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« Good News, Everybody The RantsSkeptics' Circle #32 »

European Racism Version 2.0
2006.04.08 (Sat) 22:01

[Note: Since publishing this Rant, we've done a bit more research — due in part to our own suspicions, and in part to Dikkii's refreshingly blunt comment! Further research has led us to the conclusion that, if there even exists a Spanish journalist named Sebastian Villar Rodriguez (or Sebastian Vilar Rodrigez, or however various different people are spelling it), it is highly unlikely (read: blatantly false) that he wrote the passage attributed to him in this Rant. However, regardless of the source of the material, the passage is still being forwarded from person to person, with the very unsubtle suggestion that what has been written here (by whoever actually wrote it) is insightful and worthy of merit. The sentiments and arguments presented in our Rant, despite being directed at the possibly fictitious and probably irrelevant Rodriguez, still hold; we are amazed that people — in particular, Jews to other Jews — are continuing to forward this passage to others with the blatant implication that, in a nutshell, "all Jews are better than all Muslims." In that light, we stand by our rebuttal to this ridiculous "article," no matter what feverish mind produced it.]

Many of you have probably already read, or read references to, Sebastian Villar Rodriguez's September 2005 article regarding the "eviction" of Jews and the "infestation" of Muslims in Europe, as was reported all over the blogosphere in the past few months since it was published. If you haven't, here it is below, in its entirety, as it was e-mailed to us. We've actually seen several different translations of the article, but the general gist seems to remain the same.

I walked down the street in Barcelona, and suddenly discovered a terrible truth:

Europe died in Auschwitz. We killed six million Jews and replaced them with 20 million Muslims.

In Auschwitz we burned a culture, thought, creativity, and talent. We destroyed the chosen people, truly chosen, because they produced great and wonderful people who changed the world.

The contribution of this people is felt in all areas of life: science, art, international trade, and above all, as the conscience of the world. These are the people we burned.

And under the pretense of tolerance, and because we wanted to prove to ourselves that we were cured of the disease of racism, we opened our gates to 20 million Muslims, who brought us stupidity and ignorance, religious extremism and lack of tolerance, crime and poverty due to an unwillingness to work and support their families with pride.

They have turned our beautiful Spanish cities into the third world, drowning in filth and crime. Shut up in the apartments they receive free from the government, they plan the murder and destruction of their naive hosts. And thus, in our misery, we have exchanged culture for fanatical hatred, creative skill for destructive skill, intelligence for backwardness and superstition.

We have exchanged the pursuit of peace of the Jews of Europe and their talent for hoping for a better future for their children, their determined clinging to life because life is holy, for those who pursue death, for people consumed by the desire for death for themselves and others, for our children and theirs.

What a terrible mistake was made by miserable Europe.

Okay, here goes: we absolutely agree with the first position Rodriguez takes — the Jews in Europe had much to contribute, and the outright persecution on the part of some Europeans, and apathy on the part of others, led to the deaths of many Jews who may well have otherwise had a huge impact on the course of human history. The Holocaust was an unforgivable act, and all of those responsible for it — directly or indirectly — share the blame for the atrocious acts committed during the Axis' push for power; and not just those acts committed against Jews, but those against blacks, gypsies, gays and so many other ethnic and sociocultural groups.

In addition, simply to put this Rant into exact context, a good percentage of the Two Percent relatives are Jewish, and mostly Jews of European descent at that. Despite our own resolute atheism, we have no issues with the social and cultural identity that Judaism inspires, though we have little use for the religious aspects which we consider to be pure bullshit. The same can be said for any religion; as we've said in the past, you don't have to be a religious Christian — or in fact a Christian at all — to have a good time on Christmas Day. In fact, some Two Percenters still attend family gatherings for the Jewish holidays. Our overall respect for the non-religious aspects of Jewish cultural identity stems in large part from the generally strong emphasis that those who self-identify culturally as Jews place upon education, rationalism and civil liberties (that's generally — we really have no soft spot for the ultra-conservatives, and especially dislike the Hasidic practices that perpetuate an outright misogynistic patriarchy).

However...all that said, we find Rodriguez's extended point to be astonishingly myopic and downright cruel.

In lauding Judaism and the European Jews, Rodriguez seems to feel that he must insult and denegrate Muslims; his premise is essentially that the "valuable" Jews were traded for the "worthless" Muslims, and he makes this disgusting and irrational point without even recognizing that he is perpetuating the racist dogma spouted by the likes of Hitler and the men under his command. He says:

...we opened our gates to 20 million Muslims, who brought us stupidity and ignorance, religious extremism and lack of tolerance, crime and poverty due to an unwillingness to work and support their families with pride.

So Jews bring "culture, thought, creativity, and talent," and contribute to "science, art, international trade," and "the conscience of the world" — and Muslims bring "stupidity and ignorance, religious extremism and lack of tolerance, crime and poverty," and contribute "fanatical hatred...destructive skill...backwardness and superstition." Because, as we all know, people are defined solely by the religion to which they belong. (Which may explain why we atheists are, to wit, "undefined.")

Are there Muslim fanatics, Muslim terrorists, Muslim leeches on the wealth and prosperity of Europe? Certainly there are. Are there also many talented, creative, thoughtful and brilliant Jews who have contributed to all human endeavors? Likewise, too many to be counted (though admittedly scarce in professional sports).

But where the hell does Rodriguez get off suggesting that all of Islamic culture, in practice, is solely about death, crime, filth, and a total lack of any valuable contributions to the human race? There are plenty of Islamic scholars throughout history who have made great contributions to the enlightment of humankind. In fact, while Europe was languishing in the so-called "Dark Ages," Islamic science and culture was thriving and flourishing. Islam has certainly contributed more than enough to be considered a "valuable" culture by Rodriguez's standards. Do any of these look familiar?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0

Where the hell do you think we got these numerals from? How do you think so much of ancient Greek history, literature and science was preserved, except by the tireless efforts of Muslim scholars and translators, who stayed "awake" during Europe's Dark Age? What about Caliph al-Mamun's House of Wisdom? What about nearly every scientific or mathematical term that begins with the letters al- — like algebra, algorithm, alkali, and so forth — all of which (among many other aspects of our modern vocabulary) are derived from the Arabic words uttered by Muslim scientists and mathematicians like Mohammed ibn-Musa al-Khowarizmi? The concepts of zero and infinity, so important to so much of our modern mathematics, owe far, far more to the East (including Islam, India and the Far East) than they ever have or will to Western civilization, which maintained an irrational fear of the literally irrational for centuries upon centuries. Astronomy, algebra, philosophy, experimental sciences...Islamic culture has contributed a wealth of knowledge to the world, no matter what some of its current misguided adherents are doing.

Our point is simple: yes, many Jews have made wonderful contributions to our species; however, many Muslims have also made great contributions to our species. And correspondingly, there have been malefactors, psychotics, and just plain assholes on both sides of that particular fence, as with any two cultures you might like to pick.

It is popular, particularly on the right-wing, for folks nowadays to paint all Jews as "good guys," owing to the relentless persecution and despair they have endured for a few thousand years (though many of these far-right folks are just playing nice to get the 120,000 Jews they need for the Rapture). It is just as popular to paint all Muslims as "bad guys," owing to the modern-day activities of some fucked up Muslim zealots in the past few decades.

But the simple fact is: lumping every member of a specific religion into a "good" or "evil" category is, simply, idiotic and unrealistic.

Have we, here at the Two Percent Company, fallen prey to the same temptation? Some could argue that. However, we would counter that we take the position that people — individually and in groups — should be judged on their words and deeds, and not by the words and deeds of others who claim membership in the same group. There are some Muslim assholes out there; there are also some bright, charming, happy, optimistic and peaceful Muslims out there, and we're not about to call them assholes just because they share some beliefs (though not all) with the actual Muslim assholes. There are some brilliant, creative, benevolent and generous Jews in the world; and there are also some ravenously psychotic Jewish assholes, whom we're not about to call "good" simply because they cover their heads and read the Torah.

Regular readers will see us commonly refer to "religiosos" — but it would be a mistake to think that our pejorative refers to all people of any religious belief. While we do happen to believe that such folks are deluded or brainwashed or, at best, thinking wishfully, there are too many good religious folks out there for us to actually hate them as a whole. We use the term "religioso" specifically to refer to those who are anxious to force their beliefs and practices on others, through political, legislative, economic, military or other means. We've got no beef with those who are content to "live and let live" — we're often pleasantly surprised by devout believers who have a kind word to say in our Rants or through our contact form, and we wouldn't dream of lumping them in with the real religiosos, or slamming them for no good reason. We may not share their beliefs, and they may not share ours; but we have no problem sharing a country or a planet with them.

We're just disheartened by the fact that Rodriguez, in trying to make a decent point about the horrible loss incurred by European reluctance to interfere with the Holocaust, felt the need to find some target to replace the Jews, completely disregarding the fact that such a blanket belief in the consistency of character within one sect or clan was exactly what enabled the Europeans to disregard the Jews so generally in the first place. That's just sad. It's silly to throw out a whole basket just because of a few cracked eggs.

One Bad Egg

— • —
[  Filed under: % Media & Censorship  % Religion  % Two Percent Toons  ]

TrackBack URL for this entry: http://www.twopercentco.com/rants/tpc-trkbk.cgi/312

Comments (59)

ed, 2006.04.09 (Sun) 02:11 [Link] »

I don't understand the philosophy behind tripe like this. Does the author think that his 20,000,000 muslims are going to piss off back to the Middle East? Or that his disparagement of their entire culture will somehow challenge them to do better, like negative comments on a school report?

I've lived in the UK for almost a decade now; I'm white, a native speaker of English, have an English partner, and have adopted English customs. But I will never, ever be thought of as English, or even British, no matter how long I live here, no matter what my passport says. If I will never be truly 'assimilated', to use the words of the tabloids, what chance do Muslims have? Even long-term British subjects from the Indian subcontinent, whose grandparents considered themselves British, are still treated as outsiders. New arrivals have no chance.

So what's to be done? Shall we continually ostracise, marginalise, and criticise this community? Let them know we consider them all to be backwards, inferior madmen? If you want a recipe for creating a permanent underclass, you couldn't do much better.

There seems to be a new train of thought--a backlash against a mostly ficticious 'PC" movement--that says any brutish ignorance is okay, as long as you state it clearly, and acknowledge that it's probably not a popular thing to say. "I'm sure this is 'politically incorrect', but Muslims/blacks/women/gays are no good at anything, and should be grateful for what We the Noble and Enlightened allow them, short of a good thrashing." And all and sundry nod politely, not agreeing, but falling for the ol' "right to an opinion" fallacy (which is comprehensively demolished in the book Crimes Against Logic, [link] which I think should be essential reading for anyone who wishes to express their thoughts in public).



dikkii, 2006.04.09 (Sun) 03:01 [Link] »

Don't know much about the author, but this all seems a bit contrived and a bit too ironic for me.

We haven't misinterpreted Rodriguez' intentions with this article, have we?

Mind you, if this is the case, he has put things somewhat crudely.



Jeff from the Two Percent Company, 2006.04.09 (Sun) 03:36 [Link] »

Damn...good call, Dikkii. I finally turned up this link on my twentieth Google search regarding this damn e-mail.

While the sentiment expressed in the Rant still holds, the Rodriguez material does, in fact, seem to be a hoax, based loosely on the actual writings of James C. Bennett, with Rodriguez's name apparently appended at random, and the Spanish newspaper article pulled out of some devious blogger's ass.

We got carried away by our message, and didn't do a thorough job of researching the material that prompted that message. More on this later, but before finally getting to bed, I wanted to let you know you are absolutely right. We fucked up. Mea culpa!



CJ, 2006.04.09 (Sun) 14:51 [Link] »

I'm sure Mr. Rodriguez will come to recognize his error in hindsight.



Tanooki Joe, 2006.04.10 (Mon) 12:41 [Link] »

I find it particularly ironic that he talks about Muslims in Spain, as significant Muslim populations are not exactly something unknown to the Iberian peninsula.



dikkii, 2006.04.11 (Tue) 06:27 [Link] »

T2PCC wrote:

[Note: Since publishing this Rant, we've done a bit more research ? due in part to our own suspicions, and in part to Dikkii's refreshingly blunt comment!

Apologies folks, it wasn't meant to sound like a statement of the obvious. Wasn't intending for what I wrote to appear rude.



Tom from the Two Percent Company, 2006.04.11 (Tue) 07:58 [Link] »

dikki,

We weren't being sarcastic when we said that your comment was refreshingly blunt, we were being honest. We always try to be very direct in our communication, and as such, we appreciate people who are direct with us. Your comment was direct, and not at all rude. Above all, it drove to clarity by helping us to correct a mistake we had made.

Even if Rodriguez had turned out to be a real person, we would still appreciate a comment like yours. We are certainly not above making mistakes, and as such, we are certainly not above being questioned. If we make a mistake, by all means call us on it. And if you think something we've said is suspect, please tell us about it.

We welcome comments like yours. So don't apologize, and please don't stop leaving them.



ed, 2006.04.12 (Wed) 02:30 [Link] »

Interesting that the Hudson Institute itself (assuming that the true origins of the article are as reported) has a fairly spotty track record as far as law and order goes...perhaps members of its board are not neccesarily the best qualified to deliver sermons on being good citizens.
story

Oh, and you can add Conrad Black (indicted) and Dick Perle (perennially under inverstigation) to the list...



bernie, 2006.04.14 (Fri) 03:11 [Link] »

Your effort at Defending Islam is noble and politically correct but dangerous. As much as we may flinch at the idea of condemning an entire culture there are times when we must. Surely no one today will defend Nazism or Stalinism under the misguided notion that not all Nazis nor all Stalinists were nasty, brutal persons.

Saying Islam is a dangerous religion is not the same as when Hitler said Jews were a danger to German Society because in fact Jews were a boon to them. If Muslims could accept living among others, as Jews have done, perhaps they would not pose such a danger to us.



The Two Percent Company, 2006.04.14 (Fri) 14:22 [Link] »

bernie,

Yup, you're exactly the kind of narrow-minded loon that we were talking about in our post. Thanks for providing such a perfect example for our readers — we couldn't have found anything better if we'd looked. To our readers, you can check out bernie's post by clicking on his link to see what we mean.

First off, we are not defending Islam as a religion. If you think that we are, all we can say is that your reading skills must be pretty poor for you to come to that conclusion. Like all religions, we view Islam as nothing more than a delusion, akin to a belief in astrology or ass gnomes. As such, we view anyone who follows Islam as delusional. The same can be said for Christians and Jews and members of all other religions. However, you seem to think that all Muslims are violent terrorists, and that is a complete load of uneducated, bigoted shit.

Does the Quran teach violence? Absolutely. And so does the Bible. As a result, some Muslims are hateful, violent assholes. And so are some Christians. But instead of judging all people as terrorists because of what religion they follow, we tend to judge people on their individual merits. You, on the other hand, don't seem to want to bother with such distinctions. Instead, you toss around phrases such as "Muslim militants (redundant)" on your site, content to pigeonhole all Muslims as radical terrorists. Do you also count all Christians as narrow-minded homophobic young-earth creationists? Because, hell, so many of them are, right?

