Friday, July 25, 2014

Abbott - ABC guilty of left bias, cites The Guardian

Abbott accuses the ABC of left bias, ha ha ha ha ha......

A day in the life - battling with bureaucracy

Today was a combined effort, with some success but much angst and frustration. David manned the home phone to set about finding out again WTF was going on with the NSW birth certificate. First effort wasn't good, simply a message saying the phones were suffering "high volume" and to leave your phone number to ring back sometime later today. 

I offered to go to the Post Office and see if it was there, and went before the trip to BGF. It didn't go well. I get there soon after 9am and the shop is empty except for two people behind the counter chatting and smiling. I go in and wait for the conversation to end, which it didn't so I just walked up to the old bloke behind the counter. I briefly explain I'm checking to see if a registered letter is there from Births Deaths and Marriages for David. David had given me his ID with a signed note that it was OK for me to pick it up if it was there.

The bloke behind the counter was entirely belligerent, condescending, and patronising. I could tell he was an old bitter queen even before he opened his mouth. It went something like this:

Him: Did you ring Births Deaths and Marriages?
Me: Yes. We couldn't get through.
Him: I'm sure if you rung now you could get through.
Me: no, we've been ringing.
Him: I'm sure if I rang right now I'd get through. People have to help themselves.
Me: Excuse me, don't patronise me. 

He goes out the back for a bit and comes back saying the letter's not there. 

Me: OK. Well there's another question I'd like to ask. Births Deaths and Marriages said they sent a letter out two weeks ago, why did you send it back?
Him: We don't know if the address was wrong.
Me: Yes we do because we've been on the phone to Births Deaths and Marriages after the letter was sent back, double checking the address, which was all correct.
Him: You need to get the tracing number off the original letter for us to help you.
Me: How can I do that? You sent it back.
Him: I'll tell you what to do (and gets out bit of paper)
Me: Yes! Tell me what to do! (sarcastically)
Him: (starts writing on the paper whilst saying) Ring Births Deaths and Marriages.
Me: (looking directly into his eyes) What do you think I've been doing?
Him: (stares directly back into my eyes.... fuckin old queen....) I'm sorry I can't help you. Next.

Leaving me there at the counter while he looked to the next person. I contemplated just for a few seconds. I felt like jumping the counter and clobbering the bitch, but given my unhealthy police record I decided to take a breath and leave. Upon turning around there was now a large line forming, all full of shocked customers at what had just happened. I went home to collect myself before the trip to BGF, telling David about it. He even questioned if the fuckin Post Office bitch bothered even looking out the back for the letter.

So after that David remains home still trying to get through to Births Deaths and Marriages while I go to BGF, for the second time, to get help with the $570 electricity bill. I had printed out over 20 pages of proof that I was on my ass poor for every conceivable question that might be asked. I get there and go into a room to present the evidence for my deeming to be poor by BGF. It didn't go well at all.

Despite having all the possible evidence needed right there on the table, there was the (what I thought was a) minor concern over the outdated two lines on the Centrelink Statement of Income, 3 years old, saying that I still had the $60,000 of the redundancy that they made me live off and the money pulled out of my super to pay debts - a long convoluted struggle over 9 months with Canberra. Just two lines of three year old outdated shit from Centrelink was enough for BGF to say they couldn't do anything until this Centrelink Statement of Income was saying exactly the right stuff. Even though all the proof was there that it wasn't. Two lines on page two. They had even included deemed interest income as part of it. It was another brick wall.

I burst into tears. The BGF person and I were in a small room of our own. Through many tears I tried to give some idea of the financial trauma both David and I were undergoing even as we spoke. In exasperation, crying like mad, "What do you have to do to prove you're poor? It's one brick wall after another, while we both starve." I told about the Australia Post episode earlier and she couldn't believe it. Whatever the present paperwork said from Centrelink, it was obvious that we were in trouble. The ironic thing is that David tried to get help off them earlier in the year and ended up being faced with similar impossible hoops to jump through and just gave up, getting nothing, despite being completely eligible. 

