#MarchInMarch

And my learning curve as a political activist just got steeper. In the past two days, I’ve learned that racism (which I have never understood) may not only be alive and well in Australia, but now officially sanctioned. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-25/racial-diiscrimination-act-changes-george-brandis/5343464

Meanwhile, talk of adding retirees homes to the list of assets that determine their pension are ongoing; effectively cutting how much they will receive when they retire. http://www.theage.com.au/money/planning/vanishing-discount-highlights-need-to-plan-20140225-33dkt.html And here’s what Paul Howes was talking about: http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/assets. This is the first issue that will harm me directly…eventually, anyway. I love my job and will keep doing it until I’m no longer physically able. But I agree that, in an aging population, changes need to be made…fairly and openly.

I also learned that the titles “Knight” and “Dame” are to be reinstated in Australia…no seriously! Check it out. http://au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/22170717/australias-royalist-pm-brings-back-knights-and-dames/

I’m not sure what that has to do with modern Australia, despite us being technically still a monarchy. But it got me asking, “Why?” Some suggest it’s a distraction; to stop intelligent voters being angry about the real issues. If so, it’s a poor distraction, because my first thought (after I realized it wasn’t a joke) was an angry, “What about a jobs program?” Do you remember that was one of the promises at the last election? I added a question mark to “jobs” on my placard, because it’s only been long enough to break promises, not to act on them…oh, the coalition’s promise to stop asylum seekers from making it to Australia has been kept. The fact that one of them was shot dead, and others beaten, by one of the foreign guards we’re paying to imprison them, and we still don’t know how or why, or that a few have attempted suicide, is apparently irrelevant? A (hopeful) claim that lives are being saved as a result of this current policy does not appear to take deaths in custody into account. Shouldn’t it?

Anyway, I looked into this peerage issue some more and saw that Peter Cosgrove is to be one of the first recipients of the reintroduced legal title “Sir”, essentially making him British nobility. So perhaps this mystifying timing of mystifying legislation is because we’re getting a new Governor General this month? I’m ashamed to say that I don’t know much about Quentin Bryce; except that she’s for a republic and same-sex marriage, so I’d even call her Prime Minister if she asked it of me! But Mr. Cosgrove has proven time and again that he is an intelligent, moral man who loves this country enough to risk his life for it…greater love hath no man. If I ever met him, I would refer to him as “sir” without the need for royal decree, because it’s a mark of respect and he’s earned it. Incidentally, I didn’t add “Republic” to my placard, because we have many more serious problems, and I naively trusted that, as they have for decades now, our government wouldn’t make it an issue. But, if they want to wind back the clock (curious; that’s an accusation against marchers, too) to British imperialism, I’ll be adding it to my placard next time we march.

I used this “sir” mark of respect yesterday when I saw a stranger’s “veteran” bumper sticker and stopped work long enough to ask him what he thought of the cuts to compensation for children of fallen Australian soldiers. He leaned in towards me, said “Don’t get me started,” and then got started. Wow! And I thought I was angry! This white-haired gentleman is furious. I have a feeling that he (and probably several of his mates) will join us at the next march. He’s also offered to build a podium for anyone who’ll get up and tell people that a lot of Australian voters are pissed off at our politicians; his impression being that they’re taking money from those who need it, in order to pay for their privileged lifestyles. I wonder if (soon to be) Sir Peter Cosgrove feels the same way?

erratum: My first post says that Foxtel is foreign owned. It should read “mostly foreign owned”. Many ordinary Australians own shares of Telstra, who owns fifty percent of Foxtel…shares that aren’t looking too good now, since the National Broadband Network was cancelled.

I mention this because a man accusing me (on Twitter) of being a “spineless hypocrite” and “Leftard” suggested that, if marchers really cared, they’d cancel their Foxtel. When I asked him why, when doing so would hurt ordinary Aussies, he said that most of those who marched are obsessed with, and hate, Rupert Murdoch. I’ve looked into this, and he might be right. Hey, just because someone is incredibly rude (we’re allowed to be bigots; see above) doesn’t necessarily mean they’re also stupid.

Again, I asked myself, “Why?” Yes, one of the richest men in the world (born in Melbourne but currently living overseas) founded News Corp and therefore owns most of our newspapers. Is that enough reason to hate him? I don’t think so. Does he exert influence over the information we receive from mainstream media? Probably; I’ve seen evidence, but not yet any proof of that theory. And, if he does, why is that cause to vilify him? Aren’t we all intelligent enough to know when someone is bullshitting us? If an argument seems one-sided, or has obvious gaps in the logic, surely it’s up to us to fill in the gaps? I honestly believe that expecting to be spoon-fed information is one of the reasons we got into this mess in the first place. Does Mr. Murdoch currently have influence over how our country is run? I’ve no idea, but I do think this question is enough to generate the anger I witnessed during the march and since, online. Again; why? Do we know where Sir (Keith) Rupert Murdoch stands on the issues concerning us? His history in the UK suggests that he supports whomever is in power. But what if he still loves this country and is an ally of ordinary Australians, not an enemy? Again, if I’m getting any of this wrong, please let me know. I’d prefer you do so without fallacious insults, because they’re not an argument that could sway me to think anything other than you have no useful point to make. But I’ll take my information any way I can get it, and keep asking, “Why?”

Oh, do keep calling me “traitor”, though. I’m really starting to warm to that one. For, when a government fails its people, true patriots become traitors.

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