Congrats to Councillor Pitt

Last night the Conservative Party membership from Frimley Green, Deepcut, and Mytchett met to select a candidate to stand for the Surrey County Council elections in May next year.  By a majority, the membership chose Chris Pitt, the current County Councillor for the wards.  Cllr Pitt has promised to bring all parts of the party together for this most important next term where significant development is forecast for the Deepcut part of the Borough.  We all offer our congratulations and support for Cllr. Pitt in his campaign.

Fasten Your Seatbelts…

I just love the blog post from Paul Deach today regarding social media.  The link is at:  This is required reading, Paul’s personal blog page where he offers various comments about the use of social media across the “political landscape” from the Prime Minister on down.  I strongly endorse it all, and urge all of my political colleagues to get moving on it, all of it…

Can our system absorb all this honesty?  Well, fasten your seatbelts, because it’s here whether you want it or not…  Councils across the country have kept their members “in check” with the threat of a quasi-judicial standards committee prosecution for a long list of possible offences that for the most part are outrageously vague in definition.  That threat is called power.  Well, that power is crumbling by the day.  When parts of their codes of conduct are found to be against the law, are they in any hurry to change them?  They somehow seem to think that maybe no one will notice.  Well guess what, we notice, and we’re going to make sure that you notice too…

Banning Yo-Yos? Now this is insane…

Health and Safety Executive Release this morning:

HSE Case 70 – School bans yo-yos on health and safety grounds


A school has banned the use of yo-yos on health and safety grounds.

Panel decision

There is no health and safety law which bans yo-yos from schools. Whilst there will always be some risk of yo-yos being misused and causing minor injuries, it seems to us to be a disproportionate response to ban them from the school.

Can’t they ban insanity from the schools administration for even suggesting this???

Nones On The Rise… Is This Us Next???

Amazing article from USA Today yesterday: As Protestants decline, those with no religion gain by  on Oct. 09, 2012, under USA TODAY News

For decades, if not centuries, America’s top religious brand has been “Protestant.” No more.

In the 1960s, two in three Americans called themselves Protestant. Now the Protestant group — both evangelical and mainline — has slid below the statistical waters, down to 48%, from 53% in 2007

Where did they go? Nowhere, actually. They didn’t switch to a new religious brand, they just let go of any faith affiliation or label.

The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life released an analytic study today titled, Nones on the Rise, now that one in five Americans (19.6%) claim no religious identity.

This group, called “Nones,” is now the nation’s second-largest category only to Catholics, and outnumbers the top Protestant denomination, the Southern Baptists. The shift is a significant cultural, religious and even political change.

Count former Southern Baptist Chris Dees, 26, in this culture shift. He grew up Baptist in the most religious state in the USA: Mississippi.

By the time he went off to college for mechanical engineering, “I just couldn’t make sense of it any more,” Dees says. Now, he’s a leader of the Secular Student Alliance chapter at Mississippi State and calls himself an atheist.

Today, fueled by young adults like Dees, the Nones have leapt from 15.3% of U.S. adults in 2007, according to Pew studies.

One in three (32%) are under age 30 and unlikely to age into claiming a religion, says Pew Forum senior researcher Greg Smith. The new study points out that today’s Millennials are more unaffiliated than any young generation ever has been when they were younger.

“The rise of the Nones is a milestone in a long-term trend,” Smith says. “People’s religious beliefs, and the religious groups they associate with, play an important role in shaping their worldviews, their outlook in life and certainly in politics and elections.”

The study comes amid an election campaign where the Republican Party, placed Protestants on their presidential ticket for a century, has nominated a Mormon with a Catholic running mate.

Currently, the U.S. Supreme Court includes six Catholics and three Jews: Whoever wins in November may deal with naming a justice in the next four years.

Rev. Eileen Lindner, a Presbyterian pastor and editor of the Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches, observes, “We are still twice as likely to be affiliated with a religion than Europeans, but there is strong evidence that our religious institutions, as we configured them in past centuries, are playing a less significant role in American life.”

Rev. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptists Theological Seminary in Louisville, saw a welcome clarity in the report, even if he didn’t like the new picture in focus.

“Today, there’s no shame in saying you’re an unbeliever, no cultural pressure to claim a religious affiliation, no matter how remote or loose,” Mohler says. “This is a wake-up call. We have an incredible challenge ahead for committed Christians.”

Wanda Melchert, whose great-grandparents helped found Vang Lutheran Church in rural North Dakota a century ago, sees her church about to shut its doors and become part of a local heritage museum. The congregation worships elsewhere now.

“Out here in the middle North Dakota, religion is still very important and families still teach their children. There’s a strong faith base still here,” she says. But when Melchert looks at the changing national picture of religion, she says, “we’re praying about this. We feel there’s a great need for people to turn back to God. When we lose that, it’s dangerous for our country.”

However, Rev. Martin Marty, a historian of religion and professor emeritus of the University of Chicago, says he wrote a book half a century ago on varieties of unbelief and has long thought that religious cohesion “has long been overstated.”

Says Marty: “The difference is now we have names for groups like Nones.”

Sorry, this just had to be posted…

Florida man dies after roach-eating competition

RoachesRoaches are not known to be unsafe to eat.

The winner of a cockroach-eating competition died shortly after eating dozens of the live insects and worms in Florida, authorities have said.

Edward Archbold, 32, became ill and collapsed at a pet shop where the contest took place in the city of Deerfield Beach on Friday.

About 30 others competed in the event at the Ben Siegel Reptile Store.

Officials are waiting for the results of an autopsy to determine Archbold’s cause of death.

‘Unorthodox contest’

None of the other contestants became ill afterwards, the sheriff’s office said.

“We feel terribly awful,” said Ben Siegel, the owner of the shop.

“He looked like he just wanted to show off and was very nice,” he said, adding that Archbold did not appear to be ill before the competition.

A lawyer for Mr Siegel said all the contestants had signed disclaimers “accepting responsibility for their participation in this unique and unorthodox contest”.

The grand prize for the winner was a python, and Archbold had planned to sell the snake to a friend who took him to the contest, according to the shop owner.