The School of Athens

The School of Athens
The School of Athens by Raphael (click on picture to view short documentary from Columbia University)

Friday, 24 February 2017

Nowhere man

Colleagues and scholars from coast to coast, across Bass Strait and all the ships at sea.

Dateline: Australia, Federal Politics, February 2017.

"He's a real nowhere man. Sitting in his nowhere land. Making all his nowhere plans for nobody."

The radical views of a Palestinian Jew

Fellow citizens,

Behold these radical views of a Palestinian Jew.

While many of us are aware of these extremist views, few embrace them. Our leaders, in particular, show by their deeds and words that they are most keen to avoid being snared by such fanaticism.

Yet, could you imagine what would happen if such views were adopted widely? Could you imagine what the world might look like?

Could you just imagine?


"In everything, do unto others whatever you would have them do to you." Matthew 7:12

"You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth'. But I say to you, do not resist him who is evil; but whoever slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also." Matthew 5:38-39

"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." Matthew 5:43-44 

"Judge not, that you not be judged. For with the judgement you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you." Matthew 7:1-2

"Why do you see the speck of sawdust that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye', when there is a log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you shall see clearly enough to remove the speck from your brother's eye." Matthew 7:3-5

"Peter came to him and said, 'Lord how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?' Jesus said to him, 'I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven times.'" Matthew 18:21-22

"The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, 'Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?'  He straightened up to them and said, "Let anyone of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." John 8:3-7

"No-one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money." Matthew 6:24

"Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, the servant of all." Mark 9:35

"It is more blessed to give than to receive." Acts 20

"Don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today." Matthew 6:34

The radical views of this Palestinian Jew show humanity at its best.


Wednesday, 22 February 2017

The amazing life of President Donald Trumple

Colleagues and scholars from coast to coast, across Bass Strait and all the ships at sea.

Dateline: United States, February 2017.

The 45th President of the United States, Donald Trumple, has had an extraordinary life. Here's just a few of his true and wholly verifiable experiences.


"I know what happened at Hanging Rock."

"I was talking to Miranda and the other girls, you know, just telling them about my fetishes. Then I went to grope them. But as I lunged for them, the four of them scampered off up the path on the rock face never to be seen or heard of again." 

"Didn't they know who I was? Nasty women."

"I was there in Dallas."

"I was there on the grassy knoll. I heard shots come from behind my head. I didn't see who it was. I was checking out the hooters on the Texas chick in front of me."

"I raised the flag on Iwo Jima."

"I'm a true American hero. I was up the hill at Iwo Jima and raised the flag with the other marines. Nearly missed it, 'cause I was chatting up the local Japanese talent."

"I was on top of the Reichstag with my Russian friends."

"Yes, I was there. Placing the Soviet flag on the top of the German Reichstag. Nearly missed this one, too...........those fraulines, man, they are something. Amazing what chocolate and some cigarettes can get you!"

"Saw this hombre on a walk in the forest."

"This is a snapshot I took of a pretty hairy hombre walking through the forest. Called out to him, but he didn't answer. Must've been an illegal, couldn't speak English. Come to think of it, probably was a broad. Check out those boobies."

"Loved this long-necked Scottish babe."

"Another snapshot of mine. Caught this Scottish babe when I was swimming. See how she's got no clothes on? Great place Scotland. No wonder the men wear nothing under their dresses."

"I was at Area 51 in Roswell"

"Yeh, I was in New Mexico, looking out for illegals, when this flying saucer crashed into the desert. I thought: Oh man! Those Mexicans are sneaky. We're gonna have to build that wall damn high!"

"I faked the moon landing."

"The moon has never been landed on. I faked it in my garage. That's me in the spacesuit. Fake! Fake! Fake! I know fake news, because I invented it. You can't bullshit a bullshitter. But boy, do the girls go for astronauts. Ignition, blast off!"

"I've eaten burgers with Elvis."

"Elvis is alive and well. I had a burger with him last weekend. He and I get together all the time and party with his groupies. Love to grope the groupies."

"My two greatest business decisions."

"Another business decision that I've been associated with is this campaign from Australia"

"But I wasn't involved in that one. Even I'm not that stupid. You might want to talk to this guy"

"I had a singing career."

"This is me."

"I'm on the left in this shot."

"Part of this group, too. I'm the fella up the front."

"The groupies! Oh Man! The groupies!"

"I was a great athlete, too."

"This is me standing in the ring"

"In the pool"

"On the tennis court"

"On the golf course"

"Chicks dig athletes!"

So there you have it. President Donald Trumple has had a full and interesting life. 

All of it true and verifiable. 

I'm sure there'll be those naysayers in the press, the Democratic Party and just about anyone else who has more than three neurons firing in their brain who will dispute these truths and present alternative facts - but we know better.

President Trumple is a great man.

What can one say? Truly? What can one bloody well say? 

Note: Satirising the 45th President of the United States is not easy. He self-satirises. Nevertheless, I thought I'd take a shot. Hope one or two of these sketches gave you a smile.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Reach out and touch the Australian people, Malcolm

Fellow citizens,

Where has this man gone?

