Tuesday, December 28, 2010
A short collection of clips from the movie about the government lies the mainstream media pumps out, decade in and decade out, to mindwash people into believing war is not only, repeatedly, necessary, but utterly patriotic :
'The War You Don't See' doesn't have an Australian cinema or TV airing release date, which seems strange. Surely the million or so Australians who marched against the War On Iraq in 2003 would be exactly the kind of audience who'd want to see a movie like this.
Plus the millions more who have since learned the truth of the Australian government & Murdoch media lies, myths and deceptions about the Iraq & Afghanistan wars over the past seven years.
Friday, December 24, 2010
Very interesting. Seemingly out of the blue, but long overdue :
Check the incredible growth of Australia's six (official) intelligence agencies since September 11, 2001 :
The ballooning powers and funding of Australia's spy agencies will be interrogated for the first time in six years, with the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, announcing an independent review of their role."The review will ensure Australia continues to have a well-coordinated, appropriately resourced and adaptable intelligence system that supports our national interests," Ms Gillard said.
...ASIO has undergone a 535 per cent increase to its funding since 2001...its budget appropriations have grown from $69 million to over half a billion annually since 2001.
The Full Story Is Here
...ASIS and ONA have experienced growth rates of, respectively, 344 per cent and 443 per cent.
Budget cutbacks are obviously on the cards. The intelligence agencies have to prove, presumably, they are vital, useful and cannot afford to have their budgets and staff numbers cut. But how will they go about convincing the Gillard government?
One to watch.
Friday, December 17, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
UPDATE : Julian Assange has been freed on bail, but with some incredibly restrictive conditions :
£200,000 in security, surety from two people, a curfew, daily reporting to police and surrender of his passport.Good round up today's events in London, and background on the charges Assange still faces here.
UPDATE : Correction. Julian Assange has not been freed on bail. He has been returned to solitary confinement at Wandsworth Prison while British and Swedish prosecutors plot to keep him behind bars until the extradition hearing scheduled for February.
Julian Assange is probably the most famous man in the world right now. Surely the most famous journalist. And isn't it good to see someone reaching such a level of prominence for speaking the truth and trying to educate the public, instead of only getting so much media attention because of some sex scandal...oh, right.
Assange has had his life and his son's life threatened. American politicians have called for his execution. He has been accused of being a terrorist. Incredibly, a new term has entered the vocabulary of some politicians and media commentators. "Information terrorism." Assange is an InfoTerrorist. Think about that for a moment.
Distributing Truth Is Now Terrorism.
Assange, at the time of this posting, is in a London court to find out if he will be granted bail, after turning himself into police for questioning over charges he faces in Sweden for "sex by surprise." He has offered to wear an ankle monitoring device, and bail sureties numbering in the tens of thousands of pounds have been offered by journalist John Pilger and documentary maker Michael Moore.
It's interesting that the hammer really came down on Assange within hours of his announcement that he had documents exposing corruption in one of the United States' biggest banks and he was preparing its New Year release.
If he is set free today, Assange will be straight back into preparing that release.
Julian Assange's mum flew to London to see her son. She was refused entry to Wandsworth prison and offered only a 10 minute phone call instead.
The Sunshine Coast Daily has a reporter 'embedded' with Julian Assange's mum in London, while her son faces court, and probable further, suspicious, detention. Assange used the phone call with his mother to issue a statement to supporters :
“My convictions are unfaltering. I remain true to the ideals I have always expressed.’Assange said his cell was under 24 CCTV monitoring due to fears of an assassination attempt.
“These circumstances shall not shake them. If anything, this process has increased my determination that they are true and correct.
“We now know that Visa, Mastercard and Paypal are instruments of US foreign policy. It’s not something we knew before.
“I am calling on the world to protect my work and my people from these illegal and immoral acts.”
David Frost interviews Assange's lawyer, who warns the United States may be preparing a grand jury investigation, and may seek to extradite him to the US :
Michael Moore :
WikiLeaks exists, in part, because the mainstream media has failed to live up to its responsibility. The corporate owners have decimated newsrooms, making it impossible for good journalists to do their job. There's no time or money anymore for investigative journalism. Simply put, investors don't want those stories exposed. They like their secrets kept ... as secrets.Fellow Australian journalist John Pilger :
"That mindset that only authority can really determine the 'truth' on the news, that's a form of embedding that really now has to change."There's no question about the pressure on it to change coming from the internet and coming from WikiLeaks -- it will change.
