Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Boxing day.

Ahh Boxing Day.. the mighty day that probably has something to do with boxes. Not like Christmas, which isn't likely to correlate with Jesus' birthday, the Queens Birthday public holiday, which doesn't correlate with the Queen's birthday, Good Friday for when bad things happened, Australia day, which marks neither the day Europeans came to Australia nor when Australia was formed, nor formally possessed (just the First Fleet landing), and ANZAC day - which seems to correlates to a randomly selected day.

Now, New Years Day, that's a day with a meaningful date.

I might chuck some bloggy bits up:

DLP right-wing nutters less right than Labor.
The Victorian DLP chap has expressed his support for gay civil unions.
The Vic ALP is still refusing to consider them.

MrLefty lost his blog to a hacker, temp site at http://hackedlefty.blogspot.com/, new in-exile blogs at http://anonymousleftyinexile.blogspot.com/ and http://boltwatchinexile.blogspot.com/.

Interesting article on holocaust denialists amongst Muslims.

Weather was pretty nuts here this Christmas period - coldest xmas on record.

The Exclusive Brethren seems to be doing the work of Jesus again. "You cannot love Christ if you wear pants (jeans), and you cannot be a Christian if you leave the Brethren". The Levis of the anti-Christ... The Age (finally) refers to them as a cult - instead of their usual, more docile-sounding, 'sect' in telling this latest story of family destruction.

Sunday, December 24, 2006


Ahh, crap it’s here again, you finish work and get all excited… that lasts a few hours, then you stop being excited when you rack your brain trying to decide on gifts for people you care about, as well as those you don’t care for. In both cases, it needs to avoid giving the impression you

A) have no idea about what they already have
B) have no idea what they want
C) have no idea what they need
D) haven’t the slightest idea of their favourite hobbies, beverages, confectionary products, perfumes, novelty white goods, etc.
E) aren’t even sure of the persons age

Because if it does, you are a complete bastard of a human being, or something like that.

I got no beef with gift giving, and the general consumer whorage, I’m all for it. People want shit. Some people do find happiness in things, quite often children, and giving them less things once a year is not enough to change that. Unless it’s a Happiness For Dummies book or something. It sucks, but you can work around it.

Buying useful gifts is always my favourite – essential to survival, in the hunter-gatherer sense of the word? No. Maybe it’d make their lives a little easier, allow them to do things they couldn’t do before, whatever. I imagine people factor this in – they purposely don’t buy what they want for themselves, then get it as a gift. If they bought everything they wanted, then there would be no need for gifts, but what they own would have less emotional value. It adds romance and soul to objects, which is a good thing.

Although it sucks if you lose/break it/don’t water/plant the sucker and it dies.

I’m not too concerned about the commercialism of Christmas (best left to the devout, especially fundamentally, religious), I’m probably more irritated that presents have to mean something. It’s the thought that counts? Isn’t that just a nice way of saying you are going to be silently judged on some thoughtfulness scale rating based on the gift(s)? They still have to pretend they like it, that much is compulsory, but that’s not pleasant for all concerned, and entirely unnecessary.

In most cases I find out what people want, usually directly asking them or their partner. It spoils the surprise usually, but it beats the inherent risks.

In reality, the magic of Christmas is lost with age. Santa spices it up for the littl’uns, and there’s the chore-factor, but ultimately, we just don’t get as excited by anything as much. Like a knife, we dull over time.

‘Tis the season to be jolly? How does that work? Were we supposed to be miserable every other time? Shouldn’t there be four seasons to be jolly, or is the push for positive thought just to offset negativity experienced during this time?

And it’s not really about spending time with the people you love (especially not for those that have to work over Xmas) it’s about DNA. New Years is spent with the people (and beverages) you love - Christmas is spent with the people you or your partner share DNA with, there isn’t usually a lot of choice in the matter.

But I go to carols with the missus, I do enjoy the pretty flashing coloured houses, the smell of pine needles, giving and receiving presents. The secularised songs at council-endorsed carols are annoying – not because I’m particularly religious, more in the George-Lucas-reworking-the-music-in-Star-Wars-and-fudging-it-up way. Those songs were popular for a reason people, its OK to say ‘Jesus’, no one really cares.

