Our Long Weekend

We had quite a nice long weekend.
Thursday Night we started at the Newport Arms, had a few drinks with friends, felt very old when we looked around at all the nubile young thang's. It was good though, all about the company you're keeping really. They did some fireworks, and I'm a bit over fireworks really *sigh*
Friday was Australia Day itself and is actually Mark's Pop's birthday so we went to his parents place for a nice family do.

Friday night was a friends party and that was good, smallish, but again all about the company : )

Saturday took the Beeb to Fairy Bower and went snorkelling which was good. Saw the blue groper and was fun. We got cut a bit short unfortunately as the police were making annoucements from a large boat that we needed to get out of the water. Not in a panicked way, just something about something being in the area and to leave the water. Mark's mum thinks someone said there was a hammerhead shark circling outside the bay area where we were. So we weren't really in any danger, but better safe than sorry.

Saturday night we went and saw Deja Vu which we thought was excellent, highly recommend it. : ) Got a bit of a late one after the 9.30 session and we ended up sleeping in until 11am Sunday! Had a real lazy one after that before Beeb and the Hair came over for dinner down in Dee Why at Moltofino, which was a pretty poor showing I thought. I thought the waiter's fly was down initially. Bleugh.

We actually had Monday off too but it was less lazy, picked up Scotty at the airport from his holiday in Indonesia and he regaled us with tales of rich friends and Balinese exploits.

The Lipstick Jungle-Candace Bushnell ****

Sorry for the late entry, I got this for Chrissy and read it on Jan 10th
"To everyone who's anyone in New York, Victory Ford, Wendy Healy, and Nico O'Neilly are riding high, the beautiful faces of success in the city. Victory is the hottest new desgner on the block; Wendy is the President of Parador Pictures with a sure-fire hit in production and three gorgeous children; and Nico is the editor of Bonfire magazine, the city's style bible. To the outside world they've hit their prime.
The trouble is, from where Victory, Wendy and Nico are standing thins don't look quite that wat. Nico is fitting in guilty extra-marital sex with an underwear model, Victory's latest collection bombed and Wendy's twelve-year marriage to her metrosexual househusband is in freefall.
Fierce, funny and flawed, Candace Bushnell's new heroines are also irresistable, and as she follows them through the minefield of work, love and life at the tope she gives us a hugely entertaining lesson on how to stay ahead and keep laughing in the toughest town on the planet. Welcome to their world-the Lipstick Jungle."
Surprisingly good. I haven't read any of her other stuff, ie Sex and The City. Chick Lit but with a bit more punch, I raced through it. :)
No Idea on the title, has absolutely no bearing on the story whatsoever.


A Can o' whoopass on Capitol Hill

Now, to get all serious like *rub hands together* I'm going to be very interested to observe the progress of the coming Presidential Election. A story this good almost looks like its stepped out of Hollywood. Striding purposefully up one side of the hill is Hilary Clinton.

A WOMAN *tick*, an ex-first lady *tick*, which many believe will help her as she knows the ins and outs of presidential life. This would be a momentous event in world politics *tick*. BUT, she voted for the Iraq war, which she's now trying to do backflips on *cross*. She looks comfortable here, capable *tick*, patriotic *tick*, which I'm sure is important to them.

To her left, is Barack Obama

He looks strong *tick*, reassuring *tick*, he's BLACK *tick*. His eyes are engaging *tick*, he's BLACK people *tick tick*. This would also be a massive development and I kinda hope he wins actually.

Trailing behind the two of them, red faced and puffing, is Bill Richardson,
Who I don't fancy at all. He looks like some cheesy washed up Full House dad. Bah. He's the governor of New Mexico presently. For interest factor- he's white *cross*, he's Hispanic *tick*, he's a bit boring to look at *cross*. He looks squishy. *cross*
We'll see I guess, we've got 22 months to wait.

