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A bad year for the church but huge steps forward for the rest of us

The problem with religious people is not in what they choose to believe.  It is their insistence that everyone must abide by their beliefs.

For many of us, genuflecting to statues, chanting responses, burning incense and praying to some ethereal superior entity, is just as unfathomable as sacrificing virgins to the volcano gods.

We don’t need the threat of eternal damnation in order to be kind to other people and to lead good, productive lives.  We accept the responsibility and consequences of our own actions rather than absolving them by chanting over a string of beads.  The torture and murder of a man thousands of years ago has no bearing on the transgressions of today.

Yet every day, our parliament begins with words of obeisance to “Our Father”.

It was with absolute disgust that I heard the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney describe this year as an annus horribilis for the church.

“For people of faith you might say it’s been an annus horribilis, as our Christian conceptions of life and love have been challenged in the marriage and euthanasia debates; freedom of religion in Australia put in doubt; and shameful crimes and cover-ups in our Church uncovered by the royal commission.”

To even include marriage equality and euthanasia, two laws which have brought great relief to many people, in the same sentence as the rampant and systemic child sex abuse carried out and covered up by Catholic clergy is atrocious.

It seems nothing has changed since Fisher’s predecessor, George Pell, told his audience of World Youth Day delegates in 2002 that “abortion is a worse moral scandal than priests sexually abusing young people.”

No-one is suggesting that anyone be forced to have an abortion or to be euthanised or to marry someone of the same sex.  People just want control over their own lives.

But that is anathema to the church who want to dictate to everyone.

The ludicrous cries about unspecified threats to freedom of religion are no more than a dummy spit about the church losing its power to deny other people freedom of choice.

And, of course, a political tool for cynical opportunists like Scott Morrison who is trying to grab some of the recent limelight taken by Peter Dutton and Matthias Cormann.

“It all starts when you allow religious freedoms [to be eroded], mockery to be made of your faith or your religious festivals – it always starts innocently and it’s always said it is just a joke – just like most discrimination does.  And I’m just gonna call that out. With what I’ve seen happen in the last year, I’ve just taken the decision more recently, I’m just not going to put up with that any more, I don’t think my colleagues are either,” said the treasurer.

“Where I think people are being offensive to religion in this country – whichever religion that might be, but particularly the one I and many other Christians subscribe to  – well, we will just call it out and we will demand the same respect that people should provide to all religions.”

This from the man who, in 2011, urged the shadow cabinet to capitalise on the electorate’s growing concerns about “Muslim immigration”, “Muslims in Australia” and the “inability” of Muslim migrants to integrate.

When it comes to Section 18C of the racial discrimination act, Morrison’s party holds a very different view.

“Our duty is to govern for all Australians, and that includes mainstream Australians who feel that their right to free speech is being infringed by political correctness and the over zealous application of laws such as Section 18C,” said Inquiry Chair, MP Ian Goodenough.

“Mainstream Australians deserve the same rights as racial and ethnic minorities. It is important that the law does not promote reverse discrimination.”

But apparently the rights of the Christian church to discriminate and to ignore our laws must be protected and any criticism silenced.

It will be interesting to see how they try to justify this legal plurality whilst denying requests by Muslims to observe Sharia in family law matters


109 comments

  1. Jack Russell

    In a nutshell, Kaye.

    Seems they’re under pressure. Long overdue, and necessary.

    2000 years of organised predation is more than enough.

  2. Miriam English

    In those words above, I think the Archbishop made a little mistake in his wording. What he meant to say was, “For people of faith you might say it’s been an annus horribilis, as our Christian conceptions of hurting and hating people have been challenged in the marriage and euthanasia debates; freedom of religion in Australia put in doubt; and shameful crimes and cover-ups in our Church uncovered by the royal commission.”

    Also I couldn’t help noticing the final part of what he said is ambiguous. It sounds like he thinks it’s unfortunate that the church’s crimes were uncovered, that it would have been better if they’d been left secret. If he’d felt differently he would have considered the exposure of such sickness within the church a welcome thing because now they might fix it (yeah, right!), but of course they won’t. For him, this year, when these things are revealed, is seen as much worse than all the years when the church was hurting kids… ‘cos, they’re only children! What about his precious church? What a moron.

    Turns out religious “freedom” isn’t really about freedom at all. It’s about getting away with being horrible to people.
    https://thinkprogress.org/religious-freedom-discrimination-study-d0cc745b02c8/

    Goddamned organised religion. It is almost always a weeping, pus-filled sore in society’s side.

  3. Robert REYNOLDS

    Kaye, I agree emphatically with what you say in the first two-thirds or so of your article.

    There is much that I could add but suffice to say, I am just as strongly opposed to, for example, the use of “The Lord’s Prayer” in the Australian Parliament as I am to “requests by Muslims to observe Sharia in family law matters”.

    Any attempt to extend, or to consolidate, the influence or power of any religion should be strenuously opposed.

  4. Kaye Lee

    Miriam,

    I was struck by the same thing. It is the public shaming that they regret rather than the deeds they all knew about decades ago. How many lives lost or ruined because of their failure to take action to protect children in their care? The government sent the military into the Northern Territory on the basis of lies about pedophilia in the Aboriginal community yet the church is to be protected by that same government?

  5. John O'Callaghan

    A good article,and just on Scott Morrison who i think is the biggest hypocrite out of a party full of hypocrites,he and the Daily Telegraph destroyed a mans career,reputation and good name by spreading filthy lies about him and his family,and consequently losing his nomination, which Morrison then stole and won the seat.
    This country will keep on marching backwards unless we send these religious fanatics like Abbott Morrison Dutton Pell and their cronies packing~!

  6. Harry

    Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful”. Lucius Annaeus Seneca. Biography. Author Profession: Statesman. Nationality: Roman. Born: 5 BC.

    One has to doubt the sincerity of pollies like Morrison in the light of the above quote. Cynicism trumps sincerity.

  7. Aortic

    Fancier uniforms, bigger hats, taller crosiers and more pungent incense is the answer I think. Always the same, as soon as they are criticised in any shape or form the cry goes up ,” look we are being persecuted.” It’s not freedom of religion we need, it’s freedom from religion.

  8. Kronomex

    For the LNP the opening should read:

    Our Rupert who art in News Corp,
    Your bum we kiss.
    Hallowed be thy Jones,
    Give us this day, our daily Bolt.

    Feel free to add new lines.

  9. Glenn Barry

    Morrison’s fundamental flaw in this instance is believing that he represents anything which remotely resembles mainstream Australia
    At some point he has to realise with a sudden jolt, blinding flash of light and a throbbing headache that he’s an extremist and an extremely nasty, malicious and vindictive one at that…or does his delusion carry him all the way to the grave?

