We don’t know how lucky we are!

Here in the Redlands Shire of Queensland, we probably have the best living conditions in the world!redlands survey2017 p1 2017-07-06 001

Take a look at the major issues of the shire! Wow! Drugs are the major threat – a modern day Nirvana affliction.

Traffic is a problem because we have too many cars!  There is horror when the two coincide:

  • Driving along a main road recently we nearly got taken out by a spaced out punk in a hot rod spinning out doing a wheelie at an intersection. He lost control doing a 360⁰ spin which missed our car on the other side of the road by inches!

And you think living in Syria is dangerous, or Paris, Brussels, London or New York..!

But our rural roots come through in the swing to the right that is evident in the attitudes below.

surv p2

But look at the support for euthanasia and medical marijuana! And the sugar tax!

So we rich people want to get skinnier, die when we choose and do so happily!

We see China as a big threat but are happy to take their money for our exports, sell them our property and encourage their tourists.

What are the questions not asked?

Do you support increased Police powers including:

  • invasion of privacy of communications
  • shoot to kill if there is a  threat to life
  • preventative arrest and detention of terror suspects…?

We are not back to the death penalty yet, but it may come back to that…!

Another touchy political subject is student loan debts … perhaps no more loans unless a 75% pass rate is achieved? And don’t leave the country until you have paid what you owe?

Lucky I am not standing for election! In a social welfare funded state, clawing back what has been granted in the past is a political nightmare.

Therein lies the root of the failure of liberalism – if you swing too far and maktrump-fingere too many allowances, the return swing becomes very lumpy – ask the US Democrats!

 

Not only do we need to count our blessings, we also need to ensure we don’t give them away!!

 

never-let-society

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Fake News Too

For years now we have been bombarded by marketing campaigns.

marketing-shoutVitamins, insurance, bullet blenders, carpet cleaners, supermarket value, lawyers, housing developments, cruises, charities… the subject is endless and of unlimited creativity.

All of them polished and exaggerated, shined up to make you like them – the thin edge of fake news and not so fake news. Vitamins and health remedies are apparently not what they are made out to be, insurance overcharges with pitfalls in fine print, bullet blenders destroy healthy fibre, carpet
cleaners only work on some carpets…

overwhelmedI remember the riots and looting in London a few years ago; with speculation that the have-nots were so driven and manipulated by marketing that they quickly resorted to marketing-tornadotheft when mayhem let them off their leashes. I thought then and think now that it is bad and immoral to dangle steak in front of hungry dogs, knowing that only the very few top dogs will be able to enjoy it.marketing-pressure

Advertising drives acquisition into addiction – one has to have the latest iphone, music, earphones, news, cars, jeans, sneakers, piercings, tattoos, hairstyle…  All of which is unnecessary shit.

Now the fake news and alt facts confrontation testing journalistic ethics the world over is hopefully a wake-up call to society in general to shake up our values.st-malachy

It is the right time for a new Testament which will show us a way through the lies and blather! St. Malachy, Archbishop of Armagh forecast in 1132 that Francis would be the last Pope! Brace yourselves non-believers… maybe Armageddon is at hand.

But wait – maybe that was an early version of fake news!

Just to juice up a current debate, let the news seeker become a news xenophobe: only trust those sources you know are reliable. And here’s the rub: how do you authenticate these reliable sources? They are not necessarily (and are very unlikely to be) those that produce stuff you like and agree with! Seek out and examine dissent and contrary views.

Get back and examine your basic values and principles and work from there. Remember distrust of new and different things is not all bad, it can be appropriate.

 

Change is gonna come

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” -Richard Feynman

If one despairs for too long, one may resort to desperate acts.

Certainly if I was an American, the Trumpfarce would lead me to believe that the prevailing system of government has failed. I am not American, but that’s what I think.

Democracy as we know it originated 2000 years ago; the US Constitution and European parliamentary conventions were designed for agrarian society.

Government bureaucracies can no longer keep pace with the chsamson-destructionanges and complexities of our world today.

There are all sorts of distortions and allegations and conspiracies and we can no longer discern what the truth is, nor rely on elected representatives to tell the truth.

What we are witnessing in the US is the self-destruction of a huge political system.  Hopefully it will be the harbinger of a new dawn in political mechanisms. It is not just the US that needs political change.

It is not just the US that needs political change.

Post truths have been bolstered by alternate facts and the need to be first with the news makes Twitter the prime source, with its fake news and flake views of the mad, bad and greedy. Journalistic integrity has largely sold out to Mammon.

All of a sudden, people are hating each other because of the political T-shirts they wear. The concept of loyal opposition in Parliaments or Congresses no longer exists. The modern political goal is solely the attainment and retention of power, notwithstanding the destruction and obliteration of the views of nearly half the population!

When perspectives are unrepresented in discussions, when different kinds of thinkers aren’t at the table, parliaments become echo chambers rather than sounding boards — and we all lose.

If you want something you never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.strong-from-weak

Most great things in your life won’t happen by chance, they will happen by choice.

I believe we need to do a reset, and stop limiting next-gen governance by the tools and assumptions of our past approaches.

To meet the huge challenges confronting us, we need more than incremental digital tweaks, we need a breakthrough in large-scale collective wisdom.

We need new political systems which enable effective governance which meets the needs of our society; the information age is when and where it should happen.

