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How to “dissolve the fog of lies”. Try truth?

There’s a piece by ABC journalist Julia Baird in The Age yesterday lamenting the demise of “objective facts” in public discourse.

While politicians, lobbyists and supporters initiate fact-less commentary, the media is largely responsible for propagating a narrative based unquestioningly on emotion and personal belief, rather than fact.

Baird cites the ABC’s managing director Michelle Guthrie as an aficionada of “true diversity.” Diversity in newsrooms is one method of dispersing the fog of lies, Baird argues, on the grounds that most are staffed by middle class white men and a few middle class white women. There is apparently a correlation between middle class white men and women, and fact-less reporting.

It seems to me that one must be middle class in order to score a gig in mainstream media: perhaps it is the class, rather than the colour that is the dominant factor here. Perhaps we need to get rid of the middle class if we want to disperse the fog of lies.

This would be an interesting piece of research.

While I heartily agree with the need for diverse voices, calling up Guthrie as a proponent of objective fact and diversity is astounding, given that one of her first acts was to terminate the ABC’s fact checking unit, closely followed by the axing of the world-renowned Catalyst science program, resulting in the loss of a rare team of scientists talented enough to master the delicate art of conveying complex information in a half hour segment. Science broadcaster Robin Williams described this carnage as “morally and spiritually bankrupt.”

Baird concludes that: There is no simple solution for how to dissolve the fog of lies and fake news that has blurred our political landscape.

Well, actually, it’s not that difficult.  Try telling the truth. Try prefacing reports such as the ludicrous segment on Pauline Hanson’s big day out on the Great Barrier Reef with a caution that “what follows has no factual content.” This simple statement shouldn’t get anyone into trouble. It’s the truth.

The fog of lies and fake news that has blurred our political landscape hasn’t done it all by itself. Note the passive voice. Media hasn’t had a hand in this. The fog has done all the blurring. Damn that low-lying fog. Let’s make people of colour responsible for lifting it.

Baird and the rest of the media can angst about this post fact reality all they like, but it’s a circle jerk. The answer is in their hands, so to speak. In the US, trust in media is at its lowest since 1972, and I’m betting there’s a similar lack of trust in Australia. The longest journey begins with the first step. Try truth. We might eventually get to like you again.

This article was originally published on No Place For Sheep.

198 comments

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  1. Marshall Hayes

    Interesting that Julia Baird presides over a popular waffle-fest for vested-interests, The Drum.

  2. Chuck

    Truth?
    If youre going to spuke all things truthiness, a good place to start would be the outrageous imprisonment of Martin Bryant, who has spent over 20 years in gaol for a crime he didnt commit.

    There is not a scrap of evidence that would stand up in court, that could convict Martin Bryant beyond all reasonable doubt, and plenty more that proves it couldnt be him. One eyewitness that even knew Bryant, who was shot in the neck, said it wasn’t him.
    If we can not get the powers that be to admit the truth about the Port Arthur massacre, with all the available evidence that proves the lies, then why bother complaining when they lie to us again?

    Please, for all our sakes, help get justice for Bryant, or go here

    https://gumshoenews.com/category/port-arthur/

    and show me where Im wrong.

    https://www.change.org/p/the-hon-will-hodgman-mp-martin-bryant-deserves-a-lawful-coronial-inquest-and-for-all-our-sakes

    Thanks

  3. kerri

    Truth or at the very least try scepticism. Whatever happened to pithy questions that reveal the BS spouted by tye likes of Hanson.. Current media swallow the lies and re-lie in their chosen form of presentation.
    Reports like those of Caro Meldrum-Hanna of Four Corners are all too rare when they should be de rigueur.

  4. Phil

    Many a good point made in this article. I read the Age link and noted the quote “British conservative politician Michael Gove even crowed in the lead-up to the Brexit vote: “people have had enough of experts!” Until they, say, go to the doctor or dentist or fly in a plane”

    Fair point on the last sentence but bollocks on his opinion about what ‘people’ have had enough of although he has tapped into something worth noting. That line “people have had enough of……” is very typical of Hanson’s public utterances and the media never stop her before her whining turns to an avalanche of idiocy, and ask “what people, how many, on what evidence? Please explain?”

    Our majority media is more stenography than journalism.

    What the British conservative politician was doing was to tapping into the broader public dissonance resulting from ‘experts’ putting forward inconvenient truths/facts that clash with long held and fixed beliefs – no matter how irrational or dangerous those beliefs might be in dealing with the issues of a rapidly changing world.

    Manipulating dissonance rule No 1 – attack the messenger, always attack the messenger.

    Conservatives seem especially adept at using this rule – and they seem especially prone to being manipulated by it – perhaps it comes from conservatism’s foundations rooted in resistance to change and passion for hierarchical order and patriarchal authority?

    An effective politician will intuitively sense this public dissonance and will always take advantage – and if the media is sufficiently compliant then the strategy works and we get the Trumps, Hansons, Farages, Brexits et al

  5. Frederick Froth

    One of my favorite books on the world-wide “conservative” dis-information machine is the book The Republican Noise Machine by David Brock.
    The Australia connections to this machine are described by Sharon Beder in her various books beginning with Global Spin.
    Needless to say Sharon is not very popular with the barbarians that infest the IPA
    Re Michael Gove – he is sometimes featured in the Spectator Magazine, the Australian edition of which is sits squarely within the right-wing noise/spin machine.

  6. Kaye Lee

    Jennifer,

    We are sympatico. I had just written a very similar article. I won’t bother posting it now but this is an excerpt.

    With all the problems facing the world at the moment, the one that is scaring me the most and, in my opinion, causing the greatest damage, is dishonesty.

    Deliberate disinformation campaigns have been eagerly adopted by people who are fed the information google thinks they want to hear.

    It has hamstrung us. It has caused us to mistrust each other. Whole industries have arisen whose sole aim is to skew public perception, to create doubt long enough for them to take advantage, be it financial or political.

    Everyone is busy devising strategies of how to appease people who don’t care about the truth. They have joined them in scapegoating rather than telling the truth about where the jobs have gone and where they will come from. They point at the cost of welfare for putting the country in debt, whilst they give $400 billion to foreign arms manufacturers in case they ever need to “keep us safe” from something other than Indonesian fishing vessels. I would suggest that making friends would keep us a lot safer in this mad world of Trump and Hanson where talking tough has replaced truth and integrity.

    What a sorry compromise if we must forego knowledge to appeal to ignorance.

  7. crypt0

    Phil … It seems the media is sufficiently compliant … not just in Oz, but around the world.
    Too bad about the ABC.

  8. Matters Not

    Why go for ‘facts’ when ‘beliefs’ win every time.

    The demise of ‘fact check’ provides the opportunity for a ‘belief inventory’. Politically, much more reliable.

  9. Chuck

    Further to my previous comment, thanks for publishing it, is an article about Wendy Scurr, a great Australian, who at great sacrifice to herself, stood up for truth and justice.

    https://gumshoenews.com/2016/12/04/great-australians-wendy-scurr/#more-10405

    What a shame that we Aussies, like Matters Not says, prefer to demonise Wendy, and believe the lies.

    COGNITIVE DISSONANCE

    “sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong.
    When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence can not be accepted.
    It creates a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance.
    And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalise, ignore and even deny anything theat doesn’t fit in with the core belief.”

    This is something we can do something about. We don’t have to accept the lies any longer. If we don’t do anything, then we deserve no better.

  10. townsvilleblog

    So good of the NSW Premier’s sister to try to make the impression that the ABC has not fallen to the right wing of politics, when it is obvious that it has due to content. The arrogance of the tories is breathtaking.

  11. Kaye Lee

    . Martin Bryant? Seriously? On an article about truth?

    You wouldn’t happen to be from the shooters party would you chuck?

  12. Miriam English

    Jennifer Wilson, very well said. [applause]

  13. Matters Not

    Sorry Chuck, but it’s your ‘belief’, and similar theories, that worry me.

  14. Michael Taylor

    Further to my previous comment, thanks for publishing it

    Chuck, we’re not going to stop you from offering your comment just because most of us here do not prescribe to that theory.

    However … we had one bloke here some time ago who said much the same as you – 400,000 times and on every article we published. That ended poorly for him.

  15. Jaquix

    I saw Dr Karl this morning on “critical thinking” in which the first thing he said was “Well its difficult in Australia because we have 70% of the media owned by one company”. I know its been said ad nauseum, and perhaps their influence is waning a liittle, , but having grown up in a Murdoch-free country, I for one know what a difference that makes. Dr Karl did admit he had made mistakes himself in critical thinking, but its something I’d like kids to learn early in life, certainly instead of these religious sessions still on the scene. Once taught, it doesnt leave you.

  16. Kaye Lee

    If you go to chuck’s source, gumshoenews, the lead article is about the “Port Arthur conspiracy” and the second article is…

    “in memory of Nick Gonzalez, MD who died suddenly last year, at age 67, during the “Let’s kill 50 Holistic Doctors” rush. But he had three predecessors in the curing of cancer who also suffered persecution. The founder of the theory in question (which has to do with pancreatic enzymes) was Edinburgh zoologist John Beard around 1900.

    Somehow the word about Beard’s cure reached a dentist in Texas, William Kelley, who used it successfully on thousands of patients. I will begin with a statement made by Beard’s colleague, Caleb Saleeby, MD, to demonstrate how far back the persecution of cancer-cure doctors goes….”

  17. silkworm

    Kaye Lee, are you saying there’s not a conspiracy by the cancer industry to discredit holistic cancer cures?

  18. Markus

    Jaquix – murdoch doesnt own 70 % of the media.

  19. Kaye Lee

    Yes silkworm…I am saying exactly that. Because for me to believe otherwise would involve a worldwide conspiracy by those who devote their lives to trying to help people with cancer being complicit in a cover-up. I am sure there are treatments that can help sufferers and I believe the mind can do wonderful things, but no, I do not believe a cancer cure is there and being deliberately suppressed. And I do not believe there has been a night of the long knives with the only people who know about it being bumped off.

  20. Max Gross

    The Third Estate is failing us. The LNP is screwing us.

  21. paulwalter

    Yes. It would be clearly a good piece if it wasn’t so depressing.

    Repulsive, Baird sucking up to the new ABC Establishment and it is inevitable given Brandis censorship laws eradicating fact based news on real issues. She is trying to cover up for the negative publicity her brother received last week on employ of imported 457 visa workers for the NSW public service.

  22. Terry2

    I quite enjoy the Drum and Julia Baird as a presenter but there has been a pronounced drift to the Right with people like the IPA tag-team, Nick Cater and Rebecca Weisser. They are so far to the conservative right that they make a centre-right contributor like John Hewson look like a Leftie.

    Markus : In my region of Far North Queensland there are three daily newspapers all of which are owned by News Corporation – Courier Mail, Cairns Post & the Australian – so that’s 100% of the print media around here and in many other parts of Queensland ; I can’t speak for the rest of Australia but it would be worth getting some feedback from around the country.

  23. Chuck

    I notice those that are speaking against what Im saying, offer nothing but their opinioln and insults. I did ask if you disagreed with me, if you could show me where what they were saying at gumshoenews, was wrong, but youve offerred nothing of substance.
    I guess it is hard to make a case when you have no evidence.

