Poetry – Embracing Science – a poem about fundamentalism

Poetry – Embracing Science – a poem about fundamentalism

Embracing Science


A fundamentalist is a person who sees everything in black and white. Every word is fixed. It has been written. It must be obeyed.

There is no nuance.

There is nothing to discuss.

Black and white. No doubt. For a chosen people.

Rejecting all other interpretation. Picking and choosing the texts that suit.

Of the thousands of faiths followed by mankind they adhere to one and reject all else.

A seat of intolerance. A message of division. A cause of hatred.

Yet the world is not black and white.

The world is full of colour, wonder and awe.



Embracing Science


We embrace science –

The Kalashnikov

Explosive vest

And the IED.


There is no latitude

Or room for doubt,

Or tolerance

Of any kind;

For it is written.


We reject the Hadron Collider,


And the microscope.


We pick and choose

On our trip

Into the past.


What use for the Richter scale?

Or vaccination?

When all is God’s will.


Opher 18.5.2016

The terrorists won!! Or have they??

It seems to me that the intention of terrorism is to destabilise. It sets out to cause disruption and chaos out of all proportion to the level of actual harm. By committing high-profile atrocities of horrific nature it creates fear and a feeling of threat far in excess of reality.

That is what ISIS, Boko Haram, A Qaeda, the Taliban and other related groups deliberately set out to do.

The twin towers, beheadings, crucifixion, burning people alive, barbaric torture, kidnapping, bombing young kids at concerts, knifings, suicide bombings and grotesque medieval style callous murders were all aimed to draw maximum attention and create fear and panic.

That was their intent. The actual numbers of Westerners killed in these horrific acts were really quite small. But the impact was enormous.

The Western response was out of all proportion. Invasion, war and conflict. Just what the terrorists wanted. Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Syria and others. All fertile ground for recruitment. It fitted their rhetoric. Islam was under attack. There was a Jihad. It had to be protected against crusader attack. It worked.

Western Muslims were recruited, became militant and a new era of extreme Islam was spawned.

The wars generated huge instability and hatred in Arab countries. It created mass migration. Again playing into the hands of the radicalised extremists.

Faced with this wave of mass migration and radical Islam coupled with the terrorist threats the West became even more defensive. Islamophobia came to the fore. Muslims were a threat to the West. They were swamping us. They were intent on bringing in Sharia law. They were harbouring terrorists.

Tolerance and compassion went out the window. There were the rise of fascist groups and extreme right-wingers in Europe and the States. The anti-immigrant, Islamophobic propaganda exaggerated the problems and created a narrative around terrorism, rapists, sharia law, burqas, niqabs, mosques and birth rates. Instead of dealing with the genuine problems created by mass immigration and radicalisation we moved towards anger and rejection. Muslims became isolated and perceived as the enemy. Once again playing into the hands of the radicalised extremists. Recruitment was easy. Ostracised youth felt rejected, angry and filled with hate. They were easy prey for propaganda. It was easy to portray the West as crusaders wanting to eradicate Islam.

The end result was the election of Trump and the Brexit vote, the rise of right-wing groups across Europe and in the USA and the resultant division, chaos and hatred.

What did the terrorists set out to achieve? They set out to weaken the West, cause chaos, destabilise democracy, break alliances and sow the seeds of our destruction.

Well it looks to me as if they have succeeded hands down!

The US is divided with hatred and tribalism. The post-truth era is creating instability and doubt in democracy.

The UK is enfeebled by Brexit.

The EU is enfeebled by Brexit.

There is rampant Islamophobia.

Mass migration had created turmoil with no coherent plan.

Fascism is once more a potent force.

Alliances such as NATO are weakened.

Liberalisation, tolerance and compassion are in retreat.

We are wallowing in nationalism, extremism and racism.

The terrorists have succeeded in fermenting chaos, destabilising democracy and weakening the West.

