Fake News?

It seems that Paramount pictures appended a disclaimer to both the film “Noah” and its promotional materials at the request of the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB).

NRB board member Phil Cooke was quoted in part as saying that the disclaimer was necessary because the film is “historically inaccurate.”

I don’t think anyone would be surprised to hear that Hollywood movies are historically inaccurate but in the interests of fairness shouldn’t the same disclaimer be appended to any publication containing unsupported accounts such as the story of Noah ?

My world view may be wrong of course, perhaps there is a God and my sarcasm is dangerously misplaced. That being the case; no one could accuse this God of not having a sense of humor.   In a case of ‘epic’ irony,  a screening of the film Noah was cancelled due to flooding in a cinema.

The story of Noah is also used as support to counter Climate Science. Republican congressman John Shimkus denied that climate change was happening because it says so in the bible, he said that “we shouldn’t [be] concerned about the planet being destroyed because God promised Noah it wouldn’t happen again after the great flood”.

Fortunately most religious organizations  agree with the science and promote the view that climate change is real and we are the cause.

Republican Presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz speaks at the Third Annual Champions of Jewish Values International Awards Gala after receiving a Defender of Israel award Thursday, May 28, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

A more rational view is taken by Katharine Hayhoe, a Texas based climate scientist and evangelical Christian to boot.  Here: she explains what’s wrong about religious right. Muslims too are mostly on the side of science as far as climate change is concerned. [Click here for report]

[Click here] for an overview of the Climate change /Global warming controversy including references to the views of all sides.

[Click here] for an overview of Climate change denial

[Click here] and [Click here] for answers to arguments against the reality of Climate change and its causes.

Warning many of the references in these sites contain actual scientific data.

Philosophy

Black Cat in a Dark Room
Black Cat in a Dark Room

Philosophy is like being in a dark room and looking for a black cat.
Metaphysics is like being in a dark room and looking for a black cat that isn’t there.
Theology is like being in a dark room and looking for a black cat that isn’t there, and finding it!”
Science is like being in a dark room and looking for a switch. The light will reveal a cat… if there is one.

IRS Profiling Tea Party

I don’t care much for the IRS any more than I care for selective trolling for potential lawbreakers. I must admit to having an ironic chuckle at the squeals of outrage from these victims of profiling who have themselves been known to support profiling of other groups.

Some elements of the Tea Party movement have come out in support of the Arizona Immigration law which essentially makes racial profiling part of the law. This is a link to some debating points on profiling: Click this for Profiling debating points

Or cut and paste this: http://securingliberty.idebate.org/arguments/profiling#campaigners

Port Arthur

I was boarding a flight in Sydney en route to the USA in April 1996 when I head about the Port Arthur tragedy. Thirty five people were gunned down by [Martin Bryant] armed with an [AR-15 SP1 Carbine].

The following text was penned by Rebecca Peters and was published in the Guardian 15 Dec 2013, the anniversary of the [mass shooting in [Newtown, Connecticut].

The mass murder in [Newtown Connecticut a year ago] caused shock and sorrow all around the world. In Australia it also revived memories of our own horror on a similar scale, when dozens of people innocently going about their day were gunned down by a disturbed young man.

Our tragedy occurred in 1996 at the [Port Arthur historic site] in Tasmania, one of Australia’s most popular tourist destinations. The dead numbered 35, with more than 20 others injured. The victims ranged in age from 3 to 72. They included children, teens, adults and seniors; tourists and local workers; several couples, a pair of brothers, a mother and her two little daughters, and members of a retirees’ club on an outing.

This was not the first shooting massacre we had suffered, but it was the largest in living memory. The tragedy ignited an explosion of public outrage, soul-searching and demands for better regulation of guns. We changed our laws. As a result, gun deaths in Australia have dropped by two-thirds, and we have never had another mass shooting.

Every country is unique, but Australia is more similar to the US than is, say, Japan or England. We have a frontier history and a strong gun culture. Each state and territory has its own gun laws, and in 1996 these varied widely between the jurisdictions. At that time Australia’s firearm mortality rate per population was 2.6/100,000 – about one-quarter the US rate, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the US Center for Disease Control. Today the rate is under 1/100,000 – less than one-tenth the US rate. Those figures refer to all gun deaths – homicide, suicide and unintentional. If we focus on gun homicide rates, the US outstrips Australia 30-fold.

The 1996 reforms made gun laws stronger and uniform across Australia. Semi-automatic rifles were prohibited (with narrow exceptions), and the world’s biggest buyback saw nearly 700,000 guns removed from circulation and destroyed. The licensing and registration systems of all states and territories were harmonised and linked, so that a person barred from owning guns in one state can no longer acquire them in another. All gun sales are subject to screening (universal background checks), which means you cannot buy a gun over the internet or at a garage sale.

Gun ownership requires a license, and every sale is subject to a 28-day waiting period. The licensing process considers not only the applicant’s age and criminal convictions, but also a range of other factors relevant to possession of a product that is (a) designed for killing and (b) highly coveted by people who should not have it. Relevant factors include the applicant’s living circumstances, mental and physical health, restraining orders or other encounters with the law, type of gun desired and for what purpose, safety training, storage arrangements, and the public interest.

Police make whatever inquiries they think necessary to inform the decision on whether (or under what conditions) the license should be granted. This can include checking with neighbourhood police, the family doctor and especially spouses or partners. There are many red flags that do not appear in an automated computer record of criminal convictions: substance abuse, mental instability, conflict at home or at work, to name a few. Another risk factor is whether granting the license might make guns accessible to another household member whose own circumstances would disqualify them from a license – for example, a depressed teenager or a person with criminal convictions.

