Sunday, 31 March 2013

RDF Face Book page hacked by islamists.

Today the official page of the Richard dawkins foundation administered by Sean Faircloth was hacked by islamic extremists apparently in retalliation for a successful campaign to restore a Pakistani secularism page.
17:36 31/3 NZST

17:49 31/3 NZST

18:00 31/3 NZST

Later attempts to reach the page returned the a user to there own wall until 18:57 NZST when the page was restored, Posting and commenting are still disabled for some users.

Have you ever seen an atom?

Astounding new images in quantum scale...

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Burqas and Vitamin D

If like me you've mentioned the connection between burqa,  niqab or similar and Vitamin D deficiency and related health effects only to get "That's bullshit!" in reply, direct them to this meta analysis published the Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal from  Oman.
Even in north African countries there is a high prevalence of low vitamin D status; 25(OH)D is in the rachitic range. Veiled women, or women wearing purdahs (cloth that covers the whole of the body), have a lower vitamin D status than their peers within the same country.
See further reading on NHI.

Do Atheists Have a Civil Rights Problem?

Yes, there are those who would replace the separation clause of the US Constitution with "Congress shall make not law preferring a sect of religion of anther." Wording that was specifically rejected because it denied the rights of the non-religious.
News articles of people being evicted after the revelation of their atheism, others being fired because of their atheism. Kids bullied in school sometimes by teachers because of their atheism.
As much many Christian Americans say they value free speech, how it few bat an eyelid when billboards proclaim atheist are hell bound but law suits are virgorously persued when Atheist billboards point out the irrational absurdities of religion?
And seven US states still have in their constitutions and statutes prohibitions that require belief in a god or heaven for public office. In 2006 North Carolina Republican representatives attempted to prevent an elected official for taking office because he was an Atheist. But there hope, work to be done and stepping up...

See Republicans try stop Atheist in office.
   Threats over billboards.
   Atheist bullied out of school.

Sean Faircloth in New Zealand

Sean Faircloth is on a speaking tour New Zealand, this morning he spoke to Kim Hill on Radio New Zealand.

We here are seeing signs that religious fundamentalism is growing here, and causing harm.

The Catholic Defence League vandalisng the bill board of a progressive church.

Destiny Church driving its laity into bankruptcy.

Even Campbell live has covered the Church that claimed Jesus cures cancer a belief that leads people to eschew effective treatment.

Parents seeing their children been distressed by the teaching of Religion Instruction by CEC(Church Education Commission) and CEF(Child Evangelism Fellowship).

It also appears the assault on secular politics is under way, Those with longer memories will recall the Christian Heritage Party, more recently the Conservative Party of New Zealand gain 1% of the vote after spending a fair amount of Colin Craig's money and giving him a platform to spout his homophobic and misogynistic views.

Tickets for Sean Faircloth's speaking engagements are available from Free).


Friday, 29 March 2013

State-level think tanks and the new face of conservatism

Just as Darth Sidius covertly sought to steel power from the galactic senate, conservatives in America are chipping away democracy and replacing it with corporate plutocracy.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

The House is bought, but you knew, now see the bill.

House reps, are too busy brown nosing donors to work on issues and campaigns.
And they are effective nobbled from pushing issues to strongly lest donors withhold campaign donations and prevent re-election.
Cenk also points the American public to his campaign to fix the problem.

Monday, 18 March 2013

The real American Taliban

The Family Research Counsel, have more in common with the Taliban and the Muslim Brother hood than they may like to admit.
The ritualized behaviour and the concern over the relatively inconsequential has some to describe religion as organized schizoprenia. Schizotypal personality disorders come from mild expressions of genetic traits that in strong forms bring on the full disease.

1984 was a prescient documentary? Maybe...

Now that information technology is so much of our lives, companies are picking brains and and giving  governments the opportunity to convict citizens of thought crimes. What kind of nation would enable such intrusion surely not the land of the free...

CISPA is back

see propublica,

Islams new assault on human rights.

After giving up on its last attempt to create a blasphemy model on the the 2009 Irish Blasphemy Law.   The religion of "amputated pieces" is taking another shot at killing free thought.
After the Organization of Islamic Cooperation gave up its call for an international blasphemy law the Arab League took up the cause. Late October, head of the Arab League Nabil Elaraby, spoke at the UN Security Council during a debate on Syria and called international to criminalize blasphemy.

