Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Roll up, roll up! Come and see The Mother of God!

Lining up for the festivals this summer we have Metallica, Marilyn Manson, Motorhead and Mary (as in the Blessed Virgin). The BVM will be making a personal appearance at the Caritas ranch, Birmingham, Alabama so book your tickets now! And don’t forget to exit via the gift shop (MejMart) where you can buy all your end-of-days salvation needs such as the Saving the Family Kit ™ for only $196, which includes the mystical visions of the hidden life of Jesus – The Poem of the Man-God, where we see the iron-age Galilean carpenter at work with a screwdriver more than a thousand years before they were invented!

Did you know that the United States was founded by the BVM? Oh yes! In his marvellous book, (free on the website!) the modern mystic A Friend of Medjugorje (AFOM) reveals that Christian Vikings dedicated the new land to the BVM back in the 14th Century. Did you know that Columbus’ ships were called Santa Maria, Pinta and Nina which means Holy Mary Paints Girl which is Our Lady of Guadalupe? And that the Lady of Medjugorje appeared to George Washington and foretold the civil war amongst other things. The ‘indians’ (I think he is referring there to Native Americans) happily accepted that their superior white brothers should take all their land as it was the will of the great spirit who is also the white man’s god after all. Also did you know that the attack on Pearl Habour was predicted by the BVM when she appeared at Fatima? And that the entire moral (business and even SAT score) decline all started in 1963 – with the assassination of JFK, after prayers in school were banned?

Um…I was going to leave it like that but I can’t. The Kensington Runestone which is supposed to be evidence of a viking colony in mainland US has been identified as a 19th century fake. Columbus’ ships were never officially named, but had nicknames. The Santa Maria was also known as La Gallega. She also sunk. La Pinta means ‘spotted’ which probably referred to her paint job, and La Nina is Little Girl.

The Washington vision comes from an allegorical story which formed part of a series of allegorical tales of visions to various US founding fathers. These were written and published in 1861 by a writer called Charles Alexander as civil war propaganda, later sold to broadsheets and periodicals through a veteran’s magazine he wrote for. Whilst these allegories were taken to be just that at the time, various religious nutcases have taken these to be actually true and put their own interpretation on the messages.

As for the rest of this nuttiness, there’s one born every minute. AFOM, or The Founder is an American millionaire called Terry Colafrancesco (who also claims to be a descendant of the family of Saint Francis?) who is in the process of setting up his own multi-million dollar publishing facility for all his kooky books and pamphlets. Curiously only refers to himself in the third person.

Michael thinks he has said enough on this subject for now.

signed: A Friend of Nick Webster.

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Monday, 7 May 2012

Hollande for France!

I re-tweeted a Spanish news article which summarised the Ten Key Promises of Hollande, but I can't find anything like this in English, so I part translated it below, and added some more from other sources. This basically sums up why the Tories (and Milibland) have got it totally wrong. Let's see of France will embrace the radical changes and whether Hollande will keep his promises.

1) The belief that France can change Europe.
He proposes a new Franco-German pact, and renegotiating the EU fiscal pact.

2) Reinforcing justice
He intends to create 1000 new jobs every year in justice, the police and gendarmerie, in order to create a new 'neighbourhood security' in the inner city barrios and rural areas. He has said that Justice and youth issues are his primary objectives.

3) More than 200,000 jobs
150.000 jobs will go to the youth, on a new form of apprenticeship scheme called the 'generational contract'. Not an apprenticeship in the traditional sense aimed only at engineering and blue collar trades, this will take on the idea of senior employees having a junior and acting as mentor. He will also create 60,000 new jobs in education.

4) Tight banking control
He promises to create a public bank with public responsibility with the intention to make funds available to help small businesses. Private banks will have limits imposed on their speculative transactions and all financial transactions will be subject to a new tax.

5) Taxes for the rich
He will introduce a 45% rate on those who earn more than 150,000€ and 75% on those who earn over 1,000,000€.

6) Gay marriage and adoption rights

7) Reducción de la energía
He has promised to reduce nuclear power from 75% to 50% by 2025.

8) A new Internet piracy law

9) Giving non-citizens the right to vote.
He is reported to have said that it is no longer possible to divide people along the lines of who is a citizen or not, 'those days are over'. He promised the right to vote for all legal aliens in local elections.

10) Withdraw French troops from Afghanistan
He has promised to bring back the troops by the end of the year, two years earlier than planned

He has also said that he will give full recognition to the Palestinian State.

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Thursday, 3 May 2012

True Evil

Last night whilst most viewers were watching ‘reality’ sitcom The Apprentice I was watching the story of catholic clerical child rape and cover-up in Ireland. What it revealed was shocking, made more repugnant by the mealy-mouthed ‘Nuremberg defence’ of Cardinal Brady, the Irish primate.

