typing is not activism….

environ mentalism, fresh articles, interviews & checkitouts from Sydney.

Archive for the ‘awesomeness’ Category

ur Cat, ai haz it. zmogwtf?!

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catfoundsml.jpg

so the obvious question is “which bit’s funniest?” – ‘not very friendly’, ‘not house broken’, ‘no collar’ or ‘might be scared’? O yeah, there’s also ‘CAT FOUND’!!

*Nelson sez* Haaa Haa

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February 21, 2008 at 3:48 pm

full video of Kevin Rudd’s speech and apology to the Stolen Generations

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hat tip to gruffybear for getting these all in the one place.

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February 14, 2008 at 1:55 pm

Kevin Rudd’s apology to Aboriginals spoken from the very best part of an Australian

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Adding myself to the growing list of thousands of Australians who have already admitted to crying during Kevin Rudd’s speech just a few hours ago. It was more than a gesture and much deeper than was expected. Unfortunately it’s not up on YouTube yet so I can’t embed it for you, but if you go to the ABC’s official apology coverage you can find it there. I would also heartily recommend checking National Indigenous Times for coverage, analysis, and reactions which will likely be posted there shortly – NIT absolutely rocks.

Until then, here is the welcome to country ceremony, performed at the opening of Parliament yesterday for the first time in the history of this country.

It was truly moving to see the array faces of all colour of beautiful skin, lining the Parliament and telling their own stories from moment to moment as the words this dry land has been needing for so long fell from Kevin Rudd’s mouth like a building spring rain. This moment is an unforeseen opportunity for this generation of Australians and all that follow, and I can hardly remember a moment that I’ve actually taken such pride in thinking of somebody as ‘our Prime Minister’.

But do yourself a favour, and avoid the supposedly non-partisan response of supposed support for the apology from opposition leader, Dr Brendan “Halfwit” Nelson. According to this idiot, we can not judge the past, the people who stole kids and committed genocide were only trying to help, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that white people die in war all the time, sometimes breaking up families turns out really well, Aboriginals really are their own worst problem, they should get a job, they shouldn’t get any compensation, dead Aboriginals helped make Australia great, their culture is only 60 000 years old even though artefacts date back at least 116 000 years… o yeah, and he’s sorry. Really.

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February 13, 2008 at 11:42 am

Full text of Australia’s apology to The Stolen Generations

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update: ABC’s official “apology pages” here.

It’s a bloody good piece of writing, it’s long overdue, and perhaps it’s also one big step closer to our nation eventually saying Thankyou. We wouldn’t be who we are as a culture without the influence of Aboriginal peoples and nations from the moment modern Australia insisted on being born of blood. I think that this action tomorrow by Kevin Rudd will ultimately have greater positive effect on the domestic relationships and politics within Australia than ratifying Kyoto has had on our international relationships. Tomorrow will be a real beginning and much more than the token gesture that some would like to reduce it to.

Brendan Nelson is an utter spoogemop, while Kevin Rudd has balls the size of a goat’s head. Oh yeah, the text

Today we honour the Indigenous peoples of this land, the oldest continuing cultures in human history.

We reflect on their past mistreatment.

We reflect in particular on the mistreatment of those who were Stolen Generations – this blemished chapter in our nation’s history.

The time has now come for the nation to turn a new page in Australia’s history by righting the wrongs of the past and so moving forward with confidence to the future.

We apologise for the laws and policies of successive Parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians.

We apologise especially for the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, their communities and their country.

For the pain, suffering and hurt of these Stolen Generations, their descendants and for their families left behind, we say sorry.

To the mothers and the fathers, the brothers and the sisters, for the breaking up of families and communities, we say sorry.

And for the indignity and degradation thus inflicted on a proud people and a proud culture, we say sorry.

We the Parliament of Australia respectfully request that this apology be received in the spirit in which it is offered as part of the healing of the nation.

For the future we take heart; resolving that this new page in the history of our great continent can now be written.

We today take this first step by acknowledging the past and laying claim to a future that embraces all Australians.

A future where this Parliament resolves that the injustices of the past must never, never happen again.

A future where we harness the determination of all Australians, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, to close the gap that lies between us in life expectancy, educational achievement and economic opportunity.

A future where we embrace the possibility of new solutions to enduring problems where old approaches have failed.

A future based on mutual respect, mutual resolve and mutual responsibility.

A future where all Australians, whatever their origins, are truly equal partners, with equal opportunities and with an equal stake in shaping the next chapter in the history of this great country, Australia.

Check out the coverage at National Indigenous Times, as well as the excellent pre-Sorry Day coverage on the February 12 edition of the 7:30 Report

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February 12, 2008 at 9:31 pm

A Beautiful Whale Tale from the Southern Seas

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This sweet piece of writing comes from Paikea – originally as a comment here, but too good to leave tucked away.

