Australians have always called their land down under The Lucky Country and with very good reason. Ever since white settlement this great southern continent has offered its sardonic inhabitants an abundance of resources, huge mounts of land, a relaxed luxurious lifestyle and plenty of financial opportunity. Australia has recently become the wealthiest nation in the world per capita, largely on the back of massive home values (more than double the price of the average US home) and a mining boom that has been riding on the back of China’s industrial growth. Australians enjoy government funded healthcare, large social security benefits, wages that are 50% higher than the US, months of paid vacation every year and a safe gun-less society with virtually no homeless on the streets. However things have been so good for so long that Australians have forgotten what a recession is. It has been over 20 years since their last economic downturn and for this reason the next recession will be the biggest in the nations history. Australia ……. your party is now officially over!
Senator Ted Cruz and the Tea Party would rather destroy America than compromise their radical ideals
The recent shutdown of the US government and the current stalemate over Congress passing a budget has yet again demonstrated the fundamental flaws of our “democratic” system. Extremist right wing Tea Party members, led by the grandstanding of Senator Ted Cruz, have decided that they have the right to hold America to ransom, despite their political beliefs only representing a small minority of America. This of course flies in the face of what democracy is all about; that the majority should determine the nations political policy. In truth this is nothing more than elected criminals holding the entire country to ransom unless their egotistical demands are met. Even more ridiculous is that the potential financial damage they are prepared to inflict on America is many times greater than the cost of the Obama Care healthcare policy that they so vehemently object to. In effect these right wing extremists are holding a gun to the head of the nation in order to ensure that they don’t have to pay for any more band-aids. They might permanently destroy the nation but at least they won’t pay any higher taxes! Of course they will pay much higher interest rates and have to endure a large increase in poverty. No doubt this is just another indication that our democratic system is severely broken and dysfunctional. However the real question is whether American democracy can ever be fixed? Continue reading →
Since World War II the US has held the responsibility of global superpower promoting the international cause of democracy and freedom. This often involves acting as an international police force that tries, along with the UN, to prevent military aggression, unjust wars, ethnic genocide, civilian massacres, military coups, political assassinations and human rights violations. When we find a perpetrator of war crimes we now bring these people to justice via the International Criminal Court in the Hague. This whole war crime conviction trend started in the 1940′s in Nuremberg with the Nazi’s when the world was so shocked at the scale and horror of the holocaust. Six million dead Jews needed justice and for the first time in history the nations of the world agreed to find and prosecute anyone guilty of war crimes.
Never again the politicians all said. Anyone guilty of massacres or ethic cleansing will be pursued and prosecuted. Anyone guilty of political murder and assassination. Anyone guilty of torture and human rights violations. And anyone who wasn’t American of course (I think its in the small print that you can’t arrest the police). But just because we have exempted our politicians from international scrutiny and prosecution by the ICC does not mean our leaders have been innocent of war crimes. American politicians have presided over some of the worlds worst large scale massacres and been responsible for starting many unjust wars. Our government has ordered hundreds of assassinations and they have sacrificed thousands of lives for the sake of political maneuvering and diplomacy. In this article we examine the five worst war crimes committed by American political leaders starting with number five.
My Dearest Facebook,
We have known each other now for eight truly wonderful and glorious years. When we first met in 2005, I was a confused young woman fresh out of university who was still trying to figure out who I really was. I was trapped in a world where I was judged not by what I thought, but by how I looked, who I knew and where I was from. I was the stereotypical marketing manager, come model, come fashionista, come party girl. You were a brash young geeky provocateur from my old Alma Mater. You were full of new ideas, new culture, new experiences and other-worldly dreams. In truth, when I first saw your guise online, my heart skipped more than just a beat.
Does America need its homeless or is it more economically beneficial to eliminate them?
Who needs the homeless I ask? They are the smelly, unsightly and often dangerous individuals that inhabit the streets, parks, subways and dark crevices in every city of this great country. They are the poor unfortunate souls that seep through the cracks in our welfare system. They are the people who have given up on their future, or perhaps never had a future to begin with. Almost every encounter with a homeless person is an unpleasant one, and those daily interactions are becoming ever more frequent. So many have a sense of entitlement, with no sense of personal responsibility for why they ended up in such pitiful circumstances. So many of them have no sense at all, so far removed from sanity and reality they are beyond all our help. No doubt a few of them had little chance from the start…..but most have only themselves to blame. Regardless of their personal journey, the omnipresence of the homeless in America is a ghastly blight on our society. So do we really need the homeless in our society? And if we don’t really need them, how can we be rid of them?
