Friday, 31 January 2014

This is what our Olympics have become

This is what the Olympics have become. An Olympic official arresting a man because he's holding a gay flag. I posted this the other day but it seems it's taking a while for people to catch on.

 

"Coalition`s blame game against workers" - AMWU

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) has come out swinging at the Abbott gov, over the Abbott gov blaming the "evil unions" over the demise of the automotive manufacturing industry in Australia. As I've been an AMWU member for zonks of the past years, I will take the liberty here of posting the entire article below, from the AMWU website. 

This is in the interests of at least some semblance of balance in the national debate. All we're hearing from the Murdoch main stream bullshit is the gov line that unions are evil. The other day I was aghast at the decree from the gov that the unions were "at war" with Toyota. I know from my own experience in Enterprise Bargaining Agreements (EBA) and in general when dealing with management, the unions have no choice but to play by the rules. Otherwise the management could legally clobber us, even after the Labor gov's scrapping of WorkChoices. 

For example, not long before my last work canned my dept, we were in a battle with on-sight management over the latest EBA negotiations, going badly. In the end we voted for a one day strike. It took three weeks  to get all the paperwork done and OK to the gov, before we finally voted to yes the strike action. We only had a month to take any action like that legally, and three weeks had been used up getting permission to do so. 

There are always two sides to a story. This is the other side not being screamed at you through the telly and the press. This isn't an ideological rant from a last century gov on it's last gasp. It is a factual view from where workers stand under the Abbott gov.
The AMWU will not tolerate the Abbott Government’s attempts to shift the blame for the problems besetting the Australian automotive industry on to workers. 

National Secretary Paul Bastian said the decision by the Coalition Government to strip $500 million from the Automotive Transformation Scheme and abandon the industry was responsible for the loss of Holden and threatens both the future of Toyota and the entire automotive sector. 

He said there was no “war” between the AMWU and Toyota as claimed by Joe Hockey, with the only war being the one that Treasurer Hockey has waged on the industry by cutting assistance and goading Holden to leave. 

Mr Bastian said given attempts by Mr Hockey and Industry Minister Macfarlane to lay the fate of the entire industry on workers, it was no surprise that Employment Minister Eric Abetz has decided to join Toyota in a Federal Court appeal to force cutbacks to conditions in the firm’s union agreement. 

Toyota lost a Federal Court case in December when they sought to force workers to vote on changes to terms of employment contrary to the provision of the their registered enterprise agreement. 

Mr Bastian said the solution to Toyota’s productivity concerns would not be decided in court but when the company decided to sit down with the AMWU and be transparent about its plans and all the cost factors of its Australian operations. 

In contrast to Holden, Toyota have refused to allow for an independent review of its business plan and are insisting on a revision of the EBA regardless of whether new investment can be secured. 

That means that workers are being asked to make sacrifices without anything in return, including job security. 

“This is symptomatic of a wider Coalition view that the only way to improve productivity is through cutting wages and conditions and driving down the living standards of working people,” Mr Bastian said. 

During the election, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said he supported manufacturing in Australia and pledged to create 1 million jobs in five years. Shutting down the automotive industry with the loss of tens of thousands of jobs and blaming workers shows the shallowness of those commitments. 

“What Australian manufacturing needs is a Government with a vision for its future and which is prepared to support the investment and innovation that's needed,” Mr Bastian said. 

“The Government needs to support a broad-based economy through initiatives to support diversification, development and deployment of new technologies and access to new markets. We need a Government that supports training and skills, especially the skilling of workers already in the workforce. 

“Instead, we have a Government that uses its blind faith in the free markets as an excuse for inaction which will cost thousands of jobs and leave Australia with a diminished manufacturing sector.” link

Off to court tbis morning.

It's the court date for David's hearing this morning. His plea is not guilty for the accusation of assault and the fail to appear resulting from it. It was a malicious AVO, the court summons sent to an old address that he never got. The warrant for his arrest was issued over a year later. It's got to be some kind of a big court fuck up.

He was supposed to get the brief by now but nothing has come. He's all worried but honestly I can't see any of this getting much off the ground. I will of course be there for moral support. I know what it's like going to court; is more like going to a funeral.

Hope it's like the other time and we get out of there before lunch. 

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Abbott's polls slide continues


Australians continue to turn away from the Abbott gov in droves. Note also the Labor honeymoon after the Gillard gov won office, and compare that to Abbott's honeymoon collapse now. I'd say Lieberal strategists would be officially shitting themselves now. 

