Sunday, February 28, 2010

Give Generously To PeteAid

This says more about the shitty, petty state of Australian politics and some ranks of the political media than it does about Peter Garrett :
Mr Garrett has always struggled with the impossible task of melding mainstream political reality with the strong conservation and human rights views he espoused as lead singer of the Oils.
Glenn Milne is now doing fashion reviews :
A barefoot and dejected Peter Garrett yesterday insisted he would stay on in politics, despite being demoted for his role in the $2.5 billion home insulation fiasco.

The Environment Protection Minister was photographed outside his Randwick home in Sydney, looking miserable and dressed down in tracksuit pants and a grey T-shirt.

Unlike Mr Milne, who presumably, Frank Drebin-like, changes into a more comfortable business suit on a Saturday morning before taking the dog outside to drop a load.


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Pacific Tsunami Hitting New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, New Guinea, Australia

By Darryl Mason


(10pm) A massive magnitude 8.8 earthquake has struck off the coast of Central Chile. It's the 7th highest magnitude earthquake ever recorded. A tsunami alert has been issued for Queensland by the Bureau of Meteorology.

Threatened areas extend from Point Danger to Double Island Point :
Possibility of dangerous waves, strong ocean currents and foreshore flooding
for several hours from 08:15 am [EST] Sunday.

Sea level observations HAVE confirmed a tsunami has been generated.

Tsunami waves are more powerful than the same size beach waves, with the first
wave not always the largest. First tsunami effects are expected as follows:

Coolangatta after 08:15 am [EST] Sunday
Maroochydore after 09:00 am [EST] Sunday
Brisbane after 09:15 am [EST] Sunday
And the most important piece of advice :
And probably the most important piece of advice :
Do not go to the coast to watch the tsunami. Check that your
neighbours have
received this advice.
History's largest recorded earthquake, magnitude 9.5, struck Chile in 1960. More than 6000 people died.

The death toll, so far, from today's earthquake off Chile is below 100. That toll is expected to climb, significantly.

UPDATE : Photos, phone videos, news links, eyewitness accounts of the Chile earthquake, and a fast rising panic about the Pacific tsunami are pouring onto Twitter at the rate of a few thousand a minute (at 10.40pm, Sydney time).

Click #Chile and Tsunami to see the Twitter news streams.

The Pacific Tsunami is expected to hit the coasts of the North and South New Zealand islands in about six hours.

UPDATE : Tsunami alerts are scrolling on some Australian TV channels, some appearing during an airing of The Day After Tomorrow, which must be jarring to those who aren't already aware of what's happening.

Tsunami alerts issued for Japan, Alaska, Russia, the east coast of the United States, Indonesia, the Solomon Islands, Fiji, New Guinea....

(10.40) I'll drop the 'update' thing and just keep posting the bits and pieces of news rolling in :

* The entire Pacific Ocean base is now under a tsunami alert.

* The highest tsunami wave (at sea) recorded so far (10:52pm) is 2.2 metres. They tend to get bigger when they reach shallower waters, and coastlines. The waves are expected to roll in for a few hours, but time between each wave can vary from 5 minutes to 60 minutes.

* New Zealand tsunami warnings are dramatic :
* (11.04pm Syd) Evacuations under way on Easter Island, tsunami to hit within an hour.

* Tsunami alerts issued for dozens of countries, even Russia and Antarctica.

(11.20pm Syd) How To Know When The Tsunami Threat Has Passed :

* (11.46pm) CNN reports the Chile earthquake was the biggest to strike anywhere in the world in 100 years. The 8.8 magnitude earthquake has been claimed to have been 1000 times bigger than the quake that struck Haiti.

* (11.50pm) A marine tsunami alert has been issued for New South Wales. :
Threatened areas extend from Broken Bay to Point Danger.

Possibility of dangerous waves, strong ocean currents and foreshore flooding
for several hours from 08:45 am [EDT] Sunday.

Further south from about 8am Sunday for coastal areas from Broken Bay to Gabo
Island, there are likely to be unusual currents and tides during Sunday.

At this stage, those areas, including the coast and bays around Sydney Harbour,
are not considered to be under threat of significant tsunami effects.

* (12.08am) Reuters reports tsunami sirens will be sounded in Hawaii near dawn, "all shores at risk no matter which direction they face." Five metre waves are expected to hit.

* (12.23am) The tsunami wave heading for the east coast of Australia is estimated to be travelling at 800kmh.

* 21 aftershocks have struck Chile, most above magnitude 5, at least seven above magnitude 6.

* Tsunami waves due to hit New Zealand in a few hours are expected to below 1 metre high. Some reports claim evacuations have already begun, others say the perceived threat has been downgraded.

The emergency announcement for the Pacific Tsunami from New Zealand Civil Defence :
1. Stay off beaches
2. Stay out of the water (sea, rivers and estuaries, including boating activities)
3. Do not go sightseeing
4. Share this information with family, neighbours and friends
5. Listen to the radio and/or TV for updates
6. Follow instructions of your local Civil Defence authorities.
* (12.44am) If you're an Australian with relatives in Chile, you can get updates from the Department of Foreign Affairs on hotline : 1800 002 214

* (12.50) CNN via Twitter reports locals claim a 40 metre high (131 foot) wave hit San Fernandez island a few minutes ago. Surely they mean a 4 metre wave?

* (1am) The Pacific Tsunami has begun striking island coastlines near Easter Island. San Fernandez island smashed by huge waves, death toll climbing. Island's capital San Juan Bautista, reports local radio, half destroyed. Partial evacuations now underway on Easter Island.

* (1.10am) Who will the first religious idiot to blame Sydney's Mardi Gras for Australian tsunami damage later today? Hopefully, no-one.

* (1.15am) News from San Fernandez slow to get out. Report that first waves hitting Easter Island are less than a metre high. Some Pacific Tsunami warnings are being downgraded.

* MSNBC airing Chile earthquake twitter reports from an American Idol contestant.

* (1.30am) CNN now running interview with American Idol contestant, Eliot Yamin, showing twoots he wrote during the Chile earthquake. He gives decent eyewitness account of being tossed around his office and then "running for my life" when the massive quake struck.

CNN journalists are now leaving Haiti earthquake destruction to report from Chile earthquake destruction.

* The Pacific Rim Of Fire has been been humming with earthquakes over magnitude 4.5 through the past week (click image to enlarge) :

* (1.30am) California issues alerts, warns coastal cities to prepare for tsunami waves.

* (1.46am) The Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre repeating "marine" tsunami expected for New South Wales and Queensland starting at 8am. No major coastal town or city damage expected.

* (2am) A mass nude photo shoot planned for a beach near Weillington this morning has been cancelled due to tsunami alerts. Let's hope that's the worst thing that happens to New Zealand in the next few hours.

* (2.24am) First Pacific Tsunami wave to hit Hawaii in about 45 minutes. Hotels in Maui are being advised to move all guests above the fourth floor. The latest warnings say waves are expected "to wrap around the islands", and the height of tsunamis waves "cannot be predicted."
Honolulu County is issuing urgent warnings for residents to evacuate as roads are about to be closed. Waves as high as four metres are now expected.

* (2.29am) Tsunami alerts issued in Fiji and Tonga warn of incoming waves at least two to three metres high. Police in Samoa have reportedly issued a nationwide evacuation. Terrible.

* (2.33am) Only a few years ago, most tsunamis struck with little or no warning. Tsunami warning centres and monitoring across the Pacific means this time at least many have warnings of what is heading their way, at the speed of a jet. It is likely thousands, if not more, have been saved from the Pacific Tsunami by this warning system. It's been a remarkable and unnerving experience to follow the path of the Pacific Tsunami through Twitter updates and links, Tsunami warning centre alerts and Google Maps these past five hours.

Accurate to almost the minute advance warnings of tsunami wave heights and arrivals were issued 1 - 16 hours before waves hit many Pacific islands, though most in the tsunami's path would have already been in bed when the reports and warnings were issued.

And the earthquakes and aftershocks continue, as the Rim Of Fire grinds, crashes and explodes.


So That's What You Sound Like

So this is an interview I did with Carol Duncan of ABC Radio Newcastle a couple of Wednesdays ago, about blogging and writing. The interview runs about 20 minutes.

You can listen to it here.

Now you know what my voice sounds like, I suppose I should dive in and record some yelly rants and obnoxiously in-your-face videos.

More later.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Tinfoil Is Causing The Microphone To Feedback

Over the past few weeks, Andrew Bolt on Twitter has been undergoing what can only be described as a rapid descent into utter paranoia. Signs of trouble began a month ago, and have culminated in the past few days with an obsessive focus on the allegedly Pagan Lefty-Infiltrated national broadcaster he is forced to pay for :
"I am weeping tears of patriotism."

"Racism only exists towards oppressed white men like me."

"The ABC took my chair. What next? Are they going to take my pants?"

"There's a black van over the road from my house. The ABC are spying on me! This tinfoil headgear will protect my thoughts."

"Bet you don't know what I'm thinking now, Tony Jones. Kerry O'Brien, go and invade someone else's mind."

"Pulled down office blinds so ABC helicopters can't spy. Turned off lights. Kerry O'Brien has X-ray vision...."

"Protection from thought control is doubled if I wrap my body in tinfoil..."
I tried to explain to him the claims that tinfoil can protect against remote mind surveillance are actually part of the mind control conspiracy, and that tin foil instead helps to focus and increase the power of mind-invading psychotronic weapons.

But he didn't listen.

So naturally, seeing as he's now clad from head to toe in tinfoil, totally beset by conspiracies about Pagan Lefty Warminista Globalist World Government and ranting paranoidly about the ABC, Andrew Bolt On Twitter wins himself an invitation to speak at the Young Liberal Nationals of Queensland convention.

Invitation Accepted


Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Sounds Of Early Morning Barnaby

Barnaby Joyce conducts a radio interview on the phone while also, fluuuuusssssh, on the toilet. And why not?

Or does he?

Crikey investigates and Barnaby's people reveal it wasn't a toilet flushing, it was instead an early morning garbage truck.

Or was it?

More Here

I sense a Walkley is already being engraved.

How And When Did Mossad Assassins Get Australian Passports?

By Darryl Mason

From :

Police have 15 more suspects in the assassination of a Hamas leader in Dubai, including three who were allegedly travelling on Australian passports, CNN reported last night.

The network reported police as saying that among the new suspects are six more people who are accused of using British passports in the commission of the crime, four others using Irish passports, two other French passport holders and three people, including a woman, travelling on Australian passports.

The Department of Foreign Affairs was unavailable for comment last night.

Were those Australian passports issued recently, or, more likely, between 1997 and 2002?

From Lateline, April 28, 2005, when Alexander Downer was foreign minister :
HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: Labor says more than 2000 Australian passports went missing between 1997 and 2002 when the Government dropped requirements for them to be sent out by certified mail. The trade in counterfeit identification is big business and in high demand. In the last year police broke up two major fake identity scams in NSW alone. A national identity card to bring uniformity to the identification process which currently differs from state to state has been proposed as an additional way of fighting ID fraud.
The incredible fact that thousands of Australian passports went missing back then was quickly hosed down by the Howard government.

Alexander Downer, April 28, 2005 :
"The fact they've gone missing doesn't mean they've ended up in the hands of crooks who've been using those passports," he said.

"I think you'll find that if there is any passport that has gone missing and the person you send it to hasn't received the passport, the probability is around 100 per cent that they would report that and then you can obviously cancel that passport.

"I mean, it's not a major problem."

Will the Rudd government make as big a deal of all those missing passports now, as they did back in 2005?

UPDATE : is running this image on its story about the Australian passports used by Mossad assassins in Dubai :

And names
two other Australian passport holders - Adam Marcus Korman and Bruce Joshua Daniel - as suspects listed by Dubai as part of a "logistical support team" in the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a military leader of the Hamas government.

Kevin Rudd on radio earlier today :
"...any state which has been complicit in the abuse of the Australian passport system is treating Australia with contempt."
For now at least, Dubai is claiming the passports are not forgeries.

UPDATE : Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt appears to be still paying off his free trip to Israel last year. Here's how he sums up international reaction to this episode of identity theft and "state sponsored terrorism" (in the words of UK prime minister Gordon Brown) :
"the absurdly confected outrage"
I thought that was the title of his new easy listening radio show.

Censorship By Matt Drudge

It's hard to believe that Matt Drudge was once regarded as some sort of take-no-prisoners mainstream media troublemaker.

An example follows of Matt Drudge's reaction, and censorship, when confronted with one of the most explosive media scandal stories in years.

A headline on both the Drudge Report website, and the @Drudge_Report Twitter feed :

The actual headline of the Reuters story :

Hmm, a certain name seems to have gone missing...

reposted from Your New Reality

Matt Drudge And Frank Gaffney Share The Bong Of Rampant Paranoia

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

"Mum? When I Grow Up I Want To Pole-Dance For Australia!"

By Darryl Mason

ABC 3, "the free-to-air channel for kids", had an....interesting story on possible future Olympic events during its February 23 afternoon bulletin.

Watch the news bulletin from 4.16.

Transcript excerpts :
"To sport, and there are some pretty weird events in the Olympics. Look at curling in Vancouver right now, a sport you actually play with a broom.

"But what about pole-dancing?"

" the old days pole-dancing was pretty much reserved for nightclubs. Pretty seedy nightclubs.

"Is (pole-dancing) any more weird than prancing around with a ribbon or a ball?"
I guess it depends if the winner is decided on points, or tips.

The ABC makes the working lives of conservative columnists too damn easy.

(spotted by @crazybrave)


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Presenting Friendly NewKev : The 2010 Edition

Australian panel TV shows where comedians allegedly show their razor sharp wit are notoriously scripted and rehearsed.

So how many times did prime minister Kevin Rudd run through the questions he was thrown on Good News Week last night, with his staff? I'd say, at least ten times. Probably a few times with his image handlers as well, just to get the nuances of Friendly NewKev just about right :

Has a laugh track been added to enhance the crowd reaction?

Rudd had to change his public image, he was moving dangerously close in real life to the impersonation by Anthony Ackroyd :

UPDATE : 2UE political correspondent Latika Bourke reports the prime minister's office has confirmed Rudd had plenty of time to rehearse :
"(GNW) producers volunteered the seven comedy quiz questions to the Prime Minister in advance...'
I wonder what would have happened had they changed those questions on the night, without letting Rudd or his people know?

You just don't get that kind of anarchic behaviour in Australian TV comedy anymore.

It's all so safe.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Conroy Weeps With Laughter

Anti-digital censorship activist thingy Anonymous announced a protest against Communications Minister Stephen Conroy's plans to filter internet content, and claimed :
We Are Legion
A Roman Legion :

The Australian Anonymous Legion protesting in Sydney, as photographed by Ry Crozier from ITNews :

Check out Crozier's slide show. It includes the absolute psychological death blow of any protest - when the handful of police that bothered to show up decide to pack it in early and leave you to it.

A Drive Isn't Funny, With An Empty Tummy

"the cows and the sheep and the birds and the horses were mooing and baah-ing and whistling and neighing....."

It took only someone asking if I remembered the words to an old Kenfucky Tried Chook (that's what we used to it) animated ad, featuring two kids pushing maximum density, for the jingle to shove aside whatever else I was thinking about and begin playing.

Disturbingly, I remembered the words, more than 30 years later, with at least 85% accuracy. No wonder the history lessons of the kings and queens of England didn't find a permanent home in my memory, it was already stuffed full of ad jingles.

It's been a long time since fast food admakers used a couple of dangerously fat children to flog their obesity-linked products. But it sure worked back in the 1970s. At least where I grew up, kids that fat, who could convince dad to pull into a fried chicken dispensary with only minimal moaning, clearly came from wealthy, or wealthier, families. This was aspirational.

The reason why the song entrenched itself so deeply into childhood memories? No doubt it was flogged mercilessly on TV, but the jingle was also issued as a (i think) bright red single and given away at the shops.

Clearly, I wore my copy out.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Sydney Morning Herald belatedly realises that John Pilger is one of Australia's most incisive writers and brilliant orators, and publishes excerpts from his recent speech to students at Sydney Boys High School :
...Australia has changed its Anglo-Irish characteristics for a nation drawn from all corners of the earth, this amazing diversity is celebrated (at this school)....

In congratulating all school leavers, I urge you to remember success in life does not necessarily come from prizes. What is important is the person you are, the kindness you express, the compassion you feel and the courage you show. Go into the world and relinquish the safety of silence and make trouble - remembering that the most important trouble is calling to account those who assume power over our lives.
The Rest Is Here

I wonder if the Herald, or any other Australian mainstream media, will publish Pilger's thoughts on Obama, the aftermath of the War On Iraq, and the rumbling War On Iran?

Probably not.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Thanks to reader Kerry for sending this in :

Tony Abbott explained it is impossible for him to have sex while on the road campaigning.

The 'Related Coverage' side-bar headline :

Dead Horse? I call mine The Lone Ranger.
Piers Akerman Claims The Intellectually Disabled Are "Incapable Of Understanding Plain English"

Daily Telegraph columnist, and ABC Insiders panelist, Piers Akerman plays the 'You're A Retard' card in reply to commenters who keep pointing out what an enormous liar he is :

Piers Akerman's words :
" really should read an article before commenting on it. Unless you have an intellectual disability, and are incapable of understanding plain English."
UPDATE : I have contacted the online Daily Telegraph's editor, Kathy Lipari, to find out why she thinks it is appropriate that a Daily Telegraph columnist can claim that intellectually disabled people are "incapable of understanding plain English."

I will update with her response, when, or if, she responds.

Piers Akerman is a guest on ABC's Insiders this Sunday morning. Why does ABC TV think it is appropriate to include as a panelist on Insiders a columnist who smears the intellectually disabled?

Note : The above headline has been rewritten from earlier today.

Big Kevin, Is He Watching Your Children?

By Darryl Mason

So this is why prime minister Kevin Rudd wanted to get a laptop in front of every school student in Australia :
....the laptops issued to high-school students....have webcams that can be covertly activated by the schools' administrators, who have used this facility to spy on students and even their families.
Don't panic. Yet. This story is about an extremely creepy laptops-for-students program in Philadelphia.

But do the the tens of thousands of laptops being distributed to Australian schools have webcams as standard? And can they be remotely activated?

Students probably already know the lenses can be blinded temporarily, without damage, by taping a small piece of paper over that digital eye.

Just in case.

Peter Garrett Quits Politics, Rejoins Midnight Oil

Come back here in February 2011 and tell me I'm wrong.

At every gig, for years to come, there'll be at least one person in the audience shout-singing, "How can we sleep while our batts are burning!"

Miranda Devine will do it, at least once. With Tim Blair on her shoulders.

The Chaser said farewell to Peter Garrett's political career in 2008

(the above image was screengrabbed from a larger banner here)

UPDATE : Philip Coorey, in the Sydney Morning Herald, hoses down the rumours :
Mr Rudd has no intention of shifting Mr Garrett. Sources close to the Prime Minister say Mr Garrett has defended himself inside and outside the Parliament better than anybody anticipated.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Greens : Vote For Us Or....We'll Politely Ask You Again To Vote For Us

Below is the absolute opposite of your bog standard political attack ads. And it cuts through. The message is clear, there's a vision for the future, and The Greens are not trying to scare you into voting for them. That in itself is refreshing.

I like a tastily vicious political attack ad, and I'll probably run a few here during FedElect2010, but all that bitterness and "Gotcha!" and 'nyah!nyah!nyah!' becomes incredibly tiresome, very quickly.

Let's hope we see plenty of creativity, or at the very least something we haven't seen before, in the video messages and ads served up by the political parties this federal election year.

They have to catch our attention now with great vids to even think about catching our votes.
Crikey's First Dog On The Moon has some free bumper stickers for you :

BTW - Honk!

More Here

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The 'Epic Beard Man' Top Ten

If you haven't seen this yet, be warned, there is sickening tension, violence, racism all round and plenty of swears. The list will follow :

The Epic Beard Man Top Ten
* The Epic Beard Man, clearly upset, tried to end the confrontation by walking away.

* The man who threw the first punch, threw only one punch.

* The Epic Beard Man stopped when the other man was down, and finished with "I told you not to fuck with me." And he did tell him exactly that.

* No guns were drawn, no-one else on the bus was injured.

* The loudmouth friend with the vid : First, "kick his white ass!" Seconds later, "Oh! What the fuck?"

* "It's not worth it, blood. It's not worth it." And it wasn't.

* 4Chan have already identified and contacted the person seen stealing the old man's shopping bag and demanded they return everything.

* "Oooh, he leaking."

* This motivational poster appeared online when the clip had clocked up just a few hundred views on YouTube.

* The brief glimpse at the end showing a bus seat sign that reads, "Keep Our City Clean And Safe. Do Your Part."
If you're a tryhard, the next time you encounter a Vietnam vet wearing a shirt that reads "I Am A Motherfucker", just assume that he is and keep your distance.

How The 'Epic Beard Man' Narrative Will Likely Unfold In The Mainstream News Media

Truck Almost Ends Tony Abbott's Rise To Prime Minister

Maybe he really does have God on his side, after all :

God has now marked down Tony Abbott's name down in his 'You Owe Me One, Big Style' ledger.

(Via ABC Video)

Many will recommend this movie to Tony Abbott, starting now, but @idlaviv wonders if Abbott's driver has already seen it :

Yes, younger readers, that is a Steven Spielberg movie, one of his first, and still one of his best. Without it, there would have been no Mad Max.
AC/DC : The Product argues famous brands can learn a lot from the decades of $50 million per year plus success enjoyed by Australia's geatest hard rock band. The cut-thru message is: don't fuck with the brand that people already love :

Classic, iconic products (think Coca-Cola as a long-bow example) never change their formula. They might introduce other new products, but at the core of the company's product range is the old favourite. An iconic product also lets you transcend generations, something Coke and AC/DC do very, very well.

That doesn't mean these brands don't innovate – last night's show was a perfect example of how AC/DC tweak their packaging (that is, the giant stage props used in the live show) while keeping the product (the songs) the same and cashing in over and over again.

The concert also taught me a lot about innovation in the area of brand extension. The amount of AC/DC merchandise being sold last night was incredible and the fans (many of whom were already clad in AC/DC T-shirts) were snapping the stuff up at an impressive rate.

So there's a lesson – when you find yourself with a product or service that your customers just love, be careful that you don't change it too much.

