1. Trump hexed
It seems Conservative Christians Claim Ocasio-Cortez Is A Witch Leading Attack Against Trump
She scares them: Conservative Christians claim Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a witch guided by demons and leading an attack against President Donald Trump.
Frightened by a smart, articulate, attractive young woman, conservative Christians panic, worried that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is really a witch leading a demonic attack against President Trump.
Continue reading Weekly salon 22/6
1. Life in paradise
My GP said to me the other day, this is it – heaven! Life right here is as good as it gets, so we need to make the most of it!
Well, I’ve had a few experiences lately that I could have done without. Like last Sunday week ago. Here is the scene (photo from November 2017):
I had just spent about an hour with my son on the deck tranferring all the data to my new phone, getting it all set up and sorted.
The next job was to help my wife put the pool cover on for the winter. So I slipped my phone into my back pocket, where it couldn’t fall out. Continue reading Weekly salon 17/6
1. Race is not a thing
Race is a social construct, largely based on culture and language. In biological and genetic terms it simply does not exist. Looking at the genes, scientists simply cannot form racial categories. Angela Saini, of Indian heritage and living in England, has been investigating the issue in her recently published book Superior: The return of race science. See her New Scientist article and in The Guardian Why race science is on the rise again.
In the 19th century there was a common assumption that a hierarchy existed with the European male at the pinnacle. Yet modern science shows that:
There is no gene that exists in all the members of one racial group and not another. We are all a product of ancient and recent migration.
Continue reading Weekly salon 9/6
In a waiting room, having nothing better to do than read news items on my phone, this one appeared:
Continue reading The gig economy is not all it is cracked up to be
The sun came up on Sunday morning after the election, and has continued to do so ever since. So perhaps there was not a fundamental tear in basic fabric of reality as seemed to be the case on Saturday the night. So how is the rest of the world getting along?
1. Why smart people do stupid things?
Continue reading Weekly salon 25/5
Known as a larrikin and the “Silver Bodgie” Bob Hawke, Australia’s 23rd prime minister, dies aged 89.
Here are Nine ways Bob Hawke’s government changed Australia.
I’ll repeat No. 3:
Mr Hawke announced Medicare in February 1984, bringing the scheme into line with the Medibank model originally introduced by Gough Whitlam but partially dismantled by Malcolm Fraser’s government.
Continue reading Vale Bob Hawke
1. Any clown can lead a country!
What with our ScoMo and Donald Trump as POTUS, you might think that any clown can run a country. Now in Ukraine we have – Comedy is a tool, a trick – Ukraine will soon see that running a country is no joke. Jack Bernhardt, a comedy writer and occasional performer, takes a look at the news that:
Volodymyr Zelenskiy, an actor and comedian with no political experience other than playing the role of president in a TV series, has won a landslide victory in Ukraine’s presidential election, with near-complete counting showing he has won over 70% of the vote.
Continue reading Weekly salon 28/4
Over Easter, apart from wondering Where is heaven? I read an article in the New Scientist Is religion good or bad for humanity? Epic analysis delivers an answer
A scientific review of 10,000 years of history is finally revealing the unexpected truth behind religion’s role in human civilisation
The author is Harvey Whitehouse, who is chair of social anthropology and director of the Centre for the Study of Social Cohesion at the University of Oxford. Back in 2015 I took a look at Karen Armstrong, ‘the myth of religious violence’ and the secular state. Whitehouse claims his investigation is ‘scientific’. It is certainly impressive. Continue reading Is religion good or bad for us?
When I was really young there were no Easter bunnies around our place. The idea was introduced by the teacher of the small Lutheran Day School at Downfall Creak, near Guluguba, north of Miles, west of Toowoomba, when I was about seven or eight. We did have hens eggs coloured with dye, but no chocolate at all, let alone as eggs.
However, that’s not what Easter is about. It’s about the risen Christ, right? He conquered death and rose to heaven in a cloud, to sit at the right hand of God the Almighty, with a promise to return some day. So I was interested in an article What and where is heaven? The answers are at the heart of the Easter story. Continue reading Where is heaven?
1. A beautiful big black hole
The New Daily has the short story – Scientists share first ever image of black hole, a more complicated explanation at Astronomy, and a really informative one at the BBC. Continue reading Weekly salon 16/4: general edition
1. ‘Kill Bill’ is alive and well
“Labor has become a party of lies, negativity and grievance. They have nothing to offer but a long, dreary whinge, interrupted by falsehoods”; and for good measure: “Bill Shorten is a liar. He cannot tell the truth. There is no point being mealy-mouthed about this. He is a liar*.”
That was actually Malcolm Turnbull last July, but if you Google you get similar stuff going back to at least 2012. The asterisk was to a note saying the Turnbull had joined with Mark Latham, who had once said: Continue reading Weekly salon 7/4
That is the opinion of Peter Lewis, who conducts the Essential report poll. Two nights before the massacre of 50 worshippers in a Christchurch mosque, Lewis was with a focus group of swinging voters in suburban Brisbane, asking people to identify which politicians were responsible for a series of incendiary public comments around recently passed medical evacuation (medevac) laws:
The propositions included the following: that the people “coming in” are paedophiles, they will clog up our hospital queues, they will end up in cultural bubbles, that western values are sacrosanct.
People thought it must be One Nation, for sure, but it wasn’t:
there was genuine shock and some dismay when it was discovered the statements came not from the radical fringe, but from the mouths of the prime minister and his senior government ministers.
Continue reading Weekly salon 31/3