Wednesday 14th of November 2018

our place in the sun...

castle

We’re only individual tiny specks of dust in the history of civilisations — even the more well-known of us, like the warring Caesars and the invading Hitlers.

 

Since the first hominids started to stack stones upon stones to make shelters, or started to draw aurochs and mammoths in caves, civilisations have gone crackers, despite being totally erroneously wandering in their purpose and beliefs, often led by useless greedy men. Civilisations are a many people’s effort, not just the work of singularly scrooge-ing idiots— not even that of powerful leaders with glorious ideas, like Napoleon the 3rd, rebuilding Paris, France, so that troops could fire easily down wider avenues and prevent revolutions.

 

Some of us, ignorant bums, have made more ripples than them on the surface of the pond of time, though we’d be soon forgotten, not even getting a minuscule Wikipedia entry — sure, not even that. But aren’t we lucky anyway to be part of the universe of stuff, despite the universe not knowing we’re neither here nor there?… This is the cemetery general epitaph:

 

memory

 

In the process of civilisationing  — (“a fight for our civilisational values”, as told by a newly beguiled erratic Mark Latham) — we tend to roll the hubris of many past humans like dung beetle push their perfect ball of shit, in order to maintain our social continuum of delusions. Plato, Popes, Emperors have had delusional influences that were no more than deceitful farts above the tempestuous waves of civilisation-building, in which general ignorance, plus a bit of luck of the draw played a big part. The real builders, those who sweated as they cleverly carved the gargoyles out of stones, have been forgotten.

  

Look at Malcolm-The-Bitter… Last Night on a “special" Q&A, he told us that it was the other morons’ fault… He tried to look like an elder when he appeared not more than a rich kid whose precious toy had been taken away by nasty bullies whom he thought were his friends. How deluded is that?

 

Because of Malcolm, your NBN is crap, your NDIS is crap, your old age pension is crap… and he did not succeed at getting the concept of global warming in the head of his “friends”, amongst many other Malcolm’s failures. And now we’re duded with a Scummo running around Queensland in a blue bus trying to look like “our beer drinking mate”, when there is 99 per cent chances he was one of the plotters to get Malcolm out of the picture frame, so the government could burn more coal. These are the threadbare knit-bits of histories that look like my full of moth-holes sweaters.  

 

How many of us remember Alexander Kerensky? Not many Westerners I believe, not even if you were born in Russia or near-by. While the Emperor’s family (we remember them vaguely because of the gruesome way they were killed) was indulging in the dark arts of the occult with Rasputin, Kerensky stirred Russia toward socialism by participating in the nice revolution of February of 1917… Kerensky has been forgotten by most, possibly because he did not fit the agenda of super-extremes left or right — and he was soon removed by the next rabid revolutionaries...

 

Alexander Fyodorovich Kerensky (Russian: Алекса́ндр Фёдорович Ке́ренский, (4 May 1881 – 11 June 1970), a Russian lawyer, was a key political figure in the February Russian Revolution of 1917. He joined the Russian new Provisional Government, first as Minister of Justice, then as Minister of War. After mid-1917, he became the government's Minister-Chairman (Chief/Prime Minister?). As leader of the moderate socialist Trudoviks faction of the Socialist Revolutionary Party, he was also vice-chairman of the Petrograd Soviet (council). On November 7, his government was overthrown by the Lenin-led Bolsheviks in the "October" Revolution. Here comes Malcolm’s Lenin-Scummo…

 

Kerensky did not go on Q&A to complain about the press barons. He spent the rest of his life in exile, in Paris, and in New York where he worked for the Hoover Institution. Kerensky was possibly a more enlightened person than Lenin — the “half-Jew” – Alexander Fyodorovich being too decent to kill more people than needed to be. Scummo could be more dumb and more devious than Tony Abbott…

 

The Hoover Institution is an American public policy think-tank located at Stanford University in California. Its full name is the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace. It was first a library founded in 1919 by Republican and Stanford alumnus Herbert Hoover, before he became President of the United States. Its mission supports representative government, private enterprise, peace, personal freedom, and the safeguards of the American “system” (whatever that is). The institution is conservative, though its people say that the institution is not partisan and that its goal is "to advance ideas of supporting freedom and free enterprise." In short, it is anti-socialism… By and large, the present President of the USA made his nasty teeth on a TeeVee variety show where one could get fired for underperforming… Nothing much has changed. See the latest one to bite the dust — Jeff Sessions…

 

Individuals from the Hoover institution who held high-profile positions in government, include George Shultz, Condoleezza Rice, Michael Boskin, Edward Lazear, John B. Taylor, Edwin Meese, Amy Zegart, U.S. Army General John P. Abizaid, former commander of the U.S. Central Command — and current Secretary of Defense General James Mattis who served as a research fellow at Hoover before being appointed by the Trump administration.

