31 January 2011

The Swedish and Religious Education

         It came across Twitter today from the Suffolk Humanists & Secularists, that the Swedish where to make the teaching of Religion on the assumption that is factual, illegal.
Sadly this does not seem to be the case, it would be a great step forward for the human race if it was.
It was written originally in the Guardian newspaper from 2007.

I was certain I new someone from Sweden somewhere to ask if it was true or not, and asked Twitter, and the answer came from Sin Trenton.

I'm sure he wouldn't mind me cutting and pasting it here :-

As always, the answer is not a simple yes and no.
The new law for schools as of August 2010 basically states that undervisning (‘lecturing’, the actual classes) shall be neutral, utbildning (‘education’, programmes, the school’s general profile) doesn’t have to be.

Det står skolorna fritt att “anordna andakter, bönestunder eller annan form av religionsutövning till exempel fördjupning i den egna trosläran som konfirmationsläsning”. Men de “konfessionella inslagen ska liksom i fristående skolor vara frivilliga för barnen.”

Translated: The schools may decide to “hold worship, prayers or other form of religious practice such as deeper studies in the own dogma, as part of confirmation studies. ” But the “confessional parts, shall, also in private schools, be voluntary for the children.”

It is stressed that it must be voluntary for students to participate and that it should not take place within the frame of regular lectures.
So you need to be brave as a seven years old to refuse going into the chapel or to memorise Psalms, Bible verses, Qu’ran suras, etc.

Further; “…grundläggande demokratiska värderingar och de mänskliga rättigheterna som utgör utgångspunkten för skolans värdegrund måste omfattas utan inskränkningar även av skolor med konfessionell inriktning”.

Translated: “… fundamental democratic values and the human rights that make up the starting point for the school’s value foundation must be included without limitations even by schools with confessional profiles”.
But that’s about it, actually.
The basic problem is that the minister and his “People’s Party The Liberals” want to smack down on Islamic schools, while not alienating their Christian Democrat coalition buddies, who has a large group of various Christian sects with their confessional schools, I’d say.

I believe that religion should be totally separated from the state. That's not the way it is today, not even in Sweden. :- Bjorn Ulvaeus 

I love Sweden. The entire world should be like Sweden. They all like to drink and get naked, and the women are hot. I can't think of a better nation on the planet. :- Drew Curtis

27 January 2011

Rezzday Number 5

       This time last year I was rather depressed, and wondering what direction (if any) Second Life had for me. So I decided to retire.

 I sold the land I had, stopped being Premium, and didn't log in to SL for many months. I made new accounts on social network sites, and got involved in some other, more idealistic things, and was trying to work towards the world being a better place.

After some reading of blogs and newgroups I realized there are powerful interest groups that I would be making comments about, and when job hunting, my CV and Google would quickly find my comments. Actually it was BastardSheep who made this point, and so I reworked and relaunched this blog as a platform for commentary and ideas.

In the last year I have met (online..well..you know..met, sort of) some clever intelligent people, and sometimes been able to make a small contribution to their projects. So for myself this year I made a goal to do something different/new/clever/useful everyday, and I have found it an inspiration to write, to take some pictures, to do some RL and some SL projects.

So in the last year I have covered Libel Reform, Anti-vaxxers, religion in schools, and I have more to come, I just type rather slow.

I have quite a few post in the drafts stage, and a jump off a high platform with an umbrella (pictures soon), and I'm testing to see how long it takes to make comics, plus a few hopefully funny pictures in the works.

A few days ago I made my own money, but only useable in Plasmaland Opensim.

Now...I have just though of some more ideas to have fun with...

For all the advances in medicine, there is still no cure for the common birthday. -- John Glenn

25 January 2011

Australia Day Awards 2011

Time to announce my prizes for Australia Day.

All Australians no matter where they live are eligible, as one million are resident outside continental Australia.

A common insult in Australia is to use the term “Un-Australian” this has the useful result of being a good soundbite, but not actually having any meaning, so it will not be used here.

So, to start with we have...

The Bad Medicine award:-
Won by....Meryl Dorey and the AVN for their nonstop efforts to bring back childhood diseases.

Next, we have the Dark Ages Award, this was a difficult one to choose, but eventually a clear winner was:-
Catch the Fire Ministries...Thanks guys, you outdo yourself every year.