Anyway, squeeze those smiles out regardless people, drink if your not driving, smile like you’re up to something, run like you stole something, make love not war, be good – if not, be careful, don’t worry, be happy, and my cliché database is now empty so I’ll just stop typing.

Have a merry JESUS’ BIRTHDAY PARTY (yeah, I said it, deal with it), and happy END OF NON-FISCAL GREGORIAN YEAR!!!!

Monday, December 18, 2006


Peter Garrett, now even easier to wheel out!

Blah blah Peter Garrett, blah blah pragmatic, blah blah BULLSHIT!

Here’s the 5-0:

When Peter Garrett claims he will support the Labor party’s decisions, even if conflicts with his views, it’s not because he wants to, it’s because he HAS to.

"It's not a case of will I or won't I compromise. I'll be faithful to the principles that I think are important, but within the context of being a member of the Labor party."

"I'll argue very strongly for the things that I believe in. I won't stop arguing for them - win or lose - but necessarily and properly I'll be a team player for Labor because we want to defeat Howard at this next election."

Mr Garrett again stated he did not think Australia should be expanding its uranium industry, regardless of plans by Mr Rudd to lift restrictions on uranium mines.

Mr Garrett said there would be a "vigorous debate" in the ALP over uranium mining.

Yes, there will be vigorous debate over uranium mining. You will lose, and you know you will lose. You will also support more uranium mines because you have to.

From Labor’s National Platform and Constitution 2004, Part C:

1. Policy at the national, State and Territory level shall be determined by the national, State and Territory conferences respectively. Such decisions shall be binding on every member and every section of the Party, or of the relevant State or Territory Branch.

In no clause does it guarantee any right to a conscience vote. You get your say with caucus, then you’re bound to the party line.

Under Human Rights, it states: “(Labor supports) the fundamental political and civil rights of everyone to freedom of conscience, expression and association…” – but this doesn’t seem to apply to members of parliament.

Compare this, as I always do (painfully so it seems), to the Greens:

41.1 The actions and activities of all Members of The Greens in public office will be consistent with the Charter of The Greens.

41.2 An elected Member of Parliament will also adhere to the policies of The Greens:

41.2.1 except that where, in the opinion of the elected member, their duty to the constituents is in conflict with The Greens' national policy then elected Members may vote according to their duty to their constituents;

41.2.2 and where, the views of elected Members are in conflict with The Greens' policy, then the elected Member may vote according to their conscience.

Elected Greens must comply with the charter – basically a one-page list of common-sense, ecology, peace, social justice and democracy. But their right to vote against policy is enshrined in the constitution.

Greens have to abide by a single page, Labor by every single policy. Garrett can do as he pleases, as long as it doesn’t contradict policy.

But I had a theory today, possibly wishful thinking, but here’s my guess at Peter’s plan:

  1. Get into ALP on celebrity status.
  2. Do whatever needs to be done to gain the trust of the powers in the caucus.
  3. Get a front bench (preferably environmental) position.
  4. Champion Labor to defeat the Howard scourge. (He’s at this point now.)
  5. When in power, and from the front bench, stand up against caucus, and fight for the environment – not supporting his initiatives would embarrass the party substantially, so he has a lot of leg room.
  6. Worst case scenario - get ejected from the party, in which case, join Greens (Liberals will be out, so it’s ‘safe’ to do so anyways.)

Ultimately, the environment wins, and Labor gets a swift kick in the right arse cheek. It’s probably far-fetched, but it makes much more sense than what’s happening at the moment. But, sadly, it probably just has something to do with his religious beliefs and how he's told to feel about abortion.

Oh, and one of the main reasons Peter Garrett being wheeled out against the Greens was so upsetting was the fact the seat meant practically nothing to Labor - they have an 11 seat majority in the lower house, 56 of the 88 seats (Liberals 22, Nationals 9). But if the Greens won the seat, it would have allowed them a foothold, allowed them to introduce legislation in the Assembly, it would have been historical.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Whale Safe Beer?

Whale Safe Beer? They use whales in beer? Beer cans kill whales? Is it those ring-things in six-packs?