A 14 year-old boy who was being raped by a priest bravely reported this to the hierarchy. He gave the names and addresses of other children at risk. He was asked all kinds of vile questions during the interview. Afterwards, he was sworn to secrecy. One of the boys he sought to protect was also subjected to the same heinous process, also sworn to secrecy. His parents were not even told about what was going on. Throughout, bishop’s secretary and canon lawyer, Brady, wrote it all down. And did nothing. The children continued to be raped for another THIRTEEN years. And Brady said nothing.

He ‘did his duty’ and was ‘not in a position to do anything’ and ‘there was no system’ for dealing with this at the time. He even lies about the nature of the vow the children were forced to make. At any time he could have taken those notes to the police. He could have spoken to the parents of the children to ensure their safety at least. But he did nothing. He kept silent. And the children, bound by the force of a vow on the bible administered by him, another priest, to whom they had gone for help, dare not say anything.

This man pretends to preach on morality and ethics. He pretends to be a ‘man of god’. What kind of ‘man’ allows these horrors to go on? For what – to protect the reputation of the Catholic Church? So these children were systematically raped, with his full knowledge, because preventing it was a greater evil?

Even the monsters who were performing the crimes cannot be compared to this thing, this less-than-human – words fail to describe the utterly abhorrent nature of this ‘prince of the church’, who would not raise a finger to protect a child.

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Monday, 23 April 2012

Ground Control to Father Tom

Medjugorje is a small town in Bosnia. It is a Croatian enclave and during the Balkans Conflict was a base for the local militia for the ethnic cleansing of neighbouring Muslims. There was an extermination camp just down the road. As well as murdering innocent Muslims, it was noted for the most brutal internecine conflict, where local Croat families would happily butcher each other or hack off limbs as punishment for perceived crimes.

Whilst this was going on, the place was full of mostly American catholic pilgrims, because the biggest local income is the massive Franciscan basilica – as since the 1980’s there are kids, now adults, who claimed to be having visions of the Virgin Mary. The streets are lined with shops selling plastic virgins, and the special votive picture cards the militia sellotaped to the stocks of their AK47s.

The pilgrims didn’t seem to notice what was going on. Trucks would take Muslim men and boys through the streets to the concentration camp at night, told to close their eyes and turn away their heads so that they would not defile the shrine.

It is entirely possible that those trucks and the uniforms of the militia had been purchased (though unwittingly) by the loyal pilgrims – as revealed by an ITV documentary programme at the time.

But back to the visions, the longest such occurrence in Church history. And the local priests, who seemed to give support and organisation to the visionaries. The parish priest at the time was a Father Zovko. For more than ten years, this Franciscan ignored the commands of his superiors and the local bishop, continuing his ministry though he was banned from doing so. He has quietly been moved away now – perhaps to avoid the scandal when an American pilgrim said that he had sexually assaulted her, and then eleven other women came forward with similar stories. This priest had apparently been referred to as a ‘living saint’ by the Blessed Virgin herself, no less.

Another priest who was also praised by name by the Virgin was the spiritual director of the visionaries for a time - Father Tomislav, pictured above. Medjugorje cultists are now desperately trying to write him out of history. Not only was this priest moved to Italy for disobedience, he was eventually defrocked. What crime was he accused of, you ask? Obviously something much worse than sexual assault? Well, before the visions he had already got a nun pregnant (must have done that when the Virgin wasn’t looking). It wasn’t that. Father Tom was messing with the money. Sexual assault, you get disappeared quietly. Get clever with the cash and they throw the book at you.

It seems that the now Mr. Tom is having visions of his own. He has hooked up with an ex-nun from Medjugorje called Stefania Caterina who reveals that they have been called by angels (who are actually space aliens) to set up a ruling council of the Earth called the Central Nucleus. The visions at Medjugorje are just one part of this. The Earth will be invited to join a ‘galactic federation of planets’. Unfortunately for you Star trek fans out there, the command of the ‘star fleet’ has already been given to the humans from Alpha Centauri. The picture is the fleet commander, Ashtar Sharan. Obviously they have weird cameras in space.

If this wasn’t enough, there’s more. Make a space in your diary as the BVM will be beaming down at the Caritas Ranch in Birmingham, Alabama. If you Google Medjugorje you will hit their enormous web presence. This is a multi-million dollar organisation, identified on a cult watch list, which has been alleged to run as a good old fashioned Waco-style cult, with testimoniesfrom escapees about taking assets, splitting families, total personal control of the members (even banning mayonnaise!).

It is also very much linked with the extreme right wing of American politics. On their own radio station they have a programme called Mejunomics where they link the Virgin’s messages to US domestic and economic policy. They promote a devotion called The Patriotic Rosary where the usual chanted prayers are interspersed with the Star Spangled Banner, the Battle Hymn of the Republic, and for balance, a prayer by Robert E. Lee. They are very critical of Obama of course, for his Satan-inspired attempt to bring socialism into God’s country.

And at least once a year, up to two of the visionaries come here to have visions. And they are very well looked-after.

