Mission Congo

I don’t like missionaries. I don’t like the idea of missionaries. The idea is simple. Go enlighten the blighted heathen and wow them with technology so that we can replace their unenlightened dark gods with our rape excusing, slavery begetting, incestuous, murderous god who is more civilised simply because we wear pants and they do not.

I understand that’s the older version of the missionary but the modern mission’s purpose is similar. Sure there may be more oversight and the emphasis has increased on helping people but the oversight is not there. And very often the miissionary doesn’t help so much as sweep into and out of their lives in a whirlwind of iPhones and temporary technology. Or worse, are so unfit for field work that they actually end up doing harm.

And no where is this seen as badly as in Pat Robertson’s Operation Blessing International which is the subject of a documentary called Mission Congo. [Read more…]

A Voice for Me – Judgy Bitch 2 – Electric Blogaloo

Judgy Bitch came to my attention for her frankly lunatic take on a rape trial in the USA where she proceeded to blame the victim of rape as someone trying to gain social approval by “shagging high value males”. Not the reality where the girl was raped precisely because she TURNED DOWN the advances of football players (American). The entire Steubenville rape read like the very epitome of “bullshit” without having to listen to people like “Judgy Bitch”.

So what’s got her knickers in a twist? Well? The backlash against the sudden “outing” of paedophiles in broadcasting.  [Read more…]

Hags of Lag – Learn to Report Honestly

The Hollywood Reporter’s taken an “interesting” stance on Adam Lanza (the American School Shooter at Sandy Hook)

Note how they blame Videogames (I will point out? There is a reason why we want our gamer population to behave a bit more “sensibly”. Because calling people fags and various racist things makes us an easy fucking target for stupid arguments like this. Because when they want to go find a “gamer” all they see is you sprouting lines about niggers and kikes, pakis and dykes… Do you really think that makes you a good representative for the Hobby?).

See the problem here is The Holywood Reporter is engaging in bullshit journalism. And you cannot let it go unanswered because journalism spreads information. If the information is bad then “fuck!”.

Adam Lanza played video games because he lived in a western nation where video game play is common. If he was “influenced” by Anders Breivik killed people because he was a neo-nazi with a fucking delusion. He was straight up mentally ill. He believed in some sort of plot and specifically targetted people to “destroy” the plot. His entire world view was one of hate and malice and fear. In his mind he was justified in killing so many innocent people because that’s the problem with a delusion. He wasn’t fighting for a high score, but to achieve something that he thought would be achieved through this behaviour.

Adam Lanza is a symptom of a very very american disease of “running amok”. I do love the fact the article thinks you can fire a gun just because you play a game. Really? I have raced cars around Silverstone on Gran Turismo but no one’s going to give me a F1 during the next Grand Prix.

That’s right. Let’s look at DRIVING in games. Does your car have a WASD key? Does it go forward when you press up on the arrow keys? Do you slide around when you press the spacebar as a handbrake? No? Funny how a game can teach you to shoot a gun at people but not how to drive.

The Staff at Hollywood Reporter

The Price of Justice

The following contains a story of rape, suicide and abuse.

I knew Levine and Frances Andrade. Not personally but as a violinist from Manchester. Levine was often held up as a role model for a fair few Indian kids on the strings. And I was shocked to read today’s news and hear about the stories of a school I once nearly joined.

Frances Andrade was 14 when she was asked to go to a teacher’s office at the famous Chetham’s School for Music. Michael Brewer would make her take her top and bra off and touch her. The abuse continued until the age of 18.

Both Michael and his ex-wife Kay were found guilty of indecent assault (due to the lack of a penetrative act it cannot be charged as rape in the UK).

Michael resigned from Chetham’s in 1994 after another incident where he had an inappropriate relationship with a 17 year old girl. As part of the terms, the case was dropped and Mr. Brewer went on to have a long and highly successful career in music. He was the Artistic Director of the National Youth Choirs of Britain. He directed the World Youth Choir and even appeared on TV as a workshop leader for the reality show Last Choir Standing. He was even awarded an OBE for services to music in 1995!

Mrs. Andrade gave evidence on January the 16th and 17th in full view of the court room. The investigation was sparked by her telling a friend about her time at Chetham’s and her friend reporting it to the police. She then cooperated fully and agreed to take part in the prosecution.

Quoting from the article written in the Telegraph and Syndicated out here…

She was called a fantastist and liar by Kate Blackwell QC, Brewer’s barrister. Judge Martin Rudland remarked that she was “clearly undergoing a cathartic experience, whatever the source” while giving evidence. He said she was “combative” during cross-examination by Kate Blackwell QC, representing Brewer, and she had taken personal issue with some of the barrister’s questions but the judge indicated that Miss Blackwell had acted professionally. During the cross-examination, Mrs Andrade told Miss Blackwell: “You are hugely insulting, even though it’s your job.””

She was put through the ringer. It’s not for me to say how we defend our cases in court. The courts are rigorous and witnesses must be examined thoroughly. Whether the cross examination from Kate Blackwell (QC) was too much or not, is not for me to judge. Your job as a lawyer is to rule out all possibilities including “fantasist”. It may be distasteful but that’s how we get justice and there are precious few systems better than this.

That’s the point of a fair trial. To cast doubt over the words of each side and to hope that out of the maneuvering some truth will arise.

