You've found Father McKenzie. But are you really looking for Eleanor Rigby?

Friday, October 29, 2004

Download Fahrenheit 9/11

From a guy called "Marc Perkel" who calims he is "the most dangerous mind on the internet". Let's hope he stays there. He's not a real video wiz either, asking the ever-so-friendly internet community to " ... help in converting video formats". Sure, any time! And he posts a lovely link of "Bush flipping the bird!" with the comment:

"I'd like to see christian conservatives explain this!".

AS IF giving the finger is as harsh as invading another country on a flimsy pretext in order to be seen to be doing something a bout "terrorism". I've yet to see a reasonable explanation of THAT. Mr Perkel, a sense of persepctive, please. Our current leader of the opposition called our Prime Minister an "arse-licker" regarding his relations with the US. And a former PM called our own country "the arse end of the world". Undoubtably, Christian conservatives in Australia voted for both men in droves. Sorry, Mr Perkel Flipping the bird is quite tame.

BTW Fahrenheit 9/11 here

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Frank Devine on Family First

Interesting Reading from the Friday before last's copy of The Australian:

However, I am persuaded to look tolerantly on Family First by the way sections
of the media and the fashionable Left have been squeaking and clutching their
skirts, like neurotic virgins frightened by a flasher, over the party's very

Nice turn of phrase, although I would deplore it in critics of causes that I admire! ad hominem attacks are just not my bag, baby, although thaey may raise a smile or two. Take note members of the Uniting Church:

The displays they've been giving of cringing and waving sprigs of garlic at
the religious Right betrays their hypocrisy, since they have never felt the need
to ward off the politically activist religious Left, in the form of the Uniting
Church and rebel Catholic clergy and nuns – mainly men and women in their 50s –
who have bestowed on the church its own Woodstock generation

The Uniting Church politically activist religious left. Hmm. Flakey doctrine, heretical hierachy, social justice fanatics. I wonder what percentage of Uniting Churchers voted Green?

Scotland is a foreign country

Another nail in the coffin of American Geographic education! According to Terry Brown of Clark County, Ohio, Scotland is a foreign Country. Don't tell the Scots they have autonomy . . .

(From the ABC's AM program)

TERRY BROWN: Well, as I first read it, I thought, 'Boy this is a piece of junk', and then the more I got to reading it the more I got to realising, 'Hey this is very serious', you know, that there's someone in a foreign country – this one came from Scotland – is trying to persuade me, or my son, or this household, how to vote. I was offended by it, to be very honest with you.

FRAN KELLY: You were offended that someone from another country thought it
was their business?

TERRY BROWN: Exactly right. There are a lot of people lost their lives in this country in foreign wars to preserve the right for a sacred vote, and by golly, I'm going to tell you what – I support that. Foreign people shouldn't try and influence what happens in the United States.

Nice comeback, Terry. It's OK for the US to influence what happens in those foreign parts, and to kill those foreigners "over there" (and lose one's life in this country - the US(!)), but for them to take an interest in how you vote for your President? Nah, they can just stay over there in those foreign places and get killed by the good old Yankee boys. More power to ya.

Monday, October 25, 2004

So "Rocky III" was really a Coptic Pope 1570 years ago...

From Fr Richard John Neuhaus' "Public Square" column in First Things (October 2004) [scroll down].

[…] Good as New, a Bible version produced by John Henson of One, an organization dedicated to “establishing peace, justice, dignity, and rights for all”, along with the “sustainable use of earth’s resources”, and to challenging “oppression, injustice, exclusion, and discrimination” while accepting “one another, valuing their diversity and experience.” So you can see that One is a Very Good Thing. Endorsing Good as New, which also includes the non-canonical Gnostic Gospel of Thomas, Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, says he hopes it will spread “in epidemic profusion through religious and irreligious alike.” The epidemic he wishes upon the masses changes original Hebrew and Greek names into modern nicknames. Peter becomes “Rocky”, Mary Magdalene is “Maggie”, and Aaron is “Ron.” Henson deftly refers to demonic possession as “mental illness”, and references to the “Son of Man” become “the Complete Person.” Mark 1 in the Revised Standard Version (RSV): “And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens opened and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son, with you I am well pleased.” ” Good as New: “As he was climbing up the bank again, the sun shone through a gap in the clouds. At the same time a pigeon flew down and perched on him. Jesus took this as a sign that God’s spirit was with him. A voice from overhead was heard saying, “That’s my boy! You’re doing fine!’” In 1 Corinthians 7, St Paul says, “Now concerning the matters about which you wrote. It is well for a man not to touch a woman. But because of the temptation to immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.” That was then, this is now. The same text, so to speak, in Good as New: “Some of you think the best way to cope with sex is for men and women to keep right away from each other. That is more likely to lead to sexual offences. My advice is for everyone to have a regular partner.” Later in the chapter, the RSV has this: “To the unmarried and the widows, I say that it is well for them to remain single as I do. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion.” Good as New: “If you know you have strong needs, get yourself a partner. Better than being frustrated.” […]

The All-Seeing Lidless Eye of Minas Googhûl...

It is ask-ed of Our venerable brother:

Still wrestling with this one to figure out what it means. Tom got the message as a "Google Alert". I wonder why I didn't get one?

Answer: You need to sign up for these alerts at Google, under"News Alerts". They're free, and extremely useful, although you have to delete a lot of them. I personally recommend you set your preferences to "News and Web" and "As It Happens". (Of course, if you have different preferences, they are valid).

Indy 300 2004

Went to Indy on Thursday.

A real focal point for degeneration - and the Qld State Gov poured $11 million into this dissipation this year alone.

I would estimate the crowd was about 90% male, and the 10%female were promo girls paid to be there.

The guys got drunker and sleazier as the day progressed.

Please, take your Indy somewhere else!

(And I'm still cutting the video I took - might post a shot here soon)

Make a new website by Strong Bad!


Finally got a listing at Blogs4God


I know, I'm sooo bad. I've been spending all my time on my new job in North Carolina. Fear NOT! I have a huge stack of submissions I get to go through each day for the next couple of weeks that should give you a steady stream of new guys (and gals) on the blog. Here are some very patient people who've been waiting to have their questions answered. Why not visit them and show them your love by answering their call:


Who in the heck is Father McKenzie? Certainly not these playful pundits.



Still wrestling with this one to figure out what it means. Tom got the message as a "Google Alert". I wonder why I didn't get one?

Friday, October 22, 2004

Get More at Moore

Just catching up on this incident (it happened in May!)
This post is all about the demise of the Evensong choir at Sydney's St Andrews cathedral. and it being replaced with students from Moore Theological College:

Parents in tears as choir's 130 years of tradition wiped out

A group of young Bible scholars being groomed by Dean Jensen would take over the cathedral on Sunday nights in the coming months, Mr Moroney said. The group would be bringing in its own ministry and contemporary music. The new
congregation, called The Bible Talks, had outgrown its Sunday night venue at
Sydney Boys High School and the cathedral was eager to make "a change of
direction in style".

From a letter writer to the SMH:

I am a member of the second (all-adult) choir at St Andrew's Cathedral. We are an ecumenical group, a few, like me, being Catholics. Since the installation of fundamentalist clergy, we have been subjected to preaching which is anti-gay, anti-Catholic, in fact anti- most other hues of Anglicanism.

There has even been verbal abuse of choir members by a minister. Now we, like the 130-year-old boys' choir, are being largely dumped from singing at services. Evensong will be replaced by guitars and clones of the incumbent Calvinist-style clerical gentlemen. I wonder how long rank-and-file Anglicans will tolerate what is being done to their beautiful cathedral.

From Ann Ramsay, radio annoucer at Sydney's 2MBS-FM who hosts a show called Evensong:

And also I have to say, please, could these students that come from
Moore College tell us something really important when they give us the
sermon... Well I think you want 10 minutes of something that you can grasp
and come away with and think about. I don't think you have to go through the
various verses of the Old Testament, taking 1-6 one week, and 6-13 the next. Anybody can read a Bible.... I think they're taught at
Moore College that they've got to talk for 20 minutes. I have to say I think
it's rather boring, and it shouldn't be boring, it should be inspiring.

I finally found a website covering just exactly what is going on at St Andrews. BTW, I was just there maybe a month ago now on a Wednesday night and heard one of Phil Jensen's sermons, which IMHO was excellent, and quite a treat when on holidays. The Bible Talks website is here:

The Bible Talks is a bible believing, evangelical, christian church that is committed to teaching the good news of Jesus as found in God's word, the Bible, and to encouraging each other to live our lives according to what we have learned. Free parking is available under St Andrew's House. Enter via Kent St.
Sad but true too many people who feel they are committed christians lose sight of Christ and focus on the customs and traditions of their religion. While it is nice to have cathedral choirs and such these must not be allowed to get in the way of the gospel. Christianity is not abpout singing nice songs or performing religious rituals. For example, I read about a description of a Year 12 student artwork depicting two siblings washing dishes painted like a religious icon. "The ritual of washing the dishes was a religious experience for me". Get the point?

I find it even more interesting to see Phil Jensen using his Two Ways To Live series as a springboard for a 6 week sermon set. I have used this resource and found it very helpful, however, I always begin with, "Ladies and Gentlemen . . . there are Two Ways to Live". This inevitably builds up the excitement of the moment (LOL).

On and on go the ABC and the SMH about the Jensen brothers and the cathedral - it seems that what these media outlets love to do is take a little cup of controversial tea stirred up into a storm. Maybe the media would prefer a tame church that bit its tongue, sat on its haunches and bided its time while the world went to ruin, so they could then turn to it and demand why it isn't doing anything or why it doesn't have any answers.

Christiany: Boring, untrue, irrelavant? Hardly.

