Saturday salon 23/5

1. Child sexual abuse

The Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse continues to amaze, this time with the horrific abuse in the Diocese of Ballarat. At the same time we find that the Catholic Church will continue to use the so-called Ellis defence, whereby it can’t be sued for compensation because it does not technically exist as a legal entity.

There is also a call, and a petition, to bring back Cardinal Pell to explain his role to the Commission.

Tony Abbott thinks he done good. That was in 2013.

2. Abbott says “no” to Rohingya refugees

Or more specifically, “Nope, nope, nope!”

According to Abbott, no asylum seeker should get on a boat anywhere in the world.

    “I’m sorry. If you want to start a new life, you come through the front door, not through the back door.

    “Don’t think that getting on a leaky boat at the behest of a people smuggler is going to do you or your family any good.

    “We are not going to do anything that will encourage people to get on boats. If we do the slightest thing to encourage people to get on the boats, this problem will get worse, not better.”

If there is no front door, and in this case there isn’t, then tough!

Malaysia and Indonesia have come to their senses. The US will take some refugees.

I heard Richard Marles spend a lot of time avoiding being specific about what Labor would do, except “help”. Meanwhile Labor’s left faction pushes for ban on asylum seeker boat turnbacks.

3. Mad Max: Fury Road

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This week my wife and I went to see Mad Max: Fury Road. It’s quite surprising how long the wham-bam action can go on without any dialogue and still be interesting. The film is too unrealistic to engage the emotions to any great degree, but it creeps up on you, mostly through the character of Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron).

Phil at All that is solid …:

    Mad Max: Fury Road is a paradox. A completely overblown, absurd masterpiece of a paradox, but one that balances two seemingly irreconcilables and fuses them astonishingly successfully. On the one hand its an utterly mindless action romp with scant dialogue, a simple plot, lashings of violence, and spectacular vehicles that make for very big explosions. Yet beneath that is a cunning and penetrating commentary on patriarchal (not male per se) violence and feminist struggle.


    Hence rather than MMFR being open to feminist interpretation, it itself is a $150m commentary on feminism, by way of ultra violence, the best guitarist ever, and audacious nonsense. Do go for a showing: it will be the best film you’ve seen this year.

Also, an interesting reaction from a foetal amputee.

4. Away

I’ll be away and out of internet range for the weekend until Monday afternoon. My wife and I are visiting my sister and brother-in-law at Dulacca, population 88, 380 km NW of Brisbane. Hence it will be Tuesday or Wednesday before I’m back posting.

5. State of Origin

This year is the first since 2005 that I will not be posting separately on the State of Origin football. The effort/reward equation just doesn’t stack up.

Queensland lost Daly Cherry-Evans early, but go into the match with three crocks, Justin Hodges with a sore foot, Greg Inglis with a virus and Billy Slater with a gammy shoulder.

As usual, I’m expecting NSW to win – too big, too fast and too much skill, and our blokes are getting old. As usual also, anything could happen – could be close or could blow out either way.

Introduction to Saturday salon

Because of the way the blog currently presents posts on the home page I think it’s better to remove the introductory material to a different place. For new readers, here’s the rationale for this space.


An open thread where, at your leisure, you can discuss anything you like, well, within reason and the Comments Policy. Include here news and views, plus any notable personal experiences from the week and the weekend.

For climate topics please use the most recent Climate clippings.

The gentleman in the image is Voltaire, who for a time graced the court of Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great. King Fred loved to talk about the universe and everything at the end of a day’s work. He also used the salons of Berlin to get feedback in the development of public policy.

Fred would only talk in French; he regarded German as barbaric. Here we’ll use English.

The thread will be a stoush-free zone. The Comments Policy says:

The aim [of this site] is to provide a venue for people to contribute and to engage in a civil and respectful manner.

3 thoughts on “Saturday salon 23/5”

  1. While you are driving the 380k to Dulacca, Brian, contemplate doing that trip in the Airbus 4 seat eFan aircraft controlled by the NASA’s haptic multi-modal general aviation flight control system and aided by Melbourne’s MIT turbulence management system for light aircraft, a trip that would take a hour and a half on $8 of electricity each way.

  2. Had to wait for Saturday Salon to roll around to say how much I enjoyed the BBC’s 60 years of Eurovision which was rebroadcast on SBS. Quite a few of the performers sounded much better with maturity and enthusiasm than they did when the won in their years. Was it Yiddish that Diva International was singing when she won in 1999? If so, it shows that Yiddish is a long way from being a dying language. Glad Lordi was on: they looked like a cross between ‘Kiss’and the Orcs out of “LOTR” and sounded worse but when it came to a magical and innovative act, they certainly did deserve to win for Finland – in ?2006? Didn’t realize haw many wins Luxemburg had over the years – nor how unlucky Norway has been. Hope they repeat that show.

  3. Qld 11-10 winners in State of Origin. I thought the teams were trying to hand it to each other there for a while from the 70th minute when Thurston foolishly attempted a penalty from 45 metres out. They should have kicked for the sideline and then went for a field goal, obviously.

    A good game and NSW did well to hold Qld to only one try in the second half.

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