What a mess we have made of it all so far. But Hey – I reckon we can weather the stupidities of Trump and Brexit, deal with mass migration, rebuild our alliances, re-establish truth, become stable again, re-establish our trading arrangements to create prosperity, see off nationalism and regain our liberal policies, tolerance and compassion. This is just a nasty blip.

Positive Vibes – A Vision of Hope and Success.

In this gloom-laden vision of the world dominated by overpopulation, terrorism, war and environmental degradation it is occasionally good to focus on the great things that are going on:


In the 25 years from 1980 to 2005 those living in abject poverty was reduced by 20%. We are well on the way to eradicating poverty altogether!


War deaths are decreasing rapidly. They have fallen from 550,000 deaths a year in 1950 to just 50,000 in 2006. The number of wars taking place have reduced as well!


The murder rate has also come down significantly. In 2012 it was 6.3 per hundred thousand. By 2015 it was down to 5.3.


The number of deaths from terrorism is also decreasing. In 2014 there were 43,566 deaths but by 2016 that had gone down to 34,676 deaths.


The rate of undernourishment in Sub-Saharan Africa has also fallen notably, from 30 percent in 1990 to below 20 percent in 2015.

So why do we have this picture of gloom and despair?

It appears that the reason for our gloomy perspective is better information. Every day on the news we are regaled with stories of war, murder, terrorism, starvation and poverty. Stories that previously would have gone under the radar are now given high profile with full gory pictures and details. It creates the impression that the whole world is in crisis.

So – given our success at dealing with these problems (and not withstanding the fact that there is much that still needs doing) it bodes well for our ability to tackle the problems that are looming large:

The overpopulation crisis

Pollution and environmental degradation

The alarming rate of extinction of species

Global warming

So I look forward to the next decade as an opportunity to build on our success, bring wars to an end, take everybody out of poverty and starvation, put a stop to terrorism and reduce violence to zero. As well as that I would hope that we can start tackling conservation seriously, halt further extinctions, reduce the human global population and produce technology that does not pollute.

The future could look very rosy!

Terrorism is not as bad as we are made to think.

Every death is a tragedy. Every injury too. Terrorism is deplorable, evil and disgusting. The fact that somebody actually sits down in cold blood and plans ways to kill and mutilate innocent civilians is almost beyond belief. Those people are heartless scum. The act is somehow made worse when it is religiously motivated. For anyone to believe that any god would be pleased that they have mutilated women and children shows some sick thinking. For any religion or sect to believe that it alone has the correct insight into the thinking of god is arrogant stupidity. For any terrorist bomber of innocent people to believe they will be rewarded by any god and wake up in paradise is fanciful brain-washing. No sane god would sanction such a thing. If there was a god, which I do not believe, they would certainly book those callous terrorists into the worst hell imaginable.

Terrorism is horrendous because it is designed to terrorise. It is intended that the fear it creates is out of proportion to the reality. It is designed to produce terror and division.

To that extent Islamic terrorism has succeeded. It has produced widespread fear, division and hate. It has produced racism aimed against the peaceful Muslim community, distrust of Muslims and a rise in fascism and xenophobia. This fear was used extensively in the Brexit and Trump campaigns to divide and create hysteria which could be directed to produce a populist result. We now have what the terrorists set out to produce – chaos and division. Both Brexit and the election of Trump have brought Britain and the US into unnecessary chaos and division, stoked up hatred and emboldened fascist minorities.

I contend that this fear is out of proportion. Terrorism is horrendous but the terror it has produced, resulting in this chaos and siege mentality, is nowhere near as great as it appears in our imagination.