I am Maori, the Whales are very special to my people. I have heard their song all my
life. Our people and our Polynesian cousins have followed this magnificent creature
all over the world. As the whale knows the safest time to cross the seas. The Whale is
in our dreaming and is a very strong gentle intelligent spirit. It is a teacher.

We (all humans) were given this planet with everything we needed on it. We are borrowing it from our children. Yet we are slow learners and still defacate in our own nests, we act
like spoilt children who scream Mine Mine All Mine, we show our immaturity by not
thinking of others around us. Animals included. We show our ignorance and
arrogance by our actions of torture and greed.

The Japanese as a whole are a sophisticated people, this has blinded some because of greed and a misplaced sense of pride. Their hunting methods are barbaric to extreme, i’ts as if they feel power when they can inflict the most pain to the vunerable. This is not the behaviour of a civilised people. I kill my own meat with the greatest of respect and thanks, but if I cannot kill a creature humanely it lives for I would not put that shame upon my spirit. Not all of my people are of the same mind, but that’s something for me to bear.

The barbaric nature of many of the Asian nations on the Ones Without a Human Tongue, shows their inability to move forward in life. On traditions, the Japanese never went whaling in the southern oceans, a tradition of some of my ancestors was to eat Asians. Sushi
japanese at my place lol. The Japanese are endangering the extremely lucrative whale
watch industry in Australia and New Zealand, what right do they have to jeopardise
this. They have admitted killing lactating whales, leaving the babies to die a slow
lonely painful death, these people (if you could call them that) are evil. A whale is too
big to kill humanely.

I bow to The People of The Sea Shepherd, they have my financial and spiritual support, hopefully my son will join them next year to help protect our Spiritual Teacher The Whale. In time may you all grow ears so you can hear the song of the Whale, for then you will be able to see your world in all its splendor.

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January 28, 2008 at 3:14 am

Sea Shepherd – latest on hostage situation

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The following is the latest blog entry posted by Sea Shepherd on their MySpaz page.

Japanese Whaling Fleet On the Run With Two Sea Shepherd Hostages
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s ship Steve Irwin is in full pursuit of five vessels of the Japanese whaling fleet including the Japanese supply vessel Oriental Bluebird.The Japanese harpoon vessel Yushin Maru No. 2 has taken two Sea Shepherd volunteer crew members hostage. Benjamin Potts 28, an Australian citizen and Giles Lane, 35, a citizen of Great Britain are being held hostage onboard the whaling vessel. Both men were assaulted and then tied to the railings of the whaler. Read the rest of this entry »

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January 16, 2008 at 11:07 am

film review: No Country for Old Men

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Although they may need to apologize for their Intolerable Cruelty, the Coen Brothers really don’t have anything left to prove to anybody. One of the most successful writer/director teams in the history of film, their latest film, No Country for Old Men manages to break the few rules they had perhaps missed along the way.

Just like O Brother, Where Art Thou, Fargo, and Raising Arizona, sinister humour meets perfect casting with great results. Tommy Lee Jones gives a superb performance which proves key to the ultimate impact of the film, but perhaps the biggest surprise is Spanish film star Javier Bardem.

Coming from a background of soft porn and gayploitation flicks, similar to Antonio Banderas, Bardem utterly dominates as the soft-spoken, brutally moral assassin pursuing a suitcase of money and a truckload of drugs across the harsh American Midwest.

And that’s more plot than needs to be known. The essence of Coen films seems to be a questioning of the very stuff of life. Is morality a fiction, or just a story usually told badly? What happens when we break ‘the rules’? Why don’t we break them more often? Has God left us completely to our own devices?

There is the trademark convergence of coincidence and retribution, usually fuelled by a simple accident. But there is also the deliciously dark and jarring humour which many attempt and few achieve, perhaps none to the level of accomplishment seen in No Country for Old Men.

Quite simply, the film is deservedly being hailed as a modern American masterpiece. While all movies are best seen without expectation, any that you may hold shall be shaken up in the most welcome way by this 2-hour slap-in-the-face. Utterly recommended.

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January 13, 2008 at 5:48 pm

Posted in art, awesomeness, review

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The Coen Brothers’ No Country for Old Men: a movie to die in

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On the way to a preview of the new Coen Brothers’ film, No Country for Old Men, I actually heard from somebody that it is being widely praised as their best film to date. My reaction was mixed.

1. Holy crap, could any movie actually be that good?

2. What a f#$king stupid term of reference.

To announce that the Coen Brothers have made their best film is like saying that you only need to see one Wes Anderson film, or that if you’ve seen Boogie Nights, you should skip Magnolia. If you’ve heard It Takes a Nation of Millions… you’ll only get confused by Public Enemy’s Fear of a Black Planet. Salma Hayek is only really worth seeing in Frida. Bill Hicks only did one truly awesome night of stand-up. Bjork’s best album is…. Do you get me?

