Reminder: another blog to visit
We have another blog that focuses on sustainable settlement issues and the many things that we need to be discussing.
click on the graphic above for the Sustainable Settlements Institute blog.
The ideology of ultra conservatives now dominates the current Australian federal government and we all know that this mantra simply reflects those pulling their strings, being the same industry groups who managed their ascension into government.
There’s so much written, but not read, about the inequalities in today’s society. It is welcomed to see a lone voice in our local media occasionally urging people to step back and think about what sort of society is being created.
Kelly Hogan does not fit well into the simple music categories. On this album the sound is a mix of many styles, being a bit of pop music, country, club blues and any combination or versions of the above and more. She has a great voice.
She is a friend and backing singer for Neko Case, so the one song here by Kelly, Golden, is in honour of her friend.
University of Sydney, Macleay Museum
This exhibition is advertised as being of historic photographs from the Pacific spanning a century beginning from the late 1850s. With these words both in advertising and online, the expectations were for an extensive exhibition of photographs of the pacific islands.
The first story was told to me about a proposal being put to someone’s recent board meeting suggesting that the organisation needed to do far more about the status of women in their particular workforce. That is, along with the business councils in Australia, the organisation could devise some manner by which annually they recognise and award the female achievers.
In a world of inequity, the reactions should not have been so surprising.
A call to put the Rabbott in his place!
For those outside Australia, more of this political story is in this newspaper article – click here. The speech is absolutely brilliant.
This partly changed with the privatization that happened under the Keating Government. However most still believed it was a national carrier even though it was run by a private board.
“We have quite enough national parks, we have quite enough locked-up forests already. In fact, in an important respect, we have too much locked-up forest.”
a YouTube Guardian presentation on tea production (11 minutes)
You probably are already aware of the damage being done to Australia by Rabbott and his feral friends. Sally McManus is listing them all. It is unbelievable! and it continues to grow. Click here for the link
I am totally and always have been against the concept of detention for refugees. As for detention centres on islands and in other countries for refugees trying to come to Australia, it is unbelievable that any civilized country would even have contemplated this. Continue reading refugees and Australia
Check out two posts on Sustainable Settlements Institute.
Malcolm Fraser’s comments say most of what any thinking person has to say about migrants and Manus Island; except that a certain dangerous and uncivilized Minister should resign and sent to detention immediately.
more news about our friends, the Banks!
Amongst the news items in the last week was the report on the enormous profits by Australia’s Commonwealth Bank. This one slipped through while the media was taken up with all the usual superficial distractions.
This has been observed by many. It is indeed really strange.
Those who have known him longer say that it is all part of his manufactured persona.
With all the spin and calls to be patriotic and to use the Navy for its political purposes, the Rabbott government has carried on with its attack on the ABC.
The ever increasing gap between the rich and the poor
I did not think the day would come in my lifetime when I would find myself agreeing with a speech made by a Pope.
There are many issues unresolved about his church and many nasty things that it remains responsible for. It is one house that needs to get so many things in order before it can be credible on the world stage.
However at least on the topic of inequity this Pope seems to have hit the nail on the head.
I have previously made comment about a local church sign on Limestone Avenue. Mid this month, there was this about climate change.
Please click on any photograph to enlarge it.
First a declaration. I know almost nothing about sport. I have no interest in sport. The whole ‘Superbowl’ thing is of interest in a very limited basis in that it is such a weird cultural phenomenon. It and large sporting events like it are way beyond my interest and understanding.
In the lead up to the 2014 Superbowl I noticed the occasional comment relating to how people were looking forward to viewing the Superbowl advertisements. This I found very strange.
I wonder how long before it becomes unusual to see a line up of male faces on panels and seminars? It remains unusual to see an all female line up. And this is the 21st Century.
The latest Grattan Institute talk sounds like a worthy discussion to attend.
Despite all the evidence and all the advocacy, our political leaders are still not up to the challenge of dealing with something that is a threat to life as we have come to know it here on this planet. True leadership seems to be in short supply these days.
This landmark piece of legislation, hailed internationally, fitted well with her belief that “governments have got a role to make sure they can help people in circumstances they can’t control – either through their health failing or an accident”.
We expect all manner of stupid decisions to follow soon. That is, once the business groups have worked out what they want this Rabbott Government to do. Hence all the reviews underway, which are being overseen by the business and lobby groups who brought this government to power.
There have been many times I have driven by a particular church along Limestone Ave and have thought about another church and pub on Broadway just south of the Sydney CBD.
Dear old St Barnabas Church burnt down in May 2006. It has since been replaced with a brand new building.
