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What Kills More Unborn Babies: God or Abortions?

October 23, 2012 3 comments

A Disclaimer

This is one of my longer posts.  I’m hoping to bring things back to about 1/3 the length and to lighter subjects in the near future.  But because I don’t post often, consider this to be a few posts worth in one update.

Today I’m going to, as the title says, look at who kills more babies: God or Planned Parenthood/abortions.  I am then going to look at the implications of that information.

Normally I write more traditional, attention-getting introductions.  I like to start with a story that makes this personal and then segue into my topic. Today I’m not doing that.

Sometimes I start with a disclaimer of sorts, and I will do that.

Read the entire post.  I don’t care how it makes you feel.  If you clicked on the link you were interested enough in what I had to say, so read it all.

When I get comments from people telling me that I missed the point I’ll know that they probably didn’t read the whole post.

You’ve been warned.

The Assumptions

Before I begin the showdown, as it were, I’m going to define my terms.

I…I think that counts.

First, so that nobody can accuse me of too much bias, I’m going to define things as follows: life begins at the moment of fertilization, regardless of implantation upon the uterine walls.  Scientifically and medically, implantation is the key moment at which pregnancy starts.  I am using fertilization because it is the most conservative (in all senses of the word) way of defining the issue of “life” and pregnancy.

Second, I will be explaining a lot as I go along, but in strict terms, abortion refers only to human intervention affecting implantation and/or termination of the pregnancy afterwards.  In other words, I am again being conservative and assuming that emergency contraceptives such as Plan B actually end a life, rather than prevent a pregnancy.

Finally, I am taking the strictly and vehemently pro-life stance that any abortion, regardless of the reasons for it, is wrong.  Thus, many of the numbers I will quote will be abortions conducted for the health of the mother or in cases of rape or incest.  However, reasons are irrelevant here, on both sides.

If those of you who are pro-life are sitting there cheering at how this isn’t even a contest because of the way I’ve defined things, hold on to your hats.  Shit is about to get very real for you.

It’s nothing, if not tasteful. Please see my cover letter if you’d like to hire me to do graphic design work for you.

The Throwdown: Planned Parenthood and General Abortions

To start, Planned Parenthood estimates their total abortions per year to be roughly 300,000.

Based upon research conducted by the Guttmacher Institute, it is estimated that the total abortions per year actually numbers at about 1.3 million.

For those keeping tally at home:

Planned Parenthood – 300,000 (23% of total abortions)
Total Abortions – 1.3 million

The Throwdown: God’s Numbers

This, my friends, is where things get complicated.  Those staunchly pro-life and religious that, somehow, are reading this, will probably say there is no way God actually has any numbers to count.  But based upon the strict definitions that the most conservative pro-life standpoints argue (and that I noted above), this is untrue.

God loving the fetus, or lamenting it before it becomes another statistic?

With that said, these numbers were harder to count.  I could easily spin the statistics in favor of abortions by any method, but I figured I’d give a few ways that those numbers work out so as to avoid anybody saying I totally ignored some fact.

So I will start with a first set of numbers, based solely upon “natural” terminations of pregnancy including stillbirth, miscarriage and premature delivery resulting in death.

I included the latter because even with modern medical intervention, some premature babies don’t make it.  With that said, the pregnancy was technically “ended” early by natural means, so this one is on God’s head.  (I could, if I wanted to spin this more, include any premature birth, as prior to modern medicine this would have been a death sentence for the baby.  However, while I may be biased—see below—I do not want to be that blatant about it.)  This, to the best of my ability, only counts those that ended immediately in death.  That is to say, I did not includedeaths a year after the premature birth.

After this, I will include a second set of numbers will be all babies lost due to pregnancy complications.  This number is far wider and harder to keep track of, so I included both numbers because I figure it can provide a more even picture of how much baby death is on God’s hands.

Seeing as the general idea of this post is who kills more babies, it seems only fair to count infant death that results from complications of pregnancy against God.  You may argue otherwise, but if life begins at fertilization, anything related to pregnancy after that point has to necessarily be fair game.  You cannot arbitrarily cut off anything attributed to God after the baby leaves the uterus, as that would not credit him with the variety of problems that result from pregnancy.

