Blane Stonley, Cowan – You echoed my contribution to SMH Letters (22/2 – Not published) wherein I begged our Government to beware:  Don’t be flattered Malcolm – look twice at any scheme with the USA that would involve us in money and/or trade …and then …walk away.  The robber barons of America (Vanderbilts, etc.) did not make their money out of railways, etc. by giving away anything at all.
And so it came to pass that many times in the past – our great friend and ally showed us the value of their friendship, weighed the advantages to themselves – and sold us “down the river”.
Will we ever wake up?

I read a comment recently – “the USA doesn’t have allies – they have interests”


School funding – yet again

There’s something a little bit haywire in an article in a recent SMH article (8/3/2018) – Funding bonanza for rich Sydney schools – Surely the figures tell us that in total, govt schools in NSW educating 788,891 students received $20,281 per student in 2017, while the state’s non-govt school network of 418,383 pupils received $10,755 per student.  Unless I am missing something state schools get nearly twice the funding of non-state schools per pupil.
I would dearly love to see an article setting out what would be the position if even half of non-state-school pupils left and walked up the street to the local govt schools.
Could I use the word “chaos”.


I found the following article interesting after all the ill-informed (dare I say – biased) stuff in the papers recently:  Published: 08 March 2018

Has debate around the Catholic Church become so polarised that it is moving towards irrational extremes, asks Joel Hodge. Source: ABC Religion and Ethics.

By no means am I advocating that the Church be exempt from robust public scrutiny. I am also not wishing to divert attention from historical abuse and grievous cover-ups in the Church. I firmly express support for the survivors who have bravely stood up to seek justice and healing.Rather, I want to avoid prejudicial scrutiny that only leads to misdirected blame. This misdirection allows all parties to avoid proper accountability.

Take the recent six-month investigation by The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald into the properties of the Church. The investigation sought to highlight issues around the transparency and accountability of the Catholic hierarchy.Yet, despite the purported aims of the investigation, there were some obvious flaws. These flaws highlight how resources and attention are being irrationally misdirected against the Church and could be better deployed.

For example, the Church was treated as one entity by the investigation, whereas, in fact, it is many different entities in Australia – dioceses, religious congregations, parishes, schools, hospitals, aged care, social services and so on. To lump all these agencies together – like lumping all the assets and agencies of the federal, state and local governments – is misleading.  Without quibbling about the actual valuations given by the newspapers, much of the reported property cannot be liquidated for obvious reasons. There are churches, hospitals, schools, aged care and social services facilities on these properties. They could not easily be liquidated without a significant social cost and, in some cases, political negotiation.

One is left wondering, then, what was the real point of the investigation?  The Age claimed it wished to highlight the Church’s treatment of claims made by survivors of child sexual abuse, as well as question the tax-free status of the Church.
There seems to be a view that, by highlighting the Church’s wealth, it will be embarrassed and pressured into giving more compensation and support to survivors. But it is the federal government that has set the limit on compensation, not the Church.

– Joel Hodge is Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy at the Australian Catholic University.

Hair “styling”

Is there any sign on the horizon of a change in hair “styling” – I mean the current look where the wearer appears to have climbed straight out of bed, perhaps  a shower, then off to work or play.  No comb appears to have touched most of the wearer’s heads, no brush.
I don’t want the structured look of a few years back but, please, could we have styles that aren’t a tangle of uncombed, rats-tails.  Could we have some style that is shiny and healthy and shows some care.
There are one or two or three women on TV who could show the way to an attractive head of hair, with an individual look and they still can look feminine .
And girls pulling two handfuls of hair forward on one or both sides, and so unnatural – does not make a good look.

Church assets

Are commentators joking?  Catholic Church’s hidden wealth revealed – 12 Feb – Can they tell me the market value of St Andrews Cathedral or St Mary’s Cathedral. Or St Vincent’s hospital, or even the many, many Catholic/Anglican, Presbyterian, etc. churches and schools scattered across the States?
I have always understood that the market value of any property would be what the market tells us it could be sold for – the value of it – so what is the value of a hospital, church, school, Mission in the Islands, nursing home, convent, – or is this the start of something more sinister in the way of campaigns?

The National Party – once the Country Party

I would like to ask National Party members a question:   Can I presume that all of you (half of you , one? ) are family people? Would you cheat on your wives/families? Why then do you condone the actions of Barnaby and his Mistress even to the extent of paying his salary during his campaign after his situation was known.
I wouldn’t like to depend on the morals of the National Party under the present circumstances or even on anything requiring principles.