Monday, 31 July 2017

Why does Twitter think this image "may contain sensitive material"? (pic)

I re-tweeted a Positive Life (Positive life are here in Sydney) tweet about PrEP; that is, taking Truvada to avoid HIV infection even if the sex is unsafe. It has in the last while become a powerful weapon against HIV infections.

Yet because there were two men in it the message was distilled down to a risky post I guess to click on, with a warning about what you may see upon viewing the media.  This can only reduce the effect of the message as people steer away from wanting to do so.

FFS it's just 2 guys. Upon seeing the warning message most people would think it was going to be porn! In fact the same message appears in a gay porn message complete with video and all. Why is this innocent photo, obviously nothing more than a header for the post, included in that?

BTW, apologies for no links to twitter on this. The internet here has been mostly offline all afternoon (yes we're in eastern Sydney in 2017).  Thanks Turnbull for fucking nothing.......

George Pell's court appearance on child sex charges (video)

Extraordinary scenes outside the court as George Pell makes his first court appearance on historical child sex charges. Flanked by cops escorting him through the crowd he looks stony faced and grim about the whole experience. This is a long long way from the Vatican.

Pro-marriage equality Lieberals considering crossing the floor forcing parliament to vote

Gay Lieberal shit stirrer MP Trevor Evans
Could this be the final nail in the coffin of the bitter middle aged white men in Canberra against marriage equality?

It seems there's rebellion in the ranks. Moderate Lieberals are in mutiny against a plebiscite, hallowed doctrine of the party religiously parroted for ages now. Yes folks, Lieberals are now openly challenging the far right blinkered view of a plebiscite or nothing.

Queensland’s first openly gay MP, Liberal Trevor Evans, has called for the dumping of the Turnbull government’s election commitment to hold a plebiscite on same-sex marriage and for it to immediately resolve the issue in a parliamentary vote.

 Just a week before federal parliament­ resumes after the extended­ winter break, Mr Evans confirmed yesterday there were several options being planned within Liberal ranks to bring on a vote, possibly within weeks.

 The first-term MP, who holds the marginal seat of Brisbane, would also not rule out crossing the floor and supporting a Labor motion to suspend standing orders­ before introducing a bill to change the Marriage Act.

 In his first public comments after Labor scuttled the proposed plebiscite in the Senate this year, Mr Evans said a resolution was needed, adding that the Turnbull government’s achievements in cutting red tape, delivering tax cuts for small business and taking on militant unions were not being recognised because of the focus on the same-sex marriage debate.

 “There is a still a number of ways to achieve reform,’’ he told The Australian. “But I think the quickest and most likely course now is to allow politicians to have a free vote … and I support that.


But moderate Liberals are against the proposal for a plebis­cite and Labor is demanding a parliamentary vote. Mr Evans is among Liberals, including gay-rights advocate Warren Entsch and gay MPs Trent Zimmerman and Tim Wilson, rumoured to be willing to give Labor the three Coal­ition votes needed to suspend standing orders and bring the issue to a head. Labor may then bring on a priv­ate member’s bill being proposed by West Australian Liberal senator Dean Smith to legalise same-sex marriage.

 Mr Evans would not say whether he was willing to cross the floor but hinted that among the options was a push for the government itself to force a parliam­entary vote. The Australian

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Brisbane marriage equality rally (video)

There was a rally in Brisbane yesterday demanding Canberra politicians do their jobs and have a free vote on marriage equality. This is part of a new push in Australia with the campaign to be rolled out across Australia.

During the protest they rang Dopey Dutton to send him a very clear message :)

Friday, 28 July 2017

Bernie Sanders praises Australia's healthcare system in US senate floor (video)

Sanders is correct when he points out that Trump got it right when he said Australia has a better health care system than the US. Although it was a bit rich Trump saying that to prime minister Turnbull, who's Lieberal party is constantly trying to undermine and cut back Medicare. The Hawke Labor gov bought Medicare in in the early 1980's and the Lieberals (then opposition) haven't liked it ever since.

