Jesus was a refugee


I regularly drive past a Christian church in a suburb of Brisbane that has a reputation for being a ‘nice’ area. When I drive past as a service is concluding, the attendees are going to their newish model cars to return to their homes that, if they live in the same area, are worth more than the median price across the City of Brisbane. While generalisations are frequently incorrect, the attendees at the service seem to be older and more conservative than the general population: in this case, however, the area usually votes for the conservative side of politics so the generalisation probably has some merit. A week or so ago the message board outside the church carried the message: ‘Jesus was a refugee’. As I drove past, I thought that it was an interesting statement to make in a ‘conservative’ area and, being on a sign outside a church, they probably have the evidence to support the assertion as well.

The Political Sword usually stays away from religion — and this piece won’t go there either except to question why conservatives invoke ‘their god’ as a basis for their ethics and morals while promoting actions that are diametrically opposed to those promoted by their religious beliefs.

Let’s start with the obvious one. Prime Minister Abbott is a practising member of the Catholic Church, as are a number of his ministers. Regardless of the display of wealth from the Vatican (something that it seems is being addressed by the current leader of the Catholic Church), members of the Catholic Church around the world do some amazing things to help their fellow humans live better and more fulfilling lives. For example, the Sisters of Mercy’s website details a number of programs with worthy aims, such as eliminating human trafficking and assisting the homeless. Funding for these actions comes from the operation of commercial enterprises such as the ‘Mater’ or ‘Mercy’ Hospitals.

In contrast, Christian Abbott and atheist Gillard (and you could argue that as ‘ten pound poms’ they were economic refugees) led the race to the bottom on treatment of refugees by imposing increasingly draconian conditions in the treatment of people who literally risk all to create a better life for themselves and their families — with assistance from the ‘out there’ Christian Kevin Rudd. How are the actions of any of these people in accordance with Christian morals and ethics?

Not that Australia’s leaders are alone in overtly claiming to have a moral and ethical compass derived from Christian beliefs while observation of their daily actions would suggest otherwise.

Nearly a millennium ago, the Pope of the time (Urban II) called upon the armies of Western Europe to go to war against those in the Middle East who followed the Islamic religion. The Islamic people then vowed to wage a holy war (jihad) against the Christians. The Western Europeans continued their crusades to the Middle East until the 16th century after which they were ‘distracted’ by the Reformation. Clearly both sides in the conflict thought that ‘God’ was on their side.

The Reformation was the commencement of the rise of the Protestant churches within the Christian ethos. Until the 1500’s, if you were a Christian, you were a Catholic. While there were some theological differences between the different branches of Christianity, the Reformation was in part due to perceptions of corruption within the ruling elite of the Catholic Church (the Curia) and a subsequent lessening of political influence enjoyed by the Pope.

The American Civil War (1861 to 1865):

… resolved two fundamental questions left unresolved by the revolution: whether the United States was to be a dissolvable confederation of sovereign states or an indivisible nation with a sovereign national government; and whether this nation, born of a declaration that all men were created with an equal right to liberty, would continue to exist as the largest slaveholding country in the world.

Yet, religion played a part in this battle over equality versus slavery, as reflected in the speech President Lincoln gave at his second inauguration in 1865, a month before he was fatally shot. The relevant section is quoted below:

Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully.

The history of conservatives marginalising their own people while claiming to be representing all, as Lincoln was suggesting above, continues in the USA. The USA, however, also has a long and proud history of ‘protest songs’ that question actions taken by, usually, Republican Presidents such as Nixon, Bush the elder and Bush the younger. It is easy to suggest that Bob Dylan made, and is still making, a living from protest songs. The Dixie Chicks suffered severe criticism for prefacing a song at a London concert with criticism of George W. Bush sending troops to Iraq and contemporary pop musician Pink released ‘Dear Mr President’ during the term of George W. Bush — it still resonates today.



This piece started with a reference to an outwardly conservative Christian church in suburban Brisbane and its statement that Jesus was a refugee. It seems that humans have a long history of discrimination against those who we perceive are not our equals. Superficially we’ve looked at Christians’ treatment of Muslims nearly a millennium ago, treatment of slaves in the USA and, in recent history, those that are less fortunate than the majority. It seems that traditionalists have commenced these battles — and progressives have railed against them.

So what is the difference between the Abbott and Gillard families coming to Australia as economic refugees in the 1960’s and current refugees attempting the trip from our northern neighbours?

Is the answer superior genetics?

Genetically, Abbott, Gillard or Rudd’s personal gene pool is very similar to that of any other person alive.

If it is religion, the differences again are not that great.

Like Judaism and Christianity, Islam teaches that there is one God in the universe, giving Muslims a monotheistic worldview Also like Judaism and Christianity, Islam teaches about the ministerial office of the prophet, although not all of these faiths agree on who is, and who isn't, a prophet. For example, Christians believe John the Baptist was a prophet and Jews and Muslims don't. And Muslims believe that Muhammad was a prophet, yet Jews and Christians don't. All three faiths also believe in an afterlife, although the makeup of those destinations can be immensely different from each other.

Both faiths insist that you must be a practising member of the faith to enjoy the ‘afterlife’. Muslims and Christians also share similar beliefs regarding how they live their life on earth will affect their ‘afterlife’ (here for the Muslim belief and here for the Christian version).

If the reason for the failure to address the arrival of refugees with humanity is because we as a nation didn’t ask them to come, then the Indigenous people of Australia didn’t ask the English to invade in 1788 (and it’s a pretty good bet to surmise they themselves didn’t ask permission some 40,000 years earlier), just as the English and French most likely didn’t take the opinions of the ‘first peoples’ in the US or Canada into account either.

Is it because those of the Muslim faith want to take over the world? If you believe the media, maybe: it is more likely, however, that only a small radicalised group within that religion has such lofty aims. Don’t forget the Catholic Church was responsible for the Crusades to the Middle East (which occurred for a period of around 400 years) and that up until very recently the Catholic Church claimed the only way to ‘salvation’ was to be a practising member of the Catholic Church.

It doesn’t make sense that anyone or anything can support two diametrically opposed arguments at the same time to the elimination of all other arguments — as Abraham Lincoln alluded to in the inauguration speech discussed here. In a similar way, those that use a religious book promoting living a good and just life to justify murder, rape and pillage (such as routinely demonstrated in the religious wars that have engulfed parts of the world in the past millennia) have to be dishonouring the text they claim to be a fundamental belief.