When someone does something stupid and violent in the name of their religion, we have no problem calling them stupid, dangerous assholes for it. A good example of that would be the Mohammed cartoon debacle, which we wrote about not all that long ago. But when you move from that point of view to one in which anyone who shares a trait in common with these assholes is also deemed an asshole regardless of their individual words or actions, that doesn't make you an intellectual or a realist — it makes you a fucking bigot.

Let's look at your specific replies to our post.

1) We said: "There are plenty of Islamic scholars throughout history who have made great contributions to the enlightenment of humankind." You disagreed by stating that most scholars who study Islam aren't even Muslim. It seems that you completely missed the point of what we were saying. Despite the unhelpful "definition" provided by Wikipedia (which seems to be all that you bothered to read of the article), read the actual list they provide, and you'll see that the majority of those listed are: a) Muslims; and b) contributors to more than just "Islamic studies" (that darn phrase "multiple fields" keeps popping up, you know?) — which is why we linked to it. By saying "Islamic scholars" we weren't talking about scholars who study Islam, we were talking about scholars (who study whatever it is that they study) who count themselves as Muslims. If we made a reference to "Christian scholars," would you insist that we must be referring only to those who study Christianity, or would you concede that there are Christians who study other spheres of knowledge? Since that was your entire argument, and since it was flawed from the start, we'll just stop here.

2) We said: "In fact, while Europe was languishing in the so-called 'Dark Ages,' Islamic science and culture was thriving and flourishing." You took exception by stating that it only flourished for "a few hundred years from 700 to 1000 AD." And what happened after 1000 AD? The more strict religious nutjobs took over in the Middle East, and stifled science and progress. Does that diminish the advancements that were made prior to 1000 AD by Muslims? Not at all. Does it mean that all Muslims have since been strictly religious and therefore not made any worthwhile contributions to the world? Absolutely not. We might also point out that, if the current slide toward radical Christian fundamentalism continues in the United States, we might one day look back on this country in the same way — sure, American Christians offered some contributions to society, but that was only from 1800 to 2000 AD.

3) We said: "Islam has certainly contributed more than enough to be considered a 'valuable' culture." You disagreed by stating that we didn't in any way show "the contributions of Islamic Science to modern culture." Once again, for the cheap seats, we aren't talking about "Islamic Science." Hell, we don't even know what that's supposed to mean. We're talking about people who are Muslims who also contribute to society, perhaps in a scientific field. Not all people who practice a given religion are solely defined by that religion. That seems to be a foreign concept for you, bernie, but for most of us, it's pretty simple to grasp.

4) From here we move into the intellectually dishonest portion of your diatribe. You take exception to a quote from us that says: "Where the hell do you think we got these numerals from?" Your reply is:

Not from Arabs. The Arabs got the concept of zero from Hindus and despite Greek distate for irrational numbers they had computations involving the concept of infinity.

Well, first off — yes, we did get the numerals from Arabs. Directly and literally. The way we draw them is derived from the way the Arabs drew them. However, more generally, let's take a look at the statement you picked out, but this time in the context of what we wrote:

Where the hell do you think we got these numerals from? How do you think so much of ancient Greek history, literature and science was preserved, except by the tireless efforts of Muslim scholars and translators, who stayed "awake" during Europe's Dark Age? What about Caliph al-Mamun's House of Wisdom? What about nearly every scientific or mathematical term that begins with the letters al- — like algebra, algorithm, alkali, and so forth — all of which (among many other aspects of our modern vocabulary) are derived from the Arabic words uttered by Muslim scientists and mathematicians like Mohammed ibn-Musa al-Khowarizmi? The concepts of zero and infinity, so important to so much of our modern mathematics, owe far, far more to the East (including Islam, India and the Far East) than they ever have or will to Western civilization, which maintained an irrational fear of the literally irrational for centuries upon centuries.
[our emphasis]

Big difference, isn't it? Suddenly your chastisement that these contributions came from the Hindus and Greeks seems kind of flaccid since, you know, we already said that, and then went on to explain how Muslims preserved these concepts through the Dark Ages. If you don't see the preservation of these concepts as a worthwhile contribution to society, then you must really have your anti-Arab blinders screwed in place tightly.

You close your post with:

I appreciate that two percent company wants to bring some balance to those who say that Islam is mostly an ignorant, barbaric, archaic religion but sadly, as unsavory and racist as it seems, calling Islam for what it is, is not Islamophobia but merely telling the truth.

And Truth is more important than political correctness. But nice try, two percent.

We recommend that you actually read our site before you make very silly and incorrect assumptions about what we believe. You appreciate that we're trying to balance out the people who say that Islam is mostly an ignorant, barbaric, archaic religion? Fuck, man, we aren't balancing out that statement, we're agreeing with it. Islam is an ignorant, barbaric, archaic religion. So is Christianity. Follow either one — or either's book — too closely, and you will stifle science and knowledge, and incite violence. However, there are plenty of Muslims and plenty of Christians who don't follow their religions to the letter, and who are good people capable of making worthwhile contributions to society. That is our point in this piece, and if you think that it is "politically correct," then you need go off and read about how that term is generally applied.

For fuck's sake, go right ahead and condemn Islam as a shitty belief system — it is, and we agree. And go right ahead and hate the people who do terrible things in the name of their religion — they deserve it. But don't hate other people just because they have one thing in common with these assholes. That's just fucking stupid.



bernie, 2006.04.14 (Fri) 17:14 [Link] »

Ouch. We both could have phrased things differently. I'll try to answer in line.

bernie, Yup, you're exactly the kind of narrow-minded loon...

I Didn't call you names. But I deserve it for not being fair with you guys.

First off, we are not defending Islam as a religion. If you think that we are, all we can say is that your reading skills must be pretty poor for you to come to that conclusion. Like all religions, we view Islam as nothing more than a delusion, akin to a belief in astrology or ass gnomes. As such, we view anyone who follows Islam as delusional. The same can be said for Christians and Jews and members of all other religions.

I agree with you fully. I didn't think you were defending Islam as a religion; I thought you were trying to show that Islam had something of value to contribute to modern civilization. I certainly read that:

...despite our own resolute atheism, we have no issues with the social and cultural identity that Judaism inspires, though we have little use for the religious aspects which we consider to be pure bullshit.

I also read the interesting comments when I moused over your links which acted as disclaimers of a sort. So I think I know your view on Islam and all other religions. However, I get really pissed when I hear of Islamic contributions to civilization in the same way when someone defends Nazi contributions to modern medicine based on their experiments on prisoners.

However, you seem to think that all Muslims are violent terrorists, and that is a complete load of uneducated, bigoted shit.

Interestingly, you took my phrase "Muslim militants (redundant)" and thought I was pigeonholing all Muslims as radical terrorists. Actually the phrase Muslim was redundant. Perhaps I should have written Muslim(redundant) militants but it doesn't parse well. Indeed, you'd agree that almost all news reports about militants today are about Muslims, no? That certainly does not mean all Muslims are terrorists. I was saying that all radical terrorists, at least in the context of Indonesia, are Muslim.

Do you also count all Christians as narrow-minded homophobic young-earth creationists?

I am not polite to that faith as well. If you put in "Christian Taliban" in the search box on my site you will see no less than 7 articles and as for being bigoted against Christians I wrote that 10% of Christianity is still barbaric and uncivilized and Their problem is the same as Islam's - they take the Bible the same way Muslims take the Quran. Both are mentally ill because of it and those that take a Holy Book as if it were truly the word of God and want to push that view on me should be destroyed

But when you move from that point of view to one in which anyone who shares a trait in common with these assholes is also deemed an asshole regardless of their individual words or actions, that doesn't make you an intellectual or a realist — it makes you a fucking bigot.

I don't expect that on such short amount of time you would have read EVERYTHING I wrote but my main argument about Muslims is that moderate Muslims are not allowed to voice their opinions, that they cannot stand up against the radical elements, that they are in fact trapped into allowing the most violent element of Islam to rule their lives as well as ours. Look, even non-Muslims like the New York Times caved into remaining silent on the cartoon affair, can you imagine the fear moderate Muslims have about standing up against that element?

I even wrote about the plight of intelligent, educated Muslims (not so bigoted after all): This is why you do not see moderate Muslims protesting against the terrorist tactics of Islamic extremists. They cannot claim that this is not Islam because it is, yet they cannot turn away from their religion in protest for fear of reprisal and death. They are stuck being Muslims. The educated, civilized Muslim is forced to pretend that he is Muslim for fear of persecution he would face at the hands of either the state or his fellow Muslims even if he lives in a non-Muslim country.

As to taking cheap shots, perhaps I should have sat on my post for a few days to cool off. When I hear anyone pushing the idea of Muslim contributions to the modern world - I go nuts. As a consequence of your rightful indignation I will amend my post - I already put a notice that I was unfair with my posting. I hope you accept my sincere apology. After I take out the cheap shots, of course.



bernie, 2006.04.14 (Fri) 17:21 [Link] »

I colored your comments red to distinguish them from mine, but for some reason it didn't show up in my comment above. Sorry if it doesn't scan well for the eye.

[We reformatted your earlier comment to make it more easily readable. — Ed.]



bernie, 2006.04.16 (Sun) 12:14 [Link] »
However, you seem to think that all Muslims are violent terrorists, and that is a complete load of uneducated, bigoted shit.

I hope I made it clear that I do not think this way.

The article is completely re-written, not because I am afraid of criticism, but because it was written carelessly. Thank you for the heads up.



The Two Percent Company, 2006.04.18 (Tue) 16:59 [Link] »

bernie,

We absolutely stand corrected. You apparently are not one of the loons we were talking about. It seems like you thought you saw us spouting off a position that pushes your buttons, and perhaps wrote your post in anger. We can certainly understand that — there are plenty of things that drive us up the wall as well.

We're glad that you see that we are not defending Islam as a religion or as a group. Instead, we are saying that people should be judged by their individual words and actions, and not by the religion they choose to self-identify with. As such, there are certainly individuals who self-identify as Muslims who are good people, and who contribute to society in various ways. That doesn't mean that Islam — the religion itself — is responsible for these contributions, just that the individuals who made the contributions also happen to call themselves Islamic.

Of course, we respect your right to hold the views that you hold — they're your views, and you're welcome to them. What you apologized for was the approach you took with your response, which was probably what set us off in the first place. In all honesty, it takes a big person to apologize for anything, so for that, you've earned our respect, for whatever that's worth.

For our part, we apologize for not making our intentions more clear. As you may have noticed, our Rant was written as a hasty reaction to Internet flotsam too, so it looks like we're all in roughly the same boat. The upshot: no worries.

If you ever see anything that we've written that you don't agree with, by all means ask us about it. Some people may certainly interpret things that we've said very differently than we intended, and we're happy to clarify our views if we've been less than clear. We'd much rather respond to a question than to a reaction based on a misinterpretation of our views.

Politically correct? Blech. Fuck that shit!



HOG called ALLAH, 2006.07.30 (Sun) 03:50 [Link] »

[The original comment we received here was literally thirty-six printed pages of made up "lost verses" of the Koran. While we have no love for any organized religion, and no compunctions about making fun of religious symbols, this comment was snipped short for three main reasons. First and foremost, it was way too fucking long. Seriously, who drops a comment that long on someone else's blog? Second, it was only peripherally related to the post at hand — and that's being kind. And third, it wasn't all that amusing. It was just a series of stories making the same point over and over, written in a pretty lackluster style. But, in the interests of open discourse, here is the first of these stories. — Ed.]

Lost Verses of the Koran

Surah 115: The Pig

Bismillah:

The hurried flight of the Hegira had led the Muslims to a fertile oasis, where they were at last safe from their many enemies in Mecca.
Pausing, each thanked Allah the moon-god for their good fortune.
Assembling at a long table, they enjoyed rare delicacies brought by bare-breasted sirens whose faces were veiled. During the feast Muhammad sternly forbade his disciples to partake of pig flesh, while fondling the youthful breasts of a Nubian harlot named Sheba.
Obeying the Prophet, the pilgrims partook of the succulent flesh of jackals and vultures, washing their food down with strong wine.
"I never dreamed I'd have to eat the loins of a jackal, let alone the bitter entrails of a cursed vulture," observed a hungry pilgrim named Ahmed to a fellow Muslim, choking on the unpalatable morsels.
"Neither did I, but the Holy Prophet has ordered it," grumbled another starving follower, almost heaving as he consumed greasy vulture flesh.
"A rancid pork chop would taste a hell of a lot better than this crap does," retorted Ahmed.
"It's an acquired taste brother, you'll get used to it," spoke up another, smiling with a mouthful of rotten teeth.
"I don't think so," said Ahmed, forcing down a burned jackal testicle.
An uncaring Muhammad, famished, greedily wolfed down roasted jackal in enjoyment, quaffing from an earthenware wine carafe on occasion, while choosing which of the sirens that would soon endure his favours.
The meal finished in the late afternoon, a drunken, lustful Muhammad initiated a sex orgy with the sirens, the debauched Holy Prophet, Allah speaking through him, declaring all earlier betrothals or marriages of the women he knew null and void.
The Muslims celebrated their good fortune, again thanking Allah for the bounty they had been blessed to receive.
Later, as Muhammad sat half-naked under a palm tree, masturbating to the thought of molesting little girls, Ahmed chanced by and remarked, "Oh great prophet, why does Allah say that we cannot dine on delicious porcine flesh?"
"Why?" asked Muhammad, closing his filthy, tattered, moth-eaten robe, "Because Allah's younger retarded cyclops brother is a pig, and Allah doesn't want us killing his holy kinfolk."
"Allah is a pig?" asked Ahmed, staring at Muhammad.
"Of course," replied the deranged Prophet, hallucinating thanks to ingesting strong hashish minutes earlier.
"That's ridiculous, why in hell do we worship pigs?" asked Ahmed, thinking his flight from Mecca may have been the result of heeding the words of a false prophet, possessed of a capricious desert demon who delighted in seeing them consume the flesh of vermin.
"Because they're better than we are," answered a smiling Muhammad, now fantasising about raping little boys, "Look at me, I'm little more than a lecherous child molester, thief and murderer!"
"True, but pigs can't even talk!" exclaimed Ahmed, digging a heel into the sand.
"Allah can, he speaks to me in my dreams," retorted the wildly hallucinating Muhammad, barely able to focus on Ahmed, seeing him in double vision.
"You're a madman," declared a disgusted Ahmed, "I'm heading back to join the infidels in Mecca!"
"Who cares?" retorted Muhammad, slurring his words and breaking into riotous laughter.
Prophet Muhammad, opening his robe and again reaching for his flaccid sex organ, was too occupied with masturbating his building erection to reply further, while Ahmed disappeared behind a sand dune.
"What a stupid, perverted, licentious bastard," spat Ahmed, walking off, "Muhammad is crazier than a shithouse rat!"

