God’s day off, reincarnated.

Revisiting an slightly updating ‘God’s day off’, a column I wrote for the Malaysian online newspaper Malaysiakini nine or 10 years ago, and which is more relevant than ever today.

When I see wars waged for ”religious” ends, crimes committed and concealed under cloaks and veils of sanctimony, disasters caused by negligence or corruption written-off as “acts of God”, politicians misusing their own and abusing other religions to perpetuate their power, and atrocities like the recent massacre of Muslims in New Zealand, I can’t help asking myself “how could He let this happen?”

How could an omniscient, omnipotent, just and merciful Almighty being, in the utterly unlikely event that such an entity existed, possibly permit the catalogue of greed, lust, cruelty, murder, mayhem, ignorance, intolerance and bigotry that’s bedeviled us throughout history, and continues to make life a hades on earth for so many of us today?

How can He tolerate the “religious” bombings, shootings, executions and multifarious other persecutions occurring at this very moment in, to name just a few locations, Saudi Arabia, the Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan and, as ever, in the so-called “Holy” Land?

How could He stand by year after year, century after century and watch mankind suffer every misfortune from the Mongol hordes and the black death to the Holocaust,AIDS, cancer, earthquakes, tsunamis and road carnage?  How can He watch little children suffer cot death, starvation and physical, sexual and mental abuse?

How could He tolerate major-league killers and crooks like Hitler, Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, Idi Amin, Papa Doc, Pol Pot, Soeharto, Marcos, Mugabe and all the others, not to mention the millions of smaller fry who kill, maim, rape, rob, swindle and otherwise prey on the innocent and the helpless?

The answer, in my personal opinion, is that He just plain couldn’t.  He allegedly created the world, after all, in His own image, which as far as I know is by bekievers to be perfect.  And according to just one of numberless theories on the subject, He did it all in just six days.

Not that anyone’s suggesting that it was a rush job.  As everybody knows by now save the fundamentalists – so called, as you know, because they talk through their fundaments – we’re not talking human days here, but God days.  And just as there are said to be seven dog years to one human one, geologists, paleontologists and sweet reason all tell us that there are millions and millions of human days to every single God day.

In fact look at the Book of Genesis and you’ll see that the measure of the human day, the sun that’s the source of diurnal light and darkness, wasn’t even created until God’s third “day”.  And as we learn from fossils (the ones found in rocks, that is, not the ones who set themselves up as creationist spokespersons), His creation of today’s life forms has taken about a billion human years, or days four, five and six God time.

Then on the seventh day He reportedly rested, which brings us to the crux of my theory.  Whatever time we or any of the multifarious calendars and cults and religions think it is, I’m convinced that as far as God’s concerned it must be still day seven and thus He’s still enjoying a well-earned break.  Blithely assuming that we’re all continuing to live the good life in the Garden of Eden right where He left us, and little imagining that we’ve decided to go it alone in His absence and embark on what our legal colleagues refer to as “a frolic of our own.”

In the process presuming to portray Him in an amazing multiplicity of guises from the singularly inventive to the outright bizarre, and devising in His name thousands of religions, faiths, sects and cults each claiming to be the bearer of His true and official message.  Each striving mightily to immortalise itself and incentivise its adherents by authoring “holy” books, erecting “sacred” buildings, electing “saints”, witnessing “miracles” and conducting holy wars, jihads, crusades, inquisitions, pogroms and other persecutions against its competitors.

What the Almighty is going to make of all this profane intervention in his affairs when He gets back to the office is anybody’s guess.  Will He be flattered, confused or suffer an outright identity crisis to discover that in his absence He’s been known as everything from Ra to Jaweh to Macumbah?

Will He be impressed, honoured or simply appalled by the waste of material and manpower that’s gone into all the totems, pyramids, obalisques, basilicas, churches, chapels, cathedrals, shrines, shiboleths, statues, stupas, spires, domes, mosques and temples erected in His names?

Will He be grateful or disgusted at learning of all the centuries of cruelty and bloodshed there have been over ownership of His goodwill and the copyright to all the books ghost-written in His name, each proclaiming itself the unique revelation of His teachings?

I wish I had the answer to these and many other burning questions.  But unfortunately, as long as God’s so evidently still on leave, I’m no more able to reach Him for a word or two on the subject than you are.  We could all of us pray to Him, of course, but thousands of years of praying by all the faithful to all their gods doesn’t appear to have achieved the slightest reduction in the amount of preying that goes on.  Just as the preachings of all the prophets against covetousness, greed and avarice haven’t exactly slackened mankind’s pathological pursuit of profit.