"Authority has its place, but the skepticism about authority must be ingrained in people."
This is a letter to Prime Minister Julia Gillard, prepared by The Walkleys Foundation, and signed by dozens of prominent journalists, radio news producers and newspaper editors :
Dear Prime Minister,
STATEMENT FROM AUSTRALIAN NEWSPAPER EDITORS, TELEVISION AND RADIO DIRECTORS AND ONLINE MEDIA EDITORS
The leaking of 250,000 confidential American diplomatic cables is the most astonishing leak of official information in recent history, and its full implications are yet to emerge. But some things are clear. In essence, WikiLeaks, an organisation that aims to expose official secrets, is doing what the media have always done: bringing to light material that governments would prefer to keep secret.
In this case, WikiLeaks, founded by Australian Julian Assange, worked with five major newspapers around the world, which published and analysed the embassy cables. Diplomatic correspondence relating to Australia has begun to be published here.
The volume of the leaks is unprecedented, yet the leaking and publication of diplomatic correspondence is not new. We, as editors and news directors of major media organisations, believe the reaction of the US and Australian governments to date has been deeply troubling. We will strongly resist any attempts to make the publication of these or similar documents illegal. Any such action would impact not only on WikiLeaks, but every media organisation in the world that aims to inform the public about decisions made on their behalf. WikiLeaks, just four years old, is part of the media and deserves our support.
Already, the chairman of the US Senate homeland security committee, Joe Lieberman, is suggesting The New York Times should face investigation for publishing some of the documents. The newspaper told its readers that it had ‘‘taken care to exclude, in its articles and in supplementary material, in print and online, information that would endanger confidential informants or compromise national security.’’ Such an approach is responsible — we do not support the publication of material that threatens national security or anything which would put individual lives in danger. Those judgements are never easy, but there has been no evidence to date that the WikiLeaks material has done either.
There is no evidence, either, that Julian Assange and WikiLeaks have broken any Australian law. The Australian government is investigating whether Mr Assange has committed an offence, and the Prime Minister has condemned WikiLeaks’ actions as ‘‘illegal’’. So far, it has been able to point to no Australian law that has been breached.
To prosecute a media organisation for publishing a leak would be unprecedented in the US, breaching the First Amendment protecting a free press. In Australia, it would seriously curtail Australian media organisations reporting on subjects the government decides are against its interests.
WikiLeaks has no doubt made errors. But many of its revelations have been significant. It has given citizens an insight into US thinking about some of the most complex foreign policy issues of our age, including North Korea, Iran and China.
It is the media’s duty to responsibly report such material if it comes into their possession. To aggressively attempt to shut WikiLeaks down, to threaten to prosecute those who publish official leaks, and to pressure companies to cease doing commercial business with WikiLeaks, is a serious threat to democracy, which relies on a free and fearless press.
See the full list of who signed the letter here.Finally, here's some interesting thoughts from Julian Assange on privacy, in 1994 :
''Privacy is relative. 'We run perhaps the most private multi-user computer system in the country. Nearly every piece of information can be obtained, depending on how many resources and/or time you want to expend obtaining it. I could monitor your keystrokes, intercept your phone and bug your residence. If I could be bothered.
''As one who's has [sic] one's life monitored pretty closely, you quickly come to the realisation that trying to achieve complete privacy is impossible, and the best you can hope for is damage control and risk minimisation.''
The Guardian has one of the best daily blogs on Wikileaks-related news. Hopefully the focus will soon shift back to the important, history redefining revelations of the diplomatic cables themselves, and away from Julian Assange.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
The grindingly predictable media gatekeepers will insist yesterday's 1pm protest was full of "the usual instacrowd" aging hippies, ferals and anarchists, but that's what they have to tell their mindwashed readers, because the truth is so much harder to absorb.
If anything, "the usual crowd" was in the tiniest minority.
Longhaired hippies and black bloc rioters were all but impossible to find.
Instead, hundreds of young people who work in city offices and businesses gave up their lunch breaks to attend. Hundreds more were middle-aged, or elderly, Australians from the inner city, from the outer western suburbs and from wealthy enclaves like Hunters Hill.
Throughout the crowd there were echoes of the same conversations. "How can they do this to him? Who did he kill?", "Look how they react when we find out what they're really saying to each other. They start jailing people!", "they call him a terrorist for exposing unvarnished truths", "this feels like something big", "Wikileaks will change history, it already has" and my favourite, "How old is too old to become a hacker?"
Julian Assange said the release of more than 250,000 classified US embassy cables will change history, maybe even the world as know it. So far, only about 1000 cables have been released, and clearly some major changes are already underway.
Like the people who gathered at Town Hall, like those who marched in Brisbane and Melbourne, and like the Gillard government, nobody knows yet just how sweeping, how historical, how paradigm-shifting these changes will actually be.
And right now, that unknowable short and long-term fallout is making the Gillard government, and those in the corporate sector with some very nasty secrets they wish to keep hidden, very, very nervous indeed.
And the cables keep coming.
I'll try to find some time next week to dive into the early history of Julian Assange's 'look-see' hacking adventures. It's fascinating stuff.
Photos from today's rally at Town Hall.
Okay, there was one guy in the crowd who you could call unusual, or something of a freak if you had to be so boring. And the man in the middle of the below image just spotted him.
His name is Glen, and he's wearing a Celtic war bonnet.
He believes the true war for control of the internet and digital freedom of speech has now begun.
Photos by Darryl Mason
Saturday, December 04, 2010
Australian journalist & publisher Julian Assange :
"I am an Australian citizen and I miss my country a great deal. However, during the last weeks the Australian prime minister, Julia Gillard, and the attorney general, Robert McClelland, have made it clear that not only is my return is impossible but that they are actively working to assist the United States government in its attacks on myself and our people. This brings into question what does it mean to be an Australian citizen - does that mean anything at all? Or are we all to be treated like David Hicks at the first possible opportunity merely so that Australian politicians and diplomats can be invited to the best US embassy cocktail parties."Prime Minister Julia Gillard :
Attorney General Robert McClelland :
"(The Australian Federal Police) are assessing the implications for us, so we will work through that.""I absolutely condemn the placement of this information on the WikiLeaks website - it's a grossly irresponsible thing to do and an illegal thing to do."
"The release of this information could prejudice the safety of people referred to in the documentation and, indeed, could be damaging to the national security interests of the United States and its allies including Australia.Most law commentators appear to agree that there is nothing the AFP could nab Assange for, no matter how much Julia Gillard would like them to.
"A whole of government taskforce had been commissioned to see what action could be taken to reduce any adverse impact arising from the leaks.
"There has previously been a specific defence taskforce looking at defence documentation. But obviously the documentations relate to issues broader than simply our defence strategy."
The first of the big #CableGate releases related to Australia (almost 1000 cables) hits in late January, and it's blindingly obvious some members of the current and former governments, and their staffers, are shitting themselves at what may hit the headlines.
Something on the Balibo 5 inquiry, plenty on Israel's frauding of Australian passports and the expelling of the Israeli ambassador, some not so nice opinions on current and former government ministers and cables written by US diplomats, APEC 2007 and the viability of John Howard's prime ministership, and some eye-opening revelations about the approx. five month long window between when John Howard told the White House he had committed Australian troops to fight the Iraq War, and when he told the Australian people.
That's my wishlist anyway, but looking at the clusters of cables around certain dates, there's a good chance all the above will get a mention, some more heavily discussed and detailed, than others.
"Information terrorism" "infoterror" "infoterrorists", three terms I've seen in use, mostly in comments to mainstream media blog sites.
Strange days indeed.
Friday, November 26, 2010
A true legend of the body-breaking behind the scenes world of the Australian rock industry died early Friday morning in Sydney.
His name was Pat Pickett, a veteran roadie, sound tech, lighting tech, inspiring verbal historian of the Australian rock legends he counted as old friends, and (often involuntary) surrogate on the road father to thousands of young, straight from their hometown, musicians and road crew, over the past four decades.
He didn't teach bands to do the best show they could, he told them they had no other choice. If they didn't perform, if they didn't do it for real, if they didn't mean it, the audience would know, and the audience would kill them. Two Australian bands that heeded his advice, gained from decades of seeing, and hearing, what audiences liked, what got them off, are The Hard-Ons and The Screaming Jets. There are dozens of others.
