Monthly Archives: September 2018

PUP’s Jacqui Lambie compares parental leave scheme to eugenics

Tasmanian senator-elect Jacqui Lambie has compared the Coalition’s paid parental leave scheme to eugenics – the discredited social policy associated with Adolf Hitler’s Nazi-era attempts to breed a race of ubermenschen, or super humans.
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As Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced he would scale back his ambitious paid parental leave scheme from an upper limit of $150,000 to $100,000, blaming the “budget emergency” created by the former Labor government, Ms Lambie accused the government’s generous scheme of attempting to discourage poor people from having children.

Eugenics emerged in the 19th century as a “scientific” theory designed to control which people became parents and thereby limit which genes were passed on. It was adopted by the Nazis and used to justify the forced sterilisation of an estimated 400,000 people, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial museum, and the deaths of tens of thousands of people.

“It’s clear that the Liberal’s paid parental leave scheme is a not-so-subtle attempt at discouraging Australians with the undesirable trait of being poor (when compared with those who are rich) from reproducing. Why else would Mr Abbott and his supporters champion a government scheme which ensures rich Australians receive more than double, sometimes triple the amount of parental leave that poor working Australians receive?” she said in a statement.

“The only fair way to administer any government-sanctioned paid parental leave scheme is as per the Palmer United policy – and ensure that all Australian parents and babies are treated equally. Otherwise those championing a government scheme which clearly tries to influence or control who becomes parents – must be associated with eugenics – and all the historic, moral and political baggage attached to this reviled social theory.”

“If the Liberals really want to improve Australian society then they should allow our children to access free university degrees and visits to their GPs, not introduce a sly social policy which divides us into rich and poor – and attempts to influence which group reproduces the most.”

Ms Lambie, a former soldier, has courted controversy since being elected to the Senate last September.

She has been engaged in a public stoush with her Palmer United Party colleague, Queensland MP Alex Douglas, who suggested she came from “Boganland”.  Ms Lambie hit back at that criticism, telling her local paper she was from the “underdog world”.

She was also investigated by the Tasmanian Electoral Commission for using the unauthorised images of former premier Lara Giddings, Liberal successor Will Hodgman and Greens leader Nick McKim.

The Palmer United Party’s leader, Clive Palmer, has previosuly flagged his party would vote against the scheme.

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This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Labor calls for donations to set up party news service

Labor’s national secretary has called on supporters to make donations so the party can set up its own media outlet. Photo: Alex EllinghausenShould we be afraid?
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The Australian Labor Party is on the brink of a brave new internal reform. And it has nothing to do with preselections or union influence.

National secretary George Wright sent an email to supporters on Wednesday afternoon announcing that the ALP will start its very own media outlet – “a bit like Labor’s own Crikey”.

“You’ve told us that you can see the Labor message isn’t making it through the mainstream media and we have to produce our own news service,” he wrote.

Promising “handy facts, interesting articles and video” the new Labor news aims to be “no nonsense” and without the “filter” of the mainstream media.

“We’ll send a daily bulletin out to everyone who signs up so you can get up to date information on what’s happening each day. A bit like Labor’s own Crikey,” Mr Wright explained.

To get the project up and running, the ALP is calling for donations from supporters to employ “hopefully a news journalist with experience online” at the cost of about $95,000.

Donations aside, suggestions for Labor journalists have poured in since the announcement, under the Twitter hashtag “LaborHerald”.

Former foreign minister Bob Carr has been suggested for lifestyle and travel features, while Craig Thomson has been put forward for entertainment.

Former star recruits Cheryl Kernot and Maxine McKew have been nominated for obituaries.

And Malcolm Turnbull has been picked out as foreign correspondent.

Better hold the front page.

The best of #LaborHerald on Twitter

Relationship advice columnist Bob Hawke #LaborHerald#auspol— Elias Jahshan (@Elias_Jahshan) April 30, 2014

Obituaries: Richo, he knows where the bodies are #LaborHerald#auspol— Lady C (@LadyCaroline1) April 30, 2014

Travel Reviewer: Kevin Rudd #LaborHerald— Jeff Miles (@Jeffmister) April 30, 2014

Bob Carr for Literary Editor of the #LaborHerald?— Ben Cubby (@bencubby) April 30, 2014

Commercial Property Expert Eddie Obeid #LaborHerald— Bevan Shields (@bevanshields85) April 30, 2014

Entertainment Editor: Craig Thomson #LaborHerald— Wes Mountain (@therevmountain) April 30, 2014

I’d much prefer BuzzLabor. All of your Bill Shorten GIFs in the one place #LaborHerald— Jonathan Brown (@JB_AU) April 30, 2014

Mark Latham answers your personal relationship issues. #LaborHerald— Bert Evatt (@DocEvatt) April 30, 2014

Sex columnist Craig Thompson #LaborHerald— Kemal Atlay (@kemal_atlay) April 30, 2014

KRudd in charge of the crossword…7 down…programmatic specificity #LaborHerald— Melissa Drummond (@meldrummo) April 30, 2014

Malcolm Turnbull: Foreign Correspondent. #LaborHerald— Jeremy Fernandez (@JezNews) April 30, 2014

@KnottMatthew surely Kim Carr would offer plumbing advice… Particularly leaks. #LaborHerald— Glengyron (@glengyron) April 30, 2014

Restaurant Reviews by Ian Macdonald #LaborHerald— Great She-Elephant (@lapuntadelfin) April 30, 2014

If they make Keating culture editor, I’ll subscribe to #LaborHerald— Clinton Ducas (@ClintonDucas) April 30, 2014

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Is Facebook a social saviour or stress maker?

mum baby computerFacebook may have been created for college students, but it now seems to be a perfectly designed social saviour for new mums. Sharing joys with friends is just a click away, venting via a status update can offer a few virtual shoulders to cry on, and life outside the baby bubble is accessible through the news feed.
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And it’s being used more often by new mums; a recent US study found that mothers reported using Facebook more frequently in the nine months after their baby’s birth.

But is that Facebook use doing them good?

The study found that when more of the mothers’ Facebook friends were relatives, the mums adjusted better to parenthood. But those who visited the site more often, and who posted more often, had higher levels of parenting stress.

While the study offered no conclusions on the cause of this stress, it all raises some interesting questions. Do new mums turn to Facebook to alleviate their stress? Or do they actually find Facebook an additional source of stress when parenting a baby?

Reading other people’s posts often upset Jane Britton, a mum of one. With a baby who was waking every 40 minutes some nights, Jane says she would log on to Facebook and struggle to feel happy for the mums with “easy” babies. “I would end up resenting other mums bragging about their good night of sleep when I was so sleep deprived,” she says.

Danya Braunstein, a psychologist who specialises in the impacts of media and technology, says Jane’s scenario is common. “Some risks associated with using Facebook during the early stages of infancy are those which involve social or personal comparisons, and which may be harmful to new parents’ sense of identity or competency,” she points out.

She says the nature of Facebook – with all content being deliberate and constructed, showing only what we want others to see – means it’s common for new parents to perceive others’ posts in a way that has negative psychological or emotional consequences for them.

But Jane says it wasn’t just other people’s posts that left her unhappy. “I realised I was on it so often that I wasn’t being present in the moment,” she says. “My baby took about 45 minutes to feed and I was spending most of that time looking at Facebook and not her face, which was changing so quickly.”

After taking a two month break from the site during the first year of her daughter’s life, Britton says both her mood and sleep improved. “It was the best thing I did.”

At the other end of the spectrum is Ailsa Jones, who admits she’s “become addicted to Facebook” since having her baby. Describing the arrival of her firstborn as “a very big shock”, she says she felt isolated in the early days of motherhood.

“Facebook was great – each night when I would get up to breastfeed, I would catch up on what was happening in the world,” she says. “I could hit that ‘like’ button to show friends that I may be absent at the moment, but I still care and am interested in their lives.”

Kimberley Lerato also felt that Facebook positively impacted her early motherhood experience. She says she struggled to connect with mothers in her prenatal and mothers’ groups, as they had “fundamentally different parenting values”. Preferring an attachment style of parenting, Kimberley says she’s used Facebook to connect with others who share her beliefs, and who can give her support and non-judgmental advice.

Kate Davis, a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology, is currently finalising her PhD research on the information experience of new mothers in social media. While there are areas of complexity and difficulty, she says her research generally shows that Facebook and other social media “can have a significant positive impact on a mother’s experience of transitioning to motherhood”.

Kate says her findings suggest that not only is Facebook a powerful tool for overcoming isolation, but it also helps mums work out how to mother, by discussing the practicalities of parenting, and can normalise their experiences.

“Mothers also experience ‘moments of light’ in social media – when someone else’s intervention, through advice, solidarity, or even humour, has a significant positive impact on their experience,” she says.

Ultimately, of course, it comes down to you.

“It’s important for mothers to work out what they are comfortable with and … whether it’s right for them personally to use social media,” Kate says.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Los Angeles Clippers add to sport’s noble history of protest

So, what do you do when, as a professional black athlete, it turns out that the man who owns your team is a hideous racist who hates your race so badly he admonishes his girlfriend for even being seen with black people? He’ll profit from your skills, he’ll prance and preen when you win, but actually be seen around you, or have people close to him seen around you? Never!
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I refer, of course, to the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team, who this week heard recordings of their 80-year-old owner, Donald Sterling, admonishing his 31-year-old girlfriend (I am guessing she finds his personality alluring) for “associating with black people. Do you have to? You can sleep with [black people]. You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want. The little I ask you is not to promote it on that … and not to bring them to my games.”

