Where Ya Gonna Run To?

It would be nice to think that today, this bright new 28th of February, that we could finally put this whole ALP leadership challenge thing behind us. It would be nice to think that now, perhaps, just perhaps our government could get on with the business of actually governing. (Well, after the inevitable Cabinet re-shuffle, at least.)

Or that the media would actually report it if they did.
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“Thank you” – an open letter to assorted ALP members

Dear politician,

When I think of the hard work and long nights that the Gillard government has put into the incredibly difficult task of devising a system of handling the arrival of refugees on Australian territory that is even more corrupt, dehumanising and inhumane than the notable sadists of the Howard government could devise, it just makes me wish that you’d used all that time and energy doing something better for our country. Like killing yourselves.

Anyway, congratulations on winning the race to the bottom, and I look forward to your party’s future slide into irrelevance.


If you’re at all curious as to what I’m currently insulting politicians about, it’s the Malaysian Solution. For more information, I recommend you check out the post Malaysian deal a test for us, not for the government at The Conscience Vote.

The Lights on the Hills

Why should the ALP have all the fun? What would it look like if the other parties had their own lights and hills?

The Liberal Party privatised their Light on the Hill in 1994, forming the Light on the Hill Corporation to run it. After two years of losses, the company was merged with several similar companies to form IdealismCo, which ran the Light with greater restrictions on operating hours, reducing the 24 hour service to 8AM-8PM Monday to Saturday, and 1PM to 5PM on Sundays. In 2007, IdealismCo was acquired by the Japanese-American conglomerate Shitsu-Tonka, and restored to 24 hour service, although cuts in the maintenance budget have led to frequent outages.

The Greens‘ Light is run entirely on renewable solar and wind energy, and as such, shines only during the day and for about an hour after sunset each day, unless it’s a particularly windy night.

The National Party‘s Light is portable, and able to be affixed to the rollbar of any ute or small truck, the better for use spotlighting roos.

Bob Katter had a Light on his Hill, which he then moved down to the back shed, and often uses as a spotlight. Unfortunately, poor placement means that few people notice.

Rob Oakeshott‘s Light is actually in a valley. It is available for loan free of charge to all those Oakeshott deems needful of it.

Tony Windsor actually has a bunch of smaller Lights rather than one big one, which are arranged in a layout that makes sense to him, if presumably to few others.

Andrew Wilkie has his own Light on the Hill, which he is fond of shining in the eyes of his political opponents, a tactic which has proved reasonably effective for him.

Nick Xenophon tends to use his Light much like a combination of Katter and Wilkie.

The Democratic Labour Party claims to have a Light on its Hill, but it is apparently only visible to true believers.

The Australian Sex Party‘s Light on the Hill is red. It is also the only Light on this list to reliably make a profit.

Copyright and Copy Rights

There are times when a copyright is the sensible thing to do. When you’ve put a lot of effort, time or money into a production, it only makes sense that you should get a return on your investments. Communication is important, but sometimes – and particularly with entertainment – it takes a back seat to getting paid.

There are other times, however, when the idea is more important. When it matters more that you communicate than that you renumerate. There’s any number of reasons why, but mostly they come down to you wanting to get the idea out there more than wanting to get paid. (Not that getting paid isn’t nice.)

It’s for times like those that Creative Commons and other such organisations exist. They allow you to pick and choose the legal protections you want, rather than the all or nothing options of copyright and public domain.

It’s worth keeping in mind that in the 21st Century, we have a few more options than our predecessors did – and it’s worth using them when they’re the appropriate choice.