[snip, snip]



Karen, 2007.01.22 (Mon) 13:38 [Link] »

Two Percent;

Whether you agree with Bernie or not, is it really necessary for you to call him names and use foul language? I read your article in response to "European Racism" and while I agree with most of it, I feel that you should give more respect to those who offer their comments. By "repsect" I mean omitting the name-calling and more specifically the foul language.
Karen



The Two Percent Company, 2007.01.24 (Wed) 15:12 [Link] »

Well, gee, Karen, perhaps you should have read this entire thread, in which Bernie and we patched up our differences, realized where our misunderstandings and fundamental disagreements lay, and generally ended on a very good note. Perhaps you should also have read Bernie's original condescending, insulting, and outlandish misrepresentation of us on his site, which he retracted upon further discussion with us. Perhaps you should have brushed up on your reading comprehension skills enough to register the fact that our "agreement" with Bernie ("or not") contributed absolutely nothing to the tone we took with him, which was, in fact, entirely due to the tone he initially took with regard to us. And perhaps you should have noted that we called Bernie a "narrow-minded loon" (based on his original blog post, since retracted — and we retracted our insult upon his retraction and rectification) and a "fucking bigot" (based on his assessment of Muslims as a group, rather than as individuals), and suggested that some of his assertions were "fucking stupid" (which, frankly, they were, at least the way he initially presented them)...which was just about the extent of our "calling him names."

Ah, but if you had realized all that, then you wouldn't be able to say "You guys are mean and foulmouthed!" Which seems to be the entire substance of your comment. How sad for you that you can't accept all language for the meaning and intent it conveys, and concentrate on the message instead of your prudish offense at the delivery.

We certainly offer respect to those who offer comments, and even to those who attack our views (without attacking us); however, if you throw down, expect some fucking retaliation.



jaaykke, 2007.03.22 (Thu) 12:58 [Link] »

The only problem with liberal relativism is that it completely disregards the facts. Otherwise, the sentiment is really quite nice: Judge each individual on their own merits. Allow the inherent majesty of a human being to shine forth, despite their surroundings, and you will often be pleasantly surprised. I fully agree. But that doesn't mean that there is not a rellevant bigger picture that must disregard, to some extent, the individual. I'm sure there were many good Germans in Germany in 1939. Unfortunately, because of what Germany was doing on the world stage, in the bigger picture, the world went to war against them. Thank God they did.
It is true that today, not a thousand years ago when the Arab world was the center of knowledge and progress, today on the world stage, muslims are contributing hate, ignorance, murder and terrorism. It is a fact. In pre-holocaust Europe, Hitler said that the Jews wanted to take over the world. That was not a fact. Thats what makes it different.
As a people, Jews contribute to society. They did in Europe bofore they were senselessly persecuted, and they do today. Of course there are Jewish individuals who are very bad people. That doesn't make the big picture untrue and it certainly doesn't make it irrelavant. There are Muslim individuals who are great people, but that likewise does not negate the fact that on the world stage today, they are the source for great evil and a truly terrifying global enviroment, their mathematical accomplishments of the dark ages not-withstanding.
How many days did it take the French police to get the riots in France under control last year? The rioters were muslims and they practically shut down the entire country for over week. That is what Rodriguez is talking about. Yes, not every Muslim in the world was there. How does that change that?
And if you ever visit New York, you can just ask the NYPD about those Hassidim that you hate so much and what a bitch they are to police. Those crazy Hassidim. Which neighborhood would you choose to live in? Now if you had a country and chased away all the Hassidim (those crazy Hassidim. They go to prostitutes sometimes. Did you know that?) and brought in a bunch of other people and there was the kind of riots that they had in France in Nov. '05 and the constant terrorist attacks on the trains and so forth, would the sentiment of the article be so inappropriate?
Are you getting me?



The Two Percent Company, 2007.03.22 (Thu) 21:38 [Link] »

The only problem with a label like "liberal relativism" is, of course, that it's utterly asinine.

Seriously, "liberal relativism"? We have no idea what you think you're getting out of our post or subsequent comments (if you even bothered to read them), but whatever it is, you are way off the mark. It's much more simple than any silly label you want to throw around: we're just not falling prey to the general idiocy which says that religion defines the religionist. It doesn't. It may motivate them, and some of them will be defined by the "general perception" of their religion, but it isn't even a "majority" truth, let alone a universal one.

"As a people," fuck Jews, and fuck Muslims, and fuck Germans, and fuck any group that thinks that they are the "contributors" to society. We are humans. All of us. Some contribute, some don't. Some contribute negatively. Only the people who seem to desperately need to flock to a group (any group, from what we've seen) think that it is the groups that are making contributions. Yes, we all know that some Jews are inordinately proud of Einstein, Feynman, and others, ad nauseam, but the Judaism of these people had nothing to do with their contributions at all. They were people who studied and worked and put forth effort and thought about what they were doing, and figured shit out. Their religion (or, more accurately, their heritage — many of them likely were not actually religious, and at the very least didn't rely on religion to make their contributions) should not be considered "cool" or "good" or "positive" just because these individuals helped us out.

For the same reason, the contributions of those who happened to be Muslim should not be overlooked simply because the religion of Islam seems to (or even actually does) foster a violent and destructive force in the world. Which is exactly what we were talking about in our post, and we think we made that quite clear. We aren't defending Islam, nor would we defend any religion, since we think they're all ridiculous; but we are pointing out that the "Rodriguez" passage is utter bullshit, because it says point blank that Muslims are nothing, and contribute nothing positive, and that is demonstrably untrue. Period. We aren't saying that anyone should unquestioningly offer "open arms" to Muslims, and we most certainly aren't saying that they should offer "open arms" to Muslim extremists. We're saying that people should acknowledge the contributions of individuals regardless of their heritage instead of making stupid blanket statements that contradict the facts.

And where the Holy Hell do you come up with us "hating" Hasidic Jews? Sorry, but, what the fuck are you talking about? We only mentioned briefly that we (verbatim) "dislike" Hasidic practices. For the record, our take on the Hasidic community is the same as our take on any other religious group. Sure, we have a general perception of the group, and yes, that influences our perception of individuals who self-identify as members of that group. However we are also willing to give these people a chance. And not because of some bullshit idea like "liberal relativism" (whatever the fuck you think you mean by that), but because we've been surprised often enough, both in personal experience and in research, at how often people from any and all groups do something that defies the commonly "understood" definition of their groups, and can contribute positively (or not) to society or to us personally as a result. To be clear, in our experience, most Hasidic Jews we've met are assholes — they're arrogant, elitist snobs who are among the most racist and insulated motherfuckers on earth — but there are some we've encountered with whom we have absolutely no problem, and would even consider to be quite nice acquaintances. Should we abandon this "liberal relativism" you've ascribed to us and just write off all Hasidic Jews, simply because in our experience they tend to be dicks? Because that's precisely what you (and the fictitious Rodriguez) seem to be suggesting we do with regard to Muslims.

And yeah, um...Hasidic Jews go to prostitutes sometimes. Some of them. And some Muslims do, and some Christians do, and some Hindus do, and some atheists do. Aside from the fact that we don't think there's anything wrong with prostitution, this is simply a non-issue. Some people go to prostitutes, some don't. Religion doesn't seem to be the deciding factor.

...and that's the point, because religion doesn't seem to be the deciding factor in most of the vast number of human behaviors and decisions. Religious people like to think it is, and many like to pretend that their religion drives them (like those Godly gay bashers, for example), but look around — the truly good people are good because, generally, they recognize the common humanity in others, feel compassion and sympathy, and feel better about themselves when they fill another human's needs. The truly bad people are assholes who simply don't recognize that others are deserving of the same human rights and privileges that they are. Sure, religion is often used as a justification after the fact, but it is not generally the deciding factor.

That doesn't make the big picture untrue and it certainly doesn't make it irrelavant.

Yes, it does. The "big picture" you refer to is simply people's tendency to affiliate with a religion, and that quite simply is irrelevant to the determination of individual accomplishments and contributions to our world and our species. Einstein revolutionized physics, but that had nothing to do with his Jewish heritage. David Berkowitz obeyed his hallucinations and slaughtered human beings, which also had nothing to do with his Jewish heritage. To say that one's actions are due to Jewish heritage means that, to be consistent, you must accept that the other's are, as well. We're simply saying that neither is, which is a pretty logical and valid point to make, given the evidence. The evidence, of course, being that the vast majority of Jews neither contribute revolutionary scientific theories nor slaughter numerous innocent victims. So how does being Jewish have anything to do with it at all?

By extension, the vast majority of Muslims have not blown up planes or shopping malls. Yes, a number of them have, but statistics can be spun either way, and the statistics have to be looked at in perspective. The vast majority of Muslims have also not made scientific breakthroughs, invented fantastic new technology, or conquered world hunger. But the whole point is that it's not "the vast majority of Jews" or "the vast majority of Muslims" that we should be talking about — it's the vast majority of humans. Most humans don't have much effect on the world, and they blip off the radar of time without any real sign of their having been here. It's a sad fact that depresses many people, but fortunately the human ego is usually pretty fantastic at distorting our perception of our importance and thereby preventing that depression.

And please note that we aren't blowing sunshine up the collective asses of our readers by telling them to "allow the inherent majesty of a human being to shine forth" — when we stop to assess an individual on their merits, it's quite often the case that what shines through is even worse than our initial conceptions. We don't give a shit about "the inherent majesty of a human being," largely because we find that concept to be entirely contradicted by simple observation — a great number of humans we've met or learned about are utter assholes. What we give a shit about is examining the evidence carefully and rationally — and when it comes to human behavior, that means regarding each individual's actions on their own merits, regardless of what group they claim membership in (or what group claims them).

So is the original article absolute crap? You bet your sweet ass it is, and that's true no matter which group is the subject of the attack. Are you getting us?



Jason Spicer, 2007.03.22 (Thu) 21:50 [Link] »

jaykke, your first paragraph seems to negate itself. If it's a fact that you can "Allow the inherent majesty of a human being to shine forth, despite their surroundings, and you will often be pleasantly surprised," and if that fact is one of the tenets of "liberal relativism", then "liberal relativism" cannot completely disregard the facts.

Of course, it's not clear what you're referring to by "liberal relativism". If you mean the idea of liberals excusing harmful, criminal acts because the people committing them are culturally different, then you are talking about a creature that I have never personally encountered. You might as well say Unicornism is a reprehensible ideology.

Everybody I've ever met believes in holding accountable those who commit heinous acts. Some people take that too far, and wish to hold additional people accountable as well. People who look similar, sound similar, etc. Is that what you're suggesting here?

When talking about society, the bigger picture is composed of individuals. Individuals are never irrelevant, any more than individual atoms are ever irrelevant when you're talking about an entire person. It's incoherent to suggest that an entity's constituent parts are irrelevant to the entity. They comprise the entity. They are the entity. This line of reasoning is the entire basis of democracy, human rights, and the very concept of justice. The problem with terrorists is that they punish innocents for the crimes (imagined or real) of others. Are you suggesting we respond in kind?

Your argument suggests that had there been a small percentage of Jews in Europe actually bent on global domination, the Nazi extermination of all Jews would have been justified. It is certainly true that a small percentage of heinous criminal Muslims in the world today are actively seeking to destroy and replace certain generally well-regarded aspects of civilization, but that doesn't justify branding all Muslims as complicit or worthy of sanction. Most Muslims are plenty busy enough trying to get along in life, hold down a job, run a business, feed the family, etc. Activities I define broadly as "contributing to society". That is, in fact, the larger picture of the Muslim "people". (Not that I think any religion is worth a damn, but being a religious adherent is generally not preclusive of being a good citizen.)

And maybe I'm lacking context because I don't live in New York, but your comments about the Hassidim are simply not understandable on their own.

In short, no, speaking for myself, I am not getting you.



jaaykke, 2007.03.23 (Fri) 11:59 [Link] »

Liberal relativism is the tendancy that liberals seem to have to look at something, pick out some minor details that coroborate their agenda, and focus on them, and then completely disregard the rest of the picture.
The New York Times ran a human interest article some years ago on the intefada in Israel. It showed a picture of an Israeli girl and an Arab girl who had died in the intefada. The perspective of the article was to show the tragedy that was happening on both sides and to equate them somehow. As if to say the Arabs and the Israelis are basically the same and look; there are casualties on both sides. They had a lot in common. They were both young women and they were both dead. Hence, the article concluded that they were both "victims" of the fighting between the Israelis and the palestinians. The only small difference was that the Israeli woman was killed in a suicide attack and the Arab woman died commiting an attack. She was a suicide bomber who died blowing herself up on an Israeli schoolbus. Here's my point: they are not both victims of anything. One is an innocent victim and the other is a cold blooded mass murderer. Looking at them both as victims, besides for being completely insane, is what I call liberal relativism or not looking at the bigger picture.
Yes there are good arabs and bad arabs and good jews and bad jews and its all about the individual and belonging to a religious group doesn't make you a good person or a bad person. However, Mr Rodrigez' point, that Europe replaced communities of jews who worked hard and minded their own business with arabs who riot and blow shit up and kill innocent people, whose neighborhoods have become filthy, crime ridden, gang controlled, slums, despite the fact that many arabs are fine human beings, is a valid sentiment.
I don't know how you can look at Europe today and not see that as valid on some level. You can go on and on about the individual and the senselessness of religion all day. I don't see how that changes that.
As far as my comment on Hassidim Jason, that was a subtle dig to the morally superior open-minded folks at twopercent. They go on and on about how the group means nothing and the individual is all that counts, then they throw out comments like "most hassidic jews... are arrogant, elitist snobs" and they qualify it by saying some inane thing like 'oh, but we have met one or two good ones'. They don't realize how full of their own bullshit they are.
Thats the funny thing about open-minded liberals. They are open minded as long as you agree with them.
The hassidim are the opposite of what the people at twopercent preach. They are fiercely religious, they are closed minded and insular, and they put great store by belonging to a group. So much so that it is of great consequence to them which group they belong to even within the hassidic community.
Twopercent has no problem labeling them as 'assholes', their pathetic qualification not-withstanding.
I just thought it was some great hypocritical bullshit.



Bronze Dog, 2007.03.23 (Fri) 12:49 [Link] »

Nice quote mine. At least you're using ellipses in their proper grammatical usage, if not the ethical means.

To be clear, in our experience, most Hasidic Jews we've met are assholes — they're arrogant, elitist snobs...

Emphasis mine, to point out the parts this guy deliberately and dishonestly left out in order to turn the 2% Co's statement into the near-opposite of what they really mean.

Someone stop the spin doctoring, I wanna get off.



Bronze Dog, 2007.03.23 (Fri) 12:54 [Link] »

Sorry, apparently my bolds didn't work in the block quote:

"In our experience"

"most we've met"



The Two Percent Company, 2007.03.23 (Fri) 14:55 [Link] »

Amazing, really. You know, jaaykke, perhaps if you bothered to read and parse what we said, rather than making shit up and attacking that, we'd have a little more respect for you. As it is, it's pretty clear that you're a dishonest bigot with very little grasp of critical thought, who's intent upon dismantling straw men and calling us hypocrites when we don't live up to the viewpoints you've ascribed to us. Bully for you, jaaykke — you're a pseudointellectual asshat.

Point by point (so that you at least stand a chance of getting all of this):

1.
We were not lacking awareness of what the term "liberal relativism" means. We were pointing out how grossly inaccurate it is to apply it to what we posted. Which it is, and this merely speaks to the fact that you don't really know how the term is effectively applied. But thanks for the great demonstration of how your own cultural bias creates your view of both "liberal relativism" (which we don't employ) and "liberalism" (which we don't wholly subscribe to).

