Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Youtube's Censorship of Free Speech Regarding Religion


I hope this post still works, because for one reason or another, it has taken a rather circuitous path to get where it has.

Though it is basically a tale of censorship, and in my case as a UK resident, one of censorship and copyright, the underlying theme is one of disappointment.

Disappointment, great disappointment in where we as a species are headed. In an age and in a period of our history when we should be glorying in, and of our own enlightenment, there are still great swathes of humanity, whose purpose and intent is that we remain, or even less unacceptable, regress to a pre-industrial era of superstition and theocracy.

For those that would have us remain, and in a period far earlier than pre-industrial, earlier by a millennium or more in fact, of them, the followers of the Prophet Mohamed, there is no hope whatsoever. No hope whatsoever that those of the Islamic faith will ever embrace modernity or enlightenment. But as we know, content as they might be to live by the dark ages edicts of an illiterate bandit, there is no such contentment that the rest of us are disinclined to embrace their particular brand of mythology.

The refusal to accept the science of what we are doing to our planet apart, the tenets of Islam constitute one the greatest threats imaginable to a civilised, just and harmonious society.

But, but, yes I hear you, I know your argument; what about the rest of them, the Christian fundamentalists, are they any better? Simply, no.

Are they in fact worse? Only in the fact that Christianity has been replaced as the religion of death they're not; and I'll truck no argument from anybody, that Islam is anything other than this. Fundamental to its core, if you don't accept its teachings your dead. Well, if you open your mouth to say as much you are, let alone tweet such thoughts, but of the tweets, we will look a little later to one of the featured videos.

It's not my intention to turn this post into us and them, or my God is bigger than your God kind of thing, because quite frankly, I think both sides are insane, only by varying degrees. But as it is their turn under the spotlight, let us see to what degree, they disappoint us in terms of our modern day society. And to do this, there is no better place to look than the politics of the Christian right of America.

At which point reason, regarding religion and politics in American public life, ceased to be part of the equation, I couldn't really say, I have only been observing such things since 2006, but nonetheless, extremism was every bit as present then as now. The outrageous inclusion of 'faith' and politics that we see so inextricably mixed today, was as I say, still at the forefront of political life then. The most astounding example would have had to have been in a televised 2007 Presidential debate candidates, when asked to raise their hands if they don't believe in evolution, Sen. Sam Brownback, Gov. Mike Huckabee and Rep. Tom Tancredo all said they do not.

My point being, is it so very far removed from having Mullahs in charge of the running of a country?

Two more short clips, where the response of the audience is quite frightening.

Here's a short bonus clip, just forty three seconds, it's enough.

Bad enough then that this blatant religiosity is such a part of modern politics, but even worse, is the extreme platform that today's politicians, both those already elected and potential candidates, adopt as though somehow being quite reasonable and acceptable. But those platforms are anything but reasonable and acceptable, they are in fact nothing less than biblical.

Already we see around the US such policies in force, and more on the way each passing day. And everyone of those policies the recipient is a female; how could it not be when the legislation, semantics apart, comes straight out of the Bible, written when I ask?

Again bad enough, that these policies are being implemented by those already in office, but to actually run as a candidate for POTUS with a platform based on such fables, just staggers the imagination. And perhaps even more staggering, these policies are looked on favourably by no small percentage of the electorate.

Bringing us full circle, back to disappointment in what should be an enlightened period in our history as a species.

So what exactly was it that caused me to write about this disappointment? To answer that question we have to look at the recent behaviour of an organisation that should epitomise enlightenment, Google/Youtube. It should, but it doesn't; not when it starts to censor content based on religion, could anything really be more disappointing than that I ask?

I am going to make use of a few screenshots, both to explain my path to this sorry state of affairs and to clarify certain points, a picture being worth a thousand words blah blah.

We start off with something I re-tweeted.

Coincidentally, the featured video was the same one as in my own digest alert from Youtube.

Let's see what all the fuss is about says I. Therein lay a problem.

This because the clip contained a few seconds of Richard Dawkins taken from his Root of All Evil. A program I am fully entitled to watch in this country by the way, via Channel iplayer. Let's leave the logic of that one out of it all and move straight on.

Looking at the associated videos, I came up with this from the Amazing Atheist, who, if you pick them out, makes some germane and salient points.

24 hours later:

It seems Youtube has had a change of heart regarding its policy, shown below.

So much for enlightenment in the 21st century.

Why such a reversal on the part of Youtube? Enter Isaac Newton and his third law, for every action ....

Ah so! Not only that, with a thousand others mirroring the clip, we can kiss the copyright issue goodbye, it just becomes unenforceable. And of course, then allowing me to view the clip in question.

But the critical thing here, is not the content per say, inoffensive that it is, but that, quote: Youtube's professional team of moderators reviewed these videos and impartially came to the conclusion that they did not confirm to Youtube's stated policy.

