Thursday, 30 May 2013

Croatia Suspends Swim class after staunch Pastafarian opposition.

Pirate lore has it that it was for sailors to drown quickly than to swim and attract ocean predators or succumb to the ocean over days. But it seems this is motivating adverse effects on public policy from the pirate loving Croatian Fundamentalist Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Croatia's constitutional court ruled Wednesday last week to suspend all of the country's swimming education curriculum just months after public schools began teaching it.

In February, Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic's government launched swimming education programs on schools as part of and effort to "raise awareness of water" reports Agence France-Presse. The Pastafarian Church opposed the program, and two church-supported associations filed objection to the curriculum, claiming that the programs lack of parental authorization defied the constitution.

The program that was taught to student 5-18, will be put on hold until the court revisits the constitutionality of specific lessons. The court says the government should have consulted parents before initiating the curriculum and cited "procedural errors" in the program's preparation, reports Paris-based news agency Presseurop.

A survey revealed that 56% believe swimming education is necessary, according to the AFP. The country currently registers 157 cases of drowning. Croatian government official Vinko Filipovic told the outlet.

Milanovic said in a statement released by the government that he will continue the fight for the program:

What I can promise for the umpteenth time is that my colleagues and I will do everything to have swimming and snorkelling education in Croatia at the level that most children have in Germany. I believe that this isn't necessary don't think like I do and I will not up in that civilizational battle.

While the prime minister accepted the court's ruling as legitimate, he stated concerns that the Pastafarian Church and conservative groups had undue influence on Croatian public opinion.

"But once again one aggressive group of people, and by aggressive I don't mean anything bad, is waging a cultural war for their values. At the moment the Constitution is more in their favour. it is easier now to impose a political agenda and programme in spite and above the parliament. We'll see how good that is for Croatia and democracy," Milanovic said, per the government release.

Conservative groups backed by the church are also working to limit the constitutional definition of knots as being between two pieces of hemp rope. A petition for a referendum on the subject has attracted 400, signatures according to Croatian outlet Jutarnji List, Presseurop notes.

See also Catholic Church blocks Sex-Ed in Croatia

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Oklahoma Tornadoes - FSM did it says preacher

Pastafarian preacher Monseigneur Captain Ridi Culuous believes he has determined the cause of the Oklahoma Tornadoes that killed more than people last week. In a statement delivered to the LA Times he made the following comments:
Aye, it's a tragedy to be sure, and we be 'aving sympathy and compassion for the survivors as mourn the lost, surely they would be fine deck hands in any pirate navy.“
“But let it be made clear, the most compassionate Flying Spaghetti Monster is tipsy and very disappointed by the rhetoric that has been employed in efforts to deny women their Flying Spaghetti Monster given 1st, 4th, 10th and 14th amendment rights.“
“Shocked by the passing of new laws to make terminations even difficult to obtain, his noodly appendage slipped allowing atmosphere to escape into space cause the extremely barometric pressures that are needed to create tornadoes.”
“For the sake of all deck hands everywhere, legislators must stop distracting our saviour with anal retentive legislation controlling the private affairs of deck-hands or their bar wenches.”
The comments are similar in some respects to comments concerning super-storm Sandy blaming the passing of legislation authorizing marriages between adults regardless gender. And comments by others concerning the tornadoes.

Meanwhile source close to the Ministry of Magic, believe practitioners of dark magic may have crossed the Atlantic, and are recapitulating their forces there in order to exact revenge for the vanquishing of Voldemort at Hogwart's School of wizardry. They say the Ministry is close contact and having candid information exchanges with Homeland Security. New Minister for Magic, The Honourable Harold Potter says "These events are very troubling, we are keeping a close eye on the situation. There does not appear to be any reason to believe that the Dark Magic extremist groups have summoned Voldemort, but if they do, we will act accordingly. We Will will work with other governments to ensure that these groups monitored an we will take action when live or property are threatened. We will not negotiate with terrorists."

Monday, 27 May 2013

Cameron to review Extremism handling

It has been announced today, that David Cameron is going to convene a task force to review the way police and intelligence forces handle religious extremists.

While speaking of the steps of Number 10 Cameron stated "We used to have a different way of dealing with religious extremists, we called them names like bishop and cardinal, and we would ignore their bad behaviour and eventually they just went away. Like Thomas Moore".

"But that doesn't not seem to be working anymore. Now they attack our children, in schools they come at them with torture devices dangling from necklaces and fixed to walls.  They burn into them images of fire and brimestone.

"We believe their are many options that we haven't explored fully, Perhaps if we give them money they will go away. It seems giving them a comfort place sit in The House of Lords isn't enough these days, maybe, if we offer them popcorn they stop being so demanding.

"But they still cause trouble, they talk about stealing food and sleeping bags from the homeless like it is a  bad thing, this chatter really must stop.

The PM also expressed concern that these  extremists may be inclined to support groups bent on the ousting the government BNP, British Labour Party, Union groups and hate groups such  disabled welfare activists and the EDL.

Read more at the Guardian

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Leaked Tape: The Seal Team 666 briefing

The following is a transcript of a leaked recording made during a recent Navy Seals' briefing. The transcript came with documents revealing a new addition to GW's infamous "Axis of Evil".Seal team 666 first came to public attention when Bill Maher revealed a mission to rescue Edward Davies, Mitt Romney's Father-in-law, from kidnappers "The Lords of Kolob".

Seals, We've been tasked with a new mission. Our targets pose a direct threat to the security of the these United States.
With in their homeland they
  • Use money to corrupt public officials.
  • Seeking to control media. 
  • Work against their nations democratic and security interests, Subverting the will of the people.
  • Issuing  propaganda against the interests of the United States.
  • Already other branches of our Military forces is preparing for the consequences of our targets actions and declared affect of their actions to be the greatest threat to national Security America has ever seen. They are expecting large numbers of refugees, some from unstable regimes who may choose to settle within our borders.
  • Already we have seen failure of crops, looting, toxins in water supplies, and massive destruction in several metropolitan cities linked to their activity.

