A tram with a view

Living in Melbourne is hectic. If you want to travel by car you have to be prepared for a slow crawl along the busy roads. When you finally get to your destination, you begin the search for a parking spot and that can be extremely frustrating. The one saving grace that Melbourne has is its trams. The train system is apparently pretty bad but I haven’t used it yet, nor am I eager to do so.

So I stick to trams whenever I can. It’s an opportunity for me to observe humanity in all its glory. Having done so, however, I must confess that I would prefer to travel in my own private tram carriage just like the oil barons in the U.S did when they travelled by train in the old days. Continue reading

Why I could never vote for Peter Costello

I now live in the electorate of Higgins which has Peter Costello as its federal member. In the last election I voted for the Libs but I vote differently from time to time according to the issues. However, I could never vote for Peter Costello and this is why. Continue reading

Congratulations to the Israeli Davis Cup Team

The Israeli team has defeated the Swedish Tennis Team in Malmo, Sweden. I have to confess that I have minimal interest in sport but I am in interested in the politics of sport. While everyone is rightly disgusted that the Sri Lankan cricket team or any cricket team should be targeted by terrorists, there was hardly a murmur of outrage by the outside world when the Israeli tennis team was greeted by demonstrations. So dangerous were these demonstrations that the match organisers had to limit the number of spectators allowed to attend the quarter final. Why is this occurring in Malmo which is Sweden’s third largest city? Continue reading

Greg Sheridan impresses once again.

George Eliot writes that if you want to continue admiring your hero never meet him in person. I have usually followed that principle and in fact, if ever, I went out of my way to meet someone whom I admired I inevitably regretted having done so. For example, in 2001 we went on an accompanied tour of France and Belgium only because the person in charge was a famous former Federal Labor Minister. He is usually full of information and we thought that his insights would enrich our trip. Continue reading

My sympathies for Mr and Mrs Loewenstein

Having read a certain book review in The Australian Literary Review last week by Antony Loewenstein I felt great sadness for his parents. How terrible it must be to produce a son like him, a self-hating Jew who continues to gets his rocks off by writing against Israel and Jews.

I could imagine his parents wondering where they went wrong. What had they done or not done to create a person who can actually praise the leader of Hamas who wishes to see the destruction of the Jewish state? That “The Australian” newspaper should have accepted his review of a book about the leader of Hamas is not surprising. Loewenstein’s views are controversial and he thrives on using his Jewish heritage to attack Israel. What better scandal than a modern Judas?

I don’t take seriously what he writes because he is a lost cause. He is like those Frenchmen, Ukrainians and Poles who collaborated with the Nazis and then were executed by them because the Nazis knew that they couldn’t be trusted in the long run.

My mind keeps turning back to Loewenstein’s parents and I weep for their shame. It must torment them constantly. Not that it would bother their son. As long as he can get into the news it doesn’t matter to him whom he betrays.

Could the Prime Minister of Australia be the next Secretary-General of the United Nations?

The actions of the Prime Minister of Australia seem to point to his wider ambition of strutting the world stage in global politics. Were it not for the economic recession, Kevin Rudd would be continuing his globe-trotting to ensure his ambitions after he has finished with Australian politics.

We witnessed his compulsion as soon as he was elected last year. In fact, during the early months of his tenure, we could be mistaken for thinking that Julia Gillard was our Prime Minister while Kevin was amassing his frequent flyer points in the global arena.

It could very likely be his ultimate ambition to become the Secretary-General of the United Nations. For this reason he has gone into politics after a long career in the diplomatic field. Whenever he travels it is with the intention of ingratiating himself with the big wigs on the world stage. And it is for this reason, in my opinion, that he is sending our Governor-General on a mission to to curry favour with the Africans.

The African vote would help Australia win a seat on the U.N Security Council. The Governor-General, who is the Queen’s representative in Australia and who should not be getting involved in party politics or politics at all, is suddenly becoming an ambassador for Rudd and I believe that it is inappropriate for her to be sent on this mission.

I have to confess that I squirm when Rudd announces what he is going to tell a certain world leader. He is a bit like the mouse that roared and it is embarrassing of him to pretend that he is of much significance in global politics. It would not hurt for him to display a bit of humility instead of the arrogance that must cause the U.S leader and those in Europe, Russia and China to ask, “where does this guy get off?”

To sum it up, there is basically nothing wrong with Rudd’s desire to be Secretary-General of the U.N. What worries me, however, is how much he will have to compromise in order to win the support of governments who may not be sympathetic to Australia’s interests.

Are Australian judges doing their job?

I’ve been thinking about why the judiciary’s decisions outrage us at times. This is a complex issue, but nevertheless, I would like to offer some observations on the subject. These are simply food for thought.

It all boils down to the notion that we believe that judges should reflect the society in which they and we live. Whether they should lead or not is debatable. But, in any case, we should feel they are in sync with society’s expectations, which, by the way, are forever changing. Judges should be aware of this and should not lag behind.

When the law becomes a law unto itself it alienates the public which it serves. Continue reading

Why are jail sentences so lenient?

I wish to express my disgust at the justice system that has given a lenient sentence to the four men who doused an elderly man with petrol in his home and set fire to him. He has fourth degree burns and will probably lose his ears. He has had his lips and eyelids removed. The victim is suffering from a mental illness. He is in terrible pain and will never recover from the attack.

The four men, plus a fifth who is yet to be sentenced, have received short jail terms of about three years. I don’t understand why these monsters did not receive the maximum sentence of fifteen years. It was probably because they said sorry. I wish that word would disappear from legal situations. How does saying sorry make it all better now?

Can you believe that after the scumbags were sentenced their own families called out “We love you!” What is there to love is a question I often ask.

No wonder we have no respect for the legal system which pays more attention to perpetrators than victims of crime. There is something to be said for the Code of Hammurabi.

Incidentally, these monsters will be held in protective custody in jail…away from the smoking inmates, I guess.