May 31, 2008

Unfortunately, ALP pollies are jerks

"Six months ago Daniel Clarke's desire to save the endangered orang-utans of Borneo and Sumatra and John Howard's desire for re-election melded perfectly.

Daniel, 11, who has cerebral palsy, appealed to the then prime minister for help when they met during a visit to the national rugby union team's rooms in May last year.

In November, Daniel became the focus of a YouTube video in which Mr Howard, appealing to young voters, pledged $500,000 over four years to the Australian Orang-utan Project (AOP). Then Mr Howard lost the election.

Environment Minister Peter Garrett has now introduced Daniel to the realities of politics. "Dear Daniel," wrote Mr Garrett in a letter received on May 14. "I write in relation to the former government's undertaking to the Australian Orang-utan Project to provide $200,000 in grant funding to support the work of the orang-utan units in Kalimantan, Indonesia.

"Unfortunately, there is no funding program available to support this activity."

But you promised ...

A little nip & tuck

I can't remember what caused anything prior to the all encompassing pending catastrophe of climate change.

The whole world must have been running on pure ignorance back in the day.

Climate change is a fact. Hear! Hear!

Yep, sure is.

Four and a half billion years, give or take, most of it without human presence or a can of Coke, and the climate certainly did change, and change, and change, and change, and change, and change.

Still is.

Now we humans, in the eight nanoseconds of our time on earth, have the audacity to claim credit for changing the climate, purely by accident.

In our arrogance and conceit, we're now convinced ourselves that we can change the climate on purpose.

Unindented consequences be damned!

We scoff at niggly naysayers!

*Scoff*

*Scoff*

We've decided to call it "reversal", which, on par with extreme makeovers involving porcelain veneers, liposuction, silicone implants and hoist-em-high face lifts, suggests a few simple steps to retrieving the better, more youthful , purer self - simulating a moment in time prior to the well deserved ravaging effects of our hedonism.

If we can reverse a decaying body or two, surely we have the ingenuity to reverse one Earth.

Yes we can!

Just ask Al Gore, our fat friend with the mega-wattage personal carbon-spewage bill.

Everything that happens might be the fault of climate change, might ...
"It was only to be expected that former US Vice President Al Gore would give this month’s Burmese cyclone an apocalyptic twist. “Last year,” he said, “a catastrophic storm hit Bangladesh. The year before, the strongest cyclone in more than 50 years hit China....We’re seeing the consequences that scientists have long predicted might be associated with continual global warming.”
'Cause apparently over billions of years, long before Al and you and me, there was no such thing as storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, or tsunamis ... or climate as we know it, changing and changing, violent, unpredictable, inhospitable, uncontrollable. Nope. No such thing. Until modern man.

"[Gores] not so subliminal message was that these natural catastrophes foreshadow the end of the world."

Apocalyptic beliefs have always been part of the Christian tradition. They express the yearning for heaven on earth, when evil is destroyed and the good are saved.

With the collapse of optimism, contemporary apocalyptic belief lays more stress on catastrophe and less on utopia.

Newspapers everywhere carried stories predicting that computer systems would crash on January 1, 2000, causing much of the world to shut down. The subtext was familiar: those who live by technology will die by it.

Misreporting of science is now so routine that we hardly notice it. Much more serious is when science itself becomes infected by the apocalyptic spirit.

This brings us back to Al Gore and climate change. There is no doubt that the earth became warmer over the twentieth century (by about 0.7 degrees Celsius) ... At some “tipping point,” the world will be subject to floods and pestilence in classic apocalyptic fashion.

This is the second doomsday scenario of recent decades, the first being the Club of Rome’s prediction in 1972 that the world would soon run out of natural resources. Both are “scientific,” but their structure is the same as that of the Biblical story of the Flood: human wickedness (in today’s case, unbridled materialism) triggers the disastrous sequence, which it may already be too late to avert. Like Biblical prophecy, scientific doomsday stories seem impervious to refutation, and are constantly repackaged to feed the hunger for catastrophe.

scientists themselves are partly responsible, because they have hardened uncertainties into probabilities, treated disputable propositions as matters of fact, and attacked dissent as heresy.

their intolerance of dissent is hugely magnified when they see themselves as captains in the salvationist army, dedicated to purging the world of evil habits.

The danger is that we become so infected with the apocalyptic virus that we end up creating a real catastrophe – the meltdown of our economies and lifestyles – in order to avoid an imaginary one."

Y2K had a natural end point, a moment beyond which doomsday prophecy came to fruition, or not.

Even the Club of Rome’s predictions had a small window of opportunity to be proven true, or not.

The climate change apocalypse, by contrast, is handcrafted to hold for perpetuity, the cataclysm that continues into the never never, with multidimensional and misunderstood data, a mesmerizing array of unknowns, abstract computer models clunking out linear equations in defiance of climatic complexities, and billions of true believers who have no understanding of any of it, other than what is spoon fed to them by salvationist scientists, politicians, the MSM and Al Gore.

Climate change arrived just in time to save Revelation from being ditched into a discount bin to languish with Nostradamus.

The Apocalyptic Mind

May 30, 2008

May 29, 2008

Probably not

"Mr Turnbull, who owns two of Henson's works, says artistic freedom is one of the things that has made Australia great."
Or maybe not so much.

Convicts probably helped a tad more than artistic freedom.

Not to mention the odd dead explorer of our great brown land.

British imperialist arseholes with an entrepreneurial bent threw a bit of weight behind things.

So did a smattering of French, Irish, Germans, Italians, Greeks, Chinese and so on and so forth.

Most of them not even a teeny bit artistic.

Henson photographs double standard - Abbott

May 28, 2008

Revolting artists

The worms of the arts community have turned on Kev because he described Bill Henson's naked kiddy pics as "revolting". Apparently that's not OK.

In a letter signed by dozens of arteest-type people, they assert:
"If an example is made of Bill Henson, one of Australia’s most prominent artists, it is hard to believe that those who have sought to bring these charges will stop with him. Rather, this action will encourage a repressive climate of hysterical condemnation, backed by the threat of prosecution.

this action will encourage a repressive climate of hysterical condemnation backed by the threat of prosecution."
There's no evidence that this will be the outcome. History does not lend any weight to such an hysterical suggestion.

It's a very rare thing for art or literature to be prosecuted or censored in Australia.

I'm prepared to look into my crystal ball and declare that there won't be an avalanche, or even a trickle, of subsequent cases.

Henson's photo's are in custody, but so far no charges have been laid. If they are - and that is yet to be determined by the DPP - I would be surprised if the state wins. It's improbable that a charge of publishing an indecent article under the Crimes Act would hold up under court scrutiny. On that basis, the DPP very likely won't proceed.

I don't agree that Henson is a great artist. He is, yes, a tad obvious, as one of his overseas exhibits was described.

He has also been called:
controversial, bombastic, melodramatic and overwrought.

Which pretty much sums up this current development.

Open letter in support of Bill Henson

The controversial career of Bill Henson

Wednesday Wisdom

I must tell you that orthography, in the true sense of the word is so absolutely necessary for a man of letters, or a gentleman, that one false spelling may fix a ridicule upon him for the rest of his life. And I know a man of quality who never recovered the ridicule of having spelled wholesome without the w.'
George Trevelyan

May 26, 2008

My Spam

Should I claim the free Viagra?

Or

The two pairs of ugg boots?

Nerd heaven

This is funny only if you know UNIX

In fact, it's funny even if you don't.

xkcd.com

The year of the potato


We are nearly half way through the year of the potato.

Did you forget?

Spend a few moments, now, pondering the wondrous potato.

International Year of the Potato

Clothed defense

A young woman who posed for Bill Henson many years ago when she was a child has defended his now confiscated exhibition of another naked pubescent lass.
"The experience was enlightening. It never crossed my mind that what I was doing was pornographic," Ms Baudet said.
Ah, sure.

Compelling defense.
"Ms Elenberg did not pose nude - she and her mother had decided that "under no circumstances" would she take her clothes off, even though they said Henson did not directly ask her."
Oh, I see.

Not porn says Henson's model

Many a blog commenter has expressed their admiration for the Henson photographs, citing "tasteful" or "evocative" and "artistic" - of course. Just as many have recoiled from the notion of a 13 year old stripping off so that an old guy can take photo's of her in a variety of poses.

