“Sometime I need to be tested…”

September 30th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

Kelly Osborne:

“I go three, maybe four times a year to get tested for sexually transmitted infections and most of the time I don’t even need to. I just go for peace of mind.”

Most of the time…

Moving swiftley on…


Decisions, decisions

September 30th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

No, Nadine. Don’t stop. Get more involved by opening comments, open a discussion on what you post, defend what you say, listen to what others have to say and you might:

  1. learn something
  2. get more respect from your political opponents
  3. get more out of it

On atheism

September 30th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

I’ve just read this post by Dave Cross about the Royal Society’s ex-Director of Education, Michael Reiss , being labelled a creationist and hounded out of his position within the Royal Society because of his comments regarding the need for teachers to be given better training to be able to discuss and counter creationist arguments in the classroom.

And now, three weeks later, a national newspaper is calling him a creationist.

The article in question is this one by Harry Kroto. I didn’t read the article as, well I couldn’t be bothered really, but went straight to the comments.
That is where I found this little nugget of wisdom:
JK47 (a CiF commentor):

The plethora of more-or-less incompatible religious concepts that mankind has invented from Creationism and intelligent design to Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Mormonism, Scientology, Hinduism, Shinto, Shamanism etc, are all basically indistinguishable, from the freethinkers perspective.

You forget Atheism, as it is also another concept of mankind (for how can it be a natural state?) that is also indistinguishable from all those ideologies. It has a militant belief that there is no God, an organised following and the acceptance of a set of values that cannot be questioned.

I do not who wrote the bit AJ47 is quoting but I don’t reckon atheism got forgotten.
Atheism is not a concept of mankind, it the natural state. God and everything that surrounds the myth of god is manmade. If believing in god was how the human mind starts off, then why do ‘we’ have to teach about religion? Why do we have to introduce the idea of a god or superior being to our offspring? Why do children have so much trouble grasping the idea of a being or beings (thousands in the case of Hinduism) that are everywhere, controlling everything yet cannot themselves be seen or heard? Why do children have so many questions when, if religion is so natural, it shoudl be an easy concept to pick up?

The natural state is to be inquisitive, to want to find out, learn more. About everything.
Religion is shut off to finding the truth, even if it proved god existed.

“I refuse to prove that I exist,” says God, “for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.”

“But,” says Man, “the Babel fish is a dead giveaway isn’t it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves that you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don’t. Q.E.D.”

“Oh dear,” says God, “I hadn’t thought of that,” and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.

No matter how open or comfortable a particular brand of god is with science looking into atoms or buggering about with genes, there will always be a point where it will not go beyond. Not because of any reasoned arguement, although one may be put forward as a proxy or as well as, but because of dogma. Either because the holy book explicitly forbids it, or because it will insult god or because the men of cloth will lose their authority and their income. That will be it.
On the other hand, science will keep going. Every now and then a particular path of research may slow or stop for a little while because of the precautionary principle or the uncomfortable subject matter, but only until a compromise that is acceptable to both the scientists and the wider community on how to proceed is reached. The point is, nothing is taboo.

There are atheists that will catagorically state that god doesn’t exist, but what do they know? They are just the flip side to the religious people who catgorically state that there is. But most athiests, and that is pure conjecture as I have nothing to back it up, are of the ‘middle ground’, that they don’t believe in god, but if there was proof that god existed then they would accept it (what other option is there?).

The last bit of AJ47s’ comment is just complete rubbish, “an organised following” with a set of values “that cannot be questioned”.
What utter bollocks.
Where is this Church of the Unbeliever, where do we go to praise the microscope? How many people do you know that gather together on a weekly basis to sing songs of thanks to the LHC?
What is this set of values that all atheists’ adhere to? Are they listed somewhere? Who says atheists must follow them? The Grand Council of Atheists, I presume?
Questioning stuff is the whole point of atheism. Asking why, and not taking anyones word for it unless they have proof.

