Monday, July 31, 2006

Yep - I was right

As previously guessed this time last week - the winner of BB06 Oz style is ... Jamie!

Cohen Brothers Goodness - a scene from Intolerable Cruelty

Gus Petch: Yep, I nailed his ass.

Marilyn: I thought he'd outgrown trains.

Gus Petch: They never grow up, lady. They just get tubby.

Marilyn: How charming. An aphorist.

Gus Petch: Oh, yeah, I've always had ample proportions. But believe you me, it's all muscle.
I'm as hard as a rock. I'm not one of these cream puff, sit-behind-the-desk private dicks. I'm an ass-nailer.

Marilyn: So I see.

Gus Petch: Gym four times a week-- hour and a half, plus stretching, LifeCycle, LifeStep, LifeCircuit. Gus Petch don't pussyfoot around.

Marilyn: I must say, for someone in your line of work you don't exhibit a great deal of tact.

Gus Petch: You want tact, call a tactician. You want an ass nailed, you call Gus Petch. Christ, you seem to be taking it pretty good. I seen 'em come in here, weep and wail like Baptists at a funeral. Like they hired me to prove their husbands weren't foolin' around.

Marilyn: Don't get me wrong, Mr., um--

Gus Petch: Gus Petch.

Marilyn: Whilst I don't find this terribly amusing, I am delighted that you found this material. This is going to be my passport to wealth, independence and freedom.

Gus Petch: Sounds like to me you gon' nail his ass.

See the IMDB for the movie here

Uncovered email - RE Exploding laptops

See the SMH story here

Here's the pic from that story featuring a Dell "going off"


To: CEO, Dell

From: Head PR

Exploding Laptops – An Opportunity not a Crisis

The Chinese have a word for crisis is that is identical to that for opportunity. And while on the face of it laptops that turn into flamethrowers that cas
t fire across a room looks bad, it can of course be turned into a positive.

How? I hear you ask. It's simple. It becomes not a technical failure of Firestone proportions but a man
ifestation of divine will. These are holy laptops that tried to receive the words of God but could not contain his holiness without erupting in sacred fire. You know, like the burning bush. Only it emits fumes from toxic plastics. This is good. Limited exposure to toxic fumes can induce hallucinations and euphoria. I think it's called chroming or something.

First our technical department comes up with a 'not us' finding, irrespective of that recall we had. We say we're stumped. Then evidence of a flamer owner, preferably a southerner, claims they had a holy vision during an incident. We get the Catholic church in to do a miracle hunt – I got the idea from the second season of Lost. A non explosive laptop for every parish should return us an 'inconclusive' finding.

Then we 'encourage' those who've had a flamer to sell them on ebay as religious icons - and we make sure we run a few bids in ourselves to jack up the price and publicity. Dickheads will buy anything on Ebay that has the faintest hint of being touched by God about it. Remember that cheese sandwich that looked like Mary or Jesus? Some internet company bought it for 28k. Or that ET piece of Nutragrain? I know, not holy, but some Roswell enthusiast shelled out a k for that – despite the fact the average packet of Nutragrain probably is 20% ET look-alikes. So there's a market secular and non secular for this sort of thing. Value after-all is subjective opinion, not objective fact.

These 'flamers' become 'hot property'. Then they go from icons of danger, to religious icons and instead of us being sued, we're praised for bringing the disparate worlds of religion and technology together. Then on the bandwagon we hop. Pope podcasts for all Dell laptop owners free of charge! Change the paperclip to Moses banging the tablets together [note: bring Microsoft on board for this]. Nun shaped laptops! Monk shaped laptops! And as a shout out to the evangelicals we could have Pat Robertson shaped laptops – or 12 free packets of 'age defying pancake mix' from the 700 Club for each one sold!

We could even commission software patches that block any sites to do with evolution or mockery of Intelligent design – imagine stickers emblazoned '100% FSM free' on every one [see attacked mockup].

Dell could take the religious world by storm thanks to these flamers. It could be the greatest spike in our sales in the company's history.

Check out these taglines; 'It's easier for an evangelical to get into heaven with a Dell, than an atheist without one' or 'Be taken up - with a Dell!'.

Those rapture cock-knuckles will just love the last one.

Yes sir, fear not. Our flamers will lead the way, like the burning bush led the way for Moses.

Attachment to email: Mockup of FSM sticker.


Postscript: The head of PR was escorted from the building 12 minutes after this email was sent.

Saturday, July 29, 2006


Just watched it then.

Bugger me what a powerful film. Best film Spielberg has ever made.

Check out the wiki for it here. For the wiki on the actual operation carried out by Israel see here.

It really makes you think. Two competing peoples, one piece of land. It's as simple and as complicated as that.

Testicular Follies

Testicles are bits of the male body that are designed to be very sensitive. Evolutionary I don't know why that is. If there was an intelligent designer out there surely he would have thought to encase them in a protective bone like shield. In fact it's the greatest argument against Intelligent Design along with the idea that the genitals and anus colocation represents a fun park that has an open sewer outlet next to it – again a poor design.

Testicles hurt when injured like well it's hard to describe because to codify the pain level is quite difficult. Think a lot, then triple it, double that, and round up to the nearest hundred. There's a reason guys go foetal when they're hit dead on in the penis
department and that's because their sack'o'fun has been impacted and this mega pain foisted upon them.

In my life it's happened to me a few times, injuries down there. Once this spur thing twisted on it and the testes swelled to mini football in size. Fortunately it went away without surgery being needed. Another time I strained my groin on a camping trip and walked around like Kramer wearing too tight jeans.

Once they got winged during a squash game and I dropped to the ground in two seconds. The pain was … exquisite. Well, exquisite if one were a sado masochist that enjoyed inflicting pain on one's spherical accompaniment to the John Thomas.

Ah I have it! Being smacked in the balls is like when you twist your ankle only it's in the groin and it lasts about 10 times longer. You know that moment of pure pain when you go over on the side of your ankle and it bends like a crappy rubber pirate knife from one of those lame arsed kids costume packs they stick every 10 metres in Woolworth's aisles? Like that.

But the worst I have ever had was once when I accidentally garrotted my testicles back in my distant past as an undergrad.

Cue wavy flashback lines

As a poor student I had to watch my pennies carefully. As a result things like dressing well didn't really matter so much as eating. I wore the crap out of my clothes and they got saggy and old and threadbare pretty quick. This was especially true of underpants. And for some reason I had nicked a pair of my dad's underpants which were loose on me. Loose because they were designed for his six foot plus frame and me as a rotund five and a half footer was wearing them. So they were lose to begin with anyway and they kept slipping. I was forever pulling them up.

One day in a communication tutorial I had taken my seat as usual and unbeknownst to me through the leg hole of these distorted grey undies had slipped out a teste. As I shifted weight in the chair, the tubes that lead to the teste must have been clamped down upon by a combo of leg, chair, and underpants. I did not feel it at the time.

For some reason I did not shift around that tute and for 40 minutes my testicle had its bloodline turned off. Or clamped down – like when you stand on a hose. The end of the tute came and I stood up thus unclamping and the blood flowing strongly once more.

I kind of screamed hoarsely for a few moments, being unable to breathe due to the pain, and fell on my face. Most of the people had left the room when that happened so only one or two people were there to be concerned. They bent down and asked what was happening.

"Teste … caught … underpants," I managed to reveal before gulping in air like an out of water fish.
It was about two minutes before I could get up and another half hour before I could walk in any normal bending the knees type manner. Needless to say the old gray undies were given the heave ho and I went and stole another pair of slightly less damaged goods from my dad's drawer.

So, fairly be warned fellow penis packers. Make sure there's no extra loose leg hole for your boys to slip down and be clamped off when you are seated. Because I tell you that groinal pain was probably the most fucked up searing agony I've ever experienced.

And attention Hollywood directors. If a character takes a slam to the goolies, he cannot chase after the female protagonist 10 minutes later after receiving injury with no apparent ill effect. In real life he'd only just have made it to a chair and be asking anyone around if they can hunt down a pack of frozen peas for him in between strangulated whimpering.

Left: This nice old lady can now go make a cup of tea and phone the police with time to spare since Mr would be strangle man will still be sacked out on her front step struggling to breathe through a haze of pain.

♪ Yes we have no bananas, we have no bananas today! ♪

Watching the Liberals act in concert is like watching a high school debate. I was a high school debater until the fateful day I froze 30 seconds in and said 'that's all I have to say' and sat down again - with three minutes to spare. But one thing I did learn about was hammering your point home - the same point - time and time again until the audience believes it.

Joe Hockey ran the party line this morning on Sunrise, the PM's been running it, Costello, etc. etc. etc.
Inflation, which is at it's highest in 10 years, is solely because of big oil and bananas - or rather the effect of the cyclone which lifted banana prices to their highest ever. See the SMH story here

This was Rob Lowe's analysis in Crikey from yesterday. Rob was talking about the trouble with staffing retail jobs.

1. Half the baby boomers are now over 55 and leaving the workforce. Their rate of retirement will accelerate.

2. About a decade ago, technical and trade education became unfashionable and slowed or stopped. We have a growing shortage of tradies. In a few years it will be almost impossible to get a plumber – particularly for the less glamorous work.

3. The mining boom is sucking people west and putting significant upward pressure on wages.

4. In-house skill development has been in decline in many industries, creating a shortage of skilled employees in key areas. One example from retailing is the role of merchandise planners, who work in retail buying offices quantifying the orders for merchandise. They analyse, plan and forecast and are critical to profitability. In the last couple of years a serious shortage of good planners has meant that salaries have jumped steeply, and we are now importing them from the UK and South Africa. This type of shortage is replicated in other retail roles and may be an unwanted consequence of deregulated trading hours. The kids that once entered the industry now see it as a casual student job that is OK until they get a real career. But they aren't being trained for retail careers.

He concludes

Supply falling. Demand climbing. Salaries? You guessed it. And say what you like about bananas and petrol; this must push inflation.

At least be honest guys. Just say there's wage pressure because we've failed to cater adequately for the upcoming Boomer retirement when those critical schools leave the work place and dodder into retirement homes.
If only... If only we'd made going to TAFE or trade school easier for school leavers. Dang, wish someone thought of that 10 years ago...

Oh - speaking of interest rates, the Libs are frantically back peddling on their previous election promise of 'record low interest rates continued under a Coalition government.' Now it's just 'interest rates will always be lower under a Coalition government than a Labor government.' Because you see the Liberals and their Nationals remora could guarantee that promise.

I especially love this promise since under Howard as treasurer interest rates hit near 11%, which was quite higher than the previous Whitlam government. Maybe they meant future Labor governments?

Hmmm, bit hard to guarantee the future isn't it lads? Maybe next time perhaps campaign on something you can actually deliver.
Like for example all those promises you made about boosting apprentices and making it easier to go to TAFE.

Like you should have done ... 10 years ago...

Friday, July 28, 2006

Biggles Takes a Dump

The return... of my number one fan...

A long while back my number one fan blew me some e-kisses - you can see it here

It was great. I still have a warm fuzzy feeling in the pants department.

Left: Artist's impression of my e-fan

Well ladies, he's back, and true to form lavished me with praise.

And Mikey arguing with me is futile for someone like you. You just dont have what it takes to win. No facts, no rationalisation just venom. And I read your blog. For a supposedly educated man you are as articulate as a truck driver ... and I can think of a use for a truck driver ...

Wow! I am a glow with pride. It's especially special since Boltwatch-watch seems to be the only website I've seen him visit. Am I his second site? Kewl beans.

What a champion.

You can find the rest of his sterling commentary - where more praise is lavished - over here in the comments field.

Do you have a number one fan? If so share.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

"... Psychics..."

I hate fucking psychics. I hate them for being lying toerag fuckers that play with the emotions of the vulnerable. I hate how they look at random objects and interpret "meaning" in them then using pop psychology work out what the person wants to hear and tell them that.

I hate how they make money out of it.

I hate how people think these people actually have some sort of psychic gift and that it fucking means something. It's a giant massive fucking wank that is responsible for those with pain in their life treating it with a fake balm of faith alone.

I was reading Take 5 in the supermarket tonight. I often flick through it, intrigued as ever at the shit that goes in there. And they had some fucking fucked up 'I am the real Ghost Whisperer' woman with what looked like face cancer bleating on about her abilities with 'reaching the dead'. Including that of a blonde boy who had died recently.

This is from memory so forgive me if I get it wrong.

'I was going through my many emails from people seeking contact with those who crossed over and was about to stop for the night when I looked down. There was a blonde boy with a Jack Russell. "No, keep reading" he said. Sure enough there was an email from his parents asking about him. I said "is his name Brendan and did he have a dog?" and they said yes! I met with them and they bought his favourite toy for him to see. I said he was here and they were happy.'

What a miserable money stealing slattern of a charlatan. Taking people who had lost their son for a fucking ride with her bullshit. Geez it fucks me off.

Okay, some people may find solace in this crap. Fair enough. I have no idea what it's like to lose someone really close to you – though I can imagine the pain. The closest I've ever had is when my dog got put down and beforehand I had cried like a baby.

What shits me is not people going through the grieving process – and finding a sense of peace in the idea there is something beyond life as we know it. It's the evil mols that suck wind and dance about saying they can help 'contact' them and pass on messages like they're fucking Australia Post.

Evil scum sucking witches. Believe it all you want, but you know deep down inside you're a rip off artist whose instrument is the heart strings of the gullible or desperate.


