I think right about now is not the right time for me to read fiction about slow apocalypses. (What *is* the plural of apocalypse, anyway? – Buffy) Everytime I look, the US gets scarier and scarier but just incrementally. Here’s this video I just watched about a protest in Virgina against the bill to force ultrasounds prior to abortions. This passed bill is a scaled back version of the original which required the insertion of the ultrasound wand inside a vagina to scan the foetus before an abortion. Last time we all checked, there was a word for that, and it’s four letters, starts with “r” and rhymes with “cape”. Sanctioned by the big men in government. Nice one.
Anyway, the “watered” down version of this bill still treats women like … well I dunno what. Idiots? Children? Malevolent, unfeeling beings who would change their mind if only they *understood* the real magnitude of their decision? Really, if this is who those men think women are, why do they feel ok leaving their innocent children with them all day long while they go out to work? Why do they feel better about forcing women to become parents? If women are *that* heinous, … well, wouldn’t they know no depths for ill intent? Wouldn’t they be exactly the kind of people you wouldn’t wanting raising, shaping and influencing your young?
I might just be me, but I think it’s crueler to force a child into existence and leave it in poverty, homeless, without a meal at night, no warm blankets, a crack habit etc etc. But you know, whatever. Big picture, small minds etc etc.
Anyway. So, it’s unsurprising that you know, women out there, in the world, think this is intolerable. And not only this but other moves afoot in US politics relating to birth control, the denial of it to women, the giving the power to women’s bosses, their *bosses*!, to opt them out of being covered by insurance for contraception and so on and so on (seriously, it is so anger making! and for a whole bunch of reasons, the least of which is, do they not study economics and social reform? that countries productivity and standard of living *improve* when women are educated and have access to birth control??). And these women (and some men) came out to protest in Virginia about that. As is their right. Yo, that’s what democracy looks like:
And here’s the scary thing – that was one of the most peaceful demonstrations I’ve ever seen. If you look closely, the demographic spans all ages, there are young women and older women in the crowd. There’s like, your mum in that crowd. And they are moving to stand in front of the Capitol and voice their dissent, peacefully. As is their right in you know a Free Country, something that particular country has been supposedly bringing to other countries in the world for the last 15 years. And not 3 minutes in, riot police are called in. There are men with machine guns to stop your mum standing there and chanting that she wants her rights, and my rights, to birth control. For heavensake!
Very moving for me was when the crowd chants at the police – who do you serve, who do you protect?
Because there are two things at play here. One the far right weirdo conservative men in government who think women who use birth control are sluts. Which is offensive on so many levels. But there is also something going on with the police in the US right now. Especially when they see a need to intervene on a crowd of people standing around and demonstrating their disagreement with something. Never once did the crowd get angry or rowdy. It’s like now, the police are afraid of the people. Of people on mass.
I dunno, it’s a sad day when you’re representatives prevent you from rocking up to display your disagreement with how they are (not) representing you. Here’s hoping the voice of dissent is loud in the ballot booth later this year.
But something else interests me. About 15 years ago, I saw, I think, Danny Devito (could have been someone else like Al Pacin0 or maybe Sean Penn) who was talking on Oprah about a program he was heading up to supply people, just regular people, with video cameras. And at the time I thought that was like so not a priority surely? And for what? Home videos? But he explained that it was for capturing on the ground what was happening to people. That it would empower people because they could get the word out beyond their borders. And I’ve been watching since then and seen how damn, he was right! as more and more footage comes out from places by handhelds and captured by bystanders. Even the hanging of Saddaam Hussein was leaked that way. Footage from the sinking of the Concordia, and also police brutality and unlawful force used in the occupy protests.
Mirrored from Champagne and Socks.
It was an eerie feeling - a combaintion of getting on with things that were on my to do list and needed to be done and also recovery mode, and having to accept that we're not actually back up and running yet, as a city. It feels in some way like some terrible thing came through - it wasn't a nice feeling navigating all that traffic last night. I hope I never have to drive in the apocalypse.
The day's been spent trying to get on with things but still just trying to settle my nerves.
I'm sort of not batting good averages with my to do list:
Optician - rescheduled
Vet - moved to tonight
Bank - on hold
Dog - organised room and board for over Easter
Carpets - cleaner booked in
Car - tyre repaired and headlight fixed
But I had to add to these:
Car insurance claim for hail damage
Toilet - still not FUCKING working!!!! Now the cistern will not fill with water. Srsly
Remaining on list:
They said the metal sign from the main gate, which symbolises for many the atrocities of Nazi Germany, had been cut into three pieces.
A major search was launched after the sign was stolen before dawn on Friday.
This breaks my heart.
Kevin Rudd isn't doing what he promised he would do.
And I'm ashamed to be an Australian.
I'm ashamed that Kevin Rudd made genuine refugees, who had fled their own war torn lives to chase freedom, a basic human right, sit on a boat and stand up to a big fat bully and demand their right to request amnesty and shelter. FOR TWO MONTHS.
I was listening to the news the other morning when they said that the UNHCR had found all 65 people to be refugees and that the UNHCR was now looking to decide which country they should be sent to for *asylum* and I found myself yelling "Send them here, we're wankers!" Which is the oddest thing really - that our punishment for bullying should be to provide shelter and basic rights to people who were found to be genuinely in need? Why would you want to come in live in a country with people like this?
I've been ashamed of the wankfest that is the Aussies in the climate change discussions in Copenhagen. It's like having a family member declare in public that the world is flat - OMG SO EMBARRASSING! I saw a correspondent, I think representing Crikey? on the 7pm Project answer a question from the host thusly, "Um guys? The rest of the world isn't disputing that climate change is occurring and that it's anthropogenic. Here, everyone is discussing the process forward."
I can understand the need for developing countries to not proceed down the road that the developed countries just walked - that way leads, well, climate change. But I think it's pretty hard to get around the fact that the current situation is by and large due to the developed nations and that surely those nations must bear the brunt of the clean up costs?!
I see today in my Get Up email that:
Australia has been awarded the (un)prestigious 'Fossil of the Day' Award at the Copenhagen conference.
At a time when Australia should be leading, we've been recognised as the worst country in the world for actively seeking a bad outcome. What's more, we've been singled out for trying to bully vulnerable nations into agreeing to targets that would see them literally wiped off the map.
KEVIN RUDD! THIS IS NOT THE COUNTRY I WANT AUSTRALIA TO BE. THIS IS NOT WHAT I ELECTED YOU TO DO.
I am ashamed that these people are out there, representing me.
Tony Abbott has addressed parliament for the first time as opposition leader - and declared he will now have to stop flirting with Acting Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
There are many reasons to hate this man - he is narrow minded, misogynistic, wants to enforce his religion and preferred way of life on the rest of us. It would be cool if when he said as leader he gets to start anew, that he, like, actually, you know, started over, took feedback on board and STOPPED BEING A SEXIST ARSEHOLE!
You know when he should have stopped flirting with Acting Prime Minister? Long before he took the role of Opposition Leader.
But that's ok. Abbott will never be our Prime Minister. And for that, we can be thankful.
If I'm not free, what's the point of being safe?
A Western Australian politician says his comments about Hitler during a debate in State Parliament have been misrepresented.
The WA Government wants to give police greater powers to search people for weapons and drugs in Perth's entertainment precinct without having to prove grounds of suspicion.
Liberal backbencher Peter Abetz spoke in support of the laws and used the example of Hitler.
He told Parliament the dictator gained support because he provided security in a time of anarchy, and that people place greater value on security than freedom.
Mr Abetz says he was not citing Hitler as an example of effective security, but was merely repeating his German mother's explanation of how Hitler gained the support of the German people.
I'm going to pause here to reflect for a minute. Often I am embarrassed by the politics at the state and federal level in this country. I have been known to refer to it as Mickey Mouse Country more than once or twice. Here, we see an example - we have a politician IN PARLIAMENT, proposing a new law, or a change to a law or a change in position with respect to the law and INSTEAD OF USING RESEARCH OR UNIVERSITY LEARNING or ASKING FOR ADVICE ... HE IS FUCKING QUOTING HIS GRANDMOTHER as an HISTORICAL SOURCE.
Unless his grandmother is Golda Meir or similar, I think this dude SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM PARLIAMENT.
Seriously? His grandmother told him that? Is he fucking kidding me?
Mr Abetz says in Australia, measures like random breath testing or airline security show people are prepared to give up certain freedoms in exchange for safety and security.
"It's like going to the airport - nobody bats an eyelid about the fact that you have to be searched and we agree to that because we would much rather give up the freedom of not being searched than getting blown out of the sky," he said.
Tom Percy from the Australian Lawyers Alliance is opposed to the legislation and says the comments in Parliament were extraordinary.
"They run contrary to everything any Australian would believe is inherent to our national sense of democracy," he said.
The Opposition has proposed changes to the legislation which it says would provide greater checks and balances.
Article taken from http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2
So to be clear, in a court of law, Polanski at least admitted guilt to sex with a child. Just so we're all on the same page with the minimum of what's going on here.
I don't understand at all, the support that he is getting from his peers. So what I have taken away from this is, in Hollywood, to famous people who want to work again tomorrow, it doesn't matter how heinous you are, they'll like, stand up for you. This isn't really like the McCarthy era. Or Nazi German (subtext and rebuttal intended). Or like some injustice that needs to be righted - in fact the injustice that needs to be righted is for this dude to come back, and do the time that he should be served for the crime that he admitted to doing. Already.
The world is a funny place. And it's not fair or just or right. Not everyone gets their comeuppance, though lots do, in the end. So often though, its easy to mistake friends for the something else - and I wonder what the something else is here. Gotta keep watching as this unfolds, I guess.
Addressing the General Assembly, Mr Rudd called on leaders of the world to look beyond their own self interest to reach international agreement in both areas, saying international cooperation was crucial to economic recovery and long-term economic growth.
His address came after wildly contrasting speeches from US President Barack Obama, who challenged world leaders not to rely on America alone to tackle global problems, and Libya's Moamar Gaddafi, who railed against the UN and demanded an investigation into the assassination of John F Kennedy.
But a Coalition bid to silence the Housing Minister Tanya Plibersek backfired - it gave her new ammunition to attack the Opposition for failing to give female MPs a prominent role.
She accused the Coalition of being stuck in the past and out of touch with reality.
"They don't let women ask questions, its seems now we're not allowed to answer them either," Ms Plibersek said.
Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard also went on the attack.
"I've come to Question Time and watched them gag women speaking," Ms Gillard said.
In all[,] three of the Government's female ministers used Question Time to call the Opposition out of touch on women's issues.
And now for the kicker? They sent Julie Bishop in to retort, that the the Opposition is not out of touch with women's issues - she used a 40 year old speech quote to, um, prove the point?
Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop hit back by quoting the former Prime Minister Paul Keating's maiden speech from 1969 where he described the increasing number of women in the workforce as an embarrassment.
That'll learn us! Who wants to tell her that the internet has been invented, I got this news item via twitter and I'm blogging on a laptop?
Ahh, give us something to at least challenge us? We don't even have to TRY anymore!
A VICTORIAN footballer has been charged with the manslaughter of his teammate during a club's grand final celebrations - which continued in a "low key" manner.
Father-of-two Nathan Alsop, 37, died after he was allegedly hit following a reported fight at the East Geelong club
Witnesses told the newspaper that they saw the victim on the ground but continued walking, not realising the seriousness of the injuries.
Daniel Singleton, 29, was arrested at the scene, charged with manslaughter and spent last night in custody. He will appear at the Geelong Magistrates' Court today.
East Geelong president Graeme Thompson said club staff had tried desperately to revive Mr Alsop after the incident.
Mr Thompson said victory celebrations were continuing yesterday but described them as low key as the tight-knit club was devasted by the death.
Football sounds AWESOME, eh! You're such a close-knit club that one of your members is killed when two get into a fight AT the celebrations of your win. And then, because you're such a close-knit group, you scale back your celebrations to just "low key", out of respect for the, well, murder of your friend by another friend, at yesterday's celebrations?
I think I must be missing something somewhere here. It might be the value of life, but I'm not sure ...
A QUEENSLAND woman charged with organising her own home abortion has been committed to stand trial.
Cairns magistrate Sandra Pearson today ordered Tegan Simone Leach, 19, face trial on a charge of procuring an abortion in Cairns District Court on a date to be fixed.
Her boyfriend, Sergie Brennan, 21, was also committed to stand trial on a charge of supplying drugs to procure an abortion.
The charge of procuring an abortion carries a maximum penalty of seven years in jail.
Back to whiskey and hot baths for women in Qld with no other choice, I guess.
And then Caster Semenya, who frankly is being outrageously harassed. Here's a question, how many other athletes are tested for hormone levels? How many other athletes are being tested to have a look at what kind of internal organs they have? It should be all or nothing.
WORLD athletics is in crisis with tests showing champion runner Caster Semenya is a hermaphrodite
The tests, not yet publicly released, show the 18-year-old has no womb or ovaries.
The International Association of Athletics Federations is expected to disqualify the South African from future events and advise her to have surgery because her condition carries grave health risks.
It is believed Semenya is unaware the tests identify her as an hermaphrodite.
Only the certainty of a savage backlash from South Africa has so far prevented the IAAF from banning Semenya and revoking her gold medal.
I tell you what, I'm a huge athletics fan, yeah yeah, I don't blog everything all the time! And there will be a big backlash from me too if the IAAF strips her of her medal.
What I want to know is ... are we banning hermaphrodites from competing at all? Will they be asking her to compete in the ParaOlympics, since they clearly are making some kind of statement here about what is *able-bodied*.
This is outrageous!
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a source explained the political and personal sensitivities involved.
"There certainly is evidence Semenya is a hermaphrodite. But the trouble is the IAAF now have the whole ANC and the whole of South Africa on their backs. Everything is going to have to be done absolutely by the book, no question of a challenge to the findings.
"There's all sorts of scans you do. This is why it's complicated. In the past you used to do a gynaecological exam, blood test, chromosome test, whatever. That's why they (the findings) were challenged, because it's not quite so simple.
"So what they do now is they do everything, and then they can say, look - not only has she got this, she's got that and the other.
"The problem for us is to avoid it being an issue now which is very personal - of the organs being a hermaphrodite, of not being a 'real' woman. It's very dramatic."
Damn straight there's gonna be a problem and why would they normally not do this "by the book"? What else should competitors be "appealling". Vile vile language: "not only has she got this, she's got that and the other" and suddenly she's not even really a person anymore.
Here's the bit though that outrages me the most - this is in the news HERE before they have even discussed this extremely personal issue with Semenya. Cause you know, she's not a person anymore. Don't need to observe empathy or care.
Shock jock Kyle Sandilands has been suspended from radio following comments he made about comedian Magda Szubanski.
Sandilands sparked outrage yesterday when he said Szubanski - who is a spokeswoman for a weight loss company - could lose even more weight if she was in a concentration camp.
Szubanski's father is from Poland, a country where many of the worst Nazi concentration camps, including Auschwitz, were located.
The general manger of Sydney radio station 2DayFM, Adam Lang, says the comments were unacceptable.
"2DayFM has suspended Kyle Sandilands following comments he made during The Kyle and Jackie O Show on Tuesday, September 8, 2009," he said in a statement.
Professor Joseph Rey of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Sydney, who's [sic] previous research has identified a link between cannabis and schizophrenia, is sceptical [sic] of the study's results.
He quite rightly points out that not showing a link doesn't mean there is no link.
Personally though, I've looked at a lot of these studies - cannabis is an option for diseases like cancer and Crohn's that offers limited side effects  that is not prescribed in Australia because it is illegal. My own critical analysis of the studies that show a link between cannabis and the onset of schizophrenia don't seem to ask the right kinds of questions to conclusively rule out massaging the results.
Interesting that here:
This latest study, led by Dr Martin Frisher of Keele University, examined the records of 600,000 patients aged between 16 and 44, but failed to find a similar link.
"An important limitation of many studies is that they have failed to distinguish the direction of association between cannabis use and psychosis," the authors write in the latest edition of the journal Schizophrenia Research.
