Archive for the ‘Random Stuff’ Category

I don’t normally shop at Woolworths if I can possibly help it.

Call me stubborn or perhaps principled, but I have avoided them like the plague ever since the infamous dinner function where one of their executives Simon Berger was Master Of Ceremonies. That infamous dinner function was where Alan Jones made the derogatory and highly offensive comment about the death of Julia Gillard’s father, and Berger himself offered up a jacket made of chaff bags for auction in reference to Alan Jones’s public comments suggesting our first female Prime Minister should be killed by letting her drown at sea in a chaff bag.

The auction items list from the function

The auction items list from the function

Woolworths claimed Berger was there in a private capacity, although given that his job was as Woolworths State Government Relations Manager, you could probably be excused for thinking otherwise.

Woolworths statement to distance themselves

Woolworths statement to distance themselves

Despite this I was in a rush the other day and quickly raced into my local Woolworths as I needed washing powder and some cereal.

I grabbed a packet of Crunchy Nut Cornflakes (a weakness I admit) and seeing that Cold Power was seemingly on special for $7 I grabbed a box and headed for the checkout.

With one item being $6.99 and the other on an “Extra Saver” special for $7 I was rather surprised when I was charged more than $14.

What I was charged in fact was $16.48.

I queried this with the checkout operator who took me back down the aisle and showed me the fine print on the “Extra Saver” shelf-talker that I had not noticed. This fine print explaining that without an Everyday Rewards card I would be paying $9.49 rather than $7 advertised in big bold print.


Beware the fine print...

Beware the fine print…

She offered to refund the item, an offer I accepted and grabbed another brand that was on a regular style special.

I explained to the lady serving me that I thought that the shelf-talker was inappropriate and unclear, although she didn’t give an opinion, she made mention that there had been a significant number of complaints about the campaign from customers.

I have since spoken to many customers and the consensus is that the campaign appears to be deceptive and misleading.

Most people do not read the fine print on a shelf-talker, and if they see a special advertised there then they assume that is what they will be getting when they reach the checkout.

Those who have a hectic schedule, are in a hurry, have children with them, need reading glasses, or don’t wish to bend over to a lower shelf to read fine print on an advertisement are the ones that will be taken for a ride with this campaign.

The only reason I noticed that I had not received the advertised discount is because I only purchased two items and it was clear to me what I perceived to be an overcharge. If I had been purchasing numerous items, I would probably have been blissfully unaware that I had been overcharged anddeceived.

The average person doing their weekly grocery run would be unlikely to notice at all unless they really combed through their receipt and remembered the products they assumed were purchased on special.

The amount we are talking about is not an insignificant amount either. The item I purchased had a perceived discount of approximately 26%. For someone on a weekly grocery shop spending between $200 and $300 it is not hard to imagine how these perceived discounts could add up.

Some of you will probably think “What’s the big deal? Just get an Everyday Rewards Card”

For starters I have enough junk in my wallet without adding to it.

There are however many who don’t like the idea of passing on their personal details to a company like Woolworths and then allowing that company to analyse their purchasing habits.

Although I’m unaware of Woolworths doing this, companies can often sell or pass your details on to other companies that on-sell databases to charities and telemarketing companies, giving you the pleasure of a barrage of unsolicited phone calls. Even if you are on the Do Not Call Register your number may be provided to registered charities to call you given that they are exempt for the Do Not Call Register restrictions and are free to call you up until 8pm.

All my details and all my purchasing history in one card...

All my details and all my purchasing history in one card…

For those who think this may be paranoid behaviour, bear this in mind. In the US the Target chain of stores were able to detect a teenager’s pregnancy before her father was aware of it, this was done via her buying patterns, and Target then aimed advertising at the teenage girl based on her pregnancy.

I should point out here that the US Target is in no way related to the Australian Target.

Nobody should be expected to have to explain their wishes for privacy, although it would appear that Woolworths are comfortable in punishing those of you who wish for privacy by charging you more.

I approached Woolworths for comment and was assured that someone would get back to me. Despite speaking with two people, at the time of publication I am yet to receive an official response.

I also contacted the NSW Department Of Fair Trading for comment.

A Fair Trading spokesperson responded and stated that Woolworths were not breaking any laws as the price for those who didn’t have an Everyday Rewards card was displayed.

However they also added a section of the consumer law which in part states;

“The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) prohibits businesses from making false or misleading representations in regard to:”

• “the price of goods or services”

I would have thought that having a large discounted price displayed, and in italic fine print a vastly more expensive price displayed for those who don’t meet a particular criteria would fall under the category of a “misleading representation”

As we await what is expected to be a painful budget to be handed down by the Coalition, one thing we all know is that things are likely to become tighter as the cost of living and unemployment rises.

The best advice I can give is, spend your dollar wisely.

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There are a few people in the main stream media who I admire and right up at the top of that list would have to be Derryn Hinch.

I am well aware that opinions vary on Hinch, he tends to be one of those guys you either love or hate.

Hinch is one who wears their heart on their sleeve, no matter how ugly it may look on the day. He never minces his words, and very few show the passion that he does on the issues he feels are important. Seldom has there been someone in the media driven by such determination, and whether right or wrong you know that he has his heart in the right place and his motives are pure even if on occasion his logic isn’t. Unlike most other journalists Hinch puts himself on the line for what he believes.

