Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Bush fires so hot as to make their own weather - California (video)

California bush fires going bananas

We're on a ship of fools folks. Where do we get off?

We get lots of bush fires in Australia, many of them catastrophic and deadly, but I've never heard of anything like this. Fires burning so hot as to create their own weather that makes the fire even more destructive, even for places that aren't burnt but caught up in the weather system.

Australian treasurer Scott Morrison worshiping coal in federal parliament
It seems the northern hemisphere is having an extremely hot summer. But if you talk to many in our gov here though, climate change doesn't exist for them and they keep pushing coal. Insanity. Ship of fools.

It's certainly a worry what we may go through in Australia in our coming summer this year with bush fire season.
The so-called "fire clouds" form over volcanic eruptions or forest fires when an intense heating of the air triggers an upward motion, pushing smoke and water vapor to rapidly rise. These foreboding clouds can develop their own weather, even producing thunderstorms with severe winds, which fan the flames and help the wildfires spread.

 One "fire-induced vortex" in Redding caused damage that made it look like a tornado ripped through the city, downing trees and blowing off the roof of an unburnt home. SFGate   


"The wind in Lake Redding Estates was so strong during the Carr Fire on Thursday night that it blew the roof off this house," Mike Chapman, a reporter for the Redding Record Searchlight, wrote on Twitter Friday.

 Elsewhere in Redding, trees have been uprooted by the force of the winds, which have drawn comparisons to tornadoes from climatologists and fire officials.

 "Wind damage in Redding suggests that fire-induced vortex may have behaved similarly to full-fledged tornado," Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA, told Active NorCal. "Mature trees uprooted, roofs peeled off, high-tension power pylons down, and windows smashed."

 "Not sure I've ever seen anything quite like this," he said of the strength of the vortex.

 "We're seeing, literally almost what can be described as a tornado occurred over this fire yesterday," Cal Fire Chief Ken Pimlott agreed at a news conference Friday. SFGate


The NBN has finally arrived at our place - oh no!

*Update: now our home phone is on the blink again as they've done something out on the street to it. Static on the line, that we got fixed only the other week by Telstra, some kind of short in the wiring out there. Now we have to ring Telstra faults again *sheesh* ! 

We've heard so much about the disaster that is Turnbull's National Broadband Network that we've been dreading the day when the thing arrives at our place. We're both very heavy users of the internet, especially on the days we have no money but can download TV shows and movies for nothing. I get all my news from the internet, go through my emails daily, and everything we watch on TV is downloaded. The thought of even going a day or two without it is too horrible to think about. Neither of us have a smart phone either.

But there's been many stories of dropouts and the thing not working for days on end for some. It also means the home phone drops out too. Completely cut off and forced to watch broadcast TV for days on end is a horrifying possibility.

So they came yesterday (two years late) dug up the front yard and put a box on the wall. Covered the trench back in, and then discovered that the house is divided into our 2 bedroom bit and a one bedroom bit in the back. So they had to dig up the trench again and put another box on the wall for the one bedroom bit.

I commented "Is it going to work?" to the NBN workers, who assured me that yes it was. They also said the one bedroom box wasn't working yet as they needed to come back and put a 4 plug thingy somewhere instead of a two plug thingy that was there now. So the nextdoor house has the NBN box working, and we have it, but number 2 in our place doesn't yet.

So now I'm wondering how they're going to go from that box to where the existing phone and ADSL connection is? And how are they going to go from number two's NBN box to their unit right at the back of the house? The place is 100 years old. There's no access to underneath the house, and the only access to the roof space is through a tiny little manhole located in our bathroom. Oh what fun we're going to have with this.....

And of course eventually we'll have no choice but to switch over because the old phone system will be cut off.

Monday, 30 July 2018

Abbott says pulling out of Paris climate change agreement would be "popular" :s (video)

Once again the gov has maneuvered itself into all sorts of trouble. We just had a "Super Saturday" of 5 by elections in Australia, with four out of the five seats up for grabs being held by the Labor opposition. 

