Posts Tagged ‘abc.’

A normal day with a solid ‘like.’

May 9, 2017

nr two

Has anyone had a normal day lately? It seems to me that we are forever being whipped up by news. Yet, newspapers are going broke. When is the last time you bought a newspaper? I find it almost impossible to get to the news. My computer’s home page offers a constant stream of fake News. The latest ‘News’ offering was the promise of pictures of the Australian woman being held in Colombia’s Bogota jail accused of cocaine smuggling. It promised to be  pictures of her living in that jail. However, when I clicked on the item the only news-item shown were advertisements for shoes and perfume. You see,  the photo is just a lure to entice one buying things.  I suppose, if one persists the promised pictures might eventually appear. But by then I had lost interest.

We watch the National Broadcaster (ABC) for news. Even there, one has to trawl through a constant stream of advertisements before arriving at the news. The SBS channel is still watchable but only just and mainly because it does give you a wider range of international news and above all,  much less cricket and football. So, in summing up; with all the electronic instant-ness about everything, true news is lacking. Commerce has taken over news and perhaps it was always thus.

There is CNN, The Guardian and a few others where one can find some reliable news. It is getting harder though. There are wild allegations that Putin is throwing the spanner amongst countries’ elections for new heads of state. Hackers are stealing megabytes and distributing millions of e-mails everywhere. I too sometimes get mysterious e-mails that don’t make sense. Some that are putting ‘likes’ on my blog turn out to be selling something, or worse, allure to dalliances of which I am not keen. I have heard sad stories of  people getting involved in IT romantics that cost  them their live savings.  A while ago an experienced and savvy bank manager was interviewed on TV. A sad story unfolded whereby he got caught being fleeced by a Nigerian scam on the internet.  He thought it was true love. He told his story as a warning to others.

I very much doubt though that nerdy looking Russian hackers will ever feverishly go over my blog or trawl through my e-mails. No one seems to want to capitalise or exploit me. It makes one think of the insignificance of it all. I don’t even get the chance in saying; “I am deeply humbled by this occasion.” It seems to be the latest most popular answer from people in the lime-light or from those on a stage clutching a trophy or an award.

I was astonished to be offered a batch of three hundred ‘likes’ for a mere $490.-US. That’s right. One can buy blog ‘likes’ now the same as butter or a herring. A while ago, I read a post by someone I knew some years ago. He was always a bit Hollywood and very fond of driving around in expensive  cars with personalized car number plates. He planned a new job by charging people to help improve their ‘status.’  He set up a web-site and asked shamelessly for possible readers to put a ‘like’ on his web-site. He hoped this would help setting up the business.

I do appreciate likes on my own blog but I am pretty sure they are mainly genuine.  I would not remotely consider asking for a ‘like’. I know that people give ‘likes’ and hope for a return ‘like’ on own blogs. Perhaps, we should have a ‘dislike’ symbol as well. It is all so flimsy and silly. Even so, it would be less than honest to admit that I don’t enjoy getting a nice solid ‘like’.

It does perk one up during the day after all the fake ‘news.’

More eggnog from soup bowls with Euthanasia clinics

October 3, 2016

Almost ThereThe Netherland’s Right To Die Movement for the over seventies has been so successful they must have a serious membership turnover. The latest push is to have Euthanasia clinics available at those retirement homes for ‘clients’ who feel they have an uncooperative doctor to sign the necessary papers.

The Right to Live movement also have a spirited body of opposing members. They are much more likely to keep their membership card. They feel the best way forward to senility is to make old-age homes more jolly. The main problem is that for many, ending up in a retirement home is not all that it is cracked up to be. Sure, some get by with the obligatory visit by children. They put off visiting the old fogey with a brave grin, to once every six weeks or so, despite the offering of a little eggnog with a demitasse spoon. At times it is just not enough to keep the old going. Some of those might wish for a way out, either six feet under ground or up through a chimney of the retort.

