Wednesday, 12 December 2007

A decision he'll regret - Costello's Dummy Spit

Barry Cohen writes in The Age about Costello's lost opportunity to lead the Liberal Party and eventually win his dream job - the Prime Ministership.

Cohen predicts Brendan Nelson's impending doom, once the Libs wake up to the irony that they now have an ex-union official and former Labor member and voter as their leader.

Costello's petulence has probably destroyed any chance he would have had anyway.

It's just nice to watch the Libs go through all this turmoil after what they put Australia through for over a decade.

A decision he'll regret - Opinion -

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Real life Simpsons Intro

Very well done British video of the Simpsons intro using real actors.

Postscripts | Australia, the Failed Idea?

Postscripts | Australia, the Failed Idea?

There's more to it than this, but the piece above shows how extremist the Liberal Party became under Howard.

Is Peter Garrett the new Tony Abbott?

Peter Garrett's gaffs over the recent election campaign, and his subsequent muzzling in his post-election quasi-appointment as Minister for the Environment - yet unable to answer questions in parliament about climate change, shouldn't K07 have given the job to someone he trusts a bit more?

Why not give Maxine McKew a go?

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Former PM Keating speaks about Labor's challenge ahead

From The World Today:

Keating sums up the Howard-Costello legacy and his hopes for the future.

From The Age/SMH:

The Liberals must purge the reactionaries [link]

Coalition crumbles, leaderless and lamenting - Federal Election 2007 News

Michelle Grattan in The Age discussing the plight of the decimated Liberal Party.

Coalition crumbles, leaderless and lamenting - Federal Election 2007 News

How sweet it is...

The election result was a dream come true for me and millions of other Australians this weekend. It signals the end of the mean and tricky Howard government and the end of the political careers of some of its major players - including Howard himself, and his presumptive heir.

A record-breaking win for Labor was more than I would have hoped for. If only it came with a clear Senate majority, or at least a Green balance of power there.

Watching the Liberal Party self-implode as it regroups will be fun. The ideologues will split from the pragmatists and moderates and it will take years for a united party to emerge from the ashes of this monumental defeat.

Howard's concession speach on Saturday night was the only time I've ever sensed genuine human feeling in the man. Here's me giving him a compliment... It was dignified. There you go, the first and only nice thing I have to say about his political life.

The Labor party's adoption of "Friends" - seemingly replacing "comrades" was a bit of a laugh too. Nice though. I can't imagine the Liberals ever even trying to come across as warm and fuzzy.

This is the end of Howard's cynical manipulation of society and sections of it. The end of support for sectional interests that are designed to shore up Liberal Party support and the beginning of a new era of concensus, co-operative federalism and vision for the future.

Now is the time to get behind the new government and be grateful that the country has finally emerged from it's political coma.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

The PM shows himself up on The 7.30 Report

Kerry O'Brien's interview with John Howard last night was illuminating in that it was the first time that I've seen anyone in the media critically examine Howard's claims and assertions with regard to the Liberal's own supposed advantage in terms of economic management and Labor's supposed inability to manage the economy.

To mangle an old story, Howard looked like the emperor with no clothes.

Links to the video and transcript below:

The PM live with Kerry O'Brien

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Real Player Broadband Dial-up


John Clarke, Bryan Dawe and Kevin Rudd

John Clarke, Bryan Dawe and Kevin Rudd

15/11/2007 - John Clarke, Bryan Dawe and Kevin Rudd

Video: Real Media (hi) | Real Media (lo) | Windows Media (hi) | Windows Media (lo)

Read the transcript.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Why do Liberals hate their own?

Compare the Coalition campaign launch with the ALP's. There to support Kevin Rudd and Labor in the campaign were all living past Labor Prime Ministers. At the Coalition launch, there was no sign of anyone associated with the last Liberal government other than John Howard himself and Downer.

This discussion at Spin Cycle shows how the ex-Liberal leaders are either more concerned with their own lives and ventures post politics or ashamed of what the party has become. No longer liberal, but right-wing conservative (in a bad way).

The Age Blogs: The Spin Cycle

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

The great deceiver is in a class of his own - Opinion -

We've always known that John Howard and the Liberals were dishonest and hypocritical, but this piece from The Age highlights the many examples of this since his 1996 election campaign while in opposition.

My great hope is that the Australian voters don't let them get away with it one more time.

The great deceiver is in a class of his own - Opinion -

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Joe Bageant - Deer Hunting with Jesus

I saw an interview with Joe Bageant on 9am with David Reyne and Kim Watkins this morning and have decided to order his book, Deer Hunting With Jesus from

Bageant explains to the world why huge numbers of America's poor continue to support the Republicans who's policies are clearly against their interests. It seems to boil down to under-education combined with tribal allegiances.

Read Joe Bageant's blog at

Joe Bageant in conversation with Richard Fidler on ABC Sydney
RealMedia 28k+ WinMedia 28k+ MP3

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Income drops under WorkChoices

Interesting to read evidence today of real incomes dropping due to the Liberal government's WorkChoices laws.

Howard, Hockey and Costello have constantly told us - even lied to us in the pre election campaign taxpayer funded propaganda ads for WorkChoices - that incomes have and will go up under WorkChoices. It seems the opposite is true... What a surprise!

Joe Hockey doesn't seem to get that this is a problem. He seems to actually try to say it's a good thing towards the end of the article.

The Age: Real Wages Fall Under Howard

John Clarke, Bryan Dawe and Tony Abbott

John Clarke, Bryan Dawe and Tony Abbott

01/11/2007 - John Clarke, Bryan Dawe and Tony Abbott

Hilarious take on Tony Abbott's bad week. GOLD!

Video: Real Media (hi) | Real Media (lo) | Windows Media (hi) | Windows Media (lo)

Read the transcript.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Pillow talk

Coonan plays Doris Day to Howard's Rock Hudson.

He doesn't look sorry to me

So Tony Abbott apologised for his outrageous comment about Bernie Banton, the asbestosis campaigner and sufferer. Good. It's just that when I saw the footage of him claiming to have apologised, he couldn't get that stupid wingnut grin off his face. Not only that, he still had to refer to Mr Banton's "outburst" when he should have been more contrite.

Then to top it all off, this arrogant Liberal was 35 minutes late to his debate with Nicola Roxon and had the hide to swear at her when she politely chided him for having his priorities out of whack.

All in all, I'm sure yesterday is a day he'd rather forget - fortunately most of it was captured on camera for all to see.

Enough of this guy please. Hopefully we'll have a new government after November 24 and this clown can fade back into irrelevance.

Friday, 19 October 2007

Tax cuts

How can John Howard and Peter Costello all of a sudden, come up with $34 billion in tax cuts over 4 years? Easy - simply decide to reintroduce the practise of indexing the tax scales with inflation to eliminate bracket creep. Something that should be in place anyway and not held out as some benevolent gift.

Don't just index it over the 4 years, commit to full indexation in perpetuity. That would be some worthwhile tax reform that would actually benefit workers, business, society and the economy generally.

Looking forward to see what the ALP comes up with, tax-wise.

John Clarke, Bryan Dawe and the PM

John Clarke, Bryan Dawe and the PM

18/10/2007 - John Clarke, Bryan Dawe and the PM.

Video: Real Media (hi) | Real Media (lo) | Windows Media (hi) | Windows Media (lo)

Read the transcript.

free time

It's great having two full days off work in a row. It seems like forever ago that I had this fortunate confluence in my week.

I had time to read the Green Guide from cover to cover in one sitting, do some domestic chores and stock up on supplies.

It made me wonder how many other people's lives have been taken over by work. Whether it's through the challenges of running their own business, or imposed on them by the federal government's WorkChoices policy.

At least the business owners knew what they were getting themselves into and made the choice... there's not much choice involved for employees on the take-it-or-leave-it deals on offer under WorkChoices.

Isn't it fair, that employees, who are just trading their skills, time and effort for wages are compensated for their loss of time to do the things they want to do in a fair way? After all, if a business owner can theoretically create huge profits for themselves, why shouldn't the employees who generate those profits be rewarded.

Bring on the Labor government and ditch this travesty against the working people of Australia that is WorkChoices.

Thursday, 11 October 2007

John Clarke, Bryan Dawe and Joe Hockey

John Clarke, Bryan Dawe and Joe Hockey

04/10/2007 - John Clarke, Bryan Dawe and Joe Hockey

Video: Real Media (hi) | Real Media (lo) | Windows Media (hi) | Windows Media (lo)

Read the transcript.


Is it just me or is everyone else sick and tired of seeing the avalanche of federal government propaganda everywhere on TV, radio, the papers and even the letterbox?

We're paying for this crap! We're being told how WorkChoices (the government's most loved initiative that dare not speak it's name) is good for us, when we know the truth. They offer token solutions to climate change to show us how they've finally, if reluctantly come on board. They claim to be protecting "families" online by implementing a filter and posting us all an expensive brochure.

