Monthly Archives: June 2012

A Battleship on Wheels

When a navy wants a new sort of missile, it does not go out and buy a new squadron of warships. The ship is the platform, the shooty missile thing is the system, and what you do is put new systems on your existing platform.

Thus my Bristol – a rather old car now, but with a decent sound system for a while now. The car is the platform; the in-car hi-fi is the system. So far so good.

But the Jeep was harder. Continue reading


Filed under News from at home

Illegal Ministry

Here is the story.

The last Liberal Government here in Oz (Note to Americans: these are the guys who are a bit less left wing than the current lot, and currently out of power even though they won the popular vote last time around) decided to put missionaries in state-run schools.  They called them “chaplains”, but it was pretty clear what was going on.  The Prime Minister of the day – John Howard – was mildly religious, but he needed the votes of the far-right religious lobby. And so he put in place Federal funding for the programme, to be run by religious organisations.

There was a minor problem Continue reading

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Filed under Legal, Politics

Pig Not So Ignorant

One of the weirder stories of the week has been that about a lady in the Ukraine who has interrupted the psychic efforts of a pig, which is supposed to predict the results of soccer matches by its choices of bowls of food. The lady in question chose to do this topless. The pig, Funtig, was not to be distracted and correctly predicted that Portugal would beat the Czech Republic. Continue reading

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Filed under Politics, Sport

Assange; Where from here?

So, Julian Assange has holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.  Now what happens?

This is far from obvious.

  • Ecuador grants him asylum? Possible, but then there is still a problem: how to get him from the embassy onto a plane? The UK police has said that they will arrest him the moment he steps out of the embassy door.  Even if they could get him into a car, how could they get him from the car into a plane? In the old days of the iron curtain, people were sometimes holed up in embassies for years, unable to get out.  Continue reading

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Filed under Legal, Politics

Australian Timing

I love Australia, but the government here has a weird sense of timing.

They announced recently that bottles of wine are going to have to carry cigarette-style warnings to expectant mothers not to drink at all whilst pregnant.

Timing-wise, this coincided with reports of really clear research from Denmark that moderate to low drinking during pregnancy is entirely safe. Continue reading

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Filed under Climate, Politics

A Trip to the Caribbean for Julian Assange?

Julian Assange has lost his appeal; by 5 judges to 2.  It cannot be a comfortable prospect for him – Sweden has a lousy record in terms of “extraordinary renditions” to the Americans, and Mitt Romney is looking pretty strong in the polls. This is the same Mitt Romney who said on May 15, 2007:

Some people have said we ought to close Guantanamo. My view is we ought to double Guantanamo. Continue reading

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Filed under Legal, Politics