people

All posts tagged people

NO

Published June 5, 2011 by Michael C Leeson

#no2bullying #no2homophobia #no2suicide

On the news of another teen suicide due to homophobic bullying, it seems appropriate to make some comments. In clarifying, it is not clear whether the teen involved identified or not and no assumptions or implications are being made here. This is about our business in enabling kids to be who they are, unlike our detractors wanting to indoctrinate them through cohesion in conforming to some dated concept of gender identity.  We know the issues for the Rainbow Nation our susceptibility to bullying, mental health issues, substance misuse, and suicide.

Kids (25 & under), it matters not how they identify LGBQ, TT, I, SSA or Str8, that is not our business keeping them safe is our business. The point here is that all kids experience homophobic bullying no matter their gender identity and/or sexual ordination . This situation exists because of the narrow conceptualisation of gender or more precisely privileged masculinity as the default, which enforces compliance to  a specific set of social norms through bullying.

We know this from our individual and collective stories, this abuse in all its forms (i.e. physical, psychological and social) and the lingering deep emotional pain of rejection. Our expertise lies in the lived experience of bullying because of who we are young people seem more vulnerable to this violence. At a time in life full of discovery, confusion and contradiction, they face the excoriating pressure to conform or suffer social sanctions  and possible marginalisation.  In this time, some feel so isolated and disempowered they choose to act on their thoughts out of desperation resulting in their suicide.

This situation is not acceptable if we stand-by and let another young person bullied because of whom they are and is murdered because of the dysfunctional nature of gender. At some time as a society we need to draw a line in the sand and say enough is enough what do we value more an insipid idealized masculinity or our children. As a community, the Rainbow Nation has a greater stake here in addressing bullying, homophobia and suicide equally, because they represent our oppression, persecution and marginalisation. As individuals, we have a duty to make this a better place than when we arrived, to stand up against injustice, be a good neighbour and keep people safe.

Please if you are, experiencing suicidal thoughts or feel emotionally unwell follow this link  or call Lifeline on 131114 (in Aus).

Critical Decade

Published May 23, 2011 by Michael C Leeson

Climate change

Today, Australia’s Climate Commission  added another chapter to the climate change debate in Australia with its release of The Critical Decade report.  The commission reiterates a message for urgent rather than real action it seems the political dithering over this issue during the past decade has not put us in a good place.  After a decade or more of indecision, this debate has degenerated into a farce reflecting a limited vision dominated by ideological driven partisanship. The narrow vision of this debate sees participants focus more on short-term political gains rather than long-term sustainability, a case of rhetoric over substance. The question here is not whether climate change is real or not, but how to manage effectively the risk.

The message here is clear get on with the job.

The Critical Decade report

Key message (PDF 307kb)

  1. There is no doubt that the climate is changing the evidence is overwhelming and clear
  2. We are already seeing the social, economic and environmental impacts of a changing climate.

Full Report (PDF 8mb)

Political positions on environmental issues

Labor  Liberal Greens

News

Climate report affirms need to ‘get on with it’

Sea levels could rise a metre by 2100 (Sky Au)

Commission questions ‘direct action’ (Sky Au)

Key themes

Climate Change Climate Warming Global warming controversy

Climate Change in Australia

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 Debate: sustainability verse development

Published August 14, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

Dick Smith’s Population Puzzle

Dick in his own uniquely Australian way produced this documentary while a little heavy on nationalism raised a number of questions around the population debate. The debate seemingly avoided by politicians of all shades was already happening in a strange and abstract way for example around infrastructure, immigration, climate change, aging population and economic development. Then just to confuse us further a number of furphies   pop up around racism, if you speak about population then there is some correlation to racism. This debate like all complex questions attracts a large number of knuckleheads with a litany of simplistic analyses and commentary note finger pointing at Hanson & One Nation if they are still around.

