Tuesday, 30 December 2014

THE OZ Letters 30 Dec 2014

Logical fallacy on God
ERIC Metaxas’ article postulating the necessity of the existence of God, is a classic example of a logical fallacy (“Science turns to God as universe appears to be ultimate miracle”, 29/12). It is true the conditions that have led to our existence are the result of a vanishingly small set of realities, but the proposition that it’s evidence for existence of a grand plan, presupposes that our existence was predestined. This is a textbook example of begging the question in the accurate sense of the expression.
The necessary conditions happened to exist entirely by chance, just as a different set of conditions leading to a different result could have existed. The possibility that life in some form could exist elsewhere is real, and is worth exploring.
Paul Yates, Beachmere, Qld
NOT many atheists will be shaken by Eric Metaxas’ piece. Scientist Fred Hoyle, whom Metaxas quotes as saying his atheism was “greatly shaken”, died in 2001 and made his statement prior to 1981.
To put the article into context, it’s useful to know that Metaxas holds an honorary doctorate from Liberty University, the largest evangelical university in the world, and another from Hillsdale College founded by Freewill Baptists. The article is not the stop-the-presses news it pretends to be.
Robert Ginn, Mermaid Beach, Qld
There is a flaw in “Science turns to God as universe appears to be ultimate miracle” (29/12). If the probability of the random appearance of planet Earth and life on it were a squillion to one, then the likelihood of a supernatural entity being responsible must surely be two squillion to one. The alternative that a creator organised the Big Bang is too fanciful to even think about.
Bruce N. Teague, Point Frederick, NSW

Monday, 29 December 2014

Revamped Hadron Collider targets mysteries of universe

ex the oz page 6,  29.12.14

Revamped Hadron Collider targets mysteries of universe

SCIENTISTS have begun the process of restarting the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s most powerful particle accelerator, after a $185 million upgrade that could help to solve some of the universe’s greatest mysteries.
The improvements to the LHC, based at Cern, Europe’s particle physics centre near Gen­eva in Switzerland, mean its two proton beams — each with a diameter less than a third that of a human hair — will now contain energy equivalent to the detonation of 154 tons of TNT.
Experts hope the additional power will allow them to explore aspects of high-energy physics — such as dark matter, the suspected existence of new fundamental particles and an explanation of gravity.
It may even be possible to produce microscopic black holes.
Two years ago, a less powerful version of the LHC discovered the Higgs boson, the elusive “God particle” that is a part of the process that is believed to give matter its mass.
Confirmation of the particle’s existence led to Peter Higgs — emeritus professor of physics at Edinburgh University, who first suggested its existence in 1964 — being jointly awarded last year’s Nobel Prize for Physics.
The old machine’s limitations prevented physicists from investigating all of the Higgs boson’s properties, or exploring other aspects such as the cause of the Big Bang — the explosion of energy 13.7 billion years ago that is thought to have given birth to the universe.
The LHC, which has a circumference of 27km, was shut down in February last year for upgrade work.
“We have unfinished business with understanding the universe,” said Tara Shears of Liverpool University, who leads a team working on the LHC to investigate antimatter, thought to have been created in equal amounts to matter in the Big Bang, but which largely ­disappeared.
“We want to see what the new data shows us about antimatter and why there’s so little of it. We want to chase the hints we’ve seen in previous measurements at lower energies, whose behaviour didn’t match our expectations, in case these turn into discoveries.”
For non-scientists, the power of the improved LHC, which uses magnets to accelerate bunches of subatomic particles — protons — to near-light speed, is hard to comprehend.
Each proton has the energy of a mosquito, but each bunch contains 115 billion protons and has as much energy as a 150kg motorbike moving at 150km/h.
The aim is to smash the beams together to recreate conditions similar to those existing billionths of a second after the Big Bang.
There is a possibility that these high energies could see the LHC making its own dark matter — the invisible particles of which 27 per cent of the mass of the universe is believed to comprise.
For Cern, perhaps the most sensitive issue is the suggestion, backed by some scientists, that the upgraded LHC could produce destructive new forms of matter, such as microscopic black holes.
It commissioned a study showing that although this was theoretically possible, any black holes created under Geneva would have no resemblance to those popularised by films such as Interstellar, which depicts them bending time and space. Instead they would instantly disintegrate, leaving Switzerland mercifully unscathed.
The opportunity to test such theories will come in March when the beams are switched back on, but scientists are ­already testing other parts of the LHC and the smaller particle ­accelerators linked to it.
The most radical change for the male-dominated Cern is not the LHC upgrade, however. It is the decision to appoint the first female director-general in its 60-year history. Fabiola Gianotti will start in the role in 2016.
The Sunday Times



We may have to accept that our existence cannot be explained by random forces
Is science showing there really is a God?

