Tag Archives: Australia

Everyone’s talking about it: Gay Marriage

Gay marriage!

So here are a few arguments, for and against, from the comments section of Australian news websites. Real people, with real opinions, telling us what they really think (usually with incorrect grammar and spelling).

It’s wrong:

Opposition comes from the position that there is a morally right way of expressing sexuality, and a morally wrong way of expressing sexuality. Homosexuality is viewed as morally wrong by those who oppose it.

– Issac, here.

The ever-present animal comparison:

There is no reason to allow gay marriage. Love is not a legitimate reason to allow it, as some people love kids or animals in the same way. But we’re not going to support marriage to children or animals, are we? Then be consistent people!

– Ryan, here.

Is it time to allow people to marry animals too?! get real. A marriage has been between a male and female for 4000-5000 years! why suddenly change?

– Hooda, here.

Choose another word; not marriage, because those eight letters are just so precious to us heterosexuals:

Civil unions is a formal recognition for gay people. Marriage is clearly defined in legislation (rightly so) between a man and a woman. The gay community need another word, not marriage.

– Simon, here.

If same-sex couples want to live together, then they can. But don’t call it marriage!
Marriage is a holy and sacred covenantal agreement between a man and a woman before God and others. Please don’t steal our word and make it mean less than that.

-BethyBennett, here.

The Bible says ‘No’:

No. This is a predominantly Christian community. Over 70% of Australians identify as Christian. The Bible says that homosexuality is a sin.

– Jenny, here.

And the counter-argument:

The bible also says that to show your love to your child you should beat them with a rod (Proverbs 13:24), and that if your child curses you they should be put to death (Lev 20:9) – do you do that?

The bible also says it is a sin to eat shellfish (Lev 11:9-12) – have you eaten prawns or lobster latety?

Have you run around killing Muslims, Buddhists and those of other religions lately – after all that is commanded by your Bible (Ex 22:20, Deu 17:2-7)? What about atheists, killed any of them lately to bring about peace (2 Chr 15:15)?

You may wish to pick and choose a selection of rules from an iron age story – but don’t expect the rest of us to, nor that you can impose your religious beliefs on everyone else.

– rob1966, here.

We are Christians God damn it, and the human race, 9 billion strong, depends on us heterosexuals fucking to survive:

This is a christian nation – that is where our great nation began – on good moral ground – and we need to stand our ground on issues like this. If we took this argument to its logical conclusion, then humanity’s survival is at stake – without a “mummy and a daddy”, there would be NO human race!

– SusieT, here.

What discrimination?

The Marriage Act applies to one man and one woman, there is nothing ‘discriminatory’ in that. I notice that the gay lobby and the Greens do not think that it is discriminatory to refuse Muslims the right to more than one wife although Centrelink already accepts such arrangements.

– Jessica and Josh, here.

The country is in crisis; it is not the time to talk about gay marriage. Let’s postpone this debate until the nation is growing and happy and fuel prices are back at 60c/L.

No time should be taken up by Parliament with gay rights. As they obviously can’t produce children, they don’t need any other rights other than to be able to live together, which they can do at their own choice now.

– Tracker, here.

Well done Adam Brandt, get yourself into feeding off the tax payer then your big aim in life is this. What about the 25,000 homeless children in Australia ?

– Trump, here.

Another minority group:

I do not believe that the majority of people support gay marriage. There is no good reason for legalising gay marriage. It makes no difference to the legal standing of the relationship. This is another push by a minority group to impose their views on the rest of society.

-Terry, here.

You’re a dickhead:

To call a same sex union a marriage defies the language and once you start to stuff around with the definition of language all other definitions are under threat as well as all legal and the meaning of legislated law.

– Deiter, here.

I don’t care, therefore no one cares:

Give us a break! Most people are sick to death of a minority’s sexuality issues thrust in our faces everytime we want to read the news. I’m seriously thinking about going to other media outlets for my news. There is no balance here.

– Simon, here.

The totally uneducated:

It’s not a human rights issue a. we have never had the right to marry so its not something that has been taken away from us and b. do those straight couples who choose not to be married or those that just cant find a partner are they also in breach of their human rights? Hardly.

– ChrisG, here.

It is an illness. Treatable with counselling/jail etc. Allowing gay marriages will also increase the risk of AIDS.

GoBigOne, here.

You’ve almost persuaded me:

Who said Guy marrigers must get the nod, it is immoral & against nature, to explain it in the simplist terms we are here to keep the species alive. Look at the Dinosausers, they all turned gay, now were are they ?

– Dale, here.

Do you support gay marriage?

Australian Open Final 2008

DjokovicBrisbane Time (+10 GMT)

6:35pm: Tsonga to serve.

6:47pm: First serve a little wild. Novak wins the first point. An omen?

6:49pm: Djokovic breaks in the first game. Not such a great start for the Frenchman.

7:00pm: A nervous start for both players. I’m predicting Nole will win! We are back on serve.

Fourth game is very tight. What a point to get back to deuce!! Novak wins the point from defence. The players are more relaxed now and hitting freely.

7:14pm: And we have a funny umpire (Carlos Ramos). He forgot to turn his microphone off and told the stadium that the ball was “quite close”. Then said: “Djokovic is challenging the ball that was quite close on the left service line”. Haaha! We are on serve: 3-3. Tsonga to serve next.

7:25pm: Tsonga complaining that Djokovic takes too long to serve. Oh poor baby! Djokovic did get a time violation for this against Federer if I remember correctly.

7:29pm: We are still on serve but it seems that Djokovic is having more trouble holding his serve. Tsonga has so far won two more points in the match than Novak (33 to 31). Djokovic will serve to stay in the set.

The crowd is totally going for Tsonga at the moment. Which is weird because Nole is nice too.

7:36pm: Well the first set point goes to Tsonga and he converts. First set: 6-4.

Djokovic hasn’t dropped a set this tournament and neither player has lost the first set and had to come back from behind. This definitely gives the advantage to Tsonga. Basically Djokovic had too many unforced errors (12) in that set in my opinion compared to Tsonga (8) and continues that trend into the first two points of the second set.

7:46pm: Tsonga gives a point to Djokovic by incorrectly challenging a call but seems unaffected by it. On serve, 2-1 to Tsonga.

8:00pm: Djokovic holds to love and keeps the momentum going with two break points in the next game. Three all 15-40.

8:05pm: Djokovic breaks serve. Game on! Two minutes later he is in trouble – his dad left the stadium and didn’t make it back to his seat before play started. He throws in a double fault. Nole’s ball-bounces reach into the double figures. But he ends up holding his serve. Tsonga serving to stay in the second set and seems a little off.

Djokovic bounces the ball before he serves and on the big points sometimes gets up to 25 bounces. I think it probably builds tension in the other player before he serves. It certainly works though – Novak serves really well on the big points.

8:15pm: Easy hold for Djokovic. Second set Djokovic, 6-4. One set all.

Third set, update at the end.

8:58pm: The third set: massive. Tsonga, realising he can’t dominate from the back of the court, tries a few different things. Most were unsuccessful. Even though Djokovic was up a break for most of the set it was still a massive battle. Tsonga seemed to lack confidence early in the set and Djokovic was on fire. Novak’s first serve percentage was the highest it has been for the match at 70% (which is important when you are winning 93% of the points when it’s in). Novak had multiple set points but couldn’t convert. Finally, he wins the set 6-3.

Jo-Wilfried TsongaI’ve fuelled up on my falafel burger and I’m ready for the fourth set.

9:00pm: Roger Rasheed (commentator and former coach of Lleyton Hewitt) reckons that Djokovic has been able to flatten out the ball (rather than using a lot of top spin – for newbies) so that it gets back to Tsonga quickly. Something that Nadal couldn’t do.

9:11pm: A few really physical points; both players sliding around the court. Djokovic is a little buggered. Is he fatigued and can he bounce back? Two all.

9:13pm: Jim Courier (commentator) reveals that Djokovic doesn’t play Poker on the court. Translation: he shows his emotions and fatigue. Federer is great at poker. Novak holds, 3-2.

9:20pm: Djokovic gets a nice rub down and changes his shirt. He’s been playing for two and a half hours and needs a little break. Poor kid! He is very fatigued and if Tsonga can win this set he might be in with a very big chance.

9:34pm: Tsonga serving to stay in the match. And a great game for him. He really lifts and puts the pressure back on Djokovic.

9:42pm: The eleventh game of the fourth set was huge. Tsonga had one break point but couldn’t convert; the first break point he has had since the first set.

9:47pm: Tsonga is anxious; serving his first double fault for the match. Can he win the tiebreak?

9:48pm: Novak bounces the ball eight million times and is up a mini break. Three points away from the match. 5-1 Djokovic. It isn’t looking good for Tsonga. He just can’t control the pressure. 5-2 Djokovic. He only needs to win the next two points on his serve.

9:52pm: Six match points for Novak. It’s over.

9:53pm: He only needed one. Djokovic wins the Australian Open 2008. Congratulations. Roll the emotional montage with emotive music.

I’d like to thank the sponsors: Kia, Garnier, Optus, Wolf Blass. Channel Seven for the coverage.

Update: 2.346 million people in Australia watched the Australian Open Final 2008.

Snapshot of Australia – ‘Booze’

Booze

(David Dale – Who We Are – A snapshot of Australia today)

Which is weird because I always thought that people drank when they were feeling depressed. Who can afford three glasses of wine per day though? These people obviously have high disposable incomes.

Do you feel delighted, pleased, happy, average, unhappy, discontent, or terrible? How many alcoholic beverages do you drink per day? How many alcoholic beverages did you drink before answering this question?

Dodo to go the way of the dodo

Dodo

Hopefully.

It has been revealed that Dodo, an Australian internet service provider and telecommunication company, has had a 700 per cent increase in complaints launched with the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman in the last 12 months.

The Ombudsman recorded 50,000 complaints for Telstra, including landline telephone, mobile and internet services, while Optus had 20,000. Dodo had almost 20,000 complaints over the 12 month period and has substantially less customers than these two providers. (The Age)

Approximately 3,000 of the complaints to Dodo were with regard to billing and payment, 4,500 about customer service and 3,400 about their landline phone service (Australian Financial Review, Jenkins, C.).

Well a lot of us already knew that Dodo is an absolute bastard Internet Service Provider. I helped my parents leave them about two years ago (they moved to Optusnet). It took them five phone calls to stop Dodo billing their credit card and Dodo rang them back three or four times during the process asking if they would like to return to the service.

Read customer complaints about Dodo here.

Interest rates rise to 6.75 per cent

The Reserve Bank of Australia has lifted interest rates to an 11-year high of 6.75 per cent.

My question is: if the economy is going so well and both parties are suggesting that they are experts at managing the economy and keeping interest rates low, why are they both making huge election promises?

Answer: it wins votes.

But surely the Labor party could gain some ground on the question of their ability to run the economy, by ‘spending’ less on tax cuts and suggesting that the Liberal party’s sweeteners are economically irresponsible. Dah!

Meanwhile, I saw the interview John Howard did on 9am with David and Kim last week. This discussion was more influential than any other thing I have seen in the past year – even more so than a couple of Lateline interviews I’ve seen and the debate. If you like Howard, I would be spreading this one around!

Snapshot of Australia – ‘truly Australian’

36 per cent of Australians believe that you have to be Christian to be ‘truly Australia’!? WTF?

David Dale: Who we are

(David Dale – Who We Are – A snapshot of Australia today)

I felt reassured that 91 per cent of people thought that feeling Australian was enough to make someone ‘truly Australian’, and I can accept that becoming an Australian would improve your Australian-ness. But the rest are pretty unacceptable if you ask me. What has being Christian got to do with being Australian? Aboriginal people aren’t Christian.

Come on people!

Facebook announces advertising strategy

Facebook recently disclosed it’s plans to monetise the company’s rapidly growing user base (around 30 million active users). Less than four years old, Facebook is worth around $15 billion (given the 1.6% share Microsoft bought for $240 million).

How it works:

Users can then sign up as “fans” of that brand and engage with it just like a regular friend. When the user interacts with a brand, their activities – mashed together with paid advertisements – show up on the user’s profile page and on their friends’ “News Feed” summary. (SMH)

Facebook […] will give advertisers the ability to create their own profile pages on its system that will let users identify themselves as fans of a product. So each user’s news feed will contain items like “Bobby Smith is now a fan of Toyota Prius,” or whatever. News feeds can be linked to outside Web sites as well. So you can tell your friends about what you rented at Blockbuster or are auctioning on eBay. (IHT)

Facebook user, Emily, comments:

I just don’t want to be pestered by companies trying to sell me crap I don’t need. I get enough of that as it is without bloody facebook getting in on the act. If I want a coke, I can get one. I use Microsoft every day at work. I know who Sony is. If I want their freakin’ products, I’ll contact them. In the mean time, they can leave me alone. (Mashup)

I am currently a Facebook user but I’m getting a little bored with it. Basically, Facebook is a more complex version of Jaiku. I use flickr to share photos, my favourite websites on Stumbleupon, my favourite videos on youTube and Revver – Jaiku puts them all together into one place. I would also rather use Instant Messenger and email to communicate with people so our conversations aren’t published for all my other friends to read.

I’m not going to become ‘friends’ with a brand on Facebook, some people might want to, but I feel like choosing to share your friendship with a brand, is a conscious effort to express an identity that doesn’t really exist and is therefore very inauthentic – in the Frankfurt School sense (did I use this reference correctly?).

Summary: If you are a university student in Australia with Motorola and Tsubi as Facebook friends, than you really are a try-hard and should be engaging in more worthwhile pursuits!

Centophobia’s guide to voting in the Senate ’07

I’d like to begin by disclosing that I am a member of the Australian Democrats.

We are another step closer to the Federal Election with Senate preference flows being submitted last Saturday (3 Nov ’07).

Firstly, a brief description of the parties in the Senate contest (some of these parties are only running in certain states):

  • Labor: New Leadership, Education Revolution, Sorry, end WorkChoices, high-speed broadband, do something on Climate Change.
  • Liberal/National: More of the same, economic prosperity, lower interest rates, security, spending on roads.
  • The Greens: the environment and global warming, public education and health, indigenous health, ‘No to Nuclear’.
  • The Australian Democrats: human rights, equality for women and respect for aboriginal people, political accountability, international leadership.
  • Family First: health and well-being of the family.
  • One Nation: protectionist trade strategies, reduce immigration (especially from Asia), reduce benefits given to indigenous Australians
  • Pauline: reduce immigration, fixed parliamentary terms, inquiry into energy sources viability and environmental impact, give product aid rather than cash,
  • Climate Change Coalition: ratify Kyoto, reduce carbon emissions, oppose nuclear power, introduce emissions trading scheme.
  • Carers: funding for disability, aged care and mental health, increased recognition and support for carers.
  • What Women Want: female representation in Parliament, fairer workplace, paid maternity leave, affordable childcare, support as carers, choices in child birth, better post-natal care.
  • Non-Custodial Parents Party: prevent family breakdown, equal parenting in marriage and after divorce, protection of children after divorce, decreased government intervention, don’t support War in Iraq, free trade, globalisation, reduced emphasis on coal for energy.
  • Hear our Voice: ?
  • Conservative for Climate and Environment: responsible and economically responsible action on climate change.
  • Senator Online: no policy platform. Suggests that the Australian people who have access to the internet will vote on legislation and the majority opinion will be expressed by the candidate.
  • Socialist Alliance: end WorkChoices, environment, free health and education, public housing, end discrimination, defend the rights of Aboriginal Australians.
  • LDP (Liberty and Democracy Party): decreased government intervention, free trade, reduce tax, minimal public spending, individual freedoms.
  • Democratic Labor Party: social and economic justice, firmly against recognition of gay relationships, per capita education voucher, increased military spending, no tax on income saved or invested,
  • Australian Fishing and Lifestyle Party/The Fishing Party: They like fishing people! oppose bans or restrictions on recreational fishing in National Parks.
  • Australian Shooters Party: oppose The Greens policies to protect the environment – defend the right to own a firearm and 4WD in National Parks.
  • Citizens Electoral Council: protectionist trade policies, public assets over privatisation, range of assistance for family farmers, remove the GST, increased infrastructure spending and immigration.
  • Christian Democratic Party: ‘Christian values and ethics’, security for country and property, improved family life and protection of children (cough, cough), support for Christian education, (wait for it!) ‘legislation to guard life from all destructive forces’.
  • Independents: obviously each independent candidate has their own ideas and opinions. Therefore it is difficult for me to write about every independent candidate in the election.

If you vote above the line, the party you vote for will decide who they will give your vote to if they are knocked out of the contest. If you vote below the line, you are able to choose the order of parties that will get your vote if they are knocked out of the contest. Make sure to number ever box though if you are voting below the line, and make sure you display your ability to count.

I was having a discussion with my family about voting for minor parties in the Senate recently. I was suggesting that they vote for a minor party or independent in the Senate so that no matter which major party has control of the Lower House, the Senate would always be a second opportunity for policies to be discussed, and altered. My grandma however revealed a number of things about her political experience when she suggested matter-of-factly that “a vote for the Democrats, is a vote for Labor”. The two things being – her dislike of Labor, and her limited political knowledge (I’d like to point out that I don’t consider myself politically knowledgeable, I just have good googling skills). So is a vote for The Democrats a vote for Labor?

Order of preferences for Democrats in Queensland: Major premiseA vote for the Democrats is not a vote for Pauline!

We Like: Climate Change Coalition, Carers, What Women Want, independents, The Greens.
At least they are better than the Major Parties: Socialist Alliance, LDP, Senator Online, Australian Fishing and Lifestyle Party, independents, Labor, Liberal/Nationals.
Not in Hell: The Fishing Party, Democratic Labor Party, independents, Family First, Non-Custodial Parents Party, independents, Australian Shooters Party, Citizens Electoral Council, Christian Democratic Party, One Nation WA, Pauline.

Senator Andrew Bartlett explains:

In deciding our Senate preference ticket in Queensland, the Democrats used the following general principles as a guide to group the various parties:

  • smaller parties and independents who are sufficiently like-minded to justifiably put ahead of the Greens.
  • smaller parties and independent too philosophically different to be able to justify putting ahead of the Greens, but still okay enough to put ahead of the major parties.
  • smaller parties and independents who are basically too antithetical to Democrat philosophy to preference ahead of the major parties.

[..] Given the importance of ending the current situation where one major party controlled the Senate – and the appalling display of debauching due process which the Coalition had engaged since it gained that Senate control – we decided to put our preferences to Labor ahead of the Coalition.

In Queensland, an ‘above the line’ vote for the Democrats will be counted as a vote for Labor before it is can be counted as a vote for the Coalition (I have a limited understanding of how the counting process occurs and trying to explain it is even more difficult). However if I vote below the line, I am able to put Labor and the Coalition in any position I like. Therefore, a vote for the Democrats is not necessarily a vote for Labor. Moral of the story – just take the extra 10 seconds and vote below the line!

Check where your preferences will be going (if you vote above the line) : New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory, Australian Capital Territory.

It’s on!

Well the election has been called and I’m excited!

John Howard today announced that the Federal election will be held on November 24, 2007. The electoral role closes on Wednesday, so for those hundreds of thousands of Australians who aren’t enrolled, or are enrolled incorrectly, update your details now.

When making the announcement Mr Howard said that “… this country does not need new leadership; it does not need old leadership. It needs the right leadership.” He also said, that “… love me or loathe me, the Australian people know where I stand on all the major issues of importance to their future.”

What are the major issues that you are thinking about in the lead up to the election? What will influence your vote? Labor governments across the country, the War in Iraq, the environment, Aboriginal affairs, Work Choices?

Links to more electoral goodness: google.com.au/election2007/ and abc.net.au/news/tag/federal-election-2007/

Dancing with the Stars – Ep.5

Nearly two million Australians (1,906,000) watched Corinne Grant get booted off Dancing with the Stars last night. I do like Corinne but I don’t think she’s a dancer. She gave it a go, so good on her.

The real news is the ratings though. Channel Seven achieved the top five rating programs for Tuesday night. Home and Away (1,409,000), Today Tonight (1,385,000), Seven News (1,367,000) and All Saints (1,306,000), and of course Dancing with the Stars. For a two hour program, DWTS is a huge winner for Channel Seven compared to, for example, half an hour of Kath and Kim.

I was a bit disappointed with the ratings for Heroes on Thursday however (1,223,000) but for 9:30pm I’m sure that’s reasonable. I’m totally a fan of Heroes!

Also while I’m on the topic of television, I’m actually thinking about getting a HD digital set-top box so I can watch the new HD channels by Ten and Seven which are to be launched before the end of the year. From what I’ve read, Seven’s schedule seems to be a bit of a rush job, but Channel Ten’s offering looks quite good.

Side Note: if you like Channel Seven you can subscribe to their Jaiku feed for updates. Jaiku is one of Google’s latest purchases and is now only available to current subscribers. If you’d like to join Jaiku post a comment below (I’m going to be mean and only offer these to people living in Oz – so prove it!).

Play lotto online!

So I always thought it would be great if you could just play Australian lotto online, except when you go to the normal websites (for example, Golden Casket) to sign up, it says you have to take identification down to your nearest newsagency before you can play. I thought that was dumb!

Anyway, now you can put your lottery numbers in online using OzLotteries and you even get two free entries if you join.