It depends not on ideology but where you sit. A wonderful example of how in politics it is often not ideology that influences the attitudes taken by political parties but whether they find themselves in government or in opposition: in Canada it is the right of centre Conservative Party that has embarked on a major economic stimulus program and the left of centre Liberals who are accusing the government of being spendthrift and committing future generations to a life of paying back an irresponsibly high deficit.

A weekend breakfast (or maybe it’ll be brunch) media wrap. If you haven’t caught up with the Crikey morning media wrap perhaps you might have time to do so at the weekend. I’ll do my best go guide you to the interesting reads on both Saturday and Sunday but, depending on the evening’s read wine consumption, it might be posted a little later than the 7.15am or so of the week day version.

Dipping my lid to a spinner — I have to hand it to the Rudd spinners. They did a wonderful job yesterday in downplaying those stories about bonus stimulus payments being paid to the dead. “Don’t mock the bereaved” was the message the PM tried to tag Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull with. “Turnbull is treading on very dangerous, sensitive ground here,” the Prime Minister said. “We are talking about people who have died in the last year or so. A number of people who have suffered bereavements and suffered the loss of a loved one have appreciated greatly the payments made to their estates.” And sure enough one of those current affairs television programs found a grieving widow who used the $900 cheque sent to her deceased husband to pay for his tombstone.

Boys and their toys. A story this morning on a study by an Argentinian writer Ricardo Coler who spent two months living with the Mosuo people of southern China trying to discover how a matriarchy really works. Coler told the German magazine Der Spiegel that he expected to find an inverse patriarchy in the mountains of the Himalayas, but discovered the life of the Mosuo had absolutely nothing to do with that:

Women have a different way of dominating. When women rule, it’s part of their work. They like it when everything functions and the family is doing well. Amassing wealth or earning lots of money doesn’t cross their minds. Capital accumulation seems to be a male thing. It’s not for nothing that popular wisdom says that the difference between a man and a boy is the price of his toys.

Blondie Ball. The BBC World Service says an association of blonde women in Latvia hopes to dispel some of the Baltic state’s economic gloom with a parade and ball in the capital, Riga. It hopes to field 500 fair-haired women for a weekend of events, including a concert, a fashion show and “blonde golf”, said organiser Marika Gidere. “The economic situation is such that society needs these types of events,” Ms Gidere, head of Latvia’s Blondes’ Association, told the French news agency AFP.

A hardworking and stoic generation. I confess to getting confused a bit about all this baby boomers and generation x, y and i business, never being certain when one stops and the next one starts so I was delighted to come across this helpful little chart in a release this morning from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

And surprised I was too to learn that as a child of 1942 I am classified as being a member of the Lucky Generation which was given that name because they generally perceive that they had an easier time than their parents. Personally I prefer the alternative term mentioned by the ABS of the Austerity Generation, defined as people “affected by the privations resulting from the Great Depression in their formative years, they are often regarded as a hardworking and stoic generation who seek stability and security.”

Peter Fray

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