The EU Referendum and a Frightened Electorate

David Cameron Warned Brussels: UK Will Be Successful Outside E.U. 9 Nov. 2016

UK Would Do Okay Outside the European Union, David Cameron Says – 9 Nov 2015

David Cameron Says He Will Not Rule Out Britain Leaving EU – 7 Nov. 2015

Cameron Admits Britain Is Capable Of A Future Outside The EU – 28 May

“DAVID Cameron was last night forced to concede Britain is an “amazing country” capable of building a future outside the EU.”

Having said all that we, the voters, are then told if we do anything different from what David Cameron says we should do, we will bring down Armageddon down ourselves! We have been   castigated like a lot of little kids for even thinking we should be able to think differently from what he tells we must do – after saying all will be OK if we have to leave the EU!

Right at the outset of the Referendum Debate the media has, “Cameron turns Nasty with savage attack on Boris”  There was no doubt for those of us who witnessed the attack on the News could see why the media reported they the way it did.  It got personal from the outset to humiliate Boris and perhaps let anyone else know what they might expect if they challenged the PM’s viewpoint on his ‘successful’ negotiations with Brussels. But Boris kept his dignity as he did when he faced the onslaught from that female threesome who set out to “get Boris”.    Were we seeing politicians at their best?

The chancellor joined in, and quite rightly got chided by journalists for his reckless blackmail against the voter. It got to Sarah Vine. Her thoughts would resonate with a good many of the electorate. (Sarah Vine).  For Stephen Glover, The PM has made a big hash of the Referendum.

Said fellow journalist Max Hastings in an earlier article of the Prime Minister’s feeble attempts to face up to the EU boffins for a better deal for the UK, “Cameron could yet win his summer referendum on Europe, for the usual reasons such things happen: on the day, voters prove too scared to risk the unknowns of ‘out’.”

And I guess that is how many will vote tomorrow. Then says Hastings, “But on the case the Prime Minister has made thus far, and following the risible draft deal he has struck with Donald Tusk, he does not deserve to.”


Posted in E. U., Political Issues, Social Issues | Leave a comment

International Outrage Over Gang Rape Sentence

News from New Zealand: Sisters sentenced to be raped

The News International: Indian Sisters ordered to be (gang) raped

Sky News: Protest as sisters are sentenced to be raped.

Live Law: Two sisters to be raped as punishment.

News Vice: Outrage over village gang rape sentence on Indian sisters

The world’s press has rightly drawn attention to this story coming out of India. “Thousands have signed a petition to stop two Indian sisters being gang-raped and then paraded around a village naked with blackened faces as punishment for their brother’s ‘crimes’. “Amnesty said the older sister has filed a petition before India’s Supreme Court seeking protection for her family so they can return home.”

But why would the older sister have to file a petition with the Supreme Court seeking protection? Why hasn’t the law of the land given that village an urgent visit to round up the council for its own crime against the sisters for the judgment it has made against them?

If the Khap Panchayat village council ordered Meenakshi Kumari, 23, and her sister, to be raped and humiliated,” as reported by Sky News  and as reported by much of the world’s media, then isn’t India embarrassed by it?

It seems India has a long way to go on the social and moral front. How can women be treated in such a barbaric way in an “India (that) is set to emerge as the world’s fastest-growing major economy by 2015 ahead of China, as per the recent report by The World Bank. India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to grow at 7.5 per cent in 2015, as per the report.”

“The improvement in India’s economic fundamentals has accelerated in the year 2015 with the combined impact of strong government reforms, . . .” But shouldn’t India also be paying as much attention to the very seriously needed social and moral reforms?

In civilised countries the law deals appropriately with such moral perversity, and when it fails, the free press can express our outrage for us, and force governments to bring justice to bear.

The BBC reports  “that economic progress is hampered by corruption, widely regarded as endemic and engulfing every level of politics and society,” and that “the vast mass of the rural population remains impoverished, and that “lives continue to be influenced by the ancient Hindu caste system, which assigns each person a place in the social hierarchy.” And although discrimination on the basis of caste is now illegal and various measures have been introduced to empower disadvantaged groups and give them easier access to opportunities – such as education and work, this case and other rape cases tell us India has a long way to go in providing protection and justice for large sections of its citizens.

Despite the publicity given to the 2012 Delhi Gang Rape and the Government of India’s subsequent reform to “its penal code for crimes of rape and sexual assault”,  this case suggests there are still citizens in India who ignore its laws that go against their traditions, and openly and blatantly carry out such barbaric treatment towards women.