Crossing the Line, Young Women and the Law-Carol Brinkwater, Editor ***/*

Available at Collins
"I got involved with drugs and the wrong sort of people...Drugs are a vicious cricle. Once you're hooked, it's hard to get out"
"I stole twenty-four-and-a-half thousand pounds over a period of less than a year. I gave it to my boyfriend to stop him beating me. [When I told the police] it felt like such a relief...now I just want to get on with my life"

What is it like to find yourself in trouble with the law? How does it feel to have a mum or dad in prison? And what makes someone get involved in crime in the first place?
In Crossing the Line young women describe what it's really like to end up in trouble with the police. They talk about what led them to 'cross the line' and how that experience has changed their lives. Frank, witty, and often angry, these women offer and inside view of the life on the other side of the legal divide.
This was a very interesting and thought provoking book. While it is set in London, not all the girls are British, and they are all different. As Brinkwater states in the introduction, "you will notice...just how many of their lives have been touched by drugs".
For me, this does have the effect of sort of alienating me from the individuals, preventing me from empathising as I don't understand drug culture at all. But it doesn't prevent their stories from being just as sad, and despairing. There is a fair amount of talk of suicide, and overall the tone of the book is frank, without being overly pitying or sympathetic. They simply tell their stories.
It makes me afraid to have my own children, but it also makes me feel relieved that I never got caught up with the wrong crowd, which is seemingly for a lot of these young women how it all starts. Definitely worth a read, quite a slim volume (119 pgs) and each account is only 4 pages or so, so it can be picked up and put down with frequency.

Metaphors you won't find in the Pulitzer list

(apparently they come from real high school assignments. *pssht* I doubt that though)
... Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.
... His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.
... She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.
... Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.
... He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.
... The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife's infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM machine.
... The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't.
... McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.
... Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.
... The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.
... Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.
... They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan's teeth.
... John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.
... Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut.
... The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.
... The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.
... He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.
... It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.
... He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.

More on blurbing

Aha! I stumbled across professional backup for my bludgeoning of book blurbs nowdays! (take that alliteration!)

“This Book Will Change Your Life”
The reckless art of book blurbing
By Andre Mayer May 2, 2006
Used to be, the most compelling words of any given book were found between the covers. But lately, I find myself increasingly distracted by the words on the jacket. If you pick up Adverbs, the latest work of fiction by Daniel Handler, you’ll find this fanatical rave from Dave Eggers: “Adverbs describes adolescence, friendship, and love with such freshness and power that you feel drunk and beaten up, but still want to leave your own world and enter the one Handler’s created. Anyone who lives to read gorgeous writing will want to lick this book and sleep with it between their legs.”
Reading Adverbs, I felt no such impulse. But perhaps that’s a personal shortcoming — maybe I don’t feel books as intensely as Eggers. At any rate, he exercises creative licence the way most of us exercise our lungs. The linchpin of the
McSweeney’s publishing empire and the author of three books, Eggers may be the leading advocate of literary hijinks. Take his bestselling 2000 book A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. Part memoir, part fictionalization of real events and part annotated text on what meaning the reader should derive from it all, Eggers’s opus was the work of a militant postmodernist. That weird sensibility has begun to inform Eggers’s (many) blurbs.
Noelle Zitzer, managing editor at HarperCollins Canada (which published Adverbs), admits that publishers never know what an author will say about a given book. “Although I guess with Dave Eggers, you can pretty much count on it being unconventional,” she says. “It’s useful, because it makes [readers] stop in their tracks and listen to what he has to say.”
Eggers’s approach to blurbing is novel; the slightly absurd tone is not. Every newly published book heaves with hyperbolic quotations — and the language is getting more and more preposterous.
Take this example from the paperback cover of British author Nicola Barker’s last novel,
Clear. According to the London Spectator, “The brilliance of Barker’s style is beyond perfection.” Now, I haven’t read Clear, but I’d venture to say that at best, it’s perfection. “Beyond perfection” is like that old sports adage about “giving 110 per cent”: it’s patently illogical. Like so many critics nowadays, it seems the person who reviewed Clear was so euphoric, they momentarily lost their mind.
The blurb is a longstanding practice in publishing — nowadays, it’s jarring to find a book that isn’t garnished with adoring verbiage. While there’s no empirical proof that blurbs help sell books, no publisher would dare print a book without one.
Blurbs for a book’s first printing are usually submitted by other authors; for subsequent editions (like the paperback version), these quotes are typically supplemented with excerpts from reviews in newspapers and magazines. Along with high-profile reviews (preferably positive) and book tours, blurbs are part and parcel of marketing any title. Craig Pyette, associate editor at Random House of Canada, says the importance of a blurb lies not so much in the praise as in the person giving it.
Author and blurb-writer Dave Eggers. Courtesy Random House Canada.“It’s lovely to have nice words about your book on your book’s cover, but the real value is the comparison value,” says Pyette. “The idea is for a shopper to see a blurb from a certain author whom they’re familiar with, and say, ‘My favourite author likes this book, so I’ll like it, too.’” Pyette points to one of the books he edited, Kenneth J. Harvey’s
Inside; while the Newfoundland writer’s novel got great notices, Pyette says the real coup was extracting kudos from Irish author John Banville, the recent winner of the Man Booker Prize (for The Sea).
The word “blurb” dates back to the early 20th century. When writer/illustrator Gelett Burgess published his comic treatise Are You a Bromide? in 1906, it was common practice for book jackets to include an image of a damsel (distressed or otherwise). Burgess was evidently
something of a card. At a trade association dinner the following year, he and his publisher cooked up a new cover that depicted a woman named “Belinda Blurb” delivering a hilariously over-the-top testimonial. The stunt was meant to satirize the art of book promotion; ironically, it may have put it into overdrive.
Zitzer admits that she’s come across blurbs that had “a tone of ecstasy that I found hard to swallow.” No doubt some books deserve ecstatic praise. A problem arises, however, when every book is touted as “brilliant.”
Why so much hyperbole? There are a number of discernible reasons. For one, a review is more than a critical assessment; it’s a literary riff meant to entertain readers. That’s why reviews — and blurbs — frequently end up being as lyrical (read: purple) as the book under scrutiny. Furthermore, while authors work alone, they often band together. It’s not surprising that Jonathan Franzen thought Jeffrey Eugenides’s Middlesex was “a weird, wonderful novel that will sweep you off your feet.” After all, they’re buds. (That said, friends shouldn’t let friends resort to hoary clich├ęs.)
A 10-year veteran of the publishing industry, Zitzer says blurbs for non-fiction books are on the whole more restrained, less fanciful. “The non-fiction quotes do tend to be more content-driven,” she says. “The nature of fiction makes it difficult to blurb in a way that is as rich in content as it would be with a non-fiction book.”
More than half a century ago, George Orwell ranted about this phenomenon. Piqued by “the disgusting tripe that is written by blurb reviewers,” Orwell reasoned that “when all novels are thrust upon you as works of genius, it is quite natural to assume that all of them are tripe.”
His grievance was more recently taken up by novelist Heidi Julavits in the first issue (March 2003) of literary mag The Believer (which is published by McSweeney’s). In an essay-slash-manifesto entitled “
Rejoice! Believe! Be Strong and Read Hard,” Julavits — who also edits the magazine — bemoaned “a publishing world prone to over-exaggeration and generalization of a hysterical sort.”
Julavits’s argument is rousing, but it’s debatable whether her good friend Dave Eggers is redressing the problem. The mandate of the McSweeney’s/Believer bloc is to transcend snarky criticism and reclaim sincerity. The problem is, Eggers’s blurbs border on farce. In a blurb for Sean Wilsey’s 2005 memoir
Oh the Glory of It All, Eggers wrote, “I read plenty of true-life-story sorts of books by people I’ve met, and this is the number one most intriguing, most hilarious, most jaw dropping, most reckless and brilliant and insane.” So much for restraint.
In the same blurb, Eggers declares, “At one point I had to burn the second half of [the book] so I didn’t distract myself from my own dumb deadlines.” This says less about Wilsey than about Eggers, whose blurbs are beginning to form a bizarre narrative of their own. I imagine taking a tour of Eggers’s San Francisco domicile and finding his violated, slightly sticky copy of Adverbs under his duvet and the non-incinerated half of Oh the Glory of It All teetering on a shelf. It’s an amusing reverie. But isn’t the point of a blurb to kindle interest in the book — and not the blurber?
Andre Mayer writes about the arts for CBC.ca.

Wicker Man Movie

*{that noise you make in the back of your throat which mean-well-would you look at that-in a whimsical fashion}*
When reading
an article today in SMH about a quick wrap of the Oscar spoof, the Razzies, I discovered that there's a movie called The Wicker Man. Yeah. Very similar name as the book I just read. (btw Bees are creepy) So I was intrigued enough to go looking for the movie to see if this book had indeed been made into a movie. And indeed it hadn't. The Wicker Man Movie looks like a massive stinker. This is the poster for it, but this one looks kinda familiar too so it was perhaps released here under this one? (below)
Or am I thinking of Constantine? No no I'm not (sorry couldn't find a decent pic, but they're quite different)

As it's profile on IMDb states,

Tagline: Some Sacrifices Must Be Made
Plot Outline: A sheriff investigating the disappearance of a young girl from a small island discovers there's a larger mystery to solve among the island's secretive, neo-pagan community.

And I think this photo sums it all up really.

Quick note

To say hi Riona!! Not sure how regular you are in checking, so hello!!
How's your life going????

Wicker- Kevin Guilfoile ***/*

Bah always so annoying when you type a post and lose it!
How Far would you go to look into the eyes of your child's killer??

Look twenty years or so into the future and imagine a time when it's commonplace to clone babies for infertile couples. Imagine too a a world divided buy this practice and a band of religious vigilantes determined to bring an end to cloning. Now take the case of Dr Davis Moore, a cloning specialist who;s confronted with the brutal rape and murder of his teenage daughter. What would you do if the police drew a blank in their investigations but erroneously sent you a vial containing the killer's DNA...DNA you could use to clone the killer? Would you be able to create a cuckoo in the nest just so that you could look your daughter's killer in the eye?

Justin Finn, at three, looks just like any other child. But his face, one day, will be the exact match of the cold-blooded killer of whom he is a perfect genetic replica. And Justin Finn at fifteen has developed an unhealthy obsession with the Wicker Man, a notorious serial killer who prowls the streets of Chicago....

I think the quirkiest thing about this book was that I bought it at Big W in the post Christmas sales, and then a week or so later, I bought a stack of books at the Dymocks Big Book Sale and when got home I realised I must have really wanted to read it, because I'd bought another copy! In my defence however, they had different covers and one was trade size, one regular paperback size.
This is the first novel by Kevin, and I think he needs to change his publisher. See this post for my frustrations on blurbs.

This was a really interesting book because about half way through it I commented that it was really hard going and I was really labouring through it. I really felt the author had over extended himself and had way too many character threads happening, a very over-ambitious first novel perhaps.
But then the second half of the book just galloped along! I didn't want to put it down, which generally means I really enjoy it, and if it didn't drag so much at the start it may have gotten more stars. As it is, it tackles some big cloning issues and has quite a twist at the end. I didn't really like the way I felt he abandoned some of his sub-plots at times, you'd think "hmm where did that guy go?" and then it would still be another twenty pages before he'd pop up again. There was also a tendency to discard characters, as there were so many involved, they would suddenly be written out with the ease of a Home and Away starlet falling pregnant.

I would recommend, but with the warning that the early slog is worth it in the end if you don't pick the twist (which in retrospect I suspected, but forgot again until it was revealed).


