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Posts by naturalman1975

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  • Jewish educators called to UK authority meeting on Rosh Hashana

    07/26/2015 7:07:39 PM PDT · 10 of 13
    naturalman1975 to Nachum

    Somebody didn’t check a calendar for Jewish holidays in setting the date. As soon as the Jewish schools raised the issue, Ofsted offered to reschedule the meeting. This was nearly a week ago.

    Yes, it’s a mistake that shouldn’t happen if people know what they are doing, but it does look like it was simply due to lack of knowledge.

  • Queen veers onto grass verge to avoid young family

    07/23/2015 4:53:27 PM PDT · 52 of 75
    naturalman1975 to miss marmelstein
    I don’t know about Charles.

    The Prince of Wales likes his cars, but he drives them in a way that makes me think he regrets the fact that they wouldn't let him fly fighter jets as often as he wanted to when he was in the service. At least, that's what it felt like when I was in a car he was driving. He may have been trying to make a point as I had just asked him when the last time he'd driven was.

    The Duke of Edinburgh used to own a London taxi cab and drive it around the city because it was nicely anonymous. I assume he doesn't do that anymore, but I've heard he even used to pick up tourists sometimes and then confuse them by refusing to charge a fare (he wasn't allowed to as he wasn't a real taxi driver).

  • Exclusive - Japan eyes British help to sink German bid for Australian submarine: sources

    07/23/2015 3:49:35 PM PDT · 6 of 6
    naturalman1975 to sinsofsolarempirefan
    Don't assume the propeller on the picture of the Collins is in anyway accurate. The RAN takes a lot of precautions over that particular piece of kit (this is no secret, or I wouldn't say it, of course - but the precise design itself is one they really do work hard to keep under wraps.

    (Yes, the US knows what it is, because they helped design it - which is probably one reason why it's kept so secret - Americans understandably really don't like their allies leaking their secrets.)

  • Bill Shorten to pledge to adopt boat turnback policy (Australian left accept border protection)

    07/22/2015 4:58:39 PM PDT · 12 of 12
    naturalman1975 to factoryrat

    I know it was tongue in cheek humour, but I thought it was important to be clear that this really does apply to everyone. A lot of the left here try to claim this is about racism - it isn’t. If it was racism, it wouldn’t apply to Americans, or to the British, or to Europeans - it gets applied to everyone. If you come here illegally, you will not be allowed to stay.

    The fact that people from certain countries and cultures are more likely than others to try and do this, doesn’t make our laws culturally or racially or in any other way discriminatory. It reflects which countries currently have the most serious problems.

  • Bill Shorten to pledge to adopt boat turnback policy (Australian left accept border protection)

    07/22/2015 2:50:58 PM PDT · 8 of 12
    naturalman1975 to factoryrat
    What’s with all of the arabic in that flyer?

    Australia distributes these flyers around the world in all of the countries that tend to produce 'asylum seekers' (whether they are genuine refugees or not). So they are localised for local languages. That particular one was the best example I could find online to share, and happens to be one that is distributed in Pakistan, so it has the common languages of Pakistan repeating the same information as is in English at the top.

    On a different note, if I, as an english speaking American, with skills useful to you and your fellow Australians, washes up on shore for some odd reason (wink-wink), can I claim refugee status?

    Quite seriously, no. If somebody tries to come here illegally, they will not be allowed to stay. Even if they have useful skills.

    We do have programs that allow skilled migration by those who have skills we want, but those people have to follow the right processes.

    Australia is a nation of immigrants - tens of thousands of people immigrate to Australia each year and if they follow our rules, they are welcome. But they have to follow our rules.

    And that is what this is about. The distinction between legal immigration and illegal.

    It's not easy to immigrate to Australia - just as it isn't easy to immigrate to the US. We don't just let anybody in. We let those in with the skills we want and need, and we do consider how well they will integrate (Americans would generally be assumed to integrate quite easily because of a similar culture and language). We also do accept some genuine refugees - but they have to have followed the rules concerning seeking asylum in those cases.

  • Bill Shorten to pledge to adopt boat turnback policy (Australian left accept border protection)

    07/22/2015 2:42:30 PM PDT · 7 of 12
    naturalman1975 to Gay State Conservative
    IIRC Australia pays one or more countries to take in people who've requested asylum in Australia.

