Why I Fight

We only have one world for the moment. One life in which to live on this earth, No hell below us, and above us only sky. Most of us on the internet are lucky enough to live in paradise of civilisation but there are people who live in a very real hell. And it’s not upto any mythical god to save them. It’s upto us. We are responsible for ourselves, we are not babies but adults and it’s time to act like adults.

This woman would have been ostracised by her society due to the stigma of her disease and their ignorance, she is alone and left alone to die. Religion would deem her sinful for the way she probably contracted it. Religion probably caused her to contract it due to stances on sex education, female empowerment and contraception. The quacks would try and milk her for all she’s worth by offering her snake oil and false hopes. Alternative medicine would claim that our methods don’t work and that we are probably responsible for her condition.

What I fight for is the chance to show real hope to such people. To give them a real chance. It’s things like this that reaffirm your faith. You don’t need god to have faith in what human beings can do if we really put our minds to it. It is my hope that we humans can destroy this disease and make it go the way of Smallpox. But for that we need to fight ignorance, religion and human greed. And we can do this by ARVs, Condoms, Education and Empowerment.

It is my greatest wish that one day while reading an Anti Vaccine site there is literature about how HIV wasn’t so bad much like how smallpox is treated today. Because on that day, I will know that I would have worked towards turning one of the most feared diseases in the world to nothing more than a rumour. And on that day we would have eliminated one of the greatest scourge’s of mankind.

You don’t need ARVs or Medicine to make a difference. Just a smile and a kind word can do wonders. Compassion is at it’s core the most powerful and beautiful thing a human can do. 

Do You Feel Lucky?

Basic math under stress

Well Do You? 


In essence this bill will make it illegal for any physician to enquire about the presence of firearms in a home. 


But why would a doctor wish to know about guns in a house? Well it all started when a doctor refused to provide coverage (a legal right and a necessary one) for a family who refused to answer a question and asked that they find a new paediatrician because they are unwilling to answer questions and indeed let him do his job. No doctor should work around incalcitrant patients, its demeaning and it’s a hassle. Doctors exist to help people and it’s hard to help when people refuse to give you information that you need.


The APA (American Paediatrics Association) states that parents who have guns are advised to get rid of them rather than keep them around children. The doctor in this case merely used to advise parents to keep their guns secure. Most americans with guns do not keep them safe and it tells. According to this complaint about the gag rule, 65 children and teenagers are shot every day in America, and eight of them die; one-third of American homes with children under 18 have a firearms in them; and more than 40 percent of those households store their guns unlocked and a quarter of those homes store them loaded.


You are expected as a medic to question a patient about potential dangers. Parents tend to not realise how dangerous some things are, what is little more than an annoyance to an adult is often lethal to a child. Open containers of bleach, radiator fluid, pools, sunken bathtubs, balloons unlocked bathrooms and cupboards (I myself as a medical student have seen a case where a missing child actually tried to hide inside a trunk when the latch fell and the child suffocated and died only being discovered 3 days later.) 


You ask patients about menstrual history, sexual history and quality of sex, birth pains, behaviour of the child and about child’s genital history and excretion all in the interest of the well being of the child. Yet we suddenly draw a line in the sand at guns? 


The law is sponsored by the National Rifle Association and initially attempted to punish doctors with prison times and/or fines up to $5 million for merely daring to enquire about a child potentially accessing lethal weaponry. The information cannot be given  to insurance companies nor can it be used to take them away on the basis of “Americans would rather shoot their own leg off than give up their guns”. There is no national firearms registry and so there is no way to even check up on the guns bar local registries (and Florida in their plan to be like an episode of Miami Vice do not require registry of firearms) 


The defence of the NRA is that the physicians are harassing patients under political pressure of the Gun Control Lobby and that doctors should not be forced to treat patients differently based on politics. 


Deadlier than a Gun

Which is a laughable statement. In Florida many physicians are forced to show pregnant women unnecessary ultrasounds, give out inaccurate information and unnecessary counselling before providing an abortion. Florida passed 5 bills that actually do insert the state into the constitutionally protected relationship between a woman and her doctor. These bills include forcing a woman to pay for an unnecessary ultrasound pre-abortion even if her doctor decides it is unnecessary. Yet no one of the Florida State Legislature bothered about doctors being forced to dance to a pro-life political tune or that the patient doctor confidentiality is voided there solely because of a political belief rather than the scientific one. Or worse that intimate patient decisions are now state priority. 


If a doctor may not interfere with the idea that an American man’s homestead is his Large European Feudal Defensive Fortification, then surely State Legislators shouldn’t have the ability to determine what a woman does with her own uterus? 


My Doom Fortress
Keep Off The Grass

This piece of legislation is not designed to increase patient’s rights. But to hamstring medical practitioners because people with guns do not like hearing the truth. That guns kill people. That people are capable of mistakes and that children are stupid and when this combination applies to firearms then people learn an important lesson and children stop learning forever. Doctors ask this question and advise against leaving guns open and unprotected to stop kids from dying. Not so they can take your guns away. 


It boggles my mind as an European (where an Englishman’s home is quite often a castle…) that the USA would have a driving license for a car but not one for a gun. That any person who may be paint eating stupid may be packing a lethal weapon and endanger all of us by their inherent stupidity. It’s bad enough with cars but cars are dangerous when used outside their purpose while the sole role of a hand gun is to be deadly to humans. 

Aminah Abdallah and Freedom

http://damascusgaygirl.blogspot.com/

Aminah Abdallah is a lesbian syrian blogger who wrote an extremely brave account of her and her father standing up to people who threatened to rape her (to correct her behaviour of all things).

She has been kidnapped, possibly by supporters of the regime and is part of the violence that has become so endemic to Syria.

