So You go Back in Time to Kill Baby Hitler. Now What?

Recently, Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush was asked if, given the opportunity, he would travel back in time to kill Hitler as a baby. He answered that of course he would, although he admitted that he didn’t know if or how that would change the course of World War II and history.

The whole time-travel-to-kill-Hitler concept has become a bit of an internet meme, and because of this, seems to have a sense of the absurd about it. It’s as if you can’t say that you would do anything else, with the gift of time travel, without mentioning that first.

This has a couple of major problems, and it bothers me that people treat it with such disregard. Of course, I’m also aware of the absurdity of writing a blog post about the issues of time travel, but it highlights a number of greater concerns.

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The Right Price.

A friend of mine and I were talking online recently, where he was teasing me about something I’d said, and we were light-heartedly discussing my work in the coal mining industry. Of course, I’ve never worked in the coal mining industry, which my friend knows (hence the joke) and I responded that I was intending to take up a position with Philip Morris instead, the humour being that both of these industries were facing falling profits and had questionable practices when it came to ethics and/or the environment.

I guess you had to be there.

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But That’s MY Thing…

Around nine years ago, I fell pregnant for the first time. I was very excited to be pregnant. I wanted to do everything right. I was committed to remaining vegetarian, and I would have, except for bacon (Cravings. What can you do?) I tried to avoid situations which might impact on the growing foetus. I read as much as I could about pregnancy, birth, and what to do when the baby came. After the first awful nauseous part was over, and before the elephantine final weeks, I enjoyed the experience. I enjoyed feeling the baby move inside. I felt lucky to have been able to fall pregnant and that everything seemed to be going well. And it continued to go well — First Offspring was born, and we went on to have three more Offspring, and each time, I marvelled at the way my body adapted and changed to accommodate growing a tiny person inside and how they came out, everytime, and nobody died (although given that kind of pain, it felt a lot like death at the time).

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Women’s Weekly.

Happy International Women’s Day, everyone.

I planted some sunflowers at Christmastime and I’m delighted that the first of them is blooming! So exciting. If I remember, I’ll take a picture to put up with next week’s links. In the meantime, I’m celebrating Women’s Day with tea and cake. Oh, wait, that’s how I celebrate every Sunday. Well, why break with tradition, right?

Happy Day!

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You Can Have It All.

Earlier this week, in between bringing my Offspring home from school and rushing out the door to go grocery shopping, I looked in despair at the washing up. I’d done some that morning before going out, but there was still a frying pan from the night before, and I’d not yet unloaded the dishwasher, so the breakfast dishes sat on the drainboard, too. Everything looked cluttered and messy. I sighed. Some days, the kitchen looks amazingly clean. When the Offspring are napping or away at school, I’ll spend an hour or so cleaning the benchtops, clearing off the dumping ground which is the sideboard, drying dishes and putting everything in its place.

That day was not one of those days.

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Short Break.

Greetings!

path: ethic is taking a break this week as I just finished the first draft of my novel on Friday and am completely wiped out.

However, all is not lost! Below are some links to some interesting or thought-provoking pieces from other people. I’m intending to have this as a regular feature, so stay tuned for more weekend updates.

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Write Idea, Wrong Execution.

I read a post the other day called ‘Why I Put My Husband Before Our Kids.’

It’s not the kind of thing I usually read, but I was curious, because I don’t, actually, put the Handsome Sidekick before our Offspring, and I wondered whether the article might have something interesting to say about why I should.

Apparently, it’s written in response to another article, which I also wouldn’t normally read, especially given the advertisements for other articles interspersed in the text (7 Sex Positions Men Love/I’m Cheating On My Husband… Am I A Bad Person?/How to Kiss Well …no, I am not making these up).

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Who Cares What They Think?

A couple of months ago, I took Fourth Offspring for a late night jaunt down to the hospital. He’d been playing outside with his siblings in the afternoon, and had fallen—as he has, numerous times before and since—and his arm was hurting him. He’s not very verbal (he isn’t quite two years old yet) but it seemed like his wrist was sore, and even after icing and painkillers, it still was bothering him. So we went to Emergency.

I was a little reluctant to take him.

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Stand Tall, Walk Tall.

Did you know that lower back pain is now such a significant issue for so many, that the Medical Journal of Australia has considered whether it should be added to the list of National Priority Health Areas in this country? Apparently, up to 80% of Australians will suffer from lower back pain in their lifetime, and for a few of them, it causes considerable disability. Even for those whose pain only lasts a short while, it can be considerably debilitating, and costs millions to the community in lost production.

