At SBHS. The pic frame is a new one from Windows Live Writer.
For the previous week visit What’s new: Sunday 25 January to Saturday 31 January.
What’s new on my other blogs
At SBHS. The pic frame is a new one from Windows Live Writer.
For the previous week visit What’s new: Sunday 25 January to Saturday 31 January.
What’s new on my other blogs
Since Ninglun’s Specials doesn’t have as much to do as Floating Life I have decided to make it the main repository for my statistical fetish from now on. The month is shaping up to be very similar to last month, according to Sitemeter, with the Floating Life blogs much the same as December 2008 and English/ESL up on December, but behind the Floating Life group. More on that tomorrow on Ninglun’s Specials.
Today I will show here what posts have attracted 200+ views over the past month.
Floating Life (the blog, not the group)
I downloaded RadarSync the other day. My ISP (Unwired) had recommended it. What it does is scan your program for outdated stuff, including drivers. It then enables you to download and instal whatever it finds. It is good, but also perhaps over-enthusiastic. Even so, it certainly made updating a few very old drivers much easier. Apparently they used to charge for that part of the service, but now it’s free.
McAfee Site Advisor gives an orange warning, by the way, because “some downloads … tried to change our system settings.” Well they would, wouldn’t they? I mean, what do you expect a new driver to do? Even so, use RadarSync selectively. But it is very useful.
Speaking of McAfee Site Advisor: IE 8 will not support it at the moment. Otherwise I rather like IE 8, in most ways better than IE 7. IE 8 is also incompatible with Google Gears and Yahoo tool bar at the moment.
WordWeb fans – and everyone should have WordWeb: there is a new version available.
One gripe – not about WordWeb. Have you noticed how many “free” apps want you to instal yet another useless tool bar? RadarSync does it; so does Foxit Reader. Sometimes they instal said bar even when you’ve said NO!
Or why George W, John H, and all the merry crew of retirees and yesterday’s people are no longer relevant and perhaps never were.
Which would be too harsh, I suppose, but I can’t help wondering about all the economic pap we were fed for the past decade or two. You can’t help wondering what, had he been re-elected, John H would be doing right now. Surely he must deep down be dancing little jigs in some back room of his mind because he wasn’t re-elected, and can just sit and polish the gong George W gave him in his dying moments, while the good luck he traded off flies away.
To be fair, Peter van Onselen does point out in today’s Australian that Peter Costello was not totally off the mark towards the end:
NOT being listened to when you are right is one of the most frustrating things a person can experience. In this respect, Peter Costello is sharing a little of the experience of Cassandra, daughter of king Hecuba of Troy.
In ancient Greek mythology she had the gift of prophecy but was cursed by Apollo and denied the power to persuade.
In the lead-up to the 2007 federal election, Costello as treasurer warned that a financial tsunami was on the way, and Australians should be careful about who they voted for to run the economy.
To be sure, when predicting the tsunami Costello was first and foremost referring to what would happen if China floated its currency, the yuan.
That hasn’t happened yet.
But he was also referring more generally to what would happen if China’s economy faltered. Data released this past fortnight indicated China’s growth has dramatically slowed to 6.8 per cent. By Chinese standards that puts them in a virtual recession.
More important, Costello’s tsunami comments also made reference to the impact the US sub-prime mortgage crisis would have on world economies, including Australia’s. That impact is now known as the global financial crisis, the worst economic meltdown since the Great Depression.
Costello was ahead of the curve in predicting it…
In politics, Costello was alone in cautioning that an economic meltdown was on the horizon. While Labor was talking up the risk of high inflation, John Howard was campaigning on his promised ability to reduce unemployment to less than 4 per cent. With the financial crisis now in full swing, unemployment is expected by some to hit 9 per cent. Had the Coalition won the election Howard’s unemployment pledge would have sat neatly along side his 2004 election pledge to "keep interest rates at record lows"…
Now, it appears, Kevin Rudd is firing all his guns in the pages of the February Monthly. Paul Kelly outlines the argument:
KEVIN Rudd has put his ideological spin on the global crisis – arguing the great neo-liberal experiment of the past 30 years represented by Thatcher, Reagan, Greenspan and John Howard has failed.
Rudd has defined himself, his Government and his re-election strategy by declaring that only social democrats and the Labor Party can recruit state power to save capitalism.
