Staunch defender of freedom and Minister for “DIC” Kevin Andrews lunges for a firm grip on “Roger Migently”‘s gonads
- 1. News and Politics Stuff
- 2. Life and Other Serious Stuff
- 3. The Yartz
- 4. T.S.S
- 5. Mad, Bad, Sad and Glad
The usual superbly diverse collection of blogospherical delights is summarised below under the usual headings. But I thought I would highlight here in the intro a post which is my early favourite for Blog Post of the Year 2007. It’s quite possibly the best piece of passionate, angry polemic I’ve ever read, certainly on a blog. “Roger Migently” is roused to extraordinary heights of eloquence by the bastardry of the recently renamed federal Department of Immigration and Citizenship (“DIC”) and produces a devastating response to a threatening letter from the Department’s lawyers. Do yourself a favour and read it in full. For what it’s worth, my briefly considered generalist lawyer’s evaluation of the threats is that they have no legal substance whatever. This appalling example of government bullying and attempted suppression of political free speech should by rights become a significant story in the mainstream media if the Department continues pursuing “Roger”.
This edition compiled by Cam Riley, Patrick Garson, James Farrell, Amanda Rose, Jason Soon and Ken Parish.
1. News and Politics Stuff
The big political news for this missing link segment is Hicks pleading guilty. Kieren Bennet at Dead Roo asks what it means and comes to the conclusion that the plea legitimises the way the US handled him:
In a disappointing move, David Hicks has plead guilty before a US military tribunal. Whilst I empathize with his desire to get the hell our of Guantanamo, even if it is just into a US military prison, as soon as possible, this is a blow to human rights.
Broadening the theme to America’s wars in general, Tim Dunlop notes that both houses of the US legislature have now passed anti-war bills. While the President will succeed in vetoing them, he will be pursuing his war in the face of clear national opposition, with John Howard as a partner in arrogance.
Ken L at Surfdom argues that the relaxation of severance pay obligations under Workchoices is simply another case of socialising the losses, because it ‘lets employers transfer commercial risk to the welfare system.’
Gary Sauer-Thompson discusses the options for a health regulatory scheme; Abbott wants self-regulation, Co AG has moved to a national registry:
That leaves the professions investigating and adjudicating public complaints against bad practice with little by way of public accountability, even though the history of self-regulation shows the health professions frequently closing ranks against the public so as to protect their own. The Minister, it would seem, has been captured by the AMA, which is resolutely opposed to any regulation of its autonomy or self-regulation by a single regulatory body
What about the states? Health is their area of responsibility and Paytel occurred on the Beattie Government’s watch?
Diogenes’ Lamp looks at the big picture behind the thinking of our alternative government and argues that Kevin Rudd’s broadband policies are guided by the Big Project fallacy. Riffing on foreign policy in this earlier post, he expresses his exasperation with the UN and argues that all ‘free countries’ should leave it.
Modia Minotaur comments on the NSW Liberals’ upcoming power struggle.
Someone named Mark – which can’t possibly be Mark Bahnisch, whom we know to have retired from blogging – has a lively account of ructions in the tragic Queensland parliamentary Liberal Party, with Senator S. Santoro a key protagonist. It’s not too hard to graps the whole thing as long as you’re prepared to read it four times. (Except that I don’t understand why Howard so desperately wants a Goodna bypass. Goodna’s not that bad.)
LP also has some good posts on the art of politics as opposed to the content. Brian Bahnisch examines the manouvering of Government and Opposition as they try to to position themselves in relation to Stern and to each other. It seems a bipartisan spirit is out of the question even when the future of the planet is at stake. And Tigtog wants Australian progressives to adopt the methods, if not the agenda, of the religious right’s Phylis Schafly. Her approach is to develop a set of very concrete questions for candidates for office, to separate the true believers from the weasels. One wonders what would be the progressive counterpart of:
Will you sign a law withdrawing federal court jurisdiction over attempts to banish the Boy Scouts from public schools and public property?
Gary Sauer-Thompson talks about Adelaide’s Festival of Ideas line up, and more practically, how one can successfully get ideas to, uh, festivate…
Counteract Now gives a lightning quick summary of the on-going crisis in Darfur. Content-hungry readers might be over this particular genocide, but lots of people are still dying, and it also highlights the inability of the UN to do anything without the backing of a US government (as I’ve always maintained my many arguments surrounding the UN; it is merely the sum of its parts, and its faults largely the member states own). Will a possible Democrats leadership change the nation’s stance on this? Fingers crossed, if they get in.
And people think only Labour has factional problems. Broken Left Leg highlights an ongoing Liberal stoush (no, not that one), in Victoria, for a change.
2. Life and Other Serious Stuff
It seems to be some sort of ritual of fellowship for members of the mainstream media to land the odd rabbit punch into blogging and the ABC’s Virginia Trioli was the most recent initiate. Tim Blair responds to her here.
In a convincing impersonation of a blogger with passion, Sarah rails against the Brisbane City Council, itemising myriad stupidities.
Gummo Trotsky comes up for air again, continuing his memoir of the 1960s at Greenfields High. (Not its real apparently name. If google is anything to go by, Illinois, Indiana and Massachusetts each has a Greenfield Hights, but not in poor old Victoria.) Bullying was not just prolific, but integral to the system, and the chief practitioner was the Headmaster himself:
A humourless, not very clever man who coasted into his plum job on seniority, operating a pre-fabricated copy of a tradition he didnât understand in a time when it was coming under challenge.
Gianna reports on an experiment with nude self-portraiture. Green texta is her medium. Thus far she has not promised to post the pictures on the blog.
Paul and Cristy at two peas have been having an orgy of quiz-related madness. My favourite is the nerd quiz they did. Proper definition of the nerd/dork/geek divide should be explicated in comments. Also, whatever happened to dweebs?
Photo accompanying the News Online story about research on orgasm frequency in female masturbation. I wonder if they were trying to influence the male rate thereof?
The aptly named (in the circumstances) Simon Jackman has an interesting perspective on reported research showing that single women orgasm more often and easily when masturbating.
Dr Faustus reflects on an ABS publication looking at the operation of Australian criminal courts. Some it is a bit dry and statistical, but this bit piqued my curiosity:
Another interesting finding is that almost twice as many females as males appear in Magistrates courts on theft charges (the only category for which women are more common than men). In higher courts the same differential exists, although the discrepancy isn’t so large. There isn’t any historical data in the report (and I can’t be bothered digging any up myself), but I wonder what is driving this trend.
Why not make insider trading legal?, asks Peter Martin. It’s an argument I’ve read before, including from Troppo’s Jacques Chester. Can’t say I’m (KP) convinced. Why not make doping racehorses legal? Or cheating in uni exams? Both would certainly “clear” the market quickly.
3. The Yartz
In The Rats That Ate Mill Park, Simon Sellars posts a superb photo essay about revhead hoons in Melbourne suburbia and local government inability to deal effectively with them. Highly recommended.
From the So You Don’t Have To Files: Bland Canyon recaps Australia’s Next Top Model and Bevis takes sides in Nine’s daytime TV “royalty” Ready, Steady Cook. Comic blogger Danny eulogises Batman artist Marshall Rogers.
The Happy Antiopodean weighs in on the “unedifying spectacle” of The Australian’s jihad on the state of Australian literature in academe. Alison Croggon finds a prodction of Patrick White’s A Season at Sarsparilla “funny, heart-breaking and wise” but Trevor Cook left at interval. Shaun at LP is please to find the literary zombie genre alive and kicking. Or should that be alive and shambling.
And it is no wonder the zombie genre is a little sparse. Obviously there is not much in telling a tale from a zombieâs point of view. Also, it takes a little imagination to get away from a story that is more than run, hide, kill zombie, rinse hands and repeat. Also, there is visceral, visual impact from seeing hordes of zombies on the shamble that is hard to portray in the written word. But Max Brooks (son of Mel) has put together a remarkable, scary and intriguing addition to the zombie canon called World War Z.
Peter Paul Martin has two comprehensive reviews of offerings at the Melbourne French Film Festival. Did you know some Australian libraries have My Space? pages. No, seriously. They do. A Chaser fan finds the new season starting off stale despite (because of) broadening its base:
My 16 year old sister lyk OMG finks it iz lyk da funniest show EVA n all her frenz at skool watch it. She doesn’t get many political and topical jokes, but Craig is cute.
It’s a real pity Alan Jones doesn’t have a blog as the big pop culture news this week was the semi-self-outing of Anthony Callea. Most of the response was along the lines of The Spin Starts Here:
Later there were chaotic scenes at Callea’s press conference when the sky made the surprise announcement that it was blue, also revealing that the grass was green.
Richard Watts continues with his detailed commentary, now into Day 3 of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival here.
Saint in a Straitjacket links to and comments on a succinctly funny Grauniad summary of Jeffrey Archer’s new book The Gospel of Judas. It should save you forking out for the actual book if you were even momentarily tempted
(troppo sports stadium)
Over at Rank and Vile, there’s an interesting perspective on the more social aspects of the world’s greatest game (no, not Guess Who?). Soccer is – as any fan will tell you, a multi-layered beast, and its emotional development in Australia is heartening to fans. Guido also discusses the poaching of two of Australian soccer’s leading stars (Fred and Vidosic) by overseas clubs.
Shaun Cronin notes the current animosity between failed Super 14 rugby coaches Ewen Mc Kenzie and Eddie Jones on the one hand and Wallabies coack John “Knuckles” connolly. Shaun’s suggestion that the Wallabies appear to have Buckley’s Chance in this year’s World Cup is hard to dispute.
5. Mad, Bad, Sad and Glad
International rather than Auian but a topic the blogosphere has to come to terms with [warning NSFW language]: Death Threats,
I do not want to be part of a culture–the Blogosphere–where this is considered acceptable. Where the price for being a blogger is kevlar-coated skin and daughters who are tough enough to not have their “widdy biddy sensibilities offended” when they see their own mother Photoshopped into nothing more than an objectified sexual orifice, possibly suffocated as part of some sexual fetish. (And of course all coming on the heels of more explicit threats)I do not want to be part of a culture where this is done not by some random person, but by some of the most respected people in the tech blogging world.
Rebecca from SEOmoz comments:
Saying “God, that Kathy Sierra is a rambling b*tch” is your opinion, and she has thick skin, so she can take it. However, threatening actual violence, both sexual and physical, on her, even if you’re not being serious, is a whole different matter. What saddens me the most about this whole situation is that it appears that these spineless, soulless, inconsiderate, offensive assholes have gotten what they wanted. Kathy had to cancel an appearance at the ETech conference.
If the face on Mars isn’t your thing, how about The Hexagon on Saturn? I’m just waiting for someone to find the bump on Uranus (sorry).
Dr Faustus strongly recommends the Onion News Network, a video version of the longstanding American satirical zine which is roughly equivalent to our Chaser mob (though arguably better, at least according to Faustus).
Is it worth risking your life to get one car ahead?, asks Legal Eagle. You know the answer, don’t you?