A day earlier, the jury – on the direction of the judge – recorded not guilty verdicts on five counts of indecent assault against Brewer due to insufficient evidence about how old the complainant was at the time of the allegations. The lack of evidence crippling the prosecution. That was on January the 24th.

After a few more days of maneuvering and the release of the knowledge of Mr. Brewer’s past “dalliance” the verdict was read out as guilty of indecent assault.

And then the Jury were told. On the 24th of January, Mrs. Andrade committed suicide. Her death was kept from the papers due to her involvement in the case.

The judge, prosecution and defence lawyers knew (UK law basically) and they maintained confidentiality until today’s verdict. After the verdict the news was released to the court requiring a halt of proceedings to retain composure.

I don’t know whether Frances Andrade found catharsis or freedom. I don’t what she was thinking. Nor will I say what she should have done. But she tried to get justice and paid a price for it. I do wish someone could have been there to hear her out. It’s a sad and pointlessly tragic death in a sad and pointlessly tragic story.

Take what morals you want from this. It’s just a bit close to home.

Hags of Lag – Murder Machine

The NRA had their press conference few days ago. We all kind of knew this was coming, and the NRA generally wait for a bit before unleashing blame on pretty much everything apart from the guns they so love after tragedies like this. I am dealing mainly with the backlash against video games, music and movies. To be fair they also blamed Mental Illness (demanding that we create a database of the mentally ill while using language that invokes the spirit of Bethlem Hospital) and suggested that the solution to guns is more guns. These were both covered by other FTBloggers (FTBullies! Sorry!!!) so I shall go for something that I am passionate about. I agree that this is the least serious thing they blamed, but it is still incorrect and trying to fob the blame off on the arts and media.

[Read more…]

Things I Learned This Week

I am not a happy bunny, I learnt two things today, two things that probably say more about the United States of America’s toxic culture than anything else.

The first was the apparent “attacks on teachers by politicians”. The notion that the school teachers are horrid, greedy and callous individuals personally responsible for the state of American education rather than the shoddy interference by private parties and politicians.

The American system is fucked by it’s standardised testing. It’s EXCESSIVE standardised testing… I understand the need for tests. They are vital in the real world. If I told americans how many tests I sit to qualify they would probably think I am some sort of robot sent from the future to make humans embarrassed about how much they suck at exams. I have exams until the end of January… I have one tomorrow. I have so far finished 6 papers and have 10 more to go…

I am taught to the paper myself  BUT my paper is “Ophthalmology” It’s a massive subject. Being taught to the paper involves the major problems you will face. When you do a Postgraduate Qualification you will get more help but at my level of “Bog Standard Doctor” you get to know the basics and the syllabus of the paper covers that.

But that shouldn’t be the case in a school. A school is there to not just teach but inspire. To blame teachers for a broken system is like blaming soldiers for the malfunction of a weapon. The system is broke, teachers are trying to do their best. Some of the right wing vitriol makes me think that the USA wages a war on terror, drugs and education simultaneously.

The second thing I found out was that guns in the USA are a placebo. They are the extension of a Walter Mitty fantasy. They are bought in the belief that if something goes wrong the purchaser will whip his weapon out and solve the problem with hot lead and justice.

To the gun owner, crime is less of a problem in their heads. They THINK they are safe. And for the most part they are right. The USA is a relatively SAFE place. Your crime rates while high for a first world nation are lower than many places where we routinely go. I am more likely to be run over by a car everyday I step out the house than you are to die in a crime in the USA.

But the fear of crime is high in the USA. But that’s the media’s fault. Crime is glorified in the news. Because it sells. It also makes people buy guns because successful crime is only shown. You don’t see all the crime thwarted because it’s thwarted. That doesn’t make front page, that is a byline story. So people think that they are unsafe, they think the cops don’t do anything and are all donut eating salad dodgers rather than a skilled workforce. They do not trust their cops.

Why the British Bobby is considered the pinnacle of police work but the american copper isn’t is a debate for another time and probably someone more knowledgeable than me.

This attitude towards cops and crime means that Americans think that they only have two options. To prowl the streets dressed as a bat striking fear into the hearts of superstitious criminals or buy a gun. Since most billionaires are rather safe from petty criminals the only real option is the gun. Once you have a gun you think you are safe. Crime is no longer your problem.

Economic disparity and lack of opportunity may have made criminals but Smith & Wesson make them equally dead.

If you think crime is not your problem any more, so why should you care about things that cause crime? Why should you care about it falling. If anything rising crime merely confirms your choice of purchase and you may think of buying a second firearm (I don’t know… You intend to jump through a window while firing two guns or require a spare gun in case your first gun betrays you…).

This notion came to a head today when I found out that post Sandy Hook, Colorado has seen their biggest firearms purchase ever. To the point that there is a backlog of background check claims. 4200 purchases were made.

Despite what we think in our quiet corner of the internet, the apparent solution to guns is more guns. Because no one thinks that they will ever be the bad guy in the gun fight. No one ever thinks that they will draw second. No one ever thinks they will miss. No one ever thinks they will hit the wrong person. And no one ever thinks they will draw in anger.

No one ever sees themselves shooting up a school. Everyone who they see getting shot by them had it coming. It’s always a rapist, mugger, murderer, robber, rogue gunman or terrorist. It’s never the nice boys from next door. It’s never their own family or policemen or some random stranger.