Why do people use religion as an excuse for hatred?

I’m not a religious person. I believe that far too many wars have been caused because of religions, the differences between religions and the intolerance of people towards other religions. Without religion there would have been far fewer wars throughout history. I’m sorry if you’re religious and that offends you, but it’s true.

However, as much as I don’t believe in god, I do believe that the idea of religion is a good one. The basic principles revolve around being nice to other people, not killing people and generally making the world a better place. Despite this basic ideology, religion is rarely used in this way, instead it is used a banner of racism, intolerance, ignorance and hatred.

I do have a point, I promise.

This week the news broke about Korean scientists meddling with the genetics on dogs to create glow in the dark dogs. Whatever your feelings on this, and I’m personally against it, religion shouldn’t really come into it. Yet, despite that, some of the comments posted on the website went down the road of the experiments being against god’s wishes, which then created retaliatory posts about god not existing, and a religious war broke out… on a website about dogs.

Now, one of the comments (that wasn’t fit for publishing) harked on about how if god didn’t exist, how did we get here? It was hardly a compelling argument, but then as the poster has a personal website promoting anti-Barack Obama material and believes that Buddhism and Hinduism aren’t religions, we can’t expect a compelling argument, can we?

Anyway, here is the man’s comment in full:

Name: NObama
URL: rumblfighter.webs.com
Email: nobamaplz@yahoo.com

Submitted on 2009/04/29 at 1:43pm

*in respons to the retarded liberal comments listed above*

We Know What God Wants From The Bible/Old Testiment/Other Holy Books
Monst Religions Would Consider This Immoral.
(Which are not religions)

*To The Dumb-A Who Says There Is No God*


This is where I have the whole problem with religion, or more to the point, the sort of people who attach themselves to religion and use it as an excuse for ignorance. This guy believes that anyone who doesn’t believe in god is a ‘retarded liberal’, a reference of course to Barack Obama and anyone who voted for him.

His website features many anti-Obama graphics and slogans, including one where the ludicrous idea that guns should be banned is mocked. Of course, guns are every American’s right… it’s in the Bible. Jesus was very pro-guns and a member of the NRA.

This is my point. Religion is supposed to show people a set of morals to live by, yet why do so many people think that religion gives them an excuse to spread their hatred, their racism and their ignorance to others? It’s not what religion is about.

/end rant.

Vista Print complaints

A couple of weeks ago I needed to order some business cards. I needed them fairly quick, so decided to use the online print company Vista Print. Vista Print are one of the biggest names in print and come with a lofty reputation, I felt sure they wouldn’t let me down.

That’s where I made my first mistake. Never underestimate the ability of a company to underperform when you need them most. I paid for the seven day delivery, and waited seven days hoping they’d be here sooner.

They weren’t. They never arrived at all. I emailed Vista Print to complain and received no reply, a few more days went by. I emailed Vista Print again through their feedback form on their website, this time I received a reply ‘apologising’ for my not having received my business cards in the timescales for which I had paid.

Did they offer any compensation? Did they at least offer to knock off the postage? No, nothing of the sort. They said they’d send them again if I wanted, or refund me. Bit late as I’d needed them the week before, which was I paid for seven days delivery.

Suffice to say I won’t be using Vista Print again, they can’t be trusted to deliver an order in a timely manner.

However, it gets better. I received an email from Vista Print asking for my feedback on their service. Right, this is my chance to convey just how dissatisfied I am with them. I clicked on the feedback link, to be presented with this page.


Upon clicking the button, the feedback was complete.


I guess they just needed to know what language I use, rather than anything useful about their service.

Sums Vista Print up really. Their service didn’t work as it was supposed to, why would their feedback survey?

Are the English FA simple?

If anyone saw the Manchester United v Spurs game on Saturday they’ll have witnessed possibly the worst refereeing decision in the history of football. With Tottenham leading 2-0 away to United, and the second half underway, referee Howard Webb awarded Manchester United the sort of penalty that only United get at Old Trafford.

Even the United fans could see it wasn’t a penalty. Ronaldo scored it, and Man U went on to win 5-2. Up until that point they didn’t look like even troubling Gomez, the Spurs keeper.