Despite all this, there are people who still believe that the visions are real. The poor visionaries have been misled or coerced into going to the Caritas Ranch. The accusations against the priests are false and it is the hierarchy of the church that is evil. But apply the Axe of Reason. The BVM didn’t know that Fr. Tomislav had made a nun pregnant back in 1977? The priest she praised so highly now claims that she is a manifestation of an alien intelligence? Fr. Zovko, the priest she dubbed a ‘living saint’ was at that time in direct disobedience against his superiors (even giving him the benefit of doubt on the sexual assault charges). And now, with people coming forward and telling their stories about Caritas, she actually appears there TO A SCHEDULE set by the organisers?

Or on the greater scale – that such crimes and horrors would go on in a town where the virgin is appearing – even in her name? I suppose some might even justify what was done – some of the things I’ve read published by the Franciscans currently stationed in the parish paint the Croats as the victims.

I should point out that the local bishops have always disassociated themselves from the visions, but still have said nothing and done nothing explicit to stop this nonsense – the local bishop has not spoken out against Caritas for example. This is especially important where these practices and cults actually use the fact that they haven’t been explicitly banned as tacit approval.

And now, more of the same. Here is our special guest star. Father Sudac. The Croat priest who bears the wounds of Christ (including a bleeding cross on his forehead, which seems to have gone as that might interfere with his beautifully sculpted eyebrows, dyed hair and beard). He might look like a cross between David Icke and Derren Brown but the church says that his wounds cannot be of ‘natural origin’. Why he wears all white, like the Pope, I have no idea. He has also released a pop album. What do you think of the cover?

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Saturday, 14 April 2012

Mormons Christian? erm...nope!

The picture above depicts the Mormon Jesus with two of his wives, Martha and Mary. Not only did this one marry, he had a whole load of kids, and the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith was a direct descendant.

This Jesus was the human son of the space alien god man Elohim, the brother of Lucifer. This one, shortly after the resurrection, beamed down in America to preach the gospel all over again to the lost tribe of Israel, the original white-skinned natives. These were massacred by the evil dark skinned tribes, which lead to the book of Mormon being buried to preserve it. Convicted con-man Joseph Smith had a vision which directed him to the plates, which he translated by putting a magic stone in a hat. And the rest is history...

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Saturday, 7 April 2012

Shroud part 2. What if...?

Let's assume the shroud is 100% authentic, and apply the Axe of Reason.

1. Contrary to Jewish custom, the body was not washed or prepared. It was wrapped while the blood was still wet. It was not wrapped in traditional winding cloths but one extremely long piece of linen. No face cloth was applied.
This actually contradicts the account in John's gospel, where the body was washed and wrapped with spices. It also contradicts accounts where the cloths were folded after the resurrection, the face cloth separate. The contemporaneous body that was discovered in 2009 was buried exactly as described in the bible. What was this cloth? It wasn't a traditional shroud, and the image curiously fills it.

2. One of the apostles entered the tomb at some point after the resurrection and removed the cloths to preserve them. The greatest relic of all time and proof of the resurrection.
When did they go and get it? No-one else would have taken it. No other mention of the cloth appears in the bible AT ALL. Why? Surely this would have been mentioned, venerated, used. In fact it entirely disappears for over a thousand years. But at the time this shroud appeared, there were about 40 other shrouds in circulation.

3. Contrary to the rabbinical laws Jesus wore his hair long with a long beard. He was unusually tall. The height difference in the back and front images can be explained...
He would have been subject to constant mockery and censure for his womanly hair. Judas would not have had to identify him in the garden, as he would have been instantly recognisable. Why would Paul have written what he did - he MUST have seen the shroud, surely. And he did know the apostles who...must have had short hair too. I think Paul would have had a problem with any image of Christ, it being a craven image and technically against the law of Moses. Maybe that's why it was hidden...but the Gentiles didn't have a problem with images, statues and the like...

4. The Bishop of Troyes lied when he wrote to the pope. He could not verify that the shroud was a fake, and wanted to stop the veneration for his own reasons.
Why would he do this? Encouraging people to venerate the relic would do nothing other than increase devotion and bring money into the church. Not to mention lying to the pope - he wasn't declared antipope at that point.

Even without the scientific analysis, it just doesn't make sense.

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The Shroud of Turin. Fake. And YOU can prove it!

This site is the best presentation of all the available data. Most damning perhaps is that the first historical document to reference this shroud is a letter from the then Bishop of Troyes to Antipope Clement VII, warning against veneration of this known fake, even claiming that his immediate predecessor had obtained a confession from the artist who made it. Coincidentally, the carbon dating data, the type of cloth, the pigment and techniques used all fit with the date suggested by this document.

But I said you can prove it as a fake yourself, and you can. The images, front and back, are not anatomically correct, the man on the back is taller than the man on the front. The head is detached from the body and is too small, there is no navel, the legs and arms are too long. And this is how you can prove the fake yourself.

