Monthly Archives: August 2006

An important document in its own right

I was fascinated by that picture of Milton Public School in 1907 which I added yesterday to my Social History page (see “early last century” tab above). So I have enlarged it a bit.

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What do you see? Yes, look at the Aboriginal faces, getting an education at least, if not at this time, and not for another sixty years, counted in the census or given citizenship rights. There is a history here, and today you may trace it for yourself at Budawang Aborigines Milton-Ulladulla. And out of respect I should add: ” In accordance with traditional laws often followed by Indigenous communities in Australia the mentioning of and photographs of deceased people may offend. Please note on this site there is mention of Aboriginal people who are deceased.”
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Let future historians decide how well we have been led…

When they do, they could do worse than attend to Bernard Weiner, whose “Twenty Things We Now Know Five Years After 9/11” was referred to me by The Poet, with the note that he would send “The Boys” to get me if I did not publish this here. No need, Poet. It is indeed a masterly summation, with some strong words thrown in with the undeniable facts.

In sum, we know that permanent-war policy abroad and police-state tactics at home are taking us into a kind of American fascism domestically and an imperial foreign policy overseas. All aspects of the American polity are infected with the militarist Know-Nothingism emanating from the top, with governmental and vigilante-type crackdowns on protesters, dissent, free speech, freedom of assembly happening regularly on both the local and federal levels. More and more, America is resembling Germany in the early 1930s, group pitted against group while the central government amasses more and more power and control of its put-upon citizens, and criticizing The Leader’s policies is denounced as unpatriotic or treasonous.
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Posted by on August 31, 2006 in Aussie interest, Current affairs, News and Current Affairs, Politics


Interview With Ray McGovern

This, The Poet says, is a must for the blog: “It distils the wisdom of an old hand, brilliantly.” McGovern was a CIA analyst for 27 yearsand is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on August 29, 2006 in Current affairs, News and Current Affairs


Teacher study challenged

The study I reported yesterday has been challenged. I should have known. It is normal for the current government to have an agenda first, in this case a passion for “performance pay”, and cherry-pick studies to suit the agenda. Some would call that dishonest, but not Machiavelli or any member of the Howard government. But I guess all governments do it.

See in today’s Sydney Morning Herald Teachers motivated by passion, not money. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on August 29, 2006 in Aussie interest, Current affairs, Education, Politics


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Teacher literacy falls with salaries: Sydney Morning Herald

According to this report:

EVIDENCE that the academic standards of new teachers are significantly lower than a generation ago will underscore a Howard Government push for the introduction of merit pay.

The Education Minister, Julie Bishop, seized on research released yesterday that showed the average teacher trainee in 1983 was more literate and numerate than 74 per cent of age peers. By 2003, that advantage was down to 61 per cent – and the decline was similar for new teachers.

Low salaries for teachers were the main culprit, the researchers from the Australian National University concluded. But they said merit pay for good teachers would be more cost-effective in tackling the problem than across-the-board pay rises.

I am always suspicious when a politician talks about literacy, as so often what emerges is tendentious nonsense; when was the last literacy survey of parliamentarians done, I wonder? If ever there were declining standards…
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Posted by on August 28, 2006 in Aussie interest, Current affairs, Education


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Someone I must look into later

The Artist commented yesterday on my entry on the Christian Right, alluding to Melbourne Uniting Church minister Dr Francis MacNab as a very different voice to those that entry led to. You may read more of his ideas here.
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Posted by on August 28, 2006 in Aussie interest, Faith and philosophy, Religion


The Christian Right’s universe according to Mother Jones

Thanks to The Poet for this.


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