Monday, February 28, 2005

Law and Disorder

Once again a riot breaks out in a community because of the police chasing someone according to this article.

As the father of one of the dead pointed out, you have to wonder whether the police chase was worth it. Two dead and a mangled car. If the purpose of the chase was to recover a stolen car, it didn't work.

Nevertheless, the Police cannot just sit back and allow car thieves to have their way.

The grieving man's son was engaged in a criminal act. He lost his life because of it. Rather than blaming police and getting them to change their procedures, should we not, instead, blame the criminal and educate others that the consequences of car theft can be fatal?

AusGP PR crap-tacular...

Did you see Mark Webber in a Williams hooning across the harbour bridge? I bet the only view you had was from a helicopter or from head on?

I surprised to see a total lack of spectators at the event. Then I read
this article in today's Sydney Morning Herald. I reckon the organisers could have packed the bridge full of people and set up the journo's mid bridge behind barriers and made a lot more of it. No wonder the PR guy has quit...

Friday, February 25, 2005

Political Roadkill...

Colin Barnett can nearly say goodbye to becoming premier aft Saturday's election with a simple but huge error in adding up his costings.

At his press conference to present the Coalitions costings of their election promises, they included a summary sheet of savings that they can make. It showed $612 million in savings just from scrapping Labor initiated projects. The problem was relaised when the items only added up to $407 million. Where did the other $200 million in savings come from?

The Australian has a good report of the moment when Colin was made aware of the fuck up.

"I asked Barnett to explain the mistake. As the cameras rolled, he burbled on about "notional savings" and tried to change the subject. Once highlighted, the simple, horrendous error dominated the announcement. Questions rained on the Liberal leader like bullets. Barnett muttered something about "arithmetic discrepancy", turned crimson and began to sweat. The exchange became juvenile.

TV reporter: These figures don't add up.

Barnett: Yes, they do.

TV reporter: No, they don't.

Barnett: Yes, they do.

Liberal strategists wore thousand-yard stares as their man, and possibly the election, vaporised on video. Barnett valiantly soldiered on, attempting to shift attention to the Gallop Government's profligacy. All anyone wanted to talk about was the $200million."

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Cruel Hoax...

"Military police are investigating a cruel hoax in which a man wearing a US Army dress uniform falsely told the wife of a soldier her husband had been killed in Iraq."

A bit of a cruel hoax, but I doubt they are gonna find someone who has a head shaped like ET's...


Click to enlarge

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Absolute joke...

The Ashes? No one cares, said Nine

I suppose I am in a fairly biased position here but if all the FTA TV stations were given the chance to buy the Ashes and they declined, which left Fox Sports able to buy the rights, why are they all whingeing now?

"If the loophole is not closed the precedent set here will mean that more events will be siphoned to pay-TV and that three out of four Australians who do not subscribe to pay-TV will be deprived of free coverage of an increasing number of major sporting events," Free TV Australia chief executive Julie Flynn said.

What loophole? According to the company that sells the television rights on behalf of the England and Wales Cricket Board, Octagon, the FTA stations were given ample opportunity.

"The simple truth of the matter is that the FTA (free-to-air) broadcasters were given several opportunities to acquire the rights to the 2005 Ashes series, but all declined to do so on numerous occasions for a variety of reasons,"

Seems like a ton of sour grapes to me. This Ashes tour is going to be one of the best in recent times with Australia ranked number one and England number two in the world. I think there might be a few late nights over the coming winter for myself.

Although, if England were still at their shit form of the mid 90s I don't think anyone would care.

As an aside, I found on the
Free TV Australia website this report into television advertising revenues for July-December 2004. I wonder if it includes product placement fees for shows like The Block, Big Brother, Australian Idol and any of the other 'reality' shows?

'Spousal Approval Level'

Reading this old iPod Shuffle article, I came across a term I had never heard before but makes total sense, 'Spousal Approval Level'.

You all know what it is, the amount which you can spend on items without receiving being castigated. I wonder how often products are priced according to this idea. I know that as soon as PS2s and XBoxes dropped below $300, a lot of guys I know in long term relationships went out and purchased one.

Where is the crime in this?

The Scotsman has an article about downloading TV shows with the headline 'Desperate viewers turn to crime'.

The article reads like a MPAA press release. Example:
"With broadband making it easier than ever to transfer huge files, the UK is the world’s leading downloader of pirate TV programmes, "stolen" from the US where they are shown months in advance."

A few points to consider:
* Isn't copyright infringement a civil matter, not a criminal one?
* How often do people tape a show off TV and hand out the tape? And how is this different other than the range and number of times it can be 'handed' out?
* Movie studios have skirted around this problem by releasing the big hype movies on the same day worldwide.
* If televisions stations would stop f*cking around with their schedules, the audience might actually be able to know when a show is on each week without having to scan the TV guide.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Balls up...

If I wasn't already convinced that the state Liberal party were a bunch of morons, I think this definitely confirmed it...