Who demonstrates the morals and ethics of their chosen religious text better? Is it the conservative political leaders who stand by and watch people starve or suffer ill health or the Sisters of Mercy and other religion-based organisations that actively channel profits from provision of services to help those less fortunate? Is it those conservatives who suggest that ‘stopping the boats’ is a worthy aim or those that suggest that Jesus was a refugee and accordingly we should assist and care for those that have felt the need to make the refugee journey? Is it the conservative people who invade a country and impose a rule of law or those with religious beliefs that go about their daily lives and attempt to help someone in need? Without being religious, I know where my vote would go. It isn’t to the conservatives.

What do you think?



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TPS Team

28/09/2014This week we have 2353 back in the author's chair with a look at the seemingly hypocritical actions of our politicians in comparison to their professed religious beliefs. Let us know your thoughts in comments.

Ad astra

28/09/20142353 I admire your pluck in tackling the thorny issue of the interface between politics and religion. It needs to be tackled. It seems to me that politicians, along with many others, are able to compartmentalize aspects of their life, are able to put their beliefs into watertight boxes – religious in one, political in another. Otherwise, how can they reconcile what must be conflicting beliefs? They seem to be able to hold religious beliefs, while at the same time espousing actions contrary to those beliefs. It is almost as if they hold the view that a political imperative has the right to override religious values and beliefs. It seems that to a politician, political survival, winning a seat, winning an election, gaining a political advantage, defeating an opponent, or denigrating an opponent’s opinion or ideas, take precedence over doing the ‘right thing’, the thing that their religious beliefs require them to do. It comes down to the perennial issue of self-interest versus the common good. When their political self-interest demands that they ignore their religious beliefs, they do so with impunity. As Abraham Lincoln observed, they cannot hold contradictory views and wishes and expect both to be fulfilled. When there is such conflict, self-interest trumps the common good. What is more discomforting is that there seems no way of resolving such conflict with appeals to reason and fair play. We know Tony Abbott is a practising Catholic, and we are told that Scott Morrison is a born-again Christian, yet their actions around asylum seekers seem contrary to their religious beliefs. I suspect that no amount of reasoning, no appeal to their better selves would have the slightest influence on their political actions. Abbott knows full well that the slogan ‘Stop the boats’ has been a political winner for him, especially in some crucial electorates where he believes a reversal of the Coalition’s punitive policies would lose him votes and probably seats. How can these people live with their conflicted positions? Do they try to justify their political positions by citation of their religious position? Are they able to distort their religious beliefs to justify their political actions? If so, I wonder what arguments they muster? [b]I suspect though that self-interest and self-preservation overrides all other considerations, and in their minds justifies their actions.[/b]

2353

28/09/2014Thanks for the kind words Ad Astra - you are correct, this issue needs to be addressed. Since the piece was written, the church in question has changed it's message board to read "Treating refugees as the problem IS the problem". If they can see it - why can't the so called christians that run the country? President Obama also touched on this subject in his recent annual address to the United Nations General Assembly when he challenged the view of 'Islamic State' forces in the middle east that 'God was on their side -> http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/world/no-god-condones-this-terror-in-un-speech-obama-warns-islamic-militants-to-leave-battlefield-20140925-10lnd0.html When will this madness end?

Casablanca

29/09/2014[b]'As I Wrote MY STORY, I Thought of Our Nation’s Daughters'[/b] Julia Gillard. 23 September 2014 Since my time as prime minister ended I have mostly kept out of the public spotlight. That’s not to say I haven’t been busy. Life has brought me three wonderful new opportunities. Chairing the Global Partnership for Education and being part of bringing schooling to children living in the most disadvantaged places on Earth. Being a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, working with some of the world’s best thinkers on teaching and learning. And serving as an honorary professor at the University of Adelaide, the first place I went after school. What ties these three things together is my passion for education, for transforming the lives of young people and for giving children the best start in life. http://www.randomhouse.com.au/blog/as-i-wrote-my-story-i-thought-of-our-nations-daughters-2172.aspx?utm_content=bufferb48f4&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Ken

29/09/20142353 I have always found the biggest hypocrites among religious people (and quasi-religious in the case of television evangelists) and among politicians. Put the two together, a religious politician, and it is a potent mix for hypocrisy. I think a majority of voters are aware of this hypocrisy but some dismiss it as no more than we can expect from politicians - which, itself, is a sad indictment of how politicians have tarnished their own reputations. A politician who stands for values, and stands by his/her values, is a rare thing these days. But I think the first politician who does so, will be warmly accepted and successful. Why can't the politicians see that!

Bacchus

29/09/2014I'm not sure if you've visited [i]TPS[/i] before LOVO, but welcome anyway! :) For Swordsters, LOVO is a regular at [i]Café Whispers[/i] and [i]Whispers' Cellar[/i]. He is a strong advocate for matters environmental and puts his body where his mouth is, leading a re-vegetation group in his part of the world.

Casablanca

29/09/2014[b]Happy 53rd Birthday *J*U*L*I*A*[/b] Interview with Hon Julia Gillard, former Prime Minister of Australia. Margaret Throsby's Midday interview. http://www.abc.net.au/classic/content/2014/09/29/4095671.htm (Audio: 43m.46s) http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/classic/midday/201409/miv-2014-09-29.mp3 Julia Gillard's choice of music: James Land of my Fathers Morriston Orpheus Choir [Land Of My Fathers] Grasmere GRCD 40 2'26 Prestwich/Walker Flame Tree Sarah Blasko,voc [Triple J's Hottest 100 – Vol13] ABC 501128832 5'20 various Do you see what I see ? Hunters and Collectors [What's A Few Men] Liberation Blue Blue025.2 3'37 Springsteen Born to run Bruce Springsteen,voc [Born To Run] CBS CDCBS 80959 4'31