Go to the website: http://www.whalesafebeer.com.au, where you will find ABSOLUTELY NO INFORMATION WHATSOEVER explaining WHY some beer is "safer" than others.

From what I can gather, Lion Nathan - makers of Tooheys, Hahn, XXXX, and others, is 46% owned by Japanese brewer Kirin. They're mostly involved in brewery, and whiskey, but dabble in "foods, pharmaceuticals, logistics, engineering, real-estate and restaurants."

Apparently John Singleton and 2GB have a lot to do with it, and $1 from Blue Tongue slabs goes to Sea Shepherd.

Kirin seems to have no connection to Japan's whaling industry, and it seems to be quite probably just a big wank by business dickheads.

Sea Shepherd might get some dollars out of it, but it does seem to be pretty damn deceptive.


Fielding: I’m no nutter

Greens MP Greg Barber reffered to Fielding as a “right-wing nutter”.

Senator Fielding yesterday retaliated saying the "extreme Greens" had lost touch with traditional Australian values.

"Extreme parties like the Greens might consider these the values of 'nutters', but this explains how out of touch the Greens are with ordinary voters and why their vote did not go up," he said.

Fielding is obviously out of touch with reality, their vote did go up. And Greens out of touch with voters? That’s really a lie – their policy positions are completely mainstream. Polls show “environmental issues like water and clean energy are more important to voters than interest rates, tax reform and the war on terrorism”.

When polls show “partially legal abortions, student union fees, media ownership laws and civil unions more important to Australians than climate change”, then it won’t be a lie.

John Mulholland, the DLP candidate who could be elected to the Victorian Parliament, rejected Mr Barber's suggestion that he was a nutter.

"The man is a fool if he sees us that way. I spoke to him yesterday, I said something to him like 'it's time the real extremist stood up'," he said.

Uh, what?

Mulholland lost anyway. DLP’s Peter Kavanagh got in:

  • He‘s "appreciative" of Labor's preferences. Thank you Labor, you da best!
  • Would respect the Government's mandate when he considered legislation. You call the shots, buddy.
  • “In the end, they could have chosen the Greens before me (but) they chose the DLP before the Greens and that will be a factor in the way that I vote.” I got your back big fella.
  • (in preferencing DLP) they did help the DLP and I will take that into consideration. Take me! I’m yours!
  • The Greens were "extremely provocative" about his party, but he would try to work with them. They picked on me, but I’m far more mature than that.
  • “I will try to adopt a more grown up attitude than they have. I think some of their provocations are borne of ignorance.” I’m far more mature, they’re just dumbies making dumb comments because they’re dumb.

  • Mr Bracks denied his Government would be forced into "horse trading" with the Greens. They can shove their lefty policies, I’ve got the Liberals on my side.
  • Bracks: "The balance is with several groups of parties in the upper house - the Greens, the National Party, the DLP individual member," I’ve got the Nat’s and DLP to back me up too, I don’t need no Greens.
  • "We won't be horse trading. (The Greens) have a view to put and they have a forum in which to put that view. That's fair, that's what a democracy is about." You can have your say, and I can ignore it, it’s democracy.

  • Newly-elected Northern Metropolitan Green MLC Greg Barber said his party would consider legislation on its merits. ‘Sif we will pass this ALP right-faction hack’s bills.
  • "Hopefully we're in a position to make sure the legislation is as good as it can be but, in reality, we're just three out of 40 people in a room making decisions that's in the best interests of Victoria." We are going to get pwned by Labor cuddling up to Lib/Nats.

Quick post.

It's fur seal season! Fire!
Sarah has an update on the conviction wrist-slapping of one of the Wilsons Prom seal slaughterers. Sickening.
Water water everywhere, so let's all have a drink.
Stage 3 is going to kick in for us in merry old Melbourne in 2007, which will be shifted up into Stage 4 sometime after that. Whence to from there:

STAGE FIVE. Showering banned.
STAGE SIX: Water drinking banned.
STAGE SEVEN: Government grants for time-machine, to be used to go back and prevent global warming.
STAGE EIGHT: Some monetary encouragement for rice/cotton farmers to take on other crops.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Ease your middle-class guilt.

