Monday, November 28, 2005

Vee Hate

Before I begin, I have to say, I didn't care much for the V8 supercar series. I generally find car racing rather dull due to:
1/ The lack of passing. Open wheelers especially- they cannot afford a clash of wheels, so tend to stay away from each other. Plus if they do clash wheels- game over for someone. In the tin tops, the reality of "one true line" racing means that switching back and forth to zip up or around the opposition does not happen as much.
2/ The points in V8s. They get 64 points for first, 62 for second, 60 3rd, 58 4th etc. No real motivation to go for the top points.
3/ The cost. $400 grand for a race car? That will make the "smash n bash" racing style that the crowd loves rather expensive...
4/ Pit stops. This really, really kills me. Some monkey with a rattle gun can make you go from 1st to 4th? Let the track decide, I say.

So that said, I went down on Saturday to see the final round of the V8 supercars @ Phillip Island. I was there ostensibly to do some live crosses for radio 3AW (and it turns out 5AA in Adelaide, 2UE in Sydney as well)

It was, and I can't believe I am going to say this, absolutely bloody great. This may have more to do with the fact that I had a media pass that got me just about everywhere- free food n drink, wide screen plasma TV, unfettered pit access and more than one or two chances to say hi to pit girlies, but that's hardly the point.

Russell Ingall maintained his lead in the championship and won the tile. It was not what I would call a dominating performance- he won 1 round, (out of 13) 2 races (out of 30 odd), but he got the points.

What was fun was seeing his celebrations afterwards. A lap around the circuit while hanging out the side door (the windows do not wind down in a V8 supercar), followed by a series of donuts, burnouts, drive by's and so on until he blew his back tyre. Well pleased. The press conference was also interesting afterwards.

I also managed to sneak in some RAPID related business and organised an article from idea to "might happen" hmmm stay tuned.

Some pics:
The view from the press area during the presentation:

The view down the main straight under the bridge. The MotoGP bikes went 330+kph. V8s about 290kph:

Stunt rider Allan Morrison (who is currently bikeless after two recent crashes) playing "Deer Hunt" or sumsuch. I sucked at it. That is strange considering I rule at other games

I'm off home, it's 7pm:

Ok sad/funny pic of the day is this big, bearded, bikie-looking-bloke. He was all alone, smashed out completely. Thing is, how does one get this drunk alone? You don't. So he was there with "friends" right? He gets smashed and they LEAVE him there like this. Of course that is as far my sympathy extends. I did, after all, take a camera phone pic of him. Security came over to help him up. He walked under his own stream. I considered giving him a lift to the gate on the Beemer, but thought better (or worse) of it. He needed the walk besides. Some kids walked past and had a gawk. As they went past me I said "Santa will be a bit late this year kids..."

Special thanks to Jen Jen and Brett for putting me up for the night in Inverloch- apologies for the lack of a free pass on the day!
posted by thr at 11:49 am 1 comments links to this post

Saturday, November 26, 2005

No c_omment

posted by thr at 10:50 am 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Check this

posted by thr at 3:39 pm 0 comments links to this post

How to make me into a nervous flyer

A 34-year-old French woman, who tried to open the emergency door of a plane so she could have a cigarette, has appeared in the Brisbane Magistrates Court.

Sadrine Helen Sellies was on an inbound flight from Hong Kong on Saturday morning with her husband.

A nervous flyer, she was affected by alcohol and sleeping tablets when passengers noticed her tampering with a plane door.

Today she pleaded guilty to a charge of endangering safety on an aircraft.

The court heard Sellies was prone to sleep walking and had an unlit cigarette and a lighter in her hand at the time.

The Commonwealth Prosecutor told the court the plane was flying at 39,000 feet over north Queensland when the incident happened.

Magistrate Gordon Dean placed Sellies on a 12-month good behaviour bond and told her to behave on planes.

"Told her to behave on planes" Ha! good one!

ABC news
posted by thr at 9:53 am 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, November 17, 2005

"...he was lost and is found."

Thursday night dinner at Mum's house. The usual- nieces, sister, brother in law (late arrival) . Then a special arrival:

Welcome home lil bro Stephen Sarre!