My hope is that she is released unharmed, and that I wish I could do something to genuinely help rather than raging ineffectively against her incarceration. 

The World’s Stupidest Superweapon

Even Zordon thinks you are a dick!

Everyone’s Favourite Quack Mike Adams (The Health Ranger) has come out on the E.Coli outbreak in Germany and Sweden by claiming that the E. Coli was bio-engineered to cause human fatalities. In true idiot fashion he comes up with the wild theory that we have invented the world’s stupidest super weapon possibly in order to kill of all the salad eaters.

“Even as the veggie blame game is now under way across the EU, where a super resistant strain of e.coli is sickening patients and filling hospitals in Germany, virtually no one is talking about how e.coli could have magically become resistant to eight different classes of antibiotic drugs and then suddenly appeared in the food supply”


The E.Coli is not resistant as much as you think (A lot of the resistances are via a specific mechanism.) Filling hospitals? Roughly 500 have been infected. It’s not “filling hospitals”. Infact it is indicative of how fast medicine has responded.

And the fault lies in uncooked vegetables. A batch of vegetables has been contaminated and people who eat them raw are getting sick. Infact the people most at risk are fresh food vegans and salad munchers. E.Coli normally infects via uncooked meat but it can spread like this. There is no blame game. People want to trace the source of the infection and stop it. There is no point treating people but having more people get sick.

“This particular e.coli variation is a member of the O104 strain, and O104 strains are almost never (normally) resistant to antibiotics. In order for them to acquire this resistance,they must be repeatedly exposed to antibiotics in order to provide the “mutation pressure” that nudges them toward complete drug immunity” 

No, this is not how it works. Antibiotic immunity in E.Coli can be transferred from bacteria within different strains of E.Coli via the bacterial conjugation and the F-Plasmid. This allows complex multiple resistances to be cobbled together in bacteria like E.Coli. Mike is plain old bullshitting here. This is more likely to be a case of the bacteria inheriting it’s resistances from a commensal E.Coli which possessed these resistances. 


“When scientists at Germany’s Robert Koch Institute decoded the genetic makeup of the O104 strain, they found it to be resistant to all the following classes and combinations of antibiotics:

• penicillins
• tetracycline
• nalidixic acid
• trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazol
• cephalosporins
• amoxicillin / clavulanic acid
• piperacillin-sulbactam
• piperacillin-tazobactam

In addition, this O104 strain posses an ability to produce special enzymes that give it what might be called “bacteria superpowers” known technically as ESBLs”

The ducks are correct this time!

Bacteria Superpowers? Hey Adams! I am calling you out now. You are a quack for the following reason.

ESBL stands for Extended Spectrum Beta-Lactamase, it is a enzyme produced by bacteria that denature Beta-lactam drugs which work by the use of a chemical complex called the Beta-lactam Ring. This enzyme merely digests the ring preventing the drug from working. Most of the drugs on that list work by this mechanism. Tetracycline, Nalidixic Acid and Trimeth-Sulfameth is not used in E.Coli Treatment.

Stop using terms such as bacterial superpowers, you are scaremongering and causing people to actually listen to your stupid advice. And your advice is dangerous because people won’t go seek treatment for Haemolytic Uremic Disease and die if they listen to it.

“On top of that, this O104 strain possesses two genes –TEM-1 and CTX-M-15- that “have been making doctors shudder since the 1990s,” reports The Guardian(http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentis…). And why do they make doctors shudder? Because they’re so deadly that many people infected with such bacteria experience critical organ failure and simply die”

No one simply dies. There are reasons for it. TEM-1 and CTX-M-15 are the genes that code for the above Beta-lactamase based resistance. Not something different. Beta-Lactamase resistance is based of these genes which causes the antibiotic resistance. Not these things are antibiotic resistant, have beta lactamase resistace and carry these deadly genes! Now panic and run around like headless chickens.

And it has to do with a completely different organism called Klebsiella. 

So how, exactly, does a bacterial strain come into existence that’s resistant to over a dozen antibiotics in eight different drug classes and features two deadly gene mutations plus ESBL enzyme capabilities?

How indeed Mr. Health Ranger. How indeed…

There’s really only one way this happens (and only one way) — you have to expose this strain of e.coli to all eight classes of antibiotics drugs. Usually this isn’t done at the same time, of course: You first expose it to penicillin and find the surviving colonies which are resistant to penicillin. You then take those surviving colonies and expose them to tetracycline. The surviving colonies are now resistant to both penicillin and tetracycline. You then expose them to a sulfa drug and collect the surviving colonies from that, and so on. It is a process of genetic selection done in a laboratory with a desired outcome. This is essentially how some bioweapons are engineered by the U.S. Army in its laboratory facility in Ft. Detrick, Maryland



Mike is essentially and fundamentally wrong. 


This is how stupid I think this plan is.

ESBL resistance covers a good 5 out of 8 drugs. The others are common enough in normal usage to be acquired as course of treatment over other drugs. And that is how you make a bio-weapon if you are a fucking moron. Seriously you have to be a comic book villain to think that is a sensible plan. A genetic engineer would just take the DNA strand from a resistant bacteria and put it into E.Coli creating this. This would take a few weeks. Also why? This is the stupidest idea on earth. You would have to be mad to think this is a great idea because Bio Weapons are uncontrollable. You can point a nuclear weapon at a city and kill the city. Your bio-weapon shows no distinction between you and your enemy and will quite likely kill you just as easily.

It is the reason why everyone said “No! Bioweapons are insane and should never be used, back in the box with you.”.

Although the actual process is more complicated than this, the upshot is that creating a strain of e.coli that’s resistant to eight classes of antibiotics requires repeated, sustained expose to those antibiotics. It is virtually impossible to imagine how this could happen all by itself in the natural world. For example, if this bacteria originated in the food (as we’ve been told), then where did it acquire all this antibiotic resistance given the fact that antibiotics are not used in vegetables?

