Thursday, 21 May 2015

Intolerant Intolerance

David Cameron and the Conservative government are seeking to fast track a new bill that gives them greater power to 'deal with extremism' so that the 'greatness of our nation' is preserved, that we may truly be 'one nation'.

The chilling words of Cameron echoed out last week,

'For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens: as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone. It’s often meant we have stood neutral between different values. And that’s helped foster a narrative of extremism and grievance

“This government will conclusively turn the page on this failed approach. As the party of one nation, we will govern as one nation and bring our country together. That means actively promoting certain values.

“Freedom of speech. Freedom of worship. Democracy. The rule of law. Equal rights regardless of race, gender or sexuality.

“We must say to our citizens: this is what defines us as a society.'


'British values' is a slippery phrase, ambiguous enough to mean whatever the government wants it to mean at any given time. The result, contrary to what is said above, is the continued assault on freedom of speech, attack upon dissenting acts and speech and the strangulation of democracy.

Listen to Hitler in 1933,

Monday, 18 May 2015

Yes, It Is Islamic Extremism - But Why?

'Nobody denies that a security issue exists for the West—the reality of deadly violence in western cities by a small handful of extremists, often psychotic and with criminal records, who are killing civilians in the name of some Islamic justification. Just a handful has sufficed to create a furor in the western media and psyche, non-stop. But security issues also exist for Middle Easterners—for Muslims—themselves. Let’s not forget one Arab leader’s comment to an American: “Your 9/11 is our 24/7.” In other words, the one-time horror of 9/11, and of a few subsequent lesser scale terrorist attacks in the West, mercifully do not constitute part of daily life in the West. But such lethal violence is indeed a part of the daily life across so much of the Middle East today, where death from the skies—a form of terror—from American warplanes or drones is commonplace. Or it is unleashed via the chaos of new civil wars in countries whose regimes the US overthrew.'


Apocalypse Now

Steadily withdraw funds from the public sector thus creating a strain on services and increasing public anxiety and anger over those services. Privatisation is then seen to be the only option thus opening the door for corporations to control the entire system.

Change trading laws both nationally and internationally so that said corporations can remove human rights and state law in order to continually maximise profits on almost anything - water, fuel, food, land, health - and increasing their power and influence.

Prop up dictatorial regimes through continued propagation of war and faulty foreign policy whilst all the time providing weapons and information that further destabilize regions and create ideology, radicalisation and hatred.

Through a perceived threat of 'terror' increase militarization, surveillance, laws, and further remove human rights under the propaganda of 'security'.

Remove education and replace it with tests so that people are encouraged not to think for themselves and question the System.

Raise fear levels through the threat of 'other'.

Friday, 8 May 2015

Talk about Democracy is a Joke



'There are huge efforts that do go into making people, to borrow Adam Smith's phrase, "as stupid and ignorant as it is possible for a human being to be." A lot of the educational system is designed for that, if you think about it, it's designed for obedience and passivity. From childhood, a lot of it is designed to prevent people from being independent and creative. If you're independent-minded in school, you're probably going to get into trouble very early on. That's not the trait that's being preferred or cultivated. When people live through all this stuff, plus corporate propaganda, plus television, plus the press and the whole mass, the deluge of ideological distortion that goes on, they ask questions that from another point of view are completely reasonable....

...There were many different, conflicting strands of democratic theory, but the one I'm talking about held that democracy requires dissolution of private power. He said as long as there is private control over the economic system, talk about democracy is a joke. Repeating basically Adam Smith, Dewey said, Politics is the shadow that big business casts over society. He said attenuating the shadow doesn't do much. Reforms are still going to leave it tyrannical. Basically, a classical liberal view. His main point was that you can't even talk about democracy until you have democratic control of industry, commerce, banking, everything. That means control by the people who work in the institutions, and the communities.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Democracy, Democracy, Democracy

Athenian democracy emerged in the sixth century BC. Over the course of time a democratic system emerged that enabled adult males to have a fair amount of involvement in the running of the city and the election of their leaders. From here there developed the selection of leaders by lot so that hereditary power and status were not the defining influence in who was selected.

