It’s a strange thing to boast

Boastfulness is a weird character trait to observe. We all do it to varying degrees, our reasons are unique but often have some similarities; self-justification and validation are major underlying factors in most boastful behaviour.

Anonymous boasting to strangers is a particularly strange and modern phenomenon, examples include writing a blog under a pseudonym (*waves in the mirror) or commenting on someone else’s blog to explain how astute an investor or business person one is (*waves to the newly-unemployed Bardon).

What we boast about is also quite instructive.

Take, for example, Sarah Thompson’s public boast about an abortion ten years ago.

Let’s give Sarah some dues here; she’s setting herself up for serious judgement and negative comments, not only under the Op Ed but on her Twitter and Instagram accounts.

That this criticism will include some that will be brutally personal and judgmental does not invalidate the act of criticism or allow Sarah a free victim pass to avoid scrutiny. We can judge her boast in a respectful manner instead.  

The anectboastful OpEd is ostensibly about the latest law in the US state of Georgia to limit the abortions under the so-called “heartbeat rule”. I suggest you do some research across multiple news sources to familiarise yourself with what this does and does not mean, before picking a side of the argument to support.

The facts presented are that when she was 27 (ten years ago) she had an abortion because she felt that becoming a mother then would negatively impact her career and she assessed her boyfriend at the time as not good life partner material.

Apparently, the procedure was illegal at the time in the Australian State within which she resided. We’ll not bother addressing this as the more interesting element of the story is the boasting about it. Also, legislation tends to be downstream of the public perception of morality on a subject, hence why we aren’t currently governed by laws on dowries under the Code of Hammurabi.

There are many cases made by the “pro-choice” lobby in favour of abortion. Pregnancies due to rape, incest, or to save the mother’s life in medical emergencies, are all compelling arguments that require the judgement of Solomon to navigate through. Career inconvenience seems one of the weaker reasons offered to prevent an otherwise viable fetus from gestating to term, by comparison.

A skip through Sarah’s Twitter and Instagram account history shows a fashionable 37 year old woman who is employed by an extreme left-leaning charity (more on that in a moment), enjoying a life replete with frequent visits to the tattoo parlour, nail bar and overseas holidays. Significant others and children? Not so much.

Is she happy? Who knows? If she is happy now, will she remain so in future? Again, who can tell?

An obvious fact though, is she invests a lot of time and resources in to her job at ActionAid, a charity helping women around the world. When I suggest above that it is an extreme left-leaning charity, I am referring to the order of priorities listed on their website; apparently, what women in places like Afghanistan need most is protection from climate change. Not countering denial of access to education, self-determination in who to marry and at what age, physical safety in an actual patriarchal and violent society, prevention of rape and murder, access to proper nutrition and sanitation, etc. etc.

Whether or not that prioritisation is borne out in the targeting of resources on the ground or whether it’s a canny marketing ploy to gain access to the huge amounts of cash thrown at anything labeled as fighting climate change, we can’t know.

Bill’s Opinion

Sarah looks like she’d have been a bloody awful mother and at 37, with no obvious life partner in tow, chances are she’s missed her main opportunity to find out. With enough cash though, she still has options available, and failing that, pet shops all over Australia will be more than happy to sell her a few cats.

Sarah and I share similar qualifications to comment on USA Constitutional Law, Roe vs Wade and the legal autonomy of the states. i.e. neither of us are qualified to comment.

For what it’s worth, my view is that Roe vs Wade was a Federal overreach and each state should be free to legislate on abortion as their electorate deems fit. That way, people who want to live in a society that wants abortion to be safe, early and rare can move to Georgia while people who have no issue with killing a baby on its way out the birth canal can move to California. That is, after all, the system of government the USA has, resulting in a healthy competition between states to find the best legislation for the morality of our time.

Some folk recuse themselves from commenting on abortion, Scott Adams for example, because they take the position it’s an exclusively female issue. This is moral weakness disguised as sensitivity.

My views on abortion have become less ambiguous the further away in time I am from potentially benefiting from its convenience. It’s clear to me that, if you wanted to define the point of commencement of a new human life, conception is the only obvious moment. All other versions I’ve seen of the definition have a logical fallacy at their heart.

I understand though, from a pragmatic point of view, those who are determined to not carry an unwanted child to term are going to find a way not to, regardless of the law. I like the statement; safe, early and rare as a imprecise compromise to a horrid choice, therefore.

Sarah would define herself as pro-choice. She is correct, she has had many choices, many of which she is refusing to acknowledge. Let’s list the relevant ones in chronological order;

  1. Abstain from having sex.
  2. Abstain from having sex with someone you know you don’t want to be be with for the rest of your life.
  3. Use contraception – the OpEd has a conspicuous omission by not explaining how two well-educated people in their late 20s had a contraception failure.
  4. If an “accident” happens, carry the baby to term and decide whether you can cope with parenthood after it’s born.
  5. Offer the child up for adoption to one of the desperate couples who can’t conceive naturally.
  6. Kill the damn thing like a virus.

As brave as Sarah is for putting her head above the parapet, and a cynic might say she’ll actively benefit from this within her “in group“, the situation she describes isn’t exactly our generation’s Rosa Parks.

She’s made a lifestyle choice which, a decade later, she feels the need to boast about.

In the meantime, a ten year old boy or girl isn’t making any choices.

The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

Jessica Irvine’s sharing utopia

Friend of this organ, Jessica “admire my big brain and pants” Irvine has been asked to apply her huge pants brain to the subject of Indigenous finance.

Prima facie, it may seem as if applying Jessica’s genius to matters Aboriginal might risk a somewhat condescending experience given her previous form of explaining that she can lose weight because, well, spreadsheets or something, but the people in the ‘burbs are aren’t clever enough so require the intervention of the benevolent state.

The anticipation prior to reading this latest glimpse into the mind of a polymath was exquisite; would she go full Glebe IQ snob on the traditions and customs of the First People or would she hold back and couch her language out of sensitivity?

As always with Jessica, we are left in awe at her unique skill to synthesise complex ideas into a single taciturn message behind which we can all rally;

Aboriginal people are poor because of racism and their traditions but they are happier than us rich white folk.

Ok. She didn’t actually say that in as many words but, as she explains in her flourishing finish:

As we seek to put Indigenous Australians on a more equal footing, and rightly give them better access to the benefits of today’s economic opportunities, we should also save space in our national conversation for this Indigenous perspective on what it truly means to be a rich nation.

To live comfortably, yes; but to also use our wealth to care for those in need and forge stronger communities.

The true sharing economy was under our noses the whole time.

Ah, the sharing economy.

Not sharing like Venezuela, mind you, it’s a different kind of national sharing that magically works this time.

Ok, any clues as to what this means?

The researchers found the practice of “humbugging”, or asking family for money, is common in Indigenous communities. This could be a source of support, but also a drag on an individual’s desires to get ahead financially.

Ah, scrounging.

We’ve all got one of those relatives already. If they’re not inviting you to invest in a timeshare in Footscray, they’re asking for a loan of a few thousand dollars to buy cryptocurrency.

But hey, according to Jessica we have a lot to learn from people who, according to her own article have bugger all money and are generally highly-stressed because of it;

First, to the obvious: Indigenous people don’t, on average, have much money. Indeed, half of all Indigenous people experience high levels of financial stress, compared with just one in 10 of the broader Australian community.

She hints at a solution though;

Our nation’s first people struggle disproportionately to pay bills and are more frequent users of high-cost credit sources such as payday lenders. It’s a disgrace. And we should do so much better.

Well no, she doesn’t really explain what we could do that would be so much better.

Bill’s Opinion

Here’s a list, in no particular order, of people it is not a good idea to take financial advice from:

  • Generationally poor people.
  • Anyone working in the real estate industry, particularly if their names end in “McGrath” or “Bouris”.
  • Anyone who is so incapable of getting a real job in finance that she will accept the increasingly low wages the Sydney Morning Herald can afford.

Australian Aboriginals didn’t have the concept of money prior to the arrival of the Europeans, hence the recent laughable attempt to pretend otherwise by the Australian Mint.

Perhaps they were happier back then. Perhaps living short, brutish and painful existences before the arrival of effective medicine and agricultural techniques that eradicated famine focussed the minds of Aboriginal people to count their limited blessings.

Perhaps there’s a lesson we can learn from such stoicism.

Or perhaps we could accept the fact that this is 2019 yet a first world country, one of the richest in the world, still has a class of people who are heavily subsidised to sit in remote locations enduring a child mortality rate equivalent to a sub-Saharan African nation?

Here’s an hypothesis; it’s far far too destructive for us to spend time and resources virtue signalling about “culture” while government policy is actively keeping fellow citizens in poverty due to the bigotry of low expectations from people like Jessica. These people have agency just like her, but they are told at every opportunity that they don’t.

Enforcing the existing laws and welfare rules consistently across geography and ethnicity would be a good first step. Don’t hold your breathe waiting for it to happen though.

Irony is resurrected for Australian Rugby

The ARU are looking to renew their links to charitable causes and are seeking expressions of interest;

The photo above is interesting; last time I checked, there were 15 players in a rugby team, not 10. More if you count the match reserves.

I wonder why they’ve cropped the rest of the team and wider squad out of the picture?

Perhaps a clue can be found in the press release (highlighting mine)?

Rugby Australia said it is seeking a charity partner that aligns with the game’s core vision, which includes making rugby “a game for all” and igniting Australia’s “passion for the game”.

Right then, a game for all? That’s great.

Can we get a hint of what that might mean by looking at the current charity partners?

The charity will also link with Rugby Australia’s current community partners including Disability Sports Australia, Pride in Sport, the Australian Deaf Rugby Team and Our Watch.

Pride in Sport? I wonder what they’re all about?

Pride in Sport is the only sporting inclusion program specifically designed to assist National and State sporting organisations and clubs with the inclusion of LGBTI employees, players, coaches, volunteers and spectators. The world-first Pride in Sport Index (PSI) benchmarks and assesses the inclusion of LGBTI people across all sporting contexts.

Ah, because what one does in the privacy of one’s bedroom and with whom one does it is extremely relevant to kicking a ball or swimming in a pool, isn’t it?

I suppose there’s no point in the charity, The Australian Christian Values Institute applying then?

Bill’s Opinion

As this article points out (h/t Tim), the ARU is one of those organisations that has fully-embraced the current fashion for wokeness. The problem is, they haven’t fully-worked out the details of which victim credentials trump which others.

Hence a deeply religious rugby player is about to sue the arse off the sport for firing him for legally-expressing his views, fully in line with the recognised teachings of the religion, because they are at odds with the feelings of another one of the protected groups.

Unless the Australian judge presiding over the case decides to defenestrate Common Law precedent (which, to be fair, is not beyond the realms of possibility), the ARU are going to have to cut a considerable cheque.

The lesson is straightforward.

Go woke, go broke.

No Australian earns the minimum wage anyway!

In a move that will directly benefit the square root of fuck all people, the Australian national minimum wage was raised by 3% to $19.49 this week.

If you are reading this from a country other than Australia, yes, that wasn’t a typo; the Australian minimum wage is $19.40 an hour!

Or;

US $13.41

€12.05

£10.64

Look at all the goods and services you’ve bought in the last year. It’s a safe bet none of them were made in Australia. Coincidence?

Before we get into the economics and demographics of Australia’s farcical minimum wage, let’s take a quick journey down a NLP cul-de-sac…

To reduce neuro-linguistic programming to a pithy sentence of dubious accuracy; it is the theory that specific words act as triggers to people’s behaviour. Perhaps that’s what the Australian socialists who came up with the leviathan bureaucracy around the central planning of wages were trying to achieve with the names they gave various elements of the legislation and policies.

In reality though, the persuasiveness of their nouns tends to have the opposite effect. As anyone who’s met a highly dangerous or tough individual has ever realised, if you must tell people you are tough, you probably aren’t. Or, more amusingly, the reason why the 1.85m tall Tiny Tim was called “tiny” was irony.

Hence, we have the Fair Work Commission ruling on Modern Awards and Penalty Rates.

What’s good is bad, what’s bad is good

You’ll find out when you reach the top

You’re on the bottom

So, how many people get this mythical $19.40 an hour?

