Abandon All Fear

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Archive for the ‘Named and Shamed’ Category

[The Enemy of my Enemy] is Still not my Friend

Posted by Lex Fear on November 1, 2009

If TalkTalk was not such an odious company I would thoroughly applaud this move by Andrew Heaney, TalkTalk’s Executive Director of strategy and regulation.

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Posted in Bad Company, Bollotics, Copywrong, Morals & Ethics, Protest, Uncircumcised Philistines | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

[Power of the Church] Power of the Government

Posted by Lex Fear on October 25, 2009

I’ve discussed before on this blog, what the differences are between America Churchianity and British Churchianity. I can’t think of a better example of why separation of church and state is a good thing, a thing invented by Christians than this little gem by the perspicacious Martin Turner:

“Richard Dawkins’s followers will no doubt be quick to claim this is another example of the heinous effect of ‘the God delusion’. But they would be wrong. Under charity law, the Church of England has to diligently pursue all of its debtors, and, coupled with the laws on ‘chancel repair liability’ which date back to Valor Ecclesiasticus in 1535, they have no choice.

<snip>

What lunatic changed the law in that way? (You know the answer to this one, but, in case you don’t, the legislation is the Land Registration Act 2002.)

Since the Church of England is powerless to extricate itself from a situation which bankrupts ordinary people and brings the church, and thus the entire Christian faith, into disrepute, the government ought to have intervened to simply cancel chancel liability. This would free the Church of England to pursue grants and even Lottery money. This is in fact what the Law Commission and the Church of England Synod recommended in the 1980s.”

At the time when this hit the headlines I was not aware of these facts. I’m glad I reserved my judgement.

Posted in Apologetics, Churchianity, Fact Erosion, Morals & Ethics, Property Market, Quoteyness, Warring Memes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

[Churchianity] Get Angry

Posted by Lex Fear on October 24, 2009

Gary Ward quotes David Frost from 10 Ways Angry People Change The World:

“I read this article and thought it was a great answer to people who swerve biblical truth by calling you angry and all the other things used to remain in a place of unswerving arrogance…

…It’s angry people who change the world. Comfortable, satisfied, stuck-in-a-rut, trying-to-protect-my-turf people don’t change the world. They nurse the status quo, which I’ve heard is Latin for the mess we’re in.”

Posted in Churchianity, Quoteyness, The Purpose Missing Church, V for Vendetta | 3 Comments »

[Atheism] British Teens Trending Towards Knives

Posted by Lex Fear on June 26, 2009

Oh I do love statistics, I love the fact that, whatever your cause or personal vendetta, you can usually find a statistic to back you up.

I was impressed a couple years ago when I heard that 20% of Americans aged 18-25 had no religious affiliation or were atheist/agnostic.

Apparently, I should have been looking to Britain.

It turns out if you survey British children aged 13-18, the stats are even more favorable for non-theists.

<snip>

Is this just an isolated case of British awesomeness or a continuing trend toward non-religiosity?

The Friendly Atheist // British Teens Trending Away from Religion

Yep, keep quoting those stats…

The new figures indicate that in the year 2007-8  there were some 277 deaths from stabbings in England & Wales alone (the highest recorded figure for 30 years). This represents an average death toll as a direct result of stabbings of over 5 for every week of the year!

<snip>

  • 11-12 year olds carrying knives last year: 10% (Youth at risk)
  • 15-17 year olds admitting to carrying knives for self defence: 46% (Ian Johnston – Chief Constable British Transport Police)
  • Pupils in London Schools carrying knives: 29% (Youth Justice Board / Mori 2003)
  • Excluded Pupils carrying knives: 62% (Youth Justice Board / Mori 2003)
  • 16 year old boys admitting attacking someone with a knife – intent on causing serious injury: 1 in 5 (Youth Justice Board / Mori 2003)
  • Teenage deaths from knife attack (2004): More than 20 (Be Safe Project)

Insight Security // Knife Crime Facts

Am I implying the rise in atheism is linked to knife crime? Perhaps what I’m really implying is that you can link atheism or religion to other country statistics in anyway you see fit to demonstrate your point – something I’ve noticed the Friendly Atheist is occasionally fond of doing.

Question Everything – 1 Thes 5:21

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Posted in Analogies, Bollotics, Fact Erosion, Minitruth, Pharisees, Propaganda, Uncircumcised Philistines, Warring Memes, Xianity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

[Filesharing] The Cost Of An Idea

Posted by Lex Fear on June 22, 2009

David Dunham at CaPC poses the question “So is the judge making an example out of her or does this seem like a reasonable price to pay?”

