Post Truth, et cetera… (again)


deeducate

I thought it was about time for me to have a rant again. Enough of these pretty birds and gorgeous sunsets schmaltz … although I must say people seem to enjoy that type of stuff more than they do my rants. Does that signify anything? Not really … read on

It’s official: there is such a thing as post-truth – cheword-of-the-yearck it out, it’s in the dictionary, nogal!

This is the post-truth era! Suddenly dishonesty and inaccuracy are fashionable and accepted!  American author Ralph Keyes says: Dishonesty inspires more euphemisms than copulation or defecation. Well, that’s putting it roughly, but it pretty much sums up the state of articulation that is accepted by the all-consuming public.

post-truth

Kathleen Higgins writes in Scientific AmericanWhen political leaders make no effort to ensure that their ‘facts’ will bear scrutiny, we can only conclude that they take an arrogant view of the public. They take their right to lie as given, perhaps particularly when the lies are transpareart-of-the-lient. Many among the electorate seem not to register the contempt involved, perhaps because they would like to think that their favoured candidate is at conspiracyleast well-intentioned and would not deliberately mislead them…

Much of the public hears what it wants to hear because many people get their news exclusively from sources whose bias they agree with.

 

Stand up for truth: check the facts before you spread them; never believe politicians ever, and reject crap!

Post-truth is a disease which must be challenged before we lose reality and all honour.

truth

Media morality

time-for-lies

Slightly off the point but …what really got me going today is the lack of  ethics and creativity of television. I saw that “Married at First Sight” has become a series.

run-by-ethicsWhat morally bankrupt, banal, conscience-less executive producer agreed to that? How can these people justify the immoral drivel they feed into people’s heaaww-newsds .  Tempting people with TV exposure and cash to perform questionable, objectionable, offensive and immoral ceremonies is disgusting. Do you remember the film of the Depression-era dance marathon of the desperate for the amusement of spectators:“They shoot horses, don’t they?”  Why don’t they re-open the Colosseum in Rome and feed Christians to lions?

That’s post ethics, not just post-truth!

Is there no social responsibility or is it just ratings and ad dollars?reportedly

 

Media Creativity

The other morning there was a riveting item on a traffic jam in Melbourne. We are in Queensland – if there were no traffic jams here, why can’t we celebrate that fact, instead of scanning the country for newsworthy items like a traffic jam? No house fire, car driving into a house, lost hiker, corner store robbery – no worries, some other state is bound to have one…

Surely there are some creative journalists that can break out of the formulaic mould of car chase, brawl, house fire, criminal court case …?

Really horrifying!

  • Genocide
  • Holocaust
  • Ruthless Extermination

These are the labels that came to my mind when I started reading about organ transplants in China.

The source was Epoch Times, a patently biased publication by the Falun Gong movement. So I did a Google search – oh my goodness! I was dumbfounded by what I read.

In 2006, China reportedly performed over 20,000 organ transplants. This is big money business: “….traveled to Tianjin, China, where he obtained a liver for $130,000 USD after waiting for just 20 days.

“… the website of the China International Transplantation Network Assistance Center posted the following price list on its website in 2006: Kidney: $62,000; Liver: $98,000–130,000; Liver+kidney: $160,000–180,000; Kidney+pancreas: $150,000; Lung: $150,000–170,000; Heart: $130,000–160,000; Cornea: $30,000.

“recorded admissions that organs could be procured from Falun Gong prisoners.

Since 1999, hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have been detained in re-education through labor camps, prisons, and other detention facilities in China, making them the largest group of prisoners of conscience in the country

Clearly the Chinese government has better business acumen than the Nazis.

They imprison people for their membership of a specific group, execute many of them and sell their organs to a willing international market!

China executes more people each year than the rest of the world combined, with its state-sanctioned system cloaked in official secrecy, said a report released by Amnesty International (in 2017)

How do we justify the fact that China is a major trading party of most major world countries? They are permitted and encouraged to invest in our countries.

