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Too much of an ostrich like behaviour to be of real benefit to the cause of social harmony and a world where diversity is a virtue.

I have been engaging with our learned friend over at his  blog on the comparison between Muslim extremism and the extremism of Christians and when I suggested that :

No, you make the mistake of confusing Christian disapproval that will never go beyond mere words, and the sort of protests that call for the death of cartoonists and the rioting and destruction that has so often been done in the name of Allah.
Frankly were Christians to be destroying private and public property and calling for those who insult Jesus to be beheaded then I would be just as scathing in my criticism as I am of Muslims who do this now. But the simple fact is that on the whole Christians just don’t do that kind of shit. You see I judge the followers of each faith on what they actually do. Christians may try to “impose ” their views on others by all kinds of slick salesmanship and I have no time for it but I have even less time for those that encourage their devout to strap C4 onto their bodies to try to by their place in heaven by killing innocents.
Can’t you see that there is a clear qualitative difference between the two here?


His response was to post this link


Now after I had deciphered the text speak ( it means “Oh really “as far as I can tell 🙄 ) I went and read the page it links to. Our Learned Friend’s citation is very illuminating about just how the progressive mind works I quote the significant paragraphs of his link:

Bible Wars
One sad bit of American and Christian history which few (if any) manage to learn about are the “Bible Wars” between Catholics and Protestants in the latter half of the 19th century. This is especially unfortunate because is remarkably resembles some of the issues which face us today with regards to having religion in public school. If it could lead to violence and death then, we should be wary today.

Jonesboro & Paducah
Commentary on the school violence which occurred in Jonesboro and Paducah. Would more religion in the schools have prevented the violent outbursts, as some religious leaders claim?

Christianity & Homosexuality
The first thing to look at is the nature of the rhetoric and propaganda which is disseminated by “good Christians” in America when addressing this and similar issues. Senator Trent Lott has openly compared homosexuals with thieves, expressing the fundamental assumption that homosexuality is essentially criminal in nature and deserving of similar treatment.

Christianity & Abortion
Government officials in both Canada and the United States have issued warnings to abortion doctors to take extra precautions. Anti-abortion extremists in Britain have warned the public that there “will be casualties” in the coming war, and that they did not intend to “turn the other cheek.” As the anti-abortion rhetoric has increased over the years, so has the anti-abortion violence – property is destroyed, people are killed, and women are denied access to medical care.

Christianity & Wiccans
Do prejudice and discrimination against Wiccans exist in America? Absolutely – although those who engage in it are among the last to be willing to admit it. Wicca, in case you weren’t aware, comes from the Old English word for “witch” and is a religion which celebrates seasonal- and life-cycles using rituals dating from pre-Christian Europe.

Christian Cults
No account of Christian violence in America would be complete without including some of the acts perpetrated by small groups usually known as “cults.” I deplore stereotyping of cults – something which is perhaps most common among Christian apologists. But although “cults” are no more likely to be violent or neurotic than traditional religions, the fact remains that some very famous and very public incidents of violence have occurred with so-called cults.

Jeremy is right about one thing and that  is that all of these citations  are examples of Christians being  bad. Its bad that people should be arguing violently about matters of doctrine (Bible Wars) that individuals should take guns to their schools and kill their class mates (Jonesboro & Paducah) although the examples here were not doing so in the name of Jesus.  Its also bad that many Christians don’t accept that some people are homosexual (Christianity & Homosexuality)  Heck I’ll even agree that the way that some Christian extremists will target the abortion industry is very bad as well. The way that the Wiccans have been discriminated against (Christianity & Wiccans) offends my sense of justice as much as it must  offend our learned friend’s. But the fact remains that the only one of the examples of “Christian” maleficence that has a significant body count that comes anywhere close to the sort of atrocity done in the name of Allah is the Massacre at Jonestown and that was more an example of a religious self-immolation done on a large scale than violence and intimidation against unbelievers .   As horrible as the deaths at Jonestown certainly are (don’t start the You Tube below if you are squeamish) I am not blessed with a mind set that is “Progressive” enough to see that this horrible event is in any sense equitable or analogous to the acts of violence and killing   done in the name of Islam.

Yet the Sandpit’s most Learned Friend would have us believe that this act of collective madness is in the same league the religious nutters who kill in the name of Allah or that the other examples at  his link are analogous to the suicide bombings that we hear about with  far to much  regularity.

As an atheist I have very little time for any kind of magical thinking but I certainly think that you have to be realistic about the nature and magnitudes of evils done in the name of any deity. You just can’t say that one small evil done in the name of one God that is at worse offensive to a notion of tolerance and pluralism is the same as a far greater evil that results in the deaths of many innocents. Our “progressive” friends want to be all “touchy feelly ” and  warmly inclusive to the cultural and religious diversity in our world and I think that this is a laudable aspiration but without the counterbalancing realism that acknowledges the pernicious aspects of those varied expressions of  faith it is rather too much of an ostrich like behaviour to be of real benefit to the cause of social harmony and a world where diversity is a virtue.

Cheers Comrades

PS Readers who check out my link to Jezza’s blog may notice that our Learned friend has rather churlishly removed the link to my homepage from my comments 🙄


“Reverse racism” in Nu Zuland?

Can you spot the Indian?

Over here we have white people like Andrew Bolt saying some white looking people are claiming to be black people and getting “special ‘abo’ privileges” and awards and jobs and stuff that they should not have got. He is now getting sued for saying that.

But over there in Nu Zuland, we have black people saying some white looking people are pretending to be black people and getting awards they should not get.

Is this the “reverse racism” that Iain and other people say is at work in the black peoples worlds?

And if “reverse racism” is wrong then why shouldn’t white people be allowed to enter black people’s awards and competitions?

Who is right and who is wrong? Who is white and who is black?

I am confused. Go figure.

A blonde haired blue-eyed Wellingtonian Indian has caused turmoil in the beauty contest world by winning Miss IndiaNZ (*) – and being accused of not being Indian enough.

The New Zealand Herald said Jacinta Lal, 21, was booed and has been the subject of complaints to organisers from Indian spectators who, she says, are no better than TV presenter Paul Henry.

Ms Lal, the daughter of an Indo Fijian and a New Zealander, won the central district Miss IndiaNZ contest in Wellington in April.

Complaints questioning Lal’s eligibility to be in the pageant had been received, festival organiser Dharmesh Parikh said.

Lal’s supporters say they are unhappy at the response of the crowd.


Lal said she had heard people saying: “I wasn’t Indian-looking enough to win the pageant.”

* Actually, The Age got it a bit wrong. Jacinta did not win the Miss India-NZ final which was won (surprise, surprise) by a very Indian looking girl. But she was a finalist and did win the earlier Wellington division of the competition which is where she got booed and complained about by Indian Nu Zulanders who looked like Indians. 

But the point is made. Only I am not sure what the point is or what to think about this.

Jacinta is a wannabe model and actor so maybe shes just doing it for the publicity?

But You be the judges and juries and decide if Jacinta is black or white, right or wrong:

Is this an Indian Nu Zulander?

Or this?

Or this?

I don’t think so!

(I would give her a root though)

Indian camps training for Dikshit Games

I am a sportsfan and a great fan of sportsmens but I draw the line on what I saw on this ABC video of the Indian camps training for the Delhi Dikshit Games. Since when is homosexuality a sport?

Welcome to the 2010 ‘Dikshit’ Commonwealth Games

There has been a lot of hype about New Delhi not being ready for next week’s Commonwealth games.

It’s all a media beat-up. We should just listen to the person in charge. The one who really knows. 

Delhi’s Mayor (or chief minister): 

Indian officials tried to downplay the incident, with Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit saying:

“Do not make it look like the whole thing has collapsed. They are not insurmountable problems. For the past month there have been incessant rains. Sure it is a problem, but not a major one.”

Sheila is right, this is a piffling problem. Who needs a footbridge anyway? It’s no big deal. Let them walk across the freeway to the stadium; it’s all part of the Delhi experience.

And just because the engineering company behind the collapsed footbridge also built the steel supports for the main stadium and the netball & cyling venues is no reason to worry either.

