January 8, 2015
In 1988, the Ayatollah Khomeini put a price on author Salmon Rushdie’s head. Rushdie wasn’t wanted “dead or alive.” Khomeini wanted Rushdie dead. I don’t know what the original price tag was for one dead author, but as of 2013, the price on Rushdie’s head was over 3 million pounds.
The Ayatollah is gone. The prices on artists’ heads are not.
In 2004, Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was shot dead on a busy Amsterdam street. The first bullet took Theo off his bicycle. He tried to make it across the street. Theo’s murderer followed him on foot and shot him again. Then Theo’s murderer slashed Theo’s throat and stuck a letter to his chest with a knife. Theo was 47 years old. His crime was a short fiction film aired on Dutch public television depicting a Muslim woman’s difficulties in an arranged marriage.
In 2005, Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard’s drawing of Muhammad with a bomb in his turban put him on Islam’s hit list. There have been multiple attempts to murder Kurt. He lives in a home rivaling a Brinks security office and under police protection to this day.
Also in 2005, Danish publication Jyllands-Posten’s former editors Carsten Juste and Flemming Rose made the hit list – for publishing Westergaard’s drawing.
In 2006, Swedish artist Lars Vilks made Islam’s hit list. He, like Rushdie and Wetergaard, is still alive. He sleeps with an axe by his bed.
In 2010, South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker received death threats for their depiction of Muhammad in a bear suit in their animated cartoon. They were assured they too were on the road to Theo van Gogh’s fate. A photo of Theo with his throat slit and a knife in his chest was attached just to make things festive. The South Park guys are still breathing. Probably because stations caved and censored a lot of the episode.
In 2010, in response to the South Park threats, Seattle artist Molly Norris, who worked for a Seattle paper, publicly suggested an “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day.” Molly received so may death threats she quit her job, fled Seattle, and changed her name. As far as I know, she’s still in FBI protective custody.
In 2011, the Paris offices of satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo were firebombed, forcing the publication to move after its offices were destroyed. Editor Stephane Charbonnier, you guessed it, was on Islam’s hit list. Had been for a while, fending off litigation and death threats. Charlie Hebdo’s crime? A few satirical and not particularly tasteful cartoons featuring Muhammad.
Apparently Muhammad seriously does not have a sense of humor because In 2015, armed men stormed Charlie Hebdo’s new Paris offices with automatic weapons and shot Stephane Charbonnier and 11 other people dead.
There is now an Al Queada Most Wanted poster being passed around the internet showing Charbonnier’s face struck out in red.
Think about that. These murderers, these serial murderers, don’t just keep little photos of their victims to themselves they can cross your face off of. They put your photo on the fucking internet. With a big red X through it.
THAT is fucking blaspheme.
The above is the short list. There are more.
And that’s a long time span.
17 years. For 17 years, artists, filmmakers, satirists, journalists, comics, authors, editors, gallery owners have been threatened, attacked, murdered in the name of defending the honor of a man who heard voices in a cave and has been dead for 1500 years. In Switzerland. Sweden. The US. France. Denmark. All over the fucking globe, artists are targeted, intimidated, threatened, and murdered.
A few bad apples, I am told. Most of Islam is not like that, I am told. Most Muslims are just nice people trying to go about their daily lives, I am told.
You know what a few bad apples are? The Unibomber. He was a bad apple, with a couple buddy bad apples.
This is a fucking orchard.
It’s time to burn that orchard down.
The Silencing of Theo van Gogh
FBI Warns Seattle Cartoonist About Threats
Salman Rushdie bounty increased amid anti-Islam film controversy
Al-Qaida’s ‘dead artist club’
Charlie Hebdo editor Stephane Charbonnier crossed off chilling al-Qaeda hitlist
Swedish Police Hide Threatened Cartoonist
Seattle Cartoonist in Hiding After Death Threats
The Danish Cartoonist Who Survived An Axe Attack
Jihad Against Danish Newspaper
South Park censored after threat of fatwa over Muhammad episode
France manhunt: Police raid homes, arrest several suspects after Charlie Hebdo massacre
Paris Killers Got Wrong Door Before ‘Decapitating’ Magazine
Satirical Magazine Is Firebombed in Paris
There are issues in motion right now that I consider the most important political issues of our day and this election those are big factors in my filtering of candidates criteria:
•NDAA, the Patriot Act, TSA and all accompanying inroads against the rights of citizens in the US including the ongoing military police assault against Occupy Wall Street and peaceful protest.
•CISPA/SOPA/ACTA and all its bastard offshoots and clones.
•Wars, occupation, and military spending in the Middle East that are gutting this country and killing off the younger generation of soldiers either in the field or when they suicide either in the field or after returning home.
•The “war on drugs.” Which is contributing substantially and not in a good way to the militarization of police forces at home in conjunction with the “war on terror.”
