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Archive for the ‘media’ Category

David Letterman Blackmail & Confession – full clip

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This video keeps disappearing from YouTube, but given its inevitable place in popular culture, modern history, media studies, the news cycle, and the fact that it was first broadcast free-to-air and that no money is being made by reposting it here, its hosting is justified, imho. Sorry for the fact that it’s not smooth playing, I think it’s about 1FPS. It’s a shame to not see his full facial expressions, but it’s worthwhile for the audio and to know what was actually said, rather than just what was reported, again, imho.

Go to the video page from here.

F$%&!!!!!

Have been trying to upload actual video but WordPress wants paid upgrade before allowing any video to be part of the 3GB upload limit. Oh well. That sucks.

You’ll just have to check out the hyperlink before it gets taken down there as well.

Happy creepy viewing.

Written by typingisnotactivism

October 3, 2009 at 11:43 pm

WORLD LEADERS SIGN PACT TO AVERT CLIMATE DISASTER

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June 18, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TOP HEADLINE: WORLD LEADERS SIGN PACT TO AVERT CLIMATE DISASTER
Newspaper Ignites Hope, Announces “Civil Disobedience Database”

* Civil-disobedience database: http://BeyondTalk.net
* PDF of printed newspaper: http://iht.greenpeace.org/todays-paper/
– Online version: http://www.iht-se.com/
* Video: http://iht.greenpeace.org/video/ (coming soon)
In a front-page ad in today’s International Herald Tribune, the leaders of the European Union thank the European public for having engaged in months of civil disobedience leading up to the Copenhagen climate conference that will be held this December.

“It was only thanks to your massive pressure over the past six months that we could so dramatically shift our climate-change policies…. To those who were arrested, we
thank you.”

There was only one catch: the paper was fake.

Looking exactly like the real thing, but dated December 19th, 2009, a million copies of the fake paper were distributed worldwide by thousands of volunteers in order to show what could be achieved at the Copenhagen climate conference that is scheduled for Dec. 7-18, 2009.

At the moment, the conference is aiming for much more modest cuts, dismissed by leading climate scientists as too little, too late to stave off runaway processes that will lead to millions or even billions of casualties.

The paper describes in detail a powerful (and entirely possible) new treaty to bring carbon levels down below 350 parts per million – the
level climate scientists say we need to achieve to avoid climate catastrophe.

One article describes how a website, http://BeyondTalk.net, mobilized thousands of people to put their bodies on the line to
confront climate change policies – ever since way back in June, 2009.

Although the newspaper is a fake (its production and launch were coordinated by Greenpeace), the website is real. Beyondtalk.net is part of a growing network of websites calling for direct action on climate change, building on statements made in recent months by noted political
figures.

For example, in September Nobel laureate Al Gore asserted that “we have reached the stage where it is time for civil disobedience to
prevent the construction of new coal plants.”

Leading American environmentalist Bill McKibben was enthusiastic about the newspaper’s message and the methods BeyondTalk.net calls for.

“We need a political solution grounded in reality – grounded in physics and chemistry. That will only come if we can muster a wide variety of political tactics, including civil disobedience.”

“Non-violent civil disobedience has been at the forefront of almost every successful campaign for change,” said Andy Bichlbaum of The Yes
Men
, who helped write and edit the newspaper and are furnishing the technology for BeyondTalk.net. “Especially in America, and especially today, we need to push our leaders hard to stand up to industry lobbyists and make the sorts of changes we need.”

“Roosevelt would never have been able to push through the New Deal if people hadn’t taken to the streets, occupied factories, and demanded
it,” noted newspaper writer/editor and University of California professor Lawrence Bogad.

“Segregation, British rule in India, and apartheid wouldn’t have ended without a lot of people being creatively uncooperative – even if that meant getting arrested. Nonviolent civil
disobedience is the bread and butter of progress.”

The fake newspaper also has an ad for “Action Offsets,” whereby those who aren’t willing to risk arrest can help those who are.

A HOPEFUL NEWS PANDEMIC?

Today’s fake International Herald Tribune is part of a rash of recent publications which mimic prominent newspapers. Last November, a fake edition of the New York Times announced that the Iraq War was over. A few days earlier, a hoax USA Today featured the US presidential election result: “Capitalism Wins at the Polls: Anarchy Brewing in the Streets.”
And this April 1st, a spoof edition of Germany’s Zeit newspaper triumphantly announced the end of “casino capitalism” and the abolition
of poor-country debt.

The rash of fakes is likely to continue. “People are going to keep finding ways to get the word out about common-sense solutions those in
power say are impossible,” said Kelli Anderson, one of the designers of the fake International Herald Tribune and co-designer (with Daniel
Dunnam) of BeyondTalk.net.

“We already know what we need to do about climate change,” said Agnes de Rooij of Greenpeace International. “It’s a no-brainer. Reduce carbon emissions, or put the survival of billions of people at risk. If the political will isn’t there now, it’s our duty to inspire it.”

* CONTACT:
– The Yes Men, mailto:press@theyesmen.org
– Mark Breddy (Greenpeace), mailto:mark.breddy@greenpeace.org,
(+32) (0)2 2741 903, (+32) (0)496 15 62 29 (mob.)
– Lawrence Bogad, mailto:l.m.bogad@gmail.com,
+1-212 300 7943

Written by typingisnotactivism

June 18, 2009 at 10:16 pm

Victorian Bushliars

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February 7, 2009. Black Saturday. The Victorian firestorm that left thousands homeless and hundreds dead.

