Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New Left Media goodness

New Left Media is a team of three students from a college in the US. They go to right-wing rallies in the US and talk to "protesters" about why they are there. This includes, by the way, a Palin book signing.

The interviewer is a polite young man who asks a question of a protester. Sometimes he gets a cogent answer. Often not so much. Sometimes he will follow up an answer with a short 20 word explanation, based on history, policy or economics, in regards to the existing concern the protester was upset about, then asks a follow up question based on what he just said. This typically ends up with said protester looking confused as the entire basis of their reality was destroyed in a short burst of concentrated reality.

New Left does fine work. I hope they get lots of extra credit for it.

Check out all their vids, especially their latest one where they went to The Super Amazing In Direct Communication with God (the Mormon one) event of Glenn Beck where Beck decided to celebrate the anniversary of Martin Luther Kings 'I have a dream' speech by hosting his event at the same location. Only apparently, according to an excerpt I saw on The Daily Show, Beck was going to stand two stairs down from King lest people worry he was comparing himself. Apparently the rally was in support of children of special forces troops* and touched on what Beck saw was happening to America with Americans apparently thinking the idea of a strong government was a good one being the tool of Satan.

* alldonationstogotocostofhostingrallywithanyleftoverstothechairtythankyou

I wonder what MLK, had he not been shot by a good old boy, have thought of Beck's assertion that Obama has a deep seated hatred of white people and that Obama is therefore a racist? A view, by the way, Rupert Murdoch seemed inclined to agree with Beck on. Noice.

What goes in must come out

Ah ... but which way?

The Playahs...

Chicken Kiev

Weiss Berry Sorbet

Chocolate Freddo Frog

What do these all have in common, apart, of course, from being foodstuffs?

Well they're all foodstuffs I tried to stuff into my portly "O" gob tonight ... the latter two eaten following the Kiev which had not quite made it all the way to the stomach.

Yes ... the infamous stuckies happened again. Half way down elements of the Kiev - which sounds like an Eastern European resistance movement - got lodged on their journey into my digestive system. The cure for this is normally yakking it up or drinking coke to try and break it down. Both were employed. Both semi-worked. Eventually ... but it was painful and pretty gross for a while.

Each time I thought I'd succeeded, saliva build up in the tract would tell me 'no, back to the toilet with you' and I'd have another go. Basically the trick is to use the same muscles you'd use to deliberately burp. If something is stuck it would start to come up.

My taste-buds then got a culinary re-adventure in the form of tastes from the food that once was and now was ... again. Chocolate ... Sorbet ... Kiev. Each flavour gently wafting over the first. Gently being sarcastically employed. In truth it didn't taste acidic until I started retching. At that point I was basically bringing up garlic laced gastric juices. If a vampire happened to be in waft-shot they would have likely had their face melt like the Gestapo agent in Raiders.

Unless of course it was a Twilight vampire which, based solely on their previous exposure to vampire killing moment, ie sun, resulted in vagina moistening glitteratti, I presume would likely cause unicorns form and fart rainbows while they were frolicking about whilst crested with virgins. Ah, you're thinking modest maidens aren't you? I'm thinking overweight dudes with pimples, glasses, and a glossy copy of White Dwarf held twixt pudgy fingers.

Now originally I ate the Sorbet to soothe my throat. And the chocolate because of after-taste from subsequent exit attempts. But it was interesting - at least at the back of my rational empirical mind that ticks along even as I am purple faced retching - that the flavours so fully returned only to be replaced by another like an descending layer of a strand of man as he went from full stand to half crouch - only to in turn be cast into the fiery depths of food hell by the garlic infused jolly juices from my innard jiggles.

It was I suppose a bit like the lady who swallowed the spider to eat the fly she'd also swallowed then following the entire experience up with a Willy Wonker everlasting gob-stopper.

I think all up I spent a good 90 minutes of alternate visits to the porcelain fairy.

On the penultimate occasion, having honest to god felt all was clear below, I then carefully cleaned splatter fleck from the back of the lid (through the donut), the sides, the porcelain rim and that bit inside the toilet that's above the flush line. I practically gave the now shining showroom clean lav a flourishing kiss of triumph. Only to retch knee-wobbingly again within two minutes and have to re-dab up fleckage.

It's times like this that you regret see key life choices. If only it was like a Choose Your Own Adventure where you could cheat by simply stepping back a move.

I'm embarrassed to say that despite this hideous journey through the house of sick I returned to my meal and finished eating it.

What can I say?

It was a Chicken Kiev...

Naval gaze and the clanger

We recently had a naval gaze session. As noted recently the public service has a massive heart symbol for governance. It's at the core, or should be, of everything we do. Because at the end of the day we have to justify everything we do do. Which is how it should be.

However it can be, and is, an embuggerance. There’s multiple signatures required, project briefs needed to pitch projects, a lengthy approvals / clearance process and so forth. Again, it’s the price we pay for governance – and it’s one of the reasons that Australia is one of the least corrupt countries in the world.

The other thing we’re big on is metrics, which is part of governance. Metrics being standards by which we can measure ourselves and which provides useful information on our performance.

In our organization that includes frequent surveys of staff attitude to our business, our core strategic aims, our group aims, our directorate aims, how we feel about support given, the usefulness of our IT systems – all of that bizzo.

Following a survey of this nature we then had to discuss the results.


I hate meetings, I LOATHE meetings. I often sit there and inwardly scream in pain from being part of a meeting. That however is a fail on my part because of my experience with meetings in the past. The role I did in previous parts of the org was done largely in isolation with minimal input from others. So when I went to meetings it was more attendance was mandatory rather than productive. Again, it’s a governance embuggerance.

It’s a bit better now, but I still am conditioned to hate meetings. To sit there with minimal input and minimal take-away from it.

So the three hour naval gaze promised to be hideous. A pin in the leg to maintain wakefulness effort.

But … as it turned out … it really wasn’t that bad. It was a productive free for all on why we tracked badly in a couple of key areas. Some laughs, some gripes, but a nice off the chest experiment.

We then went to an Asian restaurant as a group. As the owner / operator (OO) came around with dishes, the subject of Peking sauce came up.

The OO is an English as an Additional Language person, now known in government as an EAL. This is an upgrade in terminology from English as a Second Language because ESL was considered a pejorative. And rightly so. Many EAL peeps in Oz speak more than two languages and have a likely working knowledge in a variety of dialects as well. This is recognition that in our multi-cultural society that just because someone’s English isn’t as great, it doesn’t mean they’re lacking as a result. Just that extra care is needed when communicating with them given they’re packing a tremendously exciting variety of languages and competing constructions in their large noggins.

So I asked OO EAL why Peking sauce wasn’t called Beijing sauce.

She shrugged. ‘You can call it that,’ she said. ‘Same thing, Beijing and Peking.’

Indeed, ATW, Peking was simply the result of the Romanisation of the original Chinese name.

It was then my mouth went ahead of my brain …

‘Or you could call it “Forbidden City Sauce”. Only then it would sound like a porno…’

Fortunately for me OOs EAL skills were such she just looked at me uncomprehendingly.

‘Um …’ I said as she stared at me with confusion. ‘Never mind.’

OO EAL shrugged and kept serving.

Dodged a dodgy bullet on that one. Luckily too that only boss and L heard what I said and just chalked it up to a Mikey Moment.


