Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Noice. Here's David Marr, former lefty Media Watch hawk, and his take
It's in a bit of a contrast to other articles of a similiar vein, which was essentially that the real reason for the sinking was not confirmed.
It's true those on board did indeed sabotage the engine and steering. The generator later packed it in which also meant the pumps didn't work - with water filling the boat as a result (though that was not listed as being sabotaged).
And it's also true that some parents held their kids up outside to show they had kids, as opposed to flinging them into the water however.
Sure there was some economically minded refugees there too. One navy dude I met who ended up in the water pulling people out said one guy had a money belt on him stuffed with US currency. But then if you're a refugee it's not like you have access to a bank and you tend to take what you can carry with you. So I can see why they would have that.
But it's also true that of these people that Howard so famously said 'these are not the people we want in this country', that over 90% were accepted as genuine refugees. Not that they get to stay here permanently or anything.
If you're curious, here is the link provided from today's Crikey to the relevant parliamentary report - click here
For the legendary cartoonist Nicholson's take, go here
(I would copy and paste it but it's a copyright issue I think)
Yeah I hate that.
Once my boy cat (that sounds gay I know but no specifics on name because of wink, wink, glug, glug, vroom, vroom) shat in my clean clothes hamper. So I had to wash my clothes. When I got the clothes out of the dryer a nugget of poop, freshly washed and dried, fell out.
Needless to say a rewash was in order.
Just what is it about cat poo that makes it indestructible? And their sausage vomits? What's with that? It's good when they're all Bratwursty. It's bad when they puddle at the end in a splodge.
Worst of course is the walking out in the morning then walking through.
Cue gag reflex.
Monday, February 27, 2006
If you happen to read The Australian, aka the Oz, aka John Howard is Great, you'd have likely noticed their 'all hail the leader, long may he rule us' mantras they've been producing to celebrate year 10 (the campaign for restarting the calender from 1996 to 0 well under way for the Murdoch Aussie press).
It stands in contrast to the SMH poll that found that while Howard took credit for running an economy that largely ran itself and 80% of people liked that, they found he was a mean spirited squinty eyed prick that gibbered and frothed at the idea of two people with two willies wanting to colocate said willies in each others typically exit only points, or even shock horror adopt kiddies.
True story. See SMH here
But the saddest part is the young people.
Yep, I'm not young any more. At 33 I can safely say whatever career aspirations I had have long gone and as a public servant who never worked in private industry I can safely carp and mutter about values and morality since unless I take a dump on a co-worker's desk it's very hard to sack me. I admit I have the luxury to wallow here.
The Oz reused the idea of the South Park Conservatives, a recent sociological trend from the US where some decided that the South Park guys stuck it to the Left and their sacred ideologies exclusively and that all Democracts were French waverers who wouldn't know an Arab terrorist unless they were disguised in the garb of waiters serving them drinks at a benefit for injured geese that were blocking vital oil field developments.
Which, frankly is bullshit, because the South Park lads stick it to everyone, the right just as hard as the left. Team America may have featured FAG and stuck it to leftie actors, but HELLO FUCKWITS TEAM AMERICA WAS ALSO TAKING THE PISS OUT OF US FOREIGN POLICY AND MILITARY ADVENTURISM. For more on this South Park Republican concept see the wiki article here.
Alas the Oz has backed their 'young people love Howard' with stats, claiming that the young, those who grew up in the Howard years, actually voted for him in higher numbers that the combined other twins of Labor or the Greens.
See the article here
Now why could that be? Call me crazy but here it is. It's money. As mentioned in the article universities are no longer bastions of the left. Hell they weren't when I was there back in 1991. They're about having fun, when you can afford it, working part time so you can afford the fun, and cutting corners on your education because you can't actually afford to live. Fuck me I was on $135 a week which was less than the fucking dole. I went to one protest. Where the right wing students stole the fucking snooker table in return for voting for some hateful piece of right wing crap.
So with money being the aim in life, and with everything in life focussed as Howard and others have planned in the pursuit of money - job hopping to get there - is it any wonder that mercantile focussed youth of today do not give a shit about anyone but themselves? Yes, the Tsunami aid was a nice change. But hell that's because many young Australians knew those beaches and resorts. They don't know Dafur. They don't know Pakistan. They have limited understanding of how the west and the developing world interact in the west's favour. The Make Poverty History campaign was excellent, loved all their work, but in the end it seemed to be 'hey, awesome concert' and it sort of petered out a bit for the younger generation that were temporially attracted away from their shiny money (however that being said the campaign got the west to give up 50 billion or so in long term debt which was kewl).
Anyway, the kids. I'm 33, which is probably old, and I have never, ever felt the need to adhere my political values to the Liberal party of this country. They are an anathma to my way of thinking. They are about economics first, about business being secure, and treating the rights of people and the land second. Fuck the forgotton people. Fuck everything else. Just ride in front with a big money carrot on a fucking stick and the young will follow like greed obsessed rats following the pied piper.
What will happen now? I don't know. Universities are no more a place where people go to think it seems. An Arts degree for the sake of knowledge seems to have passed. Hell, why would you bother? It's not going to get you a job and that fucking mobile phone that lets you find free sex in a train toilet. Whose going to invest 30k in a degree that teaches them that government and society is hard work and requires intelligence, thought, compassion, and morality? No one in this climate.
We have entered an era where people can be locked up without charge, sacked without cause, where collective bargaining is being destroyed, and where drunken thugs coat themselves in my fucking flag and bleat about bashing lebs - oh and where mandatory detention is now supported by 58% of people in their teens to mid twenties.
That's what the 10 years means to me. And all I can see is it stretching on out to infinity. Because my chosen party is wandering around like a stunned mullet unable to find a way to differentiate themselves and yet not scare those sad McMansion owning fuckers whose pollution palaces and and their incurred massive fucking debt will choke them like the occassional PAG inspiring poo I sometimes do if interest rates head north again.
That's how Howard rules people. He once said 'the times will suit me'. And he's right. Because he's fashioned our national landscape to have the generation following me be a bunch of greedy crop top wearing slatterns whose goal in life is no longer a happy world but a fucking Louis Vitton piece of bullshit that cost $2 to make but some fancy store is flogging for 1.5k, or for boofhead fuckwits that think drinking to you puke is still kewl at 30 as it was at 14, and where women are on display for their immediate gratification. Howard and his ilk did this to us. Deliberately. With malice and forethought. Helped along by an economy where their governmental presence was minor in the grand scheme of things - but they happily took credit for it - except the foreign debt balloon of course. Don't believe me? Sure, it's the SMH so dangerously balanced, but read this article here
But you got to hand it to him. As a politician he is amazing. As a human being he's a slowly whitening spray of duck turds on the footpath to the future.
Sunday, February 26, 2006
Thursday, February 23, 2006
And some old people.
Anwyay, cruising into the toy-toy I didst spy beneath the shell urinals a large patch of urine. Right in primo shoe stepping space. Needless to say I stepped over it and went to the clean one. Then in came a co-worker stomping right through it and proceeded to go without realising - in a manner of speaking - his footwear already had.
Should I have cleaned it up? Called for a cleaner to do it? Left a post it 'WATCH OUT - URINE ABOUT' on the door?
I decided not to do anything and as nature would have it, many feet had absorbed it away.
I felt bad for a few seconds but then I guess at the end of the day, it probably goes in the 'what they don't know won't hurt them' basket.
I've heard some ladies use talc powder and leave it on the seats. That true ladies?
I watch it and I ache for the day when government act as they do. With intelligence, with compassion, with understanding, and with care. Not bitterness, division, race mongering, fear generating, and pandering to the lowest common element.
Sure it's a left wing fantasty, but I can dream.
One day perhaps, one day a government will rise to be like this.
'We can do better, we must do better, and we will do better.'
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Microwaves. Apparently according to BW Microwaves - they be smelly if left closed. She ran into the kitchenette recently, breathless, to announce she'd done a lap of the floor opening every microwave to purge their odours.
'Why don't they leave them open all the time?' she demanded.
So I tells her. 'Well A) people can run into the door if they don't expect it open and B) there's a large light in there merrily burning away for no reason'
She stood there blinking stupidly unable to comprehend my big forehead logic.
In our now infamous kitchenette we have a boiling hot water tap. It apparently spits out water at around 85 degrees centigrade. BW likes to boil her water in a kettle - to the full 100 thanks - the kettle being less than a foot from the boiling tap. I mean for f_cks sake, does 15 degrees make a f_cking difference? Apparently.
Ooo, this is my favourite. Recently in Oz our navy had cause to fire a shot across the bow of an Indon ship fishing illegally in our waters. Oh what pray tell did BW have to say?
'I think that when they come over in their canoes we should shoot them and send a message not to steal our fish.'
Nazi final solution solutions aside to our territorial waters, I have to ask what does she expect when our northern population is like 300k on a good day, across 3000 km of coastline, and there's 200 million people living on the poverty line a fishing vessel trip down south? Sorry Australia, please you have all that fish. My starving children will be content with rice. Ok - sure that's an exaggeration. Most of them are here with a profit motive. But still, I think the main point is she's insane.
All I can say is she better have lots of bullets. Oh, and that would be a violation of human rights to shoot them out of hand.
Stupid pig ignorant right wing racist bint.
So here it is. Have fun. If you can't wrap you brain around it, well, thank god for wiki
Three ladies go to a restaurant for a meal. They receive a bill for $30. They each put $10 on the table, which the waiter collects and takes to the till. The cashier informs the waiter that the bill should only have been for $25 and returns $5 to the waiter in $1 coins. On the way back to the table the waiter realizes that he cannot divide the coins equally between the ladies. As they didn’t know the total of the revised bill, he decides to put $2 in his own pocket and give each of the ladies $1.
Now that each lady has been given a dollar back, each of the ladies has paid $9. Three times 9 is 27. The waiter has $2 in his pocket. Two plus 27 is $29. The ladies originally handed over $30. Where is the missing dollar?
Sunday, February 19, 2006
Saturday, February 18, 2006
New Weekly, my Islamafascist comrades, is far more offensive to humanity as a whole, let alone anything specifically Islam
It is a period stain of a publication that should come with a little cotton string draped in the centre fold like a bookmark in a lectern resting bible.
It consists of purchasing lies from 'pals' and 'insiders' and 'stalking photographers', dressing them up as 'news', then spraying their polluted clotted bile across the newsagents and supermarkets of this country.
Take for instance their Brittney expose. Now I will go on the record as saying I don't like her music. But hell, well done for playing the system to get where you did - especially as a 15 year old. And there's not many people out there that can lay claim to being rendered in cartoon form in certain sado-masochistic porn that's floating around the net (though you need a credit card to actually see all of it ... so I have been told ... by Mort I think).
Anyway, I digress. Britney recently was featured shock horror with her new babe on her lap, with Briters driving her urban tank away from a carpark. Naturally NW managed to lay hands on the pics and whacked it on the front cover.
'Will they take her baby?' shrieked the goss mag, their outrage at the obviously not fit for motherhood ex clothes on top pole dancer clearly evident. In fact here's a link to their story on their website - go here.
In fact, don't click on that. Here it is. This way they don't get revenue or something.
Britney risks her baby’s life
Britney Spears has sparked outrage after endangering her five-month-old son’s life by driving her four-wheel drive vehicle at high speed while he sat unrestrained on her lap. The singer is now under investigation by child welfare authorities concerned for baby Sean Preston.
Safety experts say that if Britney had crashed her car, Sean would have been crushed instantly by the vehicle’s airbag.
Police have confirmed that LA’s County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) are looking into the frightening incident to discover what exactly happened.
While police are unable to press charges because they didn’t witness Britney’s actions directly, Deputy Sheriff Mark Winn paid a visit to the star’s Malibu mansion the day after the incident to gather information for the welfare agency.
Children and Family Services will not comment on the matter, but it’s believed the investigation is well under way. Sources say the singer’s reckless actions could place her in danger of being found an unfit mother and losing her son.Britney has also been slammed by child safety experts around the world, not only for risking her son’s life but for setting a terrible and potentially deadly example to fans.
Noice. Bad Britney. She should be forced to wear a scarlet letter, or, better yet be shoved into stocks and have drivers whip her butt with electrical flex. Seems a pretty fucking dumb thing to do right? Let's see if we can shed light on this.
I made a mistake: Britney
February 10, 2006 - 10:32AM
Britney Spears with her husband Kevin Federline at a Grammy party on Wednesday.
Britney Spears has taken responsibility - well, some of it - for driving with her baby son, Sean Preston, sitting in her lap.
"I made a mistake and so it is what it is, I guess," Spears tells Access Hollywood in an interview to air today.
Several photos published Tuesday showed Spears driving her sport utility vehicle in Malibu, California, with her four-month-old son perched on her lap rather than strapped into a car seat in the back.
The 24-year-old said she did it because of a "horrifying, frightful encounter with the paparazzi".
In response, X17, the agency that snapped the pictures, said they were taken "in a very peaceful context, in which photographers exhibited no aggressive behaviour".
But Spears said the encounter was worrying.
"Being put in the situation that I was in, it was kind of bad with the paparazzi," Spears says.
"Last week, my mum and I went out and they were on us really bad, so you instinctively do what you need to do."
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has said it won't pursue any charges.
From the SMH article here
Sean Preston, who was born in September, is Spears' first child. She is married to Kevin Federline, a former backup dancer.
Now, I think we can safely agree that there were in fact paparazzi there. Given NW paid wads of dirty soul destroying cash to whack 'photos of the incident' on their front cover. So, given that, I'm assuming we can pretty much tick the 'why Britney did this horrible thing' under the 'being stalked by fucking arseholes.' box.