On tuesday, Colin Barnett held an official campaign launch for the state election. As is the case with these events they like to play a bit of music to accompany the speaker as he makes his way to the podium. The music that was chosen was the theme from M*A*S*H. I think some Liberal lackey didn't really check the name or meaning of the song.

The song is called 'Suicide is Painless', and the lyrics include:

The game of life is hard to play
I'm gonna lose it anyway
The losing card I'll someday lay
so this is all I have to say.

The only way to win is cheat
And lay it down before I'm beat
and to another give my seat for
that's the only painless feat.

A brave man once requested me
to answer questions that are key
is it to be or not to be
and I replied 'oh why ask me?'

'Cause suicide is painless
it brings on many changes and I can
take or leave it if I please.
...and you can do the same thing if you please.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Prisons...

Prisons have become an election issue now.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200502/s1299343.htm

Is it just me or is the role of prisons to try and rehabilitate the criminals and ready them for reintergration into the general community?

This is a low security womens prison where all the residents will be released in the future. Why not train them with some skills that they can use on the outside? Would it not reduce the chances of reoffending if they can get a job and not rely on the procedes of crime?

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Referendum...

As an addition to the state election, a referendum is being conducted to get the public to decide on shop trading hours.

Question 1
    Do you believe that the Western Australian community would benefit if trading hours in the Perth Metropolitan Area were extended to allow general retail shops to trade until 9 pm Monday to Friday?
Question 2
    Do you believe that the Western Australian community would benefit if trading hours in the Perth Metropolitan Area were extended to allow general retail shops to trade for 6 hours on Sunday?
I believe the result will be an emphatic 'yes' for both questions.

All we need now is a referendum on daylight savings...

Colin's canal dream...

Well it has been nearly a week since the last entry, so I think it is about time for another.

One of the biggest issues from the state election campaign was let out of the bag last Tuesday night with the announcement by Colin Barnett that if he wins office, he will build a 3,700 km long canal from the Fitzroy River to Perth supplying 200 gigalitres of water per year. According to him it will solve all Perth's water issues.


A couple of things have caught my attention:
  • Tenix has claimed the canal can be built for $2 billion, but the WA Treasury has done a preliminary costing and estimated that it will cost closer to $10 billion.
  • Colin Barnett has committed himself to this project even though no environmental impact assessment has been made and no discussion with native title holders.
  • The contract with Tenix to supply the water will be a "take or pay" contract. So if Perth gets a few good years of rain and the dams are all full again and we don't need the water, we still have to pay. Maybe that is why Tenix is doing the project so cheap. Sell the initial work way under cost and get it back when you rip off the WA government.
  • Barnett has stated that the water could be sold for irrigation. One of the backers of the canal behind Liberal party doors is the same person who tried to dam the Fitzroy River to start cotton farming in northwest WA. Cotton farming is extremely water and pesticide intensive and also has a huge impact on the environment. Looking at the proposed path for the canal, it would go through the land that was intended to be used for cotton farming.
  • Interesting passage from 'The Australian':

    Mr Barnett is proposing a simplistic solution that plays to the populist belief we have a right to use water on whatever we like, and that green lawns and gardens full of European flowers should be the norm. It is the height of hypocrisy to require farmers to factor in the commercial cost of water while people in cities can splash it around regardless of the limited supply. Increasing the price of domestic water may be bad for sprinkler sales, but to spend $2 billion or more on a pipeline to Perth when water scientist Peter Cullen says 50 per cent of the city’s domestic use goes on gardens is absurd. And if engineering is the answer, perhaps Mr Barnett could explain why a canal is superior to a comprehensive recycling system. Federal Treasurer Peter Costello was entirely right yesterday to warn that Canberra would not support the canal without a proper assessment of its costs and consequences.
  • The canal will use gravity to move the water most of the way with a minimal number of pumping stations. Won't this cause the flow of weater to be quite slow, increasing the chances of algal growth and stagnation?
There are way to many unknowns in this proposal to let Colin go bumbling into this...

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Mob mentality...

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,10117,12124688-1248,00.html

I wish this sort of thing could be confined to Queensland... but we have had incidences here in WA where similar things have happened.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Welcome to Wrong Town...

Have a look at this*




* - The sentence above was not a direction to actually click on the link, it was merely a suggestion. Any content to be found on the external site to this blog is not the property of myself. Any offence caused should be directed to site authors and not me. Have a good day.

Election time...

Another state election is nearly and I have no clue who to vote for. I think it will come down down to the lesser of the two evils.

The incumbent has raised taxes, fares and prices across the board, yet has pushed ahead with the southern railway, increased spending on roads and decreased stamp duty on land (stamp duty on cars may change soon).

The opposition's record doesn't look as good. Last time they were in power they tried to sell everything they could to the private sector and reduce workplace conditions to nothing. And the deal they did on the gas pipeline will screw us for years to come.

The current battle over nurse's pay and health in general has the potential to control the election result. The government offered the nurses more money than the Industrial Relations Comission resommended but the nurses didn't take it because ANF union rep has sided with the Opposition who is offering less money. Let's just hope the nurse's idiot union rep doesn't screw them over for the opportunity of getting his face on TV a few times or a job in a Liberal government.