Citing the "Innocence of Muslims" video, Elaraby likened the need for blasphemy to the need for laws prohibiting physical violence.
"While we fully reject such actions that are not justifiable in any way, we would like to ring the warning bell, we are warning that offending religions, faiths and symbols is indeed a matter that threatens in international peace and security now."
Other members of the Arab League have made similar calls, including  Mohammad Morsi and the Saudi King Abdullah.
King Abdullah reportedly said "I demand a UN resolution that condemns any country or group that insults religions and prophets, it is our duty and that of every Muslim to protect Islam and defend the prophets."

Not content to nobble the minds of the entire planet the Muslim Brotherhood seeks to reduce the status of women to that which has not been seen in the US in 180 years.  Describing their general approach, "family expert" Osama Yehia Abu Salama said "A woman needs to be confined within a framework that is controlled by the man of the house," Even if a wife were beaten by her husband, he advised, “Show her how she had a role in what happened to her.” Mr. Abu Salama added, “If he is to blame, she shares 30 percent or 40 percent of the fault.”

According to a statement released by the Muslim Brotherhood, marital rape should not be grounds for a legal or criminal complaint by the wife.

The position statements appear to support long standing doctrine of the Muslim Brotherhood. Such restrictioms are the cause of tension in the traditionally secular Egypt.

I say, Any 54 year old man that rapes a 9 year old girl and flees on a winged horse is not a perfect man no matter how many racist misogynist fan boys he's got. and I can say this because I live in a country the values free expression. In Saudi Arabia, Hamza Kashgari faces the death penalty for tweeting "There are many things I like about you and many things I don't understand. I would not bow to you but would shake your hand as an equal." and "It's impossible for women to go to hell, it is impossible to go there twice." Hamza's case may result is release but only thanks to extensive international pressure. The real tragedy is the that of those who never get the attention of the international community. Especially in Iran where executions have escalated in recent years.
More recently violent protests in Bangladesh have led to two murders of secular bloggers.

It is the mark of bad ideas, that their defence must come with violence.

Sources : NY Times,

Is not the wind farms it's hot air about them.

It appears concerns over health effects from wind farms has been shown to be a psychological effects from rhetoric generated those advocating against wind farms resulting in excessive worry.

Accord to Sydney University professor of Public Health Simon Chapman ""If windfarms were intrinsically unhealthy or dangerous in some way, we would expect to see complaints applying to all of them, but in fact there is a large number where there have been no complaints at all,"

The study is the first into complaints about wind farms notes that western Australia has 13 wind farm none of which have attracted any complaints.

For two decades small and medium size turbines ahd been installed and in operation without complaint. Four years ago things started to change as group started to oppose wind farms on largely aesthetic grounds "Then in about 2009 things started ramping up and these people discovered if you started saying it was a health problem, a lot more people would sit up and pay attention. It's essentially a sociological phenomenon,"

It seems some people will talk themselves into anything.

Source The Gardian

Saturday, 16 March 2013

So you think religion is a force for good?

Take a look at the good it has been giving us lately...

Misogyny, religious bigotry, discrimination, violence against women, children and dissenters.
Many talk about returning to "traditional values" but lets look at those traditional values.
Before 1865, a woman could be raped and have no legal recourse if her rapist was her master because "property" cannot be raped.
Before 1938, children would be denied education and sent to work in factories until the enactment of child labour laws.
Before 1968, it was ok to pass laws to descrimination based on ethnicity in voting rights.
Before the late 1837 century married women had virtually no legal status, by 1887 still one in three states had legal recognition women and by the end of the century the states of Delaware, South Carolina and Virginia still failed to recognize women.
Only this year did Mississippi Ratify The US Constitutional amendment banning slavery.
In 1885, the age of consent was 10-12 in most states and 7 in Delaware and it took 25 years of campaigning to raise the age of consent to to 16 or 18 in most states.
Before 1920 women could be denied the right to vote in US elections until that year saw the passing of the 19th amendment.
Before safe legal abortion, the most common cause of death for women was botch backstreet abortions. Now complications from abortions are relatively rare.

Yemen still practises traditional value and the average of a Yemeni bride is 13.
Evangelical churchs in Africa are engaged in the traditional war against witchcraft, but the witches they find are between 5 and 14. These children are tortured, burn, drowned, abondoned as preachers and families blame them for family misfortunes.

So the question is, how is any of this "ideal"?

Bradley Manning up for Nobel Peace

Wikileaks source PFC Bradley Manning is again a nominee the Nobel Peace Prize. His 2013 nomination is the third that he has received it is perhaps a travesty that he has been overlooked for award of the prize.
Unlike previous Laureatte Barrack Obama, Manning actually did something significant to win his nomination, more over Obama risked little, and Manning risked everything and his liberty is forfeit.

Here is Bradley's testimony from Freedom of the Foundation.
This video is the full testimony with audio enhancement.

If you would like to make you voice heard, see or see the contact email at The Nobel Institute

You may also wish to examine the Bradley Manning support group

Friday, 15 March 2013

The problem and solution for non profits

Having worked for a couple of non profits one of which did go belly up and the other that dumped its marketing operation this TED talk make a lot of sense to me. Simply how can anyone reasonably expect non-profit organizations to grow to meet the needs of their cause if they are denied the very mechanism needed to drive growth?

Bangladesh to snoop online in 'blasphemy' crackdown

Disturbing developments in a Bangladesh surrounding secular bloggers after riots and

DHAKA: Bangladesh announced plans Thursday to monitor social media networks such as Facebook in a bid to identify bloggers who have been accused of insulting Islam and the Prophet Mohammed.

A special panel is being set up, including leaders of the main intelligence agencies and the telecoms regulator, to exchange information and track down the people behind recent posts that have caused outrage among Islamic groups.

"We will try our best to dig out what's actually happening and find out the people who're making blasphemous comments against Islam and the Prophet," said Main Uddin Khandaker, a senior home ministry official who will head the panel.

"There might be differences in opinion, but that does not mean anyone in the country has the rights to mock others' beliefs," Khandaker told AFP, adding that the panel would submit its report to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Islamic groups and clerics have staged a series of protests against blasphemous bloggers in recent weeks and threatened to march to Dhaka next month if they are not prosecuted.

The debate between militant atheists and fundamentalists has been a popular subject in Bangladesh's blogosphere and on social media for years, but it took a deadly turn last month when an alleged anti-Islam blogger was murdered.

Islamic parties and leading clerics have since focused on the writings by other atheist bloggers, calling nationwide strikes in protest and demanding the execution of those they accuse of blasphemy.

At least eight people have killed in the anti-blasphemy protests.

The government has blocked about a dozen websites and blogs to stem the violence, as well as stepping up security for the bloggers, some of whom claim to have been threatened by the student activists of a leading Islamic party.

Police have arrested five students in connection with the killing of the blogger, Ahmed Rajib Haider. The five have admitted that they killed Haider because of his blasphemous writing against the Prophet, according to police.

The killing of Haider was the second attack in Dhaka in less than a month against a blogger critical of Islam and Islamist groups.
Islamists riot it seems in an attempt to black mail governments into bending to their way of doing things. And sometimes it works and yet it is a sure sign that ideas are bad when they must be defended by violence. But sadly, too often it seems to be work. The Arab League has started a new tack to get a blasphemy law entered into international statute. The Organization of Islamic Countries is setup its own human rights commission.
These efforts are only to prop up failing theocratic regimes. Atheism and secularism is rising up and confronting theo fascist rule. this is at the heart of the confict in Egypt.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

'Finspy' Hijacks Activist Computers - Are You Being Monitored?

Probably a good idea to get off Windows and use a free OS...

Is money in politics killing us?

An Awesome Message from P.W. Swivel

Yes, we can be good without God...

Concerned Christian Speaks Out Against Gay Marriage in Minnesota House M...

Possibly the stupidest public submission on marriage equality ever...

This argument ignaores HIV, condoms, vasectomies. It also shows a double standard ignoring lesbian sex. and the fat that straight couples do anal and oral sex more than gay couples.

Something rotten in the state of Gitmo

Over 100 Guantanamo prisoners are on hunger strike, citing the threat of a return to the dark days under bush.
Many those strike are "cleared to leave", while some need repatriation to third countries, most would return to Yemen if there wasn't a ban on repatriating Yemeni captives.
This is setting up to be a major catastrophy...

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Egyptian Secular owns Salafi who loses his rag on TV

This is a priceless moment on Egyptian television as the host has to restrain the Salafi theocrat armed with sandal.

Wealth Inequality in America

This video explains why the wealth gap is worse than people think, and worse than people think it should be.
In a fair economic the successful have more but even the poor have enough to live well and to perhaps invest in themselves and work their way up.
But the reality painted by the number is staggeringly at odds with the notion of a fair economy. Leaving the poorest of the poor trapped in poverty in the richest nation in the world.
Today we heard household wealth has returned to pre 2008 levels, this is on the back gains by the top 10% of Americans.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

HIV and flu -- the vaccine strategy - Seth Berkley

The biggest problem with HIV and flu is their rapid mutation, but new science shows there are likely ways to effectively defend against them. Like a looking for quick-change disguise artist that doesn't their socks can be identified by their socks, we may be able to spot these viruses now that we've seen what their socks look like.

Fuck You Gordon Gekko

Dennis Trainor says what I've been thinking and many of you know, and some chose to deny. But Even US Attorney General Eric Holder was forced to say essentially that the big banks are too big to jail.
We now have a banking sector that is so powerful it can engage in criminal drug money laundering and sanction busting with out fear of criminal prosecution. This is where greed has taken us to a new Wild-West where people are widgets, corporations are kings, and governments are mere tools. This is why we need Occupy, This is why need Anonymous, This is why we need Wikileaks.

When James Cameron created Terminator he create a nightmare anti human future dominated by machine control. The reality we are facing is perhaps just as bleak, the only difference being that the machine in control is the super organism of corporate authority. We've already invented the HK drones and used them in central/south asia. We already growing deprivation 90% of the US population and corporation captured more than 95% of US economic gains of the last 4 years.
[End of rant]

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Politicans, It's like they don't even know us

According a recent study, US politicians see a significantly more conservative constituency than the constituency than they actually represent. Conservative politicians by 20%, liberals by 7%.
So if you've ever felt like politicians don't represent you, you're probably right, with many of them representing notional states more conservative than any state in the union.
This goes some way to explaining why congress has a 9% approval rating, and Bill Maher's "conservative bubble" or why Fox News is the most distrusted news source in the US and paradoxically the most trusted.

AG Holder: Too big to fail is too big to jail.

Eric Holder admitied in a senate hearing that the banks are too big jail because of the fear of knock on effects for the US or world economy.

Holder was also asked about the Aron Swartz case in which Swartz didn't actually break the law and was charge with crimes with upto 35years in penalties.

Almost sounds someone is over compensating or "kicking the cat".

This could be the lead-in to breaking up Bank Of America, CitiBank, HSBC,  et al.
Money laundering offences are enough to shut down HSBC, if it wasn't to big to nail. Regulators appear hamstrung until DoJ moves.

Bill O'Reilly Freaks Out: 'This Is Bull-Blank!'

When you see people pushing a counter factual agenda Bill O'Reilly demonstrates what happens when people introduce fact into the debate.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Cringe worthy science headlines

New Scientist

New Scientist was criticized for it's front page headline "Darwin was Wrong" in relation to an article on horizontal gene transfer in early microbial life forms.
Higgs gets the Twitterati going <i>(Image: Twitter)</i>

Perhaps the editors at New Scientist are lining up for another smacking over this weeks headline "We've run out of explanations for the universe" which relates to an article about a tweet from a CERN scientist that the putative Higgs Boson doesn't have the quirks needed to complete the standard model of physics. No official announcement has been made, even if the "Higgs" isn't what physicist are hoping, they have learned something new that will point them in other directions, some of them will lead to answers.

If you have seen other cringe worthy headlines related to science I'd love to see them. Please mention the source and publication date if possible.

Horrifying Iraq Torture - Pentagon's Complacency Revealed (Video)

Colonel Steel must be brought to justice. Colonel is perhaps the very reason why the GW Bush's administration refused to sign up for the agreement on the international court. Otherwise Colonel Steel would be stuck in the Hague by now.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

A disgrace to the uniform

Sadly, all too often, we see officers charged with protection of the public being the kind of people the public need protection from and so disgracing officers who daily put themselves in harms way to protect and serve.

The problem rarely in isolation, regular people fall victim to the Lucifer effect. This is where individual ethics is subjugated to the group agenda. It was first described after the Stanford Prison experiment, it was seen in Abu Graib. Its rife within the institution of the Catholic church where the instinct to protect children and nuns from the sexual violence of priests is over ridden by the need to protect the tribe of the church authority.
New Jersey police apparently  have a form for this too.

