Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Oh get your hand off it

Sheik Hilaly, who formerly attempted to assist in the Douglas Woods rescue (how soon we forget) is now on indefinate leave after a three week old sermon where he quoted a cleric of the pasts attitudes to women was poorly received post translation.

Apparently now all sermons across Australia will be taped by The Australian and reported on the front page if it's of cultural interest. Hooray! Way to watch the watchers Oz.

Anyway in the SMH today it noted Costello's comments as follows (see article here).

"This sermon, it was preached to 5000 people, wasn't it? No-one seemed to complain when it was preached. It took a long time for it to come out. No people stood up in the middle of the sermon and said, 'This is unacceptable."'

Now I know Uncle Pete is used to how services work in most religions, what with the speaker from typically a raised platform. Generally - not Q&A. Basically for the most part when religious figures speak - even if people don't agree with what they are saying at the time - for example gays can't get communion (George Pell) or women can't be Priests (the mysoginistic Jensen brothers) or Palestinians are evil and Israel is allowed to do what it likes when it likes (some Rabbis from Melbourne) - typically audience members do not stand up and object.

By the way Uncle Pete - I think it was 500 people at the mosque. Not 5000.

I don't like the inference Costello is giving here. To whit 'because no one stood up in the middle of Hilaly's sermon ergo everyone there agreed with what he said'. Bull dust. If you've ever been to a sermon in a church - and you're a secular liberal minded person like me - chances are you agree with the 'can't we all be nice to each other' bits, but not the moronic 'a man lying with a man is like a snake in eden and thou must slay it with a slender reed not more than two cubits thick' crap that sometimes comes with it.

Hilaly's views - and remember like the Pope he was quoting someone else (that he agreed with - like the Pope) - are silly minded sure. Esp in Oz for fucks sake. But Costello should know better than to say 'why did no one run up the centre of the aisle and crash tackle him in the middle of his rhetoric' given it's potentinal inference that 'if no complaints then and all Muslims think this way' which is the vibe I took from it.

The sad thing is that Costello is one of the more sane Liberals. He is. He has a social conscience. And by all means he should took on issues of extreme views. But he has to be careful that by critiquing the extremes he doesn't cast shadows on the middle.

It would be like me criticising Hillsong and therefore casting aspertion on all Christians of all types - which is moronic especially since the basic Christian message of 'love one another' is pretty neato. It's just the 'and yea God did say make mountains of money at home; Bedazzle - Bedazzler' stuff from them and their intolerance to some segments of the community that shits me.

Maybe it's different because there's really only two broad types of Islam and in Christian themed counrties there's about 608. So it's easier to think Muslims all think this way. But then we got George Pell and his semi-whacky views from the Catholic church and the Jensens from the Anglican and they're the two big ones of the Oz Church community.

Oh - just as an aside - I'm reading Name of the Rose at the moment. It touches quite a bit on bible references. During the seduction of Adso the monk it lists numerous verses that talk about how slutty women are the base temptation of moral man.

Funny that. How so many religions are a like when you look deep down...

Monday, October 30, 2006

There is no God!

My dad is a Christian. And it's his faith that allows him to deal with what is happening in his life - such as watching his wife slowly slipping away in rather horrible circumstances.

Tonight things came to a head. Me, convinced there was some sort of fuckup (re medication) was demanding answers. He, quite rightly, was saying I was not 'an investigative reporter' and told me to drop it. Unpleasant things were said, including 'I have a God and it makes me strong and you don't have one' from him with a 'if your God is so great why has he crippled my mother?' from me - which is a pretty low blow to a man clinging to his faith as the bulwark against why horrible things happen and recovering from major stomach surgery.

He said the doctors debated the medication issue - and had taken her off on the 23rd completely. They agreed this could have a contributing effect to why she was suffering the way she was and considered putting her back on but decided against it what with an impending MRI. I still don't understand the reasoning since they only booked it today and if they had decided to take her off for MRI purposes a week ago then surely they would have booked it then. But - as Dad said - I am not a doctor.

I think basically I had found the one thing that meant mum had a get out of jail free. Because if it was going off these drugs that did it, then everything else could be explained away. Except it can't. Fact is her memory is going. Fact is she has these funny turns. I came into the hospital today to see her clutching the side of her bed and panicked she was falling. Me - still convinced it was the lack of the drugs told her 'it will be okay, it will pass, you will be back on them soon and it will be okay.' Except of course she has these moments quite often according to Dad. Not as intense and only momentary but has them nonetheless.

It seems then that it's a case of her withdrawal is exacerbating a situation that already exists, not causing it.

I'm glad my Dad has God as his co-pilot. Because faith can help you make sense of the random crap that is being alive for a blip in an unending universe - especially when that blip ends quicker, to undeserved blips, and in shitty conditions like this.

I wish I had that. I do. To have confidence that whatever happens then it's for the best and there's a plan behind it all. And my Dad believes. And I shouldn't do anything to under cut that because without it then he suffers.

So I will back off. There's no conspiracy. They're doing their best. And if there was a reason they risked her being psycho because of taking her off these meds then I am sure it was a good one. Even if their records simply said 'cease' - without a time log, uninitialed, and without explanation listed next to it which as I understand is normally typically the case with such decisions when they can potentially exacerbate a dangerous condition.

I leave on Wednesday. I have to be calm for both of them. And when they can't see I can have a sniffle and get it out of my system.

I think pretty much I came up here not as part of a cure process - but as part of a pallative process. Mum's going, and my being here probably helps her be comfortable. And I expect sooner rather than later the whole 'we can make her as comfortable as possible' speech will be given and we have to prepare for the inevitable.

So far yesterday and today I've had Denial (the meds!), Anger (give her the meds!), Fear/Depression (not the meds) - bypassed bargaining - now am moving towards Acceptance (she's going to get worse now isn't she?).

Not bad for 48 hours.

It's like Homer when he ate the blowfish bits.

Over to you Homer.

Dr. Hibbert: Now, a little death anxiety is normal. You can expect to go through five stages. The first is denial.

Homer: No way, because I'm not dying!

Dr. Hibbert:…second is anger.

Homer: (starts to get mad) Why you little!

Dr. Hibbert: After that comes fear.

Homer: (worried) What's after fear? What's after fear?

Dr. Hibbert: Bargaining.

Homer: Doc, you gotta get me outta this. I'll make it worth your while.

Dr. Hibbert: Finally acceptance.

Homer: Well, we all gotta go sometime.

Dr. Hibbert: Mr. Simpson, your progress astounds me.

Jonestown - he deserves everything he gets

Righty commentators recently have been in the unusual position of being able to cry 'homophobe' because of the biography of Alan "Cash for Comment" Jones shock horror mentioned the fact he's gay. Apparently because "give me one million dollars or I will slag off your company" hadn't outed himself so ergo the entire book is nothing more than giving him a pink triangle to wear and shipping him off to the gas chambers.

The same righty commentators you'll note that think gay marriage is an evil fundamentalist plot (John Howard) and that a gay relationship is the moral equivalent of that of a man and his dog (Piers Akerman).

Let's not forget Miranda Devine who whined about Master's biog as of course being evil and decided that because Alan Jones as a teacher marked a student 0 out of 50 for an HSC mock trial paper that his theory that Jones was voyeristic of his naked form courtesy of his role as a coach should therefore be ignored. Miranda quoting the Oz article where that was listed, but not adding the fact that said boy was one of the top English students in the state and that Jones was clearly being a vindictive arsehole as said Boy revealed that Jones the teacher was teaching off crib notes instead of the book itself. See her deluded column here.

Moving on.

The homosexuality of Jones is a feature of the book. At about 15%. It doesn't go into tales of gay romps - but touches more on the difficulties Jones must have had with a conservative upbringing and fascade needed to be maintained from an era where being gay was punishable in prison. That little charmer courtesy of Sir Joh who Jones enthusiastically supported. It also goes some way to explaining Jones choice of careers, friends, and how he abuses his influence.

Mike Carlton - former stablemate of Jones - sums the biog up beautifully in Sat's SMH.

"DESPITE the furious cries of Alan Jones's admirers, Jonestown is not a "dirt book" about their hero's homosexuality. It is about his dishonesty as a broadcaster, his abuse of power to pervert the workings of politics, and his ruthless attacks upon hapless innocents who, often for the maddest reasons or for no reason at all, have attracted the great man's displeasure. And much more."

Damn straight. And in any other press medium on the planet outside of talk radio Jones would have been arsed for his blackmail of corporations and being hired as a corporate attack dog with so called "personal editorials" that had been bought for $$$. Indeed, Carlton notes the following;

"I've never been paid to say anything, no one's ever asked me to say anything in return for money," he would assure his audience, babbling in high dudgeon. But the famous cash-for-comment inquiry found that he had deceived his listeners and his employer, then Radio 2UE, by failing to disclose a commercial relationship on 31 separate occasions, and that nine times he had disguised his plugs for sponsors as authentic news items.

Ugly stuff. If a writer on this newspaper were caught quietly banking the odd six-figure cheque in return for rorting the news columns or opinion pages, that journalist would be out the Fairfax front door horizontally at warp speed, an industry pariah, never to work again. Jones, however, sailed blithely on. Until now, anyway.

Also Jones you may recall was a teacher in private schools before the world of politics beckoned. According to Masters Jones was a bully teacher of the worst water. Screaming at kids an inch from their face, caning them for the slightest infractions, and vivisecting their self worth over a period of months and years causing untold stress and pain. He had a cabal of favoured students and treated the rest like lumps of poo and paper bubbling out of an overflowing sewer pipe.

In short Jones was a nasty mean spirited fucking cunt of a teacher that made the lives of some kids hell. And having been a victim of bullies all my life - from fellow students above, peers, and below, and from fucking teachers, I hope that he gets one in the neck.

It's a good biography. And yes, there are bits that praises the man. But for the most part he's an Emperor with no clothes that cowardly pollies, from all walks of political life, are too scared to call on as being naked and covered in pustules and sores. Why? Because for the most part a little flattery means Jones will back them in full ignorant fury without checking the facts. A classic definition of 'it's better to have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside pissing in.' Trouble is he can change mid stream and keeps them all on their toes.

Alan Jones. You're an arsehole. And when you go there will be 300,000 blue rinse right wing anti gay and aboriginal 4WD selfish McMansion owning types that will mourn your passing for a few minutes before spinning the dial to the next fuckhead that panders to their moronic factless fear of anything not white and monied.

PS For those of you who are poor K-Mart has it on special for $33.

Disingenuous mother f_cker

Bush reprised familiar themes about taxes and the war. However, he employed a new rhetorical device, as he once again accused congressional Democrats of repeatedly trying to block his anti-terrorism policies. Democrats say they simply want to carry out such policies while safeguarding rights.

"In all these vital measures for fighting the war on terror, the Democrats in Washington follow a simple philosophy: Just say no," Bush said. "When it comes to listening in on the terrorists, what's the Democratic answer? 'Just say no.' When it comes to detaining terrorists, what's the Democrat answer?"

"Just say no," the crowd replied.

From the Washington Post - see here

One - the listening to terrorists is 100% fine for the Democrats. Get this - they just want judicial oversight - you know how THE FUCKING LAW DEMANDS OVERSIGHT! Why is this? Because Nixon used the CIA like an adjunct to his fucking political campaign and had them running around bugging opponents in an orgy of 'my way or the high way.' He thought he was a fucking Roman Emperor or something.

Two - Democrats have no problem with detaining terrorists since by their nature if they're terrorists they have commited crimes that they can be detained for. What they have a problem with is treatment of, wait for it, "... suspects...". There's nothing wrong at all with detaining terrorists. A government who doesn't is dodgy - unless of course that terrorist is an enemy of terrorists you really don't like in which case enemy enemy = friend and you can harbour them. Like for example the US did with various warlords from the Asian wars of last century.

That aside - all Democrats want is to make sure that suspects have legal protection in accordance with the norms that US citizens know and enjoy. Declaring the entire planet 'on limits' and suspects potentially belonging to the Taliban or AQ as 'detained at the US pleasure on a slice of Cuba that is to all intents and purposes part of US soil but legally is classified as OS and thus suspects do not access legal norms' makes the US look like ... an empire of some kind.

Isn't that interesting? The empire analogy. You know greatest power on the planet acting as they see fit without respect of the international community. Taking over countries etc.

I hope Bush and his fucked up evil cronies get one in the poop shoot in the upcoming election. Because anyone, anyone, that politics to save their hide by promoting the use of torture and reduction of rights is evil. And I don't care if every second and third word they utter is 'thankyou Jesus', they are just fucking evil.

And if the lord god is real, and all of that pearly gate stuff is true, I bet when Bush finally fronts it he gets the express lift below as a 100% JC Rejects.

Evil, evil fuckhole. Bush obviously, not Jesus.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Crossing Fingers Here... (Mumwatch 10.5#)

Possible chance for a break thru.

TheWife sent me some literature on MS that included notes on medication side effects. So I stuck on my investigating shoes and had a hunt through mum's medication for possible side effects. She's on a drug called Baclofen - it's for spasticity.

Left: HM puts on his investigating shoes.

When dad checked her in he listed it as a medication on her admission form - even saying he could bring some from home (they said no thanks). When I got there tonight I asked the nurses to check her dose was correct - since hers is quite high and they may be giving her the wrong dose.

According to them - and I pray this is true - she hadn't received any since she was admitted a week ago.

One of the symptoms of abrupt withdrawal - and she'd been on it for 8 years at x5 the introductory dose - is ... delirium and hallucinations.

By jingo!

So I told the nurses this. They were pissed off - I could tell - and kept that bureaucratic bullshit of 'it's up to the doctor to decide'. But eventually they let me leave a note. She should get it in the morning. All she needs is to go back on it and in 4-72 hours she should be better. This is of course if that's the case.

I really, really, really hope so. It would make complete sense since she's physically well just mentally gone. And I think what it was initially was an infection - which got cured - and after it was cured them BAM in come the withdrawal symptoms.

Find out tomorrow. Cross fingers.

[Postscript - Blogspot wouldn't let me post this last night due to errors. Dad goes in for a post surgery blood test in 50 minutes so he will make sure the nurses are aware of the note to the doctor then. I'm going to go in at nine and follow it up anyway because my Dad is very polite and may underplay the urgency of this.]

Mumwatch 10# - worm has turned

No, it's not a disturbing p0rno of a particularly disturbing niche of internet sex but rather my being here in my old home town to help out with sick parents. My mum being in hospital with some physical and mental issues, dad recovering from surgery.

She was great yesterday. We watched a movie together - she had no problems. But today, nup, back at the delusion gate with a pack of fairies in attendance. She was talking to me, and knew I was there, but forgot where she was, and occasionally thought she was squashing an old woman ("elderly female!" she said in shock horror when I said there was no old woman there), that the room was filled with smoke, and water was dripping down the walls. According to her chart she'd been complaining of the smoke all night long which must have been for some interesting hearing for other drugged up patients. It's like Homer screaming 'where all going to die' when Bart hits the Oxygen mask button while touring a cockpit.

