Friday, September 30, 2005

election update

Thursday, September 29, 2005

quiz du jour

Got a somelier inside you that's trying to break out?



Quiz
pinched from
photo credits

PS: am expecting top marks from you Aleks :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

smart thinking

Mel Brooks is the Nostradamas of our times.

Immortal lines from “Get Smart”



Agent 99: Oh, Max, how terrible.
Maxwell Smart: He deserved it, 99. He was a Kaos killer.
Agent 99: Sometimes I wonder if we're any better, Max.
Maxwell Smart: What are you talking about, 99? We have to shoot and kill and destroy. We represent everything that's wholesome and good in the world.


Sound familiar?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

what is...

technorati?

sheehan arrested

Bush's henchmen have arrested Cindy Sheehan. Bush had declined a visit from Ms Sheehan when she dropped by his house in Washington. She waited patiently on the pavement outside with a few friends, just in case he changed his mind. (What about that legendary Southern hospitality?) But before Bush could pull out the welcome wagon for the grieving mother, the police removed her and her buddies.

Yes Cindy, "the whole world is watching'.

Monday, September 26, 2005

what do you expect from men who wear frocks to work?

I’ve wanted to write for days about the leak from the Vatican about their brilliant deduction that if they ban gay priests, there will be no child abuse in the church. But I get so choked up with bile about this that the post just ends up as a nonsensical rant.

It seems new Pope Benny is following in the same lame shoes of his predecessor. They will be blaming the victim next! Oops, they have already done that. Denial hasn’t worked either, but they gave that a damn good go too. So their latest plan is to not allow gays to become priests, and here’s the clincher even if they promise to be celibate. What? Don’t even the heterosexual ones have to take a vow of chastity, entering into no sexual act with man, beast, woman, child or even themselves?

The Vatican’s dislike of gay’s seems to be more about them having an unfair advantage in the cheap thrills department, than about addressing the issue of paedophilia in their parishes. It seems that as straight priests-to-be can’t hang out with women in the seminaries that it’s just not fair that the homosexual ones get to be with men in there. (Duh? Why else would you join the seminary?)

The powers that be in the church are also labouring under the popular misconception that straight men do not sexually abuse young boys, when there is some compelling evidence that men who identify as being heterosexual are more frequently perpetrators of this kind of abuse. But even if we suspended belief for a moment, using this ‘logic’ what is the Vatican going to do to stop girls and women from being abused by straight priests. Will they ban them too? Perhaps the only option they have is chemical or surgical castration of all priests. Now that would be a good one.

In the mean time the powers that be are going to personally inspect all 229 seminaries in the USA “for evidence of homosexuality”. One can only guess at the nature of their inspection. Compulsory screenings of “Queer is Folk” to flush out any erections? A home decorating quiz? Send in some live bait? Whatever, this is a tokenistic response at best, blatant discrimination at worst. But we have come to expect that from organised religion.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

impeach the shrub

Nice little video montage of Katrina vs Bush worth popping by for a visit.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

smart card

A while back one of the big credit companies started advertising some flash new card, which had a chip or something in it and was meant to open a whole new world of shopping possibilities. Or maybe not. I tend to tune out during ads of all kinds, so quite possibly I just imagined it.

What I would like is a very smart card. One that can spit warnings if i was about to make a retail boo boo: These would include anytime i was inclined to:

• buy any clothing that is yellow. I am having flashbacks to when I was 16 I spent my hard earned cash on a shiny, bright yellow pair of trousers. The friend I shopped with at the time hadn’t been too enthusiastic about them, but I thought, “What does she know!?” Hmmm

• go spending up large after caffeine. I periodically eschew coffee and after a memorable 6 weeks off that delicius drug, went out to breakfast, drank a long black and then went shopping. You know those films with a bipolar character who during a manic episode goes mad with the plastic…well at least I didn’t believe I was superwoman and think I could fly.

• buy more than one book at a time. Books are like children and you can’t have favourites, but inevitably you do, by choosing one to read first. The second, once exciting, purchase then tends to sit unread by my bed for months.

• buying books full stop. It has to be very special, non fiction (unless its for holidays) and I must promise to cull the bookshelves first. (my study now has knee high piles of books with no where to put them and that’s after I gave away a big box full)

• impulse plant purchases. unless I am committed to weeding the garden that day to find a space to put them. Nothing sadder than seeing a dead stick in a pot that waited in vain for months to be planted.

• buy anything with a cat motif, for myself, no matter how cute it looks. The real live Princess Prissy Paws is more than enough.