To say that No Country for Old Men is possibly the best movie that the Coens have made is to suggest, insinuate – that Raising Arizona, Blood Simple, The Big Lebowski, Fargo, The Man Who Wasn’t There were somehow practice for a main event and can now somehow be discarded from The Library of Awesomeness. Speaking of The Library of Awesomeness, look under ‘B’ for Barton Fink because that can go too, and don’t forget O Brother, Where Art Thou?, although that may be under ‘O’ – as in ‘obviously The Coen Brothers Best Film is a f%$king stupid subject for the making of comparisons’.

If you’re concerned about the plot, look in Wikipedia because I’m not going to reach into your future and diminish its juiciness. Suffice to say that “written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen” is a far better guarantee of timeless quality than “Quentin Tarantino presents”. If you don’t believe me, watch Hostel again.

One of the Coen trademarks evident in No Country for Old Men is the navigation of that space where circumstantial coincidences create the possibility for retribution and brutal violence – so much so that there is an almost ethereality to the whole thing.

Improbability becomes inevitability, while certainty becomes jarring disorientation. It seems to me that the Coens consistently work with stories that far too many directors would twist into bombastic explodaganzas, string-heavy tragedies, or preachy morality plays. It is their deliciously dark and understated humour which tempers the choices they make, and the choices they make provide beautifully effective vehicles for their dark humour.

Perhaps one of the most distinct ways in which the Coens inject themselves into the films that they make is to protect the stories from which they arise. Thrir films project subtle meanings and the asymmetries of realistic life – two essential ingredients which almost all mainstream Western filmmakers filtrate as if removing blemishes – even, perhaps especially, into confounding scenarios that would otherwise teeter on the brink of implausibility.

Perfect casting, great dialogue, compelling stories, deeply flawed characters, lethal conflict, fantastic soundscapes – these are certainly welcome elements in any film; the Coens not only bring all of these elements to this movie, but unite them in a seamless whole which delights, disturbs, shocks, bewilders and, importantly, asks more questions than it answers.

There is no room for tokenistic emotional response. The character portrayed Javier Bardem – absolutely magnetic as the justice-dispensing/chance-enforcing assassin from his first moment on screen – could be drawn from some horrible fairytale told by mafiosi to scare their children. But he is no caricature. Wise, sinister, cold, other-worldly, insane, brutal, relentless, but not typical. It’s impossible to imagine No Country being what it is without Bardem. He plays the nemesis to Josh Brolin’s skilfully crafted protagonist. While Brolin may in fact be his own worst enemy, as indeed may we all, this would be one of those questions best left to film critics (clamouring to simultaneously exude spoilers, text-bytes, and sociology dissertations). Tommy Lee Jones is an absolute pleasure – however uncomfortable – and the inclusion of Woody Harrelson is just showing off although, again, it’s perfect casting.

Either way you look at it, the result is timeless storytelling rather than stilted performance. You know the kind. Like when you’re just waiting for Tom Cruise to turn away from Jack Nicholson and shriek “how awesome was I just then? Wasn’t I awesome? Wow. I am such an awesome actor.” That doesn’t happen. Even in the dusty, harsh, dirty reality of a feverish hermit’s cabin, the Coens and their cast pull you far away from your seat, transported to that special place where the danger and relief are real, even though the money and guns (probably) aren’t.

No Country for Old Men is literally breathtaking storytelling at its best. To miss it would be a shame; to dismiss it, a sin. In 2007, the Coen Brothers, this film, and its exceptionally stunning conclusion are among the few remaining good reasons to not nuke America.

add to kwoff

Coming to Australia soon, possibly as early as Boxing Day.

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December 18, 2007 at 12:44 am

Puppy doused in petrol, left to die on 6-lane Freeway. Home needed.

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MEDIA RELEASE
12 December 2007

GIVE WAGS A HOME FOR CHRISTMAS

Wags is a brave five month old scruffy terrier pup who was left to die on a six lane highway doused in petrol. Having seizures and unable to stand, heavens knows how he is still alive. A good samaritan took him to a nearby vet clinic (Elizabeth Drive Animal Hospital) where he was treated, but still remains without a home.

waggs5394.jpgWags was put on a drip and anti-seizure medication and his burnt skin was treated with topical ointments. Despite all that he has endured, he is a happy, bright boy who continues to wag his tail! The vet clinic contacted Doggie Rescue where Wags is now eagerly waiting for a home with a happy and caring environment.

Founder Monika Biernacki said DoggieRescue is currently over-run with puppies who have been dumped in council pounds in the lead up to Christmas.

