Monday, December 12, 2005
Besides my emotional abhorrence to all this, what do I do? I am getting older and feel there are limitations to my contribution. My health has been an issue which has provided and continues to provide its own limitations. So, recognizing the insignificance of my words in the life of my nation, I am going to retreat, withdraw for a while. I want to focus on the feast, the great feast of love - where Someone loved us all so much that he came down and became one of us, lived with us, loved us and rescued us setting a pattern for each of us to follow. I will continue to post to The Trad Pad which is a commentary free zone and is full of more personal doings. Please take my silence as a time of constructive reflection, a time when I focus on the season of goodwill to all and hope that I can have some constructive insight into what ails my beloved South Land of the Holy Spirit.
May you and yours be blessed at this time and in the year ahead.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
Anyway, Steve it seems you are no different from other minor party and independent senators who seek to deal themselves into the political game; who seek to have themselves seen to be relevant. We thank you for your vote against the Howard Gang's IR legislation. We are just stunned that you lost your courage on VSU. You obviously could not cut yourself off from the government. You want to deal - but you haven't the guts to count the cost. Just remember Steve how many people are being alienated by toxic Howard and his gang of vandals. It could be that, in 2006 and 2007, there will a critical mass from varied constituencies. You will then have to deal with the long memories of the ALP and the Greens.
Friday, December 09, 2005
Pinter remains to his credit, a permanent public nuisance, a questioner of
accepted truths, both in life and art. In fact the two persistently
Harold Pinter has been awarded the the 2005 Nobel Prize for Literature. Pinter, in his Nobel Lecture to the Swedish Academy, makes the case for US brutality at international level since the second world war. In fact, Pinter says, America is on a permanent war footing. Read the speech in full here.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Arundhati Roy - author, The God of Small Things
Tariq Ali - author, Bush in Babylon
Denis Halliday - former U.N. Asst. Secretary General & Head of the U.N. Humanitarian Program in Iraq (1997-1998)
Cindy Sheehan - mother of Casey Sheehan
Noam Chomsky - Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Haifa Zangana - Iraqi novelist
Kamil Mahdi - Iraqi economist and anti-occupation activist. Lecturer, University of Exeter
Mahmood Mamdani - Herbert Lehman Professor of Government, Columbia University
Rashid Khalidi - Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies, Middle East Institute, Columbia University
Cindy and Craig Corrie - parents of Rachel Corrie, killed by Israeli military
Hasan Abu Nimah - Permanent Representative of Jordan at the United Nations (1995-2000)
Ralph Nader - former independent presidential candidate
James Abourezk - former US Senator
Howard Zinn - historian
Naseer Aruri - Professor (Emeritus) University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Kathy Kelly - Voices for Creative Nonviolence/Nobel Peace Prize Nominee
Naomi Klein - author/journalist
Michael Ratner - President, Center for Constitutional Rights
Rev. Daniel Berrigan - poet
Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou - National Coordinator, Clergy and Laity Concerned about Iraq
Jeremy Scahill - independent journalist
Mazin Qumsiyeh - author, Sharing the Land Of Canaan, board member US Campaign to End the Occupation
Milan Rai - author, War Plan Iraq: Ten Reasons Against War on Iraq
Sam Husseini - writer
Dahr Jamail - independent journalist
Ali Abunimah - Co-founder, Electronic Iraq
Leslie Cagan - National Coordinator, United for Peace and Justice
Eve Ensler - author
Jennifer Harbury - Director, Stop Torture Permanently Campaign
Omar Diop - Président de la Coalition Sénégalaise des Défenseurs des Droits humains
Anthony Arnove - author, Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal
Medea Benjamin - Global Exchange
G. Simon Harak - War Resisters League
Michael Albert - ZNet
Dave McReynolds - former Chair, War Resisters International
Bishop Gabino Zavala - President, Pax Christi USA
Sunday, December 04, 2005
Members of a Christian Peacemakers Team - Tom Fox, Harmeet Sooden, James Loney, and Norman Kember - are being held captive in Iraq. You can find out how to take action towards freeing the captives by going here including signing a petition.
As a postscript, I should add that I have not bothered to read the Da Vinci Code. Having read Focault's Pendulum and Holy Blood Holy Grail (whose authors are suing Dan Brown) and having a theological understanding of gnosticism I didn't feel so inclined.
it might be time to dust off the Old Beauty and march with her again.
It is over 150 years since the Eureka Stockade and its challenge to authority.
The flag of rebellion will be unfurled in the streets again.
We swear by the Southern Cross
to stand truly by each other
and fight to defend our rights and liberties.
Saturday, December 03, 2005
Friday, December 02, 2005
I pray that Australians continue to remember the reality of the merciless Singapore government. If ever there was a need for regime change, it is needed in Singapore. We must never forget that:
- Singapore is not a democracy
- Singapore is ruled by one man who now calls himself the Minister Mentor (ugh!)
