Written on our bodies: God’s Own Party goes to war on women

18 Mar

When Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama fought it out to win the Democrats’ nomination for Presidential Candidate in 2008, the claim that “Americans are more misogynist than racist” was used as a street-level indicator of who would triumph. As we know Obama won, though whether or not this proves the observation is impossible to determine.

In the 2012 Republican battle for nomination, religion plays a central role, to the extent that the party is referred to by some US media as God’s Own Party, or, the American Faith Party. Professing your faith, once a no-no in US politics, is now de rigueur for Republican candidates who represent a party comprised in large part of Catholic traditionalists, evangelicals, fundamentalists, and charismatic protestants; some strands of Judaism, and Mormons. What these disparate religious groups share is faith in the power of religious values to create a better country, and in some instances, a belief that God’s law should govern society.  The belief in a shared ultimate vision for the ordering of human existence, and the subordination of human experience to dogma and doctrinal claims are hallmarks of right-wing religious beliefs. Now for the first time in US history the core identity of a political party is “the profession of a religious faith in politics.” In other words, God’s Own Party is dedicated to a mystical imperative that supersedes all other concerns: faith.

Abortion and gay marriage are two of the fundamental issues that provoke anxiety and uncertainty in supporters of the AFP.  Some commentators see the origins of the new party back in Ronald Reagan’s presidency, when he made efforts to appeal to the Bible belt following the Roe v Wade decision on abortion. Since that decision, religious groups have felt themselves particularly alienated from politics, and disgruntled that religion apparently had no role in determining an aspect of public policy about which they held zealous views.

Hillary Clinton, now US Secretary of State, recently made the following comments:

Why extremists always focus on women remains a mystery to me. But they all seem to. It doesn’t matter what country they’re in or what religion they claim. They want to control women. They want to control how we dress. They want to control how we act. They even want to control the decisions we make about our own health and bodies. Yes, it is hard to believe that even here at home, we have to stand up for women’s rights and reject efforts to marginalize any one of us, because America needs to set an example for the entire world.

Given current conditions, the US is far from setting an example to the entire world in the matter of women’s reproductive rights.

Clinton is required to refrain from commentary on domestic politics in her role as Secretary of State, however it’s clear that’s she’s referring to what New York Times Columnist Maureen Dowd describes as an “insane bout of mass misogyny” perpetrated by G.O.P. leaders in their efforts to outdo one another in selling their religious conservative credentials to voters.

The personal consequences of this insanity for one woman are detailed in this devastating account of her experiences in Texas, after new laws were introduced requiring certain procedures before a woman may undergo a termination. Women are compelled to have an ultrasound, during which they are legally required to listen while a doctor is legally required to describe the foetus they are carrying. They must then wait 24 hours before termination, presumably to give them time to change their minds after hearing this description, and in some states, the foetal heartbeat.  In the case of Carolyn Jones described in the link, a nurse turned up the volume of a radio in an attempt to drown out the doctor’s words and spare Ms Jones some anguish. One can only imagine the toll these laws take on the staff of women’s health clinics, as well as the patients.

Doctors are then legally required (under threat of losing their license) to read out a list of the dangers of abortion, including the discredited claim also made by religious groups in Australia, most recently on ABC’s The Drum, that there is an increased chance of breast cancer after a termination.

Seven US states require that an abortion provider perform an ultrasound on each woman seeking an abortion, and then require the provider to offer the woman the opportunity to view the image. In most states she is permitted to “turn her eyes away.” This legislation is based on the paternalistic notion that women might not know what pregnancy means, and having the foetus described, hearing its heartbeat and viewing an ultrasound will educate them. The desired outcome is that after this compulsory education, a woman will change her mind, refuse to terminate the pregnancy, and carry the foetus to term.

Some of these requirements have been in place in some states since the mid 1990’s. There hasn’t been any noticeable decline in the numbers of women seeking abortions, indeed some figures indicate an increase, especially the figures used by the anti-choice campaigners, who often claim an “epidemic” is underway. It’s generally agreed by abortion providers that women have made up their minds about termination before arriving at their clinics, and no matter how they are tortured, are disinclined to change their minds.

Many women seeking abortions have already given birth, and are well aware of what they are doing. Apparently, according to anti-choice activists, even when a woman has carried a child to term she still can’t be trusted to know what she is planning to do. Most insidious is the Orwellian co-option of language to justify these last-minute efforts at re-education under the guise of “informed consent.”  The “Women’s Right to Know Act” is the title of the legislation, a title that implies a woman hasn’t got a clue in the first place, and that information is being deliberately withheld from her by abortion providers.

And then there is the “post abortion grief” argument so beloved by some activists in Australia:

Abortion foes have long focused on what they allege are its negative mental health consequences. For decades, they have charged that having an abortion causes mental instability and even may lead to suicide, and despite consistent repudiations from the major professional mental health associations, they remain undeterred.

