Jewish date: 16 ’Iyyar 5770 (Parashath ’Emor).
Today’s holidays: Day 31 of the ‘Omer (Judaism), Feast Day of Pius V (Roman Catholicism), Feast Day of St. Elvis Costello (Church of the SubGenius), Walpurgis Eve (Thelema).
Worthy causes of the day: “We want the DISCLOSE Act - A project of Senator Russ Feingold, Senator Patrick Leahy, and Senator Chuck Schumer” and action.firedoglake.com | Sign the petition to President Obama: End plans for offshore drilling“”.
Topic 1: Today’s dose of anti-Semitism: “In-Depth Media Analysis: BBC: January 1- March 31, 2010”. Much effort has gone into quantifying bias in the BBC’s reporting.
Topic 2: “'South Park' and the Informal Fatwa”, “South Park”, and “‘South Park’: Drawing a Line in the Sand”. These articles deal with the recent censorship of South Park. South Park is a cartoon which reportedly vile and insults practically everyone, the sort of thing which if all the vileness were removed would result in little or no show at all. If only show on television were going to be censored, this would be near or at the top of the list. And yet people are complaining that an episode of South Park has been censored. Why? Because what was censored was a depiction of Muḥammad, the prophet of Islam due to an ambiguous death threat; rather than maintain the show’s reputation for equal-opportunity offense, Comedy Central caved and decided to treat Islam a lot better than it treated other religions. This is a form of the logical fallacy appeal to force, in which one wrongly assumes that whoever is going to hurt someone else if he/she does not get his/her way must be right. Not to mention caving in to threats teaches people that making threats works; as a result, it is now more likely that there will be threats the next time Muslims are offended. And the more threats work, the more endangered is our freedom of speech. You should be ashamed, Comedy Central, for caving.
Topic 3: For today’s religious humor: “HAVING MISPLACED BOTH THE CHESS SET AND THE VIOLIN”:
Hint: The Seventh Seal and “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”.
Peace and Shabbath shalom.