Is science showing there really is a God?
Science is increasingly making a case for the existence of God. Source: Getty Images
IN 1966 Time magazine ran a cover story asking: Is God Dead? Many have accepted the cultural narrative that he’s obsolete — that as science progresses, there is less need for a “God” to explain the universe. Yet it turns out that the rumours of God’s death were premature. More amazing is that the relatively recent case for his existence comes from a surprising place — science itself.
Here’s the story: The same year Time featured the now-famous headline, the astronomer Carl Sagan announced that there were two important criteria for a planet to support life: The right kind of star, and a planet the right distance from that star. Given the roughly octillion — 1 followed by 24 zeros — planets in the universe, there should have been about septillion — 1 followed by 21 zeros — planets capable of supporting life.
With such spectacular odds, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, a large, expensive collection of private and publicly funded projects launched in the 1960s, was sure to turn up something soon. Scientists listened with a vast radio telescopic network for signals that resembled coded intelligence and were not merely random. But as years passed, the silence from the rest of the universe was deafening. Congress defunded SETI in 1993, but the search continues with private funds. As of 2014, researches have discovered precisely bubkis — 0 followed by nothing.
What happened? As our knowledge of the universe increased, it became clear that there were far more factors necessary for life than Sagan supposed. His two parameters grew to 10 and then 20 and then 50, and so the number of potentially life-supporting planets decreased accordingly. The number dropped to a few thousand planets and kept on plummeting.
Even SETI proponents acknowledged the problem. Peter Schenkel wrote in a 2006 piece for Skeptical Inquirer magazine: “In light of new findings and insights, it seems appropriate to put excessive euphoria to rest ... We should quietly admit that the early estimates ... may no longer be tenable.”
As factors continued to be discovered, the number of possible planets hit zero, and kept going. In other words, the odds turned against any planet in the universe supporting life, including this one. Probability said that even we shouldn’t be here.
Today there are more than 200 known parameters necessary for a planet to support life — every single one of which must be perfectly met, or the whole thing falls apart. Without a massive planet like Jupiter nearby, whose gravity will draw away asteroids, a thousand times as many would hit Earth’s surface. The odds against life in the universe are simply astonishing.
Yet here we are, not only existing, but talking about existing. What can account for it? Can every one of those many parameters have been perfect by accident? At what point is it fair to admit that science suggests that we cannot be the result of random forces? Doesn’t assuming that an intelligence created these perfect conditions require far less faith than believing that a life-sustaining Earth just happened to beat the inconceivable odds to come into being?
There’s more. The finetuning necessary for life to exist on a planet is nothing compared with the finetuning required for the universe to exist at all. For example, astrophysicists now know that the values of the four fundamental forces — gravity, the electromagnetic force, and the “strong” and “weak” nuclear forces — were determined less than one millionth of a second after the big bang. Alter any one value and the universe could not exist. For instance, if the ratio between the nuclear strong force and the electromagnetic force had been off by the tiniest fraction of the tiniest fraction — by even one part in 100,000,000,000,000,000 — then no stars could have ever formed at all. Feel free to gulp.

Multiply that single parameter by all the other necessary conditions, and the odds against the universe existing are so heart-stoppingly astronomical that the notion that it all “just happened” defies common sense. It would be like tossing a coin and having it come up heads 10 quintillion times in a row. Really?
Fred Hoyle, the astronomer who coined the term “big bang,” said that his atheism was “greatly shaken” at these developments. He later wrote that “a commonsense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super-intellect has monkeyed with the physics, as well as with chemistry and biology ... The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.”
Theoretical physicist Paul Davies has said that “the appearance of design is overwhelming” and Oxford professor Dr. John Lennox has said “the more we get to know about our universe, the more the hypothesis that there is a Creator ... gains in credibility as the best explanation of why we are here.”
The greatest miracle of all time, without any close seconds, is the universe. It is the miracle of all miracles, one that ineluctably points with the combined brightness of every star to something — or Someone — beyond itself.
The Wall St Journal

links to lamentable higgs boson - somehow it won a nobel prize!

 July (15)

Thursday, 25 December 2014

M DEVINE: 16/12/14 - The noxious and naive Left

Miranda Devine

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 (8:03pm)