Neither the American Psychological Association nor the American Psychiatric Association recognizes so-called post-abortion traumatic stress syndrome as grounded in clinical evidence. As these bodies apparently are willing to recognize just about anything as a syndrome, the fact that they refuse to grant credence to this particular “syndrome” is significant.

As I wrote here, there is a continuum of reactions to the experience of abortion, and none of them should be extrapolated to prove one thing or another, and certainly not to claim that “post abortion syndrome” is an argument for outlawing abortion.

An attitude typical of Republicans who support the AFP is encapsulated in this comment on abortion: “We can’t ever think that a fetus is somehow undesirable or even disposable,” said Justine Schmiesing, a mother of seven who noted that she does not “contracept.” “We don’t want government to act in ways that ignore life, and that is why we are speaking up.”

The Republican party’s focus on women’s reproductive rights (contraception is also under fire, but that’s another whole article) as a political battleground does not augur well for US women, especially in the southern states, as the fallout from new laws causes a cut in federal funding that affects all health services for low-income women:

After Texas blocked abortion providers’ participation in its Medicaid Women’s Health Program, the White House officially notified the state Thursday afternoon that it will pull all funds from the program, which totalled about $39 million last year.

The Medicaid program offered a wide range of health services to women who otherwise would be unable to afford them. Texas refused to allow any abortion provider to participate in this program, despite the fact that clinics providing abortion such as Planned Parenthood, also offer a multitude of other services. As federal law already forbids the use of federal funds to pay for abortions, this action is purely political. As I wrote here in April 2011:

The call for de-funding was justified by Republicans and prominent Tea Party supporters such as Sarah Palin as necessary to prevent taxpayers’ money being used to provide abortions. Palin tweeted that “the country’s going broke, we can’t AFFORD cowboy poetry and subsidised abortion.”
 In fact, some 3 per cent of Planned Parenthood’s total services deal with abortion, and that 3 per cent is restricted to terminating pregnancies that are a consequence of rape, incest, and those that are a threat to the mother’s life. The use of federal funds for any other type of abortion is already illegal.
Republican anti-abortion spin reframes Planned Parenthood as a major provider of subsidised abortion, and so determined are conservatives forces to ban the procedure they were prepared to not only close down the government’s ability to financially function, but to deny all other health services provided for poor and low-income women by the PP health centres.

Not only is this a war on women, it’s also a class war.

The Republican party is today dominated by presidential candidates fuelled by a sense of higher purpose, who market themselves as agents of God, chosen to guide America back to the path of righteousness from which it has apparently so grievously strayed. Society must be re-shaped to fit their doctrinal mold, because to them, doctrine is more valid than human experience. The differences between the religious faiths represented in GOP are temporarily suspended in the interests of attaining the greater good.

What is alarming is that gaining control over women’s bodies has once again come to represent attaining the greater good. That women will suffer in the political/religious struggle for the imagined ideal is irrelevant, as it is women who allegedly most grievously transgress this ideal. It is women, specifically women’s sexuality, that obstructs those who seek a god-fearing society.

After all, central to the US pledge of allegiance, piped by every school child in America every morning, is the phrase “ one country under God.”  God’s Own Party is determined to make America one country under God, and if you’re a woman, and even more if you’re a poor woman, you will be crushed in the righteous pursuit of the imposition of God’s will.

As Wendy Kaminer puts it in the Atlantic:

Would we tolerate a religious right to refuse treatment or accommodation on the basis of race as readily as we tolerate a religious right to refuse reproductive health care? Of course not. Your right to act on your religious beliefs is not absolute; it’s weighed against the rights that your actions would deny to others. Today, and perhaps for the foreseeable future, claims of religious freedom tend to outweigh claims of reproductive freedom. But that is a consequence of history, politics, and culture and is subject to change. The balance of power is not divinely ordained.

The religious right in US politics doesn’t attempt to conceal its agendas. One doesn’t have to ask where they’re coming from, they’re only too happy to tell you. If ever there was an argument for being informed of the religious beliefs of politicians and public figures who seek to influence policy, the US situation is it. Even the US Constitution, so clear on the separation of church and state, has become irrelevant in the face of renewed religious determination to control women’s reproductive health. In the southern states, it looks as if they’re succeeding.

71 Responses to “Written on our bodies: God’s Own Party goes to war on women”

  1. doug quixote March 18, 2012 at 11:02 am #

    The US Supreme Court will continue to declare these absurd Acts imposing absurd and invasive tests to be Unconstitutional, but the Acts are like cockroaches or flies – kill one and another fifty turn up to his funeral.

    That religionists are gaining ground is somewhat to do with Reagan’s “reforms” to education in the 1980s and the current crop reflect the nonsense taught to them as a result.

