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14 weeks ago @ Conservative Home - Daniel Kawczynski MP: ... · 0 replies · +1 points

I fully endorse this view. My own grandfather was one of these. Unfortunately he died in 1976 so I never met him, but I will tomorrow be celebrating peace and the defeat of fascist and Japanese imperialism, which ultimately was the liberation of the German, Austrian and Japanese folk too.

It is a sad business, but we should acknowledge the contribution Poles made and the shameful way too many people treated them, and the asylum seekers of the 1930s and 40s.

You may wish to read this book on the matter:

113 weeks ago @ Heresy Corner - Springtime for Godfrey · 0 replies · +5 points

"Can we just try to grow up- all of you?"

(comedy French accent) NEVER!

113 weeks ago @ Heresy Corner - David Attenborough\'s ... · 0 replies · +2 points

Regarding what you said about the Ethiopian famine, a remarkable amount of hunger is in fact caused by inefficient and wasteful agriculture. Tragically, as readers of the book "Waste" by Tristram Stuart will be aware, a lot of the food that is grown never reaches anyone's table because it rots in fields or during pointlessly long journeys to market. Or it is used for biofuels, perhaps.

There is also extensive throwing away of food in this country, and mindless rejection of perfectly good crops by retailers (too many subsidies too), but no one dies of that because farmers have access to technology and we have relatively efficient roads, vehichles and what-have-you.

One of the reasons I am an economic liberal is that I do think the rule of law, urbanisation, trade, and let's not forget remittances from people who are living in the west, will get the developing world to where it is already half way towards. So as a former supporter of the Attenborough school of thought, I now disagree with his every view other than to concur aid is often misspent. I still think foreign aid should exist but certainly not that it is sacroscanct in the exact form it takes now.

114 weeks ago @ Heresy Corner - David Attenborough\'s ... · 2 replies · +3 points

And then you've got the fact that if people bewail building on the green belt, for instance, what about higher-density housing and more people living in cities? They are actually, oddly enough, more environmentally friendly than people living in the countryside, particularly affluent incomers. Given better public transport and a trend away from all and sundry living in suburbs and owning cars (apart from the large minority who are excluded from this world) it wouldn't be that hard to house so many people. They'd just have to be less extravagant than our current ultra-rich, which isn't exactly hard to do.

Freakily enough, I don't have my copy of "The Selfish Gene" to hand but I believe that in it, Dawkins expressed views very similar to Attenborough's. And despite normally being a thoroughgoing fanboy, I think this is the occasion on which I find a reason to disagree with him.

Also there was something else but I forgot.

115 weeks ago @ Heresy Corner - Coming out in Barnsley · 1 reply · +2 points

Before you even get to the inevitable religious side of things that would happen in Bradford, Birmingham, Tower Hamlets etc. if this were widespread.

115 weeks ago @ Heresy Corner - Coming out in Barnsley · 2 replies · +1 points

Come to think of it, I know of someone who thought of herself as bisexual at 16 (don't know if she actually would have said as much to all and sundry) and had a boyfriend. Then she had a moment of realisation that she was, in fact, a lesbian. The process of coming out was very difficult for this one and even though she is now perfectly comfortable with herself I can't think of any possible way that this form could have done anything but harm. If this happens, is there a number students ring up, and how much respect will (sorry to stereotype) the average low-grade staffer in Barnsley give to such a person?

" That X rang up. He's that thick, he can't even make up his mind which side his bread's buttered on. Crying, he was. Fookin poof" etc.

115 weeks ago @ Heresy Corner - Coming out in Barnsley · 1 reply · +5 points

The only thing more depressing than this the thought of the inevitable comments from people who,can't or won't see what the problem is.

116 weeks ago @ Heresy Corner - In Syria, the right th... · 0 replies · +3 points

I am leaning against intervention myself on the grounds that it would probably do more harm than good, so I'm endorsing the Labour position just for once. What I think is that a secular, rational organisation like MSF (to which I donate) are the only ones to be unambigiously good in the whole tragedy, so I'd urge all heretics to dig deep.

I am re-reading the book "From the Holy Mountain" by William Dalrymple- has anyone read it? Essentially he follows in the footsteps of a 7th-century monk, author and spiritual wayfarer, through the Christian Middle East, which barely existed in some of its old strongholds (Turkey for instance) and which was arguably at its healthiest in Syria, then ruled by Basher's father. And the fear was that because so many Christians fared well in Syria, the fall of the House of Assad (and Mubarak) was especially to be dreaded for its consequences for Christians.

I am amazed by how quickly and near-totally something written less than 20 years ago has been superseded. I don't know what the author thinks but I suspect he isn't surprised by anything any more. One of the most interesting remarks was by an Arab Christian scholar who said that something Christians (and arguably unpopular sects such as the Alawites too) achieved was to keep the Arab world "Arab" and, by preventing the assumption that Arab means Muslim and Muslim means Arab, helped guarantee secularism. Who would be the buttress of a secular state tomorrow?

119 weeks ago @ Heresy Corner - The Gospel According t... · 0 replies · 0 points

Yes, but I don't believe in it. Fundagelicals say they do, and invoke the Bible against their targets, but never against themselves. Funny, that.

119 weeks ago @ Heresy Corner - The Gospel According t... · 2 replies · 0 points

Just the most glorious stuff...

But then you don't, of course, need parody to skewer conservative "Christians", particularly in America. Try to think of an anti-Obama shouter who isn't eternally damned by Matthew 5:22. Have a go at Matthew 5:27-29. Ask them whether they still revere Saint Ronald of Reagan or Rush Limbaugh despite their flouting of Matthew 5:32 (which they ignore themselves, though they redeem themselves by hating gays).