Wednesday, August 31, 2011

(oh, and thanks Wikileaks)

From the Daily Telegraph, where it's all but company policy to refer to the Wikileaks US Embassies' Cable Collection as mere "low grade documents", comes this headling blasting story :

US terrorist agencies were told to place 23 Australians on a "no-fly" or "selectee" security list requiring them to be detained at US airports because of suspected links to a Yemeni terrorist group.

Acting on the advice of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, the names were forwarded from the US Embassy in Canberra in January 2010 to the US State Department in Washington.

That's quite a story. And it's running across the Murdoch media empire. How could it not? Dozens of Muslims living in suburban Australia deemed dangerous enough to go on the US War On Terror's no-fly list....there must have been fucking balloons falling from the ceiling of News Limited's HQ when those cables were publicly leaked by....

Oh, here it is. Wikileaks. They get credited in paragraph six. But only once in the whole story. And the embedded link on the word 'Wikileaks' doesn't lead you to the Wikileaks website, or a place where the cited cables are published in full, which is part of the deal of using Wiileaks released cables for stories like this one, you link to where the cables are published in full so that the reader can check for themselves that the information used in the story is accurate.

It's about the only Wikileaks rule there is, and it costs the publisher nothing.

Even when people like Julian Assange provide free and easy opportunities for the mainstream news media to undergo such basic reforms as linking to source documents, they refuse to do it.

It's their way of saying, "Oh, Julian? Thanks for that great story, but Fuck You."

Monday, August 29, 2011

Dog Escapes Fire : The Headline Is In The Photo

This is the news photo of the year. Why? Because photographer Phil Hillyard managed to capture fire in the shape of an escaping dog for a story about two men and a dog escaping from a fire. True.

Well, that's what it looks like to me.

Phil Hillyard is also one hell of a sports photographer :

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Wearable solar panels, producing up to 140 watts, that weigh almost nothing and can be rolled up when not needed, for the Australian soldier of tomorrow :

In the 1970s and early 1980s, Australia was a world leader in solar technology. In 2011, the Australian Defence Force has to get these trial sheets made in Idaho.

Has The Oldest Trace Of Life On Earth Been Found In Australia?

The findings and claims are under dispute, but it's an intruiging idea that the oldest fossil evidence of Earth's earliest life forms, 3.4 billion years old, have been found on the land mass now known as Australia :
The ancient remains are remarkably well preserved and provide clues about the kind of primitive life that could be found on Mars.

The Earth was a very hot, violent place with very little oxygen when the microbes - thought to have been sulphur-eating bacteria - lived.

Volcanoes dominated the planet, the skies were cloudy and grey, and the oceans were the temperature of a hot bath.

An Australian and British team unearthed the fossils, which look like tiny cells and tubes, in 3.4 billion-year-old rocks at Strelley Pool, in a remote region of the Pilbara, about 60 kilometres west of Marble Bar

More Here

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Angels Announce Australian Tour

After a raptuously recieved, sold-out, live show at the Annandale Hotel in Sydney on June 30 and the Norwood Hotel in Adelaide on July 1, and the recording of a new EP, The Angels, with Screaming Jets lead singer Dave Gleeson out front, are hitting the road in November and December.

This is going to be something special. The show will no doubt deliver Angels classics like Marseilles, Mr Damage, I Ain't The One and Long Line, but will also include a couple of the new songs they recorded at Alberts Studios - Waiting For The Sun and Wounded Healer - along with some Angels live rarities they haven't played in decades.

You won't see a better live rock show this year, and that's no bullshit line. Anyone who saw the gigs at the Annandale or the Norwood Hotel already know The Angels haven't sounded this good, or blasted this much power, in years. If there's an Australian rock band around right now who can blow these guys offstage, I'd like to see them try.

I've got some video interviews I recorded with rhythm guitarist John Brewster and Dave Gleeson coming soon, but in the meantime here are the dates. Grab your tickets from the venues.


9 - Fly By Night, Fremantle WA
10 - Charles Hotel, Perth WA
11 - Endeavour Tavern WA
12 - Ravenswood Hotel, Ravenswood WA
19 - Governor Hindmarsh, Adelaide SA
23 - The Juniors, Kingsford NSW
24 - Davistown RSL NSW
25 - Canberra Sthn Cross Club, Canberra ACT
26 - Belmont 16Ft Sailing Club, Newcastle NSW


1 - Commercial Hotel, South Morang VIC
2 - Ferntree Gully Hotel, Ferntree Gully VIC
3 - Chelsea Heights Hotel, Chelsea Heights VIC
4 - Macs Hotel, Melton VIC
8 - Marlin Hotel, Ulladulla NSW
9 - Penrith Panthers, Penrith NSW
10 - Dee Why RSL, Dee Why NSW
15 - Redland Nulti Sports Club, Brisbane QLD
16 - Norths Leagues Club, Brisbane QLD
17 - Twin Towers Services Club, Gold Coast QLD

Below is a video I cut together from mostly cell phone footage I shot of The Angels recording their new single Waiting For The Sun at Alberts Studios. It's not the official clip, just something I did for fun. There's a proper clip for the song coming soon, and it's a ripper.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Murdoch trollumist Miranda Devine enters her second week of blaming the UK riots on children being raised without fathers, like the headline below says. To reinforce her point, a nice big photo of Penny Wong and her pregnant partner is included in her latest blurge :


Monday, August 15, 2011

More than eight years after then prime minister John Howard and foreign minister Alexander Downer promised Australians our involvement in the War On Iraq would be short and sweet, the last of our troops on the ground there are finally heading home :

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tom Switzer, whoever he is, on the good old days :
[JOHN Howard] was called a “fool” (Michael Leunig), an “unflushable turd” (Mungo MacCallum), a “scheming, mendacious little man” (Alan Ramsey), who silenced dissent (Clive Hamilton), corrupted the public debate (David Marr) and used right-wing religious activists to indoctrinate the nation (Marion Maddox). He was also “far and away the worst prime minister in living memory” (Phillip Adams) who had a “pre-fascist fetish to attack minorities” (Margo Kingston). Under his government, Australia headed towards an “increasingly authoritarian trajectory of the political culture” (Robert Manne), became “a backwater, a racist and inward-looking country” (Greg Barns) and was “condemned at the court of world opinion as callous and inhumane” (Sun-Herald, Sydney).
Nearly all true.

Switzer somehow forgets John Howard was called a "rodent" and even a "lying rodent" by senior members of his own government, though presumably never to his face.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Weird Scenes Inside The Murdoch News Mines

By Darryl Mason

News Limited executive editor (does that mean he just gets a nicer chair?) Alan Howes explains how the Murdoch tabloids act as "the watchdog" of modern politics (Headline : Taking A Rude Joy In Kicking The Watchdog) in this lovely piece of corporate propaganda, distributed widely, of course, across the Digital Rupert media landscape :
NEWSPAPERS easily make friends and enemies.

The friends are mostly readers, and mostly voiceless, but for the role a newspaper can play in representing their interests. The enemies are almost always powerful.

A key function of a thinking newspaper, like ours, is to snap at the heels of our elected governments and their appointed officials.

Yeah, woof woof, we get it.

That puts you onside with readers - whose only chance of directly expressing an opinion might come every election.

Unless they can write letters, protest, stage boycotts, type in comments on a multitude of news blogs and 'comment now' news stories, make phone calls to radio stations begging for talkbackers to call in, attend local political events where politicians are present, or use Twitter, Facebook and e-mail. Just how many housebound, illiterate readers with no access to modern communications or electricity do Murdoch tabloids have?

Alan Howe is one of those believers in The Right To Know. Except when it comes to knowing too much about the Murdoch media.

More than a few of them have been calling for an inquiry into Australia's media. If that threat sounds familiar, it should: We had the Norris Inquiry in 1981, a Working Party into Print Media Ownership in 1990 and, later, the Print Media Inquiry that spanned two years.

There's only been three inquiries into the Australian media in three decades? Only three? Is that all?

Perhaps Alan Howe is quietly terrified that many of his newspapers' readers would like to see the 2012 media inquiry televised, like the WaterGate hearings, particularly if a string of Australian celebrities and former politicians are willing to speak out on how their privacy was violated.

And to prove that the biggest bitches in the media have, in fact, always been male tabloid newspaper editors, Alan Howe takes on his critics :

Victorian Labor backbencher Steve Gibbons (who is he?)...

...dangerously thoughtless Greens Senator Christine Milne...

We should all be concerned about thoughtless dangerousness, too.

... NSW Labor MP John Murphy (doesn't ring a bell)

Oh, snap Alan. You nasty.

And of former Murdoch-league media mogul and competitor Conrad Black, News Limited executive editor Alan Howe has this to say :

Ironically, sodomy is no doubt often on the menu at Florida's Coleman Correctional Complex, where (Conrad Black) returns next month to serve out the rest of his sentence for fraud and obstruction of justice.

Prison rape is what Murdoch critics deserve, apparently.

Anyway, watchdogs.

Two of Australia's keenest Murdoch tabloid watchdogs gleefully discuss the new hairstyle of the former NSW premier :

Andrew Bolt :
Letting her hair down in Opposition. Well, letting someone’s hair down.
As they say, me-ow.

Just form a knitting circle or something.