Monthly Archives: March 2009

Guide to Australian Internet

How the internet works according to Senator Conroy and his Internet Filter.

filter_flow_chart

Internet filter flow chart courtesy of (well, OK, I stole it. Hope they don’t mind too much?)  crikey.com.au

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Filed under atheism, internet censorship, internet filter

Is Your Pilot Religious?

Then you better hope they don’t have an emergency.

On 6 August 2005 a twin-engined Tuninter ATR-72 turboprop aeroplane was flying from the Italian city of Bari to the Tunisian island of Djerba , when it ran out of fuel. from BBC News

Unfortunately the pilot decided to pray instead of carrying out emergency procedures, and then crashed the plane “in the Mediterranean instead of trying to reach the nearest airport”. Killing 16 people on-board. Obviously his prayers went unnoticed.

It was reported yesterday that the pilot,  Chafik Garbi, has been convicted of manslaughter and jailed for 10 years.

I wonder if he prayed to be found not-guilty? Guess if he did, those prayers went unanswered as well.

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Filed under atheism, prayer

No Clean Feed

More news of the Governments crazy Internet Censorship / Clean Feed debacle.

As you are all probably aware by now wikileaks.org leaked a copy of the Australian Governments and ACMAs URL blacklist. It turns out, according to Stilgherrian writing in Crikey today, that until recently the list was also available from within filtering software available from some ISPs! Stilgherrian poses some interesting questions on the possible size of the banned URL list and whether there may in fact be two lists.

Additionally, it was revealed by Sam Davies in newmatilda today that Australia has been put on a watch list of repressive countries, such as Zimbabwe and Malaysia, because of the government’s clean feed proposal.

I highly recommend you read both linked articles if you are interested in the Clean Feed proposal, its inherent problems, risk of abuse and the position it puts Australia in with respect to democracy and in they eyes of the rest of the world.


Thanks to Mojoey I have updated my Atheist Blogroll page, which now contains a list of all the atheist blogs on Mojoey’s list as of March 2009, in one easy to see long (very long) list.

For other wordpress.com users who can’t put Mojoeys list in their sidebar (due to scripting being disallowed) and would like to have an Atheist Blogroll page like me, I can provide a copy of Mojoeys list as a text file, just ask.

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Filed under censorship, Clean Feed, internet censorship, internet filter

the things you read 2

Stuff that I’ve read on the net lately.

Internet Filtering

Big news this week was the leaking of the ACMA blacklist to wikileaks.org of course Senator (minister who has no idea) Conroy said it wasn’t the real internet blacklist but you could still be charged with a criminal offence if you even linked to it. A brilliant WTF? moment if I’ve ever read one.

[Ed. Why has Australia had so many incompetent idiots in charge of ICT in this country? Every Minister for ICT over the last 12 years (at least) has been a complete incompetent moron when it comes to knowing anything about the internet and/or communications and technology]

Here’s a few links of the latest happenings:

Wikileaks tells Conroy where to go.

The EFA has some updates about the leaked blacklist.

There’s plenty more where that came from, you just have to search for ACMA blacklist to find lots of articles.

Only In Texas

Get a Masters Degree in Creationism.

A Texan Senator wants “private school[s] that teaches creationism to grant a Master of Science degree in the subject.”

I don’t know what to say about this, it’s one of those things that is so stupid as to defy belief. Seriously I’m thinking the “men in the white coats” should be coming along any minute to cart Senator Leo Berman away. Not surprisingly he’s a Republican Senator.

Just Say No

I’ve forgotten how many time’s myself and numerous others have shown that abstinence-only sex education is a complete waste of time and money. Since president Reagan introduced it and with the support of “God told me to” G. W. Bush, the amount of funding for abstinence only education has risen to $175 Million per year (but still the rates of teen pregnancies and STDs has increased, such that the US has one of the highest rates of teen pregnancies in the developed world) and has totalled over $1.5 Billion!!

Well it looks like some sanity may be coming back to America’s education system.

But in an ominous sign for them [abstinence-only advocates], the new Congress is already shifting its emphasis. Louise Slaughter, a congresswoman from New York and a former scientist, has introduced a bill that would fund “medically accurate” comprehensive sex education in schools. It is likely to pass.

I’m thinking the “medically accurate” education will include the use of condoms and other preventative measures. Measures that have proven time and again to work, because no matter what you say or do most people will eventually have sex. So it is far better that they are prepared than ignorant.

Atheist to Battle Christians

Feed me to the lions.

Christopher Hitchens is scheduled to take part in what will likely be a very lively discussion at this weekend’s Christian Book Expo at the Dallas Convention Center.

now that’s a debate that I’d like to watch.

Hat Tips to tweeps on twitter for the links.

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Filed under abortion, atheism, Barack Obama, internet censorship, internet filter, President Bush, religion

I Want to Shop and Gamble

For the first time in NSW punters will be allowed to bet on Good Friday following the decision by Tabcorp to be open for gambling on this once sacrosanct day.  from abc.net.au/news

Not surprisingly religious groups are furious.

Father Brian Lucas, from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, says Tabcorp’s decision shows nothing is more sacred than profit for some.  

Is nothing sacred? Frankly, no.

The head of problem gambling services at the Salvation Army, Gerard Burn, says religious holidays should be protected from trading.

Why should they be protected more than any other public holiday? As it is, as religious diversity and secularism rises around the world these remnants of  observing Anglo-Saxon Christian rituals become less and less valid to the general populace.