Alas, NW failed to do an even basic check of the facts before gibbering in presumably clitorial rubbing delight at their favourite 'let's stick it to trailer trash that made good' celeb good old Briters. Even a fucking first year journo student would have trawled the wire services to make sure there wasn't another angle to this. Of course NW likely went to print before the full account was out, but I'd hazard they would have gone with 'Briters (colon) unfit celebrity mother' thing anyway - since they'd hardly be able to use those yummy photos of Briters committing alleged child endangerment.
Wait, hang on a second. When a controversial call like this is made, often the editor has some words to defend it. Such as when editorials of late focussed on all that juicy freedom of speech talk when they defended their rights to blast others but still decided against showing those cartoons of Mohamed.
So let's see what Amy, now back from mat leave, iron fisted ruler of the NW domain has to say about this week's edition (link to the words below is here)
Inside the Mag
The NW-ettes are well known for their dating disasters, so it’s a real novelty when one of them manages to rope a man into marrying them. Like Katya, one of our fabulous writers, who got married last weekend.
On Monday morning, I was dying to hear all about the big day, so I went over to the writing section to get a rundown from the NW-ettes who went to the wedding. But the only ones there were Mark and Gereurd. And I found out the hard way that if you want details on a wedding, don’t ask a bloke.
“How did Katya look?” I asked excitedly. “She looked good,” Mark replied. Well, that’s a start. “So, what was the dress like?” I asked. “It was white,” Gereurd said.
Hmmm. “Can’t you be more specific?” I asked. “Oh, I don’t know,” huffed Gereurd. “It had beads and s**t all over it.”
And the style? “Well,” Mark replied, “There are only a certain number of dresses that brides can wear – it was one of those.”
I decided to move on. “What were the bridesmaids dresses like?” I asked. “They were blue,” said Gereurd. “But all different colours.” So, to summarise – the bride’s dress was white, had beads and s**t and the bridesmaids wore blue, no, different colours.
Ten minutes later, Brooke – another writer who went to the wedding – arrived at work. “You should’ve seen her – she looked beautiful! The dress was white, and had a gentle A-line with light beading under the bust and she had a veil.” Now that’s more like it!
Amy, I stand corrected...
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Really Tonester? Are you that offended by the Rosaries off my Ovaries T Shirt? (see Sarah's blog here) After-all you cruise around political life in a hair shirt, proclaiming to one and all your personal ideology is as a result of your Christian faith for political in addition to personal purposes. I hardly think you can have a sook about being hassled when you constantly proselytize from your parliamentary pulpit.
Left: Tony Abbott; his hairshirt must have been at the cleaners.
How can anyone seriously believe you'd divorce your Christian ideals from your day to day job when you bleat on incessantly about how your faith directs you?
And well done. Christianity, at its core, is a beautiful thing. Love one another as I have loved you. It's something even us secular types agree with. What we don't agree with, for some of us, is 300 page diatribes about how my spraying my seed onto a wall somehow marks me for eternal damnation. God put the love hose in my hands, literally on many occassions. What, he'd think I'd have cold showers and think of cricket until I managed to land me a wifey? I think not. But hey - that's my opinion of course. Feel free to think what you do matey. All the more power to you.
See below for Abbot's maiden speech to parliament where, in between putting the boot into the ALP and announcing the Libs eventual plans to arrange taxation so women are told to get the fuck home and shoot sprogs out faster than I can beat off onto a wall, manages to laud himself a true worker of Christ in the manner of B A Santamaria, famed Catholic Right Winger who did his bit in the 50's and 60's to make sure the ALP would not hold power.
So, Abbott, on behalf of all those who don't wear their religion on their sleeve, and in fact practice an ideology more akin to the true spirit of Christianity which is try and do right and look after each other and the world we live in, may your faith hold you steady as you realise that clinging to the frock of a man in a dress who is not allowed to have sex only moralise on it and shooting your semen only in the woo hoo of your beloved marital partner had nothing to do with this debate, but rather had everything to do with correcting a political abberation where your party did a deal with a backwater conservative in Tassie to get some legislation across the line.
Abbott's maiden speech is as follows.
The Hon Tony Abbott MP, Member for Warringah (NSW)
On the corner of Castlereagh and Hunter streets in Sydney stands a monument to mark the site of the first Christian service in Australia. The preacher, the Reverend Richard Johnson, took as his text: `What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits towards me?' It is just a small stone obelisk hardly noticed by the thousands of passers-by and dwarfed by skyscrapers, yet its message of faith and hope is fundamental to our nation's success and the key to Australia's future.
The congregation at that first service was poorer, sicker, and less trained than any conceivable group of modern Australians, yet there was nothing small about what they were to achieve. Our challenge, 200 years later, is to have hearts that are just as big. So at this opening of my time in parliament, I place on record my deep conviction that, nourished by the past and inspired by our great ideals, there is no limit to what Australia can achieve.
Also, I want to record my deep conviction that our Australian story should fill our hearts with pride and our eyes with tears. It is a story of the dispossessed and the outcast, redeemed through the innate goodness of humanity — a society challenged by nature, tested by war, enlarged by other cultures and blessed by such peace, prosperity and tolerance that we are now the envy of the earth.
Almost 100 years ago, the founders of our constitution echoed Richard Johnson's sense of gratitude when they instituted this mighty Commonwealth, yet they declared themselves, in the words of our constitution, to be` humbly relying on the blessing of Almighty God'. We have so much, yet almost everything we have we owe to someone else. If I can achieve anything at all in this place, I will owe it to the people of Warringah who have sent me here. If I can amount to anything at all in our national life, I will be indebted to my great predecessors whose shoes I struggle to fill: Michael MacKellar, who stood for the humane and the decent; Edward St John, who never shirked a fight in a good cause; and Sir Percy Spender, one of our greatest statesmen and international public servants.
Bounded by water on three sides, boasting some of Sydney's largest tracts of urban bushland, containing a significant concentration of high technology industries, often set in green and open parks, Warringah is almost a Garden of Eden. Mackellar might be God's own country but Warringah is God's own garden. So it is my job to make more perfect what is already one of the best places in the world to live. In particular, it is my job first to help Warringah's 13,000 families with children who are heavily burdened by government policies and, second, to help find a solution to our transport problems which mean that Warringah is indeed the best place in the world to live, but only until you need to go somewhere else.
When authority first came to the Warringah district, the inhabitants showed what they thought of government policies by spearing Governor Phillip in the shoulder. I hope I can be a similar goad to government, at least until such time as government serves my electorate better. One of the depressing features of modern Australia is the low esteem in which governments and politicians are generally held.
Shortly after the by-election, some kind supporter gave me polling data which ranked the ethics and honesty of various occupations. Lawyers rated 30 per cent for ethics and honesty; stockbrokers ranked 15 per cent; and I was terrified to see that federal parliamentarians ranked just 10 per cent. Notwithstanding this, I feel very honoured to be here because newspaper journalists — my previous trade — scored just eight per cent.
