Friday, December 30, 2005

The Chairman has a message for you

Happy unears!

I will be down the Mornington Peninsula the next couple of days, staying at a winery. Apart from attempting to confirm my Sauvignon Socialist credentials I'm attending a wedding. 42 degrees in Vic tomorrow, and I'll be at a wedding; cross your fingers for the besuited, tie-choked groom.

Back with a vengeance in 2006, documenting the inexorable fall of the right...

A reasonable expectation of Rape

Today, Connex chose yet again to cancel my train. Although they publish misleading figures suggesting cancellations are low, in fact, for whatever reason, certain lines are cancelled frequently. Mine is the last you can catch to get to the city for a 9 o'clock start, so this seems particularly contemptuous.

Each day I sit in carriages where 2 or 3 arseholes inflict their usually inexplicably bad taste in music on the rest of us. In evenings, and even more so on weekends, violence is an ever-present threat, with thugs of various descriptions freely pissing up, chroming down, and hurling abuse at each other and along the carriage.

I've been threatened by one of the failed cops they recruit for the heinous act of putting one foot on a metal bar- not even the seat. And you can guarantee if you skip a ticket they'll be onto you like a pack of hyenas.

But security? As a right, as a reasonable expectation held by the public transport user, as an essential pre-requisite to moving more people out of cars into trains? Forget it.

You can be raped, you should know, and what's more it's your responsibility not to offer yourself up by such wanton acts as... drifting off to sleep:
A 55-year-old man charged over the rape of a 20-year-old woman on a train yesterday was arrested after he was recognised on last night's television news, police confirmed today.
Good that he's caught, but have a read of this:
Senior Constable Twaits said the attack was "very opportunistic, very brazen and quite callous."It is probably a timely reminder for those travelling on public transport to be mindful of their surroundings".
Maybe. Maybe, Cont-stable Twats, it's a timely reminder of the fact that between you and Connex someone is not doing their job.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Lost cats

While I'm on catblogging, Fluffy (in Melbourne) and Quirkie (in Perth) have lost their cats. Please read detail, see images, and watch out for their loved ones.

Oddities from elsewhere

Jill in Alaska is blogging about how she's been bonked. Bonking in Alaska, it seems, is not what it is here.

I've been given a bottle of Armagnac at Sills Bend. Added gratefully to other presents including Kino Dendy tickets, Strokes and Warrant CDs, and of course the brilliance discussed in the previous post.

The sun is too beautiful, Southbank too tempting, writing policy papers has never been harder...

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The possibility of a genius

God is speaking again.

Genius in a bitter screwball, Michel Houellebecq, has interupted my pedestrian reading patterns to discuss, with us mortals, The Possibility of an Island.

Most famous for attacking Islam (well, along with hippies, materialism, women, men, sex, lack-of-sex, corporate rhetoric, John Grisham, races, racists, predatory males, people who criticise predatory males, the intrinsic value of the human species and Belgians) and being acquitted of racial hatred charges, his masterwork to-date is Atomised, which follows the miserable lives of Michel the emotionally retarded scientist and Bruno his sex-obsessed half brother.

Atomised sticks blunt knives into the dangling organs of the sexual revolution. But it also veers into science fiction, something that isn't explored further in his next two strokes of genius, Platform and Lanzarotte.

I have been waiting for a long time for this book. Put simply, in my view, regardless of his message, offensiveness, ability to predict Islamic terror attacks on tourists or other notable good or bad qualities, Houellebecq is the finest writer on the planet.

He has absolutely mastered the craft.

And now he returns to science fiction. True science fiction, not the garbage written by simplistic proto-thugs like George Lucas. Science fiction in the vein of We, 1984, and the underated cinematic masterpiece Brazil.

Every free moment I open my christmas present and read the alternating dispatches from Daniel 1, fantastically wealthy comic and screenwriter and Daniel 24, his 24th cloned descendant.

The clones have all successively lived in isolation, apart from a cloned pet dog. They occasionally venture to the perimeter of their self-contained bubble home to kill 'savages' who wander too close. They have not socialised for generations. They attempt to analyse the gap between neo-humans (themselves) and the original, human, Daniel 1.

After several generations they lost the ability to cry or laugh.

He is a depressing writer, or rather, he is depressed. Because I don't share his cynicism towards people, love and happiness - well not to such an extreme degree - reading Houellebecq cheers me up, making me feel blessed to have good friends and the love of a fine woman.

It's kindof like living in Melbourne and visiting Canberra.


Where I spent Christmas drinking and listening to my new CD (Warrant's Greatest Hits!) with beloved, her sister and sister's boyfriend, and my irresistible cream burmese cat. Merry Christmas, happy Unears!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

OK, Wedding Photies

Something a bit lighter, because it's almost Christmas.

I've reverted to my old political habits on this site, but there's a personal side to the Armagnac Diaries. Some of you mightn't know but this site was briefly The Groom Stripped Bare, and I briefly used Groomzilla instead of my real name (being Armaniac, of course).

I started unloading at a particularly dark phase in the engagement, where between fighting with relatives and each other, tackling seemingly insurmountable logistics, and sorting out career issues beloved and I were losing the plot. Hence some of the most frank, and I think best, posts I've ever written are up the front of the archive.

Then things planed, flew into a blur, and next thing we were married and in Vietnam. So I probably still have a couple of posts to write for closure.

With apologies for anonymity-driven-discombobulation, here is the woman I will love forever in her Mariana Hardwick wedding dress...

and yours truly in 3/4 length self-striped dinner suit, open shirt, cravat and white orchid...

With love to you all; diarists, lefties, cantankerous old conservatives and spambots alike xo

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Oh, that's alright then!

Peter's put us in the picture:
[he] conceded his own Treasury believes there will be short-term economic pain
but for the avoidance of doubt the leaked communication
wasn't embarrassing, it wasn't advice, it didn't involve economic modelling and he hadn't misled parliament.
And he'll be PM in 6 months!

Why have my bits slipped?

Can anyone explain to this IT-tard why my sidebar has all gone down to the bottom of the page and how to fix? Gracius.

Well, I seem to have found a temporary fix, but it's left unseemly lines sticking out, and I still don't know why anything changed in the first place. I've noticed other blogspotters with wierd 'slippage', any idea?

Monday, December 19, 2005

Did Costello mislead Parliament over IR?

Was it a lie, or were we merely disabused of the whole truth?

The Australian has published what Treasury secretly told Costello about the IR changes:
..deliver smaller wage rises for low-income earners and cut productivity in the short term..

..the changes will only "moderately" improve employment...

..the negative effects of the laws for up to 1.6 million low-skilled workers..

..admits the effect on employment growth will be "not huge" and says the impact on productivity growth will be "slow" and is "difficult to quantify"..

Not good. And to the chase:

Challenging the Government's claims that workers will be better off, Treasury instead predicts that the wages of people who rely on minimum pay rates will fall in real terms because of smaller increases granted by the Government's new Fair Pay Commission.

Swan says he misled Parliament.

Costello's on the ropes, couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Lawyers "Evil" and "Dumb"

Having practised some law myself I have to say the outgoing Legal Ombudsman has a point:
I've seen evil lawyers who are almost sociopathic, they don't seem to care, but, thankfully, they are in the minority. Some of them are just dumb too.
Dumb! Unfortunately not struck-dumb...

Real Aussies know racism when they see it

Sorry Johnny, you've missed the mark:
An Ipsos Mackay Research Poll for The Sunday Age showed 73 per cent of Australians agreed with the statement by NSW Premier Morris Iemma that "what showed on the weekend was the ugly face of racism in Australia". Just 21 per cent preferred Mr Howard's statement: "I do not accept that there is underlying racism in this country."
Us real patriots, who love the multicultural, tolerant Australia, can reclaim the mantle from those unaustralian types who want us to be the next South Africa.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

The face of Australian Civilisation?

Today's model is Mr Tastan:

After all, a measure of civilisation is how a society treats its most wretched. Here's how we treat ours:

Mr Tastan, 43, who has paranoid schizophrenia, has lived on the streets of the Turkish capital since the Australian Government wiped its hands of him almost three years ago. Despite living in Australia for almost 30 years, Mr Tastan was deported in January 2003 on character grounds...

Character grounds?

He is certifiably ill. In need of treatment.

What sort of primeval judgement says someone with such a well-established and overt psychiatric condition is "a bad character"? This is not some debate about fatigue, or psychiatric overlay, or other half-baked excuses for violent and criminal behaviour (and we haven't heard many of those lately, have we?).

This man needed treatment. He is a genuine victim. And instead we dumped him, after 30 years of the most shithouse life the lucky country can offer, in a country he was brought out from as a child.

It's not all Israel's fault Part II

73% of people in Nablus say they prefer constant war and occupation.

There's a massive hole in your tooth

My dentist didn't pester me for long about the fact that I haven't had my teeth looked at for over 3 years. He pointed out politely that I wouldn't be needing today's major filling had I been x-rayed a year back. Then he got to work.

And when he'd done the first grindy bit, you know, with the drill that always feels like it's about to catch and pull your whole tooth out and a bundle of bleeding nerves behind it, then he took a short rest. Got me to hold up a small mirror and tilt my head back. And showed me the biggest fuck-off hole I'd ever laid eyes on. I was already feeling nauseus. Then he reached in and pulled out a little piece of food and waved it in front of my nose.

I didn't sniff. I got the message.

Even if you brush and floss, the odd checkup isn't a bad idea. He was nice though, 2 fat syringes full of anaesthetic made me numb from nose to chin on one side. No pain. Not until I cabbed back to work and started writing a Ministerial....

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Most racist, most stupid

Expecting more Cronulla action? Not this time, over to the world's most uninsurable man.

The Iranian President called the Holocaust a myth and called for cultural genocide and ethnic cleansing of the Jews.

Also in unrelated and undisturbing news, Iran approved a nuclear power plant.

This lefty, for one, won't be condemning Israel when they send the F-16s across and neutralise it. Or him.

I'm not condoning thousands going on a racist rampage, BUT...

Say the leading hate-dogs of the right:

Albrechtson. Of course. No one tells her to go back to fucking Denmark because her racism doesn't mesh with OUR culture, I bet!

Piers Ackerman: 'Oh it was all terribly awful, but those lefties who invented multiculturalism and imposed all those wops on us didn't half cause it.'

The Esteemed Herald Sun editorial desk: 'Well, some violence and terror at the hands of the worst trash Sydney can muster just proves its the fault of people who talk that multicultural crap.'

That's what I like about the right, they hate being called racist, it sends them into spasms, but they find so many more subtle and devious means to reach the same ends.

But then I found this one. Again, here at the Armagnac Desk we're keen to acknowledge any glimpse of humanity from the other side, so I give you...

Rice and Monkey Nuts: wanting us to understand the complexity of the situation, the background and deprivation that leads people to such terrible ends. Oh he still manages to relativise outright mass race hate and make unbalanced comparisons, but there's definitely a nuance, a thoughtfulness, that reaches back into his days as a lefty.

If only the MPD ridden fool could be vaguely consistent. Palestine, anyone?

UPDATE: Flutey's nailed it nicely.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Blogging Cronulla's Hitler-Savants

OK first off, you're welcome to criticise sharply here, but resort to personal mud when your arguments run out and I'll simply hit the delete button.

Guy acknowledges this wasn't the first violence seen by Cronulla, but implores locals not to whip up
a mob of drunken retards...
At Catallaxy they're calling a pogrom a pogrom.

Weez reflects on how as a white migrant to the lucky country:
It really was only hours after I got off the plane in Sydney in 1996 that I started to be fed crap about "wogs and abos" and yet strangely expected to commiserate with this racist tripe.
Someone's kept a sense of humour.

And Stoush had to end their fiery and interesting, er, stoush, because the vitriol descended into aggro. Same random thread-abuser I deleted here.

Then there's the Right. All that whistling and suddenly the yard's full of dogs.

But I'm not bothering with all the apologists and Golden But-meisters at this late hour. Instead, because we all need a little optimism, enjoy seeing one of them actually retain the bulk of their condemnation for Cronulla's Cornucopia of Cowards....

Tim Blair, surprisingly, keeps the anti-lefty digs to a minimum while his best mud gets slung at the racist yobs. He lables them Trash, Disgusting, Idiots and 'Winners', before calling for garbage disposal:
Round ‘em up—all of them, from both sides—charge ‘em, convict ‘em, jail ‘em.
He forgot "throw away the key"...

Voluntary Human Extinction Movement

Well, they're extreme greens, no question, but they aren't genocidal or PETerroristic. Introducing VHEMT, whose aim is to persuade the human race to stop breeding en masse and wipe itself out.

What can you add to that?

Relax, Cronulla was all about "pride"

"Show of pride ends in disgrace" says the Herald Sun.

Of course! It was all about dinkum aussies being proud of something or other until thousands of them mysteriously morphed into gutless cowards and started using numbers and weapons to randomly bash anyone with a touch of colour.

Any resemblance to KRISTALLNACHT is purely incidental.

Next installment soon: let's go on a roundup of right wing commentators to see how many have pulled out the "Golden But"s and apologia....

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Non-racists chase "Lebs and Wogs"

Move along, nothing to see here. Australia doesn't have issues with racism- provided you assimilate by becoming white and stupid.

The last thing you'd do is use some PC term like racist when a few good Aussie kids are out having a bit of fun in the Cronulla surf:
5000 people, some yelling racist chants, converged on the beach...
Grouse! Let's hope people don't misconstrue harmless larikinism
witness reports of at least three men being pursued and attacked as they tried to get away
as some sort of neo-nazi hate violence.

That wouldn't be cricket!

Anyway, any targetting was aimed at particular gangs who have been causing trouble, and was highly selective. For example, messages urged:
"Aussies" to take revenge against "Lebs and wogs".
So you're unlikely to get your head kicked in by inbred bogan hatemonkeys unless you have some Italian, Greek, Spanish, South or Central American, Lebanese, Turkish, Syrian or the rest of the Middle East including indigenous Jewish, Arab North African or Slavic blood. Or a very good tan.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Did Mr Pious accept 30 pieces of silver?

What dirty deal have they done?

Rabbit proof fence revisited

The Burgerbeast has decided to be honest and admit the government can't be arsed sending money further than the Queensland border and wants them troublesome native folk rounded out of the bush into highly successful urban black communities where we can share our benevolence and civilisation with them.

Makes sense. Compare:

Redundant barbarian culture.


Successful integration.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Self Appointed Blogwigs miss out on prize!

Dear me it's all too heartbreaking! Rigged by someone else for once....

That said, a non-blog (ok, where's the comments? Same for you, Bunyip botherer) that draws government assistance being chosen by the mainstream trash we excuse as media is hardly surprising. They weren't going to support a serious challenger, were they?

Fields of Gold play

We sit, her legs on my lap. The wedding CD playing, the soft one from the first hour between sets from the band.

It's moved on to Coldplay. God put a smile on your face. Before it was Fields of Gold. These songs tighten my chest a little, bringing back good, no, beautiful, but also sad and trying times that I am grateful to be through.

Coldplay was our car trip album for a while. OK, so we'd have a few CDs on rotation, but that one somehow made it back on again and again. Something about this particular song evokes a yearning for me. Optimism, but also, as it trips into the chorus and the bass frees up, things being beyond control and uncertain. We fought badly a couple of times. We didn't fight during the song, but I recall sitting, sad, as we drove in the aftermath.

We listened to that one after the worst fight. When I knew things were getting better when she looked up from where she'd been crying and called me a cuntferfucksmuss.

INXS Beautiful Girl has come on. We didn't listen to this at any special time. I just sang it to her often:
Beautiful Girl, stay with me...
I still love it, think it's their most underrated.

INXS now have something like Peter Andre crossed with the dentist from Manpower disgracing the memory of Michael. Look! I digress...

When she left London we'd been together a couple of months. We'd decided to move to Melbourne together. It was the biggest, most impulsive-yet-certain decision of my life. I knew that I loved her.

She gave me an Eva Cassidy CD. She told me to make sure I met her at the other end. And to learn Eva's version of Fields, and sing it to her when we met again.

As soon as I arrived at my friend's house where she was staying I walked through the house 'till I found a guitar, and met the challenge.

These things make me smile, 3 years on...

Not this year, just today

Correct me if I've missed something here, I'm well into my second glass of Bailey's. I bought because beloved likes.. Beloved is interupting me, from the lazy chair in which she's reading Cleo. Cleo!
Only 'cause pain-in-the-bumsky husband isn't talking to me, 'cause he's too busy with his broadband.
Quote, word for word, I shit you not. Anyway...

The Age, 10.22am:
VSU bill misses Christmas deadline.
The Age, 8.05pm:
Student union fees bill passed.
There's a substantial difference? Have I missed something?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Cracking down on Seditious Vegans

The UK shows us how it's done, convicting a vegan cook under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 for standing
outside Downing Street reading a list of the British soldiers killed in Iraq.
Security risk- think Bloefeld.

Why didn't they just pin her to the ground and shoot her several times in the head?

Armagnac for Johnny

Cheers to our PM, he's a man who travels in style.

Maybe he should have bought one of these instead, and just hooned across the country giving sound bites.

Split the politics and personal?

Got broadband, ready to get serious.

Playing with different blog formats and ideas like a child with chemicals. Stay with blogger, or get 'professional'? Start others or keep it all here?

I intend to write a lot more political stuff, but want to keep the personal going too. I've noticed as I've politicised the content here more recently, visitors who came to talk about the personal have been alienated.

Is it over-indulgent to be a blog tart? Do you like it all here?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Wirajuda II

The Bali 9's lawyers rightly took his comments, as parsed here yesterday, as casting doubt on the standard of justice the accused can expect.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Parsing Wirajuda's threat

There's much, as Indonesia's Foreign Minister suggests, that Australians can learn about law stuff from Indonesia...
avoid emotional reactions
You don't see Indonesians reacting emotionally when we pick up terrorists or join UN missions. And emotional reactions are not a normal human response to seeing a kid hanging from his neck until it snaps.
Without predicting the outcome of any court cases, Mr Wirajuda canvassed the possibility of the death penalty for some of the nine Australians.
Well that's alright then, they can expect Indonesia's fine tradition of fair trials to be upheld. Wirajuda's not putting a punt either way by the sound of it.
mature reflection on the case of Van ... might reduce the level of public disquiet
Of course, more you think about it, more you wonder why we don't snap the neck of every stupid kid who crosses paths with the law.
This is a matter of the sovereign rights by Australia's neighbours to impose or not to impose the death penalty
Sovereignty over subjects having been deleted from International Law by the collective jurisprudential genius savants of Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore and other rule of law respecting nations.

The Australian contributes by lazy editing:
The nine alleged members of the heroin-smuggling gang were arrested in Bali on April 17 and have been charged with conspiring to smuggle more than 8kg of heroin to Australia.
Some were caught with heroin.....

Beyond all reasonable doubt they were so caught!

And finally we are reprimanded on failing to see the parity between a kid smuggling drugs out of a deluded sense of family duty and a psychopath planning the murder of a large group of people on the basis of their race:
Australians were victims of the Bali bombings. But in the case of drug trafficking, the victims -- in the case of Singapore or Indonesia -- were Singaporeans or Indonesians
Be clear- if you transit in Singapore you clearly intend to affect Singaporean civilians.

Glad that's all cleared up.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Act. Stress. Groundbreaking new site.

I reversed my decision. Then I woke and reversed it back again.

In an instant, by email, I threw away perhaps my best opportunity yet to fast-track into a career as a barrister. Years of dreams about standing in a wig arguing before the High Court surged like sewage through my conscience. I'm happy with the decision, but it was a very hard one.

I was so distracted I forgot a present I bought at lunchtime for a wedding (another!) we are going to tomorrow. I had to catch the train back into town to get it.

Need G&T!

A friend who attended my wedding, the brilliant (if sadly slightly conservative) Paul Knapp, has just started (no doubt programmed it himself from scratch) a site that is half news half blog where you "bump" your favourite stories up to the top!

Here it is: NEWSBUMP.

Bump.... brings to mind Fergie from Black Eyed Peas and her "Bumps, my humps, my lovely lady lumps..." Not what he had in mind I'm sure!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Fanging but netless

Sorry I've been woeful. Due to some virus there is no access to most sites from my work, where I often came in early to post and drink the first hot roast of the day.

I've ordered broadband at home, and when it arrives the hard work will resume. I will write remaining posts about the wedding and honeymoon, then think about where to take things from here.

I got an offer from the job I wrote about a little while back. I am going to say no to it. Firstly because I see my future more in policy than law, and secondly because in typical lawyer fashion they want me to go in at the same level as a uni graduate, completely discounting my 5 years of experience, because I haven't worked in 'that area'.

I'm over law and lawyers. Except for Anonymous Lefty, of course.**

I wish I had time to post on the impending execution. I slammed Australia for not doing enough a few weeks back, and should acknowledge that even Howard has put in a fair effort. More honest than the gratuitous issue-milking by the Green Nettle.

** And the pin-up girl of the Soliblogger set, the Quantum calculator Ms Meruit!