Reason, Observation, and Experience —
the Holy Trinity of Science.

Robert Ingersoll (1833-1899) American philosopher, lawyer and orator

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Random Puffs of Opinion. Bolt and his transformative moment.



Andrew Bolt suffered severe cognitive dissonance this week.

He saw Pell through the eyes of his victims.



He engaged with his feelings.

He spoke from a place of compassion.

On SkyNews of all places.

Twitter stroked Bolt with what was awe, wariness and uncertain disbelief, even *gulp* 'praise' and 'admiration'.


My God, it was sweet. For once, I trended on Twitter with praise, not venom.
Kristina Keneally even tweeted, in rare admiration, that I had been more savage on Pell than she.



But overnight something/someone rang his bell.
BLOT salivated and crawled back under cover of his well engrained world view.
The one we all know and detest.




Here is his hilarious full recant if u care...

Bolt (the horrid one) thinks he is supporting Pell when he provides the Cardinal's FULL quote...

“I didn’t know whether it was common knowledge (in Inglewood) or whether it wasn’t. It is a sad story and it wasn’t of much interest to me. The suffering, of course, was real and I very much regret that, but I had no reason to turn my mind to the extent of the evils that Ridsdale had perpetrated.” Bolt


"...but I had no reason to turn my mind to the extent of the evils..."

So not, like, um, humanity nor our common, global responsibility for children Andrew?
Could common humanity have been a 'reason' Pell could have 'turned his mind to the extent of the evils.'




But enough letting Bolt make this about Bolt.

...
The real story here is when...

...Tears fell around the world as we listened to these amazing and resilient survivors.





Note to self:
1. Even if short lived all personal growth should be applauded. If only to make me feel better.
2. We need Bolt's metadata please Senator Brandis?





"Academics spend Easter worshipping Karl Marx." AndrewBolt

Thursday, February 25, 2016

While Cory slept...




Sunday, November 29, 2015

Religion is past its use by date. We need Science not WooWoo.


Religion is past its use by date.

Time to grow up fellow apes.

When did the Quran and Bible become a supermarket where believers buy what they want and discard the rest? Isn’t it either All or Nothing.
Is the fundamentalist really the ‘true’ believer?


We are told the religious texts are the foundations of the Islamic and Christian world views and belief systems. 
Well, supposedly.

But ‘Moderate’ believers, of all creeds, seem blind to the horrors written in their holy text and hail only the nice bits. The rose coloured pickings of religious quotes emphasised. The Horrors ignored. Disregarded. 

Many not believing, anymore, in the more outlandish supernatural ancient words and directives-
holy ghosts, flying horses, resurrections, hell. 
Our ‘tribe’ good. Others bad.
Obeying psychopathic, narcissistic ‘gods’. 
Recipes and orders for murder and darkness by an ‘all loving’ sky-daddy.

The words of Yahweh and Mohammed are but a casual reference point for the majority of today’s theists. 

But the problem is these words are strongly referenced by the fundamentalist.

Islamic terrorists quote directly from the Quran to justify their jihad against modernity. A murderous group of young male apes who, if they didn't join ISIS or the UPF, would be in your local neighbourhood gangs. 
Lost boys looking to belong. To be part of a group that accepts them.


Christian fundamentalists quote directly from the Bible to justify their attacks on abortion clinics, marriage equality and insular world views. Historical murders and inquisitions? Racism and hate. S’ok mate! The Bible said.


At least the fundamentalists are true to the fundamentals of their religion.

The moderate believers I know are really just like  me. Don’t judge others! Lest ye be! Be nice! Care about others. Don’t be a dick!

Do unto others is not owned by any religion.
Specific religions did not invent this decree.
Every ‘tribe’, throughout our relatively short history as a species, would have survived only if they were hip to this.
The moderates’ watered-down religion is deluded at best and hypocritical at worse.

The moderates prop up the terrorists.
By revering an old text, as the basis for their religions, the moderates provide the platform for the fundamentalist. 
With their gentle, cherry picking, world views they provide succour for the aggressive, by-the-Book beliefs and actions of the fundamental nutters.

