Archive for August, 2007

31
Aug
07

Barack Obama: the Audacity of Hope

I know this post is late, but what I’ve been reading has relevance to our own political situation.  

I’m currently reading Barack Obama’s ‘the Audacity of Hope’ – a book credited as lifting his Presidential nomination chances for the sole reason that it projects hope for a reformed Centrist position in America.

Here’s one excerpt:

I think to myself, those ordinary citizens who have grown up in the midst of all the political and cultural battles, but who have found a way – in their own lives, at least – to make peace with their neighbours, and themselves.  I imagine the white Southernor who growing up heard his dad talk about niggers this and niggers that but who has struck up a friendship with the black guys at the office and is trying to teach his son different, who thinks discrimination is wrong but doesn’t see why the son of a black doctor should get admitted into law school ahead of his own son.  Or the former Black Panther who decided to go into real estate, bought a few buildings in the neighbourhood, and is just as tired of the drug dealers in front of those buildings as he is of the bankers who won’t give him a loan to expand his business.  There’s the middle aged feminist who still mourns her abortion, and the Christian woman who paid for her teenager’s abortion, and the millions of waitresses and temp secretaries and nurse’s assistants and Wall-Mart associates who hold their breath every single month in the hope that they’ll have enough money to support the children that they did bring into the world. 

Continue reading ‘Barack Obama: the Audacity of Hope’

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31
Aug
07

Marketing strategies that target children

A study reported here found that young children think that food branded with the McDonalds label tastes better than food without a brand.  63 children from 3-5 years of age were provided with two identical samples of food, both sourced from McDonalds, but one packaged with the Macdonalds brand and one packaged with no brand.

The study found that a significant number of children said that the McDonalds packaged sample tasted better. 

Continue reading ‘Marketing strategies that target children’

30
Aug
07

A team statement

In Alice Springs I coach an under 10s mixed basketball team.  It has been a great learning experience.

Every week before training we sit in a circle for five minutes for a general discussion.  I am promoting amongst our group a three-step statement, kind of like a motto or a mission statement – ‘Believe, Work Hard, Achieve’.  This statement extends to: ‘if you believe in something and if you work hard then you will achieve’.

After only a few weeks they can recall our statement.  I hope it makes a difference.

30
Aug
07

Acculturation and ?

History shows that as our English language evolves new words to describe learned theories and concepts are introduced.  Recent history demonstrates that these words hinge on advances in technology: internet, email, et cetera.  Some theories and concepts adopt the more academic combination of current words. 

One of the problems confronting indigenous community development is the consideration that traditional authority structures are now fundamentally altered, and all within the space of a generation or two. 

In the Wave Hill walk-off (1960s) the authority of Vincent Lingiari was affirmed by the fact that after several years of continuing to strike his determination binded the younger generations desire to return to work on less than minimum wages.  Today that same degree of authority appears to be absent.

The question is, what is the cause of this breakdown of authority? 

Continue reading ‘Acculturation and ?’

29
Aug
07

Allowing parents the right to vote on behalf of their children

An article in the Age (27 July 2007) reports an idea promoted by Evan Thornley* of allowing parents the right to vote on behalf of their children under 18. 

Continue reading ‘Allowing parents the right to vote on behalf of their children’

28
Aug
07

Alice Springs Desert Park

Earlier this month our family went to the Alice Springs Desert Park.  For $40 we paid for a Territorian pass, and are now entitled to attend at any time for one year (two adults and two children under 5). 

Continue reading ‘Alice Springs Desert Park’

28
Aug
07

Pearson and an analysis of class

In the Weekend Australian Noel Pearson wrote an opinion piece, Through the Class Ceiling, distinguishing the ‘indigenous middle class’ to ‘the rest of the mob’, whether they live in remote or urban areas.  I don’t agree with everying written, but note that it is an interesting concept absent from the opinions (at least publicly) of Aboriginal leaders.  It also appears to be absent from considerations of current policy (in the policy-substance sense).  

This distinction offers an interesting topic that should be further developed.




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