Saturday, 26 September 2015

The Doctor and the Pope

(Dr.) Ben Carson once denounced the Big Bang theory as a ‘fairy tale’ and branded Darwin’s theory of evolution the work of the devil.

In a speech to his fellow Seventh-Day Adventists in 2012, Carson dismissed the possibility that the ‘perfect’ universe could have been created simply by a ‘gigantic explosion’.

The neurosurgeon, a notable creationist, said the theory was ‘ridiculous’ and a story pushed by ‘high-faluting scientists’.

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Pope Francis told an audience from the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in Vatican City ........ that theories of evolution and the Big Bang are not inconsistent with creationism and biblical teaching. “The evolution in nature is not opposed to the notion of Creation, because evolution presupposes the creation of beings that evolve,” Pope Francis said, according to a Vatican newswire transcript of the event.

“When we read in Genesis the account of Creation, we risk imagining that God was a magician, with such a magic wand as to be able to do everything,” he said. “However, it was not like that. He created beings and left them to develop according to the internal laws that He gave each one, so that they would develop, and reach their fullness.”
The creation of the universe, Francis said, was not a singular event, but rather “went forward for centuries and centuries, millennia and millennia until it became what we know today.

From Newsweek.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Pope Francis is neither a Republican, nor a Democrat.

Pope Francis is neither a Republican, nor a Democrat.

In his wonderfully crafted speech to a joint session of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives
today (24th September 2015),  he probably offended Democrats and Republicans alike.

In that same speech he probably also encouraged Republicans and Democrats alike.


That's because Pope Francis , in his role as the "Servant of the Servants of God" has a role which rises above partisan, nationalistic and sectarian politics.

Truly he is a leader with a word for all:  - 

Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists,and atheists/ agnostics  alike. 


Here is an extract from  this Pope's  generous, universal, and  truthful speech to the Joint Session today ( via my good friend Paul Walker)


"A delicate balance is required to combat violence perpetrated in the name of a religion, an ideology or an economic system, while also safeguarding religious freedom, intellectual freedom and individual freedoms.

 But there is another temptation which we must especially guard against: the simplistic reductionism which sees only good or evil; or, if you will, the righteous and sinners

The contemporary world, with its open wounds which affect so many of our brothers and sisters, demands that we confront every form of polarization which would divide it into these two camps. 

We know that in the attempt to be freed of the enemy without, we can be tempted to feed the enemy within."

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Family ties - my niece and her boyfriend.

My niece Beth, and her b/f  Jordan  arrived at the Orlando Airport about an hour and a half ago,

They had driven from our home City (Bristol U.K.) to London Gatwick Airport this morning,  and then taken the nine hour flight to Orlando.

Damn, they must be tired!

Beth and Jordan will spend four nights/three days at Disney, after which they will drive to Sarasota and spend ten days with me.

I have lined up a host of SRQ activities for them.

"Glory be".  This 71 year old uncle is so happy that his (24?) year old niece and her 21 year old b/f  are cool and relaxed  enough to stay with me.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

The Pope's "Detestable Enormities"?

1.  The first Prayer Book of the reforming Church in England (1549) included the following words in a Litany:

 "From all sedicion and privye conspiracie, from the tyrannye of the bishop of Rome and all his detestable enormities, from al false doctrine and herisy, from hardnes of heart, and contempte of thy word and commaundemente:  Good lorde deliver us.

2. Queen Elizabeth I  (with an eye to her Roman Catholic subjects) ordered ( in 1559?)  that these words be taken out of the Litany.

3.  Nonetheless, Anti-Catholicism became a staple feature of English, Welsh and Scottish popular culture.

 ( I grew up (1944 - 1960 or so) when Roman Catholics were seen in England as being very exotic, and very un-English).

4.  Anti-Catholicism was also an ever present theme in American life from Colonial Days right up to the election of our one and only Catholic President, John F. Kennedy.

