Tuesday, 12 October 2010

In summary: Abortion; Heritage Listing; Truth in Advertising; School Funding; Andrew Bolt; Censorhip; Taxpayer-subsidised AFL; Uniform Costumes; War

Another busy period and so here is another collection of links:

● Is abortion legal or illegal in Queensland, Australia?
Cairns, Queensland, 2010 – yes, this question is still up in the air, apparently. I have to say that for a leader, the fact that Premier Anna Bligh says she would support the removal of the law that makes abortion illegal but will not actually do anything about it speaks volumes.

● Heritage Listing means ….?
Saw this article a little while ago and while I have to admit I am not the least bit familiar with Melbourne, it makes you wonder what Heritage Listing really means.

● Australian election ads – Truth in Advertising?
Let's see if the current Labor federal government in Australia follows through with this push for truth in political advertising because the Advertising Standards Bureau does not seem to be capable of looking into any allegations of lying. I wonder if politicians will actually legislate to prevent themselves and their parties from lying or deceiving us…

● School Funding – It's all just spin, isn't it?
While I really have no immediate interest in Australian school funding, it makes me wonder how long the plainly inequitable funding model that we have at the moment will continue. It is not so much a private vs. public debate as more a "well-resourced, elite, private group" vs. "everyone else". If you want public money, then be open and accountable, it is that simple. Otherwise become 100% private. The government has certainly missed an opportunity to make the system more open.

● Andrew Bolt…not a big fan, but freedom of speech is important.
I have to agree with Luke Walladge, Andrew Bolt is offensive, but surely we can take his crass comments for what they are and move on with our lives. This whole case reminds me of what former PM Howard failed to say when he defended that very famous red-headed Queenslander in 1996 and thus, in my opinion, implicitly agreed with her views.

● When will censorship end?
I thought this article by Guy Sorman was informative, and it definitely looks like censorship of the internet will be with us for a while. Sorman, however, states that entrepreneurs are greedy and that is where I have to disagree. He paints all entrepreneurs with the same brush and that is not fair. Entrepreneurs by definition are taking a risk to devise or implement new ideas or services and usually bear most of the financial liability. Greed is wanting money for money's sake – at least in what I believe to be the general definitions of these words.

● Is it worth owning an AFL Club?
$2.7 million says it is. Granted that this a state issue in Victoria, but it appears that the Collingwood AFL Club has been able to claim $2.7 million dollars for "community benefit" that included operating costs such as wages and running costs. I guess the fact that the money that the club used ended up keeping the local economy moving is a form of community benefit?

● The Third Reich is fashionable again?
What with Prince Harry photographed in a Nazi costume a few years back and now a Republican candidate in the US doing the same (although from what I gather the wearing of the uniform is not a recent incident, the appearance of the photo, however, is) it makes me wonder why Nazi costumes are worn at all. If we are to condemn people who wear Nazi costumes, then let's condemn people who wear Stalin, Mao, Amin (did a quick search on costumes for this last one and was surprised at what I found…) and whatever other similarly tasteless costume.

● War – what does it mean?
Whatever your views on the war in Afghanistan, the campaign against the prosecutor in the case against three Australian commandos would be trivial were it not such a serious matter. Personally it is a difficult topic to form an opinion on but one thing is clear: war means innocent people will get killed. That is something I think everyone should remember, whether it warrants a case or not is a matter that I leave to the experts.

● And finally: Cyber Wars….the way of the future? Sphere: Related Content

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