Tuesday, August 30, 2005

"Fuck off dogbreath"

More details about Brogden's view of women.

Mr Brogden said yesterday his actions were in jest and made towards a journalist he had known for years. But this was not the case with Angela Cuming, a journalist with The Sun-Herald, who was present when the party moved to the Marble Bar.
Cuming said she approached Mr Brogden and asked him about his election chances.
"He then stopped me ... slipped one arm around the small of my back, leant down and said, 'Enough of that. Are you available?' I stumbled out some reply on the lines of, 'No, I have a boyfriend, thanks very much.'"
Until women learn to say "Fuck off dogbreath" or "If it's not 12 inches on the flop I'm not interested" (credited to my mate Moi) or "Like I want to see his willy" (credited to the girlchild's friend Jasmine, aged 10, who was flashed at) then we as women will continue to have to politely thank boorish, powerful, sexually predatory men every day of every week.

Helena Carr understands a man like Brogden and her right to be treated with respect and will not accept an apology from him. Rightly so. A powerful, self-assured woman knows what she is worth and Helena is one such woman. She knows that the only way to deal with men such as Brogden is to shine a big bright spotlight on their behavior and name it up for what it is.

My girlchild will enter the professional workforce at the end of this year. She has been brought up to expect respect as a person and has been given permission to say all of the above. Knowing her, she will add a few more choice and appropriate lines.
Understand this is not about abuse for the sake of it. This about deconstructing a predator's view of female and reminding them that a woman has a right to not be sexually harassed or assaulted.
"Well, he can ship his mail-order bride back on the boat." - Brogden
I'll keep Helena Carr and ship off Brogden thanks.
Does Pittwater have a jetty?

Image from here

Monday, August 29, 2005

Brogden sorry he was caught

When asked at his press conference whether the two (possibly more, Brogden couldn't remember the second woman) had a case for sexual harassment against his actions he dismissed it as,
"They are acts that were meant in jest."
Clearly, the former leader does not understand what constitutes sexual harassment. He believes because he has known one of the women for a long time she would understand that he was joking. He says he is guilty of being too familiar, and of caring and engaging with people.
"I let some steam off, and clearly I let that steam off in a completely inappropriate manner after having about six beers over a three-hour period...it was the week of Bob Carr announcing he was resigning from politics."
Well, John Brogden, aren't the arses of women up and down NSW now grateful and safe that they will not have to endure your belief in your right to a celebratory, sexually assaulting and harassing grope...or three.

Images from here

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Add Sole and parent gets little respect

Sole parent; such a loaded term.
Are they:
  1. women who try to trap men by becoming pregnant
  2. vilified because of their predatory behaviour
  3. sluts
  4. irresponsible
  5. widows
  6. widowers
  7. taking responsibility of a child/ren because the other parent won't or can't
  8. naive romantics
  9. to be supported and admired
This government is going to add indigent to the adjectives.

Sole parents are many things including intelligent, hardworking, resourceful and honest.
I used the Sole Parent Pension for six years and lived in public housing to undertake further study. Whilst in public housing I witnessed a murder that began as family violence. This murder started as yelling and pushing...I wonder if most do.
Most sole parents use Parenting Payment Single (PPS) as a short-term means to create regular income while they consider the rest of their life. This may involve re-partnering, further study or training. Most sole-parents work the maximum weekly hours to not affect their pension. Many more work cash-in-hand and are underpaid, exploited and often unsafe.
I guess I was luckier than most in that my boss said to us,
"I prefer hiring you single-mums, you're desperate and not many bosses want you. I know you will show up for work 'cos your babies get hungry."
"One-parent families are the fastest growing type of family in Australia. In 2001, there were 528,000 lone parents aged 18 years and over with dependent children. Of these, 88% (462,100) had no other adults (such as extended family members or members of a second family) resident in the household with them. In 2001, lone parents were predominately women (83%), and lone mothers tended to have younger children living with them than lone fathers. Around one-fifth (22%) of lone mothers had at least one child aged 0-4 years living with them, compared with one-tenth (9%) of lone fathers."
"The circumstances of lone parents differ to others in a range of areas of life. For example, in 2002, more lone parents aged 18 years and over (52%) relied on Government cash pensions and allowances as their principal source of income, than did all adults (22%). Consequently, lone parents were over-represented in the lower income groups, with 43% in the bottom quintile of equivalised household income and 30% in the second lowest quintile, compared with 20% and 19% of all adults."
"In 2001, 62% of lone parents aged 18 years and over rented their dwelling, compared with 25% of adults generally, and among renters proportionally more lone parents were renting from a State or Territory Housing Authority (31% compared with 17% of all renters). Relatively more lone parents felt unsafe or very unsafe at home alone after dark (19%) than adults in general (8%); and 34% of lone parents had been a victim of physical or threatened violence, or actual or attempted break in over the year prior to interview, compared with 18% of all adults." - ABS
Being a mother is only one part of my capabilities. It does not define me anymore than being Culturally And Linguistically Diverse (CALD) would. If you feel you know me, you can say you know a sole-parent.
Advocate for us.

