Monday, May 21, 2012

Tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jewish men attended a rally in New York on the dangers of the Internet and how to use modern technology in a religiously responsible way

"A religiously responsible way"? What is that suppose to mean?! ... That they can only send emails and text messages to God and the Tooth Fairy?

They'd better not hold their breaths while they're waiting for a reply! There is no God; only the Tooth Fairy LOL!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Former foreign secretary (Lord) Douglas Hurd has attacked the government's plans to introduce VAT on church renovations. He claims that the religious institution already has "a raw deal" ...

Well, Douglas, I'm sorry to upset the fantasy world you live in where people like you worship an invisible entity called God and a mythical, European-looking man with long hair and a beard commonly known as Jesus who supposedly lived 2000 years ago, but here goes:

Religious institutions, with their fantasy doctrines, brainwashing techniques, rip-off promises, money-grabbing trickery and oppressive, sexist, homophobic rules and beliefs, have been giving stupid, gullible humans a "raw deal" for at least 10,000 years.

It's payback time!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Cousins marrying cousins in Bradford ...

11 years after the Bradford riots, George Galloway put the city back in the spotlight a few weeks ago when he won the local elections for the Respect Party.

Now Bradford is hitting the headlines again for a quite different reason.

The following is a BBC article by Winifred Robinson. It's worth reading:
Bradford's cousin marriage boom
Human chromosome 1, SEM
Cousin marriage doubles the risk of passing on recessive genes
The tradition of marrying a cousin is becoming more entrenched among British-born Pakistanis living in Bradford than it was a generation ago, writes Winifred Robinson.
This has been the surprise finding of the Born in Bradford research project . It's a huge long-term study of 14,000 mothers and babies in the city, the largest ever undertaken in the UK. Half of the families in the project are Asian.
Cousin marriage has important implications for health because marrying a cousin increases the risks of passing on genetic disorders. Bradford has three times the national rate among children for disabilities including deafness and blindness.
Globally, cousin marriage is practised by an estimated billion people, according to Professor John Wright, who is leading the Born in Bradford research project. It yields considerable social benefits - particularly in ethnic groups, where it is traditional for women to live with their in-laws.
"People marry cousins because it means you are coming into a family where everybody loves you," Professor Wright says, "and there are economic benefits of keeping land or other assets in the family".
 We've nearly all been married to cousins in our family and we didn't know this condition existed. 
Ruba, whose son has I-cell disease
Most of the people of Asian origin in Bradford come from the rural villages of Mirpur in Pakistan. Families in Bradford are still arranging marriages and choosing brides and grooms among their extended family back home - one in four children in the study had a parent brought over for marriage.
The problem with cousin marriage is that it doubles the risk of passing on the recessive genes that lead to abnormalities. Cystic fibrosis is the one we all know about, where two healthy parents carry a recessive gene for the condition.
"If a cousin has a genetic variant that causes a disease and marries a cousin with the same genetic variant, then there is a one in four chance that the children will have that disease," Professor Wright explains.
On the face of it the risk is not great - a 4% risk of having a child with an abnormality if you marry a cousin, compared with 2% among the general population. But with repeated cousin marriage, the risks stack up in families with sometimes devastating results.
We met Ruba who is 23. She has two children Alishbah, aged two and Hassam, aged four. Ruba was 18 when she married her second cousin. Her children have I-cell disease, a rare disorder which has prevented them growing and developing as they should, from the start.
"It was a real shock to me when he was diagnosed," she says, "I didn't even know what it was, we've nearly all been married to cousins in our family and we didn't know this condition existed. I was looking at him thinking he's still my son and whatever he's got I'm going to love him.
wedding ring
Globally, cousin marriage is practised by an estimated billion people
"He's delayed in development mentally and physically, he can't walk or sit up on his own. He is prone to chest infections and all his bones are abnormal, they're not the right shape. He's got narrow air ways and so it's difficult for him to breathe and he's on oxygen at night - last night I had to get up three times for my daughter and nearly every hour for my son. It's getting harder and harder to look after both of them."
Ruba has been told her children's life expectancy is short - seven to eight years. She met another woman in Bradford with a son who died at nine months from the same disease… there was another child born with the condition when her daughter was born.
The Born in Bradford researchers are determined that theirs should be an applied health research study with results leading to better services. "Everything we do gets translated into practice so that our work on congenital anomalies has led to a city register for these children and also a Yorkshire register," Professor Wright insists.
Professionals working with couples like Ruba and her husband hope that in the future they wlll be able to provide better genetic screening and advice for couples who want it.

