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Maybe I’m not supposed to judge you, but sometimes I do

I know I’m not meant to say that. Obviously if I want to engage with and understand people with different opinions, then writing this goes against my purpose. But I would feel disingenuous if I didn’t admit it. And it wouldn’t hurt some people to hear it either. In a week where Ellen Degeneres tried to pass off a friendship with acknowledged war criminal, George Bush by saying we should be nice to everyone whether or not they agree with us, I thought it was important to be open about how I look at those who disagree with me.

​I’m not sure if it just me that has changed or the nature of politics under our failing democratic systems. I wrote a few years back that you can hold whatever opinion you like, but if your actions don’t negatively affect other people, I don’t really mind.

I don’t think like that anymore though. I used to try to make a distinction between opinion and action, but in the era of news by social media consensus, this is harder to do. If you publicly advocate a position, you are potentially affecting the voting behaviour of others. Moreover, your voting is an action that is (ideally- unless you just do what Rupert Murdoch tells you to) a direct reflection of your opinion- and your vote makes a difference.

Look no further than the last election. If you voted for the Liberals or any of their proxies such as Hanson and the Nationals, you have contributed to a government hell-bent on upwards redistribution of the nation’s wealth in order to please their corporate donors. You have voted for using the misery of refugees as a political plaything, continuing to stick our heads in the sand about climate change and proudly watching as Scott Morrison tries to sycophantically ingratiate himself further with Donald Trump by propelling our defence force unnecessarily into any upcoming conflict with Iran and China. This will have a real effect on people’s lives and I don’t feel any obligation to forgive you for that.

Maybe I’ve become intolerant, but I also think people need to be responsible for their words and actions. Obviously there are many things we can disagree on that would have no bearing on how I see someone, but certain opinions are really hard to get past because they belie values and traits that I don’t respect.

Ignorance is dangerous. If you contribute to the spread of anti-vax nonsense, you are putting people’s lives at risk. Advocating similarly stupid anti-science positions denying climate change is not harmless either.

Selfishness and pettiness are choices. If you would rather punish welfare recipients for ‘being lazy,’ than make sure they have enough money to feed their families and pay their bills, or if you think people born in other countries don’t deserve even basic empathy or compassion, that tells me a lot about you and I my opinion will reflect that.

And however you dress it up, cowardice is something I judge you for too. Fears about the impact of refugees, immigration and Islam (all of which Australia has experienced for over a century) are not patriotism, they are fear, much of which doesn’t really reflect factual analysis.

So yeah, these days I do judge people for their beliefs, at least the ones they publicly proclaim.

If you are liberal-voting, refugee-hating, coal-loving person reading this and wondering why we are still friends, that is a fair question. I should repeat that I won’t define someone solely by their opinion and there are many other important facets that contribute to the totality of our identity. If anything, it shows how much I respect other aspects of your person if I still consider us friends, but don’t be under any misunderstanding. I may still respect you and I will (hopefully) treat you respectfully even if I don’t, but I do think less of you.

This article was first published on quietblog.

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  1. Phil Pryor

    Do NOT be polite to schemers, dreamers, assorted dickheads, liars, frauds, thieves, all conservative greedites, ambitious and indecent careerists, and people who fail basic trust tests, the Joyce/Hanson/Palmer/Abbott/Morrison/Cormann/Frydenberg/Katter types, plus many more. And do not trust yourself or me or superstitions, religions, faiths, promoters, banks, spivs, sharks, Rineharts, Pratts, Costellos, Murdochs (Merde—och, oh poo), thus leaving.., who?

  2. Josephus

    Beliefs not based on evidence and tested by scepticism and experiment are worth nothing. After all , most long believed in witches and demons , and in some places they still do. Last century Sir Karl Popper analysed this topic well in his ‘Conjectures and Refutations’.
    God botherers are just superstitious and deluded, though some are very nice thanks to fear of hell. To help and protect the vulnerable is taught by all religions, as also by humanists . You do not need to believe in one or more non material Judges beyond the galaxies to be a decent human being. You just need to have imagination: what is it like to flee your burning village? for example.

