Strong Action, Daesh, Cameron and Corbyn Friday, Nov 27 2015 


So here we are again, clamouring for bombing.  Exactly who are we bombing?  This isn’t Gulf 1, with formations of tanks to be destroyed.  This is a terrorist militia, intermingled with women and children.  But not bombing them is weakness.

Really?  The Paris attackers came from Paris and Brussels.  Maybe we should bomb Belgium.  Because when the civilians die, and they will – the bombs may be smart, but the shrapnel isn’t – you might as well print a big poster of Cameron in pointing Kitchener pose with the caption “Wants You – to join the fight against the Kufir”

Corbyn has made it clear we should be looking to cut off the support that Daesh receive, stop them selling oil, stop them receiving money, stop them receiving weapons. And that has hardly been reported on. Of course, this would mean upsetting their biggest supporters – Saudi Arabia, the country that executes people for wanting free speech, even as Cameron sucks up to them.

Meanwhile the Tory press present him as a sympathiser, and allow Cameron to claim he is defending Britain. And, oh what a surprise, the Tory press completely fail to mention the Tories have made Britain more vulnerable. Hidden away is the fact that in 2018 they will cut fleet flagship, HMS Ocean, our only helicopter carrier. Not did they mention that due to the Cuts earlier this month that we had to ask the French to lend us Sub hunting aircraft to help find a Russian sub off Scotland because the Tories had cut all ours, and we no longer have that capability.

Devrions-nous être Charlie? Tuesday, Jan 20 2015 


George Galloway has described Charlie Hebdo as “a racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag.  Typical of Gorgeous George he ignores everything that he can’t get angry about, that doesn’t prove or argue with what he believes.  He ignores the magazine’s continued and long standing criticism of the Catholic Church, for instance.  Like the Pope he blames the victim.

To stand with Charlie Hebdo isn’t flowers on a celebrity’s grave, an act of condolence of a stranger.  It is to make a stand against those who say “You may not say anything about my religion, because I will be offended.”  That attitude would be unacceptable with any other notion: caricatures of politicians aren’t stopped because those who believe in their policies profoundly are upset.    Criticising someone’s home town may be downright rude, but isn’t something that can never be said.  Yet religeon demands this pass – despite not only the followers of Abraham splinting into three sects that not only disagree vehemently with each other, they can’t even agree among themselves what they believe, yet attack anyone who questions their world view as intolerant.  Einstein may not have liked Niels Bohr’s sub-atomic theories, but he did admit their correctness when proof was shown.  He didn’t feel the need to set off a bomb.

This is the response I put on HuffPo UK

(more…)

Elitest Bastard (aka Hussar goes off on one) Tuesday, Mar 10 2009 


See that blue button with Richard Dawkins on it?  Click on it (not yet- I haven’t finished ranting at you) and you will go to the Carnival of the Elitist Bastards.  Who?  A bunch of bloggers generally pissed off with everything being so damn stupid.

Why am I proud to be an elitist?  The question should be why are you so unconcerned not to be?

We are people who are just annoyed that there is a movement against intellectualism.  I am sick and tired of being clever being seen as somehow a bad thing.  Someone who can kick, throw or hit a ball gets paid millions of pounds, while those who actually work worry about the recession.

People revel in not being good at maths.It’s seen as something funny.  I know I’m good at day to day maths, but I am amazed how many people don’t understand basic principles.

“How does this affect you?”  you say “why should you care?” Because a dumbed down population affects the economy and the planet.

People who don’t understand basic maths GET TO VOTE, often based on what they think will be best for the economy.  They can’t do percentages, for FSM’s sake, how are they supposed to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of a Keynsian solution?

It is a fact that people, all of us, even Stephen Hawkins, are stupid to one degree or another.   We are very good at ignoring evidence that doesn’t back up our personal beliefs.  Jeremy Clarkson doesn’t like the fact that cars are contributing to destroying the planet. Solution? Insult environmentalists.  Republicans don’t like the fact that Neo-Con ideas have screwed up the market. Call Obama a socialist. The Religious Right don’t like the fact that science shows the Bible isn’t literally true. Solution? Attack anyone who relies on evidence rather than 4000 year old fairy-stories.

And where does it leave us? Click on the break, and I’ll tell you. Forcefully. (more…)

US armed forces hate atheists Wednesday, Apr 30 2008 


When Bush said it was a ‘Crusade’ he really meant it;

Soldier Sues Army, Saying His Atheism Led to Threats

Maj. Freddy J. Welborn, began to berate Specialist Hall and another soldier about atheism, Specialist Hall wrote in a sworn statement. “People like you are not holding up the Constitution and are going against what the founding fathers, who were Christians, wanted for America!”

….

Complaints include prayers “in Jesus’ name” at mandatory functions, which violates military regulations, and officers proselytizing subordinates to be “born again.” After getting the complainants’ unit and command information, Mr. Weinstein said, he calls his contacts in the military to try to correct the situation.