The significance of this of course is that should United have lost, which they were doing handsomely, Liverpool would have remained top and United couldn’t have afforded any more slip-ups, with Man City and Arsenal still to come.

Howard Webb, in his infinite incompetency, has probably awarded United the title.

Now, this naturally outraged Liverpool and Tottenham alike, with Spurs’ midfielder Jermaine Jenas stating:

One thing which struck me about it was that he [Webb] didn’t even think. It was like he’d already made his mind up when he came out for the second half that he was going to give something. I think it was a case of a referee crumbling under the pressure at Old Trafford really.

The atmosphere, the occasion, the importance of the match, a lot of factors take their toll when making decisions.

Quite an eloquent statement for a footballer, and spot on. No team would have got a decision like that anywhere else in world football. Those types of penalties only happen at Old Trafford, for Manchester United.

The FA apparently want Jenas to explain his words, giving him seven days to respond. However, I believe Jenas’ words are fairly self explanatory. If the FA is reading this, I think what Jenas was trying to say was this:

Howard Webb is a cheating bastard and cost us the game.


5 sure-fire ways to get your website banned by Google

I’ve got another feature running in .Net magazine in June (I’ve had quite a few now) but this one’s something of an annoyance. When I wrote the article it was titled: ‘5 sure-fire ways to get your website banned by Google’, but they thought it wasn’t a good idea to run a story like that as people might think it’s advice to be followed, rather than the tongue in cheek style that was intended.

Subsequently the article was watered down to what you see below.

Naturally the original article was better and carried more gravitas. It stated that many SEO websites and forums (including some SEO companies and professionals) offer advice that will get your website banned, and the 5 ‘tips’ presented were all the sort of gems of advice that you could receive that, should you follow, could end in your website being banned.

How to avoid getting your website banned

You can also download the PDF here.

But, if you’d rather read the original article (perhaps just to compare) here it is:

5 sure-fire ways to get your website banned by Google

In the world of SEO and online marketing, everyone looks for a way to get ahead of the competition, something that will give them that extra edge. With many SEO companies, SEO websites and SEO forums offering advice on improving your rankings, you don’t have to look far for tips. However, just how trustworthy is some of the information you’ll find?

Far from increasing your rankings, you could find that the SEO advice you’ve found actually hinders you to the point where you are banned from Google. Here are some basic tips that you may well find online that will get your website banned. Use them at your peril.

Stuff your site with keywords
The more you mention your keywords on your site, the higher it will rank! By repeating your keywords over and over again in your content, you’re sure to increase your ranking for those keywords, surely?

Copy content from your competitors’ websites
If your competitor’s website has some great content and they’re ranking for search terms, you could copy their content and paste it on your website. This means your site will rank for those terms as well. You could even find articles written on free article sites and reuse those, so you’ll have loads more pages on your site. Isn’t this a great way to get free content?

Hide text on your website
Sometimes you won’t want ugly text on your website, especially when it hinders your fluid design. You can always hide it on the page, maybe by changing the text colour to the same as the background, or by using CSS to hide it off the page. This way Google can index it and your website won’t be spoilt by its presence. Loads of SEO companies do this, so it must work?

Create doorway pages
How about creating special doorway pages focused on a specific keyword that are designed to rank in Google, and when they’re visited by a user they redirect to your front page? This allows you to create dozens of pages, all targeting different keywords, without harming your site’s look. You’ll have loads of listings within Google, vastly increasing your traffic, won’t you?

Add affiliate links
Linking to other, more established websites is sure to help your rankings. What could be better than adding hundreds of affiliate links to websites and the product descriptions for the products themselves? This will earn you money as well as improve the amount of content on your website.

All of these tips can be found on various SEO websites and are even offered by some SEO consultants, yet following the advice can lead to your website being penalised by Google and even banned from the index entirely.

Microsoft once again displays its lunacy

I have to work with Microsoft products on a daily basis. It’s an unavoidable part of my job. This wouldn’t be a problem though if Microsoft products actually worked in such a way that made them useful. Yet Microsoft, in their infinite wisdom, seem to go out of their way to make their products as useless and aggravating as possible.

Now, I’m not one to complain (as you know) but when I’m working I expect some basic levels of performance from my PC. One of the things I expect my PC to do is to NOT switch off while I’m using it. This is annoying, and somewhat counterproductive towards my working day.

Yet Microsoft believe that a computer that turns itself off is somehow beneficial to people. This morning I had this message on my screen while I was in the middle of a lengthy task


Note the ‘restart later’ button is greyed out. This means I have two options. Switch the PC off now and lose everything, or try to save what I’m doing quickly while the PC counts down its ‘death clock’ before shutting itself off.

What possible use is this to anyone? Had I left the PC performing a task, such as a macro in PhotoShop or a process in Premier I would have lost the files.

How in the name of anything that’s holy can this be useful? Imagine if Microsoft made flight control systems for pilots. You’re at 20,000 feet on a flight to New York and the plane decides you’ve four minutes to get your affairs in order before it reboots.

Microsoft are idiots.

Before anyone mentions it, I can’t change this in the control panel as I don’t have Admin access.

Getting my scan results today

Today’s the day I get my results from my CAT scan and MRI scan that I had some months ago. I’ll be seeing the spinal surgeon this afternoon, where I fully expect to be told that I’ll need surgery to remove the steel rod from my spine and have it replaced to fully correct the scoliosis. If this is the case, it’ll be done sometime this summer, but not until after the Michael Jackson concert obviously.

I’m not looking forward to this, but it has to be done; I can barely walk more than 50 yards now without excruciating pain. Not too clever really.

Stay tuned for the results as always!

Why is there no pride in Internet fraud anymore?

Is it just me, or is there no pride in the Internet fraud industry anymore? I mean, fraudsters used to be a noble breed, with standards and ethics… well, maybe not ethics, but they had standards. There was no point being a fraudster if you were sloppy; you wouldn’t defraud many people.

These days however it seems every Tom, Dick or Amjad is committing fraud online, and standards have really slipped. I received the email below today, supposedly from Lloyds TSB, trying to get me to enter my online banking details into a phishing website. Nothing unusual there, millions of these emails are sent every day. PayPal and eBay ones are the most common, and are often quite convincing.

This email however is bloody awful. I was insulted to receive it. What’s the point in going to the trouble of setting up a fake website to capture people’s login details, sending out countless emails (which aren’t free to send, they cost you know) and then not even bothering to spell check the sodding email?

This email is scandalous. It’s riddled with typos, americanised spellings and even refers to an ATM… hello… UK?

Come on fraudsters, sort it out. Get your bleedin’ act together and write some decent phishing emails.

FROM: Lloyds TSB <onlinebanking@lloydstsb.co.uk>
Subject: Lloyds TSB Alerts : Irregular Check Card Activity

Dear Customer ,

We have informed that you have received unauthorized access to your Lloyds TSB ATM Card by date of April 08 2009 ,
We already put your account on third party until the verification is finish
We ask you now to Log-In to your internet banking and check your statment .
We asking you to Log in immidiatly to your Internet Banking and and follow this steps

1. Log-In to your internet banking by clicking here
2. Check your recent statment

Please make sure to let us know if there is any authorized withdraw from your Lloyds ATM Card

Lebel Operation :

Your account is on the third party and is will be untill you finish the steps
Lloyds TSB , United Kingdom

This message and any attachments are confidential and intended for the named addressee(s) only.
If you have received this message in error, please notify immediately the sender, then delete
the message. Any unauthorized modification, edition, use or dissemination is prohibited.
The sender does not be liable for this message if it has been modified, altered, falsified,
infected by a virus or even edited or disseminated without authorization.

Are you having trouble with the CSA and disputed parentage?

If like you’re having problems with the CSA, The ONE Show on BBC One want to hear about it. They’re making a short piece about disputed parentage and want to speak to people who have been in this situation.

Here’s the message The ONE Show has asked me to put up. Get in touch with them now if you believe you could contribute.

The ONE Show- Film about Disputed Parentage

We are making a film on ‘Disputed Parentage’ for The ONE Show, a primetime topical magazine show that transmits every weekday evening on BBC ONE at 7pm.

For the film we would like to speak to men and women who have been in this situation.

It will be an informal chat with a view to doing an interview at some point this week.

You can contact me on 01612443248 or 07843023251. Alternatively you can email me on joe.casey1@bbc.co.uk