One final note on God’s numbers: pregnancy loss can be categorized many ways.  While miscarriages and stillbirths are—it would seem—easily noted and reported, early pregnancy loss can occur well before a woman is aware she is pregnant.  As such, early pregnancy loss numbers are often difficult to compile and may be much higher than reported.  I have thus decided to include an additional section to account for those factors.

All of the following is based upon statistics pulled from these three sources and Wikipedia.

The Guttmacher Institute estimates that about 6.7 million pregnancies are reported in the US each year.  Two thirds are live births, a fifth are abortions and the rest are miscarriage.

This graph from Google, which errs on the conservative side of the numbers, still paints a bleak picture. It’s not looking good for the Big Guy.

Based upon the math that the Guttmacher Institute provides, these numbers are our results for the first category: 6.7 million pregnancies, 4.48 million live births, 1.34 million abortions, 880,000 miscarriages.  hopeXchange estimates about 26,000 stillbirths per year.  Additionally, the American Pregnancy Association estimates that 64,000 women per year lose pregnancies through ectopic pregnancy and 6,000 women through molar pregnancies.

For that second category, statistics indicate that 19,000 infants die in the first month and 39,000 in the first year.  This appears, to the best of my ability to narrow it down, to be limited to those caused by complications resulting from pregnancy in some way.

Finally, the numbers based upon early, underreported or unreported pregnancy loss.  hopeXchange estimates that up to 40% of all conceptions result in pregnancy loss (with many of the women being unaware of a pregnancy in the first place, and thus ending up being unreported).

Other estimates are far less forgiving.  One study found that 25% of all pregnancies abort by 6 weeks, while other studies place that as high as 50% of pregnancies.  In either case, these spontaneous abortions are not recognized by the woman because it occurred so early she was unaware of pregnancy in the first place.

So let’s look at those numbers and work backward to see what number are spontaneous abortions.  If one assumes that 6.7 million pregnancies occur each year and are known, and half of all pregnancies (from conception onward) result in spontaneous abortion, that means that—based upon the 50% estimate—6.7 million pregnancies are lost each year.  Even with the more conservative 25% number, we still end up with about 1.6 million pregnancies are lost before the woman is even aware she is pregnant.

Now let’s recap those numbers and total them for God:

First Set of Numbers:
Miscarriages: 880,000
Stillbirth: 26,000
Ectopic Pregnancy: 64,000
Molar Pregnancy: 6,000
Total pregnancy losses for group 1: 976,000

Second Set of Numbers
Infants lost in first month: 19,000
Infants lost in first year: 39,000
Total infants lost due to complications: 58,000
Total pregnancies lost, including infants: 1,034,000

Third Set of Numbers:
Infants lost in first month: 19,000
Infants lost in first year: 39,000
Total infants lost due to complications: 58,000
Pregnancies lost at 25% estimate: 1.6 million
Pregnancies lost at 50% estimate:  6.7 million
Total pregnancies lost at 25%: 2.6 million
Total pregnancies lost at 50%: 7.7 million

The Throwdown: Who Loses?

Let me be clear here: we are discussing pregnancies ending.  There is no winner.  There is only who does more damage.  That is something I’ll talk about shortly, though.  Let’s focus solely on numbers for now.

Based upon those numbers, I have reached the following conclusions.  I am presenting them in easy-to-digest list format:

  1. If one only does PP vs. God, God loses at 3x as many babies killed.
  2. If one figures total abortions vs. God, abortions lose. God kills 75% of the amount that we do by abortion.
  3. When one includes post-birth deaths, God kills 80% of the babies that people do through abortion.
  4. If you consider the last group of numbers, unreported pregnancies, god kills between two to six times as many babies as all people.  That’s 200-600%.

What’s the point?

Part of the “experimental” nature of this particular post was not equivocating at all in the introductory portion.  Normally, on a subject as particularly contentious as this, I might make the effort to ensure that my intentions are clear.

Also, I consider myself irreverent.  I’m bad at serious, even when I’m being serious.  But to me, this topic isn’t serious.  Neither God nor PP nor abortions, in my mind, kill babies.  So over-the-top and offensive as it may be to some, this post is more an exercise in dark humor, than anything.

But I didn’t want people to know whether I considered this actual ironclad logic or just a tongue-in-cheek showdown.  The answer is, really, a tiny bit of the former and a significant portion of the latter.

So then you might ask, what is the point?  Was I just trying to piss people off and get views? Clearly, yes.  But there also is a point buried in those statistics.

My point is that abortion is a ridiculously complex issue that cannot simply be boiled down to when life begins and how to avoid “taking” said life.  Rather, we must consider all aspects of the issue and ultimately, I would argue, leave the decision about abortion in the hands of women.

I could write an entire post about the intricacies and difficulties of this, but I believe that women should decide if abortion is right for them on their own, without the government interfering.  Especially because some women do not see the fetus as being a life, and some women do not believe in the religion that says—somewhere in the Bible, like it always does—how wrong it is.  This is not a decision for the state, but for the individuals involved.

But then, what do we do with the women who, unaware they were pregnant, accidentally caused a miscarriage through consumption of alcohol or punishing physical activity?  Do we try them all as murderers?  Do we ignore that?

But where this leads is neither here nor there.  I do not want to get bogged down in the intricacies of the debate, but rather only what my post might mean for it, if anything at all.

A Short Note on my Biases

There is no possible way this could be biased.

I am a firm believer in laying out my biases.  It is my belief that biases are the author’s most powerful tool.  When they are present but invisible, the audience runs the risk of being swayed in one direction.  When they are present but overly visible, it’s Fox News.

But when they are present, visible and acknowledged it means the author has to, in my mind, step outside of himself and accept that he is seeing things a certain way.  In doing so, the biases remain but, I feel, the power shifts to the reader, who can then decide if the information presented is still appropriate, even when examined in light of a known bias.

For that reason, I’ll openly state that I am not a fan of organized religion.  I am socially progressive, and I believe that abortion should be available to any who feel they need it.  (I’ll get more into that in a little bit.)  It is my belief that were religion to be robbed of its power in terms of this argument that the science and our own ethics would lead us to accept, rationally, that abortion must rightly be available to women as an option in order to maximize social good.

I do not, however, wish to undermine anybody’s belief in religion.  So while I speak harshly of God in the following passages, do not mistake my distaste for his presence in this issue with an attempt to dissuade you of religion.  Rather, I just feel that this is one place where religion needs to either step aside and let humans make the decision free of God, or find a way to cope with the social changes that are taking place.

Let me also be clear that when I sat down to see how these numbers added up I had no idea what it would look like.  Had it turned out the other way I would still have written a post, and it would look much different.  I don’t know that my convictions against religion’s place in this argument would be nearly as strong.  You do not have to believe me, but I am making it clear now that my intentions with this post are, really, the exploration of a new idea toward simply gathering knowledge.

God’s Plan

(Please note, I will capitalize “God” when I speak of the Christian deity, but I will not go to the effort of capitalizing pronouns because he is not my god, and I also just think it’s silly. Call me lazy, but it’s not happening.  It’s not a habit and I don’t care enough about it to take the time.)

I’m glad God things the universe is akin to playing sports.

Ultimately, what I have shown above is that as a result of natural or supernatural influence, more than 0 women per year lose pregnancies.  That is to say, either God or Allah or whatever deity, or nature, decides to terminate the pregnancy.

There is no conceivable rhyme or reason to the people upon whom this potentially devastating turn of events falls.  Sometimes women who were raped end up carrying children to term and sometimes women who want nothing more than a child of their own genes find out they cannot have one, and anytime they do it terminates.

Simply put, there is no outwardly rational decision-making process behind what pregnancies nature/God ends and what stays.  Because of that, many women suffer unnecessarily, either because of pregnancies that should never have happened or because of pregnancies that should have but never came to term.

