“New Year’s Day: Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions.
Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.” – Mark Twain
A Happy New Year to all who see this page!
We make New Year wishes rather than resolutions. Here are some of them:
May Obama be hindered, hampered, frustrated and blocked in every political action he takes. Best of all, may he (and Joe Biden) resign.
May the decline of America, that Obama has deliberately worked, be reversed. May the Republicans use their congressional majorities and all their positions of authority to effect that reversal.
May religious belief start withering away, irreversibly, from the human psyche.
May Islam be soundly defeated everywhere on earth and set on the road to rapid and total extinction.
May the welfare state start being phased out, and genuine market economies be allowed to function in every nation-state.
May the man-made global warming lobby give up.
May the United Nations and all its agencies be destroyed.
Those are enough to be getting on with.
Okay – we’re being unrealistic. But while we’re wishing, we may as well wish big.
Readers are invited to tell us their wishes (or resolutions) if they will.
Fossil fuels are very, very, very good for the planet.
We quote Investor’s Business Daily:
We go to Alex Epstein, founder of the Center for Industrial Progress, who just this year wrote The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels.
In the last 80 years, as CO2 emissions have most rapidly escalated, the annual rate of climate-related deaths worldwide fell by an incredible 98%. This means the incidence of death from climate is 50 times lower than it was 80 years ago … Once again, the leading experts we were told to rely on were 100% wrong. It’s not that they predicted disaster and got half a disaster — it’s that they predicted disaster and got dramatic improvement.
And yet again, we find that trusting the “leading experts” on global warming and climate change is a mistake. Trust the data, trust the evidence, trust reality — but be skeptical of experts who have a political agenda.
Today the number of lethal terrorist attacks by Muslims since 9/11, as tallied by (deliberately ironically named) “The Religion of Peace”, reached 24,700.
The daily number is reflected in our margin. And from time to time we reproduce the 6 latest attacks recorded by the same website.
Here is today’s snapshot of Islamic atrocities:
Islam’s Latest Contributions to Peace
“Mohammed is God’s apostle. Those who follow him are harsh
to the unbelievers but merciful to one another” Quran 48:29
2014.12.29 (Taji, Iraq) – A Shahid suicide bomber dismantles eleven Shiite mourners at a funeral tent. 2014.12.28 (Aleppo, Syria) – Two children are among six souls sent to Allah by a caliphate car bomb. 2014.12.27 (Mozogo, Cameroon) – Boko Haram burn down a village and slaughter at least thirty residents. 2014.12.27 (Bhiri Sha Rehman, Pakistan) – An Ahmadi is shot in the head shortly after a TV preacher rails against the religious minority. 2014.12.26 (Nad-e-Ali, Afghanistan) – A woman and child are among three killed by a Religion of Peace IED. 2014.12.25 (Ndalya, DRC) – ADF terrorists hack ten villagers to death in the middle of the night.
IED = improvised explosive device.
ADF stands for the laughably named Allied Democratic Forces, a coalition of Islamic terrorist groups in the also laughably named Democratic Republic of the Congo.
As we often do, we raided PowerLine – to get this perfect picture of what’s happened to the good ol’ USA:
(PowerLine is trying to discover the origin of the cartoon.)
To say one is “agnostic” is to say one does not know – eg. whether a god exists or not.
If one does not know that a god exists, one cannot be in a state of belief that he does. A person who says “I am an agnostic” is, at that moment, an atheist. He might be leaving open the possibility that one day he will know for sure whether or not there is a god, but he does not know it now. For now, he is without belief in a god. For now he is an atheist.
To call oneself “an agnostic” is, we think, an attempt to make a statement of unbelief softer, less challenging; to put a little powder on the bare face of atheism.
Robert G. Ingersoll called himself an agnostic. Although we would argue over the implications of that self-description, we like much of what he wrote and said.
Here is the conclusion of Ingersoll’s lecture, Why I am an Agnostic (1896):
One Sunday I went with my brother to hear a Free Will Baptist preacher. He was a large man, dressed like a farmer, but he was an orator. He could paint a picture with words.
He took for his text the parable of “the rich man and Lazarus”. He described Dives, the rich man – his manner of life, the excesses in which he indulged, his extravagance, his riotous nights, his purple and fine linen, his feasts, his wines, and his beautiful women.