Or you know it’s occurred in humans where E.Coli is a common pathogen and commensal (naturally occurring bacteria that live inside us) and has transferred onto our food. Possibly because some dick didn’t wash his hands using the bathroom. Or considering mixed agriculture, someone who didn’t wash his hands between touching cows and vegetables.


It’s not a proper lab without skeletons

“When considering the genetic evidence that now confronts us, it is difficult to imagine how this could happen “in the wild.” While resistance to a single antibiotic is common, the creation of a strain of e.coli that’s resistant to eight different classes of antibiotics – in combination — simply defies the laws ofgenetic permutation and combination in the wild. Simply put, this superbug e.coli strain could not have been created in the wild. And that leaves only one explanation for where it really came from: the lab

The actual process is nothing like this. And it’s relatively simple. Beta-Lactam resistance is a single protein that stops a large section of bacteria. The other three are not used to treat E.Coli resistance but can be obtained via the F-Plasmid. 

Oh yes! I do love comic books!

“The evidence now points to this deadly strain of e.coli being engineered and then either being released into the food supply or somehow escaping from a lab and entering the food supply inadvertently. If you disagree with that conclusion — and you’re certainly welcome to — then you are forced to conclude that this octobiotic superbug (immune to eight classes of antibiotics) developed randomly on its own… and that conclusion is far scarier than the “bioengineered” explanation because it means octobiotic superbugs can simply appear anywhere at any time without cause. That would be quite an exotic theory indeed.”


But declaring that we genetically engineered a bacteria using the stupidest science to kill 20 people is a sane theory? I must have fallen into a portal and woken up on Bizzaro Earth.

My conclusion actually makes more sense: This strain of e.coli was almost certainly engineered and then released into the food supply for a specific purpose. What would that purpose be? It’s obvious, I hope.

It’s all problem, reaction, solution at work here. First cause a PROBLEM (a deadly strain of e.coli in the food supply). Then wait for the public REACTION (huge outcry as the population is terrorized by e.coli). In response to that, enact your desired SOLUTION (total control over the global food supply and the outlawing of raw sprouts, raw milk and raw vegetables).

That’s what this is all about, of course. The FDA relied on the same phenomenon in the USA when pushing for its recent “Food Safety Modernization Act” which essentially outlaws small family organic farms unless they lick the boots of FDA regulators. The FDA was able to crush farm freedom in America by piggybacking on the widespread fear that followed e.coli outbreaks in the U.S. food supply. When people are afraid, remember, it’s not difficult to get them to agree to almost any level of regulatory tyranny. And making people afraid of their food is a simple matter… a few government press releases emailed to the mainstream media news affiliates is all it takes

Wait. We are doing this to take control of something we already have? To improve food safety? Are these retards seriously wanting to drink unpasteurised milk? Something that we decided spreads too many pathogens so we swapped to pasteurised milk? On
e of the greatest discoveries in public health? The diseases you can catch include pathogens such as salmonella, campylobacter, brucellosis, yersinia (plague), listeria, staphylococcus, enterotoxin poisoning (this outbreak), streptococcus, tuberculosis and  E.coli. We save countless lives across the world by pasteurising milk. 


Now, remember: All this is happening on the heels of the EU ban on medicinal herbs and nutritional supplements – a ban that blatantly outlaws nutritional therapies that help keep people healthy and free from disease. Now that all these herbs and supplements are outlawed, the next step is to make people afraid of fresh food, too. That’s because fresh vegetables are medicinal, and as long as the public has the right to buy fresh vegetables, they can always prevent disease.



The EU ban is on unlicensed practitioners of herbal medicine and nutritional supplements giving out medication thus forcing alt. medicine to fulfil the same rigorous standards as Real Medicine. You know, like test drugs and provide data on usage. 


And as a medical student, I will honestly state that I want my patients to eat fresh vegetables either after proper cleaning OR cooking. What Mike is trying to imply is we will ban vegetables. Because we are the fucking hamburglar! 


Fresh Vegetables are not medicinal. They just are required for a healthy diet and in balance with meat. No one is saying to not eat fresh vegetables. What people are saying is to take precautions and cook your food. Any doctor saying that you shouldn’t eat vegetables is a quack as bad as Mike here. Mike however is in his own league of idiocy because of the constant stream of nonsense that comes out of his mouth. 

GMOs play a similar role in all this, of course: They’re designed to contaminate the food supply with genetic code that causes widespread infertilityamong human beings. And those who are somehow able to reproduce after exposure to GMOs still suffer from degenerative disease that enriches the drug companies from “treatment.”

I think you need to loosen that tin foil hat, it’s cutting off circulation there! Mike goes on to say that Spain’s accusation is due to some bizarre rejection of GMO that we sought revenge for in our insanely convoluted super plan.

But obviously the culprits cannot get away with this!

By the way, the most likely explanation of where this strain of e.coli was bioengineered is that the drug giants came up with it in their own labs. Who else has access to all the antibiotics and equipment needed to manage the targeted mutations of potentially thousands of e.coli colonies? The drug companies are uniquely positioned to both carry out this plot and profit from it. In other words, they have the means and the motive to engage in precisely such actions.

Aside from the drug companies, perhaps only the infectious disease regulators themselves have this kind of laboratory capacity. The CDC, for example, could probably pull this off if they really wanted to.

So drug companies murdered 20 people to sell a drug that they are already selling to around 500 infected people after spending MILLIONS in developing a new super weapon E.Coli that is defeated by cooking food in a way to get people to not eat vegetables.

