Scott Morrison has just made the boogeyman redundant #auspol

Several children are missing in South Australia after two others were removed from school and placed in immigration detention centres.

Quotes from Refugee Action Coalition spokesman Ian Rintoul:

“They’re at the whim of the department.”

“The fact they were snatched out of school is an indication of how (the Department) operates with no concern for the kids involved.

“It’s a general phenomenon at the moment. The department is cancelling visas, bringing people in, sending people back. There is general fear in the community.”

Parents: you may now start terrorising your children into eating their steamed vegetables with the prospect of indefinite detention in a shipping container on a small, hot island where the locals want to kill you and the prison guards can’t stop them.

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Ruminations on the Great Barrier Reef, asylum seekers and sharks

This is a very odd country. In one corner we have a state government indiscriminately executing sharks on the off-chance that it might prevent the very off-chance that someone might get attacked, apparently in the name of tourism (maybe they’re planning a flake n’ chips festival). In the opposite corner, one of our greatest tourism drawcards, the Great Barrier Reef, is being sacrificed by our federal government – World Heritage listing, already threatened status and vital, unique ecology be damned – so a small group of obscenely wealthy sociopaths can generate a slightly larger profit for a small amount of time. At the top, the feds are so frightened of frightened people in leaky boats that they’ve sent our Navy up there to frighten them some more.

This is all costing lots of money so here’s my solution:

Move the Great Barrier Reef north of Darwin to keep all those scary boats full of scary brown poor people from being able to land in Australia. Move all the sharks to the water between us and the reef (better deterrent value than guard dogs, but slightly harder to train). Have the Navy depth-charge a couple of decent holes in the Reef to let smog-tankers through to that shiny new port in Queensland, then just guard the holes (instead of the whole ocean). Two birds, etc.

Come on, give it a chance – it can’t be any stupider than what’s already happening.

Pat pwns Pope

Pat Condell should require no introduction to any heathen who’s been on the web longer than five minutes. If you’re at 4:59, go check out his channel now. Here’s his latest:

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The Catholic Church: I’m fucking exhausted

Time and again on this blog I have railed, ranted & raved about the Catholic Church’s continuing and baffling desecration of children, its preference for its own dogma over life itself and its general mockery of humanity. Lately, still more revelations of child-rape by Catholic priests have surfaced, this time from Germany. These revelations of course come with the standard cover-up allegations, one instance involving Pope Ratzinger himself, back when he was an archbishop in Munich.

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I could go on. There’s plenty of material here. I could rant, rave, ream & rail; ironically pontificate & passionately excoriate; scream and cry and wail and bawl and jump up and down in a fit of righteous anger. But I won’t. Not today. I’m just fucking exhausted.

I can’t keep up any more. Every time I turn around there’s another filthy fucking priest with his cock out. Every time I open a newspage or blog the words “Catholic” and “abuse” are right there in the same sentence, frequently with “scandal” and “coverup” close behind them. The only thing that seems to change is the country whose children were and are still being afflicted with the spiritual cancer that is Catholic authority. Via Greta C and PZ I even find that there’s some mouth-breathing point-missing troglodyte named Andrew Brown actually attempting a defense of the decades of Vatican-enabled child rape, seemingly by saying “we’re not the only institution to employ thousands of child-rapists so stop picking on us.” I suppose it’s true what they say: there is nothing in this world so unconscionably horrible and unquestionably cruel – flat fucking wrong – that you couldn’t find one morally tainted fuckwit to defend it.

I could devote another long & angry blog post to this shit, but I won’t. Not when others say everything I want to say. Links to follow.

Greta C illuminates the point Andrew Brown misses – it’s not the scandal per se, it’s the Vatican’s response:

The Church knew about widespread reports of priests repeatedly molesting children… and instead of acting to protect the children, they acted to protect the priests, and themselves. Thus deliberately and knowingly putting more children in the way of known child rapists, solely for their pure self-interest.

Repeatedly. Time and time again. In every part of the world. As a cold-blooded matter of Church policy.

That is the scandal.

Hitch:

The pope’s entire career has the stench of evil about it.

I could not agree more. Ratzinger’s stench is palpable even if you excise the part where he was a Hitler Youth, for which he may not be entirely culpable (though it probably drove him straight to the Church; I hypothesise that being a Junior Nazi made him used to following orders from jumped-up little tyrants in shiny uniforms and quite probably instilled in him the desire to become a jumped-up little tyrant himself).

Linkfarm:
Apologist: “everyone else rapes children, Catholics aren’t that bad”
Greta C rips into a morally bankrupt apologist for child rape
So does PZ!
Ratzinger covers up abuse while archbishop in Munich
Excorcist: “Satan at work in the Vatican”
Christopher Hitchens tears Ratzinger a new one

I’m just tired. And I’m just waiting for the world to see that the Roman Emperor, despite his gilded finery, is wearing no clothes and probably never has been.

Ugh. What a ghastly mental image.

Sinead O’Connor rocks

In response to a recent story about an Irish bishop asking parishioners to pay Vatican legal fees incurred in the process of answering endless abuse allegations, Ms O’Connor wrote an article in The Independent which finished with this:

And if Jesus Christ is to be seen in the vulnerable of this world, then all the church has done is crucify the man over and over and over again.

If Christ was here, he would be burning down the Vatican. And I for one would be helping him.

Sinead O’Connor, you officially rock. If the day ever came to burn the Vatican to ashes I’d happily stand with you with a box of Redheads matches.

Hey, did you know matches used to be called “lucifers”?

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Catholic bishop asks parishioners to cover rape case costs

Wait … what?

Just when you thought the Papacy and its capos couldn’t get any more depraved:

BISHOP Denis Brennan is asking parishes in the Diocese of Ferns to help the church pay outstanding compensation and legal bills arising from clerical sex abuse cases. The bishop made his controversial appeal while addressing the AGM of the diocesan finance committee in the Riverside Park Hotel on Monday night.

Okay, sure. Why shouldn’t we help the richest religious organisation in the world pay to defend its own crimes of rape, negligence & culpability?

‘Funding sought is not about sharing the blame, it is about asking for help to fulfill a God-given responsibility.’

Nobody is looking to share the blame because the blame is all yours. Everybody is asking you people to fulfill your own “God-given” responsibility.

To say that ‘I did not cause the problem’ should not be the response of the Christian, he said.

Is it okay if the victims or their families say that?

It should be, he said: ‘I would like to help in the work of justice, healing, reconciliation, a safer environment for children in the future, proper financial stewardship and overall good economic health.’

No, you cassocked clown, that should be the response of the Vatican and the Vatican alone. It’s the Vatican who was aware of the abuse for decades, it’s the Vatican who spent those decades covering it up; therefore, it is the Vatican and the Vatican alone who should be responsible for justice, healing and reconciling, It is the Vatican who should work to ensure a safer environment for children (my version of a safer environment for children would be to remove them entirely from Catholic churches, but perhaps I’m overreaching).

Similarly, it is the Vatican who should pay every last god-damned penny to every last god-damned lawyer they’ve employed to mitigate the damage. For fifteen hundred years this church has been raking in gold tax-free and now, after decades of constant worldwide revelations of instituionalised child-rape and endless coverups, they have the nerve to cry poor. I’d laugh heartily if I wasn’t disgusted beyond words.

I simply do not understand. I need someone to help me understand. What kind of mentality is at work when the criminal asks its victims to pay for their defence? Is it some kind of “trickle down” effect of Papal infallibility? Is it just the stain of centuries of privilege taking forever to be rinsed out by reason? Do these cerebrally-stunted padres live in such stark isolation from reality that they have lost all sense of empathy? I suppose they do – the evidence keeps stacking up against them. From the Pope with his literally deadly stupidity about condoms to this bishop his hand out, the ranks of Catholicism seem to fairly bristle with a bizarre mashup of certainty, ignorance & entitlement unmatched by anything else I’ve seen (and that’s including neo-conservative Republicans in the US). When religious people accuse atheists of not having any moral compass, please point them to the Vatican and ask “how is their morality superior to mine?”

Appealing for parish donations, [Bishop Brennan] said: ‘I would be grateful for whatever ways you might be able to help me and the diocese to complete a road on which it has been necessary to travel, a road that will hopefully go beyond the requirements of justice and grow in terms of the reconciliation with which we are currently engaged and may be further permitted, or invited, in the future,’ he added.

Uh …

Bishop Brennan said the funding of claims associated with child abuse perpetrated by members of the clergy, continues to impact on the diocese financially.

That’s kind of the point of having to pay reparations, wouldn’t you think? If perpetrators get off scot-free or – lucky them – die before justice can reach them, making the employer who was an accomplice to their criminal behaviour responsible financially makes a lot of sense.

A total of 48 settlements, costing €8,120,7075, have been made to date. Of this amount, €2,138,692 was paid in legal fees.

There are 13 civil actions pending against the diocese with a potential cost of over € 2 million, based on previous pay-outs.

The diocese has also paid €2,121,478 in legal fees for its co-operation with the Bermingham and Ferns Inquiries into the handling of sex assault allegations. It later recovered €650,000 of that from the Government.

Wait. Why did the diocese get to claim some money back? Why does a culpable defendant who is ordered to pay reparations get to have anything? And what then prompts that defendant to ask for more money from the people his employer left to the mercies of rapists?

I don’t think I’ll ever understand the Catholic mindset, either from the point of view of an everyday Catholic who puts up with constant bullshit from their company or from a blinkered idiot of a middle- manager who doesn’t see anything wrong with asking victims to pay for their abusers’ lawyers. I think I need to talk to a few Catholics and see precisely why they still swear allegiance to this gang of corrupt old virgins.

[Tip o’ the mitre to the Paliban]

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Quacks ahoy!

Following on from my previous post calling out a certain quack calling himself “Dr” Mahoney, I bring you this following passage, harvested by PZ, from the site of an uber-quack named Andreas Moritz. Moritz is going in to bat for Mahoney and, true to the quack playbook, threatening a lawsuit. But what really grabbed me is the passage below concerning cancer:

…Constant conflicts, guilt and shame, for example, can easily paralyze the body’s most basic functions, and lead to the growth of a cancerous tumor.

After having seen thousands of cancer patients over a period of three decades, I began to recognize a certain pattern of thinking, believing and feeling that was common to most of them. To be more specific, I have yet to meet a cancer patient who does not feel burdened by some poor self-image, unresolved conflict and worries, or past emotional trauma that still lingers in his/her subconscious. Cancer, the physical disease, cannot occur unless there is a strong undercurrent of emotional uneasiness and deep-seated frustration.

Citation. Needed. You bloodsucking fucking leech. Vampires might be cool right now, but leeches? Not so much. Probably never. You are not a pale, gaunt, romantic, eerily sexy European. You are a small, slimy slug-looking thing with no purpose to your existence but to poo out from a dark, moist crack to remove sustenance from unsuspecting organisms.

Quackery is one thing – go ahead and treat colds with a sugar pill if you want, go ahead and “cleanse” your liver (the liver is self-cleansing if you leave it the fuck alone and stop putting beer through it – did you miss the “liver” part of your alleged medical education?), go ahead and prescribe berries instead of an H1N1 vaccine. But blaming the patient for their own cancer? Wow. That’s so low you should be able to limbo under my fridge and find that dollar coin I dropped there yesterday. Seriously, do it. I need change for the Coke machine.

Cancer quackery shits me – above all other forms of quckery – for many reasons: it’s completely unsupported, it’s dangerous(fatal) if used in place of actual medicine and it places the blame on the patient, which is personally fucking offensive, both to me and I’m sure anyone else whose lives have been touched – mauled – by cancer. I’d like to see this chump waltz into Camp Quality and tell all the kids with the bandanas playing theatre sports that their leukaemia is their own fucking fault. Or offer them a goddam liver cleanse.

Why does this get up my arse so much? Last week I lost a cousin to cancer which had metastasized from her lymph nodes and invaded her entire body; a year or more ago she was given months to live. What kept her alive, from her diagnosis eleven years ago until last week? Not counselling or prayers. Not cleansing diets. Not reiki. It was science-based medicine with proven effiicacy: chemo & radiation – combined with her utterly dogged determination to live and squeeze some more love and joy out of a life she knew was coming to a premature end. Additionally, in recent years we almost lost an aunt to breast cancer; my grandfather had cancer of the prostate; Mrs M’s dear friend has been battling cancer for almost a decade with more ups, downs, scares and elation than anyone should have to tolerate; a dear friend of mine lost his mother to non-Hodgkins lymphoma after an epic twelve-year battle. Numerous other friends have numerous other stories about people they’ve loved having scares, having biopsies followed by sighs of relief or sleepless nights; fast, traumatic exists or long, drawn out wars with their own bodies. Indeed, you could walk into any room anywhere and rapidly find similar from perfect strangers. But what is it that saved their lives or kept them alive until nothing more could be done? Not some preachy, hair-trigger, lawsuit-brandishing supplement-flogger who namedrops woomeister Deepak Chopra in a threatening letter to a blogger and blames the victim for their own illness. Would this chump blame me for being born with chronic asthma? There’s a lot wrong with my body that’s my own fault, certainly, but what people need to accept is that, sometimes for perfectly logical reasons and sometimes for no reason at all, people get sick and they die. Sometimes young – sometimes too young. Moritz capitalises on this fear of the unknown, this fear of shit happening, tells you it’s your fault then offers you The Way Out. Much the same way the Bible sets you up, from conception, as a worthless Hellbound sinner … and then offers you Jesus. Makes me sick.

Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor and this isn’t a considered medical opinion. However: it is my personal opinion Andreas Moritz is a fucking quack.

Not just a quack, he’s a cancer quack. Possibly the worst, most despicable kind. The kind which blames the victim for their cancer and then tells them to eschew actual medicine in favour of whatever he’s flogging on his website (remember: one particularly quacky callsign is the constant selling of “remedies”). In light of the fact that this shit costs peoples’ lives, “quack” almost seems to harmless a word for this guy. Suggestions?

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