Monthly Archives: December 2012
Misebogland would like to wish all its readers a merry Xmas and a happy new year.
A former Oxford professor, Richard Dawkins, has said that raising a child Catholic is worse than child abuse and that the “mental torment” inflicted by Catholic teachings is worse than any sexual abuse from priests, reports the Daily Mail.
Dawkins is an atheist biologist whose 1976 book “The Selfish Gene” revolutionized the theory of evolution.
His remarks were to be broadcast this weekend by Qatar-based TV network Al Jazzeera.
When asked by interviewer Mehdi Hasan about previous comments he made, Dawkins said: “Horrible as sexual abuse no doubt was, the damage was arguably less than the long-term psychological damage inflicted by bringing the child up Catholic in the first place.”
Hasan asked: “You believe that being bought up as a Catholic is worse than being abused by a priest?”
Dawkins replied: “There are shades of being abused by a priest, and I quoted an example of a woman in America who wrote to me saying that when she was seven years old she was sexually abused by a priest in his car.
“At the same time a friend of hers, also seven, who was of a Protestant family, died, and she was told that because her friend was Protestant she had gone to Hell and will be roasting in Hell forever.”
“She told me of those two abuses, she got over the physical abuse; it was yucky but she got over it.
“But the mental abuse of being told about Hell, she took years to get over.”
Dawkins added: “It seems to me that telling children that they really, really believe that people who sin are going to go to Hell and roast forever – that your skin grows again when it peels off with burning – it seems to me to be intuitively entirely reasonable that that is a worse form of child abuse, that will give more nightmares, that will give more genuine distress because they really believe.”
Politicians and activists have condemned Dawkins for what they call attention-seeking and “unhelpful” remarks.
Peter Saunders, the chief executive of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, said: “At NAPAC we know that recovery from sexual abuse can take a lifetime. People never get over it. It is entirely unhelpful to make such comparisons.”
Roman Catholic former Tory MP Ann Widdecombe said: “Dawkins doesn’t know what to say next to get attention. No sane person would believe that being brought up in a force for good, in the Ten Commandments, in the Beatitudes, and in the Gospels can be worse than child abuse.”
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Today’s lying cheating untrustworthy oil company lie. Enbridge spokesman Paul Stanway announced that almost 60 per cent of First Nations along the planned Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline between Alberta and B.C. have signed on to become part owners.
It is simply not true, not even when the Natives outside the route are included [which they admitted doing to pad the numbers].
Quote from CBC news: “Coastal First Nations executive director Art Sterritt says he has checked with every aboriginal group along the route from Alberta to Kitimat and only found two that have signed equity agreements with Enbridge.”
TWO!!! There are 45 First Nations along the pipeline. I am not good at math, but I think that is less than 1%. They cannot be trusted, and nobody in their right mind would sign a contract with such a devious organisation. Apparently, some large sums of money have been paid to natives along the route, so possibly those two that signed were corrupted by selfish desires for money – exactly the kind of thing that Enbridge is good at.
The scientists, headed by Doctor Julius Sanreso, welcomed the research findings and said that it would be in the interests of those who believe in such nonsense as organised religion or creationism to accept the fact that religious books were written by men as a control system.
“Just think for one second, if ‘God‘ or a ‘messenger of God’ had written that particular religious book/bible, how come the writings only occur within a very limited period in human history? Also, consider the fact, that a human writing on a piece of paper, or a few pieces of paper, is not the word of ‘God’. If they were really written by a universal God or entity, the books would not be limited to some pre-medievel costume drama but would encompass all universality, history, the future and science. Language is something created by man, not an all-seeing, all encompassing entity. God would presumably be universal and timeless as well as all-knowing, as is the universe, therefore these man-written books and scriptures, are just that, man-written linguistically created nonsense used to control men and women thousands of years ago. Why would ‘God’ write anything anyway? One must consider the fact that, even now, there are religious zealots and ordinary people still entrenched in a control belief system that is so far removed from reality that it borders on madness. There is no rational or scientific way that organised religions can have a modicum of truth or factual reality because of the very reason that these books are entombed in the time that they were written. These books should therefore simply be viewed as limited parables and historical fiction, as well as a lesson in how millions of people can be so easily controlled.”
The research paper also came to the conclusion that reward/punishment religions, as control systems, were losing their grip on most of the population of the world and only a few die-hard fanatics and delusional maniacs were carrying on with the flame of idiocy.
“The game is up for all religions, how long can this sham carry on, with their ridiculous outdated ceremonies? The priests are deceivers, and they need to come up with some pretty radical solutions to their thousand year old magic trick. People aren’t as dumb or easily swayed as they used to be thousands of years ago, they actually have reasoning powers and can see through the utter nonsense of organised control systems like religion.”
