Friday, August 29, 2008

Here endeth the lesson

I grew up on a street in Wales named after the architect and implementer of the NHS in the UK. I don't know if that colours my opinion in regards to the health system and my feelings on Private vs. Public, but here it is summed up by the man himself:

""No society can legitimately call itself civilized if a sick person is denied medical aid because of lack of means" - Aunerin Bevan

Q, E and bloody D, my freinds.

N.B: For a time, when I couldn't afford to do otherwise, I had Private Health cover through Medibank Private.

I cancelled it last month.

Live by sword, etc.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Parents can be immature too.

This is a good thing, as far as I'm concerned.

(For those too lazy to click - a mother is up-in-arms (so up in arms she's taking payment for her story from current affairs shows, I might add) that her 14-year old daughter was taken to a doctor by the school nurse to have the contraceptive pill prescribed)

If a 14-year old girl is sexually active, it's a damn good idea for her to be on the pill. If she approaches the school nurse, is that nurse then supposed to turn her away?

Is she supposed to inform a parent who the student is clearly not comfortable discussing her sex life with, thus losing the trust of the student?

Refuse to take her to the doctor and instead end up counselling her on termination services?

Pretend it isn't happening and hope it goes away?

Fact is, some parents aren't approachable on matters such as this, or for whatever reason, a teenager doesn't feel comfortable approaching their parents. In an ideal world, it wouldn't happen, but it does.

The student in this case, clearly felt she could approach the school nurse, and as far as I'm concerned, did the right thing by ensuring at least one adult would have the trust of the student.

The schools first duty of care should always be to the student. Quite frankly, the sensibilities of the parent are a very distant second to the health of the student under their care.

And that includes their sexual health. I think it's great that the student in this case felt comfortable enough going to someone - anyone - at the school for advice and assistance.

The real tragedy here isn't that the school nurse then provided that support, it's that the mother decided that it was in her daughters best interest to involve the media, instead of having a damn long think about why her daughter didn't feel comfortable enough to discuss it with her.

I can only imagine how deeply embarrassed this girl is going to be, and how soon it will be before she's being mercilessly teased and bullied because her mother didn't stop and think for one minute about who is really to blame here and what the consequences of her actions would be.

In this case, her daughter is thinking through the consequences of her actions by making sure she takes at least some precautions if she is sexually active or thinking about being sexually active, whilst her mother is thinking only in terms of who else is to blame.

Monday, August 25, 2008

When ironic just doesn't cover it.

I’m going to start to sound like a broken record, but you know what? Tough. This is my little corner of the intertubes, and I’ll use it as I see fit.

This organisation is pro-life, as is their want. Please note the name - Tell the Truth Coalition.

Everyone has a right to an opinion. I've got no issue with that.

What I do have an issue with is this bunch of badly constructed lies:

The Victorian Government is considering the removal of all legal protection for children up until the moment of birth!

Once this is made law it will:
• Legalise ALL abortions until the moment of birth.
• Punish medical staff who refuse to co-operate in an abortion.
• Deny legal protection to women being coerced to have an abortion.
• Allow violent offenders to end the life of an unborn child without murder or manslaughter charges.
Say NO to legalising abortion in Victoria! Contact your local member of parliament today. Click here to find your local member.

Uh, guys? Have you actually read what the legislation proposes? Because not one of the above contentions is true.

Let's look at it step by step, shall we?

"Legalise ALL abortions until the moment of birth"

No, it doesn't. What it does is legalise all abortions up until 24 weeks. After this point - and here's what the bill itself has to say - "The registered medical practitioner may only perform such an abortion if the medical practitioner reasonably believes that the abortion is appropriate in all the circumstances, and the medical practitioner's belief is supported by at least one other registered medical practitioner"

"Punish medical staff who refuse to co-operate in an abortion"

No, what the bill says is that if a medical practitioner is not comfortable performing or advising a woman on an abortion or termination services, they must refer them to a another practitioner. All women must have equal access to whatever services are available. There are no prescribed penalties for not participating in an abortion. The only exception is "a registered medical practitioner is under a duty to perform an abortion, and a registered nurse is under a duty to assist in the performance of an abortion in an emergency where the abortion is necessary to preserve the life of the pregnant woman" So effectively, there is no change to the current law.

"Deny legal protection to women being coerced to have an abortion."