The Canberra political commentators fed their bubbled view to the Australian mainstream media, coming up with the narrative that the gov would likely take at least one seat off Labor in the House of Representatives, that Labor leader Bill Shorten was on the ropes and would have his leadership challenged if he lost a seat to the gov, and that Anthony Albanese was poised to take over the Labor leadership.

Once again, as with the 2016 federal election where a comfortable win was predicted for the gov, the blinkered buffoons in Canberra and the main stream media got it all very wrong. Labor easily won all four seats, but most notably the Queensland seat of Longman. 

Turnbull was hopeless campaigning, patronising and condescending

This was the "knife edge" seat that was supposed to be taken by the gov. Instead Labor clobbered the gov candidate, with the gov vote in the seat collapsing by 10 points compared to the last federal election. This is in Queensland which is traditionally a very conservative state (ie. conservative for Australia) having a stronger vote for the present gov than all other Australian states and territories.

What's more the gov holds a slew of seats in Queensland by only a small margin, including Peter Darth Dutton in charge of gov cruelty of asylum seekers. If such a result as Longman was repeated across the state in the coming federal election the gov would go down in a flaming bloodbath.

Labor's line is simple. Don't give massive tax cuts of $80 billion to the top end of town whilst cutting public services to the less well off. The gov just doesn't grasp that Australians don't like to see less fortunate people getting hard done by, arguing over the crumbs from the table of the well off.

However even after this Super Saturday the gov is still banging on that it wants to have these $80 billion high end company tax cuts. The political stupidity is palpable. It's the Turnbull gov's signature policy so he doesn't want to give it up.

The cracks are appearing now though in the gov over the tax cuts, mostly by panicked backbenchers. A Super Saturday is certainly a long time in politics.

Enter bitter and twisted ex-PM Tony Abbott; the deposed emperor with no clothes who's bent on vengeance of Turnbull for ousting him and ending his 2 year reign of idiocy. All too happy to stick the boot in, he's declared to the media that there's no votes in the tax cuts. Yes folks, no shit Sherlock....

That statement alone is so dumb in it's obviousness. Stating the obvious like it's some sort of major revelation to the gov. What fuckin planet are these idiots on?

But even more stupid is his solution to this now (and yet again) dire position the gov finds itself in by it's own doing. How about doing something populist? 

"There are no votes in company tax cuts," Mr Abbott told Sydney radio station 2GB on Monday.

 The backbencher went on to say he supported the economic arguments for lowering company tax, but said the policy was clearly not supported by voters.

 The government should pursue more popular policies, Mr Abbott said, such as pulling out of the Paris agreement on climate change and cutting back on annual immigration. SBS 
Far out. Abbott thinks that dropping out of the Paris climate thing, along with more cruelty to refugees, will save the gov! Again, what planet are these people on? Or what planet did Abbott grow up on?

I guess though it highlights the fact that the tax cuts are just a part of why the people are using their votes to baseball bat the gov. It's not just the tax cuts, but pretty much everything about this gov's policies. Their love of coal and supporting a reef destroying Adani coal mine comes to mind. Their constant rhetoric and demonisation against those in the community less fortunate than them. Their cruelty to refugees trashing Australia's reputation on the world stage. Their domestic demonisation of whichever minority they feel like picking on that month.

This gov is full of horrible policies and horrible people. Even if Turnbull did ditch the tax cuts, that won't save him or his gov.

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Sea Shepherd - Operation Reef Defence against Adani coal mine (video)

The Gold Coast, southern Queensland, in winter now

The Sea Shepherd's ship the Steve Irwin is slowly traveling up the east coast of Australia to raise awareness and oppose the building of the Adani coal mine in Queensland. A new coal mine which would be one of the biggest in the world, ostensibly to save the huddled masses in India who are without electricity (India is in fact turning away from coal in favour of cheaper renewable energy).

To make this massive coal mine requires the destruction of Aboriginal land against their will, the construction of a huge railway to get the coal to port, the expansion of the port to accommodate large numbers of exporting coal ships, and the dredging of the Great Barrier Reef for shipping lanes of coal ships. A reef already under massive pressure from climate change. It's complete madness, but madness that this coal loving gov is happy to support.