RIP - First Ozzer killed in Israel-Hezbollah conflict

He was a dual citizen, serving as a soldier. He died yesterday.

Assaf Namer was just 26. See the SMH article here

Look I've been avoiding blogging about this conflict here - though commenting elsewhere because for the life of me I see this as unending. It's the snake eating its tail. It's a circular conflict whose genesis goes back over a thousand years. It's a tiny dot of the world with hemmed in people with violently different ideas about who owns what, where who worships, and who has the right to whatever. It's a fucked up conflict that will remain forever fucked up. I don't know how many Nobel peace prizes have been awarded over trying to solve this shit, maybe five or six - but nothing has ever been worked out that means guarranteed peace. Whoever solves it will be and should be lauded as the greatest diplomat the earth has seen.

Suffice to say, thoughts are with all those people caught up in this conflict. To the soldiers in the IDF, to its pilots and other members involved in the direct violence, the religion crazed madmen of Hezbollah, the citizens crammed in their bomb shelters in Israel and those in Lebanon cowering in basements, under houses, or fleeing for their lives with their homes destroyed. I feel for you all and I bless each and every day I live in a country free of conflict of hate and of religious and ethnic discord.

We have it so very, very lucky here. And don't I know it.

Daily Tellie - making up their own stories to further their political agenda?

Under David Penberthy, the man who sicked his reporters onto John Brogden and Mark Latham, the Daily Tellie has really ramped it up a notch on the completely biased beyond the norm even expected of tabloid journalism.

Check out this crap from today's Daily Tellie

THESE are the photographs that shame the so-called "safe" injecting room in Kings Cross – dozens of syringes spilling from a bin in a public street.

At best, the photographs prove critics' claims that the taxpayer-funded centre is a honeypot that attracts and keeps drug addicts in the area.

At worst, they show that centre staff are exposing the public to potentially deadly blood-tainted needles by showing no care in their disposal.

Then they show a photo of the bin filled with syringes that the council workers 'refuse to touch'.

Pretty evil of those gosh darned junkies huh? See the article here

And the SMH's take?

A bin full of exposed syringes was planted near a Kings Cross injecting clinic to discredit the centre, its medical director says.

A Sydney newspaper today published photographs of about 100 "potentially deadly blood-tainted needles" dumped near the clinic and called for the centre to be shut down.

"It's been said before, but it needs to be said again and again until it is done - this place needs to be shut down now," said the Daily Telegraph newspaper in an editorial.

But Dr Ingrid van Beek, who heads the Sydney Medically Supervised Injecting Centre, said the syringes did not belong to the centre.

"It would appear likely to be a stunt," Dr van Beek said.

"None of the many syringes had actually been used. They had been taken out of their packets, the caps were removed, and they were strewn on top of a garbage bin.

"There were no traces of blood or drugs in any of the syringes. They were most certainly not syringes used by drug users.

"They were also not the brand of syringes distributed in this area."

See the full SMH article here.

I wonder if the Daily Tellie photographer that quite possibly staged this little photo op is going to get in trouble or at the least be investigated over this?

Of course not.

These are the sort of unobjective pig swill of media some in this country seem to put great store in - assuming this is true, which on the face of it appears to be the case. I hope the rabid readers of the DT and its Vic cousin the Herald Sun are very proud of their likely efforts to really take a story beyond the truth level and straight into fabrication. Must give you a warm glow inside.

I have not got a problem with those on the right in this country. Far from it. They are half my brethren even if I don't agree with their politics on a range of issues. But I do have a problem with a media organisation that is growing steadily more unobjective in an effort to push a moral line in an effort to sell papers with community outrage over faked stories and back "friendly" politicians that will help them in the future.

But then given the Daily Tellie is the paper equivalent of Today Tonight why should I be at all surprised?

Sorry for not putting the photo of the "needles" up - I was concerned about copyright issues.

For an interesting debate on injection rooms see the SMH forum from today's paper. Most people support it, except for some of the "nail 'em up I say" f/cheads that pop their heads up with various witty comments like 'An OD is a natural cause, let them die' (paraphrased).

You can find a link to it - (sorry can't seem to put it as a clickable link).

Oh, if you're curious I fully support injecting rooms. They save lives, give addicts access to treatment, and like one poster posted in the SMH blog if they save just one person from getting HIV through needle stick then it was worth it.

And the Daily Tellie was wrong in saying it was tax payer funded. It's funded from the proceeds of crime.

But then, given they (probably) faked a photo for some "outrage", why would they bother letting that fact stand in the way of their shrieking indignation?


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Comment of the week ... on Alan Jones

Triple J recently restored the Jones files they had on Hack, featuring "...out takes..." of the parrot back from his 2UE days. You can find the link to this goodness here.

I sent the link to a friend. Her comment?

How does such a tool end up being a 'respected' member of the media?! What an absolute fuckwit!!! Oooooh, the dust, the dust, the dust is the reason that I am a prick and think that green pants with a lime green shirt are a good fashion choice. The dust gives me the right to threaten to cut the throats of my employees. The dust is the reason we lost the rugby. The dust is filling the space WHERE MY BRAIN SHOULD BE!!!!! God I hate him. Tooly tooly tool.

I bet John Laws would never behave like that. Or at least he'd have the sense to turn the microphone off. Hello world, you can all go fuck yourselves.

Pure. Gold.

"Hello world, you can all go fuck yourselves."

Harrangueman remembers ... Paul Keating

From Hansard, 27 February, 1992 - link here

How I miss him so...

The 1950s

Mr MELHAM —I direct my question to the Prime Minister. Is the Prime Minister aware of recent comments suggesting—

Opposition members interjecting

Mr SPEAKER —Order! The House will come to order.

Mr MELHAM —Is the Prime Minister aware of recent comments suggesting that the 1950s were a time of great advancement for Australia, a golden age for Australia? Can the Prime Minister tell the House whether it is the Government's intention to pursue similar outcomes?

Mr KEATING —In the past week we have had one of those rare philosophic outbursts from the Opposition. We had some remarks from the Leader of the Opposition and the honourable member for Bennelong at a philosophical level which could not have made the differences between the Government and the Opposition clearer than they did. They started off with the Leader of the Opposition, with his back turned as usual, talking about, `I never learned respect at school'. You see, I should never have said in front of Her Majesty the Queen of Australia that Australia was now trading with the Asia-Pacific area. I should never have said that we have independence from Britain and Europe, as Britain joined the Common Market and as Australia trades now 70 to 80 per cent of its imports and exports with the Asia-Pacific area. I should never have made that remark about independence to the Queen of this continent. I should have had more respect. How dare I even reflect modestly on the old links with Britain, on the British bootstraps stuff? Of course we then had a flurry of comment by the honourable member for Bennelong about the 1950s and what a very good period that was—he said it was a very, very good period, a golden age. That was the period when gross domestic product per head was half what it is now; when commodities occupied 85 per cent of our exports; when telephones were half what they are now; when there were half as many cars per thousand people of population; when pensions were half their real value of today and when 10 children per 1,000 went to university instead of 30 per 1,000. That was the golden age when Australia stagnated. That was the golden age when Australia was injected with a near-lethal dose of fogeyism by the conservative parties opposite, when they put the country into neutral and where we very gently ground to a halt in the nowhere land of the early 1980s, with a dependency on commodities that would not pay for our imports.

