1. The Guardian Australia reports it. Will Their ABC?

    Labor leader Bill Shorten has urged the Jewish community to make its influential voice heard in the debate over watering down the current legal protections against racist hate speech – but he has also urged combatants to desist from inflammatory rhetoric.

    In a speech to the Zionist Federation of Australia on Sunday before flying out to campaign in Western Australia’s senate by-election due April 5, the Labor leader reiterated his opposition to the Abbott government’s contentious overhaul of the Racial Discrimination Act, and told his audience there was now six weeks to persuade the Coalition to change course.


  2. When JGPM puts out her book (October?) I hope she does a signing here in Canberra.

  3. Lord of the Fridge

    Nah. Only had to wear them when venturing in to town on the Friday.

  4. Being still as pale as when I arrived, I rather like hats now. And the idea that wearing a hat cuts down on the disgusting effects of sunscreen also appeals.
    Though I will admit to loathing my school beret, but that had more to do with the fact that it was brown, not a colour I wear with much success in that particular orangey-nut poo-brown shade, and matched with a yellow gingham check shirt.

    Why are some school uniforms designed to be revolting in colour or style, particularly in private schools? Is it some unacknowledged scheme to bind the student body to certain ways of thinking as in ‘us’ and ‘them that don’t have to wear this stupid stuff’? And if so, is it an unconscious huddling together amongst the ‘upper crusts’ of our society as in they all know what it is like to be picked on for having to wear this outdated clobber?
    Mind you, I always thought of my school uniform as being one less thing I had to worry about when going to school. Homework and some of the other stuff was far more worrying!

  5. I’m just catching up on two days of posts after visiting my ancestral estates for the weekend.
    Someone yesterday posted a youtube of Can Can which caused me to recollect an experience I had many years ago when living in France. The wife of one of my big bosses from Canberra was visiting Paris with her employment, and rang and asked if I would escort her to a meal and a show, she particularly wanted to see a Can Can in France. I said yes, no problems. But then I had some difficulty in finding a venue which actually had such a performance on at that time. Eventually I found a venue, coincidentally in the area known as Gaite up the back of Monparnasse in a slightly rough part of town. We went along, and Mrs was a nice lady and we were having a pretty good time with a nice dinner, some good wine and settled down to watch the show with some more wine.
    The ladies came out, dressed in the usual frilly skirts and high heels etc, but with no coverings above the waist. The dancing commenced and was of a good standard and the music rocked the room. We hadf good seats close to the stage, but it soon became embarrassingly obvious that none of the danceers had bothered with underwear.
    A dozen or so young ladies kicking up their heels a meter or so from our table was hard to ignore and so I believed I faced a future without a job as soon aas my posting was over. But my guest was delighted with the night, and with my embarrassment, even more so when later most of the girls came down among the guests and attempted to seduce them, but only the women including my guest.

  6. Kambah Mick,

    Your story revived two oddments from my trivia memory.

    First, the Can-can, in its original chorus line manifestation (not the original form of the dance, btw) was danced strictly sans culottes.

    Secondly, the advent of fully “enclosed” knickers – for females at any rate – is a comparatively recent development – probably something to do with the all-in-one garment called camiknickers. Anyway, even Queen Victoria’s ladies-in-waiting, in the early years of her reign, wore undergarments that weren’t completely “modest”. The story goes that one day one of the LsIW tripped over when in the presence of both Her Majesty and the French Ambassador, who promptly observed to the Queen how delighted he was to see that, in Britain, the door to paradise was always open …

  7. GhostWhoVotes ‏@GhostWhoVotes 46 secs
    #Newspoll Jan-Mar Quarterly 2 Party Preferred: L/NP 48 (-3) ALP 52 (+3) #auspol

  8. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/liberals-rebound-in-the-west-newspoll/story-fn59niix-1226869270433#





  9. Here are the four part of the Newspoll quarterly charts with you having to go into the article.

  10. Ghost says the TPP of this one is 50-50, although the online graphic seems stuffed at the moment.


    Nightmare at Treasury Place: only 34 per cent of people would support the Government slashing welfare spending, new Galaxy Poll reveals
    1 hour ago March 31, 2014 12:00AM
    exclusive simon benson national political editor
    The Daily Telegraph

    TREASURER Joe Hockey is facing a budget nightmare with an overwhelming majority of voters calling for welfare spending to be spared the axe despite new warnings from Treasury that he may have to cut even deeper.

