Archive for September 2008
Sad. Everybody needs to see The Sting at least twice before they also die. Cool Hand Luke, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Verdict, Hudsucker Proxy, Color of Money…. much sad n awesomeness…
a good time to remember a short tale from history about a buddhist monk of high regard who was walking with a student in the forest one day. he asked that when he die, his body be left on the ground. the student asked whether he would not rather be buried, to which he replied, “why favour the worms over the birds?”
Oh, wait a minute.
That was Orwell.
How insane is it that John McCain and Sarah Palin have any support at all? Let alone 40% of Americans that most pollsters speak to. According to this article, McCain hasn’t answered press questions or conducted a legitimate media conference in nearly 5 weeks, while his running stooge hasn’t answered any questions at all since she was nominated 4 weeks ago.
The best bit is about how the media have now refused to run photos or video of Palin meeting with handpicked world leaders from Afghanistan and Colombia unless they are allowed editorial access to her and McCain.
After the television networks strenuously objected to the McCain campaign’s effort to block any editorial presence from the room, the McCain campaign finally allowed one CNN pool camera and one pool producer into the meeting room.
As she arrived for her meeting with Karzai, Palin avoided reporters who were camped out at the main front entrance of the hotel, instead pulling up in a motorcade to a side entrance and quickly sneaking inside.
Palin’s dance with the press continued during her meeting with Karzai. After being told that an editorial presence would be permitted in Palin’s meetings, pool reporters were asked to leave after the first 30 seconds, according to the pool report.
Free speech, liberty, democracy, common sense – all things more readily found in the dictionary than in American politics.
The Howard era is meant to be over in Australia, but either the Federal Police didn’t get that memo, or Kevin Rudd never bothered to send it.
The Canberra Times reports that Canberra press gallery journo Philip Dorling had his home and car searched this morning by AFP accompanied by computer experts. The trigger for their search was this story written by Dorling in June and containing supposedly confidential briefing materials regarding Australian deployment of spies in ally and trade partner nations.
From the Times article:
They seized a laptop, a computer hard drive, a mobile phone, documents and a copy of The Canberra Times from June 14, which were all taken back to AFP National Headquarters in Civic for examination.
The AFP raided Dorling’s home once before searching for the source of a leak in September 2000, when the journalist was working as a staffer for the then Labor foreign affairs spokesman, Laurie Brereton.
The editor of The Canberra Times, Peter Fray, said, “Phil Dorling was doing his job – the job of every journalist, and that is to reveal the truth”.
And Fairfax Media’s Corporate Affairs boss Bruce Wolpe said the company was “gravely concerned”.
“Fairfax Media is gravely concerned by this legal assault on one of our journalists for doing his job.
“A Federal police raid on the home of a journalist cuts to the heart of the operation of a free press, and is unacceptable.
“We have long advocated the need for shield legislation to protect the public’s right to know and today’s disturbing events show once again that enactment of a Federal shield law is imperative.”
The last time that police powers were used to seriously intimidate journalists in this way was in November 2004, when a request from John Howard’s office resulted in a raid on the home of Chris Graham, editor of the National Indigenous Times.
Obviously, Dorling has been doing his job. Obviously, the sort of abuses of power which Labor occasionally objected to in Opposition may now seem agreeable to them. Obviously, Wolpe raises a significant concern which may get further oxygen in the coming weeks – as one of the only developed countries without a Bill of Rights, the Australian government must legislatively move now – in a transparent manner – to ensure a free press. Although, obviously, they would much prefer a well-behaved press.
From the ground up, a massive swing seems to have altered the face of local politics across New South Wales. NSW Greens pre-election had 58 councillors on 31 councils across New South Wales. With a lot of number crunching still to do and per centages to jiggle, it looks as though the Greens have picked up an extra 30 seats.
According to this article by Lisa Carty and Heath Gilmore, the most dramatic swings – up to 15% – to the Greens have occurred in the seats of Marrickville, Leichhardt, and Gosford. In an article looking more closely at the Sydney results, Carty and Gilmore speak with unsuccessful ALP mayoral candidate Meredith Burgmann.
Burgmann displays the same pigheaded inability to sread results that characterizes most doomed politicians, and their parties.
“As we expected, the turmoil in the Labor Party over the past 10 days has badly affected our result,” she said.
She also blamed Clover Moore’s war chest, but felt reassured from doorknocking.
“we got lots of evidence that the voters could distinguish between our team and the State Government.”
Here’s the answer that Meredith Burgmann SHOULD have given:
We have been the State Government for more than a decade. We have showed some real promise and helped to get the nation’s first carbon trading frameworks in place, and we can throw bloody big parties, even though since 2001 that has meant locking down the city, citizens, and sending stormtroopers through public parks. But we have really pissed away the last 4 years. Seriously, what have we done? No vision, no leadership.
This potentially awesome city, and we’ve turned it into an Americanized corporate ghetto, surrounded by horrifically expensive tunnels that nobody wants to use and that don’t actually do anything particularly useful. Oh yeah, and a big chunk of cash on desalination that’ll guarantee expensive and wasted water and electricity for generations to come.
Nobody trusts the State Labor Party in New South Wales. I mean, they want to – because the alternative is a government run by completely out-of-touch bank operators, lawyers, failed doctors and God lobbyists. But we haven’t delivered one decent long term project to the state since…. Anyway, the last 10 days has been nothing. If anything, Labor has a chance to win the state election in 2011 now that Iemma and Costa have been axed and Reba Meagher – that self-involved cow – has gone. But if we don’t get our shit together, pay attention to people in the real world – rather than in focus groups – and get rid of the stench of corporate whoredom, wasted taxes, and elitist greed… well, we might just end up being the reason why Kevin Rudd has to campaign for reelection in 2010 when he would probably rather get on with improving the country.
I mean, we’re fucking idiots really.
Oh, and of course, Liberal hogwart Barry O’Farrell got some comment in the media about the ALP being crap. Unfortunately, O’Farrell’s NSW Liberals have done the same thing as the Tasmanian Liberals. Namely, they make sure that they are consistently even more worthless than the sods in power, ensuring that there are never any improvements on what few ideas and proposals come out of state parliament, and also ensuring that the donkeys in power are never under significant to do any better.
But this started on a positive note, and that would be a good place to end – onya Greens!! Hopefully your ascendancy will continue to and through which ever state elections come next, then the federal, then NSW state. Oh my Buddha – federal senate elections in 2010. Please get rid of Steven Fielding and get hold of a clean balance of power.
Steven Fielding is such a complete and utter knob. He is no more right wing than most Liberals but somehow he is far more annoying and a much bigger tool. I guess the fact that he only picked up about 2500 votes of his own in 2004 and yet he gets to hold all of Australia to ransom probably doesn’t help. And his head. His head really doesn’t help either.
Anyway – go Greens. Let’s get German. But without the Germans.