Saturday, 30 June 2007

Before You De-Couple ...

When you are married and things aren't going well or you are getting restless or are bored, it is easy to look at your friends who aren't married and long for their life instead of you own. Those rose coloured glasses can keep you from seeing how things look from those of us who live it every day.

So I have decided to let you know what it's like to be a Divorced Woman in the Big City. Of course, this is just my perspective and your mileage may vary.

Are You Ready To Trade Him In For Another Model?
To set the stage, let me say that I've spent about the same amount of my adult life single as I did married. I haven't dated as many men as, say the character Sam on Sex in the City, but I've dated my share since my divorce.

If a man over 40 is available and some woman who can spot an eligible man over the age of 40 at half a kilometre in the dark and she hasn't married him yet, there is a reason. It might be obvious ... it might not be ... but the reason is there.

My experience is that men over 40 are really looking for someone to take care of them because they can't or don't want to take care of themselves. They are attracted to strong, independent women because they know she can do it.

When I refer to a strong, independent woman in this context I mean that she has no needs, no wants, puts no demands on his time or emotions or money and is totally self-sufficient. If she ever exhibits any needs, wants or ask for a modicum of support, he'll head for the hills complaining bitterly that women are all the same, ball-breakers just like his ex-wife. However, this does not prevent him from using her as an oxygen tank to suck dry in order to meet his needs and wants.

I figure if their mum's couldn't raise them and their previous wives or girlfriends or de factos couldn't raise them, why would I want to take on the job raising them? I have promised myself that I won't raise anyone that I didn't give birth to. That pretty much eliminates most available men over 40 from consideration.

If you aren't happy taking care of the husband you've got now, how do you know that the next man in your life is going to be any better? My money says that he'll be worse. So Caveat Emptor -- Let the Buyer Beware.

And Now You Are One
You will come home day after day with no one to share the trials and tribulations of your day. You will be the one to pat yourself on the back when things go well and you will be the one to console yourself when things don't. Of course, you'll have your friends -- where would we be without them? -- but they have their own lives and families and partners. You're on your own, kiddo.

In addition, you get to deal with the daily fallout from the impact the divorce has had on the kids. They won't tell their father how they feel because they are worried that he won't like it and will see them even less than he does now. If he remarries, what happens to them? And they will wonder if the divorce was somehow their fault. And who bears the brunt of their confusion and frustration and guilt? This lovely tsunami of emotion is coming your way and there is no where to hide. They know that they can do this to you because you won't ever leave them.

And Now You Are Looking for The Next One
Be prepared to be seen as a threat to still-married women who used to be in your local circle of friends but now view you as a threat to their marriage, their family and their way of life. Suddenly they are busy or forget to call you back ... a hundred very plausible reasons that you won't stay in touch.

You will be amazed at the number of school or work or social functions that you won't be comfortable attending without a partner. When you were married you would have laughed at this but when you are the one with out a date, it all changes. And if you've been married for a really long time, you are out of practice at doing these things on your own.

And having a husband who wouldn't go to them with you so you went alone doesn't count. You were married then and you aren't now. Being available instead of married means that the old rules don't apply any more.

And just where are you going to find this guy? Of course single men flirt with you when you are married. It's safe for them. But once you are single, they seem to evaporate. And meeting new men isn't that easy when you are now shouldering all the responsibilities for the children. Of course, a woman over 40 with kids who just came through an unpleasant divorce ... who wouldn't find that attractive?

And Now You've Found The Next One
Lucky you. You won't ever be alone with him. The ghost of his ex-wife will be with you every moment as he complains or constantly thinks about the last stunt she pulled or what she's got the kids doing or wondering what she's up to or something ... it will always be something.

You will get treated to endless tales of how he was hard done by in court or how she manipulated things to her advantage and he ended up screwed. Of course, that isn't how it happened but he'll chew it over and over for years. All for your regular listening pleasure.

And you will be in the queue behind his kids and his ex-wife and his hurt pride. Might be a bit tough if you are used to being higher in the queue than that.

The tricky bit is that, even if you end your marriage without to much drama and get an absolutely fabulous financial settlement, you aren't out of the woods. You are bringing with you all your foibles and hang-ups and problems into your next relationship. What's to stop it from all ending up the same way again? You are already half way there.

And Then There is Sex ...
I loved the episode of Sex and the City where Carrie has the line: "We made love like teenagers. He was terrible and I didn't say anything." It was followed later by the line: "He thinks that sex is like masturbating but with a woman instead of his hand."