WTF is going on with BGF? It's supposed to be there to help us when we're fucked, like David and I are now. Yet the demands are more than even Centrelink asks. You don't need two months of bank statement print outs for Centrelink, and Centrelink will readily accept proof when it's presented to them. This wasn't the case today with BGF. Two outdated lines on page two of a Centrelink document took precedence over my need, suffering extreme financial hardship they were unable to help me until this form was fixed. Black and white thinking indeed. Something the gay community doesn't appreciate.

Anyway, upshot of the BGF meeting, was me to see them Monday with the updated Centrelink form and then they'll be able to give me nearly half the money for the bill. It was obvious I was really upset and the plan now is to pay me the money straight away on Monday after I get there with the new Centrelink form. I agreed and will go there again for the third time over this on Monday. So I had to go to Centrelink to get this form updated for Monday. Left BGF feeling so upset.

Came home to report to David on the way to Centrelink. Left soon after and entered the Centrelink line. Actually it was hardly anyone, but that means nothing. The staff were still doing staggered lunch breaks, probably understaffed at that. I get seen by the really efficient looking person whilst still in the line, asking me what I'm here for. I have to see somebody at the desks behind. I sit and wait for about an hour to get seen.

It was just so easy once I was at a desk with a bloody human being. I quickly explained the situation and needed the Centrelink Income Statement updated. I simply gave the lady the first pages of two of the mega print outs that I'd prepared for BGF, those mega print outs not considered as enough proof at BGF in themselves. Well it was way too much proof for Centrelink. In fact the lady simply viewed the first pages of each of the mega print outs and didn't even want to photocopy them. 

She printed out the Centrelink Income Statement form, all up to date. Still a little bit out over an old St George account that they reckon I have $1,000 in. WTF? I closed that account years ago. How do I get proof there's nothing in there when I don't even have an account with them anymore? It's not much though and the amount won't have any impact on anything. So I'd gotten the magic Centrelink papers. Perhaps this will open up a whole new BGF world?

Left Centrelink feeling emotionally and mentally exhausted and defeated. This was one of the most horrible days I've ever had trying to get things done with bureaucracy. I'm not capable of dealing with this both mentally and emotionally. I feel like they're stretching me to the limit, see if I break, then they'll know I'm for real. That's just how I feel after today.

I feel for those too that can't jump these hoops. How much poverty exists in Australia simply because there's too many demands put on anyone who gets welfare? The restrictions are too great. People just give up and wear poverty because they can't meet the criteria. I mean FFS, two out of date lines on a Centrelink form nearly saw me denied any financial help from an HIV organisation set up specifically to help HIV people in distress.

I reached a very low point when I burst into tears at BGF today. Felt like there was all this supposed help out there that even me in my dire situation couldn't access, because of bureaucratic forms. I'd just had enough. The very people that are supposed to be there to help me weren't, and were in fact the one's that drove me to tears of hopelessness. 

BTW, David's birth certificate still didn't arrive today. I dunno even WTF is going on with that today, other than David finally got through and found out this: On ringing Births Deaths and Marriages, you have to go through a new Barry O'fuckin Farrell main thing that deals with the whole entire NSW gov. Looks efficient I guess until you have to deal with the bloody crap. 

So when David rings through to the BDM's line, it actually goes to this main gov line and the dept filtered down through that. In effect, all David's phone calls today accomplished nothing more than the main gov dept saying it hadn't heard anything from the other gov dept yet; namely Births Deaths and marriages. 

Guess what didn't arrive yesterday

Unbelievable. The birth cert still has not arrived yesterday even though it was promised to be delivered by super duper courier thing. There was someone at home at all times and there was no knock, or even the note that's normally left in the letter box. It is now the 20th day in what was supposed to be a 10 day turnaround.

David has tried ringing births deaths and marriages again today but the phones are over loaded and he can't get through. 

I spent a rather disturbed night. This shits not doing my anxiety any good at all.

Am going out to BGF today. Perhaps I'll check in at the Post Office to see if it's there :s 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

"Clarke and Dawe - Australian media. An in-depth analysis" - ha ha ha ha ha .....

Jailed kids sick on Christmas Island - FFS Australia listen!

Not in my name....

It actually hurts me emotionally that my gov is doing this. This is not who we are. This is not Aussies, Kiwis. How in the fuck did we end up here in this obscenity? 


Meet new Lieberal senator - far out wacho

Fuck me......  At least he can't do any damage being part of the Lieberal voting Coalition block in the senate. There's been talk for years about the wacko NSW and QLD Lieberals, long before they took power in both states. They were both known back then in opposition as being a rable mainly made up of far out wacko conservative christians, the QLD ones being the worst of the two. You know, those lovely ones who hate abortion and declare gays are sicko's.

So anyway both states got these state gov's full of far out wacko religious conservatives; bitter old white men. So far the NSW state gov has kept enough of a lid on these nuts to keep them in check. The same cannot be said of the QLD Newman fiasco. 

New Lieberal coalition senator James McGrath has delivered in his first speech the most vial lies of the US Tea Party, daring to utter such filth on the floor of our very own Australian parliament. I almost feel dirty watching this, knowing that our Australian federal parliament has sunk this low.


Gosford Anglican Church - Father Bob video

Whoever is responsible for this is right in step with Australians. Unlike our fucked up gov. How ironic that religious opinion is now in Australia far to the left of Abbott's conservatism. This after the Abbott repeal of the carbon tax:

Anyway, the person responsible is Father Bob, and he's done a video. It's interesting for me. I mean I don't agree with any religion, but it's interesting that this version of Christianity is certainly far far more politically left than anything the main stream politicians are about when they try to cow tow to the Christian vote. FFS, why the hell are our pollies mating up with the likes of the Australian Christian Lobby? If nothing else this video shows there's a lot better Christians out there that silly ACL.


BGF rage

I'd probably be fine at the moment with a bit more fucking around from some gov dept to jump through more hoops, but not from a private one set up specifically to help people with HIV. They've helped me a bloody lot over the years, but on this occasion they fucked up. I'm just too stressed out with all this shit at the moment to have some major hissy fit about it, other than this present blog rave I suppose. After all the bullshit of late trying to jump through hoops that you can't because some gov dept has fucked up, then this happened today at the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation. Which BTW is a private charity even though it recieves gov funding.

The other day when I rang the bloke on the phone about the electricity bill and getting help for it, just said to print out the latest Centrelink income statement and the latest bank account info. OK, that was fine. So I printed out the Centrelink income statement after spending about ten minutes trying to log into Centrelink to do it (long story, forgot my password, answering secret questions, bla..... I mean Centrelink isn't a fascinating site that I regularly log on to). There was a page two of it with info about what Centrelink thought was my income and assets which was two years out of date. I just chucked it as irrelevant. The bank statement I just printed out the last page of transactions with the balance. I expect from what I've been told on the phone that all the paperwork is in order. 

So I go in there today with the requested paperwork. First horror for them is that I don't have page two of the Centrelink income statement! Oh the humanity! Next gasp is that I only have the last page of my bank account and they need two months worth of transactions. WTF? Even Centrelink is fine with a bank machine statement as proof of bank account balances. Now these blokes want an entire two months of transaction history? Oh FFS!

So I'm standing there at the counter feeling very irate. Like it's a hassle but not a problem to produce all this shit from the PC, but why the fuck did they not tell me I needed all of that? Then let me turn up in person only to say what I had wasn't enough? Told the guy behind the counter (as the $guru came out and said hello to me) that this "was like bloody Centrelink! WTF do you have to do to prove you're poor?"

The $guru laughed, probably thought "he hasn't changed", and the counter guy looked frustrated at it all. Who's making up some of these bloody rules then? I have to go in tomorrow for an appt for "intake" even though I've been a client for years.

So I proceeded home via the chemist for 3 prescriptions, and went home to make some kind of sarcastic statement to produce for them tomorrow as proof of both my and David's poverty. A bit of a hissy fit at the never ending bullshit they come out with. The never ending hoops. Luckily the printer had lots of ink. 

I started with the Centrelink Income Statement as a warm up, as it was only two pages and the PDF was still on David's desktop. 

I then proceeded to the next very important thing they asked for; the last two months of transactions on my account. As I've stopped using cash and go around with this magic beeping Paypass card that magically takes the exact money out of my account even for transactions less than $10, there are rather a lot of transactions in the last two months. Eight pages to be exact. Very satisfying. 

I then thought BGF might have some drama about Centrelink's two year old assertion of my wealth, that included my work redundancy of $38,000 (which Centrelink made me live off for a year) and another $17,000 or so that was sitting in the account as the final payment on a debt, taken out of my superannuation after a 9 month bullshit Canberra gov episode to do it. I noticed on the Centrelink income statement that they had me down as having about $60,000 in the bank and getting interest income on it. WTF? After making me live off it? Never the less, it was a major opportunity.

I then printed out the entire history of the ING account I put all that money into. Yes, every single transaction, from the first deposit to the current $1 in it. That one wasn't too printer friendly and I ended up having to nurse it through, but it came out at ten pages. Excellent!

Then I considered that they might have some drama about David's earnings, so I printed out his transactions back to May. Only two pages as he's had no money in there for months now. Not a lot of pages but a welcome addition.

So what's that then? A grand total of 22 fuckin pages of proof. Lovely :) 

Wound Up 14

AIDS 2014 - Michael Kirby interview

Abbott's response to plea to save Pararoos

Meet 12 year old Claire Falls.

She wrote to PM Abbott to ask/plea with him to refund the Pararoos; the disabled soccer playing team ranked tenth in the world, who have had their entire funding cut to nothing by the gov, and therefore have no future unless it's restored. A measly bloody $175,000 is all they need, that's nothing in a federal budget like Australia's. 

This was Abbott's response, a condescending and offensive form letter: 


"Christians persecuted for their faith" - US

Yes folks, those crazy christians are at it again. They appear to be claiming now that christian persecution happens in the US in regards to gays wanting rights. All done in this incredibly tacky sort of coloured 1950's photos of middle aged white women happily talking on the phone to the media about their prayer vigils outside local churches (I assume to pray for the christians inside being persecuted?). Oh it's just dreadfully done, no artistic value whatsoever, boring, old fashioned and mind numbingly dull. But then again what more can you expect from religion?


Tax office to the rescue

He's got so little work last year from the assholes at his work, that David fell under the tax free threshold and all the tax he paid for the year he just got back yesterday. Talk about fuckin timing.

So there you go, we don't have to use the credit card for the rent this week :)  Abject poverty has been fended off for the time being.

Actually it is starting to look pretty serious. We'll be in danger of losing the house if things don't start improving soon. Paying the rent and all the bills on the credit card doesn't bode well. Hmmmm. Maybe I should look into applying to Housing again.

Hey Joe! How about you come and give us a hand here? We need someone to do some heavy lifting! Get off your fat smokin ass and do something. Come and see how us pensioners really live....

Um, the infamous birth certificate we are told will arrive today by super duper delivery. We shall see. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The blog getting even more international?

I dunno. I only bother to look at the general stats that come with the blog. It only shows the top ten countries and number of views (I have that set at per week). So various places drop in and out of that top ten if they're lower down on the list. This today then is the first time I've seen both China and India both on the top ten list at the same time. Oh my, that does look rather international doesn't it, these countries the top ten.


HIV protesters interupt Bill Clinton - AIDS conference Melbourne

A group of HIV protesters have made their point during Bill Clinton's speech to the international AIDS conference in Melbourne. The issue they were on about is a domestic US one?; namely to use a financial transaction tax to fund the fight against HIV. They also were on about the TPP as well, which certainly is About Australia.

The HIV funding here seems pretty good without some tax like that. Which besides the banks here already charge us all through the nose with transaction fees, so I can't see such a proposition gaining the slightest bit of traction here in Australia. Although of course we're right there with them in protesting against the TPP :)