Adding more poverty to the difficulty that sole parenting can be is beyond comprehension.
Creating a greater underclass of disaffected young people who often struggle with absent father syndrome is not in the interest of our communities.

I'm setting up a barter system for emergency childcare. Emergency being a loosely defined term...
Only sole parents need apply.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The bull-calf deposits at the sperm bank

He's young, it's Spring and it was always going to happen.

Any decision that makes John HoWARd and Helen Coonan happy is worrying and HoWARdspeak will ensue.
Watch for the non-core promises to fall over...
"It's hopefully...it's a once in a political lifetime decision, because it's such...it's something that's absolutely crucial in people's lives, and you've got to give that all the respect it's due. You just don't want to be railroaded into a decision in Canberra, which you regret." -Barnaby Joyce.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Abbott's sneaky agenda

A proposed Medicare item for pre-abortion counseling which is the brainchild of Federal Health Minister Mr. Tony Abbott is causing concern for some in the medical profession.
Gynaecologist and Obstetrician Dr Adrienne Freeman, who performs abortions, warned such an item would be an invasion of patient privacy because it would alert the HIC to the reason for the patient's visit to a doctor.
Counseling was already catered for in the current system and an additional item would be an incentive to dissuade patients from having an abortion. Dr. Freeman believes,
“It's another form of harassment.”
FPA Health medical director Dr Christine Read agrees that a pre-abortion counseling item would give GPs more time to discuss options with patients, but says it should not be made compulsory.
“Compulsory pre-abortion counseling is not something you would indicate was necessary, because it is coercive to some degree."
Katrina George from a lesser Women's Forum Australia site glosses over the sneaky agenda of the Health Minister. Katrina ignores the privacy issue this proposal raises for already vulnerable women and asks us to believe in the goodwill of a Health minister who states
“I don't think anyone, whether they're pro-choice or pro-life, is happy about the vast numbers of abortions that currently take place in Australia, and I think as a society it ought to be possible to do better.”
Better according to Tony and Katrina is not more abortions. Better is clearly less abortions. Less abortions would mean more women continuing with a pregnancy.
Continuing a pregnancy in the context of pre-abortion counseling would necessarily involve a pro-life agenda at the expense of a woman's right to choice.

Image from here
cross-posted at womens forum australia

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Disruptive pattern, disrupted lives

What exactly motivates a person that lives in Australia which does not (yet) have conscription to join the Military.
Is it
  1. loyalty to the country
  2. a desire for adventure
  3. a desire to travel
  4. a love of discipline
  5. clear, defined structures
  6. an urge to serve
  7. fearlessness
  8. a sense of invulnerability
It is not unreasonable for a member of the military to expect compensation for an injury or injuries they sustain whilst on active duty from the Government of the country that they serve.
That is unless you are in the ADF then it is seen as seriously and absolutely unreasonable.
"I would describe Defence's conduct as disgraceful and based on an agenda of wearing litigants down or deliberately protracting the legal action until they die in the process." - Solicitor David Forster
"It's certainly very concerning when we see veterans with mental health problems who may or may not still be in a battle for compensation, who are still young men whose relationships are breaking down, who are finding difficulty fitting into society. These problems do cause huge disability."
"And one hopes that's taken into account in making decisions about what we do and don't do as a country." - Director of the veterans' psychiatry unit at Melbourne's Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital Professor Mal Hopwood
War as a last resort.

Original image from here. Photoshop inspired by Amco V. Knees

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The bull-calf won't put out

The new Senate sat for the first time on Tuesday of this week. Cohesion and unity were nowhere to be seen.
Senator Barnaby Joyce has been threatened with expulsion from the party and of treading a thin line between horse-trading and blackmail.

Nationals MP Bruce Scott gives us this analogy,
"Perhaps it's a little bit about an early spring in Canberra, the young bulls are out there with some of the old bulls and they're all looking around."
Independent MP Bob Katter offers this advice to Barnaby,
"He's demonstrating to all of them what a bunch of cowards and idiots and lightweights they are. Two to the valley, son, because there ain't anything that they can do. You hold all of the aces."
Senator Bill Heffernan, Liberal Senator seems to be aroused by it all as this statement suggests,
"Everyone knows I'm not a pansy and neither's Barnaby, mate. That's all part of the fun. Colour and movement you call that."
The Nationals' leader, Mark Vaile, said outspokenness was tolerated until the crunch of the vote,
"when we expect, and want to see, the family stick together."
The bull-calf does not disappoint with,
"If anybody was to go into the Senate and to put out that they would never ever consider crossing the floor, then you're basically useless, aren't you?"

Image from here

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Almost enough to impress an Atheist

I am not often interested, let alone impressed by conservative religious types. This indifference has just been challenged by the strong stand made by the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney Dr Peter Jensen and the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney Cardinal George Pell with regard to IR changes.
"It seems at this point that the proposals shift the differential of power in favour of employers, who can have a propensity to mistreat workers in the interests of the business." - Dr. Jensen

Image from here

Thursday, August 04, 2005

I love my job it's the work I hate

GetUp! is an online organisation that inspires voters to think up their own campaign ideas and lobby politicians by email and SMS.

In a display of profound ignorance of both the responsibility inherent in holding a public office and what spam actually is, Andrew Robb Liberal backbencher told all voters exactly how he wants his work day to progress and who he thinks is responsible for the terrible botheration that will ensue from GetUp!'s presence
"”There are hundreds of emails arriving in Senator's offices. They're beside themselves, just to clear the screen. They get back to their office from meetings looking for important communications from whoever, and they're confronted with screen after screen of these emails, in some cases over 200 emails. This is highly irresponsible, this is spam, this is spam."”
"It's first and foremost, let's not mince words, it is an anti-Government group and it's not there to keep us accountable. It's there to run an alternative policy agenda. It's a front for the Labor Party, it's a political front. They're quite entitled to do it, it's a free country, but it's a political front. That's what it is."
Two points Andrew.
1. The labor party is far too unimaginative for this venture and
2. Politicians cannot possibly expect not to get unsolicited communication including e-mails from their constituents. Such voter concern is not spam.

I cannot think of a better reason for Getup! than the presence of such a lazy, uninformed, unrepresentative politician.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Place of Birth: Australia. Homeland: Korea.

Right now there is an appeal seeking to have Australian citizens recognised by birth right.
Naively, I thought that if you were born in a country it became your homeland. I think most reasonable people would assume the same.
"The law says a child is recognised as a citizen if either of his or her parents is an Australian resident or citizen, according to an amendment to the Australian Citizenship Act in 1986."
"If we win it will backdate the law to before 1986. There would have been thousands of cases of foreign nationals who would have departed or [been] forcefully deported within that time. US, Canada, and New Zealand have no problem declaring everyone born in their country to be a citizen."
- Michaela Byers, Lawyer.
What's the problem here? Is the government worried that people will give birth in Australia to claim the Maternity Payment which is currently $3079 per child?
Are they worried about too many children? Was the treasurer referring to bi-cultural or Asian or Muslim families when he said:
"You should have one for the father, one for the mother and one for the country. If you want to fix the ageing demographic, that's what you do."
Or is this just another sinister, thinly veiled racist policy enforcement from this government through DIMIA?

Images from here