Witchhunter

We often joke about witchcraft. Whether it be us laughing at the sheer silliness of modern witchcraft in wicca or satanists or laughing at the ideas a lot of people have about Harry Potter. To us witches are a joke. But in vast parts of Africa where traditional belief in witches is mixed with the fears of Christianity and Islam which promotes an irrational fear in magic and sorcery.

The following account is compiled from a variety of news sources and is disturbing and contains graphic details of a horrific crime. It is NSFW, unsuitable for children and may be a trigger. So I carry this disclaimer warning potential readers.

With this in mind?

Kristian Bamu

This is Kristian Bamu, a 15 year old boy from Paris. He was looking forward to spending Christmas with his sister and her boyfriend (Magalie Bamu and Eric Bikubi) along with his brothers and sisters. What occurred between the 16th of December and Christmas in 2010 can only be described as madness.

Kristian Bamu was discovered by paramedics in a bathtub and was declared dead. He was missing teeth, his body was covered in a variety of injuries ranging from bruises to deep cuts and stab wounds. His two sisters aged 11 and 20 were also subjected to some of these. His brothers aged 13 and 22 joined him in being tortured. Tortured by Eric and Magalie for the crime of being witches.

Kristin Bamu’s cause of death was drowning as he was either held under water or slipped under the water of a bath he was placed in. Over the four day ordeal he was attacked by a variety of implements ranging from a knife, pliers, a wooden beam, a weight lifting bar and a hammer. His teeth were knocked out. His ears were torn with pliers. He was struck repeatedly by different objects and was cut. He was not allowed to eat or use the bathroom. His other brothers and sisters were forced to torture him or face the same punishment. Kristin Bamu’s older sister was forced to tear his ears with pliers while the youngest aged just 11 was forced to watch.

Why? Erik and Magalie claimed that they were witches and were bringing witchcraft into their house. For an understanding of that we need to go deeper.

Erik and Magalie and indeed Kristian and his siblings were from the Democratic Republic of Congo and were firm believers in one of the many sects of baptist and charismatic Christianity that settled there as part of the mission movement. This kind of christianity believes in witchcraft as a real and tangible force and that this witchcraft or Kindoki is a genuine threat. Kindoki is said to manifest itself in children hence a series of these brutal assaults. Erik in particular was subject to the same type of treatment as a child. He too was one of the children who was “corrected” by such methods. Erik showed a history of abuse, with Magalie having to seek intervention with a women’s shelter at least once with a black eye after she was beaten after she refused to eat food off the floor. Whether Magalie was a willing participant or a further victim is not for us to decide, the evidence from her sister is certainly damning. Erik’s mother’s death was blamed on him and he showed the signs of mental disease and brain damage from a childhood fall. As his condition manifest in the UK, rather than seek medical help he sought Nigerian pastors and researched Kindoki online resulting in a paranoid delusion about the existence of witches.

Kindoke is the Lingala word for witchcraft and is one of the hundreds of words denoting a spiritual evil in various African languages and dialects. It’s western equivalent would be witchcraft or demonic possession. These beliefs have made their way across Europe with immigration as a method of explaining good and bad fortune.

To many Africans particularly those of the protestant faiths, this evil power is seen as witchcraft. In areas where society has broken down such as the Congo and southern Nigeria these accusations are epidemic. Many are taken seriously with some children taken to pastors for exorcism and others subject to home made remedies such as the ones attempted by Erik.

These are not traditional beliefs, these changes are obvious in the history of these peoples. Witchcraft was part of the traditional faith of Africa. Modern Christian belief sees the power of witchcraft as something evil and belief of possession by demons and witches is a common theme in all Christian faith in particular the fundamentalist Baptist and Pentecostal faiths. Thus many Africans maintain their former belief in witches with the approval and support of their new faith. Many newer churches spring up with the self proclaimed divine mission to hunt and destroy witches and profit from these services actively. Many pastors offer detection and exorcism services. Most of these are violent with beatings, cold baths and starvation used to purify the child.

The most recent trend is the accusation of children by parents and guardians. These are children who may have bad dreams, bed wetting, children who are stupider or cleverer, who have different likes and dislikes… the list practically covers every type of child out there. The accused are often outsiders, step-children, refugees, orphans, trafficked children and witches. Many are those who are mentally ill or are survivors of debilitating diseases.

A suspected child MUST confess. To this child the only choice is to say that there are five lights. Denials are not acceptable but ensures further exorcism attempts are made. Much of the violence is believed to be due to pastors trying to force confessions. Obviously children under such a horrific ordeal would admit to anything under torture. Children agreeing to being witches may face further violence after their admission. These children are not treated like children but an empty shell. It is believed that if the shell is made uncomfortable, the evil spirit will be made to leave.

Many people believe in this and it’s hard to find a politician who thinks this is a major problem. Any attempts to legislate this have been met with little to no success. Many politicians actively utilise this issue to paint a fear of a scourge of witchcraft with which to further their campaigns. Even in places like the UK it is believed that an unknown number of children are treated like this in impromptu and makeshift churches. And if anything the numbers of these type of churches is growing and being treated as an underground movement where we persecute them for their beliefs. The official guidelines maintained note around eight cases a year of witchcraft related abuse a year and this is what we find. The numbers are probably much higher as families involved don’t see this as torture but as saving the child’s life. The blame lays almost entirely with the beliefs of the various pentecostal and evangelical baptist churches. The various African pentecostal churches in Africa have a well witnessed history of witch hunts. In the Democratic Republic of Congo alone it is estimated that nearly 50,000 children have been forced out of their homes because of fears of Kindoki in just Kinshasa.

It’s a faith that isn’t un
ique to Africa and Africans, as many people in the west are educated and still consider witchcraft as a threat. How is this different from the exorcism of the Catholic Church? How is this different from the exorcisms that take place in the USA whose literal interpretation has turned into a genuine witch hunt on a scale unheard of in human history. How many of us thought the fears over music and the fears over D&D were stupid? How many atheists have watched Jesus Camp and snickered over their denouncement of Harry Potter as an agent of Satan? How many of us laughed when we hear that people genuinely believe in the Chick Tracts? I certainly laughed.

I don’t feel like laughing any more. 

Clearly you are a moron if you think medicine works anything like this.

Some people have some very strange ideas on what we do in the medical field. It’s quite strange that people explicitly spread such utter bullshit and indeed believe such nonsense. I write this article in response to an anti-vaccine comment that medicine is close minded because it matches these ideas. And I figured I should break it down. I shall post their arguments here (It is a TL:DR post so I am warning in advance) as well. As a short key all points labelled (a) refer to medicine, all points labelled (b) refer to quackery in general (really? Take your pick)

1a. One-sided: Different or opposing views are either ignored, misrepresented, under-represented, or denigrated. 1b. Many sided: Issues examined from many points of view; opposition fairly represented.

1. We only represent evidence. In the same way a science class is not going to teach you about how the aztec gods sacrificed themselves to create humanity or the stork theory, science isn’t going to accept anything that is not grounded in demonstrable proof. Not all points of view are equal.

2a. Uses generalizations, “allness” statements, and lack of specific references and data. 2b. Uses qualifiers: Statements supported with specific references and data. 

2. Generalisations are for the lay public. You clearly cannot understand what we say so we are forced to use generalisations to help you understand. Because you don’t have the necessary education to understand in much the same way that a theoretical physicist would have to generalise things for me to understand.

3a. Card Stacking: Data carefully selected – even distorted – to present only the best or worse possible case. Language used to conceal. 3b. Balanced: Presents samples from a wide range of available data on the subject. Language used to reveal.

3. We actually have to compare worst case outcomes and state those. We also have to use our rationale in using a middle figure between best and worst figures and we do post all our stats and have to ensure they are available.

4a. Misleading use of statistics. 4b. Statistical references qualified with respect to size, duration, criteria, controls, source and subsidizer.

4. Actually it’s because anti-vax simply do not understand stats. There is a 100% decrease in the amount of smallpox cases from 1985 to now because we made it extinct by vaccination. Prior to the 1970s roughly 2 to 3 million people would die from it across the globe and prior to european vaccination schemes roughly a million people would die from it in Europe alone. The earliest mass vaccination scheme for smallpox was actually seen during the American War for Independance where the americans adopted smallpox vaccination while the british did not. The deaths were spectacularly different from smallpox. (It was balanced out. The british rum and lime rashion ensured they never got scurvy.)

And medical statistics are famous for their use of controls, duration, sizes of research and sources use have to be heavily documentated as plagiarism is treated as a serious crime in medicine. It’s career suicide to plagiarise someone’s work particularly in the world of the internet. And I assume subsidiser means sponsors? Plenty of research is government sponsored.

5a. Herding: Ignores distinctions and subtle differences. Attempts to bring together superficially similar elements together. Reasons by analogy. 5b. Discrimination: Points out differences and subtle distinctions. Use analogies carefully, pointing out differences and non-applicability.

5. We actually realise that most people are basically the same internally. No matter how special a flower you think you are, your bowels still function like everyone else and your faecal samples still smell and are filled with bacteria just like everyone else.. There are few exceptions and we recognise those better than the alt med quacks. The Alt. Med however recognise non existent differences which is completely bonkers. We may as well determine which people are sanguine and which people are choleric.

6a. False Dilemma (either/or): Only two solutions to the problem or two ways of viewing the issue – the “right way” (writer or speaker’s way) and the “wrong way” (any other way). 6b. Alternatives: There are many ways of solving a problem or viewing an issue.

6. There are multiple ways to solve a problem. There is however the most effective way and lesser effective ones. The problem is that the alt. medicine way is practically as useless as a chocolate teapot made with poisoned chocolate.

7a. Appeals to Authority: Statements by selected authority figures used to clinch an argument. “Only the expert knows” approach. 7b. Appeals to reason: Statements by authority figures and concerned parties used to stimulate thought and discussion. “Experts seldom agree”.

7. Doctors treating people is not an appeal to authority in the same way that licensing a car driver is not an appeal to authority. A doctor is someone trained and tested in treating patients while a car driver is someone who is trained and tested in driving cars. They are both licensed for a reason. In addition you wouldn’t hire a non qualified person to wire your electricity, you wouldn’t hire some guy on the street to represent you in a court of law and last I heard NASA and the LHC aren’t given to asking lay people to make decisions for them. I mean, I wouldn’t give you my car to repair. I would give it to a qualified mechanic. I know I am not qualified to repair the damn thing. I know the mechanic is. It’s not an appeal to the mystical authority of the mechanic. It’s an acceptance that mechanics have knowledge that I do not, and know how to apply that knowledge. I could learn if taught but I have better things to do with my life.

And not every “expert” is a good one. There are plenty of “experts” who think laetrile is good for treating cancer. Doesn’t make them right! It makes them dangerously stupid.

8a. Appeals to consensus or bandwagon approach: “Everybody’s doing it so it must be right”. 8b. Appeals to fact: Facts selected from broad data base. Logical, ethical, aesthetic and psycho-spiritual aspects considered.

8. Medicine has made incredible stances on really bad practices ranging from installation of sewages to construction of clean drinking water. The original cholera epidemics were combatted by doctors. The father of epidemiology was a doctor with a wrench who would steal pump handles in cholera striken areas to stop the sprea
d. Added to which our stance on exercise and healthy eating is well known even if you don’t chose to recognise it. No proper sane doctor has recommended eating burgers or pies. We accept that those things are delicious so we say “Make it a treat” because life is to short to go without burger and pie. Similarily our drives to get healtheir eating habits for children at schools and to stamp out smoking and to decrease the amount of salt people consume are all well known.

