44. A gamut of speakers.

Men (and women) occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.”   
Sir Winston Churchill.

1. We had a gamut of speakers today in what was a beautiful, Goldilocks day. Indeed, it was so perfect we had trouble deciding on whether to put the chairs in the sun or the shade. So, I guess the day wasn’t so perfect after all.

We had Steve Maxwell, who explained the difference between Climate Change modelling and economic modelling.

Speaking of models: My mum used to tell everyone she had a model husband. One day, Dad looked up the word ‘model’ in the dictionary. It said: “model: small imitation of the real thing”.

We had John August from the Pirate Partyspeaking about gambling, and how the government should be regulating it, not facilitating it. He was referring to the recent abominable incident regarding an advertisement pasted on the sails of the Sydney Opera Billboard.

Second-time visitor Maggie spoke. But only just. For some reason, Mr B was in an ungenerous mood and not keen to relinquish the Ladder of Knowledge. But the fans demanded she speak, so she got the gig. Three people openly disagreed with what she had to say, but she handled them well and answered plenty of questions. Importantly, she spoke clearly and articulately. She avoided the ums & ers and ‘you knows’ that sometimes come with public speaking. So for the second time, she did a good job despite the flak she received.

Mark the Grinner gave us vegan recipes. Unfortunately, the recipies weren’t about how to cook vegetables, they were about how to cook vegans.

Tony spoke for a half an hour and held a good crowd. His main message was: “there are no gods”.

Ray was also about, and so was Mr B. Had Helmut and Uncle Pete spoken, and had Tommy and Mirko turned up, we would have had twelve speakers in total. Is Speakers’ Corner finally beginning to get some momentum?

Peter the Younger suprised us all by getting up. He explained that when the Americans (and others) took slaves from Africa, the Africans they took were already slaves! None of us were quite sure of the point Peter was making but what he said was interesting nevertheless.
Someone asked if Australian Aborigines were ever slaves. Apart from the fact that the Aborigines were grossly underpaid for the work they did for the white fella, on land the white fella took from them, (thanks Mark the Grinner) and apart from the Kanak slaves the Queenslanders stole from Melanesia, this photo suggests that all was not quite right.

2. This coming Sunday there will be an SBS documentary crew filming some Christians speaking. The Christians will want a crowd and questions from the audience.

Christians: come along and give them your support.
Atheists: come along and give them your “support”.

With the two Peters to be there, and Tony, and other hecklers . . . I’m reminded of something . . .

3. Mr B explained how we 
could have solved the refugee “problem” long ago. In so doing, debate raged as to whether asylum seekers coming by boat are acting illegally.

Your dutiful scribe will clear the matter up: A govt website says:  “Although those who come to Australia by boat seeking Australia’s protection are classified by Australian law to be ‘unlawful non-citizens’, they have a right to seek asylum under international law and not be penalised for their mode of entry.”

Another page on the same sitesays: “It is not a crime to enter Australia without authorisation for the purpose of seeking asylum. Asylum seekers do not break any Australian laws simply by arriving on boats or without authorisation.”

As for the grasshopper claiming that the refugees are queue jumpers, this page explains why that isn’t true.

Rwandan refugee camp in Zaire

4. Other subjects discussed:
– critical thinking. Thanks to Mr B we were sent on a wild goose chase trying to solve the puzzle of the boy who predicted his own death by meteor.

– Differences between men and women were briefly discussed. Men take off jumpers, drink from a glass of water, look at their heels, and look at their fingernails in ways that women don’t. Yes, profound stuff.

– To make up a joke, most of us rely on inspiration. Mr B told us the steps the professionals use, and how much the top comedians, singers and magicians can earn.

– If you don’t like the American version of the television show, ‘The Office’ are you anti-American or do you simply have poor taste?

– It was explained how solicitors and barristers purposely waste time in court because they get paid more that way. Meanwhile, there is a severe backlog of cases waiting to be heard.

– There’s nothing wrong with having a new Prime Minister every five minutes despite what the media tell us, argued one speaker. After all, the Prime Minister is not our leader. The PM is the leader of their political party, and each party can have whoever they want as their leader. We, the public, don’t elect the Prime Minister, we elect a party, and we should focus on the policies each party puts forth.
Here is a photo of one party electing their leader.

5. In our Unusual Creature Series, the Cape Genet of South Africa has expressed no interest in our Facebook page.