To the pro-lifer who believes life begins at fertilization of the fetus, every single one of those pregnancies ended a life.  In this sense, the only difference between us doing it and nature doing it is the reason behind it.

For those not familiar with utilitarianism, a grossly boiled down version of it is that what is right is what does the most good for the most people.

Currently, we are not doing that.  Not in the slightest.  My super-boiled-down version of utilitarianism would, then, argue that we provide the option to provide the most happiness to the most people.  In other words, we can control who is forced to carry what child to term.  This means increased happiness (or a better chance at it, perhaps) in the life of the pregnant woman, as well as eliminating the chance of unhappiness on the part of the would-be child.

That may seem somewhat coldhearted, but ultimately we do not know that the child’s life would be all sunshine and giggles.  I cannot imagine the life of a child born of rape being without difficulties, even if he was living in an adopted family.

If all unwanted pregnancies ended in strange and depressing, yet oddly charming, musical numbers maybe we wouldn’t need abortions.

In other words, we have it in us to correct some of the failings of nature.  Pregnancy is indiscriminate and without intent.  It happens when it happens and doesn’t when it doesn’t and it terminates on its own when it does.  What abortion allows is an option for us to provide agency to these outcomes in an attempt to maximize happiness.  That is, of course, assuming there is no intent behind those actions.

Now, the only way that one could reconcile the problems I listed above is to assume that there is a grand design behind these decisions, but that said design is not visible to us.  In other words, that a rapist being pregnant and seeing a reminder of her violation in the face of a child makes sense, while the woman facing perpetual miscarriage is also part of some grand design.  We just can’t see it, but it is all part of some plan.

Since it is unlikely that nature likes to reward rapists—and is unfortunately just as unlikely that it likes to punish them—the only actor whose means and intent could be unknowable would be a deity.  Since America is largely (and in my view, unfortunately) composed of Christians, the presumed “actor” in this case is, well, God.

So this goes into God’s plan.  Because God has one, as most Christians will tell you, and when little kids die of diseases and murderers and rapists live long lives, it’s because he totally intends it that way. I, for one, am not content to assume—in light of all the evidence to the contrary—that God’s plan for us is ultimately benevolent. Consider, the next time we discuss reproductive rights, if God’s plan so far has made any sense.

Ultimately what my little argument above intended to lay out was that God is responsible for greater than 0 deaths every year—deaths that his believers tend to consider unborn children.  Deaths that the same believers consider ultimately sinful to end.  And yet, it is okay for God to do so in His plan, but not okay for us to do so to maximize social good.

Thank you, Philosoraptor, for summing up my post in a meme.

That is the crux of my argument.  That God is ensnared in the same moral quandary that pro-life believers will use to try to dissuade those advocating choice.  That is a life, it is wrong to end a life, and thus we should not end it.

But if God is benevolence, omnipotence and omniscience incarnate, then he could not engage in any act—by definition of those traits—that would be immoral.  He simply could not end those pregnancies if it were wrong.  Pro-life: 0, Pro-choice: 1.

But let’s say that, somehow, we still have a strawman of a pro-lifer that says that even then, killing those babies is wrong.  God knows it, God is still benevolent, but it is part of his plan an ultimately it leads to benevolence, even if the means to that end isn’t necessarily so.

To accept that premise we’d have to accept one of two things: first, that God either does not consider those fetuses as “alive” or that God is capable of immoral actions if the good from it is greater.  Which means that, if we were to live in his example—he is supposedly perfect—we should also be able to engage in actions that are immoral if the good is greater.  Pro-life: 0, Pro-choice: 2.

But let’s say another, different pro-lifer strawman decides to argue that God isn’t benevolent—he cannot be benevolent in order to truly enact his plan, as he must sometimes act immorally even when the ends are not positive in order to, further his plan.  In other words, sometimes God is an asshole.

If that is the case, why would we ever consider his example?  Why would we follow a deity that is ultimately capable of bad things without it leading to greater good?  Why would we, then, follow what he supposedly says about abortion, the argument religions that follow him make?

