Add this one to the older collection of ironic protest signs.
Here are some serious people making serious versions of these arguments:
- homosexuality is unnatural
- gays encourage others to be gay
- homosexuality and gay marriage lead to bestiality
- the institution of marriage has a long tradition and should be protected as it is
- gay marriage will harm traditional marriages
- marriage is supposed to produce children and gay marriage will lead to a world without children
- gay parents will raise gay children
- our religion doesn’t support gay marriage, hence gays should not be allowed to marry; otherwise our religious liberty is in danger
- children benefit from having both a male and a female parent
- gay marriage threatens the foundations of our society
For those of you who have clicked on any – or, God forbid, all – of the links above, I’m truly sorry I made you do it and I forgive you if you take this as sufficient reason for not visiting my blog ever again.
This is the way in which news out of Africa is often presented in Western media: “every x seconds someone dies of starvation in Africa; we can stop this”, “every one in x African children is a child soldier” etc. I’ve been guilty of it myself, given my fondness of statistics. As an antidote to this disaster talk, there’s this:
You can add further commentary if you want:
- “The US has promised to send a shipment of millions of seconds to the areas in Africa hit worst by the passing of time”.
- “Oxfam points to the need for family planning and birth control, given the fact that overpopulation in some areas of Africa has led to overconsumption of seconds”.
- “The World Bank is investing millions of dollars in better time producing industries in several African countries”.
- And so on. Leave your own suggestions in comments.
I guess this is a version of the “unnatural acts” argument against homosexuality:
Around the same time, these people were protesting against nose picking, soccer and several other multifunctional interpretations of the usage of human body parts.
While I find this hilarious as an outsider, I understand the joke is lost on victims of homophobia.
- Middle class people receive benefits – working class people claim benefits – immigrants demand benefits
- The unemployed are fired – employers lay off – economies destroy creatively (huh?)
- The population of a dictatorship is brainwashed – our fine patriotic citizens engage in self-criticism - deviants are reeducated (or: are cognitively accommodated)
- Islamists oppress their women – our Muslim brothers protect their wives – other cultures live according to their own values
- Hobos are living on the streets – tramps are traveling – the homeless are residentially flexible
- The poor fail – the needy are discouraged - the marginalized are motivationally dispossessed.
- I have a social philosophy, you have political opinions, he has an ideology. (Clifford Geertz, 1964)
More political jokes here.
More political jokes here.
If your proudest achievement is being white then that says a lot about what you’ve done with your life.
More political jokes here.
From The Onion:
RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA—In the wake of the watershed decision granting them the right to vote in the 2015 elections, Saudi women have received their husbands’ explicit consent to rejoice, sources reported Wednesday. “It is with great pride that women all across Saudi Arabia have been allowed to leave their homes under the guardianship of a male relative and celebrate this cultural landmark,” father of four Khalid al-Kazaz told reporters. “It brings us great pleasure to permit them a few moments in which to smile beneath their hijabs before returning to their daily duties.” Saudi officials followed the announcement with another historic decree that lowered from 10 to 7 the number of lashes that will be administered to women who drive themselves to the voting booth.
Ok, Massachusetts does not have the death penalty, so Romney in his time as Governor never faced that ultimate decision. But he was generally not very generous with other types of pardon, and he did file a bill to reinstate the death penalty in Massachusetts (which was ultimately defeated). Hence, few doubt his resolve were he to be confronted with pleas for clemency coming from people on death row.
I argued before that morality can be and often has been the cause of a lot of evil in the world. The conviction of knowing what is good and right can lead to violent coercion of others who don’t conform to certain ideals. At the very least, moral certainty inhibits cooperation and compromise. Hence the claim by George Carlin:
I think motivation is overrated. You show me some lazy prick who’s lying around all day watching game shows and stroking his penis and I’ll show you someone who’s not causing any fucking trouble!
A Soviet journalist walks into the hospital and tells the desk nurse, “I want to see the eye-ear doctor.”
“There is no such doctor” she tells him. “Perhaps you would like to see someone else?”
“No, I need to see an eye-ear doctor,” he says.
“But there is no such doctor,” she replies. “We have doctors for the eyes and doctors for the ear, nose and throat, but no eye-ear doctor.”
No help. He repeats, “I want to see the eye-ear doctor.”
They go around like this for a few minutes and then the nurse says: “Comrade, there is no eye-ear doctor, but if there were one, why would you want to see him?”
“Because,” he replies, “I keep hearing one thing and seeing another.”
A Pole walking along the road happens to spy a lamp. He picks it up, and as it is covered in rust he gives it quick rub. Out comes a genie.
“I’m the genie of the lamp and I can grant you three wishes,” the genie says.
“OK,” says the Pole. “I want the Chinese Army to invade Poland.” Odd choice, the genie thinks, but nevertheless he grants the wish, and the Chinese Army comes all the way from China, invades, and goes back home.
“Right, second wish. Maybe something more positive,” says the genie.
“No,” replies the Pole, “I want the Chinese Army to invade again.” So the Chinese come all the way from China, lay waste to more of Poland, and then go home.
“Listen,” says the genie. “You have one last wish. I can make Poland the most beautiful and prosperous place on earth.”
“If you don’t mind, I want the Chinese army to invade one more time.” So the Chinese army comes again, destroys what’s left of Poland, and then goes home for the last time.
“I don’t understand,” says the genie. “Why did you want the Chinese army to invade Poland three times?”
“Well,” replies the Pole, “they had to go through Russia six times.”
- Over Time, a Gay Marriage Groundswell (nytimes.com)
- Beck on Same-Sex Marriage [Dispatches from the Culture Wars] (scienceblogs.com)
- Shifting Attitudes Take Gay Rights Fight Across Globe, Experts Say (socialpsychology.org)
From some commenters at the Volokh Conspiracy Blog:
Commenter 1: By the way anybody else notice that Hispanic, African-American, or Asian all get flagged by the spell checker if they aren’t capitalized, but white just sails right on through? When are they going to fix that?
Commenter 2, replying sarcastically: I know, it’s almost as though whoever programs the spellchecker thinks that “white” isn’t related to a specific geographical location, and thinks that nouns and modifiers that refer to a specific geographical location are always capitalized in English, and thinks that modifiers that are basic colors are not capitalized in English.
For my part, I capitalize neither “black” nor “white” in any context (except as first word in a sentence, as part of a title, etc.)
But then, I always capitalize “Hitler” and “Satan,” and never capitalize “baby” or “puppy,” so I’m sure you can tell where my sympathies lie, if you are one of those who understand that capitalization has nothing to do with rules of English usage, and everything to do with a secret political agenda dictated from our socialist PC (no pun intended) masters in Redmond.
The Germans, of course, capitalize every noun, and no modifiers at all, a harsh system of inequality that the German Karl Marx railed against in his influential 1867 work “Das Kapital.”
Add this one to the older collection of ironic protest signs.
I know, this is no substitute for philosophical discussion, but it has the appeal – as well as the lack of nuance – of a good caricature:
(source, click image to enlarge)
I’ve added some numbers and linked them to some less “cartoonish” but also less humorous descriptions:
- This reflects the belief in involuntary and automatic systems (market, invisible hand…). More here and here.
- Reflects the value absolutism of libertarianism and the refusal to get into the “dirty” business of reconciling and balancing different values. More here and here.
- More on privatization here.
- More on big government and gun rights.
- More on the undeserving poor and on Heinlein.
- More on hypocrisy.
- More on some of the extreme consequences of libertarian logic is here.
- More on taxation.
- More on justice and merit.
- More on the libertarian view of the free market is here.
- More on abortion.
- More on the war on drugs, police abuse, and war.
- More on libertarianism and discrimination is here.
- 24 Types of Libertarians vs. 24 Types of Authoritarians (neatorama.com)
From The Onion:
PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI—Three months after a 7.0 earthquake rocked the impoverished island nation of Haiti, 36-year-old Brad Halder visited its demolished capital to see firsthand how his $10 donation to a relief fund was being spent. “It’s been a little while, so I just wanted to check in and make sure my money was being put to good use,” Halder told reporters while surveying the still largely devastated region. “To tell you the truth, I was kind of expecting to see a lot more new homes by now. And, I don’t know, maybe some new hospitals or something. But, jeez, did they get any of the $10 I sent them?” After noting that nearly 90 percent of the country still lived in abject poverty, Halder announced that any funds left over from his donation should probably go toward rebuilding Haiti’s infrastructure.
More serious posts on the earthquake in Haiti are here and here. The effectiveness of development aid is a highly contested topic. Here‘s one example of inefficient aid. Some even believe that we should stop giving aid altogether, perhaps with the exception of disaster relief after earthquakes and such. Dambisa Moyo is a well-known propagator of that argument (see here and here). Others believe that we should on the contrary increase the levels of development aid, while spending the money in a more efficient way (the U.S. is regularly scolded for it’s relatively low levels of development aid, and the joke above obviously refers to the U.S. in general rather than just one bloke). One way to make aid more efficient is cash transfers. Other types of efficient development aid – albeit indirect types of aid – are trade liberalization, investment, the promotion of migration and debt relief.
More jokes here.
From The Onion:
WASHINGTON–According to a new report released Monday by a panel of top economists and social scientists, the People’s Republic of China will overtake the United States as the world’s dominant asshole by the year 2020.
