Mike Overd Taunton trial 11 and 12 March

Mike/Michael Overd trial, Taunton, 11 and 12 March.

Mike Overd will go on trial three weeks today.  Below are links to everything I’ve previously blogged on this case:

https://carvath.wordpress.com/2014/12/12/michael-overd-case-sniffing-out-the-cps/

https://carvath.wordpress.com/2014/10/29/michael-overd-please-dont-be-offended-but-i-have-something-to-say/

https://carvath.wordpress.com/2014/10/29/michael-overd-case-sergeant-neil-kimmins-update/

https://carvath.wordpress.com/2014/10/10/michael-overd-case-enquiries-into-avon-and-somerset-constabulary-continue/

https://carvath.wordpress.com/2014/09/05/evangelist-michael-overd-and-sergeant-neil-kimmins/

Around the world today, the followers of Mohammed are murdering and terrorising people on an industrial scale – including, for example, the recent beheading of 21 Christians in Libya – but here in Somerset, England, a peaceful Christian street preacher in the mould of Wesley and Whitfield is about to be tried for the alleged ‘hate crime’ of making public remarks about the life of Mohammed.  This trial is definitely not one to miss…

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Educating Peter II

My recent exchange with Peter Hitchens on the question of whether the Creation, Fall and Flood accounts in Genesis are history or myth can be found here

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Educating Peter

PeterHitchensGenesis

I’m reprimanding myself even as I’ve just written the rather cheeky headline “Educating Peter” (Educating Rita, geddit) in reference to the formidable Mail on Sunday columnist Peter Hitchens; it does feel a touch naughty but, on this occasion, I couldn’t resist.  Indeed, I hope he might quietly approve.  Peter Hitchens is undoubtedly a great journalist – and I am a mere stickleback to Hitchens’ haddock – but a few hours ago he tweeted something with which I really must take issue.

I admire Hitchens considerably as a journalist and author, and I generally agree with most of his social and political views.  Peter Hitchens is a great champion of facts and logic – one from whom I’ve learned much about how to think properly, including, for example, the importance of verifying facts, identifying falsehoods, recognising motives and of understanding historical context – and so it was with some horror that I noticed his Twitter statement “…Genesis is obviously a figurative myth, not a purported factual description.”  I’m afraid I simply must upbraid Mr Hitchens, as (1) a professing Christian, and (2) a journalist, for this statement.

There is much that I could say on the subject of Creation/evolution, and I’d like very much to write and publish something substantial on the subject in future, but right now, as midnight approaches, I must confine myself to addressing only briefly the single point as to whether the Genesis creation account is truth or myth, fact or fiction, literal or metaphorical, poetry or history.

My assumption, if I’ve understood Peter Hitchens correctly, is that he believes in God as Creator whilst viewing the Genesis creation account as an essentially poetic attempt to explain origins and point us to God, rather than as a factual historical record of actual literal events.  This is not an uncommon position amongst many Christians today, given decades of deception by the evolution propaganda industry, but it is not the position of intelligent, well-informed Christians who have taken the time to make a serious study of the facts of scripture, science and history.

In the context of doubting the historicity of the Genesis creation account because of the influence of the evolution myth (yes, evolution is the myth, the fantasy – not creation), perhaps the foremost dispute is that pertaining to the question of whether the six days of creation are literal or figurative, and I must confine myself to that for now, as it probably goes to the heart of Hitchens’ erroneous view, and it’s all I have time to say something about before bed.

The book of Genesis is history – 100% genuine, bona fide history – and it is in perfect harmony with hard science.  The Bible’s Creation/Fall/Flood account is fact, and, backed up by hard science, it stands in stark contrast to the greatest deception in modern history, namely, evolution.  The Genesis creation account is a straightforward historical account; it is not poetry.  The six days of creation (and the seventh Sabbath day) are ordinary 24-hour days; they are not a poetic device for referring to indeterminate ages of time.

The Genesis creation account is written using the grammatical forms which in ancient Hebrew are used for recording history; the text is neither poetry nor allegory.  No serious scholar of Hebrew would dispute that Genesis was written as history and intended to be read and understood as history (and nothing else).  Furthermore, that the days of creation are ordinary days is contextually reinforced by (1) their numbering, as complemented by (2) the references to mornings and evenings.  Ordinary days are the plain, intended meaning of the Hebrew text.

The idea that Genesis is poetry/allegory/metaphor – anything other than history – is the basis of the Framework Hypothesis, which is probably the most popular view amongst theologians who say they accept biblical authority whilst not accepting that the creation days are ordinary days.  Interestingly, and dare I say suspiciously, and even tellingly, if there were any merit at all in this framework approach, it’s curious indeed that nobody interpreted Genesis this way until Arie Noordtzij in 1924!  Fishy that, isn’t it?  Or perhaps not.  The framework view, the idea that Genesis is poetry not history, was conceived with only one motive, which was to dispute the orthodox stance of Jews and Christians throughout history, be they scholarly or not, that Genesis is a historical record of real people and events, in order to make Genesis fit in with the ridiculous claims of macro-evolution.  The truth, however, cannot be reconciled with a lie; we can deny the truth, and we can deceive ourselves that a lie is the truth, but the actual truth remains unchanged.

It’s well past my bedtime now, so I must put down the pen on what is a fascinating and important subject.  With all due respect to Peter Hitchens, I must urge him – as I would urge anybody as keen as him to know the truth – to reconsider his beliefs on creation/evolution in the light of the many excellent books and other materials to be found on the creation.com website (and elsewhere).  Hitchens’ current view that the Genesis creation account is myth is appalling for a thinking journalist whose handling of facts and logic is usually exemplary; I wish him well in the quest to know and understand the truth.

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No more police tasers please

On the pretext of terrorism, Police Federation head Steve White is calling for police officers to carry Taser guns as standard-issue equipment.  Not a good idea, in my opinion (or, if the police are all to start carrying guns, why can’t any member of the public do the same?).

This terror-threat pretext is exactly the same justificatory pretext by which the government is these days continually plotting  and implementing legislation which strips away ancient British liberties, and, in freedom’s place, introduces ever-increasing State intrusion and interference.  We are told we need to give away our liberty – for example, allowing the State to place all of us under constant surveillance – so that the State can protect us from the terror threat.  (Can the State really protect us better than we can protect ourselves, if only we were able to do so?  Rather than us surrendering our rights to the State, might not it be better if good men were to re-acquire the lawful means to defend themselves, their families and communities?  Just a thought.)

I haven’t time for a lengthy blog on this subject now, but a few brief points and pertinent questions…

Taser guns can and do cause death or serious injury.  If the police are to be armed with Taser guns, who is going to protect the law-abiding public from armed police officers?  It’s a serious question, I’m afraid.  Given the growing number these days of police officers who aren’t fit to be police officers, I can see it now…  the peaceful Christian street preacher tasered by the homosexual policeman; the stroppy, irate motorist – because stopped for no good reason and harassed – tasered by the traffic officer; the mentally-ill – though quite harmless – person exhibiting slightly odd behaviour in public, tasered by the police; verbally aggressive drunks galore, tasered by the police; protest marchers and demo participants, tasered by the police (remember Peterloo, anybody?); inquisitive journalists approaching police officers in tense situations, tasered.  Give more police officers Taser weapons and more people will be tasered by the police, and no, most of these people won’t be terrorists.

If we really need armed men on the streets to protect us from terrorists, would not such a role best be left to professional soldiers?

If the police must be armed with Tasers to protect themselves and the public from terrorists, would it not be better simply to permit any sane, law-abiding adult to carry a Taser (or other weapons) in public for the lawful purpose of self-defence (or civil defence)?

Historically, until about a hundred years ago, anybody in Britain could lawfully bear arms, including guns, in public.  To bear arms never used to be a crime, and was considered (and still is by many, myself included) to be a basic liberty of free men in a free society.  As things currently stand in Britain, law-abiding citizens are the only people who are unarmed and thus at a disadvantage in protecting their person, their property, or in going to the aid of others.  Criminals, those outside the law, can and do carry and use illegal weapons, whilst law-abiding citizens, disarmed in obedience to the law, are defenceless against armed criminals (or rogue armed police officers).  I’d rather that I could lawfully carry a weapon and lawfully defend myself adequately from a criminal or terrorist than have to depend upon the police to do it for me.  More often than not, when a crime is happening and you’re the defenceless victim, the police are not on hand to defend you.

