Saturday, March 28, 2009

LGB Poverty

"This report undertakes the first analysis of the poor and low-income lesbian, gay, and bisexual population. We find clear evidence that poverty is at least as common in the LGB population as among heterosexual people and their families."
One of the key questions they tried to answer was 
How do poverty rates for lesbian, gay, and bisexual people compare to those rates for heterosexuals?
The report makes interesting reading but the key issues they identified were that lesbian, gay and bisexual people who were in poverty were a higher percentage than the general heterosexual population. The report did identify that gay white male educated couples poverty rates were lower but amongst lower educated were worse off. 

What this study highlighted is that sexuality, race, gender and education were multiplier effects so generally people were worse off than their heterosexual counterparts.

The other issue identified was the ongoing data problem and why government Censuses should include a question about sexual orientation.

I picked up this news off the Out Front Blog where they posted it as The LGBT Money Myth?

I think what this highlights is that yes some in the LGBT communities are as well off as their heterosexual counterparts but this report highlights that some are worse off and a lot worse off. What would be even more interesting is to see the impact of HIV status and does this make the situation worse for those who are positive compared to those who are not.

The other interesting aspect which I suspect explains poverty is how connected people are to family and friends. 

This study raises lots of questions and only highlights the importance of more studies to understand what the reality is for LGBT communities and especially those on the margins.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Kevin Smith - Desperate Remedies 1993

NZ On Screen have a great tribute to Kevin Smith who died far to young in 2002.

His first feature film in 1993 was Desperate Remedies. This was a very New Zealand film and very camp - and so totally different from the Piano released in the same year.

From the NZ on Screen Website:
High-camp melodrama from directors Stewart Main and Peter Wells, set in an imaginary 19th-century town called Hope. ‘Draper of distinction' Dorothea Brooks is desperate to save her sister Rose from the clutches of opium, sex and the dastardly Fraser. She begs hunky migrant Lawrence Hayes to marry Rose. Lawrence has his eyes on Dorothea however, and he has competition from malevolent politician Poyser (who has made her an attractive offer), as well as Brooks' sultry lover, Anne Cooper. Sumptuous and ripe, The Piano this definitely ain't!
I remember seeing this in Auckland and the sense of dirt, mud and grime contrasting with amazing outfits of "red" which just flowed accross the screen were amazing.. and of course the full frontal male nudity didn't go amiss.

Sadly Desperate Remedies isn't available except from the odd second hand place. Hopefully sometime soon this movie will be released to join other New Zealand films released on DVD.

However you can catch a sense - a good 10 to 20 minutes -  of the film thanks to NZ on Screen. 

Update there is two places in NZ to buy from see the NZ On Screen where to buy link.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Freedom of Information - Good News

In a week of some really bad news including the NSW government passing legislation which allows police to have secret search warrants the news that Senator Faulkner is promoting a major overhaul to the Freedom of Information Act is great news.

I think Senator Conroy needs to read this section of this opinion piece

These reforms will change the law and demonstrate the Government's commitment to culture change, a shift from the culture of secrecy we saw under the last government to one of openness and transparency. We do not see these reforms as a concluded process. Emerging technologies continue to change the way governments use, and citizens access, information. New patterns of democratic engagement require new ways to inform debate and decision making. Legislation, regulation and policy must keep up, or they will strangle access rather than enable it.
So in a week where news on internet filtering kept getting worse, NSW government allows secret police searches and gang chaos in Sydney airport followed by lots of fingerpointing then this has to rate as some great news.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Senator Conroy plan to ban the internet!

One of the best blogs I have seen which highlights the fundamental flaw in Senator Conroy's crazy filtering plan.

Read it, get angry then do something about it.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Senator Conroy monitoring you

Sydney Morning Herald has news that Senator Conroy will increase monitoring of websites including blogs. 

Particular mention is made of Whirlpool who are making a strong case against the censorship.

One thing you can do is join Getup and get involved - and contact your local MP. Make it clear this is something which will cost them votes if they support it.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

End the secrecy - ACMA

The list of banned sites makes interesting reading and the ACMA Press release in response to the release of the banned sites you get an idea of the nonsense that is occuring in this government agency.

The rules the ACMA operate under are based on a 1992 ACT.  It is clear this ACT needs to be brought up to date to reflect the reality of the Internet.

ACMA’s current list of approximately 1100 URLs relating to prohibited content and potential prohibited content hosted outside Australia includes material in the following categories:

  • depictions of child sexual abuse;
  • depictions of bestiality;
  • material containing excessive violence or sexual violence;
  • material containing detailed instruction in crime, violence or drug use;
  • real depictions of actual sexual activity;
  • depictions of simulated sexual activity which are not subject to a restricted access system.
So this would mean that sites such as are banned as are ALL Adult sites as they show real depictions of actual sexual activity.

Sites such as ACON would have to be banned as they include detailed instruction on safe drug use.

Maybe the best solution to this nonsense is to send a list of sites which breach any of these or just make up the breach as ACMA has to investigate. 

Maybe the government could drop this idiotic plan and ACMA could actually do something about the Premium TXT scams.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Leaked list and leaked report - is Conroy insane?

A list of "banned" websites in Australia was leaked today.  Check out The Blarg of Fosenz for a good blog on the story.

Both the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age have good stories on this.

Apparently the list of banned sites includes:

  • A Queensland Dentist
  • A Tuckshop
  • Some gay porn sites 
The other bit of news is the report  as published by the Age newspaper - prepared by Professor Landfeldt, one of Australia's leading telecommunications experts, says some of the fundamental flaws of the scheme raised in his report include:
  •  All filtering systems will be easily circumvented using readily available software.
  • Censors maintaining the blacklist will never be able to keep up with the amount of new content published on the web every second.
  • Filters using real-time analysis of sites to determine whether content is inappropriate are not effective, capture wanted content, are easy to bypass and slow network speeds exponentially as accuracy increases.
  • Entire user-generated content sites such as YouTube and Wikipedia could be blocked over a single video or article.
  • Filters would be costly and difficult to implement for ISPs and put many smaller ISPs out of business.
  • While the communciations authority's blacklist would be withheld from internet users, all 700 ISPs would have access to it, so it could easily be leaked.
  • The filters would not censor content on peer-to-peer file sharing networks such as LimeWire, chat rooms, email and instant messaging;
  • ISPs and the Government could be legally liable for the scheme's failures, particularly as content providers have no right to appeal against being blocked unnecessarily.
Meanwhile Senator Conroy has come out and said no no no this isn't the list and you naughty people how dare you publish this list.

I have to wonder what Senator Conroy is doing. I would also wonder what is going on in the Labor party when they are implementing some of the worse censorship without any mandate to do so. There is more serious matters to worry about e.g. the economy, greenhouse emmissions, etc rather than pretending to implement a scheme which won't do anything to protect anyone - but will do plenty to annoy and stop the internet dead in Australia.

If you are worried about this make sure you contact your local MP.  Check out the Getup Website for ideas.

If New Zealand can stop the draconian Section 92A then surely Australians can do the same thing and stop the censorship crazy Labor Party.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Conroy's Clean Feed - Why won't he talk about it?

The move to filter the internet in Australia is slowly moving forward. What is clear is that Senator Conroy and the Labor Government do not want to talk about this censorship.

If you are interested in the implications of this then check out the ABC National Radio Background Briefing.

As you will see from the site already filtering in Parliament is blocking such standard sites as the Gay news media site Evolution Online.

You might recall how this type of filtering also stopped me accessing while using the Virgin Lounge internet access.

Finally how do you avoid the filter simply use a programme such as TOR

Take the time to listen to the Background Briefing - the comments from Stephen Conroy are amazing and show how arrogant this Senator is.  He refuses to talk about the proposal and goe on the attack of stating those opposing this as been for child pornography.