These are not proofs.  Nor do I believe that somebody couldn’t punch holes in them in the manner I wrote them (or even in a lengthier, more solid format).  But that is to say that these are things to consider, because we have a case where religion is telling us God doesn’t want us doing something and then he does it himself.

It is the classic case of do as I say, not as I do.  Which, let’s face it, is just shitty parenting.  Thanks, God.

Other Things to Take Away

Not that I’d be the first to point this out, but my big reason for giving women the ultimate say in the issue is because it is ultimately mostly their lives at stake.  The more observant out there would probably agree that a small portion of the abortion debate, no doubt, lies in the idea of men controlling women’s reproduction.

If Arnold Schwarzenegger is counted among that 77% then we have to change the percentage. Sup, Junior.

After all, it’s cool when men use contraceptives to prevent pregnancy, but as the argument over the Pill showed, it’s not cool when women do it.  (Admittedly, the Catholic Church is just backwards enough to have never really been in favor of either, really.  Even if they do sometimes change their mind when it is politically expedient to do so.)

Abortion is the ultimate one-up on men.

A man can rape a woman, he can ignore contraception and impregnate the woman.  All of these things are, ultimately, shows of the control.  But when the woman goes to end the pregnancy the rapist forced upon her, she is told that she is wrong.  That she must live with what he did.

Perhaps I’m being excessive, but it does not have to be in situations of rape.  Men can “forget” condoms and be cavalier all they want, and the women must suffer the consequences.  Abortion is an equalizer.

This, too, could be discussed in lengthier posts.  It could also and has also, no doubt, been discussed by far greater minds than I.  But religion has never been noteworthy for being particularly socially progressive, so why would it be any different in the case of pregnancy?  Women should get pregnant when men decide it is okay, and they shouldn’t have a way out, right?

Finally, The End

One of the key parts of my statement is that there should be no real restrictions on abortion, not in the sense of it only being available to rape or incest victims.  That is a politically expedient way for rich, old white men to say that they hate women controlling their bodies but accept that men do stupid shit and they can’t pretend they don’t.

In other words, it’s a cop out.  The act of abortion is no more or less wrong in those cases, really.  The same action takes place, and while the motivation changes that does not mean that the woman who wants an abortion but wasn’t raped doesn’t feel it is any less necessary.  I don’t think any of us could really say.

Recently unearthed science.

But also, when you start adding in restrictions you allow the system to become more restrictive.  Who’s to say that suddenly rich old white men in congress decide that some rapes aren’t legitimate.  What if incest only counts when it’s a parent, not a cousin.  What if harm to the mother only means if there is an absolute medical certainty that the mother would die, and if there is any chance she wouldn’t abortion is off the table?

In my mind, it is far easier to accept abortion as an all-or-nothing.

The problem is that we often hear slippery slope arguments about abortion as a contraceptive.  And you know what, a world where women get abortions instead of using the pill scares me.

Of course with any system we must always run the risk that said system will be abused.  But in my mind if a single woman every year is spared the mental torture of, say, carrying the child of her rapist to term, keeping abortion legal is worth it.  It an expected product that some person will abuse a system in place for good and assistance, but we cannot assume that system is now worthless because of that.  For as long as that system helps a single person, it is doing its job. (I’m looking at you, republicans looking at welfare with greedy eyes and malicious intent.)

In a perfect world, every pregnancy would come to term and there would be no rape, incest or danger to the mother. Ina perfect world a woman could only become pregnant when she really, really wanted it, not just any time one of the guys happened to sneak in past the guards and crash the ball.

But the world is not perfect.  According to the numbers above, neither is God.

I guess my intent is to ask why we cannot, for just this one issue, ignore what the Bible and religions say and discuss this in terms of what it means to women?  Why must abortion be about a grand message in morality?  Why must it, really, all just be about religion grandstanding?

Random Googled pro-life girl is pro-life until she gets knocked up and her parents want to hide it so their friends don’t find out. Or she just won’t get any, making abortion a moot point. Pick one.  Also, is she foaming at the mouth?  Because I could swear she is.

