I have joined the Australian Progressives

I was looking for a political home after leaving the Liberal camp. Political parties named after individuals are not my style. Political parties with the word “sex” in their name I can’t ever see being in power. I’m not much of a petrol-head. The Greens I did consider because at least they fight for the welfare of asylum seekers. Clearly I did a little more research that I’m alluding to here, I just didn’t feel I’d found a political home.


Then I happened to notice that the founder of March in March, Tim Jones, had founded a political party. This is interesting, I thought to myself. I paid a visit to the website, and read the policy outlines.

Education – a vital investment

Education is a right for all, and is a vital investment in our people, our ideas and the progress of our society. We need a genuine education revolution at all levels, with more focus on nurturing creativity, providing our teachers with proper support and resources, and broadening the focus of what we teach, how we better engage students, and how we measure success in learning. Government needs to ensure all Australians have access to equitable and affordable educational opportunities. Investment in all levels of education will help us build a better Australia.

Yes, I agreed with that, I did. What did they have to say about climate and asylum seekers?

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The CPU is fine, the peripherals not so much

Up until we are about forty, many of us are invincible. We drink, smoke, work, run, jump, eat and have sex with impunity. Then we hit the big 4-0. We might notice the odd stiff joint, or women may start having plumbing issues. We start getting grey hair perhaps, or the odd line or two on our face. We find it harder to keep off the kilos. Maybe we are working harder in more senior jobs and let our activity levels slip a little. But over all it still isn’t too bad for the majority of us.

Source: all-free-download.com

Source: all-free-download.com

Then we pass that next milestone, the half a century. That is when our bad habits of the past start to laugh in our face. Or maybe we are just not as blessed, genetically, as others. I was planning on sky-diving for my seventieth birthday because I figure if I crash and burn, I won’t have wasted many years.

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Bye-bye books, hello Apple

I wonder if centuries ago parents despaired when textbooks appeared? The hornbook was good enough, surely?


According to Jeff Dunn of Edudemic, in 1925 Thomas Edison “books will soon be obsolete in schools. Scholars will soon be instructed through the eye.” Check out the old technology on Jeff’s article – the memories come flooding back.

So we come to the 21st century. I had heard of other parents having to provide iPads for their children’s schooling, but so far we had not had to do that. Mr 16 was part of a laptop program but it was provided by the school. Today I got handed a lovely note by Miss 12.

All students in years 7, 8, 9, 10 & 100 in 2015 will be required to have an iPad ready to be used by the first day of next year.

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Leaving Islam – the greatest jihad?


green sign with the word islamic state in arabic and english language standing in the white sand of the desert.

Image courtesy of shutterstock.com


The news is full of muslim converts striking out for Syria to answer the IS call to jihad, but what about those who no longer feel connected to Islam? In a religion inconsistent with science, logic, human rights and ethics, one so riddled with contradiction it offers equal endorsement of opposing arguments, rational-minded individuals must be leaving Islam in droves.

Aren’t they?

Tectonic Drift

Summer is a speck in the rearview mirror and Autumn is well underway. The metamorphosis outside echoes my internal state of flux. Tremulously yet inexorably, as a compass needle seeks true North, my worldview is re-orienting and an unexpected casualty in this stripping away of superfluity is my faith. It’s been a slow creeping process, this revolution of mine – seasonal in its pace and just as imperceptible. But I can see now it’s been building for a while. Continue Reading »


The Journey from Apartheid to Pistorious

Social media is alive with news of the sentence in the trial of Oscar Pistorious in a South African court.

There is another story here which we are overlooking. Let us not forget that black South Africans first voted in 1994 in post-apartheid South Africa. That is a mere twenty years ago. Nelson Mandela spent twenty-seven years in prison, battling for freedom.

Tonight we witnessed  a black South African woman sentence a white South African man to jail. Despite what any of us may or may not feel about the actual sentence, there is no denying this was a momentous occasion.

Judge Masipa would have been a teenager or young child when apartheid ended. Her people were not even entitled to vote. Today she sat in judgement of a fellow citizen.

There is no question this was a high profile case that attracted international news coverage. We could watch the sentencing live.

While I personally think the sentence should have been longer I take into consideration the prosecution failed to disprove Pistorious did not shoot at a perceived intruder. I do not know the sentencing standards in South Africa, but I did listen to the Judge’s reasoning comparing similar cases and her rationale. So while in my country I would have expected a longer sentence, I take into account my ignorance about the South African legal system. Many experts had been predicting no jail time, so I think any jail time is better than none. I recall OJ Simpson was acquitted.

Let us not let our debate about the length of the sentence overshadow the advances black South Africans have made in a mere twenty years. Many of us in the Western world have little comprehension of the history.


Muhammad Ali in full flight – why is everything white

This video says SO much. Watch his cheeky grin and you know this is edutainment. Of course, being an atheist I can’t buy Muhammad’s “learning the truth”, HOWEVER given Islam abhors racism it is see clear why he  reverted and much of the truth he talks about IS truth (losing names and history etc).  The title in YouTube is “funniest video”; yes, it is funny but the message is deep.  Muhammad’s brain was faster than his famous fists.

It is interesting that his sentiments here about the now versus the hereafter differ from the views expressed by Ayaan Hirsi Ali.


I claimed asylum before passport control not after

This experience came to my attention today. I am publishing with the permission of the writer. I have made some minor grammar and spelling corrections as requested by the writer.

I came in Australia in August 2012 with a visa which I received from Australian embassy in Moscow however I’m considered as an illegal arrival by the Department of Immigration because I claimed asylum before passport control not after, my visa been cancelled and I was pronounced non legal non citizen and placed in Villawood Detention Centre for 6 month with my then 4 years old daughter.

So technically I wasn’t ” immigration cleared ”  – I don’t have an entry stamp of Australia in my Russian passport, as the officials from the DIBP saying this is why I was issued with temporary protection visa in February 2014 instead of permanent one. Australian government twists the laws as they please in their favour, same as any politicians in any country of the world, they are not different.

I fulfilled all the required criteria to come to Australia by plane, with passport and visa but not, that’s not enough for them, they are saying I should have claimed asylum after passport control not before, I should have claimed asylum once I’ve got entry stamp in my passport . What a nonsense?? Then in 2012 I didn’t know that Scott Morrison will change the law and will want those who arrive in Australia first be stamped with entry stamp in their passport and only after that claim asylum. Do you imagine absurdness of the situation? Isn’t it that the potential asylum seekers should ask for help on the first possible opportunity, not after having passport being stamped? Any judge will put under doubt asylum seeker’s claim should he or she not to apply for protection immediately upon arrival. The new requirement imposed by Scott Morrison first pass passport control, stamp your passport with entry stamp, then claim asylum doesn’t make sense. Put yourself in shoes of the asylum seekers who fled danger. Will you wait or you will ask for help immediately upon arrival?

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Grattan on Friday: Tony, pick up the phone to Barack on Ebola

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra

Here’s a thought for Tony Abbott. Why doesn’t he ring up Barack Obama and David Cameron and ask them to help remove the impediment that’s apparently stopping the Australian government providing assistance on the ground for the West African Ebola crisis?

If it is really beyond the wit of officialdom to make arrangements to evacuate any Australian who contracted the virus, surely this would be a logical step, especially as Obama was pressing nations this week for more effort.

Abbott was quick to offer every assistance to the US for the action against Islamic State. Nothing was too much trouble for Australia.

Yet everything seems too much trouble when it comes to the West African crisis, which Obama has called “a top national security priority”.

The government’s attitude is not “how can we find ways to give greater help?” (beyond the $18 million Australia has donated) but “it’s too hard”.

The government and its officials keep talking about the 30 hours it would take to bring an infected person back.

“We don’t believe … an Australian health worker put into harm’s way in West Africa would survive the 30-hour flight back to Australia to be repatriated to receive medical support if they were to contract the virus,” Health Minister Peter Dutton said on Thursday.

This is a furphy, and the government knows it. No one would be contemplating an evacuation to Australia, so why talk about it? Any evacuations would be to countries much closer.

It is also being said that other countries are not willing to take – or guarantee to take – Australian nationals.

Non-government organisations with health workers on the ground – 30 Australians are volunteering at the moment – have emergency evacuation arrangements. But these third country arrangements are “not secure”, Dutton said.

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Ebola – is this the Bubonic Plague of our generation?

I remember the first outbreak of ebola in 1979. It only killed a few poor, black people, right? Wasn’t impacting on the rich, white people, after all. So why worry about it?

Ebola virus

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