Why are we so afraid of our kids?

I’m confused.

On one hand, we have people creating a huge furor over Bill Henson’s photographic depiction of adolescents as “pornography” and claims that it amounts to material that will encourage and satiate pedophile activity, yet on another hand we live in a society where teenagers are looked upon with suspicion and disdain.

For the record, Bill Henson is a highly-respected artist. His images display a deep sensitivity of the human condition, specifically during one’s adolescent years.

Personally, I believe his work is of high artistic merit, however I concede that I am bias and have an artistic bent. Also I am against censorship, as I fail to see why there should be a “board of annointed personnel” that dictate what the rest of society is allowed to see.

David Marr recently described Peter Garrett as “piss weak” in his response to the controversy surrounding Bill Henson’s work and was seen as purely “falling into line” with our “Christian” PM’s view that the works were “offensive”. This is despite the fact that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd had only seen five photographs of Henson’s work.

As Minister for the Arts, I would have expected more from Peter Garrett, yet once again he is proving himself to be “piss weak” just as he has on environmental issues.

At what point to we ask ourselves – “if you are the Minister For The Arts, and The Environment, at what point to you begin to measure your success or failure in pursuing the best interests of these portfolio’s, or are you purely the office-holder for explaining why you haven’t performed?

 

Art or Porn?

Art or Porn?

Norman Lindsay:  Art or Porn?

Steve Fielding: chief censor

It would be ironic if the government’s opt-out internet filtering system is blocked by the conservatives, especially Senator Steve Fielding. The Age reports:

Family First Senator Steve Fielding wants hardcore pornography and fetish material blocked under the Government’s plans to filter the internet, sparking renewed fears the censorship could be expanded well beyond “illegal material”.

The Opposition said it would most likely block any attempts to introduce the controversial mandatory ISP filtering policy, so the Government would need the support of Senator Fielding as well as the Greens and Senator Nick Xenophon to pass the legislation.
Net filters may block porn and fetish sites

Populists politics, wowserism and moralising have made this issue into a hot one for Stephen Conroy. Despite the problems with an opt-in filtering system, it is time for the Rudd government to reconsider.

There has certainly been a strong reaction around the blogosphere:

I have a simple message to Senator Conroy. Stop bullying opponents of the scheme and take time to listen to those affected by this hideous plan.
iTWire: Mandatory Content Filtering in Australia

Kevin Rennie

Original post at Labor View from Bayside

Congratulations blogocrats

I just wanted to say that I am proud of the blogocrats. Over the last few days there have been some strong disagreements on the economic threads, and we have not seen anyone resort to name calling.  I accept that a few minor insults (but never directed at a blogocrat) where thrown, but overall I think the standard of the discussions has been excellent. Well done everyone.

Now where is briannie when we need him/her/it?

Superannuation Funds -Worst Performance Ever

According to a report at the Sydney Morning Herald, Superannuation funds’ returns have clocked up their worst 12-month return on record as tumbling share prices savage stock portfolios.

The average return for a balanced superannuation fund has fallen 11.6% for the year to the end of September, the worst annual result since the introduction of compulsory superannuation in 1992, according to fund rating agency Superatings.

For the three months to the end of September, the average balanced superannuation fund sank 3.4%, marking the fourth consecutive quarter of losses, with more bad news to come once this month’s market plunges are taken in account.

Continue reading

The heads of DIC (Dept of Immigration and Citizenship)

Two stories have emerged over the weekend that concern the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIC), and the involvement/comments of the two ministers in charge.

The previous PM famously said in 2001 that “We will decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come”.

Well – it turns out that not only did they do that they also decided who will NOT come to this country to claim asylum and the circumstances in which we will send them to be killed.

An upcoming documentary on the SBS (A Well Founded Fear on 19th Nov) details allegations that up to 20 Afghans had their asylum claims rejected and they were sent back to Afghanistan where they were subsequently killed.

Continue reading

Robocall Rants: e-lectioneering 2.0

I knew that robocalls had arrived in Australia. Nevertheless, when Prime Minister John Howard rang me before last year’s election I was startled by his voice at first. Because it was a recorded message, my colourful response was wasted.

It’s the electronic age in political campaigning these days. We are now well acquainted with the political use of the Web. Party and candidate websites, blogging, social networking pages, online videos, and internet advertising are just some of the techniques used.

It has been a multi-media frenzy in the U.S. this presidential election season. Opponents of Barack Obama have even been direct-mailing DVDs to spread their smears. As Huffington Post reported recently:

This week, 28 million copies of a right-wing, terror propaganda DVD are being mailed and bundled in newspaper deliveries to voters in swing states. The 60-minute DVDs, titled Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West, are landing on doorsteps in a campaign coinciding with the 7th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Pro-McCain Group Dumping 28 Million Terror Scare DVDs in Swing States

Continue reading