    That cognitive dissonance is nasty stuff eh?

    Cheers.

  24. Kaye Lee

    Nope. It is inordinately easy to make a case when you have no evidence, the Port Arthur conspiracy being one example. You don’t think him pleading guilty was a sign?

    http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/news-life/real-horror-behind-the-port-arthur-conspiracy/news-story/e679be04cc84b1977dce216b526986b8

    Another recent example is the Trump supporters interviewed on CNN who swear they heard Obama telling illegals to get out and vote. When asked where they heard it they said it’s all over the intenet…”Google it, it’s on facebook”.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DEdpTIXuro

    Even though this false allegation about Obama came from a doctored clip (the original can be accessed with the unedited transcript), these people still believe what they read in articles shared on Facebook.

    http://www.smh.com.au/world/fake-news-cnn-reporter-dumbstruck-by-donald-trump-voters-convinced-of-mass-voter-fraud-20161201-gt29ry.html

    Then there was the “Global Climate Science Communications Plan,” which detailed just how the fossil fuel industry would spread their disinformation.

    http://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/attach/2015/07/The-Climate-Deception-Dossiers.pdf

    https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/climateinvestigations/pages/31/attachments/original/1412795236/Screen_Shot_2014-10-08_at_3.05.13_PM.png?1412795236

  25. Kyran

    Back in the 80’s, Murdoch had a dispute with unions over the shift of his production facility to Wapping. With the assistance (and encouragement) of Thatcher, he won. The print union was the primary target, but the journalist’s union got nailed at the same time. Journalism, from that time on, was changed forever. ‘Syndication’ became the new buzz word, and sub-editors became the new ‘journalists’.
    There are a few ‘news services’, Reuters, Al Jazeera, AAP, etc who provide subscription services to MSM, allowing ‘poetic licence’ in how the news item is portrayed. How many times have you read an account of the same incident on different MSM outlets and noted that, whilst the specifics are similar, the nuanced interpretation of the item is different? What we now refer to as journalists are little more than sub-editors, who ‘re-interpret’ the ‘raw feed’ from the news services.
    The demise of the ABC has been going on for a while now. There was a miniature for telecommunications, talcum was his name, who dispensed with an ABC tech journo, Nick Ross, for daring to try and write about how seriously talcum’s ‘improvements’ to the NBN were likely to impact it.
    The ABC got rid of the ‘comments’ capacity on its ‘Analysis & Opinion’ portal and then produced more ‘opinion’ articles than ‘analysis’. For what it’s worth, Baird isn’t that bad. Verrender is quite good. I’m tipping their contracts won’t be renewed.
    talcum has been consulting widely on the ‘changes to media laws’. Mid October;
    “Malcolm Turnbull dined with Rupert Murdoch’s senior Australian editors in Canberra on Sunday as the government pushes ahead with plans to reform national media ownership laws.
    Mr Turnbull hosted an informal lunch with News Corp Australia editors at The Lodge in Canberra ahead of the resumption of Parliament on Monday.
    The guest list is understood to have included editor of The Australian, Paul Whittaker, Chris Dore from Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, the Herald Sun’s Damon Johnston, and Courier Mail boss Lachlan Heywood.
    It comes weeks after editors from Fairfax Media met with Mr Turnbull at an afternoon tea event in Sydney.”
    From the same article;
    “Championed by Communications Minister Mitch Fifield, the plan would make major changes to Australia’s media ownership laws through scrapping the “reach” and “two-out-of-three” restrictions, allowing television networks to broadcast nationally and companies to operate in whatever forms of media they like.”
    In all of the articles about the negotiations changing the laws on media that I have read, truth has not been mentioned once. Hardly surprising since the discussions are between politicians and media owners. Not one article has mentioned oversight. Not one article has suggested that the Australian Press Council, as a self regulator, is adequate or sufficient. Yet not one has suggested an alternative.
    I think we are in a very bad place at the moment. I’m normally a ‘glass half full’ person.
    Thank you, Ms Wilson. Take care

  26. Chuck

    Kaye,
    look into the circumstances of his guilty plea.
    His own defence admitted it was coerced, therefore, you can not count that as evidence against him. 6 months in solitary confinement, all the while pleading his innocence. Suddenly changed on the promise of access to a television.

    Instead of blabbering on about any other conspiracy theory you can think of, all I asked, in the case of Port Arthur, was to find a single piece of evidence to convict him, or anything in the many pages written @ gumshoenews, where there is an error.

    If Bryant is truly guilty, there must be enough evidence to fill a book. Good luck.

  27. Kaye Lee

    “6 months in solitary confinement, all the while pleading his innocence. Suddenly changed on the promise of access to a television.”

    The massacre occurred at the end of April 1996. This article contains a video of Bryant confessing in early July. He is laughing and seems under no duress.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3479871/Martin-Bryant-conspiracy-theorists-insist-Port-Arthur-massacre-staged-end-gun-ownership-despite-killer-s-confession-screening-TV.html

    Here is the court report which begins

    MR. BUGG Q.C. (Stating facts): Your Honour, Martin Bryant has pleaded guilty to all counts in the indictment which was filed in this Court on the 5th of July.

    This contains all the evidence you are asking for

    https://web.archive.org/web/20010508013225/http://www.shootersnews.addr.com/cttranscript.htm

    “Although it has been widely reported Bryant is in solitary confinement, he has in fact been housed in various secure wings of the prison with select other prisoners for almost 19 years.”

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/special-features/in-depth/monster-on-the-inside/news-story/751e16b4517c9d4d4226e6ba78d5b079

    The police officer that guarded Bryant in the hospital, who also knew him personally, heard him say “I hated the Martins. I did it because they were the worst people in my life.” They were the owners of Seascape who were killed first in the chain of events of April 28. Witnesses spoke to him there when they pulled up asking about accommodation and the police found him there the next day setting fire to the place and he taunted them to come and get him…which they didn’t do, waiting until he was forced out by the fire.

    http://www.news.com.au/national/my-time-with-mass-killer-martin-bryant/story-fncynjr2-1226738815697

    If you want a shorter version of the evidence wikipedia gives a detailed account with links to references.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_Arthur_massacre_(Australia)#cite_note-SupremeCourtCase-9

    Is that enough evidence for you to start on?

  28. king1394

    Facts and truth are also undermined by the reporting of things that have not yet happened. The speculation about political party leadership is an example. Often a significant article that says this or that person has indicated that something might happen, or that if someone might back away from a decision that could indicate … This is not fact but it affects people’s understanding of issues. It is even worse when some terrible disease is indicated to now be cured, but the fact is that there have been some hopeful results at an experimental stage.

  29. Chuck

    Kaye,
    Im talking about 6 months in solitary, before he was even sentenced, not the 20 years since, 6 months in solitary, pleading innocence, that is nothing short of torture, remember we are told he had an IQ of 66. I struggle to comprehend how Id cope with that< and my IQ is a couple points higher than Bryants.

    Thanks for your links, but youve provided nothing new. , I have read those transcripts, and seen the television interviews. the transcripts you linked to, are missing quite a bit that I have read, you only have half the story.

    The police officer that guarded Bryant in the hospital, who also knew him personally, heard him say “I hated the Martins. I did it because they were the worst people in my life.”

    well, that testimony shouldve been heard under oath aand cross examination, like all the other eye witness testimony, that all said the gunman had a scarred, pockmarked face, while Bryant was blemish free.. but theres much more, that you can read at gumshoenews.com

    you link to murdoch news sites, as if that is evidence. Here we are, on an article talking about truth in media, and you want me to accept the word of the biggest liars in the media. demonstrably, especially in regard to Bryant, but so much other "news" too.

    The ladies at gumshoenews work very hard, and have spent a lot of time explaining why it simply couldnt have been Bryant, even the police admitted they had no evidence to link Bryant. He didnt even have a trial. thats why they had to wait for a guilty plea.. so they didnt have to have a trial. it wouldve taken 5 minutes to dismiss the case. His defense lawyer, has since been disqualified from practice, – for fraud. nice bloke.

    If you can show anything they have said is wrong, or provide something new, not the same old allegations that have been shown to be full of holes, then please post that.

    I know you didnt have enough time to go through all the work that has been posted at gumshoenews.com – maybe this will help, a quick rundown

    https://daliamaelachlan.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/enough-is-enough-22-8-16.pdf

    Cheers

  30. Sam

    I don’t get why the ABC continues to shift to the right. This and any other coalition government will still cut funding regardless. Murdoch media editorials, opinion columns and letters pages will still decry the ABC as a leftist haven, even if they were to become as right as the Murdoch media itself, so why not stay the course?

  31. Kaye Lee

    Myron Ebell is Director of Global Warming and International Environmental Policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a libertarian advocacy group based in Washington, D.C. He is also the chairman of the Cooler Heads Coalition, a loose coalition formed in 1997 which presents itself as “focused on dispelling the myths of global warming by exposing flawed economic, scientific, and risk analysis”. In these organizations, Ebell has been central in promoting climate change denial, distributing his views to the media and politicians. Ebell, who is not a scientist, has been described as a climate change skeptic, a climate contrarian and a climate change denier. He is one of the authors of the “Global Climate Science Communications Plan”, an excerpt of which appears above (6.32pm)..”Victory will be achieved when…”. His climate change misinformation has been funded by Exxon Mobil and the Koch brothers

    In September 2016, Donald Trump appointed Ebell to lead his transition team for the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

  32. Chuck

    Kaye, did you hear the police negotiator on the phone with Bryant, all the while, you can hear gunshots going off in another room…
    did you hear that?

    Did you know, Graham Collyer knew Bryant before the massacre, says that it was not Bryant who shot him in the neck. Did you know that?

  33. Matters Not

    Maybe the ‘preppers’ aren’t RWNJs after all? Just prescient? But coming from totally different assumptions. Seems it’s a completely changed ‘common sense’ in political discourse.

    My guess is that Myron Ebell will hang James Hanson on an intellectual cross? Or at least try to so do.

    Perhaps we will now have people believe that 2 plus 2 is 5 – using Base 10. (Not 12 in Base 3 nor 11 in Base 4 nor …).

    Chuck, you must really establish a credible argument as to who did it and why if you want to advance your argument. Jst sayin ..

  34. Kaye Lee

    “The culprits, Vialls claims, were specialists comprised of retired members of American and Israeli special forces. Their motive? To force the government to enact gun legislation that would leave our citizens defenseless”

  35. Matters Not

    “The culprits, Vialls claims, were specialists comprised of retired members of American and Israeli special forces. Their motive? To force the government to enact gun legislation that would leave our citizens defenseless”

    I am now convinced. But how is it, there’s no record of their ‘coming’ nor their ‘going’?

    Silly me, the videos at the airport and elsewhere were all wiped. Their presence simply disappeared into the ‘miasma’? Or perhaps they departed on the same submarine that ‘spirited’ Holt away.

    Oh to have belief . But I must away, Santa is coming, and I need to prepare.

  36. Robin Finlay

    Journalism should play a pivotal role in maintaining a democratic society and notions such as free speech. But, quite frankly, it doesn’t in the modern world. It has become the pawn/porn (not quit sure which is more appropriate here) of corporations who are allowed to own every aspect of it, without constraint. This has proven to be catastrophic for ‘truth’ on every level. It is not just about political reporting; it is about everything that has money or power attached to it. That is why we see infomercials shamelessly offered as part of the daily diet of news. It is why we don’t see journalists behaving as champions of the downtrodden, unless that story will improve ratings and allow networks to charge more for prime time. It is a business of popular BS; and THAT is really sad because it can be transformational. This manipulation of ‘facts’ and enslavement to what is popular, is not new behaviour. Censorship and media manipulation as a means of controlling the mob goes back to ancient times; however, the degree of access to information makes what journalists have to say, much more influential. As a teacher, I have to actively train my students to be resistant to your charms. That’s right ‘don’t listen’ and ‘don’t read’ without thinking about the perspective of the journalist and who owns them! This is terrible, as I would much rather that more journalists identify the line between news reporting and editorializing for themselves. Sorry, but you ALL suck at this. Whilst bad leaders are dangerous, they don’t get far if you take away their ammunition. Solving the problem of bad reporting needs to start at the ground. Every journalist needs to take articles to their Editor, that observe the facts and stick to the facts. Twelve year old children can do this, when they turn in an English assignment, so why can’t you? The job of the Editor is to choose an article. So make the choice an easy one and write a better article. Stick to the facts. Whilst I appreciate that when it comes to television reporting, and online blog style journalism it gets harder to manage because popularity is even more seductive in this environment. Please stop and think! The fallout for sensation is far too high a price for all of society to pay. So think, before you hit send. Again, small children can learn this principle. Journalists will always play a pivotal role in our society. What kind of voice do you want to have?

  37. lawrencewinder

    Hmmm.. and Baird herself? Hardly a paragon of facts….. and considering her guests on “the Drum” the article is more of pot-calling-kettle -black!

  38. Chuck

    “Chuck, you must really establish a credible argument as to who did it and why if you want to advance your argument. Jst sayin ..
    Kaye LeeDecember 4, 2016 at 11:43 pm”

    That would invite people to accuse me of being a “conspiracy theorist” and I would be condemned for that.

    Id rather stick to the facts… like the fact that the police report has Bryant in one place, while shots are being fired at another.

    All the holes in the official account, eye witness account who state categorically it was not Bryant, aare all of no consequence because I wasnt there, wasnt in on the plot, and cant name names?

    Fact is Matters Not, ( sorry, just noticed it was Kayes comment you quoted ) you do believe, you believe the official account, because that is what the liars tell you. Say g’day to Santa for me.

  39. Chuck

    Kaye
    ““The culprits, Vialls claims, were specialists comprised of retired members of American and Israeli special forces. Their motive? To force the government to enact gun legislation that would leave our citizens defenseless””

    Many years ago Oscar Wilde said “Literature always anticipates life. It does not copy it, but moulds it to its purpose.” In 1988 Australian newspapers reported New South Wales politician Barry Unsworth’s claim that there would be no effective gun control in Australia until there was a massacre in Tasmania.

    That was very good example of Mr Unsworths prospicience. Of course we all remember the gun buy back and regulations that actually did take place on the back of the events of Port Arthur.

  40. wam

    Wow, what was true about hansons trip? Certainly the reef is healthy, at that resort? Was that the point? Did they or the ABC pay hanson?
    Terry2 our access is solely murdoch with heaps of fog.
    The key to the news we read:
    news lmtd begets zealous editors(rebekah) who beget zealous journalists who tweak stories to fit the real or virtual rupert.
    For balance we have two TV channels neither have labor views but the clp has been so abysmal that little positive can be reported. Indeed our ABC radio morning presenters were rabbottian in their pursuit of gillard’s debt crisis and M. Hulot on the tripling of the debt.
    Clearly the murdoch-like squeal for zeal is heard in the baird.

    As for truth no journalist or politician lies without a truth behind it.

  41. Chuck

    correction. I stated a fella shot in the neck, knew Bryant before..

    I was mistaken

    “Graham collyer did not know bryant before.
    he was a tourist. his significance is that he saw the gunman close and later said Not Bryant.
    the “one who knew Bryant is Roger Lanyer who saw him around 1pm near larners home.

    but the winner is jim laycock, whose statement is in the dpp files, Jim knew Bryant for many years and he saw the gunman do a killing at the General store.”

    I thank the ladies at gumshoenews.com for setting me straight.

  42. Matters Not

    Thanks for the ‘correction’ Chuck. But are you suggesting that after all these years, the ‘truth’ is still being modified? If so, then what degree of confidence should we have in the alternative (but apparently true) construction of reality?

    Perhaps you could put that question to the ladies at gumshoenews.com? You know, have the ‘experts’ expound? Given as you yourself admit, you are just a ‘spear carrier’ – without full knowledge? Someone to be put straight.

    Shit, credibility is a problem. Hard to establish but so easily destroyed.

  43. maxpowerof1

    Run for the hills MN

    You are not a carrier of truth with this debate either.

    The premise of the debate?
    Discrepancies and unanswered questions.

    As for an unrelated earlier response that would not post “i support exoplanet and orchidjar”

  44. maxpowerof1

    Mental health last post

    John

    You’re a genius brilliant writing

  45. Matters Not

    maxpowerof1

    Discrepancies and unanswered questions.

    Always the case. Just refer to Chuck above for confirmation. He’s still being ‘corrected’ by the ladies at gumshoenews.com.

    And your source of ‘truth’ is? Perhaps the offspring of the ladies at gumshoenews.com ? Or does that description fit you?

  46. Michael Taylor

    John

    You’re a genius brilliant writing

    John who?

  47. maxpowerof1

    Nials mh thread

    Mn
    Would you clarify your point?

    To save you the hassle,

    I don’t believe the govt, from then or now.
    I don’t believe the media then or now.

    The author points out discrepancies from another website.

    You disparage questions that you, yourself, can not or will not answer.

  48. flogga

    It’s going to end poorly for Chuck

  49. Mary W Maxwell

    Kaye, I am the author of the Gumshoe article about Nick Gonzalez. It’s a short article – did you read it or did you stop at the first 2 paragraphs? Anyone who would read it would see that doctors since 1911 have been saying that they faced heavy pressure (and sometimes death) for introducing a cancer cure that differed from the Big Three (surgery, chemo, radiation).
    Those three are mandated in each if the 50 US states, owing to control of the AMA by the Rockefellers. (This is no secret.)
    Kaye, you say you can’t believe this conspiracy exists, as “those who devote their lives to trying to help people with cancer [wouldn’t be] complicit in a cover-up.”
    The persons who persecuted Gonzalez et al do not exactly fit the description of “those who devote their lives to trying to help people with cancer.” The opposite, actually.
    You might enjoy my very well-researched book “Consider the Lilies: A Review of 18 Cancer Cures and Their Legal Status.” It’s a free download at whale.to.

  50. Chuck

    Matters Not
    ” But are you suggesting that after all these years, the ‘truth’ is still being modified?”

    absolutely. I could write a list as to why.. but absolutely.

    ” If so, then what degree of confidence should we have in the alternative (but apparently true) construction of reality?”

    well, that depends on the amount of alternate information one can muster, and their ability to sift the wheat from the chaff themselves. We have thousands of credible professionals and the majority of world opinion, that question the reality of the official account of 9/11, because the official account does not stand up to the slightest scrutiny.

    so who did 9/11? why? in the abscence of official answers to fill the holes in the story, people will obviously theorise, and these days, to do that is deemed an action of the lunatics. Id say, to believe the lie, even when presented with provable chackable facts.. that show otherwise, is what people should be showing derision for.

    As a “spear carrier” – thanks, I like that, I simply try to add a voice to the alternate argument of what is being presented in main stream news, and this site, that predominately supports the views of main stream news, and asking people if Im wrong in what I am saying, to point that out, instead, Im usually met with insults and outrage, but never any proof to support the account I am trying to highlight.

    If you did go to gumshoenews, and find something you disagree with, you will be met by people who have dedicated a lot of time to the case of Port Arthur, and yes, it would be better to question those people, and not the spear carrier, not just because they can write better than me.

    Im not here to try to convince anyone of anything, ultimately that is up to each individual to make their own choice, Im just offerring my opinion as to why I believe what I do, and in the case of Port Arthur, my belief is that Martin Bryant is innocent, and simply deserves a fair hearing and an inquest, and the source of the informattion I base that opinion on, and provide links so that others might edify themselves the way I have done, and if they can show me why I am wrong in thinking how I do, then I heartily welcome that too.

    The thing is, I have met no one that can point to anything ( other than an infamous coerced confession ) to link Bryant to the Massacre, so if they truly believe Bryant is guilty, that is what an inquest/trial would find, so why would anyone want to deny all the truth be heard, and justice truley be done, the way it has been done in other cases, but not this one?

    Cheers

  51. Chuck

    flogga
    “It’s going to end poorly for Chuck”

    tell me more…

  52. Kaye Lee

    Mary,

    No thank you. I don’t think that your “PhD in Political Science, and law degree LLB gained rather late in life” qualify you to pass on your views about cancer and autism cures. I note that you ran for US Congress – Tea Party I’m assuming? I also note you don’t agree with the theory of evolution.

    I think I’ll stick with the real researchers…you know…the ones trained in molecular biology that you seem to think are purposely ignoring a cure. I would also point out that our government funds a lot of our medical research and they would save a shit load on their health budget if they found a cure….or do you think all world governments are complicit in the scam too?

  53. Michael Taylor

    Im not here to try to convince anyone of anything, ultimately that is up to each individual to make their own choice

    We’ve made our choices, Chuck. They were made long before you tried to convince us of Bryant’s innocence, so I might suggest that trying to convince us is a mighty waste of your time and ours. (Actually, it’s a bigger waste of your time as you do the typing, but I doubt if anybody here is reading).

    As for “I’m not here to try to convince anyone”, that is not the impression we get.

    Take this as an opportunity to move on to the next site in your list where you won’t be trying to convince anyone of anything.

  54. Matters Not

    If you really want to waste some time take a look at (some only) Mary’s ‘videos’. Conspiracies abound.

    Hard to be kind.

  55. Kaye Lee

    I don’t think it is necessary to be kind to someone who is obviously trying to make money out of misinforming people, especially when it relates to their health. In fact I will go further. I find it despicable and wilfully, perhaps criminally, negligent.

  56. Miriam English

    I had a look at Martin Bryant’s police interview. He sure didn’t seem innocent to me. He was enjoying thinking he was playing the cops. He admitted in the initial interview that he took the guns in the car that day, that he kidnapped a man and stole his car, putting the guy in the boot, and then killing him. Many, many injured victims identified Bryant as the shooter. At the end of the police interview Bryant thought the tape had been switched off and admitted that he was the killer then said “You should’ve put that on recording.” The detective answered, “Oh, it’s still recording at this present stage so that is on the recording.” The police were very polite and almost friendly to him. Nothing about it was coerced.

    He pleaded guilty first to only the murders, not the attempted murders because he wanted all the injured victims to come in and identify him. He wanted to bask in the “glory”. He later changed his plea to include all the attempted murders too.

    It does seem a bit difficult to shoehorn this into a conspiracy. A conspiracy to take our guns away? In order to do what? Twenty years later… what? Seems to me this conspiracy is thinner than tissue paper.

