weakness-and an opportunity. Parts of Europe have already begun the process of surrendering their birthright. They are losing their culture to Islamic fundamentalism.” 

In other chapters of my books I warned against the spread of the most virulent form of Islam and what it could mean to the very survival of a civilized culture.
If I sounded like I opposed Islamic immigration it’s because I did.  If it sounded like a warning that what is happening in Europe can happen here it’s because it can. My opinion in that regard hasn’t changed… I stand firm on those precepts. However, there comes a time when even the most closely held perspectives can – no- must, be moderated.  That time is now.   

Muslims in the United States’ represent approximately 0.8% of our total population.  Compare that to France’s 7.5% almost ten times greater;  Belgium at 6%, Germany 5.6%,  Netherlands 5.5%, Greece 4.7%, United Kingdom 4.6%, Denmark 4%.  In short, the US has one of the lowest Muslim populations as a percent to total population in the West. 
Frankly, I’d like to see it kept that way.

Additionally, while Muslim immigrants to European nations have largely not assimilated into their adopted nation’s cultures...indeed are treated as 2nd class citizens to one degree or another … US Muslims have largely adopted our culture and blended into our society, facing less prejudice and overt discrimination  than do their European counter parts  (I know, hard to believe).  That the US has experienced a much lower instance of Muslims going to fight along side ISIS versus the European nations ...not just in shear numbers but as a percent to their Muslim populations… testifies as to how Muslims perceive their acceptance and the opportunities that they enjoy in the US.

So, where does this leave the nation? Where does it leave me and my position?  

It is impossible for me to watch the plight of these refugees and not reflect on their similarity to the almost one-thousand Jews desperately trying to escape Nazi Germany in 1939.  In my minds eye I see the image of that ship, the SS St. Louis, filled with hopeful German Jewish refugees that subsequently were first rejected by Cuba and then refused entry to the US. They were ultimately sent back to Europe – condemning half of those innocent men, women and children to extermination.  And why?  Because they were “the other”, because we had met our quota of Jews, or because there may have been a Nazi saboteur among them?  It makes no difference the reason, that shame must never be repeated.

The Syrian refugees are hoping to save the lives of their family, their children, from what is arguably the most heinous doctrine, regime and fighting force since the Third Reich or Pol Pot's Cambodia. The 10,000 proposed refugees will not impact the current 0.8% US Muslim population we have now one bit, it’s a rounding error at most. They will be subjected to between eighteen months to two years of delay as their applications are screened and vetted before they are allowed entry.  Compare that to the 20 million people who have come into the US under the current “no Visa necessary” policy we’ve had in place for years.  If I were an ISIS operative, I know which route I’d take.

If this nation succumbs to the hysteria of the xenophobes, if we abandon our humanity, if we deny our own immigrant roots and reject the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free” when they need us most, then we have relinquished some of our freedom and civility.  We will have forgotten the lessons of history, and repeated them leaving a legacy of shame for all time.  If that happens the terrorists will have already won.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

No Words...but these

As the heinous slaughter in Paris took control of the internet and the body count rose, people were busily posting appeals to "pray for Paris and the people of France."  It disgusted me.  

How many slaughters must occur at the hands of those who worship the very same god these sheep are praying to on behalf of Parisians before they are shaken to consciousness? 

At what point does it begin to occur to these bleating sheep that the jihadists prayers for success and their own death ... their appeals to Allah to take them into Paradise for their god inspired acts ... is perceived to have been answered by that god by their Islamic brethren? 

When does the grotesque self deception of a prayer answering, all loving, all knowing deity that responds to telepathic appeals and loves all its creations begin to stink from the rotting, decomposing ancient ignorance that is at its very core?

And so it goes on as it has for millennia: the obscenity of the religious belief of those who kill in its name, and fools who pray to it for it to stop. Stalemate.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Sometimes a picture and 75 words are all you need

Meanwhile, the guy on the left carries a bible and makes up his "favorite" passages that don't exist; while the guy on the right says we are in the End Times...and is now first in line among GOP candidates to have his finger on "the Button."

Sleep well.