For that you have to respect him.


As I write this Hinch is settling in for what is now his 13th night in prison. Hinch is currently spending 23 hours a day in solitary confinement and is allowed one hour a day for exercise.

So why does Hinch find himself languishing in a jail cell until 12pm 8th March 2014?

Hinch was charged with contempt of court for the breach of a court suppression order related to the Jill Meagher murder case, a case which had a profound impact across the country but particularly in Melbourne where Hinch is based.

Hinch was fined $100,000 for contempt of court and told he faced 50 days in jail if he failed to pay the fine.

Now I am not going to go into the debate on whether Hinch should have breached the court suppression or not, I tend to think he shouldn’t have, however it was an emotionally charged issue at the time, and while that may not be an excuse it could be a part of the reason.

For what it was worth however Hinch apologised for his actions and was prepared to cough up the $100K and cop it on the chin.

But then something changed.

As Hinch puts it on his website

“…Simon Cooper, the predatory pervert, who sexually assaulted the two teenage sons of a friend. And walked free with a three-year totally suspended jail sentence.”

So who is Simon Cooper?

Simon Cooper is anex-Magistrate who was convicted of sexually assaulting two teenage boys.

The convicted paedophile Cooper was handed down a three-year suspended sentence after receiving a pile of character references from judges and crown prosecutors and the like. Rock Spider, kiddie-fiddler and sick fuck Simon Cooper didn’t spend a night in jail or even pay $1 in fines and due to “judges discretion” didn’t even get put on the sex offenders register.

Given Hinch’s history of getting locked up, forking out for fines and his outspoken stance on paedophiles he thought that it was about time a stand was taken over sentencing.

Hinch shows off his ankle jewellery from his 2011 home detention for naming 2 sex offenders

Hinch shows off his ankle jewellery from his 2011 home detention for naming 2 sex offenders

It seems perverse in the extreme that a paedophile like Cooper can be let off completely while someone like Hinch has spent time in jail and paid fines for simply naming convicted paedophiles in an aim to protect the community.

As we all know Hinch has always had a special pit of bile at the bottom of his stomach reserved for paedophiles.

Never one to let an opportunity pass him by, Derryn decided to make a point of highlighting the stupidity of many of the sentences such as Simon Coopers that are coming out of our legal system.

The best way that Hinch had at his disposal to highlight this was to create publicity by electing for imprisonment rather than paying for a fine.

And highlight the issue he has done.

Hinch by choosing to spend 50 nights in the prison cell that those like Cooper should have been in is also hoping to highlight another issue that is close to his heart, the need for a public register of convicted sex offenders. After all if we do not see the protection of our children from harm as a priority then we have clearly taken a wrong turn somewhere.

The protection of the civil rights of convicted perverts is a noble thing to uphold, but not at the expense of our children.

Hinch has a petition on his website calling for a national sex offenders register and is hoping his long days and nights in a jail cell may attract others to sign it, a link to the petition is below.

Petition For A National Sex Offenders Register.

The preamble on the petition states

“In Australia, the rights of convicted sex offenders seem to take precedence over victims’ rights. Especially with paedophiles. Serial sex offenders have their names, photos and addresses, suppressed by the courts on release.”

I hope that Hinch’s expectations of how many signatures the petition receives pales in comparison to what he actually achieves, after all nobody is putting more into this campaign than Hinch himself.

I know there has been a lot of negativity around the choices that Hinch has made in this case, however rather than trying to be above the law I firmly believe that Hinch is making a huge sacrifice to highlight flaws within it.

For those reading this who have not yet signed the petition I hope that you will take the minute of your day that is required to sign it, after all Hinch has given up 50 nights to ensure it finds you and no matter which way you lean politically the protection of children should always be above politics.

To keep up to date on events and read Hinch’s posts on the matter you can check out Hinch’s website here.

Although I know Derryn can’t read this in the slammer, if he happens to stumble upon this after he is released I would like to say this to him.

Your efforts have not been in vain, you have created the awareness you set out to raise and I hope you feel comfortable knowing that your nights of discomfort were worth the sacrifice.

Either way for your continued dedication and relentless pursuit of a safer world for our children you have my utmost respect.

In an industry full of wally’s, wankers, and wannabe’s, you are the real thing.

Don’t let the bastards get you down.

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Drivers Seat

Posted: July 17, 2013 in Random Stuff, Uncategorized

Turning on the news in the school holiday periods, particularly in December and March will quickly tell you what a dangerous place Australian roads can be.

While our road tolls may drive us to despair there have been significant steps forward over the years to try to minimise the number of accidents.

Majorly significant of course are the drug and alcohol testing of drivers, but that is just a small part of the achievements.

Millions of dollars have been spent trying to educate the public about driver fatigue. Many cars have inbuilt alarms that sound after two hours of continuous driving. Most of you have probably seen the “Driver Reviver” stops at the side of highways giving drivers a chance to pull over, have a break and a complimentary cuppa.

New laws have been brought in to attempt to curb the number of P Plate drivers wrapping their cars around telegraph poles killing and injuring themselves and their mates. There seems to be a certain demographic of teenage boys who think the road is one big Playstation game.

Five kids died after leaving a party on this horrific P Plate accident

Five kids died after leaving a party on this horrific P Plate accident

These days the focus seems to be on distractions for the driver.

