The Moron Awards 2011

Moron 2011

2011: A Moronic Year

It’s time once again to look back at the highlights and lowlights of the past year. The widespread economic and social problems have meant that, for millions, 2011 has been a difficult, challenging time. But not for MoronWatch! 2011 has one of the most moronic years in modern history. And it’s time to give thanks to all the morons who helped make it happen.

So here’s my attempt to remember just a few of this year’s moronic events, and the morons behind them. I couldn’t possibly cover every piece of moronitude, and I’ve undoubtedly missed some key events and people – feel free to add your favourites below.

Biggest Flop

Those who entertained us by promising to deliver, before completely failing to do so.

Winner: Harold Camping, who predicted the second coming would take place on 21st May, followed by the end of the world on October 21st. He worked it out using numbers. Sadly (at least for morons awaiting Judgement Day), his calculations turned out to be wrong. Jesus failed to show in May, but Harry stuck to his guns and said the world would still end in October (it didn’t, FYI). Honourable mention: the people who believed him.

Runners-up:

Rupert Murdoch and his son James, for breaking British law on a huge scale, with the help of police officers who they’d bribed, and then getting caught, allowing British democracy to strike back against the Murdoch strangehold over our elected leaders.

Guido Fawkes (aka Paul Staines), a right-wing British blogger who tried (with help from the moron press) to show, via an online petition, that the UK public were clamouring for a return of the death penalty. They weren’t.

Donald Trump, who reignited the birther controversy, demanding Barack Obama produce his long-form birth certificate. With beautiful timing, Obama duly did so, destroying Trump’s presidential campaign (though to be fair, Trump had already destroyed it himself by being Donald Trump).

Christopher Monckton, a man who has profited hugely from selling climate change denial to morons, despite having been repeatedly discredited, opened a Twitter account. After skirmishes with myself and other “fans”, he quickly closed it down again.

The far-right English Defence League (EDL) have continued to keep us entertained with their moronic (and badly-spelled) antics, both online and offline. This year, they discovered that posting online threats to attack the Occupy protesters in London would lead to them being arrested when they arrived in town for Remembrance Day.

Rick Perry, presidential hopeful, had a moronic plan to close entire government departments, but when asked during a TV debate, he couldn’t remember which ones. Oops!

The ever-inventive Tommy Robinson, leader of the EDL, who appears to have invented a beating at the hands of “Pakistanis”.

Michele Bachmann, after showing early promise to be the flag-bearer for American moronism in next year’s presidential election, vanished without a trace (as did several of her moronic competitors).

Global Menace

Who has been doing their best to destabilise world society, and (whether deliberately or accidentally) drive us towards war?

Winner: The Tea Party caucus in Congress for refusing to raise the US debt ceiling until the 13th hour, resulting in a downgrade for the USA’s credit rating. While some “moderate” Republican morons used the debt ceiling increase as a negotiating tool to try to force cuts in spending, the Tea Party, led by MoronWatch favourite Michele Bachmann, were genuinely prepared to force a US debt default, taking the global economy to the brink of panic.

Runners up:

European leaders for repeatedly failing throughout the year to take the actions necessary to stabilise the EU economy. Special mention to Silvio Berlusconi, for clinging to power despite having mismanaged the Italian economy for years, so he wouldn’t face prosecution for – well, pretty much everything. Very special mention to Dave Camoron and his nationalistic, Eurosceptic Tory right, who tried (perhaps successfully) to single-handedly derail a deal that would stop the European economy from collapsing.

Ongoing: The US for its moronic “war on terror” which grinds on, killing civilians in Afghanistan and Pakistan, pushing those countries steadily towards social collapse and so putting power in the hands of the Taliban and other extremists, who are (in theory) supposed to be the enemy.

Binyamin Netanyahu, who has stopped even pretending to care about peace in the region, and endlessly accelerates Israeli aggression and land theft. Special mention: the moronic pro-Israel lobby in the US who continue to support Israel, regardless of what it does.

Ongoing: most world governments for their endless execution of the utterly failed War on Drugs, which swallows endless billions of dollars and millions of lives, and results in more people taking more dangerous drugs.

Terrorism

Terrorism is becoming ever-more fashionable, especially among those who claim to be fighting terrorism. Here is my selection of the year’s top terrorists.

Winner: President Assad of Syria, for the mass-slaughter of his own people in the streets of Syrian cities. Of course, like all good state terrorists, Assad says that his victims aren’t civilians at all, but are themselves terrorists working in behalf of Syria’s enemies. No doubt, Syria has its own population of morons who believe him.

Runners up:

Barack Obama, for drone strikes on Pakistan that kill civilians on a regular basis. Obama fans may point out that it’s actually the Pentagon or the CIA carrying out these attacks, but if we blamed Bush’s wars on Bush, let’s be consistent and lay the blame for post-2008 terrorism on Obama. It’s only fair. And by the way, it’s probably about time Obama returned his prematurely-awarded Nobel Peace Prize.

West Bank extremist settlers for their barely-reported campaign of “price tag” terrorism against Palestinian civilians. Their strategy is to endlessly provoke the Palestinian population by ripping up crops, sabotaging irrigation systems or damaging mosques, then shooting people who protest. If the protests get too big, they go running to Mummy (aka the Israeli Defence Force) who shoot or arrest and torture Palestinian civilians.

Mystery winner: somebody, probably Israel or the US, carried out a terrorist attack on an Iranian military base, and quite possibly other attacks we haven’t heard about. If Iranians protest or retaliate in any way, it just shows how unreasonable they are. Honourable mention: Western media and politicians who ignore these attacks and continue to beat the drums of war against Iran.

London’s Metropolitan Police, who executed Mark Duggan, a young black man, in North London, based merely on the suspicion that he might be carrying a gun. Immediately after the shooting, the police lied to journalists, saying an exchange of fire had taken place – it hadn’t. The shooting triggered an uprising in Tottenham which led to the UK summer riots. Notably, this is the second time a riot has begun in Tottenham after the police killed an unarmed person. Special mention to the poorly-named Independent Police Complaints Commission, who are never independent and always ignore complaints. As ever, they came down on the side of the police.

The Inhumanity!

While it’s useful to understand motivations, some people are just plain evil.

Winner: “Pepper Spray Cop” – the policeman in Berkeley, California who was videoed casually spraying peaceful, seated protesters in the face with pepper spray. He was just one of many US police officers who took part in violent attacks on peaceful Occupy protesters this year, showing that free speech isn’t as much an American value as we might have hoped.

Runners up:

The US state of Georgia, who executed Troy Davis, despite strong evidence that his trial had been rigged.

Ugandan MPs, who have repeatedly tried to introduce laws making homosexuality a crime punishable by death. Special mention also to Ghana, Malawi and most other African countries, which have continued to make life as hard as possible for homosexuals.

The US, for using their UN veto to block the legal right of Palestine to be recognised as a state, a result that will simply encourage Israel to do whatever it likes, however brutal or illegal. As usual.

Supporters of presidential candidate and libertarian, Ron Paul at a debate. Paul was asked about his “libertarian” approach to healthcare: what should happen to people with no health cover if they were to fall ill? He confirmed that they should be given the “freedom” to die. At which, the audience applauded heartily, yelling “Let him die!”.

Hypocrisy

Everyone loves a little hypocrisy. Well, MoronWatch does, anyway. Here are some of the highlights.

Winner: Joint prize to The UK, France and the US for attacking Libya, to “protect civilians”. Strangely, their newly-found morality hasn’t been applied in recent years where civilians in their thousands (or tens of thousands) have been persecuted, slaughtered, raped or driven from their homes in various countries including Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Syria and Bahrain. Did I mention Libya is a major oil producer?

Runners up:

The British Royal Family, who invited Bahraini royals to the royal wedding while protesters were being shot dead in the streets back home.

The Republican Party, who desperately fight for tax cuts for the rich, while proving decidedly reluctant to extend a tax cut for working Americans. Not only is this morally suspect, it’s also economically moronic: tax cuts for people on low and average incomes feed back into economic growth far more effectively than extra money for the wealthy.

Western conservatives, who enjoy using the words freedom and democracy incessantly but who, when faced with Arabs demanding democracy, proved decidedly lukewarm about the idea.

Just Plain Moronic

Awarded for general acts or statements of stupidity.

Winner: The British Public, for rejecting a modest improvement (the Alternative Vote, or AV) to our democratic system that would help weaken the current Labour-Conservative duopoly on power, open the door for the creation of fresh new political parties, and revitalise our democracy (as had already happened when AV was adopted in Australia). The newspapers (which mostly support the Tories or Labour) had largely come out against AV, and since most of the public pay no attention to politics, they voted as the press barons told them to. Thus proving that referendums, though seemingly democratic, are not in practise.