Casablanca

30/09/20141. [b]Abbott: Jesus 'didn't say yes to everyone'[/b] "What would Jesus do in relation to asylum seekers," a young man asked Tony Abbott on the ABC's Q&A program. Abbott struggled for an analogy. He tried a small joke then said, "Don't forget Jesus drove the traders from the temple as well," he said. "What's the point of that?" said host Tony Jones? "I mean," added Abbott, "Jesus didn't say yes to everyone." Jesus knew there was a place for everything. It is not necessary everyone's place to come to Australia. According to the Bible, Jesus Christ was born in a stable when there was no room for his mother to give birth at a local 'inn'. His family were considered refugees as they were forced from their native homeland Bethlehem. https://au.tv.yahoo.com/sunrise/soapbox/article/-/7024947/abbott-jesus-didnt-say-yes-to-everyone/ 2. [b]Who cares if Abbott and Hockey are Catholic?[/b] 28 May 2014 | Andrew Hamilton Talk about politicians' faith is a trivial indulgence that diverts attention from more important questions. To conclude that a politician is influenced by their faith or is unfaithful to it may give satisfaction to the person who makes the judgment, but it does nothing for those affected by unfair policies. Nor is this kind of judgment one that Christians may make if they wish to be consistent. http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=41474 3. [b]Asylum seeker ethics is simple[/b] 19 March 2014 | Andrew Hamilton Asked whether they think the government's treatment of asylum seekers is right, some people will withhold judgment, arguing that the question is ethically complex; asylum seeker policy must take into account many issues, and an ethical judgment must await consideration of all these factors. This position is mistaken. The ethical questions are quite simple. The complexities and confusions arise only after we have answered them. http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=39123 4. [b]Encouragement for bleeding hearts[/b] 05 March 2014 | Andrew Hamilton To call someone a bleeding heart is an insult, not a description. It has no meaning but does have connotations. Those who call advocates for asylum seekers bleeding hearts usually dismiss ethical arguments. Although they may accept in the case of personal relationships that it would be wrong to inflict pain on people in order to deter others, they usually claim without supporting argument that governments are not bound by this ethical principle. http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=39058 5. [b]Liberty and equality's forgotten sibling[/b] Andrew Hamilton | 17 September 2014 Many people become uncomfortable when conversation turns to social justice. That may reflect their experience of being buttonholed by unrelentingly serious people on the wrongs of the world and the need to change them. But their discomfort may also reflect a long history that goes back as far as the French Revolution with its slogan, 'Liberty, Equality and Fraternity'. Social Justice Week offers an opportunity to tease out the connections implied by this slogan. http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=41995#.VCkn4RY4WSo 6. [b]Fatal cost of shutting borders[/b] Andrew Hamilton | 08 September 2014 From the perspective of Australian policy, both Hamid Kehazaei's death and the loss of the Red Cross contract to support asylum seekers give value for money. When we are dealing with people, however, values other than economic efficiency may come to mind. http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=41949 7. [b]High noon for Government refugee policy[/b] Kerry Murphy. 12 September 2014 There may not be simple solutions to complex issues such as how to reduce the risk of travel by boat without punishing the refugees. However, the High Court's latest decision reminds us there are people involved and they are not ‘outlaws’. http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=41989 8. [b]Abandon all hope the doubly persecuted people who enter by boat [/b] Kerry Murphy. 29 September 2014 Whenever an immigration minister states that new laws will “restore integrity” to the immigration program it is clear what they mean is we have new ways of refusing cases and punishing the bad refugees… http://theconversation.cmail2.com/t/r-l-mkdijtd-trhltityg-e/ 9. [b]Abbott’s religiosity is no basis for policy[/b] No Place for Sheep. 11 July, 2014 “Asked on ABC Perth radio why his attitude to asylum-seekers was unchristian, the Opposition Leader responded: “I don’t think it’s a very Christian thing to come in by the back door rather than the front door…But I think the people we accept should be coming the right way and not the wrong way…If you pay a people-smuggler, if you jump the queue, if you take yourself and your family on a leaky boat, that’s doing the wrong thing, not the right thing, and we shouldn’t encourage it.”...I can’t help but feel if Jesus was around now, he might well stride into parliament with a stock whip and kick some arse. http://noplaceforsheep.com/tag/religious-right/ 10. [b]Picking on Muslims is getting dull[/b] 11 September 2014 | Ruby Hamad The readiness with which some westerners take the most violent and extreme groups as legitimate expressions of Islam betrays the racism that underpins perceptions of Muslims. Whether I like it or not, my religious background and my name tie me to these 'jihadists.' I feel the permanent weight of expectation to publicly apologise for their actions. http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=41970 11. [b]Vatican perspective on Australia's refugee brutality[/b] 05 June 2014 | Andrew Hamilton Very few Vatican documents on world events are exciting. But some can be helpful when local response to these events is febrile and anxious. The Vatican guidelines on ministry to forcibly displaced persons provide a helpful mirror to reflect the public Australian response to asylum seekers. It offers a long view of Catholic reflection on refugees and a broad perspective on the human reality of having to seek protection. http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=41503 12. [b]Anti-Islam is the new Anti-Catholicism[/b] 24 September 2014 | Andrew Hamilton The justified insistence that Muslims should not constantly be called to account for the vicious behaviour of Islamic State is a reminder of the attitude towards Catholics in an earlier generation. They combined suspicion of anything Irish in the aftermath of the 1915 Uprising and more traditional judgments of Catholics on the basis of their beliefs and practices. http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=42018 13. [b]Abbott's Little White Lies: What Would Jesus Do?[/b] Chris Graham. 18 Jun 2014 The Abbott Government's lie that frontline Aboriginal legal services would be unaffected by budget cuts is even more startling when you consider the statistics. Tony Abbott once infamously remarked on ABC’s Q&A program that in relation to asylum seekers, Jesus knew that everyone had a place, and it was not necessarily everyone’s place to come to Australia. Yesterday, when news broke that the Abbott Government had lied – again – to the Australian people about cutting funding to an Aboriginal legal service program, I found myself wondering what Jesus thought about locking people up. https://newmatilda.com/2014/06/18/abbotts-little-white-lies-what-would-jesus-do 14. [b]Superheroes? None compare to our heroic nuns, the first frontline feminists[/b] Nicholas Kristof. August 20, 2014 One of the most erroneous caricatures of nuns is that they are prim, Victorian figures cloistered in convents. On the contrary, I’ve become a huge fan of nuns because I see them so often risking their lives around the world, confronting warlords, pimps and thugs, while speaking the local languages fluently. In a selfish world, they epitomise selflessness and compassion. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/superheroes-none-compare-to-our-heroic-nuns-the-first-frontline-feminists-20140819-105rfs.html#ixzz3EidlyGaR

2353

30/09/2014Wow Casablanca - I'm honoured by the thought that went into the links above. I'll enjoy reading them. I even 'shared' one of them on Facebook

Ken

30/09/2014Marks @September 29. 2014 08:51 PM (previous thread) The article on Harper's use of words in Canada was apt and enlightening. And welcome to TPS.

