Thursday, February 19, 2004

That's it! I'm leaving for good this time! 

It is with a heavy heart that I announce that this blog is finished. I have finally succumbed to the dark side and joined the Gravett empire with fellow blogmates Vikki McNaughton, Random Prose and Mike Jericho.

This blog will cease to be.

You can now find me at www.gravett.org/TRP/ -- The Rat Pack.

Adios, Blogger!


It wouldn't be proper of me to call it quits without finalising the last ever poll to be held on Marty's Insight.

What should you be doing right now? --- 215 votes taken.

1) Plotting against Marty --- 29 votes (13%)

2) Eating a sandwich --- 64 votes (30%)

3) Voting in some dumb poll --- 39 votes (18%)

4) Kicking cute little puppies --- 83 votes (39%)

You're all a bunch of sadists. Really.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

New satire site sits on sidebar! 

Decent Australian funnies are hard to find on the internet... Until now! You should all head on over to Meat Pie and Sauce and laugh at your inner-Aussie. Or better yet, check out the stories on the site. They make me laugh more than you do.

No cable and no cable makes Marty something something... 

I spoke too soon. I mentioned it in one of the running comments threads, but I'll actually post it up here for all to read. I've had a couple of delays in getting my cable connection up and running, so until then I have to live with rather limited dial-up internet access. No blogging until I have my cable!

At this stage it's looking like another two days or so; perhaps earlier, perhaps later, but in that general ball-park. I'm still accepting insults to David Marr, Margo Kingston and Mark Latham, remember.

As for what you can also use the comments to this post for, feel free to fling wild accusations around about other readers and commenters. Hop to it!

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Hiatus schmiatus 

Did I say I'd be away from here for one or two weeks? I meant one or two days!

I write this from a friend's place, as I prepare to move all my crap into my new place today. Hurrah for all! One of the best things as far as this blog and its readers is concerned is that there is cable internet there waiting for me.

In other news, it's a completely alien feeling for a 19-year old to be awake at 7:00 on a Sunday morning. Then again, why don't you try driving 750km in one day and see how you feel about consuming vast amounts of alcohol and then staying out all night. It was very tempting though...

Wow, I love my one-track mind.

P.S. Oh yeah, the times have changed -- literally. You'll notice that all post timestamps have been changed from NSW time to Queensland time... due to me being in Queensland and not NSW.

Friday, February 13, 2004

I'm leaving! 

Further to my previous notice, issued last Monday, I'd like to advise that I'm temporarily leaving this blog for an unspecified amount of time (perhaps even up to a week or two, although I hope it won't be that long). I'm moving house so I can't specify how long it will be before I get stable internet access again.

Until I return, everyone is invited to insult Margo Kingston, David Marr, or Mark Latham in the comments. The funniest insult wins! If the winner happens to live in the Brisbane area, I'll buy them a beer.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Only arselickers want to privatise things! 

We've all heard about Telstra's massive profits that they just announced, right? Laborites don't like profits:

Telstra was fuelling its massive profits by charging consumers too much in telephone line rental fees, opposition communications spokesman Lindsay Tanner said today.

Mr Tanner's comments came after Telstra posted a 93.7 per cent rise in first half net profit to $2.3 billion.

Mr Tanner said Australia's biggest telecommunications company had propped up its profits by increasing line rental fees to up to $26.50 a month for a standard plan.

Fair enough. Thing is, however, Labor don't want to privatise Telstra. The only way to make Telstra competitive and not overcharge customers is to throw them fully into the marketplace. Er, so I guess this is just more Labor whinging about something that they couldn't fix, but won't stop trying to get everyone to think they can.

The inevitable happened 

My computer sure did die yesterday. Windows didn't want to load, and I managed to get the Blue Screen of Death on every startup. This is in Windows XP where the BSoD is a thing of the past... unless something really buggers up.

Luckily I had an old install of Windows 98 on my second hard drive, so I fired that up. It had trouble coping with all the new hardware since it had last been loaded up on my old, deceased computer (I pinched the hard drive out of it because it had only been replaced a few weeks before the computer totally carked it). All I could really do with Windows 98 was backup as much data from that disk on CD's as I could, since it wouldn't connect to the internet or do anything else pertaining to even the late 1990's (with the other exception of 3D graphics). This wouldn't do...

So I bought the sick computer into my father's office this morning to dump as much stuff from my computer onto another computer in the office; format both of my disks and then reinstall Windows on both. When I put my main drive into the office computer as a slave, Windows XP decided to do a full disk scan of it -- which was something I couldn't do beforehand -- and it all loaded fine after Windows found a few bad sectors or something and acted accordingly. I dumped my most important stuff on the office computer anyway, then took my main drive back out and put it in my computer.

I started it up and everything works fine now.

The thing is, I have just replaced the graphics card in my computer and with the heat we're experiencing lately (it got to 42°C here yesterday), I thought that it may have been too hot to operate and as a result Windows would refuse to load. If anybody reading this is more of a techno-geek than I am, is this possible or does it sound more like a Windows / hard drive error?

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Pilger pilfered 

Hey! I found the Green Left Weekly's new favourite tune!

Al-Qaeda's John Pilger's newest weapon against the West is a violent English-language rap tune urging young Muslims to wage holy war.

The song is being broadcast on the internet in an attempt to lure music-loving youth into the terror network, which is blamed for the September 11 attacks on US cities and other bombings around the world.

Titled Dirty Kuffar or Dirty Infidels, the song is performed by a London-based group which Islamists said was deeply sympathetic to Osama bin Laden's network.

Given last months revelations, Pilger probably financed this project.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

More bloggery 

I've added some more blogs to the sidebar. Everybody should take a look at:

Mythusmage Opines - Alan has his head screwed on the right way and comes armed with an American accent.

Running at the Mouth - A lawyer from Ohio, who considers me to be a kindred spirit. Well, at least when it comes to beating up on lefties anyway.

Silent Running - I should have added this link a long while ago, but I figure even I am allowed to slip up sometimes, so forgive me. Or I'll kill you.

UPDATE: I managed to slip up twice! I also forgot to include Dissecting Leftism in this blogroll update.

More FTA shiznit 

It's a little confusing to me that people like Mark Latham -- who would have favoured the free-trade agreement with the United States had we managed to get them to open up fully to farming and agriculture sectors -- are labelling the agreement as "a dud". Gerard Henderson has more:

Yesterday the Opposition Leader, Mark Latham, criticised John Howard for not delivering for the sugar industry and for not doing enough for beef and dairy farmers. This overlooks the fact that if this Prime Minister cannot do a deal on agriculture with this President, then no one for the foreseeable future can. It was a case of compromise on sugar - and, to a lesser extent on beef and dairy - or there would have been no FTA.

The exclusion of sugar will not make cane growers and sugar producers any worse off. Yet the junking of the FTA would have adversely affected the prospects of other Australian industries seeking to sell goods and services on American markets. Howard has indicated that he is sympathetic to the plight of the Australian sugar industry and that his Government is willing to consider additional assistance for it. No doubt, his concern is genuine. But, no doubt, Howard is also conscious that the industry is based in a number of marginal seats on the coast of Queensland and northern NSW.

Sugar growers are being misled by the likes of Queensland-based independent MP Bob Katter (formerly a National Party member) who maintains that government intervention - at federal and state level - can save the sugar industry in its current form. This is pure mythology.

Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: The Gnu Hunter has a conclusive roundup.

The few industries that are not covered by the FTA will not be disadvantaged, they just won't benefit. Why then must every other industry suffer with this nutty "all or nothing" approach from Mark Latham? Because it fits with the general style of Australian politics where the party in opposition opposes everything for the sake of it, to discredit the government and try to win office for themselves.

