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Monday, November 29, 2004

Comedy genius

Peter Costello: "This weekend a rooster declared a jihad on a dead parrot". Doesn't he remind you of an embarassing pissed uncle at a birthday party? A couple of points for Costello's team of script writers:

1) The dead parrot sketch has not been funny for decades. It lies in the grave of uni students repeating it ad nauseum whilst trying to pull chics.
2) The secret of comedy is not a smirk or having the backbenchers split their y-fronts. It is

timing.

Is this guy trying to be the Bert Newton all round entertainer of the government? Variety is dead mate, dead.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Greatest Treasurer Magic

Thanks to good old Pete Costello, The World's Greatest Treasurer, I now know that a high Australian dollar is bad for exports. Thanks again Pete! And thanks ABC News Online for deeming his announcement to be newsworthy.

The results are in from the last 8 years and the verdict is: Australia is funding economic growth through debt. This debt is buying stuff from overseas. Australia is not smart enough to compete. That is all.

Coming soon in The Great Costello's Magic World of Finance: How having a free trade agreement with a superpower that, against the world tide, you have a foreign trade deficit with creates cash out of thin air!

Flight DJ800: Demographic Timebomb

Apart from concentrating on the infruriating infighting that is New Labor, yesterday's Insiders featured the world's best Treasurer, Peter Costello waxing lyrical on the demographic timebomb. As he said, this is set in stone and will happen. As is Costello's want to coin forgetable phrases (e.g. hoax the folks and Kylie Minogues), he wrapped the whole problem into a question of the three Ps: Population, participation rate and productivity. With population working against us through low fertility rates, we have to get the other two Ps working for us, claims Costello. The scary fact according to the government sponsored fluff piece by the Productivity Commision is that in 40 years, an extra 6% of GDP will be required to "look after" the ageing population. Costello could not come up with anything concrete on how the government will solve the problem apart from wrecking the PBS and a paltry tax incentive to keep pensioners in work longer. First off, remember that this problem would be a whole lot worse than if the ALP government had not introduced compulsory superannuation. That little "job costing" measure has done much to mitigate the problem, as well as lining the pockets of financial advisors from coast to coast. The government's main charge at the moment is that if we don't start with small measures now, Australia will have to take a big adjustment in the future. Unfortunately, when governments talk like this, they are usually gearing us up for service cuts. Anyway, enough of the whinging, here are the easy peasy solutions to the demographic timebomb, and as Costello "set the agenda" it is only fair to use Pete's three Ps to frame the answers.

Population

There are studies that show that immigration and fertility can be managed to even out the bump that is looming. There are also studies that show the Western countries who make it easier for women to balance child rearing and their career, will have more children. So measures like paid parental leave, and tightening of discrimination laws would put a tick in this box.

Participation

The government should put as much time and effort into getting the female participation rate up as they are at keeping old people employed. Income splitting, scarce child care and just outright sexism in the workforce need to be addressed. However, this goes against the white picket fence view of "where's my bloody dinner you cow?" that the incumbent government holds.

Productivity

The government is actively working against this facet. By reducing the amount of R&D and introducing full fee paying places, Australia is on course to become a dumb country. Sure, we can still dig things out of the ground, but we can't do anything smart with the resources. A substantial investment in education is the sure fire way of raising GDP by the extra 6.4% required to whether the storm. In fact, if we continue with the woeful education spending, the GDP will not be as great as the productivity commission predicts. And since governments shouldn't be in the business of picking winners, make all studies free, not just the sceinces.

Summary

Provided that Costello three P model is correct, then free education to tertiary level, affordable and obtainable childcare and paid parental leave are three simple concrete ways to address the ageing populaton problem. What's more, there is no downside to investing in these measures. There is no long term unsustainable cost. Its all good.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Feed news

Rowen has pointed out that feedburner may be about to introduce adverts into their "free" RSS feeds. So if you get this feed from them, change the URL to http://dailyflute.blogspot.com/atom.xml. This blog is assinine enough without "Single? Date club swingers is your answer" crap all over it. I'll cancel the feedburner feed in one week.

