>Wally Anglesea^(TM) wrote:
>>On Thu, 17 Mar 2005 14:38:48 +1030, Horace Wachope
>>>On Thu, 17 Mar 2005 01:21:13 GMT, Wally Anglesea^(TM)
>>>>"You can't fool me, it's turtles all the way down."
>>>What does this mean?
>>It comes from a tale, with one variation being an astronomer gave a
>>lecture about the nature of space.
>>After the lecture, an elderly person came up to him, and said, "What
>>you have told us is rubbish. The Earth moves through space on the
>>of a turtle"
>>The astronomer said "But what does the turtle stand on?"
>>The elderly person said "Ahh, you can't fool me, it's turtles all the
>>A version of the tale is here:
>>And it's doubly my favourite line, because one of my favourite
>>authors,Terry Pratchett has a "fixation" with turtles and there's a
>>Find out about Australia's most dangerous Doomsday Cult:
>>"You can't fool me, it's turtles all the way down."
>Thanks for that explanation Wal.
>I think you're wrong about Little Pebble being Australia's most
>dangerous doomsday cult. That privilege should instead go to
>fundamental christianity, which as in US is driving their international
>You're problem is you don't look at the big picture, just get bogged
>down with trivilities.
>Their beliefs are bonkers, but they are at the heart of power
>US Christian fundamentalists are driving Bush's Middle East policy
>Tuesday April 20, 2004
>To understand what is happening in the Middle East, you must first
>understand what is happening in Texas. To understand what is happening
>there, you should read the resolutions passed at the state's Republican
>party conventions last month. Take a look, for example, at the
>decisions made in Harris County, which covers much of Houston.
>The delegates began by nodding through a few uncontroversial matters:
>homosexuality is contrary to the truths ordained by God; "any mechanism
>to process, license, record, register or monitor the ownership of guns"
>should be repealed; income tax, inheritance tax, capital gains tax and
>corporation tax should be abolished; and immigrants should be deterred
>by electric fences. Thus fortified, they turned to the real issue: the
>affairs of a small state 7,000 miles away. It was then, according to a
>participant, that the "screaming and near fist fights" began.
>I don't know what the original motion said, but apparently it was
>"watered down significantly" as a result of the shouting match. The
>motion they adopted stated that Israel has an undivided claim to
>Jerusalem and the West Bank, that Arab states should be "pressured" to
>absorb refugees from Palestine, and that Israel should do whatever it
>wishes in seeking to eliminate terrorism. Good to see that the
>extremists didn't prevail then.
>But why should all this be of such pressing interest to the people of a
>state which is seldom celebrated for its fascination with foreign
>affairs? The explanation is slowly becoming familiar to us, but we
>still have some difficulty in taking it seriously.
>In the United States, several million people have succumbed to an
>extraordinary delusion. In the 19th century, two immigrant preachers
>cobbled together a series of unrelated passages from the Bible to
>create what appears to be a consistent narrative: Jesus will return to
>Earth when certain preconditions have been met. The first of these was
>the establishment of a state of Israel. The next involves Israel's
>occupation of the rest of its "biblical lands" (most of the Middle
>East), and the rebuilding of the Third Temple on the site now occupied
>by the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa mosques. The legions of the
>antichrist will then be deployed against Israel, and their war will
>lead to a final showdown in the valley of Armageddon. The Jews will
>either burn or convert to Christianity, and the Messiah will return to
>What makes the story so appealing to Christian fundamentalists is that
>before the big battle begins, all "true believers" (ie those who
>believe what they believe) will be lifted out of their clothes and
>wafted up to heaven during an event called the Rapture. Not only do the
>worthy get to sit at the right hand of God, but they will be able to
>watch, from the best seats, their political and religious opponents
>being devoured by boils, sores, locusts and frogs, during the seven
>years of Tribulation which follow.
>The true believers are now seeking to bring all this about. This means
>staging confrontations at the old temple site (in 2000, three US
>Christians were deported for trying to blow up the mosques there),
>sponsoring Jewish settlements in the occupied territories, demanding
>ever more US support for Israel, and seeking to provoke a final battle
>with the Muslim world/Axis of Evil/United Nations/ European
>Union/France or whoever the legions of the antichrist turn out to be.
>The believers are convinced that they will soon be rewarded for their
>efforts. The antichrist is apparently walking among us, in the guise of
>Kofi Annan, Javier Solana, Yasser Arafat or, more plausibly, Silvio
>Berlusconi. The Wal-Mart corporation is also a candidate (in my view a
>very good one), because it wants to radio-tag its stock, thereby
>exposing humankind to the Mark of the Beast.
>By clicking on www.raptureready.com, you can discover how close you
>might be to flying out of your pyjamas. The infidels among us should
>take note that the Rapture Index currently stands at 144, just one
>point below the critical threshold, beyond which the sky will be filled
>with floating nudists. Beast Government, Wild Weather and Israel are
>all trading at the maximum five points (the EU is debat ing its
>constitution, there was a freak hurricane in the south Atlantic, Hamas
>has sworn to avenge the killing of its leaders), but the second coming
>is currently being delayed by an unfortunate decline in drug abuse
>among teenagers and a weak showing by the antichrist (both of which
>score only two).
>We can laugh at these people, but we should not dismiss them. That
>their beliefs are bonkers does not mean they are marginal. American
>pollsters believe that 15-18% of US voters belong to churches or
>movements which subscribe to these teachings. A survey in 1999
>suggested that this figure included 33% of Republicans. The
>best-selling contemporary books in the US are the 12 volumes of the
>Left Behind series, which provide what is usually described as a
>"fictionalised" account of the Rapture (this, apparently, distinguishes
>it from the other one), with plenty of dripping details about what will
>happen to the rest of us. The people who believe all this don't believe
>it just a little; for them it is a matter of life eternal and death.
>And among them are some of the most powerful men in America. John
>Ashcroft, the attorney general, is a true believer, so are several
>prominent senators and the House majority leader, Tom DeLay. Mr DeLay
>(who is also the co-author of the marvellously named DeLay-Doolittle
>Amendment, postponing campaign finance reforms) travelled to Israel
>last year to tell the Knesset that "there is no middle ground, no
>moderate position worth taking".
>So here we have a major political constituency - representing much of
>the current president's core vote - in the most powerful nation on
>Earth, which is actively seeking to provoke a new world war. Its
>members see the invasion of Iraq as a warm-up act, as Revelation
>(9:14-15) maintains that four angels "which are bound in the great
>river Euphrates" will be released "to slay the third part of men". They
>batter down the doors of the White House as soon as its support for
>Israel wavers: when Bush asked Ariel Sharon to pull his tanks out of
>Jenin in 2002, he received 100,000 angry emails from Christian
>fundamentalists, and never mentioned the matter again.
>The electoral calculation, crazy as it appears, works like this.
>Governments stand or fall on domestic issues. For 85% of the US
>electorate, the Middle East is a foreign issue, and therefore of
>secondary interest when they enter the polling booth. For 15% of the
>electorate, the Middle East is not just a domestic matter, it's a
>personal one: if the president fails to start a conflagration there,
>his core voters don't get to sit at the right hand of God. Bush, in
>other words, stands to lose fewer votes by encouraging Israeli
>aggression than he stands to lose by restraining it. He would be mad to
>listen to these people. He would also be mad not to.
>· George Monbiot's book The Age of Consent: a Manifesto for a New
>World Order is now published in paperback