Thursday, January 28, 2016

 Petition to put Communist on five dollar note backed by high-profile Australians

Fred Hollows was a member of the Communist party for many years and seems to have retained such beliefs even after his membership lapsed.  And we all know where Communism leads  -- to mass murder.  And Fred must have known that too.  It is true that Fred was one of the very few far-Leftists to put his money where his mouth was, but  giving any encouragement to beliefs such as his would be most unwise

I have put a fair bit of my personal history online and I have  known Leftists to delve into that so I wonder if someone might accuse me of hypocrisy for mentioning Fred's Communist loyalties.  I was myself a member of two Communist-front organizations in my well-spent youth:  The Australia/Soviet Friendship Society and the Realist Writers' Group:  The latter was headed by a man of genuine literary distinction, John Manifold.

For perspective, however, I should perhaps mention that in the same era I was an anarcho-caitalist, a member of the British Conservative party, a member of the Queensland Liberal party, had a lot to do with DLP types and would occasionally look in on Nazi meetups and meetups of a student anti-Vietnam (pacifist) group. 

All of which mainly goes to show, I think, that I had a good sense of humour. I still do. 

  A petition has been launched today aimed at continuing the legacy of ground-breaking eye surgeon Fred Hollows, with a push to have his face featured on the $5 note.Dr Hollows helped treat eye diseases in Indigenous communities in Australia as well as poor countries around the world.

Despite his death 23 years ago, the Fred Hollows Foundation has helped restore eyesight to more than 2 million people.

  The petition, called Put Fred on a Fiver, is being backed by high-profile Australians including former prime minister Bob Hawke and Olympic gold medallist Cathy Freeman and former chairman of the foundation, Ray Martin, who were at the launch in Sydney this morning.

Brian Doolan, the chief executive of the Fred Hollows Foundation, said it was about paying respect to one of the greatest Australians who ever lived.  "The images on notes at the moment are all of great Australians most of whom did wonderful things in Australia, some of whom had an international career," Mr Doolan said. "But Fred Hollows has actually touched the lives of millions of people around the world."

"We'd be suggesting that we put Fred on the side that currently has a picture of the Old Parliament House and the new Parliament House," Mr Doolan said."We think it's an entirely appropriate time to take the one banknote on which there is not the image of a prominent Australian and to put Fred's image on the $5 note."

He also said it would be a fitting tribute for one of Dr Hollows' most successful fundraising campaigns.  "Years ago they used to run a campaign 'give Fred a fiver' so that he could do the wonderful work he did both here and overseas, well this year instead of 'give Fred a fiver' we're saying 'put Fred on the fiver'," he said.

Journalist Ray Martin said putting Dr Hollows on the $5 note was a "no-brainer"."I was with Fred, about this time of the year, going to a radio station in a cab," Martin said."A Greek-Australian cab driver alongside reached out and said 'are you that Hollows fellow?'"I won't give you Fred's language, but Fred said: 'So bloody what?' and he said: 'Oh nothing, I just want to give you a fiver!' and Fred said: 'thanks mate' and he took the fiver and away the two cabs went - that's how much he was associated with a fiver.

"If you look today, the legacy of the power of one, there are 5 million people plus in the world who can see, who were cataract blind, as a result of this inspirational idea that he had


Sadly Australia Day has become a day of sanctimony

Australia Day sometimes seems to have become a parody of itself.  Apparently intended as a day to celebrate our achievements and our values, it is now too often a day of introspection and sanctimony.

Our nation was founded in a spirit of optimism and co-operation on January 1, 1901.  But we mark its birth on the anniversary of a flotilla of British ships arriving in Sydney Harbour to found a penal colony, 113 years earlier.

That strange genesis, along with our laconic national character, explains why the day used to be celebrated in a phlegmatic and relaxed manner.

It was just another public holiday when nothing expressed our good fortune better than the fact we felt no need for jingoistic displays of patriotism.

Congratulations, we were saying to ourselves, you are a successful, tolerant and welcoming country, working away on your imperfections, so you deserve a day at the beach or cricket.

Now such an approach is frowned upon.  You need to express your guilt for generations past and air your current grievances.

If you are comfortable and relaxed you are part of the problem — how can the malcontents ever be comfortable and relaxed if there are so many people around them who are comfortable and relaxed?

Now, on Australia Day, you must demonstrate that you are a member of the new breed of Australian.

Be gone those who would call a spade a spade. Be gone those who nonchalantly build friendships with people of all creeds and colours. Be gone those who would laugh at authority and prefer the common sense of their neighbours and workmates.

Now we must speak in approved phrases about the issues of the zeitgeist. We must treasure our friends not for their character or friendship but because we need to collect the full set. And we dare not laugh at authority — they know what is best and we should listen.

We can truly show that we understand all this if we stop being preached at, and start preaching.  Try it. Get onto social media and wish your friends happy Australia Day — but then just add some advice.

