I say! That’s simply not cricket!

Oh my!

Well obviously I cannot read this article. It’s behind a pay wall and frankly I get enough insults at my lack of faith without having to pay to read it. But Rabbi Shmuley Boteach obviously doesn’t like us very much.


All I can say is that the UK is moving on up in my estimation. Annoying crazy fundies? We must be doing something right! We don’t have parades of nonsensical people defining marriage solely as the christian format. We like our gays, and we are genuinely sorry as to how we treated such heroes such as Alan Turing. We are finally achieving something. Enlightenment.

See the UK’s history is mired in religious intolerance. We murdered everyone at the drop of a hat. Pagans, Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, Hindus… The whole lot were persecuted in one way or another. And it shows, we simply don’t want to do this anymore. You don’t need religion to be good, you don’t need religion to be just or kind. These are human ideals. We in europe live in the shadow of WW2 and Hitler. While in the USA they bandy around such nonsense as “Hitler was an atheist”, we have people who lived under the rule of that man. To us religion isn’t the way forward. It’s a way to the past that we wish to avoid. That enlightenment post WW2 has come with the rejection of faith and the understanding of the equality of all mankind.

That Liberté, égalité et fraternité can only be achieved at the hands of humanity as whole. 


Not at the hands of religion. Does the good Rabbi honestly believe that we and his orthodox jews are equals or brothers? Not when he has declared the rest of us the cause of the world’s ills when all we do is believe in humanity rather than mythical deities. As for freedom? One can argue that religion merely makes you forget that you are in a cage. 


No what religion does do to you, is turn you into a dick. Rabbi Boteach, I submit that you sir, are a dick. A cock. You are a parasite on society, actively encouraging superstition to the masses of your flock, perpetrating millennia old superstitions and actively encouraging a dislike of a group of people solely because they refuse to kowtow to your version of a sky fairy.


And if you knew anything about the UK, is that we do have our own god. It’s temples hold thousands come rain or shine. It’s worshippers sing songs with all their heart. Even the youngest child to the oldest man follow it. It’s magic has fed the poor, it’s magic has given us it’s priests who are just as parasitic as you are. It’s magic has wowed billions and standing in it’s church and seeing it’s miracles is like a revelation. We have fought wars over it, small wars but we have learnt the error of such ways and reformed ourselves to be kinder and more peaceful. In front of it’s magic you feel dumb and slow as anyone can partake, but only few reach the very heights of it. Oh and it even has its messiahs. 


Note. I am a City Fan…



He’s the messiah, but just looks
like a very naughty boy.

Whoops!

The only killing this man ever did
was at the box office.

Dear Michelle Bachmann

Oh Michelle Bachmann, in you the rest of the world sees everything that is wrong with america. You are irrevocably damaged by your religious stance and let it poison your actions. Rather than tempering the writings of biblical times using your powerful brain you chose to blindly follow and thus be prone to both horrific mistakes and some of the most diabolically backwards cultural mores.

Your stance on evolution is not laughable considering you wish to run for the highest office of a nation. It’s terrifying that you can ignore science and wish to force people to ignore it too. Particularly young children who don’t know any better. You are no less wonderous because you are an ape than if you were made out of processed ribs.

Gay people are people and have been getting married for ages. What they want and what the rest of us sane people want is for them to have equal rights as heterosexual marriage so they can be as miserable as the rest of us! They should go on our registers and gain the same rights. If it were a religious reason straight marriage is accepted into the state register then all you have managed to do is rule out straight marriage as a legit thing. Because your constitution specifically states that it will not support any specific religious view and if marriage is a specific view then it should not be given special compensations.

Because clowns weren’t bloody terrifying
without one having to be a serial killer.

Your ignorance of the world is not something to be proud of. I don’t know anything about Liberia, but if I have to discuss it, I will go read about some of the issues involved. Not trust to my incompetent lackeys.

And it shows. It really does. For instance in this case you have confused a horrific serial killing clown who raped and killed close to 30 teenagers with a famous actor. Not an acceptable mistake to make. Sure your proponents have stated that Barrack Obama got a Medal of Honour recipient’s name mixed up but that happens. He did quickly apologise for it. I mean, who here hasn’t made a mistake with a name? However when that name is infamous then you really have to check your sources. This smacks of 20 seconds with google rather than a concerted effort to check sources. Infact, I bet that you just typed in John Wayne into google and since Gacy is the famous one it would have contextually provided you with the serial killer’s wikipedia page first if you were in his town. One is an actor the other is the real life version of the Joker.