Monday, August 30, 2010

Ancillary benefit

Due to pain from the tests I took some pain killers - pretty strong ones. I was a bit floaty.

I was rough housing with theNoo, playing some more 'oh no, it's a dragon!' and we were under the doonah. On his way to an extraction point he planted his large melon against the bridge of my nose.

Thanks to pain killers ... it didn't hurt as much!

I remember watching a doco on medical discoveries and they were looking at the story of anesthetic. One story had a doctor seeing a man at a fairground load up on nitrous, hurt himself, but not experience any pain.

Wow, amazing, in the olden days carnies used to sell bursts of nitrous. Then the nanny state came along and restricted access by travelling circus folk to soporifics and other agents. Thanks a lot big government. Now the kids, and their music, can only get their fun by whipping bulbs at the 'future development park' near our house.

Poor dumb bastards. Won't someone think of the children?

And now ... the farts are here ... I can feel them ... in my colon

(Sung to the tune of My Way)

I had the first of my proper breath tests today. The first one was to determine Hydrogen Vs Methane as the metric, with Methane pulling out a surprise victory over Table of Elements No 1, against the odds.

Today was the lactose test.

I had to drink a solution - about 250 mls - that was loaded with lactose sugars. About equiv to the lactose in a litre of milk apparently. Given my propensity to become farty and bloated if I even look at a carton of milk I was somewhat worried about the impending pain response, especially as I couldn't take pain killers during the test. I told him that if he came out into the waiting room to find me that I may be in the hall farting into a pot plant. I figured it could use it.

But nothing really happened. In truth I was a bit disheartened. I figured that this meant maybe Lactose was a bit of a symptom fail and that what if it was something else that caused this.

Not to fear said the technician calmly. Apparently with this test the full impact of the lactose sugars in the solution - the unpleasant impact that is - lands about six to eight hours later.

Which is now.


In our merry band of the breath tested we had a new entrant. A I presume mentally unhealthy lady who came in with a near full bottle of water.

'Am I allowed to drink this?' she barked at the tech.

'Er ... just a sip, then no more,' said the tech.

'Is this too much then?' she said, shaking the bottle.

'Yes,' said the tech, clearly confused by her shaking near 600 mls of water.

'No I mean the bit I drank,' she said.

She shook the bottle again.

'Oh,' said the tech. 'That's fine. No more than that.'

'Well I'll throw it out then,' said the lady.

'Er ...' said the tech, whose brief clearly didn't yet come with dealing with left field thinkers. 'You could save it for later.'

The woman shook the bottle some more.

'I'm going to the bathroom,' she said after a moment. 'To throw it out. If you need me. That's where I am.'

'Right,' said the tech.

I almost felt I had to do the call trick where, when a friend is bailed up by a person they don't want to talk to, you call their phone to give them an excuse to break the conversation. Except I didn't have his number. Poor bastard.

I used to perform that saving manuever for mah desk bud A when he was bailed up by Buckwheat - my former bigoted baby with the one eyebrow. In fact sometimes I wouldn't even go to another desk. I'd just do it there and then because the ringing tone, like a presented crucifix, would be enough to drive her hissing away.

I still can't believe she works ten metres from me. I have to have painful small talk with her at the kitchenette.

Drive ... of DEATH! (?)

The other night I was coming back from a friend's place. I was driving on the Parkway that connects the North and South sides of Canberra.

As I passed the Woden turnoff I noticed ahead, by the side of the road, a bunch of cars had pulled over. They had their hazard lights on. I assumed there was some sort of mass rear-ending.

So I pulled into the right lane, in case people were walking near the left lane, and slowed a bit.

Then, in the glare of my head lights I saw what appeared to be a giant roo's tail snaking across both lanes. Now this seeing, identifying (incorrectly - obviously - it was a first impression) and my reaction all joined forces to have me still running over the obstacle. I didn't slam the brakes or try and swerve. I was committed to hitting it and with people on one side and a line of concrete bollard lane dividers on the other I didn't really have any options anyway.

So ... badonk-a-donk went the car as I went over it.

It was maybe 100 m past this obstacle that I realise it was a downed light pole - minus its head. I presume someone had removed that. Only the left side of the tyres went over it and I figured it was safe to keep going. When I got home I found no damage.

But jeez that was lucky. I could have easily gone 'WHAT THE FUCK!?' panicked and gone the full break or swerve and fucked myself up or other people. The fact I was munged on cold and flu pills from being sick probably led to my laconic 'meh' reaction as I drove over.

Still ... another mark on the journal of near misses.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Toastwatch - me

Baker's Delight thin sliced fresh white bread is the shizzle. So tasty, so delish, and when toasted ... mmmm.

Except I am on fast two. Which means no diet coke. When means I have nothing but water to wash the toast down with.

And the toast is sitting like a fetid lump in my tummy.

Actually I wrote Timmy initially. Which implies I have some sort of basement dwelling food tasting gimp residing below my house that I test my food on. Timmy, not the house.

No ... no Timmy. My Tummy.

Anyway, it's a horrible feeling and a reminder than just because something is delicious and enticing, it's a neddy no a lot of the time.

Toast ... once again another one of my many dark mistresses.

Still, while I am passing the time trying to pass this toast I am watching Sons of Anarchy. What a fucking awesome show. I'm also recovering from a bout of flu that saw me on my hands and knees at one point retching from a coughing fit and lumps of grey green matter expelled from my lungs come flying out every which way. Yummy.

Tomorrow I have breath test take two. The Lactosining. Yes, I find out once and for all if dairy is my electric cupcake. I have a feeling this is just confirming the more than likely outcome but we will see.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Oh no, a dragon!

TheNoo's lately been seeing monsters. No, not dead people style like in The Sixth Sense, but imaginary monsters which typically end up chasing us. A regular appearance comes in the form of a bear that chases after our car like the liquid metal Terminator in Terminator Two.

Today he saw a dragon.

'Oh no, a dragon! Come on, let's run!'

So we run down to the lounge room and dive into his pop-up castle turret tent - which has dragon repelling powers.

The tent has windows. So we were looking out of the window and 'seeing' the dragon.


'Hey what's he doing? I think he's eating a sheep.'


'Oh No!'


'Oi, shouldn't you be shearing that?' (cue self-laughter - theNoo joining in though he doesn't know why).

On subsequent dives into the tower tent other observations and shout outs occurred.

Dragon eating a Donkey - 'Oi, shouldn't you be loading a burden on that?'

Dragon eating a Princess - 'Oi, shouldn't you be marrying that?'

Dragon eating a horse - 'Oi, shouldn't you be riding that?'

Dragon eating a "big banjo" (my interpretation of what TheNoo was saying) - 'Oi, where's the hillbilly you got that from?'

Dragon eating an apple - 'Oi, shouldn't you be planting that to grow an apple tree?'

Dragon eating a picture - 'Oi, shouldn't you be painting that?'

Dragon eating a "hottie" Princess (again, what I think he was saying) - 'Oi, shouldn't you be having relations with that?'

All good wholesome giggling fun. Except we got trapped in an activity loop of seeing the dragon, diving into the tent, coming out of the tent, diving into bed (the cave), getting out of the cave ... and diving into the tent etc. The cycle was only broken by me begging him to sit down and watch, as irony would have it, Monsters Inc.

Monsters Inc
. Saving parents since 2001.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Surreal reel life real life moment

You know when you're watching a drama and a character has done something newsworthy and they're watching TV and see a story about themselves?

I always thought 'man, that would be surreal to happen in real life.'

Recently I wrote a report. Some of it got quoted in a news bulletin.

It was surreal!

Bald has its benefits

I am balding.

I once had a pony tail.

The pony tail left when the balding started.

It was sad.

Now? Now I keep my hair nice and short. Typically shave it back to a no 2, let it grow, then back to a 2.

When I started balding it was about a 20 cent piece in size - the baldness. Now? The underside rim of a bread and butter plate in diameter. It's around where my crown is. Which means I look like a middle ages monk.

In addition to balding I love showers. I love hot showers in the dark. I find it soothing. Due to ears prone to swimmer's ear I have to have plugs in my ears if my head goes under the water.

I don't like the plugs. They're not comfie. So I tend not to stick the plugs in and avoid the head dunking.

But, fuck it, the other day I decided to stick my head under, plugs in the ears, and hang my head in the steamy moist dark and just simmer.

The pressure on my bald spot from the downpour in the shower was soothing. Very soothing. Like orgasmatron soothing - that weird spindle of tong tentacles you get in joke shops that you stick over your head and rub up and down.

The sensation reminds me of the Ringworld series where a drug - or rather an addiction - was sticking a wire direct into the pleasure centre of the brain. The user would sit for hours in electrically stimulated bliss - and would remain that way unless an external stimulus snapped them out of it.

Anyway fellow balding types, it's a minor side benefit. Get thee to a shower today and let the water pound you right in the sensitive part of your bare noggin.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mikey needs some motivation

I have a pain blast from eating a pasta bake. My suspicions of its cheesiness should have been aroused by the oil that settled in the bowl.

I have made myself a poster to look at when I feel the urge to chow into a cheesy dish.

Why report news when you can make it - and achieve your partisan viewpoint at the same time!

Once upon a time, when Newspapers were first born into the world of mass consumption, balance and objectivity did not exist. All papers were published with an ideological bent that matched the whims and wishes of the owner, who more often than not was the printer who put it out. It was like a sea of individual Lyndon Larouches spouting their own highly individualized world views.

Over time, however, and more when the 20th century rolled around, slowly but surely Newspaper reporting did become more balanced. Apparently it was largely a result of the creation of wire services because they reported facts, often truncated due to the limitations of communications, that the newspapers would then feed into their content. Sure, opinion pages still existed, and editorials in favour or against a proposition, but the news part itself started to become actual news where the who, why, what, how, when was reported and there was no ideological slant about ‘damn gypos’ or what not.

Then Rupert Murdoch happened.

Now you have to hand it to RM. He looked at the newspaper game and saw how to improve it … if your idea of improve is gain market share. And how to improve it was to mark yourself as different to other products in the market. He essentially applied commercial product domination strategies to his business and largely ignored all the self imposed limitations other papers had such as gravitas and a defined role in the community as a source of trusted information.

Hence the rise of the PHWORRR COR BLIMEY LOOK AT DEM MELONS page 3 girls, focus on celeb news and crime, and a great whacking lurch to the right on social issues because black and white 'Nail 'em up I say' thundering columns were more easily digested by readers than parsing of policies and examination of issues, factors and the like. Somewhat ironic since, as a younger man, Rupert Murdoch actually took on the establishment here in Oz over hysterical Laura Norder style mentality and even became heavily involved in the Defence of an indigenous man largely regarded as having been fit up by the cops for a sex murder.

But business is business.

Murdoch even got his own Fleet Street nickname of Dirty Dick over his assorted dealings with the UK Newspaper scene.

Anyway, here in Oz Murdoch owns the lion’s share of newspapers. He has a broadsheet, The Australian, which purports to be the “Nation’s Paper” and which has lost money most of its operational life. It’s however a prestige paper and its role is to foster a policy and political climate that is pro-business, and thus pro Rupert.

The strongest units in the Murdoch Oz presence are The Daily Telegraph (Sydney and NSW) and The Herald Sun (Melbourne Victoria), the latter Australia’s largest selling daily. Their role is to make Rupert lots of money, using and admittedly toned down model perfected in his UK Fleet Street papers. Hard right on social issues, big focus on crime and celebs, and littered with columnists that write from a hard right perspective and who aren’t afraid to stress certain arguments over others in order to justify their viewpoints.

Another Murdoch Fleet Street tactic that has been embraced is that of Agenda Setting.

Now you’d think that a news organization would instinctively avoid actually inserting itself into social and political issues since their meddling would warp the process and massively undermine their reputation as an unbiased witness of events.

Well Rupert Murdoch proved that idea was a dumb one as far as the business model went.

As noted The Australian, a loss making vehicle for most of its life, is an agenda setter in that it promotes corporate and business interests, and will go a government’s throat if they dare do anything that harms, as they see it, “the golden goose” (ie companies). So over-all this helped News Limited, the owning company, even if from a strict money viewpoint The Oz lost money for much of its life.

The lower rent papers, The Daily Telegraph and The Herald Sun are also agenda setters, especially when it comes to Laura Norder. No Heroin Injecting Rooms! Lock ‘em Up! No Coddling of Minor Criminals! Phworr check out those tits! Tits, have we seen enough?!

Given their hard right stance naturally they are pro-conservative when it comes to politics and overtly favour the Coalition (a partnership of the Liberal party and National party and their occasionally renamed other entities). If there is a story damaging to their opponents, that story will get a big lead. If there is a story damaging to the Coalition, if it is present then it will get enough flavouring added to dial back the damage.

Recently we had a federal election. The result is still pending as neither bloc got enough votes to get the majority in the lower house of our two house Federal parliamentary system. Four independents, and a Green member, hold balance of power and are currently working out who they will support when it comes to forming a government.

Holy crap, here’s an advantage for some top notch Agenda Setting meddling!

So naturally The Daily Telegraph grabbed this opportunity in their fat little nicotine and ink stained hands and put out this article.

Support Abbott, voters demand

THE three independents holding the future of the next federal government in their hands have been sent a clear message from their own constituents - back Tony Abbott and the Coalition.

An exclusive Galaxy Poll commissioned by The Daily Telegraph revealed most voters in the seats of Kennedy, Lyne and New England want their independent local members to support a Coalition minority government.

Yes, that’s right. The Daily Telegraph commissioned their pet pollster company to go and emergency poll the electorates of three of independents in an effort to show to said independent members that the people in their electorates want a coalition government.

I understand that the newspaper game is a tough gig. With the rise of the interweb the rivers of gold they got from Ads is largely drying to just a trickle. I understand too that News Limited, a delicious name considering their approach to objective reporting, has chosen a business model that enters a market, established differentiation from the players, and sucks in customers even at the expense of the quality and worth of the actual product they sell – news. That News Limited is essentially the chain store junk food restaurant of the newspaper world that pumps out rubbish to punters eager to gobble it.

But this is just fucked. This is naked partisan meddling of the highest order. To go out as an election process is still pending and commission a poll solely to influence three independent members of the house into backing their preferred government of choice, is not agenda setting. It is playing directly in the political game, not to benefit the people, but to benefit the conservative knuckles that infest the News Limited empire and conversely the parent company News Limited.

I wish that people who read these rags of filth could see it for what it is. A combination of partisan misinformation with a barest hint of actual reporting of issues.

Fucking arse-hats the lot of them.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Another Mik Hardbod adventure ...

I am a creature of comfort and predictability. When I read The Hobbit for the first time, even with my love of fantasy and sci-fi, I couldn't but help feel Bilbo had received a bum steer from Gandalf. That Bilbo was being forced into a life of unwanted questing - and in the company of Dwarves no less. Indeed I was utterly entranced by the description of Bilbo’s burrow, with the many rooms, comfortable chambers, well stocked larder and the like.

I wantee’d!

So when it comes to trying new things, adventures, different ways of achieving outcomes, and all of that, I tend to be hesitant. Even a little OCD about it.

I no wantee.

But, thanks to my likely being lactose intolerant, I have been forced – kicking, screaming and, at one point, crying – into difference to my settled norm. Adios milk, good-bye butter. Farewell my superior hetro life partner of full-fat super luxury ice-cream. Hello poor and hideous dairy substitutes.

Well, at least, that’s how I initially felt.

Having started to adapt to this new lactose free life, thus far the ice-cream has been the big pain to deal with. Post surgery I admit my intake went up because it was something that gave me a bliss rush and that I could safely get down.

I wasn’t much of a milk drinker – save for Green Lid Dare Iced Coffee – but I would have cereal now and then and I do like the occasional milky milo or tomato soup with milk in it. Thus far lactose free milk blended with rice milk hasn’t been totally awful when it comes to that. That experiment went okay.

I had gotten hooked on full butter as a spread – and I was having slabs on toast so thick you could see where my teeth met when I bit down. But a similarly afflicted friend put me on to something called Nutlexx. It’s no butter, nothing equals butter, but as far as margarine spread style stuff goes, it’s palatable.

However I have blanched at trying Soy as a substitute. I didn’t want to try that particular experiment on the grounds that Soy milk is not milk. Yes, I know rice milk is not milk either but Soy had one particular semantic disadvantage.

It’s essentially nut water.

And as a man, and a lover of dairy, the idea of drinking nut water was somewhat unappealing.

Ah but life, with its twists and turns, has visited upon my a pox of lactose intolerance and, well, this grand engagement with difference is making me reach out and try or sample products that I would never have considered in a pink fit were it not for dairy likely being a main cause of my IBS. A condition that has, and does, leave me in gut wrenching pain so bad that I truly want to be frozen in a tube and thawed out when Man, presumably now striding the stars in a blaze of heroism, has come up with a cure for IBS.

Another afflicted suggested Soy Chai. I don’t drink tea. I could count the cups of tea I’ve had in my life on one hand. And I don’t do Soy. But, from what I understand, Chai is not tea-tea. It’s its own style of tear. Almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea in fact.

So, fuck it. Today I tried it. I ordered a small warm Soy Chai.

What did I think?

I think it’s best if I describe it in Sci Fi 50s pulp mode…

The Princess approached the bound, straining Mik Hardbod, strapped to the upward angled torture table in the depths of her father's palace.

In her delicate long fingered hand, a giant ring blazing from a slim finger, was a beaker. Mist foamed over its sides.

'Do you expect me to talk?' barked Mik Hardbod, straining his corded tree-branch like wrists against the taut bonds.

The Princess laughed, throwing her head back, her imperious voice echoing around the high vaulted chamber.

'Oh Mik Hardbod, I expect you to try… this. It is considered a delicacy by my people.'

Mik Hardbod clenched his teeth, his lantern jaw set against the idea of supping any form of liquid proffered by this space jezebel.

'Never,' he said from between his perfect ivory gum-liners.

'My people are unable to process the produce of ruminants,' said the Princess, gliding closer, her diaphanous gown trailing along the polished stone floor. 'So we turned instead to the juice of the plant, the soy, and flavoured it with spices.'

'Spices?' said Mik Hardbod, still yet to open his mouth.

'Indeed,' said the Princess, her voice low and melodious. She swooped forward, the mist foaming beaker trailing its drink cloud through the air in a puffy fading trail like the contrails of Mik Hardbod's mighty space rocket The Specuulum.

She held the elixir under his nose.

'Smell it,' she commanded enticingly.

Mik Hardbod inhaled.

'Not bad,' he admitted.

'Try it,' she said, breathing the words direct into his sternly lantern-shaped ear.

'No,' said Mik Hardbod.

'If you do, then I will reward you,' said the Princess. 'With your freedom.'

Mik Hardbod didn't know what sick game this demanding spoiled princess in need of a damn good punishing was up to, but he couldn't ignore the possibility of freedom. Not while he had to save the earth from the menace that this woman's father was planning to unleash, who origins and nature he'd yet to determine since crashing the Specuulm on this exotic planet less than 14 hours before. Besides, if she wanted him dead, he'd be dead.

'Okay, I'll do it.'

'Open wide,' said the Princess.

Mik Hardbod opened his mouth wide and the princess poured the liquid into it, the hero gulping magnificently, his Adam's Apple practically vibrating from his manful swallowing.

The Princess stroked his straining neck, soothing passage of the elixir.

The last drops drained out and the cloudy mist faded away from the empty container.

'Well?' she asked.

Mik Hardbod licked foam from his full manly lips.

'You know what?' he said. 'That tasted like cake-mix. Liquid cake-mix.'

'And ... ' said the Princess, looking into Mik Hardbod's slate blue eyes. 'Do you like cake-mix?'

'I eat cake-mix for breakfast,' snarled Mik Hardbod, his eyes afire from the intense potion.

The Princess threw back her head once more and laughed, filling the chamber with her commanding mirth.

Postscript: Just as I finished drinking it at my desk a meeting was called. We decided to decamp to the cafe. I liked the first Soy Chai so much that I ordered another one...

Mikey gets some officious news

The public service is big on doing the right thing. Governance, whether fiscal, policy or personnel, is at the core of what we do.

Recently I was the subject of an audit. A leave audit. I had no idea it was happening. I just had an email pop into my in box stating that an audit had been performed on my leave.

With much trepidation I opened it and commenced reading. It noted the relevant policy document that covered audits, that an audit had been performed, and, owing to a conversion of a previous agreement my current annual leave balance was found to be in error.

'... the audit has determined that your leave balance is understated ...'

Oh, that's cool.

'... by 0.90 hours.'

Yes, a tremendously exciting audit had been inflicted on my records and they'd discovered I was out of pocket 0.9 of an hour.

The email then gravely noted that next payday the leave balance would be corrected to reflect this development, and they apologised for any confusion or inconvenience caused.

I was so giddy I thanked the sender of the missive by telling her it was like I'd drawn one of the kewl Community Chest cards...

I received no reply.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Breathtaking gall

Tony Abbott today declared that because Labor is undergoing a period of sometimes bitter introspection, that only he, Tony, Mr People Skills, can offer the people a stable collegial government.

Mr Abbott also ridiculed "the civil war" raging inside Labor. He argued there was widespread disunity in Prime Minister Julia Gillard's ranks - and this underscored the Coalition's claims of having the best case for stable government.

He said "only the Coalition" - which, like Labor, looks certain to need the support of the three independent MPs - could offer a reformed Parliament.

