One F-35 Joint Strike Fighter war plane - or a year’s salary for 2061 nurses.
Eighteen JSFs - or Fiona Stanley Hospital, Australia’s largest tertiary teaching hospital, fully funded.
If we go the full hog and purchase the full fleet of 100 JSF aircraft as the Defence Minister would like, we could have every single Gonski education reform fully paid for with spare change for two more Fiona Stanley Hospitals. Health, education, welfare and infrastructure spending of the Government all face scrutiny of cost, likely success and whether our nation is getting the best bang for our buck. For the Joint Strike Fighter this cost benefit analysis has been thrown out the window.
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It is a truth universally acknowledged that a man at the helm of arguably the biggest freedom movement of our generation couldn’t possibly have a problem with women.
At least that’s what we’re lead to believe by ABC’s Four Corners last night during their exposé of the sexual assault charges against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. In reality, the only thing their investigation highlighted was just how pervasive rape myths still are and how the concept of ‘consent’ isn’t as clearly understood as we all hoped. So let’s go through the story and clarify a few things.
Four Corners said:
Assange was staying at Ardin’s flat. They’d slept together the previous night. Later she would tell a friend she had a “wild weekend” with Assange. Sofia Wilen was enthralled by the Assange phenomena - she texted during his talk, “He looked at me!”
Firstly, sexual assault can happen even if two people have had consensual sex before.In fact 70% of sexual assaults are perpetrated by someone that the victim already knows. Secondly, perpetrators of sexual assault can be perfectly charming and come from all walks of life. Therefore, the fact that the women previously had sex with Julian Assange and were excited to meet him does not mean that their allegations aren’t valid.
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The best assessment Cardinal George Pell could offer this week on the Catholic Church’s handling of the decades of irreparable damage caused by paedophile priests was the Church had “an adequate story to tell.”
Even if that were true, “adequate” is, well, inadequate. The worst thing about the episode of 4 Corners that aired on Monday night was that it was just a handful of stories among many.
The young men whose lives were destroyed, their parents, siblings, friends and children permanently damaged, and the priests who appear to have been completely let off the hook, are not alone.
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Julia Gillard today said she never dodges questioning but there are some, including Labor backers, who wish she had last night. However, many of these tut-tutting critics would also have been piling into the Prime Minister had she snubbed the Four Corners interrogation.
Still, it looks strange she participated in a recounting of painful ancient history which further highlighted the bitterness brewed in June, 2010 when she knocked over Kevin Rudd.
And agreement to the interview exposed the Prime Minister to questions she had difficulty handling, such as whether she knew her staff were preparing a leadership speech two weeks before the ousting of Kevin Rudd, and what she knew of party polling at the time.
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There was a moment in last night’s brilliant episode of 4 Corners that might have undermined Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott’s argument the whole filming exercise was about posterity.
As the deliberations over the hung parliament arrived at absolute crunch time Bob Katter got uncomfortable with the ABC camera and said he would rather the crew left the office where he was meeting with his fellow regional independents.
But Windsor and Oakeshott had other ideas. You can watch the whole episode here.
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