    An exclusive Galaxy Poll commissioned by the Daily Telegraph has revealed only 34 per cent of people would support the Government slashing welfare spending as part of its austerity drive.

    A 56 per cent majority of voters were against welfare cuts in the budget while 10 per cent were uncommitted.

  11. Noticed on Insiders today that Barry Cassidy parroted the conservatives new found term ‘asset recycling’ instead of privatization!
    The ALP need to be onto this early before it takes hold and slap down any journo who uses this term.

  12. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.
    ICAC is smoking them out.
    Don’t listen, they’re only scientists!
    This suggestion will never fly. It has the words “more equitable” in it.
    Shorten’s opposition to Brandis’s racial vilification laws is becoming more strident.
    For a state government these are lousy sorts of stories that no spin can fix.
    Amanda Vanstone has some very good points on Abbott’s introduction of Knights and Dames.
    Some dire warnings from Ross Giittins.
    David Pope continues on ridiculing Abbott’s Knights and Dames decree. And look at the statue in the background.

    Alan Moir on NSW politics.
    John Spooner on federal/state funding.
    And Spooner on Abbott’s economic tactics.
    David Rowe takes us to the Social Security shopfront.

  13. And the Christians wonder why they are being slandered!…with the likes of Morrison and Abbott as their representative spokesmen, with such vicious attitudes and behaviour…they can expect nothing less!…for years we heard of the “Soviet / communist” gulags and the “inhuman” treatment of their prisoners….now we see it is not restricted only to totalitarian regimes

  14. George Brandis’ race hate law changes condemned by respected indigenous leader

    Indigenous leader Tom Calma has skewered Attorney-General George Brandis’ proposed changes to race-hate laws, making for an awkward Monday as the two men will share the stage at a reconciliation launch.

    Dr Calma, the co-chairman of Reconciliation Australia, said Senator Brandis’ changes would set back the reconciliation process between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians.

    Dr Calma and Senator Brandis are preparing to launch a ”reconciliation action plan” for the Federal Circuit Court at the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence in Redfern on Monday


  15. John Keats on Lord Downer

    A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
    Its loveliness increases; it will never
    Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
    A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
    Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

  16. Jaycee,

    “And the Christians wonder why they are being slandered!…with the likes of Morrison and Abbott as their representative spokesmen, with such vicious attitudes and behaviour…they can expect nothing less!…”

    Which policies of Morrison and Abbott do you have in mind? And, more importantly, which Christian texts are they quoting to support these policy stances?

    I think you will find that if they are quoting any such texts, they will surely be doing so out of context, and other texts could be quoted that say the opposite.

    Morison and Abbott’s political views and stances are not governed by the religion they purport to follow. If anything, they are relying on a straw man. I think there is more Thomas Hobbes in them than Thomas Aquinas.

    Christianity can’t be reduced to the agenda of the likes of these two. If it were, then atheism is reduced to the outpourings, and actions, of the likes of Pol Pot and Joe Stalin.

  17. This will get up Brandis’ nose – ‘deeply flawed’, what an insult to our greatest legal mind.
    New legislation ‘deeply flawed’

    ECAJ president Robert Goot said the “deeply flawed” legislation “in effect rips up” key protections to groups within Australian society which have operated successfully for almost 20 years and which have contributed “in no small measure” to the building and maintaining of a harmonious Australian society


  18. Acerbic Conehead

    Great to see your wonderful gravatar again. I’m disappointed that you have been done out of your job of satire…….hopefully after the next election you can start again.

