Just what the Haitians need right now…talking bibles and quack medicine!!!

You’ve got to hand it to religious do-gooder’s. While Relief Organizations are scrambling to get food, water and medical supplies into earthquake-ravaged Haiti, a US-based Christian group known as Faith Comes By Hearing is pulling out all stops to send a batch of solar-powered audio bibles, instead.

Known as the Proclaimer, the device is apparently capable of broadcasting sermons in Haitian Creole, for up to 15 hours on a single charge. Presumably it’s designed to keep your mind off food for 15 hours while you listen to sermons droning on incessantly about how grateful you should be to be alive, and how you need to submit unquestioningly to god’s love and mercy. Well, done FCBH, you guys are making great strides……………..at proselytizing to vulnerable minds.

On a related note, actor John Travolta used his own private jet to fly in food supplies, doctors and…. Scientology Ministers, to Haiti last week. It’s still unclear why the doctors went along, as the Scientology Ministers are reputed to practice a process of healing called “assist” which is administered through “touching.” While other celebrities chose to direct donations through regular Relief Organizations, John and his cultish Scientologist friends chose to be more ostentatious in their efforts.

I guess it never hurts to use any and every opportunity to market your particular brand of mind control.

Remember, good people, there is no need to clog up the Haitian runways with your private jets, or jam the airwaves with messages of false hope; support the Relief efforts in Haiti using accredited organizations such as The American Red Cross, Oxfam or Doctors Without Borders.

Another shameful tale of government self-indulgence…or… the road less travelled is smoother, thanks

I read an article in the news media recently about a women who is suing the Kwa-Zulu Natal roads department, and the government, over the loss of a hand and part of a forearm in an accident, in which she was a passenger in a taxi.  Apparently the taxi overturned when the driver lost control after hitting a pothole on an extremely busy road.

I didn’t think too much about it the time, except that I hoped she got to screw them for as much as possible. As you may be aware by now, I am a big fan of anyone who gets to screw the government… back.

Anyway, I came across a follow-up to the story today, where the roads department is opposing the claim based on an unconvincing argument that they lacked the funds for road maintenance, so could not repair the pothole, which earlier evidence indicated could have been repaired for a measly 500 hundred bucks. However that was not what caught my interest, which incidentally, led to full-blown anger as I completed reading the article. No, my anger was the result of the revelation that in about the same fiscal year, the roads department blew around five and half million bucks tarring a quiet country road that runs past the Minister of  Transport, Sbu Ndebele’s country residence – a road that apparently is used by about 20 cars a day, according to court evidence by a local.

I have heard of many incidents involving motorists hitting potholes on our slowly deteriorating road network, most of which fortunately result in damage to the cars only. However, it galls me to think, as I slalom my way to work and back every day, about the sick bastards in government who not only squander our tax money on luxury SUV’s, but on getting fresh tar layed out for them as they drive as well.

And the sickness continues…

In my last post, I wrote about the level of sickness that makes certain Christians marvel at the power of a god who can prevent a cross-shaped block of concrete from destruction in an earthquake, but is somehow powerless to stop the death of flesh-and-blood human beings.

I’ve recently received a follow-up e-mail about the Haitian earthquake which just proves that these people are so ensconced in their religious fantasy world, that they are incapable of seeing how insensitive these mails are to the victims of that disaster. The despicable contents of the mail should leave all clear-thinking people infuriated:

Lord, I just want to say THANK YOU, because this morning  I woke up and knew where my children were. Because this morning my home was still standing, because this morning  I am not crying because my husband, my child, my brother or sister needs to be buried out from underneath a pile of concrete, because this morning I was able to drink a glass of water, because this morning I was able to turn on the light, because this morning I was able to take a shower, because this morning I was not planning a funeral,  but most of all I thank  you this morning because I still have life and a voice to cry  out for the people of Haiti. Lord I cry out to you, the one that makes the impossible, possible, the one that turns darkness in to light, I cry out that you give those mothers strength, that  you give them peace that surpasses all understanding, that  you may open the streets so that help can come, that you may provide doctors, nurses, food, water, and all that they need in a blink of an eye. For all those that have  lost family members, give them peace, give them hope, give them courage to continue to go on! Protect the children and shield them with your power.
I pray all this in the name of Jesus!!!