The problem for the world’s political leaders, is that slowly, humans who were controlled for so many years by fictitious writings, may suddenly lose their controlled ‘faith’. This could be quite dangerous, because it would mean that these people would suddenly wake up and realise that they have been fooled for so long by being communally hypnotised.
“We must ensure that the people who have been fooled for so long by fictitious belief systems utilised to control humans do not get too angry when they realise that what they believe in is nonsense written by humans utilising human created language. This could be dangerous for society, so we must either let them carry on believing their fiction or try to somehow support them when they realise the truth,” Dr Sanreso said.
The research paper will be published in its entirety in 2015.
Father Christmas has been threatened with the removal of his monopoly in the UK present distribution market following the publication of this year’s Naughty or Nice lists, which for the fourteenth year in a row strongly suggest that the list a child gets on to is intrinsically linked to parental income and engagement.
We simply cannot go on with a situation in which the lists completely fail to represent society as a whole,’ claimed junior minister Alan Crockdale, ‘Yes, there are hidden issues, but it’s up to Santa to do much more to encourage naughty little children from working class backgrounds to seriously up their game.’
‘Where once a child had to do at least a couple of good deeds a year like make their Gran a cup of tea in order to make it onto the Nice List, nowadays it seems it’s enough if they just refrain from beating up smaller kids or don’t swear at their teacher,’ he suggested. ‘It doesn’t go nearly far enough, but of course it’s always a positive if they don’t end every sentence with ‘Or I’ll f*ckin shank ya’.’
But a spokesman for Father Christmas reacted as angrily as his brightly-coloured, festive costume would allow, saying that his organisation, North Pole Gifts Direct, wasn’t responsible for social engineering and claiming that government standards for achieving a place on the Nice List have in any case gone down significantly in recent years.
Government Ministers are meeting today to discuss the possibility of removing Santa’s monopoly and raiding his pension fund, which would open up the present delivery market to foreign competition including ‘Befana’, the Italian witch, or the German ‘Christkind’, who has been following developments in the UK market for a long time with a hope to extending operations here.
‘This is yet another example of the EU trying to destroy British traditions,’ claimed Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre. ‘The next thing we know we’ll all be forced to eat Sauerkraut for Christmas dinner and the Queen’s Speech will be given by Angela Merkel. I mean, come on. Father Christmas? You can’t get more British than that!’ he said, referring to the mythical, red-suited, white-bearded character, based on a Greek saint, modified and embraced throughout Europe, and finally embodied by an Atlanta-based company in the 1930′s to promote Coca-Cola to the American public.
Imagine if your government gave a company a sweet deal to build your local playground. Then, that company dumped toxic waste underneath where your kids play everyday, just because it was the most profitable thing for them to do.
What would you do? Obviously you’d protect your children and demand that the company fully pay to clean up their mess. You’d demand that the company pay for any medical help needed by your kids. Finally, you’d demand that your government immediately stop sending your tax dollars — subsidies — to that company.
That company is Exxon, the playground is our planet, and the sweet deal they get is by way of massive government handouts. But Exxon is not alone; their competitors and industry friends in the fossil fuel game are all running their businesses in a way that is ruining our children’s futures.
In short, if you judge Exxon and other fossil fuel companies not by the words on their press releases, but by their actions and predictable consequences, Exxon really must hate your children. The facts speak for themselves.
The news has just broken that Santa Claus passed away in the early hours of this morning.
Santa was the beloved and well-known operator of North Pole Toys a company that was set up with seed capital from the renowned financial firm Goldi Sucks.
Santa leaves behind a loving family and a host of adoring fans. Also left behind are his legions of unpaid workers.
The funeral will take place in the North Pole Cemetery. Sponsorship for this event has gone out to tender. A date for the funeral has not yet been set.
Because of the death of Santa, Government officials around the world have declared Christmas will no longer take place. Serious rioting by Children has broken out in many cities. Authorities worldwide are trying to control the situation.
Sam Richchild the Vice President of Goldi Sucks and illegitimate son of Santa in a press released issued just two hours ago revealed that the Sucks backed, “Money Hoovers Incorporated” might step into the breach to fill the Christmas void. Governments welcomed this intervention across the globe.
A visiting Shell Oil executive who was present at the death of Santa claimed his last words were, Arctic Oil is my Gift To “Royal Dutch Shell”.
In a separate comment, the Vatican advised that they would pray for the repose of the soul of Santa but urged the faithful to understand that Mr Claus had usurped the true spirit of Christmas. The Vatican now urged the faithful to seize this opportunity to revert to the true meaning of Christmas and donate all their seasonal monies as a Christmas gift to the Vatican
Meanwhile childish riots continue to break out. The Dali Lama says children in Tibet must be armed to save the undeclared Buddhist Christmas holiday from Chinese persecution. Despite contravening international law the USA and its allies will consider giving aid to the Dali Lula and his followers.
