Monthly Archives: May 2006

Why John Howard Is Wrong: Discrimination

I thought of saying something on this, but others have done so already.

Gay Erasmus fills in the context for us:

# New South Wales Premier Morris Iemma has opposed children’s books that feature same-sex parents. He declared, “I do not personally believe it appropriate for two-year-olds to be dragged into the gay rights debate.” More proof, alas, that our politicians can’t abide our relationships and families, viewing them as fodder for rhetorical manipulation instead of examples of love, altruism, and care.

# Federal Education Minister Julie Bishop has weighed into the debate, arguing, “I wouldn’t want to see any perverse biases put into early childhood development that could affect children one way or the other.” Um, which way is she referring to here?

# Russia’s inaugural gay pride rally ends in a series of violent arrests. A new generation of 78ers is born.

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Posted by on May 30, 2006 in Aussie interest, Brendan Nelson, Cultural and other, Current affairs, gay life/issues, Politics, Tony Abbott



Humanising The Other

Turki al-Hamad “is a Saudi-Arabian political analyst, journalist, and novelist, best known for his trilogy about the coming-of-age of Hisham al-Abir, a Saudi Arabian teenager, the first installment of which, Adama, was published in 1998. Although banned in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Kuwait, the Arabic edition of the trilogy — called in Arabic Atyaf al-Aziqah al-Mahjurah (Phantoms of the Deserted Alley) — has sold 20,000 copies.” I borrowed Adama (London, Saqi, 2003) from Surry Hills Library last week and have just finished it.

Set in Saudi Arabia in 1969, the novel tells of the final year of high school of a thoughtful young Marxist intellectual, Hisham al-Abir, and of his friends and family. I found this an amazingly honest book, with no illusions either about revolutionary politics. Saudi Arabian society bursts into three-dimensional life in these utterly humane pages.
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Posted by on May 30, 2006 in Cultural and other, Faith and philosophy, Multiculturalism and diversity, Reading, Surry Hills


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Marsden’s flamboyant funeral splits city’s elite

Alex Mitchell’s story in today’s Sun-Herald tells us that “Justice Kirby plans to deliver a strongly worded eulogy that defends Marsden against the attacks that have followed his death.”

Nothing if not colourful, Marsden even managed to cause a stir with his funeral notice:
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Posted by on May 28, 2006 in Aussie interest, News and Current Affairs


The Road to Nowhere: Four Corners Broadcast: 29/05/2006

This episode of Four Corners looks promising.

…Imanpa is on the brink of collapse. Its main income stream, the work for the dole scheme, has been cut off. Someone has been ripping off community funds. The only store in town is broke. Most of the people have drifted to Alice; those who stay live in fear of rampaging petrol sniffers and drunks. The youth worker left after being attacked – but it’s “not a big deal”, says a female community leader. The nearest police station is 150 kilometres away. Few children go to school.

The leaders who have stayed on are desperate. As they cast about for a quick fix to the money problems, an invited Four Corners team assembles a rare, intimate profile of a community in crisis.
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Posted by on May 28, 2006 in Aussie interest, Current affairs, Films, DVDs, TV, Indigenous Australians, Multiculturalism and diversity, News and Current Affairs, Politics


Answered By Fire on ABC 8:30pm Sunday, May 28, 2006

David Wenham makes his much anticipated return to ABC TV in this dramatic story based on true events. In 1999, a group of Australian police joined other volunteers on the United Nations mission to East Timor. Their job was to oversee the country’s vote on independence from Indonesia. The UN promised the East Timorese they would stay after the vote, regardless of what happened… It was a promise they couldn’t keep. The two-part mini-series, Answered by Fire begins Sunday 28 May, 8.30pm on ABC TV.

How spooky is that! I’ll be watching; it looks really good.
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South Sydney Herald fund raiser

I was not able to attend this, as it clashed with Lord Malcolm’s party; but I will leave this edited version as news.

On Sunday, 28 May at 4pm, come to Sydney Town Art for a celebration of the South Sydney Herald and Trevor Davies’ birthday.
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Posted by on May 27, 2006 in Aussie interest, Events, Faith and philosophy, Politics



Department of Human Services

Last September I wrote an angry piece on Blogspot.

That rather Orwellian title hides a great deal of inhumanity. Take a scenario I heard yesterday. You have a serious chronic illness, and despite surviving things that would kill most people, you, because you really are a person who rejects “bludging”, have worked on in an area under state government control which deals with health issues not dissimilar to your own. You work hard, and achieve much of value. This in fact assists in your survival and prevents your being a drain on the public purse. But the time comes when the state government agency you work for deems the time has come for you to severely cut back, or stop working, as there are health and safety issues to be considered. So you go to the federal government’s Department of Human Services Centrelink, explain the situation, expecting some assistance as you are far from well and have not chosen to be unemployed.
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