Thursday, September 29, 2011

Jetstar Problems, Holmesglen Institute, Debating, and Beliefs

1. Saw article that says Jetstar once again is facing allegations that they're overworking their crew.

There's a guy named Dallas Finn.  He quit Jetstar after working there for only two months.  He says he flew five return international flights in five days.

That's crazy.

Since Jetstar has been getting a lot of complaints about this lately, it's hard for me to believe they're innocent.

I hope they get their act together.

2. Continued to read the article.

It gets worse.

Dallas Finn says he was on a flight with a Singapore crew.  There's a rule that, before they do the flight, they have to answer safety and medical questions. Dallas asked the questions to the Singapore flight-attendants and they were unable to answer.

That's scary.

I wonder. Is it a matter of Qantas not giving adequate training to their outsourced crew?  Or were the flight attendants too tired to think clearly?

3. Went to look at currencies.

The Australian dollar is now worth .99 American dollars.

It's worth .63 British pounds, 6.68 Swedish krona, and 75.36 Japanese yen.

I don't think there's been any drastic changes since yesterday. But I'll check out my previous post to make sure.  

4. Went to Tallygarunga.

Today I'm going to read the continuation of Head, Meet Desk.  There's been one new post added, from Stewie Blair jr.  

5. Started to read.

I like Stewie's energy. He's so positive and full of life.

He rambles on and on to Zara about his siblings, and how some of them are good at cooking.

It's very cute.

6. Played around on the Qantas website.

7. Saw that my Australian of the day was Giulio Anivitti. 

He was born in Rome and died in Rome, but I guess sometime in-between he lived in Australia.

He was an artist and an art teacher.

8. Saw that Giulio went to Brisbane in his early twenties.  He spent three years there, and then went to Sydney.  In Sydney, he was an art instructor at a school on Elizabeth Street.

From what I can see on Google, the schools not there anymore.

9. Learned that Giulio painted portraits.

10. Learned that Giulio died very young.  He was only about 31. He had tuberculosis.  

11. Went to the YouTube channel of HITTV2008

There's a bunch of videos made by a class Holmesglen Institute. They did broadcast stuff for
Channel 31. I think that's the community broadcasting channel in Australia.  Right?

12. Consulted Lord Wiki.

He says I'm right.

Cool.

13. Went to the Holmesglen Institute website.

They're located in Victoria.

And here's their page for the Diploma of Screen and Media. 

14. Loved what I see here...if I'm understanding it right.

You have to be 18 to start the program, AND they say you need to be away from formal education for at least one year.    

Am I understanding it right? Are they actually saying you MUST take a gap year?   I love that.

It's so different in America.  Here we're pressured to immediately go to college after high school.   You get the three month summer break and then it's time for the next chapter of your education.

I think Australians understand that there's learning to be done outside of the classroom.   

15. Started to watch one of Hit TV's videos.  It's about skydiving.




I enjoyed that.  It was informative, entertaining, well-edited, and I liked what they chose for their background music.

16. Started to watch another episode of Hit TV.  It seems to be a variety show type thing. Maybe.



The male host looks so much like someone, but I can't think of who.

Maybe Jay Leno a little?

17. Enjoyed the video.  It was funny, and I liked their use of "Working Class Man".

18. Read article about an Australian car racing thing that's coming to Texas in 2013.  It's called V8 Supercars.

The event will be in Austin.

19. Watched news thing about the race.



20. Started looking at more of baroo42's photos.

21. Liked this picture from Noosa.  

This sunset photo is really nice too. 

22. Thought this picture of pelicans and seagulls was pretty neat. 

23. Liked the bright pink truck in this photo.  

24. Wondered if the thing on the guy's leg is a leech.  

25. Decided maybe I'd bookmark a few more Twitter pages.  I want accounts that are good sources of information.

I'm severely cutting back on my Facebook time, and I got a lot of my news and info from there. The problem with Facebook is I went all crazy and started "liking" Pages left and right. Then my newsfeed became way too overwhelming.

I don't want that to happen again.

26. Bookmarked the Twitter page of Online Opinion.  I've been to their website a few times. They have interesting editorials.  

27. Realized it's probably easier to just bookmark their actual website.  

28. Decided to read an editorial by Catherine Rose on Online Opinion.  It's about the conscience vote and gay marriage.

I really don't even know what a conscience vote is.

29. Consulted Lord Wiki.  He says a conscience vote is where legislators vote for what they personally believe rather than voting along party lines.

I didn't know this, but people in Parliament are usually required to vote with their party. If they don't, they could be expelled from the party.   It seems unfair, in a way.  But I guess it sort of makes sense. If you're not in line with the party enough, you might as well find a new party.

That's too simplistic though, really.  There's no way any political party is going to have 100% agreement among it's members.  There will always be variation. They can't expect everyone to think exactly alike.

However, if a member of a political party often disagrees with his or her party, it doesn't really make sense for them to still be there.

30. Started to read the editorial.

Catherine says:

Marriage equality is an issue – fundamentally – of civil rights. This has been firmly established by the campaign over the last few years. Fundamental to the concept of rights is that they are unconditional. They should be upheld no matter what, regardless of whether or not certain individuals approve.

I understand what she's saying.  Why should people vote on something that's so obviously the correct thing to do.

The thing is, what's common sense to some of us is not common sense to other people.

It's common sense these days that people shouldn't enslave others. But at one time it wasn't.

One day our grandchildren will look back in history and think we were completely backwards for taking so long to legalize gay marriage. To get to that point, though, is not magically instantaneous.   It takes work.  It takes time. It takes voting.

It takes patience.

31. Read the rest of Catherine Rose's editorial.  By the end, I agreed with her more.

She's not really talking about the conscience vote in general; but specifically the Labor Party. She wants Labor to support gay marriage as a whole rather than giving individual Parliament Members the choice to support it or not.

That makes sense.  The Labor Party is supposed to be left-wing, and I expect left-wing parties, these days, to be open-minded and inclusive.  

Julia Gillard, though, is the leader right now, and she's against gay marriage.  It's kind of hard to have a party support something when the leader says she's against it.

Maybe the conscience vote will be favorable towards gay marriage, and it will inspire Gillard to rethink her position.

32. Thought about something. If most people in a political party support something and the leader is against it, isn't she the one going against the party line?

33. Wondered what percentage of Labor politicians are pro gay-marriage.

34. Read article about the conscience vote. It's supposed to happen in December.

The article talks about an MP—Anthony Albanese.   He supports gay marriage and the conscience voting idea.   He says, I think there are very strong-held views about this issue and where there are strongly-held views historically we have often determined to have a conscience vote whereby people regard it as a moral issue.

It would be nice if we could simply take gay marriage for granted.  But the truth is, we don't all see eye to eye on what's moral and what's not moral.


My local friend can't fathom why people would allow abortions to happen. To her, it's common sense that innocent human fetuses be allowed to live...no matter what.


To me, it's common sense that gay people be allowed to marry and that some of our tax money go towards those who are less fortunate in life.  My friend doesn't see that as common sense at all.

35. Decided that one of the big mistakes we make when debating with others is assuming we're all generally on the same wavelength.

We're not.

We have different values, religious beliefs, goals in life, etc.

What's behind gay marriage?  Why are some people against it, and why do some people support it?

If we were all on the same wavelength, we could easily come to an agreement on whether it's right or wrong.

For those of us who are pro gay marriage, I think the basic background of the whole thing is love, equality, and separation of church and state. Those things are important to me, and I'm going to venture to guess that they're important to many other supporters of gay marriage.

For those against gay marriage, I think their big thing is Jesus and the Bible. That's their focal point.

I understand there are some atheists who are against gay marriage—or at least one.  But my guess is, most people against gay marriage are very religious; and probably Christian, Muslim, and/or Jewish.  

36. Wondered if it's possible to win people over in a debate, when they're not on the same wavelength as you.

My guess is that it's pretty much impossible.

If a person believes God put animals on Earth for human's to use, you're not going to be able to convince them to become vegetarian.  They would have no reason to change.

But what if there's someone who doesn't believe that?  What if they love animals; and what if they believe animals should be treated with compassion?  What if they eat meat because they're ignorant to the fact that factory farm animals are mistreated? I think there's a chance you could change their minds, or at least plant a seed in their mind. 

I guess what I'm thinking is sometimes we waste our time trying to convince people to take our side, and it's never going to happen—at least not with discussion and debating.   The opposing person could change, but it would have to take some huge personal event in their lives.

For example...

Someone against welfare may change their mind if they're suddenly thrust in poverty themselves.

Those who scoff at food stamps may change their tune when it's their children going hungry.

37. Thought about how, if you're going to try to get someone on your side, you have to approach it by using their own values.

It wouldn't help for me to talk to a Born Again Christian about love, fairness, equality, discrimination, etc.   If they think Jesus says Steve shall not marry Steve, none of that matters.  If someone really wants to try and convince an anti-gay person to cross over to the other side, they're going to have to fight with the Bible itself. There might be a way to convince Christians that maybe Jesus isn't so anti-gay after all.

I don't know enough about the Bible to contribute to that discussion.

I do remember, in my college days, going to a rabbi led discussion about why homosexuality is okay.  He used Torah (Old Testament) quotes to illustrate his point.

I forgot the exact stuff he said.  But I do remember a little.   One of the things was that there ARE bits in the Torah that say men  shouldn't have sex with men.   But the rabbi showed that this was all about preventing the waste of seed.  God was wanting people to make more people. If you're trying to populate the world, gay people are wasting precious time and sperm. But in that case, male masturbation is equally awful.

I also vaguely remember the rabbi pointing out something along the lines of Lesbianism not being mentioned in the Torah.

Now this is all Old Testament stuff.  It's probably easier to convince religious Jews it's okay to be gay.

I think the New Testament might be more vocal in its anti-homosexuality.

38. Thought of that great Proposition 8 video with Neil Patrick Harris and Jack Black.   They point out the supposed hypocrisy of Christianity.  Yes, the bible says don't be gay.  But you're also not supposed to eat shellfish.

The problem with that argument is Christians don't believe they need to avoid shellfish.  They don't believe in those hundreds of rules. They believe Jesus came along and said, you don't need those rules anymore. You got me now. I died for your sins. I'm the Messiah.  

I'm paraphrasing here.  

39. Looked at the Religious Tolerance website.  They have a page about homosexuality in the Bible.

They talk about Corinthians 6.9.   It's been translated as saying: Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."

I guess effeminate is supposed to equal gay?

But effeminate doesn't equal gay.

Some men are effeminate and aren't gay.

Some gay men aren't effeminate.

Or do I not know the real definition of effeminate?

40. Looked at this dictionary site.  They say the definition is, having feminine qualities untypical of a man : not manly in appearance or manner.  

Yeah.  Well, that's the definition I had in my brain.  

It boggles my mind trying to imagine why a loving god would have problems with that.  

41. Decided I'm not going to sit here all night studying the Bible.

I know there are believers in Jesus who are very anti-gay and I know there are believers in Jesus who are supportive of homosexuals and gay marriage.  I'll assume there are many ways to interpret these Bible passages.  If you want to discriminate against homosexuals, you can read the Bible in a way that makes it seem righteous to do so.  If you want to believe Jesus loves everyone, and is open and accepting; you can probably interpret the Bible in a way that supports these beliefs.