Undoubtedly Athenian democracy was not a perfect system - the exclusion of woman and slaves from the process a prime example - but we must be careful not to impose a modern mindset upon an ancient and developing form of governance.

Democracy then could be seen as a means through which the people have a voice, a say into the way communities and countries govern themselves and make decisions. It is a belief that the people as a whole will be able to determine what is best for communities as a whole ensuring the flourishing of neighbour and the common good.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

God Does Not Exist

'Consider, for instance, the recent and curious episode of the “God Helmet.” If you have not heard of it before, this was a device that for a time was believed to have the power to induce “religious” experiences in those who wore it, simply by stimulating the temporal lobes of the brain with weak magnetic field emissions. Its inventor was the cognitive neuroscientist Michael Persinger, who began studying religious mental states as early as the 1970s, and who eventually hit upon the theory that all such experiences have something to do with the structure of the bicameral brain. Perhaps, he speculated, a man who finds himself seized by a mystical sense of an unseen presence—God, an angel, an extraterrestrial, a ghost, a fairy, what have you—is merely experiencing a transient excitation of neurons that causes his brain’s left hemisphere to become indirectly aware of the distinct and usually tacit “alternate self” of the right hemisphere.' David Bentley Hart



The results of the 'God Helmet' were roundly dismissed, the effects shown to be products of their own imagination.

As Bentley Hart rightly points out, even if the 'God Helmet' had worked it would not have proven anything in terms of God as no-one in classical theism is denying the reality of how an encounter with God would indeed have an effect upon the physical reality of our brains. But this is not the emphasis of this blog post.

Monday, 20 April 2015

To Vote or Not to Vote?

Should we vote?



The general election is fast approaching here in the UK and I feel bombarded every day by what feels like political pouting, each party seeking to woo us with their political persuasion.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Meaningful Meaninglessness

'We have to break out. We have to accept life in its meaninglessness, its pleasures that serve nothing etc. Because the paradox is that if you take away from life those things that serve nothing what remains is that which is purely fictional, the paradox being that it actually leaves nothing. Everything collapses.' Slavoj Žižek

What Žižek is getting at here and refuting is the idea that everything we do has to serve a purpose, has to meaningful and contribute in some way to our society.

So the constant rhetoric surrounding our political system at the moment is 'those who work hard get rewarded'.  Our worth then is tied directly to how hard we work and if what we do serves a purpose to better the system and society.

Our education system is steeped in this type of thinking as primary school children are put through test after test as though their ability to answer questions on a test paper is reflective of how well educated and valuable they are.

It's all nonsense.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Colouring Beyond the Lines

God will not colour within our expected and preconceived lines of theology, humanity and creation.

Time and again God redefines our understanding and expectations of God's own Self and who we are in our own humanity.



The life and parables of Jesus consistently catch us off-guard, challenging and transforming all that we think we know into a shock and awe of what we don't know.; the Samaritan woman at the well, the parable of the Pharisee and Tax Collector, the Syrophoenician woman, the prostitute who breaks a jar of perfume over Jesus' feet, the parable of the Good Samaritan, the encounter with the woman subject to bleeding - examples of how Jesus will not colour between the lines of theology, humanity and creation.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

A People of Change

'We are absolutely clear; the responsibility for acts of terror rests with those who commit them. But a huge burden of responsibility also lies with those who act as apologists for them' Philip Hammond MP

Here the government propaganda machine is in full throttle removing all responsibility from their own foreign policy and a history of violence within our western political landscape that directly creates isolation, fear, hatred and extreme psychological stress that leads itself to extremist behaviour and ideology.



It is interesting how the government are seeking to silence any who would criticise its current approach to ISIS and fundamentalism by labelling them as 'apologists' for the extremists. Yet being critical of our government and the US/UK foreign policies and facing up to the reality of how these actions create a breading ground for countless 'Jihadi Johns' is NOT the same as condoning the barbaric acts and behaviour of such people.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

'The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked: his wrath towards you burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire; he is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight; you are ten thousand times more abominable in his eyes, than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours.' Jonathan Edwards, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God"

That old Jonathan Edwards; what a charmer!



This vision of God is one of vengeance, anger, wrath and utter contempt for humanity.