By creating such disruption and public fear the terrorists have achieved what they set out to do. They have made us weaker and divided us. Without this exaggerated fear they generated, neither the harmful disarray of Brexit or damaging election of Trump would have happened. Xenophobia, the fear of immigrants, demonising of Muslims and Mexicans, the building of walls, tightening of immigration laws, exclusion of foreigners, all go against natural warmth of welcome and openness of our culture. We have been fed lies about rape, murder, crime, terrorism, jobs, religions, no-go areas, Islamification and threats to our culture that are out of proportion to the reality. Yes there has been too much mass immigration and not enough integration. Yes there has been some crime, some rapes and areas where there are concentrations of minority groups. But these have been built up out of all proportion. Most immigrants are not extreme or terrorists but are grateful for being given a haven. They have escaped from war, starvation and horror. They have a new start.

Is this response to terrorism justified? I think not.

I am not belittling the effects of terrorism. It is horrendous. I am merely putting it in proportion and saying that it is not as bad as it appears. The horrors in the news show the terrible outcomes but the incidents are relatively few and minor in light of the bigger picture.

Death and injury are unfortunately part of everyday life. People are killed, maimed and become terminally ill all the time. Every one of those deaths, diseases and injuries is a tragedy for individuals, families, friends and colleagues. We are all touched by it. But terrorism plays a tiny part in this overall scheme of things.

I will illustrate what I mean by the statistics from the UK. I chose a 15 year period from 2000 – 2015.

All Deaths in UK (aprox) – 7,500,000

Deaths from road accidents – 51,006

Deaths from murder – 6,750

Deaths from Air crashes (estimate) – 6000

Deaths from terrorism – 90

In fact the deaths from IRA terrorism in the 1980s was much worse. Yet the effect of those terrible 90 deaths (and the hundreds of people maimed and injured) creates a public fear that is out of all proportion. You are 566 times more likely to be killed in an accident on the roads yet we do not get totally paranoid about driving. We accept that as a fact of life, an acceptable risk. Is that because we are under the illusion that we are somehow in control of what happens on the road? As someone who has survived a serious accident I know that we are not. When something happens at speed there is nothing you can do.

Terrorism plays on our psyche because of the deliberate callous act of mass murder. Yet your chances of being caught up in it are minimal.

I believe it is time to put this illogical fear out of our minds. We cannot allow the terrorists to win like this. These brainwashed evil extremists should not be allowed to cause such division, hatred and mayhem. They are not the menace we think they are. It is time to put the threat in proportion. Terrorism’s whole purpose is to achieve this reaction from us. We cannot let them do this.

Don’t let the evil, brainwashed monsters win. Unite and reach out. We’re better together. Let’s build a caring, open society, not a fear-ridden xenophobic culture skulking behind walls.


Islamophobic Terrorism – racist morons? Time to pull together to drive out violence!

Condolences to the victims of this terrorist tragedy.

Now we have ignorant, stupid, vicious cretins taking the law into their own hands and hitting out, in response to the Islamic terrorism, at the wrong people.

It is time that we all, Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu and atheist, join together to drive this curse of political and religious fanaticism and violence out of existence.

There is no place for violence in any civilised society. Join together. Support each other. Don’t let the morons win.

The answer to terrorism is not what Theresa May is doing!

It would appear that are terrorists are homegrown. They are radicalised by fanatics on line, among their friends and in their mosques.

In my opinion the problem is complex and requires a series of solutions.

  1. Integrate children into British society and British values of tolerance

2. Wipe out ISIS militarily, and Boko Haram, A Qaeda and similar groups.

3. Shut down internet sites spreading hate.

4. Hunt down the clerics and other purveyors of hatred and lock them up

5. Welcome Muslims and bring them on side. Most Muslims are law-abiding and hate terrorism as much as anyone else. If the trust is there they will report suspicious people to the police.

6. Educate all children to tolerate, respect, and value others.

7. Police the mosques and Madrassas to prevent radical propaganda

8. Shut down the hundreds of illegal schools

The most stupid thing the Tories are doing is introducing more religious schools – creating more segregation and apartness.

The other stupid thing is to cut back on the police so that they haven’t got the means to do the job.

Then there is the effect of making people feel unwelcome. That needs addressing.

What do you think?

salam alaikum to all British Muslims who despise terrorists – Peace be with you!

