Saturday, 31 March 2018

Flash back about 60 years in the US - Bible used to justify segregation

I'll start with this:

We've seen segregation be considered invincible one day, and then in a blink of an eye seen it redefined and defiled. We've seen the principle of segregation be betrayed by people who swore to voters they would protect it. We've seen some people abandon the fight, whether out of fear or seeing many who remained vigilant punished and persecuted. And we've seen constitutionally-guaranteed rights such as the right to religious liberty be superseded by invented concepts that not only are not rights, they also are not right.
Unbelievable isn't it. An anachronism in today's society. Yet the truth is that they used the Bible to justify segregating black people from white people. 

It actually stayed around for long after segregation became illegal over there. In the Pentecostal church where I got my bachelor's degree in theology (recognised by the State of Minnesota) the old codger who founded the Bible college used to call the students together at times to bla this and that. This was at the start of the 1980's

On this occasion I had a black student sitting right next to me. Lovely guy, albeit a big chip on his shoulder about American racism. Who could blame him over there? I however had grown up in New Zealand where the prefects in high school were at times Maori. In fact Maori is an official second language over there. In short racism to me was literally a foreign concept.

So on this occasion when the old founding codger was bla-ing away in Minnesota, all student ears listening to what was supposed to be his old codger words of wisdom, I was shocked at what he said. 

Apparently the black guy sitting next to me and a white girl in the college had taken an affection to each other, and this was evidently why we'd all been called in for the founding codger (from the old school) to set things straight. 

To my complete horror, he said words to the effect of "If you're a black person [the black person next to me was the only one there at the time] don't lower yourself to be with a white woman." I looked at the black person next to me and saw the disgust and revoltion on his face. I felt the same.

Yet this is what was preached only a few decades ago, and they used the Bible to justify it. After reading the Bible three times from cover to cover during that time I still don't have the faintest idea how they did that.

So getting back to the above quote..... It's not from 60 years ago. It's from the present, about gay marriage. Here's the direct quote:

We've seen marriage be considered invincible one day, and then in a blink of an eye seen it redefined and defiled. We've seen the principle of traditional marriage be betrayed by people who swore to voters they would protect it. We've seen some people abandon the fight, whether out of fear or seeing many who remained vigilant punished and persecuted. And we've seen constitutionally-guaranteed rights such as the right to religious liberty be superseded by invented concepts that not only are not rights, they also are not right. The US National Organisation for Marriage
I replaced two phrases, that's all, to illustrate the comparison of how the Bible can be used to justify something that is today unthinkable. In 60 years the same will happen with gay marriage, and people will look back asking how the fuck could Christians be so cruel to fellow man because their Bible, as we look back now at how they did that to US black citizens. 

Lady Gaga covers Elton John's "Your Song"

Lady Gaga has done an absolutely fabulous revamp of Elton John's Your Song darlings. IMO she does an excellent job, making the song her own.

Friday, 30 March 2018

"Boy erased" - upcoming film about gay conversion therapy - Sept 2018 release (video)

Boy Erased is a movie about the book of the same name. The book is a true story of a young gay man in Arkansas with a preacher father and a somewhat reluctant preacher's wife (he became a preacher long after they were married). It tells of his struggles when forced to go to conversion therapy because he was gay.

Most interesting for Australians as conversion therapy is rife in this country and avoids any possible consequences of the actions of the people involved in it, as long as it's under the umbrella of a church. If you have "religious freedom" in Australia that evidently allows you to mentally torture gay people. I can't imagine Ruddock addressing this issue however in his "religious freedom" inquiry.

Also most interesting for Australia is the cast line up. Australians Nicole Kidman and Russel Crow play the parents of the gay teenager. Also young Australian gay singer Troye Sivan makes his debut in acting.

Boy Erased tells the story of Jared (Hedges), the son of a Baptist pastor in a small American town, who is outed to his parents (Kidman and Crowe) at age 19. Jared is faced with an ultimatum: attend a gay conversion therapy program – or be permanently exiled and shunned by his family, friends, and faith. “Boy Erased” is the true story of one young man’s struggle to find himself while being forced to question every aspect of his identity. Official Website Boy Erased

There's also "Flea" from The Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

There's no trailers available yet as the movie isn't set for release at the cinemas until Sept 28th. However I did find a PBS interview from last year with the author of the book, Gerrard Conley (below). He tells of his personal experiences that inspired him to write the book.   

