What’s the difference between a koala and a paedophile?

What’s the difference between a koala and a paedophile?

Nobody wants to hug a paedophile.

True, but there is another difference. In Australia right now, some paedophiles enjoy more protection than koalas.

Child molesters are currently receiving protection form religious organisations such as the Catholic Church. Historical records have revealed that many guilty child molesters were not prosecuted for their crimes, and were simply moved to another parish or district, where many of them offended again.

These facts came to light during the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Another revelation was the protection paedophiles receive within confession. The law of the Catholic Church states that anything that is said by a person to a priest in confession is between the confessor, the priest and God. Therefore, if a person admits to committing child abuse during confession, that crime will not be reported to police.

The Royal Commission attempted to change this law. A recommendation attempted to force priests to report admissions of child abuse to police in order to help reduce or eliminate acts of child abuse in the future. Senior figures within the Catholic Church have since publicly stated that they will refuse to pass on admissions of crimes to police, even though this is blatantly breaking the law.

Church authorities are adamant that they will protect the sanctity and secrecy of confession – rather than protect victims of child abuse.

Koalas, meanwhile, are being offered very little protection in Australia. Such is the state of the koala population throughout the country that experts claim our national symbol could become extinct by 2050.

Koalas suffered massively during the most recent bush fires, and will not get their homes back until the charred bush land regenerates, which could take many years. Further habitat is being destroyed by rampant land clearing throughout the country.

The animals are regularly killed by feral animals such as wild dogs and are victims of road accidents, especially at night. Shrinking habitat due to urban expansion has caused a shortage of food and damage to their gene pool which provokes diseases. Drought leaves them with insufficient water to drink and excessive, unseasonal heat kills them.

The cuddly and lovable animals are also under threat from specific resource projects, including:

Brandy Hill quarry extension in Port Stephens, NSW

Shenhua Watermark coalmine near Gunnedah, NSW

Blueberry farming around Coffs Harbour, NSW

Land clearing in north-west NSW.

Child abusers, meanwhile, are also receiving financial support. Australian taxpayers fund religious organisations and religious organisations often pay no tax, because they are religious organisations. Koalas, meanwhile, are losing their habitat and their lives because countless programs and organisations designed to protect them are being de-funded or under-funded.

Current environmental policies in Australia, and the refusal of church organisations to report child abuse to authorities, indicates that some paedophiles are more of a protected species that koalas.

Perhaps we need to dress koalas in a cloak and collar.

Donald Trump is A False to be Reckoned With.

US President Donald Trump is a proven liar but is still a formidable force in US and international politics.

Trump started fabricating the truth as soon as he arrived in the oval office. He lied about the number of people who attended his inauguration and has lied ever since. No matter how much he lies, people still support him and vote for him.

Fake News

The most cunning trick Trump pulled was adopting the phrase Fake News. His uneducated, semi-literate and ignorant supporter base latched onto a catchy and easily-digested slogan which is designed to discredit any criticism of Trump or his actions.

Every time a rational commentator or journalist proved without doubt that one of Trump’s statements was a blatant lie – he retorted with the phrase Fake News. No matter how ridiculous Trump’s statements or claims, no matter how much undeniable evidence was presented to the public, he could deny the evidence with this phrase.

The slogan also allowed his supporters to avoid investigating or analysing news stories or issues in detail. It allowed them to shoot down or dismiss anyone who wanted to engage them in an intelligent discussion on an issue. It allowed Trump to therefore to rally his supporters through emotion and patriotism. It allowed his to run the country via Twitter.

Trump supporters were led to believe that fake news came from ‘them’, not from ‘us’.

If Trump called climate change fake news, the people accepted it as fake news. The slogan served as a rallying cry for his supporters. If Trump said the dangers of COVID-19 were fake news, his supporters accepted it as fake news, despite the country having the highest number of deaths in the world.

Outsiders and open minded Americans often find it hard to believe that so many people believe the president. But it is important to remember that it is impossible to develop critical literacy without possessing basic literacy. Across the United States, as in other developing countries such as Australia, literacy rates are falling. People don’t read and don’t value education, and lack the literacy skills necessary to discern between truth, bias and false claims. Conservative governments understand this and deliberately underfund public educational institutions in order to maintain poor literacy. An uneducated population is easier to control.

To be Reckoned With…

Trump is still powerful. His use of phrases such as Fake News and Make America Great Again have earned him enormous support. He will call upon his marketing prowess to run a convincing election campaign targeted cleverly at his demographic. Reports have emerged that mail boxes are being removed throughout the country to prevent people from casting postal votes in the lead up to the election, and who knows what he is doing behind the scenes.

