Sunday, November 01, 2015

It's time for a deeply Christian Sunday meditating on government lies about the NBN, government-funded bigotry and government-run gulags ...

The pond had wanted to start off its meditative Sunday by expressing the extreme rage it felt when Wirephin decided to toss a selling leaflet into its Enmore post box.

The flyer started off with the claim The NBN is coming to this area soon - you're next on the list of suburban rollouts, which is a lie.

Then the handbill offered "speeds available from 20/20 mbps to 1 gps", but if you turned over to read the details of the "NBN Fibre connection" you could discover that, for an unlimited amount of data at 12/1 mbps, you'd be up for $123 a month - though if you only wanted the equivalent of a couple of Blu-rays of data a month, you could get 50Gb at 12/1 mbps for $50 a month.

Now somebody should have told Wirephin that The FCC has changed the definition of broadband, such that even in the wretched United States, 25 mbps is considered the lowest download speed to be considered broadband.

So wash out your mouth when you talk of an "NBN Fibre Connection" that offers 12/1.

Meanwhile, if you want unlimited data with Wirephin at 25/5, it'll cost you $129 a month on a 24 month minimum term, and if you want 100/40, it'll set you back $144.00.

Of course in the pond area this is academic because we'll be getting HFC delivered broadband in all its glory ... but in the meantime, can sometime tell Wirephin they're dreaming, and all they managed to do is send the pond into a frenzy ...

It reminded the pond of an old piece by Paul Budde, available as The NBN - more lies leading us from bad to worse and containing bon mots like this:

First of all the minister promised a quick six-month turnaround for the policy change; but now, two years later, apart from pilots, none of the so-called multi-mix technology (basically a retrofit of the old copper and coax cables) has eventuated. 
Now the government has also admitted that this retrofit might cost up to $15 billion more than expected. It becomes clear that this government didn’t have a clue about its proposed ‘cheaper and faster option’. It was nothing more than political rhetoric. 
Aside from the delay, the government has now also been forced to admit that its second-rate version of the NBN could cost as much as $56 billion. If it was not so sad it would be funny.

Now the promising Minister is actually the prime minister, and Wirephin just rubs salt into the wound with its nonsensical sales pitch ...

... but hey, this being a meditative Sunday,  it's time for a massive segue, and so the pond is pleased to report on the latest bout of government-funded bigotry.

Now the pond knows everyone is entitled to be a bigot. We know that from no lesser an authority than gorgeous George himself.

So who could complain if Foundation Christian College in WA's Mandurah, and its principal Andrew House produced a fine example of bigotry?

Brendan, whose last name is withheld to protect the identity of his daughter, said after his daughter told her class at Mandurah's Foundation Christian College that her father was gay, she was silenced by her teacher. 
Brendan was called in to the school and told that his daughter could only remain a studen there if she never again mentioned her father's sexuality or partner. He then decided to withdraw her from the school.  (here in WA Today).

There was a fine flurry of accusations designed to justify the bigotry:

Mr Newhouse, a candidate for Family First in the 2013 Federal election, denied the family was driven from the school, but confirmed children of same-sex parents were not welcome and accused Brendan of concealing his sexuality during the interview process. 
"When the father submitted his application for enrolment, he did so with his ex-wife as part of the process," he said in a statement provided to the Mandurah Mail. 
"Knowing that the college would not endorse an application from same-sex parents, I find there is not openness from the parent's point of view. 
"The parent signed the conditions of entry agreement with the college stating (amongst other items) 'We support the principle of Christian education for our child'. 
"The [school] board are firm in their view that families have a mother and father who raise children jointly. 
"The board also has a strong view that families with same-sex parents do not support a Christian world view. 
"Some parents at this college are concerned to hear that a child in year one is talking about their experiences of living with two dads, in place of a mother and father. 
"I mentioned to the parent that if his daughter was to continue this topic of discussion with her peers, then it would be in both his and his daughter's interests to move to a school that would support his world view." 

No doubt the Taliban would support the principal and the school board - after all fundamentalist bigots tend to flock together - but here's the rub in the story:

Foundation Christian College received $5.2 million in taxpayer funding in 2013; $3.7 million from the Commonwealth Government and $1.4 million from the Western Australian Government.

Yes, it's not personal private bigotry, paid for on the school's own dime, but lavishly government-funded bigotry, using funding procedures and mechanisms approved by both the major parties.

Now it seems that the story produced a right old flurry in WA, with other stories such as Gay man's daughter not welcome at Mandurah Christian school, and it even reached the eastern states in Homophobe Mandurah school fails religious education.

Now the pond would have just said that this Mandurah school fails education, and not worried about inserting any qualifiers.