Look at the pose of the figure in this picture:

The pose of the body is odd, don't you think? The shoulders are flat down, the elbows bent at about 30 degrees. And yet the left hand easily covers the genital area, the right going beyond it. Lie flat on the floor and try to copy this pose. You can't do it. Your arms aren't long enough. Now try something else. Cross your arms as close to the groin as possible, and now, totally relax. What happened? Your legs have turned and opened, you hands have fallen to your sides, and your fingers have relaxed and bent. It wasn't uncommon for bodies to be buried with the hands in this position but they had to be tied there, but there are no signs of any kind of ties at the hands or to hold the legs together.

There was no way a medieval artist would portray the genitals or buttocks of the adult Jesus.

There is another more shocking fact that I was completely unaware of until I started researching this again. Something that a catholic education and three years seminary neglected to mention. If Jesus actually existed, he most certainly did not look like this (forget the white skin and blue eyes for now):

His hair would have been cut short. Yep. Maybe a short beard, but again not much like this, as beards were saved for elders. Long hair at the time was definitely out. For one, it was against the Talmud. In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul says this, “Does not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?” (11:14). Not likely he would have said that if Jesus looked like this.

But the figure on the shroud has long hair and a bushy beard - he's also at least 6 foot tall according to one of the images. That would have put him outside the law, and head and shoulders above everybody else (pun not intended). It does fit however with the way that Christian art depicted him in the middle ages. Early images of Christ showed him as beardless, and with short hair, curiously. But a lot of this had more to do with iconography, rather than trying to depict an actual likeness. Long hair and beards had meaning in different parts of the ancient world.

Who is this?

It's not who you think it is. This is Zeus.

and this?

That's Jesus, from the 6th century. Beards were a sign of knowledge, age and responsibility, long hair was associated with divine power. Christ victorious above looks more like a startled teenager. But with Zeus, there is authority and wisdom. So a bearded long-haired Jesus became the norm around the 6th century in the east, later in the west.

Much has been made in the past that depictions of Jesus look like the shroud which prove its authenticity, but it is more likely that the shroud looks like the art, as it doesn't look anything like a first century Jewish man from Palestine.

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Sunday, 1 April 2012

Santorum - the catholic?

"Is the Pope Catholic?" is a popular idiom when alluding to something that is self-evident. Apparently not true of our incipient racist friend here, when a recent poll revealed that most Catholics are not voting for him. Which may or may not have something to do with the fact that only 40% of them actually know that he is a Catholic. Mind you, someone like this, pro-war, anti-social policy, pro-assault weapons, pro-torture, pro-capital punishment - those values don't exactly fit with the idea of being a christian, let alone catholic, do they? Well, they might if you were part of the Spanish Inquisition. 

The Catholics wrote the book on torture, literally. A favourite form of torture at Dachau and Sachsenhausen concentration camps was strappado, where the hands are tied behind the back and then the victim is hung from them, causing incredible pain and eventually both arms to dislocate at the shoulder. Guess who invented that one - not the Nazis, but Torquemada and his happy bunch of wizards. Makes waterboarding look like a walk in the park.

Perhaps St. Orum here belongs to a more traditional kind of catholic. Well, he has said that he is not a member of the happy clappy fascist Opus Dei, other than the only school his sons ever attended was an Opus Dei school. (All seven kids are home schooled, in case you're wondering. Wonderfully socialised, no doubt). Romney might be wearing magic underwear, but Rick might be wearing underwear made out of barbed wire. 

Thursday, 29 March 2012

A pro-life tale, the use of the myth

This video comes from some kind of right wing lifer seminar, you get the idea from the language the presenter uses. He tells a horrific tale, based on 'published documents' which demonstrates the horrors of the abortionist murderers, of public schooling ("that's why we home-school") and the pro-murder anti-life bias of the government and judiciary in the US.
Little surprise that aside from this video, there is no trace anywhere on the net of this case, of the 'published documents', of any press coverage of any kind whatsoever, of any public documentation of any kind. No police reports, no court reports, no witnesses, no blogs. Nothing. But how could such a trail of criminality and corruption go without any notice? How is this presenter the only one to stand up in defence of the poor victim girl?

Let's apply The Axe of Reason, and assume that the story is true. And in applying the axe, we will take an alternate reading of the story, as myth.

1. A fourteen year old girl, daughter to a strict evangelical family, confesses that she is pregnant by her boyfriend. Her parents are immediately accepting and supportive, seeking antenatal care and even naming the foetus.

How likely is this to be true? A strict evangelical family? Their entire community would see their underage daughter pregnant? Maybe not so strict - considering other evangelical Christians have beaten their daughters to death for less. These are the good parents, all loving and forgiving, willing to bear the censure of their community in order to care for their child.

2. The boy does not want to be involved. His parents say that the girl should have an abortion and the choice should not be the girl's (good point here, the presenter comes out to defend the right of choice of the girl and seems to realise as he is saying it, WHAT he is saying!). The boy's mother herself has had five abortions.

So the boy has committed statutory rape as the girl is under age, the boy's age is not mentioned, nor is the possibility of prosecution. There seems to be an assumption on both sides that the boy will marry and take care of the child, but the girl is under age! Why would the boy and his parents even feature here? He could simply deny it was his, he would have no obligation whatsoever in respect of the child, particularly if he was underage, aside from a possible rape charge. Note that his mother has had five abortions. Five. What we have here are the villains of the piece, and in the mother, the classical character of the harridan, the evil stepmother, the child-killer.

3. The boy's mother pretends to be the girl's grandmother, kidnaps her from school, takes her across state lines, and forces her to have an abortion. The mother finds out, pursuing them to the clinic, cleverly getting into the clinic but failing to find her thanks to the machinations of the clinic workers. The boy's mom gets out the back door and goes on holiday to Florida, while the girl is cast out alone, suffering from post operative complications. The mother calls the police, who say 'call your senator'.

Now unfortunately that is where the video ends and I can't find the rest of it. But what we have have is a series of criminal acts, which we assume went unreported, unprosecuted or covered up.
Statutory rape
Battery against a minor (being the medical procedure carried out without the permission of the parent)
Illegal abortion

A number of these are federal crimes, so even if the local sheriff's department was uncooperative, they fall into the jurisdiction of the state police and FBI. So nothing was done? The mother did not even pursue a civil case? In the US, the home of the litigious? Where unlimited funds for such a case would be at her disposal after a short call to any of the bible belt lifer pressure groups?

Perhaps here we should explain something about the presenter, Kevin McCullough. He is a notorious extreme right wing talk radio DJ in the US, with a small and not widely syndicated show. There are quite a few videos on YouTube, which you can check out.

There's his rant against the kids show Glee, for it's depiction of teens having sex at high school, and shock horror! GAYS! as Science has proved that teenagers who have sex are ten times more likely to kill themselves.

There's the video where he says no-one is gay. Homosexual behaviour is a choice and it can kill you. 'Gays' hate marriage and want to destroy it.

Numerous videos where he addresses Tea Party meetings, all quite tedious, as can be gleaned from the number of views.

Obama is of course a socialist who has betrayed the US by cutting defence spending and not invading various countries where 'Jonny Jihad' lives. At the same time, Obama has betrayed the people by not cutting taxes and infringing constitutional rights through trying to create universal health care...same old.

You get the picture.

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From my cold, dead hand...

I nearly choked to death when I discovered St. Rick of Santorum was endorsed by the National Rifle Association! The hero of pro life even voted AGAINST legislation that made the ownership of FULLY AUTOMATIC ASSAULT RIFLES illegal! You don't hunt deer with an AK47!

As far as pro-life goes, like loads of these wingnuts, you should be protected if you look like this:

but not if you look like this:

Santorum is on camera saying that scientists in places like Iran should be targets for assassination. So I suppose it would be perfectly fine to drop a Hellfire missile on the house here. But if you take the morning after pill you are a murderer. Makes perfect sense.

I'd love to know how you can justify owning an automatic assault rifle, something that has no other purpose than to kill people.

So he argues for the right to life of a blastocyst, something that has less than a 50% chance of naturally surviving up to the third month of gestation, that may not even develop viably - but wouldn't hesitate for a second in killing the little Iranian girl in the photo above.

Similar argument, with literally millions of dollars being spent by lifers in lobbying, in spurious law suits, media campaigns, lecture tours etc. to protect

when those millions of dollars could prevent this:

Donate to UNICEF here

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Wednesday, 28 March 2012

You might get the idea from that picture what my conclusions are. Correct. But as Santorum himself argues that you should be forthright in your views, then I will follow at least one of his policies.

Below I will list Santorum's policies, all taken from his website, some from pieces he claims to have written himself. In the spirit of the blog, I will work on the basis that all of this is true, extrapolating what would actually happen if Santorum was elected POTUS and had the overwhelming backing of a Tea Party funded senate and congress. To do this, I will base it on recent history in particular those states who have had close constitutional linkages to the catholic church. Particularly interesting might be the example of another state greatly praised by the founder of Opus Dei, Josemaria Escriva - Spain under the rule of Franco

1. Trade
A form of total protectionism which would involve the withdrawal from international trade agreements and the active pursuit of trade wars. Part of this would be
2. the Environment
where global warming is an anti-American, ant-free trade lie. US industry would no longer be bound by these international treaties, such as they are now, and would withdraw from all these protocols. The exploitation of the Alaskan wilderness and currently protected fisheries would be voraciously encouraged. Those states where environmental laws have been enacted (like Arnie's California!) would be forced to repeal state law in order to facilitate this.
3. Foreign policy
Simply, in the man's own words, war on all fronts. US defence spending would be massively increased, Star Wars would be re-started turning back thirty years of disarmament (even Bush jnr. didn't go this far). US would withdraw from international treaties, possibly including the Geneva conventions so that it's armed forces could intervene, anywhere, without fear of censure (they do that already!). Iran has already been explicitly threatened, and Santorum has re-christened the war on terror 'War on Radical Islam'. Santorum is against the two state solution in Palestine. He said that Palestine doesn't exist.
4. Domestic policy
Santorum wouldn't just cut but stop all social care programmes, as your tax dollars shouldn't pay for somebody else. This extends too into education, where the state would withdraw almost entirely encouraging private schools and putting the responsibility solely on the parents. Obamacare would be repealed putting millions of citizens once again out of the reach of medical care. Illegal immigrants would be repatriated.
5. Abortion
would be re-criminalised. As would some methods of contraception. The goal would be the criminalisation of all methods of artificial contraception, but I don't think they would get away with that.
6. Gay marriage
well, that's a no. Santorum can't even bring himself to write the words 'gay' or 'homosexual' but talks about 'men who chose not to be with a woman and have children'. He might be talking about priests. As for lesbians?

