Friday, 30 April 2010

That's The Way To Do It


This from Winnower at Newsoutlines is a very telling and worthy read on the nuts and bolts of propaganda and how it has been applied to the McCann case.
You are invited to participate in supplying further examples should you so desire.

Techniques of Propaganda Generation used in the Madeleine McCann case

Excerpts from SourceWatch
And examples from the Madeleine McCann case
(More to follow - suggestions and insights are welcome.)

A number of techniques are used to create messages which are persuasive, but false. Many of these same techniques can be found under logical fallacies since propagandists use arguments which, although sometimes convincing, are not necessarily valid.

Some time has been spent analyzing the means by which propaganda messages are transmitted, and that work is important, but it's clear that information dissemination strategies only become propaganda strategies when coupled with propagandistic messages.

Identifying these propaganda messages is a necessary prerequisite to studying the methods by which those messages are spread. That's why it is essential to have some knowledge of the following techniques for generating propaganda:

Appeal to fear:

Appeals to fear seeks to build support by instilling fear in the general population - for example Joseph Goebbels exploited Theodore Kaufman's Germany Must Perish! to claim that the Allies sought the extermination of the German people.


* Efforts to portray children as vulnerable to "stranger abduction" when, in reality it is almost always the case in child abduction or abuse cases that a family member or someone closely known by the child is the perpetrator.

* "Rural kids have traditionally been given the freedom to roam miles. High-profile cases like the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, however, are making a lot more parents reluctant to let their children out of their sight. Is it a case of taking sensible precautions or are we unnecessarily curtailing their freedoms and denying kids an important part of a country childhood?" 6 July 2007, Farmers Weekly

* MSPs using Maddie's case to reinforce their efforts to create European Amber Alert system.

* Cinema ad for Madeleine that was running prior to family films (pulled after a successful campaign by Mumsnet)

Appeal to authority:

Appeals to authority cite prominent figures to support a position idea, argument, or course of action.


* Gordon Brown
* Tony Blair
* Brian Kennedy
* Sir Richard Branson
* the Pope
* "the trip to Washington" etc.


Bandwagon-and-inevitable-victory appeals attempt to persuade the target audience to take a course of action "everyone else is taking." "Join the crowd."

This technique reinforces people's natural desire to be on the winning side. This technique is used to convince the audience that a program is an expression of an irresistible mass movement and that it is in their interest to join.

"Inevitable victory" invites those not already on the bandwagon to join those already on the road to certain victory. Those already, or partially, on the bandwagon are reassured that staying aboard is the best course of action.


* In the McCann case, the British media has done a superb job attempting to convince the British public that the majority of British citizens "support the McCanns".

* By removing discussion from news sites, the voices of those questioning the McCanns were silenced and in the void, the media continued to print articles inferring or outright stating that the majority of people supported the McCanns.

* As the former head of "Media Monitoring" for the British government, Clarence Mitchell has used this technique with a great deal of success. (See: McCann Family PR Offensive)

Obtain disapproval:

This technique is used to get the audience to disapprove an action or idea by suggesting the idea is popular with groups hated, feared, or held in contempt by the target audience. Thus, if a group which supports a policy is led to believe that undesirable, subversive, or contemptible people also support it, the members of the group might decide to change their position.


* Media Monitoring Unit.....more

Thursday, 29 April 2010

The Devil Made Me Do It. But Isn't it the 21st Century?

The last of the promised articles.

You may wonder, or the more likely you don't, what is it about religions that really piss me off the way they do.

It's not religion per say that makes me feel the way I do, although this trilogy of articles posted here would be more than reason enough, what it really is I suppose, is that I see accepting religion as an act of betrayal, a waste, a waste of talents if you will.

For the one who has will be given more, and he will have more than enough. But the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that worthless slave into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matthew 25:13-30)

Where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, I know just where you're coming from old lad, there is much in the world of theology that causes me the weeping and the gnashing.

Why betrayal then? well in spite of Mankind being a bollocks, and in far too many ways to even contemplate listing here, if we discount all our many negatives, I do think we as a species are the dogs, the dog's bollocks, the canine cojones. We are as that species, simply astounding, brilliant, wondrous, there are just not enough adjectives to describe us, our understanding and our achievements.

Awesome, lets run with that one for now. Just detach yourself for a moment or two and look at the big picture. No need for you to be stood in the middle of a thriving metropolis, no need to be watching a Shuttle launch, or watching re-runs of men walking on the moon half a century ago.

No need for all that, all you have to do is what you're doing now, just sit as you are and take in the amazing complexity and achievement that allows you to read this, and to read it instantly from quite possibly half a world away.

It's pretty amazing isn't it, sorry, awesome is the reference, and awesome it surely is. We don't need Science Fiction, we are Science Fiction. Ten thousand heavier than air flying machines scuttling round the planet at most given times. Probes of enormous complexity sent off to the farthest reach of the Solar System, and on and on it goes.

To think of just how far we have come in, shall we say the last three hundred years, in evolutionary terms a blink of the eye, is as I say awesome, and what is it that has brought us to this point; rational thinking, nothing more, nothing less?

What hasn't brought us to this point most definitely, is religion, and in particular, for it's doctrines and dogmas, steeped in ignorance and superstition, designed only to be self serving for perpetuity, what hasn't brought us here by any means is the Catholic Church, quite the opposite in fact.