If I had a dollar for every time a divorced man complained "I never understood why my wife stopped having sex with me", I'd retire now, a wealthy woman.

The first time I heard this, I said without any hesitation, "I know why. You're really not very good at it." Well, that is the abridged version. If memory serves, I burst out laughing and my answer was much more detailed and thorough than what I've written above. There is a very good chance that the term "shithouse" was used, more than once. But you get the idea. Since then, I've learned to suppress the comment and am still working on the laughter.

Studies show that men think about sex, on average, every three minutes. If it is so important to them, how can they make it to 40 and, with a few notable exceptions, be so incredibly bad in bed? Don't give me that crap about problems men face as the get older. I get spam emails every day offering Viagra and can't listen to the radio without hearing a dozen ads for 'nasal delivery technology'. That's not what I'm talking about.

If sex is so important to men, why don't they know more about it? Their practical knowledge of female physiology is non-existent except for a vague idea of where to find your vagina. They have no idea how to satisfy a woman in bed. And the idea that satisfying your partner in bed is a good thing seems to totally foreign to most men.

His Next Wife
Statistically, your husband is much more likely to re-marry than you are. How will you feel when he brings his new girlfriend or wife to family functions ... graduations, weddings, family gatherings, family holidays down the coast? She'll be there and so will you. Or she'll be invited and you won't.

And your kids are going to meet her and, in all likelihood, will like her. A lot. And they'll talk about her and her kids and things they all did together. And she'll be way cooler than you are. Maybe younger. Probably better educated. And prettier. And dress better. And thinner. With perkier breasts.

It's gonna happen, so best to be ready.

Divorced-Induced Poverty
It is more likely that your ex-husband will bounce back financially from the divorce than you will. And that you will never be as well-off financially once divorced as you were when you were married and had stayed married.

And you can kiss your comfortable retirement good-bye. You won't be able to afford it. So it is very likely that you will continue to work for as long as you are physically able. And I hope that you enjoy working because you'll be doing it for the rest of your life.

It's easy to say that the money doesn't matter when you live comfortably indoors and are used to eating regularly. But it's another thing all together when you have to sell your home and some of your possessions in order to stay out of bankruptcy and keep food on the table.

And In Closing ...
There are a number of very good reasons to get divorced -- alcohol or drug abuse, physical or psychological abuse, mental illness -- but boredom or frustration probably aren't near the top of that list. Divorce isn't a decision that should be made after surveying your friends for what they think. What if all your friends are getting divorced or talking about it and that's got you wondering if you should too? Just because it's suddenly in fashion doesn't make it a good thing.

Deciding about divorce is a decision that you have to make for yourself and for good reasons. But I can tell you that being single and over 40 is not the picnic that it might look like from inside an unhappy or boring marriage. Before you make the leap, you should know what kind of aromatic decaying fecal matter you might be landing in and how deep it can be.

But if you are thinking about ending your marriage, then let me wish you luck, no matter which way you decide to go, from someone who's been there and will quite happily stay divorced for the rest of her life. I can not imagine anything or anyone that could induce me back into marriage again. But, as I said before, your mileage may vary.

I Am The Queen

I am consolidating some stuff I wrote on my other blog to this one. Don't worry, two new posts are in the works, they just need a bit more ... refining, to be ready to be published. In the meantime, some older works will be migrated here.

So, from the 11th of March 2007 post to my other blog, please enjoy I Am The Queen

This was originally published on 23 August 1996 by Susan Reimer who writes for The Baltimore Sun and it is a relevant now as it was then. Maybe more so as HRH has so recently discovered. I've included it here with Susan's permission.

"I am the queen," she said. "Everything you need to know starts with that fact."

Standing over her kitchen sink, her anger and agitation churning the soapy water, she was washing the dishes and recounting to me the moment when her relationship with her children changed.

Not right away, perhaps. It occurred to me that they might have recognized the scene she was describing as the periodic price of doing business with Mom and kept their heads down until it was over.

But for this woman, it was life changing. She was Copernicus, telling the world that the sun did not revolve around it, but it around the sun.

"I am not a doormat or a domestic servant. I am not a helpmate or a handmaiden. I am not your personal cheerleading section," she had told them.

"I am the queen of your world. I am She Who Must Be Obeyed. I am the straw that stirs the drink. I am Da Man. I am the be-all and end-all for all of you."

That is what she told them the morning she found clean clothes in the hamper, the results of sartorial indecision someone was too lazy to return to the dresser.

The morning she found the cap missing from the root beer and the carton of melted ice cream in the cupboard where she kept the drinking glasses.

The morning she found all those plastic sleeves from freeze pops littering the carpet in front of the television.

The morning she realized that her family (like that of the heroine of Anne Tyler's novel Ladder of Years) might not be able to describe her for a missing person's report.

"I am the reason there is always more toilet paper under the bathroom sink," she told them. "I am the reason there is always more ketchup in the pantry.

I am the reason none of you has measles, mumps or rubella," she said. "I make it happen around here. I grease the skids in your happy little lives. I feed you, I clothe you, I comfort you. I sign you up and then I drive you there, and I am not waiting any longer for you to notice.

You guys will worship the ground I walk on, and it will start now."

She demanded that they do what she could not get done and express their gratitude for what she did. She no longer asked for "help" because that implied the job was hers, done by them only as a favor or an act of generosity.

So she assigned tasks, and if they whined, or did them too poorly or too slowly, she assigned more tasks. They were indentured servants for weeks before they realised that she wasn't kidding.

These were not chores, they were responsibilities. And there were no cash bonuses, no praise, no good-job kisses for their completion.

For years, she had hustled to meet their expectations of her. Now they would live up to her expectations of them, or no one would ever go to the movies or horseback riding ever again.

Her face turned the color of her hands in the hot water as she remembered the scene. It had been no outburst, but an epiphany, the moment when she realised that she was a parent, not a character from Remains of the Day.

During a weekend visit, I saw that the queen's new law had been written on the hearts of her people. Tasks were done without complaint, and the family machine worked relatively smoothly.

I also saw a mother who was no longer a martyr but a manager -- delegating, not doing it all.

My own children, the little Prince and Princess for whom I played chambermaid for so long, did not see these things, and they flinched with surprise when, upon my return home, I declared:

"I am the queen. Everything you need to know starts with that fact ..."

Monday, 18 June 2007

Homepage Daily

If you are interested in getting a different perspective on the news of the day, check out HomepageDAILY. There is lots of good content here as well as some different opinions expressed. The Feedback section always makes for interesting reading.
Joe Bob says, "Check it out!"

Sunday, 17 June 2007

Springboks 22 v Wallabies 19

Well, it wasn't the score I was hoping for but that's the only thing about the game that I can complain about. Almost.

The Wallabies played the best rugby I've seen years. Yes, it isn't saying that much given their bad form since the last World Cup, but it is so definitely a step in the right direction. They played with rhythm, enthusiasm and some of the best defence I've seen so far this season. And the Wallabies got a bonus point! When was the last time they got one of those? Watching them play was a truly thing of beauty.

Except for three players who I won't mention by name because that wouldn't be fair. So I'll use their initials out of respect. Stephen Moore, Julian Huxley and Stephen Larkham were the standouts as the Shockers of the Match.

I'm no expert, but how hard is it to throw the ball in straight for a lineout? The other players even line up, giving you a bit of a channel to aim down. But Stephen Moore is a true individual and won't let the restrictive rules, excuse me, laws of the game get in the way of his creative genius. Thank goodness someone decided to put Al Freier back into the game, but not nearly soon enough. Stephen has earned lots of quality bench time.

As a Waratahs fan (yes, my Rugby Tragic streak runs deep), I confess to being somewhat partial to Peter Hewitt who was passed over yet again by the Wallabies selectors because of some perceived weakness in his game. Thanks to their keen insight, we were graced with the consistently appalling performance of Julian Huxley. If there was a time we needed the kick to go into touch, our mate Julian popped the pill into the waiting arms of any convenient Springbok, usually a really fast one. And when we needed the ball to stay in play, he'd kick it into touch. That kind of insight simply can't be taught; it's got to be a gift. Peter, I hope you were taking notes. Don't do anything Julian did Saturday night and you'll go far.

Which brings me to Stephen Larkham. Not one of his best nights. Not even a mediocre night. Saturday would have to have been one of the worst games he's ever had. And that would put it at the top of a pretty short list. We needed him to be in form and he wasn't.

In recognition and as an appropriate reward for their special contributions on Saturday, I believe that these three guys shouldn't be give tickets back to Australia with the rest of the team but allowed the opportunity to find their own way home. And, hopefully, they will take that time to contemplate the cranio-rectal extraction that each of them so desperately needs and sort themselves out.

