Archive for August 8th, 2009

Of goats, cows and marriage

If we were talking about Hillary, then I would suggest that trading twenty cows for another cow probably isn’t a wise business move (although the prospect of Bill gaining twenty cows and starting a dairy farm does amuse me), however we aren’t talking about Hillary.

A Kenyan man’s offer of 40 goats and 20 cows for Chelsea Clinton’s hand in marriage may still be on the table — and Hillary Rodham Clinton has promised to convey the “very kind offer” to her daughter.

To laughter at a town hall meeting Thursday in Kenya, CNN’s Fareed Zakaria asked the U.S. Secretary of State if the Clintons had made a decision on the dowry offer. In 2000, a Kenyan man wrote to then-president Bill Clinton offering the animals in accordance with African tradition.

After a pause, Clinton said, “My daughter is her own person, very independent, so I will convey this very kind offer.”

Clinton has denied rumors that her daughter, 29, is planning to get married this summer.

Well we can’t let the plans of a zoo wedding out just yet. Mr. Zakaria might work out the story if we do that.


August 8th, 2009 at 03:59pm

GrodsCorp gone

It has been quite a week in the list of blogs I frequent. A week ago (I forgot to mention it at the time…I think I noticed after I had tripped on the stairs and just wanted to sleep away the pain) GrodsCorp shut down, with site owner Scott Bridges citing his plan to travel through India and the middle-east as the reason.

I’ll miss GrodsCorp. I almost always disagreed with them, especially of late, but it was a fun way to see what the other side of the political divide was up to, and I quite enjoyed reading the site. It’s unusual for me to regularly enjoy a site that I disagree with, so they (Scott and contributors) deserve credit for that.

I am also somewhat relieved. Back in the day when The Spin Starts Here was outranking this blog in Google searches for my name, it was great to have GrodsCorp in the top three results with their profile of me. These days, with this site having a great Google ranking, and The Spin Starts Here’s vitriol no longer online (yes, we’ve patched up our differences, but having some of that stuff being presented as fact to people who didn’t know better was not helpful) that is not so convenient as the profile is dated, and I have matured and grown significantly since then. I’ll also admit that my political views have moved, and my understanding grown, since my abortive run for the federal seat of Fraser in 2007. I’m leaving my copies of that stuff online for the fun and nostalgia of it, but it is nice to know that it’s not going to be one of the dominant things to appear when searching for me in the future.

Scott is continuing his online presence in the form of a personal blog, so he won’t be disappearing completely (unless he becomes the president of the combined nation of Indiastan during his trip, in which case an army of “journalists” can do his bidding for him), but I will still miss the GrodsCorp dynamic anyway.

Best wishes Scott. Enjoy your trip.


1 comment August 8th, 2009 at 11:47am

Are you Aboriginal? Good, have $5,000

Padders over at The Right Aussie has stumbled upon what is quite clearly a case of racism favouring Aborigines from The Pharmacy Guild of Australia and our beloved federal government.

Today whilst reading the Western Magazine, a weekly publication inserted into regional newspapers, I made a cursory glance over two advertisements covering the full right hand side of page nine
The ad at the top of the page was offering three scholarships to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, valued at $15,000 each (to a maximum value of $60,000); and the ad below it – obviously applicable to everyone else – offered 30 scholarships at $10,000 each (to a maximum value of $40,000).
But it doesn’t stop there.

I quote a portion of the text from the first ad (for Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders):

Students interested in studying pharmacy at university need to have an interest in health, communication and science.

And from the other ad (for everyone else):

Students interested in studying pharmacy at university need to achieve high marks in English, Mathematics and Chemistry.

So, one can only draw the conclusion that not only will Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders get an extra five grand per year for doing the same course, but it is hard not to infer that the matriculation requirements are not as rigorous as those for non-Aboriginals.

The full ads are visible at the above linked page.

So when will this nonsense end? Why do we need to single out Aborigines for special treatment here? Would it be too much to ask to expect them to compete with everyone else for the scholarships on a level playing ground?

Clearly this is aimed at the supposedly lesser-educated Aborigines, and is designed to give them a better chance at making something of their lives. It doesn’t make any sense though because if I, as a non-Aborigine, chose to drop out of high school and then wanted to study pharmacy, I would have to do the bridging courses of my own volition…I wouldn’t get an extra handout to assist me or motivate me, my motivation would be the chance to reach my goal. If an Aboriginal person can’t be motivated to do bridging courses and then apply for a scholarship on the grounds of eventually reaching their goal, then why should we be paying them an extra five thousand dollars and set aside places for them, when truly motivated people could take those spots for less money?

The bottom line is that we shouldn’t…but try and tell that to Kevin “Sorry” Rudd.


August 8th, 2009 at 07:15am

Barack Obama explains why he sent Bill Clinton to North Korea

But for whatever reason, Kim Jong Il didn’t want Bill around doing much talking either, and sent him back along with an offering to Barry Bamster of a few US citizens, hoping that Bill will never be sent to North Korea ever again, lest they need to have one of their missile tests while his plane is coming in.

Perhaps, Barry, you can make Bill your ambassador to Antarctica…he can take Al Gore with him to report on increases in ice levels.

(thanks to Heather Kydd for the link to the video)


August 8th, 2009 at 05:58am

And so John leaves RiotACT again

This time around though, I think it’s a crying shame. I have almost no time for the comments section of RiotACT, however when it comes to the stories themselves, I think RiotACT has performed an incredibly valuable service to the ACT, especially under John’s guidance over the last year or so.

If there is one thing for which I have to give John credit, it is being the source of pressure which led to the AFP’s media unit getting press releases online more than once per week. Whilst I have access to the press releases through their direct distribution to media outlets, I do appreciate the fact that AFP stuff is now online in a timely manner.

On a less positive note, I’m reminded of what I said to a friend on the phone the day John returned to RiotACT…”it won’t last, there is no way it will be profitable”. I’m sorry that I was correct. As much as I disagree with John on a number of issues, the fact that he built RiotACT in to a respected local news outlet, respected not just by the public, but by the rest of the media as well, is a testament to John’s hard work and dedication. Alas John has succumbed to the financial needs which press on all of us, and is off to fulfil those needs.

It looks like RiotACT’s future is going to be similar to its past. Not for profit, volunteer driven, and leeching off the ABC with the occasional bit of self-inspired brilliance. Sad really. The loss of a decent independent news service.

This does make me wonder one thing though. If RiotACT can’t be profitable, how does Rupert Murdoch expect a pay-for-access lockdown of his online news services to be profitable? Rupert might have more readers, but when more than half the articles on his sites are recycled news agency articles which are freely available elsewhere (heck, Google hosts copies of Associated Press content), a pay-for-access version of his news services would have to be really really special to turn a buck.

Best of luck for the future John.


August 8th, 2009 at 03:13am


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