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March 2007

Cultural revolution update

Part of John Winston Howard's vision of expanding the historical knowledge of Australian schoolchildren has reached fruition. This from the office of the minister for, among other things, Heritage (Malcolm Turnbull):


Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Malcolm Turnbull MP today announced the winners for the Howard Government’s 2006 inaugural Captain Cook Essay Competition and encouraged students to enter the 2007 competition.

And the greatest Portuguese of all time is...

In the tradition of Ronald Reagan (the Greatest American Of All Time) and Pim Fortuyn (the Greatest Dutchperson Of All Time) comes the news that none other than Antonio de Oliveira Salazar has won a poll to choose the greatest Portuguese person ever.

The dictator of Portugal from 1933 to 1968 scored 40 per cent of the vote in the poll of the ten finalists. The runner up was a communist adversary of Salazar's, Alvaro Cunhal.

Thoughts of Chairman John

Australia's Can't-Do Prime Minister on Climate Change:

Quote number one (House of Reps Question Time, 28.3.07):

"I am aware of the views expressed by Sir Nicholas Stern. Some of the views that he has expressed I agree with, some I have reservations about and some, I believe, if implemented, literally would do great damage to the Australian economy. When it comes to the decisions of the government, uppermost in our mind will be the national interest, not the views of any one individual, however eminent he may be regarded by some."

Tweedledum beats Tweedledumber

Last Saturday's state election was something of a whimper in the end. Perhaps the poorest-quality NSW election in my memory has ended with the ALP, rather than being swept from office or even suffering a major swing against, has been returned to government with just a slight reduction in its majority.

What our fellow Aussies are up to in the Caribbean

Here's a report from Human Rights Watch of the opening day of the "trial" of alleged material terrorists' assistant David Hicks on Monday:

(Guantanamo Bay, March 27, 2007) – Two defense lawyers for Guantanamo detainee David Hicks were barred from representing their client yesterday, highlighting the failure of US military commissions to meet fair trial standards, Human Rights Watch said today. Hicks, the first person to be charged before the military commissions authorized by Congress in 2006, pleaded guilty to a single criminal charge.

A quick list of links to the upper house groups

I've done my democratic duty this morning. As I said to the duty officer on the way out, I spent more time folding my upper house ballot paper that I did actually voting.

Didn't bother with preferences. 1 for Fiona Byrne in the lower house, 1 for Group I - the Greens - in the upper house.

Marrickville state election preview

Tomorrow I am voting in my ninth NSW general election, beginning in 1978 when I backed Harry Jensen in Munmorah. In 2007, I'm doing my third election in Marrickville, including the 2005 by-election. Historically safe Labor, Marrickville has witnessed some intense campaigning by both the ALP and Greens candidates over the past few weeks.

It's one of the few electorates in tomorrow's election with nine candidates. Here is my form guide, in order down the ballot paper: