Pope Cartoons

In case anyone feels I am anti-Muslim after my last comment, I can assure them I am not. I am anti-the-worst-excesses-of-religion. Recently the Pope was in Africa and condemned charities for handing out condoms. This attitude I cannot agree with. It completely ignores the reality of human relationships and sexual practices. I am not the only person who views such Papal statements with disgust. Below is a link to cartoons satirizing the Popes attitude.

A Few More Pope Cartoons | Friendly Atheist by Hemant Mehta

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Turkey and the European Union

Deal being so close to the European mainland, I am always interested in news relating to Europe. Turkey is in the first stages of applying for membership of the European Union. Regrettably, Turkey is also increasingly turning to a more radical form of Islamic government. News that two Christians have been arrested in Turkey for being Christian does not sit well with European ideals of freedom and tolerance. In fact, a number of verses within the Koran seem to indicate that if Turkey becomes an Islamic state then it has a duty to attack Christians and Jews (Shakir translation).

9: 29 Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection.

9: 30 And the Jews say: Uzair (Ezra) is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away!

Some say that these verse indicate that God will deal with Christians and Jews after death and that they do not relate to life on Earth. However, earlier in the same Sura (chapter), the Koran says:

9: 14 Fight them, Allah will punish them by your hands and bring them to disgrace, and assist you against them and heal the hearts of a believing people.

Here, it seems that God is giving Muslims the right to take action against non-believers (in Islam) on God’s behalf. It will certainly be interesting to see if the European Union does eventually agree to Turkey’s admission into the EU.

‘Insulting Turkishness’ case proceeds under revised law | EuropeNews

An 8 year old child is punished in Iran!

An 8 year child has had a truck run over his arm for stealing a piece of bread. Please do not watch this video if you are of a nervous disposition. It does, however, show how primitive a culture Iran has at the moment and how wrong President Obama is to cuddle up to Iran. It also illustrates why United Nations efforts to ban criticism of Islam are so misguided. If we cannot criticize Islam then we cannot criticize this sort of behaviour because it was done in the name of Islam.

Former Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt wants assisted suicide journeys to Dignitas legalised

“Patricia Hewitt, the former Health Secretary, and Kevin Barron, the chairman of the influential health select committee, are among the politicians calling for an end to the threat of jail for those who help family or friends travel to voluntary euthanasia clinics such as Dignitas in Switzerland.”

So begins this Daily Telegraph article on assisted suicide. Some people, especially those with religious affiliations, might argue that no human being should be allowed to commit suicide and that anyone who assists a suicide, including anyone who travels to somewhere Switzerland to seek help from an organization like Dignitas, should be prosecuted on their return.

This morning I watched an interview between a BBC News presenter and Patricia Hewitt. The presenter asked a very pertinent question: Should someone who is terminally ill and who felt altruistically obliged to commit suicide in a time of recession should be allowed to use that reason?

Now, if you consider Darwin’s Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection there is a positive evolutionary reason why a decision to commit suicide during a recession would make sense. An organism, and like it or not humans are organisms, which is a financial burden to its offspring has every reason to remove themselves from the family. They are unlikely to sire more children and those children they have already will stand a better chance of survival if they do not have to cope with unproductive baggage. By unproductive baggage I do not mean a parent who is retired or unemployed but a parent who is, say, no longer able to contribute to the family by looking after grandchildren while the parents are at work, or unable to offer advice to assist their offspring cope with the apparently insolvable problems life throws at a family. In Darwinian terms, a terminally ill person’s genes stand a better chance of being passed on if they die when times are hardest.

This point of view may seem harsh and cruel but it is logical. There are plenty of examples in the animal world where such decisions would be made by the group to which the seriously ill animal belonged. In the case of humans, who have evolved large brains, can think logically and decide for themselves what they wish to do, the most important clause of any assisted suicide legislation must be that a terminally ill person must make the decision for themselves. Others must not be allowed to make the decision for them.

Before assisted suicide becomes legal, therefore, there must be included in the legislation checks and balances, preferable made by doctors, lawyers, psychiatrists and social workers, to ensure that the person deciding to commit suicide is making that decision themselves and is not being coerced by family members or others. It must be an purely altruistic decision on the part of the person requesting assisted suicide.

Former Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt wants assisted suicide journeys to Dignitas legalised – Telegraph

Another example of the Government’s hypocrisy

Schools secretary Ed Balls seeks power to dictate what textbooks GCSE and A-level students must study | UK news | The Guardian

Every so often a story emerges that shows the crass stupidity of our present government. That an untrained politician could determine what is studies by school children is indicative of how the government is saying it wants to give power to local politicians while doing exactly the opposite.

Yes, there is a case for determining what minimum standards should be acceptable. Yes, there is a case for ensuring that British children are taught so that they can function within a British society. Why do I say this? Because in some schools foreign teachers have been shown to teach concepts and ideas that are alien to the British way of life. For a child to learn nothing but the Koran, to learn that the Koran and Sunna give them everything they need to function in any society may be acceptable in an Islamic state but it is not acceptable in a modern, secular state like Britain. Children need to learn much more than being able to read an Arabic Koran by rote even if they do not understand Arabic.

However, for the Secretary of State for Education to give themselves the right to make such important decisions smacks of Nazism. The right way to go about deciding on a standard minimum curriculum would be for the Government to set up a body of education experts to suggest a curriculum and then for the whole of Parliament to vote on the acceptance or decline of the recommendations. That would be the democratic way forward.

The government is giving itself great powers. At a time of recession when university chancellors, bankers and a host of other so-called leaders are voting themselves huge pay rises, which to the public it appears is to the detriment of society and which the Government says it objects to, and then to vote itself tremendous powers to decide our children’s, and therefore society’s, future seems hypocritical to say the least. As a worst case scenario, suppose the people became so disenfranchised that in a moment of madness they voted in an extremist group which was bent on destroying British society as we know it, the extremists could do so without having to change one piece of legislation. A similar situation happened in 1930s Germany. Children should definitely be taught what that led to.

Council Jargon

The jargon terms council leaders want banned (Tony Collins’s IT Projects Blog)

Well, I haven’t been blogging for some time. What with a death, a marriage to help arrange and a forthcoming birth I have been quite the busy little bee. I have also had numerous medical tests to contend with to do with my new diagnosis of Chronic Kidney Disease. It appears many diabetics end up with the condition. I’m now on ACE inhibitors, which, apparently, help reduce further kidney damage.

There was a time when many doctors would treat patients as little more than annoyances to be dealt with as quickly as possible, perhaps with the less than judicial prescribing of anti-depressants to ensure they were kept in a state of maximum compliance. Then the doctor could leave for a game of golf or whatever save in the knowledge that their patients would not be complaining about their ‘perceived’ conditions. Then came Margaret Thatcher and the scalpel and doctors began to take their patients more seriously once again. (If only another Mrs. Thatcher could do the same for dentists!)

It’s that lack of respect for patients, clients, customers or whatever the ‘in vogue’ word for the general public is to be referred that council leaders are now attempting to challenge. Words and phrases can reveal a lot about attitudes. The link above gives a fairly comprehensive list of the terms that council leaders want to ban. I, for one, find it quite offensive to be told that listening to people is referredĀ  to as ‘Bottom-up’ by council employees.


The campaign against jargon has a point when it suggests that jargon can be used not only to confuse but to conceal offensive attitudes or worse. So more power to the elbows of the council leaders.

To complete this blog, I’d like to add another couple of examples:

Coterminosity – all singing from the same hymn sheet

Coterminous – all singing from the same hymn sheet

Would you have known that?

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