This coming from a man who actively white-anted his then leader, Malcolm Turnbull, because Turnbull was about to cut a deal with the ALP on passing the emissions trading scheme. Actually, had cut a deal with the ALP. Just as the vote in the senate loomed Abbott famously declared he could not serve on Turnbull's front bench because he couldn't support the legislation, piously pointed his pointy head in the air and, with halo glowing, slipped off into the dark nethers of the coalition's anti-science contrarians.

Then Turnbull was forced to spill for the leadership and Abbott got the slot by one vote.

Does Abbott really think we have such short memories? I think he does.

Yes, Abbott back-stabbed a leader because of his, Abbott's, bizarre anti-empirical evidence stance on climate change.

What a festering chuck-hole. To dare claim to the Australian public that he is the very modern model of political stability when he himself organised his own palace coup not on the grounds of pragmatism, not on the grounds of what was best for the country, but because he thought climate change was "crap" and that with the backing of like minded People Skills could finally assume his rightful position as der √úbermensch of the Liberal Party.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Faceless is the new black

You kids and your music are probably too young to remember the 2007 election. The Libs, as one of their then five dot points on why it shouldn't be the other guys, went with 'Union Bosses' as their big ooga-ooga. A theme taken up by their various conservative lick-spittles like Paul Sheehan and friends.

Basically, if you are a Liberal, it went like this. If asked a question, it could have been about anything, then their aim was to insert the phrase 'union bosses' in the answer. Like I said, it didn't have to have anything to do with the question.

For example. 'Nice today today?'. Answer - 'Yes, but not if those union bosses will get in.'

The theory the Libs had in the 2007 election was that because 70% of the ALP front bench had a union type background, whether as a pimply near tot who spent a couple of years in the back room, or whether one was 20 years in the trade of union organising, the fact is they were union bosses and therefore not to be trusted.

Why do they do it? Well, the cynic in me says that in today's media culture, to reach the apathetic via the commercial news programs, you need to register that as a pollie you get about 8 seconds of time on screen. Which is about the length of time a bull rider has to ride the bull for. So because the exposure to the punters is limited, you select one or two key emotive phrases.

Which is why People Skills boiled the Lib's campaign down to a set of four or five dot points. Stop the waste. Stop the boats. And a couple of others. All good stuff that will seep into the consciousness like a blipvert from Max Headroom.

Is this conducive to good policy? No, it's not. But that's how the bulk of peeps injest their politics. Nerds like me and other bloggers will even read policy papers - well, the extracts - and use things like judgment and analysis to determine the worth of a proposed policy and it's impact on the targeted areas. But we are in the minority. The average person just wants to get on with life and trust that the people in charge are looking out for their interests. And could they please just shut the fuck up about it. Me? I think that leads to a disinterested ignorant public but you can't force people into a library, can you?

Anyway, on with the show.

So the ALP got in anyway, despite being 70% ex union bosses (the word bosses stretched to beyond its definition). One argument was the front bench should be restricted to just 14% ex union bosses on the grounds that this represented their proportion in the workplace of those workers with a union membership. And absurd argument that could be defeated by a child given nearly half of the Libs had a party background or were lawyers, and only I think 4 out of the 30 odd shadow ministers were of the lady persuasion.

I know, pathetic.

So it was 2010. They had their cut-through phrases of Stop and No. But they needed something else. What ... what could it be?

They went with faceless.

The adage that a picture tells a thousand words had way more impact on the media landscape back in the time before the internet and limited tv channels.

In the 1963 election a classic photo was taken. It was then then Labor leaders standing outside the doors waiting for the ALP Federal Executive to make a decision on a policy approach. Ming, then PM on the conservative side, dubbed the photo the '36 faceless men'. It became a conservative mantra. This idea that 'the faceless men', unknowns controlled the strings of the ALP and therefore, not to be trusted.

On the weekend the Fairfax papers allowed the PM and Tony Abbott and Bob Brown to pitch their case to the Oz public.

Tony Abbott's case for the PM slot was because the ALP ... had faceless men in it.

Labor in NSW in is at it again. The faceless men of NSW Labor have infected the federal government with the same toxic backroom schemes. The Parramatta-Epping rail line is a clear example of Julia Gillard lifting a stunt straight from the state Labor's factional bosses' playbook: an infrastructure promise that sounds good today but will never be delivered.

Note that he neatly linked NSW Labor to the Federal Labor brand. Boo state Labor boo! Um ... different level of government but BOO!

In the same paper, Liberal party pet Miranda Devine, who Crikey noted was a VIP guest at the Liberal Party celebrations on Saturday night, likewise went with the faceless meme. Here's where she said it in said article.

Faceless fools scar Labor for life [the header!]


Well done, faceless men. With polls showing a last-minute swing against Labor, particularly in illusion-free western Sydney, and the country edging towards a knife-edge result, they have successfully trashed their party brand.


As the faceless men had calculated, he had to campaign with one hand tied behind his back.


Today is the moment of real truth - not the manufactured one. Either way, it won't be pretty for the faceless men.

Ah faceless. Run for the hills. But wait, what's this? The third para of that story!

Take a bow, Mark Arbib, Karl Bitar, Bill Shorten, David Feeney, Don Farrell and Paul Howes.

Yep, she named them. She named the alleged faceless men. The figures in the shadows that had no faces. Except, of course, they all have faces. They're all known and their roles in the removal of Rudd was all known. Paul Howes went on Lateline BEFORE Rudd lost his slot to say his union wasn't backing him.

Hardly faceless at all.

But that's the right for you. Words you see, words don't actually have to mean what they actually mean. They only have to mean what you want them to mean. And if you say the word long enough, with loaded context, then maybe, just maybe you will succeed.

So there you go, faceless became the new black for the Libs in this election.

I wonder if the Liberal party emails, tweets, texts or otherwise advises their lads and lovely media friends about the word of the street or day, sesame street, and just assumes they will go with it? I suspect so. It's an amazing confluence of its use otherwise."

PS Check out this search for the word 'faceless' on The Oz's website. The top four stories all related to the ALP and their alleged facelessness. Nice one lads.

Comment of the (election) night

Whilst I was watching the returns come in at our lovely friends' place, I was texting various interested parties.

Casso, Duckus, M my nerdy PBEM bud, and El who I used to work with, now lives in Sydney, but came down to the tally room for the night.

Quips were firing fast and thick. I called M a c___ for voting liberal, he knows it was wrong, and Duckus said it was my fault this went pear shaped because he suspected I voted for the greens. When Labor was stuck on 69 seats in the count El complained that the 69 had now been ruined for her.

When Wyatt Roy came on the ABC teev , the 20 year old maverick from QLD, all of us collectively groaned at his high voice and overly youthful appearance (I admit to a case of the tall poppies there - you have to hand it to him that if he gets the seat he fucking earned it).

At that point Casso texted the following.

'If Wyatt Roy changes parties I will give him a playstation.'


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Why do I do it to myself?

We're going to a friends' place for lunch so I went for my walk. As is my custom I had News Radio on. They were re-playing Insiders.

Andrew Bolt and Andrew Robb both featured.

Andrew Robb, still speaking in dot points from the Liberals 'no No NO!' manifesto was supremely irritating with his distortions and falsehoods, leading me to shriek loudly into the stilled Sunday air 'Fucking liar', and 'Bullshit', 'That's complete crap you fuckhole'. etc. Apologies to nearby residents that heard that.

Then they went back to the panel. Whereupon Nuts'N'Gum, aka Split Pelvis, his lord Master Andrew Bolt was lording forth on the election.

'The reason the ALP lost is they've been the worst government since the war' he pontifically announced over the sound of his creaking ligaments straining to keep his legs in his hips given their near 90 degree bend.

On what metric? Politics perhaps, they made some bad political choices. But from governance perspective the sun shone out of their collective cracks. We were the best western country in terms of the impact of the GFC. 5% unemployment, interest rates and inflation at health levels. And it was no thanks at all to the bleating ideological riven coalition and their inability to recognise that their precious free market ain't that fucking free, fair or infallible.

Oh, I wonder what Bolt thinks of the fact that two players from his past, that ex Downer advisor who allegedly leaked top secret info to Bolt that apparently sledged Andrew Wilkie the ex analyst, and Andrew Wilkie himself are now in parliament? Ah coincidence, what a wonderful thing. I hope Wilkie stands up under privilege and goes the pair of them over it.

At any rate I get so fucking tired of the ABC allowing Murdoch goons like Bolt et al free reign to make up crap as they go along with barely being challenged on it. Your role is not there to he said, she said. It is to listen and ask questions. And if Herr Bolt 'n friends, so closely linked with the conservative talky talk arm of Australian political life is talking shit, then for fuck's sake call them on it.

Ah balance...

Well Maxine McKew lost Bennelong. It seems however it was mainly a result of social housing being an issue - with Alexander running around screaming about how nasty pensioners in blocks of flats were coming. Not quite muzzies on boats but I can see how a Zimmer frame wielding granny spending 20 minutes to cross perpendicular to your property would lower the values.

And I confess that in terms of skill set match ups ditching McKew with her 30+ years as a journalist for the ABC and The Bulletin, as well as being by all accounts a tremendous local member, for Alexander ... who ... played tennis once ... seems on the surface an odd choice. But, well there you go.

When they crossed to McKew last night I think the ABC were hoping for a Kernot style dummy spit. She didn't. She went into journalist mode and gave a brief but skilled assessment of the ALP fuckup for this election and the fact that abandoning the CPRS cost it on a matter of principle. I think her criticisms were perfectly valid and I'm glad she said it.

So we lost McKew, which sucks the wang. But ... although he was replaced by a Nat ... there is some joy in the universe.

Wilson Tuckey lost his seat.

A more unpleasant barnacle on the bottom of the great ship of parliament I struggle to think of. A man who got his nickname of "Ironbar" for, as a pub owner, allegedly beating up an Aboriginal man with electrical flex. A man as best I can tell whose role, as Joe Hockey famously said, was to be the mad uncle at the wedding who won't shut the fuck up.

So Mr Tuckey, if you ever manage to learn to use a computer, and go for a hunt for what your e-legacy is and you come across here - sucked shit you nasty geriatric piece of racist skinlump.

PS A bit sucked in shout-out to Steve Fielding also.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Hung but not drawn and quartered

When we left our friends' place who we were watching the results come in - lefties like us - it looked like a hung parliament. The five independents will have the balance of power.

Two are left leaning, leaving just the others - Katter, Oakeshott, and Windsor as the core "wildcards".

Crikey were eerily prescient in the week leading up to the election and of the the above three that assessed their views and likelihood of which party they'd support if it went to a hung parliament. My assessment was they'd lean labor, even if they had a conservative history. All are fiercely local, all are big on infrastructure. And of the two main parties, the ALP were the only ones talking infrastructure and the broadband network is the biggest ticket item of that side of the debate.

Still, interesting times. We will see.

Civic duty accomplished

I got dropped of the way home so I could go vote at the local school. Like last time there was a sausage sizzle and drinks being sold. But it was overcast and cold and most were shivering as they stood outside.

Despite being a paid up member of the ALP I prefer my own voting and eschew how to vote cards. So to avoid the spruikers I stomped across the garden bed - sorry school.

I lined up for about 10 minutes. In that time a silver tail Lib supporter in his L is for Liberal jacket kept coming into the voting booth area. I complained to one of the people suggesting it was inappropriate but they didn't believe me.

Then I left and walked home.

The thing that upset me the most was those plastic posters the Libs had in streams tied to fences screaming '100 Million a day'. Then 'More X!' and 'More Y!' along the footer. One of them was 'More Boats!'

I couldn't help it. When I saw that I shouted 'RACIST C___S'.

Gotta go to the poll watch party.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Three boats ... a year

Dick Sticker has come out today on poll eve and declared, presumably thumping his manly hair impregnated chest as he did, that under a coalition government we'd get three or less illegal entry vessels a year.


Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has set a Coalition government the target of limiting unauthorised boat arrivals to three a year, saying he deserves to be "very harshly judged" if it fails.

Mr Abbott said on average three boats a year had arrived under previous Coalition governments between 2002 and 2007, and he was aiming for the same result.

"If I can achieve three boats a year ... I think the Australian public would have every reason to be grateful to the new government," he told reporters in Sydney today.

I have this image of him straddling a surfboard, clad only in his lifesafer hat, fire fighting gear, and his infamous budgie-s's, holding up his hand and screaming 'NONE SHALL PASS!' Gandalf style. Well, except for those lucky three.

I suppose that he's already preaching to the converted on this one. If a swinging voter was honestly worried about 'TEH BOATs' they'd have long since swung his way. I seriously doubt someone hearing that would be agog and yell 'Well fuck me, three boats or less! Sold!'.


This statement, so utterly devoid of reality, to me is just another disheartening nail in the coffin of the body politic. That Abbott can say it, and have it treated with respect considering all the various factors that determine the movement of displaced peoples that influences this issue that are beyond our control, just boggles the fucking mind.

Honest to fucking god. Boggled. When 90% of those who arrive by boat in this manner are found to be legit refugees how the fuck can the Libs scream 'we'll have three boats or less!?' What? They're going to change geo-politics in our region to prevent those factors that lead people to gather their wordly goods, sell off the rest, and scrabble to find the cash to take their family to a safer life, and as such reduce Australia's limited exposure to displaced peoples to about 150 a year - assuming 50 a boat? Seriously? Is that what they think?

Oh, I find it especially hilarious how Abbott is a hairy chested Catholic considering his plan for those presumed 150 people a year is to host them on Nauru. Which Abbott likened, if you can fucking believe it, to a boarding school style existence.

Caroline de Costa, a Cairns Doctor, wrote the following in Crikey on 12 August about Nauru, having worked there in 2003.

My main concern is the effect on the mental health of detainees, imprisoned indefinitely on a tiny and (for them) alien island more than 3000 kilometres from the eastern coastal cities of Australia. Topside was set up in 2001; by November 2002 Dr Martin Dormaar, the psychiatrist employed in the camp, had resigned in despair at the failure of the International Organisation for Migration and the Howard government to respond to his concerns at the level of psychiatric illness developing among detainees.

After his departure the situation only grew worse: numerous organisations ... reported high levels of mental illness and the lack of mental health services for detainees on Nauru. I personally noted significant psychiatric symptoms among women I cared for. When Senator Amanda Vanstone finally closed the camp in 2005 it was because of the deteriorating mental health of remaining detainees.

However for those among the Australian population unconcerned about the mental health of people locked up by our government, there are also multiple financial reasons for not reopening the Nauru camps.

Nauru (population about 12,000, that is, half that of Broken Hill) is a dot in the Pacific some 21 kilometres square; 80% of this has been mined for phosphate and is uninhabitable. Topside was hastily built on a shadeless rubbish dump at the top of the island; only a few decayed dongas now remain. There is very little infrastructure on Nauru: everything must be brought at great cost from Australia to build and maintain a detention centre, feed, clothe and shelter the inmates. An unreliable water supply depends on one ageing desalination plant (run on diesel shipped from Australia) -- even water may need to be transported to the island for potential detainees.

Australia has a responsibility to provide health care of a reasonable standard for refugees. In the absence of services in the ill-equipped Nauruan health system, most investigations must be done in Australia, all drugs must come from Australia, all patients requiring treatment for serious conditions must be sent to Australia. The costs, especially those for even a single medical transfer by air, are enormous.

Caroline also noted that Nauruans were cash strapped and while they need jobs and income, many privately questioned the ethics of it. They were also understandably upset at refugees having better medical care than them.

At any rate, apparently Christian Tony is planning on taking people, 90% of whom are likely legit refugees, and sending them to have their mental health issues compounded on a reclaimed dump and pay millions and millions and millions of dollars more than he should do because of the logistical trail needed to perform such an operation.

But of course, if it's just 150 people a year, then surely it won't cost that much.

Good old Tony. Making it safe for bigots to be bigoted once more.

Seriously, fcking wait you fcking nob ends

Recently I entered my building ahead of two tech dickheads with their trolleys littered with IT bits.

I knew, I KNEW, that if I didn't get ahead of them and get a lift to myself they'd try and cram in with me.

I got to the lift, the doors opened, I entered and stabbed the door close button. Then ... the doors opened again. I stabbed door close again ... half way ... then back open.

Yep, there they were, standing gormlessly in front of the doors. It was a small outer lift too so guess what, no fucking room for everyone.

I snarled 'I'll go the stairs' then stomped off muttering loudly about 'IF YOU SEE THE FUCKING DOORS CLOSE WAIT FOR THE NEXT FUCKING LIFT'.

Un-fucking believable.

I was so steamed I stormed up the stairs and actually ended up above them by the time they were jostling their trolleys out.

Fucking idiots.

Bieber pwned

I saw in the SMH that the world's 20 sexiest men has been decided. Well, decided by Glamour magazine that is. Unsurprisingly topping the bill was Twilight's Robert Pattinson. Despite the fact that with his white flesh and half stubble he looks like a necrotic Shaving Ken.

Sparrow sized Justin Bieber came in seventh. Seriously. He still seems pre-pubescent. He's not even legally allowed to have sex yet the readers of Glamour made him number seven.

I expressed my outrage on this and B, a grizzled older dude whose brawny arms are covered in tatts, laughed.

'He could write his memoir on a post it note.'

Then he held up the smallest post it note he had. A sliver not big enough to write "sign here".


You had a bad night? Try sleeping on one of these!

TheNoo and I have a series of games, developed over the three years we've been together. There's ChaseMe!, Bed Rumble, Hide/Seek, various bath games featuring exploding bath toys and shoe fetish sharks and the like.

Another classic is the 'push sleeping daddy off the couch'. TheNoo sends me to sleep with a snore noise then, as I am sleeping, slips behind me and attempts to roll me off. Then he yells for me to wake up and I am startled to find myself on the floor. He laughs then tells me to go to sleep again.

All good narcoleptic themed fun.

As any parent knows, when you have a tot, your house becomes a sea in which scattered are islands of toys. Islands you have to either destroy by picking up or morph the landscape by sweeping them out of the way. Sometimes you just leave them there and have to step around them like they're caltrops.

Y'day theNoo and I were playing sleepy couch. I had a clear spread of carpet to fall on, having learned a long time ago that sleepy toppling onto pointy toys was not a good thing. We had a couple of rounds of this then I elected to go for a snatch and grab cuddle.

Lifting him from the couch, ignoring his pleas to be let go, I fell backward onto the carpet away from the couch area.

Whereupon I landed on the front end of the Ninky Nonk, taking it right between the shoulder blades.

Left: The front end...

As theNoo "smashed me" by leaping gleefully over my torso I lay there stunned and whimpering, barely able to articulate a verbal cry of pain, the fucking front end still lodged cripplingly between me and the floor.

It took a long while before I could muster the physicality needed to roll over and away from it.

I swear I have a side'al indentation of said front end still puckered into my meaty back flesh.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Road signage that made me giggle

Hanging from an overpass

Don't go a redneck
Go a redhead

And on one of those RTA electronic trailer signs

Hang up and drive


You're not that special.


Warped parables for modern times

One of the many successes of the bible had in gaining its hold on Western European derivied cultures was that it used the frame story technique - the story within a story. The bible was the story of God, then the New Testament was the story of Jesus. But within the New Testament were stories as told by Jesus, or parables. The Good Samaritan, the one with the talents, etc and so forth.

Parables work because within the construct of a story they can get their message across. You see the message in action, cause and effect, and the morality of the tale in its conclusion.

Unfortunately for us, reality TV shows have a similar effect. Within the construct of the show, either fly on the wall or the competition, a message is constructed and imparted. For Masterchef it's 'anyone can cook' and 'food is fun' and 'cravats are making a comeback'.

If it's Border Security it seems to have an underlying message of 'Fuck off brown people and Asians'.

Border Security is a fly on the wall effort at an Airport where incoming people are interrogated by customs officials for various breeches of custom or quarantine law. From what I can tell from the ads and minute or so shaking of head glimpses it seems to target a lot of English as a Second Language people. Why? I guess because a lot of the red meat of the show results from people with reduced language skills in English are more likely to fail on rules and regs based on simple miscomprehension.

Anyway, it rates its socks off as I understand it.

So, the villains of the show are people who either failed to understand the rules, or were attempting a sneaky, or pretended not to understand the rules whilst attempting a sneaky. Oh, and a lot of them are brown in hue or Asian and speak broken English. Let's ignore the fact they can speak their own language perfectly fine, and likely have a working understanding of a number of dialects. The truthiness, boiled down, is this for the viewer. They're different from us, they're dumber (broken English), and shonky, cheats, or rule busters.

Well, why does it matter?

Because for the last 10 years the conservative political parties have been feeding off an undercurrent racism as a result of a large segment of ill informed Australians. Australians who seem to think that boats filled with queue jumpers are headed this way to fill up our suburbs and make us late for work or home because they're clogging the roads with their reffo cars or what have you.

Don't believe me that shows like Border Security feed into this trough of ignorance and assist race-baiting?

Here it is in action in an article on the campaign memes being embraced in Western Sydney.

This is a belt more Australian than Australia - where upwards of 91 per cent of people speak only English at home, above a national average of 78.5; where more than 82 per cent were born here, and the rest came from Britain.

It is a belt where people own homes. Big ones. And mortgage repayments vastly outstrip the national average. Not that people here are that well off. The resentment of the ''boat people'' is palpable.

''I reckon we should put them all on a plane and send them home,'' says Carter as he drives from his trench to a job in Gladesville.

''You see that on Border Security. It's a hell of a lot cheaper.''

In Julia Gillard's office it is well understood no matter how tough Labor goes on this issue, voters like these will always trust Tony Abbott to be tougher.