Leading the charge here is of course the mobile phone.

Most cars these days have Bluetooth capabilities, as do most mobile phones, so the number of excuses for yakking on with a phone to your ear are becoming far less plausible. Even if you don’t have Bluetooth in your car, a headset for your phone will likely cost you around $5, and that’s if your phone didn’t come with one already.

Texting, tweeting, profile updating, emailing, all of these things are utterly daft to do whilst driving, so heavy penalties are in place for those foolish and inconsiderate enough to still do it.

There are however other things that are designed to distract the driver that have not been banned and made illegal. Maybe we should be looking at these also.

The obvious distraction would be the billboard. If a billboard does not divert the drivers attention away from the road and towards it, then it has failed to do its job. Massive billboard posters of some supermodel in lingerie, looking like she is about to burst out of her bra, and with a look on her face like she is about to have a When Harry Met Sally diner moment may indeed sell a lot of socks and dental floss, but do they distract drivers and cause accidents?

Don’t think it’s just the guys getting distracted either. We have all seen some spray-tanned hunk with ripples in all the right places adorning the back of a bus or a billboard, glistening with fake perspiration and what appears to be a creature from the Alien series of movies attempting to escape from his jocks. Sometimes they don’t even show the guys head, I mean who cares what his face looks like. Oh well, whatever helps sell perfume and diet soft drinks I guess…

However, that is not the issue I wanted to highlight today, the issue I wanted to highlight is those people at the side of main roads with signs, waving them about to distract drivers.

How the hell is this activity legal?

As a driver you concentrate on the road but your peripheral vision is always alert for movement, and when you notice movement you will divert your attention to that movement. This comes from experience behind the wheel and keeps you alert for cyclists, children not paying attention and stepping out in front of you, pets that dart out from nowhere at random times, other cars not stopping at corners, and all sorts of other hazards. Seeing movement at the side of the road instantly takes your attention from the job at hand, driving.

Maybe I’m a bit misguided, but I thought wobble-boards were only for Rolf Harris and used for tying kangaroos down.

Rolf- He's got his own dramas now...

Rolf- He’s got his own dramas now…

These people at the side of the road wobble their advertising boards like there’s no tomorrow. They wobble them, shake them, spin them, I have seen people throwing them in the air and juggling with them, something I’m not so sure is 100% safe on Victoria Rd in peak hour. I have also noticed that some of these sign boards even have a handle on the back to help the user juggle it.

I wonder what happens when one of these signs is thrown up in the air as a bus or truck hammers past and a sudden gust of wind follows them.

Below is a video of a guy promoting his sign-waving company in the US. You will notice he talks about attacting the drivers attention, and you will also notice the sign-waver, who is clearly quite good, drop the sign, imagine dropping it on a windy day beside Paramatta Rd…

With a federal election approaching I would encourage all those standing to ensure that your campaign staff do not use this method of getting your name out there.

I say this because I was told the other day of a Liberal Candidate being promoted by what looked like teenagers who were waving corflutes around on the median strip of Sunnyholt Rd, one of Western Sydney’s busiest roads. I would hope that the candidate, Jaymze Diaz has more respect for his volunteers and the safety of motorists than this display would indicate.

However I am sure that all political party’s face the same problem, not just the Liberals.

I can assure you if it was me, I would hate to be the one blamed for distracting a motorist and causing a 5 car pile up, and I can equally assure you that if it were a political candidates corflute being waved, they would certainly be the one blamed. I would have thought causing death and injury wouldn’t usually score too many brownie points with the electorate, but what would I know?

I also wonder if Domino’s would find themselves legally liable if there was a bad accident caused by the behavior of an employee who was paid to distract drivers. That would make for an interesting case.

If people don’t think that this really is that dangerous, I would be interested to see what would happen if Domino’s pizza started with a campaign of distracting drivers outside primary schools during school zone hours. I wonder if that would cause a change of heart on the subject.

Anyway, I don’t expect anything will change too soon, but I’ve had my gripe for this morning.

Drive safe folks.

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Today I wanted to do a post on something that there is nowhere near enough of in this country. Organ Donors.

As I type this there are around 1600 people desperately waiting for organs.

There are a lot of myths surrounding organ donation but here are a couple of facts that might prompt you into action.

1600 patients waiting does not sound like a high number at all, although it is still 1600 too many. Most would consider with the number of organ donors who have registered that those waiting would receive the organs they require pretty quickly.

Alas, this is not the case.

In 2012 there were only 354 donors of organs in the whole of Australia.

You may think that number is a gross exaggeration, surely there must have been more than that you would think. However the sad fact is there wasn’t.

The facts are that very few people who have consented to organ donation die in circumstances where their organs are able to be used. In order to use an organ doctors need to be able to remove it quickly and in a sterile environment, which pretty much means that someone has to pass away in a hospital to be able to donate.

This significantly reduces the odds for the needy hopeful recipient.

In fact it is only around 1% of those who consent to organ donation that will end up in a position to give someone else the greatest gift of all, and this is purely down to their location or circumstances when passing away.

To make matters worse over 40% of those people still end up not donating organs because their family override their decision to donate. This is not for any bitter and twisted reasons it is purely because they are not entirely sure of their deceased relatives wishes to donate and so play it safe and do not allow the donation to take place.


