Saturday 2nd of March 2024

Sociology versus religionism in democracy…

glass marbles
As they evolved, humans have always found imagined ways to define who they are and how to structure their social relationships. We’ve been through many upheavals and delusions, including some beliefs that created various inquisition in which non-believers were simply murdered. Murder still happens today with apostasy and atheism in countries such as Saudi Arabia.

Here we are in the 21st century, a date defined in most of the Western world by a guy’s death, a fellow who got crucified by the Romans on behalf of a “chosen people” — though humans in other geographical areas, have had a different time-point of reference such as when Confucius spoketh, and we’re still debating the shape of the social cheese — now slowly maturing into a better democratic freedom camembert. 

Some civilisation did not mark passing time such, except through a continuum of survival, in which changes can be noted only now by paying attention to subtle stylistic differences in artistic expression of spirituality and sex over a long time — over 40,000 years. In this respect, the closure (today, 25/10/19) of the climb of Uluru is significant (See: the view from the monthly... in uluru... uluru...). Some civilisations came and went because of their own failures, their people embroiled with various beliefs that led to some nasty rituals, such as the Aztec human sacrifices that did not prevent bad crops — and others, destroyed by the modernity of guns… 

The moires of tribes and people thus has had many ebbs and flows, in which religion, especially the Abrahamic religions, have become as useful as blocks of concrete in our brain. We need flexibility and adaptation to improved knowledge, rather than plod through social constructs that have deluded inane sets of beliefs.

So, rather than go into the near infinite ocean of sociology studies, including the annoying purpose of present despots, we shall concentrate on the smaller pool of human reproductive relationships. 

In many social constructs, old and modern, relationships have had to be stylised to avoid incest and inbreeding that often lead to degeneration within a population. This characteristic would have been noted in early tribes. Inbred individuals are more likely to show physical, mental and health defects.

It seems that new research in Germany has provided a major clue on family constructs during the Bronze Age, where families avoided inbreeding by choosing partners from “other tribes”, afar… 

In the Australian Aboriginal social constructs, such exchange of varied genetic material were seen as essential to maintain the health of the various groups. As well, many Aboriginal groups were “matriarchal” rather than ruled by men.
Meanwhile, in the stupid Abrahamic religious beliefs, the two sons of Eve and Adam had wives which were their own twin sisters, and each was to marry one of the sons. Inbreeding galore. No wonder that the religious mobs appear to be IQ deficient, despite the singing and dancing. Okay, this is below the belt...

The Midrash — the biblical interpretation by ancient "Judaic authorities” (mostly men, old men) of the Talmud — notes that Abel's promised wife, Aclima, was more beautiful than her sister Awan. Since Cain would not consent to the arrangement, Adam suggested seeking God's blessing by means of a sacrifice. God, the eternal idiotic joker, favoured Abel's sacrifice of goat meat instead of Cain vegan sacrifice of carrots and tomatoes. Cain thus murdered Abel, whereupon God punished Cain to a life of wandering. But Cain found the land of Nod where he built a city and fathered the long line of descendants, us, by default since Abel had carked it. This line started with Enoch, his son. From then on the fiction is a bit broken to explain how most of these come from inbred bastards… All fiction. Bad fiction.

This fictional narrative of the bible never stated Cain's motive for murdering his brother, nor God's reason for rejecting Cain's sacrifice, nor any details on the identity of Cain's wife. With what follows in the Nod tent, it’s most likely that Cain procreated with both his twin sisters. and since Abel was dead, we’re all inbred descendants of this mad guy — Cain, the originator of evil, violence, or greed. All fiction, stupid irrational fiction...

Yep, this story makes as much sense as a red lunatic monkey living with his family of rejects on planet Mars. But the Christians happily swallow the whole capers — as well as many other stupid beliefs that make less sense than a lunatic blue whale living alone on Pluto. 


So we need to take a major reality check away from this religious shit

The evolution of the Human species went through a few ebbs and flows in which Cain, Abel, Eve, Adam and the twins have no place to be. Science has a few tools to inspect relationships — a bit better than this stupid stinking biblical fantasy.