Read The Full Story Here

Stories I've Been Reading Instead Of Posting Blogs Here :

American Soldiers In Iraq Listen To Slayer's 'Angel Of Death' To "Become A Monster" and Get Their Heads Into A "Predator Mindset"

Five Centuries Of New Media Technology Scares - From The Printing Press To Facebook

UK Police Surveillance Drone Grounded....For Being Illegal

Claims CIA Had Weaponised LSD By 1951, Sprayed It Over A French Village Causing An Outbreak Of Mass Hysteria That Killed Five

You Can Now Spend Days Riding The Entire Length Of The Trans-Siberian Railway On YouTube

Saudi Prince Owns Stake In Fox News, Conservative Activists Claim This Is "Dangerous For America"

Afghanistan : It's The Poor Of America's Generation Y Fighting This War Now - Prediciton That 300 To 500 Will Die There Each Month

What A Shock, The Same NeoCon Blood-Soaked War Pigs Who Demanded Bush Attack Iraq Are Now Demanding Obama Bomb Iran To "Save His Presidency"

Classic NewsMax : Claim Obama Plotted "Marxist Revolution" To "Redistribute The Wealth" While In College

George W. Bush, Pre-Iraq War : “Gog And Magog Are At Work In The Middle East...The Biblical Prophecies Are Being Fulfilled...This Confrontation Is Willed By God"

Captain America Recruited To Attack Anti-GOP Conservative Movement

Winners Of The World Press Photo Of The Year

Adam Curtis Deep Probes The BBC Archives For Afghanistan Doco, His Notes On A Fascinating, Shocking, Surreal History

Japan, Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Russia, Norway, New Zealand Have All Aired Stories And Docos Challenging The Truth Of The Bush-Era 9/11 'Official Story'....But Not The ABC


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Quality Death Exploiting Journalism

Glenn Milne, The Australian :
....more Australians have died as a result of the Rudd government's home insulation program, "administered" by Environment Minister Peter Garrett, than lost their lives in the Iraq war.
This is what years of alcohol abuse does to your brain, kids. So go easy.

Nothing from Milne, of course, about the dozens of young Australians who served in the Iraq War, witnessed the gruesome brutal reality of an illegal invasion that Milne fully backed and came home and killed themselves.

That Milne can even dare to mention Jake Kovco's name as he attempts to blame Peter Garrett for the deaths of four insulation installers shows just what a foul and odious Liberal Party hack he really is.

Oh, this is going to be a very, very bitter election campaign. Not so from much from Tony Abbott or Kevin Rudd necessarily, but it's already clear that aging, empathy-fucked Murdoch opinionists have convinced themselves they can ensure that the Rudd government only serves one term.

A politically historic event they no doubt intend to be an active part of.

It's going to be grim.

Real world protests for virtual world freedoms :

(click to enlarge)

Monday, February 15, 2010

JG Ballard, 'What I Believe' :
I believe in the gentleness of the surgeon’s knife, in the limitless geometry of the cinema screen, in the hidden universe within supermarkets, in the loneliness of the sun, in the garrulousness of planets, in the repetitiveness or ourselves, in the inexistence of the universe and the boredom of the atom.

More Here


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Lit My Knnow If I Mussed Any Tyypos

Tim Blair, an editor for the Daily Telegraph, spots a typo (!) in The Age, while once again missing typo incidents in his own newspaper's online front page.

In the big box lead story no less :

It's not the first time this kind of thing has happened.

Nor did he notice a columnist for his newspaper fabricated a quote from a book he hasn't read.

But, to his credit, he has been busy lately....

* Checking the fashion choices of visiting celebrities.

* Mocking a scientist who became suicidal after death threats and emails telling him to go kill himself.

* And calling avid gamers "sad case" people, while claiming millions of Australian "gamers" have been "gamed" because a 24 year old (who he needed to highlight "still lives with his parents") has been fined $1.5 million for illegally uploading an old Mario game to a file sharing site.

Bagging gamers. That should prove very popular with the over-50s.

Midnight Oil To Reunite For PeteAid

Four people had to die so the Sydney Morning Herald's Miranda Devine could deliver this joke :

Genius stuff.
Some day soon, all protests will be conducted only by people dressed as Na'vi, wearing V (Guy Fawkes) masks.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Joe Hockey Experience

Isn't Question Time humiliating enough? No.

ABC's Lateline, February 11, 2010. Let's go straight to the highlights :
TONY JONES: ....if the next election is largely about economic management, and most likely it will be, we can pretty much script the Labor Party's election ads right now. Tony Abbott says he's not interested in economics. Barnaby Joyce can't tell his millions from his billions, and says the country's pretty much bankrupt and wouldn't be able to repay its national debt, and then up flashes a picture of the Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey wearing a tutu, a tiara and carrying a golden wand. I mean ...

JOE HOCKEY: Well they've obviously shown you the ad.

TONY JONES: I have seen it.

JOE HOCKEY: (Laughs). You have seen it already!

TONY JONES: I've seen the pictures.

JOE HOCKEY: As long as you weren't a part of the production of the ad, Tony.

TONY JONES: I've seen the pictures and imagining what the ad would be.

JOE HOCKEY: Well, you know what: Australians can see through that, and they will see through that, because Australians ...

TONY JONES: See through your tutu.

JOE HOCKEY: No, no, look, can I tell you - gosh. I mean, if you're a real person and you do real things and you engage in, you know, the activities that Australians do ...

TONY JONES: Cross-dressing!

JOE HOCKEY: Oh, well maybe you do, Tony. I mean, you don't know what happens at the ABC, do you, really?

JOE HOCKEY: If you want a real person...I care about real people, I live with real people, I engage with real people.
In this Lateline interview, and many others, Joe Hockey seems obsessed with the idea that there are both real and fake people, in politics and walking around in everday life.

I hope Joe Hockey pursues this idea further. Here's Philip K Dick on the subject :
Fake realities will create fake humans. Or, fake humans will generate fake realities and then sell them to other humans, turning them, eventually, into forgeries of themselves. So we wind up with fake humans inventing fake realities and then peddling them to other fake humans.
Okay, maybe that's a bit too far.
JOE HOCKEY: ...I really want real people to be in politics. I want real people with real words engaging in real activity. Barnaby Joyce is real. Lindsay Tanner, Peter Garrett - these people aren't real. Kevin Rudd's not real.

TONY JONES: You cut them and they bleed, they are real.

JOE HOCKEY: Well, no.
Perhaps Hockey could push for mandatory Voight-Kammpf testing of all politicians running for election this year.

The imitation people must be weeded out, even those with pre-programmed four year life spans.

And to finish, back in the 'real' world :
JOE HOCKEY: ....Australia was very lucky to have China with massive stimulus and fantastic terms of trade and demand for our resources.

TONY JONES: Oh, so - sorry, can I just interrupt you there? Stimulus works in China, but not in Australia?

JOE HOCKEY: Well, their demand for our iron ore and various other resources had a huge impact.

TONY JONES: But their stimulus worked to drive their economy, but not ours?

JOE HOCKEY: Oh, well, yeah, well.
The video of the full interview is here. It's mostly Gold.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Ray Of Lite

ABC Managing Director Mark Scott, on Twitter :
That 24/7 news recruitment must be underway. Just saw Ray Martin in the Ultimo foyer. I'm always last to know.
Ray Martin is at the ABC to discuss doing a show for the ABC's 24 hour news channel?

That can mean only one thing. The long awaited full hour version of this pilot :

Laugh if you like, but you know full well if you were sitting in front of the TV at 11pm on a Friday night, nine beers down, brain-drained and body slabbed after a hectic week of work, you'd watch at least 20 minutes of Small Talk before you changed the channel.

Me too.

They Should Be Scared, If Our Serial Killers Don't Get Them, Our Psychotically Violent Fauna Will

They just make this shit up, so everyone has a definable and thereby treatable phobia :
Novahollandiaphobia - Fear of Australia, Australians, Australian culture etc.
There's a lot to choose from in that list, of course there is, but I think this is my favourite surreal phobia :
Chronophobia - Fear of time
Actually, it's probably a toss up between that, and this :
Levophobia - Fear of things to the left side of the body.
And I have to cram this one in, because hearing or seeing the name of the phobia should trigger incidents of the phobia in 'sufferers' :
Macroxenoglossophobia - Fear of long, strange words.
Sorry if you've just crumbled in a shattered heap.

Come Visit Beautiful Australia.....And Die


Thursday, February 11, 2010

It's A Wonderland Land, It's A HoneyLand

If Australia ever needs a Village People-esque 12 inch disco remix national anthem, here it is.

@cosmicjester via @justinnorrie finds some YouTube Gold :

The song, Good News Australia, charted somewhat in 1979-1980, according to here.

You can download the MP3 here
Kevin Rudd Admits It : The Great Global Warming Conspiracy Is A Commo Plot!

You didn't believe it when Andrew Bolt told you. You didn't believe it when puzzle maker Christopher Monckton told you. So will you finally believe it when prime minister Kevin Rudd tells you?
"Let me tell you, (global warming) is all one global communist conspiracy. So watch out, and lock up your friends. It's going to come and get you in the middle of the night."

An interesting strategy. That line got Rudd one of his biggest, and most genuine, laughs of the night from the Q & A audience of students, and successfully deflated some of the tension of the room.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Murdoch Defamation Payout Spigot Piers Akerman Faked Famous 'We Must Announce Disasters' Quote That Fueled The AGW Skeptic Movement

The Daily Telegraph's Piers Akerman, November 5, 2006 :
This alarmist approach reeked of stupidity, snake oil, and misguided gospel preaching but was in line with a formula adopted by the first chairman of the IPCC, Sir John Houghton, who produced the IPCC's first three reports in 1990, 1995 and 2001 and wrote in his book Global Warming, The Complete Briefing, in 1994: "Unless we announce disasters no one will listen.''
That bolded quote cited by Akerman did not appear in Sir John Houghton's book. Today's UK Independent quotes Houghton :

"It's not the sort of thing I would ever say. It's quite the opposite of what I think and it pains me to see this quote being used repeatedly in this way. I would never say we should hype up the risk of climate disasters in order to get noticed."

Even though the quotation appears on about 1.77 million web links, no one seems to know where it originated.

Akerman's November 5, 2006 article is cited by the UK Independent as "the earliest record" of the fake quote appearing online. How proud he must be.

Sir John, who was the former head of the Met Office but is now living in semi-active retirement in Wales, said he is considering taking legal action because he feels that the continued recycling of the misquotation is doing him and his science a huge disfavour.

"It doesn't do me any good because it suggests to everyone that I have hyped things up. I've been growing aware of it now for some time. The trouble is, if I just deny it then it cuts no ice with the people who want to believe it. I have to consider legal action," Sir John said.

If Houghton does take legal action, it will be the latest in a long line of defamation suits against Akerman, who must have cost Rupert Murdoch at least $2 million in payouts, payoffs and legal fees in the past few years alone.

How did Akerman respond to questions from the UK Independent about his fabrication of this famous quote? Well, how do you reckon, once he knew he'd been busted? Again?
Mr Akerman did not respond to enquiries by The Independent.
Daily Telegraph lawyers probably have a rapid response unit solely devoted to Akerman by now.

More soon....

A Panel Of One

From Q & A :
Here are the questions our panel faced this week.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was the sole guest.

He near effortlessly swivelled through his iBrain MP3 carousel to come up with tranquiliser-strength answers to most of the questions posed by an audience of 200 GenYers, already numbed into mild shock by the loss of their phones, they were sometimes seen furtively grasping their own fingers to stop them unconsciously air-texting.

Some of the occasional non-soft questions lobbed at the prime minister :

MATTHEW LAING asked: Prime Minster. Last week a series of newspapers ran stories noting the long list promises made at the last election by the ALP that remain unfulfilled after more than two years. Is it any wonder then why idealistic youth become cynical adults when it comes to politics?

LINNA WEI asked: The Australian Medical Association in Queensland has said that 100 lives a year could be saved if the legal drinking age was lifted to 21, the same as it is in the US. Teenagers start driving when they are 18; coincidentally this is also the legal drinking age in Australia. Mr Rudd, have you thought about lifting the minimum legal drinking age in Australia?

GEORGIA LOURADIS asked: The French government is currently moving to ban the wearing of the Burqa in public locations. Do you think it should be a core part of Western and Australian values: that woman should show their faces in public just like men?

PERKASH BATRA asked: Australian Universities are encouraging International Students TO STUDY in Australia, whereas Racism is increasing day by day, creating a big problem for International students. I have been victim myself. What are government plans to overcome this issue?

MOSES KENHOK GOI ADUOT asked: Why is Australia more than happy to receive president Barack Obama (a black man) when they are ashamed of their own black citizens, whether Aboriginals or African Australians?

BLAISE JOSEPH asked: Given the Climategate e-mails scandal. Given that the IPCC claims on Himalayan glaciers melting and Amazon rainforests disappearing were both fabricated. Given that the Dutch government is now reviewing all IPCC claims. Given all this: do you still have full confidence in the claims of the IPCC, and is it still necessary to rush ahead with your ETS?

One of Kevin Rudd's finest moments from the often snippy series of mini-lectures he responded with to many of the questions posed :
"...the question asked by this person over here was on the basis that they were not. I just wanted to be clear about the basis upon which that question was asked...."
Strong Coffee Required : The Q & A Transcript Is Here

Interestingly, when you scan through the questions, Rudd got asked a number of harder questions than usually posed to him by the news media.

Why did this Q & A need to be moderated by Tony Jones, or anyone, anyway? The youth would have sorted the prime minister out if he waffled for too long.

And what's so bad about hearing the prime minister shouted out and corrected and occasionally heckled by a roomful of kids?

That's the kind of PM Vs The Kids debate action we want to see.


Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Now Much Easier To Ignore

The Daily Telegraph moves with the social networking times and replaces this blog click-thru box on its digital front page...

With this :

The TB Appreciation Society on Facebook has 21 members.

Stories I'm Reading Instead Of Writing Blog Posts Here :

Tony Abbott Admits Howard Government Spent $1 Billion On Flu Pandemic "Precautions"

20 Million Americans Have Already Lost Their Homes, Another 18 Million Will Soon Lose Theirs

New York Times Tells Americans If They Owe More Than Their Home Is Worth, Just Walk Away

Seven Insane Ways That Music Affects The Human Body

AnimalLit - Biographies Of Quirky, Adventurous Pets - Push MiseryLit Off Bookstore Shelves

Since 2001, the US Dollar Has Lost Nearly 25% Of Its Value

Fox News Suddenly Realises Sarah PalmPrompter Palin Is Mocking The President During War-Time (Remember How Much They Used To Hate That?)

Russian President Signs New Military Doctrine For Preventative Nuclear Strikes Against Potential Aggressors

NATO "Surprised" That Russia Names Alliance As "Main Threat"

Online Obscurity, Why It's Better Than Digital Fame

A Philip K Dick Reality : The $7000 Multiple Personality SexBot

Stunning : Americans Spend More On Bank Overdraft Fees Than They Do On Fresh Vegetables

The Desperation Of NeoCons : Pathetic, Miserable WarPig Daniel Pipes Tells Obama He Can "Save His Presidency" By Bombing Iran, Now! Now! Now!

At Least 100 American SAS Have Been "Training" (Fighting) In Pakistan Since 2007

21st Century Operation MockingBird? - Why The CIA Should Outsource To Downsized Journalists

You Are A Virus....Well, At Least 50% Of You

Internet Uprising Overturns Online Censorship In Australia

On The Eve Of The Global Financial Crisis Part II, Australia's Political Elite Gather In Sydney With World's Central Bankers

"Sorry Puppy, We're Putting You Down For Gaia"

By Darryl Mason

Opposition leader Tony "Treeple Skills" Abbott is continuing to push his eco-credentials in the confident hope that if he's interviewed in front of enough wilderness money shots, dappled in the sunlight breaking through canopies of palm fronds, then those who think The Greens are simply too gay to earn a real Christian's environmental vote will go for him.

And they probably will.

But how Green will Tony Abbott turn? Will he come up with that will out-eco even The Greens?

Some inspiration may be found in a report examining revolutionary society-transforming ways to allegedly halt rapid climate change :
Its State of the World 2010 report published this week outlines a blueprint for changing our entire way of life. "Preventing the collapse of human civilisation requires nothing less than a wholesale transformation of dominant cultural patterns. This transformation would reject consumerism... and establish in its place a new cultural framework centred on sustainability."

Surely a report like this would include a long list of things we should no longer do, or products and lifestyles we should no longer embrace? Oh, it surely does :

Get rid of the dog.

No bottled water.

No takeaway menus.

No fun cars.

Don't buy books or toys, borrow them from libraries.

Grow your own (food) in community gardens.

All products should be designed to last a lifetime.

Public transport only.

No plane-related holidays, or air-based trips at all.

Probably not much in there for Tony Abbott. Though it would be good to see him come out for community gardens and more public book & toy libaries. And the idea of any politician trying to rally local industry to go back to creating quality products that last (most of) a lifetime would be exciting indeed.

But Abbott won't go GreenXtreme, no matter how many new votes there might be in it.

He will stay the coure of the lo-fi greener, all the "What's Good For The Environment Is Good For Australia" pap, and leave alone any moves towards killing off the airline, publishing, pet, fast food and disposable product industries with a radical Fight Club-style anti-consumerist platform.

In Abbott's favour, when it comes to greening up, is the fact that he doesn't seem out of place tromping through a forest, where Kevin Rudd looks about as comfortable and competent amongst the trees as John Howard did on a cricket pitch.

