PHETCHABUN – Early one Thursday morning, a gun was pointed at Ms. Kwanla Saikhumtung, a 34-year-old mother, because she was farming.
The man who pointed the gun was one of ten armed officers from Phu Pha Daeng, the local wildlife sanctuary in Lomsak district. After observing the villagers for three days, the officers finally informed Ms. Kwanla and twelve fellow villagers from Huay Kontha that they were trespassing on wildlife sanctuary land. They demanded that the villagers come to the police station to talk with them….
This incident was the beginning of a seven-year-long legal battle, pitting Ms. Kwanla against the Thai government. She and the other twelve villagers — the youngest only sixteen at the time — were first charged with trespassing.
The real shock, however, came when they were slapped with a 470,000 baht fine for contributing to global warming under the charge of causing environmental damage.
Monthly Archives: June 2012
…Brendan O’Neill says so.
There are many bad things about the modern atheistic assault on religion. But perhaps the worst thing is its rebranding of certain religious practices as “child abuse”. Everything from sending your kid to a Catholic school to having your baby boy circumcised has been redefined by anti-religious campaigners as “abuse”. This use of emotionally loaded language to demonise the practices and beliefs of people of faith has reached its ugly and logical conclusion in Germany, where a court has decreed that circumcision for religious purposes causes “bodily harm”, against boys who are “unable to give their consent”, and therefore should be outlawed.
This is an alarming attack on freedom of religion and on parents’ rights to initiate their children into their faith.
No, it’s an attack on anyone’s right to viciously mutilate a person who is unable to resist their physical assault. The reasons for assault are immaterial — literally.
Comments on the article are both hidden and closed — suggesting that perhaps they didn’t get the enthusiastic endorsements they were looking for.
Janet Fraser was not in court as a coroner ended an inquest into the death of her baby girl Roisin, but the Deputy State Coroner Scott Mitchell took aim at her views on the controversial practice, describing them as ”wrong”, ”extravagantly expressed” and ”quite insensitive” to the potential for harm….
Roisin died a few minutes after being born in the early hours of March 27, 2009. Ms Fraser, who runs the Joyous Birth website, had elected to have the ”free birth” with only her partner, Trevor Stokes, and friend Marianna Duce on hand throughout….
”Essentially [Ms Fraser] trusted in the assistance of two unqualified people, previous birthing experiences which seem to me to have been less than uncomplicated … homeopathics which she says she had gathered, and in her own emotional resilience.”
Words fail me.
A court in Germany has ruled that circumcising young boys for religious reasons amounts to bodily harm.
In a decision that has caused outrage among Jewish and Muslim groups, the court said that a child’s right to physical integrity trumps religious and parental rights.
The case involved a doctor who carried out a circumcision on a four year-old that led to medical complications.
Thousands of Muslim and Jewish boys are circumcised in Germany every year.
Although male circumcision – unlike female circumcision – is not illegal in Germany, the court’s judgement said the “fundamental right of the child to bodily integrity outweighed the fundamental rights of the parents”.
Circumcision, it decided, contravenes “interests of the child to decide later in life on his religious beliefs”.
Listen carefully. This is what the voice of reason sounds like.
Nice to do a salacious story now and again…
Bishop Fernando Bargallo, 57, was forced to hand in his resignation after photographs emerged this month showing him frolicking and embracing the woman at a luxury resort in Mexico.
Bargallo, who led the Argentine diocese of Merlo-Moreno outside Buenos Aires since May 1997, has reportedly admitted to having “amorous ties” with the woman he is seen embracing in the water, thought to be a divorced restaurant owner….
The news broke as the Vatican ousted the founder of an Italian mission for “serious immoral behaviour,” after it emerged he had sex with female missionaries during a posting in South America.
Luigi Prandin, who founded the Villaregia Missionary Community, was ousted along with co-founder, Maria Luigia Corona, who knew of the liaisons but covered it up because she feared a scandal.
“It appears that somehow human beings have been infiltrating the ranks of Catholic clergy,” said a Vatican spokesthing. “An investigation is under way.”
…western media such as the BBC reported that a 20-year-old equestrian would compete for Saudia Arabia and light up the London Olympics with her talent, charisma and – most important of all – faith in feminist progress. Not only is Dalma Malhas a fine horsewoman, but she apparently believes in the potential of autocratic Islamic monarchies to adapt and change. Or, as a gushing profile by one journalist put it, Dalma is ‘‘now emerging as a torch for women in Saudi Arabia by showing how freedom to perform can allow women to achieve their goals’’…
Such euphemisms fail, unfortunately, to convey the full horror of the female condition in a country defined by ultra-conservative Wahhabi Islamic orthodoxy and equally patriarchal tribal customs. Saudi women are currently barred from voting or standing for office, are not allowed to expose any part of their body beyond eyes and hands, and have to have a ‘‘male guardian’’ with them at all times. They have separate entrances for public buildings and are not allowed to drive a car. The black humour that underpins state policy was inadvertently summed up in a recent speech by King Abdullah, who said: ‘‘I want women to drive when society is ready for it.’’
Which perhaps makes it less surprising that less than 24 hours after the BBC reported Malhas’s inclusion in the team, the Olympic federation denied that she would compete. In fact her horse has been out of action for weeks.
I had to leave that last sentence in, in case it was a coded message to our oppressed sisters: “Psst, Fatima! The horse is out of action, but the red chicken still flies.”
Details of the dramatic move to end carbon credit fraud emerged this weekend after three members of a UK gang aiming to steal “as much money as possible” from the public purse were jailed for up to 35 years. Sandeep Singh Dosanjh, Navdeep Singh Gill and Ranjot Singh Chahal, were found guilty of stealing £38m.
Southwark Crown Court in south London heard how the gang set up a chain of bogus companies to trade carbon emission allowances. The convictions, the first in the UK, turn the spotlight on a fraud that has cost European nations an estimated £4.2bn in lost tax revenue, according to the law-enforcement agency Europol.
British customs launched an investigation in 2009 after learning that French investigators had concerns about the growing trade in carbon emission certificates. The certificates – one is the equivalent of one ton of carbon dioxide or an equivalent greenhouse gas – are bought and sold by companies as part of a scheme to encourage them to reduce pollution. They are designed to be a key weapon in the battle against global warming, giving companies a financial incentive to cut their emissions and sell for profit any spare certificates they have.
The official, Major Andrew Craibe, is the Salvation Army’s Territorial Media Relations Director for the Southern Territory in Victoria…
Ryan expressed incredulity that the official Salvation Army handbook cites a scriptural passage which calls for the execution of LGBT people, and asked Craibe how he would respond to a hypothetical LGBT person receiving guidance from the Salvation Army who discovers the homophobic citation..
RYAN: . . . that says, according to the Salvation Army, that [homosexuals] deserve death. How do you respond to that, as part of your doctrine?
CRAIBE: Well, that’s a part of our belief system.
RYAN (cutting in): So we should die.
CRAIBE: You know, we have an alignment to the Scriptures, but that’s our belief.
RYAN: Wow. So we should die.
“This is why we have a Media Relations Director, Serena, to make quite sure that people don’t get the wrong impression about us.”
Second prize, two weeks’ holiday in Zimbabwe!
[The UN has appointed] a new international envoy for tourism: Robert Mugabe.
Improbable as it seems, the Zimbabwean president, who is widely accused of ethnic cleansing, rigging elections, terrorising opposition, controlling media and presiding over a collapsed economy, has been endorsed as a champion of efforts to boost global holidaymaking.
Despite that fact Mugabe, 88, is under a travel ban, he has been honoured as a “leader for tourism” by the UN’s World Tourism Organisation, along with his political ally, Zambian president Michael Sata, 75. The pair signed an agreement with UNWTO secretary general Taleb Rifai at their shared border at Victoria Falls on Tuesday.
Not really religious, just mind-bogglingly stupid — but I suppose by now ‘faithhead’ can be applied to anyone who believes the UN can make rational decisions.
Your taxes at play.
A suicide bomber dressed in a burqa blew himself up near a French patrol in Afghanistan on Saturday, killing four soldiers and wounding five as the Taliban step up a spring offensive.
Elite Afghan police backed by NATO forces ended a 12-hour siege on Friday at a popular lakeside hotel outside Kabul, leaving at least 20 dead after Taliban gunmen stormed the lakeside building, bursting into a party and seizing dozens of hostages.
The night-time assault on the hotel with rocket-propelled grenades, suicide vests and machine guns again proved how potent the Islamist insurgency remains after a decade of war.
If you’re an average US resident, around $230 a year.
Research Report: How Secular Humanists (and Everyone Else) Subsidize Religion in the United States
Ryan T. Cragun, Stephanie Yeager, and Desmond Vega
…pay off, apparently.
People professing to have no religion have moved past Anglicans to become the second-largest grouping after Catholics in the 2011 Census.
Almost 4.8 million people said they had no religion, up 29 per cent from 2006, but the number of people not answering the question dropped by 2 per cent. This suggested that more people were claiming a religious identity (including no religion), said Monash University sociology professor Gary Bouma.
The total Christian population is 13.2 million, or 61 per cent, down three percentage points. Catholics have dropped half a percentage point to 25.3 or 5.4 million, Anglicans are down 1.6 percentage points to 3.7 million, while the Uniting Church is down to 5 per cent, or 1.1 million people.
Take that, accommodationists!
Results like this make my job worthwhile.
Because he weighed as much as a duck? I imagine this to be a pretty good indication of how Sharia law works.
A Saudi man has been beheaded on charges of sorcery and witchcraft, the state news agency SPA says.
The man, Muree bin Ali bin Issa al-Asiri, was found in possession of books and talismans, SPA said. He had also admitted adultery with two women, it said.
The execution took place in the southern Najran province, SPA reported.
Human rights groups have repeatedly condemned executions for witchcraft in Saudi Arabia.
Last year, there were reports of at least two people being executed for sorcery.
The New Economics Foundation’s Happy Planet Index has been inspiring bemusement and mirth since it first appeared in 2006. The third installment, released last week, continues to defy parody with its glorification of lawless, poverty-stricken countries in the name of environmental sustainability.
The index is made up of three elements—self-reported well-being, life expectancy and size of ecological footprint—but is so heavily weighted towards the latter that economic basket-cases, police states and peasant societies score highly at the expense of places in which you would actually want to live. Consequently, Luxembourg, where life expectancy is 80 years and the well-being score is 7.1, finds itself 30 places behind Rwanda, where life expectancy is 55.4 years and well-being is scored at 4.0.
A self-proclaimed al-Qaeda militant took hostages at a bank in Toulouse last night close to where ”scooter shooter” Mohamed Merah lived and was shot dead by police in March.
The man fired a shot and took four people hostage, including the bank’s manager, in the southern French city and wanted to negotiate with the RAID police unit that shot dead al-Qaeda-inspired killer Merah, police said. He released one hostage late last night.
The man surrendered at a police station, carrying the head in one hand and the bloodied sword in the other…
Police said the father, marble miner Oghad Singh, accused his daughter of bringing dishonour to the family and making it hard to find husbands for her two unmarried sisters.
Try the Random Deepak Chopra Quote Generator.
”The cosmos illuminates quantum space time events”
”Knowledge experiences universal life”
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Never be caught without a meaningless platitude again!
…moments after Stig Elling married his partner Steen Andersen in a Copenhagen church last Saturday under new Danish laws allowing such a ceremony, didn’t the citizens of Copenhagen hear a low rumbling sound, followed by a terrifying ripping as Church ruptured from State, “traditional family values” were torn asunder, frogs rained down, locusts swarmed, loins were smited, and satanic, skeletal creatures, with teeth like jagged shards of glass, tore humans limb from limb before feasting greedily on their organs?
– Deborah Ross
*That’s Danish for “Oh, bugger!”
Sister Angela Gramegna is being investigated by police on suspicion of fraudulently pocketing 1.5m euro ($1.9 million) and getting the keys to an apartment in an upmarket Rome neighbourhood.
Investigators have seized the apartment and placed Gramegna under investigation after calligraphy experts decided she wrote and signed the will in which her apparent benefactor, Francesca Di Cesare, left everything she owned to the convent.
Multiple blasts have hit at least three churches in the northern Nigerian state of Kaduna.
A local Red Cross worker told the Associated Press that at least 12 people had been killed and 80 injured in the attacks.
Reports suggest there have been revenge attacks against Muslims in Kaduna city.
No one has yet claimed responsibility for the blasts, but Kaduna state has previously seen attacks by the radical Islamist group Boko Haram.
Probably not atheists, then…
As of writing this blog post, an Associated Press article about our new dinosaur billboards has appeared on many news sites, including ABC News and the Washington Post. The AP article and many blogs indicate that secularists are concerned about them. Isn’t it amazing that they are so worried about one Creation Museum. Think of all the hundreds of secular museums and thousands of secular schools, colleges, and universities where evolution and millions of years are taught as fact—and the secularists are really worried AiG’s Creation Museum! That shows how insecure they really are. Secularists just can’t stand it when information they have censored from the public is being disseminated by us. And they don’t want people thinking for themselves; they want them to swallow their anti-God religion!
Did you spot the mistake on the site? That’s right — they’re missing the Incredible Shrinking God!
House Republicans prohibited state Rep. Lisa Brown from speaking on the floor Thursday after she ended a speech Wednesday against a bill restricting abortions by referencing her female anatomy.
Brown, a West Bloomfield Democrat and mother of three, said a package of abortion regulation bills would violate her Jewish religious beliefs and that abortions be be allowed in cases where it is required to save the life of the mother.
“Finally, Mr. Speaker, I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but ‘no’ means ‘no,’” Brown said Wednesday….
Majority Floor Leader Jim Stamas, R-Midland, determined Brown’s comments violated the decorum of the House, said Ari Adler, spokesman for the Republican majority.
“If I can’t say the word vagina, why are we legislating vaginas?” Brown asked Thursday at a hastily called Capitol press conference. “What language should I use?”
Brown noted “vagina” is the “medically correct term.”
“We’re all adults here,” she said.
Definition of ADULT
1. : fully developed and mature
Well, there’s your problem.
A Florida teacher has been accused of encouraging several of her students to cut and burn each other as part of a pagan ritual to rid their bodies of evil spirits.
Danielle Harkins, 35, allegedly took seven teenagers to a location near a pier in St Petersburg on Saturday and got the ceremony underway by lighting a fire….
St Petersburg Police Department spokesman Mike Puetz said the children chanted and danced around the fire before Harkins urged them to cut each other to release the evil spirits from their bodies.
“They would follow that up with some sort of cauterisation of the wound to keep the evil spirits from getting back into the body,” Mr Puetz said….
Police said interviews with the students involved have been difficult because the children were “quite loyal” and reluctant to disclose what happened…..
A woman who worked with Harkins said she was a good teacher who had recently started exploring religion.
“And then we stuck her head in the fire to.. er .. “
“Hell yes! — eyes, face, everything.”
*Update: [Apparently the answer is 'Yes']
The U.N. is funneling millions of dollars worth of tradable carbon credits to corrupt nations worldwide, including Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Uzbekistan in an attempt to encourage clean energy projects in the developing world…
‘…in an attempt to shore up its own credibility and win votes in the General Assembly.’ There, I fixed it for you,
Iran, Uzbekistan, Sudan, and North Korea are among the more than 70 countries currently hosting CDM projects.
Iran, with 16 separate CDM projects, brings in around 4.8 million CERs, worth about $26 million, every year, despite numerous U.N. sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
Uzbekistan, dominated for the last two decades by the autocratic Islam Karimov, hosts 20 different CDM projects, with a combined annual value of over 7.5 million CERs, or roughly $40 million.
Sudan … is on the receiving end of two different CDM projects, with a combined annual value of over 180,000 CERs, or almost $1 million.
North Korea is hosting seven hydroelectric dams, which may generate over $1 million in CERs annually.
Your taxes at work.
A co-ordinated wave of car bombs has struck Shi’ite pilgrims in Baghdad and several other cities, killing at least 70 people and wounding more than 200 in one of the deadliest days in Iraq since US troops withdrew from the country.
The bloodshed comes against a backdrop of political divisions that have raised tensions and threatened to provoke a new round of the violence that once pushed Iraq to the brink of civil war.
Nobody immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, but they bore the hallmarks of Sunni insurgents who frequently target Shi’ites in Iraq.
A few years ago, such biologists as Richard Dawkins and PZ Myers [right] started violating the nonaggression pact. [Which isn't to say the violation was wholly unprovoked; see my update below.] I don’t just mean they professed atheism–many Darwinians had long done that; I mean they started proselytizing, ridiculing the faithful, and talking as if religion was an inherently pernicious thing. They not only highlighted the previously subdued tension between Darwinism and creationism but depicted Darwinism as the enemy of religion more broadly.
If the only thing this Darwinian assault did was amp up resistance to teaching evolution in public schools, the damage, though regrettable, would be limited. My fear is that the damage is broader–that fundamentalist Christians, upon being maligned by know-it-all Darwinians, are starting to see secular scientists more broadly as the enemy; Darwinians, climate scientists, and stem cell researchers start to seem like a single, menacing blur.
I’m not saying that the new, militant Darwinian atheists are the only cause of what is called (with perhaps some hyperbole) “science denialism.” But I do think that if somebody wants to convince a fundamentalist Christian that climate scientists aren’t to be trusted, the Christian’s prior association of scientists like Dawkins with evil makes that job easier.
Hell, yes, why look for actual reasons when you have a bunch of New Atheists just sitting around waiting to be blamed?
And as for persuading people that ‘climate scientists’ aren’t to be trusted, the ‘climate scientists’ themselves are doing a pretty good job.
Not that it’s done anything wrong, no siree! Or plans to — good heavens, no! And these are not the droids you are looking for.
The organization responsible for managing a global cap-and-trade system worth billions of dollars for carbon emissions projects around the world is trying to get sweeping legal immunities for its actions, even as it plans to expand its activities dramatically in the wake of the United Nations’ Rio + 20 summit on sustainable development, which starts June 20…..
Internal UNFCCC documents, examined by Fox News, show that among other things, top officials hope to use those immunities to avoid challenges in the future based on such things as:
–possible conflicts of interest in their duties,
–breaches of confidentiality in their work,
–violations of the due process rights of those affected by UNFCCC actions,
–making decisions or actions that are beyond the legal mandate of the organization or its subsidiaries.
I wonder if these guys are taking lessons from the Vatican…
A two-alarm fire on Saturday morning destroyed the Los Altos office of a psychic business and caused minor damage to a building next door, a Santa Clara County Fire Department spokesman said.
No injuries were reported.
Fayette County Sheriff’s deputies say they found ample evidence to charge the prominent televangelist and author with simple battery, family violence and cruelty to children.
Dollar’s 15-year-old daughter alleged her father grabbed her by the throat in the family’s home on Sandy Creek Road in Fayette County, pushed her to the ground and then beat her with his shoe, according to the incident report. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is not identifying the girl because she is a minor.