Sunday, 29 January 2017

The sad and deep divide in America

The recent election in America has exposed some deep divides within America.  What is disturbing is the hatred that is now heaped up by both parties.  The Left appear to be more hate-filled and far more violent, but maybe that is only because their candidate (Hillary Clinton)  lost, while the Conservative candidate,  Donald Trump,  won.

The Liberals are now mocked and derided - 'crybabies,'  'snowflakes,'  and 'buttercups.' It is reported that colleges provided  'crying rooms,' days off lectures,  and counselling to help their students recover from their 'grief.'  

That is as reported by various commentators.  I find the sillier things hard to believe, and yet so much that is very silly turns out to be true these days. 

But do 'snowflakes' and 'buttercups' commit violence against those whom they assume to have voted the other way?  If not, who are these haters?  The same ones who carry signs that say 'Love Trumps Hate?'

There have been many reports of violence against Trump supporters. 

There have also been reports of a sudden upsurge in violence against minorities that Trump is supposed to have unleashed, but like those after Brexit, most seem to turn out to be falsified.  

There was the Women's March, 21st January.  It was supposed to be for Women's Rights, but in reality, was more of a protest against Trump. 

Here is a report of one woman's experience.  Jodi Walker and a friend  were accidentally caught up when the March spread further than expected.

See the full video here -

To sum up: - 'A girl went after Angie, and I told her not to go after a pregnant woman, and she said she didn't care.'

This is despicable.  A "Women's March' that included women who would attack a pregnant woman!  That is not anything for the welfare of women.  

Jodi and the friend were able to escape courtesy of a Unity Float made by Rob Cortis.
She thanks him on facebook  

Rob Cortis, I am the one that shot this video. I see you got my friends video too. I never properly thanked you, or maybe I did? I was a bit freaked out, or as my friend said tripping, so I am not sure. Thank you, for saving us and getting us out safely. I do not believe we would have made out alive, let alone unharmed without your help. I do recall seeing what I thought was a young man/teen in your truck. I remember thinking he was close to my son's age, and wondered how he was dealing with it all. I hope he is fine mentally, as I am still "tripping". Thanks again, it feels inadequate but it is all I can think to say.

Those assumed to have backed Trump have been abused for months, well before the actual election. 

One of the nastiest was from Hillary Clinton -  

"To just be grossly generalistic, you can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables," Clinton said. "Right? Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it."

Clinton 'apologised' for that statement, but in my opinion, the way the 'apology' was put only added to the insult. The contempt her team showed for ordinary people is a real factor in her loss. 

Stormy seas
Image from the British Library

The newspapers did not hesitate to follow her lead, and even now, when they try to analyse the unexpected result (unexpected to them)  they are still happy to denigrate Trump voters.  The general consensus appears to be that Trump voters were white, religious and not highly educated  - 'not highly educated' implying stupid.  (These days, I would say rather that 'less educated'  means there has been less time to be thoroughly indoctrinated, such is the sad state of education)

But how would they know who voted which way?  Ask?  But many Conservative voters have learned to keep their mouths shut in the face of so much nastiness directed at them for having different opinions - part of the reason that the polls were repeatedly saying that Clinton was ahead.  
(Other reasons include biased sampling by biased groups.)   

So it's a guess.  And while 'white' should not be an insult, and neither should 'religious'  be an insult, they both are used as insults in these crazy days.

Basically, anyone who is seen to have supported Trump is labelled 'Racist,' 'Bigot,' and 'Islamophobe.' One said that it was not that a person voted the 'wrong'way that they could not be forgiven, it is what it said about them - that underneath there was some sort of a foul person whom they had just not seen before. 

A rocky Thanksgiving celebration for some

The saddest thing was Thanksgiving, such a big thing in America. I saw facebook posts saying that they would not be going home for Thanksgiving because their parents had probably voted for Trump. My guess is that these were mostly college students, the fees paid for by their hard-working parents.

Insults go both ways, of course.  Some are quite creative: 

Bill Maher - 'Democrats remind people of a man who has taken his balls out and put them in his wife’s purse.' 

Some are nasty, some are mispelled rants, and all are vehement.

  'don't tell me your a liberal, that's disturbing. Are you the one who feels empathy for terrorists who slaughter innocent people, don't even respond back if your that mentally ill.' 

"Look Here you dingbat Democrats, Trump is going to put America first going to put the American people first he's the president for all Americans he's not a racist he's not a misogynist and he's not at islamophobic. Islam is not a religion! Islam is actually an army it was created to recruit soldiers to take over villages and communities for a Cult leader name Muhammad who was a pervert. Long should be looked at the same way we look at the KKK it's a dangerous religion! Trump is protecting us from Isis!it call radical Islam. Okay you little ingrates. Uninformed uneducated little twerps. Trump is trying to protect us from getting their heads chopped off. Okay building the wall really important we're not the only country that once borders building that wall is going to help Mexico believe it or not. Sorry I don't like my kids being endangered by illegals that are criminals. ... Trump is putting America first we're talking protection and we're talking jobs it's about time we get to work.'

The way that American Presidential elections are carried out means that feeling are magnified and divisions intensified.

The post below is by Jodi Walker, the one who was so seriously threatened during the Woman's March. This post is what prompted this article. She puts my own concerns into words.  It is written from a Conservative point of view, but it is the utter hatred she met that concerns her most. 

Jodi Walker: 
'The division and hate we have seen from the democrats over the last 8 years has created a divide we can not cross. I know many of us are reaching across that divide, only to have our hands slapped away or worse. I am wondering how our society will survive such institutionalized hate. Men are demonized and women are told all their problems are a result of men. White people are demonized, and the only form of acceptable racism is against them. Racism should never be acceptable, democrats have always supported and fomented racism. Some democrats even openly calling for white genocide. Heterosexuals, or CIS gender as the liberals call them with venom in their tone, are viewed as homophobes just because they are not attracted to their own gender. Anyone that realizes the dangers of open borders is instantly branded a xenophobe, yet nothing is said about other countries that protect their own borders. Protecting borders ensures a country's sovereignty and the safety of the people. I have no problem with any country doing this for themselves.
For women's rights. In the west we have them. I have yet to discover what rights we do not have that we want. There are countries that need women that truly care to come together and speak for them, because they are not allowed to speak for themselves. If you really want to help your sisters, if that is truly your desire, help them. There are many organizations that are in need of volunteers. When Western women go out and protest, we just look like selfish whiners that are too self involved to be able to show compassion to others outside our comfortable bubble. It saddens me to the point that every day it weighs on my mind. How do we get people to be as passionate about this as they are about women's rights in the west?
I often have discussions with what I want to believe are reasonable people. I find that the other side will work diligently to ignore any fact they are given, refuse to read any source material that is suggested, and just end up name calling. One of my most recent and bizarre discussions had the other person calling Trump's signing an order to save our country $600 million slavery, this was money that we were handing over to Mexico for abortions. How is that slavery? If anything the American Taxpayer was being enslaved as we were forced to hand over money we earned to the political elites preferred people, against our will.
We have a lot of work to do. Facts, logic, compassion, love for humanity are needed. Sadly the other side calls threatening the opposition with violence, hating people for just being born as they are, blaming segments of society for all their problems etc. love. I have never seen society as twisted and messed up as it is now. I am struggling to figure out what we do next. It seems to me that only half the country is willing to work towards a better future, while the other half is going to continue to obstruct positive progress by any means necessary.'

Jodi said that she had never seen society as twisted and messed up as it is now. I agree.
And yet there are some voices of reason.

Jon Urstadt    Americans need to take responsibility for their own beliefs, choices, and actions. Trump did not divide the country, and neither did Obama. Americans CHOSE to divide themselves. No man, ever, is held responsible for another's choice. This is the Law of Agency. No one has the power to piss anyone off, unless they CHOOSE to be pissed off. It's their own choice. Just as it is YOUR choice to see things the way you do, and you cannot put that anyone else, including a US President. You are responsible for your own actions, beliefs, attitudes, and emotions. For if you were not, you could never respected for making noble choices, or disrespected for making dishonorable choices. Our court systems are not going to hold Trump responsible for the riots in DC. No, those rioters will be held accountable for their own actions when they are sentenced, and not Trump. 

Secondly, many of these people are mad because of their own world views and core beliefs, not because of Trump. Any US President is allowed to have a world view that represents the other half of the US population. People are mad because someone doesn't agree with them. That's not Trump's fault. Again, that is somebody who has chosen to reject anyone who doesn't agree with them---a very childish thing to do.
  (See Jon’s blog at -  

Another - Yeah what's happened now is that everyone on the right is being labeled alt-right.. and alt-right is now associated with being a nazi. A lot of non racist right leaning people are being associated with nazis when they're not racist, they're just conservative or whatever. To some people who believe everything they hear, over half of the US are neo nazis, that's where it gets twisted. Most people being labeled as alt-right have never said that about themselves. There's so much craziness on both sides right now. This is why I pick from each side what makes sense to me. I'm not saying I'm right, but I'm saying I'm trying to bog through this swamp of bullshit. I'm into any source with as little bias as possible. But a lack of bias means to most people BORING news. Not to me. It would be great to have a fully factual non leaning news source; it just doesn't exist. 

And another:  Stop the negativity. Tell us what you value and aspire to for the US. And if all you ever do is spout insults people just go there's that douche again. You certainly don't cause any of the distress you do crave to inflict.

