catsidhe: (Default)
A note to far too many organisations who have websites which are meant to deliver a service: Your website is overcomplicated, baroque, brittle, and absolutely unusable. You are paying your web devs to piss people off and chase them away. You are declaring that the disabled can just fuck right off because you would rather stab yourself in the head than make something accessible to them. You are what is wrong with the internet.

Telstra, I'm not just looking at you, I'm setting fire to you with my eyes. I wanted to see what mobile phones are available on my current plan... ideally which ones are available at $0 extra cost. That shouldn't be a hard thing to ask for. Not only did I used to be able to do it, it used to be easy.

Now, however...

First, you have made it extremely difficult to even find where my plan is described. I have to know the genus, family, and species of plan before I can compare instances. And I can't compare across plan genuses. And the web page just tells me that "phones are available", but there is nowhere, nowhere where I can find out which ones.

And when I was trying to look, the website popped up some javascript abomination or other to get my feedback. Which was intrusive, complicated, and didn't work. And then I went to give some feedback on my browsing experience, and you've made it so insanely complicated and baroque that I can't even figure out how to do that! I started off annoyed, then deeply annoyed, and then angry, at which point I wanted to give some pointed feedback. But the process of trying to figure out how to give feedback escalated my feelings to wanting to abuse you and all your web developers and user interface architects, to wanting to fill in the feedback form (wherever the hell it is) with a couple of megabytes of insults, cursewords and wishes for your horrible deaths, and then the desire to hunt you down with my feedback literally written on a sharp stake and giving you some "pointed feedback" in a very visceral and non-metaphoric manner.

The thing is, this sort of thing isn't that hard. It's not trivial, but it's a solved problem. You have had this functionality in the past, and you systematically stripped it out because ... because reasons? Because you literally hate us and want us to suffer? Because you are going out of your way to make it impossible to choose the sort of sensible plan I've had for decades and push me onto something which isn't as functional for only twice the price?

What you're doing is very clearly trying to look clever. And the thing about looking clever is that people or organisations who actually are clever don't need to work that hard to look it. Corollary: the harder you're trying to look clever, the more likely it is that you simply aren't. Corollary to the corollary: your website shows you up as a bunch of blithering fools, desperately signing up to the latest buzzword du jour in the frantic hope that you'll be taken seriously this time, all the time alienating the people who would want to use your service, and not fooling any of the ones who need to be convinced, except for the ones whose custom you don't want, but obviously deserve.

Summary: go stick your heads in a fucking pig, the whole fucking lot of you. Your obvious contempt for those who would dare attempt to become your customers on their terms is returned.
catsidhe: (Gilgamesh)
What the politician said:
"Fines such as these for publishing blatant untruths or misleading news reports, or temporary suspensions of the right to publish or broadcast, would lead to a major improvement in the accuracy and fairness of our media."
(My emphasis.)

Which seems clear enough: if you lie, if you say something blatantly untrue, if you make shit up or don't bother checking, then you should be punished for it. That's not "Oops, we spelled this witness' name wrong", or "we were honestly misinformed," that's talking about Andrew Bolt-ian levels of disingenuity and agitprop.

How was this reported?

MP wants journalists fined for mistakes.


But thank you, nameless ABC journo, for proving his point. I have no doubt all the other sources will be similarly misquoting and mischaracterising Steve Gibbons MP from now on in, and squealing that they're the aggrieved parties the whole time they're shamelessly pretending he said something he didn't.
catsidhe: (Default)
Dear Mr Harvey, the board and management of Harvey Norman, and whichever Oxygen Thief Advertising company who thought this was a good idea,

On behalf of Computer Professionals everywhere, may I invite you all to go fuck yourselves.

No love,

catsidhe: (Default)
Churches have the right to publicly opine on matters of public policy. Even when such opinions happen to have startling alignment with certain political parties' platforms.

But here's an idea: when a religion starts actively campaigning for one party or another, they lose the right to be recognised as a tax-exempt entity. Squared if they're doing it by lying.

You want to play partisan politics? You get to pay tax on your property and income, like the rest of us.
catsidhe: (Default)
For the love of Rational Thought, can't you even pretend like you give a fuck?

(The second link was unavailable as I wrote this post, because the was down, but it is nothing more or less than a collection of people's tweets and facebook posts about what Christopher Pyne said in his appearance on the ABC last night. Roughly grouped into Pro and Con. It's back now.)


Editors of every news portal on Earth, please memorise this before I have to come round there.

(Note: productions are exempt from this requirement, because reporting that people talk about articles about opinions about stuff is still an improvement on all the other crap they print.)
catsidhe: (Default)
  1. Set a problem for homework.
  2. Provide a suggested method for finding a solution of, essentially, "randomly shuffle these numbers until it kinda looks right".
  3. ...
  4. Profit! End up with children who are frustrated and angered by the sight of numbers, and have little to no idea that there are ways in which this sort of problem can be approached, let alone relatively simple and rigorous ways to prove them correct, let alone that the solution raises all sorts of other questions, which can themselves be answered...

The actual problem was "Take the nine numbers 2 to 10, and arrange them in three groups of three so that each group adds to the same number."

The suggested approach was to "write the numbers on pieces of paper, and arrange them into the right groups."

No, seriously, the suggested approach was to randomly shuffle the numbers until they (magically) come out in the right order. Personally, I'm wondering if there is a worse possible approach to the problem.

When I sat down with Miss A to approach this, my first question was: so, what is the number they have to add up to?

What you're looking for is
x = a + b + c
  = d + e + f
  = g + h + i
So the first thing to notice is that
a + b + c + d + e + f + g + h + i = 3x

The sum of 2..10 is 54, so the answer to each group of three must be 54/3 = 18.

So then we need an algorithm to fill in the blanks. Start with the biggest number, so
18 = 10 + b + c
b≠9, because that is already too big. And while 10+8 = 18, that only works if c=0, which isn't an available value. Neither is 1, so b≠7. So by elimination, we have a=10, b=6, c=2. Then do the same with the remaining numbers (d=9, e=5, f=4), and the remaining three must be g, h and i. Luckily, when you check, they are.

There was a secondary part to do the same thing with the set B = [3..11]. And yes, we showed that the algorithm still works. Only now the sum to each group is 21.

Hang on, 21 = 18+3, and we're dealing with groups of three... that can't be a coincidence, can it? It turns out, if you compare the ordered sets, then you see that each number Bx is just Ax+1. So if each number has 1 added, then each group must have 3 added to the total for it to work out.

And if we've just solved this problem for the set N2 = [2..10], and for N2+1, then we've demonstrated that the solution will work for Nx, where x is any positive integer. So for the set [1..9], the sum to each group should be 15... and when you check, it is.

But wait... what we've got can be drawn in a grid

If we re-arrange the numbers within each row, then we get

And if you do a bit of matrix manipulation, then you get a Magic Square, where the rows, columns and diagonals all add up to the same magic number.

And we've proved that this pattern is a Magic Square whether you pick your nine numbers starting from 2, 3, 1, 512, 100473, or whatever. I wonder if it works for other progressions? Say, N55 = [5, 10, 15, ..., 45]? (It does, but proof is an exercise for the reader.) Or for negative integers? What would we have to do to the algorithm to make it work? What about magic squares of order 4, 5, 19? What about...?

Just look at all this number theory we got from a question where the suggested approach was to "fiddle randomly and hope you trip over the right answer."

I'm sure there's some sort of pedagogical approach which calls for the systematic frustration of children, and the comprehensive murder of any potential joy of mathematics, but for the life of me I can't think what it is.
catsidhe: (Default)
They hired some biologists for this, didn't they.

They also hired some linguists.

What does it say that I can watch this, and come out with grammar. (Na'Vi means "The People", and one of the first things I hear is Na'Vi'a, which is obviously the vocative case, and I wonder if Na' is the definite article.)

And yet... maybe they did too good a job. Because I notice patterns. The Na'Vi language is human... it can be pronounced by a human throat, it contains no alien sounds, no alien combinations, from the sounds of it a fairly normal human grammar. (It doesn't seem as alien as Klingon, or even Sindarin, for that matter.)

And then there are the Na'Vi themselves. There is a pattern with the body pattern: they are hexapedal, quad-ocular, their nostril analogues are where the chest and neck meet. And this is regular. Even the flying creatures have two sets of wings and a pair of legs.

Except the Na'Vi.

Are they mammals? The women have breasts. Or at least fleshy bumps in the right place. They have nostrils in the Earth-normal place. They have four limbs, and no signs of an even vestigial third pair. They gesture with their hands. They cover their groins. They smile and laugh like apes. And they have human teeth when they do.

They're tall blue monkeys.

And yet they have that neural connection tail thing. All I can wonder is if they are ret-connable as genetic constructs in the first place.

Because all the efforts they went to to make it biologically plausible combine with the necessities of making protagonists humanoid enough to empathise with to almost make it worse than if they hadn't gone to all that trouble.

That's not even going into all the "Corporations would burn the world for a profit", "Savage natives can only be saved by the Great White Hero" competing plots, pissing off the Left and the Right in almost equal measure.

But all that aside, it sure is very, very pretty.
catsidhe: (Default)
Shorter Rick Perry (at the end of the article): Gay people don't have Human Rights. My Invisible Friend said so.
catsidhe: (Default)
Dr Simon Baron-Cohen wrote a book. Its title is “Zero Degrees of Empathy”, or else “The Science of Evil”, depending on where you buy it. The general consensus is that the correct title is the former, the latter being typical hyperbole for the American market. This is Dr Baron-Cohen's view, if nothing else.

I'm not sure this makes sense, and there's probably a lot I've forgotten to add. )
catsidhe: (unhappy)
Not only every project manager in the building shouting their conversations at each other as they pass by my desk, but right behind me is a very loud speakerphone conference going on.

This is why I'm not allowed to keep weapons at my desk.
catsidhe: (Gilgamesh)
A week ago today, Miss A was away from school. She, and the other girl in the school Chess Club were representing the school in a Girls Chess Tournament being held at Lauriston.

Now, I want to make it clear that it didn't matter how well the girls played, they had next to no chance whatsoever of winning. There were only two of them, and the scoring was done by teams: the best scoring four had their scores totalled to determine the winning team, and some teams had seven players to pick from. Even if Miss A and her teammate won every match, they weren't going to win the tournament.

As it was, of seven games, Miss A won one, drew three, and lost three. Which is a creditable result (and probably influenced by her tendency to play very defensively).

I took Miss S in to school on that day, and hung around for the Monday Assembly. There was no mention of the Chess Tournament, or the two girls representing their school -- both of them for the first time.

Later in the week, when the newsletter came around, I searched for even a mention of the tournament. In vain. There were, on the other hand, many columns devoted to football and netball and athletics and collecting tshotshkes from a supermarket to buy more soccerballs and cricket bats.

Mim made a point of telling Miss A's teacher and principal about the tournament, and asking for the two girls to be at least recognised for their efforts.

And at this morning's assembly... oh go on, guess.

The Grade sixes who participated in the Tournament of Minds were called out and recognised. Which is something, at least.

But fuck it pisses me off. Once again, those who use their brains are ignored and rejected in favour of boofheads chucking balls around. And more the point, girls who use their brains are ignored and rejected in favour of chucking a ball around in short skirts.

They might say they support intellectual pursuits, but this is given the lie by their actions: all praise, all attention to the jocks. The 3rd division under-10s get a mention for coming 9th place, but you smart kids shouldn't bother looking for recognition until you've got to Nobel levels. Encouragement along the way? Why would that be relevant? It's not like anyone cares.

And even if we do manage to beat into these people's minds that maybe they'd get more participation in the Chess Club (and more female participation -- right now there are exactly three female members, and two of those are Miss A and Miss S), why do we have to fight to get the merest nod of barest grudging acknowledgement, when the Netball team(s) and Football team(s) and the rest are lavished with praise and attention and money and support merely for existing?

To look at it another way, when you compare the love lavished upon the ‘jocks’ and the ‘geeks’, I don't think you could actively drive children away from intellectual pursuits (and thereby freeze out those who aren't physically inclined) any better, short of outright punishment. AND EVEN THAT WOULD CONSTITUTE MORE ATTENTION THAN THEY'RE GETTING NOW!

Why is it that the geeks get to build the modern world, and the jocks get to treat running it for their own benefit as their goddamned birthright?
catsidhe: (Default)
'Rewriting of Act' puts offshore deals in doubt.

Well, yeah, duh! That's the whole point! ONOZ, go the media, what an embarrassment for Julia and her government! Maybe they have to fall back to Nauru or Manus island!

Um... no, no they can't, because Nauru and Manus are not legal dumping grounds for exactly the same reasons Malaysia isn't, namely, our international treaty obligations forbid us from dumping refugees in a country which isn't a signatory, or which is a technically a signatory but has ‘reservations’ (ie., “except this bit”) for all the sections which matter.

And no, it's not “rewriting the Act”, it's a finding that the Act is, and always has been, incompatible with an international treaty, and therefore basically nullified. It is not a lawful law. It never was.

And you in the media? Yes, you. Do you think you might see fit to mention that these offshore dumping laws were just as illegal when Little Johnny was doing it, it just didn't get tested. The treaties and obligations haven't changed in the meantime. The only reason this didn't happen to
Johnny and his happy gang of smug sociopaths is the vagaries of the legal system (ie., the refugee advocates pushed harder this time). If this had been pushed to the High Court then, it's really difficult to see how they could have come to any different conclusion: the law which allows demands offshore refugee dumping is an illegal law.

If they really want to pass a law to allow it, then they're going to have to, one way or another, repudiate the International Treaty on the Rights of the Refugee. Let's see if they have the testicular fortitude to plainly and openly do what they so badly and obviously want to: go backwards in our adherence to international Human Rights Law.
catsidhe: (Default)
Senator Boswell says his constituents want him to uphold traditional family values.

"It's very easy to think gay marriage is sort of a victimless act and it doesn't hurt anyone," he said.

"But when you think a bit more deeply, if the basic unit of society is family, then marriage underpins that basic unit of society."

Wait... that doesn't make the slightest lick of sense.

I'll try and translate:
Senator Boswell says his constituents want him to uphold traditional family values bigotry and my invisible friend told me so ‘logic’.

"It's very easy to think gay marriage is sort of a victimless act and it doesn't hurt anyone," he said. "This is, of course, ridiculous; because it hurts every straight bigot who wants to send us back to the 1950s, when poofter-bashing was a time-honoured tradition and two blokes kissing in private was grounds for a jail term. You know: the Good Old Days."

"But when you think a bit more deeply, and by ‘deeply’ of course, I mean ‘don't think about it at all, just accept what I'm telling you’, if the basic unit of society is family, then marriage underpins that basic unit of society. Note how I repeated the assumption in its entirety on the understanding that you wouldn't ask whether the necessary and unspoken other assumptions -- that gay families are not families, and that it's somehow a zero-sum game where giving human rights to gay people somehow take them away from everyone else -- are completely risible on their face, and give the lie to the conclusion. Also: if the basic unit of the economy is children's birthday parties, then rainbow sprinkles underpin that basic unit of the economy."

There you go: fixed it for you.
catsidhe: (Default)
What do you do when your much-vaunted rally to show the ‘deep’ and ‘widely shared’ feelings of the astro-turfing lunar-Right demagogues, racists, and neo-MacCarthyites only attracts the usual core crowd of Useful Idiots, hangers-on and other such sad desperate wanna-be Liberal candidates loonies? (Ask for thousands of ‘Real Australians’, get a handful of LaRouchites, “Fuck off were full” stickers, and truckies who may or may not have been paid to go... do you think that might say something, right there?)

Simple: make shit up. As usual.

But that's OK: Tony Abbott still like to pretend he's the True Voice of Hardworking Average Aussies, and will continue to do so until just before the next election when he'll will be thanked for keeping the seat warm and very firmly dumped from the leadership for being a gross embarrassment to the principles which the Liberal Party are supposed to stand up to, or even to Howard's perversions thereof.

Barnaby Joyce will probably continue in Parliament, but he will also continue to laugh when everyone else does, not quite able to understand that we're not laughing with him.

And Alan Jones? He will continue to be Alan Jones, and I can think of no worse punishment.
catsidhe: (Default)
There is a place for news on Autism at Recently, the lady who runs this blog noted that everyone who talks about Autism is talking about children, and she requested stories and essays from adult Autists.

I submitted an essay, which was well received. (It was tweeted by such luminaries of whom you've never heard as Steve Silberman.)

Alas, some others were not so well received.

There is a strong tendency for some parents of Autistic children to dismiss the words of Autistic Adults, in a massive display of Catch-22: If you're communicative enough to have anything to say about Autism, then you're not autistic enough to count as autistic, so just shut the hell up and listen to me tell you what your experience is and how wonderful Autism Speaks is and how Chelation and Gluten-free diet and ABA training is the only thing stopping my poor children from being uncommunicative locked-in vegetables!

Some, by no means all, but they're very loud, and they're very angry.

I wonder sometimes how those children will react when they're adults, what with being told that they are basically and fundamentally broken, and it was only the unstinting love and devotion and tens of thousands of dollars spent by their parents which has enabled them to be as functional as they are, not that they'll ever be capable of having a real job, and mummy and daddy will speak on your behalf in public, darling, but we really do love you and think you're wonderful, even if Autism stole the child we should have had.

Don't get me wrong; I don't doubt that these people really, truly, deeply love their children. But I also wonder if the way they're expressing it is causing their children harm.

This is the reason for Aspie/Autie spaces: it's not to be deliberately clannish and isolationist, it's to protect ourselves from the people who like go all Four Yorkshiremen, and tell us that their child is autistic, so how dare we claim that it's not always that bad? How dare we claim that some people can be autistic, and live normal lives? How dare we not concede that they have the right to speak on our behalf, and we don't?
catsidhe: (Default)

Executive summary: Monckton is an arrogant lying fraud. Every word out of his mouth is a lie, including articles and conjunctions. If you find yourself on the same side of any argument as him, it's time to seriously consider your position.

And the people who cheer him on (literally mindlessly chanting slogans of hatred) are hypocrites and idiots. "The ABC are fascists for daring to print anyone who disagrees with me! I don't think there should be censorship, but anyone who disagrees with Monckton will be locked up when we take over, and any media who published them will be broken up and sold. Because they're fascists."

For fuck's sake. Do they really not see their own jackboots?

If you quote him, or anyone who approvingly quotes him (yes, his obnoxiousness is contagious), for any reason other than to point and laugh at the logorrhoeia of lies falling continuously from his mouth, then you have just lost whatever argument you were participating in, as you have just given up the right to have any opinion you hold taken seriously.
catsidhe: (Gilgamesh)
Mozilla: you fucked up. Stop it.

No, really. It might sound cool to update your major version every couple of months, it might even make it seem like you're accomplishing something, but all you're doing is breaking stuff.

For a start, you've broken plugins. Most of the plugin writers had one basic assumption: things won't break within a major release, but nothing is guaranteed from one major release to another.

If a plugin works on Firefox 3.5.2, then it will probably work on and 3.5.5, but 4.0 isn't guaranteed.

To this end, they use the functionality you thoughtfully provided to the add-on system to enforce this. It's not perfect, because it would disable a plugin on upgrade which would actually work perfectly well, but it worked well enough.

And now, thanks to every release being a major revision, it does not. Indeed, you were forced to add a plugin which turns off that behaviour just so that your wonderful "every release is a major release" schedule doesn't break every single add-on every time you update.

Did you forget that the add-ons were a major part of the attraction to FF? Maybe if you spent less time fucking up the primary attraction to FF, and put more effort into using these super hyper mega major releases to do something about the god-damned memory bloat, you might not be pissing us off so much.

And the latest thing to inspire ire was when I upgraded Thunderbird, and not only did half a dozen add-ons break, (including the google calendar provider for Lighting), but you've arbitrarily remapped one of the keyboard shortcuts. The add-on situation was (relatively) easily fixed, even if I was doing it while working on restoring the somewhat urgent service restoration which happened at almost the same moment as I clicked "Yes, I'm an idiot, upgrade me". But the keyboard remapping is not so easy to undo.

It used to be that if I wanted to retrieve new messages on all accounts, I typed [command]+[shift]+t on the Mac I have as my workstation (another rant, for another day). Which was sub-optimal, because in other Mozilla products this is the command "reopen last closed tab". Well, I can understand wanting across-suite consistency. And Thunderbird has tabs up the wazoo now. But really, Thunderbird has had the [command]+[shift]+t for "retrieve all" for a very long time. And in what universe is "reopening a closed email window" a more common operation than "get my new mail"? Common enough to break a decade-long finger macro for it? And not even a preferences setting to put it back?

Seriously, guys: stop breaking everything. It was progressive and edgy for about half an hour. Now it's just pissing off people for no good reason.

And fix the memory bloat.
catsidhe: (Default)
I was listening to the beginning of a debate on Drug Legalisation the other day, in the car on the drive home.

The Pro case started by pointing out that Prohibition is a complete and utter and proven failure, and that the more prohibitionists tighten their grip, the more junkies slip through their fingers, too many to die.

The Con case dismissed this utterly and without the dignity of consideration, and put forward instead that the danger of decriminalising drugs was in Normalising drug use: of making it socially acceptable to use drugs – or at least, those drugs which aren't alcohol or tobacco or caffeine or codeine or paracetamol or Ventolin or SSRIs or warfarin or ... I'm sorry, where was I? Oh yes, the problem with decriminalising drug use is Normalisation. The danger. (The group which is working for Marijuana legalisation is even called NORML! WAKE UP SHEEPLE!) That treating drug addiction as a medical problem and not a criminal problem has overwhelmingly worked in every place where it has been tried was irrelevant, because this leads to Normalisation. That safe injecting rooms have saved countless lives was irrelevant, because this leads to Normalisation.

And I came to a realisation. "Normalisation", in this person's eyes, was the real demon. They would rather see untold numbers of people literally dead in the street, than if the alternative were that people were more worried about the health effects drug use than of the social opprobrium. It wasn't about the facts or the numbers, every single one of which calls the Prohibition approach a vastly stupid idea. It was about the idea that someone might do something with which this person disapproved, and not feel as ashamed as this person thought they should.

It wasn't about the health effects, or the crime flow-ons, or the societal damage, or the free kick to organised crime. It was about this person not being able to accept that other people aren't upset at the same things they are, and feeling duty-bound to force everyone else to obey that morality anyway, and facts be damned.

And I realised further that this is a standard, indeed typical reaction from a certain sort of person. It explains the Bible-bashers pushing (Evangelical) Christian Scripture classes in schools. It explains institutional homophobia. It explains institutional misogyny. (Hello especially, but definitely not uniquely, to the Roman Catholic Church on both the last two counts).

It is irrelevant how harmful their prejudices and persecutions are, even in comparison to what they're arguing against (that is: it is irrelevant that their ‘solution’ is demonstrably more harmful than the problem they're trying to solve, or even is the cause of the problem in the first place); it matters not one jot how many people are personally and directly hurt by their words and their actions; facts and statistics and examples and counterexamples are of utterly no consequence. The only, the only concern is that their personal prejudices might not be taken for granted as true and right and proper. That they might have to explain themselves from a position where they might actually be taken to account for the lives they have damaged, ruined, destroyed and ended.

It is preferable that a junky ODs and dies in the back streets of St Kilda than that they live, if the cost of that life is that Heroin addiction is considered a medical and social problem to be cured, instead of a moral failure to be condemned and punished. If the choice is between a Safe Injecting Room and multiple preventable deaths, then they choose death.

If a gay man dies alone because the man whom he has loved his entire life is not allowed to be in the room with him; if a lesbian woman is raped to ‘make her straight’; if a transgender girl kills herself because she can't stand the male body she finds herself in; if a transgender boy is murdered on a back road because he's an ‘abomination against God’, it's still preferable to the idea that GLBTI people be allowed to exist as human beings, with rights to life and love and happiness like everyone else.

When someone is talking about the dangers of “Normalising” something, what they usually mean in practice is that they would rather that people die than that whatever they're talking about be treated on its merits. They would rather that people die than that their prejudices and hatreds and xenophobia and squick be treated with less than the absolute respect they demand. They would rather than people die than be accepted and treated as people.

Don't get me wrong, there are some things which are just wrong. Some things which I deplore in their Normalisation. Friday Night on King Street is pretty thoroughly normalised. Aboriginal deprivation is far too deeply normal. Homophobia is waiting where you least expect it. And there are things where, if they were normalised, it would be a sign that society is ready to be torn down and started again: paedophila, rape and slavery come to mind, before the mind shies away in horror. But the problem with them isn't that they might be normalised, it's that they happen at all. And the harm they cause is direct, obvious and clear. There exist people who talk about normalising them, of course there are. You can also find people who think that Queen Elizabeth is an alien space-reptile in league with the Catholic Church and the Freemasons to take over the world. You'll find people who believe anything. The existence of fringe lunatics many standard deviations the other side of rationality does not prove anything.

Rape must not be normalised because it is an assault: it causes untold harm to the raped, and to her (almost always ‘her’) family and friends, and that harm spreads and rots and corrupts what it touches.

Homosexuality is not such a harm. Two men loving each other does not harm anyone else, except for the feelings of the bigot who feels revolted at the sight of two men kissing without ever being able to adequately explain why. A transgender person does not hurt anyone in their quest for the right body, and while the quest can be painful, and the results almost as much so, it's still an improvement: it can be a struggle, a fight, it can leave wounds, but still on balance usually a win. Except to the Eternally Morally Certain, who cannot conceive of anyone not being revolted by the same things they are, and know for certain fact that any who aren't must be perverts of the worst and indistinguishable kind. That there is no point disambiguating between a man who wears dresses and a man in a woman's body and a paedophile and a serial killer. They are all beyond the pale, and must all be of equal hatefulness. Because they just are, OK?

Treating drug addiction as a crime simply ensures that people only seek help for it when it's too late. And those who complain about the Normalisation of drug use show their hypocrisy when they decry vociferously the existence of someone who has a joint on Saturday night to chill out or a Cancer patient having a cone to give them the appetite back to eat enough to keep them alive through Chemo, but never get around to complaining about TV ads for beer, or double-page spreads in the newspaper for Dan Murphy's, or drunken riots on Southbank, or drunken riots at some kid's sixteenth birthday party, or the guy on the corner drinking his liver into pâté de fois gras on cans of name brand Bourbon & Coke and beating his wife and kids during the blackouts. Because that is normalised, but somehow not a problem. But a treatment for crippling arthritis pain is not normalised, and therefore is a problem, by definition.

I didn't listen to a lot more of that debate. It's not a good idea to drive while that angry.

On reflection, I'm not sure how much of this makes sense, much less how much of it works as a coherent argument. C'est la guerre.
catsidhe: (Default)
On “Our” ABC:
A simmering conflict between The Australian newspaper and the Greens has become open warfare, with Greens leader Bob Brown accusing the national broadsheet of a vendetta against his party and telling it to "grow up".

Yeah. “accused”:
Greens leader Bob Brown has accused The Australian of trying to wreck the alliance between the Greens and Labor. We wear Senator Brown's criticism with pride. We believe he and his Green colleagues are hypocrites; that they are bad for the nation; and that they should be destroyed at the ballot box.

I love how the word “accused” implies that there's any doubt. The Australian's explicitly declared editorial policy is to see the Greens ‘destroyed’. As Jeremy Sear wrote in Pure Poison at the time:
Well, there you are. You can take pretty much everything The Australian says about the Greens in that context: they are not interested in giving them a fair hearing, or listening to what they have to say, or presenting their arguments for public assessment: they want them “destroyed”.

Everything you read about The Greens in that paper can now be almost completely discounted by that fact. You can only conclude that if there’s a smear, they’ll run it. If there’s a positive story, they won’t. If there’s a way of presenting the Greens’ policies in the most damaging, least accurate light, that’s how they’ll be presented. The Greens will not be given fair opportunity to respond to critics’ claims about them (including the asinine ones made in that editorial). It will be relentless, one-sided, hostile propaganda.

Anyone who seeks to rely on The Australian for information should be aware that whatever they’re told about the Greens will be subject to the most extraordinary, deliberate bias, with the express purpose of having them “destroyed at the ballot box”.

And when the Greens call The Australian on it, it's all about Brown's “accusation”. (Sure, they mention that editorial. Once. In paragraph 15 of 21. That should cover it, right?)

I'm sorry, what was that about the ABC's “Left wing bias”, again?


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