Category Archives: Australia

End The Drug War!

Each day a prominent person comes out urging the end of our crazy drug laws which  send hundreds of thousands to  jails which drain  billions of dollars away from education or rebuilding the infrastructure of  societies. Last  month, Pat Robertson, a leading American conservative came out against drug laws. Yesterday, Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr urged the end of his nation’s mad laws dealing with drugs. It is  time, he said, to end “the  war on  drugs.”

According to Carr, the  ‘prohibition of illicit drugs  killing and criminalising our children and we are letting it happen.” H enoted that police now have dogs in train stations sniffing for marijuana. How about dogs sniffing for real  criminals? We allow  “legal drugs”which make you happy and send people to jail for using drugs that  make them happy. Explain that  concept using logic.

Get The Prime Minister!

There are some angry people in Australia and they sure don’t fool around with worrying about who they are angry at. Prime Minister Julia Gillard was having a pleasant lunch with opposition leader Tony Abott when a crowd of folk including many of Aboriginal background stormed the place and began throwing petals of roses. Security  got the PM out of the restaurant and into a car when some folk began to stamp and bang on the vehicle. Eight indigenous women sat in the road attempting to prevent the car from proceeding, but our ever gallant police and security detail whisked the prime minister to the safety of her residence.

I have a hunch many members of the Tea Party read this story and are planning ways in which they can trap the guy from Africa who currently is president of the United States. I assume the  Tea Pee folk would love to surround Obama and pound away at his car.

Gay To Be Gay In Canada

The issue of whether gay marriages by foreign couples in Canada has finally been  resolved. Several Australian gay couples who married in Canada were concerned after the issue of validity was raised. A lawyer had argued that Canadian marriages of gay couples who came from other nations was illegal. Canadian  Justice Minister, Rob Nicolson, made clear  a gay marriage in  Canada was legal even if the nation  from  which a gay couple came did not sanction     gay marriages.

The real issue is not in Canada. The issue resides in Australia whose government still refuses to  allow gay marriages. Welcome to the 21st century, my Aussie friends!

 

Only Clean Smelling Immigrants Accepted!

Australia has been the target of thousands seeking to enter and become part of that nation. It is a large nation and has plenty of room for millions, but the political opposition in Australia is concerned about how immigrants might bring into their country smells that would cause untold numbers to collapse from their odors. Teresa Gambaro, speaking for opposition members of Parliament, explained her concerns. “Without trying to be offensive, we are talking about hygiene and what is an acceptable norm in this country when you are working closely with other co-workers.” Her solution is to use deodorants in order to present the right smell to the world of fellow workers.

Pino Migliorino, of the Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils, who like Gambrino is of Italian heritage, pointed out an historical piece of data. “Teresa Gambaro comes from the same background as mine and we grew up being called dirty wogs.” I recall being told in elementary school that we east European Jewish children had to use soap and water more frequently because we smelled.

Ms. Gambaro admitted that her comments might be termed insensitive by those who lack a sensitive nose.

Bigotry Is Another Name For Australia

A long term study by the University of Western Sydney(UWS) in Australia has uncovered a deep well of bigotry and hatred toward minority groups in the nation. It examined views of 12,500 people regarding their attitudes toward people of other cultural, ethnic and religious groups. According to the study, Australians believe themselves to be tolerant of other people, but when pushed concerning their attitudes, examples of racial and religious hatred emerged. In fact, one in ten admitted they were bigoted. “They believe that some races are naturally inferior or superior, and they believe in the need to keep groups separated.” The study went on to claim, “these separatists ands supremacists are a destructive minority.”

The study revealed negative feeling was strongest toward Muslims with 48.6% of respondents admitting to anti-Islamic beliefs. About 28% harbored anti-Aboriginal views and about 24% just did not like Jews or Asians. Even in the most tolerant areas of Australia such as the Australian Capital Territory, 41% came out as hating Muslims. Ironically, 87% agreed that Australia should be a society which included those of different cultures, but 40% were concerned that these minority groups might prefer being with those of their own ilk.