Only Pentecostal Danny Nalliah, pastor of Catch The Fire Ministries, had the good sense to look past all the enraged finger-pointing and publicly blame Victoria’s frivolous abortion laws. The comparably visionary Miranda Devine, writing from her comfortable Sydney mansion, preached that filthy murdering greenies with their climate agenda owe the families of the dead a personal apology.

Max Rheese, head of the pro-GMO/logging/nuclear, anti-climate-science, Don Burke-fronted Gunns-donation-receiving corporate think-tank Australian Environment Foundation wrote for Online Opinion to blame public land managers and governments. Although he conceded that the only reason they ignored awesome forest science established in 1939 (yes, really) was because of pressure from latte-sipping inner-city greens.

Even Germaine Greer – usually worthwhile and at worst amusing – announced to a dinner attended by the Queen that a lack of burning and clearing by Australian authorities, albeit in ignorance of blackfella wisdom, is to blame. Similarly astute observations can be found all over The Australian’s letters pages.

And even Fran Bailey, MP for the bulk of Victoria’s worst affected areas, is pushing an argument adored by nearly every woodchipping lobbyist and climate skeptic every time Australia burns.

It amounts to a claim that protecting areas managed as National Parks, limiting logging of native forests, and giving ecosystems a chance to function at all naturally is to guarantee fiery tragedy and ensure that fire crews can’t gain access when it occurs.

Basically, ‘man with bulldozer, chainsaw, and woodchip license knows best’.

But writing to the Environment East Gippsland newsgroup, one Victorian forest activist noted that “apart from Bunyip, I cannot think of any major fire this season that hasn’t been in a plantation or other heavily managed forestry area.”

According to his observations and initial reports, all fires – bar one – started in plantations, logging coupes, grasslands, and farms. Namely, areas already decimated and dehydrated by the very practices prescribed by the ignorant, remote, and spin-driven parasites happy to exploit yet another fatal catastrophe.

But at least this tragedy will finally move Australia to really act on climate change…

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February 17, 2009 at 1:06 am

Good Riddance: SMH Editor Alan Oakley Hands Over the Race-baiting Ignorance Flogging Boob-soaked Flesh Wand of Destiny.

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Alan Oakley

Former SMH Editor

STILL A TOTAL KNOB

Of course it’s not all good news. The Zionist douchebag did step down yesterday – whatever that means is yet to be clear – but has apparently been offered an important strategic position at Fairfax. That probably means he’ll be getting paid six figures to Photoshop well-oiled breasts on to dead Arabs and equally dead polar bears.

As always, the Herald’s own article about the departure of one of Fairfax’s own is a vapid piece of sh*t which quite literally functions as nothing more than a press release. How quality of the paper is it that today another executive, David Kirk, has been dumped, so they sent an intern round to his back fence to take this photo.

What a shame he wasn’t pissing on a tree or rolling drunk and morbid in his own vomit at the time. Still, they have at least managed to make him appear mildly depressed, even though he’s actually just busy sending a text message.

The Australian’s article about Oakley’s departure from the Simply Moaning Hairball at least makes clear why he felt it necessary to turn the paper into a piece of glamorous mindless populist piece of turd largely written at a fourth grade reading and analysis level. Seems his lateral elevation was all about Sunday papers – tits, car ads, and Michael Jackson stories, basically.

Anyway – good riddance. If the Herald hadn’t formerly been a very worthwhile newspaper, and if it wasn’t still holding a stable of very good writers and journalists, then there would be no reason for frustration with the wad of 90% trans-fats that it has become in the last two+ years under Oakley and the completely visionless board of Fairfax.

One might hope that Oakley’s departure will open the door for a dramatic improvement of the ailing newspaper culture at the Sydney Morning Herald and Farifax’s other outposts, but based on their sustained form there is little reason for that hope.

Written by typingisnotactivism

December 5, 2008 at 1:34 pm

Awesome Sarah Palin Sex Tape!!

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well, sort of....

well, sort of....

It’s enough to make a fat man scream….

8 )

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November 25, 2008 at 1:28 am

Australian media link Obama to Crack

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The Sydney Morning Herald has reached a desperate new low today, and it is anybody’s guess why. This paper is on one hand trying to promote itself as cool and edgy, with colourful stroboscopic TV ads soundtracked by a theme plagiaristically close to Rage Against the Machine’s ‘I won’t do whatcha tell me!’ On the other hand, it also frequently runs conservative snootiness masquerading as irony and continues to question and even deny the very actual reality of devastating climate change.

So when they try to associate Barack Obama with crack cocaine is it because they think destructive drug references are edgy and cool (which they aren’t), or because their increasingly conservative editorial agenda finds something satisfying in making a racist slur against the new US President-elect?

What? Crack cocaine use is much more common amongst lower income brackets in America. Blacks in America are still more likely than white Americans to be economically disadvantaged. And American courts treat crack much more harshly than cocaine, which is generally used by people with a much higher disposable income.

Odds are that if you’re in America and your problem is crack, you’re black, and you’re going to get a harsher sentence than Wall Street when he gets caught with uncut Peruvian coming back from his Obama inauguration party. Statistically speaking.

The New York Times has been running this story for the past couple of days: Lose the Blackberry? Yes he can, maybe. It’s a very interesting article about how the US President is, in a way, locked in the watchtower. When Obama takes office on Jan. 20, he may well be denied his mobile phone and even email access because of laws relating to communications from the President of the United States.

Today (timely, as always) the Sydney Morning Herald is running exactly the same story, and the are attributing it to The New York Times. Except that they have changed the title to

Obama might have to kick his CrackBerry habit

and inexplicably altered the line

For years, like legions of other professionals, Mr. Obama has been all but addicted to his BlackBerry.

to instead read

For years, like legions of other on-the-move professionals, Mr Obama has been all but addicted to his BlackBerry – or CrackBerrys as they are sometimes called for exactly that reason..

As you can see, the sloppy Herald insert is evident by the appearance of two fullstops.

Now – and I’m just guessing here – writers in New York have seen a lot of the social problems and devastation of crack addiction across poorer areas of their city. They have seen that many black communities have been deeply affected by it in an almost cancerous manner. And they have seen a number of other American media outlets repeatedly tie black skin to crack addiction and drug abuse generally in a pervasive and decidedly racebaiting manner. So it would never even occur to them to use the term “Crackberry” in writing about anybody, let alone their President-elect.

The Sydney Morning Herald, on the other hand – just what the f#$% are they trying to say?

Aussie Captions Needed: Malcolm Turnbull…

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.......................... ?

.......................... ?

no prizes, plenty of reasons, pretty self-explanatory, and……GO!

one bloody good example from Glass Wall Observer that hassurprisingly little to do with penises:

Turnbull displays both his level of concern for “working families” and the extent to which his own living standards will be affected by any economic downturn.

Lovin’ it.
More!!
Now!!!!         8 )



PATRIOT Act Repealed!! Iraq withdrawal commences.

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A very special edition of the New York Times was freely distributed to 1.2 million Americans as they raced to or from work today, in commemoration of an end to the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. Web traffic for the special edition has been so high that a number of pages have been forced offline, but the special issue is certainly worth visiting, for the stirring cover art alone.

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November 13, 2008 at 1:58 pm

Malcolm Turnbull’s ego shames Australia on the B.B.C.

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Malcolm Turnbull tells.... um... does this even need a caption?

Malcolm Turnbull tells.... um... does this even need a caption?

Malcolm Turnbull, leader of Australia’s well-deserving federal opposition has been banging on and on for nearly 2 weeks now about a joke about George Bush.

Firstly, Turnbull has taken on the role of playing wounded, feigning shock that anybody could consider the least competent American President in history an idiot. It’s a strange position for an allegedly intelligent man to take, especially given that his unending melodrama of the last fortnight would have made better sense coming from a 7-year old boy with wet underpants.

Secondly, Turnbull has been flouncing on for so long about how some joke about George Bush, allegedly made by Kevin Rudd, will so hurt our international standing, and so harm Australia’s international security clearance, and so upset the rest of the world, that now the media of the world have walked into the story thinking it’s actually a story and thereby treating it as such. So after two weeks of hard and useless work, Turnbull may well have achieved that of which he has endlessly accused Rudd.

Thanks to Lord Snot’s ceaseless self-serving dummy-spit, the BBC world service is now carrying this ill-informed article freshly posted by Reuters.

“[It was] an account so self-serving that it presented him as a diplomatic encyclopaedia, a font of all knowledge, and the president of the United States, the chief executive of our greatest ally, as a fool,” Mr Turnbull was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.

Aren’t parliamentary privilege and political power wonderful? You can be the gutless leading puppet of a rejected gaggle of climate change denying visionless racists focussed only on finding fault in everything that everybody who is actually doing anything puts forward, intent only on one day adding “Prime Minister of Australia” to your resume because it’s the one thing you haven’t been able to buy – yet – but if you spin the same irrelevant line long enough, the world will listen to your vacuous side of the story for, ooh, maybe fifteen minutes?

But that’s opposition isn’t it – so little to do, so much time.

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November 13, 2008 at 1:28 am

Michael Duffy is a moron; why does Fairfax pay him?

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It is strange that Fairfax, the publisher of Sydney Morning Herald, puts out a far better paper in Melbourne – The Age – than they do in Sydney. It could perhaps be because the Sydney editor is a nonce. But that doesn’t explain why the hell Fairfax employ a conservative editor in what continually tries to be a progressive society. Perhaps they would rather we resist that impulse.

Or they think we are idiots, which would explain why they keep on their stable of narcissistic pundits-of-no-merit. Like Miranda Devine. Like Gerard Henderson (could somebody pleeeease tell him that John Howard is gone already). Like Michael Duffy.

Duffy is like a tumour that masquerades as a boil. His bio is hilarious – he relaunched his image at the Herald lately by presenting himself as aged cool like a turd with chocolate sprinkles, making special efforts to emphasize that he has been on the dole, AND played in bands. I would bet Madonna’s left nut that they were horrible pieces of shit who largely played or ripped off other people’s songs that sucked way before they even lost all relevance.. Because this feels like the kind of guy that Duffy is, and it’s exactly the way that he manages information. He’s like some second rate Christopher Pyne trying to present as a first rate Shaun Micallef, thereby coming across quite a bit like a skid mark from Peter Costello’s underpants but without the charisma.

In the tradition of ripping off shit that need never have been exuded in the first place, skunkjunk has just run an op ed in the Herald Truly inconvenient truths about climate change being ignored. Wow! Genius! Who would have ever thought to use the title of an increasingly old movie ironically in pursuit of climate change denial? Never. Seen. That. Done. A. Million. Times. Already.

And what a piece of crap it is.

Someone else who’s looked closely at scientific journals (although not specifically those dealing with climate science) is epidemiologist John Ioannidis of the Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. He reached the surprising conclusion that most published research findings are proved false within five years of their publication. (Lest he be dismissed as some eccentric, I note that the Economist recently said Ioannidis has made his case “quite convincingly”.)

So, one of Duffy’s convincing sources reads magazines that aren’t anything to do with climate science, and has found inconsistencies in those non-climate findings which a non-climate magazine has apparently once agreed add up to some kind of non-climate argument, and therefore climate change is bogus? I’m so convinced, I must read further. Read the rest of this entry »

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November 8, 2008 at 2:32 pm

Juicy behind the scenes rumours from US election

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Sorry for the sleazy title, but if you’ve got such a problem with it, how did you end up here?

Turns out that Newsweak (NOT a typo) has been running a little project via its journalists, gathering anything not-fit-for-print or off-the-record pre-election to release post-election.

Genii.

Although it’s quite hilarious to read that Sarah Palin couldn’t grasp that Africa is a “continent” rather than a “country”, the eye-catching bit of awesomeness is a comment from Obama, in which he (rightly) derides the debate stage show.

When he was preparing for the Democratic primary debates, Obama was recorded saying, “I don’t consider this to be a good format for me, which makes me more cautious. I often find myself trapped by the questions and thinking to myself, ‘You know, this is a stupid question, but let me … answer it.’ So when Brian Williams is asking me about what’s a personal thing that you’ve done [that’s green], and I say, you know, ‘Well, I planted a bunch of trees.’ And he says, ‘I’m talking about personal.’ What I’m thinking in my head is, ‘Well, the truth is, Brian, we can’t solve global warming because I f—ing changed light bulbs in my house. It’s because of something collective’.

Apart from it being reassuring to know that Obama uses the F word, how on-the-money is that assessment of feelgood new age greenness. Lovin’ it. Gobama!

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November 6, 2008 at 7:52 pm

Market Crash Looks Like….

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The market crash and all its associated mini-crashes, mushroom clouds, and 747-loads of mom-n-pop investors headed straight into the sun surely is a thing of horribly nightmarish misery, loss, and sadness.

But some twisted bastards have found the silver lining and posted it, at The Brokers With Hands on Their Faces blog.

OMG – look at that one closer. Remember when the Dow could still fall to 11281 points? That must have been like at least 3, maybe 4, weeks ago.

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October 25, 2008 at 8:56 pm

Sarah Palin has not approved these political cheezburgers. Will you?

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After you have voted for any of the messages you like by clicking on the images below (hint hint), then make sure to go check out Pundit Kitchen – from the same nom noms who brought you I Can Has Cheezburger, it’s more democratic than democracy, costs less than freedom, and it’s less likely to kill a doctor or beat a single mother than an evilgelical Xtian.


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October 12, 2008 at 6:30 pm

McCain-Palin: Ignorance is Strength

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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.

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September 24, 2008 at 8:58 am

Australian Federal Police raid journalist.

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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.

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September 23, 2008 at 5:55 pm

What’s better than right wing Christian nut jobs in the White House? Maybe fake pregnancies….

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George W & McBrains actual running mate
George W & McBrain’s actual running mate

John McCain is dangerously mental – it’s simple. Obama can’t deliver all that he promises and some of the promises on which he can deliver (like more support for Israel and nuclear power) are scary but now the whole billion dollar race for the White House has taken on a David Lynch twist.

This article in the Daily Kos and its sequel right here make the claim that Sarah Palin, McCain’s purely strategic nominee for the vice presidency (maverickly chosen ultra-conservative female fundie Xtian) has faked the birth of her most tactically wonderful Downs Syndrome un-aborted 5-month old baby.

one of these people is 7 months pregnant…..

According to the story & photos, she showed no signs of pregnancy, even at what was supposedly 7 months, and spent more than 8 hours on a plane after her water had broken. And nobody noticed her going into anything resembling labour.

And in the follow up story, it is reported that around what should have been the 7 month mark (for Sarah)

one of these people is 7 months pregnant.....

her 16-year old daughter was involved in a car collision, driving a vehicle leaving a family medical centre according to the police report.

Of course, that could be a coincidence. She may have just dropped off her mum. During her break from school.

When she took off some time for an infection.

That lasted 5 months.

What’s that Scully?

Holy crap! Just in, this piece from New York Times – the 16-year-old anti-abortion puppet doesn’t seem to have learned a thing. She’s pregnant again! Seems the Palins aren’t going to wait for the Pretzeldency, and are trying to breed their way to global domination instead.

Naaaasty.

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September 2, 2008 at 1:24 am

Scab Labor? How low will Morris Iemma go?

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Let’s face it – the Australian Labor Party can do a lot better than it is doing. There is neither need nor reason for anybody to feel sentimental about committee-intensive hierarchies where Marxist farts call each other comrade as though doing so doesn’t paint “delete me” clearly on their forehead.

But, at the very least, Labor should show some concern for the minimal levels of wellbeing generally supported by worker solidarity. So what the hell does Morris Iemma stand for?

Obviously less than slightly left talkback DJ Mike Carlton. Carlton refused to submit his weekly column to Fairfax for their weekend edition of the Simply Moaning Herald because of strike action by journalists opposed to mass sackings. So he has been (at least for now) sacked.

What does Morris do? As strikebreaking scab labour, he exploits Fairfax’s need for wordage with yet another worthless diatribe about the wonderful benefits of delivering publicly built and owned utilities into private hands.

Because he runs what should be one of the most manageable states in Australia, but can’t think of any other way to screw more money out of the inhabitants.

Because he is a dick.

The kind of dick that has made an unelectable State Liberal Party look like the best thing that could now happen to New South Wales at the next election. And everybody seems to know this except for the New South Wales Labor Government.

Who didn’t even think to charge Parker Brothers $15 billion for the right to stick Sydney on a Global Monopoly board. Even though Morris was so proud. Of his Monopoly.

“Nowhere to be found”? Indeed.

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August 30, 2008 at 8:41 pm

How crap is Fairfax? How crap is Miriam Steffens?

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The correct answers are “more than ever” and “completely”. “totally” and “who?” are also acceptable.

The main Fairfax broadsheets are Melbourne’s Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. One of the supposed strengths of Fairfax is a pluralistic approach, namely that know-nothing scene queens like Miranda Devine and Liberal Party lobbyists like Gerard Henderson appear alongside worthwhile writers and analysts like Michelle Grattan, Ross Gittins, and Peter Hartcher.

Anybody who has been paying attention would have noticed that the Herald has increasingly hybridised itself over the last 12-18 months, becoming – at least in part – some sort of pillar for right wing hacks and Pauline Hanson supporters to lean upon in times of need of propaganda or self-approval.

Add in to the mix elements of Ralph crossed with Who Weekly and New Idea, and you have some kind of race to the bottom marked by pictures of boobs and no need for reading or analysis above a fifth grade level. The only reason that the papers are worth reading is for ridicule and the fact that they are 60% not this (or 40% in the case of the Herald – whose editor scrapped and investigative journalist’s final piece after five years in and around Palestine because he didn’t want to offend the Israel lobby. What a dick!).

The Fairfax Brains Trust’s self-perception is perhaps best evidenced in their latest tv ads – cool and striking photos from around the world flash in sync with rocking guitar, and then there’s some lame tagline about being cool and cutting edge. The fact that the paper is neither is underscored by the fact that the music is a blatant plagiarism of that ancient anthem “Fuck You I won’t Do What Ya Tell Me” by Rage Against the Machine parading as futuristic freshness.

Either Fairfax doesn’t realize that it actually is the Machine, or its directors do realize this but figure the rest of us are so stupid that rainbow-bright advertising featuring photos taken for international non-Fairfax publications will stop us working this out for ourselves.

So now Fairfax’s directors have taken the bold decision to reward shareholders and themselves by sacking 550 employees, including a large number of journalists. Amusingly, even with their massive resources, Fairfax have been slow to adapt to the age of new media. They are only doing something now – the wrong thing – because their profits have shrunk. Rather than an innervation of their online presence (with wacky upgrades like “hyperlinking”), it is likely that we will see more tacky crappy “Sam” type blogs and uncredited reposting of even more articles from the New York Times, and of course even more crap press releases parading as articles.

Like this one by some p.r. mole called Miriam Steffens. Amazingly, the Fairfax staff seem incredibly upbeat about their own rapidly vanishing prospects. Steffens even managed to frame the quote from the journalists’ own union in such a way that it almost sounds non-combative:

“It’s a gut reaction that reducing costs is going to be the salvation of media groups who are struggling in these difficult times. One would have thought that the way to attract readers is to produce the best quality journalism we can.”

The Australian presents an entirely different and far more insightful viewpoint. The articles make for a good exercise in contextualisation and comparison – structures, highlights, flow, tone, viewpoint; even in comparing the comments by reps from the same union, The Australian takes a mighty dump on Steffens brown-nosing head:

Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance Victorian sectretary Louise Connor said The Age journalists were angry and shell-shocked and had condemned Mr Kirk for making the announcement before talking to staff.

Which also goes to show that direct quotes can hide the truth more effectively than paraphrasing when they are pruned with intent. Although absent from Fairfax’s own article on the subject, The Australian – which properly discloses all of its potential conflicts of interest in quoting from sources such as the Daily Telegraph’s editorial staff – gives voice to Gerard Noonan of Fairfax.

After a meeting at Fairfax’s headquarters in Sydney’s Pyrmont, senior Herald journalist Gerard Noonan branded management “gutless” and said they were using “the worst of the Work Choices legislation” to make deep cuts to journalism.

“This is a panicked response,” he said. “Management is clearly struggling to deal with how to handle the complex demands of high-end, quality journalism.”

Miriam works in the same building as Gerard, but completely misses the existence of this anger, doesn’t feel it worth mentioning that the Stock Exchange was informed of this decision before the people to be fired, and indeed thinks that the key point of note in the entire piece of scumbaggery is that:

(Fairfax Executive) Mr (David) Kirk said the targeted $50 million in annualised cost savings would “hold us in good stead for years to come”.

Fairfax, you’re in something, but it’s not “stead” and if employees like “Miriam” are anything to go by, it’s not good.

Written by typingisnotactivism

August 27, 2008 at 9:17 am

My awesome Aussie Olympics joke…

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Q. How do you know when the Australian Men’s Basketball team have lost their game and been bundled out of the Olympics?

A. Because the story about 150 brown people being killed in an exploding plane is the second item on the news.

GET IT?

ha ha ha haaaaa ha ha ha ha aaaaaaah ha aaha hah ahahah ah aha ha ha…………..

Written by typingisnotactivism

August 22, 2008 at 2:57 am

Beijing – taste that freedomy goodness.

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I don’t know what the IOC douche de la douche Jacques Rogge was smoking when just a fortnight ago he declared that the Olympics was going to pretty much turn China into the global capital of love, happiness, and human rights. He may have just been inhaling his own farts.

Thousands of them.

An act which would certainly seem congruous to his temperament.

But waht teh fcuk!

