Author: rojblake

Behind their bleating, there is always a lie.

Two days ago the news broke that a TV advertisement in support of fathers had been banned. The creators of the ad, Dads4Kids, claimed they were told the ad could not be aired because it was deemed to be too political given the approaching $223 million opinion poll.

The Australian reported:

A heart-tugging television commercial celebrating Father’s Day by promoting the special role of fathers in the lives of their children has been pulled after being deemed too “political” ahead of the government’s same-sex marriage postal ballot.
This year’s commercial – featuring a father singing his baby a lullaby – will not be broadcast after Free TV Australia, representing the free-to-air commercial networks, informed not-for-profit group Dads4Kids that its Father’s Day ads “likely contained political matter”.
After being told this week that its ad had been rejected, Dads4Kids released a statement to The Weekend Australian yesterday expressing its disappointment, as opponents and supporters of same-sex marriage defended the commercial.

Dads4Kids is a reactionary religious group, supported by many of the worst elements of the Christian Right in Australia. They list their many supporters and they include Australian Family Association, Australian Family Association (ACT Branch), Australian Federation for the Family, In My Fathers House, Focus on the Family, Life Centres Wollongong, National Civic Council, One Heart for the Nation, Respect for Women, Silent No Longer, Festival of Light,, EMU (NSW), Families for Life, Living Waters Ministries, Mary-Louise Fowler, Men of Integrity, NACL, Sydney Community Church, National Marriage Coalition, Catholic Women’s League Australia, Celebrate Love, Endeavour Forum, Ministry to Men Australia, Oz Family, Straight Talk, Trophy of Grace, Australian Christian Lobby, Pure Desire Australia, Rise Up, Life Ministries WA, NRG Youth, YWAM, Breakthru Options, Australian Christian Academy, Majura Medial Centre, IIF for World Peace, Goulburn Catholic Church. All that seem to be missing from the list are Fred Nile and Bill Muehlenberg.

Their story follows the same narrative seen over and over in the USA where the group with the most political clout claims to be the most marginalised and repressed.

As usual, the truth is somewhat different to the narrative of repression. To continue the narrative Dads4Kids has shut down its internet presence, leaving up a simple home page with the following:

We expect that in speaking up about this that we and those connected to us will be attacked and intimidated, and subject to the same vilification in both mainstream and social media that has been meted out to those who have stuck their head above the parapet on same-sex marriage, despite this not being the purpose of our adverts.

we have taken the preventative step of restricting access to our website and social media channels in order to protect ourselves and our families from the expected response to our situation.


Today The Age reports:

But Free TV Australia dismissed claims it had “blocked or banned” the commercial.

“The advertiser was requested, but declined, to add an identification tag to the commercial to comply with Schedule 2 of the Broadcasting Services Act,” the organisation said in a statement on Saturday.

“The Broadcasting Services Act requires broadcasters to ensure that commercials that contain ‘political matter’ identify the body responsible for the commercial, including the speakers in the commercial.”

Das4Kids is a well known purveyor of misinformation about sex and sexuality. Seems they can now add the title of Liars for Jesus to their CV.

I Am Sick Of Being Bullied By The Religious.

I am sick of religious bullying.

I am sick of being told that someone’s religion should give them a free pass to ignore the law. If we are to be a Nation of Laws then the laws must apply equally to all, not just to some.

I am sick of paying for public services provided to religious groups who refuse to pay their way. Simply declaring a group a religion should not exempt them from paying taxes. The law must change so they apy their share.

I am sick of being told that the law must conform to religious requirements. The days of the “Divine Right of Kings” has passed, and so too has our belief in Theocracy.

I am sick of religious groups being given a seat at the table when issues of national importance are being discussed. Religion has nothing to add to those discussions, the presence of religious leaders denies a seat to other voices.

Am I an Anti-fascist?

It shouldn’t need saying, everyone should, by default, be anti-fascist, anti- NAZI.

The default position is not enough. Fascists, NAZIs and all the rest of the assorted Alt-Right must be opposed and resisted at every opportunity.

The Past Speaks To The Present.

This is a propaganda or educational movie made by the US government in 1943. Even as the US joined the fight against the NAZIs, many in the US espoused a similar ideology.

Since the rise of Trumpism, it has become acceptable for this hate and bigotry to reappear in Main Street USA, culminating in the death of a young anti-fascist protestor, mowed down by the car of a NAZI.

This is a message America needs to hear again, but can anyone imagine the Trump government producing a similar movie today?

The More Things Change …


Over 280 of Ron cobb's Cartoons

Back in the Seventies I discovered the cartoons of Ron Cobb, an American who moved to Australia.

One of his cartoons has stuck with me, the image seemingly burned in to my brain. It encapsulates the mind set of those who will blindly follow whatever their leaders decree, as long as they’ve got their TV.

This cartoon predates MTV, FOX, and the 24 hour news (re)cycle, and yet it strikes me as being more appropriate for today’s world than when Ron drew it in 1966. With the US President seemingly making decisions based on whatever he saw on TV in the last 20 minutes and determined to rush headlong into anything that pops in to his mind, this is where he, and we, will end up.

You can see the full size cartoon, along with more of Ron’s work at his website.

Like Deja Vu All Over Again

I grew up during the Cold War and some of its hotter parts. I well remember the fear as a child of a nuclear war. The Doomsday Clock always seemed about to strike Midnight.

I read Neville Shute’s “On The Beach” and it seemed less fiction than a portent of what was about to happen to us. I grew up in Melbourne, the location of both the book and subsequent movie. The scene of Fred Astaire driving his sports car full throttle through Melbourne’s deserted streets burned in to my young mind. The sense of all loss of hope pervades the story as the end slowly descends on all that is left of mankind. Shute wrote the book as a cautionary tale, hoping that the world would step back from the brink and reject a nuclear arms race.

I have vivid memories of The Bay of Pigs landing, The Cuban Missile Crisis, and the never ending predictions of war in “Old Moore’s Almanack“. It was not a good time to be a child, and many nights I would lay awake wondering what I would do when the bomb went off, if I could get to the kitchen in time to grab a knife and slit my writs, rather than die a horrid death from radiation poisoning.

However, most of the time, there was still an adult in charge and each time the clock was about to strike midnight, sense prevailed and a way out was found. The US and USSR still had their proxy wars, and these caused untold suffering and loss to the victims of those wars, but all out annihilation was avoided.

Today, the world has changed, and not for the better. We no longer have practitioners of realpolitik shirt fronting each other, we have two very spoiled children in charge. Both have had a similar upbringing, being treated as demi-gods, told they could do anything and having anything, they just needed to be strong enough to snatch from the other children. They were raised with no boundaries, they grew up without empathy, and their only measure of pleasure is how much stuff they have.

Kim cares deeply about preserving North Korea as it preserves his status and power, but does not care how many people must die. Trump cares about nothing except winning, and has no idea how mnay people will die to give him the win over Kim.