In Newspeak, Irony is Impossible #homophones #homonyms #homophobe

Posted in arguing with lunatics, books, current events, philosophy, poetry, politics, pop culture on July 31, 2014 by furious buddha

To be fair, it’s a language school so they can’t be expected to understand advanced topics like homonyms or homophones. It’s a good thing that we are lowering the standards by eliminating public education so that private institutions such as this can instruct people in using the English language. At this rate we will soon rid ourselves of troublesome concepts like irony and her cheap sister, satire, as they will no longer be comprehensible to post-post-modern readers; after all, if one can read a street sign or product label, what else does one really require?

Run Away, Don’t Pay! #opencarry #NRA #ammosexuals #OpenCarryTexas

Posted in arguing with lunatics, philosophy, politics on July 31, 2014 by furious buddha

I had already decided months ago when morons with guns started invading restaurants and stores that if I was, for example, in a Chipotle with Little Tony and several people displaying guns came in I would leave immediately and call 911. I have no desire to get into an argument with an ammosexual who is getting off on exposing their great big guns to everybody. But then the Prof reminded me of something I read at Wonkette last week that  brilliantly articulates this idea and need to share with you; Professor Weinstein’s argument for how to respond to open-carry advocates, which is to leave. I will reprint the core of his argument here:

The questions that concerns me [sic] now is how we bystanders should react when people come into a store with guns. There really is no legitimate way of determining intent. Even if the people with guns are carrying a sign claiming to be activists (which they do not do), they could be lying, just setting us all up for slaughter. And since there is no way to know what is on their minds, all we have are our instincts, but as we all should know, our instincts are often racist, classist, and frequently mistaken. So, what should we do?

My proposal is as follows: we should all leave. Immediately. Leave the food on the table in the restaurant. Leave the groceries in the cart, in the aisle. Stop talking or engaging in the exchange. Just leave, unceremoniously, and fast.

But here is the key part: don’t pay. Stopping to pay in the presence of a person with a gun means risking your and your loved ones’ lives; money shouldn’t trump this. It doesn’t matter if you ate the meal. It doesn’t matter if you’ve just received food from the deli counter that can’t be resold. It doesn’t matter if you just got a haircut. Leave. If the business loses money, so be it. They can make the activists pay.

Following this procedure has several advantages. First, it protects people. Second, it forces the businesses to really choose where their loyalties are. If the second amendment is as important as people claim, then people should be willing to pay for it. God knows, free speech is tremendously expensive. If it weren’t, I’d be reading this on ESPN during prime time, not posting this on Blogger.

Third, this proposal has the added advantage of taking the activists seriously. Most gun-rights activists describe a world of tremendous dangers. Guns, they repeatedly tell us, are the only thing between home invasion, rape, murder, and government intrusion. Okay, well if that’s true, then we bystanders should be equally afraid, and react instantaneously to keep away the chaos and the violence. We learned to be afraid from the gun-rights supporters. They have gotten everything they wanted.

Weinstein has an excellent follow-up essay and debunks the notion of linking gun control to the Holocaust here.

The dark irony of that Nobel Prize is all too apparent right now.

Posted in arguing with lunatics, current events, politics on July 27, 2014 by furious buddha

I never thought it was a good idea to give Barack Obama a Nobel Prize for not much more than being a breath of fresh air, but it isn’t like the Nobel Prize committee consults me on those things. To read the line, “Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play.” against the roiling backdrop of the world a mere five years later is to taste a sharply bitter vintage of irony. This is not to say that I have a better plan or that I think the Obama Administration has made any particularly egregious missteps; while many have criticized times when the President has seemed too cautious, I have seen these moments as prudent. My favorite uncle was a decorated Chicago Police Officer who died wearing his uniform; he used to say, “when you don’t know what to do, don’t do anything at all.” When one considers that the ISIS forces now invading Iraq are part of the forces opposing Assad in Syria, one must recall the hasty voices that urged the President to arm those Syrian rebels are now calling for the US to immediately recommit ground forces to expel ISIS from Iraq; if these folks had gotten their way, our troops would be fighting an Islamic army armed with American equipment. Still, the problem with this approach is that it feels like we are passively watching the world burn and crumble; even if the most prudent thing to do is wait and watch we do not want to become petrified in that pose.
Also, just in case things weren’t tense enough, Ebola is winning.

What is your endgame? #Israel #Netanyahu #IDF #Gaza #Palestine

Posted in arguing with lunatics, current events, philosophy, politics, religion on July 24, 2014 by furious buddha

Prime Minister Netanyahu;
I live in a city called Chicago, which is a word used by the natives to describe the area (“stinky onions”). I have a made a close study of the war that the United States conducted upon the native tribes and understand well the magnitude of the injustice as well as the ugly detail of the atrocities and crimes against humanity that were committed so that the European-derived culture I belong to could rest upon this land. I have often noticed that conservatives become agitated when the topic of historical injustice is brought up and they will angrily deny that they should feel any ‘white’ or ‘liberal’ guilt; I wish to be absolutely clear that I do not feel guilty about what long dead people did regardless of how it worked out for the modern world. That is a path to neverending recrimination and the madness of endless retribution. Guilt is reserved for crimes committed by the living; by understanding the crimes of the past the living are not burdened by the guilt of these ancient wrongs but instead conferred with the responsibility to not repeat those atrocities. We only accumulate guilt when we perpetrate these crimes anew. This means that it is as mistaken for Christians to perpetuate the ‘Blood Libel’ against Jews as it is for African-Americans to hold me responsible for slavery as it is to punish people collectively for the actions of one who is hiding in their midst.

