Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Ruddock ever so slowly slipping away

This just in. The reason why Hicks is having trouble with his solitary detention with nothing to read (apart from the Koran - for a religion he has apparently since given up), without seeing natural sunlight, in a room with the lights on for 22 hours a day for the past few months is ... he simply can't hack it.

"I don't hear most people who are detained in Australia are found to be unfit to plead simply because they've been detained. "Some people don't handle it well."

Well Phil 'former member of Amnesty International and now Howard government minister who turned Immigration into a cess pool of right wing dickheads and is trying to do the same in Attorney General's' Ruddock, this is what happens in solitary confinement with nothing to do when you stare at concrete walls for 95.8% of your day.

Even Supermaxes in the mainland US (where prisoners are not detained without charges and have access to the counsel of their choice) allow prisoners books and access to a fucking television set.

If you're curious, as Ruddock evidently is not, as to the impact on this form of detention check out the latest Time magazine which featured an article on it. It was described as 'torture without touch' and examined how prisoners who are treated this way become ... mentally damaged.

Of course Time magazine is only available at fine newsagents across the country so Ruddock might not be aware of its existance. Nor Downer. Nor the nice kind US media official who claimed that when they saw Hicks he was just super!

BTW - you can read the article here.

Oh Ruddock notes Hicks is allowed to mingle with other prisoners. He gets let out too so he can have a bit of a read. Presumably this all happens in the 60 minutes a day he's allowed out of his small cell.

When theWife and I were in Melbourne for Frandma's funeral we decided to check out the old Melbourne jail. The tiny cells were quite similiar to the ones Hicks inhabits - though of course far more comfortable. But it seems sticking a man in a cell and closing the door for days, weeks, months, years had a negative effect.

As per this charming 'did you know'...

Simpson Goodness!














Moe: How many people want Homer banned from this place for life?
Everyone: Yeah!
Homer: Aw, come on, everybody. This bar is like a tavern to me.
Moe: Sorry, Homer, you should have thought of that before you gave
me the old sugar-me-do. I'm taking your caricature down from
Mount Lushmore [does so] and I'm taking your favorite song out
of the juke box.
Homer: [gasps] "It's Raining Men"?
Moe: Yeah, not no more it ain't.
[tosses it out like a frisbee]
[it hits Smithers, who's driving a car]
Smithers: Ow! [checks title] Ooh!
[Homer gets tossed out]
Homer: Oh. Heh heh heh, joke's on them: I'm still alive.

From the episode Fear of Flying

A Blackadder Flashback - The Head

SCENE 4 (At the jails) -------

BA: Right, good morning team. My name is Edmund Blackadder and I'm the new minister in charge of religious genocide. Now, if you play straight with me you'll find me a considerate employer, but cross me and you'll find that under this playful boyish exterior beats the heart of a ruthless sadistic maniac. Now my man you are ?

MRP: Eh, jailor Sir, my Lord.

BA: Good, well done and your name is ?

MRP: Ploppy Sir.

BA: Ploppy ?

MRP: Yes Sir.

BA: Ploppy the jailor ?

MRP: That's right Sir. Ploppy son of Ploppy.

BA: Ploppy, son of Ploppy the jailor ?

MRP: Ah ach no Sir. I am the first Ploppy to rise to be jailor. My father, Daddy Ploppy was known as Ploppy the slopper. It was from him that I inherited my fascinating skin diseases.

BA: Yes you are to be congratulated, my friend, we, we live in an age where illness and deformity are common place and yet Ploppy, you are without a doubt the most repulsive individual that I have ever met. I would shake your hand but I fear it would come off.

MRP: There's no many bosses would be that considerate sir.

BA: Thank you Ploppy, I do my best. Now then woman. if indeed you are a woman, what is your function on death row ?

MRSP: I'm the last meal cook Sir. The prisoners may ask for what they fancy for there last meal.....

BA: And you cook for them what they desire ?

MRSP: Oh yes Sir, provided they ask for sausages. Otherwise they tend to get a tiny bit disappointed. Sausages is all I got.

BA: You are clearly a woman of principle and compassion mistress eh ?

MRSP: Ploppy Sir.

BA: Ah, so you are married to...

MRSP: No, many people think that but it's pure coincidence. We did laugh when first we found out. "Good morning" mistress Ploppy he'd say, and I'd say "good morning ..

MRP& MRSP: Mr. Ploppy" (both laugh)

BA: The long winter evenings must just fly by. Ah ! and you must be the boy who makes the tea ?

MRP: Ah no Sir, he's the executioner but he does sometime make the tea.

BA: Yes, and your name is ?

B: Baldrick my Lord, but I'll change it to Ploppy if it'll make things easier.

BA: No thank you. I can cope with more than one name. What are you doing here ?

B: Well, it's a hobby

MRSP: It would be more, more fun Sir if he were to change his name. Give the place a more family atmosphere.

BA: A family atmosphere ? This is meant to be a place of pain and misery and sorrow.

MRSP: That's what I mean Sir.

MRP: Eh, Mistress Ploppy is a bit of a social realist Sir.

BA: Now then, we're going to run a fast efficient operation and I intend to do as little work as possible. My deputy Percy here will explain.

P: Good afternoon staff, my name is Lord Percy and if you play fair by me you will find me a considerate employer, but if you cross me BY JOVE, you ...

BA: Just tell'em the plan duckface.

P: My Lord, not in front of the staff.

BA: Get on with it.

P: Right Staff, as you know we are scheduled to execute Drake and Ethingham on Monday, Lord Farrow on Wednesday and Buckingham and Ponsonby on Friday. But in order to give us the middle of the week off, Lord Blackadder has decided to move Farrow to Monday.

BA: Lets just say he's got time off for good behaviour.

(SCENE ENDS)

I do so love Percy's attempt to threaten the staff...

What's the deal with me spilling food before I meet this guy?

I had a meeting with the big boss today. Just before hand I ate a souvlaki from the canteen. I managed to squirt garlic juice down my shirt.

I was all keyed up to apologise for the stain and smell but forgot to. I hate to think what they thought.

This by the way is the same boss who I met on his first day when I was covered in egg.

Crikey for 31 Jan

Today's issue of Crikey was choc-o-block with some interesting stuff. If you're not a free subscriber (who get a selection of their articles) then sign up now; crikey.com.au

They have an article from a friend of Robert Jovicic, the ex petty crim and junkie who came here as a two year old and was deported to Serbia, sick without knowing the language, until Vanstone relented and let him come back provided he behaved himself. He has, but that's not good enough, and Andrews as his first 'who can I fuck over' action as Minister is set to re-deport him. How Christian of him.

An article from Antony Loewenstein explaining how his review of Carter's new book about the Palestinian issue was blocked by editor's at the Oz since it didn't fit in with their ideology.

An article on the US over reaction in the so called War on Terror.

A mention of that now nortorious Lancet study that claimed 600k had died since the invasion.

And other good stuff. Sign up to Crikey today!

Ah the Young Libs

Downer at their recent conference was apparently was in full lecturn thumping fury, wanking on about the left being traitors to the US-Australian alliance etc.

This caught my eye. From their policy statements - located here

The Young Liberal Movement of Australia:
1. Reaffirms its commitment to responsibly protecting the Australian environment
2. Supports the introduction of nuclear power as a clean alternative energy source
3. Recognises the lack of scientific consensus regarding both the existence and impact of man-made global warming
4. Recognises the problems inherent in the politicisation of scientific research
5. Calls upon the Federal Government to not take any action to address alleged man made global warming until there is conclusive scientific evidence of its existence.
6. Supports the Federal Government's current stance to not ratify the Kyoto Protocol.
7. Are a pack of science challenged twats whose only focus seems to be on the economic impact on their hedge funds of whatever merchant bank they join if the world dares address climate change.

Okay - I added that last one. I do SO love point 4. Pot-Kettle-Black

Wait - there is some more nuttiness! Hilarious. What will they come up with next?

4.5. COGNATE DEBATE – PRODUCT ADVERTISING
The Young Liberal Movement of Australia calls for an end to government legislation prohibiting tobacco advertising.

VIC

Supporting statement: Prohibitions on tobacco advertising are an insult to the intelligence of the ordinary Australian. These bans assume that individuals are not fit to make up their own minds on the benefit or otherwise of smoking, and need the government to make the decision for them. Tobacco advertising should have the right to compete with anti-smoking advertising, and the individual should be free to make up his own mind on the matter. Further, bans on tobacco advertising don't in fact have the effect of reducing smoking, but simply entrench the market share of existing brands. Cigarettes that may in fact be less harmful to health are prohibited from advertising this fact.

NSW
The Young Liberal Movement of Australia opposes a ban on junk food advertising.

Downer Treis Fuckwit

"Unlike the ALP we're not friends of Al'Qaeda, but if Hicks has been mistreated we'll look into it"

Or words to that effect. Fucking hell, what a git.

Ahh bugger it

I think I might turn moderation off. Who cares what some demented fuck-knuckle thinks. I will simply delete each of his comments in turn. But I will be fucked if thinks he can bully me into deciding whose blogs I read and comment on. Therefore that offending link stays linked as long as that blog exists. A blog I only linked to when said ants in his pants gibbered with glee and danced around like a fuckwit with pleasure reveling in the fact I had a sore botty.

Typical behaviour of a proto-fascist. I wonder when his next book burning will be?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Sorry about that

Guys, I've had to turn comment moderation on for the first time in my blogging life. I hate to do this and hopefully it will be just temporary. I apologise unreservedly for doing this. I am investigating what options I can take to avoid the need of having this on.

Mikey

It's an Emergency

We recently had another emergency at work. So us volunteer warden types manned the phones and such. We were in alert phase (pack up, get ready to go) and told to stand by.

Unfortunately people do not stand by. They walk by. In and out of lifts. Up and down stairwells. You tell them time and time again not to use them (they're for ER people and mobility impaired and for the fact that lifts need to be shut down in a real emergency lest people get fucking trapped). Yet they ignore you, or are openly dismissive of your plea.

So many people were using stairs/lifts I had to go downstairs and find out why.

The reason was simple. The wardens were understaffed and had failed to stick signs out saying there was an emergency, and failed to have anyone on the ground floor asking people to avoid using said lifts/stairs. So we did it ourselves. And man did we get some dark looks.

My favourite is when they're half way up or down (like the Grand Old Duke of York) and you say 'Oi' and they shrug and keep going.

Buckwheat naturally made an appearance, opening up the closed doors and blinking in that 'no one is at home' way she does. We told her off and she simply said 'Aw no one said I couldn't'. Which was true. No one actually had.

Unbelievable.

That's what you get for having a purely volunteer system where all you do is cop shit. No one wants to do it except civic minded morons like me.

Grrr.

My co-worker summed up the fuckwit types that ignore us the best.

'I'm more important than fire!'

Gold.

Capote

Finally saw Capote. Good movie. Excellent acting, chilling, life affirming at the same time as representing how fragile life is and how desire can make devils of us all.

As it got to the final gripping scene, in the warehouse, theWife, who was doing her Avon, asks me loudly 'You wanna feel my heat pack?' waving a love heart shaped mass of warming gel she'd just triggered.

She claims she did it on purpose. I think not.

Hendo on Hicks

Ah Gerard Henderson. Pointer Outerer of the Soft Left scourge which only he, and a handful of News Limited Journalists can detect. Former undeclared Liberal staffer. Who would have thought he would be rah rah, what happens to Hicks rawks.

Check out his "opinion" piece here.

Of course Hendo says it's a real shame the US hasn't been able to try him. But Hicks is dangerous!

I particularly love these bits he raised.

'There is no doubt that Hicks has been held for too long without trial. This is partly due to the notorious slowness of the United States legal system and also to the fact that some detainees have delayed the process by initiating legal action.'

Yes Hendo. How dare they challenge the manner in which they are legally detained in a US facility that is technically not US soil for the express purpose of removing this men from legal protections. Bought it on yourself you damn hippys!

And let's not forget this corker.

'If found guilty, Hicks's five years at Guantanamo Bay might be deemed to be sufficient punishment.'

BZZZZTTTT Hendo. If you'd read the news, instead of merely bleating right wing platitudes like usual, you'd know the US has come out - the prosecution no less - and said there is no official means to have 'time served' influence sending. Because he's 'detained'. Remember? Without charge. Fuckwit.

The US may consider his length of detention. There's nothing to say they will. Indeed considering they've been holding him this length of time, presumably to avoid the racist tag cause they got themselves a whitey too, without charge then all signs point to No.

Henderson. Never ever let facts get in the way of your own narrow right wing 'soft left are everywhere' views.

Oh Hendo, here's an idea. If you paid ABC and SBS people say similiar salaries to their commecial counterparts, do you think all the righties would swarm on to them? Might be worth a try. Why don't you pitch that idea to all the right wingers your bud Howard stacked the board with. You know, the Oz Genocide denier and Die in a Ditch and friends?

Ah the Culture Wars. Don'tcha just love it?

Monday, January 29, 2007

I found this confusing

Ruddock is saying a group shouldn't be banned because they haven't incited violence - despite the shrill protests of the NSW Attorney General.

And Ruddock is right! The representative was talking about the Islamic world in general. It's nothing to do with Oz. Sure, his views may be whacked but he hasn't broken the law by suggesting violence on our persons or troops.

The world is topsy turvy! I wonder what the angle is here... ?

Or am I that hateful of the Coalition that I immediately suspect even when they do sensible things that there's an agenda.

Probably.

Take that ignorant bigots

Is that tautology? Probably.

Shilpa Shetty wins Celebrity BB in the UK, inspite of the crap she received from others in the house for the crime of having an accent and being from another part of the world.

The beautiful thing about progressive cultures is when progressive people stand up and say 'attention fuckwads, picking on people for where they come from, how they speak, or what religion they practice is wrong.' Like in this case (RE voting public).

Unfortunately in Oz it's very much two steps forward one step back. But hopefully things will change around say the later half of this year?

Here's hoping.

Misrepresenting the views of others man!

Need we say more.

Say no to poo water

Ah Iemma. He's no Bob Carr. At least Bob Carr, while a media tart who fortunately had to suckle at the teat of Jones, was a smart pollie who knew when to reverse and accept reality of resource management. If he'd been in there'd be none of this nonsense.

Seriously, this is populism gone stoopid. Where does he think the water comes from? Water is recycled. All of it is. And considering plants can recycle effulent until it's good enough for dialysis then what is the issue?

Still he hasn't actually said 'no'. Just that it's operation De-Sal for now I believe. Which of course is a whacking great plant that needs Oodles of power to operate at its peak.

Apparently Sydney gets twice the rainfall of London yet collects half as much water on a per head basis. Why is that?

Kudos to Beattie for taking the bold step of actually saying 'we need to do this whether we like it or not'.

It's called governing.

UPDATE: To his credit Howard has backed full scale recycling of water as well - see here. I admit being suspicious and went and checked his website. But sure enough when Toowoomba said no he went on record by saying there was 'concern whipped up' about it and that he would have voted yes as a resident. So, credit where credit is due on that one.

UPDATE 2: Howard uses all decisions as a wedge for political benefit. That's what politicians do. He plays nasty, even when he's being nice (or doing the right thing), save on the odd rare occasion. So update one doesn't change shit all for me. I still think he's an odious little mean spirited thug.

Like bogus dude

According to Major Mori, Hicks' lawyer and a shining example of Americans doing their best to preserve a sense of freedom in a climate of 'look there goes a terrorist, vote for me', the charges against Hicksy will likely be bogus.

Hands up who is surprised.

(cue sound of millions of people putting their hands on the floor).

According to the article Hicks' living conditions are shithouse. Sure, better than a Saudi prison or a converted shipping container in Afghanistan, but then we'd have to compare ourselves to them fro that argument to make sense.

I still don't see how giving Hicks just a Koran to read and sticking him in a cell for 22 hours a day is productive. I mean, isn't reading the holy book that influences them so much to do silly things (according to the US and the right wing of bloggy land) going to simply reinforce things? I mean for fucks sake how about a magazine or two?

Quote of the day

"Hell, we buy fire insurance based on a 1 per cent chance," he said. "If we're going to be risk averse … we cannot dismiss the possibility of potentially catastrophic outliers and that includes Greenland and West Antarctica [ice sheets breaking up], massive species extinctions, intensified hurricanes and all those things. "There's at least a 10 per cent chance of that. And that to me for a society is too high a risk … My value judgement when you're talking about planetary life support systems is that 10 per cent, my God, that's Russian roulette with a Luger."

From the SMH article about the US wanting to build a giant space mirror instead of committing to being carbon friendly like almost the rest of the planet. A plan more than one person suggests is somewhat akin to the Simpson's episode where Mr Burns likewise builds a giant blocking device.

Of course needless to say the Luger analogy is flawed since one bullet in a luger has a 100% of firing since it's the last one in the pipe as it were but still, fair point. Oh wait, I think that was the point he was making...

Friday, January 26, 2007

More Employer Goodness

Tristar have been in the press lately for their ability to make the last few days of a terminally ill man that much worse by waiting for him to die so they can avoid a costly payout for a voluntary redundancy. They since paid it - after the new Workplace Relations minister Joe Hockey intervened.

But wait - there's more. Not only that, despite there being no work they are still paying people to come to work and do nothing because it's cheaper than paying them out and shutting up shop. They come, sit in an empty office/warehouse, and do nothing.

Ah the free market. Doncha just love it!?

See here

By the way, Joe Hockey, I feel sorry for you. Of all the coalition members you seemed to be the most human, the most accessiable - and from what I understand the most passionate about understanding your portfolio. I have heard nothing but good things about your work as human services minister as far as looking after your staff is concerned.

And now you've been given the kiss of death with the shittiest most fucking other people in the arse portfolio of the Howard government after Immigration. And given the next election will be fought on IR and Ozzers who didn't get their say in 04 will have it in spades in 07 there's a good chance you personally may politically suffer.

So in the words of a Sinaporean hanging judge may God have mercy on your soul.

Singapore continues its murderous rampage

And another two bite the dust. But hey, it's just a couple of dirty nig nogs right Singers? That's nothing. Plenty more where that came from.

I just do love Singapore's deterrence when it comes to the drug trade, killing anyone with 15+ grams of Heroin (that's about 2/3 of a milky way BTW). But it doesn't stop them trading with Burma one of the region's biggest drug pushers, especially the fruit salad covered generals who rule brutally with an iron fist.

Nice one Singapore. Way to prove you're a moral country.

Circumcision

Yes, I am a paid up member of the Helmet club.

Tonight the subject came up (tee hee). Various new parents asked those who might head down the parenting path their views.

Me? Well, I'm against it - even though I am a member of said club. But I was born in the 70's when I believe many Oz males were circumcised as a health measure. Because it is easier to keep clean. Apparently it also reduces HIV rates of infection in men in Africa as well.

That being said of course proper penile hygiene is such that should you peel back and scrub then really it's a moot point since this action will have all the benefits of the circumcision without the aforementioned loss of very sensitive skin in a rather fun place.

During the Vietnam war circumcision was one of the most popular means of getting offline from combat duties - since it meant being laid up for two weeks as it healed. It certainly beat shooting yourself in the foot (and was less dangerous since more than one serviceman lost their life in that manner when the bullet passed through their foot, ricochet off the ground and re-entered their body in a more vital place).

I asked my mum why they had me snipped - especially since the Doctor apparently told her at the time it was 'an unnecessary mutilation of the penis'. And tonight at dinner when I gave her response everyone seemed to find it most amusing.

'HM,' she said (using my real name obviously). 'It was because we knew that some day in the future you might be engaged in desert warfare'.

I kid you not. That's my mum - always thinking ahead.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Recollection of Australia Day

Miss Politics nicely points out that Australia Day of course is a pretty crap holiday to celebrate since, like the recent DICing of Immigration, it basically is a day that a segment of our populace (and it wasn't even ours when it happened), got well fucked on.

Look in my opinion it wasn't anything unique about the British settlement experience that caused Kooris et al to be fucked on. It would have happened under any European settlement program. Indeed if it had been the Belgians it would have been far worse I suspect. But fact is white settlement of this country killed an indigenous people. Not completely, but it ripped its guts out and left it to die, and tried to assimilate what was left. And when that didn't work it threw it money at the problem and didn't Snowy Scheme to fix the problem like it should have done (no, I don't mean tens of thousands of middle and east European war refugee settlers coming in to build towns - I mean a whole of government big focus approach to resolving intractable issues concerning a very damaged section of our populace as opposed to 'fire and forget' welfare that swapped out living in a dirt camp with no money with living in a dirt camp with alcohol and a dead end life).

I take Australia day in the spirit in which most of us take it. It's a day off work. And if anyone ever pushed to relocate a national day of spirit to say federation then it's likely people will grumble since Jan 1 is already a public holiday and god forbid we may lose it. No joke, that was one of the arguments the monarchists put up in the Republic debate that it would be adios Queen's Birthday (which isn't even on her birthday - I think it was Queen Victoria's).

I remember reading a Batman comic in 1988 whose story line featured Batman chasing down a supernatural criminal stealing Aboriginal artefacts from the Gotham museum - or some such. Turns out the crim was a Koori witch doctor (or whatever they're called in dreamtime mythos) attempting to reclaim these items for his people. Batman let him go.

I remember the last panel of the comic was Batman looking at the smashed in window of a travel agent where there was a large poster enticing visitors to celebrate Oz's BD. 'Happy 200th Australia' it proclaimed loudly in bright colours.

The Koori had crossed out the "200th Australia" bit and wrote instead "40,000 years to the people".

I remember sneering at the time and thinking 'what do they know?'

In retrospect that was a very powerful and moving image that conveyed the hurt and pain of a lot of people in a meaningful and accessible way.

Like Columbus day in the states, celebrating the end of an old culture with the arrival of the dominant new is nothing to embrace. We should ditch it and go with something far more worthy of being embraced. And fellow Ozzers if that means we lose a hol, then, well so be it. Because I would rather work than go out with a flag tatt and wave a large piece of cloth that's 25% Britain and rejoice in the fact that on this day, some 218 years ago, 11 ships arrived that spelled death and misery for many hundreds and thousands of Australians whose ancestors had been there as long as modern man had been alive.

By the way, if you want to see me at my rantiest, check out my rant that appeared about this time last year RE our incredibly shit national anthem. Grrr, it still makes me mad. And I defy anyone else to find another national anthem that has the word 'Girt' in it.

Did anyone see the Deputy laid the law down to the Sheriff?

Howard came out and said if Hicks wasn't charged within a month he'd be most cross. Fortunately he's been briefed by the US that let slip that Hicksy should be charged by mid Feb, which I assume means it is actually going to happen this time since Howard has actually given a time frame.

Goody! Can't wait. Bummer for Hicks is that under the kangaroo court of military khaki, time served does not auto count towards a sentence. So if he risks copping guilty just so he can get the fuck out of there - and who would blame him? - then he may find that he gets more time ladled on. Then it's off presumably to Fort Leavenworth for him to serve out his additional time.

I wish him luck. By the way I am not a Hicks lover like those on the right scream and gibber about. ie that because there are some of us (including 99% of lawyers) that think he's fucked on therefore we love terrorists (the same logic Bush used in November 2006 when he claimed a vote for the opposition was a vote for Bin Laden). No, not that at all. Hicks has become a symbol of what happens when governments go too far, both in determination not to let the side down again (RE S11) as well as using a national tragedy to feather their political nests.

Indeed. Let's not forget that if S11 had not happened there's a good chance Beazo would have got in back in 2001. Even with Tampa.

