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A call to Jewish students for Israeli Apartheid Week 2018
We need to talk about Jewish racism.
I know what youre thinking. How dare I accuse us, a people whove suffered so greatly from prejudice, hatred and persecution, of holding racist attitudes ourselves?
But it turns out that our past experience provides no protection and our communal memories can hinder, not help us.
This particular conversation is about to become more urgent if youre a Jewish student on a campus in the U.K. or Western Europe, North America or Australia.
The 14th annual Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) takes place around the world from the end of February through mid-April. Therell be talks, film screenings, and mock West Bank security checkpoints and Separation Walls to highlight the daily indignities of Palestinian life in the Occupied Territories. Thirty years after I graduated, Ive been invited back to speak to students at Manchester University in the UK. It will be a homecoming of sorts. But Ive become a very different kind of Jew to the one who left there in 1988.
The intensity of this years IAW activities will be heightened by the 70th anniversaries this year of the Palestinian Nakba and the creation of the State of Israel. Once again, Jewish students will find themselves feeling distinctly uncomfortable as Zionism, and the Jewish State, are portrayed as racist endeavours.
But is it fair to brand you young Jews who support Israel of being promoters and defenders of racism?
Well, to be blunt, yes it is. But that simple answer doesnt quite capture why that is or how its happened.
I dont for one minute think young Jews who support Israel should be bunched together with members of the British National Party or White Supremacists. Thats lazy thinking. It makes no attempt to understand the origins of Zionism or the current place of Israel in individual or communal Jewish life.
Nonetheless, Jewish racism is a thing. I know it from my own experience, from my own past ways of thinking, from how I was as a student in Manchester in the mid 1980s. This Jewish strand of racism is an inevitable consequence of the success Zionism has had in shaping Jewish identity over the last 70 years. And if we dont face the racism that Zionism has created nothing will change when it comes to Israel/Palestine for another generation.
The truth is, all people are vulnerable to ways of thinking that leave others less deserving than themselves. That doesnt make all of us Adolf Hitler, it just makes us human. But that doesnt make it okay either. If any group should understand that...
Aboriginal boxing legend Anthony Mundine was recently reported as suggesting gay people should be put to death. Comedian Steven Oliver weighs in.
So, here I am writing an article which, again, finds me defending my sexuality. Im not sure how many times (this year alone) I have had to say or write something in response to a statement that is one of belief and not fact (and by belief I dont solely mean religion).
If being black and gay has taught me anything from the constantly repeated negative experiences underpinned by racism and homophobia, its that there are a lot of beliefs out there that are misguided, wrong or just fucked.
Some are from people who come to a conclusion after filling in the blanks they didnt have answers to. Some are from people who just believe anything theyre told and dont question the validity because its easier to just believe than understand. Some are from people who say they dont judge me but theyre instructed by an all-powerful being to say things that judge me and that, in the end, the all-powerful being will judge me (where Im sure my non-judgemental friend, will be saying I tried telling your gay black arse).
Some (this would be the fucked, well, more fucked kind) are simply made up because people have an agenda that usually comes from fear and/or a need to control.
Speaking of agenda, I suppose it only fair I outline mine. Basically, it comes from a need for the queer community to stop being treated like shit. Its a need to stop those constantly repeated negative experiences. Its a need to pay respect to all who stood proudly even when judgement turned to hate, and that hate turned to violence. To let them know the strength I recognised when they refused to turn hateful, as the ones they loved turned them away. That what is right, is the act of treating others right.
Anyway, Im guessing youre guessing that Im talking about Anthony Mundine. After all, I write this article not long after his death penalty comments. But in truth, it starts with a guy called Mick (though Ill get to Anthony, eventually). See, Mick is a nice guy. Met him a few years back through an organisation we both worked for. Wed chit chat and joke whenever he rang my office and always had a laugh.
Mick had property in Townsville that he said I could use whenever I was home, and though I never took him up on it, it was a gesture...
EXCLUSIVE: Having recently resigned as lord mayor of Melbourne following a number of sexual harassment claims, it can now be revealed that Liberal Party heavyweight Robert Doyle once got a teenage girl to sign a confidentiality agreement after she was sexually harassed by another sleazy politician who made crude remarks to her in person and over the phone. [READ MORE]
2PP Estimate By 2016 Preferences: 53.3 to ALP (same as end of
With historical One Nation adjustment: 52.8 to ALP
Labor would win election "held now"
With six new federal polls released in 2018 so far it's time for another federal Poll Roundup, a series which I issue roughly every second Newspoll. As noted in a piece I did about second-term Opposition Leaders, the year began with widespread predictions of a painful year for Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and many people reading a lasting Coalition recovery into, well, a single Newspoll really. However it has taken the Coalition just two weeks to hit another speedbump in the form of a multi-faceted scandal involving Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce. The scandal, involving both his relationship with a staffer and various arrangements arising from it, escalated into an exchange of insults between the Prime Minister and his Deputy late last week.
In all this Joyce's behaviour has been that of the ultimate entitled politician, who has even claimed that he himself would never comment on Liberal Party leadership matters when in fact he's been doing so, and frequently, for years. Some of Malcolm Turnbull's comments in response to Joyce's situation have agitated Joyce into retaliating and encouraged Tony Abbott supporters to do their usual thing. However, the idea that Joyce's lack of moral standards and spectacular political hypocrisy should cause the Liberals to replace their own leader with someone better able to work with such a person is ridiculous.
Polling And Aggregation Changes
There has been a significant change over the break with Essential switching from weekly to fortnightly. This will mean less frequent polling data and that in some weeks there may not even be any federal polls, but it will also be a lot less work for my aggregate as I will no longer need to be alternately deleting and reinstating successive Essentials to prevent the same datasets from influencing the total twice. Also following the acquisition of Galaxy by YouGov, the pre-existing YouGov-Fifty Acres poll (which persistently produced extremely strange 2PP results) has yet to reappear, and I would not be too surprised if it has gone. Some people have been confused about this and have thought the characteristics of the YouGov-Fifty Acres poll would now carry on into Galaxy and Newspoll, but this is not the case - YouGov's ownership of Galaxy has so far had no impact on its polling methods.
There has also been a significant change in polling aggregation land with Bludger Track going over to a...
AFN battles to get best available may release team list today There are strong indications that some of the countrys top athletes might snub the forthcoming Commonwealth Games scheduled to take place in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia from April 4 to 15. Reports have it that red-hot Divine Oduduru and Tobiloba Amusan are 
$195 the cheapest seats for Hillary Clinton in Australia Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will visit Australia in May. AAP 12:43PM February 19, 2018 Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is coming to Australia to talk about her future plans after losing the 2016 US election to Donald Trump. Mrs...
Doctors have been warned against rushing to prescribe medical cannabis despite Australians acceptance of its use. To date, the evidence on the effectiveness of medical cannabis remains limited, write Jennifer Martin and Associate Professor Yvonne Bonomo in an editorial for the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP).
Published in the Medical Journal of Australia, they say the usual regulatory processes designed to protect patients from potential serious harms caused by medicinal cannabinoids must be adhered to.
The pace and scale of the introduction of medicinal cannabis are unprecedented and have raised challenges for health professionals, not so much because of its known addictive and psychoactive properties, but because its introduction has not followed the usual research-based safety and effectiveness processes, they wrote.
They argue there is a need for stronger and more streamlined guidelines in administering and supplying medical cannabis
.In Australia, medicinal cannabis is legal but patient access is still very difficult.
The Therapeutic Goods Administrations (TGA) Special Access Scheme (SAS) provides patient access to cannabis on compassionate grounds without the usual quality and safety data requirements.
This means approval is granted on a case-by-case basis provided the correct documentation is given by the prescribing doctor, says Dr John Lawson, a paediatric neurologist and conjoint senior lecturer at the University of New South Wales.
The prescribing medical practitioner has several responsibilities, including providing informed consent and a treatment plan and monitoring, and complying with reporting requirements including reporting any adverse event to the TGA, Dr Lawson said.
In the case of a child with epilepsy, this means that general practitioners or paediatricians can only successfully apply via the SAS scheme with supporting documentation from a paediatric neurologist.
He says there needs to be a balance between compassion and careful assessment for patients for whom cannabis products might be beneficial.
Already there is a body of evidence to support the use of medicinal cannabis for those suffering from chemotherapy-induced nausea, epilepsy, MS and Parkinsons disease.
A recent trial published in The New England Journal of Medicine, led by Australian neurologist Professor Ingrid Scheffer, found cannabidiol one of at least 113 compounds found in the cannabis plant significantly reduced the severity and frequency of seizures in children with a rare, yet devastating form of epilepsy known as Dravet syndrome.
Last year, the Medical Cannabis Council called for more robust research to be done to ensure patients greater acc...
This bird was reported as 'unknown'. Seen while kayaking. It stuck close to cover along the Yeronga bank and when pressed seemed unable to fly [moulting?] [I'm 99.9% sure it's a female Mandarin Duck which has escaped from somewhere. The only other female duck that I've seen like this is American Wood Duck but it doesn't look quite right. (Eds RPM).]
Renewable energy: powering Australia in more ways than one http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5229330/renewable-energy-is-powering-jobs-in-the-regions/?cs=97 James Wright 18 Feb 18 A jobs boom is sweeping across regional Australia and theres one industry to thank the renewable energy sector. From places like Gordon in southern Tasmania to Pindari in north-east NSW, new solar installations, windfarms, battery arrays, solar towers and pumped hydro facilities are springing life into regional towns. How are they doing this? By injecting desperately needed investment and job opportunities into remote locations.
In Far North Queensland, the Kidston solar array and pumped-hydro project will create 588 jobs this year. At the other end of the country in Port Augusta, Sundrop Farms first-of-its-kind solar tower for Australia creates another 200 jobs. Meanwhile over the border, Stawell in western Victoria is preparing for an influx of 1300 jobs from Nectar Farms combined windfarm, battery storage and 10-hectare hothouse facility.
This is great news! But despite the steady stream of new developments in regional areas, were actually being short-changed. Policy uncertainty due to ongoing internal squabbles in the Federal Government is strangling the growth of this sector and costing regional Australia the true jobs boom it deserves.
Australia has the richest renewable energy resour...
With the release of the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Poultry draft, we're encouraging all members to speak up and have their say on Australias continued use of battery cages. The opportunity to ban or phase out battery cages is now, and may not return for another decade.
These draft Standards will have a lasting impact on the future of the poultry industry. We believe all poultry producers voices should be heard in the debate on battery cages, just as many would remember from the free-range labelling debate in 2015 to 2016.
Put the pressure on Agriculture ministers and your local members, especially in states where the proposal has yet not seen governmental opposition such as Queensland and NSW. Victoria and WA are already on board with the development of better welfare standards than those proposed.
Write to your local member of parliament and tell them what you think about the draft Standards. Some key points to include are:
Include further reasons
in your submission as summarised by RSPCA at...
Federal Greens leader Richard Di Natale says he has referred a disgraceful Facebook post by MP George Christensen to federal police.
Mr Christensen posted a photo of himself pointing a hand gun and the comment you gotta ask yourself, do you feel lucky, greenie punks?.
Saturdays post drew widespread attention and the Queensland Nationals MP was accused of being insensitive in the wake of last weeks high school shooting in the United States.
Senator Di Natale reported the image to the Australian Federal Police, saying Mr Christensen was giving licence to people to behave in a violent way towards others with a different view.
Its disgraceful, irresponsible, its shameful, he told ABC radio on Monday.
Anti-Adani protestor Ben Pennings confirmed on Sunday he had added Mr Christensens post to a complaint he filed on Thursday with Queensland police after receiving over 100 death threats online.
George Christensen is an appalling example to his constituents
and should be ashamed of himself, Mr Pennings said.
When tensions are high, threats of physical violence to peaceful protesters are particularly unacceptable.
Mr Christensen later amended his post to read You gotta ask yourself, do you have a sense of humour, greenie punks? Obviously not.
Queensland police said on Sunday night no offence had been committed.
Liberal MP Ian Goodenough, a member of the parliamentary friends of shooting group, said it appeared Mr Christensen was making a lighthearted reference to the Clint Eastwood movie Dirty Harry.
In this case I do not believe that George is making an actual
threat against any particular person, he said.
But Mr Goodenough conceded it was an off-colour attempt at humour.
On Monday morning Mr Penning said that after being contacted by concerned gun owners and police officers he has asked the Queensland Police Service to investigate:
1804 - David Collins decided to up sticks and shift his
non-Corey Worthington organised party to Sullivan Cove in
1810 - Edward Luttrell Jnr, a ships officer and son of Surgeon Edward Luttrell, shot Pemulwuys son Tidbury (Tedbury or Tjedboro) in the face during an argument at Parramatta.
1836 - British Parliament officially proclaimed the colony of South Australia and formally defined its boundaries.
King William IV recognised the continued rights to land for Aboriginal people in South Australia's founding document, the Letters Patent. It was the first ever recognition of Aboriginal rights granted in Australia's colonial history. But the promise of legal entitlement to the land was never kept.