Read all of that too, along with his initial roundup from yesterday. Perhaps I should shout this guy a beer or something.

UPDATE II: There are varied opinions at the Sydney Morning Herald's Your Say page:

I am an Economics Student and this Trade deal is just plain common sense to me. Free Trade is great. The US has always held stupid Tarrifs etc to protect their ineffecient farming industries much to the detriment of Australia.

I can't believe people like Angry Aussie and Dominic Agostino (the Push Pop Pusher) who are whinging as with the vast majority of you about this.

Howard has done an exceptional job and has proved himself to be probably the greatest Prime Minister in history at steering this country into the powerhouse it has become today.

Rusty Crawford

Don't forget that Australia also has stupid tariffs to protect inefficient industries, as does the European Union. The fact that, unlike the European Union, Australia is readily willing to abolish these tariffs is truly a great thing. The eloquence level goes down after this:

Their are 2 things that we don't need to have a university degree for, self interest and Greed. We all have it and we all use it.

Both Governments live by it, if you have 276 million consumers and your opponent has 20 million consumers, who has the upper hand?


ben with a little b (in his bonnet)

It's simple - mediocrity flourishes in a protected environment. Open the gates to competition and everyone benefits due to the need to develop superior products at cheaper costs. People aren't forced to buy crap then. And another thing: What on earth makes you think that the U.S. is our economic "opponent"? Idiot.

This one was awesome:

Hooray! Crappy Australian TV drama is saved from having to lift its game. More "Australians telling Australian stories" - not that you see any Chinese Australians, Lebanese Australians etc etc unless they been thrown a tokenistic "let's all rejoice in happy multicultural land for 30 minutes" role by Australias legions of talentless scriptwriters.

By the way - are there any Australian content rules for newspapers? What's the proportion of Sydney Morning Herald articles sourced to offshore newswires and "syndicated" newspaper articles these days?

Tiu Fu Fong

I don't even think I need to comment on that.

Finally, this is what all sane people are thinking:

Seven times in a row the Liberal/National coallition has delivered us a budget surplus. Look at the two thirds of state Labor governments that are running defecits and the choice is simple. Accuse Howard of everything you want but dont be stupid, the man knows after 30 years in politics how to run the economy.
I cant understand for the life of me how anyone can see unrestricted entry to the worlds biggest economy as a bad thing. I think some people confuse their jealousy and hatred of John Howards power for a belief that Latham (the taxi driver bashing thug) could do better.


For once, a SMH reader-input page where sanity prevailed!

Monday, February 09, 2004


Blogging will be light this week as I have quite a few things to do, and then I'll be away from the blog entirely for an uncertain amount of time after next Saturday when I'll be moving house. The usual connectivity issues will be taking place, and it wouldn't surprise me if I'm away from here for more than a week. I'll provide updates when I can!

Until then, I'd like to express my happiness that we got our free-trade agreement with the United States. Woohoo!

UPDATE: Tim Blair addresses the issue so I don't have to.

Saturday, February 07, 2004

A post on Saturday...? 

I don't normally do updates on weekends, and this weekend should probably be no exception. Though, thanks to reader TokenModerateGuy, I have a strange urge to direct you to this FrontPage Mag article:

Former President Bill Clinton on Dec. 16, 1998, stated, "Other countries possess weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles. With Saddam, there is one big difference: He has used them. Not once, but repeatedly. Unleashing chemical weapons against Iranian troops during a decade-long war. Not only against soldiers, but against civilians, firing Scud missiles at the citizens of Israel, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Iran. And not only against a foreign enemy, but even against his own people, gassing Kurdish civilians in Northern Iraq. . . . I have no doubt today, that left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will use these terrible weapons again. . . . "

That's right! It's yet another article on why removing Saddam Hussein was the right thing to do! Read the whole thing. Andrew Bolt also has a column saying that the war in Iraq was still justified, and it is also worth reading.