As far as I am concerned, there are no more pressing issues right here, right now, in play in politics.
Ron Paul and I don’t see eye to eye on everything. Given other options, I’d want Dennis Kucinich. But there are no other options and Dennis Kucinich is not on the ballot and the next best choice is Ron Paul.
Ron Paul will pull us out of the wars, occupations, and nation building that are bleeding this country dry, not only of years to come of its gross national product, but of the lives of young soldiers dying daily not just from enemy fire, but suicide as a result of the damage done to them by these wars. And not two or three or five or fifteen years from now. NOW. He’ll un-write indefinite detention [NDAA] of American Citizens; He’ll kill the Patriot Act and unwarranted searches and wiretapping; He’ll dismantle the groping and ever reaching TSA; He’ll stop the ongoing police assault on peaceful protesters in the Occupy movement and the militarization of domestic police forces; He’ll end the insane war on drugs that has made the US the world leader in private [for profit] prisons and incarceration of citizens; And he’ll stop the ongoing and perpetual assault on a free and functioning internet that show up daily in the forms of SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, and more recently CISPA. Add to this he does not believe in the ongoing assault on whistle blowers and Bradley Manning might just see the sky again someday if Ron Paul is elected president and the ongoing world wide witch hunt for Julian Assange might stop. And, he’ll stop the drones. Which are killing civilians every day overseas, and coming to your neighborhood street corner any day soon if either Obama or Romney are voted into office.
That’s a lot of reasons to vote for Ron Paul.
People shove a lot of objections at me on the Ron Paul argument:
He’s a racist!
Um. Right. One number:
That’s the DAILY AVERAGE OF PEOPLE ARRESTED IN THE US EVERY DAY. It’s a fucking huge number. The majority of those arrests are for non-violent drug crimes. And the majority of them, poor or of color, will go on to join the vast, near-voiceless crowd of 2.3 million incarcerated Americans. And what will most of them have in common? They will be poor people of color. So don’t talk to me about racism. The one presidential candidate who is trying to take Black America off the prison block, which appears to have replaced the slave block, may have a few personal foibles about whom he wants to invite over for Thanksgiving dinner, but he’s trying to do something that will be of more value to the communities of color in this country than any other candidate is. He’s trying to end the drug war. Which is not incarcerating White America. It is incarcerating Black America.
Then there is the abortion issue. Ron Paul doesn’t like abortion! Okay. So what? He’s the president. That is the executive branch, not the legistlative or judiciary branch.
[For fuck’s sake, learn your branches!]
The president doesn’t get to outlaw abortion. He doesn’t get to outlaw anything. All he can do is veto laws coming through he does not approve of, or, suggest lawmakers make laws he might like to see, or, in some cases, really strong arm his party to create laws. But he doesn’t make laws. Ever. Because. He’s not the branch of government that makes Law.
I think Obama was kind of counting on the public citizenry getting this when he just sat there doing nothing during the whole health care thing. Or at least his handlers were. But at this point, everyone is so used to treating the president like a king, I’m not sure the general public actually knows —
The President does not write laws.
Is not supposed to write laws.
There were those Executive Orders Bush kept writing that “Candidate Obama” railed against, and “President Obama” has gone catnip happy for. These things go up every day, in triplicate. Which would be humorous, looking back at Candidate Obama railing against Bush, if it were not so awful.
But, Hello, the president is not the law making branch of government. So those should not be happening in the first place.
Then there is the argument, but he gets to name new Supreme Court members. Yeah he does. I used to fall for that one too. Also, a little late for that, Bush WAS in office EIGHT YEARS. AHHH! But yes. Naming the Supreme Court peeps is major. Unless the Supreme Court and Federal Government are not in charge of EVERYTHING.
Maybe this is something you have been missing. The president can actually say, Hey, the Supreme Court doesn’t get to rule on this issue. [Didn’t know that one did you? Any president since Roe vs. Wade could have killed Roe vs. Wade. All they had to do was say, This is not the purview of the the Supreme Court. They didn’t though, did they? Think about that one if you voted for a president because you thought he was anti-abortion. He lied to you. He could have ended it any day. And he didn’t.] This is, from a pro-choice perspective, actually the real danger of a Paul presidency. He does know how that works. He can nullify Roe vs. Wade. And, being one of the men in DC who actually knows how that all works? And being anti choice? He might do it.
However. He’s a constitutionalist. Every vote he makes is about whether the federal government should be imposing or overriding state law. He might overturn Roe vs. Wade. But he won’t walk storm troopers into any state that makes abortion legal.
As things stand now, if anyone on the federal level were to overturn Roe vs. Wade, the establishment would.
This is what I think people often do not get about Paul. His stances on any issue are always, should this be federally imposed? Should the federal government be imposing this, and capable of taking this away, or should this be up to states, period? That’s his stance on civil rights, that’s his stance on abortion, if you give that right to the federal government, it can be taken away from all people at any time, if you hold it with the state, you have some input and ability to change it sans the National Guard and/or drones attacking.