It is dangerous to underestimate Trump. Hilary Clinton did it at the last election and paid the price. The world saw Trump as a joke and his candidacy as a side show, but he won the election. Satirists and comedians drew enormous value from his presence in the White House until they realised that he was creating the problems which plague the country today. Satirists also realised that Trump’s fact was more ridiculous than any of their fiction.

Rational people and sensible citizens must continue to fight against the lies and the false claims during the election in order to avoid another term with Trump.

Even if he loses the upcoming election, the damage he has done to the USA will take years to repair, and the country will be more divided than ever. The other section of his supporter base does not mind if this is the case.

Trump’s other supporter base is big business. Trump himself is a business man and analysts have suggested that he ran for office not just because he is a narcissist, but because he saw an opportunity to further his own business interests. Corporations are benefiting from Trump’s presidency. Ironically, they benefit from exploiting average Americans, by exploiting American workers – by exploiting Trump supporters.

If this cruel dichotomy was pointed out to Trump’s supporters, they would just say it is fake news.

Image: Washington Post

Teachers face this every day.

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Australians reacted in horror to social media footage showing citizens refusing to obey coronavirus social distancing rules. The perpetrators demonstrated rudeness, arrogance, insolence and self-entitlement, and blatantly disobeyed authorities and expert advice which placed themselves and others at risk. Australian school teachers face this kind of behaviour every day.

I don’t consent to being punished

One woman actually said this to police in one of the viral videos. Australians mocked the woman for holding such a ridiculous view of law and order and the new health measures. This attitude is not entirely new however. Australian students, and many of their parents, have created an atmosphere in schools in which students feel they have the right to ignore teachers or punishments if they do not consent, or if the punishment doesn’t suit them.

“I told my daughter not to do the detention.”

A parent said this to me. No hint of irony or sarcasm. Her year 7 daughter had been repeatedly warned about her misbehaviour and defiance which was preventing her and her classmates from learning. The student refused to do numerous detentions, and she told me she would not do any in the future. She accompanied her response with a smirk that would have made Scott Morrison proud.

How can she get away with this?

Because her mother told her not to do the detention.

Why?

Because the daughter didn’t want to do the punishment. They kind of missed the point – no one is supposed to want or like a punishment.

Teachers have been stripped of their ability to manage student behaviour in schools. Parents and students now dictate behaviours to teachers, and schools largely acquiesce, partly because this is the atmosphere that Australia as a nation has created in our school system, and partly because this was a fee-paying school in which parents believe they have unlimited power. As student behaviour worsens, teachers’ power decreases.

Another student once refused to do a lunchtime detention, but only because two other teachers had already given him detention for the same lunch break. I suggested he hire a secretary.

Casual defiance

During the early days of the pandemic in Australia, many citizens blatantly ignored or disobeyed police. When the first lockdown was implemented, police patrolled public spaces to enforce social distancing rules. News reports carried endless stories of everyday Aussies blatantly ignoring police, refusing to obey directives, answering back to police and arguing with the officers. Yes, arguing with police. The citizens were in the wrong, the police were enforcing rules designed to protect the general public, but people flat out refused to obey.

The citizens weren’t committing a crime as such. Their actions were minor compared to serious crimes, but they were disobeying police. Teachers are subjected to this behaviour every day. Students are asked or told to correct minor behaviours and so often they refuse, comply reluctantly or slowly, answer back, argue or reply with a smart, arrogant comment.

The casual defiance greets teachers every single day. It is enormously frustrating and draining for teachers to have to put up with this unnecessary behaviour every few minutes of every day.

By the way, is anyone else concerned that everyday Aussies are blatantly disobeying police and getting away with it?

Whingers

Australians love the term Whingeing Pom, which implies that English people complain about everything. Australians now whinge as much as any pasty Pom.

Australians are complaining that they are forced to wear a mask or walk the same streets in their own neighbourhood every day in order to curb the spread of the disease. Their ancestors lived through world wars and the depression, but they whinge about having to wear a mask outside. Australia’s penchant for whingeing is no more evident than in a school classroom.

Whinge your way to better grades.

Students no longer accept poor grades. If they don’t get the marks they want, many students complain. Unfortunately, even the most incoherent, meaningless, poorly written work must be re-assessed. Teachers are not allowed to tell students that their work simply isn’t good enough, even if it is clearly below the accepted minimum standard for that stage of education. Given the state of literacy in this country, some work should be sent straight to the recycling bin

Students have realised that they can whinge and complain their way to better marks. Students and/or parents complain, behind the teacher’s back, to the head of department or to the principal. The teacher is hauled before the head of department or principal, as if they are in trouble. The essay/ piece of work is given to another teacher to assess and in most cases the mark will be improved. It might only go from a C to a C plus, and no further, but the student wins. The teacher’s professional integrity is shattered, and their relationship with their colleague who re-marked the work could be damaged. Teachers will often give a higher mark to a re-assessed paper because for them it is not worth the hassle of maintaining the original mark.