  10. Robert REYNOLDS

    My real problem with your opinion Kaye, is that you want us to be afraid of Catholics. I have real trouble being afraid of the family whose daughter I courted all those years ago and all the other Catholics that I have known and spent weekends and the summer together with. I have real trouble being afraid of my former cleaning lady and her sister who were both devout Catholics who were a huge help to me for many years. I have trouble being afraid of the Catholic girls who I taught at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Catholic College as a casual relief teacher for several years. I have trouble being afraid of Gustav Nossal, Tim Costello and Colleen Shirley Smith (Mum Shirl).

    They are just people and to try to make everyone suspicious of them because of the acts of a few criminals locally and overseas is terribly wrong and has very bad consequences. If you isolate and vilify and discriminate against a group of people it leads to resentment.

    Most readers will, most likely, not understand the underlying message here, but I am sure that you do Kaye!

    For anyone who is inquisitive enough to want to follow that cryptic comment up, then I invite you to read Kaye’s post dated December 19th, 2017 at 9.47 am from the link,

    http://theaimn.com/catholic-influence-politicians-great-detriment-education-system/

    What is good for the goose is good for the gander. Or, as they also say, what goes around, comes around.

  11. kathysutherland2013

    Though I think we shouldn’t make the mistake of tarring all Christians with the same brush. For example, Father Rod Bower, of the Anglican Parish of Gosford, embodies, to my mind, the qualities of a true Christian. For example, his posts on Facebook show concern for refugees, he campaigned for marriage equality. If more Christians showed such charity, the fake Christians (Morrison etc) wouldn’t have so much power.

  12. Kaye Lee

    No Robert. I will never understand your bigotry. As I have tried to point out to you many many times, unsuccessfully, I will fight for the right of others to believe what they please. What I object to is them trying to impose their beliefs on others. In Australia, it is the Christian churches who exert most influence over our politics and education which is why I mention them.

    I have never contended that we should be afraid of Catholics. Half of my family are practising Catholics and very decent people. My husband was an altar boy and went to a Catholic boarding school and he is one of the most honourable people I know. We all know that you think all Muslims are just waiting for an opportunity to behead us, that they all marry 8 year old girls, that they all genitally mutilate their daughters (as we genitally mutilate our sons), that all Muslim women are subjugated etc etc blah blah. You are consumed by irrational fear and I will not have the conversation with you again.

    kathy,

    Father Rod and I have crossed paths many times at various different protests and I agree with you. He is a man who truly cares about his fellow human beings no matter what their beliefs and who has the courage to speak out regardless of what the church hierarchy directs. His signs are an inspiration.

  13. Kronomex

    Robert,
    “My real problem with your opinion Kaye, is that you want us to be afraid of Catholics.” Where, exactly, does Kaye state in her piece about making us afraid of Catholics? You must be seeing and interpreting something that is not there. What you have said now seems to completely contradict your ealier view at 11:14 am. Which statement do you stand by?

  14. townsvilleblog

    Kaye, as is your way, you have absolutely nailed this subject, religious people it seems cannot take personal responsibility for their actions. Those of us who were raised with the correct values, to always tell the truth, to treat people the same regardless of race, colour or creed unless they prove unworthy of your respect. We must remember that religious fanatics are dangerous, we have seen that in Australia Christianity is merely a facade for paedophilia and Islam likewise, even though both/all religions have many good people who are kind and caring of others.

    The 2,558 people referred to the police by the Royal Commission into Institutionalized Child Abuse should be separated from our society for at least 20 years and when the outcry comes “how will we afford to keep them in prison for so long” my answer is to force the multibillion dollar multinational corporations pay a “fair share” of taxation on their huge incomes. Even if it is only 21% like trumps idea, that is 21% more than they currently pay, these people have forfeited their right to live among us by interfering with our children.

  15. Andreas Bimba

    I don’t care much for the rituals and dogma of organised religion but many of the core humanitarian values, the charitable work done and the creation of a community all have merit.

    Think of the small village with a church a few centuries ago. The act of going to church was a community activity that brought many people together and enabled collective benefits like keeping informed of events, providing a place for funerals and marriages, a place for social activities and even schools and medical clinics/hospitals before we expected the state to provide these things. The Priest and the church organisation performed many more roles rather than just the purely religious one.

    I agree the highly conservative Catholic Church hierarchy have in general failed their followers, they have betrayed the most important of human values and their own religious values. They must be purged from the senior leadership of the Catholic Church.

    The Protestants have instituted many worthy reforms and the Catholic Church must do the same. Compulsory celibacy and the prohibition of marriage for Priests must end. Women must be accepted into the Priesthood. Greater openess and enforcement of ethical and humane standards must be implemented.

    Such reforms should not be feared by the Catholic Church but be seen as an opportunity to partially compensate for the damage done and to progress rather than continue to stagnate or degenerate. Pope Francis is a great improvement on his predecessors but reforms must go even beyond what he probably would want.

    The Evangelicals also have a lot to answer for with their love of money, support of rich elites and general contempt for the less well off. Their role in the denial of global warming and denigration of science as well as promotion of creationism over evolution is criminal.

    Any church organisation that puts the Greens last on their how to vote cards can get fucked.

  16. Robert REYNOLDS

    “No Robert. I will never understand your bigotry.” Clearly Kaye, as usual, because I do not see the world through the same ‘rose-colored’ glasses that you use, I am a ‘bigot’. Likewise Kaye, I will never understand your inconsistency and double standards.

    Kaye, with respect to my alleged ‘bigotry’, my wife and I were overseas earlier this year traveling on a bus tour in Europe. Most of the other group were Americans. There was one American Muslim woman who, for the earlier part of the trip, kept much to herself. Later, some of us got to know her. She recently sent 5 of us (out of about 30) a ‘joyous holiday season’ greeting. I (not my wife – the Muslim woman had my wife’s email address too) was one of the recipients of that email. Funny about that , eh, Kaye. Funny that a ‘bigot’ like me should receive such an email. Something that is well beyond your capacity to comprehend.

    “What I object to is them trying to impose their beliefs on others.” What do you think groups such as ISIS and Al Qaeda are trying to achieve, Kaye? Strange that I cannot ever recall you criticizing them.

    No matter what atrocity is committed in the name of Islam, they always get a ‘free-pass’ with people like you. Well Kaye, you can depend on me to call out that hypocrisy and to do so in no uncertain terms.

    “…as we genitally mutilate our sons”. Is that meant to be some sort of black humor, Kaye? I was ‘genitally mutilated’ as a child and I thank my parents for taking that decision. Let me explain to you Kaye, the reasons for circumcision of males in western countries is (and I know that you will find this difficult to grasp but I will try anyhow) somewhat different from the motives for this barbaric practice that is carried out by backward people in backward societies on young females.

  17. Michael Taylor

    No matter what atrocity is committed in the name of Islam, they always get a ‘free-pass’ with people like you.

    What an absolutely ridiculous and baseless comment.

    And Robert, please don’t respond to that with a 100,000 word dissertation.

  18. Robert REYNOLDS

    Kronomex, thank you for your post and the questions that you pose therein. It is precisely what I have been waiting for.

    First, you ask,

    “Where, exactly, does Kaye state in her piece about making us afraid of Catholics?”

    The answer to that question is that of course she is not attempting to make us afraid of your average Catholic any more than I am attempting to make people afraid of your average Muslim. Yet, Kronomex, Kaye and one or two others accuse me remorselessly of attempting to achieve the latter when my criticisms of Islam are, in essence, little different to Kaye’s criticisms of the Catholic Church. I am trying to demonstrate the double standards by which Kaye clearly operates. If you have not been following this rather acrimonious debate between Kaye and I and a few others, then that may still not be totally clear to you.

    “What you have said now seems to completely contradict your ealier view at 11:14 am. Which statement do you stand by?”

    You are absolutely ‘dead-right’ with that comment, Kronomex. Let me say that I totally and unreservedly stand by the earlier comments that I made at 11.14 am. Should you require any further clarification of my views then you are most welcome to seek them.

    Thanks again for your post.

  19. Kaye Lee

    Andreas,

    I agree. I really enjoyed many parts of my religious youth. I loved the stories and I still love belting out a rousing hymn (if I ignore the words). I loved going to fellowship and youth camps and playing the piano on visits to nursing homes and playing with the kids when we visited homes for disabled children. I loved helping my friend ring the bells for church. I still get involved when the church asks us to donate items to send to those less fortunate. The church is a great place for the community to get together and to help each other.

    But as I got older, I really grew to find the “worship” side of things truly repellant. I got angry about the great accumulated wealth of the church when so many people suffer such crippling poverty. I could not understand the intolerance towards other religions. I became more aware of the misogyny and homophobia. They pushed me away.

  20. Robert REYNOLDS

    Mike your question is easy to respond to using only very few sentences.

    Kaye has written a number of scathing articles on the Catholic Church and its behavior, especially with respect to the child abuse scandals. I find that I am in total agreement with what she says. When I read her comments I am often thinking along the lines, “it is so good that someone like Kaye has the gumption to say these things”.

    But, (and here is the ‘rub’ Mike) whenever I offer some well supported criticism of Islam I am described as a ‘bigot’, etc. That is why I made the ‘free-pass’ comment. And I stand by it!

    Mike can you please give me a link to an article (any article) written by Kaye where the general tenor of the article is critical of at least some aspect of “The Religion of Peace”?

    I look forward to receiving your reply.

  21. Kaye Lee

    Robert, you, as always.completely misrepresent what I have said which is that the threat from terrorism in Australia is miniscule in comparison to our real problems. You assert that Islam threatens the very fabric of Western civilisation. You continually refer to atrocities committed elsewhere. You attribute practices that we find abhorrent to Islam rather than recognising they are cultural issues rather than religious. And your little anecdotes about having said once said g’day to a Muslim do not change the thrust of your words.

    I knew after your first comment that you would not be able to contain yourself from, yet again, making this a place to push your hatred and fear. And you wonder why you get banned from sites less tolerant than this one. I will not allow you to take over yet another thread with your Muslim bashing. Usually I enjoy the conversation developing through the comments made by our astute readers but, in your case, my patience has run out. Confine your comments to the topic of the article or have them removed. I am sure you will find fellow travellers on Pauline Hanson’s or George Christensen’s facebook pages. Go knock yourself out, but you ain’t doing it on my articles.

  22. Kyran

    “It is their insistence that everyone must abide by their beliefs.”
    You have to wonder how they will continue to reconcile their beliefs with their insistence on ignoring them.
    The situation in Myanmar is a disgrace, yet the leader of the Catholic Church didn’t raise it when he was there. But that’s ok, it was the Niemöller defence. He was, apparently, fearful of retribution against the 6% Christian population. How will our Christian government go on that one?
    “The Australian Government has resisted calls to sanction Myanmar’s military for its ethnic cleansing campaign against Rohingya Muslims.
    This makes some Australians wonder: At what point do soldiers who kill and rape hundreds of men, women and children cross a red line?”

    “In the face of these atrocities and denials, unequivocal action from concerned countries is needed. That means targeted sanctions against those responsible, including senior military commanders in charge of the ethnic cleansing campaign, to prevent them from traveling to countries like Australia, and freezing any assets that they may have here. Australia should also suspend all military cooperation with Myanmar. The US and UK have already moved in this direction.
    Australia’s defence engagement with Myanmar is not enormous. According to Senate estimates, $398,000 was allocated to defence cooperation with Myanmar this fiscal year covering humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and peacekeeping and English-language training.”

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-27/australia-blind-eye-burma-myanmar-military-ethnic-cleansing/9286064

    Will Morrison save the Australian budget $400k and assuage his Christian sensibilities? Or there is the business of the RC. From the link imbedded in Ms Wilson’s recent article;
    “The Federal Government has tabled a bill that would entitle victims of child sexual abuse in Commonwealth and Territory institutions up to $150,000 in compensation, but it excludes victims who have served time in jail.”

    “Social Services Minister Christian Porter said it was an agonising decision to exclude sexual abuse survivors, but the Government had to set boundaries.
    “No-one disputes what the royal commission said, which is that many times people who were the victims and survivors of abuse as a child can often go on, because of those terrible circumstances, to themselves commit wrongs in their life but a view was taken and it was not an easy decision to make,” he said.
    He said the Government had taken “deep consultations” with the attorneys-general for each of the jurisdictions involved before making the decision to exclude those victims.”

    https://theaimn.com/turnbulls-skewed-moral-universe-good-survivors-get-recognition/

    Now that Christian (?) Porter is AG, he gets to enforce this obscene provision, and the even more obscene ‘cap’ on the scheme. All, presumably with Morrison’s support. As Treasurer, Morrison could insist on full reimbursement by these churches (ie remove the ‘opt in’ clause), remove the ‘cap’, remove any disqualification of those entitled to recompense and still be in furious agreement with his Christian principles.
    Morrison. So concerned with the rights of religious freedom, he abstained from voting on the Marriage Equality bill. A man of resounding conviction, he sat on the fence.
    The reference to abortion is one that clearly causes conflict in the hearts and minds of our Christian leaders. Does their God dictate how they will administer the law, or their constituents? This is an issue still left up to the states, even though it is partially funded through Medicare. Several states still have it on their criminal codes.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_Australia

    Queensland is in the process of addressing it one more time.