It took the world a long time to wake up to Nazi Germany’s exterminations and that was without internet technology.

We are far more tolerant, liberal and sophisticated now – extermination is fostered and patronised and its sponsors are major players in the world.

Hmmm … Maybe they did instigate the Coronavirus pandemic! They will probably sell us a vaccine soon

What do you say, buddy? Come back Adolph, all is forgiven!

Ozymandias

Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!

In the US, public offices like the Governor, Mayor, Police Chief and Attorney General are elected. So they need to listen to what the electorate tells them – which the media says it does. So they do what the media says most people want them to do.

Who owns the media?

The rich own the media and control what we see and think. What happens is that the media make the laws that the rich tell them to.

Good election policies are: “cleaning up the streets, reducing the drug problem, eradicating crime…”

To do that you have to have more police with wider powers and stricter judges….

The supposed beacon of democracy, the US has the highest prison population in the world. 75% of people arrested are unable to afford bail – Less than 2% of those charged  receive jail sentences!  

About 2.8% of adults (1 in 35) in the U.S. population were under correctional supervision (probation, parole, jail, or prison) in 2013. *

(Isn’t that a gulag by another name?)

There were 10.3 million arrests in 2018 in the US . ** There are bound to be some tragedies along that road.

The media know what we think before we do and can work us up to a pitch until we spontaneously combust – just crafting and channelling the news.

Well now, it’s time for a change – polls show that the viewing public wants something different to police chases and drug murders on the news…

Look at the media sensation that “taking the knee” picture has created – maybe it is the match that starts the revolution that throws out the current western capitalist led democracy and heralds a new economic model.

Some are even saying more than “Black Lives Matter”, they are saying silence over a black criminal’s death is racism, they are saying political candidates should commit to de-funding police forces.

So … what am I saying? I think it is something like this:

  • Democracy as we know it doesn’t give society a good outcome
  • The reliance on the creation of crimes and punishment to regulate society is wrong
  • The freedom of the individual must be subordinate to the best interests of the community.
  • With universal surveillance cameras, privacy is obsolete (this may be part of the solution)
  • The stranglehold that the media has on public opinion makers must be broken. We have been under the sway of media sensationalist newsmakers for too long.
  • All lives matter, not just black lives. This type of slogan gives rise to value systems which promote the interests of a class of people to the disadvantage of the rest. It is apartheid and is reprehensible.

Are we watching an Empire beginning to crumble?

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incarceration_in_the_United_States

** https://www.statista.com/statistics/191261/number-of-arrests-for-all-offenses-in-the-us-since-1990/

Just a thought…

When faced by the threat of a mythical monster, we ask our historians and our priests how we should deal with it. When it comes to a plague, we ask our medical scientists for advice. That’s what our governments did when the Corona raised its horrible head.

Now doctors think in scientific terms and they rarely pronounce unless the numbers are compelling.

Like most husbands accept everything a nurse, midwife or doctor tells them about childbirth, so politicians accept everything medicos tell them about plagues and how to handle them. After all this is about life and death, lots of it.

The medical advice, almost unequivocal, was that citizens keep isolated and to close places where people gather including workplaces. Notwithstanding the cost to the Fiscus, individuals and businesses this was the most effective way to ensure that the most vulnerable were protected. Strong, unquestioned politicians implemented this swiftly and citizens complied with few exceptions.

My thought was a lazy what if? What if the most vulnerable were not especially protected and died? These would mainly be the infirm and the aged – the people who place proportionally higher demands for costly care on society, few of whom are productive. In New Zealand to date, the youngest person to die from the disease is 62.

What if the politicos did the Swedish thing and said to the electorate: This is on you – take appropriate measures to avoid contagion, we are not going to require specific actions.

So maybe quite a few more people than usual die, but the economy is not that badly affected and fewer people are driven to despair by isolation, job loss and fear of penalty for failing to comply.

In my mind and I am close in age to being on the Corovid red list, the latter is the sounder decision. I would go further and suggest the intensive care should only be afforded to under 70 year olds.

I would vote for a politician that made those sort of decisions, but then I have always believed the interests of the majority trump those of the individual.

That is not politic these days!

The poisons we love

Imagine if chocolate was found to be the cause of a major proliferation of diabetes in children. smarties

Revolting image – sorry! (It will probably kill me too! I love Smarties…).

Would we stop eating chocolate …?

So, what’s my point? Well, it’s the poison we all have built into every aspect of our lives, surrounding us and almost indispensable! I am talking about plasticplastic in all of usPlastic affects human health. Toxic chemicals leach out of plastic and are found in the blood and tissue of nearly all of us. Exposure to them is linked to cancers, birth defects, impaired immunity, endocrine disruption and other ailments.

It doesn’t decompose, it breaks down until we can’t see it and has entered every water system in the world.  Plastic soup anyone?

It is simple. The continued production of plastic must be prohibited – like dangerous drugs are. But plastic is so useful and efficient! Can you imagine your kitchen without Tupperware type containers? Or your house or your car …?

But plastic is very new technology. Its not even a hundred years old. Our parents and grandparents did without it. It’s certainly not essential, it’s useful …. and we are lazy, spoilt and indisciplined. We continually deny what we know is bad for us, because it makes our life easier, more fashionable, funky (think tattoos and body piercing).

I mean dogs lick cane toads for the buzz, for heaven’s sake, why can’t we be stoopid like them?

Plastic producers made plastic functional, fashionable and pervasive. It can’t be their fault – they were doing us all a favour, producing such cheap and useful stuff. But now that they know… it is all different.

In a 2014 Florida USA Court judgment, a tobacco producer was ordered to pay damages of $23 BILLION to a chain smoker’s widow. Think of the damages payable by plastic producers for all the harm caused to the population of the world by pollution and carcinogens in their products!

So next election, vote for the party that produces the best plans to:

  • educate our children about the fact that plastic is poisonous
  • ban the production of plastic
  • generate programs to eradicate or recycle plastic into less harmful products
  • funds research which enables widespread bio-degradation of plastic.

Yeah! I know this is a daydream and if the billions wiser than me can’t see it happening, it is not likely to happen…

plastic scavengeBut how would one dispose of these formerly loved poison lumps? Dump them in the bin, to be a treasure discovered by some Third World scavenger? (Yeah, refuse is exported to people rich, poor countries.)

 

Or chuck them in the river when no-one’s looking?

plastic wave

 

                                                              Apply your mind to save your future!

Reality Check

This video eloquently expresses the future shock boomers and later generations (people just like us who you know) are facing.

It sounds almost poetic; it is quite long, but stick with it (I know it’s hard for you) – it is a major life lesson:

TED video: retirement reality check

Remember that this woman is from affluent America!!

Swallowing our pride and coming out are the hardest thing to do if you’ve grown up in the Consumer Age, keeping up with the Joneses. Downsizing and offloading all that hard earned stuff is not easy.

when I get older

Relying on the State is just foolish. Age pension will shrink as longevity increases.

Check out your parents – they will hide their plight from you; it is anathema for you to help them out!

  • Show them this video
  • Talk to them;
  • ask them to show how they are coping
  • suggest ways for downsizing and trimming sails
  • consider more communal living if it reduces living costs and increases income

If you are young, start now to work out how you are going to live after you retire (probably at age 72).

when I get older i will

My view is that families should combine on rural land and produce as much food as possible.

 

A Patriot

I spell the word with a capital letter. A Patriot to me has always been a person worthy of the highest praise, possessed of the highest virtues.

Until yesterday, when I saw the title of a photograph in an exhibition that I visited with my daughter. It was one of a series of photographs depicting the “unite the right” rally in Charlottesville, USA. The picture was of a bearded older man in camouflage, clutching a rifle with a sort of blank fervour in his eyes.

