Wednesday, 31 July 2013

CSG: The campaign against the campaigners‏

Unions stand up for penalty rates

Russian lawmaker - enforce gay law in Olympics

It looks like the Russians themselves can't even decide what to do about their brand new elephant in the room; the anti-gay propaganda law. Despite the IOC bending over backwards to get assurances from the highest levels of the Russian gov that visitors and athletes won't be subject to their foul new law, a leading Russian lawmaker disagrees, saying if there's a law you can't be selective about it. Pretty ironic, since they're being selective about gays.
Vitaly Valentinovich Milonov told Russian media outlets Interfax and Radio Ekho Moskvy (Radio Echo of Moscow) in separate interviews that he was opposed to any maneuvers by the government that would effectively suspend enforcement of the law, which he said would apply to the guests and athletes of the Sochi Winter Olympics.

“I haven’t heard any comments from the government of the Russian Federation, but I know that it is acting in accordance with Russian law,” saild Milonov. “And if a law has been approved by the federal legislature and signed by the president, then the government has no right to suspend it. It doesn’t have the authority.” 
Milonov’s remarks follow an announcement Friday by the International Olympic Committee that it had received “assurances from the highest level” of the Russian government that athletes and spectators attending the the 2014 winter games would be exempt from the anti-gay statue that outlaws “homosexual propaganda.” more
Back to the IOC for more clarification or something?  :s

Bradley Manning guilty - "espionage"

The Empire has delivered a predictable Empire verdict against whistle-blower Bradley Manning. He's now facing a sentence of over 100 years, despite being found not guilty of "aiding the enemy" which carries the death penalty.

For the Empire cheer squad, this will be marvellous news. For the rest of us who have a brain, this is a huge slap in the face for democracy and freedom of information. Despite the Empire being caught with it's pants down and exposed to the world for the heartless thugs that run it, the Empire will accept no criticism and has punished a patriot who genuinely cares about his country and what it's doing to innocent people. Despite Manning being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by countries outside the Empire, the Empire will have none of it.

As soon as I read the news I just went straight to Wikileaks to see what Assange had to say about it. Couldn't be bothered with the lame reporting of it in the main stream media. Assange is, to put it mildly, scathing of said Empire. Follow the link if you want to read his whole statement:
Bradley Manning’s alleged disclosures have exposed war crimes, sparked revolutions, and induced democratic reform. He is the quintessential whistleblower. 

This is the first ever espionage conviction against a whistleblower. It is a dangerous precedent and an example of national security extremism. It is a short sighted judgment that can not be tolerated and must be reversed. It can never be that conveying true information to the public is ’espionage’.

 ............................... 

The only ’victim’ was the US government’s wounded pride, but the abuse of this fine young man was never the way to restore it. Rather, the abuse of Bradley Manning has left the world with a sense of disgust at how low the Obama administration has fallen. It is not a sign of strength, but of weakness. 

The judge has allowed the prosecution to substantially alter the charges after both the defense and the prosecution had rested their cases, permitted the prosecution 141 witnesses and extensive secret testimony. The government kept Bradley Manning in a cage, stripped him naked and isolated him in order to crack him, an act formally condemned by the United Nations Special Rapporteur for torture. This was never a fair trial. more

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Link to Russian profile - gay bashing

Has been widely reported in western media of the atrocities happening to LGBT teens in Russia, involving Russian social media. Via Towerload, here is a link to one of those Russian social media profiles who are torturing LGBT youth and putting it up back online. It includes video and images, and gives a small glimpse into a vile world. Towerload reports:
The page belongs to an individual called Misha Krasnov, who, according to the profile, currently lives in the city of Kamensk. Krasnov's profile contains several posts in support of the group Occupy-Pedofilyay Kamensk-Ural, just one of the many groups perpetrating acts of entrapment, assault, and battery against gay men and teens. Many of these posts are videos similar to the one we circulated last week, in which extremists lure their victim online before harassing them in person and recording it on video. One trend that seems to be emerging, based on the videos and photos, appears to be the use of both sex toys and urine in these attacks in addition to physical violence. more
I can't imagine such a page going unnoticed in Australia, and the police investigating and arresting the culprit. However, as we've seen in my post a couple back, the police seem more interested in sodomising Olympic workers that arresting someone who's obviously a danger to society. Ironic, that they would turn a blind eye to gays being persecuted citing them as a danger to society, when someone like this does what he fuckin likes.

Here's the link to that fuckwit Misha Krasnov's site again, just be warned it's not pretty.
http://vk.com/id108649789

Cat TV

It was a lovely sunny winters day in Sydney yesterday, and unseasonably warm. So I opened the back door and put the cat chair there that Felix likes to sit on and watch outside (cat TV). Pretty soon he was joined by Natasha:


Outside there was a bird alert go out. These Indian Minors come around and squawk at Felix sitting in the chair alerting birds nearby of cat danger. With two cats now looking the birds started going totally ballistic, two squawking their heads off on the washing line whilst others came to look. So we put the third cat there, Kiera, and they were all intent on staring these birds down.


Very cute :)

Monday, 29 July 2013

Russian cops sodomize Sochi worker

Fuck, just when you thought you'd heard it all. Yes it happened. The worker received intestinal injuries from the insertion of a "foreign object"; a fireman's crowbar.
But when Demerchyan, a 38-year-old Russian national, arrived the next day expecting to receive the 20,000 rubles ($600) he says he is owed, he was greeted by several burly policemen. He was cuffed and taken to the police station, where they urged him to sign a document admitting to the theft of the wire. When he refused, he claims, the officers put on boxing gloves and pummeled him, cracking two of his teeth . ”I lost consciousness,” he tells Vocativ. 
When Demerchyan awoke, he again refused to confess to the crime he says he did not commit. The police then allegedly bent him over, shoved his face to the ground and sodomized him with a red fireman’s crowbar. more
As a unionist in a civilised country I find this shit really fuckin out there. Quite apart from the gay persecution that Russia has embarked on, it's also trampling all over worker's rights in the most extreme sense. This is not something that would happen in a civilised country such as Australia. Yet it's happening in Russia, in the very city that the Olympic games will be held in Sochi.

Are the Olympics about money or human rights?

3 sexually active guys - video

This is the new video from ACON, designed to raise awareness about getting regular sexual health checks when HIV is increasing.


Sunday, 28 July 2013

LGBT teens tortured on video - Russia

This shit is so wrong I dunno WTF to say. How the fuck can any gay person, foreign or domestic, be safe in Russia now with neo-nazi thugs luring teenagers online and torturing them? Are the police going to suddenly eradicate these hate groups by 2014 in Sochi?


Infamous Russian ultranationalist and former skin head, Maxim Martsinkevich, known under the nickname "Cleaver" (or "Tesak" in Russian) spearheaded a country wide campaign against LGBT teens using a popular social network VK.com to lure unsuspected victims through personal ads. Mr. Martsinkevich's numerous and enthusiastic followers started two projects: "Occupy Pedophilyaj" and "Occupy Gerontilyaj". Allegedly they are trying to identify and report pedophiles using these "movements". In reality, over 500 online groups have been created inside VK.com social network in order to organize illegal militant groups in every Russian city. Oddly enough their idea of fighting pedophiles targets exclusively male teenagers who respond to the same-sex personal ads and show up for a date. Captured victims are bullied and often tortured while being recorded on video. These self-proclaimed "crime fighters" perform their actions under the broad day light, often outside and clearly visible to general public that indifferently passes by or even commend them. Video recordings of bullying and tortures are freely distributed on the Internet in order to out LGBT teens to their respective schools, parents and friends. Many victims were driven to suicides, the rest are deeply traumatized. more 
Don't watch this video if you're queasy:


Gay bars dump Russian Vodka


So far, bars in NYC, LA, Miami, Vancouver, Toronto, London, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, San Diego and Sydney have all participated in the ban. more
Looks like the Vodka dump campaign is taking hold. And this from Australia: 
Melbourne gay bar the Laird Hotel announced that it “would no longer order any new Smirnoff products” in protest on Facebook this afternoon. 

“Given Russia’s war on the GLBTI community, we are strongly in favour of boycotting any products which are Russian owned or produced. We are currently speaking to our liquor provider and investigating removing Smirnoff from the Laird and replacing it with an alternative vodka,” the Laird said. 

Sydney’s Gay Bar did likewise, posting that “we wanted to confirm we DO NOT sell RUSSIAN Vodka. We’re proud to use an Australian brand which is totally organic”. more

Post vomit

Well the horribleness of yesterday's illness isn't so bad today. Am still feeling pretty shaken up though, both physically and in the head. It's not every day you get flattened like that.

At least it happened at a friends place and not someone who didn't know me so well. He's HIV+ as well and in fact had only recently spent a night in hospital after a similar episode of his own. Think that's why maybe I was so freaked out about maybe having to call the ambulance as I just don't like going to hospital at all.

His take on it was that I needed to organise my HIV pill taking a bit better. Which is hard. They still make me feel sick in the mornings, some days worse than others, and the last thing I feel like doing if I'm almost throwing up from the pills is to eat something. Last night I just boiled some potatoes and carrots and had them plain. Worked well (although David was horrified at the plainess). Had some toast this morning and see how we go today.

I had some beers at the pub with David before it in the afternoon, but no more than any other time. Suppose it didn't help....

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Horribly sick

I'm sitting here in bed after David ordered me to bed for an hour or so. Have earlier had such a bad experience I nearly rang the ambulance to go to hospital. I feel like I'm in shock after it, told David this and said I was going to bed and taking the computer. After all, the whole reason I started this blog was as a way to get my head around my life.

We were at a friends place and I started feeling really bloody sick. Tried to ignore it as you don't like to fall sick at a friends place really do you. Yes the friends is fine with it but I always feel like I'm putting them out somehow. Felt more and more sick, and in the end had to go and spew in the toilet (how embarrassing). It was a bad spew, mostly just fluid (beer and water) but very intense. Came out afterwards and sat down, only to have to go back to the toilet a few minutes later.

This spew, although less in volume, was much worse. As it seemed like there was nothing left to spew, it felt like my stomach was so upset that it was about to spew itself out of my mouth. Much of it was dry retching, but the intensity and energy consumed by such spewing exhausted me. Afterwards I sat next to the toilet for a few minutes as I was so tired from it I didn't feel I could get up.

David and our friend had been in checking on me through this time sounding increasingly worried. After the second spew I staggered out to the lounge and layed straiht down, panting and crying. David sat with me. He seemed to have it all under control as a nurse, until he asked if I was ready to walk to the bus yet and I said "another 5 minutes or so". He started looking very concerned then.

My hands and feet started feeling a touch numb. David got me to sit up, straightly. The numbness subsided. About ten minutes later we left, albeit I felt I was in shock. There's only 2 other times in my life I've ever spewed that bad. Both times were food poisoning. David and I eat the same stuff so it wasn't that this time.