600 000 is a pretty darn big sample size.
And see that bit that they looked at? The DIRECTION of association - that's the bit that always annoys be that is left out of other studies.
They point out that "although using cannabis is associated with a greater risk of developing psychosis, there is also evidence of increased cannabis use following psychosis onset."
They argue if cannabis use does cause schizophrenia, then an increase in cannabis use should be followed by an increase in the incidence of schizophrenia.
According to the study, cannabis use in the UK between 1972 and 2002 has increased four-fold in the general population, and 18-fold among under-18s.
Based on the literature supporting the link, the authors argue that this should be followed by an increase in schizophrenia incidence of 29 per cent between 1990 and 2010.
But the researchers found no increase in the rates of schizophrenia and psychosis diagnosis during that period. In fact, some of the data suggested the incidence of these conditions had decreased.
Interesting study, indeed.
I went through all kinds of side effects from the drugs I was given for Crohn's - one of which left me this sensitivity to all kinds of sulfurs that now gives me hives. I have hives today in fact. Thanks orthodox medicine!
Reading the article, I'm not sure the journo understood what was explained to him.
AUSTRALIA just sweated through its hottest August on record.
But it's not climate change, it's just hot.
The Bureau of Meteorology says August was almost 2.5 degrees Celsius warmer than normal across the country.
The bureau boffins described it as "most extraordinary" as temperatures crept above 38 degrees in some areas.
And winter as a whole came within a whisker of being the warmest of record - it was just 0.01 of a degree cooler than the record-holder, 1996.
Blair Trewin, a climate scientist with the bureau, said the warm weather was caused by a lack of large frontal systems sweeping up from the southern oceans, which would have brought cool air.
Instead, persistent high pressure systems hung about the subtropics.
Dr Trewin said the heatwaves were caused more by natural variability than by climate change.
Climate change had pushed up temperatures by about 0.8 of a degree over the past century but August came in at more than two degrees above average.
"The set-up we had this month would have given us an extremely warm month whether it happened 100 years ago or it happened now," Dr Trewin said.
"There's a lot of natural variability but you've got a climate change signal on top of that."
And there's no end in sight to the warm weather - the Bureau is forecasting a hot, dry spring.
That's because of warm conditions in the Pacific and Indian oceans.
Emphasis is mine.
It's not about looking at isolated incidents of extreme weather. And Trewin didn't say climate change wasn't a factor, in fact he actually said you need to add natural variability and climate change together.
Stupid parrot - doesn't it *know* we're in an economic downturn?
The Daily Telegraph has learned Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett's department issued a stop-work order to the New South Wales Government 10 days ago, a move the industry claims could wipe out the entire town of Deniliquin in the state's south.
The Opposition says the move is overkill and has branded Mr Garrett a "warbling twit".
Ooh .. warbling twit eh? For like, doing his job as Federal Minister for the Environment? Pretty sure they'd have something to say if he like, *didn't* do his job.
"There are a lot of them out there," Opposition environment spokesman Greg Hunt said of the parrots.
Yeah.... being listed as *vulnerable*, which like, requires a head count and the implementation of action plans to protect from further population loss, is like still totally LOTS OF THEM! More than 5, anyway. What are we complaining about?
"As one person put it to me this morning, you've got the warbling twit protecting the green leak parrot but sacrificing 1000 jobs."
Yeah! Shouldn't have to worry about these jobs till AFTER all the trees have been cut down. Log first, think about the future second. Don't you know the RULES!?
The Environment Department ordered New South Wales cease all clear felling of red gum in the Central Murray Darling region - timber used mainly for firewood and railway sleepers - due to concerns over the future of the parrot.
Sometimes referred to as the green leek parrot, the social bird nests in the hollows of the red gums and is nationally listed as vulnerable.
The NSW Government is also seeking legal advice on whether it can get around the Federal Government order, which has given NSW State Forests until May 31 to stop logging of the Central Murray wetlands in the Riverina area or face legal action.
It accused the Federal Government of being cavalier in its approach to NSW by acting before a $2 million State Government funded Environmental Impact Statement on logging in the area had been completed.
Yeah - continue logging, figure out the impact THEN decide whether it was unacceptable. DUH!!
All quotes taken from this highly biased, uninformed article that lacks reference to like, Commonwealth policy, statutary requirements under Federal Law and international agreements for the protection of biodiversity etc. http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,254
NSW Deputy State Coroner Carl Milovanovich today handed down his findings, recommending that all ambulance emergency operators have access to "paramedical advice''.
"This inquest has identified that in all the calls David Iredale made to triple zero ... there was a lack of empathy and call takers lacked the skills ... to record vital information that was crucial," Mr Milovanovich said.
He said there had been "a lost window of opportunity that could have resulted in a different outcome".
Among the other recommendations was a call for a widespread review of the training and protocols for ambulance 000 operators.
Mr Milovanovich said Emergency Services Minister Steve Whan should set up a working party of police, ambulance, fire brigades, National Parks and Wildlife Service and Telstra representatives to examine the issues.
"I was astonished that at no time after the death of David Iredale ... did the NSW Ambulance Service conduct a review or analysis of its performance in this matter,'' the coroner said.
"It is astonishing that a person can ring the ambulance service on five occasions ... and no satisfactory review be undertaken.''
He has also called for written authorisation to be a pre-requisite for expeditions taken under the Duke of Edinburgh scheme, more publicly available information on water sources in NSW wilderness areas, and promotion of the use of personal locator beacons for bushwalkers.
That's a good outcome, I think.
I agree that dry runs through the pandemic action plan are good.
I also wonder about this Tamiflu business which as I understood it is for Bird flu not piggie ones and at some point must have an expiry date for use.
The bowel cancer drug Avastin is among those to be added to the list of subsidised drugs under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
This was the drug that the SF community raised almost $30 000 for paulhaines so that he could have more ammunition when he pulled out the big guns and went fighting. Seeing how important this was to him and his family so that he could get the best chance to fight his cancer, I am really glad that other people will now also be given this same chance, money no longer being the barrier between them and a possible cure.
Good news! Hurrah!
You know what the giveaway was that the Swine Flu was not the Big One?! Apart from the name - surely something more romantically named will be what brings mankind to its knees? The giveaway though was that, like, in a pandemic, a bunch of people will get sick and before you've named the bug, it's swept across the world and sirens are sounding and looting is happening and noone knows what's going on. I've read Stephen King.
But what occurred to me is, we've learned this year a lot about how the real world works. And how the real world works is that it's all about perception - what people think in terms of how the world is going. Rather than, you know, how the world is actually going. So if people think banks are going to go bankrupt, they pull out their money and the bank goes bankrupt. If people think that stocks are overvalued and are about to plummet, they rush to sell their shares and stocks become overvalued and plummet. If people think the housing prices are overpriced or the interest rates are about to up or down, people stop buying houses, the prices become too high and then interest rates have to go up or down to fix it.
You see where I am going with this.
So. Here we are and I think actually people are not sure what is going to happen. The media is telling us that it's bad out there and it's going to get worse so people stop spending so much money, they start laying off employees, in case things get worse. This causes a slow down in the economy and things start to, well, get worse. Noone really knows how to stop the world going into recession/depression. There are theories that have come out of what didn't work last time and this time they are throwing these solutions at the problem. Meanwhile, traditionally reliable sectors are still slowing down and world leaders are throwing money around and their economies are still contracting.
So what's a sector that always will keep chugging along when all else fails? Could it be, perhaps, health and pharmaceuticals? What if the world suddenly was under threat from a disease that could potentially become a pandemic? What if suddenly we needed to spent a shitload of money really really quickly on R&D for a vaccine, hiring more medical staff for hospitals, installing weird scanning devices in airports (seriously, WTF? What if you have a temperature cause you have an autoimmune disease, like me? Do they pull you over and swab you, no questions asked?), adding a bunch of procedures to things and making every single person in the world wash their hands with soap (ok admittedly I like this one) and wear face masks?
What kind of injection into world spending do you reckon that makes?
The state Cosmetology and Hairstyling Board is moving toward a ban on genital waxing altogether after two women reported being injured.
Both women went to hospital for infections following so-called "Brazilian" waxes.
Technically, genital waxing has never been allowed - only the face, neck, abdomen, legs and arms are permitted.
But because the bare-it-all "Brazilian" version wasn't specifically banned, state regulators haven't enforced the law.
- Current Mood:amused
Josef Fritzl dramatically changed his plea last night to guilty of murder and slavery during the 24 years he held his daughter captive and forced her to bear seven children.
I plead guilty to the crimes I've been charged with," Fritzl told the court in the northeastern town of Sankt Poelten, about 60km from Amstetten, where the family lived. "I'm sorry."
The retired electrical engineer had earlier admitted incest, rape and sequestration but denied murder, for which he faces a life prison term, and enslavement.
Asked by judge Andrea Humer what caused him to change his plea, Fritzl replied: "My daughter's videotaped testimony."
I can only imagine, and even then it won't be a remotely good enough job, what it must have been like to testify against that man and vocalise the life she must have led. What a terrible, terrible trauma to have lived through.
I find it odd - maybe fascinating - that the thing that moved this monster was her testimony. Not like, the holding her against her will in captivity and raping her and making her have your children FOR 24 YEARS!
I guess there are some people you have to give up on. Beyond help. Lost causes.
The move follows the death of 17-year-old Perth girl Gemma Thoms, who died after taking three ecstasy pills before the Big Day Out in Perth on February 2.
Ms Thoms' friends said she swallowed the pills before entering the festival gates for fear of being caught by police.
I'm going to be at the Rock-It Festival this weekend so I will be interested to have a look at the disposal bin and see how it works out. My thoughts are mixed - it's a good idea, I think, and is a gesture towards the "we really just want to look out for you" variety of policing. However my gut feeling is, I would think if you've paid for your drugs you're still more likely to swallow them all in one go than forego them entirely. But then, I've never been in the situation and am now too old and grumpy (will there be seats? Too big queues for toilets? non-Coke drinks on sale? Will I be able to see?) to probably be going to such concerts anyway these days.
This poor, poor child. Failed by all the adults around her. Raped by her stepfather, I believe for several years and given small coinage after each encounter. Her body too young and little to carry twins to term - she's 9 years old. She's 36kg. I can't imagine the emotional trauma she must be going through after all that has happened to her in her short life.
I wish her only all good things from here on out.
GOVERNOR-General Quentin Bryce has raised eyebrows by ordering private security briefings from top public servants - including the head of the armed forces.
Two weeks ago, Ms Bryce summoned the head of the defence forces, Air Chief Marshall, Angus Houston, along with the head of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Michael L'Estrange and the Treasury Secretary, Dr Ken Henry to her official Canberra residence, Yarralumla.
Ms Bryce also asked all state Governors and the Northern Territory Administrator to take part in the private talks, which took place over two days on February 17 and 18.
A spokeswoman confirmed the official briefings by three departmental heads was the first of its kind in the 107-year history of the office. It followed another first for the Governor-General, a televised address to the nation by Ms Bryce following the devastating loss of life in the Victorian bush fires.
Under the Constitution, Ms Bryce is technically the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. However, the Governor-General is only meant to act on the advice of the Prime Minister of the day.
OOoh -err! She's the first woman G-G AND the first G-G in 107 years to want to be informed!
THE Australian military has revealed 7500 of its 53,000 troops are now classified as obese.
Official figures show one in seven members of the defence force is overweight - more than three times the ratio recorded last month by the US military.
Bad things will always happen and will sometimes happen to you. Mistakes will always happen too and will sometimes be made by you. What really matters, what truly shows the character that you are made of, is what you do immediately after and in the time following. That, to me, is where it counts. That's when you find out who you are and what you are made of.
Overwhelmingly Australians pulled together. Across Victoria and across the country we pulled together - however we could, with volunteers, with empathy, and with financial support. There wasn't even debate or question about it. It just happened.
And our friends from across the world pulled together with us too - American Firefighters flew in to help contain fires, reciprocating our firefighters who have flown to California in recent summers. I heard too that a village in Indonesia sent financial support to show how they appreciated Australian support during the aftermath of the Tsunami.
I didn't catch all the service, but I did hear the final two songs - which sent me over the edge:
We are one, but we are many
And from all the lands on Earth we come.
We share a dream, but sing with one voice,
I am, You are, We are Australian.
And proud to be, too.
I'm watching the Prime Minister hug people as they leave the service. Those kind of images will remain with me, I think, for a while.
I'm yet to promote angriest's Fan Fundraiser for the Bushfire Appeal:
Hope is a new multi-part fanzine raising money for bushfire relief in the Australian state of Victoria. It is edited by Grant Watson, with contributions donated by writers, artists and fans in Australia and from overseas. It is supported by the Western Australian Science Fiction Foundation (WASFF), and has received assistance from the Film & Television Institute of WA, Supanova and Big Finish Productions.
Issue #1 is now available in a PDF edition in return for donations. How much you donate is up to you - a minimum of AUS$5.00 is reasonable.
If you wish to subscribe to the entire series (potentially it will be five issues long), then a donation of at least AUS$20.00 is recommended.
Hope #1 contains contributions from Mo Ali, Sophie Ambrose, R.J. Astruc, Lyn Battersby, K.K. Bishop, Matthew Chrulew, Stephen Dedman, Mark S. Deniz, d.n.l, Paul Haines, Simon Haynes, Kathleen Jennings, Ju Landeesse, Damian Magee, David A. McIntee, Simon Petrie, Andrew Phillips, Gillian Polack, Robert Shearman and Daniel Smith. The cover is by Rebecca Handcock.
Hope #1 contains 46 pages of fiction, non-fiction, artwork, and even a comic book script excerpt!
You can make a donation to the project via Paypal by clicking here:
Once you've made a donation, please confirm it by e-mailing Grant at firstname.lastname@example.org, and letting him know whether you were after just the one issue or the whole series as it's released.
If you're leery of donating directly to Grant, to subsequently donate a huge bunch at once, then e-mail him some kind of receipt or screen capture of your donation to the Australian Red Cross and he will trust you and send out the PDF.
Limited print copies are available, if dead trees are your thing. If it's a print copy you're after, let Grant know in your e-mail along with your address. Though obviously PDF is preferred to keep the production and postage costs down but the option is there.
Please promote Hope on your own LJ or blog - the more the info spreads, the more money we may raise for the people of rural Victoria.
He looks barely 8 years old! How does he know what goes where?
My mind boggles.
EMBATTLED Liberal deputy leader Julie Bishop has quit as Opposition Treasury spokesperson after only four months in the job.
Ms Bishop said she will remain as the deputy Opposition leader and take over the foreign affairs portfolio.
Disquiet about Ms Bishop's failure to cut through on economic issues boiled over last week as some Opposition MPs campaigned for her removal.
She sucked in the Science and Education (as Minister), she's sucked in the Treasury so *now* they move her to Foreigh Affairs?
You know I just don't like Robot Woman. I hate everything that comes out of her mouth. And what annoys me is that I think she got this position (Deputy Leader) in order to balance out Gillard's. Gillard though, really is up to the job whilst I'm still yet to be impressed by anything Bishop says and does.
It is very sad what is happening over east. The events will be forever marked on my memory. I will do what I can - send money and prayers to help those who need it - but it's feeling more and more perverse to be hanging out for death toll updates and voyeuristic to stare at photos of those who have perished. Filming people as they find out the worst, just to make news, is repugnant to me and so, I must turn it off, and not be the audience. Surely people deserve privacy for their grief? I don't need constant and close scrutiny in order to understand, sympathise and offer help.
But then I saw this photo over at krazykitkat's blog:
Taken from this article: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/art
I can't really think about how many animals were trapped and unable to escape. I know many people's pets perished and I can't think about how upsetting that must be - I can't think about what if that was our puppy.
I am going to also donate money to animal welfare groups in the area. I know how hard they work and how much of their own money they often put in to care for sick and injured animals. I can't bear to think about the poor animals. And how many other koalas must be walking slowly along the hot ground with burnt paws.
I hope they catch those arsonists. I hope they have to face this country. And I hope they get what they deserve.
But I should also say how proud I am of this country and the people who comprise it. How quick people are to offer help where they can and how quickly people unite as one. Australians don't think about it, they just jump in and help. It makes me proud to be Australian.
I heard on the radio that the US was sending some too.
Hopefully the firefighters who have been fighting fires since the weekend will be able to take a break soon.
Since then, I've done my own research on how wetlands function - that's my main expertise - and through studying particular case studies over decades of time, I've contributed to the scientific papers documenting changes in our environment.
On Friday I stopped past my parents to pick up some stuff and we were watching Sky News predict the extreme weather the eastern seaboard was to experience this weekend. I mentioned that parts of NSW would be the hottest places on Earth. My Dad then wanted to raise with me how climate change is not happening - that "people" have shown evidence that we've been in a cooling period for 30 years and that you know, the media have been reporting that it's not as all those other scientists say. And that the media now call it "climate change" and not "global warming" = which btw is for stupid people who get confused that global warming refers to the globe, as a whole, an average, which also allows for isolated places to get colder *at the same*.
As you know, that shit pisses me off. I have no issue with someone pulling out documentation and debating it but the quoting of someone quoting someone else who may or may not be reading one line out of context, pisses me off. And what I am left saying is ... well, what we do know is that this weekend we are experiencing extreme climate events, which is what climate change predicts. Use that evidence how you will.
Here's the thing, and it's the line I push at work. We are experiencing more extreme weather. What are we doing about it? What contingency plans are in place? What are we going to do if ...??? It's no longer good enough to sit and wait for the scientific papers to fine tune all the global modelling results to see if the ocean is going to rise by 20cms or 10m. Government needs to act responsibly and deal with contingency plans. Be prepared. Have plans ready to action in the case of ... For nearly 20 years scientists have been predicting that Australia will get more fire prone. Does it not make good sense to at least have plans in place, should that eventuality arise?
They are reporting 25 lives lost in Victoria this morning, including children, and that's 25 too many.
It's time we stand up and at least plan for worst case scenarios - in the worst case, we're overprepared for things that don't happen. And I'm good with that.
Officials at Comcast said about 30 seconds from Club Jenna, an adult cable television channel, were shown on the local Super Bowl telecast. The company was still working Sunday night to figure out how it happened.
Oh America, how I love thee!!
Link from mariness
Ahh ... good times!
Ivan Milat ended his hunger strike today, with a sandwich.
What fascinated me though is the way it is being reported in the media. Firstly there is the reactive discussion on whether to put up fences and so on. The point really that seems to be being missed in that discussion is that the child did not fall off the bridge in some tragic accident. Her father, a person whose sole job is to protect her welfare pulled over on what must be a very busy stretch of traffic, got out, got her out and then picked her up and threw her off the bridge. I guess it would have to be a very high fence to avoid that happening again? Sometimes random and tragic things happen and the prevention is not in making sure that particular occurrence never happens again but in looking for other, root causes that might need attention.
Secondly, the thing that is actually fascinating me is how parochially it's being reported. Every single media report I heard yesterday had to do with Victorians - Victorians would be deeply affected, are sending their thoughts and prayers, think this and think that. And it made me wonder what the rest of Australia is supposed to think. Do we care less that a child's life has been snatched away in such a heartbreaking way because she didn't live in our state? Do we feel it less? Are we less shocked? Are we supposed to pay less attention to it?
It reminds me of the way increasinly the media has to relate things back to us, as though otherwise we wouldn't care. So the plane that came down over the Hudson River is reported in Australia only in how it affects that young woman from WA who was on it (who incidentally is a friend of a friend of ours). And when there is an earthquake or similar natural disaster, it's reported in terms of how many Australians are or are not expected to be involved. In an increasingly globalised world, do we really need events to be personalised in order for us to react or emote in response to them?
LOOKING like a fresh-faced 20-year-old is apparently not all it's cracked up to be.
Research shows four out of 10 women feel most beautiful at the age of 32.
Um, since when did 40% of anyone equate to most?
"It sounds to me like women are becoming much more swayed by personality," she said.
"It's a sign that we are valued for who we are and what we are capable of, not just what is on the surface."
Sounds to me like someone was too lazy or maths deficient to fiddle with the stats to even support this article's claim.
I grade this: Bad Journalism. And wishful thinking.
Um... this is after: AUSTRALIA'S most notorious serial killer is on hunger strike after earlier cutting his finger off with a plastic knife.
DUDE!!!! Like, hello! You want to convince the Supreme Court that you deserve an appeal against your conviction of 7 murders by hacking off your finger with a PLASTIC KNIFE! Yeah, that's convincing behaviour. I'm still trying to imagine how you actually do that and can now feel safe at night knowing the right man is behind bars.
The news story: Ivan Milat, who was jailed for life in 1996 for the murder of seven backpackers, cut off his little finger on Monday and placed it in an envelope addressed to the High Court of Australia.
And some commentary: "It seems he doesn't mind looking at someone else's blood but apparently he's not good at looking at his own," Corrective Services Commissioner Rod Woodham said.
"Took him 20 minutes to saw it off, the idiot," Mr Woodham said.
"For some reason he thought he'd be able to cut his finger off and it wouldn't hurt."
All quotes from http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,24
(Just watched Ch 10 totally misreport it and then show the footage. Ferfucksake what do you need for a journalism degree these days?!)
