Hail To The Nihilist

Abbott on Bosses

“A bad boss is a little bit like a bad father or a bad husband. Notwithstanding all his or her faults, you find that he tends to do more good than harm.”

1. I can’t even. 

2. I like how he says “his or her” in the second sentence, as though to correct himself; thinking only male bosses exist. 

3. This claim rests on the basis’ that ‘bosses’ do tend to try and do more good than harm, that ‘bosses’ are capable of knowing that, and that ‘bosses’ tend to be competent. Let’s not forget that to be a boss requires no training, no qualifications, no experience… Anybody can be a boss. Start a business, hire somebody – you’re a boss. I would argue that the reason so many small businesses fail in their first year or two of business isn’t due to externalities – as we are always told – it is due to the inexperience and, sometimes, incompetence of management. 



Democracy isn’t meant to be neat and orderly

Tonight on Q&A, several members from the Socialist Alternative political party asked questions on higher education and higher education funding of Minister for Education, Christopher Pyne. They interrupted Pyne’s answers, much to his disgust, and seemed agitated by the whole thing. Understandably, too. Pyne’s answers were rehearsed and reeked of disdain. They Education Action Group then upped the ante. They lowered a banner from behind the panel that read, “More Brains | Not Warplanes | Fund Education”, and featured the date and time of an up-coming rally (May 21, UTS, 2:30pm, if you’re wondering) and began to chanting to the tune of their concerns about the governments plans for higher education in Australia.

On cue, social media came alive. There was some praise. Some hate. Some denigration. Your typical, “Get a haircut hippy” type comments. The disagreement and disgust dominated though. Many leftists weren’t happy with what had happened. But you know what, I saw it as an act of creativity and opportunism. If a company or some more agreeable cause had of done something similar there wold have been praise and wonder and ogling. Host of Q&A, Tony Jones, became shirty about the incident and complained about it not being true of democracy. Democracy to him, it would seem, is meant to be neat and tidy and orderly and by the book. No, democracy isn’t what Tony Jones or Christopher Pyne or Joe Blogg says it is. If people have a concern and what it heard, why not protest on a public show such as Q&A? John Howard ended up with a shoe tossed at him at the very same desk some years ago. That’s possibly going too far. A shoe can constitute a weapon. That’s far from a “peaceful protest”. But chanting and holding a banner on national TV? What’s the big deal?

Many are complaining that Socialist Alternative Education Action Group have created a bad name for the group party and socialism. Why? Why do we let it get to that? Because they have gone out there and done something? Fuck that. Sometime we have to be bold to be seen and heard. If we paid more attention to the message they were communicating – their concerns for some pretty sinister reforms – rather than who they are, who they are not, how they did it, why they did it… we might make a bit of protest. I’m guessing a large number of people support the message they were spreading. Get behind them then. Support it. And encourage such interesting, challenging, creative expression. Voting once every four years isn’t what democracy is about.

Response to Bernard Gaynor’s “More illogical gems from the gay marriage crowd”

In your piece you force a dichotomy. One of you being logical and the people you are arguing against being illogical. Throughout your piece you refer to the ‘pro-homosexuals’ and ‘pro-transgenders’. The way in which you use these terms could be interpreted as absolute – as broadly encompassing. For example: if someone espouses pro-homosexual views they are, by the very definition you insist upon them, culpable of all the critical things you state.

By the fact that you have generalised in such a way you have committed a rookie mistake. You have committed the logical fallacies of hasty and faulty generalisation. Most illogical, Bernard. What exactly is your definition of logic?

To address your points I shan’t commit the same mistake that you made, and shall speak only subjectively and state my own position.

Pro-homosexuals seem to think that they are open-minded. Yet they continually claim that Christianity should be excluded from debate.

