How lies are taught as truth.

I have written a number of post about the New York Times 1619 Project: The New York Times 1619 Project protects its vested interests —undoing Trump, endearing themselves to their anti-Trump readers and the Democrats—the same way. Distorting and rewriting our history to make it all about racism and slavery. The purpose of this project is, as Dean Baquet, executive editor the the paper declared in a staff meeting is to “teach our readers how to think about racism and slavery.” https://curmudgeon550.blog/2019/08/20/groupthink-part-2-youtube-censors-1619-project-lies-about-usa/

According to the National Association of Scholars, NAS.ORG, from their 1/5/2020 Countercurent newsletter, “The 1619 Project is not a stand-alone campaign presenting a historical perspective with which we disagree. It is put forth by one of the nation’s foremost publications as the objective truth about American history. What’s more, the ‘1619 Project view’ of history is already being implemented into public school curricula on a national scale. Partnering with the Pulitzer Center, The New York Times provides ready-made lesson plans for teachers of all grades. According to the organization,

“Teachers across all 50 states have accessed the Pulitzer Center educational resources since the project’s launch…Educators from hundreds of schools and administrators from six school districts have also reached out to the Center for class sets of the magazine. Teachers are using the magazine in their classes to teach subjects ranging from English to History and Social Studies…”

“Countless students will be taught this view of history in the coming years, learning to hate their own country and distrust its foundational ideals. It is our hope that The 1620 Project (NAS’ truthful antidote to 1619 lies) will stem this tidal wave of misinformation and help restore integrity and honesty to American historical education.”

The heart of a leader? A "servant heart."

PRIMER ON LEADERSHIP. And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:42-45.

Joey King, Trevor Lawrence’s high school coach: “Everything that he does, if he’s doing well, he’s going to defer the credit to somebody else. If he’s doing badly, he’s going to own up and take responsibility even if it’s not his fault. That’s just kind of what he’s made out of.” If I weren’t so verbose, I could end this post on that quote. In case you don’t know who Trevor Lawrence is, he is the quarterback of the Clemson university national champion football team. A Lawrence-quarterbacked team has never lost a game in college, and since he was 14 years old and in the ninth grade, his teams have suffered three defeats overall and just the two as a starter. What about his last team’s loss, in high school? “In the aftermath, to see his leadership just continue to flourish, he’s such a selfless young man,” coach Foster said. “His concern was his teammates. There wasn’t any head-hanging from him. There wasn’t sitting around and crying and moping. It was him trying to seek out his teammates and trying to make sure that they were OK. Loving on them and consoling them. His leadership just never stops to amaze me.”

In this age of YouTube superstars with millions of “followers”, who have actually accomplished nothing except to profit from mimicry of their buffoonery, hypocritical “celebrities” who fly around in private jets in order to scold the rest of the world about global warming, a braggart President, media woke-scolds who lie on camera to promote their pet causes and politicians, there are still true winners, true leaders, who say little about themselves and serve others without fanfare. While Trevor Lawrence types are rare, it does seem that the latest crop of winning college quarterbacks–like Tua Tagavailoa, Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert, Jalen Hurts–embody very similar characteristics.

Of course, the Bible has a lot to say on leadership, and the proverbs of Solomon are particularly pithy:

Proverbs 26:11. Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly.

Proverbs 26:12. Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes. there is more hope for a fool than for him.

Proverbs 26:16. The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can answer sensibly.

10:20. The tongue of the righteous is choice silver.

Proverbs 16:18. Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.

Proverbs 16:32. Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

Proverbs 17:10. A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding than 100 blows into a fool.

Proverbs 18:2. A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, only in expressing his own opinion.

Proverbs 18:12-13. Before destruction a man’s heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor. If one gives an answer before he hears the matter it is his folly and shame.

Proverbs 17:28. Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.

Proverbs 29:1. He who is often reproved but stiffens his neck will be suddenly broken beyond healing .

Proverbs 29:11. A fool gives full vent to his spirit but a wise man holds it back.

Proverbs 29:23. One’s pride will bring him low but a man who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.

Want to be a winner? Adjust your attitude to those proverbs, and the heart of Jesus. You won’t throw like Trevor Lawrence but you will be and have a richer treasure.

Is there any hope for USA relations with the Islamic world?