The moderates need to accept that their current ‘belief tenets’ have evolved spectacularly from the dictates of the original texts. 
The Bible from 2000 years ago is as far from modern Christianity as we are from sloths. 






Well some of us anyhow.




I know my moderate religious friends are lovely people. Caring about others. Genuinely nice people. 
In this they are no different to my atheist/ humanist/ freethinking/buddhist/…. friends.

The only thing they do differently is try to recruit ‘souls’ for their god. Their gentle loving god not the fire breathing Yahweh.
ISIS and all right wing cults use the more murderous, raping and pillaging Yahweh as their brand. 

The moderates also prop up other dangerous cults.


Cults based on the Bible use the ancient texts to recruit.

ISIS uses the Quran.

Oddly a journalist captured for months by ISIS said he never saw a Quran opened.

All lip service really as cult leaders, of all ilk, will cherry pick from the ‘Good’ books.

As we see Golden Dawn, UPF, Cory Bernardi and other fascist far-right nut jobs do, as they try to recruit all others to their world view. 



I believe it is the sense of community that moderates crave. Belonging is such a primal need for our species. 
Moderates just need to realise it’s time for rebranding/a new ‘holy’ text. 
Stop letting the fundamentalists ride on your coat tails. 


Our need to belong leaves us open to influence by disreputable curs. 
We must skill our young with critical thinking tools to allow them any chance against Woo Woo.
Woo Woo must be cleansed from our species if we are to grow up and survive our possible extinction.

Science not Woo Woo.


Time to grow up fellow apes.




Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Boofhead is gone!




Boofhead is gone!

The Budgie is free!

Breathe Aussie people.
Breathe.

But Phew! that was close.








Our PM took us swiftly into darkness ...








The darkness of the right wing nut jobs, with IPA creeping ambition, were the chorus to Abbott's far right religious manacles. We were heading back to...




We entered this darkness where Oz slept soundly while the Abbott far right played!

A darkness where tribal, not global, world views dominated.

Where Science was bad and denial the norm.

Where refugees were illegal even though we started the war. 

Where education equality was determinedly ruined. 

Where austerity threatened.





Where Bronny had a life long laugh at us mere peasants until she was sprung.





But the darkness that filled that first budget, that attempted, lap doggishly, to achieve all the IPA goals in one swift coup, woke us all.

We realised.

When #JoeHockey said entitlements he meant the peasants.

When Abbott said anything. ANYTHING! 
It was likely a dirty lie.

The fact is we can all breathe easier with this embarrassing blip of a PM gone.
An empty, not very articulate, Christian Right warrior who was needy of a dose of his supposed Christian values, like empathy and telling the Truth. A sloganeering, ordinary man who was allowed to play with the 1% till they were worried enough to reinstate one of their own.

Enter stage right our new PM.


Lesser evil...

 #Malcolm Turnbull is a privileged, elite private school educated, wealthy, high achiever. 
Although he has spoken of his socially progressive worldview it appears this has too easily been traded to get him into The Lodge. And Malcolm, without the progressive views, is just Abbott with class. 
Time will tell. Integrity seems so tragically rare. But keep breathing.


Just hope Malcolm foregoes the dress ups.



And addresses our inhumane, illegal offshore camps.









Thursday, September 10, 2015

I blame John Howard for Oz becoming so racist and fearful.



"But we will decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come."

John Howard 2001 Federal Election Campaign Launch Speech, 28th October 2001
"This campaign more than any other that I have been involved in, is very much about the future of the Australia we know and the Australia we love so much.
It is also about having an uncompromising view about the fundamental right of this country to protect its borders. It’s about this nation saying to the world we are a generous open hearted people taking more refugees on a per capita basis than any country."

Not true then and not true now.

Back to John....

"We have a proud record of welcoming people from 140 different nations. 

But we will decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come. " (With huge fist pump!)

You can watch him here.



When The White Australia Policy racism ended in the 1960s we slowly became a flourishing multicultural country. 
We welcomed refugees. 
Including 137 000 Vietnamese. 
They were one of us! Not The Other.

