My toughest post yet.

Child Sex Abuse.

When it might involve someone you know.

Kevin on a mission from Heaven

Not only is the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, on an international mission to save the world from the perils of global warming, sorry climate change, he’s also on a mission from God to make sure that the Pope considers Australia’s very own Mother Mary MacKillop as a strong candidate for eternal afterlife stardom as a Saint. (Not to be confused with the Roger Moore show of the same name).

Apparently, Sainthood is a bit like the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, except it’s for Catholics.

Although she’s already dead, which is a prerequisite for membership anyway, MacKillop is rapidly shoring up the odds as the leading contender for Sainthood after she passed first base of being “beatified*” (whatever the hell that means) by Pope John Paul the second in 1995.

Bookies are now placing MacKillop as the clear front runner in the race for the Saint hood title, particularly after Pope Benedict, also affectionately known as “The Rottweiler” due to his friendly, affable nature, made a crash visit to MacKillop’s tomb during his multi-million tax-payer funded jaunt to Australia last year.

The PM met the pontiff in the ornate, yet modestly appointed Palazzo Apostolico, the “papal apartment pad,” also known as “the pap.”

The two men spoke quietly for a period, and then faster than you can say “saints preserve us,” Mr Rudd whipped out a case of Australian wines specifically selected for the pontiff.

Consisting of sickly sweet insipid dessert wines with a bitter after taste, the thought seemed lost on the pontiff but he was grateful nonetheless.

The wines were in an exquisitely presented handmade box made from rare Australian timber with an embossed image of Mary MacKillop giving the two thumbs up symbol.

Pope Benedict returned the favour, and gave Mr Rudd a signed copy of his most recent encyclical, which calls for greater understanding and compassion for humanity called “Why I still hate fags and condoms.”

Mr Rudd said he believed the encyclical was a “good document” and the pontiff’s call for a greater balance between the selfish needs of people and the rights of the church to discriminate against others required serious consideration.

The pontiff also gave Mr Rudd a pen in the shape of an altar boy in St Peter’s Basilica.

Bending over to collect the pen Mr Rudd said “And this is our motion I gave to our Parliament when I said sorry to the Aboriginal people.”

“You should think of us when you are here in the Vatican on a warm summer’s night” said Mr Rudd. “I certainly shall” replied the pontiff.

Following their discussions, Vatican officials took Mr Rudd on a private tour of Pope John Paul’s “Grotto” which shouldn’t be confused with the seedy shell-encrusted “Grotto” next to the gay sauna “Ken’s” in Kensington, Sydney, which featured prominently in the television series “Underbelly.”

The blood visibly drained from the pontiff’s face as Mr Rudd tried to explain the location of Sydney’s own “Grotto.” But it seemed as though Sydney’s Grotto was already familiar turf for the pontiff and Mr Rudd’s time was up.

On that note, a dozen bishops suddenly appeared as if from nowhere and ushered Mr Rudd from the building.

*Apparently, it has nothing to do with botox or cosmetic surgery.

(S)excess Ledger on The HMAS Success

This is a guest post from Tony…

In light of the recent beat-up scandal surrounding the HMAS Success, and Deputy Prime Minister Gillard’s declaration that “the navy must investigate allegations that sailors were challenging each other to have sex with crewmates, warning such behaviour had the potential to discourage women from joining the defence forces”, it might be worth examining this ‘scandal’ in more detail.

What part of the behaviour of the sent-home crew members does the Navy, and Ms Gillard, find objectionable?

Is it the fact that crew members are engaging in apparently consensual sex while at sea (nowhere has it been alleged that any of these acts were against anybody’s free-will)?

Or is it the fact that the some sailors saw such acts as conquests? Or is it that they were gambling on the outcome?

Or could this all be just confected outrage, fanned by the media and taken up with gusto by our politicians, designed to maintain an unrealistic ideal of the members of our armed forces, instead of conceding that such behaviour is relatively normal in today’s society?

Or maybe our politicians are engaging in a bit of double-edged dog-whistling, hoping to appeal to those groups in society that are meant to be concerned with ‘equality’ and ‘fairness’, while at the same time pushing the buttons of some of the more moralising members of the electorate?

Alternative ETS Policy

This is a guest post from Scaper..

“GREEN groups want emissions trading ditched in favour of direct and immediate action to tackle climate change.”

I believe Wong’s ETS is badly designed, it will subsidise big polluters and the citizens will bare the brunt although the government will compensate us to a certain degree which indicates a tax churn!

Lets try to move beyond the usual debate of if there is or is not AGW and look at the alternative policy outlined in the link…”Plan B.”

Green Groups have outlined eight points to their plan.

1- phasing out coal-fired power stations during the coming decade;

2- green makeovers for millions of homes;

3- mandatory fuel efficiency standards for cars;

4- more and cheaper public transport;

5- more cycle paths, more car pooling;

6- an end to urban sprawl;

7- generating 40 per cent of energy from renewable sources by 2020;

8- ending the logging of old-growth forests.

Lets concentrate on just a couple of points in this post as there is too much to cover in one thread.

2- I believe green makeovers for millions of homes would be the starting point but how could this be achieved? Obviously new housing should include solar hot water, panels, water harvesting and storage, insulation and design to make better use of the northerly aspect to reduce heating in winter.

But for any marked improvement there has to be a retrograde fitout of existing buildings which will involve serious dollars and should the government be solely responsible for covering the cost or should there be a somewhat sharing of costs in the form of tax credits redeemed say over a five year period?

This is a sticking point, in the foreseeable future the government has less room to move fiscally because of incurred debt so the revenue stream is limited, maybe some form of tax is required opposed to an ETS that will be totally dedicated to subsidisation of retrograding of houses opposed to going into general revenue which usually is utilised for other policy decisions, this has to be a stand alone fund.

Maybe a rollback of middle class welfare might just fill the revenue gap to achieve this end?

7-Generating 40 per cent of energy from renewable sources by 2020 is possible if point 2 is successful but there will be a substantial requirement for base load electricity to run industry and the like so the alternatives are wind, tidal, nuclear and geothermal.

Wind turbines are expensive to produce, a visual eyesore and produce electricity in variable quantities depending on conditions.

Tidal is still in its infancy but has potential in the future.

Nuclear due to its reputation is political suicide and the waste is an issue in itself.

Geothermal seems to be the best long term option but the optimum hot rock zones are in remote locations in South Australia and the Northern Territory which presents logistical problems to hook into respective power grids.

I’ve omitted clean coal technology as I’m very sceptical that this can be achieved at this juncture but if it is worthy of discussion then include it.

I believe we have to clean up our act and work towards sustainability regardless if there was global warming or not so this is not an issue on this thread.

Cops Killing People with Taser Guns

Daphon mentioned this topic on Midweek Mayhem and I thought it would make a good topic for discussion.

Taser guns were introduced with the intention of providing police with a more effective method of rendering an individual powerless in comparison to capsicum spray and a less lethal force than a sidearm.

However in recent months there have been a number of “incidents” involving the use of taser guns by police and in particular, reports in the media that they are being used innappropriately – where the individual does not pose a significant threat to warrant the use of a taser gun, and more recently the death of an individual who has allegedly been stunned 28 times by a police office weilding a taser gun in Queensland earlier this month.

According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald Queensland Police say data downloaded from the Taser used on a 39-year-old Antonio Galeano in Brandon, near Townsville, showed it operated on 28 separate cycles at the incident on June 12.

In a statement, Queensland Police said they were analysing the Taser to determine how many of those 28 cycles involved Galeano.

Deputy Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said it was unclear if the man had been shot that many times.

“We are yet to understand exactly what those activations were – whether they were being fired or whether it was … placed against an object or person,” Mr Stewart told ABC Radio.

He said one cycle lasted up to five seconds but there was no standard on how many times it should be triggered.

“There is no specific guideline that restricts the number of times the trigger can be pulled,” Mr Stewart told ABC Radio.

However, a criminal justice expert said one shot was enough to disable someone.

Criminologist and RMIT Professor Julian Bondy says the incident raises questions over why Tasers are so powerful.

We don’t issue frontline police with firearms with a thousand bullets, we don’t issue them with capsicum spray the size of fire extinguishers,” he said.

“Every other weapon they have is limited in its capacity but this one is out of proportion.”

Queensland Police Union acting president Ian Leavers said he was baffled by the data.

“At first it was believed the man was tasered three times, now this figure that’s come out is baffling,” he said.

A coroner is presently investigating the death. However this case does raise a number of questions. If, criminal expert Professor Julian Bondy maintains that one shot is sufficient to disable someone, then why did the officer concerned fire three times?

If it does turn out that the taser was fired 28 times then we really ought to question the intellect of the sorts of people who are allowed to carry these lethal weapons.

They were supposed to be an alternative to lethal force, but it looks like they’re just an additional lethal weapon.

Will You Pay for Internet News?

By Ray Hunt

The newspaper business is “malfunctioning” in the internet era, according to one Rupert Murdoch.

And the solution the sun king is proposing is to make people pay to access newspapers via the internet.

”We think of newspapers in the old-fashioned way, printed on crushed wood so to speak, [but the future of newspapers] it’s going to be digital,” the 78-year old media mogul said in a recent interview on News Corp’s Fox Business channel in the US.
”Within ten years I believe nearly all newspapers will be delivered digitally,” he added.

This rapid evolutionary process is already eating into newspapers profits and circulations around the world. American broadsheet newspapers have been mortally wounded in the past 18 months, hit by a double whammy of decline in advertising and readership driven by the recession and people moving to online newspapers and media websites.

Mr Murdoch plans to start charging access fees for some of New Ltd’s newspaper sites over the next year – starting in the UK, according to his public comments – to make up for falling print advertising and to boost online earnings.

A group of major American newspaper publishers reportedly gathered a fortnight ago to consider how to move their online businesses to a pay-per-view model.

The concept of making people pay for online media has got some momentum. Publishers in Australia and around the world are watching their old business model disintegrate. Classified advertising, the financial life blood of most newspapers, is moving to the web.

Whatever happens, big changes to the way the news media interacts with its customers are on the way.

A few questions arising for Blogocrats: which media would you be prepared to pay to access online? If you have to pay-per-view for online media, do you think it will change the way you access the news?

And – here’s a potentially lucrative new revenue generating concept for pressured media proprietors – why not let customers pay a fee to nominate boring programs, obnoxious news storylines, and pompous media personalities for removal from the media web?

Tell us which media programs, annoying stories and presenters you would be prepared to pay a small amount to banish from the media landscape? And why?

Is Australia a Racist Country?

Tom of Melbourne writes this timely commentary….

Given the basing of Indian students in Melbourne and the subsequent commentary in the Indian press, the Cronulla riots and the comments of Sol Trujillo, there is plenty to suggest that Australians have a latent racist streak.

We’re not even aware of the offence we cause, and we blame the victim – those that point this out, or the recipients of the violence.

Mainstream Australia is inward looking; we look down on most foreign cultures, and even our own indigenous culture.

We’re hardly worldly, most people have their “once in a lifetime trip” and leave it at that. Eating at the local Indian/Vietnamese/Greek etc restaurant seems to be regarded as evidence of our tolerance.

We are introverted, insecure about our own culture and mistrustful of others.

We have a barely concealed racist tendency, this breeds and tolerates the behaviour of overt the racists.