  3. Michael Taylor

    Brilliant, Dave. You and I think alike.

  4. Lee GH

    I have friends & family members who voted LNP. My life has been hit hard by things this govt has done & I live under the cloud of possible reviews & robo debt. Its very hard not to take it like a slap in the face. Obviously I’m not that important to them. Now some of them are beginning to suffer, its hard not to say “I warned you”.

  5. Miriam English

    Important topic, Dave.

    I try to be polite and courteous even to the craziest right-wing conspiracy theorists. Sometimes it’s easy as they are, underneath it, basically good people who have been misled by the propaganda. Some others are pretty horrible, intolerant, angry people who seem to have little empathy for anybody outside their immediate circle of deluded loons, but I still try in the hope that something might reach them. I don’t always succeed, but I do try. And it annoys me when I fail and react intemperately.

    Some time back I read a brilliant article in which the author tried to explain why it is important to be polite and reasonable to the most impolite and unreasonable right-wing jackass. He pointed out that we rarely have such exchanges in private, but that there are usually onlookers, especially on the internet… and in online forums they can number in the hundreds or even thousands. He tries to always remember this and pitches his responses for the benefit of that wider audience rather than the nasty opponent. He figures, when witnessing a conversation in which an out-of-control, rabidly angry person who uses vicious insults to attack a patient, reasonable, kindly person giving thoughtful, good-sense answers, most people will tend to agree with the reasonable one and reject the unreasonable person.

    It’s like the marshmallow test, where children were left in a room for a short time after being told they could have a second marshmallow if the first one was still there when the experimenter returned. Some were unable to control their impulses and gave in to the immediate pleasure of eating the single marshmallow, whereas some were able to control their desire and hold off, thereby gaining 2 marshmallows.

    It is hard to restrain one’s desire to lash out in anger at the people who landed us in this mess, but putting the effort in can possibly persuade many more people to stand with us… and the reasonable argument might even bring the opponent around.

  6. Joseph Carli

    Joe Stalin was too soft…

  7. Joseph Carli

    I’m not going to go over old ground…most of you on here know my views on the ethical and moral collapse of the middle-classes…and when I see so many…now apparently a tad dissapointed…in their lack of success on “reaching the soft centre” of those hard-arsed RWNJ’s…I can only compare many of you to what Malcolm X called : “The House Negro”…
    And I have grave doubts that you will ever learn…but the thing that REALLY pisses me off is that in your pontificating claiming of a pseudo moral high-ground do-goodines, which will fail we can now all see in action.. you are going to take the rest of us down with you…

  8. Kaye Lee

    The thing that really pisses me off is people who dismiss others because they think they know better. It pisses me off when people who do not know you try to tell you what your motivation is. It pisses me off when people insist that you must be as pessimistic as them.

    I am pissed off too. But I am also excited every day by what we are achieving. I am angry. But I am in awe of the amazing selflessness I see on display every day.

    Politicians are dealing themselves out of the game and, dare I say, class warriors are too. Being resentful is a waste of time. Those who insist on focusing on grievances don’t offer solutions.

  9. Rossleigh

    Nobody is a label.
    It worries me that the narrative is that Labor will be unelectable unless they try to compete for the votes of One Notion.
    My personal belief is that one might as well be unelectable if you don’t have any reason to get elected in the first place.

  10. Kaye Lee


    The problem is that our politicians believe that getting elected is the end game.

  11. Matters Not


    reason to get elected in the first place.

    When first elected – all bright eyed and bushy tailed – altruism abounds in most cases. Doesn’t last, particularly in a culture that reflects the wider capitalist common sense. Exceptions simply illustrate that point.

