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Kate Orman's Writing CV

Sep. 30th, 2020 | 10:21 am

Published Books and Short StoriesCollapse )

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Books read, 2016

Dec. 31st, 2016 | 08:53 pm

Judith Burnley (ed). Penguin Modern Stories 4.
William Gibson. The Peripheral.
Neal Stephenson. Seveneves.
Charles Stross. The Jennifer Morgue.

Dean Buonomano. Brain Bugs: How the brain's flaws shape our lives.
Kevin Warwick. Artificial Intelligence: the Basics.

The Probably Unwise "Man's Inhumanity to Man" Reading List Project:
Anne Frank. The Diary of a Young Girl.

Manga etc
Hirano Kōta. Hellsing vol 1.
Hamish Steele. Pantheon: the True Story of the Egyptian Deities. No less silly (or rude) than the myths it's based on. :)

Books bought and borrowedCollapse )

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Words in Print, 2016

Dec. 31st, 2016 | 01:04 pm

Keeping Mum, short story, 4800 words (published by Cosmos magazine online, March 2016)

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Refugee Update

May. 3rd, 2016 | 11:02 am

Cathy Wilcox cartoon of a burning man captioned Not Drowning

Somali refugee in critical condition after setting herself alight on Nauru (GA, 3 May 2016) "Hodan was forcibly returned to Nauru only last Wednesday. She was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident on Nauru last November, and was brought to Australia for medical treatment. In the early hours of the morning last Wednesday, Australian Border Force guards carried her out of the Brisbane immigration transit accommodation (Bita) holding her by her arms and legs as she screamed to be allowed to stay... Hodan’s self-immolation was her second attempt at suicide since being returned to the island."

We have murdered this woman.

Omid Masoumali, refugee who died after setting himself on fire, 'suffered without medical care' (ABC, 2 May 2016) "An Iranian refugee who died after setting himself on fire at the Nauru detention centre was without doctor's care for two hours at the medical facility and lay in agony for a further eight hours before morphine was administered, his wife says."

We have murdered this man.

Omid Masoumali set himself on fire after UNHCR told him he would remain on Nauru, asylum seekers say (ABC, 2 May 2015) Three or more other refugees also tried to take their own lives after the UNHCR told them they would have to stay on Nauru for another ten years.

"These actions are purely and simply being taken because they believe that political protests will influence the Australian Government and possibly help them gain entry to Australia", says Nauru.


Oh, and by the way:

Widow of refugee who set himself alight 'being kept in hotel and denied a lawyer' (GA, 2 May 2016). "You know I'm grieving and I need to cry but as soon as I want to cry they give me pills or injections to keep me calm. They don’t want my voice to be raised or heard by others. They want me to be emotionless and inactive."


ETA: UNHCR Calls for Immediate Movement of Refugees and Asylum-Seekers to Humane Conditions (UNHCR press release, 2 May 2016)

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"This is how tired we are, this action will prove how exhausted we are. I cannot take it anymore."

Apr. 30th, 2016 | 12:00 pm

Omid's wife's account of his lack of medical treatment after setting himself on fire on Nauru is harrowing, as are comments from AMA and Doctors for Refugees spokespersons. Omid might not have had a strong chance of surviving even if he had been given prompt and effective attention, but perhaps he would have had a chance, and at the very least his terrible suffering could have been alleviated.

Turnbull rejects New Zealand offer to take 150 refugees from detention yet again, because NZ citizens can emigrate to Australia (GA, 29 April 2016)

If Papua New Guinea's Supreme Court rules that the men illegally imprisoned on Manus are owed compensation, Australia will be liable to pay it (GA, 29 April 2016)) | Manus Island detention centre operator to sell business (GA, 29 April 2016)

Nauru rape victim's health not 'exceptional' enough to fly to Australia for abortion, court told (GA, 29 April 2016): "Senior border protection official says despite advice from five medical experts, he stood by his judgment that she could be treated in Papua New Guinea." | Australia sent refugees to PNG for abortions knowing it was illegal, court hears (SMH, 29 April 2016)

Two reminders this morning that the media tends to talk about refugees, not listen to them, and tbh I have not escaped this tendency in these summaries. Cast From the Storm filmmaker David Mason speaks on refugee children documentary at UN forum (ABC, 29 April 2016) | It's not our duty to speak up for refugee women. It's to listen to them (GA, 30 April 2016)

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Refugee Update

Apr. 29th, 2016 | 07:59 pm

Omid, an Iranian refugee who set himself on fire on Nauru, has died in Brisbane. He was twenty-three. There must be an immediate inquiry into whether the lengthy delay in evacuating a severely injured man to medical assistance contributed to his death.

Manus Island internal gates locked, mobile phones banned despite earlier loosening of restrictions (ABC, 29 April 2016) Perhaps not surprisingly, given that those imprisoned now know that they're being held there against the law.

Australian government faces potential claims of more than $1 billion after Manus Island deal implodes (SMH, 29 April 2016) | The detainees will also seek compensation from Papua New Guinea.