In response, the team had meetings and looked at all options of protesting, including boycotting their next play-off match. Instead, they maintained loyalty to each other, and their fans, while sending a very public “up yours” to the owner by wearing black socks, black wristbands and then wearing their practice jerseys inside out for the warm-ups.

The gesture achieved huge publicity, severely embarrassed Sterling, and made their point. Sterling may own the team, but he does not own them.

Such protests and gestures in the world of sport have a noble history. The most famous example, of course, was during the 1968 Olympics when, after the 200 metres final, black American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos used their moment of glory to protest against racism by holding their gloved fists in the air on the dais, as a symbol of “Black Power”. Our own man, Peter Norman, who had won the silver medal, found out about it in the dressing room, and decided to wear a human rights badge to support them.

The Americans also decided to wear only black socks on their feet, “to symbolise black poverty”.

And then the denouement …

The athletes are atop the podium, the flags are being raised and The Star-Spangled Banner starts to warble into the thin twilight air when Smith and Carlos silently lift to the sky their clenched fists encased in black gloves.

“I was standing there,” the late Norman told me before the 2000 Olympics, “and I could hear this particularly rich baritone singing The Star-Spangled Banner, really belting it out, and then the voice suddenly faded out. I knew then that John and Tommie had gone ahead with it …”

Shortly afterwards, at a press conference, both black athletes, in the presence of Norman, expanded on why they had done it, in terms that are particularly apposite to the Clippers episode.

Carlos was the most eloquent.

“White people,” he said, with great force, “think of black people as animals to do a job and not to think about it afterwards. There were many boos and thumbs down from whites in the stand when we were receiving our medals. Some people seem to think we are like show horses. You can throw them some peanuts if they do their job … We are the equals of anyone; it’s about time everyone knew it.”

And here we are, pushing 50 years later, and clearly there are still people who feel the same, and have been called on it. So bravo the NBA and the Clippers for doing something: the NBA for suspending Sterling for life and fining him $US2.5 million ($2.7 million) and the Clippers for protesting.

Norman remained proud of the whole episode to his dying day, nearly eight years ago, and, again, his words to me in 2000 on why the protest had such an impact so long after the event remain right on the money.

“It was because,” he says, “their noble, silent statement at the Mexico Olympics helped make people in the street aware of racial issues, and it went a long way towards raising consciousness that there was serious racial discord which must be addressed. It was a wake-up call to America and the world, and it took the image of a ‘demonstration’ away from rioting in the streets of the Bronx, and put it right in the middle of peaceful sport. It was like this black thing isn’t just riots and brick throwing, it’s now everywhere.”

Bravo to those in sport, like the Clippers, who use their time in the spotlight for things more substantive than winning mere games.

In Australia, our Australian of the year, Adam Goodes, is a fine example of one who has done exactly that.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Magpie Williams ready to resume

Marley Williams has shown he is capable of standing up to any physical or verbal targeting he may receive from opposition teams, and could be ready to resume his AFL career as early as Friday night’s Collingwood-Carlton blockbuster.
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Pies coach Nathan Buckley revealed that, in his opinion, Williams was physically targeted in his return match in the VFL on Saturday, just days after receiving a one-year suspended sentence for causing grievous bodily harm.

Buckley said Williams, who also suffered a minor injury in the VFL game, would be available to play and had put his hand up as one possible replacement for rebounding defender Alex Fasolo, who did not train with the main group on Wednesday and is in serious doubt.

”He was impressive on the weekend,” Buckley said of Williams. ”He was targeted by the Essendon VFL side as well, and handled it really well. Physically, the Essendon side came after him … that’s the game. He is more than capable of standing up for himself and had great support from his teammates.”

Buckley admitted he was not close enough to hear whether Williams had also been targeted verbally by Essendon players, but said he was confident the 20-year-old would be strong enough to handle that type of attention should he cop it in the AFL.

”It’s early days, he has got to expect that,” Buckley said of the attention Williams received from Essendon. ”He is a physical player, so he maintained his physicality without taking a backward step, but maintained his focus on the game,” he said. ”So that was really encouraging for us. Physically he is up and about.”

Buckley said Fasolo, battling toe and foot soreness, was unlikely to play against the Blues in an MCG showdown significant for being Dale Thomas’ first game against his former club.

Fellow runner Clinton Young, though, remains on track to recover from a corked shin he suffered in the Anzac Day match.

Williams is not the only defender in line to replace Fasolo, with Buckley hinting that key defender Nathan Brown, on the comeback trail from a dislocated shoulder, was also in the frame, with the Pies looking at their best mix to stop Carlton’s tall forward trio of Jarrad Waite, Lachie Henderson and Levi Casboult.

”How we replace Fas is probably a primary issue for us,” Buckley said. ”Carlton have got three tall forwards who took 28 marks between them last week.

”Nathan Brown has missed a couple of games, obviously, through injury, but he has come back through the VFL for two games and we’ll weigh up whether we need him in that role as well. There’s two or three options available to us for that back-six role and it will be made on best fit against the opposition.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.