  12. wam

    Too complex an assessment.
    The people who vote for this style of government, see
    the dole bludger next door living comfortably at home using mum’s car.
    the welfare pianists(pokies buttons)
    the public service as unnecessary
    the basic wage as an imposition on business
    the tax brackets as a disincentive
    the ABC as left wing anti.them
    believe bolt, murdoch and sky ‘unpacked’.
    do not believe in man made climate change
    are frightened by the unions and the xxxs
    However they can never change and can never win government without the labor voters being too frightened to vote for labor and against the lnp they see and read about, lies they maybe but are portrayed as truth.
    Howard made sure he lied loud enough to frighten enough labor till a lemon hit the road. This let labor in for a great six years which was so lucky for us in the GFC. Gillard was another lucky win for Australia but the rabbott stoked the fear and labor white ants and ambitious loonies delivered the coup de grace.
    Since then, despite coming close this time labor has not allayed the fear of workers.QED loss of 2 in Tassie and two in qld.

    Albo has done nothing to suggest he is any better than beazley or shorten and has to show the workers of qld and tassie he will look after them.
    Scummo’s errors need to be aired and the morning show is the place to air them.
    The only thing that pisses me off is voicing an opinion with evidence to back it up.
    Unfortunately the ease of hitting ‘share’ without any check or understanding, results in the rapid dissemination of lies, the reinforcement of stereotypes and justification of their fears.
    Albo needs to break the cycle or we wait for a cake or a leader like the 6 in my lifetime

  13. Kaye Lee


    “The only thing that pisses me off is voicing an opinion with evidence to back it up.”

    Did you mean without?

    I agree that we were damn lucky to have Labor in government during the GFC.

    Gillard was inspriring. Albo? Not so much.

  14. Matters Not

    JC re:

    the ethical and moral collapse of the middle-classes

    I note with interest and approval that you now refer to the middle classes. The singular (middle-class) has now become the plural (middle-classes) – allowing for a more (potentially) finely grained analysis.

    Does that apparent evolution of thinking extend also to multiples of working class? Has working class now become working classes in your thinking? If not, then why not? Just askin …

  15. wam

    haha I was so careful to proof it but I must have read without without see the with.

  16. Kathryn

    I have willingly disconnected from friends and acquaintances who were selfish, stupid or Murdoch-manipulated enough to vote for the demonic LNP at the last two elections. I have found that the type of self-serving fools that cheered on the worst government in our history, ie the despicable, stone-cold fascists in the totally inept Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison chaotic, three-ring Circus, haven’t got a shred of compassion nor one iota of insight! What unites them all is their hatred, fear and xenophobia; what they find appealing in the LNP is their persecution of asylum seekers, their intolerance, misogyny, racism and support of climate-change-denying idiocy, their profit-at-any-price neoliberalism that enriches and empowers the rich and powerful to the detriment of ordinary Australian, their smug contempt for the most vulnerable people in our community, their callous inhumanity, repugnant mean spiritedness and scorn for egalitarianism – all traits that are totally abhorrent to me! Most decent, intelligent and humane people I know can barely stand being in the same room as the type of racist neoliberal sociopath who thinks the LNP is a great idea. I have relinquished any friendship I had with this type of person and I have NEVER regretted it! After all, if one can be judged by the friends they keep, surely associating with the arrogant, cruel and self-serving type of individual who thinks it is OK to support the LNP in attacking, ridiculing and vilifying vulnerable people (within and outside of Australia) shows a serious lack of good judgement and discernment. The LNP have succeeded in one thing only and that is the absolute polarisation of Australians into three political groups: left-wing democratic socialists, the type of bible-thumping hypocrites (mentioned above) who cheer on the extreme right-wing Morrison government and the disillusioned, disgruntled citizens who are totally disconnected from both sides of the political fence (and who can blame them?). In these times when we have a heartless, destructive fascist regime vandalising our environment, arresting journalists, muzzling free speech, defunding, selling-off and destroying everything we love, it is IMPERATIVE to make a stand for what you believe in and speak out against the type of hatred, cruelty, corruption and waste so endemic throughout the LNP from the top down. If you lose friends because of your rage against this depraved government, so be it …. they weren’t worth having in the first place. Disconnecting from people who rigidly adhere to the despicable ideology of the LNP is OK … such people can be relegated as “collateral damage” for the greater good!

