Moving on
Towards Better Times...?

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Purity, Bigotry and Misogyny

I often browse the bookmarking sites to pick up odd snippets of information. Today I found a link to an article called Personal Purity in Thought, Speech, and Appearance, by Marc D carpenter. I hope the person who bookmarked this was being ironic - but I fear that he wasn't.

The article is from the site called Outside the Camp, which says: "This is the web version of a newsletter put out by Sovereign Redeemer Assembly. The purpose of this newsletter is to proclaim the true gospel of sovereign grace, expose counterfeit gospels, and stimulate true believers to love and good works."

If it hadn’t been for the sincerity of the site (total bigotry, but sincere nevertheless... ), I would have considered the article to be a scam.

The opening lines said:

"I'm going to be speaking today about personal purity, specifically as it relates to our thoughts, our speech, and our appearance ...... I hope to touch on some areas in which Christians have become slack, and I hope to spur us on to continually strive for obedience to God in every area of our lives ......”

Well, fair enough I thought, the ’purity’ bit sounds ominous, but perhaps the writer thinks that Christians need to care more for others, to do good works etc ....

And he seemed to be pushing this message with this:

"keep in mind that true Christians do not strive to obey God's commandments out of any notion that our pursuit of godliness in any way saves us, keeps us saved, or recommends us to God. This would be legalism ......"

So Christians were not to do good works purely out of a desire to be saved. Sounded reasonable enough.

But then we got onto the specifics about how Christians should obey God ....

The writer almost immediately makes it clear that he thinks homosexual relationships are a sin, so we get the gist of the bigotry that is going to feed this piece, but that is not enough for him:

"Matthew 5:27-28 says, "You have heard that it was said to the ancients: 'Do not commit adultery.' But I say to you, Everyone looking at a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Here Jesus plainly puts forth the truth that just looking on someone in a sexual way is the same thing as raping that person in your thoughts ......

"......Are heterosexual attractions sin? It's not me who said it; it's Christ who said it. Of course, he was not talking about such attraction within the bonds of a man and a woman who are committed to each other for life, for we find in other places that the marriage bed is not sinful, and thus those thoughts are not sinful in that context. But everything outside of this commitment is wickedness.

"Does the dating scene encourage such wickedness? Definitely. Do church formals and dances encourage such wickedness? Definitely. Do singles ministries encourage such wickedness? Definitely. These are things of the world that have no place in Christian circles ....

" ...... How are we to have our mind dwell on pure things when we're sitting in front of a television show or movie that shows lust or sex? Or violence, for that matter. A mark of a maturing Christian is an increased distaste for such things ......

Later Carpenter explains that even:

" .... the so-called "children's movies" such as the Disney animated movies in which the leading female characters are inevitably dressed like whores and in which wicked "romance" is promoted ...." Are sinful and should be shunned by Christians.

I’m not a great follower of Disney movies anyway ...... But in any case, Carpenter has other things on his mind ....

" ......Secondly, we come to purity in our speech .... What is a lie? What is falsehood? Well, it's the opposite of truth, right? When someone tells a lie, he is saying something that is not true ...... So whenever someone intentionally says something that is not true, he is speaking falsehood ......"

After telling Christians they should never lie to a child, even in fun, Carpenter really gets into his stride:

"I'm sure you've heard of a group of people planning a surprise party, and in order for the secret to be kept, many of the people have to lie to the person who's going to be surprised. But the ends don't justify the means. Just because it's a surprise doesn't give anyone the license to sin, and it is definitely sin to speak something to that person that is not true. Many practical jokes fit into this category, too ......"

Is this man for real?

But it is the next few paragraphs that really stirred me to yell abuse at my PC screen:

"And lastly, a bit about purity of appearance ....."

You can guess what’s coming ....

"A passage in the New Testament that deals most directly with this issue is 1 Timothy 2:9-10: "So also the women to adorn themselves in proper clothing, with modesty and sensibleness, not with plaiting, or gold, or pearls, or expensive garments, but what becomes women professing fear of God, through good works." Since this passage is to women, I will be dealing with this issue mainly as it relates to women. This does not excuse men for dressing immodestly, but it is obvious that immodesty in women has been a great problem down through history, and we'll go over some Old Testament passages to that effect a little later ......"

And out comes the misogyny that all women have suffered and which just won’t go away.

".... The modesty and sobriety, or shamefacedness and discreetness, are to be characteristics of what women wear ......

"......Keep in mind that the Bible commands women to wear clothing that is in keeping with being shamefaced ......

After quoting passages from Jeremiah and Proverbs, Carpenter insists:

"It is common knowledge that the women who painted their faces and ornamented themselves were the prostitutes. They did this to attract men ......

"......what is makeup for? Why do women wear makeup? - I think you'll find that it has its origins in prostitution and that it is used by females today for the same reason that it was and is used by prostitutes ......

"...... what is jewelry for? Some jewelry, like a wedding band, is a symbol of commitment to a spouse. But what of other decorative jewelry? Well, it's just that. It decorates. Much of the time, it is used to call attention to the face or other part of the body.

"......what do most fashion designers have in mind when they design clothes for females? .... It is purposefully sexual. I cannot emphasize this enough. Almost all the clothes in the women's clothing stores are to make the woman sexually attractive ......"

Apart from admonishing men who go shirtless in public, the male sex gets off very lightly from Carpenter’s calls for 'Christian morality'. It is women who he really wants to change their appearance:

"......Cover yourselves! Be shamefaced!...."

And there speaks a man who appears to be very scared of women, especially confident women.

It could of course be argued that women are encouraged to dress and act in certain ways to make themselves attractive to men and that it is a male dominated society that has promoted this.

And there lies the contradiction.

Men want women to 'look good' in ways which suit them (men) and women through the centuries have used this knowledge to their own advantage. After all, in a society dominated by one group, the ‘sub’ group has to use all means available to get what they need. Therefore you can hardly blame women for using male weaknesses to get what they want.

But the minds of Christian bigots like Carpenter cannot comprehend this. All they see are strong women. And this scares them. It is not in line with their personal reading of the Bible.

The same can be said for male-dominated religions all over the World. All appear to have teachings based upon an almost innate fear of women.

We are supposed to live in an educated society, but men like Carpenter prove that education means different things to different people. His writing shows that he has received an education, but his words show the single-minded bigotry of the uninformed.

This is worrying when we see the rise of the religious right in what should be one of the most modern-minded countries in the World – the USA - and we see that in some US States they have already been behind the passing of laws which disempower women.

These people need to be challenged and ridiculed so that everyone can see the errors in their discourse.

And then they need to be ignored and put back on the cultural scrap heap with all the other misogynists and bigots of this World.

There should be no other place for them.

posted by summersun70 at 3:50 AM


Sunday, May 28, 2006

Be Sure to Cancel Your Credit Cards Before You Die

A woman died this past January, and Citibank billed her for February and March for their annual service charges on her credit card, and then added late fees and interest on the monthly charge. The balance had been $0.00, now is somewhere around $60.00. A family member placed a call to Citibank. see the link below for the call.....

(say's it all really - credit card and finance companies employ people from another planet .....)

read more | digg story

posted by summersun70 at 11:32 AM


Friday, May 26, 2006

The World is so much bigger than me .....

create your own visited countries map
or vertaling Duits Nederlands

I found the link to this map on Zee's blog.

He said that he felt like an ant after seeing how vast the world was compared to the places he had actually visited.

Well that makes me feel as small as a microbe!

Must get out more!

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posted by summersun70 at 7:51 PM


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

A Leak Too Far ......

Yesterday,Wanadoo, one of the biggest internet service providers in the UK, announced that they had discovered a security leak in their system.

In fact, the leak, which led to full names and passwords of some 20,000 people being published online, had been discovered by Wanadoo technicians a week ago, but the company waited several days to admit their discovery.

What is worse is that it appears that no-one knows how long the leak had existed before it was discovered:

"Internet postings from some customers speculated that the loophole, which seems to have emanated from Portugal, may have lain undiscovered for as long as two years."

Wanadoo's statement reads as follows:

"Wanadoo would like to reassure customers that this was an isolated incident and as soon as we were made aware of the problem, the information was removed from the public domain," the company said in a statement. "An investigation is currently taking place to uncover how this happened."

Well, forgive me if I show scepticism for Wanadoo's assurances.

How can a company assure its customers that they are able to provide good security and investigate adequately when things go wrong when, not only have they failed so outrageously in the past, but their technicians failed to spot a massive 'loophole' like this for years....?

I think it's time Wanadoo's 2 million customers took their custom elsewhere ....

posted by summersun70 at 10:36 AM


Monday, May 22, 2006

Are we being deliberately pointed in the wrong direction?

Much has been made of the Video released by the Pentagon last Wednesday which ostensibly shows footage of the Boeing 757 hitting the Pentagon:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I have made a Google Notebook collection of just a few comments made in response to an article called Plane Spotting posted at Guardian Unlimited.

Obviously there are mixed reactions to the video, ranging from my own "So where's the plane?", to those who think that anyone who thinks there was a conspiracy here 'must be a nut'.

But what several commentators pointed out seems to me to be much more important than 'spot the plane', and that is "Why has this video been released at this precise time? And, what are they trying to distract our attention from?"

I would guess that:

a) They want to increase the general public's fear at a time when it may be wavering a little ....

b) Iran .......?

But this Administration (and ours in the UK) is so devious, it the answer could be almost anything....

posted by summersun70 at 4:04 PM


Friday, May 19, 2006

New Enquiry begins into the death of Dr David Kelly

MP to investigate Dr Kelly's death

Hélène Mulholland for The Guardian Unlimited
Friday May 19, 2006

A backbench MP is to investigate the "unanswered questions" from the official inquiry into the death of weapons scientist Dr David Kelly.

The former Liberal Democrat environmental spokesman Norman Baker today revealed his decision to stand down from the shadow cabinet two months ago was based on a quest to establish the "truth" behind Dr Kelly's death.

Mr Baker said he wanted to return to the issue because the 2003 Hutton inquiry had "blatantly failed to get to the bottom of matters".

He vowed to question ministers and to unearth new facts in a bid to establish the "truth" of the case.

Dr Kelly was found dead on July 18 2003 after being named as the possible source of a BBC story on the government's Iraq dossier.

Later that month Lord Hutton was appointed head of an independent inquiry into the events surrounding Dr Kelly's death. After a two-month inquiry, Lord Hutton concluded the scientist had taken his own life.

Oxford coroner Nicholas Gardiner subsequently looked into the possibility of reopening the inquest into Dr Kelly's death, but after reviewing the evidence with the lord chancellor, decided that there was no case for doing so.

Mr Baker explained that he had decided to wait until he relinquished his environmental role before embarking on an investigation to find out the "truth" that the Hutton inquiry had failed to deliver.

"It did not answer questions," he told Guardian Unlimited today.......

...... Mr Baker admitted he already holds a "number of theories" about the scientist's death, but declined to speculate so early into his investigation, which began two months ago just after he stood down from his shadow post.....

...... "I have long been unhappy about the sequence of events and I was unhappy at the time about the way the Hutton inquiry was conducted and I wanted to free up some time to look into this," he said.......

The rest of this article can be found at The Guardian Unlimited

My Comments:

All I can say is that I wish Mr Baker a successful outcome to his enquiry ..... and a long and happy life ......

posted by summersun70 at 4:25 PM


Thursday, May 18, 2006

A case of mistaken identity.

The man in the video below - Mr Guy Goma - appeared on the BBC News 24 program after a mix-up led his being mistaken for an expert on internet music downloads.

Mr Goma was an applicant for a job at the BBC who accidentally found himself on live television when he was ushered into the studio, instead of Guy Kewney, the editor of

Earlier this month, Britain's High Court awarded a victory to Apple Computer in a lawsuit against Apple Corps, The Beatles' commercial arm and the BBC had intended to interview Mr Kewney fo rhis reaction to this. However, after a mistake at a reception desk, employees brought Mr Goma to the studio instead. He had been waiting in a reception area for his job interview.

After BBC News 24 consumer affairs correspondent Karen Bowerman ostensibly welcomed the apparent expert, there was a Kafkaesque moment in which Mr Goma winced and tried to open his mouth as if to explain.

When the presenter asked if he was surprised by the verdict, a befuddled Mr Goma managed to offer that he was "very surprised."

Meanwhile, the real Mr Kewney watched the exchange in shock from outside the studio.

But Mr Goma's performance later swept the Internet in part because he simply pressed on, offering the best answers he could and growing more confident in his punditry as the interview progressed.

Now, the network is putting Mr Goma back on the air after he became a news story unto himself and Mr Goma has agreed to return and discuss his bizarre experience.

And he doesn't have to worry whether or not he got the job he was actually applying for, because Britain's tabloids have already put him to work. The Sun newspaper offered Mr Goma a punditry platform beneath a story headlined the "Big Bluffer."

Mr Goma has offered to speak on a variety of subjects, offered snap assessments on Saddam Hussein's trial ("He deserves to face justice"); Prince Harry ("It is difficult for him as everything he does is watched") and Britain's Human Rights Act ("We should treat each other as we wish to be treated.")

parts taken from: MailOnSunday

Here is the video of the original interview and note Mr Goma's shocked expression.

The video is now one of the highest-viewed by 'Brits' on the internet. Not surprising really. We have a good sense of irony after all.