Additionally

David Jones, Myer and Kmart have meanwhile applied to the Director General of Commerce to be allowed to trade on previously restricted days like Easter Sunday [in NSW].

as they point out:

religion’s role in society has diminished, but religious and charity groups say the days are two of the last sacred holidays left on the calendar.

boo hoo to the religious and charity groups. Soon there may be no sacred days on the calendar, wouldn’t that be good?

To any religious people who venture here thinking of making any stupid remarks about atheists happy to have the Easter holidays off, forget it, don’t even consider it, you will be shot down in flames. Yes I believe we should get rid of christian based public holidays in a secular society, we can still have public holidays, we can just celebrate something else more important and pertinent to a modern society. Suggestions anyone?

update

Five Public Opinions also blogged about this today, his closing paragraph is sublime:

Or else prepare to be mocked for your obscene presumptuousness in dictating to the rest of us how we should live our lives. That mockery is a sign that human society is liberating itself from the superstitious and unnecessary fear and awe of old male virgins wearing funny robes. History is pwning you. And that’s a good thing.

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Filed under atheism, holiday, religion

Cheap Grab for Ratings, Titillation or Religion Baiting?

Home and Away is set to divide audiences when it introduces a lesbian romance this month.Is this just a cheap grab for ratings (“jumping the shark”), a way to encourage a few young men to watch for a bit of titillation, or just a good way to annoy the conservative religious groups?

Possibly all three, but who really cares?

Not surprisingly

Conservative family groups [read: religious nutbags] have reacted angrily to the plot in the PG-rated show, which boasts a large child and teen fan base.

In my view if it is handled sensitively and not trivialised or sensationalised then there is nothing wrong with having a lesbian romance in a teen TV show. After all there are probably quite a few teens coming to terms with their sexuality and this as Psychologist Dr Janet Hall says “allows families to discuss the topic. ”

Of course the religious nutbags don’t see it that way, they see it as an attack on heterosexuality and trying to convert everyone to teh gays… Oh noes!

The best part of the article is the comments, such as :

Rita Morris 11:25am today You talk about stopping a world full of hatred & animosity yet you are the one preaching it. I am gay yet I dont hate you nor who you are – its a shame you can’t show me the same respect. Stop hiding behind god to justify your bigoted views & look at the hypocracy of what you are saying.

Posted by: Mitch of Brisbane 3:00pm today
Comment 183 of 189

Pity a nice family program gone gay!!! Men and women were “created” and if it were to be only a one sex world then it would have been “created” that way. NO that was not the plan when God created the world. Wake up all you people who talk about being and feeling loved. The moral of happiness is a good male-female relationship, trust, honesty, respect and then may be we will not live in a world so full of hatred and animosity and lopsided views which many think are “right”. This is wrong.

Posted by: Rita Morris 11:25am today
Comment 116 of 189

All you narrow minded pathetic plebs make me sick. Its 2009 and you are still bible bashing going on about how man and woman were created and everything else is evil. What a load of crap. I think its pretty obvious by now that homosexuality is something beyond a person’s control. It’s not simply a lifestyle choice. And as for NORM – you are honestly a waste of human life.

Posted by: J of Brisbane 2:59pm today
Comment 182 of 189

With so much acceptance of this sickening trash and seeing such relationships as “normal”, its really no wonder that this country is in the sewer and our dollar at half price.

Posted by: Norm 11:29am today
Comment 119 of 189

Last time I checked, I thought that PG stood for “Parental Guidance” and not “Passed by God”. Wake up, it’s just a story. If parents don’t want their kids watching two actresses attempting to pass off a lesbian kiss that’s as unconvincing as Matthew Newton in “Underbelly”, pick up the remote and change the channel back to “Songs of Praise”. It’s all about choice. Narrow-mindedness (read: religion) has no place in society anymore, let alone any influence.

Posted by: The Emancipation 2:59pm today
Comment 181 of 189

“The plot lines that young kids and teenagers should be presented with should be about really authentic relationships, and not just sexualized.” So, gay and lesbians can’t have authentic relationships? With a statement like that I think a few conservative family groups need to be come a little less religious, and a little more in touch with reality. That being said I may have to tune in for “the episode” just to check it out. 🙂

Posted by: DavidM of Brisbane 11:31am today
Comment 122 of 190

I think MJ’s sarcastic comment sums up the whole “oh noes teh gays will turn us gay” stupidity:

This is just obscene. Young girls will see this and all become lesbians. You know, just like I and thousands of other gay people turned to heterosexuality after watching straight relationships on the show …

Posted by: MJ 11:23am today
Comment 113 of 190

and this is just so true and so telling of a lot of religious people:

It still amazes me that shows like Home and Away can get more and more violent over the years (stalker story lines, drug dealers holding people at knife point and a whole high school formal being trapped inside a burning building) and no one seems to bat an eyelid….but the second a “gay” storyline commences every one is up in arms. Are we really that much in the dark ages?

Posted by: Bernice 10:04am today
Comment 79 of 190

One final comment:

Gay is unnatural sexual relationship and enemy of God that created Man and Woman as natural sexual relationship.

Posted by: Anthony Mayfield 9:15am today
Comment 34 of 190

Sarcasm or Stupidity?

As quite a few readers pointed out, the only thing wrong with this is it seems to be a cheap ploy to boost ratings.

I think the whole things is a “Storm in a teacup“, but there’s some freakin’ hilarious comments on the article.

Hope these dudes don’t mind too much me ripping off their comments?? 😦

As a funny side note, at the bottom of the article there are some “related” sites including, just for Sean, Outed – the lesbian capital of Australia.

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Filed under atheism, gay and lesbian, GLBT, god, religion