“Religion is inextricably intertwined with their jobs,” Mr. Weinstein said. “You’re promoted by who you pray with.”

….

Specialist Hall came to atheism after years as a Christian. He was raised Baptist by his grandmother in Richlands, N.C., a town of fewer than 1,000 people. She read the Bible to him every night, and he said he joined the Army “to make something of myself.”

“I thought going to Iraq was right because we had God on our side,” he said in an interview near Fort Riley.

In the summer of 2005, after his first deployment to Iraq, Specialist Hall became friends with soldiers with atheist leanings. Their questions about faith prompted him to read the Bible more closely, which bred doubts that deepened over time.

….

Though with a different unit now at Fort Riley, Specialist Hall said the backlash had continued. He has a no-contact order with a sergeant who, without provocation, threatened to “bust him in the mouth.” Another sergeant allegedly told Specialist Hall that as an atheist, he was not entitled to religious freedom because he had no religion.

Read the full story at http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/26/us/26atheist.html?_r=3&oref=slogin&adxnnlx=1209316471-xgkjD/dS99Nac3yWssA&pagewanted=all&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

Diana Conspiracy Tuesday, Apr 8 2008 


There wasn’t one, their isn’t one.  Drunk Driver.  In French Law Henri Paul’s employer is legally liable for illegal actions of employees while ‘on duty’ so the Phony Pharoe has an interest in it NOT being Henri’s fault.

That’s an embuggeration. Thursday, Dec 13 2007 


Terry Pratchett has revealed that he has a rare form of early onset Alzheimers.  He says there is still time for a few more books.  He says he only wants to hear from fans ‘if they are advanced chemists’. That I’m sure is said with dark humour, rather that a push off attitude.  All the platitudes in the world can not do anything about the steady creep of the disease.

Alzheimers and other dementia is possibly the cruellest thing.  You brain is who you are. Beckham could lose both legs, but he would still be Beckham.  For a human not to be able to trust their brain is the cruellest trick of nature.

 The only upside for Pterry is he has sold 55 million books, so is not short of a bob or two- he will be able to afford all those drugs that the NHS can’t.  I mention this not out of any malice, or “he’s loaded”, but in the hope that the progress is slow enough that when the body finally goes he is still Rhianna’s father.  Best wishes Terry, you’ve touched a lot of people in the last 30 years, hopefully you still have the odd tale left in you.

Where the falling angel meets the rising ape…

A Teddy called Mohammed Saturday, Dec 1 2007 


As every one in Britain is probably aware, Gillian Gibbons, a British teacher in Sudan, has been sentanced to 15 days for allowing her pupils to name the class Teddy Bear Mohammed.  This apparently was so anti-Islam, so hateful, so calculated to insult Muslims, she had to be punished. 15 days in a third world prison, with a crowd of a 1000 protesting, some demanding the death penalty. 

Radio 5 phone in this morning seemed to divide into two camps- the “punish the wogs” type, and the “it’s her own fault for not researching the culture” band.

This is nothing to do with religeon.  This is a classic case of people being used.  Yes there are a few nutters to whom this is such a great insult that they want her dead.  But they are a minority.  There are Christian fundies in the US who would be no better, a point to remember before listening to those who would shout about Muslim barbarians.  There are also too many so called “jihaddis” who seem to take offence at every little comment.

I do not believe that this has anything to do with religeon.  Saddam wrapped himself in Islam to defy the West, though he seemed really not to care that much- Tariq Aziz, his PM is Christian, changing his name to fit in. Baghdad also has a synagog.

 Likewise the Sudanese government is allowing its self the same luxury- using the religeous extremists to mask the position.  Western governments know what the message is- they understand exactly what the Sudanese dictator ship is saying.  “Stay out of Darfur”.

Sudan has been under sustained pressure over its actions in Darfur.  Gibbons is a handy patsy. The message is clear “Intervene, and we will manufacture religeous hatred”.  The Sudanese government are playing to the gallery, the same way as Saddam did- there will always people guillible enough to believe you are their hero, and an attack on you is an attack on them.  It is just possible those protesters are helping to continue their own repression.

The Spirit of Burma Thursday, Sep 27 2007 


I’ve been following the protests in Burma for the past couple of days.  There is something amazing about the human spirit in events such as these.    This time the people know that it is easier for the media worldwide to see what they see.  The site of the monk facing down soldiers shouting “I’m a Monk, beat me” was amazing.  The Dictatorship may be caught with nowhere to go.  The people who are leading the protest are the one section of society who will anger society if they are attacked.

It reminded me of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, bemused border guards realising they can not stop the popular feeling, or Yeltsin acting as the focal point against the Soviet Coup against Gorbachev.  The velvet and Orange revolutions in Eastern Europe.  Most of all it reminds me of the lone man who stood in front of a column of tanks at Tianamen Square- a sight of extreme bravery.  I hope the people of Burma are more successful than he ultimately was.