To all my friends please continue to forward this so that we can pray together for the people in Haiti .
We here are truly blessed!!!!!

Surely you would have to be brain-dead to not question how it is possible for the “one who makes the impossible, possible,” to somehow lack the power to prevent this catastrophic orgy of death and destruction. Surely the average person can see how grossly insensitive it would be for an all-powerful entity to now “open the streets so that help can come” to those, said entity abandoned to the fury of mother nature.

What kind of piss-poor belief system makes a person actually think that prayer can magically provide “doctors, nurses, food, water” and even “in a blink of an eye?”

How is it possible for people to have so little self-respect, and an utter sense of worthlessness, by spending their lives grovelling on their knees, in dumb-struck awe of a sick ideology?

There are some truly sick Christians out there…

As the death toll from the horrific earthquake that devastated Haiti last week rises above 100 000 people, Relief Agencies and Charities together with ordinary people are busy rallying to bring sorely needed aid to the survivors. And while some Christians such as Pat Robertson make crass statements about how the Haitians deserved it, others have found sordid ways to use it to strengthen their misguided religious conviction.

An example is the one-liner e-mail I received earlier today from a Christian cousin. With Haiti in the subject line, the contents allude to a photograph being  attached or embedded, but in the obvious glee with which it was sent out, he seems to have forgotten to attach it:

After the horrific earthquake, the cross is still standing .....not even a crack....!

My first reaction was one of utter disgust. Later, I attempted to find the source of this mail on-line, and eventually came across what was obviously the missing photograph, which was originally posted here.

Off course there is no way of knowing if the photograph is actually from Haiti after the destruction caused by the earthquake (except if you actually bother to go over there to check for yourself), but that is besides the point. The problem is that the e-mail conveys a message that these Christians care more about a symbol of their religion, than the thousands who lost their lives, and the survivors who have lost everything else.

So, being a sarcastic bastard myself, I could not resist replying as follows:

Wonderful, isn’t it? 100 000 people dead (killed?), but a disgusting symbol of torture stands untouched. Your god has a remarkable sense of humor, doesn’t he? So what’s he got planned for next month? A volcano eruption maybe? Hurricanes are cool too!!! Boy what fun he’ll have, watching all those sinners flying about in the wind? Who knows, maybe this time he’ll leave an entire church or temple still standing untouched. Yeah, can’t wait for his next “loving” act!!!

Off course, there are a lot of good Christian people out there who do not need crude reassurances to sustain their belief. Most likely you would find a good number of these people very involved in the relief effort already. For those not yet involved, and other kind people, contributions to the humanitarian effort in Haiti can be made to Oxfam America.

The South African government – generous in taking, not in giving

What a bunch of heartless, cheap-skate bastards we have in government? Imagine the insult, pledging a lousy fucking R1-million to the humanitarian effort in Haiti, following the devastating earthquake that struck there earlier this week.

These thieving douche-bags have spent far more money on cars and other luxuries for themselves in the last few months. What do they think a paltry R1-million is going to do?

It gets worse. The SA government is harboring Jean-Bertrand Aristide, former President of Haiti, ousted in a coup in 2004, and accused of gross human rights violations and embezzlement of funds. The cost to the government (actually the taxpaying citizens) of this sanctuary is reported to be in excess of R1.5-million a month. Put into context with the pledge of aid to Haiti, this only leaves one disgusted and extremely angry.

Whatever else you can say about the ANC-led South African government, they have always been consistent in pursuing the ideals of self-interest, ever since the departure of Nelson Mandela. I wonder what he thinks of this latest insult to the people.

Seems god has chilled out since the time of Noah

Pat Robertson, self-proclaimed spokesman for god, the devil and right-wing nut-jobs, wasted no time in declaring that the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti yesterday, was the culmination of god’s anger at the people of Haiti for making a pact with the devil while they were under French rule.

Not only did he make this ridiculous claim on his CBN (Christian Broadcast Network) newscast yesterday, he sank to a greater low by stating that this tragedy “may be a blessing in disguise.” 

Off course insensitivity to human suffering has never bothered Pat before; he, and his pathetic followers believe that a god wills it, and deems it necessary to punish transgressions. Remember his claim that Hurricane Katrina which struck New Orléans was the result of god’s punishment for homosexuality and voodoo rituals practiced there? And what about the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 where more than 200 000 people perished? I’ll bet Pat attributes that to the work of god too, and for what? If Pat is to be believed, it doesn’t take too much to piss off His Holy Nastiness.

