29.10.10

Religion kills 02: two teenage girls executed.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/29/world/africa/29somalia.html?src=twrhp
The two teenagers — one 18, the other 14 — were shot by firing squad in the center of the town of Beledweyne, near the border with Ethiopia, witnesses said.
Pickup trucks with big loudspeakers drove into the town, ordering the residents to watch the execution. Residents were also told to switch off their cellphones and were warned not to take pictures
...the two girls had not been given the right to a legal defense, nor had their parents even been informed.
So what's the big deal, really? ~160 000 people die EVERY DAY (Source: Causes of death by rate). Why should we care about two teenagers dying in Yemen when there's kids shooting each other on the streets of Newark, Detroit, Miami, Chicago, NYC, LA and thousands die every year in Mexico as a result of Americans' love for cheap, accessible assault rifles (thank you, NRA! Love your defense of our right to arm bears, but really hate your drive to keep any sort of regulation from hurting the people who sell guns illegally or to whomever without even a cursory background check.) and our inability to keep our noses out of the cocaine and our hands away from the MJ.

Why should we care about hard-line Islamist fundamentalists when we have the Crusades to think about and the Westboro Baptist Church to make us uncomfortable with our freedoms?

Because it's stupid, needless violence. I don't really care about a bunch of Africans dying because of the Common Agricultural Policy, old colonialist reverberations and cultural inabilities to deal with freedom and independence (anyone care to argue that most African countries' populations wouldn't in fact have been better off if the colonial powers had continued to rule them?). I don't really care much about economic and cultural long-term reasons behind droughts and starvation and lack of progress.

Though these guys have some good ideas: http://www.copenhagenconsensus.com/

If you're standing there with a gun pointed at some random teenage girl who just got caught in a bad situation at the wrong time, you have a choice - to shoot or not shoot. The choice is simple, the choice is easy. Don't shoot. Don't rape. Ask her where she wants to go, take her there, or to some authority (police, hospital or similar) or to her parents.

All the other stuff about people dying and suffering is a bit complicated in comparison. Doesn't mean we shouldn't work on that, too. But the stupid idiotic killings ...yeah.

Anyone care to argue that Islam doesn't have a problem with how it treats its women?

Not letting girls go to school, or women vote, or own property, or have their witness testimony count as more than half of a man's testimony in a court in Iran and elsewhere - these are all issues I have with Islam. Plus this whole "our religion is special, we're special, and we'll threaten you with death and get all upset if you so even try to make drawing of our main guy, the Prophet Muhammad". Which makes me want to do some stick-figure drawings and label them "Jesus", "Mohammed" and "David". Plus the whole violent jihad thing. But with the actions of Israel with regards to the people that lived there before Israel happened - and the history of the Crusades, a war of opportunity in Iraq and whatnot - I'm inclined to not be so upset about the jihad stuff. That's just war. War happens. Oh well, people fight.

Other than that stuff, pretty decent religion. Kinda like most religions. "We're right, you're wrong. Our god is the One True God. Do what our bearded old men tell you to do or you'll go to hell." The guy in charge is always old, always a man, and always wears some sort of distinctive headgear - see the Pope & the Ayatollah etc. And always has the god-given right to tell you what to do. And he's infallible.

Mmmmyeah, okay.

28.10.10

Ideas 01

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About
Skeptic
Hypocrite (occasionally, gimme a break)
Not anti-religion, but anti-superstition and killing people for not believing in YOUR version of the One True And Only God.
Addicted to news.
Addicted to cool stuff, danger and beautiful women.

Religious Superstition Kills 01: Volcano guy dies. Oops.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101028/ap_on_re_as/as_indonesia_volcano_s_tender

Very superstitious religious "holy man" dies trying to predict and appease a volcano by throwing offerings of rice and whatnot. People die with him.
Oh well.

As Merapi began spewing 1,800 degree Fahrenheit (1,000 Celsius) gases and thousands of villagers streamed down the mountain's slopes, Maridjan refused to budge, and more than a dozen people stayed, and perished, with him.

His rigid body was found Wednesday, prostrate on the ground in the typical Islamic prayer position and caked in heavy white soot.

Here's a thought: your prayers and offerings are nice, but do little to change the movements of the earth's crust, the stuff inside the planet and the little shakes and burps and hiccups of the tectonic plates. You're now dead, and people are falling over themselves trying to honour you and your idiotic business practices. Not to jump on your grave, but you really screwed up and you lead people to their deaths with your idiotic witchcraft, juju-magic, New-Old Age spiritualistic humbuggery. Your actions would be laughable if you hadn't inspired people to die along with you.

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