Showing posts from 2014

Sick of the ice bucket challenge?

So you're sick of the ice bucket challenge eh?

I mean, you've already heard the stats: so few people get ALS - so why are we raising a disproportionate amount of money on this illness when there are far more "worthy" ones - at least in terms of human suffering.

Heck - clean water supply is a bigger issue isn't it?

Yet here are people wasting clean water - wasting it - on some stupid challenge to raise money for some piddling little condition that almost no one suffers.

I mean, you heard it on TV right?

And now we hear that ALSA is trying to claim intellectual property over the whole ice bucket thingy - despite having nothing to do with it initially.  What gall!

And now you hear about fraud - that's right fraud in ALSA.  Some 73% of the money isn't going towards researching this condition!

Except that these arguments have more holes than a colander through which you can pour iced water...

First, there is no fraud.  I'll let you do the research, but her…

Logic left behind

I understand religion.  But I don't understand the whole "Rapture" movement that exists in the US.

Now it seems they've remade the Kirk Cameron "classic" on this very subject (based on the novel which is part of a series).

I'm talking about the new Nicholas Cage movie "Left Behind".

Here's my problem:

Without entering into the whole "argument from evil/suffering" thing, it's abundantly true that the "end of the world" comes every day for millions of people [well, hundreds of thousands, as Michael points out below], whether by tsunami, earthquake, war, famine, disease, murder accident etc. From a Christian perspective, this doesn't matter in the long run because believers go to Heaven. If this is so (and I'll assume here that it is), why would God engineer a special "End of Days" where believers get treated specially - just on this one day?

Is some pilot really going to be "raptured" when…

The shame of First World poverty

Watching the video "Cardboard Stories: Homeless in Orlando" (see below) made me think about those who assume: "The poor have only themselves to blame; they don't deserve help from the State."

I think these people are cloaking their callousness with a kind of "fiscal pragmatism": one that successfully ignores the fact that we are talking about real people - not some numbers on a statistical chart; one that is based on appallingly misconceived, bigoted and ignorant generalisations about the causes of poverty.

In the US you can see exactly what such a simplistic mindset produces: a poverty where even those who have jobs can be homeless; where some people are forced to give up their kids in order to save them.

And it seems that we in Australia are hell-bent on heading in the same direction.  We can see this with our own "work for the dole" expansion, Medicare co-payments, cuts to social services, harsher qualifying criteria etc.

It's the sch…

The wrong side of history

There are some things about which a man must speak or risk being tarred with the brush of callous - or complicit - indifference.

Initially this advertised Facebook post (which came up on my feed) seemed reminiscent of the countries that boasted how they'd turned away the (middle class and higher) Jewish escapees from Europe in 1939
Then I remembered: the boats that have been coming to Australia aren't full of "real refugees". And we know this without giving them due process - without having even heard them. You see, these people are boarding rickety boats from stable, peaceful places like Sri Lanka (or, in the most recent case, from a UN refugee camp in India). Then they're risking life and limb to cross vast oceans in those rickety boats - just to "jump the queue" in immigration.

I mean that's what people naturally do - right? I'm surprised this hasn't happened throughout Australia's history! Why have people suddenl…

Challenge accepted!

So an old school friend asked me if I could write something to explain this picture.

Challenge accepted!
The groom, Igor, was on his way to his wedding when he saw the precariously balanced army truck.  Knowing only he could save the day, he reached into his first-aid kit to retrieve his portable Singer, posing only briefly to allow his rescue triumph to be recorded by Reuters. Minutes later, with all hems restored to their rightful status, the groom resumed his journey.  Unfortunately he was jilted at the altar by Svetlana, his would-be bride (who decided to run away with Mikhail, a reckless cartographer with a penchant for deep-fried sushi and part-time phlebotomy).  The army truck slipped into the Volga with all hands lost. At least their uniforms were in first-first rate condition, thanks to Igor's quick-thinking.  Svetlana and Mikhail married, quarrelled and ultimately split up after Mikhail's dodgy gender reassignment surgery went bad. Stress can ruin any relationship.  I…