That was the golden age when vast numbers of Australians never got a look in; when women did not get a look in and had no equal rights and no equal pay; when migrants were factory fodder; when Aborigines were excluded from the system; when we had these xenophobes running around about Britain and bootstraps; and that awful cultural cringe under Menzies which held us back for nearly a generation.

I said today at the Press Club that one of my colleagues, the Minister for Administrative Services, Senator Bolkus, has always been at the Cabinet about the future development of the old Parliament House and about whether it ought to be a constitutional museum or museum of Australian cultural history. We thought we could basically make the changes and put some of the cultural icons of the 1950s down there.

Mr Costello interjecting—

Mr SPEAKER —I warn the honourable member for Higgins.

Mr KEATING —The Morphy Richards toaster, the Qualcast mower, a pair of heavily protected slippers, the Astor TV, the AWA radiogram. And, of course, the honourable member for Wentworth and the honourable member for Bennelong could go there as well. When the kids come and look at them they will say, `Gee, mum, is that what it was like then?'. And the two Johns can say, `No, kids. This is the future'. Back down the time tunnel to the future—there they are. I was told that I did not learn respect at school. I learned one thing: I learned about self-respect and self-regard for Australia—not about some cultural cringe to a country which decided not to defend the Malayan peninsula, not to worry about Singapore and not to give us our troops back to keep ourselves free from Japanese domination. This was the country that you people wedded yourself to, and even as it walked out on you and joined the Common Market, you were still looking for your MBEs and your knighthoods, and all the rest of the regalia that comes with it. You would take Australia right back down the time tunnel to the cultural cringe where you have always come from. That is why your Fightback! document—

Opposition members interjecting

Mr SPEAKER —Order! There is far too much noise. Honourable members on my left will cease interjecting. The honourable member for Dundas will cease interjecting. I think the honourable member for Bennelong is going to have a heart attack if his face goes any redder, so he might cease interjecting too. Honourable members on my right will cease interjecting.

Mr KEATING —These are the same old fogies who doffed their lids and tugged the forelock to the British establishment; they now try to grind down Australian kids by denying them a technical school education and want to put a tax on the back of the poor. The same old sterile ideology, the same old fogyism of the 1950s, that produced the Thatcherite policies of the late 1970s is going to produce Fightback. We will not have a bar of it. You can go back to the fifties to your nostalgia, your Menzies, the Caseys and the whole lot. They were not aggressively Australian, they were not aggressively proud of our culture, and we will have no bar of you or your sterile ideology.

Me and my manners ... happy 67th!

With thanks to the Dark Public Servant for his FUD analysis

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Australian - can they get any more blatantly political than this? I think not

Ah The Australian, never afraid to meddle in the affairs of government. Belonging to one of the more interventionist media conglomerates in the world, Newscorp™, The Oz is our national daily that is to the right of centre and has outwardly supported the Liberal party since 1974. It famously this year managed to be the driving force behind the 2006 Federal budget which saw 2% of tax payers (Newcorp bosses) get most of the benefits.

Left: The Australian; it will decide what's right for us.

The Oz detests Jon Stanhope, leader of the Labor party government here in the ACT. Any chance it can get it puts the boot in. I suspect because unlike other state premiers Jon Stanhope governs not according to what media pundits say he should do – like the Oz and their tax cuts for the super rich – but for what is best for people in accordance with humanist principles. And because he doesn't face a manufactured hostile press that self generates outrage like this crap.

Here's today's editorial which jams the boot into Stanhope claiming that because the ACT's anti terror laws are different, terrorists will flock here like it's a fucking goldstrike and bomb us all to bits. Their editorial is available here.

ACT's odd man out

Jon Stanhope's vision puts the nation's capital at risk

ACT chief minister Jon Stanhope's continuing campaign to turn Canberra into a bush Amsterdam would be amusing if it did not have such potentially dire consequences. For in refusing to introduce legislation to complement the national anti-terrorism strategy, Mr Stanhope threatens to create dangerous loopholes in a jurisdiction where terrorists would almost surely love to strike. The Chief Minister says he is simply concerned about the human rights of terror suspects. But while the presumption of innocence is a keystone of our legal system, Mr Stanhope's counterproposals do little to protect it. Among his differences with legislation already agreed to by every other state and territory government, Mr Stanhope says no one under 18 years old should be subject to preventive detention; the cut-off is 16 in the rest of the country. His Government refuses to ban national security information from being included in the summary of charges provided to detainees, as is done elsewhere. And the ACT would ban police from frisking detainees for evidence without having "reasonable grounds" that the individual is carrying evidence linked to a terror attack or plot, while in the rest of the country the officers have far more leeway.

Contrary to Mr Stanhope's complaints, lowering the age at which preventive detention is a possibility makes sense. Of the 17 Islamic extremists recently arrested and charged with plotting a series of attacks in Canada, five were teens under age 18. Giving national security information to potential terrorists and their lawyers seems bizarre. And banning "prudent" searches of detainees, as is the standard elsewhere, smacks of wilful obstructionism. Mr Stanhope should welcome anti-terror legislation instead of accusing John Howard and Attorney-General Philip Ruddock of being "despots" practising "classic redneck law and order". After all, the ACT is home to more than its fair share of potential targets. Jack Roche is serving nine years for conspiring to blow up the Israeli embassy in Canberra.

Given his history, a cynic might say Mr Stanhope's concern about anti-terror laws is motivated less by principle than publicity. Besides attempting to legalise gay civil unions, the Chief Minister has mooted the legalisation of heroin, construction of injecting rooms and even the establishment of a needle exchange program for prisoners. Last year, he refused to sack a staffer caught spraying anti-Howard graffiti. More recently, his Government imposed some of the tightest water restrictions in the country while opening the floodgates to benefit the Macquarie perch. If the ACT's refusal to enact complementary anti-terror legislation is not resolved at this Thursday's meeting of attorneys-general, the commonwealth would be well within its rights to step in and enforce the law. Canberrans already labour under punitive rates, taxes and service cuts, thanks to Mr Stanhope's utopian green-left ideology. They should not also have to worry that their Chief Minister is not doing all he can to keep them out of terrorist crosshairs.