The screening process serves to block dangerous or irresponsible candidates, but also underscores for applicants and their families that bringing home a gun is a serious decision which affects the entire household, and indeed the entire community. Many applicants abandon their request during the waiting period – dissuaded by family members, or simply because the momentary enthusiasm for gun ownership passes.

Australia also requires a justifiable reason for the type of weapon the applicant wants to own. If you say you plan to hunt rabbits, your license doesn’t allow you to a high-powered rifle. And if you already have a couple of guns suitable for hunting rabbits, it becomes increasingly difficult to justify acquiring more. This is a measure against the accumulation of private arsenals. A significant legal and cultural difference between our two countries: Australia doesn’t accept anticipation of killing another person (self-defence) as a reason for owning a gun. To qualify for a handgun license, you must belong to and regularly attend a target shooting club.

An important feature of a licence is that it must be renewed every few years, and it can be cancelled or suspended if the bearer no longer meets the standard required – for example, due to domestic violence or a dangerous mental condition.

Australia didn’t ban guns. Hunting and shooting are still thriving. But by adopting laws that give priority to public safety, we have saved thousands of lives.

Prurient chuckle

Search Google Earth: “324 West 1st Street, Dixon, IL, United States” for a prurient chuckle.

My friend Greg Gow commented: The first chuckle was over the word “prurient” – classic Pickstone but then yes – had to laugh at the aerial.

Me Immigrant

OzCoatOfArms

I shared this photo of the Australian coat of arms and its associated comments [appended below] not because I agree with the comments but because I emphatically do not agree with them.

I too am an immigrant to Australia and I too love this country. Loving a place does not mean you are blind to its imperfections nor does it mean that you should not be critical or express desire for change.

Many things have changed in the 40 years I have lived here in Australia and most of the changes have been for the better. Immigration is a prime agent of change and each succeeding wave of immigrants has had a greater or lesser impact on our society.

For one thing the food here is far better and more varied than it was 40 years ago but you can still have a burnt steak and greasy chips if you want them. I would object to compulsory halal food but I love eating couscous.

I would object strongly to any attempt to introduce shariah law just as I object to the current Parliamentary standing orders requiring the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate to read a prayer for the parliament and the Lord’s Prayer at the beginning of each sitting of the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia.

The enlightenment was largely founded on Muslim scholarship and who knows ? perhaps we can pick up a few more pointers. Finally I recommend Darwin as a source for investigating the fate of those who fail to adapt.

The Original Text

How true is this?
Interesting to see who passes it on, or sticks their head in the sand..

FROM A BLOODY GREEK BASTARD WHO MIGRATED TO AUSTRALIA IN THE LATE 1940s.
This is not funny … its what all of us are thinking but not saying …

Nik Ziogopoulos states what is fact and what we all believe.
Nik would be in his 70’s at least. A GREAT PERSPECTIVE FROM A ‘NEW’ AUSTRALIAN –
Nik Ziogopoulos

I emigrated to Australia over 60 years ago – On the ship there were Poms, Italians (Spags), Germans (Huns), Yugoslavs (Yuges), Poles, Ducchys, Ukes (Ukrainians) and Greeks. (Note – All European people!) all looking forward to starting a new life in Australia. I arrived with 30 quid in my pocket and that’s all I had to my name. Did I put my hand out? Of course not – I got a job and paid my way just like everyone else who came to this country back then.

Now, it’s my taxes that subsidize these people who think they have Gods given right (read Allah) to come here and criticize those of us who have worked for the country we now call home.

If I didn’t like what I saw when I got here I would have gone home – they have the same option.

If they don’t want to become an Australian,
they can GO BACK TO WHERE THEY CAME FROM
– WE DON’T NEED THEM HERE!!!
When will this stop?
They want two of their own public holidays, because Christians have Christmas, Easter and Good Friday.
They force our children to eat Halal Meat Pies and Sausage Rolls from the school canteens, so the Muslim kids can feel more Aussie. We were not consulted about this change – they went ahead and just did it.
Our foods are slowly all becoming Halal foods, our cheeses, chocolates & even good old sanitarium foods

Our Government is ALLOWING this to happen. It has to stop now, while we still have some power to be able to stop it.
Regarding Our National Anthem

I am sorry, but after hearing they want to sing the National Anthem in Arabic – enough is enough. Nowhere or at no other time in our nation’s history, did they sing it in Italian, Japanese, Polish, Irish (Celtic), German, Portuguese, Ukrainian, Greek, or any other language because of immigration.
It was written in English, and should be sung word for word the way it was written.

The news broadcasts even gave the translation — not even close.

I am not sorry if this offends anyone, this is MY COUNTRY
IF IT IS YOUR COUNTRY SPEAK UP – please pass this along

I am not against immigration, just come through like everyone else. Get a sponsor; have a place to lay your head; have a job; pay your taxes, live by the rules AND LEARN THE LANGUAGE as all other immigrants have in the past – and LONG LIVE Australia!!!

PART OF THE PROBLEM
Think about this:
If you don’t want to forward this for fear of offending someone
YOU’RE PART OF THE PROBLEM!
Will we still be the Country of Choice and still be Australia if we continue
to make the changes forced on us by the people from other countries
who have come to live in Australia because it is their Country of Choice?

Think about it!

IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT.

It is Time for Australia to Speak up!
If you agree – pass this along. If you don’t agree – delete it!
That’s your choice
… so be very aware about constitutional changes allowing municipal bodies to be recognised … next it will be demands for Shariah law …