THE giant mound of flowers in Martin Place said it all. The evil of the Lindt cafe siege gently ­expunged by the love of thousands of strangers who came on Tuesday to pay their respects to the dead and express sorrow for the survivors.
Love wiping away hate, as tears flowed for the two dead hostages, hero cafe manager Tori Johnson, 34, and barrister Katrina Dawson, 38, and three small children whose mother will never come home.
“This is who we are,” Premier Mike Baird tweeted after he laid down his floral tribute.
Yes, this is who we are, Sydney. Muslim, Jewish, Christian, agnostic, drawn from every culture and race, united through the horror of December 15, the very model of a strong, harmonious society.
We are not a collection of bigots and Islamophobes, needing moral guidance from more enlightened leftists.
That Sydney is the gargoyle creation of the fevered leftist imagination, creating division where there is none.
Thus it was that on Monday, while real people were suffering at the hands of an Islamic State-inspired terrorist in Martin Place, hashtag activists sprang to the defence of theoretical victims of an Islamophobia that wasn’t occurring.
“I’ll ride with you” was their catchphrase, or “#illridewithyou” in social media’s ­grammatical sludge.
The idea was that Muslims could not ride safely on public transport in Sydney during the siege because bigots would attack them, so good-hearted strangers had to “ride” with them, metaphorically, anyway.
It was a frivolous diversion from the real victims inside the Lindt cafe. The irony is the silly fad was started 1000km away, in Brisbane, by a Greens candidate who fantasised the whole thing. Rachael Jacobs was on a train in Brisbane on Monday reading about the unfolding siege on her phone when she noticed a woman fiddling with her headscarf at the other end of the carriage.
“Tears sprang to my eyes and I was struck by feelings of anger, sadness and bitterness,” she wrote in Fairfax media yesterday.
But Jacobs’ tears were for the “victims of the siege who were not in the cafe,” she wrote.
“Victims” like the woman at the other end of the carriage who had taken off her scarf — for what reason Jacobs never bothered to find out.
She was too busy turning her imagined brush with ­Islamophobia into a narrative which soon was trending in tens of thousands of tweets around the world.
“She might not even be Muslim or she could have just been warm” Jacobs later admitted.
“Our near silent encounter was over in a moment.”
The meaningless, narcissistic, one-sided nature of this “near silent encounter” perfectly symbolises the leftist ­approach to Islamist terrorism.
Denial, deflection, projection. They see themselves as morally superior to the rest of Australia, which they imagine as a sea of ignorant rednecks. In their eyes the threat is not terrorism but Islamophobia.
“Actually, everyone is a victim,” Curtin University counterterrorism lecturer Anne Aly shouted at me on Channel 9’s Today show yesterday when I pointed out that the real victims were the 17 hostages.
Yet for all the screeching, there are precious few instances where Muslims have been victimised in Sydney, unless you count anonymous trolls on social media.
Remember when the ­Macquarie University Muslim Students ­Association went out on the streets with a video camera and actors posing as bigots harassing Muslims?
In every single case ­passers-by intervened to defend the “victim”.
But that display of Australian good character and ­common sense was ignored by leftist troublemakers.
They prefer to downplay the terrorist threat and excuse the perpetrators. In their view the self-styled Iranian-born sheik and alleged rapist Man Haron Monis was a humanitarian, motivated by concern for children dying in the Middle East. (Or, a “peace activist”, as his lawyers describe him when he was charged with sending vile letters to the families of dead Aussie soldiers).
They accuse those who are trying to keep us safe from terrorism of Islamophobic scaremongering. Thus NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione was guilty of “overreach” in the Operation Appleby raids in Western Sydney in September to foil an IS-inspired plot to kidnap and execute a hostage in Martin Place. Doesn’t look so fanciful now, does it.
On Monday the Enlightened nitpicked about whether the flag Monis forced his hostages to hold up was an IS flag or just a generic flag used by the Taliban and al-Qaeda.
They tried to pretend Monis wasn’t a terrorist, even though he was the classic lone wolf who so concerns our security forces, low-tech, high impact, near impossible to detect.
They tried to distance him from IS, though his demands, issued via hostages to media outlets, were all about the death cult — he wanted an IS flag delivered to the cafe and he wanted it known that Australia was under attack from IS.
Some even used the horror that emptied the streets of ­Sydney as a Green teaching moment with leftist journalism academic Wendy Bacon tweeting during the siege: “Clearing of cars in CBD gives you idea of how pleasant ­carless city might be (despite context).” Good grief.
You know what the context is? We are the most harmonious immigrant nation on Earth and the constant cry of Islamophobia is a despicable slander against our good nature.
Lawyers will talk till they’re blue in the face trying to defend the decision to allow violent Islamist nut job Man Haron Monis out on bail.
Whether it’s the new bail laws or the old bail laws, judges and magistrates can and do exercise their own discretion when it comes to the low-lifes who frequent their docks. Monis’ violent criminal history, and obsessive zealotry ought to have shown that he is exactly the sort of person who should be refused bail.
Embraced by Australia as a refugee from his native Iran in 2001, Monis repaid our kindness by harassing the families of soldiers who had died in Afghanistan.
This was his “jihad” he said, as his lawyers called him a “peace activist”.
In an insult to our dead Diggers he was sentenced to a paltry 300 hours of community service. Then he was charged with being an accessory before and after the fact to the brutal stabbing murder of his ex-wife, and released on bail last year.
And then this year he was charged with 40 counts of sexual assault — and released on bail again.
This was not a man who deserved the benefit of the doubt. Reporting at a police station once a day wasn’t going to protect society from a dangerous Islamist ideologue whose life was spiralling out of control.
How can we expect counterterrorism agencies to keep us safe from suspects who haven’t yet committed a crime when our courts won’t even deal properly with the evidence of those who have.
New tougher bail laws are due next year but former director of public prosecutions Nicholas Cowdery has told the ABC they won’t make any difference.
He’s right. The real problem is not the laws but the judicial officers who refuse to enforce them.

