Category Archives: terrorism

This is how you do it

So, recent posts have been complaining about the “Made To Care” method of ‘supporting a cause’ – but I’m pleasantly surprised today by a more considerate method of this from a surprising source.

That link goes to the Australian Government’s informational site on the whole voting thing.

And you know what? I’m okay with that. Why?

Because I have the option of clicking on it. It’s not an obnoxious auto-redirect to pro-gay marriage sites, and the site it links to is the official government site about the matter, which is all that’s important on it. The rest of it is up to the people. Yes, I’m using screenshots because Google’s main homepage is regional and affected by where you are. So, I’m not sure how you’ll see this outside of Australia.

So, kudos to Google for being …oddly upstanding on that. Given Google’s history I’m actually surprised by the low key and neutral presentation, but it’s a pleasant surprise, and appreciated.

Still, I share the same concerns about increasing technological presence and monopoly mentioned here.

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In related news, this vote is important, not just for whether or not same sex marriage goes through. I think the Australian people have the awareness that this is not just as simple as so many pro SSM advocates make it out to be. In fact, from England is a great example of why it isn’t.

For one thing, since SSM was approved in England, there have been changes and proofs that the No voters have every reason to be validly concerned about a Yes to SSM being the start of a number of erosions to Australian rights, protections and society. After all, it has happened in the US and England – indeed, it’s been declared that ‘Same sex marriage won’t be ‘proper’ until Churches can no longer opt out.’ This is in direct conflict with the usual assurances that there would have been protections that would allow religious groups and people to opt out of ‘participating in SSM’ – but as WordPress.com’s stance and other pro-SSM groups and speakers have shown, “Acceptance Without Exception” is the full end goal – a truly Orwellian aim that seeks to remove any dissent.

It became clear, during this year’s general election, just how militant the LGBT lobby have become, following marriage redefinition. The primary target was Tim Farron, leader of England’s third largest political party, the Liberal Democrats. High-profile journalists had heard that Farron was a practising Christian. In every single interview thereafter, they demanded to know. Did he personally believe homosexual sex to be a sin? He practically begged the commentariat, to allow him to keep his personal faith and legislative convictions separate. For decades, he pointed out, he had out vocally and legislatively supported the LGBT Lobby. Likewise, he had long backed same-sex marriage, voting for it enthusiastically. This simply was no longer enough.

Support isn’t enough. You must march and agree. Example: Michigan Farmer prohibited from selling apples because of his stance against SSM.

Last December, Tennes, who owns the Country Mill Orchard and Cider Mill in Charlotte, wrote a Facebook post explaining his family’s Catholic views on marriage, and how their deeply held beliefs are why his farm won’t host same-sex weddings.

The city’s response — banning him from its farmers market — reminded the former Marine of the time he spent near the border of North Korea. Tennes could see into the country, and it impacted him how people there live their entire lives in fear of the government.

That’s how he felt when he got the letter from East Lansing.

“I felt it in my gut. This isn’t real,” Tennes recalls.“We have freedom of speech in this country.”

Tennes felt especially betrayed that he was being denied rights he fought to defend while serving his country. His wife Bridget is a former Army nurse.

The East Lansing government isn’t backing down. In fact, it broadened the definition of its civil rights ordinance specifically to ensure the couple wouldn’t have access to the farmers market this season. It applied the ordinance to all of a business’ practices: In this case, what the Tennes do on their personal property 22 miles from East Lansing.

“We require everybody to conform their business practices to the East Lansing ordinance in order to use East Lansing property to sell their goods so that is applied to everybody,” says East Lansing Mayor Mark Meadows.

That slippery slope people were worried about isn’t just about ‘who else would then demand the ‘right’ to be married’ – it included things like these. It is becoming increasingly clear that the fight for SSM or against SSM isn’t just about marriage – it’s about who has the right to conduct business, live peacefully, and who is to be granted the protection of law, the ability to have opinions and thoughts, hold that personal life is separate from professional conduct, and how children are to be raised. “Marriage Equality”‘s intrusion into nearly all aspects of our lives is massively under-stated by pro-SSM advocates. The reality is, we weren’t the ones who turned this into a battleground – their advocacy isn’t for equality, it’s for their being placed as having more rights and privileges as the rest of us – because the reality is, homosexuals are still a minority, and a minority should not have power over the majority. Screaming epithets that people who are against it are haters and bigoted adds nothing to the discussion, and indeed, only highlights that people who push hard for SSM are only concerned with their own indulgence and desires, and in fact consider other valid concerns such as the various ones listed above as ‘trivial and unworthy of consideration.’

A survey in Australia held earlier this year gave this result:

a full 59 percent of LGBTI people said they would oppose a legal exemption allowing religious celebrants (priests, pastors, or other ministers) to refuse to marry two men or two women.

Nearly 60 percent of LGBTI Australians said it should be illegal for a pastor to refuse to marry a same-sex couple. But it got worse.

A full 94.3 percent said a church or a religious organization should not be allowed to deny the use of its property for a same-sex wedding. Australia has yet to legalize same-sex marriage. When LGBTI people were asked if they would allow churches to refuse to host same-sex weddings in exchange for making same-sex marriage legal in Australia, a full 90.6 percent still opposed it.

Ultimately it is that attitude of ‘me, me first! Me only!’ that has been a source of great disgust and served to turn people away from support of SSM.

