The national anthem of Australia needs to be amended to reduce the harm the current version is inflicting on certain Australian citizens, apparently.
The good news is only one word of the three verses need be changed; from “we are young” to the proposed “we are one”:
Verse one of the proposed new anthem is the traditional verse with one minimal change – adding the single word “one” to replace the outmoded, and for many Australians the exclusionary and hurtful word, “young”.
There’s quite a lot of accusations being made against what people may have previously thought was an anodyne five letter adjective indicating relative age or maturity.
“Outmoded”, “exclusionary” and “hurtful” to many Australians?
So, let’s say there’s a nationwide debate on the subject and the conclusion is everyone agrees to drop the “young” bit, acknowledging the Aboriginal population’s arrival here tens of thousands of years ago. Would that result in this “oneness” we are encouraging, would everyone suddenly find a love of the anthem that previously was missing?
There is a subset of people who will never be happy with the lyrics of the Australian national anthem. I have no proof but it’s my suspicion this subset correlates greatly with the people who claim the word “young” is the cause of “hurt” and, if so, wouldn’t suddenly transform into flag-waving patriots cheering on the national sports teams or whatever other measure one chooses as a proxy of national pride.
If you’ve been living under a rock, been busy, aren’t interested in Australian politics or, frankly (and ironically), have a life, you might not have heard there’s an abortion debate going on in New South Wales.
Obviously, the first casualty in this type of debate is the truth. For the record, the legal status quo looks like this (where New South Wales is in green):
Keep that in mind before we look at the reporting on this issue.
In summary, a pregnant woman can have an abortion in NSW for several reasons, often quoted by pro-abortion lobbyists as the most valid arguments for terminating an unborn child’s life.
The one reason for an abortion not allowed in NSW is as a method of contraception. There’s a couple of big howevers to that; the woman could drive across the state border to the Australian Capital Territory and access abortion on demand there or find a doctor who is willing to prescribe abortion for reasons of mental health.
In other words, abortion in NSW is safe, legal, rare and, wink wink, not to be allowed for contraception.
That isn’t acceptable in these modern times though. Abortion on demand is a woman’s “right”, according to, well, the usual people we find ourselves regularly observing with incredulity here.
As the NSW government tears itself inside out trying to change the law whilst not losing the slim parliamentary majority it has, cue hand-wringing articles in our favourite woke organs of record.
This one, for example, which lists lots of terrible events which might lead to the agonising decision of a woman to kill her unborn child…. all of which are legal already and aren’t under threat of being criminalised.
Then there’s this article, which also describes an agonising choice made by a pregnant woman that is, wait for it, also not under threat of being made illegal.
What I’ve yet to find (please correct me in the comments if you’ve seen it) is an article explaining the current legislation and what impact the proposed changes will have if passed. i.e. will the categories of valid reasons be increased or decreased, will the time limit be decreased or increased, will abortion be available to be used as a form of contraception?
As I’ve stated earlier, my opinion on abortion has hardened the further away in time I have become from being likely to benefit from it.
The reporting on the current debate is actually activism not journalism. Cases on the margins are being cited as arguments for the change in legislation without explanation that these are already allowed.
If you are pro-abortion, I would suggest that, if your view is without nuance that it is completely the right of the pregnant woman to decide whether or not to continue the pregnancy, you are practicing a form of self-delusion.
If you believe the media reporting on the issue is balanced and impartial, I’d further suggest you may have a form of cognitive or mental deficiency. Perhaps I’ve only seen the worst examples though, so do post links to balanced reporting if you know of any.
There is a moral choice to be made with regards to abortion, but it is not the one many lobbyists might think. The choice to take an otherwise viable human life by abortion is actually the final choice in a long series of choices. In chronological order, those are:
Abstain from having sex.
Abstain from having sex with someone you know you don’t want to be be with for the rest of your life.
If you wish to have sex with someone who isn’t an obvious life partner, diligentlyand responsibly use contraception. Be aware that there will still be a residual risk of pregnancy.
If an “accident” happens, carry the baby to term and decide whether you can cope with parenthood after it’s born.
Offer the child up for adoption to one of the desperate couples who can’t conceive naturally.
And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.
Consider this headline:
At first blush, one might be wondering whether there’s been some sort of breakthrough at a genetic level that enables conception without sperm.
But then, bear in mind the advice we gave on how to get to the truth of these mendacious transgender journalistic attempts at confusion; look at the picture.