Perhaps we politicians have mostly ourselves to blame because we have neglected what government does well to indulge in what government does badly. The best way to restore politicians' standing is to have governments which meddle less and lead more; to have governments which stick to their traditional job of providing transfer payments and sponsoring national development but which stop playing the busybody in every nook and cranny of society. Above all, we need governments which believe in Australia and Australians as much as in the trappings of office, the dictates of ideology or the minutiae of policy.
Loss of faith is a social problem extending far beyond politics and far beyond Australia. Throughout the Western world we are living through a pandemic of doubt and introspection in which people are questioning their God, their country and even themselves. Nothing is safe from the corrosive cynicism of modern times: neither political goodwill nor institutional benevolence nor even parental love. Our challenge is to answer uncertainty with conviction and to refute doubt with faith.
This is not a matter of logical argument. No-one can be persuaded to believe. People must be inspired to believe; they must be picked up and carried along by other people — people who believe with heart and soul that no defeat is final, no unhappiness permanent and no evil invincible.
Modern Australia is rightly concerned about unemployment, crime, family breakdown and social disintegration. But we are becoming preoccupied with problems and not answers. We must see each problem in its true setting: unemployment together with the new opportunities of a better trained work force; crime against the background of the greater complexity of modern life; family pressure against the higher expectations of people living longer; and social alienation against greater individual rights. It is absolutely vital that we Australians keep seeking solutions to all the difficulties in our homes, workplaces and neighbourhoods. But the real antidote to fear is hope, and the difference between despair and confidence is often just the very decision to try to make a difference — a decision based on a balanced appreciation of our true position.
For the first 180 years or so of our national life, Australian government was an exercise in nation building. Government directed work gangs, encouraged settlers and rewarded explorers. In more modern times, government has launched the immigration program, which has helped to make our society so diverse and exciting; it has established the Snowy Mountains Scheme, which powers our cities and waters our farms; it has funded the universities, which are the basis of our technological edge; and it has sponsored much of the national development, which is the foundation of our prosperity.
Yet some time in the recent past Australian government developed a strange affliction. Since Labor came to power in 1983, government has become a means for applying bandaids to social problems rather than an instrument for giving cohesion and purpose to our national life. Our government has policies to bring peace to Cambodia and to keep Antarctica clean. It has policies for unemployment and for making the sick well and the lame walk. But it has only bits and pieces of a policy to ensure that our nation will enter the next century in better shape than it is now. The government is like a householder who keeps fixing walls and mending floors, in a medley of styles often entirely at odds with the original design, plastering up the cracks without working out how the foundations are constantly shifting.
In the quest to solve social problems, government reaches into our schools, our workplaces and even our bedrooms. Government tells us what we should think, whom we should like and how we should feel. But it has by and large given up trying to touch our hearts and make us realise that we Australians are a great people with a great destiny. The best that this government can do to lift people's gaze above the humdrum is tear a corner off the flag, undermine the Crown and attack the very constitution itself. This is the opposite, the absolute opposite of nation building, because it is guaranteed to tear Australians apart rather than bring us together.
Yet there is no mystery in Australia's needs or voters' wants. There is no secret about what governments should do. As Edmund Burke said, governments are human contrivances to satisfy human wants. People expect governments to work — and I hope honourable members opposite recognise these lines — `for the betterment of mankind, not just here but wherever we can lend a helping hand', as Ben Chifley said in his `light on the hill' speech. There are some things which only individuals can do; there are other things which only governments can do; and there are many things which people can do better, provided governments help. So let people run their own lives and let government do what individuals cannot.
I stand for active government, not big government. I stand for government which gets off people's backs, not government which opts out of the future because it cannot face hard decisions. I stand for government which backs Australia's families with real policies and not just platitudes.
This government says that it is in favour of the family, all the time pursuing policies which make family life harder to sustain. At present, for instance, a single taxpayer on $30,000 a year after tax has about $445 a week to live on. A taxpayer on the same $30,000 a year but with a dependent spouse and two dependent children has just $495 a week to live on — and that is after tax, after the dependent spouse rebate and after family allowance. In other words, three extra people to clothe, feed, house, educate and transport and just $50 a week extra with which to do it.
Family policy needs to begin with a recognition that our existing tax and welfare system turns middle income families with children into Australia's new poor. Families are best helped not by argument over definitions but by policies which help the children — the children who are this country's greatest asset and our most golden hope.
One way to help families with children is to change the tax system to take account of taxpayers' responsibilities as well as their income. A family-friendly tax system stresses self-help and individual responsibility. But the problem with income splitting, at least in its simplest form between husband and wife, is that it helps high income earners more than low income earners and couples without dependants as much as those with the responsibility for children. While voters have shown an innate mistrust of radical change to the tax system, everyone understands and hardly anyone objects to a cash payment. So one alternative to income splitting is to raise the current level of family allowances to such an extent that they become, in reality, a family wage; in other words, to pay the principal carers of children a substantial sum far in excess of current family allowance, a sum which acknowledges the real cost of raising children.
Paying the principal carer a family wage of, for argument's sake, $100 a week for the first child would virtually cover the cost of child care, if the principal carer wanted to continue in the paid work force. Alternatively, if the principal carer preferred to be a full-time mother or father, $100 a week would make a big difference to the family budget and quite possibly eliminate the need for both parents to work just to make ends meet.
Many have a philosophical preference for tax splitting rather than a cash payment. But a family wage is quite different from welfare. It is a recognition of responsibilities, not need. It is a payment for services, not a handout. It means that personal choice could replace economic necessity as a rationale for family decisions. One beauty of a family wage system, unlike a tax rebate, is that it would take one public servant, just one, and a computer to administer. Payments would start the moment a birth is recorded on the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages database and finish 16 years later.
The budgetary cost of introducing a family wage of $100 a week for the first child and $30 a week for each subsequent child would be about $7.5 billion a year. It is worth remembering that this was the approximate size of Labor's One Nation personal income tax cuts, which were to be funded entirely out of economic growth. The cost of not providing more help for families is more family breakdown, greater call on the welfare system, increased crime and further social instability.
The vast majority of families would be much better off under a family wage policy. For instance, a family with three children on $30,000 a year now receives just $30 a week in family allowance. Under a family wage policy, this family would receive $160 a week. The vast majority of families, those with two or fewer children, would be more than $90 a week better off. It is possible to help families in ways which involve no radical surgery to our system, ways which are financially responsible and ways which avoid debilitating debate about definitions. But it takes a government that is committed to the long-term welfare of society to do so rather than a government which is preoccupied with the short-term management of pressure groups.
Governments which live in fear of tomorrow's headline are incapable of any change — even change which gives the overwhelming majority of Australians exactly what they want. It is abundantly clear, for instance, that the people of Warringah are heartily sick of clogged roads. So I congratulate the New South Wales transport minister, Bruce Baird, for establishing a committee to investigate alternatives and to recommend a solution. It seems that a road tunnel under Military Road with a better crossing at The Spit can be built with just $30 million of taxpayers' money. By contrast, the most publicised mass transit system is estimated to require a taxpayer subsidy of some $600 million and is predicated on higher population densities in the peninsula.
