Friday Footy with Tom!

For those that may be interested – Tom’s Footy Preview.

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North Korean Science Sings

It’s refreshing to hear songs about Science, even if they do honour the “General” aka Kim Jong-il. The Schoolgirl’s Diary is the first North Korean feature film to be distributed internationally. The state of their film making in 2006 only outshone their Science. Let’s hope their nuclear and missile industries are similar fizzers.

For the Flicrit from MIFF 2009, please see:

The Schoolgirl’s Diary: Propaganda 101

Kevin Rennie

Single-Sex Marriage & Labor Policy

I admire Rudd for many things, but this particular issue has me livid with rage.

The ALP conference has kicked off and there is a few members from the Labor Left who want to adopt single-sex marriage as Labor policy. A futile effort, but one that I think should be tried now, at the next conference, the one after that, and so on until it is adopted. Regardless of how one looks at it, restricting the rights of marriage to us hetero couples is simply prejudice disguised as “family values”. Everyone knows my thoughts on the matter for this issue and it is shared by a majority of the bloggers here – so I won’t repeat myself.

What I will do is highlight the bloody hypocrisy of Rudd and the Labor power-brokers on this issue. Rudd states the following (my emphasis):

I fully accept that its a matter of controversy and there’ll be debate – and there should be – this is an open society where we can debate and discuss these matters

Yet he and his power-brokers are working as hard as possible to bury the debate completely or, at least, out of view of the public. So what Rudd means is that Labor can debate it and decide on these matters without the input of the public and/or their rank & file members. Now if debate is good & this is an issue that should be debated – why are there such strong political manoeuvrings to remove this issue from public sight?

I’m guessing that might be because they know (as we all do now) that ~60% of the Australian public are for a national civil union / marriage scheme that doesn’t discriminate against single-sex couples. Assuming that the Labor rank & file represents the general public (and I personally think they are a little Left of centre, but am ignoring that for the sake of argument) – this would mean a vote on the issue would go against Rudd and the Labor Right dominated power-brokers. In other words, they wish to deal with the issue behind the scenes because the public / rank & file members support something the leaders / movers & shakers of the Labor Party do not.

I just love democracy – don’t you? It’s just lovely when we as a nation and the rank & file members of the Labor Party are not allowed to have our voices heard because those that manipulate things behind the scenes don’t want us to.

Oh, and Rudd claiming a mandate on preventing single-sex marriage is the lowest form of double-speak I can think of. He promised more for single-sex couples than the Coalition, and now tries to imply that the Australian public think that is all that should be done! I don’t know which is worse – setting yourself a low bar so you don’t have to achieve anything (single-sex marriage, carbon polution targets, etc) or introducing something you know nobody wants in the hopes you can make it permanent before people vote you out (WorkChoices).

This is the t-shirt image that joni will be wearing at the protest on Saturday.

T-shirt for rally

Mister 16%

For those that may be remotely interested, my highly intelligent, critical analysis of the latest Newspoll results and the implications for Malcolm Turnbull can be found here.

In other news, Tony Abbott has introduced a new episode in the history of the Catholic Church with the establishment of “The Sisters of Perpetual Endorsement” in support of the beleagured Leader.

Monday by the Magazine Rack

magazine20rack

Hello

Good afternoon and welcome to Monday by the Magazine rack.

I’ve just returned from a weekend trip to Adelaide, which, by all accounts, was thoroughly enjoyable.

Despite its reputation, Adelaide is actually quite an interesting place. It’s also very pretty.

It’s also not Queensland, which further adds to its appeal.

And it’s very user-friendly. The airport is very nahce – and is only a twenty buck fair to the City. Compare this to Melbourne where a taxi ride to the city will now cost you fifty smackeroos.

Adelaide also has wine. Lots of wine. And good wine too.

There is also a very nice little seaside town called Glenelg. A very pleasant 30 minute tram trip from town and is similar to say Manly, but without the white trash.

Victor will no doubt provide a full report on the restaurants we went to, so I won’t dwell on that here.

One peculiarity is that the city is almost entirely shrouded in shade. I guess that’s because it’s facing South, or maybe it was just because it’s Winter.

It reminded me a lot of Christchurch but with the distinctive advantage of not being part of New Zealand.

However, Adelaide, like the rest of Australia, is not part of Asia. Which is always a disappointment when staying at five star hotels.

Compare the service you get here to the service one receives in a five star hotel in Asia, and by and large there is simply no comparison.

Catching the flight home also provided some entertainment, with an elderly lady behind me verbalising everything that she could see to her immediate family.