    That is the general idea with those who arrive here illegally (ie, by boat) and who are processed in the off-shore camps. If they do prove to be a genuine refugee who cannot be safely returned to where they came from, Australia will help them get to a place of safety. It just won't be Australia. And that can mean paying other countries to take them.

    People who follow the rules and go through processing overseas may well be resettled in Australia. Like most wealthy nations, we do take in some refugees - but it's on our terms and they have to follow the rules.

  • Bill Shorten to pledge to adopt boat turnback policy (Australian left accept border protection)

    07/22/2015 2:38:09 PM PDT · 5 of 12
    naturalman1975 to Cowboy Bob
    I wish America would follow suit with a policy like that.

    To be fair, it is a lot easier for Australia to police borders made up of wide ocean than a long, thin, land border. What is practical in our situation isn't necessarily as practical in others.

  • Bill Shorten to pledge to adopt boat turnback policy (Australian left accept border protection)

    07/22/2015 2:16:37 PM PDT · 1 of 12
    For clarity - Australia currently has a conservative coalition government (in Australia, the Coalition is a more or less permanent alliance between the two largest conservative parties, the city based Liberal Party, and the rural National Party - they match policies so closely they probably would have merged (and indeed have in a couple of states) except that the Nationals are worried that without their separate voice, rural issues would be given less priority than urban ones. It's not a temporary coalition like, for example, that which was recently in place in the UK just because of electoral mathematics - it's operated here for most of the period since 1923 (it has occasionally been suspended, especially at a state level but it's the norm).

    On the other side of politics, we have the current opposition - the Labor Party. There's a host of minor parties (some more minor than others) but realistically any Australian government will either be Coalition or Labor.

    This reversal of policy by Labor is quite stunning. It involves them accepting that the policies they had in place from 2007 to 2013 when they were in government lead to the deaths of over 1200 people (Labor admits to 1200 - it may have been much higher) after years of denial. It involves the success of a coalition policy they have been bitterly opposing and fighting. It is also going to send a large part of the Australian left into a frenzy as the party they support adopts a policy they've been hysterically describing as evil, fascist - they're not going to know what to do.

    Outside of politics, it's really quite simple. Australia has a massive coastline, and lies just to the southeast of Asia. As a modern, industrialised western democracy, a lot of people would like to live here. Australia has long been willing to take a reasonable number of genuine refugees who are genuinely fleeing despotic governments, but they have to come here on our terms after we've checked their claims, and we've decided that they are not likely to be a threat to us. They can't be allowed to simply turn up here on our coast by boat - especially as nearly all those boats are coming from Indonesia, which while it certainly isn't as nice a place to live as Australia, is nonetheless a safe place for refugees to wait for resettlement. We decide who comes here.

    But besides that, there is also a genuine moral concern for the safety of these people. Travelling here by boat requires crossing at least hundreds of miles of open ocean. It's dangerous, especially when its often done in vessels that really are not designed for such journeys. People die on this journey - boats sink, and sometimes the people smugglers these people pay - who are, after all, criminals out for money - aren't all that concerned about actually making sure everybody who gets on their boat is still on it when it gets to Australian waters. Australia will always respond to the best of our ability to a call for distress from a boat at sea. But even with the best will in the world, we cannot rescue everybody in a sea area covering thousands of square miles. The only way to keep these people safe is to stop them getting on the boats in the first place - and that's why the government adopted the policy of turning back the boats and putting people in offshore detention for processing. It's quite simple - we send the message that if you try to come here by boat, it won't work. You will not make Australia home. We will send you back to Indonesia if it is safe to do so, or if we have to rescue you, we well, but you will go into a camp on Nauru or in Papua New Guinea or somewhere else for processing to see if you are a genuine refugee. You may as well stay in Indonesia and get processed there. That's your best chance to be allowed in. Once this message was made clear, a lot fewer people risk the sea voyage.

  • Feline Massacre: Australia Unveils Plan to Kill Two Million Feral Cats

    07/21/2015 6:22:08 PM PDT · 66 of 69
    naturalman1975 to driftless2
    Then what happened to the mice? Did they just pack their bags and head elsewhere? Or did they die off somehow?

