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Comments by locka

Go to: Dr Oz and the never-ending infomercial

locka's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by locka

Oprah Winfrey is to blame. Dr Oz was wheeled out as Oprah's "expert" doctor but over time he has devoted more time to reiki, psychic healing, miracle diets and assorted other new age drivel. I assume that is because the sort of people who watch these shows simply aren't interested in boring evidence based medicine.

Doubtless it's been very profitable for him to cross over into quackery but it doesn't say much for his ethics or medical reputation. If he is "respected" I doubt much of that respect comes from his peers. I wonder what would happen if Dr Oz were practicing in the UK. Would he have been struck off by now?

Wed, 06 Jun 2012 14:18:06 UTC | #945871

Go to: Cardinal Brady will not resign over 'abuse failure'

locka's Avatar Jump to comment 78 by locka

I don't believe Brady has any legitimate excuses for his actions at the time or now. It could be argued with hindsight that that perhaps even the secular gardai would have done nothing or deferred the issue back to the church given how influential the church was at the time. But we will never know because the church didn't bother to report this crime let alone press the gardai to prosecute. We could argue that it wasn't Brady's job to second guess his superiors intentions but that doesn't excuse his silence when they failed to act.

Brady failed to live up to the morality his church professes to uphold and betrayed countless children in the worst way possible. A paedophile that Brady and others could have stopped was allowed to continue abusing children for another 20 years. I think Brady's position is untenable. I think that by continuing to cling to power he is just drawing this horrible episode (one of many) out longer than it needs to causing even more suffering to those children now grown. If he has any sense of compassion for the victims or shame for his inaction he should go.

Thu, 03 May 2012 10:53:03 UTC | #939304

Go to: Group blasts Marine Corps for reviving 'Crusaders' name and symbols

locka's Avatar Jump to comment 28 by locka

I hope the "crusaders" have the good sense not to wear badges or insignia in actual combat zone. It's pretty dumb to provoke Muslims by wearing Christian symbols when the US army is desperately trying to win them over.

Tue, 24 Apr 2012 08:37:40 UTC | #936948

Go to: Billy Graham’s daughter: ‘I would not vote for an atheist’

locka's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by locka

I think it's sad for the United States that people more able to make rational, informed decisions based off evidence are actively discriminated against when it comes to running for high office. Under no circumstances should someone who proclaims their decisions to be guided by a voice inside their head be put in any position of authority.

Wed, 18 Apr 2012 09:54:18 UTC | #935441

Go to: Tennessee Goes Monkey Again

locka's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by locka

It beggars belief that a state would so wilfully put itself at a disadvantage when it comes to education and learning.

Mon, 02 Apr 2012 13:17:04 UTC | #931894

Go to: Melvyn Bragg attacks Richard Dawkins' 'atheist fundamentalism'

locka's Avatar Jump to comment 34 by locka

Oh look, the Telegraph does another hitpiece on Dawkins and atheism in general.

Wed, 14 Mar 2012 15:03:58 UTC | #926961

Go to: Romney Defends Conservative Values, Says Obama Has ‘Secular Agenda’

locka's Avatar Jump to comment 41 by locka

You'd think in a country which allegedly puts a wall between church and state that a pursuing a secular agenda would be the default, not something to criticize in the president.

Thu, 23 Feb 2012 13:36:43 UTC | #921039

Go to: On rice and arsenic

locka's Avatar Jump to comment 9 by locka

I suspect that most of the time organic food is like bottled water. People think it's better because the label says it is, not because it actually tastes any different. It's just an excuse to jack up the prices by 50-80% in supermarkets over the same varieties produced by modern means.

Wed, 22 Feb 2012 13:45:48 UTC | #920739

Go to: The Sins of the Fathers [Also in Polish]

locka's Avatar Jump to comment 290 by locka

I read this article yesterday and it seemed a bizarre and very specific hit piece aimed at Dawkins. The comments section was closed and I suspect it was because the author and editor knew he'd be called out for posting such transparent rubbish.

I have no idea what my ancestors did going back 300 years but I would not be surprised if the list included at least one rapist, robber, murderer, turncoat, embezzler or other person of low repute. Plus a great many others who lead entirely mundane and ordinary lives.

The Telegraph really is getting quite creepy in some of its articles recently, particularly in relation to global warming and science but also attacks on secularism and so on. I'd love to know why right wing newspapers actually do this. Is this to attract a US readership or something because I don't believe these are views that domestic right wing readers would particularly support.

Mon, 20 Feb 2012 09:45:37 UTC | #919936

Go to: RDFRS UK/Ipsos MORI Poll #1: How religious are UK Christians?

locka's Avatar Jump to comment 29 by locka

The 4 books in the New Testament are Matthew, Mark, Paul and Ringo.