Then he described Lazarus, his poverty, his rags and wretchedness, his poor body eaten by disease, the crusts and crumbs he devoured, the dogs that pitied him. He pictured his lonely life, his friendless death.
Then, changing his tone of pity to one of triumph – leaping from tears to the heights of exultation – from defeat to victory – he described the glorious company of angels, who with white and outspread wings carried the soul of the despised pauper to Paradise – to the bosom of Abraham.
Then, changing his voice to one of scorn and loathing, he told of the rich man’s death. He was in his palace, on his costly couch, the air heavy with perfume, the room filled with servants and physicians. His gold was worthless then. He could not buy another breath. He died, and in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torment.
Then, assuming a dramatic attitude, putting his right hand to his ear, he whispered, “Hark! I hear the rich man’s voice. What does he say? Hark! ‘Father Abraham! Father Abraham! I pray thee send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my parched tongue, for I am tormented in this flame’.”
“Oh, my hearers, he has been making that request for more than eighteen hundred years. And millions of ages hence that wail will cross the gulf that lies between the saved and lost and still will be heard the cry: ‘Father Abraham! Father Abraham! I pray thee send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my parched tongue, for I am tormented in this flame’.”
For the first time I understood the dogma of eternal pain – appreciated “the glad tidings of great joy”. For the first time my imagination grasped the height and depth of the Christian horror. Then I said: “It is a lie, and I hate your religion. If it is true, I hate your God.”
From that day I have had no fear, no doubt. For me, on that day, the flames of hell were quenched. From that day I have passionately hated every orthodox creed. That Sermon did some good.
We cannot understand how Christians can believe that their god loves every human being but will condemn anyone who offends him to everlasting torment.
But then, we fail to understand how anyone can believe anything that Christianity teaches, from the triune god all the way down.
The last argument for the existence of a creator god is that the material universe is intelligently designed.
Richard Dawkins demonstrates that it isn’t, in this fascinating video from November 2013.
While Christians’ thoughts are turned to the “Holy Land” in this season, and the cloying and absurd story of “God’s son” being born there is told and retold, we turn our thoughts to a present day reality in that most troubled part of our troubled world.
Reflecting our own views, here is an extract from a speech by George Deek, an Israeli Arab, speaking recently in Oslo:
In the Arab world, the Palestinian refugees – including their children, their grandchildren and even their great-grandchildren – are still not settled, aggressively discriminated against, and in most cases denied citizenship and basic human rights. Why is it, that my relatives in Canada are Canadian citizens, while my relatives in Syria, Lebanon or the gulf countries – who were born there and know no other home – are still considered refugees? Clearly, the treatment of the Palestinians in the Arab countries is the greatest oppression they experience anywhere.
And the collaborators in this crime are no other than the international community and the United Nations.
Rather than doing its job and help the refugees build a life, the international community is feeding the narrative of the victimhood.
While there is one U.N. agency in charge of all refugees in the world – the UNHCR, another agency was established to deal only with the Palestinian ones – UNRWA. This is no coincidence – while the goal of the UNHCR is to help refugees establish a new home, establish a future and end their status as refugees, the goal of UNRWA is opposite: to preserve their status as refugees, and prevent them from being able to start new lives.
The International community cannot seriously expect the refugee problem to be solved, when it is collaborating with the Arab world in treating the refugees’ as political pawns, denying them the basic rights they deserve. Wherever the Palestinian refugees were granted equal rights – they prospered and contributed to their society – In South America, in the U.S., and even in Israel. In fact, Israel was one of the few countries that automatically gave full citizenship and equality for all Palestinians in it after ‘48. And we see the results: despite all the challenges, the Arab citizens of Israel built a future.
Israeli Arabs are the most educated Arabs in the world, with the best living standards and opportunities in the region.
Arabs serve as judges in the Supreme Court; Some of the best doctors in Israel are Arabs, working in almost every hospital in the country. There are 13 Arab members of parliament who enjoy the right to criticize the government – a right that they exhaust to the fullest – protected by the freedom of speech; Arabs win popular reality shows; and you can even find Arab diplomats – and one of them is standing in front of you.
Today, when I walk the streets of Jaffa, I see the old buildings and the old port, But I also see children going to school and university; I see flourishing businesses; and I see a vibrant culture. In short, despite the fact that we [Arabs] still have a long road ahead of us as a minority, we have a future in Israel.