Before the fire, the church was an icon for anyone driving down Broadway into Sydney because of its signage in front of the church that could be read by passing motorists. The church used to frequently change the wording and this was matched by the pub across the road. The banter between the two sets of signs became known as the “Priest and the Publican”.
There was a routine piece in the Canberra Times about the current heat wave, temperature around and above 40 Degrees Celsius, and backyard trees or in some case about the lack of them. The article pointed to the now well established reality, that during such times those residential properties that lacked shade were suffering higher temperatures.
The WHO (World Health Organization) has leaked a draft report about sugar. The report will tell the world’s health authorities that they should be severely limiting the amount of sugar we all eat.
It will recommend that we consume no more than 5 teaspoons of sugar a day. Given the average Australian is putting away somewhere closer to 35-45 teaspoons a day, it’s a very big call indeed.
It is about the urban heat island effect
and now we have a misuse of the term Judea-Christian
This term, Judea-Christian, is being thrown about by our Rabbott government and its appointed camp followers who are to review the yet to be implemented National Schools Curriculum.
There is now doubt that this carefully orchestrated use of the term Judea-Christian is in fact a nasty stirring up of discrimination.
re-post from the Guardian
Once upon a time, not that many years ago, Australia was on the world stage as a leading in actions on climate change. It was not that a lot had actually happened. The truth was that a many new initiatives were being proposed.
The aura was that the country was on the move. The Australian Government was open to do business on climate change. Continue reading Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid
The Latest from our Rabbott Government
Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid: The national edukashon minister announced that after years of development, years of consultations and a bloody huge amount of work, that he considers he needs to appoint two close political associates to look into getting ‘balance’ back into the curriculum. They state that they will be independent. That probably means their report will be independent of facts and of intellect.
It is obvious that this is more about getting the old ‘culture’ wars started again and to drive particular ideological points into the headlines while loads of other disastrous changes are being put through by the Rabbott.
Re-post from WIRED: Reading a Novel Alters Your Brain Connectivity — So What? By Christian Jarrett
Having read a book or two, hopefully your brain will have been stimulated. It starts you thinking. Keen to read another? And then you had to return to work!
It was while staying with friends on holidays that I took the opportunity to occasionally take their dog for its evening walk. The dog is a very friendly and well-behaved golden retriever. While walking this happy animal I was reminded of the feelings I have sometimes when approaching a person walking a dog. It happened a couple of times that I could see people move out-of-the-way as I approached with the dog.
Stupidity in action
From The Guardian Australia: Tony Abbott’s top business adviser accuses IPCC of ‘dishonesty and deceit’. ‘The scientific delusion, the religion behind the climate crusade, is crumbling,’ Maurice Newman says.
It does not get much worse than this. The Rabbott government has been doing some stupid things of late, and there’s promise of even more stupidity to come in 2014.
Reporters have a choice: to either continue being regarded as untrustworthy, or to be seen as willing to hold the powerful into account. Here are my suggestions for better journalism:
PS: If the ABC could cease having politicians on Q & A, maybe the program format could deliver real debates and possibly become watchable. We need engaging commentators not politicians or their stooges on such programs.
The Rabbott government has moved quickly to shut down and to strangle so many progressive, financial, immigration, education, indigenous, disability, social welfare and climate programs, that it is difficult to identify which of their ideological decisions are the most dangerous to the future of this country.
Freedom of speech and the freedom from discrimination are both fundamental to our way of life. Yet these are now very much under immediate threat thanks to this inhuman national government.
While I am not too worried about the closure of GM’s (Holden) manufacturing plants in Australia in 2017, I am concerned as to whether manufacturing as an Australian industry and its associated innovations are not being supported. It is hard to find intelligent comment on these subjects in the Australian media.
An interesting few words from Damon Young on the machines that distract some people. Damon likes to observe – here’s one of his people observations. I think that too often I have observed his subject.
An ordinary suburban cafe, with an ordinary sullen teenage waitress and faux-friendly barista. The tables are unvarnished barrels. The cups are marmalade jars. And the coffee is bitter, weak and overpriced.
A recent opinion piece on bullying that you may have missed given the way the mainstream media reports such things.
For the article by Julia Baird – click here
It was this story on Crikey “Packer’s Sydney arts donation a lay-down misere‘ that took me back to discussions I had been involved with over several decades including when we used to debate such issues openly in the arts. In recent years, all sorts of Sydney groups joined the public debates about the horrors of gambling and in this instance campaigned, unsuccessfully, against the granting of the license for a second casino.