And, if you think about it, it doesn’t matter if Roe vs. Wade is still hovering on the brink of extinction in federal court if your state makes it nearly or entirely impossible to obtain an abortion despite it being federally legal. [Which is happening in a load of states.] So maybe if we stop worrying about the federal government dictating this and start pushing on a state level for choice, you and I can make our states allow choice. [Also Ron Paul is the only candidate in the Republican primary debates who, during a discussion about this when the “ABORTION PILL!” came up in discussion said, “Well don’t be stupid that is just birth control.”]
Back to choice. Though it is kind of cool to have someone who will say, Don’t be stupid, that’s just birth control. [Yay for doctor candidates!]
Right now, apparently all it takes is one [more] Supreme Court judge to say no and the whole freaking country goes toes up on Roe vs. Wade. Though that might be a little optimistic, considering what else the Supreme Court, allegedly more balanced than it really was, has done recently. [Corporations are people, anyone?] In fact, if you leave something in the entire control of the federal government, that’s how it works. If the federal government goes the wrong way, and it has a lot, recently, everyone goes the wrong way. So. Which do you have more access to? Your federal government? Or your town and state? Who do you want dictating to you? That guy from South Carolina? [Sorry South Carolina but you guys have been sort of dicks recently.] Or the governor you can actually maybe talk to or put some pressure on?
Then there is gay marriage. “Ron Paul is against gay marriage!” Um, no he isn’t. He doesn’t want to do it himself. He isn’t entirely down with the concept. But what he doesn’t want to do is federally control or dictate it. He thinks states should make their own laws. The end, period. And the federal government should be as hands off in this and every matter as possible. You want to make gay marriage legal in South Carolina? Go fucking boot out the bozo in South Carolina who is against it. Wait, you don’t live in South Carolina? Then go boot out the guy messing with you in your own state and let South Carolina worry about itself and boot out its own guy. This will work, state by state, if you become active instead of waiting for the federal government to do things and then relying on compromise with [sorry, but you were dicks] South Carolina.
Another argument: Regulation. “Ron Paul will get rid of regulation and environmental protection agencies!” Um, well, in case you hadn’t noticed, Obama has Monsanto in charge of the FDA, Goldman Sachs in charge of banking regulation, Exelon is running nuclear regulation, BP and Haliburton and other oil entities are running oil drilling regulation, Wellpoint wrote the new health care bill, GE is in charge of job creation… do I have to keep going here or do you get the picture? The protection and regulation agencies, on top of costing the American tax payer a load of coin to operate because they keep growing and costing more, are already asylums being run by the inmates. They don’t regulate. They don’t protect. They have become antimatter agencies tearing down everything they are supposed to protect. Add to that, each industry that is allegedly being regulated, except it is being “regulated” by double agents it sent in? [Being paid and supported on the tax payer’s dime.] Each of those industries is still getting seed fund cash from the government. Big oil gets incentive cash. Nuclear companies get seed money cash. Monsanto gets seed money cash. [That was not a pun on purpose.] We are paying tax payer cash into these companies to create the very things killing us, then paying them again in the form of regulatory agencies to stop themselves after we paid their start up fees and when their own executives and lobbyists are running regulatory agencies in order to ignore any wrong doing and while the heads of these companies are swapping in and out of the presidential cabinet to “advise” the president on how to keep it all going this way.
Which I call hell in a hand basket.
So yeah. As far as I am concerned? Tear those motherfuckers down. And then? Cut off their tax payer paid start up funds. And see how willing they are to build a new nuclear facility if it’s them, not the tax payers, who have to put out the 40 billion dollar fee to build the new facility. We’re paying to build EVERY nuclear plant. Under Paul? It’s all “real capital” baby, the government and taxpayers won’t pay your bills to build a new nuclear facility.
So. Want to stop new nuclear reactors being built? Maybe Paul is your guy. Because he won’t give nuclear companies tax cash to build the nuclear facilities. Or. You know. You could keep giving them that cash and then paying for regulatory agencies headed by their lobbyists to allegedly play watch dog while the hoses inside the nuclear facilities burn.
Have I addressed all objections?
But that is a pretty good start.
:::the continuing saga of the max adams texas republicans primary cheat sheet:::
May 27, 2012
May 27, 2012
May 27, 2012
A lot of people have forgotten this. I haven’t. Read it again. It needs to be retained and remembered and repeated beyond third grade. It needs to be retained and remembered right now.
IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration
of the thirteen united States
of America ~
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton
John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery
Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark
Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross
Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean
Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton
George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton
Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton
*it is worth noting, every man who signed this knew,
if they lost, the price was his life
May 26, 2012
May 25, 2012
May 22, 2012