    God Bless America – no-one else will.


  2. paul walter March 18, 2012 at 2:33 pm #

    Also an indication of a cultural split. Most of this stuff comes from conservative, agrarian “red” states, heavily colonised by the fundamentalist strain of Christianity, anti trade union, anti intellectual, anti welfare, low tax (for the rich) and anti transformative government.
    It seems to be a harvest reaped of the efforts of very powerful interests requiring of a vehicle to attack taxation and regulation for big business. The single most spectacular example of what I am thinking of, of course involves the Koch brothers, massively wealthy gas frackers whose history traces back to the John Birch Society, formed in part by their father. They have been amongst the hugest funders of right wing think-tanks since the 1970’s and funded the hence astroturfed Tea Party resentment of the Wall St Bail out into a front for an attack on democracy usually fought on the ground by conservatives and religious fundamentalists.
    The local equivalent would probably relate to political figures from Bjelke-Petersen earlier to Abbott, Kevin Andrews, Sophie Mirabella, some key social conservative ALP right wing figures, megaphones like Alan Jones and black-propagandists employed by the Murdoch press, as well as TV of the TDT/ ACA type, that feed off hatred and fear of blue-collar people from unionists to despised “Bogans”, racial minorities, science education and intellect and of course sexuality, most often as it applies to homosexuality and that age-old problem of “errant” women.
    What seems to be in play with women is an outlook dating back to more primitive 19th century times that almost died in the sixties and seventies, involving sexual ignorance, guilt, repression and frustration with an impulse to control that deteriorates to sadism at worst.
    It is mysogonistic in the worst possible way as it totally “others” women to some thing of little more concern than a piece of furniture.You can go to the cultural and sociological reasons, over time, for the mentality, to do with socialisation, human commodification and individuation, but however you view its formation, it remains an incredibly nasty pathology for men and women that must divide and alienate them against against each other,psychologically damage on coming generations and seems self-replicating as immensely powerful interests with an interest in a divided and adversariality-ridden society promote the antagonism through political action, as a means to avoid scrutiny of their own activities.


  3. Julia March 18, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

    USA shows all the symptoms of civilisation in decay.
    But that’s for another day.

    Jennifer, you beat me to posting the link to the Texas article.
    To put anyone through such ordeal is appalling. I think we will see more and more of these sorts of stories. Among the comments…amid the usual defenders of oppression & torture…the voices of outrage dominate. One comment struck me…the mother was put through this abuse against her will yet the father was not…he was allowed to be absent, not forced to listen.
    Real life examples of how this legislation affects real people, in concert with the many other concerns, strikes at the heart of people’s comfort zones’ outrages sensibilities.

    Optimism wishful thinking:

    The pendulum swings…the religious zealotss may be enjoying the height of the upswing…but already the pendulum is beginning to descend once again. Hopefully the groundswell of outraged voices will be strong enough by election itme. Hopefully some leadeship will emerge in time to persuade the indignant & fearful to enrol to vote. (this is where our compulsory voting proves it’s worth, our silent majority has to turn up at the polling booths, “might as well make good use of the vote while we’re here”) Last time I saw the numbers…more than 50% of USA families were single parent. It’s a fair bet most of these are headed by mothers….don’t fit in to the xtian Family Values guff.

    There’s been, is, a more subtle under-reported campaign going on. Re-inforcment of male as head of “his” family, female as dependent satellites circling the husband/father, who is the be all and end all of the females’ self-esteem. Day in day out, not just within xtian circles but posted on social media and other places so that it is impossible to escape. It’s in your face. Over and over in the way cutesy stuff is picked up and shared from friend to friend to friend…along with the delightful puppy and kitten pics.
    Stuff like: 10 Facts Men Should Consider About Their Wife.
    Husbands, Read and heed!
    Can I trust you with my heart.

    KGB could have learned a lot about brainwashing from the AFP & their fundie mates


    • Jennifer Wilson March 19, 2012 at 10:10 am #

      Oh bloody hell, that stuff is shocking. It’s like some Christian domestic discipline sites a twitter friend showed me. That link Hudson put up to Penn Jillette is really interesting.


    • Hypocritophobe March 19, 2012 at 2:20 pm #

      Any chance of a copy and paste, of the text?
      The site and links seem to be down.Must be a rush on so men can get the rules right.


    • gerard oosterman March 19, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

      You know you are getting near to America when, no matter the size of your umbrella, you are soaked to the skin within minutes, the sky drips with sugary sentimentality. The country is like a giant Daryll Lee shop.
      ” Can I trust you with my heart”.
      The drones overhead in the rest of the world desperately trying to make sure it will stay like that. No Country for old Men.The old men faltering forwards amongst fallen leaves don’t matter the least. It’s all so hopeless over there. It was a good movie.


