John Sherffius nuts it
Friday October 31st 2008, 8:03 pm

I love editorial cartoonists for a million reasons, but John Sherffius of the Boulder Daily Camera needs a couple Pulitzers.

Another Sherffius hole-in-one.


Comrade Barack, a socialist? No… and too damn bad.
Thursday October 30th 2008, 10:50 am

(image: AFP)

The right-wing nutbaggery is cranked right up to redline over in the good old USSA, as Repuglicans are in full-tilt panic over Obama’s mighty lead, even in states Shrubya ‘carried‘ in 2004.

Despite Obama spending 20-odd years regularly attending a Christian church (albeit with an over-the-top flaming nutball preacher), the lunatic right are absolutely convinced that you can’t have ‘Hussein’ as a middle name unless your prayer mat is pointed at Mecca. While it’s plain and obvious that Obama is not a Muslim, I’m no happier that he professes to be a Christian.

Eligibility to be elected to the Presidency is limited by the Constitution to those who were born on US soil. Hardcore right wing loops are insisting that Obama can’t produce a US birth certificate, thus invalidating his candidacy. Fact is, Obama has produced a State of Hawaii birth certificate. But what about McC’s birthright eligibility? In fact, Micko was born in a military hospital in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936- the Canal Zone has never been recognised as US territory and neither have been US military installations. If anyone has any worries about birthright eligibility for the office, McC should be shaking in his boots.

The Fox/GOP strategy for the last week of the campaign is to accuse Obama of being a socialist on account of his tax plan to soak the rich. Americans by and large simply don’t know the difference between socialism and communism– most think they are one and the same. They’re not. Many equate socialism, an economic system, with the totalitarian and dictatorial governing nature of Stalinist regimes like China and the former USSR. Hit the books, folks. This is high school level political science. If you don’t understand this, you have only yourself to blame for being fooled- or you just rather like being fooled. Moreover, Barack’s policies are not socialist. He does not advocate state ownership of production facilities, only taxing more heavily those who can afford to pay more taxes.

I’ve now lived for more than 12 years in Australia, a decidedly socialistic democracy with high taxes on high earners and free healthcare for all. I’m still looking for the downside of ‘socialised medicine’ and a (nearly) sufficient safety net for unemployed, aged and disabled people.

The simple fact is that the only people who can possibly have any viable complaint about ‘redistribution of wealth’ are the very rich… and yet, here we have Micko trying to sell his ‘SOCIALIST!’ scare campaign to everyone, including the working poor and those who are unemployed, most without any access to healthcare. Hilariously (or is that ‘tragically’?), some po folk are actually getting sucked in.

Getting people to vote against their own interests is a great political trick if you can pull it off. Starting with Reagan’s ‘trickle down economics’ lies in 1980 which have been carried forward by Repuglicans since, millions of Americans are still waiting to get wet.

Unfettered American capitalism has come fully unstuck in the recent ‘credit crunch’ and stock market crash. Bush has now socialised the gambling losses of free marketeers, while their rampant greed has stretched the already huge income gap between CEOs and wage earners. Time to level the playing field.

I only wish that Obama was a real socialist.


Palin: Abortion clinic bombers ‘not terrorists’
Sunday October 26th 2008, 3:34 pm



NEWSFLASH: Atheist Radio National listeners fail to care when Religion Report axed
Tuesday October 21st 2008, 7:42 pm

Passionate Religion Report host Stephen Crittenden has been suspended from on-air duties after criticising the axing of his show from Radio National:

“The decision to axe one of this network’s most distinctive and important programs has been approved by the director of ABC Radio, Sue Howard, and it will condemn Radio National to even greater irrelevance,” Crittenden said last week.

“The ABC’s specialist units have been under attack for years, but the decapitation of the flagship program of the religion department effectively spells the death of religion at the ABC.”

Crittenden’s right that the specialist units are under threat. He’s wrong that RN is in any way irrelevant. Despite his critique, I don’t see the cause for jerking him off the air before the show is wound up.

Evan Maloney over on shoots- and scores:

The death of religion at the ABC. Is that really such a bad thing? I understand that if you’re the ABC’s religion reporter it might appear to be less than helpful (it’s hard to be a nanny when the kids have all grown up), but does anyone else really mind?

Why not create a new show Like Mythology Musings instead? Like Religion Report it’s got some catchy alliteration, and unlike the Religion Report, it will be treating the oldest stories known on earth with the respect and privilege they deserve: as wonderfully imaginative stories from early literature that reveal some recurring obsessions in our conscious and subconscious existence.

Too bloody right, Evan.

Underfunding of the ABC is causing a wave of program cuts at Radio National. I’m sorry to see any RN programming go, but the Religion Report is one that RN really could do without. There’s some commentary attached to Maloney’s blog item and on the Friends of the ABC mailing list where Religion Report fans make a specious claim that ‘some of their atheist friends (!) will be sorry to see the Religion Report go.’ Atheists, by definition, are simply not interested in religion. Religion is, as Maloney observes, assigned the relative import of myth and faerie tales by atheists. Mythology Musings is quite apt.

On the other hand, some very good RN programs are getting axed, such as Radio Eye, Street Stories and the Media Report. There’s simply no other program in Australian media which backgrounds big news stories as well as the Media Report- and I will be petitioning Mark Scott to reconsider that cut.