For example, back to the study of the (Germanic) Bronze Age families:

Four thousand years ago, the Early Bronze Age farmers of southern Germany had no Homer [the Greek raconteur — not the father of Bart Simpson] to chronicle their marriages, travails, and family fortunes. But a detailed picture of their social structure has now emerged from a remarkable new study. By combining evidence from DNA, artifacts, and chemical clues in teeth, an interdisciplinary team unraveled relationships and inheritance patterns in several generations of high-ranking families buried in cemeteries on their farmsteads.

Among the most striking of the findings, was an absence: “We were totally missing adult daughters,” says team member Alissa Mittnik, a postdoc at Harvard Medical School in Boston. Sons, in contrast, put down roots on their parents' land and kept wealth in the family.

“What shocked me was that you have to give away all your daughters at some moment,” says co-author Philipp Stockhammer, an archaeologist at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich and the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for the Science of Human History in Jena, both in Germany. That poignant glimpse into an ancient culture “could not possibly be recovered … through any one of these methodologies” alone, says historian Patrick Geary of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, who was not part of the team.

The researchers worked with remains and grave goods excavated more than 20 years ago, when land along the Lech River south of Augsburg was dug up to build a housing development. Radiocarbon dates showed the farmers lived between 4750 years ago and 3300 years ago. Mittnik was working in the lab of Johannes Krause at MPI, and she and her colleagues analyzed DNA across the genomes of 104 people buried on the farmsteads. The team sought clues to the farmers' sex and how they were related to one another. The researchers recalibrated the radiocarbon dates, constraining them to within 200 years in some cases, and identifying four to five generations of ancestors and descendants who lived in that time window.

Some of the early farmers studied were part of the Neolithic Bell Beaker culture, named for the shape of their pots. Later generations of Bronze Age men who retained Bell Beaker DNA were high-ranking, buried with bronze and copper daggers, axes, and chisels. Those men carried a Y chromosome variant that is still common today in Europe. In contrast, low-ranking men without grave goods had different Y chromosomes, showing a different ancestry on their fathers' side, and suggesting that men with Bell Beaker ancestry were richer and had more sons, whose genes persist to the present.

One-third of the women were also buried with great wealth—elaborate copper headdresses, thick bronze leg rings, and decorated copper pins. They were outsiders, however. Their DNA set them apart from others in the burials, and strontium isotopes in their teeth, which reflect minerals in the water they drank, show they were born and lived until adolescence far from the Lech River. Some of their grave goods—perhaps keepsakes from their early lives—link them to the Únětice culture, known for distinctive metal objects, at least 350 kilometers east in what is now eastern Germany and the Czech Republic.

There was no sign of these women's daughters in the burials, suggesting they, too, were sent away for marriage, in a pattern that persisted for 700 years. The only local women were girls from high-status families who died before ages 15 to 17, and poor, unrelated women without grave goods, probably servants, Mittnik says. Strontium levels from three men, in contrast, showed that although they had left the valley as teens, they returned as adults. That “opens a new window into male life cycles,” Geary says.

Bronze Age princely burials have long signaled social inequality. But the organization of these societies remained “rather vague,” Stockhammer says. By combining archaeology with DNA data on family ties, the new study sharpened the picture. The data show, for example, that brothers were buried with equally rich grave goods, indicating that all sons, not just the eldest, inherited wealth. Related men kept wealth in the family for four to five generations.

The burials of poor, unrelated people on the same plot suggested inequality thrived within these households. Such complex social structure in these rather modest farmsteads surprised Stockhammer, who says the archaeological record in Europe first shows servants or enslaved people living under the same roof as higher-ranking people 1500 years later, in classical Greece.

Read more:

Science  11 Oct 2019:
Vol. 366, Issue 6462, pp. 168


No Christian here… Just a social structure which allowed these humans to stylistically survive better (some better than others). So what about our modern social structures: based on the Abel/Cain myth, or on the evolution of neolithic tribes in central Germany, Italy (Rome), Athens, Saxony and Gaul? Why did the Greek invent gods and goddesses that would bring them fame and fortune, while some of the people enjoyed homosexuality as well as structured social procreating? We also have to know that human tribes (in what we define as Europe now), way before 40,000 years ago also interbred with Neanderthals, a different species of hominid, in some proportion.


