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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Once upon a time, we owned the Commonwealth Serum Laboratory

Once upon a time, the government of the Commonwealth of Australia (otherwise known as the Land of Oz) owned the Commonwealth Serum Laboratory. In the wisdom of our political masters, this iconic organisation - which had been part and parcel of Australian public health for generations - was sold. Now CSL Limited, as it is now known, is refusing to produce Q Fever vaccine for Australians. In their view, the batch quantity is too small. The regulations of government now required increased automation. CSL Limited - in spite of making healthy profits - says it can no longer to produce the vaccine. It is in talks with the Howard Government and it thinks the way to go is for the government to provide a grant and CSL will flick the job to a third party. Shame, CSL.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Look who's been minding the money - 2

Swanie, the Opposition's Shadow Treasurer, wants an inquiry into who's been minding our money. Turns out Gerard is one of the Howard Govt's biggest donors. Surprise, surprise! How else did he get all those appointments.

Look who's been minding the money

It appears that Robert Gerard has a secret and now its out. His tax situation has been called in to question over a Caribbean tax-haven deal labelled "tax evasion" by investigators that led to a $150-million settlement with the Australian Tax Office. What gives this event a particular odour is that Robert Gerard sits on the Board of the Reserve Bank of Australia, appointed by the Howard Government (I guess one could read here - Treasurer, Peter Costello). Costello is said to be keeping mum on the matter. Gerard appears to be a favourite fellow of the Howard Government. He was also appointed to The Prime Minister's Business Community Partnership. The PM's business community partnership was established, in part, to discuss corporate philanthropy which has never been on the scale of US corporate philanthropy.

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.

Wrong way - Go Back (2)

Dale Hess has provided names and email addresses for members of the Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee . Go your hardest.

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 , ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

A man of peace

I want to acknowledge - I can't hat tip him because he doesn't blog - Dale Hess. He is a Quaker. From time to time, I use stuff from his newsletter which is emailed to countless people. Dale's CV is below:
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.

Sedition, sedition - I'll probably end up in jail

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!

Wrong way - Go Back

But as Michelle Grattan says, on they press. The warnings are there but they are not going to listen.

  • 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

US Christians and corruption

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.

"Liar, liar pants on fire?"

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Corruption, Katrina, and New Orleans

Corruption in the politics of Louisiana, USA, is an issue in post-Katrina New Orleans. Corruption and patronage has long been a factor in New Orleans and Louisiana and voices are being raised to blame it for the lack of effective maintenance on the levees and so being a root cause of the suffering of New Orleans residents. Read what Laura has to say at Pursuing Holiness and you will get an idea of the strength of feeling. Sounds to me like someone has been chosing good old Mammon again, putting it first, and humanity last. As Laura points out, it is a whole new landscape and the old ways no longer belong and the old ways won't work.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Duffy & debate: Jensen & The Boyers

Michael Duffy takes issue with Peter Jensen regarding his Boyer Lectures. Jensen, being the evangelical he is, uses the opportunity of the Boyers to be, well, er, evangelical. Duffy makes some good points - particularly with regard to the use of the Boyers for the purpose of evangelism. Admittedly, this is a bit different. I don't find the principle of having Jensen on - with his evangelism in national life - any different, though, to the principle of Duffy's own program, Counterpoint. Counterpoint allows a succession of Liberal and National Party politicians, neo-con sympathisers, economic rationalists and assorted right wingers to put forward their views with an occasional nod to ALP speakers. It goes to air once a week. It is intended, in my view, as a counterfoil to Late Night Live with that well-known atheist, Philip Adams. Adams is a leftie (although I think his socialism is more chardonnay and cafe latte these days than actual personal identification with the poor and the workers). Yet it is possible to hear the occasional right winger on LNL. I put this all down to the persistent carping by the Liberals and Nationals on the subject of their version of "balance". The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (The ABC) has been starved of funds by both Labor and Liberal governments. Clearly the ABC is sick and tired of this and is giving its critics some airplay. Duffy would do better to look to the quality of his conservative speakers (Adams has some real thinkers on his program) that they might attempt to convince us rationally instead of turning a lot of us off by their redneck rhetoric.