Ken

30/09/2014Thought this may be relevant.:-) Kinky Friedman's 'They ain't makin' Jews like Jesus anymore'. Lots of politically incorrect language but it is satirical and based on a real experience with a redneck in Texas. Kinky is jewish and had a band in the 70s and 80s called 'The Texas Jewboys' - which helped to rub the rednecks up the wrong way. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0ZMj5RksbE Also a definition of politics from 'the Kinkster' (although I don't think it's original). 'politics': 'poly' means many, and 'ticks' are blood-sucking parasites.

TalkTurkey

1/10/2014Read how her academic performance changed when she switched from grog to dope! http://www.hightimes.com/read/fk-it-i-quit-reporter-charlo-greene-tells-high-times-i%E2%80%99m-just-living-my-truth

Ad astra

1/10/2014Casablanca Thank you for your informative collection of links on religion and politics. You are a superb asset to [i]TPS[/i].

Ken

1/10/2014I heard on the news tonight that the UK is considering laws to tackle extremism that may prohibit the broadcasting and publication of extremist views, including neo-nazi as well as islamist views. I harboured a hope that it may include the fanatical and extremist neo-liberal economists.:-)

Casablanca

2/10/2014[b]Educate women and their community will prosper. Deny them education and the world will suffer[/b] Julia Gillard and Cate Blanchett. 1 October 2014 We both grew up in Australia, where our education provided strong foundations to meet our potential as female leaders. Millions of girls throughout the world deserve the same chance. “If you educate a man, you educate one person. If you educate a woman, you educate a nation”. It’s an often heard quote in development circles, and the eve of the opening of the 69th session of the UN General Assembly is a good time to pause and consider what it really means. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/01/educate-women-and-their-community-will-prosper-deny-them-education-and-the-world-will-suffer?CMP=ema_632 [b]Kelly country[/b] Contesting Paul Kelly’s ‘Triumph and Demise’ Robert Manne. October 2014. With the publication of Triumph and Demise, written by the Murdoch empire’s most authoritative Australian voice, there is a good chance that it will now exercise, in addition, undue influence over the interpretation of our recent past. For this reason if for no other, Paul Kelly’s superficially plausible but stridently partisan and ideologically loaded history of the Rudd and Gillard years must be vigorously contested. http://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2014/october/1412085600/robert-manne/kelly-country [b]Julia Gillard - The Drum interview uncut[/b] Julia Baird. September 30, 2014. "I was very determined I was not going to stand there and sob or shed a tear and did not. What I was doing that night was making it easier for her [the next female prime minister], showing that in the toughest of circumstances, on the hardest of days, in the most difficult of moments, that a woman could take it without cracking under the pressure. Indeed a woman could take it with more resilience than a lot of men have taken that moment in their political careers. I thought that was important." www.abc.net.au/.../5783270 [b]Hillary Clinton presidency would spark a backlash[/b] Chloe Angyal. 30 September, 2014 If a female president is all but inevitable, so too is the cultural backlash that will follow her campaign and her victory. If Clinton runs, we can expect a repeat of the kind of misogyny, both overt and covert, that we saw during her 2008 run for the Democratic ticket. If she wins, we can expect that misogyny to persist, and to pervade not just the way the new president is assessed and discussed, but the way women everywhere are assessed and discussed. The backlash won't be contained to political backbiting; it will find its way into how we talk about female business leaders, female athletes, female performers, and the women who cross our paths in our daily lives. I'm looking forward to our first female president. I'm not looking forward to the sexism that will be unleashed in the wake of her election. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/hillary-clinton-presidency-would-spark-a-backlash-20140929-10neip.html#ixzz3Eu1TJbey [b]'As I Wrote MY STORY, I Thought of Our Nation’s Daughters'[/b] Julia Gillard. 23 September 2014 Since my time as prime minister ended I have mostly kept out of the public spotlight. That’s not to say I haven’t been busy. Life has brought me three wonderful new opportunities. Chairing the Global Partnership for Education and being part of bringing schooling to children living in the most disadvantaged places on Earth. Being a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, working with some of the world’s best thinkers on teaching and learning. And serving as an honorary professor at the University of Adelaide, the first place I went after school. What ties these three things together is my passion for education, for transforming the lives of young people and for giving children the best start in life. http://www.randomhouse.com.au/blog/as-i-wrote-my-story-i-thought-of-our-nations-daughters-2172.aspx?utm_content=bufferb48f4&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer [b]Republicans Air Early Attack Ad on Newborn Clinton[/b] WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) — A Republican Super PAC defended the broadcast, on Saturday morning, of an attack ad highly critical of Hillary Clinton’s newborn granddaughter, Charlotte, who was born on Friday...In criticizing a one-day-old infant, the ad is believed to be the earliest political attack ad on record. http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/republicans-air-early-attack-ad-newborn-clinton?utm_source=tny&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=borowitz&mbid=nl_Borowitz%20%28123%29&CUST_ID=28625459&spMailingID=7159047&spUserID=NTUzMTQwMTg3MzgS1&spJobID=522949585&spReportId=NTIyOTQ5NTg1S0

TalkTurkey

2/10/2014LOVO Welcome to The Political Sword. May this not be the last time you contribute here. 2353 TPS might usually not focus on religion, but I have been known to stray to the subject here on occasion. Because I think it is the single most pernicious force in politics in Australia now, and indeed in the wide world. My family was never religious. Our parents sometimes took us - and sometimes sent us - three kids to 'church', but it wasn't as if any of us ever believed in the supernatural, in fact neither did anybody very much at Adelaide's only "Unitarian Christian Church", though they did take genuine Christian values on board and they did sing hymns and have sermons and prayers. But no kneeling, confessions, candles, Hallelujahs, incense, Latin ... Nothing like that, in fact it was an intellectual philosophical sort of gathering, rather than a Praise Almighty God one. Adelaide Chartists, decent and relatively unprejudiced. And if we didn't mix with the Catholics whose cathedral was just across the road, it wasn't because our religions were different, it was more because they were religious and we weren't, really. And that we held to be both irrational I was very lucky to have been spared early bigotrifying. I didn't realise just how lucky until I discovered what a huge proportion of people was indoctrinated, nor how irrevocably. To me it is the greatest of all mysteries that adults of the species that calls itself "the thinker" can hold this weird, irrational belief. Nobody past 8 years of age believes in Tooth Fairy nor Santa Claus, nor magic spells and incantations - so how come Religion never lets go of them? To be continued. [Since I had the flu 6 weeks ago I seem to run out of energy even to write. Cheers Comrades.

Catching up

2/10/2014TONY ABBOTT: Collection of Videos (6m10s) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLLl0UKosJg

Casablanca

3/10/2014[b]1. Julia Gillard takes her side of the story to Business Chicks[/b] Juliette Saly. 02 October, 2014 Transitioning from the most powerful person in the country to an ordinary citizen doesn’t come without its challenges. For Julia Gillard, one of the hardest things was remembering how to drive http://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/top-stories/julia-gillard-takes-her-side-of-the-story-to-business-chicks/201410024696 [b]2. Purpose, perseverance, people: 11 career lessons from Julia Gillard’s story[/b] Angela Priestley / Sep 25, 2014 The story of Julia Gillard's career as prime minister is ultimately underpinned by resilience. This is something we've written about before, noting our former prime minister certainly deserved the label of being a 'tough warrior' offered on the night her tenure at the top came to an end. So, having picked up a copy of her political memoir My Story, I wanted to share a few insights she offers regarding just how she managed her career in politics. http://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/top-stories/purpose-perseverance-people-11-career-lessons-from-julia-gillards-story/201409254662#.VC2GRhY4WSp [b]3. Julia Gillard’s great career lesson for women: Resilience[/b] Angela Priestley. Jun 27, 2013 Julia Gillard is seriously tough. Whatever you think about her politics and three years as prime minister, you can't deny she's put up a continued fight against difficult circumstances, and deserved Wayne Swan's praise as one of "the toughest warriors" the Labor party has ever known. Gillard's retained her resilience not only against a relentlessly negative Opposition leader, but also within a difficult minority government, surrounded by an oftentimes hostile media, and up against uncontrollable forces within her own party... Indeed, Gillard's portrayed an ability to stand tall and determined throughout her entire prime ministership that most of us can hardly imagine ever being able to personally achieve. http://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/editor-s-agenda/julia-gillards-great-career-lesson-for-women-resilience/201306262403#.VCzpVRY4WSo [b]4. A message for John Howard: misogyny is not a “card” any woman wants to play[/b] Georgina Dent / Sep 22, 2014 Last night Channel 7 broadcast a wide-ranging interview with the former Prime Minister John Howard. He reflected upon many of the major controversies that occurred during his time in office but he also commented on the events that took place in parliament after his electoral defeat in 2007. In particular he described the famous "misogyny" speech Julia Gillard delivered in parliament in October 2012 as "nonsense". http://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/editor-s-agenda/a-message-for-john-howard-misogyny-is-not-a-card-any-woman-wants-to-play/201409224643#.VCzqbhY4WSo [b]5. Julia Gillard was always going to be cast as a ‘bad woman’ but men could have done more to help[/b] Angela Priestley / Sep 24, 2014 According to Julia Gillard, successful women still have only two choices when it comes to how they're perceived: to be viewed as a "good woman" or a "bad woman". They're stereotypes that were first outlined by Anne Summers in her 1975 book Damned Whores and Gods Police, but ones our former prime minister and first woman to hold the title believes still exist today. And as a woman wielding significant power – especially in a complex minority government – Gillard believes she was never going to be seen as a 'good woman'. "So I must be the bad woman, a scheming shrew, a heartless harridan or a lying bitch." http://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/editor-s-agenda/julia-gillard-was-always-going-to-be-cast-as-a-bad-woman-but-men-could-have-done-more-to-help/201409244656#.VCzq7hY4WSo [b]6. Emma Watson’s UN speech: what our reaction says about feminism[/b] Michelle Smith, 30 Sep, 2014 It is now more than a week since actress Emma Watson delivered what has repeatedly been described as a “game-changing” speech about sexism at the United Nations New York headquarters. The response to the speech, which launched the UN’s HeForShe campaign for gender equality, has been massive, but not universally positive... Watson’s speech, which extended a “formal invitation” to men to participate in conversations about gender equality, has been highly praised, radically critiqued, and acted as a spur to a bizarre hoax involving a threat to publish nude photographs of Watson..Just how can young feminists get their message across in such a complicated climate? http://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/opinions/emma-watsons-un-speech-what-our-reaction-says-about-feminism/201409294681#.VCzsNhY4WSo [b]7. 126,000 reasons why the Emma Watson hoax isn’t all bad news[/b] Evita March, Sep 26, 2014 In only a few days, more than 126,000 men and boys have pledged their support for the new HeforShe campaign to end gender inequality – beating the original target of 100,000 supporters. http://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/opinions/126000-reasons-why-the-emma-watson-hoax-isnt-all-bad-news/201409254666#.VCzyohY4WSo [b]8. Emma Watson's powerful speech: Feminism is not about 'us versus them'[/b] Women's Agenda / Sep 22, 2014 On Saturday, Emma Watson, a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, delivered her first major speech at the UN headquarters in New York. As the actress launched the "HeForShe" campaign, she called upon men to speak up for oppressed women everywhere. This is the speech she gave. http://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/world-of-women/emma-watson-s-powerful-speech-feminism-is-not-about-us-versus-them/201409224641#.VC2I_BY4WSo [b]9. The all-male UN conference discussing women and gender equality [/b] Jordi Roth / Oct 02, 2014 According to the head of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the 2015 deadline for the HeForShe campaign won't be met with projections indicating that if things don't change, achieving gender equality will take 95 years. http://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/world-of-women/the-all-male-un-conference-discussing-women-and-gender-equality/201410024695 [b]10. How to smash the glass ceiling from both sides: The steps women and leaders can take[/b] Karen Gately / Sep 30, 2014 For decades women have been fighting a battle for fair and equal treatment in all areas of life. While progress has been slow, some evidence of change can be observed in education, government and business. However, despite the victories won, the battle is far from over. It remains true that women struggle to access the basic right to equal pay or advance their careers as far as men. Smashing the glass ceiling once and for all will take both women and men doing their part. As both individuals and leaders women have a duel role to play. http://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/opinions/how-to-smash-the-glass-ceiling-from-both-sides-the-steps-women-and-leaders-can-take/201409294684#.VCzyChY4WSo [b]11. Tony Abbott's cave-in to divisive policy of backbenchers a failure of leadership[/b] Peter Hartcher October 2, 2014 Does Australia stand for the freedom of women? Or for their oppression? As the country confronts the barbarians of the so-called Islamic State, the answer from the national leader should be strong and clear..The Prime Minister had an ideal opportunity to demonstrate leadership today with a powerful affirmation of the freedom of women. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/tony-abbotts-cavein-to-divisive-policy-of-backbenchers-a-failure-of-leadership-20141001-10opbv.html [b]12. Tony Abbott to kill off Parliament House 'burqa' ban[/b] James Massola, October 2, 2014 The Prime Minister remains firmly committed to increasing security in private areas of Parliament House, including through the provision of photographic identification. But the plan for the public galleries is effectively dead, with Mr Abbott having told colleagues that once someone had been screened he was more relaxed about facial coverings being worn. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbott-to-kill-off-parliament-house-burqa-ban-20141002-10pjoh.html [b]13. Ban the White Sheets Before You Even Consider Banning The Burqa! [/b] Rossleigh, October 1, 2014 Imagine I want to launch an attack on Parliament. (This is hypothetical, Mr ASIO agent, but, hey, it’s always good to have another reader, I hope you enjoy my blog. :D) So, would I get someone who looked like a fundamentalist Muslim, or someone who could blend into the crowd so that security wouldn’t even give them a second look? Logic dictates that you wouldn’t want the person to stand out too much. http://theaimn.com/ban-white-sheets-even-consider-banning-burqa/ [b] 14. Who Welcomes Who in Multicultural Australia? [/b] Jordy Silverstein, Max Kaiser. 2 Oct 2014 Debates about which groups are welcome or unwelcome in a multicultural nation only reinforce racism and notions of white control http://newmatilda.us5.list-manage.com/track/click?u=bcde3b960b33e25d0c003ebc8&id=776baef468&e=0a1e2bdeb8

