Archive for October, 2007

Happy 32nd Birthday 2CC

I completely forgot that today, being the 31st of October, is 2CC’s birthday…whilst I probably should find something new to celebrate their birthday with next year, for now feel free to enjoy one of their old jingles from a time when they were a music station.

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Samuel

2 comments October 31st, 2007 at 07:23pm

Editorial Echoes 30/10/2007

Editorial Echoes is back, and as a treat (or possibly as a vent for me) there are five issues tackled in this episode, they are:

  • Peter Garrett
  • The Bali Nine’s attempt to get out of the death sentence, and Indonesia’s use of the death penalty on drug smugglers
  • Craig William Wheatley’s sentence over the death of an 83-year old war veteran
  • Sydney’s move to replace glasses with plastic cups in pubs and clubs
  • And a brief look at GetUp.org.au’s advertising campaign urging people to vote against the coalition in the senate.

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You are more than welcome to respond to anything you hear on the show by sending an email to echoes@samuelgordonstewart.com. Emails may be read and responded to on a future episode.

The episode can be played in the MP3 player above or by downloading the MP3 file. You can also subscribe to Editorial Echoes. The RSS Feed can be found at http://samuelgordonstewart.com/wp-content/EditorialEchoes/echoes.xml and you can subscribe through iTunes by clicking here.

The script of the episode follows (it’s long, so it’s not going on the front page of the blog…none of the scripts will).

Samuel

Welcome to Editorial Echoes for October 30, 2007, I’m Samuel Gordon-Stewart.

This is the return of Editorial Echoes, a podcast containing my editorials on the issues of the day. Unlike last time, this won’t be a daily podcast, but it will be very regular. You can also respond to anything you hear on the show by sending an email to echoes@samuelgordonstewart.com, I may then read and reply to your email on a future show.

Today, simply because I have a lot of things on my mind, the show will cover many topics, but most days it will only be one or two topics.

To start off with, Peter Garrett, the mildly annoying ex-rock star who, for one reason or another, seems to be quite hamstrung in the Labor party. Sometimes I feel sorry for Peter, he has so much potential and has been a strong advocate for the environment, but seems to be almost silenced as a shadow minister in the Labor party.

Then, there are other times, like yesterday when he stood next to Kevin Rudd and made an announcement about funding to help farmers stop polluting the Great Barrier Reef. Peter made the rather odd statement that this would help with the reef’s recovery from, quote, “Climate change events”. Perhaps I’m misunderstanding the shadow environment spokesman here, but I thought he had told us on many occasions that climate change would cause the temperature to rise, and the Great Barrier Reef, amongst other things, would be irreperably damaged…and what exactly is a climate change event? Has Mr. Garrett forgotten his own teachings and started believing in the great climate change monster that comes out once per week and shoots a bit of the reef? If so, wouldn’t it be better to spend money on catching the monster rather than unshooting the reef? In the short term at least…

And as for Labor’s peculiar (but somewhat welcome in my view) backflip on international emission agreements…poor old Peter, he should have joined the Greens, at least he would know where he stands with the Greens.

Moving on, and the Bali Nine have attempted and failed to challenge the constitutional ability of Indonesia to use the death penalty on drug smugglers. Technically speaking, the Bali Nine were correct, the constitution of Indonesia seems to only allow for the death penalty to be used on violent offenders.

The Bali Nine, however, were prevented from challenging the constitution on the grounds that they are not citizens of Indonesia. This, whilst a technicality, is brilliant. The Indonesian constitution needs to be ammended quickly to avoid a similar situations occurring with Indonesians, but for the moment, the Indonesian justice system has delivered a fantastic result.

It is my strong view that a justice system should make it appear that justice is being done, and have a think about this:

The Bali Nine were caught smuggling drugs, illegal drugs, potentially deadly illegal drugs, drugs which, if they didn’t kill people, had the power to easily ruin lives. Now, whilst the users of these drugs need to take some responsibility for themselves, it is important to note that these life recking drugs would not be available without the drug smugglers. Drug smugglers are evil low-life scum, they contribute heavily to the misery and suffering of hundreds and thousands of people, and I fully support Indonesia’s policy of giving them the death sentence.

Moving on to another case of “justice should appear to be done”, Craig William Wheatley was sentenced today for the death of an 83 year old war veteran. Mr. Wheatley has been convicted of pushing Robert Narramore in to the path of an oncoming car after having a drunken argument with another person. He was sentenced to a minimum jail term of two years, backdated to when he was taken in to custody. This means Mr. Wheatley could be out in September next year.

The maximum term is three years and nine months, which, if enforced, would see Wheatley released in June 2010.

Mr. Wheatley may not have intended to cause physical harm to Mr. Narramore…but the fact of the matter is he pushed an elderly man in to the path of oncoming traffic, despite the elderly man not having any part of the argument he was having. Forget the fact that Wheatley was drunk for a minute, that shouldn’t have any bearing on it, Wheatley’s actions killed Narramore, and two years is a ridiculous sentence for that.

June 2010 sounds like a good time for a release under a minimum sentence to me, but then again, I can’t see any reason for a difference between minimum and maximum terms on a manslaughter sentence. There was no malice involved, so there is no rehabilitation required. There should be a single sentence, and after reading the details of this case, I think the maximum sentence imposed should be THE sentence.

As an aside, in any case where rehabilitation of the offender is required, there should be a minimum sentence, with an indefinite maximum sentence so that the offender stays in for the minimum term regardless of anything else, and is then released once they have been rehabilitated…repeat offenders could then be given another sentence of the same type, and if that doesn’t help, then there is no room for them here, and the death sentence would be appropriate.

Another alcohol related subject. Sydney is looking at implementing plastic cups to deal with the growing number of “glassings” in pubs caused by incredibly intoxicated people. (And to think that a couple years ago I had never even heard of “glassing”). Admittedly plastic can do much less damage than glass, but it shouldn’t be underestimated…plastic packaging on an electric toothbrush nearly took my finger off last week, and really this measure, whilst helpful, is treating the method rather than the cause. A ban on alcohol would certainly solve the problem of intoxicated people causing trouble, but prohibition has never been palatable, so instead, I think we need a blood alcohol limit for the general population. We already have one for people in control of motor vehicles, so I can’t see any problem with having one for the general population, or at least the general population in public venues.

I don’t know what we would set the limit at…that’s not my area of expertise, that would really be up to a combination of medical and behavioural experts and law enforcement agencies. Enforcement shouldn’t be too hard, either require pubs to employ at least one person who is trained and authorised to run breath tests and kick people out, or get them a taxi home if they exceed the limit, or get the existing age enforcement people to do it. Preferably a combination of both.

People who reach the limit could then be sent home, or if they don’t co-operate, ferried to the nearest police station to sober out. It wouldn’t completely solve the problem of public violence, but it is a well known fact that drunk people contribute excessively to the problem, and placing a reasonable limit on alcohol that balances people’s right to drink responsibly, and everyone’s right to public safety, would go a very very long way toward solving the problem.

And just briefly as this episode has gone on for long enough already, the political activist group GetUp.org.au have launched an advertising campaign on television and radio urging people to vote for anyone other than the coalition in the senate, so as to remove the majority the coalition have there. GetUp claim that this is undemocratic and unfair. I’ll have more to say about this tomorrow, but for now I have this little thought for GetUp.

In order for the coalition to get a majority in the senate, the majority of voters have to vote for the coalition. So, if the majority of people vote for a particular party then, democratically, that party receive a majority. The senate in its current form may be one-sided, but as that’s the side the majority of people voted for, it is hardly undemocratic or unfair.

This has been Editorial Echoes for October 30, 2007, if you have any thoughts or comments about any of this, email them to echoes@samuelgordonstewart.com

And don’t forget the weekly poll on my blog, this week’s question is “If Australia must sign a climate change agreement, would you prefer Kyoto or a new agreement?”

To register your vote, simply visit samuelgordonstewart.com and enter your vote on the right hand side of the page. The votes will be presented at the end of the week.