The Contenders #2: Alexander Downer


Form: Alex first caught the public eye after Daddy Downer paid Enid Blyton to include him in her first book, "The Famous Six Go Mad at Communists". Needless to say, the book was a flop, but the cash injection allowed Blyton to continue a prosperous career, the first move of which was to cut Downer out of the next book. Downer then had a (yes paid for by Daddy) stint as Billy Bunter's sidekick, Alex Afoot. This too was short lived. A dark period then ensued during which pater enjoyed a career in politics. Then with a crash of thunder, and a bolt of lightening, Downer Jr landed a safe seat in Mayo. Then amazingly he bacame opposition leader whilst the forces of darkness were gathering. Having tasted a bite of the cherry of power, it would be a brave man who would write off Downer's chance of regaining the lead. An entirely plausible scenario would be for Howard to resign and have a farewell party during which a freak flash flood would wipe the entire coalition away. Downer would not be present as he would read the map upside down and get lost. Bless him.
Aims: Lashings of ginger ale all round.
Insider guide: Glue factory.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Unfortunate wording

I've just seen the Channel Ten news headlines, one of which is "James Hardies' asbestos victims face hiccup with compensation". Very painful to hiccup with no lungs.

Melbourne Meetup II: 2/12/04 - Updated 26/11

By the way, I will only update this post with details instead of polluting my blog with arsery, so keep tuned.

After discussions with Barista and Nabakov the venue has changed to Spleen on Bourke Street (probably number 41). Nabakov suggested Spleen as a good starting point. All are welcome.

The details (which may change) are as follows:

Attendees:
Flute
Barista
Nabakov

Tentative:
GuruAnn
Dreadnought
Mallrat
MelbourneLefty (who hopefully still has a fiancee after my manoftheworld advice last week)
Aftergrogblog (who will hopefully drag along boynton)

Venue and time:
Spleen, 41 Bourke Street
Thursday 2nd December 6:30-7pm

Leave a comment or email me at dailyflute at optusnet dot com dot au.

Latham confident of staying as leader


Once these rumours start through "unnamed sources" you know there is a fight abrewing, and the numbers are being counted. Perhaps the orchestrators are Tanner or Rudd, but the writing may well be on the wall. Unnamed sources have stated that a few of the Beasley supporters that crossed the line to join Latham are getting twitchy. Latham should ride through as idiot savant (though the savant bit is debatable) Downer has given Latham 18 months. Well that beats your record mate.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

The Contenders #1

Its cloud cuckoo land time. Lets just pretend for a second that John Howard will hand over the reigns in an orderly fashion. In an irregular series, let us consider the alternatives:


Name: The Reverend Tony Abbott MD
Form: With a stethescope in one hand and a crucifix in the other, our Tony is becoming a farce to be reckoned with. As far as principles go, there is no beginning to this man's talent. Recently put back in his box by Howard until internal polling shows more support for crackpot ideas.
Aims: To privatise uteruses (uteri?) across this fair land (a nod to Suki for that one). Men can therefore be sole shareholders on a formal and legal basis.
Insider Guide: Don't count your eggs until they've been fertilised.


Name: Monopoly Costello
Form: Has done bugger all but waft around on the coat tails of Keating. Oh, and the GST. That was a winner.
Aims: To do bugger all but waft around on the coat tails of Keating. Oh, and privatise Telstra.
Insider Guide: Count your eggs, then fill in 127 pages of tax returns and give all your eggs to the goverment.

To be continued.

Playing Politics and other snippets.

Surprise, surprise, John Howard says there is no need for a Senate enquiry into the Windsor bribe allegation. He said:
"It would be a complete abuse of the processes of the Senate, it would be complete politicisation of the processes of the Senate."
How many more times are we going to hear variations on the themes of "playing politics" or "politicisation"? That is their job. They are called politicians for God's sake. It's not a scadal that a greengrocer sells fruit and veg, or a librarian resorts to "putting books on the shelves according to the Dewey decimal system". But oh no, tish tish, a politician playing politics, that's a big taboo. What else are they going to do? What else would we call them if they stopped the games?

Sad News

Just after Sheil packed up his Backpages (thanks to Chris for being the first to blogroll the Daily Flute), Gummo Trotsky has said goodbye to the Tugboat Potemkin. As Boynton has done, I'll leave him on the blogroll as it's one of the best blogs to go trawling through the archives of, if you're at a loose end. Greatest hits are highlighted on Sedgwicks page.

