Sunday, 30 September 2018

Nicole Kidman 1989 (video) - first 60 Minutes interview

With Nicole Kidman being in the movie Boy Erased, I came across this interview of her when she was only 21 years old. It was done by 60 Minutes Australia and was her first interview for them all the way back in 1989.

Saturday, 29 September 2018

HIV infection increasing in straight men.

There's good and bad news in the latest "HIV in Australia Annual Surveillance Short Report 2018",  from the Kirby Institute. Graph above.

The good news is that among HIV+ men there has been a 15% reduction in HIV infections, along with an increase in testing. Also 75% of us have an undetectable viral load on treatment and can't pass it on through unsafe sex.

However the news isn't good for straight men with an increase in HIV infections. They just don't seem to think they're in danger. Even worse, because they're  not getting tested they turn up to hospital with AIDS years after infection, meaning they've been passing on HIV for years without even knowing it.

I think it'd be safe to say that there's HIV+ straight men in the community as I type, who don't know they have it. The message is simple; GET TESTED, and if positive then get on treatment. You not only owe it to your personal health (the longer without meds the more damage done to the immune system) but you owe it to the community you live in.

It's the height of irresponsibility to keep spreading a sexually transmitted disease just because one doesn't want to get tested. Would it be the same case if it was gonorrhea or chlamydia? Sexually active people without a permanent partner should be  getting regular tests as a matter of course anyway. Why should it be any different with HIV?

Rising numbers of straight men are being diagnosed with HIV in Australia, with many unknowingly living with the infection for years before they get tested.

 HIV diagnoses have hit a seven-year-low, but heterosexual people are bucking the positive trend, the latest surveillance report by UNSW's Kirby Institute shows.

 As HIV rates fell dramatically among gay and bisexual men, new HIV diagnoses attributed to heterosexual sex rose 10 per cent over the past five years and 14 per cent between 2016 and 2017, according to the detailed analysis released on Monday.

 Heterosexual sex accounted for one in four new HIV diagnoses in 2017 (238 people: 145 men and 93 women).

 New HIV diagnoses in men that were attributed to heterosexual sex (rather than injecting drugs) rose 19 per cent over the past five years.

 Worryingly, almost half of HIV-positive heterosexuals were living with the infection for years before it was detected (48 per cent).

 The rise in HIV among heterosexual was small but concerning, said the head of the Kirby Institute’s Surveillance, Evaluation and Research Program and co-author of the report, Professor Rebecca Guy.

One in 10 of all people who are diagnosed late (four or more years after infection) have progressed to AIDS by the time they are tested, Professor Guy said.

 “Their immune function had deteriorated to the point where often they are first tested when they are in hospital,” she said.

 HIV testing rates are significantly lower among heterosexuals, Professor Guy said. A 2012-2013 survey of more than 20,000 Australians found just one in three heterosexual people had been tested for HIV in their lifetime.

 The delay in getting tested for HIV meant there was a high-risk they were unknowingly passing the infection on to their sexual partners, Professor Guy said.

 “Many heterosexuals would be unaware that they have been at risk … and the need for testing,” Professor Guy said.

 Associate Professor Limin Mao, Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Social Research in Health at UNSW, said the belief that HIV was a problem of gay men and drug users, as well as prejudice among the community were major barriers to getting people tested.

 A survey of just over 1000 Australians showed almost half would behave negatively toward people with HIV. Roughly 60 per cent said it would bother them if their roommate was HIV positive. Sydney Morning Herald   

You can also listen to an interview on it here.

Friday, 28 September 2018

Trump (US) vs Jacinda Ardern (NZ) at UN general assembly speeches (video)

NZ PM Jacinda Ardern at UN with husband and baby
Jacinda Arden, New Zealand's new Labour prime minister, has given a powerful speech at the United Nations general assembly the other day.

The full video is below, but the first one is interesting also. It shows the contrast between Trump and her. 

Trump rejects globalism whilst embracing the "doctrine of patriotism" (scary words there). Ardern speaks of kindness and a global community where we care about each other. 

The contrast between the two is stark.

Ardern BTW bought her young baby into the chamber who was being looked after by husband when she was giving her speech. Baby had her own ID pass with "first baby" written on it :)

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Latest Granddaughter picture :)

*click to enlarge
Daughter is still on maternity leave, having a year off to look after granddaughter. 

She's been taking her outdoors to the park nearby, hence the swing picture. Granddaughter really likes being outside. 

It's funny as it's the exact same park and play area I used to take my daughter to when she was a kid, over 5 years old by the time we moved there. She'd go with her neighbour friend about the same age and they'd play with the other kids there on the equipment whilst I sat and read a book on the wooden park seats and tables. Was a very pleasant way to spend an hour or so.

Also, the park is right next to the primary school daughter used to go too. Small world eh.

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

"Justin Milne should resign" - Andrew Bolt! *faints* (video)

ABC staff walk out today to protest against Milne; chairman of the ABC 
*Update: Milne has resigned but may be replaced by an even worse person. This from GetUp,
Justin Milne, acting ABC Chair, has rightly resigned after explosive leaks revealed he had suggested firing journalists who dared hold the government to account.

 But now the man Tony Abbott hand-picked to gut funding at the ABC – Peter Lewis – could be appointed as Acting Chair. If he is made the permanent Chair, it could be the end of the ABC as we know it. This Chair of the ABC must be truly independent and willing to fight for a public broadcaster that is trusted by more Australians than both the major parties.

 Can you sign the petition calling for a truly independent Chair of the ABC and an end to government interference? Sign here.

I'm gob-smacked :s

For those overseas who have no knowledge of what's transpired politically in Australia today, first of all we haven't had another spill and we still have Mad Morrison as our Pentecostal prime minister. Although with the turmoil in the gov nobody here in Australia would be surprised if we did have a new PM, given the clown show this gov is and has been since Abbott was elected in 2013. 

What has happened though has aghast the entire population of Australia. Certainly a hard feat to accomplish given this gov's many aghastness's we've endured in the last 5 long years, but indeed this is a top notch aghastness! So much so that far RWNJ Andrew Bolt has entered the fray against the far RWNJ gov that he worships so dearly. This is an indication of the new and deeper horror Australian's across the country are now experiencing about this gov.

Some background: Milne (chairman of the ABC) is a mate of ex-PM Turnbull. Guthrie (managing director of the ABC) was recently sacked by Milne, with the support of the current RWNJ ABC board which the Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison (ATM) gov has stacked with far RWNJ's very sympathetic to the present far RWNJ gov, only half way through her contract. She's seeking legal advice over this.

Earlier today Fairfax media released a confidential email from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Chairman Milne, to the then ABC's managing director Guthrie, back in May. Milne was telling Guthrie to fire an ABC reporter because the gov "hate her". 

ABC chairman Justin Milne told former managing director Michelle Guthrie to sack high-profile presenter Emma Alberici following a complaint from then-prime minister Malcolm Turnbull...

 Mr Milne’s comments were contained in an email sent to Ms Guthrie on May 8... The chairman was replying to an email from Ms Guthrie that outlined a complaint from Mr Turnbull about Ms Alberici’s political coverage. “They [the government] hate her,” Mr Milne said in the email...

 “We are tarred with her brush. I think it’s simple. Get rid of her. We need to save the ABC - not Emma. There is no guarantee they [the Coalition] will lose the next election.” Herald Sun (oh god I feel dirty posting that link)
This would be unforgivable even in a privately media owned company, well to impartial viewers anyway. Thing is (again for those overseas) the ABC is owned by the public and has been legislated to be an independent broadcaster. All it's funding comes from public money. That independence goes so far as to not even allow adds so there won't be a conflict of interest if they criticise (or not criticise) a company who advertises on the station. Political interference is anathema and legislated against. The federal gov cannot interfere in it's reporting. It's the legislated law. 

Yet we now have a case where the chairman of the ABC (Turnbull's mate) told the managing director of the ABC to sack a journalist because the gov "hate her".

This is a direct affront to the independence of the ABC and Australia's democracy. The ABC cannot be driven by the far RWNJ's in this gov or any gov of Australia, no matter how much the gov of the day complains about it. Australia needs an independent voice, bereft of influence from politicians and self interested corporations who may want to use the channel for their own purposes.

Today is yet another day where this ATM gov is seriously damaged. It has constantly complained to the ABC of Emma Alberici's "biased" reporting, particularly about a report she made about the gov's (now dead) $80 billion tax cut's to corporations. She made it clear that trickle down wouldn't work in Australia as it hadn't worked anywhere else. The ATM gov didn't like it and obviously made it's feelings known to Turnbull's mate Milne. Who then wanted her sacked.

After today's explosion of horror about this from across the country, the federal ATM gov has announced a half assed investigation into it. Not holding my breath for any investigation from this gov......

Anyway, here's far RWNJ gov bum boy Andrew Bolt declaring that Milne must resign. This from Bolt their cheer leader. Good grief. Milne is finished:

Alberici is biased. She made mistakes. The ABC should indeed crack down on bias and errors, and Guthrie failed to do so properly.

 But this is outrageous.

 We have a close mate of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who got him the job, taking up a personal beef Turnbull had with one staffer to demand her sacking, when Alberici's failings were not sackable offences.

 Worse, Milne makes perfectly clear in this email, as reported by Fairfax, that his sacking call is driven by political considerations more than by concerns about journalistic standards or the ABC charter. He wants Alberici gone to placate the Government led by his mate, and suggests that the possible return of the Turnbull Government makes that sacking more necessary. That also implies that Milne would not find it necessary to sack Alberici under a Labor Government. This kind of political calculation is disgraceful.

Shame on the board for not quashing it immediately.

 Milne must go. Herald Sun (Murdoch's paper) 

The TGA wants to ban Poppers in Australia - former AFP head disagrees

Good grief, how stupid. Poppers (or amyl nitrate) are pretty well harmless and non additive. They provide a short rush with a lowering of blood pressure and relaxing of muscles. They've been used for zonks without the sky falling in, so what's the fuckin problem?

Well the Therapeutic Goods Administration has put forward the proposition of banning Poppers by making them a schedule 9 drug; which means it would be as illegal as heroin or ice. Absolutely ridiculous. It would, if it went ahead, turn a large proportion of the gay community into criminals overnight. Not to mention the straight people that use it too.

There is of course much outrage from said gay community over the proposal. You can sign the petition here against making it illegal.

The ex head of the Australian Federal Police agrees with not banning Poppers. Yes, even the federal police appear to be on our side in this one. *faints*

A former head of the Australian federal police has warned the proposed ban on amyl nitrite – an inhalant used for sex and short recreational highs – would be ineffective.

 The former AFP commissioner Mick Palmer made the comment in response to a question at the National Press Club on Tuesday, appearing alongside drug safety advocate Matt Noffs to urge a harm minimisation approach to the regulation and policing of all drugs.

 The Therapeutic Goods Administration has announced its intention to reclassify amyl nitrite because of “increasing reports of misuse and abuse” of the drug, commonly known as “poppers”, and cases of retinal damage as a side effect of use.

 The move has been opposed – particularly by the LGBTI community – on the basis amyl is not addictive and its effect of dilating the user’s blood vessels helps receptive sexual partners comfortably enjoy sex.

 A similar ban was considered in the United Kingdom but rejected by the conservative government after its advisory body found the use of poppers was “not seen to be capable of having harmful effects sufficient to constitute a societal problem”.

 Asked about the proposed ban, Palmer said he was “not an expert” on amyl nitrite but “I don’t think that a ban would be effective”.

 “No other ban has been effective,” he said. “Why would this one? … Nothing we’ve banned for the illicit drug marketplace has had much difference and this will be no different.”

 Noffs – the chief executive of the Noffs Foundation, Australia’s largest drug and alcohol treatment service provider for young people under 25 – agreed with that response.

 “The simple answer is: we don’t get any control by banning a substance, by prohibiting it,” Noffs told Guardian Australia. The Guardian

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Dopey Dutton is after our encrypted private messages

Dutton has gone the full Darth
Yes folks, just when we all thought we were safe from Dopey Dutton after his Libspill humiliation, he has once again raised his Orwellian head.

We were dismayed that after Libspill, instead of being banished to the back bench Mad Morrison let him keep his job as Darth Dutton to continue attacking the freedoms of the Australian people. This is after just escaping a no confidence motion in the lower house by one vote (his own) which would have put him on the back bench as well. 

You'd think that maybe he might get a hint that he was deeply unpopular with an election looming, and that he may set about at least trying to appear nice to the electorate? But no, his big legislation right after Libspill is to once again attack the population's freedoms. Going the full Darth.

He's just a really stupid man. Surely he'd know that this legislation doesn't have a hope in hell of getting through the senate? So why present it? The legislation is diabolical. You've got to ask about the combined level of intelligence of the gov itself to do so.

Legislation which will allow the police to read through your private messages has been put forward by the coalition.

 On Thursday, Peter Dutton announced the introduction of the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Bill 2018 which aims to weaken encryption laws to help law enforcement.

 The technology sector, Labor and the Greens were left dumbfounded by how quickly the serious legislation was introduced to the House of Representatives.

 If the bill is passed, tech companies will have to remove encrypted protection on users devices, this will give authorities access to our protected online information.

 This means enforcement agencies will be able to install software on a device, provide access to devices, and help agencies build their own systems on the devices.

 An excerpt of the draft reads that 'encrypted devices and applications are eroding the ability of our law enforcement and security agencies'.

 Since the legislation was put forward, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, and Google have fought back on the legislation claiming it poses a risk to public and personal safety of users.

 Digital Industry Group (DIGI) managing director Nicole Buskiewicz said the new bill could create a vulnerability for everyday consumers.

 As a spokesperson for the companies, Ms Buskiewicz said the new laws would make it 'easier for bad actors to commit crimes against individuals, organisations or communities'. Daily Mail UK

Monday, 24 September 2018

The Zac house :)

Zac in the house *click to enlarge
A neighbour gave us this cat house thing. It has a top floor and bottom floor. Zac's the main one who uses it and he's very partial to the top floor. It's like his little cave where he can go and sleep if he wants, although Casper sometimes gets on the top and puts his paw into the hole playing.

Natasha the matriarch doesn't seem to like it much but she has of course investigated it inside. She's quite happy to sleep in the cat toy box with the toys. Casper is the main one that plays with the toys. He goes over to the toys and selects one with his claws and plays with it.

Casper is a kleptomaniac. He takes stuff and plays with it. David can't leave his lighters lying around as he takes them. Other day they were all missing and David found them all under a lounge chair.

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Australian property bubble about to burst (video)

This is from a top international investment manager.

Of course there will be many Australians who won't believe him. After all, property prices have been increasing for 40 years, why would that change now?

But it can't last forever. Eventually it gets to a point where people simply can't pay any more. Add to that stagnant wage growth, tighter lending criteria from the banks, massively overpriced property (some of the world's most expensive), banks increasing interest rates on people already struggling, and the banks being ridiculously exposed on property loans, record household debt, and you pretty much have all the ingredients of a major economic crash in Australia.

I hope this gov will be gone when it does happen. They don't have a clue. 

Saturday, 22 September 2018

"Boy Erased" question and answer of cast and crew (video)

In an advanced screening of Boy Erased, there was a question and answer session with some of the cast and crew. 

From left to right above, Gerrard Conley (author of the book Boy Erased which was about what happened to him), Gerrard's mother (who just saw the film for the first time), actors Troye Sivan and Nicole Kidman, and director Joel Edgerton.

Nicole Kidman played Gerrard Conley's mother in the film and it was quite something to see his real mother's reaction after the film.

Friday, 21 September 2018

NASA releases stunning polar video of Jupiter

An absolutely amazing video put together by NASA using data from the Juno spacecraft which is in an elliptical orbit around the planet. It collects data with each close flyby of that orbit. So far it's made 11 close flybys.

Here this infrared video show details of the data that can see up to 70 km's down through Jupiter's clouds. The bright areas are obviously warmer than the cloud tops, being in infrared. 

Scientists working on NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter shared a 3-D infrared movie depicting densely packed cyclones and anticyclones that permeate the planet’s polar regions, and the first detailed view of a dynamo, or engine, powering the magnetic field for any planet beyond Earth. Those are among the items unveiled during the European Geosciences Union General Assembly in Vienna, Austria, on Wednesday, April 11.

 Juno mission scientists have taken data collected by the spacecraft’s Jovian InfraRed Auroral Mapper (JIRAM) instrument and generated the 3-D fly-around of the Jovian world’s north pole. Imaging in the infrared part of the spectrum, JIRAM captures light emerging from deep inside Jupiter equally well, night or day. The instrument probes the weather layer down to 30 to 45 miles (50 to 70 kilometers) below Jupiter's cloud tops. The imagery will help the team understand the forces at work in the animation – a north pole dominated by a central cyclone surrounded by eight circumpolar cyclones with diameters ranging from 2,500 to 2,900 miles (4,000 to 4,600 kilometers).

 “Before Juno, we could only guess what Jupiter’s poles would look like,” said Alberto Adriani, Juno co-investigator from the Institute for Space Astrophysics and Planetology, Rome. “Now, with Juno flying over the poles at a close distance it permits the collection of infrared imagery on Jupiter’s polar weather patterns and its massive cyclones in unprecedented spatial resolution.” NASA

The most brilliant take down of the Catholic church you will ever see - Stephen Fry (video)

This is an older video but I only just came across it yesterday. Watch as Stephen Fry gives the most comprehensive and extraordinary take down of the Catholic church you will ever hear. Using facts, he pulls no punches and delivers knockout blow after knockout blow.

Thursday, 20 September 2018

A memory of the AIDS crisis has gone viral on Twitter

I myself am a relatively recent HIV infection. A world away from the early days when getting HIV meant that you were going to die. Today AIDS in Australia isn't even considered a public health issue anymore and the meds stop the HIV virus.

This is one gay man's remembrance of those early days and the tragedy that unfolded in the gay community back then. That tragedy being largely unknown in the straight world.

The Twitter thread starts here, with the full text below.

 I overheard a young man on the train on the way home today, talking to another young man. Holding hands. In college, I guessed. About that age anyway. Much younger than I am. He was talking about AIDS, in a scholarly way. About how it had galvanized the gay community. How it had spurred change. Paved the way to make things better, in the long run.

 The long run.

 Maybe he’s right. I don’t know. It’s not the first time I’ve heard the theory. He spoke with clarity and with confidence. Youthful, full of conviction. But. Remember how terrible it was, not that long ago, during the worst times. How many beautiful friends died. One after the other. Brutally. Restlessly. Brittle and damp. In cold rooms with hot lights. Remember? Some nights, you’d sneak in to that hospital downtown after visiting hours, just to see who was around. It wasn’t hard. You’d bring a boom box. Fresh gossip. Trashy magazines and cheap paperbacks. Hash brownies. Anything. Nothing. You’d get kicked out, but you’d sneak back in. Kicked out again. Back in again. Sometimes you’d recognize a friend. Sometimes you wouldn’t.

 Other nights, you’d go out to dance and drink. A different distraction. You’d see a face in the dark, in the back of the bar. Is it you? Old friend! No. Not him. Just a ghost. At work, you’d find an umbrella, one you’d borrowed a few rainstorms ago from a coworker. I should return it, you’d think. No. No need. He’s gone. It’s yours now. Season after season. Year after year.

 One day you’d get lucky and meet someone lovely. You’d feel happy, optimistic. You’d make plans. Together, you’d keep a list of names in a notebook you bought for thirty cents in Chinatown so you could remember who was still here and who wasn’t, because it was so easy to forget. But there were so many names to write down. Too many names. Names you didn’t want to write down. When he finally had to go too, you got rid of the notebook. No more names.

 Your friends would come over with takeout and wine and you’d see how hard they tried not to ask when he was coming home because they knew he wasn’t coming home. No one came home. You’d turn 24. When he’d been gone long enough and it was time to get rid of his stuff, they’d say so. It’s time. And you’d do it, you’d give away the shirts, sweaters, jackets. Everything. Except those shoes. You remember the ones. He loved those shoes, you’d say. We loved those shoes. I’ll keep those shoes under the bed.

 You’d move to a new neighborhood. You’d unpack the first night, take a shower, make the bed because it’d be bedtime. You’d think of the shoes. For the first time, you’d put them on. Look at those shoes. What great shoes. Air. You’d need air. You’d walk outside in the shoes, just to the stoop. You’d sit. A breeze. A neighbor steps past. “Great shoes,” she’d say. But the shoes are too big for you. You’d sit for a while, maybe an hour, maybe more. Then you’d unlace the shoes, set them by the trash on the curb. You’d go back upstairs in your socks. The phone is ringing. More news.

 The long run. Wasn’t that long ago. Towleroad

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

10yrs since being HIV infected - remembering .......

Went to the psychologist today and talked about everything. Most notably about my feelings about David having bone cancer and my anger about him not telling me about it for months. 

Psychologist may be going to the HIV book launch next month along with the psychologist David sees there.

BTW David's bone marrow cancer in the bottom of one of his legs is responding very well to chemotherapy and it's looking very unlikely that he'd need a bone marrow transplant. His doctor caught it the moment it came up in his quarterly blood tests as she was keeping a keen eye out for it. David's family has a history of cancer. I think he got ahead of himself with doom and gloom about the big C word.

Much of the session was taken up with that, however we did have another discussion about something else. 

I realised when I was going in on the bus that next month it would be 10 years since I was infected with HIV. I don't know the exact date (*blushes*) but I have a pretty good idea of the specific trip to the sex club that I got it. Albeit I still have no idea of the date of that even, other than it was in October (*blushes again*). 

Back then it was all a hurting self destructive blur into ice and sex. I met a guy at the (now closed) Kens at Kensington, who was a fuck buddy of his ice dealer in Surry Hills (who has long ago fled Sydney owing money or some shit like that). As he was always hanging around his ice dealer's friend's place, the ice dealer got to know me. Long story short I was being fucked by the ice dealer who was giving ice to me for nothing. Apparently I was a really good fuck as he didn't mind sharing with me his "personal use" ice.

In any case one time I was there he'd got a young good looking gay ice bitch guy to stay with him for a bit who was incredibly jealous of me actually physically being in the same space as him. Dealer was very apologetic quietly to me and I said I should go. In apology he gave me this big hit of ice (yes we were injecting) which blew my head off.

Dazed I left the apartment disappointed that dealer and I hadn't had sex. We did have really good sex together him and I. Somehow we were quite compatible that way. He blew one time with me and said he'd not cum like that in five years. For a bit after that he'd say to me "What am I going to do with you?" Personally I think if it wasn't for all the drugs and the scene he was in we may have had quite a relationship. All water under the bridge long ago now. He's not even in Sydney anymore and we've long ago lost contact.

Anyway, so I was off to the sex club. Totally off my head. So iced off my head that when I was in the , um, dark room of the club I was seeing people that weren't even there and seeing things happening that weren't happening. Long story short, I believe it was that night that I got infected. Some time in October.

I know that because (in hindsight) I had a very bad sero-conversion in November (where the HIV is very high in your blood before your body gets the infection to a much more moderate level - that moderate level can last for years). Felt like I had a very bad flu. My mouth and throat hurt like with a bad flu virus so much so I had trouble eating from the pain and lost 5 kilos in a month (11 pounds for the USA-an's). A rash on my skin. Tired as anything and sleeping a lot. Had quite a bit of sick days off work that month.

After that all subsided a lot in December I had rather the suspicions, and therefore looked up symptoms of HIV infections on the internet. It fit the picture so perfectly I knew I needed to be tested again.

Unlike the previous test I had at a "family" medical centre (near my work) which came up negative, if this one came up positive I didn't want to be at that centre if it did. I got the test done at the Albion St Centre in late January 2009, which was specifically set up in the early 1980's in response to the AIDS epidemic in Sydney, and was part of the Prince of Wales Hospital Campus, and still is.

Back then you had to have counseling before you got tested. It was then I met the psychologist who I still see today. I couldn't get through that counseling without falling apart. Told him I didn't want to go there and fall apart, but I couldn't help it. I was severely traumatised by life events and suicidal and just wanting that pain to end. Suicide is never about wanting to die you know; nobody wants to die really. It's about the pain being endured and the inability to cope with it. Suicide can present itself as the only way out of that pain. Emotional pain can be every bit as terrible as physical pain.

It took about 2 weeks back then to get back the results. Of course mine was HIV+.

I had a very unusual reaction to that. Not at all like most people. It was a big "Meh". HIV for me was the icing on the shit cake. I was already numb from so much pain, and now I was HIV+ too. .....

Senate orders gov to release Ruddock review into religious freedom - Gov says no (video)

*click to enlarge
The religious freedom review has been finished for some months now but the ("open") gov has steadfastly sat on it's findings and not released them to the public, including the LGBT who's lives stand to be affected most by any changes to anti-discrimination laws regarding sexuality and marriage.

However since the takeover by Mad Morrison there's been a distinct change of tone regarding religious freedom in Australia. Mad Morrison, as you would expect from a pentecostal, claims that Christians are facing persecution in the wake of David and I marrying in Australia. Pentecostals just looooooooooooove to feel persecuted you know. 

Since becoming PM Mad Morrison has wasted no time in letting the LGBT community know how he feels about us. Apart from actively looking to make so called "religious freedom" laws aimed directly at us, he insulted trans people using his platform as PM, and said conversion therapy wasn't a problem for him.

So the senate today has demanded Mad Morrison release the findings of the inquiry into religious freedom in Australia. We've had enough and we're not going to take it anymore!

Monday, 17 September 2018

PM Morrison lies to Australian's - denies his funding cuts to Aged Care 2016

Well it didn't take long for Australian voters to catch on how much bullshit it was for Scott Morrison to call a royal commission into Aged Care in 2018, when (even for those who didn't realise fully) a quick Google would bring up ample evidence that Morrison did indeed cut $1.2 billion of federal funding out of the aged care budget in 2016. Exhibit A above which is now all over the internet and main stream news outlets. And, as even I myself pointed out in the last post here, that industry groups warned him that such a cut would lead to a reduction of care in nursing homes.

Now two years later and Morrison has gone from treasurer to prime minister, with that change leaving the gov looking to being wiped out in the coming election. After a disastrous first two weeks of his leadership, he's wanted to look like he's actually doing something and taking action on things. Enter Morrison announcing a royal commission into Aged Care in response to the worsening levels of care over the last 2 years. Stunningly failing to see the elephant in the room.....heelloooo.....

Even more stunningly, Morrison is denying that as treasurer in 2016 he made those cuts. He appears to think that if he preaches hard enough and yells hard enough and is indignant enough, Australian's will believe that red is black. Or that he didn't put Aged Care into the red but the black, or something like that. He fails to realise that the Australian people are not his church congregation; where everything that's preached from the pulpit goes unquestioned and accepted. 

The reason is simple to me. If he admits he actually did make the cuts, then he'd have to admit that the Aged Care industry warned him about the consequences, that those consequences have now happened, and essentially he's called a royal commission into his very own federal cuts to Aged Care.

Abbott's at the top providing the drum beat
In any case, after trying to look like a leader and prime ministerial, he's now looking completely foolish. An emperor with no clothes. 

What an utter utter idiot. What a brainless moron. What an imbecilic buffoon. This is the best the Liberal party can offer up as prime minister? 

Australian's are champing at the bit for an election to be called as soon as can be. We want this Muppet show gone and someone in who can deal with the serious problems facing Australia after five long years of this inept clown show. They're not even funny.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has angrily denied cutting $1.2 billion in aged care funding as he announced a royal commission into the sector.

 “If people want to put questions, they are not allowed to put lies,” Mr Morrison told a journalist on Sunday who asked about the cuts.

 The Prime Minister went back and forth with the reporter, as he insisted he had not, as treasurer, presided over the funding cuts in the 2016 budget.

 “This is why I’m having a royal commission because I’m not going to put up with lies being told about what’s happening in the aged care sector,” Mr Morrison said.

 “Policies must be based on facts, not the facts that are dreamt up, not facts that are misinterpreted, not the facts that have agendas sitting behind them.”

 However, the 2016 budget said the government would “achieve efficiencies of $1.2 billion over four years” from federal funding paid to aged care providers. The New Daily

Sunday, 16 September 2018

PM Morrison announces royal commission of Aged Care, after cutting funds to it 2016

Good grief. Just how stupid does this gov think Australians are? They spend five years slashing and burning everything in sight, and now when they're in deep electoral shit they make some lame patch up gesture.

In 2016, as treasurer, Scott Morrison announced $1.2 billion worth of funding cuts to the Aged Care sector over 4 years. This despite industry concerns that it would have a very negative impact on the quality of care being provided.

The Turnbull government's $1.2 billion of aged care funding cuts could force smaller providers to close down or sell up and may lower standards of care for the elderly, industry groups warn.

Treasurer Scott Morrison's budget outlined $1.2 billion of cuts over four years as the ageing population drives increasing demand for aged care services.

 Industry body Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) said 38 per cent of aged care providers were already not viable.

 "Our seniors living in remote and rural areas will not be able to age in place and will need to travel long distances, far from families and friends, to receive the care they deserve," LASA spokesperson Beth Cameron said.

 Sources said that increased pressure on small players would accelerate consolidation of the fragmented industry.

 The cuts will also provide the federal opposition with ammunition to attack the government in the imminent election campaign.

 Shadow minister for ageing Shayne Neumann said that the "savage cut" has "failed more than 353,000 Australians living with dementia". Sydney Morning Herald
As industry predicted 2 years ago, there has been a big increase in lack of care being provided to the elderly in nursing homes. Now Morrison has announced a royal commission into the Aged Care sector citing concerns over those increases. Caused by his own funding cuts.
The prime minister said he could no longer ignore the alarming number of aged care operators "flouting the law and putting lives at risk".

 There was an 177 per cent increase in the number of aged care homes where a serious risk to residents was identified in the last financial year, according to new government figures.

 There was a 292 per cent increase in the number of facilities that refused to comply with rules.

"Walking by these statistics was not possible," Mr Morrison said.

 The Oakden nursing home for elderly people was shut down last year following a damning report by South Australia's chief psychiatrist highlighting ongoing neglect and mistreatment of residents.

 Mr Morrison said the government also needed to prepare for a major increase in demand on aged care as the baby boomers age. Nine News
Has Morrison offered to restore the funding cuts in the wake of this? Not at all. All he's offering is a paltry $90 million, already budgeted to Aged Care, sooner than expected. To "mop up". Meaning his $1.2 billion funding cuts still stay.
Reacting to recent aged care scandals, Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Wednesday announced that $90 million in funds budgeted towards aged care will be fast tracked in a bid to "mop up" the industry.

 The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission will also receive an extra $16 million with some of the funding going towards spot checking facilities.

 "My message to senior Australians is I want you to age with dignity. I want you to age with respect," Mr Morrison said.

 However, aged care advocate Lynda Saltarelli, from Aged Care Crisis, said the announcements were little more than window-dressing, and the issue of staff needed to be urgently addressed. Nine News

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Liberals break ranks to oppose Abbott preselection for his seat of Warringah

*Update: "This will be Abbott's last term": Liberals call time on former PM as tide turns in Warringah. Sydney Morning Herald

The numbers that voted against Abbott's preselection for his seat of Warringah have not been made public, not even to the Liberal party members who voted in the ballot. However they've put it at 30%, possibly even 36% who voted against him. Thing is he was standing on his own unopposed.

I wonder what the voters in Warringah will have to say in the coming election? Who aren't Liberal party members. Will we see the mad monk's political career come to a crashing end? He's completely out of touch with public opimion, as illustrated when his own seat of Warringah voted 75% in favour of David and I marrying. This despite Abbott fighting tooth and nail against it for years.

The war hasn't stopped in the gov since Turnbull was turfed. Turnbull has buggered of with his wife to New York, quiting parliament and vacating his seat of Wentworth, He's now openly campaigning against the gov in the by election caused by that. And against Dopey Dutton saying he should be referred to the High Court over questions of his eligibility of even being in parliament, which would cause another by election.

As the gov has only a one seat majority, the loss of either seat could bring down the gov and trigger a general election. Which everyone seems to want except the gov.

   Mr Abbott ran unopposed, which makes the size of the protest vote "highly unusual", according to members who now believe the former prime minister's grip on the blue-ribbon northern beaches seat is not guaranteed.

 "Everybody with any degree of commitment to the party and its long-term future wants to see this guy go, he's just useless," said one local member on Saturday.

 Moderate Liberal Party members are deeply unhappy with Mr Abbott's failure to honour his "no wrecking, no sniping, no undermining" pledge after being ousted by Malcolm Turnbull in 2015.

 At a more local level, they believe Mr Abbott is out of step with the views of the party membership and wider electorate on issues like climate change, renewable energy and same-sex marriage. Warringah recorded a 75 per cent vote in favour of same-sex marriage in last year's postal survey - the 10th highest votes in the country and the fifth highest of the Liberal Party's 76 seats in Parliament.

Sources at the meeting said Mr Abbott appeared surprised by the depth of feeling against him. Sydney Morning Herald

HIV book launch and photo exhibition

This is the book David and I were interviewed for, being part of the twenty people in the book. The first lot is back from the printers ready for the launch and exhibition of Roy's photos.
The HIV Book Project launches this October alongside a photographic exhibition in Surry Hills, NSW. Twenty participants living with HIV from a diverse range of backgrounds share their personal stories and response to living with HIV.

 “As a man living with HIV, this project is very dear to my heart,” said the project coordinator Phillip Shipton. "Not all of our friends and lovers living with HIV have moved back into society, relationships, full-time employment, and life," he said.

 "I am conscious that for some people, HIV has changed significantly over the last 30 years," said Mr Shipton. "Much of our project work involves those left behind for whom the benefits of improved anti-retroviral treatments have not resulted in such a positive change, and continue to live under the weight of stigma and discrimination.

 “It is this journey of change we want to document,” said award-winning photographer and co-founder of The HIV Book Project, Roy Wilkins. “We hope this exhibition and book highlights the diversity of lives that PLHIV experience and serves to continue to break down HIV stigma and discrimination." Positive Life


The HIV Book Project (Facebook). Call 0411 766 370 or 

Pre-orders from The Bookshop Darlinghurst.