Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Indiana glitter bombs it's turd

Oh give me a fuckin break. This has got to be one of the oldest political strategies ever invented. When people realise you've shitted out a turd, bring in a lovely well spoken woman to gloss it all over and make everyone feel warm and fuzzy. Even better if she has children, over the moon if she has grandchildren. bla.....

As the old saying goes, you can dress up a turd all you like, make it sound much less like a turd, in this case glitter bomb it saying the turd doesn't hate. Well no matter how much you dress it up it's still a fuckin turd. 

It still makes it legal to refuse service to people who are gay. Full stop.


The week in politics - Angry Aussie :)

Gay family values - Indiana and Aussie footy

This gay couple give their views on Indiana and Aussie footy gay slurs, first two stories up. Fourth story is California kill the gays thingo.


"Stand your ground anti-gay law" - Indiana

This the whole show. The Indiana gay law is up first in the show.


The walking dead season finale.... Torrent record?

I have no idea. We forgot about it yesterday so it was 3 hours after the free torrents started before we went online to get it. Whatever it is, was the most torrent people I've seen for a show ever. Tens of thousand of seeders and leechers.

Here's the Walking Dead after show. David reckons they're way off the mark. Do we even know who Rick shot at the end? The asshole wife basher or the husband of the head lady so he didn't turn? I told him to get a twitter account..... 


Disgusting Walmart - poverty creator

I sincerely hope this disgusting company never gets a foot in the door in Australia. Perhaps they're not here now because of our unionism? I dunno, but they are the pinnacle of the pseudo capitalism that pretends it's capitalist. Capitalism requires a fair and open playing field. Walmart is operating in a system geared to the mega rich. It creates poverty by paying a pittance to employees, whilst it's owners make $billions. The system is well and truly broken. Everything the west feared from communism has come true under Reagan's obscenity; to pervert capitalism into a gravy train for the top end of town.


10 highest taxing gov's in Aussie history

Don't believe the hype.

Top ten highest tax to GDP ratios.


"How is judging others an expression of faith?" - Interview over Indiana

This is a brilliant interview of a conservative christian bloke about Indiana's new discrimination laws. All the guy can do is bla about the US laws and constitution to try to justify excluding gays from christians lives. Where is there anything in the Bible that instructs christians to do so?



"Fuck you Indiana" - Randy Rainbow song, video :)

Ha ha ha ha ha.........


How to be invisible to new net gov snooping on mobiles

It's very simple. Just ditch the smart phone and get an older one like me. Apparently older dumb phones are becoming all the rage now, or is that just with inner city trendoids? I dunno, but I did read something recently about people ditching their smart phones not even for the new data laws, but because they were stressing out too much. Constantly checking their phones and permanently online.

Truth is I've never owned a smart phone. I have no desire to be permanently online. Once I'm offline I'm offline, period. Besides, my phone is sort of Star Trek flip communicator one; Kirk to Enterprise..... 


If a GPS told you to jump off a bridge, would you?

It's a tragic story, but I find it a strange representation of our modern gadget-ted times. Who would have thought a GPS would be a driving hazard? Well in this case it was deadly. As deadly as getting in an accident whilst texting.

A man has driven off a bridge in Indiana, killing his wife, after paying more attention to his outdated GPS than the road: 
Lake County deputies said Hussain was likely following directions from his GPS navigation system, which instructed him to turn onto a ramp to the now-demolished bridge over the Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal. The couple, from Chicago, were driving to visit family in Indiana and likely didn’t know the area, Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Patricia Van Til said. 

While the road leading up to the bridge is marked with large signs that read “road closed,” orange barrels and other barricades, Hussain was likely paying more attention to his GPS than the road, deputies said. more
Good grief. Remember the old days when you had to physically stop the car and get the nearest street sign, get out the map book of the city and flip through to find out exactly where you are? It appears those days were much safer. Admittedly an old book would lead you astray now and then, but at least you were looking around aware of your surroundings.

In this case you'd think at least one of the couple would've said "this bridge is closed", or "stop the bridge ends", but apparently what the GPS was saying they took for gospel. 

Monday, 30 March 2015

I'm going wide screen

Have been wanting to for some time, well at least with the header. Have had a wide screen monitor for ages, and I imported a wide screen HTML thing near the start of the blog as it seemed really stupid to me to only be looking at this tiny little writing at the centre of the screen. Squinting my eyes to do so. Meh, am 53 shortly and my vision isn't what it used to be.

I have tried to accommodate those dears battling on with those old fashioned nearly square screens, but hey it's 2015 now and the wide screens are about all they make anymore. It also seemed rather limiting to have to condense everything down to a certain size just for those screens when the world is moving on. That's not what I was wanting when I imported the full screen HTML thingo.

So from now on it's wide screen for me all the way baby. I feel much more comfortable and expressive that way. 