    Died off during the droughts and haven't replenished their numbers since it ended. At some point, we will have another mice plague when the weather conditions means there's lots for them to eat again.

    It's a cycle.

    With the rabbits and feral cats, the cycle is less dramatic.

  • Feline Massacre: Australia Unveils Plan to Kill Two Million Feral Cats

    07/21/2015 6:20:17 PM PDT · 65 of 69
    naturalman1975 to driftless2
    Then what happened to the mice? Did they just pack their bags and head elsewhere? Or did they die off somehow?

    Died off during the droughts and haven't replenished their numbers since it ended. At some point, we will have another mice plague when the weather conditions means there's lots for them to eat again.

    It's a cycle.

    With the rabbits and feral cats, the cycle is less dramatic.

  • British archives hiding royal family’s links to anti-Semitism in 1930s, says historian

    07/20/2015 4:28:21 AM PDT · 16 of 36
    naturalman1975 to Berlin_Freeper
    The article seems to manage to give the impression that 'The Duke of Coburg' was a British aristocrat.

    His actual title makes things a bit clearer - the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. He was a German aristocrat.

    He had been a British one in his youth - as Duke of Albany, he was a Prince of the United Kingdom. But he was stripped of those titles for choosing to side with Germany during the First World War - never mind the Second one.

  • How\ where are you Freeping right now?

    07/19/2015 8:02:50 PM PDT · 125 of 186
    naturalman1975 to HANG THE EXPENSE

    I do use FR in some of my classes - or rather, material gathered from it. But I’m always careful because I don’t want to be one of those teachers who tries to get their students to follow a particular political line. There’s far too many teachers on the left doing that. I won’t be part of that.

    It’s my job to teach kids how to think - not what to think. That doesn’t mean steering clear of politics, far from it, but it does mean being careful.

    With my oldest students (17 year olds typically) I’m a lot more open about what I think about issues, but that’s only because by that stage, I have done my best to make sure they will argue with me if they disagree and that they are equipped to do so. But I don’t have any of those in detention today - mostly 14 and 15 year olds and a couple of 16 year olds.

  • How\ where are you Freeping right now?

    07/19/2015 7:33:28 PM PDT · 100 of 186
    naturalman1975 to MNDude

    I’ve just begun supervising a lunchtime detention for 21 teenage boys who need to learn that homework isn’t optional. There’s a lot of childish sulking involved - mostly from me because I am losing my lunchtime and I didn’t do anything wrong!

  • Australia actually declares ‘war’ on cats, plans to kill 2 million by 2020

    07/17/2015 5:03:16 PM PDT · 91 of 118
    naturalman1975 to Diana in Wisconsin
    Didn’t Australia go through this with rabbits at one point in their history?

    Still do - it's less of a problem since certain methods of biological control began to be used, but Australia still has a massive rabbit problem.

    I remember watching a movie called, ‘Rabbit-Proof Fence’ and it was about the re-location of their native people to ‘water-down’ their population and how one girl kept escaping wherever they relocated her to, to get back to her tribe. I mean, she walked THOUSANDS of miles of that fence line to do it, too!

    Rabbit-Proof Fence is a wonderful movie 'based on a true story' but also with a huge amount of left wing added fiction - including the idea that these children were removed in large numbers for reasons like watering down the population. There were genuine problems with what Australia used to do to its indigenous people, but it's been terribly exaggerated and misrepresented as well. The girls shown in Rabbit Proof Fence were actually taken into care with the cooperation of senior members of the community they were living in, because they were reaching an age where they were at risk of sexual molestation (including from some white men, because as they were half-white, there were men out there who would have regarded them as a good catch without protection). The primary intention was to protect these girls from genuine harm, and in particular, the film unfairly maligns, A.O. Neville who was the 'protector of Aborigines' in Western Australia, and who took that duty seriously. The historical documents show he was frantic to find the girls when they went missing because he believed they were in serious danger, and he was responsible for them. But the film makes him out to be some sort of racist monster.