Why must men be so threatened by the idea of women having control over their bodies, something that, really, we have denied them for almost all of human civilization?  Why must men be such a dominant voice in the debate?  Why can’t we simply defer to the women, graciously saying
“you know, it’s kind of all about them” as we do so?

Why can’t the debate over abortion be about what it has always been and should always be about: women making decisions about their health and reproductive rights?

So if I have to call God a mass-murderer—one with death tolls yearly that rival Hitler’s, and that’s only counting unborn children—I’ll do it, even if it’s polarizing, glib and ultimately pointless.  I’ll do it if it stands event the remotest chance of turning this debate back to the women about whom it should be.  I’ll do it even if it changes only one person’s mind.

I’ll do it even if I’m just yet another man talking about something that he, really, probably shouldn’t be talking about in the first place.

As an aside, I rarely ask for comments but I am interested in what women have to say about this.  That is, about the removal of religion, men and morality from the issue and discussing it solely in terms of women’s health.  Am I just talking out of my ass, or do women actually want it to be centered upon the issues of health, rather than what evil jezebels they are?

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Dear Anonymous, You Are (Scary) Douches.

April 11, 2012 Leave a comment

Dear Anonymous,

You know, I used to hear a lot about you guys.  Of course, that was a few years ago when people actually thought you might do something good;  back when you had any kind of credibility.

I realize that by writing this letter, I make myself a potential victim of your attacks.  I sincerely hope that I am small enough in scope that you don’t, because while I can joke about it, I really don’t want death threats.  And while I am extremely harsh on you in this letter, I think one thing you should take away is this: I would love for you to actually impact some change in the world.  You just don’t.

And while to those reading this may wonder if I’m actually afraid of retaliation, let me say: yes I am. I thought long and hard before posting this if I really wanted to even take that chance, as miniscule as it is. After all, it is well within Anonymous’ patterns of attack to give out the addresses and phone numbers of people you don’t like.

And don’t pretend it goes any deeper than that.  You are not freedom fighters, you are not heroes.  You are cyber-bullies who decide they don’t like someone for some reason and then take action against them.  If someone within your ranks decides this letter is enough of a threat to your image, I very well could become the victim of your attacks.

Sure, you’ve done some cool stuff.  You brought a couple of internet predators to justice, which is more than most individuals can say.  You have even defaced or managed to take down the websites of organizations with whom you disagree and who are, in general, pretty uncool.

But I began to ask myself a question: what are you guys fighting for?  Ostensibly it looks like free speech. After all, Operation Titstorm was about fighting against censorship.  I don’t disagree with your ideal there.  Only one problem: you attacked the website of a white supremacist a year earlier.  Why?  Because you didn’t like that he’s a racist.  Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but weren’t you just censoring him?

I mean, that’s what it is, isn’t it?  You attacked his website because you didn’t like what he had to say.  It has nothing to do with freedom of speech in that case, because he was exercising that freedom.  How about your heroic attack on McKay Hatch, founder of the No Cussing Club.   That kid is as non-threatening as they come, after all he’s trying to do is stop swearing.  He hasn’t started some huge movement that murders people for swearing.  No, the damn club is for kids who don’t like swearing and don’t want to do it.  What threat did he pose to you?  Were you afraid he might start writing gently-phrased, cuss-free letters informing us all of why we should stop swearing?  Actually, when you put it that way, he had to be stopped.

The pimply face of evil.

But I guess that’s censorship.  And since he’s a censor he must be an enemy.  So why not put a teenager’s address and phone number on the internet, where you all could so valiantly send him hookers.  Boy, the look on his face must have been priceless when he realized that school club he started was going to cause you all to threaten his life.  You sure showed him.

So really, again, the root of the issue is things you don’t like and things you do, isn’t it? Sure, some of the things you don’t like are pretty clear-cut in their negativity, but then some aren’t.  I understand that in some convoluted way you justified your attack on Sony.  But were the threats and harassment of the employees and their family justified?  After all, they just work there.  I doubt many of them made it their life goal to destroy your freedom.  Hell, most of them were probably just trying to collect a paycheck.

