Category Archives: Politics

Tony Abbott threatens to shirtfront Vladimir Putin

Sometimes I wonder if Tony Abbott will ever stop giving me material. Usually several times a week, word vomit escapes his face hole and it’s so stupid, self serving and/or downright evil the collective face palm in Australia can be heard around the world.

This week, as his mental and emotional growth clearly never progressed beyond early high school, Abbott decided to use some school yard bluster because apparently actual international diplomacy is too hard for him. As is basic English as well, it seems.

Oh, and what does “shirt front” actually mean? Here’s one interpretation.

Leave a comment

Filed under Politics

Ban the Burqa!

Looking at the “debate” happening in Australia around head coverings worn by Muslim woman I am filled with disgust by the rampant bigotry but I’m also confounded. First I’m confounded by people who assert this is about freedom for women. Then to prove how much freedom women deserve, they want to pass laws telling women what they can and can’t wear. Second, I’m confounded by the number of people who have very loud views on the topic and yet clearly have not spoken to Muslim women on the topic.
In cases where men are forcing women and girls to wear the niqab or burqa with physical, psychological or financial threats, legal action should definitely be taken. I’m not naïve enough to think this doesn’t happen but in these cases any legal action should NOT be against the women, it should be against the men. You don’t need any new laws to do this, enforcement of existing domestic violence laws is more than enough. But if you think there are women who don’t wear some form of head covering through personal choice you’re either wilfully ignorant or using the issue as an extremely obvious cover for your bigotry.
And another thing: if you want to take steps to stop women being forced to wear a niqab or burqa you need to go the whole way. If you’re not going to get behind the provision of financial support to help women to escape abusive situations then you need to shut the fuck up. You can’t upend someone’s life then abandon them. If you think you can go “ban the burqa” then dust off your hands and walk away then you’re either truly stupid or truly evil. Probably both.
One of the first things I learned when I started blogging was I had a lot of preconceived ideas about Muslim women that did not hold up particularly well once exposed to actual Muslim women. These were the typical bleeding heart lefty ideas that Muslimas were oppressed, not allowed access to education and scared to express themselves.
By coincidence, several of the blogs I found while starting my own were written my Muslimas. One was in Australia, one in Indonesia, one in the UK and two in the USA. They were very different people but a common thread was they were intelligent, funny and very independent. (Brief aside – I know presenting that as if it’s a revelation is condescending. That’s the point. I’m admitting to my ignorance and bias.) They were also very serious about religion; they read scripture, they believed in the magic man in the sky. There was no “I was born into a Muslim family/culture but I don’t really take it seriously.”
I didn’t consider myself prejudiced towards Muslims but regular interaction with actual Muslims opened my eyes to how many assumptions I was making. This is not a “white saviour reveals Muslims are just like us” moment, none of these women wanted or needed me to save them. They were just fine without me. But a bit of self-awareness never goes astray.
Not everyone saying “ban the burqa” is as stupid as Jacqui Lambie or as evil as Cory Bernardi but if you think banning a clothing item will improve the world, you’re truly ignorant.

5 Comments

Filed under Politics, religion

Great moments in stupid

I’d long wondered how ridiculous things could with global warming deniers generally and idiots like Andrew Bolt specifically. This week showed that the answer is “fucking”. They can get fucking stupid.
This week, Bolt was shocked and appalled that the ABC hosted a panel of scientists who all agree that climate change is not just real but probably one of the most serious issues facing humanity. Bolt’s response was to let us all know, in his own words, he was an idiot.
 bolt
Thanks mate, we already knew. In his fevered paranoia, the concept of acknowledging that 97% of climate scientist agree on climate change is crazy. Listening to people who are actually qualified to assess the evidence is being blinded by credentials.
Fortunately, Andrew knows scientists! Personally! They aren’t climate scientists BUT THEY DO THE SCIENCE! And they agree with him that it’s all rubbish. Wrap your head around that if you can. This self-proclaimed idiot says listening to experts in a field is crazy because that’s just credentials but his blatant lies should be listened to because he has a scientist who agrees! So moments after belittling the credentials of literally millions of scientists, he says the credentials of his singular scientist (who is credentialed in the WRONG field) should hold sway.
I’m sure Andrew is happy to have his dentistry done by a podiatrist as well. They’re both doctors after all. And are you seriously trying to tell me feet and teeth aren’t both part of the human body? How could someone who specialises in feet possibly be unqualified to make judgements on teeth? You’re being blinded by credentials. This is the cognitive dissonance climate change deniers must deal with every day – asserting that an easily provable lie is actually the truth. It must hurt.
The latest assessment by scientists qualified in the field of climate science is there is less than 1 chance in 100,000 that global average temperatures over the last 60 years would have been as high without human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. However, despite the near-unanimous scientific consensus solidly supported by evidence that humans are causing climate change, Bolt’s worldview is that this is nothing but empty credentials. But if you can find a single individual who discounts this science and all of the evidence that supports it, that is “facts”. I hope you feel better now.
Another stunning entry into the annals of stupid came from the Courier Mail this week. All of the Murdoch rags decided to run disgustingly adoring front page pieces on Scott Morrison and his vile policy against asylum seekers. This act alone was an abomination (but normal for the scum tabloids) but The Mail elevated it to the profoundly clueless by photoshopping Morrison into George Bush’s place when he stood on the deck of an aircraft carrier with a “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED” banner behind him. Here is the danger of slavishly parroting propaganda: you start to believe it and forget that you are actually propagating lies and you forget when your previous propaganda has been conclusively proven wrong.
mission
When Bush stood in front of that banner, 139 US troops had been killed. More than 4,000 would die after he stood there. Nobody cares about the brown people but somewhere north of 500,000 Iraqis would die after this mission was “accomplished”. This image of Bush has come to be directly associated with failure and the hubris of ideologically driven fools who declare success only to create unspeakable horror afterwards. And the clowns at the Mail are apparently unaware of this.
On its own, the image would have been disgusting, like the one used by the Daily Telegraph in Sydney. But they have magically managed to meld the utterly repulsive with the truly stupid. Trying to drag Australia down past the gutters and into the sewers? Mission accomplished!

Leave a comment

Filed under Politics

Quokkas are unfair to white men

There are a lot of problems in the world but thankfully, a men’s Rights Activist has alerted me to the worst problem of all: quokkas being unfair to straight white men. This is a quokka.
quokka
Do you see the way it smiles? That’s because it’s so glad it’s destroying the privilege of white men.
This came to light after Palmer United Party senator Jacqui Lambie suggested 3% of senate seats should be reserved for indigenous Australians so they can be assured of proportional representation in the lawmaking process. It turns out quokkas are behind this and I find the idea of these smug marsupials controlling our legislative bodies to be totally unacceptable.
A particularly insightful letter to the editor in a Murdoch paper pointed out if you followed this nefarious quokka plan to its logical conclusion you’d have to acknowledge that considering about half the population are women, about half the people representing the population should be women as well. That sounds all well and good but no quokka is going to tell me what to do.
quota
To quote from the letter… oh, wait. He meant quotas. Quotas are unfair. I got confused between quotas and quokkas. I thought he was concerned about oversized grinning rats but he is literally saying that if white men were only represented proportionally in public life rather than utterly dominating it and actively excluding anybody who isn’t white and male like they have for centuries that would be wrong. Hmmmmm.
My quokka argument makes more sense.

Leave a comment

Filed under Politics

Palmer United Party – good thing or bad thing?

Clive Palmer appears to have surprised some people by doing exactly what he intended to do all along. I’m more than a little confused by people who express any sort of surprise or disappointment in Palmer United Party getting rid of the carbon price and/or the mining tax. Personally I think these actions are both mistakes but they were pretty much core promises from PUP in the lead up to the last federal election. If they hadn’t gone through with them that would have been a pretty major broken election promise.
Palmer’s decision to mess around with Abbott for shits and giggles has been funny to see but it was never anything more than a sideshow. On those major policy points PUP was always going to give the LNP coalition what they wanted. Palmer just decided to bend Abbott over, repeatedly thwack his arse and make him say “Thank you sir, may I have another?” each time. And if this government is going to destroy the lives and futures of the majority of the country, we at least deserve some entertainment to go with it.
Clive’s a “character”. Which is to say that virtually everything he says and does publicly is scripted as opposed to being the real him. Some of his PUP cohorts however, seem far more interesting. Jacqui Lambie is someone I’d like an opportunity to talk to and see how open she is to exploring issues. She seems to fancy herself as “down to earth” and I have no reason to suspect she’s anything but the ordinary person she projects. I feel inclined to defend her a bit when people call her a bogan because (a) I grew up in the country and (b) I’m more than a little disturbed when people who consider themselves progressive use classist insults.
It’s perfectly possible Lambie is a horrible regressive bigoted person and I wouldn’t like her. I don’t know her so I have no idea what she is really like. While her discussing her preference for big dicks on a radio station was less than edifying, I don’t think that episode means something should be done to change her behaviour. I’d much prefer it if something was done about the absolute dreck pumped out by commercial radio stations. The most interesting thing to me about her is she’s recently been speaking out about Palmer acting like an idiot.
When Palmer was supposed to tip a bucket of water over Lambie on a TV show called The Project (as part of the ubiquitous Ice Bucket Challenge) he saw a second bucket and apparently thought they were going to spring a surprise on him and challenge him to have the same done to him. He took exception to this and stormed off and has honestly looked a complete tool whenever he has been asked to explain his reaction. Lambie’s simple response of “Welcome to my world” seems rather telling.
More than once Lambie has publicly said she wishes Palmer would be less of a clown which seems like quite a promising sign. She essentially relied on Palmer’s profile and bankroll to get elected but doesn’t seem bothered about speaking out and criticising his poor behaviour when she thinks it’s warranted. It’s far too early to see what sort of lasting impact (if any) PUP will have on Australian politics. But they seem to not like Abbott and take some delight in torturing him and that’s enough for now.

