Saturday, September 20, 2014

Jane Prentice

I had a sexist moment yesterday.

I was going through a selection process to pick what Member of Parliament to write about, and I decided I wanted only women in the selection pool.

I'll admit it. I have my prejudices sometimes.

And it's not that I prefer women over men in general. It's just at this time, when it comes to politics, I do. At one point, I had the same feelings about novelists. I went through this stage where male writers annoyed me. That being said, I've had other times in my life where all my favorite authors have been male.

I probably shouldn't be too indulgent with my bigotry, though. So maybe next time I write about an MP, I'll make a rule that it has to be a boy.

Today, though...I'm looking at a girl named Jane—Jane Prentice.

What does Lord Wiki have to say about Prentice?

He says....

She was born June 22, 1953. Her 46th birthday was two days after our wedding.

She became a Member of Parliament on August 21, 2010. That was the day after Jack's ninth birthday.

Prentice was born in Melbourne, but she's not doing her Parliament work there. Her political area is the Division of Ryan, in Queensland, which is the south-western suburbs of Brisbane.

Prentice is a member of the Liberal Party. The person who was MP before her (Michael Johnson) was also part of the Liberal Party. He got expelled from the party for doing questionable things.

Before becoming an MP, Prentice was on the Brisbane City Council. And prior (and maybe during?) to that, she worked in the tourism industry.

Here's Jane Prentice's page on the Australian Parliament website. They have a photo of her. She looks like the type of person who was a singer in the past. Not a rock star—more like someone who would star in Disney movies.

The website lists some of her accomplishments, committees, etc. It's a lot. I'm not naming it all. I'm might not even name any of it. I'm going to read through it and see if anything looks particularly interesting to me.

Prentice was doing stuff with the Liberal Party in the early 1970's, when she was in her early twenties. So she's been political for a long time. And through all that time, it seems she's been loyal to the same party.

I see the tourism job. She was the director of the Brisbane Visitors and Convention Bureau.  When I Googled that, I got this website:  I'm assuming it's the same organization, and they just changed their name.

Their website says that On November 14-15, there's going to be a big leader's summit. Obama's picture is included. I guess he's going to be there?


Back to Prentice. I'm going to read her inaugural Parliamentary Speech.  The Parliament website has the transcript. I was hoping to find the video, and while Googling, I came across Prentice's own website. She has the transcript of the speech too, but I don't see a video, unfortunately.

Oh well. I might find it somewhere later?

In her maiden speech, Prentice says her great-grandfather was a guy named George Pearce. He was a senator in the first Parliament of Australia. That's pretty cool. I wonder if he was alive when she was born.

Well, I should stop wondering and just look it up.

Lord Wiki says the answer is no. Great-Grandpa George died a year before Jane was born. Interestingly, he was a founding member of the Labor Party. But like Billy Hughes, he switched around a few times.

In her speech, Prentice says that it's her Great-Grandfather who established the Australian Air-Force. That's a pretty big deal, I think.

Prentice says,. I will do my very best to represent their interests in this parliament. That does not mean that I must abandon my own judgment or become a slave to the latest poll. It does mean that I must exercise my judgment to best serve the people of Ryan and Australia  I imagine that's the hardest part about being a politician—balancing your own views with the views of the people. And though it takes a person with courage to stand alone when everyone else seems to believe differently; is it fair if we vote in a politician who ends up not wanting what we want? We're not likely to vote for him again. A politician, though, shouldn't go against her own principles to get votes. That's so weak, and pretty desperate and pathetic.

How we view this kind of thing depends on the particular situation. If there's a politician who's against gay marriage, but then comes around, because all the pressure made him change his mind; I would like this. But what if there was a state that decided they didn't want Jews?  The large majority wants the Jews expelled and/or killed. I'd greatly admire and appreciate the politician who stood up against the masses.

I agree with what Prentice says here. I strongly believe that government must provide the environment to give individuals the opportunities to create and succeed, but not to unreasonably interfere or to restrict the freedoms and rights of individuals. But I can understand, if you read between the lines, there can be a dark side to that. What kind of freedoms are we talking about?  When I think of freedom, I like to think of freedom of education, freedom to love the fellow adult that we want to love, freedom to smoke marijuana, etc.  I'm not so keen on freedom meaning you're allowed to underpay or mistreat your workers. Or anything like that. The government needs to give freedom to individuals, but not enough freedom that the individuals tread on the freedom of other individuals.

I sort of agree with this statement from Prentice, I believe in a hand up, not a handout.  I think hand ups are definitely preferable, but unfortunately some situations call for a handout.

Now Prentice's speech goes for the negative—goes for the attack. She says of the Labor Party. That failure is what concerns people, not growth in itself. In council, as part of Campbell Newman’s leadership team, we faced a city neglected by Labor over many years. We faced a hostile Labor council more interested in politics than outcomes.

Now I'm remembering why I lost most of my interest in politics. It seems so much of it is one party attacking the other party. I also don't want a government that's more interested in politics than outcomes. I agree with Prentice here, but she's playing the same damn game she's complaining about.

It's like when I complain about a certain family member who's so often talks bad about other family members. Sometimes I manage to realize that I'm being a bit hypocritical and very ironic.

Prentice talks about the internet and the downside of social networking. She says, This may be a new paradigm showing us the future of social interaction, but there is a real worry that social networking will lead to a generation whose only significant social life will be on the internet.

I don't think internet relationships are a problem. I think it's more about the type of internet relationships. Jack has a very rich social life, and it all takes place on the Internet.  He and his friends talk to each other face to face on Skype. They play games together. They work together to create things. I think it's wonderful. And I don't see how that's less valid than friendships where you can physically touch someone.

On the other hand, I have people in my life and we call each other "friends". But really all we do is occasionally click like Like on each other's Instagram photos. What the hell is that?  I don't know what it is, but it's not really friendship.

About war, Prentice says, If we put Australian troops into the heat of battle and expect them to take enormous risks on our behalf, we cannot expect them to be split-second lawyers as well. I don't know how to respond to that, because I don't know the context. I agree they shouldn't be split-second lawyers (good wording, by the way). But I wouldn't be in support of horrible choices.


I'll move on....

Prentice talks about her family. Her parent's last name is Righetti, so I guess that's her maiden name.

She has a sister named Katie, and then there's Peter, Caroline, and Robert. I was thinking they're siblings too, but now my guess is that they're Katie's family.

Prentice's husband is named Ian, and her children are George and Caitlin.

I started looking up some of Prentice's family members. Her father is named Alan Righetti, and there's a website  interview with an Australian Alan Righetti. I wonder if it's the father of Jane Prentice.

Yep. I'm pretty sure it is. Prentice mentioned a celebrity named Len Righetti as being part of her family. And Alan Righetti mentions him in the interview. It's his dad. So that would be Prentice's paternal grandfather.

Now I can REALLY get a lot of Jane Prentice history.

For example, her people come from Switzerland, at least those on her dad's side.

Prentice's great-grandfather Serafino came to Ballarat in the 1850's for the gold rush.

Prentice's Uncle Lloyd played violin in an orchestra.

This is REALLY long. I'm skipping ahead to get to the stuff about his daughter.

There's a lot of war stuff here...well, because it's a war website.

I'm not seeing much about his family life, but then again I'm skimming. I might be missing stuff. He does briefly mention having two daughters.

Oh! And he also later mentions Jane Prentice as an adult working as a Brisbane Councillor.

Prentice's father was a prisoner of war. I like what he says here. It's nearly impossible to describe the effects of being a prisoner of war because you don't really know how you would have been if you hadn't been a prisoner. I think those are very wise words. Really. We can attribute aspects of our past to things that have happened to us, but how do we know for sure that these thing are the cause?

I decided to also Google Ian Prentice, Jane Prentice's husband. I found this article.  Apparently, there's some controversy about their travel expenses.  In Prentice's first term in Parliament, her family spent $20,000 in airfare. I guess that's bad. I'm not 100% sure, though. I would have to know...first of all, how long is a term?  And then I'd want to know where they were going and why?  If there was any international travel, one trip would pretty much be $20,000. But then you have to ask, did their kids need to come? And do the taxpayers need to pay for that?

The other thing I learned from the article is that Ian Prentice is a politician too. And he got into some bankruptcy issues.

I'm going to have a look around the rest of Jane Prentice's website.

The biography page of the site might have some information I haven't yet found elsewhere.

Prentice and her family have lived in the Ryan Division area for 34 years.

That's about it.  I mean there's other stuff, but I've already seen it before and/or it doesn't interest me.

This page has Media Releases about Prentice, or maybe just Ryan in general.

The latest releases are about suicide prevention and RUOK? day.  I'm kind of getting fed up with it all. Not that I don't deeply feel for those who feel ready to throw in the towel. It's just this vibe I get that we shouldn't give a crap about something UNTIL they get to the point that they're ready to off themselves.

I'm kind of not okay right now, and I feel there are certain people (family members) who should care about that. And they should SHOW they care. But they're not. And that's really aggravating.  My health scare last year caused me a huge amount of emotional stress, mainly because of my imagination going towards morbid directions.. But I think the other thing was the frustration (no anger) I had with certain people. With one person, it actually wasn't their fault. He actually sent me these really nice emails, but he used my old email address.  I didn't get them until the ordeal was way over. Other certain people, though? It was either a matter of pure pure neglect. OR it was a bunch of minimizing. The message was you'll be fine. Don't worry about it.  It just made me feel like a total hypochondriac. They treated my concerns as if they were completely silly.

So I'm feeling anxious and stressed about my upcoming biopsy. But I think the main reason I'm upset is that I'm remembering my bad experiences from the last health scare.


I was just thinking, is it preferable to ask someone Are you okay? instead of What's wrong?

I think maybe it is. What's wrong is almost confrontational. It's like, What's YOUR problem? And then there might be pressure to come up with something that's deemed worthy of sadness.

Or if someone knows what's going on in your life and they know it's not a good thing, you might be sitting there thinking, What the hell? What do you think is wrong with me? How could you not know? How could you even ask that? Am I NOT supposed to be upset over this?

I think it's much better to ask if someone is okay. Then if by miracle they feel safe enough to give you an honest answer, and you have no idea what's wrong, you can pry a bit.  Or you can ask them if they want to talk about it. Maybe they don't, but they'll appreciate a hug.

Maybe you can buy them an ice-cream.

Another media release that stands out to me is about the mining tax vanishing act. I had no idea that they got rid of it. I really HAVE been ignorant of politics lately. Is it good or bad that the mining tax is gone? I don't know. I kind of remember feeling supportive of the tax in the past. But I don't remember why. And I'm too lazy to look into it. What's the point? It's gone now, anyway.

I wouldn't want to be taxed if I was mining. But I'm not mining. So there.

Here's the Twitter Page of Jane Prentice.

Her three most recent Tweets are photos. The most recent is of a rugby game.

Her Twitter is not conversational. I don't see her replying to anyone.  To me, that's a negative. On the plus side though, she's not one of those people who sees Twitter's sole purpose as being for self-promotion.

She does Retweet a fair bit, which to me is both positive and negative. When you do it too often, it can get annoying. And I'll admit it. I've gotten carried away with Retweeting at times.

For the most part, Prentice seems to Retweet her fellow Members of Parliament—Christopher Pyne, Julia Bishop, and Malcolm Turnbull.  You know what would be shocking and awesome? If a person from one political party Retweeted something from someone from another political party. And not in a mocking way. I'm guessing (and hoping) it's been done before.

Anyway, I think I'm going to quit now.

No. Never mind. Sorry.

I forgot. I want to watch some videos of Prentice. I want to see what she looks and sounds like. In her picture, she looks like a past Disney music star. But will I feel the same if I see her in video?

Here's her talking about dyslexia.  And yes! I can totally picture her as a former Disney child star. She kind of reminds me of Haley Mills.  Not only does Prentice have the looks, she has the voice too.  And I don't think she'd be the type of former child star who is now behind the camera, in politics, or working as a chiropractor or hypnotist.  I think she would be one of those former child-stars who's still seen in films and TV shows.

On that note, now I really am quitting.

I shall be back soon.