 

Strangely enough, Kerensky looked a bit like my father (same vintage) with eyes that seem to be true and are true to what he really feels. His coif of hair was typical of my father’s. Mine is more like Adolph’s, my granddad’s shiny billiard ball. 

 

But this rant is not about hairstyle and haircuts, though hairstyles have defined the fashion of many civilisations. Wigs and towering beehives were the rage for the nobility during the Rococo era. So were the ornate shoe buckles. The Renaissance started it, it seems. The peasants still wore linen weaves full of holes like my sweaters and old wooden clogs. Before that, the slanted flat saucer-hat was the fashion amongst scientists such as Kepler, while the popes and the bishops sported towering pointed tiaras looking like small temples or erected sacred dicks when officiating… Some hats tend to make you belong to a social group of important people, including the one for the “god chosen” people.

 

Castles came and went, some were preserved by history and their own inbuilt thick solidity. As tourists, we can visit the vestiges of these burst of civilisations that eventually bit the dust like the Parthenon that became ruins because somewhere, somehow, someone discovered that civilised entities were based on bullshit, or dedicated to the wrong god — or money had ran out — or barbarian outfits were peeved off at your better looking buildings than theirs. And we need to account for the weather that tends to make stone flake. Earthquakes and lighting can shake your foundations as well.

 

Eventually, trying to remove the bullshit and inject a more equitable element in the system of your civilisation, like Kerensky, your efforts are bound for failure being taken taken over by the rich nuts or the autocrats on credit — or you give your unimportant life on the battlefield.

 

Bullshit rules again wherever you turn. Bullshit is inbuilt as our alternate-compassion mode because of what it is, naturally, and despite having far less deceitful adherents in the human species, we’re all capable of it. A singular aggressive deceitful dude is far stronger than our much larger group of compassionate beings. The nasties always rule the roost of those who don’t pay attention. Unfortunately, we need to become sociopath ourselves to bring the sociopaths down. It’s a game of attrition in which the lower classes have not a look in, unless there is a revolution — and even then…...

 

The lips of Alexander Fyodorovich Kerensky are those of my father. Fleshy and truth telling, they speak with peaceful wisdom, while the gaze holds your attention. But do they and, so, what is the truth?

 

There is this big castle in Heidelberg (see picture at top) that looks like it would have been huger than Ben Hur’s imperial abode. Because of its location, this castle got hit by lightning, several times and finally got destroyed by French troops, possibly because the French king did not like competition as far as castle grandeur went. His was made of stern stones while this one in Germania was made of bricks — delicate brick walls with plenty of decorated windows. Of course the wars did not have anything to do with the architecture, but with power.

 

The Heidelberg Castle (Heidelberger Schloss), a ruin in Heidelberg, Germany, is amongst the most important Renaissance structures now only partially rebuilt since its demolition in the 17th and 18th centuries. It is located up the northern side of the Königstuhl hill, and stands above the old town.

 

Its earliest structures were built before 1214 and later expanded into two castles circa 1294. In 1537, a lightning bolt destroyed the upper castle. The present structures had been expanded by 1650, before damage by later wars and fires. In 1764, another lightning bolt caused a fire that destroyed some rebuilt sections.

 

Professor Ludwig Giesz remarked about the ruins:

The important culture and era critic Günther Anders pointed out that—contrary to widespread opinion—the Romantic Era did not first admire the view for the "beauty of the ruin." Rather the following inversion took place: the Renaissance (like the first generation) admired the ancient Torso, "not because, but although it was a Torso". One found beauty, but "unfortunately" (!) only as ruin. The second generation inverted the "ruin of the beautiful one" for the "beauty of the ruin." And from here to industrial "production of ruins" the way was clear: like garden gnomes one now sets ruins into the landscape, in order for the landscape to become beautiful.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heidelberg_Castle

 

 

gnomes

 

At least the old cellars are still intact or have been restored…

 

Jack Lewis, a neurobiologist, writer and television presenter, was in conversation on Tuesday 6th November morning, on radio National, ABC — about his scientific book on “sin”.... Lewis got a PhD in neuroscience from University College London, and continued some research using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging to investigate how human brains integrate sound and vision. For the last 10 years he has focused on bringing the latest neuroscience research to the attention of the widest possible audience. He has co-authored two popular science books, Sort Your Brain Out and The Mice Who Sing for Sex.

