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Screw the disabled! Labor shows true colours, yet again

 Amazingly, there are still people who believe the traditional red of the ALP is that of their hearts bleeding for people experiencing hardship and disadvantage. And whilst some of these people are talkback radio hosts egging their audience on to a fury of be-spittled rage, some are actually Labor supporters who believe their party is on the side of the right and good.  Meanwhile, Labor politicians continue to yell the quiet part for everyone to hear. NSW Premier Chris Minns - who looks like the guy who reads the weekend news on summer TV whilst the regular hosts are on holidays - is determined that NSW will not be the loser in a fight with the Federal government over NDIS funding. In particular, NDIS minister Bill Shorten wants the states to take over more supports for children with  early developmental disorders and mild autism. The state premiers are angry. Not about whether children will receive the best possible supports, but about money. Here's Chris Minns: “If Bill Shorten w
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New York: so good I went there twice - Sikamikanico in America, Part IV

I should have realised sooner that I wouldn’t gasp when I first saw New York.  New York was the real goal of my trip and in the day dreams that took the place of proper planning, I’d imagined flying into the city at night, staring out the window, gasping and squeaking with awed delight. But there was none of that, and not just because by the time I first saw New York I was tired from a day of travel from New Orleans via Dulles International Airport in D.C., packed as it was on a Friday evening with government staffers heading home for the weekend, and with my connecting flight delayed for three hours. It was because at moments of intense emotion, I tend to draw into myself, needing time to process what’s happening in my head before I react to it. I’m a lot more expressive than in the days when I averaged eight words and two facial expressions a week, but if anyone’s planning to propose, you probably shouldn’t expect much of a reaction straight off. And flying into New York was a moment

Screw you Pay Pal

I thought The Onion's feature on Kafka International Airport was one of the funniest things I've ever seen. Then I started living in a Kafkaesque nightmare, and it's not so funny anymore.  My Dell laptop is coming to the end of its useful life, so back on July 24 I ordered a new one directly from the Dell Australia website. For a largish purchase like this, I figured the safest and easiest way to pay would be to use Pay Pal.  Oh, what an innocent creature I was back then. By 31 July my computer hadn't arrived and there were no updates to the order status, so I contacted Dell. They told me the payment was showing as Pay Pal decline. Odd, I thought, there had been enough money to cover the transaction in my account the whole time, but whatever. My Pay Pal account showed the payment as pending confirmation by the merchant, so I figured I'd cancel the order with Dell, get my money back in a few days surely, and order the laptop anew.  And so the nightmare began. The De

A turn about the bush

When music legend Tina Turner recently passed away, the mourning was felt especially keenly in Australia. Ms Turner had a particularly rapt following in Australia for her wildly successful partnership with rugby league, Turner's hit "Simply the Best" still recognised as a league anthem decades on.  But across Australia, and even in the non league states, Ms Turner was known and beloved by Australians because every child in Australia is taught the Nutbush. We are the only country that does this, and no one knows why it has somehow become a staple of the Australian education system to indoctrinate children into line dancing (it seems it was  the NSW Department of Education who came up with the dance steps , which Ms Turner herself is not known to have ever performed).   I never learned the Nutbush, since observing and carrying out a simple sequence of steps requires more physical skill than I will ever possess, but teaching schoolchildren the Nutbush provides two important

Reading Wangs

Reading recently that some celebrity or other had gone with a Vera Wang wedding dress - they all seem to - it occurred to me that I have no idea why Wang is the leading name in bridal couture, a subject never of much interest to me, but I decided to take a look at the Vera Wang website for the first time and see just what makes these gowns so special.   And they're...special, all right. Here's a selection of dresses, outfits, and "what the hell is that" from recent Vera Wang Haute Wedding Collections. Wang describes the Haute range as " explor[ing] the different volumes, proportions and artisanal details that have come to define our unique and ever evolving aesthetic”. I would rather decribe it as a firm reminder to us all that just because you can , doesn't mean you should .  No apologies for the heteronormative view of weddings in this post; I flatly refuse to believe any queers would be caught dead wearing any of this. Been waiting for your special day fo

The Big Easy in New Orleans - Sikamikanico in America, Part III

I first visited New Orleans back in 1996 when I was too young to legally drink, even by Australian standards, and I vowed to go again one day when I was old enough, when I'd party on Bourbon St. But it took me 26 years to make it back and by then I was too old to party on Bourbon St, or for any sort of party that doesn’t involve a wasted afternoon, a play centre, and dragging home an over excited, sugar hyped school age child.  That's the thing about travelling when you're older. You may not be physically able to party much, certainly not if you're spending your days seeing and doing things. When you're 22 you can rage all night and get up (even later) the next morning and climb a small mountain, if in discomfort. By your first age spots it's like "do a thing? Tonight? I already did things  today. Can't do any other things without a good night sleep" and if you're travelling cheap that good night sleep may be elusive. Cheap hard mattresses are

The road to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon - Sikamikanico in America, Part II

If you want to get up close and personal when seeing a country, there’s no better way to travel than long distance bus. Planes just whisk you from city to city, tedious trips between the airport and the city itself notwithstanding. Trains are often hailed for their ability to provide views you can’t get by air, but often trains go through culverts and tunnels. You want to know the real place, get a bus. Interstate Buses in America are often maligned as dirty and dangerous, but I’ve never had any problems; although I’ve only travelled heavily touristed routes, and your mileage may vary if you’re getting the bus from Earwax Gulch, Iowa to Excess Covid Deaths, Tennessee. You mileage will literally vary if you’re stabbed to death on the way, which would reduce the number of miles you travel considerably.   California roadside stops really go in for the ye olde world feel. On my last trip to the state, we’d stopped in Kettleman on the journey along the Interstate 5 from Los Angeles to San