And the CDC (Centre for Disease Control) in the USA is possibly involved in releasing such a disease in Germany…

That’s fucking moronic. No really. This is a great way to make a titanic loss and get charged with murder! This is so stupid that if anyone tries this plan they would be laughed at for trying to run the world’s stupidest scam.

But in either case — no matter what you believe — the simple truth is that the world is now facing a new era of global superbug strains of bacteria that can’t be treated with any known pharmaceutical. They can all, of course, be readily killed with colloidal silver, which is exactly why the FDA and world health regulators have viciously attacked colloidal silver companies all these years: They can’t have the public getting its hands on natural antibiotics that really work, you see. That would defeat the whole purpose of making everybody sick in the first place.

This disease? It can be treated. Untreated Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome has a insanely high mortality rate of more than 50%. Out of 500 HUS positive patients only 20 have died. That is medicine. You cannot save everyone, but you can make sure more people get to live. One day it will be 10 and the next 5 and eventually it will be 1.


In fact, these strains of e.coli superbugs can be quite readily treated with a combination of natural full-spectrum antibiotics from plants such as garlic, ginger, onions and medicinal herbs. On top of that, probiotics can help balance the flora of the digestive tract and “crowd out” the deadly e.coli that might happen by. A healthy immune system and well-functioning digestive tract can fight off an e.coli superbug infection, but that’s yet another fact the medical community doesn’t want you to know. They much prefer you to remain a helpless victim lying in the hospital, waiting to die, with no options available to you. That’s “modern medicine” for ya. They cause the problems that they claim to treat, and then they won’t even treat you with anything that works in the first place.

Garlic, Ginger, Onions and Medicinal Herbs(tm) won’t work. It would be like throwing water balloons at a tank. We can ACTUALLY test this out. Indians get a lot of E.Coli poisoning despite eating vast quantities of ginger, garlic and onions and coriander and turmeric (both said to be antibiotic in nature). Infact Indians get it more than we do in the west simply because food isn’t prepared hygienically. Probiotics work by competitively inhibiting the E.Coli however an E.Coli infection indicates that E.Coli has won this fight. The problem is that E.Coli is a naturally occurring human bacteria so it is pretty much designed to live in your stomach. The problem is some produce various toxins that go on to wreck your stuff. Which is why E.Coli outbreaks are so fast and effective.

Yes. We like you to die. This is why in the West where we have a complete medical coverage our infant mortality is just 4/1000 live births (Mostly due to premature births which are being cut down upon with the use of cheap progesterone now) and our life expectancy is close to the 75. Unlike those places without any medical coverage where 120/1000 children die in the first year of life and people die at 40.

And I would have gotten away with it
if it wasn’t for your nat
ural medicine!

Nearly all the deaths now attributable to this e.coli outbreak are easily and readily avoidable. These are deaths of ignorance. But even more, they may also be deaths from a new era of food-based bioweapons unleashed by either a group of mad scientists or an agenda-driven institution that has declared war on the human population

1. Wash Your Goddamn Hands Before Touching Food
2. Wash Your Goddamn Hands After Going to the Toilet
3. Cook your Food Properly. Especially Meat.
4. Wash your Vegetables. Clean Them and Cook Them As Well. Use a steamer if you fear leaching
5. Store your fruit and vegetables in a clean fridge.
6. Ensure the food supply of your vegetables is clean.
7. Do not pressure doctors to give antibiotics for small diseases
8. Doctors should treat E.Coli GIT infections with ORS rather than antibiotics relying on them as a last measure.

The deaths are not of ignorance. They occurred to people who simply were unlucky and were probably most likely to be caused by someone who didn’t wash their hands properly. A simple yet this time deadly mistake.

It is not some mystical secret society running a lunatic scheme. Mike Adams you are an epic level douchebag who is using death to scare people into not using modern medication instead claiming herbals would solve this problem when they blatantly do not. He is irresponsible in giving out medical advice to people while having no idea about the actual field. He is a quack and a charlatan.

The Atheist Test

Flawless Vintage!

Being an atheist is to state that you do not believe in God because we don’t have any proof of God. It’s a extremely sensible world view because it is asking for proof. If proof came, I am sure all of us (after testing the proof for ourselves) would admit that we were wrong and we would believe in whatever God be it Jehovah or Vishnu or Cthullu. But there is no evidence so we don’t believe. To believe in something like this would be intellectually dishonest. 


Well known anti-evolution fundie and everyone’s favourite crazy believer Ray Comfort has produced the Atheist Test, a series of questions which are meant to make us question our belief (as opposed to his sanity). Below is my attempt to brave the inherent stupidity and pit my wits against the Way of the Master in MORAL KOMBAT! 


It begins with a crazy rant misunderstanding how evolution works by indicating that somehow we are related to coke cans. It is a terrible analogy. 


The theory of evolution of the Coca Cola can.

Billions of years ago, a big bang produced a large rock. As the rock cooled, sweet brown liquid formed on its surface. As time passed, aluminum formed itself into a can, a lid, and a tab. Millions of years later, red and white paint fell from the sky, and formed itself into the words “Coca Cola 12 fluid ounces.”

Of course, my theory is an insult to your intellect, because you know that if the Coca Cola can is made, there must be a maker. If it is designed, there must be a designer. The alternative, that it happened by chance or accident, is to move into an intellectual free zone.  

We know Coca Cola cans are made because they have a literal ingredient list and mention where they are manufactured. We can go see the manufacture plant and we can infact make cans of stuff ourselves. We understand how cans work and how fizzy coca-cola is made. To state that we are similar to a cola can is to move into an equally intellect free zone, however this is from Ray Comfort who is practically an intellect free zone. 


Humans are alive, coke cans are dead. We are subject to evolution which is not chance or random but is directed with the purpose of survival. Things that do not help the survival of species as a whole are actually selected against. 