I don't know where I'd be without our Medicare system here. No private health insurance company would want to insure me with all my problems. I rely completely on the public system. Yes it has it's problems like any system, but overall the outcomes are far superior to the US system. It's accessible to all Australians including those of us struggling in poverty.

I think Clinton wanted to change US health care in his presidency to something like Australia's but there was just too much opposition to it over there and he failed.

Musical tribute to US trans troops (video)

For no apparent or justifiable reason, Trump has declared that trans in the military will be banned from serving in any capacity.

It has sparked outrage across the US. Not to mention in the military leadership who had no idea that Trump was going to do this.

It's a major set back for LGBT in the US, and a huge slap in the face. How insulting to be fired by tweet. Evidently there's about 15,000 of them.

Watch this excellent tribute to them by James Corden. 

Thursday, 27 July 2017

LGBT survey on postal plebiscite - please take

Follow the links here to take the survey
PFLAG has put together a survey for LGBT people to take, getting our views on a postal plebiscite. There's space there too for any comments you may have about it. Follow the links here to take the survey.

Of course I'm dead against the idea. Our human rights in the hands of Australia post? What an insult. Why should we have to ask the rest of Australians for the same human rights as them? It's even worse than the original plebiscite idea. I'd like to build a ballot bonfire to protest the whole thing.

And this is all about the Lieberal party, not the LGBT. We're just the cannon fodder of their clown show.

Lieberals in marriage meltdown - party divides over marriage equality

This is like watching a soap opera as the gov again publicly tears itself to bits over the LGBT, again. All because Western Australian MP Dean Smith will be introducing a private members bill on marriage equality when parliament resumes shortly.

As would be expected the RWNJ's have got off like headless chooks, feathers flying aplenty as they panic at the mere thought of gay marriage. The likes of Dutton and Abbott are permanently stuck on the Lieberals not straying from the plebiscite idea and have dragged it up again as the only way to "resolve" the issue. Although prime minister Howard had five conscience votes during his 11 year gov, the far right of this gov just can't actually get their head around having one for marriage equality.

Other gov members however, particularly Dean Smith, want a conscience vote on the issue. Rumour has it too from GetUp that some gov MP's are willing to cross the floor on the issue.

There will be much wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth when the Lieberals have their party room meeting over it.

While conservatives will want the plebiscite to play a central role in resolving the renewed debate triggered by the Smith bill, bringing back the plebiscite could prove a risky proposition on certain scenarios.

 Last time the parliament considered the issue, Smith was the only Liberal MP who broke ranks and voted against the plebiscite proposal.

 It is unclear whether Smith would be the only break away vote in the event the plebiscite returned for fresh parliamentary consideration. It is possible that some other Liberal supporters of marriage equality could join the public opposition to the proposal. Smith, and the longtime marriage equality campaigner Warren Entsch, have both publicly argued this week against the Dutton proposal – a postal plebiscite.

 Entsch said at the start of the week: “The fact that a plebiscite of any form, whether it be postal or otherwise, is not binding I think really puts the final nail in the coffin in relation to any concept of a plebiscite and that’s not going to change with a ... postal plebiscite”.

 Smith said plebiscites were “the radical way of resolving policy issues in the Australian democratic practice”.

 He said he opposed them as a “traditional conservative”. The Guardian

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Dutton wins cabinet support for postal plebiscite vote (video)

What is wrong with these people? Listening to Dopey Dutton like he knows what's good for LGBT people? The guy is a moron.

So it appears Dopey Dutton has won support from fellow cabinet ministers of the gov for a postal plebiscite. Yes, they're still stuck in their plebiscite world. A plebiscite that will be wrong for pretty much all the same reasons as the other plebiscite idea was wrong.

But this will be worse. It won't be a fair vote. There's a reason why Australia Post's revenue has fallen in recent years; nobody mails letters anymore. Well certainly not many young people, which would represent a large number of yes voters. Hardly a fair opinion poll (which is what a plebiscite is). 

But as usual with the Lieberals, it's all about their party and not the LGBT. So we get a far right bitter and twisted middle aged white christian gov zealot deciding what's good for us LGBT. That in itself is an injustice to us. Pathetic.