If you follow Pat’s reasoning (and off course, those fruitcakes who believe him), all the nasty people in the world either live along fault lines or along the coast, which is presumably why the mighty avenger in the sky, wreaks massive death and destruction upon them with his weapons of choice – earthquakes, hurricanes and tsunamis.

Yep, it seems god still gets his kicks from punishing his creation; ever since his mistake in creating them in his likeness, and with free will. Only now his wrath is not as great as it used to be.  

And I guess the world should be grateful that he has become more selective since that deluge he sent during Noah’s time which wiped out everything and everybody not on the Ark.

Shame on you, NANCY

The ANC (African National Congress) which celebrated its 98th anniversary on the 8th of January, has in recent times become a shadow of the principled, honourable organization it once was. Men of integrity such as Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo and Walter Sisulu have long since given way to a new class of leadership which styles itself around self-interest and loathsome behaviour, reminiscent of power-hungry dictators all over the world.

A post-apartheid ANC earned the right of governing the new South Africa, with honour and distinction. That was little more than 15 years ago. Now,  true leadership has become a distant memory. The right to lead and govern is no longer earned; it is now demanded. In ANC circles, this is the age of entitlement.

It seems this new breed of ANC leadership have learnt well from the mistakes of despots such as Robert Mugabe. Why hang around for more than 25 years and then raid the treasury? Better to raid the treasury in the beginning of your term of office, then live off the fat for the next 25 years, or as long as you can still rig the vote.

Not that the ANC have ever rigged the vote, but it is not in their interest to rule brazenly, in the dictatorial fashion of Robert Mugabe; not yet anyway. There’s much work to be done – appease, placate, sweet-talk the sheeple, while the taxes roll in. Then, as Patricia de Lille, leader of the opposition Independent Democrats commented on a television show recently, “loot the treasury.”

Traces of the work ahead for the ANC could be found in leader of the ANC, Jacob Zuma’s New Year speech in the Northern Cape on Saturday. The usual platitudes were in abundance. While conceding that local Municipalities were in near disarray because employees also held leadership positions in the ANC  which caused the “blurring of political and administrative roles,” he promised that the ANC would “tighten its deployment procedures.” He was quoted as saying:

We will tighten our deployment procedures to ensure that we deploy comrades with political integrity and professional competence.

Where will he find these “comrades?” Political integrity and professional competence is almost unheard of within the ANC today. And surely not in the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) which traditionally spawned leadership greats such as Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo. The Youth League of today is noted for producing pin-heads such as Julius Malema and other misfits, more suited to rabble-rousing than leadership or administration.

Right now, this new breed of leadership needs to own up to having sullied the memory of this once great organization, and as penance, change its name to the New-ANC (NANC) or as I dis-affectionately like to refer to it, as Nancy.

What will fall out if you Shaik the goji berry plant

I read an article in an online publication the other day about convicted fraudster Schabir Shaik’s stay at an exclusive game lodge, in apparent violation of his parole conditions. Shaik, for those of you who don’t know already, was convicted of fraud and corruption relating to the arms scandal and his relationship with Jacob Zuma, then Deputy President of South Africa (now President), was released on early parole because he claimed that he had a terminal illness.

Personally, I couldn’t bother where Shaik spends his time, legally or illegally; so long as it is as far away from me as possible. What interested me in the article was Shaik’s claim that his health was improving as a result of rest and a concoction of goji berries. He was also quoted as saying:

I’m on goji berries now. Someone told me that with them I’ll make a miraculous recovery … I’m hoping my eyesight will improve.

And indeed, Shaik does seem to be in perfect health now, and it looks like he has made that miraculous recovery. The thing is, miracles have only ever occurred in the bible and in other mythological fables, and there is no scientific evidence that goji berries have any health benefits, much less curative effects.

In fact the marketing claims made for goji berries (also appropriately known as Wolfberry) have come under scrutiny in various countries. Apparently, even the United States Food and Drug administration (FDA) placed two goji berry juice distributors on written notice for claims relating to the establishment of the product as a drug intended for use in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease. The misleading claims are so serious, that a class action lawsuit was filed against FreeLife International, Inc, in Arizona USA over its Himalayan Goji Juice, GoChi, and TaiSlim products.

