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Personal MikeFitz with overflow bit set…

Archive for the 'Personal' Category

Shailer Park Medical Centre has moved

Saturday, February 1st, 2014

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Yes, Shailer Park Medical Centre has moved.

After 25 years of working in her current building at 70 Bryants Road, and 30 years of working in Shailer Park, Dr Maureen Fitzsimon’s surgery has moved to Riverlakes Shopping Centre, near the entrance to Logandale Estate.

The new address is:
  Shop 6
  Riverlakes Shopping Village,
  Corner of Logandale Boulevard and Beenleigh-Redland Bay Rd
  Cornubia  QLD  4130

 
Tel: 07 3287 6699
 
Web: shailermedical.com.au

All doctors have resumed normal services:
  Dr Maureen Fitzsimon
  Dr Neil Fletcher
  Dr Peter Mills

  Dr Craig Glasby
  Dr Maha Hanna
  Dr Laila Mian
  Dr Ken Wilkie
  Dr Shirreen Lee
  Dr Robyn Kliese

Unfortunately, 16 months ago, Shailer Park Medical Centre’s lease was cancelled on a technicality.  Despite all of their efforts, in over 16 months, they could not negotiate an affordable lease in the existing premises.  After an extensive search, an excellent alternative has been located.  All doctors and staff have moved to Riverlakes and will provide the same professional service since first opening in 1983.

Shailer Medical staff are very much looking forward to working alongside the other tenants at Riverlakes Shopping Village, who have welcomed the Shailer Medical team warmly.


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Questions from our Grandchildren

Saturday, August 31st, 2013

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What did you do
  when the seas were rising; bees dying?

Where did you protest
  with clean water lacking, earth’s fracking?

Why did you not stop
  coal port dredging; coral bleaching?

Who did you vote for
  as summers got longer; storms stronger?

Who did you vote for,   Grandma?  GrandPa?

Voted Greens I voted early; voted Greens

[1] for Sally Spain, Greens candidate for Forde;
[1] for Adam Stone, Greens lead Senate candidate.

I used senate.io to help me plan my 82 Senate numbers before I went to the polling booth.

There are other useful tools at www.belowtheline.org.au and clueyvoter.com.

The End of Racism as a Political Weapon

Saturday, November 10th, 2012

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You can see it in their faces.  Look at the crowd at President Obama’s Chicago victory speech; there are black faces, white faces, yellow faces, brown faces and every shade in between; with no two dressed alike.

Obama Acceptance Speech Crowd
President Obama’s Acceptance Speech Crowd, Nov 6, 2012  (CLICK TO ENLARGE)
Source: Gawker

Now jump to Boston and look at the crowd for Governor Romney’s concession speech; universally white-skinned and sober-suited.

Romney Concession Speech Crowd
Romney Concession Speech Crowd  (CLICK TO ENLARGE)
Source: Baltimore Sun (Rick Wilking/Reuters)

I don’t often agree with Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly, but he did let this slip in his election night TV coverage: “Obama wins because it’s not a traditional America any more. The white establishment is in the minority.

I think that the US Republican Party has passed through a one-way trap-door and now cannot go back.  Either they realize that they can never again go to the electorate with an appeal to only white, Christian males, or they remain out of office forever.

Racism, sexism, religious fundamentalism; they are not vote-winners any more.

Change in Australia

The same process is also at work in Australia and the rest of the world.  It’s slower and we have a way to go but we *will* get there.  The target audience for racist slogans like “Stop the Boats” is getting older and will die out.  And don’t fool yourself by saying “Stop the Boats” is not racist.  There’s no way those boats would be turned back if they contained white-skinned South Africans, Kiwis or Poms.

I suspect the Liberal-National coalition might have to take a hiding at the ballot box before they realise racism is no longer a vote-winning tactic.  Building bridges between races and religions (including NO religion) might be a better way to go.

Tony Abbott: no heart, no courage, no brain

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

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Why, Mr Abbott?  Why today?  Why did you you choose Australia Day to call for the Aboriginal Tent Embassy outside Old Parliament House to be closed?

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott made his remarks earlier today.  This afternoon, both he and Prime Minister Julia Gillard attended an awards ceremony for emergency services personnel at a restaurant near the Embassy.  Not surprisingly, those celebrating the anniversary of the establishment of the embassy wanted to ask Mr Abbott if he was serious.

In the ensuing scuffle, the PM and Mr Abbott were whisked away by security.

Riot police rescue Gillard, Abbott from protesters
ABC News: Riot police rescue Gillard, Abbott from protesters (Picture: AAP: Lukas Coch)

Mr Rabbit really needs to go visit the Wizard.
No heart - at least not towards black or brown people
No courage - just populist
No brain - why choose today to say this?

Jeffrie Trika, You cannot disparage LGBT people and expect not to be challenged

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

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Further to my previous post (An Australian Open Letter to Margaret Court), and reports of peaceful wearing of rainbow colours at the Australian Open, Margaret Court’s un-Christ-like supporters continue to demonstrate their hateful and dangerous language.

One such example comes from Jeffrie Trika, owner of a Kew, Vic. travel agency.  Jeffrie posted the following comment in several places around the internet, including Advocate.com

When these homosexual activist have lived and played with HONOR, a championed life, then they are entitled to make a statement, however while you are living with dis-honor, perverted behaviour, please keep your mouth shut and don’t tell the 98% of population about marriage & family….. shame shame shame.

After I had seen it the third time, I knew that such language could not go unchallenged.

G’day Jeffrie Trika,

I see you and I have many things in common; both heterosexual; happily married (in my case 35 years); with children (in my case 3 adult sons); we both run our own businesses; we even share a connection on Linked-In.  I’m guessing that, in your estimation, this makes me “entitled to make a statement”.

I see no place in Australian society for discrimination.  Those who discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation are just as evil as those who would discriminate on the basis of race, nationality, religion or eye colour.

I won’t be keeping my mouth shut.

Cheers — Mike

A robust discussion ensued.  Click on the image to see a summary, or follow the full discussion at Advocate.com.

Some of my key comments…

Jeffrie, clearly we are not going to agree.
I think that what you are saying is hurtful and dangerous.
My only hope is that you have learned tonight that my opinions are held by many more Australians like me; not just those who, in your words, are “living with dis-honor, perverted behaviour”.

… and after Jeffrie trotted out the “it’s a disease that must be cured” line…

It’s not a disease. It’s not something to be “cured”.  And even if it was, would you use the language that you used in your opening comment against someone with bipolar disorder?  Hepatitis?  Leprosy?

Finally, the craziness reached a crescendo when Donny McGregor, a “so-called Christian” pastor from Generation Fire chimed in with “same sex attraction is … the fruit of sin. And the lifestyle is sinful.

Donny McGregor,
“the fruit of sin”? “lifestyle is sinful”? That’s exactly the sort of harmful crazy talk that sensible people, heterosexual or homosexual, will no longer accept.

Don’t let them get away with it any more, folks.

An Australian Open Letter to Margaret Court

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

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Sporting greats enjoy a high profile in the minds of many Australians.  While many use their high profile to promote worthwhile causes, it is particularly hurtful when a sporting great like Margaret Court uses her profile to spread bigotry and vilification of others.

I, for one, have had quite enough of “so-called Christians” behaving in a most un-Christ-like manner; using their religion as a weapon to incite gay hatred; betraying their lack of understanding by calling homosexuality a “lifestyle choice”.  Worst and most damaging of all are “Pastors” like Margaret Court who run programs to “cure homosexuality”.

Being gay or lesbian is not a disease.  It doesn’t need to be “cured”.  What does need to be cured is the attitude of bigots.  In Australia, these bigoted attitudes mean 30% of same-sex attracted teens will attempt suicide and acts of serious self-harm; more than twice the 14.5% of straight teens.  And the pain doesn’t end with teenage years.  Some have endured a lifetime of these attitudes…

Below is an open letter to Margaret Court posted on Facebook by Jane Waterton.  I’m reproducing Jane’s beautifully-written, heartfelt letter here, with her permission, because it deserves a wider audience.

An Open Letter to Margaret Court

Margaret,

I am a Lesbian, who accepted that fact about myself nearly 40 years ago, at a time when Homosexuals were openly vilified by the greater community. Throughout my time living openly as a Lesbian, I have had friends murdered, raped and beaten, friends abused and humiliated, others who have lost their jobs and careers – all because of their sexuality. I have had friends who have lost access to, or custody of, their children due to homophobic family court attitudes at the time. I survived these years of my life relatively unscathed and have personally witnessed a huge change in public attitude, along with changes to the law and government policy, regarding Homosexuals.

After reading of your views about me once again, this time on the front page of Thursday’s West Australian, I really feel that I have had enough of the hatred and ridicule that you represent!

I accept that you are entitled to your views on same sex marriage – your opinions on this issue are your own view and do not bother me. However, I do not accept your persistent vilification of me – (Vilify: to lower in estimation or importance; to utter slanderous and abusive statements against - Merriam Webster Dictionary).

To place this issue in perspective, for just one moment substitute the word Black each time you use the word Homosexual (or Gay, or Lesbian). A really ugly thought isn’t it - not to mention the legal ramifications!

Why do you not focus your public profile and access to the media to address the truly abhorrent issues such as increasing incidences of child abuse, domestic violence and human trafficking/slavery in our society? Why not challenge and ridicule the anti-social/anti-marriage behaviour of high profile men in sport, business and politics - who, by the way, do far more damage to the institute of marriage than any loving Homosexual relationship ever could!

Why is my love for another woman, with whom I have shared a loving, stable, monogamous relationship for over 15 years, so important to you? Why do you describe me and my relationship as an abomination (Abomination - extreme disgust and hatred: loathing - Merriam Webster Dictionary).

Why have you chosen to champion dogma on homosexuality which was extracted from ancient literature written by pious, misguided old men thousands of years ago, whilst ignoring other writings by these same men – writings which include instructions on owning slaves, selling daughters into slavery and even stating that it is shameful for women to speak in the church!

You state that you find my lifestyle offensive and the bible calls it an abomination. Well, frankly Margaret, I find your comments offensive in the extreme. I have weathered these types of comments for many years, so they don’t manage to hurt me as much anymore. However, have you given any thought to the young men and woman who, by your comments, have been made to feel even more isolated and confused than they may already be - young people who are already constantly dealing with the difficulties and self doubts that society imposes on Homosexual people.

If living our lives honestly and openly was actually harming people, if it was affecting other people’s lives in a negative way, I might understand your vitriol – (Vitriol: cruel and bitter criticism). However, the fact of the matter is that it doesn’t. We are the ones being harmed by your persistent attacks in the media. We are the ones who are told we cannot marry, we are the ones who constantly have to fight for the right to LOVE (remember that word Margaret?) whoever we choose.

Because you are offended by our lifestyle, you believe that you have a religious mission to air your views, regardless of the effect it has on others. How un-Christian!

If our lifestyle is so offensive to you Margaret, may I suggest that you stop focusing on us! I know it will make me feel better not to hear of you again.

Jane Waterton
Leonora Western Australia

I’ve had enough; Jane has had enough; you’ve had enough; what can we do?

Take Action

  1. “Like” the Facebook page Rainbow Flags Over Margaret Court Arena.
  2. Wear rainbow colours to the Australian Open this week.
  3. Celebrate Australia Day on Jan 26 by unfurling rainbow flags at Margaret Court Arena.
  4. Sign the petition to Tennis Australia: Change the name of the Margaret Court Arena.
    While it has been encouraging to see Tennis Australia’s press release distancing itself from Ms Court’s views, more is required.  Demand that Tennis Australia withdraw their implicit support of Ms Court’s media campaign against homosexuals.

Computer Says “NO!”

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

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Just what *IS* Tony Abbott’s problem with compromise?

It seems to me that he is terrified that the “Malaysian Solution” (inhumane though it is) might actually work to deter people smugglers.  Abbott doesn’t want them deterred, he wants the problem to continue so he can continue shouting, “Stop the Boats! Stop the Boats!“  Hey, scaring Australians about “boat people” worked for Howard’s 2001 Tampa election.  And the drownings of a few hundred refugees and their children don’t count; they don’t vote.

Tony Abbott and his other purveyors of fear (Bernadi, Mirabella, Brandis, et al) are not part of the solution, they’re part of the problem.

As we leave 2011 behind, can we also leave behind this absurd and life-threatening negativity?

Joy to the world

Saturday, December 24th, 2011

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I cannot help thinking that if Joseph and Mary arrived in Bethlehem today without a tourist visa, Jesus would be born in an Israeli checkpoint.  But all is not without hope, because …

Joy to the world; this day a child is born.
This time in Gaza, also under occupation.
His name is Darren Issa (Jesus)
His mother is a long-time Facebook friend, Sana Ahmed.

Joy to the world; this day a child is born
Darren Issa, Christmas Eve 2011

Sana, I wish peace for you, your new child, your family and your countrymen.

Steve Jobs 1955-2011

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

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My simple measure: Is the world a better place for this man having lived?

I think we can all say, “Yes”.  Well done, Steve.

Reporting Racism on Facebook

Friday, September 9th, 2011

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Can you spare a few clicks to fight racism on Facebook?

Several of my Aboriginal friends have been engaged in a constant battle to report racist Facebook Pages, Groups and Accounts.  At the bottom of this post are some examples of the vile rubbish they have been dealing with.

Of course, one person reporting a racist page to Facebook will have no impact whatever.  Nothing happens until many reports come in.  Just as in prehistoric times when it took a hundred arrows to bring down a woolly mammoth, a bit of coordination is required.

With that in mind, I have created the following diagrams which might help many of us to at least aim in the same direction.  There are diagrams for:
Reporting a racist FB PAGE,
Reporting a racist FB GROUP and
Reporting a FAKE ACCOUNT set up by a racist.

(Note that this information current as at September 2011.  Watch out for Facebook changes.)

Reporting a racist Facebook PAGE

First up, go to the page, but DO NOT “LIKE” the page.  This just makes the bad guys’ numbers look good.
Secondly, DO NOT ENGAGE the bad guys in conversation or comments.  In many cases, they are just trolls, doing it to see what reaction they can stir up.

Reporting a racist Facebook PAGE
Reporting a racist Facebook PAGE  (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

Then follow the numbered steps in the diagram above:

  1. click on the “Report Page” link
  2. on the pop-up window, click on “Hate Speech
  3. select “Targets a race or ethnicity” from the drop-down list
  4. click Continue
  5. on the next pop-up, check the “Report to Facebook” box
  6. click Continue

Reporting a racist Facebook GROUP

First up, go to the group, but DO NOT “JOIN” the group.  This just makes the bad guys’ numbers look good.
Secondly, DO NOT ENGAGE the bad guys in conversation or comments.  In many cases, they are just trolls, doing it to see what reaction they can stir up.

Reporting a racist Facebook GROUP
Reporting a racist Facebook GROUP  (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

Then follow the numbered steps in the diagram above:

  1. click on the “Report Group” link
  2. on the pop-up window, click on “Hate Speech or personal attack
  3. select “Targets a race or ethnicity” from the drop-down list
  4. click Submit

Reporting a FAKE ACCOUNT set up by a racist

First up, go to the fake page, but DO NOT “Add Friend”.  This just makes the bad guys’ numbers look good.
Secondly, DO NOT ENGAGE the bad guys in conversation or comments.  In many cases, they are just trolls, doing it to see what reaction they can stir up.

Reporting a FAKE FB ACCOUNT
Reporting a FAKE FB ACCOUNT set up by a racist  (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

Then follow the numbered steps in the diagram above:

  1. click on the “Report/Block” link
  2. on the pop-up window, click on “This profile is pretending to be someone or is fake
  3. select “Does not represent a real person” from the drop-down list
    3a. optionally check the “Block” box.  Don’t do this if you want to keep an eye on them in future.
  4. click Continue
  5. on the next pop-up, check the “I confirm…” box
  6. click Continue

But what about “Freedom of Speech”?

Now, many who know me will know I have been an active campaigner against censorship, particularly Senator Conroy’s plan to censor Australia’s internet.  Some might ask, “Mike, are you being inconsistent here?

My answer is “No.”  This is because, in Australia, the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 makes hate speech illegal.  And what we are dealing with here is clearly hate speech…

Examples of Hate Speech on Facebook
Examples of Hate Speech on Facebook

Sadly, in recent weeks, many new hate speech pages have sprung up, inspired by the tawdry television of Chris Lilley’s Angry Boys.  None of these racist pages are hard to find; just search in Facebook using some of the keywords in the picture above.

Chris Lilley-inspired racism on Facebook
Chris Lilley-inspired racism on Facebook

My Aboriginal friends have achieved a lot over the past few weeks and I congratulate them.  If you can spare a few clicks to help them out, that would be great.  If you can join the team working on this in a coordinated manner, that would be even better.  Send me a message on Facebook and I can put you in touch.  Thanks.