Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Animal Ethics = Freedom Of Choice

I was reading an article about the 'shonky awards' today. These are put out by Choice Magazine each year.

One of the beneficiaries of this was the Australian Egg Corporation which won an award for their 'Free Range' barn laid eggs. Their free-range birds have the option of leaving the barn, and roaming in an open range area. Yet, many of the birds in the barn do not do this. Choice Magazine thought this was shonky. The managing director of the AEG, James Kellaway, defended their product through the lovelly use of a free-will argument. Here he is, taken from the Sydney Morning Herald:
"As for access to the open range, the corporation was not about to start strong-arming chickens out the barn door each morning."We need to ensure each bird has access to an open range, but it's a chicken's freedom of choice," Mr Kellaway said."


Without wanting to ruffle the feathers of those of you who hate counting a pun before it is hatched, I would say that Mr Kellaway's argument is Eggsellent.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Iraq War Is Over (If You Want It)

It was reported in a copy of the New York Times today that the Iraq War IS OVER!

Thank you John Lennon:

And so this is Xmas (war is over)
And what have we done (if you want it)
Another year over (war is over)
A new one just begun (if you want it)
And so happy Xmas (war is over)
We hope you have fun (if you want it)
The near and the dear one (war is over)
The old and the young (now)

Who said students live tough?

To those students who whine about being poor poor poor, let me fill your heart with joy.
It was announced today that the average Australian income is $1,147.00. Let me reinforce that point, the AVERAGE income is $1,147.00.

Feel better?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hello Pot, This Is Kettle.

Today Tony Abbott joined with Mr Sincerity Malcolm Turnbull in criticising Kevin Rudd's people skills.

This from Abott, Howard's gaffe-man of the 2007 election. Remember his attack of asbestos campaigner Bernie Banton, just days before Bernie died? And then there was his lovely handling of his late arrival to the health debate later that day.

Yes. Tony Abbott is a man whose people skills are second to none.

(Which isn't to say that Kevin 'working families' Rudd is not an automaton. I just don't really dig Abbott or Turnbull having a go at people for their personalities, or lack there-of.)

On Internet Filtering

I was going to write a big diatribe about how this is destined for failure, and how we should all write letters to the Minister, and then Nicholas wrote an awesome letter.

I think you should go read that instead. Oh yeah, and write a letter. Cos Internet filtering is really stupid.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Why I'm For Palin-Plumber ticket in 2012

Now that the dust is settling on the U.S. election, and the fallout is only just starting to come out we* are confronted with the issue of Sarah Palin.

Basically there are two chief extremes, with a range of variation in the middle. Extreme 1 is that Sarah Palin's political career is over. She is destroyed by bitter Republicans, liberal media elites and her own political stupidity.Extreme 2 is that she powers on to become the Republican nominee for 2012. Hopefully with J-T-P as her running mate. I'm all for extreme 2 - let's have a Palin-Plumber as the Republican ticket in 2012. I want you, dear reader, to start the campaign today.
Clearly many of you are jumping from your padded computer chairs, inadvertently spilling your chardonnay onto your leather-bound copy of Das Kapital. Why would I, a wannabe darling of the middle class bourgeoisie set, be putting my alias forward in support of Palin, a political monster of Frankenstein-like proportions?
The simple answer is divide and conquer. Since Regan's time in the Oval Office, the Republican party has been propelled forward by the unholy alliance between the conservative Christian right and conservative Libertarian minded intellectual and big business elites. Forging a bond between the so called moral majority and a variety of big business business concerns, the republicans dominated the political landscape from 1980 onwards. Even Clinton, despite being a two-term Democratic president, found his position framed by Republican dogma. By cementing this link between two fundamentally different streams of conservative thought, Bush Jnr increased the dominance of conservatism in U.S. life, campaigning in 2000 as the 'compassionate conservative.'
Yet during this 2008 campaign, Republican nominee John McCain, long known for his opposition to the conservative tentacles of the Republican party (in part due to personal beliefs, and in part due to his personal battles with Bush Jnr in 2000) was forced to become the 'reformed maverick' and select as his running mate someone who would appeal to moral majority brand of conservatives. That running mate was, of course, Sarah Palin.

Now, to get the point of this story, the idea - dare I say unyielding hope - is that Palin will fight tooth and nail for the Republican nomination in 2012. And the reason for my hope is that this will divide the coalition forged by Regan et al since 1980. That, as the intellectual and business elite of the Republican party express their disgust for Palin, the real and profound differences between these two aspects of the Republican party will effectively destroy any chances of the party returning in the near future.

(Clearly such division will allow Obama to ram through his extreme socialist agenda like health-care for sick people, international engagement over unilateral military invasions, and more more regulations for the market. His puppet master will be pleased. iViva Revolucion!)

* And by we I mean the whole world. While the U.S. is (arguably) a superpower in its twilight years, the decisions made by its leaders still have some pretty far reaching effects on those of us not entitled to vote.