    “What is the current status of abortion in Queensland?
    Abortion is still a crime in Queensland.
    This doesn’t mean abortions don’t happen there, as the procedure is lawful to “prevent serious danger to the woman’s physical or mental health”.”

    https://www.buzzfeed.com/ginarushton/queensland-wants-to-hear-your-thoughts-on-whether-abortion

    It’s a good read. How does that impact at a Federal level? Will Morrison allow his Christian principles and the Federal Treasury to enforce state legislation through the withdrawal of Medicare in those states where it is still listed on the Criminal code? Or will he rise to the occasion and get Christian (?) Porter to mandate all states legalise and codify a uniform abortion bill. After all, a woman can’t be committing a criminal act just because of her geography can she?
    Once he’s done that, he can campaign for the rights of religious nutters to protest outside abortion clinics under 18C. And the rights of fair minded people to subject the nutters to the same abuse.
    The only one making a Mockery out of Morrison’s Christian beliefs is Morrison, by his consistently unChristian practices.
    Mr Reynolds, at the risk of invoking your ire, could I point out that the IRA were branded as a terrorist organisation back in the 70’s. In Ireland, they were often regarded as a criminal organisation. There is no doubt the gobshites hid behind their religion, Catholicism. Even though members of the clergy in both Ireland and America were routinely associated with the IRA, it was never incumbent on the Catholic church to apologise every time the gutless bastards committed another act of bastardry. Muslim clerics have issued fatwa’s against most extremist organisations purporting to act in the name of the religion. They have issued countless papers citing chapter and verse of the Quran in decrying these pathetic groups. The largest group of victims of these gutless bastards are Muslims.
    If you cannot accept those fundamental differences in the way the churches and their followers are treated, further discussion is really superfluous.
    Thank you Ms Lee and commenters. Take care

  23. Robert REYNOLDS

    Kaye, you accuse me of representing your comments. I nearly had a heart attack when I read that!

    Now that I have a little more knowledge about your background and upbringing Kaye I can better understand why you are ‘like you are’. Virtually all of the people who have had a Catholic upbringing have some sort of residual ‘issues’, whether they are lapsed, semi-lapsed or practicing. Growing up in a Catholic environment does not only put one at risk of sexual and physical abuse, the psychological abuse due to the brainwashing and indoctrination are a potent case in point.

    My experience is that many such people are more deserving of pity rather than condemnation.

    What I cannot and will not do Kaye, is to cease exposing your ‘inconsistencies’. The comments that you make in your first paragraph indicate to me that you have missed your vocation. Clearly you should have gone into politics. Perhaps there is still time.

    There you go Kaye, you can always interpret my comments as being ‘off-topic’ and you can delete them. Once a Catholic, always a Catholic.

  24. Kaye Lee

    I am not Catholic. Yet again, your assumptions and conclusions are completely baseless.

  25. Michael Taylor

    Jesus H Christ, Robert. Give it a break.

  26. Jack Russell

    I’ll say it.

    Robert REYNOLDS, you are a bastard, a pompous, shit-for-brains, relentless verbal bully.

    Piss off!

  27. Robert REYNOLDS

    Mike I always stand ready to sit down at the ‘peace table’. Unlike some others I am not a bitter and twisted person.

    You seem to read all the comments that pass through this site. If that is indeed the case, then you will be well aware of the fact that I have, on more than one occasion, put out some ‘peace feelers’ to Kaye. All I receive in response is silence or vitriol.

    Mike, I ask you in all honesty, how am I supposed to respond to comments such as,

    “Confine your comments to the topic of the article or have them removed. I am sure you will find fellow travellers on Pauline Hanson’s or George Christensen’s facebook pages. Go knock yourself out, but you ain’t doing it on my articles.”

    What Kaye is essentially saying here (whether she knows it or not, and with her, one can never be sure) is that “listen Robbie boy, you had better agree with me, at least in essence, or mate, your comments are going to be removed”. Those sorts of blatant threats may be democracy Catholic style (or Conversation or Guardian style) but I think that such an approach does not befit a quality site such as the AIM Network.

    Mike, I would never argue that comments made by Kaye, or indeed anyone else for that matter, be remover from this site. I see the AIM Network as providing a valuable forum for the frank, open and vigorous exchange of ideas and democracy. Sure, sometimes things get a little heated but what do you expect when these ‘hot-button’ issues are canvassed (or in the case of the excesses of Islam – not canvassed).

    In response to Kaye’s comment,

    ” I am sure you will find fellow travellers on Pauline Hanson’s or George Christensen’s facebook pages. Go knock yourself out, but you ain’t doing it on my articles.”

    I look at the likes of Pauline Hanson and George Christensen but regrettably, I fall foul of them too when the topic turns to economics. There are also far too many people who do not appeal to me in One Nation. My economic outlook is totally incompatible with these and other groups on the right.

    And when Kaye says, “you ain’t doing it on my articles”, I think that any reasonable person would be justified in thinking that Kaye is unable to accept anything other than the most mild disagreement with her views. My take on that is, that you should not get involved in an organization such as the AIM Network if you cannot accept some heavy duty criticism. God knows, I have received enough of it myself.

    By the way Mike, I noticed that you were unable to provide me with that link that I was asking you about. Now, why doesn’t that surprise me?

  28. Robert REYNOLDS

    Jack Russell, hang on, now that’s a dog isn’t it?

  29. Kronomex

    The only person here who seems to have issues with catholicism is you Robert apart from your barely veiled prejudices of islam as a whole. What are your views on John Paul II’s sickening apology and asking for forgiveness for 2,000 years of catholic hatred, murder, destruction, persection of women, and other atrocities committed in the name of christianity? I suppose that means little in the light of the nasty islamics?

    Feel free to reply then stuff a sock in it and find something else to go on about.

    “Jack Russell, that’s a dog isn’t it?” Now you’ve proved you are a scumbag who has to sink to snide petulant and frankly childish tantrum throwing.

  30. Kaye Lee

    Let me explain Robert. Disagree with me by all means. Criticise me as you see fit. But I will not tolerate racism, bigotry or discrimination. Capiche? I also will not allow you to, Harquebus-style, hijack every thread to your pet topic of Islamophobia.

    PS If I was you I would stop prodding the sleeping tiger. Michael is very tolerant, up to a point. Be thankful.

  31. Robert REYNOLDS

    Hi Knonomex, thank you for you invitation to reply. I am only too pleased to oblige.

    When you talk about. ” …..2,000 years of catholic hatred, murder, destruction, persection of women, and other atrocities committed in the name of christianity?” you will get no argument from me. But Knonomex, if my experience is any guide, whatever you do do not mention, under any circumstances whatsoever, even the most mild misbehavior by practitioners from “The Religion of Peace” or you will incur the wrath of the mob.

    Coming onto this site has been a real ‘education’ for me.

  32. Robert REYNOLDS

    Kaye, in response to your post at 3.57 pm. This is the problem. What you (and I believe incorrectly) interpret to be racism, bigotry or discrimination is not what I call racism, bigotry or discrimination.

    I find that it is not uncommon when those who generally reside at the more extreme end of the political spectrum do not like, not so much criticism, but more, an opposing view, then they start to denigrate the person making those opposing views as ‘this’ ‘that’ or the ‘other’ sort of intolerable fiend. I am totally aware of that tactic Kaye, and as you are aware I am somewhat immune to it. However, do not get me wrong Kaye, I am convinced that in your universe I am all of those things. But in my universe Kaye I am not and so it appears that in that regard, our differences are utterly irreconcilable. Capiche?

  33. Jon Chesterson

    But all this is not about God,
    not about nature, not even about woman.
    He who says God’s wrath for our wrongdoing,
    she who says nature versus man,
    that none shall break the human spirit,
    ours to whale and mine and plunder or not to,
    they speak with serpent’s breath.

    Not all that the church, synagogue and mosque teach us are bad, in fact it is the loss of the spiritual, moral kinder kind we should all be lamenting in our right wing, nationalistic, ehtnocentric, politically and commercially corrupt world. Nevertheless, superstition and abuse are not part of the way of the universe, the universe just is. It is our ignorance and inhumanity that betrays us: Poem ‘Serpent’s Breath’ by Barddylbach https://allpoetry.com/poem/7400419-Serpents-Breath-by-Barddylbach

  34. Terry2

    The results of the latest national Census reveal that nearly a third of Australians (30 per cent) reported in the Census that they had no religion in 2016.

    In the UK, the percentage of the population which describes itself as belonging to no religion has risen from 31.4% to 50.6% between 1983 and 2013 according to the British Social Attitudes Survey’s 31st report issued in 2014.

    So, there is a considerable body of people who are not necessarily going to be consulted or represented by Ruddock’s review of religious protections.

    Then you have the man who won his court case recently and avoided being fined for not voting as he demonstrated that his belief system : Freedom allowed him to avoid voting which he considered would have been morally corrupt.

    The Ruddock Review is required to :

    consider the intersections between the enjoyment of the freedom of religion and other human rights

    have regard to any previous or ongoing reviews or inquiries that it considers relevant

    consult as widely as it considers necessary

    This is the submission form should you wish to submit your views to this enquiry : https://pmc.gov.au/domestic-policy/religious-freedom-review/submission

    I encourage everybody to have their say !

  35. Terry2

    Sorry this is the brief that Ruddock and co have been given :

    consider the intersections between the enjoyment of the freedom of religion
    and other human rights

    have regard to any previous or ongoing reviews or inquiries
    that it considers relevant

    consult as widely as it considers necessary

  36. Kronomex

    Let’s end this right now! There are fanatics in ALL religions and while they hold sway over people who rather just go about their daily lives and worship in peace nothing will be done. Enough is enough of this today. in closing, a question to ponder – Who are among the most detested people in the US?

  37. Michael Taylor

    Kronomex, I’d say that at the current moment the Republicans would be the most detested.

  38. Kaye Lee

    Spirituality is an interesting concept which is different for all people. I find nothing spiritual about worshipping a god but when two aboriginal women took me into the bush and taught me about “seeing” I found it profoundly spiritual. I also find it spiritually uplifting to help other people.

  39. townsvilleblog

    I have an issue with all religion, my grandfather used to tell me that religion was only a control mechanism on society and as I age I understand more and more that he was correct. Not only a facade for paedophilia but a release from all supposed ‘sins’ as well. I do not follow any religion, I do not believe3 in some supreme being, and I don’t worship statues. I take responsibility for my own actions, no matter how great the cost. Kronomex, I agree that there are fanatics in all religions, in fact from what I have heard the Australian Branch of the USA assembly of god cult still believe in burning witches at the stake, while under Sharia law we occasionally hear of 14 year old girls being ‘married’ to 35 year old men. Fanatics believe that ‘gods’ laws are more powerful than man’s laws, and this is where the trouble begins.

  40. Jack Russell

    Yair, I’ll go with that too MT. I subscribe to CommonDreams and there’s never any good news … which you’d mostly expect from a lefty publication I suppose, but if there’s nothing good to report what can you do?

    Make it up? <——snide remark

  41. paul walter

    Re Kaye Lee, too right. Forget Morrison and co and their confected hysteria, If you want to see spirituality, watch someone stop for long enough to help an old pensioner across the road or lift up a little girl who has fallen over and skinned her knee. Watched the shared bond and ask what money can buy it. Spirited actions raise your spirits, like when you footy side is down and lifts to win a game. Spirit is what gets things done, can’t purchase it, but it is the lubricant for value and meaning.

  42. Kronomex

    Michael, believe it or not, atheists.

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/in-atheists-we-distrust/

    The article is from five years ago but still holds true.

    That’s the last of this religious malarky for me. I’m off to mug Murlocs, tickle Taurens, and generally pummel mobs on my Gnome Warlock.

  43. Miriam English

    Boy oh boy, that Robert REYNOLDS guy is a really pompous dick!
    If he ever re-reads his posts some day he’s gonna get very embarrassed.

  44. Miriam English

    Jack Russell, Paul Walter is right, there’s plenty of good news about. See some of the links near the end of my article on “50 Years of Change” — there are lots of uplifting videos and talks there.

    And here is one that always makes me teary-eyed… in Russia many people have a video camera on the dash of their car recording everything. Some of the things that get recorded are truly wonderful:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzBInt4zljQ

    I almost don’t care if some pricks try to wreck things; ordinary people can be so lovely.

  45. Robert REYNOLDS

    “Boy oh boy, that Robert REYNOLDS guy is a really pompous dick!

    “Now come on Miriam, I have to issue a stern warning, flattery is simply NOT going to get you anywhere!! Do I make myself clear!

    I should say that I already find many of the ‘group-think’ posts here to be very embarrassing. None of them were put up by me.

    The level of ‘intellectual rigor’ on display by some here is breathtaking in its ‘sophistication’. I get called a ‘bigot’, a ‘scumbag’ and a ‘pompous dick’, etc. etc. Many posters here are brilliant when it comes to abuse and intimidation and let us not forget the three V’s. venom, vitriol and vituperation! What they totally lack though Miriam (you included too) is the ability to counter any, and I mean ANY of my carefully supported arguments. It really is tantamount to dealing with a bunch of dilettantes.

  46. Kaye Lee

    ^^^ The Harquebus denial is strong in this one. Robert puts his fingers in his ears and goes la la la la can’t hear you and then says you couldn’t refute my “carefully supported” arguments all of which have been torn to shreds countless times. He just chooses to ignore anything that doesn’t fit his hatred and fear narrative. Enough now Robert. Move on.

  47. Terry2

    Robert Reynolds

    my carefully supported arguments

    I try to read everything that people post and I found that comment from you quite baffling. I thought I may have missed something in your oeuvre.
    But no I hadn’t. It has no depth or substance at all.

  48. Miriam English

    Robert REYNOLDS, and a hypocrite too, wow.

  49. Harry

    I was brought up in the Catholic faith but over time I have evolved in my thinking and no longer believe in it and I doubt the existence of a deity. I think that religion can justify all sorts of terrible acts and Christianity has only recently ditched its literal interpretation of the bible (fundamentalism excepted).

    I have a problem with all religion but mostly with some strains of Islam and Christian fundamentalism. These are dangerous in my view.

    I have been reading Sam Harris’s book “The End of Faith” and he makes a compelling case for moving beyond our adherence to belief for which there is scant or logical evidence.

  50. Harry

    BTW, surely we should critique someone’s argument with reasoned responses instead of personal attacks- despite the temptation to do so?
    Its easy but lazy to demonise.

  51. Jack Russell

    There’s always a deluded court jester with a permanent multi-headed carbuncle on their bum. Pfffft!

    Thanks all (ahem, nearly all) for a GREAT conversation – you know who are.