Sydney GrogBlog: Let the karma flow

I am a tad shellshocked at having to return to normal this week. Following on from the fantastic Melbourne meetup (excellently depicted by the G-G) it all kicked off again on Friday night. I first met up with Georg and Darkie from Psephite under the big telly at the Clock hotel after a bit of phone tag. Georg insisted on buying my a beer to which I acquiesed with a modest fight, and unlike your usual run of the mill hetero woman, she went to the bar instead of getting me to queue up. Legend. A bit of post election blues were quelled by a couple of beers, but it obvious that this was not going to be like a boring works do. Here was a bunch of people you knew enough to not have to rely on talking about the weather. It then starts to get a bit blurry very quickly from a combination of grog and the load music that really stuffed up any polite small talk. Next cab of the rank was the instigator of this melee, Darp and his shocking Pandagate t-shirt. He was a bit more mullety than I imagined, but without doubt the cool dude of the night. More beer and time for Suki and her opinions. In fact there were a few beers and Suki's opinions before meeting Weezil. Then a quick beer and a hoy to co-instigator Jess before a beer and the oddly monikered Fulmination Dave. I think I had a beer with Dave before the other Dave from Completely Biased showed his face. He was a lot less feral than I expected but of course a top bloke. Even the RWDB TimT from Will Type for Food seemed like a decent chap, so much good karma was abounding in the room. I ended up bending the ear of many people, with some of whom I could blare out a bit of Puccini whilst sinking some absynthe, others (mainly from Thursday) quaff a bottle of port in the drawing room, and others tap a keg of beer at a barbie (and one or two sup a lemon squash).

Thankyou to Darp, Jess, Georg, Darkie, Suki, Weezil, Dave, Dave, Tim for a great night. I can't put into words how wonderful it was to meet you all, and I hope it is not forever before I can shout in your ear to the gentle dumph-dumph sounds of technopop. And so now it's Monday, the love is spent and I can feel a whinge coming on before long....

Update: I nearly forgot I bored the Catallaxy bloke rigid for about half an hour too.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Last night

Last night (in fact until early this morning) there was a blogger meetup in Melbourne. It was a damn fine night (after initial collywobbles) so to anyone humming and harring about whether to go to the Sydney Grogblog I would strongly suggest that you go. Last night I met Gummo, Sedgwick, Mallrat, Cast Iron balcony, MelbourneLefty, FX Holden, Poet, Boynton, AGB, Barista and a certain commenter who shall remain nameless (and legless). Thanks to the G-G for arranging a top night. The best bit is I get to do it all again tonight.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Virtual Picture #2

Again, I've been too busy and can't be bothered to do a pic. So the idea is to do an Australian Idol type picture with the two finalists Peter and Tony. Peter sang "Money money money" and Tony sang "My baby just cares for me". So picture each of them in the Idol studio with the vote for details as a caption. Probably one of them would have a fro.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Melbourne Meetup Update

It looks as though Thursday is definitely the day for a spot of nosh and a drink. Luminaries include:

Sedgwick
Barista

and maybe

FX Holden
Boynton
Gummo

Its at 7pm in Brunswick (Golden Terrace BYO Restaurant, 805 Sydney Rd, Brunswick) so if you want to pop along email me at dailyflute at optusnet dot com dot au.

Slow bandwidth blues

Unofrtunately the amount of jolly amusing pics will be low this week. I'm on a dial up and it just takes too long to find images to play around with. So you'll just have to pretend that this is a picture and use the power of imagination. It's John Howard in the house of reps, with Doctor Who sticking his head out of the TARDIS in the background. The Doctor has a speech bubble, "Bugger, Australia in the 1950s. Start the motor Romana" or something of that ilk. Jolly amusing, but perhaps a bit crap so just as well I didn't bother.