The findings, published in the most recent issue of Foreign Affairs, support recent speculation that America’s unquestioned reign as the leading super-prick may soon be drawing to a close, leaving China as the foremost shithead among all developed nations.
“We are seeing a changing of the asshole guard,” said Andrew Freireich, noted economist and lead author of the article.
I am an American conservative shitheel. This morning I was awoken by my alarm clock powered by electricity generated by the public power monopoly regulated by the US department of energy. I then took a shower in the clean water provided by the municipal water utility. After that, I turned on the TV to one of the FCC regulated channels to see what the national weather service of the national oceanographic and atmospheric administration determined the weather was going to be like using satellites designed, built, and launched by the national aeronautics and space administration. I watched this while eating my breakfast of US department of agriculture inspected food and taking the drugs which have been determined as safe by the food and drug administration.
At the appropriate time as regulated by the US congress and kept accurate by the national institute of standards and technology and the US naval observatory, I get into my national highway traffic safety administration approved automobile and set out to work on the roads build by the local, state, and federal departments of transportation, possibly stopping to purchase additional fuel of a quality level determined by the environmental protection agency, using legal tender issued by the federal reserve bank. On the way out the door I deposit any mail I have to be sent out via the US postal service and drop the kids off at the public school.
After spending another day not being maimed or killed at work thanks to the workplace regulations imposed by the department of labor and the occupational safety and health administration, enjoying another two meals which again do not kill me because of the USDA, I drive my NHTSA car back home on the DOT roads, to my house which has not burned down in my absence because of the state and local building codes and fire marshal’s inspection, and which has not been plundered of all it’s valuables thanks to the local police department.
I then log on to the internet which was developed by the defense advanced research projects administration and post on freerepublic.com and fox news forums about how SOCIALISM in medicine is BAD because the government can’t do anything right. (source)
Two men are talking on a Pyongyang subway train:
“How are you, comrade?”
“Fine, how are you doing?”
“Comrade, by any chance, do you work for the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party?”
“No, I don’t.”
“Have you worked for the Central Committee before?”
“No, I haven’t.”
“Then, are any of your family members working for the Central Committee?”
“Then, get away from me! You’re standing on my foot!”
From The Onion: Supreme Court Upholds Freedom Of Speech In Obscenity-Filled Ruling
In a decisive and vulgar 7-2 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court once again upheld the constitution’s First Amendment this week, calling the freedom of expression among the most “inalienable and important rights that a motherfucker can have.”
Added Ginsburg, “In short, freedom of speech means the freedom of fucking speech, you ignorant cocksuckers.”
Said Stevens, a 34-year veteran of the court known for his often-nuanced interpretations of the First Amendment: “I’m also wondering whether you and your fat-faced plaintiffs over there need to have some respect for constitutionally protected expression fucked into your empty hick skulls.”
“I don’t know what kind of bullshit passes for jurisprudence down in the 4th Circuit these days,” Thomas wrote. “But those pricks can take their arguments about speech that ‘appeals only to prurient interests‘ and go suck a dog’s asshole.”
A Jew walks into a bar. He goes and sits at the table at which he and his family have been sitting forever. Suddenly a Palestinian comes in and says, “I thought that was my table.” The Jew says, “Oh, I’m sorry. My mistake.” And he leaves.
Question: Do libertarians support the sale of heroin to minors in vending machines?
Answer: Only if they are privately owned and operated.
More about libertarianism (including my own views on libertarianism, which are not entirely unsympathetic); and more on private property and free markets. One of the main tenets of libertarianism (or at least of some forms of it) is the freedom to damn yourself, which is obviously the inspiration for this joke (although most libertarians don’t see that as an absolute principle and would not want to give children the freedom to damn themselves). In other words, according to libertarians, it’s better to allow people to decide freely about their own lives – even if these decisions are self-destructive – than to play the paternalism card and go about deciding what people can or cannot do to themselves.
[I]ndividuals will always be the best judges of their own needs and wants. Indeed, mainstream economic analysis typically judges an intervention to be benign if and only if it expands the range of choices available to the population. Other libertarians accept that while private individuals often make poor choices, delegating decisions to elected officials and bureaucrats, who are prone to their own errors, is unlikely to make things better. Libertarians see virtue in individual responsibility. As every parent knows, the only way that children get wiser is to give them the freedom to make their own mistakes.
The pragmatic libertarian yields to no one in love of liberty, but also recognizes that liberty is not always preserved by the most minimal state. In the United States, even pure libertarians are rarely anarchists. They accept that the state is needed to protect property and enforce contracts. But once you have accepted that the state should stop strangers from burning down your house, then it is a small step to also thinking that the state may also protect you against people who would befoul your water and pollute your air. …
When public action is either desirable or unavoidable, the pragmatic libertarian works to make the costs of the public system less severe. While the pure libertarian just wants less government, the pragmatic libertarian advocates the tools that can limit public excess. Edward L. Glaeser (source)
From The Onion:
A coalition of the nation’s most fervent bigots convened in Washington Monday to address growing concerns that the production of hateful new racial slurs has failed to keep pace with the rise in mixed-race births.
