i spent some time putting up a few posts at the hand mirror yesterday, one about a human rights facilitator's course i'm doing next year with the human rights commission; another linking to a post at kiwipolitico on the way men are represented in advertising; and a third about a conviction of a man filming his wife without her consent.
i've been reading some interesting stuff here & there. this long article about foster parenting is well worth a read, and really looks at some of those privilege issues i've been arguing about at the hand mirror (hat tip to blue milk, and a strong trigger warning for the article). for all the ugliness there is in the world, it is the work of this woman in doing the best she can to give back to society that continues to be an inspiration. i wish i had the kind of ability that she does.
there's also lots of good stuff on the wikileaks/julain assange stuff. i've not been keeping up with it as much as i would have liked, but here is a pretty good piece by giovanni (hat tip to the wonderful helen keviom). i may have some more to say about this another day.
i'm going to have a pretty hectic day tomorrow. the american special representative to muslim communities is in the country & she will be visiting hamilton. she reports directly to hilary clinton, so is in an important position. the current american ambassador has a post about her here. it'll be interesting to hear what she has to say, & to discuss some local issues with her.
also looking forward to the launch of the alternative welfare group's report on welfare issues. after the nastiness of the government group's report, it will be good to see some decent policy recommendations. it's due to be released at the catholic cathedral in wellington, at 12.30pm.
the one thing i don't get about the government's position is the lack of respect for parenting. either you believe that parenting is a vitally important task & support parents to be there for their kids, or you throw the future of both parent & child(ren) away by forcing parents on the DPB into work. we all know the jobs aren't there, that any jobs available aren't usually limted to or during school hours (and what if the kids aren't even school age?), and that if someone has to be paid to mind the kids while the DPB parent is in work, then we should rather be paying the parent to be with their own children. it just makes no sense. so yes, i'm hoping for some much better solutions from the alternative group.
and i'm still waiting for the party that will campaign on raising benefit levels so that people who have ended up in difficult circumstances at least have a decent income. it's unfortunately not a populist policy, not one that will win votes. which says something quite sad about our country really, that this is a policy that the majority wouldn't support and that political parties are not even willing to try to sell. sigh.