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”



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.

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.

Good honest conservative country people????

Congratulations National Party – we now have been officially told by Barnaby Joyce himself, that you, his colleagues endorse and support him in his behaviour. How will this go down with the wives of the good burghers/farmers of the National Party.
So much for goodwill between (an inept PM) the Liberal Party and the once-Country Party…and what happened to the salt-of-the-earth country men and women who once were so conservative and stood by old fashioned values.
But of course, they think that Barnaby will keep them in government and in the Cabinet.

Our politicians and Washington

Two points raised by the current obeisance by an Australian PM (the latest) to the President of USA: Malcolm, Australians do not put hand-on-heart to show respect – that is so American.
When John Howard was walking Australian style , hands by his side, besides George W, taking the salute – – he looked over at G.W, saw his hand on heart and promptly placed his hand on his heart – and so it continues even until this day.
And the latest out of Pres Trump: Teachers with guns – ask Tim Fischer. He really put the case that this would mean teachers would be the first and immediate targets of a gunman should this come in.
My comment: What good will it do? – Make a battleground of every school…shoot-outs between gunmen, teachers, and probably kids with guns. Who wants that?


The English Language

Andrea Demetriades – a classically Greek lovely young woman – until, that is, she opens her lovely mouth and I hear “I think Australia is doing very f…ing well”. (Sunday Life 25 Feb).
Can anyone tell me when if ever this habit of women aping the worse-spoken men of their acquaintance will pass.
I am tired of the excuse that they all speak like this…and that it’s not swearing with the young women of today – it’s ordinary language.

How sad that the beautiful English language apparently is not enough for these young people – they must throw in words long despised by the ordinary person and ignore the language that will express anything they want.

Trade deals with our great and good partner???

Malcolm:   Please…please…please be careful in your dealings re the Infrastructure Scheme being discussed in the USA now.
Nobody has ever called Joe Hockey a brain, or an astute treasurer so if he is pushing this Infrastructure Scheme for us to join with the USA, please beware of the “sharks” in the USA. We seem usually to come out of trade dealings with the USA behind the eight ball. Don’t be flattered Malcolm and Joe – 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 and build their empires out of railways, etc. by giving away anything at all…and we usually seem to come out of deals with the USA with the wrong end of a rotten stick.