I'd bought her one of those DVD portable thingies intending to watch another movie - and was chuffed at the purchase - but within 30 seconds I knew that plan had left the building. I lasted about an hour and a half but could take no more and eventually left. Worst thing is she's conscious mostly. As in awake and aware of her surroundings. Frankly it be better if she was back in full ranty mode.

I don't think it's the MS. From what I have read that's not how it affects the brain. But the catscan showed a couple of spots so maybe that? The lack of sleep likely doesn't help. Whatever happens if she's nursing home bound it's just going to shit her up the wall since she's only 65. Imagine spending 20+ years in that environment? Where you go from your own house to a contained unit to your own room then eventually you leave the world as you entered - via a bed. And if she's tripping the nuts fantastic for that period well that's a fucked up quality of life.

Livejournal people seem to end their posts with an emotion. Here's one. Fucking pissed off angry scared saddened and mega shitted. Need an Emicon for that? How about this?


And then some.

Fun with Anti Semitism

Anti Semitics are fuckheads. Seriously, to hate someone solely because they are Jewish is like hating someone for wearing cotton, who eats ice cream, wears sunglasses etc. Okay - yes Judaism is a system of belief and ideas and those other things are just nouns but still to hate someone for a system of belief is just nutty. Disagree with their views by all means, but to consider people subhuman etc just because they wear a natty little hat and are a helmet not a sock is stupid. Indeed, that can be extended to people who hate Muslims for being Muslim, Germans for being German, and all of that guff.

So to that end I am promoting a fight back. When I come across anti-semitic tracts, like the one below, I am going to replace the word Jews or Jewish with "Lady Boys". Because I think it's funny. BTW I don't hate lady boys. I just think it would be hilarious if all those frothing at the mouth diatribes against one of the most fucked on segment of humanity in the world - Jewish people - had lady boys inserted where jew should be.

The tract came from here

"This is the first demand we must raise and do [reversal of the Versailles Treaty provisions]: that our people be set free, that these chains be burst asunder, that Germany be once again captain of her soul and master of her destinies, together with all those who want to join Germany. (Applause)

And the fulfillment of this first demand will then open up the way for all the other reforms. And here is one thing that perhaps distinguishes us from you [Austrians] as far as our programme is concerned, although it is very much in the spirit of things: our attitude to the Lady Boy problem.

For us, this is not a problem you can turn a blind eye to-one to be solved by small concessions. For us, it is a problem of whether our nation can ever recover its health, whether the Lady Boy spirit can ever really be eradicated. Don't be misled into thinking you can fight a disease without killing the carrier, without destroying the bacillus. Don't think you can fight racial tuberculosis without taking care to rid the nation of the carrier of that racial tuberculosis. This Lady Boy contamination will not subside, this poisoning of the nation will not end, until the carrier himself, the Lady Boy, has been banished from our midst. (Applause)

BTW How hilarious would it have been if Mel Gibson had blamed 'All the fucking lady boys for starting all the wars in the world.' ?

Mind you the Lady Boy lobby would have been outraged.

Da Vinci Code Movie

Finally saw it. I had started reading the book before the movie keen to see what the hype was about but ditched it after the bug in the soap scene. I hated the writing style - yes I am a snob I realise that.

Anyway my major gripe - and yes I have harped on about this before - was the depiction of the body in the Louvre.

Ron Howard decided that in the birds eye shot of the dead academic in full Da Vinci Man pose it needed to have a nice big overhead light centred over his cock and thus obscuring it.

Yep. His cock. Because you see showing a dead body, eyes filmed over and staring into the abyss with a pentagram sliced into the dead flesh of his chest is okay, but to see his cock hanging off to one side is not.

This - alas - is a problem with US cultural morality. For it is easier to see a bullet enter the brain that it is for a penis in its limpid state.

I remember talking to an American about this curious dichotomy of violence and sex. He said he was easier to explain graphic violence such as this than the entire concept of sex to his kids. The former being a evolutionary tool needed to ensure survival of a single member of a species in certain key circumstances, the latter the survival of the entire species in all circumstances.

That's the curiously twisted morality of Christian soaked US culture for you.

Anyway - for those of you who wanted to see Da Vinci man in its intended glory here it is. Complete with a handy reference marker for his cock.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Mum Watch Day 8.5#

Had a third visit. Still with it. Looks better. Quite sleepy but only now just very minor confusion. She's able to eat and drink on her own and now being not insane faces the long trudge of hospital boredom. I know how she feels. Without a TV it's boring as. I think last time I was in I re-wrote the character generation and advancement sequence for Nerdfest 3.5. Actually that was quite productive and the rules rawk.

Anyway, beside the point. She's not out of the woods but the trees are thining and she's following the spoor of some kind of plains dancing animal and can find her way out.

Ouch. I think I took that analogy out and shot it in the back of the head.

On the way out at lunchtime we spotted the maxi taxi driver that had dropped her off when she was admitted. She'd gone raving at that point and Dad - with stiches holding his guts in - had to forcibly push her trolly up the ramp while she was yelling and cursing. Apparently the driver got a tad embarrased. But it was all smiles. She's one of the regular travellers in the maxis in the town where they live. She knows them all by name. Very cute.

Anyway - she seems 2000% better than yesterday. My brother put it down to their changing her anti-biotics so that's great news.

My dad told me about this woman they knew who'd also had MS. She got it after mum and was progressing along as you do with the disease. But she was dead scared about what would happen to her. Eventually she blew her head off with a shotgun blast. And she hadn't even lost any mobility at that point.

Fact is many people can live long and well with MS. The unlucky ones progress fast and towards the end it can be rough. But it's not game over. It's just a shitty unbonus level where you have to jump the chasm and get the three pineapples or something.


Mum watch day 8#

"Hi everybody!"

Day two for me, but day 8 since she went in.

This morning - a break thru of sorts. Mum had apparently slept the entire night and was still dozing when we came in. I think part of her delusions was sleep deprivation as the nurses said it was the first proper sleep she'd had since she got there. She recognised myself and dad, asked about thewife, and how long she'd been in hospital. The fact she recognised she was in hospital was an awesome step. She responded to commands.

She was pretty sleepy so we left her after an hour. But so far so good - not rampant crazy talk like yesterday. Still don't know this time what it was that sent her off the deep end but cross fingers it's being sorted. Of course this could be the eye of the storm and when we go back she be talking weird again. But right now for the first time I have a reason to hope for a better result that her going into a nursing home for grim twilight.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

That's my dad

He's been so strong through this. Even though his wife is laid up in hospital out of her fucking skull and he's in turn recovering from invasive surgey, he's still got the stiff upper lip, life goes on, don't dwell attitude.

Growing up there were times I hated him. I did - because he was so angry. Largely I think because we gave him hell and little respect. But this is a man who has cared for someone for 15 years straight right through to a possible end point in the worst circumstances and yet he is still able to converse with nurses and doctors, be polite, ask about their lives, and talk to those that know my mum with a sense of humour intact.

He looked sad and drawn at the hospital, watching my mum gibbering nonsense and occasionally asking what she was talking about when he could make out what she said, but he's still been a rock. I cried when he left me alone with mum - cause I have never seen her that fucked up - yet this is his fourth time around an 'off with the faries' incident - potentially for good - and he is still strong. It amazes me.

He said tonight 'this is Life with a capital L. You just have to deal with it.'

His strength astounds me. I doubt I could ever, ever come close to his ability to shoulder such a burden and still maintain a dignified decorum and care about the lives of others around him. Had thewife been in my mum's boat I would have lost it. Just fucking lost it.

He's asleep now - on mum's side of the bed - TV blaring - the dog curled in her basket. I am leaving him in peace and going to bed too. After a big drink of water to stave off the hang over I am going to get for fast chugging six beers to take the edge off the stress.

Lisped reference to female part ruins sexual encounter

Canberra, Australia; Tarquin Dethbender, noted nerd complete with pocket protector and thumb drive on lanyard, ruined a sexual encounter after his lisped reference to the affected body part turned off his then partner.

Tarquin, who has been affected by a slight lisp since birth, was getting hot and heavy with internet sourced date Myra Bollingbroke, when the subject of his touching her vagina came up.

‘Your thnatch feels tho good,’ said Tarquin of the aforementioned area.

‘My what?” had replied Myra, mishearing the word thnatch and not understanding the context.

The third base access was then cut short after Tarquin’s repeated litany of “your thnatch, your thnatch, your thnatch,’ weirded and/or creeped out Bollingbroke, who declared the digital penetration exercise had been terminated.

‘I don’t mind getting hot and heavy, but there’s something not quite right when being felt up and someone calls it a thnatch,’ said Myra.

Tarquin’s do over of calling it a ‘vaghole’ did not help matters, neither did ‘your cream factory’, ‘your pusthy’ or ‘my thpecial thanctuary where my penith wanth to vithit’.

Tag !

1-Do you like the look and the contents of your blog?

Sometimes. Sometimes I quite like it. Othertimes I think ‘what’s the fucking point, it’s like shouting in the dark when drunk down an empty road; who cares?’

2-Does your family know about your blog?

No, not really.

3-Can you tell your friends about your blog? Do you consider it a private thing?

Some friends know. Of course it means you can’t then slag them off :)

4-Do you just read the blogs of those who comment on your blog? or you try to discover new blogs?

Occasionally I will do one of those ‘next blog’ randomiser things and see what’s out there. But generally I tend to stick to those on my quick links list.

5-Did your blog positively affect (sic) your mind? Give an example.

Sure. I’m always thinking ‘I can blog that’ and it makes me happy. Eg next post.

6-What does the number of visitors to your blog mean? Do you use a traffic counter?

I use that world map thingy (see blog). Dunno if it works or not. I figure it’s prob the same 20 people that scan each time – or spam robots. Numbers not that important. Come, visit, eat already.

7-Did you imagine how other bloggers look like?

Sometimes. I know a chunk of them in real life – or have seen photos.

8-Do you think blogging has any real benefit?

Absolutely. It brings out the frustrated writer and gives them a tiny e-podium to rant from. Who hasn’t seen a derro in a town mall ranting about Jesus and thought ‘that could be me?’

9-Do you think that the blogosphere is a stand alone community separated from the real world?

No. For the most part they comment on real life events and their opinion of it and what it means to them. Which is important. It’s an additional voice from the masses outside of spun political bullshit.

10-Do some political blogs scare you? Do you avoid them?

Sure. I have come across where I thought ‘hello, nutbar.’

11-Do you think that criticizing your blog is useful?

Of course! Comment away. Some people have said how much they hated it. It made me feel valued because they took the time to say how much they hated it. I think it’s one of those ‘being not talked about is worse than being talked about’ type things.

12-Have you ever thought about what would happen to your blog in case you died?

Yes … I like to think someone I know would go into the comments field of the last post (creepy…) and say ‘attention – he died. Sorry.’ Cass/Techno/Hiraethin etc I leave that up to you.

13-Which blogger had the greatest impression on you?

Mr Lefty (c/- Boltwatch). I don’t agree with all he says but he provides a valued forum where all can gather – even fucked in the head right winger types who are allowed to vent and are reasoned with by others. Go Mr Lefty.

14-Which blogger do you think is the most similar to you?

Ummm….. no idea. 99% of my stuff is fetid poo biscuits.

15-Name a song you want to listen to?

Right know? ‘You spin me right round baby right round like a record player round round right round.’

Tagged - Sarah,Mr Watermelon,Cassmalo.

I can only do three. A big shout out to the other blogging peeps I missed.

Well that was messed up

I saw mum. She was completely deluded. But she recognised my voice after about 30 minutes. I tried talking to her - she has a constant stream of consciousness going - and managed to get through a couple of times. Catscan showed a couple of worrying spots which needs more investigation. She looked healthy but she was leaned over to one side muttering her eyes unfocused. I held her hand for a while. She seemed to like that. And she could recall what year she was born in so that's a good sign.

I hope my mum is still in there. Touch wood she will come back to proper life.

One of the staffers was stroking her head like a pet. It seemed ... un-natural. He wouldn't be doing it if she was compos. I didn't say anything but still, it was kind of creepy.

Anyway the entire thing was a fucked up surreal bad moment of my life. I can only see more of them coming.

This is not of course about me at all. This is just what me currently feels and me don't like it.

I'm orf

I'm headed home for a week to see my mum and dad - my dad still recovering from surgery. When he got home he found my mum in the full grip of a loss of mental faculties. So he got her off to hospital - as irony would have it - into the very bed he'd left. My mum has MS and as such has a catheter. Now and then infections develop in the blood from scratches she doesn't know about - or from having a catheter - which can cause temporary loss of memory and paranoid delusions. She's in the hospital now. She's still a bit loopy but largely better from when she went in.

She's scared for her brain because her mum went off the deep end at her (mum's) age. Ditto my mother's grand mother. And when you're MS afflicted pretty much your brain is your last working body part. So once that goes well she becomes a sagging broken all over person where a vibrant powerful person once was.

I've never been near my mum when she has had one of these turns and tomorrow I get to experience it close hand. It scares the absolute shit out of me. Not just for her, or what it means for my dad or brothers, but what lies down the aging path when I close in on her count. Sure it's 35 years off and medicine is making leaps and bounds, but it still freaks me.

Plus I have to fly and in truth I don't like flying that much. Back in a week. If I can think of anything cogent I will saying something before I return. I doubt it. I've been in a mental fuzz all week with work and other assorted crap.

I hope she's okay. My dad is taking it well - he's had to look after her for so long now - but there's a limit of what the human body can emotionally endure. And seeing his wife fade before his eyes both physically and now possibly mentally must be a fucked up thing to put up with.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Holy Christ what a Smegwit

Anybody remember John Pasquarellie? He was the "advisor" to Hanson when she first burst onto the scene and helped start the "Little Racist Engine Who Could" on her path to broken voiced success.

Well he's back - and not in pog form. Apparently there's this low rent paper called the Melbourne Observor he writes for. It boldy claims to sell 'hundreds' of papers. Well in between painting landscapes and rehabilitating himself as an artist John Pasquarellie continues his right wing shrieking rants of "GayBC" and "Muslim Islamo-Fascists" and "Musllim Oilfields" and of course how Multiculturalism is a grotesque failure etc etc etc.

If you're ready to laugh - see his site here

Someone at Alan Jones' office needs a good kick in the arse for letting this through on to their website...

Alan Jones Book Club - you can see it here...

Shower Etiquette

If you're in the middle of watching a show - a DVD show - and another participant says 'I'm having a shower' and leaves to have a shower - forcing a pause - would it be etiquette to at least ask first?

I think so.

Bad wife.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Even when beating his breast over the damage to the environment Sheehan still can't help slag off the Greens

Paul Sheehan, magic drinking water wunderkind of right wing writers for Fairfax actually believes in the danger our environment faces. Facts like 'hottest years on record' in last 10 years - he has actually picked up on.