 

A Cloudy Day

The sky over here where I live in Australia is overcast. In the US right now, it’s September 11, but because I’m ‘in the future’ it’s Sept 12. (For the humor-impaired, that’s a mild joke, the bit about being in the future.) Nevertheless it seems more fitting than the blue skies and warmer weather had for my yesterday.

 

Sept 11 has, over time, become a combination of meaning for me. I do remember the horrible day the biggest terrorist attack in the world happened in New York, and the day holds significance for me in that regard. Why wouldn’t it? That was the day our world changed forever. (And yes it did. We have farcical situations like this one that Sarah Hoyt describes, for example, and the more generalised one in her blog post, which goes more into the societal change.) Incredible stories of that day still hit hard, the heroism of United Airlines Flight 93, the willingness of this female pilot, and, for me the lingering horror and tragedy of the Falling Man and the 200 odd who jumped… for me that is the strongest memory of the Twin Tower Terror attack. Flight 93 makes me weep tears of gratitude and pride, a fierce feeling of wanting to honor the people who fought back. The people forced to jump make me weep in sorrow and sympathy…and understanding.

Continue reading

Buried news

http://www.news.com.au/finance/economy/world-economy/bury-them-alive-white-south-africans-fear-for-their-future-as-horrific-farm-attacks-escalate/news-story/3a63389a1b0066b6b0b77522c06d6476

Why is this under the economics section of the news? This shouldn’t be buried in the back, but should be in the front page section!  But given how it is extremely racially charged crimes – black against whites, no less – it does not surprise me that it was buried.

I’m more surprised that the news was reported at all.

Australian Chrissssstmasssss

My brother-in-law shared this article to me and I have to say, it’s amusing! So I’m sharing with everyone.

Tiger Snake in with the Tinsel

Fortunately nobody was harmed not even the snake. He wanted to shine along with the Christmas tree decor, but that’s a bit much to ask. Maybe he’ll get given a Christmas mouse though!

Other good news: Police foil IS Christmas Day terror plot in Melbourne.

Ever since the terror attack in Berlin targeting one of the traditional Christmas Villages, I’ve been bracing myself for news of additional attacks elsewhere in the world – including the US and Australia. Good to hear our police are on the ball!

We are living in Sci-Fi realms

A friend of mine linked this to me via Skype, and Skype, weirdly enough chose not to let me know she’d messaged me. Bloody hell.

Become a citizen of Asgardia

I wonder how it’ll be determined who goes onto the space station, should it launch? By merit and need, or by who has the most connections? There’s also the matter of more …hah! Earthly concerns; such as recognition of the things which require statehood – I doubt, strongly that they’ll go with a Star Trek concept of ‘no money’ – a concept which, though I love the series, I always found rather implausible (because trade still existed, and there were mentions of things like credits.)

Now, personally, I think they’re looking ahead; but at the same time I wonder how many of the old ‘rules’ will still hold, like the Outer Space Treaty, which is ridiculously vague, and I wonder always who will determine ‘the use of the resources.’ Every country will want to say ‘I need that’ but I do not think that such would simply be ‘given away’ – determined by some uncaring Communist-replacement body that decides who benefits based off some arbitrary guideline.

That said, I think that it’s an eventual step in the future that humanity will expand to the stars, for things like mining, settlement, and so on. It’s all a question of when, and whom. Continue reading

Waste of book

I usually am quite happy with secondhand book purchases, including those procured through online book shops. I get a number of books that way, especially nonfiction.

Most of the time, if there’s a bit of writing on the sides, I don’t mind it. Sometimes, I’ll find it interesting. My father used to write in book margins, usually expanding a bit on an underlined sentence or phrase.

So when I finally got a copy of Civilization and Its Enemies, and flipped through it briefly to see if the description I’d been given was accurate (Slight cover damage, some notations on the margins and underlined sections.) Continue reading

WordPress gets HTTPS

A good number of my fellows use WordPress so I figured this would be of interest to them.

HTTPS Everywhere: Encryption for All WordPress.com Sites

 

Better site security is a good thing, especially if it helps you protect your private information. I know some nutjobs would say ‘oh, if you’re scared about the government, then you have something to hide!’ crap, but really, waving the government around like a huge red flag trying to get the bull to charge ignores the other guy sneaking up behind it – namely: computer crime still exists, and it is a good idea to secure your site against those legitimate concerns. I’m not a security expert, just some person who wants to make her living writing, but HTTPS is a GOOD THING – especially if you’re using your WordPress to manage your online business or professional blog. WordPress getting you that bit of extra security built in for your site, if you use WordPress hosting, is a seriously awesome thing, because if you’re the average blogger (like myself) you’re not likely to know much about the latest in online security or protection or even more than basic HTML tags (the ones that give you italics, bold, images and links are about the extent of my HTML knowledge.)

 

I repeat my statement about not being an online security expert, so please just use the links and my opinion as a starting point for further research from a mostly consumer’s POV, and as someone thinking about wanting to sell a product online (In my case, books/art). If you think I’m an uneducated idiot, spare us both wasting the time and browse away.

Anyone still here, feel free to go on.

So, why is HTTPS a good thing? Instead of trying to explain it and mangle the explanation, I’ll quote and link some of the people who DO know what they’re talking about.

From the EFF:

When does HTTPS Everywhere protect me? When does it not protect me?