AS I SEE IT! (a social comment) June 29th 2011

The historic passing of legislation allowing gays and lesbian to marry in the state of New York, has sparked off another heated round of debate over the issue, with the usual outpouring of homophobia.

British academic Frank Furedi writes about the moral superiority of the “elite” who support gay marriage and their tendency to silence opposition by asserting their enlightened stance and comparing it to the prejudices and homophobia of the majority.

His argument is flawed as is his appalling generalisations about why the “elite” support fellow humans’ rights to access a legal institution, and he’s wrong about so-called “ordinary folk’’ Ordinary folk are not a bunch of prejudiced bogans; nor are the “cultural elite” in agreement.

We’re diverse and divided, but most want this law overturned.

Marriage is not a gay/straight issue any more.

It’s about human rights to access, benefits, legitimacy, recognition, and public acknowledgement of mutual love.

Wedding BandsHomosexual couples now enjoy effective equality with married couples in every way short of marriage. The passing of this historic legislation in New York cements this right. There are and always will be those that will continue their crusade to say that this process must stop short of marriage, because marriage is about something deeper than civil equality; it is about a natural reality – male, female, offspring – which society did not create and society’s law cannot alter.

I see it differently. The right to express your sexuality, the right to freedom of speech, love between two people no matter what is a given.

Most homosexual couples I know share a special bond and are more committed than a lot of homophobic heterosexuals that pretend to “be in love”. Those gay couples lucky enough to be blessed with a child will raise and nurture that child better than a lot of mothers that could not care less.

Homosexuals are still sadly considered “outcasts” by the homophobic culture that exists with in most mainstream teachings and have battled for their right to respect and dignity, just as people with disabilities and other minority groups have fought for their rights and dignity.

I for one am proud of my gay friends and I applaud the State of New York for their historic passing of this legislation.

AS I SEE IT! (a social comment ) June 21st 2011

ZERO TOLERANCE TO CRIME…not as long as the gutless self centered Ron Clarke and his cronies remain in charge of the Gold Coast City Council.

The sooner we clean up the Glitter Strip the better.

Our reputation on the international stage is doing us no good at all.

Clarke, Bligh and her bunch of idiots have this delusion of grandeur, with the idea to bring the 2018 Commonwealth Games to the Gold Coast.

Put your own house in order first mate!! Crime is out of control on the Coast and in South East Queensland. Homeless sleeping in Church doorways to get some warmth…tourism floundering.. why?

Surfers ParadiseSimple.. People do not want to visit the Coast anymore, Kiwis cannot afford the crippling dollar. $6 for a cup of coffee in Surfers Paradise at their exchange rate. Their dollar just does not cut it right now. It is cheaper to visit the USA or Asia, for both Kiwis and Aussies. Americans have stopped coming. The Asian community has slowed and if you tell me this has nothing to do with the out of hand crime on the Gold Coast, I would probably tell you to take your head out the place the “sun don’t shine”.

The latest bright idea was the Big Wheel, on top of the Transit building in Surfers Paradise.. Totally wrong! One Big Fail! It should have been on the Boardwalk where the tourists gather, views of the waterfront much better than looking into a bunch of high-rises in my opinion. No wonder it has gone into liquidation!

Over 90 armed hold-ups on the coast this year alone. A family wrecked by these thugs and scum, with the tragic loss of a father, husband and colleague. The scum will get a tap on the wrist from the court.. Yes they will do time, but they will also get out and probably go on and commit more crime, maybe even take another life. As for this brave policeman’s family it is a lifetime sentence for them.

Until this egotistical Clarke and his council go, the Gold Coast is not going to recover.

We need to act now, I suggest that Ron Clarke grow some balls and become a man and clean up the Coast.

No. a.better idea…get out now! along with your crooked council!. He is living in the past and trying to trade on his glory days as an athlete. Move on Ron.. It is time to retire.

Better still resign whilst you do have some dignity.

Sadly, I doubt this will happen.

AS I SEE IT! (a social comment) June 19th 2011

It’s a “ticking time-bomb” once again it has exploded, same school similar circumstances.

Kings College in Auckland NZ, is right at the fore with the news recently of another student death. David Gaynor, 17, was one of four intoxicated students placed in a “withdrawal room” before being ejected from the King’s ball at Eden Park last weekend. This past Saturday night, experts from a drug detection agency, two sniffer dogs and breathalyzer’s monitored Saint Kentigern College’s ball at Auckland’s ASB Showground’s.

Drugs, alcohol, balls, testosterone filled kids, rich and powerful parents, pre-ball parties, where booze is the norm, it’s a recipe for disaster. Not a year has passed since we read of the tragic deaths of three other students from this very same school.

As I write this column, I am in a somewhat reflective mood, thinking back to my own schooldays at a private boarding school. We were filled with testosterone and we got our kicks from building wooden trolleys and racing them through the basement of the school’s gymnasium. From the hype that lead to the 1st XV clash with our “arch-rival “Yes”, we had our thrills, excitement and spills. Lookouts posted on the hunt for the ever-diligent brothers while we snuck a quick cigarette.

One in particular was Pat Walsh, affectionately known as “Hedgehog” He is now the President of the Secondary Teachers association and with the recent news that Schools are to be given formal powers to search students they strongly suspect of having drugs or weapons, he hoped it would be a powerful deterrent for children who thought they could bring drugs or weapons into schools. I read recently that the New Zealand Drug Detection Agency, the country’s biggest drug tester in workplaces and schools, and the Secondary Schools Association president, Pat Walsh, praised the Government for addressing the issue. NZDDA chief executive Kirk Hardy said they were “very open to interpretation, which could be ultimately costly for schools”. He was also concerned that the draft guidelines focused on weapons rather than alcohol, drugs and synthetic substances such as Kronic.

All this brings me back to where I started, “A ticking time bomb” Three days after burying their mate, King’s College First XV played the game of their lives to beat arch-rivals Auckland Grammar.

Unfortunately they have swept the real issue under the carpet yet again. We really are a nation of “Rugby Racing and Beer”.

AS I SEE IT! (a social comment) June 6th 2011

A serious debate has raged in the still considered Redneck state of Queensland over the use of GPS tracking to monitor the state’s most dangerous sex offenders. More than 6000 people have applauded the State Government for finally committing to stricter scrutiny.

This poses the question. Have we become too soft on criminals? In my opinion Yes.

We now have the new “correctional facility in Auckland, labeled “CLUB MED MT EDEN” The private contract let to the UK based SERCO. Sensible Sentencing Trust spokesman Garth McVicar says inmates are being pampered while their victims continue to suffer. “Pool, table tennis, gym equipment, food for the different cultures… they are all examples of how we are catering for the offender. Prison is becoming a lifestyle choice,” he said.

When we look back through this country’s criminal history, there is a pattern that has emerged through the years. Governments have grown soft on criminals. Special diets, culturally sensitive, prayer mats and rooms, compensation for criminals. We just need to delve into this country’s history to see the pattern.

I well remember the words of the famous Bobby Fuller Four song. “Breaking rocks in the hot sun, I fought the law and the law won.”

Sadly, this seems no longer to be the case; criminals today are becoming the winners. They have it easy in comparison to their victims. They live in comfort and lead a pretty charmed life, are given all the tools and resources to re-educate themselves…write their memoirs, learn a new craft and pretty much live “The life of Riley” in comfort with a tailor made diet, 3 square meals designed to their needs.

Perhaps the penal system needs to take a leaf out of the USA’s Arizona State. Hard labour under a hot sun. No, “what about my rights” approach.

When you committed the crime, you forfeited all of your rights. You took away the rights of your victim.

Sadly, the victim’s sentence is nothing less than life!! The criminal’s is short lived. And in comfort with all their needs pandered to. They are given all the resources needed to rehabilitate back into society.

When will we ever learn?

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