Same Sex Couples Recognised in Anti Terror Legislation

Gee – isn’t our paranoid right wing government progressive….

Media Release – Office of Senator Kerry Nettle

Same sex couples recognised in terror law

19 October 2005

Greens Senator Kerry Nettle said today the government’s recognition of same-sex couples in its planned terror laws was a pleasing shift in policy.

Clauses in Schedule 4 of the Draft Anti-Terrorism Bill 2005 defining which family members could be contacted by someone in preventative detention include same-sex partners in the definition of family member.

“It is great to see the government recognising same sex relationships. But this is not the legislation for it. This bill is about removing the fundamental rights of all Australians and the Government is ensuring that they also remove the rights of same sex couples”, Senator Nettle said.

“If someone is detained for 14 days under the Government’s proposed terrorism legislation, the Government is ensuring that they can ring their same sex partner to tell them they are detained but not why or where they are.

“The government is making a mockery of the importance of recognising same sex relationships by placing this clause in terrorism legislation but not in marriage, adoption or tax law where recognising same sex relationships would require the government to provide entitlements.

“Why does the extent of the government’s support for same-sex couples end at allowing them to talk to a loved one if they are locked up for two weeks without charge?

The government is happy to legislate away the positive rights of same-sex couples but recognise them when locking up a gay or lesbian under the terror laws.”

“This new revelation further reinforces the unbalanced and dangerous thrust of the government’s terrorism policy.”

The controversial proposed terrorism laws include home detention for 12 months and detention by federal police for two weeks of people deemed to be a risk but not convicted of an offence.

Giant Pink Knitted Rabbit

Press Release

Sounds a little disgusting, and not entirely ecop friendly – but hey, it’s pink….

Re-posted from…

Three hours from Nice on a northern Italian mountaintop, the art collective “gelitin” has installed a giant knitted bunny that will grace the landscape for the next 20 years. The launch of the work took place on a Sunday morning in September when a procession left the town square in Artesina, Piedmont, for the mountain.

Artanova reports that the 200?foot-long toy rabbit lies on the side of the 5,000 foot high Colletto Fava. Gelatin, it reports, designed the giant soft toy and say it was “knitted by dozens of grannies out of pink wool”. Group member Wolfgang Gantner said, “It’s supposed to make you feel small, like Gulliver. You walk around it and you can’t help but smile.”

Gelitin expects hikers to climb the bunny’s 20-foot sides and relax on its belly.

Here?s the Artists’ statement:
The things one finds wandering in a landscape: familiar things and utterly unknown, like a flower one has never seen before, or, as Columbus discovered, an inexplicable continent; and then, behind a hill, as if knitted by giant grandmothers, lies this vast rabbit, to make you feel as small as a daisy.

The toilet-paper-pink creature lies on its back: a rabbit-mountain like Gulliver in Lilliput. Happy you feel as you climb up along its ears, almost falling into its cavernous mouth, to the belly-summit and look out over the pink woolen landscape of the rabbit?s body, a country dropped from the sky; ears and limbs sneaking into the distance; from its side flowing heart, liver and intestines.

Happily in love you step down the decaying corpse, through the wound, now small like a maggot, over woolen kidney and bowel. Happy you leave like the larva that gets its wings from an innocent carcass at the roadside. Such is the happiness which made this rabbit.

i love the rabbit the rabbit loves me.?

Brendan McMahon Update

I wrote this last thursday, the 13th of October. Since then, I have been portrayed by The Australian as a crazed activist, just to discredit my wonderful sister in law, and been through the absolute worst misery I can recall.

I still am not ready to talk about everything that is going on with me, but I feel it’s important to keep this case alive, and share my experiences in the hope that there will be enough outrage to get a decent sentence.

Downing Street Centre 13.10.2005

I have just returned from the court.

Brendan McMahon does not look a lot like the court illustration, and sitting calmly outside the courtroom he looked like he could have been a lawyer, not a defendant. He has a craggy face, a thin frame, and was very well dressed – like the banker he used to be. He made no attempt to avoid eye contact, and sat without speaking to anyone. I didn’t hear him say a word the entire time.

I entered the small courtroom, and waited while the press filed in. Apart from the press and the lawyers, there were about 6 other people in the court. Before the judge entered, the lawyers discussed dates. I couldn’t hear everything that was said. When the judge entered, she was asked by the defense for a later court date, due to the large amount of evidence in this case. The prosecution had no objection, and the judge set the date for the 10th of November, bail to continue until that time. Representations to be given to the DPP by the 20th of October.

And that was it. The press raced out to get to the front of the court before him, and I was left to share an elevator with him and his lawyer, and a woman (I don’t know who she is). She said something about the number of people in the court, so I introduced myself as being from the Australian Companion Rabbit Society, and I saw his shoulders stiffen – he had his back to me. The lawyer nodded to me.

I collected my camera and my phone from the law (security in the court is pretty tight), and came down to the front steps to wait with the press. The trio had left the lift at the first floor, so we weren’t sure if he was taking a back exit (very unusual for the courts to allow this), or wether they were waiting till the press went away.

After about 30 minutes of waiting, they came out. I got a pic, but I don’t think it’s going to be much good. The press chased him down the street, and when they returned, I was mobbed. I was interviewed for ch 7 news, the Australian, AAP, The Telegraph, The Sydney Morning Herald, a guy from New Zealand, and a few radio stations.

I spoke about the reasons he chose rabbits as his victims, and I hope that will give the press something to talk about, to keep the case alive. Since the matter is before the courts, there is very little the press can talk about publicly, but general stuff, like pet shop policies, and the psychology behind his actions will provide fodder for the press. I intend to do everything I can to keep this case in the public eye.

While there are further charges pending, it has not yet been decided if they will be laid or not. The police won’t do all the paperwork to prepare for laying the charges unless they get a commitment from the Department of Public Prosecutions that they will be aggressively pursuing the case. If the DPP don’t intend to push for a harsh sentence, there is no point in the police laying the groundwork. I have been asked by the detective in charge of the case to prepare a document for the DPP that outlines the reasons that rabbits were chosen as his victims. Margo deMello from the House Rabbit Society has offered to help me with this.

Hopefully the DPP won’t need to be lobbied in order for them to take this seriously, but stay posted.

After Nearly 48 Hours on the Lam…

Grasshopper is back ! He disappeared on Saturday afternoon (he must have pushed open the screen door while we were cleaning the house), and bounced around the back yard for two days.

Mark found him under the house this afternoon, and when he ran out I managed to herd him back in to the house. Where he promptly peed a huge volume, like he’d been saving up for 2 days….

Never been happier to see him pee all over the place 🙂

The Monster is Out

Brendan McMahon has been granted bail. The prosecutor and the Senior Police Investigator were both on annual leave, and the defence applied for bail before the court date, leaving the press wondering what had happened when they turned up at the court on September 30th.

Only one Sydney newspaper ran the story, and it was two lines in a side colum, by Les Kennedy of the Sydney Morning Herald. Les was the ONLY journalist who picked up the story, and even The Rocks Police were not aware that he had been granted bail. So when a pet shop manager rang the police to report that he was in her shop trying to purchase rabbits, the police told her that she was mistaken, that he was in jail and could not possibly be in her shop. Unfortunately the store lost the surveillance camera tape, so there is not enough evidence to have him locked up again. Yet.

It seems pretty obvious to me that if he has been back to one pet store, he has been to many more. It is not likely that he has changed his ways and given up torturing animals for pleasure.

This is an enourmous blunder, and though I am appalled that he was granted bail in the first place, it is even worse that there has been no media attention, and no public outcry.

Please print out this picture and take it to your local pet shop, and ask that they not sell rabbits to this man.

Sketch from initial court appearance

Why Pet Shops Suck

Remember that a pet shop is a BUSINESS. If there was money in treating animals well, then a shelter would be a goldmine. It is not. The financial reality is that pets are only considered “cute”, and salable when they are young. That is why pet shops often have underage animals. They say they are “not for sale”, but they generate foot traffic in the store, and increase sales generally.

Anyone who has worked in retail for a while knows that stock is a commodity. Fashion is a great example. In winter, everyone wants scarves, but in summer, we all want light clothing. What happens to the scarves ? First they go on sale, and if they aren’t sold, they are dumped.

So, while there is a strict code of conduct for pet shops, it is impossible to enforce under current legislation. Staff have to be caught red handed by an officer with power to prosecute. If any of us sees an infraction and reports it, the investigating officer needs to see it with his/her own eyes in order to prosecute. That is why it is so difficult to get pet shops to treat the animals well – it inhibits the profitability of the store in many cases, and doesn’t make them liable for prosecution (mostly).

No-one disputes the fact that ALL animals deserve a loving home. And while saving one animal form an evil pet shop is great for that one animal, it is a terrible thing to do to the ones that come after. They will be treated just as badly, and while individually we can’t save them all, together we can educate, and through education we CAN make a difference.

People who work at shelters do amazing, heartbreaking, important work that leaves them very emotionally drained and fragile. Please consider the feelings of the shelter workers who are the last human face a bunny sees when they get the green needle, when you think about buying from a pet shop. Healthy, loving, beautiful rabbits are put down every day because there simply are not enough loving homes.

Masturbation Will Send You Blind

1) Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, liposuction and air conditioning.
2) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.
3) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.
4) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn’t changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can’t marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.
5) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Brittany Spears’ 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.
6) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn’t be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren’t full yet, and the world needs more children.
7) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.
8) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That’s why we have only one religion in America.
9) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That’s why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.
10) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven’t adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans…

Re-Posted from Knit Witch.