Articles from THE BLOT REPORT
On Sunday, November 28, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, announced he would introduce legislation to parliament this week, the last sitting week of the year, that would force social media companies to reveal the identities of anonymous trolling accounts to allow them to be sued for defamation1.
The Liberal Party has been taken over by religious nutters in Western Australia1, Victoria2 and Queensland3, and efforts are under way to do the same in South Australia4,5. There have been occasional outbreaks of loopiness in some branches of the NSW Liberal Party6, but despite this, the New South Wales branch has held out against the onslaught from the religious, as has the Tasmanian branch.
When you are a scientist, you know what doing your own research means. However, relatively few people are scientists, and among those who aren’t, many have not even the most basic understanding of what research is.
A few days ago, on Twitter, Someone was commiserating with Victorians for having 19 dead:
“Nineteen Covid dead in Victoria yesterday…..”
Then someone asked “How many of those had been inoculated with the Covid Vaccine?
They turned the power off for almost four hours at our place, and most of our street, for maintenance of the electricity distribution system, and it was wonderful to be able to just sit and think (it is also raining at present). Strangely, when everything was quiet (no television, radio or internet), I started thinking about life and how things have changed so dramatically over the last 30 years or so.
The Victorian government has proposed legislation to deal with future pandemics and after lobbying from crossbenchers, the government has agreed to water down the more controversial aspects of the legislation. Upper house crossbench MPs including the Reason Party’s Fiona Patten, Greens leader Samantha Ratnam and Animal Justice Party’s Andy Meddick, who negotiated the changes, have faced abuse and death threats in the lead up to the Victorian parliament’s vote on the bill1.
On the news, you may have seen crowds gathered in Dallas, Texas, in the USA. They were there because the ‘Q’ social media account told them to be there. At its heart, Q and its followers, the ‘Anons’ is a wide-ranging, completely unfounded conspiracy theory that believes former President Trump is waging a secret war against elite Satan-worshipping paedophiles in government, business and the media.
Just over two years ago, I was motivated to write a piece about the decline of religion in the Anglophone world, which was, of course, mostly about Australia, New Zealand, the US, UK and Canada. It noted that in the 1966 Australian census only 0.8% of the population had ‘no religion’, but that had climbed to 30.1% in the last census (in 2016) for which results are available1. There was a census undertaken this year, but results for that will not be released until about the middle of 20222.