Friday, November 09, 2018

False hope

Amongst many significant events in world history, today is the anniversary of the death of former British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain (1869-1940). He readily springs to mind whenever a politician or any other public figure suggests that giving into the territorial demands of power hungry tyrants is a good idea, just like he did with his ill-fated 1938 peace agreement with Adolf Hitler. Apparently, war and armed conflict can be avoided by sitting down with militaristic leaders over cups of herbal tea, and giving them the chance to talk through their grievances. Then, as now, appeasement doesn't work.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Brain food

I consider myself fortunate to have never lived under a communist regime. Reading about the millions of people who suffered and died under communism in the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, China, North Korea, and Cambodia is enough to open up your eyes about how evil people can be.

It seems that some people have forgotten these lessons, stubbornly clinging to the belief that communism is worth trying again. I can personally attest to this. Radical leftists I have spoken with believe that the Russian Revolution was a good thing, and would have turned out alright if Stalin hadn't corrupted it. Marxists also hold a annual conference in my home city every Easter long weekend. Presumably this event is not just a talkfest, and they actually want to implement their ideas. Research cited by James Bartholomew shows that communism and communist ideology is particularly popular among young people. Barth is raising funds to establish a Museum of Communist Terror.

The aim of this museum is to keep alive knowledge and understanding of the deaths, terror and economic failure that took place under Communist regimes, primarily in the 20th century. The strategy is to do this through social media, its website, talks and films for schools and universities, lobbying for improvements in the teaching of the history of Communist regimes, events and the creation of one or more small museums leading up to the development of a full-size museum in London.

When it opens, it will be high on my itinerary when I visit London again.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Give me pedantry or give me death

My knowledge of the American War of Independence is somewhat patchy, but even I know that it was not still being fought in 1978. The November 2018 issue of History Revealed magazine would have you believe otherwise.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Flying too close to the sun

The other day we received a brochure from the Labor Party's candidate for my electorate in next month's state election, promoting the Victorian government's solar homes package. I for one am not confident that the scheme will be successful.

They are offering to subsidise the cost of purchasing a domestic solar power system.
A cursory reading of the scheme's information website seems to indicate that it will be tightly regulated, and only approved suppliers will be permitted to participate in the scheme, and the installation work must be done by suitably qualified tradespeople.

Even so, it is more than likely than unethical operators will find a way to circumvent the regulations, and exploit both the government and customers. Just last night we received an unsolicited telemarketing phone call from a solar energy company, offering to sell us a solar power system. You (possibly) read it here first.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

What a day

Today is International Blasphemy Rights Day. According to its website, it was established to
"show solidarity with those who challenge oppressive laws and social prohibitions against free expression, to support the right to challenge prevailing religious beliefs without fear of violence, arrest, or persecution.

International Blasphemy Rights Day is observed every September 30 to commemorate the publishing of the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons, which angered religious believers around the world, many of whom expressed their disapproval with violent protests, riots, and in some cases, murder."

Maybe the Center for Inquiry are no friends of any organised religion, but religion should be able to be openly discussed, debated, and criticised, without fear or reprisal, just like any other worldview. Religious believers should have nothing to fear from this sort of dialogue. I support this, as opposed to mean spirited and immature mocking, and ill-informed sledging.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Radio snob

I don't listen to Fox FM. I haven't done so for many years. One of the songs I remember hearing on it was Stop Your Fussin'. The song was a Top 10 hit for Toni Childs. She had a unique singing voice. Thirty years later, Childs is still singing. The last I heard, she had to give up her singing career for health reasons. It seems she's recovered. Not only that, she is now living in Byron Bay, Australia.