So, Rod Dreher, the uber religious man in foggy glasses, is still looking for the escape hatch that will lead him to the Benedict paradise Hills where his favourite looney-tune characters from the bible have gone to. It’s painful to read… I did not have to mention him here, but considering he represents a very strong defined religious viewpoint, may as well use him as a stupid counterpoint:

If anything, the Ben Op book ought to have been more “head for the hills” than it is. I may have been too optimistic about the ability of Christian families and communities to withstand liquid modernity. The core point, though, is that the power of liquid modernity is such that trying to face it with ordinary Christianity is like going out into a hurricane with an umbrella and expecting to stay dry.

Yes, we're living in a somewhat liquid modernity, the “new” social interaction of the present leading us to the uncertain future, designed to erase the loony gods from our past… and help us construct better secular societies without killing each others.

So what is “liquid Modernity”, the state of modern social interactions that seems to chagrin (or please — so he can push a barrow of religious beliefs against it) Rod Dreher?

Liquid Modernity 1st Edition, Kindle Edition
by Zygmunt Bauman 

In this new book, Bauman examines how we have moved away from a 'heavy' and 'solid', hardware-focused modernity to a 'light' and 'liquid', software-based modernity. This passage, he argues, has brought profound change to all aspects of the human condition. The new remoteness and un-reachability of global systemic structure coupled with the unstructured and under-defined, fluid state of the immediate setting of life-politics and human togetherness, call for the rethinking of the concepts and cognitive frames used to narrate human individual experience and their joint history. 

This book is dedicated to this task. Bauman selects five of the basic concepts which have served to make sense of shared human life - emancipation, individuality, time/space, work and community - and traces their successive incarnations and changes of meaning.

Liquid Modernity concludes the analysis undertaken in Bauman's two previous books Globalization: The Human Consequences and In Search of Politics. Together these volumes form a brilliant analysis of the changing conditions of social and political life by one of the most original thinkers writing today.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s Bauman published a number of books that dealt with the relationship between modernity, bureaucracy, rationality and social exclusion.[14] Bauman, following Freud, came to view European modernity as a trade off: European society, he argued, had agreed to forego a level of freedom to receive the benefits of increased individual security. Bauman argued that modernity, in what he later came to term its 'solid' form, involved removing unknowns and uncertainties. It involved control over nature, hierarchical bureaucracy, rules and regulations, control and categorisation — all of which attempted to remove gradually personal insecurities, making the chaotic aspects of human life appear well-ordered and familiar.
Later in a number of books Bauman began to develop the position that such order-making never manages to achieve the desired results[Gus: see Denis Diderot].When life becomes organised into familiar and manageable categories, he argued, there are always social groups who cannot be administered, who cannot be separated out and controlled. In his book Modernity and Ambivalence Bauman began to theorise about such indeterminate persons in terms of an allegorical figure he called, 'the stranger.' Drawing upon Georg Simmel's sociology and the philosophy of Jacques Derrida, Bauman came to write of the stranger as the person who is present yet unfamiliar, society's undecidable. In Modernity and Ambivalence Bauman attempted to give an account of the different approaches modern society adopts toward the stranger. He argued that, on the one hand, in a consumer-oriented economy the strange and the unfamiliar is always enticing; in different styles of food, different fashions and in tourism it is possible to experience the allure of what is unfamiliar. Yet this strange-ness also has a more negative side. The stranger, because he cannot be controlled or ordered, is always the object of fear; he is the potential mugger, the person outside of society's borders who is a constant threat.