Send ABC bias claims here:

Messy Post.

Messy Post. (n). A collection of little bloglets that don't justify a post in their own right. Separated with headings.

Recounts have resulted in Greens now having 3 in the upper house, and DLP 1. Double-plus good news.

Atwik, in 1903, a patent was applied for the board game Monopoly (The Landlord's Game), "with the object of showing that rents enriched property owners and impoverished tenants." Monopoly is supposed to make a social statement (I figured the only statement it made was that popular board games were all luck, no skill/strategy.) The history of Monopoly made it to Wikipedia's front page featured article.

Greens look to Governator
The Victorian Greens intend on introducing a private member's bill "modelled on initiatives by Californian Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to dramatically reduce greenhouse emissions." Aspects of the Republican party seem to be more greener than our ALP leadership.

AWA stats
16% exclude all award conditions standard for the industry
64% remove leave loading
63% remove penalty rates
52% remove shiftwork loading

51% abolished overtime pay
a further 31% reduced overtime pay rates.
That leaves only 18% of the same or better conditions.

40% removed rest breaks
a further 29% reduced the entitlement to rest breaks.

46% removed public holiday payments
a further 27% reduced public holiday payments.

Lorax v Truax
The Lorax is a popular Dr. Seuss book.
  • Has been banned in some schools/libraries for political content.
  • Is on the Rage Against The Machine's reading list (which is where I stumbled upon it recently).
  • IIRC it's on the list of books sold by ReNew magazine.
The book upset the logging industry machine, which funded a children's book called the Truax - to, y'know, counter the work of the evil doctor. Description here sums it up. The logging industry continues to creep me out.

Google (what's left of the) Earth
We now have some nice overlays of logging in Tas/Vic, thanks to environment groups. The gigantic woodchip piles in Tasmania are horrendous, and the difference between areas logged a few decades ago, and those not logged in East Gippsland is striking.

Wilderness Society's overlay of Tasmania.
Victorian Rainforest Network's overlay of Victoria.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

DLP in the Place To Be.

GOOD NEWS: In Victoria, the Greens have scored two upper house seats.

BAD NEWS: DLP have scored two upper house seats.

GOOD NEWS: Labor only has 19 out of 40 upper house seats – no majority.

BAD NEWS: DLP got in from Labor, People Power, FF, Liberal, and everyone else’s (except Democrats) preferences,

To all those Labor supporters who said any of the following:
  • Labor is sorry its preferences elected a Family First candidate.
  • It won’t happen again, we have changed tactics, moved on.
  • You should forget about it. *these aren’t the droids you are looking for*
  • Stop bashing Labor, etc etc.
.. to those people – thank you for embarrassing yourselves, and further validating Green voters.

From The Age:
So the Nationals dropped out. And their preferences, and those of the Liberals, also flowed on to the DLP.

Suddenly the scoreboard read:

DLP 62,000
Greens 34,600
Labor 34,400

OK, you might think, the Greens take the seat on Labor preferences. But no — Labor too had done a preference deal with the DLP, thinking it would go out early and help Labor over the line. Instead the final score was (more or less):

DLP 95,000
Greens 36,000.
Ultimately, it’s still a good outcome. If Labor ends up using the DLP (or Lib/Nats) to get legislation over the line because Greens refuse to, well, it’s only going to further highlight their regression. Alternatively, if the Greens force change, that’s awesome. Win win.

From Greg Barber: "Labor's preferences seem to have put right wing nutters into the Victorian Upper House. Labor voters will be very disappointed in the way the ALP bosses have directed their party's preferences."

Yes, he actually called them right wing nutters, what a freakin’ champ. Tellin' it like it is.

For all those 2% of voters who switched from Greens to Labor with the whole “THOSE GUYS ARE PREFERENCING LIBERALS!!11” thing, you.. you’ve got a bit of food on your face.. no, other side.. that’s it… I think it’s egg.

Seriously though, those guys must be majorly pissed off.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Madam X

CIA intelligence officials have raised concerns about the number of sexual perverts joining Al-Qaeda.