  52. Robert REYNOLDS

    Kaye, I must plead ignorance on just what the “The Harquebus denial ” is,or was; but look, quite frankly, I really do not care about it.

    In keeping with your tried and true modus operandi, you accuse me of putting my fingers in my ears and la, la la-ing. Yes, sure Kaye. All that because I do not see the world through your eyes. You once again accuse me of running a ‘hatred and fear’ narrative. You are sounding like the proverbial broken gramophone record. I could make some pointed remarks but I will leave the judgement to others who have a more balanced approach (if there are any here) .

    Now Terry2 in response to your comment,

    “But no I hadn’t. It has no depth or substance at all.”

    all I can say is that I try to keep my posts as simply as possible for simple people. Obviously I need to make my points with words of even fewer syllables to cater for people with an intellect similar to yours.

    Now to you Miriam, (I do not want anyone to think that I am forgetting them) I am constantly drowning in a tsunami of hypocrisy (and there is plenty else too) here. WOW!

    Next please …….

  53. Kronomex

    Robert is having a bit of a Streisand effect moment. Here’s an idea, quit while you think you are ahead and find something else to comment about lest ye make yourself look even more foolish. By the way, your comments don’t have anything that can be considered as “…and I mean ANY of my carefully supported arguments.” So far you seem to have made vague remarks without anything that can be considered as evidence to back up your “carefully supported arguments.” You are doing what you are accusing others of, with snide remarks like “Jack Russell, hang on, now that’s a dog isn’t it?” and you are definitely not immune to the tactics that you accuse and others of using against poor ickle you. I’m guessing you will tell us that that comment was meant to be funny and maybe even satirical.

    Here’s an idea, go away and read “The Arabs A History” by Eugene Rogan then come back and make “carefully supported arguments” either for or against it. The Arabs were far more enlightened than the christian world in maths, science, medicine, and the arts, just to name a few areas and they welcomed people of different religions because they wanted to learn more about the world they lived in.

    Oh yes, the article was about the catholic church until you rode in on your naughty islamic bandwagon again. Try to stay on target without straying. Your private universe must be a sad and lonely place.

    I got my Gnome Warlock to L110 so I’m happy for the moment, back to watching Upstart Crow.

  54. Diane Larsen

    Who is this dickhead Robert Reynolds I can understand a different opinion but flogging a dead horse is just stupidly go somewhere else where your dribble will be appreciated

  55. Kaye Lee

    “Next please …….”???

    You sound like a schoolyard bully. As my mother would say, everyone is out of step except my poor Johnnie. Perhaps this is not the right place for you Robert since you find us all so “simple”.

  56. Robert REYNOLDS

    Hi Kronomex,

    Thank you for your considered reply. I know that you are doing your best.

    Now, probably because I move in different circles to you, I needed to look up ‘The Streisand effect’. Apparently, it is the phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide, remove, or censor a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely, usually facilitated by the Internet. I am not really quite sure just how you figure that I am having that sort of moment. But look Kronomex if that suits your thinking then you run with it for all that it is worth.

    You claim that my posts are not supported by any evidence. Look Kronomex, in respect to this current article I have not bothered to provide any links or numbers to back up my claims as I have tried this approach on countless occasions in the past. However, as I have discovered, it is tantamount to ‘throwing pearls before swine’ (to quote from Matthew 7:6) so I do not bother much with that approach now. I have alas, allowed myself to come down to the level of the ‘lowest common denominator’, but boy, do I have plenty of company! I can play your game too (and probably do it better). My canine quip about the Jack Russell, meant to be funny and satirical? Not at all Kronomex, it was meant to be sarcastic and savage (in other words, it was made in the same spirit that so many of the comments that are directed at me are). Are you with me Kronomex?

    So the Arabs were once far more enlightened that the christian world in maths, science, medicine and the arts, just to name a few areas. So what? Things have changed. Thank you for the short history lesson. But the world you describe no longer exists. I would invite you to have you had a look at this Nobel laureates per capita site:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nobel_laureates_per_capita

    Oh, goddam it, there I go again, supporting my comments that the Arabs are not intellectual high fliers any more, at least in the Nobel Prize stakes, with some supporting evident. Gee, old habits do die hard!

    My private universe Kronomex, is far from a sad and lonely place. It will never become that while I have people like you around to keep me so highly amused.

    My suggestion to you Kronomex – just keep your Gnome Warlock to L110 and go back to watching Upstart Crow. That is about your limit. In fact, you have done well to get there. (Now there is a bit of positive reinforcement for you. Who said that I was always sarcastic!)

  57. Glenn Barry

    Seems that Robert’s compulsion to jam his knowledge down everyone’s throats has resurfaced, again…

    We need something like, erm, an antidote or spray repellent – Bigot Begone, or what about a poison disguised as a foodstuff – Rid-O-Reynolds, or finally an appliance, a gadget – Zealot Zapper.

  58. Robert REYNOLDS

    Glenny, your considerable and indisputable talents as a wordsmith are once again on display for all to see. I can only stand in awe of your prowess and brilliance, not to mention your virtuosity.

    Have you considered a career in advertising?

  59. Glenn Barry

    Tell me Robert – when did you immigrate to Australia? Which country did you come from?
    I’m working on a hypothesis, so the above information will be of assistance…

  60. Robert REYNOLDS

    You tell me what your hypothesis is.

    One or two of your previous posts indicate to me that I should be very careful in dealing with you.

  61. Jack Russell

    LOL! Such wonderful people come to AIM to read and share … I really feel part of something good!

    I don’t mean you though Mr Nasty.

    (Had to be said. Signed: The Doggy, ruffruffruff.)

  62. Glenn Barry

    It’s not a hypothesis without the information I requested, so there is nothing I can share prior

    Jack Russell – that’s a great name and a wonderful dog breed so I only see a compliment – and I am one serious dog person – completely potty for pupper doggos about summarises it

    If Karma is good to me I’ll be re-incarnated as either a Cattle Dog or a Kelpie

  63. Robert REYNOLDS

    Yes Glenn, I have nothing against dogs. They are usually very nice animals.

  64. Kaye Lee

    Robert, you will not be posting again on this article. Piss off turkey.

  65. Kronomex

    Glenn, all Robert has proved is that he’s an overbearing arrogant and thoroughly unpleasant piece of goods. We must congratulate him on his attempts show his wondrous intellect at work. His last few replies have become the petulant whinings of someone who is starting lose his “cool and even-handed” demeanour.

    I have also taken into consideration that he probably won’t read the book I mentioned partly because it’s beneath his contempt and anyway he knows better and how dare that someone should suggest that he raise his head above his parpet of ignorance. Like others who feel superior he doesn’t need to watch an episode of a program like Upstart Crow (do you even know what it’s about?). To do so he might find it enjoyable and that woud be a blow to his pompous self-inflated ego. I imagine you found Seinfeld to be the height of witty urbane comedy.

