Saturday 20th of July 2024

The Bleeding Nun of Lindenberg


We should see ourselves as no more than monkeys in evolution. We are not there yet. 

The finished product is a long way away as we still cautiously deal with a messy, foggy and in need of tweaking social species — to make sure we don’t self-destroy wholeheartedly. Our natural heritage though is sturdy, yet tenuous. Our technological hospitals with machines that beep help along — and to a great extend, we would not like to an a-priori acceptance that what we see is the final statement of humanity. We sure hope we can improve.

By a few accidental natural defects, including our lack of fur and being in need of spectacles, we managed to survive by ameliorating, I might even say maximising, upon our natural — that characteristic which most animal species have some of — deceit. 

Throughout history, we have glorified this amazing aptitude by lauding it as creativity, invention, relationship with god and other loony grandifying means, when at best, we only survive because we have this pseudo-need to stick together for comfort — complementing our psychopathical deceit and enhancing that nutcase necessity of structuring the limits of lawful robbing of each others, in our social constructs. Our social (relative) “consensus" is designed to make us, individually submit to an organised hubris that provides shelter, food and drugs (distractions) as long as ”we do our bit” in return. We develop an acknowledgement of worth: One tin-man is worth 1:135,000 CEO. And its getting uglier. You could be unemployable.

This is where the “liberal” democracy ideal of the Empire comes in. The USA want to control you — and tele-manage your freedom — through your hip-pocket of choice, while providing dumbing comfort that turns you into an accepting nursing home dummy or a devoted warrior.

Satire is understanding the fluidity of this system in which we find the need to snigger. Snigger is the essence of humankind. 

Apart from sniggering, there has been some serious attempt at formulating our rigorous social structures and needs, mostly since the advent of “democracy”, which should allow us to choose our next poisons by voting — rather than having these administered by the Crown or the Popes.

So we need (not really, but it looks good in a paper like this) to investigate sociology.  Karl Marx, we’ll gloss over since we know more or less his limitations and baselines. Some sniggering people with religious winds in their sail would suggest that Marx’s views were the opium of the atheists… Eh he...

Durkheim was a different kettle of fish. He did statistical studies of suicides and made comparisons between Catholics and Protestants rates of people topping themselves. Weird, but here come the various purposes and intensity of faith persuasion to create a variability in the “reasonable” value of cash in the eye of god. According to Durkheim, Catholics tend to suicide less than Protestants. My assessment would be that Catholics have richer places of worship (entertaining glory) than the acerbic and drab Protestants. The joy of glorious gold versus the misery of dusty window-sills. This imbalance has been redressed by the “happy-clappy” class of evangelicals who voted for Trump. 

Most sociologists like Durkheim try too hard to explain the idiocy of our system as if it was the only cream-cheese cake of what we can do… I believe that at any one turn of democratic fiddle we can do better, though we are suckers for punishment and by a process of degrading attrition, we end up having a choice between DumbDumb and a deceitful warrior woman on a ballot. Unfortunately, these are only front puppets of an organised  “deep state” kingdom that dictates the psychopathic future according to what it can get away with, as long as the media is “entertained”… or writes the designated crap in a hurry to go to the loo (toilets).

So our various systems have levels of contention, like who decides who lives and dies, who gets hammered (especially women and black people), who gets promoted to cheese-chief, what devious games have to be played and what theatrics are on offer.

In his excellent book “An irreverent companion to social history", Frank Muir, sniggling satirist extraordinaire, tells us that Lord Byron’s plays were sometimes staged, but never enjoyed. Meanwhile, the production of Shakespeare’s plays needed to be more and more elaborate with spectacular sets and enormous cast, plus real actions like swords fights. But the most popular amongst the populace were the cheap and crappy “melodramas” specially written for the “penny-gaffs” and the “blood-tubs” theatres. 

Here are some of the titles with bracketed titilating advertising or meaning.
The Bleeding Nun of Lindenberg
The Dog of Montargis (with a sword fight to music and a dog hero)
Footpad Joe, the Terror of Charing Cross
The Spectre Bride and the Demon Nun (Nuns were popular)
The Blood-Red Knight (real horses)
The Burning of Moscow (real flames)

This last play of course should attract your attention. Though this was a work about Napoleon’s failed invasion of Russia, we should take note. We’re at it again in the cheap theatre of the Empire and its Yourpean lackeys.
 Gus adapts Matthew Arnold’s letter dated 6 March 1848…:
Orstraya tries to follow the squalor of the Empire, with the faint earthy orange smell, the dimness of the light, the ghostly ineffectualness of the sub-actors, the self-consciousness of Fanny Trumble, the unconquerable difficulty of the play leading to wretchedness in this performance of “Othello”… 