BTW here's Abbott's mate Murdoch at work:

 

"The Last One" - Trailer


The Last One - trailer from Nadine Licostie on Vimeo.

Being gay in Sochi

Oh look, gays in Sochi.......


 

Fox News's take on income inequality

Being as Australia is a world leader in income inequality and with Abbott at the helm, this is a discussion some of us may be having here. Like, how do we fix it? Abbott's view of course is that The Market is god and you can't do anything that's going to impede the good shit it does.

What a load of bullshit. There's a very good bit at the end from Rachel Maddow disagreeing with them all.

 

Takei's Take - trolling

US Americans hate the TPP too

More from Abby Martin about the TPP nightmare. She also mentions the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) which is the Atlantic version of the TPP. It seems the only one who actually like this TPP is Obama and the corporations that bought him.

 

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Stupid sponsor idiots suffer PR nightmare

This is a very inspiring piece that shows now how LGBT people can band together to help those of our brothers and sisters being repressed and mistreated in countries such as Russia. As it's turning out, it seems the sponsors had no idea of how powerful an online campaign can become. Now they're in the Gulag Games up to their necks and there's no turning back. They've said nothing and done nothing to support our human rights cause, and now the bomb is going off in their faces. Good fuckin job. 
McDonald's, meanwhile, has surrendered a hashtag meant to cheer on American athletes, #CheerstoSochi, which was taken over by LGBT activists. It's been used by people around the world -- translated into Japanese, German, French and Russian -- to highlight Russia's repression and the McDonald's Corporation's sponsorship of the Sochi games. Ronald McDonald has been turned into an icon of hate, while Proctor & Gamble is being accused of supporting a different kind of cleansing than its soaps and detergents advertise. And there is much, much more to come. 

Olympic sponsors were warned. Last August the Human Rights Campaign urged the Olympic sponsors to take specific actions in light of Russia's "gay propaganda" law. The group listed actions the companies could take, including very clearly condemning Russia's anti-gay law, putting pressure on the International Olympic Committee, supporting the Russian LGBT community publicly and putting "marketing and creative advertising resources to use -- helping to build awareness and demonstrate support for LGBT equality in Russia and globally." 

The companies did virtually nothing. And in The New York Times today both Coca-Cola and McDonald's responded to the ensuing PR nightmare by continuing to offer only tepid support for "human rights" while glaringly failing to slam Russia's anti-gay law. 

What's clear from the companies' initial responses to the social media campaigns -- thinking they could fight off the activists, only to completely cave -- is that the sponsors had no idea what the consequences would be when HRC warned them. The first warning sign should have been last summer's launch by LGBT activists of the boycott of Stolichnaya vodka. People argued about the merits and whether or not Stoli was actually Russian, but that was all beside the point: The campaign went international, a shot across the bow, raising the issue of Russia's brutality dramatically. more


Stupid Russian idiots

The translation of the picture reads "There are no gays in Sochi".


 Indeed a testament to Russian stupidity. The megalomaniac look is fitting too.  

 

"Fair Play" - Your Rights and Safety at LGBTIQ Events

With the outrageous performance of the police last Mardi Gras, the Inner City Legal Centre, Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby and Mardi Gras for the Fair Play, have launched the Fair Play website.
FAIR PLAY is an LGBTIQ community initiative to help party-goers understand their legal rights and how to keep safe during the Mardi Gras Festival. FAIR PLAY is a commitment by LGBTIQ organisations to provide accurate legal resources and education to the LGBTIQ community. 

This website has lots of easy to read information about keeping safe, police powers, drug searches, sniffer dogs and complaint procedures. 

FAIR PLAY is committed to respecting human rights through the principles of harm reduction. We are interested in your safety and providing you with as much information as possible. more
Know your rights if you come across a cop who's just out to get you. Although after the huge media attention and the co-ordinated response from the gay community, I seriously think the police will be on their best behaviour this time. 

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

US big pharma to sue India?

The big US pharmaceutical companies are not happy. 

India is planning on making more generic drugs, you can read the whole story here, but some of it is bloody utterly horrifying, especially with Obama pressuring the Pacific and Atlantic countries to agree to his trade agreements. In the Pacific the TPP. What is worrying everyone is just this sort of thing, where US pharmaceutical companies can sue a gov over lost money. In fact this is India's big worry about introducing more cheap generic medicines for it's population. Well ours too I guess, as the PBS here does save a lot of money by buying generics from overseas.
The U.S. International Trade Commission said in August that it would investigate “Indian policies that discriminate against U.S. trade and investment” at the request of the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Committee on Finance. Trade Relationship 

“What the Indian government is really worried about is the court cases that will follow from drug companies,” Menghaney said. “It’s worried about the international criticism it will face from developed country governments who back their pharmaceutical companies, and the impact it will have on the India-U.S. relationship.” 

Roche decided not to pursue Indian patents for its breast cancer medicine Herceptin because of the Indian intellectual property environment, the company said in an e-mailed statement in August. It introduced a lower-cost Herceptin packaged by a local drug company for the Indian market in 2012. Under India’s patent laws, compulsory licenses can be awarded for some products still under patent if the original isn’t available locally at a reasonable price. 

Natco Pharma Ltd. (NTCPH) applied directly to India’s patents office and was awarded the nation’s first compulsory license in March 2012 to make a copy of Bayer’s Nexavar cancer drug at a 97 percent discount to the original product. In March last year, Bayer lost its bid to stop Natco from making the generic drug and is appealing the decision at the Mumbai High Court. 

Bayer Chief Executive Officer Marijn Dekkers called the compulsory license “essentially theft.” 

“We did not develop this medicine for Indians,” Dekkers said Dec. 3. “We developed it for western patients who can afford it.” more
My highlighting. 

This is happening now. WTF would these big companies do to our PBS then if they got the chance?  

Abbott's message of support for Mardi Gras :s

Oh he's such a fuckwit:

 

Kylie Minogue - Into the Blue (Official Lyrics Video)

The other leaked audio one got taken down by YouTube over copyright. Here's the official:

 

Melissa Etheridge's new song about Russian LGBT

I saw Melissa Etheridge here in Sydney many years ago at Selinas, Coogee Bay. She's written a new song about the LGBT in Russia. I love it:
Melissa Etheridge is fighting for LGBT rights in Russia!

he singer-songwriter has been so angered by the nation’s new anti-gay laws that she sat down and wrote an AH-Mazing song!

It’s not about how wrong Russia’s treatment of the LGBT community has been though, but rather a call for unity! A call for peace! And of course, a call for love! - See more
 
 

Lmfao Sexy and I know it (parody) - Putin

.

"We have no gays in Sochi" - Sochi mayor

This is the level of complete ignorance in Russia. The mayor of Sochi has come out with this:
There's not even one gay in the village, according to the mayor of Sochi, the Russian city set to host the 2014 Winter Olympics. 

In an interview with the BBC, Anatoly Pakomov, said there were no gay people in his city on the east coast of the Black Sea. 

"We don't have them in our town," Mr Pakomov said in the interview. 

The mayor added that gay people would be welcome in his town, provided they "respect Russian law" and "don't impose their habits on others". more
Does this guy have the slightest inkling at how stupendously stupid he's showing himself to be to the world? Even worse, it's not just somebody in the street who has some weird ideas, he's the bloody mayor of the place. It seems like everyone over there who opens their mouth to defend Russia's homophobia (right up to Putin himself), puts their foot well and truly in it. 

Wherever you find humanity, you will find gays. I always remember that with Simon as he used to say that a lot, and it's absolutely true. Whatever the percentage is, (5%? 10%?) there will always be that percentage of humanity that is gay. Whether it's in Sochi or Sydney.

These ignorant fools are going to be running a $50billion event? Oh FFS. And these idiots are supposedly guaranteeing the safety of visiting gays? They couldn't organise their way out of a wet paper bag let alone run the Olympic games. Putins dream of a glitzy games showing what a modern country Russia is now supposed to be, has already failed. It's a games put together by neanderthals stuck in the dark ages. Pffffft.

 

Monday, 27 January 2014

Formaphobia

Oh I've been here so many times. the worst one was the application for the private rental subsidy, which I had to go to ACON to get them to help me fill the thing out, only to have my daughter get a well paying job putting the household over the income limit to qualify.

She's right. Some of those Centrelink forms are books, and they have another book of instructions telling you how to fill in the book.

 

Stephen Fry - HIV and Me - Part 1

My straight neighbour told me about this yesterday. He was pretty surprised at some of what it says.

 

"Burger" short film

This has done very well at Sundance film festival.

