Showing posts from 2013

The $6 Co-Payment - Why The Liberals Just Don't Get It

There's no denying health care costs in Australia are very high - and will continue to increase as the baby boomers enter retirement age - but the government has flagged a terrible (and hitherto unannounced) solution: charging  a $5 copayment  for people to visit the GP. After warnings that people will instead go to hospital emergency departments, a charge to attend there has been suggested as well. Whilst some are disavowing the idea, many Liberals are digging their heels in. $5 isn't that much after all, and poor people shouldn't expect everything for free. Now, it may be hard for someone on a skiing holiday in France to understand just how much difference $5 can make to someone who's barely getting by. (The adviser who recommended the charge condescendingly, and inaccurately, compared it to "the cost of a burger and fries" - because that's what they imagine poor people eat). The dole, for instance, is $35 a day to live on - that has to cover everything;

So, You Don't Believe In Global Warming

You don't believe in man made global warming. You think the whole idea is rubbish. In other words, you believe that the vast majority of scientists, universities, governments, international insurance corporations, international banking, and the media are all in on an massive global scam to just make shit up. And there is more money to be made from this, apparently, than by telling the truth that fossil fuel burning has no ill environmental effects and we can carry on using them. And only you and a few other brave souls are brave enough to see through this. And they call the Greens fringe dwellers... Anyway, if you're struggling with the concept of how there can be global warming when you remember very hot days from your youth, and we still have cold days now, this handy simple chart sums it up: Although I do notice those who say "so much for global warming LOL, it's snowing in Egypt" never say "well, maybe I was wrong" when we have yet another record-bre

The ABC Isn't Lefty Indoctrination - This Is Lefty Indoctrination

Ah, the poor old ABC . Seems like no matter what they do, people aren't happy. From the anguish of the left that Howard era hawk Peter Reith features so prominently on political panel show The Drum, to the eternal accusations that the national broadcaster has a leftist bias. Now they're in power, Rupert Murdoch and his cronies will stop at nothing to crush the ABC, culminating in the bizarre accusation this week by that frothing love child of Andrew Bolt and a particularly ravishing cane toad, Piers Akerman, that the harmless darling of preschool programming, Peppa Pig, pushes a weird feminist agenda . Accusations that the ABC has a secret plot to indoctrinate kids with a socialist line are nothing new. We all know Jemima from Playschool is a lesbian - she wears overalls, after all -  and what about the Bananas in Pyjamas? Obviously an unemployed homosexual couple; they never get out of the pyjamas and go to work. And let's not even think about all the coming down the stai

Feminism on the Maternity Ward - The Right To Choose A Caesarian

As we hear of yet another instance of a pregnant woman apparently forced to give birth via c-section , I'm thinking of how many others there must be like me - women forced to give birth vaginally, denied their right to bodily autonomy by being denied the right to give birth by c-section as they desired. For those not familiar with my story, I requested a c-section late in my pregnancy due to psychological reasons at the public hospital I was due to give birth at, and was turned down. I ended up delivering by caesarian, but only after reaching 12 day post dates and a failed 48 hour attempt to induce labour. The full story is  here . A hospital, seeking to keep it's caesarian rates down, deemed my reasons for avoiding vaginal birth unworthy. A woman's right to bodily autonomy is not trumped by a hospital's policy to keep c-section rates down. There may be all sorts of reasons a woman wishes to deliver by c-section, very few of them being because she's "too posh t

Sleep School: What Really Goes On At Tresillian

Sleep training is one of those emotive parenting topics (and what parenting topics are not emotive?). Should we attempt to get our babies into some sort of sleeping schedule, or leave them to sort themselves out? In the early days of parenting, I firmly came down on the sleep-training-is-cruel side. I left my online mothers group after being supportive came to involve mothers swapping tips on how to stay strong when leaving their six week olds to cry for up to twenty minutes. None of that for us, I thought. We co-slept till BabyG was old enough to go in his cot, which we kept next to the bed, and he was a dream sleeper. I don't know what other women go on about, with the lack of sleep, I thought; this is too easy. Then the dreaded four month sleep regression hit, pretty much down to the day. BabyG went from waking up maybe twice a night, to waking up every hour - one horror night every forty five minutes - and being bloody impossible to get back to sleep. Naps went all out to hell,

Shoot Your Love All Over Me

In this era of divorce, family breakdown and uncertainty, it can be easy to beocme cynical about the prospect of ever finding true love. So thank goodness that News Limited still knows when to share a story of heartwarming romance with its readers, bringing us the tearjerking tale of Matthew Webb and Audrey Mayo . He accidentally shot her in the leg whilst taking shots at deer - now they're a couple. Aww. As the article says, love can blossom in the most unlikely circumstances. Can you imagine a more perfect start to a relationship? He's a keeper. Photo via  Gawker Audrey Mayo and Matthew Webb officially became a couple on November 21. But that date is also significant for another reason. It's the day Matthew accidentally shot Audrey. The pair were hanging out on the roof of Matthew's mother's house in the small town of LaFayette, Georgia. He spotted some deer across the road and decided to try and shoot one. Ms Mayo stayed on the roof, but soon thought she heard Ma

Summer Fun With The HCCC

Received a letter in the mail this week informing me the Health Care Complaints Commission will not be proceeding with my complaint over  events leading up to the birth of Baby G . The HCCC has come to this conclusion after a rigorous investigative process which consisted of asking the hospital, and specifically the nurse who initially refused the c-section, if they'd done anything wrong. Both the hospital and nurse have replied that they don't feel they didn't do anything wrong. Well that's okay then! Case closed. Be on your way. I especially like the part of the letter that says "the nurse denies being rude or condescending to you, stating that this is not part of her normal practice". Well of course she's going to say that isn't she. "Are you ever rude to patients?" "All the damn time, you bet I am! You've got to let them know their place". Sigh. I have asked for a review, based on the one thing I seem to have on my side righ

Do We Really Just Hate Kids?

More of the "trouble with kids these days" from an acquaintance on Facebook, and whilst I've blamed the problems of kids these days on economic rationalism , this  thread on Reddit  made me wonder if the problem with kids these days is that we hate them. For a society that claims to venerate children so much, we sure show in so many ways that we don't actually like them. Children and parenting are the other; to be kept marginalised and out of sight until the messy, unpleasant business of being a kid is done. It starts early, with complaints about pregnant TV presenters and public breastfeeding; graphic depictions of motherhood should be kept out of the public eye. Then there's the rise of the parent-shaming websites, attacking people for oversharing their parenting experiences. Whilst I wouldn't post about my child's poop myself, early parenthood does involve a great deal of the stuff and you do get a little obsessed (and that's me, who prior to having

STFU Parents Should Know When To STFU

The media image of today's parents is as demanding, overindulgent creatures convinced that what they're doing in raising children is a rare and delicate work of genius. There's a tiny nugget of truth in there, and the blog  STFU Parents  is there to dig it up, as they hilariously lampoon self-righteous parents who throw hissy fits at strangers not being sufficiently attentive to their child, or share with their Facebook audience their children's bowel movements. Sometimes parents can be irritating jerks, just like real people. And sometimes blogs that poke fun at parents' foibles can be irritating jerks, too. Sometimes STFU Parents ventures so far into "gosh, parents are so awful" territory they become self righteous and irritating themselves. I'm still shaking my head at the post which made fun of the mother of a special needs child for taking pride in her son's achievements, but the latest sanctimonious missive on how parents should behave is t

A user friendly ramble on neolibs and economic rationalism

Doing the household finances with DH, and realising that there was too much Christmas coming for our slender budget, we discussed how we were going to fix this. "Well", I said, "there's plenty of opportunity in this society for someone who's not afraid of a bit of hard work". And we both had a good laugh over that. The thing is with society, we're always hearing how it's broken down. To scroll through a Facebook news feed or listen to a taxi driver, children are running out of control, young people are binge drinking, the economy is a mess, there's no respect and crime is rampant. And who or what is the culprit? Variously feminism, permissive parenting, asylum seekers, the Greens (who manage to be both irrelevant and control the country at the same time...). Well if society is going to hell in a Kardashian handbag, we never hear of blame being assigned to the real culprit - economic rationalism. Economic rationalism - the notion that corporations

An Open Letter to Tony Abbott About This Unpleasant Business With Indonesia

Dear Tony, We all know nothing solves international diplomatic fall outs like an open letter, so I'm writing you one now. I'm taking time from studying for my political science exam, but I don't think my lecturer would mind. He likes you. At any rate, he's a big fan of your idol and mentor, John Howard. I came to university greatly looking forward to all the brainwashing I'd receive from leftist academics, but there hasn't been any; the lecturer has taken a decidedly pro-Howard stance. But I digress. We've been caught spying on Indonesia . Oh dear. Spying is a bit like masturbation; everyone does it but it's frightfully embarrassing when you get caught. The thing to do here is for you to rock up to Jakarta, cap in hand, and do a little humble grovelling to the Indonesian government. We're so, so sorry. We didn't mean to spy on you and we never thought you'd find out and the Australian government doesn't even read the reports from our inte

Still Good Advice: Wear Sunscreen

I first heard "Advice to the Class of 1997" when I was in the class of 1997 myself. The writer  Mary Schmich lamented that the advice would be wasted on the young. As it was intended advice for a college graduating class, and I was only graduating high school, it was especially wasted on me. I thought it was a beautiful piece. But it expressed ideals, stages of life I was yet to experience, let alone long for. And now, half a lifetime later, I can still admire the beauty of this piece. I am nostalgic for the girl - young woman - I was - and so much I want to tell her. I understand this poem so much more, having been through so much in the past 16 years, I feel I barely know that child. And yet I also know that a later me, 57 years old or 75, is looking at the me of today and thinking she was young and naive really, and thought she knew all the ways of the world when she didn't have a clue. Either way, whether you're 17 or 35 or 59 or 81, this has a lot of good things

A Story of Birth Trauma, PTSD and Other Fun Stuff

Trigger warning: contains discussion of abuse, medical procedures and birth trauma. So, I've shared a lot with my readers...from the year long quest to conceive Baby G , through to my dreams about pornographers . Probably I over share. But now I'm going to tell you a very personal story I've not shared even with people I know...a tale of medical incompetence and the not-so-delightful lead up to the birth of Baby G. And I'm telling you this because I want to add my voice to the brave women who say birth trauma is real, it does matter, and because what happened to me should never happen to anyone, if I have to shout a bit to make sure that happens. When I was pregnant with BabyG back in 2011, we were still living in inner Sydney, so I booked in to go through the birth centre at an inner city hospital. I have had some very bad experiences at the hands of doctors, so I thought the most natural birth safely possible was the best, least traumatic way to go. We had a doula, a

Sexual Assault and Alcohol: It's Not Common Sense, It's Not True, and It's Not Helping

Blogger and "media personality" Mia Freedman was making waves at her blog again this week and as much as I dislike responding, I kind of felt I had to. See, she's said that when her daughter is old, enough, she'll  advise her to reduce her alcohol consumption  in order to avoid the risk of sexual assault. Now, I'm not suggesting that Ms Freedman courts controversy just to get page views, heavens no, but in this case she seems to have seen the controversy coming. This isn't victim blaming, she insists, it's just common sense to tell women how to reduce their risk of sexual assault. Well, maybe it would be good advice - if any of it were true. The  statistics Ms Freedman cites  actually show that females' risk of sexual assault peaks between the ages of 10-14 - an age which girls are highly unlikely to be binge drinking. The AMA information paper  on risky drinking shows that drinking actually increases throughout the lifespan - as the risk of sexual ass

Fires, Politics and The Right Time To Discuss Climate Change

Terrible, horrible, very sad week as monstrous bushfires swept eastern NSW. The worst damage occurred in the Blue Mountains - hundreds of homes lost there, it seems, the emotional damage incalculable - and there were also dreadful fires ringing Newcastle. We're in a heavily built up area of inner Newcastle with no bushfire danger, but only a short distance to the north and south fires were threatening places I've known most of my life - Nords Wharf where I lived as a child for a few months; Caves Beach, our go-to beach in high school; at one stage fire came close to the fuel tanks at Newcastle airport. The sky was thick with smoke, the sun a creepy red, and we all spent a restless, worried night following Twitter for news of friends who were being evacuated. And the one thought we all had was "my God, if the bushfires are like this in October, what the hell are they going to be like by February?". For we don't have fires like this in NSW in October, halfway throug

50 Arguments Disproving Climate Change

1. Someone who believes in global warming lives in a waterfront house. Therefore, AGW isn't true. 2. Someone who believes in global warming drives a large car. Therefore, AGW isn't true. 3. Someone who believes in global warming flies a bunch of places. Therefore, AGW isn't true. 4. Scientists have been wrong before. Therefore, AGW isn't true. 5. There were hot days and storms when I was a kid. Therefore, AGW isn't true. 6. There have always been storms and bushfires. Therefore, AGW isn't true. 7. Greenies just want us all to go back to living in huts. Therefore, AGW isn't true. 8. Scientists are lying to get grant money. They can get far more money lying to please socialist governments than they could from telling the truth for fossil fuel producers. Therefore, AGW isn't true. 9. Plants need carbon dioxide. Therefore, AGW isn't true. 10. Carbon dioxide is harmless to humans. Therefore, AGW isn't true. 11. Someone said the Earth has been cooling

Chris Brown and Unwilling Victims

Serial douche Chris Brown has recently revealed he lost his virginity age 8, and has been the recipient of sympathy from some unlikely quarters. Feminist writers who previously disdained him for his perpetration of relationship abuse have come out to say  that he was raped , that he was a victim here, no wonder he carries on like such a tool considering such a horrid thing happened to him as a child. (It's worth pointing out that the girl he had sex with was 14 or 15, according to his story - how would our views change if she had been 8 years old herself?) Now, it goes without saying no 8 year old should be having sex. But Chris Brown does not see himself as a victim. He describes it as a normal experience where he grew up, good preparation for later on. It's pretty icky stuff to read. And it could well be a false face of bravado slapped on to cover up deep hurt; if so, my very deepest empathy to Mr Brown and I hope he can get help to deal with what he's been through. But.

Libertarians Can Kiss My Patootie, But Let's Get Rid of Compulsory Voting

Compulsory voting. We're one of only ten countries in the world to have it, and you either love it or you hate it. Traditionally, the left has triumphed compulsory voting as ensuring franchise for all , whilst libertarians decry compulsory voting as a contradictory attack on their freedoms. Now, I'm yet to meet a libertarian I wouldn't happily give a kilo of sand and a hammer to pound it in with, but if we're to address the decline in our democracy, compulsory voting has to go. The biggest argument in favour of compulsory voting is that it allows everyone to have a say. But it doesn't really. Most elections come down to a few thousand undecided voters in a handful of marginal seats. Undecided voters, who tend to be less educated and less engaged in the political process, are now calling the shots. Politicians ignore the major issues to chase after the concerns of those who care the least. No wonder our electoral coverage is dire, no wonder political discourse is du

Cooking Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce

Because I'm very peculiar, I regularly peruse the recent deaths on Wikipedia, and last week I learned of the passing of Italian cookery writer  Marcella Hazan , widely credited as the godmother of Italian cookery. I'd not heard of her prior to her passing, but apparently she was a stickler for purity and traditional techniques - and the apex of this was her tomato-butter sauce. Bloggers raved about it, stating every cook should know this dish and if you did, you'd be a convert to her ways forever. So I knew I had to try it, and hunted down a recipe. For a start, there are only four ingredients. As someone who likes to add lots and lots of different spices to food - I think my spaghetti bolognaise must run to about 43 ingredients, including lemon juice, liquid smoke, nutmeg, and two kinds of chilli - this idea took some getting used to. Yep, that's it. Anyway, here's the recipe. I've converted it to metric cause I'm always thinking of how I can make your life