Friday 19th of August 2022

more bosom buddies...

 

more bosom buddies...

It’s not every weekend we get a close look at such characters, whose influence is so terrifying we wonder why we stay in a country where such thought predators ply their hideous wares.

Leaving aside Mirabella, whose use-by date must be fast approaching, let us consider the case of Gina and Bolt — whose joint comeuppance will surely be a mass drop in readership upon Rinehart assuming editorial control of The Age and thereby despoiling the paper’s pages with Bolt’s racist right-wing hyperbole.

But it’s George Pell we got to know last weekend —the George Pell who Tony Abbott holds in a bewitching thrall — and who has described him as:

“…one of the greatest churchmen that Australia has seen”.

I’ll pause for a moment while you force back down your breakfasts.

Now, this writer has often asked just where Abbott is coming from and statements like the one mentioned indicate it has to be direct from cloud cuckoo land.

Great churchmen would never describe the Greens party as “anti-Christian”. Seriously.

And churchmen worth their salt surely would never so assert that climate change was

“as a system of pagan emptiness”.

While Pell is on the trail of denial, it’s is a great shame he wasn’t asked in the interview his views on the Holocaust.

http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/the-mysterious-pell/

 

a nasty man with few redeeming features...

 

Now, Pell who is a bachelor and wears frocks, capes and silly hats of a bygone and ridiculous era, is very outspoken on the subjects of contraception, abortion and sex outside marriage — matters he, as an unmarried man, would presumably know little about.

Abbott should hang his head in shame heaping praise on such a character.

And it seems that Abbott’s hero isn’t universally loved.

According to one John Buggy, spokesman for Australian Reforming Catholics:

“Pell is rather a nasty man with few redeeming features.”

In the view of Marion Maddox, a theologian and political commentator, the cardinal is one of those rare individuals capable of reshaping an institution in his own image.

Says Maddox:

“The flavour of Australian Catholicism has changed quite a bit since he became cardinal.”

Pell is described as too orthodox, too ambitious and too bullying which is why he has never been officially named as head of the Australian church although  he is the nation’s senior Catholic cleric.

Nor has he ever been elected president of the peak body — The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.

Why is this so?

Well, according to religious commentator Chris McGillion the answer is quite simple: he is not liked by his fellow bishops!

http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/the-mysterious-pell/

See also: loosing bums on seats...

 

the crackpots are winning...

From Mungo at the Drum, ABC

...

Tony Abbott would no doubt like to put the National Broadband Network in this category. But the NBN, while huge, is far from useless – it is actually a sign of progress rather than decline. The previous government's construction of the Alice Springs-Darwin railway would be a better example, although even that may prove to have its uses. Australia has so far been mercifully free of this portent of doom.

But the second is far more prevalent and worrying: an increasing tendency to believe in, and rely on, the irrational. In Rome, this manifested itself in the proliferation of strange religious cults and a rejection of science which led, ultimately, to the dark ages in Europe. And the rejection of science is arguably the most important social problem in the Western world.

Its epicentre is, of course, the United States, in which more than half the population reportedly rejects the theory of evolution in favour of a particularly batty form of Christianity in which an obsession with sexual morality is combined with the drug-induced fantasies of the book of Revelations, with more than a touch of astrology, numerology, iridology and you name it thrown in.

Australians have not yet gone to the this extent, but we are definitely moving in the same direction. The trend manifests itself in a variety of fringe groups – opposition to vaccination, fluoridation, and other scientifically proven public health measures is apparently on the increase.

So-called "alternative" (a synonym for untested, irrational, unscientific) medicine is embraced with growing fervour by otherwise sensible citizens. Religion, already based on faith rather than reason, is becoming either totally dumbed down (the happy-clappy churches) or reinvented in ever more bizarre sects and cults involving everything from the worship of trees to the channelling of archangels.

And then there is the clearest indicator of all, denial of climate change.

 

fighting the witch voodoos...

A group which is against religion being taught in schools has stepped up the fight against the Federal Government's school chaplaincy program.

Yesterday the High Court found the program's funding arrangements are invalid, but rejected arguments against the program on religious grounds.