The parliamentary party is united in wanting the issue dealt with asap. Since a free vote would likely split the party, that is not an option. A ‘proper’ plebiscite remains impossible while the Senate and LGBTI campaigners maintain their opposition. That leaves a postal vote as the only possible way forward. This is the argument that Dutton appears to have won.

 His supporters are unmoved by the deficiencies of a postal vote: they can spruik it as a ‘plebiscite’ and claim they have kept their promises. It will still not bind MPs to vote in line with the result. It won’t be compulsory. And younger voters are less likely to return a postal ballot than older people, suppressing the Yes vote. Worst of all, we won’t know exactly what we’re voting for: at this stage, there’s no bill. Whichever way it goes – and it will be designed as far as possible to hand the No side a win – the losers won’t accept the outcome.

 None of which matters to the delcons such as Abbott, Abetz, or even Dutton himself. After all, since we LGBTI blocked the plebiscite proper, we only have ourselves to blame for ending up with a worse mechanism, they say. The only way to stop the postal plebiscite at this stage is to convince the delcons they will lose. More polls will not do it: the Australian Equality Campaign unveiling a multi-million dollar warchest, for example, might just about meet the case!

 There is no need to take the issue back to the party room on August 8, though they almost certainly will, “to give everyone a say”: it will likely pass with a sigh of relief. Just to make sure, it’ll be another “stacked” joint meeting, including the Nationals. Talk is moving from “if” to “when”, with nothing remaining but the announcement. The Stirrer

Undetectable HIV viral load = no passing on of virus (major Aussie study)

This is the reason why those in communities at risk of HIV should get tested regularly, for no cost to themselves, and no stigma fear, to eventually eradicate the HIV virus from humanity.

And if said people are tested and found to be HIV positive, then getting them on the HIV meds is beneficial to the whole community. It means they become essentially non-infectious. Meaning it's impossible for them to pass on the HIV virus even with unprotected sex.

I would have to add that gays have been at the forefront of dealing with the HIV virus. Unlike Western Australia mining regions. Blaming gays is amis. HIV doesn't discriminate. How many of those hetro minors get tested every 3 months for HIV?

From 2011: 
AIDS risk changing

Dr Douglas says that while Australia has continued to perform well in controlling the spread of HIV in the community, the profile of those at risk is changing. "We still have very low rates of infection, they are increasing slightly but compared to other countries that haven't done as well as Australia, we are doing really well."

"But rates are increasing and things have changed a bit." "In this country it used to be almost exclusively a disease of men who have sex with men."

"Now we are seeing it amongst heterosexual couples and that is people travelling to high prevalence countries, as well people from high prevalence countries coming into Australia with HIV."

"We've got to respond in a different way to this change and one of the things we're doing is to have this ball to raise general awareness amongst people that it is now not just exclusively a disease of men who have sex with men or people who use drugs." ABC

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

PM Howard had 5 conscience votes in 11yr gov - Dean Smith on marriage equality

WA Lieberal Dean Smith (soon to present a private members bill on marriage equality to parliament) has set his sights on Dopey Duttons claim over the weekend that a postal plebiscite was a sensible way to "resolve" the marriage equality issue. Yes it's happening again; the Lieberals are tearing themselves apart over a simple issue as whether the likes of David and I can have the same human rights as the rest of Australians. Fuck, how hard can it be? It's like pulling teeth FFS.

Dutton's assertion that a plebiscite would "resolve" the issue is a lie. All it is is a non-binding opinion poll. Conservative MP's have already said they'd still vote no even if a plebiscite said yes. That's hardly "resolving". The fact remains that we could have marriage equality very shortly if Turnbull allowed his party a free vote on the issue as the numbers are there to pass it.

Speaking of which, Smith has also pointed out that prime minister John Howard had 5 free/conscience votes over the eleven years of his gov. That's nearly one conscience vote every couple of years on average. So why not now then? Why this obsession with a plebiscite?

"Plebiscites are actually the radical way of resolving policy issues in the Australian democratic practice. We have had two binding plebiscites, in 1916 and 1917; they were acrimonious and they divided communities. For me, as a traditional conservative, I look at that and I think to myself 'why didn't we ever experiment with them again again?'. Because our forefathers decided they were not the way to decide issues. More than that, postal plebiscites, national plebiscites are corrosive, corrosive to our parliamentary democracy," Senator Smith said.

 Mr Dutton on the weekend said a postal plebiscite was "the most sensible approach" to resolve same-sex marriage without breaking the Coalition's election commitments.

 "I think that is a much cleaner process than people running off to support private members' motions or a Labor stunt within the House of Representatives," he said. His push was then backed by Mr Abbott.


"If we were to channel John Howard's experience as prime minister, in those 11 years as prime minister, prime minister John Howard stewarded five conscience votes through the parliament, five conscience votes on issues like stem call research and therapeutic cloning. So I would argue that this is in fact the common practice, the traditional practice, in terms of resolving what are contentious issues."

 Senator Smith said same-sex marriage was similar and Coalition MPs deserved a free vote to deal with it.

 "We are seeking a free vote, a conscience vote, because that is the best practice in terms of how we deal with contentious issues."

 Continuing to require MPs to vote along party lines would be a "failure" of the parliamentary Liberal Party, he said. Sydney Morning Herald

GetUp launches major push for marriage equality

GetUp has launched a major push in the electorates of on the fence Lieberals, as the private members bill by West Australian Lieberal Dean Smith is to be put forward when parliament resumes shortly.

They are crowd funding this latest effort and you can contribute here if you so desire.
 We have a rare opportunity to win marriage equality. But we only have a short amount of time to take action. Can you chip in to supercharge this campaign to get marriage equality over the line?

 WA Senator Dean Smith has put forward a bill and rumour has it that Liberal MPs are willing to cross the floor, meaning the bill has the numbers to pass. We need to throw everything we have at this fight.

 Opponents of marriage equality have deep pockets and extraordinary access to far-right members of the Liberal party. They've stalled dozens of attempts to change the discriminatory law. We need to speak the politician's language and get them where it hurts -- in their electorates.

 GetUp has identified a handful of MPs that are on the fence on marriage equality -- we can demonstrate how toxic a vote against marriage equality is, and add more votes to our column. In these key electorates we will phone bank, unleash targeted sophisticated digital advertising, name and shame the MPs in outdoor posters and invest in video storytelling to put the lives of LGBT people front and centre of this political fight.

 Marriage equality is the law in 22 countries around the world. It's largely accepted as inevitable here in Australia -- even the conservatives want to make sure that this issue isn't losing them votes at the next election.

 We truly believe that we can win this vote and GetUp is throwing everything at it. But we have less than a month until the bill is introduced, can you help make this huge? Contribute here

Monday, 24 July 2017

Star Trek discovery will have first gays ever in a Star Trek series (video)

First black and white kiss on US television, Kirk and Ohura
In the groundbreaking tradition of Star Trek, the new series Discovery will have a gay couple for the first time in a Star Trek series.

It's worth noting that George Takai wanted gays in the original Star Trek, but Gene Roddenberry was against it as it would likely have meant the end of the show. Even the first kiss on TV between a black and white person was highly controversial in the US, and I think from memory that episode wasn't aired in some southern US states. The groundbreaking kiss was between Kirk and Ohura.

Watch the announcement about Discovery below.

Turnbull humiliated on live TV over marriage equality (video)

Turnbull left speechless, gives awkward smile

I have no idea why Turnbull was on The Project (a light hearted news show) but it did mean he was out in the real world away from his party. Where everybody knows that he is the only reason why we don't have marriage equality today in Australia, and they aren't afraid to stick it to him about it.

This is the reality of the marriage equality nightmare the Lieberals have made for themselves. It's one thing to preach to the faithful or repeat endlessly in front of the camera their doctrine of plebiscite or nothing. It's quite another for the public to be openly laughing at you about how ridiculous it is.

Fact is we're not going away. Love is a very powerful thing to be fighting for. A light hearted bit of banter on a news show isn't going to cut it over denying us our human rights.

Liberal party Doctor blames HIV on "man's love"

HIV doesn't discriminate, yet this appears to have escaped a doctor in Bendigo, who is also a recruiter for the Liberals.

Yet another connection between the party and extremist far right christianity.

In a wide-ranging speech that argued against abortion, dying with dignity and marriage equality, Dr Stratov also spoke about his experience treating patients with HIV, explaining lapsed moral judgment was to blame for the disease’s spread.

 “I studied a disease called HIV; thirty-five million people have died from that disease because they all decided they were going to make man’s love, not God’s love,” Dr Stratov, also a former Family First state election candidate, said.

 “Look at what’s happened to them.”

 Victorian AIDS Council chief executive officer Simon Ruth, whose organisation runs Bendigo-based HIV service VACountry, said the medic’s claim was symptomatic of the stigma faced by the LGBTI community and people living with HIV.

The blood-borne virus could affect anyone, Mr Ruth said.

 "Gay, straight, men, women, trans and gender diverse communities, and people of every race and religion – including 2.6 million children worldwide,” he said.

 “HIV does not discriminate and to have a registered medical practitioner assert otherwise is repugnant.” Bendigo Advertiser

Sunday, 23 July 2017

I got instagram spammed on twitter :s pissed off

Bloody hell! What a pain. I'm really pissed off.

So I clicked the link, silly me as I'm usually very cautious of doing that. But it just looked like a legit twitter notification. Well it was really, it was the link on the twitter message that did the damage. 

Suddenly all my twitter followers got the same message as me, like I'd written the message to them and sent it. People asking why I sent it in reply, or saying it my account was compromised. I made me feel really bad that I'd been so stupid. One person even said it crashed their PC. 

The link though didn't seem to go anywhere except to the main Instagram sign in page. WTF was the point of it all then? Just to piss off people? Why do idiots sit around dreaming up this bullshit? What do they even gain from it?

I'm not even on Instagram!

Friday, 21 July 2017

Amazing latest pictures from Mars (video)

*click to enlarge
Brilliant collage of latest pictures coming from Mars. I found the most startly ones were from the surface taken by the rover.

Half world HIV patients now on meds - first time

A milestone has been reached in the fight against HIV/AIDS, with now half of those infected with HIV across the world now taking medication to treat the virus. 

The flow on effects are obvious, with treatment stopping HIV spreading. However concerns remain over the ongoing ability of health care systems in some countries to keep up the funding for HIV treatments, particularly with Trump's US considering slashing UN contributions that fund the HIV health care.

As always cutting funding to HIV/AIDS programs is a false economy, with the cost of treating new infections down the track being much more expensive. HIV drugs are expensive, and you have to take them for life to survive. However they make it very hard for the HIV virus to be passed on. The whole idea of ending HIV is to get everyone on meds and massively reduce new infections. Even the bean counters should understand that. 
For the first time in the global AIDS epidemic that has spanned four decades and killed 35 million people, more than half of all those infected with HIV are on drugs to treat the virus, the United Nations said in a report released Thursday.

 AIDS deaths are also now close to half of what they were in 2005, according to the U.N. AIDS agency, although those figures are based on estimates and not actual counts from countries.

 Experts applauded the progress, but questioned if the billions spent in the past two decades should have brought more impressive results. The U.N. report was released in Paris where an AIDS meeting begins this weekend.

 “When you think about the money that’s been spent on AIDS, it could have been better,” said Sophie Harman, a senior lecturer in global health politics at Queen Mary University in London.

 She said more resources might have gone to strengthening health systems in poor countries.

 “The real test will come in five to 10 years once the funding goes down,” Harman said, warning that some countries might not be able to sustain the U.N.-funded AIDS programs on their own.

 The Trump administration has proposed a 31 percent cut in contributions to the U.N. starting in October. AP

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Low NBN speeds due to high charges from NBN to ISP's (video)

Continuing the infrastructure disaster that the Lieberals have turned the National Broadband Network into (to the detriment of their election chances) we now have reports that people transferring to the NBN after it's rolled out to their premises are finding no difference in speed as when they were on the simple ADSL.

What a Lieberal disaster. What a lemon.