2.
"Liberal relativism" is when liberals "pick out some minor details that coroborate [sic] their agenda, and focus on them, and then completely disregard the rest of the picture," yes? And you ascribe this to "liberals"? Hm. "Picking out" the religion of a person — either a positive or negative contributor — is, to us, extremely fucking minor. It doesn't fucking matter, since religion is insignificant — all religions boil down to the same bullshit. If you can't grasp our take on that, then there's little reason for you to try to wrap your head around the bigger issues we cover...you just won't manage.

Further, "picking out" the New York Times' take on the "difference" between the Israeli terror victim and the Arab suicide bomber, and somehow assuming that we share this view, is pretty fucking laughable. Yes, in your two-dimensional, black and white world, since we don't hate all Arabs, we must be "liberal relativists" who side with everything the New York Times ever prints. This is not, however, how things are in the real world. How much clearer can we make this? Some people exist who are capable of thinking for themselves instead of engaging in zombie-like groupthink — we are among them, and you, apparently, are not. Since we do base our judgments on the actions of individuals, we do think that the suicide bomber was fucking evil — yes, there are mitigating circumstances, including her upbringing and some pretty awful pressure to perform the actions she did...but we know and know of plenty of folks who deal with similar horrible circumstances and don't go around killing others.

For the record, we have no sympathy whatsoever for someone who dies (and takes others with her) as a result of her own deliberate violent act. And when that violent act is committed in the name of some stupid, delusional religion (read: any religion at all), it only magnifies our disgust. So while you might like to think that us "liberals" at the Two Percent Company would shed a tear over the poor, dead, Arab suicide bomber, it simply isn't true, and we defy you to find anything on our site that says otherwise.

Nice straw man, though. Want a tin man and a lion to go with it?

3.
We can certainly see problems in Europe today. And in the United States. And, in fact, throughout much of the rest of the world. However, rather than just saying "the Muslims are fucking up Europe" (which may or may not be true, but is incredibly simplistic and incurious either way) or even "the Mexicans are fucking up the United States" (which may or may not be true, but is also incredibly simplistic and incurious either way), we try to examine the interconnections between various different cultural, psychological, and historical elements.

Perhaps the Muslims in Europe are responsible for every little problem to be found on the continent (which, with just a cursory investigation, is demonstrably untrue — off the cuff, good old Slobodan Milošević certainly wasn't a Muslim, and we could probably go on a bit about many, many others...unless you assume that Hitler knelt down and faced Mecca five times a day); but even if this were true (which it isn't), you're still picking out a "minor detail" — their affiliation with Islam — and ascribing all of their actions and behaviors to this one factor. And you accuse us of not looking at the big picture? Are you kidding? Sure, we judge people individually — in the "little picture," if you insist — but we inform our judgments with a much, much larger scope of information than you seem to. There are plenty of historical reasons why Muslims in Europe are marginalized, and therefore angry (justifiably or not), and therefore either create or perpetuate poor living conditions and/or violent cross-cultural conflict.

You, on the other hand, choose to "generalize" when it comes to the behavior of Muslims (but, perhaps unsurprisingly, not when it comes to Jews), but then narrow your view incredibly when it comes to determining the actual causes of the behavior and actions of certain Muslims or groups of Muslims. So it seems that you apply relativism, but only when it suits you — how "conservatively relativist" of you (is that the proper two-dimensional label to apply in this situation?).

4.
Last stop on the line, all idiots please get off at the terminal: you're incredibly obtuse, aren't you? We suggest you brush up on your reading comprehension. Aside from the fact that you still haven't seemed to grasp that "Sebastian Villar/Vilar Rodriguez" is fictitious (despite the disclaimer above our post, and our frequent references to this fact, both subtle and direct — when we make a mistake, we acknowledge it), you have decided that we have said "most hassidic jews... are arrogant, elitist snobs." See, that would be the typical quote mining we expect from assholes who are incapable of forming a cogent argument (Bronze Dog pointed this out quite nicely as well). What we actually, and very clearly, said was:

To be clear, in our experience, most Hasidic Jews we've met are assholes — they're arrogant, elitist snobs who are among the most racist and insulated motherfuckers on earth — but there are some we've encountered with whom we have absolutely no problem, and would even consider to be quite nice acquaintances.

That's the problem with "creative ellipses," you disingenuous tool. By "snipping" our actual words, you've robbed them of context, and therefore rejected the meaning that we helpfully supplied. We clearly indicated that the Hasidic Jews we've described are the ones we've met — not "most hassidic jews," as you wish we'd said (so that your bullshit attacks would have any modicum of merit). Can we change what the Hasidim we've met have been like? No — that's up to them.

What's more, by dishonestly distorting our position you've utterly missed the point that we made: we do not think that "most hassidic jews" are arrogant, elitist snobs, and that's because we are not going to judge the entire "group" solely on the basis of the ones we've met. Our very next sentence makes this point:

Should we abandon this "liberal relativism" you've ascribed to us and just write off all Hasidic Jews, simply because in our experience they tend to be dicks? Because that's precisely what you (and the fictitious Rodriguez) seem to be suggesting we do with regard to Muslims.

Yes, most Hasidic Jews that we've met are assholes. Yes, the teachings of that group are antithetical to almost everything that we believe. And yet, despite that, we don't instantly write off as "asshole" every single person who self-identifies as a Hasidic Jew. We give them a chance to be judged by their own words and deeds. Oh, how fucking hypocritical of us!

On the flip side of that coin, we have stated that far from all Muslims are dangerous banes to society. And yet you persist in labeling them all as useless, harmful, dangerous criminals, without even looking at the individuals involved. That, you sanctimonious prat, is bigotry, plain and simple. The fact that you seem to be inordinately proud of your own bigotry is just very, very sad.

In case you're still scratching your empty head, we'll spell it out: we don't think it's a good idea to dismiss any individuals based on the behavior of others who are somehow "classified" with them. The difference between our "morally-superior" approach and yours, jaaykke, is that we don't stop at the first impression elicited by an individual's "classification" — we actually bother to do a little more investigation and/or research before we write someone off as totally consumed by the tenets of any particular group they belong to. You, on the other hand, seem to have no problem writing them off at first blush...as long as this method of judgment isn't directed at Hasidic Jews. (While we haven't been explicitly informed of your personal, arbitrary choice of religious affiliation, we have a pretty good guess.) You might want to refrain from tossing words like "hypocrite" around in the future, jackass.

—•—

It's astonishing to us (well, no — not really) that you've elected to ignore most of the arguments we made in our earlier comment, and instead chose to cling stupidly to your straw man of "liberal relativism." Either abandon your dishonest and demonstrably untrue non-issue and engage in an actual discussion on this topic (a request which we seriously doubt you are at all capable of fulfilling), or take your thus far intellectually-lacking claptrap and piss off. We have little time for bigoted asshats who can't see past their own misconceptions of either us or the world around them.



Rockstar Ryan, 2007.03.23 (Fri) 15:25 [Link] »

Nice straw man, though. Want a tin man and a lion to go with it?

Oh shit dude...outta left field, water all over my screen...Holy Humping Mary on a Vibrator...



Bronze Dog, 2007.03.23 (Fri) 16:43 [Link] »
Further, "picking out" the New York Times' take on the "difference" between the Israeli terror victim and the Arab suicide bomber, and somehow assuming that we share this view, is pretty fucking laughable. Yes, in your two-dimensional, black and white world, since we don't hate all Arabs, we must be "liberal relativists" who side with everything the New York Times ever prints.

Maybe you should put a disclaimer: "The 2% Company is not in any way affiliated with The New York Times"

Might as well warn the idiots, since we are putting "Hot" labels on all food above room temperature, and such. He wasn't warned that you aren't affiliated, therefore it wasn't his fault he didn't know the coffee with steam rising from it was hot.



jaaykke, 2007.03.23 (Fri) 16:48 [Link] »

Oh, I'm sorry Bronze, I didn't get the quote right, did I? Let me try that again, "in our experience, most Hasidic Jews we've met are assholes" Is that better? Yeah, that doesn't imply anything at all along the lines of judging Hassidic individuals based on the group they belong to. Silly me. I really did misconstrue their intention. I'll bet they just meant that it was a funny coincidence that the Hassidim they met they didn't like, but they have no preconceptions about other Hassidim. BULLSHIT. HYPOCRITICAL BULLSHIT. And their apologia qualification that "there are some we've encountered with whom we have absolutely no problem" doesn't negate that at all. This is what they are saying: Most Hassidim are crap. The fact that they acknowledge that there may be some exceptions to THEIR GENERALIZATION is saying MOST of them suck, not all. Yeah thats much better. Oh, they just meant the ones that they've met. Youre right, that doesn't imply anything about the rest of them. Ok. Boy, I really didn't read what they wrote carefully.
Lets try it your way. Most arabs in europe are destructive, backwards, religious extremists. But there are some nice ones.
Is that the way you would put it better then what Rodrigez writes?
Since you mentioned the point of not addressing what you were saying, I wondered if your hypocricy had any boundaries at all.
Your response to Rodrigez (weather he is real or not) was that you should not judge an individual based on a stereotype. That is what the Germans did to the jews. To prove your point, you mentioned that there are many wonderful muslims in the world.
I fully agree.
Here is my point, and I beg you to address it directly. The crux of what Rodrigez said is that in Europe, as a result of the Holocaust, a bunch of jews who worked hard and didn't bother anybody left and a bunch of a muslims moved in. Among the muslim population that moved in, some are fine citizens and some commit henious acts and terrorize the entire continent. That change of population is a negative one for Europe.
I am not judging any individual arabs or commenting on weather to do so is bad or good.
I am simply saying that the point that Rodrigez made was valid.
To illustrate: Most of the families on my block growing up were jewish. (Non-reliious, unafiliated jewish in case you were wondering) They were all hardworking people who sent their kids to college and were decent neighbors. If I was still living in my parents house and was planning on raising my own kids there, but then for some reason all those jewish families moved away and muslim families moved in and some of them were fine people and some of them were terrorists, I would move.



Bronze Dog, 2007.03.23 (Fri) 17:25 [Link] »
Yeah, that doesn't imply anything at all along the lines of judging Hassidic individuals based on the group they belong to. Silly me. I really did misconstrue their intention.

Well, at least you admit to being an idiot and projecting your racist logic onto the 2% Co.

I'll bet they just meant that it was a funny coincidence that the Hassidim they met they didn't like, but they have no preconceptions about other Hassidim.

Exactly. It's obvious from context that they're talking about avoiding letting local bias affect their opinions, especially since they mentioned Hassidics they were okay with.

BULLSHIT. HYPOCRITICAL BULLSHIT. And their apologia qualification that "there are some we've encountered with whom we have absolutely no problem" doesn't negate that at all. This is what they are saying: Most Hassidim are crap.

Oh, wait, you were being sarcastic? For a second, I thought we were in agreement that bigotry is wrong, and that knowing the difference between a sampler pack (a small number of candies) and all the candy in the world (the population of candy) is a good thing.

And thus you spin 2%'s position into the opposite of its real one by pretending that "we won't assume this sample is representative and neither should you" into "we do assume this sample is representative", probably because jaakkye thinks exactly like that, therefore, he assumes everyone else does.

Someone stop the spin, I wanna get off.

Lets try it your way. Most arabs in europe are destructive, backwards, religious extremists. But there are some nice ones.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is in no way related to anything the 2% Co said. Duh. Anyone who can parse a paragraph can see that.



jaaykke, 2007.03.23 (Fri) 18:15 [Link] »

Bronze, your a dumbass.
I'd be grateful if you actually addressed what I wrote.
"Most Hassidim we've met are assholes" only means one thing. Amending that statement with "we've encoutered some that were qutie nice acquaintances" does not make it mean something else.
Surrounding it with talk of judging individuals on their own merits and not based on the group they belong to doesn't change that either. It just sounds hypocritical. Or maybe it sounds like "belonging to a group cant mean anything good." Which filters out of what twopercent writes in a few other places as well.
To illustrate my point, substitute the word 'hassidim' in that sentance with the name of any other ethnic group, and then post it on a blog and see what kind of response you get.



Jason Spicer, 2007.03.23 (Fri) 20:49 [Link] »

jaykke, stop digging. You're only making it worse for yourself. Do you seriously want to go on record with the statement that "Most arabs in europe are destructive, backwards, religious extremists. But there are some nice ones." You realize that means at least 50% of them, right? Do you actually believe that of more than half the Muslim population of Europe? Because the numbers don't back that up. If more than half the Muslims in Europe were as you say, the riots would have been larger by several orders of magnitude, terrorist attacks would be more numerous by several orders of magnitude, etc.

And to address your crux, the outflux of several million decent, law-abiding Jewish citizens from Europe, and the influx of several million decent, law-abiding Muslim citizens to Europe is a wash, completely irrelevant to the fact that some, perhaps several thousand, extremist and/or dangerous Muslims also moved into Europe. Those individuals are the problem.

Now, you could be arguing, a la Sam Harris, that the more moderate Muslims give moral support to the extremist asshole Muslims, but so does anybody who thinks it's morally superior to be a person of faith than to be an atheist. There's nothing special about moderate Muslims in that regard.

Islam is a militant religion. So is Christianity. For lots of historical and cultural reasons, Christianity has seen its militancy tamed over the centuries, more so than Islam. But there's not much doctrinal difference. Doesn't matter whether it's the Koran or the Bible, if you take it too seriously, you stop being rational, and once you do that, it's pretty easy to think of other people as obstacles, instead of people.

If you have a problem with miltant, backward Muslims, you should direct your anger at militant, backward Muslims, and encourage the decent, law-abiding Muslims to send their kids to public schools and college, participate broadly in the work force and politics, and spend their time building bridges instead of walls. One way to do that is to not assume they're all terrorists, accessories, or sympathizers. Or that even the majority of them are.



The Two Percent Company, 2007.03.23 (Fri) 23:18 [Link] »

Thanks to Bronze Dog and Jason for making some excellent points. To be fair, we'll explain that jaaykke's current silence may be due to our moderating his/her posts (though, of course, jaaykke may simply be unable to come up with any valid arguments to your or our points — really, why would that suddenly change?). There's another jaaykke gem yet pending, which we will unleash upon our poor, sensitive readers as soon as we get a chance — and, shortly thereafter, we will post our own response. Ours may sound somewhat repetitive, we admit — unfortunately, this is the inevitable result of addressing the same fucking globs of distorted jaaykke-bullshit over and over again.

We're sorry for the delays, but it is Friday night, and contrary to the assertions of the many valiant defenders of Allison DuBois and Sylvia Browne, we do have lives. We've been out debating serious religious issues — like the merits of Manischewitz booze and going "all in" with pocket queens in a hand of Muslim Hold-Em — with an assortment of hot strippers in burkas and tefillin (the hussies!).

As for you, jaaykke: you really do get one more chance to make a valid point that hasn't already been refuted (after our response, of course, and still under moderation). You've been digging yourself deeper and deeper into the moronic (and bigoted) asshat hole this entire time, and you'll find that the bottom of that hole opens up and drops you into our Urinal, where all moronic comments go to die. Keep up the intensely asinine comments, and that's where all of your moronic comments will be transplanted to.