Monday, February 08, 2010

"Oh Sanjay! You Make Me Melt Like A Himalayan Glacier!"

Of course he made some mistakes, he was distracted reliving the sexual adventures of his distant youth :

The UN's top climate official, who is at the heart of a controversy over incorrect global warming data, has written a racy novel which dishes up sex, reincarnation and a real-life Hollywood actress.

The book also weaves in lectures on the environment and the fate of Himalayan glaciers - the issue which has triggered calls for Pachauri's resignation.

This story doesn't make clear whether the lead character Sanjay actually lectures on glaciers and the environment while "overcome by a lust that he had never known before."

Is this the beginning of a new genre of enviro-erotic novels?

The Ecomance?
It's Got Nipples, Run It!

This is all you need to do in a Ukranian protest to make the pages of an allegedly esteemed Australian newspaper :
"Enough raping our democracy!'' shouted the protesters, who held signs with slogans such as "Help! Rape!'' and wore nothing except for jeans and strips of green electrical tape over their nipples.
Then again, if four male protestors walked into Joe Hockey's electorate office tomorrow and rested their scrotums on his desk, that'd probably make the papers in Eastern Europe, unless they ran away very fast.

(via @zombiemao)

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Vote Liberal, Labor Or Greens, It Doesn't Matter, Australia Will Still Get A Carbon Tax

By Darryl Mason

Chris Ulhmann writes on ABC's The Drum that Opposition Leader Tony Abbott knows he has only one shot at becoming prime minister, so this is it, he's going in hard...or so it would
appear :
The Coalition is not going to win a war for the votes of climate change purists or the devotees of detail. What it wants is to set up a position that it can defend while it seeks to win a war of attrition against the Government's emissions trading scheme.

It is reminiscent of what has happened to United States in Iraq and Afghanistan. Given its domination of the sky, no conventional army can stop an America invasion. But as Machiavelli knew, taking a country and holding it are two very different things. The way to beat America is to get its soldiers out of their planes and tanks and into a prolonged street-by-street battle.

The Coalition doesn't want to engage in lofty debates that it knows almost no one understands. It wants hand-to-hand combat on the cost of living increases that come with putting a price on carbon.
Climate Change Minister Penny Wong was almost, almost, worn down by Tony Jones on Lateline last night, when he refused to stop asking her how much pricing carbon will eventually cost the average family. She avoided answering at least twelve questions on the subject. It was gruesome, like watching John Howard in late 2002 trying to deny we were about to go to War On Iraq, when Australian soldiers had already been deployed, knowing they were going there to fight.

The Rudd government for now has not much to counter the opposition's claims that the GBNT (Great Big New Tax) will cost everybody. It will.

But Abbott already appears suspicious is his mind-numbing repetitive use of "Great Big New Tax" by not calling the GBNT what it really is, will eventually become, was always going to be. A Carbon Tax.

Abbott is reluctant to call it a carbon tax because he knows that if he becomes prime minister, it will be all but impossible for Australia to function in the New Global Economy without one.

Labor and The Greens want a carbon tax, the Liberals will accept one, and Barnaby Joyce will be told to hold back from shouting about '"Carbon Tax!!" in public, too often. Entertaining his own dreams of one day becoming prime minister himself, Joyce will also, reluctantly, play along.

The Carbon Tax was always going to be the end result of either the introduction of an ETS, or the abandonment of an ETS. It doesn't matter which reality unfolds between now and election day. The introduction of a carbon tax was the mission from at least 2006 onwards for Labor, the Liberals and The Greens, irrespective of how oppposed they appeared to be of each other's plans.

To really whip up the growing tide of climate change skeptics in Australia, to get on side a new Liberal conservative base, Abbott needs to go to the election pledging 'No Carbon Tax!' if he really wants to win.

But he won't do it.

No matter how much he wants to win.

Bizarre "Circular Discs" On BoM Radar Unexplained For Now

The Bureau of Meteorology notes on its National Loop site that there have been some extremely weird things appearing on BoM radar imagery of late :
Please note we are experiencing technical issues with the radar images resulting in circular disks appearing unexpectedly at times. We will endeavour to look at this problem as quickly as possible.
The BoM means these :

No-one from the BoM appears to have offered any explanation other than "technical difficulties."

But some who monitor or regularly check in on BoM radar, and have seen these "circular discs" are convinced the images are evidence of weather modification tests, or something much worse.

They certainly make for more entertaining explanations than boring old "technical difficulties."

Friday, February 05, 2010

From the Sydney Morning Herald, February 3.

They should have capitalised YOUR.

(thanks KCB)
It's Better For You If You Eat It

Here's a bit of Australian history you don't hear mentioned much :
''In the early 1800s, Australia was twice saved from famine by eating virtually nothing but hemp seed for protein and hemp leaves for roughage."
You can buy hemp seeds to feed your budgie in Australia, and to mix in with your dog's food, you can even buy them to use as fish bait, but, stunningly, they're still not legally available for human consumption.

That should change soon, once immature tabloid hysteria over all things hemp/cannabis finally fades away, and Australian politicians who know and have used the plant for any number of positive purposes can finally legislate calmly, and sanely.

Northern Australia has ideal conditions for massive hemp farms, as illegal cannabis growers already well know, that could and should be harvested for their miraculous food source, if for nothing else.

Hemp seed is a food source known to humans for tens of thousands of years, and yet somehow forgotten almost completely in the last eight decades.

"Hemp seeds are a real superfood.....23 per cent protein, and has more Omega 3 and Omega 6 than virtually any other source, including fish."

Australia could literally feed the world with one of the most concentrated sources of protein available, with the crops soaking up plenty of carbon at the same time, leaving behind plant waste that can be ploughed back in the earth, to renew the soil. Just for starters...

More Details On Australia's Burgeoning Hemp Industry