Originally Posted by ciggas
our government is alright but there all up emselves but now theres a new pm hes ok but i wanna see in a few years..............
A couple of things about government - a controversial new law, that's been on the backburner for years, is going to mandate that internet providers basicly implement blocking of "objectionable content" (and who decides what's objectionable?) and to access such content (which is slated to be anything that would be rated MA (somewhat equal to tv-14 or nc-17 I believe) "mature audiences 15+ only" and R (not sure what this is equal to, but some video games here have been banned because we have no R rating for them - softcore porn and graphicly violent movies often fall into this category).
Some parents are hailing this move, but apparently a similar thing was tried in an aus state a few years ago and was dropped, because there was a work-around within hours. The system is going to be similar to the chinese model - simply block any "objectional" sites. People wanting to access the "uncensored" internet are going to have to request it, and who knows if a list will be made of people that request it? Will the police use such a list for someone accused of a violent crime as evidence towards their guilt ("your honor, before we start proceedings, we would like to make note that the accused opted-out of objectionable content on his internet connection, and we all know what that means")
IMO, it's the parents' responsibility to keep an eye on kids' internet use (a guy tried his absolute best while reviewing windows vista and its' child internet protection to get into "naughty" sites and was amazed how well it worked). Obviously you can't be around your children for the entire time they're online, but nor should adults be forced to have what is and isn't suitable content on the net decided for them. Kids can just go to a friends' house whose parents have the "uncensored" internet, a "kindernet" was introduced a few years ago but failed miserably - why? Teens especially want to emulate what adults are doing, and that includes the kind of content slated to be blacklisted (keep in mind that this isn't specificly violent and pornographic material).
Also wikipedia would be targeted to have a lot of stuff blocked, or the whole site blocked, including medical stuff and anything else deeemed "objectionable". I couldn't care less if pornographic content was wiped off of the internet forever, but I object to the government deciding what's good and bad for us, forcing us to opt-out of their idea of what's bad for us, possibly being on a list of people who opted out, and the possibility of wikipedia being inaccessible. My 2c says that such a thing would never come to pass in the U.S, but if this can happen in Australia, who knows?
Also, gun laws - I've been asked many times about the situation here regarding that, and everybody has been shocked at my truthful reply. Mind you, I don't support the notion that Americans should
go out and buy a gun, just because it's stated as a right in the constitution, as someone put it, but...
You virtually cannot have any kind of firearm (bb guns included
) unless you're a hunter, in the security business, a farmer, or member of a gun club (and how do you become one if it's illegal to handle a firearm without fitting into the above categories in the first place?). At the bottom of every licence app, it's stated that "personal defence and protection of property are not
You used to be legally able to own an M16 in Australia up until the largest massacre commited by one man in one day, in a sleepy town that happened to be host to a tourist site, occured. the current laws were hurried in without the public being offered a vote to them. There hasn't been a change in criminals being able to obtain and illegaly use guns, but it's everso harder for someone with a genuine reason to get a licence for one. Even replicas are banned!
Now apart from government, I'll try and dispel some of the myths that 90% of everyone online seems to hold of Australia...
Kangaroos don't hop around in your streets or in your yard (I'd have to drive 50 miles for CHANCE to see one, or see one in a zoo)
We actually do have weather that drops to 30F and doesn't get above 70F of a winter. The whole of australia isn't a desert, there's every type of geography here, particularly in my neck of the woods, APART from deserts. 95% of australians live nowhere near a desert, and 17 out of 20 million live in a metropolis.
People in major cities do actually commute up to 3 hours, each way, every day. Mainly between major cities and their adjacent metropolis. Want to live within 30 minutes of your workplace? Plan on having at least a good US300,000 spare for a house, inner city? US1.5 million, for a crummy terrace where you have to clean up needles from your doorstep every morning (for the most part). Most of sydneysiders live nowhere near a view of the harbour or opera house, and waterfront properties go for about US5 million.
There's a suburb to the far north of sydney called Palm Beach - rents near the beach can be 10,000 a WEEK. Movie stars often go into hiding here (I'm pretty certain I met Russel Crowe by chance there once, but couldn't be sure as I'm not too up on the movie scene, I just know it was some hollywood star). I guess the suburb is a bit like Malibu in this respect.
Sydney again, unlike somewhere like Melbourne, I feel far safer in the city centre than the suburbs - constant flow of people and no "no-go" zones for about a mile in every direction. Kings Cross, the #1 red light district in aus (I was there for cheap internet, and yes I did go to a strip club, because I had missed the last train, wanted a cheap soft drink and was laughed at when I watched the soccer instead of the "entertainment" - as long as you don't go into any alleys and ignore bouncers that might reach out to you and ask to "have a look", you're fine.
(OK, this isn't really dipelling a myth. I'm pretty concrete certain on the gun situation, however since the internet plan hasn't been rolled out yet - I've just asked someone offered the contract about details - the news and opinions waiver frequently. Google news is your friend).
As for american stereotypes held by aussies, yes, a lot of us do see you as ignorant, some see you as a nation of war-mongerers, but most see through this (but still hold the stereotype of) you being held in the grip of a president with amazingly short-sightedness when it comes to foreign policy. Basicly, those that know that not all americans support Bush, feel sorry for everyone living under Bush - and obviously that opinion is subject to your political affiliation and feelings about current events!
Not that we can talk - along with Blair, our former PM, unlike many western nations, supported the war on terror and Iraq. So again, opinion of our involvement in "the coalition" is as divided as it would be over there.
I'm obviously not talking to an intl audience in the latter part and am starting to go off-track as to australian mis-conceptions, so I think it's time for a bit of sleep