Christian Power Over Wind
Dec30

Christian Power Over Wind

Wind direction is determined by air pressure (which itself is affected by temperature). Wind direction is governed by the result of a change in higher air pressure in one location shifting to equalise into lower air pressure in another. There are a lot of air pressure changes taking place in the vicinity of a tornado as I’m sure you can imagine and probably can work out from an extremely basic – childishly basic, even – grasp of physics; the sort of stuff you probably learnt in your early teen years. Maybe if you don’t know about that you had a terrible education. Or maybe you’re a moron. But I digress. A tornado heading towards the city of Rowlett in Texas apparently altered direction not because of changing air pressure or temperature but because a group of Christians commanded the wind to do so as God had given them that power. Source “We actually went outside and started commanding the winds, because God had given us authority over the winds, the airways,” [Sabrina Lowe of Rowlett, Texas] said. “And we just began to command this storm not to hit our area. We spoke to the storm and said, ‘Go to unpopulated places.’ It did exactly what we said to do, because God gave us the authority to do that.” Let’s make sure we all understand this. The tornado definitely, definitely was going to hit Sabrina Lowe’s area had they not used divine powers. The tornado definitely, definitely was not going to just veer away due to atmospheric pressure and temperature changes such as you might find in the southern half of the United States near a body of water during a tornado. God definitely, definitely gave Sabrina and her Christian friends authority over the wind, something they’d be definitely, definitely willing to demonstrate if pressed. As I see it Sabrina and her Christian friends just admitted directing the tornado to an unpopulated area of the city where it caused vast amounts of damage rather than commanding it to stop where it was making them responsible legally since the destruction can no longer be classed as an act of God but one of malice. That’s a brave but potentially poverty-inducing move...

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The Daesh Magazine Dabiq
Nov21

The Daesh Magazine Dabiq

Whether you call them Islamic State, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, or CystISIS, the group responsible for – and proud of – a reign of terror in the Middle East and beyond (though, apparently, without thinking through the economics behind running a state through fear where everyone is trying to flee it reducing the prospects of the type of production needed to keep it going) produce a glossy propaganda magazine designed to entice in the easily-confused to their brutal ranks. You can find the issues of Dabiq in PDF form here: http://www.clarionproject.org/news/islamic-state-isis-isil-propaganda-magazine-dabiq. It should go without saying that some imagery in the magazines might not be for the sqeamish and all of the writing in them might not be for people with rational...

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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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