There are other books, read them and open your mind. Not everything is in the bible. It’s just another book for you to learn the good things from, not the bad. The problem with a lack of competence is that sometimes you don’t even realise how genuinely incompetent you really are.

Your’s sincerely

Avicenna

Rights of the Silent majority – Death by a Thousand Cuts

It’s a well known fact that the best form of healthcare is preventative. In medicine there exists the idea of community medicine (an actual field in India) which consists of number crunching and ideas such as immunisation, contraception use, registry of drugs and education.

The majority of diseases are preventable by things we take for granted in the west. Remember one of the major sources of Cholera world wide was once the UK as was Typhoid. These diseases now rarely occur in the west to the point that they have become newsworthy material when they do occur. However cholera, typhoid, amoebic dysentery and all manner of nasty gastroenteric diseases are all facts of life in the third world.

The simple reason is the existence of plumbing and solid universal sewerage in the west. The disease cannot spread as fast as sewage and drinking water are kept separate (indians still think I am lying when I say you can drink tap water in the UK with no ill effects.). We have routine garbage collections and we dispose of it relatively hygenically compared to the piles of garbage left on the streets out in third world countries. All these spread these diseases.

Hygienic conditions came about in the west with improving standards of living, dropping populations and the idea that you can save more lives by these methods than by fire fighting.

Planned Parenthood and the CDC are the bodies responsible for this. Planned Parenthood is a Obstetric/Gynaecological community medicine project. It’s role is to provide and care for women and their children. And like all obstetricians and gynaecologists their roles are varied. They are providers of sexual and reproductive healthcare and that is vital for a healthy population. And it’s worth being free since most of us will probably utilise it’s efforts in one way or another.

Planned Parenthood are not just about the A word. They provide an entire list of services aimed at both genders which help with

Abortion – I am obviously the guy on the left here!
My course does require me to learn how to do the procedure

1. Abortions - The majority of abortions these days are early first trimester abortions. The rise of sex education, the rise of cheap birth control, the morning after pill and the HCG urine test (Clear Blue) have all lead to the drop in the number of abortions. Most abortions are chemical abortions where you take a pill that either prevents implantation or that prevents the foetus from developing. Most pregnancies are terminated in the first trimester (Nearly 80%) with the remainder in the second trimester (usually due to disease, foetal abnormalities and or illness but a few choice abortions do occur in this period). Third trimester abortions or Late term abortions are incredibly rare and are administered for very few reasons. Most doctors wouldn’t perform it without indications. There are no choice late term abortions to my knowledge, most people would chose to keep the child. Those that do terminate usually are victims of abuse, victims of disease or the child has severe congenital abnormalities.

Aaargh! My catholicism is weakening!

2. Birth Control - Another big bugbear of the religious lunatics who plague the USA. Birth control will apparently cheapen sex and encourage promiscuity (because the 300 million people who live in the USA – the third most populous nation on earth got there by binary fission rather than by a short period of meiosis, some muscle contractions and a long period mitosis). I am medically speaking not a fan of abortions. I would rather we had fewer abortions. Which is why I am a big fan of birth control and education. The more birth control we use the fewer abortions we need and the fewer abortions we need the fewer women who suffer from the side effects of abortions that can include permanent sterility and loss of sex life. Abortions are traumatic events both physically and psychologically, we should try and reduce the numbers of them. And the best way to do so is via birth control. Banning abortions actually seems to make them increase because with abortion bans comes birth control bans. 

Add caption

3. Body Image – This is something worth campaigning for. The USA has two attitudes to body image. One that either revels in hyper healthy behaviour or one that revels in gluttonous excess. The normal range is unaccounted for. You are either thin or you are fat. Beautiful or ugly. And that hurts the normal men and women out there. Eating disorders are on the rise in men too. For me poor body image is either a lack of acceptance of your own issues if you have them or a complete hatred for your own body. Some people are fat and do need to lose weight as part of basic health. Some kids are overfed and are obese for that reason. Sometimes the only reason obesity runs in a family is because the habit of eating unhealthily runs in a family. The other part of the problem is normal people thinking they are fat despite all evidence to the contrary and forcing themselves to be like their role models who are only thin by the grace of photography, photoshop and a lifestyle that they can afford. It’s a fine line to walk between encouraging healthy eating with exercise to reducing the obesity rate and good body image. 

I am sorry, it’s
Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.
You only have 3 days left to learn to spell it.

