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Showing posts from June, 2008

What Crisis?

Congratulations; we've all made it to the weekend. So what are well all doing? For me, it goes a little something like this. But if you believe the mainstream media, Australia's young people will be going out and getting drunk. Binge drinking, in fact, on alcopops; and then starting fights, having lots of unsafe sex, and engaging in anti-social behaviour.

If you believe the news, we seem to be in the midst of a binge drinking epidemic. The kids these days are out of control. And why not? So were we.

Thinking back 10-15 years, I really can't see that my generation drank less or were much better behaved in our youth than the current crop of young things. So why is the media now carrying on like the nation is going to hell in a sick bag? It's not like the media don't have enough to report on these days. Maybe it's not the alcohol consumed, but the reaction to it. We were able to look after ourselves; these kids have been pampered to and nannied to their whole lives.…

Tuesday Snarks

It's almost always better to admit culpability than make excuses. Belinda Neal could and should have just said "look, that night I was angry, had a few too many and did the wrong thing; I'm really sorry" and that would have been an end to the matter. But instead, she took the Marcus Einfeld way out and has gotten herself in a whole heap of doo-doo. So I'm saying this now: yes, I knew the gun was loaded, and I'm sorry.

To quote Richard Glover, "People, it's said, get the politicians they deserve, but what did the people of NSW do to deserve the NSW Government?" To take just one of the myriad pains caused my this mob, what did we do to deserve World Youth Day? The Government is telling us to use public transport if travelling during the hallowed event...then also advising people to avoid CBD train stations as well. Following their advice, I shall be hiring a helicopter to land me on the roof of my building during WYD, and following their example by…

Say No To Devine On Drugs

Miranda Devine opens her latest column, on the evils of harm minimisation, with the story of Angela and Tony Wood, celebrating their daughter Anna's 28th birthday, thirteen years after she died from taking ecstasy - the human face of the anti-drugs movement.

Who else could it be, really? Everytime there's drug-related story in the media, one or both of the Woods pop up, resident "experts" - and as the Jack Marx points out in this excellent column, they really are experts in nothing more than losing a child. According to reports, they've never gotten over their daughter's death, and no wonder. In the years since, they've endlessly parrotted the zero tolerance line, never stopping to slow down and think about what they're doing - or how they're being used.

The point has already been made that harm minimisation could well have saved Anna Wood's life, if her friends had felt able to get help for her earlier. But the Woods have done more damage than …

Singular Policies

We're constantly hearing about how the average age of first time marriage and childbirth is rising; divorce is increasing; and people are choosing to be single for years on end. One quarter of all households now single-person households, and that number is expected to be more than a third in the next twenty years.

So why does the government keep ignoring us?

It's not just this government. It is the pecking order of governments everywhere - Families (especially of the Working variety) are number one, seniors second (they may not actually do anything for the seniors, but they do at least rate a mention) and singles don't even appear on the radar.

We pay maximum rates of tax, and there are never any policies that benefit us. It's the received wisdom that families are the ones who deserve the goodies and no one questions it - not even the singles themselves. Maybe, as our numbers increase, we should stand up and demand our share of the government largesse. We should demand th…

What's Wrong With Rudd

"Put not your trust in kings and princes. Three of a kind will take them both."

Piers Akerman says that Kevin Rudd is a failure as a Prime Minister, evidenced by the fact that the Kevin 07 crowd has disappeared. This overlooks the reason why we've dissipated: because Rudd has turned out to be so much like Akerman's hero, John Howard.

Maybe it would help if Rudd were actually in the country more often. No doubt he'd argue that he's furthering Australia's interests overseas, but isn't that what we have a Foreign Minister for? Even if Stephen Smith has to stay in and wash his hair, surely we could accomplish the same with a few trade delegations.

Because there's a lot for Rudd to be getting on with back home. They have done good things - signing the Kyoto protocol, apologising to the Stolen Generations, and getting the Australian troops out of Iraq.

But whilst these have been commendable, they're also laregly tokenistic (espeically since the apology …

The Week In Review

For perhaps the first time of my life, I actually wish I was an American, so I could get caught up in the Obamamentum. Without sentiment, it must be so exhilirating to witness (and participate in, for the lucky ones) such a pivotal moment in history - especially after the sludge of the last eight years. Here in Australia, our long nightmare ended last year (though with the best will in the world Rudd is no Obama), and I hope the American nightmare is finally coming to an end. Now come on Clinton - stop hogging the spotlight and get out of the way.

More whining about petrol prices this week. Brendan Nelson has proposed using the petrol excise to increase aged pension payments. Whilst I'm sure most people would agree the pension should be increased, let's see whether they'd be happy paying more for fuel to fund it.

John Howard may have kissed some serious Presidential backside, but apparently our new PM enjoys consuming even weirder things. I myself enjoy sardines on toast - I…

Gender Bores

I'm trying to remember when was the last time I was as fed up of something to the extent that I'm over Sex and the City - The Movie.

Well - not the movie itself, as much as the endless hype surrounding it, espeically the oft-repeated remark "every woman is excited about this movie". Here's (at least) one who isn't.

Patty and Selma may have thought the series was "just like looking at their lives". It's not like mine. I'm a city-dwelling, "career woman" but I don't do relationships, I don't have girlfriends, I don't care about fashion (who needs endless pairs of - manolos? I'm not bothering to check the spelling - as long as you have stripey socks). I've never seen an episode of Sex and the City, and all I know about it is based on the opinions of cartoon characters, such as Brian's comment "So, this is a show about three hookers and their mom?"

Nonetheless, apparently I should be getting excited about…

Australia's Out

Some good news, at the beginning of our winter of discontent. Australian combat troops are withdrawing from Iraq.

What the hell were we doing there in the first place? We all know the story - the Iraq war was justified by lies. And instead of putting things right when the truth came out, Bush, Blair and Howard spent five years trying to shove the genie back in the bottle. The whole thing has cost us about $2.3 billion dollars directly (I'm not even going to go into what it has cost our standing as a nation).

Still, there's not a huge amount of political mileage for Rudd in this decision; compared to other nations involved, Australia has had very little public backlash against the war and our involvement. It's not hard to see why. Thankfully, Australia has lost no troops in combat in Iraq. That could be because of the excellent standard of our troops, or just possibly because the Australain troops haven't actually done any fighting. They've been the waterboys of the C…