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Posts by naturalman1975

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  • It’s Okay To Compare Australia In 2016 With Nazi Germany, And Here’s Why

    05/23/2016 6:00:52 PM PDT · 55 of 57
    naturalman1975 to JosephW
    I will almost certainly be voting Liberal, just to declare my own biases. And unless you are in an unusual seat, it's likely that if you are a conservative, the Liberals will be your choice ultimately - even if you vote for another candidate above them in terms of preferences, in most seats, it's Liberal versus Labor in the end (or National versus Labor in rural areas) so if you are not yet well informed you may as well follow the Liberal How-To-Vote card.

    The Senate is somewhat different - there, minor parties, have a more realistic chance of gaining seats. You may want to look at the Liberal Democrat Party, Family First, and Rise Up Australia as possibly in line with your values there. Australian Liberty Alliance and One Nation may also appeal - although in both their cases, I worry that they do cross into actual xenophobia, rather than just a healthy level of concern about immigration.

  • Alice Springs surrounds rocked by magnitude 6.1 earthquake

    05/21/2016 4:47:14 PM PDT · 14 of 22
    naturalman1975 to Pagey
    I’ll bet everyone employed at Pine Gap felt that one. Uninhabited area indeed. Its only the largest NSA,CIA,NRO installation on earth. They ran most if not all of the “Desert Storm” communications through there. (Google Pine Gap photos)

    This earthquake's epicentre was about 270 miles from Pine Gap. Reference is made to Alice Springs (which Pine Gap is near) simply because there's so little out there that a settlement hundreds of miles away is the only one people are likely to have heard of. The area where the quake was centered really is almost totally uninhabited. It's unlikely there was a single human being within 50 miles - Kaltukatjara is the nearest town about 60 miles away with a population of about 300.

    People at Pine Gap could have felt it but it wouldn't have been all that strong at that point. When I talked about it being fortunate that the area is uninhabited, I'm talking about the radius in which significant damage could have occurred - and it's unlikely there was anything in that range.

  • Alice Springs surrounds rocked by magnitude 6.1 earthquake

    05/21/2016 1:32:29 AM PDT · 1 of 22
    We don't get many sizeable earthquakes in Australia - fortunately this one was in an area that is pretty much uninhabited.
  • Our dangerous war on Christianity (Australia)

    05/18/2016 2:41:02 PM PDT · 2 of 4
    naturalman1975 to naturalman1975

    The whole article should be accessible by putting the first sentence from it into a Google News search. It’s worth reading.

  • Our dangerous war on Christianity (Australia)

    05/18/2016 2:35:56 PM PDT · 1 of 4
  • ‘They’re not a nation, they’re part of Australia’... Norfolk Island’s unique status comes to an end

    05/15/2016 7:58:10 PM PDT · 7 of 11
    naturalman1975 to TEXOKIE
    Surely the spark of freedom exists there somewhere?

    The problem is while a majority of the Islanders don't want the takeover, they do want access to Australia's welfare system. The position of the government is basically that if you want our support, you have to be part of the country. I have some qualms about the takeover myself - but they don't want full independence - they want to pick and choose the bits they like.

  • ‘They’re not a nation, they’re part of Australia’... Norfolk Island’s unique status comes to an end

    05/15/2016 7:55:37 PM PDT · 4 of 11
    naturalman1975 to naturalman1975
    Norfolk Island was a British penal settlement (part of the Colony of New South Wales) from 1788 until 1855. In 1856, it was settled by people from Pitcairn Island - descendants of the Bounty mutineers. Britain handed it to Australian control in 1913 and Australia administered it as an external territory (fundamentally as a small colony). In 1979, it was given limited independence - self government on local issues, though Australia remained ultimately responsible for defence and legal administration.

    In 2010, the Islanders asked the Australian government for financial support - in essence, they wanted access to our welfare system but did not want to pay taxes or have any 'interference' in their self government. The Australian government's position is that Norfolk Island is simply too small to handle its own affairs and if they are going to ask for our help, then the best way to do that is as a fully component part of Australia. It becomes part of the state of New South Wales, although somewhat oddly will be part of the electorate of Canberra, rather than a New South Wales electorate in terms of Federal government,

  • ‘They’re not a nation, they’re part of Australia’... Norfolk Island’s unique status comes to an end

    05/15/2016 7:49:05 PM PDT · 1 of 11
  • Australian guard, 34, killed... sniper opens fire at the Australian Embassy in Baghdad

    05/12/2016 7:06:28 PM PDT · 1 of 22
    If there's a trip one way, he said,
    Into battle grim for me,
    Don't let them say when I am dead:
    He died to save democracy;
    Nor let them say: He fought to free
    Enslaved nations, white or brown;
    Just print these simple words for me:

    He would not let his cobbers down.
  • Q&A star Duncan Storrar exposed as thug as public raise $60,000 (left wing 'hero' a criminal)

    05/12/2016 2:11:12 PM PDT · 1 of 4
    Australia has an election on July 2nd. The official campaign started on Monday. On Monday night, our taxpayer funded television network, the ABC - always accused of being heavily biased to the left - held an election forum on a program called Q&A where people could ask panellists including a number of Federal politicians questions.

    Duncan Storrar - who I have to say is almost a stereotype as an obvious poorly educated, not very smart, welfare recipient asked a question as to why the government wants to reduce taxes on 'the rich' instead of reducing taxes for people like him. There were cheers in the left-leaning audience, and lots of praise on Twitter for this obviously wonderfully perceptive question that could not possibly be argued with.

    This is despite the fact it was a stupid question by a man who obviously didn't really have any understanding of what he was asking. Mr Storrar doesn't earn enough to pay any income tax and his entire question was about raising the income tax threshold which is already higher than his income - in other words, the change he seemed to be asking for wouldn't have made any difference to him anyway. Sorry, did I say, Mr Storrar doesn't earn enough - my mistake. I shouldn't have said 'earn'. Mr Storrar does not receive enough money - his main source of income is a government welfare payment called AusStudy which exists to support people who are studying to improve their future prospects. Personally, I've no huge problem with AusStudy - it does help a lot of people move towards better employment prospects and better income where they wind up paying higher income taxes and more than pay back what they received in AusStudy - but the fact remains this is a man on a welfare payment who doesn't pay any income tax - and he has been proclaimed and hailed for the last four days as some sort of Australian hero by the left wing media - they've even quite deliberately used the word.

    And some people set up a GoFundMe campaign for him that's raised a considerable amount of money?