Variable lighting - dark, shaded, illuminated - is not a synonym for photographic art. When mine come out like that it's because the flash didn't work, or the subject was standing in an unlit cave.

Henson's lengthy history of taking provocative, disturbing photographs of naked boys and girls - young folk who are far too young to give informed consent - is a tad icky for me.

Like much that is praised in the art world, Henson's recently exhibited and now in police custody photographs are not innovative, not insightful, and not even thought provoking (if not for the flurry of publicity).

They're mildly stomach-churning though.

If you like your art repellent, then I guess it's art. If your like your pornography the same way, then I guess it's porn.

Update

(Sorry, only just catching up with the Saturday papers now ... )


From art critic Robert Nelson:

"In the past, I've been critical of Henson's work and have noted the parallel between his images and pornography. The sense of a powerful male presence of the photographer and a disempowered youngster as model has to be faced. I find the pictures a bit creepy.

Part of the reason we have art and literature is to express all kinds of feelings and fantasies, not so that they become the new moral order but so that we can fathom what lies within our consciousness or the minds of other people. It isn't exactly a cone of impunity, where all kinds of criminal intentions can be harboured; because that would be immediately be recognised as inartistic.

The crime against culture would be if Henson were forced to recede to landscape and abandon his lurid sneaky transports, his obsession, his almost confessional lustful darkness that shadows the figure — almost gropingly — and expresses a side of the male imagination that agonisingly persists in spite of all discouragement."

Eewwee.

Now I might throw up.

Yet, Nelson defends the work, and our right to collude in Henson's "almost confessional lustful darkness ... [and] the male imagination that agonisingly persists in spite of all discouragement".
"Unfortunately, the law is denying us this fundamental right."
Even if you don't agree with the conclusion, which is strangely at odds with everything that precedes it, at least Nelson, unlike any other commentator, doesn't avoid the topic. He is bracingly blunt, he doesn't choke when it comes to confronting the truth of Henson's work. No one else has been so startlingly direct. Kudos to him.

Creepy? Perhaps, but it's not porn

Nothing to see here

"He also told the paper that he was finalising contracts for interviews with Australian, American and English television networks and that "there might be a film or a book in the long term"
That would be a book and a film based on 19 hours spent bobbing around in the ocean, quite safely, as it turns out. Gee, sounds compelling. What did they do for entertainment? Did they need to go to the toilet? Did they, umm, get a little tired? Was there too much salty water? How bad was the chaffing on their necks from the wet suits?

An alleged million dollar payment for a handful of television and newspaper interviews because you were arrogant enough to swim away from a charter boat, contrary to instructions, subsequently got "lost" in the water for a while, and lived, is a tad over-wrought to my mind.

The fact that one is alive and well, thanks to the efforts of pitifully paid rescue workers, should be sufficient *reward* after such a frightening experience. Cold hard cash would not be my first thought after 19 hours in the cold hard ocean.

I'm taking pictures next time I survive a trip to the supermarket without any angle injuries from poorly driven shopping carts. The international interview rights to my story would have to be worth at least half a mill, and the same again for the subsequent book and film.

Here ... here ... here ...

May 25, 2008

If Sarkozy is a mirror, what is Rudd?

"Serge Hefez, a practicing psychiatrist, has identified a new mental illness among the French: obsessive Sarkosis, an unhealthy fascination with the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy.

“As I listened to my patients during consultations, many of them mentioned Sarkozy by name,” Dr. Hefez said. “He’s penetrated some of their deepest fantasies. I noticed all this passion in people speaking of him, and I thought there is something particular about this man — he’s like a reflection of us in the mirror.”

The French project themselves onto Mr. Sarkozy, too, Dr. Hefez said.

“He’s the incarnation of the postmodern man, obsessed with himself, turned toward pleasure, autonomous and narcissistic,” the psychiatrist said. “And he exhibits his joys and sorrows, all his private life, his sentimental doubts and pleasures. He represents the individualism of the society to the extreme, that it’s the individual who counts, not the society.”

A year after taking office, Mr. Sarkozy can appear to be everywhere, at least in the world of television and print. The daily newspaper Le Figaro counts at least 100 books devoted to the French president, his life and loves, with more than a million sold, for $25.1 million.

