Sunday, September 13, 2015

A few modest proposals for a Sunday meditation ...

The pond was bemused by this reading in the September Harper's ... (online here, may be slow to load).

Now the pond is aware that the opening rule about pigeon-breeding became a little confusing because it got conflated with yarns about the visibility of pigeon genitals as they fly overhead offending Islam (Snopes here). But that came from the always unreliable Daily Snail. It nonetheless seems true that Daesh has a thing about pigeon-breeders, along with skinny jeans and pants with hems below the ankle (shades of the Dominican nuns who used to get out the hem ruler all those years ago in Tamworth).

The pigeon-breeding routine reminded the pond of the mortifying time it sat down with a bunch of Toorak ponces and they ordered squab, and the tender, innocent at the time pond hadn't the faintest clue what they were talking about. 

But when the small charred birds landed on the plate, it became clear that the ponces were just using a fancy term for rats with wings, the pigeons that grand-dad used to keep down the back, not for racing, but for the pleasure of a quick meal after a tour of the pubs.

In those days, other items now deemed luxurious, such as oysters, were working class pleasures - you could get a small bottle of oysters and whip up a cream of oyster soup, and the ponces would look at you askance as you indulged in  your riff raff lumpenproletariat diet ...

But the pond digresses, it being time for a Sunday meditation, and so back to that list and other Daesh prescriptions. The Rachel Maddow show carried this note, here, back in 2014:

...the Associated Press reported yesterday on ISIS terrorists taking a keen interest in the curricula of schools in Mosul. 
The extremist-held Iraqi city of Mosul is set to usher in a new school year. 
But unlike years past, there will be no art or music. Classes about history, literature and Christianity have been “permanently annulled.” 
 The Islamic State group has declared patriotic songs blasphemous and ordered that certain pictures be torn out of textbooks. 
This is not the first time. In parts of Syria under ISIS control, the group has banned philosophy and chemistry. 
 In Mosul, ISIS issued a statement nearly two weeks ago, declaring “good news of the establishment of the Islamic State Education Diwan by the caliph who seeks to eliminate ignorance, to spread religious sciences and to fight the decayed curriculum.” 
The AP report added that Islamic State explicitly prohibits lessons on “Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.”

That inspired this meditation on evolution and the Scopes trial here, along with this cartoon illustration.

Which brings the pond, inevitably, to Canning candidate Andrew Hastie and his position on creationism. Or rather, his non-position, as recorded a few days ago in Andrew Hastie refuses to give his views on creationism:

Asked eight times at a media conference in Armadale on Thursday whether he believed in creationism, Hastie at first skirted the question, which he claimed was irrelevant to the 19 September poll, because: “There’s no religious test in this country for public office.” “Like many Australians, I have a Christian faith, which presupposes the existence of a God,” he said. “The belief that there is a God endows every person with dignity and it inspires me to treat people with equality, and so my faith has taught me to love others, not judge others.” 
 He shrugged off suggestions his religious views could one day become very relevant to public policy if he became, say, science minister, saying: “No, look, look … I’m interested in the people of Canning, I haven’t done science since year 12 at high school and I’m not interested in talking about curriculum or anything else, I’m interested in talking about Canning and public policy solutions for them.” 
When pressed again, he said: “I believe there was a God, I believe he was the first mover,” adding that there was “plenty of disagreement within Christianity itself about the specifics of creation, of theistic evolution”, before directing journalists to look up John Dickson, the founding director of the Centre for Public Christianity if they wanted a theological debate.

Now the pond can appreciate Hastie is in a tricky spot. If he disavows creationism, he disavows his father, who happens to be a firm believer. And who wants to call their father barking mad in public, even if he is?

But at the same time, there's no way around the weasel words, or the dissembling. How hard would it have been for him to say that he accepts the theory of evolution, so that we could all move along?

In reality, science does matter in all sorts of areas, and it's always been a pond talking point for the way Daesh and Christian fundamentalists and bigots share so many points in common. 

And it's not just science as it relates to the internet, or climate science, or social issues, because when it comes to the crunch, pigeon-breeding is a trivial matter up against rights for gays and women ...