Sand dune madness

Some of the more long time readers may recall this post about our last adventure at Stockton Beach 4WD-ing and the disasters we faced, and it's follow up {which I see now was almost a year ago! Hasn't time flown!}.

Well yesterday we had another crack at the dunes, with much more positive results, {airborne car aside-more on that later}.

We went with Jerome, who is always going to be a fun companion, and Jerome's mate Carsy. We were in our beast, and Jerome bought a new Jeep thingy<<>(can't post video as yet unfortunately, if we figure out a way to get the tape into digital I will) so I was chief videographer. Unlike last time where we had issues simply getting into the dunes, our biggest hiccup was half way along the track in there were apparently 8 cars all bogged but we managed to reverse out before that became a problem. Jerome got a bit stuck at that point because he hadn't deflated his tyres far enough so they just kept digging in. But we weren't delayed too much there. It did mean going back out though, reinflating the tyres to drive the 23Km's to Anna Bay at the other end of the beach to get in.

(Waved to Uncle John's Gravesite as we passed) So we get in, hoon around a bit, because it was so incredibly hot there were a million other people there and millions of cars.
After a couple of trips up and down the beach front we moved into the dunes to tear around abit, did some videoing. We stayed down the bottom and video-ed while Jerome and Carsy went up the top of this big dune, then while we watched they reached the apex, suddenly stopped and the left side of the car started to lean precariously down, I was convinced they were in trouble and was really hoping we wouldn't have to go up and rescue them (to the point I was considering asking if i could stay down the bottom if that was required). Thankfully not long after that they seemed to gain control and slowly made their way back down. Carsy was apparently quite concerned when his head was mere feet from the sand hehehe. The problem the boys said was that the sand was so white you couldn't see any graduation to it, and as they were driving up they couldn't tell they'd reached the apex until BANG they were on top of it and about to tip forward!
The boys swapped cars after this, and after admonishing Jerome I was a nervous passenger it was fine, and no more bumpy than before. Jerome was more worried about M smashing his car around I think : )
The boys jumped back in their own vehicles and we found some different dunes, which we quite steeply graduated in sort of side- steps across the side due to the wind, Jerome went first again and found a flat section to travel up in, being more cautious this time round. We were concerned at the top, but they turned without trouble, and after negotiating some bumps seemed to find a large smooth section and Jerome gained speed until suddenly he hit a bump in the sand which shot the front of the car into the air, launching the entire car a metre into the air like some sort of hollywood stunt before the front came crunching down again at an alarming angle, and again i thought he'd tip the car, this time somersaulting it forward when the nose angled too sharply, but miraculously it was fine and they limped back to where we were, Jerome obviously having shit himself in the landing. Made for very cool footage on the video though!!
Our last excitement came right at the end when we both drove up a smallish dune and Mark thought it would be cool to film Jerome coming over the top of this dune from behind it, so they went to film and Jerome was almost at the edge when Carsy says "let's just check over the side to see it will be ok" and they got out and the angle was intense! It was maybe 60-70 degrees!!! So it was a good thing they stopped and didn't just plough on over the egde LOL
Then we got caught in the F3 closure due to the bushfires which was less than fun and we didn't get home until 9pm. :P It was a good day though


I'm not sure where I read it, but somewhere along the lines someone told me that the blurb of a book isn't actually meant to help the reader. The single purpose of a blurb is to sell the book. Now some may argue that the blurb tells you what the book is about to convince you to read it, but there's a difference between reading a book, and buying a book.
And the difference is this-take the story of Romeo + Juliet-imagine you've read it and you're recommending it to a friend- you might say

"oh I read this really great book, its actually a play in the Shakespearean style about a boy and a girl from warring families that fall in love....it's very emotional and real and even though there are language barriers, it's still captivating and I really enjoyed it"
Essentially this gives you all the information you need about the story, it's a love story, its by Shakespeare and it's good.
Now if you were to go back and pretend Romeo & Juliet was just coming out I imagine the blurb would read something like this