Oh, what's that? You don't care? Our rejection doesn't mean anything to you? If so, then feel free to not fucking comment again, you bigoted, logically-challenged, hypocritical asshole.

Upcoming: jaaykke's latest silliness, and our response.



The Two Percent Company, 2007.03.24 (Sat) 09:51 [Link] »

Our entire response, boiled down to its essence: Fuck, you're a moron, jaaykke. You just keep fucking harping on the same bullshit, no matter how many times it is refuted — very easily refuted, very completely refuted, and very finally refuted. Those of us who have Jewish heritage (oh, did you miss that bit in our original post?) are quite embarrassed by your half-assed "defense" of Jews; not for ourselves, of course — we're quite firm atheists — but for our relatives and friends who still practice Judaism. With chavarim like you, who needs enemies?

You said:

Oh, I'm sorry Bronze, I didn't get the quote right, did I? Let me try that again, "in our experience, most Hasidic Jews we've met are assholes" Is that better? Yeah, that doesn't imply anything at all along the lines of judging Hassidic individuals based on the group they belong to. Silly me. I really did misconstrue their intention.

Yes, you most certainly motherfucking did misconstrue our intentions, you pinheaded prick — and, from the looks of things, quite deliberately and maliciously. Our statement quite clearly refers to Hasidic Jews that we've met. How many times do you have to hear this from how many people before it sinks in? You're welcome to read whatever bullshit meaning into our statement that your feverish brain can concoct, and you can go right ahead and repeat that bullshit every other second until fucking Christmas 2012 (after which, the Mayan end of the world will hopefully put an end to your rambling), but that just doesn't magically transform our words into meaning what you want them to mean. You fucking quote mined us, and instead of just admitting your dishonest bullshit, you have chosen to insult the people who have pointed it out. Go fuck yourself, asshole.

But thanks ever-so-much for telling us what we are saying — without being able to assign us a point of view, however could you possibly argue your utterly irrational points?

Lets try it your way. Most arabs in europe are destructive, backwards, religious extremists. But there are some nice ones. Is that the way you would put it better then what Rodrigez writes?

Our way? Hm. "Lets" instead transfigure your silly assertion about Arabs (who, by the way, are not all Muslim — the majority are, yes, but the two terms are not interchangeable — but we expect such pedestrian factual errors on your part by this point) into one that actually echoes what we said about Hasidic Jews. Here's how it would look: "In our experience, most of the European Arabs that we've met are destructive, backwards, religious extremists. However, we have also met some good, decent people who happen to be European Arabs as well."

Now, before you go off half-cocked (though we don't think you've even managed "half," so far), we do not subscribe to the view we've just illustrated (though we're sure that this "pathetic qualification" won't stop you from quote mining us once again). However, this view is a far more accurate analogy to our own view of Hasidic Jews than the same old straw man that you've been stuffing with additional hay this entire time (which isn't an accurate analogy at all). We know you have difficulty grasping this, jaaykke, but every word that we present in our carefully constructed statements is a key element of those statements: the "that we've met" is so incredibly important to our explication of our views and experiences in this instance that only a pure and utter fucking moron would excise the words and expect the meaning to remain the same. Such a moron would also, we suspect, be capable of plugging the words back in and still completely ignoring them, thereby continuing to distort our position. We know, jaaykke, we know — reading the description of this process is, to you, like looking in a mirror. Fascinating, isn't it?

Because, you see, that bit — "that we've met" — is the key point, in that it doesn't "excuse" us from the bigoted viewpoint you've assigned to us, but rather belies that viewpoint entirely. One more time, for your own remarkably cheap seat in the back of the balcony behind a pillar: our viewpoint is that religion isn't the deciding factor in our judgment of an individual's character, and this unhypocritically includes our responses to the behaviors and actions of Hasidic Jews.

What you've failed to grasp — and, in fact, this would have been an excellent question to ask, so of course it escaped you completely — is just how many Hasidic Jews we've met and/or personally interacted with. The answer: not very many. A few dozen, perhaps, at most. So when we refer to the Hasidic Jews that we've met, that isn't even remotely "all" Hasidic Jews, nor even "most" Hasidic Jews, nor even a particularly great number of Hasidic Jews. Now we've asked the question for you, and answered it. We understand that you're the intellectual equivalent of a ninety-pound weakling, jaaykke, but seriously, do we have to do all the heavy lifting for you?

Our use of the word "most" means entirely nothing without context: the context, in this case, is "Hasidic Jews that we've met." Not "Hasidic Jews." For fuck's sake, are you really so entrenched in your bigotry and single-minded defense of Judaism that you can't grasp this?

And, more to the point, what the fuck do you think you're defending Judaism from? We didn't attack it. The "Rodriguez" passage attacked Muslims, and used the "perfection" of Jews in order to do so. All we essentially did was to point out that neither Jews nor Muslims are universally perfect or universally abhorrent, and therefore the entire argument is bunk.

We've made clear time and time again that we do not consider "all" or even "most" Hasidic Jews to be assholes — "most" of the ones we've met probably amounts to about twenty or so, and we know a lot more assholes than that (this fellow called "jaaykke" springs to mind). Our "apologia," as you put it, was also only a reference to the Hasidic Jews we've met, and therefore is a similarly small number. Because, as we've attempted to pound through your fantastically thick skull, Hasidic Judasim (or any other specific religious membership) does not form the basis of our opinions of people — the Hasidic Jews that we consider assholes, we would consider assholes regardless of their religion. (Our pointing out the fact that they are Hasidic Jews is merely and entirely in response to your assertions regarding the lack of negative characteristics among Hasidic Jews.) In this debate, it appears that only you hold the opinion that religion shapes the entirety of an individual. Only you are defending the original article, and thereby supporting the assertion that Muslims (and, in fact, Arabs as well it seems) as an entire group are worthless people, regardless of individual behavior or accomplishments. The bigoted point of view would be all yours, you fuckheaded cocksucker.

In light of your defense of the article, though, it's quite noteworthy that you can't even manage to accurately represent the clear point of the article.

Here is my point, and I beg you to address it directly. The crux of what Rodrigez said is that in Europe, as a result of the Holocaust, a bunch of jews who worked hard and didn't bother anybody left and a bunch of a muslims moved in. Among the muslim population that moved in, some are fine citizens and some commit henious acts and terrorize the entire continent. That change of population is a negative one for Europe.

Since we've addressed all of your asinine points directly, we can easily do so again in answer to your "challenge," you hypocritical little shit — as tedious as this may be getting. Put simply: no, asshole, that's not the crux of what the author is saying. What he's saying — and we're getting this straight from, you know, his actual words above — is that Jews, as a fucking group, are "great and wonderful people who changed the world," and that Muslims, as a fucking group, display "stupidity and ignorance, religious extremism and lack of tolerance, crime and poverty due to an unwillingness to work and support their families with pride." And, as we said in the fucking post that you apparently didn't read or, just as likely, didn't comprehend, that sentiment is bigoted, hateful bullshit. That's the fucking point that the fictitious Rodriguez was making, and that's the fucking point that we were making in return. Get that through your thick, thick skull, you ignorant fuck.

If I was still living in my parents house and was planning on raising my own kids there, but then for some reason all those jewish families moved away and muslim families moved in and some of them were fine people and some of them were terrorists, I would move.

So which is it, dipshit? Your comment says quite clearly that if terrorists moved into your neighborhood, you would move. Not Arabs, not Muslims — that alone wouldn't be enough, apparently. But if they were terrorists, that would do it. We have to believe that most people would move away if terrorists moved into their neighborhoods (and they were aware of it — though we're a little hazy on terrorists being so straightforward about their profession), and that includes us. But coming from you, this is an interesting statement, and one that flies in the face of everything you've said thus far. If you actually believe your own hateful rhetoric, then the simple fact that Muslims are moving into the neighborhood would be enough to convince you that they are terrorists, since that's how you've chosen to pre-judge that particular group of people. Why wait to find out if your bigotry is actually true? Wouldn't that just make you a "liberal relativist," if you gave them a chance to let their goodness shine through? The classification of "terrorist" is one that is ascertained by observing the words and deeds of an individual, jaaykke. So whatever point you think you were making here has entirely backfired on you. Fuck, you can't even keep your own bullshit views straight; it's no wonder you have to make up stuff for us to believe in order to attempt to engage us.

European Jews introduced the world to such a great word: schmuck. You, jaaykke, may be precisely what they had in mind when they coined it (actually, they borrowed it for a new meaning). In the spirit of Purim — though a few weeks late — we'd like to present a little "play" that pretty accurately reenacts our interactions with you. Before you complain (like so many idiots before you) of us "misquoting" you: we didn't say we're quoting you; merely reenacting the preceding exchange with dramatic license, while preserving the essence of said exchange.

jaaykke: The Two Percenters are racist!

2%: Nobody should be judged solely by a group they're a member of.

jaaykke: All Muslims are crap!

2%: The Islamic religion is a quite arbitrary affiliation, like any religion. Muslims should be judged, as anyone else, by their individual actions rather than their group affiliation.

jaaykke: The Two Percenters hate most Hasidic Jews!

2%: We judged many of the small number of Hasidic Jews we've met to be assholes, based on their words and actions. Their Judaic affiliation did not enter into our decision.

jaaykke: The Two Percenters are racist!

2%: In what way?

jaaykke: You hate most Hasidic Jews!

2%: That is not, in fact, what we said, nor is it true.

jaaykke: All Muslims are crap! And I'm not racist! And you are!

2%: And...scene!

Thank you all. It was a limited engagement, but we expect rave reviews. Of course, we'll probably get panned in the Times, since we don't agree with everything they write, but who needs the Times in show business? (Mackerel Skies? Oh, no!) (Big time bonus points for that reference!)

Now here's the bottom line, you fucking twat: you still haven't bothered to let go of your straw man and address our actual arguments. We warned you about that last time, and you are now officially out of warnings. As we said above, if you post here again, and leave essentially the same asinine, bullshit comment that we've already read several times over, you will be moved to the Urinal where idiots go to die. In other words, fuck off, you fuckheaded, ignorant wretch.



TimmyAnn, 2007.03.24 (Sat) 14:48 [Link] »

Maybe a very simple example with which he is less emotionally involved will help jaykke to grasp the point: I have a cousin named Cheryl who is fat, stupid and ugly. I went to school with two girls named Cheryl who were fat, stupid and ugly. I have a friend Cheryl who is smart, cute and slim. Therefore, most of the Cheryls I have met are fat, ugly and stupid, but I don't think that all Cheryls are fat, ugly and stupid, because my friend is smart, cute and slim. I don't think that most Cheryls in the world are fat, ugly and stupid because I haven't met very many Cheryls and I realize that it would be silly for me to make such an assumption because of the few Cheryls I have met. Plus, the fat, ugly stupid Cheryls woud be fat, ugly and stupid even if their names were Barbara or Sara, or whatever. I didn't judge them to be fat, ugly or stupid because they were named Cheryl. I judged them on the basis of their weight, their faces and their IQ's. By the same token, the cute Cheryl I know would be cute even if her name were Barbara or Sara or whatever. Being named Cheryl doesn't determine a woman's appearance or intelligence, nor does it determine my opinion of a woman's appearance or intelligence. Does that help you, Zippy?



jaaykke, 2007.03.25 (Sun) 12:12 [Link] »

I'm impressed. You actually made a coherent point in that last post amid all the "asshats" and "fuckheads". I had to lead you by the nose like a blind horse to it, but I'm glad we actually have something rational to discuss now.
You felt that the main point that Rodrigez was making was that jews were good as a group and that Muslims were bad as a group. You took issue with this because you feel that belonging to a religious group, or any kind of group at all if I get you right, does not make a person either good or bad. You feel that every individual must only be judged on his or her merits and that every person should be judged as an individual.
As I have stated several times previously in this dialogue, I fully agree with that.
However, I disagree with you as to the essintial point that Rodrigez was making.
I do not think that the point of his article was that jews are good and Muslims are bad, though he did certainly say that as well, and I fully appreciate your issue with that. That being said, I felt that his primary point was something else, and I felt that that primary point was a valid perspective. That being that the population change from jewish to muslim in Europe from pre world war 2 to post world war 2 was a negative one for Europe. That is it.
The reason I feel this way is because despite the morally prefferable perspective that every person is an individual and should be judged only on his or her personal behavior, I feel that there can be a bigger picture that is relevant and must be recognized when looking at things on a broader scale, as I felt Rodrigez was trying to do.
To argue my point, I refer to the example provided by TimmyAnn. I feel that TimmyAnn supported my perspective quite eloquently, though I know he/she did not mean to. Obviously, there is no connection or logical similarity between people named cheryl. So it is foolish to say that because one cheryl is a certain way, therefore it is reasonable to assume that another one would be. So, to do so would be idiocy. However, when dealing with Muslims for instance, who have a doctrine that is interperted by many of their scholars, leaders, and holy men to condone and even demand violence against all infidels (that being anyone who isn't muslim), then there is a connection. Someone can say that the influx of muslims into a country, even though they don't all subscribe to this doctrine, even if, say, most of them don't subscribe to this doctrine, because a statistically relevant percentage of them do, the influx of muslims into a country is not a good thing. And then when muslims, for it was no one else, terrorize an entire country and it takes their military two weeks to get the country back under control, I feel that a big picture can arguably be looked at and called for what it is.
Tell me why I'm wrong. I'm not convinced that I am right. When I read the article it struck me as a valid perspective for the reasons that I wrote.
So far, you debate like little babys whose primary arguments have been name calling. I am a cocky doody pishy head, so there. I am an "asshat" (what is that? a pair of pants?) I am a "fuckhead" (my imagination can come up with no working theory for what this means) and whatever else you have called me. All very effective ways of proving your point. I'll tell you what I am. I am someone who disagrees with you. It would seem that you have a problem accepting the validity of any perspective other then your own which would truly brand you as a pack of ignorant fools better then anything I could ever say. You don't have to agree with me, but I have a fucking opinion. For once, I would appreciate a cogent response to what I have written.



Bronze Dog, 2007.03.26 (Mon) 11:07 [Link] »

This guy just can't stop spin doctoring.

Of course "Most we've met are assholes" means only one thing. So don't change that meaning by inserting "and we're going to draw an inference from this" even though the 2% Co clearly and unambiguously stated that they don't draw an inference from that, and are using it as an example of when not to draw an inference.

I suggest we start calling this guy "Humpty Dumpty" whenever he shows up somewhere.



Bronze Dog, 2007.03.26 (Mon) 12:52 [Link] »

When I was a kid, I had a nasty encounter with a doberman. (Thankfully, it only consisted of the dog knocking me down, standing on top of me and barking in my face). Since I have not yet encountered any other dobermans, thus I can say "All the dobermans I've met were nasty."

I, like the 2% Company, chose not to make an inference based on that small, uncontrolled, and therefore unreliable sample.

jaaykke, however, would, for no reason whatsoever, like to pretend that "All the dobermans I've met were nasty" includes the phrase, "and I thus infer all dobermans are nasty" despite the fact that anyone with a half-decent command of English would know that the latter is nowhere in that sentence, and contradicts the above one-sentence paragraph.