Does anyone else find it strange too that Howard has been OS twice now in countries - western countries - when terrorist evil has occurred? S11 and the London bombings both.

Just where did he walk to on those mornings... ?

HM makes a patented uh oh

Today at the pre Oz Day morning tea at work, just as I was about to leave, I noticed the food on offer was all your stereotypical whitey food. ie Timtams, SAOs, Fairy Cakes etc.

So as I left I said 'Glad to see the absence of non-whitey food as per recommendations from DIC'.

Tumbleweed.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Remembering Phil Hartman

TheWife bought the first two seasons of News Radio. We've been watching it today.

Phil Hartman was stand out member of SNL, on the Simpsons, and of course a star of News Radio. In 1998 his wife killed him and herself.

He was one of the piss funniest comedic actors of his time. And alas the SNL cast curse (being the statistical increase of death akin to something on day 1008 in Iraq) got to him and he died an untimely death.

Someone on YT put up a tribute. Also see this URL here. I've never seen this skit - but it looks hilarious - see the wiki for the Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer.




Also see this one. From his brief but scene stealing scene in So I Married an Axe Murderer.

Edgy fundraiser re-branding deemed ‘too out there’

The Australian Parkinson foundation today rejected a ‘balls to the wind’ approach to fundraising that rested on the premise of making fun of afflicted celebrities.

The pitch, led by Zot of Zotluuder, a firm of twenty something’s self labelled “advertising gurus”, resulted in an uncomfortable silence from the panel which only ended when one of them mustered the courage to thanks Zot and his team for their time ‘and energy’ but that it just wasn’t something they were looking for.

‘Okay right picture this,’ had Zot said at the start of the meeting, furiously wiping away the faint remnant of the snoot of coke he’d had in the lift on the way up from his moustacheless goatee. ‘Bobble heads – you know you see them in cars – only bobble heads of Parkinson afflicted celebs. Ali, Fox, Hepburn. Bobbing away reflecting their crippling disease with the slogan ‘is this how you want to be remembered?’ Wow, is that insane or what?’

Zot then said the TV campaign could feature the afflicted attempting to order something from a drive through and a ‘bored teen – to get in the 17-25 demographic’ could have difficulty in understanding them over the speaker.

‘Well can I can I can I have a a a a a cheese burger,’ said Zot in a passable Hepburn impression while waving his head about.

The panel raised the fact that Hepburn did not suffer Parkinson’s and that she actually had a condition called Essential Tremors but Zot dismissed it as the members as being ‘too factually grounded’.

Zot said diseases needed to be ‘in people’s faces’ and ‘taken to the extreme’, and that Fox’s recent courageous decision to have ads of himself filmed without having taken medication to control his disease that was later mocked by right wing pundits in the US, needed to be ‘taken into the end zone and spiked like a mofo’.

Zot said he was ‘disappointed’ at the panel’s decision not to use humour to get the message of Parkinson’s fundraising across via mockery of public figures with the disease and said they would regret their decision.

‘Hey man, no use hiding your condish. You have to embrace it man. And I’d hate to be the man to tell the shaking man there’s no cash in the till for an anti spasm neck brace or whatever. After-all, didn’t Steady Eddie teach us that to laugh at a cripple is, in it’s own way, healing?’

Zot then said ‘Westside’ a few dozen times before taking his crew out for some afternoon base jumping.


Left: Mock up of bobble head model by Zotluunder.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Andrews Welcomes Change to Refresh Evil

Kevin Andrews, dour fake-Christian, said he welcomed the reshuffle that led him from Workplace Relations to Immigration.

'Too long I have been stagnating in Workplace Relations, having bought in 700 pages of legislation that seriously removed the workplace rights of many Australians a year ago and now just biding my time as I tinker at the edges. Now I have been tapped on the shoulder to get my teeth into the real business of fucking on other people, Immigration. Detention centers, razor wire, electric fences - oh my!'

Mr Andrews said that he couldn't wait to break ground at the latest concentration camp or refuse to sign ministerial overrides that released people from grave injustices or outright fuckups by his departmental officers.

'Oh happy days are here again!' said Andrews, his face almost creasing into what could be considered a smile.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Even better than a sticker machine

TheWife and I have this tradition where if one of us was at an airport we'd use the sticker machine and mail the stickers home. I did this for a few of my working interstate trips and theWife would stick the stickers on her monitor at work. She would then change desks leaving pics of me behind in her wake.

We also used to stick them on the trays on the back of plane seats (hee hee).

When we were in Melbourne we noticed a new type of machine. A drawing machine! Some bright sparks had set up a sticker machine so it would actually "sketch" a portrait. ie render a photo with some software so it looked like it was actually drawn. You could choose from four artists of long ago. We chose Raphael I think.

We actually look pretty good. Not bad for six bucks.

When we were on our honeymoon many moons ago we got one of those portrait in the mall jobs - you know the old Japanese guy surrounded by pics and he'd stick your heads on a pre-photocopied setting like a dinner suit and wedding dress.

We should get it framed. It rawked.

Anyway, looking for a cheapie kitsch way of expressing your love? Then the portrait machine is good at six bucks.

Except of course it's a tad more noticeable if thewife sticks it on a monitor at work then leaves it there when she changes desks...

Gitmo - the UK goes a calling

Ah Gitmo, it's goodness keeps going. Here's the executive summary of the recent UK select committee following its visit there. It raises some interesting points. Bearing in mind of course this is an escorted visit with PR people in attendance and the US presenting the absolute best face forward.

I do love the bit that says 'well their health and diet is looked after but it fails the minimum standard for the UK in every other respect'. Funny that - what when you're in a place that allows no access to legal assistance.

Point 9 raises a good point in that it says 'hey they're being treated unfairly but well the first duty of government is to ensure safety of their citizens.' Which is a fair point. It also says it should be closed as soon as possible. It should also be noted that the US closed its secret illegal CIA prisons and shipped some 14 inmates to Gitmo that likewise probably had something to do with terror activities, S11, planning and so forth. Again, a tricky situation to risk manage. I don't envy them. But let's not forget the first line of point 9 being 'We conclude, in line with our previous Reports, that those detained at Guantánamo must be dealt with transparently and in full conformity with all applicable national and international law.'

This of course doesn't change the fact that Gitmo was, and remains, a slap in the face in the legal tradition of the west. And for those that harp on about changing paradigms again all that changed was one of the nastier plots succeeded - like I said before - almost in spite of itself. We have essentially a situation where the police are prosecution, defence, judges and where evidence can be used that doesn't cut the mustard anywhere else. There's a reason after all the first military commissions were deemed unconstitutional.

I agree the Geneva convention should be upgraded to cover this grey spot RE combatants of this nature, how they can be detained, what for etc. But let's not forget the US approach to previous international criminal conventions is to run screaming the other direction along with the more unsavoury nation states like Libya and Saudi Arabia, so I hardly think they're going to come to the table in the spirit of what these changes require.

Another interesting point. Jeb Bush - according to his wiki - successfully petitioned Bush I to pardon a known Cuban nationalist terrorist in the early 90s who was likely involved in the deaths of hundreds of people. But hey - we're talking killing commies (some women and children) - so surely that don't count?