Have decided to go see my doctor next week and get some bloods done. Am about due for the three monthly analysis of my HIV.

Show your pride. Share your love

NSW closer to gay marriage

Australian states have had one failure after another with marriage equality. Years ago the ACT (Australian Capitol Territory) went ahead and legalised it, and for a time same sex couples could get married there. Unfortunately that fossil John Howard used his position in Canberra's ruling party to overturn it, can't remember the details. Lately we've had marriage equality biting the dust in both Tasmania (by only one vote I think) and South Australia.

Now however, it may be that the great state of New South Wales may just get marriage equality over the line. The NSW Premier Barry O'Farrel has said that he will "go it alone" if an enquiry showed that it was constitutional to do so, and (unlike his fellow leader Tony Abbott in the federal parliament) he will allow a conscience vote for his party members.

The findings of the cross party inquiry looking into whether gay marriage would be constitutional if NSW "goes it alone" has been released. They have found that it is indeed constitutional:
Premier Barry O'Farrell has previously said he would prefer federal parliament to change the Marriage Act. 

But he said he would be prepared to go it alone if the inquiry found the state can act by itself. 

He's promised a conscience vote on the issue, with a revised bill expected to be introduced in the next session of parliament. 

On Friday, the report from the Social Issues Committee Inquiry found it was constitutionally valid for NSW to legislate on same-sex marriage. 

However, it warned such a move could trigger a challenge in the High Court. 

The findings put to rest arguments that federal parliament has sole responsibility for marriage equality laws, and that progressing same-sex marriage isn't a matter for the states. 
In a statement, the cross-party working group - comprised of MPs from across the political spectrum including Labor, Liberal, the Greens and an independent - welcomed the findings. more
I'm not holding my breath after all the disappointments, but this one is starting to look pretty promising.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Bridesmaids Food Poisoning Scene ***DO NOT WATCH IF YOU'RE

Dump Russian Vodka - Queer Nation

The Queer Nation group has started a campaign in reaction to Russian's demonisation and persecution of LGBT people. Here's a couple of graphics I found on the net.




Here's what was sent in an email to people: 
In light of the Putin regime’s attacks on the LGBT community, Queer Nation is calling for a worldwide boycott of Russian vodka. 

Do not buy or drink Russian vodka: Brands include Russian Standard and Stolichnaya. 

Demand that bar owners do not buy or serve Russian vodka. 

Ask your favorite club promoters, DJs, and entertainers to insist that Russian brands are not served in the venues in which they perform. 

It’s time to target Russia. Dump Russian vodka! Queer Nation is asking that consumers worldwide dump Russian vodka. 

Queer Nation expects to have additional actions that the LGBT community can take to make one message clear -- violence against the LGBT community anywhere will be met with swift and direct action. more

The Golden Girls on Marriage Equality

I love the Golden Girls. This is way before the big surge forward of marriage equality of late, but they get it so right.


The truth about school?

Haven't thought about this at all, but it's an interesting opinion. It would certainly give credence to the idea of being brainwashed by the state. 

 

My sister is a school teacher here in Sydney. Perhaps I'll ask her views on it all next time we chat. I know she gets very frustrated at times with the system and teaching kids in it. School has changed a lot in the last few years. Apparently blackboards are becoming a thing of the past and they all sit there in front of computers.

Perhaps a bit of education about sexually transmitted diseases wouldn't go astray either, specifically about HIV. The level of ignorance that still exists in many parts of the community is staggering.

Media reporting of Edward Snowden

Abby Martin rips into the media (I guess the US media) about how they're reporting on the Edward Snowden saga.


 
Not that I watch much news here in Australia, but what I have seen on Snowden on the telly are just brief little reports here and there.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Organising the money

My pension has gone up to the correct amount. This is after I had to wait from August last year to June this year getting only a pittance (about $200 a fortnight) as Centrelink made me use up most of my redundancy before getting the proper amount. Gov penny pinching I thought, but there was nothing I could do about it. I've at least got a bit of it left as much of the time I wasn't going out or anything before I met David.

So anyway I've bitten the bullet and done some little budget thing online. A bit worried about where the money is going after my last debt crisis, which took months to sort out and involved a financial counsellor. It was a stressful time, staring down the banks via the financial guy. I'd not want to go through all of that again, so I really do need to sort out the money now it's nearly run out.

Am sort of concerned a bit as at the moment David is getting absolutely no income. Have emailed the solicitor to see if there's been any response from his work to that letter they sent last week, but have heard nothing. He has lined up other things and there's money coming from sold stuff shortly so I guess I'm just a bit concerned over nothing. 

So anyway it was pretty simple doing the budget. In fact the site is called "BudgetSimple". It's about as simple as you can get and easy as fuck to use. Just right for me with my head the way it is.

Petition to stop sponsorship - Sochi

Well, I wonder where this will go then? Perhaps the old hip pocket nerve might catch their attention in Russia? This petition calls on the sponsors of the Sochi Olympics to pull their sponsorship:
Coca-Cola, VISA, Procter&Gamble, Samsung, and Panasonic: Stand for Human Rights and Pull Sponsorship from the 2014 Winter Olympics! sign here
Also there's a whole bunch of pictures here of what's happening to gays in Russia:

Some gay rights activists like RUSA LGBT have asked corporate sponsors and partners of the Sochi Olympics -- including Coca-Cola, VISA, Omega Watches, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Procter & Gamble, Samsung and Panasonic -- to withdraw their support and funding unless Russia can ensure the safety of all visitors to the Olympic Games. A poll conducted Tuesday by the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper, meanwhile, found that 56 percent of readers believed the U.S. should boycott the Olympics altogether because of Russia’s anti-gay law. more

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

What about gay asylum seekers?

All the racists are jumping for joy over Rudd's new hardline stance on asylum seekers coming here by boat. Abbott is completely flustered. The new plan is that we won't take any of them and fuck them off to Papua New Guinea. 

There's lots of things wrong with this, but probably one of the most obvious ones is the anti-gay laws that PNG has. If you arrive by boat, and are gay, fleeing persecution because of being gay, how can the Australian gov then send you to a country that persecutes gays? 
Papua New Guinea jails people for homosexual acts for up to 14 years and LGBT and intersex rights group Community Action Against Homophobia (CAAH) condemned Prime Minister Kevin Rudd for the new policy announcement. 

‘This is a humanitarian disaster,’ CAAH co-convener Cat Rose said. 

‘Australia has resettled a number of gay refugees who have arrived on our shores, recognizing the reality of danger that homophobic persecution has put them in their home country.’ 

‘It was bad enough when they were locked up, interrogated and challenged about their sexuality by our government. But now they are going to have to plead their case as refugees in a country that can imprison them for the reason they give for fleeing. The Australian government has been more than happy to prop up a reactionary and homophobic government as it continues to act as PNG's colonial overlord, it should take full blame for the situation there. 

‘Lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and intersex people report difficulty finding employment and facing societal stigma in PNG, where illegality forces homosexual life underground. To make matters worse PNG has a high prevalence of AIDS, but people live in fear of seeking testing due to the illegal status of their sex lives. 

'It is an absolute disgrace. Rudd's support for marriage equality will mean little if he banishes those of us unlucky enough to be born in countries that persecute us to this kind of life.’ - See more

First foreigners arrested - Russia's gay laws

Four Dutch citizens have been arrested in Russia and fined. Their crime? "Violating the country’s anti-gay propaganda law."
The Russian online newspaper Lenta reported that police detained the activists at a summer camp in the city of Murmansk in the northwestern part of the country during a human rights seminar in which a local LGBT advocacy group was participating. The publication said Kris van der Veen, president of LGBT Groningen, a Dutch LGBT advocacy organization, gave a lecture on gay rights. more
Anyone feel like visiting the Sochi Olympics?

McDonalds lies to US investors?

McDonalds, that bastion of corporate food production for the masses, has lied to it's investors in the US during a presentation about it's performance in Australia. They used figures that were so glaringly wrong that the only conclusion I can come to is that they were lying. If it looks like a duck.....

Australians are going to McDonalds less and less. Rather than come up with a realistic reason why this might be so (um, you know, like "our food is shit and people don't like it") they have blamed their poor performance on the Australian economy slowing and high youth unemployment; pretty much saying that it's not their fault, it's the economy stupid.

Whether people are slowing down on fast food because of the economy or not, who can tell? Has there been any sort of study done about this? Or are we just getting corporate bullshit feed to us by a pontificating multi-national company? Given the case that they didn't get the basic economic numbers right in their US presentation, my assumption is the later.

McDonalds told the audience that youth unemployment in Australia is 25.5%. Therefore youth aren't buying fast food like they used to. Sounds sort of logical, apart from one big elephant in the room. Australia's youth unemployment is actually only 11.6%,  but don't tell that to the brainwashed US investors..... 
"Australia is another one of those markets that at this point in time we see from their perspective you're seeing some softer – clearly a softer economy," Mr Thompson said during a presentation for McDonald's second quarter earnings. 

"Youth unemployment in Australia is about 25.5%. So they're facing something, unemployment for them has risen." 

According to recent figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics there were 116,500 unemployed 15- to 19-year-olds, equating to 14.5 per cent of those in the labour force. The ABS reported the youth unemployment rate in May was 11.6 per cent. Read more

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

GetUp response to Rudd's asylum-phobe

https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/refugees/the-day-australia-closed-the-door/when-australia-closed-the-door?t=dXNlcmlkPTMxNTI1OCxlbWFpbGlkPTIyMDE=

Felix and Natasha - love struck

The romance is still developing between these two. They play a lot with each other, chasing each other around the house. The heater though is still where they get ever closer to each other. This is the most recent, they're nearly kissing, looking into each others eyes....

There are "Aaawwww" 's aplenty amongst the human members of the household  :) 


The View takes on a homophobe

I love what Whoopi says in this. Is what people have been saying for years about people wanting to legislate private bedroom activity.


Monday, 22 July 2013

The price of tolerating Russia's intolerance?

A most interesting opinion piece in the New York Times. Obviously the author, Harvey Fierstein, knows rather a lot more about this subject than I do from my humble abode in Sydney. I haven't heard of this before, possibly an even worse crackdown on gays than anyone could have imagined:
Finally, it is rumored that Mr. Putin is about to sign an edict that would remove children from their own families if the parents are either gay or lesbian or suspected of being gay or lesbian. The police would have the authority to remove children from adoptive homes as well as from their own biological parents. more
I sincerely hope this is just a rumour.....

But now the calls for a boycott of the Sochi Russian Olympics are gaining strength. Fierstein sums it up thus: 
Nevertheless, the rest of the world remains almost completely ignorant of Mr. Putin’s agenda. His adoption restrictions have received some attention, but it has been largely limited to people involved in international adoptions. 

This must change. With Russia about to hold the Winter Games in Sochi, the country is open to pressure. American and world leaders must speak out against Mr. Putin’s attacks and the violence they foster. The Olympic Committee must demand the retraction of these laws under threat of boycott. 

In 1936 the world attended the Olympics in Germany. Few participants said a word about Hitler’s campaign against the Jews. Supporters of that decision point proudly to the triumph of Jesse Owens, while I point with dread to the Holocaust and world war. There is a price for tolerating intolerance. more

Medication alert!

HIV medication isn't something to be done casually. Hence when David told me about his running out of money I was all to happy to help him out, namely to pay for his next two months meds. Not that I'm in a financial position to be doing that all the time, but there are times when you just have to do what needs to be done. Either he runs out of meds or it goes on my credit card; about $70 I think for him.

The problem is he's been left in the lurch by his work as it currently stands. He can't go back as it's too stressful with all the discrimination that went on there, but technically he's still employed there. So without a letter of termination from his work he can't get a cent from Centrelink. This will be a further issue with the stigma and discrimination from his workmates.

It's worked out well in a way though as my next psychology appt is today so we can go get it then.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Australia part of US drone strikes

It's probably not much news in Australia, as Pine Gap here has long been known to be part of US intelligence around the world. But this seems like the US is really pushing the friendship with Australia. It's been revealed now that the intelligence provided by Pine Gap is part of the US drone strike program.
Central Australia's Pine Gap spy base played a key role in the United States' controversial drone strikes involving the ''targeted killing'' of al-Qaeda and Taliban chiefs, Fairfax Media can reveal. 

Former personnel at the Australian-American base have described the facility's success in locating and tracking al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders - and other insurgent activity in Afghanistan and Pakistan - as ''outstanding''. 

A Fairfax Media investigation has now confirmed a primary function of the top-secret signals intelligence base near Alice Springs is to track the precise ''geolocation'' of radio signals, including those of hand-held radios and mobile phones, in the eastern hemisphere, from the Middle East across Asia to China, North Korea and the Russian far east. 

This information has been used to identify the location of terrorist suspects, which is then fed into the United States drone strike program and other military operations.  

The drone program, which has involved more than 370 attacks in Pakistan since 2004, is reported to have killed between 2500 and 3500 al-Qaeda and Taliban militants, including many top commanders. 
But hundreds of civilians have been also killed, causing anti-American protests in Pakistan, diplomatic tensions between Washington and Islamabad and accusations the ''drone war'' has amounted to a program of ''targeted killing'' outside a battlefield. This year, the Obama administration acknowledged four American citizens had been killed by strikes in Pakistan and Yemen since 2009. Read more
The gov hasn't got the balls to do it, but I'm sure I'm not the only Australian who thinks this is a bridge too far. Why should we, down under, be a part of something so wrong? Why should we be made targets from the hate generated by these killings? Why should we have any part at all in killing innocent children in an undeclared war?

Providence — short film about Bradley Manning

Enrol to vote online

This is just a link sent in a union email, but you can enrol to vote online by going there:
http://www.aec.gov.au/enrol/ 

I know there's fuck all choice federally, and the main parties are so busy in political one-upmanship that they don't seem to give s shit about us mere constituents that pay the price for their political games, but I do feel that we haven't got much of a right to complain about the pollies if we don't vote.

Besides it's compulsory. I got fined $50 the other month because I completely forgot to vote in the council elections. Could've challenged it with my health and brains the way they are, but didn't want to get into some drawn out waste of time thing.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Stand up!

This would be something David and I would do  :)  


The Latest on Climate - GetUp!

Well now that I've trashed both major parties in the last post, this was a refreshing change. No asylum seekers were politicised in the making of this video.


I will never vote for Rudd

Kevin Rudd, apparently Labor's saviour after the party ditched Gillard, has released one of the most appalling asylum seekers policies ever to enter into the political arena in Canberra. Moving to neutralise the issue and not give Tony Abbott any steam with it, he has come up with what I can only call "disgusting":
As of today asylum seekers who come here by boat without a visa will never be settled in Australia more
I never imagined such an abandonment of vulnerable people could happen in Australia. I never thought an Australian gov would stoop so low in the appeasement of Australian racists. Howard's demonisation of asylum seekers is nothing compared to this.

Where is the compassion? A country of only 23 million people, and those seeking asylum to our shores are told to fuck off. This election looks like it's going to be a putrid race to the bottom.

Abbott has led the charge from opposition, using the issue as a vote gainer. Labor has followed, stupidly thinking that racist appeasement is the way to the Lodge. 

Both of them, politicising the lives of the most vulnerable, call themselves Christians.....

Friday, 19 July 2013

Irish MP Clare Daly - full interview

The other day I noted a woman in the Irish parliament who wasn't at all afraid of telling it like it is, Clare Daley.

Here's an interview with her after the event.


Kermit - equality video

I absolutely love this:


The first letter is away

Yesterday the letter finally came in the email for David to check over in regards to his discrimination case. ACON said it was coming two days before so David ended up ringing them and was told the letter was being finalised and would be sent shortly.

David is one of these people of which the computer revolution has passed him by. He just has no interest in it. Says he can save a life though which is more important. Hasn't even got an email address FFS! WTF? I've had a bit of a shocked/horrified conversation with him about it, and that he really should join the 21st century, but he just doesn't care. So he's using my email address currently in all the dealings about the case. I don't mind, glad to help him out in fact given how fucked over he was. And no, it's not the "peterhiv" email. He doesn't have a smart phone either, but that I really like as neither do I; last thing I want to do is spend every bit of my spare time fucking around with a bloody phone.

