Posts by Moz

  • Hard News: Lorde, the council and the…, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    drug |drəg| - noun

    Two things: The UK has outlawed every substance that has a psychoactive effect. So technically everything from peppermint tea to roast turkey now need to be separately assessed and approved, backed with 25 years in jail for selling anything not approved. You can guess how that law is being used (hint: it's not part of the war on christmas).

    I was also subject to a disciplinary hearing at one job for referring to fellow employees as drug addicts. After discussion it was agreed that nicotine and alcohol are indeed drugs so my statement was technically accurate, but I should not repeat that characterisation... of the social committee and company directors. The directors were medical doctors (as well as smokers) and the company sold medical software... you'd think they'd be well familiar with "drugs of addiction" and other phrases that normally label nicotine and alcohol as drugs and their dependents as addicts.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1032 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Too Sexy for Your Site,

    If I move it would be back in Aotearoa. But yeah, jobs in my industry at my pay level are very rare in NZ. So I probably can't afford to do that until I retire/can get my compulsory superannuation savings back out of the system.

    Also, Australian politics is worse, much worse than NZ. The Nationals under Brash would fit comfortably into the Labour party here, and be rejected out of hand by the theoretically-similar Liberals on any number of issues. Gay marriage and abortion, for example. Then there's the "native issue".

    You have to remember that the arsehole vote in Australia has always been strong. We get a consistent 1% of voting papers with penises drawn on them, don't forget. We make them turn up but we can't make them turn in a valid vote. Referendums fail, almost always, and the "big success" there was ... voting to count Aborigines as human beings. In 1968.

    Meanwhile, in parliament an ongoing crisis because the racist bullshit... sorry, "Australian Constitution" explicitly bans anyone with ties to a foreign country from parliament. When 30% of the country was born overseas and another 30% have parents or grandparents who were, that rules out a lot of people. A *lot* of people. The obvious group who aren't caught by that are absolutely unacceptable to most Australians (oh, and we just had the "Uluru Declaration" where the government went to Aborigines and said "get together and come up with a proposal", then when they got it said "hahaha f**k off, we're not giving you any actual power, how about a nice statement of recognition instead"). Ahem. So, masses of first nations people in Parliament because *they* don't have foreign ties... nup.

    But undoing that bit of white nationalism requires a referendum to change the constitution... MPs realise that the hate-them-all vote, plus the arsehole vote, plus the "your own petard" vote would make that one a very difficult argument to win. I would struggle to vote for undoing that ugly bit of racism, just because f**k them, you know. Undo all of it or none of it. Start with "we're here on Aboriginal Lands and we're really grateful that they have agreed to recognise us and our law" and move on from there. The "good" news is that there's only about 200 nations to sign treaties with rather than the 500-600 there were when Australia was founded.

    Equality... we have heard of it. Doesn't sound that great. A bit UnAustralian, mate.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1032 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Too Sexy for Your Site, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Dude, you need to move.

    Sadly the options on that front are not great. I'm rich enough to have a mortgage, but not rich enough to afford anywhere desirable. Lakemba is actually quite tolerant and accepting, there's a lot of quiet-but-strong religious feeling. The thing is that even the most vehement religious bigot here knows that they are going to be first against the wall if there's an(other) outbreak of intolerance. We already have a special division of the NSW Police dedicated to intensive monitoring of Muslims, and regular bullshit that would make the Christians or Jews cry if it were done to them.

    But yeah, the overall result for NSW kind of boggled me. That's a hell of a split between Sydney

    Yep. Sydney has a lot of migrants. A *lot* of migrants. And they generally run either "WTF" like you mob, or very conservative and "WTF" very much the other way. More of the latter, obviously, especially in western Sydney. Plus there are pockets of evangelical Christians etc, so I'm not hugely surprised.

    It amused a lot of people that Tony "failed Catholic priest" Abbott is facing 74% YES in his electorate, that really is going to put pressure on him to vote the public sentiment rather than what passes for his own moral conscience. I think my local Labour MP, on the other hand, is quite likely to vote YES because he's fairly sane and reasonable as right-wing browns go. The Islamic crew don't have a lot of places to take their votes, the Liberals are really on the nose with key sections (Liberal actions towards key places like Lebanon and Iraq are memorable rather than positive, shall we say).

    Being in the "own the house but rent out rooms to help pay the mortgage" category I get to see a sample of new locals whenever we need more housemates. being in Lakemba and conveniently located 400m from the Iraqi "not a mosque" Youth Centre and 500m from the Roselands "actually a mosque" Mosque we get more than 50% Muslims. Experience suggests that young Muslim men moving out of home for the first time are, somewhat unbelievably, even worse than white Christian men ditto in terms of housework and behaviour towards women in the house. Flip side, should the nice African women who've just moved in ever get up the nerve to talk to me (we communicate via SMS) I suspect they are actually quite pleasant.

    OK, the point is: no boggling, no problems with anything we do here. So far a grand total of one "so, you live with X and... is Y your other wife?" We have a rainbow "YES" letterbox, which may filter out problem housemates or at least help set expectations (and that letterbox has not been damaged during the campaign).

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1032 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Too Sexy for Your Site, in reply to TracyMac,

    require "acceptance", except from people I actually care about, and equal representation in the law.