4. General Healthcare – The Planned Parenthood runs a variety of screening services in various areas ranging from anaemia, diabetes, cholesterol, hypertension, hormone function tests. They are also a distribution point for general vaccines. These are things that sound minor but can save lives. A lot of people are endemically anaemic. Black people in the USA are prone to both diabetes and sickle cell anaemia. Vegans as well are prone to anaemia. A lot of people have high cholesterol and hypertension. Thyroid hormone tests can turn a lethargic child with hypothyroid into a healthy happy child. Growth hormone tests are actually one of the reasons there are fewer individuals with dwarfism these days as people simply catch it early and administer the hormone. There are suggestions of deafness clinics being run here as well since we can correct deafness to an extent nowadays and it’s better if we catch it earlier. 

The alternative to Planned Parenthood

5. Men’s Health - Men’s health is a rising field. There are diseases that men are prone to that they rarely seek help for. Planned Parenthood offers testicular screening for men. Testicular cancer is a big killer of young men between the ages of 20 to 40. In the USA roughly 350 men a year die from it and around 8000 are affected. They also offer screening for prostate cancer which is the male equivalent of breast cancer. Regular screening means that it can be caught early which means that it is less likely to have metastasised leading to a 100 percent recovery rate in primary site cancers. Planned parenthood also run fertility clinics for men which fits hand in hand with the reproductive services they offer. They also offer STD clinic support which is vital to reducing the spread of venereal diseases. Their campaigns to spread awareness about contraception is vital to encourage men to be aware of it just as much as women and to reduce the spread of STDs as condoms are vital to that. 

Don’t shake your belly
like a bowl full of jelly.

6. Pregnancy - Most people know the basics of how to get pregnant. We didn’t get to 6 billion people worldwide without knowing how to do the horizontal monster mash. But what people don’t know is how to deal with pregnancy. You do have to tell people not to drink, smoke and do drugs. You do have to tell people not to do things. You do have to screen for anomalies and you do have to treat various conditions. The maternal mortality without medicine is roughly 15 to 20%. The miscarriage rate is around 30%. The infant mortality rate is 25% within the first year. For the most part of human history populations have been stable due to this attrition rate, instead making up for our small numbers with our tools. As we developed society we quickly learnt things that improve our pregnancy survival. Planned Parenthood is just continuing in this trend. They also provide screening for ectopic pregnancy, ultrasound scans and amniocentesis. They also help with prevention of premature births by providing a front line screening for histories of premature births and encouraging progesterone use in women prone to it. Not to mention screening women for foetal blood issues (women with some blood types can produce antibodies to their own foetus), HIV (preventable transfer to children) and addictions (the infamous crack baby). 

Yes. They do come in pink.

7. Women’s Health - The Planned Parenthood offers a huge range of gynaecological help that women require. From the simplest of yearly check ups to pelvic examinations and pap smears. The clinic is also on the frontline of HPV vaccination (which must be given at a young age for maximum protection, not because we want 13 year old girls out turning tricks.) and cervical cancer screening which goes hand in hand. Like all gynaecologists they also provide support for ovarian cancer, breast cancer and yeast infections. They also provide a menopause clinic which is vital for improving lives. We often forget that while men have viagra women have the equivalent in HRT, often forgetting that many older women maintain an active sex life post menopause due to this. 

I looked up sex clinic on google images,
here are some kittens instead.

8. Sex Clinic - Planned Parenthood offers unbiased education about sex and support for sexual outlooks that isn’t tarnished by religious affiliation. They provide healthcare and education to all genders and sexual orientations without bias. They offer STD clinics that provide a huge range of coverage and can help limit the spread of most infections from pubic lice to AIDS. They don’t regard sex as a huge taboo and something dirty and instead encourage a healthy concept of it. And that is something vital for a modern society. And something vital for us to learn to limit the spread of AIDS.

Ultimately it boils down to this. Without Planned Parenthood there is a gap in the provision of these services, one that the private sector cannot or will not fulfil. There will be people who fall between the ga
ps either because they cannot afford it or because it was not convenient enough. It won’t kill many people but a handful more will die because of these gaps in service. Planned parenthood is about family planning at it’s heart and most of that is about ensuring people have as many children as they wish to have. If you wish to fuck like rabbits and join the quiverful movement, then be my guest. However don’t deny the sane people the chance to have two kids and make sure they can feed them.

It won’t be murder, it will be letting people die. It’s not personal like a knife in the heart but it’s still deaths that we could have stopped. And the people most affected will be the poor whose healthcare plans are already being repealed due to the failure of medical socialisation in the USA. The people who die from the lack of service will be anonymous.

