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NY 4 Marriage Equality

Published June 25, 2011 by Michael C Leeson

Today, NY Senate passes Marriage Equity Act 33 -29, which enables long overdue recognition of same-sex civil marriages in New York State. I congratulate the many advocates for their commitment in prosecuting this hard fought battle for marriage equality and applaud these politicians for showing some leadership on this matter. On this day, New York leads America in taking another step forward towards full recognition of LGBTIQ Civil and Human rights. However, while buoyed by the Albany outcome the Rainbow Nation may want to take a moment to reflect on the journey from Stonewall to the present success.

Some 42 years ago, a rag tag army of the most marginalised members of the Rainbow Nation stood up to authorities and said through their action enough is enough. These heroes drag queens, transgender community, effeminate young men, hustlers, and homeless youth gave life to the battle for change. This event occurred at a time when the Nation sort change through the Gay Liberation Movement however it seems over time in seeking social respectability, the middle-class have sanitized our fight for change. Today, these marginal groups face the same discrimination from within the nation and wider community It is unclear how things have really changed.

As tomorrow and in 30 days, people will wake and the biases underpinning this discrimination will not have changed while challenged bigotry remains strong.  I do not believe marriage equality is the panacea for the discrimination experienced by people who identify it is but more window dressing in the campaign for social respectability. Admittedly, many would disagree with this view however, as a queer I feel strongly that contemporary activists while well meaning have missed the reason so many have spilt blood in this battle for change and not tolerance.

Bibi does Washington

Published May 28, 2011 by Michael C Leeson

Peace

We can achieve peace

I will not listen to you

I will not talk with you

I will not walk with you

We can achieve peace

You will listen to my words

You will do what I say

You will walk alone

We can achieve peace

Bibi does Washington

In this last week, Israel and President Obama have seemingly had a falling out over remarks made by the US President on 19 Mat during his US Middle Eastern policy (CSPAN Video) speech. These remarks related to terms relating to future negotiations on the Israeli – Palestinian peace process. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took exception to these remarks seemingly causing the President a few uncomfortable political moments.  However, what is strange is that the speech simply restated the existing US position on this matter with no obvious changes.

Then on May 20 Obama and Netanyahu met  at the White house after their bilateral meeting the pair posed for the obligatory photo op and give some commentary on the meeting. During this event, the President seemed perturbed by the whole experience, while the PM restated his oppositional position. The evident sticking point seemed about observation of the 1967 borders proposed by the President in his speech and Israel’s manic obsession with national security.

Subsequently, the President addressed  (CSPAN Video) the American Israel Public Affairs Committee ( AIPAC) 2011Policy Conference a lobbying group that advocates pro-Israel policies to government on May 22. Where he engaged in a major political fence-mending exercise, indicating that the meeting with the PM had bearing although he also restated his position of the 19/05/11 leaving no doubt, where he stood. This did not deter the PM from prosecuting his case both at AIPAC and in his address to a joint meeting of Congress (24/05) later in the week.

It sounded like Obama’s aim here to re-start the stalled Israeli – Palestinian negotiations by outlining some general principles in moving forward. The outcome for the President a definite diplomatic/political ‘slap on the wrist’ by Israel and its US allies, Netanyahu proved himself the consummate diplomat /politician. In achieving his goal to effectively, neutralise any threat to his plan from the administration with the support of allies. he Palestinian Authority shunned the PM’s position for its limited parameters for peace. Where to from here, the peace talks remain stalled, Netanyahu ensured that outcome by asserting such rigid terms that he knew the other stakeholders could or would not agree to a progression of this process.

Checkmate

Nakba 2011

Published May 16, 2011 by Michael C Leeson

Violence erupts on Israel’s borders (31/05/11)

Violence erupted on Israel’s borders with Syria, Lebanon and Gaza on Sunday, leaving at least eight dead and dozens wounded, as Palestinians marked what they term “the catastrophe” of Israel’s founding in 1948. (ABC News Aust)

Israel seemingly has become the paranoid bully of the region today being Nakba Day it has launched a violent attack on its neighbours. This in is in no way an isolated event but another episode in an active long-term political and military campaign by Israel to neutralise any perceived Palestinian and Arab threats to its sovereignty. My thesis in a post-WWII the world seeming racked by guilt because of its inaction over Nazi Germany’sFinal Solution’ the Allies  enabled the establishment of Israel. This has effectively seen the destruction of Palestine evident in the Nakba & other regular violent disputes between the Palestinian peoples and the State of Israel. Israel has the seeming universal backing of The West in its ongoing campaign to establish and maintain its legitimacy.

It is time for the world to take this bully to task and apply the wisdom of Solomon by dividing the land equally between the disputing parties.

I support the right of both these nations to exist as equals among other countries of the world

Three

Published May 12, 2011 by Michael C Leeson

The week of three frying speeches

Canberra for the most part this week was preoccupied with the 2011-2012 budgets announcement, today this entry provides a brief summary with relevant links for those who may find it of interest.  On Tuesday (10/05) saw Wayne Swan, our articulate Federal treasure deliver his third fiscally responsible budget, which some commentators describe as “Lean but Not Mean”.  In preliminary media commentary, the Treasure and other ministers whined about the need for a tight budget requiring deep cuts to ensure a return to surplus as planned in 2012-2013. Alternately, they made several announcements that best described as policy sweeteners to defuse the growing fear among some sectors about these same potential cuts.  The reality was a little different according to most commentators an evidently balanced budget emerging from the final wash up.

Welfare to work or is work welfare?

Wayne Swan: 2011-12 Budget Speech  (Video)

Wayne Swan: National Press Club Address, Budget 2011-12, Part 1 & Part 2

Deputy PM  & Treasure

Selling the budget –

Australian Labor  (News)

Mental Health

A comprehensive analysis of the budget’s mental health announcements by Crikey

Social Services

Federal budget 2011-12: Initial ACOSS analysis (PDF)

Australian Council of Social Services

As is our parliamentary tradition, Tony Abbott (The Coalition) and Bob Brown (The Greens) both made replies to the government’s budget later in the week (12/05).

Abbot’s reply (video) smarting middle-aged white man beaten by a woman

  Brown’s reply (video) a progressive approach

May Day

Published May 2, 2011 by Michael C Leeson

Labour Day Celebration

to celebrate the economic and social achievements of workers. Labour Day has its origins in the labour union movement, specifically the eight-hour day movement, which advocated eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for rest

Beatification of Pope John Paul II

On the 1ST May, Benedict XVI celebrated the Beatification of Pope John Paul II in Rome this recognition propels his predecessor one-step closer to canonisation.

Beatification and canonisation of Pope John Paul II

Some argue that John Paul II beatification is premature in light of the role he played in the cover-up of abuse by priests . This raises the question whether he was an enabler of abusers or potential saint, which seems strange when the Catholic Church endeavours to take such a high moral ground on LGBT issues.

Sinner or Saint

Osama bin Laden Dead

The supposed al Qaeda mastermind of 9/11 killed in firefight with Navy Seals unit in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

Osama bin Laden dead, report U.S. officials

What does bin Laden’s death mean for his victims, war on terror and the Afghan adventure. It is certain that some of bin Laden’s victims may see his death as justice for the crimes perpetrated against them by him & his ilk. While politicians generally don’t see this event as an end to the threat posed by al-Qaeda & its minions to world security so the war goes on. Does this mean Afghanistan is still unavoidable to reduce the threat of Islamism?

Carnival Barkers and sideshows

Published April 29, 2011 by Michael C Leeson

A message for Carnival Barkers & sideshows

Press briefing 27/04/11

Remarks by the President

(James S. Brady Press Briefing Room White House)

The White House Blog

President Obama’s Long Form Birth Certificate

(Posted by Dan Pfeiffer on April 27, 2011 at 08:57 AM EDT)

President Barack Obama’s long form birth certificate (PDF)

 Certification of Live Birth (PDF).(release 2008)

Christian or ignorant

Published April 25, 2011 by Michael C Leeson

Sadly, on this most sacred of days, some seek to score political points through perpetuating the ignorance of hate.  @JimWallaceACL self titled Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby contribution to ANZAC Day 2011

“Just hope that as we remember Servicemen and women today we remember the Australia they fought for – wasn’t gay marriage and Islamic!”

My questions to Jim are as follows

What Australia did the service personal fight for over the past 96 years?

Where in the Bible does it say you must hate people because of who they are?

When did bigotry, ignorance and hate become Christian values?

How do some people who claim to be Christian reconcile their hate with the words and recorded deeds attributed to Jesus?

Is  homophobia & xenophobia true Australian values? is that what our service personal fought for and died for?

Lord, feel pity for these ignorant people and open their eyes to the true diversity of your creation.

Australian Christian Lobby head sorry for attack on gay marriage, Muslims

ANZAC Day 2011

Published April 25, 2011 by Michael C Leeson

ANZAC DAY 2011

The “Ode of Remembrance” taken from Laurence Binyon‘s poem “For the Fallen“, published in The Times in September 1914.

 They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning,

We will remember them.

Lest We forget (repeated in response)

 Gallipoli Campaign

 Words of Kemal Atatürk (1934) 1st President of Turkey

 “Those heroes that shed their blood And lost their lives. You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies And the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side Here in this country of ours. You, the mothers, Who sent their sons from far away countries Wipe away your tears, Your sons are now lying in our bosom And are in peace After having lost their lives on this land they have Become our sons as well.

ANZAC spirit

Korean War 1951 Battle of Kapyong 60th anniversary

This is a time for reflection on the bravery and sacrifices of our citizens in times of armed conflict that we may live a life free of injustice. It is a moment to reaffirm our commitment to fight on in making this world a better place for all its citizens no matter their creed.

The Arab Spring

Published April 25, 2011 by Michael C Leeson

It seems strange I have chosen at this time to write on what some call The Arab Spring, a series of protest in Africa and the Middle East nations against authoritarian rulers. A people’s movement featuring various forms of civil disobedience for example rallies, marches and strikes sometimes met with open violence by authorises. These events have seen increasing civil unrest across the region as the democratic tsunami rolled from Tunisia through Egypt and beyond. It has resulted in regime change, with the legislative/policy change, sacking of several governments, heads of state resigning, and even civil war. The people voice demands for political reform to end decades of authoritarian rule, which is unprecedented in the region.

Including

Tunisian Revolution , 2011 Egyptian Revolution , 2011 Libyan civil war

2010–2011 Algerian protests, 2011 Bahraini protests, 2011 Djiboutian protests

2011 Iranian protests, 2011 Iraqi protests, 2011 Jordanian protests

2011 Moroccan protests, 2011 Omani protests, 2011 Syrian protests

2011 Yemeni protests, and others

What inspires me about these events is the civil passion to challenge the violent authority of aging dictators and seek to reinvigorate their nations. While I see, the calls for democracy in simple terms as a people demanding change to improve their lives. Some have described this social change movement as a youth movement. However, in these protests I have seen people from across the lifespan standing up and demanding social justice.

It is not about

Debates based on competing political philosophiesAmerican Imperial, Capitalism  and Socialism

Islamist threats verse Western interests around securing oil supplies

The power of social mediaTwitter, Facebook and the blogger sphere theses are tools they are not feet on the ground

Traditional relations between the West & Arab people – as those being ousted are mainly Western puppets

However equally it may be about some and/or all of the above

All I can say is let the passions of the people reinforce their resolve in seeking to write their own destiny and defeat those who seek to expunge the flame of justice.

The 2011 Shake

Published April 18, 2011 by Michael C Leeson

North Queensland hit by a 5.2M earthquake some 60km West of Bowen, the quake hit at about 15:30 on Saturday 16/04/11. Residents from the Cassowary Coast Region  in the north through to Sarina in the south and out to Charters Towers in the west were affected. The event whilst nowhere near the strength of recent events in Christchurch (NZ) or Japan  is something different for NQ residents. There has been no report of damage to person or property from the NQ event other than the shock to residents after a summer of momentous flooding and a mega-cyclone.

My experience of the event was as a minor tremor lasting some 30 seconds that saw the house shake and windows rattle nothing OTT.

Aftershocks rock north Queensland (ABC-tv exp 16/07/11)