Nobody really knows. The Australian Bureau of Statistics have one of the worst reputations in the developed world for collecting accurate data on employment. A Melbourne academic study from over a decade ago estimated it was about 3% of the working population (which was about half of the total country). However, there are two factors to bear in mind when reading that study; firstly, academia is populated exclusively by those with at least a left of centre bias and, in many cases, extreme left wing views and, secondly, it’s bloody Melbourne, a city still feeling the disappointment from the fall of the Berlin Wall and the discrediting of Walter Duranty’s New York Times’ reporting on Stalin’s Russia.

Let’s assume the estimates are in the ballpark. Half the population are employed, so that’s about 12.5m people, of which, 3% are on the minimum wage. So about 375,000 people.

What work do these people do? Well, it’s easier to tell you what work they don’t do. Anything covered by this list for a start…..

Take a moment and follow that link to the Fair Work website and pick a random job you’d think is an entry level, minimum wage role. Waiting tables at a café, for example? Nope, that’ll be covered by the Hospitality Modern Award, so they will receive at least the minimum wage or higher plus other benefits such as holiday pay. Similarly, abattoir workers, concrete mixers, grape pickers, sugar cane cutters, sheep shearers, and fish gutters are all on their own “minimum wage plus” deal.

Let’s pause for a moment and state a fact most Australians aren’t aware of; Australia is the only country in the world that isn’t a socialist dictatorship that legislates wages by industry in this way.

Bill’s Opinion

At a stroke, the Fair Work Commission increased the minimum wage by 3%. My statement at the start of today’s rant is inaccurate, it will benefit many people because many Modern Awards are pegged to this rate, this has the effect of increasing those pay rates by 3%.

Great news; everyone has more money to spend.

No so great news; every product or service manufactured in Australia to be exported abroad has just had its input costs increased by at least 3%, thus negating any positive impact of the trashing of the currency by the RBA when they cut interest rates next month to save the banking industry.

But more importantly, who exactly benefits from this ridiculously bureaucratic centrally-planned wage system?

My guess, in order of benefit;

1. Employment lawyers,

2. Union officials,

3. Labor (sic) MPs, both State and Federal,

98. Minimum (or close to) wage workers.

From clogs to clogs is three generations

The title is a saying common in the north of England.

It refers to the phenomenon of generationally-wasted family wealth, i.e. the grandparent builds a successful business, their children manage it reasonably well, the grandchildren blow the fortune.

Consider this, then:

Tesco are launching a “no touch” packaging product range of ready-diced meat to tip into a saucepan because….

…..shoppers, particularly younger ones, were “quite scared of touching raw meat

What does this have to do with clogs and apocryphal stories of indolence and profligacy in the third generation?

Well, perhaps wealth can be considered as not merely financial. A tradition where self-sufficiency, fortitude and stoicism are seen as virtues might be viewed as inherited wealth.

The current crop of squeamish and picky eaters are deserving of extreme and frequent ridicule. It would be almost admirable if they actually had the stubborn discipline and bloody-mindedness to maintain a vegan diet and lifestyle but to resort to “no touch” pre-diced meat is the epitome of pathetic.

At a similar age, their grandparents and great-grandparents were taking the beaches of Normandy, suffering the privations of Ypres, sweeping up the post-Blitz rubble in London and making armaments in factories in the Midlands.

Bill’s Opinion

The title The Greatest Generation has already been taken, unfortunately.

Perhaps this lot will settle for The Coddled Generation?

Better suggestions in the comments, please.

Et tu, Tony?

It’s quite amazing this took so long:

It’s an utter non-story. Don’t take my word for it though, follow the link and judge for yourself.

What’s important is that the #MeToo movement is coming after Tony Robbins. Whether they are successful or not will be instructive, mainly because there were so many reasons to have taken Robbins down in the past, if this one is his nemesis, we now know where the power sits.

Let’s face it, the man has made an absolute fortune selling evangelical Christianity without the Christianity part. We’ve all met someone who’s got the religion at one of his $8,000 conferences and tried to make some massive change in their life… and usually failed.

He’s a snake oil salesman and has been for decades. If he was untouchable all that time but is taken down by an old video with few off-colour comments at a paid for conference, that’s very instructive.

Bill’s Opinion

It’s not clear what Robbins has done to become the next target. If you think the controversy is about the comments on the video, you’re being somewhat naive.

First they came for, ah fuck it.

Bill Pulver’s letter to Raelene Castle – exclusive

(from an anonymous source in the ARU)

Dear Raelene,

Kia-Sportage bro, as you and Jacinda say in the vernacular.

I hope you’re having fun in the not so new gig and the daily drive out to Olympic Park isn’t too tiresome. Strewth, it is truly a godawful place to have to work from, thank goodness the Wobblies only play there once or twice a year. I can understand why the fans prefer to stay at home and watch it on their sofas. Well, that and the fact that they can do something else with their time in the second half of the match, once the result has been decided.

Anyway, I digress.

I wanted to drop you a quick note to wish you the best of luck in the forthcoming World Cup in Japan and send my best wishes for the preparations. Hopefully Chek has got a great esprit des corps in the changing room now, with all of those unique characters working well together. I can just imagine the larrikins Quadey and Pocock must get up to, surely they will be great room mates in Tokyo.

I wanted to mention something I missed in the handover documents. In addition to the two envelopes, I thought you might want to consider some changes to the player contracts in the next round of contract extensions.

Increasingly, and as a result of our strategy to stop funding grass roots rugby and simply poach the better mungoes from Rugby League, you’ll need to have a strategy to deal with the God-botherers.

Obviously, the majority of these are Westies with apostrophes in their names, so any successful strategy is going to have to be reasonably unsubtle and articulated mainly in monosyllables. Try to pitch it at a level that an ABC for Kids viewer could comprehend.

There’s likely to a bit of a clash of cultures with that LBTQI+ptangyangkipperbang thing you and David Pocock committed the sport to in your pitch to the Board. Those happy-clappy types aren’t so keen on the shirt-lifters so you’ll need to reign them in on the old interweb thingy. Apparently, some of them have suggested that Caitlyn Jenner might not be completely female.

I know, madness, eh!

Some sort of contractual clause about not expressing religious or political views should do the trick.

The alternative is to do what the ABC do when one of their vastly more intelligent journalists tweet some extreme left wing opinion (i.e. always); state that their views outside of work are their own and they have the right to express them without any consequences to their livelihood of providing unbiased and objective reporting.

You’ll have to pick one of these approaches though otherwise you’ll be left in a terribly difficult and probably expensive no-man (or gender non-specific) land the first time one of them gets an injection of the Ol’ Time Religion one Sunday morning.

Actually, thinking about it, maybe you’ll be in such a mess if you don’t that you’d make my CEO term look halfway competent, which, let’s face it, would have been unthinkable a year or two ago.

On second thoughts, I think I won’t bother sending this letter after all.

Yours, in rugby,

Bill Pulver

Bill (Ockham’s) Opinion

It’s a funny old world when the European colonialists spend 200+ years telling Pacific Islanders, often at the end of a gun barrel, about the salvation of Jesus Christ and then sack them from their jobs for believing the message.

Pay the jizya for your dhimmi, Australians

On Thursday, two members of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) found the checkered headscarves used during the exercise were not necessary and would have been recognised by members of the public as keffiyehs, used by Palestinian and Arab communities.

During the exercise, the pretend offenders pointed their index fingers in the air.

The use of the headscarves had the capacity to encourage members of the public to believe that “Palestinians and/or Arabs were to be feared, despised, hated, and/or held in serious contempt as possibly or probably being terrorists“, especially given that it was NSW Police who used them, NCAT found.

Is a headscarf really likely to have that effect?

One of the officers was wearing a skeleton face mask. Do we expect Halloween celebrations to be subdued this year as people shy away in fear from skeleton images after this police exercise?

Unlikely.

But wait, go back and have another look at the screen grab image from the Sydney Morning Herald….

What’s the news item 2 down from the one about the gelding of the police?

Oh, just an Islamist stabbing a passerby. Nothing to see here.

To be balanced, the alleged attacker wasn’t Arabic or from Palestine, he was from Pakistan.

