Category Archives: Life

Vale Bob Hawke

Known as a larrikin and the “Silver Bodgie” Bob Hawke, Australia’s 23rd prime minister, dies aged 89.

Here are Nine ways Bob Hawke’s government changed Australia.

I’ll repeat No. 3:

    Mr Hawke announced Medicare in February 1984, bringing the scheme into line with the Medibank model originally introduced by Gough Whitlam but partially dismantled by Malcolm Fraser’s government.

Continue reading Vale Bob Hawke

Weekly salon 28/4

1. Any clown can lead a country!

What with our ScoMo and Donald Trump as POTUS, you might think that any clown can run a country. Now in Ukraine we have – Comedy is a tool, a trick – Ukraine will soon see that running a country is no joke. Jack Bernhardt, a comedy writer and occasional performer, takes a look at the news that:

    Volodymyr Zelenskiy, an actor and comedian with no political experience other than playing the role of president in a TV series, has won a landslide victory in Ukraine’s presidential election, with near-complete counting showing he has won over 70% of the vote.

Continue reading Weekly salon 28/4

Is religion good or bad for us?

Over Easter, apart from wondering Where is heaven? I read an article in the New Scientist Is religion good or bad for humanity? Epic analysis delivers an answer

    A scientific review of 10,000 years of history is finally revealing the unexpected truth behind religion’s role in human civilisation

The author is Harvey Whitehouse, who is chair of social anthropology and director of the Centre for the Study of Social Cohesion at the University of Oxford. Back in 2015 I took a look at Karen Armstrong, ‘the myth of religious violence’ and the secular state. Whitehouse claims his investigation is ‘scientific’. It is certainly impressive. Continue reading Is religion good or bad for us?

Where is heaven?

When I was really young there were no Easter bunnies around our place. The idea was introduced by the teacher of the small Lutheran Day School at Downfall Creak, near Guluguba, north of Miles, west of Toowoomba, when I was about seven or eight. We did have hens eggs coloured with dye, but no chocolate at all, let alone as eggs.

However, that’s not what Easter is about. It’s about the risen Christ, right? He conquered death and rose to heaven in a cloud, to sit at the right hand of God the Almighty, with a promise to return some day. So I was interested in an article What and where is heaven? The answers are at the heart of the Easter story. Continue reading Where is heaven?

Weekly salon 7/4

1. ‘Kill Bill’ is alive and well

    “Labor has become a party of lies, negativity and grievance. They have nothing to offer but a long, dreary whinge, interrupted by falsehoods”; and for good measure: “Bill Shorten is a liar. He cannot tell the truth. There is no point being mealy-mouthed about this. He is a liar*.”

That was actually Malcolm Turnbull last July, but if you Google you get similar stuff going back to at least 2012. The asterisk was to a note saying the Turnbull had joined with Mark Latham, who had once said: Continue reading Weekly salon 7/4

Weekly salon 31/3

1. Christchurch changes the dynamics of the next Australian election irrevocably

That is the opinion of Peter Lewis, who conducts the Essential report poll. Two nights before the massacre of 50 worshippers in a Christchurch mosque, Lewis was with a focus group of swinging voters in suburban Brisbane, asking people to identify which politicians were responsible for a series of incendiary public comments around recently passed medical evacuation (medevac) laws:

    The propositions included the following: that the people “coming in” are paedophiles, they will clog up our hospital queues, they will end up in cultural bubbles, that western values are sacrosanct.

People thought it must be One Nation, for sure, but it wasn’t:

    there was genuine shock and some dismay when it was discovered the statements came not from the radical fringe, but from the mouths of the prime minister and his senior government ministers.

Continue reading Weekly salon 31/3

Weekly salon 23/3

1. Jacinda Adern stars as PM

And just a top human being.

Jacinda Adern wears a headscarf in the wake of the Christchurch mosque attacks Photograph: Kirk Hargreaves/Christchurch City Council

Ambigulous drew our attention to the New York Times editorial America Deserves a Leader as Good as Jacinda Ardern largely repeated in the NZ Herald. Continue reading Weekly salon 23/3

Weekly salon16/3

1. Unforgivable atrocities

Words fail me, so I’ll borrow some from Ambigulous on the last Salon thread:

    Horrific, murderous attack(s) in Christchurch; to add to the horror, apparently live streamed by a gunman. An Aussie in custody. And three other people? A long “manifesto” written by one of the murderers.

    Police armed all over Aotearoa, Land of the Long White Cloud.

    Cry, the beloved country.

Continue reading Weekly salon16/3

Weekly salon 10/5

1. Coalition chaos

On another thread Geoff Miell pointed to an article by Phillip Coorey’s comments in the AFR headlined Coalition chaos: Abbott backflips, Turnbull attacks, Barnaby Joyce sharpens knife, beginning with:

    Chaos is rife in the Coalition with Tony Abbott performing another climate change backflip, Malcolm Turnbull launching a fresh attack on those who dumped him, and Barnaby Joyce signalling he is ready to roll Nationals Leader Michael McCormack on the cusp of the election campaign.

    As Scott Morrison dismissed the eruptions of past animosities as “history”, discipline in and around the Coalition was unravelling.

Continue reading Weekly salon 10/5

Weekly salon 13/1

1. Saudi teen feared for life while waiting on Australia refugee ruling

Rahaf Mohammed Al-Qunun had applied to come to Australia.

But she told SBS News the process was taking too long and she feared for her life because her father and brother were in Thailand.

“Yes, toooooo long,” she responded to SBS News, when asked about the length of time. Continue reading Weekly salon 13/1