Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Australian blogger disappears in China

An Australian blogger and spy novelist, Yang Hengjun, is missing in China. He may have been arrested by Chinese authorities.

The latest:
The Chinese government has denied any knowledge of a missing Australian author thought to have been detained by the secret police.

Australian writer Yang Hengjun went missing in Guangzhou on Sunday after telling friends he was being followed.

His colleagues believe he is being held by secret police here.
China denies knowledge of missing Aussie writer

Let's hope it's just a mistake.

Nevertheless, as the blogosphere becomes more powerful, the powerful will become more repressive.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Burka Woman's New Life with Ned Kelly

After hearing Mars Drum interviewed on Bush Telegraph (ABC Radio National) we visited  her exhibition "Beyond the Burka" - Oils on canvas.

Valentinian Cross

For the past few years, Mars has been producing A3 sized paintings depicting the romantic adventures of Ned Kelly and Burka Woman.

Burka Woman is a Muslim refugee whom Ned rescued from the surf. These days, they enjoy life together in Australia and even find time to go to art galleries.

Mars Drum is passionate about about the need for non-Muslims to be open to Muslims and to women wearing the Burka.
Burka Woman meets Ned Kelly (ABC Radio 14 March 2011)

Unfortunately it has finished now but if you get a chance to see her paintings, make the effort.

To listen to the interview, please click here: Bush Telegraph interview March 2011

Mars regularly wore a burka in public after 11 September 2001 for some years. For more on this, visit her blog The True History of Ned Kelly and Burka Woman 'Burka Woman builds a new life for herself in Australia, with the help of Ned Kelly'.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tony Abbott's Revolting Pug Politics

Cross post with Labor View From Bayside

I was spurred on by Bernard Keane's article in Crikey Placards not the only thing on display as the denialists gather to these thoughts on Tony Abbott and Tea Party politics:

(Photo: ABC)
It was hard not to be appalled by Abbott's performance yesterday. He chose his company deliberately. That included the other speakers. Barnaby Joyce was playing hysterical demagogue.

David Archibald, the ‘economist’ who spoke at the rally, was generally ignored by the media. In fact Melbourne's Herald Sun chose not to mention the event or the offensive signs at all. It was front page at their rival The Age: To-ny, To-ny: poster boy for a crowd of 'fine Australians'. Their photo is far more explicit:

Archibald is from the mining industry and close to the Lavoisier Group of deniers, founded by that well known friend of working people and the environment Hugh Morgan.

Closer to home, the owner of our local shoe shop was headed for the rally: Carbon tax cops kick in Bayside He’s a budding economist too: “He said a 10 per cent carbon tax would be “the final straw” for embattled small retailers.”

Doubtless many in the Canberra crowd were small business people with close links to the Liberal Party.

The evening of the revolting people’s day, Bayside Climate Change Action Group held a successful forum of 150 + with Prof David Karoly of Melbourne University:
Prof. Karoly said. "If climate change is happening, it's happening on top of - and as well as – all the natural climate variations."

"Better to ask", Prof. Karoly said, "is how much worse were the floods made by greenhouse climate change?" While much more research needs to be done, his 'best estimate' is that the floods were perhaps 20% worse than if carbon dioxide levels had remained at the levels of about 100 years ago.

While that may seem only a modest addition, Prof. Karoly said the shift to a warmer climate – signalled too in record seawater temperatures around much of Australia - means Australians had better prepare for a land of greater droughts during the dry spells and worse flooding rains in the wet ones.David Karoly + Simon McKeon @ Firbank Grammar.

The anti-carbon-tax lobby is well organised and presumably well financed. Menzies House provides many of the links to the people's revolt on their campaign website Stop Gillard's Climate Tax.

It was always going to be a dirty fight. Pug politics!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

World Water Day: Under the Boardwalk

Please join us on Tuesday under the boardwalk for World Water Day 22 March 2011

Mangroves 6

More: Mangrove Cove: Under the Boardwalk

Friday, March 4, 2011

You Can Build a Dam But You Can't Make It Rain

If you're in one of Australia's Eastern States and have forgotten what a drought looks like, then take a look at:

North Dandalup Dam: You Can’t Make It Rain

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

‘Tea Party’ Style Campaign Against Carbon Tax

From Th!nk5: Water updating the latest stoush surrounding carbon politics in Australia:

The so-called wisdom in Australia says that the majority of people believe that global warming and climate change are real. They just aren't prepared to pay for climate action.

If the Oz blogosphere is any indication, the next Australian Federal election will be a referendum on a proposed climate tax. And the issue has already become nasty and personal
Australia: ‘Tea Party’ Style Campaign Against Carbon Tax