As the deal was signed, it was arts organisations in Sydney who had agreed to take money from James Packer as the payment demanded for the granting of the new casino license. James Packer has never shown an interest in the arts.
The mainstream media filled headline after headline about the closure of a particular car manufacturing company.
Our loyal opposition parties did not help as they joined in crying out loud through the media about the closures. Meanwhile damage was being done elsewhere in plain sight.
I quote from the Canberra Times 10 December 2013: “Strong commercial demand is expected for ACT government-owned properties along Northbourne Avenue that will be sold for redevelopment.”
Interesting to hear the mainstream media go on about the high court decision on marriage equality. Yes the ACT legislation was voted down by the judges.
But the real story is how the judges went further and made the call on what the court will allow to be constitutionally recognised as marriage when the Australian Parliament decides to get its act together and do the logical thing.
Under the judgement by the high court, once the National Parliament has passed the inevitable changes, the high court will not stand in the way of the changes, that is there will be no avenue for a challenge by all those vexatious religious types.
David Marr is on the case and has provided a neat summary of what really happened with this quiet landmark ruling by high court – here is his article from the Guardian.
An emphasis on the Not For Profit Sector
It was after a couple of conversations in the last months with people with whom I was able share experiences about bullying in various workplaces, that I have decided to make research in this area one of my ongoing topics.
As I have spent most of my working life in the Not For Profit sector I am including this sector as part of the main focus of this research.
This line of research and subsequent comments will be a ‘work in progress’.
Do you now a Patrick Henderson?
Patrick Henderson attends meetings called to carry out the business of the gallery for which he is a company director.
When Patrick sits at the table he remains very alert to the presence of his mobile and aware that there may be emails, text messages and tweets that require his attention.
Patrick’s commitment to these distractions is such that he cannot ignore them. Because of his lack of control of the technology, poor Patrick has become one of the many who are physically present somewhere but are rarely mentally completely there.
Comments on the statements by Australia’s Governor General, Quentin Bryce.
Every now and then Australians are taken aback when one of our national representatives actually makes intelligent and thoughtful contributions to public debates. This happened recently with the delivery of the Boyer lectures by Australia’s first female Governor General, Quentin Bryce.
First an admission. I used to be a reasonably keen urban cyclist . However some time back, I had two serious near misses whereby I was run off the road by local buses. After the last bruising, the bike sat in garage till one day I sold it on. Whenever I can , I now walk instead. But I do miss the experience of cycling through neighbourhoods.
Today there was a very good summary in the Guardian on the situation and changes to urban cycling across many cities internationally. Click on the image below.
There’s currently a crazy debate here in Canberra about cyclists and vehicles and pedestrians. Crazy because the debate has been dominated by no so cool people who are not accepting of any other point of view. So I wonder what the problem is?
There’s a piece in the Guardian today that says it all. I agree. We need to think this through and resist this blatant undermining of rights.
Make no mistake: Zoe’s law is an assault on women’s reproductive rights. It’s not a coincidence that those who design ‘foetal personhood’ bills are often associated with anti-abortion beliefs. Australian women have to fight back.
My difference of opinion would be on her statement “Australian women have to fight back”. This is for everyone, men and women, to be concerned about.
The Democracy experiment continues to be under threat
An article from the Asia Sentinel hits the mark on the media issues in Australia.
A milestone of a dubious kind was passed in Australia recently when it was discovered that the number of public relations practitioners had for the first time exceeded the number of journalists actually working as reporters and editors. (Hamish McDonald)
The full article is a good read. Click here.
former Prime Minister resigns, at last.
There were lots of kind words and some hinted at the troubles he had caused but most were polite and positive about his contributions in public life.
It was while standing in front of the National Gallery of Australia (NGA), that it occurred to me that the extension, which includes the new entrance, had not figured in awards. I am fully aware of the controversies about how these extensions came about. Should any of that have excluded this architectural addition to the nation’s art gallery from being the recipient of awards.
I intend to write more about the NGA in the near future, but for now I my curiosity has turned to the architecture awards as run by the national professional body, the AIA. These awards are lauded nationally, so why not apply a reality check as to how their award winners really stack up.
the Australian War Memorial 11 November 2013
Paul Keating’s Remembrance Day address “Those Australians fought and died not in defence of some old world notion of competing empires and territorial conquests but for the new world – the one they belonged to and hoped to return to.
This is why Australia was never in need of any redemption at Gallipoli, any more than it was in need of one at Kokoda thirty years later.
