Monthly Archives: May 2010

So Conroy is it ok for the government to invade our privacy?

It seems that Conroy may be ok with privacy invasion so long as it’s the Government and not Google. Last week he accused both Google and Facebook of violating users privacy.

Speaking before a Senate committee hearing late on Monday evening, Conroy described Google as having committed the “single greatest breach in the history of privacy” by deliberately collecting private wireless data while taking pictures for its “Street View” mapping service.

He also had sharp words for Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, claiming that the latter had a “complete disregard” for users’ privacy. The Registrer

However Conroy has raised no such concerns regarding the Governments intrusion into citizens private lives.

Australian customs officers have been given new powers to search incoming travellers’ laptops and mobile phones for pornography, a spokeswoman for the Australian sex industry says.

Fiona Patten, president of the Australian Sex Party, is demanding an inquiry into why a new question appears on Incoming Passenger Cards asking people if they are carrying “pornography”.

Patten said officials now had an unfettered right to examine travellers’ electronic devices, marking the beginning of a new era of official investigation into people’s private lives. The Age

To be fair perhaps Conroy just hasn’t gotten around to commenting yet. But there seems to be a worrying trend that the government can “Do no harm” while the rest of us require constant control.

AVN Seminar to go ahead.

Well it seems the Australian Vaccination Networks anti-vaccination seminar is set to go ahead in Perth. Despite many Skeptics contacting the Library to warn them of the dishonest information that the AVN wishes to push onto parents. The next step to combating the AVN is to contact the Libraries board of directors and notify them of the misinformation that the AVN is going to use it for.

However if all else fails the next step is to attend and report on the seminar, which is exactly what I intend to do on June 1st. I expect many of the attendees will be anti-vaxers but some will be genuinely looking for answers and if skeptics are on hand perhaps we can help to minimise the damage that is caused by the AVNs misinformation. At the very least attending the seminar will provide an insight into the way the AVN operates.

Subject: FW: Upcoming Seminar
From: “Margaret Allen”
Date: Mon, 24 May 2010 16:40:24 +0800

Dear Mr Buzzard,

The State Library of Western Australia provides facilities and services
to the community of Western Australia as a whole; inevitably from time
to time this may include interest groups with views that some may find

The State Library does not make any judgment about individuals, groups
or organizations, unless there is a clear breach of law, policies or
procedures, in which case we may act to exclude clients.

I acknowledge your opposition to the Australian Vaccination Network but
this does not provide grounds for the State Library to exclude this
group from using a public facility for lawful means.

Thank you for bringing your concerns to my attention.

Margaret Allen
Chief Executive Officer and State Librarian
T: +61 8 94273328
F: +61 8 94273336

—–Original Message—–
From: Dan Buzzard []
Sent: Monday, 24 May 2010 16:03
To: Margaret Allen
Subject: Upcoming Seminar

Dear Margaret,

I have concerns regarding the upcoming seminar on vaccination that is
being presented by the Australian “Vaccination” Network, who despite
their name are in fact opposed to the use of vaccination. They also
engage in the spreading of misinformation in an attempt to stop parents
from having their children vaccinated. Information is always important
but when people such as Meryl Dorey and her organization set out to
spread misinformation lives are put at risk.

As a place of information and learning I believe the State Library
should make some serious reconsiderations about providing a venue for
The Australian Vaccination Network. As a Librarian you will of course
understand the importance of evaluating information from reliable
sources. I ask that the Library look into the claims being made by the
AVN and evaluate that information against credible academic journals
then I am sure you will see the AVN and dishonest information they wish
to spread.

Best Regards,
~Dan Buzzard


Anti-vaxers seek a new nest.

The #antivax group deceptively called “The Australian Vaccination Network” are coming to Perth and will be using the State Library of Western Australia to hold their seminar on Influenza Vaccination. Their last venue the Uniting Church in Australia decided that they wanted nothing to do with the AVN, after being informed of the organisation’s questionable ethics.

The Australian Vaccination Network despite it’s name is an anti-vaccine organisation, which is almost as ridiculous as an anti-seatbelt organisation. Except that this is no laughing matter; peoples lives are put in danger by the spread of this misinformation. As we have already seen.

This unethical health meanace should not be entitled to use a Government building, especially a library to spread their misleading information. Their aim is to scare parents into skipping vaccinations that could save their child’s life. With vaccines being one to the greatest medical advancements in history the AVN has no justifiable grounds for it’s scare campaign.

I encourage everybody who reads this to contact the Library and inform them about what the AVN is really all about. (Be polite)

State Library of Western Australia
25 Francis Street
Perth Cultural Centre
Perth WA 6000

Ph: 08 9427 3111

Also take a moment to read the letter to Australian parents that is attached to this post; written by Australian Skeptics Inc.

Attached: Immunisation get the Facts.

The world is not a Pick'N'Mix

One of the things that really annoys me about Creationists is their dishonesty; even to their own faith. The other is their Pick’N’Mix approach to Science.

Defying Gods will

Christians believe that everything that happens is a part of Gods divine plan; but they only believe this so long as it is to their own benefit. As soon as they get sick they goto the Doctor or Hospital to obtain some science based medicine, the same science whos process they attack and disrupt at any opportunity and not only are they turning to something they so rigorously deny but they are also defying their god.If gods wants them to be sick and die a slow painful death then isn’t that exactly what they should do? If they are going to die then that is gods wish; according to their own philosophy but many of them are quick to defy the wish of their god as soon as this inconvenience arrives. So much for obeying the will of god.


Intellectual Dishonesty

It is no secret that Science and Religion are not compatible, which is why creationist’s reject it. Science must be rejected in order to preserve creationist belief because it highlights the complete fallacy of those beliefs. But they will only reject Science when it suits them for example Churches and their followers have no problem using modern technology which would not exist without the advancement of modern Science. Television, Radio, Cars, The Internet all this things came from Science and yet religious people happily use them sometimes even to attack the Science which developed them, religious stupidity clearly know no bounds.

Our knowledge of the universe is expanding all the time and God simply has no place in it. We once thought the Earth was flat, now we know it is round. We once thought the Earth was the centre of the universe, now we know we are not even the centre of our own galaxy. We once thought the Earth was a few thousand years old, now we know it is 4.55 Billion years old within a 1% margin of error and the Universe is 13.75 Billion years old with a possible error margin of 0.17 Billion years either side. Our knowledge keeps on expanding and creationists whether Christian or otherwise accept most of this new knowledge upto the point where it disproves or conflicts with their beliefs then they throw a tantrum and reject it.


No Pick’N’Mix

The choice between Science and Bullshit is clear; both are incompatible with each other and you cannot simply pick and choose the pieces of science that you do like and reject the pieces that you don’t. The world is not a pick and mix. If you embrace Science that’s fine and rejecting it is also fine however you cannot do both simultaneously. I am not talking about legitimate scrutiny, because that is the strength of science I am talking about out right rejection of the Scientific method. A popular hobby in the Creationist camp.

Attorney General fails to grasp concept of free-speech.

When it comes to Freedom of Speech Attorney General; Robert McClelland simply doesn’t get it. 

FREEDOM of speech only goes so far and it does not stretch to racism, Attorney-General Robert McClelland says.

In a speech to a cyber-racism summit in Sydney, Mr McClelland said the Government was tackling the difficult world of cyber bullying and online protection of children.

“It may well be appropriate to set some limitation to public expression of hateful material,” Mr McClelland said.

He said cyber-racism was a growing area of concern for the Human Rights Commission. Eighteen per cent of racism complaints handed to the Commission in 2008-09 were about racist internet material, up from nine per cent in the previous year.

When it comes to Freedom of Speech you cannot simply pick and choose what speech is acceptable and what speech is not, because that is the complete reverse of Free-Speech. You don’t need to agree with the opinions of others but unless you are prepared to defend their right to say it you cannot call yourself a supporter of Free-Speech and nor can you reasonably expect others to respect your rights when you do not extend that courtesy yourself.

Most people don’t understand what it actually means to “Support” Freedom of Speech. When you support Free Speech you often find yourself defending many unpleasant things that you disagree with because all the other so called “supporters” have turned out to be fakes just trying to get some positive credit for a value they do not really hold.

A Jewish person defending Free-Speech needs to support the rights of holocaust deniers just as an African American person defending Free-Speech needs to support the rights of the Ku Klux Klan despite the content of that speech. Given in this context it is easy to see why there are so few real supporters of Free-Speech around.

When supporting the Freedom of Speech content is irrellivent and if you want your rights to be respected you must extend that respect to the freedom of others no matter who they are.

Judge rejects Christian immunity from the law.

A Judge has reject Christian pleas for special immunity from the law. There is no way these primitive people are deserving of special treatment; unless of course your talking about psychiatric care.

Christianity deserves no protection in law above other faiths and to do so would be “irrational, divisive, capricious and arbitrary”, a senior judge said yesterday.

In the latest clash between the judiciary and Christian believers Lord Justice Laws said that laws could not be used to protect one religion above another. Times Online

Apparently a Christian marriage guidance counsellor was sacked for refusing to help gay couples. A perfectly reasonable outcome for someone who refuses to do their job, but Christians are now expecting special treatment so that they cannot be sacked for refusing to help people. What about a Christian Doctor, would it be ok for them to refuse to save someone’s life for religious purposes?

Andrea Williams, the director of the Christian Legal Centre, warned that the judgment would deny Christians a range of jobs because of their beliefs. Times Online

We also deny plenty of jobs to paranoid schizophrenics because of their beliefs.