We also need an acid test to identify the truth.

ph-3

Most of these thoughts and quotes come from blogs on medium.com and particularly:

Arthur Brock https://medium.com/metacurrency-project/broken-assumptions-of-governance-63cc946ccc6c#.2xe4svqwq

Trump: week one

Personally I think he’s a pig: big, orange, clever and dangerous.

trump-finger

But he has generated thoughts and movement and stirred outrage – which I am glad to see.

My first thought is: why do so many find solace in his offerings?

My second thought relates to the stridency of the relatively newly anointed disadvantaged groups, particularly black people and women – that’s what I want to take a dab at.

As historical barriers are removed and cultural confines lifted, black people and women have stepped forward and taken the lead in many enterprises.

Numbering their advances and expecting some sort of parity with historically more numerous white males in leadership roles is not a justifiable measure, it’s a political club to be wielded by the strident.

This very stridency may explain some of the support for Trump: people who feel threatened by the increasing anti-discrimination actions, which frequently enshrine the premise that if a person feels unfairly discriminated against, then that feeling is de facto discrimination.

What has happened of course, is that the stridency of those recently empowered groups has increased and there has been a new cohesion and legitimacy attached to their ccat-fightauses.

Protests in such large numbers such as the women’s anti-Trump marches have thrown up some bitter antagonism seen in blog- attacks on the lack of harassment experienced by the mainly white women marchers compared to past protests by black people.

Talk about losing the plot!

The orange Donald will relish the in-fighting between the two biggest discrimination claimant groups.

orange-donald

State Capture

under-table-dealThis is a form of corruption whereby people in office unfairly enable favourable access to state resources for their benefactors and abandon their duty to protect the state’s interests.

I follow the news of the sub-continent of my birth and read with interest the reports on “state capture” in South Africa. This is supposedly secret corruption which lonobodys-puppetots the government revenue intended for all citizens, inflates project costs and denies fair competition.

Government ministries, processes and security services have been corrupted by the appointment of corrupt and pliant associates, apparently at the direction of a wealthy  family that has spread its tentacles wherever government money is to be had.

In Australia, the curse of the resources boom blunted governments’ abilities to ensure institutions sufficiently robust to withstand the end of the boom.

The Labor party, dazzled by the riches of the boom and driven by Unions, embedded industrial relations structures that cemented employment costs at unsustainable levels. This has stifled enterprise and competitiveness, crippled essential services and generally hamstrung the political ability to change. Looks like state capture to me.reforms-and-corruption

The recent squirms of the  Labor Party Transport Minister while being skewered over the recent train driver debacle in Queensland are interesting. Not surprisingly the whole issue had been engineered by union demands leading to a shortage of drivers. The union went on to talk about stop work meetings over the new arrangements …Talk about wielding the whip hand.

Then there is the ongoing kerfuffle with the construction union and its bunch of standover artists, holding up project schedules and threatening managers, which started over two years ago; surprisingly unresolved by the Labor government.

who-in-chargeOne wonders who is pulling the strings and for what purpose? Are the unions aware of the groundswell of opinion swaying to the right? Is the government allowing these infrastructure breakdowns to stimulate electorate outrage and thus justify smothering the unions?

The plot sickens.

When will the pain to the electorate drive government to break the power of the unions to enable economic and social reform to re-open pathways to growth and stability? Something has to happen.

The neo-liberalism of the 1970’s was essentially a swing to the right by western democracies to roll back the structures that socialism was building into society and the economy. Australia missed that bus, which was hidden by the rich dust of the resources boom.

We are now seeing another swing to the right, this time emanating from the electorate, who seem to be rejecting the status quo and the increasing faceless and ineffectual bureaucracies which are resulting in the abandonment of the middle and lower sections of society. Maybe Australia can catch this bus?

It strikes me that what government is all about is control of governcareer-corruptionment revenue, expenditure and the benefits to be derived from the awarding government contracts, (read “backhanders”).

Reading about the patronage in the American Presidential election, makes me wonder if the South African politicians are just clumsy.

It certainly puts a new perspective on the need for changes.

nice-day-for-rev

Post Truth, et cetera…


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 …?

Are we headed for chaos?

In recent times, chaos has attained a hallowed status through simplistic argument that it is a necessity for the rectification of society. In other words: everything is so fucked up, nothing can be fixed, so let’s break it down and trump-fingerbegin again.

putin-mh17There are some very wild cards now in play in global politics. They are not who might be called gentlemen. I would call them loose kim-jon-uncannons, who have abundant egos, few scruples and Messianistic delusions.

Most of them have some significant weapons to play with and some are itching to play with them.

duterteThen there are the others who are really nihilists and anarchists who have been fighting the world for some time.islam-co-exist

 

The electoral middle fingers that have been jabbed into the longstanding beacons of western democracy, Britain and the United States, and the Establishment in general, signal a strong swing to the ugly-middle-fingerright. Circle those wagons, don’t let any strangers near…

Governments heeding that finger will effect shrinkage in unrestrained freedom; liberal causes and fair go will be shelved for a while. There will be a lot more of: Do what I say and shut your mouth or we will shut it for you.

The policeman’s boots are going to get bigger.

Freedom of speech and the truth are always casualties in times of trouble.

It is sad but real: history has shown us again and again – in practice, we are not peaceful and fellow human loving by nature.

The pendulum swings back and forth… history repeats.

Read Tobias Stone’s article:

https://medium.com/@theonlytoby/history-tells-us-what-will-happen-next-with-brexit-trump-a3fefd154714#.v8mm4ygc9

View story at Medium.com