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Extreme briefness this week because I was off doing my other hobby looking and photographing at a car rally. I came back with 587 photographs and I have to sort through them for a web site update and also write a story for the local paper (and the deadline for copy doesn't change for my convenience). Back next week (but off again for a rally the week after).
Here's some nostalgia to tide everyone over.
Quintessence Nook (7/3/2020)
Continuing the tradition going back all the way to January 2020, I've plucked some entries from the ancient and retired-like-me Quintessence of the Loon site. Back in 1979 Neil Young reminded us that rust never sleeps. Neither does loonity.
Here are some memories from February and March 2000. We had just survived some of the very dangerous Y2K dates and optimism was in the air. (January 1 when the world was going to end, January 3 when people went back to work and turned on their computers expecting them die immediately, January 31 when accounting software rolled to the next month, February 2 which was 2/2/2000 and the same if you put the month first or in the middle, February 29 which hardly ever happens so nobody tested for it, etc.)
The Nibiruan Council
I can only quote from the site to tell you what this is about: "This website was created at the request of the 9D Nibiruan Council (the Ancient Ones) for those who seek the higher perspective of compassion. It was created for those seeking to recode their DNA, ascend and to help others to the same." Recode your DNA? I like the idea. I also like the idea of beings coming from somewhere else (another planet, another galaxy, another universe?) to help us get our chromosomes in tip-top shape. I've been practising on my cat to see if I can turn her into a python. I'm still having trouble getting the fur to turn into scales, but at least I've got her shedding her whole skin at once so I don't sneeze as much as I used to.
I got to thinking about how I would like to recode my DNA and whose DNA I would like to recode it with. I decided to put my thoughts to music. Students of ephemera may remember that massive hit song of 1999, Mambo #5. Here is the chorus from my version, Genome #9.
|A little bit of Coltrane, I can blow,|
A little bit of Einstein lets me know,
A little bit of Ali in the ring,
A little bit of Elvis makes me sing,
A little bit of Bill Gates' MasterCard,
A little bit of Arnie (lose the lard),
A little bit of Nureyev in my dance,
A little bit of John Holmes in my pants.
AstroQab by Mallukh AHI
To be honest, I don't think I had ever heard of Qalabah before today. Then again, I get surprised every day by something I don't know, but maybe I had come across the concept before under a different name. You know how these New Agers are, spelling things differently all the time - "chi" one day and "qi" the next, for example. To show you what the site is about, consider this (from the page headed "Seed-Tree-Fruit): "The AHIH formula is basically the same as AHI, the only difference being that AHIH emphasises the cyclic nature of AHI. The final Ha (i.e. H2) of AHIH2 symbolises the husk from which the new generation of Aleph-seed is released for the next cycle of creation. In Hebrew the letter 'Ha' is spelled HA ~ that is, Ha-Aleph, showing us that Ha contains the emerging Aleph-inspiration that will impulse and empower the next round of creativity. So in effect the formula unfolds: HA-H-I-HA-H-I...etc." Now, who could argue with that? In the back of my mind I heard an emergence of Aleph-inspirations going HA-HA-HA, so maybe I did understand it after all.
(This site has sadly disappeared. The net is poorer for that.)
Gravity is a PUSH!
Everyone has seen a wall where some wit has proudly written "Gravity sucks", as though nobody had ever thought of such cleverness before. Some people criticise graffiti artists for doing the same thing over and over repeatedly and therefore showing a lack of imagination, unlike, say Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein or Claude Monet. Nobody could accuse the owner of this site of lack of imagination. He has thought up a refutation of 20th century physics. Not only that, but he has refuted the graffitists and given us a new slogan: "Gravity blows!" Well, he says "push" but I like the symmetry of "sucks/blows". Even people more skilled in physics than I (and there are lots of them) will be impressed by the intellectual quality of this patent which proposes a method of keeping satellites in orbit by using the push of the Earth's gravity. At least I think that's what it says. I was repelled by the maths, or maybe that was just gravity working.
(In case you think this is not real, you can check the US Patent Office. I did. Patent 5,377,936)
In a clearing stands a fruitcake and a leader in his trade. He is leaving, 404ing but the patent still remains.
Unarius Academy of Science
"The Unarius Educational Foundation provides information about the evolutionary design of life, the physics describing the mind and brain/body system, explaining the nature of consciousness substantiated by an interdimensional science of life." When I first read that, I didn't really understand what it meant. I cast my mind back to when I studied linguistics, trying to find the verbs. I considered the advice of those great philosophers, Plant and Page, who reminded us that "sometimes words have two meanings", but still the sense eluded me. I ran it back to Martian and then again into English using AltaVista's Babelfish translator, but all I got was a Coke® slogan and a voucher for 100 hours free Internet access. Remembering that I was born on an equinox a few months after a serious UFO sighting, I asked my mother what it meant but she just told me not to be silly and then looked wistfully into the distance. I felt alone, vulnerable, confused. But next year will be better. Then we will know the truth.
Possible apology (14/3/2020)
If everything goes right I will be spending next weekend working on my other hobby, media work at car rallies. It's a round of the Australian Rally Championship and will be held over two days in the forests around Canberra. If I'm there I can't be here.
When I say "if everything goes right" I'm talking about the coronavirus outbreak that is wrecking sporting and cultural events all over the place. There is a possibility that the rally could be cancelled. The spectator crowds won't be as big as some other events and in any case I can read a map so I can find places to take my photos and be effectively isolated from everyone else, but these are fearful times. If events like the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix and Sydney's Royal Easter Show can be cancelled (last time Sydney missed the show was 1919, the year of the big flu epidemic) then it could be a PR disaster to go ahead with an event where spectator numbers can't be predicted in advance and can't be counted on the day. And that would be on top of the tragedy of disease being spread at the event. If I was running the rally I would have already pulled the plug, but if it's on I probably have to be there.
But I'll be OK (14/3/2020)
I haven't looked for a while because I no longer live there but there used to be an office for Kenneth Copeland Ministries in Parramatta, just up the street a little from my office. As Mr Copeland, or should that be The Reverend Copeland, can cure COVID-19 and Parramatta is just a train ride away, all I have to do if the cough gets worse is to go to his place, pay some money and get cured.
The picture shows His Excellency Archbishop Copeland announcing a cure for coronavirus infection on a recent episode of his television show. All viewers had to do was touch the screen and thank Jesus for curing them. Breaking with tradition it was not necessary to actually ask Jesus first but to just assume He would do what the screen toucher wanted. I would imagine that a donation to His Holiness, Pope Kenneth, would have been requested at some time during the show, but what's a little money if you can't spend it because you die?
This follows on from Imam Jim Bakker (PBUH) (he of the air-conditioned dog kennel and the wife with foot long eyelashes) who offered to sell a cure containing magic silver particles. As Monsignor Jim has been in the evangelist business as long as His Eminence Kenneth Cardinal Copeland I would have thought that he would be aware that you don't actually have to sell a curing potion, just ask for the money.
To be serious for a moment, how do these crooks keep getting away with it? I use them as evidence that God doesn't exist because the sort of god I'd want to believe in would send strong bolts of lightning down to turn these blasphemous charlatans into piles of smoking embers.
I probably should say again that I have no problem with the vast majority of religious believers, because that majority just go about their business without hurting anybody. One of my favourite authors on religious matters is John Shelby Spong and I have a fond memory of a priest introducing me to his congregation as his "favourite atheist", but tolerance has limits and it is impossible to have respect for those who abuse religion in order to steal money from desperate and vulnerable people.
Death cures sickness every time (14/3/2020)
I occasionally get asked why I bother with this site and the fight against nonsense and irrationality. Here are some excerpts from a story about a child with the flu. A mother went to a large Facebook group for advice.
One recent post came from the mother of a 4-year-old Colorado boy who died from the flu this week. In it, she consulted group members while noting that she had declined to fill a prescription written by a doctor.
The child had not been diagnosed yet, but he was running a fever and had a seizure, the mother wrote. She added that two of her four children had been diagnosed with the flu and that the doctor had prescribed the antiviral Tamiflu for everyone in the household.
"The doc prescribed tamiflu I did not pick it up," she wrote.
None of the 45 comments on the mother' s Facebook post suggested medical attention. The child was eventually hospitalized and died four days later, according to a GoFundMe started on his behalf by his family.
The mother also wrote that the "natural cures" she was treating all four of her children with - including peppermint oil, Vitamin C and lavender - were not working and asked the group for more advice. The advice that came in the comments included breastmilk, thyme and elderberry, none of which are medically recommended treatments for the flu.
"Perfect, I' ll try that," the mother responded.
The boy died because his mother took the advice of unqualified ideologues over the advice of her doctor. I've seen anti-vaccination liars talk about injecting the "vaccine" Tamiflu into young children's bloodstreams, and when I've pointed out that Tamiflu is not a vaccine (it's an anti-viral medication to be taken after infection), it comes as tablets so it is not injected and no vaccine is ever injected directly into anyone's bloodstream I've been either ignored or abused.