The Catholic Church is a blight on humankind, as all religions are it must be said. To what degree, lesser or or greater, dependant I suppose on the severity of each individual, and for the most part, bronze age doctrine. And this to say nothing of those that interpret this nonsense, and then with an audacity that is little short of stunning, deign to speak on God's behalf! They are not of our time, man and religion both.

Rational thought, what a priceless gift, that which sets us apart from all other beasts in the field, rational thought that has given so many other wonderful things, and I speak not now of Science, but of other things, of music, of art, or just the ability to stand on this planet, this dust mote in the sky, and be blessed that we have the capability to philosophise about, and to loose ourselves in, it's beauty and it's wonders.

How then should we look upon those among us that choose to embrace these dark age myths,to cast upon stony ground the seed of knowledge, to bury this wonderful and priceless talent in the dark dark earth of theology?

How then should we look upon those among us that would have us believe in immaculate conceptions and virgin births, of putrefying flesh risen from the dead, to ascend to some mythical place called heaven, be it on horseback or nay?

How then should we look upon those among us that would have us believe the Earth is but ten thousand years old, and put here by some omnipotent super being, as they would also have us believe that the Grand Canyon was born of Noah's flood?

How then should we look upon those among us that would try to frighten us and control us with talk of Devils, of being consigned for all eternity to some mythical fiery pit, how then should we look upon those among us that talk of Original Sin. To have us believe we are born into this sin because a woman, made from the rib of a man, partook of an apple at the behest of a talking snake?

We should pity them, but we cannot, they are far too harmful to allow us that luxury.


And what finer example of the suspension of rational thought, of a doctrine that is not of our time, and of the pathetic, if not indeed loathsome excuses for, and those that put on the uniform of, this heinous organisation.

I shall make no highlights, and I shall remove the more frivolous accompanying graphics that I had originally intended to use, they detract from the piece.

Catholic sex abuse scandals are 'evidence the Devil is in the Vatican', says Pope's chief exorcist

By Nick Pisa
Last updated at 6:03 PM on 11th March 2010

Child sex abuse scandals rocking the Catholic Church are evidence of the Devil's presence in the Vatican, the Pope's chief exorcist said yesterday.

Father Gabriel Amorth, 84, who has carried out more than 70,000 exorcisms in a career spanning 24 years said Pope Benedict 'fully agreed' with him in 'casting out evil'.

The Catholic church has been rocked in recent months by a series of sex scandals in Ireland, Holland and most recently Germany, where even the Pope's brother Georg Ratzinger admitted hitting choir boys.

In his interview with La Repubblica newspaper Father Amorth, on who the Devil fighting priest in hit horror movie The Exorcist is based, said: 'His Holiness fully believes in casting out evil.

'The Devil lives in the Vatican. He has won over the confidences of people but naturally its difficult to find proof but the consequences are visible.

'We have cardinals who don't believe in Christ, bishops connected with demons. Then we have these stories of pedophilia. You can see the rot when we speak of Satan's smoke in the holy rooms (of the Vatican).'

Father Amorth gave his interview as part of a book launch for Italian religious affairs journalist Marco Tosatti who has written 'Memoirs of an Exorcist'.

Father Amorth said:' 'The Devil is invisible, he is a pure spirit. But in the people he possesses he can be seen through pain and blasphemies but he can also remain hidden.

"Sometimes he makes fun of me but I have to say I enjoy my work."

He added how he had 'six or seven assistants' to help him hold down possessed people when he carried out exorcism and that he kept ''nails and glass that they spit out in a little bag.

'From the mouths of the possessed people all sorts of things come out, bits of metal as long as a finger, rose petals.

'I have to have help holding them down and wiping up the saliva but seeing these people vomit doesn't upset me.'

Father Amorth also said that the attempt on the life of the late Pope John Paul II in May 1981 and the recent attack on Pope Benedict XVI during Christmas Eve Mass last year were all work of the Devil.

So too, he added, was a Vatican 'cover-up' after the deaths of the commander of the Swiss Guard Alois Estermann, his wife and fellow Swiss guard Corporal Cedric Tornay. All three were shot dead.

'They covered up everything immediately,' Father Amorth said. 'Here one sees the rot.'

The official Vatican line was that Corporal Tornay shot the commander and his wife before killing himself. However, this verdict has been disputed by Tornay's family.

Father José Antonio Fortea Cucurull, a fellow exorcist, immediately accused Father Amorth of having gone too far.

'Cardinals might be better or worse, but all have upright intentions and seek the glory of God,' he said.

'... to affirm that some cardinals are members of satanic sects is an unacceptable distance.'

Father Amorth told La Repubblica that the devil was "pure spirit, invisible. But he manifests himself with blasphemies and afflictions in the person he possesses. He can remain hidden, or speak in different languages, transform himself or appear to be agreeable. At times he makes fun of me."

Father Amorth has frequently been a controversial figure.

In 2006, he gave an interview to Vatican Radio in which he said that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and Russian Josef Stalin had both been possessed.

According to secret Vatican documents recently released wartime Pope Pius XII attempted a 'long distance' exorcism of Hitler which failed to have any effect.

In the past Italian Father Amorth has also spoken out against Harry Potter claiming that reading the novels of the teen wizard open children’s minds in dabbling with the occult and black magic.

Father Amorth, who was ordained in 1954 and who is president of the International Association of Exorcists, said of the JK Rowling books: 'Behind Harry Potter hides the signature of the king of the darkness, the devil.'