You can find the report here

Conclusions and recommendations

1. We conclude that the Government was right to ensure that persons detained by UK Armed Forces in Afghanistan and transferred to the Afghan authorities cannot be further transferred to the authority of another state, or detained in another country, without the prior written agreement of the United Kingdom. We recommend that the Government in its response to this Report state whether the requirement for such prior written agreement would apply to the transfer to Guantánamo Bay of any person originally detained by UK Armed Forces in Afghanistan including any who may be transferred directly or indirectly to US Forces or agencies. We further recommend that the FCO also set out in its response what steps it is taking to ensure that those detained by UK Armed Forces in other countries cannot be transferred to Guantánamo Bay without the prior written agreement of the United Kingdom.
(Paragraph 5)

2. We conclude that, having visited both Guantánamo and Belmarsh, the facilities at Guantánamo are broadly comparable with those at the United Kingdom’s only maximum security detention facility, but the conditions are not. Guantánamo scores highly on diet and on health provision; but it fails to achieve minimum United Kingdom standards on access to exercise and recreation, to lawyers, and to the outside world through educational facilities and the media. (Paragraph 46)

3. We conclude that publication of the US Army Field Manual for Human Intelligence Collector Operations is a very positive development. We recommend that the Government work both bilaterally and through international fora to press the US Administration to ensure that its interrogation practices do not contravene international law. (Paragraph 55)

4. We conclude that abuse of detainees at Guantánamo Bay has almost certainly taken place in the past, but we believe it is unlikely to be taking place now. Although violence and low-level abuse are endemic in any high-security prison situation, it is the duty of the detaining authority to strive to its utmost to minimise them. We recommend that the Government continue to raise with the United States authorities human rights concerns about the treatment of detainees. (Paragraph 70)

5. We conclude that, in choosing unilaterally to interpret terms and provisions of the Geneva Conventions, the United States risks undermining this important body of international law. (Paragraph 83)

6. We conclude that, by its own test, the Government should recognise that the Geneva Conventions are failing to provide necessary protection because they lack clarity and are out of date. We recommend that the Government work with other signatories to the Geneva Conventions and with the International Committee of the Red Cross to update the Conventions in a way that deals more satisfactorily with asymmetric warfare, with international terrorism, with the status of irregular combatants, and with the treatment of detainees. (Paragraph85)

7. We conclude that the Government is right to stick to its established policy of not accepting consular responsibility for non-British nationals. We recommend that the Government maintain its current position with respect to the return to the United Kingdom of the former British residents presently detained at Guantánamo Bay. (Paragraph 92)

8. We conclude that, although some aspects of the Military Commissions Act are welcome, others give cause for concern. We welcome the Government’s undertaking to study the procedures proposed by the Act. We recommend that the Government carry out that study without delay and that it share the full findings of the study with this Committee. If the Government’s study finds that the procedures proposed in the Military Commissions Act or in any subsequent elaboration are inconsistent with international law or human rights norms, it should make strong representations to the United States Administration. (Paragraph 103)

9. We conclude, in line with our previous Reports, that those detained at Guantánamo must be dealt with transparently and in full conformity with all applicable national and international law. But we recognise too, as we have before, that many of those detained present a real threat to public safety and that all states are under an obligation to protect their citizens and those of other countries from that threat. At present, that obligation is being discharged by the United States alone, in ways that have attracted strong criticism, but we conclude that the international community as a whole needs to shoulder its responsibility in finding a longer-term solution. We recommend that the Government engage actively with the US Administration and with the international community to assist the process of closing Guantánamo as soon as may be consistent with the overriding need to protect the public from terrorist threats. (Paragraph 116)

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Is it me, or does this piece of luggage fully look like a frog?

Lock Out

We were looking after pets for some friends who had kindly offered us the use of their house while they were away - their having a thing I like to call insulation along with air conditioning.

We went around with our various things intent on a cool night when we found we couldn't get into the house as one of the keys had seized in a door handle. After an hour of tugging and trying to slide a flattened coke bottle up between the handle's tongue and the divot in the frame we gave up and called a locksmith.

He came around within about 40 minutes and proceeded to alas break the handle to allow entry. I asked him if he'd ever had a call out for people who'd been naked outside their house and the door had shut behind them.

'Oh,' he said. 'Yeah tons of times.'

'Still naked when you get there?' said I.

'Sometimes, but they usually find something to cover up with. Once I came to a job where a guy was wearing a box around his waist.'

'Was it hard to not laugh?' I asked.

'Too hard. I pissed myself. He laughed too.'

Ahh, that was almost worth the money for the call out.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

More religious based political hilarity

Fresh on the heels of silly men with moustachless beards wanking on about Jihad and causing tabloid shows to immediately suggest all Muslims feel that way, we have Howard spruiking for Catch The Fire ministries, a Christian organisation who frequently blasts Islam as a great evil to the extent that they got taken to court under vilification laws (which by the way, I don't agree with because it's an attack on free speech).

Costello also wrote letters of support according to the Age article.

I do just love it when pollies attack a particular faith, but see nothing wrong in supporting other twisted versions of religions like Catch The Fire and the Exclusive Brethren (who spent $370,000 on supporting the Howard government in the 2004 election despite the fact their faith doesn't allow them to vote).

You see the difference is Australia was settled by Christians. Well, actually, it wasn't. It was settled by a different ethnic grouping some 50,000 years ago whose animist belief structure was the religion of choice. Okay, it was euro-settled by Christians - not Muslims. Christians who made this country what it is to day - complete with the almost wholesale eradication of native peoples.

Wouldn't Muslims have done the same HM had they transported thousands here and given the natives diseases and poisoned flour and what not? Well, no, considering that Islam was spread mostly through trade and in fact in Indonesia it ended up as a hybrid with the local animist faith there.

But, anyway, the point is this. Separation of church and state is obviously a silly theory that should be abandoned. Because in our past many Australians were practicing Christians (even if it wasn't the 'be nice to people' but 'there goes a Catholic/Protestant let's get them' variety), ergo now we should be entitled to have conservative politicians use it to their political advantage even when they slag off other religions.

Does anyone else feel a drift to the US way of things? ie you find it hard to get elected if every third word isn't Jesus? Least the 2006 election proved that this is not always the case. And even the evangelicals are seeing that the impending environmental changes are not the ones laced with red heifers that they've been hoping for and are actually doing something about it. However, that's not the case of course over here since the Exclusive Brethren hate everything the Greens stand for.

Friday, January 19, 2007

The Coalition are now starting to resemble Spaceballs RE Hicks

Dark Helmet: What the hell am I looking at? When does this happen in the movie?
Colonel Sandurz: Now. You're looking at now sir. Everything that happens now, is happening now.
Dark Helmet: What happened to then?
Colonel Sandurz: We passed then.
Dark Helmet: When?
Colonel Sandurz: Just now. We're at now, now.
Dark Helmet: Go back to then!
Colonel Sandurz: When?
Dark Helmet: Now.
Colonel Sandurz: Now?
Dark Helmet: Now!
Colonel Sandurz: I can't.
Dark Helmet: Why?
Colonel Sandurz: We missed it.
Dark Helmet: When?
Colonel Sandurz: Just now.
Dark Helmet: When will then be now?
Colonel Sandurz: Soon.










Check out Dom Knight of the Chaser's views on Hicks here RE the new "rules" that allow Hearsay evidence and don't allow Defence military cleared personnel access to all the classified information used by the prosecution. Unfucking believable.

Wait, no. Completely fucking believable given the cockwads in power in the US and over here.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

What a f_ckwit

Is it me or does Burning Crusade sound like a medical problem?

"Yes doctor, I'm ... I'm suffering a slight case of ... er ... (whispers) Burning Crusade."

"I see, take your pants off and lets look at it ... yes, that's nasty. Here's a prescription for a steroid cream".

Holy Crap - putting stupid booners on TV reveals them as stupid booners

Just touching on the reports of naked racism on the BB UK 07 against Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty. I was checking the wiki on it - found here.

Anyway, BB in the UK, like here, is typically jam packed with barely functional as human beings vapid empty headed fuckholes (the exception being "Timmy" who came second in 05 - nipped at the post by the pretty boy twins who, one of them being on the outside, simply spent their yet to be awarded money in ensuring they'd win).

From the above wiki this is what has been alleged.

* Jade Goody's mother, Jackiey, repeatedly referred to Shilpa as "the Indian" while she was on the show because she refused to pronounce her name.

* Jack Tweed allegedly called Shilpa Shetty a "fucking Paki" though Channel 4 has stated that he called her a cunt, not a Paki.

* On Days 11 and 12, Danielle Lloyd and Jo O'Meara poked fun at Shilpa's accent.

* Jo implied that all Indians were thin because they were always ill as a result of undercooking their food because she believed Shilpa undercooked a chicken meal.

* Referring to Shilpa using hair bleaching cream on her face, Danielle said "she's trying to make her face look white."

* In an argument between Jade and Shilpa, as witnessed by Danielle and Jo, Jade was derogatory about India by referring to Shilpa as a 'princess of Neverland'.

* After an argument between Shilpa and Jade, witnessed by a giggling Jo and Danielle, Danielle recommended Shilpa "just fuck off home".. Danielle later apologised in the Diary Room after Big Brother questioned her on the comment.

* After an argument between Jade and Shilpa, Jade referred to Shilpa's sari as "a duvet"

* According to Sky News Goody also allegedly told Shetty to "go back to the slums".

Really, no surprises. This is what you get when you have a bunch of ill educated fuckwits whose motivation is a short cut from their miserable existence to a brief flutter of flame where if they're lucky they'll be wanking off a boar on another reality TV show a year later.

No, I am not being anti poor. No, I am not being elitist. I am just pointing out that like a computer program rubbish in is rubbish out. If you continually choose the mediocre over the meritorious. The knuckle dragging barely literate fuckwit over the erudite. Promote less than average as desirable, then yes, unthinking racism on television is going to happen.

But HM - you just said fuckwits and fuckholes - you're as bad as they are! Ha! Damn! You're right. To the diary room!

By the way,
Shilpa Shetty? Wow - now that is a good looking person. The irony is of course according to the wiki she's the favourite to win. Does that undercut my argument that having stupid people on telly means they say stupid things? No, not really. There's a reason why "Timmy" did so well - it's because intelligent people like 'theWife' who watches these shows passionately actually want to vote for someone worthy of it. Except she didn't like Timmy and was in fact a Vesna booster. Boooooooooo!

UPDATE: Astonishgly it's Celebrity Big Brother UK 2007 - though half of them seem to be former reality show made famous types. So my 'brief flutter of flame' still holds true since most of them are C listers craving TV "goodness" once more.

UPDATE 2: Not only was Leo Sayer a contestant, apparently he escaped out a fire door after they refused to give him clean underdaks. I wouldn't feel like dancing on a day 10 pair either.

UPDATE 3: "Face" from the fucking A-Team is on. Apparently he arrived in a replica van to the theme music while smoking a cigar. Hi-larious.

A review of a place to eat in Civic - by HM

Myself, the Bevester, his brother and a co-worker went to King O'Malley's today for lunch. I've been there for food once before.

It was quiet, and we sat inside in the AC comfort.

I had the steak burger.

Anyway, the service was great, nice atmosphere, the food was delicious and when I ordered a Guinness shandy they didn't bat an eyelid or make fun of me. Plus at the urinal they have the front and back page of a Newspaper to read as you're having a piss. It's either that or 'dob in your mate if he's a wife beater'.

The Newspaper was alas the Daily Tele with it's 'Whoops - dodgy vicar in oil price scandal' fucked up semi-fleet street bullshit but hey it's at least like I said something to read.

Yeah - that's just nutty

TT [Today Tonight] of course has launched into this fiercely, and some fuckwit from 2GB is shrieking about taking his citizenship off from him just because he has some fucked up views (Pauline Hanson ever get threatened with that? We are in danger of being swamped by Asians? I recall Howard's effort was 'I don't agree with her'{Homer aside: I do}'But she is entitled to give her views.'

Anyway, this "Sheik", clearly has some issues. Especially in regard to Jews - which is fucked up. He's a twat of the highest order. But typically TT has gone the soft hint that 'that makes two MUSLIM clerics who have insane ideas' like they're going through the list of Oz Islamic leaders and noting which one is naughty (and not who is nice - because that's not news). And given the typical fuckwit that watches TT once again that reinforces stupid people thinking 'X thinks this', 'X is a Y', 'Therefore Y's think this way'.

But HM - you just watched TT! I did - but I heard theWife was channel flipping as I was reading the SMH story so I turned it on to see how they would treat it. Was I surprised? No I was not.

Anyway, back to the SMH story (and no - I don't agree with Rudd - he hasn't incited terrorism in the legal sense of it - as far as I understand it. His level of racist bullshit is about that of your typical 'No Tabouli' or 'we grew here, you flew here' from those Cronulla beach fuckwits). The photo of the Sheik reminded me of something.

First the Sheik.














It's Teen Wolf! He's back, in angry distorted Islamic pog form!














Update: There's a story on Big Brother from UK. The hilarious voice over was 'we've come to expect stupidity and vulgarity from Big Brother' then 'Now they've added racism to their show'. HA! That's the pot calling the kettle black. TT is the worst show in Oz for that sort of mindless abusive distorted overly emotionalised bullshit. That and they just ran an anti-Muslim story like two minutes before!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Life of Brian - 'Nail 'em up I say'.

The 'Nail 'em up I say' shorthard for Laura Norder types comes from LoB. Ah Life of Brian. How I remember the first time I saw you and honestly thought I was going to laugh so hard that vital organs would escape out my mouth.





(BRIAN wakes up with a smile on his face to find himself being dragged along a
cell corridor by TWO GUARDS. The horrible figure of the JAILER spits at him
and flings him into a dark damp cell, slamming the iron grate behind him and
turning the key hollowly in the lock. BRIAN slumps to the floor. A voice
comes out of the darkness behind him.)

BEN: You LUCKY bastard!
BRIAN: (spins around and peers into the gloom): Who's that?

(In the darkness BRIAN just makes out an emaciated figure, suspended on the
wall, with his feet off the ground, by chains round his wrists. This is BEN.)

BEN: You lucky, lucky bastard.
BRIAN: What?
BEN (with great bitterness): Proper little gaoler's pet, aren't we?
BRIAN: (ruffled) What do you mean?
BEN: You must have slipped him a few shekels, eh?
BRIAN: Slipped him a few shekels!? You saw him spit in my face!
BEN: Ohh! What wouldn't I give to be spat at in the face! I sometimes hang
awake at nights dreaming of being spat in the face.
BRIAN: Well, it's not exactly friendly, is it? They had me in manacles ...
BEN: Manacles! Oooh....
(his eyes go quite dreamy)
My idea of heaven is to be allowed to be put in manacles ... just for a
few hours. They must think the sun shines out of your arse, sonny!
BRIAN: Listen! They beat me up before they threw me in here.
BEN: Oh yeah? The only day they don't beat me up is on my birthday.
BRIAN: Oh shut up.
BEN: Well, your type makes me sick! You come in here, you get treated like
Royalty, and everyone outside thinks you're a bloody martyr.
BRIAN: Oh, lay off me ... I've had a hard time!
BEN: YOU'VE had a hard time! Listen, sonny! I've been here five years and
they only hung me the right way up yesterday!
BRIAN: All right! All right!
BEN: I just wish I had half your luck. They must think you're Lord God
Almighty!
BRIAN: What'll they do to me?
BEN: Oh, you'll probably get away with crucifixion.
BRIAN: Crucifixion!
BEN: Yeah, first offense.
BRIAN: Get away with crucifixion!
BEN: Best thing the Romans ever did for us.
BRIAN: (incredulous) What?
BEN: Oh yeah. If we didn't have crucifixion this country would be in a right
bloody mess I tell you.
BRIAN: (who can stand it no longer) Guard!
BEN: Nail 'em up I say!
BRIAN: (dragging himself over to the door) Guard!
BEN: Nail some sense into them!
GUARD: (looking through the bars) What d'you want?
BRIAN: I want to be moved to another cell.
(GUARD spits in his face.)
BRIAN: Oh! (he recoils in helpless disgust)
BEN: Oh ... look at that! Bloody favouritism!
GUARD: Shut up, you!
BEN: Sorry! Sorry!
(he lowers his voice)
Now take my case. I've been here five years, and every night they take
me down for ten minutes, then they hang me up again ... which I regard
as very fair ... in view of what I done ... and if nothing else, it's
taught me to respect the Romans, and it's taught me that you'll never
get anywhere in life unless you're prepared to do a fair day's work for
a fair day's pay ...
BRIAN: Oh ... Shut up!
(CENTURION approaches cell door with two soldiers, starts unlocking door)
CENT: Pilate wants to see you.
BRIAN: Me?
CENT: Come on.
BRIAN: Pilate? What does he want to see me for?
CENT: I think he wants to know which way up you want to be crucified.
(He laughs. The TWO SOLDIERS smirk. BEN laughs uproariously.)
BEN: ... Nice one, centurion. Like it, like it.
CENT (to BEN): Shut up!
(BRIAN is hustled out. The door slams.)
BEN (to himself): Terrific race the Romans ... terrific.

Another awesome SMH article - desertion of the heartland

Elizabeth Farrelly is the SMH architecture columnist. But unlike many, she can give life to sometimes dusty subject. Her command of language is just fuck off incredible.

Check out her article on the migration to the coast, and the twinned outcome of democracy in action with poor planning.

Here's a snip

That's the inland. But the peri-urban coastal communities' effect on Australia's periphery is, if anything, more pronounced. Numbers-wise, the main drift is city bound. But the main impact undeniably is on unspoilt beaches, fishing villages and small coastal towns that were once scattered on the coast and are now vanishing under the avalanche of canal estates, shopping malls and epidemic McMansionism that runs from Mandurah to Esperance, from the Yorke Peninsula to the Coorong and from Bega to Coffs.

Who is shifting? Not, contrary to popular belief, superannuated refugees but, on the whole, the relatively young (in 2001, 80 per cent of seachangers were under 50) escaping the jobless inland for the great coastal 'burb. You can see why they want it. More difficult is understanding why any government would see the peri-urban coastal communities - unsustainable, obesogenic, mall-fed and hopelessly car-based - as an OK option.

Anyway - see the rest here.

Teach them something to remember

I read this article in the SMH today. Really resonated. It's about the teaching of history and how students engage with the material. See it here.

This bit really stuck out for me.

In the lessons of social history lie many guidelines for the future. After horrific murders, such as the Port Arthur massacre, some sections of the community clamour for a return of the death penalty. But students of colonial history and convict transportation are among those who shrink in horror at such a thought. If such legislation was ever mooted, we would know to ask about the agenda behind it. In Britain in the 1820s more than 220 crimes were punishable by death, including such dreadful deeds as cutting down trees in an avenue but not in a street. This had been legislated by the landed classes, whose focus was to protect their property and assets. It wouldn't happen today, some would argue. But are we all happy about some of the recent "terrorist" legislation? Students of history would also know to ask whether the judgement of "death" would be an arbitrary decision or a mandatory ruling. Under the old British laws, the theft of goods worth 40 shillings or more merited a death sentence, so judges and juries convicted some malefactors of stealing goods worth only 39 shillings. Need we ask who would more often receive such beneficence - a nubile maiden or a menacing thug? And historians know that these juries found some offenders innocent because they didn't want them to hang, or guilty because they didn't like them. That wouldn't happen today, some would say. But what about Lindy Chamberlain?

Fortunately both major parties, and almost every minor party (cough One Nation cough), is against the reintroduction of the death penalty in Oz, despite dog whistling by Howard now and then with his pious 'well, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas' when it comes to offing non Australians. I'd say in part one of the reasons why the death penalty was discontinued - and against popular polling at the time - was the fact that being intimate with the law - as they were in creating them - and for many in administering it as having been lawyers in their non pollie days - they realised the potential for the ultimate fuck up - the death of an innocent. Especially since Ronald Ryan had shades of 'miscarriage' about it.

Hugh Mackay put it like this in the recent strangely not on the web article RE Saddam. This is paraphrased.

'You don't rape a rapist. You don't crash the car of a car stealer. You don't break into the house of a house breaker. So why kill a killer?'

Especially, as Mackay noted, since in prison they are removed from the possibility of killing again*'


Revenge seems to be at the core of the pro-death penalty people. And fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of change, fear of difference. Whiter than whites living a whiter than white life with no understanding or experience of the social cauldron that can set the stage where homicide is far more likely. Then in moral outrage pronouncing these people should die. In all honesty I bet there would be some Australians of the 'Nail 'em up' school that, like a morbidly obese Texan whose only experience of a black or brown person is a domestic or squeegee holder, would volunteer to perform it themselves.

Saddam's half brother was hanged yesterday. This one was botched too. His entire head came off.

Anyway, like I have said before. My belief is the death penalty is always wrong. Always. It cheapens life as death begats death. Like I said, feel different, but please spare me your fucked up arguments because I know them all and I reject all of them.

*What if they escaped? What if they got parole and went on a murder spree?! Won't someone please think of the children?**

** What if they were innocent and the state killed them. In all honesty, which do you think is more likely?

Babel

Went and saw Babel tonight at the new Dendy that has opened up in civic. The theatre is nice - comfie seats, though the Candy bar service was a little slow (yeah, I know, that doesn't matter but it still annoyed me).

Babel is kick arse. It's one of those movies that's like a discordant violin jarring in the background. Emotionally taught, fraying. It really left me feeling jittery.

The success I think in the film is the sense of reality. Because it's interlinked stories there's no dramatic traditional plot as such, just a series of events that the characters experience. You forget you're watching a movie after a while, which is a sign of excellence.

So out of pi*, I give it a 3.1.


*NERD!

Hey kid, ever seen a dead body?

Today on my way back from work I was cutting across the small nature reserve near the office (my having parked in the overflow street as I was late), when I smelled an awful rotting odour. It was a dead something.

So I decided to put on my investimigating shoes and see if I could find it. I honestly thought 'fuck, it could be a body'. And the smell was so bad it seemed to me whatever it was, it would have to be big.

Moving through the tinder dry underbrush in 35 degree heat as the death stink grew stronger I had visions of having to call the cops and hang around stopping people from interferring with the crime scene.

I need not have worried. Turned out it was a big grey roo. Probably the size of a 10 year old boy. I suspect it came down from the surrounding bush and got grazed by a car, then hopped into the reserve where it died.

I wonder whose responsible for getting rid of it? I shall once more wear some investimigating shoes and find out.

On a lighter note as I was waiting in traffic I played my 'turning green' guessing game. It's where I think the moment it goes green then dramatically point at the light as if I knew all along. Not only was I wrong but on the follow through with the hand point I knocked my glasses onto the dash. I had to frantically jam them on before the light actually went green.

I am a stupid head.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Washington Post—The Imperial Presidency by Dahlia Lithwick

Check out this article in the Washington Post. It examines the nature of the Bush Cheney whitehouse and that Gitmo and the massive assault on civil liberties in the US was not about terrorism but rather more about giving the executive as much fucking power as possible. That the legal trickery they used to avoid challenge to what they were doing was not so they could keep insurgents or enemy combatants safely detained without charge but to enable the executive to detain people without charge in the future.

This need to preserve new legal ground also explains the continued operation of the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. Last week marked the fifth anniversary of the camp that -- as then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld claimed in 2002 -- houses only "the worst of the worst." Now that more than half of them have been released (the best of the worst?) and even though only about 80 will ever see trials, the camp remains open. Why? Civil rights groups worldwide and even close U.S. allies such as Denmark, England and Germany clamor for its closure.

See the rest here

Time Magazine - Good General, Bad War

This is an excellent article by Joe Klein that appeared in the recent newstand copy of Time magazine. It's basically a snapshot of how the US side of the occupation of Iraq should have gone had it been applied theatre wide instead of kyboshed by armchair fuckwits like 'smart bombs' Rumsfeld.

You have to achieve very rapid progress to show people your intentions are good," Lieut. General David Petraeus told the Philadelphia Inquirer in October 2003, explaining how he and the 101st Airborne Division had brought peace and civility to the city of Mosul. It was one of the few early success stories of the war in Iraq--and then, within a year after Petraeus left, it all fell apart. What happened in Mosul, despite the best efforts of an enlightened U.S. general, is particularly instructive now that Petraeus has been given the far more difficult job of securing Baghdad in the midst of a civil war.