Rich aid sweeteners at risk after Manus Island shut-down (SMH, April 29 2016) | Manus Island detention centre operator's shares placed in trading halt (GA, 28 April 2016)

Peter Dutton rules out sending Manus Island detainees to Christmas Island (SMH, 29 April 2016). Heaven only knows where they'll end up - PNG says that's our problem, and we say it's theirs.

Australia ignored its own medical experts' pleas to bring Nauru rape victim here (SMH, 28 April 2016)

I'm continuing to read Eichmann in Jerusalem. To simply or directly compare Australia's mistreatment of asylum seekers and refugees to the Holocaust would insult history. Nonetheless I keep getting a nauseating sense of familiarity. Of the refugees illegally imprisoned on Manus Island, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says:

"We cannot be misty-eyed about this. We have to be very clear and determined in our national purpose... We must have secure borders and we do and we will, and they will remain so, as long as I am the Prime Minister of this country."

Hanna Arendt quotes a Nazi circular:

"'It is the nature of things that these, in some respects, very difficult problems can be solved in the interests of the permanent security of our people only with ruthless toughness' — rücksichtsloser Härte (my italics)."

This is a tough book to read, as fascinating as it is. Anything that gives the reader relief or hope for humanity is desperately welcome, and to me, the most encouraging thing is that when other countries resisted the Nazis' plans for the Jews - by refusing them, by sabotaging them - they would back down. Thousands of people survived because of this. It's possible to stand up to the most extraordinary cruelty and win.

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Refugee Update: Manus And Nauru

Apr. 28th, 2016 | 05:26 pm

Manus Island detention centre to close, Papua New Guinea prime minister says (GA, 27 April 2016) "The mood is very strange because all the inmates are flipping between happiness and worry. Everyone is shouting, yelling and running around the compound. If they had wings they would fly without stopping."

Australian government faces potential claims of more than $1 billion after Manus Island deal implodes (SMH, 28 April 2016)

What will be the fate of the illegally detained asylum seekers? (The Australian government, evidently surprised by the PNG High Court decision, don't have a plan.) The refugees seem to have a non-choice between Papua New Guinea, a poor nation so dangerous that refugees have been trying to break back into the transit camp; continued indefinite detention on Christmas Island; and Nauru, currently in "chaos", where an asylum seeker has just set himself on fire (it took more than twenty-four hours to evacuate him to medical treatment) and where the Zika virus has arrived.

According to Wikipedia, Nauru currently has a population of about 10,000. What are the chances of their permitting 850 men to suddenly settle? I'd like to think that such an influx of fellow refugees might lend some safety to those already on the island, though there can be infighting between refugees of different backgrounds, and of course individual refugees sometimes victimise others under the lawless and high-pressure environment of the camps.

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Apr. 27th, 2016 | 09:35 am

The once-more Rabid Puppy-infested Hugo ballot is out, and File770.com is down, presumably from the strain of people slapping their foreheads and grinding their teeth. (Which means that for now I have nowhere to inflict these processes on myself except here.)

Since this year you-know-who has included some respectable material on his slate, just to fuck with us, the trick will be to pick out the worthwhile from the worthless and vote for it anyway, followed by No Award. No matter what we do, you-know-who will claim victory, so what the hell.

btw, there's tons of fun stuff in the 1941 Retro-Hugo ballot!

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Manus Island is illegal - and always has been

Apr. 26th, 2016 | 08:45 pm

Papua New Guinea court finds Australia's detention of asylum seekers on Manus Island is illegal (SMH, 26 April 2016)


There goes that plank of the Pazifiklösung*. What this will mean for the poor bastards we locked up there, heaven knows. (A swift resettlement in Australia after the federal election, I hope. They certainly don't want to stay in PNG.)

Say, this means Hamid Khazaei was illegally detained when he was killed by bureacratic bungling and the severe medical neglect to which Manus detainees are subject. So was Reza Berati when he was bashed and kicked to death.

I would love to think that a few small drops of sweat are oozing down the foreheads of certain politicians - not to mention certain former detention centre workers - at the prospect of the legal fallout of all this.

* I'm reading Hannah Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem. It's really got in amongst me.

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"You can be locked behind a line drawn in the sand if there is a gun pointed at your head."

Apr. 24th, 2016 | 10:45 am

First, something cheering: 'Kia ora' - Dunedin's heart-warming airport welcome to Syrian refugees (TVNZ, 22 April 2016)

And an inspiring interview: Human Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs speaks out (The Saturday Paper, 23 April 2016)

And now back to the usual.

Free The Childen NAURU's latest report, which I will quote in full. "They have lowered the fence because they want you to think we are not locked up. Don't they know that the threat of punishment from the intimidating security, the threat of jail for protesting and taking photos and the deep ocean surrounding the 8sq mile tiny island is like maximum security prison with a twisted psychological torment? You can be locked behind a line drawn in the sand if there is a gun pointed at your head!"

A follow-up to yesterday's posting: Four asylum seekers behind boat journey to Australia sentenced to jail, Vietnamese group says (ABC, 24 April 2016) | Asylum seekers returned to Vietnam by Australian Navy had claims assessed at sea, UNHCR says (ABC, 21 April 2016) "We are concerned that the group wasn't screened and assessed in a way that's fair and effective, that somehow their lives may be at risk."

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