Wednesday, June 30, 2010

You may not have noticed...

...but we have a woman PM. Interesting. But frankly, it doesn't interest me a whole lot. Namely, the way Gillard became PM. I never liked Rudd, but from the ALP's perspective, he was a savior. John Howard was seeming indestructible. He took on the ALP right in the 98 and 01 election against Beazley, and when Labor put on a comparative lefty, Latham, Howard didn't just win-he even took the holy grail of mandates, control of the Senate. The concept of Rudd becoming PM in the next few years would be as ludicrous as saying that Obama would be the next President back in 04. However, with some luck, Rudd pulled it off and put Labor back in power after 11 years in the wilderness.

However, all it took was a few bad opinion polls to turn the factional bosses against their savior, ditching him with an obvious lack of loyalty and replacing him with a fresh face. I understand Julia really didn't have a choice; it was going to happen anyway. My problem isn't with her; it's with the ALP culture of winning the next election at all costs. I doubt Labor would be terribly troubled by the concept of Abbott winning. He would be unlikely to last more than a term, and would probably scare so many centrist voters, it would be the 13 year golden age of Hawke/Keating all over again. It's clear the ALP doesn't mind the far-right too much; the right faction, after all, was willing to preference fundie Steve Fielding over what should be Labor's coalition friends, the Greens.

All in all, it's the ALP culture that I dislike the most. The Liberal Party may be comprised of the big business/industry's bitches and lunatic theocrats, but it's clear there's more flexibility toeing the party line and voting with your conscience. There's a good reason why the LPA factions get more news coverage than the ALP factions; LPA factions are allowed to freely express their thoughts. As we've seen with Garrett, there is no such freedom within Labor. It's toe the party line all the way.

I was quite pessimistic about the amount of 'change' a supposed member of the ALP's left faction would bring about as well. Gillard had continued Howard's policies of a two-tiered education system, wherein the children of the wealthy received a better education than the children of the poor. This pessimism was vindicated today, when Gillard confirmed that she would continue the ludicrous and discriminatory policies of preventing gays from marrying.

Once again, the Greens have proven to be the only party progressives should vote for.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Steve Fielding's descent into madness

I think the stress of the upcoming federal election has finally broken Mr. 1.9%'s tenuous grip on reality. Faced with the undeniable facts that he will be booted out of an electorate he never deserved in the first place, Steve has been driven, as the Joker would say, stark slavering mad. That's the only reason I can come up with for his increasingly erratic press releases and speeches.

Firstly, his attack on the Greens' drug policies:
Family First Leader Senator Steve Fielding says the Greens are up to their old tricks with their plan to stick heroin injecting rooms on street corners across the country.

Senator Fielding’s comments come after it was revealed that the Greens will continue their soft stance on drugs ahead of this year federal election.

“As a community we should be getting tougher on drugs not softer,” Senator Fielding said.
Because the war on drugs has worked out so well for the US and Mexico. But here's the gold:
Senator Fielding said the policy of introducing heroin injecting rooms would only support the supply of illegal drugs and line the pockets of dealers. “Melbourne has already had one drug war too many, just imagine the increase in demand for these illegal narcotics if the Greens were able to get their way,” Senator Fielding said.
To quote Robot Chicken: Seriously dude, what the fuck. The whole point of decriminalisation is to negate a drug war and take the criminal element out of drug use, the freakin' opposite of what Steve claims will happen. Steve isn't just for supporting a failed drug policy, he simply doesn't have a clue of the issues he's talking about. Which, frankly, is unsurprising as Sarah Palin being a clueless liar (maybe they should bunk together sometime).

And having finished that sideshow, it's on to the main attraction:
Parental leave open to abortion rorts: Fielding
Only a true fundie could link a parental scheme to the dreaded surgical procedure. Long rant cut short, the Fluke is adamant that if the Bill is passed, welfare queens all over Australia will be getting pregnant just so that they can have an abortion at 20 weeks and collect the parental payment. Even Andrew 'Wormtongue' Bolt is saying "Dude...that's just low."

Steve has also written an opinion piece for the Punch. The entire piece reads like grade 6 material. Scattered with childish phrases like "mums who slog their guts out all day", the writing doesn't even achieve basic logical sense (even Piers 'Scattergun' Akerman can convey his messages). The notion is that the Bill will treat prisoners better than stay-at-home parents, which is bizarre as the point of the Bill is to treat them equally. The Fluke writes that these parents "don't receive a dime", a problem which the Bill Steve is lambasting is designed to rectify. Like I said, no logical sense.

Finally, to add insult to desperation, he writes " even prisoners and prostitutes are valued more highly than stay-at-home parents" which ignores the truly horrifying thought that sex workers may be entirely normal people with children themselves.