I’m Samuel Gordon-Stewart, until next time, tada.

October 30th, 2007 at 11:48pm

London’s Surveillance Network

Good evening Stuart,

I was watching Foreign Correspondent on the ABC tonight as they had an interesting story about the surveillance camera network in London. As a regular watcher of "The Bill" I am well aware of the fact that London has an extensive surveillance network which is often used by the police to help solve crimes.

I was interested by the fact that they have a central control room though as I was not aware of this, and they have people in there watching the cameras and alerting various authorities to issues in the city as well as using a public address system to talk to people who are littering or doing other misdemeanours, and that the police and parking inspectors sometimes have cameras to help with collecting evidence.

I think the whole idea is fantastic, it helps solve crimes, it makes it harder to appeal against things where there is video evidence, and it just makes the whole system of law enforcement and general civil order so much more efficient and reliable. I don't like the idea they are considering of systems that try to predict what you might do, as that is just a technical nonsense, but the existing systems are great especially the traffic cameras that keep a look out for wanted vehicles etc.

Britain plan on making the system a national one, and I think we should start setting up a similar network here…the bottom line is in my view, if you don't have anything to hide, then you've got nothing to worry about. Bring on the cameras!

By the way, the ABC will most likely have the story online at http://abc.net.au/foreign/ tomorrow. I think you'll find it to be quite interesting

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

15 comments October 30th, 2007 at 10:30pm

Editorial Echoes is returning

Good news, my audio editorial show, Editorial Echoes, is returning. I’ll have an episode for you later tonight.

For those of you who are not familiar with the concept, Editorial Echoes is a short podcast of my thoughts and opinions on various topics. Last time it didn’t work out because I locked myself in to a daily release schedule without realising how much works goes in to producing a daily podcast…and it was also a bit of a ramble.

This time it will be regular (not daily, but regular), and scripted, which will have the added advantage of transcripts being available for each episode.

Samuel

2 comments October 30th, 2007 at 07:06pm

Sleeping

Good afternoon John,

The easiest way for me to fall asleep when I'm not tired is to lie down in a darkened room, and try to stay awake. Unfortunately I have to tell you that I usually try to stay awake by listening to the radio.

Of course if I am tired, I just have to close my eyes for a few moments and the next thing I know it's at least eight hours later.

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

5 comments October 30th, 2007 at 01:30pm

Poker Machines and Harry’s Cafe

Good morning Lawsie,

This idea about the poker machines in schools has some merit, rig the machines to eat the kids' money and give it back to them later on…if that doesn't stop the kids from playing with the machines later in life, at least they won't expect to have any money at the end of the night.

By the way I saw Harry's Cafe De Wheels on Saturday whilst on tourist duties in Sydney, I wasn't hungry enough to stop there for something to eat, but I'm glad it's staying, I would hate to think that I was the last person to ever take a photo of it, or that I missed out on its famous cuisine.

Have a great day Lawsie (and I hope you liked the chocolates).

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

3 comments October 30th, 2007 at 11:00am

Polls

Good evening Stuart,

Well all I can say is that I am pleased that the polls are swinging back to the coalition…the longer this election campaign has gone on, the less I trusted or agreed with Kevin Rudd and his colleagues, in fact I received one of the "blue moon" mailings from my local member Bob McMullan in the post today and I will be hand delivering it back to his office in the morning and requesting that he doesn't send any more to me as he is only wasting tax payer's money by sending stuff to me that I don't want to see.

My local liberal candidate Troy Williams is paying $15 to win on Centrebet…and the coalition are paying $3.40 to win overall…I think I might put a few dollars on them.

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

4 comments October 29th, 2007 at 10:00pm

The ARIAs

Good afternoon John,

I was just listening to you playing bits of "music" from the ARIA awards, including that awful tin bashing and caterwauling from the group of school kids, and then Mark Holden waxing lyrical about how awful it is that people don't pay for music any more…well here's a thought, perhaps if the "music" was semi-decent, people might be willing to pay for it. I don't blame people for downloading this stuff for free, I certainly wouldn't pay for the awful noise you played earlier.

