Nationalism vs Patriotism

I simply don't understand what is so wrong with nationalism.

We are told that Donald Trump is bad, he identifies as a nationalist and so did Hitler, therefore Trump is Hitler.

Many references exist that tell you amongst others, that Gandhi was a nationalist. So clearly there must be something else apart from "nationalism" that denotes whether a person is evil or not, since it appears that you can be nationalist, and good.

I hear the word nationalism, and think of a a country that is proud of their heritage and wants people  to share in the goodness of their country and their heritage. That doesn't mean I want people to come to the country and us what to do, but I want people to come here because they like who we are and want to be part of us.

Donald Trump is his recent White House press conference, said quite clearly that he wants and needs immigrants in the country because the American economy is growing. But, he says, he wants people who are there legally.

I don…

First Aid Kit

A friend of mine took me to see the, apparently Swedish band, First Aid Kit. I say "apparently" because they had a mix of nationalities in the lineup.

I was quite enjoying it. Great to see a female bass player with great bass guitars.

Unfortunately half way through came the political nonsense where there was a song dedicated to calling out rape culture while a bunch of women whooped and hollered.

I believe the concept of a rape culture is bogus at best.

Before you lynch me, let me explain. There are no grey areas. It's black and white. Rape is wrong. Sexual violence is wrong. If you don't consent, it is wrong. It doesn't matter about gender, or race, or sex. Someone taking something of which you do not freely give is wrong. Full stop.

Unfortunately, the term "rape culture" seems very much equated to a women vs men kind of scenario, the sort of identity politics that I despise. As one article on The Conversation reports, "the problem of rape ... is …

The Truth

While President Trump continues to get the blame for being both Anti Semitic and also not Anti Semitic in the wake of the Pittsburgh shootings, I believe it has never been as important to talk openly, freely and honestly.

With the same rights that both Jewish and Islamic people have to believe that Christ isn't the son of God, I believe I have the same right as a Christian to doubt the credentials of Mohammed as a prophet.

I believe that fundamentally, that done without hatred, we can be free to disagree, to rip through each others scriptures and point out inaccuracies and contradictions in the same way we might agree to disagree with Jehovahs witnesses, or Mormons, Scientologists or even Atheists.

Each one of us, is free to believe what we want to believe. But each one of us, as devout followers of our religion, will believe that we have the exclusive truth. We want our friends to be saved and enjoy the salvation that comes from what we consider the true path. We certainly don…

Boycotting the Oscars

Here's one I was toying with a couple of years ago...

It appears a load of black people, or the term I've heard, "people of colour" are furious due to under-representation at the Oscars compared to white people.

Maybe it is a case that I do talk from a position of white privilege, but I don't feel privileged when one group of people seek special representation against my group of people based not on the great things they've done, but based on their particular classification.

The thing I would say we should be arguing about, is that there should be more diversity in our mainstream - and Im not just talking about ethinicity here.

The response to the oscars to call for a boycott, only furthers in my mind, to segregate further. It is a form of positive discrimination. It doesn't recognise our common and our shared humanity. It doesn't recognise that we all have strengths and weaknesses. It doesn't look at our merits, but actually does the very thing t…

Donald Trump Day

A few years back, I was invited to give a talk at Church on what is holy to me. Believing in a God who made everything and everyone in it, I wondered how anything could possibly be unholy.

If some things or some people and holy and others aren't, then where do we draw the line as to what is holy? We should know from the teaching of Jesus, that we are all one body but different gifts, so why should one of us be unholy because we practice our faith in a different way. One part of the body can not reject another member of the body because it does something different.

In Church, I see an awful lot of interfaith work going on. However when we get the subject of politics, especially over the past year with the presidency of Donald Trump and Brexit, we find swathes of Christians preferring to walk in solidarity with other faiths than they do with other professing Chrisitans.

Im not saying we shouldn't be walking alongside other faiths, but it does upset me when we talk in such a soli…

Interfaith Nonsense

Over the recent months, we have seen continuing terrorist related incidents linked with Islamic extremism.