Not only does UNWRA teach children to become intifada fighters and suicide bombers, it was recently discovered to be storing Hamas’s weapons in its Gaza schools.
UNWRA must be destroyed!
Let us celebrate this season of the year with feasting and carousing, with good cheer in good company, with music and laughter.
December 25 was not the birthday of that tragic rabbi, “Jesus” of Nazareth; nor claimed to be for St Paul’s (completely different and totally fictitious) “Jesus Christ”.
December 25 was only chosen as the day of the Christian god’s earthly birth (from the womb of a virgin!) in the third century CE at the earliest.
A Christian source states authoritatively:
The eventual choice of December 25, made perhaps as early as 273, reflects a convergence of Origen’s concern about pagan gods and the church’s identification of God’s son with the celestial sun. December 25 already hosted two other related festivals: natalis solis invicti (the Roman “birth of the unconquered sun”), and the birthday of Mithras, the Iranian “Sun of Righteousness” whose worship was popular with Roman soldiers. The winter solstice, another celebration of the sun, fell just a few days earlier. Seeing that pagans were already exalting deities with some parallels to the true deity [haw-haw, yeah, sure – ed], church leaders decided to commandeer the date and introduce a new festival.
The day has been called “Christmas” for some 1,841 years.
So we say to our frequent readers, casual visitors, highly valued commenters, critics, and even our less insulting abusers:
We wish you a Very Merry Christmas!
At last! The comment on the shooting of black men by police officers in America that the world needs to hear.
It is from PowerLine, by John Hinderaker, who supports his case with an important quotation from Heather Mac Donald:
One of this morning’s big news stories is the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Antonio Martin by a policeman in Berkeley, Missouri – a place that, the Associated Press tells us helpfully, is “just a few miles from Ferguson.” The Antonio Martin shooting is currently the top story on Google News, and it is being headlined on pretty much every newspaper’s website.
But why? What makes this a major news story? The Michael Brown and Eric Garner stories that preceded it, obviously. But what made them worldwide news? Or, to go back in time, what made the Trayvon Martin case a cause célèbre, commented on by the President of the United States and followed breathlessly by millions?
The Antonio Martin case won’t be as big a story as Brown’s and Garner’s deaths. Rather than being your typical “unarmed” 300-pounder, Martin apparently pulled a 9 mm. pistol on the policeman who responded by shooting him. But every shooting of a civilian by a police officer is now deemed an important news story – with the critical qualification that the civilian, but not the officer, be black.
Are these shootings worldwide news because of an epidemic of racist murders being carried out by American policemen? That is what Eric Holder, Bill DeBlasio and Al Sharpton would have us believe. But it obviously isn’t true.
Heather Mac Donald writes:
Police killings of blacks are an extremely rare feature of black life and are a minute fraction of black homicide deaths. The police could end all killings of civilians tomorrow and it would have no effect on the black homicide risk, which comes overwhelmingly from other blacks. In 2013, there were 6,261 black homicide victims in the U.S. — almost all killed by black civilians — resulting in a death risk in inner cities that is ten times higher for blacks than for whites. None of those killings triggered mass protests; they are deemed normal and beneath notice. The police, by contrast, according to published reports, kill roughly 200 blacks a year, most of them armed and dangerous, out of about 40 million police-civilian contacts a year. Blacks are in fact killed by police at a lower rate than their threat to officers would predict. In 2013, blacks made up 42 percent of all cop killers whose race was known, even though blacks are only 13 percent of the nation’s population. The percentage of black suspects killed by the police nationally is 29 percent lower than the percentage of blacks mortally threatening them.
These stories about the killings of African-American men by police officers (or by a “neighborhood watch captain,” in Trayvon Martin’s case) are … plucked from a nearly endless supply of sad events that occur daily in a nation of 315 million, and are promoted because they further a political narrative.
An unholy alliance of activists and newspaper reporters and editors tries to distort our perception of reality by giving undue emphasis to them. Then, of course, reality begins to catch up with perception, and we have riots, murders of police officers, and so on. But understand that the decision to promote these stories, in preference to others that are equally or more newsworthy, is a choice that is consciously made by people with a political agenda.