Anyway so I'm sitting next to him in the lounge and check the email a bit later after he rang ACON about it, and there it was. Opened the file and handed him the computer (working through the WiFi) with his letter there on the screen to read. He looked a bit stunned that it could be viewed so easily without the PC being plugged into anything.

The letter was well written and thought out. He said it was all fine and I replied to the email "Fax away". ACON would have faxed it to his work yesterday afternoon.

Again, not going into detail, other than to relate a very general point mentioned in the letter. That being that HIV is still stigmatised in Australia and what had happened to David continued that stigma. And discrimination often follows stigmatisation. David was made to feel exactly that; like he was at fault, that he'd done something wrong. I explained to him that he hadn't, and in fact had done everything right. He even got a blood test a few days after it happened which came out with an undetectable viral load.

Fortunately in Australia there are very strong laws about this sort of thing, with some of the legislation directed specifically at HIV+ people.

I'd like to be a fly on the wall when they all have a staff meeting about this. Further to the staff aspect of it, David says they have to do the equal opportunity anti-discrimination thing every year, so they have absolutely no leg to stand on if they said they didn't know. I used to get that presentation at my old work too now and then. The laws are very strong.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Nursing the computer

My lovely little baby computer shit itself this morning. I have no idea why. It didn't seem too bad last night when we were watching YouTube on the big telly, although the videos did seem to freeze a bit now and then. 

This morning I turned it on and I could hardly do anything at all. Managed to check the email and then it nearly froze up completely. Got the shits waiting for it and making coffee. 

Cleaned the browser cache but with no effect. Then I decided that rather than fucking around with bits and pieces and getting pissed off more and more, the easiest thing to do would be to use the big guns; System Restore.

System Restore is the silver bullet. The magical program that goes back to an earlier time on the computer when it was all working utterly marvellously. I clicked the "recommended restore point" to go back to, and waited for it all to be done.....

Computer fucked around a bit with itself then restarted. Unfortunately the news wasted what I was hoping for. It said some cryptic crap about some file that it couldn't access, and that the way to fix it was to either disable the virus protection (which sounded bloody scary), or choose another restore point. The last option was definitely the easiest.

Started System Restore again and chose right back to the 10th of this month as the restore point. And waited. Took ages this time as it went through all the shit, but after it turned itself back on it informed me that System Restore had completed successfully. 

It all seems fine now.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

James Blunt - You're Beautiful

Delta Goodrem - Lost Without You

US constitution - "Divine revelation from God"

Evidently God had a hand in writing The Declaration and Constitution of the US  :s .........


 
Well that explains why some folk over there quote the bloody thing like it's the fuckin Bible or some shit. The same thinking that says that US bombs are good bombs (aka drones), unlike those evil enemy bad bombs.

I wonder about us in Australia then? What about us poor captives of "socialism"? (a word often bandied around by some who consider anything other than the present system in the US as "socialist"). How could we ever be a free country without a divinely inspired Constitution? 

Pfffft. Typical US Exceptional-ism.

Hate speech - The Sentinel Project

This is very interesting. It's a project put together to track hate speech around the world, with the view to prevent genocide occurring. Evidently genocide follows on from the demonisation of people and the hate speech used in that demonisation.
Formed in 2008, The Sentinel Project for Genocide Prevention is a non-profit organization based in Canada with members in several countries worldwide. The Sentinel Project's mission is to prevent the crime of genocide worldwide through effective early warning and cooperation with victimized peoples to carry out non-violent prevention initiatives. more  
There's also very interesting little graph things breaking down the current info gathered in the database into easily understandable interactive images. Like this one (go to the site for the interactive version).


David's legal meeting - discrimination

After the meeting with the legal people yesterday David seems much more relaxed and his old self. Dunno why he was so nervous going to the meeting as he's done nothing wrong.

Without going into detail, they've laid out a plan of what course to take. Also they will be representing him so he doesn't have to worry. Being as David can't go back there under the circumstances, they will put forward an option that will give the employers a way out without a big ugly shit fight through the courts. It's early days yet, and David has to view the letter they're drafting and give it the OK before it gets sent to them outlining all of this.

If they chose not to take the easy way out (which involves giving David a new job via a transfer) then the legal people will have no choice but to take it to court. Something which, I suggest, wouldn't be in the best interests of a very large company. I imagine it'd make a very juicy story in the media, with a lot of interest from the public. It is after all rather a unique case. 

In the old days people with HIV died. Now they want to be treated fairly in the workplace like everyone else. That's a huge change in the last 20-30 years, and one that the public and employers are just going to have to get their head around. We're not dying anymore. We're not victims. We're simply members of society like everyone else. Yes we have a serious disease, but so do many other people. 

Having HIV does not negate the requirement of fairness and equal treatment.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Eli Lieb - Young Love

If gay is a disease...

Although I'm not working, this one's for all the people who do.
 

Mister Chase - F*ck U Betta

A day without teeth!

The four new front teeth on the partial plate have needed to be realigned after being fitted a few weeks back. It's quite a job as apparently I've left it a bit long. There's issues with not only the swelling gone down after the original teeth were pulled, but also the bones underneath shrink a bit as well. 

So now I've had to leave the whole plate with the denture guy for a day. Dropped it off this morning at 9am, had a couple of moulds taken, and go back this afternoon at 4 to get it back. The problem is that I look like a completely different person without them in; four missing front teeth isn't the best look darlings.

So I'm ugly for a day darlings. Ugly! Ugly! Ugly! (as in The Brady Bunch). David laughed, hasn't seen me without them yet until today. I reckon it looks like I've been kicked in the teeth. David reckons I look like a druggie, which is a bit of a stereotype I thought.

David's off to see the legal people at ACON today about his being discriminated against at his work. He was quite nervous, I said not to worry as he was the one in the right. I imagine they'll give him a much better idea where he stands in all of it and where to go from here.

Monday, 15 July 2013

A bit down today

Think it's just a continuation of things that over time have an effect. Like the slow drip drip of a tap. 

Been sick with some kind of mild flu thing for over a week now. Headaches every day and feeling generally unwell. Am concerned about David too, he's been showing signs of stress and depression about this discrimination thing. Not a good thing to happen to anyone, let alone someone with HIV. I know all to well how stress can affect someone with HIV.

Been getting up late all the time, like it's a real struggle to get up in the morning. Tired as fuck all the time. Everything seems like an effort and don't feel like doing anything at all much. 

I'm not going to start imagining the worst or let my head run away with it's own thoughts. Just acknowledge that this is how I'm feeling right now.

Obama to raise LGBT issues with Putin?

Whether the wheels of politics are slowly moving towards a boycott of the Sochi winter Olympics (due to Russia's new anti-gay laws) remains to be seen. But, in what would only have to be worrying for the Russians, the issue is being raised now at the white house press conferences.
Washington Blade: Thanks, Jay. I have my own question about Russia actually. A big concern among the international LGBT community is about anti-gay legislation and anti-gay violence in that country. There are some calls to boycott the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. At the end of last year, Russia President Vladimir Putin signed a law that bans the “promotion of homosexuality” to minors. Is the president aware of these calls for a boycott and is he open to the idea of withdrawing U.S. participation from the Winter Olympics? 

Jay Carney: I’m not aware of the calls. I can tell you that the president and this administration makes clear to our allies and partners and nations around the world our belief that LGBT rights need to be respected everywhere, but I don’t have a specific — I haven’t discussed this with him. 
The State Department might have more information, but I don’t have a specific response from him or from the White House on that particular issue, but broadly speaking, we make our concerns about these issues known to countries around the world. And I think this came up in the president’s trip to Africa. We made that clear. more
Once again we have a conflict between what Washington views as a human rights issue and Putins doublespeak about it all. Can Obama reconcile this most important of issues with the Olympics being held in a country that ignores them?

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Kiwi gay athlete & Sochi Olympics

In what is something that I'd likely do as well if I was him, New Zealand speed skater Blake Skjellerup says he won't be changing the way he acts in the Russian Sochi Olympics, and if he gets into trouble with the anti-gay Russian laws then so be it. 
Other gay athletes have a different view about going to Sochi. Blake Skjellerup, a New Zealand speed skating hopeful who competed in Vancouver in 2010, said if he goes to Russia next year, he won’t “tone down or change” who he is for anyone. “If that gets me in trouble, then I guess so be it,” he said. more
If he does get done by this new Russian law, he will likely face up to 15 days in jail and deportation. I wonder what the IOC would think about that then? Or the Russian tourist industry? Or Kiwi's back home who've recently passed gay marriage?

Here he is in a little video.

 

Aust. needs Russian gay law - Loree Rudd

*shudders*


Things are looking slightly better as far as marriage equality goes, with the new leader of the Labor party Kevin Rudd taking the helm, agreeing with gay marriage. But his sister is entirely another story.....

Think we should all be very thankful that his sister isn't in any sort of position of political power in Australia. She has views that are extreme to say the least, right up there with any sort of right wing wacko stuff that comes out of the evangelical fundamentalists. This is the first time I've heard anyone in the west say anything like this:
Loree Rudd - who says she is unlikely to help her brother on election day because she opposes his support for gay marriage - believes the maverick Russian leader's hardline view on homosexuality is more enlightened than Western leaders. 

"It's like he (Putin) can see the problem ahead," Ms Rudd, 62, who has just returned from a visit to Russia, said. 

"I think that there should be a law (in Australia) protecting children from the propaganda of homosexuality as normal. They're trying to build their family life and structure in Russia and people in the West don't seem to understand our family life and structures are breaking down. 
"I guess the bottom line, if there's one thing I can say that can't be challenged, it's that society needs to protect its children as best they can." Read more
Fuck! That's unbelievable. She's saying that being gay is abnormal, and that people who say it is are wrong. Then she infers that family life doesn't include gays when she says Russia is "trying to build their family life".

Then WTF is she on about saying that our family life is breaking down? Maybe the "family" that she defines as such is (2 kids, mum and dad). Perhaps she considers that solo parents with kids aren't a family as well? I think it goes without saying that she must assume that gay parents don't fit into her definition of "family" either. What a fuckin anachronistic load of fuckin shit.

Hey Loree, you do realise that gay people are reading your vile comments don't you? Gay people with families. You know, like Penny Wong and her partner, last year had a child together, now leader of the federal senate. You call that families and structures "breaking down"? The only thing breaking down darling is your world view as society leaves it behind.

*sheesh*

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Labelled evil - whistleblower

Commentary from afar darlings. Commentary from we down under people, about how the fuck did patriots in the US become evil people, apparently trying to bring down The Empire? 
"You can't have 100 per cent security and also then have 100 per cent privacy and zero inconvenience," Obama told a Californian crowd last month. 

The growing ease of whistleblowing, in part, has prompted this punitive response from authorities, desperate to stay in control. Within the whistleblowing community such crackdowns are called ''mobbings'': the whistleblower is surrounded like a foreign virus in the body and attacked and isolated until expelled. 

The "intensity and extremity" of this punitive pursuit reflects the times we live in, says Griffiths University's Professor A.J. Brown, an expert on whistleblowers. "It's almost as if it reveals the desperation of institutionalised national security interests to try to keep control over information in an era where that is inherently becoming more and more difficult.''

Drake has described the attacks on Snowden as a distraction from a greater concern. "The government is desperate to not deal with the actual exposures, the content of the disclosures. Because they do reveal a vast, systemic, institutionalised, industrial-scale Leviathan surveillance that has clearly gone far beyond the original mandate to deal with terrorism - far beyond." Read more
Yep, I'm scratching my head over this one. And so are people publishing in the Sydney Morning Herald; BTW a spectacularly well read Sydney paper over many many years.

I never thought I would ever see the day where a US citizen would seek asylum in another country. Because they feared they'd not be treated fairly as in other countries where they would be. By an out of control state. Yet I do. ..............

Read the whole article if you have time, there's much more.

Discrimination stresses David

Since the discrimination episode at his work, David has been stressing a lot about it. Had like pimples coming out here and there and a bit on the face from the stress. Normally he doesn't have any dreams at all, but last night he got up very early and went to watch telly in the lounge. Asked him if he was OK and said he was having a bad nightmare about work. Poor guy.

He's not been back to work since. Just can't do it, not with all these people knowing his status and gossiping about it behind his back. He's decided to go back to the agency and get work through them like he used to (in fact he started working his job now through the agency). Plus he's won a scholarship award and is planning on going to Uni next year to improve his skills as a nurse.

Perhaps on the face of it there may be some legitimate concern over an HIV+ nurse treating patients. However with universal precautions that are supposed to be used without fail there's absolutely no reason why there would be a problem. That and the fact that his viral load is undetectable. For fellow nurses to question whether they can be infected through casual contact is completely out there. They, of all people, should know.

He went to get some blood taken at his doctor yesterday and she couldn't believe what the nurses had done, calling it "disgusting". In fact nobody that gets told about this, including management at his work, are in any way supportive of those nurses. Rather they support David. If this does all go ahead through the courts there's going to be some very unhappy nurses learning a very hard lesson.

What pisses me off the most about this is that nurses are supposed to be caring and doing things in the interests of people's health, not fuckin backstab them and cause them to be so stressed out that it affects their health. I hope out of all of this those nurses may at least gain an understanding of how discrimination can affect people, including an award winning nurse.

Russia's anti-gay laws affect foreigners

Foreigners visiting Russia will also be subject to it's new anti-gay laws. In fact if you kiss, hold hands, or in some way "promote" gayness "propaganda" you can be jailed for 14 days followed by deportation.
Travel site Skift reports that the new law, signed into law by Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 30, contains a provision that allows the government to arrest and detain gay (or "pro-gay") foreigners for up to 14 days before they would then be expelled from Russia. 

As far as what is considered "pro-gay," the laws specifics are somewhat vague, but Canadian site Travel and Escape suggests "gay-affirmative" speech, displaying a rainbow flag and same-sex partners holding hands are among the prohibited actions. 
The move comes at a particularly critical time as the nation is currently gearing up to host the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Boris O. Dittrich, Advocacy Director of the LGBT Rights Program at Human Rights Watch, blasted the law in a letter to the International Olympics Committee's (IOC) Director General Christophe De Kepper, noting, "Human Rights Watch’s long-standing position is that there cannot be a successful Olympics where there is discrimination or human rights abuses ... Foreigners -- possibly including athletes -- who violate the law, including possibly by speaking about their sexual orientation in public, run the risk of being fined, arrested for up to 15 days, and deported from Russia." more
I dunno how the fuck the IOC is going to reconcile it's own charter of human rights at the winter Olympics in Sochi, with the laws that now exist in Russia.

I was amazed yesterday when I was talking to someone who was an "Orthodox Christian" and claimed that all was fine in Russia with the gay community. It's astonishing how people can at times deny the reality of what's in front of their bloody nose.

Friday, 12 July 2013

The Rapture is closer!

Hold on to your hats darlings! We've bought the Christian rapture closer! Soon all self righteous god botherers will be whisked away, flying up into the air and to heaven. Seriously. And it's all because of us evils overturning that DOMA thingy in the US.


Actually it may be great if the rapture is real. At least we won't have to put up with all their hate anymore.

Lesbian billboard gets complaints

A billboard related to this advertising campaign for marriage equality, has had complaints about it made to the Advertising Standards Bureau.

 

Here's the billboard. I just don't get how this could be "offensive" in any way whatsoever, unless possibly someone who doesn't agree with the fact that people are born gay:


Unfortunately for the complainants however, the add watchdog has chucked out the complaints and the billboard will remain. Some of the complaints:
One anonymous complainant claimed the ad "is illegal as it involves the sexualisation of children''.

Another woman complained that the billboard could make pregnant woman "uneasy".

"If science can prove one is having a lesbian/homosexual should one abort?'' the woman told the advertising board.

"If a child saw this advertisement and asks about it, what does one tell a child?'' Read more
PFLAG who put the billboard up has replied to the complaints thus: 
It told the advertising board the woman in the ad was "modestly clothed and sensitively portrayed''. 

"We feel that our message is justified for its educational value, to bring awareness to the public about homosexuality,'' its response states. 

"Wouldn't it be great if one day parents were able to accept and celebrate the sexual orientation of their child from the day they were born?'' 

The campaign's organiser, Shelley Argent, said the real child abuse was to reject a child on the grounds of sexuality. Read more