Saturday Night Blog Whoring

by matttbastard

Sock it to me one time, brethren–show me what you got. Love for y’all (and respect for teh Shakes).

AngryBlackBitch: Ain’t I a black woman? and This is your brain on privilege…

Birth Pangs: Nicaragua to Decriminalize Gay Sex — WTF?

Marginal Notes: Me, Myself and I

Jack and Jill Politics: Williams: Middle Class Blacks Are A Different Race and
NPR Presents Juan Williams Cherrypicking of Pew Poll Without Counterpoint

Improvisations: When a Woman is Gang Raped in the Happy Kingdom… (h/t brownfemipower)

Questioning Transphobia: Gender Reality Denied by Political Bias

Anti-Choice is Anti-Awesome: A 40th Post Treat

Renegade Evolution: The F Bomb.

Vox ex Machina: Racism and location

misscripchick: faith

Fetch Me My Axe: …and this emphatically does NOT make me giggle.

The Apostate: The Thin Little Brown Girl With Welts On Her Arms

Too Sense: They’re Still Controlling The Discourse

The Galloping Beaver: RCMP Believe Laws Are For Civilians and The RCMP Finally Speak Up

unrepentant old hippie: Tall dark and dead

A Creative Revolution: Control And Compliance: The Next Generation

The Newshoggers: Patriot Act abuse

Designated Protest Zone: Brings New Meaning to the Phrase “Lethal Warning”

Slant Truth: Guest Post from Donna Darko

Leftist Looney Lunchbox: Internalized sexism at least a hundred times more prevalent in women of color than internalized racism

Tiny Cat Pants: In Which I Admit to Giving Up on the Huffington Post

Scruffy Dan: Book publishers sues Staples because they have photocopy machines

Shiraz Socialist: Poseur who could write

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Head, Meet Desk.

by matttbastard

Forget qualifications and the national interest; it’s all about the waistline, baby:

With years of experience as a submarine cable specialist behind him, Richie Trezise was looking forward to emigrating from Britain and using his skills to help New Zealand beat its brain drain. He had been headhunted by one of the country’s biggest companies and was all set to begin a new life with his wife, Rowan.

There was a slight hitch, however. After Mr Trezise went to his GP for a medical, immigration officials told him he did not meet New Zealand’s health requirements because he was too fat. The 35-year-old Welshman failed its body mass index (BMI) test, which measures the proportion of body fat to a person’s height and weight. Mr Trezise’s BMI was 42, classifying him as morbidly obese under immigration guidelines.

He was told he would have to slim before he was allowed in on an employer-backed skilled migrant visa.

“My doctor laughed at me. He said he’d never seen anything more ridiculous in his whole life. He said not every overweight person is unhealthy or unfit,” said Mr Trezise, who plays rugby and used to be in the Army.

Rather than give up, he went on a crash diet, losing a substantial amount of weight and shedding 5cm from his waistline. He went back, passed the test and flew out in September to start a new job working to upgrade a submarine cable for Telecom New Zealand.

[…]

Mr Trezise’s wife, who is also classified as overweight, is still at home trying to shed pounds so that she meets the BMI requirements and can join her husband in New Zealand.

Mr Trezise has promised her that if she is unable to lose enough weight and pass the immigration test by Christmas, he will return to Britain for good.

Ok, Mr Tezise was compelled by NZ immigration regulations to put his health at risk (for the good of his health, natch) just so he could lose a “substantial amount of weight” and a whole five centimetres?! Pardon the pun, but that’s a rather thin line between ‘morbidly obese’ and ‘pleasantly plump’ (to say nothing of the immigration office and the emergency room). Plus, this ridiculous, bigoted policy has not only cruelly separated a man from his wife, but may also result in him moving back to his nation of origin, thus negating the (likely substantial) money and effort spent by the company that hired him in order to mitigate the lack of skilled workers in New Zealand.

But hey, better than giving a fat assed foreign brainiac the ill-gotten opportunity to drain the system by “using his skills to help New Zealand beat its brain drain” (‘obese’ peeps don’t pay taxes, dontcha know).

*blinks*

Seriously, I know I’ve said this before, but I really don’t understand why The Onion even bothers any more; reality rendered parody superfluous ages ago.

(h/t Amal A)

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International Day Of Action 11.17.07: Solidarity With Aboriginal People In The Northern Territory

by matttbastard

It’s already November 18th in The Land Down Under. However, us folks here in the Northern Hemisphere still have ample time to speak out against the Howard government and call for an end to racist, colonialist policies towards Indigenous people that defy their inherent right to self determination and sovereignty. Some ideas on what you can do to show solidarity, courtesy Fire Fly:

  • Donate to the National Aboriginal Alliance. Find out more on their website, here: http://www.nationalaboriginalalliance.org/
  • Spread the news of this horrendous violation of human rights to as many people as possible. Write an article about it, post to your blog about it, send the news to your friends via email. Encourage your friends to speak out about it as well.
  • If you are part of a political organisation, collective, or group, please send your words of solidarity and support to the National Aboriginal Alliance. Send messages of solidarity to: secretariat at nationalaboriginalalliance dot org.
  • Write letters to Mal Brough, the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, or John Howard. You can find guidelines here: http://www.antar.org.au/action/current_actions/

Background: more on the Northern Territory, the “Little Children are Sacred” report and the National Emergency Response from The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, ABC (AU), The Observer, World Socialist Web Site and New Matilda.

Must read: Marion Scrymgour, Minister for Family and Community Services in the Northern Territory Government, on why colonial intervention, though not historically unprecedented, is not a viable solution to Indigenous problems:

With a view to reducing the Commonwealth’s administrative burden, then prime minister Stanley Bruce wrote in 1927 to his South Australian counterpart to see whether SA would take the lighter-skinned mixed-race children slated for removal.

He said: “If these babies were removed, at their present early age, from their present environment to homes in South Australia, they would not know in later life that they had Aboriginal blood and would probably be absorbed into the white population and become useful citizens.”

The words sound harsh and discordant today, but they are not really all that different from those of the current Prime Minister, with his fixation on “one Australia” and the culture and values he wants to impose through his new citizenship test.

The Howard Government’s declaration of “national emergency” came in response to the Little children are sacred report into child abuse in Aboriginal townships and communities. Mind you, this was not the first time the Government — and other governments — had been made aware of child abuse and neglect in Aboriginal communities. Queensland, Western Australia and NSW had similar inquiries in recent years, with little apparent action from those jurisdictions — and certainly none from Canberra.

Aboriginal women from this nation have been begging for action from Howard over a number of social problems for the best part of a decade. Women’s shelters, night patrols and kids’ programs had been dumped by the Commonwealth over that time, a process accelerated since the abolition of ATSIC after the 2004 elections.

[…]

It is as if the second Intervention has given the Commonwealth permission to enact a great undoing of our lives. Aboriginal Territorians are being herded back to the primitivism of assimilation and native welfare. It has been a deliberate, savage attack on the sanctity of Aboriginal family life.

Instead of a working through of the ways and means of reaching mutual understandings and solutions, thousands of our parents, thousands of our grandparents, have been tarred by the same brush.

Decent, caring fathers, uncles, brothers and grandfathers feel they have been branded as child abusers. Aboriginal women have been portrayed as pathetic creatures, incapable of caring for their families or their children.

The first Intervention had little regard for children; the second Intervention — and its National Emergency response — offers little more. It is difficult to escape the conclusion that the interests of the current regime in Canberra lie elsewhere.

(Op-ed is an edited extract from the 2007 Charles Perkins Oration; full text available here).

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