He has thrown the Liberal Party on to the trash heap of history, saying it is "the political home of neo-liberalism in Australia" and that the former Howard government aimed to reduce state power "as much as possible".
Declaring that a failed 30-year epoch in world history has come to a conclusion, Rudd says the crisis means "one orthodoxy is overthrown and another takes its place".
The new epoch is about using state power "to save capitalism from itself". Rudd’s aim is to hold global neo-liberal policies responsible for the catastrophe and the Howard government as local upholder of these fatal ideas. His game plan is to position Labor as the long-run political and ideological winner from the crisis.
In his latest essay for The Monthly, to be published next week, Rudd turns the global crisis into a decisive ideological event. The resort to government intervention demanded by the crisis fits perfectly with Rudd’s philosophy. He presents Malcolm Turnbull with an ideological challenge by insisting the Liberals stand on the wrong side of history.
The significance of Rudd’s essay is that Labor will become the party of ideological attack and neo-liberalism and its backers will become the targets. This is a device to keep Labor united during the coming recession and the Liberal Party on the defensive…
Kevin Rudd has written (well too) for The Monthly before – but not as Prime Minister. Some may wonder about that, but I do plan to give what he says consideration. It may also be – but then I am naive – that the real significance of the article is not the party-political one Kelly refers to. What if it is just true?
Sojourners’ Jim Wallace, currently in Davos, would seem to be part of an ever-expanding choir. Mind you, he has been a member for years.
Every morning when I wake up in Davos, I turn on my television to CNN in my hotel room. And every morning, there is the same reporter interviewing a bundled-up CEO with the snowy “magic mountain” of Davos in the background. The question is always the same: “When will this crisis be over?” They actually have a “white board” where they make the CEO mark his answer: 2009…2010…2011…later.
But it’s the wrong question. Of course it’s a question we all want to know the answer to, but there is a much more important one. We should be asking, “How will this crisis change us?” How will it change the way we think, act, and decide things — how we live, and how we do business? Yes, this is a structural crisis, and one that clearly calls for new social regulation. But it is also a spiritual crisis, and one that calls for new self-regulation. We seem to have lost some things and forgotten some things — such as our values.
We have trusted in “the invisible hand” to make everything turn out all right, believing that it wasn’t necessary for us to bring virtue to bear on our decisions. But things haven’t turned out all right and the invisible hand has let go of some things, such as “the common good.” The common good hasn’t been very common in our economic decision-making for some time now. And things have spun out of control. Gandhi’s seven deadly social sins seem an accurate diagnosis for some of the causes of this crisis: “politics without principle, wealth without work, commerce without morality, pleasure without conscience, education without character, science without humanity, and worship without sacrifice.”
If we learn nothing from this crisis, all the pain and suffering it is causing will be in vain. But we can learn new habits of the heart, perhaps that suffering can even turn out to be redemptive. If we can regain a moral compass and find new metrics by which to evaluate our success, this crisis could become our opportunity to change….
If we wait until the economic crisis is over to get back to business as usual, we will have missed the chance we now have for re-evaluation and re-direction. Some of the smartest people in the world are assembled here on the mountain. But are we smart enough not to miss the opportunity this crisis provides to change our ways and return to some of our oldest and best values? Almost half the world’s population, 3 billion people, live on less than $2 a day — virtually outside of the global economy. Maybe it’s time to bring them in.
There are some interesting comments on the thread following that post.
Oh — and Malcolm? Well, he tries…
Not unrelated to the last two posts!
Robert Frost – Design
I found a dimpled spider, fat and white,
On a white heal-all, holding up a moth
Like a white piece of rigid satin cloth —
Assorted characters of death and blight
Mixed ready to begin the morning right,
Like the ingredients of a witches’ broth —
A snow-drop spider, a flower like a froth,
And dead wings carried like a paper kite.
What had that flower to do with being white,
The wayside blue and innocent heal-all?
What brought the kindred spider to that height,
Then steered the white moth thither in the night?
What but design of darkness to appall?–
If design govern in a thing so small.
Source: American Poems.
Jerry Coyne is a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago. His new book, Why Evolution Is True, has just been published by Viking. That information comes from The New Republic, which has just published a review essay by Coyne: Seeing and Believing. He reviews two books — Saving Darwin: How to be a Christian and Believe in Evolution by Karl W. Giberson and Only A Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America’s Soul by Kenneth R. Miller. Again I owe Arts & Letters Daily.