Proselytising is banned under the school chaplain's program, but a lobby group is pointing to evidence which suggests some chaplains believe they are on a covert mission to spread God's word.

The Government has vowed to find a way to keep the program alive, but Scott Hedges from Fairness in Religions in School says there is evidence some school chaplains are working to convert children to their church.

Mr Hedges points to a speech by an Access Ministries chaplain which he says was recorded by Access Ministries last year.

In the speech, the chaplain mentions the program as a covert way of spreading God's word.

"So remember it is God's hand within and across our schools through the commitment of Access Ministries. Access Ministries provides Christian religious education teachers and chaplains to over 2,000 young Victorians in our schools," she said.

"Now that is not always overt, CRE (Christian religious education) workers are definitely there to present the gospel, to present bible stories. Chaplains - it is not always as overt as that, it is much more covert."

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-06-21/chaplains-on-covert-mission-to-spread-gods-word/4083706

distracted by rubbish that is yelled at us...

 

It’s as mindless as bear-baiting or bull-fighting or eating Christ on Sundays, but Murdoch likes to encourage it; he likes his readership stupid and this is a way to ensure they stay that way.

It’s worrying that Murdoch tries this nonsense on. But it’s even more worrying that fourteen million Australians go along with forgeries as dumb as this one, that a man hires a whore and then flies to Perth to avoid her caresses and pays her eight hundred dollars for her absence with a union card that will end his career.

Have we lost all capacity for thinking connectedly? Are we so distracted we accept any rubbish that is yelled at us with confidence by Paul Murray or Bill O’Reilly or Andrew Bolt?

Or Tony Abbott?

Looks like it.

And it’s a worry.

http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/australian-identity/the-australian-scapegoat-reflex/

See toon at top...

Note: This household always believed that the "dingo" did it... in this household one has knowledge of Daisy Bates record of small Aboriginal infants being taken away by dogs and also knowledge of the campsites around Uluru in the late 1970s where the "dingoes" (mostly rabid mongrels-breed — no pure dingoes) roamed around the tents in hunting packs or singularly, frightening people...

conservative US and Australian politics...

 

In the US...
It’s an election year, and plenty of things seem to matter to voters, including health care, the budget, unemployment, and women’s rights. But this year, as always, one of the things that doesn’t seem to matter is science. That’s particularly troubling because just about every challenge that America faces today has a scientific component, from revitalizing the economy to dealing with climate change to managing health care.Science took a beating in the primary season this year. Leading candidates made it clear that they rejected climate science (Herman Cain and Rick Perry), thought that vaccines caused mental retardation (Michele Bachmann), and didn’t “believe” in evolution (a bunch of them, most prominently Rick Santorum). One candidate, John Huntsman, bravely tweeted, “I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.” To scientists, Huntsman’s candor was “right on!” To Republican primary voters, apparently he was crazy.At least, for the second presidential election in a row, both major party candidates are on record as accepting the science of evolution, the cornerstone of the biological sciences. But let’s not celebrate just yet. One of those candidates still has to make a vice presidential pick, and one of the leading contenders for that job has a public record on science that’s crystal clear—and deeply troubling. It’s Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana.
Jindal has an elite résumé. He was a biology major at my school, Brown University, and a Rhodes scholar. He knows the science, or at least he ought to. But in his rise to prominence in Louisiana, he made a bargain with the religious right and compromised science and science education for the children of his state. In fact, Jindal’s actions at one point persuaded leading scientific organizations, including the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, to cross New Orleans off their list of future meeting sites (PDF).What did Jindal do to produce a hornet’s nest of “mad scientists,” as Times-Picayune writer James Gill described them? He signed into law, in Gill’s words, the “Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA), which is named for what it is designed to destroy.” The act allows “supplemental textbooks and other instructional materials” to be brought into classrooms to support the “open and objective discussion” of certain “scientific theories,” including, of course, evolution. As educators who have heard such coded language before quickly realized, the act was intended to promote creationism as science. In April, Kevin Carman, dean of the College of Science at Louisiana State University, testified before the Louisiana Senate’s Education Committee that two top scientists had rejected offers to come to LSU because of the LSEA, and the school may lose more scientists in the future.And now Jindal is poised to spend millions of dollars of state money to support the teaching of creationism in private schools.The state of Louisiana has had a problem with evolution for a long, long time. In 1981, it passed a “Balanced Treatment for Creation-Science and Evolution-Science Act,” which required the teaching of creation science alongside “evolution-science” in public schools. The Supreme Court struck it down in 1987 (in Edwards v. Aguillard), finding that creationism is inherently religious, and that the law’s “preeminent religious purpose” placed it in violation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Case closed? Not really.
http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2012/07/bobby_jindal_possible_vice_presidential_pick_but_has_a_creationism_problem_.single.html
----------------------------------------------