Least fit to govern Australia goes to:-
Tony Abbott....Use that precious gift of yours Tony

DIAF Award:- Flood Looters 

Nero Award for Environmental awareness:- Andrew Bolt
And the real Award for showing what it really means to be Australian.
Australian of the Year. :- SES and volunteers who helped clean up after the east coast floods all of you are fantastic.

Lifetime award for Unequal rights :-
John Howard...for his working towards the idea that every woman needs a father, husband or male relative to be her Legal Guardian no matter her age.

The wowser mistakes the world for a penitentiary and themselves as the warden - Australian observation

15 January 2011

It must be a Pro-Vax coverup


Recently the AVN or The Australian (Anti)Vaccination Network have come in for a bit of well deserve hiding.

Their poster boy Andrew Wakefield has been accused of deliberate fraud in the UK by the British Medical Journal, and if you know anything about the UK libel laws, this is a very very serious thing to allege. So far Andrew Wakefield doesn't seem to want to take this to court, if he has as much proof and peer reviewed support as the people behind him says exists, then he is due for millions of pounds in damages.  So....you have to wonder why he doesn't.

Meryl Dorey still stands behind him, well that's not really surprising is it? Even worse for Meryl is the treatment she received on the 7th Jan during a radio show on 2UE from Tracy Spicer during a phone call.  You can listen to it here on YouTube.  A modern classic in Australian Radio, and I think it got Tracy some new fans.

Meryl has often said how deadly these vaccines are.In the last few days the UK Office of Statistics have released the 2009 statistics on the causes of deaths in the UK . Now you would think there would be something in here that would make someone go HA!!! The smoking gun, or the leaking hypodermic in this case. Oh, but yes...It's a conspiracy...Big Pharma has probably provided the stats themselves...I forgot sorry...
Ok...I've had another look, and maybe they are hidden under :- "Complications of medical and surgical care", still, not many there.

A bit more information on the stats can be found on The Guardian website.

A story came out in Australia today about a child being made to have her vaccinations but the most interesting quotes is this one :-

"I think it's dangerous to impose [immunisations] on anyone when there are two opposing viewpoints and when there is credible evidence they may do more harm than good," - Dr Warren Sipser

Firstly this man is a Chiropractor, and no..no.. no, there is no credible evidence they do more harm than good.

You know there are also opposing viewpoints on the Apollo Missions, (it really happened) on if prayer is any good for healing (it isn't), and there is still a Flat Earth Society  (not big on buying globes). All these are just as credible as the Anti-vaxers.

 Meryl had this  wonderful piece of hyperbole on Facebook

 Thanks to Reasonable Hank for the screenshot

So vaccination is the same a Child Rape?...there really aren't any words for you.

The popularity of conspiracy theories is explained by people's desire to believe that there is - some group of folks who know what they're doing - Damon Knight

12 January 2011

Brisbane Floods

          I'm so very sad to see the terrible damage the current floods are doing in Queensland and in Brisbane. If your in the US imagine Chicago being flooded, or in the UK walking thought the centre of  Liverpool knee deep in water.

The death toll is now 12, and many more are expected as the water recedes, and it's very likely some peoples bodies will never be found.

Everyone is commenting how well the State Premier Anna Bligh is dealing with the crisis, even when it's possible her own house will flooded.

 Federal opposition leader Tony Abbott on the other hand seems to be more concerned about the budget deficit, and cutting back on the National Broadband Network.

The current estimate is a damage bill of over 5 Billion Dollars, it could be more than Hurricane Katrina.

Sadly the State library,museum, and Art gallery is being flooded, business are closing and houses are being lifted and floating away, and of course people are dying.

Here is a map to help you realize just how big an area is affected

There actually is a potential serious world wide financial problem. Central Queensland provides coal....lots of it...lots and lots of nasty black coal. It's not for generating power, it's for making steel. So this could be potentially a world wide issue for anyone who uses steel, and if your reading this...that would be you.

The official QueenslandGovernment donation website

Fellow Second Lifers can visit Extend a Helping Hand Fair
(Cut and Pasted from Moggs Oceanlane yet again)

* Teleport/SLURL - Go there now!: slurl.com/secondlife/Adien/47/39/1028
* Flickr Group: Extend a Helping Hand Fair - show off your purchases.
* More information: Kat Johnston's blog - find more out about the 'Extend a Helping Hand Fair' in Second Life which is raising funds for the Queensland Floods.

It should not take a once in a thousand year drought or a flood half as big as Europe to convince us that our climate is changing. Premier Mike Rann 12 Jan 2011

05 January 2011

Jesus is coming..yet again.