And the application of the words Logical and Ethical to alternative medicine is frankly oxymoronic while aesthetic and psycho spiritual healthcare is just plain moronic.

9a. Appeals to emotions and emotional responses: Uses words and pictures with strong emotional connotations. 9b. Appeals to people’s capacity for thoughtful, reasoned responses: Uses emotionally neutral words and illustrations.

9. The Autism MMR campaign is the textbook defintion of this. And medical textbooks look at suffering objectively. It is testament to the fact that anti-vax have never read a medical document in their lives. If you think we use charged and emotional language in medical literature then you must be a vulcan. An illogical vulcan.

But that’s the catch 22, if we use charged language your response is “See they are appealing to your fear and compassion. How dare they!” and if we treat it objectively your response is “How can you soulless automatons treat human beings like that? Don’t you feel anything inside! You logical bastards!”.

10a. Labeling: Uses labels and derogatory language to describe proponents of opposing viewpoint. 10b. Avoids labels and derogatory language: Addresses the argument, not the people supporting a particular viewpoint.

10. The individual who prompted me to write this is clearly extremely smart and a wonderful person which is why she is incapable of understanding the most basic of science and math, fails at reading and comprehension, and is actively delusional to the point of being a textbook case of it. To top it off she actively deny the deaths of millions of people across the world to diseases and are actively part of the group of people whose ideology helped spread the disease going so far as to support the work of the South African president Mbeki who was responsible for the infamous Salad Bar at a HIV and AIDS conference and is responsible for nearly 3 million extra HIV cases due to his policies which caused an increase in rate as he pulled money from functional HIV programs and retroviral therapy to put money into vitamins and “healthy eating”. Clearly she is a role model for all time. Quick! Let’s take down statues of Albert Schweizer and put up statues of her! Oh wait, she is clearly a moron of the highest order and an all around opposing force to human development and progress. It’s a statement of fact. I don’t have to respect idiots. If you came out and stated that NASA shouldn’t be allowed to fly rockets lest it punch a hole in the tapestry on which the stars are held up we would call you a fucking moron. Same rules apply here.

11a. Promotes attitudes of attack and/or defense with the aim of selling a position or product. 11b. Promotes attitudes of openness and inquiry. Aim is to discover.

11. This point doesn’t even make any sense. We attack and defend our position because it’s not a game to faff around with. It’s actually people’s lives. Alt. Med are parasites feeding off the fears of real medicine portraying their bullshit as harmless. Either treating healthy people as if they were sick or convincing healthy people that they must use supplements that are often extremely expensive while charging them for water and things that simply do not work while encouraging them to ignore things that do work with horrific consequences. And lest we forget that Alt. Med do not work for free and charge (often quite steeply) for their consultations.

12a. Ignores assumptions and built-in biases. 12b. Explores assumptions and built-in biases.

12. We don’t make assumptions. They are confusing educated guess with assumption. If you have a painless lesion and peripheral neuropathy with systemic infection signs, but with no viable culture, I can use my knowledge of disease to infer that it is leprosy because it fits the hallmark of symptoms and M. Leprae cannot be cultured in vitro. We can culture it on mice feet but you know what? It’s simpler to start the treatment and poke around 10,000 fields (yeah that’s right… 10,000 microscope fields) for Acid Fast bacteria from the exudate of the lesion. And we actually are phenomenally good at identifying bias. It’s why we keep hamstringing the frankly criminally stupid posts of the anti-medicine luddites. We can clearly identify bias, we clearly understand your motivations for lying and we clearly point it out. We are completely unforgiving to other people’s research. We don’t accept research without hardcore evidence and often repeat research.

13a. Language promotes lack of awareness and unconsciousness. 13b. Language usage promotes greater awareness and consciousness.

13. What does that even mean? I shall assume it means the language is difficult and confusing to them.

It’s very very simple. Offside! Now this word means a lot to the average european or the average african or the average south and central american. To the average USAmerican? Fuck All. Do you know what travelling is? No? The average american does. A googly or a doosra? Or Reverse Swing? Most brits will not, american simply would think I am having a stroke, but ask an Indian or a Pakistani and they will go into immense detail about such cricket terms. Now why do these terms exist? Because they describe things that occur in a specific context and allows people withing that context to communicate. The same rules apply to car mechanics who know names of parts of machines that I do not and to people who understand things like quarks and indeed to medics. It’s because you are uneducated in medicine that you do not understand the language and terminology. It’s there for us to communicate specifically with other doctors across the globe using the same notions and terminology about things. It’s not there for obfuscation purposes since we actually explain terminology online and are willing to explain it.

A lot of the terminology you see is infact pharmaceutical short hand which stops errors from occurring. It’s just short hand to ensure we can write a lot of information in a single line of note paper so that pharmacists can read it easily. 300 mg. Paracetemol. Stat means patient can take 300 mg of paracetemol when the fever requires it. If we wanted to obfuscate we would actually use the old medical terminology in Latin or not tell people our secret language on the bloody internet. A lot of the names we use are descriptive. I mean Bone tumour is just cancer to you but there are different types of bone tumours ranging from benign to malignant. Osteoma, Osteosarcoma, Giant Cell tumour, Haemangioma, Neurofibroma, Multiple Myeloma, Osteochondroma… And many more. Each are different and each have different prognosis and outcomes. An osteoma is awkward and painfu
l. An osteosarcoma is practically a death sentence if it’s not caught early since it metastasises easily.

14a. Can lead to tunnel vision and bigotry. 14b. Can lead to breadth of vision and understanding.

14. Most medical practitioners are extremely broadly based. And many are insanely talented at many other things. And the medical profession are some of the least bigotted people on earth. I think you mean bigotted against bullshit. As I said, empirically prove your nonsense. We will give you a million dollars. Because not one person has been able to prove in a moderated and unbiased test that their nonsensical quackery actually works. In the words of Tim Minchin.

Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved.
If you show me
That, say, homeopathy works,
Then I will change my mind
I’ll spin on a fucking dime
I’ll be embarrassed as hell,
But I will run through the streets yelling
It’s a miracle! Take physics and bin it!
Water has memory!
And while it’s memory of a long lost drop of onion juice is Infinite
It somehow forgets all the poo it’s had in it!
You show me that it works and how it works
And when I’ve recovered from the shock
I will take a compass and carve Fancy That on the side of my cock

15a. Referenced studies conceal conflict-of-interest funding sources.. 15b. Referenced studies reveal conflict-of-interest funding sources.

15. While anti-vax refer to people such as Mercola, Andrew Wakefield and Mike Adams who directly profit from their research. Most papers are published as part of hospital research with little to no funding or with hospital grant funding such as my friend’s reasearch into GPU heart modelling or another friend and his medical research into detection of patent foramen ovale through ultrasound and microbubbles. They actually don’t get any money from “conflicting interests” and even when sponsored, doctors tend to be incredibly untrustworthy of non transparent research. We often compare multiple independant studies before we adopt a medicine. It takes roughly 10 to 15 years to adopt a new drug.

16a. Statistics always presented to show maximum damage from problem and minimum damage from solution. 16b. Statistics presented to show many aspects of problem, not always from a non-max/min approach.

16. Statistics show minimum effective dose and maximum tolerable dose to provide a therapeutic dose value. And it’s the maximum damage from the problem we are trying to prevent. I mean if 80% of the cases of untreated meningitis is death, why are we so worried about the 20% of cases. I mean good grief we also take in median values of cases and a whole bunch of other statistics.

17a. Emphasis on removing symptoms. Aims for quick results. 17b. Emphasis on removing causes through knowledge and its integration into living habits. Aims for long-term results.

17. Shows that the individual clearly has no fucking grasp of medicine beyond chronic diseases. We have plenty of treatments for acute diseases. The treatment for amoebic dysentary are both symptomatic and causative. Metronidazole for causative organism (Entamoeba Histolytica), ORS for rehydration, anti-pyretic for fever and stomach ache and anti motility drug to reduce diarrhoea. Three symptomatic reductions and one curative. We rarely even use a single drug for most things because we understand what synergistic drug use means. We understand that we can combine drugs to improve their effect far more than the individual drug and we understand that many diseases require combinations that work together to both alleviate symptoms and cure causative agent. The diseases that are treated purely symptomatically either have no cure (Eg. Diabetes Mellitus because we cannot yet regrow bits of pancreas or Atherosclerosis because we don’t know how to reverse fatty infiltration once it gets past the initial stage or HIV because we don’t have a cure yet.) or aren’t worth the cure (the side effects of interferons aren’t as bad as the actual effect of the common cold.) One day we will have a fucking cure, just 15 years ago we didn’t have a cure for endemic stomach ulcers, now we do. (Omeprazole 6 weeks, 2 weeks clarithromycin and amoxicillin) We keep curing things all the time. It’s just that the average anti-vax conveniently ignore the hundreds of cures out there.

18a. Emphasis on management and control. Professional “manages” while patient “follows orders”. 18b. Emphasis on patient participation and recovery. Professionals “give guidelines” and patient directs his own therapy.

18. Patient management is the ability to see multiple patients over a day. Patient management is also the ability to increase compliance with a treatment regimen because people who don’t follow treatment regimens do poorly. Patient management is giving a child a lollipop so they associate visits with lollipops and come more often. And we expect patients to follow our instructions because not following instructions has dire consequences. We don’t write “Take before food” on medicine for shits and giggles. We don’t say “finish course of antibiotics” for no reason. There are reasons for that. Not following instructions is pretty much how most people hurt themselves with medication. Do not exceed this amount means do not exceed this amount. Take before food regularly means take before food. Do not miss dose means do not miss dose. Keep sugar pills on you means keep sugar pills on you. These aren’t suggestions but orders for a reasons. If you fuck up then it is our job and our livelihood on the line. Every Single Death That Occurs In A Hospital is subject do a mortality and morbidity meeting. Where department heads get together and discuss how and why each death occurred and indeed discuss deaths that could have been prevented. And believe me, if it is a doctor’s fault they will attempt to get you struck off unless the fault was patient centred.Since every death is a bad statistic. Even if a patient comes to the hospital with multiple gun shot wounds, the M&M meeting takes place for someone who clearly died from being shot.

19a. Assembly line methods geared for profit. 19b. Client-centered methods geared for autonomy.

19. Mercola and Mike Adams run stores… For Profit. As does every single homeopath out there. Last I heard most people in the western world live on money that they earn by working. So I don’t know where this “profit is bad malarky is leading” but alt. med actually have higher profit margins since homeopathy is basically water that’s been smacked around and is effectively marked up by a ludicrous amount. Some of the biggest charities in the world are the Red Cross and Doctors without Borders who are medical charities where doctors work for free often in warzones and places where no one else dares to go.

And there is autonomy in medicine, we offer a range of treatments to suit the needs of people. However in some cases you have no choice because there are f
ew actual options.

20a. Reliance on technological intervention and substitution, e.g., organ transplants, insulin injections, surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, synthetic and frequently toxic drugs and vaccines. Focuses on replacing organs or systems and their functions. 20b. Reliance on harmless, noninvasive therapies and substances. Focuses on regenerating organs and systems and restoring their function.