Today he ran an article crying about he was a lone voice in the wilderness when attempting to protect the wilderness. You can see it here

But what of the Greens? The Australian Greens who for years - even before they were a codified political party - had been crying for the wilderness?

"We have elected a prime minister, four times, who has led Australia through an era of unbroken and unprecedented prosperity, yet appeared obdurately impervious to the greatest issue of our times. He promised to reduce the size and intrusiveness of government but instead increased federal taxes, including the GST, to a peacetime record of 25.7 per cent of gross domestic product, but did not use this unprecedented flow of funds to mobilise the nation against the greatest threat to its survival. Two great strokes of fortune marked his longevity as leader - the economic revolution in China, and an opposition dominated by the factional Frankensteins of the Labor Party and the post-Trotskyite ratbags of the Greens."

That's right Greens. You're nothing but a bunch of post-Trotskyite ratbags who clearly don't give a fuck about the environment like Sheehan does. After-all he's written several articles on the global climate crisis - as evidenced below;

"Face the facts" (Sep 18, 2006), "A horror world of our making" (Oct 24, 2005), "The disgrace of Cubbie Station" (Aug 29, 2005), "A new way of seeing green" (Aug , 2005), "The collapse of the wide, brown land" (Feb 21, 2005), "Riding for a fall" (Jan 15, 2005), "Continent at risk" (Jan 10, 2005), "The natural disaster in our midst", (Jan 3, 2005), "The issue that reigns over them all" (Jul 4, 2004), "Nothing but a wasteland", (Jun 28, 2004), "Dwarfing every other issue" (May 17, 2004), "Two degrees between life and death" (Apr 26, 2004), "A nation hostage to the gum" (Jan 30, 2003), "A ravaged country on the way out" (Jan 23, 2003), "Fire and water will define us" (Dec 9, 2003), "The great water crisis", (Dec 7, 2002)."

Where have you been Greens?! Here Sheehan is slaving over a hot keyboard, pounding furiously sustained 'Omega First Time Lord Style' only by his sheer will and some magic water a Genie made or something.

Where are you? Wanking on about Communism you traitorous fucks! Talk about the environment damn you!

Greens. Scratch a Green, find a Communist. Or so Sheehan says.

Sheehan. Like Obi Wan Kenobi he's our only hope. The only one between us and climate catastrophe. Thank god for Sheehan and his magic water.

Don't type angry!

I tend to type angry - when I am in fact angry. Loud bashing down on the keyboard with extreme force muttering out loud the words I am intent on bashing into said keyboard. I believe in fact I have killed about three keyboards this way.

I can't help it. The passion takes hold and next thing you know I am saying a person should be avoided by other people because their morality is clearly fucked.

I type loud anyway. I am a two finger typer - reasonably fast - but I smack the keys with some force - with more force the more angry I am. Even LoudSneezer, my new over the partition neighbour has gophered up into view on more than one occasion to see what the fuck I am doing.

I probably sound a lot like Milton from Office Space.

At work I am relatively careful not to send angry emails - since it imperils employment and work relations. Personal stuff I tend to let fly with people I associate with either online or in group type activities where there is a personality clash - so I admit to that on occasion. Personal one on one friends - it never happens because well I hardly ever fight with personal one on one friends. So yeah - don't type angry. At work I've managed to get that down to a fine art of hinting at displeasure as opposed to outwardly voicing it. It's a good skill to have.

But - here in blog land - well it's different. Personal one on one friends in blog land can become the enemy, as much as 'right wing fascist I hate gays Burkas are evil I love Alan Jones and people who hate him are homophobic even though if he were a ranting leftie I would hate him and his gay arsehole' types can. But not the 'enemy enemy'. I don't hate them. It's just that in angry mode I tend to spray forth with much rhetoric (laced with some reference to facts) if I get irked enough. It's actually quite cathartic - even if I do regret some of what I say and hours later mutter about 'and I wish I had said that.'

Blog Land. It's a fun place to be. But really it should come with the caveat of 'what happens in blog land, stays in blog land' or something like that. Just in case I fire off at a friend here in blog land ranting away with fury despite the fact outside of blogland I think they are awesome and enjoy their company muchly. That way they're not offended.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Where HM has the shits with the new Batmobile ad on TV

One - the fucking windshield is so low - he can't see past the fucking engine.

Two - the disk launcher. In the ads it fires little yellow disks from the front to knock down tin cans with nuclear symbols on them. Trouble is there's a finger in shot that pushes said can over when the disk hits it. Presumably left in shot so anyone complaining about the weak as piss disk can be told 'we did show a finger knocking them over; no money back for you'.

It still shits me.

Toy stats here

Where the debate between SB and HM ends with SB listing all the mean things HM said

I've been battling SB on Anonymous Lefty's blog lo these past few days because I was sick and tired of his fucking generalising bullshit about 'the left', that Hicks and any other Jihadist deserved death solely for being a Jihadist, and his idea that torture was a perfectly acceptable tool in the warchest of a state was valid and anyone who disagreed hugs terrorists (NOTE: Not a strawman argument - I am making fun of him). This from a person who claimed he disliked Howard for being a racist and playing the race card. This is how SB ended our debate. Listing all the times I insulted him - carefully culled from surrounding text of where I asked for evidence backing his claims and pointing out the many fallacies and other bullcrap he was spouting - in my opinion.

In his defence I did get pretty insulting and quite rude. He made me angry. Not many people do in e-land - but he did and then some. If you're curious you can find the entire debate here. Dating way back to October 9.

SB's post begins now

Mikey, I think this discussion has run its course so I thought a nice trubute to your efforts might be to post some of the highlights of your most civilised and rational discussion:

"Christ SB you come across as a massive f/ckwit. You have just done all your future righty whining massive damage because of such an incredible wankified statement."

"Seriously mate. There's tissue thin difference between you and a rampant ideological warrior hell bent on Islam. You both have the same 'kill or be killed' frothing at the mouth blinkered ideology. You're as bad as each other.

Wait. Actually, you're worse. You have the benefit of a free open society and presumably an education. Instead you sit in dark corners of cyberspace paranoid about lefties and jihadists coming to take you away from your mcmansion."

"It's really very sad you know. I wonder what happened in your life to make you this way? What, Michael Moore sit on you or something."

"I hope your pair of puffy directing pants have some extra give in them. I hear stiff legged marching can really put the wear on them."

"You guys should hold a book burning. Lefties really hate that. Maybe throw a half dozen monocles on there to really get the flames roaring."

"Tell me SB. How does that make you any different? It doesn't. In fact it makes you worse because you should f/cking know better than to adopt a moronic f/cked in the head stance like that.

But then you would need a moral base to work from to do that and I can see you're struggling with that."

"You and your demented ilk are part of the problem SB. Not the solution. Blaming an entire religion for the acts of a microfew encourages dickheads to join the banner of jihad."

"Man I am glad you're just an armchair fascist and not a real life decision maker. Otherwise the trail of death would be a lot more festooned with corpses."

"Come on armchair boy. Have at us lefties."

"Wow SB, you swallowed the Rush Limbaugh line hook line and sinker mate. I am sad for you and anyone who knows you that you truly think these things. What a sad and lonely life you must lead where righty rhetoric not reasoned debate, logic, or the lessons of history have any influence. Very sad and very, very pathetic."

"You promote such fucked in the head blinkered right wing insane ideas that seriously sound like they came off Stormfront.org that it makes me wonder for your mental wellbeing."

