Open Letter To America

Sketch of Torn American Flag

Dear America, I am writing to express my concern over the direction in which you seem to be heading. You used to be ‘the home of the brave, the land of the free’, the cool kid who the rest of … Continue reading

A practical driver

I’m reminded of a Cobb & Co. driver whom I often met in my childhood days in western Queensland.
He was once asked by a lady passenger if he’d ever been caught in a bushfire.
‘Oh yes,’ he said, ‘I certainly ‘ave.’
‘And what did you do?’ asked the lady.
‘Well, ma’am, I tied a billy full of water to the back axle. Then I drove like ‘ell through the fire. When I reached the safety of the boundary gate, that water was just on the boil an’ ready for tea!’

— “Western Girl” in Bill Wannan’s Come in Spinner

Walter Cruttenden in ‘Lost Star of Myth and Time’

Egypt: Esneh

Egypt: Esneh (Photo credit: Brooklyn Museum)

“The ruins that have been uncovered thus far from Egypt, India, the Middle East, and the Americas indicate that many of the comforts of modern society – complex systems of law and government, cities, roads, canals, huge maritime and agricultural industries, medicines, vast amounts of art including sculpture, painting, music and deep philosophical and spiritual thought – appear to have been in place.”

~ Walter Cruttenden in ‘Lost Star of Myth and Time’

Rosamond Siemon in ‘The Eccentric Mr Wienholt’

“He [Arnold Wienholt] believed that the government’s only duty was to ‘guard the public purse, keep law and order, and pass only necessary legislation’.”

—Rosamond Siemon in ‘The Eccentric Mr Wienholt’

The Little Election

The Little ElectionSynopsis:One day at lunchtime, Rory decides to become the Prime Minister because then he can do anything he wants. Before you know it, the whole class is having an election.

Who will be the new Prime Minister: Rory or Debra-Jo Woo?
Genre:Picture Book
Text:Danny Katz
Illustrations:Mitch Vane
ISBN:978-1-921167
Year:2007
Storm, age 4: It was good. I liked that Rory won.
Yasmine, age 4: It was good. I liked Debra-Jo Woo.
Annelise, age 7: That was really good! My favourite part was when they voted.
Butterfly, age 11:I liked it because of all it’s silly ideas and the bits where it’s gross.
Mum: This is a great way to teach kids about the election process in Australia.
Dad: This book was gross and funny.

Jury Duty

The Verdict (BBC)

The Verdict (BBC) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday, I was empanelled on a jury for the first time in my life, though I still haven’t really seen much lol.

We got sent home early yesterday because the judge had other court matters to attend to and we got sent home early today cos the defence barrister is sick. Where else can you earn $100 for sitting around chatting for an hour and a half?

Centrelink Allowed Access to Private Bank Accounts

A Centrelink office at Innaloo, Western Australia.

A Centrelink office at Innaloo, Western Australia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

BANKS will give the Federal Government the private account details of 40,000 customers under an unprecedented crackdown on welfare fraud.

From July 1, Centrelink will receive the balance, interest accrual, regular payments and addresses of 41,500 suspected welfare cheats who provided government agencies with conflicting information.

Banks will provide Centrelink with the account details via a new encrypted electronic file system.

Full article: http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,23711113-952,00.html

Absolutely disgusting. So much for the right to privacy.

Federal election – handy links

Contingent vote

I urge everyone to vote BELOW THE LINE on your senate paper. Party preferences are decided by under the table deals, and some of the candidates have some pretty way out views (one independent wants to legalise ecstasy!).

Next to your signature, your vote is the most valuable thing you own. Please don’t throw it away! Don’t vote a certain way just because you always have, or because your parents did – think about your vote. Take the time to explore people’s policies. Look at what they do as well as what they say – the two don’t always match.

Vote on policy, not personality or age. The most benign face can hide a despot and outer ugliness can hide inner beauty.

Most of all – MAKE A DECISION! Don’t cast a donkey vote or refrain from voting altogether – every vote makes a difference. And double check you’re ballot paper before putting it in the box – many votes are rendered void by silly mistakes.

Finally, if you’re still deciding who to vote for, here are a couple of links that might be helpful:

http://www.aec.gov.au/Elections/federal_elections/2007/candidates/hor_qld.htm – shows your candidates for the House of Reps in the order they will appear on the ballot paper.

http://www.federalelection.com.au/senate.asp?state=QLD – a comprehensive list of candidates running for the senate, with links to their webpage so you can explore their policies.