It should not be up to Amnesty International to call “on the Indian authorities to ensure the safety of the young woman and her 15-year-old sibling.” It is the perpetrators of this crime against humanity who should be fearing the law of the land as a consequence of their own judgments against these young ladies.

Posted in Human Rights, Injustice, Political Issues, Social Issues | Leave a comment

Cecil The Lion & Wildlife Killing

“It is no accident that one of the two men who accompanied the dentist on the safari, and who have now been arrested, was a farmer (the other was a professional hunter hired by Palmer as a guide). State wildlife officials claim that Honest Trymore Ndlovu helped lured the lion off the wildlife reserve and onto his property, Antoinette Farm, where the beast was killed.

Why would he do such a thing?” asks Time.

Jeoff Flocken asks the same question in National Geographic:

“Why on Earth are we still allowing this animal to be killed for “fun” when it’s in danger of disappearing from the wild in our lifetimes?”  He says, “The most recent study, led by a scientist from Duke University, shows that as few as 32,000 lions are left in the wild. Many experts say there could be far fewer. (See an interactive experience on the Serengeti lion.)”

“Approximately 600 lions are killed every year on trophy hunts, including lions in populations that are already declining from other threats. These hunts are unsustainable and put more pressure on the species.”

“The adult male lion is the most sought-after trophy by wealthy foreign hunters. And when an adult male lion is killed, the destabilization of that lion’s pride can lead to more lion deaths as outside males compete to take over the pride.”

For the protesting trophy hunters who say their big money contributes to the protection of the species Flocken says,

“The money that does come into Africa from hunting pales in comparison to the billions and billions generated from tourists who come just to watch wildlife. If lions and other animals continue to disappear from Africa, this vital source of income—non-consumptive tourism—will end, adversely impacting people all over Africa.”

There can be no excuse for the wanton recreational killing of treasured wildlife. We would like to think that kind of behaviour belongs to the past, and deserves the same kind of condemnation accorded to poachers who continue to decimate the world’s wild-life population for monetary gain. What excuse can there be in finding delight in killing these animals? It isn’t a culling exercise, or hunting down an animal that is a threat to a local community.

What a contrast in values, attitudes and behaviour from those who seek to preserve and treasure the wild life still remaining on our planet? Those of us who aren’t privileged enough to see the wonder of wild-life in person delight to watch the wonders of wild-life brought via TV or film to us by those who carry not guns for destruction but the camera that records the treasure and delight of nature.

I remember getting up in the middle of the night years ago when the children were small. There was a ruckus in the back of the house. Getting dressed quickly there was that rush of adrenaline as I anticipated facing unwelcome burglars. Opening the door into the garden I grabbed a long-handled brush ready to face off intruders. But the intruders were animals. Badgers! Three of them!

They had turned over the waste bin and were now foraging on the lawn. I was still in anger mode and began shooing them back towards the broken fence panel where they had come from the woods we backed onto. But they didn’t move, they just stopped and stared at me seemingly daring me to remove them. Then I stopped and stared too, and realised what the situation was. They were not intruders, they were badgers! Our two children were young and we had not come across badgers before.

I went back in, locked up, left the outside light on, went upstairs and into the girl’s bedroom. I woke them up as gently as I could, and we, the girls and mum and myself, watched out the bedroom window for some while, enjoying seeing the creatures enjoying whatever they were foraging for in the garden. It happened several nights following, until I had to replace the fence panel. But our two ‘young ladies’ began to lose the excitement of being woken up in the middle of the night anyway.

But we didn’t want to harm those creatures, we just felt privileged they had paid us a visit; it was a story we could share with friends and neighbours. When animals have to be culled, as guardians of nature it should hurt us to have to do it. But to go and kill animals, for selfish gain or just for the sheer delight of it, does that not that says something about us as human beings? 

I haven’t read all the opprobrium dished out to the offender through social media, I wouldn’t want to be part of that. That can be equally offensive behaviour. I know rational appeal to rogue poachers is not likely to be effective but I would like to think the indignation that has been rightly expressed will suggest to the offender in this case, and other such offenders, that intelligent people no longer see the animal kingdom being there to be exploited, but to be valued and cared for.

The story has spread across the world’s media, but it is worth reading the article in Time. It is not just a sad story of Cecil the lion, or the sad outlook of a game hunter on wildlife; there is also the fuller story of the sad situation in Zimbabwe, where human survival out-weighs animal survival, and the world has had to sit back and watch human poverty, suffering and abuse while their political leaders enjoy the opulent life.