Actually, this isn't just a misinterpretation of the change in law, it's an out and out lie. There is nothing - nothing at all - in the new bill, or any of the amendments to the current law that mention denying legal protection to women being coerced to have an abortion.

Yet there are many mentions, in any resource you care to glance at, for women who feel they are being pressured. I would also suggest heading to your nearest Church, because I know most Churches do know the details of services that can assist if you feel pressured, and all Catholic churches I've attended have counselling services if not on hand, then a phone call away.

"Allow violent offenders to end the life of an unborn child without murder or manslaughter charges"

Now this one, this one is almost clever. This one almost works, if it wasn't for the structure of it. Because I suppose it would be a matter of opinion as to what a "violent offender" is, in the case of an abortion. The assumption is that any doctor who has ever performed an abortion is a "violent offender".

Now, if the word "offender" wasn't used, they'd almost, almost be able to get away with this one. But offender? Means against the law. So unless the "Violent Offender" has been charged and convicted under the Destruction of Children Act - which we know no-one has since the Menhennitt ruling in R v Davidson (1969) - you couldn't honestly call them an offender, could you?

Pro-Lifers, a challenge: If you want to protest against the current changes before parliament, that's your right. That's your democratic right in this country and most others, and I respect that.

But do it without lying. Because only the most naieve are going to swallow that bunch of lies and propaganda.

*Hat tip to Suburban Marxist andPrivate Tom

Friday, August 22, 2008

A veritable Glut of posts

Yes, yes, I'm an all or nothing type of girl. You knew this. At least, if you know me at all, you do.

Anyway, I have this question* floating around in my head:

If you are not tolerant about intolerance, does that make you intolerant?

Because I'm really not tolerant about intolerance.

*Answers thus far have been "No, it makes you an idiot" and "I think it means you think too much"

Feed Problem Update

After yet another person* pointed out that my default feed craps on about Russian DVD's but doesn't show my crapping on, I've done something about it.

Well, I've got absolutely no idea how to fix the default feed. But I have set up a new feed that should circumvent that problem. If you have Google Reader, click on "Add Subscription" and enter the following address in full:

If you've got some other reader, do something similar. I'm sorry, but I only use Google Reader, so I don't know what you'd do with other reader services.

At the moment if you search for the name of my blog, the crap feed that doesn't work is still coming up. I don't think I can do anything about that either. The new feed might show up in time, it might not. I don't know.

I know that doesn't help if you're already subscribed to the default feed since you won't see this post to change it, but I'm not sure that there's anything I can do about that.

If anyone has any ideas as to how I can change the default feed back to the real content and not the hi-jacked/spammed content, that would be great. If not, follow the instructions above.

* Thank you to everyone who has pointed it out. Much appreciated.


Thanks to Arpee's suggestion, the feed should now be available on whatever reader you happen to be using. Please let me know if this is not the case

It never rains but it pours

If this is true, then even I would be surprised at how low the Herald Sun will go.

I’ve discussed in the past my feelings on gutter press, paparazzi and intrusive journalism, but a quick rehash in relation to this specific incident:

I cannot abide “news” organisations thinking anyone who is in the public eye is public property. Everyone, regardless of their status, is entitled to some privacy, no matter how small.

And I think even the most public of persons deserves to not be hassled into doing an interview when they have a brain injury.

(For the out-of-towners - An AFL Football player was hit by a tram and ended up with brain injuries. The media outlets were well informed about his condition by the football club and players association (and his manager) that he was not well enough to do interviews. The Herald Sun went ahead and turned up at his house and pestered him. He said no, so the same journalist came back with a photographer dressed in the footballers team strip and got the interview. His football club and the Players Association are, needless to say, not happy)

Jesus, Herald Sun. You’re on a role today, aren’t you?

Another Andrew Bolt article having a dig at someone who may have been diagnosed with a mental illness, and you’ve got the trio before lunch-time.

A big fat tick for factually incorrect reporting


Now, really. This article grabs you in on the premise that the proposed legalisation of abortion in the State of Victoria might not go through after all. Being Pro-Choice and having signed the petition to get this bill introduced in the first place, I was intrigued, and not a little confused.

Why I would worry that anything written in the Herald Sun might be accurate, I don’t know.

The first thing I noticed was this quote “This week, the Herald Sun contacted every MP, asking if they supported the proposed Bill to allow Victorian women to terminate pregnancies up to 24 weeks.