General Qasem Soleimani was once called the “Wizard of Oz of Iranian terror” by the New York Post. He was responsible for the Benghazi embassy attack, and was in bed with Barack Obama. He was the most dreaded and most effective terrorist alive, the head of the Quds Force, an organization that acts as a combination CIA and Green Berets for Iran, and a man who orchestrated a campaign of chaos against the United States around the world. Then we drone-struck him. Was it a good thing? Actress and hopeful foreign policy expert Rose McGowan tweeted her deep analysis which started like this. “Dear #Iran, The USA has disrespected your country, your flag, your people. 52% of us humbly apologize. We want peace with your nation. We are being held hostage by a terrorist regime. We do not know how to escape. Please do not kill us. #Soleimani” Her sympathies haven’t changed much since 2008, “I imagine, had I grown up in Belfast, I would 100% have been in the IRA.” Thanks Rose, and all your ilk, we 48%(?) will take it under advisement……

Is there any hope for USA relations with the Islamic world? I don’t know, do you? I present six propositions which I believe to be true, then return to the main question. My conclusion will surprise you.

1. “Separation of church and state” is not and has never been in our Constitution. Instead, we have settled into this comfortable fiction, aided and abetted by the major media and dubious Supreme Court decisions, that our founders wrote a constitution containing a central idea that religion has no place in politics. This idea is false as can be. The central idea and theme of our political system and constitution is civil government derives it’s legitimacy from the consent of the governed. The most fundamental concept of democracy is the idea that government exists to secure the rights of the people and must be based on the consent of the governed. This is a religious principle! See #7.

2. Where did this idea come from? Until the original 13 American states asserted the principle of consent of the governed as self-evident, it had been applied only rarely in the world’s annals. For most of recorded history, people lived under different types of dictatorship, usually a form of autocracy, the rule of a single leader exercising unlimited power. Sometimes, the ruler was the best warrior, able to seize power over a group or nation (such as Genghis Khan in 13th-century Asia). Such leaders often founded hereditary monarchies, the most common form of autocracy. In most cases, the monarch was all-powerful, claiming his or her position by “divine right” (as in Europe) or by the “mandate of heaven” (as in China). The ruler was sovereign, the supreme authority of a state. The people were not citizens but subjects. Virtually ALL governments in history were theocracies, the rulers’ legitimacy claimed divine right.

3. Islam has always been autocratic; the word itself means submission. Submission to whom, or what? Submission to Allah. Virtually all Islamic governments throughout history were ruled by religious leaders, or those who pretended to be. In fact, Islam is simultaneously both a religion and a government. The idea of separation of the two is anathema to every devout Muslim. Therefore, the United States declaring that our goal is bringing democracy to any Islamic country is a declaration of war, war on Islam itself.

4. Drone warfare, invasions, targeted killing (or assassination) of terrorist leaders are to us defensive measures—proactively pre-empting the ability of terrorists to operate. To the Islamic world they are provocations. But #3 represents a much greater threat to their world than #4. What about all those complaints about “islamophobia”, the Crusades, our killing their Muslim brothers and sisters? See next.

5. The Islamic leaders know our weaknesses, compared to the level of their commitment: we are soft, sympathetic, empathetic, pluralistic, respectful of other cultures and religions. Yes, they are weaknesses to the Islamic militants, who are none of those things, and hostile to the very ideas. So islamophobia, claims of crusader aggression, killing their “brothers” are all part of the “public relations campaign” to put us on the defensive. The Crusades, by and large, were mostly to defend Christian lands and people, or to take back territory from the Muslim invaders. Islamophobia is either BS, or in Eastern Europe is justified by their history (look up the derivation of the word “slave”). As far as killing their brothers, Muslim deaths are overwhelmingly perpetrated by other Muslims.

6. Islam has nearby enemies: Israel, “moderate” Islamic governments like Jordan and the emirates, the House of Saud, but those nearby enemies are defended by the United States, the far enemy. We could end all warfare, drone strikes and any type of preemptive anti-terrorist measures, and it would have no positive effect on Islamic relations. Islamic true believers constitute Dar al Islam, or the “House of Islam”, to them the only true faith. All infidels, which includes moderate Muslims and all non-Muslims, are the Dar al Harb, or “House of War.” The militant Muslims, the ones with the commitment and power, will make war by any means until either we in the west are conquered and worship Allah, or we have conquered them. Why don’t the Islamic militants go after China, the most egregious oppressor of Muslims in the world? They know China wouldn’t care about their propaganda, would laugh at the idea of “Islamophobia” and would strike back more ruthlessly than the USA even with Donald Trump as president, and that China is not limited by the kind of civil and legal niceties that we observe.