Ever seen the movie Freebie and the Bean? A Brazilian guy has ... and he even tried to imitate one of the scenes! (LOL) ...

A 25-year-old man from Sao Paulo in Brazil had a miracle escape when he lost control of his red Peugeot, flew over a gully and ploughed into the second floor of a house.

Eight people, including five children, were reportedly sleeping in the apartment at the time, but incredibly no one was injured.

Firefighters rescued the driver (who had no driving license) by lowered him to the ground with a rope.

It makes you wonder what speed he was doing!

Watch the scene from Freebie and the Bean. The car flight is in the last two minutes of the clip:

Money down the drain: The total cost of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations could reach £3.6bn. It's a bloody disgrace! ...

According to the Department of Culture Media and Sport, the total cost of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations could climb to £3.6bn, a large percentage of which will be due to financial losses resulting from much of the country taking an extra day off work during a bank holiday weekend that will run from 2 to 5 June. 

This equates to four whole days where most of the UK population will do sweet bugger all except watch a group of very rich people (namely royals and their pals) doing what they do best: sweet bugger all!

At this point, you'll be pleased to learn that the royal family is currently touring the Commonwealth to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and that (as noted by the Treasury) an "extra £1m has been added to the royal household's budget for the extra visits and events".

Hey, it's only £1m! We didn't need it anyway (shit!).

So what will this absurd, out-dated and disgracefully costly extravaganza entail?

Well, it will begin with an equestrian pageant at Windsor Castle in May for which 500 horses from all over the world will be flown in.

Performers will include Inuits from Canada, cowboys from Oklahoma, presidential bodyguards from India, Cossacks from Russia and Huasos from Chile. 

Oddly, the Queen will only attend on the last night: May 13 ... After all, just because it's the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations, doesn't mean that she has to attend every event! Give the poor woman a break!

But the highlight of the celebrations will be the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant on Sunday 3 June. 

This will comprise 1,000 decorated private boats from the UK and the Commonwealth, all of which will be led down the river by the much-publicized 'new' royal rowbarge, Gloriana, a £500,000 jubilee gift to the Queen underwritten by Lord Sterling.

But this is where it all becomes even more nonsensical. You see, the royal family itself will not even ride in the Gloriana. Instead, the Queen will ride in the existing royal barge, The Spirit of Chartwell. Work that one out!

The £12m cost of the jubilee pageant will apparently be funded by private sponsorship and donations, but this does not include the cost of policing the events (probably the largest security operation ever staged in London). 

The day after the pageant, the BBC's jubilee concert will take place on the Mall in front of Buckingham Palace.

As usual, such regulars as Paul McCartney, Elton John, Shirley Bassey and Annie Lennox, be performing.

And to top it all, 2,000 beacons will be lit in the UK and around the world to mark 60 years of the Queen’s reign.

What a disgraceful waste of money!

But it doesn't end there. 

Local councils will spend around £550,000 on their own celebrations, and the Royal Boroughs of Windsor and Maidenhead are going to install a Jubilee fountain and monument at a cost of £157,000.

Graham Smith, CEO of Republic, said, “Councils up and down the country are wasting public money on these celebrations whilst simultaneously cutting jobs, which is hard [I suggest 'impossible'] to justify. All of this pageantry will come at a huge cost to the public for no return and it will have a negative impact on the economy. Hundreds, maybe even thousands, of our supporters will be going down to the banks by the Tower of London to protest against the pageant.”

Recession? What recession?

Unemployment? What unemployment?

Poverty? What poverty?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

6-year-old girl handcuffed by police for throwing a temper tantrum at school (look at those eyes!) ...