20. Organs don’t always regenerate and many organs such as the brain and heart do not heal ever. I would like to see them regenerate a heart or a simple brain lesion… And seriously? They are bitching that we like to use technology? How the fuck do you diagnose a pregnancy without a HCG test? How the fuck do you diagnose a heart arrhythmia without a steth and an ECG. How the fuck do you diagnose a broken bone without an XRay and by very definition superficial examination cannot tell you any fucking thing about internal anatomy because unless your surname is Kent you cannot see through a human chest. It’s such a laughable little thing to claim “Well they use technology and technology is bad!”. Of course! Without technology a lot of diseases are wishy washy rather than concrete things and you can bullshit a lot of money out of people by making grandiose claims from superficial examinations rather than someone pulling out hard evidence from something like an MRI.

Without technology a lot of those diseases are eminently fatal such as diabetes and cancer. And a lot of toxic drugs are quite useful. I don’t know how we would ever treat Myasthenia Gravis without neostigmine (poisonous) or pesticide poisoning without atropine (also poisonous).

21a. Cost and dependency escalating. 21b. Cost and dependency de-escalating.

21. Cost of medicine actually has gone down. There are some really expensive things in medicine but we don’t need to use them all the time. And the profit margins on homeopathy are phenomenal considering it is just water… For example the Patrick Holford monthly nutritional pack is £60… In the UK we give out Insulin for a price included in your taxes. It costs the government £30 for Insulin which is recombinant DNA technology and insanely fancy technology. The price has actually gone down since the cost of hasn’t risen with inflation. When human analog insulin came out in the 1994s it was £28 ($50) and now it’s £30 ($55) while inflation should make it cost around £50 ($75) if the cost of production stayed the same. Cost of medicine drops all the time to the point that I can get a week’s worth of retrovirals for HIV (one of the more expensive drugs) for just $2 when during the 90s it was $20 a day… In short? The people who wrote this are lying.

22a. Disease and disability seen in terms of victimization and melodrama. 22b. Disease and disability seen as preventable.

22. We actually produce a lot of drugs to improve quality of life and to reduce melodrama. Many HIV patients live long lives. My dad has had diabetes for nearly 30 years now and hasn’t died because of the medication. Untreated it would have killed him in 3 to 5 years. Hell my aunt survived for nearly 20 years with no functioning kidneys because of dialysis machines. She actually would work in the mornings then come home in the evenings and go on the machine because “she could work” and “it gave her something to do”. And her work wasn’t “She works in a shop”. My aunt was a orthopaedician. She was a fucking doctor and she died unretired as a doctor and as an all round badass.

And we live in the world where medical science in ortho has reached the point where able bodied people are refusing to run with disabled people because disabled people may have an advantage. We live in the world of Oscar Pistorus. The Fastest man with no legs.

This man is insanely badass.

We are actually at a stage where we are seriously considering whether or not to regard some disabled people as normal because prosthesis technology has reached the stage where they have human equivalent movement. We may actually be on the cusp of a technological advance where artificial legs exceed the capacity of a human leg. We may actually see people replace healthy limbs with artificial limbs to improve functionality. Plenty of people today would like to undergo below knee amputation to use a prosthesis which functions better than say… a foot with palsy or partial paralysis or a fused ankle. It’s a matter of time before someone says “You know what? A robot leg would make me better at my job” or “That robot hand makes me insanely good at what I do” and treat it as no different from purchasing a screwdriver. We are seriously getting close to that level of technology and the idea of a cyborg. And all because we told disabled people that they can live a normal and healthy life and we provided them with technology that lets them do so and tried not to stop them and cuddle them like they were made out of glass.

23a. Mechanistic: Body seen as mass object containing discrete parts. 23b. Organic: Body seen as mass under which lies energy, living patterns and interacting fields.

23. We are biomechanical entities. Not “energy, living patterns and fields”. Our muscles work by a molecular ratchet mechanism. One molecule isn’t much… A couple of billion however is a force to be reckoned with. And energy? Seriously? Energy in our body is transferred via a chemical energy currency called Adenosine Triphosphate. And that the electrical field we generate is by calcium ion depolarisation which creates a net electron flow and is indeed chemically mediated?

Of course not. Because they have fuck all idea how the body works and would rather it be “mystical energy” than “ATP”. And we don’t treat the body’s systems as discrete. Holy fuck this is stupid and I really need a drink to deal with this tower of ignorance. Are they seriously confusing the speciality of a doctor as the assumption that the doctor only understands his system? A doctor’s speciality simply means that he sees cases pertaining to his speciality but he also knows how the rest fit together.

24a. Fragmented: Body and mind treated separately. Parts of body regarded separately and treated singly. 24b. HolisticL Body-mind treated as unity. Parts of body treated in relation to other parts and aspects of the body-mind.

24. The mind is a construct of your brain architecture and psychology is taught to every doctor. We actually know the value of psychology. W
e can prove this in motorcycle injuries since they normally show up with head injuries which shows that changes to brain architecture result in changes to personality and mind. Infact… the whole “mind” as a unique unchanging thing is just an extension of the religious soul concept. It’s this nebulous thing used by quacks to make it seem like they take care of your brain somehow.

25a. Atavistic: Disease seen as entity separate from patient. 25b. Contemporary: Disease seen as process inseparable from patient.

25. Diseases are breakdowns of normal physiological function… They aren’t normal. And they are part of the patient. Because I know of things that kill 100% of cancer cells but you simply cannot use in a normal human being… (Let’s see. Cyanide, Rattlesnake venom, Anthratoxin, Pneumolysin, Perfringolysin O) because they would also kill normal human beings. Nearly every disease is treated in context of a normal human being.

26a. Adversarial: Disease seen as enemy. 26b. Unifying: Disease seen as reflecting a self-corrective aspect of body-mind complex in response to internal change in body environment.

26. Disease is your obviously your friend! HIV just loves your CD4 Lymphocytes so very much that it hugs them to death… C. Perferingens loves you so much that it wants to move in with you and change all the curtains in your legs.

You can pray all you want to whatever gods you may have chosen to believe in. You can grovel in front of your quacks but not one of them can save you from acute appendicitis. Not one of them has cured a single leper and not one of them could treat a meningitis case or a case of Status Epilepticus or Pneumonia. Because your mind and body relationship means fuck All when compared to real physiology, pathology, biochemistry and neurology. Fuck A Duck point 26 is the most inane nonsense ever.

27a. Externalizes Casuality: Focus is outside the patient: viruses, bacteria, and stresses in the environment, while ignoring toxic environmental factors in the food, water and air that may be grounds for corporate litigation. 27b. Internalizes Casuality: Focus on patient, choices, attitudes, habits, and reactions to environmental influences.

27. Now look who is generalising. Diseases have various causes. Microbial, Genetic, Environmental, Habit,  Dietary, Age, Gender, Trauma, Psychological, Psychiatric. I take that back… Point 26 ties with point 27 for retardedness because I just fucking named eight more causes of disease than “Duhh… Environment”. They all cause diseases. (Common Cold,  Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy, Hypothermia, Emphysema, Atherosclerosis, Parkinsons, Testicular cancer, Hypovolemic shock, PTSD and Schizophrenia if you need examples of each).

28a. Disease Oriented: Focuses on labeling, controlling and destroying disease entities. Research focuses on nature of condition as represented by symptoms, not causes. Absence of disease seen as result of technological intervention. 28b. Health Oriented: Focuses on support of natural healing, immune system, and addresses causes of conditions instead of symptoms. Absence of disease seen as by-product of health.

28. There is an entire field of medicine called preventative (or Community) medicine. Which is about education and infrastructure. You don’t see many practitioners in the UK (They basically are GPs) but in many third world nations they are the frontline doctor. SPM (social and preventative medicine) are the cutting edge of response to infectious disease in third world nations. Oh and labelling disease is vitally important. Because knowing what the disease is lets you treat it and recognise it earlier. Natural Healing? Oh good fucking lord! If you naturally healed from disease we wouldn’t give two fucking fucks about the disease. Do you see doctors bitching about Common Cold? No? Rhinovirus is not dangerous. Does this moron seriously think that not treating syphillis is a good way of treating T. Pallidum infections? Because it generally clears up after 3 years of dealing with lesions and being infection city.  (T. Pallidum is so infective that mere contact with healthy skin can transmit it even through such thick skin as palms). So you should totally walk around for 3 or so years without having any sex or touching people! Oh and it can also go quiescent after 3 years and return as neurosyphillis which is a horrible disease. But then again what do I know. I just treat early syphillis in the time it takes to give an IM injection and late syphillis in under a fortnight of pills and don’t really see any cases of neurosyphillis because I can treat syphillis in under 10 minutes and have it clear up in under two weeks. Now I am no mathematician statistician whizkid but I am of the belief that 10 to 14 days is a smaller number than 3 years. Maybe someone else can check my mathematics…

29a. Uses military rhetoric: “building defenses”, “fighting”, “battle against”, etc. 29b. Descriptive language suggests harmony and cooperation.



29.  Seriously? By that logic then one can use that argument to bitch about football too? I mean Attack, Defence, Midfield General and Goalkeeper are all also military terms. As are flanking and formation. It uses military terms because it’s the easiest way to describe a infection in terms of what people understand. And seriously? Do you know the level of cooperation your body’s immune system possesses to defend your body? Of course not! And because the army has no idea of harmony and cooperation at all. They just line up and run screaming at their enemies.

30a. Monolithic and coercive. 30b. Pluralistic, voluntary and multi-optioned.

30. Not all opinions are the same value. It’s why NASA doesn’t give credence to flat earthers and gravity fairy experts. Everything that works is medicine. We don’t give any value to stuff that doesn’t work. It’s not monolithic and coercive, it’s just that alt. med bullshit doesn’t work at all or doesn’t work as well as the alternatives.

31a. Negative: Builds on fear and distrust of the natural world (Darwinian Paradigm). 31b. Positive: Builds on cooperation with the natural world. A system of healthcare.

31. Darwinian Paradigm? Darwin’s Theory Of Evolution is basically the idea that nature selects against deletrious traits via the idea of “nature’s war” which eliminates the weakest members often preventing them from breeding. AKA if a strategy lets you breed then you are more likely to breed even if your strategy is likely to kill you. Eg. Peacocks. Their plumage is a liability. However the male peacock only has it and is basically a very flashy sperm delivery system. His death means bugger all in terms of survivability as long as the females survive and have sex with males before they get eaten by whatever predator catches them. Female Peahens are actually very drab and camoflauged. Survival of t
he whole species matters, the individual does not. Which is why plenty of species have really horrible life cycles such as “lytic birth” where the parent animal is eaten by it’s young from inside. Nature is not this nice cuddly thing.

The deer and buffalo are food for the tiger, we are food for pathogens. Now the deer fights back with speed but eventually it will get old then the tiger will catch it. The buffalo fights back with power and devastating horns. Eventually it will get old and the tiger will catch it as it can no longer fight. Eventually… the tiger will get old and either starve or be killed by a buffalo. That’s how life is. Horribly brutal and not some magic happy place. It’s sad to think but that’s what we came out of as humans and that’s what shaped our skills. .

The disease is a tiger. Sometimes we can beat it, sometimes we cannot. Medicine is a monsterous equaliser which means that more often than not we can beat it. In the same way that the spear turned us into the predator of the tiger rather than vice versa. This is the most hippietastic bullshit ever. It’s the assumption that even in a quiet field of grass nature is in some mystic harmony rather than a series of competitive species. Just because the animals that die are very small doesn’t change the fact that it’s merely a smaller scale equivalent of a tiger eating a baby deer.