 

Lewis explained in fine details which part of the brain fires up, when our “natural” (probably learnt since being kiddies) compassion shows up, and the relative consensus on this is that, as a species, we are far more compassionate than we think we are. We care about people (probably because we learnt to be compassionate, because we’re dependent of other people?) So we don’t want to hurt people unless they hurt us and we hurt them more. Etc. This is the escalation of the infliction of pain, culminating in war and war crimes.

 

Lewis writes about “sin” as well — which is basically our brain reactivity to our knowingly doing something that is not beneficial to the group. Lewis’ books tells us:

 

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It can often seem that we are utterly surrounded by temptation, from the ease of online shopping and the stream of targeted advertising encouraging us to greedily acquire yet more stuff, to the coffee, cake and fast-food shops that line our streets, beckoning us in to over-indulge on all the wrong things. It can feel like a constant battle to stay away from the temptations we know we shouldn't give in to. Where exactly do these urges come from? If we know we shouldn't do something, for the sake of our health, our pockets or our reputation, why is it often so very hard to do the right thing? 

 

Anyone who has ever wondered why they never seem to be able to stick to their diet, anyone to whom the world seems more vain and self-obsessed than ever, anyone who can't understand why love-cheats pursue their extra-marital affairs, anyone who struggles to resist the lure of the comfy sofa, or anyone who makes themselves bitter through endless comparison with other people, anyone who is addicted to their smartphone – this book is for you.

 

The Science of Sin brings together the latest findings from neuroscience research to shed light on the universally fascinating subject of temptation – where it comes from, how to resist it and why we all tend to succumb from time to time. With each chapter inspired by one of the seven deadly sins, neurobiologist Jack Lewis illuminates the neural battles between temptation and restraint that take place within our brains, suggesting strategies to help us better manage our most troublesome impulses with the explicit goal of improving our health, our happiness and our productivity – helping us to say 'no!' more often, especially when it really counts. 

 

 

Meanwhile, the approximated rule of thumb is that the richer we are, the less compassionate we become, in relative proportion. I suppose this happens because once we have amassed the loot we’re not going to give it away, are we? Unless we’re St Martin and become a flagellating monk. So, we are going to protect what is “ours” with fences, armies, lies and fortifications. We make sure the lower classes know their stations. The rich king rule, even if the coffers become bare. The trick is to make the king part of the god illusion.

  

There is the possibility that “once we’ve made it”, we may not need the group as much as before unless the group has to fund our extravagances, or we’re tarts and seek attention — an attention that is designed to deliver MORE cash. There are a many variations on the theme, from KK showing her butt everywhere she can, to the Koch brothers who hide reasonably well, away from the spotlight, but support everything that could appear socially annoying, like sponsoring the gun lobby, the NRA — or disliking Trump because he’s not a predictable Republican.

  

The idea that rich people are happier than poor people is relative to many factors — from the amount of depression the rich feel for being less rich than the next rich person, while the poor feel the real pains of hunger —by then being unable to feel despair anymore as their brain has gone numb. The rich might not be feeling happier because they have to “work” (they don’t really work — they amuse themselves with matchsticks and they build castles) overtime to pay for all the sycophant hangers-on who are necessary in the management of wealth. You know these — the bouncers, the guards, the lawyers, the advisors, the turd polishers who make you appear like the most philanthropic person on the planet, the covenants of secret payments under the table, the creative accountants, the stylists, your gay home decorator and the far too expensive tradies who fix your golden crapper — all of whom, are in the backdrop and whose names won’t be written in the main book of history — your history, which, anyway, will fade like that of the first mammoth hunter...

 

We all end up like dinosaurs — old bones that gather dust in a museum basement, unless we pay big bucks for the cryogenic option. Good luck to you if your frozen memory can remember why the light is off when the fridge door is closed.

 

One notion that Jack Lewis explored succinctly was that sciences did not provide a sense of community like religions do. I believe that’s because religious beliefs systems are based on simple deceitful stupid traditions, rather than complex understanding of what’s what. As well, the religions have made sure that sciences did not get a foot on their sacred turf, that of fictitiously “curing your soul” from angsts, plastic rubbish and demons.

