About lennymaysay

Atheist, non-conformist, anti-authority

Absolutely Not!

beliefs

Perhaps it hasn’t escaped your attention that those demanding respect for their beliefs invariably hold dear the most ignorant, infantile, dubious, repulsive, fundamentalist, misogynistic, odious and  homophobic ideologies.

So who’s to say which beliefs are good and which bad? Haha! You got me there! I really don’t know for certain, until I have subjected your belief to critical examination. What I do know, is that if you demand that I accept and respect your belief, then it’s a sure sign that it is dodgy at the very least.

This where I see your demand and raise you another: I demand that every belief (be it religious, political, social, cultural or whatever) be subject to skeptical scrutiny.

So there!

Dissing the President

politics1

Quite a number of people in South Africa consider the President to be an idiot. However no matter how many people think it, it does not necessarily make it true.

Here is the truth:

Jacob Zuma visits a primary school and sits in on one of the classes, which is in the middle of a discussion on words and their meaning. The teacher asks Mr. Zuma if he would like to lead the discussion of the word “tragedy.”

So, the infamous leader asks the class for an example of a ‘Tragedy.’
One little boy stands up and offers: “If my best friend, who
lives on a farm, is playing in the field and a runaway tractor comes along and knocks him dead, that would be a tragedy.

“That’s wrong,” Zuma shouts. “That would be considered an accident.”

A little girl raises her hand: “If a school bus carrying 50 children drove over a cliff, killing everyone inside, that would be a tragedy.”

“You are completely incorrect,” shouts the philanderer. “That would be what we would consider a great loss.” The room goes silent.

No other children volunteer. Zuma searches the room. “Isn’t there someone here who can give me an example of a tragedy?”

Finally at the back of the room a small boy raises his hand. In a quiet voice he says: “If a plane carrying the President were struck by a missile and blown to smithereens, that would be a tragedy.”

“Fantastic!” exclaims Zuma. “You are absolutely right. Can you tell me why that would be a tragedy?”

“Well,” says the boy, “because it sure as hell wouldn’t be a great loss and it probably wouldn’t be an accident either!”

Adapted from Board of Wisdom.

Gobble! Gobble!

dejapoo

The President is well-known for gobbling up taxpayers money for his personal benefit, but a Sunday newspaper called him a chicken yesterday and for good reason too.

Jacob Zuma was labeled South Africa’s Number One Coward for refusing to answer questions in Parliament simply because it’s getting much tougher to defend the indefensible. Scandal seems to follow him around like a mosquito on steroids.

To make matters worse, his spokes-idiot Zizi Kodwa defended him by saying “The president can’t go to parliament when that parliament is a circus.” People have been calling the ANC-run parliament a circus for years, and it’s pretty darn hilarious that they agree.

If it was at all possible to take things from worse to rock bottom, you can count on Zuma to comply. At a Press luncheon over the weekend, Zuma asked if it was unfair for him to squander spend nearly a quarter of a billion rands on sprucing up personal residence at taxpayers expense when an airport was constructed nearby former apartheid era President P.W. Botha’s  home for his apparent exclusive use.

Not only was the comparison disingenuous, the dufus failed to realise that defending his wastage by comparing it to another cretin’s wastage, was the worst possible thing to do. This self-serving clod, never misses an opportunity to remind the sheeple how terrible the apartheid era sins were, while never missing a chance to repeat them himself.

While credulous voters continue to abide this disgraceful specimen, it will be gobble, gobble, until the country is properly ruined.

Don’t send me back to Iran

Having managed to recently finish reading the graphic novel Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (I’m not a fan of graphic novels, I must confess), I became quite fascinated with the rich history of Iran, previously known as Persia. At its peak, the Persian Empire first under Cyrus the Elder and then Darius the Great, was the largest empire in history.

Having survived invasions by the Greeks, Arabs, Turks and Mongols in its 6000-year history, it could have still been a great country, after having lost Empire status. But it all came apart in 1979 with the Iranian Revolution when it became an Islamic Republic. The events leading up to and after is described quite poignantly from a personal perspective by Satrapi in Persepolis, which incidentally was made into a film which I  enjoyed more than the novel.

persepoliscity

Persepolis (Wikimedia Commons)

If it had survived, the City of Persepolis which was built by Darius the Great, could easily have been one of the Seven Wonders of the World, displacing one of the incumbents. Who would not want to live in a country hosting such a great city?

Extract: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Extract: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Far too many people it would seem. Marjane herself was coerced into leaving by her parents while still quite young, after having witnessed and being subjected to the horrors of war with Iraq and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism after the Iranian Revolution. While she did return briefly after a few years studying in Europe, she eventually left permanently for France.

And another…

Ramin Forghani is an Iranian who has been studying for the last two years for his Masters Degree in Environmental Engineering in Glasgow, Scotland. While there he founded the Iranian Atheists Association, became the vice chairman of the Scottish Secular Society, and is the chairman of Ex-Muslims Scotland. Yes, another magnificent apostate!