Have Your Say

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It does not matter what anyone thinks about moderate vs radical Muslims while ever the Islamic texts advocate death or slavery to non Muslims then this will never be over. The only way this will ever stop is for Islam to do a reformation like the Christians did. But I guess pigs might fly.
Samnam of Smithfield West (Reply)
Tue 16 Dec 14 (09:15pm)
Superb Miaranda. the real enemies threatening all we love in this country are the rabid green bleeding hearts who hate anything white, especially male, with a vitriole that is breath taking. Anyone christian, succesful,right wing in any way are the focus of their hate and they use all media to project that hatred untill all those they bash over the head with it fall at their feet believing. It is serioulsy scary stuff-- and more dangerous than any islamic threat in Australia right now.
Well said Miranda. 
Sincere condolences to the families and friends of Tori Johnson, and Katrina Dawson.
And to the #illridewithyou poseurs, file it next to your kony2012 sanctimony. It’s as equally meaningless and ineffectual and only deflects attention away from the real victims of Islamist violence.
Cold-Hands (Reply)
Tue 16 Dec 14 (09:53pm)
You know it is a waste of time trying to influence these moronic leftists with logic and reasoned argument.
As someone who’s close friend was a work colleague of the slain Katrina Dawson, what is the point!
It’s for the rest of us to get on with life, real life, and leave these self aggrandising, self important, compasionistas to their own.
RobC of Barton (Reply)
Tue 16 Dec 14 (09:54pm)
Dear Miranda,
As an Australian Muslim, I am heartbroken by Monday’s events which led to the loss of lives of the Lindt employee and the barrister.
This lunatic is not a Muslim as his actions are in direct contrast to our faith.  As if Islam condones the killing of innocent people having their morning coffee.  This is NOT the Islam I know and practise.
Yet, the media including yourself refer to him as an “Islamist”.  Is this because he made 2 of the hostages display the flag which stated that There is no god but god and Mohammed is his prophet?
Couldn’t he be referred to as a lunatic or madman who sexually assaulted numerous women and was involved in his ex-wife’s murder?
I am sure you will agree with me that there will be a small section of our community which will use this tragedy to demonize and attack innocent Muslims, especially Muslim women wearing the hijab.  All you need to do is have a look at Facebook and read the despicable Anti-Islamic comments posted on there so far.  They are quite sickening. 
Having said the above, I know that the majority of our fellow Australians (Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, etc.) will unite in this time of sorrow.
It was great to see ordinary Australians reaching out to their fellow Muslim Australians by initiating the social media catchphrase of “I’ll ride with you”.  It was also great to hear that new bail laws will be coming into effect soon.
Peace be upon you.
Adam of Surry Hills (Reply)
Tue 16 Dec 14 (10:26pm)
maybe that woman in Brisbane took off her scarf (hijab?) because she was disgusted with her religion. In which case, did her observer agree with her that islam is disgusting, or was she unwittingly aiding her to stick with islam?
lethal of Perth WA (Reply)
Tue 16 Dec 14 (10:43pm)
The only problem for our society is the self serving misfits of the union party & its sidekicks who have encouraged these inbred half wits to deliberately dress in a century old manner & equally ensure they remain lifetime welfare dependent simply to both provide more aLP votes & water down those going to the sleepy liberals who still haven’t got out of bed! 
Every time some halfwit abuses a person dressed as a middle eastern ie middle aged person, I just wish they had the brains to abuse the members of the mongrel union party despite the overt threat from the cfmeu thugs. Even the current NSW premier can’t seem to bring himself to respond to the real issue - nor can TA. 
The world seems incapable of handling the issue of jealousy & envy which the mongrel party both stimulates & depends on, but as a nation obviously lacks the iq to handle it any better than their sickening response by and large to school bullying!
maurie (Reply)
Tue 16 Dec 14 (11:12pm)
I look at the language and actions of the Left and it just keeps reminding me of my alcoholic father. Endless claims of victimhood and the justification to do terrible things. The alcoholic, terrorists and the Left just love to say, “You made me do it.” They are forever broke, forever destructive.
Someone should do a study on social problems. The correlation with the Left and the rest would be virtually 100%.
I see these articles as repetitive and useless as the appeals to an alcoholic. You just have to let them drown and walk away. People shouldn’t bother associating with the Left. Let them sink.
PaulC (Reply)
Wed 17 Dec 14 (12:54am)
Alex of Saigon (Reply)
Wed 17 Dec 14 (01:10am)
Exactly! The Left’s obsession with convincing us we must all vie for a slice of victimhood is disrespectful to the real victims. They strive to replace the practical Aussie virtue of resilience with the puerile and hugely presumptuous “I feel your pain” mentality.
And while it’s oh so very fashionable to adopt a Muslim for his protection, it continues to be perfectly OK to apply cultural stereotypes to and treat with scorn and suspicion those weirdo Krishnas and Mormons et alii.
Fear not!  #IllridewithyouJehovahWitnesses
Garry of Bega NSW (Reply)
Wed 17 Dec 14 (01:13am)

