Thursday, May 20, 2010

Illustrating First Amendment Rights: Truth, Widsom, and Dignity

*Muhammad receiving his first revelation from the angel Gabriel. Miniature illustration on vellum from the book Jami' al-Tawarikh (literally "Compendium of Chronicles" but often referred to as The Universal History or History of the World), by Rashid al-Din, published in Tabriz, Persia, 1307 A.D. Now in the collection of the Edinburgh University Library, Scotland. (See link for all photo credits.)

So, by now some of you may have heard about the dust-up from recent South Park episodes titled "200" and "201" respectively. If you click on the links or try to find the episodes, *they have been PULLED*.

The episodes were about a group of religious "friends" much like the "Superfriends" who help mere Colorado mortals stave off an attacks from egomaniacal celebrities and a mechanized megamachine affectionately known in the real world as Barbra Streisand.

In reaction to this censorship of our own sovereign country a Seattle cartoonist suggested a "Draw Muhammad Day" protest. She received many death threats, she back-tracked as have thousands of other Americans, Cartoon Network, and affiliates. The episodes at the center of this controversy aren't even being re-run.

Technically, I am not drawing anything, but have reproduced existing historical paintings. I am not condoning those who have drawn offensive and racist depictions of the Islamic figure, either. I know there are *millions* of people of the Muslim faith who are reasonable, passionate, and devoted to their culture and religion who are *not* hostile. To anyone of that disposition, please forgive the morons who cannot express themselves beyond insults.

"It comes as a surprise to find," writes scholar Alexandre Papadopoulo, "that there exists in [the Koran] not a single interdiction against images, paintings, or statues of living beings."


In 1999, Islamic art expert Wijdan Ali wrote a scholarly overview of the Muslim tradition of depicting Muhammad, which can be downloaded here in pdf format. In that essay, Ali demonstrates that the prohibition against depicting Muhammad did not arise until as late as the 16th or 17th century, despite the media's recent false claims that it has always been forbidden for Muslims to draw Muhammad. (Full text, click here.)

Museums and galleries *around the world* have been threatened, intimidated, and coerced into hiding images of the historical figure created by Muslims *themselves* throughout Persian history.

I mean no disrespect here to people of Islamic faith. But your own history, as written by your *own* scholars, attests to the inaccuracy of this visual ban.

*Muhammad's birth. Miniature illustration on vellum from the book Jami' al-TawarikhCompendium of Chronicles" but often referred to as The Universal History or History of the World), by Rashid al-Din, published in Tabriz, Persia, 1307 A.D. Now in the collection of the Edinburgh University Library, Scotland. (This image can be found online here.)


Monday, May 17, 2010

Choking on Oil in the US

Please forgive this very malformed rant. I am all over the place, angry, pissed all shades of red, and generally cannot grasp the insanity of our legislators *constantly* siding with big business against the health, wealth, and welfare of common Americans.

I know at times my recovering Catholic shows here on my blog, but I cannot help but think of two major sins from catechism that relate closely to the oil disaster continuing to grow in America's Gulf region.

Gluttony and Greed.

Now, I am not equating oil prospecting with sin, because that would be:
A) Stupid, and

B) Stupid.

But the facts remain. The oil plume now threatens Florida and the southern Eastern US "Loop Current". Transocean Company which owns (well, owned) the rig paid its shareholders $1 BILLION today, leaving me with only a few simple (and rather emotional) thoughts.

American gluttony and greed for oil is going to choke our natural fisheries for decades. Lawyers are already being hired in Western Florida. Stan Fenner, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) director of conservation science, said Monday (May 3rd): "[...] oil leaking into the Gulf could affect generations of wildlife."

This does not even account for the unprecedented amount of "dispersants" being used to do whatever it is they do to the oil. "The dispersants themselves are toxic as well. [Organisms are] being exposed to a lot of toxic materials." Studies from 2007 indicate this, too.

As a cancer survivor, I cannot even imagine the impact on human health the spill and the chemicals being used to "disperse" the oil will have on generations of Americans.

What's the point? Our oil reserves are barely 1/12 what Saudi Arabia has; one-sixth of Iran (see previous link); barely a *third* of Nigeria (see previous link). And before any of you trolls start lecturing me about the purpose of the reserve, zip it. I know the difference between production and reserves.

Our reserves will never approach those of other countries in times of war.


They win.



Why are we kowtowing to other nations, watching our prices rise at the pump instead of developing new technologies and *creating JOBS* in our own energy sector? We 'Mer'cans have a strong appetite for energy. Seems like we could keep *a lot* of our own employed just on that greed and gluttony alone.

I am also trying to wrap my brain around this insanity of BP *not* letting outside scientists study the leak (I am looking for the source of that information Tom provided me with yesterday).

Is there any way we can move the Arizona legislature to the Gulf region? Seems like those who need a good old-fashioned Biblical smiting always get away with whatever ills they conduct...

Next post will be more coherent. Bear with me. I am out of practice and need to do more research. Perhaps next up, the cost of war (which is gargantuan compared to Healthcare Reform and I have the links to government reports to prove it).

*** To balance my insanity, I leave you with unadulterated cuteness; she looks *just* like our Bella (baby bear kitty) a mere seven months ago when we first got her (pic in link is at four months):


Saturday, May 15, 2010

The "Scared" Twenty Percent

For those of the Scared-Twenty-Percent:

From Real Time with Bill Maher: May 14, 2010...

Favorite lines:
"I don't want my country back;
I want my country forward."

Hell to the yeah.
Happy Saturday, all.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Liberals With Convictions=Godless, Power-Hungry Nazis

I can't recall what I was listening to the other day while doing something else, but I heard an astute observation that bears mention (and discussion).

When conservative candidates run for any type of office or go through a confirmation process, they are expected to wear their "activism" like a badges of honor: pro-life (big government), pro-gun, pro cutting-taxes, pro-Christian (big government), etc.

Please see this example:

~And the subsequent press release reassuring his supporters that he is "religious enough" to represent them.

Per The Constitution, Article VI, section three:
" religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

Looks like a religious litmus test to me...

But when a liberal candidate goes up for *anything* he/she must divest him/herself completely of those same convictions, otherwise he/she is considered radical, progressive, and fascist (and/or socialist even tho' they inhabit *opposite* ends of the political spectrum).

As this flawed logic plays out, if you are conservative, only *your* convictions matter. If you are liberal, stuff those convictions where the sun does not shine and stop trying to be an activist.

Effing hypocrites.

Here's their biggest one, per Lewis Black and The Daily Show last PM:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Back in Black - Glenn Beck's Nazi Tourette's
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Cash, Candidates, and You

Americans need to realize that we have power over what our government does in two main ways: our votes and how we spend our own money.

Indeed, recent developments in immigration "reform" in AZ has proven that when people get pissed, they take their money elsewhere.

This got me thinking about the January 2010 SCOTUS decision on corporate donations for political campaigns.

Don't like the candidate a company is supporting in the midterms?

Stop buying their shit.

This could prove to be a bad business move for corporations.

Yes, we each have one vote that gets counted. But when it comes to the power of the almighty dollar, that street goes both ways. The midterm elections will be the first test of this new "1st Amendment" right for non-corporeal corporations.

Good luck with that... really. I'll keep you posted on what company supports who. I hope I am one of many who keeps companies' political contributions in mind when heading to the checkout, buying gas, or using financial services.


  © Blogger templates ProBlogger Template by 2008

Back to TOP