“In all the years of rescue work, I have never seen so many puppies dumped at one time and we still have two weeks to go until Christmas. DoggieRescue will have its doors open throughout Christmas and is looking for volunteers to help man their Doggiewood shelter.”

DoggieRescue is a no-kill charity dedicated to saving dogs on death row from the council pounds. It currently has more than 20 puppies, all under 5 months of age, waiting for homes. DoggieRescue is in urgent need of puppy dry food, puppy milk, tick prevention products and toys. The Doggiewood shelter is located at Ingleside in the northern beaches.

For photos and details of all puppies, visit www.DoggieRescue.com or call DoggieRescue on (02) 9486 3133 / international 61-2-9486 3133

———————————————–

This is a media release I received from Monika’s Doggie Rescue. The work they do is quite amazing, especially given that they get by in a more or less self-funded/ donation-dependent manner. At the moment they are looking after at least sixty dogs from ages of about 7 weeks to 10 or more years. It’s quite a thing to see, especially as they’re such lovely animals and would all now be dead without Doggie Rescue’s intervention. Whether you’re an international or local reader, if there’s anything you can do to help, however big or small, it would make a difference and it would definitely be appreciated.

Please check out their website and donate just a little time, food, or payola if you can. 🙂

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December 13, 2007 at 1:23 pm

Australia ratifies Kyoto – now the real fun begins!

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Not much time to write this up at the moment, but WOW!!! Shortly after being sworn in, along with his new government, as the 26th Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd took the bold step of ratifying the Kyoto Protocol. Making this his first official act as Prime Minister, having already indicated last week that Aboriginal Australians – particularly the Stolen Generations – can expect an apology in this federal term, Rudd is really shaking expectations in the most pleasing manner imaginable.

Michelle Grattan – one analyst and writer worth far more than her bodyweight in water (unlike many other mainstream journos named elsewhere in these screens) – writes in today’s Age that

Its Kyoto pledge was one of the policies that helped Labor to victory. Rudd’s instant move is saying Labor will keep faith with its voters. It also emphasises the new PM wants to hit the ground at full tilt on this issue but on others as well.

While I would expect that many of the new government’s supporters didn’t swallow the “me-too” and “Howard lite” bollocks spouted by media for months before the election, I doubt that such decisive and progressive commitments were expected before the year was out.

Symmetrically, these are two big commitments – one domestic with international implications and the other international with big domestic implications – which neatly and responsibly tends to two festering wounds that have only been repeatedly salted and gouged over the last 12 years. Read the rest of this entry »

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December 4, 2007 at 1:09 am

So you’ve just caught crabs for the first time….

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Escape claws

A TFF reader swears this is true. His son’s friend had just hauled up a mud crab from one of the canals at Runaway Bay on the Gold Coast last week, when he was approached by a Fisheries inspector.”You’re copped, mate,” the inspector said. “That is a female crab and it is a protected species. There is a hefty fine for catching one of those.”

“But I haven’t caught it, I have simply retrieved it.”

“What do you mean, you’ve retrieved it ?”

“Well, this crab is my pet and every now and again I bring it down to the canal for a swim.”

“Oh yeah?”

“Yes, I let it go, it swims around for a bit and then comes back to me and I take it home. Look, I’ll show you.” And with that, the guy picks up the crab, places it into the water and issues an instruction to take a short swim and hurry back. The officer watches, bewildered.

“When will it come back ?” he asks.

“When will what come back?” the guy responds.

had to pinch this from Peter FitzSimons’ page because it’s too good to not share.

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December 1, 2007 at 4:02 am

US media: John Howard, Bush’s “veritable bootlicker”

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O my lord – how good are the opinion pieces at Harpers? Scott Horton has written a great piece, “The Bush Touch: turning friends into enemies“. Here’s an excerpt tracking the increasing sway held over foreign politicians by the charismatic visionary.

One by one the leaders on the world stage who put their faith in Bush and thoughtlessly did his bidding have fallen in disgrace, usually rejected by their own voters. The first to go were Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi and Spain’s José María Aznar. Then Britain’s Tony Blair was forced to surrender 10 Downing Street to his Chancellor of the Exchequer, to give Labour a fighting chance to hold a majority in the next election. In the last week, Jarosław Kaczyński, a conservative ally in Poland fell, and over the weekend, Bush’s most faithful follower in the entire pack, the veritable boot-licker John Howard of Australia. In each case, the association with George W. Bush was electoral cyanide to voters back home.

Horton has written extensively about the politics and human rights abuses of the Iraq invasion and is one of a number of journalistic voices warning against an attack on Iran, which will be dressed up under the justification ‘preemptive’. He is a lawyer, specializing (I believe) in human rights. He may also be a Jedi.

And although it sort of raises the cartoon bar foreverl out of reach, I had to repost this one by Mr. Fish because it’s just bogglingly good on so many levels.

Stigmata and a machine gun. Swoon. Something else I just realized – since Howard officially lost his seat today, he can now be officially compared to the only other Australian Prime Minister to suffer such ignominy: Stanley Bruce in 1928. 29? Whatever.

Point is, analysts have drawn the parallel that Bruce also pushed for unpopular industrial conditions for workers, with the difference being that his economy was in a shambles, while Howard’s going out with the numbers looking healthy. But check this out – I don’t think that there has ever been an Australian Prime Minister with two first names who hasn’t ended up getting their face stomped by the Australian people.

Stanley. Bruce. John. Howard. Sacked. Bye. Think about it.

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November 27, 2007 at 3:10 am

Maxine McKew claims Bennelong!! More VICTORY!!! LOL!!!!

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union-jacked.jpg

It’s official. Maxine McKew (rhymes with ‘truck shoe’ in case you’re wondering) has ousted John Howard from the North Shore seat of Bennelong, which he has held for 33 years.

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He could always challenge for the Victorian seat of Higgins. Should be up for grabs as soon as Goldman Sachs makes Peter Costello an offer.

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November 26, 2007 at 6:39 pm

Drunken thugs brutalize whale

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Captain Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd has just posted this horrific recounting of a recent tortuous death inflicted by wannabe customary warriors:

(excerpt) The unsuspecting whale had no reason to fear the approach of the boat. After all, the whale had been in these waters for years without threat. People and boats were harmless. So when Parker drove the first harpoon into the whale’s back, the whale screamed in pained surprise and jerked on the line causing Wayne Johnson to drop the .50 caliber gun into the sea. In desperation the shocked amateur whalers sank three more harpoons into the whale and then they opened fire with a .460 Magnum rifle shooting 16 bullets into the whale’s body and failing to hit a vital organ.

It’s a tale that’s as disgusting and disturbing as it is aggravating and clarifying, but definitely worth taking the time to read.

The New Yorker, the prestigious journal known best to some through the fim Capote recently did a deeply dug profile on Watson & Sea Shepherd which you can check out here.

The Shepherds are in Australia at the moment preparing for this summer’s Operation Migaloo. Named after a white humpback whale (Migaloo is one tribe’s word for “white fella”) who seasonally travels the east coast of Australia, this Sea Shepherd operation has particular significance.

Under authority from… well…. from themselves, Japan have not only approved the slaughter of 950 minke and fin whales, but have added for the first time since their hunting was stopped 50 humpbacks. Still an endangered species, humpbacks have perhaps a greater emotional attachment and significance for mainstream Australians than any other whale. Furthermore, Migaloo follows on from last summer’s operation which saw Sea Shepherd prevent the deaths of around 500 whales by the Japanese, but also saw Greenpeace deliberately withold information about the whaling fleet from Sea Shepherd.

The Japanese whaling fleet was inconvenienced by fire and one human death aboard its all-important factory ship, the Nisshin Maru. More importantly, however, the pristine Antarctic ecosystem was threatened by the possibility of a massive industrial toxic spill.

This time around, Greenpeace are tracking the Japanese whalers with updates posted constantly – removing the p.r. need for them to block Sea Shepherd. Furthermore, before election the new Australian government made a commitment to use air and naval vessels to, at best, stop the slaughter. At lamest, they will monitor it.

Here’s hoping for a complete shutdown of the Maru crew this Summer. May their boats rust and their captains, owners and government minister f%&$ing starve.

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November 26, 2007 at 1:03 am

Malcolm Turnbull grabs shovel before Peter Costello’s body is even cold.

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Peter Costello has finally demonstrated the kind of leadership that the Liberal Party has sorely needed, by abandoning them to go to a BBQ… with high odds that he’ll be working for a major investment house within the next 12 months I’ll bet. Still, it’s only fair that somebody profit from the suffering he causes.

With Costello’s furrowed brow also goes the anointment spat from on-high by Long Gone John. No matter, humourless ass-hat Malcolm “I’m gonna take your balls and go straight home” Turnbull has thrown his hat in the ring, according to this article. Question is, when an ass-hat throws his hat in the ring, who gets to pull it back out? My bet is that he’s going to come out as deputy, but who to?

And who cares? They’re all skanks. Point is that the next leader of the Liberal Party will be someone who actually understands that they’ll never be Prime Minister (or President) of Australia. They’re just the ice-breaker who’ll get disembowelled by their own support-base after they lose the next election (if they’re allowed to stick around that long).

Hang on…. Why am I even writing about this? Let’s face it – Australia won, they’re screwed, schadenfreude now comes in community-sized buckets, and HA HA!!