Have Your Say

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This sounds like classic projection from the Left, trying to hide their own bigotry by accusing others.
Worker of Sydney (Reply)
Wed 17 Dec 14 (08:47am)
It doesn’t matter how the moron LEFT try to spin it now, we all know that if Mr Monis had been monitored by authorities, or had been bail refused, every assorted pro-Muslim group would have been marching through the streets in protest, declaring us all racist for “victimizing” innocent peace loving Muslims.
Oh, and let’s not forget the “outrage” that would have ripped through every media arm of the ABC, fueled of course by Labor and the Greens. The nodding-head luvvies would have been tripping over each other to call us all rednecks, and of course blame Tony Abbott for whipping up hysteria.
It is the LEFT that has opened out borders to unchecked Muslim immigration
It is the LEFT that oppose any measure to control the Islamic security threat we now face
It is the RIGHT who (as usual) will be left to clean up the mess
Mighty Righty of Sydney (Reply)
Wed 17 Dec 14 (09:02am)
“We are the most harmonious immigrant nation on Earth and the constant cry of Islamophobia is a despicable slander against our good nature.”
Think Before - A Student Safety Initiative will deliver safety messages via SMS, YouTube, websites and social networking sites to students in 13 languages before and after they arrive in Australia.
I think that the left take it too far sometimes, but today it was *you* making ridiculous claims that can never possibly be useful. 
You must be living behind a 6-foot picket fence on Mars to not have noticed the post-Cronulla tension in Australia. Just go to Stereosonic and get some context for your naive and noxious comments, Miranda.
Brendan (Reply)
Wed 17 Dec 14 (09:11am)
Thank you so much for this. Best piece of journalism I have read since the I first heard of this terorist act taking place.
Greg E of cronulla (Reply)
Wed 17 Dec 14 (09:30am)
Brilliant, Miranda. You nailed it.  I hope we hear much less from these ignorant leftist loudmouths now and more from Australians who genuinely love this country.
Smilla of Sydney (Reply)
Wed 17 Dec 14 (09:41am)
Cherry picking the facts to support your nastiness! The central message of #illridewithyou? Terrorist bent on violence and killing innocent people - you lose! Racist bent on using this incident to promulgate intolerance - you lose as well! Ignorant, heartless woman, you do not represent the majority of peaceful, loving people! :o(
scragwire of Anstead (Reply)
Wed 17 Dec 14 (10:01am)
A pity that the author missed the irony in explaining how the persecution is imagined and committed to her own attack on a group of people she calls “leftists”
Tom Chatfield of UK (Reply)
Wed 17 Dec 14 (10:07am)
While I wholeheartedly agree with your views on bail laws, I do believe there is a narrow-minded, naive, xenophobic undercurrent in our society who do exhibit Islamaphobic attitudes. They are definitely only a minority, but they are present, and I have had discussions with Islamic women, in particular with whom I work, who have had coffee and fruit thrown at them and their children while wearing their hijab. I know of others who no longer wear their hijab at all following verbal abuse in public. It would be like being Christian and being scared to wear a cross around your neck because you were never really assured of your safety in doing so. You can deny it all you like, this type of rednecked behaviour does happen, albeit rarely.  It shouldn’t happen at all. Mon Monis was a lone gunmen who had severely impaired mental capacity with an evil streak that he cloaked with the toutings of ISIS rhetoric. But he was alone. He had no bombs. He had no backup or follow up attack. He should be viewed as a criminal only, in the same way we viewed Martin Bryant after Port Arthur. Mon Monis had no power except for what came from his gun and he should not be given anymore mention by the media or anyone. He was a violent, cruel and evil human being who is no longer in the world, thankfully, and he should not be thought of as anything more than that.
Mel of Cranebrook (Reply)
Wed 17 Dec 14 (10:10am)
This Sydney terrorist attack, though tragic, must serve to us all a lesson of reality that must not be denied. It contains all fascists of the pervasive political correctness that the left love to embrace.
The facts are :
This is not a political war. It’s a religious war.
True Moslems are obliged to declare war on us as their QUARAN DEMANDS. They have always done this on as large a scale as possible. Yes, we are in a state of WAR! They have declared was on us. Peaceful Moslems are simply not following their faith and thus they have always been totally irrelevant in the cause of creating a harmonious relationship between Islamic terrorists and non Muslims.
I am old enough to have experienced the atmosphere that prevailed during World War 2 during which people who had migrated from Italy, Japan and Germany were interned. When they were released after the cessation of hostilities; the overwhelming majority of them proved to be very productive and great Australian citizens, yet there is no possible comparison between these citizens and those Muslims who wish to harm us at their leisure.
ASIO and all other national security organisations would undoubtedly have lists of people who they know wish us harm, but can’t be prosecuted for various reasons. The hard core dangerous might number say 200 as a guess. These people should be interned and held until the Islamic campaign of terror ceases. This could be 5 or 100 years.  We must act now because at the moment we are headed towards the same fate as London, or worse still Paris.
Old Labor of NSW (Reply)
Wed 17 Dec 14 (10:50am)
How many more of these “One off” terrorism acts will it take until the Lefties in the media join the dots?
How many planned “One off” attackes have been stopped by our police and counter terrorism officers?
Why would the media and lefties jump on the anti-Islamophobes bandwagon while the hostage situation was happening when it apparently had “Nothing to do with Islam”?  Don’t they believe their own rhetoric?
Mad Mick of Perth (Reply)
Wed 17 Dec 14 (10:57am)

