Monday, April 30, 2007

The danger of the Harry High with no fly

I was at the urinal today and had to scooch down my pants to access the goods. With my pants circumference aimed to protect and serve just above the fattest part of my rotund bod it meant unfortunately that when I let go of my pants, which were now past the cling point, they started to head for the floor. It was only a quick catch that prevented some severe embarrassment.

Note to self. When lacking a fly on the Harry High, go the stall instead.

More Raunch Goodness

Raunch culture, where young ladies who flash their nethers, and spin around on the pole in an effort to apparently assert their feminism, has come in for some more critique. Good. It's about time.

I like women. I like naked women. Women are hot shit. BUT I don't like women seeking to display themselves in a rubber band because peer pressure says they should. Display wares on your own terms my sisters. Don't do it for us. I mean you could wear a sack and we'd still be interested. Besides some of the more dense of us don't understand 'look, don't touch'. That's a guy problem of course if we fail that test. Because we're idiots. But at the end of the day of course men have been taking possession of women sexually no matter what they have worn and still do

I'm off topic.

Anyway, see the article here.

Cousins Media Scrum

I don't give a fuck about the AFL. The only thing I know about it is that Warwick Capper famously had short shorts and the showground cow handlers come out and wave their hands about when a goal is scored.

What the fuck is the point of ambusing Ben Cousins returning back from therapy?This is a man who has gone and tried to fix an addiction. Instead of supporting him we slam him but sticking a camera in his face. That's fucked. Leave him the fuck alone and let him get on with it. The only person he's hurt is himself.

And don't play the fucking 'role model for youth' card. The youth don't go out and snort drugs or drink because their heroes do. They do it because it is fun. Until it all goes wrong of course.

Don't do drugs nkay

Oz Story - Part II

Less Downer, more about the loss of the embassy staff and the others killed in the plane crash. Seeing Liz O'Neill, the consular official who died and left behind a young daughter and her husband is just heart breaking. So, so sad.

UPDATE: And then he went and ruined it all by pompously declaring Rudd to be the vainest man he knows. Apparently Oz Story offered Big Kev a right of replay and even an Oz Story of his own. He declined. Hmmm. Funny Rudd didn't do it yet Downer, who famously declared Rudd a media whore, did... actually not funny.

I wish Downer luck with his future of thriller novel writing and cruise ship lecturing. He should be starting that new career in about six months or so.

When trying to quote beloved American Presidents try and get it right

Howard chortled about Kevin's apparent lack of experience to govern (ignore the fact he was A) a diplomat to China and could speak Mandarin and B) he ran the Queensland public service in the 90s)*.

"I could probably borrow that famous line of Ronald Reagan's about Jimmy Carter: 'If you don't talk about my age I won't talk about your inexperience'," Mr Howard told the Nine Network (see the age article here).

News flash Howard. It was in the 1984 election in response to Walter Mondale. Not Carter.

If you're quoting a president who launched secret wars against regimes he didn't like, including secretly sponsering death squads in violation of congressional laws, cut deals with terrorists ("we don't negotiate), and apparently had early onset Alzheimers towards the end of his term in office, try citing it correctly.

Unless of course ... you've got a touch of early onset Alzheimers yourself. Which would be horrible for anyone. Though I suppose if you'd made a career of fucking people over such as yourself then it might be nice to forget about that when you're older.

Clock's ticking pal.

*Oh, if experience is SO important to Howard why did he give the treasury to Costello? Who'd been in parliament six years and whose previous job had been as a barrister and not in government? Somewhat contradictory isn't it?

Business Council is distressed about not being talked to RE IR laws

I'm not surprised. It's probably the exact emotion the union movement had when the Federal government not only did not consult with them over the massive raft of changes bought in - 1200 pages in total - it slagged the unions off as it did so.

Why oh why do the Libs wank on about unions and the ALP? They keep up with the mantra of 'only 15% of private sector people are in a union!'.

So fucking what? The other 85% benefit from union presence in the form of enhanced conditions of service negotiated on their behalf and enhanced OH&S in the work place.

I heard one of their concerned PR people talking today of the laws. Here was an interesting point she bought up. 'The ALP plan to do away with AWAs! Why? When they existed before work choices.'

They did indeed sister. And you know what they had as an underpinning bedrock of protection. The no disadvantage test. What this meant was the AWA had to offer "AS A MINIMUM" the equivalent of award conditions with extras of the AWA, linked to productivity, concerning what extras the worker got in exchange for work above and beyond. Not for just doing their job. You know what that is? That's called performance incentive. You know what AWA's are now? Arse fucks for workers.

Someone told me today her mum signed a five year AWA. Five years! But then to top it off she had a colleague that signed a 10 year AWA. 10 years. Ten. Years.

It's like a line out of Grosse Point blank. What do you think her rationale was for a 10 year workplace agreement (that may or may not have even been linked to CPI for progression)?

'Well her rationale was that they could very well offer her nothing beyond the minimum conditions [remember those five?] and this way she at least preserved some income protection.'

Except of course she can currently under the law never ever go back to a certified agreement.

Of course the colleague telling the mum her 10 year servitude was a violation of WorkChoices legislation. Isn't that great? You can't even talk about your conditions of service or salary under these hateful fucked people over laws. If AWAs were so family fucking flexible Liberal party, why the fuck did you stick in 'you can't talk about fight club' esq rules in? Why? Because it's divide and conquer.

The Business Council claimed it was "re-regulation" of workplace relations. In a way it is. That's what happens when you bring rules in to force people to treat other people decently. Here's some more fucking regulations you heartless arseholes. Speeding fines, laws about killing people, laws about making the workplace safer. Not having someone feel you up at the photocopier just because you have tits. What? You don't like those regulations either? I don't see you saying you don't.

Here's another one Business Council. The GST. Three million extra pages in the tax code. Talk about massive regulation. Where were you on that? I don't see you protesting the government on that.

Fact is this. Howard pulled the rug out from people's job place protections and conditions of service. The only fucking people he consulted with were business institutes and associations such as you. To the extent that entire fucking slabs of suggestions from your organisations ended up in the 1200 pages of workchoices legislation that you whole heartedly supported.

Bullshit you can't work with these laws. Okay, so private industry apparently employs 9 out of 10 people. Well done. Why can't they employ them fairly? Because that might cut your profits a tad?

And that's why. It has nothing to do with being able to employ more people because you're paying less. It's about making more money because your bottom line has been reduced.

All the semiskilled jobs that can't be outsourced in service industries like retail and janitors get fucked by these laws. And you fucking know it.

There's a scare campaign coming alright. From these business lobby groups as they realise that 'holy shit we might actually have to behave like human beings again.'

Sucked shit campers. Your time is coming.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

I just got teary at American Pie 3: The Wedding

What is wrong with me?!

Private Health ads

"You'll be hearing more about this in the coming months. Because it's an election year and this way our 'government ads' are crafted to be political as well as informative despite this being an obvious violation of the rules governing such things. Because we're the coalition. And spending your money to stay in power is what we do."

Ear Candle

Tried it. Freaked me out. Not much came out either but I'd say that's because my ear was still full of water from when I tried to Syringe it five minutes before. Plus seeing the pillar of flame out the corner of your eye is a little disconcerting.

Area Man worried about getting PTSD from Call of Duty 2

I was playing the first mission, driving back Jerries from Stalingrad, when a potato masher grenade arced over into our corridor. Naturally I back peddled whilst squatting. But a squad mate picked it up to throw it back.

It exploded, blowing him apart, with limbs flying every where and I think over my head.

The image seared on my brain for several seconds. The realism of the soldiers is not photo real yet, but it is getting there. I wonder if this will have an effect on us when the graphics are such that it really does seem like real people.

Anyway, I refused to advance for about five minutes.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Hoyts Belconnen says no to pee parties

Belco Hoyts has had enough it seems of free loaders using their toilets and not buying a movie ticket or shit from the candy counter for the privilege. So they have constructed a wall of free standing carboard movie promotionals along with the seatbelt ropes to guide people the the candy counter first.

Grrr.

They're good toilets. And I often check out what the movies are when I go there. It may make me actually get a ticket. Of course I am less likely to go there now.

Thanks for nothing Belconnen Hoyts.

More bastard acts bought to you by work choices

A dozen retrenched port workers have told of their dismay at being given 15 minutes to leave their work site after up to 26 years of service.

Twelve men, who have worked for between 17 and 26 years at Vopak Terminals Sydney in Port Botany, were told by management yesterday that their services were no longer required for operational reasons. The men say they will be replaced by casual staff.

See the SMH story here.

In their defence at least under their agreement they actually got redundancy payouts.

The company claimed operational requirements.

...yesterday the company handed the workers letters notifying them that their services were no longer required due to operational reasons.

Vopak Terminals Sydney managing director Ron Dickinson said the workers had been made redundant because of a company restructure brought about by a change in customer base and a drop in profit.

This was the same scam the abattoir tried in Cowra last year where it sacked 29 workers on agreements then "hired" them back without agreements later. Under operational reasons.

Here's an interesting viewpoint from a commenter at the SMH site RE Rudd's 'I'm Kev' speech.

You can see their comment here.

The reality of WorkChoices:

Citing operational reasons for sacking workers with no notice after 26 years Vopak’s managing director says: "This is a company struggling for survival”. Yet a quick trip to Vopak’s website states: “Thanks to an excellent first quarter and healthy outlook, Vopak is raising its forecast for 2007. Barring unforeseen circumstances ... Vopak expects Group operating profit excluding exceptional items to increase by 15% to 20% in 2007”. Surely enough is enough. Is it really the unions that we need to be afraid of? Here's to new and fairer IR laws that benefits workers and business. Here's to managing the economy for the good of the people. Rudd's here to help? It's about time!

* Posted by: Tara at April 27, 2007 4:27 PM

Vopak's website is here. Vopak global appears to own the Oz operation. As Tara notes their profits are up. According to the website it's up 28% this year alone.

God bless John Howard and his race for the bottom on wages.

Friday, April 27, 2007

I'm Kevin. I'm from Queensland. And I'm here to help

Righto Kev, thanks for turning up mate. Okay, précis of the situation for you. We have a 67 old male Caucasian whose managed to araldite himself to this here chair. We need you to scape the little desiccated coconut off. Can you manage it? We’d all be very grateful if you could. Be careful though, he’s got a mean set of choppers on him and he’ll go the bite if your fingers get too close to his mouth. Plus, he let his squat go and there’s a nest of rats in here. You’ll see ‘em scurrying about as you try and shift this guy. I suggest a powerful solvent. When you’re done, have a shower, you’re going to need it.

Go big kev.

HM and Nate visit the bottle-o

(HM puts bottle of Baileys and four pack of pre-mixed Absolut's on the counter as Nate stands next to him)

Tall Serving Man (pointing at bottles): Together?

HM (flushes): No ... we're married (holds up ring - points at Nate's ring)

Tall Serving Man laughs.

HM realises that the "we're married" could mean between himself and Nate.

HM & Nate: Not to each other. We're not gay.

Jail Bait taste tester girl with large breasts and a tight T shirt: Would any of you like to taste our samples?

HM: I can't, I'm driving.

Nate: Go on, it's just a small one.

HM (hesitant, a lttle whiney): No I better not. You have a taste.

Nate: No you should.

HM: No you, you have a taste.

(Nate takes taste)

HM: What's it like?

Nate: Mmmmm, nice.

Tall Serving Man: And you say you're not gay.

(HM gets outside before he realises what serving man said).

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The media and the war in Iraq

This is an excellent article from the Wash Post regarding a PBS show on the role of the media in the Iraq war, specifically how the news cycle, requirement for talking heads over reporters (pundits are far cheaper), and a general fear of being beaten at patriotism by the naked unobjective Fox et al caused the media to fail to ask the hard questions in Iraq, to put feet to the flames.

Here's a snippet.

In this 90-minute report, called "Buying the War," Moyers and producer Kathleen Hughes use alarming evidence and an array of respected journalists to make the case that, in the rage that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the media abandoned their role as watchdog and became a lapdog instead.

Exhibit A -- the first event recalled in this report -- is a news conference by President Bush on March 6, 2003, which Moyers says is two weeks before Bush "will order America to war." The press conference was a sham, with Bush calling only on "friendly" reporters who'd ask friendly questions. The corker was this scorching investigative query: "Mr. President, how is your faith guiding you?"

Then of course you have Murdoch claiming the media is now after Bush because they were jealous of his "victory" in 2000, or hate his faith. Which is typical of the Australian who became an American to buy media companies billionaire - recrafting the truth to align to his views. What a crock of shit. What has finally happened in the US is that the media, save for Fox (owned by Murdoch), has walked down the gangplank of the Close Encounters starship, blinking away the harsh light as they see the cowboy emperor naked, as he has been all this time.

I just wish the media had been up to scratch in the 2004 election and seen through the poisonous lies spread by the Republicans and their slime machine, let alone their fucked up efforts in marginalizing minorities by false ring ins about gays or that you had to have all your parking tickets paid in order to vote. Just what the fuck do the people running these vicious campaigns thinking? How is their morality such that they saw what they did as honourable. It wasn't. It was a stain on a great country. As Bush et al are. And, like Howard, they will be but dust in the wind within 24 months. Thank fuck.

UPDATE: I think this is the report here. Note sure if my PC can play it but I will give it a crack.

We have jobs for the boys and for the girls and for the boys and for the girls etc

That was from a song heard in one of those jolly accoustic guitar churches I used to go to. Adapted for Vanstone.

Well, she's off. So, where is she off to?

Let's find out

Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer tonight announced that she has been appointed as Australia's next top envoy in Rome.


Pending the formality of the Italian government approving the appointment, she is expected to take up her post when the current ambassador's term ends in late June.

Did you know it is illegal to offer a diplomatic post by way of inducing someone to leave? Of course Amanda I am sure never had any discussions along the lines of 'right, I want something nice if you want my five years left of my senate term for someone.'

What shits me is the Liberal party for years decried 'jobs for the boys' when the ALP was in. And now they have given so many top dipo slots away to former party people that DFAT seniors have actually complained about how they are missing out on the higher ranks because of it.

Fucking Liberal party. The sheer hypocrisy just shits me. The ALP better not do this when they get in.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

More Tony Abbott Goodness

The Opposition Leader, Kevin Rudd, deserves an Oscar for his make-believe fight with the unions over industrial relations policy. Rudd is pretending to get tough with the unions because people remember that when the unions set economic policy unemployment was 11 per cent and interest rates were 17 per cent. The unions are pretending to be angry because Rudd needs to demonstrate leadership credentials by seeming to win a fight.

From today's SMH, where they gave the fallen priest a reg wednesday slot.

Tony of course thinks Unions automatically equal the ALP. They're a big part of it. But they don't control it. At least the union involvement is IN THE FUCKING OPEN UNLIKE SECRET MEETINGS WITH MINING MAGNATES TO CREATE NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY. But I digress.

Unemployment and Interest rates did peak under Labor. Then they started coming down. Then we went into 13 odd years of growth - including years BEFORE Abbott and co got in - because of the very reforms put in place that unfortunately spiked interest and unemployed rates for a short period. All the Libs have done is A) balance the budget (made easy thanks to increased govt revenue from a strengthened economy due to ALP reforms like enterprise bargaining) and B) introduced a GST. Which increased the tax code by 3 million pages and severely irked small business. You cannot for example effectively operate a small business without an accountant thanks to the GST.

Then they bought in Work Choices. And come the end of 2007 Abbott is going to discover just how pissed off people are when Abbott's fucked in the head evil government decided to fuck people over and out of their job protection and their entitlements and their ability to organise in the work place and negotiate collectively.

Abbott apparently is all for the individual. In his case wealthy educated white individuals. Everyone else can go fuck themelves in Liberal land.

Abbott is a twat. He can try and caper like a nob all he likes but we ain't buying the shit he is shoveling. An oscar is deserved allright. For Abbott. For his portayal as a caring human being. Wait, no, what am I thinking of? Oh yes, a razzie.

Fast Food Nation

Kind of like Babel in the multi story interlinked style. With a similiar emotional impact. I know it's a fictionalised account of a non fiction book, which somehow makes what you see and hear easier to bear. Because it it's non fiction I occasionally injest meat with shit in it.

The kill floor segment at the end is fucked up. I felt I owed it to the animals I eat that I watch how they are "processed". Suffice to say ... it made me ill.

Here's the wiki for the book (film link off that one).

On a side note thewife told me how in year six they went to an abattoir on an excursion. They saw the cattle on the conveyor belt go in to a room where a load of mooing was going on. They didn't see the actual room itself. She got so distressed she sat on the bus. Apparently the owners gave the boys actual bulls' eyes and they ran around the playground showing them to everyone.

Faces of the Fallen

The Washington Post runs details of those who died in Iraq and Afghanistan as they come to hand. A bit like Jim Leher's show on SBS where they silently run a montage of those who were killed.

I am 34.

72 people my age have been killed in the "War" on the US side. Here's the Washington Post entry.

I hope whatever belief they believed embraces them in the afterlife. And that their sacrifice is not a punctuation mark in history. That maybe it will mean something good in the end.

But right now it so does not look like it. Once again the meat grinder of war as a continuation of politics is killing a generation. Volunteers no less.

Fuck I hate Bush. He and his gang of dickheads should be put on trial. But it's sentiments like that which led them to avoid an International court in the first place.

It makes me so mad.

Read some of the entries for the above. It's heartbreaking. Of course there's no tribute wall for the hundreds of thousands of civilians who are likewise being grinded in sectarian violence that has crippled their country. I can't see how this will end well. I just can't. The only thing they can do now I believe is partition. And given there are alleged reserves of oil in the western Sunni portion that means all of the major ethnic groups can access oil revenue if that is the case. Someone get in there and confirm it. Look at the Kurds? They are going great guns because they own their patch and they don't have to worry about kidnapping rival groups and stick a fucking drill through their heads, or convince their youth that the cause demands they ram a car into a checkpoint to kill yanks or other hated Iraqi security people.

Iraq was an accident of WW1 era geopolitics, a country made up by Britain crammed together. The only thing that kept it a going concern was autocratic and despotic secular leadership. That's gone. It's not coming back. So divide the cake and the US should focus on protecting people during this transition.

Call to action. 1) Confirm oil in the western desert. 2) If so, start the move. 3) Maybe less people will die and the middle class and educated classes will come back.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Speaking of lying ...

"I believe politicians in Washington shouldn't be telling Generals how to run a war"

That was George Bush.

Interesting. Considering many, many generals fought bitterly against the too few troops sent to Iraq initially as well as the decisions made to sack the public service and army upon occupation. Decisions made by cronies like Bremmer and Rumsfeld with the full support of Bush.

Thanks Kate!

Hey Kate I saw you posted that you were looking at that thing I sent. Thanks SO much. Very much obliged. Big ditto to Casso.

Tony Abbott - a lying shit as usual

Tony Abbott just wanked on (in tonight's 730 report) about government support for the poor and needy for assistance with dental care being 'always being a state matter'.

What a filthy lie.

When his band of bastards came into office the first thing they killed was health care card support for dentistry for poor people under the federal system. In order to "balance the budget". Then when the budget was in black ... they gave tax cuts to rich people instead of restoring it.

I think Tony Abbott is perhaps a serial liar. But then that's expected with the "No I never met with George Pell ... alright, I did, so what?!" Health Minister.

The man is as much a lying rodent as his boss. They keep good company.

Worst. Fake name. Ever

Our modem's USB connection died so I called tech support. Optus has followed the out source route and its call centre is in India.

Finally I get through.

In his defence his accent was fairly light.

"Hello," he said in his still noticeable Indian accent. "My name is Ken."

Nice one "...Ken...".

I made sure to preface every number or account info I gave with 'My Australian ...'

That's some nice work Optus. At least Ken's accent was light. I am all for my developing world brothers and sisters getting work. As long as of course I have maximum ability to use those resources when I need it.

It reminded me of Apu when he's trying to be an Anglo-American. "How-dee part-ner".

Noice.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Climate Change Slimate Change

There we have Howard. 'Climate change is not the overwhelming moral challenge of this generation of Australians.' And 'it's all about jobs and the economy and there shouldn't be knee jerk reactions.'

Hmm, let's see.

25 fucking nuclear plants for Australia, massive expansion of uranium mining, and the 10 billion dollar water plan without cabinet or treasury consultation. All in the last 12 months.

Here's the other thing that shits me about Howard. In Kyoto we dishonestly got to expand our pollution rate to 8%. And include unsustainable land clearance in those figures. We have increased our pollution via coal plants for the most part by 25%. We stopped largely the land clearance. So the only way, the only way we're in line to "meet" our targets is because we essentially wrote the rules for Oz in the most favourable terms that other western yet fully environmentally committed western nations could not.

Holy shit Howard annoys me. The Stern report figured it would likely be a 1% GDP compliance cost on reducing carbon emissions. 1%. We spends 2% on Defence. We can do it. It will be expensive but we can do it. And we will embrace new technologies in the process - already massive efficiency gains in solar, and geothermal energy is actually reaching a point where commercial viability is in sight.

All that happens is a cost has to be applied to Carbon to make these technologies economically viable. It's as simple as that.

Howard can't see it because Howard is yesterday's man. He is wedded to the past of the Anglo culture dominant, of unions knowing their place, of the aspiration for wealth over community being the primary concern. These are things he has done his best to bring back or into place. And he's largely succeeded in many of these areas.

As Timmy said tonight on that ABC show I can't be arsed looking up. It's not the economy stupid, it's the community.

Howard's done his best to fuck the latter for the former and he's still doing it.

Give the little rat the arse people. Vote anyone but the Libs.

DISCLAIMER: Mikey is a member of the ALP and a union. He would like you to vote for the ALP first but he recognises that your politics is your own business. But that voting for the Libs is only good for business and not for you.

Gawd he's an even bigger twat behind the scenes than in front of it

Downer is on Australian Story. His wife complained about how he complains about the insidious left in the ABC and expressing surprise they have even been interviewed by these ... leftists.

Fucking hell he comes across as a giant nob. Plummy voice, faux normality, bizarre politics, hatred of the ABC ("lefties!!!"). Then of course they interview Greg "Everything the Liberal party has ever done in foreign affairs is awesome" Sheridan who claims he's 'a lot more interesting now'.

No he isn't. He's a twat. And soon Mr Patrician will be unemployed ... for about two seconds when he will accept a highly inappropriate post to a company where he had involvement with them while foreign minister - like so, so many of his Liberal party predecessors. Oh apparently he shares a unit with his daughter in Canberra. His daughter ... the graduate officer at DFAT, the hardest grad slot to get in the public service, with her father the fucking minister.

Now his fuckwit Chief of Staff is complaining how people mentioned the Tsunami as having nothing to do with climate change. He's right - I doubt it was the point. I'd say they were using examples of fucking storm surges that will happen with increasingly violent storms and likening the impact to tsunamis. Of course I wasn't there so I don't know. But their inability to see that the wars of this century will be fueled by resource implications of changing weather, population increase in resource poor or shaky areas is proof positive this pack of twats needs to be shown the door.

Oh apparently he sets "really high standard". Really. So AWB was high standards was it? Bullshit. DFAT had the legislated responsibility to monitor the impact of international legislation on corporate operations by our companies and he mannifestly failed to do that, creating a public service culture where people did not do their fucking job. Too fucking busy practicing sing songs I will bet. Fuck, even The Oz, which may as well be called 'The Liberal Party is simply terrific PS lower taxes for the rich' called for Downer's resignation.

Grrr, why am I watching this shit?

UPDATE Downer actually had the hide to say 'politics is about doing the right thing'. Then why, Mr Fishy pants, does your government monumentally fail to do the right thing? Here's some examples.

Swallowing tarted up intel, children overboard, workchoices, Hicks, climate change, miserable resource management, making it practically impossible for 1st home buyers to buy a fucking house without a chunk of cash from some friendly parents, etc etc etc.

UPDATE 2: Negroponte just came over to the camera and whispered sweet nothings to it about the 'experienced and capable' Downer. I'd rather not have someone who when a diplomat in the 80's turned a deliberate blind eye to genoicde by rebel groups supplied with US funds coming over and saying stuff like that about me. It's like being praised by a Nazi apologist.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

TheWife on BB07

"Andrew will win the whole show"

He's apparently the 9th to go in.

Me? I like Jamie. He seems to be a Timmy type.

Wait a minute HM! You're watching this aren't you!?

Well ... a bit. Just a bit.

Hmmm

There was an awesome article in The Age (or the SMH, one of the fairfax jobs), about the insidious corporate influence in the climate change debate. Where, like with smoking, they try and muddy the waters so climate sceptics in blog land suddenly end up as amateur climate-oligists. unquestioningly quoting their "research" as an apparent counter to the obvious fact that climate patterns are shifting.

But for some reason the article is not online. It mentioned Hugh "Aborigines liked eating Chinese because they tasted better" Morgan, ultra rightist mining figure in Oz who is alleged by some to be the reason why Howard backed off from Kyoto. Of course now nuclear energy is a possibility then in comes Hugh pushing his uranium ramp up plan.


These "people" are killing the planet for profit. They are without a doubt captain insanos. They should fucking wake up to themselves. They won't though. Not while there's a buck in it and they can get away with it.

BB07 ... hooray ...

It's on now. Hoo-fucking-ray. It doesn't really fuss me I suppose - I don't have to watch it. Except theWife is obsessed with it. She loves all these reality type shows.

It's no real surprise I don't really watch commercial TV. Oh - there are shows I watch. I tape them and watch them the next day because the ads shit me up the wall. But I don't watch the commercials.

Unfortunately tape and watch later isn't really possible with BB.

I will hate this show ... unless there is a Timmy type in there. But I don't think they will make that mistake again.

Now they're wanking on about how e-friendly the house is. Of course I have just proven I am a hypocrite since I have it on as I blog here. But this is just so I can know the names so I can confidentially slag them off later.

BTW - the water cooler? Anyone actually have them? We don't in the PS. Our "conversations" tend to happen in the kitchenette. Only Kitchenette conversation doesn't really have the right ring to it.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Bush remembering 911

Hear the Onion goodness here.

I was doing it in the supermarket with TheWife. Or rather I was doing it and she was trying to get away from me.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Dom's RADAR post on guns'n'America is worth a read

See here.

This comment on the article resonated with me the most. And I think it did so because Howard's Australia apes the US as it is now. Comfortable, relaxed whilst locked in your McMansion fortress. And everyone outside it can go and get fucked.

Anyway, the comment.

I'm all for gun control but I don't think it will prevent this type of thing from happening. If someone is really determined they'll find a way.

I think the problem is that people like Cho, Martin Bryant & the Columbine killers fall through the cracks. It's a pack mentality. You're either a member of the pack, or you're an outcast, a wierdo. In Australia this mentality isn't as strong as in America. Here you can pretty much be whoever you want to be and you'll be left alone. I think American culture is a lot harsher on these fringe dwellers. Cho had no friends I suspect. No one to just say "Hey Cho, how's it goin mate" at least once a day - this, more so than armed security guards would've prevented what happened.

I was in America during the Katrina disaster and it stunned me that the Americans I was with didn't discuss the tragedy at all. I had a half dozen friends from Australia emailing me and asking what was going on and talking about the latest news reports. About the most I could get out of an American was "ohh, that's so terrible...". They simply didn't care.

Now don't get me wrong. Americans are incredibly warm welcoming people. Go there and you'll see - they are wonderful people. If your a guest in their home they'll do anything for you. However, if they don't know you, then you don't exist. Their lives are insulated - if something happens to someone they don't know, then they don't care.

This is the great problem that American society has to accept and examine.

Empathy - It's more powerful than a thousand bombs and a million guns. Their home and the world at large will be a much happier place when they learn this lesson. Open your eyes and be aware that your stepping on somebody. Appreciate that persons pain.

Posted by: Paul at April 20, 2007 1:39 PM

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Jones gets media watched

Here's a link to the WMV file here.

Holy Christ what a twat.

The unusual suspect

Gold - perhaps literally

Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones (formerly) has a new invention on the market - see Beve's blog here.

I wonder if it has a setting to detect attractive under age girls as well?

(Claps loudly)

Tanya Plibersek in today's SMH. She seems to have a regular gig - likely as a counter to Abbott's deranged flights of endorphin powered fancy.

Anyway today's was on politics of fear. Specifically on Howard's politics of fear. How 'Relaxed and Comfortable' was essentially Orwellian new speak for 'be afraid, be very afraid.'

It is hands down one of the best things I have read all year from a columnist, no matter their stripe. Here's a snippet - see the rest here.

Howard promised core Liberal voters and the Howard Battlers that if they stuck with him they'd be better off - relaxed and comfortable. Instead, they've been set one against the other.

Competition is good in functioning markets but it doesn't have to be the driving force of all our social relations.

As the historian Mark Peel says in his book The Lowest Rung: Voices of Australian Poverty, "The world made by and for the winners isn't necessarily a world in which other people want to live, if it means they are always a little behind, always being urged to catch up, always anxious about competition because they know in any competition there are losers as well as winners. Of late, there has also been a growing recognition that fuelling aspirations for self-fulfilment may not be the only politics with a chance of electoral success; instead people might want to share and be sustained by a sense of hope, and even the joint responsibilities of a better world."

HM berates himself

Today I got some feedback from my supervisor. I wasn't in a good place to hear it - tired, sick in the guts still (no breakfast for HM). It was along the lines of as follows.

'I am concerned about the emails you're sending out. They often have typos, or the wrong word used. I suggest you read them out loud before you send them because you're making our section look bad.'

Fair points I suppose - though it could have been presented a little kinder. I found the one email where I had made a mistake and sent it saying 'is this the email you are referring to?' And I added a defence of 'well, my job is email in focus. So I send a lot. So the odd typo slips through.'

That and I type fast and have podgy fingers.

So I ping the walking lads.

And wouldn't you fucking know it, in one of my emails where I am bitching about it, there was a fucking typo. I was so dark when I was shown that, that I actually froze for about 30 seconds while in my head violent black and white imagery of war and air raid sirens went off.

I really am a nob.

Numbers

Today in Baghdad a series of bombs blew apart 150 odd people. One report I read was of a kid who saw someone's head come off.

Though Virginia was an absolute tragedy, on a numbers scale Baghdad beats it hands down.

And the saddest thing is ... that's almost an every day occurance.

Media in the west will fixate on Virginia. There will be a telemovie out within 2 years. Hell there will likely be another massacre as some sick fucker will try and top the league table of all time greatest scorer.

Meanwhile Iraq will continue to burn

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Last one - promise

Sheit, that was like 7 blogs. I think I have e-diarrhoea.

Anyway, work. Recently my bosses decided my position was worthy of upgrade. So they upgraded it. But in the PS it's not that simple. You can act by all means in your newly upscaled job but you no longer own that job. So I am now a floater since my actual job will be shortly deleted. And my new job will be advertised to all comers.

Ah the public service. We bend over backwards to be fair. They gave me the choice to be upscaled and I decided fuck it, why not. If I don't get it I can do a new job and learn new things. Though as far as the PS goes, it's one of the better jobs and I will miss doing it. Esp since, despite the odd hiccup, I am good at what I do.

However given I have never won a job at official interview in the many many years I have been in I do not like my chances.

But, like thewife said, it's different when you act in a job first. I know it backwards, forwards, up, down. Hell I wrote the procedures and made it the job it is today. My comfort zone will be at max level and I am not attempting to enter a area that has unofficial minimum standards on physical attraction (judging from the Ali McBeal / David Jones 'jacket off the crook of a finger, leg on rock' Male Catalogue model types that infest those areas).

I think my supervisor likes me. Hell she's the one that said 'right, we're upgrading you, you deserve it'. And that does go a long way. But well there's more than one person on a panel and interviews can undo even the best of us . Even when they know you can do the job, the artificial interview process, where everyone is uncomfortable and it does not represent any actual job duty in history save for human resources, can let you down.

I hate fucking interviews. Especially when you accidentially assault one of the panel members afterwards.

Yeeouch

Post celebration of a birthday for one of the kewlest people I know, I returned to my desk. A colleague wanting to talk financing pulled up a chair and began.

Suddenly I doubled up with severe abdominal pain. Turns out those steakhouse chips I ate off someone else's plate (mine didn't come with any) landed and left me gasping in agony. I started to go red then white, and sweating. I hid it well and colleague kept talking. Eventually I couldn't hide it any more and I kind of leaned at an angle against the laminate desk and whimpered.

Worst. Pain. Ever. Except that time I ate eight restaurant buns - each with a patty of butter on it - that lead me to call my first - and last - ever ambulance at 2 am the next morning.

I actually have a fatty liver too. Yep, that's outside fat, and inside fat. I bet if I had those devil/angel figures that provide the moral challenge appeared on my shoulder each of them would be leaning heavily against my neck panting from the mere exertion of appearing.

So maybe it was that and the IBS? Not sure. Anyway, fucked up stuff and I had to gobble two of my meds. Trouble is I can't drive if I have them so I had to wait for them to wear off before I could go home. I was so fuzzed I had trouble sending emails and in re-reading them they reached near Homer "him card read good" levels.

Funny thing is I completely forgot I had a fatty liver - which means I have to avoid fat. And lately I have not been doing that. So I need to do that from now on.

IBS means usually you have a 20 minute window from when gobbling a trigger item and the pain starting. Ideally it needs to start right away, like an electrified cup cake (again - Simpsons), for me to get that negative reinforcement.

I used to sneer at the smokers who crowd near the 'do not smoke beyond this point' sign outside my work as I walked in. Thinking 'fools'. But then I buy a fucking snail pastry from the shop and pretend my using a plastic knife to slice then gobble makes me more refined. I ain't in no position to judge people on their addictions. Mine is food and not exercising. Really I need to be swapping those two around.

Of course crap knees, flat feet, and a general level of fitness that is best represented by the prefix 'un' counters against this. But I can't let it. I will have to go for more walks.

Tonight I did go for a walk to the local shops. Then of course ruined it by buying an iced coffee and guzzling it on the walk home. D'oh.

I love my food so much. I don't love exercise. I have crap will power. And I have genetics of hearty northern English stock (thanks mum) that meant while in lean pre-civ times I was evolutionary superior with my ability to store reserves against times of no food - in civ times I am nothing more than a walking blob who Tony Abbot blames for the collapse of the health system as he whizzes past in his sprayed on bike clothes.

Rant over.

BTW Food was awesome. No complaints there.

Um ... not very family friendly

When the Libs bought in Work Choices, spending tens of millions of our tax payer dollars telling us about it, they claimed 'ooooooo family friendly!' As in you could in theory have in your AWA different start times and end times for when you had to get kids to school, care for relatives, etc etc etc. Despite the fact that awards, as far as I know, generally don't have start/end work times built in stone and any HR department worth their salt can have a flex time as part of workplace policy in addition to an award structure.

Well, like much of what the Libs put out, it's a massive crock of shit. Family friendly ... not.

Check out the SMH here.

Here's the intro.

THREE-QUARTERS of Australian workplace agreements do not include the family-friendly work provisions that the Federal Government has said are one of the key benefits of individual employment contracts under its new industrial relations laws.

Confidential statistics collated by the Office of the Employment Advocate on nearly 4000 such agreements show that only 25 per cent of them included provisions allowing for family-friendly work arrangements.

I wonder if they have trouble sleeping at night?

Right to bear arms

Naturally the right to bear arms has come up in the wake of the terrifying 1st person shooter for real that occured in Virginia recently.

See the 2nd amendment wiki here.

I had a read of it wondering what the fuck the founding fathers were thinking when they wrote that bad boy in.

Turns out it was in there for good reason. Militias in colonies was the norm - and a militiaman is only as good as the gun he brings to the party (sorry, no girls allowed). And being a wild land where native inhabitants didn't take kindly to having their environment spoiled, ravaged by diseases, and preached at by well meaning god botherers, not to mention bears, mountain lions (oh my!) etc having a gun was pretty much as necessity. Esp if you planned not on having a standing army (which leads to tyranny by God!).

However. That was then. This is now. While the right to flap your lips about crap is one I have a tick in my box for (the First Amendment), the second one is no longer really applicable is it?

The US has long been colonised, and the future King of England is too busy giving the good lady wife a damn good seeing to whilst she is bent over the potting table in their greenhouse than to re-invade the US. The drivers for packing heat no longer exist.

When the founding fathers were busy founding, the average gun was a flintlock that fired about three times a minute. If it fired at all (wet hampered the ability to use gunpowder). As demonstrated so ably by the 'turns out not to be a Muzzlim' student, a pair of handguns can rapidly kill many people in a period of 20 seconds - like a Proton fucking energy pill.

So my blessed Americans. I have a solution to your woes. And I am sure I am not the first person to think of this.

Ban the right to bear semi automatics, automatics, revolvers and any other fast firing firearm. But - allow anyone who wants to still pack el-heato to be packing a flintlock - as per the technology of the founding father's time.

Problem solved. You still have your guns just shitty slow firing ones that prevent cockheads from walking into crowded areas and treating people like pop ups in a VR shooting game. Plus, for all those manly hunter types that wish to protect their hobby, why it becomes just that more challenging for them.

BTW I heard some gun nuts wank on today about how A) if only those stupid lefty traitors had not made the campus a gun free zone then someone could have pulled their piece and shot him and B) some fuckwit claim that 'a man with a knife is even deadlier because he could kill ... in silence.'

As for the latter I tell you what fuckknuckles. Name me one (1) mass killing with a knife in an environment such as this, in this sort of time frame, and I will agree with you that knife wielding mass killers are far more deadly than someone packing twin handguns that can shoot at a distance, rapid fire, through doors and dissuade even the most courageous person from closing to melee distance in an effort to take them down.

As for the former if you had proper gun controls then the dick knuckle that killed people - who bought his guns legally - would have had a hell of a time sourcing a piece on the black market. Because while criminals are many things, not many of them go ape shit and mass kill people. They use their guns as a tool in their trade, not as a means to 'teen angst poetry' the walls in the brains and blood of other human beings (though of course criminals some do kill people for the sheer thrill of it).

For an excellent look at the US gun culture, see the ABC report here.

And another one's gone and another one's gone ... another one bites the dust

Dodgy el-cheapo world globe 2 bit it this evening. Last time this happened I cracked the world to see shards of bulb glass on inner Antarctica. That and I think the socket is not a standard one so there is no point anyway since I don't have a bulb that can go in there.

Stupid piece of fucked up fucking crap. It gives shoddily made goods from China a bad name.

Steve Pratt ... Prat

You may remember Steve Pratt. He was a one time Army officer who joined an aid agency and, in the mid-late 90s, was captured as a spy by one of the balklan's at war nations and held and beat up for a couple of months. On his return this pedigree naturally caught the attention of the ACT Liberal party and they recruited him to the fold. He's a member of the assembly.

Today whilst waiting for theWife to alight from her work I was listening to Hack on JJJ. They interviewed Pratt who has declared war on graffiti and, to that end, scrubbed out some offending material that was 'in full view of the road to the cemetary!'.

Pratt claimed that it wasn't gazetted as an official 'paint site' and that the pic of the man playing, I kid you not, disk golf (aka Frisbee golf) had to go. And go it did. Pratt spent five hours last weekend scrubbing it off.

Trouble is it was an official community artwork. It wasn't "gazetted" as it wasn't a graffiti wall. It was an acutal commisioned piece on behalf of the disk golf community.

John Hargraves, relevant ACT minister, has referred the vandalism by Pratt to police.

You can hear today's podcast here. However it's yet to be posted up.

Giant pot accuses kettle of being black

Alexander "Bunyip" Downer today decried Kevin Rudd for being a "media hound". You can see the article here. The plumy toned former one time Liberal leader, who jokingly referred to their domestic violence policy as "the things that batter" aping the actual then Liberal slogan of "the things that matter" claims the Ruddster is "obsessed with publicity".

This is coming from a man that actually tasks diplomatic stuff to learn fucking karaoke tunes so they can don feather fucking boas and back up sing the dulcet tones of Fishnets himself. Sure, I understand that a jolly good sing song actually does occur in SEA dipo circles but still, for Downer to jump and down and have a hoity at Rudd for doing exactly what the fuckwit crew have done for the last 11 years is a joke.

How's this Downer? What do you say to say a certain member of your party, a senior member, donning a fucking tracksuit like a nerd wearing the red command uniform of a Federation naval officer to a Star Trek NG con, a tracksuit of green and gold and red (vodofone logo), in order to watch a sporting event at 4.45 am and invites the media around to watch him watch the fucking TV - up there cazalying from his couch when points are scored by Aussie fucking battler sportstars.

Is that publicity too?

Rageful

Today I got rageful. First I got rageful at my radio or, rather, the coconut live from Kirrabili who was lying through his tiny rat teeth about the ALP work choices changes claiming 'oh the humanity!' if Labor dared 'turn back the clock on this important reform!'

The only reform Howard did was this was turn the clock back even further to say the 1890s when bosses had 100% of the hire/fire powers and could well fuck people over on wages and conditions of service.

His turning the clock reminds me a bit of when I step on a pre-1985 scale and I lap the counter to end up being 10 kilos in weight. I don't know why.

Second rage bout was the lift at work. Fuck me it's slow. s-l-l-l-o-o-o-o-o-o-w. I started getting the little pin pricks of rage at it because it was taking so fucking long and I nearly booted to doors.

I think I have anger management issues.

Man, if I ever met John Howard in a lift I'd be in trouble.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Rudd on IR

This was from today's speech at the press club. Here's a link to the transcript on the ALP site.

This is the bit on IR. Adios AWAs under the ALP.

Good.

Industrial Relations

I also said that today I wanted to outline a number of key features of Labor’s alternative industrial relations system – and how we propose to balance the requirements of fairness and flexibility in the system.

Over the last few months both my Deputy, Julia Gillard, and I have done a lot of listening to the views of employers, employees, unions and industry. In fact, Julia is in Perth today doing just that.

We have heard from businesses, from unions and from working families themselves. The Government has staked its unfair laws on the need for economic reform.

But why, if this was such an important economic reform, has the Government never asked its own key economic agency, the Australian Treasury, whether its laws were what the economy needed?

In February this year, Treasury confirmed again that the Government had not bothered to ask for an analysis of the effects of the changes since their introduction. But they are not the only numbers being kept from the Australian public.

Last year, detailed analysis by the Office of the Employment Advocate showed every AWA lodged cut at least one protected award condition. But then, within weeks, the OEA suddenly stopped collecting that data.

Today we read reports of secret Government statistics revealing that 45 per cent of AWAs sampled take away all award conditions from workers – precisely the award conditions that the Government’s advertising campaign told us were protected by law.

And while the Minister tells us that AWAs are offering “bucketloads” of flexibility, he isn’t giving us even the smallest drip of data to back that up.

We all know if the Government’s IR laws were so good, we wouldn’t hear the end of it. Every day would bring research, statistics and analysis. But we hear nothing.

We believe Australia can go forward without throwing the fair go out the back door. These unfair laws have stripped away basic conditions and the take home pay of hardworking Australians. And then they have Mr Howard telling them that they “have never been better off”.

A Federal Labor Government will create a new workplace relations system that is simple, fair and flexible – and we will get rid of Mr Howard’s unfair laws once and forever.

  • Our laws will abolish AWAs – and we will do so without apology.
  • Our laws will return the right to basic working conditions – like penalty rates, overtime and public holiday pay.
  • Our laws will ensure a minimum wage, set by the independent umpire that keeps track with living standards.
  • Equally, our laws will recognise the legitimate requirements for flexibility for a modern economy.

Some in the labour movement have argued for a return to predominantly State-based jurisdictions. I reject that view because we must recognise that business, large and small, is increasingly operating across state borders.

Federal Labor’s objective therefore is to create a uniform, national industrial relations system for the private sector. Under the Howard Government’s laws, businesses in the private sector are caught in a legal mess, uncertain which laws apply to them.

A Federal Labor Government will achieve nationally consistent laws for the private sector. This will be achieved either by State Governments referring powers for their residual responsibilities for private sector industrial relations or through other forms of co-operation and harmonisation. This cooperative approach contrasts with other proposals recently advocated in New South Wales which would have seen that jurisdiction being surrendered blindly to Mr Howard’s unfair workplace laws.

I am greatly encouraged by the co-operative approach already taken by my State colleagues in discussions on this matter. Some States have already indicated they will be prepared to positively consider a referral under a Federal Labor Government’s proposal for a fair and flexible industrial relations system.

I don’t pretend that the process will be easy. It won’t be. Federal Labor intends to give sole traders, partnerships and companies a uniform industrial relations system – a uniform system for the private sector.

Under Labor, whether your employees are in Bundaberg, Bright or Bunbury the same system of laws will apply. Current arrangements for the public sector and local government will continue with many of these workers regulated by State industrial relations jurisdictions.

But we should be under no illusions about the possibility of Mr Howard forcing teachers, nurses, and police off enterprise agreements and on to AWAs - leveraging the Commonwealth’s financial payments to the States in these sectors as he has already done with universities.

Second, working families understand that quality and secure jobs rely on a prosperous economy. They know that improved living standards come with improved productivity in the workplace. And they also understand that this country cannot afford to see increases in industrial disputes which put at risk Australia’s global reputation.

There can be no going back to the industrial culture of an earlier age. That is why a further reform for the industrial relations system we propose will be to outlaw industrial action unless there is a secret ballot.

The only time industrial action will be legally permitted is if it is taken in pursuit of a collective enterprise agreement during a bargaining period. And even then it will only be protected from legal penalty if it is authorised by the employees who will be taking the action through a secret ballot supervised by the independent industrial umpire.

Under our laws, employees will not be able to strike during the term of a collective agreement. They will not be able to strike unless there has been genuine good faith bargaining. They will not be able to strike in support of an industry wide agreement. And they will not be able to strike unless it has been approved by a mandatory secret ballot.

Labor has never before required mandatory secret ballots to authorise the taking of industrial action. Labor’s new laws will require it. We require these clear, tough rules to make the point that industrial disputes are serious. They hurt workers, they hurt businesses, they can hurt families and communities, and they certainly hurt the economy.

There is too much at stake. When Julia Gillard meets with representatives of the resources sector in Perth today, they will be talking about the $80 billion of resources project planned or in progress in Western Australia. They will talk about the importance of reliability and delivering on contracts to customers around the globe.

Third, industrial action comes at a cost to the economy. It therefore should not be without cost to those engaged in it. That’s why under Labor’s new laws it will also be unlawful for employers to pay strike pay.

Fourth, Labor’s plan also includes new unfair dismissal laws which will allow businesses to go forward while treating workers with fairness. Australians are hard workers. In return for a fair day’s work, they are entitled to a fair day’s pay. And in return for their hard work and their loyalty to their employer they are entitled to decent treatment, to a fair go.

Part of being treated decently is having the reassurance of knowing that if you work hard and do the right thing by your employer your job is secure, and you cannot be unfairly dismissed. Under Mr Howard’s laws, 3.6 million workers are employed in businesses where they can be dismissed at any time for no reason at all. Even in bigger businesses you can be dismissed at any time for so-called ‘genuine operational reasons’.

The vast majority of Australian businesses value their staff and would never unfairly dismiss them. It is also in the interests of business to treat staff fairly. But Labor will also therefore create a balanced system where Australian employees have protection against unfair dismissal and to receive an appropriate remedy if they are unfairly dismissed.

Labor will give employers the opportunity to see how employees fit into their business, meet the requirements of the job and work with colleagues and customers. Under Labor’s system an employee can only make an unfair dismissal claim when they have worked at least one year in a business with less than 15 employees.

We believe this passes the common sense test for small business. A full year should give any small business operator the time to make an evaluation about whether new staff are going to fit into their business.

This represents a significant change to Labor’s previous policy for small business. For businesses employing more than 15 people, employees will be exempt from unfair dismissal laws for six months.

The process for dealing with all unfair dismissal claims will also be streamlined. Labor’s new industrial umpire will have local offices in regional and suburban areas and will be able to go to the workplace or any other agreed venue to resolve the claim.

Claims will need to be filed quickly – usually within 7 days - and heard quickly. There will be no lawyers involved. Every endeavour will be made to resolve claims by discussion. If that can’t be done, the umpire will make a quick decision so the parties can move on.

Labor recognises, too, that small business owners don’t usually have the time or expertise to go through complex procedures of repeatedly warning an employee about unsatisfactory performance, spacing written warnings correctly apart and complying with other legalistic processes.

Labor will, in consultation with small business, develop a Fair Dismissal Code. The Code will be tailored to the needs of small business and will be reduced to a clear and concise reference to help these employers meet their obligations under Labor’s simpler unfair dismissal system. Where an employer has complied with the Code, the dismissal will be considered a fair dismissal.

Labor’s way forward is a better way forward for both employers and employees. It will be simpler, fairer and flexible – and will not throw a fair go at the workplace out the back door.

Beyond these four new elements of Labor’s IR policy – a new national uniform system for the private economy; mandatory secret ballots; the abolition of strike pay; and new unfair dismissal laws that create flexibility for small business operators – other elements of our policy will be progressively released between now and the election.

But for the future, our system will be guided by the dual disciplines of flexibility and fairness, and we believe that we will get the balance right.

AWAs

Forgot to blog this and Sarah beat me to it anyway - see here. It's a link to the SMH article (plus comment) that points out how AWAs are nowhere near the shiny huzzah for workers Sergeant Heartless claimed.

AWAs are a cancer on Australian workers while they are linked to the basic bare minimum award structure Howard and his Chamber of Commerce lickspittles have created.

There is nothing wrong with an AWA that meets a no disadvantage test when based against an existing decent award. Which is why 4% of workers had them.

What's wrong is when government with 1200 pages of brutal legislation creates a culture where there is no choice but an AWA, then holds its hands up as if to say 'hey ... it's voluntary.'

Evil dickwads.

Tee Hee

In Belconnen, by the lake, is a fast food strip.

Pizza Hut, Subway, Ali Baba, Chinese Noodle bar, Red Rooster, Hungry Jacks.

Recently building next door to Hungry Jacks has neared completion. Today, as we were going through the HJ drive-thru, we noticed what it was.

It's a weight loss centre.

:(

Wow, that mass shooting in Virginia is fucked up. 33 dead, if not more. Locked in the hall then blasted and shot and maimed.

This was today's Crikey editorial.

Virginia state gun laws. Frequently asked questions:

Is a permit required to purchase rifles, handguns and shotguns? No.

Is registration required for rifles, handguns and shotguns? No.

Is licensing required for the owners of rifles, handguns and shotguns? No.

Do you need a permit to carry rifles and shotguns? No.

Is a permit required to carry a handgun? A permit is required only if the weapon is concealed.

Is there a one-handgun-per-month limit on gun sales? Yes

Are there limitations on assault weapons and magazines? No

May police limit the carrying of concealed handguns? No

Must child-safe locking devices be sold with guns? No

Are background checks required at gun shows? No

Are minors restricted from possessing guns? In part

Is a licence/permit required to buy handguns? No

Are all guns registered with law enforcement? No

Is safety training required for handgun buyers? No

Is it illegal for holders of concealed-weapon permits to carry guns into schools? Yes

God bless America

Monday, April 16, 2007

Madonna and Jolie go for last remaining orphan

Malawi, Africa; The world's last remaining orphan, Tosie Gundra, was bitterly fought over by Madonna and Angelina Jolie when the celebs each arrived at the town with the intent on clasping the confused child to their expansive bosoms.

'Get away from him you bitch,' cried Jolie, pulling out her iPod, laden with Orphan friendly music like Food Glorious Food, and sconing the former queen of pop on her scone.

The celbs then got to it old school, tearing at each other's clothing, revealing their femininity but not their actual genitalia - though occasional hints of womanly goodness was revealed by rips near curving parts of their bodies.

Eventually the world's last orphanage administrator calmed the ladies and suggested they cut the child in half, each taking a portion to sate their lust for parentless children.

'I thought they knew their bible,' said Mr Elbunkon. 'And that the wisdom of Solomon would show them the error of their ways.'

Unfortunately once Madonna got a hold of the jigsaw and had called dibs on the top half, Mr Elbunkon had to put a stop to it.

'It took three men to hold her down. For an old chicken she's quite spry,' said the administrator.

With the women and their entourage of hundreds of former orphans expelled from Malawi, Tosie Gundra has been assigned 100 French peace keepers to protect him from further attempts by the orphan obsessed mega stars. Unfortunately he has already has received 228 offers for paid sex from the blue helmeted gallic warriors.

What?

Some old dude is on the TV complaining about how the RAAF keep flying hornets over his house.

He lives one kilometre from the air base.

News flash. If you don't like the sound of aircraft DON'T FUCKING LIVE NEAR A FUCKING AIR BASE.

It's like when people move next door to a pub and discover that they play live music. I mean that base has been there for 60 fucking years or something. You think when he moved in he would have understood there would be planes flying over head.

What a total Victor Meldrew*.

* Note: Victor Meldrew was right most of the time about the things he grumped about. Also I do not support loud fuckwits partying on because that's unusual circumstances. If you buy a house near a place that makes loud noise - for example a fucking quarry - then you have no right to launch legal action that makes you A) look like a twat and B) cost you more in legal fees than whatever you might get in a settlement.

The Rodent speaks

"I think it will leave a bad taste in people's mouths"

John Howard on the Channel 10 promo RE Rudd and the ANZAC day "... gaff ... "

Unbelievable. No completely believable. Only a man who has used fear and loathing and lied blatantly thousands and thousands and thousands of times would have the sheer balls to claim this 'would leave a bad taste in people's mouths'.

Here's a bad taste you bespectacled C word.

Children Overboard, the "Never Ever" GST, Work Choices, deporting Ozzers to live crippled in a hospice, locking Ozzers up in detention, locking up children, sending the SAS to capture vessels where sick people lay weakly on the deck, etc etc etc.

What a fucking creep. Trust Vodaphone to get a micro stiff over the Ruddster's alleged gaff. In fact see Sarah's post on the so called scandal here.

Holy crap I hate him. Bring on the election and let's send this turkey gobbling off.

Buckwheat is even fucking stupid in my dreams

Buckwheat, my former nemesis - wait, nemesis implies parity in ability. Okay then, Office Fuckwit Buckwheat appeared in my dream the other day. In the dream I was telling my co-workers "Geez Buckwheat is a complete waste of fucking space." And ... I didn't see that Buckwheat was standing right there.

I think my response was "oh ... I mean your duty statement doesn't provide you with duties of adequate interest."

She blinked furiously in that way she does then grinned crazily in agreement.

Another side note, Buckwheat famously spends some of her office time re-vacuuming the carpets instead of doing her job. Why doesn't she just become a cleaner? She'd certainly provide more value for money.

Hockey really needs to get his hand off it

I like Joe Hockey. I do. Of all the coalition people he's the one that seems the most human. It's a shame that he got given the 2nd most evil portfolio. A portfolio I suspect largely because he appeared with Rudd on Sunrise (a partnership now since ended since Hockey was forced into the odd position of having to choose his party over a friend).