BTW, the new header is an old scanned picture I took of the Great Barrier Reef when my late wife and I flew over it in a small 6 seater plane. It was taken with film before digital camera's took over. The scan is a bit questionable, but I thought a personal picture of the Reef was particularly relevant in these days of climate change and the battle against fossil fuels. 

Not to mention the battle against fossil fools :) 

Indiana governor gives train wreck interview - can't answer yes or no

Wow, this is just tragic for his political career. It so reminds me of John Hewson's birthday cake interview in the '90's where he lost the unlosable election against Keating. He wanted to introduce a goods and services tax but couldn't explain simply how much a birthday cake cost. The video of Hewson's train wreck below.

Likewise with Pence in Indiana, he couldn't answer yes or no as to whether he thought it was lawful now to discriminate against gays. Of course he's just trying to "simplify" what the law is saying.

And here's Hewson's disaster that lost him the federal election. I actually feel a bit sorry for him here as he's obviously genuine but is having trouble explaining it. Pence however is lying through his teeth.

Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.” — Judge Leon M. Bazile, January 6, 1959 more  

Signs you may be a terrorist - US guidlines for TSA

This is from the US Transportation Security Administration. I'm wondering what bullshit they look for here to label people as possible terrorists. "Be alert but not alarmed"......   :s

 Run for the hills! Entire list here - PDF.


A night of nightmares - psychological abuse as a child?

Have been feeling quite depressed the last couple of days, as usual not the slightest idea why. Now last night I had one of the worst nights of nightmares I've ever had.

I won't go into all of them, suffice to say they went all night, and would continue on after I woke up. The worst one however was about my family, or more particularly my mother and an older brother; not sure which one as I have two older brothers who both appear to be competing with each other over their respective asshole-ness. Kevin is 4 years older than me and was the one who visited at new years with his psycho son Phillip who bashed David in our own home (the hearing for that's in June). John is my oldest brother who terrified me as a child, one time chasing me with a fuckin tractor FFS. I've not seen him in 2 decades. My mother died when I was 13.

So anyway, from the dream I had just before that, in this dream I'd become so terrified from the previous dream I'd lost the plot and my head wasn't presently reachable to communicate with. In this second dream they'd put me in a small room with another on suite thing. I'd woken terrified (this is all in my dream) and went over to the door opening it and calling out to mum in this state to come and be with me. One of my older brothers came to the door and kicked me fair and square in the guts, shutting the door on me. I staggered back and lay on the bed, still in a state. I lay there with the blankets over me and then felt the blankets being pulled from the bottom, that was completely and utterly terrifying. Had my brother sneaked back into the room to fuck with my head? It was about then I woke up.

I dunno WTF is going on in my head to have a dream like this. I sat up in bed, David was asleep, both cats were asleep on their respective chairs they'd claimed for themselves, and all was well. Took me some minutes however to come back to the present reality. I also had a massive headache from the back of my neck and took two Panadol for that. 

I've only ever had a night terror once in my life (stay away from special k darlings) but this was almost as bad as that. I could hear in my own voice how scared I was when I called out to mum from the open door.

On reflection I'm guessing this may have something to do with Kevin and the horrible person he was to me growing up. I discussed this with my psychologist last time I saw him, how I couldn't remember one kind thing he'd ever done for me as a kid or even a teenager. In hindsight he must have hated me. He always made fun of me and constantly put me down as a person. Took me ages to get over what he alone had done to my head, let alone the rest of the family.

My psychologist said it must have been terrible for me, and it certainly was. Often psychological abuse gets less of a mention than physical abuse, but recent studies have shown abuse of your head can have just as much of an impact on a child as physical abuse.
Psychological abuse — including demeaning, bullying and humiliating — may be the most prevalent form of child maltreatment. Yet it's among the hardest to identify or to treat. 

It may be the most common kind of child abuse — and the most challenging to deal with. But psychological abuse, or emotional abuse, rarely gets the kind of attention that sexual or physical abuse receives. That’s the message of a trio of pediatricians, who write this week in the journal Pediatrics with a clarion call to other family doctors and child specialists: stay alert to the signs of psychological maltreatment. Its effects can be every bit as devastating as those of other abuse. 

Psychological maltreatment can include terrorizing, belittling or neglecting a child, the pediatrician authors say. more
One things for sure, I'm not going to let Kevin get away with anything like that this time. Or his psycho son. No fuckin wonder his son come out as a bloody psycho, with a fuckin asshole father like that.

That's if he comes over from New Zealand for the Hearing. One would think he would given he's Phillip's only witness.  

Sunday, 29 March 2015

"Indiana is a great place to be a bigot" - video :)

So who's next Indiana? Blacks? Muslims? Jews? Atheists? 

I wouldn't visit your crappy state if you paid me.



Liberal voters explained :)

Cartoon compares gays to the KKK - US

That's pretty offensive. Saying that gays asking a christian to make a wedding cake is the same as the KKK asking a black to make one? Oh come on.... we're just people like everyone else. Do christians really hate who we are that much?


Greens win 4 seats after huge swings on north coast NSW

As polling predicted the Lieberals have retained New South Wales, however with a large swing of about 9% against them. Given that the last Labor party here was rotten after 16 years in power, people I suspect just weren't willing to bring them back in after only one term in the wilderness. Who could forget the conga line of assholes traipsing through court after the last election?

However the Greens have made big gains. After having just one seat they've expanded that to 4 in a big way, with two safe north coast seats held by the National Lieberals going down in flames to the Greens. This because of community opposition to CSG mining.

Lismore has had a massive swing of 26% so far against the Nationals with much of the vote counted. Click to enlarge.

More-so however, with nearly all of Ballina counted, the Nationals have suffered an unheard of swing against them of 32%, after holding the seat continuously for 27 yrs I believe.

It remains to be seen if the new Lieberal NSW gov will listen to the voters up there though. I'd expect at least the Nationals to be shitting themselves right now. 
Mr Guise was cautious about claiming victory prematurely but said the party had changed the political landscape on the state's north coast forever. 

"There's a clear vote against coal seam gas across the region," Mr Guise said. 

"There's a clear message that the old parties have to listen to our electorate, and actually end the corruption in the parties and get on with the job of rolling out renewables." more

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Get around Australia's data retention laws - Ludlam

I dunno if I could be bothered with a Virtual Private Network. But how easy is this; use overseas email and that's all you need to have email privacy. 

Good grief, what a waste of taxpayers money.


Affordable Housing report released by Australian experts

We're still up shit creek with our rent. What's more we well and truly don't qualify to get on the urgent Housing list because David gets more money with the Carers Allowance than with Newstart, so we've pretty well given up. 

All we got from the Dept of Housing was robot bureaucrats reciting Housing policy. According to them paying 50% of our meager income in rent is "affordable" FFS. How fuckin stupid. So we're stuck having to wait I dunno how many years before something comes up.

Now a group of experts have released research and recommendations to bring the private rental market more in line with the reality of people who retire (or who are sick like me) trying to survive in that market on gov benefits. 

One particular thing was to increase the Centrelink rent assistance. At the moment it's only a maximum of $60 a week, pathetic.
Australia’s home ownership levels are declining. The proportion of households who own outright is now smaller than the proportion who have a mortgage, and is continuing to diminish. This is a significant problem for a country whose retirement income system is based on outright home ownership in retirement. 

House prices continue to rise nationally. They are rising faster in our two major cities (Sydney and Melbourne) which, between them, house 40% of the population. Average Australian house prices are approximately 4 - 5 times the average annual household earnings. 

Nationally, four in five private rental households in the lowest 20% of incomes are in unaffordable housing situations (paying more than 30% of income in rent). Additionally, more than 30% of the second lowest quintile is also experiencing housing stress. 

Australia has a shortfall of housing supply, estimated by the most recent reputable assessment as over 500,000 rental dwellings which are both affordable and available to the lowest income households. 


  • The maximum rate of CRA should be increased by 30% in the 2015 - 16 Budget;  
  • A review of rental subsidies in private and public rental housing should be conducted. This should include an expert review of CRA indexation with recommendations to ensure the future adequacy of the payment in the context of rising housing costs. 
  • To ensure the future adequacy of CRA, the 3 yearly independent review of pension adequacy should have scope to regularly review the adequacy and indexation of all payments, including CRA; and 
  • Social housing rent setting should continue to ensure that households a re not left in after - housing poverty. the report  

Betty Bowers explains "religious freedom" :)

Restaurant owner admits discriminating against gays - Indiana

What a disgusting person. Gutless wonder wouldn't even say the name of the restaurant he owns, and admitted to discriminating in the past to gays. Obviously he agrees with the new Indiana law 100%. 

Personally I don't think he has a right to be in business.

Audio only, drag the mouse over the bottom part to show the controls:


Abbott described perfectly - the Dunning-Kruger effect

OMG. This is Abbott to a T. Basically he's too stupid to realise how stupid he is:
The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias wherein unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their ability to be much higher than is accurate. This bias is attributed to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their ineptitude.

Dunning and Kruger proposed that, for a given skill, incompetent people will:
  • fail to recognize their own lack of skill 
  • fail to recognize genuine skill in others 
  • fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy 
  • recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill, if they are exposed to training for that skill more  
   abbott interview1 photo ZaLfYZp_zpsuwusokge.gif

Aboriginal people vs Adani and coal

In what is shaping up to be a major test case for Aboriginal native title laws, the Aboriginal people have rejected completely Adani going ahead with the mega coal mines it wants to build in Queensland.
We, the Wangan and Jagalingou people, are the TRADITIONAL OWNERS of the land in Queensland’s Galilee Basin. Coal company Adani wants to use our ancestral lands for their Carmichael coal mine.