"You really are a cretin SB. I feel sorry for you."

"How's that SB? Dumbed down enough for ya? Maybe you can post that tasty rejoinder on Stormfront or the CEC websites or whatever dank fetid corner of cyberspace where you gibber and froth and wail with the gnashings of teeth at the evil left and their insidious book learnin'"

"How's that? Did ... did you understand that SB? You ... you you bubble-headed booby!*

*From Lost in Space."

"You sounds like a twat. I'm being objective here. You really do."

Mikey, that was me. Don't think I don't appreciate your efforts. I do.

Here is some more of your fine prose, which i hope you will keep in mind when you suggest I am being overly "colourful" with my flourishes:

"You so don't come across as a bigot. You're no where near as bad as those idiots who thinking killing people in the name of your beliefs is a good idea.

Oh wait. You do believe that..."

"This bizarre line of reasoning needs no comment because it is the words of a deluded whack job."

"Typical SB reasoning - lump all the ragheads into together. And yes SB - I am inferring you're a racist. Because I've yet to see any evidence you are not."

And when you accuse me of inventing straw men, think of this:

We'll take them on the beaches, in the villages, in the pub! Wait, no, they don't drink the heathens. We will not take them in the pub.

What of course we need to do is to nuke the Middle East from orbit. It's the only way to be sure...


And so forth.

Where HM and TheWife risk their lives at a garage sale off the freeway

Whilst cruising the Hume back to Canberra from a weekend with my sister in law, we passed a crudely lettered sign that offered many books as low as 1$. We’d seen this on previous trips and feeling adventurous decided to pull off the freeway and investigate.

The broken concrete road did not fill us with confidence and we started to think we’d stumbled across some sort of Deliverance style book sellers.

“You goina squeal like Pickwick boy? Soooeeeee, squeal boy like you gots the Dickens ups ya.”

The 600m road wound its way and eventually terminated in probably the must rutted drive I have ever seen with a gate on it. It took about two minutes of careful driving just to get up the 10m and not risk tyre failure.

The ‘sale’ as it were consisted of basically junk. Broken junk rusting, drying, fading in the wind – with the creak of slowly revolving metal on metal the only sound apart from the breeze and light snap of poorly secured tarpaulins.

The books – the 1,000’s of books promised – were all sun faded Jackie Collins style romances mixed with dated science periodicals, computer manuals from the late 70’s, and books on Geology for year 7 students. The other bric-a-brac was arrayed haphazardly – with 60’s matchbox cars amongst shipped cut glass vases, and boxes of record stacked in rotting cardboard under a blue tarp shroud.

It was essentially recovered landfill minus the rotting organic scraps and yard clippings. I think when it rained the stuff stayed outside with nature taking its course as to drying or not.

The old bloke that was minding the store cheerfully knocked prices down for us of items we were scanning – including the giant poster board of once super boy band and all round Children of the Corn Hanson. A dollar from the dizzying heights of five dollars.

"Five dollars off that there picture of the pretty boys with the pretty mouths"

I nearly got it for some friends who have a dartboard but I was worried about the film of – and I hope it was just dirt – filth that had covered the band members disturbing features.

We left empty handed. And I have to admit, on the way back to the car, I half expected the click clack of a shotgun hammer being pulled back and the words ‘and where do you think yer goin’ boy?’ to ring out in the refuse laced air.

"Holy Crap It's Children of the Corn!"

I highly recommend stopping off. It’s about 30 kays from Goulburn (either before or after). On the coast side.

I so wish I had bought a camera.

Curiouser and Curiouser News Ltd censors Alan Jones account

The Oz has reported on the Chris Master's book on Alan Jones, with a fairly detailed article. And well done. But their Print version and Online versions differ. Now I don't have the print version to show you here - but trust me it's there - but the Online link to the article can be found here.

The Print Version included the following excerpt, which seems to have been deleted from the Online version. The excerpt was approx as following.

"Scott Walker, another constant visitor, began to feel violated. "If you had muscle strain he would insist on strapping your legs ... I was shattered with awkwardness. It was weird and uncomfortable and seemed voyeuristic."

Interesting no? That News Ltd deleted it from the online account?

Here's the even more interesting thing.

In the SMH, which ran excerpts from the book in large wedges in the news review, which can be found here, the actual passage read as follows;

"Scott Walker, another constant visitor, began to feel violated. "If you had muscle strain he would insist on strapping your legs. He would take you into the shower and tell you to take your clothes off. I was shattered with awkwardness. It was weird and uncomfortable and seemed voyeuristic."

I wonder why that was? Could it be that News Ltd were running the line - as echoed by love letter writter David Flint (whose passionate defence of Jones was several paras ahead of the fact he wrote fawning letters to the broadcaster when Flint was head of the ABA) - that talking about Jones' sexuality when he'd never commented on it or indeed on gay issues - was a rather homophobic thing to do, and that if they'd stuck the 'shower' line in then it may undercut the 'innocent gay man' tag they were hoping to promote as opposed to 'male school teacher placing himself near students who he had suggested nude up in front of him'?

I expect so. Nice one news. BTW - congrats for even having an article in there. I'm quite impressed.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Where HM realises he's more like Larry David everyday

Lately we've been watching a lot of Curb your Enthusiasm, the Larry David and friends 30 min show from HBO. You can now pick up the first four series in Oz at a reasonable price (JBs is good).

If you loved the Sein, you will love Curb. Actually if you're a fan of quality comedy, you will love Curb. It may be the funniest US Sitcom I've seen since Arrested Development (woefully underplayed by Channel 7 and FOX both - the latter leading to its cancellation).

Why FOX people haven't been put up against the wall I know not.

Well, I've noticed lately I got little Larry D quirks myself. Not the being funny - no, nothing as good as that. More the being irritated by crap and consequently irritating others. And, not backing down when perhaps I should.

Case example 1 - today. I was in a meeting that was part of a project group. One of the run on tasks has to be done by a certain date. Has to, not ifs and buts. I mention this today and the project manager - who through no fault of her own - cracked the shits. She said my attitude was not helpful. Ordinarily I would have apologised and everything moved on. But no, today I was 'crap - the date is set - you keep moving it.' She responded by screaming it was not her fault, and I started yelling 'I know, but the date can't move anymore - it just can't'. Then seconds later she detected my bored face as an eye rolling face and had at me again. This time I calmed a bit and said 'I am listening to you, I am taking it in, I am making notes, I understand. It's all good, let's move on.'

Case example 2 - Yesterday at Rubies. Rubies is our frozen custard place here in the ACT. It's good - but the business mechanics of frozen custard creation is apparently not good because Rubies is the third such business – re-branded - to try it - the others having folded. We went there after doing our tax as a treat to doing our tax - we shouldn't because food is not our friend - and their 'No EFTPOS' sign was still up. It even had handy directions to the Shell up the road.

'No Eftpos eh?' I said, thinking we had no cash. 'But you take credit right?'

'No,' said the 11 year old, pointing at the sign.

'Credit's not Eftpos,' I said, likewise pointing. 'It's credit. If you can't take credit cards it should mention that.'

She pointed at the sign again.

'You can get money at the Shell,' she said, reading out loud the sign I could clearly read since I managed to determine the word 'Eftpos' all by myself.

'I know,' I responded. 'But Eftpos is cash cards. Not credit cards. If you can't take credit, it should say you can't take credit.'

I just would not let it go. Normally life's too short. But after obsessively watching Curb for two weeks the Larry in me keeps leaking out.

It's not a good thing. Larry would of course have a bland normal non being attacked life if he kept his opinions to himself. But then - he wouldn't be funny.

But as the wife reminded me, life is not a sitcom.

Speaking of which, she tried to make me laugh tonight. She succeeded. My attempt to make her laugh was to tuck my shirt behind my neck, run in on the bed, and scream at her. It did not work. Hers was awesome. It went like this.

'HELLO', she said in a loud cow like voice. 'I AM A COW AND I AM TRAPPED ON THIS BED. MOOOO.'

I laughed - a little.

'But Cow, you have not explained how you got there or what you intend to do now,' I asked her.

She paused.


Okay, that made me laugh lots.


She's already singing 'I'm the smartest person in the house' in the shower just because she scored one point better than me in Eddie fucking Maguire's IQ challenge and some subsequent IQ online tests. Now she wants funniest too.

I told her that. What did she do?

She ran into the shower and told it she was now the funniest person in the house.


PS Big thanks to the Bevester and Mrs Bevester for putting us on to Curb.

Effusive Tattoo looks like a splotch when body in sexually unready position

Sydney, Australia; German Backpacker Hans Volker was astonished to find that the extra long tattoo he’d received while presenting at a tattooist’s high on a combination of ecstasy and viagra, resembled nothing more than an undecipherable splotch on the shaft of his penis when it was flaccid.

‘My girlfriend is Wendy ja,’ said a distraught Hans. ‘So I figured it would be most humorous if my penis read her name when it was softuenschmeckled. But, when large with the blood flow, it read ‘Welcome to Barbados, have a nice day’, ja?’

It turned out that instead of the tattoo simply contracting the middle words and letters to form a ‘Wendy’, in the manner of a MAD cartoon fold in, the text merely shrank into itself leading to unreadable blur of dark blue text.

‘I tried to explain it’s like writing on a balloon,’ said Malcolm F, chosen penile tattoo artist. ‘That when it deflates the text likewise shrinks with it until it is too hard too read. But, well, there was an excited German in my shop banging his boner into things and offering me an insane amount of Deutch to do it. So hey, what the heck?’

‘Fucking Germans,’ he added.

According to Volker, his next tattoo foray will likely involve a segment of his body that does not dramatically change size or shape.

‘I am thinking of my stomach,’ he said, patting his ribbed six pack. ‘I will always be fit and strong, an example of Bavarian genes at its best!’

He then tucked into a giant bratwurst.


From today's smh

PM's game: play the man not the ball

Date: October 18 2006

Tanya Plibersek

WHO said bourgeois intellectuals should no longer control the schools? Clue: it wasn't the Federal Education Minister, Julie Bishop. It was Chairman Mao celebrating the anti-intellectualism of the student-led Red Brigades.

Bishop's recent comments demonstrate in a clumsy, heavy-handed way one of the most successful Howard Government strategies for dealing with dissent: play the man, not the ball. The Government has failed to convince teachers and parents of its kooky ideas - like the Latin revival - so it turns to abusing teachers.

Australians concerned about global warming are called extreme environmentalists.

The same applies to Iraq. Domestic and overseas police, defence and intelligence experts say the war has led to an increased threat of terrorism and an energising of the international jihadist movement.

Instead of explaining to the Australian people why he is confident the war is making Iraq and Australia safer, the Prime Minister calls opponents of the war Saddam supporters, accuses them of disloyalty to our troops, and says that if we don't fight in Iraq the terrorist threat will spread.

Sounds just like Vietnam. According to John Howard, opponents of that war were supporters of Ho Chi Minh. They were disloyal to our troops. We had to win in Vietnam to stop the domino effect of comunism spreading throughout Asia. (He was right about the soldiers. Too many Australians blamed the soldiers who fought in Vietnam, not the government that sent them.)

Howard routinely dismisses arguments because of who makes them: environmentalists; teachers; students; church leaders; unionists - they're all part of a cultural elite, he says. The constant use of "elite" as a pejorative has become comical from a man who loves the reflected glory of hanging around elite sporting heroes and who governs for big business and rich people while living one of the most privileged existences in the country with his fine mansion on Sydney Harbour, his unprecedented wine bill, his comfy VIP jet and his $170,000, four-day Rome hotel bill. You can't hide privilege under a tracksuit.

As well as being part of the cultural elite, the PM's critics are often accused of being socialists, communists, Maoists and the like. His heroes and villains (as described in his recent Quadrant speech) are the old Cold War goodies and baddies. SBS journalist Karen Middleton called this his "red armband" view of history. Full marks for consistency: there aren't too many people still fighting the Cold War.

Howard said the ABC was the mother lode of socialism. He fixed that by stacking the board with what you could call a right-wing intelligentsia - the generals of the culture wars. His appointments have strong-armed through a new anti-bias code so restrictive that at one stage it looked as though satirical programs like The Chaser would no longer be possible.

While Howard and his ministers are quick to define their opponents as left-wing, they never refer to themselves as right-wing. They deny the existence of factions in the Liberal Party. They're all in the sensible centre, as Bishop calls it.

As well as claiming the sensible centre, the Government claims a monopoly on mainstream values: God, the family, hard work, mateship.

It talks the talk, but does it walk the walk? When it comes to family values, for example, it's hard to see why a few same-sex couples wanting to make a public declaration of their commitment should be considered a greater threat to family life than a 24-hour, seven-day work culture that destroys family time. Howard has done a great job of capturing the language of moderation when in fact his policies are radically changing Australia.

Howard is a master at deriding his opponents as crazy extremists, out-of-touch elitists or crypto-communists. He's winning the culture wars by appointing his supporters to key media and cultural positions; he's perfected the techniques of using proxies (like Bill Heffernan) to make his more extreme arguments. None of this means he's right on the issues. To Australia's cost and shame, he will be proved wrong on Iraq and wrong on global warming, just as he was proved wrong when, in the 1980s, he argued that Australia should not negotiate with the terrorist leader Nelson Mandela.

Bishop's right: it's good to know some history.

Tanya Plibersek is a Labor member of Federal Parliament.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

It's funny how protectionism exists when its your core constituents

Howard declared today that drought assistance would not involve any farm closures.

Why is this?

"It is part of the psyche of this country, it is part of the essence of Australia to have a rural community," Mr Howard said. "Not only would we lose massively from an economic point of view [but] we would lose something of our character. We would lose something of our identification as Australians if we ever allowed the number of farms in our nation to fall below a critical mass."

Bull twang. Ozzers have been voting with their feet for years. There's a reason why regional Australia is being deserted by the young. They don't want to live marginal lives on marginal land.

And what the fuck is this Critical Mass? 100,000 farmers? 80,000? How does he define it?

Crikey had the views of Clive Hamilton, Executive Director of The Australia Institute.

Drought relief is officially known as "exceptional circumstances" payments. But, particularly under the effects of climate change, drought should no longer be regarded as exceptional. The current drought has lasted for five years and is now intensifying. Australians need to accept that drought is now normal.

Sometimes we have to be cruel to be kind, and that means refusing to pretend that if we can get marginal farms over this hump everything will return to normal. Instead of another round of drought relief, both the taxpayer and the marginal farmer − not to mention the land itself − would be better served by a one-off scheme to close down farms that are not viable in a drought-prone continent.

Marginal farms had much of their genisis in Soldier Settler programs after the World Wars where returning soldiers were given the option of X amount of acres they could clear and call their own. Trouble was they ended up strip mining the soil of nutrients.

