While I never felt quite safe, I only got verbally abused for being a christian and supporting Israel.
By white people, of course.
None of us carried placards, and I'm glad about that, as the police presence was near non-existent. The one time I did have a chat to the police about the sign above, he really didn't have much of a clue about jihadi ideology.
I had explained that even though I was aware we've got some freedom of speech, I felt this one overstepped the limits and I was very offended by it.
When he did come to see it, he suggested that the crowd would take offence to it as I did. I laughed at that one, and said there was no way this crowd would disagree with the anti-Jewish signs and comments.
I'll do a proper post later, I just wanted to get these out there for now. I wasn't alone, and I'm expecting more photos from different parts of the rally.
We didn't go for the march down to Federation Square for more allah snackbarring, as this was more than enough for even me to stomach.
Taken at the State Library of Victoria, on Swanston Street (between Lt Lonsdale and Latrobe Streets), Melbournistan.
Usual players: the Communist Party, the Socialist Alliance, plenty of muslim groups, the ACTU, the nurses union (!). I wonder how all those working families who are paying their union dues feel about that?
Crossposted at AWH. And also thanks to Tim Blair for helping publicise this exciting multicultural event.
My first thought on reading this was: OMG! This man's a muppet!
My second thought was: It's all about him.
As was my third thought, actually.
Dear Malia and Sasha,
I know that you've both had a lot of fun these last two years on the campaign trail, going to picnics and parades and state fairs, eating all sorts of junk food your mother and I probably shouldn't have let you have. But I also know that it hasn't always been easy for you and Mom, and that as excited as you both are about that new puppy, it doesn't make up for all the time we've been apart. I know how much I've missed these past two years, and today I want to tell you a little more about why I decided to take our family on this journey.
When I was a young man, I thought life was all about me - about how I'd make my way in the world, become successful, and get the things I want. But then the two of you came into my world with all your curiosity and mischief and those smiles that never fail to fill my heart and light up my day. And suddenly, all my big plans for myself didn't seem so important anymore. I soon found that the greatest joy in my life was the joy I saw in yours. And I realized that my own life wouldn't count for much unless I was able to ensure that you had every opportunity for happiness and fulfillment in yours. In the end, girls, that's why I ran for President: because of what I want for you and for every child in this nation.
I want all our children to go to schools worthy of their potential-schools that challenge them, inspire them, and instill in them a sense of wonder about the world around them. I want them to have the chance to go to college-even if their parents aren't rich. And I want them to get good jobs: jobs that pay well and give them benefits like health care, jobs that let them spend time with their own kids and retire with dignity.
I want us to push the boundaries of discovery so that you'll live to see new technologies and inventions that improve our lives and make our planet cleaner and safer. And I want us to push our own human boundaries to reach beyond the divides of race and region, gender and religion that keep us from seeing the best in each other.
Sometimes we have to send our young men and women into war and other dangerous situations to protect our country-but when we do, I want to make sure that it is only for a very good reason, that we try our best to settle our differences with others peacefully, and that we do everything possible to keep our servicemen and women safe. And I want every child to understand that the blessings these brave Americans fight for are not free-that with the great privilege of being a citizen of this nation comes great responsibility.
That was the lesson your grandmother tried to teach me when I was your age, reading me the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence and telling me about the men and women who marched for equality because they believed those words put to paper two centuries ago should mean something.
She helped me understand that America is great not because it is perfect but because it can always be made better-and that the unfinished work of perfecting our union falls to each of us. It's a charge we pass on to our children, coming closer with each new generation to what we know America should be.
I hope both of you will take up that work, righting the wrongs that you see and working to give others the chances you've had. Not just because you have an obligation to give something back to this country that has given our family so much-although you do have that obligation. But because you have an obligation to yourself. Because it is only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you will realize your true potential.
These are the things I want for you-to grow up in a world with no limits on your dreams and no achievements beyond your reach, and to grow into compassionate, committed women who will help build that world. And I want every child to have the same chances to learn and dream and grow and thrive that you girls have. That's why I've taken our family on this great adventure.
I am so proud of both of you. I love you more than you can ever know. And I am grateful every day for your patience, poise, grace, and humor as we prepare to start our new life together in the White House.
Love, Dad (emphasis added)
There are so many more thoughts going through my head as I consider this letter and its implications.
Speaking only for myself, the newest Pres is a mangina.
I don't believe he should be doing puff pieces like this when the economy is in crisis, there are wars going on in Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza and plenty of other places.
He should be getting to work on what he's going to do about them.
He's going to be the POTUS. He needs to listen to Chopper.
When Magilla smacked out one of the boys in day care, I made her tell the lad's mother what she had done.
The mum is tall, about 5'10, and my girl was about 4 and 1/2 at the time.
The three of us stood there until Magilla had ceased squirming and fessed up to the deed. Afterwards I drove her home in silence, because I do not condone that behaviour. She had dinner, bath and bed as usual, but without dessert, book or snuggle.
Going by what's happening today, I seem to be a dying breed.
So I'm checking my email, and the usual news headlines pop up. One of which has a man declaring that the police are to blame for his son's party getting out of hand.
Money quote from the article linked?
The out of control party had been advertised on social networking website MySpace by 18-year-old Mark Marangoni and there was a $5 entry fee.
Mark's father, Imerio Marangoni, 73, faced media with bank notes visible in his pocket and said people aged between 14 and 18 had turned up.
"The people spend money, come here, pay money to enjoy," he said.
He said Mark was "upset" and had left the house on foot , then blamed police for provoking party-goers.
"They come in, tell people to piss off but they were at the party to enjoy. It's (a) disaster."
"Two hundred people, all young, you can't control them when they drink."
But he said Mark, who normally lives with his mother, would not host another party at his house. "No. No more parties. No, no."
A couple of points here to note. First of all, the kid's entrepreneurial skills are to be admired, but there's probably some law against charging kids to come to a party in suburbia. I'm sure the neighbours were pissed about it all.
Next, what the hell are a bunch of 14-18yos doing drinking alcohol anyway? I'm aware it's legal to drink at 18; I drank when I was that age, too. That's not the point. The point is the father is aware of underage drinkers and he would surely be aware it's against the law.
I wonder what the parents of those partygoers think?
The next news headline to catch my eye was this one about the recent unrest in Rosewood.
Mr Thiu blamed ongoing crime in the area on the Department of Housing for concentrating a group of disadvantaged residents in a small area.
Excuse me, Mr Thiu? Did the Department hand out the knives? Did the Department provide the wherewithal to cause injury to each other?
Perhaps if you encouraged the youngsters to get off their arses and get jobs and have a bit of direction in life they might be less inclined to run about in gangs assaulting one another.
Perhaps if you encouraged those under your expert direction to earn something and make something of themselves they'd have a bit more respect for themselves and those around.
Sure, these are only two examples, but they are a result of the lack of respect for authority that runs riot these days.
We have an old man refusing to accept his son's culpability in a party getting out of hand even as he helped facilitate it, and an elder again refusing to acknowledge that the young men under his own apparent authority as a (media-described) elder obviously aren't listening to his wisdom*.
There is fault on all sides here.
The young people, for getting up to no good.
The older people, for enabling the behaviour.
The tolerance and diversity so beloved by our civilisation that condones these situations.
When children are brought up knowing all of their rights and none of their responsibilities, when parents or those in loco parentis collude in their children's wrongdoing, I'm not surprised that stuff like this happens.
I'm only surprised that there's not more of it.
I cannot tell a lie - it was him!
*This is, of course, supposing that the wisdom he imparts actually touches on such esoteric concepts as rule of Law, and not getting into knife fights and beating the crap out of each other. Haven't they heard of dialogue?
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