1852 - That glittery gold stuff that gets the population so excited was tripped over in Beechworth.
1856 - Exotic dancer (that's exotic NOT erotic you smutty minded people) Lola Montez - who was neither Spanish nor a trained dancer -was greatly displeased with a bad review written by the editor of the Ballarat Times, Henry Seekamp, about her.
So she took to him with a horse whip.
Totally justified, Your Honour...!
1863 - Thomas McGee was Hanged at Melbourne Gaol for the murder of Alexander Brown at Maiden Gully.
1865 - The tender was issued for work on Parliament House for the construction of the Legislative Council foundations.
1877 - A few glasses and stumps were raised when the patent for the stump-jump plough was registered in South Oz.
1879 - The foundation stone for Melbourne's Royal Exhibition Building was laid.
1883 - Sir William Robinson was having a bad hair day so he decided to cover it up by popping on the South Oz Governor's hat.
1892 - Eileen O'Connor, the next possible Aussie saint, was delivered by the stork in Richmond (Struggletown), Melbourne.
She was yet another ballsy gal who took on Rome to establish Our Lady's Nurses For The Poor.
1894 - Steam trams began chugging their way to Bondi; getting a full head of steam up they could gallop along at 65km/ph, birthing the saying "to shoot through like a Bondi tram".
1894 - The Sydney Anarchy Trial found several well-known chappies were a bit naughty for flogging editions of the anarchist newspaper Hard Cash that cast aspersions upon trustees of the Savings Bank of NSW. Tsk tsk tsk. Because banks are always so trust-worthy during a depression... aren't they?
Of course 2 chappies in particular were let off the hook...future NSW Premier Jack Lang and future Prime Minister Billy Hughes.
1912 - Royal Commission into the claims arising out of the contract entered into between Peter Rodger and the Victorian Railways Commissioners for the erection of Flinders Str...
Rhianna Johnson lives in Bundaberg in Queensland and she is one in the long list of sick people denied a disability pension by Centrelink. They say she is not sick enough.
The 24-year old is suffering from cystic fibrosis and and two years ago, after a lengthy stay in hospital, she was told that she needed a double lung transplant. She has been on the waiting list since then.
I was first sent to the Prince Charles Hospital in December 2016. I was in hospital for about three months. My lung function dropped to just 23 percent which was really scary.
I was on oxygen for a week and I honestly thought I wasnt going to come off it.
At this time, she returned to Centrelink, in a wheelchair and pushed by her father, to be told that at best she will have to wait for months, before any decision was made.
She was eventually sent home from the hospital, because there was some improvement in her state of health. Unfortunately, she began to deteriorate again after a while.
Rhianna tried to keep on working, but it was too much and she had to resign. Her condition made it too exhausting. Not being able to breath properly and absorb sufficient oxygen to maintain an active life is hard. It drains strength and demands rest periods.
I dont see my friends anymore and I dont have much energy. When I get up in the morning and Ive done all my treatments its pretty much time for a nap, she says.
For Rhianna, it has meant being on the waiting list for her life saving operation. It will not cure her cystic fibrosis. Not having the operation means that she will die soon. By having it, her life can be extended in terms of `both time and quality.
This means shifting to Brisbane, where she can get the treatment she needs, especially in the follow up time after the operation. This costs money.
But according to Centrelinks criterion she is not sick enough to deserve disability support.
Rhianna has chosen to speak out, because she does not want others to go through what she has had to put up with.
The problem is that applicants must meet specific criteria that are designed to rule out many who dont fall within the very narrow definitions set out on a table. This is not a clinical assessment. To get the points, the person must show virtually complete incapacity to look after oneself. Ability to work is not a consideration.
Meeting the table criteria may not be enough, because Centrelink still demands that the condition must be permanent. In Rhiannas case, it may be deemed that because a transplant is possible, she may be able to return to work one day. This means that her condition is not permanent......
Producing, engineering, singing, writing and heading up her own label: Milan Ring does it all. Now, the eclectic R&B fruits of her labour are coming into their own.
As a multi-instrumentalist obsessed with constructing idiosyncratic sounds, Milan Ring has really found her groove first with 2017s largely instrumental beat tape Venus Fly Trap and now, with Unbounded, the Sydneysiders first single of 2018.
