Never Mind The Frolykz, here’s Weekend Wonderland..!!

Hello!!

Good afternoon and welcome to our end of the week – beginning of the weekend – frollicking discussion forum.

It’s been an interesting week by all accounts. It started off with Jesus being resurrected from the dead, which is no mean feet really, and then finished with me watching a movie last night about people who were locked in a building and then began tearing each other limb from limb. Just like any other day at the office really.

Whatever happened to Media Watch? You know the show on the ABC? It used to be really interesting many years ago when it was hosted by Stuart Littlemore, who always had his tongue firmly ensconced in his cheek, but now it’s just an absolute bore. The other night they blabbed on about how the ABC went off the air for a few seconds. I mean like wow, big deal.

Sometimes the media just get it so wrong. For example here’s an article today on torture techniques employed in Guantanamo Bay which features an advertisment “one thousand ways to say thanks a million this Mother’s day”. I mean really…

Anyway, James has bet me to it with today’s music by putting up Susan Boyle’s amazing performance. (A request from Oftenbark).

I’d also like to thank James on behalf of all of us for the sterling job he’s doing with the weekly footy thread.

This is the latest from PSB…

Things aren’t always as they seem……

…….and I simply love having my preconceptions ruined.

and

Enjoy!!!

Asylum Seekers; Political Pawns Once Again.

Once again, we witness the plight of asylum seekers immediately being latched upon by the Liberal party as an opportunity to score some political points.

The truth, they say, is the first casualty of war, and I think the same can be said when it comes to asylum seekers seeking respite in Australia.

From various sources, here is what we know so far.

News.com.au reports that more than 30 asylum-seekers are being treated for serious injuries in Australian hospitals after their boat exploded off the northwest coast.

Three people were killed and dozens were injured, including three Australian Defence Force personnel, when the asylum-seekers’ boat exploded as it was being escorted to the Christmas Island detention centre yesterday morning.

The cause of the blast remains unclear.

Emergency flights took 31 of the worst hurt to the remote Truscott air base – a landing strip roughly halfway between Broome and Darwin – for treatment.

From there, eight people with the most severe injuries were taken to Darwin hospital for emergency treatment. One was taken to Broome for emergency surgery. The other 22 were taken to Perth for treatment for burns and other injuries.

The worst of the injured suffered severe burns similar to those sustained in the first Bali bombing, a Darwin doctor has been reported as saying.

Investigations are under way into the “manner and cause” of yesterday’s explosion. Headed by Assistant Commissioner Mark McAdie from the Northern Territory’s regional crime service, the task force could lay charges if it finds the explosion or fire was deliberate.

Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett said yesterday that the explosion was caused by petrol, driving speculation that it was an act of sabotage.

“What I think is clear is, the refugees spread petrol on their boat, the vessel they were on,” Mr Barnett said.

Mr Barnett said the information had been relayed from the Northern Command (NORCOM), which included naval and other Defence Force personnel.

How can Mr Barnett make such a categorical claim that it was sabotage when the cause of the explosion is still unclear?? Is it appropriate for politicians to be commenting and drawing their own ill-founded conclusions in relation to this humanitarian issue when so much remains unclear?

Immigration Minister Chris Evans said the cause would not be confirmed for some time and there should be no speculation.

“Politicians shouldn’t be making claims about the things they don’t know. I think it would be wise if everyone stopped pretending they knew,” he said on ABC radio this morning.

Home Affairs Minister Bob Debus said it the blast might have been caused deliberately. “Of course it’s possible. It’s either an accident or it was deliberate. Everybody can see that. The real question is to determine which was the actual situation,” he said on Sky TV this morning.

Senator Evans said all would be processed as normal on Christmas Island once they had been treated and had recovered from their injuries.

The confusion that surrounded the children overboard controversy during the 2001 election was clearly on the minds of Defence and government officials, who yesterday were reluctant to release information that had not been confirmed.

“I’m not prepared to speculate on the cause of the explosion,” head of Border Protection Command Rear Admiral Allan du Toit said in Canberra more than six hours after the blast.
The vessel, believed to have originated in Indonesia, was intercepted on Wednesday afternoon two nautical miles off Ashmore Reef.

The boat was the sixth to arrive this year and its passengers are among 455 suspected asylum-seekers since September.

The Opposition said the Government’s immigration policies had caused a hike in arrivals. Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull said this in turn was putting more lives at risk, as more people resorted to dangerous journeys to get to Australia.

“The more boats that come, the more accidents that will arise, the more lives that will be put at risk,” he said on ABC radio.

Mr Turnbull disagreed with the Government’s claim that asylum-seekers often have no knowledge of a countries’ immigration policies, saying people-smuggling is an “evil business”.

“Our laws, depending on how strictly they are enforced.. .offer greater or lesser incentive for people smuggling to go on,” he said.