If you've had those periods of your life where you've gone and watched heaps of live rock, then you would have seen Pat Pickett behind the sound desk, or working side of stage. He may have even told you to get the fuck off that sound desk cable you were unknowingly standing on.
This is Pat Pickett a few years ago, holding a postcard from 1977 that his friend Bon Scott sent back from England.
Pat went on the road in the early 1970s, and barely left it.
He saw many friends ground down and spat out by the music industry, crushed under ridiculous demands, sapped of inspiration and creativity from having to play five or six nights a week, for months, years on end, bodies shattered by the demands of the road, 5000 late nights, schedules that only young people can keep.
Pat must have driven trucks full of roadcases, vans full of musos, the equivalent of two or three times to The Moon and back, along every highway, road or spine-rattling dirt track that leads to an arena or a crumbling pub across this massive land.
Pat came back from yet another year on the road a few weeks ago, in time to find out how sick he really was, but with not enough time left to do anything about it.
Now he's gone.
Pat Pickett on the early days of AC/DC :
Angus and Malcolm wouldnt stop playin if they broke a string and it was great cause they were so small i could stand behind them and change it while they were playin. A lot of people don't believe it but its true.He had so many stories like that. So many tales of life on the road, onstage, backstage. Some were hard to believe because he told them so well, because they were so perfect, the way rock n' roll stories were supposed to be, instead of the dreary PR-mutated droning of today.
When I first met Pat, I used to make notes during gigs I was reviewing for Juke or On The Street. This pissed him off. After the 5th or 6th time he saw me doing this, he walked over, grabbed the notebook, threw it away. "You're missing the fucking show. You don't have to write everything down to remember it. If you don't remember it when you get home, it's not important."
He was right. The time to start reviewing the gig was a few seconds after you got home, with enough of whatever had made you tingle left to stay awake and get it all down.
There probably isn't an Australian band, who've done the hard slog of years in pubs & clubs, who doesn't have a Pat Pickett story to tell. More than a few would cause a riot in the media today, if journalists dared to publish them, which they probably wouldn't anyway.
Pat's life was a life lived hard. But I lost count of the number of times I saw Pat taking the time to talk to people who really needed someone to talk to in the post-midnight hours when the troubled can never sleep. He counseled so many, over beers, on long truck drives, or during those endless hours waiting, at gigs, at hotels, at airports, at truck stops, the waiting that makes up most of the time spent on the road.
A lot of fucked up kids wind up drawn to rock music, some onto the stage, some into road crews, some only ever in the crowd, and Pat Pickett talked to them all when others had no time to. They seemed drawn to him. He was no Mother Theresa, but he did his bit in saving lives, of that I've no doubt, because in the years since I first met him, I've heard plenty tell me how he told them to snap out of their bullshit headspace; do the job they were paid to do; go back home where they belonged; get away from abusive parents or partners, or just to simply lay off the booze, or drugs, because he could see they were taking it too far and he didn't them winding up dead like his old mate Bon.
You were one of the good guys, Pat.
The Australian corner of that bar over there is getting damn crowded these days.
Monday, November 08, 2010
News.com.au has the exclusive on the sorry state of Liberal Party finances :
But the Daily Telegraph must have decided "last $3 million" wasn't dramatic enough, so they improved it :
It's no great drama. Liberal Party leader Tony Abbott can't pull the corporate donors like...well, let's just say Malcolm Turnbull, and when Tony Abbott is replaced as leader by... well, let's just say Malcolm Turnbull, the corporate donors will return in force.
LO : There's a lot of talk about a lack of a vision in Labor....Does Labor have a vision? And if you do have, can you tell us what the vision is in words other than "moving forward"?Election campaign?
JG : I do have a vision and of course I will be laying that out increasingly as prime minister for the Australian people. My vision is about a country with a strong economy and opportunities for all Australians. We will be laying out our election campaign and the content of that.
LO : So Labor doesn't lack a soul? Does it lack a core?
JG : No it does not, Laurie.
Here was a Labor government which had breasted the world financial crisis better than almost any other developed state. Here was an administration facing up to the realities of Australia's environmental situation, the constraints represented by the country's limited water supplies and agricultural land, and its vulnerability to fire, flood, drought and other hazards made worse by global warming. Here was a leadership with plans to impose more realistic taxes on the extractive industries that control the nation's most important assets. Here was a government, in other words, ready to discard the myth of "Big Australia", of a nation that could be pumped up to super-size by immigration and the breakneck exploitation of its mineral resources, and settle for a more modest vision of the future. And this reining-in carried with it the possibility of attending more effectively to the social inequality that had been increasing in Australia in recent years.
In all this it had the broad backing of most of the electorate. So how did this translate into a performance at the polls so dismal that the Australian Labor party is either headed for opposition, or, if it stays in power, will have only a tiny majority provided by a handful of independent MPs and one Green? The answer is a cautionary tale involving the power of Australia's mining and energy industries, the loss of nerve in the face of that power by two Labor leaders in succession, and the determination of the leader of the opposition Liberal National party.
Sunday, November 07, 2010
Bird Hunted To Near Extinction Due To Infuriating 'Fuck You' Call
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
FTW : The Movie is coming to DVD and torrents in November, 2010.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Photo by Gary Ramage, The Australian
Still one of the greatest scenes in cinema.
UPDATE : Zod, or BobCat as he's more commonly known on Twitter, has made the front page of the New York Times.
A rare treat for any Australian politician. It was definitely the hat that won over the photo editor.
Researching the Australian conservative media campaign to rally support for the Iraq War back in 2002 - for onscreen quotes and the Notes section of the coming FTW : The Movie DVD and download - it's mind-boggling how many pro-war campaigners actively played down the chances of Iraq erupting into any kind of post-invasion chaos. Even more noticeably, back in 2002, pro-war media campaigners repeatedly, vehemently, ridiculed claims that more than 100,000 troops would be needed to fight the war, or that it would cost more than a few dozen billion dollars in total.
In playing down the real risks of starting a war in Iraq, some pro-war campaigners in the media said 50,000 troops would be enough, some said 20,000, but there was only one who said the War On Iraq would require less than 100 American troops.
The Daily Telegraph's Tim Blair :
John Hawkins: If and when do you see the United States hitting Iraq? How do you think it'll work out?
Tim Blair: It all depends on Iraq’s fearsome Elite Republican Guard. Why, those feisty desert warriors could hold out for minutes. Dozens of US troops will be required. Perhaps they’ll even need their weapons...Wouldn’t expect it to last long once it happens.
When asked to predict a casualty count for the invasion, Blair predicted :
"Below 50."The Republican Guard began killing American soldiers with car bombs and IEDs the day Coalition of the Willing troops entered Baghdad. Civilians, trained by Saddam Hussein through TV broadcasts in the construction of improvised weapons and explosives, joined in the fighting.
Within twelve days of President Bush announcing the start of the illegal bombing, invasion and occupation of Iraq, more than 60 American soldiers had been killed and more than 200 wounded.
Tim Blair joins the FTW Dishonour Roll.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Outrageous. ABC1 cut short Superfreak by Rick James on Rage for some election announcement thingy.
How different would the asylum seeker debate be if boats filled with economic refugees from the UK & US turned up?
If you want Australians to support boat people, you have to turn it into a sport. Give the boats numbers and get them to race here
Pauline Hanson's mid-90s beliefs and policies on immigrants have now been raided by both Liberal & Labor prime ministers.
Australia has 7.5 million square kilometres & 22 million people. 3 people per square k. We're not overcrowded, we're fucking barren
Abbott costing plan to blast asylum seekers into space for "off world processing."
I sure hope in the future we never have to flee Australia in boats for any reason. How welcome would we be as refugees in Indonesia?
For non-Aust. readers, here's our new PM @JuliaGillard preparing to snog an elderly member of the electorate.http://tinyurl.com/25xtysy
@JuliaGillard Moving Forward Together? Together : Moving Forward? Or how about Forward We Move Together With Working Families?
Joe Hockey : " I don't know what Labor stands for." Same thing the Liberals stand for - keeping The Greens from shattering 2 party system.
"Moving Forward" from what? Moving Forward from the coup
I want to vote for a party moving diagonally.
Is @JuliaGillard really lifting political slogans from The Simpsons? http://tinyurl.com/2fzglrv
What election? 4 out of 6 Most Popular stories of the week on ABC News online are psychic octopus related http://tinyurl.com/23zhkcq
is anyone going to have one single fucking inspiring thing to say in this whole fucking election?
Bob Brown calls for end to Labor Vs Liberal vicious, bitter. election advertising, promoting "nasty negativism". Hear Hear.
Apparently, some evangelists think atheists, like @JuliaGillard, are satanists in disguise. Perfect cover.
@JuliaGillard announcing Australian austerity measures : "clean and green, but very very lean."
@JuliaGillard announces "this requires ongoing discipline." Mmm, discipline.
It doesn't seem to matter whether you vote Liberal or Labor, either way the mining industry's candidate becomes PM
A shame the Liberals couldn't use The Angels 'Stand Up' as their theme tune as well as their mantra http://tinyurl.com/25bydt5
From The Angels' Stand Up: "promises are easy, you swallow every word, be sure of who u serve."
Can't we just replace nearly all politicians by some mix of Google Wave & social networking? At least until the robots are ready to govern?
Two polls, one front page, utter cognitive dissonance http://tinyurl.com/353sbnp #ausvotes
Yes, it's true @JuliaGillard & @TonyAbbottMHR, we are more interested in Tambo's adventures than your campaigns http://tinyurl.com/3xz8cw9
If Citizens' Assemblies decided policy, we wouldn't have gone to war on Iraq, cannabis would be legal & everybody would have free iPads.
So now the minimum price for a 20 year old 2nd hand car is $2000? That'll keep P-platers off the roads. The poor ones anyway
On the plus side, the FedElection2010 campaign does seem to be slowing down time.
Anti-Gillard leaks from inside federal Labor should be referred to as REDs, (Ruddevised Explosive Devices)
Surreal. Reporters pepper @JuliaGillard with questions about what it's like to be peppered with questions about #Ruddileaks
Did @JuliaGillard make the decision to dump campaign plans and "Go For It" after hundreds of Twitter messages telling her to cut the shit?
@JuliaGillard promises to make sure "the real Julia is on display." Will this Real Julia also refer to herself in the third person?
Majority of Australians opposed to Afghanistan War. @SenatorBobBrown says we need a debate on it. No media reported this today.
A Philip K Dick election. What manufactured reality are we in now? Another fake? Is this the real Julia? Are u real? Am I?
Seriously, if Labor don't know how pissed off people still are about the coup, they don't deserve to win
Craig Emerson is dying on Q & A like a kitten juggler at a PETA Christmas party.
Christian lobby groups panicking that environment-minded Christians are drifting off to hang out with atheist Greens. Interesting.
A shocking international headline for this federal election. From the UK Independent : "Children found starving in rural Australia" http://ind.pn/cpVvkX
The Liberals think a few thousand asylum seekers is a more important issue than national broadband. Priority/reality check needed.
Co-conspirator of illegal war that killed more than 200,000 wanders freely thru Australian communities during campaign http://tinyurl.com/28mgvpz
So far in @JuliaGillard's launch speech, the Mr Rabbits have outnumbered the Mr Abbotts 2 to 1
Even Westies who moved away decades ago are secretly pleased so much of election appears to be hanging on Westie opinion
New Liberals slogan : 'Let's Wait And See What Happens Tomorrow, Okay?'
The fact that carers get so little for looking after the elderly & new mothers will get so much tells you a lot about our priorities
Welfare for the poor? Bad. Welfare for the rich? Good. Think Liberal.
"Mr Rabbit, we got another boat here, whaddauwannado?" "How many Muslims on board?" "About 40." "Turn em round."
@SenatorBobBrown's checklist of issues undebated, so far, revealed how thin & duplicate campaigns of Gillard & Abbott have been.
Gillard can live with 'Ranga', but can Tony Abbott handle 'The Rabbit'?
Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Governor General John Howard. US Ambassador Alexander Downer. The Horror.
Darryl Mason On Twitter
Thursday, August 19, 2010
By Darryl Mason
Oh, looks like I missed most of it.
Anyway, I have no idea why the mainstream media is dying, or why the Federal Election 2010 appears to revolve almost solely around trivialities. It's a complete mystery. Really, it is.
From the Sydney Morning Herald :
Get used to saying it, Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
And get used to saying this, too : Governor General John Howard.
Or will it be US ambassador John Howard?