We do hereby firmly REJECT a Land Use Agreement with Adani for the Carmichael mine on our traditional lands.

We DO NOT consent to the Carmichael mine on our ancestral lands.

We DO NOT accept Adani’s “offers” to sign away our land and our rights and interests in it. We will not take their “shut up” money.

We will PROTECT and DEFEND our Country and our connection to it.

We call on Adani to IMMEDIATELY WITHDRAW from this damaging project on our land. sign petition here  

Friday, 27 March 2015

Could Julian Assange soon be freed?

He's now been locked up in one way or another for 4 years, longer than any penalty that may be given for the alleged crimes he's been accused of. Sweden has steadfastly refused to guarantee that he won't be extradited to the US if he goes to Sweden to face the accusations. He's still not been charged with anything, although the US has put together a few trumped up crimes, like espionage. Yes, espionage. How the hell can the US charge him with that when he's not a US citizen and has no allegance to the US whatsoever. 

Anyway, Sweden has finally agreed to come and question him about the allegations of sexual misconduct in London where he is now. Perhaps then this whole bullshit chapter can be closed.


CSG sees National Party being ditched in Northern NSW

It's certainly looking like the Lieberals are, overall, home and hosed in the New South Wales election tomorrow, however the Nationals are in quite a bit of bother in the north. It's one main issue up there, coal seam gas, and the desire by farmers and locals not to see it come to the state as it has in Queensland. Suddenly the Nationals are looking vulnerable in seats where they have a 20% margin:
On Saturday, Shearman, still a farmer at 78, won’t be encouraging voters to stick with the Nationals. He is too old-fashioned to disclose how he will vote himself, but he believes the Greens will get most support in Lismore, held by the Nationals by a normally impenetrable margin of 24.3%. One issue has shaken Shearman’s entire political outlook and is defining this election in large swaths of country NSW: the fight to stop coal seam gas. 

Before Shearman resigned as president at Lismore, he and Nola drove to Chinchilla in Queensland to look at its CSG operation. He decided that gas wells and water treatment ponds and endless trucks and dust didn’t suit the lush green hills of Lismore, with its small farms and bad roads. He came home and reported what he had seen to the Nationals, but says the party didn’t want to listen. 

“I’m very much against CSG. I don’t want them invading our land and transforming our land whatsoever. I went to see the local member, spoke at meetings, but all he would do is change the subject.” Nola, also a Nationals member for more than 40 years, adds: “We’ve got to stop it from coming here, once it’s here it’s here.” 


A recent poll says that, despite its 24.6% margin on paper, it could fall to Labor with Green preferences on this issue – even though there are no known CSG reserves in Ballina and only a small slice of the electorate is covered by an exploration licence. Nearby Lismore and Tweed, both held by the Nationals with margins of more than 20%, are also vulnerable to Labor and Green challenges and do have exploration licences over big chunks of them. 

Spooner hands out his literature at a local farmers market at the town of Bangalow, beautifully green and hip. He compares the intensity of the mood to the battle to save Tasmania’s Franklin dam in the early 1980s. “This election is a referendum on CSG on the north coast.” more 

Goebbels - Shaun Micallef

The colonel Klink lookalike is priceless!


Mean tweets to Sarah Hanson-Young, part 2 :)

Salesforce CEO abandons Indiana over religious discrimination

Well it's started. Now tech companies are pissed off with Indiana's new religious discrimination laws, with CEO Marc Benioff of global cloud computing company Salesforce severing all ties with the state:
Since 2007, ExactTarget has hosted its most important customer event, called Connections, in Indianapolis. Last year it drew 10,000 people and about $8 million in spending to Indianapolis. Salesforce announced it would move the event to New York in September. Benioff says there are other events that will be canceled as well. “We can’t bring our customers or our employees into a situation where they might be discriminated against,” he said. “We have a large number of employees and customers who would be impacted dramatically by this legislation. … I’m really just advocating on their behalf.” 

Canceling events may be just the start. Benioff didn’t say what other actions he might take to protest the law and to try to get it reversed. But he said he hopes that other tech CEOs who have operations in Indiana will follow his lead. 

“Gov. Pence says he wants to bring the tech industry to Indiana and to increase the number of tech-related jobs in his state, but he doesn’t seem to understand that a significant portion of the tech industry is gay,” Benioff said. “This is one of the most important industries in the country and he has been advocating for us to expand and invest in Indiana, but you can’t say that and then say you’re going to legalize discrimination like this. The tech industry is not going to support this kind of legislation and is going to react against it.” more  
No tech companies? Sounds like a perfect fit for Indiana at the moment as they've gone backwards in time. 