"The release of the Abu Ghraib photos really set off an influx of sexual deviants to fundamentalist Islam in the Middle East. We use the most sophisticated techniques of information retrieval - genital electrodes, hoods, torture, nudity, animals, non-consensual rectal probes, but it's seriously disturbing our officers in the private sector when the begging for mercy has a hint of insincerity."

"They love the fact there's no safe word, it's like heaven to these sick-os. They invent these elaborate Al-Qaeda operations and personnel, and taunt us with feigned defiance. Just last week we had four guys off with PTSD - we weren't trained to deal with this situation, you lose all sense of authority and purpose with screams of ecstasy instead of agony. We've decided to shut down operations, until we can be sure we are exclusively dealing with normal people, like terrorists."

David Hicks, or as he is known in Sydney's underground S&M scene: "Madam X", was unavailable for comment.

Sunday, December 10, 2006


Just how EXTREME are the Greens? There is a simple way to check, you just observe how many times Steve Fielding (the guy who bases entire election campaigns around the matter) has voted with them.

For December, 2006:
Out of 39 votes, where FF and GRN both voted, they voted together on 12 (in all these cases, IIRC, Liberals opposed Greens.)

THEREFORE: GREENS WERE ONLY 69.23% EXTREME, the rest of the time, it seems, they put families first.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Happy David Hicks Day!

From the second last sitting of parliament:
Senator NETTLE (New South Wales) (4.11 pm)—I move that the Senate—

(a) notes that Mr David Hicks has spent nearly 5 years in detention in Guantanamo Bay; and
(b) calls on the Government to take immediate action to ensure that Mr Hicks receives either a fair trial or is returned to Australia.

Ayes………… 31 (Grn/Lab/Dem/FF)
Noes………… 33 (Lib/Nats)

Only logical reasons for voting against this motion:

For a): You do not wish to acknowledge David Hicks has spent nearly 5 years at Gitmo, you want to pretend he hasn't.
For b): You don't want Hicks to receive a fair trial OR returned to Australia.
For b): You don't want to take any action to ensure he will receive either, you just want to sit back and see what happens.

And any "a trial is just around the corner" can take a flying one, it's been 5 years, that excuse doesn't cut it. Any "we can't trial him here, the laws don't apply" - he can't be (returned and) given a trial because technically he hasn't commited a crime? That defies logic. 5 years without trial is kidnapping, theft of a human being, abduction. We're supposed to be the good guys.

UPDATE: I do note Family First voted for the Extreme Green motion (it happens quite often I've noticed.)
Liberals and Nationals either disagreed or abstained.
Labor either agreed or abstained.
Greens and Democrats all agreed.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Hanson a 'bloodsucker': Brown

Senator Bob Brown: "(Pauline Hanson) really is a bloodsucker on Australia in terms of the way in which she divides the country and makes us look an uglier country right round the world."
I vant to suck your African AIDS-riddled blood!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Bomber's out.

Fuck any paparazzi or journo that comes within 50 miles of Kim in the next month.

Ban 'em.

Ban The Dunces.
Let's keep the idiots out of parliament.

Ban The A-Holes.

Let's keep the arseholes out of parliament.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


Speaking Wikipedia, and as part of the WikiWall's we'll have in the future (it's a big screen that you ask questions of - wiki wiki on the wall, who's the best-and-fairest award winner in 1984?, that sort of thing), I had another brainwave:


Where a Wikipedia article is converted into a documentary automatically:
  • Text is read through realistic text-to-speech, and displayed as subtitles.
  • Video is generated by panning/slow zooming/etc the articles images, and any related images and video in Wikimedia Commons.

News From The Future

News article from 2020:

At 5:15PM last night, scientists at New York University made a mind-boggling discovery: a piece of factual information that isn't in Wikipedia. "I was searching for more information on the variance of the thickness of traditional plating used on RCA plugs in between 1990 and 2000 for commercial projectors. I searched, but I couldn't find it anywhere in there" claims Dr Frignan Jones. After the halls of academia were stricken with panic (they have a strong reliance on Wikipedia's ability to retain all knowledge), the information was eventually gathered from a retired commercial projector technician. The information has now been dubbed The Frignan Fact, to honor the first discovery, after 2018, of historical facts that do not exist in Wikipedia.