"Romeo is a young Italian man, living his life, carefree and impetuous, unconcerned with anything but having fun. Until he meets Juliet, a beautiful girl at an elaborate party he and his cousins have snuck into. He falls in love with her on sight, beginning a story of love, feuds and revenge, for unbeknownst to Romeo, Juliet is a Capulet, and Romeo's sworn enemy. In trying to organise their secret marriage, Romeo is banished from the kingdom and Juliet takes a drug to make her look dead so they can be together forever. Romeo, inconsolable, kills himself upon her body in the tomb just as she awakes.
A tale of lust, revenge and star crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet is a timeless story"
And blah blah blah. (give me a break its my first blurb I've ever written).
I have a rule, once you start to read the book, never read the blurb. Because it ALWAYS gives away the story. And it drives me crazy!
Wicker, particularly, I think has a terrible blurb. Talk about condensing the story! It also has this rambling quality "imagine this-and now this-now that" ridiculous.

MySpace Madness

I *sigh* have a myspace now. I also caved to the immense pressure. Mainly I found an old friend from high school who spurred me on enough to join so i could message her. Because stupidly you have to be a member to send someone something. I guess it keeps it from people randomly abusing others.....Hmmm....
Anyway here's the link, and it looks pretty. http://www.myspace.com/thevonbomb
I mainly created it so I could waste more time in my day. hehehe. and laugh at others I found with sad pages (*cough* Jared "Ripper" Hale *sneeze* whoops I mean *cough*)
So go check me out, and if you have MySpace, maybe add me, so I too can be cool and have a majillion friends. LOL.

Marry Me, Courtships and Proposals of Legendary Couples- Goldberg & Goodwin **/*

As the title suggests, a compilation of the stories of famous couples incl Freud, Carole Lombard & Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe &amp; Joe DiMaggio and Demi Moore & Bruce Willis.

*sigh* This was ok. Not great, not bad. It didn't inspire me to pick it up when I wasn't reading, and I skipped a few toward the end when I didn't recognise the names and it got too much. A limited audience here, and I certainly wouldn't have wanted to read it before we got engaged/married.

2.5 / 5

The Mephisto Club-Tess Gerritsen ***/*

"In a rundown house, a woman has been dismembered in an act of carnage that leave veteran cops in shock. Drawn on the wall, in blood, are ancient symbols, and a mirror-image in Latin that translates to "I have sinned".
Then a second woman in founs butchered on Beacon Hill, just outside the home of the leader of the Mephisto Club, a secret society dedicated to the study of evil and to confronting it in its purest form. On the door have been scrawled more ancient symbols. Are they clues? Or threats?
This is a form of evil Boston PD has never encountered before. And the only way Maura and detective Jane Rizzoli can defeat it is by turning to the people who understand the Devil himself." (blurb)
Well. This book was quite good. Not as good as the last one of hers I read on the plane back from Fiji, but good. Quite freaky actually as it ends up being quite heavy on the Satanic themes (which was also one of the reasons it was fascinating) and kinda freaked me out when by the time it climaxed and finished, which was 12.30am for me.
3.5 / 5

Books Books Books.

Because I think I am eternally interesting, I am starting a new section about my reading habits. I'll try to include a brief synopsis and if I really like ot or really hate it, a short review. (Or if I really like it it will probably be a little rave). Primarily I would like to create a space in which to send people so they can see which books I read and which I own, so that they can borrow them : )



Great website (I found....somewhere.....it was only last week and I forget already! Feel free to claim whoever posted it first!)
Post Secret. Updated on Sundays, the previous weeks secrets are deleted. The concept is that people mail a postcard to the address on the website with their secrets anonymously. Check it out. Very interesting.

Another One Bites the Dust

Dita von Teese, a gorgeous burlesque star and Playboy model, never should have been with him anyway. Apparently she states he has too many "Demons". Yeh no shit sherlock. Look at him. He is screaming for a hug from his mother! (and some clearasil) It was one of those weird marriages you'd forget about and then something would crop up and it'd be all like "oh yeah, them..." They did make for a fabulous famous goth couple though.