My opinion then is that I’m not in favour of arming the police with guns as standard, so long as the law-abiding public remains unarmed.

Remember GMP’s former Chief Constable Mike Todd, the great champion of Tasers, who famously allowed himself to be tasered in a publicity stunt several years ago, to prove that Tasers are safe (although in fact they’re not, and can be lethal)?  Do we really want unscrupulous and unstable police officers like Mike Todd, who ended up killing himself [I believe], going about with Tasers?  I’d say preferably not, but if so, shouldn’t the law-abiding public be enabled with the means to deter or defend on equal terms?  The ‘Police are the public and the public are the police’ aren’t they?  What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, yes?

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Zero hours contracts (and Cornish precedent)

I’m currently involved in an investigation into the zero hours ‘employment contracts’ being operated by several British, household-name firms.  Zero hours contracts are controversial in 21st century Britain as they are viewed by many (myself included) as exploitative.  Such employment arrangements are commonplace for millions of impoverished workers around the world today – though that doesn’t make it right – and they are as nothing compared to what used to happen in Britain just over a hundred years ago.  Business-minded pragmatists argue that zero hours contracts facilitate the provision of paid work in instances where otherwise there would be none; I accept this logic as harsh reality in those limited circumstances and cases where the employer – perhaps struggling, or perhaps a start-up – is genuinely not seeking to exploit staff, but, in the UK today, many zero hours employees are working for firms making huge profits – firms which could easily afford to give better terms of employment.  Many highly profitable British firms exploit zero hours simply because they can, the only motive being naked greed on the part of business owners.  The firms which exploit zero hours correlate quite well with the firms which have come to view the National Minimum Wage as the maximum wage – not because these firms can’t afford to pay better wages but because they don’t have to, and again, the only motive for this is greed.

It’s my hope that the work I’m doing on zero hours will help towards efforts to improve the lot of many thousands of British workers for the future (though I do think the ‘elephant in the room’ is Britain’s participation in the EU, which means unscrupulous employers can force British workers to accept zero hours or nothing, as there is a plentiful supply of EU labour willing to migrate to Britain for work on worse employment terms than the erstwhile standards to which the late 20th century British mindset is accustomed).

Let’s hope and strive for better employment conditions in the future; as to the past, things aren’t as bad as back in the bad old days just yet.  It’s a hard knock life for many British people today – try earning a full-time income from freelance journalism if you want tough – but it ain’t hard like working down a 19th century Cornish tin mine.

Throughout the Victorian era the mines of Cornwall supplied almost half the global demand for tin.  In the 19th century the miners’ working year was split into one or two month stints, and after each stint there was no guarantee either of payment or further work.  Every stint began with ‘setting day’ when miners would present themselves outside the mine’s count house (office).  The mine captain (foreman/overseer/manager) or an agent of the mine owner then proceeded to conduct a kind of auction in which the work for the next stint went to the lowest bidders!

The captain would first set out what work was required in the next stint.  Broadly speaking, there were two aspects to the work; there was the work of developing the mine (‘tutwork’), which was paid on a piecework basis for rock removed, and there was the work of mining the tin ore itself, for which the miners were paid by a percentage ‘tribute’ of the ore’s value.  The captain would then address the miners who had worked the previous stint, confirming that they had completed the work to which they had been assigned and confirming the miners’ payment.  The captain would ask these miners if they were willing to work the next stint on the same terms and pay, and then asked if anyone present was willing to work for less!  Setting Day was often attended not only by the miners of the last stint but also by others in search of work, and so the mine captain would often proceed to auction off the next stint’s work contracts to the lowest bidders – to those miners prepared to accept a lower wage.