Nice one Oz. Very nice. Particularly love the Green-Left reference, the Green Left weekly being one of the very minor left wing scream sheets hawked by dredd covered pierced people in outside shopping malls. Also, note that Stanhope is LABOR not GREEN. Not that this makes a difference to the Oz. That would get in the way of some hyperbole.

Now to this point

' Contrary to Mr Stanhope's complaints, lowering the age at which preventive detention is a possibility makes sense. Of the 17 Islamic extremists recently arrested and charged with plotting a series of attacks in Canada, five were teens under age 18.'

Oh it does, does it? Now tell me were these underage yet-to-be-found guilty Canadians under preventative detention orders when they were arrested? Er no, they weren't. So it's a stretch to consider that somehow detention without charge is going to be of benefit here. These guys got charged with crimes they allegedly had in the offing – not because 'er, well, there's something … we're not sure … better stick you in jail.' Big difference.

The reason why ACT does not include children in preventative detention is because the government decided it conflicted with 'the rights of the child'. Here's the reference from the explanatory statement on this conclusion from the ACT anti terror laws - you can find the document here

The [ACT] clause is consistent with the Convention of the Rights of the Child which provides in Article 37 that States Parties shall ensure that:

(b) No child shall be deprived of his or her liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily. The arrest, detention or
imprisonment of a child shall be in conformity with the law and shall be used only as a measure of
last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time;

The detention of children is a disproportionate limitation on the rights of the child.

Seems fair enough to me. It seems locking up children is considered a violation of their rights when they have not been charged with a crime. Not that this matters to the Oz.

By the way I have no problem with children being charged with crimes of terrorism and detained accordingly. I have a problem with preventative and secret detention in general because I believe it goes against fundamental human rights – let alone for kids.

Oh – if you're curious the London 2005 bombers were all adults.

'Giving national security information to potential terrorists and their lawyers seems bizarre. And banning "prudent" searches of detainees, as is the standard elsewhere, smacks of wilful obstructionism.'

Let's look at these lovely rant like statements. The 'national security' information as best as I can tell is the reasons why the cops are making the order against them. Ie we think 'you're going to X a Y with a Z'. If you're going to be secretly detained without charge you have a fucking right to know why and contest it. Because how else can you fight that order without that information? It's secret arrest for secret reasons otherwise.

As for "prudent" searches, this what the ACT legislation notes;

Clause 41 Search of person taken into custody under preventative detention Order

Clause 41 allows for searches of a person for seizable items or evidence of terrorist acts.

Subclause (2) allows a police officer to conduct a frisk search or ordinary search for any seizable items. These are items that would present danger to a person, could be used to assist an escape or could be used to contact someone else to operate a remote device.

Subclause (3) prohibits the use of frisk searches or ordinary searches for evidence of a
terrorist act, unless the officer reasonably suspects the person is carrying such evidence.

Schedule 1 contains definitions and relevant provisions governing these searches.

Clause 80 Power to search people under special powers
Clause 80 empowers police to stop and search a person, including anything in the person’s possession or control (for example, bags or luggage carried by the person). To exercise the power the police officer must suspect, on reasonable grounds, that the
is a person named or described in a special powers authorisation;
is in the company of the above person, in suspicious circumstances;
is on, about to enter, or has recently left a vehicle named or described in a special
is about to enter, or has recently left an area named or described in a special powers

Schedule 1 contains definitions and relevant provisions governing these searches.
Subclause (3) empowers police to detain a person for as long as is reasonably necessary

Subclause (4) creates an offence against a person who fails to comply with a
requirement by a police officer in relation to the search. The offence is punishable by a maximum penalty of 50 penalty units or imprisonment for 6 months or both. It is not an offence if a person had a reasonable excuse not to comply with a requirement.

Clause 81 Power to search vehicles under special powers
Clause 81 empowers police to stop and search a vehicle (including anything in or on the vehicle). To exercise the power the police officer must suspect, on reasonable grounds, that:
the vehicle is named or described in a special powers authorisation;
a person who is about to enter, is in or on, or has recently left the vehicle is a person named or described in a special powers authorisation; or
the vehicle is about to enter, or has recently left an area named or described in a special powers authorisation.

Subclause (2) empowers police to detain a vehicle for as long as is reasonably necessary to conduct the search.

Subclause (3) empowers police to detain a person who is on or on a vehicle for as long as is reasonably necessary to conduct the search of the vehicle.

Basically, and not being a lawyer here, my analysis is 'THEY HAVE TO HAVE REASONABLE CAUSE TO SEARCH SOMEONE'.

How is that a threat? It means cops just can't frisk everyone in sight. They have to justify their reasons as to why they did – which they can do after the fact. Perfectly reasonable.

What's happened here, and I'm ignoring the manifestly inappropriate unobjective attack on Stanhope's person and his government's policies that have nothing to do with this issue, is that the Oz dislikes a state or territory leader that does not subscribe to the paper's 'Chicken Little' concept of terrorism. The Stanhope government recognizes that mass casualty events are a risk and has taken proper steps to address it. Proper steps in accordance with the norms of rights we expect as a citizen of this country.

He didn't follow suit not out of hubris but out of respect for the fundamental inaliable rights we have to not be arrested without charge without shit loads of protections built in to prevent law enforcers from performing such acts arbitarially with minimal evidence.

He's the only one, the only one in this country that did so.

Stanhope is a politician yes. But he's a person first. Unlike Howard, Ruddock, Downer and those other 'the terrorists are coming vote for me, the terrorists are coming vote for me' dickheads that inhabit the right spectrum of politics. They're all too willing to induce fear and anger amongst the populace for political purpose whenever it suits. And I can't fucking stand that.

I seriously doubt AQ, LeT, MILF, and whatever multitude of people out there are going to start funneling under age recruits into the ACT because 'the laws are kinder there'. If the intelligence and law enforcement lads are doing their jobs - they can prevent terrorism by arresting people when they have cause to suspect them of engaging in terrorism.

I admit that Suicide terrorists don't give a shit about being caught after the fact - they just want to blow up their target. And stopping that is a key responsibility of every government.

But it does not give the government the arbitary right to lock up who they like, including children, and search people in connection with a terror act planned or otherwise without a good reason. And if a citizen is detained under preventative restrictions they are entitled to know why and defend against it. To label it 'National Security' is not a catch all that means those the victims of such extraordinary legislation can't know why they are detained.

Detention without charge is wrong in my opinion, detention without KNOWING THE FUCK WHY IS EVEN WORSE.

Terrorism only works when we as a society massively react against isolated acts of extreme violence by severly curtailing individual freedoms.

Massive societal changes in response to terrorism benefits Terrorists through repression of the masses encouraging what few fuckwits out there are inclined to do this to seek redress. The government of the day benefits because the people see it as their daddy protector. Right wing media benefits because it's great copy.