    His own words:

    So few of our own people as a whole are aware of the position of Aborigine. Yet we have had the coloured man amongst us for a hundred years or more. He has died in his hundreds, nay thousands, in pain, misery and squalor, and through avoidable ill-health. Innumerable little children have perished through neglect and ignorance. The position, in some vital respects, is not much better today than it was fifty years ago. Man is entitled to a measure of happiness in his life. Yet most of these people have never known real happiness. Some are never likely to know it. The causes of their condition are many. Mainly it is not their fault, it is ours, just as it lies with us to put the matter right.

    But the fence itself is real:

    Number 1 Fence is 1,139 miles long. All three fences total over 2000 miles.

    Rabbits cause over half a billion dollars damage to the Australian economy next year. I haven't see the figures for feral cats, but their impact will be on a similar scale. Maybe 0bama is right about Colonialism? Except now it’s all about cats! ;)

  • Barack Obama’s appalling blunder gives us a nuclear Iran

    07/15/2015 4:13:50 PM PDT · 1 of 25
  • Living in the danger zone as ANZUS is re-evaluated (Australia-New Zealand-United States treaty)

    07/15/2015 3:59:59 PM PDT · 1 of 8
  • French firm DCNS release design of submarine it wants Australia to buy

    07/15/2015 6:13:15 AM PDT · 7 of 11
    naturalman1975 to Bloody Sam Roberts; jjotto; CondorFlight

    Yes, the issue is the engine plants. There’s too much anti-nuclear sentiment in Australia for nuclear boats to be an option. It’s getting better but it’s hard enough convincing the left hand side of Parliament we even need to spend money on conventional submarines.

  • Eerie pictures of a German warship and HMAS Sydney which sunk off Australia in 1941

    07/13/2015 2:59:16 PM PDT · 7 of 16
    naturalman1975 to rlmorel

    Yes - HMAS Canberra was a larger ship with a larger crew, but they had time to abandon ship and USS Patterson and USS Blue were able to take them aboard. That made all the difference in terms of casualties.

  • Eerie pictures of a German warship and HMAS Sydney which sunk off Australia in 1941

    07/13/2015 2:56:06 PM PDT · 6 of 16
    naturalman1975 to ozzymandus

    725 includes the number who died from the Kormoran as well - 645 on Sydney, 80 on Kormoran.

  • Eerie pictures of a German warship and HMAS Sydney which sunk off Australia in 1941

    07/13/2015 2:35:00 PM PDT · 1 of 16
    Full headline: A giant gun marked with a skull and crossbones and a list of vessels sunk by its shells: Eerie pictures of a German warship and HMAS Sydney which sunk off Australia in 1941 along with 725 crew

    Despite what the article says, these aren't the first pictures - a much smaller number were released in 2008 when the wrecks were found.

    The loss of HMAS Sydney with all hands, was the greatest naval disaster, Australia has ever experienced. She was one of the largest ships in the RAN at the time, and had been serving with distinction since the beginning of the war.

    Kormoran was a smaller ship and she managed to take Sydney by surprise by posing as a Dutch vessel (to be absolutely clear, this was a perfectly legitimate ruse of war, and Kormoran broke out her German colours just before opening fire - there was nothing dishonourable about her behaviour under the laws of war). That (and a lot of luck) allowed her to inflict very heavy damage on Sydney very quickly, and though Sydney was able to mortally wound the Kormoran in return, she was lost. Most of Kormoran's crew were rescued and spent the rest of the war as prisoners.

    It was known that Sydney had been lost, but very little wreckage was found and her precise location was unknown. The search for Sydney was something most Australians were glad to see succeed.

    She rests in peace, a designated war grave. For 645 men, their only known grave (although there is considerable reason to believe a body found on a liferaft and buried on Christmas Island in 1942 may have been a sailor from the Sydney so far, no DNA match has succeeded in proving this - the body has subsequently been reinterred with full military honours at an Australian military cemetery).

  • Jakarta emerges as the US’s go-to friend

    07/12/2015 2:53:08 PM PDT · 14 of 17
    naturalman1975 to Jemian
    Australia has been allied with US since before WWI (I cannot think of any history of alliance prior)

    Australia only came into existence as a nation in 1901 and didn't start exercising an independent foreign policy until 1941 (as a dominion of the British Empire, we had independence on domestic issues, but foreign relations were still handled from London - we acquired the right to exercise an independent foreign policy in 1925, but did not take advantage of that until 1941 and our first action on doing so was to formally ally with the United States.

