In lieu of propper content, and because I'm a) doing more childcare than normal and b) getting addicted to the damn wii, have some links to posts by others that you should be reading.

Firstly, on the Atheist Bus campaign[1], three scientist bloggers, Dave Godfrey, Debi Linton and Strangefrontier who says:
Dear Christians on my friendslist, when you feel that atheist campaigners are generalising about your whole faith and railing against you, the real target is folks like Stephen Green. The problem is that he and others like like are so damn loud and have such a constant media presence, they drown out the normal, decent and sane* Christians. No matter what positive PR you throw out there, the attention will be given to some cunt shouting, "God hates fags!"
I especially liked Dave's line If he didn't exist I think the atheists would have to invent him, he's launched a case on which the crux is he has evidence of the existence of God. Well, like Dawkins, if you can give me some proof I'll change my opinion...

Anyway, next topic. Woolworths has shut down. Since he finished his degree, [livejournal.com profile] doctorvee has been working for them, in a number of branches, and I heartily recommend his series of posts on the history of the company and the experiences of working there in its dying days. Like him, I loved Woollies as a kid but found them fairly pointless as an adult, they definitely had no clue what they were trying to be as a chain, and Wilkinson's have definitely displaced a lot of their business in Yorkshire. I had no idea that the company had started out as the early equivalent of a pound store, they only dumped their fixed price policy because of rationing during the war.

Sad news however. Number 6 is dead. In an era where his "I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered, I am a free man" speech has increasing relevence, it remains an iconic series and I really hope they don't mess up the reimagined version with Sir Ian as Number Two. RIP Patrick, you were great.

Cool news: Molecular Analysis Confirms Tyrannosaurus Rex's Evolutionary Link To Birds. They didn't die out, they evolved. Next time you eat a chicken dinner, that's one of T-Rex's relatives you're chomping down on ;-)

Want: Trends Are Cyclical: the Asus Eee Keyboard. It a complete fully functioning computer, all inside thin keyboard. How cool is that?

Have to say, I pretty much agree with Tim here, economic protectionism makes us poorer and damages our economy more than it benefits us. Buy British if you want, but if it's not the best deal, buy whatever, the economy benefits from the transaction regardless. ETA: Friday's More or Less is a politics special starring Vince! Yay!

Last up, [livejournal.com profile] innerbrat wants to declared this year as the International Year of True History to commemorate both Darwin and Galileo. She's wrong to call it "true" history of course, everyone knows that real history started at about 1600, everything before that is pre-history, but it's a nice idea.


[1] From which I've taken this icon, I yoinked the LJified version from [livejournal.com profile] strangefrontier but it was designed by [livejournal.com profile] jonworth_eu_fd who coordinated the intial fundraising campaign before it all got a bit bigger than anyone expected. I'd forgotten how good a blogger he is until I found him on Twitter, Labour party members that can actually write well about politics are worth paying attention to, methinks[2].

[2] On a similar line, [livejournal.com profile] blimpish_fd is back, one of the few Tory bloggers that doesn't make me want to shout at the screen at the idiocy and ignorance.
This brightens my day. Fundamentalist campaigner Stephen Green may have to declare bankruptcy as a result of the court case I covered last December. He has apparently asked us licence payers to cover the costs:
in the interests of goodwill and justice
Seriously. This petty little fundamentalist bigot who misused a long outdated law as part of his personal crusade against freedom of expression now wants to be let off the costs of the case in the name of "goodwill".

No Mr Green, you lost any goodwill when you continued your petty campaign long past any sensible point. You lost our goodwill when you declared your intent to appeal against the ruling in a petty and vindictive manner. You want justice Mr Green? You've got it. Pay up, the justice system demands those who bring frivolous cases pay the costs when they lose. Your own Press Release doesn't even manage to persuade me:
'It should be enough for Mark Thompson and Jonathan Thoday that they got away with blasphemy, insulting God and the Lord Jesus Christ, at least in this life. For these rich, powerful men to pursue me into the bankruptcy courts over money I don't have would be vindictive.'

Both sets of solicitors have also threatened to chase the donors who gave the money for the original action, but it is far from clear that a court would allow that. Even if it did, Green is adamant that he will protect the donors' identity, even if that puts him in contempt of court.

'I should go to prison rather than reveal their names, even if I could remember who they were,' he told both Thompson and Thoday.
It's no more vindictive than the way you waged your national campaign against the Opera, picketed theatres, threatened charities and called for boycotts of stores, persuading Sainsbury's and Woolworths to withdraw the DVDs out of fear of protests from your annoying coterie of fellow extremists.