We can see where religious fundamentalism and bigotry and closed minds gets us thanks to the current PM, who was startled to see a chemist take the chair in Rome and take a view on climate science.

Science does matter, and so do views on creationism. To propose otherwise is to begin the long haul back to fundamentalism that the barking mad Daesh are attempting elsewhere ... and that's why the pond finds the kind of selective "pick and stick" attitudes of Murdoch la la land so problematic. 

A creationist is a creationist anywhere ... and if Daesh is fully sick, then so are the clap happies that roam around the country carrying on in their barking mad fundamentalist ways.

Does it matter that Scott "speaking in tongues" Morrison belongs to the clap happy church Shirelive?

You bet it does, especially if you go back and read Gymea Technology High School parents left in the dark about sex education by Shirelive church. (with forced video).

Pastor Kristy Mills, the ministry director at Shirelive church, said it was the first year that Your Choicez had been engaged for the conference, which has run for five years. She said between 70 and 80 students from Gymea High, Menai High and Woolooware High attended. 
Schools were aware that sexual education forms part of the conference, she said, including porn and porn addiction for boys and self-esteem, self respect and "identifying problematic behaviours" for girls. "The content is secular in nature," he said. "We don't introduce faith-based concepts". 

Uh huh.

In a letter to the school's principal, Peter Marsh, Ms Schultz said Chloe "came home with a disturbing account of being exposed to some unfathomably outdated gender stereotypes and fear-based notions about sex". Ms Schultz wrote that, according to Chloe, "the content of this session was decidedly hetero normative, anti-queer and deeply shaming of anyone who engages in normal teenager sexual experimentation".

Yep, it's Daesh and pigeon-breeding all over again ... how they love their shaming and their guilt mechanisms, and their proscriptions, and their prescribing, which has for thousands of years has seen firm stances taken on such compelling matters as bacon, shellfish, and the mixing of cloths ... and gays and women ...

Well the pond has been there and done that - growing up in Tamworth is enough for anyone - but it's yet another reminder of how relentless crazed fundamentalists are in their desire to fuck up and fuck over innocents ...

The end result? Well you have a doofus like Inspector "Plod" Dutton making a quip which unwittingly suggests that finally the luddites in cabinet might be coming to understand climate change might have an impact on the world ... and then sniggering and joking about its impact, in the best, "we're alright, fuck you Jack" ways of the ruling 'leets pandering to the coal business ....

Oops. But then Abbott had the cheek to double down and defend his minister, while noting as an aside that it was a "lame joke".

Well yes, but the lameness is in the mind set that allows it, like jokes about poofters and jokes about women and all the other lameness that the current federal government indulges in.

And so to Abbott's defence, which naturally invokes Twitter as wicked, but which turns out to be even more appalling, in its lack of understanding, and in its defiance at not caring about not understanding:

“This [the Syrian refugee deal] is a historic announcement, and frankly, it says something about the quality of our national conversation that a lame joke should be of more interest than something which is truly nation-building and truly transforming, and which reflects Australia at its best,” Abbott said. “And then we have a subsequent Twitter-storm which, if I may say so, reflects Australia at its worst.” 
Dutton’s “lame joke” was to quip that the roundtable, which was running late, was on “Cape York time,” and then respond to Abbott’s comment that his meetings in Port Moresby had also run late with: “Time doesn’t mean anything when you’re, you know, about to have water lapping at your door.” Abbott laughed until the social services minister, Scott Morrison, pointed out the microphone. 
Asked on Saturday why he had laughed, Abbott said: “It’s not about me.” Instead, he said, it was about “what’s best for our country ... what’s best for the world,” before concluding, “I’m very proud of Peter Dutton.”  
“Ask yourselves what matters,” he said. “Is it a decision to take 12,000 people from a warzone, a generous, decent, compassionate decision which, I think, has helped to galvanise other countries to do the right thing? Is that what matters? Or is it a lame joke? 
 “I mean, really, let’s get our priorities right here.” (here)

Australia has helped galvanise other counties to do the right thing?

It's the sheer outrageousness, the chutzpah mixed with cheek, and the righteousness of Abbott that continues to amaze and astonish ...

And Abbott laughing at that "lame joke" exposed how completely shallow, how superficial his interest in indigenous communities is. Abbott is himself a tired old stereotype ...