One of the important omissions here so far is that of religious differences which are “unfamiliar" and not compatible with the rest of the social construct. Some leeway can be given to the “strange", but some of the “traditions” in such religious impositions, which we accept reluctantly due to our social open-arm freedoms, are contrary to the secular network performance of freedom, creating a different tier of social behaviour — including forcing young immature girls into marriage, such as in some Islamic applications.
… Modernity and the Holocaust, is an attempt to give a full account of the dangers of those kinds of fears. Drawing upon Hannah Arendt and Theodor Adorno's books on totalitarianism and the Enlightenment, Bauman developed the argument that the Holocaust should not simply be considered to be an event in Jewish history, nor a regression to pre-modern barbarism. Rather, he argued, the Holocaust should be seen as deeply connected to modernity and its order-making efforts. Procedural rationality, the division of labour into smaller and smaller tasks, the taxonomic categorisation of different species, and the tendency to view obedience to rules as morally good, all played their role in the Holocaust coming to pass. He argued that for this reason modern societies have not fully grasped the lessons of the Holocaust; it tends to be viewed—to use Bauman's metaphor—like a picture hanging on the wall, offering few lessons. 
In Bauman's analysis the Jews became 'strangers' par excellence in Europe.[15] The Final Solution was pictured by him as an extreme example of the attempt made by society to excise the uncomfortable and indeterminate elements that exist within it. Bauman, like the philosopher Giorgio Agamben, contended that the same processes of exclusion that were at work in the Holocaust could, and to an extent do, still come into play today.
In the mid-to-late 1990s, Bauman began to explore postmodernity and consumerism.[16] He posited that a shift had taken place in modern society in the latter half of the 20th century. It had changed from a society of producers into a society of consumers. According to Bauman, this change reversed Freud's "modern" tradeoff—i.e., security was given up in exchange for more freedom, freedom to purchase, consume, and enjoy life. In his books in the 1990s Bauman wrote of this as being a shift from "modernity" to "post-modernity”.
Since the turn of the millennium, his books have tried to avoid the confusion surrounding the term "postmodernity" by using the metaphors of "liquid" and "solid" modernity. In his books on modern consumerism, Bauman still writes of the same uncertainties that he portrayed in his writings on "solid" modernity; but in these books he writes of fears becoming more diffuse and harder to pin down. Indeed, they are, to use the title of one of his books, "liquid fears" – fears about paedophilia, for instance, which are amorphous and have no easily identifiable reference.[17]
Bauman is credited with coining the term allosemitism to encompass both philo-Semitic and anti-Semitic attitudes towards Jews as the other.[18][19] Bauman reportedly predicted the negative political effect that social media have on voter's choice by denouncing them as 'trap' where people only 'see reflections of their own face'.[20]

Rod Dreher continues:


I understand why many conservative Christians don’t want to deal with the claims I make in my book. If I’m right, then the comfortable strategies they’re living by won’t work, and offer false hope. If I’m right, then they will have to change in ways they don’t want to change — including letting go of the bland optimism that says everything is bound to work out fine. So it’s easier to paint The Benedict Option as a neo-Amish tract, so it can be dismissed.

If the floodwaters are coming, you don’t want to drown because the forecast was too upsetting to take seriously. Read Bauman’s book about liquid modernity to understand the essence of our cultural condition: that the flood is already here, and we’re drowning in it. Last week’s polling data news from the Pew center on the collapse of Christianity in America is more evidence. Bauman was neither a Christian nor a conservative. He was a Marxist. But he understood something central to what it means to live in our time. We who are Christians had better take him seriously.

Here is an eight-minute interview Bauman did with The Guardian before his death. Worth watching, even though he’s wrong about the source of our problems being the separation of power from politics. If he’s right about that, then communist China is the answer to our problems...


As usual, Rod Dreher manipulates his nose as not to see beyond it… He’s made his mind up and wrote about it: Dive under the storm of modernity in a bubble of delusion, hanging on to a useless belief, called the Benedict option — a derivative of Christianity in perdition. 

But… Ye who are Christians should have a deep look at what you believe in, before philosophising about liquid modernity and the future of humanity… 

Liquid modernity is more like a thick sweet trickle, with a massive lot of coloured information, some useful some not. The religious input in modernity is woeful, backwards and inadequate to deal with any new sciences. Whether you like or not here, religion is uselessly deceptive about the present settings of humanity, both genetic and social, still in “evolution”. 

Life and the universe are far too complex, “faulty" and unsettled for an intelligent designer to have thought of all the bits, some of which are wonky mistakes, regressions, erasures, and contrary to the system. Chaos, status of energy and matter in random associations can only define the brackets of conditions for life to occur at a defining level, all accidental. These factors create change and thus liquidity. We do not live like the Romans, nor like the subjects of Henry VIII… We have moved on, even if our system is not perfect as yet — and we understand the natural processes far more than then, even if an old farmer knows best when to plant his seeds.