Playing by her own rules, Milan heads up new collective MXMAY a newly formed creative house producing music, fashion, art, poetry, design and film. Having independently released her own music through the label, shes had a stellar start to the year. From an appearance at Melbournes Sugar Mountain festival, through to supporting Kardajala Kirridarra and Tokimonsta, Milan Ring is making serious moves for 2018.
Lets face it on all accounts the Tasmanian Health system is failing, and is not far from a real crisis scenario. To those who are desperate for quality health care it probably comes as no surprise to hear that Tasmania has the worst public hospital system in the country. Everyone in the medical profession knows it is mostly due to the lack of funding, so why are our governments at the cost of public health, continuing to prop up the clinically-dead native forest industry to the sum of over $100 million per year ?
As Jack Waterford, former editor of The Canberra Times writes, The government has never narrowed the gap. At present rates, Aboriginals will remain the poorest, sickest, least employed and least educated group in the community 80 years from now and still without a plan, as opposed to a vague hope and intention, to make it different. Happily for the PM, there is a distraction. Poor, rich, white, boy, Barnaby, a lad who enjoyed a privileged upbringing, a St Ignatius College Riverview private school boy, - one of Sydneys most expensive schools - who at home could roam Rutherglen an 1821 hectare farm estate, a New England University accountancy graduate who loves to play the battler from the bush is now acting hard done by. Its all about soliciting free accommodation; favours from a mate In true Nationals fashion, a mob of rugged if not roughshod individuals, whose contempt for bureaucracy matches its war with science and the environment, Barnaby decided to relocate the Australian Pests and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) from Canberra to Tamworth. Its a cheap pork-barrel at a mere $26 million when you compare it with $10 billion for Joyces Inland Rail boondoggle which will never turn a profit either but which is also a nifty source of pork The APVMA invites an advisory committee of 20 odd to stay, reports ABC Saturday AM. Of course, as public servants, all are parched and on the tooth and primed for wining and dining. My, how they enjoy a welcome dinner of prawns with kimchi, truffle oil risotto, New England lamb and sticky date sponge; great value at $80 per head. Our shout The Ayatollah, as he was mocked at Goldman Sachs, the PM succeeds in suppressing Chief Economics Correspondent Emma Albericis heretical analysis of how tax cuts to business dont stimulate jobs or growth. One in five dont pay tax for the past three years at least. Those who do, moreover, pay a seventeen per cent tax rate, on average Richard Ackland, Guardian: Michelle Guthrie, the ABC and the turning of a once-shining jewel into mainstream sludge All public broadcasters are engaged in a constant process of chopping, slicing and reinventing, and every boss spreads his or her own brand of unhappiness
As Jack Waterford, former editor of The Canberra Times writes, The government has never narrowed the gap. At present rates, Aboriginals will remain the poorest, sickest, least employed and least educated group in the community 80 years from now and still without a plan, as opposed to a vague hope and intention, to make it different. Happily for the PM, there is a distraction. Poor, rich, white, boy, Barnaby, a lad who enjoyed a privileged upbringing, a St Ignatius College Riverview private school boy, - one of Sydneys most expensive schools - who at home could roam Rutherglen an 1821 hectare farm estate, a New England University accountancy graduate who loves to play the battler from the bush is now acting hard done by. Its all about soliciting free accommodation; favours from a mate In true Nationals fashion, a mob of rugged if not roughshod individuals, whose contempt for bureaucracy matches its war with science and the environment, Barnaby decided to relocate the Australian Pests and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) from Canberra to Tamworth. Its a cheap pork-barrel at a mere $26 million when you compare it with $10 billion for Joyces Inland Rail boondoggle which will never turn a profit either but which is also a nifty source of pork The APVMA invites an advisory committee of 20 odd to stay, reports ABC Saturday AM. Of course, as public servants, all are parched and on the tooth and primed for wining and dining. My, how they enjoy a welcome dinner of prawns with kimchi, truffle oil risotto, New England lamb and sticky date sponge; great value at $80 per head. Our shout The Ayatollah, as he was mocked at Goldman Sachs, the PM succeeds in suppressing Chief Economics Correspondent Emma Albericis heretical analysis of how tax cuts to business dont stimulate jobs or growth. One in five dont pay tax for the past three years at least. Those who do, moreover, pay a seventeen per cent tax rate, on average
Debate over poker machines is at the centre of the lead-up to this years Tasmanian state election. Labors promise to remove pokies from Tasmanias pubs and clubs by 2023 if it wins government has been met with both praise and fierce criticism from lobby groups. Announcing the Liberals gaming policy recently, Premier Will Hodgman said: Unlike Labor, we believe that Tasmanians should be able to choose how to spend their money, not be dictated to by the government
Jeremy Corbyns warnings on Iraq, Libya and Syria have proved terrifyingly right. And now Iran looks like the next battleground
Introduction Genocide is a systematic use of violence or oppression with the aim of physically eliminating or culturally destroying a social group. The savagery involved in physical genocide often attracts international attention whereas the use of cultural genocide over time often goes undetected
Recorded and mixed by Branko Cosic
Recorded at the Mansfield Tavern, Brisbane, 23rd December 2017
The Mansfield 4-piece first formed in 2004, all attending Mansfield State High School. Local shows with Brisbane favourites Eat Lazer Scumbag and Gazoonga Attack caught the eye of producer Bryce Moorhead of who recorded their first EP Pigs & T.V. in 2006.