This attitude is frighteningly obvious in the allocation of special consideration for students sitting the Higher School Certificate (HSC), the final exams in NSW. Hundreds of students, especially from private schools, are being granted extra time, breaks or other allowances to make their exams easier, and thus increase their grades. Many students should not qualify. They have exploited a loophole in the system and are benefiting.

The Boy in the Blazer

A classic example of a student who had whinged his way to special consideration in the HSC was the boy in the blazer. He attended a private school in Sydney, and his blazer was full of ‘letters’. Letters on a blazer are the private school way of honouring school achievement, and consist of an embroidered list on the student’s blazer. This boy had a long list of ‘letters’ on his blazer as a ‘prefect’ and ‘captain’ and member of various sporting teams. His demeanour suggested no learning difficulty. Yet, this ‘super’ student still needed extra time and other allowances to complete his exams.

Don’t give an E

I was told never to give a E. Using the scale of A,B,C,D,E, with E being the lowest, I was told to never give an E, because it was too much hassle for me as the teacher. If I had given E, I would spend hours of my free time justifying the grade, and the grade would probably be changed anyway.

Australians are whinging their way to better marks. They’re also whinging their way to a future of illiteracy.

Shameless and fearless

The people disobeying police also appear to have no shame or fear. They broadcast their disobedience and law breaking, and usually their un-masked face, on their own social media channels. They are either as stupid as a first-grade footballer, or absolutely convinced that they will not be punished.

They are not afraid of consequences.

In one school at which I taught, graffiti was a huge problem. You must be thinking, wouldn’t it be great if you could find out who was doing the graffiti, so you could punish the accordingly and stop it from happening. Wouldn’t it be great if you could put on your detective hat and determine through stealth who had applied the abstract tag or piece to the wall. It would be like uncovering the identity of Banksy. Except these students weren’t Banksy – they would graffiti their own initials. Everyone knew exactly who was guilty. The students had no fear or shame, however, because they were never punished.

A violation of human rights

The Bunnings video.

Another video showed a woman berating lowly-paid staff at hardware store Bunnings. Bunnings recently introduced a rule requiring every customer in Victoria to wear a face mask. No mask – no entry. The woman claimed that it was her right not to wear a mask, and that forcing her to wear a mask, or barring her entry, was a violation of her human rights.

Why is it that so many Australian coronavirus controversies have occurred at a Bunnings?

People the world over are complaining that the COVID-19 rules violate their human rights. The cult of the individual, to which these people subscribe, and for which we can thank the USA, has convinced these people that their individual rights are more important than the wellbeing of society, and that any action which prevents them from doing what they want to do is a violation of their human rights.

The dirty kitchen

I once taught at a boarding school. My role included supervising secondary boys in their dorm rooms, including the small kitchen they could use for snacks and supper. Teenage boys have a famously large appetite so bed-time snacks were common. The boys knew they had to clean up after themselves.

One night, one boy had finished his snack and was walking out of the kitchen without cleaning up his mess. I told him to clean it up. He refused. I insisted he clean it up, because that was the rule. I also insisted because the student was new, and was attempting to get away with disobeying every teacher in the school. He had so far ticked many of the teachers off his list, including the headmaster, which was rather disconcerting. I refused to give in to this deliberate act of disobedience, and a tense situation ensued. I did not raise my voice. I did not touch or approach the student. I simply used the broken record technique which has served teachers well throughout the ages. The headmaster heard what was happening and tried to help. Ironically, the boy ignored the headmaster and eventually listened to me and cleaned up his mess, before threatening all manner of harm on me.

I was later warned about my actions by the headmaster. He told me, with a straight face, that when I insisted on the student cleaning up his mess, I was violating the boy’s human rights. I’ll remember that next time someone asks me to clean the kitchen.

In that case, if you’ve ever collected garbage, worked as a cleaner or changed a baby’s nappy, are you a victim of human rights abuse?

Time wasting

Don’t forget, this behaviour is an enormous time waster.

Every COVID-19 related warning, arrest, fine or action has to be filed by police. This involves paperwork and man hours to process. Every time a person refuses to wear a mask or social distance and accept the subsequent punishment, they are wasting police time. One example circulating the media involved a lawyer for the anti-masker attending the police station in a balaclava to issue some form of legal proceedings against police on behalf of his client. His client was clearly in the wrong and clearly has no case, but the system is required to process the legal proceedings.

Teachers are also subject to enormous time wasting by students and parents who refuse to accept the justifiable actions of the teachers or the school. Every student or parental complaint has to be documented. Every act of student misbehaviour has to be documented. Modern day teachers spend so much of their time logging student misbehaviour in order to satisfy bureaucratic requirements and to cover their own backs that they are left with little to time to plan, prepare and teach.

Powerless

A lot of the responses to the videos on social media asked;

Why do police put up with this? 

A lot of people also don’t understand why teachers put up with bad behaviour every single day.

They have no choice.

The authority of teachers is being stripped away year by year, and the list of prohibited punishments grows longer every year. Students know this, and canny teenagers realise they are unlikely to face consequences for most forms of misbehaviour. Teachers are now paranoid that a punishment will result in an accusation of mistreatment from the student or parent. Worse still, that complaint is likely to be listened to. A complaint, no matter how unjustified, can these days cost a teacher their job or career.

Are police similarly constrained? I’ve never worked in the police or law enforcement so I can’t say, but are they under similar instructions to tread carefully with offenders? The social media videos show a lot of police copping a lot of abuse from people in the wrong. We certainly have to congratulate the police, and teachers, for keeping their cool in these situations.

Self-entitlement

Did you see the video of the young woman driving through a Melbourne border checkpoint? It made the news and did the rounds on social media – mainly because the woman in question posted it on her own facebook account.

The woman refused to cooperate with police then drove through the checkpoint, before police could decide whether she had a right to pass through the checkpoint. Her manner was rude, insolent and arrogant towards police, and she refused to do anything police asked her to do. She then drove off laughing and celebrating her ‘victory’. She revealed her identity on social media, and had to know that police would take down her number plate.

This is typical of the sense of self-entitlement that many young Australians feel, and typical of the behaviour directed at teachers on a daily basis.

Authorities claimed the woman “…deliberately attempted to cause issue for police…”. Countless school students deliberately cause issues for teachers, for the fun of it. This destroys the learning of other students, and in the case of subjects like manual arts, technology or sport, puts everyone in physical danger.

“Teenagers are disobedient, it’s your job to discipline them”

I was told this by the mother of a girl whose blatant disobedience was ruining my year 10 English class. She forgot that first and foremost its the job of parents to discipline their children, something she had failed to do for the last 16 years.

Just because teachers DO put up with this behaviour, doesn’t mean they SHOULD. In countries with high levels of academic achievement, teachers are regarded as scholars, and spend much less time dealing with behavioural issues. Meanwhile, Australia continues to fall behind.

Just like the anti-maskers or COVID-19 conspiracy theorists, the actions of disobedience ruin things for everyone else. Anti-maskers put other people at risk of contracting a deadly disease. Disobedient students prevent other students from learning.

Are you saying school is all about discipline and punishment?

No.

School is for learning. Without behaviour management, or discipline, teaching and learning cannot occur. Literacy and numeracy rates continue to fall across the nation, and poor student behaviour is one of the main reasons. Not the only reason, but a significant reason. There are many different ways to ensure students behave, and corporal punishment is not one of them, despite what some people might say.

Are you saying shop staff, police and medical staff should put up with this behaviour?

Absolutely not. Low-paid  shop workers, like those at Bunnings, as well as police, ambulance drivers and other front line workers, should never have to put up with this behaviour. It is disgraceful and it highlights many of the underlying faults in Australian society.

Why is it such a big deal?

It is harming students, teachers and the nation.

Disobedient, rude, selfish, arrogant and entitled students are on the rise, and they are ruining the education of the good students. The endless defiance of students is driving good people away from the teaching profession, and the behaviour of students on a daily basis is lowering the general standard of education in the country. An uneducated population will not withstand competition from emerging and advanced nations, and Australia is dumbing down more and more every year.

Meanwhile, I’m still waiting for a politician to thank Australian teachers for their dedication during COVID-19…in the form of a pay rise.

Image: Element5digital

Let Them Drink Bleach.

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If US citizens want to drink bleach to protect themselves from COVID-19, why are we trying to stop them?

When news broke that certain commentators and influential leaders in the USA advised their supporters to drink bleach in order to immunise themselves from the deadly disease, sane people rushed to social media and other channels to strongly advise them against this course of action.

Why?

Why didn’t we let them drink bleach?

Because many people would have died. Yes, many bigoted, ignorant, intolerant, stupid Trump supporters would have died. They are the biggest threat to the world right now.

So, you have something against Trump supporters?

Yes, I do. But not because it’s de rigueur, and not because I’m an inner-city, latte sipping lefty. But because Trump supporters, and stupid people throughout the world, are the biggest threat to our planet.

They are populating the earth.

Overpopulation is the biggest threat to the world right now. There are simply too people many on the planet and we as a species have not found a way to limit or restrict birth rates. If we continue to populate the earth at current rates and to live the destructive lifestyle we now follow, we will destroy the earth. Before the earth finally succumbs to the current cycle of abuse, life on the planet will be horrible for many, many people.

They are climate change deniers

Trump supporters advocated the consumption of bleach, and Trump supporters deny climate change. This denial was a strong component of Trump’s election campaign, and remains a major weapon in his efforts to win re-election. His personal attacks on Greta Thunberg and the countless destructive policies of his government will accelerate climate change and further destroy the natural environment upon which we all rely for our survival. He can continue to do this because ignorant people continue to vote for him, just as stupid people continue to vote for Morrison (Australia) Johnson (UK) Bolsonaro (Brazil) and other such leaders.

They are religious

Most Trump supporters come from the Bible Belt, the religious heartland of the country. Most of them are Christian (it would be hard to find a Muslim who supports Trump) and organised religion is a major barrier to solving many of the world’s problems.

Primarily, religion is a major impediment to reducing the world’s population. As we have already outlined, overpopulation is the biggest problem facing the world. Religion hampers efforts to limit population growth because it prevents or even criminalises practical solutions such as euthanasia, suicide, abortion, birth control, homosexuality and gender equality.

Research indicates that relationships with greater gender equality produce less offspring. Same sex couples cannot naturally reproduce, and euthanasia, legal suicide, abortion and accessible contraception would all help to reduce the world’s population.

They vote against their best interests

Ironically, the stupid people are destroying their own future. To demonstrate this, we can go to Australia. Recently, China imposed strict tariffs on Australian barley exports. This ruling will severely harm the income of Australian barley farmers.

Why?

Experts believe China reacted to the Australian government’s call for an inquiry into China’s role in the spread of COVID-19. Not an inquiry into the pandemic, but an inquiry into China’s role in the pandemic. China is thus punishing Australian farmers because of the actions of the current Australian government, the Liberal National Party (LNP). The LNP is the conservative party and farmers have always voted for the National Party, and in turn for the LNP. Now, their own party has destroyed some of their businesses completely.

Similarly, many experts expect Trump’s own supporters to suffer financially because of his social and economic policies. Don’t forget, Trump is a businessman before he is a leader. Leave voters are yet to feel the true economic impact of Brexit.

They are gullible

Poor education convinced many people to believe in the curative powers of bleach. Poor education makes people more gullible, and more susceptible to politicians and corporations who lie and manipulate the truth. Ignorant and stupid people lack the critical literacy to discern the true meaning of a message, and are particularly susceptible to Trump’s incessant accusations of ‘fake news’ any time anyone criticises him.

While Trump runs his country via Twitter, Australia’s prime minister, Scott Morrison, runs his country via slogans. So common are his slogans, in place of real policy, that he earned himself the nickname ‘Scotty from Marketing’.

Ignorant people are persuaded by Trump’s tweets. Ignorant people are persuaded by Morrison’s slogans, and ignorant people voted for Brexit.

Someone’s gotta go

It’s not murder. It’s not killing someone, it’s letting that person kill themselves, which, after all, is the same as legalising suicide.

But you’re targeting a particular section of society.

This is happening anyway. COVID-19 has demonstrated the increased vulnerability of older people, people with disabilities, the poor and people from certain races – many of whom find themselves forced to work on the front line during the pandemic.

They own guns

Trump supporters are so stupid that they risked their own health to gather in groups to protest against lockdown measures that were designed to protect their health. Not only did they protest, draped in national flags, many of them did so with guns. Real guns. Big guns. Serious guns.

Were they going to kill someone who is trying to stop them from dying from a disease?

If these armed protesters had shot a government official, they would have increased the likelihood that they themselves would die.

They won’t be told.

Bigots and disciples of the theory that bleach can cure COVID-19 won’t be told. Even if a message or piece of advice is in their best interest, or in this case, could keep them alive, they still don’t listen. They subscribe to the cult of the individual and believe that their individual rights outweigh the needs of the society at large, even when their individualism threatens the safety or wellbeing of the community. When ‘bleach believers’ are advised against drinking bleach, they refuse to be told what to do. If they refuse to listen anyway, why should we tell them?

We are living in the era of stupidity and we must do something before it is too late.

Let them drink bleach.

Image: Washington Post

Scott Morrison: The Kardashian of International Politics.

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Scott Morrison is the Kardashian of international politics. He is not a leader. He is nothing but marketing.

Re-branding

Scott Morrison is a Liberal National Party re-branding exercise. He is not a genuine leader. Morrison became leader of the Liberal National Party (LNP)  after he challenged the former leader, and former PM, Malcolm Turnbull. Turnbull was regarded as aloof, wealthy, overly sophisticated and arrogant, especially by the new supporter base of the LNP, tradesmen and construction workers. Insiders also believe that Turnbull was too outspoken in favour of action on climate change and that this did not align with the opinion of the true leaders of the LNP, mining magnates and media moguls. From his inception, Morrison has never been a leader, he himself is a marketing exercise, in the same way that every Kardashian (and partner) is themselves nothing but marketing.

