Monday, August 29, 2011

If you’ve done nothing wrong, there’s nothing to be frightened of…

Edit: I keep meaning to add that Pastor Mike wrote his piece about a year ago and nobody noticed until people like PZ picked it up recently.  Since getting all that attention, Pastor Mike has made his blog private, so that only his friends can read it.  I’ve pasted the entire text of his post at the bottom of this one. 

It’s a brave move for someone who wants atheists on a public list so he can hassle and discriminate against them.  He already restricted comments to members, ensuring nobody said anything he didn’t approve of. Now he doesn’t want anyone even reading the blog unless they already agree with what it says.  Brave indeed. Pastor Mike, you can always comment here if you want to explain your actions.

This guy wants a (US) national registry of atheists.  Why would this be of any use or interest to anyone at all? 

Registering atheists like Richard Dawkins ( above ) would at least let people know who - and WHERE - they reside

(emphasis his)

Sorry, Pastor Mike, I’m still not sure I follow.  Why would you want to know that?  I suppose at least Pastor Mike might learn that Richard Dawkins doesn’t live in America, but I’m pretty sure everyone else knew that anyway.  Fortunately, Pastor Mike further explains his reasoning:

I mean , think about it . There are already National Registrys for convicted sex offenders , ex-convicts , terrorist cells , hate groups like the KKK , skinheads , radical Islamists , etc..

And we’re straight into the assertion that atheists are directly comparable to sex offenders.  Is there really a national registry for terrorist cells? You’d think that would make counter-terrorism quite easy.  Just look up the cells on the register and you’re done.

I’m not convinced at the usefulness of national registers for sex offenders (or at least, publicly accessible ones), but at least there’s an argument to be made about protecting the public.  What protection does Pastor Mike feel he needs from atheists?

Well, he doesn’t say.  This is because his real reason for wanting to register atheists is so he can harass them and encourage people to boycott their businesses.

Now , many (especially the atheists ) , may ask "Why do this , what's the purpose ?"Duhhh , Mr. Atheist , for the same purpose many States put the names and photos of convicted sex offenders and other ex-felons on the I-Net - to INFORM the public ! I mean , in the City of Miramar , Florida , where I live , the population is approx. 109,000 . My family and I would sure like to know how many of those 109,000 are ADMITTED atheists ! Perhaps we may actually know some . In which case we could begin to witness to them and warn them of the dangers of atheism . Or perhaps they are radical atheists , whose hearts are as hard as Pharaoh's , in that case , if they are business owners , we would encourage all our Christian friends , as well as the various churches and their congregations NOT to patronize them as we would only be "feeding" Satan .

Pastor Mike, sex offender registries are indeed – rightly or not - about informing the public.  Informing them of potential dangers. They aren’t there to provide the public with a list of people to discriminate against and harass.  That’s why access to those lists is usually tightly controlled.

Frankly , I don't see why anyone would oppose this idea - including the atheists themselves ( unless of course , they're actually ashamed of their atheist religion , and would prefer to stay in the 'closet.' ) .

Pastor Mike has already made the reasons pretty clear.  There’s every reason to be scared of Pastor Mike and his fellow thugs.  They already think we’re basically the same as sex offenders and criminals.  They already want to boycott our businesses and relentlessly preach to us or shun us.  And this is before they’ve even got started with the list.  We don’t have to be ashamed of our atheism to be concerned about your nutjob agenda, particularly in a country where crimes against atheists are unlikely to be met with much sympathy by the police and courts. 

Part of that agenda, of course, is to try make us ashamed by trying to marginalise us with local communities. To shame us into professing belief.  And if we don’t - Pastor Mike threatens - he’ll try to put us out of business.  Not because he doesn’t want people to be atheists, but because he doesn’t want anyone to be allowed to say they’re atheists.

I’m not ashamed of being an atheist and Pastor Mike can put me on his list if he wants.  I think I’m pretty safe from his disgusting plan here.

Pastor Mike’s original post

Brothers and Sisters , I have been seriously considering forming a (Christian ) grassroots type of organization to be named “The Christian National Registry of Atheists” or something similar . I mean , think about it . There are already National Registrys for convicted sex offenders , ex-convicts , terrorist cells , hate groups like the KKK , skinheads , radical Islamists , etc..

This type of “National Registry” would merely be for informationpurposes . To inform the public of KNOWN ( i.e., self-admitted) atheists . For example , let’s say you live in Colorado Springs , Colorado , you could simply scroll down ( from the I-Net site /Blog ) I would have , to the State of Colorado , and then when you see “Colorado Springs” , you will see the names of all the self-admitted atheist(s) who live there ( e.g., if an atheist’s name happened to be “Phil Small” ) . The individual’s physical address , and other known personal information would NOT be disclosed ( though , perhaps a photo could be ) .

Now , many (especially the atheists ) , may ask “Why do this , what’s the purpose ?” Duhhh , Mr. Atheist , for the same purpose many States put the names and photos of convicted sex offenders and other ex-felons on the I-Net – to INFORM the public ! I mean , in the City of Miramar , Florida , where I live , the population is approx. 109,000 . My family and I would sure like to know how many of those 109,000 are ADMITTED atheists ! Perhaps we may actually know some . In which case we could begin to witness to them and warn them of the dangers of atheism . Or perhaps they are radical atheists , whose hearts are as hard as Pharaoh’s , in that case , if they are business owners , we would encourage all our Christian friends , as well as the various churches and their congregations NOT to patronize them as we would only be “feeding” Satan .

Frankly , I don’t see why anyone would oppose this idea – including the atheists themselves ( unless of course , they’re actually ashamed of their atheist religion , and would prefer to stay in the ‘closet.’ ) .

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Inventing agency

It’s often hypothesised that gods were invented to help explain things that are out of our control.  We didn’t understand why crops fail, why floods and droughts happen, why stuff sometimes catches on fire and since we’re somewhat wired to see agency, we saw it in natural disasters and invented gods.  Then we compounded the error by developing superstitious behaviour: we made sacrifices and next year the river didn’t flood. While we’re excellent at inventing agency, we’re terrible at spotting things like regression to mean so we ploughed ever more resources into those superstitions.  And maybe that’s how a somewhat-wired tendency to spot agency where none exists became religion.  Other human tendencies make us into our own policemen.  Why else do Catholics confess to priests when their god is supposed to be able to see everything anyway? And that seals the deal. We’re trained to think that if we don’t buy hook line and sinker into the superstition, we have to mortify ourselves.

But this view of the origins of religion is usually seen as glib by the religious. They feel that their religion answers big and deep questions (spoiler: the answer is always goddidit in some mysterious fashion) and that it can’t be attributed to instinctive needs of this sort.

I have a question for these apologists.  How come every time there’s an earthquake, people all over the planet fight for airtime and column inches to tell us why it happened?  It’s usually claimed to be a result of homosexuality or some other perceived immorality.  But as PZ reports, people can and will invent any old madness. The East Coast earthquake today, for example, was apparently due to extracting oil from the planet, which would otherwise act as a lubricant, preventing earthquakes.

Isn’t that the exact same thing?  What about gamblers who imagine there’s such a thing as a lucky streak?  What about lovers who see the agency of destiny in their getting together?  Faith-heads, why do you reject some putative explanations for personally inexplicable events and embrace others?  Why do you embrace any explanations without evidence anyway?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Cornfields remain unlooked at and goats are not on fire due to squeaky wheels

As everyone on the Internet now knows, Dennis Markuze/Dave Mabus has been arrested pending psychiatric evaluation to determine whether he’s fit for trial.  The whole place has gone quiet. Though I was by no means a major Mabus target, his footprint was everywhere.  It’s like a persistent noise that suddenly stops and everyone wakes up and asks “what’s that?”

I hope Markuze gets the help he so obviously needs and I’m glad he’s unable to cause mischief.  But being me, I can still find something to complain about.

Markuze was reported to the police years ago, when he was just an enormous nuisance.  He was reported again and again as he became more aggressive and threatening.  I wrote to the Montreal police myself.  Lots of other people who were far bigger targets for Markuze did likewise. 

And nothing happened. The Montreal police didn’t care.  They didn’t care when he turned up in person at an atheist convention, after making thousands of death threats against atheists. They didn’t care until they got a taste of Mabus’ medicine.  And they didn’t like it. They didn’t like it at all.  A petition was set up by Kyle VanderBeek, which got nearly 5000 signatures.  Each one sent a message to the Montreal police.  Who immediately started complaining about spam!  Meanwhile, some Twitter savvy gent baited Markuze into including the Montreal police in some of his threats.

And the deal was done. Markuze was arrested.  Two decades ago, when people started complaining, would have been better.  So what’s the deal? Did the Montreal police just not realise how much of a nuisance he was making of himself?  Did they not take his threats seriously?  Or did they just not care about a bunch of Internet geeks until it was made too inconvenient for them to ignore?

Nobody has Markuze’s footprint, but I’ve had maybe a dozen death threats from random Internet people over the last couple of decades.  I didn’t take them seriously.  Would the police have taken them seriously if I’d reported them?  Would they have taken them seriously if they’d arrived by snail?

Friday, August 19, 2011

The New Testament by someone who hasn’t read it

This via Skepchick. Someone who was brought up Jewish and is now an atheist has little reason to have been exposed to the New Testament.  But she tells the story of Jesus as she understands it, based on Christmas Specials and the trailer to Passion of the Christ.

She does a better job than many Christians.  I particularly like the part where Jesus wanted to cut a baby in half.

It reminds me of this, which is a video of someone who hasn’t seen Star Wars explaining the plot.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sign like you’ve never signed before

Here’s a petition to the UK government urging them to treat creationism and intelligent design like the idiocy it is.

Creationism and ‘intelligent design’ are not scientific theories, but they are portrayed as scientific theories by some religious fundamentalists who attempt to have their views promoted in

publicly-funded schools. At the same time, an understanding of evolution is central to understanding all aspects of biology. Currently, the study of evolution does not feature explicitly in the National Curriculum until year 10 (ages 14-15). Free Schools and Academies are not obliged to teach the National Curriculum and so are under no obligation to teach about evolution at all. We petition the Government to make clear that creationism and ‘intelligent design’ are not scientific theories and to prevent them from being taught as such in publicly-funded schools, including in ‘faith’ schools, religious Academies and religious Free Schools. At the same time, we want the Government to make the teaching of evolution in mandatory in all publicly-funded schools, at both primary and secondary level.

Sign the thing.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Non-fiction? Science? £12.89?

Sadly, I navigated to this book from the Non-fiction->Science->Biology section of It is a madness.

This section from the blurb is probably all you need to know:

These questions and many more are put to the test by Lloyd Pye, an expert in evolutionary theory from alien genetic manipulation.

It’s rather hard to imagine how one could be an expert in evolution theory from alien genetic manipulation or what that expertise might look like.

It doesn’t even matter what the ‘questions’ are, but for the record, Pye seems to think that people didn’t evolve from apes.  There are only dozens of bones to work from, he says, so it’s apparently much more likely that we were engineered by aliens.

Pye is one of those universal crackpots who believes virtually nothing established science says is real and that it’s all down to aliens.  Naturally, he thinks humans couldn’t have built the pyramids and thinks – for no reason at all – that a perfectly ordinary deformed human skull is of alien origin. 

You might know him from his crazy book Everything you know is wrong.  This excerpt from an Amazon review of that book is revealing:

Pye draws heavily on the writings of Zecharia Sitchin and subscribes to the idea that the Earth was struck by a rogue planet, known by the Sumerians as Nibiru, which apparently circles our Sun in an eccentric orbit and passes close by the Earth about once every 3,600 years. Nibiru was inhabited by a race known as the Annunaki, who were the Earth colonisers as described above.

This, he contends, is more likely than evolution.  You see, the aliens were a bit short of cash and so came here to get their scaly hands on our gold, which presumably also has value in space.  But due to their cashflow problem they naturally had to genetically engineer the locals so they’d be smart enough to help with all the mining.  This took 350,000 years, by which time you’d have thought the price of gold might have gone down anyway.  Plus, I’ve heard that those cash for gold offers are a scam.  But this all accounts, he says, for the 4000 genetic problems Homo sapiens has, which is ‘far more than other mammals’.  Sadly, however, I’m just repeating this from one of the reviews as I haven’t read the book, so I can’t enlighten you about what –if anything- this might possibly mean.

Charmingly, although he dismisses evolution, he’ll have nothing to do with creationism either.  His ‘theory’ (read bugfuck insane self-indulgent fantasy) addresses the weaknesses in both.  He says.

The reviews on the UK Amazon site are pretty positive, but there’s a particularly revealing one, which might help to explain why:

The only part I could not believe was concerning Nibru (also known as planet X), I just could not buy into that, I keep an open mind but there are some things I need to see in order to believe, with my own eyes! And that's why it only gets 3/5 - worth the money I paid.

This character is rating the book based on how much of it he decided arbitrarily was true, any actual evidence be hanged.  Also, it seems that his eyes are his major organs of belief, which seems odd.

If anyone finds any of his books in a charity shop, send me a copy and I’ll review it more fairly.  In the meantime, shame on Audible (a subsidiary of Amazon) for classifying this nonsense….this….piffle lite…. as science.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Vatican punishes bishop for compassion

The Vatican is finally investigating one of its Bishops.  Not for covering up child rape though, for working with organisations that advocate the dignity and rights of homosexuals

He thinks homosexual behaviour is a sin, but doesn’t want gay people to be stigmatised by society.  He thinks abortion is wrong, but doesn’t think women who have abortions should go to jail.  In other words, he’s a decent – if misguided – human being.  Damn right the Vatican had better reel him in.  Can’t have bishops going around being compassionate.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

GAWD vs GWAR: intellectual dishonesty

I’ve said this often, but PZ puts it well.

Gods retreat into gaps as science advances. It’s inevitable and there’s nothing faith-heads can do about it but squirm dishonestly. Here’s how they do it:

They believe in a god with the various trappings of their religion, such as omnipotence, omnipresence and goodness. They believe their god created the universe. They believe in miracles.

As Dawkins has pointed out, many Christian priests dismiss Adam and Eve as metaphors if you confront them with genetic evidence, then go right back to describing that story as fact from the pulpit first thing Sunday morning. I’m sure there are similar attitudes from faith-heads of all varieties.

And when you confront them with evidence for the big bang, many appeal to a god that’s somehow ‘outside time’, whatever that means.

And when you ask them for evidence – any evidence – that their god exists, they go one step further still: they say that while they can’t prove their god exists, you can’t prove it doesn’t. God pervades the entire universe but exists somehow outside it and so can’t be detected within it. They’re right, of course, that nobody can prove that such a god doesn’t exist.

But there are two problems. First, such a being could never be the god their religion demands. That would require it to interfere with the universe in some way, whether it’s answering prayers, performing miracles, directing evolution or whatever. If it interferes with the universe, then we can throw that blasted science at it and further narrow the gap that god has to squeeze into, which is why they brought us here in the first place. Second, on Sunday morning they go right back to preaching about all the times their god has interfered with the universe anyway.

This flip-flopping between two concepts of god to avoid difficult questions is tiresome and that’s why PZ makes the distinction between what he calls GAWD (gods as working deities) and GWAR (gods who avoid reality) in the article linked above. It’s a smart and funny article, which should really annoy some non-thinkers.

I’ve dealt with this argument countless times, distressingly often from people close to me. I think they know they’re being dishonest. They know that there argument evaporates under scrutiny, but they’re less concerned with honesty than with fantasy.

So the questions remain:

If you believe in GAWD, tell me what you believe.  Tell me that you believe prayer works.  Or that miracles happen.  Tell me which things written in your holy books are true.  Or whatever.  Tell me what it is you believe, without obfuscation.  These are by definition testable claims and science can be applied.  I’m not scared of the outcome of properly conducted scientific tests of any of these things, are you?

If you believe GWAR, explain why.  Since GWAR doesn’t interfere with the universe, how do you even know about it?  You can’t point to a holy book, especially if – like most – it is claimed to either be written by or inspired by GAWD.  That would constitute an interference.  The books are all chock full of acts of GAWD.  You can’t point to personal revelation.  That would be interference again.

So either show us the evidence for your GAWD, or explain why you believe in GWAR.  There’s no middle ground.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Class action suit against homeopathy

On 31 August 2010, Gina Delarosa filed aclass action lawsuit against Boiron, Inc.stating the company is “..defrauding Californians by claiming that a tablet called “Children’s Coldcalm” pellets will provide relief from: sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, sinus pain, headaches, and sore throat.”

More here.

All win. Well, apart from the homeopaths

The Advertising Standards Authority tells homeopaths to remove claims about efficacy of their products in treating certain medical conditions.

We’ve told marketers of homeopathic treatments and services about whom we’ve received a complaint to remove marketing claims that refer to, or imply, the efficacy of homeopathy for treating or helping specific health conditions. This is because the ASA considers there is insufficient robust scientific evidence to support these claims.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Fucking whales, how do they work?

My throat grooves hurt Sad smile 

And don’t even TALK to me about my uro-genital slit.

What he said

This post by PZ at the all-new Pharyngula is a good one and I agree without caveat.  It’s always seemed to me that that while a person can feasibly call herself a skeptic if she believes in a god, she’s got a lot of explaining to do.  Religion is fair game and always in season. 

When the spectre of accommodation first began to manifest in public (that is, when we all started arguing about it), I mused about its history.  I understand why organisations like CSICOP and later the JREF adopted the policies they did on religion.  They chose to be neutral on religion apparently because some of the people they wanted on their boards were sympathetic to religion and wouldn’t otherwise have joined.  They wanted the skill and enthusiasm of those people and the price they paid for including them was to stay quiet about religion.  This might come as a surprise, but in context, I say fair enough.  They were small, fledgling organisations and – I think – didn’t adopt this policy to swell the numbers of members. I’d have made a rather different choice, but I don’t particularly criticise theirs, in context.

These days, things are rather different.  Due largely to the efforts of these organisations, skepticism is a big deal and the community very large and active.  There’s no longer a perceived need to accommodate to get the staff you want, because there are lots of talented, hardworking people in the movement.  Accommodation is now about recruitment of members and that is not acceptable.  It’s not acceptable because a few board members of a skeptical organisation shouldn’t get to decide what the community cares about. 

And yet those early decisions haunt us, for some reason.  The reasons for laying off religion seemed superficially plausible back then, but makes no sense at all now.  So why does the movement allow those policies to influence it?  At the first TAM London, there was quite a lot of (to me and many welcome) sniping at religion.  And while it went down pretty well, lots of people in the audience were visibly and vocally offended. I don’t know if this is because they were religious or because of the reach of those insidious decisions.  I know that in at least some cases it was the latter, because I talked to people. They blustered about religion being off-limits because of ‘deeply-held beliefs’.  They blustered about putting people off joining the skeptical movement because their particular variety of stupid was being ridiculed.  They blustered about negative evidence.  Bottom line: they blustered. If they can’t resolve those feelings in an environment jam packed full of smart people, then good fucking riddance.

PZ is right: since we want diversity in the movement, we should simply stick to the principles.  There’s only one, really: show us.  If religious people want to join the movement they should be welcomed providing they understand that that they’ll have to show us.  Their particular bullshit is no more exempt than anyone else’s. If they think they have a good reason for believing what they do, they should show us what it is.  And if it turns out that reason is not so very good after all, they shouldn’t expect much sympathy.

Skepticism is about having good reasons to believe things and the fun part is arguing about what are good and bad reasons. Argument is how we sharpen our teeth and people who don’t care for argument probably have only a marginal place in the skeptical movement these days.

I’ve previously argued against the concept of a ‘skeptical movement’, whatever that means.  I was wrong.  I was basing my ire on the fact that the people who seemed to be trying to define the movement were determined to tell us what we should think.  But the movement exists and it is doing what it collectively wants regardless of what anyone who thinks they’re in charge says and in that capacity I’m a member of that movement and support it in everything I do.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Liz Jones in Somalia

There’s a fake twitter feed hilariously masquerading as being written by Liz Jones in Somalia.  Quite a lot of people didn’t realise it was a fake, somehow.  Some others decided that the feed was somehow making fun on the tragedy in Somalia.  In fact, the author’s stated purpose was to raise awareness of the tragedy and to ridicule the awful Liz Jones.  There’s an explanation here, along with an appeal to donate money. Which you should definitely do.

Meanwhile, we can look forward to the ‘real’ Liz Jones’ first Somalia article on Sunday…

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Church sex abuse inquiry not needed

It’s not needed.  We wouldn’t learn anything new from digging up all that old business where we raped children into unconsciousness. We didn’t know it was wrong back then, you see.  These days we do know it’s wrong. Somehow we didn’t know it was wrong back then.

Think I’m misstating any of this?

Here you go.

"I don't think they'll learn very much more ... I'm convinced we've done the best we can in more recent years."

By refusing to hand over information about child abuse?  By protecting perps and demonising victims?  I’ve got a little feeling that you might have done a bit more.  Starting with not raping anyone in the first place, I’d have thought.

But Bishop Connors on Tuesday said not even revelations from Detective Sergeant Kevin Carson that 26 young men had killed themselves after being abused by priests and brothers in Ballarat convinced him that more would be learnt from an inquiry.

"I think we've learnt a lot of things about what is appropriate behaviour and what's not appropriate behaviour," Bishop Connors said.

"I think people are very well informed nowadays as to what's inappropriate approaches from a male."

While conceding the abuse of children was wrong, he said that in the past it had not always been clear to everyone what was appropriate and inappropriate behaviour.

Nothing to be learned here, nobody will benefit from finding out how it was allowed to happen, happen so often or happen for so long.  Nobody will benefit from knowing how it won’t be allowed to happen again.

"In the past a lot of ignorance was there on the part of lots of people. Parents didn't understand, sometimes bishops didn't understand. We have no excuse now."

Which can only mean that you think you had an excuse then.  An excuse – let’s be perfectly clear – to rape children.

"I can't remember them saying they were victims of Brother Best as well," he said.

You can’t remember?  You can’t fucking remember?  What were you doing during these horrific revelations? And…. “as *well*”? It’s better that they only got raped by some priests instead of all priests?  Well, I suppose it is… technically….

Monday, August 01, 2011

Liz Jones of the Daily Mail is a horror show

Somehow (presumably because I don’t read the Fail), Liz Jones of the Daily Mail has only just appeared on my radar with this piece.  Jones is fortunate enough to be able to afford private healthcare so she doesn’t need to “scrape and scrabble at the coal face of the NHS very often.”

For some reason, the Mail has seen fit to send this dreadful person to report on the famine in Somalia (I genuinely can’t imagine what she will come up with) and she needed vaccines.  Her private GP could give her only one of the jabs she needed that day, so she phoned her local NHS GP:

'Hello!' I said cheerily. 'I am not registered with you, but I live two miles away. I wonder if you could possibly squeeze me in today to complete my jabs for travelling to Africa, and fill in my malaria prescription, as I need to start taking the tablets on Sunday.'

Unsurprisingly, the health centre was not very sympathetic.  It was busy dealing with patients who were, you know, actually registered with them. Unlike the private clinic, they have extremely aggressive quotas. An egotistical reporter’s inconsequential demands don’t trump everyone else’s needs.

The conversation doesn’t go well.  She claims that the vaccinations are an emergency, so the GP’s office suggests she go to A&E. 

“I'm sure they wouldn't classify a routine jab as an emergency. I mean, it's a global crisis. Millions of people are dying and you won't put yourself out to allow me to be seen by a nurse, not even a doctor, for five minutes?”

This probably tells you all you need about Liz Jones.  She’s such a humanitarian! She goes on to compare her treatment to the appalling goings on at the Winterbourne View care home exposed on the Panorama programme, where inmates were routinely beaten and humiliated.  It’s this sort of attitude that convinces me she won’t be the world’s most sympathetic reporter on the crisis in Somalia. She’s more important than anyone else – and than the rules that are there to protect everybody – because she’s been asked to write about something important.

What would it have cost this woman on Friday morning to have said: 'Sod the protocol – everyone needs to know about this famine, Miss Jones, so I am going to speak to the GP and see what we can do.'

Well, it could have cost her job and quite rightly so.  If Jones turned out to be allergic to the vaccines (they didn’t have her notes) then it could have cost Jones her life too. And it could also have had consequences for others if they were bumped down the queue because of Jones’ lack of preparedness.

But no. People no longer talk in such a way. They follow the rules. They never put themselves out. They never look at the bigger picture.

Personally, I don’t want medical professionals getting too creative with the rules.  There’s no bigger picture. The crisis in Somalia will not be abated by a hateful person writing about it.

She’s really quite a joy:

“I don’t understand women who think clothes are not important when they have power.”

“It's your own stupid fault if your brats trash the house.” (says a woman with no children)

“I hate dirt and smells. I have no patience with people who can't help themselves, who remain ignorant despite a free education, libraries, the internet...”

In this last quote, she’s talking about the homeless.  She goes on to explain that she feels guilty for displaying contempt for the homeless and utter cluelessness of their plight (she assumes homeless people all live in bedsits, showing as little comprehension of English as she does compassion for anyone who isn’t her.) She picks a particular homeless person and vows to track him down and ‘help’ him. This was in 2009. I think we can be certain that she never went to that bench in Bristol where he lives.