Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Asylum seekers: Deter or Save?

Just had a message from someone saying that they think the Greens should vote for the asylum seeker Bill in parliament because something is better than nothing. This idea is so wrong. Sometimes something is much worse than what we already have.

Voting for asylum seekers, found in Australian waters, to be processed in countries who have not signed the refugee convention or any other country, might deter them from trying to get to Australia but it will only increase the suffering and push it further down the line.

The problems in the countries that asylum seekers are fleeing will not be fixed anytime soon, so by making it harder for them to get on leaky boats we are simply changing the geography, not the danger or the loss of life through botched attempts to escape. Just because the numbers of people dying in Australian waters is reduced it doesn't mean they won't die anyway in other tragic circumstances; possibly suffocating in containers or trucks or cargo holds. Use your imaginations.

What would you do if you were being persecuted and threatened with being buried alive, or buried up to your neck and then stoned or cut up into little pieces or gaoled for the rest of your life? Would you take your chances on a leaky boat or a container or an airless truck? What we need to do is increase our humanitarian quota and process asylum seekers here in the land of the just and the free and  ALSO the world community needs to work in cooperation to stop global persecution and suffering.

Comprend? So don';t suggest the Greens should vote for a cruel Bill just so that politicians won't feel responsible for refugee deaths in Australian waters. This is just a bandaid to make them feel better and look better in the eyes of the voting public. Howard said that he stopped the boats. Check the facts and figures...The only thing that reduced the number of boats during Howard's terrible and terrifying reign was that circumstances changed in the countries people were fleeing from. Full stop.

Someone else said that blocking the Bill in the Senate is undemocratic. What do they think the Senate is there for? To act as an automatic rubber stamp for every Bill passed by the House of Reps? How rediculous. And, with an asylum seeker policy that promised to stop offshore processing Labor was voted into minority Govt with the help of the Greens and the Independents. They changed their policy. the Greens have stood by their policy to end mandatory detention and to process all asylum seekers onshore and to increase our humanitarian intake. I am very proud of the Greens and their ethical stance on this issue.

Support the Greens in our fight for universal human rights. Don't expect us to compromise our ideals. If we thought that this Bill would save even one human life, we'd vote for it immediately!!!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Suddenly Reincarnation!

When I was in my twenties I suddenly became aware of the theory of reincarnation. I felt quite rattled by the notion that we could have lived other, forgotten lives. How amazing is that thought. How incredible are humans to have even imagined such things.

So being a very curious person in more ways than one, I decided to go to Melbourne to have a ‘past life reading’. I was scared witless at the idea of someone actually looking back into my previous lifetimes. After all who knew what they might find and, well, it was all a bit spooky really.
 I was also embarrassed about actually having a ‘reading’ as ‘readings’ were not something that regular people participated in, especially catholic people like me. So I took the very early morning train to Melbourne hoping I wouldn’t be seen by anyone I knew.
I had asked a sceptical Melbourne friend, who was studying psychology, to come along with me and if necessary to pick up the pieces if everything went pear shaped.  “ Look, it’s all bullshit anyway." she kept saying to me. “Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit and crap. Just keep the word bullshit in your mind and repeat it over and over. Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit and you’ll be fine....”. That was quite grounding until I found myself in a monastical building, in a room with a very priestly man and a group of very official looking assistants. It felt as though I was in the midst of a strange offshoot cult of the catholic Church, with fallen priests and satanic rituals. I’ve since discovered that this was the cult that Bob Hawke’s wife, Blanche, belonged to at the time.
Anyway, I can’t remember the reading in its entirety but the story was along the lines of ... my father in this life was my brother in the last life and my brother was my father and I had died in the country from which I adopted my children in this lifetime... None of it was particularly interesting or helpful or insightful or spooky for that matter and I came out of the room muttering ‘bullshit, bullshit, bullshit’ under my breath. Still, I was left with the impression that such an encounter could possibly have a powerful effect on some and my experience did have a profound effect on one other person.
Many moons have passed since that furtive early morning train ride to Melbourne and over the years I have lost touch with Shirley of the sensible bullshit advice. Of course, I am respectful of the fact that reincarnation is important to millions of people around the world and that there could very well be some truth in it but in the end it made little difference to me. I think I simply noted the experience and moved on.
However, last time I spoke to logical, intelligent, analytical psychologist Shirley of the sensible ‘bullshit’ advice, she told me that she was a practioner of 'past life regression therapy'. Can you believe that? Past life regression therapy!
She regresses people through hypnosis to their past lives, in order to help them overcome the problems they are experiencing in their present lives!! So who was that reading really meant for I wonder? Not me, that’s for sure!
Ain’t life grand? Now everyone repeat after me ' It's all bullshit, bullshit, bullshit....'

And here's what the Cheshire Cat had to say.

It is easy being Green!

Hands up if you love Bob Brown. I do!! For those who don't know him, until recently he was the leader of the Australian Greens political party and is still a human rights and environmental activist extraordinaire.

Bob has had a wealth of experience in environmental activism being one of the big players who helped to save the Franklin River in Tasmania and some of the oldest forests in the world. He has lead the way for the formation of the political party the Australian Greens and has mentored the Green political movement worldwide.

At different times, Bob has both agreed and disagreed with Kermit the frog on being Green. Sometimes he says it is easy being Green and at other times, not so so easy.

Bob has known his share of persecution. As a young gay man studying medicine in Sydney he was harrassed and abused by yobbo bullies and most of his life he has been an advocate for gay rights and marriage equality. What a great role model he has been for us all. He has never lost his cool in public, as far as I know and has always treated everyone with patience and respect, no matter how rediculous, prejudiced, ignorant, agressive, greedy, corrupt, ill informed or even dangerous they may be.

Sometimes I think he might even be too good for his own good. In his farewell letter to us he wrote that he intends to escort an exiled African Green parliamentarian back to his political seat, in pain of death. Please don't Bob. We need you alive and well and living in Australia!

Bob has shown us that it is possible to create change for the better even when the odds are stacked against you. He has shown us that we can be strong in the face of overwhelming odds and that we must never, ever give up.

Together we can lessen the impact of climate change. Together we can save our forests, our oceans and rivers, our wilderness areas and our fertile food producing lands. Great strides are being made in Tasmania and the Australian Government has announced plans to create the largest marine sanctuary in the world in the waters around Australia. This is what we are fighting for and it IS happening. Perhaps not when we want it to or quite how we envisioned but it IS happening.

We must believe it is possible to save life on planet earth and we will do it. It is easy being Green. You just have to say yes.
Farewell and many blessings to our esteemed leader. We love you Bob!!/photo.php?fbid=464604463569476&set=a.346585712038019.94133.283033748393216&type=1&theater

Sunday, 3 June 2012

And a very messy weekend was had by all...

 Had a great weekend celebrating World Environment Day, which is this Tuesday, June 5th .
Our little enviro group held two stalls. On Saturday we set up in the hall at the Emmanuel Sustainability Festival and on Sunday we made an awful mess outside Safeway.

We arraneged a very, very messy stall. It was most unappealing and very unattractive. Penny had spent weeks collecting used cans and drink containers from smelly that she could pile them all up around her CAR with signs about how the Baillieu Govt refuses to support a 10c container deposit levy (introduced by the Greens and passed in the upper house). We had petitions laid on, a raffle of enviro cleaning aids, and Colleen Hartland's gorgeous postcards (like the John and Betty readers) trying to persuade Ted Baillieu to pass the scheme. (Good luck with that Colleen!)

Our fry up attracted some rather reluctant attendees and the Tin Shed Singers serenaded shoppers with environmental songs such as 'Drunken Sailor' but with better words...A one and a two and a three ' What shall we do with empty bottle, What shall we do with the empty bottle, What shall we do with the empty bottle Earlye in the morning? Back to the vendors- they won't take it, Back to the vendors they won't take it Back to the vendors they won't take it Earlye In the morning...Chorus....Verse " Throw it with the others on the Princes H'way, Throw it with the others on the Princes H'way, Throw it with the others on the princes H'way Earlye In the morning!"."In a street bin then to landfill, In a street bin then to landfill, In a street bin then to landfill earlye in the morning!" "Save them for the scouts. Oh that's now history, Save them for the scouts. Oh, that's now history, Save them for the Scouts. Oh that's now history, Earlye in the morning." " Take them home and fill the yellow bin, Take them home and fill the ..." " Refund over on South Australia, Refund over in South Australia...."  " What shall we do with the empty bottle....etc" Hurray for the Tin Shed singers. Just wish there'd been a few more there to hear it!!!!!!
Anway congratulations again to us and especially to Penny for a stirling and enjoyable result!!!! Drat....didn't get that book read...heading off to a warm bed now.