December 19, 2005

Posted by sleong at 06:54 PM | Comments (0)

December 17, 2005

A tale of two Sydneys: affluent versus aspiring

By Lee Glendinning Urban Affairs Reporter
December 17, 2005

THE stark racial separation of Sydney that seeped into violence in Cronulla has been revealed geographically.

Mapping of the city by the Centre of Population and Urban Research at Monash University shows a high concentration of blue-collar people from a non-English-speaking background in the western suburbs.

There is a "very recognisable belt" symbolised in the intense red regions representing the distribution of non-English-background people around their birthplace, says the centre's director, Professor Bob Birrell.

Conversely, regions to the north of the harbour have a very low proportion of migrants with a non-English-speaking background, and those who live there are generally the more "well-heeled" immigrants, Professor Birrell said.

"What has happened is that Sydney is now surrounded by outer suburban areas predominantly made up of the aspirational lower white-collar, smaller businessman building the McMansions through those outer suburbs," he said.

"That extends right around the city core. Of course, to the North Shore, there's the concentration of the more affluent migrants - Chinese, more well-heeled, Australian and British.

"It's a fairly simple picture but it's just so striking."

Academics have been examining what the information revealed in the mapping means for concentrations of lower-income workers and the pattern of settlement for "aspirationals". Encompassed in this mapping are the political and social equity consequences for Sydney.

The president of the anti-consolidation group Save Our Suburbs, Tony Recsei, in his paper Pipe Dreams: The Shortcomings of Ideologically based Planning, said high-density policies were harming social equity in Sydney.

His paper refers to an investigation of housing costs that reveals that world cities adopting high-density policies have the highest costs, and that Sydney is one of the worst.

Mr Recsei said the Government needs to provide funds to cater for the necessary infrastructure and employment needed for the "decentralised development" across the country.

"The Commonwealth Government must take some responsibility for new arrivals that result from its policies," he said.

"It cannot just assume, as it does now, that the states can forever shoehorn immigrants into existing communities."

Posted by sleong at 08:59 PM | Comments (0)

December 06, 2005

A story from New Orleans

New Orleans
>>i heard from my aunt last night that my cousin
>>made it out of New Orleans; she's at her brother's in
>>Baton Rouge.
from what she told me:
>>her mother, a licensed practical nurse, was called
>>to work on Sunday night at Memorial Hospital
>>(historically known as
Baptist Hospital to those of us
>>from N.O.).
>>Denise described
it as the scariest time in her life.

>>of the rooms in the apartment
(there are only 4) caved
>>in. ceilings caved in, walls caved in. she
>>under a mattress in the hall. she thought she would
>>die from
either the storm or a heart attack. after the
>>storm passed, she went back to Baptist
to seek shelter
>>(this was Monday). it was also scary at
Baptist; the
>>electricity was out, they were running on generators,
was no air conditioning. Tuesday the levees
>>broke, and water began rising. they moved
>>upstairs, saw boats pass by on what used to be
>>streets. they were
told that they would be evacuated,
>>that buses were coming. then they were told they
>>have to walk to the nearest intersection, Napoleon and
>>S. Claiborne,
to await the buses. they waded out in
>>hip-deep water, only to stand at the
intersection, on
>>the neutral ground (what y'all call the median) for 3
hours. the buses came and took them to the Ernest
>>Morial Convention Center. (yes, the
convention center
>>you've all seen on TV.)
>>Denise said she
thought she was in hell. they
>>there for 2 days, with no water, no food. no shelter.
>>Denise, her
mother (63 years old), her niece (21 years
>>old), and 2-year-old grandniece. when they
>>there were already thousands of people there. they
>>were told that
buses were coming. police drove by,
>>windows rolled up, thumbs up signs. national
>>trucks rolled by, completely empty, soldiers with guns
>>cocked and
aimed at them. nobody stopped to drop off
>>water. a helicopter dropped a load of
water, but all
>>the bottles exploded on impact due to the height of
>>the first day (Wednesday) 4 people died next to
>>the second day (Thursday) 6 people died next to her.
>>Denise told me
the people around her all thought they
>>had been sent
there to die. again, nobody stopped. the
>>only buses that came were full; they dropped
off more
>>and more people, but nobody was being picked up and
>>taken away.
they found out that those being dropped
>>off had been rescued from rooftops and
attics; they
>>got off the buses delirious from lack of water and
completely dehydrated. the crowd tried to keep
>>them all in one area; Denise said the
new arrivals had
>>mostly lost their minds. they had gone
>>inside the convention center, the place was one
>>bathroom. in order to shit, you had to stand in other
>>people's shit.
the floors were black and slick with
>>shit. most people stayed outside because the
smell was
>>so bad. but outside wasn't much better: between the
>>heat, the
humidity, the lack of water, the old and
>>very young dying from dehydration... and
there was no
>>place to lay down, not even room on the sidewalk. they
outside Wednesday night, under an overpass.
>>Denise said yes, there were
young men with guns there.
>>but they organized the crowd. they went to
>>Street and "looted," and brought back food and water
the old people and the babies, because nobody had
>>eaten in days. when the police
rolled down windows and
>>yelled out "the buses are coming," the young men
>>guns organized the crowd in order: old people in
>>front, women and
children next, men in the back. just
>>so that when the buses came, there would be
>>of who got out
>>Denise said the fights she saw between the young
>>with guns were fist fights. she saw them put their
>>guns down and fight
rather than shoot up the crowd.
>>but she said that there were a handful of people
>>in the convention center; their bodies were left
>>inside, along with
other dead babies and old people.
>>Denise said the people thought there
were being sent
>>there to die. lots of people being dropped off,
>>being picked up. cops passing by, speeding off.
>>national guard
rolling by with guns aimed at them. and
>>yes, a few men shot at the police, because at
>>certain point all the people thought the cops were
>>coming to hurt them,
to kill them all. she saw a young
>>man who had stolen a car speed past,
cops in pursuit;
>>he crashed the car, got out and ran, and the cops
>>him in the back. in front of the whole crowd. she saw
>>many groups of
people decide that they were going to
>>walk across the bridge to the west bank, and
>>same groups would return, saying that they were met at
>>the top of
the bridge by armed police ordering them to
>>turn around, that they weren't allowed to
>>so they all believed they were sent there to
>>Denise's niece found a pay phone, and kept trying to
her mother's boyfriend in Baton Rouge, and
>>finally got through and told him where
they were. the
>>boyfriend, and Denise's brother, drove down from
>>Rouge and came and got them. they had to bribe a few
>>cops, and talk
a few
into letting them into the city
>>("come on, man, my 2-year-old niece is at
>>Convention Center!"), then they took back roads to get
>>after arriving at my other cousin's apartment in
>>Rouge, they saw the images on TV, and couldn't believe
>>how the media
was portraying the people of New
>>Orleans. she kept repeating to me on the phone
>>night: make sure you tell everybody that they left us
>>there to die.
nobody came. those young men with guns
>>were protecting us. if it wasn't for them, we
>>have had the little water and food they had
>>that's Denise Moore's story.
>>Lisa C.
>> >From: John McCollum

