Posts Tagged ‘Blogs’

Ah, the age old question of free speech, freedom of belief and so on.

Today I saw a post on a buddies timeline

Being an atheist is okay. Being an atheist and shaming religions and spirituality as silly and not real is not okay. Being a Christian is okay. Being homophobic, misogynistic, racist or an otherwise hateful person and blaming it on your religion is not okay. Being a reindeer is okay. Bullying and excluding another reindeer because he has a shiny red nose is not okay

To which I replied…

if they didn’t want to be described as silly and not real, then they need to stop pretending silly and unreal stuff isn’t. But like the sentiment of lets have a beer regardless!

I was quickly slapped back into place by one of his friends…

…Ah, so you’re talking about superstrings, particle/wave duality, quantum tunneling, time dilation, quantum superposition etc. Silly and unreal things that I don’t understand but am happy to accept as helpful ways of explaining things. I have the same approach to God, and hoped that more than 3 minutes would pass from *** posting the picture I like, to a comment that actually misses the point of the picture entirely.

Okay… not fair to barge in on a friends timeline and start an argument. But this is my blog so I’m free to vent here

First up the assumption that I was talking about those things. Wrong. I was talking about religious claptrap being peddled as true. As the t-shirt slogan say. I will convert for evidence. If you peddle or defend ridiculous ideas that are plain silly, then do not be surprised or offended when someone calls it such.

As for “superstrings, particle/wave duality, quantum tunneling, time dilation, quantum superposition etc. Silly and unreal things that I don’t understand”. The fact you do not understand fully something does not make it silly and unreal. It merely shows you do not understand something. The scientific theories you mention are just that. Theories. Conclusions based on the best knowledge to hand that will be improved upon as we gain in scientific, experimental and theoretical knowledge. It’s called progress, and as I’ve stated before I’ll take a conclusion over a belief every time.

As for equating an intolerance of religious nonsense with homophobia, misogyny and racism. You mistake my intolerance of pandering to religion with an intolerance of religion. You are perfectly free to believe what delusion you choose. You may even hold beliefs the rest of civilisation find objection such as homophobia, misogyny and racism. But you are not exempt from having those beliefs criticised or ridiculed, and if you wish to inflict your beliefs on others or act in accordance with you beliefs then be expected to be asked for evidence or to justify your behaviour.

I think the point I “missed” is that I am not supposed to have the temerity to criticise an idea if it is labelled a “belief”. Well you’ve shit out there mate… As for “shaming religions”? They can only be shamed if they have done something shameful. Why on earth would an organisation guilty of a shameful act be deserving of special protection?

Finally, of course being a reindeer is okay. Reindeer have learnt from Santa that bullying is wrong and are never nasty to other reindeer now. To suggest otherwise is just plain stupid.

On a more cheerful note, if you want to see reindeer in action you can track Santa’s progress here

OK, quick one here. Another 451 error code?

Little girl writes a blog with her Dads help about her school dinners. Takes pics with the permission of the school, and gives them ratings. It gets a wider readership than expected and includes people sending her pics in from all over globe, she also uses it to promote a charity, Marys Meals which aims to combat hunger preventing an education for children in poverty. All good you’d think?

Except some of the appaling excuses for food led to criticism of the catering at the school. (If someone expected me to pay for some of the meals she was served they could expect some damn criticism as well)

So now Martha Payne is hauled out of class to be told she is banned from taking photos of the food. Not by the School who her father has been at pains to point out has supported her blogging, but by the Local Authority, under the excuse that it lead to calls for the caterers to be sacked in the local newspaper and it distressed them.


If you serve that up to kids then you should be distressed. You should also be ashamed.

Perhaps the LA should spend a little more time and effort looking after those children they have a duty of care for and a little less time effort and scarce money censoring the internet,

Needless to say the very act of attmepting to censor a 9 year old girls blog has ensured that everyone has read it, it’s gone viral and featured on the BBC etc, and generally everyone now knows what a pack of shits the local authority are (no shocker there I know). I suggest they print out and frame a definition of the Streisand effect in every public sector office throughout the land. It has now passed 2,500,000 hits as of this lunchtime and already broken her target for her charity, Expect 3 million by this evening I reckon. So how’s that censorship working out for you Argyll and Bute council?

Bravo Zulu Martha. Keep up the good work, and I hope you keep blogging, writing and campaigning.

A link to her blog here, which is very good reading!

And if you wish to support her charity, click here!


It appears the sudden internet backlash (netlash?) has lead to the LA to reconsider their decision. who’d have imagined? There is a statement on their website which contains a few gems I’ll share with you…

The Council has directly avoided any criticism of anyone involved in the ‘never seconds’ blog for obvious reasons

What? like picking on a child might make you look a bit, well, you know, like bullying arseholes?

In particular, the photographic images uploaded appear to only represent a fraction of the choices available to pupils

Because they were of her lunch you twats. Not PR studio photos staged to make the menu look wholesome and inviting, but photos of the reality of her lunch. For instance when was the last time you got a BigMac that looked like the BigMac photo?

Pupils can have as much salad and bread as they want. Salad, vegetables, fruit, yoghurt and cheese options are available every day. These are standing options and are not a result of any changes in response to the blog site.

Amazing that none of the pupils there were aware of this until meetings took place resulting from the blog though?

The council’s focus is now on supporting the school in the education of young people in Argyll and Bute.

Instead of trying to censor a young girls efforts at internet journalism?

+++UPDATE 2+++
3.4 Million hits to her blog this evening. Over a million in the last 24 hours. Local Authority played a blinder there…

The festive yuletide is upon us, a time for good will and merryment.