 

Abbott's new world map! :)


Ugh, sick as fuck this morning

I suppose it was somewhat self inflicted, although it's been so unseasonably cold so far this summer in Sydney I've actually ended up with a cold as well. In the middle of summer would you believe. We're near the water and the afternoon sea breeze that blows in the front windows has been positively chilly. Certainly the coldest summer I've seen in Sydney. Then again we'll probably end up with a very hot Feb with heaps of humidity.

David and I went and had some drinks at the pub, then we had some drinks at a friends place near the pub, then we went back to the pub and had more beers. It was all a bit of a blur by the time we got home. We both have a few memory gaps. Fortunately David doesn't appear to get hangovers at all (I'm very jealous) so he's fine. Unfortunately I do get hangovers, this one combined with a head cold. 

Woke up this morning and started dry retching, and thought that wasn't good. Kiera the cat kept me company on the bed whilst I slept through most of the morning. Took my pills and Eno galore. Think I'm starting to feel a bit better now, but my stomach is still very angry at me and my nose is pissing out fluid from the head cold. Ugh....  

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Happy Australia Day - Kylie


More anti-Abbott stuff

Sometimes things are just too good to pass by and I end up saving them. These anti-Abbott things are coming thick and fast these days. 





 
 

Australia spends less on welfare than the US

That's a surprise to me. We spend less on welfare payments in Australia than they do in the US, albeit not by much. Surprise surprise, the Abbott gov is lying to us again about our/my "unsustainable" disability support pension. Surprise surprise, he's handing out $5billion in middle class welfare via the paid parental leave scheme, whilst putting pensioners "under review". 
But figures compiled by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development show Australia's spending on welfare benefits in 2013 accounted for 8.6 per cent of national economic output, well below the OECD average of 13 per cent. 

Of 34 industrialised nations for which data was available, only Iceland, which spent 7.3 per cent of GDP on payments, spent a smaller proportion of its economic output on welfare than Australia. 

Four European nations - France, Italy, Belgium and Austria - were the biggest spenders, each allocating more than 19 per cent of their GDP to welfare payments, including age and disability pensions, unemployment benefits and family payments. 

Britain spent 12.2 per cent of its GDP on social security payments, while the United States spent 9.7 per cent. 

Labor's spokeswoman on families and payments, Jenny Macklin, said the figures disproved the government's claims about the scale of Australia's welfare spending. ''This clearly shows the government's claims that Australia is heading for some sort of welfare crisis are complete rubbish. The Coalition is trying to scare Australians into accepting a savage round of cuts,'' Ms Macklin said. 

She criticised Mr Andrews for excluding the Coalition's $5.5 billion paid parental leave scheme - in which the baby's primary carer would receive six months' leave on their full pay, up to a maximum benefit of $75,000 - from the scope of Mr McClure's review. ''If the Prime Minister wants to tackle welfare reform, he should start by scrapping his ridiculous expansion of middle-class welfare on the back of low income earners, pensioners, carers and people with disability,'' Ms Macklin said. Read more
Oh fuck off Abbott. I've never felt so unrepresented by a gov in my life.

Suppose I should try and be a bit positive. At least it looks like the Labor opposition is finally waking up? 

Australia has no "debt crisis"

With Abbott abbotting on for years about Australia's so called "debt crisis", the facts that have been around during all that time just haven't gotten a say in the main stream media. It's also hard to find a concise set of numbers in a graph or some such thing, that truly illustrates how much the "debt crisis" is actually nothing of the sort.

Yes, Australia has debt, yet it's fuck all when you look at what's going on in the rest of the world. Hardly a crisis, and we shouldn't be killing our economy with cutbacks just because it fits Tony Abbott's talking points. 

I have however come across a brilliant little site. You simply click on the country and it tells you the debt of that country. Couldn't be easier. Here's Australia's debt. The way it's compared with other countries debt is to compare the percentage of the Gross Domestic Product. Our GDP of debt is 19.18%. This is the debt "crisis" in Australia that Abbott has scared shitless most of western Sydney with. So how much of a crisis is it really? You can look all this up at the site, but I've just done a few quick snips of the results:

Well take the US for example. Note it's debt as a percentage of GDP, that being 102%. What? Yes, 102% of GDP. Yet Abbott would have us believe that we have a debt crisis. 

How about the UK?
Germany?


Japan?

What about that miracle economy China? 


Yes, Australia is even doing better than the world leading economy of China. 

What debt crisis then? We have none. The only logical conclusion to draw from all this is that the Abbott gov is lying to us, and has an ideological agenda. The cutbacks they're on about are needless. 