So, what can one conclude from this?

That it’s highly improbable that god took some time out from his busy schedule of fucking up the world, to grant Shaik an extension on his miserable, thieving life, or that goji berries have suddenly started curing terminal illnesses. What is plausible however, is that Shaik has perpetrated another fraud on the South African people with his carefully managed terminal illness stage act, and that our rotten government had a lot to do with it. It’s high time the South African sheeple woke up and smelt the goji berries.

The Lord’s Casino

At the risk of sounding like I’m picking on the church and the religious community yet again, I write this tale of pathetic behaviour out of sheer revulsion over what I experienced this past week. Maybe, I’m just making a big deal out of nothing…

On my last little holiday break down in Durban, I came across a Hindu temple decorated with garish flashing lights, much like a casino. Over the December holidays, while on a second brief trip down to Durban, I discovered a church draped with strings of flashing lights much like the temple, but even more gaudy, and for reasons that will soon become apparent, more casino-like.

While churches have traditionally been the place where one goes to hedge one’s bets about the afterlife, this particular church makes it even more enticing by handing out real money (to place your bet with, if you follow my allegory). Yes, handing out money to the congregants. Not every night mind you, and not a great deal; apparently just on New Years’ Eve. I know this from a member of the family who proudly announced when we met about an hour past midnight, that her pastor had given her and the other congregants ten bucks each.

Ten bucks is not a lot of money. And assuming from the size of the building, that about two to three hundred people attended that New Years’ Eve church service, it must have cost the clergy a few thousand bucks; pocket change compared to what they rake in every year.

However, the intentions behind dishing out money to worshippers, while in normal life is harmless, is surely distasteful in the religious environment. Ten bucks can mean a lot to some people; it could serve the purpose of convincing them that the church is giving back more than the intangible safe passage to heaven. It could impress them so much, their attendance at future church meets, the dreary Sunday sessions, could become guaranteed. The beaming smile and boastful declaration from that member of my family, convinces me of it. People are impressed by the simplest of gestures; and these clergyman know it.

What an indictment on the religious establishment; that they have to entice their dwindling following with cash-backs much in the same way as casinos hand out gambling vouchers. Is this a great marketing strategy, or a last-gasp act of desperation? You decide.

More of the same at the start of a new year

People the world over look forward to the turn of the year, hoping for a better life and changes that will make the world a better place to live in. People are mostly disappointed as early as the end of the first week when they realize it’s going to be more of the same, or worse.

Thanks to an asshole wannabe terrorist who tried to blow up an American aeroplane over Detroit just before Christmas, international travel is going to be hell for some time to come. And that’s just because the American government, well and truly in paranoid mode again, are going to force the world into beefing up security at all major airports; which means that they are going to probe everyone’s ass for WOAD’s (weapons of aeroplane destruction). This is particularly bad news for anyone of African, Middle-eastern or Eastern origin; you just know that you’re going to be perved at very intensely by the airport security and customs officials. Worse still; now that there is American scrutiny on Yemen, it’s going to be very hard to get the Americans out of the Middle East forever, as everyone dearly wants.

Coming back to that dumb-ass terrorist who not only botched the bombing, but burnt only his own leg (and possibly the family jewels) in the process; he’s now learnt that messing with fundamentalist religious bullshit will only get you burned. Or did he? He’s probably wondering about those 72 disappointed virgins waiting in vain for him in fundamentalist heaven. Hopefully the Americans have incarcerated him alongside Bubba; which should keep his mind fixated on his own ass for a while. If only all suicide bombers were this incompetent, and blew only themselves and a few ugly cars up?

But alas; the recent spate of suicide bombings in Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere over the holidays points to this becoming a favoured religious pastime in this new year. Martyrdom has never looked more appealing. It’s pretty much destroying everything in sight (in the Islamic world at least) to become the new religious chic. However, the portability of this fashion trend poses a serious threat to all countries that have already managed to drag themselves out of the bronze age. These religious nut-jobs can export their warped ideological cravings to almost anywhere in the world; no x-ray machines or perverted customs officials can stop them.

How did things get so out of hand? Are we ever going to usher in a new year free from war and terrorism and death and destruction?