“Free speech is dead in Australia.”

That quote is from the press release put out by Dr Philip Nitschke and Dr Fiona Stewart regarding the banning of their book, “The Peaceful Pill Handbook”, by the Australian Office of Film and Literature Classification. The release also states:

“Ten years ago the Australian government took away the world’s first Voluntary Euthanasia law. Last year they banned Australians from using the telephone, fax, email and Internet to seek information about end of life issues. Now they have taken to banning and burning books.”

Peaceful Pill Handbook

And today police arrested and charged with murder a 74-year-old and a 58-year-old in Sydney relating to the death of a 71-year-old man (the husband of the 58 year old) who died from a drug overdose. They couple were refused bail.

(via Club Troppo)

When I start my political party (The Terra Party), one of the platforms will be free speech. It drives me insane that a country like Australia just sits by while our Government (that I voted for, several times) takes away one of the most basic of human rights. Can I even get arrested for just mentioning the book? Who knows?

I’m going to create a technorati tag for this issue and see how many people we get to throw in their support. Just write a blog post about “The Peaceful Pill Handbook” and tag it:

Technorati Tags:

Optus: Too Little, Too Late

I got a cold call from an Optus account rep today wanting to know why I canceled my service with them late last year. I told her it was a combination of them not having the wifi/3G phone I wanted and their poor customer service. She told me they now have a wifi/3G phone and that to ensure better future customer service, they would appoint an account representative to look after my needs. She tried to assumptively close (“So which day would be better for you next week for a visit, Wednesday or Thursday?”) a meeting with me to “discuss my needs” but I told her it was too late. I’m already with Three and I’m locked into a two-year contract.

“No worries” she said, “we’ll buy you out of the contract.”

But I again told her “no thanks”.

If someone from Optus had been keeping an eye on blogs late last year they might have picked up my post on my disappointment with Optus and perhaps then they could have kept me as a customer. But they didn’t and they didn’t.

The AFL Show returns to TPN

Even though I know less than zero about this thing they call “Aussie Rules”, I know it’s somehow important to my fellow countrymen. And that’s why I’m pleased to announce that, after a one year absence, the AFL Show returns to The Podcast Network. New hosts, Jeff and Paul, kicked off their custodianship of the show by talking about the current pre-season matches. This is the AFL show where everyone gets to play. Check it out here.

GDAY WORLD VIDCAST #09 – Machinima 101 with Paul Marino and Tom Reynolds

ThomasR alerted me last week to a machinima festival taking place in Melbourne, so on Saturday I got a leave pass from the family and went to check it out. It was really amazing, lots of great content getting produced out there using gaming engines as a shortcut to producing on-screen characters instead of 3D rendering engines. The event had people such as Gus Sorola (Red Vs. Blue), Eddo Stern (Dark Game), Peter Rasmussen (Stolen Life) and Rod Maher (FRAPS) on stage. After Saturday’s event, I asked Tom to sit down with NY-based machinima guru Paul Marino (Director of the Machinima Film Festival and Executive Director of the Academy of Machinima Arts and Sciences) to give an overview of what machinima is all about, how it gets made, the legal issues and where it is going in the future.

DIGG THIS STORY.

15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense

Back in 2002, Scientific American ran this hold-no-punches piece “15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense” to provide a concise rebuttal against the arguments of the people who continue to favour mythology over reason.

Why am I harping on this theme again? Someone emailed me a link to this site from the American-import-cum-Australian Christian evangelicals at Hillsong Church:

Many eminent scientists in different fields are currently saying that the complexity and balance of the universe points to intelligent design. This has re-opened the debate about whether God and science should be studied in the same classroom. The answer comes down to our understanding of science. If science is the search for truth, as some scientists argue, then God should be mentioned in any classroom that pursues it.

Much of the debate about the origin of life and the universe is speculation. It comes down to a question of belief.

At Hillsong Church we believe that God created the world. In other words, the universe is a product of intelligent design. We also believe that science is part of humanity’s search for truth, and it is therefore important for science curricula to include all valid viewpoints of the origins of life and the universe, including intelligent design.

* Comments from Ps Brian Houston, Senior Pastor Hillsong Church & National President AOG in Australia.

This is the nonsense these people are filling children’s minds with. Someone needs to defend the kids against having their minds tarnished with this kind of appalling rubbish. Outwardly they present the image of being nice, toothy people who just want to do good works (okay, except for Brian’s father Frank, who held senior positions in the church, but was forced to resign in 2000 “following exposure of his homosexual paedophile activities.”) However they are really subverting young minds, turning them away from reason and rational thinking – and as far as I’m concerned, that is the definition of evil – almost as evil as the paedophilia.

Let’s examine the website quote.

“Many eminent scientists” – who? Name them.

“If science is the search for truth, as some scientists argue” – What do the other scientists argue? That science is the search for falsehoods? This suggests that science could possibly be something other than the search for objective knowledge which is the very definition of the word – “then God should be mentioned in any classroom that pursues it.” – Why? Science uses evidence to support theories for how the universe works. God is a theory completely unsupported by evidence. It is completely unscientific, because it is not testable or falsifiable. It has no place in the science classroom.

“Much of the debate about the origin of life and the universe is speculation. It comes down to a question of belief.” – Rubbish. Trying to understand the origin of life has nothing to do with belief. There are a range of scientific theories at present. On the other hand, the origin of the universe, aka “the big bang”, is supported by overwhelming evidence. As we discussed here, the Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded for that evidence just last year.

“it is therefore important for science curricula to include all valid viewpoints of the origins of life and the universe, including intelligent design.” – again, intelligent design has no relationship to science. It denies facts and ignores the evidence, as several court cases in the Unites States have now determined.

I know we’re unlikely to pass a law preventing people like this from polluting the minds of children with this rubbish – in fact, I’d probably be the first to protect their right to free speech (a right, I’m continually reminded, we don’t actually have in Australia, as we don’t have a Bill of Rights), but I hope we are not far from the day when making these kinds of statements in public will be similar to advocating the genocide of the Jews or suggesting blacks are an inferior species. It needs to become completely socially unacceptable to pollute young minds with the idea that denying evidence is somehow valid and rational.

GDAY WORLD #206 – Private Equity 101 with Andew Pegler

Private equity is a broad term that refers to any type of equity investment in an asset in which the equity is not freely tradable on a public stock market. (wikipedia)

One of the trends around the world at the moment is for private equity firms (commonly called “PE Firms”) to acquire publicly-listed companies, so they can make them more efficient and then re-list them at a profit a few years hence. In practice, this process often involves stripping the companies of their assets, sacking a bunch of staff, before re-listing the companies which will often have to go back and buy those same assets back again at an inflated price. It’s one of the cycles we see come around every decade or so. The last time we saw it become trendy was in the 80s, when famous junk bond firms like Michael Milken’s company “Drexel Burnham Lambert” was providing cheap cash to Alan Bond, Rupert Murdoch and Ivan Boesky.

Is it time for Oliver Stone to make a sequel to WALL STREET?

Gordon Gecko

On tonight’s show (recorded early last week), I chat with Melbourne-based journalist and editor Andrew Pegler about the re-rise of the PE Firm.

If you enjoyed this podcast, make sure you don’t miss future episodes by subscribing to our feed and leave us a voice comment!

The G’Day World Theme Song is “Save Me” by The Napoleon Blown Aparts.

David Caruso – Badass.

I don’t watch CSI: Miami (really, Molly, I don’t) but I do love David Caruso. I thought he was a badass in NYPD Blue and then up against an insane Nicolas Cage in “Kiss Of Death“. Hell, I haven’t seen that film in YEARS. Must go find it. ROFL – I just IMDB’d him and noticed that his character in CSI is called “Horatio”? That’s too funny. Anyway… this clip is hilarious. His acting technique is nearly as honed to the bone as Bill Shatner. You gotta love this level of coolness.