Social Conscience?

I frequently feel now (especially when I read the paper and actually feel informed on world events) that we're slipping into some sort of dreaded communism right under our noses. I feel as though we're being led around by iPod's and television and sport and Wii. How can we hope to understand everything that is going on even in our own city! Maybe I'm being cynical, hell maybe I'm being paranoid.

Some Bees in my bonnet-

Centacare will be involved in an Abortion Counselling line, prompting fears the advice given will not be whats best for the mother, but for the church. Read more in today's Story in Smh , but this has been an ongoing issue.
I will say up front that I am Pro-choice and that I believe such a decision, while other factors may be considered and opinions may be asked for, abortion should be the mother's choice. And religion should play no part in a counselling service when the Catholic Church as an entity is clearly not even negotiable on the concept. Some counsellors are even so diabolical as to pretend they are pro-choice and then when speaking to unsure women, they tell them they are going to hell etc etc.
It has to make you wonder whether our decision makers are mental. I can understand budget restraints (which I think is the line they are taking here-they can provide "unbiased" and trained staff and are a large enough organisation-but at what cost...) but how can this be the outcome? How much money is being poured into who's pockets.... *shaking head*
After reading days of stories of how the Cross City Tunnel is going into recievership after less than a third of expected traffic was using the tunnel, the other half of the coverage is how the Labor Government sold out and allowed all sorts of horrid concessions to the operators. How can these things only be discovered after the event? Or once the tunnel is about to open? What will we discover about the Lane Cove Tunnel? How can politicans make these deals that affect the public in such a negative way, with no waves? How can these things pass under our noses so effectively!! While obviously I am no expert on our road infrastructure, we appear to be clearly getting screwed in a lot of these deals. The Cross City Tunnel screwed our government into-

It had agreed on road closures from which it could only withdraw by paying
almost as much in compensation as it cost to build the tunnel.
It took a $100 million sweetener in return for making unpopular changes to access roads and public transport. It agreed to steady increases in the toll.

And while apparently the CCT has cost us nothing-

The Opposition roads spokesman, Andrew Stoner, said small investors could lose
from the Cross City Tunnel's collapse because superannuation funds had invested
in it......
.....The Greens MP Lee Rhiannon said the Government was wrong to say the
Cross City Tunnel's collapse had no effect on taxpayers. They had paid for
negotiating the tunnel deal, planning approvals and surface changes, she said.



Peter Costello has proposed taking the Murray Darling Basin, which spans four separate states into its own control. Now I know water is a very important issue, as I have discussed myself here. Somehow this smacks of misuse to me though. I somehow have visions of inappropriate water use in my head (and I don't mean a slip 'n' slide and Water gun). I'm sure I'm being paranoid about this one, but it gives me the willies somehow.
The Exclusive Brethren-
Oh this organisation scares the hell out of me. This is a religious sect that is scary beyond all reason. The things that they have been featured for recently include- lobbying for their members to be given special concession in Family Court so that parental priviledges not be granted to parents that have left the cult (sorry, sect). They are no stranger to lobbying however, as they own businesses, Tyre shops, and they successfully lobbied for their associated businesses to be exempt from allowing Unions onto their business sites.
Their most recent coverage you may have heard of where it was discovered the top leaders covered up for FOUR YEARS the sexual abuse allegations of a mother and daughter that had broken ranks. They coerced the older of two girls into writing a letter of apology to the accused man and his wife, saying she was wicked and sinful and had brought it upon herself. Makes me nauseous I tell you.
And before that, the leader actively kept a father who had left, from his daughter by moving her and the mother 700km's away.
Disgusting. Women are not allowed to work and cannot even speak in church, as they believe the Scripture teaches.

Merry Christmas All!

And Happy New Year!!

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