And this Saturday night, I'm hoping that the All Blacks sort out the Springboks. It's a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it.

Saturday, 16 June 2007

How Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth ...

I always heard that being a parent is the toughest job in the world and that being the parent of a teen-aged daughter is even tougher. But I never realised just how tough it could be until this afternoon.

My formerly darling 12yo daughter has informed me that she will watch the Wallabies game with me tonight but only so she can watch them lose to South Africa. And that she's going for the All Blacks in the World Cup.


She was raised better than this. Where did I go wrong?

Predictions from This Rugby Tragic

Tonight, the Wallabies take on the Springboks in Cape Town. Bring on the Tri-Nations series!

I've been told that you could put a bunch of little old Kiwi grannies in All Blacks jumpers and they'd kick ass. I can almost see them now doing the Haka , especially the throat-slashing one, and am quite happy not to put them to the test, mostly because I can't imagine any side would be willing to face them.

No matter how the South Africans play in the Super 14 competition, they always raise their game when they don the national jersey and take to the paddock in front of their home crowd. Let's face it, the same is true for the national side of every rugby-playing nation. But it appears that, after years of pretty mediocre playing, even by Six Nations standards, the Springboks are actually showing some form. OK, the Poms didn't really put up much of a fight. And, as much as I enjoy watching any of the 3 Pacific Islands play (Fiji, Tonga and Samoa), they simply aren't in the same class as the Springboks.

But like most truly tragic Wallabies fans, I wait for tonight's game with some trepidation. The Wallabies at their recent worst are playing better than the English side, the defending World Cup champs, at their best. But then again, since the last World Cup, the Poms haven't exactly set that bar very high. And I didn't read about any drongo behaviour from the Aussies while they have been in South Africa. Maybe things are starting to look up.

So, I'd like to go on the record and predict that the Wallabies will win over the Springboks. Or won't be beaten too badly. Or won't embarrass themselves too much. No, scratch that, I'll go with a win. There are times when you just have to be an optimist and believe that the best will happen. So I'm going to keep the faith and stick with the Wallabies over the Springboks tonight.

But you can't really be surprised. I vote Democratic in US Presidential elections too.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Know Your State Motto

These wouldn't be quite so funny if they weren't quite so true. Thanks to Carol for this one. --MG

Alabama: Hell, Yes, We Have Electricity.

Alaska: 11,623 Eskimos Can't Be Wrong!

Arizona: Yes, But It's A Dry Heat.

Arkansas: Literacy Ain't Everythang.

California: By 30, Our Women Have More Plastic Than Your Honda.

Colorado: If You Don't Ski, Don't Bother.

Connecticut: Like Massachusetts, only smaller.

Delaware: We Really Do Like The Chemicals In Our Water.

Florida: Ask Us About Our Grandkids. And Our Voting Skills.

Georgia: We Put The Fun In Fundamentalist Extremism.

Hawaii: Haka Tiki Mou Sha'ami Leeki Toru (Death To Mainland Scum, Leave Your Money)

Idaho: More Than Just Potatoes. Well, Okay, We're Not, But The Potatoes Sure Are Real Good

Illinois: Please, Don't Pronounce the "S"

Indiana: 2 Billion Years Tidal Wave Free

Iowa: We Do Amazing Things With Corn

Kansas: First Of The Rectangle States

Kentucky: Five Million People; Fifteen Last Names

Louisiana: We're Not ALL Drunk Cajun Wackos, But That's Our Tourism Campaign.

Maine: We're Really Cold, But We Have Cheap Lobster

Maryland: If You Can Dream It, We Can Tax It

Massachusetts: Our Taxes Are Lower Than Sweden's And Our Senators Are More Corrupt

Michigan: First Line Of Defense. From The Canadians

Minnesota: 10,000 Lakes ... And 10 Zillion Mosquitoes

Mississippi: Come Visit And Feel Better About Your Own State

Missouri: Your Federal Flood Relief Tax Dollars At Work

Montana: Land Of The Big Sky, The Unabomber, Right-wing Crazies, and Honest Elections

Nebraska: Ask About Our State Motto Contest

Nevada: Hookers and Poker!

New Hampshire: Go Away And Leave Us Alone

New Jersey: You Want A ##$%##! Motto? I Got Yer ##$%##! Motto Right here!