Right at the moment, and no doubt entirely coincidentally, anyone wanting to know about the school and heading off to the website will cop this notice:

But thanks to the Wayback Machine, the pond is pleased to present this front page splash:

And this mission statement:

We believe in: 

  • One God eternally existent in three Person: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. 
  • The sovereignty of God in creation, providence, redemption, revelation and final judgement. The Divine inspiration of the original documents of the Bible (66 books); its entire trustworthiness, sufficiency and supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct. 
  • The Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His atoning death on the cross as our representative and substitute, in His bodily resurrection, in His Ascension to the righthand of the Father, in His mediatorial work and in His personal, visible return in power and glory. 
  • The sinfulness and guilt of all mankind, rendering them subject to God's wrath and condemnation. 
  • Justification of the sinner by the Grace of God through personal faith in Christ alone, and regeneration by the Holy Spirit. 
  • The receiving and indwelling of the Holy Spirit at conversion, and His continuing work in the heart and life of the believer. 
  • The one holy universal church, the body of which Christ is the Head, to which all true believers belong. 
  • The resurrection and judgement of all mankind: the believer to life everlasting and the unbeliever to eternal damnation.
And if you want more exhausting detail, how about all this?

Why a Christian School?
The way you educate children in the first years of their lives will mould their thinking for life. The Bible tells us, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” Proverbs 22:6.
There are no value-neutral schools. The Bible makes it clear that parents are to bring up their children to love the Lord, to obey his commandments and to be given an upbringing and education that is 'of the Lord'. (See Deuteronomy 6:5-9 and Ephesians 6:4) It should be obvious that allowing teachers who do not share Christian beliefs to educate children from Christian homes, for 6 hours a day and for five days a week will not achieve this purpose. Whether they try to do so or not all teachers pass on their values as well as the information and skills they teach. Jesus said “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher” Luke 6:39-40) Christian children need to be brought up in Christian schools.
Four marks of a Christian school Parents need to be sure that a school that calls itself a Christian school really is one. There are a number of essential characteristics of a Christian school.
All teachers are Christians
In a Christian school, all staff members need to be committed Christians. If the teachers do not love and serve Jesus Christ how will their students? For a school to be truly Christian Jesus Christ must be Lord of it and all it does and thus the teachers must accept His lordship over their lives.

A Christ - centered curriculum
 Biblical beliefs and values must underpin all that is taught and should reinforce home values. Beliefs and values are not something you can add on. If they are not integral to the life of the school community and its curriculum they will be rejected by children as irrelevant.
 A Christian learning community

The school must be a Christian learning community marked by love, acceptance and forgiveness among students, staff and the parents. Many people imagine that Christianity can be taught like mathematics. However, beliefs and values are learnt from others around us and not by what is taught in formal lessons. Teachers must share and practice the values they want he children to adopt. They need to have such warm relationships that their students will want to imitate them. In their teen years friends will influence students’ values more strongly than will their home. It is vital that their peers should be those who share Christian values. A Christian school should help its students to grow towards maturity in Christ (Ephesians 4:12-16) this involves experiencing the freedom and the responsibility of being part of a Christian group. Students need to learn how to apply biblical knowledge in their life together. Head knowledge alone leads to a legalistic Christianity that denies true spiritual vitality.

High standards of education

In a Christian school there must be no compromise on educational standards. Although as Christian we should not put material values before spiritual values (Matthew 16:26) there is no excuse for giving students a second rate education.
Changing society 
The ability to think critically is important for everyone, but it is especially important for Christians who are “not to be conformed to the world’s way of thinking.” (Romans 12:1-2) Our society is in danger of losing the ability to think critically about a wide range of issues. The pressure of the media has created what we sometimes call “politically correct thinking”. This thinking can result in a loss of freedom of expression and a failure to think critically in some key areas of life. Christian schooling can make a significant contribution to the intellectual life of our society by challenging such uncritical thinking. 
The pressure of society 
No generation in the history of our civilization has had to face stronger influences to conform to worldly lifestyles that the current generation. Television and viewing material influence most Christian homes. Many children, even in Christian homes, are watching four to six hours of television a day. If these children go to a secular school, they are being influenced to think like the world for 10 – 12 hours of every day. One of the results of this is that secular ways of thinking have undermined Christian values. Secular values of self gratification and tolerance of everything except Biblical truth is promoted by the immense power of the media. Add to this the availability of drugs and the pornography and violence so easily accessible via the Internet and it is not hard to see why our society is crumbling and our children are being destroyed. Students need to be in a strong Christian learning community. 
An Important Choice 
The choice you make about which school your child attends will not only have profound effects on his or her life, here and now, it will also have eternal consequences. While to send your child to a Christian school may cost you significant amounts of money that you could otherwise spend on material possessions or leisure activities, your choice of a Christian school could be the greatest gift you could give a child. “What good is it for a person to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his or her soul?” (Mark 8:36) Our children are born for a purpose. Part of that purpose is to be equipped to lead those around them and to aspire to excellence in all they do.