It just goes to prove that we humans are bigots underneath the skin–regardless of our country of origin.

No Lashes Today In Iran

Marzyieh Vafamehr is an actress who was born in Iran and then fled to Australia. She appeared in a film entitled, “My Tehran For Sale” which won awards at film festivals but is banned in her native land. For some reason she returned to Iran and wound up arrested for defaming the country and sentenced to one year in jail along with 90 lashes. She appealed and a court ruled for her freedom and no lashes.

This is just another story of what daily transpires in Iran, a land run by clerics who decide what is or is not correct behavior. No one knows why the appeals court ruled for the Australian actress. A dictatorship always contains capricious actions which lack explanation.

We hope Ms. Vafamehr now knows that Iran is not a place for her body.

Iranian Film Star Punished For Film

Iranian-Australian actress, Marzeih Vafamehr appeared in an Australian-Iranian film which was shot on location in Tehran in 2009. “My Tehran for Sale” depicted the life of an Iranian actress who encounters problems attempting to be a movie star and it goes behind closed doors in Tehran in order to depict the lives of young people who dislike the clerical run society in which they live. The film won several awards when it came out in 2009. Attempts to get the film shown in Iran met with anger on the part of censors although some bootleg versions are being shown.

Ms. Vefamehr, whose family left Iran in 1997 in order to live in Australia, was arrested when she returned to Tehran and now faces a one year prison sentence along with 90 lashes for daring to depict Iran in other than the best of all lights. The clerics who rule Iran are the clerics who dislike honesty and an open society. Lashes went out in the 19th century throughout the world–except for in modern Iran!

Rain, Rain Please Don’t Go Away

Repubicans  mock stories  concerning global warming by noting  there are  more reports about more snow. Perhaps, the  mistake was using the word, “warming,” rather than “change.” New Zealand is working with the US to assist the island of Tokelau in the Pacific which is running out of water. A larger than normal change in water temperature has resulted in less rain for islands in the South Pacific. Rain has gone further westward leaving Tokelau with not enough water.

Desalination facilities are being provided along with  more  water, but it remains unclear how the future will  work out. Will wind shifts prevent normal rain, and, if so, must people be moved from the island.

Please do not bring this story to the attention of the Republican party.

 

Celibacy And Human Rights

Among the saddest stories one encounters are tales of those in the Catholic Church who encounter examples of sexual abuse. A recent story from Australia describes the ongoing  rape of a now senior Anglican cleric during his formative years as a trainee Catholic priest. Current Archbishop John Hepworth left the Catholic Church after being continually sexually abused and became an Anglican. Monsignor David Clappo now faces charges he prevented investigation of this  rape charges. Actually, Hepworth insists at least three priests used him  for sexual purposes.

There is nothing unusual about such charges which only serve to raise questions about the theory of a celibate priesthood. Cappo continues to insist he acted with “proper and due diligence” but someone was raped and no one has been disciplined for this abuse. It is time for the Catholic Church to end the 1,000 year experiment with a celibate priesthood.

Good And Bad Of Internet

The Internet has unleashed a torrent of opportunities for young people to make contacts with others of their age as well as to encounter those who would not ordinarily have crossed their path of life. Schools in Australia are taking advantage of new technology which allows them to monitor Facebook activities of their students. James Griffin of SR7 says his company goes “where the conversations are, where young people or communities of interest are coalescing online. His company then informs schools as to what is going on.

Lila Mularczyk of New South Wales Secondary Principals’ Council says it is their policy to remove statements made by students on Facebook. “Our policy now extends the concept of the school playground to any environment in the social media platform where a student of the school or a teacher is identified by name, image or inference.”

There are bullies who wander the halls of schools. There are bullies who torment youth on Facebook. However, schools control what occurs in schools, not what transpires on the Internet. That realm belongs to local police officials. The real question is: Who determines what is appropriate as a comment and are there checks to their power to make such decisions?