My partner Gregory and I decided to attend the second GAC, having enjoyed the first one so much. It was held last weekend, April 13-15 2012.
Again I took my camera, to help record the excitement of the weekend. Please enjoy my photos. I invite your comments.
Oh yeah, there was also that little kiss that changed the world for the better. Check it out here.
Lastly, take a few minutes to help remember the legend that was Christopher Hitchens and watch the tribute to him.
A group of radical, fanatical Jihadi Islamic protesters gathered at the Global Atheist Convention on Sunday April 15 2012. Seemingly they felt that atheism was a threat to humanity and their very existence.
Gregory and I had a smooch in front of these whack-jobs and they started howling that we would “burn in hell”.
Our friend Pete Darwin captured the moment with my trusty Nikon and the rest is history.
There’s been a bunch of coverage online:
- AronRa (YouTube) (USA/watch to 1:00)
- Alexander Ryking
- Amerika Bülteni (Turkish/USA)
- Ateist Canavar (Turkish)
- Atheist Republic (Facebook)
- Australian Skeptics Forum
- Butterflies and Wheels
- Dave The Happy Singer (Australian)
- David Icke’s Official Forums
- death + taxes mag
- Democratic Underground
- Dispatches from the Culture Wars
- DNA Magazine (PDF) (Australian/free registration required for online access)
- DV.is (Icelandic)
- European Freedom Initiative
- Friendly Atheist
- Furious Purpose
- Gay News Network (PDF) (Australian)
- Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear (Australian)
- Gregory Storer (Australian)
- In Vino Veritas (Australian)
- Joe. My. God. (USA)
- Libertarian Republican
- Newsvine (Grishman’s Column)
- Obama 2012 Election – Blog archive
- Occupy All Streets
- On The Record
- Pharyngula (USA)
- Photo submitted to reddit by Pete Darwin (comments)
- queer.de (German)
- Star Online (Australian)
- same same (Australian)
- The Caudal Lure (Australian)
- the burned over district
- The Raw Story (1)
- The Raw Story (2)
- Thoughts and Cute Things
- UAAR Ultimissime (Italian)
- Wolfies World
If you find any other places that have covered this story, please let me know.
Thanks to Katy Perry for inspiration.
I attended the inaugural Global Atheist Convention in 2010. It was an exhilarating weekend packed with some of the finest speakers from Australia and around the world. There were so many highlights for me, although perhaps the biggest highlight was getting to meet a long-standing idol Robyn Williams, and more recent source of inspiration, PZ Myers.
Stand tuned for the photographs from the second Global Atheist Convention, this coming weekend, April 13-15 2012.
Lastly, recapture some of the excitement from 2010 through the eyes of the Bruce Llama.
STANDING COMMITTEE ON LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS
11 April 2012
E-mail: mikeybear69 @ gmail.com
Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2010
I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your submission to the above inquiry, and to advise that the committee has released it as a public document and numbered it as Submission No. a939. Any personal details, such as addresses and phone numbers, have been removed from your submission. Names have also been withheld where this has been requested. You are now free to circulate your submission to other parties should you wish to do so.
Documents provided to Senate committees become committee documents upon receipt, and it is the prerogative of the relevant committee to determine whether and how it will accept and publish such documents. In this inquiry, the committee will not be publishing on its website every submission received from individuals. That is because the committee is anticipating thousands of submissions and form/standard letters from individuals, and it is not physically possible for all of them to be published on the website due to staffing and resource limitations. As time and resources permit, the committee will publish a selection of individual submissions, representing a broad range of views that are indicative of the types of submissions that have been received by the committee. An equal number of individual submissions supporting and opposing the bill will be published.
All submissions received will be provided to members of the committee during the course of the inquiry for their consideration. At the conclusion of the committee’s inquiry, public submissions will be tabled in the Senate chamber as public documents.
Your submission is protected by parliamentary privilege. Parliamentary privilege refers to the special rights and immunities attached to the Parliament which are necessary for the discharge of parliamentary functions. This means that you cannot be prosecuted or disadvantaged because of anything you have provided in evidence, or because you gave such evidence.
It never ceases to amaze me as to the level of craziness that some religions aspire to. On the Jewish festival of Passover it’s customary to abstain from food and drink products that are considered ‘chametz‘. Growing up, in the family house, I was made to observe this practice. It caused me great distress one year when as a little boy, maybe 8 or 9 years old, I went to a birthday party for a school friend, during Passover. The friend was not Jewish and Passover meant nothing to him or his family. And so the parents of the birthday boy took us all out to lunch at McDonalds, very generously no doubt.
Realising there was about to be a huge logistical issue for me, I worked up the courage to tell the parents I wasn’t allowed to eat bread, but I didn’t tell them this was because it was Passover. I didn’t know how to explain that to them. This caused a great deal of consternation for the parents and the restaurant, and humiliation for me, as I was not happy with the dilemma I had been placed in. Somehow the restaurant were able to concoct a “hamburger” without the buns for me. It was mostly meat and the salads, and probably had cheese in it as well.
The craziness of this was that my parents didn’t mind too much that the food I was eating at someone else’s party wasn’t kosher, yet they did mind that I ate bread during Passover. I’m glad my parents didn’t find out I was eating meat and cheese together. It would have been the end of the world. There is no logic to this at all. If keeping kosher matters, it should matter 100%, not partially. Not that keeping kosher is about logic either. It defies logic completely and epitomises irrationality.
Yesterday, some 35 years later, it came to my attention that the carbon dioxide gas used in making soft drinks needs to be approved by a kosher authority before it can be considered suitable for consumption during Passover. We’re talking about a substance that is a gas, that contains no solids or liquids. Yet apparently it’s possible that it can contain contaminants that are a by-product of its manufacture that would render it ‘chametz’. WTF.
No doubt many faithful will disagree but to me this is a scam of the highest degree, being perpetrated by a bunch of shonky con artists who are sucking money mercilessly out of people who could better spend it on more important things like health or education. My suggestion to those who are paying the exorbitant prices for kosher foods, especially at Passover, is to think about how gullible you are being and how you are being ripped off by the nonsense that keeping kosher is. Just go and buy an 88c bottle of soda water off the shelf at the regular supermarket and pretend it’s kosher. Your god won’t have the slightest clue. Trust me.
Kosher Australia Update
5 April 2012
We have just completed our investigation of the Schweppes unflavoured mineral water and soda water and found that they are chometz and kitniyos free and may be used on Pesach if purchased before Pesach (before 11am on 6/4/2012 if in Melbourne). Unfortunately the generic brands could not confirm that the carbonation sources were chometz and kitniyos free. (In fact they noted that starch based carbonation was used.)
We are still chasing down information regarding a number of medications and diet specific products and when & if information comes to hand, we will advise the community.
We remind all consumers who have yet to do so, to sell their chometz. Follow this link to download the Kosher Australia mechiras chometz form which must be completed and faxed/email back urgently.
Wishing you a Kosher & Joyous Pesach.