    The first time Australian and US troops fought together, however, was on the 4th of July 1918, when four American companies were incorporated into the 4th Australian Division for the Battle of Hamel - the date was not a coincidence, the Australian commander, Lieutenant-General John Monash deliberately set the date because he thought it would help inspire the American troops he'd been given (for most of them, it was their first time in combat). The Battle was a complete victory for the allies. Corporal Thomas Pope of the 131st Regiment of the US Army was awarded the British Distinguished Conduct Medal on the recommendation of General Monash, and subsequently received the Medal of Honor for his actions during the battle.

  • Govt lines up double dissolution bills (Australia)

    07/12/2015 2:28:56 PM PDT · 1 of 1
    The 'Double Dissolution' is a particular feature of the Australian constitution which was based largely on British constitutional law, but which adopted some ideas from the US Constitution - one of which was the idea of having a legislature with a House of Representatives, where each member represents a (very roughly) equally sized district from across the country, and a Senate where each state has equal representation - and that any new law needs to pass both the House and Senate. There are differences, as well, of course. Generally speaking the Australian House of Representatives is elected at once, but only half the Senate normally comes up for election at any time. The House of Representatives does not have a fixed term (although elections tend to be a little less than three years apart, and the maximum terms allowed is only a little over three years), but Senators normally serve a six year fixed term. Most of the time governments try to have a 'Half Senate Election' at the same time as each general election of the entire House, as it is cheaper to only run one large scale election.

    A double dissolution is different. Because of the different structures of the House and the Senate, it is quite common for the basic electoral makeup of both to be different. A government must control the House of Representatives and the Prime Minister is almost always the leader of the party or coalition of parties with a majority in the House (constitutionally this doesn't have to be the case - but there have been only a few brief periods where this hasn't been true, normally following the death in office of a Prime Minister where the Deputy Prime Minister is appointed Prime Minister by the Governor General to hold the office of Prime Minister until the governing party can elect a new leader - which does not have to be the former Deputy Prime Minister), but the Prime Minister and his party often do not control the Senate. The double dissolution exists to head off the risk of a complete deadlock of government in such a case - where a Senate blocks all government legislation.

    If a bill is blocked twice by the Senate, with three months between each blockage, a Prime Minister can ask the Governor General to completely dissolve both Houses of Parliament and call full elections of both the House and the Senate. After this full election, a joint sitting of both the House and Senate can be held to pass the law (or laws) that triggered the double dissolution (although without any further amendments). The Senate rarely provokes this situation because it puts all their jobs at risk, and reduces their political power, so the existence of the threat makes the Senate less likely to capriciously block legislation.

    In our current government, the conservative Coalition controls the House, but not the Senate - getting a bill through the Senate requires the agreement of the Labor opposition OR the Greens OR a group of independents/single senators - while the Coalition doesn't have a majority in the Senate it does have more Senators than Labor and only needs five of the 18 'crossbenchers' (10 Greens, 8 singletons) for a majority - unfortunately Labor and the Greens often work together to block government legislation and if they do that, they only need to get three of the 8 singletons to help them - which means we do have a fairly obstructionist Senate right now.

    So having double dissolution triggers available is something that the government wants - at the moment, it's unlikely they'd use them as the polls would suggest we'd wind up losing the subsequent election, but if the electoral mathematics shifts even a couple of points the other way...

  • Jakarta emerges as the US’s go-to friend

    07/12/2015 1:50:52 PM PDT · 1 of 17
    In 1999, calls from Canberra for the provision of US “boots on the ground" during the crisis in East Timor went unheeded.

    This is rather revisionist history to be honest. While it's true the US didn't put many boots on the grounds, the USS Belleau Woods was just off the coast of East Timor during the Australian landing operations, with the clear understanding that its force of US Marines would be available to provide assistance if the Australian Army encountered strong resistance. The US did not want to damage its relationship with Indonesia if it could avoid it, so did not want to go in unless necessary - but would have done so if it had been. And nobody can say for certain if their presence wasn't part of the reason it didn't happen, because the Indonesians didn't oppose the landings. Maybe they would have if they'd thought they could get away with it.

