Findings from Lowy Institute Poll 2008 – Australia and the world

(another cross-post from the boyf across at Political Duo)

Some findings as food for thought:

1. 65% said Australia is taking too much notice of the views of the United States in its foreign policy.

2. The top three foreign policy goals which the government should pursue are (in descending order): protecting the jobs of Australian workers (79%); combating international terrorism (72%); and strengthening the Australian economy (70%). Promoting democracy in other countries (30%); helping to stabilise weak nations in the region (46%) and strengthening the UN (46%) are the three lowest priorities.

3. 90% strongly agree or agree think that the Australian government has a responsibility to ensure major Australian companies are kept in majority Australian control.

4. 62% thinks that the Australian government is not doing enough to pressure China to improve human rights.

5. 33% agrees that Australia’s interest will not be harmed if China gained more power and influence. 64% said disagreed.

6. Increasing scarcity of water (83%); global warming (66%); and international terrorism (66%) are the three highest rated perceived threats for Australia in the next decade.

7. 56% opposes Australia’s continuing military involvement in Afghanistan. This is an increase in 10% from 2007 results.

8. 64% thinks the Kyoto Protocol is a step in the right direction though it has not solved the climate change problem.

9. 88% thinks Australia should only export uranium to countries which have signed the Nuclear Non-proliferation treaty.

Weird dreams….

Ive been having a lot of weird dreams lately. ..

Most are like adventurous movies of a horror or sci-fi nature where I’m being tormented by some thing or some one and my predicament ends up somewhat compromised.

Last night’s dream featured Michael Caine, along the lines of the role he played as “Alfred” in “Batman” where he was playing the role of a gentle father, offering wordly advice while I had to contend with all the trials and tribulations of trying to survive day-to-day (and indeed be true to, and my better self) in a world full of evil and mean-spirited calculated characters.

This was definitely an X-rated dream, not that there was any shagging involved, but a lot of blood and guts. (Obviously I’ve been watching too many horror movies).

A close friend of mine has read a lot about dreams, and keeps a notepad by her bed in order to jot down ‘memories’ before they are forgotten. Somehow thinking that they have a greater meaning and shed a deeper insight into our true “being” and “exsistence” on the planet.

When she told me this, I paused, and after some considered thought, replied “fair enough.”

For me. Tomorrow, I will have forgotten about Michael Caine’s appearance as a starring role in last night’s dream, and am not really sure who’s going to make an appearance in this evening’s performance.

I guess it’s a bit like “This is your Life” and you’re never really sure who’s going to show up, albeit in an imaginary form, in a totally unconscious state.

Which reminds me of the time when I woke up underneath a shrub, but that’s another story…

One thing is for sure. Dreams is one thing we definitely don’t have control of.

Care to share yours, and how you interpret them….?

(No “R” rated stuff please, this is a family show).

What is really important?

I was proof-reading one of the boyf’s essays for university at lunch, and came across this fact:

300 billion USD a year would lift everyone on the planet above the extreme poverty line of $1 a day (UNDP 2005).

And it struck me, we are currently spending trillions on supporting financial institutions that are failing. This morning I posted how we can find money for that and not for climate change, but the quote above highlights completely our misplaced sense of importance. And so I did some research and found this graphic from the UN MDG website.

It shows that for the less than the cost of propping up failed businesses we could lift everyone in the world out of poverty. Now I understand that we need to look after the world economies to be able to help those less fortunate, but it sort of puts it all into some sort of perspective, eh?

Alcohol Truck accident on F3

The F3 out of Sydney today has been closed due to a truck accident, where the truck was carrying alcohol – and I know how disturbing that story is to some of us on here.

Anyway – here is the first photo from the scene.

Oh the humanity!

Oh the humanity!

(sorry – could not resist using the photo – joni)

Cash for bailout, but none for climate

I just don’t get it. The US Fed has just released another 37.8-billion-dollar injection of cash into AIG – which makes it seem that there is an endless pit of money available to bail out failed financial institutions.

But when we have a problem that threatens the entire world, Climate Change, there seems to be no money available – and all those who deny CC complaim about how much it will cost the taxpayer.



Bill of Rights

In a profoundly disturbing opinion piece in this mornings SMH, John Von Doussa, who is the president of the Australian Human Rights Commission, details why he thinks that we need a formal Bill of Rights in Australia.

I will leave you to read the full article, but when a judge says things like:

As a judge, I felt the decision at which I arrived was both legally correct and morally reprehensible


We frequently scrutinised the human rights compatibility of new bills. I saw major legislation – including counter-terrorism bills and the package of bills to enable the Northern Territory intervention – rushed through Parliament with grossly inadequate consideration of the impact of these laws on basic rights.

I get very disturbed, and get even more convinced of the need for an Australian Bill of Rights.