Thank heavens British authorities banned a traditional sport called "dwile flonking," involving people slapping wet cloths at other willing participants. It's a drinking game, and someone could've eventually gotten tipsy. Just look at those bottom-dwelling louts in the photo: they're actually having fun, fun I say. How dare they?! Did they even apply for a fun permit? Well then! About time these people got slapped with the six-month sentences and £20,000 fines that the law allows!
Zakir Naik, a Muslim TV preacher from India, has advocated
...the execution of Muslims who change
their faith, described Americans as "pigs" and said that "every Muslim
should be a terrorist."
Naik will be appearing at Wembley Arena in London and in Sheffield on his British tour.
That's right: his British tour. The Brits, when it comes right down to it, have no problem with letting him into their country. Contrast that with Geert Wilders, the Dutch parliamentarian who last year was put on a plane back to Holland — that is, banned from Britain — for making an incendiary if factually correct short movie about radical Islam, and for insisting that the Mussulman religion is incompatible with Western values.
I was briefly tempted to call it a double standard but it isn't. A double standard implies that you treat two similar behaviors unequally, favoring one. But is Mr. Wilders the equivalent of Mr. Naik? Hardly. Unlike Naik, who wants Sharia law and all that that implies, Wilders is a proponent of free speech. Unlike Wilders, who has never called for violent retribution against Muslims, Naik is on record as saying that the dirty kuffirs of the West must be fought, and that every Muslim should take up arms.
Nicolaus Copernicus, the 16th-century astronomer whose findings were condemned by the Roman Catholic Church as heretical, was reburied by Polish priests as a hero on Saturday, nearly 500 years after he was laid to rest in an unmarked grave.
In 2005, when I sold my home in Westchester County, NY, I had to pay a departure tax to my ex-town. Several percent, I kid you not — for the dastardly act of leaving said town which my wife and I, thanks to hard work and good times, had supported with all the other taxes levied on us during our six-year stint there.
Now the Timesreveals that the money is needed in part to provide public servants with pensions that are richer than any salaries they've made in their lives. Some are taking voluntary retirement in their forties.
who threaten violence on cartoonists are treated not with fear but
with outright mockery, and produce as a direct result of their
actions not a cowed and silent respect for their fervor but an
epidemic of giggling and a global WTF, maybe they'll be
less incentivized to repeat the threat next time around. Meanwhile,
the rest of us, with our now-broader parameters of acceptable
discourse, will be able to get on with the tasks of modernity and
No one has a
right to an audience or even to a sympathetic hearing,
much less an engaged audience. But no one should be beaten or
killed or imprisoned simply for speaking their mind or praying to
one god as opposed to the other or none at all or getting on with
the small business of living their life in peaceful fashion. If we
cannot or will not defend that principle with a full throat, then
we deserve to choke on whatever jihadists of all stripes can
force down our throats. ... Our Draw Mohammed contest is ... an existential thing, a
participatory thing, a living thing. And it's not something that I
expect those inclined to violence in the face of free
expression to understand.
While I'm quoting away, let me throw in this insight from Isaiah Berlin:
Ridicule kills more surely than savage indignation.
Now, I am not necessarily on board with the content of all of the cartoons (though I don't mind most of them), and I have misgivings about a few passages in the second part of the otherwise recommended YouTube video, below, which makes generalizations about Muslims that should really be narrowed to violently radical Mohammedans and the medieval morons who support them.
But no matter: I will always join in the simple Voltairian act of defending the right to draw or
write or paint or film anything that is not illegal. So, ransom notes
and child porn, no. Images of Jews committing blood libel or Mohammed
severing infidels' heads — regrettable as we may find them — abso-fucking-lutely.
P.S. It is now past 5 p.m. EST and Reason has still not posted a single image submitted in its Draw Mohammed Day contest, an initiative it chose to host after the Seattle artist who proposed the idea got cold feet. I have no idea if that means that death threats and intimidation have caused delays, or if there's another explanation for the radio silence. I'll keep an eye on it all.
P.P.S. At 5:40, Reason posted the results of the contest. Note the unusual URL; the images are not hosted on the Reason server but on Amazon's storage site. Wonder why.
By the way, it seems to me that the editors have picked the three least offensive cartoons possible, though there's no way of knowing; we are not allowed even a cursory, low-res look at the other 190 Mohammed depictions that Reason received from readers. Feh.
Consensual sex. Private space. Who cares? Actually, the Chinese government cares enough to send swingers to jail.
Ma Yaohai, 53, led a life that became intolerable to Chinese
authorities: For the last six years, he was a member of informal
swingers clubs that practiced group sex and partner swapping. In online
chat rooms, his handle was Roaring Virile Fire. He organized and
engaged in at least 18 orgies, most of them in the two-bedroom
apartment in Nanjing.
On Thursday, a court sentenced Mr. Ma to three-and-a-half years in
prison, a severe penalty for a crime that the Chinese government calls "crowd licentiousness." Mr. Ma, now China's most famous swinger, remains defiant and plans to appeal, saying his
sex life is his own business, not subject to the law as long as he
causes no social disturbance, according to his lawyer, Yao Yong'an.
Stuff like that would never happen in the United States, where we cherish our privacy and our liberty. Nosirreebob.
Do you employ unpaid student interns — college students who work
in exchange for on-the-job training? If so, President Obama's Labor Department says that you're an
exploiter. The government says an internship is OK only if it meets
six criteria, among them that the employer must get "no immediate
advantage" from the intern's activities. In fact, the employer's
work "may be impeded."
The department has hired 250 investigators to stamp out this evil.
Here's what I want to know. How many volunteers and unpaid interns have worked on Obama's election campaigns? Will he insist on paying them retroactively? Going forward? If not, why not? Why does one set of rules apply to us and another set of rules to the political classes?
Current Associated Press story about the attempted bombing of Times Square is headlined
NY car bomb suspect cooperates, but motive
The AP has a point. What could possibly have inspired Faisal Shahzad? It couldn't be
the same faux-religious death cult that gave us Mohammed Atta, Richard
Reid, Umar Abdulmutallab, Mohammed Bouyeri, and hundreds of other pious
asswipes just like them, could it?
In honor of Dr. George Rekers, the Family Research Council co-founder who made a career out of homo-hating, then hired a male escort to (ahem) "lift his luggage" during a recent vacation, I would like to give that expression greater use. You can help. Instead of saying "Whatever makes you happy" or "Whatever floats your boat," from now on let's say "Whatever lifts your luggage."