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I despair of humanity...
This post will condemn particular religious and political leaders. However, I am not going to put it under a cut, as their words and behavior have made the national news.

Firstly, I am now fixed in my determination to keep out of the USA. Dr Peter Watts, award-winning author of the excellent Blindsight amongst others, has been arrested, pepper-sprayed, beaten up, and turned out into the winter on the US/Canadian border sans his car, wallet and coat. Yes, the dear sweet US border guards stuck him out in sub-zero temperatures in his shirtsleeves after public transport had stopped for the night. He is now facing charges of assaulting said border guards. Now, I don't know Dr Watts, but people I trust, like Charlie Stross, do. They say he is not aggressive - but even if he had been aggressive there is no excuse for this behavior. Already, at least one Canadian-based author has said she is not going to Boskone. Dr Watts's friends are asking us to help with what will, undoubtedly, be horrendous legal costs. I am considering reviving my paypal account to do so...

And practically all my flist.

Edit: To make it clearer, Dr Watts is Canadian. He was returning to Canada from the US when the US border guards stopped him. According to the report in the local rag, they are claiming he was entering the US rather than leaving it. If the rest of their reports are as easily disprovable as that one, and the camera records aren't wiped, I expect this case to be dropped

Then there is Our Beloved Ex-Leader, one Anthony Blair, who has now stated that he was determined to take out Sadaam Hussain whether or not he had WMD`- and we now know that Blair had no evidence that said WDMs existed so, basically, what he is implying is that he ordered the evidence made up so that the UN - and Parliament - might go along with it. The man is totally despicable. This is in an interview about his religious beliefs (to be broadcast tomorrow so I can't link to all of it yet) in which he also says that his religion helps him to make the hard decisions. Like that one.

Then, in what should be good news, the Archbishop of Canterbury (who has still to condemn the frightening anti-homosexual laws proposed in Uganda and supported by the local Anglicans and, apparently, instigated by America's more extreme Evangelical Right) has opened his mouth and said this:

"The trouble with a lot of government initiatives about faith is that they assume it is a problem, it's an eccentricity, it's practised by oddities, foreigners and minorities.

"The effect is to de-normalise faith, to intensify the perception that faith is not part of our bloodstream. And, you know, in great swaths of the country that's how it is."

If it was true that Government took no notice of religion (or gave it the same weight as other irrationalities) it would be good news, not bad, Dr Williams. Once again, a religious leader is pleading for special privileges because of tradition and belief. If you want to live in a society based on tradition and belief, Dr Williams, I suggest you take a look at Saudi Arabia, or, for that matter, Afghanistan under the Taliban. It is also unfortunate timing, given what Tony Blair said above.

At the same time, the Pope has called the Irish clerical bigwigs to the Vatican to discuss the report on the systematic child abuse (not just sexual abuse, incidentally) practiced by Catholic nuns and priests over at least the past 30 years. Oddly enough, he has only done this when it appears that the supply of people willing to be nuns and priests in Ireland has dried up and the Catholic church's influence is at its lowest ebb, ever. People are turning Protestant and, even worse, to agnosticism and humanism. What is even more ironic is that it is this Pope who, when a Cardinal, wrote the (then secret, now in the public domain) report to the Vatican that started the "let's keep it quiet" and "let's just move abusing priests to another area" policy.

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When I was little, people used to say they hated Maggie, and I never got that. I could understand that you could disagree with her, but hate seemed strong.

But I loathe Blair. I really hate the man. War in Iraq and faith schools. We can't have selection on the basis of ability but we can have selection on the basis of class through the back door whilst segregating different cultures from each other so that social cohesion decreases.

He really fucked the country over.

Contempt for the current pope is boundless.

My views on Thatcher pale into insignificance in comparison to my views on Blair. And on this occasion I can't be accused of applying hindsight to my views. Mr FB recalls that when he was first tipped for PM I said I didn't trust him, and when asked why, I said "because he's religious." I rest my case.

I didn't trust him because I thought he was a two faced lying little cheat, but then he's a politician. I thought he was going to lie about labour policies to get into power and then go all socialist and redistributive and start taxing me harder. Lying to get into power, still what you expect from a politician.

But no, he was a proper little Thatcherite.

But this? We need to have him prosecuted for war crimes. He really did wage an aggressive war. And for why? Because he prayed with Bush. He's a lawyer, he's married to a human rights lawyer, he has no excuse for not knowing that what he did was wrong and illegal and immoral and did I mention the wrong??!