- Singapore's death penalty in relation to drugs shows no mercy, allows no mitigation
- Singapore has chosen money above all else
In all that the Australian Government did or failed to do in the Nguyen Tuong Van case, it put the inter-governmental relationship with Singapore at the heart of the matter, entree to the forums of south-east Asia at the heart of the matter, consideration for Singapore's feelings at the heart of the matter. What evidence is there that Singapore ever considered the ethos or feelings of the majority of Australians? A touch of a mother's hand?
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
More about the Partnership in the Australian Financial Review:
Business on the give and take - Lenore Taylor - Tuesday, 07 Dec 1999
Roping business into giving - Brook Turner - Friday, 25 Feb 2000
So it would seem that Robert Gerard does not have the social good of this nation at heart. He is not philanthropic enough to even pay his tax.
Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee Members:
Senator Payne (Chair), Senator Crossin (Deputy Chair), Senators Bartlett, Kirk, Mason and Scullion.
Substitute members: Senator Stott Despoja to replace Senator Bartlett for matters relating to the Attorney-General's portfolio.
Participating members: Senators Abetz, Allison, Barnett, Bishop, Brandis, Bob Brown, George Campbell, Carr, Chapman, Colbeck, Conroy, Eggleston, Evans, Faulkner, Ferguson, Ferris, Fielding, Fierravanti-Wells, Heffernan, Hogg, Humphries, Joyce, Lightfoot, Ludwig, Lundy, McGauran, McLucas, Milne, Nettle, Parry, Ray, Sherry, Siewert, Stephens, Stott Despoja, Trood and Watson
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Dale Hess. Ph.D., 1968 (University of Washington). Model Development Group,Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre,Australian Government (Retired). Peace and nonviolence publications: co-author, The Paradox of Economic Growth and Inequity (Hampton, Victoria, Australia: Victorian Association for Peace Studies,1994); co-editor, The Peace Dossier Series, 1982–1992 (Melbourne, Victoria,Australia: Victorian Association for Peace Studies, 1992). Helped organize courses on appropriate technology, hunger, rebuilding Vietnam, peace conversion and "Our World in Crisis." Member of the Australia Yearly Meeting Peace and Social Testimonies Committee, the Board of the Herb Feith Foundation, Pax Christi, Bayside Oxfam Group, and the Victorian Association for Peace Studies.
Ruddock is not moving an inch in response to the Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee report.
What's up with Australia! It just wants to drive people into the ground. Lock 'em up! Pay 'em little! Tell 'em to get rich! Rejoice in the bigoted! Prejudices are to be celebrated! USA uber alles!
- They didn't listen to complaints about the treatment of asylum seekers and now have themselves embroiled in a very costly mess which has damaged countless human beings.
- They didn't listen when significant numbers of us did not believe the Weapons of Mass Destruction propaganda. WMD has now been discovered to be ill-founded.
- They didn't listen when hundreds of thousands of Australia protested against the Iraqi War. Now increasing numbers of Americans are pressuring Bush and his Republicans - even from within - to exit.
Monday, November 28, 2005
There are signs that evangelical Christians, among others in the United States, are beginning to wake up to Bush - that he lies, that his administration is corrupt. Pop over to Willzhead and have a look. Willzhead is a Christian and a former Republican staffer - but these days he has a clear eye. Onya, Willz.
Sunday, November 27, 2005
Saturday, November 26, 2005
America's choice - and Australia's too - is God or Riches: humanity or self-indulgence.
Friday, November 25, 2005
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Look, this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.
I am taken with the last part of this verse about strengthening the hand of the poor and needy. As I read this in the 21st century, I think of the economic infrastructure of our nations. How often does it operate to "strengthen the hand of the poor and needy"? Modern economic infrastructure seems only to "strengthen the hand" of those who have more than enough. 38 million people in the USA - the richest nation on earth - who cannot put three meals a day in the mouths of their families! Do we send international aid for distribution in the USA?
John Macintyre, Rector, St Saviour's, Redfern
The top three have been great and significant influences in my life. Johnny Mac (also played an important part) won't be found on the net but a walk around Redfern (check out the pub as well) will find him. Dorothy Lee will always stir us on to think of things in new and challenging ways. Listen to her on Encounter this week. Barbara Kingsolver is a wonderful, talented novelist of social concern. Her comment on the missionary enterprise and US interference in Africa became the best-selling The Poisonwood Bible.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
The AIRC is being gutted. It is likely that any Commissioner worth a pinch of salt will depart for greener pastures. The bolt has been slipped, the horse is bolted and one can't lock it up again just by saying you'll bin the amendments. This means that opponents of Howard's legislation - to lock the voting swing in - will have to come up with some pretty good IR policies. These will probably need to be something akin to the novelty of Whitlam's policies in 1972. Even if Beazley et al get to government at the next election (2007) with some great policies (the ALP at this time seems to be a policy free zone), it is unlikely that any changes will get up before the election after that (2011 - when the new senators come in and we'll be able to see if Barnaby is a one term wonder as he has promised to be!).
So we can fight to get the legislation defeated - but it looks like we will be lucky to get small changes up which count as tinkering at the edges - but the real work is yet to happen and it will require more than talk and well-attended rallies.
Monday, November 21, 2005
The following response has been issued:
STATEMENT:ALLEGATIONS BY RACA RE: CRIME PREVENTION PARTNERSHIP
Spokesperson: Maria Ieroianni
Mr West has never made any attempt to contact Hillsong Emerge to get accurate information about this issue. As a result the speech Mr West delivered in State Parliament last night contains gross inaccuracies.
Allegations by the Riverstone Aboriginal Community Association (RACA) that Hillsong Emerge has in someway “used¹ them to secure funding under the Federal Government¹s Crime Prevention Strategy are untrue and without foundation.
Hillsong Emerge has worked in the Blacktown Local Government Area for close to 20 years, and over this time has developed strong partnerships with local community organisations and the wider community.
The partnership of local community agencies lead by Hillsong Emerge invited RACA to be included in an application for funding under the Attorney General's Community Crime Prevention Partnership at the final community consultation meeting in December 2004, an invitation they accepted by providing the partnership with a letter of endorsement.
RACA provided Hillsong Emerge with program suggestions to be included in the final application and these were incorporated into the proposed budget of the application. This original application was then submitted as two applications, one targeting youth and the other being a more generic neighbourhood approach. The content was the same and budget line items identical to those outlined in the original submission. The youth specific application was successful.
In August 2005, the Prime Minister announced that Hillsong Emerge and its partners were successful in their funding application. Up to the announcement, the Attorney General¹s Department had not advised anyone, including Hillsong Emerge, of the successful application. We fail to understand how RACA could accuse us of withholding information from them, when in fact this information was unavailable to us.
In the weeks following, representatives from Hillsong Emerge met with RACA on three occasions to address their concerns over their claim of not being recognised, specifically at the announcement event.
Attempts were made to alleviate their concerns and confirm Hillsong Emerge¹s recognition of RACA as a community partner in this project.
RACA have made a number of demands to Hillsong Emerge, the community partners and the Attorney General's Department in order to remain committed to this partnership.
Many attempts were made to meet those demands, including agreeing to speak to other community partners and the AG's Department to support RACA becoming the lead agency in the Riverstone component of the project. The first step in this undertaking was for RACA to organise to meet the other Riverstone partners, which it failed to do. Allegations that funds were offered to RACA to silence them are nonsense, in fact RACA dictated the letter signed by Mr Coleman demanding that RACA be responsible for the distribution of funds to the Riverstone component of the project. It was signed as an act of good faith to demonstrate Hillsong Emerge's willingness to co-operate with RACA as an equal partner. It was stated at this meeting that this was subject to Attorney General Department¹s
approval and the agreement of each of the other partners. A copy of this letter
was forwarded to the Attorney General's department following this meeting.
Hillsong Emerge and the other community partners have made attempts to accommodate RACA¹s requests in an effort to prevent the project stalling. This comes even before contracts have been exchanged with the Attorney General's Department.
The remaining six partners, including the Attorney General¹s Department, remain committed to consulting further to seek a way forward. Ultimately how this project proceeds will be determined by the Attorney General's Department.
Hillsong Emerge remains hopeful that RACA will continue in partnership.
We know through partnership we will see a lasting impact on the young people of the area as each partner brings unique experience and expertise to this project.
We look forward to getting on with the job of rolling out the various components of this project over the next three years as ultimately we believe the people of the Blacktown and Riverstone communities will be the real winners.
Friday, November 18, 2005
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Never say never they said! Australia has made the finals of The World Cup in Germany in 2006 - for the first time since 1974. It has been hard work, the sport has been re-organised time after time - lastly under Frank Lowy. There has been ambition and we brought our heroes home from around the world. Praise God, though, for John Aloisi's magic boot - which kicked the last goal in a penalty shootout - and Mark Schwarzer's brilliant and fearless saves! Let's hope it is the start of a golden age for the Football Federation of Australia and all the Socceroos.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Archbishop Frank Carroll - Catholic Church; Cardinal George Pell - Catholic Church; John Dalziel - Salvation Army; Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence - Judaism; Bishop Phillip Huggins - Anglican Church; Dr Ann Wansborough - Uniting Church of Australia.