And there's the why for the Oz.

Monday, July 24, 2006

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See Jamie's BB profile here

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Without Fear or Favour

I just read in the Washington Post that the ACLU is acting '...on behalf of the fundamentalist Westboro Baptist Church, which has outraged mourning communities by picketing service members' funerals with signs condemning homosexuality.' See the article here (registration likely required).

The Westbro church is none other than the backing vocals for one of the worst people on the planet, the Rev. Fred Phelps.

According to the ACLU wiki Bill O'Reilly has frequently and variously referred to the ACLU as "the most dangerous organization in America," a "terrorist group," and as an "anti-American" and "fascist organization".

This despite the fact the ACLU has defended his buddy Rush Limbaugh's right to privacy because he was caught doctor shopping for medications through his personal records being disclosed ... and in spite of Limbaugh's own condemnation of the ACLU in the past (talk about turning the other cheek).

The ACLU practice what they preach, the Voltairian model of 'I may not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.'

Free speech should be extended to all. If you are a bigoted fuckwit like Phelps and his hideous likely inbred kin that resemble something like mutants from 'the hills have eyes', you should still have your right to stand on a soap box and dribble your crap as much as lefty types like me have to picket proto-fascists like One Nation or their proto slime descendents.

Controlled speech leads to no speech which leads to political repression. And already here in Oz we have curtailed speech.

Free speech of course does not enable fuckwits to shout 'fire' in a crowded theatre, and if it is used to inspire hate and violence such as the religious calling for the death or violent conversion of unbelievers, or shock jocks calling for listeners to come on down to the beach to "... protect ..." it from "wogs" in such a manner that gives a nod and a wink to thuggery then any victims should be allowed to try and sue such people vocalising this in court where a direct link can be proven. People like spiritual leaders of fanatical hate groups - a classic example being
Abu Bakir Bashir.

Free speech is why I love the web. Here in cyberspace everyone can hear you scream, whether it's bigoted rantings, saintly musings, or debates on subjects that are denied to others.

Unless, of course, you live in the number one non capitalist capitalist country China, where 40,000 thought police scan the web for anyone rumbling about greater participation in the governmental process and lock people up simply for blogging about wouldn't it be nice if we could all get along for a change.

By the way, as a counter to the hideous Phelps and his 80-90% related by blood or marriage followers, are some tatt covered uber bikies known as the Patriot Guard Riders, who voluntarially turn up at funerals to "reverse picket" Phelps and his odious crew - using the same first amendment provisions to do so.

And that's why I love America. Because despite attempts by fuckheads to reduce the right to be free to think and say what you want, you can still
proudly do so - and to the face of an opposing view holder.

Now, wouldn't it be great if one of those "God hates fags" fuckwits actually tried to physically assault a patriot rider ... ?

David from BB - A member of the Nationals?

This photo was in Crikey - suggesting that gay organic farmer "David" from Big Brother 06 was a member of the Nationals, or affiliated with them in some way.

I'm curious, if that's the case how would he resile himself with the "Traditional Values" stance of the Nats?

Such as found in the Young Nationals 'what we stand for' statement available here

I do love that the Young Nats state this

All Australians should be given a ‘fair go’ regardless of race, creed, religion, gender or where they choose to live;

But conclude their 'about us' with this

The traditional family unit is fundamental to our way of life

I note also the 'fair go' statement says gender but nothing about sexual orientation. So I guess it doesn't conflict. Basically the Nats don't discriminate against anyone ... except those who happen to not be hetrosexual.

I'm guessing if David is a Nat then he's there because, and fair enough too, he's a farmer and the Nats first and foremost have them as their constituency. But I wonder though if it rankles him that in order to give that support he has to accept the party to which he belongs does not ever want him to access the benefits of marriage should he, David, ever choose to seek that with a partner of his choice?

I read somewhere that there was this study into the Republican party in the US that found there were actually quite a few members who happened to be gay - far more than one would expect - though most of them were undeclared in their sexuality - ie gay in private - super hetro in public.

I expect that a fair chunk of homophobia out there, and often as a result of being in an unusually homoerotic environment such as an all male sporting team, is a mask for those guys (or girls) that are sitting on the fence in regards to their sexuality but are terrified to admit it.

I f you're feeling that way embrace it lads. There's not shame in it. It's a part of life. As for me, yes I admit now and then I get flashes of man on man action - despite my firm membership in the men and women camp. I think some guys smell nice. Doesn't mean I want to engage in same sexual relations but it likewise doesn't mean that I would be repulsed by an offer to do so.

Homer says it best.

"Sorry, Mr. Burns. I don't go in for these backdoor shenanigans. Sure I'm flattered, maybe even a little curious. But the answer is no!"

If you are curious about the surprising variance sexuality can have, check out the concept of the Kinsey scale (which I believe I have blogged about before). See the wiki here

I'd say I'm about a 0.5.

Postscript I; wikied Gay Republicans. They have an organisation called Log Cabin
Postscript 2; Check out this guy - and some say US Democrats can't be conservative! -
Merrill Keiser. Just a reminder - the ALP voted yes on the man woman marriage only thing about three years ago. I wasn't a member of the party then - and I sure as hell would have kicked up a stink at my branch meeting for a resolution against it had I been a member at that time.

Never under estimate the ability of man to work around regulations

I came across this in wiki - the concept of the Blind Pig.

The name originated in the United States in the 1800s, when
blue laws restricted the sale of alcoholic beverages. A saloonkeeper would charge customers to see an attraction (such as an animal), and provide a "complimentary" alcoholic beverage, thus circumventing the law.

It reminds me of that universal law - something to do with 'nature will follow the easiest path'.

My favourite one of these 'get arounds' was an Australian Greek businessman that ran a limo company in Sydney in the 1970s. Limos are tightly regulated and require expensive plate fees and so forth. His solution to get around these fees was this. Free use of limosuines with every 200 wedding invitations. Naturally the wedding invitations were quite expensive as far as these things go - but the offer of the free limo was quite enticing. Apparently the NSW government passed a special law just to stop him.

Blind Pigs remind me of the drinking laws from the Rex Banner episode of the Simpsons.

Rex Banner: "Pet shop, eh? Well, I just have one question. What kind of pet shop is filled with rambunctious yahoos and hot jazz music at one AM?"
Moe: "Um... the best damn pet shop in town!"
All: "Yeah!!"

One of those truth stranger than fiction things

From the SMH - see here

It was supposed to be an unforgettably romantic moment.

But when a young man in Georgia proposed to his high school sweetheart mid-air in a specially chartered Cessna aircraft, the couple crashed to the ground.

They survived the crash, she said yes. The ring is still in the wreckage. He proposed via a sheet with the words on it strung out by his friends.

