Floating Life 4/06 ~ 11/07

an archive

Posts Tagged ‘culture war

This is of course bizarre…

…but what would you expect? Westboro Baptist Church is much loved by atheists and anti-clerical types generally (almost as much as the risible Aussie expat Ken Ham is) and deserves everything it gets, though it hardly deserves to be taken seriously. It is to mainstream Christianity pretty much what Osama bin Laden is to mainstream Islam, but fortunately less effective. It certainly gives religion a bad name.
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Written by Neil

April 26, 2007 at 10:41 am

The misguided and the misled…

Hard choices imply trade-offs. When these are ignored, when ideology takes over, that’s when costly mistakes are made. It’s when unintended consequences multiply. Why do I dwell on this? Because my political opponent pretends to have discovered a different brand of politics ™ – a politics without hard choices ™, without trade-offs and without unintended consequences. A politics of gestures and good intentions ™ and little else.

Mr Rudd argues that in this world Australians face one overriding moral challenge – climate change. I’ll talk more about this challenge in a moment, but let me say where I stand on priorities, on decision-making and on the moral challenge of our time.
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Written by Neil

April 23, 2007 at 10:59 pm

Much to think about on ABC last night

For Lateline and the current status of Kevin Rudd see Sun keeps rising for Rudd on Journalspace where Oz politics/elections continues after a short break. I have posted the following YouTube there too:

Last night ABC-TV certainly gave us plenty to think about.

Indigenous Australians

An Oath Unbroken on Message Stick told the story of Col Dillon:

Believed to be the highest serving Indigenous police officer at the time of his retirement in 2001, Col Dillon has faced racism and adversity head on and has never shied away from exposing those who dishonoured his profession.
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Written by Neil

April 17, 2007 at 11:09 am

Strange maps

Very interesting blog this one: Strange Maps, today’s Top Blog and also Top Post on WordPress for 97 – Where (and How) Evolution Is Taught In the US. This is the map; go to the Strange Maps blog for commentary and over 300 comments… The particular entry is also linked to the map below.


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Written by Neil

April 5, 2007 at 10:16 am

Clash of intolerant minorities

That rather than a “clash of civilisations” is what most Australians believe we are witnessing at the moment, according to a BBC-Sydney Morning Herald survey, details of which were published today.

IT IS bad news for radio shock jocks and clash of civilisation theorists. A poll of 28,000 people in 27 countries has found most believe political and economic interests – not religious and cultural diversity – are the underlying cause of violent conflict in the world today.

In the joint BBC World Service- Sydney Morning Herald poll, 52 per cent said conflicting interests were the primary reason for tensions between Islam and the West, compared with 29 per cent who thought religion and culture were to blame.

A global majority, according to the poll, rejects the idea, popularised by the American academic Samuel P. Huntington, of an inevitable clash of civilisations based on religion and culture.
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Written by Neil

February 19, 2007 at 8:31 am

Last night on ABC TV — not a dog’s breakfast after all

First, congratulations to Australian Story for an episode about Jake Kovco, Australia’s only military fatality in Iraq, in circumstances that had nothing to do with the Iraq War as such. It served to remind us that when we sound off about this or that we quite often really don’t know what we are talking about.

Second, my paranoia about Media Watch seems to have been unfounded. You may note here that Beverley Farmer herself has put me right.

This brings me to Difference of Opinion which premiered last night. You may watch it for yourselves there if you have enough gigabytes to play with. I had a certain trepidation about the show as it has been cooked up in response to last year’s call for “balance”; in other words it is part of the Howardising of the ABC, and sure enough one of the panel was Professor Helen Hughes from the Centre for Independent (Howardite?) Studies looking and sounding like the kind of formidable grandmother you had better bloody well take notice of. Turns out she is of Central European background herself; I hadn’t realised. The panel also had Dr Ameer Ali, Dr Anita Heiss and Julian Heath (go to the program site for details) and comic relief from cartoonist Warren Brown. Watching it, I realised the ABC has had programs like this before, years ago.
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Written by Neil

February 13, 2007 at 8:51 am

Considering Silencing Dissent


In today’s Sydney Morning Herald David Marr reviews Silencing Dissent ed. Clive Hamilton and Sarah Maddison (Allen & Unwin 2007). It is of course no surprise that Marr approves of the book, which needless to say at this stage I haven’t read, but I will as soon as I can. It seems to distil so much that has disappointed and pained me during the long years of the Howard regime, so much that I have experienced in my own field of education and observed in field after field of what we might call our intellectual and moral life.
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Written by Neil

February 10, 2007 at 8:20 pm