So in the absence of any clear or coherent message from either here or above, I think I’ll just sit tight and wait for day seven to end.

We Seventh Day Absentists might not have all the answers, but we’re as sure as heck of one thing. Despite what some people may think, or even count on, God hasn’t been caught napping, or gone to sleep on the job, or chosen to shut His eyes to the perfidies and outrages enacted in His name and in clear contravention of His wishes.  He’s just having Himself a well-earned rest.

And when He comes back to work tomorrow morning His time, and sees the unholy mess we’ve made of all His works, and what a high and mighty opinion we have of ourselves despite screwing-up so sensationally and pretending we did it all for His sake, there’s going to be hell to pay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Time for Brexshit, batshit, bullshit governments to go.

Enough is enough is enough is too much, already. After way too many weary, dreary years of being conned by conservative governments in the UK, US and Australia, it’s time to get rid of these dumb, deceitful, self-interested and regressive  regimes.

Time, in other words, to send them the same message as Oliver Cromwell by some reports did in the famous 1653 speech* with which he dismissed to England’s so-called ‘Rump Parliament’: “you have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!”

I personally wouldn’t invoke the alleged Almighty, as most conservatives, like the so-called ‘religious right’ characteristically – and of course hypocritically – claim to be acting in His name.

But whether in the name of some God, or more credibly in the name of good, these gruesome governments certainly should go.

And given that the sooner they go, the better, I’m greatly looking forward to going and voting for the opposition against the con-servative government in my home state of New South Wales in just a week’s time, and against Australia’s federal con-servatives little more than a month later.

Because just as the con-servatives in the UK have squandered the past three years driving their nation backwards by doing the bidding of Brexshitters and bullshitters Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage and their batshit allies and backers; and the ratshit Republican Party has been supporting the batshit President Donald Trump in his attempts to regress the US, Australia’s bullshitting con-servative governments have been resorting to a riot of politrickery to resist advancing Australia.

Denying increasingly dire warnings of global warming to justify their support for the fossil-fuel industries and neglect of renewable energy; clinging to the myth of ‘trickle-down’ economics in the face of rising rich-enriching profits and static or falling and thus worker-impoverishing wages; fighting against the formation of a royal commission into predatory banks and other financial services, and now that the commission has been completed, refusing to implement its recommended reforms; conspiring with the NSW state government in a scam to grant more than their share of river water to cotton-growers; and mercilessly resisting increasingly strident community calls for compassionate treatment of asylum-seekers endlessly confined in prison camps.

And to add insult to all this injury, the same federal con-servative coal-ition has desperately and thus far successfully resisted the establishment of a national anti-corruption commission equipped with sufficient powers to investigate and prosecute clear cases of criminality by the government and some of its agencies, including the outrageous tender-free over-expenditure of public funds.

Even a child can see that con-servative Australian governments are a disgrace to the nation and its citizens’ aspirations and ideals, as witnessed as I sit writing this by the fact that thousands of school students are out marching to protest its pathetic performance on climate change in particular and care of the environment in general.

And as far as I’m concerned, and have said ad nauseam before, when a government is so batshit and full of bullshit that it can’t even kid the kids any longer, it’s way past time for it, if not in the name of God but the common good, to go.

 

*For a fuller and somewhat different account of this speech, except for that killer final line, see: https://speakola.com/political/oliver-cromwell-speech-dismissing-rump-parliament-1653

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ScareMo fears ‘living wage’ will cost jobs.

But don’t worry. Likely he’s not primarily concerned for all the workers who have won themselves the mostly pathetically poorly-paid casual and part-time jobs that he and his con-servatives have allegedly ‘created’ under their watch.

What I suspect is really putting the wind up Scott Morrison aka ScoMo/ScamMo/ScareMo is not so much the risk that Labor’s policy on lifting the measly ‘minimum’ wage to a far fairer ‘living’ wage will lose him the forthcoming election and thus cost him his own current job as Prime Minister, his cabinet mates their jobs as ministers, and a great many of his back-benchers their plushy positions in parliament.

And into the bargain it could well cost lots of flacks and lobbyists for the coal, finance and sundry other vested interests at the big, or, if you like, pig end of town that the coal-ition’s been so persistent in protecting at the expense of their lower-order workers and Australian consumers.

So if in fact these aforementioned are the jobs that Morriscon fears that Labor will cost us, the faster the better as far as I’m concerned.

Similarly the job-losses that are virtually sure to occur on the Queensland and other coalfields when Labour’s climate-change policies come into effect, as new employment opportunities lost in the fossil-fuel/fool industries will surely be replaced, or maybe more accurately recycled, in the rapidly-expanding renewable-energies sector.

In short, if anything costs jobs in the broader workforce besides those in the rank ranks of the con-servative coal-ition, it will be the fault not of Labor and its intention to achieve moderate and long-overdue wage rises for the great mass of Australian workers, but of ScoMo/ScamMo/ScareMo and his minions for bringing to the brink of recession the economy they claim to be so expert and trustworthy at managing.

So that whatever costs these fakes and flakes their jobs in Canberra, be it any the of the advances to Australia that they’ve self-interestedly opposed,  like the ‘living wage’, genuine action on climate change, long-awaited action on tax reform or even, come to think of it, the way-overdue establishment of a federal anti-corruption commission, I and I hope a majority of the nation’s voters just can’t wait for it to happen.

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ScamMo and the wages of spin.

While of course we have no idea what’s going to be in the forthcoming federal budget, at least we can be confident that, as a desperate last-ditch bid to buy Australia’s con as in conservative and coal as in coalition government out of an almost certain bye-bye in the looming federal election, we can confidently expect it to be a masterpiece of economic spin.

But PM Scott Morrison aka ScoMo has been for so long and so systematically economical, indeed wreckonomical with the truth on economic and most if not all other topics, that, as I’ve been repeatedly mentioning, these days many of us can’t help thinking of him as Morriscon aka ScamMo, or in other words so full of spin it’s a sin.

And now, due to the fears he’s been striving to inflict on us all of a recession if we elect Labor, the wages recession that’s been occurring under his watch has sunk him even further in the esteem of the electorate, as both ScamMo and ScareMo to boot.

Just as public perception of the formerly at least comparatively credible Josh Frydenberg has plummeted in his brief stint as ScamMo/ScareMo’s treasurer through that of what I think of as Fraudenberg to, as my daughter recently dubbed him, Frightenberg.

So it’s absolutely terrifying to us lovers of truth and loathers of spin, not to mention outright lies, to think what outrageous politricks this trust-free twosome will attempt to play on us come budget night.

One fairly predictable ploy will be to bring down a budget that will both bludgeon alleged bludgers like age and disability pensioners, single mothers and junior job-seekers starving on the pathetic pittance they’re paid on the so-called NewStart scheme, and further boost the fortunes of better-off and outright rich.

Those of us with long or even medium-term memories will recall that back when he was treasurer, ScamMo/Scaremo tried to demonise those Australians with low or no incomes by spinning them as ‘taxed-nots’.

Since then, however, the ‘taxed-nots’ costing the Australian economy most dearly have been clearly revealed to be corporations and individuals filthy-rich enough to be able to afford lucrative tax-avoidance schemes.

And a great many rich or at least relatively affluent self-funded retirees have been shown to be not just ‘taxed-nots’ but also, outrageously, recipients of ‘refunds’ on slabs of tax that they haven’t paid.

Yet ScamMo/ScareMo and Fraudenberg/Frightenberg continue to spin Labour’s stated intention to close this and other such tax loopholes that many of us rightly revile as ‘wealthfare’, as ‘new taxes’.

And, into the bargain, to cling to their long-discredited faith in the so-called ‘trickle-down’ benefit to workers that allegedly results when the rich get richer, despite the clearly evident fact that increasing company profits have funded obscene salaries and bonuses for managements and utterly failed to be followed by rises for wage-earners.

At the same time, perhaps dizzied by years of their own spinning of the alleged superiority of ‘fair-dinkum’ coal-fired power generation over renewable energy, and dismayed by their evident failure to turn majority public opinion in their favour on this burning issue, they seem to have had a deathbed conversion to the stark reality of global warming.

A conversion that is far from convincing, given that it’s way too late and too obviously and cynically electorally self-interested to save Morriscon,  Fraudenberg and their fellow con as in conservative and coal as in coalition spinners’ skins in the fast-approaching federal polls.

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Kids strike back at the kidders..again.

Because governments around the globe don’t appear to have yet learned their lessons about the urgency of combating climate change/global warming, this coming Friday, March 15 2019, schoolkids in Australia and some 50 other countries are staging another Global#ClimateStrike.

Though not a kid or even a teenager, but a total has-beenager, I’m planning to make it to Sydney Town Hall to demonstrate my solidarity with the young strikers, and hope you can be there to support them too wherever the strike’s happening in your part of the world.

Meanwhile, here’s a repeat of what I blogged in praise of the school students back in November last year, the previous time they struck a blow in favour of Planet Earth:

 

For years now, the fossils and fools in Australia’s Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison government have been shamelessly flaunting the ‘con’ in ‘conservative’ and the ‘coal’ in coalition in their craven efforts to kid us all that global warming has nothing to do with the continued combustion of fossil fuels.

And their dogged persistence in this ploy despite clear evidence from public polls, not to mention their disastrous defeats in the Wentworth bye-election and the Victorian state election, that a growing majority of voters are angrily rejecting being force-fed a load of rubbish on this and other similarly burning issues, demonstrate that they show no sign of learning their lesson.

So it’s altogether appropriate, to my mind, that thousands of schoolkids are abandoning their classes today in favour of protesting against being treated like fools.

And altogether fitting that the 15-year-old fellow student who’s inspired their protest, Greta Thunberg, made her courageous stand in her native Sweden.

Because Sweden, along with all the other Scandinavian nations and Australia’s infinitely more enlightened neighbour, New Zealand, regularly rates at or near the top of world rankings for freedom of the press, freedom from corruption and freedom from economic and social inequality.

In other words, as every student either is or should be aware, these nations are true liberal democracies, in contrast to those like Australia, at least under the current neo-liberal, con as in conservative coal-ition, are actually plutocracies run by and for the benefit of big money, or, in other words, illiberal doughmocracies.

But, as slow a learner as he and his accomplices in global-warming denial so evidently and indeed deliberately are, Scott Morrison aka ScoMo, or as I think of him in view of his apparently incurable penchant for spinning, dissembling and outright lying, ScamMo, has no answer to the kids’ striking rejection of his kidding but to instruct them to be “less activist”.

Admittedly ScamMo and his other members of his alleged government couldn’t be less activist however hard they tried, as they’ve demonstrated by their antagonism to action on every possible front, from tax reform through the royal commission into the banking and finance industries that has finally been held over their metaphorically dead bodies, to the establishment of a federal commission against corruption and, of course, any recognition of the existence of, let alone intelligent initiatives to combat, global warming.

But at least the Education Department appears to be doing its proper job, which is, of course, to inform and encourage students to think and act like intelligent citizens, as so many of them are so admirably doing this Friday, rather than simply instructing, indoctrinating and disciplining, or, if you prefer, deaducating them, as ScamMo and his accomplices would so clearly prefer, to now and forever behave like nothing but docile, dutifully obedient and above all easily-kidded nit-witizens.

 

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International Women’s Daze.

International Women’s Day 2019 seems a highly appropriate occasion on which to follow-up my earlier diatribe on religions’ sexual, sectual and textual abuse of children by deploring these inane if not outright insane institutions’ woeful antipathies and atrocities against women.

All day long I’ve been reading, hearing and watching masses of media musings about who or what’s to blame for the ages-old catalogue of crimes against women, in which the chief suspects have been variously identified as everything from the culture of rugby league football or male-dominated management structures in particular, to the sexist, genderist and outright macho male attitudes that so evidently still prevail in our society in general.

But in the course of all this chatter, not to mention the six units of gender studies I fairly recently completed at Sydney University, I’ve encountered just a single fleeting mention of what’s clearly the fundamental and all too frequently fundamentalist force in favour of keeping us in a daze concerning the repression, exploitation, misuse and abuse of women is that perennial curse on the human race, religion.

In virtually every so-called ‘faith’ you can name, primitive or contemporary, long extinct or still extant, females are fated to be subject to males, from the alleged ‘Almighty Father’ down through the ‘prophets’ and ’patriarchs’ and right on down through the ranks of the clergy to the congregation.

Though admittedly there’s one exception I can think of to this gruesome general rule. The Church of England, as I understand, now tolerates the ordination of some women. But, perhaps unduly cynically I see this as a public, or perhaps more aptly in this context, pubic-relations exercise designed to either atone for or divert attention from the fact that this particular self-styled ‘Christian’ sect was founded by one of history’s most notorious sexists and serial wife killers, King Henry V111.

These days, of course, most majority religions in relatively civilised countries are making strenuous efforts to deny not only such devlish origins and subsequently hellish histories. But despite their pious preachings about respect for women and ‘family values’, and the preying some of their clergy persist in despite all their praying, they’re still apparently as patriarchal and women-hating as ever at heart.

