Thoughts on teaching, technology, learning and life in an era of change.

Archive for the ‘ Politics ’ Category

Two ancient cultures coalesce
June 28th, 2008

This is an aboriginal interpretation of Zorba The Greek. This performance always lifts my spirits. I am always happy to see anyone enjoying life and not taking themsleves too seriously. As the description on the YouTube page explains…

Frank Djirrimbilpilwuy from Milingimbi has been in the Indigenous Media Industry for many years and has been a long-standing member and supporter of the Top End Aboriginal Bush Broadcasting Association, TEABBA Radio. He has worked Independently in Music and Film for many years also. As the man behind the camera and release of the video, Frank is also representing the dance group who call themselves “The Chooky Dancers”.

Frank has said that he filmed the footage at this years Ramingining Festival on the 30th September 2007 and knew it would be “something special” as soon as he saw the boys rehearsing. “The crowd went wild as you can see in the video, and the classic song Zorba the Greek has now become a hit overnight in the communities and now it seems, everywhere else too.”

The Petrov Affair ~ Australia’s Cold War Flashpoint
January 2nd, 2008

Australia never experienced anything at all remotely resembling the Cuban Missile Crisis or McCarthyism but we did have the Petrov Affair.

Back in April 1954 Australia had its very own Cold War drama when Vladimir Petrov defected while employed as a third secretary at the Soviet Embassy in Canberra, Australia’s capital city.

The episode became known as the Petrov Affair and it dominated the Australian political landscape and newspaper headlines. Australians were caught up in “stories of espionage and political conspiracy”.

As the Old Parliament House web site states, “The defection of the Petrovs came to be regarded by Western intelligence services as one of the most important of the Cold War era and it had a profound and lasting impact on the Australian political landscape, with the Labor Party Split a direct consequence of the events of 1954-1955.”

The Old Parliament House (now known as the Museum of Australian Democracy) has an exhibit commemorating the event and in support they have created a web site rich with resources suitable for students of Cold War history near and far. There is also a web quest that students can explore. The resources are particularly useful for students of Australian history at Stage 5 of their schooling in NSW. There is a wealth of documents, photographs, media files and links to investigate. There is also a Wikipedia article regarding the event.

Fijian bloggers may be gagged by military government
May 12th, 2007

It seems that Fijian bloggers may be gagged by the military junta running the country. Check out these three blogs for more on the latest. Intelligentsiya, ResistFranksCoup and Discombobulated.

My first editorial on my old Pasir Ris Mercury site, an early incarnation of a blog, back in 2000 was a comment on the previous coup in Fiji. History repeats itself.

The Lancet critical of John Howard and his government
April 22nd, 2007

It is pleasing to read in local newspapers here and also here that the internationally respected journal, The Lancet, is critical of John Howard and his government. The focus of the editorial is upon the Howard government’s neglect of health and the silencing of critics. The editor also criticises the conservative outlook of the government with critcisms not only of Howard and the health minister, Tony Abbot, but also Malcolm Turnbull and his dismissive attitude towards the UN’s intergovernmental panel on climate change.

As the editorial in the Lancet concludes “This year provides an opportunity at the ballot box to bring a new enlightenment to Australian health and medical science” and an a new direction in the way Australian governments handle immigration, asylum seekers, refugees and the worker. It is time to vote John Howard and the Liberal ~ National Party coalition out.

Howard, Downer and the AWB Scandal
March 27th, 2006

How can Howard and Downer stay in office considering the revelations of the Cole Inquiry into the AWB kickbacks scandal? In previous governments the ministers responsible for the respective departments would have stood down. Years ago two ministers stepped down because a TV set was not declared at customs. In this instance $300 million was paid by the Australian Wheat Board to Saddam Hussein via a dodgy Jordanian trucking company to guarantee wheat sales to Iraq. Bribery. The Australian government was warned by a variety of organisations here and abroad that the AWB was up to no good. Howard and Downer deny they knew anything about it. Time to go Howard. Time to go Downer. You are both an embarrassment. It is so shameful to be an Australian these days.