July 2010

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Okay, so I’m not entirely sure what “refudiate” means (as the word doesn’t exist), but as it seems she meant repudiate, I’m pretty sure I’m using it correctly! Sarah Palin’s difficulties with the English language are of course now legendary, and a favourite subject for commedians. It is however very disturbing that some one whose native language is English can be considered a credible presidential candidate, when they have so much difficulty speaking it correctly. I am far from a perfect English speaker myself, as I learned it as an adult—I would never dare to publish my unedited text here. But Sarah clearly has no problem with doing this, and even likens herself to Shakespeare! Still, a native English speaker who is a potential president should be able to publish their unedited text—the fact that she can’t should be an embarrassment to all American conservatives. The fact that it isn’t says just as much about them as it does about her, and is deeply disturbing. In essence, they celebrate poor education, stupidity and ignorance. This isn’t about right or left—this is about right and wrong.

The other thing the far right celebrates, of course, is bigotry, which as this video says, should be getting as much attention as Sarah’s choice of words. The outrage over the building of a mosque two blocks away from “ground zero” effectively equates all Muslims with the perpetrators of September 11, as that is the only way a simple mosque can be considered “stabbing the heart” of the American heartland. Yet at the same time, they claim not to be anti-Muslim, and Palin even calls on peaceful Muslims to support her! Why should they? If they are peaceful, then there is nothing wrong with this mosque (or rather, there isn’t anything more wrong with it than any other place of religious worship).

Game On!

With Julia Gillard about to announce her new climate change policy (which I am sure will have to be better than the opposition’s!)—after last weekend setting a date for the next Australian election on August the 21st—I thought it would be appropriate to talk about the upcoming Australian election here, and Julia’s performance so far. If I could sum up her style of politics in one word, I would call it “pragmatic”. Unlike Kevin Rudd, she certainly isn’t over promising, which I think was his downfall: I still believe he was sincere in his stated intent, but when circumstances didn’t allow him to deliver on some of his promises, he was perceived as dishonest. Julia certainly isn’t falling into that trap—she has been very cautious indeed with her promises.

July 23 update: Well Julia has just announced her climate change policy, and while it certainly is better than the opposition’s, I think she’s taken the pragmatism a little too far this time, to the point where it looks like a bit of a cop-out. I’d really like to see her work together with the Greens (who will no doubt hold the balance of power after the election) to take decisive action on climate change.

Many people have dismissed Julia’s pragmatism as “backing down” and “not standing for anything”, but quite frankly, I think it is a good thing. This is politics after all: deals have to be struck and compromises have to be made to get anything done at all. As I’ve said here before, I often feel left wing/progressive voters are too idealistic—unless our leaders do a perfect job, we often don’t vote for them. But we have to face the reality that the nature of politics makes this virtually impossible. And it opens the way for conservative politicians to get into power, as conservative voters usually aren’t critical at all: they just believe what they want to believe (the facts be damned), and believe their politicians deliver on it, seemingly no matter what. We have to accept less than ideal solutions in the short term, so that more ideal solutions can be arrived at later. Otherwise, we are simply allowing the conservatives to turn back the clock. Read the rest of this entry »

We’ve been performing some major updates to my blog over the past week, so as I haven’t been able to post for so long, this post will be a bit of a grab bag. First of all, I’ve just posted my latest Bible reading (as always, along with an extended, super high quality fully nude version for my web site members). Secondly, as I mentioned we’ve performed some major updates to our blog software to bring it up to date, and we’ve made a few refinements to the design of the site at the same time—we want it to be the cleanest and most elegant blog on the net! And last, but certainly not least, I want to bring your attention to GodBlock (thanks to Joe Miller for the tip!). It has always amused me how hysterical people get about “protecting” children from pornography, when I am not aware of a single scientific study that shows it harms children at all—certainly, it is very difficult to understand how nudity could do any harm to children anyway. It seems to me that this widely held assumption is yet another form of sexual suppression brought to us by religion—which ironically, actually has been shown to have done serious psychological damage to children in many cases. So GodBlock turns the usual internet filter on its head, by protecting children from what could really harm them: religion.