Sunday, 29 April 2007

Praying for rain - The devious use of religion?

It has recently come to my notice that various groups of well-intentioned people have taken up the idea of praying for rain. Sound good? Well, let's examine the background to this idea.

Miss Eagle blogged about this a few days ago. She gave a sincere (but avowedly) Christian view of this issue, with a harsh political reality check too. May I suggest that you read Miss Eagle's post of 24 April 2007.

Since then, it has been promoted by a network called Who are they?

One of the persons behind this is Gabrielle Hart.
Scroll down that page to a blurb for her book "The Peacemaker's Way", and a bio provided by her husband. That includes the following remarkable statement:
This new life was dashed to pieces when Gabrielle died after having a head on with a vehicle. Suffering injuries and severe blood loss, Gabrielle had a profound spiritual awakening that echoes through her life to this day. After two years of recovery, including the need to learn to walk again, Gabrielle was ready to embark on her journey.

Another person behind it is Aldwyn Altuney, a photojournalist, and another self-promoter, it seems.

There is a National Rain Day website, but it tells you nothing about John McCallum - of "McCallum Marketing" who has a website which makes noises, and flashes a few images, but tells one absolutely nothing. Another "self-promoter"?

Remember that this started from John Howard. It was then picked up by Pastor Danny Nalia who came to national attention for his views on Muslims in Australia.
Check this transcript - and scroll down till "Danny Nalia" appears. Do you want to be associated with him - now that you know who he is? Have a look at the "Catch the Fire" ministries website too.

Now it has been picked up by the previously mentioned "self-promoters", who appear to be spread from Melbourne, to the Gold Coast.
Once again, well meaning people are being suckered into a right-wing sponsored support for the survival of an immoral Government.
Those Fridge magnets should have said:
Be alert, AND be alarmed.
Do you feel happy going along with an idea which supposedly "came to John McCallum during an XL Wealth Shift Seminar" on the Gold Coast, and involves people standing bare-foot on the earth and praying for rain, and indirectly supporting John Howard in his lack of action to do with global warming, climate change, or planning for proper use of our nation's water resources???

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Alex Downer

"Father and Son" -
Downer statue in Garema Place, Canberra

Personally I have had it with Alex Downer, ever since a statue of his Grandfather and his father was installed in Garema Place, in Canberra many, many years ago, with the father figure pouring water (or was it meant to be wine?) into the son's mouth. Sickeningly accurate portrayal of nepotism, now apparently being extended unto the 4th generation.
Read on.

This quote is from

Well, there's something we didn't know, and thank you Australian Story, vanity hagiographers by appointment to Alexander Downer, for drawing it to our attention.

We didn't know it when young Georgina Downer slipped like a nepotist in the night to join the family firm as a Foreign Affairs graduate trainee -- a feat she managed despite a modest third-class honours degree that might normally have disqualified the majority of applicants. And never mind that only 39 of her fellow applicants out of 1695 managed to crack a job with DFAT. We didn't realise that not only was she going to work at Daddy's department, just as Daddy and Daddy's Daddy had done, but that she would also be sharing digs with Daddy in his Canberra unit, bringing new meaning to the notion of ''arm's length''.

Have these people no concept of what is even remotely seemly? And Alexander wonders why people find him hard to take. ''People have said the most shocking things,'' he says. Of course they have, Alex, of course they have.

The ACT Govt Public Art Website says:
This artwork was presented to the people of Canberra by the Hon. Alex Downer in memory of his father Sir John Downer. Originally installed in 1964, it was restored and relocated in Garema Place with a new marble base in 1986.

The effect of this statue has always been to tell me that I would never amount to a hill of beans (as the Americans say), seeing as my Grandfather was not a former Premier of South Australia, and a member of the first Australian Senate.

Public art as a political act, to suppress the legitimate aspirations of the "lower orders"? We shall have to ask Georgina Downer her opinion. I am sure she will have one!

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Tasmanian Pulp Mill abomination

The Tasmanian Government continues to force through its legislation to facilitate the Bell Bay Pulp Mill, in Northern Tasmania, near Launceston.
Now the issue which has arisen is the suitability (or otherwise) of the firm of consultants selected to review the proposal. This is likely to be the least of everybody's worries.
Surely the real issue is how the Government itself is not accountable for the proposal; and the extraordinary legislative protection which the Government is offering Gunns Limited, the huge forestry company which is pushing for the proposal.

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Caalang Creek or Ganges Creek?

In view of the apparent appearance of Bos taurus in Robertson, in the last few days, I wonder if the local creek has been renamed the Ganges Creek?

Monday, 9 April 2007

Drunks and Idiots on the roads.

As the Age reports today: "The man blew 0.345 - almost seven times the legal limit".