The debate BIG Australia (36 Million -2020) verse a sustainable Australia (?), obviously the truth is located somewhere between the two. What attracts me to the sustainable Australia position is simply that it needs to be a strategic approach to address the needs of our country (environmentally, socially and economically). The only problem I see is capitalist greed that equates economic development +even increasing population + broader tax base + increased profit margins + infinite = positive social outcomes. How realistic is this equation do the numbers add up, nothing grows for ever there is a finite value attributable to everything, do keep on consuming until Western civilisation crashes and the whole biosphere implodes. One point that does stand out is Smith a self-titled capitalist naming capitalism as the major reason for this issue in naming the sacred cow as an unsustainable burdensome beast.

Other issues

Homophobia – a number of tweets made disparaging comments around same-sex attraction – disappointing – heterosexuals still  do not understand same-sex people live in a family, some parent children and live very ordinary lives – they may get us mixed up with Str8 tea room princesses

The Agenda: It is time Australia has a serious policy debate about issues that affect its future.

  • Environmental stewardship – strategic management of a  finite resource
  • Sustainability
  • Comprehensive primary healthcare – beyond hospitals
  • Infrastructure
  • Civil society – social justice – poverty – housing – employment – training – education – relationships ,
  • Economic development  beyond capitalism towards sustainability – focus on developing  Human capital – social capital

It is time for capitalism to start paying its due

The vanilla 1950’s narrative

Published July 26, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

The origins of modern Australia heavily shape its institutions, traditions and worldview. This timely narrative has its roots in an Anglo-Celtic English speaking Christian tradition whose ancestors settled/invaded this great southern land. A perspective grounded in heterosexism and reinforced through an adherence to a conservative sexist misogynistic functionalist dogma. This sees the primary social unit as a married couple and their offspring living in apolitical suburbia. Men perform the role of provider through outside employment, women as unpaid family carer in maintaining the home and caring for the family. While increasingly, women have careers and undertake outside employment often as an addendum to their traditional role. The total sum of the family’s efforts goes towards the fulfilment of the Australian dream and hence a contribution towards the maintenance of society.

Them boats keep coming?

Published July 18, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

Human Rights

Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees

Immigration – Pull or Push Factors

Asylum seekers or illegal immigrants

Other boat people – this is not a new issue

Who now

Afghanistan Sri Lanka

Tamils

Policy History

Children Overboard Affair Pacific solution Tampa affair

Refugee Detention centres

Temporary Protection Visa

Where to

Indonesia Malaysia East Timor Nauru

Issues

People smugglers

Border security

Xenophobia Racism

White Australia

War on Terror

wedge politics

Where from

Indonesia Malaysia

Where to

East Timor Nauru

What is the real debate here?

It is Monday

Published July 12, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

World Cup 2010

Enhorabuena a España en su triunfo en la taza 2010 de mundo

To Kill a Mocking Bird

It is the 50th Anniversary of my favourite novel of all time, since Harper Lee shared with the world her sense of justice. This work inspired me to pursue a career in working with people faced by barriers to achieving equitable outcomes. This complex work challenges the reader at many levels to see the world a new through the eyes of a child. On a personal note my favourite character being Atticus, a wise man with a sober disposition who exemplifies a sense of social justice imbued with base human values and beliefs of doing the right thing.

Thank you Miss Lee

The chooks are clucking and scratching

Joh Bjelke-Petersen, former conservative Premier of Queensland used the term chooks to describe journalists, it seems an apt descriptive for that profession’s hysterical antics. Journalists charge themselves as a profession with the ethical role of reporting on issues of importance and interest to the citizenry.  However, it seems in padding out the 24hr News cycle with its rambling and sometimes senseless observations these commentators seek to create News underpinned in some cases by an obvious political agenda. Sadly, due to this situation the media take a populist position in overlooking hard stories in appealing to the masses and boosting their ratings.

The latest (possible) News story here being the timing for the next federal election, seeing journalists and political commentators alike  trolling over every spoken word and poll for any hint. My gut feeling being that Gillard will call this ballot sometime towards the end of this month for sometime in September admittedly this is only a hunch.

Now I sound like them?