So let's apply the Axe.
1. Trade war. Catastrophic effect on the global economy, perhaps only to the benefit of China. Possible collapse of the EC, as individual countries try to renegotiate individual trade deals.
2. Global environmental catastrophe, widespread destruction of US and international fisheries. Destruction of internationally recognised wildlife preserves. Pollution of the water table, dead rivers. The US is already the biggest polluter per capita in the world. The withdrawal of the US from these international treaties would mean other emerging economies would also withdraw in order to keep up.
3. War on Iran would probably lead a massive increase in global terrorism. Obama is desperate to rein in Israel, Santorum would actively encourage expansion, not only into the West Bank but Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. Egypt would be powerless to stop them in its current weakened state, and the Saudis would not intervene. Guantanamo would be re-opened and expanded. No longer fearing any censure no matter how toothless from international law, the US could pursue assassinations, renditions, and torture. The cold war and arms race would re-start, as the US would be in breach of arms restriction treaties dating back to the Gipper (Santorum's hero).
4. Massive increase in poverty, deprivation and disease, particularly among African-Americans. Which would lead to increases in criminality, drug abuse etc. Schools would be religious, teaching of science would be practically eradicated. Already up to 50% of bible belt schools teach creationism as scientific truth. Illegal aliens, many of whom have children who are legitimate US citizens, forcibly repatriated, so we would see forced adoptions, probably along racial/religious lines as the catholic church has done in the past with aboriginal children. The economy of the southern and mid-western states would also collapse as the workforce is decimated.
5. All the horrors that legal abortion prevented would return with a vengeance, back street abortions, women being criminalised, pregnancy checks at international borders, all aimed solely at the poorest in society. Children and rape victims forced to full term, forced adoptions, women virtually condemned to death if a pre-existing condition meant that pregnancy would kill them. Again an increase in poverty and all that comes with it. No doubt he would also do away with clinics such as those provided by Planned Parenthood, leading to an STD/HIV pandemic, increases of death from cervical and breast cancer.
6. It's pretty obvious that his aim will be to re-criminalise homosexuality. Initially he would force repeals on gay wedding laws, he would bring back 'don't ask don't tell' in the armed forces, perhaps with the intention to pursue prosecution of personnel if discovered to be gay.

Unfortunately Santorum's insanity would have a global effect. We have seen what horrors US imperialism has caused, when it has been controlled by international law. Imagine a US with nothing to stop it, with god on its side.
Armageddon, anybody?

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Location:The Reign of Santorum

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

International Dark conspiracy and Mormons!

There was a good programme tonight on BBC2 about the Mormons and Romney, talking about some of the weirdness, the polygamy, the magic underwear, etc. What they missed is the fact that Mormons get their own planets to rule as gods when they die. Yes, you did read that right. Your own planet. And though they don't talk about it much, 'our' god was, you guessed it, one of these. From the planet Kolob. I am not making this up. Makes Santorum look rational.

Talking of Santorum, this is a rather nice cartoon.

And earlier on I was reading about evidence of a global conspiracy, using eugenics, to overthrow the US government. Cameron's dinners were a part of this. It's lizards from space. David Icke has the proof. I think we should be told.

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parliamentary power of prayer?

Check out the link above. We are facing the privatisation of the NHS, massive Tory sleaze, the most unfair budget in modern times and the looming possibility of Israel starting a war with Iran. And these idiots want to waste parliamentary time on fairy stories.

So the entire country was praying for Muamba. I wasn't. I had no idea who he was until the news story broke. He was dead for more than an hour and seems to be making a full recovery without brain damage. So that was down to prayer? Not the fact that a cardiologist ran onto the pitch, the level of care received, modern brain cooling techniques and artificial comas? So the skill and dedication of the professionals who cared for him, as well as the superlative level of fitness of the young man had nothing to do with it? Now if there was 2 minutes of time in parliament to thank those people, to comment on the outstanding scientific research done in this field and the efficacy of our wonderful NHS, now that would be two minutes well spent.

These sadly deluded parliamentarians want the ASA to prove that prayer doesn't work. Sorry, but the burden of proof is the other way around.

Anyway, let's assume that prayer does what it says on the tin. And throw the Axe of Reason.