It would be a tragedy for the people of Warringah if an anti-car mentality stopped development which would help all Warringah commuters, including those who travel on public transport, especially if that development does not require any extension of medium or high density housing to be financially viable and does not preclude the construction of a mass transit system. The government's job is not to lay rails, shift earth and pour concrete. The government's job is to make necessary development happen. Say the word and private enterprise will do the job and very possibly build and operate huge infrastructure projects at no cost to the taxpayer.
Australians rightly object to higher taxes because they observe that most government spending disappears down a bottomless well. Government often seems like an evening out — it costs a fortune and in the morning there is little to show for all the expense. But it is my hunch that people would be less hostile to paying tax if they were more confident they were investing in lasting assets rather than $200,000 carports, $170,000 barbecues and $63,000 bicycle accidents. For most of Labor's decade, we have enjoyed the day by mortgaging the morrow. The $6.5 billion currently spent servicing the Commonwealth government's own debt could pay for a host of national development projects, including a Warringah mass transit system.Mr Speaker, standing before you in this chamber, which is heir to 700 years of parliamentary tradition, I feel like a very small boy in a very big school. To my parents and to my grandparents; to my sisters, who have made me what I am; to my wife, my mainstay; to my priceless friends; to my party, which has given me the privilege to serve, I give my heartfelt thanks. To the Jesuits who first encouraged an ideal of public service; to Bob Santamaria, who sparked my interest in politics; to several editors, who honed my way with words; to John Hewson, who introduced me to this place; and to John Howard, who has been the contemporary politician I admire most, I hope I can be true to the principles you taught. May God and the ghosts of great men give me strength. May those who have laboured greatly to build this nation fortify my resolve to make a worthy contribution in this House.
It stands for Poo After Glow
Left: Father Pio, clearly in the midst of a special PAG moment.
Yes, PAG, that feeling you get post defecation when you manage to lay a cable that could strangle the gods themselves, and your voided bowels contract for once with pleasure instead of pain.
As an IBS inflicted fat man with hair from nape of neck to the stump of my spine, it is rare to be able to encounter a PAG like state. For me, today, I accomplished it. And in the process my giving birth out the bear canal, I have hopefully also given birth to an acronym you will in time embrace to your chest.
Yes, PAG. You know your day starts right when you've bagged yourself a PAG.
Sunday, February 12, 2006
Perhaps my most favourite one is the pill that promises to increase my seminal fluid. Now, going through fertility issues I can see how this might actually have some applicability. But it's advertised more as an enhancement as opposed to anything medical.
So, Spammers, I have to ask. Why? Why would I want to increase my seminal fluid? And even if I did, and for the life of me I can't see why that is arousing, why would I do so on the basis of an unsolicted email?
I mean for fuck's sake. Why do they try the whole 'I got your name from a trusted source' crap, or 'I am related to X who died in (insert African Country here), who had (insert 10.5 to 20.5 averaging 16.5 million US) hidden in a bank account' bullshit? I mean what do these people think about ? Do they think it's acceptable to lure stupid fat westerners over to 'fuckyouinthearseabat', rob them, possibly sodomise them, then leave them naked and pale like a bloated albino whale by the side of the road?
I guess quite possibly.
At work I get these all the fucking time. About 30 odd a day. Either 'my uncle was a dead dictator' or 'I hear you've got cock droop let me help'. A couple of times I wrote back to these fuckwits and asked them to send me money to open a bank account, or ask them why if they were in a refugee camp they were using a .fr email address ("please good sir, the peace keepers have set up an internet cafe"). You fucking leeches .
Yes, I am aware that as an 8%'er in this world I have access to good government, ideal living conditions, and a support network of family and social services unparralelled in human history, while their social security system consists of nothing at all. But it still irks me they think its acceptable to prey on others with their spam bullshit and think somehow that they are not scum wads that are desperately in need of being run down by a 1950's yellow fuck off bulldozer with extra thick treads.
Any tips out there to 'two fingers' the Coite de Ivory spammers and their fellow African associates? I'd like to hear it.
Friday, February 10, 2006
You see according to Brand Power:
What makes Brand Power appealing to manufacturers and their advertising agencies is its ability to provide detailed explanation to shoppers. In particular, Brand Power draws shoppers' attention to facts that weren't previously known. The result tends to be more shoppers buying that particular product. We like to think that Brand Power treats shoppers with respect by providing useful information that helps when it comes time to decide which product to take from the supermarket shelf.
The only facts I'm getting Brand Power is 1) you use a telex sound effect when text appears on the screen, despite the fact that telex machines have not been used since Hunt for Red October and 2) Miss Sally has a smoking rack.
Look, Brand Power. Bite the bullet and just go with this. Ignore the "Facts and Value" through information approach and focus on the titties. Then WHAM—in with the product.
"Hi, I'm Brand Power's Sally. See these puppies? Yeah that's right, my puppies. See how they jostle for attention in my tight, tight sweater?"
CHIPS! CHIPS! CHIPS! CHIPS! CHIPS! CHIPS! CHIPS! CHIPS!
It worked in Max Headroom.
For more on the respectable work done by Brand Power(tm), see their website.
Apparently Mullah Dadullah, military commander, is offering '100 kilograms of gold to anyone who can kill the Danish artists responsible.'
See the SMH article here
Man I wish I had that gold cane in the shape of a fist from back to the future II, and a Taliban to whack over the noggin with.
'Hello ???' (whack, whack, whack) 'How are you going to give it to them fuckwit? Going to rock up in your Toyota pick up with the bullion sliding around in the back tray?'
I can just picture the hand over.
'Yes my brother, well done for killing that Danish swine. Here is the gold that I promised you for their killing. Ha, the Americans ! They did not notice my pick up full of gold I have been driving around Pakistan, Afghanistan, or perhaps Europe. And well done for not being picked up by those cursed infidel intelligence agencies that would I thought have surely nailed you the moment you came in a snifter of those artists – let alone let you close enough to do the deed. HA, you like your gold yes? I bring it personally to you. I spit on those silly westerners that mocked my generous infidel killing offer of 100 kilos of gold, which is an awful lot of yellow metal to transport let alone actually break down for cash. Of course, $$$ would have been much more sensible. But I am Taliban ! No one accuses us of being sensible. Aye-eee ! I can see more of that woman than her eye slit ! And she is listening to an Ipod ! Excuse me while I kill her for sullying my honour with her demon pleasures of flesh showing and MP3 playing.'
Holy fucking shit. What a bunch of fuckwits. The Taliban took Afghanistan largely because the Saudis gave them the resources to do so. And because no one in the West said 'er, do you mind not doing that?' Probably because to the West it was easier to deal with one Charles in Charge than a dozen and allow them to do things like have the mostly rulers, the Taliban, around for tea at Bush's ranch to try and get them interested in a fucking pipeline. Plus they still had those stingers Reagan Bush I gave them during the oust the Soviets days.
