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/

This riot is brought to you by Nike

Daniel McCarthy

https://spectator.us/riot-brought-nike-looting-minneapolis-new-york-dc/

In Chicago last weekend 82 people were shot, 22 of them fatally. Between May 2019 and late May 2020, homicide claimed the lives of over 300 black men in the city. That’s not a police brutality problem, that’s a problem of insufficient police power being deployed to stop violent criminals. If the death of one man, George Floyd, while under arrest in Minneapolis is cause for nationwide protests, why don’t the deaths of hundreds of George Floyds every year prick the conscience of protesters that much more?

Better yet, why don’t the antifa kids who are mighty bold with the police go and toss bricks at the gangbangers in Chicago? Because unlike the police, the gangs will shoot them dead. The rioters setting America ablaze are cowards: they riot only because they know they face no danger from the police.

These protests and riots are not a revolution, they’re a celebration. This is a victory lap for a moral revolution in education, one that has created a mythology in which police and other traditional authorities are automatically assumed to be evil while young vandals who riot on the pretext of social justice are holy innocents. A change in religion often means the heroes of the old faith become the demons of the new while yesterday’s vices become today’s virtues. Intersectionality, to give the new faith just one of its legion of names, has replaced Christianity, particularly the bourgeois, patriotic Christian morality that supplied America’s elite institutions with their ethos until rather recently. The revolution didn’t take place on the streets — and nothing is as stupid as conservatives who think they need to learn Saul Alinsky’s organizational tactics. That’s just theater. The real power lies not with protesters or rioters but with the moral authority that creates protesters in the first place and that prevents police from suppressing the rioters.

Why are police reluctant to put down the mayhem in the streets? Because they’re not allowed to: they answer to politicians who are afraid of being called bad names in the press and who need the support of the rioters’ upper-middle-class enablers. Those enablers include not only Democrats but also a great many elite libertarians and non-Trump Republicans; and not only the media and academy, with their known liberal bias, but also corporate America. 

Take Nike. You might think the sneaker company would be upset about having its stores ransacked. But think again. You’re stealing Nikes? That just proves that Nike is the footwear brand of the revolution. That cool, edgy looter you see with his liberated Nikes is a walking advertisement, better than any money can buy. Others who admire the authenticity and passion and living purity of the looter — white suburban teens, for example, or progressive Ivy League lawyers — will now go out and buy Nikes so they can be part of the revolution, too.

Anyway, it’s not like the revolution is going to expropriate the sneaker factories — those have already been profitably relocated to countries under communist rule. Woke capitalism and the communism that employs the most brutal policing imaginable against the likes of Uighurs and Tibetans make perfect allies. Of course, corporate America wants you to know it totally rejects imperialism and racism. Just not the Chinese variety — or any other non-Western kind. As the Financial Times reports, amid this week’s riots, ‘Some companies devoted their advertising resources to responding to the crisis, with Nike — whose usual slogan is “Just Do It” — distributing a video telling Americans: “For once, Don’t Do It. Don’t pretend there’s not a problem in America.”’ Yes, Nike, there is a problem in America. Thank God we have corporations to watch out for our consciences.

A nation like ours has many power centers. The alignment of those power centers is what determines cultural force and, in the long run, political success as well. Corporate executives, celebrities, academics, editorialists, and even many religious leaders — not at all exclusively from liberal denominations — in general oppose the police and support the protests, and if they think the rioters go to excess, they’re inclined to think it’s just a case of misplaced zeal or an excusable response to oppression. The master framework that applies before any facts are considered — facts like the real cause of most violent deaths among blacks in America today, or even investigation into the facts about George Floyd’s death — is a moral framework that designates saints and sinners, victims and oppressors. 

(Regarding Floyd’s death, according to TMZ the Hennepin County medical examiner determined that he suffered a heart attack during the arrest, with fentanyl in his system. Floyd complained about being unable to breathe before he was pinned down by the arresting officers — and shortness of breath certainly seems like a plausible effect of fentanyl or a heart attack, or both. That by itself doesn’t mean that Officer Chauvin didn’t use excessive force, but it’s not the scenario that most of the protesters’ supporters seem to take for granted. An examiner hired by Floyd’s family disputes the findings. Both examiners say homicide was the ‘manner of death’.)