I started commenting but realised it was too long and so I’ve moved my response here.

Let’s start by saying that these fines are supposed to be representative of lost sales.

Forget the fact that many people who download music tracks wouldn’t buy them anyway (and – shockingly – might even delete the crap ones).

What I think the lawmakers have glossed over is the fact that if you fine one person for *every* *lost* *sale*, then there should be no-one left to pursue for the downloading of those tracks she shared. Ie. if I had downloaded those 24 tracks from Jamie Thomas, it’s OK because she is already paying for *my* lost sale – as well as – literally – millions of others.

I’m pro-filesharing and I file-share.

I look forward to the day that these media companies grovel in the dirt – I’ll make no bones about that fact. Increasingly I’m ‘coming out’ to many friends and people I wouldn’t have before, because I see it as a revolution, a cold war, where as many people need to be recruited as possible.

I look forward to the day that we look back on these events in history and marvel at the ignorance of the politicians and industry that supported this 21st Century ‘House of Un-American Activities’.

I see filesharing as the future – setting knowledge, information and arts free – like they used to be before the 20th Century. Perhaps it’s not ‘the future’, perhaps it’s simply restoring values of the past.

Did any of those black slaves or their families who worked in the cotton fields see a ‘dime’ for their musical contribution to the blues? Intellectual Property is about as anti-creativity as I can imagine.

How do you prevent new ideas and human progress? Introduce ownership of ideas by long lasting corporate bodies to buy up and own *ideas*, then sue anyone who independently thinks up, tries to share or improve that idea for an arm and a leg.

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Posted in Bad Company, Copywrong, Corporate Irresponsibility, Free as in Speech, Little Hitlers, Morals & Ethics, Predatory Systems, Profiteering, Resistance, Takeback, Technology, Terrorist State | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

[‘N’ is for…] BNP, protests and general annoyance.

Posted by BHudson on June 9, 2009

Well, the putsch has come off well, and the British Nazi Party have taken two seats in the European Parliament. As an extremist party, they won the votes because they appeared untainted by the uproar over expenses and the following witch hunt. Most people, of course vote irrationally – it seems to have been easy for some 0.7% of the population to overlook the racist fearmongering because of their concerns about immigration, and a general dissatisfaction with mainstream parties. Irrationality, of course, is at the heart of the BNP’s strength.

Nick Griffin, a man for whom I have many words and little time, is always denying his party’s racist ideals whilst endorsing Party style manuals with phrases such as ‘you should not refer to British Asians or British Muslims, for the simple reason that such people do not exist.’ Like all abhorrent groups, they thrive on oppression, which gives them a chance to whine about their freedom of speech and cast themselves as defenders of democracy. Now, I have very little sympathy for Griffin, and was even slightly pleased by the disressed look on his normally smug face as he fled the mob outside Parliament. That said, throwing eggs is yet to effect any substantial political change.

In this case, it has just let him say that they prevented him from bearing the scutiny of the media. Public scrutiny is what this party needs most. Protests are very well, but a few well placed questions in public would serve better to show just how racist they are.

Times is ‘ard, and people are angry. This produces the ‘perfect storm’ Griffin had been waiting for to give him a foothold in government. Perhaps it is the supposed detrimental effects of immigration (my view on immigrants is extremely simple, and rather unpopular these days, but that’s another post), or the fear of a loss of sovereignty, or anger at the mainstream parties, but suddenly the BNP seemed somewhat more palatable to the voters. An increasingly popular lie: ‘I know they used to be Nazi knuckle-draggers, but they’ve changed – they’re just like us, even if some of the Nazi knuckle-draggers are in the shadows.’ The truth – the Nazi knuckle-draggers are running the show. The BNP will never be civilised or worthy of a vote.

PS. Sorry for my long absence. This is really just an opinion article that seemed worthwhile regarding the recent EP elections. Now I’ve got more time, I might be able to come up with a couple of posts on political theory.

Posted in Bollotics, Fact Erosion, Free as in Speech, Little Hitlers, Opinion, Protest, Smear Campaigns, The Love of Libel | 6 Comments »

[Science Factism] The Evolution Of The Octopus…

Posted by Lex Fear on March 20, 2009

…Or not, as it may seem, according to Oil is Mastery:

“These are sensational fossils, extraordinarily well preserved,” says Dirk Fuchs of the Freie University Berlin, lead author of the report. But what surprised the scientists most was how similar the specimens are to modern octopus: “these things are 95 million years old, yet one of the fossils is almost indistinguishable from living species.” This provides important evolutionary information.

