Thursday, April 30, 2009

Some Things Are More Important Than A Pandemic

By Darryl Mason

The biggest story in the United States today is the "imminent" pandemic of Swine Flu/Pork Fever/Frankenstein Flu/H1N1/Bacon Lung. Right?

Wrong.

At least, it's not at KFSN-TV in Fresno California :



The very popular video of a 61 year old Californian cannabis grower standing out front of a courthouse, unpacking, weighing and then repacking the twelve pounds of medicine (to check it was all there) that has just been returned to him by police, by order of a judge, can be viewed here.

More on that story and America's news obsession with cannabis stories here.


As I mentioned yesterday, while Bacon Lung, or Pork Throat (it is an upper respiratory virus) is at the top of the evening news, as the World Health Organisation raises its pandemic alert level from 5 to 6, the Australian media is having a hard time selling this story to a mostly skeptical public. There are still no deaths in Australia from it, there is no celebrity connection to it, yet, and outside of colourful heat scans of airport arrivees, and I Am Legend-like projections of what life will be like during and after a full-blown influenza pandemic, the rest of the visual story of what's actually going on is not very exciting to watch.

At all.

And readers of online daily newspapers in Australia couldn't be less interested. For now.


(click to enlarge)

Outside of The Australian, not one pre-pandemic or H1N1 influenza-related story makes the Most Popular Stories lists in the Murdoch online tabloids. In Sydney's Daily Telegraph, what may be one of the biggest story in a generation doesn't even rate in the Top Ten most viewed :



Readers of the Fairfax online newspapers are only slightly more interested, and only because Hugh Jackman's cancelled a premiere for his new movie in Mexico :


(click to enlarge)

All the Australian media would get more readers clicking on swine flu headlines if they called it Pork Throat. Or Bacon Lung. Or Year Long Sex Celebrity Weight Loss Alien Flu.

Public disinterest will change if an 'Oh, Fuck! Pandemic!' leads to the cancellation of the State Of Origin, of course, or if any of the following becomes reality :

* Belinda Neil returns from Mexico with Mad Pig Brain Fever, causing her to rant about "demon babies" and the poor service of wine bar restuarants in Mexico.

* International cricket players wind up on a slab.

* Long dead Osama Bin Laden announces in a "new video" that Al Qaeda bioweapons specialists released the virus to end the Allah-insulting American lust for deep-fried bacon.

* Barry Hall goes into 'voluntary' home isolation, coughing blood.

* The entire casts of Neighbours and Home & Away decide to do some "location shooting" on a remote, uninhabited island in the WhitSundays for the next six months.

* Mel & Kochie start broadcasting their morning show from the top of a 100 foot tower, surrounded by a moat of fire, in a remote Queensland rain forest.

* The Footy Show hosts appear in biosuits, or in glass bubbles.

* Federal parliament decides to "temporarily relocate" to a huge sealed plastic dome on top of Uluru.

* It turns out that 10% of all H1N1 victims are likely to turn into brain-hungry zombies.


US Vice President Says New Flu So Dangerous He's Already Warned His Family To Stay Out Of Planes, Trains And Automobiles - But When Did He Warn Them?


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You'll Know It's Serious When They Cancel The State Of Origin

By Darryl Mason

There is talk getting around about the proposed cancellation of State Of Origin matches, as governments in New South Wales and Queensland fire up their pandemic response plans. The pandemic response plans also include, eventually, closing most places where people gather in crowds - cinemas, schools, child care centres, public transport, shopping malls, restaurants, theatres, cafes and pubs, and some of these closures may happen even if we don't have a slab of new flu deaths once the World Health Organisation moves its pandemic alert from 5 to 6, its highest alert status.

But major sporting events are still going on elsewhere in the world, they're just closed to the public, so big crowds don't gather in the stands and potentially share the Frankenstein Flu amongst themselves. The Qld government, however, is apparently considering not having the State of Origin held at all. Not letting crowds come to the games, but still holding the sports event so fans can at least watch it at home, seems almost normal if we are actually in pre-pandemic days. But cancelling these events completely?

If most of the city populations have to, eventually, stay in their homes for a week or two, to lessen the spread and the potential for the H1N1 virus to continue swapping genes and growing stronger, maybe more deadly, people will need those familiar events on the box to go ahead as normal. If a pandemic unfolds.

Life without footy on the TV might please some, but there are millions who will need the big games to still be played, live, if only to distact them for a while from the rest of the chaos.

With or without a pandemic, I'm with the PM on this, Wash Your Hands.

This is a chunk of what I wrote up on Your New Reality last night :
It's fine to laugh and mock and be rationally paranoid and snortingly, skeptically question what is unfolding, and how the mainstream media and blogs are covering the possible pre-pandemic, and hyping it, and this questioning and personal judging of the information you're getting should be done, always, your brain demands you question reality, particularly a new reality that seems to be coming on with the momentum of monumental historical events, question it all.

But refusing to develop a handwashing routine as whatever is going to happen unfolds, refusing to increase the frequency of a basic routine of personal hygiene, might in the end turn out to be a pretty fucking big risk to take just to say You Weren't Fooled By Fearmongering Media when the pandemic doesn't become reality.

I've never asked any readers here to donate money to keep the site going, and I won't (though I might try and flog you a few books sometime soon), but you can take this message as a kind of call for a Your New Reality Donation Drive. Your donation to this site is this : You will spend an extra five to ten minutes a day keeping your hands clean, and the hands of your family members, and particularly your children, just for the next few weeks, at the very least. That's it.

Do whatever else you think you should do to prepare for what may happen, or do nothing and soak up the reality-cracking Fearorama of the evening news. Regardless, get your hands in water and soap, five or six times a day and that will be the only donation I will ever ask you for.

But if you do start to notice on the news that Richard Branson, The Royal Family, Al Gore, Stephen Spielberg, Tom Cruise, the entire US Cabinet, Henry Kissinger and Oprah Winfrey have been climbing into personal space ships and blasting off from Planet Earth with no plans to return for a little while, then maybe, maybe, you should check to see if you've got enough food, and water.
Read The Rest Of The Story Here

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Aporkalypse When?

The World Health Organisation spoils Frankenstein Flu hysteria, for now :
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says there have only been seven laboratory-confirmed swine flu deaths, all in Mexico, from 79 confirmed cases around the world.
The Australian media appears to be rapidly losing interest. Frankenstein Flu has not delivered a body count here yet, despite the dozens in voluntary home 'quarantine', and seeing the isolated infection-suspected being interviewed by phone from behind their front window is about as exciting a visual for the evening news as new internet cable being laid.

Comments on news.com.au are heaving
with talk of bioweapons and Big Pharma conspiracies to flog more anti-virals (the old stockpiles are hitting or passed their expiration dates), but the mainstream media hasn't even begun to nibble at any of this stuff yet.

They probably won't, denying many of their readers exactly the kind of stories they want to hear and read about, even if it is to only debunk them.

The history of bioweapons and bioresearch labs mixing influenza genes, from a variety of animals, including human, bird and swine, makes for some wild, but still interesting reading.


UPDATE : First Official New Flu Death In US


From news.com.au :
Seeing media tag the 22 month old Texas victim of H1N1 as 'The Swine Flu Child' makes a calm person want to slap around some people in a news room. Just fucking ugly.

But then, merchandisers have already rushed out new baby bibs :

The Anti-Nature Resistance Rises

Some crazed freak in comments at Grods is using the Man-Bird-Pig Flu outbreak to try and start all sorts of trouble for the ecosphere :
Bin Laden is dead and Mother Nature is history's greatest terrorist.
It took us the whole of the 20th century and a lot of ingenuity and effort to kill 100 million people in our wars. Mother Nature can beat that with a string of earthquakes, a volcanic eruption, a tsunami or two and a solid global pandemic (as in 1918).

Mother Nature's War On Humans is ramping up, so we must punish this brutal old hag now, and show her no quarter. Concrete her rainforests, damn her wilderness rivers, squish her precious frogs and eat all of her rarest species.

If She kills 100 Australians with her new virus, we behead one thousand koalas. If She wipes out one thousand of us in revenge, we harpoon 10,000 whales. The big ones first.

My new anti-nature resistance is called Humans Against The Rest (HATeR).

Who's with me?
Isolate him now.
Err....Yessss...I Too Am An Essential Worker, Really I Am

Hopefully, Health Minister Nicola Roxon is right :
"...we have 8.7 million courses of these antivirals in our stockpile."
And this news report is wrong :
Australia has stockpiled 8.7 million doses of the Tamiflu and Relenza drugs, which are believed to be effective in treating the virus.
This one, too :
...the Government has a stockpile of nearly 9 million doses to be used in the event of threatened epidemic.
The confusion over Doses and Courses is widespread in the Australian media.

Anti-virals are only as effective as they can be if a course of them is taken, a series of doses. Catching the New Flu and taking one or two Tamiflus or Relenzas is not expected to make much difference.

During a pandemic, the government's plan is to make sure doctors, nurses, hospital staff, ambulance drivers, body collectors, firefighters, some police, essential government and infrastructure workers get the anti-virals they need to keep doing their work surrounded by, and coming in regular contact, with a killer virus.

9 million doses of anti-virals is fuck all for 21 million Australians, if a course is six to twelve doses, with "essential workers" likely needing at least few courses over the many months it would take for a pandemic, or pandemic waves, to unfold.

9 million courses, however, will allow hundreds of thousands of workers to continue doing their jobs, while the rest of the population, for varying amounts of time, are confined to their homes, either voluntarily or under police order.

If there is a pandemic.

There will be anti-viral courses left over for some of the sick, and the ramped up production of anti-virals in Australia now (300 new jobs!) will reach government distribution points in a month or two. But, if 30 to 40% of the Australian population falls ill, over six months to a year or more of pandemic waves (as some experts are now predicting), the anti-viral production output in Australia will not satisfy demand.

If a pandemic becomes reality sooner rather than later, there will be extemely hard choices that will have to be made about whether people more likely to die from the virus, even if they have treatment, should be given a course of drugs that are in limited supply.

It's a surreal reality we might on the verge of being plunged into....

If a pandemic happens.

If.

But a couple of weeks worth of food and water stockpiled in the home, just in case, and to be on the safe side, shouldn't be left to the last minute.

Like the YK2 episode, you can eventually get through all those extra cans of soup and bags of rice crowdiing up the spare room later on if nothing happens, or donate it to charity.

The QLD Government's 'Pandemic Planning In The Workplace' Guide

September 2005 : Then Health Minister Tony Abbott On Influenza Pandemic In Australia - Die In Your Homes

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Official : It's Not Illegal To Drive A Fake Pope Mobile Around Sydney To Taunt Catholics



So now you know :

Police have withdrawn charges against a man who was found driving a fake pope-mobile around Sydney.

The car was built as a protest against the Pope's visit and World Youth Day in July last year.

Mr Bryce says the decision is a victory for free speech.

"The purpose of the pope-mobile was the draw the media attention and the public's attention to the false claims and the very bad actions of the Pope and the Church in coming here for World Youth Day, which I believe is in effect a latter day crusade.

"It was against the Pope's claims to have supernatural authority...."

More Here
Pandemic Expert : Airport Screenings For Pig Flu Infected "Purely Political"

This pandemic expert claims it's already too late to contain the Human-Bird-Pig Flu, and airport screenings are more to do with politics than halting the spread of the virus :

Airports around the world were screening travelers from Mexico for flu symptoms. But containing the disease may not be an option.

"Anything that would be about containing it right now would purely be a political move," said Michael Osterholm, a University of Minnesota pandemic expert.

Health Minister Nicola Roxon, looking stunned, as though she just stepped out of a reality-cracking briefing from influenza experts, admits on the 7.30 Report that inflight and airport screenings for those who may be infected with the Human-Bird-Pig Flu virus are more about raising pubic awareness than containing the virus :
"...the key thing is for us to raise awareness for people who've been travelling in Mexico and the Americas, if they arrive back home, to not just brush off some flu-like symptoms, to go immediately to their doctor and have an assessment to see if they might be vulnerable."
As we move into our normal winter flu season, doctors and medical centres are going to be inundated with people concerned about symptoms of flu, who would normally not bother seeking medical help outside of what they can score over the counter at a local pharmacy or the benefits of hot lemon and honey, a 12 hour sleep and plenty of sunshine.

Nobody seems to know yet what will happen, if anything, when the new Human-Bird-Pig Flu meets the 'normal' Australian Influenza A virus, in our respiratory systems, as it very likely will in the months ahead.

Hopefully, Influenza A will smash the hell out of the newcomer.
Australia Has Been Invaded

By Darryl Mason

Today, there is a new, triple influenza virus, of which little is known, circulating in Australia. Just as we move into winter and closer to the peak of Australia's flu season, another flu virus has come to join the annual influenza party inside us.

So how do you know if the influenza you have is the new one, or just one of the old ones? You don't, until you're tested. Apparently, the symptoms of infection from the strange new influenza virus, and the human flu viruses of recent years, are all but exactly the same. You get aches, you feel like puking, you can't hold down food, your nose runs, you sneeze, you spend more time on, or with your head in, the toilet than you do in bed.

What is known is that the new influenza virus is an unnatural, never-before-seen brew of genes from human influenza, avian influenza and swine influenza. Human to human transmission of the new triple influenza virus appears to be happening faster, and easier, than with bird flu outbreaks in Indonesia in 2007 (our most recent brush with pandemic influenza), though it doesn't yet appear to be as fatal, as bird flu proved to be, for those who become infected.

However, this effect of fast, widespread infection, but lower overall mortality, may make the possibility of a pandemic more, not less, likely.

It is not in the interest of a virus to kill its host quickly, the virus wants to spread, to invade other cells, to find new hosts, to mix with other genes, to grow, to super-strength its rapid evolution, to perfect itself, to move on.

Even though fewer who are infected may die from the virus, the death toll is likely to be higher, as a prolonged human incubation, with few or no signs of possible infection for days, or a week, will allow the virus to spread itself farther through the human population.

If the pandemic mortality rate for human infections by the Human-Bird-Pig Flu virus is only 1-2%, the death toll for a hundred thousand Australians sickened by the virus would be a few thousand. But if the new virus is highly infectious, kills fewer of those it infects initially, but spreads fast across the population, we may see millions catch the virus over the longer exposure time, with tens of thousands killed.

If we are heading into a pandemic, it is likely it will unfold over many months, or more than a year. New influenza viruses rarely appear, and then quickly disappear again. They hang around, they spread and mutate, searching for the best combination of genes from its hosts to evolve further, they come and go from our bodies like once-a-year hotel guests.

The closest influenza virus that some virologists believe this new virus will be eventually matched to is the 'Spanish Flu' pandemic influenza of 1918, which killed its tens of millions of victims around the world in waves, a few months apart, each wave of the pandemic lasting two to five, or more, weeks. This kept the 'Spanish Flu' virus in circulation across the planet for more than 14 months, or longer. The longer it survived, the more it infected, and the more people it eventually killed.

There will be a human influenza pandemic, eventually, most influenza experts certainly agree on that. "Inevitable" is the word they use. And many are nervous today, about what may unfold in the months ahead if the Human-Bird-Pig Flu virus does indeed turn into a pandemic.

The best case scenario is that this will turn out to be only another pandemic close call, a brush with a virus that could kill tens of millions, but does not. This time.

Either way, the Federal Government will get to live-test its pandemic response plan.

That pandemic response plan is now getting underway. Quarantine centres near major Australian airports, including Sydney and Brisbane, are preparing to begin isolating Australians and foreigners who are showing visible signs of influenza infection as they step off planes from the United States.

There may be ugly scenes at our airports if passengers are falsely identified by others during flights to Australia as showing signs of flu infection when they're not sick, or don't believe they're sick. If one member of a family of travelers shows enough signs of infection to convince a Qantas captain to radio ahead that they have "a hot one", the whole family is expected to be placed in quarantine.

The almost incomprehensible option of completely shutting down the airports to all arrivals, including Australians returning home, is also part of the official government pandemic response plan, though no doubt the government will wait until deaths from the new virus occur here before it takes any steps that radical.

Can you imagine the fury and chaos if thousands of Australians living and holidaying internationally were told they can't come back to their own country for the time being? Particularly if there was a deadly pandemic breaking out in the rest of the world, and the growing death tolls terrified them about the fates of their friends and families?

There'd be new waves of boat people, but they'd be Australians desperately trying to get back home through closed borders.


UPDATE : As of May 7, there have been no confirmed cases of H1N1 infection in Australia.
"I'm Not Doing Anything"

Do you want to see raw footage of a TV news reporter and cameraman being arrested?

Of Course You Do

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Mysteriously Suspicious Case Of The Time Traveling Comment

The Professional Idiot's blog has magical, time-traveling powers....or magical time-traveling commenters.

The Professional Idiot posted his latest story attempting to out federal government global warming sceptics, who he claimed have been "dobbed in" to him by their friends and/or colleagues on Monday, April 27, at 12.12am :



I saw the story about 12.50am, on Monday. It already included one comment :



At 3.15am, the only story of the five The Professional Idiot published between 12.01am and 12.23am that had a comment onscreen was the above. But then, Allan Of South Melbourne did get in early.

Two and a half hours early.

Somehow....




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July, 2005 : Indonesia Holds Mass Cull Of Pigs Infected With Bird Flu

The following is from The Bird Flu Blog, quotes were transcribed from a print edition of the Sydney Morning Herald, September 25, 2005 :
The Sydney Morning Herald reported yesterday that hundreds of people gathered to watch the mass slaughter and burning of dozens of pigs in a Javanese village in July this year.

The Indonesian Agriculture Minister, Anton Apriantono, warned reporters that they should be wearing masks to protect themselves as they witnessed the pig cull.

“This is very dangerous,” the minister announced, “...the virus can be transmitted through the air.”

“Don’t blame me if you get bird flu because you don’t have a mask,” he said.

The slaughter of pigs and ducks in the Tangerang region, close to Jakarta, took place after Ivan Rapei and his two young daughters died with symptoms of heavy pneumonia. Mr Rapei was confirmed to have been infected with the bird flu virus.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported tests completed in April showed pig farms with infected with bird flu, but that no official culls were ordered.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Aporkalypse Now?




By Darryl Mason

Some 25 students and teachers in New Zealand have been quarantined and checked for infection by the killer swine flu virus after returning from a trip to Mexico, where more than 1000 people have caught the communicable H1N1 influenza virus, killing more than 100. The swine flu virus has been detected in humans in three major American cities, apparently spreading from Mexico to New York in less than 72 hours.

The current swine flu virus which appears to be spreading human to human is a bizarre brew of genes from American and Asian swine influenza, human influenza and avian influenza (bird flu). Did someone spill something in a bioweapons lab?

After spending a good chunk of 2007 and 2008 researching what a killer flu pandemic could do to a city society, for my online novel, ED Day, and learning perhaps a little too much about the shocking potential for death and suffering a deadly influenza pandemic can deliver, the fast spread and high death toll of this swine flu outbreak, so far, has given me a serious case of The Fear.

The World Health Organisation regards what is now unfolding as a worse case scenario.

The first cases of human infection by this new swine flu in Mexico are believed to have been detected in mid-March, more than five weeks ago.

There is no vaccine for this virus, and it could take six months to develop and begin distributing one, with no guarantee it would stop the deaths, or halt the spread of the virus. Anti-virals, like Tamiflu, can offer some protection, but the Australian government stockpiles of Tamiflu are believed to have reached their expiration dates late last year.

We are being told, tonight, that anyone in Australia who has visited Mexico since early March, and are suffering "influenza like illness" (ILI), should get to a doctor. That's not enough. They should also be avoiding physical contact with friends and family, and wearing a face mask to stop themselves from inadvertently spreading this potentially pandemic influenza virus further.

To be truly safe, the government should immediately announce the same for anyone who has visited the United States, and New Zealand, in the past two weeks. The swine flu virus, H1N1, can be carried by humans for weeks without manifesting itself, but still allowing possible human to human transmission.

Yesterday, the US Centre for Disease Control (CDC), basically the front line soldiers for stopping the spread of pandemic influenza in the United States, admitted defeat :
CDC acting director Dr. Richard Besser told reporters in a telephone briefing it was likely too late to try to contain the outbreak, by vaccinating, treating or isolating people.
The CDC must know a lot more about just how far and wide the swine flu virus has already spread in the United States to officially make such a stunning claim.

The Australian FedGov's Pandemic Influenza website is here, but it is woefully un-updated.

UPDATE : The Mexican government is asking the public to wear face masks, stay away from large gatherings - schools, shopping malls, sports stadiums, train stations, have been closed in Mexico City (population 22 million) and obey the following rules :
...avoid large crowds, refrain from kissing as a greeting and maintain a distance of at least 1.8 meters (six feet) from each other.
Shaking hands should also definitely be out. During the SARS and Ebola Virus outbreaks, WHO officials visiting infected countries developed the habit of tapping elbows when they greeted someone, instead of shaking hands. Like this :



The federal government is expected to hold what amounts to emergency meetings on how to deal with a possible, looming pandemic on Monday and Tuesday.

You will be able to judge for yourself how serious the threat of a swine flu pandemic is in Australia, before any official announcement, by how quickly government ministers and the media start talking about the importance of :

Social Distancing


UPDATE : Would it be tasteless to start referring to this new deadly virus as ManBirdPig Flu?

It's certainly accurate.

Thanks to an anonymous commenter for the suggestion.


UPDATE : I just got an e-mail from a virologist who helped me on some details for the ED Day novel. He said he would call what's going on now "pre-pandemic", meaning if a pandemic was to become reality, this is pretty much how it would begin, that this is what the first few days would look like : one big central outbreak, then rapid a stream of reported infections around the world.

He said it's still too soon to say whether the swine flu virus is more than likely to become a pandemic, though he noted that at least one virologist he knows well is claiming the World Health Organisation is preparing to move its Pandemic Threat Level from 3 to 4, on a scale of 1 to 6.

I asked him if other virologists and pandemic specialists were nervous, he replied that every time there's another run of human deaths from H5N1 (bird flu) - there's been at least three deaths in Egypt, and two or three in Vietnam, from H5N1, in the past week - his peers get nervous. Human to human transmission of swine flu is simply bad news in general, but pandemics of swine flu and bird flu spreading at the same time is the stuff of nightmares.

He also said that most mainstream media are particularly hopeless at accurately reporting medical stories, infuriatingly so. He said he doesn't hold out much hope the reportage of the swine flu virus from the mainstream media will impress him and his colleagues.

More On This Soon

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Misner must be killed for the good of all, above and below ground :

I've been busy posting new stories over at Your New Reality tonight :

If A Robot Could Build Its Own Brain, Why Do We Think It Would Try To Replicate Ours?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Right, Now I Get It

So I go off the grid for more than two days - no phone, no internet connnection, no blogging - and I come back to find that visitors to this blog rose by about 10% on average, and page views were up nearly 20%. So I don't post anything new for two days, but visitors to The Orstrahyun increase.

So the less I post, the more people will visit?

I can kind of get behind that logic. Kind of.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Abandoned Single Mother Struggles To Stop Wild Kids Trashing The House

A weird, but quite good, speech was prepared for Richard Nixon in case the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon failed, back in July 1969. Had the astronauts become Moon Marooned, Nixon would have been the first, and probably only, American president to openly discuss the trippy concept that 'Mother Earth' can go into mourning at the deaths of humans who dared to leave her atmosphere.

Which raises the question :

If Earth is the Mother, where the hell is the dad?

And is he paying child support?
Everybody's Trying to Cash In On Global Warming, Even My Boss

By Darryl Mason

Under the headline, No Backers For Rudd's Reckless Plan, The Professional Idiot promotes the claim that climate change minister, Penny Wong, has no backing at all for the emissions trading system :
Here’s the real growing consensus among the public - that global warming theory is wildly exaggerated.
The Professional Idiot has somehow managed to forget that there is one very obvious backer of the Rudd government's emissions trading scheme, and its inevitable bigger family of global taxes, and credits, based on carbon usage, and that would be his own Earth Hour loving boss, Rupert Murdoch.

Rupert "Climage Change Poses Clear, Catastrophic Threats" Murdoch has put almost his entire worldwide news empire (including The Professional Idiot's Herald Sun) on a hardcore carbon diet, in the hope that when the carbon trading becomes reality, he'll be able to cash in. Just like the Rothchilds.

Hilariously, that big banner ad promoting the fact that News Limited, and the Herald Sun, are true believers in global warming, and reducing carbon emissions, appears yet again across the top of The Professional Idiot's story about how the Rudd government has little support for its emmissions trading plan.



(click to enlarge)

And in a bizarre admission for a journalist, hitting his sixth decade, The Professional Idiot reveals he has never seen the movie Network, hands down one of the most important films on the business of journalism ever made.

Quoting this fantastic speech by playwright Paddy Chayefsky, from a climactic scene in Network, was very popular with allegedly crazed, president hating, America despising Lefties during the Bush II regime. Now, of course, the "I'm Mad As Hell And I'm Not Going To Take It Anymore!" mantra is rapidly being adopted by conservatives for the Age of Obama, only eleven weeks into the new presidency. Same words, same message, same reality, different presidents :
I don't have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It's a depression. Everybody's out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's worth; banks are going bust; shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter; punks are running wild in the street, and there's nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there's no end to it.

We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat. And we sit watching our TVs while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that's the way it's supposed to be!

We all know things are bad -- worse than bad -- they're crazy. It's like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don't go out any more. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we're living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, "Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials, and I won't say anything. Just leave us alone."

Well, I'm not going to leave you alone. I want you to get mad! I don't want you to protest. I don't want you to riot. I don't want you to write to your Congressman, because I wouldn't know what to tell you to write. I don't know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street.

All I know is that first, you've got to get mad. You've gotta say, "I'm a human being, goddammit! My life has value!" So, I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window, open it, and stick your head out and yell, "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!!"

The Daily Telegraph's Tim Blair also suddenly notices something that has been going on in the United States for years, that he somehow managed to not notice at all during his beloved Bush II
reign :
"The police state continues to grow..."
The big banner Corporate Green ads from the boss, proclaiming that global warming is so real News Limited is frantically trying to reduce its carbon emissions, keeps showing up on Blair's blog, too, mostly when he's running stories proclaiming that global warming is a farce, a con, a delusion, bogus and that carbon trading will spell doom for all.

And still nothing from Blair on how disgusted he is that global warming propaganda is being jammed into News Corporation TV shows aimed at children.

When Tim Flannery and Bob Brown scare children with global warming hysteria, it's something evil, but when Tim Blair's boss does it, hey, it's just business.

Monday, April 20, 2009

"Who's The President Of Austria Again?"

Now this, this is a snub. In South Park, John Howard is still prime minister of Australia :



What a waste. South Park could have so much fun with Kevin Rudd :

"John Howard and Vladimir Putin are depicted as still being the leaders of Australia and Russia, respectively, although Howard was defeated in his re-election bid and Putin stepped down as president of Russia, becoming prime minister, before the episode aired," the entry says.

The episode has not yet been broadcast in Australia.

It doesn't matter whether the episode has been 'broadcast' in Australia or not, tens of thousands of Australians have already downloaded the torrent of this episode from The Pirate Bay or other file sharing sites. If SBS isn't prepared to air these new episodes on the same day as American viewers get them, they've only got themselves to blame for decreased ratings.
The Promotion Only Dead Tree Edition

This is one of the best, recent, examples of the changing times, and fates, of newspapers in Australia. A newspaper is being printed solely to act as promotion for an online news site :
In a move which the company is describing as a “one-off promotion”, it will distribute a free 24-page tabloid under the brisbanetimes.com.au and WAtoday.com.au mastheads. Each have 15,000 print runs and are being distributed at key points in Brisbane and Perth.
His First Word Was "Change"

With the introduction of MP3 Players For Pregnant Women, an important question needs to be asked :
When is it too soon to start in pumping Obama speeches, around the clock, through those belly-attached speakers?
And what happens if the mother prefers the music of Slayer and Napalm Death to Brahms and Beethoven?

More Here

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Dozens Of Police Harass Old Hippies, Young Stoners For Minimal Result

By Darryl Mason

At least 25 police and four sniffer dogs were used to seize "a small amount" of cannabis from punters hanging around the Enmore Theatre for a Sydney gig last week by Cheech & Chong.

That's more than $70,000 of police resources to seize what was probably less than a half ounce of cannabis, by searching some 50 people and delaying the start of the show :

A New South Wales Police spokeswoman confirmed the drug operation was conducted in an area that included a nearby railway station and licensed premises near the theatre.

...six people were caught in possession of small amounts of cannabis.

The six were issued with caution notices. They were not fined nor charged.

Police like searching stoners. They rarely put up a fight, the intense paranoidia in those they pat down is good for giggles with other cops later, and stoners all but never pull knives or guns or start screaming and spitting in their faces.

Two dozen cops, four drug dogs? Thank Christ, crime has dropped in Sydney to the point where police have nothing better to do than to go searching for small amounts of cannabis amongst Cheech & Chong fans in Newtown and Enmore bars. The most surprising result would be if they found nothing at all.

Anyway, what Cheech & Chong fan would go out in public carrying large amounts of cannabis, or any other drug for that matter? If they learned anything from C & C albums and movies, it's do your drugs before you go out.

A grumbly, but also excellent, four word review of the Cheech & Chong show from The Australian :
Their material is appalling....
That's why the audience made so much noise, and laughed so loud. Cheech & Chong should add that line on their tour poster.

More from The Australian :
Sure, I remember when a poster of a larger-than-life spliff was revolutionary and fun. But now a new young audience hoots and sings along, and takes pictures of each other in front of the tour logo, and queues at the end to buy the merchandise. What is going on here?
They think Cheech & Chong are funny? They understand it's a joke? They know the difference between bitterly dreamed-out, rapidly aging ex-hippie boomers and two very successful stoners who sold millions of albums and crafted some of the most successful comedy movies in history?

Should these young Cheech & Chong fans be out binge-drinking instead of sitting in a theatre watching two brilliant satirists?

The people issued with caution notices for carrying small amounts of cannabis should keep them as mementos. They might be worth something one day, on eBay at least, when cannabis prohibitions joins all the rest of the stupid, wasteful, tragic and ultimately rejected ideas of the 20th century.
Oh Really, You Think You've Tried Everything?

It makes me damn proud to know that Australians are out there in the world coming up with such incredibly wild shit like this :

I had heard of a tour offered by Bigfoot Hostel, which Darryn Webb, a tour guide from Australia, founded in 2005, when he was developing the sport on Cerro Negro.

He’d grown up sandboarding in Queensland, and once he visited the volcano (in Nicaragua) he realized its boarding potential. Here was a dunelike slope, only bigger and blacker, and with the added thrill of a potential eruption.

After a lot of trial and error with sledding vessels — he tried boogie boards, mattresses and even a minibar fridge — he settled on plywood reinforced with metal and augmented with Formica under the seat.
He rode a mini-bar fridge down the side of a live volcano and then came up with a successful tourism business.

Now that's Orstrahyun.
Still Not Available

By Darryl Mason

The Professional Idiot has a bit of a whiny squirt here about bookshop owners, who clearly think he's an arsehole, refusing to stock a copy of his 2006 book that his publishers apparently refuse to reprint. A reader writes to tell him of his long, arduous search for The Professional Idiot's collection of old columns, through second hand book shops in Melbourne, Cooper Pedy, Adelaide, Brisbane, coming face to face with shockingly sarcastic second hand bookshop owners (are there any other kind?) who think The Professional Idiot is. quote, "a rabid right wing demon!!". Yeah, that sounds realistic. It was only when this reader returned home to France that it occurred to him to try and buy The Professional Idiot's old book online.

The Professional Idiot doesn't appear to know that if his book publisher refuses to print more copies, he can, himself, order a reprint of his old book, say a thousand copies, for only a chunk of what it would cost to take a family holiday in Italy, and he can sell his own book through his "one million hits a month" blog direct to his brethren, without having to worry about rotten old sarcastic second hand bookshop owners supplying "ideological" instant book reviews, through guffaws of laughter, to the occasional customer interested enough to ask for a copy.

Or, seeing how the book is a collection of old columns from the Herald Sun anyway, The Professional Idiot could simply just republish the intro and contents of his book on his blog, on a separate dedicated page, for free, for all readers, so they don't have to face the crushing horror of sarcastic second hand bookshop owners anymore.

The Professional Idiot takes a moment to lay out the foundation stones for a possible Anti-Conservative Big Lefty BookShop Conspiracy blog post franchise :
I’ve published this not to fluff my own feathers, but to further illustrate the stultifying group-think of the “intelligentsia”, and the institutional hurdles facing anyone who might challenge its favored myths and prejudices. Smug complacency rules too often, I’m afraid.
People running second-hand bookshops are part of the "intelligentsia"? Really?

I helped run a second-hand bookshop once, so maybe I should start claiming that "I have now retired from the intelligentsia".

And I want that t-shirt : Smug Complacency Rules.

It sure does.

In the below video, The Professional Idiot would, by his reckoning, be represented by the mud farmers, while the Institutional Group Think Anti-Conservative Second Hand BookShop Intelligentsia is King Arthur. Help, Help, I'm Being Repressed! :



UPDATE : A respected polling analyst has had enough of The Professional Idiot's mutilating of statistical data and announces that The Professional Idiot should be sodomised with a calculator.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

"Yeah, You Should Try Nationalising Some Oil Companies, It's Fun"

Of course you know all about the Terrorist Fist Jab.

But did you notice the Socialist Thumb Squeeze between Obama and Hugo Chavez?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Definitely one of the funniest scenes in an Australian movie, just about ever. David Wenham in Gettin' Square :

Irish comedian and surly bookshop owner, Dylan Moran, on Australia and tall poppy syndrome :
"This...is a real thing isn't it, still? That's a really big part of the culture, that if anybody seems to be getting above themselves, you cut them down to size really quick. It's very similar in Ireland. The old saying there was that it was the only place in the world where somebody would spend 20 minutes crossing a crowded room to come over and tell you you were a cunt."


Art by Ron Cobb.
Stories You Might Have Missed

Some recent stories of mine from Your New Reality, for those who don't go reading over there :

No More Paul Hogans Or Kevin "Bloody" Wilsons? Australian Judge Rules Against The Freedom To Insult And Offend


Infant-Led Overthrow Of United States Looms : Obama Bows To Saudi Royalty.....And Children!

The Last Time 3D Cinema Can Save The Movie Industry

Obama Promises Prosperity By Smashing The Insane Greed Of The 20th Century's Financial Elite

Thursday, April 16, 2009

SNAKE!

Even the most absurd, but curiously entertaining, of movie plots have a weird tendency to eventually come true :

Qantas had to take a plane out of service when baby snakes went missing from a package being carried in the cargo hold earlier this week.

Twelve baby pythons were in the cargo of a flight from Alice Springs to Melbourne on Tuesday, but on arrival only eight were left.

Fun python fact :

"Our people called in a reptile expert and there was a suggestion that some of the baby pythons had eaten the other pythons because apparently it is not uncommon for baby pythons to eat each other," he said.

That goes right up there with the story an NT local told me about how crocodiles in the East Alligator River will lay extra eggs when food supplies are low, so they have fresh crocodile to eat later.
Comment Mining, Another Rich Seam Found

The Professional Idiot readies his brethren to fight back against the coming Evil Pagan Green Nazi Lefty Commo Chairman RuddObama Socialist censorship regime. Or something :



Yes. You may get banned or censored for trying to point out some ugly truths about what he is attempting, but mostly failing, to do to Australian society.

UPDATE : The Professional Idiot wants his readers to believe that lefty politically correct censorship will censor him, or them. But here's someone who has actually been effectively censored and told by a court that the notion of freedom of speech does not cover his beliefs, as bizarre and repulsive as they may be to most, and he now faces jail for refusing to be silenced :
"The courts have held, but his conduct shows he does not accept that the freedom of speech citizens of this country enjoy does not include the freedom to publish material calculated to offend, insult or humiliate or intimidate people because of their race, colour or national or ethnic origin. It is conduct that amounts to criminal contempt."

Federal Judge Rules Against The Freedom To Insult And Offend

More Syndication, Less Investigation

The Australian newspaper announces that boss Rupert Murdoch is preparing to cull hundreds of journalists across his media empire.

Well, they didn't announce that, but they did announce this, which is pretty much the same thing :
News Corporation has created a new unit to share content and resources across the vast media empire.

"Our focus moving forward is twofold: to enable our digital businesses to flourish as individual entities and to bolster the digital strategies of our core media properties by treating them as central to, and not separate from, the enterprise," Murdoch said.

"The creation of a new unit designed to share valuable news content and harness the power of News Corporation's vast editorial resources is vital to our success as a global media entity."
This is not a news story. This is a Murdoch mission control press release. Less journalists will be generating more content which will be shared more widely across Murdoch media entities worldwide. More Australian Murdoch journalists will be marched away from their desks by security guards in the next few months. But you probably won't read about that in The Australian.
Now He's Made It



Academy Awards? Pfft. AFI Awards? Yawn.

All actors know they've never really made it, never really cracked the mass consciousness, until they've been turned into a toy. Not a boy toy, a real toy, something that kids can get their hands on, throw around and recreate scenes from the toy-worthy movie they temporarily worship, until they get bored and burn it to a molten pool on the back path with half a can of petrol.

Sam Worthington has now joined that rarest club of Australian actors.



In Terminator Salvation, Worthington plays a robot who doesn't know he's a robot until he looks down and sees his own metal guts hanging out. That kind of news would make no-one happy, least of all an emotional robot who was convinced he was human. He joins the anti-robot resistance. He fights giant robot arms.



And not just a toy, Worthington has also been dealt the very American honour of becoming a Halloween mask.


It's a massive year for Worthington, he's also got James Cameron's Avatar coming up in December. Worthington in 3-D, with Sigourney Weaver.

If you haven't already seen them, Worthington starred in two pretty damned good Australian crime movies, back in 2002 and 2003 - Getting Square and Dirty Deeds. Both are well worth checking out.

(Source for the images here)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sophie The Wonder Dog Goes International

Sophie

The absolutely joyful story of Australia's Castaway Dog is going international, with write-ups in media across the US, China, England, everywhere.

The Daily Mail in the UK gives Sophie's survivor story a big run and the readers are ecstatic. Over and over again the commenters say "What a happy story!" "What a wonderful story!" "A story with a happy ending for a change."

It Sure Is :

When Jan Griffith's beloved dog, Sophie Tucker fell overboard from her family's yacht she feared her pet had drowned.

But Sophie Tucker, a grey and black cattle dog, wasn't going to give up that easily.

The determined pet swam six miles through ferocious shark-infested seas to an island, where she survived for more than four months by hunting wild goats for food.

'I thought I'd never see her again, but she's proved to be a dog who can really look after herself,' said Miss Griffith.

A handful of people living on the island reported seeing a dog running around, but assumed it was a feral animal.

When the bodies of several young goats were found, locals contacted wildlife rangers and word of a dog on the island reached the ears of Miss Griffith and her family.

'We wondered whether it could be Sophie Tucker but thought 'No way'.

'They waited at the marina as the rangers' boat came in - and there in the cage was a grey and black dog.

'We called her name and she went crazy - whimpering and banging on the cage, so they let her out and she ran over to us and almost knocked us over with excitement,' Miss Griffiths said.

'She's settled in well back at home now. I think she's appreciating the air conditioning.'

Island locals are amazed that Sophie managed to survive the big swim through waters infested with sharks. Here's something I didn't know :

'The smell of a wet dog is irresistible to a shark,' said a fisherman.

Sophie's story has the making of a great Australian children's movie. Let's hope someone here moves quick to get this fantastic tale onto cinema screens before an executive at Disney changes the dog's name to Ralphie and shifts the action to an Hawaiian island.
Blatant Anti-Tinkerism

St Alban's
, in the McDonald Valley, was still a two to three day, spine-jarring, bone-rattling Cobb & Co coach journey from Sydney when the Settlers Arms Inn, near the banks of the McDonald River, was heaving with travelers in the mid-1800s. But not just anybody could stay at such prestigious digs, as this reproduction of an original sign in the bar from that era makes clear :



Four pence a night for Bed
Six pence with Supper
No more than five to sleep in one bed
No Boots to be worn in bed
Organ Grinders to sleep in the Wash house
No dogs allowed upstairs
No Beer allowed in the Kitchen
No Razor Grinders or Tinkers taken in


Only five to a bed?

Outside of a local's explanation, "Tinkers would steal anything not bolted down," I don't have any valuable information to hand as to why Organ Grinders were thought only slightly more worthy of the most basic of accommodations than Tinkers or Razor Grinders, who were utterly banished.

The dark, atmospheric Settlers Arms today :



The sandstone blocks used to build the inn were hacked out, and usually transported, by convict slave labour. Breaking tools in the shaping of the sandstone could bring savage floggings, or death. Horses were more valuable than men, Aborigines were less valued than dogs. The McDonald Valley is one of the most beautiful and untouristed areas of New South Wales, with an extraordinary history soaked in extreme violence, incredible pioneering spirit, hardship, emancipation and back breaking work.

The St Alban's graveyard, like the inn, is small, but rich with history. The graves of the original white settlers dating back to the 1820s still stand, others older and forgotten decay into the ever creeping foliage.





Some local history, from the late 1700s into the early 1800s :
During this time the relations between the indigenous aboriginal population in the area was reasonably harmonious, the area being populated by the Dharug and Barkinung people who called the river Deerubbin.

The natives treated the newcomers as welcome guests, teaching bush skills and assisting in the planting of crops, they did not realize that the whites intended to stay and claim ownership of the land. Property ownership was completely alien to the Aboriginal; one cared for the land, but did not own it any more than one could own the sky overhead or the air one breathed.

The convicts and their keepers were the dregs of English society and were a hard and ruthless bunch and unfortunately conflicts soon developed as the Aborigines were denied access to many of their traditional areas, with Yam beds destroyed as wheat and corn were planted on the river flats and the banks denied to them for fishing, their traditional foods.

There are recorded cases of Aborigines providing labor on farms in exchange for a share of the crop and then massacred rather than given their share. They, in turn retaliated by setting fire to the crops just as harvesting was due. Regulations were introduced prohibiting Aborigines entry to established farm areas again denying them their food supply.
More Here

Photos by Darryl Mason

Thursday, April 09, 2009

The following post, from last month, will not be taken down or deleted from The Orstrahyun :


I Am Not A SockPuppet And Neither Is My Cat


I will not be so easily intimidated, or silenced.

Hope everyone enjoys their Easter break.
Journo Vs Blogger Vs Bad Guys

The new Russell Crowe movie sounds very interesting indeed :
One of the most hotly awaited Hollywood films of this year is State of Play, a political thriller starring Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck and Helen Mirren. It is an adapation of the widely acclaimed BBC television series, a complex tale of a journalist investigating the murder of an MP's researcher...

(Director Kevin) Macdonald explains why he wanted to turn this BBC mini-series into a far more compact, and less, complex, movie :

"I thought the crisis in newspapers was something to be explored; I love All the President's Men and, in fact, all films about journalism. I thought we could make the last film about newspapers before they die."

Russell Crowe stepped into the lead role with one week's notice, after Brad Pitt ditched the film, and quickly discovered that not all journalists are intrusive hacks who want to harass his wife and children.

Director Kevin McDonald on Russell Crowe :

"...we argued a lot about journalism. Russell thinks that almost all journalists act out of self-interest and that most journalism is deliberately misleading and inaccurate. That newspapers and journalists act from their own agenda. Which obviously partly comes from his experience of journalism and having his life reflected in newspapers."

In Macdonald's State of Play, Cal McAffrey (Russell Crowe) is part of a dying breed: the heroic, old-school journalist who relies heavily on sources and leads and takes time to find the real story. His method is challenged by Della Frye (Rachel McAdams), a bright young blogger who wants to post the Stephen Collins story online as it's still developing.

There are a number of other movies, mostly thrillers, coming out of the UK and Hollywood in the next two years that feature bloggers as 'agents of change' or key protaganists. Perhaps there will be a movie soon that follows what happens when an independent blogger has to face off against a massive media corporation who wants to get rid of some eyeball competition.

Here's the trailer for State Of Play. It looks like a reasonably intelligent thriller aimed at adults. Hopefully....



State Of Play gets an Australian release in late May.
Rupert Murdoch Wants Earth Hour To Become Earth Month

By Darryl Mason

The Daily Telegraph's Tim Blair and the Herald Sun's Andrew Bolt have had much fun in the past two years mocking any and all who voluntarily participated in Earth Hour.

Tim Blair :
Supporters of Earth Hour like to talk about the important symbolism of the event in terms of climate change and suchlike. The deeper symbolism is of a rejection of progress - of the centuries of research and innovation that culminates in us being able to bring light by flicking a few grams of plastic.
Andrew Bolt :
....Earth Hour proves that what threatens us is not so much global warming, but lousy journalism.

Asking us to turn off lights between 8pm and 9pm is a crusade by The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.

....as always a danger when newspapers take up campaigns. Suddenly they get tempted to report only stuff that pushes their agenda, and to ignore facts that don't...
Somehow, bizarrely, yet again, Bolt and Blair managed to completely forget to tell their readers that their own boss is the biggest backer of Earth Hour and Green Corporatism in the world today.

Rupert Murdoch doesn't think Earth Hour is long enough. News Corporation wants it become Earth Month, at the least, and in March News Corp joined forces with the pro-human depopulation (according to Andrew Bolt) World Wildlife Fund to make it a reality.



FOX/News Corp. is supporting the 2009 Earth Hour - a global initiative in which millions of people around the world will cast a vote in favor of action on climate change by turning off their lights for one hour on March 28, 2009 at 8:30 pm local time. By voting with their light switches, Earth Hour participants will send a powerful, visual message to their leaders demanding immediate action on climate change.

All of News Corp.'s screens in in Times Square will go out for the occasion. And in a video to be shown at the Earth Hour opening ceremony in LA, several shows will be shown going 'lights out' - including American Idol, Bones, SPEED TV, Family Guy, and the sets of Good Day LA, FOX 11 News, and FOX Sports West.

And lots of other News Corp. businesses have pledged to participate, including News International (News of the World plans a 2-page feature), FOXTEL ("Let Your Actions Do the Talking" campaign), and STAR in Hong Kong and mainland China.

Join in and vote for action on climate change with your light switch.
News Corp, outside of its full-bore greenwashing, appears to understand that the purpose of Earth Hour is to encourage people to learn to conserve power and get back into the habit of switching off unused lights, just as our parents and grandparents did.

But Andrew Bolt and Tim Blair continue to dodge the crushing reality that their own boss, through his control and very real influence over his global media empire, did more to promote Earth Hour around the world in 2009 than any Evil Pagan Socialist Lefty did, or the Sydney Morning Herald or The Age, whose ability to influence anyone extends little beyond their home states, and ends in Australia.

So how do Blair and Bolt keep missing all these great Green Alarmism stories to mock and attack? Earth Hour to become Earth Month? Seriously, how did that doozy escape their Google News Alerts?

Or could it be they both are only interested in the Greenism stories and global Earth Hour initiatives that don't come from the Corporate Green media giant they work for?

Green Jihad indeed.
Fuck The People, It's Time To Cash In

The Daily Telegraph's associate editor Tim Blair explains why spectacular greed escalated the global financial crisis :

...Rudd’s characterisation of the global financial collapse as being driven by “unfettered free markets” is false itself. Where, for a start, did these unregulated, free-for-all, no oversight financial structures ever operate? Wall St?

Give me a break. The mortgage broking scams that were at the core of last year’s US market collapse evolved from a regulatory realm that effectively insulated them (for a time) from free-market forces.

Remember, the whole sub-prime mortgage debacle began with housing loans to people who weren’t well equipped to pay them off. The free market sees credit risks and mostly turns away; these clearly weren’t free-market decisions.

Investors sought involvement with the largest US mortgage brokers not because they were regulation-free but because they were government sponsored and therefore seen as less risky. It was a little like betting on a fixed (or even “fettered") race.

Admittedly, that’s when crazy fire-eyed capitalists cashed in. But, in such circumstances, who wouldn’t have? We’re talking about free money here.

Who wouldn't have cashed in and helped destroy the home values, savings and pension schemes of hundreds of millions of people around the world? Who wouldn't have cashed in and helped unleashed a firestorm of financial destruction that has deleted around $20,000 from the superannuation of millions of Australian families, and will force hundreds of thousands into unemployment?

Who wouldn't have "cashed in"?

People with morals? People who aren't crazed with raw greed perhaps? People who think there are more important things than money and turning a fast, unearned profit off the misery of those who never understood they were part of an enormous con job?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Comments will be moderated here for the time being, as it appears there are some with an insidious intent trying to get defamatory comments onto older stories, perhaps hoping I won't notice. I noticed. Moderation will, hopefully, not last too long, as freely posting your thoughts and opinions should remain an essential part of digital free speech in this country and I've always trusted that most of my readers will be responsible in what they have to say.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Wait, You Mean I Just Ate Everything In The Ashtray For Nothing?

There is police harassment, and then there's police "we're-just-fucking-with-you" :
South Australian police have been pulling over motorists just to tell them they are doing a good job, Road Safety Minister Tom Koutsantonis revealed today.

Speaking on radio, Mr Koutsantonis said: "Sometimes they (police) pull people over and tell them they've been doing a good job driving."
The legend, the enigma, Michael Peterson in full, beautiful wave-carving action :

It's Like Christians Against Christ Or Something

By Darryl Mason

The Professional Idiot's endless search for Shock Enemy Of The Day edges ever closer to inevitable depths of mind-fucked absurdity :
Urban Seed is a Christian activist group - one that confirms just how much Christian “progressives’’ have in fact regressed into pagan earth-worshippers.
Here are some excerpts from the thoughtful, prescient opinion piece, from Simon Moyle of Urban Seed, that caused The Professional Idiot's bitter little mind to melt down just that little bit more :

This week a lump-sum payment will drop into many of our bank accounts like manna from Kevin. No doubt many of us will seize on it with glee, seeing it as an opportunity to buy that latest piece of technological wizardry, or pay off that relentless credit card bill.

...these payments are a worrying indication of the increasing alignment between the concepts of "citizen" and "consumer". The good, responsible citizen is the one who participates most fully in the consumer economy. Those who don't, or can't, are somehow less important, because they are not contributing. It seems that whatever disaster befalls us, a terrorist attack or a financial meltdown, we are told our patriotic duty is to shop.

This week we have the opportunity t0 ask ourselves what kind of people we want to be.

With crises come opportunities. Instead of using these payments to further the fragmentation and greed of our society, we can put them towards selfless acts of generosity to those less fortunate, thereby building bonds between people that go far beyond financial ties.

Friends of mine have come up with a number of creative, selfless ways to use this money. One person I know is going to change some of it into $5 notes so when she visits the city with her young son he can give it to buskers and beggars. Another friend is using it to throw a "stimulus party" for his street to help develop a sense of cohesion among his neighbours. Others will pool their funds to employ someone who has lost their job to spearhead a project for their community.

If we intentionally include the soil, water, plants, and native animals in our sense of community, it might also help us consider using the money in ways that are affirming of the earth and our place in it. Putting the money towards solar panels or rainwater tanks, or building a vegetable garden in your yard would be a responsible contribution to the wider economy. After all, every liquid asset we have ultimately comes from the earth; it seems appropriate to return the favour.

No matter how you spend your stimulus payment, may it foster a cohesive, responsible society with a focus on those who usually miss out. That way, even if the stimulus package is unsuccessful in stimulating the economy, it will have stimulated growth in our generosity and national character.

Give money away to less fortunate people? Secure your own electricity supply? Plant a vegetable garden? Foster a sense of community?

No wonder Moyle's words caused The Professional Idiot to vomit such venom about "pagan earth worshippers".

This columnist for the Herald Sun is so fucked up he actually believes, and often tells his readers, that 'Greenism' will lead to "baby culls", human sacrifice and cannibalism. In Australia.

Likewise, The Professional Idiot thinks that people who believe global warming is a reality are deluded believers in the "most superstitious pagan faith of all."

And, as always, his bosses place this nice big fat ad banner right across the top of his blog, just about every day now, reminding The Professional Idiot and all his readers that, at least for the time being, his massive salary is paid by "superstitious" true believers in this "pagan faith" :

That the Professional Idiot continues his hysterical, dangerous campaign against people who think it might be a good idea to reduce their power use and treat their surroundings, and the larger world, with a bit of respect, while continuing to work for the most powerful, influential promoter of "The Green Faith" in the world today, Rupert "Climate Change Poses Clear, Catastrophic Threats" Murdoch, is as shallow and as stunningly hypocritical as a vegan working at a slaughterhouse, or a pro-lifer answering phones in an abortion clinic.

But then, mind-boggling hypocrisy is the name of The Professional Idiot's game. How else can someone rail against "the violence" of our society, while vehemently backing wars that have killed, displaced and brutalised tens of millions of people?