  17. Miriam English

    So, Kathryn, let me see if I understand you… you hate LNP voters with a passion? It’s a good thing you’re not one of those divisive people who class others on the basis of superficial values, right?

    And Joe, what can I say? Opposing tolerance is a dumb strategy. It just drives division and polarisation in our society. Despite your grim view of the world, things are getting better.

    The population explosion has been fixed; people are smarter and more moral and more tolerant than ever before; right-wing governments are reduced to subterfuge to gain power, no longer able to win on merit, and we are recognising and remedying that problem; pollution has been declining around the world; starvation and extreme poverty have dropped to the lowest levels in history and may be eliminated soon; most disease has been eliminated, with people living longer than ever; levels of education keep increasing even as foolish politicians damage the education system; almost every person on Earth has access to the greatest encyclopedia ever created.

    We have two remaining major problems facing us: climate destabilisation and biodiversity loss.

    It is looking like ordinary people are cooperating to fix climate by ignoring stupid politicians. It’s still dicey, but signs are encouraging.

    Biodiversity is a more difficult problem. Groups of people around the world are tackling it by buying up huge tracts of land and restocking it and preserving it. Some other people are breeding endangered animals as a resource for return to the wild when feasible. There are seed banks that are trying to safeguard the plant heritage of the world. And there are genetic libraries that might allow us to recreate species after being driven to extinction. None of those are full solutions to the problem of biodiversity loss, but if we can agree to work on the problem from many angles instead of dividing ourselves into warring classes then we just might fix it. I remain hopeful.

  18. Kathryn

    Miriam, if you do NOT stand up against the cruel, divisive and elitist policies of the LNP and their hateful supporters, then YOU are a BIG part of the problem! You cannot sit on the fence and fake tolerance of fascism when it is destroying everything we loved about this (once) great nation. Wake up!

  19. Miriam English

    Kathryn, who said I didn’t stand against the LNP and fascists? I said that I try to be polite in my dealings with people who are sucked in by their propaganda. I try to convince them that the LNP are the bad guys (and when Labor do bad things I try to show people that too).

    You don’t think that perhaps it’s a tactical mistake to tell people that if they don’t think the same way as you do, then they are the problem? Don’t you think that’s a bit over-zealous? Do you think it might be better to bring people together rather than dividing them apart? Is there a chance that you might be mistaken?

  20. Kathryn

    Miriam, I think you are rather naive if you think you can change the minds of rusted-on Lieberals who, at this stage, are so entrenched in the callously cruel, vindictive, elitist ideology of the fascist Morrison/Dutton regime. Yes, people who think that way ARE a real problem and those who want to go softly-softly on such people who have such dangerous, warped views just exacerbate that problem. You can preach, moan and plead all you like, it won’t mean shit to these people. If you believe it will, there is a HUGE mistake that you are mistaken. End of comment!

  21. Miriam English

    Kathryn, being rude and unreasonable to them won’t work either, but worse, it persuades all onlookers that we are as bad as they are. Please read my original comment about bearing in mind that most conversations have large numbers of quiet viewers, and remembering them when arguing with extremists.

    Sure, the extremist you’re arguing against is probably totally beyond reach, but many of the onlookers probably are not.

    I know it feels very satisfying to let fly with angry flames (I sometimes succumb to that temptation myself, much to my chagrin), but it tends to destroy your own credibility among those who might be persuaded by a more polite, reasoned approach.

  22. Kathryn

    Miriam, your passivity is, in effect, doing just what MorriScum wants you to do …. Being very, very quiet, not making waves, being mindlessly complacent, impotently apathetic – how’s it working for you? Mmmmm! I am not rude when I speak to rusted-on Lieberal supporters but I am assertive. My confidence stems from a historical knowledge and interest I (and my family) have always had in politics. In my experience, the overwhelming majority of supporters of the racist, far-right ideology of the LNP, know absolutely NOTHING about politics and its impact on the general population of Australia, nor do they care about anything that doesn’t affect their small, insular world or impacts upon them personally! In effect they are either totally selfish or unspeakably stupid!