According to representatives from the American Racists and Bigots Council (ARBC), the growing number of children born to parents of different ethnicities has posed a real challenge to the nation’s hate-speech developers—a challenge they say threatens their way of life.
“The world is changing, and we, the hateful and ignorant of America, need to change with it,” ARBC chairman Tom Branson said at a rally Monday. “The time has come for our ugly, intolerant rhetoric to step into the 21st century. Our disgusting, dehumanizing slurs simply must reflect the terrifying new global society we now live in.”
Added Branson, “In order to continue going backward, we first have to move forward.”
According to statistics provided by the coalition, a rise in the birthrate of mixed-race Americans has left millions of confused racists with absolutely nothing prejudiced to say when confronted by a person of indeterminate or complex background. What frightens the coalition most is data suggesting that by 2015, ignorant bigots everywhere could be powerless when it comes to reducing mixed-raced individuals to profoundly uninformed cultural stereotypes.
This is supposed to be a real story, which makes it even better than a good joke:
Morgenbesser was leaving a subway station in New York City and put his pipe in his mouth as he was ascending the steps. A police officer told him that there was no smoking on the subway. Morgenbesser pointed out that he was leaving the subway, not entering it, and hadn’t lit up yet anyway. The cop repeated his injunction. Morgenbesser repeated his observation.
After a few such exchanges, the cop saw he was beaten and fell back on the oldest standby of enfeebled authority: “If I let you do it, I’d have to let everyone do it.” To this the old professor replied, “Who do you think you are, Kant?” The word “Kant” was mistaken for a vulgar epithet and Morgenbesser had to explain the situation at the police station. (source)
CONSERVATIVE, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others. Ambrose Bierce
We could add, in an equally simplistic manner:
- Libertarian, n. A statesman who is enamored exclusively of the battle against state inflicted evil.
- Fascist, n. A statesman who believes evil is a cunning plan of the weak to destroy the strong, thereby showing that they’re not so weak after all.
- Marxist, n. A statesman who believes evil is like heroin: people have to go all the way before they realize it completely sucks.
- Communist, n. A statesman akin to Marxist (see Marxist) but willing to help people go all the way.
Honoring the great American free speech tradition of holding up signs during protests, here’s a collection of ironic signs:
And these ones aren’t real signs, I think – they look photoshopped - but great nevertheless:
Finally, a post-modern one:
Keep mixing the races until we’re all the same grayish color – then there’ll be no more racism, once we’re all the same shade, man. ‘Hey, gray!’ ‘Who you callin’ gray, gray?’ And then we’ll actually be able to hate someone for the person that they are. Tom Rhodes
Guard: “Now tell me where you hid the money, or you will suffer.”
Translator: “Tell him where the money is, or you will suffer.”
Prisoner: “I’ll never speak.”
Translator: “She says she won’t tell you.”
Guard, putting a gun to prisoner’s head. “Tell her I will blow her brains out if she doesn’t tell me immediately.”
Translator: “He will shoot you in the head unless you tell him now.”
Prisoner: “I buried a million dollars under the floorboards in the old woodshed.”
Translator, pauses. “She says you don’t have the guts to shoot her…”
A vacuum salesman appeared at the door of an old lady’s cottage and, without allowing the woman to speak, rushed into the living room and threw a large bag of dirt all over her clean carpet. He said, “If this new vacuum doesn’t pick up every bit of dirt then I’ll eat all the dirt.”
The woman, who by this time was losing her patience, said, “Sir, if I had enough money to buy that thing, I would have paid my electricity bill before they cut it off. Now, what would you prefer, a spoon or a knife and fork?”
A man, down on his luck, went into a church which catered to the “uppity”. Spotting the man’s dirty clothes a deacon, worried about the churches image, went to the man and asked him if he needed help. The man said, “I was praying and the Lord told me to come to this church.”
The deacon suggested that the man go pray some more and possibly he might get a different answer. The next Sunday the man returned. The deacon asked, “Did you get a different answer?”
The man replied, “Yes I did. I told the Lord that they don’t want me in that church and the Lord said, ‘Don’t worry about it son; I’ve been trying to get into that church for years and haven’t made it yet’.”
Of course, clichés about national identities and cultural stereotypes can be good fun, but they can become prejudice and that’s when we may find ourselves here or here. More intelligent information on prejudice (including Allport’s scale) is here. Other political jokes are here.