Saturday, April 28, 2007
Monday, April 16, 2007
Holy Shit, Anticristo!
He has the number 666 identifying the Antichrist tattooed on his arm but says he is Jesus Christ reborn on earth, arguing Saint Paul's teachings show this is what Antichrist means. "The Pope should be ashamed," shouts Miranda in Spanish into a microphone. "He should wear pants like a man. He should tell the truth and stop teaching shit."
Carlos Cestero, Miranda's right-hand man, known as the 'Bishop as Bishops'... "These small nations are clearly puppets of the Catholic church," he said. Central America, especially Guatemala, has seen a surge in converts to a variety of Christian churches in recent decades...about 40 per cent of [Guatemala's] population now belongs to non-Catholic Christian churches.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
Another Breakfast, Another Fallen Champion
Thursday, April 12, 2007
One Last Breakfast, One Less Champion
My parents and grandparents were humanists, what used to be called Free Thinkers. So as a humanist I am honoring my ancestors, which the Bible says is a good thing to do. We humanists try to behave as decently, as fairly, and as honorably as we can without any expectation of rewards or punishments in an afterlife. My brother and sister didn't think there was one, my parents and grandparents didn't think there was one. It was enough that they were alive. We humanists serve as best we can the only abstraction with which we have any familiarity, which is our community.
I am, incidentally, Honorary President of the American Humanist Association, having succeeded the late, great science fiction writer Isaac Asimov in that totally functionless capacity. We had a memorial service for Isaac a few years back, and I spoke and said at one point, "Isaac is up in heaven now." It was the funniest thing I could have said to an audience of humanists. I rolled them in the aisles. It was several minutes before order could be restored. And if I should ever die, God forbid, I hope you will say, "Kurt is up in heaven now." That's my favourite joke.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Pie In The Sky
Mr Hope exploited a loophole in the 1967 UN Outer Space Treaty and he has been claiming ownership of the Earth's Moon - and seven planets and their moons - for more than 20 years. These are "truly unowned lands", he says.
"We're doing exactly what our forefathers did when they came to the New World from the European continent."
Is it any wonder, therefore, that "stake holders include Hollywood stars, large corporations and even George W Bush"?
"I am completely shocked!" said Sharwari Gokhale, environment secretary in western Maharashtra state. "It's gob smacking."
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Where's The Love?
Photos in the Pakistani media have shown Bakhtiar being helped by a male instructor during a charity parachute jump in France last month to raise money for victims of the devastating October 2005 earthquake in Pakistan. Another picture shows a woman - apparently Bakhtiar - hugging the instructor. This was "an illegitimate and forbidden act," the clerics said in their edict, or fatwa. "Without any doubt, she has committed a great sin," the fatwa said. It declared that Muslim women must stay at home and must not venture out uncovered.
Sunday, April 08, 2007
New And Improved: Testosterone Theology
The Church For Men meets one Saturday evening a month, drawing about 70 guys dressed in everything but straight-laced shirts and neckties. The service features a rock band, a shot clock to time the preacher's message and a one-hour in-and-out guarantee.
The church is part of a national movement to reverse what many Christian pastors and ministers are calling a troubling trend. Studies show that men are less likely than women to show up on Sunday mornings, and the reaction has been an emerging testosterone theology of sorts. Churches nationwide are now reaching out to men.
An Estervus For The Rest Of Us
Friday, April 06, 2007
An Extra Life? ...I Don't Remember
Subjects were asked to read aloud a list of 40 non-famous names, and then, after a two-hour wait, told that they were going to see a list consisting of three types of names: non-famous names they had already seen (from the earlier list), famous names, and names of non-famous people that they had not previously seen. Their task was to identify which names were famous.
The researchers found that, compared to control subjects who dismissed the idea of reincarnation, past-life believers were almost twice as likely to misidentify names. In particular, their tendency was to wrongly identify as famous the non-famous names they had seen in the first task. This kind of error, called a source-monitoring error, indicates that a person has difficulty recognizing where a memory came from.
So class, can we infer these people are more likely to have difficulty recognizing the origin of their facts too?
Good Friday Sermon
In the West, the Enlightenment brought about defence of individual freedom and civil liberties. The battle against the Church and backward culture caused a deep change in society's horizon and values and advanced the society. Western society shook off backward and religious thoughts and beliefs. Most of our contemporary ideas about freedom of speech and civil liberties come from the Enlightenment.
We the atheist and freethinkers need to fight the battle for enlightenment in the East. We need to push Islam back to where it rightfully belongs. We should fight for unconditional freedom of speech including freedom to criticise Islam. We atheists have to challenge religious authority. For every vilified and oppressed atheist, two more, ten more, a thousand more will spring up. No matter how brutal inquisitions and slaughter, atheists and freethinkers will spring up because people's minds and needs cannot be imprisoned forever. Today our society under political Islam is being held prisoner by Islamic captors, who fight to dominate this world.
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. (CP) - More than a year after Prime Minister Stephen Harper was elected, his government continues to sell itself as "Canada's new government." But one federal cabinet minister admitted Wednesday he avoids the oft-used partisan slogan and wonders why it's in every government news release. "I very seldom use the term," Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn, Newfoundland's representative in cabinet, said after a military funding announcement.
Besides news releases and prepared speeches, communications staff for the federal Conservatives use the slogan in e-mails, suggested talking points and on banners. Harper and many cabinet ministers continue to say they're "Canada's new government" almost 15 months after they were elected. The government fired B.C. scientist Andrew Okulitch for mocking an order to use the phrase in official correspondence from the Geological Survey of Canada, but he was reinstated two weeks later.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Come 'Round Back
The home of a Chinese family who defied property developers in a high-profile campaign has finally been demolished. The dispute became a cause celebre for ordinary Chinese people who have tried to fight property developers. The family had insisted on staying in their home, because they were not satisfied with the compensation the authorities were offering.
According to state news agency Xinhua, the couple have now agreed to move into another apartment elsewhere in Chongqing.
Probably the wise choice. Pizza delivery must've been a bitch.
Sunday, April 01, 2007
This photo (taken by Dr. Jenan Hassan) was originally posted in January 2006. More photos* here.