    Even when you present them with facts, statistics and irrefutable evidence of the level of criminal corruption, economic ineptitude, scandalous waste and extreme brutality of the LNP regime (stretching back decades), these rusted-on fools REFUSE to be enlightened. They are like the three deaf, dumb and blind monkeys! This type of deluded person who refuses to hear anything negative about the fascist regime in power right now, who believes all the lies in the discredited Murdoch press and who supports the intolerable, vicious attacks on asylum seekers, the poor, the unemployed and other vulnerable members of our community, no longer deserve our respect! They are a HUGE part of the problem and the reason why this loathsome government – the worst, most undemocratic, callously inhumane fascists on record – have been returned to power!

    After six long, long disastrous, catastrophic years of non-stop rorting, corruption, waste and environmental vandalism by a ruthless, morally bankrupt pack of soulless neoliberals, “softly-softly” just DOES NOT CUT IT anymore! This nation should be SCREAMING for the LNP’s dismissal before they destroy, vandalise and sell-off everything we hold dear!

  23. johno

    Kathryn, you say a once great nation ? Was it ever a great nation ? I thought the rorting and greed started about 1790 or not long after.

  24. Kathryn

    Johno, I am old enough to remember how good it was under the great socialist, Gough Whitlam. Mind you, it wasn’t perfect then either – but there isn’t a place or government on earth that is perfect! Australia in the early 1970’s was just about as good as it gets! Under the erudite, intellectual and articulate Gough Whitlam, we had a government that really CARED about Australia and Australians, cared about the poor and vulnerable, who actually LISTENED to the people and what we wanted. Whitlam had a sincere and deep love for Australia and the Australian people and his first loyalty was always to this country – that is WHY he pulled our troops out of Vietnam refusing to be a part of America’s dirty little war any longer! The war that the LNP’s Harold Holt committed us to in order to appease the revolting LBJ! It took a politically-motivated LNP government to get us involved in EVERY bloody, dirty American-instigated war going and an ALP government to finally get us out of them!

    The high-achieving Whitlam government used our taxpayer funds to benefit the lives of EVERYONE not just the Top 1%. The Whitlam government fully subsidised primary, secondary and tertiary (TAFE and university) education, The Labor Party – in those days – was true to its loyalty to unions, stood up for the working conditions of those people who had no voice and little power, Whitlam’s ALP were ruled by compassionate left-wing democratic socialists who introduced Medibank, the more generous forerunner to Medicare which, tragically, LNP governments (as well as Bob Hawke) later defunded into oblivion!

    Whitlam introduced equal rights for women, advanced the causes for indigenous Australians and a wide range of benefits for single mothers, the unemployed and for the disabled. In those days, the ALP had set up media ownership laws whereby international, neoliberal predators – like Rupert Murdoch – could not own, manage or control more than 49% of our nation’s media. Tragically, the disreputable, totally corrupt John Howard, disbanded that ruling and, ever since, our country’s media has been completely taken over, influenced and controlled by the lying, conniving and undemocratic Murdoch/LNP/IPA Alliance!

    Gough and Margaret Whitlam were life-time supporters of Australian arts, drama, theatre and opera and invested millions into Australian theatre and drama at a time when Australia released countless high quality movies, TV drama and opera. The red-neck bogans in the LNP/Murdoch/IPA Alliance couldn’t wait to totally defund Australian theatre and arts; they never stopped criticising Whitlam when he purchased Jackson Pollock’s famous “Blue Poles” art work for Parliament House for just over $1 Million — now it is worth $30 Million proving that Gough Whitlam was an astute investor in quality artistic acquisitions.

    If you Google the achievements of Gough Whitlam, the most progressive PM in our history, you will get page after page of wonderful achievements that positively impacted the lives, education and welfare of just about every Australian in our nation; Gough was widely respected overseas WITHOUT cowering like a lapdog to the Americans (unlike the snivelling Morrison); his support of Australian content in our arts, theatre, TV and movie industries did so much to improve our international image and reputation overseas. The only other PM who was (nearly) as high achieving as Gough Whitlam, was in fact, Julia Gillard.