I am conservative, a white male (oh dear!) with, I hope, a modicum of balance and perspective. But I didn’t like that label, nor could I criticise it. I talked with my daughter, a teacher, about it. I mentioned that I had once written about the need for the institution of learning about the cardinal virtues and the need for iconic models for our youth and that my view had been criticised. What virtues could beat Courage, Prudence, Temperance and Justice, as proposed by St Thomas Aquinas?

courage  temperance prudence (2) justice for one side

She responded obliquely in the way of the New Age; not contradicting but offering a different viewpoint. She felt that diversity was the key and that inclusiveness and tolerance would yield a good basis for future societal foundations. I felt my gorge rise with hot words of … watering down values and standards to reach a common denominator that would suit all which would not be a standard at all, which was the fault of liberal democracy and… and …  

But I stifled them, stumped by the thought that she was probably right and that I was a dinosaur, out of time and that my steam would be obsolete and silly.

Anyway Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Mao Ze Dong, Pol Pot and Robert Mugabe were probably Patriots too!

Bollemakiesie

The young can make us young again too.

beer and braai

As is our habit we braaied at the weekend, well on Easter Monday. It was our usual family gathering with dear friends and some visiting rellies from across the ocean.

Somehow there was a slightly more festive spirit than the norm which seemed to make the beer and fizz go down easier.

We were a somewhat eclectic crowd with some in their sixties, fifties, forties, thirties, three dogs and a four year old sprite.

Normally a fairly shy child, on this day, she was filled with the energy of a March hare and the command of a Ringmaster. While we chatted and kept up the level of our liquids in the early stages, she inspected the toys and her dolls house, engaging the dogs in a number of role plays. A bit later, I noticed the dogs had gone missing. I found them in the dolls’ house, waiting patiently to resume the game.

However, the young queen bee had moved on and was engaging the adults, commanding their participation in a number of exercises and role plays, including  catch-the-grasshopper and a tea party.

Her timing was impeccable and her enthusiasm and commands were charmingly irresistible. The new activity at Playschool was yoga so all were instructed to participate in yoga exercises. Peer pressure enforced participation, which should have been more wisely considered in some cases.

Head over heels (bollemakiesies in Afrikaans) were the exercise for men and all surrendered their dignity to roll around on the grass in pairs. The last pair included a grandfather who was proud to have been in his primary school gymnastics team and remembered well his star turn of a somersault over a wooden horse…

His bollemakiesie was very well executed, symmetrical and straight. However, the total effect was spoilt by the unfamiliar pressures on reasonably airtight gaskets. The resultant lapse of the system was quite a blast.

dogrofl.jpg

A nervous glance sideways revealed that it had not gone undetected.. two people were crying and the dogs were trying to run away…

Growing old does not prevent infection by the rashness of youth, it merely impairs the ability to maintain dignity and integrity while under its spell.

My granddaughter is quite a lot older and wiser now.

finger pull fart

Why is Bigamy still a crime?

…The Attorney-General’s office says the government is not considering amending the laws, or in any way recognizing polygamous marriage.

This is from an old article on Voice of America news:

Polygamy unofficially exists in traditional Aboriginal communities in Australia’s Northern Territory – and that these relationships are recognized when the government grants welfare benefits.”
… in the United Kingdom … the British government said it would grant welfare benefits to all spouses in a polygamous marriage, if the marriages had taken place in countries where the polygamy is legal.bigamy synonyms

Australian social security law recognises that multiple partners are assessed exactly the same as any other person, with no additional payments for having multiple partners
While bigamy is a criminal offence (under section 94 of the Marriage Act 1961), it is not an offence to have multiple simultaneous de facto relationships. (Wikipedia)

Monogamy… is not “natural.” That is, hardly any species practice it, except for birds (and, reportedly, cockroaches)… only about 5% of the 4,000 or so mammal species on earth hang around with just one mate. (These include wolves, beavers, naked mole rats and meerkats.)