Now Seals, I grant you that so far, our targets sound like Bond villains. And you are wanting to know who our zealous anti-American targets look like:

Seals, this dossier has been compiled on our targets:
Media control
Political corruption (more)
Subverting democracy
Secretive Propaganda
Military response
Crop failure
Property destruction and Looting
Toxic water

Friday, 24 May 2013

ATOS not killing them softly

With my background in information technology I'm as well qualified to diagnose your kidney failure as a physiotherapist is to diagnose PTSD and depression. Yet ATOS, has used Emma Nicholls' determination that George Rolph does not have a psychological disability featuring depression and PTSD and disability that would affect a Kent resident from working to cut off all assistance to him. This decision comes after three previous assessments determined that he was not able  to work.

George had a fairly spectacular breakdown on UK television right in front of Philip Schofield, Fern Britain, and millions of viewers.

His treatment at the hands of ATOS echoes experiences of ACC claiments in New Zealand with doctor shopping and and accusations of malingering. While a few will rort the system the vast majority have real need of real help.

Georges plight is not uncommon, the UK welfare austerity and campaign against the disabled has pushed a number people with unstable mental health conditions to suicide and some with physical disabilities and medical conditions deteriorate with fatal consequences.

He's taken it lying down, This former advocate for abuse victims is taking on one last Campaign. From Monday UK time he stopped eating or taking fluids he expects to be dead by the weekend.  He is asking people to raise awareness internationally of his protest and  of the shocking way the disabled are maligned and mistreated by the Cameron government.

George likened it to Nazi-ism and Stalinism.

What is worrying in New Zealand is that we see the smears against the disabled here. We have even had our own hunger striker protesting the denial of disability allowance. He won that fight. As media attention, encouraged Work and Income to reconsider.

Contact your representative, politely make known that institutionalized abuse and bigotry against the disabled is unacceptable.

See more George's Last Stand

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Fascination with Voldemort leads to suspicion Harry Potter cast out Dementors.

Stratford upon Thames -- Harry Potter while talking to a visiting mud-blood is suspected of casting a petronis spell to provide protection and may have cast out four dementors responsible for stammering, indecisiveness, anxiety over daisy chains and a moderate case of hay-fever.

New twists Tuesday with a well known defence against the dark arts instructor insisting Harry helped "liberate" a 35 welch man struggling with four dementors Despite the Ministry of Magic's insistence that no such off campus vanquishing took place.

The case concerns a 35-year old husband and father who travelled to Stratford from Wales to attend a memorial service for Dumbledor in the city square. At the end of the service Harry chatted with the mullet wearing comrade as he always does, including a man possessed by Voldemort, according to the wizard brought him, the Enchanted Eric Izenbard.

Harry shook hands with the man and wished him well waving good-bye with a smile. The man heaved deeply a half-dozen times, shook, then slumped with is mullet covering his face.

The images, broadcast world wide, prompted the television of the UK Elder Wizards' conference to declare that according to several wizards, there was "no doubt" that Harry either cast a petronis spell or a simple protection spell to free the man of Voldemort's influence.

The Ministry of Magic was more cautious. In a statement Tuesday, it said Harry "didn't intend to perform any petronis spell. But as he often does for the sick or suffering, he simply intend to well-wish for someone who was suffering who was presented to him."

The Wizard Gabby Aromth, a leading Defence against the Dark Arts Lecturer for Hogwart's said he performed a lengthy Banishment of dementors on the man on the Tuesday morning and ascertained he was possess by four seperate dementors. The case was related to a vote to legalize Marriage equality in London's House of Commons.

Aroth told BBC4, that even a short health points incantation, without the full petronis spell or wand waving being performed, is in itself a type of Vanquishing.

"That was a true vanquishing," he said of Harry's wish. "Vanquishing aren't just done according to the rules of the ritual."

Izenbard, took the Ministry's line, saying it was no petronis but that Harry merely said an encantation to free the man from Voldemort.

"Since no one heard what he said, including the man who was right there, you can say he did and enchantment for freedom and nothing more, " Izenbard wrote on his facebook page, which was confirmed by the his order, The Order of the Phoenix.

Fueling the speculation that Harry did indeed perform a petronis spell is his frequent reference to Voldemort in his conversations with friends - as well as an apparent surge in calls for vanquishings and banishments among mudblood and wizard  families despite the irreverent treatment the rite often receives from JesusCamp.

Who can forget the accusations of Satanism, open hatred and words like "Harry Potter is of the devil".

In his very first address to the House of Commons on March 14, Harry warned executives of the Ministry of Magic, the day after he was elected "he who doesn't respect Dumbledor is working for Voldemort."

He has since mention Voldemort on a handful of occasions, most recently in a May 4 speech when in his morning meeting with the Acton Wizards Conference he spoke of the need for discussion - except with Voldemort.

"With "he who must not be named" you can't have dialog: Let this be clear!" he warned.

Experts said Harry's frequent invocation of Voldemort is a reflection of both his personal history with Voldemort and his association with the Order of The Phoenix, as well as a Ministry of Magic weakened by science and secularization.

"Voldemort's influence and presence in the world seems to fluctuate in quantity and inversely proportionate to the presence of wizard schools" said Wizard Thomas Roome, an ethical magician at Leeds University School of Wizardry. "So one would expect an upwelling in his malicious activity in the wake of de-magicalization and secularization" in the world and a surge in things like Religious fundamentalism, racism and class warfare.

In recent years, London's Magical Universities have hosted several courses for would-be defenders against the Dark Arts. Updated 1998 and contained in a little black/brown leather bound notebook. The incantation is relatively brief, consisting of charms with magic elixirs, spells and an interrogation of Voldemort which the wizard demands to know Voldemort's name, how many are present and when they leave the victim.

Only a wizard authorized by an executive of the Ministry of Magic can perform a vanquishing, and magical law specifies that the vanquisher must be "endowed with kindness, knowledge, prudence and integrity of life."

While belief in Voldemort is consistent with the history of Hogwart's, the Ministry's Executive urge prudence, particularly to ensure that the victim isn't merely psychologically ill.

The Wizard Gus Pasmero, a London based systemic scholar of Magic who has witnessed or participated in more than a dozen banishments, says he's fairly certain Harry's echantment on Sunday was either a full-fledged petronis spell or a more simple charm to free the young man from dark magical possession.

He noted that the placement of Harry's hands in the hands of the man was the "typical position" for a vanquisher to use.