And so on and so forth, and here's the rub, to be found in the school's history:

The Education Department had a surplus high school site and the Minister for Education, approved the allocation and suggested that we borrow money to purchase it at the best government interest rates they had. It was a long process, but eventually the school had their own land. God had provided the school with a site of almost 10 hectares, close to town. 
In May 2000, Stage 1 was completed, and with lots of help from the school community, Foundation Christian School moved to take up residence in their own buildings. Praise God! Only he can make something out of nothing.

Yes, and it seems only She can tap into decent government funding, and decent government surpluses and all the rest of the taxpayer-teat supplied facilities ... though some might be confused that the Minister for Education and the Eduction Department, which got rid of a surplus high school site, were acting on behalf of God. She surely has good agents ...

Now this story could be replicated in all manner of ways, at Catholic, Anglican, Islamic, evangelical and other religious schools, right down to the little old Scientology school around the corner from the pond, and with bonus creationism, speaking in tongues, obedience of women, abuse of gays yadda yadda ...

And what does Bill Shorten have to offer by way of policies? Why give 16 year olds the vote and go on a tour of the Pacific Islands ...

No wonder there are many yearning for Albo and a fibro v silvertail fight.

Truth to tell, both the major parties are now so mired in this religious blood that to return would be as tedious as to go o'er, and little eruptions of bigotry like this will be ignored, and hopefully forgotten ... at least until the right wing commentariat pick up on the next bit of bigotry, strictly on the condition that it involves an Islamic school, and so reveal sall that's wrong with Islam ... Christian bigotry and prejudice being as sacred as the Hindu cow.

Well, what can we expect from a federal government that runs gulags, and most recently was caught out with talk of adopting the Krygyzstan option for its prisoners. No doubt it was just a balloon, sent out to test the atmosphere:

In Kyrgyzstan they call it "ala kachuu". 
Loosely translated it means: grab a woman and run away. It's an ancient form of bride kidnapping said to have its roots in nomadic custom. It was outlawed under Soviet rule but it's back in a big way: men drive around looking for women to kidnap and force into marriage and the authorities don't do much to stop it. 
Sometimes it's consensual – an elaborate ritual – but usually not. It can involve rape and other forms of violence. Local civil society groups say thousands of women are forced into sexual and domestic servitude this way every year and the problem's only getting worse. 
Indeed, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade warns travellers about it in its Kyrgyzstan travel advice. 
"Women travelling alone and after dark should take extra care for their own security as kidnapping local women for marriage is an ongoing occurrence in the Kyrgyz Republic, and foreigners could mistakenly fall victim to such kidnappings," it says. 
It also warns about the threat of violent crime, gangs, robbery, terrorism, militants, civil unrest, treacherous roads, endemic diseases, bad hospitals, strict laws, police harassment, earthquakes and avalanches. 
And if that's not enough, Human Rights Watch also warns of torture, widespread judicial corruption, attacks on minorities such as gay and lesbian people, entrenched racism and the terrible treatment of refugees. The country's capital, Bishkek​, lies along heroin smuggling routes from Afghanistan into Russia and Europe.

And so on, and the rest of that report at Fairfax here, and this from the mob that decried Malaysia, and what a fine example they set for the Christian students in our government-funded Christian schools of how to go about policy-making in an exemplary Christian way. Who better to run a class 101 in bigotry and cruelty?

Well that's enough Sunday meditating, and there's just time then for a David Rowe cartoon, featuring mutton Dutton, and more Rowe twittering here:


  1. I thought God was a "He" - the only guy who gets his own personal pronoun, complete with initial capital!

  2. Gotta say, DP, the Kitchen gig didn't do ScoMo any harm. Will go so far as to reckon he is a serious contender, and Abbott's prospects (if there were any) are SFA, thanks to ScoMo.
    On the other side of the Pacific, though, Carson is a likely contender, despite his confusion about the roles of religious beliefs in the affairs of State, and despite his own beliefs about his destiny in the Divine Plan.
    So, am looking forward to Abbott injecting himself into the POTUS stakes as commentator.

    1. Now that's a vision splendid UC. Tony joining the chairman in cheering on Carson ... flat tax here we come.

  3. On Malware's fraudband this morning:

    Why daren't they mention Ol' Rupe?


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