The Week Links: in which our blogger has cause to celebrate!

Much cause, in fact. When I was in town the other day, I discovered that there is an Indian grocery store coming to one of the shopping centres. I cannot wait to investigate. Yum, Indian food! Spices and chapati and curry mixes and interesting sweets! I’ll be sure to let you know what I think when it opens.

The other thing which is exciting is that I’ve put up a website for my editing business, which I’m starting up. I’m expecting mostly local people to contact me, but of course, if you (or others you know) are interested, feel free to get in touch! That link up there on the right hand side—that’s me. I’ve ordered business cards. How ridiculously mature of me.

I also have another exciting announcement, but that deserves a post of its own. WATCH THIS SPACE.

Now, on with the links! You get an extra one this week because I missed last week. See how I’m looking out for you?

What a fabulous idea to give homes to the homeless, and why doesn’t it happen more? Given the cost associated with moving homeless people on, or dealing with the physical and mental health issues of homelessness, this solution makes a lot of sense. The only reason I could think of, as to why it doesn’t happen more, is that we do tend to stigmatise homelessness. We assign blame and assume that those who are homeless only find themselves in that position, because they are too lazy to get out of it.

* * * * *

I understand the need for free speech, and when I was reading this, I was trying to work out how you counter this kind of attitude. Simply saying that something is against the law doesn’t really fly with people who believe the law is wrong; you would be able to prosecute them for their behaviour, should they break that law, but you may not be able to convince them of your argument. It’s simply sad, not only the lack of respect and empathy, but also that this person has influence and chooses to use it in such a way.

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Last week, an impromptu protest sprang up in Melbourne, against random visa checks which were due to be carried out in the city centre. On the one hand, sure, I agree that there need to be rules about visas. But given that we’re a multicultural country, and that Australians come in all colours with different accents and speaking different languages, it raises the question as to how ‘random’ these checks might be. The Handsome Sidekick, for example, speaks with an accent and doesn’t keep his passport or his citizenship papers on him. One of my close friends also speaks with an accent, and has lived and been a citizen here for twenty years. Would they be questioned in such a crackdown? Or would they be spared, because they are white? In the end, people power won the day. The visa checks were cancelled. Yay, Melbourne!

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I find it so hard to believe that in a country where freedom is espoused so often, women are required by law to undergo certain procedures before having an abortion. I can agree that this is not a decision which must be entered into lightly, but I also think that there is a strong assumption that women would use abortion as a last-ditch method of birth control. All the women to whom I’ve spoken, and those whose stories I’ve read, who’ve had abortions, have had them as a last resort, and find the operation harrowing and upsetting. I suppose that by passing such laws as this doctor tries to circumvent, the lawmakers feel as though they’re ensuring fewer women will have abortions. What really happens is that they make the experience even more difficult.

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It was lovely to see so many people welcoming the refugees who had fled to Europe over the weekend, given the journey and experiences they’ve had. It was also great to see how many Hungarians were opposed to the official government line. I identify with that, because I certainly don’t support my own country’s stance on refugees. In among all the joy and the outpouring of assistance, I also hope that this galvanises the world into action against the wars which are displacing these people, so that they may go back home, if they want to.


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