Indeed: it provides information that none has occured.

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Posted in Doublethink, Quoteyness, Religion & Science, Warring Memes | Tagged: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

[Pause for Thought] Stem Cells

Posted by Lex Fear on March 20, 2009

Just so we’re clear, everyone knows that you can collect stem cells from a placenta. right?

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Posted in Duh!, Morals & Ethics, Realpolitik, Religion & Science, The Purpose Missing Church, The Religious Wrong, Warring Memes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

[Legalities] Ignorantia Juris Non Excusat

Posted by Lex Fear on February 27, 2009

Gavin Ayling thinks the law should be written in plain English. I’d like to expand on his post. I’ve always been amazed at this legal principle that underlines society.

Since there are so many laws and regulations to follows wouldn’t many of us be ignorant until pulled up on one?

And yet how many times have we come up against authorities themselves who play upon our ignorance and ignore the laws meant to keep them in check?

It seems to me laws have been crafted as to cover every tiny possibility and remove as much discretion as possible for a judge to employ. I think an efficient and humanitarian society should look to reducing laws and regulations as much as possible – wording them so that they cover a ‘multitude of sins’ rather than every single little possibility. This would then assure people of (a) their rights and (b) their responsibilities.

For example, what is the point of having a Racial and Religious Hatred Act, a Protection from Harrassment Act, a Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act, a Criminal Justice Act, an Anti-Social Behaviour Act, a Female Genital Mutilation Act (yes, there is one), a Sexual Offenses Act, a Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act, a Violent Crime Reduction Act, plus hundreds of others I cannot be bothered to reference (but you get the picture).

All of the above acts deal with or touch on violence of some sort. Obviously we could say most reasonable people are not the violent type so many of these rules won’t apply, but this is just an example.

What this tells me is at least one of the following reasons,

  • The lawmakers are too lazy, or braindead, to check if something is already covered in exsisting law
  • The existing law was not good enough
  • The law was created for political expediency, not for genuine practical reasons
  • There is money to be made in lawmaking

Is not violence or harrassment against a black person as bad it is against a white person? A gay person or straight person? A child or adult? An immigrant or local? A man or woman?

Does this also mean that any minority not covered by this existing legislation is at risk from lawful violence?

“Your honour, I would like to point out that the man my client attacked is a narcoleptic and is therefore not protected by any existing legislation. My client was therefore acting in a lawful manner and I would request this case is thrown out.”

Would it not be a better society if lawmakers actually tried to include the widest possible interpretation when crafting legislation? Then, leave it for the judges to interpret and decide if a law had actually been broken or not.

What’s wrong with, for example, a law that states “You shall not inflict violence upon another person”. It would then be for a judge and jury to distinguish between a bloody beheading or a playful punch and award compensation and punishments on a scale.

“To make laws that a man cannot, and will not obey, serves to bring all law into contempt.”
– Elizabeth Candy Stanton

People do not exist for laws, laws exist for people and politicians need to get it into their head that society cannot be controlled or coerced into being happy and nice to each other, but most of us are capable of telling right from wrong. No-one needs to consult various regulations and acts each day before leaving their house to ensure that they don’t commit an offence. It’s time for better laws, not more laws.

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Posted in Absolute Power, Bollotics, Doublethink, Justice & Mercy, Minitruth, Non-Compliance, Pharisees, Realpolitik, Tick-Box Culture | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

[Cyburbia] Religion 2.0

Posted by Lex Fear on February 24, 2009

Interesting interview of James Harkin on the media obsession with Web 2.0 and failure to criticise the medium. Well worth a read of the whole article, even Neo-Darwinism gets a mention. Here’s a couple of excerpts:

Now I’m not arguing people are stupid or lazy if they do that – but there’s an electronic peer pressure online. Academic studies that have been done by people who are very sympathetic to Web 2.0 and networks, people like Clay Shirky and Duncan Watts, show that the whole decision making process tends to become a robotic routine. One person makes a decision, and everyone else falls in line.

It’s a refreshing perspective and nice to read a contrarian view, enough to make me want to buy the book.

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Posted in Quoteyness, Technology, Tick-Box Culture, Warring Memes | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »