Tuesday 28th of May 2024

junk terror .....

junk terror .....


‘Some of Britain's biggest food brands, including McDonald's, Nestlé and Kellogg's, are using "underhand tactics" on the internet to directly target children with their unhealthy products, according to a report.

Stung by moves to restrict traditional methods of selling junk food to children, such as TV advertising, the consumer group Which says companies are often turning to the less heavily policed internet.

the great turkey .....

‘On the day before Thanksgiving, President George W. Bush officially pardoned two turkeys, guaranteeing that they would be allowed to live out their days in safety and security, unharmed even by FBI, CIA or the Department of Homeland Security. In America today, turkeys have more rights than U.S. citizens do.

I wonder how many Americans thought of alleged terrorist Jose Padilla this Thanksgiving Day. Padilla, arrested at O’Hare Airport in Chicago in May of 2002, still has not been tried in late November, 2006. Speedy trial? Oh, that is so-o-o-o 20th Century, so pre-9/11!

criminal optimism .....

‘Despite mountains of evidence that the Bush Administration’s misguided and mismanaged operations in Iraq are contributing to the spread of Islamist extremism in that country and around the world, the president and some like-minded conservatives still argue that any change in strategy is tantamount to a victory for the terrorists.

In fact, the only real winners in the Bush administration’s stay the course strategy in Iraq are America’s top public enemies: terrorist chieftain Osama bin Laden and his top lieutenant, Ayman al-Zarwahiri, who are apparently both still alive and well more than five years after 9/11.

Bringing In The Sheaves

Talk about whistleblowing!  In order to save his own skin (or parts thereof) the former AWB chairman has exposed our Prime and Foreign Ministers as liars of the worst kind.  This is not a matter of "core or non-core" promises but of a national leader being deceitful regarding his decision to engage his country in a war.

Our leader told us that Australia  had not considered invading Iraq until the UN debates that occurred not long before Coalition forces jumped the border (after the Australian SAS's head start.).  Now we learn that Australia's ambassador to the UN was laying groundwork for the military action a year before the event.

a mafia state .....

‘Almost 40 per cent of land used by Israel for its settlements in the occupied West Bank is the private property of Palestinians, the Israeli organisation Peace Now said yesterday on the basis of leaked official maps and other data.

Contrary to official claims that the land is state-owned and that private property is only seized temporarily for security reasons, the leak shows that privately owned Palestinian land has been repeatedly used to build and expand settlements.

"aussie tony" & the value of heroes .....

‘The global battle against Islamic terrorism will be decided in the harsh desert of southern Afghanistan, Tony Blair yesterday told British troops as he made a flying visit to the country.

The Prime Minister flew into Helmand province in the south, where 3,500 British troops are engaged in a "stability mission" that has seen them facing daily clashes with Taleban fighters - combat of an intensity commanders say the British Army has not experienced since the Second World War.

Downer In The Synagogue

This speech was reported by the Australian Jewish News this week.  For some reason it's not on Downer's website.

Well, Rabbis, ladies and gentlemen I just want to say what a great honour it is and an unusual honour for me to come along here this afternoon and spend some time with you and participate in the opening of this synagogue.

I feel it is a great honour for a lot of reasons - some of them are very modern, some of them are not so modern.

changing course .....

from the Centre for American Progress …..

Stovepiping Intelligence

‘"Make no mistake, President Bush will need to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities before leaving office," writes Joshua Muravchik, a neoconservative scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. "The global thunder against Bush when he pulls the trigger will be deafening, and it will have many echoes at home." So neoconservatives, Muravchik argued, "need to pave the way intellectually now and be prepared to defend the action when it comes." In that vein, Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, said last August, "We could be in a military confrontation with Iran much sooner than people expect." In a startling new article in the New Yorker, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh writes that, despite the recent bluster over Iran's attempts to build a nuclear bomb, a highly classified draft assessment by the CIA found "no conclusive evidence, as yet, of a secret Iranian nuclear-weapons program." According to Hersh, the White House has reacted with hostility to the CIA's report and, as it did with Iraq, is bypassing the agency by collecting and compiling its own intelligence for a possible military strike. On CNN yesterday, Hersh said there is an "internecine fight" going on between the CIA and the White House over the intelligence process, "the same fight, by the way, that we had before Iraq."

Masters Of War- University Of Adelaide Degrees

Tired of KBR getting all the engineering jobs?   Looking for a career in building Weapons Of Mass Destruction?  Adelaide Uni can help.  They're now training engineers for more advanced construction work, at least up to the technology level that Raytheon allows us local savages to access.

It's odd for the university to now announce that it has been been running the specialised maritime engineering  program for a year already,  instead of at the program's initial implementation.  Given that the start of the academic year was just before the South Australian elections I wonder if the story might have been considered politically inappropriate at the time.  To me it seemed that the whole concept of the Defence State, complete with number plates and BAE bus shelter ads, seemed to have been shelved in the last pre-election four weeks.  In such a context I can understand a reticence for publicity.

denial still rules .....

‘As we approach the beginning of the end in Iraq there will be much throat clearing and breast-beating before reality replaces denial. For the moment, denial still rules.

In America last week I was shocked at how unaware even anti-war Americans are (like many Britons) of the depth of the predicament in Iraq. They compare it with Vietnam or the Balkans - but it is not the same. It is total anarchy. All sentences beginning, "What we should now do in Iraq ... " are devoid of meaning. We are in no position to do anything. We have no potency; that is the definition of anarchy.’

Australia's new copyright laws risk making criminals out of all of us

A media release from the Internet Industry Association:

New Copyright Laws Risk Criminalising Everyday Australians

The Internet Industry Association today warned that changes to Australia’s copyright laws being rushed through Parliament risked making criminals out of everyday Australians.

The IIA which represents a broad range of internet businesses in Australia, in conjunction with the QUT Law Faculty Intellectual Property Research Program, has identified a number of scenarios which could trip up Australians in their everyday use of copyrighted materials.

Said IIA chief executive, Peter Coroneos: “We can’t be sure if this is the government's intent, or whether there has been a terrible oversight in the drafting of this Bill. Either way, the consequences for the average Australian family could be devastating.”

“As an example,” said Mr Coroneos, “a family who holds a birthday picnic in a place of public entertainment (for example, the grounds of a zoo) and sings ‘Happy Birthday’ in a manner that can be heard by others, risks an infringement notice carrying a fine of up to $1320. If they make a video recording of the event, they risk a further fine for the possession of a device for the purpose of making an infringing copy of a song. And if they go home and upload the clip to the internet where it can be accessed by others, they risk a further fine of up to $1320 for illegal distribution. All in all, possible fines of up to $3960 for this series of acts – and the new offences do not require knowledge or improper intent. Just the doing of the acts is enough to ground a legal liability under the new ‘strict liability’ offences.”

Unscheduled downtime 17/11 - 19/11

As many of you would have noticed YourDemocracy was unavailable for a couple of days. This was due to our domain name expiring. The name was under the control of a member of the IT team who is no longer active in the project, and no-one noticed that the domain was about to expire.

This has now been rectified, with the domain once again the under control of the core IT team. We also took this opportunity to move servers to deal with space and bandwidth issues. Every month we have grown in disk space and numbers of visitors. The new hosting basically has unlimited of each of these.

Please attach any issues as comments to this post.

muh durn daddy again .....

‘When I saw the Newsweek cover featuring Big Daddy Bush muscling toward the front with a diminished little Dubya skulking in the background, my first thought was: How is Junior going to react to this? Bush II's resentment toward his father is well-known – a resentment no doubt compounded by his lifelong, abject dependence on Daddy's financial and political pull – and I knew that Little Bush would not simply accept this media humiliation and move on.

Because for all his vaunted (and totally mendacious) "unconcern" with opinion polls and popularity ("Ah just do whut muh gut tells me is right"), Little Bush is actually one of the most vain and insecure men ever to sit in the White House; only Nixon can match him in this regard. Why else would he need to have his authority bolstered in such ludicrous ways – such as all those little "Commander-in-Chief" and "President of the United States" tags embossed onto his fancy quasi-military jackets and his running gear and belt-buckles and boots – and probably his toilet paper as well?

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