Nickname

Scott Morrison and his PR team refer to the Prime Minister as ScoMo. The carefully-cultivated nickname fits neatly into the Australian tradition of awarding everyone a nickname, and creates an image of Morrison as an approachable and friendly person to whom everyone can relate. So successful has this deliberate marketing strategy been that even the watered-down mainstream Australian media commonly refer to the PM as ScoMo.

Beer and football

Extending the image of a regular Aussie bloke is Morrison’s appearance at rugby league games. Enjoying a beer at many of the home games of the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks enables Morrison to pretend that he cares about the people of his electorate in the Sutherland Shire. Ironically, Morrison did not grow up in The Shire, but in another region of Sydney, and has only lived in The Shire since winning pre-selection for the safe Liberal seat after a dirty tricks campaign against his main opponent. Shire residents, however, don’t seem to know or care about his pre-selection tactics – they have fallen for the PR spin.

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Slogans

Morrison does not formulate policies – he formulates slogans. A study of his announcements and press releases reveals an archive of empty slogans designed to impress unthinking Australians and to provide headlines and media snippets aimed at people with short attention spans.

How good is…

“How good is…” has become a universal catch phrase for Morrison, ever since he opened his federal election victory speech with “How good is Australia” The slogan is not actually a question, it is posed as an affirmative statement.

Interestingly, the phrase How good/ How good is seems to have crept into everyday lexicon, even in TV advertisements or football commentary. Again, Morrison has mastered the art of marketing to his demographic, uneducated and unthinking Australians.

Meet and beat

This is Australia’s environmental policy. Apparently, the minister who carried a lump of coal into Parliament question time before he became PM believes Australia will meet and beat its Paris climate targets with a simple slogan, instead of constructive action.

Quiet Australians

Quiet Australians are what Morrison would like all Australians to be. They don’t debate policies, don’t call him and his party to account, and they accept his actions and his marketing spin. This is another slogan Morrison coined in order to subdue everyday Australians.

There’s not much difference between a Quiet Australian and a Belieber.

Survive and thrive, leaners and lifters and back in black are more empty slogans which found their way into news articles throughout the country during Morrison’s reign, especially in the Murdoch press.

Have a go to get a go

What does this mean?

What does it matter?

Morrison’s slogans don’t need to mean anything or provide any substance. They are short, easily-digested phrases which impress small-minded people – and they are working.

Patriotism

Team Australia is another of Morrison’s slogans and it promoted overt patriotism and described the members of his political party, who all started wearing Australian flag lapels. Patriotism, like Morrison’s leadership, is an idea, a notion without substance. Morrison’s ascendancy has also coincided with a rise in Australian patriotism which intelligent people can see is exclusive and not inclusive of anyone who is not Caucasian, Christian, heterosexual and born in Australia. Ironically, the most salient recent manifestation of this exclusive racism was the Cronulla riot, a massive brawl between Caucasian patriots and Australians of middle-eastern descent. The riots took place on Cronulla beach, in the heart of Morrison’s electorate. Appeals to patriotism replace sensible policy in Morrison’s government.

Exclusive patriotism and a desire to appeal to bigoted Australians created another famous slogan of the LNP. Stop the Boats encapsulated Australia’s immigration policies, which drew widespread international condemnation for contravening basic human rights laws.

The backlash

Some Australians see through the spin. They know Morrison is the Kardashian of international politics. Unfortunately, they are a minority, or at least their measured voices are drowned out by the ignorant loudmouths who dominate social discourse in Australia.

Scotty from Marketing is a nickname which gained traction in response to Morrison’s reliance upon PR.

The Liar from The Shire emerged in response to his dishonesty and that of his party, incorporating the name of his electorate which is known as ‘The Shire’

SlowMo is sometimes used to counteract the name ScoMo.

Popularity

Yes, Scott Morrison is popular, just as the Kardashians are popular. People in Australia and the rest of the world are so gullible, impressionable and stupid that they fall for the marketing of the Kardashians, and they watch their TV shows, buy their branded products and in some cases genuinely admire the famous family. Conversely, many Australians have fallen for Scotty’s marketing spin and believe that Morrison is actually an approachable, down to earth, friendly everyday person. During the recent COVID-19 crisis, his public approval rating has actually risen. The marketing is working.

Dumb and dumber

Did Morrison contribute to the dumbing down of Australia society, or did his rise simply coincide with this era in Australian history? Did the Kardashians contribute to the dumbing down of society, or simply profit from it?

Ultimately, the only real difference between Scott Morrison and Kim Kardashian is that Morrison did not rise to fame courtesy of a sex tape – and thank goodness for that.