Occupy Philadelphia protester Michael Blas is held by a police officer during a protest by the group at a Wells Fargo Bank office.

Philidelphia recently lost their case against occupy protestors in a bank sit-in. The judge in the case shook the hands of the Occupy defendants after case.

In New York Police Officers committed perjury in a failed attempt to lock up Micheal Premo. Officers were coraling Occupy protests using orange plastic nets a practise they call "kettling". When pressure from the officers collapsed the occupy crowd, Premo crawled out and was tackled by police. Police accused Premo of tackling them like a "linebacker". Premo was acquited when this video showed his arrest did not comport with Police testimony.

To see more about this case read this article.

According to this article New York's women are getting arrested for possession of condoms not a crime in itself, but police make the spurious accusation that these women are involved in prostitution. It works like this, a woman out late at night with her boy friend; a van rolls up beside them and eight officers spill out of it; they tackle her to the ground and pick her purse; some condoms fall out; an officer says "You're a fucking prostitute. You're doing sex work.".  This precise scenario happened to Bianey Garcia(23) on 86th street, Jackson Heights. Read more here and here.
Trans women like Bianey are especially vulnerable, as they have the well founded fear of persecution in the jail environment. That fear leads them to not contest the charges in order to avoid arraignment.
This one case is a little more subtle, in it demonstration of the Lucifer Effect and there are some other things going on. Prostitution laws as we know them today are the modern species of Mosiac Law found in Israelite tradition. The authority behind such laws, beyond the legal authority is the authority of the invisible sky wizard or, as neuropsychology calls it, the ego. In order to protect the perceive value of marriage religious authorities must persecute those those who find alternative ways meet their physical and emotional needs. If they don't, they have to admit that relationships other than marriage have validity which exposes the exceptionalism given to marriage as false. Nobody likes to admit they've been had or caught in a lie.
Lets see What Professor Philip Zimbardo says about the Lucifer effect.

Monday, 4 March 2013

CFI-Michigan wins settlement against bigoted country club

Center For Inquiry 
According to an article in Secular News the owners of Wyndgate Country Club who "[did] not wish to associate with atheists" after being sued for discrimination and breach of contract after the cancellation of a 2011 event featuring guest speaker Richard Dawkins .

The suit cited voilation of Title II of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. The settlemetn was reached on the 26th of February.

Owner Larry Winget decided to cancel the booking after seeing evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins talking about the his book Magic of Reality on the O'Rielly Factor. Wyndgate staff said Winget "did not want to associate with certain individuals or philosophies."

Congratulations to CFI-Michigan.

Free speech/expression means little if those who discriminate are allowed to do so freely. It is excellent that the owners of the venue have been brought to account and sending a message to others who may think reasonable to discriminate against reason.

Source: Secular News
  Club and Resort Business

Meet Zach and the Great Agnostic Robert Ingersoll

Zach Kopplin has been a powerful voice in the fight against the creeping wave of procreation education legislation. And now winner of "Trouble maker of the year" celebrating young people creating a fuss for a good cause.

Also Susan Jacoby discusses the battle issues from the 19th century that are still hard fought today in modern the USA.

Another epidemic of catholic perversion

While the paedophile scandle has been highly publicized, less well known is the plight of nuns put upon by priests.
According to documents released to the National Catholic Reporter, Catholic priests are exploiting their power and position for sexual favours from nuns, especially in third world cultures where women are more conditioned to be subordinated to men.

The problem with celibacy, is that human libido will drive people to sexual expression, if healthy options are not available then unhealthy even criminal expression will occur for segment of such a behaviourally constrained population.

Catholic Church needs to do two things to save itself from oblivion, end celibacy, and turnover sex offenders to law enforcement.

Celibacy was originally introduced to ensure the wealth of the church would not be lost to the heirs of priests. It is not like the rule is really needed any more.

Source Austin Cline at

[VIDEO] Mind this when JW's are on your door

This is a 40min Panorama doco from 2006.

Keep in mind dis-fellowship still happens even if they deny it. Dis-fellowship still destroys families.

Does racism affect how you vote? - Nate Silver

Here is clear evidence demonstrating why education is so very important to developing a diverse harmonious multicultural society. Clearly some states in the US have been been failed.

Saturday, 2 March 2013