Thursday, 31 October 2013

Kurt Cobain - unearthed interview

This newly unearthed interview of Kurt Cobain, by Jon Savage, he reveals he struggled with his sexuality and thought he might be gay because he was so different.

Almost a migraine

Woke up with a terrible headache this morning, almost a migraine it was that bad. Have taken Panadol for it but it doesn't seem to be doing a lot. 

I used to get migraines when I was younger, after a while seemed to just grow out of it. Although sometimes it's like I nearly get one, sort of just short of one. Get the blurred vision and that, but it doesn't end up being a full blown migraine.

Not much that can be done about it. Just have to take it real easy and rest.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

"Free Fall" - Trailer

This looks like an interesting movie, although I find subtitles can be a bit of a drag. Supposed to be Germany's version of Brokeback Mountain. I never saw that as I thought it might be too depressing. My daughter did and told me the guy was killed because he was gay. Being as I was struggling terribly with depression back then it'd not have been the best choice to watch.

Dying with Dignity - South Australia?

There's a Euthanasia bill coming up in the South Australian parliament. This is an excellent video about it, and explains clearly the safeguards involved in the legislation and the reasons why to support it.

Labor to abandon the climate?

I realise Labor is going through a period of self analysis at the moment, but there are troubling reports in the media that in that process it's going to ditch the carbon tax as a policy. I  thought they already did that BTW before the election when Rudd was going to make it into an ETS. I assume they're shit scared that Abbott is going to use it like a club again. 

In which case that would mean that they're ditching the climate because of politics. You can email your own Labor MP here about it. Now is the time to do it whilst they're still considering policy. We should really at least make it known that aside from a small vocal bunch of climate denialists, the carbon tax (eventually to turn into an ETS - that was the original plan from Labor that never changed) was a small step in the right direction. 

Did the world end when it came in? We were more than compensated for the small increases it caused (and no, most of the electricity price rises in NSW were because of overspending on infrastructure, not the carbon tax). For example the lifting to the tax free threshold from about $6,000 a year to $18,000 a year. That's the first $18,000 tax free as part of the compensation for price rises.

My question to Abbott of course now is, if you repeal the carbon tax, then are you also going to put the tax free threshold back to only $6,000 then? If not, how are you going to pay for this so called "direct action"?

Natasha and the Teddy Bear

It's suddenly gotten cold here in Sydney. Yesterday afternoon we had a wild storm move through and the temp dropped about 5 degrees in a few minutes. I ended up shutting the doors and windows as it was such a cold wind, blustering around. Some properties lost power for a bit, not around here though. Unusually cold overnight for this time of year being Spring. Natasha has taken to a Teddy Bear in the lounge room for warmth. 


Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Colander victory! Praise the FSM!

The religious head wear of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) is a colander for a hat. A bit like a Christian cross, only a hat, signifying that the FSM boiled for our sins darlings. Now in Texas, a devout follower of the FSM has succeeded in getting his licence photo done with said religious colander on his head. Praise the Flying Spaghetti Monster. 

Here is Eddie Castillo getting his licence picture taken at the DMV. Note the look of victory on his face. The Flying Spaghetti Monster is great! (note, the video takes a few seconds to load)., Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

America's Drone Wars - teaser trailer

Speaking of drones.......

Why the US is hated - ex CIA

I can't believe the rocket scientists over there in the US are still debating why countries in the world hate them. But anyway they are. This time though they actually have some professor guy who looks like he knows what he's talking about. He gives these reasons why:
“Our support for tyranny for over 50 years in the Muslim world”… 
“As a trigger, our presence on the Arab peninsula”… 
“Third, I would put the Israelis, rising”… 
“Our ability for a long time to get oil at prices that were very much below the market level”… 
“Our military presence in other countries in the Muslim world”… 
“Our abiding willingness to identify as terrorist any Muslim population that one of our allies dislikes”… link

I'm surprised he didn't mention specifically drone strikes.

Stephen Fry - "HIV and Me"

I've not watched these yet, being an hour long each part, but will likely later today. Looks very interesting, and Fry always has an interesting reporting style.

Reaction to Abbott's court challenge ACT

It's not often I come across someone as passionate and pissed off as me about something political, and even if I do it's very rare to find someone who puts it into language similarly forceful as mine. This is one of those occasions. This from The Conscience vote, and I'm sure this speaks for the way many LGBT and non-LGBT in Australia now are feeling about Abbott's court challenge to the ACT marriage equality laws. It was written just before the challenge was announced.
We have a government that – even before the debate really got off the ground in the ACT Parliament – decided that this law could not be allowed to stand. 
If the Abbott government carries out its threat to challenge the ACT’s same-sex marriage law, it will not be about tradition, or uniformity, or any other of its usual excuses. 
It will be pandering to a vocal minority of religious lobby groups who feel they have the right to dictate that we should all live by their doctrines. 
It will be vicious discrimination from a government that feels its job is to control how people live their lives, and punish them for who they love. 
It will be narrow-minded pettiness from a government so obsessed with image, to the point that it cannot bear to be seen to lose even one of its self-imposed battles. 
It will be the action of a government that acts like a spoiled child, refusing to let anyone else be happy unless they play by rules that only it can define – rules which it can change on little more than a whim. 
And if – heaven forfend – such a challenge were upheld by the High Court, it would not be a victory. It would be a day of shame. 
It’s not often I urge readers to take to the streets, to sign petitions, to campaign unceasingly and take the fight to the politicians and the media. But there are some things that should be defended, passionately and unceasingly. Marriage equality is one of those. What the ACT did today was take the first, huge step towards true equality, by locking into law the right for same-sex couples to marry. It’s not good enough for us to sit back and watch while the Federal Government acts – again – like a bully determined to get its own way, no matter who gets hurt. It’s not good enough for us to simply complain, or lash out at those who would do this to us, or the ones we love, or even the stranger in the street who deserves the same rights as everyone else. 
We are better than that. And this is only the beginning. more
I certainly applaud and appreciate such eloquence.