   

"Ban ALL marriage" - Oklahoma

WTF? Oh boy oh boy, I really hope those anti-marriage equality looneys in Oklahoma, US, go ahead with this. They are actually wanting to ban all marriages  in Oklahoma as the feds are saying that Oklahoma isn't allowed to discriminate against gays and must marry them also.


So I wonder how all the straights would feel about the state telling them they can't get married in Oklahoma :)  Would that mean that gays can vote on the straights marriages too? 

Intense far right wacko-ness & freedom of speech

Abbott and his cohorts are wanting to liberalise the laws surrounding free speech in this country. Their shock jock mates on the radio and telly don't like the laws now as they can't attack people like they want to, as Andrew Bolt found out. 

So is this what the Abbott gov would want for Australia? I mean these guys are extremists, one of them talking about stringing up a transgender person. This is freedom of speech? It's more like freedom to vomit hate and extremism through a microphone.

I'm no fan of Obama's, but FFS he deserves some sort of respect if only for the office itself. What if a terrorist carried on like this?

 

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Wound up 10 - Aussie pollie commentary :)

Abbott's secret plan leaked!


Get real Coke - ad for Russian LGBT

Will being a Sochi sponsor backfire on Coca Cola?

 

Mardi Gras bashing - dysfuntional complaints system

This is another example, a prime example in fact, of why we need an independent body to investigate complaints against police. This is the case gone to court now of that Jamie bloke who claimed he was arrested for tickling people. Here he is, look at what a thug he is :s   Those wings look positively evil darlings......


Here's the video again of his arrest:


Now there's stuff to do with both cops involved in this. 

Firstly one of the cops failed to have a cooling down period as required by police guidelines and was also involved just minutes later in the arrest of Bryn Hutchinson (recently thrown out of court) who received bruising and cuts after being set upon by five police for crossing the road. That cops name is Goya Hedayat (police ID Fairfield LAC 266), and here he is on the night of Jamie's arrest and sitting in a police car.



Understandably people were asking why he was still at work when there were allegations of brutality made against him.

Oh but it gets much worse. The other officer who threw Jamie to the ground twice at Mardi Gras (March 2013) by Sept 2013 still had not been asked a single question about the incident. This was despite assurances from the police commissioner's office that two internal investigations had begun soon after the video of the event went viral on YouTube. 
Soon after, Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch announced at a news conference that two internal investigations had been initiated into the incident. 

"Both those investigations have been referred to our Professional Standards Command, which will conduct a thorough, independent and professional investigation," Assistant Commissioner Murdoch said. 

However, while giving evidence during Mr Reed's assault hearing at the Downing Centre Local Court on Thursday, Constable Mixios said he had not been asked any questions by professional standards or anyone else. 

"Has anything happened to you, have you been charged with any misdemeanour?" counsel for Mr Reed, Phillip Boulten, SC, asked Constable Mixios. 

"No," he replied. 

– What about statements by police in the media indicating that there would be an internal investigation, has anyone called you in to ask what you did and why you did it?
 – No.  
Read more
It's just not good enough. Surely the public would demand at least reduced duties, or even to be stood down until the investigations into what was described as a "serious" incident shed some light onto their thuggery?

BTW the lastest I can get out of the case is that Jamie has lawyer-ed up with Chris Murphy defending him

Friday, 24 January 2014

Thus Spake Mungo - International spotlight

More Aussie political commentary from the north coast :)

 

TPIP = corporate rule

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (or the trade-off Europe to US corporations slavery "Partnership") has had the same thing happen to it as the Trans Pacific Partnership "agreement", in that on both sides of the world, both have been negotiated behind closed doors in the utmost secrecy until recently. Both have had US corporations/Obama pushing the investor/state dispute settlement section as not negotiable. The public in both cases when finding out what has been negotiated behind closed doors in their names, have done a collective "WTF?" and gone bananas about the two agreements generally.

George Monbiot lays out some of the concerns of the TTIP:
From the outset, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership has been driven by corporations and their lobby groups, who boast of being able to “co-write” it(8,9). Persistant digging by the Corporate Europe Observatory reveals that the commission has held eight meetings on the issue with civil society groups, and 119 with corporations and their lobby groups(10). Unlike the civil society meetings, these have taken place behind closed doors and have not been disclosed online. 

