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Everyone’s talking about it: Gay Marriage

Gay marriage!

So here are a few arguments, for and against, from the comments section of Australian news websites. Real people, with real opinions, telling us what they really think (usually with incorrect grammar and spelling).

It’s wrong:

Opposition comes from the position that there is a morally right way of expressing sexuality, and a morally wrong way of expressing sexuality. Homosexuality is viewed as morally wrong by those who oppose it.

– Issac, here.

The ever-present animal comparison:

There is no reason to allow gay marriage. Love is not a legitimate reason to allow it, as some people love kids or animals in the same way. But we’re not going to support marriage to children or animals, are we? Then be consistent people!

– Ryan, here.

Is it time to allow people to marry animals too?! get real. A marriage has been between a male and female for 4000-5000 years! why suddenly change?

– Hooda, here.

Choose another word; not marriage, because those eight letters are just so precious to us heterosexuals:

Civil unions is a formal recognition for gay people. Marriage is clearly defined in legislation (rightly so) between a man and a woman. The gay community need another word, not marriage.

– Simon, here.

If same-sex couples want to live together, then they can. But don’t call it marriage!
Marriage is a holy and sacred covenantal agreement between a man and a woman before God and others. Please don’t steal our word and make it mean less than that.

-BethyBennett, here.

The Bible says ‘No’:

No. This is a predominantly Christian community. Over 70% of Australians identify as Christian. The Bible says that homosexuality is a sin.

– Jenny, here.

And the counter-argument:

The bible also says that to show your love to your child you should beat them with a rod (Proverbs 13:24), and that if your child curses you they should be put to death (Lev 20:9) – do you do that?

The bible also says it is a sin to eat shellfish (Lev 11:9-12) – have you eaten prawns or lobster latety?

Have you run around killing Muslims, Buddhists and those of other religions lately – after all that is commanded by your Bible (Ex 22:20, Deu 17:2-7)? What about atheists, killed any of them lately to bring about peace (2 Chr 15:15)?

You may wish to pick and choose a selection of rules from an iron age story – but don’t expect the rest of us to, nor that you can impose your religious beliefs on everyone else.

– rob1966, here.

We are Christians God damn it, and the human race, 9 billion strong, depends on us heterosexuals fucking to survive:

This is a christian nation – that is where our great nation began – on good moral ground – and we need to stand our ground on issues like this. If we took this argument to its logical conclusion, then humanity’s survival is at stake – without a “mummy and a daddy”, there would be NO human race!

– SusieT, here.

What discrimination?

The Marriage Act applies to one man and one woman, there is nothing ‘discriminatory’ in that. I notice that the gay lobby and the Greens do not think that it is discriminatory to refuse Muslims the right to more than one wife although Centrelink already accepts such arrangements.

– Jessica and Josh, here.

The country is in crisis; it is not the time to talk about gay marriage. Let’s postpone this debate until the nation is growing and happy and fuel prices are back at 60c/L.

No time should be taken up by Parliament with gay rights. As they obviously can’t produce children, they don’t need any other rights other than to be able to live together, which they can do at their own choice now.

– Tracker, here.

Well done Adam Brandt, get yourself into feeding off the tax payer then your big aim in life is this. What about the 25,000 homeless children in Australia ?

– Trump, here.

Another minority group:

I do not believe that the majority of people support gay marriage. There is no good reason for legalising gay marriage. It makes no difference to the legal standing of the relationship. This is another push by a minority group to impose their views on the rest of society.

-Terry, here.

You’re a dickhead:

To call a same sex union a marriage defies the language and once you start to stuff around with the definition of language all other definitions are under threat as well as all legal and the meaning of legislated law.

– Deiter, here.

I don’t care, therefore no one cares:

Give us a break! Most people are sick to death of a minority’s sexuality issues thrust in our faces everytime we want to read the news. I’m seriously thinking about going to other media outlets for my news. There is no balance here.

– Simon, here.

The totally uneducated:

It’s not a human rights issue a. we have never had the right to marry so its not something that has been taken away from us and b. do those straight couples who choose not to be married or those that just cant find a partner are they also in breach of their human rights? Hardly.

– ChrisG, here.

It is an illness. Treatable with counselling/jail etc. Allowing gay marriages will also increase the risk of AIDS.

GoBigOne, here.

You’ve almost persuaded me:

Who said Guy marrigers must get the nod, it is immoral & against nature, to explain it in the simplist terms we are here to keep the species alive. Look at the Dinosausers, they all turned gay, now were are they ?

– Dale, here.

Do you support gay marriage?

What is a pledge?

“I will quit smoking!”

If you make a pledge to quit smoking, and then you smoke the next day, you have broken the pledge, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have made the pledge in the first place, nor does it mean that you should discontinue your effort to stop smoking.

A pledge is about trying to improve; to set a high standard and then make a commitment to achieve it, or abide by it.

A New Year’s Resolution is a pledge. We make them and break them each year, but we shouldn’t stop making them because we often, sometimes or always break them.

Marriage vows are also pledges:

I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life. I take you, for my lawful (husband/wife), to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, around 40,000 people break that pledge every year. Greg Norman broke it very quickly and is now ready to take it again!!

Ben May wrote:

What [Sue Brooks] wrote initially was right – how can you say you will never speed. Intentional or Unintentional – saying that you will do all these things is being idealistic.

For some people, it is also being idealistic to make a resolution to stop smoking, or a vow to love your partner until death. So in future, please don’t make these commitments; be realistic and don’t even try to become a better, safer, happier or healthier person.

As Ben points out:

Sign all the petitions, pledges, votes or whatever – but until drivers actually do something, and take personal accountability and responsibility on the road, little is going to change.

I suppose what I’m pointing out is that a pledge is about your intentions. No one can guarantee that they will never smoke again, never divorce their partner or never speed again. As I wrote in my last post, people make mistakes. But that shouldn’t stop them from trying to do the right thing and make a pledge, a resolution or a vow to change.

Speedy Sue won’t sign Safe Driving Pledge

Fraser Coast Councillor Sue Brooks intends to continue speeding because some speed limits are too low and sometimes driving above the speed limit is safer!

Last week, Sue Brooks, a Councillor of the Fraser Coast Regional Council, stated on her blog (Speedy Sue or Snail Sue, 14 Oct 2010) that she could not take a safe driving pledge because she would be lying. Note: This is a pledge (it’s about the future, not the past).

There have been a number of fatal crashes in the Fraser Coast Regional Council area recently. Two separate crashes killed two young women, and the most recent, killed a well known restaurateur. The pledge was created by a local news organisation for people to ‘sign’ online as a way to help reduce the number of car accidents in the area. While this may not be a very effective strategy for reducing accidents, it couldn’t hurt! The ten safe driving pledges are included below.

I will:

1.    Abide by the 3 c’s (concentration, consideration, control)
2.    Always be patient
3.    Not drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs
4.    Drive to the conditions
5.    Not speed
6.    Check my health regularly and accept my limitations
7.    Never take a phone in my hands
8.    Exercise caution at all times
9.    Be aware of my surroundings
10.  Ensure my car is roadworthy

Fraser Coast Chronicle

Councillor Brooks stated on her blog:

“I can’t sign the Fraser Coast Chronicle Road Safety pledge as I would be lying! I can’t sign it because I sometimes speed.”

“I reckon numbers 4 and 5 are contradictory somewhat as some speed limits are just too low. And we should ALWAYS be driving to the conditions, which I think means sometimes it is safer to go SLIGHTLY faster than the posted limit on some roads at some times.”

I’ll take these points separately.

Some speed limits are too low, therefore it’s okay if I speed!

Now, I can understand that there is debate about what level speed limits should be set at on particular sections of road to achieve a relatively safe driving environment. A debate about speed limits is perfectly fine with me and I’d encourage people to have their say. But, it is important to note here that Queensland Transport sets speed limits and has quite a substantial criteria for determining the level; they don’t wake up one day and just pick a number. The following elements are taken into account:

  • environment in which the road is located;
  • pavement, shoulder and lane width;
  • horizontal and vertical road alignment;
  • traffic volume, activity and prevailing speeds;
  • frequency of intersections and property access;
  • on-road parking activity;
  • type of roadside activities;
  • presence of unsignalised at-grade pedestrian crossings;
  • presence of traffic signals;
  • magnitude of property setback;
  • presence of linemarking, channelisation and medians; and
  • proximity of roadside hazards and standard of protection.

Queensland Transport

Now, I’m not calling Sue unintelligent, but who would you rather set speed limits, Sue or Queensland Transport? At the end of the day, a limit is set, and that limit should be followed.

Sometimes it’s safer to go faster than the speed limit, therefore it’s okay if I speed!

Well, it doesn’t take much to counter that argument; it’s simply false.

Some people may argue that occasionally it’s safer to speed in order to overtake a big semi-trailer and get back to their side of the road as quickly as possible. Incorrect; it would be safer to not overtake! Your decision to overtake should be predicated on you not needing to speed to safely overtake. Take a chill pill, and enjoy that distinctive cow poo aroma!

Next statement:

“In residential areas the speed should be a carte blanche of 50kmh”

I believe the speed limit is already 50km/h in residential areas – I also believe that this is an incorrect use of the phrase “carte blanche” but that is hardly a topic to cover in this blog post. Yep, Queensland Transport confirms:

“The default speed limit in built-up areas has been reduced from 60 km/h to 50 km/h. This means that when driving in a built-up area, you should drive no faster than 50 km/h unless there is a sign stating otherwise.”

Queensland Transport

Were you not around during the advertising campaign informing us of this change?

To hear someone in a position of authority even suggest that speeding is tolerable in some circumstances  on some roads is an absolute offense. I’ve actually crashed a car at high speed (100km/hr), and I don’t want to ever be involved in something like it again. I ran off the side of the road, hit a culvert for a driveway, was airborne over the driveway and landed in a ditch. The road was good, I wasn’t speeding, it wasn’t rainy or foggy. I made a mistake. Anyone can make a mistake!

Sue, sign the damn pledge and stop fucking speeding!

Joe Hockey is an idiot… (not personally > I don’t know him)

Joe Hockey was on Sunday this morning. He talked about Kevin Rudd and his regular appearance on Sunrise as well as the ‘outrageous’ amount of money the Labor Party will spend between now and the election in November.

Joe tried to suggest that Rudd’s appearances on Sunrise are no longer appropriate because he is the Opposition Leader. However he defended his own appearances. Why is it acceptable for a minister of Parliament to appear regularly on a light, entertaining morning show but not for the opposition leader?

He also suggested that the Labor party will spend around $100 million leading up to the election ($88 million from the unions and $12 million from the state Labor branches). This continues the governments attack on the Labor party for being ‘ruled by the union’s’. Meanwhile the Federal Government has been described as the biggest advertising spender in Australian political history – (see quote below from SHM – 2005).

“Crikey! Remember crocodile hunter Steve Irwin bobbing about on your TV screen a year or so back warning you not to bring any plants or animals into the country?

“You paid for that ad. Irwin received a $175,000 appearance fee for one day of filming, a recent Senate estimates committee revealed, and the Quarantine Matters campaign cost $5.3 million.

“Yet it was a comparatively cheap campaign for the Federal Government, which is the biggest advertising spender in Australian political history, and a significant player when compared with the corporate sector.

“Federal Government spending on advertising jumped by nearly $70 million last financial year [2004-05] to $170 million, according to Opposition figures released this week.” – Stephanie Peatling, Sydney Morning Herald, 12 Mar 2005, p.19.

Joe said the government’s spending of millions of dollars of taxpayer’s money is necessary to let people know about the policies they are putting forward. I tend to agree. However…

  1. the Constitution allows political parties to advertising as much as they like,
  2. the Labor party is spending about half the amount the government is spending (according to the quote above), and
  3. the Labor party isn’t spending taxpayers money > unlike taxpayers, a union member can choose to leave the union if they disagree with this use of their money.

Get over it Joe… Move on…

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The Planet – Swedish Documentary – SBS: Future Focus

The Planet is a beautiful and unique documentary. It really communicated to me the fragility of the Earth. It also gave an interesting and comprehensive picture of the whole global warming problem – from historical, environmental, social, economic, financial and political perspectives. Here are a few quotes from the documentary which resonated with me:

“The Earth provides us with a life support system; with clean air, with the right amount of oxygen, provides us with food, clean water… There are a whole series of services which are provided [for] free by nature that we are utterly dependent upon; that are not factored into economic equations yet are exceptionally important, in deed they’re essential, life could not exist without them.” – Australian National University

Imagine if every person and every business had to pay for the processes that provide them with water, air, soil, oil, plastic, metal and so on. If the Earth can no longer provide these things this may become a reality.

“Growth can be uneconomic; it can cost more than its worth. And that’s the new era that we’re moving into … here is the Earth’s biosphere, here is the economy. How does the economy live off the larger system? As the economy expands it takes in more energy, more matter. It takes it from where? From the biosphere. And as we consume more, we throw out more waste. Where do we throw it? Back to the biosphere. So that’s depletion and that’s pollution. And then we move into an era of uneconomic growth, in which growth increases the production of bads, faster than the production of goods, it accumulates ilth faster than wealth.”Professor Herman Daly, University of Maryland

“The common view has been that the Earth is very stable; it’s infinitely resilient, we can do basically anything we want and it just repairs itself all the time. We have just been living with that, we’ve taken it for granted. But this era is over; this sort of luxury phase for humanity is now over.” Professor Carl Folke, Stockholm University

So how do we save the planet? Well we could try one of the five solutions proposed in this documentary – Five ways to save the World.

BBC – One solution to Save the World is to place millions of plates of glass in space to divert the Sun’s rays away from the Earth.

Option One: Put millions of sheets of glass into orbit around the sun to divert rays away from the Earth. Up to 3 hundred trillion dollars.

Option Two: A fleet of boats which float around the ocean and spray sea water and salt up into the clouds so there are more clouds and they are more reflective in order to bounce radiation back out to space.

Option Three: Put tons of Sulphur Dioxide into the stratosphere in order to create a blanket around the Earth which would stop the Sun’s raise from reaching the Earth. But doesn’t sulphur dioxide cause acid rain?

Option Four: Add nitrogen or urea into the sea to radically increase the number of phytoplankton which convert CO2 into oxygen.

Option Five: Synthetic trees which remove C02 from the air. It would then be pumped into the earth below the ocean and would be unable to escape.

Or we could consume less… like the two families taking part in the Eco House Challenge on SBS.

More information:

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Evidence the media does reflect society…

Two things happened today:

Some mothers do 'ave 'em
Betty and Frank Spencer: Some Mothers do ‘ave ’em.
Courtesy: BBC
1. The doctor on tonight’s episode of Some mothers do ‘ave ’em was smoking a cigarette in the hospital. He was in the waiting room with two nurses, nervously awaiting the arrival of Frank Spencer. Frank and Betty were coming to have their baby. Some mothers do ‘ave ’em aired in the mid 70s in England and I am presuming that since the media reflects society, we still hadn’t made the link between good health and cigarette smoke. It seems crazy that 30 years ago a doctor would be allowed to smoke in a hospital.

2. Also today, my younger sister found a Captain Planet figurine of mine (Wheeler – Fire). It was my favourite show when I was a kid. I couldn’t explain what the show was about, so I download the episode below from YouTube to show her. I never realised how good all the characters were and how they really kept hammering on about the environment and pollution. Find out more about Captain Planet here.

Isn’t it amazing how things have changed in the twenty years between Captain Planet in the mid 1990s and Some mothers do ‘ave em in the mid 70s. And also how vividly, television programs and the media reflect these changes back at society. We can look back at these programs decades later and get an understanding of how society thought and acted, not just about the environment and smoking, but about race, gender, sexuality, age and class.

