One night in an impromptu makeshift dance party in Mosul, in Iraq, I met a young girl of age 20 who I started to talk to about Iraqi politics. We spoke in English - her fractured English was a lot better than my fractured Arabic – and discussed topics as broad as the disconnect between the political class and the people, to the Bollywood blockbuster Slumdog Millionaire.
I fondly remember that conversation, for one simple reason - Lubna was wearing the niqab, or, what most Australians would refer to (incorrectly) as the burqa. She wasn’t what I had envisaged a typical niqab wearing woman to be like.
She was partying and dancing next to both males and females who were drinking alcohol and rocking out to Katy Perry. She was progressive, easy going and open-minded.
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Why is it that when a health care professional informs a morbidly obese man that he should lose some weight, that mans first reaction is to cry ‘discrimination’?
Where is the prejudice in this situation? As a society we are practically drowning in information about the inextricable link between being overweight and being unhealthy. If you think three square meals a day can be purchased through a drive-thru window, and that exercise is getting up to change the channel when you’ve lost the remote, then that should remove your right to feel offended when you’re handed an ample helping of the truth.
If someone who has spent the better part of a decade at medical school learning how to piece you back together if you break, tells you to drop a few kgs, they’re doing it for your own good.
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The death of 24 year old Matthew McEvoy outside a night club in Melbourne in 2008 was as a result of acts of senseless violence by two young men, Andriyas Tello and Lauren Sako.
But as tragic as Matthew McEvoy’s death is, it is important to remember that the justice system in a democratic society is not there as a tool of revenge or bloodlust, but exists rather as a means of both protecting society and hoping that these young men do not offend in this serious way again.
David Penberthy on this site last Thursday took issue with Victorian Supreme Court Justice Paul Coghlan’s sentencing of Tello, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter, to a period of 5 years imprisonment (Sako has already been sent to jail for 6 years with a 3 year minimum term).
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With the excellence that is Eurovision upon us again, here’s a flashback piece from shortly after our Punch launch last year…
What is there not to love about Eurovision? This year we had breakdancing Albanian midgets cavorting with a man in a sequinned aquamarine bodysuit and the winner was a fiddle-wielding Norwegian boy-singer. Plus, the Warsaw Pact still seems to be in force but nobody cares.
What is there not to love about it? Oh yeah, the music.
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It’s been a turbulent year for the AFL, as it grapples with some of the hottest issues in the public eye. Sex scandals, the homosexuality debate, players caught out with illicit drugs – and major upsets each week on the field.
Match attendances are healthy, newspapers are overloaded with dramatic revelations of off-field disasters and the injury rate has meant some of the younger players are being rested for fear of breakdown.
Let’s talk about sex first. Now that I have your attention, the St Kilda-pregnant teen incident has highlighted the dangers for star footballers, young fans, and the potential disruption to all of their lives.
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John Lloyd, the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner, is paid $400,000 a year. Could a public servant ever be worth that much?
Yes, when he and his role is worth a lot more than that to the Australian economy in billions of dollars of productivity gains. And yes, when the remuneration represents danger money as the Commissioner and his staff for which is responsible, have been and continue to be subject to intimidation and coercion by Eureka cross wearing thugs across worksites nationwide.
John Lloyd, a very charming but tough man, is even more remarkable as a public servant as he could have opted to keep a long term cushy IR Club job as a commissioner for many years.
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IT looks like the Federal Government has dug itself into a hole over the resources super profits tax. The more it tries to justify the proposed tax the more costly it is proving electorally and the harder it will be to dredge a way out of the minefield it has created.
Framing a Budget forecast back in the black based on syphoning the rich profits of the big miners to fill a deep deficit must have seemed like a good idea at the time.
However, the Rudd Government underestimated the protests from the powerful resources lobby. The Prime Minister says the Government’s latest $38.5 million advertising campaign on the RSPT will counter a “scare campaign funded by some very, very big vested interests”.
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Welcome to another glorious instalment of Suburban Tales – now moved to the business end of the news week. Finally, snippets of council curiosities and men doing strange things in sheds can rub shoulders with news of political intrigue and social schism.
We leave it to you, dear reader, to decide which is more ridiculous.
The rolling ballad of spin cycle Kimba: The internet is awash with tales of the age-old battle between pet and household appliance. Cat v microwave, dog v ride-on mover, hamster v sandwich, the list goes on.
It’s 43 years to the day since Aretha Franklin went #1 on the Billboard charts with Respect, a song which has oddly been in the news a bit due to Kevin Rudd’s RSPT. How rocking is this live version…
Does Kevin Rudd use too many acronyms?
Sock it to me sock it to me sock it to me sock it to me.
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Kevin Rudd is seriously re-considering an August election after previously dismissing the idea when polls showed he was on the slide. The next two or three polls could decide the matter.
The revived option comes amid a growing view that the Opposition’s resurgence since Tony Abbott took over may be stalling because he is not yet seen as genuine alternative prime minister.
The theory goes that Mr Abbott’s personal approval rating may be acting as a ceiling on the Coalition vote because undecided voters believe he’s still got the leadership training wheels on. But the situation may be temporary. The fear in the Government is that his stocks could improve if he has more time to convince wary voters.
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