Open Thread


All through the ages, the first thing the great dictators did when they got into power was to burn the books. There hasn’t been a time throughout history when a dictator hasn’t burned or banned books. Whether it be Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse-Tung, Napoleon, Brezhnev, George Bush or Sarah Palin. Even now countries such as China, Saudia Arabia, Iraq, Iran, North Korea and Cuba just to name a few have strong censorship laws.

I came up through the sixties and seventies working for Collins Book Sellers who were battling the Henry Bolte/Aurthur Rylar government’s arcane censorship laws. Books like The Little Red School Book, Portnoy’s Complaint, The Outcasts of Foolgarah, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, were books that we were able to use to challenge the law; along with various editions of Playboy. Gough Whitlam came along and there was a new dawn with books. Most of the old rules were overturned and in Victoria there was very little trouble any more because Bolte was gone. Although in Queensland they still had Joh Bjelke-Petersen.

Labor governments in Australia through the ages have been on the progressive side of censorship. The Howard Government was doing it’s best to bring in strong censorship laws. Once even getting a law that would have had anyone arrest and charged for loading any sort of porn onto the Internet inside or outside the country, that is, if you were uploading porn to the USA you would be charged. It was stopped on the way to getting governors’ approval. Whose definition of porn was it?

I was most relieved when Kevin Rudd was elected. No more trouble with censorship laws. The ALP had more sense. The ALP would have much smarter people working in that department. No more trouble. Imagine my horror when I received an email from my son about the Great Firewall of Australia. You cannot imagine the anger and swear words that came from my mouth. The thing that really disappoints me the most is the amount of talent in the ALP that has not stood up against this law. One person in particular who is my hero, Maxine McKew, for beating John Howard in Bennelong. I have my own personal desktop background of the Bennelong result, she has not been stood up on this issue. Maxine is not the highest person in the ALP but she comes from a very strong media background. I expected that she would have taken a stand on this issue. But Maxine is not alone. There are many others in the ALP who remain silent.

Why won’t the firewall work? First of all, you could never make it a word based program. There are two many words that cross over, for instance the first and most obvious word is sex. If you ban the word sex, you also ban communicating with Middlesex and Sussex, you could never mention the word sextant. You would stop any email with a job application asking the persons sex or any document asking for your sex. That would just about grind the Internet to a halt in Australia. What about Virgin? Well there goes Virgin Airlines, Virginia and West Virginia for a start, then the online bible. Most of the words to do with women’s sexual health would be out. To show how effective a word based censorship firewall is to try blocking the word Viagra in your email. Ads by using the word Viagra will still get through. It cannot be done, because I still get V!agra Vi*gra and Viagr* coming through.

Senator Conroy says he only wants to ban child porn sites. Well I can tell why it won’t stop the child porn sites. Even if he blocked every site it would still get into Australia very, very easily. How? Every laptop coming into the country. Every portable USB hard drive on a key ring. Has anyone mentioned to Senator Conroy that the new portable hard drives can hold over 1Terabyte of information? Then there is Peer to Peer networks. His system won’t be able to block those at all. The record companies have been unsuccessful in stopping them, how is he going to stop them? Anybody with a little bit of computer knowledge can do that. Just ask your kids to show you how. Ask them about Limewire. Peer to Peer networks are a giant whole in Senator Conroy’s firewall, so big you could drive a truck through it.

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Senator Conroy’s intention is to block illegal websites. He has a budget allocated for that. It will be very difficult to do that for the present standard of the Internet without blocking a lot of innocent sites. But what Senator Conroy has not taken into account the huge explosion of the Internet in the USA that’s about to happen under Barrack Obama. Free up restrictions on the Internet, introducing broadband to large amounts of untouched area’s in the USA. Senator Conroy’s system will slow the Australian Internet down under today’s system. It will be worse when Obama’s Internet kicks in.

Let’s say Senator Conroy is 100% successful in the sites he blocks. All are correct none that shouldn’t be are blocked. The ALP is tossed out at the next election. The Liberals win in a landslide and Tony Abbott is the new Minister for communications. Not a nice thought is it? That would be senator Conroy’s fault.

Senator Conroy’s 40 million dollars would be much better spent and far more effective on extra police to crack down on child pornography. Oh I forgot, he can’t give that to another department can he?

Obama’s Internet Revolution Begins.

1,645 replies on “Censorship”

Obama’s wi-fi White House speaks to the YouTube age.

It was a fireside chat for a wi-fi world. Barack Obama yesterday launched his first regular weekly update to the American voters by YouTube. It was an ultra-modern echo of how Franklin D. Roosevelt’s regular folksy radio broadcasts, complete with the sound of a fire crackling in the background, helped guide America through the Great Depression.

Now Obama is also facing a massive economic crisis and he is reaching out to the American public with a YouTube video. The move is part of a hi-tech revolution in politics that Obama has promised to bring to Washington when he takes office. Technology and the internet are set to be a core part of the new administration, bolstered by Obama’s massive online army of supporters.

Good shit Chris.
Like you i do not have much longer on this planet to watch these do gooders wrecking everyones life. The one thing we always tend to forget when we elect these bastards is that whatever they say we should immediately assume the opposite. That is pretty much what happens. Promise you the worlds fastest broadband is political speak for sorry guys and girls but we are really slowing it down.
All they will be successful at will be to drive it underground which will make it a bit harder to get, which will up the price, and thus more lucrative for the pushers.
I do not for one moment agree with child pornography.
For those persons who do not want their kids to see it let them deal with it their own way in their home PCs either with filters or having the puter in an open view situation.
One day they may understand that Joe Public is sick and fucken tired of having his day to day life managed by a bunch of slow brained idiots.
If they put as much energy in to fixing the infrastructure, health system, education and transport what a good start that would be getting this country back on track.
I will say fuck again just for the hell of it while i can.
Fuck em all!

Chris, somebody needs to emphasize to wowsers and political control freaks like Conroy and Co. that attempting ham-fisted measures at net censorship is sure to put the kybosh on The Economy in what are already challenging times globally going forward.

Surely Australia’s Head of State, Betty “Madge” Windsor, a.k.a. “Brenda”, last known whereabouts, London, England, would be happy to have her ever vigilant and watchful colonial cyber-plods, having sworn alliegence to her, pursue their duties unencumbered by un-necessary government oversight.

Yeah, Gaffy, these self-appointed bastions of the public morality shit me to tears too. Likewise, I abhor child porn merchants and ruthless exploiters of young innocents; dedicated and systematic police work will put enough heat on their activities to keep it to a minimum. Unfortunately child porn is very difficult to eradicate completely because as long as their are members of the species homo sapiens who are willing to enslave others for commercial gain, there will always be a market.
Just when you thought it was safe to go back on the ice floe…….

Sat Nov 15:;_ylt=AnAN1_VPdMC4t21Kp8qKFDnd.sgF

Go back to Nov 14:

White rage: The rednecks out to kill Obama

When millions watched Barack Obama give his history-making victory speech in Grant Park on election night, one thing stood out starkly – the bulletproof screen surrounding him. But just how serious is the threat of assassination to the President-elect?

We also know that Obama’s supporters have been almost maniacal in their desire to prevent him sharing the tragic fate of the Kennedys and Martin Luther King. On a couple of occasions during primary season, when security ‘ guards at Obama campaign events stopped searching people’s bags because of the backlog of people trying to get in, sympathetic reporters, bloggers and ordinary members of the public complained as loudly as they knew how. Likewise, when someone at a Sarah Palin rally in Clearwater, Florida in early October reacted to a mention of Obama’s name by shouting “kill him!”, there was such a clamour on the internet that the Secret Service made a rare public announcement saying it was launching an official investigation.

more of the very interesting story…

2 Gaffhook Even with fuck, Gaffy we can still say fcuk. They can’t censor that, because it is a trade name Isn’t it fcukn wonderful?

After my then-9 year old son copped an eyeful of some pretty unsavoury and explicit porn I was all for censorship. I have since completely changed my mind for all the reasons Chris outlined. And moved the computer into the lounge room!!

I fear that common sense on this internet censorship issue is being held to ransom by that buffoon Steve Fielding from Family First.

Like Brian Harradine before him, that crucial Balance of Power senate vote is held by a moralising, cave dwelling God botherer.

How much does Fieldings future co-operation depend on Labour’s going ahead with this inane censorship plan?…i’d say he is saying…quite a lot.

Between the unholy alliance of the 3 holies ( Fielding,Conroy,Rudd) they seem to have an unwise determination to implement this censorship plan. It is going to take a lot of fighting to get them to finally back down.

But surely common sense(hello!!!! common sense still around?) will prevail in the end. It is a plan that can’t work and can’t reach it’s objective.

Speeding UP the internet is the future..not slowing it DOWN.

I don’t much like Rudd, but unlike Conroy , he does at least have a clever brain.As much as he is a God botherer, he is probably more pro-business. Surely after a lot of posturing to please Mr 2% Feilding, this silly plan will be given the shove.

Let’s not forget that it was Labour that put Fielding in rather than preference the Greens. Serves them right as far as i’m concerned 😡

The bottom line on this issue is that Rudd has to break 1 of his campaign promises.

1) to censor the internet


2) to deliver a world class internet

Who will win?…business or religionists?

Oh Kevvie is so torn…………

No doubt it’s a trade off Chris- if Fieldling wins on this then they’ll get his vote on other issues. And it’s not hard to sell this to the average punter who, like me, don’t want their kids exposed to porn etc. And no matter how much you personally filter etc , they can still access it through other kids puters etc. So a lot of people will support it because they don’t understand the ramifications.

6 jen Back in my younger days all the school kids used to go though the dictionary to find how many naughty words they could find. The Internet is just a bigger and more informative version of the dictionary / encyclopedias. I can imagine Fielding going through the dictionary, the writing to the Oxford Dictionary to get these words removed.

I’m waiting to see what Google MSN and Yahoo have to say, after they signed their pact. They are very quiet on the issue.

Chambliss leads, but Martin close behind, Democratic poll says.

A Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll this week is showing Republican incumbent Saxby Chambliss leading in the U.S. Senate runoff, with Democrat Jim Martin close behind.

The poll commissioned by the Democratic-oriented web site puts Chambliss at 49 percent, and Martin at 46 percent. Margin of error is 4 percent.

Excellent post Chris.
I think,as far as Conroy’s “porn sieve” is concerned, the laws of physics will probably come to our rescue.
It simply won’t work for those who don’t want it to.
Blocking (who knows how many) sites via ISPs is fairly trivial to get around, even for an ordinary mug punter. Much less for anyone (like your average teenager) who is determined to look up Paris Hilton’s skirt and see what Kevin 07 didn’t dare look at, while getting pissed at Scores. 🙂

Meanwhile ticksters……Your mission, should you choose to accept it.
Is to find that magic list of naughty addresses and forward it to the rude pundit ASAP.

One of the silliest and most alarming features of this whole moral panic, web filtering nonsense is……..The list must remain secret!!!

On no account, must we let…(insert bad group/person here) know the addresses of those evil sites.
Think about that for a moment. There are several hundred ISPs out there. Staffed by people who think this idea is a complete turkey.

So then, how long do we think it will take for that list to leak?
I’d give it ten mins tops.
After that…………
End of civilization as we know it and the pornographers have won.
Well alright, I lied about the end of civilization bit.

But there might be a tad more traffic to certain dark places on the net.
So Kev and Steven…. How do you spell own goal?


they can still access it through other kids puters etc.

And no doubt coming soon you will be able to add; Blackberry, mobile phone, wrist watch, designer glasses etc etc.

And if Rudd and the ALP want to do deals with the religious nut bags to drag my standards down to the level of their beliefs and holy lifestyle he can get rooted for mine.
I would much rather him say to the zealot that this is how it is going to pan out Fieldmouse. We either get your votes on these important bills or you will be voting on a bill that will require religious corporations to pay tax.

3 Ecky

That brings up yet another similarity with the Bush/Clinton (and Perot) race: both Bush Snr and McCain had VP’s that provided lots of comic relief. Who could forget the inimitable Dan Quayle? He was the Sarah Palin of his day but without the hunting skills and the wardrobe. But he was her equal in ignorance! LOL

I know parents who used to ban the Simpson’s. So what did their kids do? Go to someone else’s place to watch it. All that did was create a chasm or generation gap between the kids and their parents.

Yeah there are hundreds of variations out there and acronyms in full use everywhere and that only shows the stupid folly of wasting so much time, energy and taxpayers money on something as stupid as this and even thinking they will get a result.
Conroy is trying to protect me Ha Ha. Having spent the sixties in the grey funnel line at age 18 i was visiting places like Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok,Manila and of all places a place called Olongapo, a place that Michael Caine later referred to as the “sin city of the East.”
As you would remember there was no internet then so everything was live entertainment.
That’s what happened to us poor very young defence force personell, we were thrown in the deep end and had to learn to swim.
So what i suggest is that if they want to censure the net then they should make it compulsory for all defence force personell to remain in Australia so that they are not visited by the evil ways of foreigners in their own countries.

No mate, at the age of 18 and given the choice between a night with a lovely lady in Olongapo or a clandestine night with a paedophile catholic priest it’s a no brainer what choice i would take.

No Paddy you are wrong!!!.

Chris B

Try to imagine why anyone except card carrying GOP brownshirts would buy a book, ghost written for sure, about Minnie Moose after she’s been wall to wall (or screen to screen) for months!