The Dutch retirement homes do their very best with lots of bingo, goldfish aquariums, community outings to the manicured garden of a Keukenhof, or Swan Lake concert, the twice weekly fitness events, musical soirees and fashion shows. For the oldies to stick around for a little longer is much to the joy of the Right To Live Movement. Even so, a couple of years ago The Right to Die Movement for the over seventies in The Netherlands collected over forty thousand signatures in no time. There seems to be a challenge in giving people a choice. The cost of retirements is going through the roof so one can see that the Governments world-wide would not be all that opposed to a bill giving people a choice in the matter of leaving the party a bit earlier and get a decent rest in the outback of the ‘never never.’

Just reflecting on how retirement homes in Australia are just riddled with incompetent staff. Worse, they now seem to draw on murderers filling vacancies. The oldies are left to rot in their beds.http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-25/secret-camera-captures-nursing-home-attempted-suffocation/7624770
I would not like to end up like this poor old man either.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-27/man-dies-after-nursing-home-staff-fail-to-properly-treat-wounds/7877820

And then last week a man was charged with the killing of three old people with overdosing them on insulin. He would text his mates alerting them on a future date when the next one would get the fatal needle.http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-31/summitcare-alleged-killer-sent-text-predicting-deaths-court-told/7793484

So, really it seems a neck on neck race with either being given a choice to exit peacefully at own will, or look carefully at the needle or medication that nurse might be give you next when in need. I would not fit in with bingo, or fitness classes either and will probably end up asking for the eggnog in a soup bowl and given a large spoon.

That is enough gloom. I’ll write something more cheerful next time. Gerard.

How Seniors grapple with complications of Governing.

July 7, 2016

Almost There

Almost There


Each evening, and with the demeanour of a black coated undertaker giving a quote for a juicy burial, we get to see our top AEC ( Australian Electioneering Commissioner) scrutineer on the telly, giving us solemnly the latest count on the last Federal Election. This commissioner is without bias and sworn to total independency as far as his political views are concerned. He is neutral. It is why he is very serious in his delivery of the latest numbers. He is so careful and weighs up the words carefully. If he was any more careful he would just cough slightly or wipe his chin adroitly. He looks as if he practised his art in front of his wife, or, in the case of no wife, in front of the mirror.

Now, faced with a battery of cameras he is without doubt having his moment of fame. Not, that he shows any enjoyment. Remember, joy could easily be seen as being biased. It would be surprising if he did not hold a political view. I would bet he is a conservative. How could anyone not become a scrutineer without also devoid of a free spirit? As our chief scrutineer intones the latest figures, the camera takes us to the room where a whole army of scrutineers are counting the voting papers. Row after row of tables covered with both green coloured and white sheets of papers. It is a very complicated affair, and for those not British born, too esoteric too even come close to comprehending. A bit like cricket really. Far too many numbers and variables.

The vote, and that includes all votes apparently, can go elsewhere in a process called ‘giving preferences.’ In a two horse race, ( I just learned this phrase recently) any vote to another party ends up mainly with either the Conservatives (Liberal National Party) or Labor. Labor without the ‘u’ in it! Another mystery. Yet, I remember many years ago back around 1977 or so, when I became an Australian national citizen, things appeared fairly simple. The ceremony for Nationalisation was held at the Sydney Town-Hall. We were given the choice to swear by oath our allegiance to Australia either on the bible or alternatively to the English Queen. I hope I have this right. I remember that it was a difficult choice, as I believe in neither.

Even so, it was a mass ceremony with hundreds of European migrants. No good being surly, and in any case, a cup-o-tea with Arnett’s biscuits, compliments of the salvos followed. I duly went on the stage and was giving a certificate of Australian Nationality. This certificate is in a box somewhere together with my high school diplomas, birth/marriage certificates and other washed up flotsam of time gone by. It is funny, that till this day I am still reluctant to accept so much that seems incomprehensible. This finding of so much that remains incomprehensible is an attitude of the curmudgeon. An obsession with the finicky. Just because I became Australian doesn’t seem to include me in the welcoming psyche of just acceptance on how things can be different in different cultures.

Going back to the voting. I read up about the Westminster system and the Adversarial part of it. I will make greater effort in understanding that the senate voting does not coincide with voting for the lower house except with a double dissolution of both houses. I will try and understand that some senators run for a six year period but others just three years. Further more, I will desist trying to come to grips with the preferential system of voting. I will desists asking; but why? I will resist, writing letters to the ABC, on why I think a multi party system would avoid all those preferential votes going anywhere accept there where the voter voted for.

I want to be a true believer, an Australian.

Vale Bob Ellis.

April 3, 2016

“Legendary Australian author, journalist and playwright Bob Ellis has died from liver cancer.

Ellis started work as a political writer outraged by the Vietnam War, and went on to write speeches for political figures including Kim Beazley, Bob Carr, Bob Brown and former South Australian premier Mike Rann.

He also worked as a satirist and reviewer at the ABC, and went on to pen stage plays and films.

A provocative figure and as unashamedly left-wing as they came, Ellis had a somewhat fall from grace in 1998, when his book Goodbye Jerusalem was pulped because he defamed the Abbotts and the Costellos.”

Please read on.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-03/bob-ellis-dies-after-40-years-in-journalism-politics-playwriting/7295548

 

And so it goes…

Ellis High School Reference

 

 

The second coffee.

March 10, 2016

 

Mother, daughter and sons on the way to Thai café.

Mother, daughter and sons on the way to Thai café.

The second coffee usually treads a familiar path. Normally it comes after the first. But, normality took a break this morning. You have no idea how complicated the publishing of a book can be. I wonder if the homeless under the bridges or highway overpasses are the results of those desperadoes seeking self-publishing? I am so sick of reading my stumbling words with  ‘a kind of this’ and a ‘kind of that’ getting repeated so often. I’ll delete them, but the rate I am deleting, soon I’ll have a brilliant book with no words.

With each change the family gets  consulted. Their patience will be rewarded in lofty credits in the book if it ever manages to escape the US taxation laws or the pernicious PDF Word Files. One major decision was to change referring to Mum and Dad to father and mother. Back through the whole thing again re-edit and change to the latter. Was it a good move? At 3am I get up and micro-wave a mug of milk (60 seconds) add a spoonful of wattle honey, climb back in bed afterwards and hope for kindness of mind and some sleep.

I made a fatal mistake on reading (Googling) up on back-page blurbs. The general idea is to give the background to the book with the minimum of words. ‘Less is better,’ is the sage advice. In any case, the expert blurb writers warn never more than 250 words. I spent days on that alone till my daughter took over and wrote a very good one. She reckoned my own blurb concentrated too much on colonoscopies and wacko erectile dysfunctional benefits. ‘Just give a hint, don’t rub their face in it,’ she advised.

The torture of the night gets relieved when the first of daylight manages to climb through the bedroom window. It is first- coffee time and this alone heralds a new day. I  leap out of the bed and put on the kettle.  The leaping is not as vigorous as it used to be. The kettle has a whistle and the water heats up by gas. I try and prevent too much of the whistle in case it wakes H who normally gets an extra half hour in. Often breakfast doesn’t happen till well in the morning, usually after 11 or so. This is where to-day’s the second-coffee comes in. Most times we put in a solid couple of hours upstairs on our computers, abusing the Australian Government on the ABC’s on-line forum.

This morning second-coffee was unusual. The same amount of boiling water is put on about three table spoons of ground coffee. I rattle the cups and spoons so Helvi upstairs knows the coffee is in the making. This morning I was perhaps a bit more absent than normal and instead of taking Helvi’s keenly awaited cup of second coffee, I carried a complete two litres of milk upstairs instead. I did not even realise what I had done till I handed it over.

‘You are going ga ga and slipping,’ she said, and laughed her head off.

Grasshopper, my Friend.

February 24, 2016
The Grasshopper

The Grasshopper

 

Just when the feverous counting of white spaces with fonts reached its peak, salvation turned up. It always does. We left the books on the outside table and nipped off to see a very good movie. It is called ‘Spotlight.’