  19. Acerbic…..with the knowledege open to us all in regards both Morrison and Abbott in regards their firm yet “flexible” beliefs…AND resaultant decision making in their separate religious sects, I believe my post speaks for itself!

  20. I see Downer is being “posted” to London….I trust the govt’, in sparing expense will “post” him via “snail-mail”.

  21. “Christianity can’t be reduced to the agenda of the likes of these two….”
    Of course, Acerbic…of course…I perhaps had more in mind..say ; Torquemada?

  22. http://www.abc.net.au/newsradio/content/s3974811.htm





  23. I am a very lapsed Catholic. I can assure you that Abbott and Morrison are not in any way my representatives nor my spokesmen. It would not matter if I returned to the embrace of the Church tomorrow and decided to take the veil. My political views would not change. Some of the most staunch Labor people I have ever met have been teachers in Catholic schools (and that includes a couple of nuns). I’m sure they would be as angry as I am to be lumped into a group called ‘Christians’ and told we all wanted Abbott as our representative and spokesman. Same with Morrison. Some of my family and friends are churchgoers in Anglican and other churches, they despise Morrison and everything he does and loathe Abbott.

    Need another example? Look at the wonderful Father Rod from Gosford Anglican church. Do you really think that as a real Christian he sees Abbott and Morrison as his spokesmen or representatives?

    I very much resent the way anyone who has ever darkened the door of a church is seen to be supporting Abbott and Morrison and the rest of the faux Christians who infest this government simply because they admit to having some sort of Christian beliefs.

    I understand that there are some here who are atheists, agnostics, whatever, and they are entitled to have an opinion but here’s the thing. If you are going to talk about anything to do with religion then get your facts right, stop making sweeping generalisations, stop assuming that all Catholics and even, for some of you, all Christians support Abbott simply because he makes such a noise about being a devout Catholic.

  24. Leone…as much as you are correct in your assessment of the individual’s standing in their own particular and personal beliefs of catholic or christian beliefs, you have to admit they AND yourself AND myself, came to those beliefs via the age old Machevelian mechanism of adult-prosletysers indoctrinating innocent children.
    I accept in this case I did make “sweeping generisations”…only because if I was to delve back into history to relate actual events, the reality of christian control, as with most likely EVERY religious doctrine, would contain evidence of such brutality and vile cruelty that would shock even a guard at one of those ghastly gulags we heard so much about….and I would have to ask in all seriousness…: “Could you handle the truth?”

  25. I agree with you, leone.

    It’s a question of nature, of whether you have a good or bad nature; it’s really not a question of religion. You can call yourself a devoted christian all you like but, at the end of the day, if you’re bad by nature, you’re just a bad person with or without religion..