Flight DJ848: The New Intangibles

A bit like The Intangibles only made years later and not half as good - but more of that later. Nowt buggered about this flight, but I do have a bone to pick with Amex. I am fed up with cretins approaching me, or calling me over in the airport terminal only to proffer me a fucking credit card. You are the most annoying bastards on this planet. When I am at the airport, I am catching a plane, not signing up for god damn finance. I strung one along today. When I pointed out that I pay my card off every month so I don't give a shit what the interest rate is, and my current fees were lower, the arsewipe Amex ho said, "But this card is sexier". Which brings me on to my main whinge of the piece (apart from the bewilderment at how to shag a credit card). It has long been a criticism of the left that their ideals are all touchy feely, with no economic or hard "science" benefits. How does fairness and equality benefit the masses in cold monetary sense? These ideals are what I would call The Intangibles. Benefits to a way of life that cannot be costed. However, it is quite easy to show that economics based on leftist principles rather than out and out capitalism does provide gains for the whole not just the few. Just when the left starts getting its arse into gear though, the right ups the ante. No longer is it enough to show that concrete benefit is possible, we now have to justify our philosophy in terms of "values". Now how bullshitty is that? We invented values you tossers. You are the lot that somehow insist that buying a material good like a mobile telephone is not just a way of saying, "I'm on the bus" to someone when you're on a bus, its a fucking lifestyle. Because, I mean, like, whatever, you can change the ringtone and skin and shit. Society is now governed by these crappy New Intanglibles that make absolutley no economic sense whatsoever. Isn't it great? Marketing has niched us all and slapped a dollar on everything. But the dollar includes not just form and function, but arse crappery "lifestyle" shit that really does not mean anything REALLY to your life whatsoever. Now we have to battle that buggeration, plus the idea of "values" being restricted to restricting free thought and actions. "Values" means do what we say my friends. Which makes me think that although the left is down, perhaps the light at the end of the tunnel is near. Whereas we have striven to show that our values can benefit society (yes in monetary terms), the right has realised that their way of thinking has stuffed up. To prevent people realise that they are being screwed over, to hide the fact that only the few benefit from the right's principles, they are relying on The New Intangibles. The ideals of self as opposed the the ideals of all. Let us hope, as the commentators are saying at the moment, the people truly are not dumb and will wake up to the "sexier" truth.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Melbourne visit

I'll need a bit of training for the Sydney Grogblog next Friday, so invites for a beer will be considered. I'm in Melbourne from Sunday to Friday.

Extremists not restricted to FFP

I'm only repeating what I've heard elsewhere some time ago (apologies to the blog I am missing but I'd hazard a guess it was somewhere on VM), and thanks to crazybrave for jogging my memory, but its well worth having a look at The Lyons Forum (and here) info. Scary stuff.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Yasser is gawn. Can I borrow a pen?

I don't have any real strong opinions on Arafat, except that he was never short of a biro or two. Have a look on the news tonight when no doubt they'll be ample footage of him. How many pens do you need? If he was signing so much, surely a rubber stamp would have been more efficient. I'm sure I saw one of those tricoloured ones in a sleeve pocket once. Was he sponsored by Bic?

Family First on abortion

A couple of days ago on AM there was a bit of a hoo-ha over an ex-Liberal MP being dumped from preselection as a Family First candidate. Sweetman alleges that he was shafted because he voted to decriminalise abortion in WA in 1998. Anyway I couldn't really give a stuff about the scandal of a Liberal not getting another go at the trough. What was interesting was when Peter Harris (not a prominent member of the Assemblies of God, honest) was asked whether the FFP can show it is not a right wing pro life christian party. The reply:
PETER HARRIS: What we have said is, that we fundamentally believe that it's a role of the medical profession to uphold and protect and enhance human life, and on that basis we are opposed to abortion. But we've also said equally that we recognise the will of the public that there isn't this desire to change abortion law.
Nothing about God or morals, just the idea that the medical profession is there to enhance human life. So I suppose you don't object to doctors giving family planning advice involving barrier contraception Peter? Or allowing IVF treatment for lesbians?

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Why now for the debate?

The coalition has been in power for 8.5 years. But now is the time for an abortion debate. The statistics show that the abortion rate is declining, so why was this issue not on the agenda last year? Did the muppets involved (Abbott, Pyne and Ando) have different morals back then? This is a matter of deep principle for most, not just choosing what sort of lollies to buy from the confectionary store so I doubt that. I just fail to see how when the abortion situation was "worse" last year they kept shtum, but now they are blowing hard on Gabriels trumpet. Politics is always a deal making exercise, and quite often some principles get sacrificed. How can these moralisers claim to be principled beings when they have done bugger all for eight years. Where were the private members bills in 2003, or for that matter 1996? The only conclusion for the finding of the light can be the friendly Senate since the great Australian public voted NO for regime change last month. Add to the mix a significant increase in the voting rate by and for the Christian right and now its OK to raise the issue of abortion. Because bugger me mate, if we'd have talked about it last year we'd have been slaughtered, and we can't have that. The greater good and all that. Hypocrites.