Social media — "especially where people only 'see reflections of their own face'" — has had an image problem, but social media also has “netizens” as investigators and propagators of information — false or true. Most of the social media is conflicted as an influencer of political intentions or a propagator of knowledge of democratic values, and it will influence fashion and dancing, plus silly-cat grooming. The said social media can also influence the younger generations to protest against our apathy regarding global warming, though. 
Yes, we, the oldies, are the ones who have seen the changes, but we ignore them because we’re proud of our comfortable achievements, including those that punctured a hole in the ozone layer until we had to do something about it. On this score we’re always waiting for the last minute to act and sort out the bleeding mess, though new scientific information tells us daily that we need to get off our arse NOW.... 
In the recent past — as for many centuries, democracy was not even a grain of sand considering we lived under the thumb of a ruthless ruling class, namely kings and nobility, until some revolutions came along. Some people had enough of the divine self-allocated rights and were seeking equity with democratic rights.

Till about 50 year ago, we had to rely on spruikers standing on soap-boxes at street corners, or lying oratories from engaged biased politicians and on dubious slanted newspapers for information. Then the idiot box came in. Not a good selection of sources to make proper value judgements… We were like flies in a jar.

The internet has thus fostered a new possibility of information seeking: a much greater choice that is more direct and to say the least, easier to unpick or reformat in the direction of “modernity”. It does not rely on old patterns, such as religious beliefs that are looking backwards with stupid concepts such as an “original sin", but on the ability to choose between levels of entertainment, pain, medical attention, scientific information and more — information which is improving at a fast rate, in details and complexity of understanding, especially on the biology of life and on the structure of the universe…

We know more, we know better... even if we know "nothing"...

We are thus caught between a flux of galactic forces and the environmental settings of a small planet, with so far no hope of escaping. Individual death is part and terminal parcel of this bracketing of life.

On a social level, the importance of language is often underestimated. Languages carry the history of a group and a society, as well as its own hopes and relative borders. Breaking borders tend to create a mixing flux, a conflicting synergy between old dead thinking and the said modernity fluidity. Some of the languages are also attached to strong cultural parallel such as Islam and the arabic language.

When the Catholic Church decided to abandon Latin because of “modernity”, it eliminated the arcane feeling and replaced the voodoo with what became what should be seen as an obvious silliness. It opened the door to controversies and the vulgar (the spoken language) restructuring of the fanciful narrative into naive fairy tales for kiddies. 
Islam did not fall into this trap and this is why it is still strong. The Koran can only be read in its original language, Arabic. It does not subject itself to modern fluidity in in its thoughts, but will happily adopt the deadly weapons of modernity. This will generate conflicts within a free democratic society in which such freedom allows for fanciful “traditional” restrictions and behaviour — contrary to the spirit of freedom and fluidity of modernism.

We will sort this out, nonetheless...

Gus Leonisky
Used to be a marble-player champion... (Image at top by Gus leonisky)

finding our lost marbles — sex...

Following on the comment above:


The next steps in sexual relationships are love, romantic choice or arranged marriages, plus an array of other possibilities, some of which are procreative and some are not… The complexities are endless. prostitution, sex for pleasure, beauty and the beast, princes and princesses, contraception, veils, belly dance, seduction, rejection, #me2, make-up and lipstick, impressing the ladies on the sport-fields, celibacy, female priests, attraction and desire, stylistic sex like Kama sutra, abortion, post-natal depression, menstruation, etc.


Important factors that have been very contentious as well are consent and age, leading to the notion of rape and pedophilia.

In the bible, monogamy is the exception. Most of the major rulers such as David, Solomon and others had many wives and concubines. 

A few points:
Surekha poses for a portrait inside the hut during her first period. When she realized she had her first period, she was ashamed and tried to hide it. “I don’t feel impure or untouchable although this practice has changed my daily life," she says. “I can’t believe that this is going to happen every month of my life." (Maria Contreras Coll)
Photographer Maria Contreras Coll traveled to Nepal to examine the tradition known as Chaupadi Pratha and see how times are changing, especially with the proliferation of technology and an influx of tourism. She told In Sight more about the tradition and what her project is about:

"The first menstruation is a turning point for every young woman in the world. In Nepal, this entry into adulthood is tied to a loss of purity. According to the Hindu faith, it is seen as a punishment for all women. In rural areas, menstrual women are exiled for a week in a practice known as Chaupadi Pratha. When they are on their period, they are not allowed to enter their houses, visit the temples or cook. Sometimes they are not even allowed to look at or talk to any male relatives.