      • Jennifer Wilson March 20, 2012 at 10:10 am #

        It was a good movie, Gerard and the book was even better. Have you read The Road, also by Cormac McCarthy? It’s one of the most disturbing and redeeming books I’ve ever read. Strongly recommend it. Deals wonderfully with nihilism and hope.


    • Hypocritophobe March 19, 2012 at 5:20 pm #

      The link seems OK ATM.
      But look!
      There’s more:

      Women only get 7.But they make up for because these are WAY funnier!


      • Hypocritophobe March 19, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

        And it seems that the fault of child sexual abuse and sexual crimes in church is all down to porn.

        That’s 2 excuses the churches have now.
        Porn, and ‘it was all the offenders’ fault.
        Either way they take the ‘absolution’ path,as per usual.


      • Julia March 22, 2012 at 4:37 pm #

        Methinks poor ol Perry hasn’t learned to put the tilet seat down.
        If he’d listened the FIRST time, his missus wouldn’t need to nag.



  4. DontSueMeMTR March 18, 2012 at 5:32 pm #

    What strikes me is the blind hypocricy these people demonstrate. Some of them seem to be the most war-mongering, selfish, avaricious, petty, spiteful, hate-filled and uncharitable types you could ever come across and yet they militaristically champion an ideology whose figurehead is painted as a self-sacrificing pacifist hippy.

    And then there’s the women who are so vehemently against women’s rights and the poor who are so opposed to government assistance. I hear these people talk about how dangerous Islamic radicalism is and I wonder just how stupid a person can be.

    On an unrelated note, my browser is telling me I can’t use my regular log-in details because noplaceforsheep.com is using a security certificate that is only valid for sites in the wordpress.com domain. It could be my browser. Is anyone else having similar trouble?


    • Jennifer Wilson March 18, 2012 at 6:59 pm #

      Hi Don’t Sue, I put some moderation in place for a while, have removed it now so you shouldn’t have anymore trouble.


  5. Christine Says Hi March 18, 2012 at 10:00 pm #

    Good post. A few years ago I was told by an online acquaintance that saying “War against women” was just fear-mongering. He was wrong, and it’s time women in the US (and elsewhere) started to take it back. It’s good to see reports of Republican popularity diving among women voters for just the reasons outlined in your post.

    Similar things are happening in the UK, where anti-choice women have been stacked on the national women’s health review boards by government ministers who wants to end in-school sex education and replace it with ‘just say no’ classes, to “give girls self esteem and prevent pregnancies”.

    But until women make their own rights, health and social importance priorities and actively vote against men or women who want to harm them ~ and let it be known they will do so and have done so, it will just keep on occurring.


    • Jennifer Wilson March 19, 2012 at 10:06 am #

      “Just say no” well, that worked for drugs didn’t it? LOL. What will give girls self esteem is control over their own reproductive choices and contraception, is what I think. When will these sexual conservatives accept that people just like to fuck, always have, always will, and there’s nothing wrong with that? I don’t know. 🙂


    • Hypocritophobe March 19, 2012 at 10:57 am #

      The obedient ‘puppet men’ of the church telling the ‘obedient puppet-ling’ women ‘role models’ they are modern feminist heroes, and the gullible, self righteous, anti-choice prude-sheep fall in behind like ants on Prozac.

      (If needed they contract some inside data to support the mission at hand. It’s all a great big socially abhorrent joke, without a drop of humanity behind it ).


  6. hudsongodfrey March 19, 2012 at 12:33 am #

    This may prove to be an instructive perspective. It pre-dates the republican primaries, but towards the middle becomes very relevant to these issues.


    • Jennifer Wilson March 19, 2012 at 10:02 am #

      I just watched this, with delight, because he is asking exactly the questions I want to ask. Why are they saying these bat shit crazy things??? Also, interesting that Clinton male more religious references than anyone else!


      • hudsongodfrey March 19, 2012 at 11:56 am #

        Two things struck me in re-watching this (I first saw it whenever it was posted because I subscribe to that channel).

        The first was that the term “bug nutty” was completely sensible to me even though I’d never heard it used anywhere previously. That’s something cool about language that I find pleasantly surprising from time to time.

        The second was towards the end where he talks about the court case where simply nobody accepts revealed knowledge as evidence. That part so speaks to me that I felt emotionally charged by it as if I wanted to say the same myself. I’m almost cheering Penn on like an old fashioned preacher. And that just has to be wrong! I catch myself starting to worry whether my confirmation bias isn’t just as much in play for things I agree with as the “bug nutty” Christians’!


    • silkworm March 19, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

      That was an excellent video by Penn Jillette. What I found particularly relevant to the MTR issue was when Penn picked the term Christian as a 2oth century one – how before that the person would identify with a particular sect – how the Baptists would be afraid of the Catholics, who would be afraid of the Pentecostals, who would be afraid of the Mormons, etc.

      Consider, now, why MTR doesn’t mind being called a Christian, but does mind being called a Baptist. She knows that being called a Baptist will drive a wedge between her and the Catholics. She is depending on the label “Christian” to keep the competing religious factions within the same tent. So I say, go for it, Jennifer. Call MTR out on what she really is. Drive that wedge home.


      • Hypocritophobe March 19, 2012 at 1:25 pm #

        And we ‘know’ MTR is NOT a Catholic—-how?


        • gerard oosterman March 19, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

          We know (she is not a catholic) because she sleeps with hands underneath the blankets and eats pork sausages on Friday.


          • Hypocritophobe March 19, 2012 at 5:02 pm #

            Somehow the visual of that sausage accusation does not add up, for me.

            The Pope has decreed who gets to pork, and where.


      • hudsongodfrey March 19, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

        Okay so I feel a bit busted now because I not only totally agree, but I’ve argued exactly the same thing in other blogs about the whole MTR situation based on ideas that in part I took from this video and others like it. Small comfort that Penn also mentions his ideas come from things he’s taken from other sources.

        Subsequently the conversation went back and forth with StaggerLee and I did come to realise that, just as Penn here is more or less targeting fundamentalists, being of a certain faith, or any faith, doesn’t necessarily qualify you as “bug nutty”, (and yes, I do intend to use bug nutty as much as I can from now on in the hope it enters the language proper).

        I’d give the example of Kenneth R.Miller in the Dover Schoolbook trial as one of a Catholic who co-authored the contested biology textbook “Of Pandas and People”. He not only successfully defended the evolution component of his work but continues to argue the case against creationists hijacking science education in schools. Clearly he’s not in the same belief category as Michelle Bachmann or Sarah Palin.

        I think at the end of the day that it is a good thing when any of us are forced to argue our cases on their merits just as we’d call upon others to do likewise. Penn here argued his case on several points really forcefully if not necessarily against every kind of bug nutty Christian group then certainly against those who’re hijacking the Republican political platform to peddle their own special kind of craziness.


      • helvityni March 19, 2012 at 4:57 pm #

        ‘Drive that wedge home.’, that reminds me of someone I know.


  7. paul walter March 19, 2012 at 2:09 am #

    re hudgod’s clip, what is being alluded to seems actually to be a political code or language of conservatives, after a point someone made on FB about Texas rednecks and being “behind the troops “in Afghanistan and such places. If you agree with that, you therefore implicitly aren’t thinking about or wanting them brought home, which means you’re identifying as conservative and agree with the war and its rationale,in all its myriad components; you are “one of us”.
    The commenter went on to suggest that if you wondered instead if it were not be better to just bring them home (and, implicitly) drop a very silly war, you’d be denying a thread in a larger narrative that undermines the whole of that.
    You might sit down and say instead, “yes, and if we don’t win, they’ll be here next”. If you got a smile and a nod, you might find it followed by a comment that only gay men would run from the enemy, or socialists and heck, your redneck mate isn’t religious, but at least he believes in god, “freedom” and “America”, unlike those less-worthy souls.
    But if you said it might be just a matter of opinion, you’d get a solemn look and be told, “no, its about right and wrong”, as if this was manifestly obvious even to the village idiot, preordained and only incidentally coincidental with your companion’s thinking, and that in fact your thinking was wrong-headed and maybe if you didn’t love your country that was ok, but folk around the little Texan town wouldnt like smart alecs, because the folk are “god fearing and loyal americans” and the subtext would be,
    to leave town quick…


    • Jennifer Wilson March 19, 2012 at 9:36 am #

      I always keep my mouth shut about politics when I’m in the US, some parts that is, because emotions can run so high it’s entirely unpredictable what might happen if you express even a mild view that contradicts a believer. This goes for family by marriage, which means I keep my mouth shut an awful lot and end up with a stomach ache. This inability to even hear another point of view pisses me off, but it is sadly very typical in some parts of the US. Their territory, their rules, so they in effect just bully.


    • Hypocritophobe March 19, 2012 at 11:19 am #

      Oh the irony of it all.
      George W Bush,spruikimng,”If you aint with us your agin us.”
      There is an entire comedy genre basedd around,’you know youre a red-neck,when..’ in the the US.
      The double irony is that the red-necks thnk the jokes are always about someone else.

      (Which is the ultimate irony)

      Similar irony here in Oz.
      Those who hunt wildlife,over-fish,plough down the ecosystem with bulldozers and 4wds(it’s their right!) commit arson,in breed,dump rubbish,cats,cars in the bush etc. etc.,continue call forest protesters feral.

      Someone get the chlorine,the gene pool could do with a dose.


