194 thoughts on “Sandpit

  1. @J-D

    Of course questioning in a legal advocacy context has an entirely different purpose than personal enlightenment. Like you, I guess I can now answer my own question.

  2. @kevin1
    I read J-D’s comment @14 as pointing out that, if Tony Abbott said that, he’s a hypocrite. I’m struggling a bit to understand why you took offence to it.

  3. @Tim Macknay

    I’m not taking offence, just pointing out to him that it is presumptuous to give biblical refs without elaboration. I am not a member of his Christian tribe, and don’t want to go and look at a Bible to get his point. Just say why it’s relevant, and spell out his conclusion.

    You are also hostage to his enigmatic technique, in inferring his point is that Abbott is a hypocrite; whether he adopts this normative view is unknown, maybe he thinks just that Abbott is inconsistent. Either of these have such broad application to the political class as well as the rest of us, as to be trite.

    One day he might take sides on something rather than just throw back questions, if you sit on the fence long enough you get a sore bum.

  4. @kevin1
    I’m not taking offence, just pointing out to him that it is presumptuous to give biblical refs without elaboration. I am not a member of his Christian tribe, and don’t want to go and look at a Bible to get his point. Just say why it’s relevant, and spell out his conclusion.

    Well, that sounds pretty offended to me. 😉

  5. @Tim Macknay

    It’s all getting a bit silly Tim if I say I’m not offended and you say Oh yes you are! I still think I’m arguing rationally, strong opinions don’t require being offended do they? Life’s too short to take offence all the time.

    I don’t want to get into ongoing debate about this (though will respond politely if you want me to) but it seems to me style differences reflecting different cultural norms are at play here. I am usually direct but rarely abusive, compared to the elliptical allusions of m’learned friend J D for instance. Some find that confronting but not intended by me.

  6. @kevin1
    Fair enough. It may be cultural norms as you say, or simply the limits of the textual medium, which are also (IMHO) what make J-D’s communication style sometimes difficult to parse.

  7. Since both the Gaza conflict and the Bible have been mentioned in previous comments, I’ll take that as my cue to report that since the conflict flared up, on my Facebook feed I have received a link to an article claiming in all seriousness that the PLO and the Palestinian Authority are Zionists, and I have seen comments on a friend’s wall arguing in all seriousness that Netanyahu is a wuss and that the republic of Israel needs to be dismantled and replaced by a Kingdom of Israel ruled by a divinely appointed sage (presumably like King Solomon).

    For a different perspective to either of these, I recommend +972 Magazine.

  8. @kevin1

    I gave the exact biblical references so that anybody who wanted to could look them up, but if you’d rather I provided the word directly, here they are, in the New International Version translation:

    Mark 2:3-5
    3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

    Luke 5:18-20
    18 Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 19 When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. 20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”

  9. @rog

    i see that Crikey (July 23) reports on my speculation that AIDs news from the conference got sidelined due to the plane disaster, which is not surprising of course. They agree that “MH17 has taken up so much airtime that stories which would normally be huge haven’t gotten much of a look-in. That includes the announcement at AIDS 2014 that a potent cocktail of three drugs could cure tuberculosis in 75% of cases.”

    But the test of the primacy of news values is whether after the crash news is broken, the above revelation is newsworthy – as it ought to be.

    Apparently not: despite its clear importance; the caravan has moved on.

  10. Quarter of a billion funding for School Chaplaincy (atheists/agnostics need not apply), or a hundred plus million cut from CSIRO (who needs that scientificky stuff)? You do the mass…

    Is it too much to ask for funding of a chief scientist to be in charge of the SKA in Australia? [SKA = Square Kilometre Array telescope.]

  11. @kevin1 After viewing footage of a stream if hearses complete with dignitaries I’m reminded of the funeral of Lady Di and the public outpouring of emotion. There was also a piece speculating that Tony Abbotts face and posture indicating his great stress and tension brought on by the event.

    Of course had it been the US that shot down the plane it would be all quite different.

  12. Page 257 of the ICJ judgement

    When all is said and done, it is apparent that the manner of operations of the U.S. fleet in the Persian Gulf (which continue to this day), the action of the United States in shooting down 1R 655, and its response to this criminal act, all involve violations of international law of the most serious kind.


  13. Meanwhile, an Air Algerie plane flying from Burkina Faso to Algeria has gone missing over Mali.

    Mali is in the middle of a France-backed war. Raoul Castro’s daughter, an advocate for gay rights, was apparently on board.

    There are early news reports that say the US-French backed militants in Mali do have anti-aircraft weapons but not the type that could bring down a civilian plane at that altitude.

    The early reports also say there was heavy rain and the pilots cited that when asking for a change of course.

    Early news so far – but my bet is our media and pollies won’t give a stuff about this.

    PS: “Yats” (‘our man Yats’, in the US run Ukraine) has just announced he is resigning, according to AP. Did anyone else see the Ukrainian parliament descend into a brawl during the ‘minute of silence’ for the dead from MH17? It was surreal.

    We are certainly living in the “interesting” times we have brought upon ourselves.

  14. @kevin1

    … that his stated views about what is ‘Christian’ and what is not are inconsistent with the description of the behaviour of Jesus in the passages I quoted.

  15. the brawl was over conscription. one mp said another mp’s party was just killing citizens. that would be right sector being criticised for just killing citizens. in the yats gov’t right sector headed the interior ministry in charge of the militia, comprised mainly of men from right sector, and which commits war crimes & executes conscripts when they refuse to carry out illegal orders, such as shooting dead the relatives of men who are out of town for extended periods. over 300 civilians have been killed this week by artillery bombardment of lugansk suburbs. this has been not been reported in our media. there is video here of the brawl in the verkhovna rada:-
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvW2KzCpTHU -a.v.

  16. @J-D
    Hmm…so Abbott’s shortcoming is being inconsistent. Well slap me with a feather. Tim Mackney take note.

    If Abbott said the comparison between the gospel refs. and his view on asylum seekers coming in the back door was inappropriate, which is likely his implicit position, then that would moderate your objection, because he would no longer be deliberately inconsistent, and probably get a tick for honesty and openness.

    No wonder so many politicians can run rings around so many voters, including the highly educated.

  17. @kevin1

    I didn’t say that being inconsistent was his only shortcoming. But insofar as inconsistency is a shortcoming (which it isn’t always), being unintentional doesn’t make it less of a shortcoming (at least it doesn’t always).

    In this case, if (hypothetically) Abbott were to become aware of people pointing out his inconsistency (which I doubt he would) and if (hypothetically) he were to choose to respond (which seems even less likely), he might perhaps say that he doesn’t think those Gospel stories are relevant. But if he doesn’t think Gospel stories are relevant to determining what’s ‘Christian’ and what’s not, then he’s just one of those people who use ‘Christian’ as code for ‘what I personally approve of’ and ‘unChristian’ as code for ‘what I personally disapprove of’, a highly dishonest practice.

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