The Origins of ISIS

I read a very good article in the Guardian today by Seumas Milne entitled “Now the truth emerges: how the US fuelled the rise of Isis in Syria and Iraq”.

I find it especially interesting that these things have not been said more often and from more sources. After all, anyone who follows coverage of the news will have accumulated much of this information over time. Haven’t we all? Perhaps one problem is the short term memory that comes from world news overload. We forget what we have already heard and then it is easy to fail to join the dots and see the bigger picture.

It was just yesterday that I watched the video in a post with the long title of “Someone Finally Explained How ISIS Was Created, and it Will Make You Question Everything” that chimes with the contents of the article in the Guardian.

In the video Ben Swann explores the origin of ISIS and takes a particularly USA viewpoint that he claims has already been long forgotten by American media. Swann takes on the central issue of whether or not ISIS was created by “inaction” by the United States government or by “direct” action. Watch it and make up your own mind.

Did you hear the gaff re new Pope on BBC Radio4 this morning? Researchers still in bed?

So a new Pope has been appointed and he has taken the name of Francis.

But do we know which Francis he is named after yet? I have heard news commentators announcing confidently, including the one on the Today programme on Radio 4 this morning, that he is named after Francis of Assisi. The gaff this morning was that the commentator then went on to quote “the prayer of St Francis…”

The prayer he was referring to is the anonymous twentieth century French prayer ” Where there is…”

If we still have no declaration yet my assumption would be that, as a member of the Jesuits, he would be named after Francis Xavier (1506-1552) a student of Ignatius of Loyola, and co-founder of the Society of Jesus (also known as Jesuits)

Another thought. If the Pope is infallible, why don’t they get the last infallible Pope to select the next one? 😉

“The job begins of leading a divided and ailing Church of England”: What bad research is this?

What rot is this?! I got it from the BBC website.

They got this bit right: The Bishop of Durham, the Right Reverend Justin Welby, will walk into St Paul’s Cathedral this morning as one of the Church’s newest bishops and emerge as the spiritual leader of some 80 million Anglicans across the world.

As a non-Anglican I have no axe to grind but to say the Anglican Church is divided and ailing is complete tosh.

Atheism is so twentieth century. Religion is currently experiencing a resurgence across the globe. This is the characteristic of the beginning of the twenty-first century. The world is witnessing a huge explosion of religious conversion and growth, and Christianity growing faster than any other religion, and faster than at any time in human history.

The secularist and atheists must be wringing their hands as their ranks of the unbelievers are shrinking as a proportion of the world’s population. Secularism has lost its identification with progress and modernity, and consequently it has lost the main source of its appeal. Some people are missing the most important development of our time: the global revival of religion. It’s happening on every continent.

People who are ignorant about religion will be at a disadvantage in the twenty-first century as religion will shape our world.

Anglicanism has a vocal and awkward minority, but a tail trying to wag the dog can never be described as division. Anglicanism is growing, and in this country they are at the forefront of experimental forms of doing church with their “Emerging Church” stream. They are most certainly not ailing.

I will be very interested to see how the new Archbishop of Canterbury makes a difference.


Syria is Iran’s route to the sea says Romney. What he needs is a magic peep stone

“Syria is Iran’s only ally in the Arab world, it’s their route to the sea” says Mitt Romney.

Firstly Iran is not Arab. Secondly Iran has a northern shore to the Caspian Sea and a southern shore to the Arabian Sea, between Africa and India, which eventually becomes the Indian Ocean.

Perhaps it is not his fault, perhaps he has been using Apple Maps. I loved the spoof New Yorker cover.

Being a Mormon, could Romney not use the magic peep-stone that his teen prophet Joseph Smith used? Joseph put it in a hat and shoved his face in the had and was supposed to learn all sorts of things from it, including the ability to dictate the Book or Mormon. If you can believe that?!

This is the peep stone, or seer stone, apparently used by Joseph Smith. Smith’s widow Emma passed it on to relatives of her second husband, Lewis Bidamon. (now property of Wilford Woodruff Museum). See my previous blog on this.

I wonder how a seer stone would shape Romney’s international policies. At least it might tell him where Syria and Iran are.

Christians are being encouraged to boycott shops that have Christmas trees, Santa and cheesy seasonal music but no mention of Christmas

According to the initiative at Christians are also being encouraged to say “Merry Christmas” to friends and work colleagues instead of  the American habit of saying “Happy holidays,” or the more British “Seasons greetings.”

I received some info about this in an email and think it looks largely American, but it is relevant here in the UK too. I wonder how many Christians are in fear of being disciplined in their work place if they mention Christmas.

They ( have even brought a song our about it! Cannot be any worse than “When a Child is Born” which I loath, with its “Its all a dream an illusion now…”

We need to teach our daughters to distinguish between…

We need to teach our daughters to distinguish between:

a man who flatters her
and a man who compliments her,

a man who spends money on her
and a man who invests in her,

a man who views her as property
and a man who views her properly,

a man who lusts after her
and man who loves her,

a man who believes he’s a gift to women
and a man who believes she’s a gift to him.

And then we need to teach our sons
to be that kind of man.

White Ribbon Day, 25th November, is the campaign day to encourage men to swear, “I swear never to commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women. This is my oath.”

The image below was sent to me. I think it comes from the Australian White Ribbon webs site, a less cluttered site than the UK White Ribbon.


I have daughters. These are the sort of things I hope for them when they were little.

I have met many men over the years who did not know how to treasure a woman.