Othello is a complex social study in itself that starts with the devious Roderigo, a rich man. Othello is a “Moor” — a dark-skinned man.
Roderigo has been paying Lago to help him in his pursuit of Desdemona. But Roderigo learns that Desdemona has married Othello, a general whom Lago begrudgingly serves as ensign (which was the lowest rank of commissioned officer). Lago hates Othello, because he passed him over for the position of lieutenant, in favour of an "inexperienced” soldier, Cassio. 
Lago and Roderigo tell Brabanzio that his daughter Desdemona has been stolen by, and married to, Othello, the black man. 

Brabanzio’s plan to get the council to declare Othello a witch, backfires. The duke and senate are very sympathetic toward Othello. Othello explains that he won Desdemona not by witchcraft but with the stories of his adventures in travel and war. 
But after a devious entrapment, the conspirators corner Othello.
Othello makes a soliloquy about how he would like to be remembered, then kills himself with a sword he has hidden on his person. The play closes with a speech by Ludovico  who gives Othello’s house and goods to Graziano and orders that Lago be executed. The end.
This was a way to rob and get people killed with style… Othello is not as psychopathic as the other guys, but he looses out by topping himself…

Another “sociological” manipulative item comes from the Gadfly. Here is a summary:
In Moscow, Vladimir Putin holds an annual end-of-year session running for about four long long long hours. 

In Canberra, the Russian ambassador, Grigory Logvinov, responding to the expulsion of two diplomats as part of a Western response to chemical weapon attack on the Skripals in London, told the press contingent that the Ruskies had no spies at the embassy Down Under – categorically. Absolutely none. Nada. Tell that to the Murdoch press! they won’t believe a word of it.

So, Grigory used favoured techniques to deal with the media: submission by asphyxiation and exhaustion. The journos are herded into a crowded, airless room, while every question is answered at interminable length. Everyone starts looking at their watches and fiddle with their phones. Piddly stuff.

Another time-honoured method to deal with the press is the full-bladder technique, whereby the hacks are filled with fluids before the show gets under way so questions are cut short as the journos race for the facilities.

One must say that if you don’t have the stamina of a Putin god, you will loose out by “having to go to the loo”. This was one of many Hillary’s problems when she disappeared to the powder room and left Trump triumphant on stage. 
So are we immune from hubris when we believe in the worth of our social constructs?… If we were, we would not have the need to discuss all this. Democracy would be sealed and delivered. 

Gus Leonisky
Local democratic atheist.

weaponised gas...

According to some estimates, the US is likely to emerge as one of the major LNG exporters by 2020. However, it appears that Washington is seeking to use its liquefied hydrocarbons as an economic weapon in the fight with its geopolitical rivals, Russia and China.

Washington has weaponized its liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies to kill two birds with one stone — expel Russia from the European energy market and win a "trade war" with China.

Following the 2014 February coup in Ukraine and Crimea's reunification with Russia, the administration of Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States, called upon the EU member states to cut their reliance on Russian gas, citing "security" reasons.

Speaking at the March 2014 EU-US Summit in Brussels, Obama urged the US' European allies to hurry up with the conclusion of the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), offering US liquefied natural gas (LNG) in exchange.


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defrauding church members

A prominent United Methodist Church pastor who oversees one of the largest congregations in the United States has been charged with defrauding members of over $1 million.

Kirbyjon Caldwell, senior pastor at Windsor Village United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas, which has an estimated 15,000 members, was indicted on multiple charges, including money laundering and wire fraud on Thursday.

According to the charges, Caldwell personally profited from the sale of more than $1 million in worthless Chinese bonds.

"The bonds were issued by the former Republic of China prior to 1949, are not recognized by China's current government and have no investment value, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana Alexander C. Van Hook said," Reuters reports.

"Caldwell and Gregory Alan Smith, 55, operator and manager of Smith Financial Group in Shreveport, [Louisiana], were charged by a federal grand jury in a 13-count indictment, prosecutors said."


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here comes the careerless prince...

The Belgian parliament has cut the endowment of the ever-controversial Prince Laurent after he showed up at a Chinese diplomatic function without the consent of the government, in full military uniform.

The House of Representatives voted early on Friday (local time) by 93 votes to 23 for a one-time cut of 46,000 euros ($74,000) from his annual endowment of some 300,000 euros ($480,000).

The move came despite an emotional letter from the 54-year-old brother of King Philippe saying he had never had the opportunity to pick his own career opportunities.