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Camel’s 2015 Top Five Non-Religiously Inspired Irritations

Once a year I depart from my usual religiously themed rants and go totally postal on secular themes that really tweak my hump.  Today is that day.  So buckle up, it’s gonna come fast and furious.

- I’m sorry to have to report that TexAss is, unfortunately, still in the union in spite of my one camel attempt to get it passed off to Mexico, or bombed into oblivion by an errant series of drone strikes.

Its latest intrusion into rights and protections of women is their raid on Planned Parenthood facilities, with warrants for patient’s names and info.  If this smacks of governmental over reach…well, it’s because it is, since medical files are privileged information. But’s TexAss -the 3rd World State that takes pride in its overwhelming number of executions…guilty or innocent; its conspiracies about the US Army invasion and take over of their state; its hatred for gay & women’s rights, and all things educational, secular, or that smacks of an IQ that exceeds the 98 point national average.  The best we can hope for is that Hurricane Patricia sweeps up the coast of Mexico, and wipes TexAss off the map…”miraculously” sparing the lives of all children and the few reasoned adults who did not vote for Governors Perry or Abbott. 

- Of all the things that irk the dung out of me on social media perhaps the one that annoys me the most is this annoying propensity for some people to use f*cking asterisks when spelling words like sh*t or the name of their “G*d”.  What the hell?? Look, there’s only three reasons one would not type out the complete words in question: 1) because they are unsure how to spell them and thus are morons; 2) because they are scared some divine boogieman will smite them and condemn them to an eternal life of torture and thus are morons; or 3) they’ve seen other people do it and think it is de rigueur and thus are morons.

I’ll spare you any in depth disparagement of the GOP…done that, been there, and you’ve pretty much heard it all by reading and watching the news.  I just want to briefly mention:   When Jeb Bush runs ads here in New Hampshire decrying the “old guard”  in Washington and promising his presidency will replace it without realizing that he and his entire freekin family is part and parcel to the “old guard” - is there any question why he is considered the dullest knife in the GOP utensil drawer? It’s actually sad.  He should have listened to Mommy. She said there have been enough Bush presidents. She was right.

- If you’ve been getting calls three times a week for the past three years from some telemarketing firm called “Credit Card Services”, or “Card Holder Services”…in spite of being on the FTC* “Do Not Call List”; having been told by the FTC* they are trying to track them down and murder them, or whatever they can do to such violators of the law; and in spite of numerous appeals politely asking the offender to remove you from their call list, to which they laugh in your face or curse you … I have a suggestion: Search the internet for the loudest police whistle you can find. Then, after pressing “1 to speak to a rep” wait patiently for the “thank you for holding how may  I…” and blow out their ear drum with a blast loud enough to wake the corpse of Rin Tin Tin.   You’ll still get the calls, but it may encourage these rip off company employees to seek legal and more socially acceptable avenues of employment.

- If you think that the people on
“Dancing with the Stars”
are in fact “stars”; and/or you find that flamboyant and irritating little twerp of a judge entertaining; and /or you do not realize that the likes of Gary Busey, Paula Dean, and other such human oddities are only booked because if they booked paraplegics or people with advanced elephantiasis it might be considered slightly over the line and pandering to the most base of human character flaws … then you are part of the problem.  You need to consider being part of the solution.  Stop watching and read a fricken book!     

Okay..that’s it - at least for now. I for one feel a great burden has been lifted from my hump…and unload onto yours. If you’d like to share some of your pet irritations the elimination of which might make this world marginally less irritating, please, click on the word “comments” just below and share them with me and my beloved readership.  Who knows … maybe you’ll start a movement.
*corrected from orig. FCC reference.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

GOP Christian Non-Think: It’s the Best They Have to Offer

At the bottom of this article are actual headlines and extracts from news stories that quote the GOP field of 2016 presidential hopefuls, and a handful of high profile GOP supporters and talking heads. If you want to find the actual stories just cut and paste them to Google search.

I read these things, hear them on the news, watch as they unfold on TV and I ask myself: How do registered and committed Republicans justify this madness, especially freethinking / atheist Repubs?  If this is what represents their party, their philosophy, their ideal of a presidential candidate are they insane? And if not, how can they read or hear this and not be ashamed?

I attribute it to cognitive dissonance, or a serious deficiency in acumen, or a willingness to ignore the crazy and blindly chant the old mantra of “less taxes, smaller government, more defense spending” to the exclusion of who and what their party icons are and how they act - let the reality of its obscenity be damned.     

The die hard Republican will more than likely say that these people and their comments really don’t represent their party and perspective; that this is the fringe element (Carson and Trump being the poll leaders of the “fringe element” I imagine); that I’m just cherry picking embarrassing statements that the “far left media has taken out of context!”.   But that only holds water for a limited time. You see every one of these headlines and statements are just a sampling of those that occurred within the first two weeks of October. 

If one is known by the company they keep, certainly one’s stupidity, lack of civility and backward think is exposed by the grotesque ignorance of their party’s standard bearers and high profile supporters.  You are what you vote.
Kasich warns against 'secular society'; John Kasich Says Secularists Lack Values

Donald Trump Says America Would Have "Common Sense" If Far-Right Host Michael Savage Headed NIH  [National Institute of Health]

Bobby Jindal Blames Oregon Shooting on Abortion and Single Mothers 

Ben Carson On Oregon Murders: 'I Would Not Just Stand There And Let Him Shoot Me'

Ben Carson: Hitler may have been stopped if the German public were armed

Mike Huckabee Is Having A Meltdown About New Rainbow Doritos

Lindsey Graham, seeking aid for home state, says he can't remember why he voted against Sandy relief

Jeb Bush Blows Off Oregon Mass Shooting Deaths by Saying “Stuff Happens”

The violent “perversion” we’re witnessing is due to America lacking “… a certain Christian foundation or religious foundation to our country.” Rand Paul

Lou Dobbs Says School Shootings are Happening Because We Took Religion Out of School: Need to Pray More

Michele Bachmann: Carolina Flooding Is God's Wrath For U.S. Israel Policy

Bill O'Reilly Denies The Existence Of Child Hunger: "It's A Total Lie"

Michael Savage Suggests UCC Shooting Was An Obama Conspiracy To Distract From Syrian Civil War

Franklin Graham says Obama influenced by Islam, all his policies are 'against Christ'

NRA's Ted Nugent Calls Unarmed Victims Of Gun Violence "Losers"

Texas Republican: Jewish Bernie Sanders Is Just Like A Nazi

When Rick Santorum said of the GOP
"We will never have the elite, smart people on our side…” and when Bobby Jindal said  ”Republicans must stop being the stupid party" Truer words were never spoken. Both statements confirm the old saw that some times even blind, religiously demented squirrels, find a nut.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

An Open Letter to the Devoutly Religious and Oh So Put-Upon Christians

Dear Evangelical, Born Again, Dominionist, snake handling, tongue talking, gun wielding, gay hating, misogynistic,  xenophobic, bible deficient, cherry picking Christians of all sects and denominations:

Hola!!  Hope you are well.  I’m doing fine in spite of your penchant for praying Psalm 109 imprecatory prayer every day in the hopes of bringing about the deaths of atheists, scientists, liberals, gays, the President, Muslims, pagans, and freethinkers everywhere.

Listen, I'm just dropping you this note to let you know you have my support.  I fully endorse your kids praying in school.  They can pray in their seats silently, so as not to disturb others.  They can pray in the bathroom while relieving themselves or while sneaking a smoke. They can pray on the playground, or during test taking, and in the lunch room, and on the bus to and from school, just so long as it is silent and doesn’t disrupt the class and/or school sponsored activities, isn’t proselytizing/forcing it on others, and isn’t being lead or endorsed by a teacher or any person hired by the school system. 

I’m quite sure your man-god can hear the silent prayers of your children…what with his being omniscient and telepathic and all.  Besides, Jesus said one should pray silently, and out of the public eye so as not to be a flaming hypocrite about ones devoutness (Matthew 6: 5-6).  But you knew that, right? Right.