It was obvious from even before Day 1 of the current games that Australia’s 7 Network was going to seek out exciting new depths in televised subocrity, as they somehow lost the booking sheet for GetUp’s advertisement due to run between 1 and 3 IN THE MORNING asking PM Kevin Rudd not to forget about Tibet while chatting over roast duck and the red book with Citizen Ichi.

SBS have done their best by using their journalists’ access to China to look at stories beyond how awesome Australian athletes, the Chinese government, and not getting caught for drug-cheating all are. ABC radio has tried to.

But Channel 7, like most networks in fact, haven’t really pursued any of the relevant questions.

As in, the kind of questions that just the other day saw BOCOG – the Chinese Olympic Committee – cancel daily press briefings less than halfway through the Games. They didn’t just cancel the press conferences – knowing that they were going to do this, they had intelligence agency photographers come and photograph every single journalist in attendance.

Why? The day before, a British journalist tried to get an answer to a simple question 5 times – not from Chairman Mao, but from IOC Press Secretary Giselle Davies.

Following more than a week of stories about internet censorship, manipulation of video broadcasts, the arrests of people applying to use the supposedly guaranteed peaceful protest sites around Beijing, and ultimately the beating and brief detention of a journalist and his photgrapher at a 30-second 7-person Free Tibet protest, the journalist asked, as many ways as could possibly be conceived, whether the IOC was embarrassed by the way that Chinese authorities had not and perhaps never intended to live up to their promised commitments regarding human rights and press freedom.

She avoided the question, answering that athletics is great, that the venues are nice, that the security of the athletes and spectators has been well attended to. She may have even gone so far as to say that some of the ticketing difficulties seemed to be getting sorted out rather well.

This is the IOC, not a Chinese mouthpiece afraid his family will be arrested and his house bulldozed if he says the wrong thing.

Oh yes, and she also repeatedly told the reporter to give back the microphone so someone else could have a go. Have a go at what? Praising China for letting Tibetans live long enough to realize that they are ever more surely becoming the victims of globally sanctioned genocide?

Religious freedoms? Athletes, especially winners, must surely get the most respect and the best treatment that is on offer. I watched this morning as Catherine Ndereba won a tight race for silver in the Women’s marathon. Even having just run this brutal race, she promptly grabbed a towel from her coach and kneeled on it over the finish line in Lane 3. As soon as it became apparent that she was praying, thanking her God for getting her there, at least three Chinese officials closed in around her and began to physically move her away from the cameras and the track.

This was obvious to a TV spectator, unpaid, uninformed, thousands of miles away. The Channel 7 commentators didn’t even mention it.

It’s obvious that the Olympics is about stories – the 49 year old French cyclist narrowly missing bronze, the 16-year old Australian missing school to win gold, 8 wins as a result of A.D.D. therapy, Cuban volleyballers beating China from 2-0 down – but these stories aren’t great because they’re positive, shiny, uplifting. They’re great because they’re real, because they’re a combination of unlikely elements that still lead to a remarkable outcome.

But for all the media on the ground and the billions of dollars spent in video surveillance and satellite broadcasting, the biggest stories of the Beijing Olympics seem unlikely to be told anytime in the next ten days.

One World One Dream

One Massive Corrupt System One Thoroughly Acquiescent And Shameful Australian Television Network

Written by typingisnotactivism

August 17, 2008 at 3:33 pm

4 cool sites

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Bono, retire from public life and we’ll donate a ton of money to fight AIDS is exactly what it sounds like. Gotta love that. Turns out that the RED campaign has spent more on marketing associated brands – like American Express – than it has actually raised for charity. Hmmm. What does that sound like….?

And given the European land war currently gearing up in Georgia, Undernews seems a gem of a discovery – particularly with regard to this article detailing the involvement of Israeli & US oil interests in Georgia in the lead up to Russia’s use of the American regime-change-for-personal-gain model of diplomacy. Speaking of which, there’s also this article on preparations for a naval blockade of Iran. And those are just today’s entries.

Hmmm… Certainly less pompous than a lot of the writing at Counterpunch. Could be a new favourite American-based international news and analysis site.

And ditching blah for wah – check out Natalia Paruz. Better known as “Saw Lady”…

is iiiiincrediiiiible. Go swoon at SawLady.com for more freaky goodness….

And finally, not just for Trekkies but for anyone with working eye glands…

That’s not a special effect. It’s a ‘pho-to’ from APOD – NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day archive. It’s cool that they do more than just invent frying pans, fix toilets, and get silenced over global warming, eh?

Iran all night

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Not one for the Cyndi Lauper fans so much as the Armageddonists.

There have been other voices in Western media that have tried to tell the real story about the US build-up in the Persian Gulf proximal to Iran, but Seymour Hersh has perhaps been the most dogged and informative. Yes, it’s possible that he at some point got caught in a Karlrovian Pentagonal bait-and-switch, but the bulk of his writing has seemed to cut close to the bone and that which hasn’t has still made for provocative reading.

Watching Lebanon was really the most chilling piece, analysing cold-blooded international war crimes in action. Since then, he has repeatedly updated us on the notion that the current US Administration will certainly attack Iran before leaving office. Of course, mid-term election bit Bush in the ass and put things on hold, but the timing for Hersh’s latest piece, Preparing the Battlefield, could hardly have been more contextually alarming.

Iran’s changing image?

The above picture and illustrations come from this piece in the New York Times. Hardly worthy of applause for either its objectivity regarding Israeli foreign and domestic policy or its sobriety of judgment in matters involving Iranian posturing, the Times has identified what are clearly visible as manipulated images of missile tests, supposedly released by Sepah News which is supposedly the propaganda wing of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

The Times has managed to pull this together within hours of the picture being run by French media. Have they got this good now because they feel bad about the way they gave Rumsfeld, Powell, Cheney, and Bush free passes? OR, could they have perhaps paid this kind of attention 5 years and X hundred thousand dead civillians ago?

It’s a fair question.

And not one which distracts from or avoids the apparent gravity of the situation – Israel, America, and Iran are very much right in the middle of a massive Mine Is Bigger Than Yours stand off right now, and the first one to cough loses… or wins… depending on your point of view, and their weighting of short term testosterone against medium and longer term outcomes.

But to look at this situation – Israel supposedly formation-tested and ready to attack, Iran testing Tel-Aviv-able missiles, Condi Rice goading Tehran somewhat more mildly than she’s tempting Moscow – one must seriously ask “what the hell?”.

Now, I’ve only looked at the New York Times, SBS, ABC and listened to Radio National about this… but Al Jazeera is the only news source I’ve seen to mention that Iran is conducting scheduled war games. This might take some of the Harrison Ford out of news coverage if properly reported and certainly changes the context for the better – unless of course you’re somebody keen to see a fresh premise for some of that tasty new doctrine of preemptive defense.

Like any Halliburton alumni.

On the other hand, Al Jazeera does sometimes understate the idiocy of Islamic fundamentalists, AND Iran’s  choosing to lob missiles and torpedoes into the Persian Gulf at night when 3 US battle groups are stationed there is, well, a bit like putting Josef Fritzl in charge of a day care centre and hoping for the best.

Still, with everything that America has learnt by starting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and unleashing a torrent of global death, torment, and religious hatred, and everything that Israel has learnt about saying one thing rudely while doing another thing horrendously, I’m sure this will turn out fine.

If you sell oil.

Or weaponry.

Or sutures.

Or spin.

Written by typingisnotactivism

July 11, 2008 at 1:59 am

Michael Costa is an effing moron

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Shortly I’ll be adding to the myriad of voices throwing in their quarter-of-a-cents-worth regarding the Garnaut Report (it’s a very enabling first step and has the makings of a much-needed springboard, imho), but in the meantime:

State Treasurer to the New South Wales Labor Government, Michael Costa, you are an effing moron. Now you are adding further weight to this argument by attacking the generally clear and excellent recommendations of the preliminary draft of the Garnaut Report on Australia and climate change.

You are one of the more prominent reasons why even tragic lefties now know in their hearts that the Iemma government has to be sacked. Four years of an unsteady, visionless, and ideologically sterile government with right-wing tendencies won’t be much of a breather, but it will be better than four more years of the brattish, self-congratulating, aggressive hypocrisy of the Australian Labor Party’s New South Wales outpost.

the mighty foe that Iemma slew... pfftWhat electoral challenge has the NSW State Government had to face at any time since it was elected? Has anybody with even the charisma of a Barry Unsworth stood in opposition to you? The last election you weren’t even running against a human. The NSW COALition were so out-of-ideas that they ran a ginger kid against you – a frigging day walker!

Yet the NSW ALP is so disconnected from any sense of community values or cultural context that even recently they have cheered the visionary leadership of Morris Iemma and his victory in “the unwinnable election”.

Such a truly slippery handle on the facts can only exist in a political party that would employ Michael Costa while spouting humunculous geysers of barely credible froth about concern for the workers, for the people, for the future, for the children, for the state, etc. etc.

What is the problem with Australia in the eyes of Michael Costa? What is the problem with the state of New South Wales in the eyes of Michael Costa?

manners don\'t Costa thingThere are unions, who have the nerve to speak up for the interests of their members when it doesn’t suit Costa. There are citizens groups, NGOs, and – yes, them again – unions who he thinks must be stupid for expecting more from an elected government than they have any right to expect from privately held run-for-profit corporations

Well, he may be right there.

But now, Michael Costa somehow thinks that he has greater political capital than the mob that gave Canberra an enema on November 24 last year. He thinks that the concern about climate change is nonsense. He would like to join the Liberal Party, where they have made a living out of misquoting people and then striking them down over the fact that things they never even said could have only come from stupid people.

Hmm… Right again.

For example, claims from some quarters that the Great Barrier Reef would be destroyed if Australia, which emits less than 2 per cent of global greenhouse gases, does not adopt an ETS are patent nonsense.

Chicken Little arguments are no substitute for getting right the important details on issues of far-reaching consequence, but Garnaut has said his detailed economic impact modelling won’t be available until August.

Costa has sided in today’s Australian with climate ignorance.

The state treasurer seems a bit behind the main game in thinking that anybody with more than half a brain thinks that local problems only come from locally emitted CO2.

a bigger man than Michael CostaHe is publicly trying to undermine and reverse the federal ALP’s position, even though it is thus far one of hesitant progress. He has essentially rejected some of the most essential recommendations of the Garnaut Report – namely, Costa is calling for compensation for any and all big polluters, for further significant delays to action, for an ALP about face on the implied contract for social and environmental responsibility.

Costa will no doubt feel vindicated by the number of voices that will echo and support his proclamations this week. His wits as sharp as a ball, Costa may not see anything in the fact that his supporters will be conservatives, kneejerk ignorami, and vested interests such as the aluminium and coal industries, lobbyists for illegal international logging and their entirely partisan corporate consultancies – like Alan Oxley – and not to mention operators of those electrical utilities Costa’s constantly trying to offload for a song.