"Dozens of women and girls have died in recent years from following this tradition, despite the practice being banned by the Supreme Court in 2005. Women are constantly at risk of being bitten by animals or choking from the fumes in the small, non-ventilated huts they are banished to. Although these restrictions have existed for decades, Nepali society is changing rapidly, with widespread access to new technologies, which are steadily becoming more and more present in the everyday lives of its inhabitants. In August 2017, for the first time in history, the country criminalized the isolation of menstrual women with a three-month jail sentence or a 3,000 rupee fine ($30), or both, for anyone who forces a woman to follow the custom


Julie Waringi has been in the Mount Hagen Hospital in Papua New Guinea's highlands for two weeks waiting to give birth to her sixth child.

Key points: 

• PNG is currently said to have a population of 8 million people
• At the current growth rate, the population could double in 30 years
• The average Papua New Guinean woman has more than four babies
After travelling several hours into town from her village, she went into false labour, but she decided it was safer to stay.

"I saw the setting here, they had doctors on call 24 hours. Because I'd had a lot of pregnancies, I decided to stay," she said.

It was likely a wise decision: PNG has the highest maternal death rate in the Pacific. More than 2,000 women die in child birth in Papua New Guinea each year.

After just two hours of labour she gave birth to a boy she named Isaac.

"I'm excited. He's got just one sister and the rest are all boys. I was thinking I'd get another girl, but it's all right," she said.

Papua New Guinea has a low rate of contraception use, with only 37 per cent of married women and 18 per cent of sexually active unmarried women on birth control.

Marie Stopes, a not-for-profit family planning service, runs outreach clinics across the country. 

That in itself is a challenge; teams will sometimes have to drive, take a small plane, and then trek for hours to reach communities. 

They are not always welcome and have been chased out of communities in the past.

Most of PNG has a strong patriarchal culture and women often have to get permission from their husbands to go on contraception.

Cathy Tukne from Marie Stopes said one woman came to an outreach clinic wanting to go on contraception, but her husband came with guns to retrieve her.

"She cried when she left, and we couldn't do anything," she said.

There are cases of women who have had a contraceptive implant put into their arms being brought back in to have it removed after their husbands have seen the scar. 

Sometimes, their husbands have cut it out themselves.

Andy Henry, another Marie Stopes worker, said one woman got an IUD after her 14th child.

She opted for the device that is implanted in the uterus so that her husband would not know. 

"In the community, people will usually say the man is the boss of the society. Women have to be under the man. Whatever the man says, the women have to follow," Mr Henry said.

There also remains a promiscuity stigma for younger women using contraception. 

Ms Tukne was forced to drop out of university when she became pregnant and her parents stopped supporting her. 

"When I was doing grade seven, I had 13-year-old friends who were pregnant, who then got married. From that class of 15 girls, only five of us got to grade nine," she said. 

Now the mother of two wants to see more women empowered to be able to make their own choices.


Your beloved child has been kidnapped by a sadistic cult. The cult brainwashes her to believe you are the enemy. The brainwashing erases her entire childhood. Every good memory is replaced with memories of abuse that never happened.

The cult convinces her to inject poison in her body and to get her healthy body parts amputated.

You panic. You scream. You sob. You beg. You are reduced to nothing.

You search for help everywhere. Nobody will help. Nobody will stop the cult. In fact, the government investigates YOU and tells you to approve of what the cult is doing to your daughter.

The world has gone mad.

You find out the cult is kidnapping thousands of other young girls and boys. And the government is funding the cult. You grieve with other parents going through the exact same thing


Televangelist Paula White said that Christians who don't support President Donald Trump will have to answer to God.

White, who serves as spiritual adviser to President Donald Trump and chairs the president’s evangelical advisory board, made the comments during a Friday appearance on the “The Jim Bakker Show” where she was promoting her latest book, Something Greater, in which she discusses intimate details of her life including her relationship with Trump.

“It is a dividing line unless you have eyes to see,” White told Bakker while discussing how America was being changed through the lower courts. Trump has been working hard to protect religious freedom in a spiritual war between good and evil that is being waged through the courts and that threatens to outlaw the Bible as hate speech, she claimed.


It's important to examine factors leading to such tragedies as the murder of Eurydice Dixon in order to prevent them from happening again, writes Jaime de Loma-Osorio Ricon.

