Doing the Decent thing

Tom Decent seems to have decided to not selectively edit today;

GoFundMe’s fine print says the crowdfunding site cannot be used for “campaigns we deem, in our sole discretion, to be in support of, or for the legal defense of alleged crimes associated with hate, violence, harassment, bullying, discrimination, terrorism, or intolerance of any kind relating to race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation or sex.”

Here’s my take on his previous attempt to steer the narrative.

Bill’s Opinion

There was a time when journalists used to at least attempt to offer their work as being without bias. I recall a time when they would be referred to as “reporters”. That noun seems to be out of favour now.

It’s absolutely fine to be an “activist”, we all have causes we support, but it’s highly disingenuous to pretend to be a “journalist” at the same time.

Obsessive reporting

The Sydney Morning Herald isn’t coping well with the thought that Israel Folau might have even the slightest chance of winning his legal action against The Australian Rugby Union Rugby Australia.

Reporter Tom Decent and his editors are particularly piqued that quite a few people are putting their money behind Folau in a Go Fund Me campaign:

Hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations to controversial rugby union player Israel Folau will end up in the pockets of Rugby Australia if he loses a protracted legal battle against them.

Well, yes, that’s how legal cost allocation tends to work once cases have been decided.

Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle told Nine News last night she was surprised Folau, one of the highest paid athletes in Australian sport, would ask the general public for financial support.

Where “surprised” is a synonym for “shitting herself“.

“From our perspective [GoFundMe] is a place where sick children get support, so certainly it is not a strategy we thought was appropriate,” Ms Castle said. “They [donors] have seen what the money is going to be used for and they have to make their own decision.”

No, I’m pretty sure it isn’t just for sending bald kids to Orlando, with a huge range of causes from the deadly serious to the frivolous on there.

There’s top level categories for people asking for donations for their weddings and holidays and jokers asking for beer money. For example, I’ve recently been following the progress of a couple who are having a fabulous time circumnavigating in a small yacht who are being funded by donations on the page.

Once Folau’s GoFundMe page was activated just before midnight on Thursday, the money starting rolling in for the exiled Wallabies fullback who pleaded in a viral video for financial support to help stand up for religious freedom.

By 8pm yesterday, more than $410,000 had been sent his way as donors from all over the globe showed their support for an athlete prepared for the “fight of my life”.

That’s quite impressive, but don’t expect any back slapping from the media as it doesn’t fit their narrative. In fact….

However, questions have been raised about the wording of a disclaimer at the bottom of the fundraising page. It read: “In making this contribution I acknowledge that my contributions are made freely as a gift on the basis previously affirmed and that there will be no obligations on Israel Folau to do anything for me in recognition of the gift or to apply the funds in any particular way with respect to his legal action, and that I hold no expectation to receive anything in return for my contribution.”

A basic search of the other requests for donations would show that’s just standard for every request. In fact, every Go Fund Me campaign has the following default disclaimer as part of the platform’s terms and conditions:

All Donations are at your own risk. When you make a Donation through the Services, it is your responsibility to understand how your money will be used. GoFundMe is not responsible for any offers, promises, rewards or promotions made or offered by Charities, Campaigns or Campaign Organisers. We do not and cannot verify the information that Campaign Organisers supply, nor do we represent or guarantee that the Donations will be used in accordance with any fundraising purpose prescribed by a Campaign Organiser or Charity or in accordance with applicable laws.

It might be argued that, by putting the disclaimer on his page, Folau is being more open and honest than everyone else who prefers to let it languish behind a hyperlink.

Still, it’s nice of Tom Decent to draw everyone’s attention to this. Great public service there, Tom; Woodward and Bernstein will be proud of you.

When contacted by the Herald, a spokesperson for Folau declined to comment on the wording of the disclaimer or what the 30-year-old’s plans were if the money raised was surplus to his legal fees.

Frankly, if I were advising the Folau team, I’d suggest they treat any contact from the Sydney Morning Herald as one made in bad faith, based on all the bias they’ve already demonstrated.

Tom is lucky they still answer his calls to even say, “no comment” or something a little more robustly Anglo Saxon.

While it is expected Folau will use the cash for his upcoming challenge, the $3 million goal he set far exceeds the usual expectations for such a legal bill. One barrister labelled the price tag “outrageous”.