I wish Mr Goma lots of luck in his new career. I reckon he deserves it!

posted by summersun70 at 6:10 PM


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Wired News Publishes Damning Docs From EFF vs AT&T

Wired News has published documents from EFF's lawsuit against AT&T for the company's role in helping the NSA perform indiscriminate, illegal warrantless wiretaps against millions of American citizens. AT&T has asked a court to take these documents out of the public record and suppress their publication -- so grab your copy now while you can.

Update: The judge has rejected AT&T's motion to remove the documents from the public record.
But they are certainly still worth reading

read more | digg story

posted by summersun70 at 5:56 PM


Monday, May 15, 2006

Do we really need classes on 'Core British Values'?

British values classes considered

The government is to review whether "core British values" should become a compulsory part of the curriculum for all 11 to 16-year-olds in England.

In response to last year's London bombings, ministers want to adapt the current citizenship classes in an attempt to make society more unified.

But critics say the definition of British values is too vague and education cannot prevent extremism.

A second review, of the teaching of Islam in universities, is also planned.

The six month-long schools review will ask how all children can develop a strong sense of British identity by learning about Britain's culture and traditions, including the contributions from different communities.

Education minister Bill Rammell says both reviews are part of the response to last July's bomb attacks.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "There is a need for a debate and the essential values already taught in citizenship classes, like freedom, fairness, civil responsibilities, democracy are there.

"But they are not developed and understood in the way they developed in terms of Britain's cultural and social history."


See the rest of this article here: BBC News

My Thoughts:

Whenever I see attempts like this to define 'British Values' my heart sinks, as I know that it will come back to the age-old thing – by attempting to define 'British Values', what will really be defined is a bigotted idea of what 'British Values' are not.

In other words, those who do not share the 'values' of the body of (mainly) upper-middle-class men defining them will be classed as 'outsiders'. And I really do not think this is exactly helpful to the vast number of ordinary members of society, especially those classified as belonging to 'minority groups'.

Further more, I think it will stir up what is already a tense situation in many parts of the country.

I was curious to see what members of the 'forum fraternity' thought of this, so I looked at the BBC website 'Have your say' where people were asked "What do you think are the core British values?"

Along with the usual bigoted cries of "if we didn’t have so many foreigners here it wouldn’t be an issue ..."


"Why British values? Why not English values...?"

Came some more cynical remarks.

I particularly liked these:


Binge drinking

And from someone who was really hacked-off:

"Celebrity obsession
House price obsession
Casual violence

That's all I see in this country anyway. I for one, cannot wait to leave. For good."

This one was nicely cutting:

"Who is going to actually define the values taught? If it's Blair, they would be hypocrisy, arrogance, do as I say not as I do, sleaze and dogma......"

And one commentator made a point that I very much agree with:

"Why should foreigners have to learn core British values when they reside here?

You British never learnt the core values of our culture when you occupied our countries.

Had you done so, then it would not have been a problem now a days."


posted by summersun70 at 2:59 AM


Sunday, May 14, 2006

Laura needs to get out more.....

Laura Bush doesn't believe bad polls on husband

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. First lady Laura Bush said on Sunday she does not believe opinion polls showing her husband's approval ratings at record low levels.

Interviewed on Fox News Sunday, Laura Bush said she did not think people were losing confidence in President George W. Bush, despite a series of polls showing support for him at its lowest point in his five-year presidency and among the lowest for any president in the past 50 years.

"I don't really believe those polls. I travel around the country. I see people, I see their responses to my husband. I see their response to me," she said.

"As I travel around the United States, I see a lot of appreciation for him. A lot of people come up to me and say, 'Stay the course'.......

see the rest of this article here: MSNNewsUK

Laura, you really need to talk to more intelligent people.

posted by summersun70 at 8:31 AM


Saturday, May 13, 2006

The Care Crisis

Pieces from an excellent article by Ruth Rosen

The Care Crisis
What women talk about when men are not listening. (Hint: it's not sex.)

If you think its about sexual prowess, you'd be wrong. If you think it's about size, forget it. And if you imagine we follow the various pissing contests going on among male liberals, you're too self-absorbed. It's about what I call the Care Crisis.

During the last week, I've had a series of conversations with intellectual, liberal women who, like most of our male friends, companions and husbands, want to restore American democracy, end the war and free up our nation's wealth to support the health and well being of our nation's citizens.