Other Sources of the Story


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1000 Lashes For Saudi Blogger

Saudi is ‘in the dock’ says the Guardian. “The cruel and unjust sentence passed on the Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, 10 years in jail and 1,000 lashes, has been upheld by the supreme court in Riyadh. Hopes that the court might reduce or even commute the sentence, particularly as the holy fast of Ramadan begins next week, have been dashed. The only remaining appeal now is to the Saudi monarch, King Salman. From Quebec, where she has been granted asylum with their children, Mr Badawi’s wife Ensaf Haidar has said that she fears the public flogging – 50 lashes at a time every Friday after prayers – might resume as soon as this Friday. Mr Badawi had been whipped only once after his sentence was passed, and prison doctors deemed that he was too ill to be flogged again before his appeal was heard. Britain and its allies, conveniently meeting together at the G7 in Germany, must unite and condemn what is almost certainly a life-threatening sentence. They should stand together in defence of their shared values and demand his release.”

I posted this story back in January, but it still needs to be addressed. A history of this case as well as links to what the blogger wrote is provided by the Guardian. The next lot of 50 lashes is expected tomorrow. He had 50 lashes in January; 950 lashes to go, and a ten year jail sentence along with a hefty fine, if he survives the lashes! We can only hope that Saudi Arabia can see what the world sees, what the Guardian describes as “The cruel and unjust sentence passed on the Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, 10 years in jail and 1,000 lashes; this is man’s inhumanity to man!

See the story also in:


The Sydney Morning Herald

The New York Times

The Times

Posted in Faith Issues, Injustice, Political Issues, Religious Liberty, Social Issues | Leave a comment

US View Downton Abbey – & The UK’s Demise Of Faith

“There are countless lessons for American Christians to observe as we watch Downton Abbey. But we ought not to miss the larger story of which tales like Downton are only a part. The world that was passing away was not only a world of footmen, but also of faith. Britain would never be the same again, and that loss of faith and certitude would eventually become a tide that would sweep across every aspect of British culture,”

“But, do Americans have any idea what they are really watching?” Asks Albert Mohler.

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1000 Lashes For Saudi Blogger

A family man with three small children is to receive 50 lashes a week for twenty weeks, but the second week has been deferred because his wounds are not healed enough to take the second round of lashing. He also faces 10 years imprisonment ( he has already served two years), and fined £175,000.

While the boundaries are being pushed by Saudi’s on social media the government seems to be making an example of Raif Badawi.

Reports the BBC:

“The first round of flogging was carried out outside a mosque in Jeddah last Friday as a crowd of onlookers watched.

“A number of foreign governments, including the US, Canada, Germany and Norway, had criticised the punishment.

“Amnesty International said officials had delayed the second round of flogging because Badawi’s wounds had not yet healed.

“”Not only does this postponement… expose the utter brutality of this punishment, it underlines its outrageous inhumanity,” said Amnesty’s deputy director for the Middle East and Africa, Said Boumedouha.

“”The notion that Raif Badawi must be allowed to heal so that he can suffer this cruel punishment again and again is macabre and outrageous.”

“Reporters Without Borders urged Saudi Arabia “to abandon this barbaric punishment”, saying it remained “very concerned” about Badawi’s health.

The Hindu report.

Channel 4 report.

The Mail reports that the Saudi king halts flogging of Blogger

Posted in Faith Issues, Injustice, Political Issues, Social Issues | Tagged | Leave a comment

How Did The Giraffe’s Get Its Long Neck?

Simon Barnes, a sports and nature writer is highly esteemed by journalist colleagues. He recently left The Times to the surprise of colleagues. The cost-cutting move by The Times is thought by one fellow journalist to be likened to a football manager selling off their main striker; it didn’t seem to make sense. I read his article in the Daily Mail recently, titled ‘Giraffes in Jeopardy’.

When it comes to the animal kingdom and their threatened extinction due to poaching, killing for their ivory, human population expansion, etc, that does get my attention. But the essay held my interest for another reason; it did surprise me to read:

“So, there are populations of giraffe in serious decline, and it’s time we started worrying about this. Not only because giraffes have a right to exist, but because giraffes matter very much to us humans.

“Take that neck. You could say, if you wished, that the neck of the giraffe explains the mystery of life. You can grasp this by counting the number of vertebrae in your neck: the answer is seven. Now count the number of vertebrae in a giraffe neck. And the answer is … seven. (But I would have to but in here and ask, but Simon, don’t all mammals have 7 vertebrae?).

“So giraffes and humans have something rather unexpected in common. We share an ancestor — an ancestor with a seven-vertebra neck, which was little more than a handy way of joining head to body.

“But when the rich forests of Africa disappeared millions of years ago and the open wooded savannahs took their place, giraffes found it advantageous to reach higher up into the trees that were left.

“The individuals with the longest necks had the best chance of surviving, and they passed their necks onto their progeny. When it came to the next generation, those that had still longer necks now had the advantage.

“And so, in the course of countless millennia, giraffes became tall, stately, long-legged, long-necked beasts, yet with those seven — gigantic — vertebrae to show that we have an ancestor in common.”

I have read ‘a children’s funny’ about how giraffe got its long neck, but this part of Simon Barn’s essay gives what appears to me a serious explanation of how the giraffe got its long neck.

In my reading the ‘high browsing’ and stretching for food used to be taught as the reason for giraffes evolving long necks. But that Lamarckian explanation is now discredited. It was long-necked giraffes that produced long-necked offspring.

As a lay person I see the ‘historical sciences’ not like real science where things are observed and seen to be repeated. The giraffe’s neck has not been observed to have evolved nor evidence for it in the fossil record, even if there are giraffes with shorter necks they could be another species of the same kind. Like the claim about Haeckel’s Embryos that is now discredited, this explanation for the giraffe’s long neck through ‘high browsing’ as I read, is also now discarded.

However, as with Haeckel’s Embryos, there are still sites that give evidence that this ‘classic evolutionary hypothesis’ for the giraffe’s neck is still promoted, and even by the BBC.

For a layman like myself this article, ‘What Giraffes Will Do For A Drink’, gives a more reasoned and responsible explanation for the giraffes’ long neck. I found it worth reading the essay but a few of paragraphs will give more than a hint why I see the giraffe’s ‘high browsing’ being responsible for its long neck is no longer a credible explanation for the long neck of the giraffe, there is much more to it than the stretching of the neck, as the following suggests:

“Many hospitals use what is known as gravity suits. These ensembles prevent fluid retention (edema) in the lower extremities. The giraffe has an in-built gravity suit that prevents blood pooling and edema. The two portions of the giraffe’s body that help in the function of this system are its tough skin and its fascia (connecting tissue). So, in order to survive, the giraffe must have evolved a long neck, a heart to push the blood up the neck, special valves to maintain its blood pressure, and antigravity suit to resist the extreme pressure that is routinely produced. Did these structures arrive by coincidence? (Sounds like ‘irreducible complexity’ to me).

“The list of what must have evolved ‘in sync’ with the rest of the giraffe’s anatomy is lengthy and impressive. Evolutionist Robert Wesson stated:

“The protogiraffe had not only to lengthen neck vertebra (fixed at seven in mammals), but had to make any concurrent modifications: the head, difficult to sustain atop the long neck, became relatively smaller. . . . Big lungs were necessary to compensate for breathing through a tube 10 feet long; many muscles, tendons, and bones had to be modified harmoniously; the forelegs were lengthened with corresponding restructuring of the frame, and many refluxes had to be reshaped (1991, p. 226, parenthetical item in orig.).

“As Wesson noted, these processes had to come into existence at the same time! The head had to be miniaturised in order to rest on the top of a 15-foot-high-giant. Plus, the giraffe’s lungs are eight times the size of an average human’s in order for it to breathe through a ten-foot-long-trachea. And every structural support must reshape to match the new form of the neck. Any statistician (or physiologist) would balk at the probability of a creature evolving these extreme characteristics.”

In his essay, ‘Why do giraffes have long necks?Brian Switek concludes with what seems to me to be an honest answer. At the close of his essay he writes:

“Ultimately, a combination of natural history, embryology, and palaeobiology will be needed to fully understand the unique anatomy of giraffes. This is not something which will be accomplished in a year or even ten, but will take the persistent investigations of many researchers working across a variety of scientific disciplines. For the moment, the question of “How did the giraffe get its long neck?” must be answered with “We do not yet know”, but that is as it should be. It is better to admit that we are still unravelling a mystery than to dogmatically assert that all is solved and that all the uncharted places on the evolutionary map have been filled in.”

Evolutionists might balk at Intelligent Design as the best explanation for the physical design of the Giraffe, but I would want to look for more serious explanations for the giraffes’ long neck other than it was stretched through ‘high browsing’.

For one looking on at the Natural Sciences v Intelligent Design debate from the outside, on this one the latter has the more credible answer for me.

See also: Origins vs Operational Science and related articles

Posted in Faith and Science, Intelligent Design, Science, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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