Fantastic stories and adventures from all over Europe, The Middle East and USA.
posted by thr at 10:20 pm 0 comments links to this post

Monday, November 14, 2005

Herald Sun: Andrew Bolt Forum, November 1- thomasr asks the Bolt

Update: I was holding back on posting this add on as I thought it might get a run on boltwatch. Given Mr Lefty has decided against. Here it is:

Bolt has extended his knowledge beyond Greenhouse Effect denial, etc into legal views for hire. Despite this:
An expert legal opinion obtained by Media Watch on the impact of the new Anti-Terrorism Bill says that journalists and the commentators they interview might be caught out by the new laws on sedition.

It's the view of many that these laws should not have provisions for this sort of charge against journos, etc. But Bolta thinks the laws are just fine- as long as sensible/honest/lovely people are the ones doing the prosecuting:

In response to Bolta's rather warped views on how the legal system should work:

And she quoted a column I'd written more than a year ago: "On Wednesday Pilger appeared on ABC TV's Lateline to promote his noxious views. This apologist for terrorists -- this moral pygmy -- is . . . welcomed into an ABC studio and promoted by SBS." So that's how Media Watch had me on a jury that jailed both Jones and Pilger for sedition under Adolf Howard's Nazi laws.

Dream on, Liz. I'd never have voted to jail them and doubt most Australians would. You'd have to be dumb or dishonest not to see the difference between despising Pilger's words and wanting him behind bars.

Are we to assume that Andrew's columns have a shelf life of less that one year. "... quoted a column I'd written more than a year ago..." Is he Australia's answer to Vicky Pollard? "Yeah, but no, but, no, but yew wasn't even there and besides John Pilger's all bald n moral pygymish and what would he know and so what I said that a year ago and anyway Tony Jones is all lefty..."

So, I sent this to see if Bolta was a fan of the legal work of Dennis Denuto:

Herald Sun: Andrew Bolt Forum, November 1

From: Tom R
Comment: Andrew, Curious about how you view the jury system when you said (re: John Pilger/ABC): 'I'd never have voted to jail them and doubt most Australians would.' Should juries decide a case on the evidence/facts as they relate to the law or: on the 'vibe', their feelings about the morality of the law, the appropriateness of the law as it applies to the accused.

If there is a law in place, and it is breached, should the police turn a blind eye on the grounds that 'it wasn't aimed at prosecuting THAT person'. Or, perhaps, just maybe, we should draft the laws in such a way to avoid giving the law enforcement agencies 'veto powers'? I would rather have law makers get it right, than leave it in the hands of a rookie cop or fed to decide whether to proceed.

And got this:
Andrew replies: On the evidence of what Pilger said, I see no possible way he'd be charged, or, having been charge, that any jury would convict. In suggesting a jury would in fact not only convict Pilger but Tony Jones, on the basis of what I'd written, Media Watch misrepresented me and the draft bill most deceitfully.

Thomasr sez:
"I see no possible way he'd be charged" Well thank you Bolt, QC, but I'll go with the opinions of barristers Bret Walker SC and Peter Roney who were asked by Media Watch: "Might Pilger and Jones have a case to answer?". The answer was "Yes". If you want to trot out your own legal opinion that says "no"- knock yourself out. But after your $250,000 performance in the Popovic case where you buried yourself in your own words, one might think you'd know where your legal opinion ends and bullshit begins.

The fact remains: If one SC/QC says there might be a case to answer, then all the "oh we wouldn't convict that person" rhetoric is not relevant: the laws need to be changed. Media Watch used your column because your typing fingers yet again ran away without your brain.

The forum- scroll to bottom
posted by thr at 9:14 am 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Is this a contrast?

I am vigorously opposed to terrorists. In this country they are not freedom fighters (and that is not to say they are freedom fighters in other countries), they are little more than brainwashed morons:

"All stand," they were told, but someone said: "He's not allowed to."

Abdullah Merhi, a sharp-featured 20-year-old apprentice electrician from Fawkner, leaned forward from the front row of the dock. "Nobody can ask me to stand up but God," he said.

Yeah, fine, you live here, respect for laws etc. (the RWDB in me awakes) Fuck off.

I have little to no sympathy for these guys. At this stage they have only been charged with "belonging to a terrorist organisation", the Feds et al better have more charges than that, or they will be back on the street in months not years.

But I do wish to contrast two Federal Police investigations: This one and the Bali 9.

The Bali 9 were toast before they left Australia. They had all been bugged, investigated, followed and sorted out. When they left Australia, the Federal Police handed the Indonesians a dossier that even they couldn't fuck up. And, so far, they haven't. The 9 look like going all the way to the firing squad/Calvary/gallows pole.

Alexander Downer has come out and said that the 9 can't blame the feds:
Alexander Downer says the AFP has to share information with police forces in the region if Australia is to stop drug smuggling.

Mr Downer rejects claims the AFP put Australian lives at risk by giving intelligence to Indonesian police.

"I don't want to sound too tough in saying this, but I don't think we should be blaming the Australian Federal Police for Australians at least allegedly getting involved in heroin trafficking," he said.

In a sense he's right. They all had free will in this case. They chose to go on this trip. But why didn't the Feds arrest them before they left? They clearly had enough evidence to support a conspiracy to import charge, and it mean that the Federal Police made the collar and John Howard would have had another moment in the sun. It also would have avoided having the Federal Government have to beg for the life of the 9- as they will and as they have in Van Nguyen's case. Having to beg third world countries and/or moral superior types with the death penalty for drug trafficking is most unbecoming. It annoys me in the extreme.

The annoyance of state sanctioned murder aside, are the police no longer in the business of crime prevention? What happened to "nip it in the bud?" Is it now about "get them so the charges are the biggest possible?" It would appear that this is the case for the Bali 9. Contrast this with the terror suspects who may not face the full weight of the law as, despite the government telling us that an "attack was imminent", they may not have enough evidence of the imminent nature of an attack. These terror suspects have been investigated, bugged, tapped, followed, sniffed, probed, investigated probably more than any other crime suspects in Australian history. (Let me just say, I imagine the budget for terror investigations is unlimited). So why arrest them now? Did John Howard force the hand of the law enforcement authorities when he announced that an attack was imminent? Has John Howard actually reduced the sentences these terrorists will face by opening his mouth? It does have a moonbat conspiracy smell about it, but it also makes some sense. It's not like his government has a perfect record for being quiet when asked to.
Kim Beazley on Peter Costello's gaff (when he leaked info about the meeting he'd had with Alan Greenspan) in 2000:
I was trying to recall when I had last seen him look so uncomfortable. Was it when he verballed Alan Greenspan and single-handedly moved the US bond market?

Costello aside, Howard conspiracies aside, have the Federal Police, ASIO et al mounted this series of raids too early? Have they gone too early on this case and too late on the Bali 9?

I. Say. Yes.

John Silvester, respected, near-legendary crime reporter (and notably non partisan/lerft wing as no doubt the right will call him as an employee of The Age) says this:
But it was not the media that tipped off the targets. It was the Prime Minister who last Wednesday publicly stated that the Government had received "specific intelligence and police information this week which gives cause for serious concern about a potential terrorist threat".

Mr Howard made his statement after an amendment in the new anti-terrorism laws from "the terrorist act" to "a terrorist act" was rushed into Parliament.

Police working on Operation Pandanus, the investigation into a radical Islamic splinter group active in Sydney and Melbourne, immediately identified a "flurry of activity" involving the suspects.

They held meetings where they quickly concluded they were the group identified by Mr Howard, telling each other to be ready for imminent raids and to immediately increase counter-surveillance tactics. The police assigned to conduct the raids were livid that they had lost the element of surprise, substantially increasing the risks involved.

..and that's all I needed to hear. Howard= fucking idiot.

The Age- How the PM tipped off suspects
The ABC- Group committed to jihad, court hears
The ABC- Downer- Bali 9 comments.
The Age- Angry young men come and go with intent
posted by thr at 11:11 am 0 comments links to this post

Monday, November 07, 2005

Liesl- A Photo Essay With Thomasr Deconstruction

My six year old niece Liesl was pestering me for a pic of us all at our regular Thursday dinner get together at Mum's house. So we took one:

Left to right: Kashi, Liesl (artist), Thomasr

That done, she asked to take a few pics of her own of various stuff. The following pics are the result. Commentary by your host, thomasr:

1/ Liesl, b 1999, Melbourne, Australia
Mother in a Chair, Looking Away. 2005
Digital Image, 480 X 640 Pixels

The central focus of this image is clearly the artist's mother, but what's that we see? The child is not the Mother's focus. We cannot clearly identify who or what is Mother's focus, but we know it is not the artist. This image seeks to identify this issues that take a mother away from the child: not always easy to see, but the effect is there. A remarkable achievement in photography.

