Monthly Archives: February 2009

31 too many?

This gentleman is either a stud, or a great con-artist.

Goel Ratzon

Goel Ratzon

This Tel Aviv man in his late fifties is living with 32 women with whom he has fathered 89 children, an Israeli television station revealed last week. 

The women are subject to strict discipline, but say that they are all living with Goel Ratzon by their own accord. 

They are not allowed to communicate with men, be in physical contact with their biological family, eat meat, smoke, drink alcohol or dress immodestly.

But still they love and adore him, they’ve even said they’d commit suicide if any one harmed him.

Ratzon is held by his companions to be the savior (Goel in Hebrew) of the universe, and is attributed godly and supernatural abilities. Many of the women have tattooed his name and portrait on their bodies. 

Ah, now we get to the reason – religion. Why is it the women seem to be so happy to subjagate themselves to men in the name of religion?

As someone in the talkback section points out, Goel looks more like he’s 110. I guess having to live with 32 “wives” will do that to you. TIC

from HAARETZ.com

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the things you read

recent articles from online newspapers.

Holocaust denier priest, Bishop Richard Williamson, thinks he’s a rock star?

The Holocaust denying bishop flew out of Argentina under a government expulsion order on Tuesday after scuffling with a reporter at the airport.

A local television station showed Richard Williamson – wearing a baseball cap, a black fleece jacket and dark sunglasses – raising his fist toward a reporter, then shoving him into a pole with his shoulder as he hurried through Buenos Aires’ Ezeiza international airport to catch a flight for London.

Two men accompanying the bishop then grabbed the reporter by his shoulders and held him back by while Williamson hurried away. from smh.com.au

Don’t know what to make of that article?

Web filter debate descends into slanging match.

As most of you should know by now the Australian government wants to filter the internet at the ISP level. Ostensibly to filter out child pornography, but who know what else they may filter? At a recent technology conference a debate on the topic turned into a slanging match when

filtering advocate Bernadette McMenamin, chief executive officer of Child Wise, accused filtering opponents of spreading “hysteria” – a reaction that drew a hostile response from the room. from news.com.au

A journalist pointed out that:

“(Senator Stephen) Conroy himself said that anyone who disagrees with this policy is a supporter of child molestation,”

McMenamin brought out the old “think about the children” to which some one replied:

it is ridiculous and frankly juvenile to suggest that political opponents have faulty morals or support child molesters.

So which side is spreading hysteria?

Gmail porn

Google apologises for the 2 1/2 hour outage of their Gmail service the other day (I never noticed it?)

What was mildly amusing about this story was

Quick-thinking porn-peddlers capitalised on the situation by creating a Gmail user group titled “Gmail Down” that displayed sex pictures and videos to people that went searching for information about the problem. from news.com.au

Heh, filter that Conroy.

Which just goes to show, that no matter what sort of filtering you use those clever little pornographers will find some way to showcase their wares.

Octuplet Mum to star in porno?

Nadya Suleman, the American woman who gave birth to octuplets, has been offered $US1 million ($1.5 million) to star in hardcore porn. from smh.com.au

Not sure how popping out 8 babies at once qualifies you to star in pornos, but what would I know about porn?

That’s three stories in a row about porn, time to change the topic.

Is this the latest in Hijabs?

A designer has unveiled a full face headdress made of real mice and rat carcasses… from smh.com.au

Yes, there is a picture on the linked page.

Deadly Dozen

Finally a slideshow featuring the 12 deadliest Australians.

Click the links to view the full stories.

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The Helicopter

The 'Life Saver 1' helicopter during a water r...

Image via Wikipedia

or, somewhere someone is having a worse day than you.

Not far from where I live is a large regional hospital, as such it has a large emergency unit. Coupled to that unit are various ambulance and rescue services, in particular the Westpac rescue helicopter service. Quite often I hear the helicopter going overhead, in fact I just did (well at least I did two nights ago when I started this blog post), which is what reminded me to finally write this.

My personal life has had some ‘rather ordinary moments’ of late, (and which to some extent are still on-going). Recently whilst on a short jog (and thinking how my life had turned to shit) the rescue chopper flew overhead. I looked up and thought, “if you need the rescue chopper then you must be in serious trouble”. Kind of put my life and troubles into perspective, perhaps things aren’t as bad as I perceive?

Australia has recently had some natural disasters; floods in Queensland, fires in Victoria and NSW (though apparently some of those were caused by arsonists), and the people affected have had a horrible time.

So even though I am having a rather ‘awkward’ time at the moment, it’s nothing compared to a lot of other people.

Which got me to thinking ( a dangerous pastime. lol )

I have heard, and in the past used, the phrase “There but for the grace of God go I”. Which basically translates to ‘god has looked after me but not that other unfortunate person’.

