Category Archives: Uncategorized

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!

Advertisements

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!

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.

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.

So, who or what do I vote for, and why?

These are just rambling thoughts as I’ve come across topics in the last few days, in no particular order or coherence. They are making me think about who to vote for this time around. I may add to these thoughts, as I’m still thinking about some of them.

National Broadband Network
Pros
I really like the idea of investing in something that will provide infrastructure that might last into the next century. It offers the opportunity to provide all sorts of new ways of doing things that could change rural Australia relieving the living pressures on the major cities. It also replaces/improves basic telephonic infrastructure that was required anyway. (And copper is more useful in other things, rather than stuck under the ground
Cons
It’s going to take a long time (in political time) to connect everyone.
Not every one realises why physical connections are more secure and capable of even faster speeds (as the technology improves) than wireless connections can provide.
I get really annoyed when the Shadow Minister apparently finds it acceptable to invest in France’s FTTP network, but thinks his fellow Australians don’t deserve a similar service!
Some business plans will profit, some will not, and the intervening period will be painful (again)

Disability Care
Pros
lt should provide something like a third-party insurance in case of accident or misfortune. Considering how swiftly disaster can strike leaving an individual with life-long debilitating conditions through no fault of their own, knowing that financial support for housing or equipment to make that life more livable does make sense.
It also makes sense from a particularly Australian egalitarian perspective that we look out for each other. A national peculiarity of which I am particularly fond.
Cons
Not yet fully funded.
Not yet rolled out across all Australia.
Very vulnerable to ideological destruction at this stage of its development.

School Funding Reform
Pros
Making more money available for primary education and early childhood education is a good thing.
Providing money for non university and life long education is also a good thing, but l think that various business sectors should also invest in more trade training too.
Cons
Cutting funding to universities is not necessarily a long term thing, and it would seem some universities are taking the opportunity to up prices and student numbers while cutting teaching and support staff and reducing the quality available (but that has gone on for a while, the Gonski proposals have just made it more visible).
There doesn’t seem to be any provision for means testing so that the money can be directed to the schools where it will be the most needed.
The current “Gonski proposals” are also being used as an ideological bludgeon by both ALP and LNP governments to wring more for their favoured education style. The ALP seems to want a more centralised curriculum, the LNP states want the money but not the direction.
(Which reminds me: how many LNP politicians objected to the BER, yet cut the ribbon on the buildings that it paid for?)
The LNP, or more specifically the Liberals, have a policy of returning control of schools to local communities. A procedure in the US and the UK that has led to a lowering of literacy and numeracy and a return to the small-minded education that I remember from books on the history of education as being of use to the servant classes.

Paid Parental Leave
I’m conflicted on this one. Partly because it wasn’t available when my children were born, although we did get a child endowment that helped when they were small. We made the choice that Mum would stay home, my sibling chose that Dad would stay home, but we both chose to manage on a single income. So it is worrisome to think that current young parents seem unable to cope with those choices.
I think of all the policies that been proposed, this one is really only half-baked.
1) Because once the baby is big enough, and the parent needs to go back to work, where do the babies get parked until the work-day is done?
There are insufficient current resources for child care and the cost is getting positively ridiculous! What profits a family if both parents are working, yet the child-care costs are more than either of their incomes? They would be better off just dropping down to one income and provide the labour. Essentially that’s what we did, but then, things were a lot less expensive then!
2) Alternate visions of PPL are on offer, but while the ALP version is already operating and not particularly costing too much, the LNP’s has been questioned quite heavily by the very people who could benefit most from it (and the whole idea of taxing big companies to pay for the PPL of “women of calibre” is just so … let’s say big business don’t seem overly impressed either).