At the end of a stint, miners were charged by the mine owner for everything they used in doing the work, including candles, tools, fuses and explosives (gunpowder before the 1860s, and later, Nobel’s new nitroglycerine explosives).  And that wasn’t all: the miners were even charged for the cost to the owner of hauling waste rock out of the mine!  At best a miner’s income from any stint was uncertain; at worst, if the stint did not go well, he lived with the real risk of finishing a stint in debt to the mine owner.

As to the working environment, it was dusty and dark, dirty and dangerous.  Sometimes it stank from foul fumes given off in explosions in unventilated pitches.  The only light came from tallow candles.  It was not uncommon for miners to have to walk several miles from home to the mine, then to descend over a thousand feet of wooden ladders, followed by a further lengthy walk through the mine, just to arrive at the actual site of work each day.  Shifts typically lasted for eight hours, after which there was still the arduous journey to get out of the mine and back home again.  Lung diseases were common and accidents frequent in what was a hard life of manual labour the like of which most of us can scarcely imagine.

Perhaps the only thing the 19th century Cornish miners had better than today’s zero-hours, minimum-wage workers was a Sabbath day of rest every week.  Do you get Sundays off?  If you’re one of the many now expected to work seven days a week, don’t be surprised if you feel permanently exhausted.  Whilst the level of wages is a battle that will never end, would not heavy legal restrictions on zero hours contracts and the restoration of Sundays off be to the benefit of millions of British workers, and without harm to the economy?

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The Deficit, the Debt and the difference

In six months’ time the British people will have the ‘opportunity’ to ‘choose’ between the out-of-touch, unfit-to-govern, British-hating, secular-humanist ‘Conservative’ Party and the out-of-touch, unfit-to-govern, British-hating, secular-humanist ‘Labour’ Party.  Not much of a choice really.  Yes, there will be other parties and candidates in the contest, some excellent, but barring a miracle none of these will come anywhere near a seat of power/influence in national Westminster politics (although Britain’s real rulers are in the EU in any case), because they have little or no money, because they will be frozen out of any major media coverage and because most voters are tribal voters and will simply vote as they always do, no matter how many times it is pointed out to them that their ‘own’ party doesn’t represent them or give a toss about them at all.  Yes, UKIP definitely has the potential to cause some upset to the status quo, and we may see some UKIP MPs, but this will only be significant in the event that the TweedleCons and the TweedleLabs have a similar number of seats; in a hung Parliament, just maybe, UKIP may emerge to hold the balance of power; it’s possible, but it’s anyone’s guess what will actually happen; my best guess is that Ed will be the next PM, the leader of a weak Labour (or Labour-dominated coalition) government.

But the point of this post is this…

Over the next few months, we will hear much talk from politicians about reducing or eliminating the deficit.

The deficit is a serious matter, but the real issue is the national debt.  The two are related but are not the same thing – and many people, including the politicians, readily confuse the two.

The deficit is simply the annual difference between the government’s income and expenditure.  (The difference – the deficit – is covered by government borrowing, on which we pay interest, which gets us into even more debt.  The UK’s current budget deficit is about 5% of GDP.)

The national debt is the total amount of debt owed by Britain.  This debt has been accrued over decades by the government spending more than it raises, and by government borrowing – all exacerbated by the interest which must be paid on all of this debt, such that the debt mountain grows ever larger.

Britain’s national debt is not far off a staggering £1.5 trillion.  That’s £1,500 billion.  That’s £1,500,000,000,000.  And the debt continues to grow with every passing day.  Britain is already effectively bankrupt.  Basically we are bust.  For all politicians’ talk of tackling the deficit, nobody has the faintest idea of how to reduce, let alone to pay off, the national debt.  As Churchill might’ve said, Britain is buggered.  It’s pretty obvious to any sane person that we live in the days of Broken Britain, but what many have yet to realise – and the politicians and the mainstream media aren’t going to tell them this – is that a day of reckoning must surely come, an acute crisis which will land on top of the already chronically crisis-stricken Britain, when the national debt chickens finally come home to roost, a day when the government can no longer afford to borrow any more money, the money which props up the NHS, pensions and the welfare state.  Is the whole house really about to fall down?  The situation’s bad, extremely bad.  It would be wise to expect and prepare for the worst.  Unless gold ingots fall from the sky, then sooner or later Britain’s national debt will choke its victim to death.