You complain about the money the BBC 'wastes' on things you disapprove of (such as a Gaelic TV channel, the digital services, etc) but now want it to waste money covering the costs of your pettiness? No. You brought the case. Time to pay the piper.

For those interested, there's an online petition and a Facebook group as well.
This post now cross-posted to Liberal Conspiracy by request.
Following up from yesterday, this morning's best radio show award goes to Stewart Lee proclaiming the Devil gets the best tunes. Lee of course is co-creator of Jerry Springer: The Opera, and the show, available on Listen Again, has interviews with Andy Hamilton about [livejournal.com profile] oldharrysgame and a bit about the Faustian elements of the Charlie Daniels Band song Devil Went Down To Georgia (which is one of the most played MP3s on my phone). I commend it to you all as a damn good listen.

Unfortunately, Media Watch Watch is less positive about yesterdays court decision:
As it stands, the two judges concluded that the play could not be considered blasphemous “in context”, and as a whole was not and could not reasonably be regarded as aimed at, or an attack on, Christianity or what Christians held sacred. This leaves open the possibility that if some other work could be considered as being - in context - an attack on “Christianity or what Christians held sacred”, then its creators might still be prosecuted under this stupid law.
and Green's bunch of extremist lunatics are going to appeal--here's hoping the Lords really quashes this silly outdated law and tells Green to go get a life. Money quote from the loon himself?
I’m really sympathetic to the freedom of speech argument. But blasphemy is not a matter of free speech, it’s people going out of their way to offend almighty God.
I'm in favour of free speech, except when it's not convenient to me. Mr Green? That's not the point.

Ah well, in more lighthearted news, this map of the world's transit sytems is absolutely brilliant (via).
There are some days, y'know, when the British legal system does us all proud. Two different stories today. Stripogram copper walks on offensive weapon rap | The Register:
Kennedy was dragged before the beak at Aberdeen sheriff court on the offensive weapons rap. However, Sheriff Kenneth Stewart ruled he had no case to answer.
Because arresting a strippogram for 'impersonating a police officer', being forced to drop those charges then chasing him for something else is a really good use of resources. But, much more importantly. BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Springer opera court fight fails:
two senior judges at the High Court said the 1968 Theatres Act prevented any prosecution for blasphemy in relation to public performances of plays - and the 1990 Broadcasting Act prevented any prosecution in relation to broadcasts.

They said it was reasonable to conclude Jerry Springer - The Opera "in context" could not be considered as blasphemous, as it was not aimed at Christianity, but was a parody of the chat show genre.
That's right, the courts have told "Christian" Voice director Stephen Green to go fuck himself--and this has to be a good thing, his extremist nonsense gives sensible people of faith a really bad name. More context on him and his censorship campaign at an old post of mine.
Sainsbury's and Woolworths have withdrawn the Jerry Springer DVD from sale after pressure from "Christian Voice", the lunatic fringe fundamentalists that want to deny you the opportunity to make your own mind up. I've ranted about it (a lot) on the blog, but this infuriates me so much I'm reposting the lot here under a cut. My MP is writing to the two company's, as are a few others, ask yours to, details on how in there.

Regardless of whether you like the show, censorship is not the answer, and I really fear the slippery slope on this one. The full blog entry, including links, information, data and contact details )
Until they change their policy on this, I'll not be going into a Woolworths or Sainsburys except to complain. I urge you to do the same.



Full entry here.

In other news, another reason to dislike Wikipedia. It's not like it's ever going to be fixed the way they're going with it. Read more... )

Arsehole neighbour had a party last night, kept me awake till 4am, so my normal nocturnal activity is now curtailed, I've typed up what I felt the need to and assuaged my anger, now, to bed. Not sure whether to read Prince Caspian, Looking for Jake, Northern Lights or Anansi Boys. All are sat there in the "get on with it and finish me already" pile.
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

British Liberal, house husband, school play leader and stepdad. Campaigner, atheistic feminist, amateur baker. Male.

Known to post items of interest on occasions. More likely to link to interesting stuff. Sometimes talks about stuff he's done. Occasionally posts recipes for good food. Planning to get married, at some point. Enjoying life in Yorkshire.

Likes comments. Especially likes links. Loves to know where people came from and what they were looking for. Mostly posts everything publicly. Sometimes doesn't. Hi.

Mat Bowles

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I'm the Chair of the Brighouse branch of the Liberal Democrats & the membership secretary for Calderdale Lib Dems and run the web campaign for the local candidates. I have a job, a stepdaughter and a life.

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