Okay, the roof in the wrestling arena has caved in too and the athletes’ accommodation is a filthy shambles after being used to house the workers and left in a mess complete with dog turds. So what? Welcome to India – get used to it!

Look, just because they “used the same steel and concrete in-fill methods to build the orange aerial pedestrian walkways that, in 10 days, must support thousands of spectators as they enter the JLN stadium” is no cause for concern. There won’t be any Indian spectators getting killed; they can’t afford the tickets!

And don’t worry about the integrity of the refitted existing stadium that was already riddled with concrete cancer. It’s only got to stand up for 2 weeks. Heck, I’ve known cancer patients to survive for years!

No, these buildings were specifically designed with the limited skills of Indian construction workers in mind. You can rest assured with these soothing words from the Aussie architects that all will be fine:

Australian architectural firm Peddle Thorp is behind at least five Commonwealth Games venues. Architect Chris Godsell said … he was “not at all surprised” to hear of Tuesday’s bridge collapse.”We went there with 21st century ideas and found a workforce still really stuck in the 19th century,” Mr Godsell said. “You’re talking about shapes and forms from the 21st century; you can draw them on a computer but then you put a computer beside the Indian workforce and you couldn’t find two things further apart.

So what’s the problem? Come on over. There’s more chance you’ll be killed by a terrorist than a collapsed building. Welcome to the Dikshit Games!

Half a million page views at the Sandpit

I know that statistical miles stones are really meaningless but that does not stop you feeling pretty good when you reach them. Well if you keep an eye on the hit counter at the bottom of the page some time today I expect that you will see the counter tick over t0 the magical “500,000” mark . That is pretty good for a modest blog written as a bit of fun .

Thanks very much to all of those who take the time to read what I and my friends put up  here and a special thanks to all of those who take the time to comment and argue with what is on this web-page. Commentary and argument is the life blood of blogging and long may it keep pumping at the Sandpit.

Cheers Comrades

A lovely time among the fruit and veg

Amritsar's Golden Temple

Yesterday when in my favourite fruit shop I had a most interesting conversation with a charming man and his wife who  asked me if I was an Indian. This surprised me because as a Pom  and a fairly pale skinned one at that, I had never considered the possibility that I could be mistaken for someone from the subcontinent. It turned out that my beard  and my black beanie completely covering my hair  had given him  the idea that I could be like him a Sikh. We had a most jolly discussion about Indian cooking he explained that under his turban his hair was long an I could sense a tinge of regret in his voice when he explained that his beard was like “designer stubble” because his work as a cook meant that his employers preferred it that way. We chatted for a while  about cooking and about the Sikh temple at Goolwa. Both of us left feeling good. I felt afterwards that there can be some real positives to this multicultural malarkey if there is mutual respect.

So after paying for my veg and getting it into the car my day had been considerably brightened by that young man in the turban.
Cheers Comrades

Swings and roundabouts

Reading the BBC news website today led me to two different stories about the environment in the Bay of Bengal. Now if you read the first one I would be very surprised if you did not think that it is a sure sign that the dire  predictions about climate change were being vindicated.

A tiny island claimed for years by India and Bangladesh in the Bay of Bengal has disappeared beneath the rising seas, scientists in India say.

The uninhabited territory south of the Hariabhanga river was known as New Moore Island to the Indians and South Talpatti Island to the Bangladeshis.

Recent satellites images show the whole island under water, says the School of Oceanographic Studies in Calcutta.

Its scientists say other nearby islands could also vanish as sea levels rise.


“What these two countries could not achieve from years of talking, has been resolved by global warming,” said Professor Sugata Hazra of the School of Oceanographic Studies at Jadavpur University in Calcutta.

Anyone wishing to visit now, he observed, would have to think of travelling by submarine.

Professor Hazra said his studies revealed that sea levels in this part of the Bay of Bengal have risen much faster over the past decade than they had done in the previous 15 years.

And he predicts that in the coming decade other islands in the Sundarbans delta region will follow New Moore, or South Talpatti, beneath the waves.

“We will have ever larger numbers of people displaced from the Sunderbans as more island areas come under water,” Prof Hazra said.

