Monthly Archives: June 2007

Malcolm was “a one-man communist spy ring”

That was The Empress’s summation of our friend Malcolm “Lord Malcolm” Gleeson at yesterday’s memorial service. Needless to say he was not referring to Malcolm’s politics, which in some respects were to the right of Genghis Khan, but never without compassion. He was saying that Malcolm wore many hats, and kept them very much separate: Malcolm the sailor, Malcolm the flyer, Malcolm the ground controller at the Air Shows, Malcolm the flying instructor, Malcolm the reader, thinker and writer, Malcolm the web designer and creator of databases and networks, Malcolm the jazz musician, Malcolm the gay activist, Malcolm the administrator, Malcolm the foodie, Malcolm the HIV activist… And a chance for conversation I have missed just lately: Malcolm the deeply and personally knowledgeable bridge to the Aboriginal and Islander cultures. And possibly more, as yesterday’s service very much revealed a person whose still waters ran very deep indeed.
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Posted by on June 30, 2007 in Aussie interest, gay life/issues, Jim Belshaw, Personal



Legal Eagle on the Indigenous crisis

When I get time I will give Legal Eagle’s excellent post careful attention. I agree entirely that the word “crisis” is odd for a situation of such long standing. You may gather from my page on the subject that I am far from adopting a reflex left position on this one, much as I regret the line the Howard government has taken on such things as land rights and the Stolen Children Report. Like her, I hope that despite “a giant dollop of political opportunism” there may be good outcomes. I differ on reconciliation, and commend what Jackie Huggins had to say on that: see Some thoughts on the events of June 2007. I don’t think what you might term the spiritual dimensions of the issue will cause all the practical issues to go away, but I believe they profoundly affect how solutions are framed and how they are received.
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I love maps. Always have. You’ll notice that I now have a map as my masthead, and yes my place is in there somewhere, so there you see my little everyday world.

Last April I referred to a marvellous blog called Strange Maps, which is often one of the top blogs here on WordPress.

Here are smaller versions of a couple of recent ones. You must visit Strange Maps to see them bigger, read about them, and start exploring the other maps.

First, 130 – A Ten-State Australia, which should interest Jim Belshaw and horrify John Howard, I suspect.

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Our local MP makes some sensible remarks

Tanya Plibersek, the Labor MP for Sydney, does a good job in her Sydney Morning Herald column today: By all means act, but know it is for the long haul.

Over the past decade, up to 14 significant reports have exposed the crisis of child abuse and neglect in indigenous communities. The release last week by the Northern Territory Government of Little Children Are Sacred is the last in a long list.

It is a national shame that despite all these reports no government of any political persuasion has done enough to protect indigenous children. Labor will support any proposals from the Federal Government that will stop child abuse and neglect. There are no excuses for abuse or neglect.
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Posted by on June 27, 2007 in Aussie interest, Current affairs, Indigenous Australians, Observations, Politics, Surry Hills



Move over Margaret and David…

… Thomas may not have appeared on your radar, but he may before long. Could there be a career in this?

Just a shame I have seen only one of the movies he’s talking about, and then, come to think of it, I only saw that because I read about it earlier on his blog. By the way, we are told the entry will be finished tomorrow, so I may have to revise the link…

A couple of years ago when Thomas had another persona Mr Rabbit had alerted me to this intelligent person he knew who could write really well. Unfortunately I tended to disagree at the time, as that persona and some of his subject matter brought out the grumpy old man in me in quite a big way. (Marcel was rather similarly affected, as I recall, and he can’t yet be accused of being a grumpy old man, even if he has a rather alarming cat.*) But it seems The Rabbit was a better spotter than I. (Still makes the odd spelling mistake though… fantasiced, tsk!)
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Julie Bishop’s reference group may be a joke…

… but so is NSW Minister for Education John Della Bosca’s response to it. See Expert barred from history panel.

A NSW bureaucrat has been barred from helping recommend what year 9 and 10 school students should be taught about Australian history.

Jennifer Lawless, a Board of Studies inspector who has taught history for 20 years, was named by the federal Minister for Education, Julie Bishop, yesterday as one of several experts who would help overhaul the history curriculum.
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Quick review catch-up

callea.jpgRedemption — Robert Daley (2006). UK crime fiction. “A subtle story that underplays the seedier, more gruesome elements of crime fiction without ever detracting from its power … an author who is rapidly becoming more accomplished.” This proved somewhat too melodramatic for my taste.

Nature of Australia — is just beautiful (1991/2003). (DVD) ABC TV — digitally remastered. And yes, it really is great. Creationists should be forced to watch it: Australia is a living contradiction of Ken Ham. Perhaps that’s why he left.
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Posted by on June 25, 2007 in Aussie interest, Cultural and other, Films, DVDs, TV, Reading