5.  Today the Bishop of Rome (a.k.a the Pope) arrived in Washington, D.C. He, (Pope Francis),  was greeted so warmly by our fabulous President Obama (and his family members).  The videos of this greeting are so deeply moving.

6.  Who could ever have imagined that the U.S.A. would have an African-American President, who would embrace an Argentinian born Pope.

7.  Despite what many terrified  Repuglicans  believe, Pope Francis is not a liberal/socialist/naive shill.

8.  This Pope; this Bishop of Rome,  is not a man of detestable enormities

9. Of course he is not the Universal Primate of the Church.

10.  But in truth Pope Francis  is follower of  Jesus of Nazareth:  the Jesus who is 

"the man from God'; 

"the friend of sinners";  

and "the one who blesses the 99%"

11.  For all that and more let us rejoice that Pope Francis ("the servant of the servants of God")  (one of the titles of the Papacy)  is visiting these United States, here to remind all Christians that our call to follow Jesus is also a call to love the poor. 

Monday, 21 September 2015

"Frankly, Dr. Ben Carson, I don't give a damn"

"Frankly, Dr. Ben Carson, I don't give a damn" about your assertion that no Muslim should become President unless she/he positively disavow Sharia Law.

"Frankly, Dr. Ben Carson, I  give a damn"   because you are so ignorant about the meaning of Sharia.

"Frankly, Dr. Ben Carson, I  give a damn"  because I doubt that you have ever seen a Koran, let alone read one.

"Frankly, Dr. Ben Carson, I  give a damn" because your narrow and sectarian views (and they are yours to hold) are in direct conflict with our Constitution.

"Frankly, Dr. Ben Carson, I  give a damn" because I do not wish to see a United States which is led by a person with his own Christian "spin" on how we should be governed.

"Frankly, Dr. Ben Carson, I  give a damn" because the Islam-aphobia which you endorse is no different than the anti-Catholic, anti-Irish, anti-Italian, anti-Jewish, anti-Negro *  attitudes which have been a consistent part of American history.

"Frankly, Dr. Ben Carson, I  give a damn" because the American people need a vision of hope, not a manifesto of fear.

"Frankly, Dr. Ben Carson, I  give a damn" because our (mostly) noble Constitution trumps your sectarian stance.

"Frankly, Dr. Ben Carson, I  give a damn" because you do not assent to the Constitution. see:- 

The No Religious Test Clause of the United States Constitution is found in Article VI, paragraph 3, and states that:
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.
"Frankly, Dr. Ben Carson, I don't give a damn" about the religious or irreligious views of any President or potential President just so long as she:

1,  Upholds the Constitution and the Rule of Law.
2, Governs without sectarian bias.
3, Has learned, and is willing to learn yet more.
4. Has a track record of wise and fruitful leadership in public and/or private life.
5. Has a demonstrable ability to be corrected (every President needs a truth-teller in his Administration, one  who will "tell the Emperor when he has no clothes") .

Given that, (and a few other considerations which I cannot call to mind as I write!) I have no concerns about the religious faith, or the absence of faith,  of any aspirant to the U.S. Presidency.

Better, I think, a wise Muslim President than a foolish Christian.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

"The Donald" can't do his sums (or "Let's boot out naughty Canadians and Europeans")

According to Mr Donald Trump there are upwards of thirty million people from other countries who are in the U.S.A. without permission to stay.

He evidently pulled this figure out of thin air.  The best estimates suggest that we are home to some 11.2 million  (high estimates suggest 13 million) undocumented residents.

"We are"  says Mr. Trump "to deport them, and build the mother of all walls between the United States and Mexico".

Let the deportations begin.

We'll start with the easiest, the 600,000 who are here from Canada and from Europe.

Do you suspect that some of your neighbours are Canadians or Europeans who are here without papers.  How will you know if those neighbours are from Canada or from Europe?

Here are some tests.

1.  Are they exceedingly polite?  Could be a clue that they are Canadian.  (Be careful, they might  be from Minnesota or North Dakota).

