Bleats

Scott Morrison Has Ditched This Burning Country To Go On Holidays

Probably safe to say Scotty isn't holidaying in the Blue Mountains.

Our PM Scott Morrison isn’t really dealing with these bushfires very well is he? After denying climate change is a thing (again) he chucked his best Harold Holt impression for a bit before declaring he will not give aid to all the volunteer firefighters who have been fighting tooth and nail against the bushfires on their own time and dime.

It’s been a stressful few weeks for ol’ mate Scotty to say the least and he’s decided to unwind a bit by treating himself to an early holiday. While Australia is still burning.

According to The Australian, Scott Morrison – who is our Prime Minister and Australia’s leader by the way – has decided to take an “early personal holiday” by jetting off to “an undisclosed overseas location” with his family ahead of “several bilateral overseas” trips in January that’ll include India.

So Scotty has gone overseas – while Australia continues to burn – ahead of a bunch of trips that’ll see him be overseas. In the meantime, deputy PM Michael McCormack is in the big boy seat and – again, this needs to be repeated – Australia continues to burn.

Treasurer John Frydenberg also refused to spill the deets on ol’ mate PM’s location, only saying that Scotty is “having a well deserved break” after a “very busy year.”

Unsurprisingly, Aussies aren’t too happy with Scotty’s latest Harold Holt impression while bushfires continue to rage across NSW and the rest of the population is either busy fighting said bushfires or are busy working.

Many have taken to Twitter to express their frustration at Scotty and caused the hashtags #WheresScotty and #WhereTheBloodyHellAreYou to trend in Australia.

For what it’s worth, this marks Scotty’s first holiday since his Fiji trip in May after the federal election. Must be nice to go on two overseas trips within months of each other, one of which was taken the country he’s PM of is literally still on fire.

To be fair to Scott Morrision, if I were PM of Australia and I denied emergency support for the bushfires, continued to deny climate change, and am trying to shift the spotlight onto some cooked religious discrimination bill that I’m trying to entrench into law, I’d also fly to some undisclosed overseas location too.

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Harvey Weinstein's Settlement Deal With His Accusers Has Gotta Be A Joke

The power of money.

It’s been two years since disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual misconduct by several women. Not only did this result in the MeToo movement, the accusations levelled at Weinstein has culminated in a series of civil and criminal lawsuits.

But don’t expect to see Harvey Weinstein behind bars just yet as he has reportedly reached a tentative settlement agreement with his accusers that’ll not require him to admit to any wrongdoing or personally pay anything.

Speaking of problematic people with power…

According to The New York Times, a tentative $36.5 million settlement agreement has been reached between Harvey Weinstein and the dozens of women accusing him of sexual misconduct in a series of civil lawsuits. Should this settlement be approved by all parties, this will close the civil lawsuits that were brought against Weinstein.

The $36.5 million is part of an overall $68.5 million settlement deal intended to close out the producer’s old studio’s obligations and will be paid out by the insurance companies rather than Weinstein himself.

However, the compensation breakdown and certain terms of the deal beyond Weinstein not having to admit any wrongdoing or pay anything himself doesn’t paint the rosiest of pictures for his alleged MeToo victims.

About $17.5 million (about a quarter of the settlement package) would go towards some of the legal costs for Harvey Weinstein and the former board members of his company, who will be insulated from future liability. The alleged victims will also have to drop their claims against Weinstein and the other executives as part of the deal.

18 of the alleged victims will split $9 million, with no one getting more than $725,000, while a separate pot of $27 million will be put aside for those part of a class-action case, and the New York attorney general’s suit and any future claimants. Even still, these terms still come with uncertainty.

While most of the participants in the civil suit reportedly agreed to go forward with this deal, two of Weinstein’s accusers who have brought civil suits against him reportedly intend to challenge the tentative agreement.

Reaching a deal in which Weinstein won’t have to admit any wrongdoing while also not having to pay a cent to his accusers is a kick in the face for his alleged victims and the MeToo movement as it essentially lets him off the hook.

Time’s Up has issued a statement criticising the tentative settlement deal reached in Harvey Weinstein’s civil cases, with COO Rebecca Goldman calling it “a symptom of a problematic, broken system that privileges powerful abusers at the expense of survivors.”

“While this settlement is flawed, we know it represents the hard work of several survivors of Harvey Weinstein. We hope it brings them, and perhaps others, some small measure of justice and relief that is long overdue.

“Today and every day, Time’s Up is in solidarity with the more than 80 survivors who bravely spoke out against Weinstein, catalyzing a worldwide reckoning for justice. With them, we will continue to fight until sexual harassment and assault at work are gone for good.”

While the civil suits against Harvey Weinstein may be reaching an end with this tentative settlement, the producer will still have to deal with a number of criminal charges, which will take on additional significance as these will likely be the only legal recourse for the many of the producer’s alleged MeToo victims.

The producer is scheduled to be tried in Manhattan in January 2020 on criminal charges of sexual assault involving two women and all eyes will be on how this will unfold.

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Non-Binary People Snag A Huge Win With Merriam-Webster’s Word Of The Year

About damn time.

In a tradition that stretches back to 2003, Merriam-Webster has announced its official “word of the year” for 2019 and boy is this one a doozy because not only is it a singular word (looking at you Macquarie Dictionary and your bending of the “word of the year” rules), the chosen word represents a huge win for non-binary people.

The Merriam-Webster 2019 word of the year is *drumroll please* “they.”

Having been added to the dictionary in September 2019, “they” officially sits next to “he” and “she” as a pronoun and is defined by Merriam-Webster as “used to refer to a single person whose gender identity is non-binary.”

Explaining why “they” was picked as word of the year over other notable nominations like “quid pro quo,” “impeach” and “crawdad” (okay…), Merriam-Webster states in a blog post that searches for “they” went up a whopping 313 percent over the previous year.

This massive increase in interest was helped by the presence of “they” in the headlines courtesy of a number of celebrities and high-profile people, such as model Oslo Grace, U.S. congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, and Sam Smith.

Speaking of massive wins…

Now there will likely be a bunch of close-minded folk who will object to the use of “they” as a pronoun, but don’t worry because Merriam-Webster has a rebuttal to all the grammar Nazis out there.

The dictionary notes that “they” has has been used as a “gender-neutral singular pronoun to correspond neatly with singular pronouns like everyonesomeone, and anyone” for over 600 years. Interestingly, Merriam-Webster states that there’s evidence that “they” has been used as a non-binary pronoun dating back to 1950.

In a year that’s been dominated by the latest season of Trump’s shenanigans (which explains a majority of the other word of the year nominations), it feels fitting that Merriam-Webster chose “they” as the end-of-year winner because it is the bright spot in what’s been a pretty depressing 2019.

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