Elsewhere, it is reported that the man was taken to the Maroondah Hospital, and was subsequently "driven home" by the police. I cannot help thinking that he was treated like a hero, by the police.

Strange that, when the media is reporting on the continuing road toll over the Easter long weekend period. This report says 20, but other reports now say that a third body has been fished out of the water at the scene of the crash reported here, so it should now be tallied as 21 dead. And that will rise later in the day, as tired people return home.

Saturday, 7 April 2007

Hicks testamony in application for British Citizenship

Read this report by Weekend Australian and ABC reporter Sally Neighbour.

I just hope that its publication now does not jeopardise Hicks's release. I think it is foolish to have published it now, but, given that it has been published, one ought know what he endured. It is pretty much what one would have expected, based upon earlier reports from other sources.

War on Terror, or War of Terror?

You decide.

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Hicks gag "illegal"? reports that:

"Hicks has now been banned from even talking about his experiences for twelve months, the duration of the Australian federal election campaign. Even Attorney-General Philip Ruddock today admits that he can't recall anything like the Hicks gag in his long and legally varied experience.

"This is a gag that is unconstitutional in its country of origin. It is a gag that is legally dubious in Australia. It is a gag that contravenes every shred of the notion of free speech.

"It is a gag that makes the Australian government -- whose hand is so stealthily and transparently behind it -- look like a bunch of totalitarian thugs."


That is a situation which every day is becoming more familiar in Australia.

Behold one of the TWS workers who is paid to record images of some people who were peacefully investigating the actions of the NSW Government in stealing water from the Kangaloon Aquifer. If you take my photo, I will take yours. But at least I will digitally suppress your identity in the photograph.

Monday, 2 April 2007

Didn't you know? Hicks was trying to "destroy our civilisation".

Guantanamo Bay "inmate"
One leading Liberal is blaming the Hicks team for the "timing" of the plea bargain.

They may as well blame him for trying to destabilise the Government for the last 5 years, by limping round in shackles and an orange jump suit, just to look good on Television, and to attract sympathy.

He is even accused here of trying to "destroy our civilization".

If you don't believe me? Read it here:

According to "The Age" website: "Mr Turnbull said he had been wondering for some time what the motivations were behind stalling a plea deal.
"As a lawyer the thing that I find interesting is that Hicks' lawyers did not seek to get a deal done a lot earlier," Mr Turnbull told ABC radio today.

"I mean David Hicks on a substantive test, on a factual test, was always guilty - he was caught red-handed," he said.

"Whether he was a foot soldier or more important than that nonetheless he was definitely working with the terrorists, he was seeking to destroy our civilisation."

"Given those circumstances, I've always wondered whether his failure to get a deal done and the apparent lack of interest to get a deal done, I've often wondered what their motivations were there."


Mr Turnbull: I must ask you: Hicks was always guilty of what, exactly?
Under which set of laws, Mr Turnbull?
Australian laws? I don't think so - otherwise we could have charged him here, which we all know we cannot do.
American "made-up charges", which are not real laws on the US Statute Books?

How could he have been always guilty of laws invented after his capture, and incarceration?

As suggested (see their courtroom sketch above) Hicks was guilty "by incarceration".


Mr Turnbull, you said it, so please explain!

Oh, and by the way, under which of your portfolio responsibilities are you commenting - Is it as Minister for the Environment or Minister for Water Resources? Surely you are not commenting on matters outside your portfolio responsibilities?

Or are you speaking, from jealousy, that John Howard, Alex Downer and Phillip Ruddock are getting all the headlines on this story? Surely not???

Sunday, 1 April 2007

"Earth Hour" - Please explain!

The bullshit surrounding "Earth Hour" has left me bewildered. Well-meaning people have been sending me emails about this major event for weeks. For what? For businesses to turn off their stupid lights in the middle of the night, for one hour, and to then turn them back on again, afterwards - IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. What's the lesson learnt there?

The (the Daily Telegraph's website) reported that:

"Australian actress Cate Blanchett, Labor MP Peter Garrett, Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore and federal Labor leader Kevin Rudd attended a function at Mrs Macquarie's Chair and watched the city skyline go dark."

It went on to describe the reaction of Sydney-siders to the event:

"People lined the harbour foreshore for the event, applauding as lights across the CBD and the harbour blinked out one by one.

"Many hotels provided candles to guests as they switched off and star-gazers made the most of the opportunity at Sydney Observatory.

"Pubs promoted dining by candlelight and a speed dating in the dark event and special skywalks were held at Sydney Tower, the city's tallest building."
There's Sydney's true reaction for you - "speed dating in the dark".
An opportunity to try and grope a stranger in the dark, legitimately.

P...LEASE !!!
What was the best pick-up line, I wonder?
The Earth is f..ked, you might as well be too?