While I’m on a hot streak of adding my two cents worth on topics that may upset people, I may as well mention child protection.
A recent article from The Australian describes Australia as the, ‘Child removal capital of the western world,’ with child protection workers removing children from their families at double the rate of the US and triple that of New Zealand. Even though it came from a paper that is better used for cleaning a BBQ plate than reading, I was moved to make a comment.
Does the American congress really want to go there?
Barak Obama recently made the decision to use his presidential veto power for a bill intended to allow families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia. I have full sympathy for the families of victims, but I thought that was a pretty good call by the president.
Well, not according to the combined houses of parliament which actually overwhelmingly overturned this veto- it’s a complex system over there isn’t it?
The internal conflict between Sydney Swans player, Kieran Jack, and his parents should not be news. Whoever decided Grand Final week was a good time to air private grievances showed pretty poor judgement, but the media’s choice to to rehash this again having already published an article about it midyear is particularly tacky.
Speaking of things that should not be in the news, any article about The Bachelorette and any sentence or question that infers a linkage between renewable energy and the South Australian power blackouts, all fall under the same heading.
Sorry Swans fans I’m on the doggies bandwagon. It would be nice to see them win, especially for their long-time supporters. But I want to make a comment about the so-called ‘heartbreak’ fans of some clubs seem to endure for years on end.
I love sport and will rarely miss an opportunity to be involved in it. There is a whole section of this website devoted to sport, but I never get too carried away (any more). I have written elsewhere that I feel the ‘win at all costs’ attitude many people bring to sport is no excuse for being an appalling human being. It is a myth that anything happens on the field is excusable due to the stress of the situation. Stressful situations are where you reveal who you truly are.
This makes me quite embarrassed. 49% of people responded to an Essential research poll that they supported a ban on Muslim immigration. Originally I wasn’t going to give it any more oxygen than it regrettably already has, but the more I think about it, I feel I have to comment because that is shameful statistic and it would be wrong to normalise it.
My first thought on seeing the headline was that the poll question could have been a leading one, angling for a sensationalist result. So I went to actual source (never believe anything written in the Australian after all) and found sadly that the question was a pretty neutral one.
I have to admit I was a bit slow to come around to the understanding of how much of an impact bullying could have. This was probably shaped by my own experiences growing up. I certainly experienced a bit of it through school (if I’m honest, I’d have to say I probably instigated a bit too- the tough things about having made mistakes in the past is you can never undo them, but at least you can learn from them).
My experiences were pretty low grade and I didn’t experience any real lasting harm as a result, so my initial thoughts around bullying were that it was something that everyone just went through and dealt with. Without doubt that was a position of ignorance and immaturity.
Malcolm Roberts has not failed to disappoint for shock value since his election. I try to be a tolerant sort, but pretty much everything that comes out of his mouth is rubbish (perhaps he think he’s Donald Trump).
I have actually been trying to not give any air to this oxygen-thief, hoping he was going to fade into well-deserved irrelevance. Unfortunately this hasn’t happened, because ‘journalists’ keep asking him for an opinion to spice up their stories. And he is always obliges.
I had pretty much sworn off writing another article about the plebiscite, but there is something missing from a lot of the political commentary right now. As the ALP discusses whether to block the legislation, media commentators seem to be buying into the great lie that this will be the end of the possibility for marriage equality in the 45th parliament.
What a privilege to hear Paul Pritchard speak this week.
I have been forced to comment on a number of disappointing issues recently and while I try to break it up with positive stories, the calibre of those supposedly ‘governing’ has necessitated covering a number of unsavoury policies and statements. (So much for the adults being in charge, Tony).
So it is really nice to have a positive story to tell.
This is ridiculous. I am not talking about the millions of dollars in funding Julie Bishop received through the WA liberal party from foreign businesses while her government squawks hysterically about Sam Dastyari. That is also ridiculous but makes less news.
Sam Dastyari stepping down from the shadow cabinet was the right call, I reckon. The kind of surprising thing is that this kind of thing has become debatable. Ministers from both parties seem to have become quite comfortable taking large donations from all manner of entity.
What I have liked about the discussion I am hearing around R U OK Day, is that people realise it is just the tip of the ice berg in terms of how our society needs to evolve to better combat pervasive mental illness and suicide.
Much like the other awareness-raising campaigns, it is great that we have R U OK Day, but what I have found particularly pleasing this year is the number of people who want to do more than ask the question once a year. After all, it is an all year round responsibility. It is also a complex one. As a number of people have noted, it comes with the challenge of what to do if someone says ‘no.’ Other times you don’t need to ask at all, because you know the answer is ‘no,’ but you know they will say ‘yes.’
Vale Gene Wilder.
There is something reassuring about the outpouring of love and generosity that follows the announcement of death. It reminds me that for all our flaws, people recognise sadness and tragedy (unless it involves refugees) and are moved to express their sorrow at this time.
This year has seen the passing of a number of treasured entertainment icons, including Prince, David Bowie, Alan Rickman and most recently Gene Wilder. In my view, just as sad and moving are the thousands of less famous people who died in more horrific circumstances. I know the public’s collective reaction to different events has not really reflected this, but I make no judgement on people for that.