7. Given the preceding six points, where do we go from here? War will not conquer Islam. I asked in #2, where did the consent of the governed idea come from? It is a uniquely Christian and biblical concept. It didn’t exist in the world until the Pilgrims and Puritans established 13 colonies on biblical principles. Read the state constitutions of the original 13 states. The truth of what I am saying will be evident. Therefore, I believe the only hope for USA-Islamic relations is found in the Bible:

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:10-16.

Only love will conquer hardened hearts. There are Christian relief organizations working in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and everywhere militant Islam has caused untold misery. Their workers are often kidnapped or killed, but they soldier on, motivated to show the love of Christ to Muslims. Would that every American want the same thing. Only then will we elect the kind of leaders who reflect love. Such love requires telling the truth; such love would be the ultimate threat to militant Islam. When will be ready for that kind of commitment? Ronald Reagan used that “city on a hill” reference and believed we are that. Can we be?

Is there a true sage in your life?

Dennis Peacocke, CEO of Gostrategic.org, is a sage to me. The economy and power of his writing and speaking never fails to reach me. The following message is from his 2020 New Year newsletter, The Bottom Line.

He is discussing St. Paul’s brutally honest reality that “each one shall bear his own load.” But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load. Galatians 6:4-5.

The major challenges are three-fold:

1. What if I don’t want to face this reality of ultimate personal responsibility for my life?
2. What if I somehow agree to attempt to manage my life but don’t feel I have any wise ability to do so?
3. What if I am carrying my own load but life makes it too uncertain to do so wisely?

Answering any of these questions fully and adequately in a newsletter or a blog post is absurd indeed, so let’s go for some observations:

1. There is no running from self, the reality of life and death, and the law of consequences; thoughts and actions produce results based upon them.

2. In our human weakness, none of us want to grow up; we do so only when forced by God, others, or our circumstances.

3. Life is full of a lot more trouble than available, wise teachers to shepherd us through them. If you have found wise, consistent help, you are unbelievably blessed and, likewise, now responsible to become that “wise person” to others who genuinely want truth from you!

4. Life is full of “patterns”; recognizing them is a clear sign that “carrying your own burden” is actually beginning to work for you. When you learn how to use those patterns, you are once again blessed of God and responsible to pass them on.

5. Knowing and acting on your limitations and tendencies puts you in a very limited group within humanity. Once again, thank God, and don’t let go of this gift.

Modern myth busting for 2020.

Ah, the first day of the new year, 2020, and I am at my curmudgeonly best. It’s a great time to attack, dismantle, wreck without mercy, six popular myths that are articles of faith of leftists, Democrats, and “progressives”.

Myth 1: The impeachment drama was the final nail in the president’s coffin. No, Trump will be re-elected President, if he runs, with a large margin of victory both in popular votes and electoral votes. Many constituencies that did not vote for him in 2016 will vote for him in 2020. He will remain as obnoxious and arrogant as ever. Democrats and their allies in the media, universities and corporations will be even more eager to get rid of him by any means, whether legal or not. The ignorant voices that opine “few are speaking out against him” must have some alternate explanation for CNN and MSNBC “all Trump, all the time, coverage.”

Myth 2: Trump=Hitler. No, Trump derangement syndrome trumps talent. Linda Ronstadt is my favorite singer of all time, and Parkinson’s disease has robbed her of the ability to sing, but not, apparently, to pontificate. She’s recently compared President Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler, saying both used strategies to “find a common enemy for everybody to hate.” Appearing before the CNN premiere of her documentary The Sound of My Voice, Ronstadt told anchor Anderson Cooper she was certain that Trump would be elected when he announced his campaign. “I was sure that Trump was going to get elected, the day he announced,” the “When Will I Be Loved” singer told CNN. “I said, ‘It’s going to be like Hitler, and the Mexicans are the new Jews.'” Ronstadt also drew parallels between Trump and Hitler’s ascension to their respective offices, saying that because few spoke out against their behavior while they campaigned. “The intelligentsia of Berlin, and the literati, and all the artists were just busy doing their thing. Hitler rose to power-there were a lot of chances to stop him, and they didn’t speak out,” she told Cooper. Linda, you’re so wrong. Just because your family is from Mexico, does not give you any authority to compare Trump’s treatment of Mexican illegals to Hitler’s murder of Jews!