So, which is to be believed? The unambiguous, internally consistent statements made by the original poster, or the invisible clause added on by jaaykke's inability to comprehend that people are capable of ignoring poorly collected samples?



jaaykke, 2007.03.27 (Tue) 07:17 [Link] »

sorry,
they won't publish my responses anymore, the sanctimonious cowards.
i think they can only handle debating people who agree with them.



The Two Percent Company, 2007.03.27 (Tue) 12:14 [Link] »
Help! Help! I'm being oppressed!

Oh, wait, that's not what you said. Our bad. What you actually said was:

they won't publish my responses anymore, the sanctimonious cowards.

Hmm. On second thought, that's pretty much the same as our first quote. Other than the name-calling, of course, which we thought you told us was debating "like little babys [sic]" — it's so hard to keep your hypocritical bullshit straight, jaaykke. Forgive us if we trip over it from time to time.

Now, to your point — yes, jaaykke, the reason that we hadn't approved your comment up until now is because we are scared of your raw intellect. Or perhaps — and we're just spit-balling here — perhaps we've had some substantial computer problems that have made it difficult to do anything online for the past two days. We won't say which it is — we'll just let the fact that both of your recent comments have been approved speak for itself. Jackass.

Our response is forthcoming. Suffice it to say that you have only succeeded in digging yourself even deeper into your already prodigious hole.



The Two Percent Company, 2007.03.27 (Tue) 12:16 [Link] »

Narrow avoidance of the Urinal — most impressive. You've gone from a hypocritical, defensive bullshit artist with no grasp of logical continuity or critical thinking, to a hypocritical, defensive bullshit artist with no grasp of logical continuity or critical thinking who sounds a bit more "tame" and has improved his spelling and grammar slightly.

Really, jaaykke, if you think that you can toss out all of the asinine bullshit you've tossed out, and then claim the high ground — you've got another think coming, jackass. In general, you get cogent responses when you provide cogent arguments. Thus far, you have come up completely lacking in that department, and still we've answered your arguments without exception. Every time. Someone has been avoiding the other party's points and counterpoints, shit-for-brains (any trouble figuring out what that means, jaaykke?), but it certainly isn't us.

You think that you had to "lead us by the nose"? Pull the other one, dipshit. Here's a hint: if you make the argument you want to make, and you don't throw in a bunch of canards, red herrings, and straw men, then we won't have to take the time to respond to your bullshit, and we can simply address your position. You "led" us nowhere, moron; we responded to each and every contradiction, logical fallacy, and idiotic assertion that you provided. If you wanted us to be "led" somewhere else, you should have arrived there yourself and beckoned to us with some actual rational statements. Think about that the next time you want to post a comment somewhere, and you'll be much more successful in engaging others than you were with us...and yes, you may infer from this that you have failed utterly, because we're far, far more than "implying" it.

To your "take" on our use of profanity: that's about the most tired, banal argument that it's been our displeasure to read two hundred times in the last year. Grow the fuck up, you ignorant pissant, and refer to the entire post we wrote in response to all morons (like you) who make this asinine argument.

Like most morons who lodge this idiotic complaint, you somehow think that our profanity constitutes our "primary arguments." No, jaaykke, that's not the case, as anyone with a third grade level reading capacity or better can easily ascertain. Not only weren't our "naughty words" our primary arguments, they weren't our arguments at all. Our arguments were our arguments, despite the fact that you can't seem to see the forest for the fucking trees. There's a world — no, an entire universe — of difference between "Our response to your assertion is that you're an asshole" and "Our response to your assertion is that you have contradicted yourself, employed several logical fallacies, failed to support your claims, and failed to address our counterpoints...asshole." Perhaps your misconception regarding this difference explains why you've still failed to respond to the majority of our actual arguments. In addition, you'll note that we didn't confuse your repeated use of the word "bullshit" with your arguments, quite simply because we are intelligent enough to see that these are just words, and that they neither constitute nor negate your actual arguments. This doesn't change the fact that your actual arguments are inane, of course, it's just that the two factors — use of profanity and strength of argument — are not really related, and are certainly not causative in either direction.

It also comes as no surprise that your brain can't comprehend what our insults mean. What is an asshat? What is a fuckhead? Just take a look in a mirror, jaaykke. Are all derogatory terms meant to be taken literally in your tiny little world? Shakespearean dialogue must confuse the fuck out of you. Do we stare, confounded, at your suggestion that our statements transform from tiny letters on a screen into actual lumps of taurine excrement? Or do we understand, quite simply, what the colloquial understanding of the term "bullshit" amounts to? Once again, we seem to be at odds with your sheer pseudo-intellectual stupidity, jaaykke. You'll have to forgive us for not being impressed by your "mental prowess."

Also note that our first response, before you spiraled down into complete nonsensical hypocrisy, wasn't quite so chock full of profanity. Once you demonstrated quite clearly that you were incapable of accepting what someone else states is their point of view, and that you'd rather just assign them a point of view that you can attack, it became clear that you weren't capable of an intelligent discussion. As a result, our respect for you (originally neither positive nor negative — since we don't pre-judge people, jaaykke) dipped well below zero, and it seems our tone conveyed that quite clearly. You see? Those nasty words do have a purpose, which they fulfilled quite nicely.

We note that, though you seem loath to admit it, you are now pretending to move a bit closer toward agreement with our original "liberal relativist" points:

You feel that every individual must only be judged on his or her merits and that every person should be judged as an individual. As I have stated several times previously in this dialogue, I fully agree with that.

Wow, jaaykke! That would be so "enlightened" of you...except, of course, that it's a complete reversal of what you've been saying, and you haven't bothered to acknowledge this fact. (Enlightenment would require recognition of your previous errors, you see.) In fact, you started your very first comment by referring to the viewpoint you describe (that we quote above) as "liberal relativism," and condemning it as completely disregarding the facts. So you agreed that such an approach is nice, in theory, but implied that it was not realistic. Agreeing with a concept on paper, then stating that it doesn't work in practice is not the same as agreeing with our statement. You weren't agreeing with us — you were chastising us for being unrealistic in our approach, and all the back-pedaling in the world can't change the fact that you made that initial assertion. Suddenly "agreeing" with our approach and pretending that you have all along is not even remotely a hallmark of a rational interlocutor, jaaykke — it's like engaging in discourse with a sullen, stubborn six-year-old (hint: you would be the child in this scenario).

But right after your pretense at understanding and intelligence, we get to the part where, despite your statements that you "agree" that people should be judged on their own merits, you jump right back to your myopic, narrow-minded worldview:

I do not think that the point of [Rodriguez's] article was that jews are good and Muslims are bad, though he did certainly say that as well, and I fully appreciate your issue with that. That being said, I felt that his primary point was something else, and I felt that that primary point was a valid perspective. That being that the population change from jewish to muslim in Europe from pre world war 2 to post world war 2 was a negative one for Europe. That is it.

Let's connect the dots here, shall we? We'll start from your statement that the population change in Europe from large Jewish percentage to large Muslim percentage, post-World War II, was a negative change for the region. So you're comparing a snapshot of 1930s Europe to 21st century Europe, stating that things are "worse" today (a nebulous statement, and one that is very much subject to your point of view), and then deciding that the single contributing factor is that there are more Muslims and fewer Jews in Europe today (it is the fact that this is the single contributing factor that is, as far as we can see, a logically unsupportable argument). Is that really all that has changed — or, at least, is that the defining difference — in Europe from the 1930s to today? It's hard to believe that anyone could come to such conclusions, but this seems to be what you are saying. So conditions in Europe are, in your opinion, worse; and the reason, in your mind, is the influx of Muslims and the corresponding exodus of Jews; therefore, by logical extension, the rationale for your argument must be that Jews as a people are in some way better than Muslims as a people. (Our argument holds even if you are attempting to limit the scope of your statement to only European Jews and Muslims, which you haven't given us any reason to believe is your actual position.) All of which, of course, directly contradicts your statement that you "agree" that people should be judged on their own words and deeds and not by what group(s) they belong to. And this, jaaykke, is what we've been explaining to you all along, over and over, ad nauseam, despite your rockheaded refusal to understand or even acknowledge it.

As for your distortion of the meaning of the original article — it's merely typical jaaykke sleight-of-hand (and, just as typically, badly done). Our argument against your "point" applies to any similar "defense" of the Rodriguez story — because it can be looked at in either of two ways. Either the assumption is that Jews are better than Muslims, and the thesis is that this assumption explains the "downfall" of European culture after the exit of one group and the entrance of the other; or the thesis is that Jews are better than Muslims, and the change in European culture after the swap is provided as "supporting evidence" of this thesis. The latter seems far more likely in context, but either way, even in the case of the former: the author is asserting that Jews as a people are better than Muslims as a people. Period. There's only black and white there, largely because the author himself refuses to acknowledge any shades of gray. Your "defense" of the article, and any subsequent implication or statement that you agree with the premise or conclusion, suggests that you agree with this assertion. And you have given us no reason, thus far, to believe otherwise.

But this is perhaps the most telling of your arguments:

To argue my point, I refer to the example provided by TimmyAnn. I feel that TimmyAnn supported my perspective quite eloquently, though I know he/she did not mean to. Obviously, there is no connection or logical similarity between people named cheryl. So it is foolish to say that because one cheryl is a certain way, therefore it is reasonable to assume that another one would be. So, to do so would be idiocy. However, when dealing with Muslims for instance, who have a doctrine that is interperted by many of their scholars, leaders, and holy men to condone and even demand violence against all infidels (that being anyone who isn't muslim), then there is a connection. Someone can say that the influx of muslims into a country, even though they don't all subscribe to this doctrine, even if, say, most of them don't subscribe to this doctrine, because a statistically relevant percentage of them do, the influx of muslims into a country is not a good thing. And then when muslims, for i t was no one else, terrorize an entire country and it takes their military two weeks to get the country back under control, I feel that a big picture can arguably be looked at and called for what it is. Tell me why I'm wrong.

While you may feel that TimmyAnn's example supported your point of view, the rest of us can see that your reply clearly demonstrated what we've all been saying about you for the past few days — namely, that your view is based on bigotry and ignorance.

While you acknowledge that there is no logical reason to assume that all Cheryls are alike, you cling to your view that there is a logical reason to assume that all Muslims are alike. Just because some Muslim leaders interpret their religion to mean that violence against non-believers is acceptable and good, it does not logically follow that they all subscribe to this approach (we're dealing with human beings, here, not consistently-behaved logic-puzzle stand-ins). In fact, they don't. Just like Christians and Jews, different sects of Islam have different interpretations of their religion, and different individuals will apply their intepretations differently to their daily lives. Just like Christians and Jews, some Muslims use their religion to validate horrible, violent acts. But making the leap from the fact that "some Muslims do this" to saying that it's fair to write them all off is the fucking bigotry we've been accusing you of since you showed up on our doorstep. If you can't see that, then no one here can help you, jaaykke, and you should just go away.

And as to your usual ridiculous crap, jaaykke: you are not "someone who disagrees with us." You are, much more accurately, someone who decided for himself what we think despite our own clear statements to the contrary, and disagreed with that straw man position, over and over, despite being corrected by us and by other commenters (which, though we respect their opinions more than this, should at a minimum demonstrate that our opinions and our claims to those opinions are potentially valid and, more importantly, easily recognized). Once you determined our "positions" for us, you used every dishonest means at your disposal to "prove" that the position you made up for us was really what we believed. Your approach was idiotic, ridiculous, and pointless. You didn't "lose" our respect by not agreeing with us — our site is full of people who disagree with us, but the intelligent ones, the ones who also happen to earn our respect, don't distort what we're saying in order to attack us...which is exactly what you did. You lost our respect because of the dishonest tactics that you used — constructing straw men, contradicting yourself (and accusing us of hypocrisy in practically the same breath), quote mining, and failing to acknowledge any of the instances in which you were caught doing these things. In point of fact, you still haven't acknowledged them, jaaykke. You want respect? You want us to consider your diatribes "rational"? Start by admitting your fucking mistakes, and you'll take a step in that direction. Instead, you're now trying to gloss over the bullshit you've been spewing, and pretend none of it ever happened. Luckily for us (and not so much for you), the evidence is just above this comment for anyone to read, should they choose to do so.

See, jaaykke, trying to spell things a little better, and pretending to "tame" your tone and your position so you don't seem like the raving bigot you've handily demonstrated you are...that just isn't going to cut it here. Nothing you've said has changed the fact that your assertions are based solely on bigotry, and your presentation is based solely on logical fallacies (constant), lies (blatant), and trickery (unsuccessful). Frankly, we don't give a fuck if that's the kind of person you've decided to be; but if that's the case, then we certainly don't feel like continuing to respond to your masturbatory displays of arrogant ignorance. Go jerk off somewhere else, and try to figure out just what an actual "ass hat" would look like, fuckhead.



Jason Spicer, 2007.03.28 (Wed) 01:14 [Link] »

This thread distills the fact that religion is just vapor. You can use it to justify anything, from being a decent, upstanding citizen, to being a suicide bomber. It's the universal solvent of motivational premises--just add people! Another way of saying that is that people are people, no matter what their holy book says.

If Jaykke's main point is that Islam is dangerous because it motivates people to be bad, I'd agree with that, but I'd also agree with Sam Harris, that religion in general is bad because it motivates people to be bad and ignore consequences in the here and now. Religion does this precisely because it values faith, or more honestly put, belief without reason. Once you swallow that pill, you can believe anything, including such nonsense as "things will be better if I set off this suicide bomb". Add in a cozy afterlife, and boom! (But notice that for things to be better after you've set off your suicide belt, they've got to be pretty crappy now.)

Does the Koran encourage more mayhem than the Bible? I suppose you could try to gin up some statistics on that, but I doubt you'd ever tease out all the other factors involved, like cultural, political, and economic ones. And of course, looked at over the last several hundred years, I'd say it's a toss-up between the two books. And plenty of violence is sparked by neither book.

The bottom line is that religion mainly seems to encourage people to believe whatever they believe more strongly. The holy books themselves are so incoherent, you can't say they really lead in a particular direction. But religion does seem to amplify whatever facets of the books you care to glom onto.

Fortunately, the vast majority of people choose to emphasize the parts that support what they're already doing: being law-abiding, productive members of society. You still get the cozy afterlife, but it's a lot less traumatizing than the suicide bomber approach.



jaaykke, 2007.03.28 (Wed) 11:08 [Link] »

[Well, jaaykke finally succeeded in being moved to the Urinal. Congratulations, jaaykke! We knew you could do it! His latest comment was just more of the same — redefining his own position, not grasping why his position is based on bigotry, internal inconsistencies, hypocrisy, and lame insults. Since it's clear that jaaykke has nothing of value to add to this or any other discussion, he will henceforth reside in the Urinal. Feel free to visit him there, if that's your thing — Ed.]



Tom Foss, 2007.03.28 (Wed) 14:10 [Link] »

The one thing about jaaykke's "points" that I'm not sure has been adequately addressed is the idea which I think he was getting at in his last pre-urinal post, namely that, just looking at statistics, a larger percentage of Muslims are violent terrorists than Jews. Thus, when you have a net loss of Jews in an area and a net gain of Muslims, statistically you're going to have more terrorists than before, representing a net 'not good' effect. And there may be some truth to that, just by the numbers.