What we see however is an attempt to distance such acts from Islam itself, which serves no other purpose than to sweep what is happening under the rug, to isolate such incidents from each other and so we fail to recognise any pattern.

Whether we like it or not, there is something in the culture, the ideology, the teaching, whatever it is, that is encouraging people to commit atrocities in the name of God.

Now is the time when the communities need to come together, learn from and support each other, in the same way we wish to wipe out Britain First, EDL, BNP and the like.

We need to work together to find out what our fears and our prejudices are, and we need to be open about them.

However here is where I diverge back on topic.

We aren't going to achieve that by pandering to one group of society.

Virtually every take away in our "multi cultural" part of England, is ha…

1p Mobile warning

For everybody out there, welcome home!

Here is a post for my UK readers.

I have had a few adverts coming up from 1p Mobile and I thought I should offer you a warning.

1p Mobile are the company that offer amazing value at 1p per text, 1p per minute and 1p per Megabyte.

Sounds great.

Indeed, the service is great if all you are bothered about is SMS Text Messaging and Telephone calls. EE PAYG for Text Messaging costs 15p per text. So for every 1 Text you can send on EE, you can send 15 of them on 1p Mobile.

Now one has to stop and wonder how 1p Mobile can actually afford to offer ludicrous rates at 1/15th of the cost of other networks. The clue comes in the final part, 1p per MB. Do not dream of signing up to these guys if you're using any kind of smart phone. You will be ripped off.

1 Gig of data, which is actually quite a low amount by todays standards, works out at 1000 Meg, or £10.

£10 at EE will get you a Data Pack comprising 2 Gig of Data, 100 minutes and unlimited texts, which…

Feminism vs Humanism

I don't understand feminism.

I simply don't.

I learned yesterday that History is a mostly male dominated thing. Written by men, about men, for men! Chauvenistic pigs. How dare they have a primitive culture to us!

But feminists seem to applaud anything to do with female and femininity, anything vaguely woman related, we should push for. Which always comes across to me as positive discrimination.

To me it's a huge turn off. So when we use the criteria of gender and power to determine whether we should watch a film, or read a book, I do question whether "feminism" is the model of equality or equity with which we laud it.

I've been trying to brush up on what exactly feminism is. They say it is about equality first off, as a loose sort of definition. But why call it feminism? Why not humanism? "Fem" = Female = Woman. So already it sets a distinction and puts women apart. Men can be feminists we're told, feminism is all encompassing, but feminism appe…

We're Busy Too

One of my pet hates, is when someone says "Im Busy" when trying to organise something.

I don't discredit the fact that someone is genuinely doing something, but it doesn't seem that difficult to look through your calendar and find a mutual date and time that works for both. Yes I realise that it can happen that you may actually have a full calendar, but saying "Im busy" to me, is just saying "You're such a low priority in my life, Im not going to even look at my calendar".

I do get the impression though from time to time that some other people, mainly those with children, families, partners - seem to think that us single people, have a load of expendable time.

Just because we don't have a family to spend time on, doesn't mean we're not busy ourselves. Some of us may work two jobs, volunteer, they might have to work longer hours, train for their job. We have no one to share the burden with, we have no one to do our cooking, shopping…

Fedora vs Windows 10

Well I've been running Fedora on my works laptop for a few years. I actually found it quicker to install Linux and install Windows 7 inside a KVM/QEMU (Virtual) system than to install Windows 7 and install VirtualBox and Fedora under that!

Linux has been stable, reliable, it's allowed me to be king of domains and DNS lookups with the dig command. It's been fantastic.

But, and here is where I must point out my current wishlist. Even at Fedora 22, it creaks in the following areas which has now made it unsuitable for work.

1) QXLDOD - the WDDM Video Driver needed for Windows 8 and above. Windows 8 changed the driver technology, and there was no stable driver for Windows 8 unless you wanted a fixed size VGA screen. Finally QXLDOD is available which provides some functionality, but it's still nowhere near being as good as the QXL driver that was available for Windows 7. The old QXL driver would resize the Virtual Guest Screen in accordance with the Virtual Guest Windows. Br…