Sunday, 29 July 2012

Catholic media director lies about homosexuality/early death link

Peter Kearney is the director of the Scottish Catholic Media Office. He has recently stated that 'medical research showed there was a link between homosexuality and early death, arguing it was both “hazardous” and “harmful”' but provided no links or references to back this claim.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Tomorrows crazies today.

Red Alert Politics has issued a 30 under 30 list of the Republicans of tomorrow. I am posting more as a point of reference more than anything.

I have only heard of Elizabeth Santorum and Katie Pavlich. What do you know about these clowns in training?

Thanks to Hemant Mehta

Article criticising religion as news REJECTED!

As I suspected, my article 'Is religion a necessary aspect of news content?' has been rejected. Also, the article that spawned my post remains. is run by a company called Northcliffe Media, and the email for comments is Be sure and let them know how you feel about their moderation policy.

For my part, I shall take the high-road and keep things civil for as long as they treat me with civility, but if they are unable to justify their position, MPs and newspaper editor's inboxes will be filled with with my activism - and hopefully your activism too.

Is there a U.K. lawyer here that could help me clarify a few things?

Earlier today I posted an article to the site, entitled 'Is religion a necessary aspect of news content?' Upon completion I was informed that it would be moderated. It would appear that this moderation process has decided that the article was not suitable for publication.
Firstly, would you be so kind as to explain the reasons for this particular article's rejection?
Secondly, would you also explain why religious sermons like this are considered credible news content?
If you are unable to access the article concerned, I have posted a copy to my blog for your perusal here.
Kind regards,
Mr Tris Stock

Let's see what they have to say for themselves.

Is religion a necessary aspect of news content?

(Just in case my article is taken down, I shall copypasta it here for posterity.)

Whilst thisiscornwall's invitation to 'citizen journalism' is to be applauded, there have been numerous objections raised with regard to its value. Objectivity, professionalism and relevance are key aspects in all journalistic endeavours, and if these qualities are not met its value is diminished.

There has been a creeping incidence of non-news and non-community related articles that have slipped - either purposely or by editorial neglect - into people's news readers, and despite numerous comments highlighting the fact that these articles are not news, they continue to populate an otherwise excellent on-line news media product such as thisiscornwall.

Which way to go?

A recent case in point is the inclusion of an article that contained no news, negligible community information and no indication of its provenance beyond a 'trusted source' ribbon at the top of the page.

'Is church a museum for good people?', whilst naming Sid Harris, of the Lizard-Mount's Bay Methodist Circuit, it is anonymously written, and the inclusion of his religious entity's name is about as close as the entire article gets to an allusion of community.

It contains no news content whatsoever.

It is, in fact, nothing more than the melancholic musings of a particular Christian's outlook on 'love'; a sermon, if you like.

Set against the aspects of journalism as stated in the opening paragraph, this sort of content is neither objective - any religious point of view is by definition subjective - nor is it relevant - people's faith being important to the individual in no wise constitutes news. As for professional? Well, the author's ability to convey his thoughts is not in question here, but in allowing such content to be published as news, thisiscornwall is negligent in its duty as a news media outlet.

It is not the remit of this article to have religious thoughts and articles banished from the site - there is a very good case for developing blogs for people that wish to do so, and national newspapers do exactly this - but this content should be clearly defined as opinion or some such, and not presented as news.

So what is the purpose of this article? It is a challenge to thisiscornwall to outline guidelines for what is, and what isn't, considered news content for the 'citizen journalist'. If the publication of religious tracts is deemed to be compelling community news, then my upcoming articles on secularism and criticisms of religious thought should be warmly welcomed. However, if thisiscornwall decides that content like that mentioned (and, indeed, the content you are reading now) is not considered to be compelling community news, it should either create a separate space for public opinion - leaving the RSS news feed for news alone - or it should stop publishing content that is in counter-distinction to the site's purpose.

In anticipation of the backlash I am sure to receive in publishing this article. I am quite aware of the fact that my own musings in this post are not news-worthy, are of neglible community benefit and very likely unprofessional, but in the vein of 'what is good for the goose is good for the gander', it should be pointed out that if religious sermons are to be tolerated as valid community news, so too should criticism of it.