It would be as scintillating as Costello’s tell all!

More likely it’s Palin’s PR spinners that are putting out the ‘rumour’. Publishers are having a tough time and throwing millions at a dud like Palin would be the same as flushing it down the toilet. Besides, I really doubt she’d get Oprah’s endorsement! (And besides, Americans prefer ‘winners’, and no amount of PR will change her status on that score!)

Chris B

Does it come with pictures?


I believe it’s called “Nailin Palin”
But that rotten sod Conroy has gone and blocked it!!! :mrgreen:

We would never get to read it because of censorship.
No doubt there would be a vivid description of how she had a Puck at a hockey game somewhere, bein a hockey mum an all that.

Nailin’ Palin! Jon Stewart (or was it Cobert?) got a good laugh with that one.

On a more serious note, here’s what the US state budgets look like, and we’ll use Illinois for an example:

“Illinois, the ninth most-populous U.S. state, is $4 billion behind in paying bills to its suppliers of goods and services, Comptroller Dan Hynes said. Vendors face a 12-week delay in getting paid, and the wait may extend to 20 weeks, Hynes said… The ‘unprecedented’ backlog of bills might grow to $5 billion by March… ‘To call this an imminent crisis is an understatement,’ said Hynes… The payment delays may hurt school districts waiting for funding and force state police to park vehicles if vendors stop supplying gasoline, Hynes said. The situation also may affect food supplies to state prisons, physician services to Medicaid recipients and funding of transit agencies, he said.”

…the place is almost grinding to a halt, literally.

Trouble is CB, the religious nutbags only read the ‘good book’ (Or have it read to them, since the big words are a bit difficult! LOL)

.Chris@15 – no dictionary that I’ve ever seen shows women urinating on each other whist doing each other with anal vibrators – that’s what my 9 year old son sawwhen he typed in “sexy ladies” on the advice of anothe grade4 kid.
You can’t compare rude words and what kids can access on the internet.
For all that, I am anti-censorship… just want to make sure children are protected, although I understand there is only so much I can personally do.
As for Fielding… serves Labor right as I said before. They inflicted this cretin on the entire country with a less-than 2 percent vote. Poetic justice.

Wow Kirri, they’re mighty ugly figures from Illinois.
I assume the other states aren’t much better. 🙁

Meanwhile….The idiot in chief appears to be just as stubborn, vicious and stupid as ever.

It wouldn’t be the George W. Bush we all know if our shamed president didn’t spend his remaining White House days in a final fit of polarization.

That’s what Bush’s moves this week are clearly about: dividing, not uniting. The New York Times reported that during his first meeting with Barack Obama, the outgoing president suggested he might support the Democrats’ economic stimulus package and aid to struggling automakers if party leaders “drop their opposition to a free-trade agreement with Colombia.” While Bush later denied an overt quid pro quo, one was obviously implied.


Boy George is even trying to tell the G20 (so now he knows who they are at least! LOL) that we haven’t seen a failure of ‘free markets’ and that more regulation is not the solution!

FFS does this cretin have Reagan slogans tattooed on the inside of his eyelids? Maybe that’s how he can say them without reading the autocue!

Ah, exactly the opposite Georgie Boy, the ‘free markets’ imploded in an orgy of credit creation while they gorged themselves with cheap money courtesy of Mr Magoo (aka the Maestro, Alan Greenspan).

What Boy George could not bring himself to say was that they finally found those WMD, hidden in bundles of obscure derivatives being pumped out of Wall Street.

What a turkey.

like I said Chris- the stuff kids see on the internet is not benign. It is disturbing and if there was a way of protecting them without causing all the issues you have correctly outlined I’d actually be all for it.
And yes. I do now have the flilters, and puter is in lounge room. The most effective censor though is my son himself. He wsa so freaked out by the whole thing that he says he will never look at porn again. And I believe him 😉

42 jen Sorry jen I wasn’t aiming that at you. I understand your issue quit well. I assume your son doesn’t like girl germs either?

Oh what joy.
My weekly fix of Frank Rich. 🙂

The Moose Stops Here
ELECTION junkies in acute withdrawal need suffer no longer. Though the exciting Obama-McCain race is over, the cockfight among the losers has only just begun. The conservative crackup may be ugly, but as entertainment, it’s two thumbs up!

Harry, the Republicans appear to be similarly stuffed to the Oz Liberals.
But at least the Libs aren’t offering Sophie Mirrabella as the next Messiah. :mrgreen:

I just don’t see a Republican in the Whitehouse any time soon.
Oh what a terrible shame. 😆

Obama thinking big, despite crisis.

Signs coming out of Barack Obama’s transition conclave in Chicago suggest he has no intention of lowering his sights for an activist, big ideas, presidency despite the deep economic crisis.

Since Obama’s historic election nearly two weeks ago, some analysts have suggested that the financial crunch, huge budget deficits and two draining wars abroad will curtail Obama’s ambitious sweeping reform agenda.–Hg74BMwnSFLE7KFBDTB3fgk4Q

In States where the literacy levels are lowest among whites, the GOPper vote was proportionally highest; voters rely on watch and/or listen media, ie. radio and Fox and MSM TV for “infomation”.
Many can’t read online zines, blogs or print, they are thus more readily finessed with political propaganda. The point is amply made several times in “Deer Hunting with Jesus”.

Florida, Hispanics, and change.

The first draft of history on the 2008 election already has concluded that the dismal economy did in John McCain.

But what about the issue that was barely mentioned during the final months of the campaign – immigration? Nothing accounts as precisely for Sen. McCain’s margin of defeat as the math on immigration voting.

Hispanics turned out in record numbers. For most, immigration was a major issue. For many, it was the overriding issue. Hispanics made up more than 9 percent of the electorate, according to exit polling, and more than 67 percent of them voted for Barack Obama, who won by 6.7 points. The math suggests that Hispanic voters provided that margin of victory.

Begich Gains in Alaska as More Votes Are Counted

The Anchorage Daily News starts its story today on the slow Senate election count with: “Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens is in grave danger of losing re-election.” When used in a medical context, “grave danger” means “will likely die today.” In a political context it means “Mark Begich is about to become a U.S. senator.” His election will bring the Democrats’ total to 58, with Minnesota and Georgia still undecided.

more here…

This is really, really upsetting news.

Right-leaning media brace for shutout.

Since the Weekly Standard launched in 1995, there’s one scenario the conservative magazine hasn’t yet faced: Democrats in control of both the White House and Congress.

But that’s what lies ahead in just two months, leaving staffers there and at other media outlets on the right bracing for a period on the outside. looking in.

New presidents’ errors make primer for Obama.
Initial nominee and policy blunders are sometimes costly, often transitory.

“It’s a hell of a way to learn things,” said President John F. Kennedy in 1961, following the spectacular failure of the invasion of Cuba that he ordered three months after taking office.

The CIA-backed invasion by anti-Castro Cuban émigrés, at a place called the Bay of Pigs, was botched from the start.

As some of Kennedy’s advisers had warned him, the CIA didn’t send enough troops for the invasion to be successful. Fidel Castro’s forces proved victorious.

A smooth entry and a steady first few months will make Barack’s job a lot easier later on.

I’m against proscriptive censorship, such as that proposed by our “friends” in my now home city. (WTF – rememeber Tom Lehrer’s “Smut” – “When correctly viewed, everything is lewd”.)

I dislike pornography in general because it debases the people involved – the viewers tends to treat those represented in paintings, photographs, drawings, videos and films as objects of their own pleasure rather than people. This is the problem that pedophiles have – the child is an object whose pain and feelings don’t matter simply because their debasing desires are paramount.

A better strategy for the Federal Government would be to embark on an education campaign that awakens people to the consequences of their viewing ponrographic images may cause – such as the exploitation of those in distressed circumstances. Education, education & more education is the way forward – not silly censorship of ISPs that anyone with a mere wit of technocogical savvy can overcome.

The ALP needs to stop pandering to the Sarah Palin mob and work on the idea that pornography material is by and large dehumanising.

Obama Will Have to Give Up His Blackberry

Barack Obama will be the first President completely plugged into cyberspace. He uses his Blackberry for everything. When a staffer prepares a report for him, it is sent to the Blackberry. Unfortunately, while Presidents get their own fully staffed state-of-the-art aircraft and many other perks, Blackberries are not among them. The Presidential Records Act requires presidential correspondence to the archived so that’s the end of Obama’s Blackberry. However, Obama has said he wants a notebook computer on his desk, which is OK as long as all the e-mail is saved. he would be the first President to have a computer on his desk. He will also be the first President to deliver his weekly radio address as a Webcast archived on YouTube. When Obama campaigned about bringing the presidency into the 21st Century, he clearly meant it. It is hard to imagine a President McCain communicating with the nation using Webcasts.


What is your take on this. Does it stack up?

If you think this weekend’s G-20 meetings in Washington are only about designing short-term fixes to the financial system and regulatory reforms for banks, hedge funds, brokers, mortgage companies and investment banks … think again.

