Fitzgibbon – first Rudd minister to fall?

Will Joel Fitzgibbon be the first minister in the Rudd government to fall on his sword?

Tonight he has said that he did in fact receive gifts from Helen Liu. This morning a spokesperson said:

The minister has not accepted any gifts that would require a declaration on the members’ interest register.

It turns out he did accept gifts that fall under the declaration guidelines and tonight he has said:

I have taken immediate steps to declare this sponsored travel to the clerk of registrar of members’ interests.

These trips were paid for by Ms Helen Liu either personally or through her associated commercial interest. I failed to disclose those trips. This was a mistake and for that I apologise.

Sorry Minister. I think it is time to go.

Footy Tipping Competition!

James of North Melbourne has kindly offered to arrange a blogocrats footy tipping competition.

To enter, all you need to do is register here:

Comp Name: Blogocrats
Comp Number: 183040
Comp Password: wardrobe

Do you believe in Psychics?

I’ve always regarded the “psychic realm” with some scepticism.

However, another close friend of mine had a very deep interest in spirituality and the nature of consciousness, and as such, gave away the corporate life to live in an Indian Ashram in the 1970s for several years before eventually settling in the Blue Mountains of NSW.

He consulted one or two psychics fairly regularly and swore by their ability to sense where he was heading in life. I imagine these were fairly deeply personal experiences and occasionally he would share some details with me over our regular lunch dates.

He also wrote two books on the nature of consciousness which were subsequently published in the US and distributed worldwide.

I have only ever ‘consulted’ two psychics in my life, and to me I approached the idea as just being a form of lighthearted entertainment, rather than seeking some sort of divine knowledge or intuition.

However I was subsequently amazed at the level of accuracy and detail that they specifically honed in on, when I was expecting just some vague nonsense like “I can see you going overseas” etc…

For example, the first experience was with an elderly Chinese “face reader” in Penang in Malaysia. I sat in front of him and without either of us saying anything, he looked at me closely, and then after a few moments quietly said “Your life is out of control. There are things that are controlling you, like an addiction to alcohol, and until you get this under control, you won’t be happy.”

Bloody hell! I thought. That’s his opening line?

Waiter! A scotch and coke please!

He then continued on with other areas that were very personal but again quite profound in detail and accuracy.

The second occasion was with a psychic here in Tasmania. I went to see her while my partner was in Malaysia attending the funeral of his father who had just passed away.

The first thing she said to me was “You’ve recently lost someone close, like a family member.”

She also said “You’ve been doing a lot of work outside your house. Something that involves a lot of digging of dirt and moving it around.” At that very point in time there was a huge excavator doing some major landscaping at our place.

One thing that intrigued me, was that she insisted that I wasn’t going to remain in Tasmania. She said “You’re going to move somewhere hot. Much hotter than here. You’re not thinking of moving to Queensland or the Gold Coast?”

“No” I replied. “That wouldn’t happen”

But then 2 years later, my partner and I have bought an apartment in Malaysia and intend to move there in the distant future.

So, anyway, that sums up my experience. Anyone care to share whether they believe in this sort of thing or not…? Or have you had similar (or different) experiences?


Last week I read a fascinating article on what is being called Blindsight.

A blind man has surprised scientists by walking an obstacle course with the strange power of “blindsight,” the Times of London reports. The man, blinded by brain-damaging strokes, cleanly walked the course without using a cane. He had already baffled experts by reacting to people’s facial expressions.

It seems that even though his eyes are perfect – he cannot see because of stroke damage to his cerebral cortex, but he is able to “subconsciously react to visual information”.

These sort of things interest me after I was struck down with a brain infection called viral encephalitis in 1999 – which nearly killed me, and left me with a memory loss of the three years before I was sick (amongst other weird and wonderful side-effects). The doctors say that my memory is still there, just that I cannot access it – sort of like the index is lost. About a year after I recovered I was talking to my mother about a trip we did to NYC that I could not remember, and she was telling me about the fire in the building opposite and how flames were coming out of the windows. At that point – all of my memory of NYC came back. Weird eh?

The brain is just an amazing organ.