What it ignores, of course, is the question of the violent crime rate in Jewish-dominated 1930s Europe, or the sects of Muslims which are immigrating to Europe, or any actual studies which might show whether or not things actually are worse in Europe now. I'm not sure how you define "worse" in any objective capacity, but I'd think that the fall of various dictatorial regimes and the elimination of a system where violent racist groups can operate openly and come to major positions of power has to figure into that somehow.

And then to "support" his "claims," jaaykke uses the example of Muslim riots in France.

Read that last bit again, but in a historical context: riots in France.

People give the French a bunch of shit for being "surrender monkeys," casually forgetting the fact that when there's a major rebellion in America, we give it a big name: the Revolutionary War, the Civil War. In France, they call that "Wednesday."

Well, actually, they call it "Mercredi," but you get my point. Rioting and revolution is a time-honored tradition in France.

That being said, the 2005 riots were mainly low- and working-class citizens of North African Muslim descent, sparked to action by the deaths of two youths of their race being killed while fleeling police. If that doesn't sound familiar (with the exception of the North and Muslim parts), then you must not recognize the names "Rodney King" and "Los Angeles" or "Watts."

Racial oppression + impoverished conditions + escalating tension + inciting incident = riots, whether you're talking L.A. in 1992 or Watts in 1965 or Clichy-sous-Bois in 2005. Sure, you can argue that a larger percentage of Muslims are violent than Jews. You can argue that a larger percentage of blacks are violent than whites. You can argue that a larger percentage of Irish Protestants are violent than Irish Catholics. The problem with these arguments is that they ignore the sociopolitical factors which lead to violence, and they treat groups of people as if they're uniform statistics. And once you start coupling these arguments with some sort of action, whether it's condemning a religious community or saying "I'm moving out because all these Muslims/Blacks/Soccer Hooligans" have moved into this nice neighborhood, you're engaging in discrimination, and you're ultimately making the problem worse.



janine-, 2007.04.15 (Sun) 03:32 [Link] »

er...just one comment...the numerals 1,2,3, etc. did NOT originally come from Arabs, but from India.-



The Two Percent Company, 2007.04.15 (Sun) 15:12 [Link] »

That is an excellent point, janine- (and one that we briefly mentioned in our original post, and revisited in one of our comments above). The basic character forms originated in India, and in Western academia, the modern numerals are more formally known as "Hindu-Arabic" numerals, as opposed to just "Arabic." (The Arab world, which also uses a different set of numerals in parallel, calls ours the "Indian numerals" in Arabic.)

If you go from the original Brahmi numerals to our current European ones, though, it becomes apparent that a major change (a simplification of the forms, really) occurred in Arabic, and our modern written numerals are highly influenced by those shapes; less so by the Hindi forms. While you're absolutely correct in your observation, it's almost like a casual remark that John somewhat resembles his great-grandfather, completely disregarding the fact that he's nearly identical to his father. (Apologies for the awkward analogy, but it seems to work.)

More to the point, however, is that Western civilization adopted the numerals from Arabic, wherever they may have come from previously. In a similar fashion, a great portion of our knowledge of ancient writings (in languages other than Arabic) is derived from the archives kept by the Arabs through centuries of degeneration and oppression (we don't just mean political) in Europe. They kept the torch burning, and handed it over (in a way) when Europe was once again enlightened enough to accept it (as in the concept of Asimov's first few Foundation books). Without this contribution, none of this information (the numerals included) would be where it is today. Humanity may have achieved greatness along a different path (with different written numerals, even!), but we can't ignore the fact that our progress along the path we did follow to get here was greatly aided by the Arab world — including a great number of followers of Islam. (We're not saying you claim otherwise, janine-; we're just reiterating the point that "Rodriguez" and jaaykke — among others — can't seem to grasp.)



Blue Dog, 2007.08.07 (Tue) 03:08 [Link] »

I really have little to add, except that I found your take on the Rodriguez article insightful and refreshing. And I was immensely amused by the commentary that followed. I found this site after I wrote my own response to the article. And I have to say, I would probably have abandoned my own work if I knew I could simply point here.

People can be wonderful and terrible as individuals.

Again, thank you.



The Two Percent Company, 2007.08.08 (Wed) 21:41 [Link] »

Our thanks to you, Blue Dog. Your article is excellently written, and the statistics and examples you provide are very, very helpful.

And you mention a really good point: what did happen to the conservative view on individualism? Isn't that a strong basis for capitalism, which is supposed to be their "thing"? These days, if you aren't in rigid lock-step with the general far-right conservative mindset, those bastards will crucify you and head off to a Stepford family brunch. Frightening stuff.



Hal Brown, 2007.10.08 (Mon) 10:35 [Link] »

My comments are in italics (if the html works) - I'm a first time poster. Great thread by the way. I recieved this essay via a 3-4 forwarded email this morning and my googling it's author because his writing was so poor led to your web site. When I get a chance I plan to catch up on your 2% co.
Hal Brown, Columnist, Capitol Hill Blue.

------------------

ALL EUROPEAN LIFE DIED IN AUSCHWITZ
By Sebastian Vilar Rodrigez(*)

I walked down the street in Barcelona, and suddenly discovered a terrible truth - Europe died in Auschwitz. We killed six million Jews and replaced them with 20 million Muslims. In Auschwitz we burned a culture, thought, creativity, talent. We destroyed the chosen people, truly chosen, because they produced great and wonderful people who changed the world.

Who is the "we" the author refers to? He's a Spaniard, not a German. Despite the EU, there is still no unified Europe, and there certainly wasn't in the 1930's.

If one believes in the kind of deity that can actually designate a "people" to be "chosen" it is hardly good public relations to, excuse the pun, lord it over others.

The contribution of this people is felt in all areas of life: science, art, international trade, and above all, as the conscience of the world. These are the people we burned.

I don't think one can say Jews are the conscience of the world, but as true as the rest of this is that there is no way to measure the loss of talent in the above areas caused by the mass murder of 6 million Jews, the loss of one ordinary Jewish tailor is no less significant than the loss of a Jewish physician on the verge of discovering a cure for cancer.

And under the pretense of tolerance, and because we wanted to prove to ourselves that we were cured of the disease of racism, we opened our gates to 20 million Muslims, who brought us stupidity and ignorance, religious extremism and lack of tolerance, crime and poverty, due to an unwillingness to work and support their families with pride.

The Old and New Testament and the Koran all contain their share of text purporting to come from God. While most scholars agree that the Koran has more text advocating violence, the two Bibles aren't exactly pacifist tomes. Jews, Christians and Muslims to varying degrees in each group interpret what their holy books say as being literal or symbolic. Today we find that there is a group of Muslims who use the Koran to justify violence. Didn't Christians do this in their various inquisitions? Didn't Joseph Smith use the Book of Mormon to justify violence too? Okay, I grant you, Jews never used the Old Testament this way. When Israel uses violence it is for self-preservation and it isn't justified with Biblical references.

They have turned our beautiful Spanish cities into the third world, drowning in filth and crime.

I'll have to take the author's word for this about their cities, but it would be interesting to see the crime statistics to find out how many Muslims are responsible for committing them. A salient argument could be made that if Muslim enclaves in Spanish cities are drowning in filth and crime this is more due to poverty. The hopelessness and disenfranchisement of the populations make these ghettos prime recruiting ground for al Qaeda.

Shut up in the apartments they receive free from the government, they plan the murder and destruction of their naive hosts.

This sounds like it's from a screed by Rush Limbaugh. Certainly terrorists plan their attacks from somewhere, but whether or not they live in government subsidized housing is irrelevant. Like here, I assume that what we call welfare housing is something the far right in Spain is against for everybody.

And thus, in our misery, we have exchanged culture for fanatical hatred, creative skill for destructive skill, intelligence for backwardness and superstition.

This bespeaks the ignorance of crucial principles of right reason on the part of the writer as he tries to construct a rhetorical equation. There was no exchange. In fact what happened was that many Jews were murdered in the Holocaust and as a result the culture, creativity and intelligence of millions of people were lost. But there are still millions of Jews in Europe and all over the world who are cultured, creative and intelligent. We may privately speculate that the percentage among our landsmen is greater than in the general populace, but that is not relevant to this.

That except for the top leaders among them, jihadists are fanatical in their hatred, murderously destructive, backwards and superstitious should go without saying.

We have exchanged the pursuit of peace of the Jews of Europe and their talent for hoping for a better future for their children, their determined clinging to life because life is holy, for those who pursue death, for people consumed by the desire for death for themselves and others, for our children and theirs.

As above, the use of the word exchanged is being used for effect and is sloppy reasoning. Seventy years ago Hitler began to attempt to exterminate the Jews. Thanks to the Allies, he didn't succeed. Jews are thriving and many Jews believe are altruistic in greater percentages than other religious groups.

What a terrible mistake was made by miserable Europe.

Not Europe, but Hitler and his willing executioners. True, it took the United States and the United Kingdom (Australia and New Zealand too) to save Europe from the Nazi juggernaut and the thousand year reich. But the ruthless efficiency of the Holocaust was equalled by the German military machine.

In hindsight we see how most Allied leaders were deceived by Hitler and under-estimated German military might. That was the "mistake" that the United States and Britain as well as Europe made. But that isn't what the author is referring to.



Moshe, 2010.01.14 (Thu) 03:55 [Link] »

Yeah, this "Rodrigez" fellow and his Rant sure look bogus to me. It should be classified along with the "Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion" as one of those forgeries that just won't go away. Maybe they should be bundled together, so they'll cancel each other out. Would that make everyone happy?



ATHEIST Mahmoud, 2010.05.13 (Thu) 01:43 [Link] »

[This comment was moved to the Urinal as there was no content beyond a simplistic insult. How come the people who disagree with us most always lack the brains to actually make a case to counter our positions? Discuss — Ed.]



AnakAdeen, 2010.06.21 (Mon) 08:34 [Link] »

I am interested to know your opinions, or ideas on how do you stop groups of people who express, in words and actions, their intent to convert all to Islam, or kill them. I understand that not all Muslims are bad or terrorists, but how do you make sure that the promises of certain Muslim governments and organizations do not follow up on their promises.

How should we have stopped Hitler? We are not talking about a mute Doberman, or a girl's name. We are talking about a large, armed number of people that are actually trying to kill and take over.

How do we stop local problems caused by let us say radical or extremist Muslims. Even though they may represent a very low percent of the Muslim population, they are causing an immense amount of death, pain, and suffering.

Some look at the percent of armed conflicts going on in the world today and wonder why over 90% of them involve Muslims? (BTW, I am not confirming or disagreeing with the percentage as a fact, just comments)

I understand the feelings and desire to just lump all Muslims into to one group and just send them to some deserted island, but what is your opinions?

How do we make sure that history does not repeat itself and we sit by while another Hitler arises?

Keep up the good work.



sanjay, 2010.07.05 (Mon) 16:17 [Link] »

While I want to believe the PC version of Islam, that most Muslims are good people and wish no harm to anyone else where are their voices? When some heinous act is perpetrated or some bomb goes off in Israel and kills innocent civilians (of course the true militants would have us believe that there are no innocents, after all they're Jews) and tourists, we see the Arab street in a celebratory and festive mood. Where are the voices of Muslim moderates, where is the indignation? Where is the condemnation? While it is difficult to support the ideas of a Sebastian Vilar Rodriguezs', without a countervailing Muslim voice that is clear and unambiguous embracing Western values of tolerance all that we have left is the Vilar Rodriguezs' of the world. Yes I said Western values because when an immigrant comers to our shores we expect them to incorporate our political and social values in order to integrate into the socio-political life of the nation.



Allen Sparksy, 2010.07.15 (Thu) 16:59 [Link] »

I am an Ultra-Orthodox Jew. I found the "Rodriguez" article startlingly one-dimensional. I am all for Jewish pride, and I'm all for honest consideration of the problems of radical Islam, but these musings, (as they can only, albeit charitably, be called) are adolescent, bigoted, small-minded and entirely pointless. We Jews don't need friends like this.



Michael H Anderson, 2011.02.07 (Mon) 15:43 [Link] »

Whether contrived or not; whether "fevered" or not, anyone who isn't living in a cave (Freudian slip) or wilfully self-blinded will naturally find much to agree with here - except perhaps for the idea that Peter Brian Medawar or Elias James Corey were Muslims - wrong on both points. Lebanese and Muslim are not synonymous. I loved this article because it was courageous and filled with obvious truths.

But then, I can't expect anyone who claims their blog is based on some kind of universal "scientific" truths, then goes on with " the mountain of bullshit that asshole Bush has left behind" to agree.



The Two Percent Company, 2011.02.08 (Tue) 10:52 [Link] »

Lebanese and Muslim are not synonymous? No shit. And neither are Muslim and terrorist, or Muslim and "bad person," asshat. Or Muslim and "there goes the neighborhood." (Or Muslim and Arab, for that matter.) But all those passed you right by, huh? Because some idiot (who invented a fictitious author and background for cachet) made sweeping generalizations about the enemy du jour that dovetailed nicely with your own bigoted fucking view of the world. Congratulations, kid — you're a deluded, myopic asshole. What, you want a medal for that?

We always wonder if Christians — or blue-eyed blondes — had to deal with this shit during World War II. Nah — you never have to worry about that if the average skin tone of your group is light enough, right, Mikey? The Japanese, on the other hand, got it pretty bad. Look at some cartoons of the era sometime. Or those lovely internment camps that keep pestering American history. Do you believe that Japanese people are evil, barely human critters with distorted facial features? If so, it seems that you've bought into the caricatures offered by two different generations of racists. If not — you've managed to ignore the lessons of the past like every other bigoted asshole who's come before you. Either way, you probably deserve a medal for that, too: for Stupidity in the Face of Facts.

But then, I can't expect anyone who claims their blog is based on some kind of universal "scientific" truths, then goes on with " the mountain of bullshit that asshole Bush has left behind" to agree.

Hey, jackass: we've actually been through the mountain and discussed the bullshit we were referring to. If you'd like to counter any of it, feel free to actually do so. You know, instead of just pretending you did by jabbing at it without any arguments, reasons or reasoning. Otherwise you're just another drive-by troll with nothing to add to the conversation. Yeah, that third medal will be arriving shortly.

We're based on some kind of universal scientific truths? Where did we say that? Citations count, you pea-brained buffoon. Our primary tenet is don't fuck with people who aren't fucking with you (more or less). Our secondary tenet is reality trumps bullshit. Disagree? State why, and make your case.

Or — like most of the dipshits who drop comments like yours without the balls or brains to back up their inane bullshit — just piss off. That should earn you another medal, Mikey. We'll go ahead and ship out all the awards you deserve, you special guy, you.

What is it with these types? Do they purposely throw down without anything to back up their crap? Do they just get a thrill from being slapped down? Are they conversational masochists? Fuck.