Posted by sleong at 09:20 PM | Comments (0)


Dear Husband:

I'm writing you this letter to tell you that I'm leaving you for good.
I've been a good woman to you for seven years and I have nothing to
show for it.
These last two weeks have been hell. Your boss called to tell me that
you had quit your job today and that was the last straw. Last week, you
came home and didn't notice that I had gotten my hair and nails done,
cooked your favourite meal and even wore a brand new negligee. You came
home and ate in two minutes, and went straight to sleep after watching
the game. You don't tell me you love me anymore, you don't touch me or
anything. Either you're cheating or you don't love me anymore, whatever
the case is, I'm gone.
P.S. If you're trying to find me, don't. Your BROTHER and I are moving
away to West Virginiatogether! Have a great life!
Your EX-Wife

Dear Ex-Wife
Nothing has made my day more than receiving your letter. It's true that
you and I have been married for seven years, although a good woman is a
far cry from what you've been. I watch sports so much to try to drown
out your constant nagging. Too bad that doesn't work. I did notice when
you cut off all of your hair last week, the first thing that came to
mind was "You look just like a man!" My mother raised me not to say
anything if you can't say anything nice.
When you cooked my favourite meal, you must have gotten me confused with
MY BROTHER, because I stopped eating pork seven years ago. I went to
sleep on you when you had on that new negligee because the price tag was
still on it.
I prayed that it was a coincidence that my brother had just borrowed
fifty dollars from me that morning and your negligee was $49.99. After
all of this, I still loved you and felt that we could work it out. So
when I discovered that I had hit the lotto for ten million dollars, I
quit my job and bought us two tickets to Jamaica. But when I got home
you were gone.
Everything happens for a reason I guess. I hope you have the filling
life you always wanted. My lawyer said with your letter that you wrote,
you won't get a dime from me. So take care.
P.S. I don't know if I ever told you this but Carl, my brother was born
Carla. I hope that's not a problem.
Signed Rich As Hell and Free!

Posted by sleong at 09:03 PM | Comments (0)

December 05, 2005

Positive brainstorming

A few positive thoughts that came to mind. Hopefully by writing this down i can reflect and learn how to build on these ideas.

1) Usually, people don't intend to piss you off with their actions or words.
2) Why get mad? Even if they want you to get mad, dont give them the satisfaction of letting them see that they have got to you

Posted by sleong at 05:45 PM | Comments (0)


Given that uni has finished for this session, its freed up more time for me to contemplate my goals and attitudes in life.

I've come to the conclusion that for the past 5 years, i've practically been drifting. During this period, i'd never seeked thorough answers, i lacked ambition and was essentially heartless in what i setout to achieve. Traits that i aspire to have in coming times.

Theres been not enough doing. I'd essentially stopped learning on many planes, i know that i've let down a fair few people in that time. Where to from here? Yes, i aspire to be a 'better' person (like anyone else right?), this meaning i want to become a more consistant achiever, i want to have passion and belief in what i do, and for these to come to fruition, i want to have commitment and the GUTS to do the small steps that combine to complete goals and tasks.

This dream of improving is not going to be easy. For those that know a thing or two about my personal life, there are things that are going to act as a.. burden? however im better equipt to create this shift i so desire. Primarily there is Linda. I'm also a little wiser with a gritty year under my belt (proving insightful and eventful, thats definately helped redefined my character).

Where have i gone 'wrong'? Previously when i was 12-17yo, my biggest aim was to become a great leader. Feels awkward writing this, but that was probably the biggest motivation i had during that era. Being a great leader is about teamwork, however what i failed to do during that time was to invest an equal if not greater amount of energy into myself. Consequently i think its bitten me on the backside.

About this weblog. I've had a quick read thru the previous entries. It's been predominately about events, it has evolved through the months into something of a reflective, thoughtful log. What i will do is to maintain the same attitude however im going to put some more energy in recapping achievements. I hope that you as a reader can see that i don't write ENTIRELY (nor mainly) for the sake of bragging :), but rather to keep a record for you and i to look at, so we can see how my life is changing.

I now know theres a diverse readership out there, please share your thoughts and experiences with me. Perhaps we can learn a thing or two from each other?

Posted by sleong at 02:36 PM | Comments (0)