He said Rowling's books contain innumerable positive references to magic, 'the satanic art' and added the books attempt to make a false distinction between black and white magic, when in fact, the distinction 'does not exist, because magic is always a turn to the devil'. The Wail

I have featured Father Amorth on other occassions, and he does feature in the post below. But we must remember it's Ratzinger that is in the driving seat, or should that be throne?

I had originally included in this post the Large Hadron Collider and photo's of as another example of our achievements, they too detracted from the post, but having come across this must see picture gallery at the Boston Globe, I felt I must include it if only here.

Hat tip to for providing the link.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

To further this post and to connect you to a monument to stupidity, ignorance and irrationality, this from the incredible Encyclopaedia of Creation Science, Creation Wiki. main page link.

I promise, you will never have to buy another comic as long as you live. Search the Grand Canyon, or coal, or whatever takes your fancy, it's something else.

From the Dinosaur page.

Dinosaurs (Greek: δεινόσαυρος, deinosauros) are a group of large extinct animals classified as reptiles. The name dinosaur comes from the Greek deinos (terrible) and sauros (lizard). The word now used to define these terrible lizards was first coined by Sir Richard Owen, a creationist. According to the traditional paleontological interpretations of Earth's history, the dinosaurs are believed to have dominated the ecosystem for more than 100 million years. It is furthermore believed that they went extinct about 65 million years ago, about 55 million years before the first humans appeared on Earth.

However, most creationists believe that dinosaurs coexisted with mankind on Earth and lived recently. Biblical support for this perspectives is drawn from the Genesis 1 where it states that all animals were created on the sixth day of creation along with humans. It is furthermore presumed they were still alive at the time of the global flood and taken on board Noah's ark. Evidence to support this perspective includes:

1. The Bible specifically states that a breeding pair of every kind of animal came to the ark.
2. The fossil record is filled with the corpses of dinosaurs that were buried during the deluge.
3. The abundant physical evidence of recent existence of dinosaurs.

It should be noted that although the Biblical description of Noah's ark states it as large enough to host even the largest known specimens of dinosaurs, it is logical that younger / smaller varieties were taken aboard. Reptiles are the only terrestrial vertebrate that continuously grows as long as they live. Mammals on the other hand, have an adolescent period following which there is no further growth. Therefore, it is arguable that many of these "terrible lizards" were simply much older than modern varieties......

I copied this at some point today, from where I've no idea, I didn't save a link, but whoever he is, we're reading off the same page. Arnold Mendez and Noah's Ark have their own tag at Only in America.

To ignore every bit of common sense, every scientific fact, every geological timeline, (look up carboniferous period. coal, plate tectonics in Creation Wiki to name a few) ignore all and everything, talk the most ridiculous talking points, anything in fact, just make a case for the existence of a god, for Noah, and a bloody Ark, man oh man, and we as atheists are asked to show respect to the likes of Mendez and the millions of others just like him that wallow in this adopted ignorance they call religion.

This left in the comments on OIA, little wonder he's pissed.

Arnold Mendez is Beyond an Idiot he is dangerous. Let me tell you why. Arnold Mendez taught/teaches almost all the General Chemistry Laboratory Classes at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi. On his own initiative, he added an indoctrination on why Radiological Carbon Dating is a farce.

He required the students to go to HIS listed fraud sites and write a report (basically supporting his crap). I was forced to do this for a grade in his class along with almost 1,000 students in a single semester.

When this situation was revealed to the University, they did absolutely nothing! Any reputable (REAL) University would have fired ANYONE who did this on the spot. I guess TAMUCC is just another Liberty University. DO NOT ATTEND this university if you want a ACTUAL Science Degree. I am still highly offended by this whole situation.

Sexual Violence Against Minors Committed by Priests "Exaggerations"

Originally posted March 2008
Fewer confessions and new sins

The Vatican has brought up to date the traditional seven deadly sins by adding seven modern mortal sins it claims are becoming prevalent in what it calls an era of "unstoppable globalisation".

Those newly risking eternal punishment include drug pushers, the obscenely wealthy, and scientists who manipulate human genes. So "thou shalt not carry out morally dubious scientific experiments" or "thou shalt not pollute the earth" might one day be added to the Ten Commandments.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that "immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into Hell".

The new mortal sins were listed by Archbishop Gianfranco Girotti at the end of a week-long training seminar in Rome for priests, aimed at encouraging a revival of the practice of confession - or the Sacrament of Penance in Church jargon.

According to a survey carried out here 10 years ago by the Catholic University, 60% of Italians have stopped going to confession altogether. The situation has certainly not improved during the past decade.

Catholics are supposed to confess their sins to a priest at least once a year. The priest absolves them in God's name.

Talking to course members at the end of the seminar organised by the Apostolic Penitentiary, the Vatican department in charge of fixing the punishments and indulgences handed down to sinners, Pope Benedict added his own personal voice of disquiet.

"We are losing the notion of sin," he said. "If people do not confess regularly, they risk slowing their spiritual rhythm," he added. The Pope confesses his sins regularly once a week.

Greatest sins of our times

In an interview with the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Archbishop Girotti said he thought the most dangerous areas for committing new types of sins lay in the fields of bio-ethics and ecology.

He also named abortion and paedophilia as two of the greatest sins of our times. The archbishop brushed off cases of sexual violence against minors committed by priests as "exaggerations by the mass media aimed at discrediting the Church".

Father Gerald O'Collins, former professor of moral theology at the Papal University in Rome, and teacher of many of the Catholic Church's current top Cardinals and Bishops, welcomed the new catalogue of modern sins.

"I think the major point is that priests who are hearing confessions are not sufficiently attuned to some of the real evils in our world," he told the BBC News website. "They need to be more aware today of the social face of sin - the inequalities at the social level. They think of sin too much on an individual level.

"I think priests who hear confession should have a deeper sense of the violence and injustice of such problems - and the fact that people collaborate simply by doing nothing. One of the original deadly sins is sloth - disengagement and not getting involved," Father O'Collins said. The Jesuit professor now teaches at St Mary's University in Twickenham.

"It was interesting that these remarks came from the head of the Apostolic Penitentiary," he said. "I can't remember a time when it was so concerned about issues such as environmental pollution and social injustice. It's a new way of thinking." BBC

Buggery Club To Start Witch Hunt

This from January 2008

Buggery Club To Start Witch Hunt

Well Satan hunt actually.

But if I start the new year off with this story I'm never going to find anything to follow it, not this year, not next year, not in a thousand years, this story takes Cor Blimey and Stroll On and turns them into totally ineffectual exclamations, then proceeds to cast them as redundant and inadequate into the literary gutter.

Short of employing some good Anglo-Saxon I'm actually lost for words, just what century does this tosser think it is?

Enough! have a read. Stroll on? Stroll, Christ in a fucking sidecar, on.

Pope's exorcist squads will wage war on Satan

Satanism on the rise: Pope Benedict has unveiled plans to set up specialist exorcism squads

The Pope has ordered his bishops to set up exorcism squads to tackle the rise of Satanism.

Vatican chiefs are concerned at what they see as an increased interest in the occult.

They have introduced courses for priests to combat what they call the most extreme form of "Godlessness."

Each bishop is to be told to have in his diocese a number of priests trained to fight demonic possession.

The initiative was revealed by 82-year-old Father Gabriele Amorth, the Vatican "exorcistinchief," to the online Catholic news service Petrus.

"Thanks be to God, we have a Pope who has decided to fight the Devil head-on," he said.

"Too many bishops are not taking this seriously and are not delegating their priests in the fight against the Devil. You have to hunt high and low for a properly trained exorcist.

"Thankfully, Benedict XVI believes in the existence and danger of evil - going back to the time he was in charge of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith." The CDF is the oldest Vatican department and was headed by Benedict from 1982, when he was Cardinal Ratzinger, until he became Pope in 2005.

Father Amorth said that during his time at the department Benedict had not lost the chance to warn humanity of the risk from the Devil.

He said the Pope wants to restore a prayer seen as protection against evil that was traditionally recited at the end of Catholic Masses. The prayer, to St Michael the Archangel, was dropped in the 1960s by Pope John XXIII.

The 1973 film The Exorcist deals with the demonic possession of a young girl: Now the Pope wants specialist exorcism squads in every parish

"The prayer is useful not only for priests but also for lay people in helping to fight demons," he said.

Father Paolo Scarafoni, who lectures on the Vatican's exorcism course, said interest in Satanism and the occult has grown as people lost faith with the church.

He added: "People suffer and think that turning to the Devil can help solve their problems. We are being bombarded by requests for exorcisms."

The Vatican is particularly concerned that young people are being exposed to the influence of Satanic sects through rock music and the Internet.

In theory, under the Catholic Church's Canon Law 1172, all priests can perform exorcisms. But in reality only a select few are assigned the task.

Under the law, practitioners must have "piety, knowledge, prudence, and integrity of life."

The rite of exorcism involves a series of gestures and prayers to invoke the power of God and stop the "demon" influencing its victim. The Wail

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Repentant Is He? Well That's Alright Then

I thought, here we go, the Mail is at it again, but as it turns the article was syndicated.

It was the headline that got my hackles up, the "repentant" pope is vilified, well it would wouldn't it.

Time is somewhat at a premium today, so I'm not going to delve into this thing as I might. Disagree as I may, perhaps it would be a tad uncivil of me to bad mouth a man, who by all appearances has never written a Madeleine McCann article, which I'm sure you would agree, has to count for something.

So just a little pasted here, the rest at the link.

Why is the unashamed child abuser Polanski lauded while the repentant Pope is vilified?

By Dominic Lawson

......The point is, I suspect, that whereas the Pope does understand that great wickedness has been perpetrated systematically by individuals within the Catholic priesthood, Polanski genuinely regards his conduct as blameless. He sees himself, not the 13-year-old girl he sodomised, as the victim.
Polanski, it might be said in his defence, is not a hypocrite. He never pretended to be a maintainer of any moral order.

This is why the behaviour of priests who abused children in their care, and any subsequent cover-up by the bishops, revolts us. more

Gender and numbers, they play a big part, Polanki's victim was female, and in the real world that still counts for something.

Polanski is one perp that's walking around, the Catholic Church has, I don't know how many thousands of perps walking around, with the likelihood of ne're but a handful ever being brought to book.

But it's the bit I've highlighted that is the salient point, individual bishops may well have covered up, in fact I would be amazed if they hadn't, but who led the cover-up for years, non other than the Nasty Nazi, Ratzinger, and that's the crux of the matter.

And personally speaking I think the article is crap, trying to juxtapose and compare Polanski to Ratzinger just doesn't work, apples and pears if you will.

And there is one other reason I'm running with this story, Lawson quotes an article by Richard Dawkins, which, if I post here, has a danger of being lost under the header I have used for this post. Consequentially the article in question is posted directly below this post, and if you arrived here via a search, here is the link.

Every Word Professor Dawkins

Every single one of them.

Ratzinger is the perfect pope

"Should Pope Benedict XVI be held responsible for the escalating scandals over clerical sexual abuse in Europe?"

Yes he should, and it's going to escalate a lot further, as more and more victims break through the guilt of their childhood indoctrination and come forward.

"Should he be investigated for how cases of abuse were handled under his watch as archbishop of Munich or as the Vatican's chief doctrinal enforcer?"

Yes, of course he should. This former head of the Inquisition should be arrested the moment he dares to set foot outside his tinpot fiefdom of the Vatican, and he should be tried in an appropriate civil - not ecclesiastical - court. That's what should happen. Sadly, we all know our faith-befuddled governments will be too craven to do it.

"Should the pope resign?"

No. As the College of Cardinals must have recognized when they elected him, he is perfectly - ideally - qualified to lead the Roman Catholic Church. A leering old villain in a frock, who spent decades conspiring behind closed doors for the position he now holds; a man who believes he is infallible and acts the part; a man whose preaching of scientific falsehood is responsible for the deaths of countless AIDS victims in Africa; a man whose first instinct when his priests are caught with their pants down is to cover up the scandal and damn the young victims to silence: in short, exactly the right man for the job. He should not resign, moreover, because he is perfectly positioned to accelerate the downfall of the evil, corrupt organization whose character he fits like a glove, and of which he is the absolute and historically appropriate monarch.

No, Pope Ratzinger should not resign. He should remain in charge of the whole rotten edifice - the whole profiteering, woman-fearing, guilt-gorging, truth-hating, child-raping institution - while it tumbles, amid a stench of incense and a rain of tourist-kitsch sacred hearts and preposterously crowned virgins, about his ears. WaPo

I've resisted putting captions in the above because I've no doubt I would have been coursed by one or two Dawkins/FSM fans; not to mention fans of herself.


You Just Could Not Make It Up

He said: "It's not right that an innocent, vulnerable British citizen is essentially given up on.

"And I don't think it's right that as parents, that we have to drive the search.

Priceless, absolutely priceless.

And how he loves to take the piss.

"I mean logically I can't say, I mean none of us can say for definite other than the people involved.......

And the "Comprehensive Review" I think that's a euphemism for his muckers doing a snow job.
I can see it now, on the notepaper of some dodgy police authority, co-signed at the bottom by McCann's new best best friend Jim Gamble, "This boy really did loose his homework"

Only he didn't, and it wasn't his homework.

Oh to be in England now that Spring is here.

McCanns: UK Officials 'Given Up On Madeleine'

Madeleine McCann's father has accused the British authorities of "essentially giving up" on finding her.

During a television interview days before the third anniversary of her disappearance, Gerry McCann urged the Government to carry out a "comprehensive review" of the case.

He said: "It's not right that an innocent, vulnerable British citizen is essentially given up on.

"And I don't think it's right that as parents, that we have to drive the search.

"Of course we will, but not everyone has had the same resources and support that we have had to be able to do that. And I think it's pretty cruel."

Mr McCann said it was "incredibly frustrating" that police in Portugal and the UK were not doing more to find the missing youngster.

At the time of her disappearance, the couple were criticised for leaving their three children alone in a holiday apartment as they went for dinner nearby.

Mr McCann said: "If we could turn back the clock and change what happened, obviously we wouldn't have done it.

"We can't. And what I would say is, you know, people have got to put themselves into our position. What would you do if it was your daughter? After this, what would you do?"

The parents still believe Madeleine, who went missing when she was three, is alive and are releasing a pack for people to take abroad and put up posters featuring her picture.

Kate McCann said: "Certainly in my heart I feel she is out there.

"I mean I know there is nothing to say that she isn't, so we have to carry on working and thinking like that.

"I mean logically I can't say, I mean none of us can say for definite other than the people involved. But I know we can't give up because there is no evidence to say that she is not."

Madeleine went missing from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in the Algarve on May 3, 2007.

The pre-recorded GMTV interview will be broadcast later. Sky

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Our Day Will Come

I love him, he's a darling man, and I'm sure he wouldn't take exception if I described as a sweet old dear, not being the gentle soul that quite obviously he is. I speak platonically of course, and I speak of Richard Dawkins, or more accurately Professor Richard Dawkins FRS FRSL, or more accurately still, and a tad surprisingly, Professor Clinton Richard Dawkins FRS FRSL. Clinton indeed, well I never! something newly discovered when I went in search of the man's letters, named after Daddy by all accounts.

Love him or hate him, and much would depend on your religious beliefs, and I say, intellect and intelligence, and it is not of the design type of intelligence that I speak. But there again I suppose it is, but how one equates intelligence and Intelligent Design heaven knows, if you will pardon my pun. As I say, love him or hate him but don't deny him his well earned status of one of the world's leading intellects of our age.

Another misconception that Google has today righted, for I thought Dawkin's philosophy was original, but no, he readily admits to being guided by, and adopting the philosophy of Stephen Gould back in the Eighties. And why shouldn't he have taken that advice, obviously a much younger man at time, and Dawkins is after all, a biologist and not a professional television show guest, though I might add, he equips himself well these days in that area.

Is this about appearing on television then, well not really? What it is about is recognition, or more precisely, the refusal to recognise. The refusal to recognise the validity of the other side's argument, for to do so, to respond to the argument of the other side, would in fact, give recognition that there is indeed an argument to be argued and would, by accepting the challenge, validate the fact.

This then, the relative piece from Dawkins, Why I Won't Debate Creationists.

Some time in the 1980s when I was on a visit to the United States, a television station wanted to stage a debate between me and a prominent creationist called, I think, Duane P Gish. I telephoned Stephen Gould for advice. He was friendly and decisive:
"Don't do it." The point is not, he said, whether or not you would 'win' the debate. Winning is not what the creationists realistically aspire to. For them, it is sufficient that the debate happens at all. They need the publicity. We don't. To the gullible public which is their natural constituency, it is enough that their man is seen sharing a platform with a real scientist. "There must be something in creationism, or Dr So-and-So would not have agreed to debate it on equal terms." Inevitably, when you turn down the invitation you will be accused of cowardice, or of inability to defend your own beliefs. But that is better than supplying the creationists with what they crave: the oxygen of respectability in the world of real science.

And that my dears, is it in a nutshell, and if I might make so bold, something to remember on occasion.

For a while now I have wanted to sit down and write a few dispassionate words, not always an easy thing given the amount of lies and propaganda that bombards us daily. Lies and propaganda bad enough, but blatant lies and propaganda that's a bird of an entirely different colour, a different species even. And if I consider all the institutions, all the sources that are shamelessly fostering this blatant propaganda, then I think I have the right, if not a duty, to get a tad warm now and then; but today no.

I read two articles in the Mail yesterday that I wanted to make mention* of, both relating to the Catholic Church as it happens, but of that a little later. Hard as it might be for you to comprehend, but I do read the Mail on occasion when I visit my Mother, the papers being passed on second hand to her dear self. But it was a comment left at the McCann Gallery that finally goaded me into writing.

With all the structure of a creationist argument against evolution, and with sentiments expressed towards the gallery that I'm quite sure were disingenuous, for I have seen previously, examples of what issues from a place called the chaosraptors, thankfully though, little enough. And the content of this comment? nothing. Nothing to argue so little recourse left to them but to attack others, not me I add.
Something we have become rather accustomed to of late, and something I need not explain further, I'm sure you would agree, as I'm equally sure would Goncalo Amaral.

So with the good Professor Dawkins in mind, we don't argue with the other side, for they are armed with nothing, save a tissue of lies, a bucket of vitriol, and whatever else they can manage to scrape up. Whereas we on the other hand have more than a little pertinent data, that in any just society would be sufficient to call for the arrest of ten men tenfold, but what are a few details in this safe, just and tolerant society that the Home Office tells us that they are building for us, but who wants to live in Utopia I ask myself?

We, on this side, are also possessed of something else, something elementary, something that without it, by the wayside would we would have fallen long long ago; we have right on our side, every last one of us crusades under that banner. We have right, you know it, I know it, and equally important, our adversaries know it.

And by adversaries I'm not talking about the demented McCann cultists, I'm talking about the establishment of this country. This corrupt and sordid Government, the equally corrupt and sordid forces of law and order, if you will pardon me the term. The Association of Chief Police Officers, self serving bunch that they are. The National Policing Improvement Agency, guest of honour tonight, non other than, Gerry McCann!

But special mention must be made, must be signalled out, for the consummate, the inimitable, man of twenty five years policing experience, non other than Jim Gamble of the CEOP, guest speaker today, you guessed it, Gerry McCann!

Right on our side, without it we wouldn't do what we do, I certainly wouldn't. Right on our side, it's a banner but it certainly isn't a shield, it offers no protection, ask what protection it afforded Robert Green when he was arrested in Aberdeen on trumped up charges ask Robert Green what protection it offered him the second time when he was re-arrested in Warrington and dragged up the motorway on trumped up charges, his only crime being to seek justice for the serially abused Hollie Greig, a brave woman, her and her mother both. Ask Robert Green, brave brave man that he is, ask him why he crusades the way he does, why he hasn't fallen by the wayside, I wonder if he might reply, we have right on side?

But as Newton said so many years ago, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, something that is being realised by the even more sordid and corrupt establishment North of the border. they have give it there best shot and it hasn't worked, the Genie is out and there's no way he's going back in that bottle. The game's up, you just don't know it yet.

One day there will be justice for Hollie Greig, one day there will be justice for Madeleine McCann, and why?

We have right on our side.

Our day will come, and we will have justice.

* I shall leave this for another occasion.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Trust us, we're the BBC. Shurely Shome Mishtake

By no means is this intended to be a political piece. That it features Ronnie Flanagan, Jim Gamble's old boss, adds a bit of interest it must be said. If you are unfamiliar with Flanagan you can read a little about his exploits in this post, and a few new CEOP teeshirts I might add, where he features both in the article and in the footnotes, as does the the Irish Mail front page seen here.

Although the articles in question are centred on Flanagan's collusion with the Loyalist death squads, collusion being a polite word for conspiracy to murder it must be said, it is not that involvement that is crux of this particular article. The essential part of this post is the BBC, or more precisely, it's manner of reporting, and it is that manner of reporting that interests us.

That the once mighty broadcasting corporation, renowned as the beacon of truth for its unbiased and honest reporting, (forgive me) that the BBC is ethically bankrupt, it's worth now equal to that of the rest of the main stream media, is epitomised in this shameful example below.

Little wonder then that this reporter for IndyMedia* is pissed, mightily so in fact. So firstly let us read what Shane O'Curry has to say, and then move on to the article that causes him so much offence.

BBC off to a flying start on Flanagan's evidence to Rosemary Nelson Inquiry

by Shane O'Curry

The information branch of the British State does an excellent job

It reads more like the adoring parish gazette piece about the bell ringer retiring after 30 years of good Christian service, than objective reporting about the significant, and highly unusual development of a Chief Constable being called to give evidence before an Inquiry into the murder of a solicitor in circumstances that are suggestive of a security force cover-up, if not actual collusion in the murder. It is hard to imagine how anyone could have heaped more praise onto the north of Ireland's former security top-dog.

This was the second murder of a high profile solicitor while Sir Ronnie was a senior officer in the paramilitary Royal Ulster Constabulary. The first, that of Pat Finucane, was when he was in charge of Special Branch, whose finger prints are all over the latter's murder. It is also umpteenth case where there are allegations of outright RUC collusion, criminal neglect of duty and cover-up involving some of Northern Ireland's most heinous terrorist crimes.

Yet the piece only makes the most oblique of references to one these other cases, that of Omagh, and buries these references in one of the most highly-polished and sycophantic hagiographies seen in modern western journalism. Here, journalist Mark Simpson's blind assertion that "He did not even know that Special Branch had a file on [Rosemary Nelson]" makes one wonder whether he did his journalistic training in Albania, pre-1989. As for the rest of the piece, Sir Ronnie's PR team couldn't have written a better piece about him.

 at the Rosemary Nelson Inquiry, Mark Simpson deserves a Pulitzer prize for fiction for his coverage of it. Sir Ronnie is moving-on to greener fields as security adviser to the Interior Minister at the United Arab Emirates. Meanwhile, things are really progressing in the north of Ireland.

And the offending piece who's style we are so becoming accustomed to in other matters.

Sir Ronnie Flanagan faces inquiry

By Mark Simpson
BBC Ireland correspondent

As Sir Ronnie Flanagan gives evidence at the public inquiry into the controversial killing of solicitor Rosemary Nelson, what is the background of the former Northern Ireland Chief Constable?

Like all experienced police officers, Sir Ronnie Flanagan is more used to asking the questions than answering them.

He spent more than 30 years at the sharp end of policing in Northern Ireland, before moving to England to the prestigious job as head of Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary.

He went back to Belfast to answer a series of questions about the death of solicitor Rosemary Nelson.

His evidence was summed up in one sentence from his detailed statement: "My impressions at the time were that Rosemary Nelson was a lawyer doing her job."

He insisted he did not regard her as a terrorist sympathiser, and rejected claims that the police deliberately failed to protect her from attack.

In charge

Rosemary Nelson was killed just before St Patrick's Day in 1999, when an under-car booby-trap bomb exploded as she was driving her car. The loyalist terror group, the Red Hand Defenders, later said they were behind the attack.

Ms Nelson's legal clients included a number of republicans, and her friends and family suspect that elements of the security forces colluded with loyalist paramilitaries in her death.

They also believe that police could have done more to ensure her personal security in the months before she was murdered.

At the time, Sir Ronnie was the man in charge of policing in Northern Ireland.

Although he was seen by some as a "hands on" chief constable, he told the inquiry he was not involved in day-to-day matters surrounding Ms Nelson.

He did not even know that Special Branch had a file on her.

He has already faced four hours of questioning about exactly what he knew - and what he didn't know. Two more days have been set aside for his evidence.

Although he is being asked to remember events from 10 years ago in precise detail, and his every word is being scrutinised, Sir Ronnie has appeared calm and measured throughout.

It is all part of the legacy of the Troubles for the former chief constable, even though he has moved on to other duties outside the UK.

Communication skills

He recently landed a major policing post in the Middle East, as strategic adviser to the Minister of Interior of the United Arab Emirates.

His name was initially mentioned as a possible candidate for the top job at the Metropolitan Police after Sir Ian Blair announced his intention to step down, but it all came too late for Sir Ronnie, 59.

Although he is held in the highest esteem in Downing Street and beyond, his time in Northern Ireland was not without controversy, most notably over his handling of the Omagh bomb investigation.

He was severely criticised in an independent report into the matter.

He rejected the criticism by saying that if he believed it was true: "I would not only resign - I would go and publicly commit suicide."

It was an uncharacteristically extreme outburst by a man whose communication skills are usually second to none.

Having spent so much time in the media spotlight, his appearance at the Rosemary Nelson inquiry has attracted a large amount of interest.

The police have always denied any wrongdoing in the Nelson case, and this has been repeated in person by Sir Ronnie.

Nonetheless, exactly what he says is significant, especially as it is all being said in public.

Numerous allegations and accusations have been made against the police about what they did before and after the murder in 1999.

Now the man who was in charge of the force is having his say.

Seems like a nice man, don't you think?

From, to borrow a phrase, The information branch of the British State

Mind you it ain't just the BBC is it? in the immortal words of George Orwell, Once a Journo, always a whore. Shurely shome mishtake? (bottom of the page)

*IndyMedia From around the world in many languages, and always a good alternative to the main stream press.