An outstanding summary of the confected superiority the left feel they have over the rest of the population.
Mark of Brisbane (Reply)
Wed 17 Dec 14 (11:04am)
Bang bang - you nailed it Miranda. Didn’t know the background to the twitter handle. The backlash is largely imaginary - terrorism is not. There are people out there who will try to assault Muslim women but it is isolated and non life threatning.  A mate of mine defended a Muslim lady last week.I do believe however the reason for the success of the hashtag is that most Australians are just decent. They don’t need a hastag to do the right thing but since it was there it took off and captures the sentiment of decency - even if it did start in a Greens voters Anglophobic head.
Erkojerk of Sydney (Reply)
Wed 17 Dec 14 (11:20am)
Well said Miranda. Anne Aly’s obfuscations, denials, accusations and general conduct have been appalling. Reminiscent of a screaming activist than a rational academic.
Of course when I say rational academic I’m referencing the ancient Greek ideal rather than the risible standard in Australia today.
the little dasher (Reply)
Wed 17 Dec 14 (11:35am)
Excuse me Miranda, how is expressing concern and offering to help a group of people who may feel under threat causing any harm? I am baffled at your vindication of people at this trying time for stating the wish look after members of the Muslim Australian community, exactly how is tweeting using a #hashtag (which takes under a minute) detracting from the outpouring of concern for victims and families? Should social media use somehow have been restricted to the #sydneysiege or #prayforsydney hashtags?? That seems pretty unrealistic to expect in this communications saturated digital world… I am amazed that you managed to find a tweet at #illridewithyou where ‘They tried to pretend Monis wasn’t a terrorist’, could you please share it with me? I would appreciate a response because I work professionally with social media and would really like to understand your view, thanks.
Coolhandjules (Reply)
Wed 17 Dec 14 (12:00pm)
I was going to write in and comment on a top article, however, I won’t in case you think it off colour and not print it.
Harry Blapp (Reply)
Wed 17 Dec 14 (12:23pm)
I find it extremely offensive the suggestion that Muslims are necessarily in danger in Australia. 
Committing violence against random, innocent people on the basis of whether they are Muslim or not is a Muslim practice, not Australian.
Cant add anything to such succinct and accurate writing except to say thanks for doing so. Love it
Couldn’t agree more Miranda.  The Leftist always try to grab the high morale ground and the events at Martin Place were no exception. 
If anything good comes out of this tragedy, hopefully it is realistic bail laws that seek to protect the public as No. 1 priority and hold Judicial Officer accountable for their decisions.
What a joke of an article. 
Miranda Devine, the warm lettuce leaf of hard hitting journalism.
Even with the most finely drafted legislature that our tax dollars can buy, it is impossible to adequately address every potentiality.
It was our highly capable security agencies, working within the parameters of human capabilities that helped save the lives of those terrified people.
Katrina (Reply)
Wed 17 Dec 14 (01:18pm)

Have Your Say

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Sad that you cant see the good in this and rise above your petty politics Miranda. Thankfully you’re in the minority.
This from your sister paper;
todd of sydney (Reply)
Wed 17 Dec 14 (01:30pm)
Oh the compassionate left.......except if you don’t believe in what they do.
Mad Mick of Perth (Reply)
Wed 17 Dec 14 (01:45pm)
HEAR! HEAR! Spot on!
Michelle (Reply)
Wed 17 Dec 14 (02:03pm)
There’s no such thing as a moderate muslim. A moderate muslim is a “casual” muslim, like a Christian who is pro-gay marriage or only attends Church once a year at Christmas. They don’t actually adhere to their faith, they just wear the label for convenience. Considering the penalty for muslims who want to leave the faith, it’s understandable that some would choose to keep up pretences. But most muslims are orthodox, mislabelled in the media as “extremist”. They are not extreme, they just practice or believe in what their faith actually teaches - that is conquest and spreading of Islam via violence.
chris (Reply)
Wed 17 Dec 14 (02:05pm)
Thank you, Miranda, for yet another excellent “telling it how it is”.
The Greens specifically, the Left generally, most of the media (present one excepted) especially AlJezeera’s ABC/SBS, majority of the judiciary,many cowardly politicians and the whole “refugee” industry are on the side of those who hate us.
The bully’s stick with which they want to prod us into submission is the accusation of “Islamophobia”:
Definition of the word: Islamophobia by Christopher Hitchens: 
“a word created by Faschists and used by cowards to manipulate morons”.
A friend of mine put it even more succinctly:
“To be “islamophobe” today, is like having been “Icebergophobe” on the Titanic in 1912.
Rita of Cronulla (Reply)
Wed 17 Dec 14 (02:06pm)
I didn’t think this newspaper or it’s journalists could stoop any lower.
Looks like I was wrong.
For right wing nut jobs to use this tragic event to attack the left beggars belief.
Oh, and congratulations for scooping all the other newspapers in your early edition.
sam of south coast (Reply)
Wed 17 Dec 14 (02:16pm)
‘The Noxious & Naive Left - SO TRUE !! Not a peep out of ‘softies’ like milne,faine,marr,trioli etc,etc who try to say Moslems & their religion are no threat to Australia ???
John Gorton (Reply)
Wed 17 Dec 14 (02:37pm)
What a terrible piece of writing, i am so offended by the fact it makes complete sense, is this a place for common sense? i doubt it, i want to say sorry to the muslim community for being so mean with my free speech and my mother not covering her hair and having a choice, dam women getting around without head to toe coverings, islam is helping to fight skin cancer by covering up, and here you have these Australian girls getting skin cancer, that is allah punishing you for dressing how you want, i will cry myself to sleep tonight for the muslim women who has a racist bigot drunk yobbo Australian blah blah, it is unfair just because there holy book allowed people to be massacred we should all cry and shed tears for a few women being stared at and someone saying things to them, wah wah wah i am crying now all over my keyboard. Give up your religion, and if you are christian/catholic/mormon etc don’t agree with me, you give it up as well, it is 2014, the earth is round.
lojeek of merimbula (Reply)
Wed 17 Dec 14 (03:07pm)
Miranda you have a very twisted view. This being a free country makes you very much entitled to that view. It also means those of us who choose to can disagree with it. Islamophobia is rife in this country. You seem to choose to not see that.
Stephen Lyons of Andamooka (Reply)
Wed 17 Dec 14 (03:08pm)
What a terrible piece of writing, i am so offended by the fact it makes complete sense, is this a place for common sense? i doubt it, i want to say sorry to the muslim community for being so mean with my free speech and my mother not covering her hair and having a choice, dam women getting around without head to toe coverings, islam is helping to fight skin cancer by covering up, and here you have these Australian girls getting skin cancer, that is allah punishing you for dressing how you want, i will cry myself to sleep tonight for the muslim women who has a racist bigot drunk yobbo Australian blah blah, say something to her it is unfair just because there holy book allowed people to be massacred we should all cry and shed tears for a few women being stared at and someone saying things to them, wah wah wah i am crying now all over my keyboard. Give up your religion, and if you are christian/catholic/mormon etc don’t agree with me, you give it up as well, it is 2014, the earth is round.
lojeek of merimbula (Reply)
Wed 17 Dec 14 (03:08pm)