We BTW in the middle of eastern Sydney are still on ADSL2+, with no sign of the NBN roll-out until late next year. The internet is getting slowly worse and worse here as Sydney residents sign up more and more for streaming pay TV. It constantly drops out and we have to reconnect by rebooting the modem/router thingo. Often this will happen in the middle of my posting here and I have to save the post to Word and reboot everything. That's how bad it is.

Yet the new whiz bang NBN sounds no better.


Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Lyle Shelton (ACL) was political advisor to Barnaby Joyce

It's been very obvious in recent times the links between the federal Lieberals and far right loony tunes christian groups. We've had Scott Morrison speaking at the Australian Christian Lobby conference last year in Sydney, along with Tony Abbott speaking at Alliance Defending Freedom in New York. Notably both organisations are vehemently ant-gay.

Well another link has emerged between the Lieberals and the Australian Christian Lobby extremists. Thanks to an announcement of the ACL leader Lyle Shelton in a country news outlet about an upcoming visit, it has come to light that Shelton spent time as a political advisor to our current deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce.

After a role as political advisor to Queensland senators Ron Boswell and Barnaby Joyce, Mr Shelton became the Chief of Staff at the Australian Christian Lobby for six years. He was appointed managing director in 2013.

 The dinner — to be held on Monday, July 24 — will cover a range of topics, including the controversial issue of marriage equality.

 Mr Shelton will chat about the implications of allowing marriage equality in other countries such as Canada and Sweden, and the potential consequences should it be allowed in Australia.

 Safe schools, freedom of speech and transgenderism will also be topics of discussion. SOUTHERN RIVERINA NEWS

Monday, 17 July 2017

George Takei - YouTube statement on Chechnia gay genocide

Civilised people can surely not stand by as the Chechnia gov proceeds with genocide against a minority. In this case it's gays. In the past it's been Jews (along with gays mind you). 

Once they go after one minority, which one is next?

Latest HD pictures from Pluto - New Horizons spacecraft (video)

Absolutely stunning. It boggles my mind that these images are coming back in such clarity and colour from the very outer reaches of our solar system. What a testament to man's ingenuity. 

I watched it in HD BTW, even though it stopped and started with Turnbull's internet it's not the sort of video that that would bother you.

Don't let go - Greg Guild (music video)

Australian singer Greg Gould (who's gay) and got his start on Australia's got talent, has a latest song about the difficulties of homophobia in a gay relationship.

David really likes this one as it expresses the way his mother hasn't ever accepted him being gay.

Alliance Defending Freedom castigated by Southern Poverty Law Centre - US

Right Wing Watch reported on Abbott going to ADF

The anti-LGBT US hate group Alliance Defending Freedom is currently in an online war with the US Southern Poverty Law Centre. I've been reading about it in recent days and the events are like this:

1. Southern Poverty Law Centre has listed the Alliance Defending Freedom as an anti-LGBT hate group.

2. The US ABC reported on the US attorney general Jeff Sessions after he had a closed door speech to the Alliance Defending Freedom. The ABC reported that the ADF was "allegedly" a hate group.

3. The Alliance Defending Freedom went bananas at both the ABC for reporting them as a hate group and the Southern Poverty Law Centre for listing them as a hate group. From the linked article there apparently butter doesn't melt in the ADF's mouth.

4. Which brings us to the present, of which the Southern Poverty Law Centre has published a scathing attack on the Alliance Defending Freedom, stating categorically that the ADF is in fact a hate group completely against anything LGBT.

This week, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions lent the credibility of his office to a group committed to legalizing discrimination against the LGBT community.

 In a major speech to Alliance Defending Freedom at the group's "Summit on Religious Liberty" in Dana Point, California, Sessions expressed sympathy for the group's contention that its religious freedom is jeopardized by laws and court rulings that protect the rights of LGBT people.

 SPLC President Richard Cohen noted the irony that the attorney general "would suggest that the rights of ADF sympathizers are under attack when the ADF is doing everything in its power to deny the equal protection of the law to the LGBT community."