Tonights episode of Are you being served “The Hand of Fate”, also revealed insights into class, gender and race during the mid 70s.

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My Guide to Centophobia

This website is currently ranked second when the term “centophobia” is googled. So I thought that I should perhaps add some information about the condition to satisfy those who feel duped when they visit this site looking for real information on the condition of centophobia.

So here it is: Centophobia’s guide to Centophobia.

Centophobia is the fear of new ideas. It is related to neophobia (also called cainotophobia) which is the fear of new things or experiences. Technically, neophobia is defined as: the persistent and abnormal fear of anything new and can also be present in a milder form as the unwillingness to try new things or break from routine.

While I can’t find a specific definition of centophobia on the web, I would define it as: the reluctance to consider new ideas, or the ideas of others, or to break from pre-established thoughts and ideologies.

Perspectives from Robert Anton Wilson and Thomas Kuhns:

Neophobia is the reason why human culture and ideas do not advance as quickly as our technology.

New ideas, however clear and well-proven, cannot be implemented until those we consider them ‘new’ die and are replaced by new generations who consider the ideas old and accepted.

A study, found that lab rats were cautious of a new item (a trap) which was placed in their cage but were less fearful of the object compared to wild rats. Lab rats were therefore proven to be less suspicious or fearful of new objects. This experiment suggests that neophobia may in fact be essential to life in the wild for many animals. Thus neophobic behaviour in humans may be an inherent trait but perhaps a trait no longer essential to survival in modern life.

Phobia in General:

All phobias are unreasonable sorts of fear that can cause avoidance and panic. Phobias can be treated with cognitive behavioural therapy using exposure and fear reduction techniques. In many cases, anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medication proves helpful, especially during the early stages of therapy.

The reason I called this blog centophobia was to try to overcome centophobia in myself and others; to embrace and discuss new ideas, so that the rest of the world don’t have to wait until we die to move on. This is not a medical site on centophobia or neophobia, simply an avenue to discuss new and interesting ideas.

(Please, don’t ask me why I didn’t call it neophilia: the love of new things. Maybe I was feeling negative the day I created the blog, rather than choosing to see the positive side. I apologise for this.)

Related Terms:

Related to centophobia is technophobia; the fear of new technology.

Neophilia is defined as a love of novelty and new things. A neophile is an individual who is unusually accepting of new things and excited by novelty. Neophilia is particularly prevalent in internet culture and other leading-edge subcultures.

Morgan Spurlock’s 30 Days: ‘Minimum Wage’

Spurlock and his girlfriend, Alex, spend thirty days living on the minimum wage (around US$7 per hour). Spurlock uses a Temp agency to do a number of jobs, while Alex is employed washing dishes in a cafe. At different times they both have to go to hospital for treatment but find that the free clinic is understaffed with only 20 patients able to be seen after 5:00pm. He talks to people waiting in the line to find that some had been waiting since mid-afternoon. They are forced to go to the hospital and find the bills unaffordable on such a low wage.

Their apartment is unclean and unsafe, they have to rely on public transport to get to work and Spurlock takes on another job to earn more money. Their relationship is tested as Spurlock decides to splurge on his brother’s children who come for the weekend (although due to the editing this seemed a little rehearsed).

According to the documentary the minimum wage in America hasn’t been increased since 1997. The politicians argue that if the minimum wage was increased (even in line with inflation) the business world would cripple and staff would have to be put off. However, wouldn’t increasing the minimum wage allow these ‘working poor’ to actually purchase products and therefore help increase employment. At the moment they rely heavily on donated furniture and basic food supplies.

Last night I watched the Glasshouse and Corrine was saying that because few people in the New Orleans area vote, money isn’t spent on the area and, even in times of disaster, their opinion of the government isn’t really important. How does the American government get away with this, and why does Australia seem to want to follow what is happening in America in terms of economic policies? The government’s IR changes and voluntary voting are currently being discussed in Australia. I don’t believe that Australian politicians should aspire to achieve the American situation. Sure the American’s are economically prosperous but at what cost?