I bet the unfortunate person isn’t thinking quite the same thing.

Also, that phrase is rather selfish, don’t you think?

And what sort of god would go “I’ll strike this person down with x problem, but strike that other person down with the more horrible y problem”? It often seems rather random, sometimes really nice and decent people have such horrible things happen to them, whilst horrible people seem to ‘get away with murder’. Surely there is no god that governs these happenings?

So despite what may be happening to you, there is, quite likely, someone else having a worse time. Whilst I know this is difficult to accept when the “shit” is happening to you, at least these days I realise that it isn’t because god has smiled on me rather than some other poor bastard.

Remember next time you think life is as bad as it gets, look up in the sky. Is that a helicopter transporting someone who has just had their life ruined in a tragic accident, or just your reflection?

This essay is a sort of follow-on from a previous one – Never put your cashews to the side. Blog catharsis feels good.

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Carnival of the Godless #111

The Atheist Blogger is hosting this issue of the Carnival of the Godless #111.

There’s always some good reading at these carnival posts, plus they are a good way to find new atheist bloggers, so check it out.

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Bushfire Memorial

Bushfire

Image by Thingo via Flickr

Sunday 22 Feb 09 will see a Memorial service for the Victorian bushfire victims, held at Rod Laver Arena.

Whilst I commend the idea of having some sort of gathering to enable the victims to grieve and for others to show their respect. I do have a slight problem with aspects of the memorial.

The religious overtones.

A spokesperson on the news tonight exclaimed how it was going to be a great spiritual event. How it was going to be a multi-faith event, with religious leaders from different faiths providing sermons. (joy oh fucking joy, looking forward to those bits … not.)

Now, if I’ve done my research right, god is supposed to be some sort of loving, omnipotent being that can direct all sorts of natural outcomes. So how come he lets numerous fires ravage huge tracts of Victoria, killing over 200 people and destroying over 1,800 homes?

Then, more to the point, how can religious leaders who supposedly believe this shit, then turn around and hold services in His name?

My view, there is probably no god, the bushfires were the result of various natural and man-made occurrences. Many people have lost their lives, or have had close family members and/or friends killed or injured. Many have lost their homes and all their possessions. I can’t imagine how horrible this senseless disaster was to these people, but please don’t bring god into the equation. Surely anyone who has, even remotely, been affected by this (or any other) natural disaster must realise there is no god and this sort of thing is just a case of “shit happens”.

I would be really interested to know what any of the many victims of the Victorian bushfires think about god now.

Finally I’d also like to pass on my sympathies to anyone affected by both the Victorian bushfires and the floods in Queensland.

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Never put your cashews to the side

Cashew nut snack, roasted and salted

Image via Wikipedia

A story of putting off, what you should do now.

Several years ago a dear old lady I knew absolutely enjoyed cashews, but rarely enjoyed them due to their cost and her lack of money. One evening she was having Chinese chicken and cashews for dinner at a relatives. As she found a cashew she would put it aside on her plate so she could enjoy all the cashews at the end of here meal.

Unfortunately she suffered “a bit of a turn” (a suspected mild heart attack) and had to be rushed to hospital, before she was able to finish her meal.

She never got to enjoy those cashews.

I was just watching “Cranford” (a period drama) and was struck by the plight of one of the main characters. This old lady had knocked back a suitor in her youth, finally after 30 years this suitor had resurfaced and she was ready to take that final step. Unfortunately he died after contracting pneumonia before they could finally get married. “never put your cashews to the side

So what does this have to do with atheism (which is what this blog is supposed to be about)? Well apart from being a good rule to live by, I wonder if perhaps it reflects on how some religious people live their lives?

Are religious people “putting their cashews to the side” – the hope of a blissful eternal life with God in some afterlife – without thoroughly enjoying the here and now? The wonders of this world and the amazing people in it should be cherished for what they are. Your life will end and you may find there are no “cashews” at the end of it. So why not accept what is true and here and now, live your life as if that is it, enjoy your “cashews”, BUT make sure everyone else can enjoy their “cashews” too.

 

I feel like I have been putting my cashews to one side over the last few years, perhaps it’s time to start eating them.

What about you, what “cashews” have you been putting aside?

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Love Stinks

Valentines day today, like I give a toss. Over hyped, over commercialised, just another day to sell flowers,  chocolate and tacky greeting cards.

So you give them a card, buy them flowers, chocolate, expensive jewellery; and what do they do?

Throw it all back in your face and treat you like shit.

Anyway it’s all about celebrating a bunch of Christian Martyrs, so why should I care about valentines day?

The sooner it’s February 15 the better, then I won’t have to keep hearing all the lovey dovey crap in all the media.

now wheres that smiley for ‘bitter and twisted’?’

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