a free society and other dreams

November 16th, 2004

I was going to comment on Downer et al and their plan to make Australia larger. I suspect this is so that we (please exclude me in that we) can mine the Barrier Reef and further buttress ‘fortress Australia.’

Then I had an opinion about the proposed changes to the Government’s national security agenda, but I seem to have reached my fill of outrage at how quickly this government is rolling back basic human rights.

Then in my wanderings I came upon this and I got to a place beyond incredulous.

Let me tell you why.
I was very young when I first saw Bob Dylan perform live in Australia. I was dating an older man who bought me a ticket to see him play Festival Hall in Melbourne. It was an amazing time and I can remember feeling alive and vibrant and on-the-verge-of-having-my-voice-matter. As said, I was young. This is what young people need to do. They need to be able to explore who they are and what they believe in with minimal top-down scrutiny.

The older man fell by the wayside (metaphorically; not literally), but my love of Bob Dylan stayed strong and he was as important an artist when I saw him again much later (supported by Patti Smith) at the Darwin amphitheatre.

What is happening to us (and in us I include the US) when we read much more than is appropriate or necessary into young people making a political statement? I feel very old and I feel I have let this generation of young people down.

I am currently playing all my Bob Dylan songs to my teenage children and if the AFP try and question any young person in this house they will all point their fingers at me and say.

"That political stuff that’s not ours, that’s our daggy mother’s crap music."

…and my heart will break (again) as I realise that the young already seem to know that they are beaten and don’t bother to engage in the political debate and when/if they do a world of hurt comes down on them…

"You fasten the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion
As young people’s blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud"

Masters of war – Bob Dylan circa. 1963We should support the youthful journey of exploration, searching and questioning. Instead we are complicit in the quelling of peaceful dissent.

Shame on us.

Privacy & Medicare Item # 35643

November 14th, 2004

I apologise that I missed this when it was published.

It is evident that Health Minister Tony Abbott has been fomenting this ill horror for some time.

Women will be required to declare abortions on their Medicare paperwork under a plan being considered by the HoWARd Government.

I can only assume that HoWARd (and others) ordered Tony to keep his social engineering to himself until the subject could be considered without the sensitivities of an imminent election.

I can just imagine the conversation:

Tony: "There are far too babies being killed John"

John: "Babies killed? Where?"

Tony: "Abortions. Morning after pills. Me, Nick, Ando, Kevin and God, we’re not happy"

John: "Listen Tony, if you keep quiet; Lie if you are directly questioned; Avoid media scrutiny of your agenda, then I’ll provide extra money directed to mothers who give birth to babies from midnight on 30 June this year. How does 3 thousand dollars sound? That should keep a few of them from aborting until after we win and then it’s all yours. Save as many as you can. Make it as difficult as possible. We’ll never stop the rich ones, but we will stop quite a lot. Use every Government Department that’s relevant. And Tony, remember my name is out of it"

Julie Robotham says it best.

No waiting at Pregnancy Counselling Centres

November 11th, 2004

Abortion Grief Counselling Association (AGCS) has sent letters to all members of federal parliament asking them to consider strategies to cut the number of abortions, including a ban on coercion.

"Across Australia the (pre-abortion) counselling is a smorgasbord of what some would consider to be state of the art counselling through to plain old sales pitch to vulnerable people in crisis, with the occasional outright coercions,"

"We recommended strategies that give women more time, ensure they are adequately warned, a legal penalty for those who coerce women to abort and for the training of health care providers to identify and treat abortion trauma." – AGCS national coordinator Julie Cook.

There are stringent, regulations on Counsellors. Can we make that assertion for politicians?

If you know of someone who coerces their clients (on any issue) call their peak body and report them. The organisation will take your complaint seriously and the offender will be banned from practicing if an allegation is proved.
Get them out of the system.

transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): co·erced; co·erc·ing
Etymology: Latin coercEre, from co- + arcEre to shut up, enclose
1. To restrain or dominate by force
2. To compel to an act or choice
3. To bring about by force or threat

Counselling is about offering information, choice, options and support.
Your assertion that counsellors are motivated by the desire to socially engineer is without basis.

Your legislation is beyond naive.
If you plan to impose "legal penalties" on those that coerce women into having abortions, be prepared to prosecute fathers, boyfriends, partners, casual lovers and husbands in this policy.

Happily pregnant women do not search for alternatives to ‘being pregnant.’ They buy baby clothes, they telephone all their friends and family, they name the spare room the nursery and paint it a ‘calming’ color, and they stay busy being happily pregnant.

Unplanned pregnancies exist, let the information, choice, options and support continue.

Vale Lenin

November 10th, 2004

Vale Lenin

Battalions and families are interchangeable

November 7th, 2004

The Army – Patriarchal, hierarchical, unilateral.
That’s how the Governor General wants to see the family.

There are strict rules regulating gender and roles in the Military. In Australia women are still banned from direct combat roles.

"To be eligible for service as a Commando (ECN079) you must be male. All Commando (ECN079) positions are direct combat positions and Government policy currently precludes women from being employed in these positions."

The GG seems to imply the same ‘gender roles’ rule in terms of women raising boys.

"Boys in many cases are growing up without access to a male role model either at home or in primary school. A lot of boys are going to grow up with a big problem of how to be men, how to treat others and so on."

Boys do know how to be men.
Men are the only ones eligible to be called absent fathers.
Boys observe their absent fathers being men.

Boys observe men all the time. Perhaps the GG is advocating that boys observe men such as Soldiers.
It seems the GG just doesn’t think that the current community construct of maleness is appropriate.

The GG goes on to state that:

"The rate of relationship breakdown is horrific. We’ve got a million kids now living with a single parent, mostly women and most of them through no fault of their own are probably doing it very hard. Not to apportion blame in any sense – relationships do break down – but I’m wondering whether it’s not time to look at whether we are properly preparing people for relationships . . . boyfriends to girlfriends, fiance to fiancee, defactos, husband and wife and so on."

Yes, Sir, apply military thinking. Medcat 4 the "unfit for duty" and put pressure on better outcomes from Recruiting.

Are you and PTE Abbott, SPR Pyne and MAJ Howard advocating for conscription, Eugenics or Social Darwinism Sir?