 The ADF is, in fact, not about defending freedom, as its name says. Rather, it's a hate group that cloaks itself in religion as it spreads demonizing lies about the LGBT community in this country and seeks to criminalize it abroad. If the ADF had its way, gay people would be back in the closet for fear of going to jail.

 The group supports the fraudulent practice of gay-to-straight conversion therapy. Its first president, Alan Sears, has argued that pedophilia and homosexuality are "intrinsically linked" (a dangerous falsehood long employed by anti-LGBT hate groups). In 2003, its lawyers argued against the eventual U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said sexual conduct between consenting adults is protected by the Constitution, a decision that struck down state laws criminalizing gay sex. Southern Poverty Law Centre
The ADF gained attention in Australia when our ex-prime minister Tony Abbott went to New York to speak at one of their meetings, in which he spewed his usual bile about gays and marriage equality. Much to the chagrin of his lesbian sister I might add.

The article goes on to question Jeff Session's commitment to civil rights after making a speech at the ADF. Surely something that would also apply to Abbott after his speech at the hate group.

85% of DSP applicants are rejected

Wow, I didn't know it was that many. And this article is a year old so has it gotten worse? I dunno, but it seems like they want to make it so hard to apply that people will end up trying to work when they aren't able to.

For anyone who thinks that Centrelink magically throws money at you upon walking in the door, or that recipients on the Disability Support Pension are dastardly bludger types engaged in ripping off taxpayers, then surely these numbers will quash that suggestion.

Only 15% of applicants for the DSP are successful, as of June last year. Meaning that a whopping 85% are rejected. On top of that the application process can take months with the applicant left in limbo.

I applied the other year and the process went surprisingly smoothly so I guess it's because of all the staff cutbacks at Centrelink for the delays now. It was still a difficult process for me though.The forms are daunting. If you could call them "forms". It's a book, and inside is another book. And there's another book of instructions on how to fill out the two books. 

It was also after the Gillard gov bought in the points system where you had to get enough points to be deemed disabled. As I have a number of issues  I didn't have a problem with that. Evidently I'm really fucked up :s

I can't imagine what I would have done however if the application was delayed for months. WTF was I supposed to do? Rent and all has to be paid. The only reason I didn't get fired from my last job was because I'd been there for 13 years. I was having so much time off I doubt I'd have stayed employed for long at a new job. Plus in printing it's hard physical work. I just couldn't do it anymore. 

It has never been tougher to make a successful claim for the Disability Support Pension (DSP), new Government figures suggest.

 Hundreds of thousands of people who are unable to work more than 15 hours a week rely on the payment.

 But statistics from the Department of Social Services obtained by the ABC indicate only about 15 per cent of current applicants are granted the DSP.

 The vast majority are rejected. ABC   

Sunday, 16 July 2017

When Magda Szubanski came out as gay (Aussie videos),- Babe movie star :)

I didn't realise it was so recent as 2012. I guess there's a lot of pressure when you become such a celebrity!

Here she is coming out in 2012:

BTW, she got her start here in Australia on the channel 10 show "Fast Forward"; a comedy show:

"Why should we ask permission to be married?" - gay Aussie mother alongside son (video)

It appears this is the direction I'm going tonight; why the fuck won't they let David and I get married?

This video is back in 2014 under Tony Abbott as PM (still calling the shots from the backbench BTW). In it the son has written by hand a letter to Tony Abbott questioning why Abbott won't allow his mum to get married in Australia. The mother at one point asked the poignant question, "Why should we ask permission to be married?" 

This was way before the Lieberal plebiscite idea, so that question I think was directed at the Abbott gov. Yet after the plebiscite fiasco it's almost a prophetic question ...... 

Christian anti-LGBT freak show - Australian senate opening statements (video)

Yes, in the first guys opening statement against marriage equality he actually equated the LGBT with Hitler and Stalin. Seriously, no joke.

How in the hell these fringe dwelling nutters get a voice in the Australian senate is beyond my comprehension. They represent the most extremist views of christianity, hence they don't at all represent the main stream of Australia's christians.