Runners up:

UK Prime Minister Dave Camoron for publicly giving the advice that people should pay off their debts. Although this advice is sensible, unfortunately our current economic system isn’t. A widespread shift from spending to saving, at a time when the economy is already struggling, would make the situation worse. By the end of the day, Dave was forced to reverse his advice. People are supposed to keep spending, and paying down their debts, even as the majority of them become poorer. How will that work? It won’t.

All-round weird moron Donald Trump, for suggesting that the US should take Libya’s oil as “payment” for “liberating” Libya. It’s almost like the good old days of Empire. In fact, I think it is the good old days of Empire.

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, for his wonderfully simple (in every sense of the word) 9-9-9 economic plan, under which corporation tax, income tax and sales tax would all be pegged at nine percent. The tax would result in the poor paying more, the top 10% doing pretty well, and the top 1% doing fantastically well. Cain proved incapable of explaining how it could possibly work, just as he proved incapable of explaining anything at all, from foreign policy to why a series of women would accuse him of sexual harassment.

The delightfully named, but not at all delightful, Eric Pickles, Tory government minister, for the most pointless spending exercise of the year. Councils across the UK have been encouraging recycling by providing households with recycling bins and reducing general waste collections from weekly to fortnightly. Although this is sensible and desirable, the British press and public did what they do best: moan about it. So Pickles threw £250m at restarting weekly bin collections, thus managing to waste huge amounts of cash and reverse years of progress towards recycling, all to win a few moron votes. Not only was the idea moronic, but most councils have rejected the cash anyway.

Fox “News” presenter Megyn Kelly, following the “Pepper Spray Cop” attack on Californian protests, said it was no big deal, as pepper spray is basically a food. However, she ignored social network calls for her to eat some pepper spray live on air.

The US state of Oklahoma, for banning Shariah law, despite only 0.4% of its population being Muslim (and none of them having asked for Shariah anyway). Special mention also to France, which passed a law banning women from covering their faces, in a spiteful act of bullying against a few hundred women.

The British government and media, for creating a new moral panic about Sexualisation, an imaginary problem designed to scare parents that society had become too sexual, and was threatening their children – and hence laying the foundations for future legislative attacks on sexual freedom.

And finally, just so I haven’t missed anyone:

People all around the world, who got suckered by an Apple PR campaign that transformed Steve Jobs, a highly capable CEO, into a hero and saint who had improved the world for everyone (rather than what he actually did, which was to launch some rather nice electronic equipment).

Want More?

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Celebrating Morons

From time to time, I feel a little guilty about picking on some of the most vulnerable people in society – the intellectually challenged – and feel I should give something back to their community, which has provided me with so much material. Moron culture, although apparently still buoyant worldwide, has actually been in decline ever since Copernicus disgracefully suggested that the universe may not be exactly as described in the Bible.

In recent years, political correctness has made life harder still for our moron cousins; not only is it considered “bad form” to lynch people, but even suggesting that it might be a good idea is frowned upon. The poor people are reduced to celebrating the execution of a (quite possibly innocent) black man in Georgia. What a sorry position for a once-proud group; the grandchildren of those who unashamedly strung black men from trees now spend their time tweeting that Troy Davis “got what he deserved”.
Likewise, these poor creatures have found themselves enduring all kinds of stress-related disorders while watching a black man become president and not being able to voice their true feelings. Indeed, many have fallen so low as to back a complete moron – Herman Cain – for President, simply on the basis that he’s black, in order to prove that they hate Obama for non-racial reasons.
On this side of the pond too, morons are prevented from celebrating their history and traditions. The ideological descendants of Mussolini, Hitler and Pétain have found a new scapegoat in Muslims, but in order to make themselves more palatable to the average moron-in-the-street, they’ve also had to pretend they don’t mind Jews or homosexuals. Imagine the frustration and humiliation they must experience daily.
No longer is it acceptable to hate immigrants for taking our women, playing rhythmic music or cooking food that actually tastes of something. In these politically-correct times, the socially-aware moron has to find a better reason for disliking immigrants, such as inventing the discovery of headless bodies, for example.
I know many of you think that morons are dangerous and worthless. Remember, African elephants were once so numerous that they seriously undermined attempts at agriculture and were seen as a pest. And now look. Do you really want your grandchildren to spend their holidays on safari so they can see the last few morons in their only remaining natural habitat (Georgia)?