He knew enough Arabic to shout it at random strangers in the street in the months preceding the attack though (note to police; this is what might be called a “lead indicator“. You’re welcome):

And that Parramatta shooting he was so inspired by, what was that all about, who committed that act of terrorism?

A Kurdish Iranian. Let’s keep that balance; neither Kurdish or Persian Iranians are classed as Arabic.

Neither was the perpetrator of the Lindt Café shooting Arabic.

He didn’t have a skeleton face mask either.

These mentally-ill religiously evil idiots do have one common factor though, don’t they? One that Arabs and Palestinians also share. Perhaps it’s asking too much of Australian police to really analyse the cultural wardrobe distinctions between various ethnic groups in the Islamic diaspora when planning a terrorism response training exercise.

After all, it’s not the hurt feelings of those who share the religion of the perpetrators they are training to protect, but the lives of those targeted by the terrorists.

So, precisely how many people actually complained about this police exercise designed to keep us all safe?

Oh, just the one.

The racial vilification complaint was made by Sam Ekermawi, who identified himself as an Australian ethnic Muslim of a Palestinian national origin.

Is he a sensitive soul who is easily offended or is he perhaps trying to modify the definitions of what can or can’t be said or worn in public in a (previously) free country?

Well, he does have “previous” (in the police vernacular) against which we can judge this complaint:

He previously filed a racial vilification complaint against the Today show following comments from Sonia Kruger that she would like to see the immigration of Muslims to Australia “stopped now”. That complaint was dismissed in February.

Bill’s Opinion

This is surely a form of Stockholm Syndrome.

The police governing body, NCAT, has made the conscious decision to sympathise and prioritise the feelings of one man from a protected class over the operational duties of the police.

Someone might want to point out to the Australian police that they have a live hostage emergency incident to deal with; Sam Ekermaw has captured several national institutions and is forcing them to comply with his religious demands on the basis that the general public shouldn’t be afraid of people wearing keffiyehs.

Sure:

BIPoCalypse

(Note to the reader, feel free to skip this and go to “Bill’s Opinion” at the end of the page).

A Sydney craft store has become caught up in a vitriolic online campaign that has seen members of the knitting community labelled as racist by people who say they were ignored in yarn stores and felt uncomfortable at “white-majority knitting groups”.

Claims of bullying, lying and harassment have gone back and forth on social media since the dispute began over the treatment of black, indigenous and people of colour (BIPoC) in the knitting community.

An online campaign about racism in the knitting community has ensnared a Sydney craft store.

Sukrita Mahon, a spinner and weaver from the NSW Central Coast, has played a prominent role in the campaign to highlight and combat racism and prejudice among knitters.

“Sydney, we have a problem,” Ms Mahon wrote in January. “Your knitting spaces are unsafe for bipoc (and probably others). You have shown yourself unwilling to listen, at best.”

Ms Mahon did not respond to the Sun-Herald’s interview requests, but her Instagram account @su.krita refers to “the times I felt uncomfortable in their shop”.

She also refers to a time when the shop’s owner was “racist to me and my brown friend”.

The owner also declined to be interviewed but has expressed distress on social media about the accusations of racism.

Ms Mahon’s Instagram story Racist Knitters lists experiences of racism such as being ignored or followed in a yarn store when other patrons were not, and being mistaken for another person.

Cynthia Mulholland, the president of the Knitters’ Guild NSW, said her organisation welcomed anyone who shared a passion for knitting and crochet.

“I think there is racism everywhere, however it is up to groups like the Knitters Guild to welcome everyone into a comfortable environment,” she said.

Sukrita Mahon is part of an online campaign against racism in the knitting community.

Melbourne-based writer Sophia Cai suggested the dispute began when the owner was asked by members of the BIPoC community to make a statement denouncing racism.

“Their silence and silencing was noted, and they became defensive that they may been (sic) seen in a negative light,” Ms Cai wrote.

Ms Mahon then set up the Sydney is Cancelled online group, with the aim of creating places where BIPoC can meet, “away from the white gaze, without having to justify our existence at every step”.

“Our meetings will not be open to the public,” she explained on the Unfinished Object site.

However, the row turned ugly during a public event at Carriageworks in February organised by Ms Mahon’s craft group.

Ms Mahon said the event was disrupted by the owner of the Sydney craft store, which The Sun-Herald cannot identify for legal reasons, and another knitting designer.

“They spotted me standing away from the group and saw an opportunity to corner me,” Ms Mahon wrote in a blog post. “They demanded that I let them have their say. Through gritted teeth, I explained why I was upset with them, but received no acknowledgement of my feelings.”

Ms Mahon said she was intimidated by their behaviour, which they took “as a personal affront — manipulating the narrative so they appeared to be the victims”.

The confrontation at Carriageworks follows earlier allegations of racism levelled against American hand-dyer and knitter Maria Tusken and knitting designer Karen Templer, whose blog post about an upcoming trip to India prompted intense criticism. The online journal, Quillette, labelled the campaign against Templer a witch hunt.

Other Instagram users weighed into the controversy, including @mia.p.nguyen, who said the craft shop was racist and whose product/service was to marginalise.

The same user posted several other references to the controversy, which prompted @sometimesanislander to comment: “They have shown their racist disgusting selves.”

Several Instagram users, including Ms Mahon, have complained about posts being deleted or users blocked after criticising the shop and its owners.

“These two need to be accountable for everything they’ve done: initial invading of (what was supposed to be) a safe space for BIPoC, the silence on the issue, then the defensiveness, the ignoring, the silencing, the threats of legal action,” @nakkiknits wrote.

Bill’s Opinion

In summary:

Someone with a mental illness is shit-posting on the internet and Andrew Taylor has managed to spin out an entire article about it in a national newspaper.

This is how the decline of Roman Empire started.

“Free speech” isn’t just the speech you agree with, Fitzy

An Australian rugby player has annoyed people on social media by posting evangelical Christian beliefs.

An ex-Australian rugby player, now a columnist, has called for his contract to be suspended until he apologises and, in his words not mine, repents.

Slow news days in Australia tend to be like this.

Peter Fiztsimons has a good point; Israel Falau’s contract with the ARU does have restrictions on his public behaviour and speech. In that regard, by signing the contract he has agreed to further limitations, beyond those already on the law books, to his freedom of speech.

This is a matter between employer and employee.

So far, so boring. We all have a range of views on the topic Folau has posted about on social media, some of us have multiple opinions on the same topic depending on the time of day. That’s not really the point.

What’s fascinating here is the use of the term “repent” and the suggestion that Folau’s behaviour is homophobic. To risk bringing the concept of nuance and subtlety to a nation not previously known for its philosophers and intellectuals, could we suggest that there’s actually no proof that Folau is homophobic?

Sure, he’s stated that homosexuals are on their way to hell, but that’s simply repeating a view endorsed by, among others, the Catholic Church, most Anglican denominations and Islam. So, it’s a view shared wholly or at least partially by almost 5 billion people, i.e. more than half of humanity.

It’s worth noting that he’s never stated that he hates homosexuals or that he believes they are deserving of eternal damnation, just that his understanding of scripture suggests that’s where they’re heading.

Again, a subtle point but we do need to try to pull the conversation back to what was said, not what we think was in the mind of the speaker. None of us are mind-readers.

As for Fitzsimon’s call for Folau to repent, it’s not clear what form this would take for it to be acceptable. An apology for breaking the terms of his contract of employment doesn’t seem like it would satisfy Peter. By the use of the verb, repent, he seems to be suggesting a change of opinion is the only acceptable way to seek forgiveness.

In other words, he needs Folau to stop believing something that he, presumably, holds as true as part of the core teaching of his faith.

Bill’s Opinion

I don’t want to know what sports people’s beliefs are on matters of religious doctrine. I really just don’t give a fuck. I don’t share Israel Folau’s views on this or many other philosophical areas of discourse. I do like the way he can catch a ball, sprint and side-step, however.

I also don’t want the world I live in to be one where bandana-wearing columnists get to call for the termination of someone’s employment for having the wrong faith.

There is much whataboutery we could invoke at this point. For example, we could ask for just a single example where Fitzsimons has defended anyone with an opposing opinion to his to hold that opinion without being hounded off social media, out of their employment or other similar consequences.

The easiest job in the world is to defend someone’s right to believe the same things as you.