1. Muamba rises from the dead, after supernatural intervention. Yes, all the doctors and technology were there but their actions were guided by unseen forces. Which god? The whole country was praying for him, so we have the catholic god, several shades of protestant god, Brahma, Krishna, Allah, and let's not forget the TM crowd throwing some karmic flying rainbows, the Mormon god beaming healing from the planet Kolob, and David Icke. So which was it, or was it all of them? Did they dib for who did the deed?

2. The honourable member who wrote the letter had his hand healed of pain by the Christian god. How does he know who healed him? Not to go through the pantheon above, suppose it was the devil. How does he know it wasn't? The pain could have been a manifestation of god's grace to test his faith in the fire which the devil then removed.

3. Rather than threatening the ASA, why not pray and get god to change their wicked hearts?

4. Clearly the privatisation of the NHS is not the issue, as we should simply convert all the hospitals into churches. Think of the savings! Surely we don't need them, if we just need to pray. Ah, but god needs an agent to work through. But that surely doesn't need to be a qualified doctor. Could be a witch doctor. Ah, but that wouldn't work as that isn't the right god.

There are cases across the world and even in the UK where people will deny themselves, or more horrifically, their children, medical care on the basis that god will heal them. These nutters should be, and in some cases are, housed at her majesty's pleasure.

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Sunday, 25 March 2012

40 Days for Life Sidewalk counsellor handbook

There may be some doubt as to whether the man who was allegedly filming patients outside a clinic this week actually belonged to the pro-lifer 40 Days for Life organisation. There are certainly well documented incidents of this happening in the US, but these are tactics not endorsed by the organisation.

The following quotes, however, are taken from their endorsed handbook.

"The clinics present us with a tremendous opportunity to reach out to those people who will not come to our churches, and who seldom see God's love. It was the sinners, those who had little to do with the religious leaders of the time, whom Jesus sought to reach. At the killing centers, one may find the radical left, those involved in the occult, the walking wounded from churches (in some cases), the homeless, the clinic workers, the abortionists, the mothers, the fathers, the AIDS victims, and those who simply need the Lord."

"Just as Jesus reached out to the thief on the cross, we should feel compelled to reach out to the abortion-bound mom, and the people who are leading her to destruction, those who press towards their own destruction...This includes ministering to those who make us uncomfortable, the socially undesirable, the religious outcasts-those who have not heard the truth."

"She is not the woman in the silk dress and the expensive shoes wearing the Planned Parenthood name badge. It is fairly easy to recognize a woman who is entering a clinic for an abortion. She will generally have someone with her, as she needs a ride home after the abortion. She will be told by the abortion center staff to "wear a comfortable, loose fitting, two-piece outfit, like a sweat suit." With younger teenage women, there will often be several young women walking together. Since teenage girls tend to release tension through giggling, expect them to appear lighthearted. This is a common reaction among very young women, so please do not be judgmental."

"Many clinic workers have had a previous abortion experience. A high percentage of the women who work at abortion facilities have child sexual abuse, incest or forcible rape in their backgrounds. Some of these women have grown up in alcoholic, emotionally abusive, or physically abusive homes."

"The best opening line is the one you come up with yourself. However, there are some opening lines that are not appropriate. "Please don't kill your baby," "I'll take your baby for you," and "You will still be a mother-the mother of a dead child," are not very productive if you want someone to stop and talk with you. The object of sidewalk counseling is to get the woman to stop and talk with you. We have seen some wonderful sidewalk counselors use very simple opening lines, so we have included some of our favorites.
I'm not here to tell you not to have an abortion. However, I do have some information about this clinic that may be of interest to you.
Excuse me, ma'am, can I get just a few seconds of your time . . . ah, c'mon, please . . .
Will you talk to me for just a second? My boss is over there watching me, and the information I have for you really won't hurt you.
Look, I know it's hot (or cold, or raining, or . . .), and you've already made up your mind, but I have some information on the medical malpractice suits against this clinic that I'd like to share with you.
Hi, I'm giving this information to everyone who is going into this facility today-would you like some additional information?
Can I get you to stop for just a second so I can give you some information that you won't receive inside this facility?"

I could have highlighted the more offensive parts, but thought I'd let it stand as it is. The rest of the document explains gestation (like when the "baby's face develops") and all the medical and psychological damage the "mom" will undoubtedly suffer. It also absolves the counsellor from any responsibility in respect of the "mom", saying that she should be referred to a "crisis
pregnancy centre" whatever that is.

And a main thrust is not simply saving the "baby" but a perfect opportunity for proselytising - "crisis evangelism".

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The Miracle of Lanciano

Hope that link works. I included that link as that chap has quoted an extensive piece of text, verbatim, about the miracle and to save me from doing all that work again.

To cut a long story short, 1200 years ago an unidentified monk who was having doubts about transubstantiation was saying mass, and at the moment of consecration a piece of human heart tissue appeared around the bread host, and the wine turned into blood. Medical examination carried out in the 1970s by a doctor confirmed that it was human tissue.