Happy Australia Day — embrace each other. Happy Australia Day — respect and understanding. Happy Australia Day —– watch out for nongs wearing flags. Happy Australia Day — remember it celebrates genocide. Happy Australia Day — don’t eat animals.

Welcome to the new Australian characteristic — preachiness.

Happy Preachy Day — when you get to sneer at your fellow citizens and tell them how they can match your level of sophistication and understanding, and shape the country more in your likeness.

This year’s official Australian of Year, David Morrison, fits in with the new zeitgeist. A fine soldier and citizen, of course, he was recognised for his professional work tackling a sexism scandal that arose on his watch. Now he chairs the Diversity Council of Australia.

For mine, if you want an inspirational Australian of the Year, who tackles sexism and demonstrates our “fair go” character, this newspaper’s choice as Australian of the Year is a better fit.

Humble, generous, passionate and determined, Michelle Payne was the first woman jockey to win our unique national sporting event, the Melbourne Cup. She is the epitome of the Aussie battler and will be remembered in the history books for smashing a glass ceiling.

“I can’t say how grateful I am,” she said, fresh out of the saddle, of the people who supported her, “and I want to say to everyone else, get stuffed, because women can do anything and we can beat the world.”

Happy Australia Day — we are undoubtedly, the luckiest, and pluckiest, people on the planet.


Anti-patriotic sign in Australian resort town

The response was a mature one:  Abuse them back. No attempt to shut them down etc.

Bega District News reports a blackboard sign was put up in the Mister Jones Open Studio and Espresso Bar in Bermagui, on NSW's south coast, on January 25 and it read: "Yes, we're open on national dickhead day" – a reference to the venue being open for business on Australia Day.

On the night of January 25 it was posted on the Meanwhile in Australia Facebook page, which is "liked" by about 700,000 people. By mid-afternoon on Australia Day, it had more than 3000 shares, almost 6700 likes and 1770 comments with many deriding the sign.

While most of those who shared the post were individuals, some were pages such as Truthophobes - Exposing the Truth about Islam, Aussies against Islam and Sharia law, Reclaim Australia Rally - Canberra and Australians United Against Sharia Law.

It appears the official Mister Jones Facebook page has been taken down, but a new page called the Mister Jones Coffee Shop has been set up, possibly by a Facebook group called Aussie Infidels early on the morning of January 26.

This new page published a photo of two of the coffee shop's staff under the line "here are two good reasons for birth control", the phone number of the shop's owner and has encouraged people to contact the shop and leave feedback.

Bermagui Chamber of Commerce president Keith Dowden was disappointed the coffee shop had erected the sign, saying doing so had "displayed a lack of dignity and respect".

While he was sure the sign had upset some tourists, he did not think it would impact on businesses in Bermagui.  "But it's not the sort of image I think the town should be projecting," Mr Dowden said.

He had received several calls about the issue and was glad it had come down on the afternoon of January 25. "In the short time it was up it probably created mixed feelings," Mr Dowden said. 

"He [the owner of Mister Jones] is entitled to his own views, but he has to realise a lot of people don't feel the same way as he does.  "[The owner] does have a history of being a non-conformist."

On Australia Day 2015, at the entrance to the coffee shop there was a sign stating "Strictly no patriotism beyond this point".


Social media fires up after CFA posts picture of breastfeeding volunteer on Facebook

READERS of the CFA’s official Facebook page have fired up about a photo of a volunteer breastfeeding while dressed in a CFA uniform beside a fire truck.

The photo is described as “One of the many faces of CFA in 2016” and has more than 17,000 likes, 750 comments and 1300 shares.

Some readers “unliked” the page because of the photo and described it as unnecessary and “trying to prove some point”.

Benita Panagopoulos-Morello wrote: “WHY ??? This does annoy me that women feel the need to post a picture while breastfeeding ...

“im (sic) a mother of twins who breastfeed both too (sic) but im (sic) so bloody over all these women trying to prove some point that it should be allowed to flop your boob out.”

Jake Kahlia Lynch decided he would unlike the page: “OK unliking. I took breast feeding pics too, but they really don’t need to be on the internet!!”

But the criticism led to a huge amount of support from other readers:  Niki Jackson wrote: “Feeding a new generation of firefighters who save our homes and lives.” “But seriously, it’s just a boob. We’ve all seen them at some point. It is literally a chunk of flesh that helps to contain milk. Not the apocalypse.”

Elizabeth Wood agreed.

“I LOVE this,” she wrote.

“So fantastic that the CFA encourages you to combine family and firefighting, best of both worlds. Such a beautiful picture, you look so proud.”

The page posted to point out where the photo was taken and that the newborn was not being put in danger.

“This photo of Angela, a proud mum and CFA volunteer, was taken at a community event. No fires nearby and a safe environment for her child.”


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