2/ Liesl, b 1999, Melbourne, Australia
Kashi, Australian Princess.
Digital Image, 480 X 640 Pixels

Liesl takes the tradition of the Princess, combines it with the trashiness of reality TV and then re-interpreted again for the viewer. The rose in the foreground echoes the life and death of Diana of Wales ("England's Rose"). The unnatural pose of the subject shows the unnatural nature of the life of the modern princess. The final touch is the VB beer can ("old Australia") and the red wine glass ("new, sophisticated Australia"). The blurriness is reminiscient of old 30's and 40's movie stars with vaseline on the lens; non reality, unobtainable. Genius.

3/ Liesl, b 1999, Melbourne, Australia
Mother's Undivided Attention: For Now
Digital Image, 480 X 640 Pixels

Having endured the reality of modern mothers, the artist now brings her mother into full frame. A genuine smile, fully framed face. This image sends love, affection and attention.

4/ Liesl, b 1999, Melbourne, Australia
Where is Grandpa?
Digital Image, 480 X 640 Pixels

Without doubt, this is the saddest and most striking image in this first series by this important, emerging artist. The photo of a photo of a deceased Grandfather strikes to the core. It speaks of longing; of memories implanted through stories and photos- where one is not a witness, but rather a witness of a witness. This distance between the original and The Now calls to mind the last of the biblical writers St John. There is a gentle nod to the also absent (but not deceased) Uncle Steve, with him appearing in a small way in the right of the image- an image of him from when he was around the same age as the artist- a bridging of the generations so to speak. This is an important work, and stands as a beacon of wide eyed simplicity combined with misty eyed complexity.

5/ Liesl, b 1999, Melbourne, Australia
Flower Time
Digital Image, 480 X 640 Pixels

The artists current MO, the photo of a photo, evolves into photo of a painting and then swerves off to to be a photo of a calendar. Only half of the month is visible: perhaps we only feel "flowery" or "bloom-like" for half the time. This is not a condemnation: were it possible to be halfway "bloom-like" for half the month, one would be satisfied. Perhaps the artists is asking us to take time out to "smell the flowers"?

6/ Liesl, b 1999, Melbourne, Australia
Half a Tapestry on a Wall
Digital Image, 480 X 640 Pixels

Once again, as with Flower Time, we see only half the picture. Perhaps we only half-way commit to a project or a hobby. While the results can be spectacular, what good is a half done project? The artists asks us to take the time to look closer, and yet look at the bigger picture- both in the context of this image, and in the wider context of life. Stunning in the extreme.

7/ Liesl, b 1999, Melbourne, Australia
Where's my Dinner? (With Mat)
Digital Image, 480 X 640 Pixels

The artist completes her stunning first show with the simple image of a place mat. Did I just say "Simple"? Have a closer look. Once again, we peel back the layers, look to the edges and then the artist's complete vision is revealed. Sure, a knife and fork. But is it? No, they are only half visible. Once again, the theme of half done, half complete, half wrong comes back to haunt us. This image asks us "what are we really doing about world hunger?" We reply: half a job- if that.

There you go. A wonderful debut from a new talent- obviously worth watching in the future.

Another Note: The Day after this collection was shot, it was revealed that Liesl actually rang a friend by "accident" and said nothing to them, though my friend could hear a voice in the background: a child's voice. There you have it: Liesl is a performance artist as well...
posted by thr at 11:14 am 4 comments links to this post

Friday, November 04, 2005

Halo 2 and dating not compatible - SDSU Collegian - Opinion & Editorial

This is bullshit:
There are certain things that will drive your girlfriend insane. Not putting the toilet seat down after peeing, farting at the dinner table (or in general) and making comments about 'hot babes' that look like trashy excuses for prostitutes ... just to name a few. But all of that pales in comparison to your lazy butt being glued to video games.

Namely, Halo 2.

I hate Halo 2. If I ever meet the makers of that waste of time, I will be likely to commit a felony. Nothing has made me closer to breaking up with my boyfriend than that stupid graphic annoyance. And sadly enough, I'm not alone in the world.

Rachel simply LOVES it when I play Halo 2. She sits and watches, enthusiastically cheering on my kills/scores while commisserating and encouraging me when I get owned/teabagged.

OK, must STOP. HUGE FUCKING LIE. Hates, hating, hate, hated.

Halo 2 and dating not compatible - SDSU Collegian - Opinion & Editorial
posted by thr at 10:06 am 3 comments links to this post

Here you go

Ignore the above folks. It's just a housekeeping thing.
posted by thr at 8:42 am 0 comments links to this post