Thursday, December 18, 2008

so black it's read - xkcd

I love xkcd and laser-scope your loved ones is right up there with my all time favorite cartoon from the 80s...

"So many men, so few bullets."

google credits the quote to Adrienne Gusoff. ABC reckons a female politician from 80s had the poster in her office. I remember it as a cartoon.

A classic exercise in identifying minority humour. Is it funny if you change the object from men to women? No.

Modern versions include "So many terrorists, so few bullets" Darkly twisted.

But not as lightly twisted as xkcd.

AVOs - how to fix the broken system!

"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention!"

This is so depressing. Another woman killed after taking out an AVO. Melissa Cook took out an AVO. Her soon to be ex-husband shot her and then killed himself.

Last month the Herald revealed that at least 74 women and dozens of children die in Australia each year at the hands of violent men. Experts warn the real rates are even higher because of weaknesses in the way homicide data is collected.

Melissa's death will not be counted in these figures. As her husband is dead, he will not be charged. That's what is being counted here. How many men are charged. Not how many women and children are killed.

I've had some friends go through this recently and I was kind of involved in the recent campaigns against gender violence. It's not my favorite issue to get bent about but it's driving me crazy grumpy.

I have an idea. We should give everyone man, woman and child who applies for an AVO a mobile phone (or similar emergency beacon). Paint it bright yellow. Make the buttons big. Set it to contact emergency services only and the battery will last for about 3 months. They make pretty good location broadcasters too.

So, you ask for an AVO. While you're waiting for stuff to happen, you have an emergency beacon. Any time you set it off, police respond in person. There may be false alarms. Of course there will be! But imagine the deterrent effect!

If everyone expects the emergency AVO to be answered, then there will be far fewer attempts to threaten and harm. If we as a society agree that it is valuable to take an AVO seriously enough to provide some sort of real protection, then we start to change. The need for protection will decrease.

This would be totally cheap to set up from a technology point of view. A mobile phone will do it. The manpower to respond is the tough one. The NSW police force is trying to cut down on overtime due to extreme budgetary constraints. I also hear that more than 70% of police time is spent in court or on paperwork.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Vale Dorothy Porter 1954 - 2008

True original ... Dorothy Porter.
Photo: Steve Baccon
An extraordinary writer and warrior has died. I didn't know her but part of my surrounds has vanished and I don't know which I regret more, the empty shape or something else eventually filling it. Bloody breast cancer.

Her works live on but who and what she was were very important to anyone, any female, who savored words and wildness; australia, sex and cigarettes on the night wind.

I'm female
I"m not tough
droll or stoical.

I droop after
wine, sex
or intense conversation.

The streets coil around me
when they empty

I'm female
I get scared.

an excerpt from Dorothy Porter's mesmeric poem novel, The Monkey's Mask.

more from the world today (abc) "Poetry has always dealt with taboo material from way back. That's part of its sort of holy nature, its vocation is to tackle huge and morally ambivalent themes."
wikipedia "Porter was a self-described Pagan, committed to pagan principles of courage, stoicism and commitment to the earth and beauty." Perhaps the best definition of woman warrior I've found.
and sydney morning herald and herald sun "she was a grand theme person, a sensualist and romantic"

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sunday sports and Monday thoughts

So much for my new world order! I was going to blog on Sport on Sunday, Thoughts on Monday and then do real work for a couple of days. And maybe catch up on my commenting. And maybe blog again on Thursday or Friday if inspired.

In fact, I dream of starting the new Woman Warrior Feature with some in depth interviews with any woman warrior who crosses my path. But that's a Thursday Thing... Or should that be the Wednesday Woman Warrior. Yep. Alliteration wins hands down over convenience.

But so much for my Sunday. The TIVO ate the last 6 weeks W League coverage and I'm so far behind the season that my dreams of being a W League blogger have disintegrated like a biodegradable shopping bag. Only a damn sight faster.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

the new tipping point - global food shortage

That, plus global communication creating higher living expectations across the globe. Combine with greater access to transport and I think that war torn hungry and angry countries will increasingly plant their issues violently on the comfortable doorsteps of previously inaccessible and unimaginable places.

Like Australia. We are seen as one big empty food bowl. That we fail to utilise. Our food production, especially in light of the increase diversion of food stuffs to biofuels was very poor this year. Several years of drought affected poor wheat harvests and virtually NO rice production since 2003.

Queensland MP, Bill Heffernan is lobbying for the northern states to become the farms of the nation. Ploughing under the wilderness. In the USA, Obama and the Democrats have a very protect local farmers policy which has ramifications globally on food prices and shortages. But that is unlikely to change with the mini financial crisis.

So where to? Lack of technological advances in food technology internally (modified foods banned) or making too expensive to use externally (ie. golden rice too expensive for asian countries to plant) are to blame, alongside the diversion of food to fuel and the increased population.

The increased population of the world is also increasingly fond of protein, which demands more acres to produce per kilojoule (grain acres PLUS meat acres).

great illustration by Harry Afentoglou to accompany article by Paul Myers December 6, 2008

Going hungry in the 21st century

Saturday, December 6, 2008

16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence - Greens Stuff It Up!

In the last sitting day of Parliament, NSW Labor Party rushed through a bill that allows men with AVOs that have expired to have the AVO revoked if they want to purchase a gun. Previous law meant that once you had an AVO, you couldn't get or renew a gun license for 10 years. Seems reasonable.

 This is the same state government who recently back pedalled on the 28 day cooling off period for gun purchases. Now, if it's the same type of gun you already have or have had in past, there is no need for you to wait to purchase another.

I can see the rationale. I can also see a lot of big loopholes waiting to be exploited. Why is this so?

Thank you GREENS!!!!
The Greens and Christian Democrat MP, Gordon Moyes, vote with the Opposition to block Government legislation. That means the NSW Labor Party needs the vote of the two Shooters Party MPs and the Reverend Fred Nile in the upper house to get legislation through.

That means a lot of pro gun legislation going through. Today marks the date that a lone disgruntled gunman massacred 14 female engineering students (injuring 14 others) in Montreal because "he was fighting feminism".

Thursday, December 4, 2008

What good company I keep! ANDRA is...

in France, the Agence du Radioactive Waste... at doing my bit for MAN and the environment

in Australia, the Australian National Drag Racing Association at what can I say excepting World's Fastest Female in action on Boxing Day!

I do my bit for drag racing here in Newtown, I snark gaily.

just ... Dylan covers

I dithered over spending $25 to secure my name as my domain in 1998 for too long. Someone else got it. I'm sad that they never do anything cool with it. For a while there, in Germany was good but he's disappeared. Atleast there are some other interesting andras out there!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Fight the Good Fight at Darley Developments

I'm putting the blogging into use. So much is getting knocked down around us and the battles to reduce the impact are so draining, unproductive and fragmented that I've decided on a course of community building action.

A blog space for all the local residents to complain about the crap developments and to find out who has fought what, where and how.

It's a small suburb. The same developer that did the really shoddy work down one end of the street is starting afresh up the other. The people behind us who shouldn't have let our place be surveyed by the development we're fighting, didn't realise it wasn't their surveyor cause they're having work done.

In Marrickville, it's customary to throw a party when your plans go to council, celebrating your family extension! There's a different flavour here. All the good big houses are getting bought, knocked down and turned into tiny ghettos by developers who DON'T LIVE HERE!