Soharwardy: “They should take on the responsibility…”

Headline: Prominent Muslim cleric urges imams to vet new Islamic converts


From the article:

 “I’m not sure who helped them to convert to Islam. Who was the imam? What kind of relationship did those people have with those people who converted them to Islam? Those very important questions need to be answered,” said Soharwardy.

“They should take on the responsibility of checking backgrounds and staying in touch and make sure this person is not being recruited by any radical organization or terrorist organizations.”

Soharwardy estimates 20 to 30 Canadians convert to Islam every week. He said it is the responsibility of clerics to make sure the converts are doing it for the right reasons.


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W5 and the Pigs

The first part of the season premiere of W5 on the CTV network this past week was pretty disturbing.  It focused on one pork plant in Alberta where pigs were subjected to some pretty bad conditions and were cruelly abused by the staff.

One of the more disturbing aspects of the exposé is that inspectors with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, who were responsible for, among other things, ensuring compliance with animal welfare legislation, sometimes actually seemed to be complicit in the abuse in the worst case and negligent in their duties in the best case.

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“Hate This Mirror” – audio only

I still need to edit the video but here’s the audio-only version on SoundCloud. I’ll probably delete this post once the video is up.

[edit]  I’m not deleting the post but I’m warning you that the SoundCloud link will not be absolutely permanent.

Someone asked me who are the other vocalists on this recording.  It’s all me, folks.

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New Music Project

I’m going to try to upload at least one original song to YouTube every week.  These might be brand new songs or they might be new recordings of my old songs.

Here’s the first one:


The YouTube playlist for these is here.

If you’re willing and able to offer some financial support for this effort, anything you can spare would be most gratefully received.

An evening at the river

Sylvia and I spent part of the evening at the point at ‘Ksan, the confluence of two great rivers, the Bulkley and Skeena..  We brought along Meeka as well as the granddaughter and her friend.  And a camera.

The first image is that inevitable photo of Stekyoden.  I don’t tire of its beauty.

Here’s a blurb about the second.  When the river is high, it pushes these rocks around like grains of sand. When it goes down again, it leaves these formations that look very much like somebody spent a lot of time arranging them. But, no, it was just the river currents.

The third shows three friends enjoying cooling waters on a hot day.

Stekyoden, 2014 08 01
Stekyoden, 2014 08 01
Current-arranged stones, 2014 08 01
Current-arranged stones, 2014 08 01
Three friends cooling off
Three friends cooling off







Our Flawed Brains

That there are still significant audiences for those who promote obvious nonsense – from creationists like Ken Ham and Ray Comfort to anti-vaccination lunatics like Jenny McCarthy and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. or proponents of crazy political notions (take your pick)  – is testament to the fact that the human brain is a product of evolution and that evolution does not necessarily produce optimal solutions. That, is the human brain has significant weaknesses.

Scientific methods of investigation have been specifically designed to compensate for the shortcomings of our brains but they are not able to compensate for the fact that some people choose to trust bullshit more than they trust science.

It comes down to values: reason or faith?  Pick one.

AiG’s Statement of Faith

This is old hat to those of us who have been trying to address young earth creationism for some years but those who have more recently become interested in the subject might find it useful.

Ken Ham‘s Answers In Genesis organization has a Statement of Faith.   All who are involved with that organization, whether as staff or as volunteers, including Ham’s pet scientists, are required to agree to this statement.

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Dr. Oz and Applied Kinesiology

The Dr. Oz episode* in which he endorses applied kinesiology (not to be confused with kinesiology, which is a legitimate study) to diagnose allergies was re-run again today. Oz appeared to completely buy into it, even though he says he has no idea how it works.

Well, if he consulted with a knowledgeable skeptic or even did a simple internet search, Oz would learn that it’s got a lot to do with the ideomotor effect. He could also quite easily discover that applied kinesiology has been subjected to proper scientific testing and has been found to be no better at diagnosing allergies than random guessing.

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