Amazing Greenpeace effort highlighting krill fishing in the Antarctic (video)

A truly brilliant effort by Greenpeace, interrupting a krill trawler in the Antarctic during it's resupplying. A very cold location and very dangerous. You have to give them credit for their daring. 

Krill are a vital part of the food chain in Antarctica and without krill the ecosystem would collapse.

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Wheet-Bix is a charity and pays no tax - WTF?

Well the tax avoidance's of late are really starting to hit the proverbial fan. All this tax enlightenment has come curtesy of the Turnbull gov who just tried to pass corporate tax cuts worth billions, attracting national attention to the tax rorts from the big end of town. The tax cuts rejected in the senate, but the beans are still being spilt in the wake of it all.

This time it's non other than the national cereal Weet-Bix. I was stunned when I found out that they paid not a cent in tax. Not a multinational corporation or a tax dodging Qantas. This is all entirely legal as Weet-Bix is classed as a charity. Yes a charity!

Turns out that the billions of $ made by Weet-Bix every year is owned by the Seventh Day Adventist church.

What more is going to come out of the woodwork over all this scrutiny? I mean FFS it's obvious that Weet-Bix is a commercial entity, not a charity. The only reason it has charity status is because it's owned by a church (with very strange views). 

Why? A commercial organisation should pay tax no matter who owns it. Instead of clobbering the weakest in society as this gov has been doing, a religion should surely espouse to help the weakest and bloody well volunteer that the commercial part of their operations pay tax to the wider community. Instead they rake in the profits taking advantage of their tax free status, sucking it into their church instead of doing actual charitable work for those in need. 

It's fuckin disgusting and I will never buy Weet-Bix again, or any of it's associated products, unless at least their corporate branch pay the tax it should.

Bla....  Outraged! ...... 

Today, Australians consume more than 1.4 billion Weet-bix each year.

 As a Weet-bix kid myself, I had no idea that the dozens of supermarket items manufactured by the Sanitarium Health & Wellbeing Company, deliver tax-free profits directly to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. That Church has acknowledged investing millions of dollars generated by its “group one” entities including Sanitarium, into US-based companies.

 Meanwhile, Sanitarium’s competitors like Kellogg’s, Kraft and Nestle and so on, have paid the taxes we expect companies to pay, while also returning profits to shareholders.

 Tax exemptions for religions have a long history founded in the Statute of Charitable Uses 1601 (UK) preamble, which although long repealed, has informed the meaning of charity for centuries.

Over the course of those four hundred years, the charitable head of ‘advancement of religion’ has come to allow religious run business to claim charitable status. This head remains part of Victorian law today, despite being abolished in the United Kingdom in 2011.

 I use Sanitarium as an example, but many large and highly profitable commercial enterprises owned by religious institutions take advantage of this charitable head to avoid certain taxes, despite operating as for-profit businesses, and despite not carrying out objectively charitable works. The Stirrer

Latest Jupiter image from the Juno spacecraft

*click to enlarge
Wow. This image is describes as an "abstract". It was created from the Juno raw image, cropped down, and put through an oil paint filter. 

The Juno spacecraft was about 13,300km above Jupiter's clouds when taking the picture. You can download the picture here.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

When Natasha wants dinner.....

*click to enlarge
..........and I'm still farting around online. 

She doesn't give up. She just places herself in the appropriate spot and stares the fuck out of you. David can't stand it and gives in very quickly. I am more determined though and don't let her get to me, waiting until it's a reasonable time for cat dinner.

They behave like a small pride; Natasha, Jac and Casper. They all communicate with each other in cat language. Natasha being 14 means that cat language involves giving the occasional clawless biff about the head to say just leave me the fuck alone as I'm old and grumpy. 

But seriously, I saw the other day in a video that cats can make heaps more sounds than dogs. They do actually have a cat language. Much of it I suspect is to do with non verbal communication. Cats meow at humans, not other cats. When cats meow at us they're communicating with us. Of course then there's the intense Natasha look.....

At the same time she's the wise old ringleader. Neither Casper or Zac would do this, but when she does it the other two hang around nearby waiting for the signal from a human that it's time to be fed. As soon as I say "OK come on 'tasha" and go to the kitchen where the cat bowls are, all three of them are instantly there. 

Gov's corporate tax cuts bite the dust in the senate :) Hooray! (video)

*Update: Company tax cuts need to be part of broader reform: Tim Storer 

Some excellent news from Canberra. Turnbull's corporate tax cuts have been shelved, for now at least. He wants them in the May budget which means another attempt at getting them through the senate, which has already said no. 

It did get pretty close though. Only two crossbench senators in it who refused to budge. Pauline Hanson and her One Notion party caved. My haven't they now got egg on their faces. Hanson is supposed to be for the common man, and there she was supporting the big end of town. She's already copped a lot of flake over it. She's a sham. 

Congrats to the two hold out senators who wouldn't swallow the trickle down lie. That being newcomer Tim Storer, and the walking headline Derryn Hinch.

It started as almost an inevitable thing that the gov was going to pass (pun intended) these insane tax cuts that relied completely on the 30 year lie of trickle down economics. After all, this argument had been around for decades and was largely accepted as gospel in the halls of power. Who would argue with it?

However, after years of beating up the poor and ill and extracting money from them that they didn't have, after cutting $50 billion in federal funding to Australia's hospitals and support services for people that were in need of them, after years of banging the austerity drum, the $65 billion worth of tax cuts to corporations became a bridge too far. 

It sparked a national debate in Australia about the worth of doing this for wages, jobs, and public services that we all rely on. Did trickle down really work? Why were banks shedding thousands of workers whilst making record profits? Many corporations weren't even paying any tax anyway, including the multinationals and Qantas, who were insisting the tax cuts were needed. Why are executive salaries at record  levels, often even with bad performance, whilst wage growth was stagnant?

Then came the straw that broke the camels back. A leaked report from the Business Council of Australia where only one in five businesses said they would give workers a wage rise if the tax cuts passed. It was the nail in the coffin, and the two last holdout senators refused to budge. 

Sad that such a lie as Reaganomic trickle down even got that close to passing into law such an obscenity as was the corporate tax cuts after so many years of evidence proving it didn't work. But the cats out of the bag now in Australia, and it would be very hard for the gov to put it back. 

The Australia Institute is credited for putting forward intelligent arguments against the tax cuts during the furious debate over them, the gov rhetoric becoming almost hysterical. From an email today:

BREAKING: The Government has shelved the big business company tax cut until after the Federal Budget as it doesn't have the numbers in the Senate.

 Research matters, and thanks to your ongoing support we at The Australia Institute have been able to continue to promote our company tax research and provide ongoing briefings of our research to Senators in Parliament on why the case for the company tax cut has collapsed.

 The Australia Institute research has demonstrated time and again that the economic case for these company tax cuts just does not stack up.

 The economic case for these company tax cuts was never proven: the benefits were largely to foreign shareholders, with a huge long term revenue cost to the budget. It is a fiscal time-bomb. The Australia Institute via email
And this from SBS:
Shadow assistant treasurer Andrew Leigh said the government has fallen short in the Senate on a corporate tax cut it has tried to justify at every turn.

 "There is one simple number to illustrate why they have failed and that's four out of five," he told reporters in Canberra, referring to a reported "secret" survey by the Business Council that found four out of five CEOs wouldn't spend the cut on wages.

 Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson said that survey "broke the camel's back".

 "I believe there isn't the mood in this parliament for tax cuts and I think we've seen the end of them," he told reporters in Canberra.

 Oxfam Australia chief executive Dr Helen Szoke hoped the tax cuts would be "buried for good".

"The proposed $65 billion hand-out to big business will only fuel a global race to the bottom on corporate tax rates and undermine attempts to tackle inequality and poverty, both in Australia and around the world," she said in a statement. SBS

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

More crazy US gun loving reactions to "March For Our Lives" protest (video)

An Australian comedian interviews some gun lovers protesting the anti-gun marches over there in the US. Seriously, they're just not the full quid. One lady (believe it or not) says the way to stop gun shootings is prayer. And she's actually serious about that. Another man compares the "kids" to Hitler youth "Hating their way to a better world". 

Honestly, these people are dead set fuckwits. Five tinnies short of a six pack. Kangaroos loose in the top paddock. Loony tunes :s

"This Is Me" - music video for all those who have felt alienated

It doesn't matter who we are or what we've been through. The best thing to do is be proud of who we are. If someone has a problem with that, then that's their problem, not ours. Our lives are authentic and real, and to live our lives so is something to be very proud of.

OK some of us have HIV. So fucking what? That's me baby and I don't give a fuck if anyone has a problem with that. Their ignorance and blindness, not mine. I'm proud of who I am and what I've survived. No shame here. My doctor reckons I'm like a cat with nine lives, albeit I'm not sure which one I'm up to yet :s

Singer and Broadway veteran Shoshana Bean is donating the proceeds from her latest single, This is Me, to help the Center build a better world for LGBT people.

“I wanted to give to a place that is local and speaks to my heart,” says Bean. “I want to call attention to those fighting for equality and to be accepted for who they are. It just felt natural to me.”

This is Me is an Oscar-nominated song from the musical The Greatest Showman starring Hugh Jackman, which hit theaters late last year.

“It’s a song that I think speaks to anyone who feels different or who has been made to feel uncomfortable in their own skin for being who they are or for how they want to live their life,” Bean says.

She has revealed a video for the song starring choreographer Travis Wall of FOX TV's So You Think You Can Dance. Vanguard

Monday, 26 March 2018

Insane gun loving Americans react to the anti-guns march (video)

I still don't think anything at all of substance will happen this time, just as it didn't innumerable times before in various gun massacres over there, including the Sandy Hook one that killed 20 kids between 5 and 10 years old. From Australia it just looks again like the same old, and the gov will inevitably do absolutely nothing about it because of all the politicians bought off by the NRA. 

This is why I rarely react here to the latest gun massacre in the US. Is like "OK another one..." and that's about it. Americans appear to be incapable of caring for their kids and citizens more than their 2nd amendment and their guns. Until that fundamental lunacy changes over there, nothing will change over there. 

Honestly, if you were a terrorist all you'd need to do is open a US gun shop and watch them all blow each other away. You'd kill way more people than setting yourself to explode in a crowded area FFS. 

And yes from Australia we watch in disbelief as Trump "jumps the shark" and promotes US teachers to have guns in a classroom.

So in this case a politician has told the young-uns to stop protesting about guns and learn CPR instead (yes folks I kid you not). Rick Santorum in the first video below. The second one is from Fox news saying that kids shouldn't lecture him on gun laws so he donated to the NRA. Crazy insane shit coming from the US now.....

Tax concessions a $135 billion burden - more than most welfare combined

I've been pissed off about The Australian newspaper calling my pittance payment on the Disability Support Pension a "burden" ever since they published their article some time ago now. But my haven't the tables turned a bit in the last few months, with much increased examination of what tax concessions cost the federal budget, most of them going to the top 20% of income earners. Hence the title of this post. Sort of revenge. Isn't karma a bitch eh?

Sooooo, turns out me on a pittance disability welfare isn't nearly as much of a "burden" as the tax concessions being handed out left right and centre to mostly wealthy families. In fact such families get far more per fortnight in concessions than I get in my actual disability payment. Much much more. Instead of targeting us on welfare (to get chicken feed off us) who need every cent of it just to get by, how about the gov look at wealthy families getting tax concessions worth far more than our meagre payments. 

Who's the real "burden" then? Someone like me who worked 30 years full time in printing, or a well off household getting more than what I get now in disability payments via tax concessions?
Anglicare, the peak body for a range of Anglican community services organisations, commissioned Per Capita to crunch the numbers on how much tax concessions cost the budget relative to welfare.

Using Treasury data, as well as various ABS figures and the University of Melbourne's HILDA survey, Per Capita calculated that major tax concessions totalling $135 billion per year were costing the budget more than the four main welfare payments — the aged pension, family assistance payments, disability benefits and Newstart — combined.

 In fact, these tax concessions are costing the budget about six times as much as Newstart, a payment even business groups say is too low for job seekers to live on.

 Moreover, the research finds more than half of the benefit from tax concessions goes to the wealthiest fifth of households.

 Anglicare's executive director Kasy Chambers said the report was intended to highlight the largely "invisible" contribution of tax breaks to Australia's budget deficit.

 "The cost to Australian taxpayers of the richest 20 per cent of Australians is actually a staggering $68 billion per annum," she said.

 "Put another way, $37 from every Australian worker a week to keep on keeping Australia's richest 20 per cent rich."

 The total cost of all major welfare payments works out to about $80 per worker per week, or roughly double the cost of tax concessions to the wealthiest 20 per cent of households.

 The report also highlights how skewed the savings are from tax concessions — the top 20 per cent get $68.5 billion and the bottom 20 per cent get about $6 billion. ABC

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Australia's gulag/Nauru shame - what has our gov become? (video)

Most of what is about Australia's gulag offshore concentration camps only makes it into online media. This however is from the MSM national broadcaster the ABC across the country. Our gov has got so bad that even the tax funded national broadcaster is appalled.

A Greens senator recently called Dutton a fascist in parliament, and many Australians agree. Our gov has demonised minority groups as the enemy, as the Greens party senator called "fascism 101". 

This man is in line if they turf Turnbull after 30 negative Newspolls to be prime minister.

Another bitter middle aged white balding Catholic Canberra unrepresentative swill.  Showing his uncaring Catholic christianity once again.

HIV treatment has changed, why hasn't the stigma? (video)

Time magazine, 1990
About thirty years of treatment and medical advances are what separates me from this man in the picture, who was dying of AIDS related illnesses in 1990. 

When I told my sister some years back, who is a highly educated school teacher in Sydney, I had to explain to her that this sort of thing doesn't happen anymore. That HIV isn't a death sentence like it was. Indeed, if I'd been diagnosed 40 years ago, ten years later I may very well have been the man in the picture. In fact this year it will be ten years since my infection date, and ten years is about all they give you without modern treatments.

Actually in some parts of the world I guess this sort of thing still does happen. Africa has been hugely hit by HIV, most of them poor countries who couldn't afford the meds to treat the HIV virus. Foreign aid has helped. 

However in places like Australia, the AIDS condition is such a rarity now that it's no longer considered a public health problem. Myself I've never had an AIDS related illness; never had AIDS. If you take the meds it stops the HIV virus, simple as that. Most people on the meds the HIV viral load is so low in their body that it's undetectable by today's tests. Studies have proved that being undetectable makes it impossible to pass on the virus in normal sexual circumstances.

So why has the stigma continued? Stigma remains one of the biggest problems in eradicating HIV through treatment and education.

Friday, 23 March 2018

Aussie church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster - submission to religious freedom inquiry :)

Praise the Lord!
Our Lord and Saviour, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, has once again come to the rescue of humanity (*praise him*). He has once again touched us on high with His noodly appendages. May He forever be blessed!

In this case His noodly appendages have touched Australia's humanity. Or to be more specific, come to the rescue of the very large percentage of Australians who don't give a flying (pun intended) fuck about religion at all. Religion that has molested Australian children and never ceases to find ways of persecuting us so called heathens who don't adhere to their anachronistic mental illness. Those of us who dare to forge our own path outside their sickness and make a life without them, and our friends and families that do likewise.

More particularly, The Australian Church Of The Flying Spaghetti Monster has come to the rescue of Australian LGBT by making a submission to the RWNJ inspired religious  freedom inquiry. An inquiry that was born after the passing of the marriage equality bill in Canberra allowing David and I to finally marry after over 5 years together. In which every single "religious freedom" amendment put up by said RWNJ's comprehensively failed in parliament.

In short, an inquiry squarely aimed at us LGBT. Out of frustrated reactions by the bitter middle aged white Catholic mean not getting their pathetic closed minded fucking way.

It's a huge submission, which to be honest I've not read all of it yet. But here's the summary in full. Thank you so much Lord FSM! (*praise Him again*). May your noodly appendages forever touch us all, especially those bloody moron churchies who get a kick out of making us suffer!

2. Summary

The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster Australia (the Australian Church) believe that the basic right of all people in Australia to realise their full potential and participate fully in society can only be achieved when all people, whatever their backgrounds, ethnicity, creed, religion, colour, orientation, nationality or home planet receive equality of opportunity and treatment in all areas of life. The best and most effective way to ensure all fundamental rights are protected would be the enactment of a Bill of Rights.

 It is a matter of concern that current religious exemptions are more worried with gender identity and/or sexual orientation than protecting a person’s right to non-discrimination. It is almost as if some religious organisations are completely obsessed with what a person’s gender is, how people use their genitals and how they conduct their private lives. We would like to respectfully tell those organisations what is in other people’s underwear is none of their business and does not make them any less worthy of having the same fundamental human rights as anyone else.

 Australia needs a Bill of Rights and when this Bill of Rights is implemented, in the context of protecting religious freedom or belief, there needs to be a clear distinction made between those practices that are an essential part of adherence or obligation to a particular religion or belief and those practices that are merely permissible under the teachings of a particular religion or belief. It must be remembered that the scope of freedom of religion or belief is not without limits. There is an element of objectivity required by demonstrating that a situation does not automatically fall within ‘religion or belief’ simply by assertion of such.

 The Australian Church recognises that people can be at their best and at their worst in relation to religion. Religious faith is one of the most potent agents for good and for evil in the lives of people. Extreme caution must be used to ensure that protections of religious freedoms and beliefs cause no harm to the Australian community. In a multicultural society such as Australia it is important that provisions be made to ensure that people are able to practise their religion or belief, whether that be theistic, non-theistic or atheistic, and most vitally that any practice of religion or belief does not infringe upon the fundamental individual human rights of others.

 Below, you will find our thesis on why everything we have stated in the above paragraphs is true. We even did research and stuff! Read more at The Stirrer

Thursday, 22 March 2018

The John Oliver Mike Pence Bunny book (video)

John Oliver, in describing how bad Mike Pence is against LGBT people, has released a book about Pence's rabbit. The book has gone bananas and has become the biggest seller, beating Pence's own book about his rabbit.

I've long pointed out how bad the US presidency of Trump would be for the LGBT after he chose Pence as his running mate. Pence has a terrible history of hatred against the LGBT and I'm not at all surprised at what has unfolded under Trump. 

In fact there's been so much cut out of the US federal budget to address HIV over there that some in the know are predicting another wave of AIDS there. 

Cutting people off life saving HIV meds is another thing, further adding to the problem. To end HIV everyone needs access to the meds to stop it. To expect people to stop having sex (abstinence) is unrealistic and stupid.

Piers Akerman says gays should apologise for being paedophiles (video)

After going through all the angst and frustration of the postal survey and finally winning marriage against the odds, someone like this RWNJ opens their big mouth and out comes the same old crap that we had to deal with then. 

Using the much flawed logic that has been disproved over and over again by multiple studies, Akerman asserts the same old lie that the majority of paedophiles come from the gay community. His reasoning for such? He says most of the abused are boys and most abusers are men, therefore most abuse happens by gay men.

Of course it's wrong, as proved in the video below that I've lost count how many times I've posted it over the years. Paedophilia has nothing to do with sexual orientation, and anyone who says so is wrong. We're not sick perverts, we're people just like everyone else. By accusing the LGBT of being sick perverted paedophiles it lets the real abusers get away with what they're doing, many times right under the noses of those accusing us of such vile behaviour.

So Akerman quotes a recent article by a controversial (to say the least) historian Kieth Windshuttle, who comes up with this tired old lie thus: apparently obvious inference from the report’s statistics is that it is mainly boys who are victims (63.6 per cent) and it is mainly adult men who are the perpetrators (92.8 per cent male, and 83.8 per cent adult). In short, child abuse in institutions seems to be committed mainly by homosexual men, preying on vulnerable and disturbed children displaced from their own families. Quadrant
Ackerman goes on to question why then should gays not apologise for what he perceives is the group with the most paedophiles:
So, if adult males were responsible for the overwhelming majority of cases of sexual abuse found to have occurred in institutions, why aren’t adult male homosexuals made responsible for the bill now?


Given the empirical evidence provided by the Royal Commission, surely it is time that the greater homosexual community took some responsibility for those damaged by paedophile members? Spectator

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

The Facebook scandal (video)

I tried Facebook many years ago but abandoned it after all these people from the past that I didn't want to deal with again found me on there. Plus after thinking about it I didn't like the idea of a huge corporation having access to such vast amounts of personal data, and all the power that it would give them. 

Well it seems those fears were well founded. The amount of personal data that gets put on Facebook, it's like a life history of everyone on there with their full names and all. All that in the hands of a single multinational corporation. Decisions made behind closed doors without public accountability.

Monday, 19 March 2018

Natasha in love with the wedding letter?

Strange. She's never plonked down in that particular spot before (on top of the flatbed scanner). As I've been scanning things about the wedding (including that letter) as info about it, it was sitting on top of the scanner and what do you know? Natasha comes and sleeps on the thing. Go figure..... Looking very happy I might add.

Natasha is a very smart 14 year old cat, and she's only got smarter as she's got older. She understands a lot of the English language, probably more than we realise. When I met David she was very aloof at me and not at all friendly. At three months in to the relationship she came crashing in to David's lounge (she's not the most dainty cat but very muscly) jumped over a couple of things and, to my surprise, she plonked right down on my lap. I was stunned, but she'd made her decision right then and there.

And now she's plonked on our wedding letter. I honestly think it's more than just a coincidence. 

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Turnbull refuses to act on Australia's "gay conversion" mental health torturers

Turnbull's Mardi Gras selfies at this years Mardi Gras
After an in depth report from Fairfax main stream media about Australia's burgeoning "gay conversion"/torture therapies, prime minister Turnbull has refused to act. Calling it a "state issue". This despite complaints about conversion therapy being levelled at the Federally run school chaplaincy program that was instituted via Tony Abbott (white bitter middle aged Catholic). 

Also the state of Victoria taking it on as said "state issue" and asking for federal gov help in dealing with it.

Also it being appropriate to refer this as a federal issue because it's being questioned over a religious right in the RWNJ inspired inquiry into religious freedom in Australia. Fair enough I reckon. Inquiring about religious freedom works both ways you know...

Victorian Mental Health Minister Martin Foley said the Andrews Government was deeply concerned about the impact of gay conversion therapy, telling Fairfax Media: “It’s a whole new level of bullying and mental health trauma, where people are urged to deny who they are.” The problem, he admitted, is that much of it is “clandestine,” making it difficult to track and regulate.

“But that shouldn’t stop us." “What is needed is for it to be taken up as a key part of the national mental health strategy,” said Mr Foley, who is also Victoria's Equality Minister.

“Groups like beyondblue and Orygen talk regularly about one of the major drivers (of mental health problems) being LGBTI young people dealing with identity denial. And yet here, under a cloak of respectability, some organisations are promoting that very denial... It’s not anything other than dangerous quackery.”

 The national mental health strategy commits governments to improve the mental health of Australians, prevent suicide, and reduce stigma and discrimination. If conversion therapy formed part of this plan, it would essentially sign up the states and the Commonwealth to work together to address the issue.

However, when asked if the Prime Minister was concerned about the practice, Mr Turnbull’s spokesman declined to comment, saying it was a question for Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt.

Mr Hunt’s spokesman, in turn, said: “This is not something which is funded, supported or practiced under the Commonwealth. Therefore by law this is a matter for states.”

Canberra’s response belies the fact that gay conversion ideology has been quietly pushed in schools as part of the federal government’s chaplaincy program.

It has also been raised in the context of the federal review into the religious freedom.

A Change.Org petition distributed last week, with about 12,000 signatures and counting, also calls for Mr Turnbull and Mr Hunt to act. The Age
This just isn't good enough. I'd bet if straight people were on the line over this the reaction would be very different from Canberra.

This despite the Fairfax report in to the abysmal circumstance where gay conversion therapies have free reign in Australia all under the disguise and umbrella of religion

Gay conversion has been discredited as ineffective, damaging, even dangerous. But across Australia, organisations who believe that LGBTI people can or should change are hard at work.

Conversion practices are hidden in evangelical churches and ministries, taking the form of exorcisms, prayer groups or counselling disguised as pastoral care.

They’re also present in some religious schools or practised in the private offices of health professionals.

They’re pushed out through a thriving network of courses and mentors in the borderless world of cyberspace, cloaked in the terminology of “self improvement” or “spiritual healing”.

And they’re causing real harm. The Age
Fucks sake, how much freedom do these religions want? We can get married and they  go bloody tropo :s  The Catholic church is protesting over dobbing in paedophiles to the police, and everyone wants to continue inflicting psychological torture on to the LGBT? And now they're using this inquiry into their freedoms to want to discriminate against us LGBT putting it into federal law? FFS! 

Let's not forget what happened in the US after they gained marriage equality where the LGBT seemed to fall asleep thinking they'd won it all. Little did they realise the reactions against them that the conservative christians would partake in.

Let's not forget that, and realise in Australia that there will be a similar backlash by the christians despite their defeat, albeit tempered by Australian society. Indeed, the struggle is very far from over.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Postal survey hate continues in Australia, despite our win

It's going to take Australia a long time to get past Turnbull's postal survey into our lives. It gave the fringe dwellers a right to "have their say". Looks like they've not given up after losing the survey and are sore losers, continuing the hatred towards us they expressed during the survey process.

One day the bigotry and division created by Turnbull will be consigned to history. But for now it's alive and well.

Friday, 16 March 2018

Marriage papers lodged & paid, date set for our gay wedding :)

We managed to get up early enough today and get into the Births Deaths and Marriages NSW gov thing, lodging our one month intent to marry forms and making a date for it. David and I will be getting married on May 5th (Sat) with a few close friends and family of 12 people at the Sydney city registry office venue. After that (yet to be arranged) we'll take those willing out of the twelve people to a restaurant for an after marriage thingo.

David and I didn't want a big deal of a marriage. We just wanted to do it with those closest to us. In that sense it will be perfect and perfectly intimate. This is exactly what we wanted.

David is even more over the moon than a cow jumping over it (I did grow up on a farm you know). Being gay he never thought that he'd see the day when he had a right to marry, let alone actually doing so because of love that compels one to do so. 

I feel the same for different reasons. After my late wife died in 2006 after many years of illness, and after I walked with her to her grave being there right to the end in the nursing home she ended up in for three short weeks, holding her hand as she passed away, I never thought that I would ever find love again like that. 

To find true love in one's life is very rare. It was beyond comprehension that it could happen not only once, but twice.

David is that second love I found in my one little life. We're the same soul, as my first time around. I'm marrying for the same reason; I love him deeply, just as I loved my wife.

It's been so very unfortunate that Australia has been at the mercy of the far right for far too long, and such recognition of gay love has been years overdue because of them. Many in Australia's LGBT community have died waiting because of them, not fulfilling their dearest wish. Only because the far right white bitter middle aged christian men decided they wouldn't let them. Appalling that Australia has been held ransom to these assholes since 2013. We will never forget what this gov has done to us, ever

But hey, David and I will take this victory of our struggle against them. The far right finally capitulated when their delusions of grandeur about a "silent majority" failed like a lead balloon. Their protestations at professional polling over more than ten years that the polling was wrong. The notions that all manner of skies were going to fall if the evil poof's love was officially recognised by the state. 

But it hasNo longer shall we cower. No longer will our love be challenged in Australia.

And I am fortunate enough through the chance of the universe to find love twice in one life. It's presently beyond my comprehension, as it was the first day David and I met. As it was the first day with my late wife. Now my love with David will be recognised just as my love for her.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Same sex marriage support has increased since being passed

Of course professional polling has shown strong support for ten years or so. The polling that the RWNJ's in Canberra didn't believe, electing instead to put us all through the wringer that was the postal survey. Many of the far right honestly believed that the No vote would win. That there was a "silent majority" that would rise up and save Australia from us dastardly gays. However despite the fear mongering that it would mean the end of life as we know it, polling pretty much stayed exactly were it was from the beginning to the end of the survey campaign with support at 62%.

I believe a big reason for the large turnout in the survey (even motivating me to participate after initially wanting to boycott the thing as an insult) was out of sheer frustration. That polling for ten years had shown strong support. That the RWNJ's in Canberra continued on in their oblivious fashion ignoring those polls. The desire to grab those politicians by the throat and shake them (metaphorically) and tell them FFS Yes! How many times do you fuckwits needs to be told before you listen to us! Sheesh!

Now after all of that, after we had to endure our very existence under a microscope and being debated nationally if our love should be recognised like everyone else in society, support has increased. The lies of the No campaign have come to nought. Essential polling last time it measured same sex marriage support it was at 61%. That's now gone up 4% to 65%.

What's more the numbers against have crashed. Against is down 6% from the last Essential poll to just 26%.

LGBTI rights advocate Rodney Croome of Just.equal said polls have shown substantial support for marriage equality for more than a decade.

 “If the government had paid attention to the long history of polls showing majority support for marriage equality, rather than waste a hundred million dollars on an unnecessary, damaging postal survey, we could have had marriage equality much sooner,” he said.

 Croome welcomed the new poll’s results, saying that Australians have now been able to see that allowing same-sex marriage is a positive and causes no harm.

 “Support for marriage equality is up because Australians have finally seen with their own eyes that the one and only outcome is a more equal and inclusive nation where loving, committed same-sex couples can tie the knot in front of family of friends,” he said.

 “Dire predictions about the sky falling in have not come to pass because they were based on fear, not fact.” Star Observer

Ten years of independent polling