  26. Cop this lot!!
    I’m a “believer”………..

    “I was an altar boy once!”..I have a habit of dropping that statement into any conversation about religious beliefs that I am involved with. Of course, it is just a distraction, a sort of “blind-alley” comment that steers the talk down a different path, a (as that “smear of excrement” that was once our Prime Minister a few years ago called ) ;”… bbq. stopper”. And I have done it again here, stealing the conversation away from “belief” to religion!
    Of course, belief and believing has nothing at all to do with religion. I sometimes would follow up on my above comment with ;”The Catholic Church is not a ‘religion’ , but an institution!”….one does not need books, tracts and pamphlets to believe, one only needs to wake and feel the weather on one’s skin. One does not need images and icons. One only needs imagination. Does a child need to be taught fantasy, imagery, imagination?..no, but there are those who strongly, fiercly believe a child needs to be taught to believe!
    I recall when my own children came to the age of schooling and we were shopping around for what we considered the “best” school system for them. One such system seemed to offer a new approach, a gentler curriculum. So we attended a talk on the subject. The lady who gave the talk was very sensitive, very convincing with references to the gentle awakening of the child’s sensibilities and the action of guiding them through and down paths of least disturbance…opening one door and closing another…very gently explained, as if in a sort of trance….We took it…it worked out well for the primary years. Good result…”I believe”.
    But!…Now, when I reflect on that talk, our perceptions, the lady’s demeanour, OUR DEMEANOUR…our ambition , the lady’s ambition….I wonder; was it really about the children, or about ourselves as adults?…..As I said above, a child doesn’t NEED belief, it has it in spades..but we adults presume the child REQUIRES indoctrination TOWARD a belief!……and that’s where the quip ;”I was an altar boy once” comes in….after all, who, with a rational mind, would freely volunteer for such a position!?
    The sad thing is that “belief and believing” is an adult concept that masks a deep insecurity within the human condition. So we strengthen ourselves with delusions of many and varied forms….call them “Beliefs”, call them “Religion”..after all, is it not the most craven individuals that arm themselves most aggressively? So we have institutions even in this day and age utilising schools to “groom” the children with their variation of “spiritual corruption”.
    You know, whenever I see those photographs of the Earth taken from outer-space and they show this cool, beautiful, green/ blue/ sometimes cloudy orb suspended serenly in the silence of space..it revitalises a belief within me that we are duty-bound and committed to extend ourselves to maintain and revitalise this luscious but lonely garden of delight! We can do no worse thing with indoctrinated discourse, than to deliberately lead the child (and the “child” within ourselves) from a world of innocent wonder, a world of curious discovery to a mendaciously manufactured shadow world of adult doubt and insecurity…. through a prism distorted…through a glass, darkly….

  27. jaycee
    I’m well aware of all that ancient history and I can most definitely handle the truth.

    Can you, though, handle this truth? Here’s what the Australian Conference of Catholic Bishops had to say on the death on Manus Island. It shoots down your ‘Abbott represents and speaks for the church’ line.
    Catholic Church expresses sadness over Manus Island death

    Persecution of marginalised groups is the underlying reason the world has so many displaced people. It is essential that nations uphold the rule of law and respect fundamental human rights, such as the right to seek asylum.”

    “How our government treats those in its care speaks to our community and internationally about what is acceptable in the treatment of our fellow human beings” said Bishop Hanna


    In a similar vein, the odious Cardinal Pell, despised by most Catholics in NSW, has deliberately gone against the teachings of his church on climate change science, preferring to support the IPA view. He is ridiculed for this by many Catholics but you’d never know that from just hanging out in the blogospere, where Abbott, in adhering to Pell’s views, is constantly said to be pushing the views of his church.

  28. But…but…the boats have stopped. Abbott said the way is closed. Why would we need more offshore processing centres if that is true…….

  29. Morrison seemed to say (to Fran) that the boats hadn’t stopped. By that he meant that the boats were still arriving in our direction but were redirected to Indo. Every deterring effect had to be intensified. I dread his word “intensity”.

  30. Good point –

    Newspoll is NOT measuring WA Senate voting intention. It's simply an average of 4 Federal polls over the last 2 months.— Stephen Spencer (@sspencer_63) March 31, 2014

  31. Leone,

    … the odious Cardinal Pell, despised by most Catholics in NSW …

    And by most Catholics and non-Catholics in Victoria. His departure was Melbourne’s gain and Sydney’s loss.

  32. never one to rain on another’s parade, Leone…but also never one to “turn the other cheek”…I would point out the “delicious” irony in that statement…here we have the classic case of the “right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing”…point me in the direction of rationality if you will, when we have one arm of religion oppressing through overt or covert distaste for another’s beliefs while we see another “arm” of the same religion offering succour and in some cases redemption for their actions!….is this an example of perfidity moving into absurdity then onto idiocy and finally insanity?

  33. Argentina is not crying, it’s happy:

    “So far they have bought 2.2 million wild acres of Chile and Argentina, at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars, conserving it, restoring it and sensitively providing access and other facilities, so that they can present it to the two countries for national parks. “Every acre,” Doug Tompkins says, “has been bought for donation for conservation.” To date, 600,000 of them have been handed over in this way.”


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