I suppose the news has spread far enough now that a long-winded introduction to the situation isn’t necessary, but on Friday night, a group of supposedly coordinated attacks (I say supposedly, because while much of it was coordinated, the bombing of the stadium where the football match between the French and the Germans was taking place didn’t see as much–or really, and carnage.) on the French capital by terrorists claiming links to the Islamic State.

Note the refreshing lack of AMERIKA FUK YA LETS GO BOMB ALL MUSLIMS in my tone–aside from that very obvious satire, that is. This is because while there is no doubt that the attacks were carried out by Islamic terrorists, many on the right seem to forget that most Muslims are people just like us. While the IS does have a sizable contingent of supporters in the more radically-conservative, religiously-literal Middle Eastern states, and ostensibly some in the West, there is also an equally-, if not considerably more sizable number of Muslims that oppose them. However, Islamic scripture, much like all religious doctrines, relies heavily on interpretation to achieve value and support, and this is part-and-parcel of not only the sheer diversity present in the three major Abrahamic religions, among others such as Hinduism and Sikhism, but also the main issue with religious literalism.

Now I suppose you find yourself asking what exactly this has to do with the Paris attacks, so give me a paragraph or two and I’ll explain;

The Quran, as with the Bible’s Old Testament (and the New to some degree, as I have read both cover-to-cover as an exercise in understanding them from an atheist point of view) and the Torah / Talmud, all push religious conquest to varying degrees and through different means. While the Bible’s New Testament takes a decidedly more humane and pacifistic approach, favoring proselytisation and evangelism over violence, the Old is a different story, as it is from the Old Testament where Christian literalists gather much of their false justification for condemning homosexuals (and in the case of the KKK, inciting violence against minorities). Likewise, there is a significant base of verses in the Quran that support violence against nonbelievers, much to the same degree as there are verses that support peaceful conversion.

I hope the Muslims and Christians reading this post don’t take this as unfounded bigotry on my part, as this certainly was not my intention. I live in a part of Toronto where there is no shortage of Muslims, and they are no threat to me so I do not consider them such. I don’t hate Muslims. I don’t hate Christians. I don’t hate Jews. I don’t hate anyone of faith. What I, as well as many others including people like Ali Amjad Rizvi are saying is that Muslims should try and see their scripture and beliefs from the point of view of an outsider before spewing  vitriol at us.

As for what all this has to do with the subject of religious literalism, it’s really quite simple: IS and other terror groups take advantage of the notion that the loudest get the most attention. In the case of Islamic terror like that of IS, this usually means taking a book at face value and using it as justification to kill innocents instead of really taking the time to go into depth about why and how the Quran says what it does about violence, and what it all actually means. The Abrahamic religions may claim to promote peace, but as history up until this point has proven, they never really seem to follow their own words. This does not mean that the billions of people who follow these religions are inherently violent-natured. In fact, it means quite the opposite. A book promoting violence in any way does not mean one has to listen to it, and many Muslims do not.

 

In short, Muslims are not responsible for the attacks in Paris. This is misdirection of blame. The people really responsible are psychopathic religious literalists–those who don’t question why scripture says something, and whether it would be wise to follow it exactly, and instead follow it blindly as if it were law. Do not blame the faith, blame the way its governing scripture was written.

 

music

I decided to do A Thing and give FinnOtaku’s medley a cleaner, more transparent master along with some minor patch changes.

Sytrus (Gold saw preset) -> SuperWave Professional (Generic supersaw)

3x OSC (Sinepulse #1) ->  chipsounds (SGB Pulse)

3x OSC (Sinepulse #2) -> SW Trance-Pro (Ramp/Saw superwave)

misc drum sample changes

Download here, because the file is too large to be hosted locally.

music

Some updates for the first time in what seems like fivever (yes, FIVEver, not forever.); so let’s get down to business.

First up, I changed the layout of the site and added a new background, care of the same artist who I commissioned the transparent portraits from. Upon changing the layout I had to modify the header again to display my logo because people love putting basic features like that behind paywalls if you want simplicity.

Second, two new MIDIs were uploaded this week, linked below:

 

These are from the relatively new Generation VI Pokémon remakes, Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire for the Nintendo 3DS. They don’t appear in the original games (Ruby, Sapphire or Emerald), as the GBA hardware did not support games of this size or 3D games in general. Both have been uploaded to VGMusic, YouTube and FA as of this post.

furries

So, got more art done of my characters recently, specifically of Judas Numidius this go around, and by the same artist, no less.

Jude [Timber-K]

This guy–often called Jude by those he meets–is a minor deity of sorts on my Manaverse world (though not actually a full deity) responsible for ferrying messages around. Though, he is related by blood to the god of water, so he also has dominion over all things water. His primary dominions, though, are speed and the mind. He’s the messenger, after all, he needs to be able to deliver messages no matter how they’re stored.

Click the link above the image in the opening sentence for more, and once again, thanks Timber!

politics

Today, the Harper Conservatives had their first chance to make major changes to Canada’s health care since getting a majority government, and they launched a brutal sneak attack.

They just sabotaged the Health Accord that protects equal care for all Canadians, and they’re cutting your public health funding by $36 billion over the next 10 years.1 2 It’s the start of Harper’s long-term plan to destroy our public health care system, and we have to stop it. The Canada Health Accord is the deal between the federal government and the provinces that ensures proper funding, equal access, and high standards for the health care we all rely on.3

Prime Minister Harper has always wanted to replace public care with an American-style for-profit system. He made his career by leading the National Citizen’s Coalition, an organization founded by a wealthy insurance broker determined to destroy Canada’s medicare.4

But here’s the thing – he knows that 94% of Canadians, including most conservatives, support national public health care.5 That’s why he’s trying to sabotage the system quietly by cutting $36 billion over 10 years and breaking the pact that all Canadians should get equal care, no matter what province you live in.6  

By pulling out of the agreement, cutting billions in transfers, and letting standards fall across the country, Prime Minister Harper will undermine our public health system. If he succeeds, cash-starved provinces will face intense pressure to let America’s titanic for-profit companies buy into our system and give us worse care for higher prices.7

Harper knows that if Canadians learn about this, he could lose the next election. We need to raise the alarm, right now, before the worst damage is done to force this government to make a new deal.

–Leadnow.ca, http://www.leadnow.ca/defend-health-care/
 

First, let me preface this by saying that yes, I am a liberal blogger, and yes, if you are a hardcore Harperite, you should fuck right off back to SUN News, as you’re not welcome here.

With that out of the way, we need to stop this. Right now. No ifs, ands or buts. This is a travesty of a proposal that will have guaranteed disastrous results, especially for people in provinces with financial issues such as myself in ON. Harper knows full well this will largely affect the mideast provinces and the Maritimes, since he is of the opinion that the east is a cesspool of welfare bums and—-GASP—-Liberal/NDP voters. I’ve got news for you, Harper; I sent this to an Anon-affiliated Twitter account, so word will spread. Fast. This will NOT go unnoticed. Prepare to lose the next election even with your UNfair Elections Act.

music

Currently listening to some of the Mario Kart 8 soundtrack on BCM, and I’m curious how Nintendo keeps managing to one-up (hehehe, terrible puns are my specialty) themselves over and over and over with their music. Aside from the fact that Mario Kart 8 is a Wii U system seller (gee Nintendo games sure are good at being those aren’t they?), and that its graphics, from what I’ve seen on YouTube, are far from being inferior to well, anything (and the game runs at 60FPS to boot, or so I’ve heard), the music is just plain amazing. The one I’m listening to at the moment–Cloudtop Cruise–manages to take one of the best tracks from the Mario Galaxy duology and make it many, many times better than its source–the Gusty Garden Galaxy theme. I have no idea how Nintendo managed to pull this off, but they did, and it’s just amazing to listen to.

Continue reading

general

Gonna be a short post, but if you’d scroll up to the top of the page (and maybe CTRL-F5), you’d notice that there’s an actual logo graphic there now. That, along with the new shortcut icon, was a result of me abusing the eraser tool in Photoshop. Woo!

politics

So, polls have closed here in Ontario for the election that NDP leader Andrea Horwath forced (and summarily lost) by defeating the proposed Liberal budget. She and Tim Hudak’s PCs basically sealed their fates by defeating a good provincial budget with huge set0asides for public transit and adhering to a platform that literally nobody wanted, respectively. And guess what? According to the latest numbers, provided by the Globe in the handy-dandy Twitter link at the top of this post, they shot themselves in the foot and… allowed a Liberal majority to form. Good job, NDP and PC!

 

Latest numbers pin the Liberals at 58 seats (majority mandate here in Ontario requires 54), the PCs at 28 and the NDP at 21. Good riddance, fascist Conservatives.

politics

https://openmedia.ca/news/govt-under-huge-pressure-its-new-privacy-commissioner-tells-mps-online-spying-proposals-must-be-remo

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/daniel-therrien-grilled-on-views-about-police-powers-in-cyberbullying-bill-1.2670736

 

Therrien showed some teeth when he told MPs last week that the cyberbullying bill should be split in two​​ — in effect siding with the opposition parties and a growing list of privacy experts who have urged the government to hive off the surveillance-related provisions in the bill into a separate piece of legislation.

[…]

Conservative MP Kyle Seeback said “transmission data is actually a very narrow snippet of metadata.”

“Would you not agree with that or or do you disagree with the police?” he asked Therrien.

“All these people are saying we need this,” Seeback said.

Therrien said transmission data is more than just information one finds in an old phone book.

“It has information about location of individuals, sites being consulted, several types of information that are well beyond what was found in phone books. That, I do think, is personal data and deserves higher protection,” he told MPs on the committee.

This is definitely a very good thing, especially for CRUSH members who were initially quite skeptical of Therrien’s appointment directly from Harper’s inner circle. It shows that some CPC members (Mayrand being a good example) still value integrity and very much still have the spine to stand up to Harper’s bullying.

For those in- or outside Canada who aren’t fully aware of the ramifications of Bill C-13, under it, any organisation or individual with ties to any level of government would essentially be able to access your personal data and communications metadata without a warrant, so it’s fairly obvious why many privacy experts, opposition MPs and even some CPC MPs like Therrien are against the provisions in Bill C-13.