Month: March 2011

Religion in schools – movement at the station

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Well the battle continues.

You may recall an earlier piece or two on the teaching of religion in schools. It seems that as well as some pending high court action against this practice, there has also been a complaint lodged at the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, that religious education in state primary schools discriminates against children whose parents opt out. Apparently, there are still many examples where the education department segregates children on religious grounds and forces them (or rather their parents) to opt out rather than specifically opt in if they want religious education. Read the rest of this entry »


Beware the herbal remedy

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There is often confusion over the difference between natural/herbal remedies, and homeopathic remedies, about which I’ve written plenty – see here, here and here for instance.

The difference between the two could not be more pronounced however: Homeopathy does NOTHING, other than hydrate you if it is in a liquid form, since it has virtually no active ingredients, while herbal medicines generally contain active ingredients and should therefore be treated with care. Read the rest of this entry »

Thoughts on nuclear power

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Recent events in Japan have caused me to think again about the issue of nuclear power generation, having consigned it to the too-hard basket some time ago. Besides, it’s been off the agenda here in Australia for a while now. It’s one of those topics on which I’ve found it difficult to have a clear view either way.

On one hand, it’s an abundant source of clean energy as far a greenhouse issues go, as well as having some romance attached to it as a result of the early promise reflected in older sci-fi literature. Even sewing machines were to run on nuclear energy, and of course it would be indispensable for our jet packs.

Read the rest of this entry »

A SCENAR-ite gets excited…

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A few posts ago, I wrote about SCENAR tangentially, as part of a piece on the pathology of scams.

Well in a case of delayed reaction, I received the following response from a reader, and rather than hide it and my response way back in the comments on that piece, I’ll put it and my response here.  In a dazzling display of Churchillian wit and grace, my correspondent writes:

person permalink

your an idiot!

I’m a fully qualified physio and scenar is by far the best treatment going around! Its used throughout europe – has been around 20 years! I have treated and healed chronic back pain to chronic headaches!

Why dont you do some real research before you write your blogs!

OK ‘Person’, I’ve published your insulting comment, even though it’s against my policy to do so. Obviously those ‘full qualifications’ did not extend to the scientific method and dealing rationally with criticisms, since you moved straight to an ad hominem attack. Nor did your training extend to some basic grammar it seems.

Read the rest of this entry »

Good One, Andrew Bolt

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Ok Andrew, by now your google alert has brought you to this little article, and you’re curious about what some non-entity has to say about you, right?

Well, I just wanted to let you know that I’ve seen through your disguise. Yes, I know you present a version of yourself which is illogical, ill-informed, irritating and irrational (is that too many i’s? I may have to pay royalties to Apple). I know that you cultivate this view of yourself as your public persona, but I believe that privately you are a thoughtful, clear-thinking analyst with a firm grip on reality.

But it must be said, you do a wonderful job of your public persona. Your incisive analysis presented to those intrepid folk who pop out to pick up their Herald Sun and pack of ciggies, on the way to the TAB, is perfectly crafted for the intended readership. You whip them up so thoroughly, they can hardly focus on Race 3 at Flemington. You tell them what they need to know so clearly – for example,  that climate change is just crap – and you ought to know since, well, you’re Andrew Bolt, and not 10,000 climate scientists. You tell them that there was no stolen generation, and you ought to know since, well, you’re Andrew Bolt, and not some poor ‘abo’ living off ‘our’ taxes. You tell them that there are no problems at all with nuclear energy, that Chernobyl was a beat up, and you ought to know since, well, you’re Andrew Bolt, and not an engineer or one of the ‘intrepid 50’ currently trying to douse boiling uranium cores in Japan who will probably end up with nasty radiation damage in  order to save tens of thousands of people from the same fate. And while I haven’t personally heard it, you’ve possibly also told them that the holocaust didn’t happen either, and that Hitler was misunderstood, and that he was good for the economy due to the extra gold he put on the market. If you haven’t told them that one yet, then please do – it’s a perfect fit for you.

You even take your persona up a notch for the benefit of those latte-sipping, namby-pamby lefties on the occasional appearance on Insiders or Q&A. And I just love your style. No really. The confidence with which you present your arguments is enough to turn fiction into reality, and the tactic of simply yelling louder than anyone else to really make the point, is just debating genius. Facts be damned. I love in particular every time you manage to work the dispossessed into the conversation. “Oh yeah? Name ten.” Pure genius AB.

No, it’s quite a performance, I’m sure of it. No one, with so little in the way of expertise or experience in well, anything, could be so confident and outspoken otherwise.

Could they?

Deck-chairs on the Titanic?

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Sort it out guys.

This is pretty embarrassing, isn’t it? Here we have everyone and their dog slugging it out over what words to say at Catholic masses. On the right is a sample of the changes, purportedly as a result of new translations of the bible, mainly relating to how the masses respond to the priest.

Looking at these samples, it’s almost incomprehensible how trivial the proposed changes are. In particular, the ‘Penitential Act’ one is annoying: it basically forces some more groveling by the poor bugger laying their soul bare. Not content to hear someone admit to something being their own fault, it now has to be their own ‘grievous’ fault.

So someone in the Vatican actually sits around dreaming up these changes. I can see the meeting now: “How do we get our flock to be more pathetic and obsequious than they already are? I know, let’s make them say some more really pathetic and obsequious stuff.”

Did you read the Gloria ‘improvements’?  The vacuum created by all the sucking up in that one sentence should be enough to enable you to reach escape velocity and get to heaven before you know it.

The last one, the ‘Nicene creed’, seems like just showing off to me. The same person in the Vatican has come up with the idea of making the whole thing more intellectual. How these changes add anything to the experience is bewildering. While the legal industry is moving away from jargon towards ‘clear speak’, it seems Catholicism is going the other way. ‘Consubstantial’. Really?

Whatever the reasons for the changes, if agreement cannot be reached, I suggest that they consult their iPhone app as the authoritative reference –  after all, there’s no higher authority and Steve Jobs at Apple, is there?