2.  Run a second test.  Get them to sing "O Canada"  (in English or French). That will rule out polite Americans.

3. Discern if they talk funny.

That being the case -  they are undoubtedly Canadian.

But be careful.  They may be snow birds who spend a lot of money, and pay billions on sales taxes or property taxes here.   We only want to deport the worst kind of Canadians don't we?

And a alert -  some of these funny talking  neighbours might be from Europe.  You'll know this if they have failed the "O Canada" test.

That being the case, you can check up on them in two ways.

1,  Make them sing "The Star Spangled Banner" on key, with all the right notes and all the right words.

2, Ask them the name of President Buchanan's wife.

If they fail these tests, then back to Europe they go.

Thus you will have identified the Europeans who are naughty people, and shouldn't be here.

That was easy eh?


For the sake of argument we'll suppose that this 600,000 people are split up 50%/50%

That being the case we'll fly the 300,000 Canadians home.

For that we will need a fleet of Airbus A 380 'planes.  They can seat up to 900 passengers, but with a bit of gracious Canadian seat sharing we could probably shoe horn in 1,000.

We'll need enough of these 'planes for three hundred flights.  (Worry not, the Canadian Government will be happy to purchase them).

The logistics will be simple.

Departures will be from three of America's under utilised airports, Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta.

For the ease and convenience of our departing "friends from the north" the L.A. flights will be to Edmonton; the Chicago flights to Regina; and the Atlanta flights to Gander.

Next, the 300,000 Europeans. 

Like it or not the United Kingdom component will have to be identified as European,  I know that this is an unbearable hardship.

In the case of naughty Europeans, we will use economies of scale and transport them home using the  Cruise ships which can carry 5,000 passengers. It will need  only sixty one way trips. (5,000 x 60 = 300,000). The patriotic American Cruise Line owners will donate their ships and services free of charge.

Those bad Europeans who live west of the Mississippi will depart from that  liberal bastion in California, namely San Diego. Then it will be a hop, skip and a jump through the Panama Canal, and from thence "Eastward Ho".

Those who live east of the Mississippi will embark from ultra-conservative Boston.  (So tough for liberal Scandinavians I know).

Arrival points in Europe will be limited.

First, Liverpool (on the beautiful Mersey-side  Riviera).

Second,   Civitavecchia  (renowned for Italian efficiency).

Third, Piraeus, Greece  (not much happening there).


These plans are all so logical and simple that "The Donald" himself might have created them.  But I claim credit.


Having booted out 600,000 bad Canadians and Europeans, the next stages are a piece of cake.

We will deport (without any expense to the U.S. Treasury) other naughty U.S. residents, such as

300,000 from China,

450,000 from India.

525,000 from Guatemala.

675.000 from El Salvador  ("The Saviour")

350,000 from Honduras,

200,000 from the Philippines.


Should  Donald Trump,  Republican ideologues, and and other anti-immigrant groups  insist that first we expel first the naughty girls and boys, from Canada, Europe, China, India, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, the Philippines et al ,(especially the devious Brits),then  we'd be able all join hands and sing Kumbaya,

Then  we could/should  gently request our immigrants from Mexico to build an enormous wall on the boundaries of Mexico and the U.S.A.

(A wall which will be our own prison wall).

That being done, we will (according to Mr Trump) demand that the Mexican Government foots the bill for this wall.

Mexico will of course pay up: leaving us free to expel  the 5.5 million Mexicans who mow our lawns, staff our nursing homes, harvest our crops, care for our children,  and dig our ditches.

It's all simple.

 It won't cost us  a penny.

 I wish that I had thought of this before "The Mighty Donald" did so.

My God, he is so brilliant.

Women's Reproductive Health/Global Warming/Climate Change

Ask any Republican Party Senator, Representative in Congress, or aspiring Presidential election nominee about the disaster which awaits our Planet as a result of Global Warming, or Climate Change.......

........He or she is most likely to reply with these obfuscating and disingenuous words: "I am not a Scientist".

Ask that same person about the Reproductive Health of Women, and she/he will never say "I am not a Gynecologist".