"When you witness something like that -- for me it was shocking -- I could feel the power of magic," he said in a phone interview, speaking of his own previous experiences.

The Ministry of Magic spokesman, the Wizardly Fred Lamborgini, sought to temper speculation that what occured was a full-fledged petronis spell. While he didn't deny it outright -- he said Harry hadn't "intended" to perform one - he stressed that the intention of the person asking is quite important.

Late Tuesday, the director of BBC 2000, the television of the UK Elder Wizards' conference, went on air to apologize for the earlier report.

"I don't want to attribute to him a gesture that he didn't intend to perform." Said Witch Dina Buffulo.

That said, Harry's actions and attitude toward Voldemort are not new: As a final year student at Hogwart's, Harry frequently spoke of Voldemort's presence in our midst.

In the book "Spirit realm and Earthly realm", Potter devoted the second chapter to "He who shall not be named" and in no uncertain terms that he knows Voldemort and that his goals are "destruction, division, hatred and calamity."

"Perhaps its greatest success in these times has been to make us think that it doesn't exist, that everything can be traced to a purely magical plan," he wrote.

London News papers noted that the Late Dumbledor had performed a vanquishing in 1982 -- near the same spot where Harry charmed over the mullet wearing man on Sunday.

See also Pontiff pats Mexican on head.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Blitzer blitzes himself

In a moment of presumptive ignorance Wolf Blitzer provides an OB (outside broadcast) performance we should expect from Random Guy handed microphone.

I've never done media before perhaps I should try it, what could possibly wrong.

We there was that guy from North Dakota... Oh wait that got him a gig on Letterman, so perhaps I should try that F%$#ing S&*^.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Some help people out of holes dug by others

I just had a cold call from a student, working with Refugee Trauma Recovery formerly known as Refugees as Survivors Trust. This Wellington based group works with those who's fortunes have brought them to New Zealand after experiences that wouldn't so much make your hair stand on end as they would rip it and a few lays of skin off with it. It is even possible that is the precise experience of some that RTR help, Many of them children.

RTR help children to over the trauma, and emotional imbalance that makes exposure to education ineffective.
Or put another way, if train A leave the at 10am and travels at 90km/h while train B leaves the station 11am and travels at 70km/h at what point do ... I give a F%$#, I can still see my family being hacked to death by Jun Ju-e militia, republican guards or who ever. Flash back from PTSD can happen at anytime for the traumatized. But psychology trauma is only part of what these refugees have to deal with, the physical damage often takes many procedures to repair. RTR helps them to get the help need.

These folk and their surviving families have serious issues and challenges ahead of them and they are far from lost causes, with the right help provided they become productive loyal New Zealanders.

The group helped a book launch yesterday, for "Walking with a fragile heart". A collection of poems and short stories by refugees. This is good and necessary work and it deserves support.

See the RTR website

When leaders find religion...

When leaders find religious rhetoric, it is time to put on your haz-mat suits... the shit storm is coming. Here are just three examples...

And so I believe to-day that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator. In standing guard against the Jew I am defending the handiwork of the Lord.

While it took him a while to get really into his stride, he was in prison when he wrote this, he did manage to drive his nation off the deep end in little more than two decades, starting from scratch.

By the time he was done he had almost annexed most of western Europe, and engineered one of the worst genocides of the 20th Century. Yes, those Catholic kids really know how to make a name for themselves.

Chancellor Adolf Hilter, Germany
Gog and Magog are afoot in the desert.
This guy did not waste any time, right after his first year in office and alcoholic recovery, and a one month vacation she set about annexing South Asia. A lot of people said this was bad idea Russians, French, the international atomic Energy agency, Phil Donahue. but this boy had a goal and like the little engine that could, he would not be deterred.

President GW Bush

It will be National versus the devil beast. Mr Speaker, I know who I'll be voting for and it won't be the devil beast.
Already this money hungry upstart is attempting to annex international waters because oil exploration companies think they might fin black gunge under it. He has already criminalized ocean-going protest. Which our previous governments actually engaged in to protest French nuclear testing and which has ruined many Japanese whaling missions saving southern many whales from extinction while a paralysed IWC hits on its hands. Put on your haz-mat suits kids the shit-storm has just begun and the people of Whanganui can smell it.
More seriously this is remarkable language from a non-practising Jew. So the question is with whom has he been hanging out to start talking this way. A clue might be found in the 2008 scandal in which National were approached by the Exclusive Brethren and made campaign contributions. Do we really need cults driving parliamentary discourse? Nick Smith, certainly knows better and could properly instruct cabinet.

Primeminister John Key, 
New Zealand

Monday, 20 May 2013

Everybody Draw Muhamad Day 4

In support of freethinkers, artists, cartoonists, and bloggers everywhere The internet brings you Everybody Draw Mohammad Day 4. This has been an annual event since 20 May 2010, since it was created as protest against riots orchestrated to shutdown criticism of Islam and Mohammad expressed in some Danish cartoons. Free expression is a precious and fragile thing, all ideas must be subject to criticism without fear, no matter how deeply or piously held.

This annual event has also been making the point that acquiescing to violent protests over critical art in defence of fables, myths and authoritarian rule is no more than cowardice. The more frequently these more primitive cultures are expose to criticism this less extreme the reaction will be over time. They will become accustomed to such ideas or at the very least just get tired of losing their shit every other minute. Being a fulltime yelling, screaming, brick throwing, rioting, embassy burning, flag burning, effigy burning lunatic has got to be exhausting.

The Islamic religion is used to subjugate women to men, used to justify murdering those with dissenting opinion both political and religious.

Hamza Kashgari still languishes in custody for more than a year in Saudi custody for three white bread tweets on Mohammad's Birthday:
  • On your birthday, I shall not bow to you. I shall not kiss your hand. Rather, I shall shake it as equals do, and smile at you as you smile at me. I shall speak to you as a friend, no more.
  • On your birthday, I find you wherever I turn. I will say that I have loved aspects of you, hated others, and could not understand many more.
  • On your birthday, I will say that I have loved the rebel in you, that you've always been a source of inspiration to me, and that I do not like the halos of divinity around you. I shall not pray for you.

Amina Tyler, of Tunisia, is in hiding after authorities called for her death for two tweets, "My body gives honour to no one. My body belongs to me" and  "Fuck your morals" on her bare chest. Her protest, and the reactionary response led FEMEN to an international protest, that freaked to Chancellor Merkel while at an official function with an unfazed Vladimir Putin, of course he thinks he has the problem sorted having buried the Pussy Riot issue.

Ben Baz, In Kuwait has yet to be released.

These are just a few of the stories of human rights violations that are happening the around world as people fight for basic human rights enjoyed in countries that have profited from the European and American enlightenment. We stand in solidarity those who are touched by the iron hand of theo-fascist totalitarianism.

See also Facebook

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Second coming has been cancelled

"Christians, they're horrible."
On a slightly overcast Sunday morning, Elder Bergson, was in full steam delivering his sermon "What ever you give up to the lord, will come back to you seven fold ..." At that moment, the Chapel doors swung open and were announced by a loud bang as they slammed against the walls of the atrium.
In the bright of the day the silhouette of a small unkempt figure in robes stood. The figure stepped forward into the and the congregation observed his stature and his olive complexion, they wondered if he escaped from a mental health facility, some wondered what was up with this homeless bum interrupting their worship, could he be a terrorist.
"Shalom! I have returned to proclaim the word of my father. Hypocrites among you hear my words. You have prayed for my return and I am come." There was anger in his voice and a scowl on his face.
A parishioner in the front row stood to challenge the interloper "Who are you, and why do you interrupt our service so abruptly? Take a seat, quietly and let us worship, or go away and leave us in peace!".
As the figure stepped forward he rose above the floor, "I do not come to worship myself, I am why you say you come to this place, take a seat and hear your lord or be gone from this place."
With that the parishioner return to his seat, and the mood of the congregation changed to awe, but Elder Bergson felt a chill run down his spine.
"Anyone, here working for Inland Revenue, foreign exchange services, Barclay's, HSBC, Bank of America, Lehman Brothers? You should leave now."
As the stranger approached the alter, he turned and seeing no one had moved, the scowl returned to his face, he reached into his robe and pulled out a bull whip. "Don't make me ask again!" Two from the congregation stood and headed for the open doorway. The stranger cracked the whip, and three more parishioners lept from their seats as if they had been poked by a cattle prod. The stranger called to them "Tax Collector! Loans Manager! Rate fixer! Be gone with you." and with that, seven more made their way toward the door way.
"Elder Bergson, Tell me now the ten commandments", Bergson stammered "D-d-d-don't lie, steal, or kill, no adultery, aaah, aaah....".
"And you foolishly call yourself a man of my fathers word! My Papa could not have been clearer, thou shalt not keep graven images, so what the fuck is up with that," the stranger pointed to the stained glass window. "... and that!" he pointed to the a statue of Mary in the corner of the chapel. He turned to face the alter, he trembled, a hint of fear was replaced by rage "In the name of my dad, What the fuck is that" as he pointed to the 8m crucifix with a 6m Jesus. "Who's fucking side are you people on? You call yourself Christians?! Roman-pagan freaks, more like! Three Fucking days, I put myself through that so you would knock that fucking shit off! "He turned to face the congregation "What is wrong with you people, are you all insane?!" Many in the congregation had flicked their crucifixes out from under their shirts and blouses. "Oh for fuck's sake! Why have you forsaken me? You look at images of me on the cross and 'wonder how could a man suffer so much and forgive?' I look at you and wonder how see that and two decades shy of two millennia still be such complete dicks tolerating famine and baying for war and torture?"

"And Bergson, what is your message to today, "tithe and receive", bullpucky! Every week they fill buckets with money and what are you doing with it? A mansion sized home fit for a bankster, Lear jet, summer home in the Bahamas. I have here your church's bank statements, $2 billion in the black. What do you do for the poor? You look down on them call them lazy and drive your politicians to take from them what little they have. Judge not lest ye be judged! I'm judging, you grasping lazy fucks!"  He pulls a Check-book from his sleeve and holds flat in his hand and brings down his other hand with a clap the check-book vanishes. "Doctors Without Borders, Charity Water, Responsible Charity, Atheists Helping the Homeless, and the International Humanist Ethical Union would like to thank you all for generously donating $400 million to each of them."

"Listen to this ..." said the stranger. Bergson's voice drifts across the chapel, it is his sermon from the previous week "... Superstorm Sandy is God's judgement for all sexual preversion, with all gays and gay enablers pushing the gay agenda, demanding gay marriage as a human right, and what about God's rights? Leviticus, Judges and  Deuteronomy makes it clear God ain't into that he's gonna damn people for their preversion." The stranger spoke "Really?! You people applaud stupid nonsense like that? how stupid can you been you be?!" The stranger takes a moment to calm him self "Eric Richards and Robert Walters,  step up to the alter." The two men rise from the seats and step forward and stand before the stranger.  The stranger puts away his bull-whip and reaches around Eric's waist, embraces him, bends him backwards and slaps a big kiss on him. The stranger turns to Robert embraces him and gives him a big French kiss. "Hmmm-mmm, Daddy made you boy's just right, lets begin. WE ARE GATHER NOW BEFORE THE SIGHT OF ME, TO JOIN THESE TWO MEN IS HOLY MATRIMONY. IF ANYONE CAN SHOW JUST CAUSE WHY THESE TWO MEN SHOULD NOT BE MARRIED SPEAK NOW OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE."

Elder Phelps, an octogenarian, rose slowly to his feet and proclaimed "But they are men!". The stranger glared at Phelps, who suddenly felt uncomfortably warm, he started sweating, pulling on his collar, he pulled down his tie. Steam rose from him, his skin turned red and blistered, smoke emanated from his shoes, suddenly the smoke flashed into flames that engulfed Phelps as he screamed like a girl and vanished leaving only a pile of ashes. The stranger addressed the congregation "Next?!" and paused. "Great! We're on the same page." He turned to Eric "Do you, Eric James Richards, freely give yourself to Robert to love, care for and cherish as long as you both shall live?" Eric turns to Robert "I do." The stranger turns  to Robert "Do you, Robert Andrew Walters, freely give yourself to Eric to love, care for and cherish as long as you both shall live?" Robert faces Eric, Grins "I do."
The stranger pronounces to the congregation "I now pronounce Eric and Robert man and husband." He claps and between his hands appears a sign marriage licence and certificate which he offers to Robert. "Here boys, you'll be needing these. YOU MAY KISS YOUR HUSBAND!" While they embrace and kiss, the stranger continues "Lets hear it for these two lovely boys", The silence from the congregation is deafening, "Boys, you may return to your seats, or go on honeymoon, either way you go with my blessing. And before dawn, shag six ways from today and have fun! You ain't seen anything until you've seen the hero parades we have back home. but I'd don't want to see you there for sometime yet." Eric and Robert return to the pews. "I want to hear rousing applause!" said the stranger, a timid few clap not too loud, "Really?! Is that the best you have this is a happy moment, two among your family have found love, Celebrate it." Luke warm applause comes from most of the congregation. The stranger is moved to offer a sarcastic "Why do I bother? You people are miserable".

"Jimmy Andre, please step forward", there is a rustling in pews, and a small boy emerges into the centre isle. "Fear not Jimmy, for I know your torment, I am here to fix it for ya." The boy steps up to the alter, the stranger pulls the microphone from the podium, and puts it in the boys hands. "Tell me about the special blessings from Elder Kerridge, you those ones after Sunday school."

The boy bows his head and coughs "Um, er ah. When the other boys and girls go home after Sunday school, Bishop and I go to the rectory for ice cream and biscuits. Sometimes he gives his special blessing, I don't like it tastes funny and kinda salty. I feel so guilty when he takes his belt off, I know a blessing is a good thing but I don't like it."  The stranger lays his hand on the boys shoulder "It is OK, Jimmy. You may go to your mama now." Jimmy gives the stranger the microphone then turns and runs to the pews. "DO NOT SPURN HIM FOR HE SPEAKS THE TRUTH" bellowed the stranger, as the boy was embraced by his family.

Senior Elder Edwards "How did the Bishop come to this community?" Edwards squirms in his seat "He was a transfer." The Stranger glared and demanded "What motivated that transfer?" Edwards is now sweating "There were rumours about inappropriate behaviour with children, but it was settled they made counselling available and he was moved away." The strangers face shows rage not yet seen "Does it look settled now?!" Edwards enthusiastically raises his hand and says "We can move him again!" The strangers fury peaks as Edwards feels fevered and sweating, hooking his collar, steam rising, shoes smoking, and flash over leaving only a pile of ashes and tans on his neighbours faces.

The stranger claps, and two police officers appear beside the bishop. "How did we get here?" The stranger answers the sergeant "That is not important what is important is that you now arrest the man seated between you. You will also find his kiddy porn stash in the trunk of your patrol car."
"Senior Elder Browne, your job is to defrock, disconnect, dis-fellowship and report to civil authority all kiddy fuckers, be diligent, see how I dealt with Edwards, don't piss me off!"

Two claps from the stranger and Carl Sagan and Christopher Hitchens appear. "Behold, two of my best friends. Do not vilify them or their friends for their doubt, they had good reason to doubt me, I worked very hard to make sure of it. And now that I've revealed the trick we're all good. They spoke truth as they saw it, they sought out facts as best they could and for their efforts they were rewarded with a greater truth than can be gained from credulously sponging up the ramblings of avaricious fools behind the pulpit." The stranger glares at Elder Bergson. "The universe doesn't give a shit, and after two thousand years of watching you apes fuck things up for each other I don't give a shit any more either. I'm cancelling the second coming, you are all on your own now, fuck the lot of you, hypocrites!" A flash of white light fills the space of the chapel and the stranger has vanished.

Carl looks down at the chapel floor. "Who are you people and what have you done? He's never this pissy." Elder Bergson responds "We are the Episcopal Family Liberty Evangelical Foundation Church of Christ. We support family values and personal responsibility." Carl's quizzical expression gives way to a "I get it, step away from the crazy person" expression "Er yep, that'll do it, he hates it when people take his name in vein. He asked me to give you guys a few pointers, science is your friend, so stop under-funding it. Creationism is the poetry of a primitive culture and your adherence to it would be comical if it did not make you so stupid. Not my words, his. Set theory is no more evil than daisy chains in spring or the smell of a meadow after rain. If you don't screw things up the planet should be habitable for another billion years, so get cracking on exploration." With a wink and a flash of white light, Carl vanishes.

With only Hitchens remaining, Elder Bergson turns to Hitchens "What do we do now?" Hitchens smiles "You should give up the church, the house, and jet, a FEMA trailer will keep you suitably comfortable, others of you should pour your energy into combating carbon fuels and promoting clean energy sources. Some of you should seek to prosecute war criminals among your politicians. Some should donate time to charity. Some should work towards a guaranteed living wage even for those who work not for profit but for the good of society. Remember you're off the hook now he just doesn't care anymore, you have offended him with all you have done in is name you are now accountable only to yourselves and each other. You always were. And that is why he's pissed. He asked me to leave you a new gospel, he's now knows his mistake was that the last book was a bit wordy, so here it is." A flash of white light again fills the room. This time, Hitchens has gone, and four glowing words are burned into the wall of the chapel beside the alter "DON'T BE A DICK".

Thursday, 16 May 2013

The lunatics are running the asylum

It seems pressure on Women's rights in America is turning red states into pre-liberation Afghanistan.
Between the Republican National committee's unanimous reaffirmation of One Man/One woman marriage, and record provisions abridging women's right to safe, legal and rare abortions.

It seems Republics have just one message to the rest of us...

If Star Trek and history teaches us anything, it is that resistance is not futile.
Start with Buycott, and remove those companies that work against you civil and economic interests.
Stop voting for controlling psychopaths.
Support farmers' markets where possible.
Support and rolling jubilee.
Contact your representatives, and tell us them you have had enough of special interests groups pushing theocracy and plutocracy onto the land of the free.
and tell your friends, organize, there are too many of you and too few of them, If the American Dream has a future, it is upto the people to ensure it.

The 2013 New Zealad Budget

The Good 

$23b for welfare

Yes, this is good news, if it goes the those who need it. Is there room for training, perhaps?

$2.6b improving housing

Much of New Zealand's housing stock is below WHO standards, Insulating, and perhaps installing solar energy collection, even if it fed straight in to the grid to offset grid power consumption without a massive battery store , it would be good value to low income and state house occupants.

The Bad

$0 for Child poverty

Showing again, the classic disinterest of the anti-human National Party agenda in the suffering of New Zealand's most vulnerable.

Meridian Energy to be up for grabs

Selling us our assets and letting institutional investors buy them back from us before flicking them onto to overseas investors, and all the while pushing power prices up to feed the (money) hungry stockholders. Why do we fall for it?

3000 state housing evictions

This is no more than ideological bullying of the poor. And perhaps a nod to landlords hoping to get a hold of Accommodation supplement payments though low income renters. These renters will find themselves struggling in the private market, and eventually homeless and back inline for social housing. It is bad sociologically, bad for landlords.

The Ugly

$1.6b for Health

The health sector has been under funded by successive governments for decades, but this may not actually help much as this government has made the health sector liable for more cost ancillary costs. And resulted pressure applied to community primary care providers that would see a 40% reduction in funding.

$158m tourism

Cash for the boys perhaps, and perhaps a nudge for the boys at SkyCity Casino chasing chinese "whales".

$1.7b "future fund" $80m irrigation? KiwiRail, CHCH & schools

This government wants to flog off KiwiRail again, but it is in such poor shape investors can see the rust in the wheel well and bog in the body work.
Just what role government should have in improving the capital value of privately owned farms is anyone's guess.
The Christchurch rebuild just keeps inflating, it could almost be mistaken for the F-35 white elephant which is expected to cost US$1t after originally being costed at around US$280b.

$75m surplus

Woop-dee-doo New Zealand growth is half the average for the OECD. And this only the goverment's books. The private sector is still in the hole.

$300m reduce in ACC

This has been made possible on the backs of people like Bronwyn Pullar. People who have had accidents, need continuing rehabilitation, but instead are accused of fraud and in Bronwyn case, blackmail. Her only small consolation is that revelations on the part of ACC led to heads rolling. But the doctor shopping still seems to be an issue.
At least for now, ACC is not up for privatization.

$80m for education($63m for behavioural programmes)

Perhaps also $40m so charter schools can steal gifted and well supported students.

$100m added law and order, now $3.9b

Police crime stats are falling, but retention of staff is a problem when there are no pay rises. Are the cops gonna get paid what they are worth, or will the have to continue to scrounge half priced burgers from McDonald's?

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Scientific illteracy in the modern age

But first, A classic moment.

While we laugh, it sobering to come to understand the damage that some seek to inflict on the one enterprise that has brought mankind literally out of the dark ages and into an age of enlightenment. With superior, medical science, agricultural science, a deeper understanding of the universe through physical sciences. the deeper understand of ourselves through biological sciences, and the deepening of our understanding through information science.

Indeed there are those who seek to control science to fit religious and corporate agendas.
Environmental science is clearly making the argument and providing the evidence, that the carbon energy industries must be moth-balled if civilization is to continue into the 22nd Century. There most likely will be a 22nd century civilization, the only question is will it be one with major coastal floods, and mid western droughts or will be one with one where storms like Katrina or Sandy are long forgotten, and the grain belt isn't a desert?
The High Quality Research Act, is an attempt to knoble and politicize the scientific process. Previously noted has been it's provisions to cut peer reviewed and verification of results.

Just remember, some of your neighbours voted for these rubes...

Hate being surrounded by these idiots, invest in public education. And perhaps remedial science for Republicans.

Better yet, learn to recognize when morons are yanking your chain...

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

With CO2 Levels at Dire 400 ppm, Keystone XL Marks "Wrong Direction" for Energy

Just this last weekend, I took the opportunity to see Josh Fox's Gasland after a presentation by 350 Aotearoa and this week we're seeing reports that atmospheric CO2 has reached 400ppm.  Scary if you remember that a NASA Scientist described 350ppm as "incompatible with organized life on this planet". With my country's government granting two exploration permits to drill in the Pegasus basin off the Wellington and Wairarapa coast, it seems our rightwing or "centre-right"(depending on who you ask) government is having trouble seeing the smog for the cash. With our illustrious Primeminister being a JAFFA (Just another fracking-friendly Aucklander) it is likely he will be out of office and a minimum of hundreds of kilometres away when the crude oil polluted with dead birds and fish carcases wash ashore at the southern end of the Airport to Island bay and up the Wairarapa coast.

Oil sands are described as one of the dirtiest carbon fuels available, sure you do get fuel to drive your vehicle that burns just the same as any other, but the difference is in the mining, transportation and processing. It takes 1 barrel to make 2-4 barrels of tar sands oil, compared to regular crude which has a ratio of 1:20. Tar Sands needs to be heated and have chemicals added to move through pipes. KXL is expected to transport 10 times as much oil as the pipe that leaked last month. Some pipes have been known to leak once a month on average despite promises of "new leak detection technology" and estimates of one leak per year. It one thing to know you have a leak and quite another to stop one before it starts. Oil sands are abrasive and corrosive to the pipes that transport it. These points are just some of the reason way KXL is a dumbass idea driven by greed and desperation.

America's obsession with carbon fuel is mainly limited to companies dedicated to digging up the ground. They are desperately trying the stay viable that same way dinosaurs were desperate to stay viable after a rock fell out of the sky. Essentially the industry is trying to make as much money as they can before governments or the markets make them irrelevant a sort of carbon cash grab while the bank burns.

Not sure where this new drilling site is, but it could be the one off the Otago/Southland coast

Their industry is coming to a close, even the World Bank says so, as they warn of another financial collapse similar to the sub-prime mortgage scandal. If this were all America were doing it would they like they are thy kid sitting in the naughty corner not because they have been sent there, but because they don't want to play the other kids and noise makers, party favours, cake and free flowing soda.

But, Even America is investing in wind and solar, though too many seem to think it is a liberal plot to make everyone of them live in "hobbit homes". I wonder how much they'd sneeze at a bank check for US$1500 earned from energy created by a comfort energy efficient home. That would be a conservative estimate based on a beautiful UK home that makes around £1800. The South Western US has some of the sunniest skies on the planet, surely they could do better.

As they go down we don't have to go down with them. Companies and scientists are looking toward new fuel sources that can suck CO2 out of the atmosphere. Some are looking at bacteria, others algae. Still others are looking for an enzyme to break down cellulose into glucose which could be used to create ethanol. Bamboo being a fast growing rhizome(grass) this could be a boon to Chile, parts of Africa and China. Cellulase, you're thinking? Yeah about that, it's a bit slow.

But even before these technologies go online, there is much we can do to stem the flow of CO2 into the atmosphere. There is much investment in wind and solar with 20% of world energy production already from these clean sources. Solar is already cheaper than retail grid electricity $/gigawatt even including the cost of panels and installation. In India, Solar is simply cheaper. Germany's energy policy has led to villages generating more energy than they use selling the excess back to the grid. In some parts of Australia the excess is so great it puts the grid under pressure.

The cities of the not too distant future may well generate their own electricity, especially if the storage problem can be solved. But even in the US "grid parity" for solar is fast approaching if not already possible in the US, say IEEE. Perhaps the simplest thing to do would be to pump water from below a hydro dam back into the hydro lake, especially when rain fall is low. Such a system be closed off to natural water system, except perhaps for the occasional top up.

While researching for this article, I noticed adverts for various solar panel providers and installers.  Which reminded me of a blog article that are indicative of the state of a young industry. Resulting in less than optimal installations. A pity really, such stories may tend to scare off the market. And no doubt that will make some happy, like investors in Mighty River Power, the other two generation companies. Despite the calls from the public, the opposition and international bodies Our govern steadfastly refuses to push clean energy. No doubt this is so they can flog off 49% of our main generators. Long term this cannot be a good investment, as solar gets cheaper, the market will decide to move to solar generation and simply replace the need for much of our generating capacity. Te Whai Point accounts for 14% of New Zealand energy consumption and it is expected to go offline in 5-10 years, as the price of aluminium continues to fall. The only thing working in these investors favour is that changing weather patterns seem to be giving us drier hydro lakes, but of course, no one makes money from and empty hydro lake - except hedge fund managers.

See Also Tesla S beats out competion

Friday, 10 May 2013

Robertson: Beware False Prophets

This ironic advice...

from the man who said...
Keep in mind, Pat Robertson was one of many who expected Mitt Romney to win based on biased polling.

One of the funniest things about this is that most people in his position never mention such a misstep, But this is at least his second mention of God telling him Romney would win since the election, it also follows an earlier comment "Beware of men in religious garb."

The Infidel Special Report: Atheism For Dummies

Soon there will be no excuse for not understanding atheism.

Meet the man who wrote the book on it - Atheism for Dummies in bookstores soon.
Someone please make sure Pat Robertson and Ray Comfort get copies. Not because the title mentions them as the target audience. but if they read it and continue to talk nonsense - then we when they offer liables, they can be called on it. It could get Robertson thrown off the air.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

"Over the Line": The hidden war on Mexico

US border agents shooting dead citizens of  a friendly nation might seem absurd and perverted, but at least it appears a Mexican citizen was shot dead while gathering fire wood as agents chose him for target practice.

At least fiver other Mexicans have been killed as poorly trained border agents step over the rules of engagement and peace treaties with Mexico.

Poor training is a hallmark of the Lucifer Effect. An not taking care to provide training, and stonewalling information requests reads like American exceptionalism. But considering racist epithets still lurking in the conservative political psyche, it seems inevitable that applicants for border patrol will apply with a xenophobia agenda.  And horrifyingly, what better way to keep Mexicans off US soil than to shoot them before they set foot over the border.

The information from US authorities is scant, even the border camera footage has not been released, nor the names of the agents involved. There is not even the appearence of accountability for these incidents even.

Surely, there can be justice for husband shot dead at a barbeque, or a boy out to buy hot dogs. Surely someone can organise a We The People petition and raise their voices to get it over the 100,000 mark.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Of what is Paula Bennett proud.

Paula Bennett, the smug sanctimonious whale of the New Zealand Parliament, commented to the media that she was proud of how New Zealander's were turning up to job openings. On average the ratio is 20 applicants to 1 opening, but 70:1 even 200:1 ratios are also seen.
This is the product of the neo-liberal economic model which was billed as "creating competition in the job market". America has seen job market competition before, when foremen threw tickets into the streets and day labourers brawled to grab one so they cloud get enough work so the their didn't starve. In an environment like that the strong labour movement backed by communists and socialists and the political power to push Roosevelt to reform the system. Taxing high income earners at 94% on income above $25,000 (US$200 after inflation). The revenue was used to fund public infrastructure works. Elevated corporate taxes were use to fund innovation and business investment aimed at expansion.

1984 after the snap election called by Sir Robert Muldoon in a drunken stupor(I wish I were kidding about that), the 4th Labour government were "informed" of an impending financial crisis. First thing they did next was devalue the the NZ$ by 20%. After that they arranged the sale of Bank of New Zealand, Telecom New Zealand, and NZ Rail to foreign multinationals. A new Employment Relations Act weakened the unions.

After 1991, the Bolger Government continued the assault on the poor and low waged with Ruth Dysons Mother of all Budgets. This led to poverty almost doubling as a percentage of the population in the years since most directly by cutting welfare benefits by 15 to 20%. Though the fifth Labour government did make a small dent in New Zealand poverty in 2006/7. Since National came to power in 2008 Poverty has been on the climb again. Paula thinks it is not important to measure poverty. An odd position for a minister of social welfare, really. Or should we be calling her portfolio Minister for Unwelfare. Her Track record is appalling for someone in her office. Killing training incentive allowance, benefit used by young people and solo mums (like her self an she did use this allowance) to attend training courses.  The focus of Welfare is now to get work forget training, to be ready for work or to increase the likelihood of getting work, just turn behind the 69 other people who turned up for the opportunity to wade ankle deep in mercury at the tanning factory to take home a bowl of salted corn meal.

Looking a new job can be tough going, even in a good economy. So, how good is it.

There is no sign Kiwi's are lazy, indeed they are look for work by the the thousands, about 15% of them signed on last week according to seeks advertisement.

Lets take a look at what is on offer for these tired poor huddled masses...

Yes, that is 6,161 jobs for 33,608 people, that's almost 5 1/2 people for each job. or put another way, assuming they were all full time jobs, there is enough work for last weeks applicants to all work one day week while 1 in 10 gets work Saturday mornings only.

