Daily Archives: July 30, 2008

China blocks internet access for foreign media

Just in from Radio Australia: China blocks internet access for foreign media.

Bright of them, isn’t it?

Despite everything I am determined, if I can, to enjoy these Olympic Games as I usually do… And I am sure they will be spectacular, and I perfectly understand the ordinary Shanghainese or Beijinger being really proud and upbeat. However, that Chinese Government. Oh dear yes… The wind can be fickle in Beijing.

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Losses grind 61 Starbucks stores | The Australian

This try-hard headline follows events that have certainly been in the US blogosphere all this month, as the real issue is the US economy, not the efficiency or otherwise of the Starbucks stores in Australia.

Now I have no wish to dance on the lost jobs here, but the truth is Starbucks has been The Great Unnecessary on the Australian scene. We already had far better coffee in much more congenial coffee shops, and without the bullshit. Mind you, I am not so jaundiced as to have avoided Starbucks; the coffee isn’t bad. It’s just that Juice & Java right here in Surry Hills pisses on it… As do so many others.

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‘Pacific solution’ to thank for relaxed detention rules: Ruddock – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

The legalistic Dickensian voice of The Cadaver, who I guess now must be The Living Dead, has uttered the words one might expect: ‘Pacific solution’ to thank for relaxed detention rules.

This is an issue I ranted about at some length, my position being that what the then government was really doing was pandering to xenophobia, a ploy that proved even more effective, for a while, as an election winner than it may or may not have as a reasonable and ethical — especially ethical — approach to refugee issues. There were noble voices on the government’s own side opposing the policy all along the line; those voices were amply vindicated, in my view, and deserve honour. There was little honour at the top on the Howard government side, from the Gnome himself down through The Cadaver to the last occupant of The Cadaver’s portfolio, the Po-Faced (Dr Haneef is Eeeevill and I know it but can’t say why) Plonker, whose name I have temporarily forgotten…

Now my collected rant on this is a page over on Floating Life 04/06 ~ 11/07: Rants and raves — 1: “Massaging the Asylum Seekers” — Howard government and border protection.

As for what The Cadaver is saying now, the first comment on the ABC story linked in paragraph one sums up my feelings pretty well.

The sad thing is that Phillip Ruddock seems to actually believe the nonsense that comes out of his mouth. Hitler and Stalin probably thought they did a good job of “solving” ethnic migration issues too (a long term historic view suggests their bloody efforts did not achieve their original goals, however).
Like it or not, we live in a globalized world nowadays, and that should mean that national borders everywhere become more porous. Anyone who has traveled to Europe in the past few decades will know what I am talking about: not only do EU citizens travel freely from one member state to another, but citizens from northern Africa, the Middle East and other non-EU countries are increasingly represented.
Sure, this creates some social tensions and even economic challenges. But you cannot have free movement of trade without free movement of people, and the benefits far outweigh the negatives.
Kevin Rudd’s decision to issue special work visas for Pacific Islanders is a step in the right direction. When we get similar deals in place with Indonesia, Malaysia and other northern neighbours, our economy will benefit and we’ll have no excuse not to slash the bloated “Defense” budget.

— Gary Lord

Though the Hitler/Stalin comparison is a cliche, and possibly offensive, and is not one I would resort to.

As even The Oz opines today, it is well and truly time the policy changed, and one would hope the Senate would put no obstacles in the way of such necessary reform. To me it is a matter of national honour. Mind you, The Oz gives the Gnome, The Cadaver, and The Plonker more credit than I would.

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