Thursday, 26 March 2015

TPP investment chapter leaked! - Wikileaks

This is big news. Finally the nitty gritty of the TPP is leaked to all via Wikileaks. Dunno what the fallout will be over this, but I imagine a few red faces. This comment from Wikileaks.
The TPP Investment Chapter, published today, is dated 20 January 2015. The document is classified and supposed to be kept secret for four years after the entry into force of the TPP agreement or, if no agreement is reached, for four years from the close of the negotiations. 

Julian Assange, WikiLeaks editor said: "The TPP has developed in secret an unaccountable supranational court for multinationals to sue states. This system is a challenge to parliamentary and judicial sovereignty. Similar tribunals have already been shown to chill the adoption of sane environmental protection, public health and public transport policies." 

Current TPP negotiation member states are the United States, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Chile, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand and Brunei. The TPP is the largest economic treaty in history, including countries that represent more than 40 per cent of the world´s GDP. 

The Investment Chapter highlights the intent of the TPP negotiating parties, led by the United States, to increase the power of global corporations by creating a supra-national court, or tribunal, where foreign firms can "sue" states and obtain taxpayer compensation for "expected future profits". These investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) tribunals are designed to overrule the national court systems. ISDS tribunals introduce a mechanism by which multinational corporations can force governments to pay compensation if the tribunal states that a country's laws or policies affect the company's claimed future profits. In return, states hope that multinationals will invest more. Similar mechanisms have already been used. For example, US tobacco company Phillip Morris used one such tribunal to sue Australia (June 2011 – ongoing) for mandating plain packaging of tobacco products on public health grounds; and by the oil giant Chevron against Ecuador in an attempt to evade a multi-billion-dollar compensation ruling for polluting the environment. The threat of future lawsuits chilled environmental and other legislation in Canada after it was sued by pesticide companies in 2008/9. ISDS tribunals are often held in secret, have no appeal mechanism, do not subordinate themselves to human rights laws or the public interest, and have few means by which other affected parties can make representations. 

The TPP negotiations have been ongoing in secrecy for five years and are now in their final stages. In the United States the Obama administration plans to "fast-track" the treaty through Congress without the ability of elected officials to discuss or vote on individual measures. This has met growing opposition as a result of increased public scrutiny following WikiLeaks' earlier releases of documents from the negotiations. more

Abbott lies his head off in parliament

Isn't there some law about misleading parliament? This is such an outrageous bald faced lie, surely he's broken some rule?


Anti-gay hate mail to senator Leyonhjelm - Canberra

More love from the christians.......

Leyonhjelm the other day introduced a marriage equality bill in the senate. 

3 conventions threaten to cancel over discrimination law - Indianapolis

Obviously this anti-gay law hasn't been thought through. The governor of Indiana looks set to sign a new discrimination bill into law shortly that would give religious zealots the right to refuse service to gays. So far three conventions planned for Indianapolis have threatened to cancel if the law goes ahead. One of them, ironically, is a christian group.
In Indianapolis, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) sent a letter to Pence on Wednesday threatening to cancel its 2017 convention in Indy if he signs the measure into law. 

"Our perspective is that hate and bigotry wrapped in religious freedom is still hate and bigotry," Todd Adams, the associate general minister and vice president of the Indianapolis-based denomination, told The Indianapolis Star. 

Adams said the Disciples of Christ would instead seek a host city that is "hospitable and welcome to all of our attendees." 

The Disciples of Christ has held its annual convention in Indianapolis three times since 1989. Adams expected about 8,000 to attend in 2017. VisitIndy estimated the economic impact at $5.9 million. 

The church is one of three conventions to threaten to leave Indy. Gen Con, the city's largest annual convention with 56,000 attendees and a $50 million annual economic impact, also sent a letter to Pence threatening to leave if he signs the bill. 

Chris Gahl, spokesman for VisitIndy, said the organizers of an annual music event also have threatened to leave if Pence signs the legislation. Gahl declined to disclose the name, saying the organizers haven't gone public yet. 

VisitIndy joined major employers such as Salesforce Marketing Group, Eli Lilly and Co and the Indy Chamber in opposition to the legislation. 

Other conventions have concerns, including Indianapolis-based Kiwanis International. The organization will draw 10,000 people to celebrate its 100th anniversary at a convention this June in Indianapolis. 

"We have received inquiries from members asking if any of our international guests (of varying religions) might be denied service in Indianapolis. This is attention our city does not need," said Kiwanis International Executive Director Stan D. Soderstrom. more
And why wouldn't you? What if business owners don't agree with serving Muslims? Where does it end? 


George Takei has weighed in calling for a boycott of Indiana:
The Governor of Indiana has indicated that he will sign SB101—a law that allows businesses to discriminate against customers based on the proprietors’ religious beliefs. This bill is strikingly similar to one proposed—and vetoed due to public outcry—in Arizona. Such laws harken back to a time where our society was divided, and people of color were banned from white establishments. That is not our nation any longer, and those are not our values. 

To the governor and to the legislators in Indiana who support this backward-looking and divisive bill, I say to you this: If it goes into effect, Indiana will be marked as a state where certain people are not welcome, and so we will not visit. We will not spend. And we will not attend events, including GenCon, the world’s largest gaming convention, held in Indianapolis each year. Many fans here are gamers, Governor Pence, and we will demand the convention move out of your state. 

Fans, friends and especially you gamers, let Governor Pence know how you feel about this bill. Give him a call: 317-232-4567.  

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

The TPP - why should the US write the rules?

Non-Discrimination laws destroying US morality - christian Pat Robertson

Here's christian Pat Robertson (fuck I wish he'd just retire) justifying discrimination because of religious beliefs. 

Does he not realise his religion also justified this?


"Sodomite Suppression Act" - California

More love from the christians. This one has been put up in California and it looks like nothing can be done for it to stop it moving forward, although it's unlikely to reach the voting stage by California voters.

Seriously, WTF is going on in the blokes head who put the bill together? 

Read the whole thing here

Will "Religious Freedom" Bills Backfire on Christians?

I can't for the life of me understand how so called "religious freedom" can be used as a justification for discrimination. What about the church of satan then? Or any other religious belief that goes against christianity. Is it OK for those people to refuse service to people because they're christians?


Henry Rollins on homophobia

I never thought about it but maybe he's right. Gay hate is a major form of fundraising in conservative churches.


Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Which Sheet Best Hides Bigotry? - US cartoon :)

Aussie footy player fined for calling opposing players "faggot"

Jacques Potgieter, rugby league player for the Waratahs, has been fined $20,000 for using the word "faggot" against opposing players.


Gov outsourcing is 1.8 times more expensive - US

A very apt topic given the impending Lieberal sale of the New South Wales electricity network. The same with the job search thing at Centrelink that David is using to look for work; the gov run one closed recently and was outsourced to a private job search company. David said the private people are very unprofessional in comparison, and they didn't even ring him to arrange an appt. He had to ring them to organise it. Bloody hopeless. He's on the Carers Payment now, but imagine on Newstart if he'd had to report to Centrelink and they asked him why he'd not been looking for work. He'd have to tell them the job search place didn't ring him to arrange the first appt with them. He's still using them to find something voluntarily, but he's not impressed.

Anyway a study done in the US, the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) has found that outsourcing gov services doesn't save money at all, and is on average 1.83 times more expensive than simply having gov employees do the work. The study is summarised thus:
Contrary to popular belief, many government services are not performed by federal employees, but by contractors. The government spends hundreds of billions of dollars annually on services—in fact, approximately one-quarter of all discretionary spending now goes to service contractors[209]—and POGO’s analysis found these contracts may be costing taxpayers, on average, 1.83 times more than if federal employees had done the work. In order to reduce those excessive costs, a government-wide system to conduct federal employee versus service contract cost analyses needs to be created. Instead of directly hiring service contractors without considering hiring federal employees—perhaps from a newly created pool of part-time or temporary federal employees—conducting cost reviews at the start of the process would allow the government to save billions of dollars annually. 

Federal agencies should move aggressively to limit or curtail service contracting, unless contractors can show that they both save taxpayer dollars and enhance performance as compared to when the work is performed by federal employees. In no event should agencies contract for work that is inherently governmental work, or closely associated with inherently governmental work, and agencies should curtail or eliminate the outsourcing of services that have been poorly performed by contractors—whether due to quality of the work or cost issues, including cost overruns. 

Based on POGO’s findings, we believe awarding government service contracts is nearly always more expensive than having such work performed by federal employees, even after accounting for the total cost to the government of federal employee fringe benefits and associated overhead costs. 

Under the current federal personnel and service contracting systems, waste to the tune billions of dollars a year will continue for the foreseeable future. The government’s failure to ameliorate its reliance on service contractors, its failure to base outsourcing actions on cost analyses, and its failure to review existing contracts for potential cost savings have serious budget consequences. - PDF

Australia's top ten polluters named - ACF

The Australian Conservation Foundation has released a report into our top polluters, and it's not pretty. Not surprisingly, 7 of them are energy companies burning coal for electricity, and the other three are mining. Notably, our emissions have higher intensity than China's.

Energy companies in the top ten polluters list are responsible for 20 per cent of Australia’s greenhouse gas pollution, nearly all through scope 1 emissions. Scope 1 emissions are greenhouse gases resulting directly from an activity at a facility (or machine) owned by a company, for example, the emissions resulting from fuel combustion within a vehicle or a power plant. Scope 2 emissions are greenhouse gases associated with energy consumption by a facility, for example, the greenhouse gases associated with the purchase of electricity. 