    And now more facts about the man are becoming clear. He's a convicted criminal - and we're not talking about a man who has shown signs of going straight - his most recent criminal conviction for assault was just over two years ago. His own son has come forward to talk about how he moved in with his Dad at 17, three years ago, because he wanted a chance to get to know him, and wound up getting caught up in his Dad's drug using lifestyle (to the young man's credit, he seems to have had enough sense to get out and get his act together - he has a formal apprenticeship now, which at 20 is a decent job with decent prospects). This man is no hero and those on the left who have painted him as one, have just exposed themselves as the fools they are. You'd think the media would have background checked the man before turning him into a public figure of praise.

    Oh - and what is the man studying with his AusStudy payments? Youth work and mental health. Pretty useless things to study as nobody is likely to employ him to work in those areas with his criminal record (if he'd been clean and law abiding for a decade or so, he might be seen as a good example of how somebody can change and might have a chance - but that 2014 conviction takes that off the table.) So we're paying him to study something pretty useless in his case. That may not be entirely his choice - our welfare rules require the unemployed to do things to improve their prospects and a lot of people find themselves put on courses that are useless to them by 'Job Network Agencies' that are supposed to help the unemployed and often seem to just exist to siphon off money from the government (some JNAs do seem to do a decent job of genuinely helping people to employment - but a lot just push paper to get funding).

  • Australian Election officially announced for 2nd July 2016. Double Dissolution election.

    05/08/2016 7:57:09 PM PDT · 27 of 30
    naturalman1975 to ronnietherocket3
    I think you are finding out that the people you vote for are not representing you.

    Not at all. I generally have no problem finding a candidate who represents me. At the last few Federal elections, that has been the man elected as my local MP (Bruce Bilson, the Liberal Member for Dunkley). Unfortunately he is not running again, so I will have to see who is put up as candidates by the various parties. I hope the Liberal candidate will be one I agree with. If not, I'll vote a different way, secure in the knowledge that our preferential voting system means I can freely vote for a minor party candidate if needed without wasting my vote and making it more likely a socialist gets in.

    Also putting governments into lame duck status can be a good thing. If they win an election, they can claim a mandate and continue as usual. Whereas lameducks allow the government to be shut down and force debates on whether the country is spending too much.

    A fundamental disagreement there - I don't believe there is any value in having a government that is unable to govern. I want it replaced with one that can govern as quickly as possible. Government shutdowns like those sometimes experienced in the US are the ultimate waste of taxpayer money because the government is still being paid for and isn't functioning.

    I think this says the problem is getting worse.

    Yes, in the short term. But it will correct itself. Part of the reason we have such a chaotic Senate at the moment is because people are sick of this party line issue, and so have installed more independent and minor party candidates than ever before. The major parties will respond to that. Our system allows that to happen - unlike the US system where the Republicans and Democrats are basically a duopoly.

    Systems do not change until they are crushed in embarrassing losses. By making it hard to vote against the government on the floor, it avoids the government having to deal with embarrassing defeats.

    No - because they face them in the Senate where the government can be defeated by minor parties with the balance of power - up to a point. That's pretty much what has happened to the current government - it's been unable to get its bills through the Senate. Unless it shows the Australian people it has changed, it will lose office.

  • Australian Election officially announced for 2nd July 2016. Double Dissolution election.

    05/08/2016 6:09:05 PM PDT · 25 of 30
    naturalman1975 to ronnietherocket3
    No it is written to empower crybabies. They don't get their way, so they call an election instead of working with the opposition to get it passed. The opposition meanwhile can sit there and dig in, since if they go to far, the government can just call an election, declare victory, and ram it down everyone's throats. As for the "crisis" of 1975, Whitlam paraded around whining that he got kicked out of the PM position.

    I really think you just don't have a good understanding of how the system works.

    Yes, Whitlam went around whining in 1975 - he was the worst Prime Minister in Australia's history and he was a whiner. He wasn't typical. He was the abnormal one. And he wasn't empowered by being a crybaby - he was emasculated by it.

    Most Australian governments run close to full term. We've had 44 Parliaments in 115 years. Of those 35 have run to near term (only one has reached the absolute theoretical maximum).

    Of the other nine, the following are the reasons they did not run to term.

    The 5th Parliament (PM Joseph Cook, Commonwealth Liberal, 1913-1914) only ran 15 months because of a hostile Labor Senate that would not pass most bills. Cook chose to a double dissolution election, which he probably would have won except that between the time the election was called and the time it was held, the First World War broke out and completely changed the political situation.

    The next short Parliament was the 11th (PM Stanley Bruce, Nationalist/Country Coalition, 1928-1929) which lasted less than a year. That one was caused by the Prime Minister choosing to introduce policies that large sections of his own party didn't like - they crossed the floor to vote with the opposition to defeat the government.)

    Then we had the 19th Parliament (PM Robert Menzies, Liberal/Country Coalition, 1949-1950). That ran fifteen months and a new election was called at that point to increase the stability of the government - Menzies remained Prime Minister until 1966.

    Same with the 21st Parliament (Robert Menzies, Liberal/Country Coalition, 1954-1955). The Labor Party (in opposition) had split and Menzies knew he could get a more stable government with an election.

    The 24th Parliament (Sir Robert Menzies, Liberal/Country Coalition, 1962-1963) was shortened for two main reasons. The first was that the government had passed laws giving all indigenous Australians (Aboriginals) the right to vote and the government wanted to allow them to exercise this right as soon as possible. The second was that the previous election had resulted in a Parliament where a working majority was difficult and Menzies knew, again, an election would stablise that situation.

    The next short Parliaments were the Whitlam ones (28th and 29th, Gough Whitlam, Labor, 1972-1974, 1974-1975) and I'll accept the criticism against him, but he was an anomaly and was ultimately removed from office.

    The 30th Parliament was also short (PM Malcolm Fraser, Country/Liberal Coalition, 1975-1977) though only just (3 days) and was called when it was to bring House of Representative and Senate elections back into line after the crisis of 1975, reducing the chance of having to have separate House and half-Senate elections at greater cost to the taxpayer.

    And the last short Parliament was the 33rd (PM Bob Hawke, Labor, 1983-1984) and that was shorter because the size of the Parliament had been expanded by legislation and Hawke wanted the new larger Parliament installed as soon as possible.

    The point is, with the arguable exception of Whitlam (and I'd personally give him a pass on the first of his two short Parliaments) and Bruce, the minority of cases where we have had short Parliaments have occurred for good reasons that increased stability of government. They haven't occurred because somebody was a crybaby. And the last time it happened at all was now 40 years ago.

    If your system empowered voters, then the comment in 18 would be false. But apparently it is true.

    Except it isn't really. That's one person's criticism and I do get where they are coming from, but I don't think it's particularly accurate because it leaves out a couple of important details.

    The first is that the party line is decided by the party room. That's where MPs have the right to be heard and to make their views known.

    Secondly, until reasonably recently, Liberal and National MPs were reasonably free to vote as they wished - it was never encouraged but it was accepted against party lines. That has changed recently to some extent, but that's an aberration caused by Labor's solidarity stance.

    Thirdly, backbench Liberal and National MPs do still retain the right to vote against the party line (although frontbenchers are not meant to do so), and do so more often than Fluoresence suggests, although not as often as I'd like.

    Fourthly, on some issues - issues of conscience - a free vote is entirely possible.

    Frankly, I regard Australia's system of government as more democratic in some ways than that of the US - because we can easily replace a Prime Minister whereas you would find it very hard to replace a President. At the moment, I think we're actually doing it too often - if Turnbull loses this election, we'll have our fifth Prime Minister since 2013 - but it's the other way around. Our system allows for situations (such as 1998) when the Prime Minister can seek a specific mandate for a change of policy from that they ran at the previous election.

    There are aspects of the Australian system I'd change - but going to fixed terms certainly isn't one of them. They've done that in my state and all its lead to is lame duck governments going on for years after the people have decided they don't want them.

  • Australian Election officially announced for 2nd July 2016. Double Dissolution election.

    05/08/2016 1:56:17 PM PDT · 23 of 30
    naturalman1975 to ronnietherocket3
    No, it was written to empower the voters, by creating situations where a government that is acting unconstitutionally or in gross violation of accepted practice can be held to account while simultaneously having considerable safeguards in place to prevent a government losing power easily outside of the normal election process.

    The primary issue that triggered the crisis of 1975 is not always clearly understood. It began in December 1974 when Prime Minister Gough Whitlam in concert with the Deputy Prime Minister/Treasurer Jim Cairns, the Attorney General Senator Lionel Murphy and the Minister for Minerals and Energy Rex Connor, decided to seek a $4 billion loan from overseas to fund large scale infrastructure projects. Normally Australia would have sourced such a loan from either the United Kingdom or the United States but Whitlam's fairly extreme socialism made him ambivalent towards those two traditional options. Instead they decided to seek the loan in the Middle East. By itself that decision was controversial because it could have left Australia vulnerable to some rather volatile powers but if they'd gone about it sensibly, it would not have been a major problem. Instead they engaged the services of a shady Pakistani 'businessman' named Tirath Khemlani, bypassing the Australian Treasury to seek the loan directly - note that, a group of four men including the three most important members of the government and another Cabinet Minister, including the Treasurer bypassed the Treasury to seek what was, at the time, a simply massive loan ($4 billion was a lot more back then than it is now) and engaged a man of very questionable character and reputation to do it.

    But if it had all worked out, then the crisis of 1975 would not have occurred. The thing is, it didn't work out. As it became clear the Khemlani was not having success in garnering the loan, rumours about the unorthodox nature of what was going on began to trickle out. At this point, discussion started to appear in the press as to whether or not Opposition Leader Malcolm Fraser would use his numbers in the Senate to 'block supply' - 'block the budget' and force an election. Fraser made it clear in an interview that he would only do this in 'extraordinary and reprehensible' circumstances relating to the Budget - only if the Whitlam government acted outside of accepted practice and convention.

    Two things happened that served to create those 'extraordinary and reprehensible circumstances'. The first is that in March 1975, the Treasurer and Deputy Prime Minister Jim Cairns signed a document authorising a 2.5% commission for an Australian businessman named George Harrison if he arranged a loan for the Australian government. In June 1975, Cairns made a statement to Parliament that he had not offered any such commissions - he mislead Parliament. Under Westminster conventions, misleading Parliament is extremely serious. Cairns had to resign from office (a sex scandal at the same time didn't help his case). But even more significantly, as the Loans Affair scandal grew, Whitlam ordered Rex Connor to stop seeking a loan through Khemlani - and Rex Connor disobeyed that order. He continued to seek such a loan, and when he was asked about it in Parliament, he mislead Parliament as well. While Cairns violation was fairly minor, Connors was huge. And Whitlam stood up in Parliament himself and said that the government was no longer seeking loans through Khemlani - and Whitlam mislead Parliament as well. Whitlam honestly believed what he was saying - he was relying on Rex Connor having told him the truth and Connor had lied to him - but nonetheless you now had a situation where three senior Ministers, including the Deputy Prime Minister/Treasurer and the Prime Minister had all mislead Parliament over major budget issues. This more than created the extraordinary and reprehensible circumstances which jusified Fraser blocking the Budget. He would not have done so, if those circumstances didn't exist, and more significantly, his Senators would not have supported him doing so.

    Without Supply, Whitlam had one clear option that he was supposed to take under Constitutional convention - he should have gone to the Governor General and asked for an election. He wouldn't do that because he knew he would lose. Instead, he decided to threaten to ask the Governor General for a half-Senate election - constitutionally he had the right to ask this as it was now less than a year until the expiry of half the Senate's terms, but it is likely the Governor General would have refused the request in that situation (without supply - a budget - a half-Senate election would not guarantee a resolution to the Budget crisis). Whitlam's only other proposal to continue governing without a budget would have involved the government ordering the Commonwealth Bank to use its assets to give public servants loans - that wasn't clearly legal and was only a stop gap at most. The Governor General attempted to broker a compromise solution but Whitlam refused to accept the compromise (it's unclear whether Fraser would have, but Whitlam's refusal rendered that moot). Finally, Whitlam decided to try for his half-Senate election solution and at that point, the Governor General - himself a former Chief Justice of the New South Wales Supreme Court - having consulted with the Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia to ensure his interpretation of his constitutional duties in this extraordinary situation, determined to dismiss the Whitlam government. He called in Malcolm Fraser and asked him what he would do if commissioned as Prime Minister, and Fraser gave the correct answers - he would tell the Senate to pass supply, and then immediately would advise the Governor General to dissolve Parliament for a new election. And that was what happened.

    If the Constitution had been written to 'empower crybabies' in the way you describe, things like 1975 would have happened more than once. But it wasn't. Elaborate safeguards are in place under the constitution and constitutional convention to ensure such things happen only in extraordinary circumstances. It's only happened once because only one government - the most left wing in our history - acted so irresponsibly as to create a situation where these provisions became active.

  • Australian Election officially announced for 2nd July 2016. Double Dissolution election.