… of 1,231 societies from around the world noted, 186 were monogamous; 453 had occasional polygyny; 588 had more frequent polygyny; and 4 had polyandry.

In fact, most of Africa is polygamous including the King of Swaziland and President of South Africa. The Muslims practice polygamy as do the Aborigines.

So… if the majority of societies allow polygamy; there is no sanction for multiple ‘partnerships’; our own government pays welfare benefits to polygamous partners and  recognises polygamous marriages from other countries …WTF?

Values are changing very rapidly: not long ago Oscar Wilde was imprisoned for sodomy, now he could be Queen. Eve and Eve can marry and have children of their own. If you are a Somali refugee with three wives, all four of you could receive welfare payments and if you are a woman with five children by different fathers, you will also be supported by the State if you are too busy breeding to work… feminist slant

Bigamy is such a yesterday issue … the only problem is …politics. We recently saw the song and dance over gay marriages.

It may be common sense but it may be politically impossible: one imagines that only One Nation would be thick enough to take on this potential hot potato; especially with the glitter surrounding gobshite rabble-rousers like Milo Yiannopoulos whose party tricks include turning petticoats into straitjackets or vice versa.female polygamy

So? What’s your point, you say. It is not actually that bigamy is an obsolete crime, like buggery.

My point is that the law is obsolete and needs changing but can’t because the political process is obsolete and too slow and doesn’t work!

 

elon muskWe need a political Elon Musk who is talking about tours to Mars and travel from Sydney to London in under an hour. Someone who can use technology to create a political system that excludes blather, insult and delay and quickly brings about simple laws that regulate our society.

 

A mutter of discomfort?

‘British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon resigned from the government on Wednesday. Fallon has become embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal that is washing over Britain’s government. Fallon admitted to and apologised for placing his hand on the knee of journalist Julie Hartley-Brewer in 2002’

Just a murmur of discontent, an expression of discomfort … no disrespect intended – do forgive any perceived insult… (it’s called a disclaimer grovel).

Yeah, right! I feel like screaming over the inanity of our current First World cultural approbation of incidents involving people who raise a hullabaloo over uninvited sexual overtures a long time before. Nothing more than overtures.

They were too timid or intimidated or ignorant to raise a hue and cry until motivated years later by the possibility of media celebrity – I mean they are far too principled to do it for the money, I am sure!

In this age,  there is a media hunger for any salacious event involving people which may invoke the interest of the hoi-polloi, the bourgeoisie or even the upper crust.

There is a scale of demand:

  • If the event is very salacious, the participants need not be famous or prominent in society.
  • The inverse applies: if you’re a big wig, a fart becomes very smelly.

While courage, charitable acts and intellectual achievements are important, they do not beat salaciousness for current media value. The appetite for impropriety is insatiable: there seems to be an irresistible need for people to be able to indulge in a superior tsk! tsk!; a holier than thou moment. As we have seen lately, there has been a rash of terrible people outed for uninvited sexual overtures.

Where does the fault lie? The Media moguls will say: “we are just giving our consumers what they want” or “our viewers have a right to know”.

I say the media must be compelled to take responsibility and beware of the likely impact of the diet they feed consumers. Every diet must be reasonable to avoid gluttony and obesity. Editors and publishers control the media fare. “They want …” is not justification.

prudence opposite

One of the cardinal virtues is prudence and that should be required of those who control media content.

As well as those making amorous advances.

How many of us have been tantalised by an attractive person and in hope, made an advance and failed?

How many have spurned unwanted advances and been castigated for it?

How many have wanted to make advances or wanted advances made, to no avail? – Certainly a lot fewer these days, when such incidents may cost a dollar or two in the future!

While my irk is about the hyperinflation of amorous advances in Western society, the extremes of female subjugation, genital mutilation and sexual slavery practiced by a far greater number of people, mostly in Africa, Asia and the Middle East are horrifying and a most appropriate target for our outrage.

We need strong media attention aimed at preventing those cultural practices flourishing in our squeaky clean Western societies.