We care about the common good. We believe in a public good. We agree with those liberal men who are writing about how Democrats will have to be more than a "collection of aggrieved out-groups," to quote David Brooks (New York Times, April 27). We agree with Brooks that "the message voters respond to best is notions of shared sacrifice for the common good...people are ready for an appeal to citizenship."

Multiculturalism and identity politics, gloats Brooks, are dead. Fine by me. Gleefully, Brooks announces that "Democrats are purging the last vestiges of the New Left and returning to the older civic liberalism of the 1950s and early 1960s."

But here's the rub: Notice the years Brooks chooses as the historical moment to which we should return--before American women began demanding the equality that is essential to their citizenship.

In these conversations you men never hear, this is what we discuss: For four decades, working women have poured into the paid labor force. Yet American society has done precious little to restructure the workplace or family life. The result? Working mothers are burdened and exhausted, families are fractured and children are often neglected. The dirty little secret, we repeatedly tell each other, is that it is both profitable and convenient to our government, business and many men, for women to wear themselves out trying to do the unpaid work of caring for children, caring for the elderly and caring about the social networks of our communities.

It's as though Americans are trapped in a time warp, certain that women will still do all this caring, even though they can't, because more than half are outside their homes working in the paid workplace. And so, we have the mounting Care Crisis.

But somehow male progressives and liberals continue to view these problems as those of a special interest group and part of identity politics. Yet it is the core dilemma faced by most middle class and working class American families, all along the political spectrum........

Read the rest of this excellent article here

My Comments:

What can I say? Other than I agree with every word Ruth Rosen has written here.

I come from the UK, and the situation here is very similar. In a society where the cost of housing and general living has risen out of all proportion, average families cannot survive without wages from both parents. The Government is also 'encouraging' women to go back into the workplace as soon as possible after having their children, because they know that UK society would not survive financially without the millions of women in their, mainly-low-paid, 'service industry' jobs.

But the 'care facilities' offered to working mothers is appalling: tax credits that go nowhere near covering the cost of childcare; a severe lack of good, reasonably-priced nursery places; and employers who still get around employment laws and take advantage of working mothers by paying them low wages.

And many women are exhausted by having to care for children, elderly parents, the home, (often lazy partners too) and anything else this still-male-dominated society assumes it is 'their duty' to care for.

So it's time for women to make their frustrations known in voting booths everywhere. Before it's too late.

And I'll let Rosen sign off:

"True, it's boring to discuss the vital needs of working mothers and families, when nothing ever changes. But while you're talking about the common good, consider this: There is nothing more vital to the common good of our nation than the well-being of our working mothers and their families. And that, dear gentlemen, is where the votes are."

posted by summersun70 at 8:12 AM


Thursday, May 11, 2006

Chuck Pennacchio Tells it like it is

posted by summersun70 at 4:34 AM


Monday, May 08, 2006

Yes, sure is weird ......

Iran’s Weird. Pretty, but Weird. - Wonkette: "Iran’s Weird. Pretty, but Weird."

From Wonkette: "Ok, terrifying Iran nuclear apocalypse no-turning-back everything’s-fucked article, same old same old (boy, we cared about this a lot more back before the SHAKE-UP, which has haunted all of our waking hours), but before we send the Air Force over to topple their government, we should ask ourselves, what the hell is going on in this picture???"

Take a look......

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posted by summersun70 at 12:08 PM


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

These People are Dangerous

Maybe Americans have come across this website before: National reform Association

I hadn't and I was not amused!

This is their Statement of Purpose:

The mission of the National Reform Association is to maintain and promote in our national life the Christian principles of civil government, which include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. Jesus Christ is Lord in all aspects of life, including civil government. Jesus Christ is, therefore, the Ruler of Nations, and should be explicitly confessed as such in any constitutional documents.

2. The civil ruler is to be a servant of God, he derives his authority from God and he is duty-bound to govern according to the expressed will of God.

3. The civil government of our nation, its laws, institutions, and practices must therefore be conformed to the principles of Biblical law as revealed in the Old and New Testaments.

A quote from one of the Articles by Jay Rogers:

"We can be successful with even a few thousand churches and ministries in strategic regional zones of influence committed to long term battle to restore the Christian republic. It will happen sooner once the lines of battle are drawn....."

The above quote was taken from his Declaration of Dependence: A Strategy to Reclaim America

A few years ago, I would have dismissed writings like this as the thoughts of a few misguided individuals and relatively harmless.

Now, I'm not so sure ....

posted by summersun70 at 11:10 PM


Monday, May 01, 2006

Colbert Roasts Bush - the video

posted by summersun70 at 8:29 AM


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