A barrister so brave that they didn’t want to be named? Surely there’s an opportunity for the shy and anonymous lawyer to get his/her/zher name out there to offer to under-bid the incumbent legal team?

RA chief executive Raelene Castle (right) said she was surprised one of the highest paid athletes in Australian sport would ask the public for financial support.

Well, if he’s being overpaid by so much, who’s fault is that Raelene?

Law Council of Australia president Arthur Moses warned that the thousands of individuals who donated anywhere from $5 to as much as $10,000 yesterday might not realise exactly where their money is going.

Again, it’s great that the public are being made aware of the Ts&Cs of the Go Fund Me website all of a sudden. Interesting that Moses wasn’t leading his people across the sea to safety for all other campaigns.

“The issue of crowdfunding and its application to litigation opens up a veritable can of worms for the legal profession and the courts,” Mr Moses said. “This an issue which the legal profession and the courts must grapple with if this practice continues to increase.

Hold the front page; “lawyer finds a problem to be solved by lawyers“.

“A security for costs order is an order that requires a litigant to deposit money into a secured account. This means that if the case is dismissed or the litigation fails, this money would be used to pay legal expenses of the opposing side.

“There are also questions around what occurs with remaining funds if the money is not used in its totality. Is it returned to those who donated or to the person who collected the funds?”

Yes, we’ve covered that already. Read the terms and conditions, Moses.

It’s a donation with no guarantee.

Yet knowing this, people have still freely donated half a million dollars already? That’s got to hurt.

There were also suggestions Folau’s GoFundMe advertisement breached the site’s rules, which states that users may not attempt to raise money for, “for the legal defence of … intolerance of any kind relating to race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender or gender identity, or serious disabilities or diseases”.

Suggestions from whom? The Sydney Morning Herald sportsdesk or someone more qualified in analysing the terms of service for a website?

Actually, this is a brilliant example of fake news. The clause partially quoted above is part of a list of inappropriate causes. Have a look at what Tom deliberately cut out and replaced with some dots:

8. campaigns we deem, at our sole discretion, to be in support of, or for the legal defence of alleged crimes associated with hate, violence, harassment, bullying, discrimination, terrorism or intolerance of any kind relating to race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender or gender identity or serious disabilities or diseases;

In other words it’s entirely at the website’s discretion and they are concerned with not getting involved in criminal cases, which this isn’t.

Selective editing, Tom? For shame, Tom Decent, for shame.

Bill’s Opinion

It doesn’t matter which side of the debate you support, there’s no excuse for deliberate selective editing to fraudulently bolster your side.

Also, whipping up a non-story about terms and conditions applicable to every campaign for donations as if they were unique to Folau is a clear form of journalistic fraud.

It must be quite a life burden to have a surname such as “Decent” to live up to.

UK judge performs a miracle

….by making us almost feel sympathy for a cyclist, even one who has recently moved to the south of France.

A yoga teacher who stepped into the road while looking at her mobile phone has won damages from the cyclist who struck her

A yoga teacher AND a cyclist collided?

Wasn’t there an option where they both could have lost? Perhaps taking out three vegans as collateral damage?

The cyclist does seem to have acted reasonably and taken steps to avoid hitting her over and above the usual ding-a-ling and “Hey! Watch out!”:

She “panicked” and tried to dodge back to a traffic island, but the cyclist, who had been travelling at between 10-15mph, swerved in the same direction and hit her.

Mr Hazeldean had come through a green traffic light, and had sounded a loud airhorn attached to his Specialized roadbike, as well as shouting, swerving and braking in a bid to avoid the pedestrian.

Seems entirely her fault.

However….

Judge Shanti Mauger, sitting at Central London County Court, said the cyclist was “a calm and reasonable road user” who was “courteous and mild-mannered”.

But she went on to find that Ms Brushett deserved a payout, saying Mr Hazeldean “owed a duty to other road users to drive with reasonable care and skill.” 

Which presumably means riding at a snail’s pace in case something interesting is trending on a pedestrian’s Facebook feed that morning?

It all seems a bit silly really. Roads are for vehicles, pavements are for pedestrians, and the rules when those two worlds need to meet are fairly well-established. If road users now need to assume every pedestrian is going to randomly leap out in front of them, we may have just found the secret of full employment as everyone with a vehicle hires a person to walk in front waving a red warning flag.

