Real Photogravure Letter Card Of Gloucester, 1938
Mar22

Real Photogravure Letter Card Of Gloucester, 1938

I’m always on the look out for old things related to photography so it was with extreme joy that I found a miniature treasure trove of items in a number of charity shops yesterday. In addition to some old naval photos and postcards and someone’s photo album featuring pictures from the 1940s in South Africa (I’ll scan and upload those at some point in the future) I also found a photogravure letter card dated September 1938. I’ve taken some photos of the letter card and attempted to transcribe it below, albeit with limited success. Any assistance at working out the words I’ve missed will be gratefully received. The front cover of the photogravure letter card complete with its one and a half pence stamp. “With signature only and flap tucked in – Printed paper rate. If message written, letter postage is chargeable, in which case gum down flap.” The letter card was sent to Mr and Mrs Arthur Wood, Mere View, Walton on the Hill, Tadworth, Surrey. The letter card consists of five images of Gloucester: Gloucester Cathedral from the southeast; the nave, Gloucester Cathedral; the New Inn Hotel; the Cross; Westgate Street. And now to the letter itself: 52 […] Road, Gloucester, 21.9.38 Dear Mr & Mrs Wood, I am wondering how you all are at Tadworth by this time. I trust that you are all well. What very serious and disturbing times we are living in. I hope and pray please God that it will all be settled without war. Without doubt these are the perilous times spoken of in the Bible. I am thinking of you all in the prayer meetings at this busy[?] time 9 o’clock Wednesday evening[?]. I miss […] to chapel very much since I have come to Gloucester but the first fortnight when I was in Newcastle I did well. My friends there took me to chapel each week night & twice on Sundays & then when Muriel and I got home to Wembley her daddy took me to Mr Bartlett’s twice, & the Second Sun he took me to Ponsard Road to Mr […] Chapel. We had him to tea with us at Wembley & we all drove back together to the early[?] service[?]. I like his preaching very much. His wife was away at the Sea & he was going to her on the Monday. Mr Bartlett is expected to preach a […] […] in […] so I am hoping to stay there for the weekend this[?] 2 weeks yesterday. Tuesday I heard Mr Hurst the editor of “Way Marks” at […]; he took The Lords Prayer for his subject....

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Jehovah’s Witnesses
Jan24

Jehovah’s Witnesses

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Why Charlie Hebdo Was Attacked
Jan10

Why Charlie Hebdo Was Attacked

Charlie Hebdo was not a nice publication. But it had every right to be not a nice publication. People who don’t like not nice publications don’t have to read them, don’t have to pay attention to them. People who don’t like not nice publications have the right to petition to have them removed from circulation or persuade others not to buy them if they can’t avoid paying attention to them – this is what those of us who oppose dangerous garbage like What Doctors Don’t Tell You do – but there are some rights they don’t have and that obviously includes murder. The question is: were the murders really an Islamic terrorist response to supposed blasphemous images? Is it possible that they were instead opportunistic thuggery by cowards trying to fracture civilised people and boost terrorist recruitment? Juan Cole contends that without a declaration of the reason for the attack (and probably with one anyway because such disinformation is exactly what is desired) we should be sceptical of the motives and that it is the latter possibility in this article Sharpening Contradictions: Why al-Qaeda attacked Satirists in Paris: The problem for a terrorist group like al-Qaeda is that its recruitment pool is Muslims, but most Muslims are not interested in terrorism. Most Muslims are not even interested in politics, much less political Islam. France is a country of 66 million, of which about 5 million is of Muslim heritage. But in polling, only a third, less than 2 million, say that they are interested in religion. […] Al-Qaeda wants to mentally colonize French Muslims, but faces a wall of disinterest. But if it can get non-Muslim French to be beastly to ethnic Muslims on the grounds that they are Muslims, it can start creating a common political identity around grievance against discrimination. […] Most of France will also remain committed to French values of the Rights of Man, which they invented. But an insular and hateful minority will take advantage of this deliberately polarizing atrocity to push their own agenda. Europe’s future depends on whether the Marine LePens are allowed to become mainstream. Extremism thrives on other people’s extremism, and is inexorably defeated by tolerance. It’s not a long article and worth reading for the similar tactics carried out by Stalinists in the early 20th century as well as by al-Qaeda in Iraq which led to the sort of success that Daesh/ISIL/ISIS has achieved recently. If the article is right then the absolute worst thing that could be done is to further isolate Muslims or accuse their religion of not opposing terrorism; that to think in right-wing terms and...