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I think my hatred for Blair and Maggie is about equal, but then I am older than you (and older than Fred.)

I'm not sure that at even my most inventive I have an adequate vocabulary to convey my utter loathing of Tony Blair. Under no circumstances, based on his example, would I ever give my vote to a politian who would be influenced by religious beliefs, and Mr FB and I intend to research candidates as closely as possible in this regard. It will be interersting to see what can be found out in this regard.

As a lifelong Labour voter it saddens me that they have ruled themselves out of getting my vote as a result of Iraq, Afganistan etc, and hell will free over before this household will vote Tory, so we've got a pretty bloodt short list to check! *sigh*

Words also fail me on the subject of teh Catholic Church, so I'll just stick to loathesome.

I'm in that position as well. I won't vote Tory because Camoeron is Blair come again, and religious and tried to reduce time limits on abortion and allowed the nauseating Dorries to continue spouting lies...

But as a tax practitioner I can't vote lib dem because Cable is a moron on economics / tax. I shall have to vote for someone ...

Monster Raving Loony Party look like a good bet.

I actually quite liked my local Tory MP (even though I didn't vote for her, but then it is an awfully safe Tory seat), for various reasons, but she is one of those swept up in the expenses scandal and may well be de-selected. So it goes.

I shall probably vote Lib-Dem again, as the Greens don't have any decent policies, even if we had a candidate, and I'm not going to vote UKIP...

"As a lifelong Labour voter it saddens me that they have ruled themselves out of getting my vote as a result of Iraq, Afganistan etc, and hell will free over before this household will vote Tory, so we've got a pretty bloodt short list to check! *sigh*"

The first time I voted, I voted Tory. (Well, I was only 18 and there was no credible Labour opposition). Since then I voted Labour until it became clear that Blair didn't even understand what Labour was supposed to be all about. I have a lot of respect for LibDem politicians (you really do have to be a conviction politician to stick with a party that has no chance of being elected) but what it usually comes down to is which of the parties that doesn't actually turn my stomach has managed to field a candidate who actually lives in my area. (We're a labour safe seat in the West Mids. The Tory candidates usually live somewhere like Sussex...)

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In the bit I heard this morning, he claimed that his religious faith helped him with the difficult decisions, and to take the right path.

The weasel word here is "direct". (And Our Tone is really good at weasel words.) He doesn't say that his religion or his God told him what the right decision was (and he dare not, because they "didn't do God" in public.)

Edited at 2009-12-12 11:03 am (UTC)

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It isn't necessary to have a PayPal account to make a donation. You can make a one-time payment through PayPal using a credit card.

I can confirm this because I've made a donation to Peter Watts this way. I encourage others to do the same.

Oh, right; I'd forgotten that. Thanks for bringing it up.

The sad and strange thing about this reliance on spin and opinion-manufacturing is that *they're just not that good at it*! How any people ever really believed in WMDs?

Had we continued into Iraq at the end of the first Iraq war and deposed Saddam Hussein then I'd have been quite happy. OK, he's not the only psycho political leader in the wrld but there was at least a reason for us doing so. The, quite frankly, *insulting* nature of the post 9/11 excuses for targeting the leader of another state - which was only ever a scapegoat for US anger because Saudi Arabia was too important and powerful to target - shows a fundamental problem at the heart of UK and US democracy.

Did you see Rachel Maddowes pulling apart the US "psychotherapist" (unlicensed) whose work was quoted by the Ugandans? Myers linked to it on Pharyngula. Fantastic job. I love her style.

And the Pope discussing the institutionalised abuse? I'm inclined to say it's a bit late now...

Like you I end up just shaking my head in disbelief.

Stop the world, I want to get off...

Did you see Rachel Maddowes pulling apart the US "psychotherapist" (unlicensed) whose work was quoted by the Ugandans?

Indeed! I tend not to link to Pharyngula because I'd end up doing it every day - and most of the atheists, agnostics and people interested in evolutionary biology on my LJ read it. I mean, doesn't everyone?

A lot of members of parliament seem to have supported the (second) invasion of Iraq because they were gullible enough to believe in the WMD.

Are you keeping up with the Iraq inquiry. I wish I could listen to all of it. It's absolutely riveting, and it does show how the US and UK military leaders loathe each other...

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