So to me the weird fact that their clergy wear dresses they call ‘robes’ when celebrating their ‘sacred’ rites just adds insult to the injuries they continue to inflict on the female sex.

Though not so many or such serious injuries as some non-Christian religions do to their female adherents,, I grant you,as in subjecting them to various nefarious practices like mutilating their genitals, requiring them to be virtually invisible in public, denying them anything like equal citizenship with males, and declaring menstruating women to be so ‘unclean’ as to require keeping in quarantine.

In short, just as religions have been the most obstinate obstacle that mankind, or, more politically and factually correctly, personkind, has had to overcome in its quest for scientific, technological, medical and sundry other kinds of progress, so are they the most reactionary forces opposing women’s rights to economic, social and sexual equality.

As instanced, for example, by our proudly Pentecostalist Prime Minister, Scott Morrison aka Morriscon or ScoMo aka ScamMo, whose speech on the occasion of International Women’s Day demonstrated how dozy he is in on the entire issue, dizzily declaring that “we[presumably meaning we Christian conservatives]want to see women rise. But we don’t want to see women rise on the basis of others doing worse.”

Let’s hope that, following this far-from-dazzling performance in support of their cause, the women of Australia won’t be too dazed to decide who to vote for instead of this piously and patronising politrickster and his patriarchal coal-ition in the federal election that’s due in about 50 days.

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Unbelievabillions!

Some time ago, Australia’s current con as in conservative Prime Minister Scott Morrison aka ScoMo strove to convince voters that Labor leader Bill Shorten was even less credible than himself by constantly referring to Shorten as ‘unbelievaBill’.

But he didn’t persist with this attempted slur for very long, perhaps because his pollsters discovered that, far from diminishing public trust in Shorten, it served to remind people that Morrison himself is such a serial spinner, dissembler and outright liar that he’s known to a great many of us as Morriscon aka ScamMo or even ScumMo.

And now, with a federal election looming, he’s trying desperately to Morriscon and Scam us by not only mouthing his accustomed falsehoods but also putting unbelievabillions of dollars where his mendacious mouth is, and sticking us taxpayers with the bill.

The latest and most shameless example of this being the scam he’s come up with to try and thwart legislation that was recently passed by his opponents to give asylum-seekers endlessly incarcerated on Manus island easier access to better and faster medical treatment on the Australian mainland, and thus demonstrate his government’s severity, and Labor’s comparative alleged slackness, on so-called border protection.

Claiming that a proportion of asylum seekers have serious criminal records and thus present a danger to Australia, he’s decided to squander $1.4 billion on re-opening the mothballed detention centre on Christmas Island and ramping-up its medical facilities so that allegedly risky patients can be sent there for treatment instead of to the mainland.

And that’s on top of the $700 million or so Morriscon and his fellow con-servatives have recently granted without calling for competitive tenders to a highly-suspect organisation, given its close connection with the notoriously-corrupt government of Papua-New Guinea, for its provision of extra security for the Manus Island facility.

Whether the Australian public that Morriscon and his minions have so systematically misled throughout their term in office will be forgetful or foolish enough to buy such catastrophically costly attempts to pretend that it deserves another chance come the federal election due in May is a moot question.

But my personal expectation and earnest hope is that the answer will be ‘no’. Surely there’s not money enough in the world, let alone just Australia, to cover-up the coalition’s disgraceful record on everything from climate change/global warming, on which issue it stubbornly demonstrated such partisanship for fossil fuels over sources of renewable energy as to become popularly-known as the coal-itio; through its role in the scandalous and even outright corrupt mismanagement of the Murray-Darling Basin plan to its fierce opposition to of a Financial Services Royal Commission that has since revealed massive thefts by banks and other organisations from their customers.

Or, indeed, for people to overlook the fact that Morriscon and his Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, or, if you prefer, Fraudenberg, are doing their damndest to add insult to the injuries they and their colleagues have already inflicted on us and our nation by running a scare campaign to the effect that rejection of them in favour of a Labor government will cause a recession, just at the very time that they appear to have achieved this already.

So for my money, the allegedly unbelievaBill Shorten and his Labor Party look very believaBill indeed compared with Morriscon, Fraudenberg and their fellow con-servatives in the coal-ition. And however many unbelievabillions of our money that these fakers spend on trying to convince us that we should be stupid enough to elect them again will only serve to make the vast majority of us unbelievabillious at the very thought of their misleading us any longer.

 

 

 

 

 

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