Chicago, not counting its many suburbs, sprawls across 234 square miles with a population of around 2.7 million people. The Gaza Strip is 139 square miles (or 141, depending on the source and method of calculation) with a population of over 1.8 million people. There are over 13,000 people in every square mile, and unlike Chicago, they can’t leave. In 2010, your government objected strenuously when the Prime Minister of England  described the Gaza Strip as an ‘open air prison‘ but if it is not that, then what is it other than a ghetto with militarized borders? I don’t think you like the way that sounds either, but it’s an accurate description. Your forces are currently raging through this ghetto, bombing hospitals, mosques, private homes, and mass murdering civilians in the name of stopping rocket attacks that you are proudly announcing are completely ineffective thanks to your ‘Iron Dome‘ system. So, if the Hamas rockets are completely ineffective, why are you shooting at hospitals and Al-Jazeera? If you have exquisitely precise weapons provided by the United States, why are you aiming them so poorly? What do you really hope to achieve?  I am too familiar with the slaughter of women and children at Wounded Knee to pretend I don’t know the answers to that. Besides, it’s not like your recent announcement that there will never be a Palestinian state was a big surprise.

Chicago is a divided city; we have our own ghettos that were built with both good and bad intentions but were ghettos nonetheless. Now we have big problems with violence and poverty; while I don’t have to feel guilty about what people did eighty years ago I have to live with the outcome. Human beings always try to escape captivity. They resist having their homes and their culture taken from them, even if the person who is taking it feels completely justified in doing so; though that should seem obvious it is a lesson the West refuses to learn. The Native Americans were ‘inconvenient’ people to the European settlers and they were systematically obliterated. At the least, the Palestinians are ‘inconvenient’ people to Israelis who are settling former Palestinian land; if the Israelis are not trying to obliterate the Palestinian people I don’t know how else to describe it. I understand that Hamas has sworn to destroy Israel. Hamas has dug tunnels, kidnapped and murdered Israelis, fired rockets indiscriminately into Israel, and committed many other atrocities. However, it is very difficult to make a case that Hamas offers an actual existential threat to Israel; they cannot pierce your Iron Dome and obviously cannot answer your military force. This is not to say that I approve of Hamas or endorse them; I would not waste my words in a letter to them pleading with their conscience. However, the only reason that they seemed a preferable choice to the people of Palestine is because you made it impossible for the PLO-backed Fatah party to function. You have consistently backed the people of Palestine into a tighter corners and seemed baffled that they are resisting this treatment; people in desperate situations do desperate things and you have made the situation of the Palestinian people desperate indeed.

The United States, the United Kingdom, and the United Nations made the nation of Israel possible. The military and political support of the US has made the apartheid inflicted by Israel upon the Palestinian people possible. While the knot tied by Truman and Churchill in 1947 looks absolutely unworkable there is a solution that may not be acceptable to you, but then, it’s not like you consulted the people of Palestine on your solution to the problem of them. Israel clearly cannot govern its territories in a responsible manner and therefore international intervention is called for. Israel was made in the modern age by international acts of law and can be remade now. Obviously, the people of Israel deserve a secure homeland just as the Palestinians do; this is why the UN, led by the US, should occupy the area and enforce international law. By taking the right of self-determination from the Palestinian people the people of Israel have forfeited their own; until both nations can demonstrate their willingness to obey the laws of civilization then civilization must be imposed upon them. Unlike many other situations across the world, this one is directly owned by the US, the UK and the UN; it is not possible for there to be a peaceful solution unless they directly intervene. I realize this solution is unacceptable to you and many others. I realize that you feel you have complete moral justification for what you are doing. You are mistaken. It is as wrong for you to murder civilians as it was for Osama bin Laden to target New Yorkers; your apologists are using the ‘Little Eichmanns’ argument to justify slaughtering children and that should be your cue to realize how indefensible your position is. As a friend of Israel and enemy of fascism, I plead with you to reconsider your position. Colonel Forsyth thought he was doing the right thing, too.

Signed,
Winston Delgado

This one is funnier, Wendy. #Luddite

Posted in art, days in the life, poetry on July 21, 2014 by furious buddha

i hate the phone too
and prefer verse to pixel
but look at me here

and i hear you laugh
before it is happening
mind game ticklefight

giggling at pain with
your ratty-ass compadre
stoned immaculate

 

Ethical Leadership Day 2014

Posted in arguing with lunatics, current events, politics on July 18, 2014 by furious buddha

Israel has destroyed the El-Wafa  hospital. It the only real hospital in Gaza. It is very clear that this was an intentional strike and not a case of collateral damage.

Today the President is holding Putin responsible for arming and training the Ukrainian rebels who shot the Malaysian Airlines plane down, killing the nearly three hundred civilians on board. The United States is the largest military supplier to Israel and gives over $3 billion a year in direct military support to Israel. How responsible are we for that hospital and the nearly three hundred Palestinian civilians that have been killed in the past fortnight?

 

 

I hadn’t actually looked at the news…

Posted in current events on July 17, 2014 by furious buddha

…when I put the the video up for Wendy.

7/17/14 was not a good day in world history. Israel has begun a ground offensive in Gaza. 235 Palestinians have died in the past ten days. There is no telling what that number will be tomorrow. Currently heavy fighting is being reported throughout the Gaza strip.

The Russian backed Ukrainian Separatists brought down a civilian airliner with an advanced anti-aircraft missile system that they totally didn’t get as a gift from the Russians.

And so it goes…

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