       Every once in a while we get the Millenniumism hysteria. Someone falls to the floor, foams at the mouth and says God/Jesus/Aliens are coming. As I grew up as a child of the New Age, I often heard of the coming disasters/wars/plague/earthquakes that are coming to devastate the Earth, so far it's never happened. Every time, every prediction, wrong.

This is often referred to as TEOTWAWKI (The end of the world as we know it).

I have collection of the few of the most recent ones made by people who are still living, and apparently not embarrassed at all about getting it wrong, thanks to Religious Tolerance :-

    1998-MAY-31: Evangelist Marilyn Agee predicted that the rapture would happen on this day, Pentecost. This, she believes, would trigger the various events listed in the book of Revelation, including the war of Armageddon.

    1998-OCT-10 Concerned Christians is a destructive, doomsday cult of 30 to 60 adults and children, led by Monte Kim Miller. Miller was an anti-cult activist in the 1980's. He predicted that an unspecified disaster would wipe Denver CO off the map on OCT-10. He predicted his own death in 1999-DEC and his resurrection three days later. The Denver apocalypse didn't happen.  They left Denver near the end of September and relocated to Jerusalem. Many Christians believe that when Jesus returns, he will descend from the sky and make landfall on the Mount of Olives, near Jerusalem. 1 Israeli police arrested members of the group and deported them. The Israelis seem to be motivated by fear that the group may commit mass suicide.

1998-OCT: The House of Yahweh, Abilene™ predicted that an end-of-world scenario will start during 1998-OCT. By mid-2001, they predict that 80% of the world's population will have been killed as a result of nuclear warfare.   

1998-NOV:  Natalia de Lemeny - Makedonova has written a book titled "Eternal Laws - New Mankind - Spiritual Transformation" She predicts that the:

        "Son of Creator - Immanuel - the ruler of the millennial empire, announced in the Bible, will be born in Slovakia in November...His birth will be accompanied by a star which will shine in the sky and will be visible in the whole world. This event will also be announced by other unearthly phenomena in the sky." A purification of the earth will begin at his birth; it may be either "catastrophic or symbolic."

 1999-MAR: The Students of the Seven Seals (Branch Davidians) teach that disaster will strike the earth in the form of warfare, earthquakes, blacked skies and other horrors. They believed that on AUG-6, their late leader David Koresh will return to earth. He will raise the dead, judge humans, and start over in Jerusalem. None of this happened.

1999-APR-3: Ed. Dames, president of PsyTech predicted that solar flares would strike the earth during the Easter weekend (APR-3 and 4 in the West). Persons who were living in caves or under the earth might survive. The rest of the world's population would all die. He predicted that space aliens would arrive about 2012 to rescue the few survivors. Ed., his family and employees spent the weekend hiding out inside a lava tube in Hawaii. Solar activity was high in early 1999; it varies routinely over an 11 year cycle.

 1999-SEP: Shoko Asahara, leader of the Aum Shinri Kyo destructive cult, predicted that Armageddon will happen during this month. (Yes they still exist)

2000-SEP: Efraim Genootshap claims to be the reincarnation of the biblical prophet Elija. He believes that God has given him the responsibility of gathering the lost twelve tribes of Israel from among western-European nations, in preparation for the Tribulation period. He leads the Efriam Society, a Netherlands based Christian group. They predicted that the rapture would occur this month.

2000-SEP/OCT: Michael Rood predicted that the nations of Gog and Magog, as described in the Bible, will attack Israel sometime between the end of September and OCT-28. The "Day of the Lord" would begin on the Feast of Trumpets in the fall of that year.

 2000-OCT-14: Yisrayl Hawkins, the leader of the House of Yahweh taught that the Israeli Peace Accord of 1993-OCT-13 marked the start of the 7 year period of tribulation. This will time the second coming of Jesus on 2000-OCT-14.

2005-APR-06: Warren Jeffs, the prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, predicted the end of the world at least three times in recent years. He has gathered his followers to be lifted up into heaven with him. Each time, the apocalypse did not materialize. Jeffs explained that the delay was caused by the unfaithfulness of the membership. There was speculation that he is planning something dramatic on 2005-APR-06. This will be the 175th anniversary of the founding of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Joseph Smith. It didn't materialize.

    2005-OCT-04/05: Titu John Negovan wrote that: "There is a strong possibility that Yahshua (Jesus) the Bridegroom is returning for His bride, the church (His body/Jewish and Gentile believers), this October 04, 2005, Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets." He also wrote: "If for some reason, Yahshua does not return for His bride this Rosh Hashanah October 03-05 of 2005; I apologize for the misinformation. Do not be upset with Yahshua, or the Father (YHWH)!!!"

    2008-MAR-21: After a lengthy calculation based on the Bible, a British group, The Lord's Witnesses, has concluded that the start of Armageddon will happen on this day. Three quarters of the world's population will die during the subsequent war. This will be preceded by the United Nations taking over complete control of the world in the lunar month preceding 2001-APR-24. This is exactly 666 Hebrew months after the founding of the United Nations in 1945. 5

    2008-APR-6: Philip B. Brown incorrectly predicted that the Great Tribulation would start on 2001-APR-7, with the appearance of the the two witnesses described in Revelation. He also predicted that the start of Jesus' millennial reign would be on 2008-APR-6. 6 Neither happened.

 This is just a small sample of those who have made End of the World predictions, and are still here. If you look at these peoples sites, you can see they are still at it.

But we have a new one, and a new date 21st May 2011, and how do we know Harold Campling said so.

Howard runs Family Radio (assets of over $120 Million I might add) who is behind the large amount of billboards and the Website WeCanKnow and has a large number of volunteers driving around the US delivering "The Message". Even more worrisome is they are planning on going to Latin American and Africa to spread this absurd rubbish.

So I wonder why they don't go to Europe or Australia where they all speak English? I suppose being told your crazy in another language is easier to take.

 So what if the world ended, or Jesus returned and you had forgotten the date?  For your calendar I have made an ical file for 21 May 2011. They don't seem to say what time of day it will be.

Also I would worry about 2012..really it's a hoax 

"it's the end of the world and we know it, and I feel fine" -REM

04 January 2011

What is Black Collar Crime?

 Thanks to http://tirelesswing.blogspot.com/ for the title picture.

                I believe the first use of the  term "Black Collar Crime " comes from the Australian group Broken Rites who began operation in 1993, when the victims realized the absence of any support for the victims of Church based abuse coming from the Church. This was when the realization that the hierarchy of those Churches are really only interested in protecting their own Priests/Ministers. But it was not yet clear just how much the churches where covering up for their own.

Currently the US based Freedom From Religion Foundation publish the Black Collar Crime Blotter  that tracks and monitors crimes committed by those involved in the churches,  it's very US based but does have the occasional story from Australia and Europe. Locally the site  http://www.tor.id.au/ is updated regularly and is more Australian centric, while also concentrating on the Catholic Church.

http://www.clergyabuseaustralia.org/ is a site from a survivor of Clerical Abuse, it's quite personal, has links to help groups, books and resources. but does not look to have been updated for some time.

For those people that have been through abuse and wish to network with others Survivors Australia are quite active.

Recently the Pope commented the current church scandals are because of the change in society in the 1960s. But that would mean there was no abuse before the 1960s wouldn't it?

So lets see...

After WW2, Britain, as did most countries, had a lot of orphans,  so here begins another chapter of the child migrants to the Empire. This is probably a story unknown outside Commonwealth countries, but the national Library of Australia has a short paper on it here. But, basically children as young as three were sent out to Australia, Rhodesia, Canada, and New Zealand, with the idea they would be leaving Britain behind to go to orphanages and possibly families for a better life. But on arrival they where generally used as a cheap labour force. In fact the Christian Brothers used the children as labours to construct the buildings they all lived in.

A support group for the Forgotten Australians has been formed. But without going in to much detail, again it's a story of the supposedly Godly members of our society abusing those to young to defend themselves. This was first brought to the attention of the public with the 1989 book  Lost Children of the Empire that was later made into a film.

Just this story would prove the lie about the Pope claim.

Andrew Murray was an Australian Senator, as well as a child migrant, he writes a history of the recent events of this incredibly sad story, concentrating on the despicable history of the Christian Brothers.

For more information on Child Migrants the Child Migrants Trust should be your first call. But it's one of  the most shameful events in Australian history

Finally, the EROS foundation have a site on Clerical Abuse, I can't say how accurate it is, and it looks not to be updated for sometime. Also the Foundation is very much Pro-Porn, as the Churches are against it. While some of the information on here would be useful, I can't help thinking it also has another agenda.

The Christian Brothers is looking to be a blog post by itself, it's evil activities have been all over the world, currently the Irish are investigating them quite closely.

As men's prayers are a disease of the will so are their creeds a disease of the intellect.-
Ralph Waldo Emerson