Why do I ever have to explain my absolute contempt for the people who oppose vaccination? How else should a sane person react?
You can read the whole horror story here.
Let's use some ridicule (14/3/2020)
It's no secret that anti-vaccination liars are totally ignorant of all aspects of medicine, immunology, science, epidemiology, statistics, history and almost all other branches of human knowledge. Actually many of the leaders aren't ignorant, they just choose to ignore facts, but the result is the same.
It should come as no surprise then that they are also ignorant of the processes of government and democracy. I don't know how many times I've seen the "Nuremberg Code" brought up for example, with Australia apparently violating this document by mandating vaccination as a requirement for receiving certain government benefits. That Australia is not a signatory to this code (is any other country?) is apparently irrelevant.
The latest example of ignorance of how things work is a petition to Parliament demanding that the government fund research into vaccine safety, because of course nobody has ever done this before. The liars have been so excited about this petition that the leaders have taken to wearing Depends for when they wet themselves in a frenzy. The rest of us risk wet pants from laughing too hard.
The big claim is that the fact that the petition has been listed on a government web site is acceptance by the government that the claim has merit, but out in the real world citizens are free to petition their representatives at any time and on any matter, and the representatives have no obligation beyond presenting the petitions to the relevant chamber whose members can then decide to ignore them completely. Currently open petitions include one for a change of the national bird from the emu to the wedge-tailed eagle (one reason is that when people hear the word "bird" they think of flight and emus can't fly), one to ban reclining seats on domestic airline flights (I'm off to sign that one) and one to sack the board of the Reserve Bank of Australia. I can confidently predict that none of these petitions will be even debated, let alone actioned, no matter how many signatures they attract. One of the now closed and subsequently ignored petitions was a demand for a list of all MPs who think that the Earth is only 6,000 years old. I would have signed that if I'd known about it because I like to know the level of idiocy across parliamentary members, although the clues are sometimes obvious anyway. (We have two major political parties for which climate change denial seems to be a fundamental belief.)
But let's look closely at the one that is causing anti-vaxxers to claim a massive constitutional victory.
The reason for the petition is stated as: (I have applied the Yellow Marker of Lying where appropriate).
Rates of chronic illness in Australian children has climbed simultaneously with the ever increasing vaccine schedule which currently sits at 72 doses for a child to receive from birth to 18 years of age. Strangely, common practice is for a vaccine safety study to test a new vaccine against a different vaccine, instead of against an inert placebo. No safety studies have been done on the combined dosing of multiple vaccines with varying ingredients from multiple manufacturers in each visit, or lasting for the entire course of each vaccine. Diseases which were largely unheard of 30 years ago such as asthma, eczema, anaphylaxis, and life threatening food allergies all involve abnormal reactions of the immune system, and considering a vaccines very design is to alter the immune system, we need safety studies to prove that these often life threatening diseases are not a result of the current vaccine schedule. The recent World Health Organisation Global Vaccine Safety Summit in December 2019 raised shocking concerns over the lack of safety studies surrounding the very same vaccines on the Australian Childhood Vaccine Schedule.
So many lies! My brother suffered from life-threatening asthma as a child and I'm pretty sure he's older than 30. One of the kids in my primary school was bullied because of his eczema.
And here is what they are actually asking for:
We therefore ask the House to fund an unbiased, vaccinated vs fully unvaccinated study to prove the health of our children is in fact better off by following the vaccine schedule. We request that until this study be carried out affirming safety of the current schedule, the coercive No Jab No Pay legislation be repealed and the right to informed medical consent be restored to all Citizens of Australia
And if the government went ahead, what would be the thing tested? How would "health of our children is in fact better" be defined and measured? What if the testing showed that vaccinated children lived longer, had fewer days off from school due to illness and performed better in academic tests? Well, if that happened the research would be dismissed for as many reasons as could be invented.
There is no bar to Australian citizens giving informed medical consent, but there is a problem with them receiving bad medical advice which might affect that consent. What they are asking for here is the right for charlatans to lie to people and for those people to act using those lies as if they are real information.
The real reason for the petition isn't to get the government funding useless and meaningless research, it's so that when the government doesn't do anything at all the lies can be shouted through a bigger megaphone "Government refuses to look at health of children because it knows what it will find".
Liars gotta lie.