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!