Or a Crocodile

One of the best descriptions of nature comes from the phenomenal Terry Pratchett

“I was walking along the bank of a stream when I saw a mother otter with her cubs. A very endearing sight, I’m sure you will agree, and even as I watched, the mother otter dived into the water and came up with a plump salmon, which she subdued and dragged on to a half-submerged log. As she ate it, while of course it was still alive, the body split and I remember to this day the sweet pinkness of its roes as they spilled out, much to the delight of the baby otters who scrambled over themselves to feed on the delicacy. One of nature’s wonders, gentlemen: mother and children dining upon mother and children.” –  The Patrician

The problem with the anti-vax movement (Or should that be the anti-medicine movement?) is that they simply live in a delusional fantasy. Where you can somehow reason with bacteria and viruses and that the power of wishful thinking, prayer and self belief somehow can overcome bacteria.

Age of Kali: Birthdays are Bad!

Darul Deoband thinks birthdays are a product of the west and possibly aimed at destroying islamic civilisation through the practice of giving presents on a day where the sun and earth are in roughly the same positions as they were when you were born.

Oh they finally cottoned onto us. Quick! Let’s try destroying them through Valentine’s day and New Year’s eve too! 

The Problem with Apologetics

Is that sometimes they have to depend views that can only be described as backwards and barbaric. And often there is no defence for this, bar one and only one. And that defence harms christianity but allows us to accept their actions.

Unfortunately the author uses it.

Critics of the Bible must be careful not to impose their present day moral system upon that of an ancient culture found in Scripture and then judge Scripture as though it is inferior to their own subjective morality. The above verses were written 3,000 years ago in a very different culture and location. Sexual purity was very highly valued, unlike today, and when a man would marry a woman, her virginity was critical. In ancient times a dowry was paid to the father of the bride and the rightful expectation was that the bride would be a virgin.

Of course we cannot impose our morality on a bunch of bronze age people. We have come such a long way from their barbarism and we are trying to develop a truly egalitarian society on the principles of equality of all, the brotherhood of mankind, compassion and reason. Theirs was a brutish society dictated by the laws of superstition and of inequality.

So yes, it’s correct. We cannot judge a bunch of people with no idea of our modern ethics and our better morality which developed over time. We can be shocked at their murder of women but being shocked won’t bring those women back. We can laugh at the ignorance of these people who would stone a woman to death just because she had sex and even at the purchase of women as chattel. These are things in the past. The author is right in all of this.

No, what we should be asking ourselves is “If they were so backwards, why on earth do we need to listen to anything they have to say in the first place?”.

In the culture of the time it was the father who was charged with the covering, care, and well-being of his daughter. Her sexual purity was representative of the father’s ability to raise her according to the laws God. Therefore, in that culture, a man’s reputation, as well as the family’s reputation in the community, could be adversely affected by the fornication of his daughter. If his daughter had been promised to a man to be married, and a dowry had been paid, there was every expectation from the bridegroom that she would be a virgin. If the contrary was discovered after the marriage, then the implication is that there had been a deception in which the father could be implicated, or it would mean that he was unaware of her sin and this would bring great shame to the family and the community, not to mention it being a display of outright rebellion against God’s law. In this case, to insure the integrity of the family, and to remove the evil of adulterous/fornication from the community, stoning was advocated.

Oh, I completely agree with him. To those people who lived around 1000 BC this would have made perfect sense and would be logical and true. What bugs me is why we have to listen to anything they have to say about morality when it has absolutely no correlation to what morality we have.

Finally, she was not stoned for not being a virgin, but for carrying out a deception in trying to appear as one.

Could this be because the punishment for not being a virgin is to be stoned? I really cannot believe that I have to say this but “Making it worse? How could it be worse?“.

But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs.”  

General Charles Napier

And yes, I cannot believe that I have had to quote Monty Python and Napier in one article but it really is that ridiculous a piece of apologetics.

9 out of 10 cats are secretly aliens!

As they say, there are lies, damned lies and statistics, and here we see all three in action.

This post attempts to depict christians as some sort of minority, that somehow while 5% of americans identify as atheist their numbers are much much larger.

It complains about atheists as if we are some sort of plague. The sheer indignation in the tone of the article about atheists doing the same thing as christians is evident throughout as is the surprise that you can have an atheist summer camp. (Surely that means a secular summer camp or indeed a plain old normal summer camp right? I mean atheists don’t have any religious texts and maybe I would want my kids to go to a bit of a sciencey themed camp because I like science and I hope my kids can see my love of the subject too.)

The christian message is still loud and clear, the day you should be worried is the day one of your politicians stands up and claims he is a creationist and is soundly ridiculed for being an anti-science luddite rather than applauded for his ignorance.

The article then proceeds into giving advice about living in christ as if the difference between a good atheist and a good christian is something magical. A good person is one who does the right thing, not one who believes the hardest. To quote Gandhi, “You must be the change that you wish to see in the world”, and it’s something that atheists and those who believe in a god must understand. That to be good you have to be good, and no ancient book can tell you how to be that.

A lot of christians feel they are under threat because their core beliefs are being challenged. That is not true, we merely are fighting bigotry, it just happens that some of christianity’s core beliefs come under that moniker. Would you find the islamic burkha acceptable or something to fight? That is prejudice against women. The hindu cast system? Prejudice against the low castes. The christian attitude towards gays? Prejudice. All these are fought not because we are anti-faith (We don’t care about what you believe as long as you keep it in your own private area and out of public life) but because we are anti-bigotry.

Moreover, nine out of 10 Americans believe that there is no God and one fifth of the American population is more or less atheistic, according to the most recent Harris poll. 

Another survey on atheism in America, conducted by the Pew Forum of Religious and Public Life, showed major changes in the religious make up of America.  
More than one-quarter of American adults have left the faith in which they were raised in favor of another religion, or no religion at all, the Pew Landscape Survey released this week found.

Note how laughably bad the stats are. 9/10 americans believe in no god but 1/5 are atheist?

Being atheist means you don’t believe in any god so if 90% of americans don’t then 90% are atheist. The truth is roughly 15% of america are atheist/agnostic which works out at around 1/6 people.