“It’s not a stretch to suggest that “Spotlight” is the finest newspaper movie of its era, joining “Citizen Kane” and “All the President’s Men” in the pantheon of classics of the genre. Full review
Ann Hornaday·Washington Post.”
It is perhaps the best movie of the year and I can see it winning lots of awards with ‘Carol’ running a close second.
After  seeing the movie I felt pleased our own Cardinal Pell will finally front up too.  After the skirmishes between scores of lawyers and doctors he will finally, and by hook and by crook, but more by crook,  while luxuriating from his delightful 4 star hotel in Rome, face the victims of years of dreadful abuse by his church.
What I would not give for our Government to face similar scrutiny about the abuse, including sexual, of the asylum seekers.  I think it might well be inching its way to there.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-24/australias-immigration-policies-violating-international-law/7195432
But, the movie was not the end of it. With reckless abandon we went straight to Harris Market and bought a great rack of lamb for afterwards. A barbeque was coming. Actually, already before the movie and still counting lines of yet another book, I felt a barbeque coming on. You know how sometimes two people are subconsciously thinking of the same thing and at the same time. I don’t think that a barbeque is necessarily pushing itself on the consciousness of filmgoers just having seen a movie about child abuse. Perhaps a couple merging into a single unit. Or is it a kind of telepathy perhaps voodoo thought transference?
But this movie was so much more. With sighs of relief  the audience  were stunned, and remained seated going through all the credits at the end of the movie without a murmur. No one seemed to want to get up, go home. It is that kind of movie! Right at the beginning of the movie we were greatly comforted that the audience were not the usual or habitual food-eaters. Perhaps a couple of choc-tops ice- creams; it was a hot day. No buckets of eggs wafting pop-corn or cartons of chilli-con-carne. We were a serious lot. This movie had in its credits a list of the over 70 paedophile priests that were shifted around from Parish to Diocese in Boston and seemingly around the world, and included Australia on the receiving end, with at least Bendigo  and Mittagong  receiving paedophile priests that were soothed into escaping  justice by the presiding cardinal.
The Grasshopper

The Grasshopper

Anyway, the Webber was fired up and the rack of lamb, after getting marinated with rosemary, garlic and lemon juice, was just perfect and still pink inside. While eating the rack of lamb with Jap Pumpkin I noticed a friendly grasshopper staring at me while crawling over my hand. I was intrigued why it wasn’t hopping. I always thought they could only hop. Not this one though. It walked putting one lanky leg after the other. We both got on very well. It finally left my hand and went straight to a bottle of wine that I opened to go with the lamb. It was cheeky little number. Quite ambitious with a lot of peach on the middle palate.  The hopper knew it too. It climbed the bottle to the top.(one leg after the other). Having reached the top it found the cap screwed back on. A bit of a bummer, don’t you think? I quickly took my iPhone and here are the two pictures I took.
Enjoy!

Overcoming the Sunday. (Handy hints)

September 27, 2015

IMG_0618home

Soon it will be dark.  It is reassuring that Monday always follows a Sunday. This is what we must cling too, no matter how slow the Sunday is passing. On our daily walk we noticed even nature was struggling  with a bad case of Sunday gloom. The tulips were a bit despondent with the Camellia buds rotting even better than normal. The morning is usually the least gloomy and for some the best part. Many get the Sunday paper, scan the adds for Fiji holidays or  three metre TVs with inbuilt DVD capability. After that, many will settle for sweaty rugby or tennis ball whacking. The rot sets in after that.

‘Don’t go to Australia my friends warned me back in 1956, there too is the dreaded English Sunday.’ No one ever went to England for a holiday. France, Spain or even Austria and Germany were preferred. As it was, each time we arrived back to Australia our first port of call was Fremantle, worse…  on a Sunday too. The English Sunday always held some notoriety as being very peaceful and dormant, and more than just quiet. Many Continental friends keen to spread bad tidings told us that you could not get a beer on Sunday. Can one imagine? The very day that one would go out with family ,visit a café and perhaps enjoy a beer or even a shifter of advocaat or jenever on the one day off, the Sunday in Australia forbade all that. It would be many years before a beer would be allowed on Sunday.