I got very sleepy around 11pm and decided that was a normal time to go to bed and that in fact, since I am going to be in Brisbane on Friday and hanging with a bunch of people who send me hyper, I might be well-advised to not go into the mayhem already tired. And somehow I am already pretty tightly scheduled for the weekend :-( I have realised that I will need the Monday to recover and have myself flying home Sunday night to sleep the Monday public holiday. Or like ... lie in bed and listen to the Hottest 100.
And on top of going to sleep early last night, I accidentally slept 10 hours. So I must have been tired.
Today is my last day in the office for the week. Tomorrow I will be out on a field trip. And then Friday, I am leaving to catch my jet plane at 10am.
So ... email access will be minimal-ish after today.
I'm catching up on the Inauguration goss now. I am undecided on Michelle Obama's outfit though I am amused at Laura Bush's white coat. I am reading the speech transcript, looking at the pictures and smiling because today there is no longer a monkey in the White House and President Barack Obama is finally the leader of the free world. It is really very very cool. Oh Happy Day!
Harry Nicolaides was arrested last August over a 2005 book called “Verisimilitude,” which includes a paragraph about the king and crown prince that the authorities deemed a violation of the Lese Majeste law… Only 50 copies of the book were published, and only seven were sold.
Get an editor folks! They do more than cross ts and dot is.
Today the monkey moves out of the West Wing and a Statesman moves in.
And maybe we can start to put all right with the world again.
Such a momentous day ... can you feel it? Everything is kinda buzzing!
It was really very overwhelming.
And it then occurred to me that even though I live in Australia and every year we have bushfires, I've never actually seen one. I think I've driven past another part of Kings Park, down Thomas Street, when it was on fire but this was different. I've only ever seen the actual fighting of a fire on TV. And in real life it looked so much more desperate. The outcome unknown. And maybe also a fire burning through bush that I know well made it more personal. More upsetting.
Everyone was saved and reports are of a very brave pilot and crew. I say "moving" photos because everyone looks so calm and so many people have come to help. It's what you hope will happen if you ever need rescuing.
Interest in the $150,000 job has been so intense that the website advertising the position crashed several times this morning.
-- snip --
Launched as a viral marketing ploy intended to draw attention to the state's holiday destinations, the campaign is expected to generate $70 million worth of publicity worldwide.
And it's already working, with more than 800,000 people flooding the job website in two days.
-- a man spent three weeks hacking into his girlfriend's Nintendo DS Game so that it finishes with a marriage proposal from him. The best bit of that story is the bit where she tells him she's getting tired of the game before she gets to the end. heh.
-- and last week a man proposed to his girlfriend via Twitter. That means it's only a matter of time before people are getting dumped by Twitter. And I spose Facebook status updates too.
Senator Joyce warned of the rise of "eco-totalitarianism" and said he would not be "goosestepping" along with them.
Senator Joyce rejected a suggestion he was a climate change denier and drew a parallel with the Holocaust, the murder of millions of Jews and others by the Nazis during World War II.
"Climate change denier, like Holocaust denier, this is the sort of emotive language that has become stitched up in this (emissions trading) issue," he said.
Being both a Jewish person AND an environmentalist I feel ... commentary on this is unnecessary.
ETA: I should add that I didn't take his comments as anti-semetic but rather as a dated old man who should get with the program. As an environmentalist, I think we should spend time nutting out the best way forward with carbon emissions taxes (personally I'd like to see pollution taxes instead) but that they are inevitable and he should just get with the program already. He used to amuse me but now I just find him ... irritating.
And then to show that it's not all critique and self examination, here is a link my mum sent me:
Queensland's latest tourism campaign is giving job seekers the chance to get paid $150,000 to live six months rent-free on the Great Barrier Reef.
As their Christmas holidays fade and the credit crunch begins to bite, office workers dreaming of a fresh start are being tempted to apply for "the best job in the world".
Tourism Queensland is looking for applicants willing to walk white sandy beaches, sit under palm trees and swim with turtles as they soak up the sun.
The successful candidate will be asked to keep a blog and photo diary in exchange for six months rent-free on Hamilton Island as part of a $150,000 salary package that includes return airfares and travel insurance.
Sex, drugs, booze, kidnapping – just another year in the most dangerous sport
Among many items of badness (ER did an expose in one of their episodes the other week, so I know about the bullying and violence), this one, in which I only say, Buffy did it first:
And then there was the 33-year-old mom in Wisconsin who stole her 15-year-old daughter's identity so she could join the cheerleading team (she was discovered when the cheque for her cheerleading uniform bounced).
OMG grow up and get a life!!!
I like this:
In Nacogdoches, Texas, cheerleaders mock executed a rival school's mascot with handguns.
No more pep and catchy jingles for these hardcore cheerleaders. Only in Texas, eh?
The whole article amuses.
There was a gay cheerleader in Heroes?
Here's the top of the article:
FORGET foreplay, it's what comes after sex that matters most to women, a survey has found.
A survey of more than 5600 women in Japan shows almost half (49 per cent) want a longer continuation of intimate interactions with their partner after sex.
This compares to 44 per cent who said they wanted longer foreplay and the 38 per cent of women who said they wanted longer actual intercourse.
Am I wrong in thinking that 49% for post-sex cuddle versus 44% more foreplay is kinda really evens stevens? Significant difference wise? Do you also read these results as, actually love partner, women want MORE!!!!!! More before, more during, more after! MORE MORE MORE!!