NOTE: I might come back to this blog one day. I can't be bothered right now.

$250,000 pledge to JOY Melbourne 94.9fm

Did you know, if the Victorian Labor Party is re-elected this Saturday 25th November 2006, they will honor their pledge to Australia's only Gay and Lesbian Community Radio Station.




JOY Melbourne is a Gay & Lesbian volunteer-based Community Radio Station,
Committed to providing a voice for the diverse Lesbian and Gay Communities, Enabling Freedom of Expression,
The breaking down of isolation and the celebration of our culture, achievements and pride.




Health Minister Bronwyn Pike announced on JOY on Sunday that “the Bracks Labor Government would deliver $250,000 to secure the future of JOY 94.9 if re-elected on Saturday”




The Announcement and Conversation took place on-air during the show "Allegro Non Troppo" on JOY Melbourne 94.9fm




A mediaRELEASE and Podcast of the announcement is available on the JOY Melbourne website now!




The money would go into JOY's Relocation Appeal

"We need to raise $500,000 through this appeal to do all the work required; to build new studios, equip them properly and relocate to bigger premises that will meet JOYs needs well into the future.


Right now we would like you to invest in the community by investing in the stations future. $500,000 is a significant sum and we only seek our support with some of this amount. If the station can realise $50,000-100,000 in this appeal we will be able to encourage financial support from philanthropic bodies and other organizations and we need your support to do this.


Every donation whether $25 or $500 counts. Your support will acknowledge the importance of securing the future of Australia’s only gay and lesbian radio station.


Please help us to relocate and reinvest in the stations facilities. After over 13 years of broadcasting it would be sad to lose a station that is such a vital part of our community."




Go to the JOY website and support the station that supports you!




In the interests of being fair I will mention that I am a JOY Volunteer, I'm the JOY webmaster

Glass starts to shatter at the ABC

Wednesday, November 1, 2006. 8:43pm (AEDT)

It's the long feared beginning of the end for ABC!

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has axed its popular comedy show The Glass House.

Comedian Corinne Grant says she and co-hosts Wil Anderson and Dave Hughes have known about the decision for a number of weeks.

"Obviously we're devastated ... it's very upsetting, but it's not an overnight shock to us. We have known about it for a while now. But we don't understand the decision at all," Grant said.

She says when the ABC broke the news no "good" explanation was given.

Lesna Thomas from ABC TV Publicity today confirmed the show has not been renewed for 2007.

She says it has had five years on air and that the national broadcaster has decided to go in a new direction.

Grant says that is ridiculous.

"Only the ABC would cancel a show that is at the height of its ratings success and say it is time to move on. That would be like Pat Cash winning Wimbledon and going 'oh, it's time to move on'," she said.

"We just won an AFI award, we're nominated for another one, we just got nominated this year for the Most Popular Light Entertainment Program for the first time in the Logies - why would you cancel a show when it's at the height of its popularity?"

Grant says suggestions that the show may have been axed because of regular segments poking fun at Prime Minister John Howard or US President George W Bush are speculative.

"If that was the case, and certainly the ABC have not said that at all, but if that was the case that would be extremely concerning," she said.

"That would be a national broadcaster being dictated to by the incumbent government about its content. Which is the kind of thing you see in North Korea, not Australia."

Grant has also denied claims by Liberal NSW Senator Connie Fierravanti-Wells that she is guilty of a serious conflict of interest. The Senator says Grant is the face of the ACTU's workplace relations campaign.

"I am not fronting an ACTU campaign. That Senator is making that up. I am not the face of any ACTU campaign," said Grant.

Grant says a lack of funding may have been behind the ABC's decision.

"The ABC doesn't have a lot of money. Maybe it was the difference between our show and The 7:30 Report getting a new stapler."

The last episode of The Glass House will go to air on November 29.

Overnight Anderson, posting in his MySpace blog, urged fans to tune in.

"We are going to go out guns a'blazin, I promise."



After John Howard appointed KEITH Windschuttle, a leading protagonist in the history and culture wars, to the ABC board to further beef up its right-wing credentials, it was only a matter of time before Howard's goons started influencing the content shown on ABC.

Mr Windschuttle has been a fierce critic of the so-called "black armband" view of history and claimed in his 2002 The Fabrication of Aboriginal History that massacres of Tasmanian Aborigines had been exaggerated.

The eight-member board already includes right-wing columnist Janet Albrechtsen and conservative anthropologist Ron Brunton.

A businessman in the hotels industry, Peter Hurley, who is national senior vice-president of the Australian Hotels Association, has been appointed to the second board vacancy.



Content Sources:
ABC News - Glass House axed - 01 Nov 2006.
The Age - ABC gets a culture warrior - 16 Jun 2006.

$90m God Squad

Government and non-government schools can get up to $20,000 a year to help them provide chaplaincy services under a three-year, $90 million program that Mr Howard announced yesterday.
I am absolutely appalled to hear that Prime Minister John Howard is investing $90 million into yet another school program to take us back to the 1950s era thinking, and I find it inappropriate for taxpayer funds to go towards the promotion of select religious activity in schools.

$90 million would be better spent on school counsellors, youth workers who could serve the whole school population without a preconceived agenda.

...unlikely to include guidance by Scientologists, Falun Gong practitioners or Jehovah's Witnesses, Mr Howard admitted. "We're not going to discriminate, but clearly we reserve the right to say no to somebody who is plainly unacceptable, whatever that person's background might be," he said.

It is not appropriate to pick and choose, there should be freedom for any group to represent, I just think it's not workable, to have freedom you can't discriminate therefore this plan should be scrapped immediately!



Lincoln Wright of the Sunday Herald Sun says in his article on the topic :
"...The program may help prevent another Werribee DVD-type incident in which a gang of teenagers molested a girl, filmed the incident and sold it on DVD."
I find it absurd to suggest that having a chaplain in the school would or even could have changed the outcome of "that incident"!


Content Sources:
The Age - Schools get chaplain funds.
Sunday Herald Sun - Schools will get $90m God squad by Lincoln Wright 29/10/2006 p. 13

Wake Up: PM unsurprised by small harvest forecast !!

In what I see as proof positive John Howard avoidance of hard-line evidence warning of the dangers that exist in the onset of climate change, Prime Minister John Howard has said today that he is not surprised by a new official forecast released today showing Australia could have its smallest grains harvest in more than a decade.

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) has today forecast that production of wheat, barley and canola is likely to be slashed by 63 per cent to just 13.6 million tonnes.

That would be the smallest grains harvest since the drought of 1994/95.

ABARE expects the drought to cut overall economic growth by 0.7 per cent.


The last week has seen just about every political party in Australia reacting more seriously to the reality of climate change. In Victoria is obvious and predictable, given we have a state election in November.

But Mr Howard, who is currently on the second day of his tour through drought-stricken areas of New South Wales, has the audacity to say the forecast is predictable.

"Fortunately we've got strong growth in other areas of our economy, but it will cut economic growth and we must understand that, and that's why we must help our farmers through their hour of need," he said.

ABARE says seasonal conditions have worsened since mid-September, with little or no worthwhile rain and warmer temperatures.

National Australia Bank spokesman Tim Keith says the dire situation could place long-term financial pressures on some farmers.

"You still need to pay interest on loans and those sorts of things," he said.

"It can start to eat into your equity, and obviously that sort of financial change is the concern for a lot of our clients out there."

I think John Howard has known all along this was unavoidably on the cards for Australian Farmers, but his steadfast refusal to deal with the onset of drought and inevitability of climate change is now going to cost many Farmers their independence and for some their house, home or farm due to further long-term financial pressures on farmers struggling to make ends meet.

Content Sources/Related Links:
PM unsurprised by small harvest forecast - ABC News - 27th October, 2006.
Drought won't cripple economy: Howard - The Australian - 27th October, 2006.

Climate For Change: The Next Great Depression?

A report on the economic ruin facing many countries due to inaction on climate change, will warn next week that climate change could force the world into the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930's.

The comprehensive British report written by former World Bank chief economist Sir Nicholas Stern and commissioned by the British Treasury, seeks to overturn conventional wisdom by insisting that fighting climate change will save, not cost, governments money.

Britain's chief scientist, Sir David King, told The Guardian the report indicated "that if we don't take global action … we will be faced with the kind of downturn that has not been seen since the Great Depression and the two world wars.
"If you look at sea level rises alone and the impact that will have on global economies where cities are becoming inundated by flooding … this will cause the displacement of hundreds of millions of people."
Sir David described the Stern report as the most detailed economic analysis yet conducted and said it would "surprise many people in terms of the relatively small cost of action".

However, he told a climate change conference in Birmingham that achieving global consensus would be very hard.
"In my view this is the biggest challenge our global political system has ever been faced with. We've never been faced with a decision where collective decision making is required by all major countries … around risks to their populations that are well outside the time period of any electoral process."
The United States and Australia have refused to join the Kyoto Protocol — the international agreement on greenhouse gas emissions — because US President George Bush and Prime Minister John Howard have argued that it would harm their countries' economies.The
The Stern report comes as the Howard Government is signalling a shift in its attitude to climate change. Environment Minister Ian Campbell told The Age yesterday governments needed to invest more in emission reduction technologies such as carbon capture and storage.

Content Source: Climate an economic time bomb - The Age - October 27, 2006

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I have to applaud the decision to finally start dealing with the issue of Global Warming, a positive decision t build a huge $420 million solar power plant near Mildura - the second biggest in the world.

A joint project between the Victorian State Labour/Bracks Government and the Federal Liberal/Howard Governments.


The evidence for global warming is strengthening every week.

But the announcement needs to be just a start, as Australia has many options for clean energy and we could have been the world leaders in this environmentally friendly clean energy industry but we missed the boat, and now risk being left behind and shunned by other countries for not signing the Kyoto Protocol and doing more to slow the destruction of the ozone.

It is easy enough to be lost in despair over the global warming topic, but ignoring this issue wont help the future generations of this world and our own enjoyment of life on this planet!