Response from Bernard Zuel

I sent a copy of the previou posts to the Sydney Morning Herald. Bernard Zuel, author of the article about the POlyphonc Spree, offered me this reply:

My reference wasn't to Peter Jensen being a "stodgy old pulpitthumper who prefers pointy hats with buckles and abhors buttons as a sign of vanity". It was connected to the decision by Jensen to cut the Sunday night Evensong tradition at St Andrews, including the choir, and replacing it with a gathering and talk or somesuch. It's a story which got plenty of coverage as choirmembers and their parents complained etc so I figured some of our readers would remember the incident and connect it to the story I was writing about this strange old choir.


Bernard Zuel

You can read more about the trashing of evensong through the SMH's letter pages here

Unfortyunately I can't get hold of an original article as the SMH charges for the privelege. But there's always Google to help overcome such obstacles.

Even more Evensong complaints can be read here, from Ann Ramsay, a 90-something-year-old announcer at Sydney's 2MBS-FM, who also has complaints about Moore. Fuel for a new post.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

The Polyphinc [Killing] Spree

Article from the SMH about a fab new group called "Polyphonic Spree". Interesting enough in itself, but the article itself begins:

It could be Dr Peter Jensen's worse Evensong nightmare. Here they come in identical robes, singing songs of praise, wonderment and celebration in uplifting tones. All 25 of them in this choir-cum-band known as the Polyphonic Spree. This is a choir most definitely visible.

Why the implication that Peter Jensen be offended? the SMH is rather obviously constructing the leader of Sydney's Anglican as a stodgy old pulpit thumper who prefers pointy hats with buckles, and abhors buttons as sign of vanity. Ha-ha jokes at the expense of the Archbishop of Sydney just don't cut it, I'm afraid. Imagine a similar slur aimed at the Imam of the Lakemba Mosque. This is hardly cutting edge journalism, but is rather low-brow stuff better kept for the tabloids . From the SMH comes liturgical laughter, aimed at a religious leader (Christian, conservative, evangelical) near you.

Anglican obsession - a rejoinder

Hi Andrew

I think it is I who had a skewed memory of the numbers. It was some time ago - actually when the Interim Report on Sexuality came out (pun!) and Michelle and I went Church hunting for a while before returning to the mother church (StD's)

Obviously if there is a split then there will be sharp divergence of opinions in both groups - the reason why they split in the first place!

In terms of loyaties etc, of course our first loyaty is to Christ. But as I heard another Anglican say (again on the ABC), there is a tendnecey to desire unity above all which is of course a false god.

Liberalism as I understand it appears even earlier than the 50's - the late 19th Century I believe - and has played around with ideas such as the 'historical' Christ etc. The horrors of the first world war should have nicely done away with the supposition that everyone is basically good.

In any case denominations for me are really a much less accurate means of understanding where a person is coming from theologically than they used to be. I remember recently visiting a cemetery in Casino (NSW), and finding people were variously buried in parts of the cemetery labelled "catholic", "methodist", "presbyterian" etc (although the methos and the pressies were co-located, perhaps implying a future unity?).

Movements like liberalism or evangelicalism tend to cut across denominational boundaries - although within Anglicanism there are the "highs" who tend to be liberal and Anglo-Catholic and the "lows" who tend to be evangelical (in my experience). I wouldn't think that dissolving and reforming along theologically lines would be very helpful. I imagine more likely following splits there might be "Federations" or similar of like-minded churches. Both streams obviously would claim to inherit the traditions, customs and beliefs of their forefathers - strange for both liberals and conservatives!

In the UCA as I read it, it is the parishioners and parish ministers who tend to be much more theologically conservative than the church hierachy. This has been explained to me in terms of ministers who are theologically liberal are generally not suited (by self-selection or otherwise) for parish work, while those of a more traditional, conservative bent are (and are also a better match for their conservative congregations). What are your views on this issue?



Anglican obsession - Reply

A reply to my post from Amdrew Demack:


The Presbyterian lady you talked to had a skewed memory of the numbers ... Two thirds of Presbyterians joined the Uniting Church, one third continued / did not join.

Certainly the leftovers were more conservative than the Presbyterian Church had been previously.

From conversations I've had over the years with ageing radicals such as Bob Griffiths and Noel Preston, it would seem to me that this conservative/liberal issue has been on-going within the protestant church for at least this last half century, and probably longer.

And its true that conservative protestant Christians of any type -- whether UC, Anglican or Baptist -- often feel closer to their conservative brethren in other denominations than they do to the liberals of their own stripe.

But would we all be happier / more united / less likely to squabble if instead of UC, Anglican and Baptist instead we had the Bible-Believing Protestant Church of Australia and the Progressive Protestant Church of Australia?

I don't think so.

Perhaps its human nature (part of our fallen-ness?) to need an "other" to define ourselves against. There would still be squabbling.

I might conclude by quoting one of the recent works of the prophet Paul Simon (found for me by Google, I couldn't do this from memory)

"We celebrate the birth of Jesus on Christmas Day
And Buddha found Nirvana along the Lotus Way
About 1500 years ago the messenger Mohammed spoke
And his wisdom like a river flowed
Through hills of gold
Wisdom is old
The Koran is old
The Bible is old
Greatest story ever told

Work 'em out"


-- Andrew

Monday, October 18, 2004

ABC Anglican obsession

It seems the ABC is obsessed with all things Anglican - they even have a reporter in London filing briefs on what's happening as a report from an Anglican Commission is expected.

Does the ABC see Anglicanism as a kind of "national church" that it has a mandate to report on, or is an obession with all things queer the reason why the GayBC monitors the Church from the old Dart so closely? Perhaps they take their cues from the Beeb, and follow the trdaitionla suit. Maybe the Jensen bros. are the closest things to national celebrities who get any air time in the UK (apart from Kylie Minogue). Maybe the ABC wishes it could produce an Aussie "Songs of Praise" but just can't sem to muster the courage to beg the government for a few more pennies (although I thimk Johnny would be up for it, if you ask me).

In anycase we have the stereotypical ABC story of "conservaive Anglicans feud with Liberal Anglicans over something gay" . Read all about it.

What caught my ear was this line:

"So it appears the split may more be a case of the liberals leaving than the conservatives forming new allegiances."

This reminded me of a conversation I once had with a Presbyterian (who shall remain nameless (I have forgotten her name!)) whom I met once and was discussing the perseverance of the Presbyterian saints considering all were to have been subsumed by the 1977 merger of the Congs (-gregationalists), Methodists and Presbyterians in the Uniting Church.

She described the merger as the best thing that could have ever happened. The Uniting Church absorbed all of theirliberals, leaving them with a two-thirds majpority who were committed to traditional christianity.

Perhaps there is a future direction for the Uniting Church in Australia - do Anglicanism a similar favour.

Diamonds aren't forever - Star Wars is

From the Star Wars Homing beacon, on the destruction of sets to make room for more sets, also predsetined for destruction:

Continues Hajdu, "It's a shame, but it doesn't matter because it's been created. The set has already been captured on film or on tape. It exists forever."

Right. That's why the Ancinet Egyptians made movies instead of pyramids. And why Walt Disney is in cryogenic freeze instead of in a cartoon. And why George Lucas and his movies will ultimately join the sets in the big industrial bin in the sky.

From the confessing Evangelical

Cross post c/- Tom . . .

The Church of England is advertising for nominations for the next Archbishop of ork. Think I'm going to start a write-in campaign for the job to go to Phillip Jensen, especially given the recent news report in the Guardian in which he was misreported as describing Rowan Williams as a prostitute. That would liven up Primates' Meetings and General Synod no end.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Clasic stuff from the Euro-trendies

Those Europeans - too clever by half!

Check out the row erupting in Brussles over the appointment of Rocco Buttiglione as Europe's justice and security chief.

Mr Buttiglione infuriated the European parliament when he said at his confirmation last week: "I may think homosexuality is a sin but this has no effect on politics, unless I say homosexuality is a crime."

Mr Barroso (European Commission president) said it was important to distinguish between a person's beliefs and the policies they would implement.

A bit like the Archbishop of Canturbury, eh?

Phil did not call the Archbishop a prostitute

Read his letter for yourself. I wonder if this one will hit the airwaves after coverge in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, and on your ABC?

Probably, and sadly, not.

In my speech I described the situation where holders of high office in the Church of England publicly subscribe to the Church’s official set of beliefs but privately pursue a different set – while still in the pay of the Church. That is what I described as the prostitution of ChristianMinistry.

Evangelicals call Williams a prostitute

Evangelicals [Phil Jensen] call Williams [the Archbishop of Canterbury] a prostitute [of a theological and intellectual nature].

See the artcile from the Guardian here

Conservative evangelicals flexed their muscles yesterday by denouncing the Church of England and its leader, the Most Rev Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, as sinful and corrupt, and threatening to refuse to recognise the authority of liberal bishops.

Phil Jensen goin' off, eh?

According to the ever-reliable Sydney Morning herald, Dean Jensen lays into Prince and church leader . . .


He condemned Archbishop Rowan Williams for his liberal views about homosexuality..."That's no good. That's total prostitution of the Christian ministry .... "He should resign. That's theological and intellectual prostitution. He is taking his salary under false pretences."


The Very Reverend Philip Jensen . . . attacked Prince Charles as "a public adulterer" and Kings College Chapel as "a temple to paganism" for selling recordings of its famous choir in the ante-chapel.


Sweet Words

I wrote to Terry Sweetman about his article. His reply? "Thanks for the interest". There's always next time....

Dear Mr Sweetman

I am writing to you with reference to your article in The Courier-Mail dated 8 October 04. I have taken the liberty of selectively editing your argument (see below). I hope my treatment preserves the integrity of your intent for this article.

As such, I am glad that I do not share your family's cherished love of tolerance and diversity if this is what it produces. The same allegations you make against Family First can easily be made gainst yourself IN YOUR OWN WORDS. It is a sad day when you are blind to the hypocrisy of your own position. Unless you deliberately set out to be provocative or populist, I find it hard to understand how you can hold such glaringly obvious self-contradictory opinions. I am not a member of any political party, but this one-eyed and biased piece of journalism intrigues me as to your political sympathies.