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Very good Miranda. People ignore that behind every bad decision, is a decision maker. Someone who can, and should, be named.
John Galt (Reply)
Wed 17 Dec 14 (05:43pm)
a sane voice amid the looney left frenzy .  wink
tonia of cranbourne east (Reply)
Wed 17 Dec 14 (06:39pm)
Miranda writes about the ill ride with you hash tag and it being a ploy from the left as to make out there was threat against the muslims due to the hostage situation. I don’t believe this is the case, it was a symbolic gesture showing our Muslim friends and neighbours that the greater majority of the nation don’t tar everyone with the same brush. Its easy for her to sit there and say there was no threat to Muslims. My sons friend had all the family cars vandalized with spray paint using anti Muslim slogans at the time of the alleged beheading plot was uncovered. The Cronulla Riots were another reason that you might be led you to think that some may abuse ppl or act irrationally in response to what was happening. 
People wearing the burka or hijab are abused in the street on a normal day. This woman has her head in the sand. The ill ride with you hashtag was people showing others that they won’t stand for bigotry or violence. Its was never to take away from the days events, every Australian is shocked and in mourning. Don’t dare make that hashtag anything but an act of human kindness between all Australians
Shelley of plumpton (Reply)
Wed 17 Dec 14 (06:56pm)
spot on! Well written as always. I am hoping to see the truth come out as to who did the killing. Can we assume it was the gunman? I am sick of politicians singing praises to the most professional police force that were there. How can the operation be considered a success when they waited 17 fours to act and then left two dead plus the injured?
It looks like a botched rescue to me.
The media were appalling also, lapping up every moment and milking it for all it was worth. They mocked Fred Nile for being there and having a photo taken, they gave the gunman what he wanted, world wide attention.
Lots of answers needed, but is anyone asking the right questions?
Gray of tasmania (Reply)
Wed 17 Dec 14 (07:11pm)
Leftists confuse the world with their view of the world and will always deny that there is radical evil; the bad behaviour of radical Muslims can be explained socially, politically, and economically.  The denial of the reality of evil is one of the biggest mistakes of the left. 
There are many on the left who hide behind moral relativism, when it suits them.  They think that it is morally wrong to criticise or condemn the practices of another culture (stoning of adulterers, e.g.) because each culture has its own morality that is valid for it and is only relatively valid.
If morality is relative, then we in western culture have all the just cause we need to suppress and eliminate the barbaric practices of Islam. All the down to earth Muslims I speak to, see the left as much a part of the problem as the zealots and radicals. 
Leftists compound their wilful ignorance of reality by denouncing those who speak the truth as Islamophobic. Well if that’s the case, then there are many Muslims who would, in the leftist mindset, could be accused of being Islamophobic.
So when conservative sections of the media sound the alarm, leftists go into knee-jerk contrariety mode and guilefully enter into a delusional state. At which point they think, e.g., that the threat of western capitalist values and Judeo/Christian theocracy is real and imminent, but that there is nothing to fear from Islamic radicalism. The left’s contemporary friendship with radical Islam is sustained by the shield of political correctness. 
A humorous American take on the politically correct Leftists.
Howzat of Sydney (Reply)
Wed 17 Dec 14 (07:17pm)
Watched the “grill segment” on today show yesterday, and loved your response, exactly articulated my thoughts My first thoughs after seeing the hashtag was, “wow, eye roll, cmon, this thing is still ongoing, where’s the keep hostage safes hashtag”. Ulimtatly it is divisive, why should I feel bad for, at that particluar momnent being frustrated by islam in australia in general, does that mean Im going to start harassing muslims in public, face slap, im done
bbott of sydney (Reply)
Wed 17 Dec 14 (07:32pm)
Thank you for laying it out so clearly Miranda. I am having my own problems up here with the Sunshine Coast newspaper editor who is a real lefty who thinks it is perfectly alright to insult a concerned citizen. Concerned? Yes, I am.
I am concerned that our government, legal system, and police are not protecting us from the islamic threat. By their denials of the obvious, by trying to convince everyone that Monis was a “lone wolf”, by trying to confuse the issue over the type of black flag being displayed, they showed clearly that they are either total morons, or they are too afraid to face up to the truth.
The media (with the exception of you and a few others) need to start doing their job...reporting the real news, exposing the corruption and stupidity of our political and social system, and siding with the Australian people....not a foreign ideology dedicated to the destruction of all we hold dear.
Keep up the good work Miranda. And thank you for telling the truth.
Whatever its motivations Miranda you have shown in this column exactly how out of touch you are. The hashtag campaign showed an insight into the impacts that can arise from emotionally charged circumstances such as this. It was hardly a conspiracy of any political wing - left or right.
What was unforgivable in the twitterers was that singular tweet that demonstrated the philosophy of News Corporation and it publications. There is no need to mention who tweeted nor what they tweeted. Everyone knows. Even you. What is interesting is that you ignore it while screeching about some phantoms.
Max of Leichhardt (Reply)
Wed 17 Dec 14 (07:46pm)