  8. Hypocritophobe March 19, 2012 at 11:23 am #

    EDIT Spell-check has gone AWOL
    ;spruikimng = spruiking
    basedd = based

    The rest are minor ones……………


  9. doug quixote March 19, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

    HG, thanks for that clip. Penn is a remarkable man.

    It seems to me that the ones who believe The Bible to be the literal truth are a small minority – at least I hope so.

    It is possible for people like Obama to believe in a forgiving loving God at the same time as people like (fill in the blank!) espouse the literal truth “batshit crazy” stuff.

    I hope Penn is right that this is a last stand by the fundamentalist batshit crazy types, but at the same time Reagan’s “reforms” to education have allowed a whole new generation of Bachmanns and Santorums to come through.

    The fundamentalists are seeking to gain control of the syllabus in US schools so that creationism and the like can be given “equal time”. I consider that Kevin Donnelly and his ilk would like something similar here, but thankfully they are way behind the US “batshit crazy” brigade.


  10. Hypocritophobe March 19, 2012 at 4:43 pm #


    No doubt this will be blown out of all proportion by the banshees.
    Let’s count how many of them quote how many women die after complications to pregnancy and child birth generally as a comparison.
    I can feel another Catholic sponsored Drum advertorial coming on.


    • Jennifer Wilson March 20, 2012 at 10:13 am #

      This is interesting, Hypo, I haven’t heard of over reactions yet but no doubt someone will use it as “evidence.”


  11. Hypocritophobe March 20, 2012 at 12:00 pm #

    Speaking of the anti-porn agenda at ABC.
    This mornings Media Conference on the Whining tax
    I am sure Christ Uhlmann (or his twin voice) threw a question at Gillard this morning ( a typical ‘snide’ baiting one) in which he was put swiftly back in his box.
    Gillard performed brilliantly this morning (the bit I saw).
    She did not let the press monkeys control the outcome as they usually do.
    She also saved a serve for the Australian.
    Good on you Julia.


  12. paul walter March 20, 2012 at 9:32 pm #

    And of course the sock puppets from the US right extend beyond bedroom policing and victimless crime, to others spheres of life in a civil society.
    The IPA shills regularly attempt to dress up neoliberal economics as “labour reform”, whereby removal of rational OHS working hours, pay and conditions are eroded and pensions and social infrastructure limited to induce “competition” and “labour market discipline” to encourage “productivity”… the undeserving citizenry’s work habits apparently are as lax, sinful and decadent as their sex lives!
    Then we have the attack on rationality, science and ecology, Illustrated magnificently on this week’s Media Watch with the exposure (again!) of Jennifer Marohasy, an individual educated in earth sciences who appears to employ her knowledge by positioning herself as an “environmentalist”, whilst actually working for vested interests who seek ecological studies negative of their pet projects refuted.
    MW peeled away the mask to show long term links with the IPA and climate sceptics like Carter and Plimer.
    Marohasy’s latest adventure involves advocacy for irrigator groups on the Murray Darling who have apparently received from her a plan advocating South Australia’s southern lakes with salt water on the basis that these are naturally salty.
    We are relieved to learn her case is built on purported ecological foundations (altho these were challenged by other scientists on MW), other wise we’d be tempted to believe it’s about less water running to SA for the benefit of cotton irrigators and agribusiness further up the river.
    Besides, we would then have to wonder if a person with scientific knowledge is actually employing this knowledge in order to undermine genuine ecological science, for the benefit of vested interests and we would really have to wonder at a mindset such as that.


    • Julia March 22, 2012 at 2:12 am #

      Then the floods came and washed the Murray “salt lakes” into the sea…which is exactly what’s supposed to happen ecologically at the river’s mouth.

      Had to laugh…
      It’s duck season in eastern Vic. The past few years there’s not been enough ducks so the yearly shoot was cancelled. This year there’s heaps of ducks…all been breeding happily on the Gippsland Lakes…so duck season is on.
      The “I shoot and I vote” mob packed their guns and waders and tents and off they went to shoot the plentiful ducks (& hopefully a few protestors accidentally on purpose).
      They set up their decoys, donned their binoculars, dutifully raised their shotguns…but…

      No ducks!!! They have all vanished.

      …seems the birds have all flown off up north to the Murray-Darling flood-filled feeding grounds.

      Aussie native ducks just ain’t so sporting after all.


  13. Hypocritophobe March 20, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

    “Besides, we would then have to wonder if a person with scientific knowledge is actually employing this knowledge in order to undermine genuine ecological science, for the benefit of vested interests and we would really have to wonder at a mindset such as that.”

    Welcome to the world of Australia’s Mining Development Approvals process, Paul.

    You can extrapolate this process to lawyers and accountants if you wish.
    In fact every State environment or forestry department is there FOR the industry,not the ecology.
    We pay to be de-afforested, at a loss.