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November 25, 2007 at 5:08 pm

Updated election update #4: John Howard’s behind in Bennelong; it is getting kicked. Osama Bin Laden crashes Liberal notveryfunction.

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Updates:

great story here – Chas Bin Laden of the Chaser crashed the Liberal Party’s Big Night Out, dressed as a unionist and terrifying party-goners by yelling “I’m coming back!”. Security followed an earlier lead from voters by vigorously throwing him out.

The View from Qatar – Al Jazeera writes of a change in eras in Australia

The View from the U.K. – The Guardian profiles Kevin Rudd

DING FRIKKIN DONG – the witch is dead!! Not Helen Coonan (unfortunately) but Howard!! His seat of Bennelong supposedly to go down to postal votes, but at this point there’s about 72 000 votes counted in Bennelong. Maxine McKew is in front of Howard by 600 votes. Likely to be ahead by about 800 by the time the remaining 25 000 are counted. Although postals are likely to break toward the incumbent Howard, it still probably won’t put him past 50% and McKew can count on the majority of preferences from roughly 5 000 votes going to the Green candidate.

John Howard may be fondly remembered by some but I think for most he will always be remembered as the very best reason not to trust anybody with ‘Winston’ for a middle name.

Thankyou Bennelong voters!! from all Australia!! Not only have you sacked Howard, you’ve stuck an investigative journalist in Parliament. A far better way of keeping the bastards honest than the Democrats and almost as good as the Greens.

Unfortunately, former Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull hung on to his seat of Wentworth, gaining the upper hand as the one apparently most willing to benefit from dirty mudslinging over the technical eligibility of the Labor candidate. Of course, had George Newhouse been more on his game, rather than more or less disappearing from view during the particularly crucial moments of his campaign, there might have been a more punishing outcome for the man who approved the most ill-advised and surely doomed environmental time bomb ever to be endorsed by both major political parties in Australia.

Speaking of which – did you catch Bob Brown’s celebration speech on the declaration that Kevin Rudd had won?

Immediately stated that the vote is a mandate against the pulp mill and that ALP under Kevin Rudd have a responsibility to make sure it never happens to the Tamar or Tassie’s forests. Also on basis of a record primary vote for Greens in Tasmania, nearing 25% and surpassing the Liberal candidates in some seats. Not even day 1 & it’s go time. SIIIIIICK!!!!

Official running national tally here. Much more interesting here, and also check out GetUp in the tally room….

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November 24, 2007 at 11:28 pm

HOLY CRAP!!! Journo attacks candidate, but in the flesh for a change + yet another COALition flyer scam.

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Oh Lordy!!! This is too good. This post is kind of an update – check this earlier post for background. Rupert Murdoch’s red-cordial-nightmare Caroline Overington screamed abuse at Labor Party candidate for Wentworth, George Newhouse just over an hour ago.

With her skill for making a clumsy scene, she made sure to not only do this in front of a lot of people, but at a polling location..

“At first we thought who was this woman yelling at Newhouse, then she slapped him and we realised it was Caroline Overington,” the witness said.

She was obviously just following the Electoral Commission’s guidance – mark one box above the line, all the boxes below the line, or attack the candidate in person just to make sure that everyone knows how highly News Limited prizes quality journalism.

Actually, perhaps it is a News Limited ploy. Let’s face it – that last minute poll they ran which put the Liberals closer to winning than in any other poll this year probably wouldn’t have hurt their sales. And now they can run the Sunday headline “Bugger the election results – read today’s Slappy Bitch Psycho column!! Exclusive!!”

just in –> Not wanting to miss out on the last minute negative publicity, Queensland Liberals have made sure to get caught up in another deceptive how-to-vote flyer scam. Nationally, that’s the third reported for the Liberals this week, proving that they are indeed the party of private enterprise.

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November 24, 2007 at 2:53 pm

Aussie Election soundtrack & music video thread….

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Just breathe, it’s all gunna be foine.

The ever-on-to-it PossCom has had a great idea – an Open Edition Election Thread of Angst & Therapy.

*using Holden-driving FM radio announcer voice* “Whether it’s a before- or after-party, this’ll keep your virtual loungeroom kicking on. Because what’s a virtual lounge room without a soundtrack? A virtual loungeroom…without a soundtrack.”

But I digress. What’s on your playlist as Earmunch stares down Hatepig?

Some of these are obvious, some maybe not. All should be more fun with coffee than Laurie Oakes. What I’ve got in mind so far is: Read the rest of this entry »

John Howard dissolved by 7:30 Report

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Thanks so much David Obendorf for pointing this out!!

Kerry O’Brien, one of Australia’s most credible and respected television interviewers, conducted this 30-minute long interview with Prime Minister John Howard last night (transcript & streaming video available).

Forget gold! Absolute platinum!!