Mullah Dadullah is so far removed from the bounds of sanity that he should open one of those outlets that's prefaced with the word 'Crazy' or 'Mad'. Like one of those micro discount radio or mobile phone shops you see in the mall.
Of course he needs an ad...
'Hello, yes, welcome to my special shop. I am just loco in the head. I will only take gold. Delicious gold for my tiny phone. Look how tiny it is??? LOOK (points gun at screen) Ah, I see I have your attention. See how I can place my tiny phone in my nostril? You like yes? You want tiny phone? GOLD ! Give me gold for my tiny phone (points gun again). Much gold. Also, throw in a Danish cartoonist's head, and I will give you an even smaller phone (peels back eyelid and pulls out even tinier phone). See how small it is??? AHAHAHA My prices are crazier than a man thrown in a steel shipping container and left to die in the hot sun from suffocation and thirst. OBEY MY EVEN TINIER PHONE. HE COMMANDS YOU TO LISTEN ! (holds out phone)'
Cue tinny voice from tiny phone chirping away. We can also hear a whine in the background steadily increasing.
'Wait? A phone ! Oh no, the Americans…'
Looks up with resigned expression as a Hellfire launched from Predator drone hooves into view.
Mullah Dadullah, you sir are a ginormous music and woman hating twat. I'd hazard one day that you will likely dance the long neck from a pole in a soccer stadium in down town Kabul, like you subjected so many of your people to.
Let's hope for your sake there are UN troops around willing to step in an ensure your safety, and once they have saved you, make sure you're charged with the undoubted many crimes against humanity you and your loathsome gang of distorting Islam thugs have undoubtedly chalked up.
Then when you're found guilty you spend the rest of your stinking life in a comfortable cell in the Hague ... where your warden is a hard faced lesbian named Ernijka.
Thursday, February 09, 2006
Greg Sheridan is of the Realist school as best as I can tell. Which is 'do whatever it takes to advance national interests'. Which is the school of strategic foreign policy as practised by almost every Republican administration since WWII in the US.
Here is Uncle 'Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil, See No Evil' Sheradin with his thoughts on the AWB scandal. Which seems to boil down to a 'so what?'
Greg Sheridan: Did AWB really do something wrong?
The kickbacks may have been smelly, but selling wheat to Iraq was hardly evil and immoral
February 09, 2006 I THINK it's time we all took a cold shower on AWB (formerly the Australian Wheat Board) and its participation in the Iraq oil-for-food scandal. According to the Volcker inquiry, about 2253 companies from 66 countries were involved in paying kickbacks to the Saddam Hussein regime as part of their trade under oil-for-food.
This suggests we are dealing with a fairly widespread practice and that AWB is not quite unique in the lists of world infamy.
You never know where an inquiry such as the Cole commission will go and there may yet be political fallout. But on everything revealed so far, I don't think the AWB matter will cost the Howard Government a single vote at the next election. The Government is confident no minister approved kickbacks, so the question of a ministerial resignation probably ends there.
But the overall atmosphere of moral panic (so oddly common in Australia over the past few years), media frenzy and competitive commentator denunciation seems to me entirely shorn of context, knowledge of how the world works, or simple common sense.
The basic argument seems to be a non-sequitur. The oil-for-food program was corrupt. Australian companies were involved in the oil-for-food program. Therefore the Government must have known that Australian companies were behaving corruptly. It would be a very bad day if the Government operated on the basis that our companies were assumed to be corrupt. The Government is entitled to assume that companies are behaving OK and it should help them.
The broader question of corruption is very slippery. When people are accused of corruption, this normally means acting dishonestly, stealing money for themselves. Many people connected to the UN, such as Kofi Annan's son Koji, made a lot of money personally through oil-for-food. No one is alleging that folks at AWB were improperly pocketing money themselves.
This is an important distinction. There are degrees of moral offence in corruption. Much of the sanctimonious comment that no company should ever pay a bribe is just foolish. There are many countries where if a company doesn't pay a bribe, it doesn't do business. All the cultural relativists who tell us we should not impose our values on other cultures apparently make an exception for Western corporations.
Take this hypothetical example. You are an Australian company and you set up a manufacturing plant in, let's call it Asakan. You have done everything according to the book. Your workers and shareholders are happy. A local crime boss sues you in the local court on the basis that he has an ancient claim to the title of the factory's land. He bribes the judge $50,000 and the judge awards him immediate ownership of your factory. You appeal to the high court, which is not corrupt and where you are bound to be upheld. However, to get an injunction to stop the local court's ruling entering into force you have to pay the judge's associates $100,000.
Believe me, this is not a very far-fetched example. Is it really the case that you should never pay?
The Government passed legislation in 2000 making it an offence for Australian companies to pay bribes overseas. This is a stupid law, which I opposed at the time because it breaches the principle of extra-territoriality. We should make laws about what happens in our country and let other people govern what happens in theirs.
I once asked a very senior government official, appointed by the previous Labor government, what a company should do if it wanted to do business where it had to pay bribes. His sensible answer was that it should acquire a good local partner.
In a perfect world there would be no bribes, and we should ruthlessly enforce their illegality in Australia. Some crimes, such as pedophilia, are so heinous there is a case for extra- territorial laws, but commercial regulations are best left to each country to devise.
Surely, you say, this may all be true, but wasn't there something especially monstrous about AWB paying bribes to Saddam? The Opposition has claimed it is wheat for bullets: our money let Saddam buy weapons, fund terrorists, and so on.
There are several problems, apart from its inherent silliness, in this argument. All money is fungible, therefore the whole oil-for-food program is equally likely to have allowed Saddam to buy weapons. Plenty of Iraqi soldiers ate wheat and other countries' food bought in the oil-for-food program. So that was money Saddam didn't have to pay feeding his soldiers and therefore was free to use for other expenses. Anything you can say about kickbacks you can also say about the whole oil-for-food program.
Also, and this is the most difficult bit, the program was set up by the UN with a clear knowledge that the Iraqi government would get some money out of it. The UN could have had a program in which it chose who to sell the oil to and who to buy the food from. This would have prevented any influence by Saddam's regime in the allocation of money.
The UN instead allowed Saddam to choose at both ends, presumably because Iraq would not have accepted it otherwise and it was more important to alleviate the suffering of the Iraqi people than keep the sanctions watertight.
Jeremy Greenstock, the former British ambassador to the UN, commented: "It was realised that a certain amount of misbehaviour was going to happen on the Iraqi side if they were going to accept this. But the Iraqi government had to agree or it wouldn't work."
One of the reasons war with Iraq was necessary was because the sanctions regime was impossible to sustain indefinitely. Everyone knew there was a lot of rorting. I can remember seeing current affairs television programs that showed Iraqi lorries rumbling across their neighbour's borders as they delivered contraband oil. The UN, including the Security Council, knew all about this in general terms (or at least they did if they watched TV) and never took any action on it.
