Did you catch Q&A last night? If not, you missed another of those lessons in diversity as defined in Ultimo and Southbank. By that standard, the bookers certainly did their best to be inclusive:
- Sheikh Wesam Charkawi ticked the Muslim box.
- Ken Wyatt did double duty as a man of Indigenous heritage and government front-bencher
- Labor's Lisa Singh accounted for the left
- Adam Bandt represented the green left, and
- Soprano Tania de Jong spoke for the warm-and-fuzzy luvvie left in asserting that, if we could all just sing in the same choir, kumbayah would break out all over.
As for compere Tony Jones, he represented, as usual, $300,000 worth of taxpayer-funded interruptions and smuggery. Good work if you can get it.
At Quadrant Online, where we watch Q&A so you don't have to, the hour passed in pall of mounting frustration. Would no one ask Sheik Charkawi about Islamic scholar Abu Hanifa, after whom his youth-outreach organisation is named? That was a pity because Hanifa advanced at least one opinion which might have prompted lively discussion.
Asked whether Muslim conquerors could have their way with the captured wives of Islam's enemies, the Islamic jurist's ruling was nuanced in the extreme.
If wives are captured and enslaved at the same time as their hubbies, those marriages must be respected, Abu Hanif decreed, as both entered Muslim territory simultaneously.
If the wife is captured and enslaved first, however, the marriage must be considered void, meaning the woman's new owner would be entirely within his rights to have her brought to his tent whenever lust stirs the loins.
Alas, Abu Hanif's perspectives on captivity and the connubial went unmentioned. So, too, were Q&A viewers denied -- and this was the greater pity -- an exploration of the Sydney sheik's assertion that Muslim youths are being locked up for nothing more threatening than pronouncing the acronym 'ISIS'.
"You can literally be a young Muslim boy and say the word ISIS and end up in the principal’s office and led away in handcuffs. Society is very paranoid."
Charkawi's thumbnail biography on the Q&A site describes him thus:
In 2003, he founded the Abuhanifa (sic) Institute which teaches the essential sciences of Islam to young Muslims. Its ultimate focus is generational change. Sheikh Wesam continues to work and participate with organisations and events that strive for social cohesion and is a keen advocate of reaching out to the wider Australian community.
The sainted Abu Hanif's edicts on hyperbolic utterances are not known, but Robert Spencer's Jihad Watch has much on slavery, slave girls and the "Islamic science" of seventh-century dating protocols. It can be read in full via the link below.
In his Quadrant Online essay on Western civilization's wan defenders, Kevin Donnelly notes the eagerness of "the cultural-left dominated media, educational institutions, entertainment industry and progressive political parties" to shout down those who dare to "question prevailing orthodoxies." Nothing better makes that point than the reader "reviews" his book, Educating Your Child: It’s Not Rocket Science, has attracted on the Amazon.com website. Amongst those who piled on from the left, a certain Vanessa Badham:
There is one undeniable truth purported by this book: if you use this man's narrow ideological paradigm as a means of restraining the development of critical thought in your child, they are highly unlikely to ever become a rocket scientist.
Other "reviewers" include Pauline Pantsdown, a drag queen, plus a slather of what are, presumably, pseudononymous commentators dishing the sort of schoolyard sarcasm which passes for wit on the left. Credit Ms Badham for actually putting her name to her thoughts -- and, in doing so, confirming Donnelly's point about "the cultural-left dominated media".
You see, Ms Badham is rather more than just another harpy with a keyboard. She is also a Victorian Vice-President of the MEAA, what used to be called the Australian Journalists' Association before the union found its natural companions in a fusion with the clowns and luvvies of Actors Equity. That's her on the right above, enjoying the bed and companionship of friend and alleged comedienne Catherine Deveny, perhaps the only person ever sacked by The Age for standards of couth and decency even lower than its own.
And Ms Badham's Victorian MEAA president? Why, it's The Australian's recently hired business columnist Ben Butler, formerly of Fairfax and even more notoriously associated with defunct rock band Jihad Against America, for which he played guitar and contributed vocals on numbers like Jihad Is the New Black and the even more memorable I Want to Sniff Your Undies.
Her savage breast unsoothed by Butler's, er, music, Gerard Henderson's media watchdog, Nancy, conducted what the Sydney Institute swears is an interview with Butler in 2014. The tone of Nancy's questions suggests she shares Donnelly's view that the media is irredeemably of the left; indeed, mindlessly so. That exchange can be read via the link below.
These marvelous times in which we live, what wonders they have brought! A man can be a woman by the simple act of declaring himself as such. An overwhelming preponderance of Old World genes is no bar to undiluted Indigenous authenticity. And, according to our moral instructors in the media, when an Islamic fanatic guns down a random innocent on a Parramatta street while shouting "Alahu Akbar!" the explanation is not self-evident but, like so many similar recent incidents, another great mystery of our age.
The key to stretching the leash that in less enlightened times heeled us more closely to fact is that peculiarly modern capacity to "identify" one thing as something which it is not. Advocate that green is really brown or a duck an ostrich and, if your audience can be persuaded not to note the obvious, all manner of re-classification is possible. Take Sun-Herald columnist Charles Waterstreet, for example, whose inspiration when tossing off today's column appears to have been a decision to identify as fellow Fairfax columnist Elizabeth Farrelly. Understand that to mean he is channeling a compulsion to say little that is coherent at great and flyblown length.
Several efforts ago, Ms Farrelly endorsed the need for a new religion, a melange of green-tinted feminism that more than one reader must have been left suspecting would revere in its chief temple an effigy bearing a striking resemblance to someone, well, very much like the column's author. Today, her male doppelganger nominates another prospective deity to preside over a rival cult: Saint Malcolm of Wentworth.
At last we have a leader who can bring Muslims into the fold of our Western World, gushes Waterstreet, and it won't even require any of those difficult, interfaith discussions about women as second-class creatures, let alone the ongoing validity of Koranic admonitions to strike at the necks of infidels and other problematic neighbours.
Here's a little of the Gospel According to Charles:
Turnbull has begun to solve this unexpected internal civil disturbance by reaching out to all of Australia, including all Muslims ... he must reject the bullhorn radio cheerleaders of hate and division, the racist call to arms by dogmatic dividers, and become more Mandela, more Martin Luther King, more Mother Teresa, and more Malcolm the mediator and moderator, rather than Monty of North Africa.
The "Monty of North Africa". Good Lord! Other than defeat Rommel, what did the World War Two general do to deserve being dragged into Waterstreet's wacky ramble? Yet the column does have some value. As an example of the love people who don't vote Liberal are showering, for the moment, on the party's new leader, Waterstreet's column cannot be beat.
What many Liberals think of the new PM is, by contrast, much easier to decipher than a Fairfax columnist's attempt at clear writing. Click the link below and it will sound a lot like guffaws....
-- roger franklin
A reader draws our attention to the fruits of US blogger Steve Sailer's trawling of the internet's dustier, forgotten corners -- in this instance a squib of a story from The Age citing Bill Clinton, then less a year out of the White House and turning a quick dollar on the international lecture circuit. One of his gigs was a closed-door meeting with 35 Australian business leaders in Melbourne.
“He discussed the immigration issue in Australia and he took a position on it,” said Tom Hogan, president of Vignette Corporation, host of the exclusive forum.
“The (former) president believes the world will be a better place if all borders are eliminated – from a trade perspective, from the viewpoint of economic development and in welcoming (the free movement of) people from other cultures and countries,” Mr Hogan said.
Mr Clinton showed an understanding of the political problems Australia faced, but said he supported the ultimate wisdom of a borderless world for people and for trade.
He spoke for 45 minutes on topics ranging from the urgent need to combat AIDS to global economic issues. He spent another 45 minutes answering questions.
Mr Clinton said he believed the US was a better place for having opened its borders to a diversity of peoples and cultures...
Sailer notes the story was published on September 11, 2001, and adds: "Ten hours after Clinton said this, 19 diverse guys from a different culture killed 3,000 Americans."
That and other interesting stories make The Unz Review well worth bookmarking. Visit the site via the link below.
If American anti-abortion campaigner Troy Newman had demonstrated the good sense to grow a bushy beard and preach the rejection of democracy, rather than use its conventions and institutions to change the law, Zeg wonders if he might have avoided all those visa problems and a spell behind bars
Is it -- surely, there can be no doubt -- the End of Days, when lions bed down with lambs and nothing is as it should be? Consider just one portent: Malcolm Turnbull, warmist and back-stabber, leads the party that once valued Nick Minchin's scepticism and Tony Abbott's emphasis on loyalty. Now comes another reversal of the natural order.
In today's Fairfax column, former Media Watch poobah of smuggery Jonathan Holmes argues for privatising the ABC!
He doesn't quite say it in so many words, of course, but that is the only conclusion to be drawn from his plea that consumers of news simply must pay for their daily diets of dubious scoops and lightly re-written press releases. As the secondary headline puts it, "Journalism produced by big newsrooms empowers citizens by keeping them informed. Why should we get this service for free?"
As Holmes notes, the very same Fairfax Media which presents his columns is the journalistic equivalent of the wreck of the Hesperus. Circulation is forever shrinking and ad revenues declining even faster, which testifies to a truth Holmes almost, but not quite, brings himself to utter. Fairfax rags -- and the News Corp comics, too -- collate and package news, then expect consumers to pay for it.
Holmes' former employer, on the other hand, collates and packages news and gives it away for free. A multi-platform operation and the largest employer of journalists in the country, the national broadcaster makes its presence felt in every medium, from the internet to the airwaves, retailing and book publishing. That doesn't leave much room for any other players, least of all those obliged to record a profit.
So take it from Jonathan: To save Australian journalism, the ABC must be sold off without delay.
Holmes' thoughts can be read in full via the link below.