Teach your sons well

Apologies, but we’re sticking with Australia and Australian politics today because, well, it’s such a rich seam to mine.

As we’ve discussed previously, the scandal surrounding the Deputy Prime Minister is, like herpes, the gift that keeps on giving. Nobody, with perhaps the exception of his estranged wife and daughters, are coming out of this situation with the ability to hold their heads high.

A quick recap;

  • Deputy PM has a history of pontificating on moral matters, especially “family values”.
  • He has an affair with a member of staff.
  • She falls pregnant, he’s kicked out the family home.
  • He finds a new job for her on the taxpayer’s coin.
  • They accept a gift of a rent-free apartment.
  • The scandal breaks, he refuses to resign.
  • The PM refuses to fire him but introduces a new code of conduct which would mean the next minister caught shagging a staff member would be fired.

Since then the Deputy PM has made a few public statements. This one, for example;

Subsequently, there has been a very tame interview with the new couple in their “very ‘umble” apartment where the general theme is that, somehow, they are the victims in all of this.

Bill’s Opinion

What follows is not a moral judgement on the Australian Deputy PM’s sexual dalliance but an assessment of how he has since responded to its publicity.

Barnarby Joyce’s unborn child is a boy. Barnarby clearly needs to quickly gain some experience in raising sons.

Here’s a few lessons that may be useful;

  1. Take ownership of decisions you make and their consequences. Flying on airplanes doesn’t generally result in people cheating on their spouses by playing “hide the snag” with junior members of staff. You chose to do that and the quicker you accept and own the consequences the sooner everyone can move out of crisis mode.
  2. Rushing to claim victim status is never the correct behaviour for men. It’s not a particularly good idea for women either but it’s especially castrating for the male of the species. Barnaby Joyce is not the victim here and, even if he were, the correct approach is to quietly accept the misfortune and move on.
  3. In the words of Jordan Peterson, one of the best pieces of advice you can give a son is to “tell the truth and carry a heavy load“. The first step is to tell the truth to oneself and expand from there.
  4. The worst example you can show a son is to tell lies and claim victimhood. Barnaby needs to fix this problem as soon as possible before his son learns by example.

Lastly, given the reputations of Boris “come upstairs and let me read Ovid’s Art of Love to you in the original Latin” Johnson and Julie “#PolliePedal” Bishop, this seems like a photo in need of a caption;

Shark jumping is a new Olympic sport

Elite sports teams should be mixed gender, according to “a rising star” in the current Australian government.

Linda Reynolds would like a parliamentary debate on the subject, paid for by the Australian taxpayer.

Presumably she’s already solved the problems of national policy on cheap energy generation and security, the complexities of the tax code, affordable health care, the creeping pension Ponzi and updating the school curriculum to ensure a future-ready workforce so has got time to spare for this important topic?

Perhaps we can help shorten the debate with a couple of pertinent pictures;

Exhibit A, the largest elite Australian female rugby player, Violeta Tupuola.

Violeta weighs in at a solid 99kg.

Exhibit B, her likely opponent next time she plays against England, Kyle Sinkler;

Kyle has been cutting back on the pastries recently and has trimmed down to an anorexic 124kg, over 25% heavier than his new Australian opponent. That will make for an “interesting” contest at scrum time.

Let’s give a little more context. Here is the lightest man on the current England squad, Danny Care;

Danny currently weighs in at 88kg, or just 11% lighter than the biggest Australian female player. They play in very different positions on the field, Violeta is selected for her power and bulk, Danny for his nimbleness and speed.

What other facts could we bring to the debate?

How about looking at the delta between some of the current men’s and women’s world records;

100m sprint – 0.91 seconds

1,500m – 24.07 seconds

Raw deadlift – 155kg

Long jump – 1.43m

That trend continues for every world record. There is no Olympic sport where women outperform men, including air rifle shooting, an event where it isn’t obvious that a larger body or greater aerobic capacity would be an advantage.

It’s almost as if human beings are, I dunno, a dimorphic species selected over an incredibly long time by natural selection to perform different tasks…..

To return to the article;

However Marnee McKay, a lecturer in musculoskeletal physiotherapy at the University of Sydney, doubted mixed gender teams would suit contact sports.

She said her researched showed that from 12 years of age, “males and females are fundamentally physically different in terms of speed, power and coordination and balance”.

She said tests demonstrated males were stronger than women but females were better at tasks that required fine motor skills. Dr McKay said mixed gender teams could work for sports like lawn bowls.

“But rugby league? No. I cannot see male and female professional athletes competing across all sports as a blanket rule.”

Dr. McKay is risking the Twitter mob pile on by bringing such inconvenience irrelevancies like scientific facts into the debate.

Bill’s Opinion

If there is a parliamentary debate on this proposal, Australian taxpayers should all send an invoice to Linda Reynolds totalling the consequent wasted salaries and building power expended during such a pointless exercise.

“Methinks the lady doth…..”

The Australian Foreign Minister sure does get around a bit. One day in Canberra, London the next.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has stopped short of throwing her direct support behind a ban on ministers having sex with staff.

Curious.

She goes on to give some advice to the press on their job descriptions;

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has warned the media not to take it upon themselves to police the Turnbull government’s new sex ban, saying it is a matter of personal responsibility for ministers to abide by their expanded code of conduct.

That’s fairly unsubtle; “keep your prying noses out of our private lives”.

Some of us may have previously been of the opinion that the press were a necessary part of the checks and balances applied to those who wish to wield political power over us.

And she suggested the ban should be read in the context of the wider purpose of the code, to prevent conflicts of interest, misuse of public money or undue influence.

That’s a helpful interpretation for us all there; “it’s a code of conduct to prevent probity issues so don’t go publicising promiscuity and extra-marital affairs unless you can prove corruption”.

One almost gets the impression La Bishop is becoming concerned about something personal.

“It’s certainly not open season for the media,” Julie Bishop said.

Quite right, we wouldn’t want an open season and all the concomitant erm, openness that would bring.

Ms Bishop said there were aspects of politicians’ lives that were private and should be kept private.

Oh, do tell us more about which aspects you’re thinking about specifically….

Bill’s Opinion

What politicians do in their or other people’s bedrooms is their business and should remain that way. There might be three exceptions to this rule however;

  1. Where there is evidence of probity or conflict of interest issues arising from private relationships.
  2. Where there is a perception of probity or conflict of interest issues arising from private relationships.
  3. Where the behaviour contradicts previously-stated public positions by the individual.

And now for some speculation; this will blow up in the Australian Prime Minister’s face as it is highly-unlikely that this will be the final sexual dalliance to be or have been occurring at senior government levels. By writing his moralistic code of conduct, he’s just given a green light for these stories to emerge.

Of course, he could have just fired the Deputy Prime Minister immediately and watched the news cycle move on to the latest Donald Trump tweet. But that would have required vertebral fortitude.

When critical thinking ends, self-hate begins

This briefly leapt into my Creepbook for Business timeline yesterday before I judiciously hit the “unfollow” button on the twat who thought this was appropriate to my professional life.

If that’s not bad enough, the comments should ruin any remaining hope you have for post-Renaissance Western civilisation. With very few exceptions, every response is a variant on virtue signalling, self- loathing, identity politics and really poor quality (if at all) critical thinking.

Obviously the flow chart is meant as a commentary on the fact that the most recent USA school shooter is a young white male.

It’s hard to think that anything good at all can result from these tragedies but at the very least we can identify who among us are absolute fools.

99% of the commentators on the above post, for example.

Bill’s Opinion

We could play the identity politics game and run a Pareto of numbers of gun crimes and murders by ethnicity of the perpetrator (first prize African American) or we could wave a finger at Virginia Tech, but we won’t.

Why? Because the reason we are in this shitty hole is mainly due to identity politics.

Oh, and the irony should not be lost that Ian Bremner’s employer is “Eurasia Group”, as in “we’ve always been at war with Eurasia“.

Useful Idiot.

That’s the thing with concepts….

Apparently, cryptocurrencies make no sense.

The author offers the following qualities as being important for a currency;

  • facilitating transactions;
  • a store of value;
  • lending of last resort.

And then goes on to explain why cryptocurrencies, specifically Bitcoin, fail to tick any of those three qualities.

Tellingly though, he hints at the reason why our current currencies do provide those features;

Bill’s Opinion

Fiat currency passes his three tests not because “the government guarantees it” but because we believe that guarantee.

Money is fungible, a unit of measure and a store of value because we have bought into the idea*. When enough of us cease to believe in a concept, it stops being real.

Some examples of this include; the 12 gods of classical Greek religion, purgatory, the noble savage, copper bracelets for arthritis and the Bermuda triangle.

Sure, cyptocurrencies are a million miles away from being trusted stores of value or tools to transact exchange today. However, should enough people find that they trust the concept enough to use it in a limited way, there is nothing to distinguish “Billy Occam Coin” from good old greenbacks.

In the meantime, if you distrust those central bankers but don’t want to buy a cryptocurrency that fluctuates 10% up or down daily, gold seems to have passed the test of time as a value store. You might find your local bartender reticent to give you change from an ounce of it when you order a beer, though.