What about this judge, Shanti Mauger, what other cases has she ruled on recently?

How about a cleaner who received ten gees’ compensation for slipping whilst cleaning a kitchen that was dirty. No, seriously.

Can we find anything else in the public domain about this judge?

Oh, her actual name is Claire, her middle name is Shanti, and her recently-deceased Dad was a not so happy clappy yoga devotee.

Wait, what? Yoga???

Bill’s Opinion

I’m going out on a limb here but do you think that maybe Claire Shanti let her own personal feelings toward the stupid yoga teacher interfere with the requirement to provide unbiased judgement based on the facts presented and the legal precedent?

I’m no legal expert but I’d strongly suggest the cyclist might want to consider appealing the ruling.

Ommmmm. And breathe.

Offence trolling

The evil and cruel Israel Folau has been up to his old tricks of being mean to people again, like the awful Christian he is:

“Attack”.

Where and when was this “attack“?

Israel Folau has launched another attack on gay people and also criticised young people being allowed to change gender during a sermon at his Sydney church.

Right, so if you didn’t go to his church on that particular Sunday for that particular service, you wouldn’t have heard this recent “attack” then?

It’s so good of the media to give this egregious behaviour the wider publicity it deserves and otherwise wouldn’t have received. I’m sure gay and transgender people are extremely grateful for being offered this service.

What did the hateful Folau preach to his sheep this time?

The former rugby union star described homosexuality as a sin and claimed the devil was behind primary school children being allowed to decide if they wanted to change gender.

Ok, so in line with the teachings of Christianity, Islam and Judaism then, or, in other words, what about two thirds of the world’s population believes?

Not exactly flat earth dogma, is it?

The statements that homosexuality is a sin and the devil is behind primary school age children “transitioning” genders are presented as being equivalent in their logic and level of outrage.

Perhaps we might not agree Lucifer’s hand is to be found behind “Mermaids“, but it doesn’t mean encouraging the proliferation of transgender children is biologically or morally correct either.

Here’s a fun thought experiment;

You’ve got tickets to see the last ever Rolling Stones’ concert and your babysitter just cancelled. It’s too late to ask any friends or family but both sets of neighbours have said they would help out. Do you ask the Folaus or the Salkilds?

By the way, a quick stalk through Emma’s social media suggests she’s pulled back a little on the “my son is a girl” bullshit and, in fact seems to have completely ceased from boasting mentioning it. Almost as if, I dunno, it was a phase she projected on the poor fucker. One assumes the lad and his dad are somewhat relieved no genitals were mutilated in the meanwhile.

Bills Opinion

It’s obvious that Israel Folau has been found guilty of wrongthink and, from now on, will be subject to this type of offence trolling.

Literally nobody would have known about the content of his sermon last weekend if the media hadn’t sought it out and presented it to the world. I’ve not been to Folau’s church but I suspect it doesn’t meet in a football stadium.

If a gay or transgender person is feeling any negative emotions today as a result of reading the reporting of his sermon, who is to blame?

Folau is being consistent to his beliefs. These beliefs are shared by billions of other people. If you agree he should be hounded out of his employment and to continue to be subject to scrutiny over the details of his religion, perhaps you should also consider where this leads and who the spotlight shines on next.

(We tried to contact Peter Fitzsimons for comment but he was unavailable)

Giving no quarter

This is a curious little report.

The United States has rejected more than 300 refugees under the Australia-US refugee deal, leaving the men in Australia’s offshore processing centres on Manus Island and Nauru.

That’s fair enough; I suppose, their borders, their border entry requirements.

What sort of percentage of these previously slam dunk new American residents were rejected?

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said the target of resettling 1250 refugees was not going to be met, hampering the Coalition’s goal of closing down the detention centres.

Crikey, that’s nearly a 25% rejection rate.

“I don’t think we’ll get there,” he said. “There’s been over 300 that have been rejected by the United States for various reasons. They will make decisions about who they will bring under their migration program.”

Various reasons“.

Any chance we, the taxpayer who funds these rejected applicants, could learn what those reasons might be?

Mr Dutton said there were 95 people who have either withdrawn from consideration or rejected an offer, 295 who were in the pipeline for approval and 531 who had been re-settled.

Withdrawn or rejected an offer of resettlement to the USA…. after an expensive and perilous journey across 2 continents and half an ocean followed by several years on an island in the middle of nowhere?