Some of the titles display the fury and fascination that Mr. Sarkozy has stimulated: “The King is Naked”; “The Man Who Doesn’t Know How to Pretend”; “The Liquidator”; “He Must Go!”; “The Duty of Insolence”; and “Somersaults and Flips at the Élysée.”

Dr. Hefez analyzed this obsession in an article and then in his own book, “Obsessive Sarkosis,” in which he identifies related illnesses, like Sarkophrenia and Sarkonoia."

I'm not imagining one hundred books being published in only a year about our less than scintillating Rudd, nor have I noticed an outbreak of Ruddish projection among the minions across this great brown land. The Rudd Rapture came and went, with only the faintest woot.

As with Howard, Rudd is now our Rorschach inkblot test, but what on earth does this round-faced blot on the political landscape tell us about ourselves?

A passion for (and against) Sarkozy

May 24, 2008

MAKE HER STOP

"Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton defended staying in the Democratic nominating contest on Friday by pointing out that her husband had not wrapped up the nomination until June 1992, adding, “We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California.”

Her remarks were met with quick criticism from the campaign of Senator Barack Obama, and within hours of making them Mrs. Clinton expressed regret, saying, “The Kennedys have been much on my mind the last days because of Senator Kennedy,” referring to the recent diagnosis of Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s brain tumor. She added, “And I regret that if my referencing that moment of trauma for our entire nation and in particular the Kennedy family was in any way offensive.”

Can't someone - anyone - shut this woman up?

Can't someone get this woman out of the campaign - fast?

Referencing an entire nation's trauma, and a family that has endured more trauma than the rest of us can even begin to imagine, so as to rationalize and and justify one's own narcissism is sick. The woman needs help - bad, soon, now.

Clinton remark on Robert Kennedy's killing stirs

Update

Excellent link, via Cube - The Blog - noting that Hillary first made this distasteful reference way back at the beginning of March, but it seems that no-one noticed the first time around.

Hillary has again been mis-remembering things, with hubby's campaign pretty much won by March, not June, and Robert Kennedy only entering the race very late, a short four weeks prior to his assassination. So much for precedents.

Analysis here ...

May 23, 2008

Hillary hystrionics

Hillary Clinton's desperation knows no bounds ... at all.
"As she made her way down Florida, Sen. Hillary Clinton continued to push her polular vote argument. As an example, Clinton mentioned what happened in the elections in Zimbabwe to illustrate what can happen when the popular vote is not observed.

"You heard Diana talk about coming from a country where votes don't count. People go through the motions of an election only to have it discarded and disregarded. We're seeing that right now in Zimbabwe -- tragically an election was held, the president lost, they refused to abide by the will of the people. So we can never take for granted our precious right to vote."

Alluding to your own defeat as being a tragedy, alluding to your own defeat as being against the will of the people, alluding to your own party machine (hey, the Dem's do make the rules for the party, and everyone knew the rules up front) as being nothing better than a brutal, murdering, fascist regime ... yeah, she's on a roll. You go giirrll.

Flummoxing. Flabbergasting.

Clinton mentions Zimbabwe in her popular vote argument

Update:

Back in September 2007, Hillary fully supported the disenfranchisement - NYTs headline: Clinton, Obama and Edwards Join Pledge to Avoid Defiant States

Duck Friday

May 19, 2008

We're so proud

Sometime last week, somewhere down the road from me, some sub-D-grade people sat about scoring lasses based on their performance relating to the wearing of swimsuits, formal wear, and their *personality*, so as to select the hapless Oz representative for the Miss Universe contest.

One hopeful opined that we could do more to solve homelessness by having more homeless people call helplines for ... help.

However, the winning gal was green to the core, and unlike the rest of us, still worrying herself into a premature old age over fluorocarbons, offering that we should all cut back on our use of hairspray to improve the environment.

A remarkably well deserved win.

(As for me, I'll take my propellants anyway I can get them.)

May 18, 2008

Parliament brings back the lurve

Don't recall Howard, or other Lib members, going the smooch and the neck hug with Costello to congratulate him on his annual budget. Never. Not in 11 years.

'Cause assassination jokes are so funny

Former US presidential candidate Mike Huckabee was speaking to the NRA on Friday when some banging noises were heard from backstage.

