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February 2007

The Why It Looks Like My Uncle Oscar awards

Not much I can say about yesterday's Why It Looks Like My Uncle Oscars as I had only seen one nominated film, which picked up two WILLMUOs.

I was pleased to see "An Inconvenient Truth" win the WILLMUO for best documentary. I saw it at its Australian premiere at the Sydney Film Festival last June and bought the DVD in the week of its release (and have watched it again about three or four times since thus far). There may have been better documentaries over the years, but rarely has one been so relevant to the public conscience.

Hoo-ray, he's gone!

The CEO of White House Halliburton has finally left our shores. Richard Bruce Cheney, 66, wild game hunter of Casper, Wyoming, flew out of Mascot Airport this morning after two and a half days of what could be best described as a blatant violation of Australian sovereignty.

Laws bent so that his Secret Servicemen could carry loaded guns, large slabs of the Sydney CBD closed down whenever he was driven anywhere - even the Sydney Harbour Bridge was closed down at short notice when he took a totally unnecessary trip to John Howard's party house at Kirribilli. Not to mention some of the most bewildering doublespeak over that masterpiece of public-private partnership, the US war "effort" in Iraq.

Montana to secede from world

Ever since Illinois' abortive attempt to change the value of Pi, US state legislatures have had a long tradition of creative and innovative bill-making. Currently before the Montana State Legislature is the "Montana Sovereignty Protection Act". If passed, it will reject the "authority of the United Nations over the territory or people of Montana, and applying penalties".

More on:: 

Foreign extremist addresses Sydney gatherings

The transcripts of Dick Cheney's public speeches in Sydney yesterday are available on the vice-presidential website:

  • A brief, but enormously insightful comment at a breakfast for the Australian-American Leadership Dialogue at his private fortress called the Shangri-La Hotel, 7.59am Friday 23.2.07 (transcript)

The transcript you won't find on the Prime Minister's website

"If I was running Al-Qaeda in Iraq, I would put a circle around March 2008, and pray, as many times as possible, for a victory not only for Obama, but also for the Democrats."

- John Howard, interview with Laurie Oakes, Sunday, 11.2.07

Another reason to switch to Ogg Vorbis

We all know that businesses that use MP3 encoding for commercial purposes have to pay a licence fee to Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the owners of the MP3 patent. Yesterday, a US court awarded Alcatel-Lucent SA one and a half billion American dollars in damages to be paid by Microsoft for MP3 patent violation.

Associated Press takes up the story.

Brendan Nelson joins the Ridiculous Statement contest

Former president of the Australian Medical Association, former member of the ALP, the former Education Minister who tried to claim that the story of Simpson and his donkey was true, Brendan Nelson MD is well on the way to becoming Australia's worst Defence Minister ever.

But amid all the doublespeak this week in reaction to the British and Danish troop withdrawals from Iraq, Nelson, who last week rubberstamped John Howard's whim to send more troops to Iraq, Nelson has trivialised the Second World War by saying that Australia's role in Iraq is as important as the Kokoda Track campaign against the Japanese in 1942.