Sadly the things I really need to spend bucks on are woefully mundane, but beyond the confines of my current credit limits: A new roof (ceiling now threaten to fall in where the flashing has come away from the rusted corrugated iron), a lot of work bills (the joys of being a macro business), a functional kitchen. So perhaps the smart card I really need is something more akin to a gizmo in a Harry Potter novel.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Reefer Madness In The House

Latham seems to be enjoying his holiday back in the spotlight. He’s thrown all his toys out of the cot, and he doesn’t care who knows. So far he’s dished dirt on the bulk of his labour caucus, with the notable exception of Julia Guilard (who I have admitted in the past on another blog’s comments, that I find quite hot in some weird kind of way). Little Mark has set a lot of tongues a wagging and damage control from the Labour party seems a tad inadequate at this stage, adding a little credibility to the claims he has made. I was amused that after Latham outed Rudd for being the media whore that he is, Kevin Rudd predictably called a press conference. What your face on telly again Kevin? This is the guy that is so desperate for attention that he features on religious programs.

As the publicity machine gears up, Mark is getting into his stride. This “has been” who’s just happy to stay at home and be a dad is picking his way through the media circus with glee, scattering crumbs of contention. My favourite to date is about the drug habits of our elected law makers. On JJJ he stated, "the pollies are just in the conga-line of choofers". Reefer madness in the House on the Hill. Finally I understand why Johnny’s policies are so twisted. It’s the paranoia caused by the new super skunk addling his little brain, causing him visions.






No wonder the spooks have been given unthinkable powers. Suddenly it all makes sense.

Monday, September 19, 2005

the end of marriage

An emerging political party in Sweden, Feminist Initiative, met on the weekend to belt out some proposals. Number one is the abolition of marriage. Their proposed cohabitation law is "a modern concept which does not favour and promote couples and heterosexual norms".

Stating, as many of us know, that marriage is not about love and living together, but about ownership, FI’s plan goes way beyond equal rights for non-heterosexual relationships but also those who choose to live with more than one partner.

Wonder what Family First would make of it?

Sunday, September 18, 2005

wanna put the shrub in jail?

Am enjoying Amanda Congdon's Rocketboom vlog (oh the joys of broadband at long last!). This episode interviews a guy who made his own Dance Dance Revolution game (you know that thing the kids are dancing to when you wander past a amusement parlour, sheesh whatever happened to pacman?) - Bush Bush Revolution. Watch how you can jail Bush and his mates and have a bit of a boogie at the same time.

it's not only terrorists who do these things

Last night in Auckland, as the votes were being counted in a cliff hanger general election, some guy stole one of these





and decided to have a go at flying it into this




the tallest structure in the Southern hemisphere

He was unsuccessful and ended landing in the sea, with police in hot pursuit.

Tall buildings, planes with kamakaze pilots, it’s not always terrorism. Long before violent threats from other nations or displaced people, we had nutters. Nothing like getting a little perspective on events.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Dispatches

I have a flat brain this week as I am on a detox (yes a real one, so its not all that fun). But some things are worthy of pulling me briefly out of my fug, so will have a quick rant.

• Bye bye Scott. As I blog, he’s jetting his way back home. The cost of his stay in Aus so far? Well, I bet the Lonely Planet Guide didn’t warn you to add $130 a day for your time in detention, your flight home and two extra tickets for the kind security personnel to accompany you there. Oh and don’t forget to add 10% gst to that.

• With the senate in a wash of blue, the sale of Telstra has been zipped through without debate. As for cowardly, cowardly custard Joyce. Did anyone think they could really trust a National MP to save the day?

• Mark Lathan has spat the dummy and written a book. The teaser in the press today promises lots of anti-Labour ranting (strangely, to date, Mark is still a paid up member of the party but I’d be guessing expulsion is just around the corner at this rate), quite a bit on how Kim really isn’t a nice man after all and what else? Who the hell cares? Get over it Mark.

• Something involving some blokes, bats and a ball has made some people in England very happy this week. Some others in Australia share the jubilation – SBS is back to normal programming.


A massage this afternoon. A sauna on the weekend. The joy of cooked versus raw vegetables tonight. Life aint too tough really.

Monday, September 12, 2005

"what do we want? Democracy! When do we want it? Now!"

The powers that be in Australia are now flexing their muscles with the new anti-terrorism legislation. Our first political prisoner from foreign shores is strangely not a member of any fundamentalist sect, a mercenary or someone who appears to be anti-democracy. Scott Parkin, from Texas, is currently being held in detention due to the Department of Immigration revoking his tourist visa on the grounds that he is now deemed a threat to this country. Scott Parkin is a peace activist. His crime? Being anti the war in Iraq.