Though the Commission now tells the public that it will protect “the state’s right to regulate”(11), this isn’t the message the corporations have been hearing. In an interview last week, Stuart Eizenstat, co-chair of the Transatlantic Business Council, instrumental in driving the process, was asked whether companies whose products had been banned by regulators would be able to sue(12). Yes. “If a suit like that was brought and was successful, it would mean that the country banning the product would have to pay compensation to the industry involved or let the product in.” Would that apply to the European ban on chicken carcasses washed with chlorine, a controversial practice permitted in the US? “That’s one example where it might.” more
It appears the US corporations are attempting to take over the world! Obama is just their puppet. These multinationals seriously should get over themselves :s

Wealth and Fat Cats

In a recent Oxfam report (of all organisations now we're relying on Oxfam for reliable data) entitled Working For The Few - Political capture and economic inequality, exposed is what only can be called "obscene" wealth. And guess who comes second (second that is only to the US and it's social failure)....... yep folks, it's good old Australia. Yep, Australia is a world fuckin leader in income inequality. Our system has suffered the same failure as the US. The system itself skews wealth to the very rich whilst impoverishing the rest of the community. It's a failed experiment, in Australia as well as the US. 



On top of that we now have the capitalist attack dog Tony fuckin Abbott as our glorious fuckin leader. Oh FFS! Could it get any worse than this darlings? The TPP barbarians are at the door! Will we all end up in some sort of mindless drone utopia? Where all we need is a flat screen telly to be brainwashed by the corporate media? A semblance of online freedom? A society where we're all under surveillance? Where corporations control what we think and buy? .... We're already just about there.

How much longer can the west go on like this? To borrow a phrase from the Abbott gov, this is "unsustainable". The logical conclusion is that in the end we'll be a nation of surfs controlled by a few ruling elite corporations. Somewhere along the way surely society will raise up and protest the slavery being imposed on them.


 

Ask Your Doctor About "Gay Away" :)

"Time for a new war on poverty" - US

An absolutely riveting discussion about the income inequality in the US and the Reagan lies of "trickle down". Very relevant to Australia right now with Abbott's lunacy running the show. 

Listen up Tony:

 

Pissed off 3.5 billion threatens society

This is to do with that grotesque statistic that 85 people own the same wealth as the poorest 3.5 billion in the world. Absolutely appalling wouldn't you think? Well this rich asshole doesn't quite see it that way......


Starting to wonder how much longer society can function like this before the really pissed off 3.5 billion people really start getting the shits

Anti-Abbott cartoons, etc

Here's the most recent collection:









 

Some marriage equality perspective


Abbott's cuts will hurt poor most

Well we've pretty much got the whole picture now. We've had the oh so predictable "opening of the books" and a "shocked" find at just how bad the "debt crisis" is. Followed by people appointed by Abbott to look at where we must cut to get the debt less. 

Not so bad apart from the fact that there isn't actually a debt crisis. But don't let the facts get in the way of looking after your rich mates. Or the fact that the  people Abbott chose to make the audit commission's recommendations only represent business. 
The odds are already stacked against those on low and middle incomes because the audit commission panel handpicked by the prime minister and treasurer represents a narrow part of society, in this case big business (a point well-made by my colleague senator Dastyari earlier this month). The problem isn’t the involvement of business, which is welcome, but that the panel lacks broader representation of working people and those on fixed incomes like pensions and payments. 

From the Business Council of Australia’s last budget submission, we already know the areas likely to be targeted by the panel. Unsurprisingly, for example, they repeat their argument that the burden should be shifted away from businesses in the tax system towards more consumption taxes like the goods and services tax, which disproportionately hit the poorest Australians. Recommendations like these are the predictable but nonetheless disappointing outcome of a panel representing one narrow segment of the population. more
There are also glaring inequalities in Abbott's plans for the country. Take the paid parental leave scheme as a prime example. If you earn $50,000 a year, you can get half that paid by the gov , $25,000, as paid parental leave if you decide to take time off work. But if you earn $150,000 a year, you can get half that, $75,000 if you take time off work for paid parental leave. How is that fair giving money to the most wealthy earners in the country? Or how is it fair that people on pensions or welfare of $20,000 a year and less are being targeted for cuts, whilst the top wage earners who need it least are getting given $75,000 to have a baby? And the gov has the nerve to defend it's position on this!

So it's pretty clear now what Abbott's agenda really is; simply to look after his rich donor mates and fuck the poor wretched godless people. 

Cat bliss

Last night in front of the telly :)

 

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Welfare payments are actually declining

Oh look, the gov is full of shit. Why am I not surprised? Add that to the lie that we're in a debt crisis, and it all adds up to a big pile of crap.

 

Nigerian kangaroo court

Again, if this was any other group there would be outrage. But it seems that because it's just a few poofs it's OK. Well it's not. This belongs in the dark ages.
Thousands of protesters threw stones into the Shariah court in a north Nigerian city Wednesday, urging the speedy convictions and executions of 11 men arrested for belonging to gay organizations. 

Security officials fired into the air to disperse protesters in Bauchi city so the accused men could be safely returned to the prison. Judge El-Yakubu Aliyu closed the court abruptly. 

"No one can be sentenced to death until confirmed without a reasonable doubt," Aliyu said in response to calls for the men's execution.

The court was arraigning seven of 11 accused men on Wednesday. Only three had given testimony when the mayhem began. more
It would be the same as punishing someone for being black, and telling them to stop being black. How can you hope to change the very nature of a person through punishing legislation? It's the height of stupidity.

What's next? Go after the HIV+'s?

Elton John speaks out on Russia

With the Sochi lie going full steam ahead, the reality behing the facade is entirely different for the Russian LGBT. Now, Elton John who was recently touring in Russia, has put out a statement of his experiences in Russia when  he was there. He writes eloquently and concisely, obviously he's a very intelligent man. He also mentions the new HIV health risks under the new "propaganda" law. Here's some of it:
The people I met in Moscow – gay men and lesbians in their 20′s, 30′s and 40′s - told me stories about receiving threats from vigilante groups who would ‘cure’ them of homosexuality by dousing them with urine or beating them up. One young man was stalked outside a gay club by someone posing as a taxi driver who tried to garrotte him with a guitar string because he was a “sodomite”. Everyone shared stories of verbal and physical abuse – at work, in bars and restaurants or in the street – since the legislation came into force last June. And, some of the vital work providing HIV prevention information to the gay community has been labelled “homosexual propaganda” and shut down. 

It was very clear to me that, although foreigners like myself who are visiting Russia are not affected by this new law (and President Putin has recently confirmed this), it is a very different story for those living inside the country. As Maria Maksakova told her fellow Russian MPs last month: “We are seeing extremely negative consequences as a result of this law, with the growth of hate crimes.” 

President Putin asserts that this was not the intention, but it is undoubtedly the effect that this law has had by promoting misunderstanding and ignorance. In particular, it is very disappointing that the law explicitly links homosexuality with child sex abuse, which countless studies have shown to be conclusively wrong. 

The people I met in Moscow were decent, kind, patriotic men and women who had no thought of forcing their sexuality on anyone. Whatever the intention of Russia’s homosexuality and paedophilia propaganda laws, I am absolutely clear from my own personal experience that it is proving deeply dangerous to the LGBT community and deeply divisive to Russian society. I would welcome the opportunity to introduce President Putin to some Russians who deserve to be heard, and who deserve to be treated in their own country with the same respect and warm welcome that I received on my last visit. 

Elton John link

Ukraine protesters tracked via Moble phones

This has the one of the most "1984" things I've ever heard of.

Yesterday I was aghast at some of the raw footage of the protesters in the Ukraine as they clashed with the police. They've even been building medieval type catapults. Just a note it's pretty full on this one:

 

Well there's a new twist to the story. One that will send shivers down the spine of smart phone users around the world.

It's widely known that smart phones can be tracked so you can pretty much be found anywhere, with the right application. So what the police did was find everyone with a smart phone that was in the area of the protesters. Not a very fair way to single them out, I mean what if you were just walking by? But anyway, as blanket as it was, all those people were sent the following text message:
“Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant in a mass disturbance.” 

That's a text message that thousands of Ukrainian protesters spontaneously received on their cell phones today, as a new law prohibiting public demonstrations went into effect. It was the regime's police force, sending protesters the perfectly dystopian text message to accompany the newly minted, perfectly dystopian legislation. In fact, it's downright Orwellian (and I hate that adjective, and only use it when absolutely necessary, I swear). 

But that's what this is: it's technology employed to detect noncompliance, to hone in on dissent. The NY Times reports that the "Ukrainian government used telephone technology to pinpoint the locations of cell phones in use near clashes between riot police officers and protesters early on Tuesday." Near. Using a cell phone near a clash lands you on the regime's hit list. more
far out man.......

I don't use a smart phone. They're too big, bulky, and expensive. I just have an unlocked one that I put my sim card in, does the usual stuff I want. Cost $80 brand new. I don't desire to be permanently connected to the internet. Once this PC is off then I'm offline for the rest of the day. 

