Thursday, September 2, 2010

Did I blog it?

So, I have been completely slack and haven't blogged in ages (except for about 10 minutes ago). 
And now I have about 20 things I want to write about but now I've gone and lost my audience and any repore I had built. I have trashed all expectations of a blog per week, I have let you down and I am sorry!! 
Especially since it was my true entre' to life online; I can't do f/book, I am completely slack on tweets although many thanks to all those who are active, I do enjoy it, for those more old skool I am a pretty responsive emailer.
Hmmmm... I won't despair and relegate myself to finding a Scandanavian pen-pal who wants to practice their already near perfect English and shares blow by blow accounts of chipping snow and ice from car windows and politely tells me of their dog's well-being. I will just push on through, call it a creative hiatus and promise the following:
  • Darwin rednecks rage
  • The 'new' phenomenon of nothing new
  • How we're hangin' post Fed Election
  • Colin Barnett turns back his big white clock about 220 years
in a relatively short-  but not too ridiculous so you think i am obsessing over my own blog - timeframe.

It doesn't add up Tony

Abbott has tried to buy Wilke with a billion dollars. That's from the man who claims to stand for economic stability, not wasting money blah blah blah. Now I am not saying that hospital care in Hobart doesn't need funding. But for ***k's sake, a billion dollars on the table before any costing was done, any health professionals consulted, any thought on non-hospital care around Tasmania... need I go on? Not to harp on it, but one final point  - all Abbott would have bought was a number, one closer to 76, not a guarantee that Wilke would support any of his racist, homophobic, fear mongering, climate sceptic policies -  doesn't sound like a smart spend of one billion dollars to me...
None of this is to say I love the other dudes, but I am really tired of Abbott and in fact the Coalition, continuing to play irresponsible point scoring games presuming that the voting public will all just stand by and cop it.

(image credit to David Jackmanson, ta for sharing)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Not even George could find a hero in this dish

Master Chef has changed the shelves of one well known supermarket across the land. Pigeon breast, broccolini, cheeses I can't name, buckets of duck fat, can anyone find the milk -  full cream, from a cow... And then there's the other story from the other parts of the same land - 

Stores where the stock is out of date, prices are on average 4 times higher than what we in our comfy cities on our comfy incomes are used to. Stores that do not sell fresh fruit or vegetables, there is some frozen meat and a lot of sugar, salt and additives. These are the stores in Aboriginal communities across the NT -  and possibly other part of Australia - but it is the NT I know most about. Nutrition and children's health was meant to be a key deliverable of the Government's NT Intervention. So -  Aboriginal people get a BasicsCard to spend in these stores and to apparently take better care of themselves and their children. But the Federal Government has done nothing about subsidising fresh food to reach these stores, regulation for store owners on prices / contents or anything else. The individual has no say in how much of their money goes onto this BasicsCard, whether they even want a BasicsCard or not and not all stores accept the card so too bad -  buy what's on the shelf, oh yeah- and probably what is within reach (the store is a walk away, the supermarket could be 300km away!). 

Perhaps the Federal Government could look at a food revolution outside of Coles.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Citizens assemble, Julia is confused

So, a year long chat about climate change? I am sorry Julia - WTF??? I thought Tony was the sceptic. 

What exactly are you hoping the citizens can tell you? The experts have given you the facts, the people of Australia have told you they want action, the global community kinda sorta tried to tell the world, Scandavia and parts of Europe have been creating positive change for years now, your old boss told you this was 'the greatest moral challenge of our times'. But you reckon door knocking from Broome to Ballina to Bendigo will sort things out?! I'm sorry, won't that add a few more planes, hire cars, phone calls to the tally... and that'll be another year, plus the nine months or so give birth to another long report of in-action. All that when you said through your sparkly eyes last night that 'you believed in climate change'...??

Not that I buy the idea at all. But just incase others do, let's reflect on the last year long consultation your Government embarked on. ummm.... that's right, you asked Australians to comment on how they felt about human rights protection - Australia asked for a Human Rights Act -  your Govt said nope sorry, but thanks for that nice little idea. 

let's tell Julia how it's going to be.
Greens in the Senate and she'll have no choice!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Seeking a policy, somewhere, anywhere

I have been too angry, shocked, frustrated, sad and a million other things to have written a blog about the latest announcements on how Australia's leaders intend to address the human rights issue of seeking asylum.

And in my delay - Julia has been doing a nice job of self-destructing on this issue. Her plans for East Timor seem to be without foundation, Tony's alternate plans for the Defence Force to play decision maker on which boats stay and which boats go also seems to without foundation. Key point for both politicians (in case they were looking here for advice) -  If you are making an announcement that involves 2 parties, get the ok from the other group before you make that announcement!!

So... the facts:
  • Australia receives less than 1% of the world's refugees
  • In total we are talking about around 3,000 people in one year at most by boat
  • of those who arrive by boat, in recent years -  more than 90% were found to be genuine refugees
  • There is no queue to jump and there are usually no papers to be thrown over board. Many people in the world never receive a birth certificate, and you try going to a Government office  asking staff there for a passport because you'd like to leave the country - the office is run by the people who killed your mother, or that office is a 200km walk from your home over a hill, past the football field, past a few hundred landmines and through a few groups of rebel fighters keen top recruit you. 
The Government is trying to convince us that a processing centre (I'll call it a detention centre) in East Timor will stop the potentially fatal boat trips that people are making. Ummm.... a bit of geography here, East Timor is an island!! To get there you need a boat, asylum seekers don't pass by the coast of East Timor, decide not to stop and then head on to Australia -  check out a map. They leave Indonesia and head down the Indian Ocean towards Australia's West Coast - not for fun, because that is a navigational route.  

I am all for a regional processing centre -  one where people are detained for the shortest possible time, where they can live in the community, work and have their health and education needs met whilst awaiting assessment. But is a developing nation such as East Timor the best place for this?? Or is it one that needs the money and one where Australia has some influence? The asylum seekers would either continue down the Indian Ocean, be picked up and transferred back across the top of Australia and through the Timor Sea. OR -  they would be taken straight from hiding in Indonesian ports to East Timor.  Indonesia and East Timor are not exactly best friends, I can't see how this plan actually work. This doesn't seem like complex political or logistical information to me, why has our adept, intelligent PM not thought about it or even chatted it through with oh, i don't know, East Timor's PM for one?? No, not Jose, he's the Pres and that's great, but you gotta talk to the PM too Goolia!

Julia says she didn't want a race to the bottom. She says that the debate should be honest and calm. ok... go for it. 

I have just noticed that in my first par of this blog I called these politicians 'leaders'. They are not, they are following an ill-informed, racist and therefore fearful public. Leadership would be to take a stand, announce the facts and state that Australia will uphold its international obligations and be a humane country. That'd get my vote. 

Just for fun, check out this clip, it has no point but i love it.

Monday, July 5, 2010

I can stand it, and more

Koolism's new track 'Can't Stand It' has it right on so many levels. I know it was a long time coming to get to this release, but man... the timing looked scripted. It dropped when A.Johns was all over the news for being a racist idiot. Poignant pen work Hau.
Check out the track

And... still is was Tahu who took a stand not the NRL taking a stand to get rid of Johns...??? why is it so often the case in situations of social injustice that the victim is removed and the perpetrator stays? 

Monday, June 28, 2010

3 beers - that'll be 2 years

A German soccer fan was given a free blanket at a recent World Cup game in South Africa -  I guess that means its getting cold over there in the evenings. After the game his free blanket and 3 beers he had were allegedly stolen from him by a local man. This man was charged and sentenced that day to 2 years in jail. Yep -  two years in prison, he is 21 years old. 

I am going to presume a few things here - 
  • There are more blankets being given out to wealthy western soccer fans than to South Africans living in poverty
  • The German soccer fan reported the 'crime' to authorities
  • The local man was treated extremely harshly because his 'crime' involved a foreigner and that just won't do with the cameras rolling
We saw it in Beijing, now we see it in South Africa -  when will the world enter these countries, celebrate sport, bring their cash and actually pay attention to what is happening for locals in these places??? South Africa has established 56 special 'World Cup' courts to deal promptly with matters. Government spokespeople say matters will be dealt with as they always are in the country -  I do not think that a local person would have pressed charges over the theft of a free blankets and some beers in plastic cups (again, I have presumed the plastic bit).

I don't want to be negative nancy and I get that there are many benefits from hosting globally watched sporting events and I don't think soccer fans should have to become MSF doctors on their days away from the arena. But I do think the international media, national sporting associations and in some ways, high profile players who want to have an obligation to shed some light on the abuses and realities of the country they are in. Images of gorgeous scenery, exotic animals, laughing children playing soccer in the dirt with no shoes and smiling hospitality staff are being beamed into our lounge rooms but I have not seen little to no reporting on poverty, racism, violence, homelessness... A bit of balance please. The Cup should have a positive lasting effect on the country and its people.