To other little note worthies regarding this video; enter the tweets, and yer man ain't never going to get an Oscar

And one of the offending videos, the Best Emotional Porn, below for you to take offence at.

Most people will look at communal animals, and their need to be in groups will be outstandingly obvious. However people are that taken up by the first person perspective of life, that they don't immediately recognize their own biological need to be in groups. Its not just a preference, its biologically hardwired into your brain. Being with friends is good, and being with powerful friends is even better. It is therefore unsurprising that if you are going to fantasise about a friendship, that as the rewards are better for having a powerful invisible friend, than a weak one, that most people end up having a 'relationships' with an ultrapowerful god.

It is hard to contest that there are real emotional rewards yielded from such fantasies, and I have no problem with that. However when these fantasies have destructive effects on the society around those who hold them it becomes an issue. Indeed the extent to which such fantasies can pervert and corrupt a member of society are aptly summed up in William Lane Craig. Arguably the strongest interpersonal behavior is that of protecting infants. William Lane Craigs religion perverts his behavior to such an extent that he will happily justify putting a sword through a babies skull with a smile on his face and a tune in his heart knowing that, according to his fantasy, that the infant received an infinite good as a consequence of him killing it.

Banned video list.

Rules on (emotional) masturbation.

The end.


The Sad Race for Bottom on the Loony Right

As Santorum and Romney battle for the extremist vote, progressives should be worried, not gloating.
Robert B. Reich
February 27, 2012

My father was a Republican for the first 78 years of his life. For the last twenty, he’s been a Democrat (he just celebrated his 98th.) What happened? “They lost me,” he says.

They’re losing even more Americans now, as the four remaining GOP candidates seek to out-do one another in their race for the votes of the loony right that’s taken over the Grand Old Party.

But the rest of us have reason to worry.

A party of birthers, creationists, theocrats, climate-change deniers, nativists, gay-bashers, anti-abortionists, media paranoids, anti-intellectuals, and out-of-touch country clubbers cannot govern America.

Yet even if they lose the presidency on Election Day they’re still likely to be in charge of at least one house of Congress as well as several state legislators and governorships. That’s a problem for the nation.

The GOP’s drift toward loopyness started in 1993 when Bill Clinton became the first Democrat in the White House in a dozen years – and promptly allowed gays in the military, pushed through the Brady handgun act, had the audacity to staff his administration with strong women and African-Americans, and gave Hillary the task of crafting a national health bill. Bill and Hillary were secular boomers with Ivy League credentials who thought government had a positive role to play in peoples’ lives.

This was enough to stir right-wing evangelicals in the South, social conservatives in the Midwest and on the Great Plains, and stop-at-nothing extremists in Washington and the media who hounded Bill Clinton for eight years, then stole the 2000 election from Al Gore, and Swift-boated John Kerry in 2004.

They were not pleased to have a Democrat back in the White House in 2008, let alone a black one. They rose up in the 2010 election cycle as “tea partiers” and have by now pushed the GOP further right than it has been in more than eighty years. Even formerly sensible senators like Olympia Snowe, Orrin Hatch, and Dick Lugar are moving to the extreme right in order to keep their seats.

At this rate the GOP will end up on the dust heap of history. Young Americans are more tolerant, cosmopolitan, better educated, and more socially liberal than their parents. And relative to the typical middle-aged America, they are also more Hispanic and more shades of brown. Today’s Republican Party is as relevant to what America is becoming as an ice pick in New Orleans.

In the meantime, though, we are in trouble. America is a winner-take-all election system in which a party needs only 51 percent (or, in a three-way race, a plurality) in order to gain control.

In parliamentary systems of government, small groups representing loony fringes can be absorbed relatively harmlessly into adult governing coalitions.

But here, as we’re seeing, a loony fringe can take over an entire party — and that party will inevitably take over some part of our federal, state, and local governments.

As such, the loony right is a clear and present danger. Alternet


Anonymous said...

4:06 The voice of that monstrous woman Becky Fischer, shouting "I'm here for an education", sets my teeth on edge. It seems so strange to me, parents who take their kids to an executioner of children. I'll read the rest tomorrow, must away to the feathers, later then. M

News Of Religious Tolerance said...

Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Powered by God?

Himself said...

Did you ever watch the full 'Jesus Camp' Maren?

These should keep you out of mischief for an hour or two.

Or just Google image, religious kitsch.

I've gone for the Lego Jesus, I like that one.

Anonymous said...

Himself said...

Good for them.

It is for the Allah wallahs to live in the present, not for the rest of us revert to the Dark Age.

Dark Age, aprox 400AD to a 1000AD and Muhammed was born?

Bang in the middle, or thereabouts.