A cuckoo falls off the twig

John Ashcroft, architect of the Patriot Act, amateur singer songwriter, and one of the few people to lose an election to a dead person, has quit as Attorney-General. Now they couldn't possibly find a loonier replacement could they?

Student Union Fees

I'm in a bit of a quandary over this one. When I went to uni in England nigh on 15 years ago I had to join the student union if I wanted to use the union facilities. Fair enough as the beer was very very cheap, and the facilities were excellent. Also fair enough was that it cost five pounds per year so it was the equivalent of joining an RSL, just less pokies and B grade singers. I even got expenses back for running as Pestilence on the Four horsemen of the apocalypse ticket come uni politics time (jees, students are just soooo funny). I was doing some part time postgrad stuff recently and the fee was $400 per annum and I didn't use the bar once. Even ALP membership costs only $200 per year. So I have to kind of think that I am being ripped off a bit. Why are the fees so expensive? Is there a difference between funding models for SUs here to the UK, are or the expenditures more extravagant? On the other hand I am against the user pays way of doing things so the fees may be a good thing. And if it wasn't compulsory, either fees or the cost of services would have to rise, perhaps being prohibitive to people who can't afford to pay full whack. But $400! Or was I being fleeced because I was a post grad, in that case fair enough. Maybe I am becoming a cantankerous old tory (why should I pay for bludgers etc). But four hundred bucks! Would non-compulsory union membership result in a maelstrom of putrid decay? Could it be offset by higher pay as you go fees for non members? Help me out people, tell me why I paid at most $50 per year for better services all those years ago, but now I pay $400 for a rowing club. Maybe that's the reason. Pommies are beery lazy bastards and amateurs at sport compared to Strayans, and so whereas I subsidised a few pints of Tetley years ago, now I subsidise a few professional sports psychologists. Still, the rowing club has a nice view I suppose.

Ironic?

Look at Two Cents right now. They have done a post on how poofs are not nice. The best bit is that Google Adsense is now advertising gay dating websites on their post. Fantastic.

All knowing Google

A Google search for:

"greg sheridan" mcmansion

returns the following at number 2:

The Daily Flute: It's Tuesday: Wankers day

I was quite chuffed with that. In fairness, Yahoo is doing a good job too. A search for:

Pastor Brian Houston

Brings up Hillsong at number one, with

The Daily Flute: How to Vote - For God!

at number 2.

Good news from the IMF...or is it?

Watch out for smug Costellos on the loose today after a glowing report from the IMF. Ticks in all the right boxes or so it appears. But the report is a bilateral conclusion, i.e. it is made at the request and with the full consultation of the Australian Government. If you can be bothered to read the executive board report see it here, but perhaps more interesting is the staff report that forms its basis. On the household balance sheet front the staff report says that financial assets are low, with land and dwellings assets high and:
"Since the mid-1990s, household liabilities have also surged with debt for housing accounting for 84 percent of the increase."
Of course the equity looks good because people are borrowing against record property prices. What is the risk of this bricks and mortar wealth being wiped out? Somehow in less than two months the IMF have decided that the Australian housing bubble is no longer unusual or a problem, but the staff report (not the executive summary) does say that:
"However, unlike the past, the current surge is being driven to an important extent by demand for investment housing, which tends to be concentrated in the central business districts of the major cities and may be more at risk of a price correction. Spillover effects to other segments of the housing market from such a correction could significantly weaken household balance sheets."
I.E. You know that money you borrowed to buy a new car or go on holiday because you felt good about the value of your house going up? I'd think about paying it off sharpish if I were you. Oh, you can't pay it off any quicker as you have no disposable income? Oops.

Where are the wimmin?

I ask this because there seems to be a perception that equality is here and the battle for equal rights has been won. If that is the case then why:
  • In 1966 there were 32% of women in full time work, in 1999 this had risen to a startling 34% (Bob Gregory, ANU)
  • Women hold 72% of part time jobs (ABS)
  • The public debate on abortion is being held by men, who disavow any responsibilty in the whole pregnancy thing, and quite frankly can never know more than fuck all about the decision that women make
  • Men shit themselves about the masculinity crisis being "caused" by too many female teachers
  • Men get very defensive when talking about sexism
  • There are 60 female members of federal parliament, 164 men
  • Breast feeding is still taboo in public places
  • Overall, women earn an average of 67% of male wages. If you exclude part time work this rises to just 81% (ACTU)
  • In Australia only 1.3% of executive directors are women (Lawlink)
  • Scantily clad females and subliminal promises of blow jobs are still used in advertising
  • Women have to wear makeup to accentuate the "on heat" and dripping wet lip look, men don't
  • Women have to dye their hair to stop it turning grey, men don't
  • 28% of women have experience sexual harrassment in the workplace (The Age)
  • Presenters on quiz shows are men, side dressings are women
  • Breast implants exist (I don't mean reconstructions).
  • Films are quite comfortable portraying affairs between crusty old men and young girly types, not old grannies and football players.
  • There are adverts on the TV to tell blokes to stop hitting their partners...
  • ...Because 23% of women who have been in a de facto or married relationship have experienced violence.(APH)
  • The Christian right espouses "values" that include maintaining a woman's role in the home
  • In fact most forms of religion demote women to a purely breeding second class role
There is a majority in this country that are treated on the whole like shit. Men still exercise a highly disproportionate amount of power over women. Where is their voice? Is it inactive or is it being surpressed by the male dominated media. We have seen "documentaries" on Bush, fast food and Fox. How about one on the real scandal of today's society? Anybody interested?

You make me feel like dancing...

...onto a train track. Surely this can't be true? Leo Sayer couldn't have been as big as the Beatles here could he? Is there any chance of a Sayer boycott (no big ask I think) so he'll piss off to New Zealand?

The first of many rucks

For the first time in a long time The Insiders on Sunday discarded its shroud of sensible opinion and got personal. The topic? As Paul Kelly put it abortion, gays and guns. This weeks resident of the arsehole chair was Andrew Bolt, and true to form he described the war in Iraq as a choice between Good and Evil. Mike Seccombe did his level best to stop getting flustered, and nearly held it together with one glass of water. He even managed to ask Family Firsts Senator-elect Steve Fielding a good question:
MIKE SECCOMBE: Do you accept as part of the cause of reducing the number of abortions that it's possibly necessary to improve access to contraception and to give children better - or young people - better instruction in its use?
To which the answer was:
STEVE FIELDING: Look, I think that that is another issue and you can look at the causes of these things. You are never going to eliminate all the causes. So you could cover the abortion issue in itself and also then look at, OK, what is the appropriate education beforehand, but I think the issue on the table at the moment is the abortion issue.
So the same as fucking usual, the right are preaching to cut down abortions without educating people on how to use contraception. How, well just for fun force women to see an ultrasound before an abortion, and only allow abortions for who can afford to have the procedure done privately. And to top off a real bash of a program Misha Schubert had a nice dig at the love in between Bolt and Airey-Branson. If you are unaware of the M A-B story have a look here and here.

Johnny Warren - Legend

Just when last week was looking bad, the news of Johnny Warren's passing made it worse. I had known a few poms that had come to Australia, loved it, but somehow felt they couldn't live here. So when I landed at Sydney Airport I was on the lookout for signs that would make the country feel "right". On my way from the airport to my girlfriends house the first people I heard on Australian radio were Roy & HG. That was a good start - I didn't quite know what they were going on about but christ they were funny. But then to more serious issues - football. The previous year I had been to the US and saw first hand the appalling coverage of football (ok, ok, soccer). I was anticipating lots of meaningless diagrams and a complete ambivalence to the world game. Then I saw that the only coverage was an intermittent program on the low budget channel SBS. How bad could it get? When I saw Les Murray and Johnny Warren for the first time it felt "right". Here were two people that in world terms had achieved little in soccer, no world cups, no golden boots, but their passion and understanding of the game was world class. In fact, they made far more sense than the grumpy primadonnas in the UK. A few years later, the SBS coverage of the 1998 world cup was outstanding. I didn't always agree with Johnny, and neither did Les, but the man lived football. Move forward four years to the Japan Korean world cup and the difference between the SBS and Channel 9 programmes was like comparing caviar to fish paste. There were of course other factors that made me appreciate Australia much more than England over the years, but Johnny showed that even when something was as much maligned and as joked about (his autobiography Sheilas, Wogs and Poofters says it all about the image of football over here) as soccer, someone could still rise to the top and be respected amongst peers in the world. He wasn't a Stanley Matthews or a Bill Nicholson, but for all the right reasons Johnny Warren was as great a bloody legend. For more on Johnny Warren see Darp