Author Muse -wasn't going to participate in political banter. But when I see post that generalize one group of people as incompetent based on their voting preferences I get so angry. I'm a conservative, but does that make me a Republican? Not necessarily. I can honestly say I hate Government and most politicians. I think their motives are greasy, and don't believe they have our best interest in mind. It's a fa├žade to make us feel that we live in a Democracy when it's really just plain and simple Socialism with a mixture of Communism. We are not really as free as we want to believe; so many people pacified into complacency by accepting all the free Government hand-outs. If you look at the statistics these people are now the majority, and if you ask them...they will of course say that we are all free. Free to live a life of more over eating and more free time to play video games. Well not I. And if you are reading this and agree with what I'm saying then that includes you too. We are busy working so that we can live our own American dream. And I'm pretty sure these hard working people include both Liberals and Conservatives. And as we already know, when we work we are also supporting others that may or may not be able to support themselves. (And God Bless those that truly need it because I feel for them.) But for the individuals that choose to accept the hand outs due to sheer laziness (which is becoming a huge percent of the populous), these people are indifferent to what's really going on. It doesn't matter if these politicians claim to be a Republican or Democrat, these leach people that are abusing the system will vote for whomever is going to offer them more free hand-outs! See any irony in that? Just like it shouldn't be a black or white thing...why does it always have to be a Democrat or Republican thing???? Did you ever stop to think that maybe the Democratic and Republican party was created to divide the people? When instead we should be working together as one? Arghhh!

That is right - Arghhh!

Trump supporters are not evil racists, bigots, homophobes, immoral, whatever.
Clinton supporters are not silly snowflakes, unrealistic, blind or 'butthurt' which seems to be a favourite word of the day.
And those who truly 'supported' neither, but still thought it their responsibility to vote on the issues to the best of their judgement - maybe they are the most level-headed.

People did the best they knew with the information they had. It is time to recognise that simple fact, and stop making war.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

White lies. When are they ethical?

Lying to convince others of a point of view.

Is it ethical?  Is it moral?  

What if you are really and truly convinced you are right?

This came up recently when I objected to an item on our local news.  It said that 90% of rural people surveyed agreed that human caused climate change is not only real, but a big problem. Now I know for a fact that that is bunkum. I am not arguing in this discussion whether climate change is real or not, what I am saying is that we should not be told lies about how many people believe it.  

This is a copy of the facebook discussion - 
Me - According to something on our local news, 90% of rural people believe that humans have caused Global Warming. The 'survey' was done by the Climate Council. According to what I hear when talking to the rural folk all around me, maybe 1% believe that humans affect the environment, though as many as 25% think there could be some changes in the climate - fewer even than that among older people, who have seen more seasons, good ones and bad ones.
In my view, our local news repeated the lie given to them by the Climate Council.

3rd person:  Humans have been affecting the climate ever since the industrial revolution it's just that they didn't realise it.

Me:  I am not arguing whether or not. I am saying that this '90% believe' is frankly untrue. Unless, of course, they polled ten-year-olds who'd just had the lesson at school - they teach it as fact at schools.

 Colin:  Well, good, because a fact is what it is.

And if we convince 90% of rural people that 90% of rural people accept climate change as a fact, that can only speed the day when they actually do.

Me:    So tell lies in order to get your 'truth' across? Is that ethical in your view? It seems to be in the view of the Climate Council. A large part of the reason that so many are sceptical is that various of their lies have been exposed.

Colin: It's not a "truth", it's a straight fact. "Truth" implies that human damage to the environment is subject to opinion; a fact simply is.

The worse lie here is perpetuating the notion that it's anything but a fact. If reiterating the self-evident truth of the fact is not efficacious, but a white lie will (in this situation) better overcome the persistent and literally pernicious lie in question, then the white lie it'll have to be.

If the dichtomy here is the facts vs what a majority of people choose to believe, then convincing the majority that they believe the facts is a sound approach.

 It might be a white lie now, but the facts underpinning it are true and will be seen to be so. Therefore, the white lie will become retroactively true. It's only temporarily unethical, it'll sort itself out when everyone's over their confusion vis fact vs opinon.

Me:  (You said that)  "More people will accept the facts if they believe that the majority accept the facts. "
That is not ethical in my view. In fact, I think it a shameful thing to do, even if far too common.
I believe in telling truth, not lies.

A bit more discussion including posts for others, and then this from Colin -
The vast majority of scientists do agree on this. The notion that it's in any doubt is a literally pernicious lie.
Besides, we see this particular method of popularising ideas used all the time.  How do they sell clothes?  Well, they tell Demographic X that Fashion Y is popular with people like them. How do they sell politicians? By saying that Demographic X generally agree with Policy Y. 

