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Essential Reading

Aesthetic poo-bahs

pooThe antics of local councils often amuse even as they appall, but few municipalities anywhere in Australia can match Maribyrnong in suburban Melbourne for politically correct hijinks. As councils go, this one is very far gone indeed.

Some years ago the suburb's city fathers and (let us not be sexist!) mothers decided to do their bit for a greener world by promoting renewable energy.  The result was a plan, since dropped, to erect a wind turbine where the eighth green now stands on Westgate Golf Course, which takes its name from the famous bridge beneath which it nestles. As a then-councillor admitted, the bridge would serve as a windbreak and limit the turbine's output, neither reliable nor significant to begin with. But spending ratepayers money was worth it, the same councillor insisted, because, yes, while the golf course would be ruined, motorists passing to the other side of the Yarra could not help but spot the tower and be assured that wind was the energy source of the future.

More recently the council took offence at a street muralist's depiction of a roly-poly Hillary Clinton in a Stars-and-Stripes swimsuit. Apparently the image offended all women, so the order was issued that it must be painted over. The artist did just that, replacing her bathing costume with a burka, as per the before and after shots below.

hillary before and afterApparently, while Maribyrnong Council might not know much about art, it knows what it doesn't like -- rather like the Australia Council's recent appraisal of Quadrant as being so far beyond the pale of luvvie groupthink that we simply had to be de-funded.

In regard to other artistic themes -- an enormous pile of animated poo, for instance -- the council is entirely onside with the creative urge. Atop this post you will see just such an exercise in artistic expression by the Snuff Puppets troupe, which has long enjoyed Maribyrnong ratepayers' financial and logistical support.

Not that Maribyrnong Council is alone in underwriting the cause of artistic expression. Follow the link below to see just how much the Australia Council has distributed to Snuff Puppets. Hint: it is many, many times larger than the pittance arts bureaucrats denied Quadrant, the figure running to somewhere north of $1.5 million.

-- roger franklin

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'A test of values'

bolt coverAndrew Bolt is Australia’s most prominent and controversial commentator. In this second book of columns and reflections, Bolt is again in the front lines of our most urgent political and social debates, from Islam and immigration to the green movement and the rise of the slacktivist. But he also reveals his more personal side – the experiences that have shaped his values and love for this country. For some this book is ammunition. For others it’s fair warning. But for everyone it's a test of their own values – and the reasons they hold them.

You can order Worth Fighting For direct from the publisher by clicking here, or by following the link below.

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Not the theft, it's the thief

melaniaMelania Trump (above), wife of the Republican Party's presidential aspirant, is being attacked for borrowing cliches from Michelle Obama, a fuss and bother about not very much at all. How different it is to be a Democrat, plagiarism being customarily ignored by the media if deemed in a good cause.

Real Science, available via the link below, offers some telling examples.

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