Is anyone else wondering why? A quick scan of the rest of the article would suggest that nobody else is interested in the details.

This is interesting though:

Under the deal, Australia would reportedly accept dozens of Central American refugees in exchange for those in the Australian offshore detention centres, but Mr Dutton said only two Rwandans accused of mass murder by the US had been re-settled in Australia. 

The pair were taken to the US more than a decade ago and charged with murdering eight people in a brutal 1999 machete attack in Uganda.

Wait, what?

“We don’t have plans to bring any others from America at this stage,” Mr Dutton told ABC’s Insiders on Sunday.

Oh, that’s ok then. Just the two accused of genocide then. Could someone please let me know what postcode they were relocated to?

He said the historical perspective and circumstances of the allegations needed to be taken into account as well as what has happened in the intervening period.

What does that even mean, do we think?

Because Australia doesn’t have many Tutsi these two accused murderers are not so likely to repeat their actions?

Or, over time, a mass murder event becomes less serious?

If you’re confused by Dutton’s statement, you’re not alone.

“That’s a different situation from someone who just sexually assaulted a girl on Manus in the last 12 months,” he said.”We aren’t bringing in people posing a risk.”

Excuse me if I’m unconvinced by that word salad.

In fact, I’m sure I read something similar from the Argentinian authorities in 1960 after Albert Eichman was captured.

Mr Dutton said the Australian Federal Police, Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and international partners would continue to vet asylum seekers and Australians returning from war-zones in Syria.

“They’re complex cases. We’ll look at them compassionately but realistically,” he said.

Right, but back to the arrangement with the USA; it would seem something came up in their vetting that didn’t in ours. Comparatively quickly too, given that these asylum seekers were on Nauru and Manus, under Australian Federal care for 4 or 5 years.

There’s more from Mr. Dutton:

“If we’re bringing teenagers back, for example, who may have been listening to the propaganda rhetoric, having watched horrific circumstances, bodies being mutilated, over a long period of time, what threat those individuals may pose to our country if they’re returned”

What, as opposed to two people accused of doing the killing?

Anyway, these two potential mass murderers aside, what about the nearly 25% rejected applicants? Why might the USA quickly deem them to be not the type of person to be admitted to their country?

Here’s another data point you might not be aware of or have forgotten, certainly the news report seems to have omitted it; the deal wasn’t contingent on the applicants being genuine asylum seekers under the UN definition, they only had to pass a basic safety vetting.

Bill’s Opinion

Why might someone sitting for years on Nauru or Manus withdraw from a chance to be relocated in America?

The Guardian suggests it’s because America is horrid to Muslims, because that’s what several of the asylum seekers told them. More horrid than half a decade on an isolated Pacific Island?

We seem to be missing quite a lot of relevant information here.

Why would the USA be able to determine someone isn’t suitable to be relocated in their country when Australia has been happy to keep that person housed, fed and Xbox’d to their heart’s content for years?

Again, we seem to be missing quite a lot of relevant information.

Incentives matter. The urgency to investigate and adjudicate on an asylum seeker’s case when they are living outside of the country to which they are applying is not as great as when they are potentially about to arrive on your shores.

As for withdrawing an apparently slam dunk application to America because of “Islamophobia“? Our razor suggests that’s unlikely to be the real reason; an explanation requiring fewer assumptions to be correct is that there is something in one’s past that, if or perhaps when discovered by the American authorities, would require you to answer a bunch of difficult questions.

We couldn’t car less

Uber will be launching a flying car service, with Melbourne, Australia, chosen as the first trial location.

Wow! We really are living in the age of the Jetsons.

Imagine the convenience of being able to step out of one’s office, hail a taxi and then sit back in luxury as its electric-powered motors glide you up noiselessly and smoothly up in the air to your destination anywhere in the city under the control of the auto pilot.

Ok, you won’t be able to hail it from your office, you’ll have to got to a designated helipad.

Ok, you can’t go exactly anywhere, it’ll just be to the main airport and back.

Ok, it won’t be powered by electric batteries but aviation fuel.

And they’ll be an expensively-trained and qualified pilot at the controls.

But it definitely flies!

All right, as you were people: Uber has bought a helicopter and are entering the executive city to airport transfer market. We haven’t just stepped in to an episode of Buck Rogers after all.