  • Era of US dominance in region ‘coming to close’: report

    07/12/2015 1:43:53 PM PDT · 1 of 6
  • Navy has no sailors for new aircraft carriers (U.K.)

    07/12/2015 2:45:29 AM PDT · 15 of 18
    naturalman1975 to al baby; okie01; Army Air Corps
    So when the air wing needs 25 knots over the bow they have to call the other tower toask for it how gay

    There are advantages as well as problems.

    The twin island design has - according to some sources at least because nobody is confirming this officially - a reduced radar cross section compared to the single island structure that otherwise would have been used, especially at longer ranges and in over the horizon situations.

    Also both islands are able to replicate most of the other functions of the other in an emergency, creating a significant redundancy capability. You can lose one island and continue operations. Not as efficiently as both of them working together, but better than losing it all.

    Finally, there are advantages to the two island structure in terms of the ventilation of the engine systems given the location of the turbines within the ships, as the islands also contain the intake and exhaust valves for those turbines - different considerations than those which apply to nuclear powered carriers.

  • The Queen salutes the glorious Few: ... 75th anniversary of start of the Battle of Britain

    07/10/2015 5:23:05 PM PDT · 12 of 21
    naturalman1975 to NRx
    I heard recently about the King's attempts to actually go ashore on D-Day ("After all, I am the bloody Duke of Normandy.") to help inspire British forces.

    Churchill managed to dissuade him only by saying "If you go, Sir, I will go as well."

    "Britain can't afford you to risk yourself, Prime Minister."

    "Nor you, Your Majesty."

    (Paraphrased, but my source was one I would consider very reliable).

  • The Queen salutes the glorious Few: ... 75th anniversary of start of the Battle of Britain

    07/10/2015 4:26:14 PM PDT · 1 of 21
    What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over. I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this Island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, "This was their finest hour."

    - Sir Winston Churchill, The House of Commons, Palace of Westminster, June 18th, 1940.

    The gratitude of every home in our Island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the World War by their prowess and by their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. All hearts go out to the fighter pilots, whose brilliant actions we see with our own eyes day after day, but we must never forget that all the time, night after night, month after month, our bomber squadrons travel far into Germany, find their targets in the darkness by the highest navigational skill, aim their attacks, often under the heaviest fire, often with serious loss, with deliberate, careful discrimination, and inflict shattering blows upon the whole of the technical and war-making structure of the Nazi power. On no part of the Royal Air Force does the weight of the war fall more heavily than on the daylight bombers who will play an invaluable part in the case of invasion and whose unflinching zeal it has been necessary in the meanwhile on numerous occasions to restrain…

    - Sir Winston Churchill, The House of Commons, Palace of Westminster, 20th August 1940.

  • Fears for police safety after data shows Melbourne gun crime on the rise

    07/08/2015 3:35:51 PM PDT · 34 of 35
    naturalman1975 to zeugma
    I'd be willing to bet that these "illegal firearm discoveries" are taking place amongst the honest citizens, and not the criminal class.

    And you'd be wrong.

    Honest citizens have gun licences. They are not hard to get. Whether we should have to get them or not is another question, entirely, but we can and we do.

    An illegal firearm is nearly always a firearm in the hands of a criminal, and the fact that there are so many is proof that the laws don't accomplish much really in stopping criminals from having guns.

  • Fears for police safety after data shows Melbourne gun crime on the rise

    07/08/2015 12:16:34 AM PDT · 31 of 35
    naturalman1975 to UnwashedPeasant
    Do criminals in Melbourne attack only cops? Or is the safety of non-cops unimportant?

    No, but it should be understood that this article has been written and the comments made in the context of a police officer being shot yesterday. It is very rare for a police officer to be shot here. Fortunately, despite being shot in the head, he seems in pretty good shape.

    It's quite rare for anybody to be shot, actually. But police, it is really rare. I think it's about ten years since the last time it happened in this state.

  • Fears for police safety after data shows Melbourne gun crime on the rise

    07/07/2015 8:44:53 PM PDT · 23 of 35
    naturalman1975 to Blood of Tyrants
    Tell me, is the rise in crimes with guns related it immigration (legal and illegal)?

    I honestly don't know, but I'd be surprised if it is that significant.

