politics Archives - the little lioness

politics

The one that says –

Why care about GST on tampons…. when women in detention centres have to live up for one or two pads or tampons at a time, don’t get enough pads for the month and swap sexual favours aka get sexually assaulted in return for shower time.

Why care about gay marriage…. Just get it over with so people can worry about actual discrimination, such as Tasmanian schools wanting to be able to expel queer teens on religious grounds.

I’m sure there’s more… But those two are pissing me off this week. And I’m on my phone and suck at Swype.

I used to hate those people. The my cause is more important than yours… But I’m wavering!

Or reading too much Razer ( I blame you Bronwyn!)

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So, there’s this thing in Australian politics where, despite signing up for a certain party and normally being help to vote to what the party thinks, means thaat individual members of parliament are allowed to make a “Consceince Vote” when it comes to matters where, basically, religion may come into play.

A conscience vote or free vote is a type of vote in a legislative body where legislators are allowed to vote according to their own personal conscience rather than according to an official line set down by their political party.

Thanks, Wikipedia

So, you have parties like the Labor party where you can get FIRED for voting against the caucus, where MPs can vote for or against say, euthanasia, or abortion laws, and not fear the wrath of their party.

Or, they can feel that the same “moral” status applies to issues that are clearly about discriminating against 10% of the population, and say that
gay marriage” is a matter of conscience, whereas it’s really a matter of changing one or two words so that people can enter into state-sanctioned monogamous unions. You know, because for tax purposes same-sex partnerships are taxed the same and given the same cred as M/F relationships.

(Personally, I wanna see everyone move past the marriage thing and get back to the late 80s wehere “FUCK YOU I’m not gonna be anyone’s “wife” and change my name and submit to it all”)

But,

Think about history.

Once upon a time it was immoral for a woman to go to work when her husband should be the breadwinner. Undermining him and all that.

So why not got back to the 70s and call a “conscience vote” on maternity leave, or day care subsidies, because, unless her husband is dead or maimed, a woman’s place is at home with her kids, right?

That’s the “traditional” way. Just like marriages is between one man and one woman.

For life.

To the exclusion of all others.

So, basically, I don’t see gay marriage as a conscience issue. I see it as something that we just need to get over, like thinking that Aborigines are people and that women are capable of voting.

And if yu’re ELECTORATE wants it, isn’t it your JOB to say YES?

Am I wrong?

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OUR rail plan for NSW

March 24, 2015 · 0 comments

Patched

We all know that, heading into the NSW state election on Saturday, transport should be a concern for voters. For those who have good services, they should be concerned about future proofing them, for those with poor services, lobbying to get them, or keep what is left, and for those on train lines all over the state, we’d like better tracks that aren’t held together with Christmas stickytape, like my running repairs on this junction yesterday.

goods trains

Goods trains are of course a huge player on the regional lines – with the issue of coal trains letting all alone the lines breathe the dust from uncovered coal cars being discussed regularly in the news, at least for those in Mayfield and Waratah where there’s no keeping those damn windowsills clean!

Watchful eye

Our astute shadow transport minister, and mini me, also independantly discovered the problems with making a new series of tunnels that are smaller than ALL of your current rolling stock so that you have one set of “metro” trains that means many more people standing for a 40 minute journey, and no potential to EVER run the higher capacity double-decker trains from the rest of the network.

Use the correct size of tunnel for your trains

Fortunately we were able to resolve this issue with a little re-jigging of the path after one incident with the bridge.

Grand plans

We’ve already completed the “under table rail link” and construction was underway to join the two fiddly loops with a shuttle train.

Tunnels

It appears also that Minister Ez is a fan of heavy rail where heavy rail should be, and no overlap with buses and cars – buses on the rail routes were quickly removed from service. Her or the highway – buses will not replace trains in her world.

choo choo
Choo Choo!

What would you change about your local public transport?

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We had thought that THIS was the end of Lambie and the Brick…

But, there’s only one member of the Palmer United Party left in the senate, after Lazarus and Lambie left….

\

A sad sad day

Classic Lambie and the Brick (and Wang)

What WILL 2015 bring?

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By Madawi al-Rasheed, London School of Economics and Political Science

Raif Badawi, a Saudi blogger and the founder of an online liberal debating forum has become the most recent victim of the unjust Saudi justice system and the contradictions, one might say hypocrisy, of the Saudi monarchy.

In May 2014 Badawi was sentenced to ten years in prison and 1,000 lashes to be administered 50 at a time. The first 50 were administered on January 9. Just 24 hours later a Saudi delegation joined the march in the Place de la Republique in Paris in support of freedom of speech following the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

Badawi’s was sentenced for allegedly insulting religion on his censored liberal forum, which Saudi commentators, both anonymous and identified used as a forum for discussion, short commentaries – and mostly rants – about the strict religious controls over their personal freedoms, the assault on their human rights and restrictions on freedom of speech in Saudi Arabia.

Badawi’s blog hosted campaigns to support introducing a legal age for marriage (especially for girls) and campaigns in favour of allowing women to drive, while there was also much discussion of sexual harassment cases and abuse in public spaces were often discussed. It was anything but one-sided: both advocates and opponents of Islam and Islamic law frequently voiced opposing opinions.

On more than one occasion, the blog has been used as a satirical platform to ridicule strange fatwas and religious opinions from famous Saudi scholars – for example the opinion that driving is detrimental to women’s ovaries.

A Saudi delegation joined world leaders marching against terrorism in Paris.
Philippe Wojazer/EPA

Religious police

One of the main concern of the site’s users has been the so-called “religious police” – the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice. These government-appointed moral vigilantes parade the streets in luxurious white four-wheel drives in search of immorality, enforcing gender separation laws, making sure that all shops are closed during prayer times and that men and women dress modestly at all times (not to mention tracking down illicit brewing or consumption of alcohol and, of course, prostitution).

There seems to be no end to the number of ways one can fall foul of the religious police – the number and range of offences is constantly expanding, and now includes tweeting “subversive” and politically challenging statements, communicating with foreign media and making un-authorised visits to embassies in Riyadh among many other “offences”.

Personal freedoms

Although Badawi’s blog carries the name “liberal”, one must not jump to conclusions. This is not liberalism as it is historically understood in the West – you won’t find any calls for revolutionary political change in favour of representative government or elections. He has been mainly concerned with the denial of personal freedoms and the excess of religious interventions by government and Saudi Arabia’s over-privileged clergy.

For example Badawi once praised a member of the royal family – who was governor of Mecca at the time – as enlightened because of his calls for restricting the power of the religious police and in favour of allowing women to drive. Of course, it didn’t stop his arrest and imprisonment.

In Saudi Arabia, a secular society is too much to ask for.
Paiko9, CC BY-SA

In the eyes of the Saudi judiciary, Badawi’s main crime is to call for the separation of religion and state, a kind of secularism that he admires in other countries and believes to be the only solution to protect freedoms in Saudi Arabia.

But Badawi’s quest for secularism got him in trouble with the Wahhabi conservative constituency in Saudi Arabia, which controls the judiciary. As preachers and judges, they have a monopoly over interpreting Islam and passing arbitrary sentences. The sharia (Islamic law) has yet to be codified in Saudi Arabia and its application is subject to the opinion of judges who do not accept the pluralism of Islamic jurisprudence or a diversity of legal interpretations.

A worrying precedent

It must be said that the 1,000 lashes included along with Badawi’s ten-year jail sentence are so unusual and have no precedence in the Islamic tradition – previously the number of lashes has never exceeded 100. So it must a vindictive judge who settled on this excessive number.

Given that Saudi judges are appointed by the Ministry of Interior – which is also responsible for security and anti-terrorism efforts, they have become the arm of this ministry that wants to silence dissent, stifle human right activists and criminalise any activity that challenges the absolute monarchy.

The regime appeases those important judges by allowing them a free hand when dealing with cases of religious dissent. They surely do not want to see Badawi’s dream of secularism come true – this would mean they would lose their privileges and control over society.

Unfortunately, Badawi’s case may have set a precedent for the handing down of harsh sentences for prisoners of conscience. The Saudi regime remains immune from international pressure, as its allies – mainly Western governments – are afraid to rock the boat with their loyal friends in Riyadh.

Bosom buddies.
Alastair Grant/EPA

This is, of course, simply realpolitik on the part of the West; Saudi Arabia still controls huge quantities of oil and is a good business partner. There is never any concern about unpleasantness or corruption scandals erupting. In the past, investigations of corruption, for example the infamous al-Yamama arms deal between Saudi Arabia and BAE were halted by Tony Blair when the UK’s Serious Fraud Office was about to expose dodgy bribes paid to Saudi princes to secure the deal.

Human rights in Saudi Arabia is truly not on the foreign policy agenda of most Western governments.

Divine law?

Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz is recovering in hospital.
Ali Haider/EPA

Raif’s ordeal can only be stopped by royal decree. But with the ageing king still in hospital recovering from pneumonia, the Saudi royal family busily trying to sort out, in secret, the vexed issue of the succession – and terrorism raging to the north and south of the country in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, the blogger is unfortunately left without support or hope.

There are thousands of prisoners of conscience in a country like Saudi Arabia who may linger in prison for decades, suffering torture such as lashing and flogging. Their cases are kept alive by international human rights organisations but are greeted with a deafening silence by the rest of the world.

The Saudis can no longer hide behind their claim that they are simply abiding by divine law and applying sharia on earth. They must be told that their interpretations of the law fall short of the aspirations of many Muslims. Someone must point out to them that religious texts may be revered and considered sacred, but religious scholars who claim to act on behalf of god are not.

Badawi is innocent as he has not committed a crime even within a narrow interpretation of Islamic law. This punishment is an abomination and the international community must do all it can to bring pressure on its Saudi ally to stop it. But don’t hold your breath.

The Conversation

This article was originally published on The Conversation.
Read the original article.

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EDITED 13/10 – I was asked rather nicely to take these images (and the post, but that’s not happening) down by a member of the birthday party Jeff was with last night. Since I don’t feel like too much hassle I’ll run with it – but I think whoever posted the pics originally will realise that the photos are all on Twitter and Facebook anyways.
“I was apart of the group that celebrated Jeff McCloy’s birthday last night. The cake was an innocent joke and should never have been posted online. We would greatly appreciate it if you deleted the images and posts from your blog.” – Nice enough.

So, last night the Twitters were all a flutter with some pictures of Jeff McCloy with a birthday cake making light of the brown paper bags of cash he supposedly handed over to politicians and so forth, as came to light in ICAC earlier this year.

Photos removed, but I’m sure you can find them if you like.

RE-EDITED 13/10
Oh look, NBN posted them, and The Herald

Can I put them back in the post now?

Jeff McCloy and his cake

Jeff Moneybags McCloy's Cake

Of course he didn’t know about the cake before he had it in front of him, and it was just an unfortunate joke, but social media is unforgiving when a city has been burned.

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On My Mind

June 28, 2014 · 2 comments


(a soundtrack to this post…..)

In no particular order, other than the tabs open in my browser…..

  • Why do we care about Peter Greste and co’s ridiculous trial an imprisonment? Well, let’s see, if a white Aussie male can’t get justice, who can in this world? (or the Egyptian world anyway). In six months, the current regime will be the terrorists. Not saying the Muslim Brotherhood aint, I just know that in a world of suss elections and coups, the hero becomes the villain quickly. Especially when there is a silence put on freedom of press and information neither getting to the people of that country or the outside world. Peter Greste being imprisoned is not just about a few journalists being in jail, it’s about all the abhorrent things that a government or military can do when there is no-one there to report on it.
  • 152 people are on a boat in distress nearing Christmas Island. Maritime code would say if anyone is nearby, you suck up the day or so out of your schedule and you pick these poor people up and feed them til you hit the next port. But that isn’t how it works once Australia is involved, hey Tampa crew? No, we figure that since they made it all the way from their persecution in Sri Lanka or India to “our” waters, clearly we can push back that boat. You know, because a 50/50 chance of torture is still good odds once they make it back.
    Fifty percent chance of torture.
  • I used to have issues when the cops were called to assist with “behaviour management” at a special high school I visited….. no wonder these children were terrified enough to run away after their classmates go taken to immigration detention. These kids watch the news, they know the next step is offshore processing or self-immolation. I’d hide too.
  • Franz Ferdinand married for love. So cool. Here’s a lemon that looks like a hand from one of their palaces in Vienna….
    Freaky Citrus!!!
  • Six months without income is insane.
  • There better not be a wine shortage in Newcastle after this truck fire on the M1 today!

What’s on your mind today?

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I know I’ve managed to keep this place politics-free for a little while.

But this budget just keeps grinding away at me.

Where is the ENCOURAGEMENT to be a better person, a better nation? To support one-another (students, those fresh out of uni, the shot- and longer-term unemployed, people with disabilities, families, the older people who’ve give so damn much to society) to better ourselves individually? Where’s the carrot? It’s all stick.

How does a grown adult whose managed to complete Uni, but finds themselves in the THIRTY percent of graduates who can’t get a full time job in 4 months of finishing uni support themselves when their benefits get cut off the second they walk off campus?

How does a woman ever pay off her “HECS” once it starts accruing interest if she’s lucky enough to have a baby or two?
(sokay, it might be fine once she dies and those kids have to pay it [yeah out of date, but I wouldn’t put it past them!!])

How does someone who lives off casual wage – enough to pay rent and so on, enough to not consistently qualify for benefits or a concession card, but never enough for the unexpected, pay the $7 GP fee, plus the extra for prescriptions, as well as take time off from work because they’re sick? I’ve been a casual worker, and not just in hospitality, in a professional role as a speech pathologist, and weighing up whether to go in sick or not is an added stress I really don’t like dealing with.

Oh yeah, those of you who had a Costelllo baby. You know, one fore dad, one for mum, one for the country, and liked that Costello and Howard flicked you some money to help you out? Yeah, not this decade. Sorry guys, you get to pay the way for those over 6ers yourself. You know, if mum can find a 9:30 to 2:30 job somewhere so all the money she earns doesn’t go on daycare.

Or maybe you were relying on the NDIS to have continued funding so your job that your preciously state-funded job might still exist into the future? (add to that Gonksi, or secular “chaplains”)

What else?

Oh there’s a billion things, like cutting legal aid for vulnerable kids, women, indigenous people and refugees…. or deregulation of universities, or the constant reassessment if people on disability support

I could go on.

But I’m tired.

And really, where IS the problem?

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If anyone was to kick off the republican debate, it was surely to be because of a move from Tony Abbott…. in this case, bringing back knighthoods!

While I know it is a step back in time, sometimes we need them. To make people think. To make people realise what an outdated institution the British monarchy is, and our part of it being even more backwards!

So, bring back the titles I say.

They will help rouse the awareness of the country…

To how backward we really are.

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LNP miniters

*sigh*

Instead I’ll listen to new music from a talented Kiwi.

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