Of course, all that has changed. England rocks and as young people will testify..it is really cool there now. Australia is now being swamped with tourists looking for excitement and space to move around without having to wear oxygen masks or be shot at. Even so, I am still struggling with passing the Sunday. I try and remain optimistic and look for things to happen. The Bowral tulip festival is one good escape, even if just to watch all the tourists. Another one is to prepare for a really complicated dish needing lots of ingredients that you might have to go and shop at Aldi for. Aldi shopping is one of the greatest Sunday gloom escape diversions to engage in. I relish the chance and go each Sunday. Of course, some of you might prefer Woollies or Coles. Each to their own. It all helps and we have to stand together in overcoming a Sunday.

On Sunday many products get down-priced as the date of expiration gets closer. You can observe customers carefully weighing up the pros and cons of getting a discounted meat product against the risk of a bout of intestinal hurry. What to do with a pig’s trotter that is one day from extinction? Or what to make of a slightly discoloured packet of double smoked ham but for a mouth-watering $1.50? Or a suspiciously pale looking salmon cutlet, but for $3.99?  Should it be taken home and the discounted ticket peeled off with the suspicious husband left in the dark. What to do with your conscience, especially after he is doubled over the porcelain bowl heaving and wracked with dreadful diarrhoea? There has to be a limit. Be careful, don’t overdo escaping the Sunday. You would not want to be charged with manslaughter.

Many take to gardening in the Sunday afternoon. The lawnmower taken out. A bag of soil opened, a plant to be potted. Discussions about the state of this year’s Hellebores. Questioning the state of mites on up-coming roses. Is it too early yet for the white-oil? Should the shears be sharpened, the shed re-organised?  The ingenuity of the Sunday escapee knows no bounds. A good husband might offer help in the kitchen. ‘Would you like me to spin the lettuce, darling,’ I overheard our neighbour saying. It was a particularly bad and difficult Sunday but it helped him pull through.

All of a sudden it was 6.30 pm and we rushed to the SBS News. Then at 7,the ABC. A quick glance at e-mail and at 9.30 in bed.

It will soon be over…glorious Monday is knocking.

The architect of Manus and Nauru is now our treasurer.

September 21, 2015
 Morrison and Abbott. Alleged perpetrators of crimes against humanity.

Morrison and Abbott. Alleged perpetrators of crimes against humanity.

The smiling architect of the horrors of Nauru and Manus, Scott Morrison, made Malcolm Turnbull Australia’s new Prime Minister. I don’t often write about politics. It is a too depressing subject. He gave his support to Turnbull for which in return he was made treasurer. A Machiavellian turn of events. It was Scott Morrison whose ‘creative bend’ conjured up the evil of what will eventually be seen as one of the worst acts against refugees.

During the Abbott’s regime the boats who did make it anywhere near Australia’s coastline were intercepted by Australia’s defence force. A clamp on all news about boat arrivals were put in place as secret ‘operational matters’. All questions about refugees were left unanswered by simply referring them to ‘operational matters’ and people were referred to as ‘illegal maritime arrivals’.

Those refugees that did make it were shipped over in secret to the islands of Nauru and Manus island and put into detention. It was with great fanfare and drum-rolls that ‘the boats had been stopped’ and from then it became a mantra repeated over and over again by a glowing Tony Abbott. He would face the camera, and after due licking of lips, would announce  ‘we have stopped the boats’.

While the Manus and Nauru centres were set up well before Abbott’s and Morrison’s collaboration. The  suicides, sewing of lips together, and crimes of rape,and sexual abuse  by guards that have finally been coming to the attention should have ensured their immediate closure. There was never a clamp down on journalists trying to find out the fate of thousands of refugees locked up in indefinite detention during the days of ALP Prime ministerships.

The following from Wikipedia:

Australian immigration detention facilities comprise a number of different facilities throughout Australia (including one on the Australian territory of Christmas Island).[1] They are currently used to imprison people who are detained under Australia’s policy of mandatory detention, and previously under the now defunct Pacific Solution.[2] The facilities are currently operated by Serco, and were previously run under G4S who used to be named Global Solutions Limited (GSL), under contract from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).[3]

Pacific Solution facilities[edit]

Manus Island regional processing facility (Image by DIAC)

Since the implementation of the Pacific Solution Australia also funded immigration detention centres on:[citation needed]

Controversy[edit]

The facilities have been a source of much controversy during their time of operation. There have been a number of riots and escapes,[13] as well as accusations of human rights abuses from organisations such as refugee advocates, Amnesty International, the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, Human Rights Watch, and the United Nations.

On January 2014, the Australian Labor Party and the Australian Greens accused the government of a cover-up over a violent clash on 18 October 2013 at the Manus Island facility between the Papua New Guinea army and the Papua New Guinea police mobile squad hired for the facility’s security, leading to Australian expatriate staff being evacuated, while local staff and asylum seekers remained.[14] On 5 May 2014, it was reported that several Salvation Army staffers had alleged that refugees were regularly subjected to beatings, racist slurs, and sexual assaults within the facility.[15]

In March 2002, Irene Khan, the Secretary General of Amnesty International, said:

It is obvious that the prolonged periods of detention, characterised by frustration and insecurity, are doing further damage to individuals who have fled grave human rights abuses. The detention policy has failed as a deterrent and succeeded only as punishment.
How much longer will children and their families be punished for seeking safety from persecution?[16]

The paint job and appearing ‘beige.’

September 17, 2015
Bali (Ubud)

Bali (Ubud)

The perennial  popularity of the colour crème has started to wane.  One can tell when being accused of being ‘beige.’ It is not meant as a compliment. Waiting at the bus-stop, I overheard a bearded lady sniping,’ oh he is so boringly beige’. Of all the things one has to consider, who would have thought that being beige is now to be avoided. I gave up smoking. Isn’t that enough? What does it say about us when our lounge walls are painted beige. Does it hint at being uncaring, unresponsive, insensitive? Who would have thought?

In any case, beige is out and white is in. That’s why the decision was made to paint our lounge-dining-kitchen and bedroom all white. The white emulsion paint from Germany was on special at Aldi’s together with a paint roller with tray, assortment of brushes and even a stirring stick with holes in it to better stir the paint with.  You can trust the Germans to outdo the rest of the world and despite paying some of the highest wages and absorbing hundreds of thousands of refugees, still competitive enough for their manufacturing business to out-trump China.

We hope that with all things in white we will avoid the tagging of being beige. I would not want a bearded lady at a bus-stop to refer to the Oostermans being beige. I know that painting walls and ceilings white is  the external thing of beige-hood. It is really the soul that needs whitening. At our age though, it isn’t easy to move colours around within our character. So much of beige-hood has been gone through, that whitening at our age is going to be tricky. We stick to our opinions. It feels safe and solid. It seems that shifting around at this stage might have been left too late.

Helvi is resolute. “I don’t want to move again”  . “I have just unpacked from our move from the farm”  . “I am still chucking things out,” she added. Perhaps, unwillingness to move is the prerogative of getting older. You might notice my diplomatic ‘older’ not ‘old.’

The problem we face is that life after the NSW’s Fair Trading triumph hasn’t made for a more convivial community in our compound. There is clearly a divisive and opposing mood, darkly coloured in mauve or even purple. People now stalk hurriedly past our place, eyes downcast and hurried. That is apart from the communal gardens massacred on the altar of revenge and blossoming spite.

On a vacant bit of land, next to our town-house, there are some slatted timber seats and even a barbeque. It was meant for the residents of this compound to get together, exchange small talk and put prawns on the Barbie.  Even a laugh or two. At least, that was our intention.  I am not sure we will now ever reach that level of communal interaction. It seems that individual differences stick obstinately like sh#t to a wet blanket.

Logic, common sense, and accepting that life in the kitchen of give and take work the best, are becoming increasingly rare. It prevents benevolence and caring. At first there were a few tentative cup-o-teas and a hesitant couple of words. One mustn’t give too much away! I am sure that in suburbs of xenophobic and staunchly held opinions with preferences for the Abbotts, it would be a mammoth task to get some semblance of mutuality. Of course, it could also be that I am just incurable tainted a crème beige. The coup of finally getting rid of the Knighthoods giving Abbott did not go down well here. However, we don’t smirk or revel in the change of Government. We are considerate and wait till things have calmed down somewhat before starting any sentence that includes the dreaded P for politics.