After that, an abortion could still occur but only with the consent of two doctors.”

No, no, NO. An “abortion” could not occur. A TERMINATION could. There’s a difference. A women who is required to undergo a termination for medical reasons does not undergo an abortion. She undergoes a termination.
Problem the second:

“The survey found that, of 128 MPs, 31 said "yes", just two days after Women's Affairs Minister Maxine Morand introduced the Bill to the Lower House. Twenty-three rejected the proposal, 13 were undecided and 61 did not respond.”

You cannot extrapolate statistical data on a decision in the Lower House when just under half of the MPs did not respond. Nor can you claim from your survey that “Abortion Bill faces struggle in Victoria”

Oh, but it gets better. This has to be the best quote I’ve seen from a Pro-Life proponent during this issue thus far:

“Upper House Liberal member Matthew Guy said it would be a sad day if the Bill became law.

"Tail-docking a dog would be illegal, putting a lobster in boiling water would be illegal, but it will be legal to abort a six-month-old child if this Bill passes," he said”

First, putting a lobster in boiling water is not illegal. Putting a live lobster in boiling water might be (Although I don’t think it is), but putting a lobster in boiling water is not.

Secondly, six-month-old child? I know the usual pro-life technique of replacing the medical terminology for embryo or fetus to ramp-up the emotive component of the argument, but what you’re actually suggesting there, Matthew Guy, is that pro-choice advocates (and this bill) are pushing for the legal murder of a six-month-old child.

Ah, No. This bill advocates for legal abortion up to 24 weeks. We’re not advocating for legal abortion up to 66 weeks. We aren’t advocating for the legal “abortion” of a child six months after it is born.

The pro-life movement is never going to be taken seriously or have any credibility whilst it’s deliberately misusing terms, engaging in deception and replacing facts and figures with emotive, incorrect terminology.

MP’s of Victoria, please give the women of your constituencies the right to choose. The right to decide what happens to their bodies. Enshrine in law our Reproductive rights.

Oh, and while you’re at it, ban the damn wingnuts from within 50 metres of Family Planning clinics. Women who are facing difficult choices should not have to endure harassment.

Morning Rant Over.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sydney Photos - Finally!

Busy at the moment, with work and another blogging project in the works. In the meantime, Photos from my Sydney trip, Finally.

First cab off the rank - Nicholas, the WonderBaby, with patented NeverCry technology:

Amber, Shay And Nicholas with their Grancha:

Benjamin and Nicholas, trying to stay still for the camera:

Some landmark thing. I hear it's big in Sydney:

The creepy face I had entirely forgot about, in the National Park next door to my Aunt and Uncles house:

The Three sisters. I'm actually rather pleased with this shot:

Some other landmark, dancing to a tune no-one can hear (In other words, my inability to disable a pretty cool function on the camera results in a pretty funky shot:

An almost good shot of the Gorge at Katoomba ruined by those bloody pilgrims:

Better Gorge Shot:

Friday, August 15, 2008

Too Early

Two things I've noticed in the last two days -

*Wattle around my area is out and yellow already.

*At a beauty salon on my walk to the station - Christmas decorations.

Have I fallen asleep and woken up months later? Have I been in a coma?
Have I been so engrossed in Guitar Hero that I've lived hermit-like without realising it?

Or are people (and plants) just more screwed up than I thought?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Goodbye cruel Circus, I've gone to join the world

I've just lost my Guitar Hero virginity. I may never leave the house again.

**Update** Finished the easy level already. I cannot describe how much satisfaction I got from absolutely nailing She Sells Sanctuary.

Monday, August 11, 2008

If there's Olympic medal for crazy, the Gold is in the bag.

Last week was not my most sparkling. Those who've spoken to me or had some other contact with me will know things were not great, and I cannot thank you enough for bearing with me. A post is forthcoming on it, and you can all sound the Everythings Okay alarm until then.

But of special mention are Bron, who noticed something was amiss, e-mailed me and kept a text tag on me on Friday night and MBB, who found me important information when I most needed it and listened to my frustrations and bitching when she's got her own shit going on.

These bitches, they are teh shit. They are the bees knees, the cat's pyjamas. If I were gay and same-sex marriages and bigomy were legal, I'd marry them tomorrow.

Also, to the two poor bastards who copped my panicky madness on the phone, I am sorry for those very odd phone calls, and for not mentioning the reason behind the crazy before it became apparent. That probably wasn't my smartest move.

Mea Culpa, mea culpa.

Anyway, normal programming has pretty much resumed (As much as ever), and I am very much looking forward to a good night's sleep.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Oh, YES!

I am in heaven.

All of my prayers have been answered.

There should be parades in the streets. Strangers should hug and dance and cheer.

It should be a Public Holiday. There should be carnivals, and parties and old men should weep in the streets.

But even if there isn't, I don't care. Nothing can tain this most special of days.

Wolfmother are dead. Long live less-shit bands.

Unhelpful Helpfulness

God damn it, large nameless company. Two days ago when I really didn't need it you were unreasonable, unwilling to help and obstructive.

Today, when I was relishing the idea of a knock-down, drag out telephone grudge match, you couldn't have been more efficient. Or helpful. You gave me the info I needed with a friendly attitude, and even wished me a pleasant weekend.

You Bastards.


This post started off as just a retelling of what happened on Saturday, morphed into a short story, took a brisk stroll through Rantville (with a pit-stop to fill up on Vitriol) and ended with me realising I should have written this post a year ago and damned the consequences. If it comes across as angry, it's not. It's incredulous. The only person I'm angry at is myself.

Oh, and whilst I usually try not to swear too much on this blog, I'm relaxing that for this post. Fuck it.

Just one more quick word: If the people involved in this little side-show alley drama are worried that I'll be divulging things they'd rather I didn't, I won't. I've got more class than that. But just remember that class or no, it pays to realise who holds the aces.

Play nicely, children.

On Saturday, A and myself went to the football. And as is our usual practice, one of us was running late (me) and I had both our memberships, so instead of a casual stroll to our seats, we were in something of a hurry.

A few minutes before quarter time, I decided that negotiating the crowds at the break wasn't my bag, and scurried downstairs to grab some food.

Walking back up the stairs, I paused to tuck my purse under my arm, and looking up, less than twenty metres from my seat, saw something that nearly made me drop my over-priced, lukewarm chips - a head and hat i'd know anywhere.

The Boy.


(Cliff notes version: Ex-Boyfriend. Together three years, split up three times, took him back twice. One major betrayal I can't really talk about, dumped me the day after I was made redundant and gave me less than two days to find somewhere else to live, last May. If you want more details, check the archives from July 2004 to June last year.)

Now, one of his best friends sits on the end of the aisle a dozen seats back, so I walk past his friend a few times a game. I don't say anything to him, he doesn't say anything to me, it works fine. I've had those seats for three years.

I walked back to our seats and told A what I'd seen.

"He knows we sit here" He frowned.

"Yup. You know his friend who sits on the aisle? He's sitting with him"

A turned around and had a look.

"You're right, it's him" He swivelled back around in his seat "I should blow him a kiss. Did he see you?"

"I have no idea. I only saw the back of his head. I just walked straight down the aisle and didn't turn my head" I smiled as he turned in his seat again.

"Stop it!" I shoved him. "You're a child"

"His friend is looking at us" He turned back to me. "I can't believe you recognised him from the back of his head"

"Are you kidding me? He's wearing that stupid hat he always wears to the football" How many times had I playfully threatened to burn or lose that hat? How many times had I seen that black coat? How many times had he had to pick my hairs off it and pretended to be exasperated? I didn't need to see his face.

"Oh, yeah. Are you going to say hello?" A turned to me.

"Why?" I asked, startled. Whilst A and The Boy had always gotten along, I knew A thought I was better off with him out of my life.

"To be friendly?" He suggested, starting to smirk.

"A, we're not friends. We haven't spoken since September. What would I say, even if I wanted to?"

A laughed. "Good point. Well, he never did anything wrong by me, so I'll say hello when I pass"

"I never did anything wrong by him and look where that got me"

"Yeah, you didn't do enough wrong by him, that's your trouble" He smiled.

"True that" I laughed. A turned serious.

"Keri, he knows we sit here"

"I know"

"And his friend must have told him we still sit here" He turned again.

"Probably" I shrugged.

"Aren't you going to even look at him?"

"What's the point? I know what he looks like" I sighed. "A, I don't care anymore. I'm done with it. It's weird that he's sitting there, but I don't care whether it's coincidence, mind games or whether I just don't exist to him any more"

"Fair enough. Back soon" A loped away, and was back within minutes, grinning.

"What did you do? Do I want to know?" I smiled. Of course he would tell me. Especially if I didn't want to know.

"Stole his hat" A grinned.

"You didn't!"

"Nah, just took it off his head and pretended to run away. Came back, said hello, and that was it" He shrugged.

"Fair enough. Happy now?"

"Yip" A folded his arms smugly and grinned at me. "Bet you won't last the whole game without looking at him"

Oh, but I did. You see, the odd thing about forgiving someone because you love them, is that when the love dies so does the forgiveness. And what I'd forgiven him for was worse than most.

I don't know that was angry. I thought I was, on Saturday after the game when I was telling someone over the phone about it.

But I'm not now. Well, look; I'm not some Zen-filled hippy who never loses their temper, but I don't wish him any harm. I'm angry at myself. If I see him or someone asks about him, I get a lurch of "You IDIOT" come over me.

I still can't believe I took him back when he'd already done that to me twice.

I can't believe we spent so much time with his friends and so little with mine. And I let that slide.

I can't believe I let so many of my friends go by the wayside because he was uncomfortable around people he didn't know and I'd feel guilty.

I can't believe I forgave him when he betrayed me and worse, lied about it for months and let me find out from the one person I least wanted to speak to - ever - because he was too fucking gutless to do it himself.

I can't believe I didn't punch him in the face when he told me part of the reason he ditched me the second time was because he felt guilty about what he'd done and couldn't face it anymore. Even though I never threw it back in his face, never made it hard on him.

I can't believe all I said was "How dare you punish me for something you've done?" and "You'll never get another tear out of me. I've wasted too many on you"

I can't believe I made it until the last of my belongings was in the hastily obtained truck my father and brother brought round before I said anything harsh.

I can't believe my last words on leaving were "You're pathetic"

I can't believe I kept that promise - he never saw me cry during that break-up.

I can't believe how much I censor myself here because I gave someone I despise my word (Yes, you. Playing the fucking victim while you twisted the knife? I should have kicked your sorry arse when I had the chance) You never kept your word, not once.

I should have written this post last May, when I was still raw, still hurt. Still angry, and trying to make sense of it all. Now, I know that there is no sense. And there doesn't need to be.

I have my peace. Seeing him jars it for a moment, but it doesn't shatter it like it used to. I smile, I laugh. He'll never find another person like me, and I'll bet he knows it. He's told me that before.

I used to believe I was lucky to have him, that I didn't deserve him. I look at that now and wonder what the fuck I was thinking. I think of all the times I was the only thing he could rely on. His strength. He said it more than once. He needed me, I was there. Every time. When I needed him, most of the time, he wasn't there. He never gave back that which he got.

I look at it now, and I can smile. I can hold my head high, because even when he least deserved it, I treated him with respect. I never took the revenge that could so easily have been mine. Because I'm better than that.

And I know now, more than ever, that he never deserved my heart, because all he ever did was break it.

Most of all, I'm thankful. I'm not bitter, I still trust, and that's more than I expected.

But last week, it closed a door. He has no power over me now. I'm here, I'm whole, I'm happy.

Gah. Enough! No more. Ever.

Now, a question, ladies and gentlemen. I haven't deleted the posts
about The Boy. It's all still there, though I don't look at it.

So, opinions, people. Trash? Keep it as a testimony of my own stupidity?

In the comments, as always.

**N.B The only comments I've ever deleted have been those that reveal an identity. Please respect that, as I do**

Monday, August 04, 2008

Crossing over to the dark side

I have a confession to make. It's not something I'm proud of, but I need to get this off my chest.

I think I'll feel better once I've told you all.

I did something I swore I'd never do. Something I've been doing for some time now.

It's shameful. It's sick. I know I shouldn't, but I just can't break away. Every time I'm done, I feel sated. But it doesn't last. I need more, and I need it sooner.

I need help, people. I have to find some way to stop. I have to cure myself of this addiction.

I've just spent three hours playing Sudoku. I'm sick.

Please help me, because I can't seem to help myself.

Friday, August 01, 2008

What IS it?

Quick question for Melbournians - you know those yellow and black box things that have been cropping up at train stations all over the place?

What the hell are they? Anyone?