WHEN I WAS 12 years old, my mum was beaten to death. Her killer was never found. From one moment to the next, without any apparent reason or motive, her life ended and ours changed forever. Our privileged family was immediately thrown into a spiral of suffering that ultimately had tragic, deadly consequences, even decades later.

Quite early on, after getting over the first wave of pain, I remember endlessly speculating about the person who had done this. Intuitively, I always knew it was a man, now a wealth of statistical evidence backs this hunch. In my late teens, I thought about this obsessively during a protracted debate about the death penalty with an otherwise progressive American girlfriend I was with. What would I want done to him?


The singer claimed that she previously thought she “had to be gay” because she regarded men as evil, until finally encountering a certain special someone.

American singer Miley Cyrus has apparently landed in hot water after she told her social media audience that they "don’t have to be gay" as there’s apparently plenty of people of the opposite sex they simply haven’t encountered yet.

Sharing her advice via Instagram Live, Miley, accompanied by her new partner Cody Simpson, told people not to give up because “there are good men out there.”

"You don’t have to be gay, there are good people with d**ks out there, you’ve just got to find them. You’ve got to find a d**k that’s not a d**k, you know?" she said as quoted by the Independent. "I always thought I had to be gay, because I thought all guys were evil, but it’s not true. There are good people out there that just happen to have d**ks. I’ve only ever met one, and he’s on this live."

Following the ensuing backlash on social media, Miley attempted to clarify her stance by tweeting that one does not choose their sexuality, and that it has always been her priority "to protect the LGBTQ community" she considers herself to be a part of.


Rep. Katie Hill’s alleged sexual escapades with her own staffers have divided constituents in her California district, The Associated Press reported.

Susan Slates, a beauty salon owner in Los Angeles, told the news service she was “disappointed” with Hill’s conduct but that “I still love her.”

Liquor store owner Danny Hawara disagreed.

“It’s a bad role model for the children,” Hawara said. He believes Hill should leave office.

Hill, 32, faces an inquiry from her Democratic colleagues in the US House of Representatives after news emerged last week she had engaged in affairs with a female staffer and a male campaign aide, along with steamy photos of a nude Hill surfacing online.

“This coordinated effort to try to destroy me and the people close to me is despicable,” she said.


See also:
is the pleasure of sex democratic... | Your Democracy

a lot of tears followed... | Your Democracy




Sweden has cancelled a major study of women whose pregnancy continued beyond 40 weeks after six babies died.

The research was halted a year ago after five stillbirths and one early death in the babies of women allowed to continue their pregnancies into week 43.

“Our belief is that it would not have been ethically correct to proceed” with the study, the researchers concluded.

There is no international consensus on how to manage healthy pregnancies lasting more than 40 weeks, although it is generally accepted that there is an increased risk of adverse effects for mother and baby beyond 41 weeks.

But because the risks are small, research into late-term pregnancies requires large numbers of women in order to achieve statistical significance. Led by Gothenburg’s Sahlgrenska university hospital, the Swedish post-term induction study (Swepis) set out to survey 10,000 women at 14 hospitals.

Women in their 40th week of pregnancy were invited to join the study and divided randomly into two groups, with labour induced at the beginning of either week 42 or week 43, unless it occurred spontaneously.

When abruptly halted in October 2018, the study had involved only a quarter of the target number of expectant mothers. But the six deaths were already judged to indicate a significantly increased risk for women induced at the start of week 43. No infants died in the group whose pregnancies were ended a week earlier.

Although concern about the findings was first reported by Swedish televisionin the summer, researchers have declined to make the results public, or to speak to the media, until their work is published in a medical journal. But details are contained in a doctoral thesis by one of the researchers, recently made available on Gothenburg University’s website.

The immediate consequences of the study “may be a change of the clinical guidelines to recommend induction of labour no later than at 41+0 gestational weeks”, its author concludes.

Sahlgrenska hospital announced on Thursday that it would change its pregnancy management policies based on the results of Swepis trial.

“We have awaited the scientific analysis showing that it is really true that there is a greater risk of waiting two weeks beyond term,” the head of childbirth operations at the hospital told Swedish television.

“Now we plan, as soon as we possibly can, to offer induction in week 41 to all women who go over term.”


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