Leave a comment

Filed under Politics

Cardinal George Pell is a trucking terrible person

 

A late entry and the outright winner for arsehole of the week is without doubt Cardinal George Pell. While appearing (via video link) at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse he said blaming the catholic church for the widespread child abuse committed by priests was like blaming a trucking company if one of their drivers did it.

 

Well George, let me make a few points. First, you truly are a disgusting pile of festering excrement. I mean it. You are absolutely disgusting.

 

Now to your trucking company analogy. It’s impossible to tell if you’re deliberately lying and distorting the truth or if you’re so deeply evil that you genuinely don’t recognise your own culpability and that of the wider church hierarchy. If you want your analogy to be a little more accurate it would have to be a trucking company that is specifically responsible for the well-being of the children abused by its drivers and when the company discovers the widespread abuse being perpetrated by many of their drivers they actively suppress the truth and instead of punishing the drivers they send them to drive trucks in a different city where nobody knows them but they’re still responsible for protecting children but they abuse children again and you repeat this cycle for decades without ever accepting responsibility for the abuse that wouldn’t have been possible without your direct actions.

 

And that is why so many people are utterly disgusted with you. You presided over this abuse for decades and have repeatedly shown more interest in protecting the reputation of the church over protecting children being abused by priests. And that continues right to this day. The clear refusal to accept responsibility is unacceptable and hopefully the royal commission will finally call Pell and his cohorts to account.

 

It’s obvious how deeply in denial Pell is, so much so that he went on to make statements that may well come back to haunt him. Many people are rightly outraged by the callous trucking company analogy but right after this his statements included “If in fact the authority figure has been remiss through bad preparation, bad procedures or been warned and done nothing or [done something] insufficient, then certainly the church official would be responsible.” I’m pretty sure that’s exactly the point a lot of people are making. That’s why there’s a royal commission – because of the appalling reaction of the catholic church and others to decades of abuse.

 

And when I look at Pell’s comments about a trucking company I can’t work out exactly how he would come to say something so terrible. Surely he would have prepared for something as serious as appearing before a Royal Commission? Surely the church takes it seriously enough to prepare? How awful would a group of people have to be to think making the trucker analogy was a good thing? How did that go? You as an organisation have been exposed for sheltering child abusers for decades, protecting them and your reputation over the children in your care, you’ve repeatedly attacked victims and their families instead of supporting them. And somehow you are so completely lacking in empathy you decide a completely ridiculous, insensitive and inaccurate analogy is the best way for you to refuse to accept responsibility for your appalling failings.

 

PELL: OK, what should I say to the Royal Commission?

 

ADVISOR: How about “It wasn’t us, it was some random truck driver that did all that kiddie fiddling”?

 

PELL: I don’t think anyone will go for that but you’ve given me an idea. I’ll use an analogy.

 

ADVISOR: Wow, that sounds insightful. How does an analogy work?

 

PELL: I don’t say truck drivers committed all the abuse that catholic priests are responsible for but I say blaming the church itself for the priests committing abuse is like holding a trucking company responsible for individual truck drivers who assault people.

 

ADVISOR: And the fact that any responsible trucking company that knew it had drivers committing that sort of abuse would sack the drivers, turn them over to the police and do everything in their power to support and compensate the victims doesn’t undermine your point at all?

 

PELL: I don’t think so. The public’s anger at rampant abuse within the church has be growing for years but I think all we’ve needed to do all this time is to use a gratuitously insulting and inaccurate analogy to say we refuse to accept any responsibility.

 

ADVISOR: Well I can’t see any flaw in that plan but then again I couldn’t see any flaw in the plan to protect priests who were known child abusers.