Huckabee - thinking fast on his feet - decided this was the moment to try out his improvisational wit. Interrupting his speech, he quipped:
"That was Barack Obama, just tripped off a chair, he was getting ready to speak, someone aimed a gun at him and he drove for the floor."
Err, political assassination jokes are hilarious, really.

Peeing will hurt

For reasons we peons will never fathom, a bunch of researchers have examined existing data to determine how *global warming* will affect the incidence and cost of kidney stones.

Humongous surprise: when global warming finally gets here (oh, do hurry up, I was hoping to avoid buying a new coat this year) both the incidence and cost of treating kidney stones will increase.

Of course.

Thaindian News

Whacky wives

Somewhere in the US, more than one person is possibly sitting on a dynamite video of Michelle Obama, hanging out in Jeremiah Wright's church, expressing her angst and anger about the "whitey" populace.

American Thinker

Then there's Hillary's alluded to secret powder-keg relating to something in Barack's past.

It might all be tittle-tattle and hacks working overtime, after all, a juicy bit of innuendo is almost as good as the real thing.

On the other hand, it might be that Hill & Bill and counting on a few sticky bombs detonating in timely manner in the run up to the Democrat's convention.

May 16, 2008

May 14, 2008

So’s your old man

America and India have been exchanging insults, essentially about who is the most gluttonous and fattest of them all.

While a truce appears to have been reached, on the basis that developing nations are, err, developing, and should be permitted to do so without fear of insult or injury, we look forward to future outbreaks of incorrect politics, for our couch-sitting entertainment.

Top US officials claim - one way or another - that India’s rising prosperity is to blame for food inflation.

Over in India, Pradeep S. Mehta, secretary general of the center for international trade, economics and the environment, said that:

"if Americans slimmed down to the weight of middle-class Indians, “many hungry people in sub-Saharan Africa would find food on their plates"

and

"the money spent in the United States on liposuction to get rid of fat from excess consumption could be funneled to feed famine victims"

These comments were a reaction to Bush, who said, in reference to middle-class Indians:

“When you start getting wealth, you start demanding better nutrition and better food, and so demand is high, and that causes the price to go up.”

Condolezza Rice has been spinning much the same nonsense yarn.

Over in India ministers and economists are echoing the obvious point that the US is responsible “many times more” than India for the world food crisis.

Attempting to throw foam on flaming waters a White House spokesman said:

“We think it is a good thing countries are developing, that more and more people have higher standards of living.”

He probably even managed to sound a little bit convincing.

It was always going to be the case that developing countries would, in time, develop - that's the whole point - eventually they would jump the couch, in a good and a bad way (as you do). Good for them. Bad for the West, so used to keeping the spoils to themselves. The risk of a perverted Western envy rearing its head was always an ugly likelihood. This is only the beginning.

Meanwhile, the world still has more than enough food to feed every man, woman and child, and then some.

What we don't have and don't facilitate - never have, never will - is distribution of money for all to be able to buy food.

As is always the case, part of the increase in basic food prices is due to stockpiling. The food is there, it's not being sold.

And, as noted, the food is there, but millions of people don't have the money to pay the higher prices.

Thanks to fertilizers and improved farming practices, the world produces more food than ever, using only a fraction of the land that used to be required.

We do not have a food shortage.

It would be impossible to have a food shortage, unless something globally catastrophic occurred to disrupt food production.

We have inequity in food distribution and inequity in financial distribution.

We also have some fucked-up sustainability mentalities going on, and the blow-back has hit with remarkable efficiency: yes, hello crop-based ethanol, here's looking at the corn!

Via the New York Times ...

WorldWide Telescope

The universe comes to your desktop:

- Download the WorldWide Telescope

- Read a bit about it.

Swan Budget IV

It's possible that someone in the Federal Government should have spoken to the Department of Immigration before getting all gung-ho about increasing the number of permanent skilled migrates - the ALP target, announced in the budget, being the "biggest influx of skilled migrants in 60 years".

That's nice an' all, but if they'd bothered to check, the ALP would have discovered, from published records, that a staggering number of skilled migrants wind up in jobs that are, err, shall we say, less than skilled, and, umm, entirely unrelated to the qualifications for which they were granted entry.

