Do not pity progressives

I have for a long time held that we live in a society largely run by special interest groups, a form of governance I call “lobbocracy”. It is the perversion and substitution of liberal democracy by those who hated it. That includes organised labour, commercial interests, the media, the military and especially the political machinery. At some point, we are going to have to take back our respective countries, and hung parliaments and third party options are a good start.

[Read the rest at Evolving Thoughts]



They hated our freedoms, so we instituted warrantless wiretapping, electronic surveillance and denied habeus corpus.

They hated our lack of religious control, so we redoubled our efforts to make discussing religion a crime, and to impose particular religious values on all, irrespective of their beliefs or commitments.

They hated our wealth, so we bankrupted ourselves trying to invade and control parts of the world that defeated all others. To pay for this we taxed the poor.

They hated our education, so we stopped teaching science and history that offended some religious people.

They hated our quality of life, so we took the dangers posed by a few, who harmed a few, and made life less for all.

They won.

Australian internet filter dead in water

Forners may not be aware of an extremely boring federal election in Australia right now. Indeed, few Australians seem aware of this. This is as it should be. Elections that are Interesting usually turn out to be Dangerous. But there is one good that has come out of this. The Coalition of conservative parties has decided not to support the mandatory internet filter. Given that the party most likely to hold the balance of power in the upper house, the Greens, is opposed to it, the filter is dead no matter who wins the election.

Excellent, outcome I hear you say in my head. And yes, it is. But there remains a deeper problem: Australian censorship is among the most draconian and pervasive in the western world, and both major parties have reiterated their devotion to it. This means that any attorney general can refuse a classification to a game, a book, a video that they dislike for no stated reason, and it becomes a crime to own it then and there. And right now, the religious own both major parties. Even though 70% of Australians want no censorship apart from violent and child exploitative material, there is no option. We will be treated like criminal children until proven innocent.

This is why I am voting for the Australian Sex Party. Not because I am a major consumer of pornography or terrorist materials, but because, if it harm none, nobody has the right to tell me what I may or may not see as an adult citizen. The ASP is the only party whose priorities are in the right order: freedom, secularism, and humour. Forgive my suggesting to my six Australian readers that they vote this way too.

The first casualty

The increasing intention of western and non-western governments to censor the internet is usually put in terms of “child protection”, although it is very unlikely to be affected by censorship, merely by using uncensorable techniques like Torrents. But one has to wonder if the real reason is more to do with preventing this sort of thing. It turns out that we have been lied to about civilian casualties and targeted assassinations in Afghanistan, two things that any civilised society should repudiate.

Read the rest here.

Where are all the bastards?

Okay, I have been busy, what with being an idiot and a father (daughter’s 21st – yay! No longer legally liable!) and all that, but I expected there to be hundreds, nay, trillions, of bastard rants. All I found was one held up in a queue by Lorax, which I have released into the wild.

Am I wrong to think there are many more bastards than just me?

Welcome to OB

This blog is set up so that bloggers and those who want to write just one blog post can do so, and link back to their home blog. The idea is that anyone may blog here so long as they observe the rules of ranting in a sensible manner, without personal attacks. If they only want to write one post, they can. If they want to link here to a blog entry at their home site, by posting only the first paragraph and a link, they can.

This blog was started after a commenter at Evolving Thoughts called himself an opinionated bastard. It struck the author of that blog that a blog was needed for rants, raves, and sermons on matters roughly arising from public intellectual topics, especially the politics, sociology and philosophy of science and religion, for people who are opinionated bastards but do not blog frequently, and that this blog would serve as a clearing house for posts along those lines. Hence, bloggers who occasionally rant and rave, etc., and people who rarely if ever blog but want to once in a while, can use this site for that purpose, and readers who like that sort of thing can read from one site or subscription.

The overall style is to be Swiftean, and avoid personality-based abuse. Apart from that, it’s up to the posters what they publish. We will never accept corporate sponsorship, largely because we will never be offered it.

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