In case you didn’t know
what one looks like.

The banana–the atheist’s nightmare.
1. Is shaped for human hand 2. Has non-slip surface 3. Has outward indicators of inward content: Green–too early, Yellow –just right, Black–too late. 4. Has a tab for removal of wrapper 5. Is perforated on wrapper
6. Bio-degradable wrapper 7. Is shaped for human mouth 8. Has a point at top for ease of entry 9. Is pleasing to taste buds 10. Is curved towards the face to make eating process easy

To say that the banana happened by accident is even more unintelligent than to say that no one designed the Coca Cola can.  



Everyone point and laugh!

Yes! The argument is here in point format. The issue being that it is an assumption that the banana’s form was shaped by God rather than centuries of selective breeding to acquire the current shape of our bananas. It also lives under the assumption that there are no other colours of bananas and that no one eats plantains or that there is only one type of banana out there. The Cavendish/Chiquita banana is what most of the west is familiar with which is the long thing yellow banana.
In a lot of the world other bananas are grown and this is without realising that wild bananas filled with seeds still exist.  



I cannot believe a human being actually wrote this without realising how ludicrous this sounds. Also I cannot look at that list without thinking that most of these things apply to the human penis. This is the worst argument for a blowjob ever. 


It then asks this question - 


TEST ONE
The person who thinks the Coca Cola can had no designer is:
___ A. Intelligent
___ B. A fool
___ C. Has an ulterior motive for denying the obvious
 

Is a fool or does not understand coca-cola cans. However to use this analogy to apply to human evolution is frankly idiotic since  it is comparing the natural process of evolutionary change to the mechanical process of manufacture. 

Did you know that the eye has 40,000,000 nerve endings, the focusing muscles move an estimated 100,000 times a day, and the retina contains 137,000,000 light sensitive cells?
Charles Darwin said,
“To suppose that the eye could have been formed by natural selection, seems I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.”
If man cannot begin to make a human eye, how could anyone in his right mind think that eyes formed by mere chance? In fact, man cannot make anything from nothing. We don’t know how to do it. We can re-create, reform, develop . . . but we cannot create even one grain of sand from nothing. Yet, the eye is only a small part of the most sophisticated part of creation-the human body.  



 Oh my Mr. Comfort! I do declare that you are quote mining. 


The original quote states 


To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.

Yet reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a perfect and complex eye to one very imperfect and simple, each grade being useful to its possessor, can be shown to exist; if further, the eye does vary ever so slightly, and the variations be inherited, which is certainly the case; and if any variation or modification in the organ be ever useful to an animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by our imagination, can hardly be considered real.

- Charles Darwin 



And this is indeed demonstrable by simply looking at different species and noting the different kinds of eyes out there often sufficient for the purpose. Not to mention that human eyesight is good but not phenomenal like many other animals. 


 George Gallup, the famous statistician, said,
“I could prove God statistically; take the human body alone; the chance that all the functions of the individual would just happen, is a statistical monstrosity.”

This is the assumption that the individual systems of man arrived individually in their final condition as opposed to a continuous gradient of small steps as indicated by nature. 


I think Spinoza’s God is unscientific nonsense
just like Avicenna!

Albert Einstein said,
“Everyone who is seriously interested in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe—a spirit vastly superior to man, and one in the face of which our modest powers must feel humble.”
  

Just because Einstein was an incredibly smart man and very knowledgeable about physics, doesn’t make him a good source of information about evolution. A few of his theories have been expanded and some have even been corrected. We do have Stephen Hawkings (I suppose he is a harder target what with him being alive and capable of defending himself.) who is probably just as smart and who has further extended the knowledge of science as much and is continuing to do so as we speak. 


Not to mention Einstein was an avid believer in Spinoza’s God of the mechanism, going so far as to state that he did not believe in a personal god rather than one of the mechanisms.


TEST TWO
A. Do you know of any building that didn’t have a builder?
___ YES ___ NO B. Do you know of any painting that didn’t have a painter?
___ YES ___ NO C. Do you know of any car that didn’t have a maker?
___ YES ___ NO
If you answered “YES” for any of the above, give details: 



NO to all three but again we are making the faulty assumption that these things develop naturally due to the process of natural selection with the solid evidence of evolution being present in our DNA. If you can execute people on the basis of DNA evidence but not apply the same logic to evolution then you are pretty much lying to yourself. 


TEST THREE
A. From the atom to the universe, is there order?
___ YES ___ NO B. Did it happen by accident?
___ YES ___ NO C. Or, must there have been an intelligent mind?
___ YES ___ NO D. What are the chances of 50 oranges falling by chance
into ten rows of five oranges? ______________________     



The rules that govern the universe are universal constants, if they changed then the universe would simply form in a new pattern. There is no Goldilocks value as seen by the  Earth whose elliptical orbit causes massive distance changes from the sun with none of the perceived effects of such a change. 


The Laserous Penguin Rises!

So yes there is order. No it didn’t occur by accident but by the inherent natural rules governing the universe as determined by people such as physicists who test and find them. Yes these are natural and not the product of a intelligent mind. 


50 oranges in ten rows of 5 oranges? It varies but frankly why is this even an apt analogy. If anything all this does is prove Spinoza’s God of Mechanisms rather than Comfort’s terrifying Sky God. And again is assuming that there is no natural explanation for it and that there must be a god if there is no natural explanations without realising that the invocation of a mythical being to fill a gap in understanding is pretty much idiotic because it is intellectually bankrupt. I may as well say that the universe was created by a Penguin with a giant Laser and it would carry equal weight as Comfort’s argument in that both are insane. 

The declaration “There is no God” is what is known as an absolute statement. For an absolute statement to be true, I must have absolute knowledge.