If, instinctively, you thought “Christ, the woman in red looks really unshaggable and pathetic but, fuck me, the one holding the bottle looks like she fell out of the Ugly Tree and hit every branch face-first on the way down“, you’d be right. It’s a man.
Let’s fisk the various and several language-mangling crimes the ABC’s David Sciasci commits, shall we?
Rebecca and Isabelle Sutherland have known each other since they were children.
The couple, now in their late 20s, married and experienced the wonder of being new parents to their four-month-old son, Bailey.
Now would be a good time to tell us how two women conceived a baby, given the headline suggested it’s a medical breakthrough.
Isabelle had been increasingly troubled by information she was reluctant to share with her partner, causing Rebecca to fear the worst.
“I was worried because it was not long after we got engaged,” Rebecca said.
She was convinced Isabelle was having second thoughts about their engagement. She guessed her fiance could be about to leave her for someone else.
“I just cornered her on the couch and was like, ‘You’re going to tell me whatever’s going on’,” Rebecca said.
Isabelle explained: “We just kind of broke down and I said, ‘Look, I’m trans,’ and Bec said, ‘Oh, is that all?'”
Oh, ok. So Isabelle is a woman now but was a bloke and therefore baby Bailey was conceived via her female penis?
As you were, medical students; it’s the miracle of life but not a significant moment in scientific history.
There’s a punchline though:
Rebecca said her fiance’s revelation prompted her to make her own. “Oh, I guess I have to tell her I’m bi now. I was keeping it a secret.”
Of course, the previous definition of bi (as in “bisexual”) was that a person found people of either gender sexually-attractive.
Rebecca’s new proposed definition seems to be, “I find men attractive, even the one sitting next to me, wearing my Mum’s dress”. The article is silent on whether or not she finds women with vaginas sexually attractive or not.
Let’s learn about the process to make a baby in 2019, shall we?
“We were never quite sure if we were going to try for a child before I started medically transitioning, or use in vitro fertilisation after the fact,” Isabelle said.
She began freezing her sperm in case she went ahead with a gender transition.
“Ultimately, we decided, ‘You know what, we’ll just give it a try for a couple of months to see how it goes before I start hormones. Maybe something will happen, maybe it won’t, we’ll play it by ear’,” Isabelle said.
Rebecca was pregnant two weeks later.
Man and woman have sex. They fall pregnant. It’s a miracle!
The rest of the article goes on to describe, with a few complications, a process everyone on the planet has been through already. There is this unintentionally-hilarious quote though (emphasis mine):
The Sutherlands said there were times during the pregnancy, before they changed hospitals, when some medical staff seemed judgmental and “hung up” on Bailey having two biological mothers.
I think we can read between the lines that the two “mothers” met someone who didn’t go along with their demand to pander to their shared mental illness.
Finally, here’s a lie for our age:
They say the most common question they are asked is: “Who’s mum?” They answer: both of them.
Anyone who has ever met adult humans before and takes one look at the pair of them knows which one gave birth.
I’m willing to bet there are more people alive who have set foot on the surface of planet Mars than have ever been genuinely unsure which of this pair physically gave birth to Bailey.
Rebecca, who is writing a memoir, hopes telling her family’s story will help transgender parents be accepted and better understood, to the point where, one day, “no one bats an eyelid”.
Sorry Rebecca, it doesn’t matter how much you or anyone else force other people to pretend, “Isabelle” is always going to have facial features defined by the rather inconvenient biological fact that he is a man.
Granted, a man suffering what was previously defined under DSM5 as a mental illness, but still and always a man.
My conclusion was that, regardless of whether or not either party wishes to admit it, in a very real sense we probably are.
If one accepts that hypothesis, there are a range of common sense actions that should follow, at the very least, to prevent the status quo from deteriorating further and to reduce the risk of further hostile actions.
The problem, quite common in western democracies, is the election cycle tends to reward politicians who practice realpolitik, rather than taking a more principled approach to hostile foreign powers.
An example of this can be seen today with many on the Remain side of the Brexit debacle; the evidence is overwhelming that the EU negotiators have not been operating under good faith (an example is the use of the Good Friday Peace Agreement as leverage), yet many of the key players in the British parliament are behaving as if Micawberistic optimism will win the day. To suggest we’ll get a deal after three years of being told non and nien makes something will turn up seem almost pragmatic and sensible.
But we shouldn’t be surprised. Flying back from Munich with worthless pieces of paper only to have to say, “bugger it” and open up the armoury the following year is in the British national DNA.
Australia’s too, it would seem.