Jason Collins is the first player in big American team sports to come out of the closet as gay
With Jason Collins becoming the first active male player in any of the big four American sports to come out as gay, the LGBT community has broken through yet another glass ceiling. While American politicians have not caught up with American society yet, legalized same sex marriages are surely only around the corner. Homosexuals are an important part of our community at large and permeate all parts of our society. Gay people are now strongly and openly represented in the fields of science, art, business, media, government and military …… and now finally the last bastion of male professional sport. Whether it is Tim Cook heading the world’s largest company in Apple, or it is George Takei being transformed from sci-fi icon to social media phenomenon, the LGBT community is taking great strides in terms of power, influence and contributions to our society. But despite all these recent achievements, how do our modern gay heroes compare to the gay visionaries of yesteryear? It now seems an appropriate time to ask the question “Who is the Greatest Homosexual of all Time”?
Universal Background Checks and Gun Control Laws are viewed by many as a direct assault on our constitutional rights as individuals. Ultimately every society is compelled to draw an ethical line in the sand between the rights of the individual versus the rights of the community as a whole. In America bias towards individual rights is often associated with right wing small government politics. Conversely bias towards community rights is often associated with left wing big government politics. However the power we entrust to the government to legally enforce individual and community rights is a completely different question to whose rights are most important.
Surely we must draw the actual line in the sand before we decide on how much power to give to the government to enforce this legal partition? With regards to gun reform, have we really had a proper debate on where the ethical line should be drawn? Have we fully examined what the long term consequences of gun reform implementation will be? Somehow I think not. Could this hastily conceived reform dramatically compromise our individual rights forever? Could the financial burden in implementing and enforcing these background checks be too expensive to be feasible? We should all just stop and think for a minute …. “Is Gun Control simply too costly?”
Does most of the world really hate America? And if so why?
The recent bombings at the Boston marathon remind us all that we live in a global society in which no one is immune to the effects of global geopolitics. Regardless of whether these latest bombings were the act of international terrorists or domestic right wing extremists, the chaotic scenes in Boston remind us all of that fateful September day in 2001. When the twin towers collapsed we finally realized as a nation that we have some serious enemies out there in the world. We replied to this terrorist threat as we always do ….with overwhelming force and the patriotic belief that we will ultimately prevail. Two long wars and a few trillion dollars later it seems we are not really any safer than we were a decade ago. And one could hardly argue that Iraq and Afghanistan are much better off either.
Despite dramatically increasing airport security and pummeling Al Qaeda to the ends of the earth, the threat of terrorism on American soil remains omnipresent. So perhaps we need to have a deeper discussion about the cause of all this hatred instead of reacting blindly to its violent symptoms? We should now ask ourselves why there is so much hatred directed towards us? And if the world really does hate America, how much of this hatred has been caused by our own international policies?
The recent explosion in undead media content has now reached pandemic proportions – but what does this mean for society?
Mankind has survived many pandemics over the course of history including smallpox, tuberculosis and HIV. However the latest pandemic to hit modern man does not kill, maim or cause any long term physical harm to its victim. It does something much worse and there seems be no antidote to curb its viral spread. The latest infection to hit mankind homogenizes human thought, destroys creativity and targets the very core of fictional invention. The recent explosion of zombies, vampires and werewolves throughout print, television and film threatens to dominate fictional content at the expense of more creative and unique work. So for all purist sci-fi and fantasy fans who remain uninfected, we must ask ourselves “Can we stop this Undead Pandemic?“
Is the Grand Old Party an elephant doomed for extinction?
Our last Republican president is now generally considered one of the worst in the nation’s history. The Bush legacy includes misleading the American people to fight an unnecessary war in Iraq and overseeing a global financial disaster due to fiscal incompetence and a poorly regulated banking system. The modern Republican Party has now lost the last two presidential elections, its electoral base is rapidly shrinking. Despite electoral rejection the Republican controlled congress seems intent on ensuring no budgetary or reform progress can be made under the Obama administration. The Grand Old Party, and the nation as a whole, is now being held hostage by a relatively small minority of right wing extremists who are incapable of compromise or bi-partisan politics. Republican intransigence on budget approvals, nomination approvals, gay and lesbian rights, immigration and gun reform are at complete odds with the vast majority of Americans. Given the GOP’s natural voter base of white Christian conservatives is now in the minority and shrinking, and that many moderate Republicans are being pushed to the left by the extreme right, the future of the party seems bleak indeed.
Whenever a small but loud minority group within a minority party can stonewall a majority elected mandate you know the political party system is simply not working. Over the long term the US democratic system will survive but perhaps not all of today’s participants will. There is a distinct possibility that the GOP may be permanently broken as a political force in this country. Some are now saying it may never win another presidential election given its shrinking demographics and complete policy inflexibility. The convoluted history of the GOP itself may help us answer the topical question “Is the GOP ultimately doomed for political extinction?”.
Why is the Pope resigning at the same time a Vatican sex scandal is emerging?
It has recently emerged that many Catholic priests have betrayed their vows of celibacy and have become sexually active in homosexual relationships. Furthermore, the Catholic Church has hid and protected both homosexual and pedophile priests without any acceptance of compliance or admission of liability. Certainly these revelations have proven that quite a lot of priests are having sex, albeit mostly legal sex. However this is still a major transgression of Catholic doctrine. This issue brings us to another question. Exactly how many Catholic priests are actually having legal sex and how many are having illegal sex with children? And if enough priests are having sex (legal or illegal) what percentage of cardinals are also having sex? And as the Pope is decided from a selection of cardinals, what is the chance that the outgoing Pope is really a virgin?
These allegations of homosexual sex within the Vatican have coincided with the sudden resignation of the Pope. So given the controversial implications, what is the chance that the outgoing Pope is resigning because of his own sexual transgressions of the past? Or maybe this Pope has held true to his vows and is still a virgin? Furthermore, what about the sexual history of the next Pope to be elected by the all secretive Vatican conclave? And will any of these ethical questions ever be truthfully answered by the Church?
Star Trek predicted “Phasers” that could stun an enemy or heal a wound. Did the TV series also seed the invention of emerging Phaser-like technologies some 50 years later?
Jules Verne first started the futurology movement around 150 years ago by predicting amazing future technologies in science fiction classics such as Journey to the Centre of the Earth and Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea. Ever since, futurology has evolved and expanded in terms of reach, popularity, diversity, social application and scientific vision. Verne’s initial vision became the inspiration for other science fiction luminaries such as Edward Bellamy, HG Wells, Hugo Gernsback, Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke. Futurism, or visual art devoted to science and science fiction, then took off in Italy from the 1920’s. Since the early 1950’s futurism has grown exponentially via TV and cinema, with the Star Trek and Star Wars genres becoming notably influential.
Over the last century and a half science fiction has evolved just as science has evolved. But does this mean there is actually a causal link between futurology and real scientific research? Could science fiction actually determine what technologies humanity ultimately invents? And if so, can this new generation of crowd empowered futurists be the ones who shape our future world?
The concept of ethical military research appears an oxymoron at first glance. Military research involves the development of new technologies for warfare……and as we all know warfare is not a highly ethical or moral pursuit. Developing new weapons technologies typically means building more deadly and efficient means of killing people and that cannot be called ethical research. However it is not as simple as that. There are in fact two sides to the warfare coin. Military technologies can be classed as either offensive or defensive in nature. Over thousands of years the history of warfare has been a see-sawing battle between offensive and defensive military technologies. Offensive technologies are designed to kill and take lives while defensive technologies are designed to protect and save lives. Therefore it could be assumed that purely defensive technologies are ethical and offensive technologies are not. But is it really as black and white as that? Cannot some defensive technologies also be used as offensive weapons? Can a non-lethal technology be considered ethical if it provides a massive tactical advantage to one side and not the other? Do moral considerations come into the equation such as who owns the technology, who has access to the technology or who can afford the technology? Or does the simple goal of developing a non-lethal or defensive weapons technology make it ethical research?
Are Gun Control Laws that can prevent large scale massacres even possible in the US?
There is no doubt that among all the western democratic nations in the world the US is the most violent and dangerous country to live in. The recent tragic loss of another 26 innocent lives at a school in Connecticut just serves to remind us of this sobering reality. If any society can lay claim to defining themselves by a single weapon it is American society and the gun. We first conquered the wilderness and indigenous natives with guns, we then won our independence with guns, we massacred each other in civil war with guns, we have fought and died on many foreign soils with guns and now we try to police the world with guns. Moreover, we consider gun ownership as a basic constitutional right guaranteed to us by the 2nd Amendment. Consequently our very existence and evolution as a nation has been defined by the evolution of the gun and we owe much to its existence. However, with over 30,000 Americans dying from gun-related incidents each year, our right to bear arms now appears to cause much more damage than good. Many think that we must zealously guard our constitutional right to bear arms at all costs, regardless of the collateral damage. Others say effective gun control is more important than our out-dated constitutional right to bear arms. But can gun control really be effective in America? Are guns-related deaths just an unavoidable part of US society that we must accept to remain “free” citizens? Or are these tragic gun massacres actually preventable?
Climate change is a controversial topic. While everyone’s opinion on it may differ, there are three basic schools of thought on the subject. First there are the “Believers”, also known by the monikers of Greenies or Environmentalists. Then there are the “Skeptics”, who include conspiracy theorists, fence-sitters and various vested interest groups. Perhaps the most important and most ignored group are the “Scientists”. Recently, some scientists have been saying that pollution could in fact be used as a tool to stop global warming and stabilize climate change. So can Pollution really help save the Planet? Continue reading →
Can there ever be any common ground between the theories of creation and evolution?
Fire and Ice, Hedonism and Abstinence, Religion and the Science of Evolution. Opposites they are, regardless of the many attempts to find common ground where there is none. Most scientists today are not religious because of a simple lack of evidence for a god, while there is a plethora of evidence for evolution. Feel free to pursue the opposite of this exploration, applying logic to the religious argument that science and evolution is “wrong”, and your slope will be as slippery as only a foundation in faith can provide. So let’s proceed with the task at hand. Given that modern science is now doing many things that religion has always claimed to do, we should ask ourselves the question “Should all Christians be Pro-Science?”
The evolution of mankind may ultimately be determined by our addiction to drugs
The human mind is a wondrous and expansive thing that is constantly learning and adapting itself to the changing universe that surrounds us. Nonetheless human beings have a habit of becoming unsatisfied with our surroundings. Dealing with mental anguish and boredom has always been one of our greatest challenges as a species. To meet these challenges many of us have resorted to the use of recreational drugs in an effort to either expand our minds, embrace new experiences or simply to nullify the pain that life has inflicted upon us. Since the time of the ancient Egyptians mankind has sought out, cultivated and harvested a wide variety of recreational drugs to satisfy our cravings, alleviate our shortcomings and nullify our insecurities. The more advanced we evolve as a species the more sophisticated and widespread our involvement in the drug culture. But if we are to believe the teachings of Darwin about evolution, the strongest of the species will always thrive and dominate over the weaker of the species. Hence, given the proliferation of drug use with the technological advancement of our society, we must ask ourselves some fundamental questions. Is the use of recreational drugs just part of the human condition, and to that end is drug addiction actually part of our natural evolution as a species? Continue reading →
The English language is without doubt the world’s most expansive, intricate, subtle and customized language on Earth today. While Mandarin and Hindi might have more native speakers, English has more people from non-native nations conversing in it with some degree of competency. The cultural influence of the English language is unparalleled in human history. There are many beautiful, powerful and subtle words in the English language but in this article we ask ourselves what is the most offensive single word in the world? ….. and why?
2011 Democracy Index from the Economist -Democracies are shown in green and authoritarian regimes are shown in red. The most democratic nations include Australia, NZ, Canada, Switzerland, Sweden and Norway in darkest green. Note the US is not considered to be in this top tier of most democratic nations.
Americans are inherently proud of what we advertise to the world as the greatest democracy on earth. With this statement comes an unblinking belief that America is somehow the world’s moral and political leader because it has invented something uniquely good and morally pure in the world. Some of the uneducated in this obsessively flag waving country of ours even believe America actually invented democracy in the first place (no it was the ancient Greeks). Others believe that America invented the modern form of democracy (no it was the French). Even more believe that America invented the monetization and international expansion of democracy (or democratic capitalism), but alas it was the ancient Romans. So exactly how has America contributed to democracy and how well does the US version stack up against other modern democratic systems around the world? Furthermore, what type of democracy works best for its people and which country can truly lay claim to the title “Greatest Democracy on Earth”? Continue reading →
Internet porn accounts for at least 35% of all internet traffic
Since 1995 the biggest influence on all human interactions has been via the emergence and rapid explosion of the internet. It has changed the way we interact with each other on both a social and business level. More notably it has also changed and revolutionized the way we sexually interact with each other …… and ourselves. There are a plethora of adult social sites to facilitate sexual interactions and pornography downloads account for more than a third of all internet traffic. Images and videos displaying all types of unique and bizarre sexual acts can now be simply and quickly accessed by typing a few key words into Google. Getting access to pornographic material has never been easier and pornography has never been more popular. So now we ask ourselves the fundamental ethical question, is Internet porn a good thing?