Either the author has no grasp of statistics or is plain lying about it, but then comes up with various faulty reasons why people become atheists.

However, as discussions of widespread turmoil, increasingly turbulent weather events and wars increase, so do the number of Americans who say they believe Christ’s reappearance is close at hand. A poll conducted last year by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found that 41 percent of Americans expected Jesus would return before 2040.

Oh my! More bad stats, if 90% of america don’t believe in a god then how the hell does 40% believe that Jesus will return?

This is faulty, the weather is not related to any gods. This we proved when we found out that churches are more likely to be hit by lightning (Hey if you have a tall building while everyone around you doesn’t then you get hit by lightning). The day science defeated god was not the day Darwin wrote the Origin of Species but the day churches put lightning conductors on their steeples.

If anything this proves that atheism is not on the rise because if you said that you were scare of weather because of a god then I would call you a backwards hick and encourage you to read about weather rather than believe it is created by a magical entity.

Christians have stepped up to defend the faith in high-profile ways. As the non-believing community began to widen its reach in America in 2007, Pope Benedict XVI strongly criticized modern-day atheism in a major document in hopes of drawing attention to its evils. 

“A world which has to create its own justice is a world without hope,” he wrote in the letter. In his second encyclical, Benedict also critically questioned modern Christianity, saying its focus on individual salvation had ignored Jesus’ message that true Christian hope involves salvation for all.

Perhaps the pope should clean out his own faith’s issues before he pokes into the lack of faith of atheists. The systemic abuse of children and the lack of sexual education has caused unimaginable suffering the world over. The world is not fair, it’s why Pope Benedict basically has a comfortable job which may not pay well but has all the perks of a comfortable lifestyle while large numbers of people in Africa have to make do with no clean drinking water and a life fraught from the dangers of HIV.

It really is not fair, justice is a human concept. It is humanity that balances the scales. There is justice for the pope because he is rich and famous. There wasn’t any for those children his priests molested. And that may have been in part due to his interference in the matter. 

The pope is also walking on dangerous ground here. Salvation for all in Catholicism means conversion. And conversion historically was often done at the business end of a weapon.

A final word from Billy Graham ends the piece.

“Many atheists, I find,
reject God for one reason: They want to run their own lives,” Graham said in a popular sermon on atheism. “Atheism says we are here by chance, and life has no meaning or destiny. Taken to its conclusion, atheism ends in despair.”

We rejected our gods, not god. We rejected all the gods, be it Zeus or Shiva or Jesus and Jehovah. It’s rather arrogant to assume that Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and all the other religious world views don’t have atheists. There are plenty of us out there, it’s just that we don’t really have a big voice unlike Dawkins or Myers or Hitchens.

We reject these gods not because we want to run our own lives, but because they are not real. In the same way Graham rejects Shiva and Bal Thackeray rejects Jesus, I reject both these men’s gods on the basis of none of them are real. These beings never really ran my life, I did, I just pretended to follow rules blindly just like everyone else without really thinking who made the rules and why the rules were so stupid.

We aren’t here by chance, we are here because of evolution. You the reader is specifically here because of the efforts of the people that raised you and you are formed by their actions. You are not here by chance nor by the actions of magic, you are here because of the actions of your parents. Of sweat, blood and tears of your ancestors. Not because of some mythical being, give credit where it’s due.

Life has meaning, the meaning we give to life is entirely up to us. For me life is good friends, enjoying good food, conversation, love, reading books and having a job that makes me feel happy. Life is entirely what you make of it, and I am blessed with the ability to one day have a comfortable life where I can achieve the things that make me happy. Life is really that simple. To basically try and leave the world a little bit better than when you arrived on it.

Atheism isn’t despair, it is bravery. It is intelligence over ignorance, it is reality over fantasy. It is the honest answer, to stand up and say “I don’t know what’s out there, but I am kind of sure it’s not a magical being who tells you what clothes to wear and doesn’t like you eating beef or working on one specific day of the week”.

I maybe atheist but at least I am good at statistics.

Don’t be a Dick

Morrissey says some tasteless things.

97 dead human beings do not equate to all the dead animals in KFC and McDonalds. I am sorry, but quite honestly this is one of the most tasteless things a human being could say. Oh yes, I am familiar with the flip flopping of Bill O’Reilley regarding the christianity of Anders Behring Breivik (the Norway Gunman) and the snide references by Glenn Beck about the similarity of a youth camp to Nazis and Hitler Youth while being completely oblivious to Tea Party youth camps. 

I am familiar with these fine upstanding individuals and their incredibly rigorous reporting of news and their honour, integrity and intelligence. What I don’t understand is why Morrissey should chose to join them in their frankly tasteless braying. 

Bill has to understand that every religion has crazy nutjobs and stating that he couldn’t be a true christian is failing to realise that there are some bloody tasteless parts of the bible that this man believed in. This is a christian terrorist, in much the same way that Osama Bin Laden was a islamic one. 

Glenn Beck is just a vile human being. He is an embarrassment to humankind and simply does not get basic human empathy choosing to push a political view at a time when people are devastated by death in a country that regards itself as peaceful.

Ultimately these two people did these things just because they share the same viewpoint as Mr. Anders and have routinely espoused similar views.

Morrissey elevates himself to the pantheon of arseholery solely due to not understanding human grief and suffering. He is in the Glenn Beck category of being an utter vile human being solely because he didn’t care about human life and the grief of people suffering a horrific attack. Instead he chose to push a political view about McDonalds and KFC and vegetarian/veganism.

It would have been fine if he retracted the statement or atleast showed some remorse. He didn’t. Morrissey does not live in a murderous world, he lives in an awesome one of money and privilege and fame. I understand that there are downsides to fame but frankly its a much better life than most of us get. A murderous world is Afghanistan not Manchester despite what the papers say. 

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

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.