Published at Catallaxy Files on 30/03/2021
I was always opposed to the idea of quotas for women in Parliament. I operated under the delusion, not so much that selection on merit was a better idea, but that selection on merit could actually occur. Given the selection processes for the major parties, this was always a tenuous notion. But the revelation in Parliament over the past couple of weeks are so disturbing that it is no longer an option to be blind to the reality, and it can no longer be argued that the situation will correct itself through the good offices and goodwill of the parties, factions and people involved.
Accordingly, it is time for definite proposals for quotas for women in Parliament. Clearly, the necessary changes will not take place overnight, but ambitious targets are required. With sufficient will, the current parlous situation of Parliament can be corrected over the course of three Parliamentary terms. For maximum effectiveness the first opportunity must be seized: that is the next Federal election.
At the next election, I propose a quota of 25% of winnable seats to be allocated for women. At the following election, that should be 17.5%, and at the one after, 10%. More than any other conceivable measure, this would fix the current toxic environment in Federal Parliament. These are tough goals, but if respect for Parliament is to increased from its present lows, they are essential.
Published at The Orthosphere on Easter Saturday, 2021.
It’s Saturday. As Friday waned, the old world died. All of the old certainties were bound up with aloes and myrrh in linen, and laid to restlessness.
Now we wait. There are rumours of Sunday. I have heard, and I believe – as so many have, as so many have not. Some who have believed have made new worlds and all who have believed have made new lives; lives inconceivable on Friday. Some who have disbelieved have built fortresses of unbelief; all who have disbelieved have turned their faces from the east. But all who hear these rumours have been put the question extraordinary, and all have been obliged to answer.
This Saturday, empires have risen and collapsed. Hosts of hosts have lived and died. None of the understandings of Friday can be re-imagined, save the one stubborn link, and that one passing over Calvary.
When will night fall on this expectant Saturday?
Published at The Orthosphere on the Solemnity of the Annunciation.
Nothing is impossible to God. Occam’s Razor cannot separate the works of God according to any principle of economy. What economy is evident in a cell, a tree, the biosphere, the galaxy, the farthest reaches of the universe? Irrespective of the models we construct to map and try to predict the behaviour of these things, all of them, in their concrete reality, are unfathomably complex, and each is a unique instance. What principle can place limits on the actions of the creator of all these wonders?
With this in mind, consider the conception, gestation and birth of Jesus of Nazareth. Accepting as an irreducible given that Mary, his blessed mother, “knew not man,” there is a minimalist scenario – Occam’s scenario, so to speak. On this view, the action of the Holy Ghost consisted in fusing a DNA strand of his own making with the DNA in a mature ovum of the Blessed Virgin, which at the moment of the Annunciation and Mary’s fiat, was making its way down one of her fallopian tubes. And with, “I am the servant of the Lord,” that fusion took place, and the Son became flesh as a single fertilised ovum. Continue reading “The Virgin Birth”
This document was prepared some time ago, but could not find a home.
Ever since I first saw the analysis by Evans, Smith and Shiva of vote leakage in the big Michigan counties, I have thought of it as the single most compelling evidence of electoral fraud, and one with much wider application that just Michigan. Michigan was selected because of the availability of straight part-ticket voting in that State, a bit like the above-the-line voting in the Senate here. That gives a demographic snapshot of the party vote on a precinct-by-precinct basis. (Polling booths are probably the nearest analogy to the precincts.) By comparing the specific Trump/Biden vote to the straight-ticket voting, a picture of the leakage to or from the party Presidential candidate can be constructed. Continue reading “Debunking Dr Shiva”
The mid-term elections of Trump’s presidency were held on the 6th of November 2018, amid high expectations of a so-called “blue wave” of Democrat victories. All House of Representatives seats were on the line, but although Democrats won control of the House, they made little impact in the Senate, which remained under Republican control.
Florida was particularly sensitive about election processes because the result of the 2000 Presidential election, which hinged on the result in Florida, was effectively settled in the Supreme Court of the US. Broward County has 1.2 million voters, a similar number to Miami-Dade county. Unlike Miami-Dade, however, Broward officials did not expect to complete the count by the deadline for sending preliminary totals to the State. Continue reading “Practice makes Perfect”
Bin Laden knew a thing or two about the media; especially the Western media. On the rare occasions on which he permitted an interview, he always had the entire exchange recorded by his own videographer. It’s a lesson a good many Australian public figures could have benefitted from. The latest of them is Andrew Hastie.
When Major-General Brereton released his report, Andrew Hastie, as a former officer in the Special Service Regiment (SASR), was anxious to put his point of view. He wrote an article published in The Australian, and then he was interviewed by Andrew Probyn for the ABC. In his Australian article, Hastie wrote, “The report is hard reading. It is comprehensive, detailed and unsparing in its judgment on those alleged to have committed war crimes.” A problem jumps out from this, a problem that characterises the whole media circus. It does accurately characterise the report, and it seems also to characterise Hastie’s attitude. How can unsparing judgment be made on allegations? Such language implies pre-judgement.
Continue reading “Learning from Bin Laden”
The most interesting, and in many ways the most useful, part of the Brereton report is Annex A, the Whetham Report, to Part 3, Strategic, Operational, Organisational and Cultural Issues. It’s written by Dr. David Whetham. Among (many) other things, he’s Director of the King’s Centre for Military Ethics at King’s College, London. He was made Assistant Inspector-General of the ADF for the purpose of this very report. Here’s his bio from King’s.
David Whetham is Professor of Ethics and the Military Profession in the Defence Studies Department of King’s College London. He is the Director of the King’s Centre for Military Ethics and delivers or coordinates the military ethics component of courses for between two and three thousand British and international officers a year at the UK’s Joint Services Command and Staff College. Before joining King’s as a permanent member fo staff in 2003, David worked as a BBC researcher and with the OSCE [Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe] in Kosovo, supporting the 2001 and 2002 elections.
Continue reading “Brereton’s Backup”
It’s like this, in the gospel according to Brereton…
All that said, it was at the patrol commander level that the criminal behaviour was conceived, committed, continued, and concealed, and overwhelmingly at that level that responsibility resides…
The Inquiry has found no evidence that there was knowledge of, or reckless indifference to, the commission of war crimes, on the part of commanders at troop/platoon, squadron/company or Task Group Headquarters level, let alone at higher levels such as Commander Joint Task Force 633, Joint Operations Command, or Australian Defence Headquarters. Nor…was [there] any failure at any of those levels to take reasonable and practical steps that would have prevented or detected the commission of war crimes.
…responsibility and accountability does not extend to higher headquarters…
The responsibility lies in the Australian Defence Force, not with the government of the day.
…that culture was not created or enabled in SOTG, let alone by any individual Special Operations Task Group Commanding Officer. … It was in their parent units…that the cultures…were bred, and it is with the commanders of the domestic units who enabled that, rather than with the SOTG commanders, that greater responsibility rests. Continue reading “No officers were harmed in the making of this report”
[Published at Catallaxy Files 12/01/2021]
In 1942, the Special Services Division, Services of Supply, United States Army, published a booklet called Instructions for American Servicemen in Australia. The first section includes this:
The Australians have much in common with us – they’re a pioneer people; they believe in personal freedom; they love sports; and they’re out to lick the Axis all the way. But there are a lot of differences too – their ways of living and thinking on all sorts of things – like tea, central heating, the best way to spend Sunday, or saluting officers and such.
Continue reading “Young & Free”