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Showing posts from May, 2009

Futility Free Friday (A Bunch of Stuff to Think About)

So the NRL is in trouble, yet again, for the attitudes of the football players towards women. Endless words have been written on this and I'll not rehash the whole saga. Respect for women is certainly needed. I'm speaking as a feminist here, so let me wade in... ...I'm not entirely sure that portraying women as delicate little flowers in need of protection is helpful to us. There are witnesses to the Christchurch incident who say the woman was a willing participant, including coworkers who report her bragging about it for days after. We run a risk when we allow regret to become rape after the fact. No means no, we shouldn't need to debate that, but now yes can become no. The issue of coercion at the time of the sex act is often raised. The problem with this is that coercion (as distinct from direct threats) implies that men are mentally and emotionally, as well as (usually) physically, stronger than women. It's dangerous territory all around. And by claiming coerci

Yet Another Ill-Informed Budget Analysis

Well, the 2009 Australian budget is a triumph for Wayne Swan and the Rudd Government. They've managed to save $150 billion. Wow. Yes, there is a budget deficit of $58 billion, an Australian record. But Treasury recieved $200 billion less in revenues this year due to the GFC. To make up that gap is remarkable. Well done to all involved. And yet. What's that I hear? Whingeing. The endless parade of people claiming there's "nothing in it for them". Another legacy of the Howard years: everyday people who see the budget not as the national economic plan, but as a hand out of goodies. (And oh, the clamour from the right wingnuts today! They claim to support unfetterred free markets, but try to shove their noses out of the trough, and woe is you). One particular man interviewed on Nine News last night claimed that as there were no perks for small business in the budget, he had no incentive to hire new people, and would have to work longer hours. Um, that's how the

Good News, Bad News

Those on the right are very fond of saying that the Rudd Government's stimulus package, which was intended to create 75,000 new jobs, "has not created a single new job". I wonder what they'll be saying now, as the suprise news comes thrrough that during April, the unemployment rate fell from 5.7% to 5.4%, with 49,100 net new full time jobs. As I've said before , thank God Kevin Rudd is PM right now. The stimulus package has worked. The economic policies the Coalition are so fond of brought the world the GFC and if they were in office now, Australia would be in the midst of a deep recession rather than a slow down. Now let's see how Rudd and Swan handle the budget. Deficit? Oh yes, there will be. Hopefully they'll shoulder some of that by winding back some of the middle class welfare that gouged $80+ billion out of the budget annually during the final Howard years. ~~~~~ Back here in the nanny premier state, the NSW police have floated a policy to move

The Real Climate Changers

Malcolm Turnbull has refused to allow the Government's emissions trading scheme through Federal Parliament, thereby raising the possibility of a double dissolution election on the issue of climate change. This will no doubt delight the right wingnuts. They're very confused on the issue of climate change; they just know they don't like it. Their opinion ranges from: There is no such thing as global warming; Okay, global warming is happening, but it's a natural event and not due to human activity; Fine, global warming is caused by human activity, but Australia is too insignificant a contributor to worry about taking action; And even if we should take action, we can't afford it. (I've seen Piers Akerman take all four positions in a single column, and still find time to heartily disparage Kevin Rudd. Considering all the energy he burns, it's hard to understand why he's so fat). Myself, I don't understand the argument that protecting jobs is more impor

The Pigs Flew

"If as many people had swine flu as those that are covering swine flu then it would be a pandemic to reckon with" Finally, some sense on the swine flu issue ! I dunno. All the confirmed swine flu victims I've seen on TV seem more bemused than anything. As I believe I may have said before, I'm not a people person. Today I took the remaining aspect of my flu, the awful cough, shopping. Unfortunatley I was unable to induce panic in anyone.