    Your attempt at sarcasm, vis-à-vis “That is about your limit. In fact, you have done well to get there.” is sadly lacking in any merit and wit and therefore is beneath notice other than to cause a quick yawn.

    So everybody, give a great big cheer for Robert. (Listens carefully and only hears crickets.) Well Mr. Reynolds, I guess we now know how popular you are here.

    Can you suggest any books that you think might persuade us to be more lenient to your, for the moment, obnoxious views?

    Looking forward to your next attempts at being sarcastic.

  66. Jack Russell

    Me too Glenn … never been without a dog or three in 70 years. I want to come back as a muttley as well, but with me as the obliging fridge door opener. :))

  67. Jack Russell

    BTW Nasty – I bite bastards.

  68. Michael Taylor

    Jack Russell: I kinda like that name.

  69. Kronomex

    Michael, let me know if you feel I’m pushing the boundary with Robert Reynolds and I won’t mind in the least if you’d like me to back off.

  70. Michael Taylor

    It’s all good. Some people get what they ask for.

  71. Jack Russel

    Yep, me too MT … and bred for huntin’ down vermin, so they tell me. Thanks for letting me stretch my “legs” a bit. ;))

  72. Glenn Barry

    Jack I wouldn’t do anything to incite you to bite – more along the lines of a belly rub which makes you go whoom with pleasure – the pupper doggo alter ego of you anyway 😉

  73. Max Gross

    These deranged, sanctimonious taxed-nots still think they are above the law of the land, even after the horrific revelations of the Royal Commission. Tax the bastards and make them pay full reparations, no ifs, no buts, no our fathers!

  74. Matters Not

    Give RR a break. Demonising Islam is his raison d’être – here, there and elsewhere.

    But there’s: No balance ! No perspective ! And accordingly – no credibility !

    A pity – because there’s kernel of truth in what he says.

  75. Zathras

    The reason for the popularity of male circumcision in the West was largely due to the work of John Harvey Kellog who believed it would reduce the incidence of masturbation, which he thought in turn led to various illnesses.

    I suppose we should be grateful his idea of applying carbolic acid to the clitoris for the same reason didn’t catch on.

    There was a resurgence after WW1 when so many troops returning from the Middle East experienced inflammation and infection from the “sandy conditions” – a much more polite affliction than the rampant syphilis it really was.

    Catholics certainly were not the only organisation found guilty of institutionalised abuse but they are greatly overrepresented in the statistics and also went to extreme lengths not to address the issue and in fact perpetuated it.

    However, unlike Ireland we didn’t discover the bodies of hundreds of dead chilldren and babies dumped into specifically installed septic tanks.

    Like all religions, they placed the safety of the Church itself above the interests of members of their own congregation.

    As for prayers to open Parliament, I would prefer to see them in a circle performing “the hokey kokey”. At least that would suggest some sort of cooperation and teamwork and be just as effective. They could also write letters to Santa listing their policies just to be on the safe side.

  76. Terry2

    Zathras, I had to google Hokey Kokey to see if it would be appropriate for the opening of our parliament on a daily basis. I think you may be on to something :

    The hokey cokey (United Kingdom), hokey pokey (United States, Ireland, Canada, Australia, the Caribbean, Israel), or hokey tokey (New Zealand), is a participation dance with a distinctive accompanying tune and lyric structure. It is well known in English-speaking countries.

    Some argue that “The Hokey Pokey” (or “Cokey”) is a corruption of “hocus pocus,” the familiar term used by magicians. “Hocus pocus” derives, in turn, from a Latin line in the Catholic Mass, “Hoc corpus meum” (“This is my body”), indicating the transformation of the communion “bread” into the body of Jesus Christ.

    The reference to magicians is probably quite suited to a government that daily practices the arts of trickery, deception and slight of hand and there is a strong Catholic inclination on the government benches.

  77. Kaye Lee

    One of my favourite hymns was

    Sons of God: Hear His Holy word,
    Gather around the table of the Lord
    Eat His Body, drink His Blood
    And we’ll sing a song of love
    Allelu, allelu, allelu, alleluia.

    Great song to sing. Pity about the lyrics.

  78. Miriam English

    Kaye, the lyrics fit nicely with the current fascination for vampire and zombie stories. 🙂

  79. silkworm

    “I had to google Hokey Kokey to see if it would be appropriate for the opening of our parliament on a daily basis.”

    Too late. It’s already been done.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUe1mLQsa0E

  80. Zathras

    If I may indulge myself with a couple of final political fantasies for 2017 –

    Politicians love to appear at openings, cut ribbons and see their names engraved on plaques.
    It should be made a requirement that the all politicians should also be made to turn up at “closings”.
    They should ceremonially tie a ribbon across the entrance of any business or factory that closes in their electorate and officially declare it closed, particularly if it’s the result of their own policies.

    Finally, to borrow an idea from Jello Biafra (who wanted this implemented in the business sector of his city when he ran for Mayor of San Francisco), in lieu of safety vests and hard-hats pollies should be adorned in clown suits when in public. Better still, it should be made an official uniform.

    If they want Parliament to perform like a three-ring circus, they should dress appropriately.

    Happy New Year to all.

  81. Harquebus

    I will always denigrate religion and do my best to ridicule and humiliate its practitioners, always. I had the opportunity to do this just yesterday and it felt good.

    “With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil – that takes religion.” -– Steven Weinberg

  82. Miriam English

    Zathras, excellent suggestions.

    Harquebus… and yet you attach yourself so religiously to your beliefs — immovable, despite all evidence, and preaching doom while cherrypicking science and ignoring the rest, just like a fundamentalist… like those Christians who are implacably opposed to Islam, or Jihadists who despise Jews, or Brethren who hate everybody else. Nothing anyone can ever say will break through their fanaticism. (I know you think I’m picking on you here, but I genuinely am not. I’m making an honest observation, hoping the contrast between what you said and my note might make it through to you.)

  83. Harquebus

    Miriam English
    The sticking religiously to ones belief despite evidence to the contrary is your hypocritical domain. As I have stated time and time again, your criticisms of me apply more to you than they do to me.

  84. Kronomex

    Miriam, good luck with trying to break through Harquebus’s armour made of doomium and gloomium with added intolerrantium alloy.

    “I will always denigrate religion and do my best to ridicule and humiliate its practitioners, always. I had the opportunity to do this just yesterday and it felt good.” You really are an unpleasant little misanthrope.

  85. Miriam English

    heheheh 😀 “doomium, gloomium and intolerantium”. I love it.

    Actually, H, you’ll possibly not have noticed that I’m proud of the fact that I enthusiastically admit when I’m wrong. I dislike being wrong, so will always fix that as quickly as I can. For the life of me I could never understand why people religiously cling to erroneous beliefs after they’ve been shown to be wrong. (I’m looking at you, H.)

  86. Kaye Lee

    How anyone can get pleasure out of ridiculing and humiliating anyone is beyond me. I am feeling guilty about my lack of control in some comments I have made on this thread. Bullies bring out the worst in me but that is no excuse.

