Blot unveils the new "I'm not racist, but..."

I am very uneasy about laws limiting free speech.

This is the man fighting a court battle about free speech, aiming to protect his right to vilify Aboriginal people who aren't Aboriginal enough by his standards. So of course he doesn't actually say "we should shut this down", but a principled free speech advocate would say "I don't like it but I'll fight for their right to say it".

Principles and Blot. They don't go together.

Fishing, Jinja Safari and Cloud Control gig

Last night Holly and I had a grandmother looking after Louis and tickets to a gig. Date night! Lots of fun was had.

First, dinner at Arisun, the latest stop on our quest for the best Korean Fried Chicken. I have to say, this one is the goods! Crispy, spicy, unctuous. Mmmm.  Brilliant stuff.

Next up, the gig.  It's not often we want to see a band and both supports, but this gig had three bands we wanted to see.  I'd caught Fishing with Ben Askins late one night at the Peats Ridge Festival, randomly wandering into a tent and really digging them.  Holly had done the same with Jinja Safari while I was looking after Louis one night.  Holly got to see Cloud Control while I was looking after Louis, so I was keen to catch them at last.

All three bands were great.  Fishing are particularly awesome, with a wonky kinda live electronic vibe going on. You can check out their single here. I really like their sound and can't wait for some more releases!  Cloud Control were sensational, very polished, and the crowd were rapturous and singing along to every song, which I imagine is a bit novel now they're in London and nobody's ever heard of them.

Pretty exhausting though, given we're used to bed times closer to 21:30...

What does the Marrickville Council boycott of Israel resolution actually say?

I've been having a bit of a twitter debate with my mate Josh about Marrickville Council's Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) resolution, when I realised I hadn't read the actual text of the piece. Given the amount of misinformation already going around about it, I thought it would be worth having a web-based source for the full text, rather than it being hidden in Marrickville council's PDF-based archives.

I've attempted to keep the formatting consistent with the original documents. I'm also attaching the PDFs in case they disappear from Marrickville Council's site, get moved or whatever.

 
Meeting minutes
 
C1210 Item 11 PROPOSED MOTION: SUPPORTING THE GLOBAL BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT AND SANCTIONS CAMPAIGN.
Public Speaker: Sylvia Hale, Jennifer Killen
 
Motion: (Peters/Kontellis)
THAT:
  1. In particular recognition of it’s sister city relationship with Bethlehem and the strong support for that relationship from local progressive faith communities and other community members, Marrickville Council support the principles of the BDS global campaign and report back on any links the council has with organisations or companies that support or profit from the Israeli military occupation of Palestine with a view to the Council divesting from such links and imposing a boycott on any future such links or goods purchases.
  2. Marrickville Council boycott all goods made in Israel and any sporting, academic institutions, government or institutional cultural exchanges.
  3. Marrickville Council write to the local state and federal ministers ( Carmel Tebbutt and Anthony Albanese ) informing them of Council's position and seeking their support at the State and Federal level for the global BDS movement.
Motion Carried
For Motion: Councillors, O'Sullivan, Phillips, Tsardoulias, Wright, Olive, Peters, Thanos, Iskandar, Byrne and Kontellis
Against Motion: Councillors Macri and Hanna
 
 
Notice of motion
 
Report No: C1210 Item 11
Subject: NOTICE OF MOTION: SUPPORTING THE GLOBAL BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT AND SANCTIONS CAMPAIGN
File Ref: 4056-03/78736.10
 
From Councillor Cathy Peters
 
MOTION:
THAT:
  1. Marrickville Council support the principles of the BDS global campaign and report back on any links the council has with organisations or companies that support or profit from the Israeli military occupation of Palestine with a view to the Council divesting from such links and imposing a boycott on any future such links or goods purchases.
  2. Marrickville Council boycott all goods made in Israel and any sporting, academic, government or cultural exchanges.
  3. Marrickville Council write to the local state and federal ministers (Carmel Tebbutt and Anthony Albanese) informing them of Council's position and seeking their support at the State and Federal level for the global BDS movement.
 
Background
Since the Unified Palestinian call for BDS launched in July 2005, BDS initiatives have been multiplying all over the world and BDS movement has wide and growing international support.
The BDS movement began as a way for organisations and individual globally to support the Palestinian people in their struggle for human rights and equality and the return of the occupied lands.
This campaign focuses on Israeli goods, trading and military arrangements, and sporting, cultural and academic events as well as international companies that provide services for the Israeli government in their continued occupation and colonisation of Palestinian territory, the siege of Gaza and imprisonment of 1.5 million people, and the enforcement of a system of apartheid.
 
Actions that Australians can consider include
  1. halting any military cooperation or trade with Israel;
  2. refraining from participation in any form of sporting events, academic and cultural cooperation, collaboration or joint projects with Israeli institutions or teams;
  3. advocating a comprehensive boycott of Israeli institutions at national and international levels, including suspension of all forms of funding and subsidies to these institutions;
  4. Divestment from companies that provide goods and services to the Israeli state that assist the continued occupation and colonisation of Palestinian territorites
  5. Economic, diplomatic and cultural sanctions against the Israeli government .
  6. Boycotts of Israeli goods.
1. The following Australian peak union bodies and unions have support the BDS campaign:
  • Victorian Trades Hall Council;
  • The South Coast Labour Council (SCLC);
  • Australian Services Union, NSW and ACT branches;
  • Council of the Queensland Teachers' Union;
  • Liquor, Hospitality & Miscellaneous Workers Union, Queensland branch;
  • Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union, NSW Branch;
  • Maritime Workers of Australia, WA Branch.
International union organisations supporting the BDS campaign include
  • the British Trade Union Congress;
  • Irish Trade Union Congress;
  • British University & College Union;
  • Canadian Union of Public Employees;
  • Canadian Union of Postal Workers;
  • as well as unions in Brazil, Norway, and France.
2.
a. the boycott of South Africa contributed to the ending of that country's apartheid regime. Archbishop Desmond Tutu has been outspoken in his support for the BDS movement: "The end of apartheid stands as one of the crowning accomplishments of the past century, but we would not have succeeded without the help of international pressure - in particular the divestment movement of the 1980s. Over the past six months, a similar movement has taken shape, this time aiming at an end to the Israeli occupation";
 
b. the National Council of Churches in Australia on 20 July 2010 issued a statement that the NCCA would "continue to add its voice to the call for an end to Israel's occupation of Palestine and condemning all acts of terrorism" and that, "In solidarity with Palestinian Christians, the NCCA asks its member Churches and the wider Australian community to consider a boycott of goods produced by Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories."
 
3. The most recent UN General Assembly resolution of 6 October 2010 on the human rights situation in the Palestinian Territories can be found at http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/98edce37e189625b85256c40005da81b/e0f07b785ecd9984852577b900617f4e?
4. A question on notice from The Greens to the Minister of Defence revealed that Australia sold $48 million worth of military body armour to Israel in the 2008-09 financial year.
 
ATTACHMENTS
Nil.
 
 

Dear "Web Producers"

If you're going to call yourself a "web producer", surely you could take the time to learn a little about the field in which you work?  I would expect a "TV producer" to know the difference between 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratios.  A web producer who doesn't know what an iframe is, and hides behind "oh I'm not technical", is not fit for purpose.  Show some professional curiosity fercrissake.

(rant mode off)

Japan is incredibly well-equipped for disaster

For your reference, as approximately the lowest person on the org chart for Ogaki City (it’s in Gifu, which is fairly close to Nagoya, which is 200 miles from Tokyo, which is 200 miles from Miyagi, which was severely affected by the earthquake), my duties in the event of a disaster were:

  • Ascertain my personal safety.
  • Report to the next person on the phone tree for my office, which we drilled once a year.
  • Await mobalization in case response efforts required English or Spanish translation.

Ogaki has approximately 150,000 people.  The city’s disaster preparedness plan lists exactly how many come from English-speaking countries.  It is less than two dozen.  Why have a maintained list of English translators at the ready?  Because Japanese does not have a word for excessive preparation.

Excellent perspective on the tsunami disaster in Japan. (via @tkinson)