 

PELL: When you consider how ridiculous the whole magic man in the sky thing is, it should be a doddle to get the suckers to believe the church isn’t to blame for the abuse.

 

ADVISOR: I am so glad none of that stuff we tell them is true, otherwise we’d be going straight to hell.

 

PELL: Word.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Politics, religion

Joe Hockey – out of touch and obnoxious

 

Looking at the constant flailing of Joe Hockey presents one of life’s big question: is he clueless or is he simply a total arsehole? Either he is inflicting his brutally cruel policies without realising the damage he’s doing or he truly despises the most disadvantaged people in Australia. Either he doesn’t realise how clueless and privileged his ridiculous comments make him seem or he actually hates the people they are directed at.
 
Let’s have a look at his efforts. First and foremost is his budget –brutal and needlessly cruel to those have least while giving bonuses to those who have most. He achieved the almost impossible – uniting disparate economists who all say the poor are hardest hit by this budget. Hockey starts by lying about there being a “budget emergency” in Australia then lies by saying his budget isn’t doing what it was obviously deliberately designed to do – hurt the poor and reward the rich.
 
The scary thing is he actually seems to believe his own lies. There’s an old propaganda trick that politicians and the media use – repeat a lie often enough and people start to think it’s the truth. It’s weird to see it work on the actual liar who has apparently forgotten that he’s lying. According to Hockey, the backlash against his budget isn’t because everyone sees how unfair it is, we simply don’t see what a good job he’s doing. Joe isn’t angry that we don’t see he’s doing what’s best for all of us, he’s just disappointed.
 
He’s followed up his budget brutality with a series of truly bizarre brain farts, each of which have made him seem more clueless and out of touch than the last. He’s really like a toddler who has had their toys taken away for misbehaving and can only respond with more tantrums. Out of the blue, one day he decides to take a swipe at renewable energy by saying the wind farm he drives past is ugly. Compared to what, Joe? An open cut mine? A coal-fired power plant? Your shrivelled and diseased soul? The combination of that comment being both stupid and unnecessary is truly mind boggling.
 
coal
 
He then says rich people are hurt most by his budget because high earners pay half of their income in tax. This statement is wrong on so many levels it’s embarrassing. A full explanation of why he’s wrong is here but the short version is it simply isn’t true. It annoys me that pretty much everyone glossed over the fact that high earners don’t pay high tax because they use accountants to game the system. Trust me, I earn quite a lot as an IT contractor and through accounting jiggery-pokery I (legally) pay about the same rate of tax as someone who earns about $60K.
 
Also, unless he’s suffered a traumatic brain injury he knew he was lying when he said it because the wrongness of his statement is absolutely basic. Apparently he thought the deal was still like it was before the election when the media was repeating his lies verbatim without challenging him with anything inconvenient like the truth. Poor Joe. It isn’t his fault everyone’s stopped believing his lies – he still believes them.
 
Then this week he says his plan to increase taxes on petrol hurt the rich more because they have more cars and drive more. He actually said “the poorest people either don’t have cars or actually don’t drive very far in many cases”. The first mind-boggling thing is he’s so out of touch that he thinks it’s a reasonable thing to say. Even if it was true that poorer people weren’t disproportionately affected by his policies (it isn’t true) anyone who wasn’t completely insulated from reality would have known such and obnoxious comment would only make him look more like a cigar chomping elitist. It’s so bad even Murdoch owned media are going after him.
 
hockey
 
The actual truth is that while the rich spend more on petrol in pure dollar terms, as a percentage of income it’s poorer household who spend more of their limited income on petrol. So by any reasonable definition, those least well off to start with are being punished hardest by Hockey’s policies yet again. It’s worse when you add in that many poorer people have far less options available because they are forced to live in perimeter suburbs or rural areas where there are limited jobs and limited public transport options. This essentially means many people need a car if they want to work which highlights both the wrongness and the obnoxiousness of Hockey’s statement.
 
This is yet another example of why I am so opposed to this government. It isn’t simply a case of differing ideologies and values (although I do disagree with them), it’s this air of entitlement, arrogance and how completely out of touch they are. Plus their endless lies and needless cruelty. They talk about the unemployed having a sense of entitlement while they hand of billions of dollars in benefits to their rich mates who helped them into power. No matter how many people point out they are wrong and they are hurting the most vulnerable they refuse to listen. Plus they’re a pack of absolute idiots who seem to be trying to outdo each other in some sort of insane competition to say the worst thing possible.
 
This government will go down in history as an absolute disaster. The next election can’t come soon enough.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Politics