This article shows everything that is wrong with opinion pieces in Australia.
Everyone’s thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.
But in wider society, this act of terror will have an impact on the approach to the Islamic community.
No-one wants the Cronulla riots to happen again!!!
Can’t a kind gesture, be just that.
Does some 2 bit “journalist” need to psychoanalyse the act to justify her arts degree.
Centrist of Sydney (Reply)
Wed 17 Dec 14 (09:14pm)
this is who we are......are you kidding...we are so kind we help the homeless,care for the junkies we have supplied drugs to...your in wonderland or an outright propagandist.......corruption is rampart,we have cabals extorting nations for billions with the threat of natural disasters.....we are fundamental heathens with a godless concious.next ,the christian will be targeted as terrorist when they dont accept chipping.our former prime minister was charged with treason and no mainstream media outlet reported the charge......we have tony peta and pyne the swine running slush funds to damage a man who in the end was found guity of a mear 4 thousand.while the real thieves like kathy jackson are heros.we have children becoming surrogate of the state run child care facilities so half the population can pay tax....leaving no family values to be found....we have corporations paying no taxes while leaning on working folk with increasing GST.....WE have a privatised refugee detention system which re-invest s in people smuggling with the govt supplied monies......$50000 will get you 5 new clients so 50 will become 250.....we have our federal police controlling these flows… 
i could not give two cents for the left wing because it works with the right to grAB THE GOOD PEOPLE IN IT,S CLUTCHES.you my dear are not one of the good people......you took the dollars for you opinions and are partially to blame for the siege.you with your islamophobia helped manifest this outrageous evil.....you created it by nominating martin place as the default location.....you put downward pressure on this fool who strode onto the stage YOU created.....you supplied the line for him to speak,you wound him up like an autobot and he done your work so you can say “i told you all”
mike of chester hill sydney (Reply)
Wed 17 Dec 14 (09:23pm)
I consider myself a bit of a centrist when it comes to politics - slightly to the right on economics, slightly to the left on social issues. I generally let things written by Miranda Devine go through to the keeper but after this article I am just fed up. Her absolute purpose in life seems to be to find fault in everything the “left” does, to blame the “left” for everything and to interpret (or misinterpret everything that comes from the “left” in the worst possible light. The fact that she has used this tragic event as a chance for political criticism is just a disgrace. Maybe other people see things she doesn’t; maybe other people are more attuned to what is going on amongst the ‘ordinary’ people; maybe the ‘right’ is ‘wrong’ - my god, how could it be so?
Pete of Albion Park (Reply)
Wed 17 Dec 14 (10:05pm)
A great article of good common sense.Thank you Miranda Devine
diamantinadave of Kuraby (Reply)
Wed 17 Dec 14 (10:46pm)
Congratulations to Miranda Devine for an excellent article.  We must wake up to the fact that the attack on the Sydney cafe was an attack on us all, an act of war on our democratic values (our very freedom), which in turn are derived from our esteemed Christian culture. While most Muslims are peace loving people, the fact is that this attack was carried out under the flag of Islam, a religion that has been engaged in an aggressive war (and still is) with Christian civilisation for the last fourteen centuries, and is responsible for the slaughter of over 240 million people. It is time we have a debate about the ideology that is motivating people to commit terrorist attacks around the world, and now on our own soil. Unless we recognise our enemy we can barely hope to defeat it. When will we as a society wake up to the true nature of this threat to our way of life and our right to live in peace and freedom?
Philip of Morayfield (Reply)
Wed 17 Dec 14 (10:47pm)
Academics in their synthetic environments shielded from real worldly realities think a lot and that thinking is as unreal as their life experiences.Socialism is inclusive ,unless of course, you base your thinking in this world as it exists.miranda a fine and insightful piece simply described. Thankyou
I know Rachael, and I would trust her vastly to have accurate empathy for what was going on with the woman she met on the train. She’s an extraordinary woman, and the outpouring of genuine love that is #illridewithyou is something you should be celebrating. Love will win.
“I’ll sit with you”
‘F..k Tony Abbott’
Feel the love?
Cyn of Ringwood North (Reply)
Thu 18 Dec 14 (12:41am)
You are correct on all counts Miranda.  I hope this tragedy does not get forgotten about in 2 weeks time.
Moreover, his lawyers are simply guns-for-hire.  They have no moral compass. It is about the fee, success rates and the associated free publicity to acquire more ‘customers’.  May they apologize and hang their heads in shame for defending such a dangerous idiot.
johnno of Sydney (Reply)
Thu 18 Dec 14 (01:33am)
Grand article refreshing the new shunting of political correctness. Thank you for standing up for the proper direction the AU culture needs to be @
V'lad of Perth (Reply)
Thu 18 Dec 14 (01:59am)

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Finally relieved to see a sane Aussie voice… I was appalled to see this entire #illridewithyou campaign by some desperate attention seekers who insulted not only the victims but the entire population by calling them potential bigots while driving attention away from the actual bigot…
This self loathing, defeatist mentality is visible everywhere in the world… while the jihadists kill with impunity, we keep blaming ourselves…
SurrealVagabond of Delhi (Reply)
Thu 18 Dec 14 (02:17am)