This reminds me of that time when at Camp Quality [a respite camp for children with cancer] a biplane featuring one of Ozzer's only wing walkers crashed right in front of the kids - killing her and her pilot. Not only are you a poor bald sick cancer kiddie confronting your mortality but you see a horrible accident before your very eyes where two people are mortally wounded.

Oh well, at least trauma counsillors were already nearby...

Suck Sh_t

I just had a brief scan at my beloved Smuh (Sydney Morning Herald) when I see this excellent article -
Value of guzzlers slips as fuel costs rise

All I can say is sucked shit to those people who bought these things for hedonistic pleasure. If you're a business person or farmer type that needs one, I commiserate. If you're not, well, sucked in.

Now this does raise an interesting question for Mikey Morality. For example I have no problem with drug use - you should be allowed to stick what you like into your body since it's your body. BUT that being said what about the social and economic costs of addiction? Other people have to pay for that with time and resources if you become sick or hurt others. 4WD people do the same - ie increase their ecological footprint - which is a form of being selfish.

I think it's because while I could be mugged by a junkie, or have my house robbed or car broken into (1 and 6 here in Canberra) by a junkie which impacts on me, it's unlikely I'd be crushed flat by a junkie as opposed to a fuckwit in a four wheel drive that didn't know how to handle their machine properly and ploughed into me and managed to walk away without a scratch.

Maybe that's it? I see their monster cars on the road and they freak me out when the swerve, turn corners, speed past me etc because I worry that they're going to kill me by rolling over or simply hitting me.

That and being a short arse I can't fucking see past them.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Off to a party

Well, a gathering. Actually it could be a party. For a friend in the Blue Mountains. Driving up, stay two nights, back on Sunday.

The friend is a kid by the way. Is it weird to call her a friend? It's not like a call her up and chat about normal stuff - but I think of her as my friend. She's funny and smart and can beat me at board games too. She whipped my arse at Cluedo.

Actually I have never won a game of Cluedo ever. It's my Everest.

Yeah, it sounds creepy calling her my friend. Is there a name that is acceptable for having a friend that's not an adult when you're an adult that doesn't get tainted with dodgyness?

How about pal? Yeah, that sounds good.

Off to a pal's birthday. See you in a couple of days.

Peace Out Comrades

Thursday, July 20, 2006

West Wing Moments

"I've been walking up and down these aisles looking at these old men, these great and terrible old men, and thinking: prosperous, free and democratic Saudi Arabia --- something to wish for. But the men on this plane spent the better part of the late 20th century trying to play God in other countries. And the regimes they anointed are the ones that haunt us today. Yeah, I'm not making much progress with the eulogy." - Toby Ziegler.

"You start saddling up camels in every country in the Middle East then you better be prepared to spend the next 50 years sifting through sand because this isn't a quick run on the beach, Jed. This is the new world order." - Former President Newman.

Season 5, Episode 10; "The Stormy Present"

Jews are to blame for their being trapped in Germany

By Claus Von Bigotman, November 10, 1938

Australian Jews have only themselves to blame for their current situation of being trapped in anti-semitic Germany. Presumably some of them voted for the Nazis, so they don't deserve to be rescued. This will teach them to regard themselves as both Jewish and Australians.

They should also embrace the large "J" the Führer has assigned their passports. Perhaps even sew it onto their sleeve? That way in the unlikely event we send a ship or plane to get them, we can identify them. Though they would also need to sew a kangaroo on the other sleeve just in case some uppity non Australian jew tries to sneak a ride on our proudly Australian chartered transport.

Naturally the government will be out of pocket. Therefore I suggest that any jew picked up in this manner has 20% of their goods confiscated to pay for all the trouble they caused.


By the way I am aware of Godwin's law. No need to point it out.

Piers Akerman, champion for all the people.

Ah Piers Ackerman, guarranteed to play a piper's tune to bigots and the ill informed across our brown land (or certain beachside suburbs in Sydney).

Check out his recent effort here

Here's some choice bits

THE latest Middle East conflagration has flushed out a new class of dual nationality super-snivellers who believe mere possession of an Australian passport guarantees them security in their “other” homeland.

And of course

Apparently 400 of the dual citizens demanding assistance to leave are in southern Lebanon, that part of the nation occupied by the Iranian and Syrian-backed Hezbollah terrorist organisation, which, with the Palestinian Hamas terrorists, has long been dedicated to erasing the nation of Israel from the map.

Presumably, some of these Lebanese-Australians vote in the Lebanese elections and, just as probably, also voted for Hezbollah candidates, though the group is listed by the Australian Government as a terrorist organisation.

Here's Michael Pascoe's reaction from Crikey to Piers's piece.

Well, bomb the lot of ‘em then, I suppose. And pack any that survive off to Gitmo. That'll learn ‘em.
That's Piers, that's the Daily Telegraph, that's Murdoch.

Noice. What a remarkable human being Piers is. Oz is a proud country represented by people across the world with all manner of racial or cultural background. And for the most part we work very well as a society - despite bleating about multi-culturalism and the odd riot point and counterpoint.

Ackerman and ilk are a cancer on this society. They sit like Tiddledick the fucking frog, bloated and moist like, occasionally flicking out a raspy tongue to stir things up with crap like this.

These Australians did not ask to be part of a war. They want to get out. And they have a right to request the assitance of the Australian government, no expect it. They're scared, sitting in 40 degree heat with screaming children and bombs cracking in the distance. And scared people demand help. They do not deserve to be mocked for it.

Try sitting on that dock you fatuous puffed up with self importance wreck of a human being and see how you like it. Hell you'd probably demand Murdoch send the private jet for you just so you wouldn't have to put up with the Hoi Polloi being jammed in with you.
Oh ... wait ... they bombed the airport.

I guess they'd have to send Murdoch's super yacht instead - least there's plenty of room for you to stretch out and soak up the sun. Perhaps they could even swing past the French Riviera? You're very important and influential Piers. I'm sure they'd do it for you. Just imagine - girls, drink ! What a time you'd have! It's almost worth the chance of your being killed by a stray bomb.

"Drink! Arse! Gurls!"

I need a name for mah new woman

I'm thinking Lurlene, Sandy, Wanda, Mandy, Dallas, Winona, Jasmine, or Bethany. Any suggestions?

I know bombs are sexier than nature but still...

Lebanon has become a western world focus - likely because most western countries have nationals trapped that can't get out. Yet for all those killed in this recent conflict it's about 20% of that of the quake/tsunami combo that hit Indon a couple of days ago - see the wiki here

I love the lack of warning they had. You'd think the 2004 Tsunami would have been a wake up call to have means to detect and advise people of an inbound Tsunami.

But no...

Why don't we in Oz get it for them. It might make up for the face slap of the whole west papua thing. We can afford it. We have the know how.

You must unlearn what you have learned...

Seventy six trombones led the big parade
With a hundred and ten cornets close at hand
They were followed by rows and rows of the finest virtuosos;
the cream of every famous band.

Heh heh, he said "cream"

Well I got my mark. I got 76%. Made the D level by a point to spare.

All my arse kissing, extra work, and being a massive study nerd has paid off.

Now I can relax safe in the knowledge I can start forgetting stuff I used to know.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Taking a slag off to your face

Today I had the good fortune to have a colleague sit across from me at a table and slag off one of my reports to other people. I help produce these reports every three or so months and get them put together by a contractor. They have to use a template I assign them, ditto the graphics and words within it. I've been stuck in a room for the last three weeks going over similar reports to this and the comparison came up.

This is what the colleague said.

'This is weak and pathetic. The photos are too dark, the headers don't grab me, the layout is terrible. I would never want to read this. I don't know how much you're involved in this HM, but your contractor's efforts are pretty sad.'

I just sat there grinning like a fuckwit thinking 'well, that was a nice fat kick in the balls.' I didn't say anything, and I should have defended the contractor since all the material they can work with I supply. It's not their fault if they have to work with some of the crap that goes into my report. Neither is that my fault. Sure it could be better, it always could be better. But there's constructive ways of saying it and there's just kicking a dude fair in the sack'o'nuts.

Needless to say I had the red rash of angry shame creep up my neck and colour my face. Later I went through the report and confirmed to my satisfaction that the photos in there were fine and she didn't know what she was talking about.

She's slagged off these things before, but she seemed to take ghoulish pleasure in rattling off its many faults happily with other listeners in the room.

She is brutally honest, or so she says. She likes to deliver her opinion unvarnished and to the point. But I think there was an agenda there of 'I could do your job so much better than you' despite the fact she has no formal training whatsoever. And I'm the first to mention raw faults of what I do. I self deprecate. It's my thing, so maybe she took it to heart.

I probably won't say anything, but I am pretty hurt by it. And I have to stay in a room with her for another two weeks.


Attention people who clap in movie theatres

The people on the screen ... can't actually hear you.

John West Takes Out Restraining Order Against Fish

John West, noted fishing magnate was awarded an apprehensive violence order against Mr Fish today after a judge found Mr Fish had been repeatedly stalking and harassing Mr West.

Left: Courtroom artist sketch of Mr West

'Phone calls, emails, faxes, sitting in a car late at night outside my gate,' said a fearful Mr W
est in the witness stand. 'Mr Fish is relentless in his harassment of me.'

Mr West's lawyer said Mr Fish had begun stalking Mr West after their relationship soured when Mr West told him 'it was over', with the counsel providing photographic evidence of Mr Fish in his car near Mr West's house.

'I told him to his face that we could not be,' agreed Mr West. 'That he meant nothing to me. That I could no longer bear him in my presence. It may be cruel, but I only accept 100% in my life. And Mr Fish is what I call a Dog Salmon. He may look good, but he's not up to my exacting standards.'

Mr West's brutal assessment of Mr Fish drew gasps from the courtroom, the public gallery packed in like sardines. However the judge ruled that while Mr West may not be the most pleasant of men, he had a right not to be harassed by the rejected fish.

Left: Evidence tendered to the court

'I grant a 100 metre restraining zone around Mr West that you cannot breech,' said the judge to Mr Fish. 'While Mr West may have caused you great pain with the manner of his curt dismissal of your feelings, you have no right to menace him so. I suggest you seek assistance to deal with this. Perhaps some sort of counselling.'

Mr Fish said he was disappointed with the ruling but felt that he had to speak up for all the other rejected fish.

'One day I hope that West meets the fish of his life, and his puts his heart on the line. And instead of that fish reeling him in he throws West back into the cold, dark sea – just like he did to me,' said Mr Fish bitterly.

Mr Fish said he would form a support group of similarly spurned sea life to assist them to also 'move on from their spiteful rejections', while warning other fish with stars in their eyes to avoid the heartless magnate.

'Let the word go out from this day forward. You see West, you go East,' said a tearful Mr Fish.

♫ ♪ Ben, the two of us need look no more ♪ ♫



You are not what you do

I was having an email conversation with mah Sydney bud when she mentioned the distress a friend of hers was having over the idea of being a corporate clone or office sitter.

My response was this. What you do in your day job does not make who you are. I am tired of the 'what do you do?' question you get from people you meet who don't know where you work. And I admit I do it too. I say 'public servant' or 'administrator' and other assorted meaningless words that stand little for me at all. Maybe being a policeman or a fireman or a nurse or a doctor is different because it's not just what you do that's important but the fact that you do it to help others. That's kewl. If you're one of those types then feel free to shout with pride 'I am (profession)'.

Me? I'm tired of this meaningless question. I am not what I do. I am a public servant sure – and I serve the public after a fashion. But I don't sit up at night fixating on my ability to serve the public. I use my nights to hang out with my wife and do things of interest to me like this, or read, or watch movies, talk with friends, email, do chores, eat, sleep, be merry and all sorts of things that are the stuff of being alive. A public servant I happen to be employed as. A public servant as my purpose in being is clearly not.

For example, the shitty jobs – like the jobs that involve shit. No one grows up hoping to be a janitor and clean up poo poos and wee wees and vomie voms. No one. Unless you have a fucked up OCD that is in severe need of treatment. People end up as cleaners because of life circumstances. They don't kick back in the tiny freaky room that cleaners hang out in and glare at you from as you walk past with the latest issue of "Bog Monthly" detailing the hows and whys of keeping your tinkle hut clean. Of course not. They gossip and read New Idea and other such business. And good on them.

I do not sit around waxing lyrical about my job. For the most part it's pretty boring. I do it, I come home and that's where my real living happens. It's the same as about 99.9997% of other people in the western world. I'm not saying don't enjoy your job – far from it. If you can enjoy your job and take pleasure in being 'I'm a (insert profession)' then good on you. You probably are happier, have shinier hair, and your hygiene is above reproach. Especially if as mentioned you do one of those stellar jobs that is more about providing for the community than just for yourself.

But for the bulk of us ordinary joes out there just putting along, remember being an office slave or factory hand, or retail, or service, or any of those other rest of humanity type jobs, it does not define you. What defines you is how you feel, what you read, what you watch, what you laugh at or with, who you love - basically what you do as a person that you do for pleasure or family and not profit.

So to all you unsung heroes out there of society where you too get irritated with 'so what do you do?' I salute you. You can't sum yourself up in a few words that relate solely to your current employment or time assignation. We're all too interesting for that. The next time someone says 'so what do you do?' I am going to say 'well, when I come home I like to relax with a shower, then maybe hop on the web and look at interesting things, have a stab at writing something, laugh with the wife, then drop off to sleep ready to do it all again.'

Damn straight.