This is why choosing to be an organ donor should not be kept secret, in fact quite the opposite. In order to give the gift of life donors need to ensure people know about their decision to be a giver, particularly their family.

For a surgeon whose entire career revolves around saving lives on a daily basis there must be few things more heartbreaking than having access to a willing donor taken away from them because the prospective donor never got around to telling their family.

For those who are unsure how to raise the subject with their family, or just what to say, the good people at Donate Life have produced a booklet which can be viewed as a PDF via the link below.

Organ Donation Family Discussion Kit

To those who wish to register to donate you can register online via this link, phone 1800 777 203, visit a Medicare Service Centre or your local GP should also have registration forms.

Even if you have ticked the box on your driver’s license it is still important that you register, in fact in NSW the previous register held by NSW Roads and Maritime Services has been decommissioned.

The Australian Organ Donor is the only national register, and the only register than is linked to your Medicare number, and it can also be accessed 24 hours a day by medical staff.


For those seeking more information on organ donation and transplants I can suggest checking out the two Facebook pages linked below as a starting point.

Donate Life

Transplant Australia

We live in the “Lucky Country”, so pass on some good luck today by registering to become an organ donor.

It will be the best decision you make all day and it could well be the greatest two gifts you will ever give.

Life and hope.

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Anzac Day means different things to different people.

To some I’m sure it’s just an excuse for a day off, for some it is a reason to honour those who gave so much for our freedom, for some it’s a time to pay respects to fallen comrades, for some it is a celebration of the Australian spirit.

However you choose to spend your time on ANZAC Day, be it at a march, at a dawn service, or watching the events in TV, or even just at home doing nothing, I hope you spare a moment to consider the sacrifice our armed forces, past and present make for us and be thankful for it.


To me, this is the most important of the public holidays. It has nothing to do with the birthday of a head of state living in another country. It has nothing to do with the commercialism and consumerism of the religious holidays of Christmas and Easter. Instead it is all about pride, mateship, honour and sacrifice, things that embody the Aussie Spirit..

For some however ANZAC Day will be the hardest day of the year as it will bring back memories that you or I can barely imagine. These are the men and women who suffer from post-traumatic stress, and unfortunately there are many of them.

I should point out that it is not only war veterans that suffer from post-traumatic stress, it comes in different forms and can afflict anybody from any walk of life. It is a common condition with those in high stress jobs such as police and other emergency services. It is also common in nursing, and in the care industry, however it can be brought on by any bad experience and affect someone for the rest of their lives. Some people witness an accident and that can cause it, some may have a bad experience in a hospital and suffer from it as a result, there are countless ways it can be brought on.

Given that today is ANZAC day I wanted to talk today about an organisation that I came across recently that I believe provide a fantastic service to our returned troops and their families.


The Young Diggers are an organisation that has been around for about three and a half years now. They provide many essential services to servicemen/women and their families. In particular I wanted to touch on the Dog Squad programme which is designed to help returned troops who are suffering from severe post-traumatic stress.

The Dog Squad places dogs with soldiers which have returned from duty suffering severe post-traumatic stress. Many of these returned troops have been suicidal, and have shut themselves off from the outside world.


Anyone who has ever owned a dog knows the unconditional loyalty and friendship that a dog provides, they are not called man’s best friend for nothing.

However the dogs in the Dog Squad are no ordinary dogs, not in the slightest. The companion dogs are expertly trained to the highest level by experienced trainers. So highly trained are these dogs that they are actually classed as “assistance animals” meaning that they have as much access as a guide dog.

The dogs used are not bred for the role, and do not come from pet stores or breeders. The dogs that are used in the Dog Squad are sourced from RSPCA pounds and animal rescue centres , which means the dogs themselves often come from a traumatic background and by becoming a part of the programme are being saved from a fairly grim future, most would have been put down.


The difference a companion dog makes in these returned troops lives is hard to measure as it is so monumentally huge. One only has to look at the footage such as that below to see the bond between the troops and their companion dogs.

When you consider that approximately 20% of troops returning from active duty in Afghanistan will suffer from post-traumatic stress at some level, it is easy to see just how vital this programme is.

The Dog Squad is not the only service that Young Diggers provide, far from it.

Young Diggers act as a major support for not only the returned troops, but also their families. It is the families that troops will use for support whilst on duty and after they return, so Young Diggers organises support for families so that they can be better prepared for when their family member returns from duty.

Young Diggers provides professional assistance with DVA claims, as dealing with Veterans Affairs can be confusing, time-consuming, and often complicated, particularly if someone has suffered physical or mental trauma.

Another service offered is help seeking employment. Young Diggers run programmes that assist returned soldiers find employment, and can assist with training programmes that will help prepare soldiers for regular work, both mentally and with skills training.

Young Diggers also offer emergency accommodation and provide counselling for troops and their families.

One of the reasons that Young Diggers play such an important role is that for those in the armed forces it is an organisation that they can feel comfortable with. Men and women from the armed services can deal with someone who speaks at their level, and completely understands their situation because they have walked in the same boots.


Young Diggers are a Not-For-Profit organisation that by their own wishes receive absolutely no government funding or grants. All of the organisations activities are funded by donations received by either individuals, or companies that provide sponsorship.

Young Diggers have assisted over 7,000 of our returned troops and their families across the country, something that when I spoke with their President, John Jarrett about yesterday he was immensely proud of, and rightly so.

This ANZAC Day, we will honour the fallen and remember their sacrifice, however I also hope that we will not forget those who have returned and are still suffering.


You can find out more about Young Diggers or make a donation via their website via this link. Young Diggers can also be found on Facebook here.

Before I go, Young Diggers are looking for a 20 seater bus with wheelchair access for their Queensland office. If anybody can assist with one they would greatly appreciate it, they can organise for repair work on the body or motor if required. If you feel you can help, just contact them via their website or phone numbers listed on there and tell them Wixxy sent you.

Lest We Forget.

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With Easter coming up this weekend it is timely to look at a couple of industries and how we should approach our purchases for the Easter season.

Many of you may have read some of my previous posts on child exploitation and human trafficking, it is a subject I feel strongly about. However what you may not realise is how your purchasing decisions can have an impact on the most evil of trades.

Many of us this weekend will gorge ourselves on chocolate, myself included, and some of us on Friday will not eat red meat and will feed on fish instead, I’m not one of those.

For those who are part of the fishing or chocolate industries this is the busiest time of the year without question. For those of us who aren’t in the industry it is the time of year where we head to the supermarket and fill a trolley with chocolate eggs, and head to the seafood store to buy hideously overpriced prawns and fish. Some brave souls will even cut a path to the fish market, which turns into a moshpit for the morning as people struggle to grab anything that smells like it once lived underwater.

Did someone say 10% off flathead?

Did someone say 10% off flathead?

I wanted to let my readers know briefly about what is happening behind the scenes in these industries so that you can be better informed when spending your cash, as it is cash that makes all the difference, nothing else has the influence of a few bucks.

When eating your chocolate this weekend I hope you don’t end up with a horrible aftertaste that many of the cheaper brands of chocolate can leave you with. That aftertaste could well be the blood sweat and tears of children.

Most of the world’s cocoa, which is the main ingredient in chocolate, comes from West Africa. The Cocoa is grown on farms and then harvested in 35 degree heat by children as young as 6. These children are put to work in fields, often loaded with pesticides, to swing machetes and carry heavy loads all day.


While the Gina Rineharts and Tony Abbotts of this world may call this maximising efficiency, most of us would label this practice barbaric. These children are used as slaves and often end up suffering terrible symptoms after breathing in pesticides all day in the humidity and heat. Nausea, diarrhoea, and migraine headaches are common, many even end up with cancer and kidney and liver problems.

Human trafficking is also common in the production of cocoa, workers are often trafficked around the different farms as required for harvest. Many of those who are victims of trafficking are children, forced into slave labour so that their family can afford to eat.


There is more information in the factsheet that I have linked below which has been produced by World Vision.

Chocolate factsheet

For those who are yet to buy Easter eggs, there is also a link to a Good Chocolate Guide below. Please take the time to have a look at this or forward it to your friends as buying from company’s that have ethical practices is extremely important in the battle for human rights. The Good Chocolate guide also has a list of retailers where you can buy ethical chocolate. Also linked below is a Chocolate Scorecard from World Vision, you may be surprised at which companies tick all the boxes and which ones don’t, I was.

Good Chocolate Guide

Chocolate Scorecard

The seafood industry also is plagued with child labour and human trafficking. The vast majority of the worlds seafood comes via Asia and there is so much exploitation of families living in small fishing villages it is impossible to measure. Despite being an island that is famous for its seafood, in Australia we import approximately 75% of our seafood from Asia.

Children in remote villages with no access to education are often forced to work on unsafe fishing vessels that are verging on breaking apart and fill with water faster than a Hollywood producers Jacuzzi. Many of these children die at sea, many are forced from their home for weeks, and some are even forced to carry human cargo and are labelled as the worst of the worst by people like Tony Abbott calling them ruthless people smugglers, elevated from being a desperate starving child to a criminal mastermind in one Abbott or Morrison press conference.

One of Abbott's criminal matermind people smugglers on his way to being deported

Two of Abbott’s criminal matermind people smugglers on their way to being deported

The golden rule when it comes to buying your seafood is to buy Australian. If you are unsure, ask at your seafood retailer which seafood is from an Australian source.

The reason I stress buy Australian is not only is it better for our economy, but you can be reasonably sure that the seafood has come from an ethical source. Below is a link to Seafood Factsheet from World Vision that goes into far more detail and is quite eye-opening.

Seafood factsheet

However, it is not just the human rights violations that are an issue when it comes to fish, there are environmental concerns also.

Sustainability is a word that we don’t hear often from the Coalition, but we here it so often from the Tony Burke you would think it was his middle name, it is in fact in his title as Federal Minister For Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.

The reason that sustainability is so important is that many fish are in danger of being wiped out, as we are consuming them faster than they can breed. This is the reason we are so protective of our waters, so that they are not overfished by operators from other countries who don’t care about the sustainability of species.

We have the best seafood in the world, and we need to ensure it is still around for future generations to enjoy.


When it comes to sustainability it is best to consult an expert, and the Australian Marine Conservation Society are at the top of that list. In fact they have published a book on the best way to purchase seafood simply titled Sustainable Seafood Guide. For those who don’t want to purchase a book, there is an interactive advice page on their website.

For those with an iPhone there is an app available for free from iTunes via this link, or for those with a QR Code Reader the below code will take you straight to the app on your iPhone. The iPhone app even covers canned Tuna.


For those who just want something they can print out, the kind folk at the Australian Marine Conservation Society have done a PDF especially for us which can be viewed printed or downloaded via the below link.

Australias Sustainable Seafood Guide

I hope all of my readers have a sustainable and ethical Easter, and I hope you all enjoy your extra days off and stay safe on the roads.

I should also add for the sake of the kids, that I have consulted with the Easter Bunny regarding the eggs that will be delivered. I have been assured all eggs from the Easter Bunny are 100% ethical.

I hope everyone else follows suit.

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Easter rabbit


Posted: March 21, 2013 in Random Stuff

To those of you who have children or have friends or relatives with young ones, this post may be quite alarming, but also quite important.

When I was a kid I was told all about “stranger danger”. You probably remember, not talking to strangers, not getting rides from strangers, and not accepting gifts from those you don’t know.

In the modern age, we are told about monitoring children online, and the dangers of chat rooms, and making sure children are only friends with those they actually know on Facebook, if they are allowed on there at all.

However today I wanted to share with you a danger that you may not have been aware of. I wasn’t until recently.

I often do some fundraising work for a charity which involves cold calling people, yes I’m one of those people who you hate calling you, sorry… I won’t say which charity.

What I find alarming is how many children are left at home alone, particularly after school.

As someone who makes these calls I can tell you that we are not allowed to take donations from anyone under 18 years old, so when a child answers the phone we always ask if their parents are home, or any adults so we can talk to them. You would be amazed at how many children are home alone, or with just a brother or sister.

What may also alarm you is that these calls are done via computer, we don’t dial any numbers ever. All of our calls come from a computer database. When the computer connects us to your phone your details come up, such as your name, your number, and your address.

Who is talking to your kids when your not home?

Who is talking to your kids when your not home?

I was struck the other day by how dangerous this could be in the wrong hands.

Every day charity callers are calling and finding children that are home alone. In the wrong hands this could be nothing short of disastrous. People that have access to addresses and finding that children are left home alone after school, I don’t really need to explain the dangers in that.

My advice to those of you with children who are home alone would be to divert your phone when the kids are home without you, alternatively switch your phone to message so that your phone won’t ring when they are there alone. If you are unable to do these things at least tell your children not to answer the phone when home alone, however most kids find a ringing phone hard to resist. Remember, the child does not need to tell the caller where you live, it is all on the PC screen for them, so not allowing children to answer is the best option.

Those who are on the “Do Not Call Register” should also be aware that charities are exempt from having to comply with this list.

So parents, please add not answering the phone when Mum or Dad isn’t there to the list of rules.

If you have a child I hope you heed this warning, or if you know someone who leaves their children at home alone, please forward this to them or tell them about it.

There are enough things for parents to have to worry about without worrying about who is calling their children while they are at work.

But if parents don’t look out for their own kids, who will?

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Like Wixxyleaks on Facebook here

Ten bucks doesn’t buy you much these days. It may be enough to feed you at lunch if you eat junk or are on a diet, it may even buy you a round of drinks if you only have one friend. However one thing it will definitely buy you is a bank cheque.

Some of you may think that is $10 is pretty pricey for what is basically a piece of paper, and you would probably be right.

I understand that a bank has overheads, rent, staff, equipment insurance etc … so I guess that although sounding quite pricey, the cost may be justified, after all the banks aren’t greedy right?

I had never really thought much about the cost of this service, I can’t remember the last time I’ve used it, however I had a conversation with a woman earlier this week that made me think about the cost of bank cheques and how it affects some parts of the community.

The Big 4

The Big 4

Nancy is a pensioner, so to say she weighs up the wants and needs with every dollar spent would be an understatement. Still, as hard up as she may be, she has a generous nature and tries to find a little to spare so she can support a charity or two. I thought it was touching to see someone who has so little prepared to give what is to them so much to help a worthwhile cause.

Nancy is pushing uphill from the wrong side of 70, and along with racking up the years has developed a distrust for a few things such as credit cards, internet banking and Tony Abbott, all of which I understand completely.

So what has all this got to do with bank cheques?

Well, Nancy struggles to support charities that she would normally like to help out on occasion as donating money is becoming too expensive for her. Nancy has no credit cards, no means of BPay and does not get around much as her mobility isn’t what it used to be. This means she would love to go to the bank near her, a Commonwealth Bank, and be able to have a bank cheque drawn out to her charity of choice however at $10 it is too expensive for her. The cost of a cheque usually equivalent to what she wishes to donate.

What Nancy normally finds in her purse

What Nancy normally finds in her purse

Nancy scrimps and saves to be able to donate $10 or $20, so to be charged a further $10 just to be able to do that is just too much for her. The alternative is a money order, which costs $7 so that’s not much better really.

With the big four banks posting profits as big as the holes in the Coalitions costings and budget numbers, well maybe not quite that high, but still in the $Billions you would think that they may be in a position to help out.

Why can’t one of the banks put forward a policy of providing free bank cheques to registered charities? It should be quite simple cheques are printed via computer anyway, all they need to do is add a database of registered charities. Alternatively they could offer free bank cheques to anyone with a pension card. Or then again, here is a novel idea, why not do both?

Help out charities and pensioners?

Help out charities and pensioners?

If one bank takes the lead it should put pressure on the others to follow suit.

I’m sure the price to pay for this gesture to the banks would be tiny in comparison to even a weeks profit for them, but the benefit to the charities and pensioners could be enormous. I don’t even imagine the stingiest of shareholders would get all bent out of shape over this tiny cost.

The banks have been trying to promote themselves as “part of the community” for years now, and appear desperate to portray themselves as compassionate and generous. Well, here is an opportunity for them to put that into practice in one small way.

These pensioners have entrusted their life savings with you their entire lives, so what say you give just a little bit back. Call it a loyalty discount if you like. 

I promise it won’t hurt a bit, and you can take that to the bank…

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Like Wixxyleaks on Facebook here

I was shocked and appalled along with everyone else to hear that there was the possibility of a culture of drugs in sport in Australia. I mean who would have thought…?

While the world is still reeling from the apparent “Best athlete in the world” Lance Armstrong, telling Oprah for vast sums of money, all about his days as a professional drug taker, here in Australia we have our own drugs controversy in sport.

I was fortunate to find a copy of Lance Armstrong’s book on the shelf the other day at the front of the store and I was struck by the title “It’s not about the bike”. I wonder what it was about then…

Not the bike? Surely you jest Lance?

Not the bike? Surely you jest Lance?

Our two most popular football codes are frantically trying to tell everyone what a stand they take against drugs and how clean the sports are.

Those who follow AFL must struggle with the notion that a sport that produces model citizens like Ben Cousins and Wayne Carey might have drug culture. I mean it would seem like half of Columbia has gone up one of Cousins nostrils and half of Bolivia in the other. Cousins has won many an award in his sport, and has kept them all, despite “bringing the sport into disrepute”.

Ben "Scarface" Cousins

Ben “Scarface” Cousins

Here is NSW, we have that sport for lads who seemingly can’t handle a drink without assaulting a woman, it’s called rugby league or NRL. In 2007 the NRL was “Rocked” by revelations that arguably its best player ever was a drug user.

Andrew “Joey” Johns was unfortunate enough to be caught with ecstasy in the UK just before his “tell all” book launch, what a shame. Poor Johns was forced to endure a tougher than tissue interview with Phil Gould on the Footy Show on his return to Australia. Maybe 7 30 or 4 Corners didn’t have a free slot?

Anyway I am sure that the book launch was an utter disaster after all that free publicity.

In his defence though, John was only taking ecstasy, which is apparently a “party drug” when a famous NRL Player uses it, but an amphetamine whenever someone else does. Ecstasy is after all, just a slang term for Methylene DioxyMethAmphetamine, and we all know that we shouldn’t consume something we can’t pronounce.

Andrew "This looks like a big gold pill" Johns

Andrew “This looks like a big gold pill” Johns

The list of athletes banned for using Amphetamines is as long as your arm, most of these have also had to return prize money, medals and awards also. Andrew Johns however does not appear on that list, and I wonder why.

You may well wonder where the press was in all this?

Well the NRL itself is owned by News Ltd, who also own three of the clubs, Brisbane, Melbourne, and 50% of the Titans. News Ltd of course cover 70% of Australia’s media. I would assume they didn’t want their game brought into disrepute by its greatest ever player being outed as a drug cheat.

I say man up, if cycling can deal with it so can you.

Whilst the NRL and News Ltd may be happy to paint ecstasy as a party drug, I think that although amphetamines are used as party drugs by the majority of users, that doesn’t make them ok for sportspeople.

Have you ever noticed those kids at the nightclub eating muffins or cookies? No? That’s because eating hash cookies makes you drowsy. When clubbers go out they want to stay up all night and have loads of energy to dance, so they need something that enhances their energy levels, or a performance enhancer. That’s why they take ecstasy, and that’s why John’s use of it should be reported for what it is, an amphetamine being used as a performance enhancing drug. Let’s not try to write it off as a bit of fun when it’s taken by a cheating sportsperson. I thought you wanted a clean code?

So if Andrew Johns was taking a performance enhancing drug throughout most of his career, and by his own admission evading drug testing, what should be done about it?

Andrew Johns, never had to swallow a bitter pill

Andrew Johns, never had to swallow a bitter pill…

As I said, other athletes found to have cheated using amphetamines have had their names tarnished, their awards seized, and had civil cases brought against them to retrieve sponsorship money. But not Johns.

Johns used his crimes, and they are crimes, to help sell his book which was released with most of the news networks inadvertently plugging it. He now does commentary work, as well as some coaching, harsh punishment indeed.

He has not had to hand back a single medal or dime. He is still considered to this day as one of the sports greats.

With attitudes like this to the use of illegal narcotics for performance enhancing and recreational purposes it is little wonder that there is a drug culture. What else could a person of even half reasonable intelligence expect?

As I said, hearing of a drug culture in Australian sport came to me as a real shock and surprise.

Next they’ll be telling us that there are drugs in the music business….

Freedom Of Choice

Posted: January 16, 2013 in Politics, Random Stuff

I have to admit, when I first read David Marrs opinion piece on the anti-discrimination legislation that is due to go through the senate, my first emotion was outrage.

