All posts by curioz

About curioz

An observer of the world, attempting to think deep thoughts but frequently distracted by other things.

Who gets to say I’m a citizen of this country?

I discovered today that this “government” of ours is currently holding a “conversation” about ‘Increasing the value of Australia Citizenship’?

Have a read of their blurb, then have a think about it, and remember that Mr Dutton has already admitted that he thinks it should be something that the Minister alone can rule on.

Here’s the blurb about it – the link to the survey is at the bottom of the page, just click on the “how to provide your views” button to get there

This is the direct link to the survey.

Courtesy of LeoneTwo over at The Pub, I also offer the answers of one Curmudgeon who has kindly provided his answers to this survey. It might give you a start, it will certainly inform your own conversations about this topic.

Personally I am not overly impressed. After all, I probably fall into the demographic that is likely to offend Mr Dutton (the Minister concerned) by objecting to his desire to remove citizenship from any person who has or is eligible for dual citizenship with such a remarkable lack of evidence or oversight by the law or judiciary.

I think I have read/watched too many dystopian stories not to want to fight against this brain-dead brain fart of the nut jobs in this country. The LNP’s polling must be absolutely rock bottom for them to start dragging out such anti-democratic, anti-liberal crap. And if this is an example of their desires, it is deservedly at rock bottom!

Please consider completing the survey. Perhaps we might be the pebble that starts the avalanche that starts Australia back to a more humane country again.

I’m getting sufficiently annoyed that I might just Do Something!

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Seasoned Greetings

Seasoned Greetings

Forty years ago yesterday, my family landed ‘on Australia’ (it’s a big island, you live “on” islands). Forty years ago tonight was my first Christmas in this country and tomorrow morning will be the fortieth anniversary of my first experience of how Australians react to disasters.
In all that time there have been good things and not so good things happen to me and mine, but one things of which I have been very glad is the way in which my life has been “seasoned” by the collective outlook of the Australians who have become my family and my fellow citizens.

So a very Seasoned Greetings to all, and a hope that we have a big, bright, bold, generous and fair future!

An open letter to my representatives in Australia’s Federal Parliament

Australian Citizenship and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2014

It is with great concern that I noticed that the above bill was given its second reading debate only this morning and would seem to be on track for debate in the Senate some time next week when the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee makes its report.

This bill I find very disturbing and particularly of concern for any Australian citizen who was not born here in Australia.

According to the summary, it would appear that anyone who incurs the disfavour of the Minister for Immigration could be bundled out of the country with no judicial review whatsoever. The explanatory memorandum seems to focus on individuals who have more recently arrived in Australia, however, as a citizen of over thirty years who is quite likely to offend the current Minister for a variety of reasons (mostly to do with his behaviour in dodging responsibility for those seeking refuge here), I feel I am justified in feeling concerned whether I could also be turfed out of my home and sent away from my family just because I have offended a person in power.

From what little I have been able to find on the reasons for this proposed legislation, it would appear that previous breeches of the Citizenship Acts have been dealt with under existing legislation, and the Minister probably already holds the power to revoke individual citizenships, all be it with judicial review and oversight – as it should be.

I am requesting that you represent me, as a citizen of this country who could be adversely affected by this legislation, to block or otherwise prevent the passage of this legislation through the Senate and find a way to ensure that judicial oversight is maintained particularly on any legislation or regulation changes that may impact on the desire of people migrating to Australia to become full citizens of this country.

Regards
Your employer and Australian citizen

PS – I haven’t been able to work out what other legislation is referred to in the bill, unless it is the current Migration Act and Regulations. But if it is a question of that legislation being changed to accommodate wording about spouses, surely that could be dealt with through a more general piece of legislation aimed at correcting those definitions in all Australian legislation without encumbering such changes with such meanly focused bill.

Power and responsibility?

I registered with Change.org for a variety of reasons at the beginning of the year, but I find it disturbing the increase in the number of petitions now being circulated about :

A) the Department of Immigration denying residential visas to contributing members of our society on the grounds that infants they brought with them many years ago or children who have subsequently been born here, when those children are diagnosed as having a physical or mental illness,

B) banks or insurance companies of one flavour or another denying payouts that, once embarrassed through public petition and media reports, are apparently granted.

Change.org is probably not the only petition template provider that is starting to appear in the inbox, whether it be email, Facebook or some other platform (those are just the two I keep being forwarded so far). I have no idea what to do about it, or how to help (apart from signing the petitions).

But I was struck by a passing reference to one of Issac Asimov’s aphorisms this morning about it taking three generations for great things to rise and fall unless great care is taken with the education of the young.
In which case this current generation of politicians is definitely the third generation of conservatives since 1945 (Menzies/Fraser, Howard, Abbott – and there are some ALP types who fit right in there with them), and I think there is a growing consensus that this current government is more reflective of the ‘wastrel grandsons of old greatness’ concept than forgers of anything new.

