Friday, December 19, 2008

kerry Nettle Inspires Me to Do More Long Rants

Who is Kerry Nettle?

I have no idea.

Why do I keep adding people to my list and then forgetting who they are?

I'm guessing she's political.

Oh good! She was part of the Australian Green party. I had hoped she wasn't an Australian Democrat. I'm kind of tired of them.

Lord Wiki says Nettle was born on 24 December 1973. She's a little over a year younger than me. And her birthday is coming up soon. Next Wednesday. Happy Birthday, Kerry Nettle! I wonder if she enjoys sharing her birthday with Christmas Eve.

Birthday Website time!

Nettle is a Capricorn. I forgot what those people are supposed to be like. I'll have to look it up....

This astrology website says, Capricorns are very independent because they know their capabilities and therefore they rarely trust others to finish details, they like to do it all themselves.

Her numerology number is 11. Therese Rein has the same number. It's a master number which means Kerry Nettle is probably mighty important. Maybe.

Well, she's at least important to me for today.

Nettle was born in Sydney and grew up in a Suburb called Marsfield.

I'm looking at Google Maps. Marsfield is north west of the Sydney CBD. It's not too far away.

Lord Wiki doesn't say what primary school she went to; but he says she went to secondary school at The Presbyterian Ladies' College, Sydney. Lord Wiki has a lot to say about that school. He makes it look important. Is it important? Or is it just that people took the time to fill in a lot of information?

The little girls on the website are very cute. It's a boarding school and day school. It's not selective. Maybe that's why the children look so happy? Or it could be that they had a good photographer who knows how to get children to smile.

I think getting people to relax and smile is a very important skill in portrait photography. My wedding photos are very bad because the photographer didn't do this. In the pictures I look very tense. I look ugly. It's sad to look ugly in your own wedding photos.

Woe is me.

Back to Nettle. Well, actually....back to the school. I just realized it's a girl's school.

On this page, they use the term vacation. That surprised me. I didn't think they used that word in Australia.

Oh! Lord Wiki says the school follows the Reggio Emelia approach with the younger children. This is one of my favorite educational philosophies; and it's what inspired me to end up choosing unschooling for our homeschooling method.

In her last year at the school, Kerry Nettle was school captain.

She graduated in 1991.  That's the same year I graduated!

She did her university work at The University of New South Wales. Her degree was in environmental Science. Well, that fits in well with the Green party.

Peter Garrett and Lucy Turnbull also went to the school.

During her school years, Nettle was politically active. She was part of a group called the Non-Aligned Left which later became known as the Grassroots Left. Lord Wiki says this group is made up of anarchists, socialist groups, gay activists, and environmental activists.

She started working for the Green party as an office coordinator. In November 2001, she was elected to the Senate.

Her term expired in June 2008. This was about the same time that Lynn Harris' term expired.

Lord Wiki says Nettle is a socialist, and that she believes that certain things owned by private business now, should be owned by the government. Some of the examples he gives are airlines and banks.

She's big on rights for asylum seekers, and wanted David Hicks returned to Australia. I don't know much about David Hicks. Lord Wiki says he's the Australian who was part of Al-Qaeda. I added him to my research list.

Nettle participated in Bob Brown's interjection during George W. Bush's speech in Parliament. She didn't stop there. She tried to give Bush a letter from the wife of Mamdouh Habib--another detainee. This is another guy I need to add to my list.

One of these days, I will need to stop doing research so I can pack and stuff. Well, I still have over a month to go. I think I'll be okay. I hope!

Nettle has worked with Palestinians and Israeli's--trying to help with that mess. Lord Wiki seems to say she hasn't really picked one side over the other. I think that's good. Personally, I think anyone who picks one side over the other is prejudice. Both groups have made mistakes. They're both to blame.

So far, Kerry Nettle seems like a strong woman. She has strong opinions and isn't afraid to speak her mind. She's probably someone I could like.

What is she going to do now that she's not part of the Greens?

Well, maybe she's still part of them, but just not in any official format. I'm not sure how this works. She still has a page on the Green's website. It has the story of her visit to the Holy (people can't stop fighting) Land. She went in January 2007.

Now it seems to me that she did pick a side--well, at least this article did. It's talking much more about the bad things that the Israeli's do. Some of it IS pretty awful. There's a village where Israeli's and tourists can pass right through, but Palestinians have to travel to a checkpoint 45 minutes away.

The article is definitely slanted to the side of the Palestinians. I don't doubt that they get treated like absolute crap by the Israeli's. But they're not innocent themselves. The problem is that there's a lot of good Israeli's and a lot of good Palestinians. Well, that's not the problem. The problem is that there's also bad Israeli's and bad Palestinians. And they mess things up for everyone. I think THAT'S the truth. I don't think it's the way the Green Party represents it; the Palestinians as the poor innocent victims and the Israeli's as the evil oppressors.

The article has a huge list of atrocities by the Israeli's towards the Palestinians. It's disgusting and wrong. But they fail to mention the Israeli's that have been killed by Palestinians. They fail to mention scary things like bus bombs. This beautiful blog post does a great job of putting the conflict in perspective. Instead of putting blame on one side over the other (and yes one side MIGHT be more to blame) it talks about trying to FIX the problems. I wish Kerry Nettle had been as wise.

I really don't think white Americans and white Australians have the right to overly criticize Israel. Look what we've done to the people who previously lived in "our" land. We were unfair, racist, and cruel. And I don't even know if I should use the word were. Our bad behavior is NOT totally in the past. Also, what would we do if the Native Americans starting using their teenagers as suicide bombers? What if the Indigenous Australians did this? Can we promise ourselves that we'd act differently than the Israeli's? Or would we also become paranoid and hateful?

I despise oppression. I think we should all love each other and be treated fairly. I have sympathy for all oppressed groups. But I do have LESS sympathy for oppressed groups who use violence against innocent people to get their point across. For example, I am totally for gay marriage and gay adoption. I hate homophobia. It disgusts me. But if gay people started bombing buses and killing innocent people, I would have less sympathy for their cause.

It's like America. All these countries had so much sympathy and love for us after September 11. Then George W. Bush started a war that killed more people than the World Trade Center bombings. The world lost sympathy for us. And in my opinion, they had every right to.

Once you use violence to get your point across, you taint your matter how noble your cause was. Now I'm not talking about self-defense. If you're life or property is in danger, I'm not against fighting back to protect yourself. That's very different from killing innocent people to get your point across.

Okay. Honestly. I am not really loving Kerry Nettle at this point. But that's not fair of me. So, we don't see eye to eye on one particular issue. I'm sure we DO have other things in common. She is a Green after all and I agree with almost all of their stuff.

I'm going to read her first speech in Parliament. There might be something there that warms my cold cold heart.

To her credit, she does acknowledge all the crap that happened to the First Australians. She apologizes for it. And this apology happened six years before Kevin Rudd's apology.

Here's a beautiful quote from her. It warms my heart a tiny bit. In trying to out-swagger the cowboys in Washington, we have only succeeded in making ourselves look foolish at a time when we could have and should have been a calming voice in our ally's ear.

I like that.

Australia, you have failed us Americans! Why weren't you whispering gently in our ear? Huh? Why!

Oh! Here's another awesome quote. My love-Kerry-Nettle meter is rising. We do not live in George Bush's comic book world of goodies and baddies. Beautiful speech writing there. Although Kettle's trip to Israel report seemed a bit like comic book of goodies and baddies. So there.

Like other members of the Green Party I've looked at, Nettle has a MySpace page. She hasn't logged in for awhile--not since May 30. That's when we were in Disney World.

She's a very strong advocate for public education. I wonder how she'd feel about homeschooling. I think some public education lovers are anti-homeschooling. They think all children need to be educated by the state. I don't want the state to brainwash my child. That's MY job!

She says she was a timekeeper for Ian Thorpe when he was a nipper. I have no idea what that means. What's a nipper?

Well, I've now learned that Thorpe is a swimmer. Oh and okay! Nippers are young surf lifesavers. Thank you, Lord Wiki.

She played the trumpet. You know, I suddenly realize she reminds me a bit of Lisa Simpson. Although Lisa Simpson plays the Saxophone.

Her favorite thing to cook is tomato pasta. I wonder if she's a vegetarian.

She knits. My mom knits.

Her favorite book is Harry Potter! Awesome.

Another thing we have in common is the desire for more birthing choices for woman. She was part of The National Maternity Action Plan. It seems basically their goal is to help us remember that childbirth is a normal physiological process, not an illness. They want midwives to be the primary caretakers of pregnant woman. Amen to that. It's not that hospitals and obstetricians are never needed. But I think they use fear tactics to make us believe that they're absolutely needed. I had a bad hospital experience when I had Jack. (Yes, the most important thing is he's healthy.  I know)

I actually had to be in the hospital because I had pre-clampsia. A homebirth wouldn't be a safe option for me. I just wish I had a midwife there with me--or a doula. I wish I had someone to be my advocate against the know-it-all doctor god. When are male doctors going to realize that medical school does not equal divinity?  Sorry. Yes, I'm stereotyping here. It's just I've not met many male doctors who weren't condescending, horrible listeners, and invalidating.

Well, this is probably enough rants for today. I better go and do some trip-planning work.


  1. I was supposed to be born in hospital because my mom had two troubled births with my brothers. But I ended up being born in the back of car with two midwives!

  2. Deirdre,

    Wow! How did that go? Were there any medical issues. Maybe your mom does better in cars than hospitals!!

  3. I've passed a link for this post straight on to my friend Lara from "Disco Knitter" as she is Kerry's sister-in-law.

    I've been great friends with Kerry's brother Mark for about 10 years. So I'm too close to comment on this one, except to say "I LOVE KERRY" and that i'm missing her presence in the Senate.


  4. Fe,

    I wonder if I've seen Disco Knitter yet. Maybe?

    It's cool that you know all these people I write about. It makes them seem more real.

    It's neat how people are connected!

    I hope you guys are feeling better.....

  5. Kerry was Bob Brown's partner in heckling George Bush when he addressed the Australian Parliament a few years ago. Before the shoe-thrower, there was Bob and Kerry. In the aftermath, she was manhandled by the Official Disgrace to Western Australia, Senator Ross Lightfoot.

    The Speaker of the House was outraged that American media types present in the Press Gallery at the time videoed and broadcast the rough play when he'd imposed strict conditions on their access.

    I thought he was a pompous fool. Hell, he was a pompous fool.

    I hope Kerry comes back one day.

  6. Retarius,

    I wonder if I can find video of it on YouTube.....

    Lightfoot sounds like a pompous fool. I'm adding him to my little list.

  7. Hi Dina!

    Lara here, Kerry used to be my Senator in Law. Now she's my sister in law, and I still admire and adore her. She's been working in East Timor since she left Canberra (which is what she was doing before), with the Alola Foundation, organising a Women's Conference for next year, and doing some consulting.

    Kerry is the most positive, intelligent, compassionate and kind person I know, and yes, she is a vegetarian :) She's also been very active working for women's reproductive rights in the senate - she wore the t-shirt "keep your rosaries off my ovaries" for the RU486 debate. Google that one ;)

    And yes, she was assaulted by that pig, and chose not to make a big deal out of it, and give the man more publicity. Bravely, she chose to carry on doing what she believed in, and though it makes me furious that he was never officially called to task for it, I have to respect her strength.

    And I am sure that Kerry acknowledges that there are good and bad on both sides - but right now, most of the power is on the Israeli side, and Kerry has a tendency to side with the underdog. As do I!

    I'll pass on your birthday wishes on Wednesday :)

  8. Hi Lara!

    Kerry sounds awesome. We need more people fighting for the underdog. I'm glad to know she's a vegetarian. Animals are definitely underdogs.

    She's very brave and strong.

    Whether she returns to the senate or not, I'm sure she'll continue to do good.