    It's hard to immigrate to Australia and we don't have a major illegal immigrant problem - it's a lot easier to secure borders surrounded by hundreds of miles of ocean than it is a long land border. We do have some crimes that seem to specifically involve some refugee groups but most of that seems to be knife crime rather than gun crime from what I've seen.

    Gun crime really does seem to involve people who have been here a lot longer.

  • Fears for police safety after data shows Melbourne gun crime on the rise

    07/07/2015 8:41:45 PM PDT · 22 of 35
    naturalman1975 to Blood of Tyrants
    From what I have read you have to show “good cause” or “special need” to purchase a gun.

    "I want to go duck shooting." "OK."

    That's all that means. It gives police the power to ask questions in cases where they have suspicions about a person. But, in practice, it's not invoked in very many cases, unless there's some reason for suspicion.

    Is that good? No, I'd prefer we didn't even these type of restrictions. But it really isn't onerous.

    Hand gun licences, or licences for semi-automatic weapons do tend to get more questions asked. So if you talk about those, I'd agree it's at least bordering on difficult - but even then, it's not that bad. Harder than it should be. Yes. But that's not quite the same thing.

    Want a fully automatic weapon, or a large calibre handgun - that is hard.

  • Fears for police safety after data shows Melbourne gun crime on the rise

    07/07/2015 8:30:37 PM PDT · 18 of 35
    naturalman1975 to Blood of Tyrants

    I bought a new gun this morning. It wasn’t hard at all.

  • Fears for police safety after data shows Melbourne gun crime on the rise

    07/07/2015 8:28:48 PM PDT · 16 of 35
    naturalman1975 to Paladin2

    There are plenty of those around as well - some correctly licenced and registered. No way of knowing how many others.

  • Fears for police safety after data shows Melbourne gun crime on the rise

    07/07/2015 8:27:22 PM PDT · 13 of 35
    naturalman1975 to tumblindice

    Ice is the term most commonly used in Australia for what tends to be called ‘Crystal Meth’ in some other countries. Just in case you really were wondering.

  • Fears for police safety after data shows Melbourne gun crime on the rise

    07/07/2015 8:25:41 PM PDT · 12 of 35
    naturalman1975 to dvan; Sarah Barracuda

    See my reply above this one. The idea that guns are banned in Australia, and that Australians are disarmed is a myth.

    We do have some dumb restrictions, but it’s nowhere near that bad. There are over a million people with gun licences in Australia, and millions of guns in the hands of private citizens, with shops selling them in almost every town.

  • Fears for police safety after data shows Melbourne gun crime on the rise

    07/07/2015 8:23:48 PM PDT · 10 of 35
    naturalman1975 to Vendome
    A myth.

    This is my local gun shops website.

    We do have some very silly restrictions, but law abiding citizens have no difficulty getting a basic gun licence for basic longarms, and you can get more advanced licences (such as handguns and semi-autos) if you are willing to do the work.

  • Confederate flag shirt: indigenous affairs bureaucrat’s shock move

    07/07/2015 7:51:17 PM PDT · 13 of 20
    naturalman1975 to PAR35
  • Confederate flag shirt: indigenous affairs bureaucrat’s shock move

    07/07/2015 7:44:14 PM PDT · 12 of 20
    naturalman1975 to PAR35

    The theme of the dinner was ‘Red, White, and Blue’, and people were asked to wear costumes revolving around that theme.

    While the theme does seem to have been chosen because of the date, it wasn’t specifically stated to be American.

  • Confederate flag shirt: indigenous affairs bureaucrat’s shock move

    07/07/2015 6:51:45 PM PDT · 8 of 20
    naturalman1975 to Da Coyote

    Do bear in mind that in Australia, the Liberals are the conservatives.

    This man works is part of a Liberal government.

  • Confederate flag shirt: indigenous affairs bureaucrat’s shock move

    07/07/2015 6:46:16 PM PDT · 5 of 20
    naturalman1975 to BenLurkin

    Unfortunately, I can’t share the images because of copyright - a google search for “Mark Coffey” “Confederate flag” should produce results.

    He was accompanied by a lady (his wife, I’m guessing, but I don’t know) wearing the British flag, suggesting that was the actual theme of their costumes.

