Archive for June 9th, 2009

Not a good time to be a politicians named Brown

As Bob and Gordon have discovered, Browns just aren’t the flavour of the month.

Greens Leader Bob Brown admits he’s facing bankruptcy after being forced to pay $240,000 in court costs after a failed bid to stop Tasmanian logging.

Senator Brown has until the end of the month to pay the money to Foerstry Tasmania, after losing a Federal Court case to stop logging in the Wielangta Forest in the south east of the island.

He says he may become bankrupt if he doesn’t raise the money and could lose his Senate seat as a result.

“As a Senator, and somebody who’s been able to accrue assets down the line, I’ll be talking with people who may be able to lend that money and if not, I’ll be taking some more adventurous action,” he said.

Oh goody, adventurous action…perhaps it will be celebrity (if you can call Bob a celebrity) skydiving for the “Save Bob Brown from bankruptcy foundation”.

Meanwhile for Gordon:

EMBATTLED British Prime Minister Gordon Brown was locked in a showdown with angry MPs from his party on Monday, reports said as he clung to power after a second humiliating poll defeat within days.

Mr Brown’s Labour was beaten into third place in the European elections, behind fringe anti-Europeans the UK Independence Party (UKIP), leaving him fighting for his job after 11 ministers resigned in recent days.

But at least one critic confronted Mr Brown at a regular meeting with MPs at the House of Commons on Monday evening, amid growing calls for him to step down and give the party a chance of winning the next general election.

To Gordon Brown’s credit though, he did give a speech which nobody will remember, but somehow seems to have saved his neck for the moment.

“I have my strengths and I have my weaknesses. I know there are some things I do well, some things not so well.”

And in related news, sometimes traffic lights are red, sometimes they are green, and every now and then they are amber.


June 9th, 2009 at 01:06pm

Sense prevails in Las Vegas…almost

About two weeks ago I was confused by the thinking behind the answers being provided to a poll on the KXNT website.

The question was:

The [police] officer who was killed in a crash last week was driving 109 mph [175 km/h] with no lights, sirens or seatbelt. The other driver who turned in front of him had been drinking, but was not legally DUI. Who is at fault?

And the results at the time of writing that blog post were:

The Officer. He was totally reckless. ( 57% )
Mostly the officer, but the driver contributed. ( 24% )
Both of them. It was a “perfect storm”. ( 15% )
Mostly the driver, but the officer contributed. ( 2% )
The driver. He was still impaired. ( 2% )

I was part of the 57% and couldn’t comprehend how people could believe the other three answers, especially the last two.

I’m pleased to be able to report that the authorities in Vegas have seen sense, and dropped all charges against the driver.

Metro Police have dropped all charges filed for last month’s crash that took the life of Officer James Manor.

Officer Manor was killed back on May 7th when his police cruiser collided with a pickup truck driven by Las Vegas resident Calvin Darling.

Darling was initially arrested for DUI and failure to yield to an emergency vehicle, but was later released when tests revealed his blood alcohol content was not over the legal limit. Further investigation revealed that Officer Manor was traveling 109 miles-per-hour with no emergency lights or sirens on just before the crash.

With the investigation now complete, police say they’ve determined the accident was caused by Officer Manor’s excessive speed, and that Darling was not at fault.

Police recommended that District Attorney David Roger drop all charges against Darling, and Roger agreed, calling the case “a tragedy all around.”

(line breaks added by Samuel for readability purposes)

There is one part of the story which still leaves me puzzled though, and that is the original cause of Officer Manor’s decision to speed and what authorities have decided to do about it:

In addition, Metro says no charges will be filed against the 14-year-old girl who placed the fraudulent 911 call prompting Officer Manor’s rapid response.

A fake 911 call which results in a death, and no penalty? Not even community service? If it were up to me, she would be working alongside the emergency services for a while so that she comes to grips with the extraordinary work these people do, and why you can’t waste their time with fake emergency calls.


June 9th, 2009 at 11:46am

Barack Obama’s Rasmussen approval ratings for May

Sorry that I’m a bit late with this. I was going to post this at the start of the month but got sidetracked and forgot about it. None-the-less, here are US President Barack Obama’s approval ratings for May as measured by the Rasmussen Daily Tracking Poll.

May saw a stop (for the most part) the closing of the gap between the approval and disapproval numbers, and on the whole Barack Obama enjoyed a pretty good month by the polls.

Barack Obama's approval rating during May 2009
Data courtesy Rasmussen Reports, LLC

The gap between the “strongly approve” and the “strongly disapprove” numbers, known as the “Rasmussen Approval Index” were fairly positive with only a couple low points.
Barack Obama's Rasmussen Approval Index during May 2009
Data courtesy Rasmussen Reports, LLC

To put this in context, here are the graphs for all of 2009.
Barack Obama's approval rating during 2009 until May
Data courtesy Rasmussen Reports, LLC

Barack Obama's Rasmussen Approval Index during 2009 until May
Data courtesy Rasmussen Reports, LLC

It’s quite clear that from those graphs that May was a better month that the preceding few, however I have to wonder about June as it hasn’t started brilliantly for Mr. Obama, with the Rasmussen Approval Index hitting zero on the 5th, however it has rebounded since then.

I should point out that the missing day in the graphs is the 11th of May. No polling was conducted on this day due to Mother’s Day.


June 9th, 2009 at 09:44am

Mondays and radio stations

Why is it that Mondays and radio stations seem to lead to me spending far too much time in said radio stations, and not getting enough sleep that night.

I got in to 1WAY FM a bit after 4:30am yesterday and left a bit after midday. I then returned around 5:30pm and left shortly after 7pm.

I was intending on going to sleep after I got home, but ended up having dinner, watching the additively awful “112 Emergency” on SBS 2 followed by Media Watch, and then managed to, just before I would have gone to sleep, sidetrack myself with buying music from iTunes.

This morning I slept through my alarm at 4am (although I think I may have turned my phone alarm off without realising as the phone was in a different location when I woke up than it was when I went to sleep) and then woke up at 6:10am at the end of a dream about how “it’s time to get up when your alarm starts buzzing, whirring, spinning and singing”.

It’s a pity that the dream didn’t occur sooner.


June 9th, 2009 at 08:23am


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