Putin tries to reassure

Even if you believed this Putin propaganda:

“We are doing everything, both the organizers and our athletes and fans, so that participants and guests feel comfortable in Sochi, regardless of nationality, race or sexual orientation,” Putin told Thomas Bach, the head of the IOC. Read more
What about the Russian LGBT who aren't a guest or athlete of the Sochi games? So as long as everyone in the Olympic village is OK, then that's fine for the host country to vilify it's gays? And don't travel outside the village or you may get accosted by skinhead nationalists led by stool wielding priests.

Most likely he's shitting himself now over Sochi and his stupid laws. You can dress up a turd all you like and call it wonderful all you like, but it's still a turd.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Katy Perry - Roar

The Abbott "debt crisis" lie

The Abbott gov has been banging on about Australia's "debt crisis" pretty much since Abbott was elected opposition leader. That's all fair in electioneering I guess, although I suppose it's up to the opposing party to bang on to counter the argument; something that the Labor gov seemed utterly hopeless at. So this opposition debt crisis lie survived to the election and now beyond as Abbott goes about slashing and burning as a "necessity" to save Australia from drowning in it's own debt, or something equally as miraculous as that.

The truth is that the Abbott gov is simply doing what many conservative gov's do. That being to "open the books" and discover the disastrous state of our finances, presumably hidden from us plebs until now when they're heroically revealed to us by our debt saving gov. We must cut the public service! We must cut programs! We are in dire straights! We have to do this now for our children! All very well I suppose if we actually had a debt crisis which we don't. What we actually have is a new gov that's pulled the wool over the eyes of those members of the voting public who actually believe this conservative rubbish. It's a mechanism for their hidden agenda; fuck the poor and encourage the rich to make more money.

Now Abbott has gone star struck to the Washington Post, and has broken with decorum to bag the previous Gillard and Rudd gov's.

Mr Abbott told The Washington Post that the former Labor government's conduct was ''a circus'' and was ''scandalously wasteful''. 
''It was an embarrassing spectacle and I think Australians are relieved they are gone,'' he said. 
Asked about Labor's plan to extend fibre to every household under the National Broadband Network, Mr Abbott said: ''Welcome to the wonderful, wacko world of the former government.'' Read more 
Well there goes the NBN again.... Aside from the implications that these comments make him look stupid, and may interfere from here on with Abbott's relationship with Obama who had a very close relationship with Gillard, the entire thing Abbott says is a complete fabricated lie. And the dumb fucks who couldn't be bothered to find out for themselves believed it and voted for him. Now look where we are. Being led by an unrepresentative liar. A simple Google search and viola, the real facts are clear.

All those who believed the "debt crisis" Abbott lie, think of this graph when you lose your entitlements or job; it's not to save the country from debt, it's to enable Abbott's agenda. Or "mandate" as Abbott likes to call it. This is from 2012:

Australia has the third lowest gross debt to GDP of countries in the OECD. The latest data from the IMF shows that Australia’s government net debt as a percentage of GDP sees it ranked toward the bottom of comparable advanced countries. Compared with the advanced country average Australia’s debt (in 2010) was one seventh of the average debt amongst advanced countries (77.4 per cent), and less than half New Zealand’s debt, 34 per cent of Canada’s debt and 14 per cent of the UK’s debt. more
These facts have been around for ages. They didn't just spring forth after Abbott was elected. In fact if you look at the whole article our debt has been low for ages too. 

So there it is, the Abbott debt lie.

BTW, speaking of "Scandalously wasteful", can we have back the $90,000 then Tony since you were too lazy to fly on Qantas?

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Rachel Maddow on Flying Spaghetti Monster

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The presence of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has become known to Rachel Maddow. Praise to the Flying Spaghetti Monster. We must spread His message of love and inclusion.

"Gay marriage will confuse tradies"

No prizes for guessing where this came from. The "Family Voice", or should I say, the Christians. Apparently if you're LGBT you're not part of a "family", well according to these people anyway. May I introduce the author herself of the press release, Ros Philips:

Ros Phillips sent a press release yesterday claiming the recent change to same-sex marriage laws in the ACT would confuse tradies including plumbers, electricians and carpenters. 
The release included a diagram depicting appliances and plumbing equipment being joined together - like male and female sex organs. 
"As any tradie can tell you, marriage has always been a joining of two opposites. You cannot properly unite two of the same," Mrs Phillips said. more

Well at least she's not saying that it'll be an end to civilisation as we know it. I guess that's an improvement. But seriously, is this all the Christians have left? It all boils down to plumbing? Oh FFS.........

So we're supposed to break up with our loved ones in case the tradies get confused? The only one who's confused it appears is Ros Philips herself, as demonstrated in this picture by said "tradies".

National Day of Action! - Abbott challenge

The LGBT are mobilising darlings! We've already had enough of this asshole Abbott, and whatever happens we need to take to the streets and yell about it! Vent our anger at this prick who dares to claim to represent us.

This prick, using our public money which includes all money paid by LGBT people, to slap us in the face with a court challenge to take away recognition of who we love. This asshole who lies to us, saying he's rushing to do it so we won't be hurt. This asshole that won't even support his own sister in her relationship with the woman she loves. Enough!

If you're as angry as we are, write down on your calendar Sat Nov 23rd.

The planned protests come as almost 25,000 people have signed a petition organised by LGBTI advocacy group All Out calling on Prime Minister Tony Abbott to stop his moves to block state or territory-based same-sex marriage laws through action in the High Court. 
All Out’s lead Australian campaigner, Hayley Conway, said Abbott should not stand in the way of progress.

“If he continues to stand against loving Australian couples and their children, history will leave him behind,” Conway said. 
“Equality is in Australia’s future, whether Abbott is part of the future or part of the past is up to him.” 
INFO: Protests commence at 1pm (local time) at all locations on November 23

Sydney, Town Hall 
Melbourne, State Library 
Brisbane, Queens Park 
Perth, Sterling Gardens more
I feel like this thing with Abbott's high court challenge is maybe like a last straw? Would straight people cop this sort of treatment just because they were straight? Why should we be treated like fuckwits by the PM, our PM using the church (ie his "convictions") to try and block us at every stage, just because we're LGBT? 

Why should we have to perform legal gymnastics via state based marriage equality laws just for our relationships to be recognised by our own country? And to have our own PM block us just when there's a little ray of rainbow coming out of the ACT is absolutely unforgivable. Whoever votes for you next time Abbott it won't be us, or our friends.

Yes folks, we're as mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore!   (pun intended) 


David is coming with me. He's not usually into politics at all and hates even talking about it. But he's going to this.


"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly". ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

ACT to marry before challenge

It's not long, but there's a little window of opportunity for people wanting to get married in the ACT. The Abbott gov High Court challenge is set down for a hearing of the full bench in Mid December. The ACT will start marrying early Dec.
Same-sex couples will have a brief window of opportunity to begin marrying in Australia despite the Australian Government’s challenge in the High Court. 
The Australian Government had sought to expedite its challenge to the Australian Capital Territory’s (ACT) law allowing same-sex couples to marry under territory law and the court held a directions hearing today at 2.15pm. 
However the case will not get a full hearing until mid-December and the ACT law comes into effect in early December – leaving a window in which same-sex couples will be able to marry before the court decides their constitutionality. 
By December it is possible that same-sex marriage will have been legalized in the Australian states of Tasmania and New South Wales – with New South Wales to debate a bill on the issue next Thursday – something that may also weigh on the judges’ decision. - See more
The reason the Abbott gov is in such a rush to stop the ACT marrying? If you haven't heard this it's truly unbelievable, and shows that the Abbott gov doesn't have the faintest idea about same sex couples. 

Imagine, you've been in a relationship for years and years. You want so much to marry your partner and for your relationship to be recognised by the state as the same love as other couples. And then you hear the gov say this about why it wants to rush a challenge:

Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Attorney-General George Brandis have called on same-sex couples to delay getting married until the High Court battle is resolved, arguing it would cause "distress" if the laws were overturned and marriages declared invalid. Read more
Fucks sake man, what a load of absolute fuckin crap. The gov has showed by it's actions and rhetoric that it doesn't give a flying fuck about the LGBT. In fact even with his own sister Abbott puts church doctrine over his relationship/acceptance of her. As it is in this case IMO; Abbott doesn't care less about us being hurt. All he cares about is the fuckin Catholic church and it's homophobic, anachronistic doctrines from the middle ages. Like a bloody mindless drone - "church says no".

Marriage Equality - Tasmania?

Hot on the heals of the GetUp add below, we have this extremely heartfelt and honest video from Marriage Equality Australia. Who says children are harmed by same sex couples! Seems there's a new initiative to revisit the recent marriage equality legislation in light of the ACT success.

"Australia, Say I Do"

This, from GetUp, is a summary of the ACT's marriage equality law passing parliament, what it means for same sex couples, and the challenges ahead with the Abbott gov wanting to pull it all to bits.

Both not well

I'm still feeling wiped out, have done for the last two or three days. Everything feels like this major effort to accomplish. I guess it's some kind of allergy or mild flu thing, muscles in my back and legs were aching like mad last night.

David has still been coughing a lot. Last night he had some kind of an attack in the middle of the night and had to get up from the coughing. He was scheduled to work yesterday and Thursday but I convinced him he was too sick to go. Has some kind of muscular thing happening in his foot too (forget what he called it) but it was very painful standing at work. He said he's had it before and just needed to be off it a couple of days.

Not that he's a good patient. Must be something about nurses :s  It's a bit hard to get him to go see a doctor when he knows what the story is anyway. 

Not that I'm a good patient at seeing doctors of late. I just get sick to death of seeing them and delay it for as long as I can.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Abbott puts PBS in danger

Abbott is eager to rush into signing what is called the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, which is a free trade agreement of the Pacific rim nations. He wants to sign by Christmas. However, he's putting back on the table in the negotiations what even the Howard gov wasn't willing to negotiate on. Namely, Investor-State dispute settlement provisions, which means foreign companies can sue Australian gov's if those companies can't have complete access to Australian markets.

The Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), provides access to affordable medicines to all Australians through the gov subsidising them. My HIV medication for example, would cost upwards of $10,000 a year if I had to pay full price for it. I pay only $11.80 for two months supply with the gov paying the rest. This means that people with HIV here can be treated properly for HIV, having follow on effects of reduced infection rates and overall better health of those HIV+. But this PBS of ours would be something that a US drug company may well consider as blocking their access to our markets and therefore sue the Australian gov.

I dunno WTF drugs Abbott is on, but to threaten something as hallowed here as our PBS to suck up to the US is fuckin obscene man. This from the AMWU:

The Abbott Government has agreed with foreign powers to put Investor-State Dispute Settlement provisions (ISDS) back on the table in its ongoing negotiations as part of Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement. 
The Rudd and Gillard governments, and even the Howard Government, regarded ISDS as a non-starter. ISDS would hand foreign companies the legal right to sue Australian governments for policies they think will block their unfettered access to our markets and any resulting potential profits. 
In its opposition to ISDS provisions, the AMWU is united with the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, consumer groups and international law experts. 
Many US drug companies regard the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, which subsidises medicines for all Australians, as an infringement on their free trade rights and are eager to challenge it if handed that right under the TPPA. 
ISDS provisions in the North American Free Trade Agreement are being used by a US mining company to sue the Quebec Government in Canada for $250 million because it dared to have an environmental review of shale oil mining. 
“We can’t let that happen here – imagine the implications for NSW, where the Government has moved to exclude large areas from the risks of coal seam gas drilling,” Mr Dettmer said. more
This whole "free trade" thing is bullshit anyway. Australia already has one of the most open economies in the world. Go tell the US to drop their import barriers before having them come here and attacking our PBS. It should be Fair Trade, not free trade.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Russia arrests Flying Spaghetti Monster marchers!

The Flying Spaghetti Monster

Finally! Religion adds something useful to society. On this occasion however it's not from any of the regular religions; they're all too distracted by what us poofs do in our bedrooms. No this time there's a new deity on the block, and in this video it shows an actual sighting of this deity. It is the Flying Spaghetti Monster (to be spoken with much awe and sanctity) who has it seems returned to us in these the last days.

Take heed oh unsaved ones. Repent of whatever and give yourself to the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Accept Him as your own personal saviour and ye shall be avoiding those terrible hell fires darlings. Praise Him, oh great one. The Flying Spaghetti Monster is great! He comes to our world, clothing Himself in spaghetti, eyes of meatballs, so that we will know He loves us.

BTW if you do become a Pastafarian you have to wear a colander on your head as part of being a sanctified worshipper. And these bumper stickers are a good way to let everyone know this wonderful spaghetti message of love.

We worship you of Flying one, we praise you on the web. We defend your righteousness.

NSW to debate gay marriage next week

Has the ACT opened the floodgates? It's only next week now (Oct 31st) and the New South Wales parliament will debate it's own marriage equality bill. From the sounds of it it's got an excellent chance of surviving an Abbott go high court challenge, after notes being taken I guess of the ACT legislation.
University of NSW constitutional law expert George Williams said the bill was in ''good shape'', having been carefully redrafted after an upper house inquiry. 
''They really have done everything they possibly could to give it the best chance of surviving,'' he said. ''There's no certainty about this. But it maximises the chance of it being constitutional and Bret Walker's advice is that it gets there. But really only the seven judges [of the High Court] can tell you that.'' 
Supporters are cautiously confident it will pass the upper house, but are uncertain it would get enough support in the lower house, despite Liberal, Nationals and Labor MPs having conscience votes. 
Independent MP Alex Greenwich, who is part of the working group, said there would be ''a strong community campaign and a strong parliamentary campaign'' to convince MPs to vote in support.Read more
I just love this cartoon. This the second time I've posted it here. Abbott may soon be swept away by a gay flood apocalypse? 

Top 5 US true conspiracy theories

It's too early for 9/11 to be on that list. Perhaps when it becomes declassified? Who knows if we'll ever find out what really happened that day. I do know though from my own experience, that the "conspiracy theory" label is tossed about and you're labelled with it for even questioning 9/11. Believe it or not, there was almost another 9/11 back in the sixties, that's if it counts shooting down a plane load of American citizens.....

Unions prepare for war with Abbott

There's a really easy site from the ACTU where you can join your union here.

Needless to say the unions in this country are preparing for war. In an email, this is what they're expecting the Abbott gov to do.

Reintroduce the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) and extend its shocking and discriminatory powers to include targeting our maritime unions; 
Launch a Productivity Commission Inquiry into all of our workplace rights contained in the Fair Work Act; 
Support a big push by employers to reduce or abolish penalty rates early next year when there is a scheduled review of all Awards; 
Go searching via "Inquiries" for allegations against unions and run a PR campaign against all of us whilst they are busy defending the abuse of their own travel entitlements
Launch a Commission of Audit to justify cutting services, cutting funding and significant job losses in the public sector
Scrap tax breaks on Superannuation for low income workers while also delaying the Superannuation contribution improvements; 
and Prepare for the new Senate to attack our rights at work.
If people want to hold on to penalty rates, entitlements, work conditions and all, the only way to do it under Abbott is to fight for it on a united front. The unions are preparing as we speak.

Oh yeah, this must be more of Abbott's Christian convictions again. Apparently it's the Christian thing to do to clobber the unions and their members to line the pockets of the well off. 

High Court challenge lodged against ACT

Abbott is digging in his heals over the Australian Capital Territory's just passed marriage equality laws and his sisters engagement to to her girlfriend. After lodging a high court challenge against the ACT's new laws putting himself on the wrong side of many Australians, he's also letting his doctrinal Catholic views come between the relationship between him and his sister. In a radio interview he's said this about attending the wedding (or "ceremony" as he puts it) of his sister and her partner:
Speaking with 3AW's Neil Mitchell, Mr Abbott said his sister Christine Forster's engagement to her partner Virginia Edwards will not stop his government from attempting to veto the ACT's newly passed same-sex marriage laws. 
"I am a traditionalist on this," Mr Abbott told 3AW, before revealing that "if there's a ceremony of some kind, yes, I will be there with a present. I'll do the right thing". 
But despite his well wishes, the Prime Minister says the nuptials will do little to change his view on the contentious matter. 
"From time immemorial in every culture that's been known, marriage, of that kind of solemnised relationship, has been between a man and a woman." more
Typical of religious blinkers. Doctrine comes before people. certainly the behaviour of a religious bigot. He won't even support his own sister. What's even more disappointing is the lame lie that marriage was always between a man and a woman. This is our Prime Minister, one who unashamedly lives his life by the teachings of the church, proclaiming the high moral ground, yet he doesn't even know his own fuckin Bible.

No Tony, even if you want to take the teachings from the Bible itself and not the church, marriage hasn't been between a man and a woman since "time immemorial". A Quick history lesson Tony from America's best Christian:

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Drone view of Lithgow bushfires

This is from an unmanned drone. No, this isn't Pakistan and it's not going to bomb anything. It shows very interesting footage of flying over bushfires in Lithgow west of Sydney.

Exhausted today

Woke up this morning later than usual, sat up on the edge of the bed and declared to David "I feel fuckin exhausted" and lay back down in bed. I'd slept normally over night, perhaps I was coming down with something? Got up soon after otherwise I'd could've easily lay there for another hour or so.

Been bumbling around all day, feels like being half asleep. Plonked in front of the telly half the day. Went out briefly to get something for dinner. David is working tonight and wasn't well either. I thought he should stay home but apparently he has a similar work ethic as I did.

Texas judge resigns from Republican party

Texas is one of those US states that is a Republican heartland? Correct me if I'm wrong. Anyway a Texas judge has resigned from the Republican party, ripping it another asshole on the way out. He says he'll run again as a Democrat. 
These principles have served as the bedrock upon which my rulings have been made. They are also my driving force. That is why I can no longer be a member of the Republican Party. For too long, the Republican Party has been at war with itself. Rational Republican beliefs have given way to character assassination. Pragmatism and principle have been overtaken by pettiness and bigotry. Make no mistake. I have not left the Republican Party. It left me.
I cannot tolerate a political party that demeans Texans based on their sexual orientation, the color of their skin or their economic status. I will not be a member of a party in which hate speech elevates candidates for higher office rather than disqualifying them. I cannot place my name on the ballot for a political party that is proud to destroy the lives of hundreds of thousands of federal workers over the vain attempt to repeal a law that will provide health care to millions of people throughout our country.
That is why I am announcing that I am now running for re-election as a Democratic candidate for County Court of Law 11 in the 2014 elections. My principles have led me to the Democratic Party. I can only hope that more people of principle will follow me. If you believe these values are your values, then I respectfully ask you to join me and let’s work together to keep dignity, fairness and respect for rule of law in our county courts. more

Cripes, it must be getting bad if Texas Republicans are deserting the ship. Perhaps those crazy extremists Republicans who held the world economy over a barrel to stop poor people getting health care, may want to reconsider their options next time?

Time to challenge Abbott's church "morality"?

With Abbott now firmly looking like the fossil he is, holding on to the last vestiges of yesteryear in Canberra and blocking the way to federal marriage equality by not allowing a conscience vote in his party, perhaps it's time the Australian people challenged the so called convictions of a Prime Minister locked in the religious past. There's nothing wrong with being locked in the religious past, as long as you don't expect everyone else around you to be as well. Abbott is supposed to be a leader for all the people in this country, then how can it be appropriate for him to impose his own fossilised church doctrines on the whole Australian society?

And what church are we talking about? What pillar of morality is he getting this stuff from? None other than that morales institution the Catholic church. Yes folks, you know that one who dissolved any claim it had to morality when it protected it's own paedophiles when they were caught with their pants down.This church has no claim to be any sort of moral compass to the Australian people. It's rotten to the core. What right does Abbott have to be counselled by the Catholic Church over matters of legislation so intimate as who people fall in love with?

Peter Norden at the Australian Marriage Equality site agrees: 

It is common knowledge that the new Prime Minister receives regular counsel from Cardinal George Pell, who is well known for his dismissive attitude to the long-established and respected Catholic tradition of “the centrality of individual conscience” in ethical decision making. 
The Cardinal believes that more weight should be given to what he regards as “absolute truth” in the face of the rising influence of relativism, libertarianism and secularism. 
Gone are the days when Catholic leaders had a recognised legitimacy to impose moral standards on their affiliated church members, as evidenced in Catholic Church teaching on matters of birth control or sexual morality generally. 
Most Australians would respect the fact that an organisation like the Catholic Church should be able to determine who is eligible for marriage, for those who desire to be united within a Catholic Church marriage ceremony. 
But their intention to impose their views on the wider Australian community in determining who can be married in Australia today should certainly be challenged. more
Like I said, he's welcome to have his own religion and his own views accordingly, but Australian society is much bigger and broader than a church guilty of institutionalised paedophilia. He could believe in the Great Spaghetti Monster for all I fuckin care, but if he imagines The Great Spaghetti monster only agrees with marriage between opposite sexes that's his nutty belief system not mine. 

I'm an Australian citizen too. I, and many others in this country, have rejected religion as a carriage service for morality. Have said a few times here that I'd put secular morality up against religion any day. 

If Abbott wants to lead Australia, he needs a much broader view of us. We're much bigger than the Catholic church.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Marriage equality passed in the ACT

Whatever happens from here, whatever court challenge Tony Abbott launches against it, this is an historic day for Australia. For the very first time in our history, it is now legal for gays to be married within the borders of our own country, albeit as yet just in the Australian Capital Territory. Nothing that Abbott does from here will take away the fact that the first state/territory in Australia has stood up and said that the love I have for David as just as real as the love I had for my wife.  
GAY and lesbian couples will be able to wed in the ACT after a bill to legalise same-sex marriage passed the territory's Legislative Assembly. 
People in the public gallery clapped and sang Love Is In The Air when the bill passed shortly before midday on Tuesday. 
The first marriages are likely to take place from December. - See more

Tasmania's euthanasia bill narrowly defeated

Tasmania nearly got the bill passed, if not for a couple of votes. From the Dying With Dignity email:
Last Thursday, the 17th October, The Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2013 was defeated in the Tasmanian House of Assembly, effectively 13 votes to 12. However, the formal vote will be reported as 13-11, because the Speaker, Michael Polley, came into the House at the very last minute in order to vote against the Bill and the Deputy Speaker, Tim Morris, had to stay in the Chair. After the vote, Tim Morris stood and stated he was in favour of the Bill. 
The bill was supported by seven of the ten Labor members and all five of the Greens' MPs. Three Labor MPs voted against the bill, including Mr Polley. All of the ten Liberal MPS voted against it, despite having been granted a conscience vote. 
The bill was a private one, co-sponsored by Labor Premier Lara Giddings and Greens leader Nick McKim, who has committed to re-tabling it in the next parliament if he is re-elected.
This is encouraging news. It shows at least some politicians in todays Australia are actually listening to what the people want. I expect it to be only a matter of time (dunno how much) before people in Australia will have a choice to die with dignity and not a long drawn out painful and humiliating death.

Abbott's gay sister gets engaged

I reckon there might be a bit of dissension in the Abbott family over marriage equality. His lesbian sister and her partner have become engaged to be married, despite it being currently illegal in Australia.

I'd like to be a fly on the wall at the next Christmas get together. They're already planning their wedding, And Tony Abbott is invited. This'll make a good photo op for the nightly news:

“And instead of bridesmaids, we’re going to have drag queens,” says Ms Edwards. 
Ms Forster, 49, said they will have an intimate wedding.
“It will be close friends and family. 
Tony and Margie will definitely be there,” she said. more
Today also the Australian Capital Territory is to vote on what is highly likely to be the first state in Australia to pass marriage equality law. You can watch live on the ACT website here. It's set for debate in the morning session, which starts at 10am eastern time.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Russian shitting themselves over Sochi?

Has the outrageous homophobic views of Russian lawmakers finally reached it's outer limit of influence? Are the Russians now shitting themselves over Sochi? Does money still talk? They've done nothing but dig in and reject the west's protests about their treatment of the LGBT so far. Suddenly, the homophobia and persecution of the LGBT appears to be running out of support.

The latest bill that was put up to be made into law, was an expansion of the "propaganda" law forbidding gays to be open about their sexuality to children. The logical progression of that law is to deny gay parents their own children, having the state take them. The later was the new law, but it failed to pass.

A Russian lawmaker has dropped a bill which proposed to strip parental rights away from gay couples with children. 
The bill, proposed by Russian politician Alexei Zhuravlyov, had not recieved sufficient public backing from politicians, and was withdrawn on Saturday. - See more
He's going to have another go at it and re-submit it. Perhaps the elephant in the room (Sochi) will triumph against such persecution of gays.

Bush fire asthma, NSW emergency

I've not seen it this bad in Sydney for about 20 years or so. The last time anything like this happened I remember going down to Coogee beach in the east of Sydney, and seeing burnt gum leaves in the sand from fires out west of Sydney. They'd been so hot that the leaves went right up into the atmosphere and eventually came back to earth in the east. This morning I opened the back door to put some washing in the machine and instantly smelt smoke. 

The sun was up but although yesterday was a lovely day here with clear skies, this morning the air was filled with haze from the smoke. Snapped this one quickly, looking across the road and the morning sun.

David gets asthma and has been coughing his guts up the last few days. Watering eyes, sneezing. Finally it dawned on me this morning looking at that haze, that that's why he's having this asthma thing happening. Even I've been getting allergies this year with it being on the verge of Spring. Have some times gone up to the shops and come back with my nose, eyes, just pissing out allergic fluid stuff.

Out west of Sydney there's currently two out of control fires. Here's a NASA satellite image from a couple of days ago. You can see cloud cover on the right, and the bushfire smoke to the left west of Sydney. The fires have been burning for a few days, but they're very worried about the next 2-3 days as hot winds from the middle of Australia blowing in will make things very bad for the fire fighters. Premier O'Farrell declared a state of emergency in New South Wales yesterday.

If you're interested, this is a live map from the fire service. The yellow fires are ones out of control. The red one is an emergency where people need to evacuate. Blue ones are under control. Click the fires to get info about them.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Abbott gov lies - asylum seekers "illegal"

I dunno what bloody drugs the Abbott gov is on. They're now trying to influence the way we talk about asylum seekers arriving by boat. It appears "boat people" wasn't a demonic enough name. Now the new Immigration Minister Scott Morrison (who I personally consider a complete racist who'd be better off in the 50's instead of preaching that crap to us now) has instructed his staff and dept to call these people "Illegal detainees". 
Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has instructed departmental and detention centre staff to publicly refer to asylum seekers as ‘‘illegal’’ arrivals and as ‘‘detainees’’, rather than as clients.
The directive has been criticised as a ‘‘profound’’ shift by a leading asylum seeker agency, which says the new terminology is designed to dehumanise people. 
In an email to detention centre staff, obtained by Fairfax Media, a department official writes: ‘‘The department has received correspondence from the minister clarifying his expectations about the department’s use of terminology. Accordingly we as [sic] that our service providers also adhere to the below instructions.’’ 
These include calling all people who arrive in Australia by boat ‘‘illegal maritime arrivals’’, a marked change from the more moderate language used under the previous government. When it came to office in 2007, Labor dropped the Howard government’s description of asylum seekers who arrived by boat as ‘‘illegal maritime arrivals’’, calling them ‘‘irregular maritime arrivals’’. It said this was done in recognition of the fact it is not illegal under Australian domestic law or international law to claim asylum. The new directive reverses this. 
The email to detention centre and Serco staff also instructs them to describe asylum seekers being held in detention centres in Australia as ‘‘detainees’’ rather than as ‘‘clients’’, as they had been called under Labor. Read more 
Don't mind the fact they're in now way "illegal", being as they're seeking asylum, and the only reason they're "detainees" is because they get locked up in jail here (many times including their children) because the gov has called them "illegal", and/or insinuated that somehow they're terrorists in disguise as evil boat people about to destroy our way of life......     bla...........

This is a complete and blatant lie. It wouldn't stand up in a court of law. Yet here we have the Immigration minister virtually dictating the language to be used. By it's mates in the press at the very least. Yet it's wrong. It's a fabricated lie.

Tony Blair's selfie

This is photoshopped. Interesting that that has to be even said. It's in front of burning Iraq oil fields. Despite not being real, it certainly sums up much of the Iraq war.

US shutdown - pollies paid, sick turned away

Yes we all know how those crazies keep harping on about "small gov", and leftie waste on programs for people who find themselves in unfortunate situations. Being as much of this rhetoric is coming from the US Republican crazies (those ones who consider gov programs as a waste of money - you know, like giving people access to health care) it seems very relevant to their efforts in shutting the gov down. Literally. Obamacare will ruin the nation, bla bla.....

But what parts of the gov stayed open, and what stayed shut? A fascinating report about the "essential services" that remained open, and the (I guess) "non-essential services" that were shut. It gives a clear picture of where this sort of crazy far right extreme capitalism can lead us. Unfortunately, particularly under Abbott, Australia isn't that far behind the US with this.

First, what was kept open, being "essential"? As I suspected, the pollies and the war machine that is the US stayed firmly paid and open.

Prioritized above all else were, of course, “national security” activities, deemed beyond essential under the banner of “protecting life and property.” Surveillance at the National Security Agency, for instance, continued, uninterrupted, though it was liberated from its obviously nonessential and, even in the best-funded of times, minimal responsibility to disclose those activities under the Freedom of Information Act. Such disclosure was judged superfluous in a shutdown era, while spying on Americans (not to speak of Brazilians, Mexicans, Europeans, Indians, and others around the planet) was deemed indispensible. 
Then there was the carefully orchestrated Special Operations Forces mission in Libya to capture a terror suspect off the streets of Tripoli in broad daylight, proving that in a shutdown period, the U.S. military wasn’t about to shut off the lights. And don’t forget the nighttime landing of a Navy SEAL team in Somalia in an unsuccessful attempt to capture a different terrorist target. These activities were deemed essential to national survival, even though the chances of an American being killed in a terrorist attack are, at the moment, estimated at around one in 20 million. Remember that number, because we’ll come back to it. 
Indeed, only for a brief moment did the shutdown reduce the gusher of taxpayer dollars, billions and billions of them, into the Pentagon’s coffers. After a couple days in which civilian Defense Department employees were furloughed, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced that 90% of them could resume work because they “contribute to morale, well-being, capabilities, and readiness of service members.” This from the crew that, according to Foreign Policy, went on a jaw-dropping, morale-boosting $5 billion spending spree on the eve of the shutdown to exhaust any remaining cash from the closing fiscal year, buying spy satellites, drones, infrared cameras and, yes, a $9 million sparkling new gym for the Air Force Academy, replete with CrossFit space and a “television studio.” more
Now, compare that with what closed, was "non-essential"
In Arkansas, for instance, federal funds for infant formula to feed 2,000 at-risk newborn babies were in jeopardy, as were 85,000 meals for needy children in that state. Nutrition for low-income kids was considered nonessential even though one in four children in this country doesn’t have consistent access to nutritious food, and medical research makes it clear that improper nutrition stunts brain architecture in the young, forever affecting their ability to learn and interact socially. Things got so bad that a Texas couple dug into their own reserves to keep the program running in six states. 
If children in need were “furloughed,” so were abused women. Across the country, domestic violence shelters struggled to provide services as federal funds were cut off. Some shelters raised spare change from their communities to keep the doors open. According to estimates, as many as six million women each year are victims of domestic violence. On average in this country, three women are murdered by an intimate partner every day. But funding for domestic violence protection: nonessential. 
Funds for early childhood education, too, were shut off. Seven thousand low-income kids from 11 states were turned away. Their “head start” was obviously less than essential, even though evidence shows that early education for at-risk children is the best way to help them catch up with their wealthier peers in cognition and adds to their odds of staying out of prison in later life. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) wasn’t accepting new patients because of the shutdown. Typically 200 new patients arrive every week for experimental treatment. On average around 30 of them are children, 10 of whom have cancer. 
Cancer, in fact, is the leading cause of death among children ages one to 14. But treatment for them didn’t qualify as essential. Unlike fighting terrorism—remember the less-likely-than-being-struck-by-lightning odds of one in 20 million—treating kids with cancer didn’t make the cut as “protecting life and property.” more
That's just obscene. 

So not only was the world watching in disbelief that the US gov was in this shutdown crisis whilst the world teetered near economic catastrophe because of it, I'd say we're equally as flabbergasted at the dissociation between the politicians closing the gov and the people that voted for them. To deny a child, citizen of your own country, cancer treatment whilst maintaining a war machine and politicians pay is immoral in the extreme. Indeed, the US system is broken. Trapped in an ideological war with itself and an imaginary threat of "socialism" or "communism". 

It's put perfectly in the article:  

So let this be the last time we as a nation let our elected officials cut nutrition assistance for vulnerable children at the same moment that they protect deep tax loopholes for the wealthy and corporations. And let’s call recent events in Washington just what they are: breathtaking greed paired with a callous lack of concern for the most vulnerable among us. more

Saturday, 19 October 2013

US Tea Party wants class action against gays

Wow. Just wow.......  This is from a Tea Party conference broadcast nation wide in the US. Another example of the wacked out far right extremism coming out of the US Republican Party. Indeed if people like this have a voice in it then surely they've gone far far down the road of becoming virtually irrelevant. Who the hell thinks like that over there, except obsessed fuckwits like this? I can't imagine these views being representative at all of the average American, surely not. If not then why the hell is this nut getting a national voice.

I'm no lawyer but I'm pretty sure he'd get taken to court if he said that in the media here in Australia. It wouldn't be the first time a right wing nut here was dragged through court for inciting hatred against a minority. I don't understand how he can get away with this over there.

“Peter,” Scarborough said, “the whole issue of a class action lawsuit, you and I have talked about this a little bit. I just wonder if you’ve explored that, talked to anyone about it. Obviously, statistically now even the Centers for Disease Control verifies that homosexuality much more likely leads to AIDS than smoking leads to cancer. And yet the entire nation has rejected smoking, billions of dollars are put into a trust fund to help cancer victims and the tobacco industry was held accountable for that. Any thoughts on that kind of an approach?” more 

US conservative uses gov health care

I got sort of interested in this Obamacare debate in the US after it was a key issue in the gov shutdown that was on the verge of sending the world economy into another GFC. Not something to be sneezed at. Since then I've come across some more of the weird rhetoric by the conservatives there being opposed to any gov involvement in healthcare.

Here's one: 

He might eventually sign up for health insurance on an exchange, or Medicare when he gets old enough. “I am not a martyr. I’ll have to deal with it and maybe I’ll be forced to get on the bandwagon and say fine,” he said. “But we have not addressed the problem. I honestly believe that socialized medicine will break this country,” he adds, referring to the bitter debates over Medicare in the 1960s. more 
"Break the country"? What? Um, how about stopping blowing countries up? Those bombs are expensive you know, not to mention people's lives.

Here's another from the same article:

“I don’t think that the government should be involved in health care or health insurance,” says Greg Collett, a 41-year-old software developer in Caldwell, Idaho, who would rather pay the fine for now -- $95 the first year -- than signup. more
It actually turns out that this bloke Collet is from the Tea Party (the  wacko wing nut version of GetUp here) who's one of those people proclaiming the end of civilisation as we know it if they get health money off the gov. But wait.......

His family is covered by gov health insurance. Dead set.

"I don’t think that the government should be involved in health care or health insurance," Greg Collett, 41, of Caldwell told NBC News earlier this month. 
Collett, a self-employed software developer by trade, went on to note that his ten children — two biological, eight adopted — are all recipients of health insurance through the government's Medicaid program, and acknowledged that "there are a lot of people out there that’ll cry foul" over the dissonance. more
Those nutty Republicans need to ditch their ideology and take a look at the cold hard facts. The US health system is fucked, has been for a long time. The US social security system is fucked and has been for a long time. Congress and gov, stop making stupid wars and look after your own people.

BTW Australia has had gov involvement in health care for zonks. More so in the early '80's when the Hawke Labor gov introduced Medicare. Strangely, the country isn't broke. In fact we have fuck all gov debt here. Look it up.