Tags: forestry workers

12 Apr 2007, Comments Off on Got a whole lotta links

Got a whole lotta links

Author: Helen

I’m off to Tasmania for a few days to walk and soak up (what’s left of the) nature. Here’s some links to some good reading, mostly stuff I meant to blog about and didn’t have time.

Speaking of Tasmania, Paul Norton’s LP post on “Mark Latham’s disastrous forest policies” is a must read.

To put it into a perspective which a larger number of readers can identify with, on Saturday night many readers of LP, many readers of The Australian, no doubt a goodly number of Tasmanian forestry workers and perhaps even a few Murdoch press journos will be sitting with their eyes glued to their TV screens, Lotto tickets clutched in their nervous little hands, hoping against all odds that the tumbling numbers will visit upon them a disaster of comparable magnitude to that with which Latham was threatening Tasmanian forestry workers.

Tigtog has come up with a wonderful thing: Finally Feminism 101. Save your weary fingers and quote from this site rather than explaining the same things again and again. Get your daughters and sons to read it.

Here’s a great piece by Gummo Trotsky which you should copy and paste into Word, change to 24pt and tape up in your cubicle farm/home office/on fridge: Ten Things that Just Ain’t Worth Reading About.

Belle Waring (who recently got my personal award for the best ever post title) posted back in March (yeah, I know) on an interesting Boston Globe article and an equally interesting response to it on Pandagon.

The gist is that as wives earn more money, they end up doing a greater and greater share of the housework, with the result that women who are the sole bread-winners often do more housework than women who pull in 50% of the family’s income.

I was keen to join in on this but there was music to be played, and of course, that meant the house went all to shit and I had to spend a lot of blogging time on housework. (/Irony).

To boost the irony content still further, check out this banner ad which was on the Globe at the time I read the article:

Image from the Boston Globe

Then there was the mind-boggling stupidity of a Woman’s Day article on Mary’s Private Hell: That’s Mary-Aussie-oi-oi-oi Princess of Denmark Mary– apparently she’s suffered a “barrage of criticism” for sending little prince Christian to daycare. Not even full time – but apparently, as a pregnant woman with “royal duties”, she should still pretend to be a stay-at-home mum. Even though home’s a rather big place with no-one small for Christian to play with.

Never mind the fact that nothing could be better for a wee tot who’s born into the bizarro-world of any royal family than to spend some time with other kids his own age and get a bit of variety, not to mention a few normal germs. And I’d say the same for any solitary child.

Seguing right along from Children, Care of: If you think the detention of asylum seekers’ children is about to end anytime soon, just look at the leaked building plan for the Christmas Island Detention centre:

Image from http://www.safecom.org.au/alcatraz-downunder.htm#leaked

Send a letter to Kevin Rudd and Tony Burke from here, if you remember the disgraceful “small target” stance Kim Beazley took on this issue and you wish for the Labor party to grow a spine and oppose it. Results not guaranteed.

(Warning: Geek material ahead. You may want to stop here.)

Now for a question for the Hivemind. I’m using WordPress and I’m trying to put a sound file on the blog. I’m clear on it in principle: Like an image, save sound file to PC (Mac in my case), upload to Media2 server, link. Simple (thanks Dogpossum). But in my case, the process doesn’t seem to be as intuitive as image linking.
For one, when I save a sound file to my Mac, it ends up as a .m4a extension, although the icon has “MPEG 4” on it. Is this right? (As you can tell, sound files aren’t something I deal with in my everyday life.)
For another, WordPress, which writes the linking HTML for you when you upload a file, has only one “upload file” interface. I don’t know whether the link HTML is different for a sound file; I assume that’s cool because WordPress could look at the file extension to see what it is. But when I go to upload a sound file, it just sits there and WordPress doesn’t seem to recognise it.

I feel a bit stupid, since a lot of my job entails talking people through things like this. I’ve seen sound files on WordPress blogs, so I know the fault is with the user. If anyone’s feeling particularly energetic and/or charitable, and they feel like emailing me a step-by-step for dummies on hsmartATiprimusDOTcomDOTau, you’ll have my eternal gratitude and grovelling admiration.

Be good.

7 Oct 2004, Comments (0)

Latho comes good

Author: Helen

It’s true, I’ve been lukewarm on Latham. I want the Liberals to go, but as Rob Schaap says, “I want Labor to win – much in the way I prefer my ageing cat’s vomit to its diarrhoea”. I was disappointed when, in March of this year, Bob Brown took Latho for a tour of the Styx valley in Tasmania. (Warning – PDF). The PM-in-Waiting mooched around much like a spoilt kid being dragged around an Old Masters exhibition by an enthusiastic uncle, then went on the ABC’s PM program to say that old growth forest was all very well but he wasn’t about to annoy the CMFEU, Gunns and the Tasmanian Labor government put the jobs of Tasmanian forestry workers at risk. And that, it seemed, was that.