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going home for parity...

The Russian Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Saturday, the UK was notified that it should send home "just over 50" of its diplomats.

"We asked for parity. The Brits have 50 diplomats more than the Russians," said Zakharova.

Over the past few days, more than 25 countries, including numerous EU member states, the United States, Canada, Albania, Norway and Ukraine, have announced their decisions to collectively expel over 150 Russian diplomats as a sign of solidarity with London on the Skripal case.

Russia has already adopted a reciprocal response by ordering an equivalent number of diplomats out with regard to each of the countries.

On March 30, British Ambassador to Russia Laurie Bristow was summoned and told that London had a month to cut its diplomatic mission to the same size as the Russian mission in the UK.


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it's a miracle... or was it salmonella?...

Yulia Skripal has risen from her death bed and looks like she will make a full recovery from the “deadly nerve gas attack.”

Sarcasm aside, I am delighted that she is on the mend just as I was with DS Nick Bailey's speedy recovery. However, I do now wonder how Boris and "Saint Theresa" are going to spin this and fit it in to their, "it was the Russians wot done it" narrative?

READ MORE: Yulia Skripal Can Eat and Drink After She Regains Consciousness — Reports

We were told by the Sun newspaper amongst others that, "Novichok is one of the deadliest nerve agents ever created and reported to be five times more potent than the notorious VX gas.

The victim's heart and diaphragm are unable to function properly after coming into contact with the substance — leading to respiratory and cardiac arrest.

Those affected usually die from total heart failure or suffocation as copious fluid secretions fill their lungs."

So, and with apologies to Winston Churchill, it appears that this "is a miracle, a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma"!


Meanwhile, Mrs May has gone on a walking holiday in Wales with her husband. She will need the time to think! Last year she did the same and came back to London and called a snap election after repeatedly saying she would not do so. Will she come back this time and offer either an explanation or even an apology to Russia?

This whole saga has played out like a very poor version of the Board game Cluedo. Was it the Reverend Green in the conservatory with a piece of lead piping?

No, it was Putin with gas on a pizza. No it was gas in the car's air conditioning. Or was it in Yulia's suitcase? Finally, we are told it was on the door handle!

It has taken them three weeks to make this discovery? It's hardly Inspector Morse is it? More like The Keystone Cops.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson has already acted as the prosecutor, judge and jury and stated it was, "the Kremlin wot done it."

Theresa May has then waded in with her size 9 kitten heels and given the Russians a virtual kick in without producing any real evidence either to the British public or the Kremlin.


Please remind me, why is she refusing to allow the Russians to examine the nerve gas?

Are we really meant to believe that, just like in a poor children's cartoon, where the crooks wear stripy jumpers and carry a bag with "SWAG" written on it.  Two Russians have come to the UK, effectively with a bag of gas with instead of the word "SWAG" on it there are the words, "NOVICHOK MADE IN MOSCOW".  Far-fetched I know but so is Theresa Mays and the MSM's narrative.

However, all joking aside, the real danger in this whole episode is the way that Theresa May is now using this "mystery" to both paint Russia as our enemy and to clamp down on free speech.

On Wednesday, to little fanfare in the MSM press and broadcast outlets, she published the Security Capability Review. This document examines the threats to the UK's security.

Theresa wrote the forward to the document in which she talks about the Manchester and Westminster terrorist attacks and then in almost the same breath and sentence she includes the attack in Salisbury.


I'm sorry, but putting the Salisbury incident on the same level as the Manchester Arena attack that killed 22 people, mainly children, and Westminster is not only ludicrous but also deeply insulting, not only to the victims and their families but to the whole country.

Unfortunately, she doesn't stop there as she then lists who the threats to the UK are.

She starts with Islamic State and no one would argue with that. Next, she names North Korea which is understandable but I would say after Trump's intervention their threat is on the wane. Then she states that the other threat is Russia!

This assertion seems to be based on the Salisbury attack, in which at the moment no one has died and in fact two are on the road to recovery?

She seems to also rely on an article in the Telegraph which reported that Russia put out more than 20 stories "trying to confuse the picture and the charge sheet" over the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia in Salisbury.

Another view of the Telegraph's report, could of course be that Russia was merely trying to offer a counter narrative to the one the UK Government was peddling.

Are alternative views no longer tolerated in the UK? Now with the wheel falling off the Government's propaganda wagon, with the recovery of Yulia and the Policemen, those counter narratives don't seem so stupid, do they?

However, the Telegraph's assertion plays directly into the other narrative the Government are playing that Russia is the epicentre of all fake news.