Tris Stock is a secular activist, pop philosopher and blogger. Follow his thoughts at MyGodlessLife

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Defining terrorism @Mashood

At about 12:20 am on Friday 20th July 2012 , a figure dressed in full body armour entered Century 16 theatre in Aurora, Colorado, releasing two gas canisters before proceeding to shoot at the panicked and confused audience watching the latest Batman movie, killing 12 and injuring dozens more. Minutes later, James Eagan Holmes, 24, was arrested in the car park without incident. He is currently being held at the Arapahoe County Jail to await formal charges to be filed on July 30, 2012.

In the ensuing media frenzy, a number of people have debated Holmes's motives for such a shocking attack. Some have said he was addicted to computer games, others have claimed he is schizophrenic and/or mentally ill, some have even gone on to state that secularism, his being single and evolution being taught in schools are valid reasons that explain the event. Of course, some have alluded to his acts being synonymous with being an act of terrorism. But what is terrorism, and is it a fair appraisal of Holmes's actions?

Monday, 23 July 2012

Evolution update!

Giraffes are evolving into monkeys. Creationists are concerned for the future existence of giraffes. [source]

Reports of faeces-flinging girapanzees (Pan giraffa camelopardalis) are not yet confirmed, although there is documented evidence that the new species displays a fondness for bananas

Commercial concerns

Concern has been expressed by the CAU (Chimpanzee's Actors Union) that the onset of evolutionary competitors may undermine their long-standing contract with PG Tips as tea drinking girapanzees seek to gain a foothold in what has traditionally been recognized as a chimpanzee-only stronghold.

Chimpanzee' concerns are not with out basis, the CAU has claimed, as competition from other 'lower order' primates has been witnessed in recent years. cannot confirm which of the 'lower-order' primates the CAU was referring to.

Quick thoughts on the right to bear arms and patriotism in America

All rights are limited by law - and in the US, this is based on the Constitution. The right to bears arms is limited constitutionally by the well regulated militia.

Tell me, did James Holmes - who legally bought a heavy arsenal - belong to a well regulated militia?

Laws - at least in principle - are instituted not to limit freedom per se, but to protect the citizenry as a whole from anti-social and deleterious behaviours. Walking into a theatre and letting loose on an unsuspecting and wholly innocent group of movie-goers is anti-social and deleterious behaviour, which is why laws regarding accessibility to firearms needs to be regulated - if not banned outright - to non-regulated militia.

This is a no-brainer, folks. You may well disagree with me - as might the hugely influential gun lobby - but in defending these groups, you tacitly undermine not only people's rights to live in as free and safe a society as is demanded by you and your fellow citizens, but you have no respect for the Constitution under which your nation was formed.

I hear, all the time, from the pro-gun people, how patriotic the right to bear arms is (see final image on this post to see a perfect example of how that 'right' is cherry picked from the actual text in the first image), however, upon even a fragment of constitutional understanding, the patriotism these types espouse is wholly undermined by their narrow views of what the Constitution means to themselves and society as a whole.

There are a lot of these very types - shall we call them Libitarians and Republicans as a general rule of thumb - that have no regard for either the Constitution, nor the communities in which they live. If this is patriotism, you can keep it.

It is indefensible by any right-minded, socially functional and truly patriotic American.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

UPDATE X2: The Christian right are lining up on the chopping block

I have noticed a trend. Not one that will come as a surprise to any of my readers, but a trend all the same.
In the aftermath of one disaster or another, right wing conservative Christians like to use the back drop of such events to push their own agenda on the emotions of a raw and vulnerable citizenry.

Jerry Falwell, and Pat Robertson have been the most prolific offenders over the years, but today it seems there is no end to the line of crazies that want to blame the Batman theatre shootings on something that they oppose for completely unrelated reasons.

They wilfully put their necks out on these matters, it is up to us to deliver the punishment when they are proven guilty of peddling bullshit on the backs of other's misfortune and grief. 

Here is a list of the 'real' reasons James Eagan Holmes shot dead 12 people and injured dozens more, as presented by the defilers of decency before the facts are in.

Free James Holmes - The Petition Site. DAFUQ?

Free James Holmes - The Petition Site

This has got to be some sort of sick joke. They don't even give a reason for their calls to have him released.

Over on Twitter, someone has set up an account with the name @REALJamesHolmes, no doubt to spread more ignorance and misinformation. Which is probably why it has been suspended.

Oh, and let's not forget those that believe so strongly in the American Criminal Justice System, and their claims that they don't believe in the death penalty.