This is fact. Discovered (oddly enough) by the Department of Immigration, as they ventured to measure the grand success of the skilled migration program.

The mind-numbingly unavoidable conclusion was that the program was a god-forsaken abysmal failure.

Not too far from 100% of skilled migrates failed to find work in their area of expertise or qualifications and failed to find skilled work of any kind. Essentially, we're luring migrants to our seductive shores so that we have a big healthy pool of over-qualified people to take on low paid, low skilled work, which is not especially under pressure. (Where is the cleaner shortage, hey?)

So, yeah, "on ya" Swan, for the "biggest influx in sixty years". Those plucky little migrants will hate your guts and the overall workforce will be neither better skilled nor more employable. But, sure, hey, it seemed like a good idea at the time, didn't it, contrary to known and readily accessible facts.

Swan Budget III

The ALP promised us an "education revolution".

Education Minister Julie Gillard must have lobbied hard and fast for the less than 1% increase in education spending announced in the budget, most of which would almost certainly be for the free laptops and internet connection program - so that the kiddies have equal opportunity to become online gamers.

I swear revolutions used to cost so much more in the olden-days.

Swan Budget II

Swan is proud as punch, he said so himself.

Preparing the budget, so we've been told a few thousand times, was "tough", meaning: difficult, brain-curdling work.

Guess Swan didn't have to do much thinking on the back benches, so his personal benchmark for hard work is set on the lowish side of a sub-optimal scale. By any reckoning the first ALP budget was a bit of a doddle. No fancy footwork or triple somersaults with a half twist flourish.

I know the inflation boogieman is a bother for everyone, but we tax payers should be at least as anxious about how much of hard earning cash we're handing over to the Feds.

Way back when, the total tax take in Peter Costello's first year as Treasurer was $125 billion, equal to 17.6% of gross domestic product.

In the current year to June, tax receipts will be $286 billion, or 23% of GDP.

In 2008-09, tax will rise to $299 billion, or 24.6% of GDP, and by 2011-12 it is still expected to account for 25% of GDP.

Company tax was $19.7 billion or 15.8% of total tax revenue in 1996-97.

In the current year it will be about $66.5 billion, equal to 23% of GDP and a predicted $73.5 billion and almost 25% of GDP in 2008-09.

The inflation genie has been stashed in a bottle for another day, with tens of billions from this and next financial year being stuffed into yet more future funds. (Swan forgot to thank Costello for that handy-dandy idea.)

The begging question is what the hell we're doing giving the Feds a massive 25% of the pie, yet both the Feds and the States are seemingly doing diddly-squat to improve education, delivery of health services, aged care, pension payments, crucial intergenerational infrastructure (hey, water anyone?) and so on.

Keep the real data in mind next time you hear a pollie insist that we "can't afford" tax cuts.

Respond with an emphatic: "pig's arse".

Wednesday Wisdom

There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.

Steven Wright

May 12, 2008

Swan Budget I

Ho hum.

Guess we have to do this.

The first Rudd/Swan budget.

Not announced yet and no leaks from Treasury this year, as the government has been doing its own leaking - it's called spin & softening-up the punters, trickle, trickle, trickle, trickle.

The first biggie is the massive lift to the Medicare surcharge threshold, which applies to taxpayers who don't have private hospital cover.

Sure, the Howard government didn't move the thresholds during the last decade (unfairly so), but Swan is taking them from $50,000 to $100,000 for singles and from $100,000 to $150,000 for couples. That's a leap of 50% and 33%. Mega, in other words.

Potentially up to half a million people could dump their private health insurance, which can't possibly be a good thing for public hospitals or for the people who have no (financial) choice but to be fully reliant on government funded health care.

Even a drop-out rate far less will see private health funds ratcheting up their fees, which they do with regular and rude predictability each year already.

Not much of a pattern yet, but this policy, when placed next to the childcare rebate being pushed up from around 30% to a dazzling 50% - an amount that will be promptly swallowed by way of increases in childcare fees - tends to give a whiff of a government hell bent on overheating the economy in all the wrong ways, that is, not for productivity gains or helping those at the bottom, for example, just pissing it up against a wall while increasing demand for the provision of government infrastructure and services.