I am sure that PKD or JM  will be thinking something along the lines of “At last here is some proof that Iain Hall can’t dispute” but If you think about it for a second it is not that hard to realise that the many islands in that part of the world are in fact made of accumulated river mud and not what anyone would call very substantial so the disappearance of this island is probably down to it being simply washed away rather than it being inundated by rising sea in much the same way that sandbanks come and go.. But just as the lord takes something away something else is created and on today’s climate roundabout  we have this story also from the BBC:

Bangladeshis are used to frequent flooding

New research shows Bangladesh may not be as vulnerable to rising sea levels caused by climate change as previously feared, scientists in Dhaka say.

They say satellite images show the country’s landmass is actually growing because of sediment dumped by rivers.

A report by UN scientists has projected that rising sea levels will inundate 17% of Bangladesh by 2050, making about 30 million people homeless.

One its authors said he saw little in the new research to change his mind.

‘New islands’

Satellite images of Bangladesh over the past 32 years show that the country is growing annually by about 20 square kilometres (7.72 square miles), said Maminul Haque Sarker of the Dhaka-based Centre for Environment and Geographic Information Services.

Looking at the two pieces  should make you think about how the alarmists are so keen to give us half the story if it tells us that disaster is imminent.  Based upon a small detail like the amount of land in Bangladesh that is only a little above sea level   they ignore the fact that the delta is being constantly added to by the silt carried by the great rivers of the area.

Its  an interesting confluence of stories that should serve to remind us that nothing in the planets geography of our planet is fixed and unchanging, especially when it is at the meeting place of some great rivers and the sea.

Cheers Comrades

Its all about activating the guilt chip in the heads of the latte sippers

The guilt chip is clearly evident in this Latte sippers brain. It is the one that you can see right at the front.

Warministas love to counter the citation of extreme winter conditions (as proof that the world is not warming) with the suggestion that it is only “weather” and that “weather is not Climate“. Personally i have always thought that such a distinction is rather spurious. Spurious in the same way that saying that the millimetre marks on a tape measure are not a measurement in the same way that the metre marks are. It is all a matter of scale. Despite the Warministas denouncing any citation of any weather event that contradicts their argument they are still rather fond of citing weather events that fit with their own prognostications

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change based the claims on an unpublished report that had not been subjected to routine scientific scrutiny – and ignored warnings from scientific advisers. The report’s author later withdrew the claim because the evidence was too weak.

The link was central to demands at last month’s Copenhagen climate summit by African nations for compensation of $US100 billion from the rich nations.

However, the IPCC knew in 2008 that the link could not be proved but did not alert world leaders, who have used weather extremes to bolster the case for action on climate change.

Kevin Rudd last November linked weather extremes to the debate over the government’s emissions trading scheme.

“We will feel the effects of climate change fastest and hardest, and therefore we must act this week, and the government will be doing everything possible to make sure that can occur,” the Prime Minister said at the time.

British Climate Change Minister Ed Miliband has suggested floods – such as those in Bangladesh in 2007 – could be linked to global warming.

US President Barack Obama said last year: “More powerful storms and floods threaten every continent.”

Last month British Prime Minister Gordon Brown told parliament that the financial agreement at Copenhagen “must address the great injustice that . . . those hit first and hardest by climate change are those that have done least harm”.

The IPCC has now been forced to reassess its report linking extreme weather to climate change.

There is a clear dissonance here between the “weather is not climate” mantra and the “weather events prove Global Warming is happening” rhetoric that we are getting from The likes Of Obama and Brother Number One and it is obvious to me that the rhetoric is intended to activate the guilt chips in the heads of the worlds progressives this enables the aforementioned leaders to bring about fundamental changes to our society by stealth. Changes to the energy economy and changes to the world’s political institutions. But then hasn’t that been the desire of religion since men began to draw pictures on the stone walls of their caves? Like the measuring tape I mentioned earlier it is all a matter of scale and finding the marks on the tape that fit the liturgy.
Oh yeah its also another reason to think that the UN in general and the IPCC in particular is as useless as titties on a bull.
Cheers Comrades

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