Behind the scenes, a far more fundamental fix is being discussed — the possible revaluation of gold and the birth of an entirely new monetary system.

I’ll be fascinated to hear what Kirri thinks of that one too.
But at first glance, it sure sounds like the author has gone long on gold. 🙂

It brings to mind that old saying. (can’t remember who first came up with it.)
For every complex and difficult problem, there’s always a simple solution………….And it’s always the wrong one.

Cardster @ 55- hear hear. Having worked with sex workers in drug and alcohol treatment programs there is nothing redeeming about it. It is debasing, corrupt and expolitative to the extreme. And mostly there is little “choice” about what these usually young people are doing. And i totally agree that it is about education and debate, not censorship. Don’t worry fellas – i’m not advocating no porn – just how we go about it.

61 jen I understand completely what you say and it sounds good. I just think it would be extremely difficult to implement.

Australian Sex Party to get political at Melbourne Sexpo.

WITH four million Australians accessing pornography the newly formed Australian Sex Party says it has a real chance of winning seats in state and federal parliament.
The new political party with the slogan “We are serious about sex” will be launched tomorrow.

Its platforms include a national sex education curriculum, reducing censorship, abolishing the government’s proposed internet filter and supporting gay marriage.,21985,24662138-5005961,00.html


Yet another gold bug with a target for gold and a theory on how to get there! LOL

These conspiracy theories, (well, they come pretty close to it), are a dime a dozen, and hardly worth the pixels they take up. Look, if gold becomes valued at thousands of dollars an ounce then the USD has become near worthless, the savings of Asia have near disappeared, and I’d prefer my assets in tinned food and ammunition, thanks! LOL

In other words, the world would have to be in such bad shape that you’d hardly be concerned with the price of gold. Getting food and water would be your primary concern. It’s the armeggedon scenario that dare not speak its name, but that’s what it is.

And no, I don’t think it’s THAT bad…not yet.

Uncertain times for US Religious Right.

As the dust settles on Washington following the Barack Obama earthquake, one group more than any other is expecting to be out in the cold.

For the past eight years, the so-called Religious Right has enjoyed a warm reception at the centre of White House policy-making, and with the Republican coalition on Capitol Hill.

Speaking of gold, it was reported yesterday that Iran has moved some of it’s 150 billion in national reserves into gold, but they didn’t say how much. I suspect it’s just a bit of a poke in the eye to the US dollar for political reasons, although the run up in the USD MUST end and reverse some time as the Bernanke printing presses keep cranking it out. (The US Treasury is currently borrowing hundreds of billions, and the chances are that foreign investors are tapped out and wary of backing Uncle Sam loosing position.) US rates should start rising and the USD should start falling…just don’t ask me when this will happen.

Gold has fallen less than the stock market and held value somewhat better, but it won’t move substantially until the USD reverses the current trend. (And that upward move of the USD has mostly been technical ie the US investment funds needed dollars and have been liquidating investments all over the world and buying up dollars to repatriate. It’s obviously a bit more complicated, but mostly along those lines.)

Chris B

Just what gays need, a political party to remind everyone that gays have sex! LOL

I’m sure a lot of gays would not like to be ‘represented’ by the political arm (fist?) of the porn industry.

Good post Chris.

I’m also against censorship, and I’m abhorred that a Labor government would contemplate it. Policy moves like this are usually the thin edge of the wedge, in my opinion. They’ll keep chipping away at personal freedoms. It’s extremely disappointing.

Unlike others here, I’ll be glued to the TV to watch The Howard Years. I think it will be simultaneously painful, infuriating and educational. As a political junkie, I’m think it will be compelling TV for me.

Cool! The Monthly emailed me to tell me I was in the top 300 predictions for the US election results. I won’t win, of course, but I’m pretty pleased to be close-ish.

Behind the Scenes: Saluting a female general.

Watching Army Chief of Staff George Casey swear in his newest fellow four star — the first woman to achieve the Army’s highest rank — it was hard not to feel something truly historic was happening before your eyes.

The cavernous Pentagon auditorium was packed with a constellation of multistarred senior officers, mostly men. The mood was festive. There were broad smiles everywhere.

It was both a sign of how far women have come in the U.S. military and a reminder that women are still not full equals to their brothers-in-arms.

Sarah Palin might be trying to set back women 100 years, but while she’s doing that another one is taking giant steps forward.

68 Katielou Thanks for your comments KatieLou. I’m not watching the Howard years because I’m not a masochist. 😈

I think everyone should start praying, or sending brain waves, or whatever, for Obama to pick up Missouri, so I can win The Monthly competition and go to the inauguration. I went 375 EV, Missouri would make him 376, but I’d be in with a good shot.

ChrisB – thanks for raising the flag on Labor’s plans. As far as I am concerned ANY censorship of the Internet is to be opposed. The kiddie porn issue is just a trojan horse, a means to opening the door to Internet censorship. Once that door is open, what is there stopping politicians (of any party) from blocking access to all kinds of sites they deem to be beyond the “public interest” (i.e., in their political interest)?

I am actually shocked that a Labor government is trying to go down this road. As HarryH said, I also think this has a lot to do with Labor trying to get greater leverage in the senate with Steve Fielding, but I also wonder about other hidden motives and am left utterly disgusted.

On this note, I am thoroughly sick of “family values”, “family friendly” policies, and constant talk about the needs of “working families”, being used as code for pushing conservative/religious agendas in this country. Families need to take more responsibility for raising their children according to their values rather than having a set of values IMPOSED on all of us because Fielding has a Religious Right agenda and because Labor wants to strip down individual rights for the sake of maintaining power.

I truly despair for this country sometimes.

So what do we do? In the end, most people will embrace Internet censorship because politicians will sell it as a double-barrelled argument: If you are for filtering, then you are against kiddie porn vs. if you are against filtering, then you are for kiddie porn. And who wants to be for kiddie porn?

Making the argument about censorship being wrong out of principle or that it opens the door to being abused by those in power is too advanced for the masses.

The only other way is to make the point about slowing down the Internet and raising costs or to revert to some kind of argument about the need for individual responsibility from parents rather than government interference.

Whatever the case, I think there needs to a strong Internet-based movement against the government’s plans. We saw the power of the Intertubes in the U.S. election. I noticed a couple of protest groups formed on Facebook that are attracting big numbers, but a website and some kind of organised movement of thousands of people against these plans is perhaps the only way to send a clear message to our stupid government.

Seizing the Moment

That is both Obama’s great challenge and his great opportunity. If he can do what F.D.R. did — make American capitalism stabler and less savage — he will establish a Democratic majority that dominates U.S. politics for a generation. And despite the daunting problems he inherits, he’s got an excellent chance. For one thing, taking aggressive action to stimulate the economy, regulate the financial industry and shore up the American welfare state won’t divide his political coalition; it will divide the other side. On domestic economics, Democrats up and down the class ladder mostly agree.

I couldn’t have written a better article myself. It’s exactly what I have been thinking, but haven’t put into words. On the surface of it Obama is putting together a heavy weight team to carry this out. So far I am very impressed with the way Obama is going about his implementation of his program.,8599,1858771-2,00.html

LOL – I’ve been walking around smiling, thinking about the possibility of winning. It would be such a thrill.

Clinton Vetting Includes Look at Mr. Clinton.

President-elect Barack Obama’s advisers have begun reviewing former President Bill Clinton’s finances and activities to see whether they would preclude the appointment of his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, as secretary of state, Democrats close to the situation said Sunday.
The examination of the former president suggests how seriously Mr. Obama is considering bringing his onetime rival for the Democratic presidential nomination into his cabinet. He met with Mrs. Clinton in Chicago on Thursday to talk about the prospect and word quickly filtered out. Many Democrats close to both camps said Sunday that it seemed likely that Mr. Obama would ask her to take the job, assuming they could work something out regarding Mr. Clinton’s role.

Click here to continue story

75 & 76
Asanque and Jen i read where the move could be happening. Hope so too.
From the other thread

Now that the election is over and the result is in, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) is about to fire up the impeachment process.

However, now it appears that Conyers will be pushing impeachment. At the “Take Back America Conference”, Conyers replied, “Yes, you have my word on that.” He then shook the hand of a questioner resolutely. The congressman was speaking in a panel, “The Republic Against the Rogue Presidency.” Conyers described what was keeping him from pursuing impeachment. He said that he wanted to wait until Obama was elected, as he feared that impeachment would become an election issue.

Right ticksters……It’s time to show the A.B. friggin C who’s boss.

So tonight, after you’ve all finished watching the wonderful Bill Leak
on facepainting.

I want you to turn off your televisions and pretend you’re Peter Finch in Network.

That’s it. Open your windows and scream at the top of your voice.
“I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more!!”
“So you can stick John Howard and the horrid years up your arse!!!”

“You can also tell Steven Conroy and his fucktard mate Steven Fielding to piss off and get themselves a real job while you’re at it.”

There now….That feels *much* better. 🙂

Obama’s White House Hires Reflect Respect for Hill.

Among the small number of White House staff announcements made so far by President-elect Barack Obama , most of the top spots have gone to recent Capitol Hill veterans.

The latest wave, announced early Sunday morning, includes Senior Adviser Pete Rouse, who served as Senate chief of staff to Obama and former Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., and Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina, who was the chief of staff to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus.

The continuing story of Bungalow Bill

I can honestly say i would rather watch paint dry than watch The Howard Years on Howard’s ABC.

A black cloud lifted from the whole country when the putrid little man bested Stanley Bruce and disappeared into thin air.

May he never be heard from again.

The country and it’s people will be far better for it.

Well Harry, I think you’re probably underselling paint there. 🙂
However, if it all gets too much…..Today’s Crikey has an “inspirational” video showing what can be achieved ………
If you’re a penguin, faced with insurmountable odds.
Penguin 1 Orcas 0

Hopefully they will all appear there and get the same treatment.
They can then be locked away and share arses cells!

Well dear friends – am sitting looking over a gorgeous scene with a lovely shiraz thinking that all is well now that Obi is about to take the reigns, and hopefully allow the process to lock away the bastards that left us so uneasy for so long.
Go Gett’em. :mrgreen:

Joe the plummer had his 10 minutes of highlight and so did Joe the Joo. Now Joe the Joo is about to undergo a secret litmus test.

Senate Democrats will decide by secret ballot Tuesday whether to take away Sen. Joe Lieberman’s chairmanship of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee — a post from which he oversees U.S. security issues, as well as the operations of a wide segment of the federal government.

The anger over Lieberman’s campaigning for the Republican presidential candidate is still boiling — fueled by memories of his undercutting Barack Obama, including in a nationally televised speech at the Republican National Convention.,0,210681.story

Jen, even though I’m an official Beer Drinker for Obama (thanks JV), you’ve convinced me to share your mood. Just need to get me some shiraz!


Flaneur- shalom. Beer is fine – it’s the sense of well-being that is to be savoured.
Just had a call from a friend who knows about the intellectaual ability of you good fo9k – and the question is….
With the US economy in the state it is in how the F can the insurance companies meet the costs of the current fires in California which are causing enormous property loss???
Over to the experts….

Been agonising whether to watch “The Years of The Rat” on telly tonight. After a full year he has returned to haunt us. The unctuous little PNAC groveller has been expunged in full from my psyche but now I have to endure his whiney, faux-pomp voice and listen to people who want to compare him to Menzies all over again. I really don’t want to put myself through it because of my visceral loathing for the man but I must, because the truth is……..there is no option, there is no choice.
For our kind, politics and free-will are mutually exclusive. It is our curse.

So while Johnny gets to infiltrate my brain again and stir up chimerical circuitry long dormant, I get to experience a mother-lode of schadenfreude at the loss of “His” seat of Bennelong, his Prime Ministership and the respect of millions of decent Australians.

Sun Nov 16:;_ylt=AqMFoCl2Q9WsPakp.vLRqV4xvTYC

And for the men and women and children of SIEV-X,

And the innocents restrained behind razor wire in Australian desert gulags,

And for the members of the Stolen Generations,

And for the ~half million civilan dead in Iraq.

And for Mohammed Haneef and Mamdoub Habib and David Hicks and all the others whose human and civil rights you cold-bloodly and systematically side-stepped.

That’s the spirit jen.
Having just watched the inherent goodness of Bill Leak grappling with the serious stuff of life……like *ART*.

Chez Paddy will not be polluted by the sights and sounds of that miserable little rodent.
It’s time to look forward and dream of hope.
Not look backwards to the despair of that horrid decade.

The time for that will be further down the track.
Dragging out a dead rodent before the flesh has properly rotted off the corpse, is just too depressing.

But fight the good fight Ecky.
For you’re a better man than I am Gunga Din.

Admire your strength, jen, but once the tom-tom drums start up the matter is completely out of my hands.

Metaphorically, I wanna stomp his carcass.

Afraid i will not be having any upward bearing on our A B Friggin C ratings tonight.
I don’t have a dog to lick up the vomit. :mrgreen:

But then if they were showing him giving JA one on the green room table without censure, well i would watch that. 😈 😀

And given that it is on the Australian Buggery Conservative channel it will no0 doubt be doctored to amke the little prick look all reasonable and concerned and Oh so badly misrepresented.

Have got to say I watched it all and didnt vomit. It was not a love-in and most of the veiled jibes came from Costello, unsurprisingly. It was quite funny that Howard comes across as the cunning creature that he was, however he smiles throughout as if he thinks this series will make him look good…

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