We do have options, such as solar power, bioenergy, wind power, cogeneration, energy efficiency, hydroelectricity and natural gas.

These options have been around for years and are excellent at cutting greenhouse gas emissions today.

I longer we wait, the bigger the mess we have to deal with and the further the destruction.

Content Source included: Hazy dawn on a greenhouse fix (p. 22) - Herald Sun - October 26, 2006

Google's YouTube censorship erases 29,000+ clips

The censorship begins, the ever popular YouTube.com website was sure to have the media after it soon enough, with the hundreds of thousands of copyright protected content that has been illegally uploaded onto it's servers. I never thought YouTube.com was worth the risk of buying into for that very reason and was fairly shocked when it was announced that Google had bought into it.

Today Australian IT/Reuters reports that Google's YouTube.com has removed 29,549 video files after receiving a demand from a group of Japanese media companies over copyright infringement. From now on it's going to happen regularly I'm sure. The system is full of the stuff.

But concern is now developing regarding censorship of content. Yeast Radio Comedic Political Correspondent/Podcaster Richard Bluestein reports that his YouTube account was cancelled for posting non-pornographic material, calling his readers/listeners to boycott the website in protest of it's new censorship.*

Christiaan Huygens remarks in response that the Hypocrisy is rampant with YouTube.com filled with video-voyeurism. Suggesting that people type is key words like “up-skirt” “shoe” “secretary” “co-ed” “stocking” etc, etc and you will see video after video on YOU TUBE of people secretly video-taping unsuspecting women in parks and subways. That nonsense is a hell of a lot more offensive (and now illegal in many localities).

The Gay Expat remarks in response that the website also contains a lot of the “bumfight” clips of young white suburban men paying the homeless to mutilate themselves and/or fight each other.

* I have not seen the content that was within Richard's YouTube account so I can only go by his word, which I trust (mostly).

YouTube erases 29,000 clips - GOOGLE's YouTube.com removed 29,549 video files from its popular website after receiving a demand from a group of Japanese media companies over copyright infringement, an industry group said.The
television, music and movie clips had been posted without the permission of copyright holders, the Tokyo-based Japan Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers said in a statement.The
group, which represents 23 media companies including TV networks and movie distributors, said it would ask YouTube to set up screening and other measures to block postings of unauthorised files. It also called on internet users not to post video clips in violation of copyright laws.
YouTube, which serves more than 100 million videos a day on its free website, has drawn complaints from some copyright owners, as the site says it can't track which videos are pirated.
YouTube officials could not immediately be reached for comment.
Content Source: Reuters via Australian IT | YouTube erases 29,000 clips

pressure to fast-track reforms to remove legal discrimination against same-sex couples

Pressure is mounting on Australian Prime Minister John Howard to fast-track reforms to remove legal discrimination against same-sex couples as the federal Government considers yet another ban on civil partnerships for gays and lesbians in the nation's capital.

The Government will be forced to decide shortly whether it will again ban looming legislation in the ACT to offer same-sex couples legal recognition that affords them the same rights as married and heterosexual de facto couples.
The ACT is also pushing ahead with plans to reintroduce legislation allowing same-sex couples to enter into civil partnerships.
ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell told The Australian the laws would not seek to replicate marriage, but would allow couples to enter into civil partnerships to be witnessed by an authorised officer.
"We are going out of our way to say this is not marriage -- it's about giving gay and lesbian couples functional equality under the law," Mr Corbell said.
"We anticipate we will have legislation presented to the ACT assembly late this year or early next year."
The story quoted above also speaks with High Court judge Michael Kirby whom revealed that he and his long-time partner Johan Van Vloten had considered and rejected marriage but believes it should be legally available to others same-sex couples.

He brings up a topic which I don't think gets enough attention, as with heterosexual partnerships, there are many homosexual couples whom don't believe in or wish not to marry their partner.

But there are also many people whom have painfully tried to live their relationships in a more "traditional" sense, wanting to cement their relationships by wedding their beloved. There are plenty of gay couples whom have been together for many many years, some far out-lasting many heterosexual couples legal marriages.

There are also many people like myself whom are currently single, but would very much appreciate the same rights as heterosexual couples. When I find someone special I'd like to have the option available to marry them once we have been together for a while!


It has long been my opinion that when same-sex people are given the same rights as heterosexual people, calmer will be restored, suicides numbers will reduce as poor young homosexual teenagers and adults will not feel there is no point to life, they can grow up and marry as all their friends and family have done for centuries before them.

Bisexuality in my opinion has different types of people, a lot of people hide behind a vale of being bisexual to soften the blow when they reveal their sexuality.

There will no longer be a need for some men and women to marry for the sake of having children or because they want to force themselves to try and get over their feelings of attraction for members of the same-sex.

Other countries whom have allowed same-sex marriage and civil unions have not imploded and in many way have thrived. Pick up any "homosexual" oriented magazine from the UK and see there are many advertisements for marriage/civil ceremonies now that civil unions have been allowed!


Same-
sex attracted people have suffered under the rule of the heterosexual majority for centuries, it's time for change. It's time!

Content Source:  Justice Kirby backs same-sex marriages -
http://theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,20629895-2702,00.html?from=public_rss

Commonwealth's position is only the Commonwealth's position!


Attorney-General Philip Ruddock says his position on legal rights for same-sex couples is widely supported. (File photo)Attorney-General Phillip Ruddock claims the Commonwealth's position on same-sex relationships is widely supported.
"If you ask the community as a whole whether they saw same-sex relationships as the equivalent of marriage, I'm sure the answer would be 'no'," he said.

The Federal Government has rejected calls from Western Australia's Attorney-General to adopt laws that recognise same-sex and de facto relationships under family law.
WA is the only state in which same-sex couples can access the Family Court to divide up property, adopt each other's children and be appointed next of kin.
WA Attorney-General Jim McGinty has told a weekend conference in Perth it is time the Commonwealth follows WA's lead in giving gay and lesbian people the same rights as the rest of the community.
The Australian government is continually speaking on behalf of the people of Australia, but it's clear from their track record that what they are perceving to be the community stance is becoming more and more devided from reality.

"If you ask the community" is a term used so much, but they never actually "ask the community", asking the community seems to be defined simply at election time, if they were elected into government then they have a right to do whatever they want and say it's the stance of the community as a whole regardless of figures that get them into office..

The people of Australia have no voice under the rule of the Liberal/National coalition.

The people of Australia must use their voices louder to ensure they are heard, but what does it take to get through to this "rogue" Government?


Monday, October 23, 2006. 10:15pm (AEST)

ABC News Online: Ruddock rejects WA call to recognise same-sex couples
http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200610/s1770746.htm

Terrifying Research into the Ritalin Generation

Are parents and doctors the real terrorists? I suspect it may be so!

Research into the Ritalin Generation by Melbourne's Howard Florey Institute reveals drugs can wire the brain for addiction.

Ritalin, an over-prescribed drug taken by 50,000 Australian children- commonly used to treat (or deal with) children with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), has a similar chemical structure to cocaine and has prompted renewed calls for research into its long-term effects for more than 5 years.

Research revealed in Melbourne's Sunday Herald Sun reveals that Giving children Ritalin could be breeding a generation of junkies. Children taking psychostimulant drugs, including Ritalin, may be more susceptible to amphetamine addiction late in life.

It has been reported that children as young as five have suffered heart attacks and strokes after taking Ritalin - an amphetamine-like prescription stimulant.


Content Source: Sunday Herald Sun, October 22, 2006. page 30

Pope attacks Gay Relationships as "weak and deviant"

Melbourne's Sunday Herald Sun Reports that Pope Benedict XVI has attacked gay marriages as "weak and deviant" in a major speech to Italian Roman Catholics that they should defend 'traditional marriage' and oppose any other forms of unions.

While he did not specifically mention gay marriage, The Pope said Catholics had to defend matrimony and "the introduction of laws on other forms of unions which would only destabilise it".

How is it possible to destabilise 'traditional marriage' when it is so clearly already beyond unstable, gay marriage/gay unions had nothing to do with this, heterosexual/straight couples managed to do this on their own with their drive-thru weddings in Las Vegas and celebrity worshiping of pop culture, these just some of the many things contributing to the destabilising of 'traditional marriage'. Get over it, your had your chance, now it's time to step aside and let us have the freedoms you have enjoyed or loafed for centuries.


Content Source: Sunday Herald Sun, October 22, 2006. page 30

Biggest hole ever!

Well we've done it now!

We have the biggest hole ever!

Australia fits in our hole 4 times!!
THIS spring's Antarctic ozone hole has been declared the largest on record, an emphatic reminder that man-made atmospheric harm is set to continue for decades to come.
The hole peaked at 29.5 million square kilometres this year - 100,000 square kilometres larger that the previous largest hole recorded in 2000 - the World Meteorological Organisation said yesterday.

It was also the deepest recorded over eastern Antarctica, at one point leaving a layer of sky above Australia's Davis station with no ozone at all to guard against ultraviolet radiation.

The roughly oval-shaped hole, four times the size of Australia, swung over South America and Falkland Islands, and reached its greatest extent on September 24.

- Reported in Melbourne's Saturday AGE newspaper 21 September, 2006

Mad Mad Mad World

I've been SO busy lately, but that aside I've had so much trouble reading the newspapers, I keep missing the news, it's so depressing, I wish we could progress and be done with USA President George Bush and Australian Prime Minister John Howard.... I feel like were all stuck spiraling into hell until sain people can take the rains and fix all that they have fucked up!

"Absolutely Fabulous" News: AbFab Divas to Reteam

AbFab Divas Re-team For New Comedy


Patsy and Edina are gone, but there is some "Absolutely Fabulous" news!

Jennifer Saunders (Writer of AbFab series & player of Edina in AbFab) is re-teaming with Joanna Lumley for a new comedy to air on BBC America.

Also staring in the new show will be Jennifer's partner-in-comedy Dawn French who grew Jen from a Crystal.

The currently untitled series, created by Saunders, which is scheduled to run for seven episodes and has no premiere date yet.

It focuses on the members of a women's club in a small English town. A newly widowed woman (Sue Johnston, "Waking the Dead") joins the club, which purports to be dedicated to truth and fellowship, but finds its members also rather enjoy a bit of good gossip.

In addition to Johnston, Saunders, French and Lumley, the show will also feature Pauline McLynn ("Angela's Ashes," "Father Ted"), David Mitchell ("Peep Show") and Sally Phillips ("Smack the Pony," "Bridget Jones's Diary").

"Absolutely Fabulous" first ran on the BBC for three seasons from 1992-95 and made its way to this country a few years later. Two more seasons and several specials have followed in the past few years.

Sounds like a hit, we are sure to LOVE this show!!!!!! I can't wait!!!

For us Aussies, here's hoping ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) will sign on for the series!!!


Source: ParezHilton.com & Zap2it.com






Solar-thermal power touted as energy solution. 31/03/2006. ABC News Online

It's news that brings a big smile to my face...

Australian scientists at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) have developed a new form of electricity that could provide all of Australia's electricity needs in 2020.

Called solar-thermal energy, it has been developed by mixing solar energy, heat and natural gas.

The process uses two hundred mirrors to track the sun, and focus the sun's rays towards a tower. The tower at which heat can reach temperatures of more than 1000 degrees Celsius, producing 500 kilowatts of power.

This is then mixed with natural gas and water to produce a renewable energy.

Wes Stein from the CSIRO says the new development could provide for Australia's future energy needs.

"It would only require about 50 kilometres by 50 kilometres in the centre of Australia somewhere to provide all of Australia's electricity needs in 2020," he said.

"That's not very much of Australia."

Check out the article here at ABC News Online (Australia) |
Solar-thermal power touted as energy solution. 31/03/2006.

360-degree plug outlets



360-degree plug outlets








I found this post on Cool Hunting: 360-degree plug outlets, thought it was a great concept.

These outlets have already made the rounds, but such an ingenious solution to a common annoyance deserves note here.



The story goes like this: Some bright chaps in Salt Lake City invented a solution to the low functionality of most electrical outlets by creating a socket that can rotate a full 360-degrees, allowing us to use our electrical devices from 18 different angles. Standard installation allows you to install or replace existing outlets quickly and easily (make sure you turn your power off first though).



These outlets will be available from 360 Electrical sometime soon (so they say). To be the first to know about their availability, sign up for their e-mail list.








Queen Anthony Callea

Australian Idol runner-up Anthony Callea brought a showbiz touch to the Queen's visit.

The pint-sized Melburnian was a star turn at yesterday's Commonwealth Day church service in Sydney's St Andrew's Cathedral.

The Queen's Commonwealth Day message was a serious one, highlighting the scourges of HIV/AIDS and the deaths of women in childbirth.

Then there was Callea, belting out a performance of his hit single, The Prayer.

He might have made an impression too, because the Australian Idol star was one of only a few official guests privileged to chat to the Queen during a royal reception later at Admiralty House.

The Queen struck up a conversation with Callea as Prime Minister John Howard escorted her along a line of well-wishers.

Callea also plans to run in the Queen's Baton Relay in Melbourne on Wednesday ahead of the opening of the Commonwealth Games.

- AAP via. The Age


Is it time we swapped OIL for ETHANOL?

On SBS DATELINE in Australia on Wednesday, March 15 at 8.30pm Ginny Stein reports on how Brazil has succeeded where much of the industrialised world has failed. After three decades of work it has developed ethanol – made from sugar cane – as a cost effective alternative to petroleum.


Faced with a dramatically escalating fuel bill during the first oil crisis in the 1970s Brazil’s government bankrolled the ethanol industry’s evolution. Today a variety of car manufacturers sell the flex car ‚– a vehicle type which can run on either ethanol or petrol or any combination of the two.

Last year over half the cars sold in Brazil were flex cars and over a million cars are now running on ethanol. All of the General Motors and Volkswagen cars sold in Brazil are flex cars. Brazil is also now creating the world‚’s first ethanol fuelled planes.

Flex cars now outsell standard petrol models, and the country‚’s leading manufacturer has declared it's the only model it will make from now on. Brazil is leading the ethanol charge but is urging other nations to come onboard - including Australia, where the struggling sugar industry sees ethanol as a potential saviour.

Certainly for Brazil it provides tens of thousands of jobs, energy independence, and enormous trade opportunities. Now it needs other nations to adopt ethanol so that it becomes a viable alternative fuel source around the world.


As countries around the world search for alternative fuels to power them into the future, more than a million Brazillian cars are running on fuel produced from sugar cane.

Is it possible that Brazil has come up with a solution to the world's energy problems?


According to a United Nations News report released on 14th April 2005, "Biofuels can cut poverty, provide energy and mitigate climate change".

Agriculture and forestry products such as sugarcane, maize and manure could become leading sources of energy, a key element in achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger and ensuring environmental sustainability.

With around 2 billion people, mostly in rural areas of developing countries, still living without electricity or other modern energy services, increased use of so-called bioenergy can help diversify agricultural and forestry activities, improve food security, contribute to sustainable development and mitigate climate change by replacing fossil fuels that produce global warming greenhouse gases.

...Bioenergy is produced from biofuels ‚– solid fuels, biogas, liquid fuels such as bioethanol and biodiesel ‚– which come from crops such as sugar cane and beet, maize and energy grass or from fuelwood, charcoal, agricultural wastes and by-products, forestry residues, livestock manure and others.

...In developed countries, there is growing interest on the part of governments and the private sector in expanding the use of biofuels, particularly in the transport sector. Scenarios developed for the United States and European Union indicate that short-term targets of up to a 13 per cent replacement of petroleum-based fuels with liquid bioethanol and biodiesel appears feasible on available cropland, FAO says.

For this century, the report anticipates a significant switch from a fossil fuel to a bioenergy-based economy which could benefit not only the rural poor but also the whole planet, since biofuels can help mitigate climate change.


Ethanol is having some success - Japan has agreed to increase the level of ethanol it includes in its petrol and so has the United States. There are over 5 million flex cars running in America, and Indonesia will start producing 150,000 flex cars this year.

The Australian Government has released the final report on the testing program on the impact of 20 per cent ethanol on the Australian vehicle fleet. The report's findings support the Australian Government's decision to cap ethanol at 10 per cent. The 10 per cent cap commenced on 1 July 2003.

Ethanol could be used as an additive/enhancer to petrol at the 10 per cent level in most modern vehicles but could also be used at higher percentages in specially-designed flexible fuel vehicles.

In America, The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FDAI) has indicated that manufacturers new car vehicle warranties would support an ethanol level in petrol of up to 10%.

However in Australia there are still no garantees using Fuel blended with 10% of ethanol won't void car warranty.


Sugar can be fermented to produce ethanol (ethyl alcohol, 'alcohol') which can be added to petrol. In petrol it increase the absorption capacity with consequent damage potential.

Benifits of Ethanol:
Kyoto Targets - Increased use of ethanol will help Australia to achieve a reduction in Greenhouse gases required by international agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol.

Reduced Oil Imports - Some 70% of petrol in Australia is derived from imported oil. A thriving ethanol industry in Australia will replace imported oil and improve our Balance of Payments. A 10% blend in Australia’s petrol would improve Australia’s trade balance by more that $3 billion over 5 years.

Greenhouse Gas - Petrol and other transport fuels contribute significantly to Australia‚’s greenhouse gas production. Carbon dioxide is the greatest component of greenhouse gas produced from burning petrol in vehicles. Ethanol reduces the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere because it is a renewable fuel.

Ethanol production from plants represents a carbon cycle where plants absorb carbon dioxide during growth, recycling the carbon released during fuel combustion.

The latest reports based upon ethanol produced from corn in the USA concludes that a litre of ethanol produces some 19% less Greenhouse gas that a litre of petrol. This is based upon the entire farming and production cycle (ref. United States Department of Energy 1999.) Ethanol produced from by-products such as molasses will result in even higher savings of Greenhouse gases.

Car Warranty - The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FDAI) has indicated that manufacturers new car vehicle warranties would support an ethanol level in petrol of up to 10%.

In Canada and the USA where ethanol has been widely used for 20 years ethanol blended fuels are approved under the warranties of all major auto manufacturers. In fact some recommend ethanol blends (E10) for its environmental benefits.

Made in Australia - Ethanol is produced by sugar and grain grown in Australia. Approximately 70% of petrol used in Australia is imported. By using ethanol blended fuels you are supporting Australian farmers and Australian industry and helping the environment.


In Closing: - I think considering that two thirds of the worlds known oil resources are located in the Middle East. And the constant instability of that region, seemingly caused by the western world who wants their oil at any cost. It would make far greater sence that Australia and other Western countrys put all the resources they can into stimulating growth in these industrys and eventually call for an end to fuels that cause greater damage to the environment! For Australia I would recomend no or very minimal taxes on more enviromentally friendly fuels and make industry and consumers or fuels that are causing the damage to remain in some form, so as to usher people onto enviromentally friendly fuels and work faster towards stopping global warming and greenhouse gas emitions.




Resources/Sources:

DATELINE - SBS Television Australia
Episode "Brazil's Sweet Revolution" to air on Wednesday, March 15 at 8.30pm
Press Release - Brazil's Sweet Revolution - SWAPPING OIL FOR ETHANOL IN BRAZIL
http://news.sbs.com.au/dateline/

Media Release - Australian Government Minister for the Environment and Heritage - Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell - Ethanol fuel quality report released - 9 December 2004

Ethanol Facts - Australian Friends of Ethanol

Ethanol (ethyl alcohol) - Australian politics - chemlink

Biofuels can cut poverty, provide energy and mitigate climate change - United Nations News Service


Related Links:

Australian Government Minister for the Environment and Heritage - Atmosphere - Ethanol

Why Gay Couples, should be allowed to Adopt

The debate over civil rights, same-sex unions and gay marriage continues as per usual, It's likely adoption with follow in close pursuit...

Some people have some rather irrational and un-intelligent reasons against homosexual men/women's rights to adopt.