Making the rich pay an extra $2.5K for their next BMW looks roughly like the price of a cheap burger compared to what we can expect to see in increased childcare costs, increased private health insurance and the extra hundreds of millions of dollars that public hospitals will need to cater to the newly uninsured.

As anti-inflationary budgets go, someone in the Treasurer's office must have been standing on their head when they looked at the graphs.

May 11, 2008

Impressive

Al Gore is determined to change the world and determined that we should all help him do it - one petition at at time.

From Gore's "Take Action" list, on his site:


1. Sign the petition to protect polar bears by May 15.

2. Sign the petition for a global treaty on climate change.


3. Spread the Word - Encourage your friends to join the movement by sharing videos, downloads, and other materials.

4. Advocate for Change - Write a letter to the editor of your local paper, meet with an elected official, or call a community leader today.


5. My Community - Get involved in local events and groups that are helping to solve the climate crisis.

6. Minimize Your Own Impact.


Soooo
- sign a petition for a non-endangered species (that's OK, I'm all for preventative actions), click on web sites, hold events, bang-off some emails, hold more events, yap, click, sign and nag other people to make them do something.

I can see the $300M worth of highly sophisticated thinking that went into the six dot points on how to save the world. Wonder how Al's going to spend the left over $299.999.999.

It's done


Then there was one superdelegate ...

Only four short months ago Clinton had a lead of 100 superdelegates.

Now, not so much.


Clinton: 273
Obama: 272

Pledged delegates:

Clinton: 1,424

Obama: 1,592

Clinton is looking beat, in all literal senses.


Obama still looks like a skinny guy with big ears, who hasn't worked out that his vanity doesn't flatter. Please, please, someone feed the man a burger with the lot, a cheese cake and three chocolate éclairs, washed down with a litre of full sugar coke.

May 9, 2008

Tra-la-tra-la-la

Earlier in the week Hillary Clinton told her supporters in Indianapolis:
"It's full speed on to the White House."
Or ... not so much.

Duck Friday

May 8, 2008

ƒυςќ


The MSM can't get enough of Gordon Ramsay.

Actually, they think too much of Ramsay is a bad thing and they can't stop writing about him.

Screeds and screeds and screeds, week after week after week.


Many forests have fallen in the name of little Aussie journalists pontificating, aimlessly, with all the banality they can muster, not about Ramsay, per se, it's all about ƒυςќ, and Ramsay's vigorous use of it as a verb, noun, adjective, modifying dangler, or in place of a sigh of relief, expression of despair, or exclamation of delirious happiness.

No matter the occasion, ƒυςќ serves him well - or serves him, period - and our journo's and random social commentators are carrying on as if they've been collectively turkey-slapped.

One wonders how just many pages can be written about someone's use of the word ƒυςќ - lots, it would seem - despite no-one
having anything to say.

Lots of words - and I
read them - then I get to the end and all I think is: "what the ƒυςќ was that about".

Disclaimer: The Princess and her Prince have recently bought a puppy, christened Ramsay, in honor of Gordon Ramsay.

May 7, 2008

Wednesday Wisdom

“I used to keep notes of my altered states of mind under the influence of drink in the hope that they would offer startling new images for poems. They didn’t. It was impossible to decipher my handwriting, and I kept throwing up. Another poetic myth bites the dust.”

Gwyneth Lewis

May 5, 2008

Hanks vs Oprah

Tom Hanks wants Barack Obama to be POTUS.


"I'm Tom Hanks and I want Barack Obama to be the next President of our country. As an official celebrity, I know my endorsement has just made your mind up for you."
Then Hanks says lots of serious stuff like ... yadda, yadda, blah ...

Can Forrest Gump pull more voters than an endorsement from Oprah?

He's not the messiah after all

We'll talk about stupid black men in a subsequent post [yes, yes we will], for now let's just mull over the Obama trajectory from glow-in-the-dark messianic POTUS destiny to mediocre skinny guy with big ears and a shady character.

From various (black) quarters of the American intelligentsias a lack of swooning can be discerned:

"Mr Obama's extraordinary dash to the forefront of American politics is less a measure of the man than of the hunger in white America for racial innocence. His actual policy positions are little more than Democratic Party boilerplate

He is unable to say what he means by 'change' or 'hope' or 'the future'. And he has failed to say how he would actually be a 'unifier'.