Have a great afternoon,

Samuel Gordon-Stewart
(Back in Canberra).

P.S. Is the lolly jar empty yet?

3 comments October 29th, 2007 at 02:30pm

The Prime Minister’s Glasses Are In The Communist’s Box

I had this dream on Friday night. It started in the primary school library where a friend and I were trying to find our glasses. Eventually the class teacher (my year three and year five teacher, Ms. Sue Amundsen) got out her box of lost glasses and rummaged through it, but the glasses weren’t in there so she sent two other students downstairs to the principal’s office for stealing glasses.

Ms. Amundsen then got the class to sit down so that she could start teaching us. The lesson for the day was a lecture from her about how wonderful communism is. For some reason she was telling us all about how books are better if you’re a communist, the colour on the television is better in communist countries and you don’t have to eat vegetables if you don’t want to.

Another teacher then interrupted and started telling us about the problems with communism…for some reason the teacher was Abe, Clive Robertson’s producer. Ms. Amundsen did not like the idea of anyone talking about the problems with communism, so she started screaming, and then started throwing sorbolene cream all over the room, before knocking the book case over. As the book case fell over, Ms. Amundsen’s box of lost glasses fell on the ground and my glasses flew over to me (my friend had seemingly disappeared). The police then arrived to arrest Ms. Amundsen for stealing glasses, and as they were doing this the prime minister’s missing glasses appeared.

Abe and I then took the prime minister’s glasses to him, and he knighted us.

At this point the dream ended.

Samuel

October 29th, 2007 at 01:54pm

Samuel’s Blog Weekly Poll: Climate Agreements

The weekly poll returns:

If Australia must sign a climate change agreement, would you prefer Kyoto or a new agreement?

Total Votes: 22
Started: October 29, 2007

I would prefer to see no agreement signed, but that’s not an option in this poll, so if we have to sign an agreement, I think Kyoto is an inefficient and outmoded agreement, and we need a new agreement that actually has a chance of being signed by every polluting country.

For a list of all previous results, see the Weekly Poll Results page.

Samuel

2 comments October 29th, 2007 at 10:51am

Storm Warning

The storm warning has now expired.

Update 12:20am 29/10/2007:
The bureau of meteorology have updated their previous storm warning, and have increased the warning area in the process. It looks like Canberra has been spared the brunt of the storms so far, but the weather radar shows more on the way. Hopefully the warning is a mere formality, and the storms don’t cause any damage.

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
for DAMAGING WIND and LARGE HAILSTONES
For people in the SOUTH COAST, SOUTHERN TABLELANDS, ACT, SOUTH WEST SLOPES and parts of the ILLAWARRA, CENTRAL TABLELANDS, CENTRAL WEST SLOPES, CENTRAL WEST PLAINS, RIVERINA and LOWER WESTERN Forecast Districts.

Issued at 11:38 pm Sunday, 28 October 2007.

Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce damaging winds and large hailstones in the warning area over the next several hours. Locations which may be affected include Nowra, Batemans Bay, Orange, Canberra, Goulburn, Dubbo, Wagga Wagga and Albury.

The State Emergency Service advises that people should:
* Move your car under cover or away from trees.
* Secure or put away loose items around your house, yard and balcony.
* Keep clear of fallen power lines.
* Unplug computers and appliances.
* Avoid using the phone during the storm.
* Stay indoors away from windows, and keep children and pets indoors as well.
* For emergency help in floods and storms, ring the SES (NSW and ACT) on 132 500.

The next warning is due to be issued by 2:40 am Monday.

End Update

Story originally posted at 8:45pm, Sunday October 28, 2007 follows:
A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for the ACT and a number of other regions:

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
for DAMAGING WIND and LARGE HAILSTONES
For people in the SOUTHERN TABLELANDS, ACT, SOUTH WEST SLOPES and parts of the CENTRAL TABLELANDS, CENTRAL WEST SLOPES, CENTRAL WEST PLAINS, RIVERINA and LOWER WESTERN Forecast Districts.

Issued at 8:32 pm Sunday, 28 October 2007.

Severe thunderstorms may produce damaging winds and large hailstones in the warning area over the next several hours. Locations which may be affected include Canberra, Yass, Parkes, Wagga Wagga, Albury and Griffith.

The State Emergency Service advises that people should:
* Move your car under cover or away from trees.
* Secure or put away loose items around your house, yard and balcony.
* Keep clear of fallen power lines.
* Unplug computers and appliances.
* Avoid using the phone during the storm.
* Stay indoors away from windows, and keep children and pets indoors as well.
* For emergency help in floods and storms, ring the SES (NSW and ACT) on 132 500.

The next warning is due to be issued by 11:35 pm.

From Reid I can see and hear a large amount of storm activity, and the weather radar shows a fairly large area of rain about to sweep across the ACT.

There is also a more potent storm cell behind it…although if the next one is more potent than this one, then that is a concern.

Samuel

2 comments October 29th, 2007 at 12:20am

Samuel’s Musician Of The Week

This week’s award goes to Carole King, and the feature song is “It’s Too Late”.

Stayed in bed all morning just to pass the time
There’s something wrong here
There can be no denying
One of us is changing
Or maybe we’ve just stopped trying

And it’s too late baby, now it’s too late
Though we really did try to make it
Something inside has died and I can’t hide
And I just can’t fake it
Oh no no no no no

It used to be so easy living here with you
You were light and breezy
And I knew just what to do
Now you look so unhappy
And I feel like a fool

And it’s too late baby, now it’s too late
Though we really did try to make it (make it)
Something inside has died
and I can’t hide it
And I just can’t fake it
Oh no no

There’ll be good times again for me and you
But we just can’t stay together
Don’t you feel it too
Still I’m glad for what we had
And how I once loved you

But it’s too late baby, now it’s too late
Though we really did try to make it (make it)
Something inside has died and I can’t hide
And I just can’t fake it
Oh no no no no no

It’s too late
Baby, it’s too late
Now darling, it’s too late

Samuel

October 29th, 2007 at 12:14am

Welcome to Daylight Saving Time

Yes, Daylight Saving Time is with us once again, and that means I will soon be performing the bi-annual ritual of synchronising a watch with the sixth hourly time pip (the top of the hour pip) on 2CC and then walk around the house synchronising all the clocks with the watch. I don’t do this before the start or end of Daylight Saving as the clocks will drive me nuts if I do that, but I can put up with them ebing an hour out of whack after the change for a few hours, so I will update them later today.

In semi-related news, I had a five minute laughing fit earlier after John Kerr read out an email from a Russian woman (it might have been Maritz who wrote a peculiar letter to the editor to this blog a while back, but I didn’t quite catch the name so I can’t be sure), talking about how she sings to the garden every week and is adjusting the garden to daylight saving ten minutes at a time over a six week period so as to avoid confusing it…she also mentioned something about having a cupboard full of clocks (which, if I heard it correctly, was referred to as a clock full of cupboards), half of which are on daylight saving time, and the other half on normal time, and she swaps them when the time changes instead of just adjusting the clocks.

John stopped half way through the email to check if it had come from Clive Robertson!

I might have to order a copy of that from Media Monitors, it’s one of the funniest things I’ve heard on the radio in ages, and it’s proof that there’s a full moon out there.

Samuel

1 comment October 28th, 2007 at 04:36am

The 2UE signal is loud and clear in Canberra

Good morning once again John,

I just picked up my battery powered radio for the first time since getting back from Sydney, and noticed that the signal had a bit more static than usual, and then realised that it was still tuned to 2UE. Usually I can faintly hear the 2UE signal fading in and out from Canberra at night, but it is very clear tonight…a bit of static but very clear and not fading at all.

You might be interested to know that 2UE's signal is a good half a second ahead of 2CC.

Welcome to daylight saving!

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

2 comments October 28th, 2007 at 02:00am

Back in Canberra

I’m now back in Canberra so you can expect to see more photos, and some more details of my time in Sydney shortly.

Samuel

October 27th, 2007 at 04:55pm

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