According to Aljazeera Parkin came to the notice of our secret service, protesting against Halliburton at the annual Forbes Global CEO Conference at the Sydney Opera House in August. Last week the spooks paid him a visit and when he refused to speak to them, was promptly detained pending being deported.

Protesting against war profiteers is now considered a threat to national security.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

spam

Yup the spam monster keeps biting me on the bum...so apologies for the hassle but word verification in comments is on for now.

How the West has really changed since September 11

It’s the 4th anniversary of the day when the US experienced an attack on its mainland. Back then I wondered if it was the end of the world as I knew it. I spent a few days looking at how tall the buildings were whenever I walked to work and I began to feel uncomfortable with the sound of a low flying plane overhead. I still do.

My fears were not of this new phase of terrorism but of the possible retaliation of the worlds biggest superpower. I had lived with bombs, or the threat of them in London in the 80’s. Over even a couple months I had narrowly missed explosions in Oxford St, Paris and Belfast (I spent only a few hours in that city, some of it on a bus but most of it in a railway station that was bombed the following week). Hardly a war zone, but neither is the US.

Expert opinions are divided on whether our world has really changed since then. In this debate I see a notable lack of commentary from the citizens of the Middle East. Our own little Johny has his piece of propaganda in The Age today. He talks of working behind shatterproof glass, being bonded in tragedy with other nations and the pride of being part of bringing democracy to East Timor, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Not everyone sees this brave new world as any greater blips on the horizon than say, the Cold War. Michael Elliott, in Time Magazine believes many current issues on the economic agenda are shaping their country more profoundly. What interests me equally is his analysis on how the tragedy 4 years ago affected the individual. He points out that churches were packed to the rafters on September 16th, but now they struggle as much as they had previously to fill the pews.

This brings me to what I believe has really changed since the tall buildings fell down. Knitting. Yes, an initial response to the time of uncertainty was a return to hearth and home. Meals at home surrounded by friends and family (didn’t last), home decorating (see what happened to Martha) but knitting, that took off in a big way and seems to have stayed.

Whenever I walk into the delicious Artisan Bookshop in Fitzroy, its not the glossy art books that beckon, it’s a beauty down the back always waiting for me in craft.







“Unexpected Knitting”. What, knitting nude on the tram? Knitting in parliament? Men in hard hats on building sites in big machinery knitting? I don’t know, but I blame September 11 for it.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

saying it all with flickr

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

"let them eat cake"

The enlightened Bush family are at it again. Like mother/like son...

Astrodome victims 'underprivileged anyway'

Washington
September 7, 2005 - 1:32PM

Hurricane Katrina victims in Houston, Texas, were "underprivileged anyway" and life in the Astrodome sports arena is "working very well for them," former first lady Barbara Bush said.


The comments by the mother of President George W Bush have fueled the ire of some Americans, who see the Bush family as out-of-touch patricians.


"Almost everyone I've talked to says 'we're going to move to Houston,"' Bush said in a radio interview after visiting evacuees at the Astrodome with her husband, former president George Bush.


"What I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality," she said.


"And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this - this is working very well for them."


Her comments aired late on Monday on Marketplace, an American Public Radio show broadcast nationwide.


They triggered a flood of negative messages on the Huffington Post, a popular left-leaning blog.


"Cold hearted witch," read one of the more polite comments, signed by IowaDem.


"No wonder her son remained on vacation, playing guitar and eating cake instead of seeing that aid and rescue operations were well-managed."


Another writer found the comments hard to believe. "Did she really say that?" wrote 'Stephen.' "My God! What or who have we become?"


- AFP

back from beyond

Back from the land of the wrong white crowd, which is currently in election mode. Incumbent Labour PM, Helen Clark, is being challenged by another bland bloke from the National party, Don Brash.

From what I could see the conservatives are using the same line that the Libs successfully employed in Australia last time – playing on issues like tax and encouraging individual greed over the general wellbeing of the wider community. With MMP (a type of proportional representation) minor parties are fighting for their piece of the pie. There is the right wing ACT, which seems to be campaigning on a ‘zero tolerance’ platform and the Greens, who are angling to form an alliance with Labour if they are returned. The outcome could be interesting.

The country is a flood with billboards spruiking the various parties and candidates. National has a series of striking red/blue ones putting Clark and Brash head to head on various of issues. I found one that didn’t go through central intelligence, in a Wellington café.




(Clarke: He is disrespectful to women)
(Brash: Fuksakes! How was I supposed to know she was a woman?!)*

* the word on the street is that the PM is a lesbian, which in a parliament of Rastafarians and transsexuals, is hardly an election issue.
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