Friday, July 20, 2018

Five years of detention

Refugees, asylum seekers and advocates have marked five years since the reintroduction of Australia’s mandatory offshore detention policy. Iranian journalist and refugee Behrouz Boochani called the milestone “a dark day,” accusing the federal government “of lying, torturing and propaganda”. Human Rights Watch Australia director Elaine Pearson said “Australia has gone from being a country that once welcomed immigrants to a world leader in treating refugees with brazen cruelty” in the five years since then-prime minister Kevin Rudd announced that “any asylum seeker who arrives in Australia by boat will have no chance of being settled in Australia as refugees”. Vigils around the country have been planned to remember the 12 men who have died in offshore detention since 2013.

Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has called on Pope Francis to dismiss Adelaide archbishop Philip Wilson. Speaking yesterday, Turnbull said “the time has come for the Pope to sack” Wilson, saying “there are many leaders that have called on him to resign, it is clear that he should resign”. Wilson, 67, was found guilty in May of concealing child sexual abuse by a priest in the 1970s, becoming the most senior Catholic in the world to be convicted in the church’s child sexual abuse scandal. Australian Catholic Bishops Conference president Mark Coleridge said that while “a number of Australian bishops have also offered their advice privately … only the Pope can compel a bishop to resign”. Wilson has said he intends to appeal his conviction.

Labor MP Emma Husar has been accused of workplace bullying and harassment by multiple former staff members. BuzzFeed Australia reports that Husar, 38, is the subject of an investigation commissioned by NSW Labor into allegations of verbal abuse, intimidation and misuse of parliamentary staff. A former Husar staffer who spoke anonymously told BuzzFeed Labor was likely to bury the inquiry’s findings until after the next federal election to avoid political embarrassment, saying “I am disgusted in the party for covering this up … From the top down everyone knows about it and have let it continue.” Husar denies the allegations.

And a member of French president Emmanuel Macron’s security detail has been caught on camera attacking protesters while disguised as a police officer. Video released by Le Monde shows Alexandre Benalla, a senior security official at the Élysée Palace, beating and stomping on a male protester and dragging a woman along the ground at a May Day trade union protest in Paris. Benalla was suspended for just two weeks following the incident, before returning to work at Macron’s side at high-profile state functions, the French soccer team’s World Cup victory parade and the funeral of women’s rights activist Simone Veil. Paris prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation into Benalla’s actions.

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Open Quotemarks

I personally find Holocaust denial deeply offensive.

Close Quotemarks
FACEBOOK CEO MARK ZUCKERBERG TAKES A TRULY BRAVE STANCE THAT DOES NOT EXTEND TO BANNING HOLOCAUST DENIERS FROM HIS ENORMOUS SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM
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Inhuman resources

“The trading floors at HSBC headquarters in New York are giant, wide-open spaces, rollicking and loud, with hundreds of employees packed in shoulder to shoulder, back to back. You can read your neighbour’s computer screen or hear someone talking to his wife a couple seats down. Privacy is a joke, personal space a luxury best forgotten. Which is why Mike found it so unsettling, a few weeks into the job, to see Jill crying at her desk.”  highline

My adventures at a camp for transgender men

“Rocco Kayiatos, 38, is one of three founders of Camp Lost Boys, a weekend retreat for transgender men. He is compact, bearded, and tattooed, with a soothingly deep voice. His friend and co-founder Justin Chow, 37, is the tall, cool cucumber to Rocco’s nerveball of energy. The third partner is ‘stealth’ – he keeps his trans life private. Together, they came up with the idea of hosting a summer-camp-type experience that trans guys ‘didn’t get to have as kids, or didn’t get to experience as boys,’ Justin explains.” mother jones

The history behind the graffiti of war

“About 5,000 years ago, someone decided to paint a battle scene between archers in a cave in Spain – perhaps one of the first instances of what we’d call ‘war graffiti’ today. That person was probably an early grunt who had just finished griping that the chow was bad and that he’d had to march too far that day. Because as long as there has been war, there have been soldiers leaving behind their doodles, names or other markings for historians to muse on why they did so.”the new york times

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Q. 

What’s Peter Dutton’s problem with Melbourne?

“Victoria is a ‘parallel universe’ in a ‘fairyland’ about gang violence, says home affairs minister Peter Dutton as he hit back at accusations that he has been inciting racism ... ‘It’s like some parallel universe going on down there at the moment where you’re not allowed to refer to these people as “in gangs”. I mean it’s fairyland stuff.’”  the age

A. 

Love it or leave it, Peter.

“Greens MP Adam Bandt has told Malcolm Turnbull and Peter Dutton they are ‘not welcome in Melbourne,’ accusing them of trying to ‘use race to win votes and whip up hatred’ in comments about African gang violence in Victoria ... ‘Peter Dutton is one of the worst kinds of politician, using race and fear to try and win votes in a state and a city that he knows absolutely nothing about,’ Bandt told Sky News.”  the australian ($)

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and finally:

Magic Mike XXL is basically The Odyssey, but with butts

“The Hero’s Journey to this day underlies a lot of our most famous popular culture: the big, heroic, and usually extremely male stories such as Star Wars and Harry Potter and Moby-Dick and The Odyssey, the grand stories of grand men on grand journeys ... Magic Mike’s road trip to a Myrtle Beach stripper convention is a story for our time to rival The Iliad, The Odyssey, The Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars. In fact, it could probably replace any or all of these things and the culture would benefit.”  electric lit