A personal blog where I can vent my feelings and comment on Life, The Universe, And Everything....

Tuesday, August 06, 2002

"The Federal Government yesterday disowned a controversial proposal from one of its own frontbenchers to tighten eligibility for divorce in Australia.

Parliamentary secretary for family and community services Ross Cameron was yesterday standing by his proposal to offer tax incentives for couples prepared to sign up for a new class of "indissoluble" marriage contract, in the hope that lowering the divorce rate would boost fertility in Australia."

- The Age, Tuesday 6th August, 2002

What the….??!!!

I nearly wrote something about this yesterday, but then changed my mind - it was just too ludicrous! Surely no-one in their right mind would even give such an idiotic proposal even the courtesy of a response…only the fact that it rated a second mention in Victoria's most prestigious newspaper got me going…

Might I be so bold as to ask how forcing people who no longer wish to cohabit (for whatever reasons) to stay together is going to "boost fertility" in Australia?!

Does the moron think that by forcing a couple to live together, their carnal desires will (a) get the better of them one dark and windy night and (b) that the woman will conveniently "forget" to take her birth control pill, or that the condom will tear, and that (c) a baby will result? Are we stupid, or something?

Yes sir, and a stork really does deliver the babies, too! What cabbage patch did he crawl out from?

I know that if I were forced to stay in an unhappy marriage, I'd be out the door and looking for someone more compatible to have a relationship with, and if I wanted to have a child at all, it would be with my chosen partner, not necessarily my enforced spouse! I'm sure most people probably feel the same way. Apart from the fact that any spouse who insists on or forces his or her "marital rights" on their partner can be charged with rape. Yup, it's a fact.

The thing is, people are fallible - they make mistakes. Should people who make mistakes be forced to pay the penalty for the rest of their lives? Even murderers who get a "life" sentence usually don't remain in prison until they die of old age! Why should a marriage be any different? Are married people who fall out of love with their partners worse criminals than murderers?

I firmly believed, when my first marriage fell apart, and I still believe today, that children, if there are any, are far better off and more stable with one happy parent than with two parents who are unhappy, or who fight all the time (either verbally or physically!), or who are depressed, or worse, who may force the kids into taking sides. This is not a Good Look, folks! Staying together "for the sake of the children" is no longer a valid option.

Get real, Mr. Cameron… maybe you should find a time machine - you'd make a worthy companion for Saul of Tarsus!
posted by Winter  08:57 AM

Saturday, May 10, 2002

It seems that it takes a lot to get me to write in here, doesn't it...

The Middle East Problem

I have just been reading the responses in "Talking Point", at the BBC News Online site. The question asked was:

"Middle East - What are Israel's Options?"

The responses, from all over the world, were mixed - some thought that Sharon's tactics were working; there have been less suicide bombings during the past few weeks. Some thought that his tactics weren't, and never could work because violence only begat violence. One ever-so-wise person even came up with the rather inane statement: "It's finally been proved "an eye for an eye" doesn't work. How about trying "turn the other cheek" now? "

Firstly, one cannot inflict Christian tenets on Muslims and Jews. Secondly, even if you could get the moderates of both sides to sit down and talk, the extremists would never allow it.

Amongst the many problems besetting the area, which few people seem to be able to see, are these:

  1. A Palestinian state. Pre-supposing that you could get the Muslim extremists worldwide to agree to it, how are they going to divide the land? You cannot have a successful division with the state of Palestine divided into two with an Israeli "corridor" down the middle dividing the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Sorry, it won't work! Cut the land equally in half, horizontally? Nope, guess again. Palestine want Jerusalem as their capital - even if the Israeli's were willing to give it up (which would never happen as long as there is a single Jew left alive on the face of the earth!), Tel Aviv is within the same land division. Scrap that idea. Divide the land equally, vertically? Who gets the sea ports and the trade? Scrap that idea too.
  2. So there's the problem of how to divide the land so that each state gets "its fair share" of the spoils.

  3. The Palestinian refugees. The Palestinians want all their displaced persons, who left their homes back in 1967 - fleeing the advancing Israeli army in terror, of course - to return home. One must realise that this was several generations ago now and the number of those refugees has grown and multiplied. If they all returned (the original refugees, their children, and their grandchildren) to Palestine/Israel, the Israelis have a real and genuine fear that they would be overrun; that the state of Israel could not survive against such numbers. Unfortunately, the countries that have given refuge to these displaced people don't want to keep them, either - there are just too many of them.
  4. So there's the problem of what to do with all the refugees who wish to return to Palestine and whose sheltering countries no longer want to give shelter to.

  5. The Muslim extremists. Pre-supposing (again) that problems 1 and 2 could be successfully dealt with, there's the problem of the Muslim extremists. One cannot pretend that they don't exist, and one cannot discount the serious problem that they present. Few Arab countries will officially recognise Israel as a sovereign state. Muslim extremists not only refuse to recognise Israel as a sovereign state, they also refuse to recognise its right to existence in the first place. One has to be both realistic and practical - the bleeding hearts who can't see that the Muslim extremists want to wipe the state of Israel from the face of the earth are both naive and dangerous. The Muslim extremists (I refuse to lump them all together as "Palestinians" - I'm quite sure that the majority of Palestinians just want to be left alone to pursue their lives peacefully) - the Muslim extremists will continue to fight, to send their suicide bombers, and to spread propaganda that it's because of the wicked Israeli oppression and occupation of their homeland that they're doing it, and that the young people who are sacrificing their lives for "the cause" are martyrs. Even if a way could be found to divide the country fairly, they would still do this. They will not stop until the state of Israel no longer exists.

This, unfortunately, is fact. It is only the extremists who will do this, but it will be enough to ensure that peace never has a chance to exist in that region. If anyone tries to tell you differently, they're either lying, or totally naive and unrealistic.

Conclusion? Is there one? Even if a miracle occurred and the Israelis and whoever their Prime Minister was, together with (the majority of) the Palestinians and whoever their leader was, agreed to jointly and democratically govern the whole area, side by side, impartially and without favour to either side, the extremists from both sides would still cause havoc and attempt to indoctrinate the young and impressionable towards conflict and war, in the name of their "just and holy" cause.

This is the nature of the beast.
posted by Winter  10:56 AM

Tuesday, February 12, 2002

The media have a lot to answer for...

Let's just get a couple of definitions, taken in context, straightened out first, shall we?

Asylum seeker: A person or persons seeking protection and immunity from extradition to their country of origin, to be granted by the government of the country to which they are applying for sanctuary once their claim to such asylum has proven legitimate.

Refugee: A person or persons who have been granted such immunity and who will be accepted into the community of their new country, whether they are already resident in the new country or still residing in refugee camps in another country.

Immigrant: A person or persons who have applied to leave their country of origin for reasons other than political or religious ones (i.e. not refugees or asylum seekers), to re-settle in another country.

Boat People:  Illegal immigrants.

And now, thanks to the media and the bleeding hearts, Australia is being vilified for exercising our right to determine who shall be allowed to enter the country and who shall not.

Let me ask you - if a stranger or strangers trespassed onto your property, declaring that they had every right to because some "Not Nice" people were chasing them with the intent of doing them bodily harm, what would you do?  Say "Oh, that's alright then, come in!  Make yourselves at home!  Here, eat my food!  Sleep in my bed!  Wear my clothes!", or would you call the police and have them taken away until you were able to ascertain whether their claims were true or not before trying to help them?

The media and the bleeding hearts keep bleating about the shocking conditions in the Detention Centres (where these illegal immigrants are being kept until the Government can ascertain whether their claims to be genuine refugees are true or not), but what they don't tell you is often more pertinent to the full story.

They don't tell you, for example, that the conditions in the Detention Centres - especially Woomera - are due to the fact that the detainees themselves trashed the place, set fire to mattresses and furniture, smashed holes in walls, and drank the detergent and disinfectant rather than use it to clean their filthy toilets.  They don't tell you that while Woomera wasn't exactly The Ritz, the conditions there were not only adequate, they were exactly the same as those of the Army, not all that far up the road.  They don't tell you that the reason some of those detainees are still there after several years is due to the generosity of the Government, whom they claim are persecuting them and denying them entry visas, because if their first application is denied, they're allowed to appeal that decision... and if they're still denied refugee status after that appeal, they're allowed to appeal again, and again.  They don't tell you that these appeals have to work their way through our already overburdened legal system, sometimes tying up the courts for years, and denying bona fide refugees, who have applied through the proper channels, the chance to come to this wonderful country.

No, they don't mention any of that, but it's true, nonetheless.

You know, if I'd been ruthless enough to jump the queue and sneak illegally into a country that I wished to make my home, I'd be doing everything within my power - I'd bow and scrape, if necessary - to prove to the Government to which I was applying for asylum, what a model citizen I'd be.  Every time I turned around, I'd want my actions to say "Look how good I am!" I'd be cleaning the Detention Centre, beg for native seedlings with which to plant a garden, ask for books and set up a small class in an attempt to learn English, the language of the country that I desperately hoped would become my new home.  I would use the detergent and disinfectant to keep the toilet blocks healthy - in other words, I would fall all over myself to prove my worth.  And if my application for refugee status were denied, I'd be fervently thanking the Government for giving me the opportunity to appeal that decision.

I certainly wouldn't be trashing and destroying other people's property, emotionally blackmailing the Government to which I was applying for asylum, and I most definitely wouldn't be sewing my children's lips together, or coercing the children to sew their own lips together! (Ha!  A likely story!)

As a concerned Australian citizen, I do not want people who do those sorts of things living in my country, and I don't care if the bleeding hearts say that they're performing such atrocities out of "desperation"!  Desperation?! Pah!  They had decent living quarters, until they trashed them.  They get more than adequate food and clothing given to them, gratis, They have better medical and dental treatment than a lot of our old age pensioners get, and their children are bussed out every day to school and back - I'd say that was pretty damn good treatment, for people who entered the country illegally!

So I don't care what the rest of the world says - I'll back Mr. Howard's stance on illegal immigrants and Boat People to the hilt!
posted by Winter
  11:35 AM

Well, here I go - attempt #2 to get this written... My first attempt was rudely munched by Blogger (and the main reason I decided to go this alone, so to speak, without the somewhat dubious advantages of using a Blogger-type utility)

You know, I'm one of those people who, when they get angry or upset with someone, walk around the empty house, telling 'em what for, ranting and raving, shaking fists, the full bit.. Then, when the person or persons with whom one is angry arrive home at the end of the day, I say nothing... I can't!  I've already said it all, and got it off my chest.  Shame, in a way... because the person (or persons) with whom I am angry never get to know just how much they've upset me.  It was the same with my entry on illegal immigrants that Blogger munched.  I'd gone to a great deal of effort, to try to express myself lucidly and well, to state my case in a logical and objective manner... all for naught, it seemed.  And having said/written it all, I simply didn't have the energy or motivation to try to write it all again.

Until a girlfriend of mine came over yesterday and got me started on the topic all over again - so, thank you Tabitha!  The world may yet get to hear Ms. Winter's take on asylum seekers, refugees, immigrants, and illegal immigrants (AKA "Boat People"), after all!
posted by Winter 
10:18 AM

Thursday, February 07, 2002

Oh, it gets better and better!  I searched everywhere to find out how I could increase my time in Blogger without getting logged out...  Couldn't find ENYTHING remotely to do with it (by this time I'd been logged on for about... Oh.... twenty minutes?)  In desperation I decided to go to their Discussion board, to ask for help.

Uhhh... where, and how, do I Post?  Even trying to REPLY to a message (so that I could reply by saying "Hey!  How do I post a question in here?!") I was informed.... Uhhh... I had to be logged in to be able to Reply??

(sigh*) So I logged in... and I logged in again, and again, but according to Blogger, I wasn't logged in and couldn't Post, or Reply to a message.

So that's it.  I give up!  I'll do it this way (and at least this way I KNOW I won't get logged off, or lose my entries...)

So there ya go!  I'll do it me own way (as I usually do! {smile})

I've copied the last couple of days off the "old" page, and I'll just go on from here...
posted by Winter  12:36 PM

Yeah, well it did do it again (told me I wasn't logged into Blogger)

I wonder just how long I do have, before I get unceremoniously dumped (without a warning, even! A warning would be nice! (nodes head emphatically))

The jury is still out on whether to continue with Blogger or not. Yes, I did increase my time to 30 minutes... I think their timer is fast...
posted by Winter  11:01 AM

I'm giving Blogger just one more go...

Yesterday I wrote a long and carefully thought out entry on the so-called asylum seekers here in Australia, and the abysmally bad press we're getting over it.

Apparently I must have taken too long, because when I went to Post (and then Publish) it, all my work was overwritten with the statement that I had been logged out (sorry about that one, chief!) and would I like to log back on again? Not even a chance to save my writing to the clipboard! No "I'm sorry, but you've been logged out - would you like to save your work and try again?", which would at least have been polite! I was so angry I thought I wouldn't use Blogger again.

Humph! This morning I changed my mind and decided to give it another go, however I thought "I'll change my graphics", because I'd been told they were too big for an 800X600 screen. OK, I did this (all in a morning's work, dontcha know), called everything by exactly the same filename, and uploaded them. Nothing changed, except the graphics which had the same name as the old ones! Blogger shouldn't even have noticed!

Oh yes it did though, and... erm... everything vanished! I got error messages when I tried to access the Settings option. I got errors when I tried to post something else... Weird stuff! (shakes head in sad resignation)

Would you believe that I had to access the template and RE-SAVE the UNCHANGED template, to get things back to normal? Well, I guess that maybe you might, at that!

Anyway, we'll see how we go. THIS time I'm going to copy and paste this entry into Notepad before I try to Post and Publish it! However, from the amount of effort that I've had to put into this Blog so far (and my fury and disappointment at having lost the entry I'd gone to so much trouble to write yesterday), I'm beginning to think that I might be better off just "faking" it and doing the whole thing in FrontPage, uploading updates as I write them.... It ain't that different to what Blogger's doing, anyway...
posted by Winter  10:55 AM

Wednesday, February 06, 2002

Taken from "The Age": Tuesday, February 5th, 2002

"Tas govt bans work smokos

Smokers in Tasmania's public service will be required to clock in and out when they leave the office for a smoko, as part of an anti-smoking agreement signed with unions.

The ban on smoking in work hours will begin on March 26.

Workers will not be docked pay but will be required to make up time for every minute spent outside smoking.

The deal, a national first, is part of a state service wage agreement negotiated last year which gave public servants a nine per cent wage rise over two years.

The award does not cover teachers, nurses, police or government ministers.

Under a draft document released last month departments will have to make their own arrangements as to how the ban will be policed and how workers will make up for the time spent on smoko.

Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) Tasmanian secretary Sue Strugnell said unions were unsure how the bans would be supervised.

A government spokeswoman was seeking details relating to the ban.


And I Said:

Well now! And they call Victoria "The Police State"! Where is it going to end? Workers having to clock in and out when they go to the toilet? Why not? Who knows - they could be going off for an (illegal) smoke-o!! Ahhhh... What about diabetic workers? Will they have to clock out and in again if they have to go off to give themselves an insulin injection? After all, other employees don't get those few minutes of paid break to either have a smoke, go to the toilet, or give themselves an insulin injection, take their anti-asthma drugs - whatever... That's the argument, I kid you not! 'It's not fair' (this from the anti smoking league) 'other workers don't get the (paid) time off that smokers do'

Come to think of it, maybe anyone who gets up from their desk/workbench/usual place of work, for any reason should have to clock out and in again - just in case!
posted by Winter 
  6:29 PM


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