Giving religious organisations a free pass to discriminate against those with a lifestyle they don’t approve of seems to be encouraging the wrong sort of behaviour and attitude.

The self-appointed righteous seek to be able to discriminate when it comes to employing those who have made lifestyle choices that don’t fit the mould of what they determine as normal or holy. These types of lifestyles would include being in a same-sex relationship, being a single mother, or living with a partner without being married, and many other things that most of us unholy types would see as quite normal and perfectly acceptable.

If one were to judge from recent Catholic and Anglican history though, apparently being a paedophile doesn’t warrant discriminating against, but that’s another story….

When those who preach non-judgement actually seek the legal right to pass judgement on us all, I can understand why so many of us go and get all postal about it. It does seem rather hypocritical, highly immoral and more than a touch daft in the extreme.

However, my thinking on this legislation is a little different, and although many of you will struggle with this, I actually agree with the legislation in this regards, despite my verging on fanatical hatred of discrimination in all its forms.

Some I suspect will try to say I agree with anything PM Gillard says, however this is not true. I have disagreed with many of her statements and policies, her stand on same-sex marriage for example I would describe as gutless. Others may accuse me of being a poster boy for the right which, and as anybody who has seen me post-Xmas could attest to, the only thing about me that is likely to make a poster would be a “before” poster for Jenny Craig, and anybody who has read a few of my previous rants would also know my left leg is somewhat shorter than my right giving me a distinct left leaning.

Not the discriminating type...

Not the discriminating type…

The reasoning for my opinion is this, you cannot legislate how someone thinks, and trying to legislate people’s opinions seems to me to be discriminating against those who have a different opinion to us. It also seems to be an exercise in pure futility. I mean does anyone seriously think that making it illegal for those with narrow minds to discriminate means Fred Nile will be on the lead float next Mardis Gras? That would be like expecting Andrew Bolts PA to rock up in a burqa.

The other thing that can’t be legislated is common sense.

To expect someone not to discriminate on an issue that is part of their organisations beliefs or standards is ridiculous, this would be like expecting the Greens not to discriminate against Tony Abbott for his beliefs should he apply for their party’s leadership.

David Marr uses Penny Wong as an example:

The new law will back any religious organisation refusing to hire Penny Wong if having a lesbian on their payroll would injure ”the religious sensitivities of adherents of that religion”.”

I’m sorry, any employer who does not employ Penny Wong for a role she is qualified for has every right to be a complete and utter retard, and I’m sure Penny would feel better being in a role where she was appreciated for who she is at any rate. Stupidity is the right of every employer, or else we would not have a Liberal Party would we?

Now I’m not gay, nor am I lesbian, and I don’t pretend to know how they think, however I know this about myself, if I was gay I would not really be wanting to work with a bunch of bigots every day at any rate. I don’t expect 2GB receives a lot of job applications from Muslims, and I wonder why that is? Maybe it’s because they want to work where people will recognise them as humans and treat them as such, they put common sense into practice.

We keep hearing about this alleged “Nanny State”, surely to legislate against common sense would have been yet another shining example.

Everybody has different ideals and principles, to put into law that everybody has to abide by the views of the majority when it comes to hiring staff seems to me to be discriminating against a minority. Kind of like discrimination in reverse.

Other examples David uses are those of staff at St Vincents hospital or Anglican nursing homes, currently having the right to sack or not employ those who don’t suit the religious standards of lifestyle. These are actually great examples, because if ensuring that the churches right to discriminate remains as it is currently, then nothing will change.

I would challenge anybody to state for a fact that there are absolutely no gays working in a Catholic or Anglican hospital or nursing home. For that matter any single mother, or someone living with their partner without being married. If someone can state as fact that no religious organisation has anybody employed that fits these guidelines, then I will rapidly change my mind, however I know that is not the case.

These religious organisations want this legislation in place as a safeguard against lawsuits for future applications for high positions. This is so that when Boy George or George Michael applies for George Pell’s job as Cardinal when he retires, the church won’t face civil action for discrimination for not embracing them with open arms.

Cardinal George?

Cardinal George?

Don’t think for a minute think I support the church in their discrimination, I remain steadfastly opposed to their judgemental nature, and almost violently opposed to their self-righteous discrimination of those who don’t think like them.

My view of religious organisations as tax-free havens for paedophiles, bigots and con-men who preach hatred, judgement and ignorance remains completely unchanged.

I also believe that people can change, and be rehabilitated, but I won’t be lining up to condemn the judicial system, or the police department for their discrimination when it comes to policy on employing those with previous criminal convictions. This seems like the same debate to me…

When David Marr says

“It’s a curious spectacle, a PM legislating against people of her own kind.”

I wonder what the ”kind” he is referring to is. A human with the freedom of choice perhaps? Or maybe the kind who thinks her opinions on morals should not be imposed on religious organisations no matter how epical in their prehistoric nature those organisations views are?

Sorry Mr Marr, we can't always agree...

Sorry Mr Marr, we can’t always agree…

I have the utmost respect for David Marr, and agree with the vast majority of what he says, just not in this case.

Whilst I can see the merit in yelling and screaming about a seeming endorsement of bigotry, I just fail to see the logic in it in this case.

I may not like racists or gravity, but I have learned to live with them, as I know to try to make them illegal is futile.

Lets pick a fight that can be won….

Maybe even their tax free status….