Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

family benefits

Currently there is a big discussion about child benefits in Austria. The rule is: for every kid there will be child benefits payed for by the government. The amount is 436 € per month for three years. Yes, that is a lot, because the last conservative government wanted people to stay home and have kids (and not party and have sex without getting kids, as one minister put it.)

Unless the mother or father staying home to tend to the kid earns more than 14.600 € aside, then they don’t get anything. It doesn’t matter how much the other parent earns by the way.

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After the Kinderbetreuungsgeld runs out there is Familienbeihilfe, another 150 € per child and month unless the annual income is less than about 8.500 € until the kid is 18 (or 26 if it goes to university). (If you need counseling on these matters, better not ask anybody blogging, but someone at your local council or magistrate.)

Anyway, now it seems that 2 in 5 recievers of child benefit earned more than that on the side and now face having to pay back 2-5.000 € per year.

This matter is even more interesting, when taking in account that the average income in Austria of employed people is 16.600 € net. (info from www.statistik.at, which is becoming one of my favorite sites for hard facts.) That means that 2 in 5 parents claiming to stay home are actually working full time. Otherwise I would like to know what kind of part-time jobs those are, because I’d switch instantly.

The good, the bad and the ugly

http://vienna.metblogs.com/archives/images/2007/06/victor-thumb.jpgReading the articles written by Washington Post and The New York Times raise a few questions concerning their coverage of Dr. Kurt Waldheim. And if you aren’t a careful reader, you would end up believing what you read.

Like any soldier of war, if you desert your troop, you are ordered to be sentenced. And if you disagree to the ruling government or ideology, you better hide or else you are dead. This is more or less the scenario during this era.

Despite the negative mood that the US mainstream media create about him, this memorial tablet goes to show that if you were a non-Jew/non-gypsy/non-gay Austrian and not a pro-Nazi but a communist/socialist that time you would be dead.

Just like the Viennese Viktor Christ, an ordinary citizen who was murdered in 1941 by the Nazis.
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Rick Falkvinge @ Next Step Politics 09?!

Sunday, June 10:

3 PM : Wake up! – European Digital Futures at stake? Eva Lichtenberger / Christian Engström
5 PM: Snack and talk @ QDK; provided by the conference organizers: monochrom, Team Teichenberg, Transforming Freedom and Metalab.
7 PM: Next Step Politics!? Pirates to Brussels 2009?!
– Keynote by Rick Falkvinge
– Panel discussion with Eva Lichtenberger, Erich Möchel (tbc), Rick Falkvinge a.o.
9 PM: Drinks

Location: ErsteArena @ Museumsquartier, Vienna.

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Link / Conference page
Link / FM4 report

Next Step Politics 09?! Pirates to Brussels in 2009!?

A conference weekend with Rasmus Fleischer, Rick Falkvinge, Christian Engström (Swedish Pirate Party), Eva Lichtenberger (MEP of Green Party, Austria), Chris Jeitler, Erich Möchel (Quintessenz.at).

June 8-10, 2007; Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna. All talks in English language.

Presented by: Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Transforming Freedom, Metalab, monochrom, Teichenberg and Quartier für Digitale Kultur (QDK).

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Link (German language)

Return of the Eighties

When Angela Merkel rubbed arms with Putin on the news somebody around remarked: “The cold war is coming back.” Interestingly enough, everywhere I look I see signs of the Eighties returning:

* concerts by Throbbing Gristle, The Cult and OMD in Vienna. Even The Mission have re-united.
* two girls playing with Rubik’s cubes on the subway
* movies are dominated by sequels again, as if the 4th part of “Die Hard” alone wasn’t sign enough
* the comeback of the yuppie (disguised as creative industries manager)
* nuclear power plants are missioned as the best alternative to fossil energy sources

What else?

I don’t get it

To be more precise: I get the right wing blah blah message, but I don’t get the typo-thingy…
Why [ ] ?

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Free Public Transport for homeless people

After the Socialist Party agreed to the suggestion of the green party to offer free public transport to poor people (homeless people and people on social welfare) the greens are now publicising ideas about free entry to theatres, museums and public baths and pools.

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Most people I heard argument along the lines of: if I pay 25 Euros for a ticket to a theatre then I won’t want to sit next to the guy pictured above. But that is just short thinking. Of course, poor people should recieve help – but offering a homeless person free entry to a museum and then sending him out again into the cold night when again when the museum closes is somewhere between inhuman and just cynic.Yes, the pyramid of necessities by Maslow still works, but for politicians earning 4K+ a month it is hard to see that self fulfilment is not top priority for people struggling for food and shelter. But hey, it’s cool that this is cared for, now let’s tackle affordable living, health issues and work offers.
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Code of Conduct for Bloggers

Currently there seems to be a big discussion about a “Code of Conduct for Bloggers” and there is some good reason behind it. Every blogger has found his share of trolls and abusers. Partly that goes with being public and partly it has to do with the anonymity the world wide web offers. I don’t know what the official rules at MetroBlogging are, but no matter what I keep to what Peter Ustinov once said: “My home is civilised behaviour.” I thing that suffices as a guideline.

Some more info start at Tim O’Reilly’s statement.

Anyway, that’s my two cents worth…

Hearings for the next rector of the Akademie der Bildenden Künste

Yesterday was the first day of the hearings for the new university rector of the Akademie der Bildenden Künste. It was really interesting, i might say. Today is the next & last day, you can go there, it’s public & for free.
Enjoy!

Here’s the adress:
Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien
Schillerplatz 3
A – 1010 Wien
Sitzungssaal

Today there are:

Sigrid Gareis
10 bis 11 Uhr

Felicitas Thun-Hohenstein
11 bis 12 Uhr

August Sarnitz
12 bis 13 Uhr

Go there & learn about political speech (impressive this rhetoric…& brutal!)

=> More + Ausschreibungstext

Solidarity Party for Deserters and Refugees

When, where?

Tuesday, March 20, 8 PM @ TÜWI
(Peter-Jordanstr.76 / Corner Dänenstraße; 1190 Vienna – Busses: 40A, 10A, 37A)

Music by
RUIDOSA INMUNDICIA (Hardcore, Austria, Chile)
CYRUSS (Stoner/Sludge, Wien)

Organized by
http://www.deserteursberatung.at (English page)

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