Myth 3: Central planning and government control will build the perfect world. No, those are the tools of murderous utopians. Liberalism, the classical kind of John Stuart Mill, Democrats in the 1950s, and anyone who still cherishes freedom of speech, thought, and religion, is dead. It has been replaced by a nascent murderous Utopianism (all social Utopianism is ultimately murderous, because human beings don’t all want the same kind of utopia) that unites the Progressives who believe that their vision of social justice is the only acceptable one, worth lying for, worth killing for if it comes to that. A childhood idealist either matures out of the notion that everyone must think like they do, or becomes, if they gain sufficient power, a murderous utopian. Hitler, Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot and other mass murderers all tried to impose their vision of a perfect future. So far, the United States has not proven to be fertile ground for government sanctioned murderous idealism, despite all the patently idiotic, ignorant comparisons of Trump to Hitler.

Myth 4: Islam is the religion of peace. No, Islamophobia is a real thing, and it should be. Islam has been violent from the moment Muhammad strapped on his sword. Rape and subjugation, slavery and killing on a breathtaking scale, were the means of spreading their gospel. The very word “slave” is derived from Slav, as militant Muslims captured millions of white women from the Slavic nations, or bought them by the thousands from Viking raiders, who plundered for the profit of selling white women to the Muslims. While modern Islam complains of Islamophobia, the people of Hungary, Poland, Romania and other Eastern Europeans still remember the decimation of their wives and daughters. Muslims complain about the “Crusaders”, but that only shows how whitewashed their own history has become. The “moderate”, domesticated Muslims living in western nations are not representative of either what the Quran says, or what their bloody history shows. The real reason the vocal, militant Muslims hate the United States is this: We dared to try to bring our doctrine of separation of church from government to them. Islam is a religion and a form of government. Nothing threatens the Islamic way of life like separation of the two. Do I hate Muslims? No, except maybe ISIS types, but my message to “moderate” Muslims is: embrace the truth about the history of your faith; you personally are not responsible for the atrocities others of your faith have committed, but stop lying about it and whining about not being trusted; win others over by your deeds and words rather than by complaining, playing the sympathy card or trying to silence your critics by force or influence.

Myth 5: The LGBTQ behaviors are harmless and every bit as natural as heterosexuality. No, Homophobia is a real thing, and it should be. If homosexual activists were honest about their “lifestyle”, most discussions would concern genitals: whose they are using, where and how they are using them, how their use differs from heterosexuals. But no, do you ever read or hear about that? Virtually all LGBTQ literature, demonstrations, and complaints are about anything and everything except their actual sexual practices. They never cease demanding more rights, more suppression of dissent to their claims, less freedom of speech to anyone who finds homosexuality distasteful. When the sympathy card doesn’t work, you use threats and lies (Chick fil-A) to get your way. You never talk about your actual sexual behavior, like that in rare public display at gay pride marches in San Francisco. I guess the nitty gritty of gay sex is not a big support winner.

Myth 6: Gender and sex are different, and “non-binary”. No, Transphobia is a real thing, and it should be. There are two human sexes, male and female, XY and XX chromosomes in every cell. Lopping off sexual protuberances does not change the chromosomal composition of your cells. Transgenderism, and all the suppression of disagreement, and the penalties and perversion of the lexicon (deadnaming, transphobic) that go along with protecting the non-binary myth, are mainly for the purpose of demonstrating the power of progressives to impose a ridiculous, unscientific theory on the larger society. But science isn’t the final arbiter of reality. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27. Call me old fashioned, but Biblical truth was good enough for most of the historically famous scientists—Newton, Galileo, Pasteur, Wright brothers, Marie Curie, Boyle, Faraday, Pascal, Mendel, countless others—and it’s good enough for me. But you don’t believe it? You know better? What have you ever accomplished? Transphobia? Transphooey!

Myth 7: Marriage is a union of two people who love each other, regardless of their sex. No, What kind of man not only “marries” another man but is proud to call himself thewife”? I suppose I could have asked “what kind of woman ‘marries’ another woman but is proud to call herself the “husband”? The word husband has at least three meanings: male partner in a marriage, frugal manager of resources and a steward of another’s property, whereas wife has only one meaning, that of the female partner in a marriage. I will not apologize nor soft peddle my personal opinion here: Woe unto those who misappropriate our language to promote their own perverse agendas.