The EP gained the band attention nationally, recruiting Magic Dirts Dean Turner as manager. He also produced and released their first full length album in 2008 on his Emergency Music label. We Dont Belong Here continued their steady growth in popularity, allowing them to tour internationally for the first time as well as play national festivals Homebake, Laneway, Meredith, Falls and Southbound.
Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth became a fan of the ba...
Terima kasih. Terima kasih, I repeat over and over, till my throat goes dry and the Indonesian words of gratitude become a meaningless, Australian-flavoured gibberish.
I wince. And fiddle with the label of the plastic water bottle that Ketut pressed gently into my hands. Made chucks me a toothy grin and tells me to breathe as he treats my left leg with Betadine. His hands, baked golden by years of sun with deep ridges of age, dance softly along my calf, imploring my body to express where it hurts. Through salty, wobbly vision, the faces of concerned onlookers swim in and out of focus.
A cat smelling of something rotten, with sticky, sweat-saturated fur, stares at me through a nearby bush. He cocks his head and twitches his nose as I squeeze my eyes shut. Taking off my grit-stained glasses, I rest my head in my hands.
This scene is the result of 19 years of unawareness, and borderline carelessness, of my own mortality. Well, thats not entirely true. In fact, as a rule, I refuse to eat anything past its use-by-date and never leave home without a thick sheen of SPF50+. Yet, somehow, last month I found myself crumpled on the edge of a T-junction with my ankle wedged tightly beneath a freshly-rented scooter.
Its a common enough story for young travellers.
Let go of your inhibitions! they say. Be free, wild and adventurous!
Sure. Fuck yeah! I can do that.
It seems that most Westerners become well acquainted with the hot sting of gravel-grated flesh when scooter-venturing through Southeast Asia. Particularly in Bali, where a culture of helmetless, Aussie Bintang fiends thrives despite the barrage of figures released by the Department of Foreign Affairs each year.
An Australian dies in Bali every nine days.
For me, upon arrival on this beautifully balmy island, and with my parents more concerned about angry Mount Agung, the volcano, than the mortality rate of scooter-loving tourists, the statistics faded into white noise and felt about as sobering as Melbournes Dumb Ways to Die campaign. Like thousands of other Western travellers, I felt as if death from misadventure just wasnt me.
As night falls, illuminated by the ever-faithful florescent glow of 24/7 convenience stores, the main streets of Kuta come alive with the shouts of young travellers. Men and women with fre...
The family is out for the day, so it's now my time to indulge in my hobby - UFOlogy.
Today's post is continuing my look at websites of Australian UFO groups. After several years away from the topic of UFOs, this is one way to re-acquaint myself with today's UFOlogy. So after looking at New South Wales and Queensland it is time for my home state of Victoria, and the sole UFO group website I could find, that of Victorian UFO Action.
A few general observations
Interestingly unlike UFO Research (NSW) Inc. and UFO Research (Qld) Inc. VUFOA does not have the word 'research' in their name. I was therefore interested to see just what it is that the group does?
I mentioned in previous posts that I don't usually bother about the appearance of a site, being more interested in the content. However I am going to make an exception for the VUFOA website. It is cluttered; and visually overwhelming to my eyes. It scrolls down and down and down, unlike most website home pages which are short and to the point. Coloured letters and lots of icons don't make for a good first impression with me.
There are nine tabs along the top of the home page, 'Home;' 'About us;' 'donations;' 'members pages;' 'search VUFOA;' 'guestbook;' 'report a sighting;'seek support' and 'more.'
'Home' of course is the home page.
'About us' opens up into 'contact us;' 'team members' and 'media releases.'
'Contact us' brings up a preformatted form which asks for your name, and email address and allows you to send an inquiry to VUFOA.
'Team members' fi...
Put in a brief submission by Wednesday 21st February (suggested content below). Some scientists and industries see New GM as a bonanza for their careers and profits although it is only five years old and has no history of safe use. We suggest mentioning:
If you add a sentence or two of your own it gives your submission much more power.
GM, old and new, thrives on secrecy, manipulation of science, exclusi...
WHEN buying a new car people usually take into account certain factors like price, kilometres and fuel economy but it turns out there is one crucial element that is being overlooked and could leave you constantly fighting off swarms of spiders. A Queensland researcher has found that the vibrations given off by certain cars can 
Kermadec and Gould's Petrels, Masked and Red-footed Boobies and a Buller's Shearwater at Offshore--Southport pelagic reported by Rob Morris and all on board the Southport Pelagic organised by Paul Walbridge on 17-02-2018 "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"
A good day - lots of Tahiti's performing well + single Kermadec and Gould's Petrels, Masked and Red-footed Boobies and a Buller's Shearwater on the way in. More Flesh-footed Shearwaters than we've had in many months and some great views of Pomerine Skuas and Sooty Terns.
Anyone would think I'd gone communist. Along with John Howard.
As soon as the Treasury released its tax expenditures statement last week, I and others who reported it were accused of wanting to ape Eastern Europe, of going "Peak Orwellian".
"The author has raised an interesting concept, everything belongs to the government and one has no individual rights or assets," wrote one of my kinder correspondents.
"The left regards tax not gouged as government spending," wrote another. "Since when has retaining your earnings been a government handout?"
The short answer is: since at least 1998. That's when Howard made it mandatory for the Treasury to report tax expenditures as if they were cash expenditures.
On taking over as Coalition prime minister after 13 years of Labor government, he set up a Commission of Audit to tell him what to cut.
It told him that government programs were delivered in two ways: as direct payments which hurt the budget, and as tax breaks which also hurt the budget.
Although often functionally identical (parents don't care whether they get the family tax benefit as a payment or a rebate, patients don't mind how they get the private health insurance rebate, and most wouldn't know whether the baby bonus was a payment or a tax break) the two get treated quite differently.
Payments get put in the budget of individual ministers as a line item to be scrutinised and reviewed in the lead-up to every budget.
Tax breaks go on no one's budget and become part of the furniture. As the Henry tax review reported later, they can be "difficult to contain".
Accounting for them once a year, in the same way as direct payments are accounted for twice a year in each budget and budget update, lets us know what they are and what they are worth.
It doesn't mean (necessarily) that they are at risk, any more than accounting for the annual cost of the pension means i...
1793 - The first school in the new colony began thumping
learnin' into young heads in an unfinished church building in
Sydney with the first teacher being one Mr Stephen Barnes.
1796 - One of the Scottish martyrs, Thomas Muir, did a bunk and successfully escaped on an American ship Otter.
1804 - The first Russian to become an Aussie resident - before we were known as Aussies - was John Potocki who was given the Grande Tour of Tassie as a transported convict.
1815 - George Wood and others were lost en route from Illawarra to Shoalhaven to pick up cedar.
1844 - The foundation stone of the monument to Surveyor-General Colonel William Light, over his grave in Light Square, was laid on this day.
1856 - A bovine lad by the name of King Oscar was pupped on this day; being of a lowly state his fate was in the hands of others and, thus, he was sold to Mr Broadie and travelled to Oz where he spent the remainder of his days.
1858 - The HMS Sappho may have been armed with sixteen cannon but she still managed to disappear on her voyage from England ; she was last sighted a few miles off Cape Otway, Vic, on this day and then not seen again. Despite an extensive search in Bass Strait and a report that the masts of a ship were seen protruding from the sea near Wilsons Promontory, no definite trace was ever discovered.
1862 - Margaret Coghlan was Hanged at Campbell Street Gaol, Tassie, for the murder of her husband.
1865 - John McDonald was another Melbournian who chose to chance it aboard the CSS Shenandoah; he popped out of his hiding place after the ship had sailed, becoming another of the OZ & NZ veterans of the American Civil War.
1869 - A transported Fenian, JB O'Reilly, took his unlawful leave from Fremantle in the American whaling ship Gazelle and sailed off into the sunset for USA.