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Flight DJ840: Masterplan Hatched

Nothing on the obliquely sexist front to report on Virgin Blue this time. However I am incubating a fiendish plot to overthrow the right. Through my various incarnations as student, friend and overlord, I have come into contact with various "brains" that will serve my purpose. Unfortunately academics are all too preoccupied with their ivory towers and confusing papers to even recognise that anyone else with complimentary skills exist. Hencehitherforthto, my diabolical scheme to act as a boundary spanner to get these people together. My leverage, well let's just say that according to uberMinister Brendan Nelson, your days are numbered. So far, I have three names on my list who have absolutely bugger all knowledge of each other and no idea of my scheme, but are foremost in their various fields (without giving too much away: social capital and globalisation, workers rights and kelpies, womens rights and economics). They also live in Sydney so my ambitions are a bit limited at the moment. Perhaps readers elsewhere in this fair country can do the same. I aim to add a further two to this list and add thinkers are not academic per se (including of course myself). So I suppose that means another four, plus two or sumfink. Maybe I haven't thought this through enough. But fear not, when I get around to it the right will quake.

Blog aid

For fuck sake have a look at Sailing Close to the Wind and Psephite. Stay tuned for a write up of flight DJ840, and refer to the post below for more backpeddling.

Kerry Wins!

You heard it here first. I'll put my arse where the poofy CNN types dare to tread. Traditional republican states (Virginia, The Carolinas) are still too close to call, plus the exit polls look marginally bad for Bush. Based on this science I am calling a Kerry win. Up your clacker, Bush.

Update: Fuck it I'll be specific 288 Kerry kicking Bush up the arse 250.

Update: Oh shit, Florida is looking dodgy

Update: Well off to Melbourne to stick to my day job seeing as Bush is now looking good in Ohio and Florida, making me look like a right 'tard. The Flute will review its mathematical procedures and pull its head in for the 2008 election. I have called Bush and apologised for attempting to poop on his victory party.

Update again: The TV networks are milking this for every advertising dollar they can get. It is painfully clear that Bush is going to win. Why Don't You Just Switch Off Your Television Set And Go Out And Do Something Less Boring Instead? Play with your kids, if you don't have kids play with your partner, if you don't have a partner play solitaire, read a book, paint something, write some poetry. Go on, fuck off, stop reading this shit.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Skimming 101

I nearly forgot about this one. How do you solve the family debt problem? Its simple:
KAY PATTERSON: People aren't required to update their incomes, and we do find that some people constantly underestimate their income. We may be able to have legislation which uplifts their estimate to the previous year, and they can change that if they can demonstrate that their income won't be the same as the previous year.
Easy peasy, unless you can prove you will earn less money in the forthcoming year than last year (mmm excuse me mister part time casual bastard employer, can you help me with this government form? OK, I'll come back later), the government will always bank on what your highest income was! Less pesky payments for the government and less debt for the punters. Everyone's a winner.

Cup Tips

Culled from His Excellency (well I had to, there's no way I'm shelling out $5000 for a 7 horse box trifecta). A box trifecta on:
Winning Belle
Makybe Diva
Distinction
Grey Song
Hopefully my winnings will pay for a couple of nights on the turps when I get into Melbourne tomorrow afternoon. Enough to blot out the memory of the first time I'll hear on the news that Bush has won.

Update: Right, the bet is on, now down the pub.
Update again: Bollocks, thanks Sedge.

Populate or Perish

Over on Troppo Armadillo, Ken ignited the flames of debate on the Abbott and Pyne statements yesterday. It will only be a matter of time before the religiogarchies wade into this issue. Surely it is hypocritical for any organisation to preach on protecting the rights of the unborn, whilst harbouring serial paedophiles from justice, and silencing their victims. Do childrens rights expire when they are born?

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