The School of Athens

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

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Australia Day outrage? Seriously?

Fellow citizens,

Our nation marks January 26 as Australia Day. A very, very important day - so it appears.

It was held in such high esteem by the public, held with such reverence, that it wasn't until 1935 that all Australian states and territories used that name to mark the date, and it wasn't until 1994 that we even began to celebrate Australia Day consistently as a public holiday on that date. [Dr Elizabeth Kwan]

Many of us would remember how the holiday was always granted on the nearest Monday to ensure a long weekend. That's how important the date of January 26 was!

Then, of course, there are these: 

So all this outrage over changing the date is just a lot of old codswallop.

To have a true national day it should be fully inclusive of all its citizens.

Indigenous people tell the rest of us that January 26 is a very sad day for them as it marks an invasion of their lands - lands they had lived happily on for 60,000 years - and ultimately a destruction of their way of life.

And, of course, they are right. It was an invasion. There was no permission sought, there was no negotiation, the land was taken by force.

Every piece of land in Australia today that is not held under Native Title is stolen land.

They say to the rest of us, in light of these realities, that we should change the date of Australia Day to another date that embraces all the nation's citizens, including Indigenous citizens.

And this is not a new plea from Indigenous people.

In 1938, to mark the 150th anniversary of the settlement being declared in Sydney Cove in 1788, Indigenous people held "A Day of Mourning".

Why is this so hard to understand?

Why is the collective hurt, the very deep hurt, that is being felt by Indigenous people being ignored by so many Australians?

Research published by Review Partners in February 2017 found 59% of Australians were against changing the date of Australia Day from January 26, confirming research published by Essential Media in February 2016 which also found the same percentage, 59%, were against changing the date.

But why?

What is so special about this date? Especially when the Review Partners research found that only 43% of respondents correctly knew that January 26 marked the landing of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove. (21% thought it marked Captain Cook's landing in 1770 and 17% thought it marked the date of Australia's federation.)

Our Indigenous people are saying to us, "We are hurting!" and our collective response is to say, "Stiff shit!"

As a nation we have form.

The recalcitrant John Howard stubbornly refused to apologise to the stolen generations for years and it took the election of a Labor Government under Kevin Rudd in 2007 to finally say "Sorry".

Without any doubt this was Rudd's finest hour, and one he should be remembered well for.  

We stole their land and we stole their children and in doing so we stole their dignity.

Kevin Rudd acknowledged and addressed an important part of that hurt.

Now there's another opportunity for a leader to step up and say to our Indigenous people, "We recognise your hurt and we are going to do something about it. January 26 will no longer be celebrated as Australia Day. It will now become January 1, the date the Federation of Australia occurred."

It's such a simple change and one that would mean so much to Indigenous people and, just as "Sorry Day" was, be a wonderful unifying moment for our nation.

It would help to restore a great deal of dignity. Not just for our Indigenous people, but for the rest of us, too.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017


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

Dateline: Australia, Federal Politics, August 2017, Immigration.

A message from Major Charles Emerson Winchester III, M*A*S*H 4077.

"Immigrants?!! My family's had trouble with immigrants ever since we came to America."

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Don't give Abbott the time of day

Fellow citizens,

Amanda Vanstone, writing in the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday, called out Tony Abbott for what he is:

"Abbott has done more than any other politician to trash the standing of politics and politicians. He's had a really good education and been given every opportunity by his party. We expected more. We got less."

And earlier this year on Channel Seven's Sunrise program, she said:

"He's a narcissist, and it's always been about Tony - always - from the minute he was born."

Paul Keating, speaking on the ABC's Lateline program in 2011, said:

"You know this - you know what Tony Abbott's policy is? 'If you don't give me the job, I'll wreck the place. If you don't give me the job, I'll wreck the place.' And we're supposed to, 'Well, Tony, you better have it, you know, otherwise you might destroy it on us.' I mean, Tony's got to have the political judo chop. That's what Tony has to have."

And in 2010, on Radio National:

"Look, he turned up in the last couple of years when I was Prime Minister. I used to regard him as the resident nutter on their side."

All four observations are self evident and true.

I would put it more succinctly - Abbott is a bum. A self indulgent, petulant sook. Who throws temper tantrums whenever he doesn't get his own way.

His party eventually did give him the political judo chop and now I would urge the members of the media not to give him the time of day.

He hasn't earned it and he doesn't deserve it.

Just let him stew in a cauldron of his own bile, seething with resentment, bitterness and deep ingratitude. That's what he deserves.


Monday, 14 August 2017

The way you look tonight

Fellow citizens,

Someday, when I'm awfully low, when the world is cold, I will feel a glow just thinking of you, and the way you look tonight.

You can listen to the incomparable Tony Bennett perform that wonderful song on YouTube here 


Friday, 11 August 2017

Cory Bernardi: More front than Mark Foy's.

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

Dateline: Australia, Federal Politics, Senator Cory Bernardi, August 2017.

Cory Bernardi has more front than Mark Foy's.