1874 - Little Nell was a steam launch whose boiler exploded during a race with the tug Tamar, off Coulson, Tasmania. In an attempt to beat the powerful tug, the safety valve of the launchs boiler was clamped down and more fuel thrown on the fire. Eleven on board; the river cutter Margaret rescued three passengers, one dying a few days later, the other two badly scalded.
1874 - I say, What!
That earnest explorer chappy Ernest Giles was nearly killed by one of his horses when he was thrown and dragged along, only narrowly escaping being killed.
1883 - Jessie Litchfield, a fantastically inspirational woman, was found in the tulip patch. She was an author, poet, Aussie and international journalist and editor of a NT newspaper, who helped push tourism in the Top End.
1893 - The Marlborough Express succinctly stated how both Tamworth and Toowoomba were out of railway and telegraph communicat...
Government spending on tax breaks is set to hit a record $170 billion this year, largely as a result of an explosion in the value of concession for the family home.
Treasury's Tax Expenditures Statement required under the Charter of Budget Honesty and released quietly after the close of business on Thursday puts the value of the exemption from capital gains tax for owner occupiers at $74 billion this financial year, up from $66.5 billion last financial year, which was itself $5 billion more than Treasury had forecast.
Four years ago, before house prices shot up, it was worth $46.5 billion. Treasury says by 2020-21 it will be worth $91 billion.
The exemption releases owner occupiers from the obligation to pay capital gains tax on profits made from the sale of their primary residence. Those profits have soared in recent years as prices have climbed, especially in Sydney and Melbourne. Investors pay capital gain at half the income tax rate, a concession the Treasury costs at $10 billion, up from $4.4 billion four years ago.
The cost of tax expenditures is tabulated so that the government can compare the budgetary impact of direct spending in the form of grants with indirect spending in the form of tax breaks.
The government costs assistance to the aged at $64.3 billion and assistance to the unemployed and the sick at $10 billion.
The concession tax treatment of superannuation contributions is costed at $16.9 billion. The concessional treatment of super fund earnings is costed at $19.25 billion. The two figures can't be added together to get a total for super tax concessions, because if contributions were fully taxed the funds would earn less.
The exemption of so-called fresh foods from goods and services tax costs $7 billion per year. Among the items exempt because they are used to prepare food at home is sugar, although commercially prepared products containing sugar such as soft drinks are subject to the GST.
The GST exemption for education services including private school fees will cost $4.55 billion in 2017-18 and $5.65 billion in 2020-21. The exemption for medical services costs $4.1 billion.
The cost of the farm management deposit system, which gives tax advantages to qualifying farmers, is is expected to double from $245 million in 2016-17 to $560 million in 2017-18.
The figures come as the government attempts to find savings to fund personal income tax cuts in the May budget and reduce the deficit of $21.4 billion.
The 10 biggest tax expenditures identified by the Treasury
In response to the plastic waste issue in the Colombian Amazon, Spanish designer Alvaro Cataln de Ocn began the PET Lamp Project in 2011a design venture with the aim to reuse PET plastic bottles. Over the last five years, the eco-conscious designer has worked with traditional craft communities from all over the worldincluding Colombia, Chile, Japan, and Ethiopiato turn plastic waste into a growing collection of beautiful, handmade PET Lamps. Inspired by Aboriginal art, Cataln de Ocn recently traveled to Arnhem Land in Australias Northern Territory, to work with eight indigenous Yolngu weavers.
As with his previous projects alongside traditional crafts people, Cataln de Ocn arrived to BulaBula Arts Centre in Ramingining without a predetermined plan for how the lamps would look. Instead, he gave freedom to the talented weavers who began to produce large structures inspired by traditional Yolngu mats. Made from naturally dyed pandanus fibers, the resulting suspension lamps with characteristic fringes incorporate the PET plastic bottles as the center points of their circular woven designs.
The vibrant, sunshine hues were made from boiling natural ingredients and pigmentssuch as ash and eucalyptus barkand then leaving the dyed leaves to dry in the sun. Each individual mat was then woven together into two larger lampshades, mirroring the bond between people of the same clan. Cataln de Ocn explains, The two masterpieces turn into a complex, harmonious merge between Aboriginal kinships, weaving technique, topographic elements, and design.
If youre in Australia, you can see the the latest PET Lamps for yourself at the National Gallery of Victoria Triennial, on display until April 15, 2018. You can also find out more about the project via the PET Lamp website.
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