Here is another absolute statement: “There is no gold in China.”  

This is assuming that gold is a mythical entity that has not been proved to exist and China is a place believed to be beyond the ken of human science due to it being metaphysical. A more apt statement is that “There are no dragons in Atlantis”.

There is no evidence for a god, and until then there is no god. Until we have good solid evidence, not hearsay, gossip and wishful thinking… until then we will say that there are no gods. Comfort’s proof is laughably weak.

Here be Gold Dragons!

TEST FOUR What do I need to have for that statement to be true?
A. No knowledge of China.
___ YES ___ NO B. Partial knowledge of China.
___ YES ___ NO C. Absolute knowledge of China.
___ YES ___ NO

Option D, the internet which can tell you where gold is found in china and proof of gold deposits. You can even buy chinese gold ornaments if you wish and go see chinese gold mines. China is not a magical place that you can get into only by praying hard enough and gold is well known enough amongst people to be associated with money. Neither of these things are supernatural and neither require belief to exist. This question is an empirical one while god is not empirical since his existence cannot be proved.

I must know how many hairs ar
e upon every head, every thought of every human heart, every detail of history, every atom within every rock…nothing is hidden from my eyes…I know the intimate details of the secret love-life of the fleas on the back of the black cat of Napolean’s great-grandmother. To make the absolute statement “There is no God.” I must have absolute knowledge that there isn’t one.

Let’s say that this (a) circle represents all the knowledge in the entire universe, and let’s assume that you have an incredible 1% of all that knowledge. Is it possible, that in the knowledge you haven’t yet come across, there is ample evidence to prove that God does indeed exist?   

If you are reasonable, you will have to say, “Having the limited knowledge that I have at present, I believe that there is no God.” In other words, you don’t know if God exists, so you are not an “atheist,” you are what is commonly known as an “agnostic.” You are like a man who looks at a building, and doesn’t know if there was a builder.

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!

No. An agnostic is someone who says we don’t know if a god exists or does not. This is a sane statement. If one asks an agnostic how close he is to saying God Does Not Exist, then most are extremely close simply by dint of there being no empirical proof for a god let alone the judeo-christian Jehovah (I am half tempted to dump Allah into this mess since he is for all intents and purposes the same god!).

We have seen not one piece of empirical evidence so far that the universe is a product of the machinations of a god. What does the mating habits of fleas have to do with a god? Why must god be so involved with flea sex? And if we are being scientific about this, then hearts do not think.

A more interesting question to ask is if we don’t know where God is hiding how come Ray assumes that he exists in the other 99% of knowledge that we do not have. Ray speaks as if he knows where God exists. And I am certain its going to be a stupid place like “the hearts and minds of true believers” rather than somewhere concrete. We don’t even know that much about the universe and frankly what Ray means is that the only way we can debate him is if we discover everything. Until then he will merely hide his god behind the next screen.

TEST FIVE
The man who sees a building and doesn’t know if there was a builder is:
___ A. Intelligent
___ B. A fool
___ C. Has an ulterior motive for denying the obvious 

Again the assumption that the entire universe exists solely for human beings to live in. This would be like the Eiffel Tower existing solely for the paint to be as far away from the ground as possible.

First, almost every question you have about suffering humanity etc., can be adequately answered.

They aren’t answers. They are lies we tell people to pacify them. Do you know why religion is called the opiate of the masses? Because it is addictive, and because it encourages them ignore the suffering of reality much like opium. There are real reasons for suffering, not the hand of god.

And Comfort would either use one of two arguments claiming either that God is testing us when we suffer or worse that God lets suffering occur because of sin.

Second, we have faith in plenty of things we don’t understand. Did you understand the mechanics of television before you turned it on? Probably not. You took a step of faith, turned it on, and after it worked, understanding how it worked wasn’t that important. We accept that there are unseen television waves right in front of our eyes. We can’t see them because they are invisible. For them to manifest, we need a receiver, then we can enjoy the experience of television.

We can however detect them and that these are physical things that we can make and explain how these things work without relying on any hand waving and magic. These are not steps of faith these are steps of understanding that someone does know how it works and that if you sufficiently read about it you too could understand PRECISELY how these things work.

God is not flesh and blood. He is an eternal Spirit-immortal and invisible. Like the television waves, He cannot be experienced until the “receiver” is switched on. Here is something you will find hard to believe: Jesus said, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him” (John 14:21).

And you base these assumptions on what proof? Seriously the entire thing is “if you truly believe in a god without any reservations then you will believe in a god!”. And the idea that he is spirit-immortal (Whatever that is!) and invisible (surely you mean undetectable) is an assumption since if he is all those things then how can Comfort detect him? We have another word for people who hear voices from unknown undetectable sources. They are called schizophrenics. And again we see him assuming that God is indeed Jesus and Friends rather than The Justice League of Hinduism.

Either that is true or it isn’t. Jesus Christ says that He will manifest Himself to anyone who obeys Him. Approach the subject the same way you approached your first television set. Just take a small step of faith. If it works, enjoy it, if it doesn’t, forget it.

If your first TV didn’t work you called someone to fix it. You didn’t forget it. You pulled out your receipt and took the TV back to the shop! Likewise why should we accept that Jesus only

Or have you an ulterior motive? Could it be that the “atheist” can’t find God, for the same reason a thief can’t find a policeman? Could it be that your love for sin is clouding your good judgment? If the Bible is true, and Jesus Christ has “abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel,” then you owe it to yourself just to check it out. Here is how to do that:  

Obviously! We cannot see because of all the sin! Brilliant! I am too sinful (apparently!) to see god. A truly awesome way to hedge
your bets! If we cannot see God then the atheist must be at fault not the source.  And I never understood the drive to live forever. Is living forever so vital that would waste our lives now in the hope that after we die we will be immortal? It’s just foolish that’s all. Like the Emperor’s new clothes, we are merely pointing out the fact that there are no gods and that we could be better humans by not kowtowing to imaginary bronze age gods.

