Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Hard heads and hard hearts

For a bit of relief from listening to Christian podcasts, I decided to listen to the radio broadcast of the Australian Senate. Senators were debating the federal government's controversial repeal of the Medevac legislation. Speaking against the repeal was Senator Catryna Bilyk (ALP, Tasmania). The substance of her speech was good, not that I am an expert on this issue, but for a senior politician, her presentation was unpolished. She spoke with an upward inflection at the end of every sentence. This irritating habit, usually common in younger Australians, make the speaker sound insecure.

She was followed by Mehreen Faruqi (Greens, New South Wales). In speaking against the Medevac bill, she accused the government of being devoid of compassion for human life. Such as accusation sounds highly hypocritical coming from a Green, considering the Greens' pro-abortion stance. It is a pity that their concern for human life doesn't extend to the unborn.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Sunday night institution

Forget Marvel, National Geographic, Pixar, or Star Wars. This is the real reason to subscribe to Disney Plus. For the first time, you can see two of Kurt Russell's Dexter Riley movies, The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes (1969) and The Strongest Man in the World (1975), in widescreen aspect ratio, and in one sitting and without commercial breaks. For some reason, the second Riley movie, Now You See Him, Now You Don't (1972), is not yet available.

Monday, November 18, 2019

One likes to have a range of interests

Watching the latest season of The Crown on Netflix, I discovered that when he was a student at Cambridge University in the 1960s, Prince Charles performed in student theatre. A magazine article about his student acting career confuses review and revue. The correct noun is revue. This is a common error that I have encountered before. 

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Matters controversial

Liberal MP Andrew Hastie and his colleague, Senator James Patterson, have been denied visas to enter China for a planned study tour. Hastie and Paterson have both been critical of the Chinese government's human rights abuses against Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang province, the unrest in Hong Kong and its alleged attempts to exert influence in Australia.

In response, a Chinese embassy spokesperson stated that the country would not "yield to colonisation of ideas and values" and called on the Liberal politicians to "genuinely repent and redress their mistakes." As of today, they have refused to do so.

It is an interesting choice of words to mention "colonisation," given that China can claim to have legitimate grievances over its treatment by Western colonial powers in the past. However, it used Communism, which originated in Western Europe, as its means to achieve sovereignty.

In more recent years, some critics of China's controversial Belt and Road infrastructure and development initiative contend that it is intended to project its power throughout the world, with the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamad, for example, calling it "new colonialism," and Monika Chansoria of the Japan Institute of International Affairs calling it an "instrument of Chinese hegemony." n other words, it is behaving exactly like a colonial power.

Let's not forget that China has occupied Tibet since 1950, and its human rights abuses there are well documented. It also appears to be gradually tightening its repressive grip over Hong Kong.

China seems to not understand that no nation is above criticism. That's how international relations works. No nation is a law unto itself. It keeps its own citizens on a short leash, but it cannot treat foreign politicians the same way.

https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/chinas-massive-belt-and-road-initiative

https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/12/06/bri-china-belt-road-initiative-blunder/

https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2019/country-chapters/china-and-tibet

https://japan-forward.com/belt-and-road-initiative-debts-reduce-pakistan-to-chinas-client-state/

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/liberal-mp-andrew-hastie-hits-back-at-china-says-he-won-t-repent-for-criticism

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Worse than Lewinskygate?

 The United States Congress began public impeachment hearings against American President Donald Trump this week. There is a good chance that he may be removed from office. This is a helpful guide that explains what he allegedly did wrong, and how the impeachment process works.
In a report on ABC TV's Planet America programme about the impeachment hearings, it used a news clip from an American cable news show, in which Representative John Ratcliffe, a Texas Republican, spoke in President Trump's defence. Unfortunately, as this photograph shows, Ratcliffe is erroneously identified as being a Democrat.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Three part harmonies


Count me in. Paramount are planning a Bee Gees biopic. It won't be called Stayin' Alive. That title is already taken.

http://www.darkhorizons.com/paramount-plans-a-bee-gees-biopic/

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Watermelons are in season

I took a passing interest in the blockade of the International Mining and Resources Conference, held in Melbourne this week. In media interviews, such as the one with Andrew Bolt on his Sky News Australia television programme, blockade organisers haven't done much to win people to their cause, nor does their penchant for allegedly punching police horses. While they may have raised some valid points about the environmental impacts of the mining industry, or whether its business and taxation arrangements are ethical, most of the protesters are radical Marxists.

When asked about the aims of their movement, they want to close down the mining industry by enacting a Marxist revolution. Presumably, ending mining and the use of all fossil fuels is also the only way to avert ecological Armageddon, and there's no way to do this without also ending capitalism. Never mind that Marxism has failed wherever it has been implemented, and it is well documented that communist countries have or had appalling environmental records.

To add to their historical illiteracy, speaking as a nitpicking, annoying pedant, I question the credibility of any political activist group that runs a website containing spelling errors.