Tue, 14 Feb 2012 13:05:13 UTC | #917667

Go to: Pope 'exorcised two men in the Vatican', claims new book

locka's Avatar Jump to comment 76 by locka

I wonder how it is the demons only bother to possess Catholic people. Surely they'd be better off possessing all those godless heathens in places where there isn't a priest knocking around to drive them out.

Fri, 10 Feb 2012 11:18:42 UTC | #916152

Go to: Zebra stripes evolved to keep biting flies at bay

locka's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by locka

Look at these ships for another plausible use for the stripes - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dazzle_camouflage. Maybe predators and parasites large and small just can't process stripes well and so it yields advantages in various ways.

Thu, 09 Feb 2012 13:19:42 UTC | #915852

Go to: For Rick Santorum, a Pregnancy That Is the Result of Rape Is a ‘Broken Gift’

locka's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by locka

Incest and rape - the gift that keeps on giving. Thanks God & Jesus!

Tue, 24 Jan 2012 09:12:05 UTC | #911055

Go to: Richard Dawkins celebrates a victory over creationists

locka's Avatar Jump to comment 70 by locka

The wording also sounds like it is explicitly for science class, i.e. schools could teach whatever drivel they like in other classes but science is required to adhere to the curriculum. So it's a victory but I don't see it as a massive one.

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 11:07:46 UTC | #909110

Go to: In Memoriam: Christopher Hitchens, 1949–2011

locka's Avatar Jump to comment 125 by locka

I am so saddened by this. I can't say I agreed with everything he said but he was such an erudite, forceful, thought provoking and compelling author, critic and debater that the world is the worse off without him.

Fri, 16 Dec 2011 09:00:48 UTC | #899544

Go to: Judgement reserved over Bideford Town Council prayers

locka's Avatar Jump to comment 9 by locka

I'm failing to see the problem here. Assume their straw men arguments about the coronation oath and military chaplains were true. More likely is they would remain but the coronation oath would become optional (and the monarch would still opt to take it). And military chaplains would still exist as part of some broader non-denominational counselling service. Big deal.

Either way that doesn't justify inflicting prayer on people who don't wish to partake of it. If council members want to pray I'm sure they live close to a perfectly serviceable church which would be happy to see their business on a Sunday.

Wed, 07 Dec 2011 13:25:04 UTC | #896445

Go to: Fox News Viewers Know Less Than People Who Don't Watch Any News: Study

locka's Avatar Jump to comment 22 by locka

It would not surprise me at all that people who selectively choose their news outlet to suit their politics would end up with a distorted picture of current events. Probably applies as much to people who use Huffington Post as their primary news source as it would Fox though the topics where ignorance is shown probably vary between groups.

Fri, 25 Nov 2011 10:59:19 UTC | #892986

Go to: Billboard backlash (before it ever started)

locka's Avatar Jump to comment 28 by locka

I suggest that prior to one of these campaigns it might be worth taking note of religious billboards - who produced the poster and who hosts the site it is stuck up on. It would strike me as discriminatory if a company were to host one kind of message but not another.

Thu, 24 Nov 2011 16:45:16 UTC | #892823

Go to: Vatican stunned by Irish embassy closure

locka's Avatar Jump to comment 72 by locka

What do these Vatican embassies do which couldn't be served by the embassies that most countries already run in Rome for Italian relations?

If they absolutely had to maintain relations with the Vatican then the ambassadors to Italy could double up duties or nominate special envoys when the occasion requires.

Mon, 07 Nov 2011 13:52:52 UTC | #888192

Go to: Vatican rejects Govt criticism after Cloyne

locka's Avatar Jump to comment 12 by locka

The silver lining in all this is that the Irish government has put a huge amount of distance between itself and the church. Secondly, the church has had to pay out so much restitution (at the height of a recession no less), it is being forced to consider selling land including land that schools are built on. It may well be that indirectly, these scandals will lead to a more secular state with most of the previously RC "state" school system moved into government hands.

Mon, 05 Sep 2011 13:23:18 UTC | #867451

Go to: Mormon Glenn Beck: Hurricane Irene and East Coast earthquake a ‘blessing’ from God

locka's Avatar Jump to comment 80 by locka

@78 the problem is he is not saying it as good, impartial advice. He is saying it in order to drum up sales for foodinsurance.com and wraps the message up in biblical, apocalyptic terms to push buttons on his paranoid listeners. Go look at their site - his image is right there at the top.

The funny part is foodinsurance hawks expensive "gourmet" dehydrated food products which strike me as wholly unsuitable for a whole variety of disasters. Having to light a fire, obtain fresh water and simmer a meal just to obtain sustenance is a recipe for attracting every zombie for miles around.

Tue, 30 Aug 2011 10:04:39 UTC | #865495

Go to: Rick Perry's God

locka's Avatar Jump to comment 21 by locka

The problem is that whether he believes the profoundly ignorant things he says or not, he is still accountable to the people who elected him on the basis of those statements. If he makes statements that evolution is "just a theory", or that global warming isn't happening, you can sure as hell expect his actions to reflect his words in the most part.

Tue, 30 Aug 2011 08:44:37 UTC | #865477

Go to: Mormon Glenn Beck: Hurricane Irene and East Coast earthquake a ‘blessing’ from God

locka's Avatar Jump to comment 54 by locka

Beck has been peddling this apocalyptic "be prepared" schtick for a time now. God is coming, be prepared, buy gold, buy supplies etc. Every natural disaster is a sign, a dress rehearsal, be prepared blah blah blah. I'm sure it has absolutely nothing to do with his well documented commercial relationship with Goldline and Food Insurance - two companies that clearly profit greatly from the paranoia he sows in his already paranoid listeners.

Mon, 29 Aug 2011 09:40:14 UTC | #865128

Go to: Rick Perry’s Unanswered Prayers

locka's Avatar Jump to comment 17 by locka

The reason for drought is clear here. God is punishing gays. Or godlessness. Or something.

Mon, 15 Aug 2011 07:48:12 UTC | #861188

Go to: Atheist group’s frivolous lawsuit aims to bar ‘cross’ from 9/11 museum

locka's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by locka

I doubt many people would care if it was just one of many artifacts, sculptures dotted around to give a sense of the event and its impact. If however it was given special treatment, e.g. being the centrepiece of the museum or otherwise given special prominence then they sure as hell would. The US is a multi-cultural and multi-faith society after all.

Fri, 05 Aug 2011 14:35:32 UTC | #858205

Go to: Godlessness has doomed Britain

locka's Avatar Jump to comment 26 by locka

Blue fairy! Red fairy! Blue fairy! Red fairy! Blammm!

If the UK is getting religion out of its system then maybe one day it can stand on the sidelines as these ridiculous little wars play out.

Tue, 05 Jul 2011 15:58:39 UTC | #846462

Go to: I think we've been insulted by American book publishers

locka's Avatar Jump to comment 30 by locka

I don't really believe this. There must be quite a few publishers who specialize in scientific / factual books who would be happy to print the book without changing the message.

There is also the option of self publishing assuming someone wanted to risk being tarred as a vanity publisher. It appears to be a fraught road to travel but I assume someone could get their own ISBN number, proofreader / editor, printer etc and go through the process of printing their own book and listing it up on the major booksellers. Just be wary of vanity schemes run by Lulu, Amazon etc. which are happy to sell any old screed for a cut of the profits.

Tue, 05 Jul 2011 13:03:40 UTC | #846374

Go to: I think the creationists would rather just forget about Expelled

locka's Avatar Jump to comment 40 by locka

I'm sure someone could edit together a version of Expelled where all the stupid assertions are soundly rebutted from all the bits they deliberately left on the cutting room floor. That would be a fairly amusing turnaround.

Mon, 27 Jun 2011 15:57:27 UTC | #843463

Go to: Dawkins urges constitutional reform to remove church role

locka's Avatar Jump to comment 16 by locka

Ireland is a secular state in practice so I really wish they'd go that extra step and rid the constitution of any preferential treatment for one religion over another. And while they're at it, fix the horribly broken primary schools system which means one religion is forced onto children whether their parents wish it or not.

Tue, 07 Jun 2011 13:19:14 UTC | #635330

Go to: Freedom of information laws are used to harass scientists, says Nobel laureate

locka's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by locka

@SheilaC it wasn't like there was any "dirt" in the UEA hack either. Just a bunch of scientists bitching in private correspondence about fulfilling FOIA requests amongst other things. It's not hard at all to understand why they felt that way given the requests were invariably filled by bloggers to be used as ammunition against them, not for any form of constructive criticism. It's likely that the problem has gotten even worse in recent years.

I suggest the answer to it is for the government to exempt research scientists from fulfilling any requests provided they follow some reasonable guidelines concerning the preservation and disclosure of measurements, raw data and software used to reach their conclusions. This could be dumped out in a zip file after a paper is published. That should be the end of their obligations and would stop this form of harassment.

Thu, 26 May 2011 13:11:46 UTC | #631107