JOE, 2011.03.09 (Wed) 17:18 [Link] »

I do not know if the article is real or a fraud but the fact remains that in todays world there is a difference in the thoughts of Muslims vs the Western world. Ask anybody living in Europe today if they are happy with the situation there and you will find the majority says no. The fact is that if Jews laid down their weapons then there would be no Israel. If radical Muslims laid down their weapons there would be peace. I have been to the middle east many times and see it for what it is. It is a conflict that can never be solved. How can you solve a problem when the group you want to reconcile with wants nothing more than your utter destruction? I am in no way in love with some of the things that Israel does but I am also a realist and realize what the true problem is. The fact is that very few Muslims ever speak up against the radical fringe that seems to be in power. Can the same ever be said about other cultures?
What is wrong that pointing out that nobel prizes(todays way of scorekeeping) go to many more Jews than Muslims when there are so few Jews in the world vs Muslims? Why doesn't everybody here just wake up to the reality that peace can be acheived but it takes two parties to be involved in the process.



The Two Percent Company, 2011.03.29 (Tue) 11:18 [Link] »

Talk about just not getting it.

I do not know if the article is real or a fraud

Well then, Joe, you haven't been paying attention, have you? It was established pretty early in the thread — and, in fact, at the top of our post itself — that this article is a fake. There's no "Vilar/Villar," some other idiot wrote most of this moronic shit, and still more idiots are passing it around and nodding their heads at the Obvious Truths that it presents. So right about here we've got the gist of your reading comprehension skills, which leads to an indication of your general intelligence, and that'd be enough to explain the rest of your comment.

Ask anybody living in Europe today if they are happy with the situation there and you will find the majority says no.

Know what, Joe? Ask most people in the world if they're content with the "situation" and they'll complain. You didn't really specify what "situation" we should ask about in this impromptu and utterly useless poll, but that's no surprise. (We're relatively sure you weren't referring to the fucking moron on The Jersey Shore, but most people would complain about him anyway.) And this clever little census means...? What? That people frequently aren't fucking content. That's a news flash? Do you want to blame the fucking human condition on every Muslim alive?

Hey, exceedingly oblivious person: if you asked the American population whether they think that gay couples should be allowed to marry, roughly half of them would say "Fuck, no!" That outcome doesn't in any way mean that their opinions are rational, compassionate, legally correct, or even vaguely defensible. See what we're saying here, Joe?

The fact is that if Jews laid down their weapons then there would be no Israel.

And...? Oh, right, sorry. Israel is supposed to be the most valuable fucking thing in the world because of some misguided stupidity that says it, out of all of the available irrigated real estate in the desert, has some fucking special place in the hearts and minds of assholes who have been deluded by millennia-old mythology and haven't just grown the fuck up.

See, Joe, "No Israel" sounds to us a lot like "Well, then nobody gets the cookies," which — while never quite as satisfying as everybody getting cookies — at least takes the fucking cookies out of the equation so we can get on with our fucking lives. We have nothing particularly against Israel, but neither do we think that they are the bee's fucking knees.

We have a guess, from your IP address, e-mail address and general take on this subject, that you're an American Jew, like much of Jeff's family. Frankly, whether we're right or wrong about that, we're pretty sick of people like you (and them) launching Israel into the role of "the one nation that must be protected above all others." The fact that American Jews want a foreign country protected at all costs feeds into their own pretense that anything that happens to "threaten" American safety is going to leave Israel just peachy-keen. "We'll always have Israel to take us in," they say.

That's fucking moronic. The place is a carpet-bombed nightmare. Jeff's niece and nephew took a class trip to Israel that required an armed bodyguard just to fucking visit the fucking place. Yeah, what a fucking paradise. Do you know where his niece and nephew wander around without an armed guard at all times? America.

If radical Muslims laid down their weapons there would be peace.

Hm — the majority (you do seem to think it constitutes fact if a statement starts with that phrase) of conflict in the history of the fucking world has not had to do with Islam, Joe. Y'know, just by chance — since they're the latecomer of the Big Three religions, and not all conflict is directly related to religion (though it does come into play amazingly often).

"Peace" wouldn't suddenly break out if Muslims worldwide disappeared or surrendered or whatever it is you're suggesting. That's so naïve. The assholes of the world will always find something to fight about. They always have; they always do; they always will. Until all the pussies fucking get that, people like us will always be forced to be dicks about it (before you get all huffy: that's less a direct insult, and more a reference to the linked video).

So let's correct this inane statement, and try to distill your message down to something more closely resembling reality. If Israel (not Jews, Joe — they are not synonymous) laid down their weapons, then there would be no Israel. If Palestinians and all those who support them laid down their weapons, then there would be no Palestine.

Why is one of those scenarios any better than the other? Because you would feel safer if Muslims disarmed? We're willing to bet that there are a lot of dead people in the Middle East who would have felt a lot safer had the U.S. disarmed about 20 years ago. Why is your feeling of safety more important and "right" than theirs?

Come up with a valid and unbiased reason for that, and maybe you'll start approaching a fucking point. And no fair cheating and answering that you didn't blow anybody up in the name of Allah — that's just leeching off your biased fucking assumption that all Muslims are (or support) radical terrorists (and the supreme ignorance that leads you to believe that Israeli forces have never hit below the belt). You have to prove your premises before you can base your arguments on them, bucko.

I have been to the middle east many times and see it for what it is. It is a conflict that can never be solved. How can you solve a problem when the group you want to reconcile with wants nothing more than your utter destruction?

Hey, Joe: why not ask that same question of any of the Muslims who really aren't digging this terrorism shit? Better yet, answer it for them; they (and we) would probably appreciate it if you could. (But you can't.)

Y'know, perhaps Jews could've easily solved their problems long ago by denouncing their fucking religion. That's, y'know, basically what you want Muslims to do now, right? Would you consider a fair trade? Because we'd be fucking thrilled if everyone would grow the fuck up and get past this bullshit religion crap. Welcome to the Twenty-First Century.

I am in no way in love with some of the things that Israel does but I am also a realist and realize what the true problem is. The fact is that very few Muslims ever speak up against the radical fringe that seems to be in power. Can the same ever be said about other cultures?

Hey, realist! How many fucking assholes like you have bothered to notice that a "radical fringe" is in charge of the fucking United States? And the world? Or in your silly, stupid little world, is everybody a power-mongering wealthy elitist asshole who wants to strip away the civil liberties of anybody making less than seven figures a year...you know, so that would make those folks not a "fringe"?

In addition, if you aren't hearing many Muslims denouncing the violence and harsh rhetoric of their fringe counterparts, then you must not have many Muslim friends (a real shocker in its own right). Fuck, just Google "muslims denounce terror" and you can find a fucking cornucopia of places where they do just that. Or, you know, go fucking talk to a Muslim person from your area and ask them what they think about Muslim terrorists. Lazy asshat.

Do you think secular Muslims don't exist? Hey, fucko — Two Percent's own Jeff is married to an incredible woman from a secular Muslim family. They're about as Muslim as those Jews who sometimes remember to think about going to temple on Yom Kippur are Jewish. (His wife herself is atheist, of course.) They don't have much in the way of money, power or influence — you know, like most people in the fucking world — so while they're certainly fucking disgusted by the activities of fundamentalist Muslims, they can do just about as much with regard to that as you can do when the Israeli military goes in to retaliate for the latest terrorist atrocities. Which is to say: fuck all nothing beyond expressing your own opinion to the people with whom you communicate.

What, you think all Muslims have Osama bin Laden on speed dial? Do all Jews have a special hotline to the Mossad? What the fuck kind of strange, deluded world do you believe we live in, moron?

And before you launch into even stupider waters with ludicrous claims that you can't hope to back up: no, Jeff's wife had no influence whatsoever on the views expressed in this Rant, since he hadn't even met her when it was written. See, it's easy for people like us to back shit up logically and rationally when our views are highly consistent no matter what our own personal context is. Too bad you haven't worked out that bit yet, Joe.

What is wrong that pointing out that nobel prizes(todays way of scorekeeping) go to many more Jews than Muslims when there are so few Jews in the world vs Muslims?

Oh, wow...is that how we keep score? Sorry, we didn't know. How many Nobel Prizes have you won? None? Well, then, fuck off — your opinion is worthless, zero-Nobel-Prize-winning shit-for-brains.

Funny, it seems a lot more like the way we "keep score" these days is in money (frequently in the form of oil or real estate) and power (frequently in the form of real estate and military force). If there's any "prize" that seems to be a major method of score keeping, we'd chalk that up to the fucking Oscar, considering how many people tune in to the Oscar awards compared to how many can name the latest Nobel Prize winners. It's just as politically skewed as any other awards system, and for fuck's sake, they hand out Oscars like candy. (Seriously, Gwyneth fucking Paltrow for Shakespeare in Love?)

Nobel Prizes, on the other hand? Only five go out each year. If people gave a shit — if that's how we "kept score," Joe — then you'd be able to throw down with a list of all Nobel Laureates for the last ten years without visiting Wikipedia. And at the very least, everybody reading that list would know every one of those names and why they won without looking them up.

But don't let "reality" get in the way of your "realist" perspective, you realistic guy, you.

And hey, realist: Nobel Prizes have gone to nearly 800 men since Alfred Nobel died...and barely over 40 women. Guess that means that women are pretty fucking worthless, huh? Damned weaker sex.

The population of China is famously fucking huge, and among all those obviously stupid people they've only garnered five Nobel Prizes this whole time. India, fast on the way to becoming the largest portion of the global population, has only got eight. Yeah, those are two ethnic groups right there that are really well-known for being fucking slacker losers and never contributing anything to the world, right? Particularly in the fields of Physics, Chemistry, and Physiology or Medicine.

Israel? A mere nine Nobel Prizes. And most of those folks weren't born in Israel. We know, we know — this whole "not all Jews are Israeli" thing doesn't really compute with you just yet.

Meanwhile, Germany — you know, that place where they tried to eradicate the Jews — has got over 100 Nobel Prizes. Since Germany is clearly the winner in your little Israel-Germany bracket challenge, presumably we should have just let the Germans carry on with their Final Solution. To the winner go the spoils, after all. Right, Joe?

Guess the good old USA is the real winner, though, since our fucking country has received over 300 Nobel Prizes. So everybody else should just sit down and shut up like the worthless little fuckers they are. Right again, Joe?

Or maybe, as usual, why the fuck should we care what country or ethnic group or religion these winners call their own? Why don't we acknowledge that them winning the prizes was about them, and not their country, or their gender, or their ethnicity, or any fucking thing but their work. (This thread has already fucking firmly established that goddamn fact, unless you want to go back and argue that all Jews are Nobel-Prize-winning serial killers.) Countries or religions don't win Nobel Prizes, Joe — individuals do, based on what those individuals have done.

Well, it's supposed to be about what the individuals have done, anyway. Except of course that Barack Obama won a fucking peace prize for nothing. We're not making a judgment call there, by the way — the man hadn't done anything yet, and they gave him a fucking peace prize, presumably for making the point that a black man could be president in the United States. Which, to be fair, was a giant shock to a lot of the idiots voting in that election (and, frankly, to a lot of the rest of us who were and are painfully aware of the existence of those idiots all across the United States).

Fuck, if you're just a shade or two stupider than we already think you are — which would be a feat in itself — you'll have to admit that at least one Muslim got a Nobel Prize. You know, since Barack Obama is so Muslim, and all that.

The Nobel Prize is how we "keep score"? Fuck, you're stupid. How do you even come up with such a virulently ridiculous notion?

Why doesn't everybody here just wake up to the reality that peace can be acheived but it takes two parties to be involved in the process.

Oh, good point, "realist." And it helps your method so much to keep marginalizing Muslims and harping on how worthless they are, demanding that they denounce their religion when you have not shown any indication that you are willing to denounce yours.

You're all fucking worthless, you fuck. Any fucking person who professes any goddamn religion has just fucked their credibility when it comes to objectively commenting on the religions of others.

Guess what we did, asshole? We pointed them all out as fucking moronic, so we get to say it without any hypocrisy whatsoever. To be clear — we don't have a direct beef with religious people, but rather religion itself and the people who promote it. Plenty of people are "religious" without feeling the need to jam their unfounded belief system into the cogs and sprockets of our daily lives. Any person who thinks that religion is something that outranks reality or human rights, or that one religion (or its adherents) is "better" than another (or its adherents), is somebody we can quickly form a preliminary opinion about, based on their own words (as opposed to some abstract conceptual group in which they claim membership). Religion is shit. Different religions are just different bits of lumpy crap that remain when you digest a particular set of dogmatic defecation. It doesn't matter what flavor of shit you put on our plates, Joe — it's still shit, and we're still not interested in eating it, and we're still going to see you as a supremely bad cook (or an asshole who expects us to eat shit).

Give us an individual, we'll judge them on their own words and deeds. Give us a religion, we'll call it out for the collection of bullshit and power plays it is. Give us an ethnicity (which you haven't — did you notice that?), and we'll point out that it's as entirely irrelevant as any accident of birth. Show us a causative link between, say, freckles and spousal abuse, and maybe we'll reconsider our position on that.

Until then, you might want to start picking through your laughable "position" with a fine-toothed comb to detangle all of those contradictory knots and snarls. Because it's certainly not helping your case any.



Matt, 2011.11.15 (Tue) 23:00 [Link] »

"The Two Percent Company" needs to grow up. The above comment, dated 2011.03.29, is one of the most immature things I've ever had the displeasure of reading, outside of YouTube comments.

Pro-tip: Cursing and name-calling makes you sound like a 14-year-old with a bad temper.

I just took a look at the FAQ, and I find it amusing that people who claim to be pro-secular and anti-theocratic are sticking up for a group of people who have disproportionately asserted their religion beyond the private, individual realm (i.e., the state).

Cheers, and for Sagan's sakes, calm down.



The Two Percent Company, 2011.11.16 (Wed) 20:33 [Link] »

We find it not so amusing — but dishearteningly unsurprising — that yet another concern troll is capable of reading "bad words" without bothering to cobble together enough reading comprehension to actually understand the thesis of what they're reading. Instead of reading our FAQ, you should have read our FUQ, which responds to the typical cowardly, backward, inane drivel that you've decided to vomit into a comment. When you've got substance already, your style is your choice. You, Matt, are sorely lacking in both departments. That's a "pro-tip," douchebag.

It's also none-too-surprising that yet another lowbrow asshat confuses our defense of individual people with a defense of all people who profess a specific religion. The religion doesn't enter into it for us, you confused simpleton. We've already hashed this out far too many times in this thread. And if you think that any organized religion isn't "a group of people who have disproportionately asserted their religion beyond the private, individual realm (i.e., the state)" — then you've clearly got a highly skewed view of reality.

You've now handily demonstrated that you: a) cannot distinguish the art of cogent outrage from the dribbling of one of your YouTube mates writing "u R a t00L"; b) cannot distinguish between a private and peaceful individual professing an affiliation with fairy tale mythology and a violent and tyrannical force professing an affiliation with the same fairy tale mythology; and c) can't muster up the reading comprehension required to parse a slip of paper in a fortune cookie.

Feel free to go fuck yourself, Matt. Or, in language you might better be able to comprehend: "u R a t00L."



Ryan W., 2011.11.27 (Sun) 17:11 [Link] »

Matt:

Protip: Carl Sagan is dead. He doesn't give a shit what people do anymore because, you know, he's dead.

Don't name drop acting like we play for the same team; you're so concerned with your Concern Troll DBAD Movement you didn't even pay attention to the substance of the argument. Carl Sagan is not happy. Mostly because he's dead.




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