Well we all know where this comes from:

And never apologise. Instead just lie in the most shameless way you can devise:

Uh huh.

Well we might seem to have moved a little far away from the banning of the breeding of squab for a decent lumpenproletariat meal, but not really ... in amongst that talk of shellfish, you can find:

Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another.

And earlier, in Exodus, this:

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

Oh and this too:

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

Well the Catholics put an end to that nonsense, and maybe it's what George Brandis is wanting to do with y'artz. Give them a good Weissering.

But enough of Sunday meditations, as leadership rumblings continue apace, and the liar looks wobbly on his throne, and so to a Glen Le Lievre cartoon, and you can find Le Lievre on Twitter here, reflecting on what makes Australia produce its worst ...


  1. Feeling that cognitive dissonance, DP? Mmmmm mmm! It's the only way to grooooove.

  2. Abbott's responses to tricky questions remind me of that children's game which requires the assembly of hybrid creatures: a bear's head, a serpent's middle teetoring on a duck's feet. Dorothy, your example of Abbott's reply to an inquiry about why he had laughed when Dutton joked about lapping water, brought that card game to mind. Nothing fitted together but the end result provided that that familiar urge to shake one's head in disbelief.

    Miss pp

  3. “The belief that there is a God endows every person with dignity and it inspires me to treat people with equality, and so my faith has taught me to love others, not judge others.”
    Well I'll call bullshit on that brain parable.As someone who passed through the whole catholic/christian gig (50's-60's)' a system designed to fill you up with enough fear and guilt to choke a horse. By the time your out of school and on to the streets you have become an expert on nothing but judgments,based on fear and guilt.....but whatever your silly misjudgments,you always have your get out of jail free card...hallelujah,divine absolution! No need to worry about conscience,morals,empathy,any of that shit. And that's how you go from a fundamentalist education to the taking up a gun to kill a stranger thousands of miles away or treat the future destruction of island peoples that have lived on their island homes for ever as nothing but a lame joke.

    Asked on Saturday why he had laughed, Abbott said: “It’s not about me.” Instead, he said, it was about “what’s best for our country ... what’s best for the world,” before concluding, “I’m very proud of Peter Dutton.”
    “Ask yourselves what matters,” he said. “Is it a decision to take 12,000 people from a war zone, a generous, decent, compassionate decision which, I think, has helped to galvanise other countries to do the right thing? Is that what matters? Or is it a lame joke?
    “I mean, really, let’s get our priorities right here.
    And so it goes that once your fundamentalism is ingrained,you have the luxury of bestowing judgment of yourself and everyone around you, and, ......divine absolution. It sure makes lying easy.

    1. Well, Anon, there's lying, but then there's also Jesuitical 'truth' telling... ... ...[ _ _ _ ] ... .... ( ... ) ..., ... ... aint it?

    2. Stop picking on poor Tony and Peter, you pigeon-breeders!

  4. Farce boss Mutton taking a hit for team Australia today says his apology for getting caught should be accepted ...

    Should? Apology?

  5. "The Islamic State group has declared patriotic songs blasphemous" ... is where it differs from Hitler.

    Timothy Snyder, in his latest book Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning, reviewed here, and here, maintains that Hitler kept his plan to rid the Earth of States and Nationalism, even that of Germany, hidden under his hat.

    According to Snyder, for Hitler, nationalism was merely a tool to be used to accomplish other ends: a natural planetary ecology.

    Assad's Syria is now to be supported by crusading neocons against IS, for States, nationalist governments, no matter how nasty or tricky, can be negotiated with if they have a belief in the State. It's the difference between the strongly anti-Semitic pre-WW2 Polish government nevertheless supporting Zionists. They actively trained Jewish fighters for a perceived new State solution in Palestine to the Polish "problem". Whereas Hitler planned for global anarchy, a return to nature, for people to return to their essence, for them to represent and struggle only for their race. He planned on the restoration of a planetary ecology, a balance to the Earth, in which States and nationalism had no place - both were thought by Hitler to be corrupting Jewish concepts.

    Read stateless IS caliphate as Hitlerian restored natural planetary ecology.


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