I always have to wonder though, where are the moderate religious voices disagreeing with them? Surely it's not up to us LGBT alone after getting called fascists to be the only ones appalled at this? As Australians we all need to stand up against extremism and those that express views that are so vile and convoluted as this?

The video was posted in late Jan this year.

Interview of Aussie gay couple on marriage equality (video)

I have to give credit to YouTube for suggesting this video for me to watch. Evidently YouTube is getting to know me very well. Surprises me a lot how it somehow manages to dig up videos that I'd not have a chance of finding myself.

This is an interview of an Australian gay couple who were married in New Zealand, the interview done about 6 months ago. It's still pretty up to date though apart from some details. Like Cory Bernardi has indeed pissed himself off from the Lieberals because he thought they were too leftie (FFS:s ).

Australian marriage equality remains in the same limbo the Lieberals have put it in 6 months ago; being the plebiscite or nothing doctrine. Designed to appease the far right of the Federal Lieberals so Turnbull can keep their support and stay prime minister.

One of the strongest points made during the interview is that the far right should look beyond their personal sphere of people and at the bigger picture. I would use the example of Tony Abbott in this, saying that not to have a plebiscite is a "betrayal of trust" to those that voted Lieberal. Who is he talking about exactly? It's certainly not the majority of Australians. He must be referring to his own circle of contacts that of course think as he does.

The interview also shows what the delay in marriage equality means on a human level. These are real people with real lives. To have our lives so politicised over our issue of human rights is just an insult.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

"Gays ‘are Not People. They are Devils. They are for Sale" - Chechnya leader (video)

Closet dwellers?
WTF can you say to this? 

What a vile self absorbed, self rightous pig of a man. What a disgusting human being. What an inhuman nation. To pick on the vulnerable for political gain. Absolutely horrifying.

GetUp crowd funded tax journalist Michael West for research - video

From the email. Think I'll have to flag that email and get into it much more as there's so much information there. But just to start off, here is West on the Murdoch owned Sky News, video below.

Keep in mind how robodebt and the like is targeting people like me with nothing, attempting to make our suffering even worse by saying we owe some bullshit amount to them. Yet multinational corporations are getting away with blue murder. 
 Two months ago 2,951 incredible GetUp members chipped in to fund hard-hitting independent investigative journalism by Michael West, one of Australia's top business reporters.
 West dug deep into the tax affairs of 20 of Australia's largest multinational corporations – and uncovered the dodgy tricks they use to cheat the public out of billions of dollars in tax revenue.
 And just last week, West presented the findings of his investigation before the Senate Inquiry into Corporate Tax Avoidance.
 It's been a powerful collaboration, which even attracted the ire of the Murdoch Press...

Peter Short "Fade to Black" movie trailer - Dying with dignity (video)

Peter Short died a while back, in the process drawing attention to the plight of those who wanted to end their lives at the time of their choosing. Rather than going through intolerable suffering both for them and their families helplessly witnessing it. 

I'm sure I'm not the only one who can relate to that. Long time readers here will know what my wife went through as she died slowly whilst they tried to keep her alive. Her suffering made the grief of her passing so much worse. The saying "God never gives you more than you can bear" is complete bullshit. As it was both for my wife, my (at the time) teenage daughter, and me.

Peter turned an unpleasant death journey in to a meaningful and unforgettable statement about the right of an individual to end their suffering at a time of their choosing. 

It's coming out shortly the movie about Peter Short here in Australia. I couldn't figure out how to embed the video (the Vimeo link didn't seem to work) so I posted it on twitter and embedded the tweet below  :s

You can buy tickets to see the movie at theatres across Australia here

You can read Peter Shorts blog detailing his journey to death here.

Friday, 14 July 2017

First images of Jupiter's red spot - Juno flyby

From just under 14,000 kilometres up (*click to enlarge)
Raw images have started coming in from the Juno spacecraft's fly by over Jupiter's great red spot, a storm that has been storming for over 300 years. These raw images have begun to be processed by citizen scientists, giving the most detailed and colourful view man has ever seen of the red spot from only a few thousand kilometres up. Amazing 😍

You can find more at the link.

From just under 10,000 kilometres up (*click to enlarge)