  14. paul walter March 20, 2012 at 11:00 pm #

    You mean, like the federal minister,Tony Burke?


  15. Hypocritophobe March 20, 2012 at 11:55 pm #

    Not sure if you are being ironic Paul,
    Despite some of his predictable decisions in favour of the environment, do you see him as part of the solution,or part of the problem?
    I respect him,however Ferguson’s Union mates will always prevail when the crunch comes.


  16. paul walter March 21, 2012 at 4:34 am #

    Hypo, the nice thing you find out about me after a while is that I am neither ironic, snarky, or tell lies.
    Which of his decisions for the environment are you referring to?
    OK, maybe despite my generosity of spirit, perhaps I’ve come to a conclusion, perhaps based on prejudice, that he is part of the problem rather than the solution. That he has been put where he is to have command of adequate information to thwart environmentalism, rather than expedite it.
    You are younger than me, I suspect.
    You can hardly sense the depths of cynicism you may sink to as your trip through life lengthens. Your youthful heart beats with the sense of optimism and energy that am sure once permeated me, too. You could not begin to believe the bleak abyss to which an older soul may descend; the spirit of dismay and distrust that incrementally seeps to the core of the long-distance haulier.
    Did you ever see a BBC series called “House of Cards”?
    This was a series about the rise of an unscrupulous politician,who strikes a strange and ultimately dark friendship with a trusting younger woman, a journalist who he feeds leaks to when undermining his victims. His leaks come in parables, she’ll ask, “you mean…”, he will answer quietly, diffidently eyes averted, “You may surmise as you may…I couldn’t possible answer”.
    As with Miranda and Prospero in “Tempest”.
    She’s grown up on the island with only her her father and a primitive servant for company.
    Her first contact with people from the world Prospero fled from, causes her to gasp,
    “Oh, wonder! How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is!
    Oh, brave new world, that has such creatures in’t.
    Prospero (ironically and with prior experience of some of these people at their worst):
    “Tis new to thee”.


    • hudsongodfrey March 21, 2012 at 9:02 am #

      All very well, but I too dread the peremptory one line response. It has the aura of somebody trying to be, shall we say a little too enigmatic, while sometimes quite deliberately giving you too all little to go upon. Should you feel the urge to resist their cleverness by somehow defending yourself then it can be quite hard to know where to start, what with cynicism and sarcasm being not so distant relatives.


    • Hypocritophobe March 21, 2012 at 10:27 am #

      Alas Paul,I have little general faith in any Australian appointment in the government environmental field.
      By saying I respect Tony Burke does not judge his performance.The point i make is he has made the easy decisions as always done.

      To my knowledge all Enviro ministers are driven by lesser Ministers in Industrial portfolios, or public servants (below them) with the aim to expand unsustainable practises using dubious process and science.
      My cynicism is not far behind, if at all, when it comes to the failures of succesive governments, on the environmental front.
      Water security,food security and forest management are probably twenty years (minimum) past any sustainable solution.
      Such failures are easy for the ‘installed ones’ to blame on the electoral cycle.
      That excuse has worn through.


  17. paul walter March 21, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

    That is a great post Hypo, you must remember back to one of the worst decisions ever made, back in ’94, when youthful enviro minister Faulkner was overruled by the wretched David Beddall, forestries minister under Keating, on ALL six hundred native forest high conservation value “tranches” proposed in his submission.
    This the same era when youthful Marn Ferguson and others were pushing for a pulp mill at Burnie, Tasmania. The company involved later withdrew,because the high standards suggested would have set a bad example elsewhere, in Canada, for example.
    If they could build some thing good here, then best practice would encourage upgrades and higher standards else where.


  18. paul walter March 21, 2012 at 1:01 pm #

    Come to think of it, fast forward twenty year and you have the LYNAS rare earth processing unit moved from the WA desert to highly populated Malaysia, because Malaysia will allow for a slipshod
    approach to ohs and enviro not encouraged here.
    Better more Bhopals than a few extra bob spent on human life, at least Hudson, you and I have the consolation of knowing others have worked it out also.


  19. Hypocritophobe March 21, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

    I wonder if there are links between this case,the accused and the institution, with the Catholic Church (or other Church)?


    St Andrews.??


  20. paul walter March 21, 2012 at 6:39 pm #

    Just a bit “cowboy”, isn’t it Hypo? Exactly the sort of delinquent stuff that provides ammunition for anti sex sceptics.


    • Hypocritophobe March 21, 2012 at 9:12 pm #

      I’m not sure I understand what you are saying Paul.

      I am asking in my post above(pondering)
      whether the accused in this court case,(in Katanning WA) the hostel (St Andrews) or the two brothers who are on trial are in any way connected to any churches?
      Or whether the Hostel is church property.


  21. paul walter March 21, 2012 at 9:46 pm #

    No, I was talking about the incidents.