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Religious Revolution In Egypt?
Jan03

Religious Revolution In Egypt?

Interesting times in Egypt where President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi recently called for a “religious revolution” at Al-Azhar University in Cairo which, established in 970, is the most prestigious Sunni institution in the Islamic world. It’s inconceivable that the thinking we hold most sacred should cause the entire Islamic world to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing, and destruction for the rest of the world. […] That thinking […] that corpus of texts and ideas that we have made sacred to the point that departing from them has become almost impossible is antagonising the entire world. […] You need to step outside of yourselves to be able to observe it from the outside, to root it out and replace it with a more enlightened vision of the world. I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution. You imams are responsible before Allah. The entire world is waiting for your next move because this Islamic world is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost. And it is being lost by our own hands. Ordinarily, with words like that you probably wouldn’t anticipate someone in the Islamic world these days to be breathing for very long (tolerant religion of peace and all that) but el-Sisi’s military background might give him a better chance than most. Dar al-Iftaa, Egypt’s government-sponsored religious institution responsible for issuing fatwas and religious opinions responded to el-Sisi’s call by announcing the launching of a national project aiming to correct the image of Islam through social media, foreign visits, publications, and issuing fatwas that “suit the modern age.” It’s a...

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Fundamentalist Mormons At War
Dec07

Fundamentalist Mormons At War

Mormon Fundamentalists: A reasonably long but disturbing and well-worth-reading account of inner fighting, ostracism, and threatening behaviour enacted on behalf of the now-jailed leader of a group of fundamentalist Mormons, Warren Jeffs. In recent years, this enclave has been ripped apart by a modern holy war, led by a divisive spiritual leader who ended up on the F​⁠BI’s Ten Most Wanted list and is now in prison. The majority of Short Creek residents remain loyal to him and his sect, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or F⁠​LDS. But they are losing ground to apostates — those who either walked away from the church or were pushed out — who are starting to build their own community. To the F​⁠LDS, they are nothing less than an existential threat. The article includes quite harrowing details of the lengths to which the fundamentalist religious group go to in order to spy on people they consider outsiders, as well as details of the power that Jeffs and his supporters wield. One of the last sentences gives you a taste: [Jinjer] won’t leave their dogs — Buddy, Boots, and Rebel — outside for long; she’s convinced they’ll be...

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Christadelphians
Nov16

Christadelphians

Through the letterbox popped something from Portsmouth Christadelphians… Scepticism about the Bible? I was intrigued. Could this be a local group with a rational outlook when it comes to religious matters? I took a look at their website The Evidence – You Decide. The answer to my question was no. I’ll explain. The website starts with a challenge: The Bible is either a great hoax or a message of great relevance and help. Immediately, they’re removing other options so that they perform a little trick: if they can subsequently remove one of the two choices you’ll be more likely to fall for the message that whatever remains must be the truth. This is a con. Over the rest of the website all they need to do is produce enough weak or anecdotal evidence to support eliminating the hoax option and that will leave them with the “message of great relevance and help” and, by extension, reinforcing the “it must all be true” mantra. Where are the other options? That it’s just a bunch of stories told by superstitious shepherds that morphed into a religion? That it’s a collection of appropriations from other religious tales and in no way the word of a sky pixie? That it’s a means to control people used throughout history by whoever is in charge? That it undergoes changes in interpretation over the centuries to fit the facts of the time? The next section is “accurate predictions” and included are a handful of different types of predictions: vague ones that can mean anything, obvious ones that anyone could see would happen, and potentially specific ones. The problem is that the predictions almost universally come from the portion of the Bible that was passed down by word of mouth and not written until long after the events. Further, the accurate predictions all refer to things that already happened absolutely ages ago, conveniently enough. Where’s the prediction about Islamic State? Where’s the prediction about Americans and Russians almost starting nuclear war? Where’s the prediction about what’s going to happen in the next hundred years? This is not evidence of anything other than the gullibility of humans. Many of the techniques used in these sorts of predictions are used these days too by the scam artists who go around calling themselves psychics and mediums (people that the Catholic church itself says are charlatans because a) it’s true and b) they don’t want anyone else muscling in on their territory). Moreover, this section is a great example of cherry picking data. Why doesn’t the site present the “predictions” that didn’t come true? Skipping over to the “Science & The...

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