A beautiful, touching moment between Julia Gillard and Malcolm Turnbull. He was consoling her following the loss of her father.

"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." Leo Buscaglia

Photo: Andrew Meares

"It is an absolute certainty that no one can know his own beauty or perceive a sense of his own worth until it has been reflected back to him in the mirror of another loving, caring human being." John Joseph Powell.

As it is for one person, so it is for a nation.

Time for Malcolm Turnbull to unshackle himself from Tony Abbott's manacles and reach out and touch the Australian people. They are aching for him to do so.

He has touched them before and can do so again; for "touch has a memory" [Keats].

Such a beautiful sentiment. Over to you now, brother. Over to you.


Thursday, 16 February 2017

Where's the respect for the citizen?

Colleagues and scholars from coast to coast, across Bass Strait and all the ships at sea.

Dateline: Australia, Federal Politics, February 2017.

So Peta Credlin admitted that the Gillard Government's climate change policy was never a carbon tax. The Coalition saw an opportunity for political gain and made the issue one of the hip pocket and not the environment. It employed 'brutal politics.'
The problem here is not one of the merits or otherwise of the policy that was being brutalised; the problem here is that such a campaign shows a lack of respect for the citizen and results in huge damage to our political discourse and, by extension, our society.

Politicians and members of the media tell us, quite correctly, that to be an Australian Citizen is an immense privilege and should be respected greatly. 

However, how many of those in politics and the media who make a virtue of citizenship show due respect to we citizens?

Politicians show a lack of respect for the citizen.

In my various adventures in the commercial world, many times I have heard this phrase used, "It's good business".

When I delved into what the person using the phrase was referring to, it was mostly to do with some sleight of hand or con job that resulted in customers (whether consumer, business or government) being sold a pup.

When I asked why they thought it was good business to mislead their customers, customers with whom they were trying to develop a relationship, the response would invariably return to the phrase "It's good business".

When I then asked if they would be equally delighted if another company did exactly the same thing to them or their family, the response was almost always one of embarrassment.

Political behaviour is exactly the same, though the phrase used here is, "It's good politics."

What does this mean?

Often it will mean that they have been successful in garnering electoral support on the back of a campaign designed to mislead, scare, and exploit ignorance and prejudice in the electorate.

Worse, many in the media will often congratulate this type of activity as a stroke of electoral skill; even genius.  
It's genius to mislead voters?  Must be one of those "family values" we hear so many politicians banging on about endlessly.

It follows, therefore, that these same politicians would find it equally agreeable to have members of their family misled via the genius of "good politics".

Can't politicians see that every time they treat the citizen with a lack of respect that they are actually showing a lack of respect for themselves and the nation?

Media shows a lack of respect for the citizen.

Media reporting is exactly the same, though the phrase used here is, "It's a good story."
It's considered good business to beat up a story (via misrepresentations and distortions) because the public, so it is believed, will be much more interested in the sensational rather than if the bare facts were reported. 

My question to those beating up the stories is the same as to the business people earlier, why do they think it's good business to mislead people?  

Are they happy then for themselves or their families to be similarly misled by someone else beating up a story?  Or, would they be delighted for themselves or one of their family members to be the subject of a beat up?

Members of the media are members of the public too.  Can they not see that whatever activity they undertake that shows a lack of respect for the citizen is also showing a lack of respect for themselves and the nation?


An ex-political adviser boasting about how clever she has been in devising a strategy designed to mislead the citizens must not be lauded and applauded but rather criticised and condemned. 

Not because it helped to install Tony Abbott as our Prime Minister - though that by itself warrants serious consideration of revoking of her citizenship for an act equivalent to treason - but because of the damage such behaviour does to the fabric of our society.

Democracy and a free society is a fragile thing. It is not a given. It had to be hard fought for and cost many of our fellow citizens in past generations dearly.

Maintaining it requires hard work, sacrifice and constant vigilance, and central to it all is respect for the citizen. 

Disrespecting the citizen can lead to unimaginable and unpalatable consequences.

We ignore this at our peril.

Blog Archive

Our home

Our home
Earthrise over the moon (click on picture to view film)

The pale blue dot

The pale blue dot
Earth viewed from Saturn (click on picture to view film clip)

Our neighbourhood

Our neighbourhood
The Solar System (click on picture to view film)

Our Home Galaxy

Our Home Galaxy
The Milky Way (click on picture to view film)

A sister galaxy

A sister galaxy
Andromeda (click on picture to view film)

Another sister galaxy

Another sister galaxy
Triangulum (click on picture to view short film clip)

The Local Group of Galaxies

The Local Group of Galaxies
Our Galactic Neighbourhood (click on picture to view film clip).

Our farthest view of the Universe

Our farthest view of the Universe
Hubble's farthest view (click on picture to view film clip)

The virgo super cluster of galaxies

The virgo super cluster of galaxies
Galaxies within 100 million light years (click on picture to view film clip)

Galaxies within 1 billion light years

Galaxies within 1 billion light years