  57. Matters Not

    So KL, you think there’s mala fides (bad faith) involved? Not, perhaps her ‘heart’ being in the right place and she’s just delusional?

    Then again, because the ‘outcome’ is both ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’, she should wear the consequences. But probably won’t.

  58. Kaye Lee

    Mary also has her doubts about the Lindt cafe siege and Mon Haris’s girlfriend’s murder conviction who she doesn’t believe is guilty. She apparently attended the trial.

    “Amirah Droudis was 33 when she committed the crime. (I doubt that she did commit it, but am going with the flow here.)”

    Mary is a real detective it seems….her beliefs are more important than any evidence. She is up to “Lindt Café Inquest, Part 34: Update on One of the Three Doors, and the Stairs to the Toilet” and “Droudis Trial, Part 7: The Sentencing Hearing”.

    I can feel another book coming on.

    Lawdy lawdy, what a bunch of fruitcakes at that gumshoenews site and what a perfect example of a “fog of lies”.

    MN, I could run with delusional if it was one or two firmly held beliefs but Mary covers the whole gamut of conspiracy. That, to me, indicates she has very knowingly selected her audience and is feeding them what they want to hear.

  59. maxpowerof1

    From the same mob that have demonstrated a serious lack of comprehension and objectivity in the doomsday thread.
    Back slaps all around for collective of stupidity.

    Go on. Congratulate each other again!

  60. Kaye Lee

    No back-slapping occurring or necessary. What is vital in this post truth world of people talking total bullshit with gullible people believing them is fact-checking.

  61. maxpowerof1

    Too late
    Go and re-read the doomsday comments from an objective point.

    A pathetic display of cronyism from a mob that is too blind to see.

  62. Roswell

    I get the impression, maxpower, that everything that has gone wrong in the world is the fault of people who don’t think like you do. Have I got that right?

  63. maxpowerof1

    A troll question.
    No real quest and no objective answer.
    Try again.

  64. Kaye Lee

    Grrrrrrrr

    maxpowerof1,

    You have contributed absolutely nothing to this discussion. Don’t try my patience. Roswell has the respect of everyone here.

  65. maxpowerof1

    I contribute to the whole forum.

    Can you clarify your question roswell?

  66. Chuck

    wow..
    an awful lot of abuse… but not a scrap of substance from any of you. if Bryant truly was guilty, there must be enough evidence to write a book. where is it? anything? anyone?

    @ Michael

    “We’ve made our choices, Chuck. They were made long before you tried to convince us of Bryant’s innocence, so I might suggest that trying to convince us is a mighty waste of your time and ours. (Actually, it’s a bigger waste of your time as you do the typing, but I doubt if anybody here is reading). ”

    you choose to believe what the liars tell you, good choice 🙂
    ummm… youre doing as much reading and typing here as I am, but Im not surprised that little fact went right over your head, facts are obviously not your forte.

  67. maxpowerof1

    Everyone thinks different.
    Faults for all the worlds problems is mostly the responsibility of others and their choices

  68. Chuck

    Kaye,
    “No back-slapping occurring or necessary. What is vital in this post truth world of people talking total bullshit with gullible people believing them is fact-checking.”

    fact checking, you really should try it one day. I suppose you think 9/11 official account is the gospel as well..
    heres a fact, an open scientific investigation has found the official account of building 7s demise, is not possible, ( prelim findings )

    http://www.activistpost.com/2016/09/preliminary-results-of-wtc7-study-show-fire-could-not-have-caused-collapse.html

    – so tell me what you think really happened, no wait… dont tell me what you think, you think what they tell you to think… never mind..

  69. Roswell

    I ask a question, so I’m a troll.

    The accuser asks me a question in return. That must make him a troll too.

    Can someone help me out here? Was there a decree against questions during my absence?

  70. maxpowerof1

    You could clarify your question

    Although I have provided an objective answer, you may have missed it.

  71. paulwalter

    Roswell, know the problem…

  72. Kaye Lee

    To mark the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the collective 9/11 Truth movement gathered in New York City for two days of street actions, outreach, and the “Justice In Focus” 9/11 Symposium.

    Dr. J. Leroy Hulsey, of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and two Ph.D. research assistants are partnering with the non-profit Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth for a two-year engineering study known as “World Trade Center Building 7 Evaluation.”

    “We will investigate the collapse. We probably will not be able to tell them what caused it, but I could tell them what did not,” Hulsey told MintPress.

    During an interview at the Justice In Focus Symposium, Hulsey said that the team has already investigated the theory that fire caused the building’s collapse. “It is our preliminary conclusions, based upon our work to date, that fire did not produce the failure at this particular building.”

    …..

    I looked long and hard but apparently, this is the only project that Dr Hulsey is involved in. I also searched the university data bank and they have no peer-reviewed papers by Dr Hulsey. He says he will submit their findings for peer-review when they complete their research next year (though it sure sounds like his mind was made up before he began which is probably why the conspiracy theorists chose to fund him)

  73. Roswell

    OK, I’ll clarify. You come across as someone who thinks they know best and everyone else is a fool. There’s a smugness about it in that you’re quick to mock those who disagree, or more precisely, hold different opinions.

  74. jimhaz

    @ Chuck

    You know that you are not helping Wendy Scurr cope with her PSTD. Don’t you feel guilty?

  75. maxpowerof1

    From a particular perspective, that may be true.

    I have recently acknowledged that my expectation of a higher level of intelligence from contributors of this website were exaggerated.

    I see similiarities in the behaviours of regular contributors on this site, to that of the cronies in the lnp.

    For instance, your question was subjective, and would require essay styled answer. Certain that it would be unwelcome in a thread where someone has already complained about my ‘non contribution’ to the subject matter.

    There is a lack of respect and it is mostly from ‘regular “buddy” contributors’ usually directed at a random contributor. It highlights the “echo chamber” theory.

  76. Roswell

    I see the problem, Paul. I can’t remember ever seeing so many trolls on this site. Good to see all the old regulars though.

  77. maxpowerof1

    Does this relate to the original question?

  78. maxpowerof1

    Can you clarify your response please roswell?

  79. Roswell

    What? Again? I thought I made it simple the last time.

  80. Kaye Lee

    Dr Hulsey has an interesting approach. He will not be reading anything about NIST or other previous studies. “I have to maintain an open scientific mind. I don’t want to be led down a path that others have gone down,” he said as he attended the 9/11 truthers ‘Symposium’.

    Most scientists look at previous papers and try to find flaws in them or something to build on or investigate further.

    Ted Walter, Director of Strategy and Development for A&E 9/11 Truth, is in charge of working with the professor and raising money to fund the WTC7 Evaluation. Walter told Activist Post that the project began in May 2015 and should should wrap up in April of next year.

    “They are coming up with different scenarios of how hot the fires could have been in different parts of the building, and then for the next 6 months they will be running tests and scenarios,” Walter told Activist Post. “The last few months, early next year, will be all about putting the findings into a final report.””

    So they haven’t done any testing yet but they already have a preliminary report stating the result?

    Looks like they are working backwards from a desired answer that the people funding the study want to hear rather than any sort of independent investigation if you ask me.

  81. maxpowerof1

    What do you mean again?
    I asked can you clarify your response?

    Your response was to paul walter.

  82. maxpowerof1

    Comprehension and objectivity?……

    Absent

  83. Roswell

    So people who disagree with you and agree with each other are in an ‘echo chamber’. Then what is it if we agree with you? A bigger echo chamber, perhaps?

  84. maxpowerof1

    Comprehension

    An example of the point I make is in the doomsday thread.

    Very little to do with my own personal interactions with this sight.
    And if you do search for my contributions you will see on several occassions that my contribution was soley to defend other random posters against the regular posters that exhibit the cronyism I have described.

    You are behaving as a troll.
    Assess your first question in comparison with your second question add that to your response. What does that equal?

  85. Roswell

    You are boring me.

  86. Kaye Lee

    And me. Drop it maxpowerof1.

  87. Miriam English

    It always amazes me how some people are drawn to extremely unlikely beliefs, based mostly, it seems, on how dramatic they are, instead of how much evidence there is for them.

    I have good friends, who are not unintelligent, and yet are sucked in by the most ridiculous ideas. They will believe wholeheartedly in exciting ideas of UFOs and crop circles, or the 9/11 conspiracy, or miracle cancer cures, or telepathy, or gods, or climate change denial, or you name it. If any counter evidence is shown to them they dismiss it as part of the conspiracy. They never seem to feel any need to examine the evidence. They just know. All it takes is a few leading questions and some curious statements from some people who generally turn out to be merely confused, or worse, charlatans.

    I’ve never understood this mindset.

    Recently one of those fake news outlets admitted to trying to write fake stories to suck in progressives, but lamented that it didn’t work because the progressives tended to factcheck and shut the whole discussion down.

  88. Miriam English

    🙂 Oh, the post is gone. No matter, I’ll leave my reply stand. Perhaps he’ll read it.

    maxpowerof1, you misunderstand. I didn’t berate RapidEffect as a child. I felt guilty for my angry response to his befuddled series of replies, suddenly thinking he might be a child. Luckily, it turned out that he wasn’t a child after all, to my relief… he was just dense.

    If you’re talking about not objectively considering some of the comments we’ve responded to about Martin Bryant’s innocence, miracle cancer cures being murderously suppressed, the mysterious conspiracy around 9-11, the end of civilisation real soon now, climate change is an evil green conspiracy, shape-shifting lizard people from a star in the constellation Draco have replaced our leaders, and other crackpot notions, then you’re wrong, we have considered them objectively, spending far more time on them than we should, before dismissing them as the silliness that they are. As for you saying we haven’t been objective, talk about the pot calling the kettle black! Since when have any of you crackpots ever responded with an ounce of care and good sense? (Harquebus does sometimes, and Dice came close.)

    You say we have belittled you people. You are right. But that’s generally only done after you’ve made it clear that you deserve it. If you keep posting drivel and won’t listen to flaws found in your mythologies then don’t blame us if we become exasperated. That, my dear fellow, is human nature. And while most of the regulars here try to be polite, sometimes it becomes exceedingly difficult not to yell “Enough already! F*ck off!” And I’m sorry for that, but we’re not machines with endless patience.

  89. Chuck

    Kaye
    youre jabbering about something you know nothing about..

    “We will investigate the collapse. We probably will not be able to tell them what caused it, but I could tell them what did not,” Hulsey told MintPress, adding:

    “I am approaching it like most forensic engineers would. We’re looking at the structure itself, trying to put together all of the details of what was available, and in this case very little was available. Because most of it has been destroyed or it’s locked in vaults somewhere. So I have very little to work with.””

    read more.. you need to..

    http://www.mintpressnews.com/911-truth-movement-still-peeling-back-layers-us-governments-911-narrative/220302/

    stop trying to clever, it doesnt suit you.

  90. maxpowerof1

    And your thoughts, if any, on the the bush blair thread.

  91. Chuck

    Kaye,
    Im sure youll correct me if Im wrong, or even if you think Im wrong, but apparently, according to reports,

    Three more shots were fired at Port Arthur at 6.30pm while Bryant was at Seascape.

    am I wrong about that? if not then, Who fired those shots?

    and if you can not tell me that, then tell me this,
    why is it unreasonable to ask? – Why are you so against an inquest ( as required by law by the way ) and a trial? are you scared of what might come out? are you scared your whole world view will be flipped upside down? what is it exactly you are scared of? Truth?