Extract: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Extract: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Ramin is appealing his rejection by the Court of Session for asylum. He feels, quite justifiably that his life is at risk if he is returned to Iran. He cites the case of Soheil Arabi who was sentenced to death for the grossly unjust law of blasphemy in Iran. And just last month the BBC reported that six Iranians were sentenced to a year in prison and 91 lashes for (wait for it!) dancing with the opposite sex who were not wearing headscarves, to Pharrell Williams’ song Happy.

WTF!

I’m no fan of pop music and listening to Pharrell Williams should be punishable. Six lashes would have been quite adequate (just kidding), but unless you’re gay, who the fuck do you dance with? And this bullshit about mandated scarf wearing is just plain outrageous. Modern Iran is definitely not a place to be.

I sincerely wish that the powers that be, grant Ramin Forghani his wish to remain in Scotland. Seriously, bigoted Iran does not deserve such an outstanding citizen.

Fuck all prophets

rights

I remember writing something about the conviction and imprisonment of a Pakistani women around two years ago for blasphemy. This disgraceful act of discrimination is not only utterly ridiculous, but is a crime in itself, perpetrated by religious bigots.

Asia Bibi’s appeal against the death sentence has been rejected by the Lahore High Court. You can bet any number of stinking prophets, that the Pakistani judicial system is clearly not impartial, but influenced by the insane ideology of the clerical overlords.

This is an outrage and must be condemned by every rational, thinking person in the world. Pakistan is not the sole violator of human rights in the religious domain; there are many other countries most notably in the Middle East and Africa which also amazingly still treat religious beliefs with more deference than they do human rights.

This just has to stop, and all the Peoples of the world need to do more to bring down the hegemony of religious fundamentalists, and the clergy.

Ideas do not have rights, only people do. Thus religious beliefs do not deserve special consideration; absolutely no ideology does. Blasphemy is therefore the invention of some cowardly bastard, hell-bent on protecting and defending the indefensible.

Photo Credit: The Skeptics Guide To The Universe.

An Apostates Experience

TwitterApostate

I seem to have caught the tail end of a new phenomenon sweeping the world right now –  people who have left or disowned their religions are posting their reasons on Twitter. It’s been tagged as #AnApostatesExperience.

Apostasya defection or revolt is the formal disaffiliation from or abandonment or renunciation of a religion by a person. One who commits apostasy (or who apostatizes) is known as an apostate.

Apostasy is not necessarily confined to the abandonment of the worship of deities; it could also apply to political beliefs or any form of ideology or ideological belief. While all these forms of disaffiliation is extremely desirable and to be commended, religious apostasy seems to cause the most consternation, with certain faiths (well one in particular) disturbingly outlawing such a practice, on pain of death in some parts of the world.

When I visited the #AnApostatesExperience Twitter page, I realised that most if not all the posts were in reference to Islam. That’s not surprising because when you hear the term apostate, it’s usually with reference to the Islamic faith. People of other faiths have been leaving entirely or converting to other religions for thousands of years, and it does not so much as raise an eyebrow (these days at any rate).

I abandoned my faith many years ago, and ever since have been abandoning one form of belief or the other as evidence surfaces to prove what a load of claptrap it was. I have never been threatened with death; ridiculed and questioned yes, but there was never a hint of a threat. Why does this have to be the case with religion? Why do the apologists for religion demand special attention?

Religion thrives on fear, and that is probably the worst of its many failings. Hence I encourage all my fellow apostates to abandon without fear but with pride.

Monday Dance Day

Just because I feel that way today…

Aram Khachaturian’s Sabre Dance. It was once described as the most maddening tune to come to the 20th century.

Maddening? I call it invigorating. Hope you have a sabre-rattling week ahead.

Zeus fries my internet

lightning

Hello folks. Haven’t been able to post for nearly two weeks because during my short trip down to the coast, the lightning gods decided to have some fun with my ADSL connection.

I got back to a dead modem but didn’t realise the true damage until after I had a huge row with my internet service provider. While they insisted that they had repaired the damage to the cable and replaced my modem, I could still not connect. It was only after a few tests I discovered that the network card on my Notebook had also been fried. Thanks Zeus, you mother-frier you.

Anyway, to cut a frustrating story short, I purchased a network adapter which plugs into a USB port and am joyfully back on the air.

I missed some of the posts by bloggers I follow regularly and am still catching up. I also missed following the latest news from around the world. Unsurprisingly nothing’s changed – the world is still as fucked up as it was two weeks ago.

The one good thing to come out of all this, was that it gave me the opportunity to upgrade my connection speed and I’m now surfing faster than before. Still, it perturbs that hell out of me that that sonofabitch Zeus will always be faster…