This is without factoring in the abortion rates in women who cannot afford private abortions and so must turn to non medical abortions resulting in deaths. That we can never calculate without actually seeing the effect of the ban. But this isn’t just about women, men will be affected too. A lot of what we forget about planned parenthood is that it does offer services to men as well.

Save your Planned Parenthood americans, it’s a lot better than the alternative.

Victims of Disease

Animal Aid are a british based animal liberation organisation calling for the reduction of people giving money to charities such as Cancer Research UKBritish Heart FoundationParkinson’s UK and the Alzheimers Society due to the fact that these charities are big proponents of animal testing. 
I used to work for Cancer Research as a volunteer. I used to sort books out in a tiny store with a lovely old lady who used to make me biscuits to eat while I worked in the back room with the manager.

My mother fights cancer on two fronts. She is a survivor of breast cancer. She is also a surgeon who specialises in breast cancer removals and reconstruction.

I have requested (their PDF doesn’t open up in India for some reason or the other) that they e-mail me a copy of their leaflet Victims of Charity. In it is apparently a no holds barred assault on my vaunted medical science.

I shall purvey it and have a breakdown for you readers (All 20 of you!) when I am done with my exam for this week.

My wonder is if their arguments are going to be any different from the ludicrous garbage that sprouted from Camille Marino and her friends on Negotiation is Over.

The Real Man

Greta Christina’s article Wealth, Handsome, Strong, Packing Endless Hard-Ons has enthralled me.

I will admit I am unhappy with the way I look. I am of the belief that since I am incapable of getting the things that I like to eat (Bacon, Steak, Pizza, Cheese Cake) and that I have been on a diet to get thinner for two reasons, the first being that I had a diabetes scare and was told to lose weight since diabetes and hypertension both run in my family (Now, Diabetes, Hypertension and Avicenna do all the running!) and secondly I started feeling a bit bad for my self as I felt that in the time I spent here, I may as well take advantage and drop some weight as I felt a bit unhealthy as I had stopped exercising when I came to India.

And I have to admit that being bombarded with images of svelte or incredibly muscular men is part of the reason. I lost a fair chunk of my hair aged 18 for completely unknown reasons (Seriously, my hair is falling out like crazy.) and was a bit on the chunky side. I felt ugly because 18 year olds are all (media wise) well built and have their own hair and I was very single and that kind of thought goes through your head when that happens.

And yes as I grew older I realised that it was just my perception and that if people didn’t like the way I looked then that’s their problem but frankly other kids like me exist to this day who feel insecure because the media bombards them with images of how “they should look”.

All these things are on the rise. I have seen other students out here starve themselves because they think that women won’t look at them if they don’t possess a physique that you normally see on a statue of Hercules or on the bodies of people who have a lot of time and money on their hands.

It’s a weird outlook that we would starve ourselves for beauty when ultimately most of us are beautiful in someone’s eyes. And quite frankly I don’t have the time for the gym, so I am going to have to be Avicenna – 1/3 of tall, dark and handsome (Hint the 1/3 is dark!). 

GAVI and me

There are some causes worth fighting for and recently Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation had a conference to drum up funding for vaccination schemes across Africa where vaccine uptakes are low.

It doesn’t matter if you give money or give time or merely spread the word to those who can give money. Please donate. Vaccination is the most cost effective way of halting the spread of disease and improving the lives of people in the developing world.

Some of that money comes down to where I study and helps fund the various vaccination schemes I support out here, so please help your fellow simians out!

The magic of vaccines

Vaccination in Liberia

It Gets Better – Dear Arch Bishop Dolan

I did send a response to the Archbishop of New York about his stance on marriage,  However as his comments are moderated, I assume that my post will be deleted. So I shall post it here as a letter, hopefully someone will read it and it may reach him.




Dear Archbishop Dolan


I disagree. Your nation was founded on the principles determined by man. There was no God mentioned in your constitution until the 50s when the USA had a sudden attack of god fearing to differentiate themselves from the USSR and the “godless commie”, to the point that being an atheist was regarded as equivalent to being a soviet spy. 


Your nation was founded supporting the oppression of women and the belief that white man is superior to all others and can own other human beings as property. The idea that America is “the land of the free” only became reality in end of the 1970s by the action of human beings. It has persecuted native americans, black people and various ethnicities at one time or another. And it is your history, denial only hurts those who fought to create the current USA. 


The bible says that slavery, rape, stoning and unbelievable brutality is acceptable. What you have now is a world tempered by human wisdom. Incest was acceptable in the bible. Selling your daughters as sex slaves was acceptable. Oh lest you forget I too have opened a bible once or twice and can quote scripture too. And while you may defend your faith by saying that the “Devil May Quote scripture”, I will point out that the clause you use to hate gay marriage is in the same part of the bible as all that. 