If however, I have simply misunderstood you, please accept my apologies for my ignorance. I shall read your column far more carefully in future.

Yours sincerely

Stephen []

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Sour Words

Just browsed into this interesting item from the Curio-Mail. I may take the time to have a better go at it. I may not.

Intolerance put first
by Terry Sweetman


the Family First Party, a righteous bunch whose robes of tolerance are slowly being stripped away to reveal some of them as little more than small-minded bigots. "


"...these high-minded standover tactics... "


"... a bunch of fundamentalist happy clappers. "



"... in my family...we have learnt to cherish tolerance and diversity. "


"Family First has a right to express its beliefs and to lobby accordingly, but I worry that legislation might be judged on its narrow and unrepresentative framework of beliefs and value judgments. "



"It seems that Family First is suffering the same sort of delusions of adequacy that afflicted One Nation in its heyday ..."



"Family First is just another group pushing personal prejudices and sectional interests.

Its claims to special family or Christian credentials seem somewhat presumptuous, if not spurious."

Spooky vote-hunting robots

Having been the recent recipient of a promotional call from the PM BEFORE the election, I thought I would go one further. Reply to the man himslef using the same means. Don't know what I am talking about?

See this ABC Radio AM transcript:

TONY EASTLEY: The next time your telephone rings, it could be the Prime Minister calling. In the remaining days of the election campaign, the Liberal Party is mounting a blitz of automated mass calls in a number of seats across the country, in the hope that a message from John Howard, urging people to vote for the sitting Liberal MP or candidate, will have a positive effect.It's a new strategy from the Liberals, as both major parties mount a massive advertising effort in the last week before polling day.But as Alexandra Kirk reports, what the Liberals call "advocacy calls" from the Prime Minister aren't always welcome.

The actual text of the phone call went something like this:

Hello, this is John Howard. I've taken the unusual step of contacting you with this recorded message to support your local Liberal candidate in Moreton, Gary Gardgrave. As part of my Federal Liberal team, Gary Hardgarve will immediately start work on his detailed plan for your seat of Moreton. I know Gary Hardgrave and I know he will get things done for Moreton. This is John Howard, on behalf of Gary Hardgarve, thanking you for your time.

Yes, Gary Hardgrave retained his seat of Moreton (no thanks to such phone calls, methinks). But I also think it is time to return the favour. How about making a recorded message of my own to send to the PM?

It would go something like this:

Hello, this is [me]. I've taken the unusual step of contacting you with this recorded message to ask for the support of my local Liberal MEMBER in Moreton, Gary Gardgrave. As part of your Federal Liberal team, I hope that Gary Hardgarve is immediately starting work on his detailed plan for my seat of Moreton. Gary Hardgrave is a vague shadowy figure to me, and it's about time now he got things done for Moreton.This is [me], on behalf of [myself], thanking you for your time.

I sometimes wonder what politicians get up to. Well, it seems as the Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, these have been Mr Hardgrave's MAJOR initiatives (according to his website):

Citizenship Day (September 17 - must have blinked and missed THAT one)

Living in Harmony, incorporating Harmony Day and the 'All of Us' Postcard Competition (by the waym, these are listed as SEPARATE initiatives. BTW Living in Harmony awarded forty-two grants from 529 applications, totalling some $1.5 million. Definately the BIG BISCUITS)

2030 (which basically involved "the production of a kit of classroom resources to help teachers and students explore immigration and population issues"...from a Right Wing ;-) perspective )

Mr Hardgrave is also the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister. Far me it from me to criticise, but I am wondering where exactly does he spend most of his time? John Howard's phone message assured me that Gary had "a plan" for Moreton. Am I to assume that Gary's plan is subsumed under John's big plan? I suppose so. Would someone please disabuse me of the notion that almost NOTHING is being done for the electorate?

And as Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural affairs, is anything being done for children in detention centres, although not technically "citzens" (albeit wannabes) they are all certainly very "multicultural". Not a lot of "Harmony" there as far as I can see.

Wayne Swan (ALP) labelled the call from the PM a message from "a spooky vote-hunting robot." I disagree. Instead, I believe that the Member for Moreton is a better candidate for such a title. Gary Hardgrave, thank you for your time.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Found Photos

Beware of the file share! Those pictures in my pictures may find their way onto the web unbeknownest to you!

Most people who use file-sharing networks are looking for music. Rich Vogel uses them to find photos, many of which were never meant to be shared with the world.

One day while searching for new MP3 audio files, Mr. Vogel, a 31-year-old musician in Grand Rapids, Mich., browsed through a user's shared folder on the Soulseek network. He was surprised to find some photographs. "It was like landing in the middle of someone's life," he said.