    05/08/2016 12:30:34 AM PDT · 15 of 30
    naturalman1975 to sargon
    Australia would have been better advised to emulate the US even more closely, because this weird crap where the government can call elections when they're most likely to win (in order to ram through legislation that has failed repeatedly) seems like BS to me.

    I sure am glad that we don't have these Parliamentary systems here in America. Having elections scheduled at regular intervals seems like a better way to do things.

    Notice how this arrangement in these "Parliamentary Democracies" essentially makes it easier for Tyranny to occur, by allowing the PM to reshuffle the legislature (under certain conditions) and get yet another chance to pass a bill that has already failed to pass twice.

    There are safeguards in place that deal with those types of risks.

    First of all, under normal circumstances, the Prime Minister has only limited control over the timing of elections for the Senate because the Senate does have fixed terms. You can only have a half-Senate election in the twelve month period before the expiry of a Senate term. As half the Senate is elected at a time, and they have six year terms, half-Senate elections occur about three years apart. A Prime is expected under normal circumstances to have a half-Senate election at the same time as the House of Representatives election. In practical terms, this means it is unusual for elections to occur more than once every three years under normal circumstances. That is the normal term, that is the expected term.

    Since the first Australian election in 1901, we've had 44 Parliaments in 115 years - that's an average of 2.6 years between elections - close to the three year terms, mostly because of that expectation.

    It's also important to understand that the Prime Minister does not have the final say as to the timing of the election. The Prime Minister only gets to request an election - the Governor General makes the decision as to whether the election is held. Some people seem to think that this is just a rubber stamp - it isn't. The Governor General's power to refuse an election is real. Because it is real, a Prime Minister knows that the Governor General will not approve an election without a good reason, and so Prime Ministers do not ask for such elections without good reason in practice, but that is a sign of the process working properly as designed. A Governor General of Australia has only had to use the reserve powers on one occasion - in 1975 when Prime Minister Gough Whitlam was acting outside of constitutional convention, the Governor General dismissed his government which is the clearest indication that the Governor General's powers to intervene if a government is, in any way, acting outside constitutional practice, are real. They've been used in the only case where a Prime Minister tried to do that. They have also been used a couple of times at state level (the individual Australian states have similar systems of government).

    (In Canada, a Governor General actually refused a request for an election in 1926 but they've never done that specifically in Australia, because they've never had to).

    The 'double dissolution' option exists to resolve a deadlock between the House and Senate. It does not allow for tyranny because that deadlock will only be resolved in the government's favour if the people decide they want that. It places the decision back in the hands of the voters. If the people do not want the government's agenda passed, they have the right to elect the opposition to government in its place.

    The fundamental purpose of a double dissolution election is to resolve a deadlocked Parliament in favour of one side or the other. It can easily put the opposition in power if the Prime Minister's policies are not popular. I can see that happening this time.

  • Australian Election officially announced for 2nd July 2016. Double Dissolution election.

    05/08/2016 12:05:29 AM PDT · 14 of 30
    naturalman1975 to JosephW

    You’ll have two easily accessible options.

    The first is a postal vote. Generally speaking the major party candidates will mail you a postal voting form in the hope you will use it to vote for them.

    You’ll also be able to attend a pre-poll voting station. There’ll be information about where they will be located appearing in the press as the AEC gets organised.

  • Australian Election officially announced for 2nd July 2016. Double Dissolution election.

    05/07/2016 9:36:47 PM PDT · 6 of 30
    naturalman1975 to naturalman1975
    This election comes down to a choice between the incumbent Liberal/National coalition government headed by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the Labor opposition lead by Bill Shorten. The Liberal and National parties are, in broad terms, conservative parties that typically operate in coalition with each other - in some places, the parties have merged, but in general the Nationals (a rural based party) feel that if they merged with the Liberals (an urban based party), rural issues would receive less attention than they do in the coalition and so have resisted the idea of a formal merger. Malcolm Turnbull, however, is from the 'centrist' part of the Liberal Party, not the conservative part and is not a conservative himself. I am still of the opinion that we're better off with a Liberal/National government even under Turnbull than we would be with a socialist Labor government under former trade union boss, Bill Shorten - but it's a hold your nose, lesser of two evil proposition.

    The Greens - even further left than Labor - are not capable of forming government but have become a significant 'third party' and if they country goes towards the left, it will likely be more Greens as well as more Labor - and a very different government.

  • Australian Election officially announced for 2nd July 2016. Double Dissolution election.

    05/07/2016 9:31:17 PM PDT · 2 of 30
    naturalman1975 to naturalman1975

    The ‘Double Dissolution’ is a piece of arcane Australian Parliamentary and constitutional procedure.

    Australia’s system of government is to some extent a hybrid because it took the British Westminster Parliamentary system as its main model, but incorporated some ideas from the US model.

    So we have a Prime Minister who is the person whose party (or coalition of parties) controls the lower House of a two chamber Parliament (as in the UK) but our two Chambers are called the ‘House of Representatives’ and ‘Senate’ as in the US. And as in the US, while the House of Representatives consists of individual representatives representing a particular area each (of something close to similar population), the Senate has an equal number of Senators for each state (we also have two territories which get a smaller number of Senators).

    The House of Representatives goes to the polls simultaneously typically about every three years (but it is variable) while the Senate has fixed terms of six years, with half the Senators facing re-election every three years.

    So most of the time, an Australian election constitutes a full election of the House of Representatives and a half-Senate election of half the Senators - Prime Ministers try to aim for this in order to keep the cost of elections to a minimum. But it is possible (and has occasionally happened) for a House election to happen without a Half-Senate election, or for a Half-Senate election to happen without a House one.

    But we also have the ‘Double Dissolution’ election.

    As in the US, for a law to pass it has to pass the House and the Senate. The Double Dissolution election exists in the Australian Constitution to resolve a deadlock between the House and Senate - when the House has repeatedly passed a law and the Senate has repeatedly blocked it.

    Our current (broadly conservative) government has faced one of the oddest and most hostile Senates in Australian history - generally an Australian Senate has been mostly made up by the two main groups (the Liberal/National Coalition and Labor) that can form government with perhaps one minor party and a couple of independents to deal with.

    Our current Senate is very different. It has 33 government (Liberal/National) Senators, 25 Labor Senators, 10 Greens Senators, 1 Liberal Democrat Senator, 1 Family First Senator, 1 Australian Motoring Enthusiasts Party Senator, 1 Palmer United Party Senator, and 4 Independents (two of whom were Palmer United Party Senators, one of whom was a Democratic Labor Party Senator, and one who has always been Independent). Labor and the Greens (both left wing parties) tend to block a lot of government legislation, which leaves the government having to try to persuade at least six of the other eight ‘individuals’ to support anything. With a lot of stuff this hasn’t happened.