There was nothing missing in our young nation or our idea of it that required the martial baptism of a European cataclysm to legitimise us.”
full text of his speech at Australian War Memorial
The trend is to make fools of the media – and this is a turn around given the role of the mainstream media in promoting the Rabbott and Murdoch messages prior to the last federal election.
The Year My Politics Broke, Jonathan Green 2013
Jonathan Green hits the nail on the head so many times. This is a reality read and one that could leave you completely devastated given the current levels of political debate and the sparsity of good journalism is very much a worry.
Politics in the country is definitely off the rails. The whole Murdoch and Rudd and Rabbott thing has been damaging to any notion of fairness left in the world we live and work.
It seems that within Australia anyone can say they are being open and transparent, that they have plans for the future, are having a governance review, and that they have inherited questionable budgets.
The reality is that they lie, are bullies, and pursue their own interests at the cost of anyone else.
All those stupid consumers were supposed to spend up big after the recent federal election. The election of the Rabbott was supposed to bring about a boost to consumer confidence.
There’s nothing more basic in our democracy as the processes that underpin the election of our governments. At the time of writing , the WA Senate election has become complicated, not just because of the necessary recount given the closeness of the first results, but because of the unfortunate event whereby by about 1,400 previously counted votes have been misplaced.
Global Warning on Coloured Hair Dyes
There’s an alert in circulation globally about the use of a particular hair dyes by aging business men.
I do not get this one. The supermarkets and other retailers have again attempted to convince us that Australia celebrates Halloween and we should be encouraging children and teenagers to wander around and knock on doors to demand sweets. I do not think so!
I’ll migrate that appropriate saying from that other not so relevant event: Bah Humbug.
The Australian politicians were called on to address climate change over a decade ago (at least). Local community groups have recognised the need for climate change adaptation and have been frustrated with the lack of meaningful leadership that should be offered by elected officials.
The mainstream press, as led by Murdoch, and the ABC have provided their own biased information on these complex topics. The general public has received mixed messages instead of meaningful and useful information based on the overwhelming scientific evidence.
The Monthly November 2013, The Power of One, Robert Manne
Before I picked up this issue of The Monthly, I knew that the great democracy experiment was not doing so well. I appreciated that Australia, along with the UK and USA, is now dominated by the political views and priorities of one person, Rupert Murdoch. I knew that in Australia the governments that are elected are more likely to be those chosen by one man; or to be more accurate, those that fall are more likely to have been pushed, or destroyed, by one person and his empire.
I did not think I needed to read another article about Rupert Murdoch. I knew enough already. I was wrong.
Here’s one by Andrew Crook, who has a few of these out there.
Hold the bus! He has researched the possible annual income of the outgoing Prime Minister. Well that ‘s important information I needed to know!
One can not help sense that he is not going to let that Julia Gillard retire quietly and resume life peacefully in her new roles. Must be some dirt here somewhere. Surely such a ‘senior journalist’ could do some real journalism. Is that asking too much? Andrew – get a life, on your bike…
Former Attorney General, Nicola Roxon, has delivered a speech that outlines her ten housekeeping tips for a future Labor Government. However it is her comments about and suggestions for Kevin Rudd that have made the headlines.
On Monday this week, the new Labor opposition party met to talk leadership and opposition front bench positions. The leaders had already been elected and now the caucus would elect the members of the Opposition Ministers and then leave it to the leaders to appoint the actual opposition minister positions to those on the elected list.
The democracy experiment continues to be under threat in the United States.
A revealing article on a the web site, Independent Australia, explains how frightening the current political crisis is within the US and the background to the government shutdown.
Unfortunately it does not take much to join the dots as to what is going on behind the scenes in Australia now with the Abbott government.
here’s the link to the article – hope it dos not spoil your spring day.
an article re-published – in no fibs – was originally published by Mary Crooks
Executive director Victorian Women’s Trust on 5 July, 2013 as a full page advertisement.
I identify with her finishing paragraph:
“The truly ugly aspect of our national life revealed by the past three years should give cause for us all to reflect on what else is required to restore and maintain respect, civility, common decency and a fair go for women – in our society and in our democratic politics.”
read the original piece as reproduced here
An article in a paper today by Alecia Simmonds stopped me in my tracks.
In the piece she discusses the reporting of the conversation between Anne Summers and Julia Gillard in Sydney. Alecia questions why the reporting concentrated on the statement by Julia when she referred to ‘murderous rage’. Alecia point was that such reporting was about manufacturing controversy yet again. There remains so many celebratory aspects of this event to be highlighted and discussed but too many reporters have yet again chosen to concentrate on making a headline as some form of criticism.