It ain’t easy being green

Now you know how it feels!

It has always been a problem. Humanity by its nature is destructive to the environment, but we can by our nature help protect it. It’s a fine line we must tread between using natural resource and preservation of the environment. 


None of us can blithely say that the rest of the world does not deserve the development that we have. We cannot fault India and China for their pollution as they are simply doing what developed nations did during the industrial revolution. However what we can do is encourage them to not make the same mistakes by giving them a leg up on renewables and other systems that do not impact nature as much. We can also help reduce the draw of their nation’s resources by encouraging family planning schemes and responsible growth. 


Recently the GOP gave us the joy of reading out their actual environmental platform as condensed into a plan. This makes it easy to achieve (and equally easy to make fun of!)



Nope! No risks here!

1. Put oil and natural gas leasing on the Outer Continental shelf on a fast track, holding lease sales every nine months and making them dependent on commercial expressions of interest to determine what parcels should be leased.



Because if the BP tragedy has taught us one thing that drilling out in the middle of the ocean is without risk. Yes I understand our need for oil but let’s keep these risky areas as a reserve for when we run out rather than using them up. Not to mention there is no provision for ecosystem based decisions on drilling. Sometimes profit does have to take a back seat to the issue of keeping our environment safe to preserve ecological diversity.


It’s not leaking, it’s overflowing!

2. Open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to an “environmentally sound program for the exploration, development and production of the oil and gas resources of the Coastal Plain.

There isn’t an environmentally sound scheme to do this. Oil by it’s nature is kind of thick black stuff that gets everywhere and makes a mess. Oil is by it’s nature environmentally unsound because even if you do not damage the alaskan wilderness you are still burning fossil fuels. Also any sane person would want to maintain a strategic reserve of the stuff just in case it is needed (Other things come from fractions of crude oil too. No fossil fuels just means less profit from oil. The stuff is pretty marvellous though considering how useful it is as a whole.)

3. Expedite lease sales for companies seeking to extract oil and natural gas from complex geologic formations like oil shale and tar sands in the West.

It is believed that the mining of oil from tar sands is one of the dirtiest in the world. One day we may need to do that if we are unable to find alternatives, but that day is not today. We should try and avoid as much unnecessary destruction to the environment. And where necessary we should take steps to reverse the damage.


4. Set a nine-month deadline for the environmental review of any federal action like such leasing.

The entire point of environmental review is to decide and debate the cost benefit analysis of the mining. Having deadlines simply means that you can waste time until the deadline is over pushing the legislation through. Why have review when anyone can waste time for 9 months!

5. Prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from classifying carbon dioxide or methane from agricultural activities — like manure-waste ponds filled by livestock in confined feedlots — as a pollutant. No statecould get federal permission to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions from passenger vehicles.

CO2 from cattle tends to be carbon neutral coming from plants, however methane has a greater greenhouse gas quotient and so should be considered as such. The usage of such manure-waste to run fermenters which produce methane in usable quantities for power generation. If a piece of regulation provided carbon neutrality for such efforts then I would accept that manure waste ponds are relatively carbon neutral. Although a more interesting question is whether or not rice fields are considered as pollutants since they produce methane and CO2 too due to the anaerobic marshy conditions needed.

Also it is a giant pit of cow faeces! It’s a pollutant! If I poured that into your drinking water you would not drink it! It is however useful if used in fermenters in producing power via methane while cutting down on lost methane. It also is extremely good fertiliser post ferment and that is a better scheme to introduce than simply not regulating them.

6. Allow state governors to declare emergencies, which, once declared, require federal officials to ignore the provisions of the Endangered Species Act w
hen dealing with the emergency.

 Understandable in some cases but what constitutes an emergency? No this should be done on a case by case basis as I feel there can be some cases where the fish cannot be protected without actual physical human harm. The ESA exists to save endangered species, not to sacrifice them if you think you are going to lose some money.


7. Allow mountaintop removal mining to proceed at Spruce Mine in Logan County, W. Va.

Depends on what is being done to the mountain tops afterwards. I would allow this if the rules state that the mountain top must be returned to its previous state and the debris not be just dumped in a river or left in spoil heaps.

8. Reinstate the oil and gas leases in Utah that were purchased in the last years of George W. Bush’s administration.

One of the things the rest of the world figured out was that Bush Jr. was not an environmentalist.  And these bills probably were illegal or done on the sly.

9. In California’s dry central valley, ensure that no federal scientific report requiring water for endangered fish be allowed to interfere with farmers’ rights to their historical maximum allocations.

 Yes, because why should they listen to science! Also we can encourage farmers to reduce water loss and thus use less water rather than relying on primitive water levels which just encourage waste.

Most of the platform seems to be to make it easier to use the natural resources of the earth without any fear of the repercussion. There are repercussions to our resource use and we must try and mitigate that rather than revelling in the short term gains. Remember we humans are in it for the long game and I for one would like my children and grand-children to live in an earth where nature has not been demolished solely for the profit of my generation. Be it in America or indeed in the rest of the world. How can we press China and India for change if we ourselves do not? 

Machinations of Fear

Pakistan is in a crisis. For nearly two decades Pakistan has fought it’s militarily superior neighbour India through the use of irregular forces. Terrorism as we call it. However Pakistan is now under the grasp of islamic extremism. While the rest of the world was concentrating in Iraq and Afghanistan we failed to notice the new spectre rising in Pakistan.