*I disagree about the “lender of last resort” requirement – many of our economic issues today would have been avoided without this “public service”. Let failed banks die and new ones fill the space.

The Occam’s Razor test of leadership

Sometimes how a person answers a simple hypothetical question tells us all we need to know to understand their character. Take this one, for example, which cuts to the core of the qualities of leadership;

Scenario; You are Prime Minister of country. The press break a story that your Deputy has been having an affair with a member of his staff, has deserted his wife and family, jerrymandered the recruitment and selection process twice to ensure his new partner remains employed in good roles, received a “gift” of a rent-free apartment to house her and they are now expecting the birth of their child in 2 months’ time. Previously, the Deputy Prime Minister has been a vocal supporter of “family values”.

Do you;

A) Confirm that there are no impediments to removing him from his post and replacing him with a more suitable candidate based on pre-existing codes of conduct relating to bringing parliament and the office of the Prime Minister in to disrepute and then do so with immediate effect?

B) Give him the benefit of the doubt, gracefully allow him a suitable period of time to state his case and to show some level of contrition but then, with a heavy heart, remove him from his post in order to maintain the gravitas of parliament and the office of Prime Minister as paramount?

C) Dither about for a week or so, force him to take a long weekend paid “leave” and then make a public statement to “update the ministerial code of conduct” to explicitly state that knocking up your staff and dumping your wife is not acceptable these days but do nothing tangible about the situation in the hope that Donald Trump will tweet something inflammatory over the weekend that diverts the news agenda?

Bill’s Opinion

There’s a special place in hell for people who claim to be leaders but soil their underwear the first time they are faced with a difficult decision which requires some level of consistency with previously-stated moral positions.

If you feel that this is a trivial point, remember that the person in this job has the ability to send troops to fire live rounds, both internationally and, in extremis, domestically.

“Over the top lads, I’m right behind you!”.

The best women are men

Remember the transgender Aussie Rules player trying to play in the women’s league?

(Hannah Mouncey, not to be confused with a bricklayer from the 1970s)

Well, “Hannah” Mouncey has just been given the green light and is eligible to compete as a woman.

Readers outside Australia will probably find coverage of the league on satellite television channels or via the watch again facility on Australian tv channel seven. I’m sure most matches will be fun to watch but there will be an extra frisson of vicarious adrenaline rush if they show footage of the recently-female “Hannah” smashing in to an originally-female player.

See also; Fallon Fox.

Who has agency?

Those unfamiliar with the principled, intellectual and classy world of Australian politics may have missed this current affair (s’cuse the pun); the Deputy Prime Minister has left his wife and family for a member of his staff and has subsequently had a child with her.

As always, there are some other periphery issues to be aware of; the staffer was recently moved into a new tailor-made taxpayer-funded position and the Deputy PM, Barnaby Joyce, has previously been a drum-beater for such things as “family values”. Whoops.

Well, nepotism and hypocrisy are nothing new in politics. Hand out the appropriate penalties, hoist him by his petard and move on.

What is more interesting, however, is the left’s take on all of this. There is a concerted effort to compare and contrast the situation with a hypothetical gender role reversal, obviously to bring our old nemesis duh patriarchy in to the firing line.

The link above has a TV monologue piece by veteran broadcaster (one hesitates to use the noun, “journalist”), Lisa Wilkinson, where she poses questions about how the story might have been handled should the genders have been reversed.

We’ll answer that question in a moment, first let’s look at one of the facts that are being touted in the list of reasons to damn the, already fucked, Barnaby Joyce; his paramour is 15 years his junior.

How do we feel this is relevant? Is she under the age of consent?

Not exactly, she’s 35 years young.

So why would the feminist, Lisa Wilkinson, think this is a relevant fact?

Bill’s Opinion

It’s subtle but the inference we are being offered is that a 35 year old woman was taken advantage of by the Deputy Prime Minister. Let’s rephrase that; a 35 year old professional woman does not have enough agency to make an informed decision about selecting her sexual partners.

That’s a fairly damning report card for the outcomes delivered by 3 waves of feminism.

Lastly, we can answer the “what if the genders were reversed, how would the press report it?” question with three words;

Julie “bicycle” Bishop.

Every Australian journalist reading this will be aware of the in-jokes, rumours and innuendo surrounding the Foreign Minister’s complicated and “busy” personal life. They will also be aware of how much of that has been investigated and reported on by the Canberra press corps – zero.

Hypocrisy is contingent on the observer’s viewpoint, it would seem.