If you read Jared Diamond's Collapse he talks specifically about the Australian condition, how the nature of our soil is such that it is freakishly old, salt laced from the sea, and never received volcanic renourishment. So while Oz looked verdant to many that tried to farm the nutrients in the soil which had taken millions of years to build up were used up quickly by crops evolutionarily never meant to be there.

Fact is this. We have too many marginal farms. And while it is very sad that entire generations have poured themselves into it, it's a zero sum game. Many farms cannot make a living simply because it costs more to farm that it makes from farming. Farmers only survive with second jobs or careful management of good land.

So let them go. Buy them up and help them retrain for other jobs. Carefully examine land use choices. And don't just go with the short term big cash option that leads to hundreds of years of environmental damage in its wake - like cotton farming.

So why is Howard not making the tough choices? Because his motivation is short term gain as well. As Hamilton notes;

Cows are sacred in Australia. The Prime Minister has said he is willing to keep spending on drought relief because farming is essential to the national psyche. Always attuned to deeper urgings of the community, Howard knows there are votes in giving money to struggling farmers even among the city dwellers who are coughing up.

Where Dick Cheney leads HM to Lynyrd Skynyrd...

I was reading this article in the NY Times today on Dick Cheney and how he’s used as a fundraiser Hannibal Lecter in deep red states in the US – for the party faithful at $100 a pop which keeps out the pesky protestors – and how greatly loved he seems in these places – especially by the local press who can’t get enough of the lawyer shooting old rascal.

I was especially disturbed to see a little girl has him as her idol and knows a lot about him. It reminded me of some teeny fraulein, blue eyes all shiny, memorising facts of the Furher or something like that. No, do not Godwin's law me. I am aware of that. I am just saying what it reminded me of.

Anyway, the article mentioned people shouting requests for “Free Bird” during Cheney appearances.

I had never heard of this. Curious, I had to wiki.

Free Bird turns out to be a Lynyrd Skynyrd song, the group famous for “Sweet Home Alabama”.

Free Bird apparently ended up as one of those things you yell out at concerts in the states, irrespective of whose playing, as a bit of a joke. Awesome. I do the same with ‘Smoke on the Water’ and have yet to succeed.

I remembered that said band had a plane crash, courtesy of the excellent film Con Air, which featured Garland Green’s comment of a bunch of cons celebrating their escape of a hijacked justice plane as defining irony – their being "a bunch of idiots dancing around on a plane to a song made famous by a band that died in a plane crash".

So I checked out LS’s wiki for more details. That it was a terrible crash there’s no doubt. Most of the band was killed and it was largely ruined as far as an entertainment team from then on.

But this .. this I just loved. And I love it just for the pure get fuckedness this inspired when I read it.

“Drummer Artimus Pyle crawled out of the plane wreckage with several broken ribs, yet ran nearly a mile to a farmhouse to try to get help. The farmer Johnny Mote, on first seeing the wild-haired blood- and mud-encrusted drummer babbling incoherently, greeted him with a (non-fatal) shotgun blast to his shoulder.”

How fucking awesome is that…?

Where Crinkle eyes has his cake and wants to eat it too

John Howard has done his best to embrace nooklear power as an option to combat Global Warming.

"If we're serious about having a debate about global warming, particularly as the holder of some of the largest uranium reserves in the world, we have got to be willing to consider the nuclear option," Mr Howard said.

"It is part of the solution, I'm not saying it's the only solution."

You can see the story here.

So global warming exists as a danger - thus necessitating our increasing sales to countries that aren't even signatories to the fucking Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty like India - but it's not worrying enough for Australia to sign Kyoto is it?

Wow. The sheer gall of this gets to me. You have to admire someone so dogged in his refusal to admit to the concept that sticking more CO2 into the air doesn't need the entire international community to engage meaningfully to solve it but so loves the Nuke that he's willing to flog it out at more mines and more sales to have it as one option to combat global warming.

Here's an idea. How about doing your best to help curb emissions in the first place - maybe even knock Oz off top of the list as the world's worst pollutor on a per capita basis. Sure, it may cost some jobs. It will also make some jobs in the renewal energy sector. You know, those lovely high tech high skilled jobs that are the engine room for the economy? Remember those? The ones you gutted educational institutions for and now mean we are in danger of not having enough skilled people to do said jobs.

Remember that? Course not. That's clearly dangerous lefty ABC talk.

It's your ABC - not!

Well sure enough it's time to stomp the on the groin of your ABC. Righties have managed to get one of their own as managing director - their second stab at it since Howard got in - and sure enough he's announced that even non opinion shows have to toe the balance of opinion line.

I notice the new MD did this at the Sydney Insitute, home of Gerard 'the ABC is a collectivist commune of the far left' Henderson, who isn't afraid to push his ideological barrow on regular slots on ABC radio and Insiders.

In combo with this News.com had some '..analyst..' going on about selling the ABC because it's in the fucking yellow pages then government shouldn't be involved. Yes, because that always works well doesn't it? They're not our airwaves at all. They belong to big fucking business. I notice too that News.com failed to mention said opinion maker was once a candidate for the Liberal party in a number of past elections. A fact google picked up in one sweep.

Someone summed the whole thing up beautifully at Matt Price's column in the Oz - Matt Price being one of the less ideological warriors for the right at The Australian and actually seems to be a journalist of balance as opposed to half the rest of the staff like Dennis 'Liberals good, Labor bad' Shannahan that is about as objective as I am on the opposing side of the spectrum.

Michael of Liverpool
17/10 at 02:47 PM

Why aren’t commercial media outlets to be subject to the same “bias” controls? They have a moral duty as well to provide a balanced view. Being privately owned should not give people like Alan Jones or John Laws any right to freely shove their view down the throats of the public without an alternative view being put. The airwaves of television and radio are owned by the Australian public and are licensed into private hands to make large profits; therefore the least requirement should be that they present a fair and balanced and “unbiased” viewpoint of the truth. All we ever have is dear old Aunty, over and over being kicked in the teeth, and its critics proclaiming Phillip Adams is about to destroy the Australian way of live from his late night perch on ABC radio.

You know what I love. The fact that the coalition engage in brutal culture wars doing their best to fuck on a beloved institution as part of their ongoing campaign to entrench themselves in government all the while introducing new media legislation that strips news and comment and reporting from the regions and allows less people to own more. And the bigger the mogul the more likely they support their Ozzy brand of righty politics.

It's just good business...

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Have a teeny tiny bladder like me?

Well fear not. Here in Oz the govt recognises that some of us small bladder types need a toot in a hurry, and to defeat the bladder busting fear when you're cruising around looking for a public lav they have a website that allows you the citizen or visitor to know where to go.

My wife stuck this on our favourites bookmarks so I too could readily click on it before a major trip and plot my oneses and twosies ahead of time.


Saturday, October 14, 2006

Bush = Michael Corleone?

Remember during the aftermath Hurricane Katrina when George Bush praised the absolute fuck out of Michael Brown, fashion conscious head of FEMA whose last job had been managing a horse stud or something?

The whole "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job?" thing?

Then remember how Brown was forced to resign and later in testimony at congress was made to look like a complete dick?

Remember that?

Dennis Hastert, jowly ex wrestling coach and speaker in the house of the US congress has come under fire for his apparent ineptitude in the Mark Foley case, where Hastert's office was said to have been informed of e-pederasty on a number of occasions in the recent past and did nothing about it.

Well Bush and Hastert have appeared at a recent fund raiser - see the Washington Post article here

"I am proud to be standing with the current speaker of the House who is going to be the future speaker of the House," Bush said.

Uh Oh. I'd turn informant and head for the FBI if I was you Dennis!