What is it about using the word “car” as a suffix that makes us suspend our normal analytical skills?

Other examples include electric cars, i.e. coal-fired cars, unless the national grid has gone 100% renewable, and self-driving cars, which have about as much chance of being approved today in most jurisdictions as single malt whisky would be if alcohol was a new drug and needed to apply for a licence

Yet here we are, with gushing news articles telling us about the revolutionary future we are entering because, I dunno, boats amphibious cars have just been invented or some such drivel.

Bill’s Opinion

The only revolution that will make any tangible dent in the current economics of public or private transport is the realisation of the autonomous vehicle dream.

Every other potential change involves the same quantum of input costs as the current version. Flying “cars” that still need a qualified pilot are going to be affordable to exactly the same people who currently use helicopters.

A car that uses battery power still requires the same amount of energy to overcome friction. Unless we’ve found a new source of energy, electric vehicles are simply an incremental change. And whatever we do, let’s not mention nuclear energy, by the way…. Green narratives need to be respected after all.

Autonomous vehicles, on the other hand, would remove the requirement for an expensive, error prone, wet computer in the driving seat.

Ironically, that’s the change we’re furthest from experiencing.

Great news for the global economy!

Kevin Rudd is predicting economic doom.

There are very few certainties in life beyond death and taxes but one can make a solid fortune by betting against any economic prediction offered by the former Australian Prime Minister.

No, not that former Prime Minister, or that one, or that one, or that one, or that one, this one just died, but this one who was fired from the job…..hilariously twice.

We can’t be certain that his woeful predictions are due to incompetence or whether he’s got the McGrath-Bouris merdeus touch (everything they touch turns to shit) of being able to pull suckers in to their scheme of handing over wealth.

After all, this is the Prime Minister who had such a poor understanding of basic supply and demand that he unintentionally opened up an entire murderous business opportunity for Indonesian people smugglers to sell unseaworthy end of life fishing boats to Africans make a perilous thousand mile journey.

He also oversaw the Australian response to the 2008 global financial crisis which, arguably postponed what could have been a minor domestic recession to something with the potential to be much worse in the near future. But hey, people got a new TV and some house insulation out of it.

Reading Rudd’s opinion piece today reminds us of the gaping intellectual hole that has been left in Australian political life by his quiet and statesmanlike retirement;

This time last month, I was having breakfast with a Chinese friend in Chengdu, the prosperous provincial capital of Sichuan, discussing the increasingly toxic US-China relationship.

Not just a friend, but a Chinese friend, because he’s Kevin Rudd, Mandarin-speaker extraordinaire.

As for the increasingly-toxic US-China relationship, relative to what? Pre-Nixon in China, days? The years immediately following Tiananmen Square?

Well, if things are toxic now, viva toxicity because the two countries are fairly deeply linked these days.

Rudd can’t help himself by chucking in a little bitterness at his opponents;

Mysteriously these also happened to be the headlines in every newspaper in China that day. I hadn’t seen such editorial discipline since Murdoch’s coverage of the Australian elections.

This is worth looking at in more detail for a quick diversion. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the NewsCorp (Murdoch) titles don’t attract as many eyes as the Sydney Morning Herald. And that’s before we count the various media outlets of the ABC, the Guardian, and most other media outlets landing to the left.

Frankly, any left of centre Prime Ministerial candidate who fails to win an election when the majority of the media is on their side ought to have a good long look at themselves in the mirror. Being a famous narcissist, Rudd looks in the mirror more than most, yet struggles with self-awareness.

Back to Rudd’s panic about the trade war…

His hypothesis is that China has reached the end of their patience and will not offer anything more in negotiations:

My prediction is that the Osaka G20 Summit will see a “reboot” to the negotiating process. And after Osaka, Trump will yield on the first two of China’s new red lines. And Xi will increase the quantum of the proposed Chinese purchasing agreement from China’s previous offer, although not by as much as Trump has demanded. That way, enough face will be saved all around.

Bill’s Opinion

Kevin Rudd knows a lot about China, he has a greater Mandarin vocabulary and speaks with a better dialect than anyone I know who isn’t ethnically Chinese.

His knowledge and understanding of negotiation, supply and demand and matters commercial have been demonstrated, at Australian taxpayers’ chagrin and expense, to be disastrous, however.