    So how does a double dissolution work?

    First of all, the Prime Minister needs a ‘trigger’. He can’t just call one.

    The trigger is a piece of legislation. If the House twice passes a Bill and the Senate twice rejects that Bill, with the rejections occurring at least three months apart, but within two Parliamentary sessions, a trigger exists - the Prime Minister can ask the Governor-General for a double dissolution election.

    At this point an election is called for both the House and the entire Senate.

    The reason this allows a chance for the deadlock to be removed is first of all, it is likely to create a situation where the government that controls the House of Representatives also controls the Senate, and so can now pass its Bill. But in the event, the Senate still blocks the Bill, after a Double Dissolution election, a joint sitting of the House and Senate can be held on those trigger bills (which cannot be amended - they must be the same bills rejected at the second time) and they can vote as one to pass the Bill or reject it. Constitutionally the size of the Senate is set at about half the size of the House so in a joint sitting, the House has a numerical advantage over the Senate, and also, the public has just had the power to elect a new government with a specific mandate to deal with the bills.

    A Prime Minister is only likely to call a double dissolution if they think they are likely to win - that is, if they believe the Australian people support what they are doing over the actions of the obstructionist Senate.

    There have been six Double Dissolutions in Australia’s history. Only one has lead to a joint sitting.

    In two cases, the government that initiated the election lost the subsequent election. In two cases, the government that initiated the election gained control of the Senate and so no joint session was needed to pass their legislation. In one case, the Senate still blocked the legislation, so a joint sitting was held which passed it.

    In the sixth case (the most recent in 1987) no joint sitting was held because after the election, somebody realised that the trigger bill was flawed in a way that would prevent it taking effect even if it was passed - and because the rules do not allow a double dissolution Bill to be amended in anyway, this could not be fixed - so the re-elected Prime Minister did not proceed with the joint sitting.

  • Australian Election officially announced for 2nd July 2016. Double Dissolution election.

    05/07/2016 9:29:21 PM PDT · 1 of 30
  • Royal Navy fires warning shots as Spanish vessel harasses US sub in Gibraltar

    05/06/2016 4:03:03 AM PDT · 56 of 59
    naturalman1975 to MeganC
    Also, “HMS Sabre”??? I don’t think the USN puts names on anything that small. The Royal Navy must be pretty hard up when they’re putting names on glorified fishing boats

    It's a matter of legalities. The HMS designation means it is a warship under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea which means it can be used to enforce British claims on Gibraltar. Using larger ships for this purpose is pointless - and would also be potentially provocative towards the Spanish (it's no accident that the Guardia Civil patrol boat is of similar tonnage - while it is important to both countries that they maintain their claims, Spain and the UK do not want to wind up accidentally in conflict, so an arms race is to be avoided).

    HMS Sabre was originally MV Grey Wolf when it was in a role that didn't require that legal status.

  • London About To Elect Muslim Mayor — Who Defends Islamists........

    05/05/2016 11:44:32 PM PDT · 61 of 61
    naturalman1975 to Leaning Right; the scotsman
    The following is an extract from a speech made by the Prince of Wales in 2013:

    For myself, I have for some time now been deeply troubled by the growing difficulties faced by Christian communities in various parts of the Middle East. It seems to me that we cannot ignore the fact that Christians in the Middle East are, increasingly, being deliberately targeted by fundamentalist Islamist militants. Christianity was, literally, born in the Middle East and we must not forget our Middle Eastern brothers and sisters in Christ. Their church communities link us straight back to the early Church, as I was reminded by hearing Aramaic, Our Lord's own language, spoken and sung a few hours ago.

    Yet, today, the Middle East and North Africa has the lowest concentration of Christians in the world – just four per cent of the population and it is clear that the Christian population of the Middle East has dropped dramatically over the last century and is falling still further.

    This has an effect on all of us, although, of course, primarily on those Christians who can no longer continue to live in the Middle East: we all lose something immensely and irreplaceably precious when such a rich tradition dating back two thousand years begins to disappear. It is, therefore, especially delightful to see such a rich panoply of church life here to-day, including the Antiochian, Greek, Coptic, Syrian, and Armenian Orthodox Churches, the Melkite, Maronite, Syrian Catholic, Chaldean, and Roman Catholic Churches, as well as the Church of the East, and Churches established, dare I say it, somewhat more recently, including the Anglican Church!

    Not surprisingly, this speech did not get a lot of publicity. The left wing media delights in presenting a caricature of the Prince of Wales to the world. They do this by ignoring many of the things he says unless they push their particular agenda (meaning his environmentalism - one of the few areas he is on their side on - gets a lot publicity) or unless they can be spun to make him look foolish. They do this because he is fundamentally a conservative and they like making conservatives look like fools.

    I'm not happy about the way the London election looks like going, but it's largely down to the fact that the voters are likely to go Labour rather than Conservative this time, simply because of the inertia of change - and the Labour candidate happens to be Muslim.

  • 'Take my brother first' (For years, Australia’s bravest boy was overlooked...)

    05/05/2016 8:08:48 PM PDT · 1 of 18
    Australia has an Honours system that includes the decorations given to our military personnel, but also includes a parallel system of medals for civilians who perform acts worthy of recognition, including acts of bravery. Members of the armed forces can also receive these civil awards in appropriate circumstances.

    The Bravery Medal (BM) is the third tier decoration in that system awarded for acts of bravery in hazardous circumstances. It comes after the Cross of Valour (CV), and the Star of Courage (SC).

    Today, Jordan's father will accept the posthumous Bravery Medal for his son.

    The citation reads:

    The late Master Jordan Lucas RICE

    On 10 January 2011, during a period of heavy rain, Jordan Rice was with his mother and younger brother when they were caught in fast rising floodwater in Toowoomba, causing their vehicle to stall.

    As the floodwaters rose, the conditions deteriorated and the vehicle began to submerge. Two men entered the fast flowing water to provide assistance, however, given the strong current, both encountered difficulties. Only one of the men reached the vehicle and had to be helped by the family in doing so. Showing great selflessness and presence of mind, Jordan put his brother first, which enabled the man to safely extract Blake from the vehicle and, with the help of the second man, take Blake to safety. In hazardous conditions, Jordan and his mother exited the vehicle and, as it began to move in the current, they managed to grab hold of a light pole. However, the current was too strong and they were swept away. Sadly, they were later found deceased.