His new party "The Australian Conservatives" produces this blurb on its Twitter account: 

"Australian Conservatives is the movement uniting Australians who believe enduring values and principles are the key to a better nation"

Hmmmmmm, "Enduring values and principles".

Bernardi stole a Senate seat from the South Australian division of the Liberal Party and as a result he now enjoys a parliamentary salary of $200,000 (thanks to the Australian taxpayer) to which he is not entitled.

This behaviour indicates bugger all values or principles.

Yes, he is legally entitled to hold the seat, but morally he has zero entitlement to it. ZERO!

For a man who is staking his name and that of his new party on "morals", his hypocrisy is breathtaking.

He will have some justification, as scoundrels always do, that allows him to continue with this deception. However, the truth is, he will always be a thief.

Curious how these morally upstanding citizens always find a 'get out of jail free' card when it suits them.

When the moralising pentacostal evangelist Jimmy Swaggart was shown to be a fraud and a hypocrite for having had sex with prostitutes in the late 1980's, he tried to save his arse with an Academy Award winning performance, pleading that:

"The Devil made me do it!" 

Wendy Harmer, who was a stand up comedienne at the time, nailed the hypocrite's pathetic attempt to save himself with this searing line:

"No, Jimmy, it was your dick!" 

Bernardi, like Swaggart, is a fraud. A moralising fraud and should be called out for it.

Whilst he loves to trade in the currency of morals, even a cursory glance at his ledger finds him to be morally bankrupt.

Nothing he or his party says will have any credibility or moral authority whilst ever he holds that ill gotten Senate seat.  


Thursday, 10 August 2017

Why political correctness?

Fellow citizens,

Yesterday, the ultimate reactionary, the ultimate recalcitrant, the ultimate sook, the odious Tony Abbott, introduced the term "political correctness" into the equal marriage "debate". This is his "in an emergency break glass" line.

"If you don't like same-sex marriage, vote no; if you're worried about freedom of speech and freedom of religion, vote no; and if you don't like political correctness, vote no, because this is the best way to stop it in its tracks."

He is a devious bastard.

What he is trying to do is use this catch all negative phrase to rally Australians, who are pissed off about anything, into not supporting equal marriage. And he threw in freedom of speech and freedom of religion for good measure.

But what is political correctness?

Well, according to this ultimate sook, it is acknowledging anything in our language and deeds that is different and more modern than his warped pre-historic view of the world.

Whereas, in truth, it is simply "A right wing derogatory term for what most people would call common courtesy." [Howard Dean]

One has to wonder why the ultimate sook is so opposed to equal marriage that he introduces "political correctness"? What is it about gays getting married that so bothers him that he feels the need to break the emergency glass to get his way?

Perhaps this exchange from a 60 Minutes interview a few years ago gives us the answer:

Liz Hayes - "Homosexuality? How do you feel about that?"

Tony Abbott - "Oh....I probably feel a bit threatened (nervous laughter) so many people do."

You can see that bizarre response on YouTube here

(Yes, I know, he has equivocated on this response since, but it looks a very real response to me. And remember this man was already middle-aged when he gave that interview. Unlikely he has had a Damascian conversion since then).

So, he feels threatened by homosexuality. Why?

And he believes that many people do as well. Why?

I think the answers to these questions will tell us a lot about the ultimate sook's motivation in breaking the emergency glass.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Ah Malcolm, you coulda had class

Ah Malcolm,

You coulda had class, you coulda been a contender, you coulda been somebody; instead of a bum, which is what you are, let's face it.

You can watch Malcolm's lament on YouTube here:

Stable Government? How appropriate for a bunch of horses arses.

Meanwhile the biggest horse's arse of them all, is already out there muck racking and distorting for all he is worth - which is not very much, as he is worth no more than what is mucked out of the stable every morning. 

"If you don't like same-sex marriage, vote no; if you're worried about freedom of speech and freedom of religion, vote no; and if you don't like political correctness, vote no, because this is the best way to stop it in its tracks."

Yesterday, Mr Manure's sister, clearly in some pain, posted this on twitter:

Christine Forster‏ @resourcefultype

"As someone who has been waiting years to marry @surryhillsgal under Australian law, this morning is just plain depressing #marriageequality"

Followed by this series of tweets in response to the excrement her brother produced today:

"If you want the person you love to be in every sense a part of your family: vote yes #marriageequality #auspol"

"If you value mutual respect: vote yes. If you want all Australians to be equal: vote yes. If you believe in free speech: vote yes #auspol"

"If you don't believe your relationships (or anyone else's) are second rate: vote yes #marriageequality #auspol"

Senator Penny Wong, aware of the deep hurt that was to come to many LGBTIQ people, posted this video on Facebook with this message "What matters is your family loves you"  

As for Mr Manure and all those others who profess to be followers of the brilliant Palestinian Jew, Jesus of Nazareth - yet wish to deny people in love the right to recognise that love by getting married - perhaps they have forgotten His commandment:

Guess that page has been torn out of their Bibles.


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