He began searching other peer-to-peer, or P2P services, using the phrase "my pictures," and found that thousands of photo folders had been made available to the public, most of them, he suspects, inadvertently. He selects the more interesting examples and exhibits them at his site as found photos More than 300 have been posted there so far. The photos - of parties and their aftermaths, wounds, kisses, infants - reflect Mr. Vogel's sensibility but also offer a window into the lives of the P2P generation.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Family First

Heard on ABC radio this afternoon:

South Australian documentary filmmaker Bruce Rodmand is making a documentary about the Family First party. The following are some paraphrases:

On the allegations that a family first volunteer suggested that lesbians should be burnt at the stake:
"I did a bit of research and asked around about this and it seemd that this was the response after severe goading by someone from the Greens. The party did not attampt to sweep this under the carpet but said they were not about this kind of thing."

"Family First are very financially astute - these people are not idiots - and have funded themselves through voluntary contributions."

"They are here for the long haul - not just the next election but 5, 10 even 50 years ahead."

"Family First play the role of Jesus and try and do the right thing. They are different from the Frd Nile group. It's almost a matter of 'How Would Jesus Vote'" (discussion drowned out by snickers and funny voices from ABC DJ Spenser Howson saying "What Would Jesus Do?")

I can't wait to see this documentary. It sems to be a fair-minded attempt to interpret the Family First Party to the genral Australin public and dispel some myths before they develop.

In The Courier-Mail 11 Oct 04:

Page 6: Newspaper takes pole position for precision
Gary Morgan, pollster:

"He said the new party had 'flown under the pollsters' radar.' 'We have now seen the return of right-wing conservatives and religious-aligned parties and it will be one of the biggest problems facing Labor,' he said."

Labor has traditionally relied on preferences from the Democrats and the Greens, but with the Democrats failing at the polls and the Greens under Brown crowing about heir electoral success as a separate party, Labor is in strife from its own side of politics.

Page 7: Failed Liberal blames sexual preferences

Re: Ingrid Tall, Liberal candidate for Brisbane:
"Her sexuality became a talking point in the campaign when the family First party and nationals candidate Nick Withcombe attacked her stance on family issues. Family First, the new Assembly of God-backed party, was criticised after one of its electoral workers said the party supported lesbians 'being burnt to death'. With counting continuing, the Greens have not given up on winning the Senate position, but are infuriated by the probable outcome after claiming they were targeted by a deceptive Family First television advertising camapign in country Victoria."

The tussle of the minor parties (in urban Brisbane) - the Nationals, Greens and Family First. It strikes me that Family First are closer in social values and economic ideology to the Nationals.

Page 12: Opinion & Letters

Barry Welch:
"A rampant and unfettered John Howard in league with the ratbag religious right. Australians should be afraid, very afraid."

(Barrry Welch is an organiser of the Quensland Teachers Union)

The most virulent attacks on Family First will not come from labor directly - they will come from leftists similar to the one above and from the Greens more directly. Similar to the Chinese political tradition of using relatives and supporters to slander opponents to preserve the face of the key figures.

Page 13: The reason Labor's poll stategy went wrong
John Black (a former Labor senator and campaign strategist)

"Error 5: There were no attempts by Labor to draw a line between themseleves and the Greens, or to attack Family First like John Howard attacked the Greens. Family First seems to me to be like One Nation at prayer. I was horrified to read the comments of some Family First workers about lesbians getting burned at the stake, or lumping synagogues and mosques in with brothels. Yet there were no attack ads on this sort of this, and this group largely escaped scrutiny as a result."

Reminds me of the post by Tom which sugggested the Uniting Church was the Australian Democrats at prayer. Perhaps I can order a re-post? Tom?

In the footsteps of Genghis Khan

Just been reading up on Genghis Khan. Get an eyeful of this quote from Genghis Khan: Conquerer of the World:

"In the summer of 1219 Genghis Khan gathered his army together on the Kara Irtish River. He took his young Merkit wife Qulan and his minister Yeh-lu Chu'u-ts'ai with him on this campaign. His youngest brother Temuge-otchigin remained behind in Monglolia as 'the guardian of hearth and home'. In the autumn he moved forward over the Altai and Tarbagatai mountains to Qayaliq (the present-day Taldy Kurgan south-east of Lake Balkash), where Arslan, the khan of the Qarluqs, Barshuq, the idiqut of the Iughurs, and Sugnaq Tegin of Almaliq joined him. It is known that Arslan brought 6,000 men with him and the Idiqut a tumen."

Cop that for a mouthful!

To keep up with a real adventurer, check out Tim Cope, who is travelling across the steppe by horse and camel, and as of now has just hit Kazakhstan and is on his way back to Ulan Bator...

John Safran Vs God (Mon 4 Oct 04)

Just caught the last few minutes of John Safran on Monday night (I got distracted by a political special on the ABC - and I thought he would appear but he's actually on SBS)


He was interviewing politicians on the door step of Parliament House in Canberra to determine if they were vampires - and was casually ignored by most, but was neatly put in his place by Kevin Rudd.

John's interpretation of this has caused me to rethink his approach.

He cut to a scene outside Parliament hill (the grassy knoll) where he said that he wished he had a witty comeback for such moments but wasn't able to think of one on the spot.

Cut back to Kevin Rudd entering Parliament and John indeed attempting to throw a funny line which fell rather flat.

It seems Safran is well aware of his own comic shortfalls. Originally I had him pegged as a Denton wannabe, but he really is in a class by himself.

He is a true ingenue - a master of artless innocence. He also has a wicked eye for contradictions and hypocrisy (witness his excoriating attitude to Australians who dismiss Americans for being ignorant yet would likely fail
John's geography test on the location of Zaire - actually the Democratic African Republic of the Congo)

John - prove that I'm not a liar! Keep up the good work! And someone, please SMS me on Monday night so I don't miss him again.

And SBS - put this man on DVD. NOW!

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Are your personal moral values Liberal or Labor?

Just made a quiz on Quizllia based on the Christian Values checklist:

Are your personal moral values Liberal or Labor?

Unfortunately Quizilla isn't as smart as I would like and doesn't allow a one-to-many relationship when figuring out its matrix.

I will find something better

Sex Sells

Just logged off hotmail and got redirected (automatically, of course!) to the NineMSN website.

Some articles caught my eye:

Two child porn suspects commit suicide - about pedopghiles caught as part of Operation Auxin.

Child detention is legal: High Court - how 4 Afghani children must stay in detention with their parents

Child killers on the loose. - how diseases are rife and killing kids in 3rd world countries

All thre provide some insight into how children children as regarded in Australian society. But the first one in particular made me think: why anyone would get into child pornogrpahy? But I suppose the bigger question is how prevalent sexual messages are in today's society, and how frequently people seek sexual gratification (legal or otherwise) outside of God's gift of marriage.

I wonder if the images on and articles NineMSN's homepage have anything to do with it:

Sexy lingerie!

Sexy Seafolly swimsuits

Huge adult toy sale!

Browse for a new bra

Meet the Babe finalists

Sexy wallpapers for $4!

Improved manhood

And this is just on ONE day. On a "mainstream media" website. Are we as a culture that depraved or deprived that we can't measure that which we have already become? Time to get NineMSN to take these messages away.

Christian Values Checklist

Scored this one as a link off the Triple J website. Got lots of potential for an online quiz... Hmmm.

Christian Values Checklist

"This summary of the positions of major parties on issues of concern to Christians is provided as a service to the Christian community which makes up 68% of the Australian population as of 2001 Census. It has been compiled after an exhaustive search of party platforms, voting history and statements, including in some cases the state voting record of some parties."

Minority Report

Iraq had no WMDs, says US inspector

The US said they had it, The Brits and Aussies agreed, but UN said there wasn't enough evidence.

Now US weapons inspectors have found there are no WMD's, but say that Saddam "intended" to develop them and they "might" get into terrorist hands, and even the evidence for these being "circumstantial".

Sound like the plot of Minority Report: In the future, the intention of murder is able to be detected before time (flawlessly? see the film) and potential murdererd are arrested and incarcerated before they can do the deed.

What place for due process here? None.

Bid to allow women bishops in Anglican Church voted down

Read the transcript of Archbishop Peter Jenson's interview on the ABC:

Bid to allow women bishops in Anglican Church voted down


DAVID WEBER: How do you think this decision will be viewed outside of the

PETER JENSEN: Some people will just be astonished. Egalitarianism, the idea that men and women are identical has taken a strong root in our society, and people will talk about glass ceilings and the rest, but what we're discovering also is that as feminism has lost its way a bit, people are beginning to remember that men and women are not only equal but we are different, and that difference shows up in different roles within family life.


Wednesday, October 06, 2004


Today by very great fortune - or mass mailing machine - I received a personalised letter from The PM. I have not yet heard the telemarketer-style phone calls - but may, as I think I must be in a marginal electorate. I am receiving election material from both major paries at least daily and minor parties weekly. I'm not sure but it almost seems to qualify as stalking. All I need now is some pin-striped suited politician sitting in a hotted up Torana across the road at midnight.

Anyway, read what the Prime Minister had to say. I shall interpret the Liberal Party's positions as I go:

Dear Your Name

[Dear voter estranged from the impersonal party political machine, here is a mass-mailed letter sent to your name and address in an attempt to ingratiate myself with your personally]

I am writing to you because as we get closer to election day it's important to remember what we believe this election is all about.

[We believe this election is about us winning]

I believe there is no more important issue facing Australians today than the economy and interest rates.

[So I will scare you with some rubbery figures and neglect to tell you I have almost no control over interest rates and will be the first to blame forces outside of my control for rises - like the IMF, the World bank, the WTO, the US economy or the price of oil]

The risks of bungling our $800 billion economy are very real. Not only would there be less money to spend on local health, education, roads and defence, but people could lose their jobs, poverty could increase and interest rates could rise, putting real pressure on families' budgets.

[Although I will still enjoy a nice salary and superannuation and gold card while everyone else wallows in misery if it does, I am concerned abot you, the voter. Really.]