Theresa now wants to counter this "propaganda and fake news" by telling every department of State to put security at the top of their agendas.

She is also going to use the BBC to "spread our values" around the world.

The BBC?!

The Biased Broadcasting Corporation?!

Do they really mirror the views of most British citizens?

I am afraid on this point I have to agree with the veteran left wing journalist and documentary maker, John Pilger who says in an interview on RT that, "the BBC is the most refined propaganda service in the world."

In this new strategy which has been titled The Fusion Doctrine, UK Intelligence services are instructed to swamp, divert, counter and even close down any sites, trolls or posts that are peddling "misinformation."

This is a very scary prospect as who are these people that will decide what is and what is not acceptable?

Will it stop just with sites based in Russia? Of course not!

How free will you and I be to express our cynicism over events like Salisbury in the future?

Just remind me are we living in 2018 or 1984?


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more than a violation of due process...

The High Court Judgment however appears to confirm that the British authorities are doing all they can to freeze the Russians out of the investigation of the case – which involves an attack on a Russian citizen – and to prevent them from learning any of the facts of the case.

That looks to me not just a violation of due process, but based on the texts of the 1965 Consular Convention between Britain and the USSR and the 1963 Vienna Convention which I have seen also a violation of both British and international law.

Given the increasingly strange look the facts of the case are taking (see above), it is however perhaps not so surprising that the British are reluctant to share with the Russians the full facts of the case.



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cockroaches are moving out...

moving out.

Saturday was moving-out day for US diplomats assigned to the American consulate in St. Petersburg.

Moscow shut down the consulate and expelled 60 Americans in a tit-for-tat retaliation for the US expulsion of the same number of Russian diplomats and the closing of its Seattle consulate.

The Americans given the heave-ho by Vladimir Putin’s government are among more than 150 Western diplomats tossed out of the country.

The dispute followed the poisoning in England of a former Russian spy and his daughter.

The ex-secret agent, Sergei V. Skripal, is in critical, but stable, condition. His daughter, Yulia, is no longer in critical condition.

The weapon was a deadly nerve agent developed by Soviet scientists during the Cold War.

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Blah blah blah... the "UK and the US never used any nerve gas or any other chemical agents" wink wink — apart from WWI (gas invented in Salsbury), Vietnam (agent orange and others), Kosovo and Iraq (deplete uranium), possibly Aleppo (phosporus bombs) and other unmentioned locations. They even don't have a report on the precise location where the US Navy dumped more than 30,000 tonnes (or was it liters?) of nerve gas agent in the oceans. So there.


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an insult to the clever sniggering satirist...



By Armando Iannucci


The creator of ‘Veep’...



I get lots of requests to take my fictional TV and film projects and write versions of them responding to current events. My answer is inevitably “No!” What’s the point of fiction if it’s not somehow different from reality? Yes, it should bear a similarity, but don’t we go to it because it’s also a relief from the real world — a heightened, absurd, dramatic or amusing version of what’s happening in front of us? And I get paid to make things up, so ironically, by making my shows more real, I’d be committing fraud. 

But reality has jumped the shark right now, and any attempt to present a fictional version of today’s events would never be as crazy as the real thing. The truth — in Washington, London or Moscow — is much more demented than fiction, signaling a full-on existential crisis for the comedy writer. No showrunner in his or her right mind would make their sitcom president urge his press secretary to go out on Day 1 of his administration and change the laws of math. If a hapless Sean Spicer character on a TV comedy had to spin photos showing a half-empty Mall into proof of the biggest inauguration crowd ever assembled, ever, period, President Trump would tweet that it was “unwatchable.” 

Unwatchable comedy has come to Britain, too. Last year, Prime Minister Theresa May stood before her party conference and had a coughing fit while the letters in the slogan “Building a country that works for everyone” started falling off the screen behind her. If that had been presented to me as a script idea, I would have rejected it as too childish. It would have been a step up in maturity if the writers then suggested that the remaining letters should form the word “butt.” 

 When people say to me that the Trump White House is so like “Veep,” I take that as an insult to “Veep.” We hired experienced consultants to tell us what language political operatives use and to walk us through the rhythm and pace of their daily lives. The real White House tried to nominate for a lifetime judicial appointment someone who was unable to answer the most basic questionsabout how trials work. As a plot twist, that’s just too on the nose. On the HBO show, the creative team spends long days writing and rewriting to get four or five plotlines neatly dovetailing and dancing to a satisfying climax. In the Trump White House, there is no neat dovetailing and certainly no satisfying climax; the president says he’ll sign a spending bill, then tweets that he won’t sign it , signs it anyway, wants us to know he’s signed it so he tweets about signing it, but then tweets that he didn't like signing it and that he’ll never sign another one like it. That’s a terrible plotline. And also a signal that someone needs medical help.