    By his actions, Jordan Rice displayed considerable bravery.

    Mr Warren McErlean and Mr Chris Skehan, the men who rescued Blake Rice have previously been awarded the Bravery Medal.

  • Researchers Believe Captain Cook’s Famed ‘Endeavour’ Rests at Bottom of Newport Harbor

    05/05/2016 4:29:54 PM PDT · 19 of 19
    naturalman1975 to OldNewYork

    Thanks - yes, definitely interested. Especially if it does turn out to be Endeavour and not some other ship.

  • Women More Resistant to Beheading: Executioner

    05/01/2016 4:02:18 AM PDT · 17 of 29
    naturalman1975 to monocle

    About thirty years ago, I found myself at a dinner party with one of Britain’s last executioners - he’d done the job back in the 1950s - he was fascinating to talk to. I don’t think he ever hanged a woman (it was very rare in Britain as I understand it - women nearly always got reprieved) but one thing that struck me was him saying he’d never hanged a coward. Men seemed to him to understand that it was inevitable when it came down to it and all they had left was their dignity. The method they used in the UK also gave them little time to panic - he said they were generally hanging less than thirty seconds after their cell door was opened, no last words or any of those trappings - straight from the cell to the trapdoor under the rope and beam through a hidden door, straps on, lever pulled.

  • S. Kidman & Co cattle empire sale to Chinese blocked (1.3% of the Australian continent)

    04/29/2016 6:30:49 AM PDT · 6 of 8
    naturalman1975 to winner3000
    The land is mostly pretty barren desert. You can run cattle on it by moving the cattle from waterhole to waterhole as needed but it really is tough land. And freehold and leasehold title in Australia doesn't include mineral rights, so the only value the land has to its owner is what is on top of it, not underneath it.

    That's the type of land you are looking at.

  • S. Kidman & Co cattle empire sale to Chinese blocked (1.3% of the Australian continent)

    04/29/2016 1:24:52 AM PDT · 3 of 8
    naturalman1975 to kaehurowing

    No, there may be a distant relationship, but certainly nothing close.

  • Australian ranch the size of Ireland sold to Chinese investors

    04/28/2016 11:50:28 PM PDT · 20 of 22
    naturalman1975 to Berlin_Freeper; Pontiac; Kellis91789; Fai Mao; jsanders2001; RegulatorCountry; eartick; ...
    The sale has been blocked by the Australian government.

    S. Kidman & Co cattle empire sale to Chinese blocked

  • S. Kidman & Co cattle empire sale to Chinese blocked (1.3% of the Australian continent)

    04/28/2016 11:46:37 PM PDT · 1 of 8
  • The Liberals won't ever vote me back in: Abbott (former Australian Prime Minister)

    04/28/2016 2:58:30 PM PDT · 1 of 2
  • Mom Cries On Dock As Cruise Ship Leaves With Her Kids Still On Board

    04/28/2016 3:24:32 AM PDT · 3 of 51
    naturalman1975 to raybbr

    Came very close to happening to me once. Made it by less than a minute. My own fault. I knew when I was supposed to be back and cut it too fine and then things didn’t go smoothly. Time and tide waits for no man.

  • More guns and bigger arsenals than ever: Australia’s not out of range yet

    04/28/2016 1:49:16 AM PDT · 15 of 28
    naturalman1975 to Ken H
    What percent of households are armed in Australia?

    Hard to get exact numbers on that, but around 10% seems to be the consensus.

  • More guns and bigger arsenals than ever: Australia’s not out of range yet

  • More guns and bigger arsenals than ever: Australia’s not out of range yet

    04/27/2016 11:52:57 PM PDT · 8 of 28
    naturalman1975 to fortheDeclaration
    Sounds like you need a license to own a gun.

    Yes. And different licences for different classes of guns that get harder to get as the gun is deemed to be more powerful (whether it really is or not - the categories are pretty crude.)

    Wasn't the buy back program really a form of confiscation since it wasn't voluntary?

    For the most part it was voluntary. Most of the firearms handed in were ones people could have continued to own (although in some cases, they would have had to upgrade their licence - but they tended to grandfather most people in that situation unless a check turned up an old criminal record). The buyback didn't make any distinction between weapons handed in voluntarily or that were required to be - it was no questions asked - so we don't know the exact breakdown, but most weapons handed in were basic hunting rifles and shotguns.

    Because of the laws concerning selling firearms secondhand (that already existed) and their requirements for background checks, private sales between individuals had been difficult for years, and dealers tended to give very poor prices. The buyback was a once off opportunity to get fair market price for old firearms. I took in a bunch for an elderly neighbour - a bunch of 22s he had just never got around to getting rid of even though he hadn't shot them for years. Quite a lot of people used the money they got to buy more up to date guns.

  • More guns and bigger arsenals than ever: Australia’s not out of range yet

    04/27/2016 11:46:24 PM PDT · 7 of 28
    naturalman1975 to shibumi
    Where would I find a synopsis of the gun regs for Australia?

    Good question. It differs somewhat from state to state and most of what I see on the net is wrong or at least leaves out some important details. That's part of the problem.

    Wikipedia isn't that bad. Gun laws in Australia if you read it's two first sections National Firearms Agreement and Firearms categories but I'd add the following explanation to that.

    The basic firearms licence is an A/B licence - for all intents and purposes A/B weapons are treated the same, making the division between those categories pretty meaningless.

    And Category C licences are not that hard to get - the Wikipedia article gives the impression they are more restricted than they actually are. Same with handgun licences. Category D licences are also a little easier to get than Wikipedia implies, but that is genuinely hard.

    My own summary:

    We have universal licencing and registration of all firearms. Getting a basic licence (A/B) is easy as long as you do not have a recent criminal record, getting a C or H licence is doable for most people with a bit of work. Buying a new gun even if you are licenced involves navigating a lot of pointless bureaucracy that serves no purpose, but can be done. The right to self defence is complicated - you do have the right to self defence including the right to use a weapon in self defence if the threat is serious enough but there is no right to carry a weapon for self defence 'just in case' - you need to have a reason to feel under imminent and real threat, so very few people routinely carry a handgun even if licenced.

  • More guns and bigger arsenals than ever: Australia’s not out of range yet

    04/27/2016 11:00:20 PM PDT · 1 of 28
    People who have paid attention to what I have posted over the years on FR (and there do seem to be some of them) will be aware that I have often found myself responding to people who seem to have been lead to believe that 'guns are banned in Australia'. There are reasons why I respond to those claims and this article is part of the reason why.