The hypocrisy of the Left is breathtaking. Remember how often they told us sanctions were killing 500,000 Iraqi children, or some other figure plucked from the air, each year? On the basis of everything they said in the past, they should be lining up to congratulate AWB.
But this is actually a serious point. The underlying purpose of AWB was entirely moral: to sell Australian wheat. In doing so, incidentally, it undoubtedly saved Iraqi lives. The Volcker inquiry determined that Russia and France were the biggest oil traders with Iraq. Any comprehensive inquiries in those countries? Not a chance.
The idea that the odd American wheat senator who sees an opportunity to kick a tough competitor constitutes serious damage to our international reputation, like everything else about this controversy, is wildly overblown.
An Australian media frenzy, which always knows no limits of common sense, must be a horrible thing to be the subject of. No wonder people unaccustomed to it sometimes commit suicide. I feel the greatest sympathy for the personnel of AWB, demonised without restraint by those who traffic in escalating denunciation.
Naturally, if any law was broken then justice must run its course. However, while paying bribes like everyone else did in a smelly trade clearly more or less approved by the UN may not be very edifying, it's hardly a crime against humanity.
Taken from the Oz here
In a word Sheradin, bullshit.
Not every country suckled at the hairy bush teat that was a moustache clad beret wearing Saddam patting our little ozzy baby head as we gulped down his delicious oil for food money. Canada was asked to 'contribute a little to a little trucking company, no one will get hurt eh?' and they said no.
Why did they say no Sheradin? Because unlike people like yourself with a 'morality only gets in the way of strategic protection and/or enhancements' they applied a viewpoint of 'we don't give bribes to murderous dictators.'
And it's not just that AWB was part of it. From all accounts they were easily the biggest offender. That's 300 million Sheradin. This isn't money in a brown paper bag - or 'very large suitcase' as the funsters in AWB emails described it. This is 300 million.
And yes you smug self satisfied prick Saddam did give out bundles of 25k to families of suicide bombers sent against Israel. He got the money from somewhere to do that. And where was that? Ripping it out of his own people through bribery mechanisms set up by willing corporate prostitutes like the AWB. It's like saying 'well it was an entire mob of people that put that house to the torch. Just because we were the biggest and had the largest zippo, doesn't mean we should bear any responsibility.'
Business overseas isn't just business. It comes with its own moral cachet. How can we in the 'educated' west bleat on about transparent governance when we're willing to dole out the cash to the only government in modern history that has used WMD on its on people.
Why do I suspect that Sheradin, Mr Uber Pragmatist, likely has a healthy stock portfolio that includes arms manufacturers, chemical companies, and reconstruction firms?
It just makes good business sense of course. As long as it doesn't involve pederasts. At least Uber Pragmatist has drawn the line somewhere. However it seems doling out the cash to those who would use mustard gas on others, well, that's just fucking dandy.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Not only do they call for the erradication of any small L Liberal left in that once reasonable party, but they come up with whacked mission statements like this. Found here
The NSW Young Liberal Movement:
- Supports the full privatisation of Telstra.
- Opposes the trials of heroin injecting rooms.
- Believes that the Federal Government should protect marriage as an institution between husband and wife.
- Supports the privatisation of the ABC and SBS.
- Calls on the NSW Division to continue the approach of not preferencing parties which support the legalisation of drugs in all future Federal, State and Local Government elections.
- Calls on the Federal Government to remove service delivery from ATSIC's control, restructure ATSIC to become an advocacy and policy body, dismiss the current ATSIC board and replace it with a smaller more accountable board, return responsibility and funding for the delivery of basic services to the appropriate State or Commonwealth Government department.
- Supports John Howard's handling of the Iraq crisis.
- Supports Voluntary Student Unionism (VSU).
- Supports work-for-the-dole.
- Condemns the actions of those asylum seekers who destroyed Commonwealth property in detention centres and calls for their immediate deportation.
- Calls upon the Federal Government to revoke the tax -exempt status of all donations over $2 to Greenpeace.
- Supports the NSW Liberal’s policy to introduce school codes of discipline that would ban swearing at teachers, the use of mobile phones or CD players in class and enforce the wearing of uniforms.
- Believes our uranium reserves must be utilised for Australia’s maximum benefit.
- Opposes Affirmative Action.
Holy fuck I hope some of them grow a heart before then. Or a Brain. And Courage.
Hey, I should be fair here. This is the Young Labor site and their views. .
What We Believe
Young Labor is committed to genuine reconciliation with indigenous Australians. Young Labor believes that indigenous Australians must be able to:
* exercise and enjoy the fundamental human rights to which all Australians are entitled;
* exercise and enjoy the distinct rights which attach to indigenous Australians as a group, as descendants of the original owners of this continent;
* share in and contribute to the economic and social advantages available to all Australians as citizens of a first world nation;
* exercise their right to self determination within the Australian nation;
* exercise and enjoy their unique cultures; and
* share with other Australians the real, practical benefit of reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians.
Reconciliation is fundamentally important to Australia's capacity to face the next century as a united, peaceful, proud and just nation. Young Labor will continue to pursue reconciliation with the aim of achieving a lasting settlement between Indigenous people and other Australians.
NSW Young Labor was the first arm of the Australian Labor Party to call for an end to the mandatory detention of refugees in Australia. Young Labor believes that the excessive detention of refugees is totally inhumane, and that we should boost our intake of the number of refugees allowed in this country.
Young Labor believes that the monarchy no longer reflects either the fundamental democratic principles that underlie the Australian nation or its diversity. Young Labor believes that our Head of State should be an Australian who embodies and represents the traditions, values and aspirations of all Australians. Young Labor also believes that it is time for Australia to adopt a new symbol to embody Australia: it's time to update Australia's flag.
Young Labor believes that a high standard of living and a healthy and sustainable economy depend upon the conservation of our environment. Long-term economic growth depends on the ability to conserve, repair and maintain our natural resource base. It is the fundamental responsibility of all governments to ensure economic growth is ecologically sustainable, that industry is not faced with a choice between responsible environmental management and economic profit, and that individuals are not faced with a choice between a secure job, maintaining quality of life and a healthy environment.
Young Labor's core belief is that education is a right and not a privilege. Young Labor believes increased national investment in education, training and research is essential to ensure all Australians have the opportunity to reach their full potential.
Youth Wages:Young Labor is committed to the principle of 'equal pay for equal work'. The basis of pay should be on level of skill, not age or gender. Young Labor believes that youth wages are discriminatory and that working Australians under the age of 21 should be paid no less than every other working Australian of a comparable skill in their industry.
Hmm, which one would I support? ALP, come on down.
(PS Found a whacky mission statement out there for a pol party? Let HM know.)
I avoid for example anything in the sport and business sections.
Anyway, Stephen Harper of Canada eh, has sworn in his cabinet. His Minister of Defence is one Gordon O'Connor.
And here's a picture.