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On this web site we don't shy of writing stories that are truly funny but beyond the joke... Politics now lives in the sewers, overflowing from Kanbra, Londanum, to the Potomac effluent outlets coming from the White Dunny in Washington.

Actually politic has always been a stinking mess, but because our rotten biased media outlets kept polishing the turds, we saw sociological beauty. Satire was necessary to debunk the spell. Present politics are an insult to the clever sniggering satirist...


god can't escape duterte...

No one can escape the wrath of Rodrigo Duterte, one of the toughest-talking world leaders today, be it a US president, UN chief, or even the Pope! The Philippines president has now gone a step further by calling God “stupid.”

This time the 72-year-old leader targeted the concept of original sin in the Bible. During a speech at the opening of the 2018 Information and Communications Technology Summit in Davao City on Friday, Duterte recalled the Bible creation story of Adam and Eve and how they ate the forbidden fruit.

Adam ate it… then malice was born. Who is this stupid God? That son of a b*tch is stupid if that’s the case, the outspoken leader said. “You created something perfect and then you think of an event that would tempt and destroy the quality of your work.” 

Notorious for his controversial statements, the president continued, saying that babies shouldn’t be responsible for original sin. “That was your mother and father’s deed, you weren’t born yet, but now you have original sin. What kind of religion is that? I can’t accept it.”Duterte, however, said he still believes in the existence of “a universal mind.”

READ MORE: 'The price for this is a kiss’: Duterte slammed over book exchange

The latest rant is not the only one on the topic of religion. Earlier in June, Duterte went on a long tirade against Catholic priests for casting the government in a bad light, accusing them of hypocrisy. In 2015, while still mayor of Davao City, he even cursed Pope Francis over the traffic jams during his visit. 


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he must have read gus's rants...

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has said that he will not apologize for calling God “stupid” during a discussion about the Bible – this despite religious groups’ insistence that he is risking the wrath of a higher power.

READ MORE: Duterte needs ‘psychiatric test’ – UN human rights chief

Duterte was criticized by Christian groups who accused him of insulting God following his comments about the biblical story of creation last week. “Who is this stupid God? You created something perfect and then you think of an event that would destroy the quality of your work,” the 73-year-old told an audience in Davao City on June 22.


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... and any other relevant atheistic postings on this site.

force of habit...

Essay of the Day:

In Huffington Post, Eve Fairbanks writes about the sudden increase in young American women interested in becoming nuns. I have some quibbles, and quite a bit is left out in terms of explanation, but it’s an interesting piece. Here’s a snippet:

“After 50 years of decline, the number of young women ‘discerning the religious life’—or going through the long process of becoming a Catholic sister—is substantially increasing. In 2017, 13 percent of women from age 18 to 35 who answered a Georgetown University-affiliated survey of American Catholics reported that they had considered becoming a Catholic sister. That’s more than 900,000 young women, enough to repopulate the corps of ‘women religious’ in a couple of decades, even if only a fraction of them actually go through with it.

“And the aspiring sisters aren’t like the old ones. They’re more diverse: Ninety percent of American nuns in 2009 identified as white; last year, fewer than 60 percent of new entrants to convents did. They’re also younger: The average age for taking the final step into the religious life a decade ago was 40. Today, it’s 24. They’re disproportionately middle children, often high-flying and high-achieving. Typical discernment stories on blogs or in the Catholic press start with lines like ‘she played lacrosse and went to Rutgers’ or she was ‘a Harvard graduate with a wonderful boyfriend’ . . . These young women have one last surprise: They tend to be far more doctrinally conservative than their predecessors. If you go deeper into their social media feeds, past the wacky photos of habited nuns making the hang-loose sign, you’ll find a firm devotion to the most traditional of Catholic beliefs. They fervently protest abortion. They celebrate virginity not as a necessity to free up time to serve God—how some ‘liberal’ sisters see it—but as something in itself holy. It’s a severity that overlaps neatly, actually, with the OMG maximalism that dominates social media.

“Patrice Tuohy, the publisher of guides for people considering the religious life, including, told me that not long ago she used to get only about 350 queries a year by phone and online. Last year, she got 2,600. And 60 percent of those women, Tuohy said, explicitly asked if they could join an order that would force them to wear a habit.”


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Meanwhile at the Post...:

sex toys

This is a REAL COVER  of the NYP...

Gus is a fierce atheist for good reasons...

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