Kevin Andrews: “I have formed a reasonable suspicion…”

July 31, 2007

The Immigration Minister is currently being interviewed on Lateline, and he is saying that Dr Haneef fails the character test as he (the Minister) has formed “a reasonable suspicion”.

From today’s SMH story:

“The whole circumstances surrounding Haneef’s attempted hasty departure from Australia, including chat room conversations, when viewed against his clear prior association with the Ahmed brothers, led me to form a reasonable suspicion as required by the migration legislation,” Mr Andrews said.

Isn’t it great that this is all it takes – the minister to form “a reasonable suspicion”?

“Councils must not bear costs of housing affordability: LGA”

July 31, 2007

I heard the following story on the ABC this morning:

Councils must not bear costs of housing affordability: LGA

Posted Tue Jul 31, 2007 9:41am AEST

The New South Wales Local Government Association (LGA) says the Federal Opposition’s $500 million housing affordability fund is well targeted, but it should be ensured that councils do not have to bear any additional costs.

Labor says it would use the fund to help local councils pay for infrastructure like water, sewerage and transport.

The LGA President, Genia McCaffrey says councils should not be left out-of-pocket by the plan to reduce housing costs.

“Just like developers, if councils get additional costs then we have to pass that on to our communities in either reduced services or additional rates,” she said.

“What we want out of this plan is more affordable housing, and more affordable living for our communities.”

Genia – so there is no way councils could operate more efficiently?

Saving 10c by buying supermarket-branded chips

July 31, 2007

Tonight, I participated in one small commercial experiment in amongst the multitudes of commercial experiments being conducted the world over. In the chip aisle of a major supermarket (I love chilli chips) I saw, prominently displayed, two competing brands of deep-fried chips (yum). Read the rest of this entry »

The obscene amount of Federal govt IR advertising

July 31, 2007

I’ve been appalled at the amount of advertising for the federal government’s IR policies recently – it’s everywhere – from bus stop posters to train station posters to ads in newspapers, advertising on websites (eg yahoo mail) and on television. Truly disgusting given that it’s effectively electoral advertising.

The advertising is missing the mark. People aren’t interested in whether a government body is “enforcing the law”, they don’t like what they think the law is! It’s a pretty crummy law if people are not guaranteed they can strike a collective union agreement with their employer.

The statement from the Mutitjulu community

July 31, 2007

Like many people, I read the statement in late June from the Mutitjulu community (which I’ve reproduced below). I know very little about the situation of the people in the Mutitjulu community apart from what I’ve seen in the media.

Something that really struck me from this statement is how reliant the community appears to be on government for ongoing funding of services. If the community had a source of income independent of government, it wouldn’t have to deal with politicians’ whims to fund health or other services. Read the rest of this entry »

Darlene Taylor’s pseudo-blog Part 2: the Cat Show

July 25, 2007

Monday 23rd July 2007


This weekend I spent the weekend at the cat show (meow). For those not in the know, a cat show consists of tons and tons of kitties in cages being let out every so often to have a judge (often eccentric and passionate and dressed in a vest with cat pictures all over it) check to see if their, for example, fur is the right colour, their tail is suitably tapered and their nose is in good shape. The cats were well-tempered about it all, and seemed less catty than some of their owners (e.g. the old woman who got cranky with the judge who looked like one of The Golden Girls due to a comment about a cat’s eyes being open too wide, a woman who was so cranky with the “rude” general public that she wished one cat had bit a particular woman, but then thought not because the cat might have caught rabies from particular woman and the female “who wouldn’t trust her if she paid me, and I don’t want a longhair anyway”).  Lots of women at the cat show, as you can tell. It was quite amusing to watch the thin lipped and tense owner of one pair of non-moggies actually crack a smile or two as her cats gathered lots of ribbons.  During the final process one of the international judges got bit by a shirty Siamese, but the Siamese still, errr, walked away with a big prize and a pink kennel, a pink litter tray and some food.  Best in Show went to the most adorable British Blue Shorthair ever, but the one that touched everyone’s heart was the Best Domestic (or Companion) who was a gorgeous milk chocolate puss with a cream Salvador Dali mo. It’s owner started crying and crying. It seems that puss was rescued from a very abusive home, and now he’s a *star* (or at least he’s got a ribbon, a pink kennel and a pink litter tray). There’s hope for Jess yet.  

Darlene Taylor’s blog’s ghostly presence: part 1

July 25, 2007

As regular readers would know, Darlene Taylor refused to continue funding her own blog a few months ago, and has instead instituted a cheap version of same by e-mailing people her pseudo-would-be-posts. 🙂

“Why should she cheapness be rewarded”, cry otherwise-would-be-readers-of-her-blog, and I have to admit I agree with them, but nonetheless, I thought that it would be nice to offer Darlene a platform to broadcast her e-mails masquerading as blog posts on my own blog as I enjoyed reading hers.

Enjoy part 1 below of Darlene’s non-blog blog. Of course, Darlene’s views are strictly her own 🙂

Given that there’s been a tidal wave of requests (hyperbole intended) for my blog to be resurrected from the dark pits of hell (no hyperbole); I’d thought I’d write something that might be regarded as bloggy. Alas, since Australia Princess is still on hiatus, there’s nothing to report on that very important score. If anyone knows what Kylie Booby is doing now, please do not hesitate to let me know.  Anyway, let’s fill you in on a bit of Darlene. Well, I enrolled in a Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing, but found that the only subject available this semester was “Introduction to Computers”. Suffice to say, I have deferred until next year, but will be doing a drawing class to ease some of my mammoth intellectual curiosity and that crap.  Also, like the mad mummy of an even madder pussy cat, I will be doing an afternoon course in “Everything Your Cat Would Like You To Know”. Jess is having some major dental issues (she could be gummy girl soon) but is settled and responding well to the pheromone diffuser I purchased from the vet. As a tortoiseshell, she’s a little timid. She’s my little Aussie battler, no worries mate. Apart from that, I had a short and interesting relationship with the Baha’i Faith. It was quite engaging and there’s good stuff to be found in it (e.g. it supports equality of women and opposes racism), but it has some unfortunate literalist opinions and authoritarian tendencies. Sure, all faiths have these, but from what I can tell these days you can whinge and moan about, for example, the Anglican Church but still turn up on Sunday and be a part of the community. The Baha’is have booted people out for being “covenant breakers”. At my new digs in North Fitzroy, we don’t have a television set so I’ve no idea what’s been going on with aspiring models, Big Brother contestants and other pressing matters (see earlier reference to Australian Princess).  HELP!!!!! End of pretend blog post.

Michael Towke

July 20, 2007

I’ve been watching the preselection for the Liberal candidate for Cook in the upcoming federal election with interest, as I tutored the winning candidate, Michael Towke, in mathematics at Sydney university about 5-6 years ago.

It’s interesting to see people you knew in the public eye.

Darlene Taylor’s latest ‘zine

July 19, 2007

I’m now Darlene Taylor’s literary agent as she’s deleted her blog, and so I bring you, dear readers, her latest ‘zine. This is my path to riches:

Darlene Taylor’s ‘zine

“The great global warming swindle”: Comments by the Australian Academy of Science

July 13, 2007

I received this e-mail from the Australian Academy of Science and thought that readers might be interested in reading it. (I’ve copied the text from this page.)

‘The great global warming swindle’ television program: Comments by the Academy’s
National Committee for Earth System Science

12 July 2007

It is both exasperating and unfortunate when the media either exaggerate stories, sometimes to idiotic degrees, or air poorly-vetted and inaccurate presentations that are purported to provide journalistic balance. It has been so for global warming ever since the topic burst into the media in the late 1980s with images of floods, droughted crops, storms, lightning bolts, cracked clay pans, carcasses in deserts, and people in deck-chairs on the beach up to their necks in sea water. This has created vividly false impressions. Now the TV program ‘The great global warming swindle’ (aired on Australian Broadcasting Corporation television on 12 July 2007) presents a counter story with even greater, but opposite, exaggeration and inaccuracy. What can the man in the street make of this? How can the publics’ right to be well informed be addressed by such polarizing and incompatible presentations in the media? Is human-induced climate change the biggest threat to the world this century, or is it just a fraudulent claim by climate scientists trying to drum up research dollars? Read the rest of this entry »