Salam alaikum means peace be with you!

I do not share your religious beliefs but I respect your right to hold them. That is the basis of a tolerant, civilised society. I do not like you dress or customs but I respect your right to do as you believe.

Join with me to place a curse upon the barbaric indoctrinated fanatics who think it is alright to blow up little girls. Join with us to hunt out the people who are indoctrinating and indoctrinated.

I want to live in peace in a polyethnic pluralistic society, to get along with people of all colours, faiths and backgrounds. Together we enrich each other.

I reject the path of hatred.

Praising Mistakes Of The Past Is Insanity

This is a well reasoned article. Racism in action.

Gringa of the Barrio

(Originally posted 1/12/17 on Read With The Gringa)

The gringa wants to conclude her studies on the history of U.S. immigration by examining a particular policy that was enacted by President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s administration in 1954. The incoming Trump administration has threatened a revival of a deportation policy that has already proven disastrous. Again, if the definition of insanity is doing the same thing, over and over, yet expecting different results, is the incoming group of politicians all insane? Is a madman about to take the helm of U.S. government? Will the lunatics be running the asylum in less than two weeks? Let’s take a look at Operation Wetback and see if parallels of this policy should be supported or resisted if Trump attempts to resurrect this dead beast.

After World War I, the nation was hurting for cheap labor, particularly in agriculture. They hoped to fill this…

View original post 1,449 more words

Terrorism – Parallel to the Southern American terror of the Ku Klux Klan and the Civil Rights Movement.

For Sean

Opher's World


The aim of the terrorists is to impose their narrow view on the population, create fear and vent their hatred.

Back in the 1960s the black population of the Southern parts of the United States were subjugated through terror. There were beatings, shootings and killing.

At night men in robes and hoods would ride through a community and place a burning cross in front of any house that had someone who was getting uppity. It was a chilling warning. If unheeded fire-bombing, shooting and murder would result.

The people were terrified.

But after a while brave members of the community began to raise their heads and demand justice. Many of these were shot or lynched. More came along to take up the cause until there were too many marching for the terror to work anymore.

I salute the bravery of those early black activists and the white activists who came…

View original post 49 more words

ISIS – Orlando and Paris

Once more crazed brainwashed psychopaths kill innocent people in the name of God.

It leaves me thinking a bundles of things:

Firstly great sadness for the people involved – the traumatised people who were caught up in it, the poor terrified child of the murdered police officer and his wife, the terrified and wounded, and the parents and relatives whose lives will never be the same again.

I can’t imagine the horror of losing one of mine.

The great sickness that convinces people that they are carrying out the instructions of some supernatural being by killing innocent people.

The sickness that convinces anyone that there is only one true way to believe and live.

The arrogance, mindlessness and waste of a life spent in brainless worship.

The stupidity of people. I walk past people dressed in all manner of weird clothes and hairstyles, fasting, eating certain foods, avoiding certain foods, and carrying out all fashion of prayers and ceremonies because they believe ‘their’ God has demanded it. It looks insane to me. What has any of that got to do with some creator? Why would any sane god make such demands or choose one set of people over another? Senseless.

Yet these insane people who carry out atrocities believe that by killing innocent people, who just happen to believe or live differently to them, they will wake up in paradise. There is no end to the way people delude themselves.

These murderers have lost their compassion and humanity. They are so wrong. No sane god would reward brutality.

My best wishes go out to the families and friends of the murdered people in Orlando, Paris, Belgium, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Libya, Sudan, Egypt and wherever these religious fanatics have wrought their evil.

It makes me wish there were a god to punish those evil perpetrators. As there isn’t we shall have to do it ourselves. I salute the people who are working hard on intelligence work to keep us safe and the police and army who are protecting us.

My wish is that one day soon humanity might wake up from this primitive superstition and become civilised. We need to leave religion behind in the dark ages and progress into a higher kind of spirituality.