Fifty per cent of voters now feel there is a need for a new political party on foot of broken election promises and widespread disillusionment with the Government, a new nationwide opinion poll reveals.
An undeniable feeling of discontent among voters has fuelled calls for a new party to be established, while angry voters are calling for the Government to rein in excessive pay and pensions in the bailed-out banks.
According to the latest Sunday Independent MillwardBrown nationwide opinion poll, conducted this month, the desire for a new party is strongest among women voters, young to middle-aged voters and those living in Connacht and Ulster or from poorer backgrounds.
Former Tanaiste Michael McDowell, writing in today’s Sunday Independent, says that falling satisfaction with the Government and the fact that the coalition partners have “fallen out of love” are driving factors behind the calls for a new party.
“There is at least 25 per cent of the electorate which would opt for a new party as an alternative to another term for the present coalition and as an alternative to a Fianna Fail/Sinn Fein coalition backed by the remnants of Labour,” he said.
Mr McDowell is predicting that while FG will lead the next government he thinks Labour will not be in power with them, and there is room in the gap for a new party.
“I cannot see any possibility of an overall majority FG government after the next election. It seems to me that many people in middle Ireland would support the formation of a new party which would give Ireland the opportunity to have a new government which would not include the Labour Party,” he adds.
According to the poll, 38 per cent of voters feel there is no need for a new political party, with opposition to the proposal higher among males, those aged over 55 and Dubliners, with many feeling a new party would not be able to offer any real change, given the country’s financial woes and our electoral system.
If don’t knows were to be excluded, a majority of voters feel there is a need for a new party.
When asked what strategies the Government should prioritise in 2013, 50 per cent of those polled said they want the Coalition to be more assertive when dealing with the issue of “bankers’ pay, pensions and lending policies”.
The drip feed of revelations about activities at the top of the banks, which to date have received €64bn of taxpayers’ money in capitalisation, have fuelled calls for more decisive action from Finance Minister Michael Noonan from the elderly and voters outside Dublin.
Voters are also frustrated with the lack of progress in terms of progressing Ireland’s bank debt deal with 23 per cent saying the Government should adopt a tougher approach when dealing with the troika, as a top priority.
Speaking this weekend, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said once the IBRC promissory note is restructured ahead of the March 31 deadline, he is expecting agreement on a deal by June on the cost of capitalising the “pillar banks”.
Mr Kenny said a full deal is not likely until 2014 after the necessary European structures are in place, but a signal will be crucial to enable Ireland to exit the bailout at the end of 2013.
“So while an actual transaction may not be possible until 2014 a clear signal of how this is going to be done will certainly strengthen market confidence and lower interest rates for Ireland,” he said.
– DANIEL McCONNELL Chief Reporte
In a press conference opposite the White House, NRA spokesperson Wayne LaPierre told gathered reporters that his organisation cared deeply about the children of his country, and would not rest until every single one of them had easy access to a terrible diet.
Speaking in sombre tones, he said, “We are at crisis point, and the only way to stop our children being negatively affected by junk food, is to make sure they are surrounded by even more junk food.”
“If you really think about it, no-one would be able to call a child ‘fat’ if everyone had a BMI well into the 50s.”
“Childhood obesity is only an issue because so few children have good access to junk food.”
LaPierre went on, “The liberal left will tell you that removing crappy foods from the equation would solve this crisis, but to that I would say ‘nay’.”
“It is a constitutional and God-given right of every american to have access to burgers the size of your head. We just need to even up the playing field – by filling it completely with fat kids.”
“So I call on congress today to ensure that every school in our great nation has easy access to cheap, poorly prepared fatty food with a low nutrient value.”
“Then one day soon we can forget about which of our children is ‘fat’, as they’ll all be exactly the same. Like true, free Americans.”
The six-wheel rover has been parked for more than a week at a sand dune where it has been busy scooping up soil, putting it in a bucket with one of its mechanical spades, then overturning the bucket onto the martian surface and sprinkling a little water over the sand to keep the sand castle turrets together.
Mission scientist Joel Salmons expected Curiosity to build the “biggest frickin’ sand castle Mars has ever seen.”
“The martian soil is very fine but when we get Curiosity to sprinkle water over it, the sand castle turrets stay in place.”
The car-size rover will leave a sand castle legacy from earth on the Mars surface that some say may last thousands of years.
“We just hope there is no gust of wind or anything. I don’t even know if Mars has wind, jeez beats the heck out of me. I’m a scientist and I don’t know that,” one of the Mars rover operators revealed.
Musical supremo Elton John has revealed that scientists have successfully made him pregnant, using the genetically modified womb from an old bear. Sir Elton, 65, has barely suffered any signs of morning sickness, although he did feel the urge to hibernate in late November.