How opportune too after my previous post!
… Together, Saving Darwin and Only a Theory provide an edifying summary of the tenets and the flaws of modern creationism, the former dealing mainly with its history and the latter with its specious claims. If these books stopped there, they would raise a valuable alarm about the dangers facing American science and culture. But in the end their sincere but tortuous efforts to find the hand of God in evolution lead them to solutions that are barely distinguishable from the creationism that they deplore….
…the most important conflict–the one ignored by Giberson and Miller–is not between religion and science. It is between religion and secular reason. Secular reason includes science, but also embraces moral and political philosophy, mathematics, logic, history, journalism, and social science–every area that requires us to have good reasons for what we believe. Now I am not claiming that all faith is incompatible with science and secular reason–only those faiths whose claims about the nature of the universe flatly contradict scientific observations. Pantheism and some forms of Buddhism seem to pass the test. But the vast majority of the faithful–those 90 percent of Americans who believe in a personal God, most Muslims, Jews, and Hindus, and adherents to hundreds of other faiths–fall into the "incompatible" category.
Unfortunately, some theologians with a deistic bent seem to think that they speak for all the faithful. These were the critics who denounced Dawkins and his colleagues for not grappling with every subtle theological argument for the existence of God, for not steeping themselves in the complex history of theology. Dawkins in particular was attacked for writing The God Delusion as a "middlebrow" book. But that misses the point. He did indeed produce a middlebrow book, but precisely because he was discussing religion as it is lived and practiced by real people. The reason that many liberal theologians see religion and evolution as harmonious is that they espouse a theology not only alien but unrecognizable as religion to most Americans.
Statistics support this incompatibility. For example, among those thirty-four countries surveyed, we see a statistically strong negative relationship between the degree of faith and the acceptance of evolution. Countries such as Denmark, France, Japan and the United Kingdom have a high acceptance of Darwinism and low belief in God, while the situation is reversed in countries like Bulgaria, Latvia, Turkey, and the United States. And within America, scientists as a group are considerably less religious than non-scientists. This is not say that such statistics can determine the outcome of a philosophical debate. Nor does it matter whether these statistics mean that accepting science erodes religious faith, or that having faith erodes acceptance of science. (Both processes must surely occur.) What they do show, though, is that people have trouble accepting both at the same time. And given the substance of these respective worldviews, this is no surprise.
This disharmony is a dirty little secret in scientific circles. It is in our personal and professional interest to proclaim that science and religion are perfectly harmonious. After all, we want our grants funded by the government, and our schoolchildren exposed to real science instead of creationism. Liberal religious people have been important allies in our struggle against creationism, and it is not pleasant to alienate them by declaring how we feel. This is why, as a tactical matter, groups such as the National Academy of Sciences claim that religion and science do not conflict. But their main evidence–the existence of religious scientists–is wearing thin as scientists grow ever more vociferous about their lack of faith. Now Darwin Year is upon us, and we can expect more books like those by Kenneth Miller and Karl Giberson. Attempts to reconcile God and evolution keep rolling off the intellectual assembly line. It never stops, because the reconciliation never works.
That is just an extract from a long article. Do take the trouble to read it all.
… David Attenborough is on the side of the angels here.
Sir David Attenborough receives hate mail over his belief in evolution, the British broadcaster and naturalist has revealed.
Sir David is preparing for more letters telling him to "burn in hell" when his latest television show, a documentary on Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, is aired in the UK on Sunday.
"They tell me to burn in hell and good riddance," Sir David told Radio Times magazine.
The popular 82-year-old said people often asked him why he did not "give credit" in his programs to God for creating the natural world.
"They always mean beautiful things like hummingbirds," Sir David said.
"I always reply by saying that I think of a little child in East Africa with a worm burrowing through his eyeball.
"The worm cannot live in any other way, except by burrowing through eyeballs. I find that hard to reconcile with the notion of a divine and benevolent creator."…
He also declared it as "terrible, terrible" that some British state schools can teach children that creationism and evolution are equal alternative view points.
"It’s like saying that two and two equals four, but if you wish to believe it, it could also be five," Sir David said.
"Darwin revolutionised the way we see the world fundamentally, but his basic proposition is still not taken on board by a lot of people."
However, Sir David acknowledged "it would be a very bold scientist, and certainly not me, who believes it’s the be all and end all"…
God is not served through sentimental pap, simplistic answers, and lies, which is what some serve up. Faith acknowledges Attenborough’s challenge. It does not necessarily have any easy answers. Why should it?
Jim Belshaw has begun “a series on social and cultural change in Australia that began with A note on Australia Day and related matters.” I see he expects there that I may sometimes disagree with him:
“I guess we will see some posts expanding on this…”
True of course, but I suspect that while Neil may not like some of the things I plan to talk about, he may be a little surprised at the content.
The posts I have in mind are not intended to tell people what to think nor indeed what I think on specific issues. While I will make my own views clear so that people can understand my biases, I am more concerned to disentangle issues and point to what I see as trends. Where I can, I will put things in historical context. While bias is inevitable, I want to write from a professional perspective.
I will be writing from an Australian perspective, but I hope that the material will be of broader interest.
I won’t say more at this point. I leave it to you, the reader, to form your own views.
I suppose it is possible I may disagree, but I certainly don’t have any problems with the latest in the set — Ladettes – girls acting like boys. Nor do I much worry about Australia Day being 26 January; it could even be argued that date becomes a space for quite useful reflection. This was certainly my case on Australia Day 1988, the Bicentennial, as I suspect it was for many others. I agree too (which I don’t always do) with the more conservative partner in the Skeptic Lawyer blog: I’d like to know where this crap started.
Via LP, I learn that there were several ‘mini-Cronullas‘ this Australia Day, the worst taking place along the Manly Corso in Sydney. No-one dead or seriously injured this time, but people abused, people showered with broken glass, drunken nongs running around wearing the flag like a superman cape (something I find extraordinarily disrespectful), racist epithets flying thick and fast etc etc…
The Americans have somehow managed to be flag-waving and patriotic, but you never see stuff like this attached to their flag; as one American points out, if it happens there it’s the Confederate Flag that gets ‘claimed’ by various drunken nongs. And I just can’t imagine any American using their national flag as a superman cape.
Skeptic Lawyer does bend over backwards to exculpate the Howard years. While I agree it isn’t just that, I think there was a synergy between Howard, the fear generated by 9/11 and Bali etc, and the spirit (demons?) whipped up by Pauline Hanson. It does seem to be very much a right wing phenomenon. SL and I do share distaste for the development nonetheless. Not all change is beneficial.
See what I had to say on Cronulla 05. The posts there were written in the heat, because as one who lived in The Shire for many years I was really upset by what I saw, even if I now concede happily that The Shire is nowhere near as bad as these events and images would suggest. Like just about everywhere else The Shire has in fact changed and in many respects has coped well. Last year’s local government elections tended to bear this out. The extreme racist candidates didn’t get far at all. But I wrote then of Howard, thinking now also of Skeptic Lawyer’s post:
12. PM refuses to use racist tag – National – smh.com.au 2005-12-12 4:10:00 pm
Our PM has spoken at last, refusing to use the R-word when there can be no doubt whatsoever that racism of the crudest and dumbest kind was a big part of what happened yesterday, just as it haunts the psyches of the gang-members, or many of them, to whom the folk of Cronulla rightly object. OK, I would not say all Australians are racist either. I’m not, I hope, though I have had my moments, as we all have. But JH is and always has been namby-pamby in his reverse political correctness on the issue of racism. A bit of “ticker” would have gone down well on this occasion.
I still think that.
When it comes to social change our attitudes are very much shaped by where we’ve come from and what has happened to us. If you want at least one indicator in my case all you need to do is look at a photoset that sums up the last twenty years of my life in its way: M’s New Year party. Little wonder I was sickened by Pauline Hanson, is it?
I do look forward to Jim’s continuing series, because I know they will be, as ever, very carefully considered. Whether I always agree or not is another matter, but Jim has that pretty well covered in the note quoted above.
The “priority updates” just popped up here. OK, two were fair enough, one being the final version of IE8 at around 14 MB download. But the third?
I can’t do better than quote a post on Whirlpool.
Has anyone noticed today’s MS update?…
Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 and .NET Framework 3.5 Family Update (KB951847) x86
Date last published: 1/27/2009
Download size: 248.4 MB…
This is just getting crazy.
And to call it a ‘high priority update’?
Do we really need this?
See you all next week…
For details see List of changes and fixed issues in the .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1. Can you imagine how long a 248.4 MB download takes on Unwired? (If I was still on dial-up I would be waiting until next year…!) Wouldn’t it have been nicer of Microsoft to release this on DVD via some of the major computer mags? I wonder if they know what real-world computing is actually like.
And by 3pm…
Downloads all up took around 4 hours, starting at 10am. That was better than the 6+ predicted by Microsoft. Most of the rest of the time was in installation and reboots – four mandated by Microsoft, plus two extra after attending to collateral matters.
This is a wonderful documentary from Australian film maker Scott Hicks.
Not everyone agrees with me, to judge by some comments on the International Movie Database, but more do agree. I was struck by this one:
I am not a fan of documentaries and having no idea who Philip Glass was nor where to find the cinema I arrived unprejudiced and just on time at the theatre.
Scott Hicks’ ability to capture very emotional moments (“what is your computer password?…it’s FRANKIE”) and to bond film with music (“bababababababa”) combined with superb editing left a full house stunned with impressions at the end of the movie. The movie, like a mosaic, became more and more compelling with every act and piece of information added. Personally, the message that was most moving was the thought of a musical genius, flamboyant and eccentric at times, loving and caring at heart, unable to communicate deeper emotions to his loved ones, somewhat isolated through his talent in a 21st century environment…
Thank you Mr. Hicks for creating an outstanding movie that inspires people to think!
I did have some idea who he is, but after watching the documentary I will in future pay much more attention than I have.
Our own ABC cinema critics Margaret and David gave it **** and *** respectively. Once more I find myself with Margaret, but even more so, as you’ll have seen. I was enthralled.
On ABC commercial free, thank God. Long may Auntie reign!
Thirty years ago a wonderful Catholic priest I had come to know well said, much to my surprise: “Now take that doctrine of Papal Infallibility: Pius IX was around the twist, you know…” I couldn’t but agree, as I had long thought this the case; indeed most reasonably well-informed historians probably would agree. I was surprised that Father thought so too…
But then Catholics are often better than the Catholic Church, though they may not put it that way at times…
Now we have the current Pope going out of his way to demonstrate fallibility, and offending well-informed historians, not just Jews. I am sure someone will explain, or attempt to justify, the political/theological game he is playing. Frankly, I just find it very sad.
I refer of course to this:
EMMA ALBERICI: Pope Benedict’s decision to welcome Richard Williamson back into the Roman Catholic Church coincided with the broadcast of this interview with the 68-year-old breakaway Bishop on Swedish state television.
RICHARD WILLIAMSON: The historical evidence is hugely against six-million Jews having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers as a deliberate policy of Adolf Hitler.
EMMA ALBERICI: Richard Williamson is a rector of a seminary in Argentina. This interview was recorded in Germany last November but was only broadcast last week. The bishop even conceded that his words could land him in jail.
RICHARD WILLIAMSON: The revisionists as they’re called, I think the most serious conclude that between two and 300,000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps but not one of them by gassing in a gas chamber. Germany has paid out billions and billions of deutschmarks and now Euros because the Germans have a guilt complex about their having gassed six-million Jews. But I don’t think six-million Jews were gassed. Be careful, I beg of you. This is against the law in Germany. You could have me thrown into prison before I leave Germany. I hope that’s not your intention.
EMMA ALBERICI: The head of the Vatican’s press office, Father Federico Lombardi said there was no connection between Mr Williamson’s views and the decision to reinvite him into the Church.
FEDERICO LOMBARDI (translated): The declarations of Bishop Williamson cannot be shared in any way, and are not shared at all by the Catholic Church and the Pope. However, they have nothing to do with the issue of the excommunication….
EMMA ALBERICI: Richard Williamson and three other men were excommunicated from the Church in 1988 after being ordained without Vatican permission. The three had been appointed by breakaway French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. The Vatican decree spoke of "overcoming the scandal of divisiveness" and seeking reconciliation with the French Archbishop’s conservative order which opposes the modernisation of the Catholic doctrine. Pope Benedict’s decision comes at a sensitive time in Vatican-Israel relations after the Pope likened Gaza during the recent conflict to a concentration camp.
Holocaust denial is rather more than “a matter of opinion”; it is (in my book) a very clear breach of the commandment on “false witness”, if you want to put a “sin” category on it. In other words, it is to embrace a lie. I would have thought Bishop Williamson’s excommunication more merited than most. It isn’t as if he has repented or recanted.
Perhaps the Pope plans to visit Iran…
I wonder what Wild Reed, a progressive and very thoughtful Catholic, thinks of this. I do refer you to posts like Beyond Papalism on his site to get some idea.
And on another front, I do commend a personal post by Wild Reed, who was born in Australia but lives in Minnesota these days: My "Bone Country". It is quite beautiful.
Update 29 January
The Sydney Morning Herald has a follow-up report this morning: Bishops apologise for Holocaust denier.
…The Lefebvrian bishops, who form part of the traditionalist Fraternita San Pio, have had their excommunication rescinded by the Pope in a bid to mend a 20-year schism within the Catholic Church.
In a letter published overnight by the Holy See, the bishops not only seek forgiveness for Monsignor Williamson’s denial of the gas chambers and the Jewish genocide – broadcast on Swedish TV last week – but imply that he has been gagged…
Italy’s Repubblica newspaper quoted Rome’s chief rabbi, Riccardo Di Segni, saying that the bishop’s use of the word "inopportune" underplayed the enormity of the Shoah, or Holocaust.
"It is not good enough to simply shut down the comments of one denier. I want to know from the Lefebvrians exactly what the Vatican Council’s decrees are regarding Jewish people," he said.
On his regular blog, Dinoscopus, Monsignor Williamson crowed about the group’s reintegration into the Catholic Church but made no explicit reference to his denials of the Holocaust. Rather, he referred to a "media uproar", which he claimed was designed to halt the Pope’s decision to rescind the Lefebvrians excommunication.
An arch conservative in matters of gender and dress, Monsignor Williamson argues that women should not wear trousers or shorts and has also aired conspiracy theories on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the destruction of the Twin Towers. He insists he is not anti-Semitic but merely a follower of the words of the New Testament…
The Pope’s decision to return it to the fold is underpinned by the desire to shore up the conservative and traditionalist ranks inside the Catholic Church.
The move holds particular significance at a time when it has become clear that any hope of a union with the Anglican communion is unlikely.
However, Monsignor Williamson’s statements on the Holocaust and his endorsement of anti-Semitic forgeries, including the Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion, have sparked a backlash in Europe since the Pope’s decision, reported to have been made without seeking advice, became public over the weekend.
I think “fruit loop” is a mild descriptor for Williamson, don’t you? He really could be flavour of the month in Iran! This is an extreme example of conservatism as mental illness, in my view; there’s no doubt it sometimes is. After all, inability to distinguish fact from fiction and reality from delusion must surely mean something.
26 January has long been known as Australia Day, but it is not without its detractors. Wikipedia gives a pretty good account of the ins and outs: Australia Day (aka Foundation Day, Anniversary Day, Survival Day, Invasion Day, Day of Mourning). The problem is we don’t have a national revolution to recall, as do France, the USA, or China. What we have thus far chosen is the anniversary of the gathering of the First (convict) Fleet at Sydney Cove.
By the afternoon of the 26 January 1788, all of the fleet was at anchor in or near Sydney Cove. Before sunset, the British Flag (Queen Ann)was raised in the name of George III of Great Britain.
In 1808, the day was celebrated as the "First Landing" or "Foundation Day", as the colony had survived for twenty years, despite the initial hardships, deprivation and starvation suffered by the First Fleet settlers.
My ancestor, not counting those of them here for 40,000 years or so already, arrived in 1822. We now know he was apparently a convicted horse thief from, originally, Ballyhagen Co Kildare Ireland.
This year controversy has begun to simmer over the appointment of leading Indigenous advocate Mick Dodson to the honour of Australian of the Year. Dodson has been quick to suggest our National Day is rather inappropriate; he’s not the first to think this. Opposition foot-in-mouth artist Tony Abbott has been equally quick to respond, demonstrating yet again why he isn’t leader of the Opposition and never should be. I found Abbott’s argument smacked very much of the pot calling the kettle black, if you will all forgive my rather infelicitous phrase there.
I am very much taken with one alternative suggestion: 9 July. “Constitution Day, 9 July is also suggested as a possible alternative, commemorating the day in 1900 when Queen Victoria gave her assent to the Constitution of Australia.” Not to mention that this is also my birthday. What could be more appropriate?
Another objection to the present day, of course, is that it’s very much a NSW thing, and even more a Sydney thing. There is something in that.