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Learning About The FIrst Fleet

"Why don't we ever learn about the First Fleet?"
-- One Nation Senator Brian Burston

Dear Brian,

The First Fleet consisted of 11 boatloads of illegal immigrants who were allowed to enter this country on January 26 1788. They came here refusing to assimilate into Australian society and began imposing their strange customs and religion on native Australians. They didn't even bother to learn the language. Soon more boats began to arrive and before long Australia had been swamped by immigrants.

All just fantasy

In the fantasy version of the world that exists inside my head (the one where the assassin's bullet missed JFK and hit Robert Kardashian's testicals) Hillary Clinton would have been a no show at yesterday's presidential debate.

The Northern Territory: A Failed State

The suicide rate in Australia is at a 10-year high.

Suicide accounts for less than 2% of overall deaths in Australia but claims the lives of a third of those aged 15-24 and more than a quarter of 25-34 year olds.

The suicide rate in the Northern Territory is twice the national average with 21 deaths per 100,000 people.

The NT rate has increased by more than 38% since 2006 compared with 23% nationally.

People aged 15 to 24 in the NT are more likely to kill themselves than die in a car crash.

Why We Can't Have Nice Things

This is Jackson Pollock's Number 11, 1952 - better known as Blue Polls. In 1973 the Whitlam government authorised the National Gallery of Australia to purchase the painting for $1.3 million. The decision drew much critisim at the time, particularly from conservative politicians, who claimed it was an extravagant waste of money. Today Blue Polls is the NGA's most popular exhibit, with an insurable value of $350 million.

Big Mal's Discount Warehouse Weekly Special

The Barnaby Joyce Storm-Resistant Non-Renewable Energy Delivery System.

As storms in South Australia recently proved, power lines delivering electricity produced from renewable energy sources are not up to the task in high winds!

This is due to the fact that renewable energy is largely produced using light or weightless materials such as wind and sunlight.

The Barnaby Joyce Storm-Resistant Non-Renewable Energy Delivery System uses non-renewable energy produced from coal, which is much heavier and weighs down the power lines resulting in greater wind resistance.

Syria Update: Aleppo, Hama and Shirqat (Iraq)

SYRIA UPDATE: After breaking the cease fire, Russia and the regime carried out a massive series of airstrikes on rebel-held east Aleppo, killing hundreds of civilians and cutting water to the entire city. They then launched a ground offensive from the north, lead by the regime-aligned Palestinian militia, Liwa al-Quds, which was able to seize some territory. Somewhat astonishingly, though, the rebels were able to push them back, inflicting heavy losses and retaking the lost territory.

The Path to Marriage Equality

The Equal Love, Inc., campaign group has been operating since 2004. It, and other organisations, have been very succesful in keeping the message in the media, lobbying politicians, and organising rallies. In 2004, Newspoll indicated that support for marriage equality was at 38% with 44% opposed and 18% undecided. Since then, the number of people opposed has declined, and the undecideds has shrunk even more dramatically, and the number of supporters has increased.

Oh the Thinks You Don't Think Mr Howard.

Not by Dr Seuss

Oh the thinks you don't think Mr Howard it's true
Are often the thinks that you haven't thought through

You don't think that women will have equal say
You don't think we need laws to have equal pay
You don't think anti-villification's okay
And you don't think that we should have marriage that's gay

An Australian Republic?
I don't think today
Perhaps an Indigenous treaty?
No way

Oh the thinks you don't think Mr Howard you twit
You clearly don't think of the nation one bit

Syria Update: Hasakah

SYRIA UPDATE: The big news this past week was fighting between the Kurds and Assad in the predominantly Kurdish city of Hasakah, where the regime controls a number of neighborhoods. Relations between the two groups had been good, so this is a bit of a surprise. Discussions to end the fighting are ongoing, but it doesn't look as though a ceasefire has been reached.

Syria Update: Mabij

SYRIA UPDATE: The Kurds have completely expelled ISIS from the city of Manbij. In this slightly outdated map, the Syrian Kurds are light yellow:


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