Fending off stamp collectors

I don’t collect stamps, but I do always have them on my person. It started back in 2001, when I first received Youth Allowance as a university student. Youth Allowance requires fortnightly income reporting, and this couldn’t be done online until 2004 or so, so for some time I was used to walking to Centrelink with my form and waiting in line for up to 45 minutes with everyone else dropping off their form and/or asking questions about their payments. After a few months, I realised that it would be better to invest in a book of stamps and post … Continue reading Fending off stamp collectors

Sunday spam: porridge and honey

What is cultural appropriation? The problem isn’t that cultures intermingle, it’s the terms on which they do so and the part that plays in the power relations between cultures. The problem isn’t “taking” or “borrowing”, the problem is racism, imperialism, white supremacy, and colonialism. The problem is how elements of culture get taken up in disempowering, unequal ways that deny oppressed people autonomy and dignity. Cultural appropriation only occurs in the context of the domination of one society over another, otherwise known as imperialism. Cultural appropriation is an act of domination, which is distinct from ‘borrowing’, syncretism, hybrid cultures, the … Continue reading Sunday spam: porridge and honey

Getting a passport in Australia

See Lindsey Kuper on a expedited US passport, here we have another “life in Australia” comparison piece. Step 1: obtain passport form. If you are an adult renewing an existing adult passport that has been expired for less than 24 months, you can do this online. Otherwise, obtain form from nearest post office. Step 2: track down someone — usually just another passport holder — to be your photo referee (ie, to agree that it is you in the picture). Gather relevant documentation, that is, proof of identity and of citizenship. If you were born in Australia on or after … Continue reading Getting a passport in Australia

The practical reality of contraception, Australian edition

Background the first: The practical reality of contraception: A guide for men, by Valerie Aurora, about contraception in the US Background the second: A layperson’s intro to paying for healthcare in Australia which I wrote as specific background to this post. Things that are the same in Australia Contraception works the same way! The side-effect risks are the same: Let’s start with estrogen-based hormonal birth control and health. I know women who get life-threatening blood clots on estrogen birth control (if the clot gets lodged in a blood vessel, effects range from loss of a limb to death). Others have … Continue reading The practical reality of contraception, Australian edition

A layperson's intro to paying for healthcare in Australia

I wanted to write a comparison post to Valerie’s The practical reality of contraception: A guide for men about the Australian equivalents. However, I realised a background in the Australian healthcare system might be needed. Hence this post. Caution: I am not a medical professional or health administrator. There are plenty of details of healthcare payment in Australia I am blissfully unaware of. This is a guide to what it is like to pay for healthcare in Australia as a relatively healthy younger woman. Summary In Australia, many people in cities can see doctors mostly for free, and get free … Continue reading A layperson's intro to paying for healthcare in Australia

Tiger Beatdown vs Australia

Tiger Beatdown is perhaps not enormously well known among the Australian poliblogs, mostly because it isn’t one, although one Australian writes for it. But they’ve had a couple of pieces of local interest lately. First in early October Flavia Dzodan looked into the multinational security firms that are behind a lot of immigration detention facilities and other jails: Evidently, G4S track record of detainee safety in Australia was so poor that the government was forced to cancel the contracts. Instead, new ones were awarded to Serco, whose care of immigrants seems to follow the same sickening pattern: At the detention … Continue reading Tiger Beatdown vs Australia

Stuff I’m against, privacy edition

The ALP’s proposed mandatory ‘clean feed’, see Save the Net, No Clean Feed, Open Internet and, especially if you are going to vote in Victoria in the 2010 Federal election, Filter Stephen Conroy. Recording of email and correspondence history for Internet users in Australia: Currently, companies that provide customers with a connection to the internet don’t retain or log subscriber’s private web browsing history unless they are given an interception warrant by law enforcement, usually approved by a judge. It is only then that companies can legally begin tapping a customer’s internet connection. In March 2006, the European Union formally … Continue reading Stuff I’m against, privacy edition