Police and the men and women of all colours who own small businesses that can’t profit from a looting the way that Nike can are not part of the ruling cultural coalition. What old institutional protections the police do have — qualified immunity, strong unions — are under attack. The result of reducing the protections of the police will very predictably mean that police become more reluctant to take the risks necessary to uphold the law — which is exactly the opposite of what should be happening if the violence in places like Chicago, where 20 or more George Floyds can die in single weekend, is to be quelled. 

Voters turned to Republicans after the riots of the Sixties, but the revolution in religion and public morality was only in its early days then — it was still a revolution, not the establishment. Even ordinary voters who are not part of the elite may feel that it’s easier to go along with the new morality than to resist it in the name of the old, especially when the old Christianity and the old America knew they were flawed. The new elite morality is hypocritical, often counterproductive, but it has no self-doubt and admits no flaws. That confidence has not only won the new faith of the streets: it long ago won the centers of power.

Yet the victory has not been total, and even winners can overreach. In 2016, the public did the unthinkable and elected Donald Trump. In 2020, it has the opportunity to surprise the oligarchy and secular priesthood once again. But it will take more than an election or two to reverse the institutional balance of power, and without that, political victories will amount to little more than holding the line while the riot spreads around us. 

Daniel McCarthy Published in Spectator June 2, 2020 10:16 am

Thank you – I couldn’t have said it anywhere as well

Also read: https://spectator.us/roots-riot-antifa-minneapolis-atlanta-cnn-george-floyd/

I guess this confirms that I am a redneck after all!!

Nothing but the truth

…so help me, God!

Presumably that is tacked on because God sees and knows everything. That puts Her/Him in a pretty powerful position. As we will recall from the repeated advice in our schooldays: Knowledge is strength!

I had a sort of epiphany just as I cycled across the creek on my early morning ride. That is how we know about right or wrong, because God can see everything and is not fooled by our rationalised, exculpatory bullshit.

What is more, he keeps the score, so he can direct traffic at the end of the line: for every one going up 40 go down, even more if you are fat and rich (remember the eye of the needle?)

But I digress. I think that the Man (dated I know, but it includes the Woman) should be entitled to the truth. We should have to answer the Police truthfully, we should not be able to hide from inquiry and the Man should be able to track our movements, hear everything we say and see everything we do.

I do not say all this should be public knowledge; what I mean is that properly constituted authority should have access to that information for the purpose of effective government.

That means that the Man could have the same power as God as far as knowledge of the Truth is concerned.

So if we have a chip that enables us to be tracked wherever we go, all our conversations and movements are recorded and truth serum is administered when we are being questioned by authorities, we will be unable to deny any wrongs or rights that we have done.

Sadly, Satan clearly demonstrated the fallibility of those who aspire to be too much like God and he was an Archangel! We are too frail, corruptible and weak to be able to handle the truth.

But it is getting worse… can anyone actually tell us the real truth about coronavirus statistics and impact?

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!

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!

If you are right … I am wrong (or vice versa)

The origin of this thought was  my ongoing despair when I consider religions.

What finally shook me out of the tree is the fundamental rule of most religions: If you do not believe, you will be denied Heaven. You have got to pay your dues to be able to get the benefits. Sorry for you if you haven’t actually heard about Him/Her or just think that there may be better explanations out there

You may be thinking that is a bit tough for pygmies, headhunters and Amazon Indians? I shouldn’t worry because humans are amazingly adaptable and flexible: they make their own gods, who make their own rules which will let you into Heaven by another door. The Dalai Lama had it right.

roman greek godsBut the gods are jealous and they protect their interests by excluding non-believers, some more radically than others.

I yearn to believe, because that would make the world easier to understand, accept and depart from – knowing there is a happy landing on the other side. But I am sceptical: I believe that man has manipulated the yearning for God and produced evidence that his version is right, so I must do what he says.

stone age warrior

Way back in time, people realised that they could hunt and defend themselves better and more easily find mates if they worked and lived together. If the strongest man kept on taking all the meat for himself, others would leave seeking safer and more co-operative groups.