And while I'm recommending resources, when I used to blog on US/global matters, I found this an excellent source for both news and articles. Information Clearing House
Apart from the big names there, Chomsky, Pilger etc, I took a shine to Paul Graig Roberts for US domestic affairs, a sample here, and for South America/global, Pepe Escobar scratched a decent article. A little about the man and a few links.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

And Now for Something Completely Different

And how refreshingly different, that after all this time slugging away at this case, and in a climate not best suited to inspiration or creativity, that someone can still manage to pull something novel out of the hat, is as unexpected as it is, as I say, refreshing.

I came across this little gem whilst reading the contributions to the forum, Missing Madeleine.
But I'm not being terribly accurate when I say gem, because having read the first, and what I thought only piece, I was then treated to some very unexpected repartee from other members of the forum.

Reprinted with kind permission and well deserving of a mighty flourish of the cap.

~ ~ ~

by Nospinnaker.

I’ve got this really big bumper size jigsaw puzzle.

It has thousands of pieces, some of them small and subtle, some of them highly coloured and complicated.

The picture on the box is of an abduction. It’s not the sort of thing that would normally interest me, but it looked fiendishly difficult and I can’t resist a challenge.

I have tried it all ways, I compare the reality of the piece with the picture on the box, and for the life of me I can’t make most of the bits fit anywhere. The edges don’t match up. The colours and patterns are wrong. Sometimes a picture emerges, but whatever it is it’s nothing like the abduction on the box.

What’s more, there are, it would seem, bits that belong to some other puzzle. There’s one of an email button from the website that is just a picture of a button with no function behind it, and I can’t make it fit into an abduction anywhere.

There are dogs, too, and surely they can have no place in an abduction. There’s a piece with hair and fluid on it, but there’s another piece that says there’s no hair and no fluid. There’s a bizarre inflatable billboard that seems to zip into view and then zip out of it again very rapidly. There is a tidy apartment and a piece that smells of bleach, and there are lots of bits with pictures of wine bottles.

There’s just nowhere to put the one with child friendly toppings, nor the one with mention of resuscitation, nor all those bits of wrists with no watches. I can’t find a home for the piece with a likeness of His Holiness, and I can’t seem to fit into the puzzle the picture of Huelva on early closing day.

There are bits missing, too. There should, I’m sure, be a piece with a reward on it, but it’s not in the box. There should be fingerprints, too, but they have been missed out in the packing process.

Lots of pieces seem to have churches, in Portugal or in Yorkshire or Leicestershire. There are shady men on the fringes of lots of the bits.

There are three sorts of bits. There are those that are photorealistic and three-dimensional, printed on a reassuringly solid plywood base. Then there are some which are still on plywood but are out of focus, I’m not sure if they are really pictures of something. And then there are those which are over-bright, high contrast, unnatural, and poorly constructed of the flimsiest stuff.

And there’s another thing. Whenever I sit down to concentrate on my puzzle, there are, would you believe, people coming into the room, snatching the piece I’m pondering and ruining my concentration. They keep on doing it.

Strangest thing of all there’s a bit that looks just like the baby space creature in Alien, when it clamps itself onto one of the astronauts. On his face, like a draped starfish. Weird and scary. But when you turn it upside down it turns out to be a picture of someone’s haircut!

This puzzle hasn’t beaten me yet. Occasionally bits arrive unannounced – like from Portugal a few weeks ago there came a piece with advice from British Police on it.

But whatever I do, whichever way I turn my puzzle, it doesn’t look remotely like the picture on the box.

Maybe I’ll ask for my money back.

by Anna Esse

I think I've got a similar jigsaw. I've never been a fan of jigsaws, preferring either thriller novels as a pastime, where you know all the bits are going to come together in the end and the story will make sense, or real-life stories about how crimes were solved. However, I took up this strange jigsaw that had a picture of an abduction because it presented a real challenge, with lots of gray areas that I knew would present a challenge and lots of intricately coloured areas.

The problem I had to begin with was that however much I tried to force some of the bits into place, strange windows and doors for example, I wasn't getting anywhere. Then the manufacturers started sending updates to the picture and extra pieces that fitted neither the original picture nor the updated one.

To further complicate matters, I have also been presented with pictures that seem to have nothing to do with the original puzzle. There is an idealised picture of a happy family sitting round a dinner table, like something totally unreal that should be on a chocolate box rather than part of my abduction puzzle.

Now, I am being told that my puzzle is being recalled because someone is claiming that the bits got mixed up, through no fault of the manufacturers, but because it got interfered with after some party or other and nobody bothered to investigate who did it.

Still, I'm going to keep it and hope that eventually I get the right picture that fits all the bits I have managed to accumulate, bits the manufacturers actually told me didn't exist!

by Sasha

There seems to be a lot of these jigsaws about. My husband bought me a couple for my birthday this weekend. On one of them the picture on the lid was of some curtains but when I opened the box they went whoosh. The other had a picture of shutters but try as I did, I couldn't get the box to open ( maybe I should have made a hole in the box crawled in and opened it from the inside?)

by LJC

Yes, on my jigsaw I had a similar thing happen. Everything was going nicely until I couldn't make the pieces with Robert Murat's face on fit. Then I hoped to complete it with a hillside burial ground but lost that piece also. Then I came across a piece with men searching a lake, but nothing would fit together. Then I lost the pieces with the Lead Detective in the case. Blimey, after I lost him, the whole thing just went up in the air I'm afraid.