  


A while back, I sort of started to organise scientific communities, away from beliefs, by trying to interest the governments of various political colours into creating a big space for scientific social meetings. But it’s hard work to, say, discuss, or expose, a “Arylsulfonylacetamides as bifunctional reagents for alkene aminoarylation” at a public meeting versus a church “god is might” sermon, preached from a pulpit of high ignorance in a baroque environment.

 

At this level, the sciences need to be more entertaining than the butt of KK, to pierce through the deliberate carapace of incomprehension in a dead brain dedicated to god. I have worked many years on this conundrum and wasted a lot of cash trying to convince authorities that they are dumb for not getting involve in a scientific public space. Politicians love being obfuscatedly dumb but they hate it when you tell them they’re really dumb, for “ignoring you”. They don’t even know you exist, nor do they really want to know why sciences make sense, when the easy route is to sing in a Pentecostal church hymns for getting better odds on the winner of the Melbourne cup from god...


So what’s with Alexander Fyodorovich Kerensky? He could be said to be the main facilitator (father?) of socialism in Russia, before it was taken over by the rabid Bolsheviks. It appears that helped by the Germans, in need of reprieve on the cold Russian front in 1917, the Bolsheviks took over Russia and made an agreement of non-aggression. 

 

The Germans thus had eliminated the northern threat: Russia. This lasted a few years until the beginning of the 1930s, when many forgotten people who had been dancing through the 1920s, started to worry about their savings, which to say the least had been squandered by the banks, who had lent far more cash than they had.

 

Eventually Hitler and Stalin made another pact that was not worth a rabbit’s fart. Hitler wanted to invade Russia. Beyond this, millions of people got shafted… Some of them are registered in the census books of those who died, but who’s going to read beyond page one? We’re dead — you’re dead. Let’s forget the whole thing including the remembrance days that are getting more and more fanfare driven, till the next one with drums and full orchestra as well… Your existence?: a fading spec that was in need of others, mostly those who were close to you. This is where The Final Cut, that unsettling movie with Robin Williams, shows how your life is expunged of the vignettes of your sins, then you are cremated into oblivion. The final movie of your memories shown to your loved ones is a fake…

 

For quite a long time, there had been a tradition in Europe to blame the Jews for whatever. For example, Martin Luther was very much anti-semitic, The Catholic Church barely tolerated them as long as they financed something like a crusade or two. Although the Jews did not believe in Christ (still don’t!…), they had the amazing ability to conjure bread and fishes (much gold) "out of thin air” (they had “contacts” and networks)… The kings and the Church borrowed such cash to finance their glorious ventures, be it for building castles, art collections or war. Then the kings went broke and blamed the Jews who got shafted once more… Victims!

 

As in much of Europe, for example, the prosperity of Alsace — a region of complex convergence of Germanic/Frankish/ Swedish/ Swiss influences — came to an end in the 14th century by a series of harsh winters, bad harvests, and the Black Death. These hardships, blamed on the Jews, led to the pogroms of 1336 and 1339. In 1349, the Jews of Alsace were accused of poisoning the wells with plague, leading to the massacre of thousands of Jews during the Strasbourg pogrom. The Jews were subsequently forbidden to settle in the town. An additional natural disaster was the Rhine rift earthquake of 1356, one of Europe's worst that destroyed Basel. This was also blamed on the Jews… Why not? Prosperity returned to Alsace later on during the Renaissance. But, as we know, this was not the beginning of peace forever with WW1 and WW2 after a few more invasions in between. Many areas of Alsace are still named Elsass. Even the Roman had invaded the fertile lands of “Alsace” (then probably known as "Pissus Vinitus"), to grow vines — Julius Ceasar himself claimed the wines made there, were the best of wine produced in Gaul.

 

see also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alsace

 

So, do the Jews have an influence of Aussie politics? Sure. It would be cynical not to acknowledge that Scummo’s decision to move the Australian embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was a cynical move to gain a few votes in Wentworth's by-election. The timing was very dishonest. Meanwhile, passé Malcolm will tells us forever why he became a victim… blah blah blah… Nothing to do with the price of fish but being the progressive leader of a retrograde nasty party, the synergy is not going to work. In the end, it would be preferable for Malcolm to go fishing or fade into the sunset than parade singularly on this boring Q&A session about why he got dumped… Vanish! O glorious Mal! Otherwise you will end up smelling like Turdy Abbott instead of being remembered as a neutral ineffective blancmange, for the next few years of our fading memories.

a jewish money lending short history...