Celeb “climate change” hypocrisy.

Media Research Center, MRC.ORG, rated celebrity climate change hypocrites: When Leonardo DiCaprio isn’t blaming conservatives for destroying the planet, he’s cruising in his private yacht, or flying among the four houses he owns on both coasts. DiCaprio told the German newspaper Bild that he planned to “fly around the world doing good for the environment.” Like John Travolta? Does his plane run on waste plastic and belch tree seedlings? Net worth $220 million, 5 homes.

Starring in the nine-part alarmist Showtime documentary “Years of Living Dangerously,” James Cameron warned future generations were going to be left with a “world that’s in shambles” because of his movies climate change. Yet, the director owns a collection of motorcycles, cars, dirt bikes, a yacht, a helicopter, a fleet of submarines and a Humvee fire truck. Okay, the yacht makes sense after his homes are flooded, the subs can be used to check the barnacles on the yacht, but the Humvee fire truck? Is it armored? Does it have the .50 cal on top? Net worth $700 million.

According to the London Evening Standard (UK), despite telling British fans to “do their bit’ to tackle global warming,” John Travolta has been “clocking up at least 30,000 flying miles in the past 12 months“, producing an estimated 800 tons of carbon emissions, nearly 100 times the average Briton’s tally. Travolta’s solution to climate change? “I’m wondering if we need to think about other planets and dome cities.” He added that “everyone can do their bit. But I don’t know if it’s not too late already. We have to think about alternative methods of fuel.” Especially for your jets! In a rare paroxysm of honesty, he said “I’m not the best person to ask about climate change, considering how much I fly.” Net worth $165 million. 5 private jets.

In 2007, the Tennessee Center for Policy Research (now the Beacon Center of Tennessee) found that Al Gore’s “20-room home and pool house devoured nearly 221,000 kilowatt-hours in 2006, more than 20 times the national average,” according to an ABC News online story. The year he ran for President, his tax return showed total charitable contributions to be equal to the zero carbon footprint he blathers about. I guess his wife is the tipper. Net worth $300 million.

Media mogul Arianna Huffington has committed an entire section of her Huffington Post website to environmentalism and climate change alarmism, yet she herself flies in a private jet. According to Huffington, though, it’s not her jet that endangers the climate — it’s soccer moms and their SUVs. In 2003, she condemned SUV owners for “supporting terrorists,” in a series of television commercials. But when she was asked to clarify that comment by the liberal (and Soros-funded) outlet Mother Jones, she complained that “there seems to be an epidemic of literal-mindedness at the moment.” No Arianna, that’s liberal-mindedness! Net worth, $65 million.

Matt Damon can’t seem to follow his own advice on climate change. Damon’s 2012 movie “Promised Land,” which attempted to villainize the natural gas industry, was produced “in association with” Image Media Abu Dhabi, a company owned wholly by the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). According to the CIA World Factbook, UAE exported $166 billion of crude oil in 2013. The UAE is also a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Oil producing nations have been very concerned by U.S. fracking for financial (not environmental) reasons. What, Jason Bourne shilling for OPEC? Net worth $75 million.

In a new PSA for Conservation International, Julia Roberts narrated ominously. “Some call me Mother Nature. I’ve been here for over four and a half billion years–22,500 times longer than you. I don’t really need people, but people need me. Yes, your future depends on me. When I thrive, you thrive. When I falter, you falter. Or worse. But I’ve been here for eons. I have fed species greater than you, and I have starved species greater than you. My oceans. My soil. My flowing streams. My forests. They all can take you or leave you. How you choose to live each day, whether you regard or disregard me, doesn’t really matter to me. One way, or the other. Your actions will determine your fate, not mine. I am nature. I will go on. I am prepared to evolve. Are you?” Nope, not me. I don’t fly for climate change between my multi-million $$ homes and European resorts!