TalkTurkey

3/10/2014Israel: An exemplary democracy. http://972mag.com/visualizing-occupation-children-under-israels-legal-regime/58973/ Exemplary what of?

TalkTurkey

3/10/2014I wonder if Kero Queen Bronnie Bishop will talk to the Media about her Edict re burqas? Oh no probably not because as the Speaker she is scrupulous in remaining above all political involvement ... Har harrrr. Oddly enough I too find the complete burqa a bit *confronting*, that's the flywire face and all; imagine, me apparently in step with Abborrrtt! But note, [i]only[/i] apparently: I feel likewise about 100% dark glasses on police, and youbetcha Abborrrtt thinks [i]they[/i] are crazy cool. Eye contact seems to me an important adjunct to human communication, transcending language, instantaneous, (and beautiful, and Magic!) Yes glances can be misread in intent but then so can words! 100% dark glasses are [i]unnecessary[/i] even to eg motorcycle cops, because you can knock back all the light you want with polaroid lenses yet still allow others to see your eyes. Cops and spivs and celebs like 100% dark glasses because they put others at a disadvantage. I find them, in Abborrrtt's word, confronting. Sort of psychological knuckledusters. I would feel less confronted by a woman (or man for that matter!) in a niqab (I think that's the word, anyway the one that only leaves the eyes uncovered) than to a man (or woman, for that matter!) with only the eyes hidden by 100% dark glasses. But Abborrrtt doesn't object to 100% dark glasses, you may be sure. Only *burqas*, [but have you noticed btw, the Media seems to be (deliberately?) misreading that term as being ALL head coverings? Part ignorance, part mischief-making I suspect.] Madame Kero has anyway received the most [i]fulsome[/i]((:)) spray from the MSM, and it hasn't been a spray of Chanel No5, more like Eau de Pepe Le Pew. One has the feeling the MSM is delighting in doing it too, they can attcke her without actually exactly attacking the Government, she's a good Whipping Boy, and I'd be glad to wield the lash myself on her bare ... Oh blurrrkkk! It should not pass notice though that being able to see others' eyes whilst keeping one's own invisible does seem to me unfair, and whatever else may be said, argument for the full burqa seems to be on shaky ground. If you so want to be so secretive, you may after all stay home. After all - flywire or visible eyes, it's a pure choice. I do not so respect any religion at all that I think it is a be-all-end-all argument for anything. Jehovah's Witness parents who deny their children vital blood transfusions may and imo should simply be overridden. Priests should not be allowed to grant absolution and secrecy to those who have committed grave criminal offences. And if you want to appear in public, I think it's only fair not to confront others. (Because I bet that MANY people genuinely do feel confronted, and more so than I do too, because regardless of what I've just said, actually to me it's a not-important issue.) Anyway I'm delighted to see Abborrrtt so righteously wedged on the horns of a Halal dilemma, to mince some metaphors: he's sort of for and against at the same time, it's like a Queen Trap in Chess. He either supports Kero et al and alienates all Moslems and many others, or he hangs Her Nastiness out to dry in a confused idiotic retreat. Such fun. And all over [i]burqas[/i] - not hijabs, not niqabs, only the flywire model. Funny, because there's hardly any Australian women wear them anyway. Has anyone ever worn one in Parliament? Another thing: If it's legal for anyone to wear such attire everywhere, for religious reasons, it's legal for EVERYONE to do so for ANY reason. [i]What would happen if I ... ? [/i].. Heh heh

Catcching up

3/10/2014I wonder why we hear no complaints about men in dresses or robes? It appears the reason Abbott has not been able to make announcements going into war in Iraq because he has been unable to get the necessary permission from that country. He has had no security meeting since coming back from NY. Does that mean he has ben making announcement off his own back, without the backing of the security body? There is now such a meeting on, followed by a cabinet meeting I believe. Today we should find out, how far Our Tony is going.

