Monthly Archives: January 2008

Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam documentary on ABC tonight

“Father and Son” I still really like. I have put that up over on the VodPod to remind all of us who are of a certain age. Some songs are part of your life’s sound track, aren’t they? For me this is Wollongong, 1970s. And then he vanished as Cat Stevens. Tonight’s documentary explored that and his current reemergence as a singing Yusuf Islam, after a long period when he gave up music. The documentary — or the first and last parts — is also in the VodPod, as is one of his recent songs.


Didn’t know he and Dolly Parton were such good mates; she apparently gave the US authorities a lashing when he was forbidden entry to the US in 2004.

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Posted by on January 31, 2008 in faith and philosophy, Islam, nostalgia, TV


Visitor #5,000

… to this blog, which began in December 2007. Arrived 7:41:19 am from Terrey Hills, NSW. Month’s stats review tomorrow.

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Posted by on January 31, 2008 in blogging, site news, site stats


This really is a shame

I know this place well. At one time I lived just around the corner from it. Later on, in the early 1990s, I took M there and he found it fascinating, like a quick trip back to China, indeed back to China’s past.

Fire investigators will work today to determine if arson caused a blaze at an historic temple in inner Sydney. At least one room and its contents were destroyed at the Sze Yup Chinese temple, in Edward Street, Glebe.

Residents living nearby the temple reported smoke billowing from the building just before 1am (AEDT) today. Crews rushed to the scene and extinguished the blaze around 4.20am, a NSW Fire Brigades spokesman said.

The temple’s website states the site has been the “spiritual and cultural centre for Sydney’s Chinese community since 1898”.

The temple is also a focal point of Chinese New Year celebrations, to be held on February 7.

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Posted by on January 31, 2008 in Australia, environment, M, multicultural Australia


Reconciliation etc. Update

Just two bits from a quick look at this morning’s news.

1. Apology welcome, but plenty more to be done: Chaney

A former Aboriginal Affairs Minister has welcomed the Rudd Government’s announcement of a formal apology for the Stolen Generations, but says the real work will come after the apology is made.

“An apology is long overdue, and it will be good to get it out of the way and get on with the business of dealing with the 17-year-gap in life expectancy,” he said.

“For many Aboriginal people this is an important step in putting the past behind them and getting with the business of ensuring that Aboriginal futures are better than the Aboriginal past.”

Mr Chaney says it is a shame the apology has not come sooner.

“One could go on having consultation about these matters forever,” he said. “It’s nearly 10 years since the report on these matters was brought before the Australian people, I think it’s high time the apology was made, and we are able to move on and work constructively for a better future.”

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Heath Ledger and the plank in the eye syndrome

Christian readers will instantly get the reference.

At this stage we actually do not know how and why Heath Ledger died. It may turn out to have been a tragic accident, or a mixing of prescription drugs with fatal consequences, rather than anything that can remotely be said to resemble your archetypal sex, drugs and rock and roll exit from life. Repeat, we just don’t know.

People who improve on the shining hour, then, by sermonising on his death tell us more about themselves than they do about Heath Ledger, life, God, religion, or Jesus Christ.

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Posted by on January 30, 2008 in awful warnings, blogging, Christianity, other blogs


Reconciliation, Stolen Generation, Reparations… and all that

Yes, I am still thinking about these matters. It is good that Australians do think about them, but I do realise that it is not at all as simple as perhaps I would like it to be, a reference to my vent the other day — which I still stand by for what it’s worth.

Jim Belshaw took me to task rather on that one, and subsequently addressed one aspect rather persuasively.

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What price justice after this sorry saga?

That is the headline in Peter Roebuck’s opinion piece today. It is a very well argued take on the latest developments in the Harbhajan Singh matter, judicious even, in my opinion.

…Brinkmanship or not, threatening to take their bat and ball home in the event of a resented verdict being allowed to stand was an abomination. It sets a dreadful precedent. What price justice now?

Not that the attempt made by Cricket Australia to broker a compromise had much more to commend it. Ricky Ponting and his players were entitled to take a stand on principle. As it happens, I thought their strategy unwise because they had fanned the flames, Anil Kumble had not been given a chance to intervene and the case was unwinnable… Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on January 30, 2008 in Australia, Cricket