“Oh look, there’s a Cathay Pacific plane”

“It’s about to take off”

“Look Jimmy, the plane’s taking off”

“I think we’re about to take off now”

“I wonder when we’ll be taking off”

“Oh look, they sell coffee”

“And muffins”

“Do you want a muffin?”

“Does anyone else want a muffin?”

“Let’s just eat these chips I brought from home”

“I’m not paying five dollars for a muffin”

“Who in their right mind would pay five dollars for a muffin?”

“Glad I brought these cheezels with us too, eh”

“I wonder when we’re gonna land”

“Is that Hobart there?”

“Aw what a lovely beach”

“Can you see the beach?”

“There’s a coupla boats down there”

“Can you see the boats?”

“Can you see those two boats?”

“Down there.”

“Those two boats…”

“Can you see them?”

“Noice eh?”

“I can’t see the airport”

“Can anyone see the airport?”

“Maybe that’s not Hobart.”

“Where are we goin?”

“Is that Hobart?”

“That can’t be Hobart.”

“That’s a nice beach”

“Oh, he’s turnin’ the plane my way”

“ We’re turning around”

“Yeah, we’re turnin’ around”

“That’s a nice beach”

“Aw, that’s the same beach I saw earlier”

“Can you see the beach?”

“The beach. Can you see it?”

“Down there”

“Aw,and there’s those two boats.”

“Can you see ‘em?”

“Down there”

“the two boats”

“Nice eh?”

I think you get the general idea. This went on non-stop for the entire 90 minute duration of the flight.

All the while I was thinking “Excuse me madam but would you mind kindly just SHUTTING THE F**K UP!!”

But, it’s her family I felt sorry for. Imagine having to live with that night and day.

Jeesus wept.

Flicrit: Milk Of Sorrows

New Cinema Takes review from MIFF 2009 (Melbourne International Film Festival):

Related post:

Melbourne International Film Festival: all publicity…

Kevin Rennie

The Nuclear Option

Whilst it is always amusing watching the Liberals fight amongst themselves (this time in regards to voting on the ETS); I have been thinking on the issue of alternative energy sources. After all, the two primary opponents of the ETS in the business community are the Energy & Mining sectors. Rio Tinto’s recent submission (alongside the government’s own Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation) calls for reconsideration of the use of nuclear power in supplying Australia’s energy needs, especially in light of the ETS legislation.

Now personally, I am against nuclear energy for reasons of “disaster avoidance”. Chernobyl is still off-limits and will be for quite sometime. I am well aware that there are much more secure options in creating nuclear reactors, but I am a risk averse person. The idea of using an energy source that is as dangerous as nuclear fission (with long lived side-effects / waste) is a scary notion. I feel the same way about creating energy from nuclear fusion, should it ever become feasible. After all, the H-bomb is much more powerful than the standard nuclear fission weaponary.

That said, I try to be practical wherever possible. I personally don’t like driving yet own a car because, in today’s age, it is pretty much necessary for my children. I don’t the clergy (or those that act in that role) of several religions, yet I can understand their role in many people’s lives and am friendly toward them so far as we don’t insult one another’s beliefs. And so on. Nuclear energy may not be my favourite method of generating energy, but I like my technology and something has to power it. Coal is something I think needs phasing out, so I need to look at the alternatives.

In looking into nuclear energy though, I am finding that it is not the panacea it is made out to be by it’s proponents. Mostly because, like oil, there is a limited supply of uranium worldwide and the International Atomic Energy Agency predicts that (with current technology) there is only enough to keep a consistent supply (for current usage rates) for the next 85 years at most. This time period would, of course, be drastically reduced if we were to increase our use of nuclear energy to the levels required to reasonably reduce our carbon emissions. They temper this with a claim that “fast reactor technology” could lengthen this period to 2500 years.

However, from my (possibly defunct) research – fast reactors are few and far between and their development has not been pushed for some time (possibly due to the currently “low” cost of uranium). In particular, research & development into a breed of reactor Tony introduced me to, the Integral Fast Reactor, has been shut-down completely by the USA. Given the patent system being the way it is, it is unlikely that anyone else but the USA could re-instate this program. It would appear the fact that this reactor can easily produce weapons grade fissile material is of higher gravitas than its environmental benefits over standard thermal reactors to the USA and, as such, it is not likely we are going to be able to use this technology.

I am interested in other people’s perspective on this. As I said, I have a personal preference against it because of the disaster possibility. I am, however, open to reasonable arguments for the use of nuclear. I, however, get the feeling that there are alot more politics on the international level preventing the adoption of nuclear energy than there are domestic issues. The issues surrounding the development (or lack thereof) of the IFR nuclear option are a case in point.

Of course, feel free to talk about anything else as well – I’m just trying to kick start conversation and think this topic would be reasonably interesting to all.