I wasn’t expecting anything more, because the whole thing fitted in so well with my picture of Latham as the pseudo-working class hairy-chested hero of the Western suburbs of Sydney, trying to be a Man of the People and distance himself from Greenie basket-weaving Girly men. Further, the Labor Government in Tasmania is completely in the woodchippers’ pockets. (Or is it the other way around?)

So imagine my surprise when Latham comes out with a plan to save not just the Tarkine and Styx forests, but other threatened areas as well. And this is what he said about the ruffled Tasmanian Labor MPs:


Despite the threat to Labor seats – the party holds all five Tasmanian federal lower house seats – Mr Latham said he was not worried. “That’s not a consideration. We’re doing this because it’s the right thing to do,” he said.

After an election campaign where expediency and bribery have been the order of the day, it is bloody wonderful to hear a politician say he’s willing to pi$$ of influential bullyboys in his own party and risk seats because it’s the right thing to do. It’s almost the Anti-Tampa.

OK, you weren’t expecting me to criticise Latho’s decision. And who has? well, the usual suspects: John Howard, the CFMEU, Tasmanian premier Paul Lennon, and “more than 500 timber workers” in Hobart.

You might be asking what my attitude to the timber workers is, since I’m both green and bolshie, aren’t I torn? No! BUY THEM OUT. Featherbed them if necessary – hell, they’ve done it for the ethanol and shale oil industries, not to mention a whole range of rural interest groups. It is simply nauseating to hear John Howard on the radio going into Trades Hall mode, declaiming about the rights of the Working Man not to lose his job to cruel Labor policies. Please!

It’s also not impressive to hear Gunns Ltd stooges (Tasmanian Labor MPs) weeping crocodile tears about the poor heroic workers when they must be aware their industry has employed fewer and fewer people in the past few decades, with mechanisation replacing most of the workers directly involved with timber cutting. And don’t think they wouldn’t get rid of the lot if they could. Many “timber workers” are really truckies, poor contractors with a miserable hand-to-mouth working life sans entitlements such as holidays and sick pay, and terrible hours. Less than 500 people are actually directly employed in old growth logging, so if “more than 500” workers demonstrate, they must include these wretched contractors. Their jobs are shit, but they have nothing else; I sympathise with that. Again, BUY THEM OUT. If you must , make it a condition they spend it on developing new value-added and plantation industries. And there must be scope for the State government to employ a few hundred blokes to maintain the fringes of the rescued wilderness – keep feral animals down, weed, maintain tracks and fences, shoot Toorak Tank drivers, et cetera. (One of those was tongue in cheek, OK!)

I’d like to take issue also with the emotive language of the Bush (AKA the real Australia) versus the City (home of Chardonnay-sipping wankers and girly-men). Like Dick Adams, Labor MP: “I never expected to hear such a sell-out of a state on behalf of a few city dwellers keen to see Tasmania locked up and abandoned”.

Let’s pass over the “few” ( 80-85% is not a few, Dick) and talk about us city dwellers for a moment.

Us city dwellers have been outsourced, downsized, rightsized and restructured until our pips squeak. 650 Kodak employees in Melbourne have recently been sacked wholesale, without causing any political crisis, or indeed any expressions of sympathy from Tasmania. That alone is more workers than are directly employed in the entire old-growth clearfelling industry in Tasmania. But that’s just one company. In my suburb alone, Footscray, we have had mass sackings and factory closures as a yearly event as manufacturing jobs fall victim to economic rationalism, offshoring and technological change. Meanwhile, people who used to work at clerical jobs and customer service have been thrown out of work for the same reasons over the last three decades. We’ve had the equivalent of the whole Tasmanian workforce sacked many times over. I have watched as the number employed by my own small company has dwindled from 130 to 30, while productivity actually rises, due to technological change.

So spare your crocodile tears, Mr Lennon and others. You are not concerned about jobs for the Little People, but your massive subsidised profits rort. If the little Tassie Battlers aren’t thrown out of work by your increased mechanisation, they’ll be thrown out of old-growth clearfelling once all the old growth is cut down. One way or another, it’s a job they should never encourage their children to follow them into.

BUY THEM OUT. I’ll be happy to see my taxes help out. Hell, they already help Gunns Ltd, Manildra, and various other corporations dear to politicians’ hearts. At least it will be doing some good.

John Howard, on the other hand… This is even worse than I expected.

There’s a discernible gap now. Labor and Liberal are no longer so much Tweedledum and Tweedledee. This, together with the Kyoto policy, has upped the ante for me. If I lived in a marginal seat, I’d be voting Labor despite my misgivings. It’s a shame this election is being portrayed as a choice between a tax cut here and a subsidy there; there’s so much more at stake.

The ageing cat’s vomit is starting to almost look OK.