Casablanca

3/10/2014[b]Team Australia.[/b] rachel polanskis ‏@virag064 23m23 minutes ago Bigots, war mongers, racists, fascists, haters. This is [b]Team Australia.[/b]

Casablanca

3/10/2014[b]Abbott and Hockey: Dodgy brothers budget repairs[/b] Wed, 01 Oct 2014 | Stephen Koukoulas The report in the Australian Financial Review today confirms that the Abbott government's fiscal strategy is in tatters. Elected on a platform to 'fix the budget' and tackle the 'budget crisis and emergency', the Abbott government is now planning a mini-budget in December to deal with the fact that its policies have resulted in a budget deficit blow out that at this stage, looks to be about as significant as some of the misses of the previous government. According to the AFR, the Abbott government has capitulated on measures that would have lowered the budget deficit by around $30 billion over four years, which only adds to the frenzied spending by the Abbott government on RBA payments, national security, roads, defence and paid parental leave, among other things. Add to that a negative shock from the fall in commodity prices and the terms of trade, and the budget deficit projections that will be in Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook will dwarf the numbers the Abbott government inherited in Pre-Election Fiscal Outlook. http://thekouk.com/blog/abbott-and-hockey-dodgy-brothers-budget-repairs.html#.VC4LSBY4WSq

Casablanca

3/10/2014Whose investigative reporting do you trust - the Fifth Estate or the Gutless Gallery? [b]Tony Abbott’s foreign affairs disasters pass 40[/b] Alan Austin 3 October 2014, Follies and faux pas by the Abbott Government abroad are no longer merely occasions for mockery and mirth — it is now more serious than that. http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/tony-abbotts-foreign-affairs-faux-pas-pass-40,6960 [b] Abbott weak on home front, but a lion abroad [/b] Mark Kenny, Sep 26 00: The PM refuses to lead on global warming but is gung-ho on dealing with global terror. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/abbott-weak-on-home-front-but-a-lion-abroad-20140925-10lelf.html [b]It's war, not 'a mission': Abbott incorrect on Iraq action[/b] ABC Fact Check 3 Oct 2014, 11:24am Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced on September 14 that Australia would send up to 10 air force planes and 600 personnel to the Middle East to join an international coalition against the Islamic State "terrorist threat". [u]The claim:[/u] Tony Abbott says Australia's commitment in Iraq is "best described as a mission rather than as a war". [u]The verdict:[/u] Experts say war is determined by the intensity of hostilities and whether the opposition is an organised armed group. Mr Abbott is incorrect. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-03/war-not-a-mission-abbott-incorrect-on-iraq-action-fact-check/5772316 [b]Australian Premier Moves Swiftly Against ISIS, but Analysts Question Benefits[/b] Jane Perlez OCT. 1, 2014 But analysts in Australia are questioning how the country will benefit from joining such a risky military operation, when its contribution is unlikely to affect the outcome and the national strategic interests it has at stake seem ill defined. “Abbott thinks of brave little Australia standing up with the United States for what is right,” said Hugh White, a former senior Australian defense official who is now a professor at the Australian National University. “The only things that keep the world swinging on its axis, in his mind, are the men and women — mostly men — who speak English as a first language and who are willing to go out there and do the hard yards.” http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/02/world/asia/australia-tony-abbott-isis-muslims.html?_r=0

Casablanca

3/10/2014[b]Postcard from Paris – public space must be neutral and secular.[/b] John Menadue. 10/02/2014 The burka and the hijab are stale news in France: There has been an important debate and discussion on Muslim head and body covering in France for many years. The simple head dress or hijab, turbans and kippas have been banned in French schools since 2004. The burka has been banned in public spaces since 2010. The French approach has a wide consensus across the political spectrum. Under the French policy of ‘laicite’ the state is neutral in relation to religious practices and institutions. Within that laicite framework religious codes and conduct must not infringe in the public area. http://johnmenadue.com/blog/?p=2495

Bacchus

3/10/2014Good to see you getting back to your humorously wicked best again TT. Is that flu finally letting go? :D "[quote]Yes glances can be misread in intent but then so can words![/quote]" Yep - a speaker or writer can intend their words to convey a meaning, but the receiver of the words is the one who ultimately assigns meaning to them, based on background, education and experience. A 15 year old saying "[i]the rapper was really cool man; sick as[/i]" will mean something completely different to his peers than to a 90 year old, who may believe someone working in a department store wrapping parcels is about to die from a serious illness caused by exposure to cold. ;-) This can be exploited by whiny weasel-like creatures to intentionally deceive. On the etymology of words - With your interest in words, I think you will find this most interesting: http://www.teachit.co.uk/armoore/lang/semantics.htm

Ken

3/10/2014TT An interesting sidelight is that it is apparently a 'European' thing to focus on the eyes as the main means of recognition. I recall reading somewhere that 'Asians' look more to the nose and mouth. In either case the burqa is a problem. I like the French approach but think it should be taken to its logical extreme. There should be no public displays that identify any person with a religion, including some of the distinctive Jewish hats, the robes of Catholic priests, etc.

Casablanca

4/10/2014 [b]Opinion is one thing, facts are another[/b] Crispin Hull. October 3, 2014 Smart countries like Norway taxed their main resource – North Sea oil – at 78 per cent and built up a vast sovereign fund. The tax did not deter the miners. This Government, on the other hand, having abolished resource taxes, has failed to propose reasonably acceptable alternatives that would pass the Senate. Moreover, spending on the military and security has ballooned. But the problem is not government spending, it is the failure to gather the revenue to match it. In the past week the scandalous tax evasion of large corporations was revealed. A third of ASX200 companies pay less than 10 per cent tax and 84 per cent of them pay less than the 30 per cent company rate. Labor's assistant Treasury spokesman Andrew Leigh estimates that $8.4 billion a year is lost in company tax through evasion and minimisation, mainly by saddling up Australian arms of multinational companies with large interest payments on loans that are used worldwide. These companies should pay full Australian tax on their Australian revenue. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/opinion-is-one-thing-facts-are-another-20141002-10ogp4.html#ixzz3F5nIR9kv

Casablanca

4/10/2014[b]Burqa ban a political excuse for persecution[/b] Waleed Aly. October 3, 2014 Even before the embarrassing back-down there were problems. For starters, it's not a burqa. A burqa is that particularly Afghan garment, usually blue, with the mesh covering the eyes. The one you've seen on the news (or perhaps on Jacqui Lambie's Facebook page), but almost certainly never in Australia. We're talking about the niqab, common in the Gulf and worn by – my guess – a couple of hundred Australians. I have to guess, because we don't even bother with such basic research before we consider banning such things. It says everything that we can't even get the name right; that merely to be understood in the argument, you must get it wrong...Now is when we find out what Team Australia really means. Now is when we discover if it's designed to unify a diverse nation or to demonise the socially unpopular. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/burqa-ban-a-political-excuse-for-persecution-20141002-10p0mc.html#ixzz3F5wd4QN5

