Published at Catallaxy Files on 10/06/2021
A set of stairs today filed a defamation suit against Victorian Premier Dan Andrews, lawyers representing the as-yet unnamed stairs announced today.
“Dan Andrews called our client ‘slippery’,” a spokes-entity for the stairs’ lawyers said. “‘Slippery’ is an entity slur that stairs take very seriously, as the Premier is about to discover. Our client is not the slippery entity in this incident.”
No further details of the suit are available.
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”
[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”
[Published at The Orthosphere, 20/12/2010]
You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44
On November 9th, Tucker Carlson offered the following prescription for curing the ills of the USA.
Let’s all stop lying. Lying about everything that matters, every day of our lives. That’s what we’re doing now. Have you noticed? How many times did you lie today because you had to? Let’s repeal our national dishonesty mandate (it’s a law never codified but still ruthlessly enforced) and tell the truth instead. That’s our only hope. Tell the truth about everything. Continue reading “The Father of Lies”
[Published at Catallaxy Files 27/11/2020]
Edsgar Dijkstra became a programmer in 1951. He is one of the early giants in a field that saw an unprecedented explosion of intellectual activity. When multi-processing came to computing, the phenomenon of deadlock began to make a pest of itself. Processes would just sieze up, something that anyone with a personal computer or smartphone has probably observed. Dijkstra studied this problem, and in one of his simple, elegant expositions, showed that systems reached a point of no return before there are indications of trouble ahead. Processes could do essentially the same things thousands or millions of times without problems, then two or more of them would deadlock, no one of them able to continue. Until that happened, there would be no warning; yet, at some earlier moment the rubicon had been crossed, and it was only a matter of time.
There has always been a contempt for the rubes within the ruling class. Different rules have always applied. There has at least since the advent of mass media been manipulation of public opinion. Powerful agencies of government have always chafed against the restraints of law and representative government. There has been a widespread awareness of this malignancy – it is part of the background, it is part of what is thought of as normal. It is an assumption for those who have disconnected entirely from the “news” and the goings-on of politics, as it is for those who make their living, on way or another, from politics. So it is that no-one noticed any change in the character of the times. The Zeitgeist flailed and raged much as it had before. Continue reading “Deadlock”
[A version with slight differences was published 27th April, 2020 on Quadrant Online QED.]
The previous “pandemic”, commonly know as Swine Flu, was caused by a type of Influenza virus known as H1N1. Spanish Flu was also caused by an H1N1 variant. The disease was first detected in Mexico in 2009, and initial reports gave what was eventually seen to be an exaggerated view of the morbidity and mortality of the disease, but, as a paper on the response of Australian emergency departments put it, [a]lthough the severity was subsequently shown to be of less concern, the initial response was, and necessarily had to be, based on the information available at the time. That assumption is invalid, for reasons to be outlined. Nonetheless, the response to that pandemic was somnolent compared to our betters’ instituting a totalitarian state (with a sunset clause) just 10 years later.
Continue reading “Endemic Pandemic Panic”
[Originally published by Quadrant Online on 30th December 2019. Published in Quadrant Magazine March 2020.]
The conviction of the guilty is just; it is the unremarkable business of a just criminal jurisprudence; but the conviction of the innocent strikes at the heart of Justice. If it happens through error or negligence, it is bad enough; when it happens by design, it is an abomination that corrodes trust in the law itself.
Maimonides in the 12th century, in this commentary on Exodus 23:7 (Keep far from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent and righteous, for I will not acquit the wicked) concluded, “it is better and more satisfactory to acquit a thousand guilty persons than to put a single innocent man to death once in a way.”
Continue reading “The Burden of Proof and the Pell Case”
[A version with slight differences was published 28th April, 2019 on Quadrant Online QED.]
Notre Dame de Paris, on the Île de Cité, is a centrepiece of Europe’s Christian cultural heritage; which is to say, a centrepiece of our heritage. The shocked and sombre reaction of most Parisians to the burning Cathedral was shared by anyone with some sense of the debt we owe to the builders, not only those who laboured over centuries on the cathedral itself, but the millennial builders of our patrimony.
The Sorbonne Quarter lies over the river from the Cathedral, and the first universities emerged from the Church schools as expressions of Christianity’s commitment to learning. The Sorbonne was the second of the great universities to be founded, around 1150, after Bologna. St Thomas Aquinas studied there under St Albertus Magus as the Cathedral was being constructed.
Continue reading “Israel Folau and the Rainbow Dhimmis”