Salecia Johnson of Milledgeville, Georgia, USA, may be only 6 years old, but the temper tantrum she threw at school involved tossing books and toys around the classroom and knocking over a small shelf which hit the principal of Creekside Elementary School injuring her leg.

For good measure, she also jumped on a paper shredder and tried to break a glass picture frame.

(Makes you wonder what a paper shredder was doing in the classroom in the first place!)

The school called the police, but when Salecia wouldn't calm down, she was handcuffed and taken to the police station.

Salecia’s aunt, Candace Ruff, said: “We would not like to see this happen to another child because it's horrifying. It's devastating.”

The police have (quite rightly, in my opinion) defended their actions by saying that their response to Salecia's 'tantrum' was a ‘safety measure’.

Unfortunately, this is the sort of behaviour that many teachers have to put up with in the classroom these days.

It sounds to me like this particular little shit has a serious anger management problem and is lacking a good dose of old fashioned parental discipline!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Independent newspaper claims that some Adidas Olympic shoes and clothing are being produced in Indonesian factories where workers have to toil for 65 hours a week in terrible conditions ...

But should we be surprised?

Of course not.

Why do you think that so many multinational companies choose to manufacture in countries like Indonesia?

Because labour is dirt cheap, workers are treated like shit, labour laws are slack or non-existent, and no one is checking.

A spokesperson for the London 2012 Olympic Organising Committee said that they are "taking the allegations extremely seriously".

"We have spoken to Adidas and they have assured us that they are investigating these allegations, the conclusions of which will be made public."

So let me get this straight: Adidas is investigating itself?!

That's absurd!

But should we really be surprised?

Of course not.

Check this out:

The following is a complete article from You should read it.

Sixty big name brands continuing to use sweatshop labour

TESCO, MARKS AND Spencer and Next are among the retailers coming under fire in adamning report by the International Textile Garment and Leather Workers’ Federation.
The lobby group examined the working conditions for 100,000 workers in 83 factories across Indonesia, Sri Lanka and The Philippines  in order to assess how the workers who supply western retail chains are treated.
The report found that massive brands like Adidas, Converse, Abercrombie and Fitch, Victoria’s Secret and Billabong are “routinely breaking every rule in the book when it comes to labour rights”. A huge number of high street chains and sporting goods retailers are named in the report – there are 60 brands named in all.
The report found that no factory in the three countries examined paid a living wage to all of their workers, and that some are below the legal minimum wage for that region. Forced overtime is also a common practice. The ITGLWF says that the report’s findings “indicate that widespread violations and abuses of workers’ rights continue to be the norm in the industry”.
The report identifies that many of the factory workers are not members of unions, for fear of having their contracts terminated. In Indonesia factories had taken “anti-union measure” in order to interfere with unions’ activities. The numbers of workers on short term contracts were as high as 85 per cent in some factories.
The study found that young women working in factories in Sri Lanka were told that their employers would prefer if they did not marry, and that some factories carried out pregnancy tests as part of the recruitment process.
Ashling Seely, ITGLWF spokesperson told that such a large number of brands and retailers are named in the report that they won’t be approaching them individually, because the findings indicate that industry wide solutions are needed. She says that the factories involved were not identified by name because “less responsible” brands have pulled out of factories in the past after being named and shamed. She says:
We held a multi stakeholder meeting in Sri Lanka at the end of March and Nike, Columbia Sports, Next and Marks and Spencers attended and examined some findings relating to Sri Lanka. Adidas have pledged to write to their suppliers saying they want their workers to have the right to freedom of association.
Seely says Adidas didn’t quite endorse trade unions, but that it is a step in the right direction.
The ITGLWF is criticising big brands for spending billions on corporate social responsibility audits of factories, but failing to notice the problems highlighted in the report. Seely says:
Brands spend $60 billion conducting audits, but they’re not done by people with an intimate knowledge of the factory. You can walk into a factory and see that there have been improvements in child labour and health and safety, but it’s the unseen problems that need to be addressed.

The 60 brands named in the ITGLWF report: