Editor's note: what follows was originally posted on Reddit by srsly_its_so_ez in support of Bernie Sanders and inviting people to share the post to get the word out, so I am. I've believed Bernie Sanders is a mensch for a while, such as when, as the newly elected mayor of Burlington, Vermont, he sent this letter to UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, protesting the abuse of Republican political prisoners in Northern Ireland:
Reading the history and records of Jonestown, something stands out in those last few months is the failing health of Temple leader Jim Jones. His long list of physical and mental illnesses can be attributed to his heavy drug use. But there's a few issues noted that lead me to wonder. Even as early as 1978, is it possible that Jim Jones had developed AIDS?
Can someone please tell the ABC that they're supposed to be broadcasting wall to wall leftist propaganda? Because right now they seem to be taking the "there are fine people on both sides " approach. Case in point being this week when they ran an article on the "quiet Australians" Scott Morrison praised for his victory at the Federal Election earlier this year. These are the people, we are told, who are hard working, dedicated to their families, and just too damn busy getting on with their lives to get involved in the messy business of politics. And they love Scott Morrison cause he's just like them, a hard working family man who doesn't have time to worry about the state of the nation.
Much of the discussion in recent years around increasing women's workforce participation rates and closing the gender pay gap has focused on encouraging girls and young women to consider careers in STEM - science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Women and girls considering or in STEM fields should certainly be encouraged, institutionalised sexism and other barriers to their careers dismantled. But the focus on getting women into STEM as the solution to women's workforce participation sidesteps dealing with the full reality of the gendered nature of work - a reality we need to address to achieve anything like real gender equality.
I recently saw a tweet referring to Jim Jones' followers - the members of Peoples Temple who died at Jonestown in 1978 - as brainwashed zombies. Every time I hear this, I feel saddened but not surprised. Whilst the people who died at Jonestown have been maligned for 40 years, the media narrative which started in the days after the massacre and has continued ever since of zealots mindlessly slaughtering their children before taking their own lives is very far from the truth. Like everything in life the real story is far more complicated. So here it is: why everything you know about Jonestown is wrong (and why you should never joke about "drinking the kool aid"). Strap in, it's going to be a long one.
If you ask any suburban family doctor what the hardest part of their job is, then I'm sure that - along with under funding, excessive patient loads, waits for tests and referrals, work load, the burden of $100K student debt and the office politics we all must deal with - they'd mention the frustration of competing with Doctor Google. People who, before seeking actual medical advice, have researched their symptoms online, and without the ability to distinguish credible sources from quacks, have come up with dubious self diagnoses from which they will not be swayed. And I get it.
In the aftermath of the NSW State election, it's easy to get depressed. The NSW Liberal/National coalition has gained a third term of government, ensuring more sell offs of public assets, more cuts to funding for community and human services, enforced adoptions of Aboriginal children in state care, that abortion will remain technically illegal, and we'll all be going to bed early as pubs close and developers take over formerly lively suburbs.
Back in 2004, struggling for ideas about what I'd put in this blog thing, I thought it would be fun to make an inventory of the contents of my handbag . Tonight, as I made one of my semi-annual tip-outs of my bag to get the debris out, I decided to see what changes age, income, technology and motherhood have made to my daily carry. And it turns out people love to know what other people are lugging around. So...
A recent opinion piece in The Independent rehashed a well-worn premise: that wearing make up is anti-feminist, that choosing to wear make up is conforming to the desires of the patriarchal system that dictates how a woman should look. I don't agree. And whilst the article's writer, Julie Bindel, did raise some important points about the chemicals in one's makeup and the potential for lifetime harm (although everything in modern life is synthetic chemicals, and you can get paranoid trying to keep up with it all, or you can just sort of try to get on with things). And whilst we are constantly pounded with messages from the media about how we should look (and what we should spend money on to get that way), everyone wants to make themselves look better.
To celebrate several life events and also because I haven't been overseas in literally fifteen years, I'm planning an overseas trip in the middle of the year. Of course, it's a somewhat daunting prospect. I've never done this by myself before; all my previous trips were organised for me. I have to confess I'm even a little scared. Every morning at 10am I eat a pink lady apple. It doesn't matter if I'm at work or going out to brunch or that right now being summer there's a vast array of much cheaper tropical fruit available. It has to be a pink lady apple and only a pink lady apple. So yeah, how am I going to manage if I can't find them?
Recently some colleagues and I were discussing food. They were mostly younger than me, and from ethnically diverse parts of Sydney, and they spoke of the food they grew up eating. Lebanese, Italian, Vietnamese, yum cha, festivals, neighbours sharing dishes from their home countries, dumplings for Lunar New Year or sweet sticky baklava; a wonderful array of flavours and textures that made you grateful for just a tiny slice of the many great goods immigration has brought to Australia. The food I grew up with? Not so much. A statement you'd express literally when served some of the dishes that predominantly featured in the Anglo-Celtic inspired cuisine of Australia in the 1980s, which I grew up eating.
Those of us above a certain age may remember back in the heady days of the 1990s when, in between listening to The Offspring and dropping into the cabin to say hi to the pilots when boarding a commercial airline flight, all the talk was of "going postal".