All the banks have said no to Adani's efforts to fund the project, both international and domestic. The global coal era is coming to an end and the banks simply can't see how such a project would be economically feasible. Yet the Abbott/Turnbull gov is all for it, going so far as to want to fund the project to the tune of $1 billion of public money instead of the banks. To have such an obscene amount of Australian's money thrown at a climate destroying and likely soon to be stranded asset is insanity in the extreme.

This most recent video from the Steve Irwin shows the visit to Byron Bay on the north coast of New South Wales and then on to The Gold Coast in southern Queensland.  It will be interesting further videos as they get inside between the Great Barrier Reef and the coast :)

Treasurer Scott Morrison worshiping coal in federal parliament
You can send this letter to our stupid gov here, in support of Sea Shepherd and the planet:
Dear Malcolm,

 Stop Adani. Help us protect the Great Barrier Reef by ending your Government's support for what would be one of the world's largest coal mines. The Reef is a globally significant natural wonder, was World Heritage listed in 1981, supports a $6 billion tourism industry and 69,000 jobs.

 The coal port expansion needed to export this coal through the Great Barrier Reef would require a massive dredging program. This is notoriously problematic for surrounding coral; as it stirs sediment, the water quality is degraded and coral are starved of sunlight. Dredging will also destroy important habitat, like seagrass beds, and kill marine life.

 Excessive coal dust can also cause coral bleaching, which is already occurring along the reef, resulting in the loss of breeding grounds for marine life, like humpback whales, who migrate through the Great Barrier Reef to calve.

 The mine will bring an extra 500 coal ships through the Great Barrier Reef each year, increasing the risk of collisions and spills.

 Burning the coal, no matter where in the world, will worsen climate change which is already causing the Great Barrier Reef to bleach and die.

 This is just a few of the many reasons that you must Stop Adani and make sure this environmental catastrophe does not go ahead. Spit the dummy at Turnbull

Saturday, 28 July 2018

Man who vandalised George Micheal mural found guilty of malicious damage (video)

Ben Gittany, guilty of malicous damage
A man who vandalised the George Micheal mural in Sydney's Newtown at the end of last year by painting black over the top of it (and who was praised by Lyle Shelton for doing so - then head of the Australian Christian Lobby) has been found guilty of malicious damage in court yesterday. Ben Gittany will be sentenced in September.

The magistrate reminded Gittany of the church's place in Australian society and that religious offence is no excuse for vandalism. Certainly a major victory for LGBT people in Australia, with the postal survey aftermath being one where some churches are trying to assert themselves in ways that aren't fitting in a secular society. 

Some Christians are pushing back against LGBT people after we won the postal survey, with this case being one in point. The guy wasn't even from Newtown, but part of a gay hating church in western Sydney who traveled to Newtown to specifically vandalise the mural. Such was the licence he felt his religion gave him.

The irony is that people like Lyle Shelton are always banging on about freedom of speech, but yet Shelton praised the blacking out of this mural.

Gittany believed this was disrespectful to his religious beliefs and took to the Newtown mural in Sydney’s inner west with a can of black paint.

 But onlookers caught him on camera vandalizing the beautiful mural and posted the video to Facebook.

 In sentencing, Magistrate Carolyn Huntsman found Gittany guilty of malicious damage and said his religious beliefs were not justification for the vandalism.

 She struck down his partial justification due to a perceived offence to his religious beliefs and told the Newtown Court: ‘We live in a pluralistic society.’

 Artist Scott Marsh created the mural back in January last year.

 He told Gay Star News on the decision today: ‘Its a great result and I’m sure a huge relief for everyone in that local community.’

 A ‘huge crew of queers’ were present at the court today, dressed in t-shirts with the George Michael mural printed on the front.

 Simon Hunt (also known as Pauline Pantsdown) was present today and believes the decision is a ‘wonderful outcome’.

 He told Gay Star News: ‘Magistrate Carolyn Huntsman noted his actions as having been harmful to the LGBTIQ community; recognized our queer iconography as valuable; and declared art to be a tangible thing.’

 Good friends of George Michael and residents of the property (who wish to remain anonymous after receiving ‘heavy death threats’) gave evidence in court today.

 One of the residents told Gay Star News: ‘Court today was amazing.  

 ‘We got to address the fact that the mural was our way of commemorating our friend,’ the resident said. ‘How the mural became a place for people to come and both grieve and celebrate George’s life.

‘We spoke to the pain we and our community have been through.

 ‘This mural was never about attacking religion – it was about honoring our friend and community icon.

 ‘The mural framed him as a saint because he is a saint for us,’ the resident said. Gay Star News

 *Watch complete video here on Facebook

The incident happened soon after this first mural was vandalised:

Friday, 27 July 2018

School kids used Grindr to trap and rob gay men - Perth (video)

They thought they were doing a service to the community (or so they say as I guess they're using ignorance as a defence) by "catching paedophiles". 

It's bad enough that they may think that's a defence for robbing gay men, but if they really believe that it's a sad indictment on ongoing community attitudes towards gays. Gays aren't paedophiles any more than straight people are, and to say we are perpetuates a lie that has long been disproved.

It's even worse that these are all school aged kids, in fact all going to the same school, with the oldest being just 17. It makes you wonder just where these kids got taught that "gays are paedophiles"? Very sad that such young people have been corrupted this way. 

They've been charged and will appear in children's court.

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Trump's Hollywood star has been obliterated by pickax man! Hooray!

I think this just made my day. It's sort of poetic in a way. Trump's Hollywood walk of fame star destroyed by a man welding a pickax. What a hero!

The dangers of My Health Record for HIV+ people - Positive Life briefing paper (+video)

*click to enlarge - police don't need warrant

Positive Life, along with Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP) have together put out a briefing paper on the dangers to those of us in such groups. In it they highlight the danger to people living with HIV (PLHIV) of which is obviously of interest to me, as well as those who are sex workers or otherwise involved in illegal activity such as drug use and the like. Which could be any one of us really.

I myself went through an ice period some years back, long story but part of my history now. It involved me being self destructive, a lot of unsafe sex, and an HIV diagnosis. However I was able to speak candidly to a psychologist about it all and got tested very early on after a rough sero-conversion. I had no fear of the health profession about who would have access to what I told the psychologist before the test, or indeed my HIV status after the test. Apart from going on some gov HIV register that was it.

The My Health Record however is different. Despite a My Health Record being already created some years back for me (which has been very useful BTW with all my medical conditions and hospital admissions) the current legislation allows far wider access to personal health information than ever before. Unreasonable access IMO. For example, the police will be able to access personal health records without a warrant simply if they "reasonably believe" that they have reason to do so.

This causes all sorts of complications for people who would benefit from accessing health care, possibly needing an HIV test, possibly having a history of a number of STI infections, possibly getting tested regularly for such infections. Even what a psychologist may write into the My Health Record will be accessible by third parties and by the police without a warrant. The implications for criminality and stigma where there was none before, are obvious. It will make people who are in most need of health care avoid treatment for fear of prosecution, something that HIV+ people have long fought against. Stigma and fear spread HIV. In that sense My Health Record goes against efforts to End HIV.

When I was diagnosed with HIV the response by the health community in eastern Sydney was amazing. There was no judgment, no shame, no stigma, and no fear. I was treated with respect and finally got help for the underlying reasons about why I became so self destructive in the first place. My HIV was treated. My depression was treated (and still being so).

If the same experience I went through back then was to happen under My Health Record, would the excellent outcomes be the same? Or would I be worried about getting tested, knowing that the police and other third parties would have access to that information? Would I be criminalised in some future police investigation for my drug use? Would an ignorant health care receptionist with access to my health records treat me poorly? 

This is wrong on so many levels. I'm deciding I'm going to Opt Out.

Below are some excerpts from the Positive Life Briefing Paper, of which you can read in it's entirety here (PDF).

Positive Life Briefing Paper

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Trump baby likely coming to Australia for Trump visit :)

Hooray! Trump baby is expected to grace our shores with a special visit for when Trump (likely) comes here in November! Trump baby has heard our cries for help!

The thought of Trump being in the same country, and likely even the same city as David and I in Sydney, is extremely repulsive. A great stain on our country and our city of Sydney. 

Having the Trump baby here will make all the difference, letting Trump know loud and clear that we don't want him here infesting our nation with his politics of hate, division, fear and lies. We're the most successful multicultural nation on earth. Trump and everything he stands for isn't welcome here (I use the word stand very generously there).

Besides, Trump is all talk and no go. A chicken shit with no balls. Typical bloody bully; falls apart when the chips are down. He's probably the most piss weak flaccid US president in at least living memory. Putin has him tied around his little finger. I guess he's a fitting metaphor to what is now the crumbling US empire. "Make America great again"? *pfffft*

Now, organisers in Australia say they are in talks to bring the blimp to Australia when Trump visits at the end of the year. While no date is set, Malcolm Turnbull invited the president to visit when they met in February, and it is expected Trump will visit after he attends the Apec summit in Papua New Guinea in November.

 Organiser Simone White said the protest, currently titled United Against Trump, was directly inspired by the tens of thousands of protesters who took to the streets in the UK.

 “The Trump baby blimp has become this kind of globally recognised symbol of opposition to Trump,” she said. “We have been in touch with the people that made the blimp and they are actually really keen to have it travel around the world. They’re excited to get the blimp to Australia. Now we’re just in the process of figuring out how to send it, which won’t be too hard.

 “We’re expecting an absolutely enormous protest. We are expecting this could be one of the biggest protests in Australia in a long time. Our goal, like the goal of the protesters in the UK, is to make Trump feel like he is not welcome here.”

 The New South Wales Greens MP David Shoebridge, who is also a member of the organising committee, said the visit could have domestic political ramifications if it went ahead.

 “Australians can already feel the echoes of Trump and his politics on our political system,” he said. “Trump not only symbolises, but actually works to produce, a mean, nasty violent world that is riddled with racism and misogyny. If you don’t protest that, what do you stand up against?

 “To date, Turnbull has cuddled up to Trump. If he continues down that path, I believe he will pay a very real domestic political price for it.”


 White said she expected Australians to turn out in great numbers to reject the “global threat” that Trump represented.

 “He stands for a global system that is escalating its attacks against refugees, against the poor, against women, against trans people and the LGBTI+ community and the working class,” she said. “We expect that people in Australia will be just as opposed to Trump as people in the UK because Trump represents this global threat to all these oppressed groups and the working class generally.” The Guardian

Monday, 23 July 2018

"Boy Erased" movie a true story - Garrard Conley's life (video)


The upcoming movie Boy Erased, due for release later this year, has gained a lot of attention since it's first trailer has been released. Perhaps it's because it's anticipated to win awards, with performances from Nichole Kidman, Russel Crowe, Lucas Hedges, and gay singer Troye Sivan in his first ever movie role. It tells the story of a teenager sent to a Christian gay conversion therapy by his parents to rid him of his attraction to men.

What's less well known however is the real story behind the movie; that in fact it actually is a real story. The movie is from the book "Boy Erased", written by Garrard Conley about what happened to him as a teenager. Below is an at length and little known interview of him from early last year about his book at the AWP (Association of Writers & Writing Programs) from the US PBS station.

Drag Queen Sasha Velour Australian interview (video)

The winner of the RuPaul's Drag Race, Sasha Velour, makes a stunning appearance on Australian TV's Studio Ten show. Very interesting the reason why she chose to do the bald thing on occasion.

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Trump/Putin press conference, in cartoon form (video)

You know when you watch a cartoon and it's more real than real life? 

This is one of those cartoons :)

Saturday, 21 July 2018

Will Trump Baby go on a world tour? (video) Resist Trumpism!!

With the dire possibility that Trump may be coming to visit Australia before the end of the year, us Aussies have found hope and possibly a saviour in the now legendary Trump Baby. 

Trump Baby is now raising funds for a world tour to save us all under threat from Trump infesting our shores. I don't have the money, but you can contribute to the crowd funding here

Trump Baby, please come to Australia's rescue! Australia needs you in this dark time of dire need! Our piss weak gov will be sucking the fuck out of Trump's ass, making the entire nation vomit in unison. This cannot be just a run of the mill visit from a US president. This simply must be a protest against Trumpism's infestingness! 

Help us Trump Baby! You're our only hope!
US President Donald Trump appears set to visit Australia in November, according to reports.

 Mr Trump, along with other world leaders, is expected to make stops in Australia as part of a tour that will take him to the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation leaders’ summit in Papua New Guinea on November 17 and 18. One option being considered is Mr Trump visiting Sydney, Canberra and Cairns, but nothing had been “locked in” yet, a US government source told The Australian.

 Mr Trump could also fly into Brisbane, an expected entry point for leaders on their way to PNG.

 It would be Mr Trump’s first Australian visit as president. News.com.au

Said hello to granddaughter today :)

*click to enlarge
David and I had coffee with my daughter and husband today, along with my new granddaughter. So I had the first hold of her with her being barely a month old. Had forgotten how small newborn babies were. Both daughter and husband very hands on parents, with me noting to husband about his new ability to eat with one hand and hold baby with the other.

Very well behaved. However daughter and husband were worried about her vomiting. They're in the process of getting the feeding regime right. But babies chuck up, it's just what they do. Along with parents doing washing everyday. 

Of course if she spewed that was time to hand her back :)

But they ain't seen nothing yet. I told daughter about her projectile spewing as a baby and toddler, particularly one time a full on spew standing in the cot. It was all over the curtain next to the cot, on the carpet below, dripping down the side of the cot all over it and the cot bedding. Nothing on her though. I walked into the room with my jaw on the floor.... 

To this day I'm a spew cleaning up expert. The cats chucking up a furball are chicken feed to that. What you need is a good long handled toilet brush (as the toilet is where the spew is going) with solid bristles on the end. Not one of those silly useless round bristled things. Along with that a small brush and shovel for cleaning up bits and pieces inside the house. You don't use the brush with the shovel though, you use the solid toilet brush.

The initial spew cleaning off a carpet for example is to brush the spew into the shovel with the toilet brush, getting all the main lumps and fluid into it to flush down the toilet (sometimes this may take more than one time to do it all). After that is scrubbing the carpet with the toilet brush with much effort, getting the bristles to do their work. Whatever bits of spew left that it picks up go into the always ready shovel nearby to be flushed. And viola.

So granddaughter still very young but very nice. Looking forward to seeing her grow up :)

The very proud parents
Me doing a photo bomb, ha ha. The one below is better

Thursday, 19 July 2018

"Liberal Redneck" unloads on Trump with both barrels (video)

"Liberal Redneck" is sort of the US equivalent of Angry Aussie. Here he gives it to Trump over his love affair with Putin :)

Portrait of Diana painted with HIV+ blood, to combat stigma

Artist Coner Collins has created both an amazing piece of art as well of a wonderful description of how HIV stigma affects those with HIV, and the community as a whole with new HIV infections.
Wrote Collins: “The world was shocked when Diana held hands with a patient with HIV. Decades later, HIV stigma is still rife. We should know the facts. You can’t get HIV from kissing. Undetectable means untransmittable. PREP and PEP work. However widespread HIV stigma, homophobia, racism and transphobia only serve to make new HIV infections more likely. The latest data in the UK, reported last year but from 2016, is that 93% of those diagnosed are now undetectable and do not pose a transmission risk to sexual partners.”

 Added Collins: Despite this, people with HIV are twice as likely to commit suicide, particularly in their first year of diagnosis. The shame has to stop. The stigma has to stop. No one should be driven to this. When Princess Diana held the hand of a man dying of AIDS, few would have imagined that today treatment would exist that would see HIV-positive people living full, healthy, loving lives. When diagnosed and treated early, life-expectancy for someone with HIV is unchanged.”

 Concludes Collins: “We all deserve to be loved. We all deserve to be treated with dignity. HIV is a virus. It has no conscience. It is without colour, without creed, without gender or sexuality. It is incapable of judgement. Stigma however is a choice. The HIV epidemic is fuelled by this stigma, shame and ignorance. Science can treat the disease, but it is love, compassion, respect and understanding that will finally stop the epidemic.” Towleroad

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

WTF is going on with my blog views? - Russia vs US :s

For three days now Russia has had more views than the US. This has never happened before in the history of this blog. WTF is going on? Is it some kind of weird metaphor?