I am having a good morning.

On the ABC Drum: Gerard Oosterman

We might feel relieved, hopeful, optimistic and so much more, but…staying on the same dismal trajectory as Abbott we might just as quickly swap towards feeling, dismal, disappointed, even outraged.
Come on Mr Turnbull, let’s hear about the Republic , SSM and above all do something about the urine soaked refugees on Nauru, the self harm of children in detention.
Show your mettle on the un-humanity of what Australia is doing to refugees on Manus and Nauru.

And also:

gerard oosterman:

18 Sep 2015 7:34:38am

It seems absurd to bomb people who are fighting Assad’s regime when Australia is also fighting to get rid of Assad.
We ought to heed the Syrian foreign minster asking Australia to help Syria to defeat Isis. Russia and China are both far more logical in their approach.
Syria is a modern country with a well educated population. The Syrian refugees resulting from all the mayhem is a result of a terrible war which we seem to enhance and encourage by our bombing.

Reply Alert moderator

Who knows?

Dig up your Che Guevara T-Shirts girls and boys

March 5, 2014
Amsterdam

Amsterdam

The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall.
Che Guevara.
http://junkee.com/tony-abbott-slammed-by-greens-senator-in-jaw-dropping-speech-of-the-year-we-want-our-country-back/30146
Brilliant, watch the video!
“We’re a few weeks out from the Western Australian Senate election on April 5, a do-over after 1370 votes were lost from the September 7 poll. Greens Senator Scott Ludlam was one of the likely losers of the initial botched attempt, narrowly missing out on a seat – and yesterday he stood in front of Parliament under the guise of inviting Prime Minister Tony Abbott to visit his state, and gave the Coalition one of the roundest shellackings you’re likely to be treated to.

Delivered flatly, calmly, just short of menacingly, his speech covers everything from environmental policy to penalty rates; from school funding to broadband; from the Trans-Pacific partnership to the shark cull. It includes so many incredible lines that it’s hard to pick the best one — but it’s probably the bit where he describes the Coalition’s leadership team as “blundering and technically illiterate”; the bit where he describes Abbott’s relationship with mining billionaires and media oligarchs as “awkward, and kind of revolting”; or the bit where he calls the current Government “a thin, greasy layer in the core sample of future political scientists”.

“Your thoughtless cancellation of half a billion dollars of Commonwealth funding for the Perth light-rail project has been noted,” he says at one point. “Your blank cheque for Colin Barnett’s bloody and unnecessary shark cull has been noted. Your attack on Medicare, on schools funding, on tertiary education; noted. The fact that your only proposal for environmental reforms thus far is to leave Minister Greg Hunt playing Solitaire for the next three years while you outsource his responsibilities to the same Premiere who presides over the shark cull? That’s been noted too.”

He goes on to list the false assumptions that the Coalition has made about his state. “If your image of Western Australia is of some caricatured redneck backwater that is enjoying the murderous horror unfolding on Manus Island, you’re reading us wrong. Every time you refer to us as ‘the mining state’, as though the Western third of our ancient continent is just Gina Rinehart’s inheritance to be chopped, benched and blasted, you’re reading us wrong,” he says. “Western Australians are a generous and welcoming lot, but if you arrive and start talking proudly about your attempts to bankrupt the renewable energy sector, or cripple the independence of the ABC and privatise SBS; if you show up waving your homophobia in people’s faces and start boasting about your ever-more insidious attacks on the trade union movement and all working people, you can expect a very different welcome.”

And it finishes as strongly as it starts. “Prime Minister, you are welcome to take your heartless, racist exploitation of people’s fears and ram it as far from Western Australia as your taxpayer-funded travel entitlements can take you,” he says, in a sentence which you can only imagine read very differently in the first draft. “We want our country back. Through chance, misadventure and, somewhere, a couple of boxes of misplaced ballot papers, we’ve been given the opportunity to take it back: just one seat, next April 5, and a whole lot more in 2016.”

“Game on, Prime Minister. See you out West.””