Petraeus did move rapidly in Mosul. With 20,000 troops at his disposal, he was able to establish an overwhelming presence in the streets. U.S. soldiers walked beats like police officers and were stationed in local patrol bases, the equivalent of precinct houses. They were instructed to treat the Iraqis with respect. Knocking down doors was replaced by knocking on doors. When force was used, the Inquirer reported, "A task force is sent into a neighborhood to clean up and take claims for any damages ...'Will this take more bad guys off the streets than it creates?' is one of Petraeus'" guiding principles. The judicious use of force was effective: among the bad guys taken off the street were Saddam Hussein's sociopathic sons Uday and Qusay.


Read the rest here

Alas, as Klein notes, that even though Petraeus has been given the job of doing the same in Baghdad it's too little too late. There's not enough troops to work this plan, and it's now refereeing a civil war not backing a government against insurgents. But it could have gone right, it could have. And now the US will be fucked in the arse before it ever intervenes ever again. Some may think that's a good thing. It's not. The US has been, in its good days, a force for peace and cooperation. It's just a shame cretins like Bush and Cheney ruined it for everyone else.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

SMH - articles of interest

As always News Review of SMH is the best part of the best paper of the week. A mix of detailed reporting, analysis, and opinion. Some of which I don't always share but nonetheless thought provoking.

Here's the three stand outs from this weekend's paper.

Dark Art of Religious Wedge Politics by Emily Maguire - "Christian supremacists love to bring up Nazi Germany, Maoist China and Stalinist Russia. Society without religion, they say, is evidently hell on Earth. Well, no. A society in which people are not allowed to worship or not, pray or not and believe the same thing as the leader or not is hell on Earth."

Harking back to good old days of backyard abortions and shotgun weddings - by Lisa Pryor - "You're a bloody idiot if you don't use contraception. But even if you do, there are no guarantees. Especially if you look at the anxiety-inducing failure rates of the most popular methods."

Chink appears in armour of death penalty - by Hugh Mackay - "Following the barbaric execution of Saddam Hussein, Italy this week called for a worldwide moratorium on capital punishment. The campaign will draw immediate support in Europe, where capital punishment is no longer practised, but will be less warmly received in the United States, still prominent on the list of countries that execute their own citizens."

[Note - for some reason it's only availble via an archive purchase and not available on the website - which is a shame because it's an excellent piece.]

Narfs, and Scrunts, and Guilds oh my!


Finally saw A Lady in the Water, the M.Night Shyamalan film.

Trippy. Very trippy.

Critics seemed to have hated it, regarding it as "self indulgent". Well, fair enough. Me? I liked it a lot. I think it's worth seeing.

Musings on Mosley

Oswald Mosley was the leader of the British Union of Fascists during the 30's, which Orwell derided as 'pimply blackshirts'.

Apparently Mosley's a distant relative of mine (according to my mum).

Anyway whilst touring the BUF wiki I came across this charming statement.

In answer to a question about the Blackshirt attitude towards Jews, Sir Oswald Mosley said:- "We will not tolerate within the State a minority organized against the interests of the State. Jews must either put the interests of Britain before the interests of Jewry or they will be deported from Britain."

Now, if we replaced 'Jew' with 'Muslim' and Britain with Australia, doesn't that ringingly sound familiar?

Hi-larious

I was sitting in the local shopping centre on one of those broad wooden benches while theWife was in getting groceries (I try to avoid shopping with her because I want to just grab the first thing and get out whereas theWife likes to examine things/prices in detail).

I had my papers spread out.

As I am reading the SMH this old bandy legged dude waddles over and looks down at my papers. He then flicks through, selects the Weekend Australian, then walks off.

I was watching open mouthed at his brazen theft. Of course I probably could have said something like 'er, those are mine mate' and it's likely he would have left them alone. But it was just too funny to interrupt what was happening.

It reminds me of this bit from Hitchhikers where Dent is telling his girlfriend about this train trip he took. He sat down opposite this other passenger, with his paper and a pack of British rail biscuits. The man lent over, opened the biscuits and ate one. Dent, confused, didn't know what to do. So he ate a biscuit too. The man opposite frowned, then repeated the move, so did Dent. Biscuit for biscuit until the package was empty.

Then the man left. Dent, still unbelieving that someone would brazenly eat his biscuits without saying something, picks up his paper. There, under it, were his biscuits...

Awesome stuff. Apparently that actually happened to Douglas Adams.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

A pictorial comparison—the burning map from Bonanza (well a bodgie equiv) and the top of my head















Arthritic Anus

The heat has finally hit Canberra. Last night when I tooled along to bed I noticed theWife just had the doona cover on and the AC (a micro unit that has a hose out the window) was roaring along. The room was significantly chillier than the rest of the house, which was cool (ha ha).

So I got into bed and went to sleep. Shortly after I woke in tremendous pain. My arse, all around my anal area, was throbbing with arthritic pain. Really, really bad ass pain. Not 'wrong door Dex' pain, but the muscles ached and groaned deeply within my glut.

It was horrible. It wasn't IBS-caused-constipation. But a shout out to my old bouts of arthritis from a few years back. For some reason the effect of AC leeches into my muscles on occasion causing ouchies. It happens in my hands if I am driving - or on my shoulders.

But that is the first time I have ever had arthritis in my anus. It was fucked up. All I could do was crawl into the very hot spare room after chugging pain killers and hoping for the best.

Next time, I think it's a pair of HM's pattented use of women's PJ bottoms before boodles if that AC plan is in operation (as well as turning it off and just going to much less pain causing fan blowing).

Heiress confuses promoted beer with vaginal douche

Notorious heiress and nightclub opener, Paris Hilton, today accidentally confused Australian product Bondi Blonde Beer for a vaginal douche, using the shaken contents of the bottle to wash out her lady parts while on stage.

"Look, it was an easy mistake to make," said Bondi Blonde Beer rep August Brightly. 

"Paris is blonde, the beer is named 'Bondi Blonde Beer'. It’s only natural that after a night of severe partying and potential drunken dalliances that she assumed the cool refreshing, light on the waist line liquid was a kind of vaginal cleanser that would help wash out any lurking men menaces down there."

The heiress, unhindered in her act by non-existent underwear, said that use of liquid douches in this manner had a proud tradition in the US and she naturally assumed that “Ohssies” would likewise be in the know for remedies for unwanted sperm.

"Like, in the '50s like, women used to use like coke and stuff. They’d shake it up and insert it like, and like it would get all the tadpoles and stuff and like kill them."

Rumoured to be paid some five million dollars for her 23 minute appearance where the glassy eyed Hilton rocked back and forth clutching her tiny handbag containing yet another soon to be suffocated micro pet, organisers admitted Hilton’s bold move in applying a Bondi Blonde in a "morning after" fashion took them by surprise.

"Look, we didn’t know that instead of chugging back gulps of the delish amber delight she’d put her thumb over the mouth, shake, insert, then release," said Ms Brightly. 

"But, well, the silver lining is you cannot get publicity like this. Even if Paris used the product in the manner in which it was not intended."

The heiress reportedly stood watching the beer run back out of her almost skeletal groin, then jiggled up and down to rid her vagina of the last drops. She declared the experience “refreshing” and insisted that other Gen-Y women should choose this product over any others.

"Like this is the best like bourbon I ever had," she said, using the front of her micro dress to dab the last of the beer from her gutted rabbit. "So totally douche with it, or drink it, whatever."

"Use of coke bottles by women in that manner caused all sorts of problems," said gynecologist Dr Samantha Brewen. 

"So I shudder to think applying what is essentially a yeast delivery system would do to that area."

Bondi Blonde execs said they would quickly rush a new backing label for the beer that indicated a stylised, yet attractive silhouette of a woman knocking back a Bondi Blonde emblazoned with a large tick paired with a line slashed circle against a stylised pair of legs with an inserted bottle.

An added slogan of “For up here, not down there” would likewise be added to the bottle to ensure complete comprehension of suggested product usage.