The vast majority of scope 1 pollution comes from burning coal to generate electricity. While ACF recognises electricity as an essential service, the brown coal plants operated in Victoria owned by AGL Energy, EnergyAustralia and GDF Suez are highly emissions intensive, producing an average of 1.3 tonnes of CO2-e per megawatt hour of electricity, the highest level in any state. Hazelwood, owned by GDF Suez, was once rated the dirtiest power station in the developed world. 

The black coal plants owned by AGL Energy, Energy Australia, Origin Energy, Stanwell Corporation, CS Energy and Intergen are less polluting but remain inefficient by global standards. 

As a result, Australia has a higher emissions intensity from power generation than China and twice the emissions intensity of other OECD countries. PDF  

Monday, 23 March 2015

The week in politics - Barry Cassidy

Christine Milne, Greens leader, saturation bombs at March in March

It's not often you see pollies at the stump fired up and in front of a fired up crowd. Here though is Greens leader Christine Milne going bananas about everything at the March in March rally in Sydney. Inspiring, she hits every nail on the head. Fuck she could run circles around Abbott.


"This election could make or break NSW" - the Greens election add

This released yesterday from the Greens. Again mining gets a big thumbs down, particularly on farmland. 


Don't trust the Nationals on CSG - Labor NSW election add

Labor is tapping into the anti-CSG sentiments in New South Wales. This is an election add of theirs. Don't forget to vote this weekend :)


Barrister Julian Burnside campaigning to the ICC to investigate Abbott gov

Well well well. Looks like this whole International Criminal Court thing isn't going to go away at all. Oh I'd just love to see Abbott and co in the dock at the Hague. 
One of the nation's senior barristers, Julian Burnside, has started a campaign to convince the International Criminal Court to investigate Prime Minister Tony Abbott and former immigration minister Scott Morrison for crimes against humanity committed on refugees in offshore detention centres. 

Mr Burnside, a Melbourne QC, told a Perth audience at the weekend he was trying to recruit high-profile international lawyers, including Amal Clooney, to conduct the investigation. 

"If we got Tony Abbott, Scott Morrison and a couple of others in the dock at The Hague, the Nuremberg Defence ("I was only following orders") wouldn't work," Mr Burnside told a sold-out auditorium at the University of WA. 

"I'm working on a plan to persuade the ICC to investigate the things that we are concerned about. 

"I think the fact that an investigation was happening would have a real, chilling effect on their conduct. 

"I'm trying to recruit (leading British barrister) Geoffrey Robertson and Amal Clooney." more  
I note this article is right smack in the main stream media too. Wonder what Abbott thinks about all this then? 

Politicians reject pay rise! - yes it's true

OMG. Has this ever happened before? They usually vote themselves a massive pay rise. This time however no so. The new Queensland Labor gov has rejected the latest pay rise already approved and all. Wonders never cease......
QUEENSLAND state MPs will not be receiving a 2.58% increase in pay after Labor ministers rejected the extra pay at yesterday's Cabinet meeting. 

Last week the Queensland Independent Remuneration Tribunal increased MPs' base pay from $148,848 to $152,688. 

But yesterday Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said ministers had voted to reject this, saying they were committed to stand by their election promise of only accepting increases that were in line with public servants. 

"We will be linking the salaries in future to public sector increases, which are done at the end of the year," Ms Palaszczuk said. "MPs will not be taking this pay rise." more

Corporations plunder the Antarctic for krill oil suppliments

What do people take krill oil for anyway? Wouldn't it be better to simply have a balanced diet? You can get into all sorts of trouble with some of these supplements that people take putting way too much this and that vitamins into your body. I read recently that Vitamin A is really bad for your liver, as well as too much iron.

Anyway now that they stopped slaughtering whales down there the corporations are going after the Krill, depleting their numbers by 80% the last few decades. It affects everything as it's a vital part of the food chain.
After depleting many of the world’s oceans of their fi sh, companies are now going after what’s left at the bottom of the food chain – the krill, a tiny crustacean that is the heart of the Antarctic ecosystem and feed its penguins, seals and whales. Using giant industrial factory-ships, seafood compa- nies are literally vacuuming the oceans by sucking up the krill that other marine creatures depend on. Simultaneously, Antarctic ice is melting due to climate change, depleting the krill’s ice algae food source. The end result is that since the 1970s, the krill population has already dropped by 80%. In turn, research now shows that Antarctic penguin populations, which depend on krill, have collapsed by 50% in studied colonies over the last 30 years. 

With climate change accelerating, pressure will relentlessly increase on this delicate wildlife ecosystem. Plundering krill in an already-threatened ecosystem is reckless in the extreme. 

This exploitation is ultimately dependent on a market for krill-based products. Currently, this route to market is provided by a number of major retailers, including Walmart, Target, CVS, and Walgreen’s. These companies continue to sell krill products despite clear contradictions with their own sustainability commitments. 

Our message to these companies is simple: Stop supporting the dangerous exploitation of Antarctic krill. Take the krill off your shelves, and leave it for the penguins and the Antarctic ecosystem. PDF report

You can contribute to the cause here if you so desire.


Sunday, 22 March 2015

Don't mine our food bowl (video) - NSW

"Prepare for martyrdom" if gay marriage goes federal - US christians

Dead set. WTF do they think is going to happen? Haven't heard of any martyred christians in New Zealand and they've had gay marriage for a few months now. Society hasn't imploded or anything.

But no, "the bible says, the bible says, the bible says, ..... bla bla bla ....." Fuck the bloody bible


Gays, abortions, caused the California drought - christians

No, it's not global warming that's causing a big drought in California, or El Nino and La Nina events (BTW the east coast of Australia is getting a lot of rain the last couple of years). It's the gays! And women who dare to get abortions!


NSW election minus one week - CSG & electricity sale backlash

It continues to look like the Lieberals are going to win overall unfortunately, but amidst it all are some very surprising stats coming out in polling. There appears to be a large backlash against CSG mining and the proposed sale of New South Wales electricity network. Most notably Ballina on the north coast (wonderful place Ballina).

Ballina has been held by the Lieberal coalition (the Nationals and Country parties) since 1927, and in the last election in 2011 the Nationals secured a 25% lead in winning. This time however, it's looking like it may well fall to Labor. 

If so that would be a huge slap in the face for the Lieberals. To lose a secure seat after holding it for 90 years or so speaks volumes for the issues not being addressed. Even though the Lieberals may well win the state, they will have no choice but to take a long hard look as to why they lost Ballina.
The Nationals won Ballina on a 25 per cent margin in 2011, and National and Country parties have retained the seat since 1927. 

But Thursday's polling shows Labor with a two-party preferred vote of 52 per cent, ahead of the Nationals' 48 per cent. 

Sitting MP Don Page's retirement after 27 years, controversy over the Baird Government's urban development plans for Byron Bay, and anti-CSG sentiment are driving a fierce three-way contest. 

ReachTel's James Stewart said Labor's primary vote had increased significantly to 30 per cent, but its campaign needed to manage the issue of "green bleed". The Greens' primary vote was 20 per cent. 

"Labor is incredibly reliant on preferences from the Greens to get across the line in Ballina," he said. 

There were strong similarities with the Queensland seat of Mount Cootha, where Labor produced an upset win after striking preference deals with the Greens, urging voters to put the Nationals last and to number every box to allocate preferences, he said. 

In NSW, the Greens have agreed to preference Labor on how-to-vote cards in 23 lower house seats, including the North Coast electorates which Labor is targeting heavily in its campaign. more  

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Target raises pay to $9 an hour - US vs Australia pay rates

If there was ever an indication of what a difference unionism can make then this is it. Target has capitulated and followed Walmart in raising it's wages to a poultry $9 an hour. Yes, that's $9 an hour after the raise. FFS. I think it was about $7 an hour before that.

So why is the pay so low? Simply put, the workforce isn't unionised. In fact Target goes so far as to make new employees watch Target's very own anti-evil-union propaganda video:

 photo emot-doh.gif Oh haven't I heard all that before here in Australia too. The boss says "Don't worry, trust me, I'll look after you" and you end up going years without a pay rise. *pfffft*
The video assumes unions haven't evolved from about the 1950's by the sounds of it. I can say from my own experience with working in a unionised workplace that unions have moved with the times and (at least in Australia) flexibility comes with on site Enterprise Bargaining Agreements that benefit both workers and employers. 

Apparently if workers in the US are to get more than $9 an hour the sky will fall, or something akin to that. Yes folks, in the rich US that can afford to spend 90% of the world spend on military hardware and weapons, Target can only afford to pay it's people $9 an hour. And god forbid if you protest or join a union in disgust.

Which brings me to Target Australia. Here are the pay rates in Australia, much more than $9 an hour:

Add to that the compulsory 9% superannuation that has to be paid into the employees super fund of the employees choice.

So what gives? Why can Target pay such an amount here but not there? Simply put, Australia has a much more unionised workforce. Target pays the above amounts here and does very well with profits and all. The sky hasn't fallen and won't. 

Advice to US workers? Grow some balls. Stand up for yourselves. Don't believe the hype. The corporates aren't going to give you a raise beyond $9 an hour unless you fight for it. Go on strike. Make a point. Make the US a better place for when your kids join the workforce. Unite. 

Pension Conversation - Shaun Micallef :)

ATM's targeted by climate activists - well done :)

This is brilliant. Whoever thought of it must of had a real brainwave. The Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) put mock screen covers on top of the actual screens. This was the result: