Describing The Mercury’s recent decision to begin to utilise a paywall to access its content as high risk and ambitious is a fair understatement. I reckon it makes David Cameron’s decision to call a referendum on Brexit look positively cautious.
It is especially risky when you publish trash like this.
“Jihadist propaganda sparks surge in patriotism”
the headline screamed, followed by an opening sentence proclaiming enlistment to the army reserve had increased due to the activities of ISIS in the last 12 months.
‘That’s a pretty big claim,’ I thought, ‘I wonder what sort of studies they did to come to that conclusion.’
I wonder how Jamie Briggs is feeling right now. Don’t get me wrong, I have no sympathy for the guy. He sounded like a bit of a creep and a poor choice for a minister. Still he must be feeling a little hard done by.
Many things in life are all about timing and in this respect Briggs’ sexual harassment scandal was as far removed from a well-struck David Warner pull shot as you can get.
Some people may still argue that Peter Dutton isn’t demonstrably racist until someone finds a video of him in a white hood. They could be right. Maybe he’s just a sociopath who relies on the racism of his constituents to justify his abusive policies.
Dutton’s disdain for refugees and Pacific Islanders has been well-documented with a long list of political gaffes over the last few years. This week he found a new group of people to target with his divisive comments, asserting that mistakes were made allowing Lebanese migrants and refugees into the country nearly 50 years ago.
I was a bit guarded at first about just how concerned people should be about a Trump Presidency. While I was saddened as much by the success of such dishonest and divisive campaign strategies, I am a bit sceptical of some of the doomsday predictions that accompanied the election results.
But a fortnight after the election, the early noises are not great; nor are the blatantly unqualified appointments to important positions; nor is the upsurge in hate crimes which mirrors the phenomenon in England after the Brexit vote. So I have to wonder how are the majority of Americans feeling about it now? Much like the disadvantaged voters who elected Pauline Hanson only to see her help the government pass a raft of cuts that targeted them, those who voted Trump may soon realise the truth of the old adage, ‘Be careful what you wish for.’
The heroes we choose can be powerful inspirations for us in our own lives. But are we looking for them in the right places?
Too often people seem to settle for celebrities no better (sometimes worse) than themselves. Sadly these idols are all too fallible and when they fall, we the public are far from kind. But there are people out there who are truly inspirational.
To rather crudely paraphrase Mark Twain, rumours of the demise of Australian Cricket may be exaggerated. In the last two test matches we have been badly beaten, with the Hobart test being particularly embarrassing, but is the sudden grim prognosis (no one was saying much about it a fortnight ago) a bit premature?
I will argue it could be.
Viewed without thought for the politics, it is fantastic to see Labor breaking from its recent tradition of rubber-stamping Coalition border policies to reject the recent proposal for a lifetime travel ban for any refugee that arrives here by sea.
I have stated repeatedly (along with the UN, Amnesty, parliamentary committees, our own Human Rights Commission and a chorus of prominent health professionals) that the treatment of refugees in the offshore processing centres that we spend billions on- but take no responsibility for- is abhorrent.
I won’t say I’m not surprised by the US election result, but the polls leading in were pretty damn close so you had to consider it a possibility. Leicester City and the Western Bulldogs have already proved 2016 is the year of the underdog. Perhaps more tellingly the phenomenon of Brexit had shown just how much anger and appetite for change there is among large sections of the western world. And for many who feel left behind and exploited by the forces of modernity, this anger is understandable.
“Prime Minister slams Human Rights Commission,” was the headline for an article today. Wasn't that a shock after the courts dismissed a case against three Queensland University students? In comments in a radio interview, the PM also indicated his stance against repealing race hate laws was softening. I kid you not- Malcolm Turnbull may have actually changed his opinion to (coincidentally I'm sure) more fully abase himself before the hard right bigots he refuses to stand up to.
I rarely feed trolls. It is just validating their efforts with undeserved attention. Not that I have to deal with them on the quietblog site, but sometimes when my posts are picked up by larger sites, the comments section occasionally includes the odd comment that makes me seriously doubt the commenter actually read the article. I really hate being misrepresented, so it is tempting to try to explain myself further with another carefully thought out mini-essay at this point. But then I think if they didn’t read the original article properly, why waste time writing something else they won’t read either? Instead I make do with a shake of the head and reassure myself that the comment is self-evidently stupid so I don’t have to say anything. I sometimes see the same level of stupidity in the comments section of other articles I read and have got quite good filtering them out like garbage.
But this approach was tested sorely recently, when one of my precocious students was featured in a newspaper article about the Hobart Taspride march. Ada was interviewed and gave some intelligent answers on her feelings around equality, including making mention of the posts she has written on her own blog page.