I think I am fairly open-minded but don’t let any old stuff in. My logic and reason filter has filtered out the authority of the bible. It doesn’t hold for me. Perhaps I have too high an expectation for evidence? Perhaps not? Perhaps I am right. What I do attribute, though, to my ‘open-mindedness’ is a level of tolerance. I tolerate people. Actually, I don’t like the word tolerate. I respect people for being people. Sure, some people may think things that I don’t agree with, but all the luck to them. Provided, of course, that thinking isn’t detrimental to others. Unjustified murder. I think it’s wrong and will speak strongly against it. Why? Because not all interests are considered. Interests have been breached. Speaking strongly against homosexuality. I think it’s wrong and will speak strongly against it. Why? Because it is a human condition – nobodies fault. Because there is good evidence to show that intolerance of it can have a serious effect on people’s lives.

Pro-homosexuals like to pretend that they are nice people. But they constantly use words and terms that any nice person would refrain from.

I think you’re confusing unpleasantness or rudeness with frustration. A likely reason ‘pro-homosexuals’ are up in your grill is because of your writing and the sentiment it breeds interferes with their life. Perhaps your should interfere less?

Pro-homosexual people, like Steve, think that it is perfectly logical to tell me that I can’t tell another person what to do.

You may not tell people what to do, but you suggest that they do is wrong and punishable in some extreme way. This has a huge carry on effect. If I knew that my disagreement with the bible lead to people damage religious people’s property, violence or suicide, I’d be more careful in how I conducted myself.

Pro-homosexuals like to make claims that those who do not support their activities hate them. I don’t. On the contrary, a little more debate about Islam would be a good thing for this country.

Glad to hear it. Just be wary about the end what you say may lead to in others. And, sure. Why not? Let’s debate everything and see if we can come to some fair conclusion.

Pro-homosexuals believe that they are positive people. But just because you are ‘for’ something, it does not mean that your position is positive. Just as pro-legalised drug advocates support a position that undermines society, so do pro-homosexual people. There is nothing good that can come from homosexual activity. Nothing. Even if it is just a private affair. Homosexuality produces nothing good at all. On the other hand, marriage is completely different. It produces children and is the best way to raise the next generation. That’s not bad at all, and that’s why I support it so strongly.

Hmm. This is a loaded claim, Bernard. You generalise, again… (To generalise is to be illogical, don’t forget.) You argue, ergo, children are what is good. Perhaps your friends in the Catholic church took this assertion a little far. (A little joke there.) Many won’t agree with you on this. Many will claim that there are other good things such as pleasure and love and the universe and sunny days and rainbows and tomato and basil (killer combination!) Can you not see why people would be upset by you claiming that their private relationship is “nothing good”? And, what’s more, as a former aspiring politician, you sought a position where you could influence public policy… not just some bloke’s personal views?

Pro-transgender people like to think that LTCOL McGregor is professional. He is not. No one who signs off on emails with the words ‘Cate McGregor AM – suck on that f**kwit’ is professional. He is also not a woman and anyone who claims otherwise is supporting a lie. 

Yeah, calling you a bad name isn’t cool. But again, probably frustration with a dusting of alienation.

The medical fraternity will disagree with you over her definition. But you can believe what you wish in that area – it doesn’t really affect you or I.

Pro-transgender people like to think that thinking something makes it true.  

This is true of everybody. Hence, we need a rigorous method through which to verify claims. Such as science and logic and reason. Do you have an alternative?

Pro-homosexual people like to make fun of my last name. I’m glad it brings such mirth and merriment. However, once again I’ll point out that if the substance of an attack against you is a comment ridiculing your last name, it’s a good sign that you have won the debate.

It’s a bit infantile, isn’t it? And it doesn’t give credibility to their argument. But hey, we all have our moments. Titmouse, hehehehhe.

LE Giles & Sons Abattoir vs Primesafe: This isn’t Animals Australia’s Fight

The latest episode of Landline which has ruffled some feathers on Twitter.

Landline – Overkill

The closure of the LE Giles & Sons Abattoir is an affair between the apparently undependable statutory authority, Primesafe, and a business at which an alleged breach of the law took place. The alleged fraudulence of Sarah Lynch, the undercover animal activist who obtained the footage, too, ought to be investigated but to focus on that is a diversion.

Primesafe had every right to investigate a complaint irrespective of the character of the party who brought the complaint to their attention. Heck, the complainant could have been an enraged mass murder who broke into the facilities by running a tractor through the fence. The content of the evidence is what it is important and, at least on face value, it appeared to display a potential breach of the law. That breach ought to be investigated. Whether revoking the business’s licence under the Meat Industry Act 1993 is the appropriate action is what most people have a gripe with. For if it wasn’t revoked – or handed back by LE Giles & Sons as Primesafe claims – it would be fair to say they could have continued operating whilst the investigation took place.

The tilt of this report was overwhelmingly bias. To be expected from Landline. The stories of the primary producers affected by the closure were understandably emotional but didn’t see the complaint for what it was potentially worth. All charges were later dropped, for reasons unknown claim the parties involved. However, what if they were found to be valid and charges ensued? The character references made by businesses and individuals associated with LE Giles & Sons would have been rather credulous indeed.

I hope those affected by this case take it upon themselves to expect more by way of animal welfare measures so they can be certain of what happens to their livestock. One thing is for sure with this story: there still is a lot of uncertainty surrounding it.

Update: I don’t necessarily agree with what Sarah Lynch did to obtain the footage that lead to such a dire chain of events. She gained access to a private premises through deception and took advantage of somebody’s goodwill. This could be viewed as immoral at least, illegal at most. However, I think there are situations where such acts produce consequences good enough to justify them. I think most reasonable, fair-minded people would agree with that.

The jury is out on this one.

Federal Assistance for Australian Farmers: Really?

Farmers in Victoria are doing it tough. They are in the grip of “drought-like conditions, land devaluations and [are] struggling to feed their cattle” according to The Age. The Federal Government have agreed to help out by providing low-interest loans with a view of consolidating growing debt.

Whole Larder Love‘s, Rohan Anderson, is critical of this and tweeted:

“How to plug an unsustainable agricultural system by the Victorian government … PULL UP THE  ORCHARDS? Logic has been removed and replaced with short sighted economic rationalism”.

I agree with Rohan. I added:

You would be forgiven for thinking farming is a sacred act. The way farmers respond to threats that would make businesses in other industries “shape up or ship out” is indicative of them being [viewed as in] some higher category. But, is this really the case? With farming suffering because of globalisation and competition; are a few local farmers in a drought stricken region really of such great economic importance and benefit? Or should our primary industries be treated like any other?

I’m sort of playing the devil’s advocate here, as I am not a big supporter of free-market economics. I’m concerned that this apparent sanctity is getting in the way of better decisions. Just as one is told they supposedly cannot question another’s religious choice, one ought not question the role of farming in our country or whether or not farmers should be eligible for Federal assistance. From the conversations I have had with farmers, they consider their role to be of unequaled importance. However, the fact that many farmers are doing it tough, and not just because of environmental reasons, but global competition and consumer behaviour too, suggests that they are maybe not as highly-regarded – rightly or wrongly – as they think.

I for one think it’s a dreadful shame that we source so much food from overseas and will not buy Californian oranges or Chinese garlic. However, while ever this is allowed, it seems wasteful and contradictory that the government bailout farmers. There is an important premise that needs to be addressed here: If we care about sustaining agriculture in Australia, then we need to put some substantial protections in place.

On Sustainability

The word ‘sustainability’ certainly makes me feel optimistic, provided it has been used with the right end in mind. In many contexts it is nothing more than a buzz word. A word used with the intention of eliciting a response from a certain group of people–getting the be-seen-to-be-doing-something types to buy your stuff. Sustainability requires sacrifice. We have hit a point where our behaviours have become unsustainable. But these companies that misuse the word postulate the illusion that sustainability can be achieved without sacrifice. I’m weary of this use of the word.

A reply to Jessica Fleming (Aussie Dairy) et al

I think I went over the maximum character limit, so I am not sure this comment will be published on the Weekly Times Now article it is in relations to, “Spark in Online Animal Activist Threats“. However, I’d like those involved in the article to read my comment nonetheless. To summarise the article, Jessica Fleming a dairy farmer/blogger has received an increasing number of threatening and abusive emails from “animal activists”. She makes a few comments about the collective that I think are generalist and unfair.

Dear Shannon Twomey, Jessica Fleming, and Curt of Mackay –

Want to know what’s also very frustrating? Being told that we “really do not understand agricultural industries” and have “no practical experience of any description”. Who are these people you are describing? Your ideal of an animal activist or a truth? It fits your rhetoric to think of them all as left-leaning arts graduates that live in share-houses in Fitzroy or Coburg or Newtown or Bondi. However, this is far from a truth. Those that choose to spend time fighting for better treatment of and/or rights for animals come from all walks of life and I’ll have you know plenty of them are ex-industry.

It’s tempting for me to add that you “really do not understand animal activists” and have “no practical experience of any description” in rallying against legislated injustice. However, I don’t really think that of you. I don’t know you. Animal ag’s response to the live export ban (I don’t know which side of the fence you guys sit on as it has diverse support) is testament to a willingness to rally in such a way. And I do applaud you all for using the internet as a means to have your voice heard and to contribute to the dialogue. I agree that contributions should be without abuse. But I also think they should be without fallacy, without logical errors, and based on evidence. And shouldn’t resort to statements like “You surely can’t know as well as us, we’re on the coalface”.

Things Cost Freedom

I use to be careless with money. I would buy all kinds of stuff I didn’t need or really want and thought nothing much of it. It’s only money after all.

I came to realise that money is in fact a sacrifice of freedom. For every dollar I earn I have to give up a bit of my freedom. I give this up by sitting behind a desk, doing work, when I would probably prefer to be doing something else. Every purchase I make costs me freedom. That $4.50 cup of coffee or $120 pair of jeans. They didn’t cost mere money they cost my freedom. Freedom I cannot get back.

I think by looking at money this way one puts more consideration into the way they spend. Are these ‘things’ really worth the sacrifice?

To What End?

To what end? This is a question I have been asking myself more and more recently. It has allowed me to focus on my priorities and make better decisions. It allows my inner utilitarian to shine. By asking ‘to what end?’ I am asking ‘for what purpose?’ or, plainly, ‘why?’ 

Why do I need that new gadget? Why do I get upset by some things? Why do I say certain things or speak a certain way? To what end? What’s in it for me? How will it affect others? What are the costs? What are the perceived benefits of making one decision over another?

Try asking the question of yourself. Attempt to justify things more readily. Don’t leave it just for big ticket decisions. See if it clarifies the smaller things; the things you take for granted.

Woe is me and human interactions

Something bites at me like nothing else. The idea that I am intentionally out to disparage people. That I am so sanctimonious I will do anything to become the victor. This isn’t correct and isn’t my intention.

It boils down to this. I see no problem asking questions and challenging views. I see no problem correcting myself or others. I thought somebody used a word incorrectly the other night but wasn’t too sure. I verified its meaning. This was seen as an act of trying to prove another wrong for my own gain and glory. No, for me, this was a process of falsification. It was an act of integrity. I may have been wrong as I wasn’t confident enough in myself. I don’t want to go through life sharing untruths. I was verifying the word to ensure I didn’t have the wrong idea. I wasn’t completely right, almost. My friend was completely wrong. Is this cause for celebration? No. But if I were him, I’d be thankful I wouldn’t make the same mistake in the future. Perhaps in a more crucial context. It’s called education.We both learnt something. I cared, the other didn’t. He was still set in the belief that I was out to do ill by him, to show off, to bring him down.

This makes me want to interact less with people. It seems no matter what I say I am seen as doing wrong; being malicious.