richard.obrien's blog

Religion – When it is, and isn’t, any of your business

In an article written for the Daily Telegraph under the alarmist headline “We are living in very troubled times”, newly elected MP Andrew Hastie claims there’s a problem with Muslims in Australia, and that’s everyone’s business.

“Now, more than ever, is the time for the Australian Muslim leadership to systematically and clearly make the case that Islam is a religion of peace.”

Why? Because IS are Muslims and, according to Hastie, IS are dictating the narrative to Australian Muslims.

Don't give a shit day

Today is Don't Give a Shit Day - a national day for not giving a shit about the planet.

Today is that one day of the year when all Australians can afford to take their minds of the catastrophic impact of human-induced climate change.

Men’s Business

Yesterday was White Ribbon Day, a national day to stop men's violence against women. Courtesy of the ABS and White Ribbon, here are some statistics:

• 76 women have been killed this year as a result of intimate partner violence, 1.6 deaths per week

• About two-thirds of physical assaults against women are committed in the home

• One in three women have experienced physical violence since the age of 15

• One in five women have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15

• One in eight women have been sexually abused before the age of 15

A Reclaimed Australia

Yesterday Australia’s own far-right wing group, the United Patriots Front, announced their plans to form a new political party to run candidates in the next Federal election. The announcement was heralded by one of the UPF's leaders, Sherman Burgess:

"Aussie's will have the right to bare arms again if UPF gets into a position where we can make this law change."

Terrorism – The bottom line

So what does Daesh (aka ISIS/ISIL/IS) really stand for?

VIRUS ALERT

CSIRO scientists have announced they have discovered a new and virulent strain of the Hanson virus infecting Australian fauna. Following a major outbreak in 1996 the virus was eventually brought under control with the introduction of the Common Sense vaccine in 1998. Despite this, scientists have so far been unsuccessful in their attempts to completely eradicate the Hanson virus due to its ability to remain dormant for years while waiting for an opportunity to once again spread.

“France drops 20 bombs on IS stronghold”

Sometimes saying stuff is hard.

Like when you see a depressingly predictable headline like this, and you want to say “it’s not France, it’s their government”. You want to say that each of those 20 bombs carries a destructive power roughly equivalent to the Bali bombing. You want to say that even with laser-guidance systems, each of those bombs has, at best, a 50% chance of landing within 10 meters of its target. You want to say that according to the estimates of a number of NGOs, the casualties from those bombs will be 80-90% civilian.

World Revision - Sponsor a Millionaire II

Well my post on sponsoring a millionaire seems to have struck a chord. It’s also attracted a few messages from people accusing me of not telling the full story – so here is their side of the story:

Lance Corporal Ngati Kanohi Haapu

This is , more on him later.

In 1990 an America lawyer and author, Mike Godwin, proposed Godwin's law which states: "As an online discussion grows longer and longer the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one."

It is a common misconception that Godwin's law implies that a person loses an argument once they make a comparison to Nazism. In fact Godwin's law was proposed to reduce the incidence of inappropriate hyperbole, in other words people should think harder about the Holocaust before making glib comparisons to the Nazis.

the Political Leaders series.

With Christmas just around the corner, Commonwealth Toys ® has announced a new range of action figurines - the Political Leaders series.

Poor sales figures earlier in the year lead to the manufacturer issuing a recall of the Tony Abbott action figurine - which most children found disappointing no matter what outfit it was dressed it in.

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