Image – Morrison – Craig Greenhill

Image – Kim Kardashian – Instagram/Kanye West

Don’t buy your child a smartphone.

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“I wish I could get my child off their phone,” bemoan so many modern-day parents.

“They’re addicted. They don’t play outside, it ruins their social life, they certainly don’t talk to me and it’s destroying their school grades.

I just wish there was a way to stop my child from being on their phone all the time.”

There is one way.

Don’t buy them a smartphone.

There is another way.

Don’t pay for their data.

But they need it for safety.

True, smartphones provide immediate communication which could keep some children safe in certain situations. However, if the rationale behind buying a child a phone is safety, then buy them a handset. Buy them a phone that only performs the functions of phone calls and SMS, because that is enough to keep a child safe if the bus doesn’t arrive, soccer training is cancelled or they can’t get a taxi after a party late at night. Granted, handsets do have games on them, but your child will soon tire of Tetris.

Interestingly, many parents are forgetting that they themselves grew up in an era without mobile phones, and the vast majority of them were never abducted, assaulted, abused or harmed while out of sight of their parents.

Unfortunately, many parents have succumbed to the subliminal scare campaigns which mobile phone providers use to boost sales. Phone companies and service providers understand this fear and do nothing to quell it, knowing full well that the fear boosts sales. This, despite the fact that research indicates that the majority of people who abuse children are known to the victim, and they inflict this abuse in situations for which a mobile phone would not have helped the child.

This may sound paranoid, but examine the advertising of smartphones. Most of the campaigns play on fear and fashion. We are yet to see a phone company sell a phone with the message;

“Watch your child fail exams, become socially maladjusted, play on social media and chat with creepy old men online.”

Don’t buy a child a phone that can connect to the internet.

The majority of problems begin when children use their phones to connect to the internet. This is where they are cyber-bullied, or do the bullying. This is where they waste hours scanning vacuous content on social media. This is where they access inappropriate content or meet inappropriate people, and this is where they become passive consumers of mass media.

Tell your child to buy their own smartphone.

If your child insists on owning a smartphone, tell them to pay for the phone and the data themselves.

But my child’s not old enough to get a job.

If your child is not old enough to get a job, maybe they’re not old enough to own a smartphone.

Many children might justify their demands for a smartphone with the safety rationale, but we know children well enough to surmise that their desire for a phone is prompted by peer pressure and status.

“Everyone else has one.” is a phrase many parents will hear thousands of times.

Don’t blame others for your child’s behaviour.

Don’t demand that Teachers protect your child from cyber bullying. Don’t blame the Teacher when your child’s grades, literacy and numeracy start to suffer because they are addicted to their phone and are neglecting their studies. Don’t blame the government for your child’s poor health, and don’t expect society to teach your child to socialise.

Don’t buy your child a smartphone.

Image: Ilan Dov

 

The pill testing paradox.

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Pill testing is a paradox.

Demanding that authorities provide free pill testing for people who choose to take illicit drugs at music festivals is an inherent contradiction, because the act of taking the drugs is a form of rebellion against authority. Thus, pill poppers are demanding that authorities test their pills so that they can rebel against authority.

Pill taking, and the consumption of illicit drugs, is an act of rebellion. Drug users may argue that they are not deliberately engaged in an act of rebellion, that they’re just trying to have some fun during a concert, but the fact remains that taking drugs which are illegal according to existing Australian laws is an act of rebellion.

Do we have to test pills everywhere?

If pill testing is introduced as standard procedure at large-scale music festivals across New South Wales and the rest of Australia, does it have to be introduced elsewhere? Will pill testing be introduced at nightclubs, at private birthday parties, at beach parties? Illicit pills are consumed in many places, not just at music festivals, so if music festivals are required to provide pill testing, will pill testing have to be available to drug users in other places?

Who pays for pill testing?

If widespread pill testing is introduced at music festivals (and in other places), does the tax payer pay for the provision of medical staff, social workers and other resources? Should taxpayers be forced to foot the bill for an activity which is illegal, and entered into knowingly and voluntarily by the pill taker? If taxpayers are paying for the testing, then we are essentially paying for people to absolve themselves of any responsibility to ensure their own welfare and to take risks without accepting the consequences.

Festival organisers should pay for pill testing.

Let’s face it, people know they can take drugs at a music festival. We know most people go for the entertainment, the socialising, the food, the drink and the general excitement of being surrounded by hundreds or thousands of people enjoying a great day or night out. However, it is also common knowledge that festivals are a great place to acquire, and enjoy, illicit drugs. Festival organisers and promoters profit financially from this accepted truth, and should thus accept the financial burden of providing pill testing if it becomes standard practice.

Unfortunately, organisers are likely to pass on the increased costs by raising ticket prices, and the festival-goers who don’t take drugs will suffer because of other people who require pill testing.