''I f---ing hate boat people. F--- them off,'' says Neil Frost, 28, a Liberal-voting tradesman from Penrith. ''They come over here and get everything for free.''

The views of western Sydney have dictated the national focus on immigration at this election. It is how Bradbury found himself being photographed with the Prime Minister on a patrol boat off Darwin last month. And why ''stopping the boats'' is one of the Liberal Party's four campaign dictums.

Australia is a multi-cultural country. Unfortunately, in swathes of Australia - particularly regional areas or outer suburbs, the Anglo residents experience of non-Anglos is limited to what they see on tv, or read. If their demographic is such that they watch Border Security, Today Tonight, or ACA, or read the Murdoch Yellow Press, what do you think their opinions of non-Anglo immigrants are going to be?

Exactly. Which is why the conservatives like to rattle the cage of bigotry in this country. Because a section of our community is ill informed and pandered to by gutter swill like this fetid crap.

Jesus Christ that shits me.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I is useful

A while back I finished a Masters in history n'stuff. Currently it's not needed in my day-to-day work but learnin' is learnin' and I for one am glad I did it. Even if it was a massive cross to bear and it took me six years to finish it. Hey, it was nearly free thanks to work covering the tuition so it was totally worth doing if only for that.

But, like I said, not needed day-to-day.

Lately however I've been able to use some of what I've learned helping a friend with her studies. It's a good feeling. A pleasing inner glow of goodness. I've got a bit of a Jerry "I am truly great" feeling happening here.


I'm sure it will pass and my crushing self-esteem deficiency will re-assert itself as per my anguished wringing of hands British heritage.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mr Methane

Well one breath test down, three to go.

It started okay. I had to drink a cup of solution that had a slight sweet taste to it. Then breathe into a meter like what the cops use to test drivers. Then repeat that every 30 minutes.

This first test was optional - to determine if Hydrogen was a good metric to use or whether Methane was better. Most people are fine with Hydrogen. Turns out I was one of the ones that was not so my future tests need to detect my methane levels. And, unlike the breathalizer, I have to breathe into a bag.

I asked if it was ... non-orally collected ... and the tech said, with a straight face, no.

The solution had a mild laxative effect and the tech said it would likely take two hours to manifest. He was wrong. It took two hours and a minute. Sharp diarrhea like cramping but with nothing to pass - however I was worried about an occurrence of the dreaded shart, especially as I was not packing spare underdaks.

Still, it went okay. Next time is Lactose, then Fructose. Today I also added Sorbitol which apparently will help determine if the hideous amounts of nutrasweet I ingest in my 4-8 cans a day Diet Coke habit has a abdominal impact.

The tech I had was kewl. He had a good deskside manner, explained how the tests work, how the body digests material and the like. It's nice to have a learned discussion on the disgusting.

Alas however I have a stripped throat and I might have to go on anti-biotics. If I do it pushes all the tests out four weeks because the meds will kill the bacteria that produce the gases that need to be tested. So here's hoping I don't have to.

Hey I think there's a dodgy Oz regional clubs entertainer called Mr Methane. Let me look.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Dance devil pale moonlight

I don't know much about belly buttons. Only that mine is deep sunken on account both of being an innie and my having a large gut.

Today theNoo was using my body as a freeway. Basically running wheeled toys along my limbs and torso.

My shirt had ridden up a bit and my belly button was exposed.

Have you ever been jabbed with force in your belly button? No? Didn't think so.

I have. By him. Today. He was looking there then, without too much thought, he got his index finger and drove it on in, the rest of his little hand following the finger to press down on the whole Sarlacc esq area that rims my long since closed in utero feeding hole.

The whole experience was acutely painful.

I bet there's a drunken monkey fist crane manuever that's designed to deliver some sort of stunning blow to one's mummy link - and theNoo as luck would have it inadvertently found it.

He thought it was a kak. Sigh.

They wish...

I was perusing the Wash Post forum tied to the story on Obama standing up for the Bill of Rights when I saw this little number posted from a half-wit calling himself Uncle Buck.

Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law were told on Wednesday
to get out of Australia, as the government targeted radicals in a bid to
head off potential terror attacks. A day after a group of mainstream
Muslim leaders pledged loyalty to Australia and her Queen at a special
meeting with Prime Minister John Howard, he and his Ministers made it
clear that extremists would face a crackdown. Treasurer Peter Costello,
seen as heir apparent to Howard, hinted that some radical clerics could
be asked to leave the country if they did not accept that Australia was
a secular state, and its laws were made by parliament. "If those are not
your values, if you want a country which has Sharia law or a theocratic state, then
Australia is not for you!," he said on national television. "I'd be
saying to clerics who are teaching that there are two laws governing
people in Australia: one the Australian law and another the Islamic law,
that is false. If you can't agree with parliamentary law, independent
courts, democracy, and would prefer Sharia law and have the opportunity
to go to another country, which practices it, perhaps, then, that's a
better option," Costello said. Asked whether he meant radical clerics
would be forced to leave, he said those with dual citizenship could
possibly be asked to move to another country.

Education Minister Brendan Nelson later told reporters that Muslims who
did not want to accept local values should "clear off. Basically
people who don't want to be Australians, and who don't want to live by
Australian values and understand them, well then, they can basically
clear off," he said.

Separately, Howard angered some Australian Muslims on Wednesday by
saying he supported spy agencies monitoring the nation's mosques, quote:
I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some

individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali, we
have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians.
However, the dust from the attacks had barely settled when the
'politically correct' crowd began complaining about the possibility that
our patriotism was offending others. I am not against immigration, nor
do I hold a grudge against anyone who is seeking a better life by coming
to Australia . However, there are a few things that those who have
recently come to our country, and apparently some born here, need to
understand. This idea of Australia being a multicultural community has
served only to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity. As
Australians, we have our own culture, our own society, our own language
and our own lifestyle. This culture has been developed over two
centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and
women who have sought freedom. We speak mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish,
Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language.
Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society, learn the
language! Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian,
right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women,
on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly
documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of
our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another
part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.
We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is
that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with
us. If the Southern Cross offends you, or you don't like "A Fair Go",
then you should s eriously consider a move to another part of this
planet. We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and
we really don't care how you did things where you came from. By all
means, keep your culture, but do not force it on others.

"This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you
every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining,
whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs,
or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other
great Australian freedom, 'THE RIGHT TO LEAVE'." If you aren't happy
here then LEAVE. We didn't force you to come here. You asked to be
here. So accept the country YOU accepted."

Maybe if we circulate this amongst ourselves, American citizens will
find the backbone to start speaking and voting the same truths!!

Yeah, some in the libs likely wish they could have done that, but it never happened. Indeed this looks like a 'Dear Penthouse Forum' fucking fantasy letter from a Young Liberal.

The fact is Oz succeeds is because we are multi-cultural. We are not mono-cultural. We reject the tenets of the White Australia policy and its crap and we see it as a stain on our national character, much like the Japanese internments or Jim Crow laws were a stain on the proud history of the United States.

So Americans who are indulging in a hint of google to bolster your views on Islam then please note, the above? Didn't happen. Some in the Liberal party - so named for their economic views - may have wished it did, but it did not. Peddle your hate crap elsewhere.

UPDATE: Ah, that's where it's from. It was from a chain email written post S11 and adapted by knuckles trying to pin it to Australia.