I wish all my readers a very happy christmas, saturnalia, yule, winter solstice (few days late there but it’s the thoughts that count), or any other festival that may be appropriate. I hope that you have a lovely break, or if you are at work a quiet shift, or especially if you are deployed that you come home safe to your loved ones.

Take care of yourselves and those you care about and see you as we hurtle headlong into 2012. Lets all hope the Mayans (like Harold Camping) are wrong!

Not all teenagers are feral cenotaph swinging arses!

Came across an article in the Grauniad regarding a 17 year old skeptic putting his reasoning and blogging skills to good use fighting quackery.

Most impressed, well worth a read and hope he keeps up the good fight.

Bravo Zulu

Good article over on Old Holborn, maybes a bit extreme for some, but always worth a read.

Anyways, following it up I had a read around about Louise Mensch MP, who think ths Police should be able to shut down social media networks such as facebook and twitter. We’ll leave aside the massive technical issue of forcing a private company to close for political expediency aside for a moment as well as her lack of understanding about how people communicate and look at just a few of her 10,000+ “tweets“  

“Twitter regularly down for maintenance, and if in a major national emergency police think Twitter and FB should take an hour off? So be it. ”

 “I don’t have a problem with a brief temporary shutdown of social media just as I don’t have a problem with a brief road or rail closure. ”

“If short, necessary and only used in an emergency, so what. We’d all survive if Twitter shut down for a short while during major riots. ”

“Social media isn’t any more important than a train station, a road or a bus service. We don’t worry about police temporarily closing those. ”

“Common sense. If riot info and fear is spreading by Facebook & Twitter, shut them off for an hour or two, then restore. World won’t implode”

On the face of it all reasonable stuff eh? Why not? why not shut down the populations ability to communicate during a law enforcement emergency? Why stop there in fact? With Facebook and twitter down, Blackberry messaging and texts would take over. So best shut them down too. Mobile phones would be next as people attempt to communicate. Hell even BBC and Sky new were reporting rumours so if we are to follow this line of “reasoning” then they should be state censored to. I’m sure Syria, Iran et al would deploy similar reasoning.

Every time there is an incident professional state politicians react the same way. Attempt to grab more power for the state. Power to prevent communication, power to prevent movement, power to prevent commerce, power to prevent free speech, power to prevent self defence and independance.

Perhaps, just perhaps, full time tax sponges like Louise Mensch are the problem instead of the solution. After all she displays such quality of judgement so far. First a member of the conservative party, then when she didn’t get everything her own way there, off to Labour in 1996 for a stint, but by 97 back to the Tories to help her Mum get a seat. Nepotism and back scratching complete they offered her a seat in 2010. Since then she’s even had to apologise to Piers Morgan for Dawkins sake, She apologised to him for quoting his autobiography at him without actually bothering to read it! Just how crap do you have to be to be forced to apologise to someone like that? She claims to support civil liverties by being pro fox hunting and (allegedly) taking drugs (she’s yet to deny it claiming it was highly probable) but like all authoritarians the moment she does agree with the liberties others seek to use then it’s time to ban them. Hypocrit. Christ she even “Likes Sally B(ercow)”… if thats not a damning indictment of her judgement then what is?

Nice to see political parties are dealing with why politicians are considered self important venal pocket lining vermin….

Back online. Sorry for the hiccup, wordpress update managed to wreck some structure and in my heavy handed fashion I deleted/moved/swore at files for a bit until it worked. Anyway seems to be working again so here we are!

Anyway, as a result of digging around and testing stuff I checked some of the spam comments my filters have caught so far… I haven’t laughed so hard in a long while! Some even make sense until you check the email addresses and websites for the user. If anyone really wants links for shares/dresses/bondage/apple apps/cheap cigarettes/perfume/yeast infections/mattresses and our old friend viagra then please just let me know and I’ll forward the links… although I would suggest putting your virus protection to Armageddon setting first..

However, a couple did make sense but I don’t trust either the email/web address attached so they’re not going on. But to answer a couple of questions.

Feel free to use anything you find here on your own blog/website/bedroom wall/hamster bedding provided that a)you attribute either myself or if I’ve reposted the original author and b) you cannot use for anything remotely commercial without my express consent – and I’ll want a slice of the action! Further info here

Lastly, to the many and various that start “your blog/website/posts are great, I have learnt/enjoyed a lot”… nobody likes a kiss-arse. I know I’m great already thanks.

Now then. Something about a wedding and some elections?……

Blogging and ranting will be light for the next week or two as, like the rest of you hopefully, I take it easy and enjoy the time off work.

So enjoy the weather, enjoy not working too hard, and see you back in a bit!

Someone else agrees with my recipe for personal understanding, inner peace and contentment.

Great webcomic too! Loads of dead tree press and goodies available, definitely worth 2 minutes of your time… especially the geeks and gamers amongst you!

Just checked webstats for the month of May. Nearly 10,000 hits! (well, 9,700)

Now granted a load of them are me as I have the pages set up to load with firefox so I can make sure they’re up and running ok, and traffic has increased due to my airsoft ramblings being run from the same webspace, and a load are search engine spiders even though I’ve tried to stop them. But even so, I was amazed so many of you read this rubbish, and do so repeatedly! I’m not sure whether to congratulate you on your discerning taste, or recommend you get help!

Either way, thanks for visiting, hope to see you back here soon!

(and whoever it is using IE6, you really need to update or get an alternative – I suggest firefox!)

Started some new webpages for airsoft stuff, kicked off with a Google earth file showing sites around the UK.
You can find it all here

Just figured out how to port this to google maps for those of you without google earth access (click here to open in a seperate window or just play below)

View Larger Map