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Monday, March 8, 2010

THE GALAXY: "BBC Radio 4 unleashed a peculiar madness, and we can be grateful they did," opines Payton L. Inkletter, hitching a lift in a Ford Prefect

Be all that as it may, meanwhile:
'In other news…'
08th March 2010

Monday: We struggled to get ready for our planned things to do today on time, but somehow we did, zipping over to do a surreptitious Benara Fresh fruit and vegetable shop as a mere pair, and then it was off to Melville to take Mum to the doctor.

The weather was kind enough, the Celsiuses dabbling in the very low thirties. The doctor's appointment ended up taking a very long time, with a wound dressing for Mum thrown in, for a badly infected cut on her lower leg from a rose thorn three weeks ago.

And then it was into the Booragoon Garden City shopping centre with a gentle vengeance, first attacking some tasty morsels at Miss Maud's, courtesy of Mum! My favourite – well, it's very hard to have a favourite at the Swedish lady's eateries – being the sweet potato and pumpkin roll, was helped down by my other favourite – but this one not a Miss Maud's creation – cloudy apple juice.

We two middle aged love birds were very tired when we got home about 7, all from doing very little, really.

I settled in to watch Aunty most of the night, and found Tony Jones' Q&A interesting as usual, and in particular because one of his guests, Richard Dawkins was on; he is right to highlight the many absurdities of contemporary institutionalised religions, but he keeps making a fool of himself as well, even if most folk miss it: he made, and repeated, the most silly claim this evening, that the existence or not of God is a scientific matter; he makes the same collossal blunder in his 'God Delusion'. If only he could understand the difference between the, by definition, measurable, and the, by definition, nonmeasurable, and then he would have a handle on the realm of the scientific and the realm of the non-scientific; his hang up is that he is convinced there exists only the scientific; weigh love, measure hope, analyse infinity, Richard. What he would do better to say is that while the existence of God is not a scientific matter, if God exists, then science would be exploring the finite material realm caused by that God, and hints of such ancestry would be bound to be scattered throughout that realm, none of which could ever prove that God's existence. For that matter, science cannot ever disprove God's existence either. It's just that Richard Dawkins is so blinded by his faith, not at all unlike the blind faith of naïve religionists, that he cannot see the blindingly obvious limitations of science in this regard.

Next was Lateline: The (Leigh) Sales Graph: To Ms Sales' credit couture-wise, she was superbly turned out tonight, and her contrasts were beyond reproach, which is not always the case: a dark red camisole left no confusion against her skin, beneath a dark jacket, and her hair style was just right, her make-up subtle effect, and minimalist jewellery – tiny earrings only in fact.

Her political on-screen interview guest tonight was an equally superbly turned out Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, whose conservative dark suit white shirt combo was set on fire with a bold pink striped tie. That was where the merit ended for Mr Abbott, due to one of the major topics they discussed, highlighting what an abomination of a paid maternity leave policy Mr Abbott has announced.

Typical of the conservative side of politics in Australia, this scheme moves disproportionately large amounts of scarce funds to the wealthier members of our society. In a nutshell, unless I'm missing something, a family's primary carer will be paid their full salary weekly rate for up to 6 months, capped at $150,000 annually, to care for a newborn.

So what this means is that those couples with the greatest means to save in preparation for having a baby will be given the greatest assistance to do this. Contrast this with the much more equitable Labor policy of paying the primary care giver the minimum wage for up to 18 weeks. I would not oppose extending the duration, but the same rate for all is the crucial factor which makes it far fairer than the Coalition's policy, and the lower amount overall makes it far more affordable for the nation.

You know, how should a poor and struggling low paid couple look upon a well off couple, who would be paid up to $3000 a week for the 6 months, who each year budget for an overseas holiday, attendance at opera and theatre performances, driving luxury motor vehicles, eating out often at fine restaurants, and so on? The $3000 a week helps them to keep up this lifestyle. The struggling couple might get only $543 a week, and both couples have the same challenge: affording the care of a new baby.

While Ms Sales probed Mr Abbott about many aspects of his policy very well, I wish she had addressed this equity issue, and grilled him on it; perhaps she will on another occasion – I hope so.

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