TalkTurkey

4/10/2014Casablanca You're bloody wondrous, you know that? (K) Great links, even if I mostly only read your precises. TYVM as we cool Bloggers say. Ken Yeah well Asians with epicanthic eyefolds have tiny little eye-slits, and their lenses are funny too, I guess they might as well look at each others' nostrils! (I know it sounds racist but it's true!) And in truth, it [i]is[/i] racist too, in the sense that it draws a distinction between races - but it is a distinction that is a fact of life. And I make it without prejudice. We all get what we get. But a very high proportion of Chinese and Japanese students need specs eh. Among many Aboriginal cultures, you may meet people's eyes but it's really rude to try to hold their gaze, it's polite to look away after a short moment ... as they do. That is really a big lesson to the rest of us I think ... They are so much more sensitive than Westerners. And if you watch David Attenborough with Gorillas, you know to treat them similarly! Because plainly the Gorillas are more polite than Westerners too. So it's all very deep in our DNA. Aeons. So not being able to see people's eyes at all - especially when you know that those people can see your own - is quite a disconcerting proposition I think. [i]I've only ever seen women in full-on eye-veiled [i]burqas[/i] on TV[/i] as far as I know, but I know I'd be disconcerted if I met one in the greengrocer's. Whatever the wearer's habits (oops pun) in the land of her/(his!) origin, the [i]burqa[/i] seems really inappropriate here. If someone doesn't want to be seen in public, don't go there I say. Full-face [i]burqa[/i]-wearing is nowhere mandatory within the Muslim religion, certainly not in Australia anyway, (and it should be illegal everywhere to demand it of women), so it's purely a matter of choice by the wearers themselves. But yes, I've never met a [i]burqa[/i] in the flesh. Umm perhaps that's an uncomfortable metaphor. No "uncovered meat" here. Just a fly-wire fronted meat-safe! :) The [i]niqab[/i] lets you see the wearer's eyes but not the nose and lips, so at least you know if the wearer is looking at you, there's no smiling nor snarling nor any of the nuancing facial expressions communicate. (As you point out Ken, that'd be worse for Asians than for other racial groups!) But I don't like niqabs much myself, I've only seen a few but I don't think they're quite polite to the rest of us. But again, in Adelaide at least, you might have to go on a long day's march before you'd find a [i]niqab[/i] here. Not that that changes the principle of course. I have no objection to [i]hijabs[/i] (basically just headscarves) at all. Except that I find any public display of religious affiliation a bit offensive - skull caps, dog collars, crucifixes, habits - as Ken notes similarly in his comment at 6.27PM yesty. But from some of the comments in the link below, it is plain that I'm no orphan in my opinion of niqabs and burqas. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-03/rumour-of-burka-clad-protesters-sparked-parliament-restrictions/5789040 But actually, the above notwithstanding, I really hardly give a rat's about what people wear! What makes the subject so fascinating is the strange saga of Bronnie's Burqa Box and Abborrrtt's Agonised Acrobatics ... Like this: (After some basic Muslim-baiting and sabre-rattling by Abborrrtt, the whole issue took off after he said he finds burqas "confronting" (But note, as I've made clear so would I if I ever met any! ... And so do many Lefties! ... Well, [i]disconcerting[/i], rather. ) BUT Next: [i]The most vocal* [/i]of The People are [i]outraged[/i] on Muslim womens' behalf, and funnier still, many take 'burqa' to mean [i]any[/i] kind of headdress worn by Muslim women ... [*But remember, many people say nothing. And many agree [i]extremely[/i] with Abborrrttt. They're the ones we must keep an eye on.] But both Social and Mainstream Media beat the whole issue up ... It goes viral. Then there's rumours of women going in numbers to Fed Parlt ... So then Bronnie, thinking Tony will be ever-so-pleased with her initiative, and to pre-empt an embarrassing scene in the Visitors' Gallery, she proposes (and it's within her powers) that burqa'd visitors be glassed-in ... And then the ordure really made forcible contact with the aerofoil ... Because neither Bronnie nor Abborrrrttt knows how to play this. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ And Bacchus, I've failed properly to reply to you a few times recently, haven't meant to, sorry. I just get weary in the head a lot these days, before I say what I want to. (I am so right now.) All I'll say is - About words - you know a lot.

Casablanca

5/10/2014[b]2353, Ad Astra & TT[/b] It has taken be several days to respond to your kind words: 2353 @ September 30. 2014 07:54 AM Wow Casablanca - I'm honoured by the thought that went into the links above. I'll enjoy reading them. I even 'shared' one of them on Facebook Ad astra @ October 1. 2014 10:00 AM Casablanca, Thank you for your informative collection of links on religion and politics. You are a superb asset to TPS. TT @ October 4. 2014 11:18 PM Casablanca. You're bloody wondrous, you know that? Kiss Great links, even if I mostly only read your precises. TYVM as we cool Bloggers say. Thank you so much for your endorsements. I was especially chuffed by what you said [b]2353[/b] as you captured my motivation perfectly. I also agreed with what Ad said: 'I admire your pluck in tackling the thorny issue of the interface between politics and religion. It needs to be tackled'. Which article did you share on Facecook? Chances are that it was one by Andrew Hamiliton as the majority were authored by him. Both Ad and I have praised Andrew Hamilton's articles in the past and I shall continue to seek them out. Abbott has tarnished the image of Jesuit education so it is good to read the principled and carefully considered articles written by this Jesuit priest. [b]TT[/b] I'm pleased that you get to read & appreciate the precises that I provide. Sometimes the headline belies the content of the article. For example, the article listed above by Crispin Hull had one heading on the main page of the newspaper 'Joe Hockey caught out – by John Howard' but another above the actual article 'Opinion is one thing, facts are another.' The latter gives no indication that the article is going to focus on Hockey or Howard. [b]AD[/b], thank you for your nurturing comments. [b]TYVM :)[/b]

Ad astra

5/10/2014Casablanca Thank you for your kind comments, and for your continuing feeding of us with great links. I hope you are now having no trouble accessing [i]TPS[/i] since Web Monkey attended to a DNS problem.

2353

5/10/2014Casablanca - I shared the article about Superhero Nuns. I resonated with me for a number of reasons. Thanks for the continued work adn the kind comments.
How many umbrellas are there if I start with two and take 2 away?