Australia goes to “not-war” … again?

A letter to my Federal parliamentarians:

Dear Sirs,

Apparently while Parliament was not sitting over the weekend, Mr Abbott has declared that we are going to be gun-running for the Kurdish people fighting against the Islamic State in Iraq. He has indicated that we will apparently also be providing troops on the ground who may go into harm’s way should one of the planes being used for this gun-running activity be shot down and the crews need to be rescued.

I would appreciate a discussion in Parliament, and entered into the Parliamentary Record, to explain the reasons for Australia’s support to the Kurdish and other minority people of the region in this new fight, including an explanation of who and why the so called “Islamic State” developed and who originally funded it.
There may be a legitimate reasons why Australia should offer this support to these people – including provision of asylum if necessary. If there is, Australia may well have a role in providing that help, and Australians deserve to have those reasons explained.

But there are too many indicators that this is less about protecting people far away from our country, and more about protecting a Prime Minister and Government that is divisive, vindictive and determined to reduce our country to a mere resource to be gouged by others.

As Australians, I and my family deserve to be fully informed by our representatives as to the reasons why such risks by the Australian Defence Forces are to be taken.

Your employer,
*Not very impressed*

Who do you trust?

There are times when I wonder about where people get their information and why they trust it. This is not only a personal, but a professional question too.
_I_ have come to the conclusion that on balance, reportage about the world published by resources associated with Mr Murdoch are less likely to contain facts than the reportage from the Guardian or the ABC (though poor old Auntie is getting a bit questionable on occasion, she is still relatively fair in reporting). But it gets a bit much when I start finding myself looking for straight-forward reporting on my own country to Al Jazera, Der Speigal, Le Monde or the BBC.

I was recently asked by an acquaintance how I rated Prime Minister Abbott’s handling of the incident in the Ukraine, as they though he had done quite well. My response was that I felt he had performed adequately, but certainly not in a manner that deserved all the praise he was getting from some very insular sources.
I was then challenged, because my response was not in praise of Mr Abbott, that I was ignorant of the sterling job Australia’s Prime Minister, and Foreign Minister Bishop in particular, had done in getting the resolution up in the UN condemning Russia.

The problem is that it is not known that it was the Russians who shot down that plane. Perhaps it was Ukrainian separatists who are probably backed by Russia and like most in that delicate military situation, are more likely to think they know what they are looking at even when it isn’t (just ask the USS Vincennes).
And who is asking the question as to why it was flying through a known war zone any way?

The original wording of the resolution proposed by Australia’s Foreign Minister was apparently heavily edited before it was put forward. Not only that but by his own admission, Mr Abbot’s phone call to Mr Putin was not at first answered. Apparently some of the things he claimed last week upset the Russians, so it was only after he had snubbed our nearer neighbours at the South Pacific Forum because he had to sit by the phone for Mr Putin to call him back (eventually/apparently). And then the bellicosity is dialled back.

Yet I didn’t hear/read much of that information from the Australian media, or only after I had read it a couple of days earlier from other online sources. I find it a concern that I now start my daily news gathering of national news on non-Australian websites, and local news involves an increasing list of non-MSM sites based in my state. And mostly it is because I have had to retrain myself to constantly evaluate the content of those websites for veracity, likelihood and trustworthiness because of the amount of propaganda many of the mainstream media seem to be willing to spout today.

What’s wrong with this picture?

With regards to Mrs Abbott enjoying op-shopping, I am struck by several thoughts.
The first is that there is a perception that because Mr Abbott earns a lot of money (more than President Obama, I am led to believe) Mrs Abbott should have lots of resources to purchase things that are new. This story jars against that perception. Though I can think of more than one early primary educational establishment that stretches its budget by buying some resources from op-shops.
The next thought followed the first in that if Mr Abbott is ‘rich’ but Mrs Abbott is resorting to op-shops, then this could be evidence that he does not provide sufficient for her (and I know that she has her own income, but that is an actual comment I heard on the train today!).
The subsequent thought was why wouldn’t or shouldn’t Mrs Abbott enjoy op-shopping, or is it that is is yet another way to deprive poor people of resources – and I felt badly that an enjoyable experience that I have also enjoyed both when finances have been flush and when they have been tight should be denied to another woman who has the misfortune to be married to the guy who I think is really not competent to lead this country. Especially when it is obvious that the whole story is to promote something that is intended to promote charity op shops.

The last thought was to consider what type of “unicorn” is being highlighted by this sort of “reportage”. And that worries me because of what it betrays about the perceived roles of women by certain sections of the community.