NSW Election Day

fuchsia

If you are in New South Wales, the polls have just opened. :)

I’ll be working in a polling booth again today. My apologies for not being around so much this week, I’ve been working on the training and getting organised.

It is a super long day and it’ll take me a couple of days to recover from it, so I won’t be around too much, at least not until Tuesday or so.. :) Have an awesome weekend everyone!

Aussie Culture, elections, politics

Here we go again..

leaders

Please to explain how Bill Shorten is even an option on this poll, news.com.au. Bill Shorten is not a member of the Liberal Party and even if he were to get ALL THE VOTES there is no possible way he can become the leader of it! You might as well put Ronald McDonald on the form as well..

Look, there is zero doubt that Australia adores Malcolm Turnbull. The guy says what he thinks and it has cost him dearly at times, rather famously costing him the leadership back in 2009. He will always be known to Q&A viewers as That Guy Who Wore The Leather Jacket That Time.

The Australian Media are all in a tizzy, they love this kind of stuff *so* much. And it will run 24/7 until Tuesday, I’m certain.

Do the public love it? Having worked at the past few elections I have heard many comments from people who are forced to show up and vote, and the general theme is, I’d rather not have to vote for any of these idiots.

I had a few people tell me they’d prefer to “blow all those bastards up” which is a very Australian statement. Non-Australians might not understand how that can be an Australian statement, but this was a catchphrase here for many years thanks to The Kingswood Country. AKA – “Somebody/someone should blow [current object of annoyance] up!”

Some people advise they would prefer to urinate on them than vote for them. I’m deeply appreciative that these people are willing to express their apparent fondness for golden showers with a random like me handing out their voting papers, but the germophobe within me says, ew.

I also deeply enjoyed the drawings of genitalia on the ballot papers, though I did not understand why people drew such small penises on such a large canvas. Were these self portraits? Use the whole ballot, peoples, it is enormous. Have a look at the size of the largest ballot here – Australia’s Compulsory Voting System; Is It Good or Bad?.

In general people were vastly unhappy with all the uncertainty around Kevin Rudd and the Labor Party, so they are unlikely to be huge fans of these same issues in the Liberal Party.

With that said, the last federal election was a very clear middle finger to the Labor Party and I suspect the only reason the Liberals got in is due to the fact that they were not Labor. EG I’m voting for these people because they are not THOSE people. Nobody seemed to like Tony Abbott then, and nobody seems to like him now.

For what it is worth – there is an upcoming election in NSW and they are looking for staff if you live in NSW and you want to give it a try, click here for more. I’ve worked elections a few times and have enjoyed it enormously. :)

Aussie Culture, bitches, elections, politics, work

REPOST – An ode to Antony.

It is election time again, and I rediscovered this post I wrote a while back. The blog now has the ability for people to leave comments, and Antony is doing a weekly campaign diary which is just as fascinating as his election night coverage..

Antony Green

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more brainy and more accurate:
Rough winds do shake the country,
And election night hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the studio light shines,
And often is his laptop power dimm’d;

Dinner is ready to go in the oven.
The cheesecake is in the fridge.
I await my evening of Antony.

Once every four years is not enough.
Who knows what the night will bring?

Whatever it is, Antony will
keep me informed
with his laptop and his pie charts and his
analyst ways.

And then, almost like a dream
he will be gone *sob*
and the election will
be over.

Then the waiting will begin again
another four years
or two or thereabouts, if you are lucky
and he covers your state election.

But wait! What light through yonder Internet breaks?
He has a blog..
Alas I cannot comment
and tell him how much I respect him. :(

Perhaps he will search
for his name
and find this post
one day.

Aussie Culture, elections, politics

Politician Outs Blogger

I honestly cannot believe I am typing this..

Some time ago Alaskan Politician Rep Mike Doogan was sending some crazy emails to people who emailed him and AKMuckraker was one of the bloggers involved in exposing his craziness.

Apparently this did not sit well with Rep Doogan. He has been trying to find out who AKMuckraker was for several months now and he has finally managed to do it. He then sent out a message to people on his mailing list via his official legislative newsletter, advising them of the real name of AKMuckraker. It is possible that when he did this, he broke the law.

Whether or not people support AKMuckrakers opinions, I believe most people would support her right to remain anonymous. I feel it is a right that everyone on the internet is entitled to – people make the decision for their own reasons, some because they have been cyber stalked in the past, some to prevent being cyber-stalked in the future.

This may be the first known case of an anonymous blogger being cyber-stalked by a politician determined to find out their real identity and out them, though!

You can read the full story here –

In Exposing the Identity of Mudflats, Rep. Mike Doogan Exposes Himself.

There are also some other blog posts on this subject –
Progressive Alaska
Shannyn Moore
The Immoral Minority
Mamadance
Palin Gates
Think Alaska
We’re Not That Stupid

I have been supporting AKMuckraker for almost 6 months now – we have been hosting her blog and forums – we have a team of mods and admins who keep the forums running smoothly. I did not need to know her real name to do that (and in fact did not know her real name until today) nor did I care what her name was. I understand anonymous blogging – I do it myself for the reasons explained on my about page.

My support will not change – other than to do whatever it takes to make sure Rep Mike Doogan never wins an election again, and to also inform the worldwide media of what he has done. It is highly inappropriate.

Epic Fail, Rep Doogan. Epic Fail.

I may not be around much for the next week or so, I’ll be busy taking action on this. ;)

Angry Snoskred, anonymity, internet, Internet Safety, politics, US Elections

I like my politics with a side of LOL..

I cannot remember how I found Wonkette during my internet travels but by God I am glad I did, my friends. ;) My friends, though I know it can’t be possible that it is actually written by my good friend Cugat, both Sephyroth and I are convinced that it is either him, someone doing an excellent impersonation of him or perhaps his secret twin brother.

There are not many people in the world capable of the kind of sugary sweet yet savory tasty all you can eat snark you will find at Wonkette, my friends. Read my favourite example from today.

My friends, I just watched Barack Obama’s speech given in front of a massive amount of people and I am tempted to cash in my passport and move to the US just so I can vote for him. Firstly, he was looking sharp, ya’all. He had on a killer suit and tie. Secondly, he had a lot of stuff to say that made sense. Thirdly his two little girls were wearing gorgeous pink dresses. It was all very pretty.

You can see the speech here as well as read the text. I liked it so much, my friends, I watched it twice. There was so much that was good about it, I am finding it hard to pick out any favourite line but I think it has to be this one –

We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country.

Amen to that, my friends.

My friends, next week is the Republican conference thingy, and this is why I am saying my friends so many times because I am 100% certain that “my friends” will be said a total of 260+ times just in John McCain’s speech alone. Of course, it is entirely possible that John “Don’t trust me when I give you my word because I will break it in less than 24 hours” McCain and friends might have to put their conference off due to a pesky hurricane.

And Cugat – if there is a newer more exciting blog, send me directions mmkay? KthxbaiQ!!

Not to worry my friends, the American political stuff will all be over. In two months or so. Hmm.. And in Aussie politics, Krudd goes crazy and puts forward yet another idea to make it look like he is doing something when in fact he is doing zip, except this time he is making demands on the threat of withholding funding. Oh joy! He’s worth every cent we’re paying him, isn’t he? I mean so far he orchestrated a large media stunt in order to say sorry for something he did not personally do, he has held a summit for the supposedly intelligent people to come and suggest ideas none of which will ever be implemented, he introduced an extremely useless website for 13 million dollars, and he’s been off on a lot of world trips including one to the Beijing Olympics.

Plus, one of the promises he has broken I sincerely hope remains broken. We do not need the government to pay for fibre to the node. We need the government to pay for fibre FROM the node. If they’re going to spend 5 billion on something why not make it something we can use.

My friends, I could go on about how useless Krudd is, but the people who think he is doing something good need to come to the logical “he is useless, all talk, no action” conclusion on their own. In their own time. When they’re ready.

In the meantime, that 13 million spent on grocery watch could have been used to help families struggling with high fuel costs, high grocery prices, high rents and the fact that real estate agents are treating some renters very badly – in some cases making dutch auctions to get the highest rent possible for properties. Oh, but none of those things are his fault, they are all the fault of the previous party. Of course.

And he can’t do anything about the high fuel prices, because the government *needs* every cent of federal tax they collect on fuel to spend on useless things like $13 million for websites that do bugger all, and that 5 billion for fibre to the node so if someone were at the node they could get their pr0n faster but if they are one house away from the node they can get their pr0n at the same speed they get it right now, because the internet speed will not get any faster with fibre to the node. But nobody seems to have explained this to Krudd yet.

Aussie Culture, politics, US Elections

An Ode To Antony

Antony Green

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more brainy and more accurate:
Rough winds do shake the country,
And election night hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the studio light shines,
And often is his laptop power dimm’d;

Dinner is ready to go in the oven.
The cheesecake is in the fridge.
I await my evening of Antony.

Once every four years is not enough.
Who knows what the night will bring?

Whatever it is, Antony will
keep me informed
with his laptop and his pie charts and his
analyst ways.

And then, almost like a dream
he will be gone *sob*
and the election will
be over.

Then the waiting will begin again
another four years
or two or thereabouts, if you are lucky
and he covers your state election.

But wait! What light through yonder Internet breaks?
He has a blog..
Alas I cannot comment
and tell him how much I respect him. :(

Perhaps he will search
for his name
and find this post
one day.

Aussie Culture, elections, Men I Love To Watch, politics

Please Excuse Me. I Must Bitch. Cheese With Whine Here.

Today seems to be Day 109 of the evil flu from hell, though I know it cannot truly be that long. Time is passing so slowly in this unwell state of being. The little things are beginning to irritate. This is going to be a rare negative post. Normally I try to keep the positive on here at the blog.

Bear with me. I support ya’all when ya’all snark it up from time to time, so support me in my snarkiness. ;) And then at the end I talk about politics, which ensures this will be a post everyone will hate.

Houston, We Have Neighbours.

Actually we got neighbours a while ago, I just never mentioned it here on the blog. They are not at all what I hoped for. I had hoped for people who might be friendly, people who might say hello, perhaps people we could become friends with.

What we got is elephant feet. These people STOMP around like elephants. Unfortunately because all the units must be sitting on the same concrete base? It sounds like they are walking right down my hallway. It is freaking me out. It is like having ghosts or something. I don’t even know how anyone could stomp around like that all day – it must be bad for their joints. Can anyone say hip replacement in later life?

I’ll be sitting here writing, the STOMP begins, and I turn around expecting to see.. I don’t know.. maybe a catwalk model doing a fierce walk, or some burly security guard – or even the other half arriving home. Then I remember what the noise is. They’ve been here for about a month now and I still haven’t got used to the STOMP. As yet I have been very good. I have not STOMPed back. But after this week I am tempted. Maybe I need to STOMP so they can realise how noisy it is?

We saw them in their driveway when we arrived home last week. The Other Half went out to get the mail. No hello. :(

Paid Post Insanity

I’ve been having some trouble with a few blogs in my Google Reader. It’s like this. I subscribe to what seems to be a rational, friendly, excellent blog written by an interesting blogger. Then they get accepted into Pay Per Post and suddenly go from posting once per day (or 2-3 times a week) to posting 5-10 times a day. The quality of posts goes from wow, I really enjoyed that post to cringe worthy stuff. I try to keep up. I try to tolerate it.

I write to the blogger and let them know I am feeling overwhelmed. Most other people would just unsubscribe but I try to let them know what they are doing can drive off their readership. Unfortunately most still keep posting insane amounts of posts, even after that. ;( I don’t get that. If you drive off the readers your alexa ranks go down which means you can’t keep being paid. So you might be raking in the cash right now but later you’ll be left without readers and without income.

Don’t get me wrong, I support a bloggers right to be paid for their posts. But I believe more than 3 posts in one day is too many. If you’re hitting me with more than that, don’t expect to keep me as a reader much longer. I’m sorry. I just can’t keep up and the content quality isn’t good enough to make me desperately want to, either. And I’m a fast reader!

The Australian Elections

Oh, someone stab me in the forehead with a fork already. There is nothing I dislike more than a blogger who seems to believe that one political party is better than another one, that their candidate for PM will change the world, make lives better, and fix all the pain in the world simply by getting elected. Good, reasonable bloggers that I usually love reading have apparently lost their minds in the midst of apparent hysteria that their chosen messiah KRudd might be elected.

They have forgotten that 90% of the voters turn up at the polls and think “Am I all right?” If yes they vote to keep the government. If no, they vote for a change. They don’t care about war, poverty, green issues, or the ugliness of one leader VS the other. They are selfish. They care about themselves. Issues, schmissues. Polls, Schmolls. They have a right to be that way, and they each get a vote to do with what they want. That is the reality of elections where everyone is FORCED to vote. These people would not bother to turn up on polling day if voting were optional.

So bloggers, please note. Nothing makes a reader cringe more than someone saying things similar to “Labor is guaranteed to win” “KRudd is our next PM” etc. This assumes facts not yet in evidence. And if it turns out to be wrong, you’ll hate yourself for having said it. It’s like you’re putting a jinx on. If you want Labor to win you don’t want to be putting the jinx on.

A Positive Note

There is only one good thing about elections. There is only one man I would ever consider a God of Politics and a politician he ain’t. I’d vote for him though. I look forward to election night and spending the evening with him. I’ve seen him on TV a few times already and he has me all excited. Antony Green is an intelligent man who can make an election downright sexy. I wish you had such a man in the USA, my American friends. Do you?

I wish the one we have in Australia would sit down to have some decent glamour shots taken of himself because I can’t find a blog worthy photo. I’ll try and get some screenshots on Election Night. This time two weeks from now I will be preparing myself for the evening of such incredible televisual delights from the ABC election coverage that one gets to experience once every four years on Federal Election Night. Fellow fans of Antony Green will agree – we do not hold elections often enough!

Aussie Culture, bitches, politics, potential disaster

Fat Is The New Black.

Overweight people know what it feels like to be looked at and judged – but maybe EVERYONE knows that? Maybe we all judge each other based on appearance all the time? I know I do it. Do you?

but6

When we are walking down the street, we are constantly looking at people and making quick assessments. Will this person hurt me. Will this person try to mug me. Am I safe here? Is there anyone around not making me feel safe? Logically these are assessments we need to make in order to stay safe. The trouble is, we’re all making wrong assessments. We’re making assessments based on our own history, our past experiences, what we’ve read, what others have told us.

It is no different to you driving past a car accident. How many of you think “He must have been going too fast” “That car must have run into that other car” “He lost control going around the corner”. We want to try and learn from the mistake that driver made. Anywhere you have seen an accident, you will find it difficult to drive past that spot without remembering what you saw. Perhaps not consciously, but your subconscious will do it for you. There’s a whole science to accident investigation. Our assumptions are probably way off. We still make them anyway.

If when you were a kid, Santa scared you, you might subconsciously be scared of men with beards, right? You might have thought, when you saw that above image – that man has a huge beard, I find that scary, I would keep away from him. If you have had bad experiences with people of color, people of a certain sex, people who dress a certain way, teenagers, homeless people, bikers.. you will subconsciously steer well clear – maybe even consciously. People who have had good experiences with those people might give them a smile, approach them and say hi, feel more comfortable in their presence.

A book I highly recommend to change your thinking on many topics is Gavin De Becker’s The Gift Of Fear – here is a quote from it –

Our intuition fails when it is loaded with inaccurate information. Since we are the editors of what gets in and what is invested with credibility, it is important to evaluate our sources of information. I explained this during a presentation for hundreds of government threat assessors at the Central Intelligence Agency, making my point by drawing on a very rare safety hazard: kangaroo attacks. I told the audience that about twenty people a year are killed by the normally friendly animals, and that kangaroos always display a specific set of indicators before they attack:

1) They will give what appears to be a wide and genial smile (they are actually showing their teeth).
2) They will check their pouches compulsively several times to be sure they have no young with them (they never attack while carrying young).
3) They will look behind them (since they always retreat immediately after they kill).

After these signals, they will lunge, brutally pummel an enemy, and gallop off.

I asked two audience members to stand up and repeat the three warning signs, and both flawlessly described the smile, the checking of the pouch for young, and the looking back for an escape route. In fact everyone in that room (and now you) will remember these warning signs for life. If you are ever face-to-face with a kangaroo, be it tomorrow or decades from now, those three pre-incident indicators will be in your head.

The problem, I told the audience at the CIA, is that I made up those signals. I did it to demonstrate the risks of inaccurate information. I actually know nothing about kangaroo behaviour (so forget the three signals if you can — or stay away from hostile kangaroos).

In our lives, we are constantly bombarded with kangaroo signals masquerading as knowledge, and our intuition relies on us to decide what we will give credence to.

Australians are going to have a particularly difficult time forgetting those kangaroo signals, because we see kangaroos reasonably often. ;) Right Aussies? And I can tell you, every time I see one, the above passage is remembered within my skull.

So you may be reading this post wondering – where is she going to talk about fat being the new black? I’ve written before about being one of only two fat people in a room of over 500 high school students to hear a lecture titled “Fat People Are Dirty People”. That was over 15 years ago. Our situation has not improved, people.

Fat people are looked at, judged. People who are overweight can feel the looks of disapproval wherever you go, and they even come from people who aren’t exactly stick thin themselves. If you eat in public, expect disapproving glances. You can almost feel the people thinking “They shouldn’t be eating that”. Fat people are called names, have jokes told about them – and they are expected to laugh! – are taunted, teased.. they find it harder to get a job, they find it harder to be promoted, they find it difficult to travel – seats too small, people don’t want to be stuck next to the fat person.. this list can go on for pages, my friends.

Can you take that previous paragraph and say the same thing about a race, a color? Not these days. It is illegal to discriminate based on race. It is considered inappropriate to shoot disapproving looks at people of color or race. People of color or race are not judged on what they are eating – unless they are also overweight!

It is not illegal to discriminate based on weight. An excellent article you should read is Do We Really Need A Law To Protect Fat Workers? – a couple of quotes from the article but I hope you will go and read the entire thing.

“Hiring, firing, discipline, training, wages, we’ve got more than 40 studies now in both the lab and the workplace,” says Mark Roehling, a management professor at Michigan State University in East Lansing. “People in all of them tell you they discriminate on the basis of weight. I had one guy tell me there was one kind of person he absolutely wasn’t going to hire – a fat girl. And the punch line is, this guy was overweight himself.”

Consider Roehling’s survey participant, the one who told him “there was one kind of person he absolutely wasn’t going to hire – a fat girl.” Now replace “fat” with “black.” It’s the textbook definition of discrimination. And because it would be so unfair, so wrong, so illegal to follow through with it, it’s hard to imagine that anyone in today’s society would dare.

Another very good example of what I am talking about appears to have reared its ugly head on Facebook. According to mo pie from Big Fat Deal in the blog post Face! (Book) which I have put a couple of quotes from but again, I encourage you to read the full article –

Although Facebook does crack down on religious and racial hate groups, fat hate groups are flourishing. I’m not suggesting that these groups should be shut down; I think the worst ones (like “let’s kill all fat people”) have been, and I’m more inclined to let people say their piece than be censored, where possible. Even so, I did a couple of searches and poked around and found hundreds of groups dedicated to fat hate.