    I dunno, at work it would be quite nice if there was any chance of acceptance, but that is down to the individuals I work with. And some of them are not especially tolerant. In a way the "but explain everything to me in great detail because I don't get it" ones are worse, because the whole "I am normal, everyone should be normal, not wanting desperately to be normal in all respects is weird and gross and you owe me an explanation" this is just tedious and annoying. That applies, by the way, to "why do you have chickens? Why don't you just buy eggs at the supermarket like everyone else" level, bob help us all if he worked out that my "new" girlfriend is the same as my "old" girlfriend from before I broke up with my ... uh, "official" girlfriend. In a way so really want to take the whole family along to the work xmas party, just as I want to take roast Erma to work when she meets her tasty end #headsplosion.

    For those who haven't seen it:" 62% in favour of more marraige equality, but 30% in my electorate. Ow!

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1032 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Too Sexy for Your Site, in reply to TracyMac,

    #dangerousemma? #getsoffinmriscanners? Actually, wouldn't that be an expensive kink.

    who wear wedding rings and constantly refer to "the hubby" and "the wife"

    It's somewhat worse when they regularly have unprompted bitch sessions about their *ex* wife and how .... {eyeroll} and then say "why would gays want marriage? I don't". Yep. And you totally sucking at poker is why we should ban card games, amirite?

    There is some amusement for me at living in an area where I am sure polygamy happens more than average (50% Muslim) but polyamory not so much. I am waiting with some trepidation to see what the results of the optional postal survey on who gets to be a bit less unequal say about the suburb. But our rainbow "YES" letterbox has remained undamaged, so that is a somewhat positive sign.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1032 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Too Sexy for Your Site, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    spreadsheets are a step too far! On a serious note, I actually love PDAs

    But surely you need the PDA to view spreadsheets on? Laptops and sex are just not a good combination. Well, except for solo sex, obviously.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1032 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Lorde, the council and the…, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    problem of a large 'Christian Wowser' influence.

    You mean the most holy Mike Baird the explicit Christian conservative? Nah, we have Gladys Berejiklian now. She's less overt but still beholden to the NSW Christian wrong for support. They're just not able to to count on the premier touring the churches ranting about shutting down sin any more. But with him and the Catholic Prime Minister it was a bit grim for a while (Tony Abbott wanted to be a priest but decided he liked sex with women a bit too much... he wasn't so Catholic that he avoided adultery, though).

    That article uses the phrase "serving Jesus" makes me think of communion, which I'm sure is not their intent. "eat up your yummy Jesus bits, children. Tasty, tasty Jesus!".

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1032 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Lorde, the council and the…,

    Sydney doesn't just have the lock-out laws and undue influence by the excessively rich and the gambling scum, we have a whole load of other nonsense. Also, sadly, series of examples of how even a council who wants to do the right thing can be overruled by higher government and bureaucrazy.

    The most general problem is "neighbourhood amenity" provisions, where it's considered that by default a large group of people is always a bad thing. The onus is thus on venues to show that they should be allowed to create the problem of a group of people, and what they will do to stop that problem impinging on their neighbours. This has to be done regularly, and every time it's treated as though the venue is the newcomer to an existing area. There's optionally consideration of "existing uses", but that is very optional and a special case has to be made for it every time.

    On top of this is a layer of state government craziness, where they write alcohol laws based on the worst of the worst (lawyered-up chains of gambling dens who want to be open, serving alcohol 24/7 to feed patrons into their pokie machines). The collateral damage to that is, of course, any alcohol dealer who can't afford $50,000 every year to litigate their way into a license renewal.

    In Sydney we also have densification enforced from on high, and heavily influenced by large companies (why would a politician grovel to 50 small businesses when they can let one large donor work around the laws for a single large cash infusion?[1]) Those property developers target exactly the urban renewal areas where artists and venue exist, because they're worth more as residential slumlord properties than as venues. Even better, they can use the former arty image as a marketing point. But without that disruptive art actually interfering. It's a win-win! The residual art zone in Marrickville is one of the current targets for this, the target is 10k-20k new residents in an area featuring the Elefant Traks studio, Red Rattler venue and the Marrickville Makerspace as some of the most visible "low value occupiers".

    The the media turn round and whine loudly that all the interesting culture has gone and now there's just industrial-scale nightclubs and pokies. They only care about indie culture when it's being driven out (they want that, it's "redevelopment" and "improvement") or when they periodically rediscover how sterile and boring industrialised entertainment is.

    [1] technically property developers can't donate to political parties in NSW. But somehow the major parties haven't needed to replace those "missing" donations, and their pro-large-developer policies continue as before. Hmm.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1032 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Government lost the election, in reply to nzlemming,

    sending Hosking to Damascus.

    Or Bir Tawil

    No government to distract him there. He'd have to find a new hobby.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1032 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Communications breakdown, in reply to TracyMac,

    Our local council tried this with one bike infrastructure scam and got really snotty with one person who repeated their "confidential" comments on failbook. They never agreed to keep anything confidential, and in fact were never asked... just told after the meeting started.

    So when they emailed me I said "I'd be happy to record an interview with whoever you like and put it on utube so everyone can see it" and got a very garbled response that seemed to mean "that's not what we are trying to do". Yeah, I know, and now you know that I know.

    That said, in general I've had very good dealings with our council and other local government. It's only when they can't help me that things get, well, unhelpful :)

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1032 posts Report Reply

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