Speed limit cars to 20, put pillows on all the guard rails
Monday October 20th 2008, 9:05 am

Driving an automobile is dangerous business. Drivers cannot be counted upon for exercise of commonsense. The driver has to date been foolishly entrusted by government with access to steering and is also not forcibly restricted from exceeding the speed limit at will nor stopping when it is mandated. Those impudent drivers can go as fast as they want, steer any old way that suits them and stop only if they feel like it. This practise of laissez-faire driving MUST be halted at once for the public good.

Speed limit signs and traffic signals merely ask the driver to do certain things but these devices don’t enforce behaviour.  It’s long past due time that government put a stop to the ability of untrustworthy drivers to break the rules.

While government should keep such plans under wraps to avoid the indignant wrath of drivers until the necessary laws are in place and thus difficult to repeal, it is imperative that all motor vehicles immediately be fitted with speed limiting devices to prevent vehicles from exceeding 20km/h, the lowest legal speed limit. All roads must be fitted with padded guard rails pending installation of automatic steering systems on vehicles and burial of guide wires in roadbeds. Of course, all traffic will have to be halted while these absolutely necessary safety upgrades are installed. This may inconvenience some drivers, but after all, driving is not a right, it is a privilege bestowed by a benevolent government which must care for all citizens.

If this sounds in any way absurd, compare it to Stephen Conroy’s plans for mandatory content filtering for all Australian internet users. Even if you don’t have children in your house, you will be required to use government filtered internet services. Government is defining the banned sites and you don’t get to opt out. Such a filtering system is far too easily abused by government as you simply won’t know what you’re missing.

While it will be all too easy to circumvent Conroy’s filtering by use of offshore proxy services or especially by use of an onion-router application like Tor, proxying slows down access dramatically as a number of hops between routers are added to the response time. Filtering will be just as bad, as the filter compares content from the requested IP against a ban list. Australia already has abysmal broadband access speeds- Conroy’s plan will put us back 10 years, to dialup days.

Call or write Kevin Rudd and Stephen Conroy today. The only song these two seem to be getting, or at least are hearing, is that from the ‘won’t somebody save the children’ mob. It’s important they know that there’s a significant population of Australian internet users who either don’t need any filtering or who actually act like parents and supervise their children’s internet usage.

You don’t save children from drowning by banning water, you teach them how to swim.


Hey, sailor
Saturday October 18th 2008, 10:36 pm


+10 points, 3 weeks to go: How could Obama lose?
Monday October 13th 2008, 10:00 pm

Top 10 ways for Barack Obama to fail to be the 44th POTUS:

10. Shoot wildlife from a helicopter
9. Get shot by what this guy has in his pants
8. Fox News finds Obama’s campaign office prayer mat pointing toward Mecca
7. Decorate office with dead wildlife from Illinois
6. Go to bat for a failed banker
5. Try to get Palin’s ‘First Dude‘ sacked from Alaska governorship
4. Skin darkener cream used to cover Arabic appearance found on Obama’s campaign jet
3. Falls and breaks you-know-what before debate
2. Seven-year-old Sasha Obama shows baby bump
1. Get caught by paparazzi splashing in the surf with Big Mac sculpted abs

oh, shit.


Oh my god, she killed Bullwinkle! YOU BASTARD!
Sunday October 12th 2008, 8:38 pm

and Rocky's comin' AFTER yo ass, beeeeyotch


Palin abused power, now wants more power to abuse
Sunday October 12th 2008, 5:11 pm

American women should stock up on coathangers should McC-word/Palin be elected.

McC wants to overturn Roe v. Wade. It’s now been proven that Sarah Palin has abused the power of her gubernatorial office. It’s also no secret that Palin opposes a woman’s right to choose to terminate a pregnancy, even if she’s been raped by her own father.

When McC keels over in the 2nd year of his first term, exactly which power will President Palin first abuse?

image: Associated Press

Oh, I dunno… you tell me.


What a berk: Once respected gardening guru Don sells out to environmental vandals, Gunns
Thursday October 09th 2008, 11:38 am

St Peter of the sheep turds (click for larger img)

Peter Cundall speaks to standing-room-only
crowds during his farewell tour,
Gardening Australia Expo, Sydney Olympic Park,
30 August 2008. (image: mgk)

Burke, Cundall in pulp mill showdown

Gardening personality Don Burke has been hired by timber company Gunns to help win support for its Northern Tasmanian pulp mill.

The move pits Burke against former television gardening identity, Peter Cundall, who has been a vocal critic of the controversial project.

The $2 billion proposal has stalled as tighter credit conditions force Gunns to look overseas for funds.

Burke has told ABC Local Radio he does not feel his role as an adviser to the company compromises his integrity.

“The majority of the people on the planet have a job but that doesn’t mean their integrity is purchased by their employer,” he said.

“I would have thought my track record stands out pretty clearly, that nobody buys my integrity.”

SHAME on you, Don Burke, for taking on an 81-year-old man, who LIVES in Tasmania’s Tamar Valley, the proposed site of Gunns’ pulp mill. Cundall is defending not just the environment in Tassie, but his very own backyard. Where’s YOUR backyard, Burke?

Mind you, Burke can’t really be accused of selling out any more environmentalist cred over this particular issue than he’d done before- Burke truly sold out in July 2005 when he became chair of the anti-environmentalist Australian Environment Foundation, a lobby group with connections to Melbourne’s conservative Institute for Public Affairs ‘think tank.’

If Burke supports this pulp mill debacle, should he ever get another crack at making more Burke’s Backyard programs, I will make it my business to drive a boycott of any supporting advertisers.