This is from today's Canberra Times

Mr Hockey said an analysis of federal Labor, state government and union pronouncements indicated the election war chest would amount to $98.15 million.

That includes union donations to the federal Labor election fund ($9 million), spending by states opposed to the workplace legislation ($12 million) and proceeds from the sale of a union property in Sydney ($15 million).

He said the result so far had been a series of misleading and factually incorrect ads run by the ACTU.

"It certainly appears that by election day the unions and the Labor Party would have spent nearly $100 million campaigning against our legislation," he told the Nine Network.

"That is a phenomenal amount of money. At the next election the Liberal Party would expect to spend only $20 million getting re-elected.

"This is millions of dollars of union members' hard-earned money that is being wasted."

Mr Hockey said that was one reason why Australians were leaving unions, with just 15 per cent of private sector workers still union members.

"When they see their member money wasted like this you can understand why they are walking away," he said.

See here.

Joe unfortunately, blinking perhaps with the overhead lights of the studio fading before his eyes since word came down that he had to give Sunrise the heave ho, doesn't seem to understand what the fuck unions are for. Maybe he thinks they're just there to fund the ALP? That's certainly what the rest of Sergeant Heartless and the Fuckwit band seem to think.

Unions are there to protect members and member's entitlements. Hockey's evil government has stripped away those entitlements. Therefore to get them restored, and parity bought back between employers and employees, his government has to go. Anything unions do to stick it to a government that has spent far more on politically charged government advertising than any government in Australian history before it is meeting their charter of protecting workers.

I feel sorry for Joe Hockey. He has a shitty portfolio and he has to defend the indefensible. And when is government gets the arse - and despite faux outrage over Rudd's "ANZAC INSULT TO DIGGERS" that has been mannifestly overhyped by News Ltd and the Libs - they will get the arse. Then Joe Hockey will cop a chunk of the blame.

If his government seriously, seriously had the interests of the people at heart, they would have gone to the 2004 election on their changes. They did not. They did with the GST, and lost the popular vote, which is probably why they didn't do the right thing this time.

But it's been a long, long time since any of those fuckers did the right thing.

By the way, in the last election (2004), apparently 40% of CPSU members voted for the coalition. In the marginals, if every union member voted against the coalition that would likely mean the 16 seats needed for the ALP to win would fall their way.

Be afraid Howard, be very fucking afraid. Because your time is nearly up. Then, when you die, you will get a state funeral where hundreds of people will come and lie through their teeth about what a fucking "statesman" you were ... while checking you are in fact dead.

PS Congrats to the Bevester. Welcome to the brotherhood comrade.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Coke News

Whilst trawling for a pic of my much loved 390ml cans of Diet Coke (yes, I am back on, but limited intake), I came across this PDF of a power point display. It's not exactly confidential coke info but noneless it has some marketing info in it I would not want to share with the competition.

See it here

Business types? A net no no, or fair enough file to be on the dub dub dub?

Hmm, not sure. There's a similiar slide show here, but it is different - and public. I'd say it's a net no no.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

HM impresses RR girl

I was at Red Rooster purchasing a highly IBS inappropriate dinner when I needed a pen to sign the receipt.

'You got a pen?' asked RR girl.

'Yep,' I said.

I whipped open my wallet and pulled out the credit card sized useful shit plastic thingy that I keep there that has a tiny pen, sizzors, tweezers, knife, etc and used the pen.


'OMG' she shrieked. 'That is so cool! I want one!'


Thank you trusty useful shit plastic thingy. The only thing is, you can't take it on a plane as you could potentially use it to commit sky piracy. Or into parliament house where you could ninja people with it. Except, one time, I did take it in to parliament house and didn't realise I had done so until well after I had left.

Wait, that's what it is. It's a Victorinox SwissCard T3 Credit Card. Very useful. I often get asked by co-workers to access the tweezers. Only I forgot to clean them one time when pulling out a hang nail and there's a nub of a blood stain I have to scrape off. Don't worry Casso, the nail file is blood free and can still be used to fix wonky glasses screws if need be.

UPDATE Forgot to mention, the Credit Card thing was a pressie courtesy of the wife. I liked it so much we got one for my dad too. Very, very useful thing to have.

Why AWAs suck my hairy anus

I had a look at some of the changes, and heard a talk from a CPSU organiser. Here's why they suck as far as I am concerned.

Certified agreements are the lifeblood of the APS. They provide a broad range of conditions and salary progression. Under Work Choices certified agreements will only have to meet the five basic conditions, with everything else, everything, on the table. The five conditions are 12 months unpaid parental leave, 38 hours a week (averaged over a year) in time, a base pay as per the Fair Pay Commission, 10 days sick leave, and four weeks annual leave that can be cashed out.

That's it. Many of us are on agreements that will expire in 1-2 years. That's when AWAs will hit us. Why? Because the Certified Agreements will be those five things and perhaps 1-2 extras like public holidays and maybe, maybe, maternity leave provisions. AWAs will add just a little bit extra and therefore be more attractive. BUT you can't talk with your co-workers about your AWAs and, if in negotiation, you ask for one of the banned items to be considered (such as protection from unfair dismissal) you will cop a $6000 fine. It is absolutely divide and conquer - make no bones about it.

I can't stress these changes enough to my fellow workers. If the Howard govt stays in, you will be fucked. AWAs will become the norm. Cert agreements that we fought for, conditions like mat leave, like extended sick leave if you get fucking cancer, flex time, long service leave, and to go through a fair resolution when it comes to workplace disputes, will... be... likely ... gone.

Dust in the fucking wind. Our agreements expire AFTER the election. I just hope all of you who work to a collective agreement know what is coming. And consider joining an applicable union.

Yes, unions had their failings in the past. They recognise that. Hell, in 2004 the CMFEU even negotiated job protections with Howard and gave him two federal seats. But all unions recognise what an evil fucking wizard Howard and the Unchristian Crew are going to do to us all when one by one our agreements fall. And we're stuck on the AWA road to management Vs you the individual worker.

Someone pointed out to me how in a workplace that's 40% union, that meant management had to at least listen to 40% of your concerns. So without unions there to neg on our behalf a collective agreement then management listens to 1/total population of your office of your concerns.

Don't get me wrong. I acknowledge that for some AWAs are of benefit. As a white male with three quals and working in a job where my absence would cause severe annoyance, I am potentially one of the golden children that Hockey and Andrews and all those fucked in the head arseholes claimed were the pinnacle achievers in their Work Choice system. I could potentially make individual demands that stand a good chance of being met since it would be an irritant to replace me.

My blue collar, semi-skilled, low skilled, education deprived, English as a Second Language, or migrant brothers and sisters are not in that position. Howard and his gang of business cronies - who put slabs of fucking Business Council of Australia wish list items into the 1200 pages of legislation - yep 1200 pages designed to fuck us all over and eliminate the possibility to organise freely - are putting the screws to those who cannot defend themselves.

That's what Work Choices is. The choice of employers on how exactly they are going to fuck over workers. Make no mistake, it is coming. And even if Howard and his hideous gang of piebald mutant ideologues are given the arse, as long as union representation exists in the 20 percentile it will have the potential to come back again and get us.

Unionism is not dead. Unionism can help protect you. So if you can join a union then do so today. Yes, it can cost up to $400. But it's tax deductible. If your union assists in getting you conditions of service that are worth in excess of that, and if your workforce has a big union population, then you make that all back and then some.

Indeed, consider this. Adios carers leave. You have to put the kids in emergency day care. Your union fees would cover two days of that.

Prevention is always better than the cure. So join today. Your union needs you. And you need your union.

DISCLAIMER: HM is a paid up member of the CPSU since around 2003 and an ALP member since 2004.

See the website Your Rights At Work. Especially this fact sheet.

Oh, another interesting fact. If somehow your workplace does negotiate a reasonable certified agreement and you elected to go for an AWA, you can never ever again get access to that agreement. There's no returns policy.