Now not to repeat the points of my colleague above, let's take an alternate view. Let's assume that the story is completely true. And then throw the Axe of Reason.

This monk has just obtained irrefutable proof of the existence of God and the truth of the catholic rite. Who was he? Why is he not the most famous person in history? Did he not become the greatest saint ever, and were not millions of people converted by this truth? No. We don't know who he was or what happened afterward. There are no contemporaneous accounts, and let's not forget that at this time all the written histories were being made by monks. The first written account apparently dates from more than 500 years later! And why did the order keep it to themselves, surely this should have gone straight to the pope.

The flesh was apparently nailed to a board to dry and preserve it and stop it from curling up. This is the actual flesh of Christ, in which he is entirely and wholly present and existent, and you are going to put nails through it? And this was in times when if the host was dropped, the piece of floor where it fell would be removed. There are stories from the middle ages where heretics and Jews were murdered for doing precisely this with consecrated hosts.

Catholic doctrine is that the host and wine become the whole and complete living body and blood of Christ. But here, the host remained physically unchanged, and where has it gone? Did it decay? Why didn't the bread actually transubstantiate - why did the flesh appear from thin air around the host, and why was it not actually contiguous with it?

Also, the flesh and blood are dead. But according to doctrine, the flesh and blood should be alive. Why would dead flesh and blood appear? Isn't Christ risen from the dead and fully alive within it? Why are we left with dead human remains? Was the flesh and blood live when it appeared and then subsequently died? (Aside from any science, this is the most damning point of all. Assuming that it is actually true, what you have are parts of a cadaver, the dead body of Christ, unrisen.)

Full scientific investigation of the remains would now be possible. If the flesh was cut, it would be possible to see tool marks. DNA tests would reveal the parentage, sex and origin of the donor. These tests would reveal the absence of paternal DNA, a man of middle eastern origin aged about 30. Carbon dating would be inconclusive, as the tissue was created about 700 CE. Again, this would irrefutably prove the miracle, so why hasn't this been done?

More curious is the blood. This has congealed into five pellets, which display a feature which defies all physical laws. Each pellet has the same mass as all five, or any multiple. Let me explain, if one pellet weighs 15.85g, two pellets also weigh 15.85g, and in fact all five together weigh 15.85g. Why haven't teams of physicists been examining these pellets non-stop for the past thirty years? Why hasn't the local church claimed James Randi's million dollar reward for proving the supernatural?

Apparently there are claims that the coagulated blood retains some chemical features of fresh blood. Then why haven't pathologists been working on this to find out why - think of the benefits to medicine!

I think we know the reason.

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Saturday, 24 March 2012

Where's the soul?

A thought experiment. Accept as a premise, that there is such a thing as the common understanding of a soul, in the christian sense of the concept. Now fundamentalist christians believe that abortion is murder because god imparts a soul to the zygote at the moment of conception. But this comes from Aristotle, as far as I can tell, and although they were pretty advanced in ancient Greece, we know slightly more about how reproduction now.

  1. What happens with mono-zygotic (identical) twins? I suppose the twin gets a new soul when the blastocyst separates. But what happens when the blastocyst recombines? Did somebody just die? Would I be met in heaven by the soul of my identical twin who died when the blastocyst recombined and they became my liver?
  2. Fraternal twins can sometimes combine - creating a chimera. Here we have one person, from two zygotes, with two sets of DNA. Again, did somebody die there? Or is that one person with two souls?
  3. If the embryos recombine after differentiation has begun, we can end up with a parasitic twin. The parasitic twin could be acephalous, so we have an individual with multiple limbs, organs etc. Again, did somebody die? 
  4. We can also get bicephaly, one body, two heads. More and more are surviving birth and with good chance of normal lifespan. Is that one body and two souls? What about the cases where the second head is acephalous, in this meaning, without a brain. Would cutting off the head be murder?
  5. The foetus can develop without a brain or a head, in this case, if the foetus goes full term, it will die as soon as the cord is cut. Does it have a soul? If a soul is reliant on a brain or a head, then an embryo would only get a soul after the brain has developed. If it is not dependent on this, then the removal of a parasitic twin's additional limbs would be murder. Switching off life support to someone who is brain dead would likewise be murder.
  6. Up to and in some instances more than 50% of foetuses spontaneously and naturally abort in the first three months of gestation. So heaven must be full of people who were never born. Thinking about it, the greatest proportion of souls in heaven would in fact be from blastocysts and foetuses. 
Just applying the Axe of Reason.

New Blog

I started a new blog. I did use to have a blog, back before they were invented, actually as a part of my degree and dissertation (it was about identity and cyberculture, and the Super Panopticon) but didn't keep it up. But recently I've been increasingly annoyed by anti-science, anti-reason and just nuttiness around and the way people keep falling for this nonsense, and rather than writing huge comments on FB, this would be a better forum methinks. So here I will post in support of the truth, and apply the Axe of Reason to the nuttiness around us. No doubt as I get back into it I'll link to like minded blogs and resources. Time for the Axe!