Goin’ to the Chappell, and we’re….

Ok, first up, I know it should be Chapel and not Chappell…, or shouldn’t it be? Maybe I am talking about Ian or Greg or Trevor…, no not that Trevor, the other Trevor. You know the one who presents Overnights on the ABC local radio, and never gives out clues to the quiz?

 

It doesn’t matter, all that is just poor banter and a very flimsy segue into discussing the Adam Hills In Gordon Street Tonight show, which some of you may have seen last night. I know I didn’t I was stuck at work, but my phone did go wild a few minutes into the show, with people congratulating me on getting engaged to my beautiful girlfriend Elyse.

 

Yes, that was us, and for all of you who wonder why I don’t post photos of myself here more regularly (if at all), well, you saw the reason in full HD last night, unless you have a standard definition set top box.

So what is it all about? Am I invited to the wedding? Can I be your bridesmaid? What is the square root of pi, times 467, divided by 45 and added to 6?

Well working backwards it’s 24.394, no idea, no idea, and well, we’ll get to that point now.

The whole idea of the proposal happened when Adam called me a couple of days before the show and asked if I would do it. I wouldn’t say I jumped at the chance, but I did think it was a good idea. I’m not about pushing my own image for fame, but I felt that it was worth doing, because even though it is a little thing, it might be the thing that changes the mind of someone out there against same sex marriage.

The other part of it was the week Elyse had been having. With a recent death in her family, and the ensuing funeral, it was a close call as to if this would be a good thing, or not. She knows me quite well, and knows I wouldn’t do anything to intentionally harm her, and at worst, she would have said no and stormed out. That could have made for interesting television, or they would have just cut the segment and that was that. So yes, I felt it was the right thing to do, and Elyse had no idea of what was happening. Her only clue if any, was her ring going missing a couple of days beforehand, and wondering where it got to. For the record, it wasn’t between my boobs for a few days, just an hour or so. I’m thankful it wasn’t, because the box was leaving one hell of a mark.

 

As for all our friends and friends who have been living in woodwork for many years and see this as an opportunity for them to get their fifteen minutes of fame, we really don’t know what is happening at this point. Television shows just don’t happen, they need to be planned out, so you can have the behind the scenes crew make it happen. At this point in time, we are waiting to hear back from the producers as to how they want to run the show. This is a television wedding, not our actual wedding, because as was pointed out on the show, we can’t legally do that yet. I have some ideas I’d like to discuss with the producers. Nothing over the top, just ideas I had come to me that might work, and make for good television, but at the end of the day, they are running the show not myself or Elyse, and it’s been many years since I did any writing for television.

 

I’m also sure many of our friends will complain that we didn’t tell them what was happening, or what is going to happen. Well the truth there is, most of the time we don’t know what is happening ourselves, and what we do know would be pointless to say before it happens, as we don’t want to ruin the show.

Last of all, Adam Hills and all the team who are involved with the show should be thanked for what has happened so far. On the social media I have only seen one complaint, but many hundreds of people supporting what happened. Personally (and I’m sure Elyse will agree with this), I’m not out there to try and bring down any church, or ruin religion for all, or any other fire and brimstone thing you can think of. All I want to show is that two people who love each other very much, and want to spend the rest of their lives together, can’t legally be recognised to be doing just that in this country. I’m not trying to stop churches from only marrying people they choose to in their church. I’m not trying to force people to marry someone they don’t want to marry, regardless of gender. All I want is the same rights for every Australian, regardless of who they are. Hopefully our little television wedding can help bring that a step closer to being reality.

Same Sex/Same Rights

I’ve got to say, I’m against Gay Marriage. There, I said it, and some people may find that shocking, and others will applaud it. But let me make one point clear.

I’m not against, two people of the same gender getting married, I’m against the term Gay Marriage. It boxes the whole debate in to one simple little box, that even the most small minded of people, can see past the pretty colour pictures of their tabloid media of choice, read those two words, and make an “informed decision”. They don’t need to know the facts, because two words have summed up the whole debate for them. Steve and Barry want to get married, well I’m to having that with my corn flakes!

But here’s the thing, those two little words don’t paint the whole picture. Even when it’s expanded out a bit more, and explained to people, they still just see those two words. Has our society become that simplistic that we can no longer look at the whole issue, and make an informed decision? Have we been reduced to thinking the only time worth having knowledge on a subject is when there’s an SMS voting line attached, where we can also win a new Sonappsung a entertainment system? I hope not.

When you look at the basic argument, this is about human rights, so that same sex attracted people, can not be treated as second class citizens, and stand as equals with anyone else. But there is also a second class to that second class. People who would make up a very minor figure, that at a guess would have many zeros after the decimal point, before they even have a number.

These people are happily married, and intend to stay that way, through sickness and in health, good times and bad, for as long as they both shall live. But the current laws say they must get divorced, office both people are to be recognised for who they are. Confused? Well read on.

As laws currently stand in Australia, when someone goes through all the required medical procedures, to correct a birth defect, they are entitled to have their birth certificate corrected to state the correct sex. After all, it’s not their fault the document was incorrect at birth, so after proving they are their correct gender, not the gender assigned to them, they have right to correct that document. Unless they are married.

You see, if two people love each other so much, that despite all the changes that happen with a gender transition, they want to stay together, and love each other for as long as they both live, they can’t do it, unless they continue to have incorrect documents for all other aspects of their life.

Now you may think this is not such a big deal. After all, they can use Miss or Mister as they see fit. But for medical records, if they for some reason are in trouble with the law, for pensions, for car insurance, for basically any aspect of their life, apart from their outward appearance, they will still be classed according to that incorrect documentation they were assigned at birth. If they want to tick the final box, they simply can’t do it, because this country does not allow same sex marriage.

It’s not only about a simple document like a birth certificate, but it is also about public perception, and discrimination. If someone has changed gender, every time they have to provide documentation, or proof of relationship, they have to out themselves as someone who has undergone a gender transition. You may not think this is a big deal, but how much of your past do you want to tell to any stranger out there, just so your basic human rights can be acknowledged? Is it fair these people are put through the anguish each and every time, or should they be forced to lie to everyone, just so other people can keep their nice little stereotype that marriage is only between a man and a woman?

So you see Gay Marriage is not about Gay marriage. It’s about each and every person in this country, having the same rights as everyone else. It’s not about forcing Barry Bloke to accept a marriage proposal from Harry Hotpants, simply because Harry has the hots for Barry and asks. It’s about everyone being given a fair go, and that’s the way we do it in Australia. We are country that is young and free, that advances fairly. Or do we think that fairness should only extend to those who aren’t affected by discrimination?

Six months in a leaking boat.

So for some reason Australia thinks “boat people” are a major concern for the country, and these people will ruin our way of life. Get real!
The number of people who turn up to Australia on a boat is a minor blip, not even newsworthy. But for some reason people think that every person who makes it here, is nothing but evil amplified to eleven. Not the case.

Ok, so there might be one or two people who aren’t the most sugar and spice, but they are the minority. But for some reason, people who arrive in this country on a boat are locked up and treated as sub human. Man, woman and child alike.

So here is my plan, let these people out of detention. Yeah, a simple plan I know, but there is a bit more to it.
When people arrive here, give them shelter, medical attention, and check them all over to make sure they are ok. This may take a couple of weeks for tests and the like to come back, and during that time, we can set them up for the next part of their integration into Australian culture.

For the next year, they live in the community, where for a couple of days a week, they attend educational classes, to learn English, and Australian culture and ways of life. For three days a week, they work a job, either for a company, or for the government. There are a lot of jobs out there that give people a sense of self worth. Also being the Australian way, they get to have the weekend off.

After a year, if they have not reached a level where they would be able to self support and be a contribution to society, then they get deported. Its pretty simple. If you commit a crime, or in other words generally being an arsehole. Now I know people will be complaining about the cost of doing this, but surely it would be cheaper than keeping people in detention, not only financially but psychologically as well.

Ok, so there are going to be people who we can just simply not confirm their basic details, and they may be a threat to the country. so put an ankle bracelet on them, and keep a track of these people.

This may all seem like a pretty simple thing, maybe even overly simple. But how about we stop treating people as sub human, and start treating them as people. Let’s take the boat out of boat people, and build a better country.

Is it true? The death (or not) of the most wanted.

As with all conspiracy theories, we should first of all look at it from the point that nothing interesting happened at all, then pull apart the parts of the story to see if it still works.

Ok, so we are not talking about some John Doe off the street, but the most wanted (and possibly hated) man in the USA. The terror he oversaw is not in question. So naturally there would be a high level of interest in his death, and proof of his death. But let’s look at the ramifications of releasing photos of his corpse.

Through out history, there have been many famous and infamous people killed. Their photos are still widely distributed, from Bonnie and Clyde, to Ted Bundy, to Ned Kelly. The list goes on and on. If photos had been released, those who in favour of terrorism against the USA and the West, would use them as propaganda for their cause. By not releasing photographs, it limits the amount of damage such photos could cause down the line. I’m in no doubt that photos do exist, heck, I’d even say there is video footage of his death, given the current kit out of Navy Seal operatives. I’m not saying they wont ever release the photos, but to do it now would be a bad thing. Besides, it is very easy to photoshop anything these days, so a photo is hardly proof of truth.

As for him being buried at sea, well that can easily be seen as odd, but equally a smart move. Islamic customs say a body must be buried with in 24 hours of the death, and that the body must face Mecca. This last bit is not always possible when buried at sea, but as long as full customs of washing the body, placing it in a clean white sheet and rituals spoken, then it is acceptable.
I wouldn’t be surprised at all if a GPS tracking device of some kind was fitted to the body, or at the very least, the Americans would know the exact point where they buried him at sea. It wouldn’t have just been a case of tossing him overboard while under full steam.
If they had given him a grave on land, can you imagine the amount of security that would be required 24/7 for a countless number of years, just to make sure no one tried to dig up the remains? Doing what they did was the right thing to do. They have simply made the most wanted person in the world vanish, never to be found, never to be heard from again. Sure his legend will live on, and there are enough crazy people out there to keep his motto alive, but the USA have seriously dented his chances of martyrdom.

So what if he is still alive, why no video saying so? Well it’s a very smart move to let the Americans have their day in the sun. Let the confidence build back up in the country, let them think they are number one again, and nothing can touch them. Then release a video and cause fear and mayhem in the world. If I was Osama, I would wait six months to a year before releasing a new video. The USA have elections next year, what a perfect time to announce he is still around. It would have more impact on America and the way the country operates than any bomb possibly could. So if he is still out there, I wouldn’t expect to hear from him any time soon. We’ll just have to wait and see.

So is he dead or not? Well I don’t think the current USA president is doing that badly, he would risk his entire career on this gamble. If so, it will go down in history as the worst political move ever made. So I would tend to believe that Osama Bin Laden is dead. Sure we may not like the way things have gone about, and want more and more details, but that’s one of the problems with society today. Regardless of what facts we are presented with, we hunger for more, with out really knowing how the information will enrich our lives in the first place.

A Three Hour Tour

Righteo, for the Sunday Light this week, let’s look at the dreaded Boat People.

 

To start off with, let’s move right away from that scaremongering term Boat People, or for that matter, Illegal Immigrants, Asylum Seekers, Terrorists, Unwelcomes, or any other kind of negative term you want to put on these people, and let’s just call them people. There you go, it wasn’t hard to humanise these people was it.

 

The number of people who arrive in Australia each year is a (excuse the Tampa pun) drop in the ocean, compared with other countries around the world. We’re a pretty hard place to get to, which is why the vast majority of people who are in this country illegally fly here. Yep, about 50,000 a year, compared to a couple of thousand, if that, by boat.

 

But I wan to get away from the “How did they get here?” Debate, and look at the “What are we going to do with them?” Debate.

 

Now I am for compulsory detention when people arrive here after a bloody long trip on a boat, but that’s because of this little thing we have in Australia called quarantine. We are unique in the world, in that we are a country of such diversity, yet so isolated. It is that isolation that has kept out many diseases that cause havoc all around the world. Now if you’re running from a war torn country, fleeing for your life, I’m pretty sure one of the last things on your mind would be to check off the Unwanted Goods card before you arrived here. It’s not only the stuff people carry with them, but also diseases that people have too. A few months in isolation, getting medical treatment for any ills, and being checked for any known diseases would be a good thing for this country as a whole. But I think the more important aspect of that, is these people might be getting the first real medical care of their lives.

 

Now people who arrive here fall broadly into two categories, those who can be verified, and those who can’t. Verified means someone has all the checks and balances to say who they are, others basically have no paperwork.

Regardless of verified or not, let’s get these people active in the community as fast as possible, with only a slight difference between the two. Here’s how the plan works:

Let’s say three months to get all the medical and other checks done. After that, let’s get these people into the community, under a work for the dole type scheme. All school aged kids go to school, while their parents work and get educated. They could work for three days of the week, get English and social lessons the other two days, giving them the weekends off to spend with the kids. During the three days they are working, well that’s time spent doing work which benefits Australia. It could be creating a parkland, building community facilities, helping newer arrivals. Basically a job that gives back to the community as a whole, oh, and when I say community, this is not lumping these people all together in the one suburb, this is right across the country. This work scheme then runs for at least the next year, allowing people the time to learn English, learn the Australian way of life, give them some support in a new place, and basically be people.

 

Now after a year, we don’t just toss them out on the street and say fend for yourself. No, the support structure is still there, but they are now free to seek employment as they choose, move to another area, do what they want as any other member of the Australian society. The benefit being, they already know what is required in this country to make a go of it, and can hit the ground running in getting their life back on track, armed with the skills they have learnt over the previous year.

 

For those who we can’t verify, there is only a slight change, and that’s electronic monitoring. I’m thinking along the lines of an electronic anklet, which is used to monitor the movement of someone. Once their identity can be verified, the tag comes off.

 

I don’t know if this all sounds like too simple a solution to an issue. The issue not being people arriving in this country, but what we do with them when they get here. I don’t think locking people up long term is the way to go about it, but we still do need to do some level of checks and balances. I would prefer to give these people a supported start, so they can make a go of it. If they do stuff up, send them on the first plane back, and make it very clear to them we wont tolerate them bringing the issues from their homeland. But let’s at least given them the chance to call Australia home.

Sunday light.

Time for some easy reading on a Sunday.

 

Homoeopathy, it doesn’t work.

 

That’s all you need to know.

Yep, I can sum up the entire snake oil industry that is homoeopathy in four short words. So don’t bother spamming my email box with your pseudo-science claims of qauntum physics, vibrational thingamebobs, mystical powers. It’s all a crock of shit.

If you believe in homoeopathy, then you may as well be using this stuff:

If the woo woo really worked, then the people who make it would happily subject it to the same scientific testing and scrutiny as all real medications.

Homoeopathy is nothing more than a placebo, if that. If you want to take a Placebo, I suggest this one:

It will cost you less, be better for you, is enjoyable, and will see you at the bitter end.

 

This is what I want to see out the front of Pharmacies across the world:

That way, I know I will be sold actual medication, if I go there with an ailment. Pharmacies are required already by law to do that, but many put the almighty dollar ahead of health. If I saw a sticker like this, that Pharmacy would get my business.

 

Right, I’m off to go work for the day, so that will do for this Sunday Session. If you want, I would be willing to write more, but you know, when it comes to this medical stuff, some people just think the only real things are fantasy, and you may as well be blowing air up a frog’s arse than try to talk reason to them. Even when they contradict themselves and can see they have done it, they ignore that as not important, and put up another strawman argument. Now I’m not saying the “big pharma” companies that are out there have all the answers. Not everything can be fixed with a pill, but seriously, if you want to throw your money away on useless crap, give it to me instead. I’ll happily spend it on something that benefits not only me, but others. You know, things like food parcels for the starving, or shelter for the homeless. Heck, I might even buy them some mega doses of homoeopathy, but it wouldn’t be called that, it would be called this:

I now pronounce you (insert pronouns here)

Well it has been a while since there was any postings here, so why not start with a biggie, Gay Marriage.

 

This has been prompted by a recent post on a friend’s blog, which has stirred up a lot of strong view points. The main basis there is that it is not allowed in the eyes of god, according to Christian beliefs. Ok, I have really shortened the explanation there, but only because I know this is going to be a very long post.

 

The way I see it, there are two issues here. Why should same sex people be allowed to marry, and the second being religions being against it on various grounds.

 

So let’s look at the first. As it currently stands, people who are in a same sex relationship do not have the same rights as heterosexual people. While there has been some changes to laws, it hasn’t gone far enough. People in a same sex relationship do not have the same rights concerning medical treatment of their spouse, the superannuation laws when a partner dies are different, and a few other minor laws here and there. Basically if you are the partner of someone, legally you are not treated as the partner, nor as the next of kin. It simply means you do not have the same rights as someone else, because of who your relationship is with.

So what does this have to do with same sex marriage, often called Gay Marriage. Well these days, and has been the case for a very long time now, a marriage is a legally binding agreement, which in layman’s terms means two people are considered one entity by the laws of the country. By denying Gay marriage, people are not allowed to legally be considered a single entity in the laws of the country. It is that simple.

 

Now I know what you are saying, but if Gays can marry, then they can adopt children, and that wouldn’t be a fitting environment to be in. Well that to me is a whole other issue, but here are a few bullet points on the matter:

  • Children are better off having two parents, regardless of gender
  • Children of heterosexual families have just as many issues as those from same sex relationships
  • Having Gay parents doesn’t cause a child to become Gay themselves, but they would be more tolerant of differences in other people.
  • Every Gay child has been created by a heterosexual couple, either directly, or through a test tube.

So let’s leave aside the whole adoption thing for a while, because not every Gay Marriage will result in an adoption.

 

Now there is the issue of religion, and religious beliefs.

I think Father Bob summed it up the best. “I’m not anti Gay marriage, the church doesn’t allow me to perform them.” That to me is the right of any church to not perform a Gay marriage, if they so choose to. After all, a marriage is a legally binding situation, and there are many more ways to get married that don’t involve a church or religion.

Now some religious people argue that god’s law doesn’t allow it. Well unfortunately for them, we don’t live in a religious rule country, we live in a secular country, where there is separation of church and state as stated in the Australian Constitution, section 116. Now anyone who wants to be against Gay marriage on the grounds of their religion is ok with me, they have that right. But because they choose to live by a set of principles, doesn’t mean they should impose those principles on others. Sure they can complain that their principles and rights are being denied, while other principles and rights are forced on them, but they are not being forced. No one is saying they have to get married to a same sex orientated person. So of two other people want to get married, why not let them? After all, there use to be a time that churches didn’t allow interracial marriages, but those times have certainly changed. Just because you don’t agree with something, or are against something, doesn’t make your view point right. Gay marriage wont affect me in the slightest way, as I have no intention of marrying someone of the same gender, why does the same not apply to religious people. After all, if we all had the right to stop anything we don’t like, based on the grounds of religious beliefs, the world wouldn’t function.

So I think at the end of the day, it’s all pretty simple. If you want to marry someone, then why should you be stopped doing it. If you want to get married in a church, well it is up to those people who run that church to allow or disallow any wedding they want to. After all, if two people want to spend the rest of their lives together, because they love each other that much, who are we to stop them? Making Gay marriage law wont cause a sudden flood as every same sex couple rushes to get married, as marriage isn’t for everyone. But at least it is a step closer to people being treated as equals in our society, and where is the harm in that?

 

Your country needs you….

Well not your country, but this blog does at least.

We are working on a blog post about politics, and why not. Politics seems to be the flavour of the month, even with politicians. So if you are willing to answer a few questions, let us know. You’re identity wont be included, just your answers. We’re looking for people aged between 15 and Medusa. Just send us an email to admin @ a green cow dot com (take away the spaces and all that crap) and we’ll be in touch very shortly.