Not that there is any conflict of interest there. Not that he has any reason to make 19th century electrical facilities look like attractive investments. Not that this is exactly the same belligerent and dismissive type of abuse that he levelled at anyone thinking that essential things like electricity are best run for modest public profit, rather than massive private gain.

The one public service which Michael Costa seems to actually be performing is as a case study on what went wrong with a stale and incumbent state government, and of what to expect if the public just trusts politicians who claim to know best.

2020 targets, not 2050. No more delays. No rewards for inaction.

And no more Costa.

Please.

News Ltd’s free-range war on accurate coverage.

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News.com.au, The Australian, and their regional subsidiaries are currently carrying – or miscarrying – a story about free-range eggs. They all seem keen to emphasize that free-range eggs are a stale rip-off on a grand scale, and that the survey which has concluded as much is objective. The survey by consumer group Choice may well be ‘objective’ (whatever one may think of the value or merits of its assessment criteria), but it certainly doesn’t reflect the conclusions being loudly proclaimed by big, clumsy media.

Free-range Eggs Not Fresh! &

CONSUMERS who fork out more for free-range eggs have been warned that over a third are officially stale on an international freshness scale.

proclaims The Australian. This assertion, by writer Tamara McLean, has of course been reprinted at News.com.au, Melbourne’s Herald-Sun, and likely the West Australian, Daily Telegraph, and other News Ltd (very) outlets across Australia. Even though it is uncredited, the article lifted from AAP and carried by Yahoo News! seems also to be McLean’s.

Strangely enough, Nathan Dukes at The Canberra Times and Daniella Miletic at Fairfax, when presented with the same survey by Choice, managed to get the story right. They focussed not only on the survey outcomes, but on the key issue relevant to the survey – that the definition of “free range” as it applies to Australian eggs, and consequently the hundreds of thousands of Australian chickens which produce them, is not only weak relative to European standards but cloudy in terms of Australian regulation and value to the consumer.

Choice clearly state that

We tested more than 650 eggs (all production systems) [ed: emphasis added], using an internationally recognised measure of egg freshness and quality called a Haugh unit (see How we tested, below).

There are no prescribed Australian standards but the US standard classifies eggs under 60 Haugh units as ‘weak and watery’ and we used this as our benchmark for freshness.

Of all the eggs we tested, 36 percent had Haugh units below 60…

This clearly states that looking at 650 samples of all types of eggs, 36% were found to be lacking in terms of freshness and quality. Tamara McLean, with the blessings of her editor, has managed to reinterpret this to mean:

A test of 650 free-range eggs by consumer group Choice returned a fail grade for 36 per cent of the products, branding them “weak and watery”.

Although she eventually states that regulation and standards are somewhat lacking or even voluntary in Australia, the News Ltd articles mainly feature cherry-picked quotes relating to the potential shortcomings of free-range eggs:

“Well over half the hens described as free-range are housed in huge sheds, may never go outside and their eggs may come off conveyor belts,” Mr Zinn [ed: Choice spokesman] said.

“If you’re buying free-range eggs because you believe in animal welfare, the brands in the big supermarkets may not be meeting your expectations.”

Ms McLean and Mr. Zinn aren’t trying to scare away your ethically spent dollar, but think it’s important for you to know that:

“[O]n average we found no significant differences between the freshness of barn-laid, cage and free-range eggs.”

Looking at the actual results, it would seem that Choice, if anything, has found that Pace Farms produce consistently mediocre eggs. Furthermore, only 7 of the 30 brands tested scored a 0-fail rate. 4 of these completely succesful brands –

  • BOOST VEGETARIAN Cage (Brisbane)
  • ESSENTIAL FOODS Free-Range (Melbourne)
  • FAMILY HOMESTEAD Free-Range (Melbourne)
  • FIELD FRESH Free-Range (Sydney)
  • GOLDEN EGGS Barn-Laid (Perth)
  • NATURE’S BEST Free-Range (Sydney)
  • SUNNY QUEEN FARMS Barn-Laid (Brisbane)

were produced by Free-range methodology. Which, if anything, should produce an article with, perhaps, a ringing endorsement for free-range production methods. Despite the definite need for more rigorous regulation, definition, and enforcement, the methodology could easily be framed as at least 4 times more reliable than caged egg production… if the journalist or their master was inclined to do so.

Ever-reliable in such matters, The World Today has gone right past the fluff and got stuck into the heart of the matter:

JOHN STEWART: In the past animal welfare groups have waged successful campaigns, turning consumers against the tuna and pork industries. But it seems that chickens don’t have the same appeal as dolphins caught in fishing nets or images of bloated pigs and ham sandwiches.

But the signs are there that if free-range eggs do become cheaper, moral concerns for animal welfare may be less constrained by the hip pocket.

Written by typingisnotactivism

July 1, 2008 at 4:21 pm

Exxon crude oil $US45.45: US Supreme Court ruling

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In a landmark ruling, the US Supreme Court today slashed the damages bill against Exxon for the 11 million gallons of oil their drunken captain poured into a pristine Alaskan ecosystem just 20 years ago. Deciding that “the people” – as in of the, by the, and for the – of the original jury were brain damaged for originally awarding $5 billion in punitive damages against the company, Justice David Souter today pissed mightily in the faces of victimized communities, environments, and species for generations to come.

He found that Exxon should only have to pay $500 million in punitive damages, seeing as the company had already paid $507 million in damages to directly compensate communities of Prince William Sound for economic losses.

$500 million totals about $15 000 for each of the 33 000 claimants, and 4 days worth of Exxon’s profits last year, Read the rest of this entry »