Parents To Lose Welfare If They Don't Calorie Count

A new welfare initiative is to be introduced by federal Social Services Minister Christian Porter today that will tackle the rising number of parents who do not calorie count their children’s foods.

The vast majority of parents that do receive family tax benefits do calorie count their children’s food, but there is a growing minority who object on scientific, technological or religious grounds.

The federal government claims that counting how many calories children eat is the best way to supervise how much food children eat and that is the best way to be a parent.

A government insider involved in drafting the new policy said it was “a necessary step” to protect the health and well-being of children. “This is a government that will protect all children in Australia.”

A vocal minority of so-called “anti-counters” have claimed that calorie counting does not do anything to protect the health of children. They claim there is a growing body of evidence that shows there is no value to assessing how much food a child eats when he or she is a child.

Many of the objectors live in more affluent areas of Australia and as such are unlikely to be receiving welfare benefits. But the government insists this is still a good policy that will have wider social ramifications.

Twiggy Forrest To Donate 400 Litres Of Blood

Australia's bestest philanthropist, Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest is set to give the single largest donation of blood in Australia's history.

Forrest and his wife Nicola will donate 400 litres of Type O blood.

On Monday, Forrest and his wife Nicola announced they would be donating $400 million of their own hard-earned money to charitable projects, including cancer research and ending modern modern slavery.

Politicians and movie stars were on hand to get the media to be more interested.

Wednesday's blood announcement came as a big surprise. Blood specialists Dr Redmond Haem said the Forrests' must have been stockpiling blood for years.

"Ideally, we'd want people to donate blood as often as they physically can," said Dr Haem. "But I suppose if people want to hoard their blood and then donate it later it's still better than nothing."

Dog Diversity Campaign

The Australian Dogs Association has launched a campaign for greater diversity in the representation of dogs on food packaging. ADA chair Rex says the campaign is intended to give a fairer representation to all breeds of dogs.

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“While the dog food industry has come a long way, we still need to present better diversity. We just can’t have border collies on every can and bag.”

The ADA has congratulated the consistent efforts of market leader Pedigree for its use of multiple dogs on different products. Rex said it was supermarkets’ private labels and newer, premium brands that were letting the industry down.

“This is nothing against border collies. Some of my best friends are border collies. But it’s just like the humans’ campaigns for better racial representation or for plus-sized models on magazines.”

The ADA wants customers to create their own dog food products using templates from its website and then upload these to Facebook and Twitter.

Woolworths and Coles declined to comment when asked by The Seagull, but industry stable Chum said a particular dog was simply part of its branding.

“We have a Scottish terrier, and people all over know we have a Scottish terrier and when they see a Scottish terrier they think of Chum,” said spokeswoman Felicity Golt.

Westpac To Australia: Get Stuffed

Westpac has confirmed it will pass on the cost of the Federal government's new bank levy to customers, shareholders, staff, suppliers or even all four groups.

The major banks are going on the offensive against the government’s plan to impose a 0.06% levy on some liabilities of Australia’s five biggest banks – Commonwealth, Westpac, NAB, ANZ and Macquarie.

The Seagull spoke to a senior executive, who spoke to The Seagull on the condition of anonymity. "As if we're going to cut our bonuses or the dividend. The customers will pay through higher fees or mortgage rates."

The Seagull put it to the senior executive that the government's bank deposit guarantee effectively boosts the bottom line for the banks at the expense of the taxpayer.

"So," responded the executive. "You want us banks to fail?"

"No," replied The Seagull. "Just stop screwing over Australians."

"We're banks! It's in our DNA!"

Vatican Denies Pope Has Drug Problem

A spokesman for Pope Francis has denied that the pontiff has a drug problem, despite rumours swirling in the Vatican City and Rome around the subject.

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Rumours and anecdotes, not directly referencing Pope Francis, have been brought to the attention of The Seagull and New Idea. The rumours involve the use of cocaine and possibly the very precarious substance known as DMT.

DMT stands for Dimethyltryptamine, which is a psychedelic compound of the tryptamine family. It is usually (though not always) one of the main ingredients of the drink ayahuasca, which is used in South American shamanic practices, and can cause hallucinations and intense visuals.

The Seagull is investigating whether the Pope or members of the Vatican’s inner circle are entheogenists attempting to unlock the secrets of the universe.

These latest rumours appear after the news that Pope Francis drank a tea of coca leaves, camomile and anise seeds on the plane trip to Bolivia from Ecuador to ward off altitude sickness upon arrival at the highest international airport in the world.

Trump Has Broken Doomsday Clock, Scientists Say

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, an organisation which runs the Doomsday Clock has revealed the clock is busted and "probably beyond repair."

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The clock, which represents the likelihood of human-induced global catastrophe, shifted to two and a half minutes to midnight upon the inauguration of Donald Trump and the things he was saying about North Korea and climate change.

When Trump bombed Syria the clock shifted to one and a half minutes, the closest to midnight it has ever been. Then North Korea started testing ICBMs again and the clock inched to one minute. 

Now the scientists admit that the clock is stuffed because it can't make sense of anything that Donald Trump does.

"The clock works by assuming that political leaders work in the best interests of their citizens," said Dr Albert Posner. "President Trump is just batshit crazy."

World Limbo Championships To Be Held Under Montague Street Bridge

FLI, the International Limbo Federation, has announced the 2018 World Championships of Limbo will be held under the Montague Street Bridge in South Melbourne.

FLI decided that the bridge would be the perfect place to show Melburnians how to safely limbo under a horizontal object.

“Friends from Melbourne are always joking to me about this bridge,” said FLI president Camille Walcott. “We looked it up and the photos are hilarious.”

The Seagull asked whether the urban setting would conflict with the traditionally upbeat dance.

“Well, it did originate at wakes!” Ms Walcott joked. “But, hopefully, we can get approval from the authorities for a massive street festival that showcases Caribbean cultures. We know Australia loves the West Indies.”

The bridge is famous in Melbourne for constantly being hit by trucks and buses. Last month a tour bus carrying delegates to an international tourism conference smashed into the bridge, trapping passengers for over an hour.

Now the bridge has its own Twitter and Instagram handles, where the bridge notes its relief after a day of not being hit, as well as expressing sympathy for fellow bridges hit by vehicles.

BHP Builds Orphanages In Rebranding Campaign

The "Big Australian," BHP Billiton will drop the Billiton from its name and commence building orphanages across the globe.

The change is part of a rebranding campaign designed to emphasise the company's Australian roots.

Big boss dude Geoff Healy said the public had lost trust in big companies since the global financial crisis. "Reminding Australians how awesome it is to have this really big company is great. Australia is the place for big stuff, remember."

In a separate but related move, BHP will commence construction of 100 orphanages, with the majority located in South America. Healy denied this was connected to the Samarco mine disaster in Brazil, which killed 19 people and caused a shit ton of environmental damage, generating a fine of more than $5 billion.

"We're just giving back to the community. What's left of it."

Ophthalmologists Concerned About Vegans’ Eyesight

The most leading, bestest, awesomest ophthalmologist in Australia (and New Zealand) has publicly expressed his concern about the eyesight of vegans in Australia (and New Zealand).

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Dr David Andrews, the CEO of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists, or RANZCO, says everyone in Australia needs to be mindful of their eyes and the importance of their health, especially as “you can see things you otherwise wouldn’t.”

“As the CEO of the peak training body in Australia - and New Zealand - for ophthalmologists, it is my duty to educate people on the importance of eyesight,” Dr Andrews says.

“My colleagues in Australia - and New Zealand - are reporting concerning trends about their vegan patients. They no longer seem to have the ability to see grey anymore - everything to them is black and white.”

The Seagull asked Dr Andrews to elaborate on his concern. He did.

“Their ethical positions are impractical. I’m hearing stories where vegans won’t let their daughters become vaccinated with Gardasil, which is extremely effective at preventing cervical cancer, because it was tested on animals. And the same with paracetamol.”

“I totally understand their position on not drinking milk intended for baby cows and honey made from bee vomit, but not letting your kid play footy because the AFL uses leather-covered Sherrins? Come on!”

The Seagull questioned Dr Andrews as to whether vegans supposed B12 deficiency was to blame for their eyesight problems.

Said Dr Andrews: “You can just take a supplement for that. No biggie.”

 

Ivanka Trump Nominated To Be New FBI Chief

President Donald J. Trump has nominated his daughter and renowned feminist Ivanka Trump to be the next Director of the FBI.

The announcement comes less than a day since Trump fired James Comey, declaring it was "essential that we find new leadership for the FBI that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission."

Ostensibly, Comey was fired because of his handling of the investigation into the storing of emails on a private server by Hillary Clinton.

Previously, President Trump had praised Comey's investigation into Clinton. However soon Trump started sooking about intelligence leaks and attempted to draft Comey to rebut them in public, which he refused to do. As we know, Trumps demands loyalty and fealty like a medieval king, but it seems like this loyalty is a one-way street.

Comey also dismissed claims made by Trump that the President had been wiretapped by the Obama administration.

It is also unclear how President Trump's nomination of a jewellery retailer will restore public confidence in the FBI.

Everyone Loves Taxes: Treasurer Morrison

Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison is adamant that increased taxes and related spending is "critically important" to Australia and that "everyone loves taxes."

Morrison made the comment at the Treasurer's traditional post-budget speech to the National Press Club in Canberra on Wednesday.

The 2017-18 budget has generally been described as a big-taxing, big spending budget aimed at consolidating support from mainstream voters. Some even went so far as to describe it as "Labor-lite."

Morrison and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull have essentially drawn a line under the Abbott years and the politically disastrous, welfare-slashing 2014 budget of cigar-chomper Joe Hockey, and evolved into tax-and-spend Keynesians.

The Medicare Levy will rise 0.5% for everyone already paying it; the big banks will pay a levy on financial instruments; rolled cigarettes will be taxed like regular cigarrettes; and a whopping $75 billion will be spent on infrastructure over 10 years.

It appears that the debt and deficit disaster is now over.

When a journalist pointed out to the Treasurer that he was embarking on a massive tax-and-spend program for which he would have usually criticised Labor, Morrison fired back: "Everyone loves taxes. I love taxes. Taxes help me do my job."

 

Vegans Get Together To Practice Self-Righteous Tones

In Fitzroy, a small group of vegans assemble at the Edinburgh Gardens to practice their self-righteous and condescending tones.

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“It’s something we do, like, about once a week,” says Jessykaa, the group’s spokesperson. “We find that if you leave it longer than seven days your voice box loses it haughtiness.”

“Use it or lose it!” Derron tells The Seagull.

The group said its imperious noises, which include moans, ahhing, mmming and tsking, were particularly useful when working with people that are less evolved, as well as special family occasions like Christmas.

“Well I don’t even say that - I say Xmas or just, like, December 25,” said Jessykaa. “So, when you see a relative using farmed dairy milk from the animal industrial complex, you either remain silent and lose your moral fibre or you make some noise about it. Last year, my technique was a simple mmm, followed by a semi eye-roll.”

The group, which is yet to formally decide on a name because some consider that too close to integrating with the mainstream, says it is considering offering its services as a social enterprise.

Austraya Gettin' More Jingoistic By The Day

Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten has ordered his party withdraw a TV ad after it was roasted on social media for being racist, xenophobic and nativist.

The ad features Shorten promising, if elected, to "build Australian first, buy Australian first and employ Australians first." The problem came with the final shot that contained "Australian workers" - most of them were white.

ALP leadership contender and infrastructure spokesman Anthony Albanese even said the ad was a stuff-up, stating "anyone who sees it will know exactly what’s wrong with it."

It's the latest foray into the "Australian values" game being played vociferously by Australia's politicians. Tony Abbott couldn't go one day without reminding everyone how good Western liberal democracies are. And since Donald Trump was elected even one-time cosmopolitan Malcolm Turnbull has sought to make it more difficult for people to become Australian citizens.

Needless to say, watch this space.

Darker, Grittier Sonic Game To Be More Contemporary: Sega Team

Sega Team, the game designer company behind the classic Sonic The Hedgehog video game series, is bringing the blue speedster into line with the 21st century.

How? By making the backstory resemble real world problems.

“Gone are the days when you could just have a simple sprite of an animal or an Italian plumber jump on things for some coins or rings,” says Tom Tanaka, executive vice-president of public relations at Sega Team.

Sega Team is taking a leaf from the other dominant force in geek culture – superheroes – to make Sonic more relevant. The new game series, to be released for Nintendo Switch, will be darker and grittier.

For one, the story is that Sonic’s former nemesis and now ally Knuckles The Echidna will be held kidnapped in a warehouse after being sexually assaulted and tortured by Dr Eggman’s goons.

“We can’t have an evil-doer just float around in a metal machine imprisoning cute little birds and bunnies,” says Mr Tanaka. “Those days are gone. In the world now we have increasing incidences of violent organized crime, human trafficking and terrorism.”

In one of the most controversial aspects of the game, Sonic must face a choice between saving his friends or a group of innocent animals, perhaps inspired by Zack Snyder’s DC films.

Sonic The Hedgehog: Vengeance is to be released this Christmas.

Will Arrogant French Be As Stupid As Dumb Americans?

It's the question literally everybody is asking. First, Britain turned it's back on peace, prosperity and Europe. Then the USA turned its back on decency. Will the French make it a trifecta and splinter the longest-running peaceful period of European history?

The decider pits centrist corporatist globalist bankerist Emmanuel Macron against far-right Front National candidate Marine Le Pen, a nationalist, anti-immigrant isolationist.

The Sunday decider is the first election since World War II that won't feature either the centre-right Republicans nor the left Socialists. The world has indeed turned on... something.

"I can't see Le Pen winning," says 44-year-old baker Patric Legume. "The French are generally cowards, so they will not vote to change anything." Legume says he will vote for the far-right candidate "to see what happens."

"It cannot get worse, so que sera sera."

Polls put Macron in the lead by roughly 20 points, but polls have been relatively shit over the last 12 months.

 

Turnbull Gets Melways To Brush Up On 'Marvellous Melbourne'

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has been gifted a copy of Melbourne's famous Melways roadbook of highly detailed maps in an attempt to get him to remember about other states in the Commonwealth.

A staffer within Victoria's Department of Treasury, who wants to remain anonymous, because, let's face it, giving the Prime Minister of Australia of book of maps is a real cheeky move, sent the Melways to Canberra on Wednesday morning.

A slanging match erupted in the media this week between the Federal government and the Victorian government over infrastructure spending. At a fancy lunch in a fancy hotel, Premier Daniel Andrews questioned whether Turnbull actually "knew where Victoria was."

The Andrews government in incensed by the Federal government failing to honour its own asset recycling scheme, which will short-change Victoria to the whimsical tune of $573 million. Calling Turnbull the "Prime Minster for Sydney," Andrews warned that Australia would soon face "Abbott mark 2" if Turnbull ignored the rest of Australia.

Victorians have a generalised antipathy to New South Welshmen, which is now being exacerbated by the true fact that, despite have a quarter of the nation's population, the southern state only receives 7.7% of infrastructure funding from Canberra.

Still, the facts didn't stop Turnbull telling TV legend David "Kochie" Koch that he loves Melbourne. "We love Victoria," said the Prime Minister, apparently using the royal "we" as a replacement for "I."

 

Outraged Andrew Bolt Rolls In Makeshift Grave

Herald Sun blogger Andrew Bolt has revealed to colleagues he has built a makeshift grave in his backyard to roll over in when he feels outraged.

Colleagues of Bolt, who spoke to The Seagull on the condition of anonymity, said the act of rolling around six feet under made the writer feel “more relaxed.”

“Anyone who works as much as Andrew does gets stressed from time to time,” said one colleague. “With his column, his blog and the Sky News… thing, it’s no surprise he has to let off some steam.

“Every day Andrew would see so many leftie latte sippers, by Googling leftie latte sippers, that would be enough to make anyone’s blood boil.”

Another insider said the grave digging had begun about a decade ago during the Indian cricket team’s controversial tour of Australia in 2007-08.

“Andrew was incensed at the tremendous support the Indian team received in Australia, particularly Melbourne. He was left wondering whose side these fans were on.”

The Seagull has learned that Mr Bolt uses the grave about once a week to wind down. Rumours swirl that he has even invited Tony Abbot over for a quick roll over, after the former PM was toppled by Malcolm Turnbull. 

Conservative Penguin Group Backs Bernardi

A spokespenguin for the conservative Penguin Family Values lobby group has backed the call made by Liberal MP Cory Bernardi that gay marriage will lead to bestiality and polygamy. Lioth Helms denounced the move to legalise same-sex marriage as 'meddling with natural law.'

As with humans, there is growing support for penguins to be given marriage equality.

Helms said that 'so-called progressive intellectuals like to tell everybody what's right for everybody else.' Traditional family values, such as male-female marriage needed to be protected. 'We've all seen those movies. Humans and animals can develop too close a bond and we believe that gay marriage is just the first step.'

But a spokespenguin for the Penguin Parade, a gay rights advocacy group called Helms a 'dinosaur.' Said Eden Miller: 'What you have here is a relic of the past. Helms and Bernardi refuse to accept the fact that their prejudices allow dangerous discrimination against homosexual humans and penguins. For more than one hundred years we've known about same-sex attracted penguins. The straw man that is bestiality is just ludicrous. Will they ban fruit because humans can have sex with a watermelon too?'