It wouldn't matter if one day week gave people a living wage. but that only comes with management level jobs or highly specialized technical fields. Job growth is like in America in low waged service sector economy. But even cleaning companies have waiting lists of six months. I haven't herd back from the one to which I applied.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Conservatives: Hate libs more than floods & droughts.

A recent study showed conservatives will spend more money to stick it to liberal environmentalists even though such actions will endanger the lives of their children and grandchildren even though Sandy and the Texas droughts got them thinking there might be something to climate change.

So what is more important than survival? For conservatives it can be spite. Given the nature of shore line flood these folks will quite literally salt the earth to spite the strawmen painted by right wing media and conservative talk radio.  While this may be a sign of the polarized nature of American politics, we cannot ignore two other factors - their invisible friend and the Kochtopus.

Between these, I'm left wondering "what is wrong with these people?" Then I remember between church, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and Alex Jones a segment of the population is doomed to be convinced against there interest of the most ridiculous bullshit known to man. This is to the extent that 4% of them believe Reptillians are conspiring to take over the federal government.

Then the founder of the White Student Union, went to counter protest May Day celebrations to "stand up for blue collar workers".  His beef was with communists - who's first priority remains blue collar worker. Between 1917 and 1981 the bottom 90% benefited from 69% of income gains. From 1981 when Reagan broke the unions, to 2012 the bottom 90% has benefited from 4% of income gains, while the top 10% benefited from 96% of the income gains.

This is in part why America sees 20% of its children living in poverty.  And conservatives think that is OK, because they have bought the lie that parents of poor children are lazy and unambitious. When the truth is more like the poor can not afford ambition. They have not got the time to go to college, between the two to three jobs and raising the kids. It is difficult to stop something sliding off from the table from time to time as is, let alone adding in 15 to 30 hours of study. Somehow conservaties can see the halving of the value of the minimum wage from  the the 60's to today means that if it had kept up would now be worth $18.50. What kind of idiot can't see that halving the minimum wage would not lead to more poverty. More to the point what kind of idiot does not care.

America is hungry. Hungry from food insecurity not seen since the 60's. Hungry for democracy not controlled be elite moneyed interests like gun manufacturers, the Koch brothers. Big Pharma, Big food, Monsanto, and lobbyists.

The demographics are changing. The more bullshit offered as fact the more people are rejecting the manipulation by media and the church. Revolution is starting, politically is seeking a constitutional convention to amend the constitution to overturn Citizens United. the is seeking to directly petition congress. Consequences of failure may be dire with more than a quarter of Americans believing an armed revolution may be necessary in the next few years. This if anything is a measure of the level of dissatisfaction with the way the economic an labour systems have been run into a ditch. When history and science is repleat with solutions That are demonstrated to work, creating more robust economies, social support systems, efficient infrastucture services. It can be harder to figure things out if you struggle to use Excel correctly.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Americans: It's over when my invisible friend says so

This is the essence of the response by many Americans to climate change and efforts to forestall the human activity driving high CO2 levels set to reach 400ppm in coming decades, extreme and more frequent weather events, and a global climate expected to be 4-6°C(7-1F).

“[T]he fact that such an overwhelming percentage of Republican citizens profess a belief in the Second Coming (76 percent in 2006, according to our sample) suggests that governmental attempts to curb greenhouse emissions would encounter stiff resistance even if every Democrat in the country wanted to curb them,” Barker and Bearce wrote in their study, which will be published in the June issue of Political Science Quarterly.

Comments like "I don't think we can control what God controls" from a chair of the house committee on Science, Space and Technology; Paul Broun's "Evolution, Embryology, an the big bang theory are lies straight from the pit of hell" are outrageous and have no place in secular government, let alone science, which is the structured practise of reason in the endeavor of understanding the natural world.
A structure that now finds itself under attack in the Orwellianly titled "High Quality Research Act" which proposes to destroy the peer review and verification processes of the National Science foundation.
The Koch's could not buy enough scientists(much to the scientists' credit) to push their agenda, now if the Koch Brothers did come up with the HQRA, it must be a wet dream for them.

But the Koch's are not the only resistance, RawStory points to something I've known for a few years: the Christian religion is blinding some, too many, Americans to the facts and the need to act in our own best interest on climate change. Worse still, some of these people hold positions in which it is their responsibility to fix this problem. Those who live by the iron aged myths will die by the iron aged myths. Science has already pointed to the way to surviving our own pollution of the atmosphere. It is time to just get on with the job before it becomes the impossible task.

So between the corporate special interests and the credulous ignoramuses, will there ever be leadership in Washington to save America from greed and stupidity?

Perhaps not, and maybe we need don't them, has momentum encouraging disinvestment in fossil energy in the tertiary education sector. Their action is leading to increasing numbers of universities dropping carbon energy investments. Coal prices have fallen to around US$1/tonne. Coal companies are folding around the world, including New Zealand's Solid Energy.

I'm not asking for much from those who adhere to end times myths. Only the understanding that it is better to understand, respect and work with reality, than to have reality's consequences give you a bitch-slap. Just keep in mind: white water rafters who don't understand their environment don't go home.

A bill to kill

The war on science has a new battleground set to deal a body blow to the scientific process America. Call your congressman tell him to kill this bill. If you want America to be second to China in science and technology then just sit on your ass and let this slide.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

The #Error economy

Ever worry about balancing your checkbook, making the budget stretch to the end of the month? Count yourself lucky, you can't screw it up on this scale.
In a story that reads like a Simpsons episode in which Barney Gumble tries his hand at economics, and makes a mess of it only to have Lisa figure out where it all went wrong, it has been revealed this week that a popular study cited as proof of conservative economic austerity, was fundamentally flawed due to a spreadsheet error. The column that calculated the average growth of countries employing Keynesian growth strategies  omitted references to a number high performing countries. Correcting the error saw the growth rate rise from -0.1% to +2.2%.
The error was found by a graduate student who chose the study for an assignment in which students were asked to pick a study and see if they could reproduce the results.

Oddly, the authors of the study still say that their conclusions still match the original data. Hey kids, denial is not a river in Egypt.

The study has been used in the US to justify the "need" for federal spending cuts, and in Europe it has been used to justify Austerity measures that have seen riots in the UK, Greece and mass public protests other austerity addled nations.