How do they detract from a rival politician's or policy's support base? By saying that Demographic X generally do not accept Policy Y.
All they've done here is use that to say that, actually, Demographic X are coming to agree that climate damage is real, and we're responsible.

As you see, Colin (not his real name) considers that it is reasonable and ethical to try and convince people that everyone else already thinks that. He agrees that lying is fine as it is only trying to get more people to agree with what he terms fact.

So is it ethical?  I believe not. Lying is lying.

Australian beaches
There have been other instances I can think of.  In the 70s, politicians and the media, those recently termed 'the elite'  (goodness knows why) were constantly telling us (Australians) that we were a part of Asia, and must deal with it.  They said that the 'Asianisation of Australia'  was inevitable, thus trying to avoid arguments from those of us who preferred our own Australian culture, thank you very much. There are now some suburbs of Australia very much ‘Asianised,’ but that push has become quiet, and Australia is not part of Asia.

Australia is changing
Multiculturalism.  We ordinary folk think that immigrants should learn to get on in Australia, respecting Australian laws, Australian customs, Australian people - integration, not ‘multiculturalism.’  

Around the 1980s, a new term was coined - 'Multiculturalism' - that all different cultures can live together, that there is no need for immigrants to adapt, and that the old expectation of 'assimilation' was something close to wicked.
The argument used so often at the time was that Australia was already a  multicultural nation, had been from the beginning, so there was no point in discussing the business further. 
Well, we certainly had immigrants from many countries, especially after WW2.  But care was taken that these ‘New Australians’ did not have a radically different culture. It was not the sort of multiculturalism that has mosques springing up and bastard imams calling women not in a burqa ‘Uncovered meat.’  Telling us that we were already a multicultural nation was a lie.

The politicians no longer bother telling us that Australia has always been a multicultural nation, now there is the lie that we are the most successful multicultural nation in the world, totally ignoring the very big problems that are getting worse and worse.

Is it ever good to mislead people like this?

I saw a blog post once, something about the 'myths' concerning a certain human function. I was in a dilemma there, as what she termed 'myths' were not so at all. But I very much agreed with  her aims.  So I did not challenge that author. 
Should I have done in the interests of honesty?  I do not know.

I am interested in comments about this issue – not comments arguing the facts of climate change, nor the merits of Asianisation or Multiculturalism, but whether people believe that it is all right to tell lies in the cause of the truth – or in what they believe the truth to be.

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Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Soldier Settlement after WW2

This post is purely so that students or researchers might more easily find a useful resource.

 Though covering a small area and a very specific part of history, it is important.

There is a book -  'On the Block - Rocks, Rabbits and Reptiles.'  It was compiled by one of the soldier settlers,  Merv McRae, and contains contributions from many others,  It covers Darlington, Pura Pura and Mortlake, in the Western District of Victoria, Australia.  

The books are priced at the minimum possible. 

 On the Block -

 This is the new edition of the book.

To the left is the front cover of the original book, published in 1987.

To the right is the back cover.

Standard house provided by SoldierSettlement Commission

These are the people who contributed to this book:

Austin, T.   Badham, Greta.   Badham, R.   Banks, J. & M.   Biggin, B.   Biggin, Marj.   Biggin, Rob.   Blain, Mick.   Blain, Marg. (nee Reichman.)   Brewer, Doris.   Buntine, L. & E.   Burgess, T.   Chambers, J.  Cumming, E. & L.   Creen, Ethel.   Edmunds, J.   Erwin, J.   George, D. (nee Watson)   Gill, Lena.  Gladman, Joyce.   Gleeson, W. & P.   Gleghorn, Mary.   Grant, L. & M.   Gray, B. & J.   Gray, D. & Y.  Gray, R. & P.   Grills, L.& L.   Guthrie, L. M.   Hamilton, A. & J.   Hannah, J.   Harding, Jean.   Harrison, J. & E.   Hebbard, E. & M.   Hill, Iris.   Inglis, Louise (nee McRae)   Jackson, Joanne.   Kennedy, F.   Kidman, J. & J.   Krepp, G. & A.   Lade, D. L. & W. L.   Lade, M.   Lawson, Pauline, (nee Piper)   Lavery, J.   Luckock, Jean.   Lyon, W. P.   Lyon, Molly.   Maconachie, G. R.   Menzies, J.   Monds, A. & M.   Moroney, Iris.  McRae, A. M.   McRae, M. A.   Muir, Freda.   Murray, G. & N.   Price, J.   Proctor, G. & M.   Rogash, Lorna.   Robertson, J.   Ritchie, N.   Schafer, A. & M.   Scott, T. & M.   Sullivan, Bonnie (now Kennedy)  Tonkin, A.   Turner, Elsie, (now Christie)   Walker, A. K. & L. J.   Wentworth, M. & I.   Wentworth, J. And Nance,   Whelan, Gary.   Williams (nee Rogash.)