What was the issue at stake there, anyway?  I mean, to most rational people it would look like Sony was defending its intellectual property.  It may have become a little overzealous, but then again it is their property to enforce the rules with as they please.  I understand that you call piracy by the name freedom.  I suppose, then, that you’re not in favor of the artists, actors and everyone else who works on a project getting paid?  There won’t be anything left to freedom once you guys have your way, since all the artists will have moved on to fields that, you know, pay something.

But then, how do you even decide what you don’t like?  You don’t have any leadership and you have no stated goals. You are a loose collection of people under some banner.  So, then, how can you really stand for anything?

And don’t try to argue that some of these acts were done by splinter groups.  It’s called No True Scotsman.  Being that you don’t have any formal membership and no leadership to actually say who is and isn’t Anonymous, anybody and everybody is.  This is part of why you are so dangerous.

But let’s forget about who you attack and why, for now.  I doubt I’d ever understand the logic behind that.  Let’s talk about those fucking Guy Fawkes masks.

Serious douchebags.

WE ARE DOUCHEBAGS

Here’s what I don’t get: no part of the Guy Fawkes mask is supposed to be a good thing.  Brief history lesson for those of you who don’t know of Guy Fawkes in a context outside of V for Vendetta: he was a Catholic who hoped to bring his religion back toEngland.  He and a few others got together in the hopes of bombing Parliament and starting a rebellion that would bring Catholicism back.

Seeing as you have issues with Scientology and are all in favor of free speech, an outsider would think you would not like Guy Fawkes for the simple fact that he hoped to push his religion upon others. Englandhad made its choice, and while the government at the time wasn’t cool with Catholics (well, that may be an understatement), it certainly didn’t justify dismantling that government in order to make Catholicism the only religion. This guy used the same tactics as all the terrorist groups of today. Guy Fawkes was (and, I believe, still is on occasion) burned in effigy. He is not a hero.  We do not burn heroes in effigy. Guy Fawkes was hardly an acceptable figure until some books painted him as an action hero a century after he died.

Behind the mask.

The terrifying person behind the mask.

But most of you probably only know of Guy Fawkes in reference to the character V in V for Vendetta. I’m going to over-generalize here, but since you operate mostly in cyberspace and have a specific “skill” set, I’m going to just imagine you’re more at home with comics than history.I find it funny that you would choose that image to represent you.  I guess the whole “identity not being as important as the message” part makes sense (assuming you had a coherent, consistent message to spread), but the rest doesn’t.  V for Vendetta is as much condemning anarchism and the barbaric terrorist acts V uses as it is condoning them.  V is not meant to be a stand-out hero, he is meant to exist in an area of moral ambiguity.  As with all literature, the message is not a clear-cut one.  That is a message you all seem to have ignored, instead taking that mask as your own to somehow symbolize righteous dissent.  You are not righteous, and you do not speak for the majority.

Then there is your so-called “war” on Scientology.  How’s that going?

Let’s look at your “Message to Scientology” from 2008.  Skipping the boring stuff, here is the message in terms of what you were going to do to them:

“Anonymous has therefore decided that your organization should be destroyed. For the good of your followers, for the good of mankind–for the laughs–we shall expel you from the Internet and systematically dismantle theChurchofScientologyin its present form. We acknowledge you as a serious opponent, and we are prepared for a long, long campaign. You will not prevail forever against the angry masses of the body politic. Your methods, hypocrisy, and the artlessness of your organization have sounded its death knell.”

Hmm.  That’s pretty serious shit there, guys.  So, let’s make a checklist of these threats and take them one-by-one, shall we?  For the laughs.

1. We shall expel you from the Internet and systematically dismantle the Churchof Scientologyin its present form.

Well as of today (April 9th, 2012) the Scientology website is up and running, with no apparent issue.  A few Google searches as well as a browse of the articles related to Scientology, Anonymous and Project Chanology on Wikipedia make no mention of activities past 2010.  Seriously, it seems like most of the activity was in 2008 with a little in 2009.