At an accelerating pace, morons are in terminal decline. Literacy, education, automatic weaponry – these things are all eroding mankind’s proud moronic legacy. Before we dismiss and ridicule these people, remember: we were them, once. I too had a great-grandfather who objected to being operated on by an Indian doctor. No doubt one of my long-distant ancestors killed a fellow tribesman for believing in the wrong shape of god. In my time of extended exposure to moronkind, I’ve found myself touched, even charmed by these simple folk. It may not be a fashionable cause, but I ask you to join me in celebrating the semi-evolved who still live among us, struggling to maintain their moronic traditions in the modern, connected world. Value them, while you still can.

Troy Davis: Shame On Georgia

Tonight at 7pm local time (midnight in the UK), Troy Davis is set to be executed by the US state of Georgia. Executions in the US and elsewhere are still common, but this one has resonated around the globe more than most. Davis has been on death row for over 20 years for the murder of a policeman. He’s always protested his innocence, and no evidence exists to link him with the killing; but nine supposed witnesses did appear in court to point the finger at Davis.

Of those nine, seven have now modified or retracted their testimony; three of those have said they were coerced by police to name Davis as the killer. Four of the witnesses have admitted lying in court. Quite simply, the case rests on almost nothing. There isn’t enough to imprison him under a civilised system, let alone execute him.

The outcry against Davis’ execution extends way beyond Georgia or the US. BBC TV news is carrying the story as a main item in the UK. Indeed, Google News shows over 2,500 current articles, in publications worldwide.

But Georgia’s parole board is apparently unswayed. In a state that was among the most enthusiastic participants in the epidemic of lynching that swept America  in the late-19th and early-20th century, lynching has never gone away; it’s just taken on a sterile, bureaucratic new form.

While America still believes it has the right “spread its values” around the world (usually by direct military force or more covert terrorism), the US – or at least large parts of it – seems to have missed an important development. The civilised world has overwhelmingly rejected use of the death penalty for any purpose whatsoever. The values of the US no longer represent the leading edge of freedom and democracy. Indeed, fully 71% of nations have abandoned the death penalty either in law or at least in practise. Only 29% still make use of it. In 2010, only 23  countries out of 197 were known to have executed people. The top 10 users of the death penalty in 2010 were:

  1. China
  2. Iran
  3. North Korea
  4. Yemen
  5. USA
  6. Saudi Arabia
  7. Libya
  8. Syria
  9. Bangladesh
  10. Somalia
Only two of the above nations can call themselves democracies – the USA and Bangladesh. Does any thinking American feel proud to belong to this club, sandwiched between Yemen and Saudi Arabia? Two places above the supposedly “tyrannical” regime just overthrown in Libya, and three above Syria? To visualise this, here’s a map showing the worst judicial killers on the planet.

Red-brown identifies those states still using the death penalty in practise

 

To be fair, the US has a federal system which is starkly divided in two parts: the states that can consider themselves part of the modern world, and those that still feel proud to be listed among the worst human rights abusers on the planet.There’s still a chance to save Troy Davis. Facebook and Twitter users can spread the message as wide as possible this afternoon (Twitter users should use the hashtag #TroyDavis, and I suggest also #ShameOnGeorgia). Amnesty International provides details on how to mail the Georgia Parole Board.

Scrutiny is a powerful thing. Places like Georgia (at least, those parts away from urban centres like Atlanta) have been slow to appreciate that they are now being watched by millions around the world. When the lynchings were happening, almost nobody outside the local areas knew about them. This time it’s different; we can help embarrass Georgia into leaving the China, Iran, North Korea club, abandoning the death penalty, and joining civilisation. Until then: Shame On You, Georgia!

Restore The Death Penalty? Guido Is A Moron!

Paul Staines (who is better known as the right-wing blogger Guido Fawkes) has hit the news this week by launching an e-petition calling for the restoration of the death penalty.

Last used in 1964, and abolished in 1968, the death penalty is a topic continually revisited by the right-wing media, populist MPs and morons trying to get quick publicity – in this case, Guido Fawkes. The UK has among the lowest rates of murder in the world, running around a quarter that of the United States, the last enthusiastic user of the death penalty in the Western World.
Guido has, of course, attracted the usual supporters to create the illusion of a groundswell of public demand: tabloid newspapers (which continually try to create the illusion of the UK as an increasingly lawless society) and a handful of Tory MPs. See for example this article by right-wing Tory MP Sir George Young in today’s (you guessed it!) Daily Mail.
We can’t stop morons from flocking to sign the e-petition. What we can do is try to strike back.
So if you’re a twitterer, please make good use of this hashtag whenever you reference this issue: #GuidoIsAMoron. Twitter has given us a tool to bite back against the old moronic monopoly over news. Let’s use it!