It is well known (now atleast with the killing of Osama bin Laden) that the Pakistani army and secret service (the ISI – Inter-Services Intelligence) were supporters of members of the Jihadi movement while NATO troops were in Afghanistan. That groups such as Lakshar-e-Toiba were responsible for attacks on Indian civilians rather than on troops as part of a war.

Credible deniability was the name of the game until Osama was caught. Now it’s a lot harder to spin the fact that elements of Pakistan’s government were supporting terror groups.

These are all the turnings of big wheels. Giant cogs, and when these turn sometimes little people get caught in the gears.

Syed Saleem Shahzad disappeared on the evening of 29 May 2011 in Islamabad. He reportedly left his home around 5:30 pm local time that evening to take part in a TV show scheduled for 6:00 pm, but at 5:42 pm his cell phone was switched off and he failed to arrive at the television bureau. A complaint was lodged with the police the following morning. On May 31 it was reported that his car had been found with an unidentified body.


Identified by his parents, Syed Saleem Shahzad was tortured to death for being a journalist. His crime was to question the state’s involvement in cultivating terrorism via the ISI and his criticism of the handling of the PNS Mehran attack. The main criticism was that the attack was due to the breakdown of talks between the Pakistan Navy and Al-Qaeda which ended in the arrests of some sympathisers and this was the criticism being pushed forward by Mr. Shahzad himself. 


This is a new low in the field of Journalism and Pakistan. A free press is vital to any society, that reporting of news free of fear and oppression increases transparency of the ruling body. A truly free press reduces corruption by using the truth and Asia could do with a lot more truth. The death of Mr. Shahzad is a threat to free speech and a message to journalists who criticise the support of the islamic extremist movement. 


The question remains whether the journalists will assert their power of the truth or hide from these threats.

Pride and Prejudice

The problem with Nobel Prizes is that people assume that having one is indicative of your abilities as a kind decent human being. Didn’t we learn from Milton Friedman that unrestricted free market capitalism is kind of a terrible system to be part of? Uncaring and without conscience? Or that the IQ related rantings of Dr. Crick are part of a history of racism that is unnecessary in our civilisation? 


And now we see V.S Naipaul simply dismiss an entire gender’s worth of literature. From Jane Austen to Monica Ali women have come up through the ranks of authors in leaps and bounds. He complains about the usual route of most female writers (AKA to write feminist tosh) but forgetting that for every Yann Martell or Rushdie there exists a dozen or so male writers who write appalling books. The airport shelves are filled with countless books of war porn where men are men and enemies are massacred in short order while women are seduced by with manliness and the plot is like a bikini on a hippo. (unnecessary and small)


We don’t have writers like Germaine Greer going off on a tangent about how most male writers are purveyors of  bad war porn or even worse science fiction and fantasy. 

Okay, we cannot hold Rowling up as a literary genius in this day and age like we do Shakespeare. But lets not forget. Shakespeare was pure Lowest Common Denominator. His work today would be considered quite risqué and not suitable for children. 


‘Yea,’ quoth he, ‘dost thou fall upon thy face?
Thou wilt fall backward when thou hast more wit;
Wilt thou not, Jule?’ and, by my holidame,
The pretty wretch left crying and said ‘Ay.

When talking to Juliet as a child, her nurse jokes that when she is older and more wise she will fall backwards more often than front (It’s about the sex…). Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre was mainly advertised to the poor. His popularity due to the sheer common factor and the raunchiness was part of the lure.

Rowling instead was a children’s writer who created a renewed interest in reading amongst children and continues to do so. The book is an elegant children’s book (Let’s be honest. Its good) and encourages the kind of good behaviour without being overtly preachy (No excessive friendship speeches till the last book.) and is just an old fashioned fantasy tale that got kids reading again. In the same way Dan Brown writes really good airport fiction based of conspiracy theory and religious concepts and ideas, but is responsible for encouraging people to read. Rowling created a tame world of the Famous Five but coupled with danger and adventure as understood by us despite writing about an entire world that is alien to most british people (The world of boarding schools.)

There maybe no person equal to Shakespeare of the female persuasion, but men have dominated the field of writing for millenia. Women have only been writing in equal numbers for the past 100 years. Let’s give it some time before we start damning them as literary incompetents whose mindless chicken scratch is only fit for harlequin novels. And I prefer reading books rather than discussing the intentions of authors. I found the Life of Pi interesting, I however found Beatrice and Virgil uncomfortable and bad.

Naipaul comes across a problem. A lot of indian literature is stuck in a colonial period of thought. Be it male or female. The issue being that the colonial nature of India is deeply entrenched in Indian culture either as a paradise for the anglo-indian demographic or as a hell hole against indian values and people. But it is the same in a lot of black american writers who write influenced by their history of slavery and the apartheid of america.  It’s hard to ignore your own history and write a book untouched by your own cultural events.

Sure it may be banal now, but people will change. India can never live down it’s colonial past in much the same way the USA cannot. Year after year books will be released set in 1857 or 1947 just as how in America, books are released set in 1776 or 1960s because culturally those periods hold great importance as a whole. Every nation’s literature is set during periods of great public interest.

And my only criticism of Jane Austen is that most of her work is tediously boring. It’s hours and hours of listening to people go on about tea parties and biscuits and frightful formality. But that’s the thing. Literature is an art form and subjective. How many countless young women read the Twilight series of books and adore them? To me there is no saving grace in that book (Oh yes! I have read the first book.) How many young men think Tom Clancy books are “literature” rather than stuff you read when you are on the loo?

How about we do a little experiment? Let’s catalogue our answers (post in the comments) lets see if we can tell male writing from female writing.

Literature is subjective. V. S. Naipaul is in his rights to say this, but we are in our rights to call him a sexist and ignore him. I still think the biggest revolution in indian literature is at the hands of Salman Rushdie and Shoba Dee.