Archive for the 'politics' Category

29
May
11

My grandad in police pursuit

My grandad used to drive a purple Holden Statesman. When I was a child I remember on trips he would always drive 10 km/hr faster than the highway limit (which I tend to do now). Later is his life though he took to driving at a more leisurely pace. He’d be wearing his brown corduroy hat, Nana would put on an Irish folk cassette, and they would cruise. He was probably conscious now of his slower reflexes, but I always wanted him to hurry up.

Men's Vintage Hats

There’s a funny story regarding his purple Statesman. One day in the pouring rain he was driving back from the west of Melbourne on the Westgate freeway near Southgate. He was cruising in the right lane well below the speed limit. A sedan sped up and closed right behind him. It started flashing its headlights, and as grandad explained later that it looked like it had Christmas tree lights on. He thought someone was playing a prank.

And that’s the way it went for kilometres. My grandad in the fast lane, going slow, in the pouring rain, being pursued by an unmarked police car.

It’s always since been a matter of curiousity to me. If an unmarked police car is trying to pull you over, can you ignore it, and claim later that you didn’t recognise it as being a police car because it was unmarked. I probably can’t use that defence anymore, but I hope somebody tries it for me!

Eventually grandad figured it out and pulled over. The policeman was very frustrated. Tough luck copper! He probably realised he’d pulled over a lovely, old,  yet slightly confused couple, and he’d look more of a tool if he booked them! Go grandad….

23
Dec
08

Net filter

Ars technica says it best:

“So, in summary, it appears that the government is trying to make up for the failure of an earlier PC-based filtering program by rolling out an alternative, ISP-level filtering program that they know won’t fully prevent access to illegal material. They promise not to state what sites are being blocked, even as they promise only illegal content will be. To prepare for the roll out, they’re doing live testing of equipment and protocols they haven’t used in the lab, and not telling the ISPs when the program will be ready. It sounds like all of the worst clichés about government incarnated in a single program.”

15
Jul
08

I’m a creep, I’m a weirdo….

This seems to have slipped through “Can Naked Kids be Art?” fiasco without notice.

Associate Professor Robert Nelson (Monash University) has sold out middle-aged men: “This was a photo taken not by a middle-aged man but the mother of the child. It seemed quite a responsible thing to do.”

He could be just reflecting social norms though. Qantas, British Airways or Air New Zealand have a policy of not seating adult male passengers next to unaccompanied children.

Boris Johnson, writing for The Telegraph, sums it up better than I could.

A few years back a male friend almost landed an assistant position at a kindergarten. The position was withdrawn at the 11th hour when several parents complained.

01
May
08

Whatever happened to globalisation?

The protesters, the politicians, the corporations, the sweat shops, the headlines. Where did they all go? The products of globalisation are still with us, but the term has faded.

It came up in conversation tonight with a former colleague. My take on globalisation had been mostly indifference, as long as individuals could have the same benefits as multinational companies.

We pondered why Australian mortgage holders couldn’t transfer their debt to the US where interest rates are lower?

I recanted a story I’d read once of a US software developer who outsourced his tasks to India and kept pocketing his wage. (Google for it, I don’t want to dob the bugger in!)

There was interesting case recently in Australian Federal Court. The issue was whether genuine Ralph Lauren clothing purchased in the US could be ‘parallel import’-ed legally into Australia and sold here. Polo/Lauren claimed that its copyright had been infringed. However, the proceedings were dismissed with costs. My take is that if clothing producers can swan off to the cheapest place for production, why can’t consumers, or importers on their behalf, swan off to the cheapest place to buy the goods?

I picked up this book five or so years ago: The Collapse of Globalism: And the Reinvention of the World” by John Ralston Saul. I literally picked it up off the bookstore shelf, just because I found the title cheeky and confronting, but I didn’t buy it. The word “globalisation” was everywhere at the time. The title seemed fanciful. Fast forward a couple of years and I found myself flicking through it again, and found myself agreeing with its tenets. I bought it.

Today national interests are to the fore. The US is at war. China and India are ascending. There are oil and food shortages and there is no common and binding economic consensus…. yet!

01
Feb
08

Art!

Kenyon Bajus - ArtistaDay.com

© Kenyon Bajus 2001-2007 (from www.artistaday.com )

His web site here: http://kenyonb.com/

I love this piece.

29
Jan
08

My Australia Day Weekend

I reflected on our lack of identity over the weekend. Who are we Australians? I read a few news articles which were anxious to define us. I think “big media” needs to catagorise us though, purely to sell ad-space. It probably riles them a bit that we defy definition.

Saturday consisted of cleaning the backyard for a BBQ, riding my new scooter down to the shops, cooking some meat, then going to the local civic centre to watch the traditional fireworks. They were also traditionally late. Whilst waiting in the service road across the way, we copped some passive smoke from a pregnant mother. Hubby was watching their two boys (who didn’t seem to too stunted). “Come here Jordan”, he yelled. I was reminded of this old, entertaining, despot’s quip about us being the “white trash of Asia”. Continue reading ‘My Australia Day Weekend’

17
Jan
08

Save the kiddies from shavedasianteengoats.com!!!

The new government’s proposed “clean feed” net filter system mandates that ISPs block sites from a known “bodgy” list.

The filtering infrastructure will be a bottleneck, slowing down and making more expensive our Internet connectivity. And the ALP went to the election promising to improve our broadband access and speeds!!!

The system will not stop paedophiles preying on children in chat rooms, nor stop kiddie porn. That’s not what it does. Continue reading ‘Save the kiddies from shavedasianteengoats.com!!!’




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