31 August, 2012

Remember when...?

At the beginning of the year, I pondered which of their stated values the Republican party would throw away, or at least try to rationalise their way out of.  With Romney as the nominee, we are now hearing all those who would have opposed him in the primaries saying, “I had deep concerns about ____’s position on _____ and his history of ____ but now that I know more about him and heard that he believes _____, I know that he’s the right candidate.”
The script was already written, you just have to fill in the blanks and get the right people from central casting to say it.

Here’s my only question:

Sorry folks, but you can’t have it both ways.

25 August, 2012

Dear Randians,

If you really believe in social Darwinism and absolute individualism, then isn’t it time you admitted that if you’re not happy with your lot, then it’s nobody’s fault but your own?

By your own logic, blaming the government for your situation, or hoping another government will make it all better for you, is a complete cop-out.

21 August, 2012

The Rules: Respect

I know we should be well past being shocked or even surprised by the amount of self-absorbed stupidity that passes for analysis on Q and A, but sometimes some derp comes along that still has the power to make you think, “Wow, did they really just say that?”

From this week's Q and A transcript.  Highlighting is mine.

A tip:
When the attitude of the commentariat is,
“How dare Julia Gillard speak to a senior journalist like that?”
and not,
“How dare Paul Kelly put such sleazy gossip to the prime minister of Australia?” 
then it’s a sign that we have our reverence for institutions arse-about.

09 August, 2012

Naming Rights

It’s almost become a bit of a cliché to say that federal Labor’s biggest problem is not so much their policies but the fact that they couldn’t sell an ice cream on Bondi beach in January — or whatever other metaphor you choose to apply. One of their problems is in naming or, dare I say, branding their policies...

And if you'd like to read the rest of this piece, you can find it at The King's Tribune here:

If you're a subscriber, you can read it immediately.  If you're not a subscriber, well, you might have to look into that. 

05 August, 2012

Sportsmanship 2: An open letter to Drew Ginn

“It is disappointing we feel like we have let Australia and the rowing fraternity and our families down”
 - Drew Ginn tears up over Aussie rowing loss at London Olympics
You’re only letting people down when you talk like that.  Not all Australians live vicariously through sportsmen and those who do, really shouldn’t.  We’re not going to be waiting for you at the airport with pitchforks.  I don’t know your families and wouldn’t ever presume to speak for them, but if any of them think any less of you for this, then… just… wow!

I know next to nothing about any kind of sport so I can only go by what I heard on Channel 9’s coverage.  As far as I can work out from them, you were the only one in the boat while there were four in the British boat.  That’s a lot of pressure.  I would imagine it’s pressure you really don’t need.  I would imagine the hope and support of a nation could become a distraction.  Either way, if anyone thinks you, or any other competitor, did any less than your best, then they can get stuffed.  Furthermore, if you regard coming second in your fourth Olympics as a terrible failure, that’s what lets us down – not the silver medal.  

As one of my favourite correspondents wrote, you didn’t LOSE gold, you WON silver.  And you did it at your fourth Olympics.  Who else can say that?  So cheer the fuck up and to hell with anyone who feels let down by the result. 

04 August, 2012

An Infographic

Before anyone points it out, yes, of course the examples are cherry-picked.  I know you could just as easily put the Teletubbies and Oh Doctor Beeching! in the top half and Star Trek and The West Wing in the second half.
But as to the notion that private enterprise will always deliver better value?  Nuh, uh!

02 August, 2012

The Rules: Sportsmanship

I wouldn’t mind being
second best in the world
at anything.

If you can’t be proud that you did your best and happy for a fellow competitor who was fractionally faster on the day, then give the silver medal to someone who wants it and go home.

Alternatively, if this is how we are training our athletes, then it’s time to sack the coaches and put the funding into something useful.