Another SMH poll on Labor’s internet filter folly
Tuesday March 30th 2010, 7:38 pm

Any questions?


Twisdom on US healthcare reform
Monday March 22nd 2010, 2:13 pm

What you’re feeling, Republicans, is the ghost of Ted Kennedy’s nuts on your chin.”


Palm Island aboriginal death in custody, secret evidence and official censorship
Wednesday March 10th 2010, 5:07 am

Don’t miss the ABC’s Jeff Waters’ discussion of how due process is being abused in Queensland to cement what appears to be a coverup of QLD Police Sgt Chris Hurley’s responsibility in the death in custody of Mulrunji Doomadgee.

It’s this simple- a healthy man’s liver does NOT get sawn in two against his spine as a result of an ‘accidental fall’ on the watchhouse stairs.

The only thing which will ever give police pause for thought when considering their behaviour is if they are properly held publicly to account.


Art vs Porn in NSW: All the artistic freedom you can afford- at $500 a pop
Wednesday March 10th 2010, 3:43 am

In a valiant attempt to address a problem that doesn’t exist, NSW AG John Hatzistergos has announced that artists who use images of nude children can shield themselves from prosecution by paying a $500 per image fee to have their images ‘classified’ by official censors.

Clearly, this is a ham-handed attempt to placate the wowsers who were committed to seeing Bill Henson’s work classified as child pornography, which this legislation will not accomplish.

Will images of nude cherubs on stained glass in churches be subjected to the $500/image ‘freedom fee?’ How about museums which display similar works? Who will pay, the National Gallery or Caravaggio?

Listen up, NSW government: censorship doesn’t work. Every single time you censor, you dive headlong into an authoritarian morass that devalues freedom while protecting precisely no-one. Official censorship is an anachronism that has no place in 21st century Australia. There’s a use-by date on the Classification Board and official censorship in general… and that was about 100 years ago. Hatzo and NSW Labor are only in it to preserve the last vestiges of governmental power over freedom of expression.

If this is such necessary legislation, why is it that the USA, which has no official censorship in any form, has not imploded by now? Are Australians so weak-minded that we cannot survive without a nanny holding our hands and covering our eyes? Are we lesser people than Americans? In simple fact, we’re not- we just have no legal protection against excesses of government, which is perpetually scrabbling desperately for popular approval. NEWSFLASH for government: legal rights protecting free expression are not needed to protect popular views- they’re intended to protect unpopular positions.

It’s lonnnnnnng past due time for a constitutional Bill or Charter of Rights in Australia to permanently enjoin government from meddling where they simply have no business whatsoever.


Those darned atheists mess everything up
Friday March 05th 2010, 4:30 pm

Atheists ‘fuelling sectarian conflict’

An expert in sociology says atheists or people without a specific religion are creating the most problems for inter-faith tolerance in Australia.

Monash University Professor Gary Bouma says people without a specific faith are fuelling sectarian conflict and cause division in society.

“Conflict comes up when groups vilify, deny the right to build the mosques,” he told the Studies of Religion in Focus conference in Sydney today.

“Or when the ‘nones’ – those who are anti-theist – [say] ‘You’re stupid’, that religious voices should be driven out of the public policy area, that religion shouldn’t be in schools, etc.

“That is conflict, and that is highly divisive in this society.”

Professor Bouma says a growth in religious diversity in recent years has created problems for Australian schools.

He says schools have to work out to how to encourage respectful engagement between students and teachers of various religions.

“Schools have a whole variety of competing loyalties within the teachers and within the students,” he said.

“It can sometimes go to conflict if there’s a viewpoint that some don’t want expressed.

“But how is it that you accommodate the diversity? How is it that you develop respectful engagement between diverse groups?”

Right, it’s just SO bloody obvious. Atheists, by virtue of not buying in to stories of omnipotent sky faeries, are the source of conflict. Clearly, this is identical to the force that non-stamp collectors have on the market prices of rare philatelic items.

Schools serve all religions or lack thereof best by telling students to leave dogma at the schoolhouse door. Diversity is best accommodated by allowing religions to occupy their station at places of worship.

This guy’s a professor? Taking the piss, right?


Satire criminalised in South Australia- or a prank?
Wednesday March 03rd 2010, 5:28 am

South Australian humourist and adman David Thorne is a troll, but not your average, ordinary troll.

You may recall that Thorne is responsible for the cracking trolljob where he offered to pay a $233 utility bill with a drawing of a 7-legged spider. Naturally, payment with a bad drawing of a spider was not accepted, but the spider drawing did later attract a $15,000 bid on Ebay.

Thorne’s latest trollgag was a biting bit of satire where he mused that there was no money in his usual line of work in graphic design, therefore he was going to raise $5120 and use it to ‘buy drugs for resale,’ $5000 in capital and $120 for a nifty metal suitcase to carry the unspecified ‘drugs’ in.

This post claims to have attracted the ire of a ‘Michael Harding,’ purportedly of South Australia Police, who is represented as having demanded that Thorne withdraw the satirical post. Thorne then ‘led’ the alleged copper down the rosy garden path for 11 email exchanges. Thorne’s purported exchange with ‘Harding’ is reproduced here on mgk after being rescued as well as possible from Google Cache.

Thorne finally ‘acquiesced’ and in the ‘offending’ post, changed the word ‘drugs’ to ‘cats.’ Thorne’s post ‘Investment Opportunity’ is reproduced here on mgk for your amusement and viewing pleasure.

Despite Thorne ‘caving in’ to the ‘demand’ to alter his post, by this morning at 4:30am AEDT, Thorne’s website has been altered to give the appearance of having been suspended by his web hosting service.

Having been unable to confirm whether there’s actually a ‘Michael Harding’ on SA Police nor whether there’s actually an ‘E-Crimes Act 2006’ in South Australia, it remains possible that this is yet another one of Thorne’s gags… but it’s a good yarn, no matter how it’s told.


MOAR: This is simply another Thorne hoax; if the site were truly suspended, you wouldn’t be able to view this file.

EVEN MOAR: Thorne has corrected his failure to delete/rename the directory that permitted the above linked file to be displayed, which gave the game away. Sorry, David, we know the site’s not suspended- busted.