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

$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

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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!

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