  87. Harquebus

    That particular religious person that I refer to, a neighbor and I are still on friendly speaking terms. It can be done.

    Kaye Lee
    Those that indoctrinate minors to religion do it to me. Child abuse it is. Once more, your priorities are misplaced.

  88. Kronomex

    Harquebus, a hypothetical question for you: A person comes up to you in the street holding a box with a button on top and says, “In my hands is a device that will remove all traces of the human race from the planet. Yes or no, would you push the button?”

  89. Harquebus

    Kronomex
    I am astounded that you would pose such a ridiculous question. Who, in their right mind, would proceed?

  90. Kronomex

    But Harquebus, you are continually bleating about doom and gloom and the end of the world so it’s a valid question.

  91. Miriam English

    If it was changed to: everybody would disappear, except a small select group of true believers who included H himself…?

  92. Harquebus

    Kronomex and Miriam English
    I have taken our conversation? to theAIMN’s environment section. My response is there.

  93. Andreas Bimba

    Who are the causes of our troubles?

    Extremists, those that lack compassion or empathy, those that cannot reason, the overconfident, the arrogant, the greedy, the uncompromising, those that steadfastly choose to remain ignorant, those that use force rather than reason, those that cannot forgive, the liar, the cheat, the corrupt and similar.

    I am confident that Kaye and most respondents here are or try to be one of the more virtuous members of humanity.

    Many of our political parties, business organisations, political think tanks, religious hierarchies and organisations of all kinds seem to attract the worst of humanity, especially at the most senior levels.

    True democracy and a truly free and relevant mass media, social or community pressure and a progressive balanced education can help counter the worst of humanity but over the last 30 years especially, this battle is being lost.

    Robert, no one here is defending the excesses of some of those that profess to be followers of Islam. You need to read more carefully what Kaye actually wrote and think a bit more before launching your verbal assaults. Don Quixote comes to mind.

  94. Kaye Lee

    “Who are the causes of our troubles?”

    The people who know the cost of everything and the value of nothing.

  95. Jack Russell

    98 comments

  96. Jack Russell

    99 comments

  97. Jack Russell

    100 comments

  98. Jack Russell

    Is that a record? 😀

  99. Kaye Lee

    Nowhere near Jack.

  100. Michael Taylor

    600+ is the record, Jack.

  101. Jack Russell

    OK … only a just in case. … night-night. :))

  102. Matters Not

    So H is gone! (But any history of blogs would suggest it’s temporary – with a resurrection of sorts somewhere down the track). Nevertheless, this rise in extremism is worrying. This week’s Planet America featured a thoughtful interview re the world view of the current most powerful person on the planet. Very disturbing! But it only reinforced my long held view re Donald Trump.

    As I recall, there were some on the site who suggested that Trump would be different and did so pejoratively. Seems like they have been quiet of late. One wonders if there are now some regrets. Even tiny ones?

  103. Miriam English

    I haven’t met a Trump believer who has reversed their view yet. They often have an astonishing capability for to recast reality in order to justify their, and his, errors.

    Some months back Sam Harris interviewed Scott Adams, the cartoonist who creates the Dilbert cartoon strip. Sam was appalled by the absurd sophistry of Scott Adams’ continued arguments in favor of Trump. Always the gracious host, it must have been very difficult for Sam to keep his cool and remain polite.

  104. Andreas Bimba

    As the topic has switched to Trump.

    Just as Jeremy Corbyn is leading a change in philosophical direction in the British Labour Party expelling the hypocrisy and neoliberalism of Tony Blair and his ‘hip’ clique and reconnecting with the grass roots and gaining massively electorally as a result, Trump has a similar role in the US. The role of Trump by default is to weaken the US version of Tony Blair, Hillary Clinton who promises more of the same – continuing high unemployment and wealth inequity, Wall Street over Main Street, more crony capitalism, government austerity and a professed aim of balanced federal budgets, the ongoing corrupting influence of money over US politics, obscene levels of lobbying, FTA’s and even the TPP (during the campaign she reluctantly dropped support of the TPP), more counter productive meddling in places like Libya, Syria and Afghanistan where along with Iraq millions of innocent non combatants have now died and so on.

    Yes Trump is worse than Clinton especially in regard to tackling global warming, environmental policy, social policy and wealth inequity but he did cancel US support for the TPP, promises to increase infrastructure spending and may institute some trade protection measures to reduce the rate of offshoring of US manufacturing. Trump has also succeeded in persuading China and Russia to support tough trade sanctions on North Korea.

    Just as Tony Blair was rubbish so is Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and the money loving half of the DNC. The Republicans are the enemy but the DNC must use the Trump Presidency to reform and EARN THE RIGHT TO THE PRESIDENCY AND A MAJORITY IN BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS.

    Clear the slate of the corrupt ‘progressive’ establishment and the totally corrupt and partisan Republican Party so that Bernie Sanders or his successors can gain control of the DNC, the US Presidency and Congress and unwind the last 30+ years of the neoliberal disaster and implement the Green New Deal similar to FDR did to bring the US out of the Great Depression.

    In Australia the Australian Greens by biting at the ankles of the ALP are also having a positive influence for change and we may well see better government from a Bill Shorten led Labor government. If he fails to deliver the Greens will continue the fight till one day they will be the primary party in progressive coalition federal and state governments.

    We are just beginning. Vote Green.

  105. Miriam English

    Agreed Andreas. The Greens are pushing Labor to become better and to return to their original ground, largely lost when the free market dogma consumed Labor.

    I do slightly disagree with the idea that Hillary Clinton was just more of the same. While it is partly true, I don’t think she was what has been commonly portrayed. She worked very hard to try to get universal healthcare, and universal education in USA. She also put enormous effort into defeating racial intolerance and gaining opportunities for girls and women. The Clinton Foundation, far from being the corrupt entity Trump has so successfully portrayed, has improved the lives of enormous numbers of poverty-stricken people in the wider world.

    Yes, she would have been more of the wealthy in power, but I doubt that’s going to change anytime soon. Even Bernie Sanders, a very poor man compared to those he competes with, is (barely) a millionaire. Yes, she was involved in aggression during her time in the State Department, but I wonder how much that was due to the prevailing culture there rather than her. In what she says and writes she consistently chooses conciliatory, consultative, diplomatic approaches. This would most likely have characterised her presidency. What a pity they have instead a blustering, lying, racist moron.

  106. Andreas Bimba

    I agree Miriam, your description of Hillary is more balanced and accurate. The main fault of Hillary is to not support fiscal net spending until the point full employment is attained. This is due to her, and her support base’s, acceptance of the dictates of the banking class, not financial ignorance in my opinion. Bernie apparantly accepts the economic advice of Stephanie Kelton and Pavlina Tcherneva and other top rank MMT economists.

    Is Bernie that poor? I thought a US Senator’s salary would be quite good. I am also a millionaire but can’t afford groceries as I am also a beneficiary of the property bubble and a prior well paid career but now as a lowly paid contractor I only get paid when my employer gets paid which in the building game is sometimes never.

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