I also wanted to say I support your anti-gay perspective.  Yep, the bible said homosexuals are an abomination and should be killed.  I don’t know how far you’re willing to go with that - considering you have zero interest in observing the other 612 laws of the Torah / Old Testament - but I encourage you to forego the murder of gays and simply hate them. Yes, that’s right, I fully endorse your right to hate gays, to not marry a gay person, or go to their weddings, or give them presents, or partake in their traditionally “fabulous” wedding receptions. You don’t have to invite them over for parties or prayer meetings, nor to your child’s ritualistic dunking or lamb’s blood washing. 

It’s totally okay to despise gays, including that 10% who, statistically,  are your sons and daughters even if you don’t know it yet.  It’s all good just so long as in conducting commerce with the public you treat gay people like you do straight people; and in conducting government business while in the employ of the government, you similarly make no distinctions. No doubt your God will understand, give you a pass, (he did say “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s” after all) and will simply condemn homos to hell and eternal torture in due time. It’s all good.

Next…I fully understand your “Right to Life” position, although it is a tad peculiar how your compassion and respect for the sanctity of human life doesn’t extend to death row inmates you so eagerly want to see hanged, gassed, shot or injected with a fatal cocktail…never mind the calls by some of your most devout to shoot, burn, lynch and otherwise murder our president.

Nevertheless, I support your right to not have an abortion, not conduct an abortion, not to pay for an abortion, not to watch abortions being conducted.  But your rights, your religious convictions, are sacrosanct right up to where they begin to impede and truncate the rights of women who do not hold your view and who are exercising their right to an abortion as determined by the Supreme Court over forty years ago in Roe v. Wade, 1973.  That is where your right of religious conviction stops and no longer holds sway over anyone’s reproductive systems … other than your own and your minor children.  

Finally, and this one is really important to remember: you can say Merry Christmas all you like. You can call them Christmas trees, Christmas decorations, Christmas presents, and Christmas vacations until you shit an Elf on the Shelf.  But the fact is, Christians do not own the month of December. It belongs to everyone including those who observe other religious holidays that fall during that time period, or who only observe New Years, or who observe no holidays at all who don’t feel like saying Merry Christmas, or opt not to  celebrate it like you do.  If people saying “Happy Holidays” offends you then shove some tinsel in your ear and buck up… this fallacious  persecution complex and make believe war on Christmas that you,
Bill “The Tide Goes In” O’Reilly,  and your 76% Xtian majority sob about annually is bullshit and doesn’t fool anyone.    Really want to be a martyr for Christianity?  Then visit the Big Cat House at your local zoo, and see if you can scratch a few lion bellies.  

In closing: I trust my support of your oh so important agendas, beliefs and prejudices is a comfort to you.  You’ll be even happier to hear that most freethinkers, realists and atheists similarly share my support for your freedom to embrace your stunted, medieval, cloistered, hateful non-think.  And as you practice your beliefs just remember, speaking on behalf of every American atheist …when we are the majority, we promise to treat you better than you treated us. Promise!

Yours in reason,

Dromedary Hump


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Silentium Est Aureum [Silence is golden] ... sometimes.

I was waiting in line at the registrar's desk at my doctor's office today, when a a short woman perhaps in her fifties was exiting the office. She came up to me, smiled, said hello as though we knew each other. "I see by your fatigue shirt you were in the military." she said.

"Well, yes....a long, long time ago...Vietnam." I replied - realizing I had thrown on a camouflage shirt with my army unit patches and insignia on it as an over shirt for the first chilly day of the season.
She took my hand squeezed it looked into my eyes and said "Well, I want to thank you so much for what you did for us ... may God bless you and keep you." And as quickly as she appeared she exited.

It was so sudden, and I was so off guard, that I couldn't even respond with anything more than a weak "thanks." ... which is probably a good thing.

Because if my once razor sharp reflexes, now dulled by sixty-seven years of longevity, .had the time to kick in I may have told her I did nothing for her, or this country; that no thanks were due me; that  if I had the maturity, intellect and and common sense back then that I have now  I'd not have volunteered for the draft and would be a Canadian citizen enjoying a fully paid for annual physical as well as free dental;  ... not to mention the fact there is no fuckin' God, and if there was I'd hold the damnable thing responsible for the 58,220 dead American boys and girls who died there for nothing.

Just as well it happened too fast. She wouldn't have deserved that.