    Guns aren't banned in Australia - though we do have some stupid restrictions - but there are a lot of people who would like them to be. And every time the myth is repeated that 'guns are banned', it feeds their belief that this is both a worthwhile and achieveable goal.

    And now we have a Prime Minister who is desperate for votes, with an election less than two months away who is leaping onto the populist bandwagon - he knows conservatives are either not going to vote for him, because he's not a conservative, or are going to hold their nose and vote for him, because he's better than Labor - so he's not worried about our votes. He's lost them or he's got them - in most cases, not all. He needs an issue he can try and capture more of the soft middle with. I doubt he'll actually do anything or make any actual changes - but I'd prefer he wasn't even talking about them.

  • The Big Bang Blows Atheism Sky High: Even Science May Eventually Catch Up to God’s Word

    04/26/2016 10:47:28 PM PDT · 30 of 35
    naturalman1975 to onedoug

    Catherine Faber - the title is ‘The Word of God’

  • The Big Bang Blows Atheism Sky High: Even Science May Eventually Catch Up to God’s Word

    04/26/2016 4:56:52 PM PDT · 5 of 35
    naturalman1975 to Mr. Mojo
    From desert cliff and mountaintop we trace the wide design,
    Strike-slip fault and overthrust and syn and anticline. . .
    We gaze upon creation where erosion makes it known,
    And count the countless aeons in the banding of the stone.
    Odd, long-vanished creatures and their tracks & shells are found;
    Where truth has left its sketches on the slate below the ground.
    The patient stone can speak, if we but listen when it talks.
    Humans wrote the Bible; God wrote the rocks.

    There are those who name the stars, who watch the sky by night,
    Seeking out the darkest place, to better see the light.
    Long ago, when torture broke the remnant of his will,
    Galileo recanted, but the Earth is moving still.
    High above the mountaintops, where only distance bars,
    The truth has left its footprints in the dust between the stars.
    We may watch and study or may shudder and deny,
    Humans wrote the Bible; God wrote the sky.

    By stem and root and branch we trace, by feather, fang and fur,
    How the living things that are descend from things that were.
    The moss, the kelp, the zebrafish, the very mice and flies,
    These tiny, humble, wordless things---how shall they tell us lies?
    We are kin to beasts; no other answer can we bring.
    The truth has left its fingerprints on every living thing.
    Remember, should you have to choose between them in the strife,
    Humans wrote the Bible; God wrote life.

    And we who listen to the stars, or walk the dusty grade,
    Or break the very atoms down to see how they are made,
    Or study cells, or living things, seek truth with open hand.
    The profoundest act of worship is to try to understand.
    Deep in flower and in flesh, in star and soil and seed,
    The truth has left its living word for anyone to read.
    So turn and look where best you think the story is unfurled.
    Humans wrote the Bible; God wrote the world.

    The more I learn about science, the more I believe in God. I cannot believe the universe exists and life exists by chance. That just doesn't work for me. I believe that cosmology and evolution are the mechanisms by which the Creator chose to bring the universe, and bring life to its current state. I believe scientists get closer over time to understanding these processes.

    I regard the Bible as the best effort by men thousands of years ago to explain what happened - the start of that development of understanding.

    And I believe God wants us to understand more and more over time. I am not sure if He wants us to understand everything - but if He doesn't, we won't. We'll reach the limits of our understanding.

    This is just what I believe. I'm not saying it is right for anybody else. But the idea that to be a Christian, I have to reject science does not sit well with me - and if I believed that, I don't think I could be sitting here typing on a tool created by science.

    The profoundest act of worship is to try to understand.

  • French Barracuda submarine: the most complex artefact in Australia

    04/26/2016 1:48:18 PM PDT · 19 of 20
    naturalman1975 to C19fan
    Am I missing something because $50 Aus Billion is about $40 B US or $3.33 US billion per sub. That is awfully expensive for conventional subs.

    It is, but there are a few reasons for the costs that go beyond just building the boats. That money includes upgrading port infrastructure to handle them properly, upgrading facilities for building them (which will also then be available for other projects) and increased costs associated with building the submarines in Australia - it would be cheaper to have them built elsewhere but this ensures that warship building skills within Australia will not be lost - once you lose those skills and industries, it becomes much harder to get them back and that's worth a certain premium.

    ASC (who will be building the submarines) employs two and a half thousand workers - they are currently building our Hobart class air warfare destroyers, but that work will start scaling down next year and be complete by 2020 - this deal means that industry and its skill base will survive.

  • Russia honours Canadian WW2 veteran with medal, vodka

    04/26/2016 1:08:18 AM PDT · 9 of 15
    naturalman1975 to AlaskaErik

    Typo - 1920.

  • Russia honours Canadian WW2 veteran with medal, vodka

    04/25/2016 10:48:47 PM PDT · 5 of 15
    naturalman1975 to Trumpinator
    He could easily be both.

    From what I can work out Bob Kennedy was born in Scotland in 1930 which would almost certainly make him a British citizen unless he has done something to renounce his citizenship, and also a true Scotsman.

    He presumably moved to Canada sometime after World War II and at some point may have become a Canadian citizen. As both British and Canadian law allow dual citizenship, he would not have automatically lost his British citizenship on becoming a Canadian citizen unless he expressly renounced it.

    (I'm a joint Australian/British citizen under fairly similar sets of rules).

    References to him being a Londoner and London in this case, would seem to refer to him being a resident of London, Ontario, which is a decent sized city near Toronto. As this article appeared in their local newspaper, they would assume no confusion with the better known London in the UK.

  • France wins $40 billion Australian submarine contract - sources

    04/25/2016 10:32:46 PM PDT · 11 of 11
    naturalman1975 to lee martell

    The issue is that all your submarines are nuclear. And Australia’s need is for diesel subs.

    (Personally I think we should look towards the nuclear option, but public opinion isn’t quite there yet)

  • Solar-plane pilots say trip was also test of human endurance

    04/25/2016 12:25:23 AM PDT · 19 of 29
    naturalman1975 to rockinqsranch

    The spirit of exploration and pushing man and machine to its limits to see what is possible. Cook and Timm obviously had it - so do Piccard and Borschberg.

    Would that we had more of these people than we do.

  • VANITY: The movie "London has Fallen" is a must-see.

    04/24/2016 7:39:34 PM PDT · 20 of 42
    naturalman1975 to E. Pluribus Unum

    Oh - and London Has Fallen... the bad guy only turned really bad after a US drone strike killed his daughter at her wedding... it has its share of ‘The US does the wrong thing too’ in it.

  • VANITY: The movie "London has Fallen" is a must-see.

    04/24/2016 7:36:56 PM PDT · 19 of 42
    naturalman1975 to E. Pluribus Unum

    Check out the British TV series ‘Spooks’ (I think they called it MI-5 when it aired in the US - plenty of non-politically correct treatment of Muslims as terrorists... although they also treated an American anti-abortionist bomber in the same way - they didn’t shy away from the fact that Islam is the biggest source of terrorism and the one to be most worried about).

  • VANITY: The movie "London has Fallen" is a must-see.

    04/24/2016 7:32:23 PM PDT · 16 of 42
    naturalman1975 to E. Pluribus Unum

    Saw it.

    When they can’t even get the basic fact of a senior police officer’s rank right, I find it really hard to take the film seriously.

    There is a huge difference between the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police and a Chief Inspector. It’s the difference between an (Army) Captain and a full General.

    Also - apparently they have magical drone technology that means a drone is always hovering over the President - even when he’s on the run in a foreign city.

    And “The American embassy is surrounded by bad guys but I still have to try and take the President there.” How about an allied embassy that is not surrounded by bad guys? How about Buckingham Palace, or the Tower of London, or Clarence House, or any of the other Royal Palaces in London... any of them would let the President in... sure, you don’t know exactly who you can trust but then why do you trust the guy who said he was with the SAS?

    (I did enjoy the movie, but I had to turn at least half my brain off to do so. I enjoyed Olympus Has Fallen a lot more).

  • Anzac Day threat: 16-year-old boy charged with planning terror attack

    04/24/2016 7:15:55 PM PDT · 35 of 37
    naturalman1975 to Eric in the Ozarks

    I found it during the 2000 election. Electoral processes fascinate me, and the situation in Florida was very interesting from a procedural and technical point of view, and FR was a great place to see all the articles grouped together. After September 11, there was a lot more that I wanted to know about and again FR was a great source of information.

    I finally subscribed and posted when Australia during 2004, when I got sick of the ‘Iraq was better off under Saddam’ things that were flying around the media at the time (I served in the first Gulf War - and we should have finished the job then. Won’t argue that things have gone as well as they should have or could have - but once again, that’s more down to political will than anything else - politicians not letting the warriors finish what was started) and have hung around here ever since. It’s a great place to get information and perspectives. And to occasionally explain Australia’s gun laws which get grossly misrepresented by both sides of the gun argument at times (20th anniversary of the Port Arthur Massacre on Thursday - expect it’s likely to come up again this week).

  • Anzac Day threat: 16-year-old boy charged with planning terror attack

    04/24/2016 7:01:44 PM PDT · 34 of 37
    naturalman1975 to Gay State Conservative
    Brits and,it would appear,Aussies use "fag" as slang for cigarette.

    Not as often as we used to.

    The late great Sir Terry Pratchett co-wrote a novel called Good Omens with American Terry Gaiman. I wouldn't recommend it to anybody who thinks Christianity shouldn't have jokes made about it, but I love it as I love all of Pratchett's work (and he poked fun at absolutely everything in the same way).

    Good Omens is set in our own world (unlike most of Pratchett's work) and one of the plotlines involves the very tiny remnant of the English 'Witchfinder Army' still operating in the late twentieth century (the heyday of finding and burning witches having been some centuries earlier). At one point, Withfinder Private Pulsifer needs to try and bluff his way onto a USAF base and is making use of his 350 year old ID card.


    The guard on the hole in the fence looked puzzled. He was aware of excitement back in the base, and his radio seemed to be picking up nothing but static, and his eyes were being drawn again and again to the card in front of him.

    He'd seen many identity cards in his time‑military, CIA, FBI, KGB even‑and, being a young soldier, had yet to grasp that the more insignificant an organization is, the more impressive are its identity cards.

    This one was hellishly impressive. His lips moved as he read it again, all the way from "The Lord Protector of the Common Wealth of Britain charges and demands," through the bit about commandeering all kindling, rope, and igniferous oils, right down to the signature of the WA's first Lord Adjutant, Praise‑him‑all‑Ye‑works‑of‑the‑Lord‑and‑Flye‑Forni­cation Smith. Newt kept his thumb over the bit about Nine Pence Per Witch and tried to look like James Bond.

    Finally the guard's probing intellect found a word he thought he recognized.

    "What's this here," he said suspiciously, "about us got to give you faggots?"

    "Oh, we have to have them," said Newt. "We burn them."

    "Say what?"

    "We burn them."

    The guard's face broadened into a grin. And they'd told him En­gland was soft. "Right on!" he said.

  • FReeper Canteen ~ Hall of Heroes: John Ripley ~ 25 April 2016

    04/24/2016 5:08:08 PM PDT · 5 of 94
    naturalman1975 to Kathy in Alaska

    ANZAC Day, Dawn Service, Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia - 25th April 2016.

  • Anzac Day threat: 16-year-old boy charged with planning terror attack

    04/24/2016 4:56:13 PM PDT · 27 of 37
    naturalman1975 to Gay State Conservative
    They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old
    Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn
    At the going down of the sun and in the morning
    We will remember them

    The tribute on my homepage is signal and symbol of my commitment to the Ode. We will remember them.

    Lest We Forget

  • Anzac Day threat: 16-year-old boy charged with planning terror attack

    04/24/2016 4:32:39 PM PDT · 19 of 37
    naturalman1975 to AnotherUnixGeek

    Not really - the media will not publish the religion until that information is officially released by the police but once it is, most media outlets will mention it. Not all.

    As a basic principle, though, the media does not publish information relating to an ongoing criminal investigation until the police announce it, and the police have only made a very bare bones announcement so far. That’s normal - it generally takes at least a day for a proper press conference (and today may take a little longer because of the ANZAC Day commemorations and it being a public holiday).

  • Anzac Day threat: 16-year-old boy charged with planning terror attack

    04/24/2016 4:29:52 PM PDT · 17 of 37
    naturalman1975 to Utilizer

    Remembrance Day (11th November) is also commemorated but on a somewhat lower level - it is seen as the day to remember the dead from all nations in all wars - rather than being specifically focused on Australia and New Zealand as ANZAC Day is. ANZAC Day is a public holiday and also includes parades where veterans march in all major cities and towns (and many smaller ones as well). Remembrance Day is not a public holiday, but most people (and most school and workplaces) pause for the minute’s silence at the eleventh hour and there are commemorations at the major war memorials.