    In comparison, WTF has the lying little war criminal, John Howard, the serial liar and obsequious imperialist, Abbott, the useless elitist,Turnbull and, worst of all, the smug, bible-thumping hypocrite and committed fascist, Morrison, EVER done to improve the lives of anyone earning less than a few million a year or who wasn’t one of their multi-billionaire, non-taxpaying parasitic LNP donors in the coal and iron ore mining industries? NOTHING the LNP has ever done could be construed as philanthropic, compassionate or beneficial to any ordinary Australian – EVER!

  25. Miriam English

    Kathryn, you seem to wilfully misread what I say.

    It is much harder to spend time and effort arguing carefully, patiently, and politely with LNP people than to just attack them. I write novels and short stories and articles. Fiction has the great advantage of sneaking in under the radar of a person’s biases and prejudices. Try reading these (they are only short) and tell me that I’m being less effective than someone who just vents anger:

    Nations (7 pages) – about refugees.
    Meeting Leonardo (5 pages) – about sharing.
    Honesty (4 pages) – about taxing religion.
    Pet (6 pages) – about the futility of violence.

    There are many more at They are all free to read. I spend many hours trying to gently and politely persuade right wing extremists, bigots, and religious people that there are better ways… and occasionally I succeed. Sometimes I am able only to plant a seed that will grow in their minds. Often I’m able to persuade many silent onlookers.

    I’m glad that you say you are not rude, but are merely assertive when speaking with LNP voters… though considering the way you speak to me (someone who is on the same “side” as you) can you see why I find it a little difficult to believe? I’m sure you genuinely begin without intending to be rude, but (given your conversation above) passion quickly moves you beyond being “assertive”. I completely understand: I’m sometimes unable to rein in my frustration, but it is counterproductive.

    I have a saying I try to remind myself of:
    You haven’t won until you’ve made your enemy your friend.

  26. Miriam English

    Kathryn, by the way, I have met many people who are sucked in by right-wing politics who are neither “totally selfish” nor “unspeakably stupid”. Many are very generous, highly intelligent people.

  27. Kathryn

    Miriam, do you ever get a nose bleed whilst you are up so high on your ivory tower, my darling? Spare me the sanctimonious preaching and save it for your right-wing friends. I reiterate, ANYONE who could cheer on Morrison and his sociopathic henchman, Dutton, KNOWING how callous, inept and destructive they are – and have been for six catastrophic years – is either completely stupid, totally misinformed, manipulated by all the crap they inhale out of the politically-biased Murdoch press or from the discredited hacks on SkyNews and/or doesn’t give a rat’s arse about anyone outside their very small insular little world.

    I have friends who are small “L” Liberals and they are a very different breed to the ultra-conservative, xenophobic and mean-spirited racists who cheer on Morrison and Dutton. Many of these moderate, small “L” Liberals (much like the reasonable John Hewson) are now absolutely appalled by the fascist Morrison/Dutton regime but, at the same time, refuse to vote for the ALP. These type of totally disenchanted voters are likely to rule a line through their ballot paper – and fair enough too! However, my problem is with the mindless fools who are ready, willing and able to vote Morrison/Dutton back into power, KNOWING how dangerously undemocratic they are yet willing to give the serial, pathological liars, rorters and smug elitists in the LNP yet ANOTHER term to destroy, defund, privatise and annihilate EVERYTHING they haven’t had a chance to obliterate over the last six catastrophic years of unspeakable inhumanity and cold-blooded depravity.

