Posts

The Business of God

I consider God to be quite simple. Sure, he created the world and everything in it, that's no easy task. That took some serious skill. But we're busy groping around in the dark trying to find God, trying to find ways to pray, ways to express our faith.

God seems like a multi billion pound business.

I wonder what Jesus would say if he saw all of our Christian paraphernalia.

"Dude, you don't need incense to worship me. Guy! I died on the cross, that upsets me. WTF are you eating wafers? I told you to eat bread and drink wine!".

I believe worship and prayer is very simple. God is all powerful. We don't need to do anything special to pray, we just pray. We just address God and direct our request and concern to him. Done.

All of the other things are symbols and signs. We as people like our signs. Those signs are not God. Those signs are not Jesus. They may help us to focus, but jees, do we really need to kneel in front of them? We can prostrate ourselves anywhere …

EU - Interdependence or Mutual Cooperation?

It appears that we have very little chance of succeeding with Brexit. Quite frankly it's a big ask to keep the Republic of Ireland in the EU but not to have a hard border with the rest of the UK. I guess that's what you need to have when you decide to no longer play ball.

I am still amazed however at just how mind boggling difficult it is to extricate ourselves from the institution known as the EU - note, that we Brits actually quite like Europe, just that a lot of us don't really like the EU. Why?

What about Macron and his EU Army.

All I know is that he and a few other leaders want an EU Army. The problem however, is that unlike America, we don't vote for a particular party or a leader of the EU. It's non personable.

Who will control the EU Army? Will one country be able to perform a veto? Or is just a majority decision required? And who will make those decisions? In the same context, how does law making work in the EU? I don't know. I've Googled it, and t…

The Notch

What a stupid thing the notch is. I get it, it's designed to maximise the screen. Except it doesn't. It's an illusion because there's a great big chunk in the middle. Why not just move the hardware as close to the top as you can go and make the screen go to there?

We now have such monstrous designs as the Google Pixel XL 3 where the two stereo speakers are a different size at the top and bottom. Erm. Should they not be the same size?

Ditch the Notch. Technology isn't ready yet.

Manufacturers should stand tall and proclaim that the Notch is a fad, nothing more. They should work on implementing under screen cameras and speakers and only then, when they can do that, should they even bother looking at full height screens.

Regulation of Streaming: Or Amazon vs Google vs Apple

In this particular day and age, it's quite ludicrous that Apple, Google and Amazon are all fighting against each other.

You cannot play Amazon Prime through a Google Chromecast, and neither can you play Apple iTunes videos on your Android device - the latter is something to do with DRM.

The EU fined Google for anti-competitive behaviour for requiring manufacturers to install thieir software in order to use the Google Play Store, however the EU seem to remain silent on interoperability.

The EU also remain silent on anti-competitive behaviour for Apple iPhone where you need a Mac in order to develop and at least build for an iPhone. Talk about tying you into hardware/software. With Android development, I could develop on a Linux system. So lets ask who is anti-competitive?

We need strong regulation for the streaming market. By strong regulation, I mean a regulator who sets simple rules and bites back when the big boys don't play by the rules.

The rules need to simple:

You will s…

Brexit

When I voted in the Brexit referendum of 2016, I voted for remain. I actually believe in the free movement, the projection of the ECHR and the ECJ and enjoy the economic stability with which it provides.

However what became clear to me, is just how terrible the EU is as an institution.

It has become clear to me over the years that we have been rejected every time we've wanted to make changes within Europe. They seem to have made it virtually impossible leave with threats and control. Almost like a mafia controlled state, we have to pay our protection money or lose our legs.

People suggest we should stay in the EU to fight and make it better. How are we supposed to do that when we have been unsuccessful on so many occasions in the past?

The EU comes out with laws, rules, regulations and legislation. It is no good just to shake hands, leave the EU and give guarantees that we will maintain the status quo, a snapshot of the current system during the transition period. No. We must now …

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…