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Jane Ellison MP: the art of implication

Following on from my last post about the ‘Art of the Sniff’, here we have a politician practising, well, the ‘Art of the Smell’, I suppose.

Politicians are often adept at lying, deceiving or dodging – and getting away with it.  (I think especially of David Cameron and Tony Blair.)

When a politician has to tell a bare-faced lie, when a politician has to avoid stating or confirming an inconvenient truth but is obliged to say something, or, perhaps, when a politician has to go along with saying something he or she might find disagreeable (in those instances in which career comes before doing the right thing), these are just a few examples of times when the cunning politician (or the obedient does-as-he’s told politician) finds it better to imply the lie than to actually say it clearly out loud, or to put it plainly in writing.  Of course, if you haven’t actually said the lie, you can’t be accused of anything more than a wink (and then, only if the wink is noticed).

Jane Ellison MP, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health, recently sent a letter (dated 12 Nov 2014) to John Leech MP, from which the following extract:

>>>

“Dear John,

Thank you for your letter of 15 October to Jeremy Hunt on behalf of your constituent … about abortion.

The Abortion Act 1967, under which all abortions in England are undertaken, states that ‘in determining whether the continuance of pregnancy would involve such risk of injury to health as is mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b) …, account may be taken of the pregnant woman’s actual or reasonably foreseeable environment.’

As [constituent’s name] is aware, the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health reviewed the best available evidence on any association between induced abortion and mental health outcomes.  This was in response to concern in recent years that abortion itself may increase psychological risk and adversely affect a woman’s mental health.  A conclusion of the report was that an unwanted pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of mental health problems and the rates of mental health problems for women with an unwanted pregnancy are the same, whether they have an abortion or give birth.  However, this is a complex area and there is little research that includes mental health outcomes for women denied an abortion of an unwanted pregnancy.  The report highlights the difficulties undertaking research in this area, particularly as it would not be ethical or morally justified to conduct a randomised controlled trial of abortion versus live birth for women with an unwanted pregnancy.

Finally, recent guidance for all those involved in abortion care, published on 23 May, set out the Department’s view that registered medical practitioners should be able to show how they have considered the particular facts of a case when forming their opinion, for example, by making notes in the patient record.  They should be able to defend how their decision was reached if asked to justify it at a later date.  The guidance also highlights the pre-signing of statutory abortion certificates prior to consideration of a woman’s circumstances is not compliant with the Act.

In addition to the guidance, the Chief Medical Officer for England has written twice to all practitioners, on 23 February 2012 and 22 November 2013, reminding them of their responsibilities under the Act.

I hope this reply is helpful.

Kind regards

Jane Ellison”

<<<

I could write at length about this letter but I will confine myself to a few brief points here.

Note Jane Ellison MP’s reference to “abortion care.”  Abortion is care?  Note the profound irony in the statement “…it would not be ethical or morally justified…” to conduct medical research trials into the alleged psychological suffering of women denied abortions – exclaim with me, “Oh the irony” – and note also the sublime perversity of twisting the subject away from the real concern, namely that abortion increases psychological harm/risk of harm to women, and steering it instead towards the fantasy land in which women risk or suffer harm from not having abortions, but which, tragically, we cannot establish empirically  – exclaim with me, “Oh the sublime perversity.”  Nobody in England is denied abortion, as  Jane well knows.

If my powers of inference and interpretation serve me faithfully, the key implication carried within this letter is that Jane Ellison MP and the Department of Health essentially deny any causation or correlation in regard of abortion and mental harm.  What’s worse, Jane would have us believe that killing baby and keeping baby present an equal risk to women’s mental health.  I don’t know whether Jane Ellison MP genuinely believes what she says/implies, but I’m pretty clear about what she has said/implied and that I do not agree with it.

Perhaps “the deadly art of implication” would have made a better blog title; the problem with letters like the one above is that we might miss the stench of the holocaust going on right under Jane Ellison’s nose.

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