Working and Poor in the USA

HT to The Contrarian for drawing attention to this. I drew attention recently to the working poor in the USA and the topic of food insecurity. Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuela, has taken the issue of international aid to the poor of the USA seriously. It is cold in America. Winter is on its way. You remember the news stories we frequently hear. Of freezing cold snaps that kill the elderly and the poor. Why? Because they cannot afford the fuel to keep them warm. Chavez is trying to penetrate that problem. Venezuela has agreed to sell heating oil at discount prices in low-income communities in Chicago, New York and Boston.

America's choice - and Australia's too - is God or Riches: humanity or self-indulgence.

David Williamson: ever articulate

David Williamson, Australia's most famous playwright, is nothing if not articulate. Williamson has chosen the AWGIE Awards of the Australian Writers Guild to air his views on Howard's industrial relations legislation.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Church vestments anyone?

The story goes that the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church was in solemn assembly discussing church vestments when the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution took to the streets of St Petersburg. It may well be apocryphal, but it is a story that haunts perceptive church people. They often fear they will get so caught up in internal religious issues that they miss really important matters confronting the wider community. So begins Muriel Porter's article on the church and terrorism. Think about it - and a wider reality.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

The working poor

Willzhead (from the US) is talking about the working poor. This phrase is heard a lot these days in the debate on the Howard Govt's industrial relations legislation. People are looking to the United States, their minimum wage jobs; the fact that sometimes people have no wage and are expected to live off tips - which probably have to be shared with other staff; the gulf, the chasm, between the rich and the poor; the fact that people can hold down jobs and still be unable to meet their basic needs. What I find frightening in Willz' post is the term "food insecure". It reminds me that the other day I heard a conversation about the poor in India. The poor were not discussed in terms of income. They were discussed in how many calories they managed to consume a day: and there are people in India with wealth beyond imagining. So 38 million in the US are reported to be "food insecure". This is scary stuff. It reminds me of the verse in Ezekiel 16:49:
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?

The blogger's wish list

The Pacific Highlander is thinking about wish lists for blogging conversations. Here is my list:
Stanley Hauerwas
Richard Rohr
William Johnston
John Macintyre, Rector, St Saviour's, Redfern
Dorothy Lee
Barbara Kingsolver

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

US Military Commissions: Fair, Just, Balanced?

Perhaps, you're thinking it's fair enough that David Hicks is tried before a US Military Commission. You may think he will get his just desserts. Test your views against an alternative story, an intelligent story: a story of justice in face of great terror, and unimaginable loss of human life. Think about it while you are reading this.

pictured above

Scurrying around the IR ant-heap

I'm pleased to see the polls were good - but I'm not getting too excited. They could be a nine day wonder. The Howard Govt won't sit there and do nothing. The electorate could have a short memory and/or just get plain old apathetic. The worry is that Labor is going around the country saying that they will bin the amendments - as if then our worries will be over.

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

Go on Barnaby, take a stand. Go on Barnaby.

This is part of the campaign going on in Queensland against John Howard's industrial relations legislation.
Dear AWU members,
The AWU is currently participating in a new campaign,
'Take a Stand Barnaby"
as part of the combined union "Your Rights at Work Campaign".
We are urging members to sign the petition
asking Senator Joyce to vote no to
Work Choices in the Senate next week.
The petition can be found here:
Signatories also have the option of adding their own message
to help persuade Senator Joyce.
Your support for this campaign is appreciated -
it is hoped that 10,000 signatures will be collected by Friday.
Yours in unity,
Bill Ludwig
Australian Workers' Union, Qld Branch

Hillsong Emerge National Community Crime Prevention Funding

Hillsong is embroiled in controversy. It is alleged by NSW member of the Legislative Council, Ian West, that Hillsong Emerge applied and received nearly half a million dollars in funding from the Federal Government by involving an Aboriginal group whose actual direct involvement amounted to a minuscule amount of the overall funding. West alleges improper conduct by Leigh Coleman, Chief Executive of Hillsong Emerge. The Leigh Coleman known to many people is a man of integrity, intelligence and compassion.

The following response has been issued:

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.

I would ask that if anyone has comment on this situation, please keep it constructive and informative.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Welcome home, Vivian: back where you belong

Vivian Alvarez Solon is back!
All our love for your new life, Vivian!
May God pour out his richest blessings upon you
now and evermore.
See sidebar under Justice
for the story about Vivian and her ill treatment
by Australias's Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA)
See here for the prospect for justice for Vivian.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Socceroos did it - and aren't we proud

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.

A two-fold commitment

I was amused to hear Chris Haywood proudly declare yesterday at The National Day of Community Protest that he is a member of two unions. Not only is Chris, as an actor, a member of the Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance. He is also a member of the Construction, Forestry Mining and Energy Union [CFMEU]. Chris joined the Australasian Coal & Shale Employees Federation which operated from 1916 to 1990 when filming Strikebound, the story of Wattie Doig and coal mining at Wonthaggi in Victoria. This union has now been absorbed into the CFMEU. Posted by Picasa

The past can inform the present and shape the future

Chris Haywood mentioned yesterday at The National Day of Community Protest the Eight Hour Day Movement and its historic relationship to Melbourne. The picture above is of a banner in Melbourne in 1856. The Eight Hour Day Movement was integral to establishment of the union movement in Australia. We have moved far from the eight hour day. There has been the demand for a 35 hour week; the introduction of twelve hour days and two weeks on and one week off and flying in and out to oil rigs and mine sites (in the latter case there once would have been whole communities instead). Some workers earn big money from the lfly-in fly-out set-up but it involves time away from families and communities. Most of the people working these hours are men so there are absentee fathers and families held together by lonely women. Now the absent father has been with us forever: sailors at sea, drovers of cattle, economic downturns driving fathers away from home to keep things together. The difference at the beginning of the 21st century is that we are counting the cost. The Australian Christian Lobby has even made connections with loss of family time leading to youth suicide. Such input from the Christian area has long been conspicuous by its absence but, though late, such comment is welcome. There is also a diminution of the social capital of the community as society moves away from the the collective and becomes more individualistic. This is why I have been predicting for some years that eventually there will be marches and parades demanding an eight hour day: eight hours of work, eight hours of recreation, eight hours of rest. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The National Day of Community Protest - Lots of us were there - Post 7

We were there - listening to
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The National Community Day of Protest - Post 6

The Kids and The Kool were there
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The National Day of Community Protest - The Entertainers - Post 5

Clockwise from top left:
William McInnes; Tim Ferguson; Deborah Conway; John Clarke; Bryan Dawe; Chris Haywood; Tim Brunero
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The National Day of Community Protest - Support from Faith Communities - Post 4

Clockwise from top left:
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.
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The National Day of Community Protest - Balloons, Banners & Flags - Post 3

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The National Day of Community Protest - Post 2

The Rally at Federation Square, Melbourne
15 November 2005
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The National Day of Community Protest - Post 1

The National Day of Community Protest Posted by Picasa
I caught the 7.30 am train from Upper Gully this morning. The rally in Federation Square was advertised as commencing at 9am. Now I knew there would be people when I got there - to get there very early meant getting up far too early at the Upper Gully Trad Pad. I was flabbergasted to find, when I crossed Swanston St from Flinders Street Station,the rally-ers shoulder to shoulder already and Fed Square jam packed. I came in on the train with a group of AWU members in my carriage who exited Flinders Street Station through the Elizabeth Street exit because they were gathering to march. As photographs will show - St Kilda Road was packed across the bridge, crowds back up Swanston St to Collins Street, and I think they were up Flinders Street as well. During the rally we were asked to "shuffle towards the river" to make room for more people. How many? I don't know. I walked across the Sydney Harbour Bridge as part of Corroboree 2000 when organisers estimed 250,000 people and I did not doubt the number at all - people just kept coming for hours. I was in Sydney for the march against the Iraqi War when it was an estimated 100,000 and I think that could have been conservative. So I don't know: but if organisers say 175,000 and the critics say 150,000, what's the diff. The simple fact was that the city was jam-packed and tied up with crowd upon crowd of good-natured by determined to protest people.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

So you'd like a Bill of Rights........

So you would like a Bill of Rights, you think? Something like the USA has, perhaps? Yeah. I'm certainly not convinced. The USA where the Bill of Rights can assist the individual and destroy a community? No thanks. Michael Kinsley describes the situation brilliantly. The two things that can ensure and undergird our freedoms are our vigilance and our own all-out sense of freedom. Without these, no Bill of Rights - whether included in our constitution or merely parliamentary legislation - can ensure our rights, our freedoms, our humanity to one another.

