Monday 15th of February 2016

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by Gus Leonisky on Sun, 2016-02-14 07:03


TV host Glenn Beck attacked Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump Thursday, saying “too many people are looking at Trump and believing that man has ever opened a Bible … that’s the biggest crock of bullcrap I’ve ever heard.”

Beck, founder of, spoke at a rally in South Carolina for Republican presidential candidate 

“I’m going to be very blunt with you tonight,” Beck said. “Donald Trump is very dangerous in my opinion.”

Beck criticized those who believe that this country can be saved by a man who creates “gaudy buildings.”

He argued that Trump can’t just “come in and magically fix us.”

“He’s gone bankrupt four times,” Beck added. “You can’t declare bankruptcy as a country.”


by Gus Leonisky on Sat, 2016-02-13 17:13


"I am not proposing anything new here," writes Marilynne Robinson in her new book of essays, as she casually bulldozes one or two assumptions central to modern life and thought.

"This seems obvious enough," she states modestly, having just deftly exposed the bankruptcy of one term or another as we've gotten into the habit of using it.

Well, sure. Now it does.

The experience of reading The Givenness of Things is deceptively soothing. Robinson's prose distils dauntingly complex thought into beautiful rolling sentences, and then cracks like a whip:

"Recently I heard a neuroscientist in Europe explain that what we call fear is in fact a pattern of heightened activity, synapses firing in a certain region of the brain. This seems to some to dispel the mystery, to refute the illusion of selfhood - aha! there it is! a bright spot on the screen. No doubt if I and a higher ape encountered a lion, there would be an interesting similarity in the pattern of excitation in our nervous systems. And much would be made of this. But if I and the ape were confronted with a subpoena or a pink slip, all similarity would vanish."

No sooner, one thinks one has dealt with Marilynne Robinson (see blog marilynne...) that here she comes again, as annoying as before, via another annoying writer.

If us humans were confronted with an alien situation such as parking-fine on Saturn to a Borgutian voyager from planet Borgut we would not understand either. We'd be stumped like stupid monkeys. So Marilynne argument does hold water.  Fear is the memory of pain. And it can linger beyond pain. we can learn fear like we learn mathematics.

Natasha Moore pushes a barrow of shit on the ABC once more....


by Gus Leonisky on Sat, 2016-02-13 16:22

Ralph C Wood is a puzzle wuzzle... well he is not. He's just stuck up in hot religious thin aerospace. He writes a lot about it with the zeal of his convicted erroneousness. His approach is methodical and academic, looking at what others have written on the subject of life, dragging us back into the sacramental cattle pen, with a spiritual dog whistle and a mirror. According to Ralph, we cannot live in the wild I think he means because that's where the wild things are, including devil and evil that we should not fight because we end up evil and devil ourselves should we fight. Bugger orf...

That the ABC still promotes this pseudo-analysis crap is beyond me. Not an ounce of critical thinking in this empty diatribe...:

Walker Percy gives fictional life to our contemporary hell ruled by the Prince of this world in both its bestial and angelic expressions. He reveals that we are already inhabiting a city of the dead populated by the corpses of souls. Percy warns against slothfully resigning ourselves to existence in this earthly hell, even though we know that it will eventually work its own self-destruction.

Yet he also cautions against our rising up in wrath against these demonic forces, lest we remake ourselves in their image by returning evil for evil. This more excellent way lies in the formation of true selves in the Body of Christ, not in the redemption of solitary souls through an invisible spiritual inwardness. The more abundant life is found, instead, in the sacramental and communal life of the Church.

Ralph C. Wood is University Professor of Theology and Literature at Baylor University. He is the author of many books, including Chesterton: The Nightmare Goodness of God and Flannery O'Connor and the Christ-Haunted South. He is the editor of Tolkien among the Moderns.

What a lot of rot —and in many books as well!... What is our contemporary hell?

Is it our ordinary life compared to the one we imagine in heaven?  The one we endure grudgingly day-in day-out because we don't like being alive? Because we've been told there is a better life around the corner once we cark it?

We don't like being yoked like a pair of beefy oxen pulling the cart of King Canute?

Is our contemporary hell, the life that god made us accept as a punishment for some badly crafted idiots sin about an apple? Or the same senseless life that some philosophers tried to make sense of, 5000 years ago?

Always flying back to the delusive skirt of your heavenly mummy, Mr Wood. Come on. You can do better than that. The illusion is wearing thin.

Life is far more robust without the prop of religion, than Ralph C Wood makes out. The Malaise of the Modern Self is as old as the Neanderthals who found ways to survive despite hardship, without knowing why. Some researchers now tell us that our "depressive" moods are due to our unfortunate five per cent ancestral mix of Neanderthal genes. African people don't get depressed because they never mixed with the Neanderthals. They just get clobbered.

The modern malaise of the Self actually resides in our not-understanding reality and cooking up fairy stories about it, including religious sacramental mumbos which to say the least do not add up in the scientific world...