    If you want to be foolish enough to stand up, support and go softly-softly with such people, then YOU are part of the problem. I can assure you, NOTHING you can say, no amount of logic, common-sense or attempt to appeal to their lapsed sense of humanity, bible-thumping hypocrisy or woefully poor judgement, will change their minds against the LNP! Simply put, it doesn’t matter HOW BAD, how depraved or how corrupt the fascist Morrison/Dutton regime are, these ultra-right-wing red-necks will keep voting them into power because they are motivated by hatred, fear, greed and xenophobia. If you don’t believe me, then ASK them to give you five reasons WHY they keep voting for the worst government in living memory – and let us know their answer. Somewhere in their answer, white supremacy, xenophobic “protection of our borders” and the repugnant, PROVEN LIE about the LNP being better economic managers will raise its ugly head!

    If you choose to cheer on Morrison/Dutton sycophants, you will NOT win any support on this issue by a growing number of very angry, disadvantaged, elderly, unemployed, homeless and sick people (and THEIR supporters) out there whose lives have been DEVASTATED by the LNP’s constant vile attacks and cruel persecution against those citizens who are most vulnerable. I am just a small part of a HUGE growing force of people absolutely enraged by the LNP’s remorseless deception, relentless lies, never-ending corruption and outrageous waste of taxpayer funds. We have had it up to the back teeth with this nauseating pack of political parasites and will NEVER tolerate the muscreants who continue to support them!

    Now, I think I have said enough on this topic! I refuse to go over and over, repeating myself ad nauseum. I don’t have to justify myself to you or anyone. Clearly you are of a different opinion and it is my absolute right to disagree with you. In fact, I think you are dead wrong on this issue so we will agree to disagree and leave it at that.

  28. Matters Not


    refuse to go over and over, repeating myself ad nauseum


  29. Phil

    Phil’s political scoring system has, Kathryn on 1000 points and she will as the week goes on only increase her lead. Her passion is
    unbridled and knows her subject well. I gave her 500 points because I despise Tory’s as well.
    Miriam is on 100 points a tryer and could do better with a little more investigation into the subject at
    hand. She went downhill when she became a bit unraveled preaching that the world is getting better
    which one I wonder?

  30. Kaye Lee

    And I would give both of them, and everyone else who comments here (well most anyway), encouragement to keep sharing their passion, their opinions, their ideas, their knowledge, their questions, and their concerns.

    We need many voices but also the ears to listen to them.

    We need to harness what each other contributes and put it together. Pretty much everyone here is focused on finding out the truth.

  31. Miriam English

    Kathryn, it puzzles me that you continue to argue against what you think I said, instead of what I actually did say.


    Phil, “unraveled”? In my reply to Joe’s angry pessimism I briefly recounted a few of the many ways the world is genuinely getting better.

    Sure, there are some ways it is getting worse, but those are mostly temporary, and will swing back again, though there are two unusually dangerous long-term problems: climate destabilisation and biodiversity loss. Ordinary people are working on fixing the climate problem even as our dopey politicians ignore it. It remains to be seen whether we can fix it in time to avoid the worst results, but trends actually look good. Things don’t look so encouraging with biodiversity loss, but there are a few things that make me hopeful, despite the depressingly grim nature of that problem.

    I like to understand as many of the positive things in the world as I can, while trying not to ignore the bad.

    I don’t know why so many people love to marinate themselves in bad things and moan and rant about how terrible things are for them, while completely ignoring the multitude of good things all around them, and the fact that they are part of the luckiest generations in history. It creates a dangerously unhealthy frame of mind. It makes people unhappy, angry, hateful, and easily manipulated.

    Personal access to knowledge and communication is greater now than ever before, infectious disease has fallen to historically low levels, as has extreme poverty and starvation. We here in Australia are still some of the most privileged people in the world, so that even though I live below Australia’s poverty line and have no savings and don’t own a home, I am still one of the wealthiest, most well-off people in the world, and at 66 years old I can reasonably expect to live another 33 years in good health. The number of well-off, well-educated, middle-class people around the world is growing at unprecedented rates, and the number of potential geniuses along with it. Scientific studies show that people are becoming smarter, more moral, more tolerant, and more peaceful, and that religion and superstition is declining everywhere, especially among the youth. None of this is opinion. All this can be demonstrated as fact.

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