Medieval Christian interest payment theology began with the First Council of Nicaea(325), which forbade clergy from engaging in usury.[3] Later ecumenical councils applied this regulation to the laity.[3][4]

 

Lateran III decreed that persons who accepted interest on loans could receive neither the sacraments nor Christian burial.[5] Pope Clement V made the belief in the right to usury heresy in 1311, and abolished all secular legislation which allowed it.[1][6] Pope Sixtus V condemned the practice of charging interest as "detestable to God and man, damned by the sacred canons and contrary to Christian charity."[6]Theological historian John Noonan argues that "the doctrine [of usury] was enunciated by popes, expressed by three ecumenical councils, proclaimed by bishops, and taught unanimously by theologians."[4]

 

The nature of the sin called usury has its proper place and origin in a loan contract. This financial contract between consenting parties demands, by its very nature, that one return to another only as much as he has received. The sin rests on the fact that sometimes the creditor desires more than he has given. Therefore he contends some gain is owed him beyond that which he loaned, but any gain which exceeds the amount he gave is illicit and usurious.[7]

 

Jewish Law Took an Interest in Interest

General histories of the Middle Ages, and even more specialised ones such as those on medieval commerce, say two things about Jews: they were “usurers” and they engaged in the slave trade. One of the oldest Christian accusations against Jews in the medieval period was, indeed, that of usury. If by “usury” we accept the Canon Law definition of any profit whatever, then Jews were of course usurers; but the modern understanding of the term is rather the taking of excessive interest, and to avoid that argument, and the pejorative connotations of the term, “moneylending” is preferred in this article.

Biblical law forbids taking or giving interest to “your brother” (a fellow Jew), whether money or food or “any thing.” The Talmud interpreted this very strictly, so much so that even greeting someone from whom you have borrowed, if such greeting had not previously been the custom, is forbidden. [For Biblical law regarding moneylending, see, for example, Exodus 22:24Deuteronomy 23:20-21Leviticus 25:35-37.]


The Bible further permitted lending money on interest to a “stranger”, but prohibited it to a fellow Jew (“your brother”). The Talmud observes that even the borrower transgresses the commandment if he borrows on interest…

Originally, the medieval rabbinical attitude toward lending money on interest to Gentiles was very conservative, restricting it to scholars (not only as a means of income but because it was felt that they would be cautious about such loans and limit the interest charged) or to cases where it was absolutely necessary for livelihood.

 


Moneylending Yielded High Profits for Little Risk

Ultimately, however, the potential of great profits and the widespread demand for moneylending made it universal among Jews. Mordecai B. Hillel of Germany (b. 1298) wrote that there is no profit in any form of commerce like that to be made in lending money. Ibn Adret in Spain observed that it has become permitted for everyone to charge interest on loans to Gentiles, “and now all have made themselves ‘sages’ in this respect, adding that he heard in the name of Rashi, that this is because taxes have constantly been increased and there is no longer any limit to “because of livelihood” (i.e. in order to meet their tax burden, Jews had no alternative.)

As noted elsewhere, fanciful theories have been advanced as fact with regard to Jews either having been “forced,” or voluntarily choosing to abandon landholding, and with no alternative choosing moneylending as a livelihood. Not one scrap of evidence has ever been produced to support such theories, and in fact there is no evidence. Undoubtedly the above statement by authoritative rabbis are correct: the ever increasing tax burdens, on the one hand, and the relatively large profits to be made with virtually no risk, on the other, encouraged Jews to engage in moneylending on ever larger scales.


Christian Moneylending: Ignored Laws, High Interest

Another factor that has sometimes been suggested, the lack of alternative availability of lenders owing to church prohibitions on usury, ignores reality in favour of theory. While it is true that canon law, beginning in the late twelfth century and throughout the thirteenth, placed absolute prohibitions and harsh penalties on Christian lending on interest, it is also true that these measures were frequently ignored in practice even by churches, monasteries, bishops and the popes themselves.

