Why Were 8 Children Murdered In Cairns?

Terry Firma has an interesting blog post on Patheos about the recent killings in Cairns. Obviously, I live there (or I did, until a few weeks ago) and so I heard plenty of local ‘news’ on the subject. Mostly speculation and gossip, the kind that surrounds any horrible local event, but the big thing that it was blamed on was the drug “ice”. It seemed like a semi-reasonable explanation at the time, after all, “ice” is certainly a hell of a drug.

However, new evidence has been coming through that points at another cause for the killings. From the Courier Mail: Continue reading

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Murdoch, Faux News and Wild Propaganda

This is a frustrating, terrifying and insightful look into the propaganda machine that has been built by Rupert Murdoch. The hundreds of news channels, cable channels, papers and magazines that Murdoch owns (and fills with his personal right-wing anti-fact agenda) reaches a STAGGERING 4.7 billion people. Holy. Fucking. Shit. Power corrupts, ultimate power corrupts ultimately and being able to force your biased viewpoints down the throats of more than half of the worlds population is pretty fucking similar to what I would call ultimate power.

As David Brock, the President/CEO of Media Matters for America, says about Murdoch/Faux News:

He doesn't believe in objectivity, he has contempt for journalism I think. They wanted all news to be a matter of opinion because opinion can't be proven false. And I think that's very dangerous because if people don't have a set of facts they can agree on, I think it's difficult to reach a consensus on what's correct public policy.

Acid Attacks

I just wanted to say that I’m not going to show any of the graphic images of acid attack victims, out of complete disgust as to what humans can lower themselves to, but I absolutely fucking hate, with every inch of my fibrous being, people who throw acid on another person.

What fucking honour could you possibly be retaining by permanently scarring another living being? There’s absolutely nothing honourable in the action. I mean, really, it’s fucking terrible. If you disagree with someone, then fine, talk about (or potentially, if you have the fucking guts, to) them, perhaps start a blog and argue with their viewpoints that way. Act in a way that discounts their viewpoint. Chucking fucking acid on someone has none of those qualities.

It marks you, not the acid victim, as a perpetually disgusting human being. You are utter filth. It’s one of the most horrific acts I can imagine someone doing. Far, far, far beyond the shame of being rejected, or having to defend your honour in public, or any of the other utterly contemptible and incredibly pathetic rationales offered for such a disgusting act.

Fuck you. Seriously. Fuck you, you fucking inhuman jerks. It makes the bile rise in my throat. Fuck you.

The Rap Guide to Human Nature

I’m an old school rock guy in love with Bowie, Beatles and Queen. A lot of the time that musical heritage discounts rap as a pathetic attempt to talk over a pre-recorded beat (can you feel my bias already?). I’m not entirely in the rap camp, though I do understand the way that the musical discourse of rap countered the racial aspects of musical success (to an extent). I also find many rappers very talented in wordplay.

MC Paul Barman displays a grand example of the intellectual discourse that rap can achieve (and the depths that wordplay for the sake of wordplay can sink to), along with Jurassic 5 (who don’t sink to those depths, as far as I’m aware) and numerous others, but my favourite by far is Baba Brinkman. He has a whole album entitled the Rap Guide to Human Nature (it’s literally free, FREE). And it is fucking brilliant. It’s old(ish) now, but it’s still a genius work of popular culture attempting to integrate itself with the current level of human knowledge. My favourite song from Baba is Performance, Feedback, Revision (though it’s not on the Rap Guide to Human Evolution album).

He has some (what I consider, at least) flaws in his music, especially to do with feminism (although it requires a close listen to pick them out) but overall it’s an awesome attempt to integrate the latest art with the latest science and I couldn’t knock him for the world. Listen and cum.

Cops Killing Black People

In all honesty, I can’t hold my rage in anymore. Police are not a body unto themselves. They are civil servants. That literally means they work for the people. The people don’t work for the police. The people don’t have to submit to the authorities in every potential situation and there’s no situation where police should escalate the violence.

There is a ridiculous amount of unarmed deaths that occur in police custody or apprehension in America (here’s some stats). The Australian system is less examined, which means the data is less useful, but there are a number of suspicious indigenous deaths that have occurred in police custody, including Eddy Murray, Cameron Doomadgee, Ian Ward, John Peter Pat and Thomas Hickey. There’s also been a number of severe violations of bodily integrity since Tony Abbott took control of the country. Continue reading

Police Deserve As Much Respect As They Give

I can’t say it any better than the comment that Bruce Gorton left on Ophelia Benson‘s blog:

On the same day on which this story broke, I read another in which a cop attacked someone who was asleep in a hospital.

The cop arrested his victim for assault, it was probably only that hospital waiting rooms have cameras that resulted in the cop being found out.

Last week meanwhile I subbed a story about a cop who was suspended, for not tear-gassing a suicidal university student he had just talked down when his fellow officers felt the need to forcibly restrain the said student for no apparent reason.

America’s police force blames the media, but who was it that killed a 12-year-old for carrying a toy gun? Who killed a man for picking up a toy gun in a toy store? Who choked a man to death on the streets? Who killed an unarmed teenager?

And what did each case demonstrate?

There is little recourse to the law when the criminal is a cop. The issue is not simply the police force, but the entire legal system.

So what happens when people don’t trust the law anymore? I can tell you what happens in South Africa.

You get people attacking the police because they’re just one more rival gang. They aren’t keepers of the peace, they’re thugs and crime lords abusing a position of authority to build their little empires.

You get mob justice, you get riots and you get deaths. The best cops become worthless – because they cannot do their jobs without the trust of the public, and without the ability to trust their coworkers.

My country has serious problems with distrust of the police force, and not reporting on it doesn’t solve the base problems that caused that distrust. You can shut the media up all you like – but people still know the cops will take bribes and lose dockets.

You can shut the media up all you like, but people still know the American police force kills children for being black. A silent media is deadlier than a noisy one, because in the absence of information action cannot be taken to correct major problems, while allowing far darker imaginings than the bald truth to become seen as fact.

You want to prevent this happening again? Then you need to stop whining at the protesters and start taking a serious look at your police culture, which has gone so far overboard on the macho bullshit that the decent, sane cops are more likely to be punished than the thugs with badges.

Otherwise all you’re doing is wanking self-righteously about how mean people are for pointing out how your police force’s shit stinks.

Oh shit. That burn. Seriously, as someone who was fluent in latin would say, “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?”

Sexism and Dentistry Collide

Dentistry; apparently another hive of scum and villainy. I hope before this story is told that I don’t have to go over the fact that all dentists are not like this (obviously) and that that doesn’t excuse the behaviour of the people who ARE like this.

The University of Manitoba apparently has a problem with student dentists.

"When I started I was one of two females and the jokes [and] the acceptance for certain kinds of jokes were shocking to me."

"He would make comments about other [female] residents weight or about her height. When we were studying cranial-facial abnormalities he would pick each one of us and say that we look to have this syndrome."

Sarah says eventually it evolved to text messaging.

"I got a text message from him asking where he could find girls like me, I asked what he was talking about and he said 'oh, because you're a whore.'"

In what fucking world is this acceptable discourse to a colleague (for that matter, anyone)? I mean really, what self-entitled jerk thinks it’s ok to text to a fellow student that they’re a whore? Would they have the guts to do that to a male colleague? I very much highly doubt it.

Just another statistic in the chilling effect of discrimination on females in science…We’re actively forcing half of the population out of a highly beneficial area towards humanity. Fuck that, let’s embrace the insights and developments that EVERYONE can bring to us a species.