Not to mention, you know, the pain.

 

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Saying Nice Things, or Saying Nothing At All.

I wasn’t going to write about Cory Bernadi today.  I had something else on which I was working, and there were other reasons, as well.  I haven’t read his book, so I’m basing my thoughts on this morning’s article, plus others.  I also figured that there is going to be a chorus of indignant voices raised in response to this article, so why add mine to the mix?

Well, that’s never stopped me before!  And the article this morning really ticked me off. If I write about it, I’ll get it out of my system, and then perhaps I can focus on other topics, which I feel are more worthy of my time.

I know that the ABC has likely cherry-picked quotes to ensure the article is read and shared by the greatest number of people.  On the other hand, the quotes are certainly not out of character for this politician.  Formerly the parliamentary secretary to the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, he resigned and headed to the back bench after claiming that allowing same sex marriages could encourage bestiality.

Now he has written a book in which he has managed to offend a whole new group of people.  Or perhaps that should be ‘groups’.  Or perhaps that should be ‘huge great swathes of the population’.

Bernadi argues that the abortions in Australia are a ‘death industry’, and that ‘traditional families’ are superior to other kinds, such as stepfamilies (and basically any other in which the parent/s are not married, or heterosexual, or whose children are not conceived ‘naturally’, or are not biologically theirs).  He also claims that one of the threats against Christianity and traditional values is the ‘green agenda’,  placing the value of animal and plant life over that of humans.

I was trying to identify what exactly it was that I found so annoying about Bernadi’s arguments, or at least those quoted by the ABC website. I mean, he’s gone to so much trouble to list his issues with what has gone wrong with our country, it seems a shame to choose just one to refute, doesn’t it? But in fact, all his arguments boil down to one assumption.

Bernadi is like every other right wing idealist, in that he seems to believe that all the problems of our modern society would go away if only we were to return to some golden era, where men were men and women were women and they married (and never divorced) and had children and all was right with the world. A time when there were none of those pesky homosexuals, when abortions didn’t exist, when everyone went to church, when humans were confident of their rightful place in nature (at the top of the food chain, and not part of it).

Wouldn’t it be nice to go back to that time? Wouldn’t it just make things so much simpler? Oh, if only! And we could be rid of this confusing mess in which we find ourselves, which is destroying us from within!

But there was never such a time. There might have been, for some members of society, but only because they chose to ignore that there have always been unhappy marriages, or infertility, or unwanted pregnancies, or unhappy people unable to have the relationships they really wanted. The problems with our society are not because of some failure to attend church, and not because people are divorcing–or not marrying–or having children via IVF. The problems we face are because we’re humans, and we bicker with each other, and are greedy, and take a long time to learn from our mistakes. But we do evolve. Ever so slowly, but it happens. And in our evolution, we begin to ask questions about equality, and our place in the world, and how we treat others, and how we want our future to look.

Cory Bernadi wants to court a small part of the population and argue that their worldview is under attack, when all that is really happening is that this worldview is having to share the stage with others. Perhaps the saddest part of this is how he throws his religion into the mix. In a country like Australia, where church-going is hardly the Sunday past-time of choice, (whether or not they believe in a Christian god), most people are not going to be swayed when he claims that our country is suffering because we have strayed from the path of Christianity. And I can’t help feeling a little dismissive of his views, when he says that faith and Christianity are under threat by environmentalists and Islam. Under threat? Just how fragile is his faith, if it cannot withstand challenges such as other religions or a different political perspective? The last time I looked, people from different faiths and political persuasions challenge each other all the time. Sometimes–wait for it–they can even respect each other, and get along.

Other times, they fight wars.

What does Cory Bernadi want to do? Get along, or fight a war? Considering the way in which he has clashed even with members within his own party, considering he has already lost one job and is willing to jeopardise his place in his political party, I guess he is willing to fight. I think he wants to foster a strong conservative future for Australia; I believe he is fired up and ready to step up to defend his faith and his right wing values from the rest of us, who obviously have lost our way, because we simply want people to be able to live their lives and be content. Cory Bernadi is ready to stand up for that in which he believes, and do whatever it takes to battle this out.

Call it typical Australian apathy, but I’m not sure many of us can really be bothered taking him seriously enough to fight back. Lucky for us, we’re in the majority.

Now let’s see what we can do about that green agenda, and same sex marriage, shall we?