A few days ago I announced a number of initiatives to assist families and older Australians:

[That I haven't been bothered about until the election, and suddenly I found all this money sitting underneath the Hansards in Parliament House]

. Introducing a rebate of 30% for out of pocket child care fees for families and, for families with only one main income, an increase in Family Tax Benefits;

[Throw some chickenfeed around and see what the chooks scratch up]

. Grandparents responsible for caring for their grandchildren will get better access to child care and, for those on income support, higher child care benefits;


. New technical schools, toolkits, scholarships, access to the youth allowance and better training for new apprenticeships in areas of skills shortage; and

[Although if you get a job you won't be getting a real wage and you will be at the mercy of your employer while you are told you have more "options" and your working conditions are is "flexible" - code for more options and flexibility for the employer]

. More support for after hours Medicare, delivering services "round the clock" where and when they are needed.

[Medicare offices will be open longer? There will be more medicare offices open? More people will be employed at Medicare so you don't have to stand in those riduculous cues like a Russian babooshka queueing for bread]

So our focus, our first priority is to continue helping families in what we believe is the best possible way - keeping interest rates low and the economy strong.

[We will "free up" the economy and the labour market so that all those at the top of the economic pile can get further ahead, and leave everyone else at a loose end as we abolish services like health and education - so that YOU can pay for them]

By continuing to take responsible decisions now, we can have continued financial security to have the money to pay for our new programs that strengthen Medicare, apprenticeships, and defence and national security into the future.

[Just throw in that line about defence and national security just so we don't forget that you were in Washington during September 11, and you have caught the knee jerk panic bug that plagues our US Allies. John, you forgot to mention interest rates again. Shame on you]

Yours sincerely,

John Howard

Prime Minister

[Buffalo Spammer]

Bizarre and Evil Real Estate Agents

Ancinet Chinese Confucian society regarded merchants as merely parasites on society, merely moving goods arounds from hanmd to hand rather than actually producing anaything of worth. As such they had a low status. The same could be siad of today's real estate agents. Witness the bizarre story coming out of Sydney

"The family that agreed to pay $800,000 for 6 Collins Street, North Ryde was not told their dream home had remained unoccupied for three years because Sef Gonzales had murdered his family there. "

Not that his is especially unusual - people do murder other people, and they often choose to do so in the comfort and privacy of their own homes. What gets my goat is the fact that the buyers were NEVER informed by L.J.'s (the responsible agency) about the incident.

Apart from the usual concerns about the spirits of the dead, the buyers say all the generations of the family are scared about feng shui.

Bad feng shui. Ok.

How does The national president of the Real Estate Institute, Kareena Ballard feel about that whole situation?

"I suppose a murder is something between the people living in that property."

Yes. Yes I suppose it is. Rather like a private contractual arrangement, such as the one you enter when buying a house. And like the victims, the buyers didn't expect to get ambushed when they put the key in the front door.


Back in 1998-99, a rumour went about that - with Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in its 7th year, and with Star Trek: Voyager nearing that mark, and thus reaching the age under which, according to the Prime Directive, they must face an ancient rite our people call "THE FINAL SEASON" - Rick Berman, Michael Piller & co were planning a 5th Star Trek series that would star none other than Kevin Sorbo as the captain.

Although these plans went nowhere, they did generate a few rather frightening script possibilities...

  • Kev-baby accidentally mistakes a Class 1 phaser for a Remington Ultrasmooth and slices off the lower half of his jaw on camera, just after stepping out of a silver Saab.
  • Episodes featuring Mark Twain or Abraham Lincoln will no longer be time-travel or holodeck stories - instead, the script will be claiming that they did actually live in the 24th century
  • Special 30th-anniversary tribute to TOS' classic "Who Mourns For Adonis?" has Apollo explaining, resentfully, that "ZOOSSE killed mah family".
  • Trill Symbiosis Commission orders Xena and Gabrielle to cease re-associating with each other.
  • Kevin sits in Quark's Bar muttering bitterly about how "ZOOSSE killed mah wife" until a Wormhole Alien who has taken the form of Simonius observes: "The Sorbo is not thinking in linear time!"
  • Kevin S whips out a huge double-bladed Kull axe and tells Worf "THAT's not a knife; THIS is a knife!"

Monday, October 04, 2004

Friday, October 01, 2004

Re: [youthmultimedia] Synod Wireless Access

To paraphrase John Lennon:
Imagine . . .
Imagine there's no e-mail,
It's easy if you try,
No 'net to link us,
And definitely no wi-fi,
Imagine all the people
Writing it by hand...

Imagine there's no mobiles,
It isn't hard to do,
No-one to phone or text to,
No ring-tones too,
Imagine all the people
Speaking face to face...

Imagine no television,
I wonder if you can,
No need for radio or newspapers,
Abolishment of ads,
Imagine all the people
Sharing of themselves...
You may say I'm a Luddite,
but I'm not the only one,
I hope some day you'll join us,
And the world will meme* as one.

The word "meme" in the final line replaced the original "live". What is a meme?