Oz had become proud of it’s multicultural success. Our governments led this humane and human cultural shift. Oz had a global not insular outlook.
We also earned world wide admiration for our caring, structured integration of refugees into our part of the global community through government and community-funded services, conferences, seminars, welfare workers.

Now we lock em up, hide the evil and forget them. 




Or we turn the boat around and shrug off responsibility for the deaths at sea.



John Howard began this decline in our national psyche.



In 2001 Howard, with popularity numbers on the fall, remembered that if you can scare the peeps with a fear of The Other it translates to votes. 
He can be big strong authoritarian daddy.
And we responded to that fear and he was re-elected.
That's when the rot set in.



Phillip Ruddock continued the reframing of our psyche by calling boat people queue jumpersHe was a heartless Immigration Minister. This was 2006.For a detailed record of Howard's and Ruddock's inhumanity see...http://www.writingsonthewall.net/john-howard-and-refugee-policy















Then in 2005 we had Cronulla riots.

"I'm the person that's led this charge here. 

Nobody wanted to know about North Cronulla, 

now it's gathered to this." Alan Jones 2005


Alan had such pride in his power 

to enable this hatred 

to fester and spill out. 

He was enabled by Howard's insular, 
nationalistic, far right agenda.

SINCE Howard's declaration in 2001 Oz has seen a constant, concerted, maddening slide to the situation now, where we have refugees in off shore camps suffering tortuous conditions. 
Neither major party is innocent in this race to horror.
And OZ sleeps on. Safe in the arms of our authoritarian, fascist, racist, nationalistic, corporate whore of an Abbott government.









I do know that, recently, with a wonderful gem of photo journalism, the FEAR OF THE OTHER melted enough to make even our regressive government respond to our calls for humanity. Even if the response was pitiful and reluctant.
I just hope we can get that one, heart-capturing, viral image for the 'hidden by law' refugees in off shore horror. 


The thing is - how much longer the government can present and promote such a contradictory attitude towards people fleeing from the same bloody war. On boats! By foot! By skateboard! Same refugees! Such different luck.




Neither side is clean. Both the right and the left have contributed to this national shame. 

I end on a hopeful note as I see our moral compass as a nation being reframed, finally, after many long years of shameful policy, by huge public demos, State Premiers, churches... while the pollie class as always will be forced to follow behind. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

These things are important.






Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, 
without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;and listen to others,even the dull and the ignorant;they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,they are vexations to the spirit.


If you compare yourself with others,you may become vain and bitter;for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.


Keep interested in your own career, however humble;it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;for the world is full of trickery.

But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;many persons strive for high ideals;and everywhere 
life is full of 
heroism.


Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,be gentle with yourself.


You are a child of the universe,no less than the trees and the stars;you have a right to be here.And whether or not it is clear to you,no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with the universe,whatever you conceive this to be,and whatever your labours and aspirations,

in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,it is still a beautiful world.


Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

Monday, May 25, 2015

A Letter to TonyAbbott


Dear Tony

 You have my sympathy.



You must know that you have become the most disdained PM in Oz history.


This must feel terrible.


 



You have my sympathy.




Life's not turning out like you thought.








That must feel empty.


You have my sympathy.




Your supposed beliefs and actions are out of sync.


That must be cognitively dissonant.







You have my sympathy.




Oz doesn't like your ideology.




That makes you angry.






You have my sympathy.








You also have my anger.

You also have my disdain, repugnance and horror.

You also have my terror at the rampaging, pig headed, far right, racist ideology you spew.

You also have my wonder that you are a Rhodes Scholar.
Although someone told me you got in on your priest's skirts or your boxing prowess.
 This makes sense .
Updated news. Dyson Heydon was on panel that awarded Abbott his Rhodes opportunity.


You have  never  been my Prime Minister.










Your eyes show the bewilderment, the rabbit in the headlight fear, the defeated anger.


Your eyes show depression.
Your eyes.





Your eyes.




You have my sympathy.


Tony One Term.

Don't let the door hit ya mate.