I don't mind John McCain

I saw John McCain on The View this morning. Y'know I like him. Now I know he's a Republican and he's still all for the war - but the lights are on and someone's home. I think you could have a reasonable conversation with him and he would comprehend what you were saying to him. I think it might have registered with him that New Orleans was under water. I think he would care about humanity in general not just his cronies in particular. Now, if John could replace Dick and then if Dubya would move over, McCain for President? He's telling Dubya what to do:
Sen. John McCain has advice for how President Bush can rebuild support for the
Iraq war. Try candor
He also has it write on the torture issue.
Do you think Dubya knows what that means?

Day of protest on Tuesday

Publicity will increase to-day and to-morrow leading up to the major protest on this Tuesday, 15 November. People will gather across Australia to express their views on the Howard Government industrial relations legislation. The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) is leading the charge with the support of its member unions. You don't have to be a union member to turn up. If you feel strongly about what is happening to workers and to this country, come. Down tools if you have to - but come. If you knew in advance that a dreadful dictatorship was about to take over Australia and you had the opportunity to protest - would you? Sensible people would. People who care about their country and their countrymen would. Now is your chance. It may be the first time you have protested, have turned out in public to put your point of view. That's cool. You are welcome and together we will be heard. I will be at Federation Square, Melbourne, at 9am on Tuesday.

Faith and science traditions have their difficulties

His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Well, it is not just Christians, not just the Intelligent Design-uhs who have difficulty communicating with scientists. The Dalai Lama is not universally acceptable either. Faith can take different forms. It can reside in the heart of an athiest, the heart of a marxist, the heart of a secularist as easily as in the heart of a christian, a buddhist, a jew. The dark side of faith - bigotry - can also reside in the heart. Atheists, marxists, and secularists are not free of bigotry either.

God, politicians and our anthem

Hat Tip to Pacific Highlander for drawing attention to the move to put God into Advance Australia Fair and the false claims that Peter Dodds McCormack wrote a God-inclusive verse which has been missing and is now rediscovered. I would remind Christians who have enthusiasm for including a 'God' verse that our politicians are about as good at being theologians as theologians are at being politicians. I come from Queensland where there have been a few politicians (and on all sides of politics) who have claimed to be Christian. Trouble was, with some of their actions, it might have been a bit difficult to convict them of following Christ.

Aussies don't like dobbers (2)

Back in September, I mentioned that Aussies don't like dobbers. Obviously, John Howard didn't get the message. :- ) He called on Australian Muslims to dob in the fanatical Muslims. Reminded me a bit of the Irish and Ned Kelly. They weren't ready to dob in Ned either. John ought to have a think about what happens to people like him who encourage others to dob in the schoolyards of the nation. Aussies learn this lesson at a young age. Clearly, those Muslims out there - the dreadful Others - are learning to become dinkidi Aussies. How else could they have refused the Prime Minister so insistently?

All you ever wanted to know about Intelligent Design?

Have they - the fors and againsts - bamboozled you on Intelligent Design yet? See if you can sort your mind out here.

The Double Helix

The Darwinian legacy?

Pellegrino University professor emeritus Edward O. Wilson poses the following question:
Religions continue both to render their special services and to exact their
heavy costs. Can scientific humanism do as well or better, at a lower cost?
Surely that ranks as one of the great unanswered questions of philosophy. It is
the noble yet troubling legacy that Charles Darwin left us.
Take a look at his thinking here.

Baby boomers no spent force

Surprise! Surprise! I am not a baby boomer. I'm a bit ahead being a 1944 babe. I can tell you that - on the inside - I'm an eighteen year old with experience!

Bullied clergy

Full marks to the Uniting Church of Australia for highlighting the plight of clergy in the face of bullying, powerful, and agressive parishioners. My friend, Rowland Croucher, over at John Mark Ministries, has been working within a specialised ministry to Australia's and the world's pastors, ex-pastors, church leaders and their spouses since 1991. He has found out a lot about ministers, their families, their churches in that time. Not only has he counselled, he has done academic research as well. Often there has been nowhere else to go and it is to Rowland's door that the wearied and worried pastor has come.