Rob Pyne: Political Trailblazer

Rob Pyne in his mofified parliamemt chamber "seat"

Rob Pyne sitting in his modified parliament chamber “seat.” (Original photo from here)

The late Stella Young’s hilarious “inspiration porn” speech reminds us how overusing the word “inspirational” can seem cheesy or even condescending. However in the case of Rob Pyne, Member for Cairns in the Queensland Parliament and the first quadriplegic MP, the title of “inspirational” may just be appropriate. At the very least, Rob is in many ways impressive.

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Punching people with disabilities?

Photo of Queensland policeman using "reasonable force"Is punching people with disabilities ever OK?

That’s probably a question going through Oscar Pistorius’ mind quite a lot nowadays!

However, I’m not talking about him, I am instead referring to the recent controversial arrest of a disabled man and his partner at Sunnybank plaza.

The pair had allegedly stolen 12 bottles of wine.

Suffice it to say Queensland police brought the full face of the law down upon the alleged shoplifters, in a way most frustrated shopkeepers can only dream of.

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Unicorns, DSP bludgers and other tabloid fantasies

Unicorns fart rainbows!The Murdoch press have been serving it up again. This week’s tabloid fantasies are more gleeful DSP “bludger” vilification with a side-serving of welfare-reform schadenfreude. The breathless reporting is over the DSP reforms recently waved through federal parliament.

Here’s a summary of the headlines:

Herald Sun: Disability Pensioners told to get work

Daily Telegraph: Cleaning out the Disability Support Pension rorters: Review panel identifies more than 5000 on the scheme who can work

And here’s a bonus one from about a fortnight ago:

Daily Telegraph: It’s so easy to fudge a bludge: Online guides used to con doctors into giving out disability support pensions

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Kanye West is an Insensitive Jerk

Opinion piece clip-art iconThe fact that Kanye West is an insensitive jerk is probably not news to many. Kanye West has never seemed particularly thoughtful or considerate of others – it’s not really a prerequisite for a rapper.

Ever since his self-indulgent hijacking of Taylor Swift’s 2009 Video Music Awards acceptance speech, it’s been pretty apparent the “outspoken” musician is perhaps not the most socially sensitive of souls and maybe just a tad narcissistic. (As for his recent wedding to Kim Kardashian, the New York post summed it up perfectly).

With all that said though, Kanye West is a talented musician and entertainer with a penchant for catchy (if often inappropriate) tunes. One would think however, having performed hundreds of concerts, there would come with that a certain amount of on-stage professionalism.

Apparently not.

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The “welfare reform” media circus carries on

Opinion piece clip-art iconSpare a thought for poor Craig Wallace, President of People With Disability Australia. I’d hate to have his job, particularly right now. It currently seems his main task is to go out each week and clean up whatever mess the tabloid media, like a cute-yet-dopey lactose-intolerant puppy, has crapped all over his doorstep.

Craig Wallace debunking tabloid welfare hysteriaPWDA president Craig Wallace once again having to debunk tabloid welfare hysteria

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Cures and other Superpowers

Opinion piece clip-art icon“If you had the choice between having a million dollars or having your disability cured, which one would you pick?” a friend of mine was once asked by a rather naive and insensitive doctor.

Her response was immediate, “what a ridiculous question to ask!” The embarrassed doctor was halfway through mumbling a clumsy apology when she clarified her answer:

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