Then on the 7.30 report I saw a story that featured the ALP's shadow minister on Agriculture. One Gavan O'Connor
What are the odds of two western world pollies of near the same name, on other sides of the political divide, and both cotton tops?
Well, probably a lot I suppose.
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
I also enjoy satirical cartoons of the 'stick it to the pollies' variety. I love the fact that the cartoonist in the Oz, Bill Leak, is not afraid to go left when everything else there bar Phillip Adams goes right.
This outrage over the prophet mohammed being in print has got me flummoxed. I'm of the secular humanist school - as far as I understand that to be. Basically you're free to believe what you want as long as it does not hurt other people and you don't force people to believe it, or create a subtefuge to encourage your brand of philosophy to be adopted (such as Intelligence Design).
Pretty simple creed - with maximum acceptance.
However part of that I'm free to think what you believe is shit. As you are of me. It's a big melting pot of freedom that we're free to be free in, much like a hot tub party in the late 70's before the spectre of HIV ruined it for hairy fatties like me.
So, the cartoons that have incensed some in the islamic world. For the most part, Islamic clerics seem to be saying 'look we find it offensive and we rather you didn't'. In the shittier parts of the Islamic world where Islam is more about power than about preference for faith, some elements have taken to the streets to throw rocks at European embassies, set fire to them, or trample their own people in the process. All over cartoons that show the prophet. And apparently because there is a section in the Koran that mentions creating a likeness of the prophet is not a good idea.
Here in the secular minded west we're free to take the piss out of Christ. Literally. Remember that Jesus crucifx that was suspended in wee that was later hammered like Latham on a camera by some hard right Christians? Indeed, stuff like that. Perhaps for us since our genisis of a secular west was for the most part rising out of the reformation and era of science that christian countries in Europe went through that we're able to do this.
But as for muslims getting offended over the cartoons. In truth all these riots do is reinforce the idea amongst some in the west that those who profess the islamic faith are dangerously narrow minded. Yes it is offensive, and yes they did publish it. But originally they were published because of the whole nature of the world since S11 where us western whities are fearful of potential designs from fanatics that are poisoning their faith in the name of a medieval interpretation of their religion.
I guess my response is this. You can't expect to be able to maintain an isolation of your religion in this modern world. Your faith will be tested time and time again. If it's not cartoons it's something else. And all you do is give power to those in the right in the west that gibber and shriek crying 'muslim, muslim' as a means to divert their people from the real issues at hand.
Riot against corrupt veneal governments that use your faith as a means to keep you in your place, or to prevent 50% of your people from freedom of expression, movement, and occupation.
Faith should never stop progress of humanity in greater equality, rights for all, the ability to express yourself, and the ability to think. Anything less is control by the elites that have it, or the ones that want it.
For the considered and valid points of the Islamic Council, see the SMH report here
For Andrew West of the SMH Blog's view, see here
He provides a link to a site with said cartoons.
I also heard a news report about how a council in the Netherlands, Holland having swung from extreme left to middle since S11, is considering making it illegal to speak anything but Dutch in their precincts. See here for an online article on this.
To me this is far more insidious that a small minority of islam taking to the streets to protest a bunch of dumb cartoons. This is social engineering of the worst water. And in Holland of all places. Fuck me. It will be wooden shoes for all next.
You can't compel people to speak a language, any more than you can compel them to worship the one faith, or shut out free press just because they took the piss in a crude and offensive manner about your faith. Because while the press are free to be potentially offensive about a philosophy, in a good world they are free to critique those in power and hold them to account.
And for now, because I have never recommend the violent overthrow of the Australian government, I am free to say that.
Sunday, February 05, 2006
Saturday, February 04, 2006
Junk food ad ban ruled out
Date: February 4 2006
THE Federal Government has launched a $6 million advertising campaign urging children to take exercise - but has again ruled out any restrictions on junk food advertising.
The Health Minister, Tony Abbott, yesterday said the new TV ads telling children to get off the couch would counter the images of young people "wolfing down some KFC".
He urged children to spend less time in front of the computer and TV, and more time being active. "Not because we are sports freaks, but because we want every Australian to be happy and healthy - it is very hard to be happy if you are not also healthy," Mr Abbott said.
The Greens have called for tougher restrictions on when junk food can be advertised, and want to ban such ads during children's viewing time. But Mr Abbott ruled out government support for a ban, saying it was up to the industry to be self-regulating.
Self regulating eh? Yes its Big L Liberal to let industry look after itself, like Bush did with polluters in America. You see kiddies corporations are just like us. They only have people's self interest at heart. No, they don't prey on growing brains that are not able to seperate fantasy from fact, nor do they encourage children to fixate on the delicious fatty or sweet foods that all of us crave from time to time, and nor does it at all detract from the delicious brussel sprout before them.
I think kids see something like what thousands of ads a year, and almost all the foody ones are one where it's ok to have it maybe once a week, if that. Indeed, check out this report here. On page 16 it compares the food pyramid we all know and love from our primary school days, with the pyramid representing what foods are advertised by number.
Now is it me, or should the health minister, I don't know, make a ruling about what is good for children's health as opposed to say what is good for the corporate shills that spray money at his grubby in the pocket of big business party?
I can just imagine the future and Abbott, now hopefully suffering some easily avoidable health condition that if only he'd authorised research or the like to prevent it, trying to defend his whacked out policies against preventative health care.
'Yes, I'm aware that some companies have kidnapped children, tied them to chairs, and forced probes into their eyeballs so they watch countless images of junkfood advertsing to determine their impact. But it is the government's position, and always has been, that greedy corporations who owe no alliegance to the long term health of their consumers and in fact only owe alliegance to the shareholders, should regulate themselves.
'If we start making companies act morally, and sensibly, then economic growth will undoutedly slow. Like when we stripped out rights of being charged before being incarcerated or preventing unfair dismissal. Remember that? Remember when those silly civil rights stood in the way of 0.001% of economic growth? I remember that. It was a dark day.
'And it will be a dark day again when fatty mc fat fat kids lying bloated like a beachball trapped in the advertising feedback machine cannot know what latest fat soaked megatreat plus $0.02 toy is coming their way. Our economy would crumble and my political party, who relies on corporate donations since unlike the ALP is not primarially supported by its constiuency, the common people and workers, would suffer a loss in revenue. No, and no, and no.
'Besides, we're spending 6 million dollars this year on reminding kids to occassionally roll off the couch, and send their bloated ball bodies for a spin around the yard. After-all, since industry determines the amount of ads shown an hour, with the ratio of program to ads now a healthy 1:2, they'll have plenty of time in the ad break to get a few laps in.
'Before I go, I'd like to thank the sponsor of this press conference, Hungry Jacks, and remind people to try their King of Kings burger, featuring three patties, 10 slices of cheese, a shaved pig, two tubes of condensed lard, and a midget. Be the lord and master of your own burger dominion, and become a King of King Burger eater today. It's Mmmm-delicious.'