Opinion Australia

One man’s view of how the world might be.

Archive for August 2008

Missing in action?

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Perhaps not so much “missing in action”, as “missing because of in-action”.

What am I talking about? Well I went to my diet specialist to have a chat and see if we can do something about my total inability to control my eating.  You might remember I lost 40+ kilos just before Xmas, I did make a big fuss of it after all 🙂 Well *since* Xmas I’ve managed to put nearly all of it back on again!

Ok I have a few excuses… huge number of people to feed over Xmas with the associated temptations… then breaking my toe and being inactive for 6 weeks or so… then coming down with the flu twice… not to mention collapsing with back/hip pains several times… but whatever the excuses, the result has been *bloat*.

The specialists recommendation were in three parts.

1. Back to the diet and exercise… obviously
2. See a specialist about a lap band operation… which I’ll be doing tomorrow afternoon.
3. Get off the Internet… well get off my backside and away from the computer which amounts to the same thing.

Well, ‘1‘ and ‘2‘ can be done simply enough… but in order for them to work… I have to implement ‘3‘. While I spend all day sitting by a computer chatting, reading and the like I’m not moving and not moving. If I’m not moving, I’m not burning calories – and especially not if I’m scarfing down whatever I can find in the cupboard while I’m (not) doing it.

The clear answer is to get off my substantial backside and move around more, preferably out of the house and away from the temptation of the kitchen/larder/fridge – during the day especially!!

The general upshot of this is that I’m letting you know in advance that the blog will only be updated intermittently for a while. I’m assuming I’ll be here in the evenings a couple of times a week but I’m not promising. If I do, I’ll post whatever I can find worth commenting on. If not… well… I won’t! 😀

So for now… I’m off.

Written by welshdog

August 27, 2008 at 9:04 pm

Posted in Food, Gripes, Health

Breastfeeding… again.

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Yet again the topic of breastfeeding appears in the blog. We’ve brought the subject up a few times before and each time it’s been because some bureacratic nitwit has decided it’s wrong… offensive… or liable to scare the horses or something.

This time we have a young woman, discreetly expressing milk to feed her young baby by using a breast pump. She was sitting, *behind a curtain*, in a parents room when she was told off by a *cleaner*!! She was followed back to her place of work by a security guard and a police officer and told a formal complaint was being made against her!!

This piece of sublime idiocy didn’t happen in some backward ‘hillbilly’ state in the USA but in sunny Adelaide in southern Australia. You can read the story here and when you do you’ll wonder what sort of lunatic would misunderstand in any way what this woman might have been doing!

The complaint was made by a woman who told the security people that “a topless woman was eating lunch in the parents room”. Did anyone make serious enquiries of her about what she was doing? Of course not. It was far easier to just harass her.

Did the female cleaner who stood an *watched* her ask her what she was doing? Of course not… far too hard. What she said was that the parents room was for parents and breastfeeding only – and that she wasn’t allowed to eat lunch in there. How embarrassing was that?

The clear and obvious fact the breast pump was doing its thing and she was eating her lunch whilst it did it was of course irrelevant. I’m really almost lost for words about this story… I suggest you read it for yourself.

Just tell me… how *stupid* can the management and security services of Westfield, Marion shopping mall really be??

Written by welshdog

August 27, 2008 at 8:05 pm

The homecoming… !!!

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In many ways the image belows identifies some of what I love about Australia. The picture shows the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, sharing the spotlight with the Leader of The Opposition welcoming home our champions from the Olympic Games.

No partisan politics, no trying to score points off each other… just there on our behalf to let our people know we recognise them for their efforts. Bloody magic I call it… tho some of me has the idea our Kev really just wanted a chance to kiss Stephanie Rice!! Cheesy

Some things are above politics… most of the athletes for starters!

Good onya guys you came out punching way above your weight. There’s nothing more anyone could have or would have expected from you than your best, and that what we got. Here’s looking forward to the 2012 London Olympics! 😀

Written by welshdog

August 26, 2008 at 10:25 am

One in four.

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In a few weeks time it’s likely that the Indonesians found guilty of the 2002 bombing at Paddy’s Bar in Kuta, Bali will be executed.

The ‘favoured’ method of execution in Indonesia is shooting. The condemned is taken at midnight to a deserted location where he (or she) is tied to a stake and blindfolded. The execution squad marches out, a priest, or other religico, offers what succour they can, the command is given, and the guns fire.

The assumption in the West at least has been that all but one of the members of the death squad are given live ammunition… so that they can never be *sure* they fired the fatal shot. In Indonesia this is not the case.

Irish born priest Father Charlie Burrows, has given a graphic version of the execution process that is at odds both with our understanding of the process, and the results. The story was published in The Daily Telegraph and makes pretty unpleasant reading.

The execution he attended was of two Nigerian drug couriers and in his account they took a full seven minutes to die moaning and writhing until they eventually bled to death. The death squad sttod by clearly unsure what they should do.

He tells us that the death squad is made up of twelve men, but only three of them carry rifles loaded with live ammunition. If the accuracy of those three is less than perfect then death is not instantaneous, and the soldiers are obviously under great stress themselves, so their accuracy is almost certain to be ‘off’.

Do these people deserve death? I’m no supporter of the death penalty even for the Bali Bombers who killed 202 people and wounded a further 209, Muslims, Christians, Indonesians and Foreigners alike… but if a death penalty *must* be invoked to satisfy whatever local laws are in place then surely the least you could ask for is a clean quick death or you reduce yourself to the level of the people you are punishing!?!

I understood the ‘rules’ of firing squads dictated that in the event of a ‘misfire’ that simply wounded the condemned the overseeing officer was duty bound to approach the wounded person and administer a coup de grace to end their suffering. In Indonesia it seems this part of the process doesn’t exist and the wounded person is simply left.

What happens if they are simply given non-life-threatening wounds I don’t know, but I’d assume they would be hauled up against the post once again and given another volley. Regardless, of the end result, it appears that at Indonesian firing squads, there is just a one in four chance of being hit let alone killed outright.

Conditions of life and death in Indonesia are worse than I’d thought.

Written by welshdog

August 25, 2008 at 2:03 pm

London look out…!!

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Well… it’s only 1433 days to the next Olympics and if the cringe factor is anything to go by then they’re in with a chance of pulling off something special.

I remember well the way our mouths fell over with total embarrassment when the Sydney ‘exhibition’ athletes came riding into the stadium at Nagano on bicycles with inflatable kangaroos on their backs. Dire is an understatement but at least it smacked of fun in the sun and a less reverent atmosphere… which came true with the spectacular success Sydney eventually made of their Games.

So what did London promise. Well be had an aging rocker in Jimmy Page out of the ancient Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin groups… along with some wannabee singer belting out a verse from a song that had some… errr … questionable words in other verses. We also had a double decker bus that folded down to show some sort of montage of London tourist traps. And of course they had queues… umbrellas… and an aging footballer in the shape of David Beckham who might have found it hard to look more embarrassed than he was. It was *so* naff it really made my teeth curl.

No doubt by the time it opens in 2012, most of those images will have been quietly sidelined in the same way as our copulating kangaroos never showed their tails again and the Games will be as big a success as all the others. Right now though… all I can do is shudder.

Written by welshdog

August 25, 2008 at 7:08 am

Posted in General Ramblings

Thatcher's Britain revisited.

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So Carole Thatcher has written a book explaining her mother has slowly been developing dementia and has been forgetting the things she did whilst in power as PM of the UK.

While that’s sad for her, it’s far worse for those us who remember more clearly what she did and the effect it had on some of us.

The ‘some’ included those of us unfortunate enough to be living in the lower reaches of society and forced down further, whilst those in the upper reaches were pampered and effectively bribed to support her and her cronies.

In addition, those traitorous ‘social-democrats’ who, unable to impose their version of ‘socialism’ on the UK used their powerbase to split the opposition parties with the result there was no viable alternative to the Conservatives giving them free rein to wreck the economy and set the scene for the greatest widening of the gap between the have’s and have-not’s since the turn of the century

It wasn’t until the demise of the failed experiment of the social democrats and their absorbtion back into the folds of the two major parties that any hope of repairing the damage could be generated by the return to power of the Labour Party victorious at last.

Yet this ‘New Labour’ wasn’t the party of the people as it had once been. Frightened by their loss of power and desperate to cling to power they shed most of their socialist principles and became a wishy washy pink version of the centre right unable to make decisions to benefit the mass of people and passed repressive legislation to mollify the centre right of politics, terrified they’d become the party who lost control of law and order and get turfed out of power.

We all know what’s happened since then. The UK has become so similar to Orwell’s vision of 1984 that it’s really concerning. What’s worse is that much of this has happened under a Labour controlled government.

So, Margaret Thatcher is slowly forgetting what happened to the country under her rule. I wish I could feel sympathy for her but instead I feel pity for those still living in her legacy, under the shadow of a wrecked the social structure and an economy geared to protecting the rich and punishing the poor.

Written by welshdog

August 24, 2008 at 8:13 pm

A whale of a time.

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The baby humpback whale found stranded and motherless in Sydney Harbour, and named Colin… later Colette, was finally ‘euthanased’ in Sydney Harbour yesterday.

There’ve been all sorts of stories about her and the way she was/wasn’t aided by government agencies etc and there is now talk of a *summit* of experts to try to establish guidelines for procedures in the event this happens again.

Wonderful sentiments.

I wonder how many of these experts weeping over the sad loss of this baby whale went off home to eat steak, veal cutlets, sushi and the like? The hypocrisy involved in our relationship with animals is utterly amazing sometimes and you have to wonder just why people can’t see the irony in our behaviour, We desperately seek to succour and maintain the life of one *wild* animal who is following the natural course of it’s life whilst concurrently imprisoning and killing untold millions of other animals helpless to protect themselves or their offspring from our predation?

I wonder when we’ll see a summit of ‘experts’ gathering to establish guidelines for the abolition of meat in our diets?

Yes there’s a real paradox in the way we eat meat, yet feel desperately sorry for the way this animal was treated, but surely things are getting out of hand when we spend millions of dollars protecting *one* animal whilst spending far more millions killing others!!

Written by welshdog

August 23, 2008 at 11:33 am

Christina Applegate strikes a chord.

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You have to hand it to Christina Applegate, she’s really struck a chord with people suffering from breast cancer in that she has been quite open about the treatment she opted for in her battle with the disease.

For someone so high in public visibility to make it clear she’d decided a bi-lateral mastectomy was the best option to ensure her survival to a ripe old age. We hope this will encourage others in the same position to go for the option rather than try to maintain their bodies intact and risk a recurrence of the cancer.

She seems to be quite confident that she has done the best she can to defeat the disease and that it will never reappear. Hopefully she’ll be 100% for a long time to come.

Written by welshdog

August 21, 2008 at 1:08 pm

Insane in America

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The USA is determined to address what it sees as possible criminal or terrorist potential by temporary workers. It’s doing this by deporting people, who have committed an offence, back to their country of origin. This seems quite reasonable, except that they are doing this regardless of the time they’ve spent in the US, or the length of time since the offence.

In the case of 35 years old Welsh born Zak Ashenhurst, 35, his offence was firing a gun into an empty swimming pool and was committed some 20 years ago. Ok a silly offence, possibly dangerous at the time, but done when he was a child! Not only was he a child, but was recovering from Osteomyelitis which he had feared would kill him and was a little ‘stressed’ at the time to say the least! He fronted the courts at the time, was fined, and pulled himself back into line. He went on to create a good life.

He married an American girl and had two children Zaky, 12, and Nicki, five. And has worked ever since.

Over the years the Green Card residents use to maintain their right to work in the US expired and was renewed without incident… until a few weeks ago when officials unearthed his old conviction and, using laws unused for decades, decided he was a risk to national security and threw him in prison.

He was there for a month until he was removed from the country and deported back to the UK yesterday.

This ridiculous and unfair decision has left Zak in what is now almost a foreign country, and unsure whether his family, all American citizens, will be allowed to join him!

Nobody is underestimating the dangers of terrorist activity but surely the lunacy of deporting a solid citizen  for something he did as a youngster should be obvious even to a faceless bureaucrat? The *most* that should have been done was to use Zak as a role model for the thousands of kids that are running wild in US schools! The example of someone who make a mistake and turned his life around should be a positive message used to help otehrs who might be heading down the wrong path! It should not be a cause for further punishment!

The situation is entirely ridiculous and the UK foreign office should be doing all it can to ensure that his family is allowed to join him… if the want to! After all, these are American citizens effectively being told they must choose between living as a single parent family in their homeland or joining their father in a foreign country and facing an uncertain economic future.

The utter unfairness of it just can’t be over stated – though I doubt the US administration would be concerned about this one small family unit, no matter how abysmally it’s treated them.

Having trawled around looking for more information I turned up this gem. According to The Star News, this sort of treatment is nothing new. Back in 2004 an 83 year old guy, nominally a ‘Frenchman’ who had committed a long forgotten minor offence, was deported back to Paris despite having lived in the US for 52 years! He was kept in prison for 7 months before being sent back to a country he knew little about and despite him having nowhere in France to go!

Home of the free? Think again!! Right now in the USA Xenophobia rules.

Written by welshdog

August 21, 2008 at 7:00 am

Wow! British cycling comeback!

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The UK Cycling team has excelled this year with them winning most of the gold medals at the Beijing Olympics. Got to be fair… this really is an outstanding result. 🙂

Breaking world records along the way just adds icing to the cake.

Written by welshdog

August 18, 2008 at 8:35 pm

Posted in General Ramblings, Health

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