Friday, December 6, 2013

The first thing

There is something that is easily forgotten but is essential to a good life. That is  that life is central to our existence.
Well obviously! Yes, it's obvious; but how easily we can forget this as the days, weeks, months and years pass by.
What I'm saying is that we lose the significance of this obvious fact. What is this life? It is powered by life-force. And what is that, exactly?
I don't know. To begin with, knowing what it is is not important. To feel it comes first; and to be aware of it.
This is something that must be realised.
There is quite a difference between knowing and realising. We all know we're alive. Do we realise it? Realising is to make something real. Knowledge of the head is a good starting place. To be realised, that knowledge must also be in the heart and the gut. This may be why many magic rituals are performed three times. As a matter of interest and to back up what I am saying, the heart and gut both have complex neural networks which are not unlike the brain's. They may be primitive by comparison but are nonetheless essential.
This takes me away from my point,  however, which is this: no, I don't know what life-force is but I can feel it in every breath I take, every movement I make, in every thought and feeling I have, in the sunshine and the rain and the wind and the sensation of gravity. I call it magic and there's none that can prove it otherwise.
As children we are alive and unknowing. We play with life. Our societies have become life destroying (look at what we're doing to our beautiful Earth and its inhabitants, ourselves included) or at best life-manipulative. Manage this and that,  all very well; but in the end, will you have appreciated it, this precious life of yours? What was the point of your being alive if you die without knowing you were ever alive in the first place?
So many theories of psychology and biology and even philosophy and theology and magic; but the basic premise is too simple for the intellect: breathe, feel - with your gut, your heart and your head. Thinking is a powerful tool but it is still a tool, not the tool user. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Outcomes Election 2013

So with the election all voted out and a new PM...despite the fact that it is Tony Abbott I still feel optimistic.
The pre-election polls predicted something of a bloodbath, which didn't happen;  and it is clear that the LNP alliance didn't so much win as Labor lost. The swing of around 4.5% does not show unequivocal support for our new government.
Tony Abbott had sworn to wipe out the Greens. Liberal preferences put Labor ahead of this most hated minor party. Yet Adam Bandt not only achieved the 4% increase in his primary vote required to save his seat; he increased it by 8%! The Greens may still also hold the balance of power in the Senate. And even if they don't win that extra seat, the grab-bag of other minor party and independent senators will not make the passing of dubious bills an easy thing.
Sure, there's still plenty of opportunity for damage. And no doubt the strategists of the LNP alliance will work to make a better position for the government; but it is not plain sailing.
I rather believe that the major parties also both over-estimate the concern and fear Australians have for refugees. They have tried to make "Stopping the boats" a primary election issue, hoping to use that the linchpin of the election. Apparently, they thought that kicking foreigners when they're down was a positive thing. I don't think that the majority of Australians agree.
Modern day polling techniques have also shown themselves to be woeful. The lazy method of having computers dial land lines missed large swathes of the population. After all, not everyone has land lines these days. So getting accurate information on voting intentions is currently out of the question.
This government is on notice even as it starts. As was the last. Something that this election has demonstrated to me is that Australia isn't that decided. The future isn't that clear cut.

Friday, August 30, 2013

The trouble with Australian politics. Warning! Government: Handle with care.

Am I biased against Australia's Liberal Party? Yes, I am. But it's with good reason. I'll get to it.

As the Federal Election draws closer, I am astounded at the bizarre turn that Australian politics has taken.

There is nothing new in politicians lying. As the joke goes, you know when they're lying because their lips are moving. There's nothing new about them blasting their opponents and talking up themselves. What is new and can surely have failed to go unnoticed by most people is the rabid ranting and shouting and the attitude of disrespect that until now had been a characteristic mainly of American politics. It is noteworthy that this kind of talk seems always to come from the right wing extreme.

They do this because they know their own policies are actually bad for the populace of the nation (hence they don't mention them to much). Abbott is striking out for the Bloke Vote, comments about the sex appeal of one of his candidates etc. And when he asks if Kevin Rudd won't shut up, it's because he's got nothing else to say himself.And it really bothers me that people can be manipulated this easily.

Well, I guess that's a result of our education system (right wing always hates education), the blithering rubbish that clogs up our TV screens, the Murdoch media which seems to have extended its control to those outlets it doesn't own, somehow, the rabid rantings of our poor billionaires who've suffered so much at the hands of the Labor government, and the willingness of the public to actually believe that the Liberal Party and their toadying lackeys the Nationals actually care about the nation or anything other than their own personal interests.

Come on people! Wake up!

Now I personally don't like Rudd. I think he is a clumsy fool with ego-issues. He started out well in the early days, but he's got no long-term range. I liked Gillard a lot better, because she was actually trying to do things to help the country. However, her stance on gay marriage and refugees was appalling. Still, at least she didn't try to deprive genuine refugees of the right to settle here.

But here's also the main difference between Gillard and Abbott (and Rudd). She was prepared to put her career on the line for the nation. Abbott, on the other hand, is prepared to put the nation on the line for his career.

Now, do you know what the major parties policies are? What they intend to do post-election? It is mainly a popularity contest, so policies aren't important. But just so you know, a vote for the Coalition is a vote for Rupert Murdoch, Gina Rinehart, and all the suffering filthy rich. Your job will be to pay their taxes for them. And a vote for Labor is a vote for...well, I don't know anymore.

I certainly think that the Greens are a reasonable alternative for placing you vote. You can choose your preference afterwards. I think that a hung parliament with minor parties holding the balance of power in the senate is ideal. It will force negotiation, bring differing perspectives to the table and be truer to what is supposed to be democracy. It will filter the worst elements of the major parties, thereby softening the blow of legislation.

Governments should be handled with caution - they can be dangerous if allowed to get out of control. And I think that the more someone wants power, the more they should not be allowed to have it.