  22. Hypocritophobe March 21, 2012 at 9:55 pm #

    There is a culture of cover up in Katanning over this whole incident/s.
    May men(not sure if any women) have taken their lives between the assaults and the court cases.
    It’s way beyond tragic.


  23. Hypocritophobe March 21, 2012 at 9:59 pm #

    May men = Many men


  24. paul walter March 22, 2012 at 2:28 am #

    Like me, you’ve probably come across all sorts of people who have been screwed up by these sorts imbeciles. These include alcoholic or nerve-bag people who have grown up from violent, desolate, ruined childhoods or withdrawn to introversion, people who can’t control their emotions or develop relationships.
    The walking wounded are often even more tragic than those who opted out, for want of a better term.


  25. John March 22, 2012 at 11:17 am #

    Personally I find that right-wing christianity is now a form of individual and collective psychosis, especially in the USA.

    This essay and website connects all of the dots re the totalitarian agendas of right-wing christians in the USA.



  26. Hypocritophobe March 29, 2012 at 6:51 pm #

    Greer has accidentally given license to Abbott to do what he does best.



    • Doug Quixote April 4, 2012 at 8:14 am #

      Greer is somewhat of a loose cannon. She says a lot of things all at once, much of it from a distance about what she sees through a glass, darkly.


  27. paul walter April 4, 2012 at 12:15 am #

    Fascinating how the process seems to repeat, by formula. The attack on Wilson emanating rom conservative religion, finds a parallel in the sacking of Prof. John Quiggin from the Fin Review by his old pro privatisation neoliberal rabbit, Michael Stutchbury, now editor of that once august financial journal as it prepares for the advent of the chilling apparition of Gina Rinehart.


  28. paul walter April 5, 2012 at 12:31 am #

    Ahhh. The pear ord faddah!
    Woi, da wicked gorl wuz just troin ta rab holy maddah chorch- D’yer nart see, choild!!


  29. Hypocritophobe April 10, 2012 at 7:24 pm #

    As time goes on, in QLD the laws are likely to change in this area,now that the LNP is in.
    Same thing when Abbott gets the throne.



    • Hypocritophobe April 10, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

      The magistrate should also have issued an AVO,judging by the guys attitude.
      And if the girl is now 16 and the bloke is a ‘man’ (over 18) has a crime been committed?

      “He said the court could grant injunctions to protect a child, but that it could not do so for *a foetus as it was not legally considered a person*.

      Justice Murphy also said a ***father had no common law right to force a woman to carry a child to term***.

      The man had also asked the court to order the woman to remain in Queensland during the pregnancy, have all of the baby’s medical information sent to him, be alerted when she was in labour so he could attend the birth and to have sole custody of the child once it was born.”


  30. M.E. In The 21st Century April 11, 2012 at 12:49 pm #

    Among all the other garbage Aunty has been coming out with lately there is one gem which may be of interest. http://www.abc.net.au/rampup/articles/2012/04/10/3474014.htm “Sex work and disability; it’s time to talk” by Kelly Vincent
    Well worth the read.

    I’ve been quiet lately after my poor old pc finally died. Have lovely whizz bang new pc which I’m still learning to drive (the analogy is like going from an old clapped out Austin A-40 into a brand new Rolls Royce) Once I’ve finished playing with all the knobs & gadgets I’ll be back to adding my 2cents worth.
    I hope everyone had a lovely Passover/Easter and thoroughly enjoyed eating too much chocolate.

    In reference to a different post…yes, I am a female. Or, at least, was last time I looked.


  31. Julia April 11, 2012 at 12:51 pm #

    Grr…why did it change my name?


    • Jennifer Wilson April 11, 2012 at 1:25 pm #

      It changed your name? How could it do that? What have I made here? How can I tame it?


  32. Hypocritophobe April 11, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    Wordpress was obviously built on a Friday.


    • Julia April 11, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

      lol @ both comments.
      It was me, I didn’t click where I should’ve clicked
      Sometimes I think I was born on Friday.
      Jennifer…just threaten it with a bucket of water and ask it how intelligent it really is.


  33. Hypocritophobe April 11, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

    One down……………….



  34. http://greencardforasylee18.hazblog.com July 12, 2014 at 6:24 pm #

    In a hugely embarrassingly blow for David Cameron, Mr Harper told the PM:
    Although I complied with the law on basis of Federal law for the
    states to take immigration law intoo their own hands.
    She was still reeling from having lost her beloved mother to emphysema aged
    75, so resident permit was particularly vulnerable.
    Defendant forcefully spread Larissa’s legs apart and ejaculated.
    Some people feel confident iin doing this alone but most do resident permit not.
    Pranav Soneji is again kicking things off tomorrow afternoon and I’ll bbe back to bring itt home.


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