Andy Tchappat: The Brothel

  
After a lot of research and some assistance from others who know Andy, I have finally cracked the mystery brothel situation. Rather than edit the original post I feel it deserves its own explanation. And you can read the full story about Andy’s activities here.

Let’s start with what Andy told me and then we’ll move on to reality.

Continue reading “Andy Tchappat: The Brothel”

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Andy Tchappat: The Brothel

Myuran and Andrew’s Legacy: Rising Above

In the early hours of tomorrow morning it will be a year since Indonesia executed Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, who were shot by firing squad along with six other men around 12:30am on 29 April 2015.

Yesterday Indonesian authorities transferred out of Kerobokan the two men Myuran had hand-picked to continue his art, printing and computer rehabilitation programs. Continue reading “Myuran and Andrew’s Legacy: Rising Above”

Myuran and Andrew’s Legacy: Rising Above

Philip Ruddock is the right choice for Special Envoy on Human Rights – for all the wrong reasons

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s endorsement of Philip Ruddock’s appointment as Australia’s Special Envoy on Human Rights to the United Nations characterised him as “well-qualified to advocate and represent Australia’s human rights views and record”. The devil is in the accuracy of this statement. Over the past fifteen years, Australia has risen as a human rights violater to become an international pariah, with Ruddock entwined in many of the policies that have created this reputation. Indeed, the announcement came on the heels of the High Court legitimising offshore detention, a system of which Ruddock was one of the original architects, and which has been central to international criticism of Australia.

Continue reading “Philip Ruddock is the right choice for Special Envoy on Human Rights – for all the wrong reasons”

Philip Ruddock is the right choice for Special Envoy on Human Rights – for all the wrong reasons

High Court offshore detention ruling highlights why Australia needs a Bill of Rights

In 2004 there was a family living in Adelaide: the Bakhtiyaris. They were asylum seekers who had been through the mill of trauma: mother and five children in detention indefinitely; father initially in the community but put back in detention; a sixth child born under guard. People may remember them as two of the boys escaped the Woomera detention centre during a fracas sparked by Australian protesters, made their way to Melbourne and sought asylum at the British High Commission. Eventually an order by the Family Court saw the Bakhtiyari’s placed in the community under the care of a Church organisation, enabling the children to attend school and have some semblance of a normal life. However the dark cloud of detention and deportation remained over their heads. Continue reading “High Court offshore detention ruling highlights why Australia needs a Bill of Rights”

High Court offshore detention ruling highlights why Australia needs a Bill of Rights

Charlie Sheen, it was wrong to take a shot at sex workers

In the rush to support Charlie Sheen for revealing his HIV status and address the stigma surrounding HIV, it has been largely overlooked that Charlie has heaped stigma on another group of people: sex workers.

In his Today interview, Charlie spoke of hiring “the companionship of unsavoury and insipid types” and revealed that a sex worker had attempted to blackmail him with photographs of his HIV medication. Of course there are unsavoury people in this world and the person who tried to extort Charlie is a scumbag. But that has nothing to do with them being sex workers, let alone is it representative of sex workers. By referring to “hiring” unsavoury characters (as opposed to “spending time with”) and the extortioner’s profession Charlie is capitalising on the pre-existing stigma towards sex workers.

Continue reading “Charlie Sheen, it was wrong to take a shot at sex workers”

Charlie Sheen, it was wrong to take a shot at sex workers

The marriage equality debate is no longer about children

In the debate about marriage equality, one argument put forward by proponents of traditional marriage is pushing its way to the fore: that marriage equality is undesirable because it denies a child knowledge of and access to both his/her mother and father. This is an argument that doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

It is not just that the parenting issue for same sex couples has (for the most part) already been resolved, with adoption, sperm donation, co-parenting amongst male and female same sex couples, and recognition of two same sex parents on a birth certificate already accepted, and that this means the marriage equality debate is quite literally one about whether we as a society believe in equal recognition of same sex relationships. It is also that society, as a whole, has long since moved on from the concept of a traditional nuclear family unit (biological mother, father, kids). Continue reading “The marriage equality debate is no longer about children”

The marriage equality debate is no longer about children

War on drugs: dogma rather than real solutions

Like many people of my age (30s) with a large social acquaintance circle comprising a range of demographics, I have been exposed to a broad array of drug use and problems over the last decade or so, and I’m conscious of the ongoing discussions in society about the drugs issue.

I don’t support the “war on drugs” because I don’t think it works. There hasn’t been a reduction in illicit drug use or problems as a result of the weighty focus on law enforcement and it predominantly punishes individuals and small time or middle rung dealers while doing very little to combat manufacturers and distributors. An individual caught with ice ends up with a criminal conviction that impacts on future employment and relationships, only pushing them towards the drug again, while a supplier evades detection and, if caught, has the finances to hire legal expertise to limit conviction and sentencing, then returns to the same life they had beforehand. Ultimately,  Continue reading “War on drugs: dogma rather than real solutions”

War on drugs: dogma rather than real solutions