The pianist and his partner, David Furnish, already have one baby, born by a human surrogate somewhere in California. But the happy couple are expecting the follow up to be ‘even better than the old one’, thanks to the miracle of science, a grizzly’s second-hand lady-pocket and cutting edge techniques which have combined to produce what Elton describes as his best albumen yet.
“There’s no feeling like it, having a little human growing inside you”, explained Elton. “It’s fantastic that these days, age is no barrier to being a mum. And a Christmas baby? Well, that’s the best gift I could have hoped for. Although I’d still like that steam train and a Dubai island shaped like my face.”
Furnish explained that differing gestation periods between the species ‘Homo sapiens’ and ‘Ursa Minorus Keyus’ make it hard to calculate exactly when the baby is due, but a full medical team are on stand-by for Elton’s sell-out Christmas tour. “Obviously, it would be a dream come true for Elton to squeeze it out on stage during an encore”, admitted Furnish. “But failing that, I think we’d both quite like a water birth.”
The singer has denied media claims that he is ‘too posh to push’, and is adamant that he won’t resort to a C-section. But doctors are keeping a sharp knife handy just in case he changes his mind, and have seized the opportunity to warn other elderly men in a similar position of the risk of hernia at least, or even a full rectal prolapse.
Mumsnet have criticised the star for being ‘too old’ to have a baby, but Sir John’s team are unconcerned. “David’s found this wonderful nanny to take care of everything, and Elton will be singing songs from his back catalogue to sooth situations and ease any tension as the child grows,” said his gynaecologist. “But hormones do play an important part at times like this. Obviously we’ll move everyone away to a safe distance if he storms off to his piano starts playing ‘the Bitch is Back’.”
Austerity as the latest paradigm from the neoliberals is set to last us a number of years. One thing we know about how the capitalists work is that they like a large section of the population to be searching for work at any one time as this suppresses wages and allows businesses to act flexibly in competition with one another.
Unemployment is at widely differing rates around the world and different countries measure it in different ways. Unemployment in one country might mean relying solely on government benefits until a job is found. In others it might be measured differently and result in more interventions from the state than simply receiving a hand out. At our last set of lectures we learnt that in South Africa you don’t get counted in the figures if you eat the produce from fishing or hunting. Likewise if you beg you are not considered unemployed. In the UK we have an increasing number of people on workfare schemes and others slipping in and out of informal and part-time work ans therefore slipping in and out of informal stats. Unemployment is mysterious and not simply one thing that is easily defined.
One concern we should have is the effects of austerity for school leavers and those at retirement age. It is very rare these two groups are looked at together and yet at the extremities of the labour market it seems to me that they have much in common in terms of feeling the brunt of austerity measures.
For years the establishment has been warning of a pensions black hole and the ruling class answer to this has been to raise retirement age in the hope that most people will die without having to draw any money from the state or their investments. So people will have to drive themselves into the ground. That is politically easier to put into operation than simply ditching state pensions altogether but you do wonder how many decades we are away from that policy objective.
The rules in place for working longer aren’t matched by employers being sympathetic about getting older. The older we get the more likely we are to develop disabilities and need adjustments in the workplace which might cost money. The policies on retirement age therefore produce tension and worry amongst the workforce and as markets liberalise we find that people have less choice and power over their lives. The idea that people who have contributed for decades and built up an account full of deferred wages for use later in life is becoming a quaint notion.
At the other end of the scale we have young people, educated either privately or by the state. Either way their education has been one long training course for the rest of their lives. State school leavers face the prospect of there being very few jobs available right now. At the same time their options with regards to further and higher education are being set by the ruling class on economic factors alone. I worry that this effectively means that thousands of people are going to be joining benefit queues each summer. How is that going to help increase taxation revenues and secure pensions? How will less public sector jobs help the situation? How will the mass of people at retirement age still working help the situation?
The answer of course is that they don’t want this to get better. Austerity is a doctrine being used to create a narrative to explain the crisis of capitalism. It is a crisis of the rich and by the rich but one where you pick up the bill. It doesn’t matter whether you’re young or old, they want you to either work longer till you die or take any crummy job you can get to keep off benefits. In fact it would be best if you took poorly paid work for the rest of your life and died before retiring please. And as work is paid less and less so benefits are reduced as an incentive to get you up in the morning looking for work if you do happen to be unemployed.
Of course there is another way. Hell, there are lots of other ways! The UK is a rich nation with a flatlining economy. The UK isn’t getting poorer – you are. In other words some people are still getting a great deal richer at your expense. Board room pay is up 27% this last year. The wealth is there to fund retirement with dignity. The wealth is there to ensure nobody need feel any poorer. The wealth though has been taken from those who do the work by those who have the power.
We must have the courage to fight for it.