When you are born homosexual you are indeed somewhat cut out of the whole reproduction game. Supposedly many feel reproduction IS the very meaning of life. Some using that as reason against any form of gay rights.

But in doing so, millions of orphaned children remain parent-less and in poverty.


Consequence of a loving gay couple wanting to adopt a child, means they are actually more likely to be ready for that endeavour and of a sound matured mind.

Whereas Heterosexual couples can fall pregnant un-intentionally, many children around the world would have been born this way, through lapse of mind during a heated sexual moment proper protection isn't warn or taken, or protection is taken but doesn't prove effective to stop a pregnancy. Many people are against abortion so they have the unwanted/unexpected/unplanned child!

For a gay couple to have a child, they both have to be ready, it's currently scientifically impossible for one person or a couple of the same-sex to conceive a child without aide of someone of the opposite sex, or scientist/doctor's aide, and I'm pretty sure it's safe to say we'll never witness the events of the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie "Junior"     were a male is able to carry a child! Therefore it's simply impossible for us to accidentally have a child! No such thing as an unwanted/unexpected/unplanned child!


  • On paper, many gay couples will make better parents. They've often got more money, are often better educated and usually far less likely to commit a crime.

  • One male parent and one female parent guarantees nothing —any pair of imbeciles can have a child. But when you adopt, you face a thorough evaluation. Because all prospective gay parents will face this examination, the average gay parent will likely be far more adept and prepared than the average straight one.

  • Most importantly, if we can improve the life of any orphaned child, don'’t we have a moral obligation to do so? Even accepting ridiculous arguments that straight couples are ideal, wouldn'’t gay people and single parents offer a preferable future than the orphanage? Enabling them to adopt means thousands of children get parents and the prospect of a much better life. Who would deny them that?



adoption
    - a legal proceeding that creates a parent-child relation between persons not related by blood; the adopted child is entitled to all privileges belonging to a natural child of the adoptive parents (including the right to inherit).


Gay adoption
    refers to the adoption of children by a same-sex couple. Gay adoption is now legal in many Countries and States/Territory's around the world which include; Sweden, the Netherlands, Spain and England and Wales. Iceland, Norway, Germany and Denmark allow "stepchild-adoption" so that the partner in a civil union can adopt the natural (or sometimes even adopted) child of his partner. In the Republic of Ireland and some other countries, individual persons, whether heterosexual/homosexual, cohabiting/single may apply for adoption.

    Within the U.S., Florida is the only state that completely prohibits gay adoption. Mississippi, Oklahoma, Colorado and Utah all make same-sex adoption virtually impossible. Critics of anti-gay adoption policies also point out that in many of the states that have bans on gay adoption, gays are still able to act as foster parents.

    In other countries same-sex adoption is currently being reviewed along with the right to marriage/same-sex unions etc.


One prominent figure in America's gay adoption debate is actress and comedian Rosie O'Donnell, who is an adoptive parent in a same-sex relationship. O'Donnell is remembered for her efforts in challenging Florida's gay adoption ban.


Related:

    Adoption - The Free Dictionary by Farlex   






Confusion as Sony Music launches gay label

I'm struggling with internal confusion towards news that Sony Music is launching an all gay music label.

The recording industry is finally coming out of the closet. But should we be happy or sad?

Sony Music said it was launching the first major music label dedicated to nurturing lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gendered artists.

The label, Music with a Twist, is a joint venture with Wilderness Media & Entertainment, the company led by Matt Farber, who founded Viacom Inc's MTV Networks' new gay and lesbian channel LOGO   


Farber noted that the success of brands dedicated to the African American and Hispanic audiences have also helped talent in these communities cross over well beyond their core audiences.

Likewise, Music With a Twist's roster will feature gay artists who have mass appeal and hit potential across all musical genres. The label will collaborate with Sony Music's other US labels and divisions, including Columbia Records Group, Epic Records, Sony Nashville and Sony Urban Music.


The label also plans to release various compilations geared toward gay and bisexual audiences, as well as music fans everywhere, featuring hit songs by established artists that have been embraced by gay, bisexual and trans-gendered audiences as well as tracks from emerging gay artists.

The first of these compilations will be released in June 2006 during National Gay Pride Month.


Though I'm very glad gay artists with be nurtured under this label rather than fired or un-distributed (especially happens to us poor gay guys in Australia! Not yet seen any Will Young albums down here, I got my uncle to buy it for me when he was in the UK). I feel somewhat that it's kind of discriminating towards us that they only way to get this stuff is for them to NOW create an all gay label...

SOURCE: AAP/News Limited   

Government refuse gay aussies nuptial-bid overseas too!!

Heterosexual people should realize the stress' of homosexual people living in and being associated to such a homophobic country!!


I was really quite shocked to read this article, but not all together unexpected from a government that clearly see gays to be a challenge they're willing to take on...


But they're really denying us our rights to freedom and choice by obstructing gay couples wanting to get married in countries that DO recognize same-sex nuptials.


They are going to get a very LOUD and CLEAR message from the Gay community that they are going too far...