  • Confederate flag shirt: indigenous affairs bureaucrat’s shock move

    07/07/2015 6:42:05 PM PDT · 1 of 20
  • PM's floating fighter jet plan quietly sunk by Defence (Australia)

    07/07/2015 5:03:49 PM PDT · 5 of 5
    naturalman1975 to Zhang Fei

    HMAS Melbourne was meant to be replaced, and the failure to do so was purely domestic politics. To a great extent, any decision to get back the fixed wing capability and operate small aircraft carriers would also be a domestic political decision.

    Yes, it would be expensive and that works against it, but those arguments didn’t stop the Canberra and Adelaide being built, even though they came very close to doing so.

    The big issue is the F35B - if it never becomes a viable option, there’s ho real hope of Australia acquiring this type of capability in the near future, and it seems that may be a real possibility. But if the F35B does eventually emerge as a credible option, I expect this issue will come back again, and at that point I’d say there’s a decent chance we will acquire some and do the conversions needed.

    But without a guarantee of a suitable aircraft, nobody can make the full case.

    This isn’t so much about an imminent threat, as about national prestige and influence. Australia is a maritime nation, and even though we are never likely to have all that large a navy (absent a new world war) having the widest possible range of capabilities within a small one is another matter.

  • PM's floating fighter jet plan quietly sunk by Defence (Australia)

    07/07/2015 4:13:50 PM PDT · 3 of 5
    naturalman1975 to sukhoi-30mki

    It’s not dead yet...

    It’s going to keep being brought up by various people until they get the answer they want. They may never get that answer, but that just means it will keep being brought up.

    Framing this as the Prime Minister’s plan is simply an attempt by the media to try and hang a ‘failure’ around his neck because they don’t like him.

  • Jeb Bush’s Parents Expected to Be Special Guests at Dinner With Top Donors

    07/06/2015 9:06:14 PM PDT · 6 of 27
    naturalman1975 to Steelfish

    There seems something wrong with a former President of the United States being described as somebody’s parent in a headline.

  • NASA's Latest Pluto Images Actually Show a Planet

    07/06/2015 7:02:08 PM PDT · 9 of 52
    naturalman1975 to Beowulf9
    Definition of a planet: a planet is a body that orbits the Sun, is massive enough for its own gravity to make it round, and has “cleared its neighbourhood” of smaller objects around its orbit.

    So how is Pluto not a planet?

    It doesn't meet that third criteria that I've bolded.

  • Border Force: what is it, and why do we need it? (Australia's new border security agency)

    07/06/2015 6:20:13 PM PDT · 8 of 9
    naturalman1975 to liberalh8ter

    Yes, we’re lucky in some ways.

    I despise the Australian Labor Party’s political beliefs, but I could never deny that most of them remain genuine patriots sincerely trying to do what they believe is right for their country. I think they are wrong about what that is, but for the most part, their intent is true.

    There are exceptions.

  • Border Force: what is it, and why do we need it? (Australia's new border security agency)

    07/06/2015 6:11:34 PM PDT · 6 of 9
    naturalman1975 to BobL

    Broadly speaking true, but Labor doesn’t like looking like it’s tough on this issue, because it knows a large part of its base doesn’t like it - so they wind up helping to pass the laws in Parliament and then trying to pretend they had nothing to do with them for electoral reasons.

  • Border Force: what is it, and why do we need it? (Australia's new border security agency)

    07/06/2015 5:35:11 PM PDT · 3 of 9
    naturalman1975 to 2ndDivisionVet

    Maritime borders are a thing.

  • Border Force: what is it, and why do we need it? (Australia's new border security agency)

    07/06/2015 5:22:16 PM PDT · 1 of 9
  • Most support child over (homosexual) rights: poll

    07/01/2015 4:13:25 PM PDT · 25 of 25
    naturalman1975 to NetAddicted

    Australia will almost certainly have same sex marriage by the end of this year. In most states gays can already adopt.

    The momentum of the movement is too great now for me to see any way of it being stopped. That’s reality. And what has happened in the US has sped it up from ‘sometime in the next five years’ until ‘sometime this year’.

    Do not expect Australia to hold any line on this. Even if the Parliament didn’t enact legislation, the High Court would ‘discover’ this as a right, as they’ve done with several other things in recent years.