just you remember …

… guns don’t kill people. People kill people.

Boston police have questioned a seven-year-old boy who shot and killed his eight-year-old cousin with an illegal gun, the latest example of the toll of gun violence in US cities.

Of course, in keeping with what everyone was saying saying after Vtech, everything would have been OK if the other kid had been packing heat, too.


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If this is Hurricane Katrina …

… we’ll sure as beans, you’re FEMA:

“[The Prime Minister’s plan] will weaken communities and families by taking from them the ability to make basic decisions about their lives, thus removing responsibility instead of empowering them … In their present form, the proposals miss the mark and are unlikely to be effective.”

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here comes the wedge.

1. Declare a ‘state of emergency’ in the Northern Territory, placing conditions how welfare payments can be spent by Aboriginal people.

2. Kevin Rudd has to play along, or else he is uncaring. He does so, unconditionally, without seeing teh policy.

3. How can Rudd then possibly argue against putting the same conditions on the rest of the country? That would be racist. So the rat-man then has carte blanche to put restrictions on everyone else.

I really don’t like the feel of this.

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Case study in ignorance*.

Our Prime Minister says that children should have both a mother and father, because it “gives the children the best opportunity in life”. Not so, according to the ALRC, who say that the sexual preference of parents is not a good predictor of disadvantage.  I say that if any disadvantage does come about, it can be attributed to the persistence of negative societal norms towards same-sex couples, something that he actively encourages, by making ill-informed and prejudicial statements.

Of course, this ignores the prevalence of single parent families. Assuming that gay couples get the same domestic productivity benefits that straight ones get, two parents would provide better opportunities than one. Regardless of sex.

Our leader goes on to say, that restricting access to adoption to parents of different sex is good because “I think it’s something that most people believe is the desired, the ideal outcome”. Just because lots people might think so, doesn’t mean that it is a good thing.

Two things:

  1. On it’s own, popular sentiment is no justification for policy. It is an excuse for ignorance.
  2. Why do we accept this this bullshit? (And taken it for eleven years).

*  In case anyone other than me does read this, I am not sure why this issue in particular got my back up. It is just another example of us being treated like morons. And I felt like writing about it this time.

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quote (altruism)

How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortune of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it except the pleasure of seeing it

Adam Smith, Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759)

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“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.”

Bertrand Russell (1872 – 1970)

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A flexible workforce.

This is a luverly example of what the path to a “flexible workforce”* holds for us.

As reported last night on the 7.30 report, you have a coal truck driver being fired for refusing to sign an AWA that included a $200 penalty for failing to notify her employers if she was not able to attend work.

On the one hand, you wake up one morning and are feeling quite shit. Say you’ve got the flu, like my poor Beloved Life Partner(TM)** has today. Not only are you sick, you don’t get any pay because you are not going to work, and YOU HAVE TO PAY YOUR EMPLOYER $200 FOR THE PRIVILEGE OF IT ALL.

Alternatively, you go to work, doped up on pseudoephedrine, robitussin or whatever else you can get your hands on, crash your truck and end up killing a whole whack of your fellow employees:

If you make a mistake in such a vehicle as this and you have a man hauler that’s hauling half a dozen men to work, or to another job, and you happen to collide with them, which I’ve seen happen. I mean, the result is catastrophic. You could face the prospect of killing up to eight people in one incident.

Well, both of those are not very enticing options. Except for the Robitussin, of course.

Maybe I’ll go and work for Spotlight instead.

Note: The Road to Surfdom has more on this.

* By a flexible workforce, I mean a workforce that is able to bent over and shafted at will by their employer overlords.

** Sounds like she’s inflatable or something. But she’s not. Really.

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