Does it set a precedent?

If a person takes a pill to a testing centre and the pill is found to contain a chemical composition which is dangerous, is the pill then confiscated from the person and disposed of? One imagines the festival-goer is likely to be quite upset at losing their pill, not just because it was purchased to enhance their experience, but also because they had just handed over cash for the pill, as well as paying for the festival ticket and food, and transport…The risk of losing their pill might also deter some people from using the service.

If the person is allowed to keep the pill, even after it is deemed to be harmful, are there legal ramifications if that person takes the pill and suffers adverse side effects? Australia is becoming an increasingly litigious society and it would not be surprising if a drug user attempted to sue the government and/or festival organisers.

Another precedent could also be set.

Pill testing, indirectly, allows people to ‘get away with’ taking drugs. Festival goers will not be punished for possessing illegal substances at festivals, which are always attended by police. If the same person, or another person, is in possession of illicit drugs in another location, such as a nightclub, and is punished at law for possessing illegal drugs, can that person sight the absence of punishment for possession of drugs at the festival as a legal precedent in an attempt to ‘get away with’ breaking the law at a different location?

But I didn’t know drugs were dangerous…

Advocates for pill testing argue that as well as harm minimisation, pill testing centres can also serve as a vehicle for educating people about the dangers of recreational drugs. People know the dangers of drugs. Any Australian under the age of 35 (the vast majority of festival-goers) has already been educated about the dangers of drugs. Most attended high school in Australia within the last 15 years and were provided with drug and alcohol education through subjects such as Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PD/H/PE) or through special drug and alcohol seminars.

Weren’t they listening?

Death is no deterrent

Pill testing is also designed to deter some people from taking harmful drugs. Armed with sufficient information, advocates argue, festival-goers will avoid taking drugs that are identified as dangerous. How can pill testing deter people if death is not deterring them? The deaths of numerous people at festivals during the 2018-19 Australian summer is what ignited the debate over pill testing, yet even these deaths did not serve as a deterrent to pill-takers. So, if death did not stop people from taking pills, how will pill testing?

The real problem with pill testing

The pill testing debate can also be examined more broadly in order to expose another major flaw in Australian society, the expectation that society/the government will protect people from harming themselves.

People popping pills at festivals do so knowingly and voluntarily and thus engage in a deliberate act of risk taking, while at the same time expecting society and the government to remove any potential consequences of their actions.

It is symptomatic of a country which has created an expectation that it is the responsibility of the government to protect all of its citizens from harm, even if that harm was the direct consequence of the deliberate actions of the individual.

Furthermore, not only do many Australians expect to be protected from danger, they expect to be rescued or bailed out when their own actions place them in a complicated or adverse situation.

If you choose to rebel against authority by taking a pill at a music festival, don’t expect the same authority to bail you out.

Image: http://www.freestock.org

I’m a Bad Person.

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I don’t love my parents. I have no compassion. I don’t believe in equality and I’m unpatriotic.

I don’t love my Mum. I failed to gush forth my gratitude on Facebook in tribute to her undying love, patience and care which she tirelessly heaped upon me since the day I entered this world.

I neglected to purge my photographic archive and extract photos of childhood birthday parties to accompany my effusive sentiments on Mother’s Day.

So I don’t love my Mum, and social media told me so.

I don’t love my Dad either. I committed the same social crime in September when my IG account was devoid of images of altruism, backyard cricket, bodysurfing lessons and learning to drive.

I have no compassion.

I have not graced my profile pictures or cover photos with the flag of the latest nation to suffer at the hands of natural or man-made disasters, because I have no compassion. I cruelly neglect to participate in the contemporary manifestation of social activism of ‘tweet, post, share, poke, forward, click…and forget.’

From whence did I glean my affliction? Social Media.

I don’t believe in equality.

The basic human rights of people whose sexual orientation denies them the legal right to form a recognised union never colours my thoughts, or my profile photo. Am I homophobic? Social media thinks so.

I am not a patriot. I abstained from retweeting photos of our Rio Olympians in their new (insert brand name) uniforms clutching their new (insert brand name) luggage. But then, I’m unpatriotic.

I am a traitor to my nation. I treacherously omitted from my various social media platforms my disgust at the execution of two of my compatriots who transgressed widely publicised laws in an attempt to profit handsomely from the proceeds of a dirty and destructive trade which is contributing to the societal decay of a nearby Southeast Asian nation.

How dare I? How disgracefully unpatriotic, as social media told me.

I’m all of these things. Yes, I am. I know, because social media told me so.

Am I ashamed, am I proud, will I remain silent lest someone discover my flawed character and defective personality? No, I will proclaim it to the world. I will reveal my tainted self.

How?

I’ll tweet it and post it and share it on social media…

Image:www.rw-designer.com