The Lucky Country’s peace for our time moment seems to be playing out currently with barely a day going by without another story emerging about inappropriate Chinese state influence in Australian domestic politics.
Before we continue, there are a couple points to be clarified:
When I refer to “the Chinese”, I’m referring to the state government and its agents, not the ethnic identity.
It’s my belief that there’s very little distinction to be made between the Chinese government and large Chinese corporations. They may be nominally privately-owned and independent but, if you believe that to be true, I’ve a terracotta army I’d like to sell to you.
I wish to present four pieces of evidence supporting my position that we are not dealing with a good faith actor when we do business at a national or corporate level with the Chinese:
It’s not the fact these things have happened and are continuing to happen, it’s the dog that isn’t barking that is most concerning.
Look at the reporting of the statements coming from the various Australian government officials and opposition party leaders. It’s as if China was a synonym for Voldemort.
The most recent incident, for example; it’s a member of the Australian federal government with deep and enduring links to a foreign power, yet the official response is nothing to see here, move on.
It’s almost as if, I dunno, nobody has the testicular fortitude to mention the name of the government that always seems to be interfering in Australian domestic affairs in case, horror of horrors, they take their money away and spend it elsewhere.
After frenetically removing from my life anyone who shares content from the likes of Brigette, Oleg and their insipid facsimiles, I thought it was safe to go back on to the interweb.
But no, every website, youtube channel and browser window I open has this orthodontically-perfect, jug-eared goon smiling at me and boasting about how he doesn’t need to work any more because, something, something, something…. selling on Amazon.
Call me a cynical old bastard if you will, but nothing screams “liar” to me more than watching a person work night and day to tell me they don’t need to work.
In fact, in his own words on his own website, Adam tells you quite how unlikely it is you will get rich by attending one of his courses or even following the instructions to the letter. This legal disclaimer is somewhat obscured, completely accidentally I’m sure, by a clash of font and background colours:
Any reports of earnings published by Reliable Education are provided to a reasonable level of accuracy. However, reported results may differ slightly from actual results for various reasons, including returns & refunds, foreign exchange rate fluctuations, and brevity of communication. There is NO GUARANTEE that undertaking the same activities or employing the same techniques, ideas, strategies or initiatives published by Reliable Education will produce the same results for you. From time to time, Reliable Education will publish results, testimonials, case studies and success stories relating to those who have employed the techniques and strategies published by Reliable Education. These outcomes are exceptional results which do not apply to an average user of the information published by Reliable Education. There is NO GUARANTEE that any user of those techniques and strategies will achieve similar results. There is NO GUARANTEE that any reported past success (relating to Adam Hudson, Reliable Education, or any user of Reliable Education’s published information) can or will be repeated in the future. WHETHER YOU SUCCESSFULLY EMPLOY THESE TECHNIQUES AND STRATEGIES DEPENDS UPON FACTORS, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, YOUR INDIVIDUAL SKILLS, FINANCIAL RESOURCES, MARKETING KNOWLEDGE, BUSINESS MODEL, AND TIME YOU DEVOTE TO ENGAGING IN THESE ACTIVITIES. BECAUSE OF THIS, RELIABLE EDUCATION CANNOT GUARANTEE YOUR EARNINGS LEVEL, NOR DO WE.
Just the slightest research on a search engine teaches any curious entrepreneur everything they need to know about a) Adam’s “success”, and b) quite how genuine he is about wanting to help others copy it for themselves.
When pondering the question “why does Adam want to teach me how to be an Amazon millionaire?”, I wonder how many of his course attendees reach the conclusion, “because it doesn’t really work for him, but selling courses to the gullible does”.
If you ever find yourself at the poker table wondering which player is the sucker, consider the possibility it is you.
“Cultural appropriation” is an interesting compound noun and one which prompts vicarious offence in some and extreme annoyance or amusement in others. We can find a definition on the internets that suggests the following:
Cultural appropriation, at times also phrased cultural misappropriation, is the adoption of elements of one culture by members of another culture. This can be controversial when members of a dominant culture appropriate from disadvantaged minority cultures.
In other words, it’s another branch of critical theory or cultural Marxism. How can we be sure? The emphasis on power. The second sentence in the definition tries to explain why the first sentence is problematic and reverts to an argument of power imbalance.
Without that qualifying sentence, most reasonable and sane people would never consider there was anything sinister about their enjoyment of tea as a refreshing beverage, cooking a spaghetti bolognaise for dinner or using duvets as bedding whilst wearing pyjamas.
A Google Ngram search shows cultural appropriation is a very modern sin:
There is amusement to be had when engaging those issuing accusations of cultural appropriation, however; ask them to describe the margins. By which we mean, a situation where one person uses a useful cultural invention of others and what would be considered over the line and cultural appropriation. Much hilarity often ensues.
Let’s show a worked example:
Bill is a white Englishman who very much enjoys Indian food (but we repeat ourselves). Not content with enjoying the cuisine in his local restaurant, he holidays in India and attends a cookery course to learn how to expertly blend the spices and other ingredients. Back home in London, he hosts a dinner party for some friends where he delights them with his newly acquired knowledge.
At risk of building a strawman, one suspects the cultural Marxists would suggest he’s innocent up until the point he invites the other gammons round to eat his culturally appropriated food.
The problems with this arise following just the slightest scratching of the surface.
Problem #2 – Several of the main ingredients of Indian cuisine only arrived with the Europeans. Chillies, potatoes, tomatoes and cauliflower, for example.
The burning question then is surely, which culture is Bill appropriating?
Bangladeshi? Perhaps, but maybe only those ex-pats who set up restaurants in Britain.
Indian? Perhaps, but if the cuisine they taught him is the Anglo-Bangladeshi version, maybe they are guilty of some cultural appropriation too.
South American? The cultivation of chillies, potatoes and tomatoes was initiated in South America but by which South Americans? Not necessarily the ones whose descendants are currently living there.
It’s a bit tricky, isn’t it?
It’s almost as if the people who suggest cultural appropriation is a sin are bullies who use a claim of vicarious offence as their justification (more on this in a later post).
Perhaps they are mistakenly or even deliberately missing the incredible amount of good work cultural appropriation has done for you, me, them and everyone around us? My suspicion is that they have fallen into the mental trap of zero sum thinking. That is, they believe there is a finite supply of something, in this case “cultural good”, and therefore feel it is their duty to protect those who they perceive as being without power from having their ration stolen.
Of course, this is the racism and bigotry of low expectations. The people who are having their culture “appropriated” have no qualms about taking the best bits of everyone else’s culture such as effective medicine, power generation, water sanitation, iPhones, Game of Thrones streaming, etc. and they really don’t give a shit if someone in another country is cooking a strange facsimile of the food they eat.
Returning to the Sydney Morning Herald report on Lionel Shriver’s visit, it’s interesting to note the article finishes with an explanation that Lionel wasn’t the original first name she was given by her parents, and that she changed it when she was 15. I have a couple of questions on that;
Two things can be correct at the same time; on the one hand, when visiting foreign countries, we should respect their laws.
On the other hand, we can point at cases such as this as further evidence that our 800+ year culture and tradition of Common Law is superior to all other systems tried so far. Cultural relativism is a fallacy and is to be rejected.
There is a pattern that can be observed occasionally and, as
long as you’re not exposed to the consequences, can be quite amusing once you’ve
Firstly, a British example:
Many years ago, a chap by the name of Derek Wanless was the Chief Executive of Natwest Bank for 7 years during the 1990s. At the commencement of his stewardship, Natwest was one of the four largest “high street” (i.e. retail) banks and was a solid performer, taking customer deposits and issuing mortgages.
Wanless’ entire experience, from leaving school, was in the retail sector, having come up through the ranks of the branches. So, he put this expertise gained in just one sub-sector of banking to another, opening up an investment arm and taking the bank into the USA (a market already awash with investment banking services, one presumes).
Guess what happened next?
Huge losses for Natwest which resulted in his defenestration by the board…with just a 7 figure payout to comfort him. Not long after, the bank was bought in a hostile and hugely embarrassing takeover by a far smaller rival, the Royal Bank of Scotland.
Hot on the heels of this success, he was asked by the then Chancellor of the Exchequer (i.e. the UK’s Treasurer), Gordon Brown, to review the National Health Service. Ponder that for a moment; his previous experience was, to put it as kindly as possible, to destroy a profitable bank and drive it into the arms of a smaller rival so, obviously, he would have been the perfect candidate to look at the profligate and failing health service. To be fair to Wanless, this wasn’t Gordon Brown’s first or indeed last major failure of judgement, have a look at his record on the UK’s gold reserves to understand what a disaster his tenure was.
Finally, Wanless made a return to banking as an executive director to Northern Rock, overseeing the first UK retail bank to experience a bank run since the Great Depression.
Wanless died 5 years later, fortunately without having accepted
any further positions in public life.
What’s the point I’m trying to make here? That Wanless was
in “The Club”.
It’s a club you and I aren’t allowed to join. The rules of The
Club are varied and changeable, but one rule remains constant; once you’re in The
Club, there are very few occasions when consequences will ever catch up with
There are many examples of the Australian chapter of the The
Club but today’s goes by the name of Peter Beattie.
I first learned of Peter during the 2013 Federal Election when he was parachuted into a seat by another member of The Club, Kevin Rudd. Some basic research unearths a disaster zone of a curriculum vitae, not unlike that of Derek Wanless. From a child protection scandal to a health service crisis, through to tying his colours to the mast of a desperate narcissist’s attempt to remain politically-relevant in the federal election, Peter has an enviable track record of mediocrity.
He also seems to either edit his own Wikipedia entry or have a sycophant do it on his behalf. We really must chuckle at the unintentional irony of a statement such as, “As was his style, Beattie faced the crisis head on”, which is then followed by a list of all the ministers who fell on their swords while he survived. As befitting a full member of The Club, the buck stopped just short of Beattie.
I’m not a conspiracy theorist, I don’t really believe The Club exists.
It is far more likely that, once you’re in the circle of people who appoint and are appointed to senior positions on company boards and in government, as long as you can glad-hand the right people and you don’t wipe your snot on your shirt sleeves, you’re in The Club.
Why? You might be completely incompetent and a total narcissist but you’re a known, albeit a bit useless, quantity. Nobody is going to take a risk on someone they don’t know, are they?
Here’s a little potted history lesson for those who are too young to remember:
Once upon a time, there was a large superpower that was, in many ways, the antithesis of what the western democracies stood for, or at least claimed to stand for. The west claimed to stand for values such as the rule of law, property rights, freedom of speech, restricted government powers, open and free elections, free men to be judged in a court of law by their peers, non-coerced contracts, etc.
The west and this superpower weren’t at a state of official war but interaction, particularly trade, was extremely limited. A company in the UK, for example, could import or export goods with this hostile superpower and its representatives could travel to and from its territory but there were caveats and restrictions to this.
At a minimum, the traveller would have a safety briefing. In some cases, the security services might give a briefing and require a post-trip debriefing to glean valuable information.
At the extreme, travellers might be wise to follow an informal form of “Moscow Rules”, even if they weren’t spooks themselves.
Why? Because the hostile superpower was a) hostile, and b) open in its disregard for those values we listed in the paragraph above. If you are visiting a country with a total disregard for the rights of the individual, you’d be a fool to wander around blithely assuming you weren’t always in danger.
That country was Russia and its associated satellite states, of course.
In 2019, we have exponentially more trade with a country that shows a similar disregard for the rule of law, property rights, etc., yet we hop on flights to Shanghai and Beijing without a second thought as to the personal, corporate or national risk we are taking. Why? Because, for most cases, we have not had reason to think they are hostile.
The evidence is compelling that, whatever you might call the Chinese state; Communist, “post-Communist”, mercantilist, or some other suitable noun, it is far from being a free society as a citizen of a western democracy would know the term.
And yet…. corporations and governments have increased the level of trade and interaction on our behalf with the Chinese state without seemingly any commensurate increase in vigilance or precautions.
Why might that be?
Why might a country, say, Australia, be unwilling to publicly criticise any one of the nefarious activities (and more) described above, particularly in the case of clear hostile activities on Australian soil?
Much is written about cultural differences and how people in the west should treat other cultures respectfully. The classic is example revolves around the concept of Asian cultures setting a higher value on “face” than we in the west might.
Here’s an idea; that is a truly racist attitude. Why? Because the Chinese are an intelligent people with personal and national “agency”. They can observe our culture as much as we observe theirs. In fact, they do, and they choose to still act the way they do.
Pretending the Chinese leaders are delicate flowers whose feelings might be hurt if we publicly and regularly told them to rein in their activities and act in accordance with international law is the ultimate in weakness.
And that’s another cultural observation; the Chinese don’t respect weakness.
Why would we, therefore, constantly offer this as our response?
Of course, the elephant in the room for Australia is the economic master/servant relationship. China could ruin Australia’s economy for a generation simply by deliberately reducing the Chinese GDP by one or two percentage points and pivoting to African countries to satisfy its demand for minerals and resources. In fact, the land grabs in Africa are presumably part of a strategy to reduce reliance on pesky western economies and their annoying conversations about human rights.
Perhaps it won’t be long before our one reason for not standing up (diplomatically, I’m not suggesting warfare) to China is removed by China anyway?
At which point, we will be simply a weak parody of Neville Chamberlain.