Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Archive for January, 2009

Please don’t sully smegging good posts you gimboids

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-01-30

I can totally understand why some bloggers get annoyed, and let off steam with expletives.  I understand the utility of generic intensifiers.  But unfortunately, it puts some of us off your otherwise excellent posts and deters me from including it in shared posts… so here is one suggestion for something more subtle, while obviously insulting, with hints of even greater disgust.

Smeg, smeghead.

The etymology of "smeg" in the comedy series "Red Dwarf" is simply that it sounded like a good anglo-saxon expletive to the writers…. or so they claim.

But… enough people know a bit of biology and cannot help associating it with smegma.

Just the standard definitions of smegma are enough to make "smeghead" seem totally disgusting, MUCH worse than being covered in faeces or vomit and not wanting to wash it off.

Over the fold is a description and a link to something possibly unsuitable for children or those with sensitive stomachs to make my point even clearer.

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Posted in Language Use | Leave a Comment »

International Renewable Energy Agency – 75 Countries – not Oz

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-01-29

When 75 countries sign up (date below the fold), led by Germany, Denmark and Spain, into a newly established International Renewable Energy Agency, (IRENA), to create statutes with force, not just motherhood statements for media releases, you’d think if KRudd was honest with explicit or implicit election promises, we’d be one of the 75, wouldn’t you?

From the IRENA website "about page":

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Posted in Australia, Economics and Business, Environment, International, Politics | 2 Comments »

Senate receipt times – LegCon=1 hour, ECA=4 working days

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-01-29

It’s the sheer rudeness or gross inefficiency of not sending you a simple "Thanks, got your message, get back to you later" so at least I know they’ve got it…..

This has to be a record for a slow acknowledgement from a Senate Committee to me… sent to committee 2009-01-21 16:59, got a bcc’d impersonal acknowledgement sent by the committee 2009-01-29 10:40

So… Thu Fri (Sat Sun Mon) Tue Wed …. a little more than four full working days… that’s pretty slack of the Environment, Communications and the Arts Committee.

Normally, I get a “Dear Mr Bath” as a receipt, me in the address line (not in a bulk list of bcc’s), before lunchtime the next day.  The "we’ve accepted and/or published it" email very quickly… next working day.

For Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee…. hmmm, sent 2009-01-10 21:56 (Sat), received a nicely formatted name, my address, etc, etc email back 2009-01-12 10:05 (Mon)…. that’s about 1 hour of office time to say "got your email".

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Posted in Australia, Governance, Information Management, Politics | 3 Comments »

Camera shudder? If the cameraman is normal!

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-01-28

I don’t normally include vids, but the "Scorpion Queen of Thailand" breaking a record is a good one for people who hate things with 8 legs but want a safe squirm, or "Jackass" fans.

A month in a glass cage with 5000 scorpions: SHUDDER.

You don’t see it, but she also held a poisonous scorpion in her mouth for two minutes.

Link over the fold (via Scientific American) to save arachnophobes from getting it by accident.

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Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

My shared items busy

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-01-28

Big day over at my shared items as normal web page, so you’ll have to go through about three pages for today’s additions, or use the feed.

Hope you are enjoying them.

Most are things I’d love to include in my main blog, but don’t get the time.

BTW: Thanks to readers… hit average over 100 views a day this month with a few days to spare – best ever.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Andrew Norton unfortunately kinda right

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-01-28

There are some economic liberals, who promote their perspective with interesting information easily overlooked, and without hip-pocket self-interest, so are worth reading.  Andrew Norton is one, and there is much to ponder in his recent piece "Is trust in government declining" (2009-01-26), answered in the negative, to ponder.

I’ll quote and summarize bits of his post, but it’s worth reading in full.  To me, it starts off dry, but gets punchier as it progresses.  After that, I’ll give my reactions.

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Posted in Australia, Economics and Business, Governance, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Remind me, please…

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-01-27

To my fellow humanitarians, whether of lefty or liberal disposition: If I don’t publish a new post in response to this and this (and it may not be long before “Western Heart” chimes in), from authors who obviously detested my two posts on Australia Day (here and here), please remind me in a week or two.

Feel free to add your own comments about those Balneus-haters’ positions.  ("Balneus-haters" is perhaps the kindest way I can describe them, although at least “OzConservative” was civil.)  They certainly, particularly "silver", make me angry, but I think such comments actually lend some weight to my assertions that Australia can do a lot better.

Posted in Australia, China, International, Politics, Society | 4 Comments »

Yobbos will use New Scientist as an excuse

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-01-27

This from New Scientist won’t help the campaign to stop yobbos drinking.

Headlined "Alcohol stops men being a flop in bed", the opening line is:

"Men might want to remember a new rhyme: a drink a day keeps erectile dysfunction away".

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Posted in Biology and Health | Leave a Comment »

Saving the Goulburn-Murray Bill – Why no submissions published?

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-01-27

Public submissions to the Commonwealth Saving the Goulburn and Murray Rivers Bill close Friday 2009-01-30, and unlike most Senate inquiries, when my submissions have been published within 1 or 2 working days, this is not the case for this inquiry: after the end of three working days mine isn’t published.  Actually, NO submissions from anyone have been published.

I hope it’s not because it’s a private member’s bill from a Liberal Party member.

I hope it’s not because Brumby’s North-South pipeline would probably be blocked by this bill, a pipeline with massive bipartisan public condemnation (especially from Goulburn and Murray catchment areas), where expected scathing criticism in submissions, and passage of the bill, would leave either or both federal and state ALP governments red-faced.

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Posted in Australia, Environment, Governance, Legislation, Politics | 3 Comments »

Enraptored with animal law

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-01-26

I love whimsy.  I’m fascinated by the grey areas of nature and treatment of human and non-human animals.  That’s one reason (of many) why I’m such an avid reader of Legal Eagle, now blogging at SkeptiClawyer (and the eponymous author in that blog is good value too).

So… do yourself a favor and follow the discussion on animals and the law there, starting with the most recent post on the subject, "All goats equal before the law" (2009-01-24), where the unfortunate quadruped was arrested for armed robbery.

Hilarious in places, deep in others, sometimes both, the numerous LE posts on these themes, and the comments and trackbacks are well worth it.

BTW: Personally, I think the benefits and punishments available through the law should be applied on the basis of the entity’s capability to work in the moral plane, whether the subject is human, non-human primate, cetacean, or even, sooner than we think, a computer.

Posted in Humor, Law | Leave a Comment »

One day, two cultures, one destiny

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-01-26

The conjunction of Australia Day and Chinese New Year has caused me again to reflect on the two cultural traditions, the lessons and the cautionary tales we must offer each other, and accept.

The most obvious and trivial "compare and contrast" between the two celebrations is the food: what would you rather have: barbeque and beer, or a smorgasbord of asian delicacies?  Besides, the urban legend of being hungry half an hour after eating Chinese is another huge advantage in favor of the Chinese celebration.

The other big difference is that Chinese New Year is multinational and joyous: it lacks the jingoism, crass nationalism, the focus on the trivial, and the hints of "displacement guilt" that can so often taint the experience of Australia Day.

But the real lessons are deeper, and never has the adoption by each culture of the lessons from the other been so important, so urgent.

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Posted in Australia, China, International, Politics, Society | 16 Comments »

Australia – can we rekindle our past promise?

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-01-26

On our national day we must realize that to remain true to our history’s noblest aspect, to extend the realization of the promise of its founding, the nation must cease to exist.

Australia was formed and maintained by a union, by the ceding of power to a newly created government, and the dissolution of the militias of the merging colonies that removed the possibility of war between us, and the idea, as yet incompletely realized, that we are obliged to give everyone the same rights, the same assurance of the protection by law and health services, the same confidence of protection from starvation, ignorance and misery.

Any improved welfare of all, the greater good, has depended on yielding powers and resources, not claiming them.

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Posted in Australia, International, Politics, Society | 2 Comments »

Tricking the faculty?

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-01-25

There is an angle on the "Womens’ studies student puts virginity on eBay" story (tip Business Pundit and the comment thread at Shakesville) I haven’t seen around the traps.  I’m not writing on the many issues of morality, law, hygeine, or even gender issues.

It could be a "tricky" way of getting better academic results.

Most acts that are illegal, immoral, or plain stupid that can affect your academic career are obviously detrimental, most obviously felonies stopping you practicing law (but maybe not getting a degree).

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Posted in Education, Ethics, Society | 1 Comment »

A better label than “Buggered”

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-01-24

This at The Economist website makes the labelling of the Oz economy by Access Economics as "buggered" seem mild and polite.

"Fugly" is the word used, although it refers to Britain.

With similar trade and current accounts deficits to Oz, and the likelyhood of our budget balance turning blood red if Access Economics is correct, then such a description should probably apply to us as well.

How long before the economics/finance press, here or overseas, uses this even-more-colloquial term?  It’ll be well-earned!

It may even offer some hope… if you are fugly, you are less likely to be screwed.

Posted in Australia, Economics and Business, International, Politics | Leave a Comment »


Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-01-24

The archetypal state claiming it was founded on liberal democratic and capitalist principles is the USA, with support for separation from colonialism being "No taxation without representation".

With governments throwing money at large companies, the catchcry for the design of the bailouts should be near-synonymous:

"No capitalization without representation and returns."

After all, the call for equity, directorships and dividends in return for capital is much more in tune with the philosophy private enterprises use to justify their existence than the call for representation determining government policy in a monarchical system.

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Posted in Australia, Economics and Business, Governance, International, Politics | 4 Comments »

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