Of course, that is just my view, other atheist may differ. That’s the beauty of it.

Extend UK abortion rights to NI

September 29th, 2008 § 1 comment § permalink

Sign the petition to try to extend UK abortion rights to the women of Northern Ireland.

The complete text of the petition is below.

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to extend the 1967 Abortion Act to Northern Ireland, and grant women there the same rights to abortion as women in the rest of the United Kingdom.

More details from petition creator
We believe that the UK Government and the Northern Ireland Assembly should extend the 1967 Abortion Act to Northern Ireland, and grant women there the same rights to abortion as women in the rest of the United Kingdom.

As the law currently stands, no woman in Northern Ireland with an unwanted pregnancy (including women who’ve been raped, victims of incest, diagnosed with fetal abnormality/disability) has the automatic right to abortion.

Consequently, Northern Irish women:

• Pay the emotional and financial costs (up to £2,500) and travel to England or overseas for a private abortion.

• Have babies they have already decided they don’t want.

• Buy illegal and unsafe abortion pills on the internet in desperation.

fpa believes Parliament should change the law to end the discrimination against Northern Ireland women and give them the right to choose.

Stampa clandestina

September 29th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

The Reg!:

Italian bloggers are up in arms at a court ruling early this year that suggests almost all Italian blogs are illegal. This month, a senior Italian politician went one step further, warning that most web activity is likely to be against the law.
The story begins back in May, when a judge in Modica (in Sicily) found local historian and author Carlo Ruta guilty of the crime of “stampa clandestina” – or publishing a “clandestine” newspaper – in respect of his blog. The judge ruled that since the blog had a headline, that made it an online newspaper, and brought it within the law’s remit.

The offence has its origins in 1948, when in apparent contradiction of Article 21 of the Italian Constitution guaranteeing the right to free expression, a law was passed requiring publishers to register officially before setting up a new publication. The intention, in the immediate aftermath of Fascism, may have been to regulate partisan and extremist publications. The effect was to introduce into Italian society a highly centrist and bureaucratic approach to freedom of the Press.

A further twist to this tale took place in 2001, with the realisation that existing laws were inadequate to deal with the internet. Instead of liberalising, the Italian Government sought to bring the internet into the same framework as traditional print media. Law 62, passed in March 2001, introduces the concept of “stampa clandestina” to the internet.

What few noticed at the time was that this law had the capacity to place blogs on a par with full-blown journalism. It would only take a judge to decide that something as simple as a headline was what defined a “newspaper”.

One of the supporters of this law in 2001 was Giuseppe Giulietti, now a Deputy with the Italia di Valori Parliamentary Grouping.

Back then, he brushed aside criticism of the proposed law with the reassurance that “The Press Law has never had as its objective the regulation of the online community”.

What a difference a few years make. Earlier this month, the same Giuseppe Giulietti could be found writing to the Minister for Justice that “current logic means that almost the entire Italian internet, by its very nature, could be considered illegal – “stampa clandestina” – which is a complete contravention of the democratic rulebook”.

Italy is seriously turning into a wrong ‘un, what with the fingerprinting of Roma children and the different legal penalties given depending on who you are.


A moderate radical Islamist?

September 29th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

Omar Bakri Mohammeds’ daughter is a pole dancer, apparently.

Aren’t fundamental Islamists supposed to be against all that type of caper going on? And we’ve heard of complaints for less from religious types of all stripes, so I was suprised to see a quote of this nature in the story from Mr Mohammed (my emphasis):

She was brought up properly in the Muslim faith, but she is free to make her own choices in life.

Shouldn’t a fundamental Islamist like him be demanding her death for becoming a non-muslim and the death of everyone around her for encouraging her, ogling her and not killing her for her sins against Islam?

Omar, if Yasmin can just get on with things, and be judged by god and not you and your twisted buddies then why not all of us? Why not just shut the fuck up and leave us all alone. If there is a god, which there isn’t, then it’ll be our problem not yours.
Now fuck off.

To be honest I’m not just surprised that that is a quote from a fun’mentalist, but also that The Sun printed it. I’d have thought is would be too lame for the sun to print. It doesn’t exactly fit with their ‘Muslims say ‘Die infidels’ narrative, does it.

Related, sort of: Heresy Corner: Comedy of Terrors

It’s Bizarre

September 28th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

I have a new post up at The Sun – Tabloid Lies

The site No Rock And Roll Fun has just appeared on my radar, and you could say, they don’t hold Gordon Smart in very high esteem.

Their first post about him, when he took over in November 2007, was a good one:

And so the Sun rises on a new era, with Gordon Smart taking over the controls at the paper’s Bizarre column.

Hey… he’s called Gordon, and you know who else is called Gordon?

Yes, yes, the “moron” in Jilted John’s hit, but you know who else?

Yes, the Prime Minister. But it’s not a thought they’d push, is it?

Prime Minister of showbiz … new man Gordon

Oh. They are.

Read Gordon’s manifesto

And push it, and push it.

WE are both Scottish and called Gordon – but that’s where the similarities between the Prime Minister and me end.

Well, yes. Gordon Brown doesn’t look like he’s one of the guys who turn up at the end of Homes Under The Hammer saying “I would value this property at £137,000…”, for a start

On silent banking

September 26th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

[[image:ofcom2.jpg::center:0]]Picture from The Spine


Barclaycard has received the maximum possible fine for the “most serious and persistent” case of silent calls ever seen by regulator Ofcom.

The credit provider was hit with a £50,000 fine after an Ofcom investigation uncovered an extremely high number of silent calls.

Typically, these occur when call centres with automated systems dial more numbers than staff can deal with.

WTF? An automated system for outgoing calls? Don’t these companies trust their wage slaves to make the next call quick enough, fearing they might take too long to get their mettle together after a shitty call.

What am I thinking? Of course they don’t. Time is money, after all.

If only…

September 26th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

[[image:listen_to_yourself.png:xkcd – Listen to Yourself:center:0]]

Nadine spins

September 24th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

A couple of days ago I posted about the result of the Sunnys’ complaint against the dappy bint of an MP, Nadine Dorries.

In it I only had information from your entry on your ‘blog’. But what Nadine failed to mention was that the complaint was UPHELD.:

The rules of the house, however, do require Members to make a clear distinction between websites which are financed from public funds and any other domain. At the time of your complaint, Mrs Dorries’ website did not meet that requirement. Nor was it appropriate that she use the Portcullis emblem on the weblog given its contents. And the funding attribution on Mrs Dorries’ Home Page should have been updated to reflect that the funding came from the Communications Allowance and not from the Incidental Expenses Provision.(source)

Bang to rights. But there are other issues that are to be explored:

There’s a few issues here. Firstly, Nadine Dorries is complaining that we have too much time on her hands. This is a bit absurd coming from an MP who has recently re-submitted amendments to the HFE bill that try to bring down the 24 week limit, even though that amendment was already voted down. Submitting the same amendment again is a waste of parliamentary time. So who’s the fool now?

And most of our ‘evidence’ was actually screenshots from her blog threatening other MPs with losing the next election just because they didn’t agree with her position on abortion. Yeah, she’s a real tolerant one, Dorries.

There’s another point. As the HFE Bill is coming back to the Commons for a third reading, Dorries will no doubt be ready to spout the rubbish she was last time, publishing hoax pictures and mis-representing the science. We’re putting together a briefing which collates all this information, exposes her true agenda, and more.

The more is the 20 weeks campaign and her links to fundamental Christians.

I’m looking forward to it.

Will Iain Dale mention it, as he did with Nadines version of events, or will he keep quiet because it would involve ‘dissing’ on a friend in public?

Where am I?

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