Fortunately, few of our failures cost lives. Unfortunately, Kevin Rudd’s poor grasp of basic human nature and economics has cost millions of dollars and hundreds of lives.

Maybe China will back down, maybe they won’t. It’s more likely they will though since Mr. Rudd is convinced otherwise.

The Australian 26th and 28th Prime Minister, brought to you by Dunning and Kruger.

Save the children…. from Oxfam

Oxfam are in the news for the wrong reasons again this week. An investigation by the UK’s Charity Commission has found there was an institutional cover-up of child abuse by Oxfam’s staff in Haiti.

On a lighter note, I still chuckle at Bill Bailey’s joke that Haiti is the evil 8th dwarf that Snow White doesn’t like to talk about.

The noisy outrage quite rightly generated by this root and branch moral failure by one of the world’s previously best-regarded charities risks drowning out two interesting questions;

1. What ratio of applicants for the foreign aid worker jobs apply because of the access to vulnerable kids versus those who discover latent kiddie-fiddling tendencies on arrival?
2. Are the charity’s incentives such that an institutional cover-up was always the most likely response to complaints?

My first question is facetiously-written but its underlying curiosity is serious; presumably there are going to be some applicants to a job located in a disaster zone who aren’t there for altruistic reasons or even reasons of simply needing employment, but because it’s a good opportunity to undertake behaviours that risk imprisonment and public censure back home.

I bet that percentage is a larger number than anyone would wish to acknowledge. It’s certainly not zero.

The second question brings us back to one of my favourite short reads, Steven Kerr’s “On the folly of rewarding A while expecting B”.

Incentives matter.

How are the executives and senior managers in Oxfam rewarded and for which behaviours do they receive negative consequences? If being open and honest about the validity of a serious complaint impacts the ability to raise funds, thereby impacting the future salary and bonus pool available to employees, is it really that shocking if issues are swept under the corporate carpet?

Bill’s Opinion

Oxfam is, like many charities, a fundraising organisation with an aid-distribution department attached.

No, really they are, I’m sorry if that statement seems inaccurate or bursts an illusion you were suffering from.

The fact that any charity exists for more than a few short years is proof of two things;

1. It was woeful at achieving its stated outcome through reasons of incompetence, and/or setting too high a target and/or public apathy, or
2. After achieving the stated outcome, the people drawing a salary from the charity didn’t fancy closing the operation down and getting another job elsewhere so expanded the charity’s scope.

Oxfam was created to send food to the Greeks who were starving after the Nazi occupation in World War II. At some point, the Greeks were fed and someone in a boardroom in Oxford said, “Right then chaps, job well done. Shall we close the operation down and head off to the pub or is there something else we should do with this large organisation we find ourselves in charge of?

Somewhere along that road the very existence of the organisation grew a perception of worth and quality beyond the life of the initial mission statement. Subsequent corruption and scandals were inevitable from then.

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.

Allah enjoys a cold beer too

On a hot day, a palate-cleansing cold beer can be quite refreshing. I don’t suppose that’s the explanation for this though;

Terrorists linked to Iran were caught stockpiling tonnes of explosive materials on the outskirts of London in a secret British bomb factory, The Daily Telegraph can reveal.

Radicals linked to Hizbollah, the Lebanese militant group, stashed thousands of disposable ice packs containing ammonium nitrate – a common ingredient in homemade bombs.

Hizbollah. The “party of Allah”.

Lovely people, I’m sure. It probably means nothing important that they have a picture of an AK47 on their offical flag.

In unrelated news, the great de-platforming and de-monetising of non-Left voices on social media continues, with Stephen Crowder being the latest to feel the wrath of the tech company censorship.

Meanwhile, this account is deemed fine;

Presumably Hasanein died of an excess of Photoshop?

Anyway, there’s always a silver lining in every cloud, his lad gets free haircuts until he’s 16 years old or when he’s fitted with his first suicide vest, whichever is sooner.

You do have to love the Lóréal sheet as a nice touch, “…because you’re worth it“.

Bill’s Opinion

Jokingly referring to someone who describes themselves as “queer” by that name 7 times over the course of a 12 month period is beyond the pale and will see you thrown down the memory hole.

Being a organisation that actively targets the only functioning democracy in the Middle East, waging wars and planning terrorist attacks, and chucking gays off buildings? All good, apparently.

How interesting.