The Attorney-General's Department last year told at least two of Australia's embassies in Europe to refuse help to citizens requiring proof of their single status for a same-sex marriage.


The Age learnt of the policy through the case of an Australian man whose bid to marry his gay partner in the Netherlands was blocked by authorities.


The Australian embassy in Vienna refused Peter Kakucska, originally from Melbourne, a certificate confirming his single status once it was clear he needed it to marry Markus Muehlmann, an Austrian.


Like many countries, the Netherlands requires proof that foreign nationals wishing to marry there are not already married. Australian embassies provide this proof.


Mr Kakucska has actually lived in Vienna with his partner Mr Muehlmann, since 1993. Last year they took advantage of European Union laws that entitled them to apply to marry in the Netherlands.

Mr Kakucska said embassy staff knew his sexual orientation. When he requested single-status proof, a consular official produced a form that sought details about the prospective marriage partners in columns headed "Male" and "Female".

"I filled in our details, crossing out 'Female' and put the form down," Mr Kakucska said.

The official, Wolfgang Dobias, said he could not accept the form before contacting the Australian embassy in The Hague.

"When I came back he said he didn't have good news for me," Mr Kakucska said. "He showed me from behind a glass screen the official communique he received from Canberra."

The embassy later provided Mr Kakucska with a stamped "certification" dated August 16 and signed by Mr Dobias, the senior consular officer.

It stated: "Following the advice of the Australian Attorney-General's Department we herewith certify that Australian law does not allow the issue of a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage to persons wishing to enter into a same-sex marriage."

Mr Kakucska received a similar document saying the embassy could not provide a Single Status Certificate.


Lucky for them, the Netherlands ultimately accepted the documents, and an affidavit from Mr Kakucska, as proof he was single. The couple were married in November.

He says he now plans to take legal action against the Australian Government.

A spokeswoman for Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said one purpose of the certificates was to certify a proposed marriage would be valid in Australia.


Most of the media conscious will recall that the Australian Government passed laws in 2004 that defined marriage to be exclusively as a union between a man and woman.

Australian National University senior law lecturer Wayne Morgan said:
"There is nothing in Australian law that would prevent a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage (being issued) in such circumstances.

"This is an internationally accepted document that has nothing to do with the validity of the marriage back in the couple's own country."


Gay activist Rodney Croome, of the newly formed Australian Coalition for Equality, said:
"It's simply mean-spirited and bloody-minded for the Australian Government to block Peter's access (to documents) on no other basis than the gender of his marriage partner.

"The Government has already made clear its opposition to same-sex marriage in Australia. Why does it now have to export that prejudice to other countries and Australians living overseas? "



I've really come to feel so ashamed of this country since the Howard Government first came into dictatorship power!


My hope is the media (print, television & radio) report this case, and that we can gain the support of more heterosexuall Australians towards gay/civil rights.


We are one of the only Western Country's that is actually going backwards as far as civil rights, at a chilling pace since the Howard Government came into power on 11th March 1996.


SOURCE: The Age - Sat Jan 14th, 7:33 PM ET


Related Links



Anti-gay laws hinder AIDS-prevention efforts

Anti-gay laws hinder prison AIDS-prevention efforts in Namibia's prisons, South Africa's Mail & Guardian paper has reported.

AIDS activists cite blame on a 30-year old law banning male-to-male sex for preventing condom distribution and
HIV-prevention efforts in Namibia's prisons. Advocates for condom distribution have run into opposition from government officials who see their efforts as promoting homosexual activity.

Correctional facilities are a key front in halting the spread of HIV in the impoverished southern African country -- where statistics now show that nearly 20 percent of the nation is infected -- but attitudes about same-sex activity are hindering that effort, according to HIV prevention activists.

In the United States, HIV prevention advocates see strong similarities to their fight to distribute condoms in correctional facilities.

Julie Davids, executive director of CHAMP, a New York-based community HIV/AIDS mobilization project, said that, unlike in most correctional facilities abroad, programs like condom distribution are unavailable in the vast majority of U.S. jails and prisons.

"(Correctional facilities) in the U.S. say the same things they say in Namibia -- that condoms will condone sex and increase prisoner rape," she told the PlanetOut Network. "But if they really wanted to prevent prison rape, there are a lot of things they can do and aren't." Davids pointed to the Prison Rape Elimination Act passed by Congress last year, but rarely implemented due to lack of accountability across a wide variety of state, federal and municipal correctional systems.

The federal government estimates that about 30 percent of federal male prison inmates engage in sex acts -- consensual or not -- with other male inmates. However, most correctional facilities do not track incidents of sex.

Nor is the success in preventing HIV through condom distribution well documented. Only a few cities and states, such as Philadelphia, New York City, Vermont and Mississippi, allow condom distribution, but none have statistics on its effectiveness.

"This country needs to stop putting up obstacles to HIV prevention," Davids said. "Condom distribution is common sense and should be part of a continuity of care, both inside and outside of prison and part of a whole range of harm-reduction programs."

SOURCE: PlanetOut Network (via. Yahoo!) - Mon Jan 9, 7:33 PM ET

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