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Thus Spake Mungo - Aussie pollie commentary :)

It's obvious where Abbott's heading with all of his budget "crisis" and needless chopping. Abbott is getting advice to cut nearly 5% out of federal budget spending. That's fuckin insane. It'll wreck the place.

 

Sochi's toilet problem



Some toilets at Sochi. Hmmmm.... Is this some kind of gay propaganda? Keep the children away! Cover their eyes! At the sight of this they will automatically be recruited to gayness!

So much for the $51 billion eh? I'd want my money back. 

UN intervenes in African anti-gay laws

With things slowly getting worse in Africa for LGBT people, the UN is stepping in to make a point. Basically two points; that people will be put in danger by the drumming up of homophobia, and that efforts to reduce HIV/AIDS will be undermined. They have entered the fray in Malawi, and specifically mention Nigeria's recent criminalisation of gays.
The United Nations' AIDS taskforce and human rights groups will launch a court battle against Malawi's laws criminalizing homosexuality, in a rare challenge to rising anti-gay legislation in Africa.

The legislation has strained relations between President Joyce Banda's government and international donors, whose aid is desperately needed in the impoverished country. 

................................ 

Anti-gay sentiment and the persecution of homosexuals is rife in much of sub-Saharan Africa. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan this month provoked ire from the United States and the U.N. after signing a bill criminalizing same-sex relationships. 

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said the Nigerian law could fuel prejudice and violence and risks obstructing an effective HIV/AIDS response. more
It's interesting that it's the UN AIDS taskforce front and centre in this. This isn't just about the human rights of people to have the freedom to love who they will, but it's also about the AIDS epidemic in Africa. People will not seek help if they fear disclosing their sexuality could land them in jail.

It's the height of stupidity to make these anti-gay laws in the face of HIV alone. If Africa keeps going like this then in ten years HIV in those anti-gay countries will explode. And yep, you guessed it, they'll need western aid to get the virus under some sort of control again. Stupid. Really bloody stupid. 

 

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Sydney Gay Mardi Gras – THE PARTY

The human cost of targeting the sick

Next month the Abbott gov gets some crazy report handed to it which will (I assume) demonise those of us unfortunate enough to find ourselves having to survive on a Disability Support Pension (DSP). The gov will say how much we're all costing the country, even though many of us have worked for as long as we could before finally succumbing to illness. In my case nearly 30 years of full time work - hard physical work in the printing trade. 

Now we're told that the few crumbs we get off the gov is too much and "unsustainable" ...... *cough* That we're bludgers taking advantage of the welfare system. That we're hypochondriacs who visit the doctor too much. There will be the innuendo, that unsaid line that's in the back of the Coalitions ideological minds; that it's our fault we're poor and needy as we're too lazy to work.

I said not so long ago on this blog that treating those on the DSP like this will have detrimental effects on their health. Illness often goes hand in hand with anxiety and depression at the best of times. Having our only means of survival in this world put "under review" by the Abbott gov will only exacerbate that anxiety and depression.

This proves it. I was saddened to read this as I'd only recently discovered her blog. It meticulously rips to pieces the Abbott gov's lies even before they got going in office. Alas she has succumbed to her illness as has to stop writing for a while, citing Abbott gov politics as the last straw.
Subscribers to this blog have probably noticed by now that it’s been a long, long time between posts. I’d like to apologise for that, because goodness knows there’s no shortage of issues that deserve close attention – the Abbott government’s attacks on asylum seekers, action on climate change, welfare recipients, Medicare, the national curriculum, you name it. That’s without even beginning to dig into the rampant cronyism.

Thing is, folks, I’ve been trying to write, but without success. Some of you may be aware I suffer from a bipolar spectrum disorder, which was steadily worsening over the last four months. Between the anxiety, depression and mania, it’s been difficult to string the words together. In particular, the sheer amount of distress I feel at what the Abbott government is doing – or attempting to do – to Australians whose only crime is not to be rich has exacerbated my symptoms to the point where there are days I can’t even attempt to get near this blog. It probably sounds like a cop-out, but my mental health is already under strain, thanks to the illness and personal circumstances; it seems that the state of politics has proved to be the last straw. more
What a despicable gov this is. Where Abbott looks after his rich mates and attacks the most vulnerable in society. No wonder the Catholic Church is in crisis with assholes like Abbott being in it.

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