But please tell me how you are going to dismantle the Churchof Scientology.  I understand that you will expel them from the internet (you haven’t), but how does removing their internet presence do anything other than hinder them in the long run.  Plus, most of your “attacks” are just DDoS attacks that, at your best moments, managed to take down some sites for a few hours.  That is hardly “expelling” them from the internet.

Let’s point out one other thing, too.  The numbers for self-identified scientologists were falling well before you guys declared your war.  In fact, in 2001 that number was 55,000 and in 2008 it was 25,000.

Poor Tom.

Tom Cruise seen here lamenting the loss of Scientology.

I’ll admit that I hate Scientology as much as the next guy (we’ll get to that), but your “war” on them hardly seems purposeful or well-planned.

2. We acknowledge you as a serious opponent, and we are prepared for a long, long campaign.

This is the cop-out line, guys.  This is the part where you admit that you’ll probably not do anything significant to impact their numbers, but where you can go ahead and take credit for the already falling numbers (see above) in five more years.  This is your loophole when you realize how useless you have been.

3. You will not prevail forever against the angry masses of the body politic.

I didn’t actually take a poll (mostly because I’m lazy), but I bet that if I asked 100 of my friends/acquaintances what “Project Chanology” is that about 10 of them would know.  If I asked the same 100 people about Scientology they’d probably say they don’t like it, but what are you going to do.  There is no angry mass, there is only angry Anonymous, righteously indignant at the fact that something they don’t like has stood for so long despite their ever so powerful attacks.

4. Your methods, hypocrisy, and artlessness of your organization have sounded its death knell.

If that is true for Scientology I wish it were true for you, Anonymous.  Unfortunately for everyone Scientology and you still exist.

Anonymous, your ideals are inconsistent.  Were any of you to sit down and actually look at what you stood for, not in terms of the words you say but in your acts, you’d find that you stand against now what you once stood for.

Anonymous, you are impotent.  Your attacks consist of random DDoS attacks that hurt websites for minutes at a time.  If you’re lucky, you take someone down for hours. At the very worst of it, you manage to get some fake death threats and hookers delivered.  Congratulations, you’re going to destroy Scientology by inconveniencing people.

Your impotence stems from your decentralization.  The very thing that you think gives you power is the very thing that strips it from you.

Worst of all—beyond everything else—you are just as malevolent as those you so often stand against.  You employ the exact same tactics the Scientologists do: you bully, you release public information and you threaten violence.  You are a cancer upon every cause you stand for.  You are the terrorists of the internet.  While you may well at one point have deserved a redress of your grievances, your tactics have long since made that point moot.  Now the only proper action is to ignore you, lest we feed the fire.

Hooker!

I think the politically correct term now is "high-class escort". This one may not be high class, but I wouldn't turn her down if it were free.

Anonymous, keep it classy.  I can only hope that my blog with a lifetime total (as of this post) of 500 visitors will infuriate you so much that you’ll post my personal information.  I did, after all, call you impotent. You know the best way to prove you’re not impotent?  Find my address and send me hookers.  Really, really expensive ones.  Charge them to Scientology.  That way you show everyone.  We’ll all have learned our lessons then.

I will eat my words (and any pizzas you’d like to send me at someone else’s expense), Anonymous, if you can manage to prove that you have done one thing that has positively and tangibly altered some social norm or law, and that you did so without hurting any innocents in the process. (Please note, the key there is the lack of collateral damage.  You always seem to hurt someone else while you’re trying to be some positive movement.) Taking a website down for 15 minutes doesn’t count.  I want proof that the world is better for having you; the world I see is frustrated by you but too afraid to tell you to leave.

For those of you who want more details about the wonderful things Anonymous hasn’t done for us, here are a few resources about their douchebaggery:

 Timeline of Anonymous’ impotency.
Anonymous dislikes Sony, gets nasty.
Anonymous breaks laws, FBI does their job.  Anonymous dislikes.

(I think my favorite part of the above YouTube video is the guy who says, and I quote: “Anonymous is not a group, it is a thought, an idea, a spark to the flame if you will.” Though, then there are the guys talking about the New World Order and how they love Anonymous.  Gives you a real good idea of the support they get.)