  92. Chuck

    @ maxpowerof1

    dont drop it… ( i dont agree with what youre saying so go away ) im not bored – i find your contributions…. insightful and uplifting 🙂
    just because some here struggle to counter your points, doesnt mean others that may stumble upon this article will feel the same, some here seem to think they speak for the whole internet. cheers.

  93. Michael Taylor

    ummm… youre doing as much reading and typing here as I am, but Im not surprised that little fact went right over your head,

    Might have something to do with me being a bit more welcome here than you are.

  94. Chuck

    so, being welcome someone means facts fly over the top of ones head? got it… thanks.

    Ive never been a fan of being in a club that would have me as a member anyway..

  95. Michael Taylor

    I have more facts in my thumb nail than you do in a lifetime.

  96. Chuck

    *ooops

    so, being welcome somewhere…

  97. Chuck

    “I have more facts in my thumb nail than you do in a lifetime.”

    and yet you cant post a single fact that proves the official account of the Port Arthur Massacre, or the official account of 9/11, true, beyond all reasonable doubt..

    I doubt you know the meaning of the word fact.

  98. Michael Taylor

    Is anybody else growing tiresome of this irritant?

  99. Kaye Lee

    YES

  100. Chuck

    “Is anybody else growing tiresome of this irritant?”
    looking for club members to agree with you to give you an excuse to ban me?

    you decided to insult me first, perhaps you shouldnty pick fights you cant win, if you dont like it when things dont end well for you.

  101. Kaye Lee

    You have been given a very good run to spout your drivel. Personally I find it detrimental to the site. There are plenty of sites who would just love to discuss lizard men with you.

  102. Michael Taylor

    Now that you mention it, I’d rather this place be an echo-chamber than a site for trolls and conspiracy theorist nut jobs. You had your say, you put forward your beliefs, we didn’t agree with them, you put them forward again, and again, and again, we still didn’t agree with them, so you resorted to smart-arse remarks. Goodbye.

  103. Kaye Lee

    I just love the fact that people who have been arguing with you for days say the site is an echo chamber. It seems to be the accusation du jour. If everyone had agreed that Israeli agents carried out the Port Arthur massacre would we no longer be considered an echo chamber?

  104. Kaye Lee

    And I would like to ask (now that I am safe from getting a reply, it being a rhetorical question), who does “clever suit”?

  105. Roswell

    Kaye Lee, your comment at 10:05 pm gets 10/10. It said what I’d need a thousand words to say, and I’d still pack only half the punch.

  106. Kaye Lee

    Roswell, sometimes it’s just too easy. Who needs a clever suit when they have jammies like mine? (Good to see you back 🙂 )

  107. Roswell

    Thanks Kaye Lee. I got called in to help out with the guest posts as Michael Taylor hasn’t had the internet for a while and the other admins are busy enough as it is from what I hear. It was my intention to keep out of everyone’s way but it was too hard with so many trolls on the prowl.

  108. Kaye Lee

    Never worry about what they say to me. I go sit on the verandah and have a chuckle. I don’t want you sitting up to all hours unless you are having fun.

  109. TruthWins

    So now that the first ever scientific study ever held into the events of what happened on 9/11, that took over two years and welcomed input from anyone with a point of view to express, has been completed and proven the official account to be an impossibility, well I think someone is owed an apology, unless you all are gonna now argue that finite element modelling, the laws of basic physics and common sense are “conspiracy theories”?

    https://www.ae911truth.org/wtc7

    There is no fog around the truth, the truth is as irrefutable as it has always been. Some just a heck of a lot slower than others.

  110. Robert

    TruthWins, send that link to the mainstream media, they love dustifying facts.
    I watch the news now and again and what I find is the tele-prompt readers keep on coming up short
    on facts.
    As an aside, what would happen if this one landed in their prized and precious circle:
    https://off-guardian.org/2020/03/24/12-experts-questioning-the-coronavirus-panic/
    Back to the collapse of the WTC buildings. You might have run across this already, but if not, Dr Judy
    Woods in her excellent work ‘Where Did the Towers Go’ lays out in black and white the evidence and
    science of the collapse.

  111. TruthWins

    “TruthWins, send that link to the mainstream media, they love dustifying facts.”
    Thanks Robert.

    Ive been doing that for almost two decades. mainstream media and also so called independent media, where you go for unbiased honest reporting, right? yet so much alternative, is so mainstream.

    If main stream is reporting lies, and alternative report the same lies… then they are no alternative really…

    re the current virus panic.

    we are currently being sold a narrative by the same people that did this?
    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/us-admits-bio-weapons-tests/

    who do you trust!? 🙂 – i certainly dont trust governments with a proven history of lying to and murdering their own people, thats for sure. good luck everyone!

  112. Miriam English

    TruthWins and Robert what a raging load of bullcrap! Are your lives so awfully boring that you need insane conspiracy theories in order to feel important?

    All the lunatic 911 conspiracies have been proved over and over and over again to be ridiculous lies, but people like yourselves just lap up this shit so eagerly that it doesn’t matter; you just keep reviving it.

    And the harmful lies about the novel coronavirus being created in a lab — no, you idiots. It has been proved that it evolved naturally.

    https://www.sciencenews.org/article/coronavirus-covid-19-not-human-made-lab-genetic-analysis-nature

    Every time you spout off this garbage about it being a weapon you increase hate in the world. Just shut the fuck up!

    Christ! Think for a moment! Actually try to learn something about the real world instead of acting like schoolkids under the blankets with torches giggling excitedly about how naughty you are. Comicbook supervillains don’t exist. The easiest way to show the 911 disaster was NOT an inside job is that the government at the time was the 2nd most incompetent in history (Trump’s is the most incompetent). Also, expecting the hundreds of people who would have needed to be involved not speak up to relieve guilty consciences is just beyond absurd.

    But I know you won’t hear any of this.

    I just spent hours trying to get hundreds of fools in a facebook thread to see sense on this. It’s like trying to fight off a crowd of brain-dead marauding zombies. They just refuse any genuine information and actually prefer unhinged gossip — the crazier and more unlikely, the better. This is the insanity! Impossible things are actually preferable to normal verifiable facts.

  113. Miriam English

    By the way, please don’t be sucked in by garbage sites like “offguardian.org”. To quote MediaBiasFactCheck.com:

    Overall, we rate OffGuardian a Strong Conspiracy and Moderate Pseudoscience website that also promotes Russian propaganda.

  114. TruthWins

    and i suppose youre also a fan of snopes and wikpedia eh Miriam? 🙂 gorgeous!

    trouble is… just calling a something a “conspiracy” doesnt necessarily make it so! – hey… look at this
    fact!

    who would have thought that the USA gov would manufacture bilogical weapons and use them on their own citizens for crying out loud?

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unethical_human_experimentation_in_the_United_States

    heck! if it wasnt on wikpedia youd be called a conspiracy theorist!

    LPT:

    if you have any evidence to prove that WTC& building came down as per the official account.. you had years to submit it to the only ever scientific study… too bad === too slow….

  115. Miriam English

    TruthWins… ahhhh, such a clear and unconfused command of logic and language. 🙂

    You’d do well to read a bit more of Wikipedia. A study has found that it is more reliable than Encyclopedia Britannica. I know anti-knowledge loons try to point out the rare mistakes that do occur on Wikipedia, but the fact is, errors are quickly fixed.

    And what would a dedicated follower of misinformation like yourself choose as a reliable resource? Oh, that’s right, the lies from propaganda sites and the delusions those who have gone off their antipsychotic medication.

    Saying that there are some genuine conspiracies doesn’t let you blather on about ridiculous things that have already been debunked.

    “The only ever scientific study”… what are you? Twelve?

    Who do you think works at The National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST)? It took more than a dozen scientists and engineers nearly a year to complete what may be the most detailed study of a disaster ever conducted. They published the detailed results for anybody to peruse, along with layman-readable condensations of their findings.

    But you prefer to believe a bunch of tinfoil-hat nutters who call their fever-dreams “scientific”.

  116. Kaye Lee

    A “scientific study” that every man and his dog contributes their “opinions” to? Lawdy lawdy.

  117. Robert

    TruthWins, a kindred spirit escapes the ‘fog of lies’. Thanks for the link to the CBS article.
    I’ll see that article and raise you a video on the same topic (psychopaths in positions of power).
    ‘Beyond Treason’ 2005: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02aAGuMa2Qo
    “This extremely powerful 89 minute film presents comprehensive documentation from United States Government archives of a massive cover-up, including military and civilian experimentation, dating back over 60 years. As ailing Gulf War Heroes from all 27 coalition countries slowly die of “unknown causes,” they wait for answers from their respective governments, but no satisfying or even credible answers have come forth from the military establishment.”
    As a bonus, have you seen ‘Trace Amounts’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQKglol4OLE
    “True story of Eric Gladen’s painful journey through mercury poisoning that he believes resulted from a thimerosal-loaded tetanus shot. His discoveries led him on a quest for the scientific truth about the role of mercury poisoning in the Autism epidemic.”
    I understand why some don’t want to stray outside the bounds of what the mainstream says you must believe, herd immunity to new facts and all that, for to do so requires a wholesale questioning and restructuring of one’s worldview. And the more a person is set in their ways, the harder that task appears. It’s only an appearance.

  118. Miriam English

    Robert your thoughts about questioning and pursuing facts would carry more weight if you were not so eager to believe lurid and sensationalist lies.

    There has been no mercury in vaccines for decades. Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccines never did contain it. And even when some other vaccines did, it was at such low levels that it would have been utterly swamped by your next meal of fish.

    There are plenty of real problems to be concerned about. Why destroy your own credibility and lose sleep over things that are totally imaginary? You know that believing in disproved conspiracies makes you look stupid, right? You could be a contributing member of society helping us all to solve real problems instead of wasting your life in bullshit. Please, please learn about the real world.

  119. Roswell

    Who on earth let that mob in?

  120. Roswell

    I agree with the view that (almost) everyone is welcome here and deserve to be heard, but …

  121. asif

    brave move truth seekers 🙂 – block and delete… !!! good job! well done! what are you so scared of?

    “I agree with the view that (almost) everyone is welcome here and deserve to be heard, but …”

    not when they tell truths we dont like and have no answers for…

  122. Miriam English

    asif, does it look to you like anybody has been blocked? Notice that the posts have not been deleted?

    You must really, really want to cast yourself as victim. Disappointed?

  123. Roswell

    Just another wild conspiracy theory, Miriam.

  124. Kaye Lee

    Personally I think it is irresponsible of us to allow anti-vaxxers a platform for their hugely dangerous crap.

    “Mercury and Autism: Enough Already!
    The science shows that they have nothing to do with each other and never have”

    https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/mercury-and-autism-enough-already/

    “Vaccines, Thimerosal, MMR, Mercury Not Associated With Autism”

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/emilywillingham/2014/05/15/vaccines-thimerosal-mmr-mercury-not-associated-with-autism/#177c282a4d2c

  125. Roswell

    I’m at fault there, Kaye. As moderator I shouldn’t tolerate it.

    I might just do that blocking that asif was accusing us of.

  126. Kaye Lee

    Roswell.

    I am always torn by that decision. Let them speak and then refute their ignorance or just shut them up

  127. Roswell

    I’m much the same. I give them the benefit of doubt … often an unwise choice.

    This mob won’t be bothering us anymore, by the way.

    Always amazes me that they find a post over 3 years old and …

    You know the rest.

  128. Miriam English

    Roswell 😀 heheheh

    Kaye, I have argued for and against blocking hurtful stuff. I remain largely undecided.

    The negative aspects of both:

    If they are blocked they just meet up in their conspiracy groups and stroke each others’ egos about how the mainstream just want to stop the truth — it just fuels their delusion. On the other hand if we give them a chance to spread their lunacy, other unbalanced people can be sucked in by it.

    The positive aspects of both:

    If they are blocked it decreases the possibility of infecting others with their delusions. But if they allowed to air their bullshit then we get a chance to show them (and other viewers) how stupid and counterfactual their beliefs are.

    There are risks and benefits both ways.

    I tend to think that people advocating violence should be shut down and blocked immediately and their names forwarded to the police (racists, homophobes).

    Those who are inciting others to hatred and possible violence should also be blocked (religious bigots).

    Idiots who contribute to death and disease because of wilfull ignorance should be told off forcefully (COVID-19 conspiracy theorists, antivaxxers, climate change denier). Though I do understand there is also a good case for blocking them.

    I feel a personal obligation to try to reason with those who believe relatively harmless delusions (9-11 conspiracy, contrails/chemtrails).

  129. Roswell

    Miriam, you do a fine and tireless job in debating with people like that. Hats off to you.

  130. Kaye Lee

    It is hard to know what to do. But, having engaged in endless debates with anti-vaxxers, I have learned they do not care about facts.

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) has called for more funding to stop what it has described as “the world’s worst measles epidemic” in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

    More than 6,000 people have died of measles in the central African nation since the start of 2019, with 310,000 suspected measles cases reported.

    Last year, WHO experts warned of an “alarming upsurge” of cases in pockets of unvaccinated people in all regions of the world.

    WHO data shows the number of cases quadrupled from the same period in 2018 in the first three months of last year.

    In December, the South Pacific island nation of Samoa lifted a six-week emergency after bringing a deadly measles outbreak under control.

    More than 5,600 people were infected with 81 people dying from measles up to December.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-09/measles-outbreak-kills-6000-people-in-congo/11854202

  131. Miriam English

    Roswell, I was feeling a bit guilty for the insulting way I pitched my replies to those two. By way of explanation (though not an excuse) I’d spent many fruitless hours trying to people to stop spreading harmful lies that the coronavirus was man made. In the end, I’d left absolutely exhausted and exasperated at these people’s determination to avoid the facts and their obscene eagerness to swallow sensationalist lies.

    So then I came here and found these poor stupid twits gloating over how wrong everyone else is and congratulating themselves on having the Secret Truth. I just kinda lost it. 🙂

    Hopefully in the days of isolation ahead I’ll swing by The AIMN more often. 🙂 And hopefully I’ll be a little more restrained and gentle with such poor fools.

  132. Matters Not

    In the sporting arena, it’s a generally accepted principle that you can’t be both a player and an arbiter in a particular match. Seems like a reasonable principle (starting point) to apply to particular threads on a Blog where one ought not be both a commentator and a moderator. Attempting to do both is clearly a conflict of interest plus an unfair power differential. Largely unrecognised apparently.

  133. Roswell

    Ah, so I’m not allowed to comment.

    I moderate as a favour. I comment as and when I want to.

    Deal with it.

  134. Roswell

    But as they say; “I’m outa here.”

    I don’t need this fucking bullshit.

    Go fuck yourself.

  135. Miriam English

    Kaye, you’re right, of course. I don’t think I’ve ever changed a conspiracy theorist’s mind and they do seem thoroughly immune to genuine information.

    Here’s an odd bit of actual conspiracy: in New Scientist I read a little while ago that some people in a forum arguing with antivaxxers decided to check out who some of them were. They were astonished to find that some were not people at all, but were Russian bots pushing disinformation. Even weirder is that some of the pro-vaccine arguers were also Russian bots. It seems the idea was to cause confusion and division. Since reading about that, I’ve come across a few examples of what seem to be similar cultivation of conflict, though whether they were bots or common trolls I don’t know.

    The world is certainly a weird enough place without needing fake conspiracies.

  136. Kaye Lee

    MN,

    You disappoint me. The people who volunteer their time here have to make decisions. The majority of our AIMN family appreciate a place where they can trust what they are being told. That, for me, is really important. The irresponsible sharing of bullshit in the case of vaccines is beyond word games – it’s deadly.

  137. Matters Not

    KL. why is it so hard to discuss principles for proceeding in any discussion, particularly when they are clearly stated as ‘starting points’.

    Guess there’s no explaining the meanings people give (or don’t) to words, sentences or posts.

  138. Kaye Lee

    You enjoy philosophical debates MN. You play word games. But some of us feel a responsibility for what is published here.

    (Sorry about your deleted dog experience. It would be unsettling. It would be wrong of me to ask what you did to upset the dog)

  139. Matters Not

    Re:

    some of us feel a responsibility for what is published here.

    Is that an attempt to claim the high moral ground? A position without stated principle? Not suggesting for a moment that being a moderator is easy (it’s not) but why not set out a set of principles so that all readers, commentators, moderators have references points?

    Seems to me that it would provide a basis for decision making and reducing what might seem (by some) as arbitrary decision making. Even in Parliament, the Speaker provides a rationale/reference for decisions.

  140. Kaye Lee

    Perhaps my reasoning for linking to your dog experience was too obscure.

    You are justifiably angry about a damaging attack which you felt the owner should have prevented.

    Am I making myself clearer?

  141. Matters Not

    KL, the dog in question actually bit me. Savaged my leg/calf as cattle dogs do. Endangered life and limb as it were – lots of blood and all that. Double figure sutures provide evidence of that – resulting from considerable time on the operating table with surgeons in attendance

    In contrast. comments provided above suggested the need for principles. No attack! Consistency rather than alleged arbitrariness. Not sure of the connection(s). But as always, I wait to be enlightened.

    As for the dog’s motivation(s), afraid it didn’t even bark, growl or make any other noise to warn of intent and because I had my back turned away at the time wasn’t able to perceive his non-verbals.

  142. Michael Taylor

    To suggest that a moderator should not comment here while they are carrying out their moderating role is beyond ludicrous, MN. It would mean that besides Roswell, myself, Carol, Kaye, Rossleigh and Kathy could never comment here.

    We come to this site to comment, and while here all dip in to help with the moderating. This site doesn’t make enough money to be able to afford to pay for a moderator. Roswell never asked for a cent, and without his efforts the site might have folded years ago.

    Carol and I fully support any decision a moderator makes.

    As of today, sadly, we have one less moderator.

  143. Kronomex

    Matters Not, if you were moderating your own site would you be able to completely resist any urge to post comments? I’m betting you say “Yes.” and that would be a lie. Michael, like anyone else should be free to have a say on or about any post placed here. So get off your high horse and just accept it.

    I’m Kronomex and I endorse my comment and don’t forget to vote for me for President. President of what, I don’t know but I’ll think of something.

  144. Kaye Lee

    MN,

    I actually meant that we have a duty to make sure that dangerously incorrect information is not disseminated from here which is what I believe prompted Roswell’s decision. Just like the dog owner had a responsibility to make sure their dog did not harm anyone else.

    If I was not allowed to comment then there would be little point in me coming here. It is the conversation that we all enjoy. The articles are just the conversation starter.

    PS Your dog experience would have been traumatic. Sometimes, under stress, we say things that could have been perhaps phrased better.

  145. Miriam English

    I hope Roswell reconsiders when he has rested. I always enjoyed his input. I don’t see anything amiss with a moderator commenting. At the very least it allows explanations of decisions made by those moderators; at best it adds significantly to the discussion, as moderators tend to see more than those of us who merely dip our toes in from time to time. And, yes it is an unequal relationship, but I also don’t see a problem with that unless it is misused, and I’ve not seen any evidence of misuse here.

    At the same time, I actually didn’t see anything wrong with Matters Not’s comment. It struck me as purely theoretical, though more blunt than I’d have put it. I can see why Roswell got upset by it, even though I didn’t read it as an attack.

    It feels like miscommunication to me… (or it could be just that I’m rather thick).

  146. Michael Taylor

    Miriam, I just noticed a comment in the trash bin, that didn’t make it past moderation. It was a nasty attack on Roswell for blocking people. Sometimes our mods have to put up with a lot of abuse, and on this occasion I can guess that Roswell was a bit shaken up by the time he read MN’s comment.

    Roswell has been trolled for years, btw, ever since his post calling out Larry Pickering’s lies. Because of the repeated attacks and abuse towards him I deleted the post.

  147. Kaye Lee

    I trashed one Michael. I don’t bother censoring usually but a bear can only bear so much

    I agree that MN was not trying to attack Roswell but I have also seen what he has endured over the years.

    We have to think about how what we say might affect others. I am as guilty as anyone of letting my frustration show. But people don’t see the shit we have to deal with. Some people just spew pure vitriole.

    I also hope Roswell comes back and I would like to express my gratitude to him for having protected me in the past. He gets blamed for stuff when it isn’t always him.

  148. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, the first two rules I learnt in Advanced Communication at uni were:

    • Know your audience
    • Speak in a manner that you yourself would like to be spoken to.

    On the internet we don’t truly know our audience, but the second rule should still apply.

    God have I broken them! ☹️

  149. Kaye Lee

    We are imperfect human beings with emotions Michael. We all stuff up at times or get misunderstood or have bad timing. Thankfully, we can usually talk it out….unless we are not allowed to comment of course.

  150. Miriam English

    Yeah, I’ve often spoken in saintly fashion about being polite to those whose views you oppose, but just look at the rudeness I displayed above to poor, deluded “TruthWins” and “Robert”. 🙁 Oops.

    I do become impatient these days with conspiracy theorists, especially ones that promote harmful beliefs. The owner of the facebook page I mentioned earlier (where I’d been arguing for sanity against the conspiracy theories about this coronavirus being man made) blocked me because I posted a link to a news item of an attacker at a store stabbing members of a Chinese American family, including their 2-year-old girl, because he believed the conspiracies about the virus. In the post that got me blocked, I pointed out that pages like his, where he spreads malicious conspiracy theories, have real-world consequences.

    That link, by the way, if anybody is interested:
    https://news.yahoo.com/stabbing-asian-american-2-old-190324496.html

  151. Michael Taylor

    There’s another stupid idea doing the rounds on Facebook claiming that Australia should fine China $1 trillion because of the damage the coronavirus has caused to our economy.

    Jesus wept.

  152. Phil

    Ah Facebook where racists can gather with Gay abandon did I say Gay? Well hush my mouth. Yep there has been an in depth study with links to tin foil hat wearing, right wing nutter web sites on Facebook, the conclusion. Covid 19 was made in a laboratory in Wuhan not by Chinese scientists but, by the CIA. The story goes, it was only supposed to kill Gays, Blacks, and left wing dissidents. I aint got it yet so it must be true. Still my wife and I are safe we been sitting around isolated for a week now discussing how we are going to spend the 750 bucks I aint got yet either.