After this election, the Senate just won't be the same.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Kevin Rudd: stuck between a rock and a hard place

Life isn't all to good for Kevin at the moment. Trying to implement his RSPT is proving more difficult than imagined, as the mining industry and its bitch, the Liberal Party, are doing their best as Rudd destroying the 'golden goose.' I can't imagine for the life of me why so many people are opposing the tax. I can understand why the mining magnates are furious, as they will probably be able to buy one less luxury yacht because of it. But asides from them, everybody stands to gain from the tax. However, smears are notoriously effective, and Rudd stands to lose several seats in WA because of the intense opposition there. Whether this will be enough to give us an Abbot Administration (**shudder**) is to be seen.

However, running parallel to this is a growing narrative about Rudd. He had been elected on a plank of action on climate change, and his collapse on the issue and deferment of it to 2013 has pushed many Kevin07ists to the Greens, which can now legitimately claim to be the only party that's willing to take action. This policy backflip-after Rudd had called it "the greatest moral challenge of our time"-created the appearance of a weak leader. A guy who wanted to make change, but was too spineless to push for it. If Rudd were to collapse on the RSPT, the narrative would be complete, and he would become almost as untrustworthy as Howard.

If Rudd were to junk the tax, the only possible way he could salvage his reputation would be to immediately claim to plan on implementing a new carbon tax in 2011, and state his to negotiate with the Greens on this issue. Doing so might reestablish his green cred, and signal a push to a more progressive Australia, which would reduce the primary Green vote. Unfortunately, Rudd is a firm right-winger, and the idea of negotiating with the Greens to him probably sounds worse than negotiating with Abbott (there's a reason why Labor dedicates so much time to hating them). Thus, Rudd is stuck: continue with his RSPT to the (very) bitter end, or dump it to push for the green vote. Neither is attractive.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Let's see if we can lower our international standing even further!

That seems to be Israel's current thought process. After the colossal fuckup that was an attempt to flex her muscles, the bastion of Arabian democracy is now soiling her image on the domestic front.

ISRAELI MP Haneen Zoabi faces being stripped of her citizenship for joining last week's aid flotilla that ended in a bloody showdown with Israeli commandos.

The move to strip Ms Zoabi of her citizenship is being driven by Interior Minister Eli Yishai, who has accused the Palestinian Knesset member of participating in an act of treason.


''In recent days,'' Mr Yishai wrote, ''Israel's citizens have witnessed how an Israeli member of parliament, Haneen Zoabi, headed a group of terrorists who aimed to hurt Israel Defence Forces soldiers, under the protection of her parliamentary immunity.

''This is a premeditated act of treason and there is documented proof of this,'' he wrote.


Last night, Israeli MPs were set to begin debating a law that would allow an MP to be removed from parliament ''if he or she acts in support of an enemy nation or terrorist group engaged in armed struggle against Israel, participates in incitement to racism and rejects the existence of Israel as a democratic Jewish state''.
To recap: to oppose Israel's brutal, Punisher-esque, vigilante style attacks on activists is to warrant being stripped of citizenship and is SIDING WITH THE TERR'ISTS. With logic like that, why doesn't Ben just dissolve parliament for the national crime of holding terr'ist sympathisers? It's hardly that much more of a step to a dictatorship.

Monday, June 7, 2010

In which I agree with Andrew 'Broken clock' Bolt

Yes, it does, on rare occasions, happen. It certainly doesn't excuse the filth he's written, but Andy does sometimes write worthy stuff.

Case in point:
Australian doctors are considering introducing a controversial form of genital mutilation carried out on baby girls.
The Royal Australian New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) says the practice of "ritual nicks" could meet the cultural needs of some women and potentially save some people from drastic surgery.

The practice is said to be common among some African, Asian and Middle Eastern communities but has been known to leave some young girls scarred for life when not carried out in proper clinical facilities.
Andrew writes:
Will police will instruct husbands on the “safe” beating of wives to avoid worse damage?

What’s at stake here is not just the abhorrent mutilation of girls, but an abhorrent presumption that these wicked things need to have their sexual appetites permanently and sugically controlled and drastically reduced. It’s that presumption that also suggests we will surrender our principles without actually convincing many to surrender their practices. I suspect the reality of the mutilation is desired more than the mere ritual.
His anti-multicultural rant notwithstanding, I agree entirely. If human rights and cultural views clash, there is no debate. Misogyny isn't acceptable in any way, shape or form, especially a form which has no use but to control a girl's sexuality. And to anybody who thinks there's a double standard between male circumcision and female genital mutilation, the difference is obvious: circumcision doesn't inhibit a boy's sexual pleasure. Genital mutilation does. The whole point is to prevent girls and women from enjoying sex.

Equally, I highly recommend this.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Hiatus 2: revenge of the work overload

My last post was three weeks ago. That's OK, because it featured wonderful/tasty pictures of Daniel Craig. To recap: I've finished two presentations, and hand in an essay on flight strategies tomorrow. After that, I may be able to do some more regular posts.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

T to the A to the P: 10th Anniversary Special!

It's time to celebrate. This post marks the 10 post I've done on various dazzlingly attractive people. I won't bother linking to the previous folks, because a) I'm lazy and b) it's cool to see other sex-related posts. Anyway, I thought that for the special ed. I'd go back to where this topic started.

And for General "Kiss that whole chest from top to bottom. And then everywhere else" Bron: