Friday, March 07, 2008

Curable ‘illness’ debunked

Peter Banks, of the US Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, makes a very nice attempt to nail child sexual exploitation, in a single sound-bite:

“It’s not a sickness, it’s not an illness, it’s not a disease. It is obsessive behaviour to exercise your power, will and control over someone who is helpless.”

And incidentally... Congratulations to those Queensland police who, with their international law enforcement colleagues, helped crack a vicious international child pornography ring operating across six countries, and rescued twenty of its innocent victims. (See the transcript above for the full story.) I’d like to buy them all a drink.

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Goat Friday

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Award-winning loser

Former Australian prime minister John Howard has given his first public speech since his stunning defeat at the polls last November.

Former prime minister John Howard has hit out at several of the Rudd Government’s policies while giving a major speech in the United States.

Mr Howard has given an address at a gala dinner for the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, where he received the Irving Kristol Award.

He has told the audience that scrapping the WorkChoices laws is the first time in 25 years that a major economic reform has been reversed. ...

And he has described his disappointment at the moves to bring Australian troops home from Iraq.

Undoubtedly Mr Howard would’ve had the rapt AEI crowd nodding synchronously, but let’s just consider the two examples evinced here.

Both are attempts to implement long-standing policy positions of the Australian Labor Party, which formed the basis of firm commitments the ALP took to the polls.

Ahah... Keeping election commitments!!

I think we can now see Mr Howard’s problem with the new Rudd Government’s actions.

On reflection, I now see that Tim Dunlop’s approach to Mr Howard’s speech was the correct one.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

This train don't stop...

Apologies in advance to Elton John and Bernie Taupin.

The Hill and Bill for DC campaign train, its steam and whistles lacking oxygen and coal, has been handed a reprieve. Destined, after twelve successive losses, for the political Powerhouse Museum, it found coal enough and oxygen enough to survive for another round.

Hillary has triumphantly addressed supporters stating that "no candidate in recent history — Democratic or Republican — has won the White House without winning the Ohio primary".

This might well be true and she has, in fact, won Ohio well - something she was always expected to do. The problem is that this Democratic nominating season is all about history: either a black candidate or a female will take their party's nomination. History, I'm afraid, has no precedent and therefore Hillary's comforting embrace of it is somewhat irrelevant.

As well, the race in Texas, which will likely fall her way, is desperately close. At this writing (17:20 Thursday March 5) the primaries in the state are in her favour 50.8% to 47.4%; the caucuses are against her 53.9% to 46%. Whatever Hillary takes out of this Tuesday it will not be enough to overhaul Obama's delegate lead. She will still likely trail in delegate numbers. The mathematics of the remaining delegates though will no longer be an impossibility. this will have been the case had she lost either of today's large states by any significant margin.

And so the lot rolls on. On to the next big showdown: Pennsylvania. This will be the nutcracker for the nomination. If Obama wins here Hillary's campaign train is off to the Powerhouse Museum. Either way, given the fact that Hillary has edged Texas and not won it well (as polls had her doing so even a month ago), the all important superdelegates - the party honchos - are leaning to Obama. Any further Clinton losses will see that lean become slide across the lounge.

Any further Clinton losses and - a fortiori - a loss in Pennsylvania will see the Hillary express largely derailed. As far as the White House is concerned - to pinch Bernie Taupin's line - the Clinton "train don't stop there anymore".

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twin palms

The dying rays of the setting late-summer sun ignite the crowns of twin palms that adorn the grounds of the Royal Hotel, Loch.

These palms are around 80 years old and heritage-listed. The publican, Sybil, is known to invite new guests to hug the palms. We took up this invitation, figuring it could give us a cachet with Gaia, who may be calling a few pledges in the not-too-distant future.

imarges by jarcob — clirck to ernlarge