What you want is something awful. You wish to protect christian marriage. Do you think Hindus are not married simply because they worship other gods? Muslims don’t get married because they call your God Allah rather than Jehovah? Jews because they don’t believe in Jesus as a Messiah? Atheists because we don’t believe in any god? 


And it’s a shame that you think marriage is so weak that gay people getting married would somehow destroy it.


One more thing. The constitution of the USA states (under the First Amendment) states that it will not support any religion over another indicating that there is no state religion. If marriage is enshrined in religion then every argument you have made is a reason why the Government of the USA should not support Marriage using various tax breaks, benefits and rights to property and in case of emergency. 


And by your logic, single parents are just as incapable as gay people as raising kids and these kids should be taken away and put in foster care. Only the catholic church can suggest that kids should be raised in dormitories and moved from house to house and be unable to settle down and be children rather than be adopted by a loving family. Who cares if the person is gay, straight or single. They are offering children a loving home, stability and a life that they wouldn’t have SIMPLY because you assume that men cannot take care of kids. Because face it when you think of gay marriage you are thinking of two men trying to raise one child. 


I find it insulting that women have made so many strides yet your organisation simply thinks of them as nothing more than child raisers and us men as physically incapable of caring for a child. If a single mother can care for a child then a single father can and if they can then two men or two women can care for a child. EVEN if they were not as good as the straight couple, it’s a lot better than a foster home at providing a child with the loving environment they deserve. 


The “true” meaning of marriage does not include me as I am a straight atheist and there is no god in my marriage. And you probably won’t even care about what I have to say because “quite frankly religious leaders tend to not listen to atheists”. But what I speak is the truth. To you true marriage is christian marriage ONLY and if it were upto you, the rest of our marriages wouldn’t count for anything. 


I may not believe in Jesus but his message was one of love. Your message is one of hatred.


Your’s Sincerely


Avicenna 
author of A Million Gods

Damaging a Movement – Tony MacMaster

It is official. Amina Abdallah is not Real. Apparently she is the sock puppet of Tony MacMasters, a man living in Turkey who figured that lying would aid the cause of Syrians.

I can understand posting under a pseudonym (I do myself. Avicenna is the Latin name of Ibn Sina a famous doctor and the place I was born. Google is your friend here… I am indeed an ex-hindu british-asian studying medicine in India). For me Avicenna started off as a method of keeping my real identity safe from animal liberation whose methodology I know involves harassment and threats to family members if they cannot shake you (and me being in India keeps me safe from them but my parents, aunts, uncles and siblings are fair game for their terrorism).

I started posting after I saw Camille Marino’s threats against biologists. I also live in a place where people aren’t so nice to atheists so I prefer the pseudonym. I have used this pseudonym to post on Negotiation is Over and defend animal testing and yes I know they come read my work. (Google Stats is your friend bloggers! They have been visiting a lot for the past week or so.).

But that’s me. I cannot make the causes I fight for – real science, medical rigour, atheism, anti-racism – any more better by making up stories. To me this is like therapy, that I have to pretend in my real life to be a good little hindu and to agree with medically unsound principles and not do what I feel like because the indian medical school system is like that. I follow a structured life that’s nearly 12 hours of travel and work a day and this is my release. I live in the hope that in 3 years I will be done with stupid lectures and my insane schedule and a further 1 for my intern-ship and then I am FREE to go put my real name on the blog and declare once and for all that I am Kaiser Soze (and my real name is probably sillier than Avicenna). I do love writing and if I were to write something similar to Mr. MacMaster then I would class it as a fiction piece but sadly I don’t have his flow.

If I were to say that I spend roughly 3 hours a day travelling to university you would gasp, but that’s the truth (It’s a . If I said that I was being whipped if I did not agree about the Indian stance to natural medicine then I would be lying. Despite one making a better read (the travails of the indomitable Avicenna against the inexorable advance of woo fighting single handedly to protect his patients – in a world gone mad!) only one is the truth. And only the truth is a powerful method of change because his entire message is tarnished by this.

If Tony MacMasters lied then what is the difference between him and the Syrian government? I understand that it was an experiment that got “pharyngulated” and so became viral but hell you could have mentioned that this was fiction while Aminah could have remained a real character online for you to test your theories. You could have recorded the various responses and created an actual blog post on the matter.

Ultimately all he has hurt is the people in Syria who are fighting for freedom.