Barack Obama stacks up as something of a mediocrity.

Race helps Mr Obama in another way - it lifts his political campaign to the level of allegory, making it the stuff of a far higher drama than budget deficits and education reform.

The fact is that Barack Obama has fellow-travelled with a hate-filled, anti-American black nationalism all his adult life. But now the floodlight of a presidential campaign has trained on this usually hidden corner of contemporary black life: a mindless indulgence in a rhetorical anti-Americanism as a way of bonding and of asserting one's blackness.

[It] is becoming painfully apparent with each new revelation of how drastically his carefully crafted image this election year contrasts with what he has actually been saying and doing for many years.

There is not a speck of evidence that Obama has ever transcended party differences in the United States Senate. Voting records analysed by the National Journal show him to be the farthest left of anyone in the Senate.

His behaviour has been remarkably consistent over the years. He has sought out and joined with the radical, anti-Western left, whether Jeremiah Wright, William Ayers of the terrorist Weatherman underground, or the anti-Israeli Rashid Khalidi.

He chose to join this church to solidify his credentials as authentically black

Barack Obama chose to be associated with ... Wright because he saw advantage in it. This speaks to his character, and to his judgment, the [entire] basis on which he has been running his campaign."

Stupidity foils the black prince ...

Fruity in NSW


The boys in NSW are having a spat, with more color and fruity language than the beige politics down our way.
"Michael Costa stormed across the room - his face flushed, his hands clenched - towards John Robertson, the secretary of Unions NSW. "You blokes can get f---ed," he screamed. "You're going to look like dickheads on Monday morning."
The lads are all in a fluster over the ALP's plan to privatize the electricity industry.

"In the end Mr Costa took to the stage on Saturday. His arms were flailing, his voice rising. On ABC TV yesterday it was referred to as a "Mussolini-like" performance. The vote went 702 votes to 107 against him.

Just before the negotiations ended, Mr Tripodi, outside the meeting room, turned to the assembled unionists and said: "We're dead, anyway."

Asked whether Mr Tripodi was referring to the union or the Government, a union source said: "I think he meant the whole shebang, the conference, the party, the lot."

I'm frantically running calculations through my computer model to work out whether or not NSW can be verified as having more DPSI* than other other region of the country.

Costa's obscene outburst at unions ...

* Dickheads per square inch

Finger friends

For those of you who like to keep POTUS candidates close, or who wish to inculcate the young while they're still young, DIY finger puppets are just the thing:

FoldUsCandidate

Hillary

John

Barack


May 3, 2008

Dye hard

Who amongst us doesn't rely on trash mags and celebrity gossip to lead us down the path of righteousness and into the inner and outer nature of brains, beauty and brawn?

Well, my faith in the infallibility of garbage and gutter celebrity reportage has been dealt a painful shot in the arse.

People mag have released their list of top 100 most spectacularly beautiful and divine people in the entire Milky Way, with skinny and dippy Kate Hudson making it all the way to No#1.

At No#4 is Rumor Willis, spawntourage of Demi and Bruce, and step-daughter of Ashton.

It doesn't matter which way you peel it, slice it, or dice it, the facial surgery hasn't changed the fundamental physics of Rumor's inherent construction: she is still Miss Potato Head.

Don't bother to write in and tell me that beauty comes from the inside ('cause, like, it does, sure, yeah, okay), and that Rumor is probably an unbelievably intelligent, caring, witty, charismatic walking, talking work of art - on the inside.

She might even be capable of making a genuine contribution to society, with the right professional support and a government subsidy.

I don't friggin' care.

It's time we stood up for the truth!

We can handle the truth people!

Let's start calling a potato a spud for gawd's sake.

Rumor Willis is a SPUD.

A goddamn ugly spud.

May 2, 2008

Support a cause

No effort on your part, but a world of difference to the homeless people.

During May, realestate.com.au are going to donate a dollar for every click on a dedicated page, up to $100K, to go toMission Australia to help the homeless.

Jump in fast with your click 'cause it's only two days into May and they're only a few thousand from the magic number already. Just shows the power of the Internet and group emails!

House for the homeless

Duck Friday