The 2016 Republican presidential field is likely to be more serious than this year’s crop. Ryan, Chris Christie, Rand Paul, and perhaps even Jeb Bush are among a few names that will be floated over the next four years. For Jindal to have a chance, he must stand out in this group.

In the early going, Jindal has set out to do so as the anti-Romney. “We’ve got to make sure that we are not the party of big business, big banks, big Wall Street bailouts, big corporate loopholes, big anything,” Jindal told Politico. “We cannot be, we must not be, the party that simply protects the rich so they get to keep their toys.”

Over the longer term, Jindal can seek to occupy a middle ground between an unprincipled Republican establishment and conservative insurgents whose well-publicized gaffes have cost Republicans multiple Senate seats during the last two elections: neither Tommy Thompson nor Todd Akin, Mike Castle nor Christine O’Donnell.

“We’ve also had enough of this dumbed-down conservatism,” Jindal recently said. “We need to stop being simplistic, we need to trust the intelligence of the American people and we need to stop insulting the intelligence of the voters.”

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-anti-romney/

----------------------------------------------------

In Australia:...

 

[Abbott]: When I saw Cardinal Pell on Qanda a couple of months ago, I felt a kind of  appalled pity for the man.

Pity, I hasten to add, is not an emotion I enjoy, based as it is in disinterested contempt, and complete lack of interest in its object’s fate. When I pity someone, they are pretty much dead to me.

Pell seemed subject to moments of confusion and rather bad judgement.

Then, in the ABC Four Corners report this past Monday on the sexual abuse of children by priests of his church, Pell again seemed quite out of his depth, and rigidly adhering to a well-worn script.

Pell clings to his belief in the word of three priests, even though there is very strong evidence to the contrary, including an admission in court by an accused rapist, Father F, that he did indeed perform some of the criminal acts of which he stands accused.

Pell was himself accused of sexually molesting a child,as is discussed here in an 2008 interview conducted by ABC journalist Ali Moore with former priest and now commentator Dr Paul Collins. Reading this 2008 interview I was struck by the similarities. Four years later, Cardinal Pell does not seem to have changed his perspective, in spite of more ghastly revelations about the behaviours of his priests, and the number of suicides thought to be related to sexual abuse.

I’m sometimes undecided as to who is the worst offender: the perpetrator or those who cover up for the perpetrator. I can only imagine the number of little kids whose lives would have been so different if the church authorities who knew about the pederasts in their ranks had taken proper action. Proper action in this instance is informing the police, however the Catholic church seems loathe to concede that sexually molesting a child is a crime, and treat it accordingly.

I note here that Cardinal Pell was very, very quick to threaten legal action against Catherine Deveney when he felt she had slandered him in a tweet. His reputation apparently warranted the protection of the law, unlike the lives of the children whose rape and molestation his church failed to report to the police.

http://noplaceforsheep.com/2012/07/04/abbott-on-pell-one-of-the-greatest-churchmen-australia-has-seen/


 

Readers of the Saturday editions of Melbourne’s crack weekend edition of The Age really owe it’s editor Ben Narastek – and the editor of the paper’s magazine, Good Weekend –  a huge favour.

In the past few weeks, we have been presented with cover stories of Australia’s two most extreme right-wing figures – Sophie Mirabella and George Pell – and we can live in hopes that Narastek will soon share with us a doubled edged trifecta — a 2 of Us look at Andrew Bolt and his guide, mentor, and employer, Gina Rinehart.