  153. Miriam English

    Michael, [shakes head] sometimes it’s hard to believe these people are members of the same species which sent people to walk on the Moon, built supercomputers that fit in our pockets, and unravelled the molecular mysteries of life.

    I’ve been following, with increasing incredulity, news about religious groups spreading the disease all over the world by calling together large gatherings in violation of good sense. They think their insane beliefs override medical science. History will not look kindly upon them.

  154. Miriam English

    Phil, I’ve heard quite a few different variants. Each promoter of any of the conspiracy theories insists (on the basis of zero evidence and in the face of actual facts) that their version it true. I despair of humanity sometimes… and then I read some of the wonderfully kind things people have done to help each other in the face of the epidemic… We are such a strange species.

  155. Kronomex

    Michael TaylorApril 2, 2020 at 2:53 pm

    “Kaye, the first two rules I learnt in Advanced Communication at uni were:”

    Advanced Communism was a university course I thought. That’s weird, very weird.
    Then I put my reading glasses on…

    Michael @6.13 pm,

    It’s actually $1.50, because we know how much the LNP doesn’t like upsetting anyone that isn’t Labor or poor.

  156. Phil

    ” Phil, I’ve heard quite a few different variants. Each promoter of any of the conspiracy theories insists (on the basis of zero evidence and in the face of actual facts) that their version it true. I despair of humanity sometimes… and then I read some of the wonderfully kind things people have done to help each other in the face of the epidemic… We are such a strange species ”

    Indeed, a very special species. You know the same people that gave us high brow culture, some of the best classical music (not rock they’re hopeless) gave us love it or loath it, nuclear energy and with out them the moon shot would have been nearly impossible, etc. etc. etc. were the same people that gassed depending on where you get your statistics, 6 million Jewish people God knows how many Gypsies and other Untermensch and set fire to churches and barns full of Russians. The total will probably never be known.

    Having an interest in WW2 I love reading the transcripts of the Nuremberg war trials. Whilst they had some of the big shots of the leading Nazi’s in prison they carried out intelligence tests on them apart from Goring and Speer almost 70% of the others would be certified as imbeciles. Not much has changed, Trump, Johnson, Morrison, Abbott, Dutton,to name but some, I have no doubt would all turn out the same results. And when I read the shite on Facebook it is obvious their supporters are the same. I haven’t met a Tory yet that wasn’t a sociopath. Btw I believe in four or five weeks Trump will either start a war or the US will go up in flames from within. The American people if they didn’t know now, are starting to realise their government gives a flying fuck about them. This is all going to end in tears.

  157. Miriam English

    Phil, a bit of a contradiction there. You first say the smart people who gave us highbrow culture, classical music, nuclear power, were the same ones who enabled travel to the moon and murdered countless numbers of Jewish, Gypsie, gay and other folk. Then you say they’re mostly imbeciles.

    I enjoy a lot of classical music, including works by that gay Russian, Tchaikovsky, I also enjoy a lot of rock music… and trance music, techno, progressive house, and many other forms of music. There seems to be a fair amount of evidence that gay folk contribute disproportionately more to culture than their numbers would lead you to expect. The space program would have been nigh on impossible without computers and their gay father, Alan Turing. Werner von Braun worked with the Nazis on their rockets and with the Yanks on theirs, but as he repeatedly said, he was uninterested in politics; he just wanted to left to do his engineering. Yes, there were some horrible people like William Shockley (the inventor of the transistor) who was a creepy racist, but on the whole, I think scientists and engineers are above the average in their humanity and good sense.

    I have right-wing friends who are not sociopaths. I think you’re being a little… ummm… over-enthusiastic in your dismissal of such people.

    I can’t see Trump causing a war, or the USA collapsing into revolution (I assume that’s what you meant). They are in for a very difficult time with this pandemic, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Trump ends up in prison for his lies and criminal neglect. The country will limp back to health again, though I doubt they will ever fully regain their former power or prestige.

    One good thing I think will come out of this pandemic is that it has become painfully obvious that religion is a threat to society; it is the major vector for the spread of the virus. I think this will turn out to be even more damaging for religion than the pedophile scandals.

  158. Joseph Carli

    Miriam..: ” There seems to be a fair amount of evidence that gay folk contribute disproportionately more to culture than their numbers would lead you to expect. “…..Yes, it is true that the visible proportoin of gay artists do turn out creative energy above their expected numbers, but this could be a manifestation of their directing their now redundent reproductive energies (having, nurturing, raising, wrestling, and reasoning etc, etc. with children) into creating “art”….I won’t go into what I think of today’s “art”, except to say that I believe it has..in its present forms..let humanity down in a general sense..at least in the West..which is why we have reached rock-bottom socially and culturally.

    Again I would concede that many…perhaps too many hetero’ folk do seem to spend an inordinate amount of time “chasing skirt” or materialist security in an Alpha Male frenzy, slaughtering and stomping into the dirt any and all in its way…perhaps that testorone brutality drives them to forego inspirative art and just go for the jugular…perhaps showing a pragmatism unaccepting of the subtles of deeper meanings of artistic purity…kind of like that response to that age old Pirate joke inquiry..: “Where’s your Buccaneers!!??”……: ” On my f#ckin’ head!!!”

  159. Michael Taylor

    Rather than being a conspiracy theorist, I believe that there are unanswered questions over a couple of events.

    I don’t believe the official version of the JFK assassination or the official version of the events of 9/11. I only quietly harbour these suspicions, mind you.

  160. Miriam English

    Joe, I agree with almost everything you said, though in some ways not quite as you intended them. Yes, LGBT+ folk undoubtedly end up putting effort into creativity that straight folk are probably often unable to, due to family limitations. However it has been shown in studies of family dynamics that LGBT+ folk often help free their straight family members, by helping with raising children, looking after elders, contributing to breadwinning, so it’s not entirely one-sided. There has been at least one study that shows gay men (lesbians weren’t included) have heightened creativity. This seems to be an epigenetic effect that is part of what produces homosexuality in men.

    I also agree with your perception that art and culture are at an all-time low. Every generation thinks this. I, personally, don’t believe art and culture are any less superb than they have been at any time in history. I love a lot of the latest music and art and writing and movies. I actually feel we are in the middle of a renaissance. Some of the most brilliant works in history have been created today — writing that would make Shakespeare envious, music that JS Bach would adore, art that would make Michelangelo rapturous. Our parks are littered with beautiful sculptures worthy of any age. We often watch movies that contain themes so complex that geniuses from previous generations would have been left completely baffled. But I do understand your point of view. Cicero complained about the way things were degrading too. You are in good company. Most people think the “good old days” were better, even though they almost never were.

  161. Miriam English

    Michael, there does appear to be something odd about JFK’s assassination. The sealing of evidence for many decades always made me suspicious (I can’t remember when that was due to be unsealed).

    I do think the World Trade Center catastrophe was fully investigated and all the information was made public. I’ve read a lot of the investigations and they are careful and sensible.

    Retaining doubts and suspicions is far away from what conspiracy theorists do. They have certainty without evidence which can’t be budged by any amount of genuine information. Also, they are attracted to the most sensationalist beliefs, wielding a kind of reverse-Occam’s Razor in order to cling to the most absurdly unlikely, and even impossible, explanations of ordinary things.

  162. Joseph Carli

    Miriam..
    ” writing that would make Shakespeare envious, music that JS Bach would adore, art that would make Michelangelo rapturous. . . . “……But that’s just it… are we still hooked into a “comparative theme”…ie; like Shakespeare, Bach or Michelangelo….they all wrote themes relevent to their retrospective age and social environment…are we to keep using those same themes as comparitative yardsticks or do we delve into those emotions and motives that drive our age?….an age now more introspect and uncertain….more dependent psychologically on material outcomes…I have dwelt for years on the emotional motivations of peoples actions…particularly that most powerful if most delusional one of perceived love…..the hunger never quite satiated yet ever sought…the brooding incubi and sucubi that eats away at so many hearts and souls…so many crimes …so many broken dreams…but yet really no-ones particular fault.
    THAT is where the art ought to be heading…..” …and we live our lives in the shadow of the divine.”

  163. Matters Not

    Speaking of conspiracy theories, here’s a few on the Covid-19 pandemic.

    ◾A ghastly plot concocted by the CIA or US military through its biological warfare program to wipe out the entire Chinese population, or certain sections thereof – most likely the Central Politburo of the Communist Party.
    ◾A terrible accident in which a drunken CIA operative fell off a high stool in a Wuhan bar, causing him to shatter a vile of Covid-19 that was intended for release in Iran.
    ◾An elaborate cover for what is a global financial meltdown, thereby avoiding attributing blame to the usual suspects.
    ◾A virus exported around the world so that the People’s Republic of China can become economic masters of the universe.
    ◾A virus released by the Chinese government in order to deliberately kill off the country’s elderly population, thereby significantly reducing pension costs in that country.

    Now, let’s for one moment entertain these theories. If true, some of them are not only suggesting epic acts of callousness/madness/idiocy but also – and here’s the rub – a deliberate or unintended act of mass suicide in order to achieve some, not entirely obvious, higher purpose.

    https://johnmenadue.com/richard-hil-covid-19-and-the-conspiracy-theory-freight-train/

  164. Michael Taylor

    Miriam, I think it’s my years in the Public Service that makes me suspicious of anything a conservative government says.

    Geez I heard some bullshit come out of the mouths of John Howard and Joe Hockey – all published by the mainstream media without the hint of a question.

  165. Miriam English

    Joe, but it was you who was comparing with earlier times. I merely answered that. I think the art and culture of our time does an admirable job of standing alone and answering the big questions and meeting our great dreams.

    Matters Not, yes. I’ve heard a number of those (though not the hilarious one about the drunk CIA operative). My favorite absurdity is the one about it being developed by the UK to kill off the seniors and save the National Health money (at the expense of destroying the economy 😀 ). There is an old test for the validity of a conspiracy being fake: ask if the perpetrators would be hurt by it. In the case of the coronavirus, the elderly statesmen who would be making such decisions would be the ones most at risk. Add to that the fact that the virus has been analysed for telltale signs of lab growth or wild evolution, and it is clearly wild. So the conspiracies should (but won’t) fall away.

  166. Phil

    MIRIAM ENGLISH.

    ” Phil, a bit of a contradiction there. You first say the smart people who gave us highbrow culture, classical music, nuclear power, were the same ones who enabled travel to the moon and murdered countless numbers of Jewish, Gypsie, gay and other folk. Then you say they’re mostly imbeciles..”

    There is no contradiction and I stand by my comments. I think you missed my point. I am talking about the Nazi’s they tested. Not the German race. It was you who said ” We are a strange species” You obviously missed my point, a poor attempt possibly. to agree with you. The same people who hoodwinked the German people into the holocaust and WW2 are the same people who are now in the White House. Sure the Brown Shirts are gone and they speak English. However it is run by ultra right wing religious nutters who have absolutely no empathy for anyone or anything. Just like the Nazi’s.

    I did not say there would be a revolution but there will be violence and it will be on a mass scale. Los Angeles went up in flames over the beating of Rodney King. Trump is desperate an attack on Iran or Venezuela is not beyond the realms of fantasy. We shall see in a few weeks who is right. Cheers.

  167. Michael Taylor

    I thought I’d heard everything, MN, but those will take some beating.

    Some Ruby Princess rumours are doing the rounds too, but I’ll wait to see what becomes of them.

  168. Joseph Carli

    Miriam…those artists of those earlier times did homage to their times, and did it well…and it is that achievement that I compliment and miss in these times….for I feel that art now is more a marketing exercise than a venture into the depths of humanity…abstract art I am suspicious of as it doesn’t, in my opinion, answer a broader inquiry or desire of humanity….I see more desire in ..for example; Constable’s “The Hay Wain” than in say; Pollock’s “Blue Poles”…I do admire those art pieces from a time past, but they are not suited for the time now, but rather we need to discover our humanity all over again and again and again..and produce art to explain these times and needs…sure, I don’t doubt there are many that have gone down this path…but have they created the pieces of magnificent tribute?….not yet..I don’t think so..

    I am full of uncertainty when trying to depict or explain an idea…I wonder how you can be so sure that you are correct…I am deeply suspicious of people who are so certain..

  169. Miriam English

    Joe, I’m right there with you regarding abstract art. I never saw the point of it, though I’m willing to believe that some genuinely love and see worth in it.

    Magnificent pieces? I know you’ll pooh-pooh them, but look at Andrew Wyeth’s “Christina’s World”. See the movie “Amelie”. Read the book “Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist” (or the movie based upon it). Each of those speak to our existential imperatives in different and beguiling ways. They are each complex, deeply moving works, with the last two disarming and distracting the audience to allow enormous concepts in under the radar using humor — a technique I greatly envy. David Foster Wallace wrote “Infinite Jest” which has often been called one of the greatest novels ever written. Some claim it is THE greatest ever. (I have the book, but haven’t yet read it, so I can’t comment personally.)

    It’s not worth mentioning great modern music because, like my brother, you are firmly locked into the past. I don’t say that to offend you; it is true of most people. I don’t know what it is about music that has this special abilty to bind people to an era, but for some odd reason it’s extremely rare for people (especially men) to continue to adapt to new styles and new musical genius.

  170. Joseph Carli

    ” It’s not worth mentioning great modern music because, like my brother, you are firmly locked into the past. I don’t say that to offend you; it is true of most people”….Miriam…you presume too little on my part and too much on yours…I can see there is an attraction to a kind of elitism that you like to display as cred’ of belonging to a cognoscenti of those “in the know”…well…good luck to you…but it is not what I am getting at when I criticise art…but I will leave it there as I can see little point in hammering away at the subject.

  171. Joseph Carli

    P.s….I would have thought “Finnegans Wake” was the infinite jest novel….and that too, in its time was thought to be possibly the greatest novel of all time…possibly because of its tangled absurdity…but let me give you the good oil…there is no : “best ever . . . ” of anything…there is only parts of . . .

  172. Miriam English

    Joe, [sigh] I kinda knew you’d think I was being elitist, but I truly am not. I’m just pointing out a simple fact that anybody can observe for themselves. Every generation has people (mostly men, for some odd reason) who think their era and earlier times produced the best culture, and that things have gone downhill since. Some people are lucky enough to be able to ride the wave of change — they don’t deserve any special praise for that any more than they should be praised for their eye color.

  173. Matters Not

    Miriam English, Joe can see there is an attraction to a kind of elitism because that’s the theory/perspective/mental construct he brings to bear. As studies in the Sociology of Knowledge demonstrate – if you have a certain theory then you will get certain facts. And if you don’t have that theory you won’t get those facts. Not a matter of fault or blame on anyone’s part. Just the nature of knowledge. And how it’s generated. Personally, can’t count the number of Dark Byzantium colours seen today because I have no idea what that colour looks like. No theory thus no fact and therefore no number.

    (Ducks head and runs away.)

  174. Miriam English

    Matters Not, yes. What you say is true. What answers you get are largely determined by what questions you ask. But that doesn’t mean seeking the actual truths of reality is futile — the body of knowledge developed by science and technology testifies to that. It just means we must be careful with our questions and assumptions, and try to be conscious of our biases. Individually we can have some success with that, if we’re careful. But together, when we use care, we can do amazing things, such as unravelling the secrets of DNA, finding the optimum number of satellites to let the whole world communicate, creating vaccines for viruses, understanding how the little single-celled animals that are the neurons in our brains stimulate each other to produce thoughts and feelings…

    Joe, I was chatting with my Mum this morning about this conversation here, and she remarked that you who love the classics and music of previous times and denigrate modern culture sound to her like the elitist. I laughed at that. It had not occurred to me. But she’s right, isn’t she. 😀

  175. Michael Taylor

    Speaking of eras …

    Back in the mid 1980s the SA premier, John Olsen spoke at one of our AFC (Australian Finance Conference) Christmas dinners. I did not like the man one little bit, but he said something I’ve never forgotten:

    “I was talking to a lady who was well into her 80s and I asked her what things we like in her time. She looked at me and said; ‘Young man, these are my times.’ “

  176. Matters Not

    Re:

    actual truths of reality is futile — the body of knowledge developed by science and technology testifies to that

    Fair enough. But one needs to be ever aware nevertheless, that science makes no claims as to truth (best left to mathematics and logic, and also given certain assumptions) – just (probably) the best explanation available at a particular time. Always tentative. Just there until new theories are developed and brought to bear – which in turn will elicit new facts. etc.

  177. Joseph Carli

    But Miriam…your selections for what you consider the best are highly subjective..
    and what’s wrong with Frank Zappa ?

    The Tide.
    Like a sailor old, who watches the tide,
    Life’s many moods I do abide…and still I watch,
    For there comes a wash of the river flow,
    That carries the ebb, what comes and goes.
    That “tide in men’s lives” that carries their thoughts,
    Like flotsam swept before a wave wild wrought
    By wind and storm or by deceiving calm they be brought,
    To wreck upon Charybdis rocks or wash up on rugged tor.
    Fortune for that sailor who with astute eye,
    Will risk the temper of mood and tide,
    And call the exact moment makes best to ride.
    He casts the ropes that hold him belay,
    All wind and storm be no delay.
    Yet I and thee, chained to life’s fickle destiny,
    Can but watch as the vessel sails away from we,
    While idly biding…
    Like empty shells scattered on a wide, broad shore,
    Awaiting tide and waves also, to move us ever-more…”

  178. Miriam English

    Michael, 🙂 that went stright into my quotes folder.

    Matters Not, 100% agree.

    Joe, but we know that isn’t true. We can find pieces that are not only the equal, but surpassing that beautiful Puccini piece and you would still never ever concede it.

    Kaye, I hadn’t heard of Gary Moore. I wonder if he will give Joe pause.

  179. Joseph Carli

    Miriam…I have looked at and listened and read reviews on those aforementioned pieces you listed above…now..give me that piece you claim can surpass that Puccini piece and we will listen.. but up till now, those things you listed exhibit all the problems of too much “America in Therapy Analysis” feel about them…not that solidly grounded…shallow foundations..if you get my drift….

  180. Michael Taylor

    I must be of your vintage, Miriam. At least I’ve heard of him (I think). 😀

  181. Kaye Lee

    Moore was a guitarist in Thin Lizzy, a hard rock band. But he is, I think you will agree, a virtuoso.

  182. Joseph Carli

    But it was Eric Bell played that unique guitar on their hit “Whisky in The Jar”….

  183. Miriam English

    Sorry Joe, but I call bullshit. Amelie is a French film, not American. It is a quirky film deeply steeped in French culture, owing nothing to USA. Even so, what is wrong with something coming from USA? You know, like Frank Zappa…

    Michael, I think we all are around the same age here. I’m 66… well, for a few more days… I had my head buried so deeply in books at certain times in my life the outside would could have gone up in smoke and I would hardly have noticed. 🙂

  184. Phil Pryor

    What a great shit chuck.., and the winner is.., Sweet Fanny Adams, ( or, playing with Truth?)

  185. Miriam English

    When you look at Andrew Wyeth’s “Christina’s World” there are two main parts: the woman (Christina) and the space. It is the space that dominates the picture. Her back turned to the viewer even alienates her. When you find out more about the picture the reason for that space becomes very clear and shows the genius of the piece. Christina was (still is?) a real person with a degenerative disease that denied her the use of her legs, but she refused to use a wheelchair, preferring instead to drag herself around with her arms. Now look at her arms — she is not muscular. Now look again at the space in the picture and how terrifyingly immense it is… yet it is still home (that is her actual home). So, you were dismissing this picture as shallow…?

    Here is a nice, high-resolution image for you to appreciate:
    https://www.moma.org/media/W1siZiIsIjE2NTQ1NyJdLFsicCIsImNvbnZlcnQiLCItcXVhbGl0eSA5MCAtcmVzaXplIDIwMDB4MjAwMFx1MDAzZSJdXQ.jpg?sha=64fb4feaaa506f2b

  186. Joseph Carli

    I didn’t look at Amelie..so you got me there….overlooked that one!…but that American genre does tend toward the schmaltz….not Zappa..but the others.. : ” …you were dismissing this picture as shallow…?”…and if you hadn’t gone to lengths to interpret and explain the picture?…..I liked that picture for what I just saw in it…sure, the open space, the isolated woman …but hey.. if you hadn’t said . . . ?…..art ought not to have to be “explained”…the emotion expressed in the picture itself should do the “talking”…the “thousand words”…the picture…not YOU!…my point being that art has let us down in that unless one is an “insider” or “of the know”…the conversation is lost..it is not universal..art in the general sense ought to be universal…not conditional.
    It’s why I like the short story…if it cannot deliver line and plot to interest the reader to consume to the end, then it does not “work”..if it has to be “explained” then it does not work.

  187. Miriam English

    Joe, the picture does stand on its own. It was my favorite painting for many years. I only very recently found out the backstory. I thought giving you a little extra would help widen your view of the world, but… oh boy… I give up. I should know better.

  188. Joseph Carli

    ” I should know better.”…yeah..you should…perhaps people are more astute than credit is given…I understood the intention..the vulnerability etc…don’t need the backstory….you have to have more faith in ppl’s capacity…
    and where’s that “better than Puccini” piece?

  189. Miriam English

    “Perhaps people are more astute than credit is given” — right back at ya, Joe.

    Remember how you dismissed it as shallow Americana? You can’t have it both ways, Joe.
    I could show you dozens of pieces to equal or exceed any aspect of the Puccini piece, but never in a million years would you give any ground.

    You should consider donating your point of view to science. Maybe they can make something useful out of something so rigidly impenetrable. 😀

  190. Joseph Carli

    🙂

  191. Miriam English

    (I worried after I’d posted that, that it might be taken badly. Thank you for taking it as the joke it was intended to be.)

  192. Michael Taylor

    Miriam, I wouldn’t even have a clue how old I am. I might need to check my birth certificate. ☹️

  193. Miriam English

    😀 I normally don’t know either, but I keep being told by people lately. Frankly, I’d rather forget and remain in my ’20s. 🙂

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