So he gave some of the kill to others; if somebody took too much or too soon, they got whacked. The old and weak drank from rivers first to ascertain if there were crocodiles, women carried the food and walked behind, children could be seen but not heard… rules were born.

indian shamanWith rules came priests… they became the recorders of the rules, distinguished between right/good and wrong/evil and in due course became the explainers of the origin of the rules, the guardians of the Light.NagaSadhu

The easiest explanation was that God made the rules, but he was invisible and only spoke to his priests. The forte of the strong was brawn not brain, so warrior kings believed the priests…who anointed kings as gods…

bishop

In due course, the magic of rituals and symbols was developed, by the priests, who jealously guarded their access to God.

So we saw the Crusades and the rise of Islam and the Inquisition and the Reformation and pogroms and all the terrible rituals and punishments that we were led to believe were sanctified by God.

This continued for millennia, until priests became too greedy. Learning uncovered the sources and mysteries of faith, which allowed the freedom of choice, in turn allowing the common man to accept or reject or even offer a better explanation. And so religions proliferated as the advantages of power over the minds of people became apparent and commercially viable. Christianity alone has seen an increase in denominations from 1600 in 1910 to 43,000 in 2012.

Too many are saying: listen to me, my interpretation is better than yours; my Bible is better than your Koran or her Baghavad Gita. If you do not then you are wrong and I may not love you.

What that means to me is that religion causes division, not unity. I fear the magical powers of pastors ordained by their own gods or their own vanity or cupidity.

I fear that religion becomes more divisive despite the many good works performed in its name by the billions of believers.

However, for your peace of mind: China has made re-incarnation without government permission illegal.

 

Kissing Frogs: is lynching the antidote?

 

 

The Heavy Winestain saga is one describing a nasty bully, who is a famous, rich and successful movie producer. On 5 October 2017, the New York Times published a story detailing decades of allegations of sexual harassment. More than 90 women including leading actresses and people of great talent and influence, have made accusations of sexual harassment, assault or rape; reports go back as far as the 70’s.

The frenzied reaction has been incredible: after conviction by the media, despite protestations of consensual participation, he was pilloried. Vengeance has been sanctified and the lynch mob been swift and savage:

  • Without benefit of trial he has been condemned, castigated, ostracised;
  • had all his honours and awards withdrawn and
  • the man and his company and other organisations with whom he worked have been slapped with claims for $ millions in damages.

wild dog frenzyIn a snowballing reaction many women and some men who allege unwelcome propositions or harassment by other men, have raised their voices saying #MeToo! More people have had their careers and reputations shattered by lynch mobs with untested allegations.

The outrage has been so holy that women have been castigated for expressing some hesitation over condemnation on the basis of mere allegations of ancient conduct.

It seems that the principles of justice like due process and the statutes of limitations are not applicable.

Winestain was someone who could grant access to stardom: he must have been besieged by many people willing to give their all for a break … one has heard about the casting couch after all.no-bully.jpg

A number of women said NO! to unwanted advances and nothing happened. Some women suffered more than one instance of unwanted attention – why did they expose themselves to that risk again? … and why the delay in reporting…? why were they there in the first place….?

Would it be that they didn’t get what they wanted after they kissed the frog a second time?

He has never been criminally charged for crimes of a sexual nature. Even Saddam Hussein had a trial!

 

Don’t get me wrong: I deplore the abuse of power in order to achieve personal advantage – I also hate bullies. But I get very suspicious when I hear that over 90 intelligent, talented people were cowards – I smell more than one rat. It seems bullying begets bullying!

 

In all of your life there are are going to be some people bigger or stronger, richer or more powerful, or cleverer and meaner than you.

 

timid brave mouseHow do you survive?

  • Avoidance is a good idea;
  • so is shouting No! leave me alone!
  • a slap in the face or a kick in the nuts can be deterrent
  • walking away and calling for help;
  • reporting and drawing attention are all clever things to do… or
  • … you could trade for something he wants…. (just make sure you get before you give!) 

The main thing is: be clever about it: tell others, warn them and stand by them in their time of need, make a noise, shine a light … run fast!

stand_up_dont standby.png

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.