Tiny Klout Flag37Mr░C░L░A░R░K░E░█™ ‏@lintonclarke
 I don't believe in capital punishment but James mate. I'm have to make an exception. I don't think thrz anything that can helpU

Tiny Klout Flag26Robert K. Burnham ‏@robertkburnham
I am a big believer in the American Criminal Justice system, but why waste one taxpayer dime on  ?Just take him out & shoot him.

Then there are those that wish to jump on the back of this horrific event to push their own agendas before we know what his motives were.

Tiny Klout Flag44Sarah Wadood Khan @SarahKhanAzeemi
and I second You ! Rt |  I, hereby, declare a terrorist!!!

Tiny Klout Flag37Shaheed BalochHassan ‏@MaryamHBaloch
": and I second You ! Rt |  I, hereby, declare  a terrorist!!!"

Tiny Klout Flag46Heber Brown, III ‏@HeberBrown
So it begins. The Associated Press works to reinforce the dominant narrative of White men in America. 

Tiny Klout Flag46Heber Brown, III ‏@HeberBrown
U.S. media will work feverishly to humanize  isolate his actions & separate his behavior from the dominant White Male image

Then there are the real wingnuts.

5hTiny Klout Flag57Rev. Keith Roberts ‏@lgbtfacts
The Aurora Colorado "batman shooter" didn't have a girlfriend as he was likely to be homosexual. Homosexuals r VERY angry people.
5hTiny Klout Flag57Rev. Keith Roberts ‏@lgbtfacts
 -victim of Barack Hussein Obama. She was gunned down by a man who suffered greatly at the hands of the Barry economy. 
5hTiny Klout Flag57Rev. Keith Roberts ‏@lgbtfacts
How many more senseless shootings and massacres will happen under Barack Hussein Obama's dictatorship?   
5hTiny Klout Flag57Rev. Keith Roberts ‏@lgbtfacts
If the Aurora Batman shooter had've had a JOB he wouldn't have been in the predicament he was in! 12 lives lost thnx to
13hTiny Klout Flag57Rev. Keith Roberts ‏@lgbtfacts
Libs want gun control but fail to relize crazies who want to kill will get a gun if they rely want one. Libs r endangering ALL our lives.
21 JulTiny Klout Flag57Rev. Keith Roberts ‏@lgbtfacts
 You cannot be homosexual and Conservative. Homosexuality goes against our core principals. I respect you as a PERSON not your sin.
21 JulTiny Klout Flag57Rev. Keith Roberts ‏@lgbtfacts
 You're a happy Conservative who is pro life and pro gun - sounds great!
21 JulTiny Klout Flag16Warren ‏@sumpwa
 Praise The Lord and pass the ammunition! :)
20 JulTiny Klout Flag57Rev. Keith Roberts ‏@lgbtfacts
I love my God, I love my Guns and I love my Guts.
20 JulTiny Klout Flag57Rev. Keith Roberts ‏@lgbtfacts
See? It's like liberals are PROGRAMMED to hate freedom and shut down free speech. They HATE America.   
20 JulTiny Klout Flag57Rev. Keith Roberts ‏@lgbtfacts
BREAKING NEWS! Aurora Colorado shooter was a progressive lib who supported fag "marriage" & abortion! Liberalism IS a mental illness! 
20 JulTiny Klout Flag57Rev. Keith Roberts ‏@lgbtfacts
Come for my guns Barry - I double dare you. 
20 JulTiny Klout Flag57Rev. Keith Roberts ‏@lgbtfacts
Barack HUSSEIN Obama is directly responsible for the. He is creating an atmosphere of hostility. IMPEACH THE NIGGER. 
20 JulTiny Klout Flag57Rev. Keith Roberts ‏@lgbtfacts
Radical liberals are already trying to take away our CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS to bear arms. They HATE America.   
20 JulTiny Klout Flag57Rev. Keith Roberts ‏@lgbtfacts
I don't give a damn if millions die at the hands of shooters if it means we have the right to bear arms & uphold our Constitution. 
20 JulTiny Klout Flag57Rev. Keith Roberts ‏@lgbtfacts
SEE? Libs now openly DEFYING the Constitution and wanting to go against our founding fathers. GET THE HELL OUT OF AMERICA. 
20 JulTiny Klout Flag57Rev. Keith Roberts ‏@lgbtfacts
The Dark President Rises more like it. 
20 JulTiny Klout Flag57Rev. Keith Roberts ‏@lgbtfacts
Pathetic libs will no doubt try to ban guns off the back of the Aurora Colorado shooting.   
I shall be approaching the Rev. Keith Roberts personally.

Seriously? What is wrong with people?