Howard is no longer content to revise Australia’s cultural history – his version is, of course, that the Aborigines happily handed the entire country to Donald Bradman before catching an unfortunate cold and dying out through no fault of the White Australia Policy.

His new position is that the only economic reforms that have helped the Australian economy have been made by – guess who – John Howard. Deapite common wisdom, he has somehow determined that the economic reforms made under 14 years of Hawke and Keating actually have nothing to do with the health of the Australian economy….. !!

JOHN HOWARD: The reason productivity was rising when we came into office was we were coming off the back of a recession.

KERRY O’BRIEN: But the recession had ended five years before.

JOHN HOWARD: Hang on, the impact on employment of the recession was still there when we came into office. Unemployment was 8.2 per cent and you always get, when you’re coming out of a recession, you always get some lift in productivity because you’re coming off a very high level of unemployment. As unemployment begins to fall you get boosts in productivity – I mean that is actually a mattock. It had nothing to do…

KERRY O’BRIEN: Nothing to do with Labor’s reforms?

JOHN HOWARD: No it didn’t because if you go back to that period you will find the number of non-union agreements that were allowed when negotiated was minuscule and if you have a truly free system you will allow non-union agreements and you will allow individual agreements. We don’t object to union agreements, we’re in favour of them, but we also believe that people should have the choice, if they so desire, to go into individual agreements and to go into non-union collective agreements and you didn’t have many of those in the Keating/Brereton reforms which I remember extremely well. I think it is one of the great furphies of this industrial relations debate that enterprise bargaining was introduced by Mr Keating.

KERRY O’BRIEN: You’re serious about that?

JOHN HOWARD: I am serious about that, yes.

Howard finally got grilled about The Australian’s media bias – but check how he basically ignores the observation.

KERRY O’BRIEN: We’ll move on. The Australian’s political editor Dennis Shanahan has been one of your most consistent supporters within the press gallery for years. Even he today wrote about your campaign “It’s an old fashioned scare campaign and it’s about the only shot in the locker for the Coalition but it’s worked before and that’s what gives them hope.” He’s one of your big fans in the gallery and it does sound rather desperate, doesn’t it?

JOHN HOWARD: I don’t agree with that. Let me say this about the campaign. Let me say this, I think there are some people, and there would be some people watching this program, who have this frame of mind at the moment. They’re saying to themselves, Howard hasn’t done a bad job, don’t agree with everything he’s done but the economy is in very good shape and he’s looked after national security but gee, he’s been there a while and maybe it’s time for a change. I think there are a number of people in that frame of mind and can I just say to them that there’s no such thing as a changeless change of government, if I can explain that. There’s no such thing as changing the government without changing the circumstances of the country. And this idea that you may be able to change just for the sake of change but everything go on exactly the same is not right. There is a risk involved and I would say to people who think that we may have done a good job and their only reason for changing is to sort of experiment with change believe me there is a risk, there is a risk in Mr Rudd, there is a risk in having for the first time in Australia’s history Labor governments at every level. That’s not a scare campaign, that’s a statement of fact. There is cross checking

KERRY O’BRIEN: You do put the scare on it though, don’t you? You put it at its worst possible connotation.

JOHN HOWARD: Well, I’m stating the fact. We’ve never before had that and you do have checks and balances within a federation if you have a different complexion at the national level and we won’t have that.

KERRY O’BRIEN: And you will also have a Senate in which Labor cannot and will not have control.

JOHN HOWARD: Well, if we lose the House, we won’t control the Senate.

KERRY O’BRIEN: No, but there will be a balance. Do you acknowledge that Labor can’t win control of the Senate?

JOHN HOWARD: They don’t need it because they’ve got the Greens. Well I mean look at what happened in the New South Wales upper house, the Greens and Labor combined to suppress the full story as to whether George Newhouse is eligible to run against Malcolm Turnbull.

Nuclear power, government secrecy, government lies, industrial relations and the risk of further reforms, climate change, education, government spending – HUGE interview. This is very much one of the most diligent current affairs hosts in the country taking a sustained last crack at a Prime Minister he thinks will be gone in 4 days. Massive.

KERRY O’BRIEN: Very briefly, the latest figures from your department about how much your Government has spent on advertising over the years of your Government, $1.55 billion, nearly $500 million in the last two financial years, $500 million in two years of advertising, a staggering amount of money. I know you say it’s for things like defence recruiting but it was also for controversial policies like Work Choices – an estimated $120 million at least there. Are you really suggesting none of that was designed to make the Government look good at the taxpayer’s expense?

JOHN HOWARD: But Kerry, you are entitled when you bring in a new policy like taxation, superannuation reform where everybody over the age of 60 no longer pays tax on their superannuation and all sorts of other intended benefits. Surely we are entitled as a government to explain.

KERRY O’BRIEN: $500 million in two years, no precedent for that.

JOHN HOWARD: Well Kerry, we have been in office for a period of 11 and a half years and we’ve also introduced some major reforms. If we had been a lazy reform-less Government then maybe we would have spent less on advertising but the economy wouldn’t be growing at more than 4 per cent and you wouldn’t have a 33 year low in unemployment. I mean judge us by the central things that you judge a government by. I mean the greatest…

KERRY O’BRIEN: One of the things you would judge a government by would ethics, I would have thought.

Pretty much an essential half hour for anybody interested in Australian politics, the nature of the decline in Australian democracy over the last few years, investigative journalism, or verbal sparring. Thankyou Kerry!! My friend suggests that if the current government is returned, the first bill they put through shall be to privatise the ABC. I’m sure I’m not alone in dreading such an outcome.

Updated: 12 000 Tasmanians rally against pulp-mill.

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Despite a constant spray of rain, over ten thousand Tasmanians turned out for today’s midday rally in Franklin Square, Hobart. Author Richard Flanagan – whose piece in The Monthly moved Geoffrey Cousins to campaign against the pulp mill in Malcolm Turnbull’s seat of Wentworth and Peter Garrett’s seat of Botany – made a stirring speech which has been reproduced in full at Tasmanian Times. Here’s a taste, but you should really read the whole thing:

And if, in the end we have all other avenues denied us, if we are left with no other alternative, if it takes standing on the road to the pulp mill site and placing our bodies between their machines and our home, we will stand there, in peace and with pride, united against hate and greed, joined in our love for our island. And if we are arrested and thrown in jail, then we will go to jail in our tens, we will go to jail in our hundreds, we will go to jail in our thousands, and Paul Lennon will have to build seven new prisons to house all the people who will come and who will keep on coming before they even attempt to pour the foundations of one new pulp mill.

If it must be, I will stand on that road to the pulp mill. Raise your hand if you will stand there with me, raise your hands so Kevin Rudd can see he was wrong, raise your hand so Peter Garrett can see that people care, raise your hand so John Howard can see this matters, raise your hand so that ANZ, Perpetual, AMP and the Commonwealth Bank can see that will have to deal with the fallout of the biggest civil disobedience campaign in Australian history since the Franklin River blockade if they do not take action now.

the photos are by Matt Newton and lifted from this page at Tassie Times.

the photos are by Matt Newton and lifted from this page at Tassie Times.

Written by typingisnotactivism

November 20, 2007 at 3:19 am

Costello reaches out with fresh ad campaign!!

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SmirkChoices

 

apparently Costello’s team has extensively polled Australian households, and they would like him to stop it.

Written by typingisnotactivism

November 19, 2007 at 1:18 am

Blackwater – a key element of sewage

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from the always darkly angrily hilariously twisted Get Your War On….

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November 17, 2007 at 10:45 am

100% of John Howard’s front bench are…

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much winz to teh Howard Out blogotron.

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November 13, 2007 at 11:46 pm

Posted in assholes, awesomeness

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How they do business at The Australian?

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Check out this story – a senior journalist at The Austra-lyin’ wrote emails to independent Wentworth candidate Dani Ecuyer urging her to preference Malcolm Turnbull – her rival, and one of the key people for Australia’s sabotage of climate change action and for the approval of Gunns’ pulp mill project in Tassie. Turnbull is essentially the antithesis of everything Ecuyer is running in support of, and yet,

She has released an email exchange with The Australian newspaper journalist Caroline Overington, in which the reporter writes “Please preference Malcolm. It would be such a good front page story.”

Even on Star Trek where oversexed humans zapped around space at light speed with photon torpedoes and influenza, the crew knew they weren’t meant to influence the paths of other cultures. Here’s a senior writer for a paper which funds massive advertising b.s. about how awesome it is, asking a pro-environment candidate in what has become a very marginal seat to help return the Liberal anti-environment candidate.

Media Watch, the unique Australian show which guarantees the host a very limited number of journalistic career options for at least five years, has provided a deadly bit of coverage here chronicling the entire sage of communications to and about Ecuyer by the dark forces of  News Limited.

Hilariously, both Caroline Overington – the ‘journalist’ in question – and Chris Mitchell – editor-in-chief at The Australian – are claiming that the whole thing was just part of a friendly joke between girls. Seems like the same kind of contempt which they express for the nation’s collective intelligence each and every day.

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November 13, 2007 at 9:03 am

i got Muppet Wiki-ed!!!!

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ohmagod ohmagod ohmagod!!!

An interview I did with Brian Henson has been used as referntial material for this Muppet Wiki entry. It’s no big deal and it’s very un-Zen to be getting excited but I DON’T CARE! Ha!!

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November 11, 2007 at 8:00 pm