Gwyneth Paltrow teamed up with Cameron Diaz to encourage Americans to switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs and hybrid cars in order to combat global warming. This team effort was part of a PSA from the Environmental Media Association. To show solidarity, the actresses added that they turn off their lights when they leave their bedrooms–or when having sex–and turn their thermostats “down to 65 degrees and wear a sweater” to conserve energy. Paltrow and her ex-husband, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, were criticized for insisting on being driven .06 miles between two celebrity get-togethers in 2012. Other celebrities, including Orlando Bloom, Miranda Kerr, Jane Fonda and Amy Smart, had no problem walking between the two events. Despite stunts like this, Paltrow was ninth most influential climate change celebrity in 2011, according to The Guardian. Time magazine also listed her as one of “The 30 Most Influential People on the Internet.” Paltrow’s London, England house with Martin lost 1,020 kWh of heat a year through poor insulation, according to a report by the British news outlet Building.co.uk, which used a thermal imaging camera to calculate energy loss. So not insulating just one of your homes results in far more energy consumption than turning down thermostats saves. Oops. Net worth $60 million.

Climate Depot asked Mark Ruffalo at the 2014 People’s Climate March if people like Gore and DiCaprio are really the best spokespeople to “fight global warming” since they have huge carbon footprints, “Oh brother,” Ruffalo responded. “anyone who attacks Leonardo DiCaprio is either a coward or an ideologue.” Great answer Adolf. Apparently there is no room for thinking poorly of DiCaprio’s habits of flying around the world to attend multiple parties in the same night, or borrowing the yacht of a Middle East oil billionaire — twice. Climate isn’t the only area where Ruffalo is a hypocrite. Despite joining the Occupy Wall Street protesters to rant against wealth and the financial industry, Ruffalo himself is worth $20 million.

Satire and ridicule, the most effective enforcers of moral agency.

Satire: A literary or visual work holding up human vices and follies to ridicule or scorn, or trenchant wit, irony, or sarcasm used to expose and discredit vice or folly. Ridicule: To make fun of, either sportively and good-humoredly, or unkindly with the intention of humiliating. Moral agency: The ability and desire to act on and be accountable to a standard of behavior that represents a moral or religious philosophy higher than your own desires.

The first two definitions were from merriam Webster, the third is my own. I also want to offer an antonym, the opposite of, moral agency: The disease or excuse model of bad behavior. “I steal or I gamble with my family’s food money, even though I know it’s wrong, but I cannot help myself, due to my……upbringing, addiction, circumstances, fill in the ___________, not because I am too lazy to work, or too impulsive to delay gratification, or too undisciplined to save money.” Moral agency says “I will function according to my society’s rules and laws, as long as they don’t violate my conscience, but I am accountable to a higher power.” Here’s the problem though. What if “my society” is ISIS, or al-Queda, or a drug cartel world, or a vicious and repressive dictatorship? What if your “higher power” loves death more than life? Bad behavior on the part of immoral individuals can be dealt with by the law, moral agency can be enforced or lack of it discouraged. Can moral agency be enforced if people are doing evil under the belief that their evil is good?

Yesterday I presented ridicule of the idea of the death fatwa by Larry David in his “fatwa sex” episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. I also mentioned the British satire called The Real Housewives of ISIS. So how are satire and ridicule effective enforcers of moral agency? More specifically, the moral agency of preserving human life and human freedom, as opposed to the upside down “moral agency” of killing and oppression by a warped sense of what God wants, which I assert is really a coverup of their own bloodlust and sexual lust (see my post entitled Lust Rules the World). Try this thought experiment: ISIS effectively used videos to recruit their foreign minions by exaggerating their exploits and portraying their cause as something to give meaning to the lives of their recruits. Imagine an “equal time” rule whereby every ISIS video had to be followed by a Western “unrecruitment” video. Wouldn’t the best counter to their false promises of glory be laughter at them?

Example: ISIS brides are discussing the coming beheading party, and complaining “I have nothing to wear to the beheading” when a fifth bride comes in modeling a suicide vest, twirling around while bragging about the quality of the Semtex. One of the four brides snidely exclaims “you stole my outfit, you copycat! That’s what I was going to wear”, as they start uploading snide Instagrams of each other. Compare that to a more didactic video trying to lay down the facts about their propaganda. Satire would win. Humor wins. How do I know? The French magazine Charlie Hedbo was physically attacked, staffers were killed, over cartoons. Any joke, cartoon, sketch or video satirizing any aspect of Islam is subject to death fatwas, bombings, shootings or media outrage, while Christians and Jews (especially) can laugh at themselves or their own foibles. Truth is not threatened by humor or satire, lies take themselves so seriously that threats and violence are preferred to debate.