Italian merchants were present in France and Germany and ever ready to lend money, charging such rates of interest as the market would allow. It has frequently been pointed out that the rates of interest charged by Jews never approached the rates charged by Christian lenders, including Church authorities…

 


Strange Relationships

Just as Jews lent money to Christians, so they also frequently borrowed money from them, also on interest. Indicative of this strange and often uncertain relationship that existed between Jews and Christians is an interesting responsum concerning a Jew who had borrowed money from a Christian and asked a Jewish friend to give him the money to repay the debt. Then some other Christians came and robbed the houses of the Jews (the question was whether the debtor was not required to return the money that his friend had given him, since it would anyway have been stolen, had he not given it to him: the answer was. that he was obligated to repay it.).

However piously Church officials protested against “usury;” they were themselves quite willing to borrow money from Jews. Already in the ninth century we hear of priests selling church vessels to Jews, and later such object were frequently given as pledges for loans, in spite of the protests of the cantonists and civil law…Jews also had to be careful about taking surety objects that later could be claimed to have been stolen (although at times laws protected Jews against such charges) or “bloodstained garments” that could be suspicious.

It was certainly prudent and necessary to have some form of security, in the way of pledges, for loans to Christians, since it was often easy enough for the borrower simply not to repay the loans…Eventually it became necessary for civil authorities, and particularly the kings, to enact measures protecting the moneylending privileges of the Jews and to ensure that they were repaid.


Did Jews Actually Charge Exorbitant Interest?

There is not doubt that some Jews, at least, charged what today would be considered exorbitant rates of interest. There is the report, for example, of the abbey of Saint-Benign in Dijon (France), which in 1196 borrowed 1700 livres (pounds) from a Jew at the rate of 65 percent. For eleven years the abbey could not pay anything on the loan so that the debt had grown to 9825 livres. In Marseilles, the abbey of Saint-Victor in 1185 owed 80,000 sous to the Jews of the city and granted them some property, which would have included churches in payment. To avoid this “scandal” of Jews owning churches, the bishop of Antibes assumed the debt himself.

On the other hand, it must be realised that these rates of interest were annual, and rarely did loans to individuals, at least, remain unpaid for as long as a year… As we have seen, though, in some cases the debtors made few or no payments for years, and then complained bitterly about the high interest.

 

https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/jewish-moneylending/

 

Note: all pictures by Gus leonisky.

windows...

lovenest

castlenest

These two pictures of windows come from the same town — Heidelberg. They represent contrasting status of different persons. The bottom picture is from the same ruined castle pictured at top that attracted envy and wars. The picture is of the one "intact" part of the castle that was possibly rebuilt in the 18th century. 

The picture above it shows a "love nest", where the modest abode is looked after with pride and love. 

Read from top

Pictures by Gus Leonisky.

preventing learning...

Two weeks have now elapsed since it was revealed that the former minister for education, Senator Simon Birmingham, had surreptitiously vetoed eleven Australian Research Council (ARC) grants in the humanities. While this revelation has been met with considerable dismay and even anger in many quarters, one response that has been rather conspicuously absent is the argument that ministerial oversight of the ARC's grant process should be abandoned altogether. Instead, most learned academies and the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) have limited their criticism to Birmingham's particular use of his veto powers, thereby ignoring the deeper question of whether ministerial oversight in any form is warranted.

Moreover, legislating to get rid of ministerial veto does not currently enjoy much political support. Both Labor Senator Kim Carr (whose line of questioning in Senate Estimates precipitated the revelations, and who himself has been a vocal critic of Birmingham's decision) and current education minister Dan Tehan (who has defended the need for a ministerial national interest "pub-test") share the view that some degree of governmental oversight is required when taxpayer dollars are at stake. And most of the learned academies have not explicitly questioned this position. While quick to reject Birmingham's use of veto as authoritarian and a form of political interference, almost every academic organisation ― with the notable exception of the Australasian Society for Continental Philosophy ― has only gone as far as demanding a renewed commitment to the publicity protocol, established by Kim Carr during the Brendan Nelson era, a protocol that requires that ministers publicise their use of veto powers.

But Carr's publicity protocol is clearly not enough to protect against political interference in the bureaucratic assessment of research quality and its benefit. Protecting against political interference would require legislation to abandon ministerial veto altogether, even if the Australian Research Council's bureaucratic processes on occasions produce outcomes ― not just in the humanities, but in other areas too ― that some taxpayers and their political representatives neither understand nor appreciate.

 

Read more:

https://www.abc.net.au/religion/get-rid-of-ministerial-veto-of-arc-grants/