The delay in calling the election is only cementing the public's view that it's time for a change. In fact it's long past time for a change. Howard should call the election today and let the Liberal Party pay for it's own advertising.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

A Soviet Poster A Day

Fantastic blog featuring a... Soviet Poster A Day

Our booze-soaked cultural hypocracy

With all the drama Ben Cousins went through over his illicit drug use and the public self-shaming that Andrew Johns put himself through recently, this opinion piece in The Age exposes the ridiculous hypocracy of the hard line that's placed on illicit drugs and the complete opposite - the complete public acceptance of alcohol use and abuse in our society.

How can anyone take seriously the "Drugs are bad" message (apologies to Mr Mackey) when alcohol (a drug) is an almost compulsory part of our culture?

Call last drinks on our booze-soaked culture - Opinion -

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

The not-so-clever country

A very good opinion piece in The Age illustrating the abject failure of the Howard Government's handling of the skills shortage in Australia.

When Howard came to power in 1996, he immediately scrapped the previous Labor Government's successful Working Nation programme. Now we are paying the price. The "New Apprenticeships" scheme is little more than window dressing, offering very little that's new - just repackaging of existing initiatives.

The not-so-clever country - Opinion -

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Good Advice From Doctors

Light up!

Doctors recommend Camel cigarettes.

Good Advice From Doctors

The new fangled interweb

An almost accurate prediction made in 1964 about the internet and home computers.

I can imagine how we will laugh at the naive predictions we make today about the future.

Australian Political Polling Sites

This is a collection of websites that analyse and disect the political opinion polls in Australia. I find I'm checking these sites every few days to see how the mood of the public swings in the lead-up to the federal election.

Monday, 3 September 2007


Upon seeing an elderly lady for the drafting of her will, the attorney charged her $100.

She gave him a $100 bill, not noticing that it was stuck to another $100 bill.

On seeing the two bills stuck together, the ethical question came to the attorney's mind: "Do I tell my partner?"

Kath and Kim's take on WorkChoices

The Howard Government must really be on the nose when Australia's archetypical Howard Battlers are turning against him.

I do note though that Kath herself probably never voted Liberal in her life (just like Brendan Nelson). I base this assumption on a comment she made in an early episode when Kel was doing his BAS for GST and exclaimed "Bloody Howard!". Kath's response to him at the time was "Well you voted for him...".

Thursday, 30 August 2007

The master controller

An observation on how John Howard turned the government into his personal fiefdom.

The master controller - National -

Discussion about poverty in Australia

There is an interesting discussion going on at The Age about poverty in Australia. John Howard's recent denials about the impact on poverty in this country seem to have brought out a very strong anti-Howard feeling.

The tide really does seem to have turned. Call an election now John and let's get this over and done with. Time's Up!

The Age Blogs: Your Say

Sunday, 26 August 2007

English will be the common language

The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the EU rather than German which was the other possibility. As part of the negotiations, Her Majesty's Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5 year phase-in plan that would be known as "Euro-English".

In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c". Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard "c" will be dropped in favour of the"k". This should klear up konfusion and keyboards kan have 1 less letter. There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond
year, when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced with "f". This will make words like "fotograf" 20% shorter.

In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be ekspekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkorage the removal of double letters, which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the
horible mes of the silent "e"s in the language is disgraseful, and they should go away.

By the fourth year, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" with "z" and "w" with "v". During ze fifz year, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou" and similar changes vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters.

After zis fifz yer, ve vil hav a reli sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi to understand ech ozer. Ze drem vil finali kum tru! And zen ve vil tak over ze vorld!

Friday, 24 August 2007


I haven't seen this reported in the media, so I wonder if it's actually true or not. Interesting and disturbing story either way...

This is a copy and paste repost of a story in another blog.

Don't talk to strangers!

1. This it seems, has been confirmed, the Medical Centre phone number at the end of this story is real. This guy went out on a Saturday night a few weeks ago to a party. He was having a good time and had a couple of beers and some girl seemed to like him & invited him to go to another party.

He quickly agreed & decided to go along with her. She took him to a party in some apartment and they continued to drink, & even got involved with some drug (unknown). The next thing he knew, he woke up completely naked in a bathtub filled with ice. He was still feeling the effects of the drugs, but looked around to see he was alone.

He looked down at his chest, which had CALL 000 or YOU'LL DIE" written on it with lipstick. He saw a phone was on a stand next to the tub so he Picked it up & dialled. He explained to the EMS operator what the situation was & that he didn't know where he was, what he took, or why he was really calling. She advised him to get out of the tub. He did, and he appeared normal, so she told him to check his back. He did, he found two 9 inch slits on his lower back. She told him to get back into the tub immediately, and they sent a rescue team over. Apparently, after being examined, he found out more of what had happened. His kidneys were stolen. They were worth $10,000 each on the black market. Several guesses are in order: The Second party was a sham, the people involved had to be at least medical students & it was not just recreational drugs he was given. Regardless, he is currently in the hospital on a life support, awaiting a spare kidney. The University of Sydney in conjunction with the Royal Prince Alfred hospital is conducting tissue research to match the victim with a donor. I wish to warn you about a new crime ring that is targeting business travellers. This ring is well organized and well funded, has very skilled personnel & is currently operating in most major cities around the world and recently very active in Sydney .

The crime begins when a business traveller goes to a lounge for a drink at the end of the work day. A person in the bar walks up as they sit alone and offers to buy them a drink. The last thing the travelers remember until they wake up in a hotel room bath tub, their body submerged to their neck in ice, is sipping that drink. There is a note taped to the wall instructing them not to move and to call 000. A phone is on the small table next to the bath tub for them to call. The business traveller calls 000 who have been quite familiar with this crime. The business traveller is instructed by the 000 operator to very slowly and carefully reach behind them and feel there is a tube protruding from the back. The business traveller finds the tube and answers "YES". The 000 operator tells them to remain still, having already sent paramedics to help. The Operator knows that both of the traveller's kidneys had been harvested. This is not something out of science fiction novel. It is real.
It is documented and confirmable. If you travel or someone close to you travels, please be careful. Sadly, this is very true. My friend's husband is a Sydney EMT and they have received alerts regarding this crime ring. It is to be taken very seriously. The daughter of a friend of a fire-fighter had this happen To her. Skilled doctors are performing these crimes! (which, by the way have been highly noted in the Brisbane area). Additionally, the military has received alerts regarding this.


Michele Shafer
DML/Lab Administration
Medical Manager Research & Development
99 Missenden RD , Camperdown, Sydney 2000

2. I was approached yesterday afternoon around 3.30pm in the Coles parking lot at Noranda by two males, asking what kind of perfume I was wearing. Then they asked if I'd like to sample some fabulous Scent they were willing to sell me at a very reasonable rate . I probably would have agreed had I not received an email some weeks ago, warning of this scam.
The men continued to stand between parked cars, I guess to wait for someone else to hit on. I stopped a lady going towards them, I pointed at them and told her about how I was sent an email at Work about someone walking up to you at the malls, in parking lots, and Asking you to sniff perfume that they are selling at a cheap price.

THIS IS NOT PERFUME - IT IS ETHER! When you sniff it, you'll pass out and they'll take Your wallet, your valuables, and heaven knows what else. If it were not for this email, I probably would have sniffed the "perfume", but thanks to The generosity of an emailing friend, I was spared whatever might Have happened to me, and wanted to do the same for you. These guys hit Sydney And Melbourne 2 weeks ago and now they are doing it in Perth and Queensland .

I called the police when I got back to my desk. Like the email says, LET EVERYONE KNOW ABOUT THIS, YOUR FRIENDS, FAMILY, CO-WORKERS, whoever!!!!!

Thursday, 23 August 2007

As flat as the Nullabor

David Hasselhoff (Germany's Number 1 male singer...) singing This is the Moment on the finale of America's Got Talent.

My ears are still bleeding!

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Chain reaction

Call me a sicko but I found this funny...

Friday, 17 August 2007

Clarke and Dawe: political opera

Clarke and Dawe: political opera

I think this could be even funnier than last week's!

16/08/2007 - John Clarke and Bryan Dawe on the high notes of the week in politics.

Video: Real Media (hi) | Real Media (lo) | Windows Media (hi) | Windows Media (lo)

Read the transcript.

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Clarke and Dawe: Mastermind

Clarke and Dawe: Mastermind

This has to be the funniest Clarke & Dawe segment for a long time.

"Shut ya face - you'll be in jail before the end of the day..." Classic

09/08/2007 - John Clarke and Bryan Dawe play political Mastermind.

Video: Real Media (hi) | Real Media (lo) | Windows Media (hi) | Windows Media (lo)

Read the transcript.

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Broady Monopoly

Not one to like stereotypes, I thought this was funny none the less. Click on the picture for the full-size version.

Friday, 3 August 2007

Clarke & Dawe catchup

These three weeks of Clarke and Dawe cover the big names in the Australian political scene embracing YouTube, John Howard's 68th birthday and Kevin Andrews' bungling of the Haneef case.


Clarke and Dawe: Kevin Andrews

02/08/2007 - John Clarke and Bryan Dawe give their take on the twists and turns in the Mohamed Haneef saga.

Video: Real Media (hi) | Real Media (lo) | Windows Media (hi) | Windows Media (lo)

Read the transcript.

Clarke and Dawe: the birthday

26/07/2007 - Clarke and Dawe celebrate a special birthday.

Video: Real Media (hi) | Real Media (lo) | Windows Media (hi) | Windows Media (lo)

Read the transcript.

Clarke and Dawe: YouTube

19/07/2007 - Clarke and Dawe talk about mixing politics and YouTube.

Video: Real Media (hi) | Real Media (lo) | Windows Media (hi) | Windows Media (lo)

Read the transcript.

Tuesday, 31 July 2007

And you think you can't?

This video is for anyone who has doubts about what they can achieve in life.

Monday, 30 July 2007

The girl in the tunnel

Some Melbourne culture.

The girl in the tunnel - Opinion -

Billy Connolly's chain letter


Hello, my name is Billy and I suffer from guilt for not forwarding 50 billion fucking chain letters sent to me by people who actually believe if you send them on, a poor six year old girl in Scotland with a breast on her forehead will be able to raise enough money to have it removed before her redneck parents sell her to a travelling freak show.

And, do you honestly believe that Bill Gates is going to give you, and everyone to whom you send "his" email, $1000?

How stupid are we?

Ooooh, looky here! If I scroll down this page and make a wish, I'll get laid by a model I just happen to run into the next day!

What a bunch of bullshit.

Maybe the evil chain letter leprechauns will come into my house and sodomize me in my sleep for not continuing a chain letter that was started by St Peter in 5AD and brought to this country by midget pilgrim stowaways on the Endeavour.

Fuck 'em!!

If you're going to forward something, at least send me something mildly amusing. I've seen all the "send this to 10 of your closest friends, and this poor, wretched excuse for a human being will somehow receive a nickel from some omniscient being" forwards about 90 times.

I don't fucking care.

Show a little intelligence and think about what you're actually contributing to by sending out these forwards. Chances are, it's our own unpopularity. The point being?

If you get some chain letter that's threatening to leave you shagless or luckless for the rest of your life, delete it. If it's funny, send it on.

Don't piss people off by making them feel guilty about a leper in Botswana with no teeth who has been tied to the arse of a dead elephant for 27 years and whose only salvation is the 5 cents per
letter he'll receive if you forward this email.

Now forward this to everyone you know. Otherwise, tomorrow morning your underwear will turn carnivorous and will consume your genitals.

Have a nice day.

Billy Connolly

P.S: Send me 15 bucks and then fuck off

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Engels Leren?

Hilarious Dutch TV commercial showing why it's a good thing to learn English.

* Warning: mild coarse language.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Clarke and Dawe: pulp fiction

Clarke and Dawe: pulp fiction

12/07/2007 - John Clarke and Bryan Dawe on the controversial proposal by forestry giant Gunns to build a pulp mill in Tasmania.

Video: Real Media (hi) | Real Media (lo) | Windows Media (hi) | Windows Media (lo)

Read the transcript.

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

World Community Grid Update - 100,000 Years and Genome Comparison Completion

World Community Grid has reached the 100,000 years of run time mark! THANK YOU to all our volunteers who have enabled us to reach this amazing milestone! Because of your contributions, results on critical health issues have already been achieved, demonstrating World Community Grid's potential to make significant inroads on a great range of future projects that can benefit the world.

World Community Grid also is pleased to announce that the Fiocruz Genome Comparison (FGC) project is finished. The last work units have been sent out and when the final results are returned, the project will come to an end. This project, which launched on November 16, 2006, will have run for just over 8 months by the time the last results are returned. During this time 146,000 members will have donated 3,800 years of computer time on 280,000 different computers. This is a significant contribution to helping scientists better understand human genes, how they play a role in disease processes, and ultimately in understanding how to devise drugs to combat human diseases.

But the end of this project is really only a beginning. Based on the results, the researchers who are working on this project have a plan to not only use this data, but to also make it available to other researchers. World Community Grid's team will keep in close touch with the research team and will post updates on the website in the Research pages. The researchers will also continue to update their FGC website with exciting updates about this project and the inroads it is making to research.

We still need your help with other ongoing projects! World Community Grid continues to run the FightAIDS@Home and Human Proteome Folding - Phase II projects. These critical research projects need your computer time as well.

We also are preparing three new projects that are due to be launched later this summer, including ones focused on flaviviruses, climate modeling, and cancer. We will publish more information about these projects when they launch.

On behalf of the research staff at Fiocruz, in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, World Community Grid's team wish to express our thanks to you for contributing your PC power to this project. With your contribution, this project was completed in a fraction of the time it would otherwise have taken.

Sunday, 8 July 2007

O Canada vs Advance Australia Fair

This video of a Canadian Olympian singing O Canada gave me a lump in my throat and brought a small tear to one eye... It got me thinking about how the Australian national anthem, Advance Australia Fair just doesn't really cut it for me as a national anthem.

O Canada is a beautiful piece of music in its own right. Advance Australia Fair seems trite and contrived by comparison. I know it may sound unpatriotic to say that, but I just don't see Australia as being well represented by our anthem. Many of the lines in it aren't factually correct where they assert certain points, it sounds hokey in the same vein as that old Australian folk song about Tumut (Tumut: A Vision and a Venture - written in 1924 to mark the Centenary of the town) with it's quaint rhyming structure. And don't get me started on girt!

This is what I mean:

Tumut: A Vision and a Venture (E.L. Bridle)

One night I had a vision
Of beauteous hills and dales,
Next morn I sought to find them,
In sunny New South Wales.
I hastened to the Central,
Described the spot I'd seen,
A place where hills surrounded
A vale of Erin's green.
With trees of English beauty
And a river running thro'.
Is there a place so thrilling
Beneath the heaven's blue?


Oh change at Cootamundra for Gundagai's old track,
Soon beauty makes you wonder if you'll ee'r again turn back?
You linger at Mt. Horeb e're the promised land you see.
Your journey ends at Tumut
Capital T-U-M-U-T.

Old Tumut town it lies down South
Up Yerrangobilly way.
'Tis lovely in October,
'Tis beautiful in May.
Its willow bordered river,
Its fields of wheat and corn,
Enslaved my heart forever
That unforgotten morn,
I crossed the bridge at twilight
To see Bombowlee Lane
And ling'ring 'neath the poplars
Knew I'd not dreamed in vain.


Compare this quaint song with the words and cadence of Advance Australia Fair.

Advance Australia Fair

Australians all let us rejoice,
For we are young and free;
We've golden soil and wealth for toil,
Our home is girt by sea;
Our land abounds in Nature's gifts
Of beauty rich and rare;
In history's page, let every stage
Advance Australia fair!
In joyful strains then let us sing,
"Advance Australia fair!"

When gallant Cook from Albion sail'd,
To trace wide oceans o'er,
True British courage bore him on,
Till he landed on our shore.
Then here he raised Old England's flag,
The standard of the brave;
With all her faults we love her still,
"Britannia rules the wave!"
In joyful strains then let us sing
"Advance Australia fair!"

Beneath our radiant southern Cross,
We'll toil with hearts and hands;
To make this Commonwealth of ours
Renowned of all the lands;
For those who've come across the seas
We've boundless plains to share;
With courage let us all combine
To advance Australia fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing
"Advance Australia fair!"

While other nations of the globe
Behold us from afar,
We'll rise to high renown and shine
Like our glorious southern star;
From England, Scotia, Erin's Isle,
Who come our lot to share,
Let all combine with heart and hand
To advance Australia fair!
In joyful strains then let us sing
"Advance Australia fair!"

Shou'd foreign foe e'er sight our coast,
Or dare a foot to land,
We'll rouse to arms like sires of yore
To guard our native strand;
Britannia then shall surely know,
Beyond wide ocean's roll,
Her sons in fair Australia's land
Still keep a British soul.
In joyful strains the let us sing
"Advance Australia fair!"

This harking back to Britain seems ludicrous in a contemporary context. I note that only Verses 1 and 3 are normally sung - with the more inappropriate parts left out of the official version, but surely there is a song that more exemplifies Australia and its society than this!

See how O Canada speaks of a commitment to protect the country where Advance Australia Fair wallows in joyful strains.

O Canada

O Canada! Our home and native land!

True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide, O Canada,
We stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land
Glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee;
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

Friday, 6 July 2007

Saturday, 30 June 2007

More Clarke and Dawe

Here's the latest Clarke and Dawe contribution from The 7.30 Report. For some reason, last week's is only available as a transcript.

Clarke and Dawe: making friends with Kevin Rudd

28/06/2007 - Clarke and Dawe on Kevin Rudd's efforts to win friends and influence people.

Video: Real Media (hi) | Real Media (lo) | Windows Media (hi) | Windows Media (lo)

Read the transcript.

Clarke and Dawe chat with the PM

21/06/2007 - John Clarke and Bryan Dawe engage in a little social chat with the Prime Minister.

Read the transcript.

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Arab American woman debates the "Clash of Cultures"

Wafa Sultan, an Arab-American psychologist from Los Angeles on Al Jazera offers powerful observations on the state of the Muslim world and her views on the "clash of cultures".

Watch the video

World Community Grid Update - Muscular Dystrophy

World Community Grid is pleased to announce that Phase 1 of the Help Cure Muscular Dystrophy (HCMD) project is coming to a close. This project, which launched on December 19, 2006, will have run for just over seven months by the time the final results for Phase 1 are returned. During this time 106,000 members will have donated more than 8,000 years of computer time on 154,000 different computers. This is a significant contribution to muscular dystrophy research.

The end of Phase 1 means that the researchers are doing significant work in preparation for Phase 2. To learn more about what is going on between phases, please read the posts by Dr. Alessandra Carbone and Dr. Sophie Sacquin-Mora, two of the researchers on the HCMD project, in World Community Grid's forums. In addition, the research team has prepared a progress site which may be reviewed here. Phase 2 is scheduled to start in early 2008. World Community Grid's team will continue to meet with the HCMD researchers on a regular basis and will provide updates on the forums as information becomes available.

We still need your help with other ongoing projects! World Community Grid continues to run the FightAIDS@Home, Genome Comparison, and Human Proteome Folding - Phase II projects. In a few months, we'll be launching new projects for cancer, dengue fever, and climate prediction. All of these important projects need your computer time.

Go to
World Community Grid to sign up and help.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Clarke & Dawe catchup

Clarke and Dawe and Peter Costello

14/06/2007 - John Clarke speaks to Bryan Dawe about what it takes to run an economy.

Video: Real Media (hi) | Real Media (lo) | Windows Media (hi) | Windows Media (lo)

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Clarke and Dawe: divine guidance

07/06/2007 - Clarke and Dawe on Tony Abbott and divine guidance.

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Sunday, 17 June 2007

Proposals for new Australian States

The Constitution of Australia provides for the creation of new states and for a state to subdivide into two or more states. So far, no new states have been added to the Commonwealth since Federation in 1901.

However, a number of proposals for further states have been made in the past century.

New colony proposals

This map shows a proposal for subdivisions of Australia from 1838. Note the names "Victoria" and "Tasmania" appear, both distant from the current states of the same name.
This map shows a proposal for subdivisions of Australia from 1838. Note the names "Victoria" and "Tasmania" appear, both distant from the current states of the same name.

In addition to the above proposals, there were proposals for new colonies in the nineteenth century that did not come about. North Australia was briefly a colony between February and December 1846. The Journal of the Royal Geographical Society published Considerations on the Political Geography and Geographical Nomenclature of Australia in 1838, in which the following divisions were proposed:

These proposed states were geometric divisions of the continent, and did not take into account soil fertility, aridity or population. This meant that central and western Australia were divided into several states, despite their low populations both then and now.

There was also a proposal in 1857 shown here for the "Seven United Provinces of Eastern Australia" with separate provinces of Flinders Land, Leichardt's Land and Cook's Land in modern day Queensland.

Internal (i.e. currently part of Australia)

New England

The New England region of New South Wales has had a devoted statehood movement since the 1930s. In the 1960s this movement was particularly active. The movement has historically gained strength when a Labor government, dominated by urban interests, is in power in Sydney.

Some supporters also propose a "River-Eden" state in the south of NSW [1].

North Queensland

The people of northern Queensland, sometimes called "Far North Queensland" or "Capricornia", have long held views and self-identification distinct from that of the southern parts of the state. Proposals for the political separation of North Queensland, comprised primarily of the Cape York Peninsula, have been forwarded from time to time, with mixed results. Efforts for statehood in North Queensland would be hampered by the region's small population[citation needed].

See also: North Queensland Party; Central Queensland Territorial Separation League; Proposals for a State of North Queensland

Northern Territory

The Northern Territory is the most commonly mentioned potential seventh state. In 1998, the voters of the NT rejected a statehood proposal that would have given the Territory three Senators, rather than the 12 Senators held by the other states, although the name "Northern Territory" would have been retained. This ABC Lateline interview gives much insight into both sides of the debate in 1998. With statehood rejected, it is likely that the Northern Territory will remain a territory for the near future, though current Chief Minister Clare Martin and the majority of Territorians are said to be in favour of statehood. The main argument against statehood has been the NT's relatively low population.

Australian Capital Territory

The ACT has a small number of vocal statehood supporters, who believe the ACT, with a population only slightly less than that of Tasmania, is underrepresented in the Australian Parliament. This movement may be likened to supporters of statehood for the District of Columbia in the United States, though it is much smaller and no prominent political figures have given it their support. The wording of s.125 of the Australian Constitution suggests that the ACT must remain a territory and cannot become a state.

Aboriginal state

There are also supporters of an Aboriginal state, along the lines of the recently created Nunavut in Canada [2]. Agence France Presse (21/8/98) claims Australia blocked a United Nations resolution calling for the self-determination of peoples, because it would have bolstered support for an Aboriginal state within Australia. [3]. Amongst those supporting such a state are the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation. [4]


Papua New Guinea

Prior to the independence of Papua New Guinea from Australia in 1975, there was some discussion as to the possibility of making the territory a state. This discussion was short-lived, however, with opposition to the idea being primarily a result of the vastly different cultural, economic and linguistic situation in the territory.

New Zealand

A number of Australians, and a smaller number of New Zealanders, have advocated union between the two countries. As ties have grown closer, and proposals made for a customs union, currency union and even a joint defence force, some have suggested New Zealand should become a state of the Commonwealth. This is unlikely to occur, as New Zealanders would be reluctant to give up their status as a sovereign nation. In any case, New Zealand and Australia enjoy close economic and political relations, mainly by way of the Closer Economic Relations (CER) free trade agreement signed in 1983 and the Closer Defence Relations agreement signed in 1990. In 1989, former Prime Minister of New Zealand Sir Geoffrey Palmer said that New Zealand had "...gained most of the advantages of being a state of Australia without becoming one". New Zealand was one of the colonies involved in the Constitutional Conventions leading to the Federation of Australia in the late 19th Century although the New Zealand Parliament voted against joining the Commonwealth of Australia at that time. Section 6 of the preamble to the Constitution of Australia Act names New Zealand as one of the colonies which could have been admitted to the Commonwealth of Australia, had New Zealand ratified the Australian Constitution by 1 January 1901.

In December 2006, an Australian Federal Parliamentary Committee recommended that Australia and New Zealand pursue a full union, or at least adopt a common Anzac currency and more common markets. The Committee found that "while Australia and New Zealand are of course two sovereign nations, it seems ... that the strong ties between the two countries - the economic, cultural, migration, defence, governmental and people-to-people linkages - suggest that an even closer relationship, including the possibility of union, is both desirable and realistic." This was despite the refusal of Australian and New Zealand Treasurers Peter Costello and Michael Cullen saying that a common currency was "not on the agenda."[1]

See also

External links

North Queensland

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Monday, 11 June 2007

Can't stop laughing

A friend found this YouTube video and sent it to me. Good for a laugh.

Thursday, 7 June 2007

The Profit Calculator -- New York Magazine

I found this article in the New York Magazine to be a fascinating insight into how the great city works.

The Profit Calculator -- New York Magazine

London 2012 Logo

I quite like the new London 2012 Olymipic logo. It's modern and different and sort of reminds me of Federation Square in Melbourne.

I hadn't thought of this, but it does actually look like Lisa Simpson giving head!

Melbourne Trams

Being a closet latent trainspotter, I found this site on Melbourne W class trams to be worth a proper look.

They have lots of information and pictures, detailing the history of the Melbourne tram system, one of the largest networks operating in the world.

Melbourne Trams

Need a tram fix? Go for a ride.

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

man of lettuce

Interesting blog.

man of lettuce

All Men Are Liars

Sam de Brito's blog in The Age.

Always a good read.

The Age Blogs: All Men Are Liars

Jones Boned

Ding dong the witch is dead - which old witch, the wicked witch
Ding dong the wicked witch is dead....

Alan Jones has finally been boned from the Today Show. It still won't get me to watch it though. That obsequious Karl Stefanovic still comes across as some Liberal Party stooge and his links to Jones as one of Jones' protege's mean he's tainted in my eyes.

Broadcaster Alan Jones — here Today, but gone tomorrow - National

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Saturday, 26 May 2007

Clarke and Dawe - 5 week catch up

Clarke and Dawe: Joe Hockey

24/05/2007 - John Clarke and Bryan Dawe flag a change in the weather.

Video: Real Media (hi) | Real Media (lo) | Windows Media (hi) | Windows Media (lo)

Read the transcript.

Clarke and Dawe: poll woes explained

17/05/2007 - John Clarke and Bryan Dawe give their take on why the polls might not be working for the Government at the moment.

Video: Real Media (hi) | Real Media (lo) | Windows Media (hi) | Windows Media (lo)

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Clarke and Dawe: the Budget

10/05/2007 - John Clarke and Bryan Dawe bring down their Budget.

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Clarke and Dawe: Industrial relations

03/05/2007 - John Clarke and Bryan Dawe have their say on industrial relations.

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Clarke and Dawe: exam results for Howard

26/04/2007 - Clarke and Dawe take a look at John Howard's exam results.

Video: Real Media (hi) | Real Media (lo) | Windows Media (hi) | Windows Media (lo)

Read the transcript.