It’s not every weekend we get a close look at such characters, whose influence is so terrifying we wonder why we stay in a country where such thought predators ply their hideous wares.

Leaving aside Mirabella, whose use-by date must be fast approaching, let us consider the case of Gina and Bolt — whose joint comeuppance will surely be a mass drop in readership upon Rinehart assuming editorial control of The Age and thereby despoiling the paper’s pages with Bolt’s racist right-wing hyperbole.

But it’s George Pell we got to know last weekend —the George Pell who Tony Abbott holds in a bewitching thrall — and who has described him as:

“…one of the greatest churchmen that Australia has seen”.

I’ll pause for a moment while you force back down your breakfasts.

Now, this writer has often asked just where Abbott is coming from and statements like the one mentioned indicate it has to be direct from cloud cuckoo land.

Great churchmen would never describe the Greens party as “anti-Christian”. Seriously.

And churchmen worth their salt surely would never so assert that climate change was

“as a system of pagan emptiness”.

http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/the-mysterious-pell/

-----------------------------

The Opposition Leader’s politics have been deeply influenced by his identification with political propagandists of the Catholic Church and his adherence to its dogma.


Father Edmund Campion, the distinguished literary priest, peers at his students at St Patrick’s seminary in Manly, Sydney’s famed beachside suburb. “I think we ought to have a class on Santamaria,” Campion says. “Who’s he?” asks a student. The year was 2000, just two years after the death of Bartholomew Augustine (B. A.) Santamaria, Australian Catholicism’s greatest political warrior. Campion, who also taught Tony Abbott as a trainee priest in the 1980s was gobsmacked that the memory of such an extraordinary figure had faded among a new generation of priests.

Santamaria had no formal political role and never ran for office, but he kept Labor out of power for 17 years. He was also huge in the life of Abbott, who said after his death that Santamaria “saw politics as a way of giving glory to God”. Historical amnesia about Santamaria also raises the question about how well we know Tony Abbott, the man who would be Prime Minister.

“Santa was an idealist,” Abbott tells The Australian Financial Review Magazine. “He wanted to build a better world and one of the great things about the politics of the 1950s and ’60s – whether you’re talking about the left or the right – was that there was a lot of idealism. He had too much faith in the power of government and he was too ready to resort to subsidy and other forms of market distortion. Santa’s economics is of less relevance today than it might have been in the days before the discrediting of socialism.

“But I think we need idealism, mate. One of the reasons why people are so disillusioned with the current government, why a lot of long-term Labor supporters feel utterly betrayed and bereft when they contemplate the current Labor Party, is that they just think they are a bunch of, you know, sort of sleazy patronage peddlers.”

http://www.afr.com/p/lifestyle/afrmagazine/tony_abbott_higher_calling_aNGk1uJKD26R4KQ6TWkbJJ

 

Gus: I'd rather have Julia with all her "faults" than a ratbag faith driven Tony Detritus or a mad as a cut snake Kevin... Even Malcolm would not make the cut... In fact Julia does not lie, whether we like it or not. She changed her mind on the "carbon tax", only after having said she did support it (interview about this before the previous election and then being advided not to have one, but being asked to have a carbon tax by the independents and the Greens to which she obliged. We'll be the better for it. More needs to be done here but no-one is prepared to be hit in the hip pocket. It's a long slog.

In regard to asylun seekers, she had a solution designed to be effective in stopping the boats and being generous to a ten to one ratio or more, but she got shot into flame by do-gooders — and people lost their lives... More will loose their lives. More people in this democracy want to turn the boats around... This cannot be made so. The only alternative is for the government to run a ferry service (plane/boat/whatever) or to send the boat people to the end of the queue in Malaysia and then take refugees 10 to one or more from that country....

The idea here is to stop profiteering from the boat smugglers and stop people loosing their lives.... The rest like Nauru and that other island is just silly fiddle and everyone fall into the trap that's what Julia wants. No, Julia wants a better solution but the oppostion and the greens have made the other options impossible—  until Julia can turn things around... and she will. Patience is hard mistress... Everyone wants a solution now but no-one wants to give Julia the slack needed... Everyone want to blame her, no matter what... She can cope....