Here are some more Facebook groups: “Dammit, I Hate Fat Chicks!” “DISLIKES- FAT GIRLS WHO WEAR SKIRTS AND TIGHT CLOTHING” “Fat Chicks – Exercise or die!” “Fat people should go on starvation diets” “God d@mm!t I hate fat people!!!” and “If you’re fat…we aren’t friends.” A group simply called “I Hate Fat People” has 529 members.

Replace fat with black, hispanic, asian, any race, any culture – would it be accepted? No way! Facebook cracks down on religious and racial hate groups because LEGALLY THEY ARE REQUIRED TO DO SO. They are not required to do so when it comes to weight.

The sooner “weight” is added to the civil rights act in the US the better. The law says (in part, you can read the whole thing here) –

to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin;

And maybe a couple of other things should be added there – ie sexual preference and possibly others – what would you add?

Until then, it is accepted that you can say whatever you like about fat people, refuse to employ them, refuse to promote them, treat them with disgust, treat them without respect – and there is no way those people can do anything about it, other than to lose weight. I wouldn’t bother, personally. Losing weight does not always solve the problem, because once you’ve been a fat person you will always appear that way in people’s minds. I’ve experienced that myself as I wrote in my previously mentioned post..

So in the meantime, we overweight people have to accept ourselves as we are, and refuse to hear those who want to treat us badly. As Martin Luther King said –

Don’t ever let anyone pull you so low as to hate them. We must use the weapon of love. We must have the compassion and understanding for those who hate us. We must realize so many people are taught to hate us that they are not totally responsible for their hate. But we stand in life at midnight; we are always on the threshold of a new dawn.

Thanks for reading my article, if you liked it, stumble it so the word can get out to more people. If you have a spare moment, please leave your thoughts in the comments. ;)

This post is a part of a two week special on Race, Society and The Internet in conjunction with the Hump Day Hmmm.

Hump Day Hmmm, life lessons, politics, what not to do, wrong world

Blogocracy Blogging Experiment

Tim Dunlop has a little blogging experiment going on. It’s very interesting and comes just at the right time for me, because I’ve rehashed the blogs I am reading in google reader and I have some space for new ones.

The first question Tim has asked is – If you change the government, do you really change the country?

I think the answer is no. Most people in the country honestly don’t care about the government or what they are doing. People just want to live their lives relatively peacefully. Government is only interesting when they’re going to give us some money, or if they’re going to do something for us. That’s why change does not happen often.

Most people get to the polling booth, and they basically ask themselves – How am I doing under this current government? Is everything generally ok? If yes, let’s vote for the people who are in now, because nobody likes change, people are afraid of change, let us stick with what we have now.

The reason this government has been in as long as they have is, “people” remember those high interest rates when they get to the polls. Regardless of what happened in the lead up to the election, regardless of who promised what, they fear a return to interest rates they cannot afford. Many voters are home owners.

For all those who take sides and argue that “this” or “that” will change people’s minds and make them vote for one side or the other, realistically it does not. Polls don’t matter on election day. That is because voting is compulsory in this country. It is not something that only those who care about politics and the future of this country do – at least some of the people voting honestly could not care less about the election but they are forced to vote. In reality it is likely that they make up the majority of people who vote – which means the majority of people who vote could not care less.

If change happens, by some miracle, most people find it is a case of “Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss”. Life will go on, the same as before. Things might get better, things might get worse, if they get worse the change will not last long, only 4 years.

Politics is a dirty game. In reality for many of us, it has nothing to do with real life. We’re more concerned with the politics of the workplace, the politics of our own homes. And fair enough too.

The other answers – from people much smarter than I. :) Very interesting reads.

Andrew Bartlett – Bartlett Diaries

Ken Parish – Club Troppo

Kim Jameson – Larvatus Prodeo

Harry Clarke – Harry Clarke blog

tigtog – Hoyden About Town

Joshua Gans – CoreEcon

Robert Merkel – View from Benambra

politics