New Mexico: Lizards Make Excellent Pets

New York: You Have The Right To Remain Silent, You Have The Right To An Attorney. And No Right To Self Defense!

North Carolina: Tobacco Is A Vegetable

North Dakota: We Really Are One Of The 50 States!

Ohio: At Least We're Not Michigan

Oklahoma: Like The Play, But No Singing

Oregon: Spotted Owl... It's What's For Dinner

Pennsylvania: Cook With Coal

Rhode Island: We're Not REALLY An Island

South Carolina: Remember The Civil War? Well, We Didn't Actually Surrender, Yet!

South Dakota: Closer Than North Dakota

Tennessee: Home of the Al Gore Invention Museum

Texas: Se Hable Ingles

Utah: Our Jesus Is Better Than Your Jesus

Vermont: Too Liberal for the Kennedys

Virginia: Who Says Government Stiffs And Slackjaw Yokels Don't Mix?

Washington: Our Governor can out-fraud your Governor!

West Virginia: One Big Happy Family ... Really!

Wisconsin: Come Cut the Cheese!

Wyoming: Where Men are Men and the Sheep are Scared. Home of Brokeback Mountain

Washington D.C.: The Work-Free Drug Place

Monday, 11 June 2007

Some Thoughts About Recent Violence in Lebanon

I am fascinated by what is happening in the Middle East. I'm not an expert by any means but have been doing some reading in an effort to understand why these things happen. And it is never as simple as it seems at first glance.

I listened with interest to a news report on the Lebanese Army and their battles with suspected al Qaeda sponsored militants. From what is being reported in the news, you could imagine that what is happening is that the impartial army of the nation-state of Lebanon is trying to stamp out groups of terrorists hiding out in refugee camps. And it is easy to understand why you would think that was all there was to the story.

But I don't think that it is really as simple as that. Here is just a bit more relevant detail behind the story.

The nation-state of Lebanon didn't exist until the end of World War I. It gained its independence from the French when the Germans invaded France during World War II. At the end of WWII, there was an unwritten agreement between Shi'ite, Sunni and Maronite leaders that, among other things:
  • Maronites (Christians) would accept Lebanon as an Arab affiliated country instead of a Western one,
  • Shi'ites and Sunni Muslims would abandon their hopes of uniting with Syria,
  • The President would be Maronite,
  • The Prime Minister would be Sunni, and
  • The President of the National Assembly would always be Shi'a.
For the most part, the militias affiliated with the Maronites were re-branded as the Lebanese Army, loyal to the President. People who live in Lebanon are more likely to think of themselves as members of their local clan or ethnic/religious group than they are to think of themselves as citizens of Lebanon.

Life in refugee camps is very hard with little in the way of comforts, let alone luxuries. The only internal services provided are made possible by groups that get financial and material assistance from other countries, mostly Muslim. So if you live in a Lebanese refugee camp, it is more likely that the doctor you take your kids to when they are sick or the guy giving you clean drinking water or the teacher at the local school are the same guys who are lobbing shells on the Lebanese Army and Israeli settlements.

While they are labelled as terrorists with links to al Qeada, these guys are not outsiders who have invaded your village one day. They are your friends and family, the guys who are looking out for you when no one else will. They provide you with the essentials and, when you are living rough, that's what matters. You would be no more likely to throw them out of the refugee camp than you would be to allow the Lebanese Army in.

Of course, I have glossed over a lot of detail here, but you get some idea of how much more is going on behind the headlines from Lebanon.

Friday, 8 June 2007

How To Start Each Day With A Positive Outlook

Thanks to my DSIL who posted this to me. Enjoy --MG

How To Start Each Day With A Positive Outlook
  1. Open a new file in your computer.
  2. Name it "George W. Bush"
  3. Send it to the trash.
  4. Empty the trash.
  5. Your PC will ask you, "Do you really want to get rid of "George W. Bush?"
  6. Firmly Click "Yes."
  7. Feel better.
PS: Next week we'll do Dick Cheney

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Threat to Democracy

Therapeutic cloning is going to be debated in the NSW Parliament this week and MPs will be able to exercise their conscience when this matter comes to a vote. This bill would allow scientists in NSW to obtain stem cells from embryos but would continue the ban on human cloning for reproduction, bringing NSW in line with current Commonwealth legislation and that of the other States.

But today, Cardinal George Pell, the Archbishop of Sydney, has threatened Catholic MPs with "consequences" if they vote in favour of the bill to extend stem cell research. While he isn't threatening them with excommunication, he has suggested that they will not be allowed to take Holy Communion if they vote in favour of this "immoral" bill.

Let's set aside the problem that Cardinal Pell's grasp of the scientific details in this particular matter is just a bit suss. Someone that dogmatic isn't going to let the facts get in the way of his claiming the High Moral Ground.

Cardinal Pell has done something that a CEO from the big end of town, a representative of the NSW gaming industry or an alleged crime boss in Victoria wouldn't dream of doing. Publicly threatening MPs is just not on. They know that the public outcry at such behaviour would do their cause irreparable damage. There are much more effective ways to put forward your position when trying to persuade others to your point of view. But Cardinal Pell obviously isn't encumbered by concerns over the effectiveness of his message (or lack of therein).

I personally find it offensive that a Cardinal, or anyone in such a public position of trust and respect, has the nerve to publicly threaten MPs if they don't do what he wants them to do. How dare he? These MPs were elected to represent the hopes and concerns of the members of their respective constituencies. If this is to be a conscience vote, then we, as members of the public, expect them to do just that, vote their conscience, without obstacle or encumbrance.

And we don't expect them to be publicly threatened by anyone.

Monday, 4 June 2007

The Disappointment Continues

Well, it was another disappointing performance from the Wallabies on Saturday night against Wales. Yes, they won against a disorganised and under-performing side. But it could have so easily gone the other way.

As a Wallabies fan, you gotta start asking some serious questions, like "What is wrong with you guys?" Yes, there are a lot of new faces who are playing at this level for the first time and they are the same guys who were asked to lift during the Super 14 competition. But we won't talk about the Super 14 because I can only deal with one disappointing season at a time.

Yes, they are trying out new combinations and, yes, even the experienced players are in different spots than they are used to playing. So everyone's game is suffering from nerves and new combinations and the pressure to perform.

But these guys have the best of everything -- training facilities, coaches (I know, but just work with me here), conditioning, health and medical care. As individuals, they are some of the best rugby talent we have seen for quite some time, the old blokes staying in form and the young blokes showing flashes of pure brilliance. On paper, they should be winners. But when they take to the field as a team, they just don't seem to have their head in the game.

The first half against Wales was a total write-off. Even when Gregan came on in the second half, they were still making mistakes and messing up the fundamentals. They did play better than in the first half but when you set the bar low enough ...

Don't get me wrong. I am a True Believer and I'll barrack for them through out the rest of the domestic season and straight through every World Cup match. But it is tough this year to stand by them if the first two games are any indication of what we are in for. It's just looking like last year wasn't a fluke after all.

On the positive side, Matt Dunning finally shaved that stuff off his face. Much nicer methinks.

Sunday, 3 June 2007

Home Ownership?

The Federal government is offering Aboriginal communities a big pile of money if they sign over the rights to their land in return for the right to own their homes on traditional lands. For its part, the government will lease out the land for commercial development in order to build up the local economy in these areas.

Let's set aside the cultural oxymoron of personal ownership in a communal society. I wasn't aware that all the problems that Aboriginal people in remote communities on their traditional lands would be fixed by a mortgage.

Now, this is when I get confused. These are people who don't have jobs and wouldn't normally qualify for a mortgage. And, as I understand it, an asset is only valuable if there is a chance that someone else would be willing to buy it. Owning something that can't be sold means that what you own is worthless. Is there really a demand for houses on traditional lands? Selling a house in a regional or rural centre is hard enough, but in remote Aboriginal communities? Guess I missed that section on

And is Westfield really so keen to build a strip shopping mall in remote areas of Australia that they want to circumvent negotiating with traditional owners and just deal with the Federal government for that lease instead? And just what shops are they going to open? David Jones? Sunglasses Hut? Flight Centre? Gloria Jeans? And the workers for these new shops will come from where ... the local communities? Wouldn't prices be very high when you consider the additional transportation costs that the new shops would have to recover? And where would the shoppers come from, given that local people in these small communities would be spending any money they had on their new mortgages?

Home ownership requires skills to maintain and improve the property. And that takes tools and materials and training. Where would all this come from? These are costs that would be difficult for new homeowners with big mortgage payments to absorb.

I gotta tell you, this makes no sense to me at all. Hats off to those communities that tell Mal Brough and Co. to go take a hike.