Walker Percy's life unfortunately was a bit morbid from age 16 when his father shot himself with the same gun Percy's grand father had also killed himself with. His mother possibly killed herself in a car drowning from sorrows...

Not a good start for luminous festivities. So, armed with a bit of skills and a pen, Percy is going to write about the Hell of life. No joy. Useless joy. We have to be penitent for sins we have not committed yet. And so painful forth. Okay been there. Done that. Next. Why is Ralph bringing back to life this sour dour negative writer that Percy is... Is it a cattle prod to guide us into this ghetto that is the religious thought with the promise of liberation...

Yes, we are the corpses of the future. Nothing new. Meanwhile let's make the best of it, surviving like happy cockroaches. No need for god to tell us we'll end up like the dinosaurs, who must have fucked-up since he wiped them out.

Trust me, we will outsmart this almighty guy.

by Gus Leonisky on Sat, 2016-02-13 16:06

Out of the new Turdball ministry's "dynamic" youthful green-horns, the only thing that sticks is that Brough is gone.. The rest we will have to see in action to become opinionated, unless Turdball calls a snap election to capitalise on his winning smiling conman snake oil salesmanship. The worse news is that Pyne is still the "science"minister despite not understanding anything scientific — including not understanding the sacrosanctity of the CSIRO — apart that shit floats. The equal worse selection is Scott Mo, still as the lentil counter in the treasurer's pot of rehashed blulags...

by Gus Leonisky on Sat, 2016-02-13 15:28

If you believed America’s longest war, in Afghanistan, was coming to an end, be advised: It is not.

Departing U.S. commander Gen. John Campbell says there will need to be U.S. boots on the ground “for years to come.” Making good on President Obama’s commitment to remove all U.S. forces by next January, said Campbell, “would put the whole mission at risk.”

“Afghanistan has not achieved an enduring level of security and stability that justifies a reduction of our support. … 2016 could be no better and possibly worse than 2015.” Translation: A U.S. withdrawal would risk a Taliban takeover with Kabul becoming the new Saigon and our Afghan friends massacred. Fifteen years in, and we are stuck.

Nor is America about to end the next longest war in its history: Iraq. Defense Secretary Ash Carter plans to send units of the 101st Airborne back to Iraq to join the 4,000 Americans now fighting there, “ISIS is a cancer,” says Carter. After we cut out the “parent tumor” in Mosul and Raqqa, we will go after the smaller tumors across the Islamic world.

When can Mosul be retaken? “Certainly not this year,” says the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart.

Vladimir Putin’s plunge into the Syrian civil war with air power appears to have turned the tide in favor of Bashar Assad. The “moderate” rebels are being driven out of Aleppo and tens of thousands of refugees are streaming toward the Turkish border.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is said to be enraged with the U.S. for collaborating with Syrian Kurds against ISIS and with Obama’s failure to follow through on his dictate—”Assad must go!”

read more:

by Gus Leonisky on Sat, 2016-02-13 12:49


Ian Black Middle East editor and Kareem Shaheen in Beirut

Saturday 13 February 2016 04.22 AEDT

Last modified on Saturday 13 February 2016 11.53 AEDT

Bashar al-Assad has dealt a swift blow to international efforts to secure a ceasefire, deliver aid and promote a negotiated solution to the war in Syria, vowing to regain control of the entire country and warning that it could still “take a long time”.

The Syrian president was speaking to the AFP news agency in Damascus on Thursday, hours before an agreement was reached in Munich on arranging a cessation of hostilities and the urgent despatch of food, medicines and other supplies to hundreds of thousands of civilians in besieged areas.

Assad said his armed forces would try to retake all of Syria but added that the involvement of regional players “means that the solution will take a long time and will incur a heavy price”. He warned of the possibility of direct intervention by Turkey and Saudi Arabia, who back the rebels.

However, the US state department said Assad was “deluded” if he thinks there is a military solution to the war in Syria.

The Saudi foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, said on Friday that Assad’s removal was vital to defeat Islamic State. “We will achieve it,” he told the Munich security conference.

“It might take three months, it might take six months or three years - but he will no longer carry responsibility for Syria. Period,” he later told newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

Assad said it would be possible to end the war “in less than a year” if rebel supply routes from Turkey, Jordan and Iraq were cut. The signs are that Russian airstrikes, which were not mentioned in the Munich statement, are helping him achieve that goal. “The main battle is about cutting the road between Aleppo and Turkey, for Turkey is the main conduit of supplies for the terrorists,” he added.

Russian aircraft were seen in action in northern Syria again on Friday.

The Syrian leader affirmed his readiness to talk – but he offered nothing to the forces who have been seeking to overthrow him since 2011. “We have fully believed in negotiations,” he said. “However, if we negotiate, it does not mean that we stop fighting terrorism. The two tracks are inevitable in Syria.”

read more:


The Saudi foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, said on Friday that Assad’s removal was vital to defeat Islamic State. “We will achieve it,”???????????


If you believe that the removal of Assad is vital to the "defeat of ISIS", you've got rock in your head. ISIS is providing support to the rebels against Assad. The US is providing support for ISIS supported rebels:


TEHRAN (FNA)- The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/ISIS) offered other terrorist groups operating in Northern Aleppo province to give up infighting and start a coalition to slow down the growing trend of the Syrian army victories in the region in recent weeks.

ISIL’s offer includes a 12-paragraph proposal issued after the Syrian army, popular forces and Hezbollah backed up by the Russian air force and Iran’s military recommendations and strategies scored a growing number of victories in almost all lines of engagement, specially in the provinces of Aleppo, Lattakia, Hama and Damascus.



Gus: The Arab Spring in Syria was started by Sunnis "protesting peacefully" to remove Assad, under the help of agent provocateurs from Saudi Arabia and other Wahhabi outfits. The aim is to take over the country, impose a strict Islamic rule in what was basically an open democracy in Syria. Christians, Alawites and other sects would slowly been eradicated or thrown out. THIS IS THE SAUDI PLAN... And we in the west are helping the Saudis.

The original "protests" escalated because Assad did not want to budge and things turned violent. ISIS was formed under the influence of the Saudis as a foil to the real problem which is the Saudis wanting to wahhabise Syria 100 per cent.

The Russians of course are painted as the bad guys because they are helping Assad stay in power, and the slow deterioration of the situation in Syria which the West was complicit in suddenly got reversed by Russian air power (far more effective than ours and the US) — and the west is now pissed off: their chosen future rulers of Syria, the Saudis via their proxy — the Sunnis of ISIS and other "rebels (terrorists) — have been delayed. So we say the Russians are "killing" civilians. Tough titties. The other side(s) is doing far more harm and planning far more harm than the Russian supported Troops of Assad. YES, THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE AND FIGHTERS WHO ARE SUPPORTING ASSAD IN DEFENDING AGAINST AN ALL OUT WAHHABI ASSAULT STYLE OF GOVERNMENT FOR SYRIA.

It's that simple.


by Gus Leonisky on Sat, 2016-02-13 10:23

Earth is running a fever but PM Turnbull thinks the CSIRO has more important things to do than investigate climate changes, says Peter Boyer.

IT ISN'T just that last year was warmer than ever. It’s the fact that every analysis shows the amount of warming last year was without precedent.

It isn’t easy to get the head around how science worked out that Earth’s surface in 2015 was exceptionally warm. Here’s my explanation.

In past years, I’ve tried to report findings as soon as possible, usually around mid-January, when the U.S. National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration’s Climate Data Center and NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies release their analyses of records dating back to 1880.

The World Meteorological Organization’s assessment of global mean surface temperature, showing 2015 in orange. (K = degrees Kelvin, which in this context is the same as Celsius.)

Some readers thought I was favouring these findings over the UK source, the combined dataset of the Met Office Hadley Centre and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, whose analysis starts in 1850. So this year I waited until all were in.

Besides that “big three”, Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology compiles its own global time-series based on the UK dataset. The Japan Meteorological Agency has its own dataset starting in 1891, and Berkeley Earth, a privately-funded U.S. group, analyses data all the way back to 1750.

All these analyses draw on millions of observations. Some come from about 1500 strategically-located land stations, but bearing in mind that over two-thirds of Earth’s surface is ocean, most are from ships at sea and ocean buoys, increasing in number every year.

Some people have questioned the small number of land stations used (about one for every 100,000 square kilometres) and pointed to location (valley or mountaintop, grass or asphalt surface) affecting absolute readings. Both questions are largely resolved by the anomaly technique.

Absolute temperatures in various locations are less important in studying global climate than change over time. To discern this scientists look at anomalies: how much the temperature in each given place diverges from the long-term average for that location.

To establish a global mean, each agency uses its own methodology. That makes for sometimes pronounced differences in ways of processing the data and handling inevitable gaps over space and time. This independence is a good insurance against shared errors and biases.

The possibility of duplicated errors was tested by the Berkeley group, set up in 2010. Its co-founder, Richard Muller, had believed global temperature analyses used corrupt data and faulty techniques.

To the contrary, Berkeley Earth found that established datasets were robust, and that if the various agencies had erred about global warming, it had been on the conservative side.

In late January, the World Meteorological Organisation released its 2015 temperature report. WMO draws threads together from many sources, including the major U.S and UK datasets. It also goes to the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, which uses weather forecasting systems to fill in observational gaps such as for polar regions.


Yet incredibly, CSIRO head Larry Marshall told the ABC’s 7.30 last week that CSIRO had more important things to do than investigate how climate changes. There’s nothing more important, and that statement will haunt his career from now on. But that’s a whole new discussion, for next time.

The article was originally published on 9 February 2016 in SouthWind.


Read more there and also at,8669

by Gus Leonisky on Sat, 2016-02-13 07:57

Hi John

sums it up...