This morning on Channel Seven’s Sunrise Show, Joe Hockey put the blame fair and square in the hands of the Federal Labor Party for “relaxing” the previous Governments stricter border patrol policies and initiatives.

While few people would argue that people smuggling is an abhorrent business, it is presumptuous for the Liberal party to presume that these asylum seekers are part of a people smuggling exercise and for Joe Hockey to immediately seize upon this development as a political football.

As Chris Evans says, it is inappropriate for politicians to be commenting on this matter until investigations have been completed.

Let’s not forget that these people may well be fleeing hardship and persecution and Australia has international obligations, not to mention moral and ethical obligations to treat these people with compassion.

UPDATE:

Oh dear, it looks the the rabid Liberals have worked themselves into a frenzy over this:

This from The Australian:Within minutes of news of yesterday’s tragic explosion aboard an alleged people-smuggling vessel off Ashmore Reef, Opposition immigration spokeswoman Sharman Stone began the recriminations, squarely placing the blame for the deaths on Labor.

“You can’t slash funds, you can’t take your eye off the ball, you can’t announce a softer policy and then expect people not to lose their lives through people-smuggling,” she told Sky News. “Which, of course, is all about cash, nothing to do with getting an individual, a young person, a family safely to Australia.”

Dr Stone’s strongly worded attack drew a sharp rebuke from the Government and caused her leader, Malcolm Turnbull, to tone down the Opposition rhetoric by insisting that the Opposition did not want to make political points over the tragedy.

I think it’s too late Malcolm, your Ministers have already blabbered all over the media “incandescent with rage!”

Footy Finally!!!

Well it’s been a helluva week in politics, hey? Does a pig make a better PM than a rodent? Was Obama really change the US could believe in? I think we all agree that the major banks are highway robbers but are we really going to go to an election over the price of a Lemon Ruski? All that and more will be revealed over time. For now, though, it’s time to talk sport.

In Australian Football this the round commences tonight when Brisbane take on Collingwood at the Gabba.

Brisbane v Collingwood. Collingwood haven’t been quite as good as I thought they would be so far and Brisbane under new coach Michael Voss have been better than I thought. To the extent that Brisbane are flying under the hype of youthful enthusiastic coaching remains to be seen but I think it will continue for one more week against a suspension depleted Collingwood. Lions by about 20 points at home.

Sydney v Carlton. It’s a Saturday afternoon game in Sydney and I’m at a wedding Goddammit. The Darl is a Blues supporter so perhaps it’s for the best. Carlton’s form has been largely pretty good and Sydney has been mixed. Both were pretty awful last week. Hard to see Sydney winning but I’m backing them anyway ‘cos that’s love.

Hawthorn v Port Adelaide. I guess this one might be a test of my prediction re- the level of crappiness of Port Adelaide. Believe me, they are crap. Hawks are beginning to wind up. Hawthorn by heaps.

St Kilda v Fremantle. Saints have done very little wrong so far but history tells me that they shouldn’t yet be trusted. Fremantle have done nothing right so far and history tells me they will continue down that path. Saints.

Adelaide v Geelong. The Cats, whilst undefeated, don’t appear to possess that ruthlessness of past years and something tells me that Adelaide aren’t far away this year. I’m picking the Cats but I won’t be bowled over with surprise if the Crows get up over there.

North Melbourne v Essendon. Essendon had a great win last week over Carlton, with much of the work being done in print in the preceding days. Carlton swallowed the lure like a toadfish in a bucket. North had a shocker. I think both sides will revert back to the mean this week and North will win by not very much.

Richmond v Melbourne. Not since Carlton defeated Essendon by losing in the “Bryce Gibbs Cup” a few years ago has a match between two such crap teams been so highly anticipated. The Richmond Football Club are a funny bunch to watch from the outside. Their supporters love their club with such a deep passion that the screams of agony and gnashing of teeth when they are let down, which happens every year, can be quite comical for the observer. I must say, though, it’s beginning to reach the point of pity. Nah stuff it, GO DEES, and good bye TV Terry Wallace! Sorry Tony.

West Coast v Western Bulldogs. You wouldn’t know that the Dogs are the form side of the competition at the moment because in every match so far they’ve been given the death time slot, late Sunday arvo, or Monday, when the interest in the footy is starting to wane. The AFL can’t pretend to be even handed when a club like the Bulldogs, enjoying a very rare period of success, continually get shoved into shitty timeslots. Anyway, they’ll win again, the Dogs that is, not that anyone will know about it.

In racing at Randwick, I reckon Theseo will probably win the Doncaster although I’ll also have a nibble at Pinnacles at good odds. Also of interest is the regular match race between Apache Cat and Takeover Target. Always great to watch and not worth punting on. Just enjoy two great nags going at it. In Melbourne, stick with Marveen in Race 3 at Flemington. AVAGOODWEEGEND!!!!!

Check this out……and turn the volume up!!