That Greens-Liberal coalition I predicted for 2016 is about to move forward a few years, if Tony Abbott doesn't win, that is, and Malcolm Turnbull snatches back the Liberal Party leadership (bringing back to the party with him all the vital, big cheque writing donors who bailed), probably before Christmas.
Today should be a very interesting day for The Greens.
Both the Labor and Liberal parties have only 24 hours to come up with something horrifying enough about The Greens to push down their share of the vote on Saturday, and deny them the balance of power. I'm sure the Murdoch media will help the Labor and Liberal parties to come up with something to really fuck them over.
Unless Greens leader Bob Brown does the damage himself, by making the mistake of injecting gay heroin into a Christian child during a press conference, which, if Piers Akerman's judgement on The Greens can be trusted, just might still be a possibility.
Monday, August 16, 2010
By Darryl Mason
The Daily Telegraph ramps up the mockery of opposition leader Tony Abbott as the last week of the 2010 Federal Election campaign begins.
Ex-Australian Rupert Murdoch's Sunday tabloids, reaching more than one million Australians, carried front pages and lead editorials endorsing coup prime minister Julia Gillard to be officially elected PM this Saturday.
From The Australian's Media Diary :
Tony Abbott doesn't back a carbon tax, Julia Gillard, like Rupert Murdoch, does.
Australia’s top-selling newspapers yesterday went for Julia Gillard, with Sydney’s Sunday Telegraph (circulation: 630,000) saying every government since 1931 has been given a second chance, so why shouldn’t the ALP get one, too? Melbourne’s Sunday Herald Sun (circulation: 597,000) said “the best interests of Australians are served by the re-election of Labor”.
It's going to be an ugly week for Abbott in most of the Murdoch tabloids.
Unless, of course, Tony Abbott agrees, by Thursday, that a carbon tax "of some kind" may be necessary, after all.
UPDATE, August 18 : Both Tony Abbott and Julia Gillard have denied they plan to introduce a carbon tax in their first term. I'll wait and see on this one, but it's rare that big business doesn't get what it wants. The pressure on Gillard and Abbott to make a carbon tax part of their first term government agenda is not simply localised corporate pressure from those who stand to gain the most from a CT, it is also coming from international banking and investment institutions.
I'll be both pleased and, frankly, amazed if Australia doesn't have a carbon tax by 2013, regardless of who wins on Saturday.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Nine surreal minutes of 24 hour live TV news, as a reporter reports on a reporter reporting. Some minor action at 7:02 when Mark Latham confronts Tony Abbott about his role in the jailing of former One Nation leader Pauline Hanson :
And speaking of surreal, there is this frantically OTT election promo from Channel 9 :
I swear the people who put these together have trawled through old pisstakes of exactly this kind of promo on Frontline and CNNN and thought, 'Fuck irony, this stuff is Gold.'
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Finishing the FTW (Fuck The War) movie is why it's been tomblike around here lately. The above clip is from one of the quieter moments in the movie, set during the 2003 protests against the War On Iraq, when the anti-war activist played by Gleeson goes to the pub for a beer while he waits for his kidnap victim, tied to a chair in his cellar, to recover consciousness.
Right now I'm working out how best to make use of interviews with protesters shot during a string of early 2003 marches. It's amazing how many people, including school students, at those protests made more accurate predictions about the chaos, terrorism and mass death that would unfold in Iraq than than our leaders, or our leading commentators.
FTW will be released on DVD and digital download in late October.
The ad was, however, seen by more than 1.6 million viewers on Gruen Nation last night, will be seen by a hundred thousand more in repeats and will probably clock up another 20-50,000 views on YouTube between now and election day.
Considering The Greens didn't pay for the production of the ad, or come up with the slogan, or pay the equivalent of getting such an ad screened on commercial networks to more than a million and a half Australians in prime time, the ABC did The Greens one hell of a huge favour.
Compared to 'Stand Up For Real Action' and 'Moving Australia Forward', the gifted to The Greens slogan 'If You Think, Vote Greens' is election pitch poetry.
Sunday, August 01, 2010
Pro-reality ABC News would have you believe this never actually happened :
The 'story' :
Did humans live at the same time as dinosaurs?
The answer is of course no....
Yet another eye-widening example of the ABC's relentless pro-science bias.
...but about a third of Australians got it wrong in a recent survey.
About 6 million Australians believe early humans hung out with dinosaurs. And the problem is?
If my reading of taxpayer funded religious school literature has taught me anything, it is that it's no up to the people who think Jesus Rode Dinosaurs to prove that he actually did, it's up to scientists to prove overwhelmingly that he did not.
The survey results are being used to highlight what is being described as a disturbing ignorance about science.
Dr Cathy Foley, president of the Australian Scientific and Technological Societies, says Australians have a long way to go before having good scientific literacy."Unfortunately 30 per cent of Australians think.... dinosaurs and humans were alive at the same time, for example, which is probably something I guess worries us."
Also, why isn't anyone making Jesus On A Dinosaur toys?
Friday, July 30, 2010
"...the things you had to do to go through the motions of the standard political contest....I hate the idea of war. I'm not a fan of the military, and many of the people in it.
"...I had to crap on a bit (praising the troops), get that over. Everyone does it. But if you came out and said 'I don't really think much of the troops', you'd end up with no seats and no votes. So that's the nature of politics.
"Those things don't rest easy with me now. I mean, you've got to be comfortable with yourself, first and foremost.
"...it is very hard for politicians in the environment where....you've got to toe the party line, you got to toe a lot of national emotional line, and if you don't necessarily agree with that, then go get another job, and that's what I did."
Mark Latham writing in the Australian Financial Review, August 20, 2009 (not online) :
Over the years I have received tender messages from (current prime minister Julia) Gillard saying how much she misses me in Canberra. One of them concerned her study tour of the US, sponsored by the American government in 2006 -- or to use her moniker -- "a CIA re-education course". She asked me to "stand by for emails explaining George Bush is a great statesman, torture is justified in many circumstances and those Iraqi insurgents should just get over it".
She promised "to catch up when I'm back from the US and I'll show you my CIA-issued ankle-holster". I never got to see her ankles or her holster, but I will say this: you have to hand it to those guys in Washington, they have a way of making lefties like Gillard change their minds on foreign policy. Within the space of two years, they converted her from a highly cynical critic of all matters American into yet another political sycophant.
The poor woman has been brainwashed.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Two of the most recent attack ads of the Federal Election 2010 :
Meh. Try Harder.
The Liberal Party decide to go The Big Fear on the carbon tax :
Tony Abbott can rage against the Carbon Tax all he wants, and he will, but he too will introduce a Carbon Tax in his first term as prime minister, just as John Howard found a way to undo his promise to Never Ever install a GST. By 2015, a carbon tax will be the global currency, and if you don't have one, you will be shut out of the global carbon economy.
The greenies might want a carbon tax because they faithfully believe it will save the world, but it is the world's richest banks, and banking families, who are already positioned to skim tens of billions from this new global currency.
That's why a Carbon Tax will become a reality, not because some protesters chain themselves to coal loaders,, but because some of the world's, and Australia's, wealthiest families want it to be so.
Tony Abbott knows that as surely as Julia Gillard does.
If only our politicians were willing to speak such obvious truths, in the face of tabloid hate front pages screaming 'Invasion!'
Yes We Canberra! will likely be the most, or only, entertaining thing about the next four weeks of campaigning, leading to the day Tony Abbott is declared the new prime minister of Australia.
In preparation for a Liberal Party-led new government, Chas takes on the next Australian deputy prime minister, Julie Bishop, in a deathstare cagematch :
After the June coup, The Chaser had to dump a ton of sketches and gags they'd been working on, centred around prime minister Kevin Rudd on the campaign trail. Here's one of the Rudd gags that didn't get the chop :
Friday, July 23, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Today on Andrew Bolt's blog of fevered hate and intolerance, an open, uncensored call to commit acts of terrorism in Australia from a regular commenter :
"...it's always the darkest before dawn, and the people will have the ultimate voice - molotov cocktails into the Parliament Houses. We WILL regain control of the nation."
Let me guess, it slipped by the moderators, eh?
The Herald Sun's and ABC Insider's Andrew Bolt suggested an act of terrorism could have helped then prime minister John Howard win the 2007 election :
"...something might yet turn up that will make us appreciate anew his vast experience and steadiness under fire...if there were to be another terrorist attack...(we could) admire his firmness in handling it."Will he suggest the same for Tony Abbott now?