Chasers’ bus ad about APEC spoof rejected as ‘too political’
Sunday July 27th 2008, 6:26 am

The Chaser banned: ‘too political’ to carry on the buses

Rachel Browne
July 27, 2008

AN ADVERTISEMENT for The Chaser’s War On Everything DVD has been banned by Australia’s largest outdoor advertising company on the grounds it is “too political”.

The ad, which was planned to run on State Transit buses, features The Chaser’s APEC stunt and the slogan: “The only good thing to come out of APEC.”

Despite being accepted by magazines and newspapers, the ad was considered too controversial for Buspak, owned by APN News & Media’s APN Outdoor.

The decision has amazed The Chaser’s Julian Morrow, who approved the ad along with executives from the ABC and DVD distributor Roadshow Entertainment.

“They have flatly refused to run the artwork we have provided because it has the slogan, ‘The only good thing to come out of APEC’,” he said. “They say that’s too political. They said they will run the ad but they don’t want anything that can be construed, even jokingly, as disparaging of APEC. It’s ridiculous.”

Morrow’s spot on. Truly- the Chasers’ motorcade stunt really WAS the only good thing to come out of APEC.

You wanna see ‘too political?’ I’ll show you ‘too political.’ How about every Chaser fan/blogger boycotting any product advertised by APN/Buspak? 50,000 mgk readers per month may just agree.


‘Conclusive certificates’ abolished
Tuesday July 22nd 2008, 8:11 pm

Ministers’ powers to stop document release abolished

By Online parliamentary correspondent Emma Rodgers

Federal Ministers and department heads will no longer have the power to refuse access to Federal Government documents they believe not to be in the public interest, in new freedom of information (FOI) reforms announced by Senator John Faulkner today.

The ability to block documents was done under “conclusive certificates” which have now been abolished.

The certificates stop the release of government documents if a minister believed the disclosure is not in the public interest, meaning the document cannot be released under the FOI system even if the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) has ruled it should be.

Instead, the decision on whether to stop access to documents will be made by the AAT.

Democracy doesn’t work without transparency.

Bravo, Senator Faulkner & Labor- well done.


Parkin: ASIO must come clean
Tuesday July 22nd 2008, 8:07 pm

Australia’s first political prisoner, Scott Parkin, has finally won the right to know the contents of an adverse ASIO security assessment which caused him to be deported in 2005.

Amazing the leaps forward you get in democracy with just one tiny little change of government.


AP goes the blogosphere for copyright
Tuesday July 22nd 2008, 7:32 am

Associated Press sent a takedown notice last month to a blogger who has, like nearly every other blogger, cited snips of AP stories as part of his posts. Apparently AP haven’t heard of ‘fair use‘ and are utterly clueless about the independent yet loosely connected nature of blogs and bloggers.

I’m not nearly as concerned about getting a takedown notice from AP as I am with their negotiation of a ‘bloggers’ fair use agreement’ (as though bloggers have different rights or responsibilities than any other publishers) with some schmoe who claims to be the head of the ‘Media Bloggers Association,’ which is supposed to represent all bloggers.

When did bloggers en masse become a monolithic entity? When did I sign on to this ‘Media Bloggers Association?’ When did the Associated Press gain legal powers in excess of the fair use provisions of US copyright law?

Can’t you just hear a new Village People song- “It’s fun to play with the Deeeee-Emmmm-Ceee-Ayyyyy…”?

AP appear to have had a small commonsense epiphany according to Tigtog and are backpedalling at approximately Mach III, save for this silly negotiation with this ‘bloggers’ association’ which I’ve never heard of before.

I could see AP’s complaint if a blogger did nothing but mechanically quote entire AP stories verbatim with no other intent than to republish the story, without any additional commentary or discussion- and who earns income from advertising on their blog site. However, I’d have thought that instead of takedown notices, AP would be handing out pay-per-click cheques to self-funded bloggers who cite snips of AP stories and link back to an AP member publisher or broadcaster, which earns income from advertising on their site.

I’m quite happy to provide details to AP to send payment in consideration of my free linking to AP story publishers- when their commonsense kicks fully back in gear.


WRAP: AP recognised the silliness of their ways and have tiptoed away.

Freedom to ‘annoy’ but not to ‘inconvenience’
Tuesday July 15th 2008, 8:40 pm

Rachel Evans - ABC TV

Rachel Evans, NoToPope Coalition
(image: ABC-TV)

The High Court’s decision to strike down the ‘annoy‘ provision of Iemma’s draconian anti-WYD protest laws is certainly welcome- truly free speech is never subject to prior restraint.

[NoToPope activist] Rachel Evans said, “We want to call on all Sydneysiders and defy what the State Government has tried to do in quelling our freedom of expression”

Important stuff. Major pat on the back to the NSWCCL for running this case.

A better case for a constitutional bill of rights would be hard to find. Bob Carr and other anti-bill of rights advocates insist that a bill of rights would encourage an excessively litigious society. Frankly, if we had a bill of rights, the case to challenge the WYD protest laws wouldn’t have been necessary. The government would have recognised the folly in enacting such laws, knowing they would not survive a court challenge. A bill of rights will in fact reduce litigation. However, a useful bill of rights has to be part of the constitution, not statutory, where politicians can rejigger it at will, along party lines.

Regrettably, the language proscribing ‘inconveniencing’ WYD attendees remains:

Premier Morris Iemma says the Government will not be appealing against the court’s decision. He says police still have adequate powers.

“Two words have been struck out – the words ‘and annoyance’,” he said.

“‘Inconvenience’ is still there and they can still achieve the same objective, and that is to ensure that people who do want to make a point in a protest can do so without disrupting the pilgrims or the events.

Mr Iemma says a court decision to invalidate World Youth Day annoyance laws will not affect the ability of police to carry out their duties.

“That’s the law, we obey that, and the event proceeds, the police have got the powers to ensure that it is not disrupted,” he said.

No wonder Iemma’s satisfied; ‘inconvenience’ is as broad and nebulous as ‘annoy.’

However, if as Mo sez, the police retain sufficient authority to manage the event, what was the purpose of the excessively authoritarian laws in the first place? Sure didn’t do much for the popularity of the Iemma government, did it?


WYD- $86M! WTF?
Monday July 14th 2008, 4:14 pm

Mr Iemma said World Youth Day would would showcase the city to a global audience and generate $150 million in revenue.

Mmmmkay, so 10% GST on $150 million is $15 million, which is then shared amongst 7 states and territories. NSW got 29% of the GST take in the last negotiations. 29% of $15 mil is $4.35 mil.

$4.35 mil would cover only about 10% of the $42 million paid to compensate the racing industry for the loss of use of Randwick Racecourse and is around 5% of the government’s reported $86million spend on World Youth Day (month).

Could be the new maths… but I’m just not seeing the value for money, particularly when Australians’ freedom of movement and civil liberties are suspended in compensation for their trouble and expense.


Hawke and Keating bury the hatchet
Sunday July 13th 2008, 3:31 pm

That's the spirit, Hawkie

“Obviously when Paul challenged me and finally won, we weren’t bosom buddies, we didn’t get into lengthy social intercourse for some time,” [Hawke] said.

“We’re friends now and he’s coming for dinner here shortly.”

Hawkie didn’t mention they’d be having long pig. 😀


FISA cop-out: Bad move, Barack
Saturday July 12th 2008, 7:23 am

image: Chris Britt, Springfield, IL -- The State Journal-Register via Cagle

image: Chris Britt, Springfield, IL — The State Journal-Register, via Cagle

Ahead of the election, Barack Obama has sold his soul for acceptance by what he thinks is middle America by giving the telcos retroactive immunity for violating American citizens’ rights to privacy on King George’s orders. Obama knows full well that this is utterly morally repugnant but his greed for votes has overtaken his good sense.

Obama’s been on a good thing by following the wishes of voters, which were clearly demonstrated by our ousting of the Repuglicans from the House & Senate in 2006 on the Dems’ promised anti-Iraq war platform, despite the fact the Dems have fully reneged on that promise to get us out of this illegal war.

Incidentally, also in the Dems’ reneging department, Nancy Pelosi is going straight to whatever hell she believes in for saying ‘impeachment is off the table.’ She effectvely said American democracy is off the table because impeachment is the citizens’ tool built into the Constitution designed solely to remove bad governments.

Barack’s bad move probably won’t shift a lot of supporters to McBush, but it may well make some voters simply stay home.


Photoshopped Iranian missile diplomacy
Friday July 11th 2008, 5:36 am

I was born at night, but not last night

Not fooling anyone (click for larger image)

Amazing how the Iranian military got two of those smoke plumes UTTERLY identical in a photo they released.

Great missile technology… or fully lame Photoshopping? You tell me. I’ve only circled a couple of the obvious edits- there’s more.

WHY would the Iranians want to give the hawks in Washington and Jerusalem a reason to blast them back to the stone-age? Or did they? I wonder where this image actually came from- don’t you? Perhaps it came from the same joint that brought you Iraqi weapons of mass distraction.

I guess it could be worse.


MORE: Iran ‘doctored missile photo’

No- look over THERE!
Tuesday July 08th 2008, 6:15 am

Don't you know who I am? I am not the droid you are looking for.