Newlight: Brisbane web design

Newlight, the Brisbane web design firm I’ve been consulting to for a few months, has launched it’s new company site. I’m here as their “digital strategy” guy, which means I work on things like social media strategy and SEO strategy for Newlight’s Brisbane clients. So if you’re looking for a very reputable Brisbane web development firm, check these guys out. They’ve been around since 1999 and are very good at what they do. I’m also doing some blogging for them, mostly on social media and digital strategy stuff.

Mercy Ministries Has Closed It’s Doors!

Huge news! Sarah Mac, who I interviewed on episode #352, emailed me tonight to let me know that Mercy Ministries has shut down all Australian operations!

She writes:

Hi Cameron,

I was looking back the other day and realised that it has been already a year since we did the interview.

I got some very good news today, Mercy Minitries Australia has shut down completely. Their statement is on their website.

I have been talking to some of the other girls since it has come out and we are all very relieved.

As I understand it ALL organisations have pulled out their support in the last few months, including Hillsong Church and Gloria Jeans.

This is such a great victory for all of us that were hurt and abused by Mercy, hopefully other countries will follow. (we can only live in hope).

many thanks
Sarah Mac

I’m very proud of the small role this show played in closing Mercy down. If you missed those episodes, you can find them here.

It just goes to show you folks – we CAN make a difference.

GDay World 395 – Bill Liao, Neo.org

Bill Liao is one of those people who makes you realize that you aren’t trying hard enough. He chatted with me recently about two of his current projects – neo.org and WeForest.com. Bill explains how he is building a new organization with resources and partners to reforest 20 Million Square Kilometers of the Earth in order to cool the planet. Check out the videos on WeForest.com and the Voices Of Neo podcast as well.

If you want to support independent media and this show, please click on the link below to learn how you can become part of the TPN500!
TPN 500

The Podcast Network is supported by:

neo.org – a social network with a purpose – to transform the world by enabling people to transform themselves

and

our first TPN Patron – Tony Kynaston.

Why Obama is Owned by Goldman Sachs

In March 2008 I wrote a blog post called “Who Does Obama Work For?” I was interested in where the funding for his election campaign was coming from. This was still early in the campaign, about 7 months before the election. At the time, his biggest single source of funding was Goldman Sachs and their employees. (The same source, OpenSecrets.org, now lists Goldman as only the second largest contributor, after the University of California). Apparently Michael Moore also makes mention of this fact in his new film, Capitalism (which I’m yet to see…. Rob Irwin, I’m looking at you).

I just remembered this today while listening to a recent episode of No Agenda where they mentioned that Adam Storch, a Goldman Sachs VP, has been made “COO of SEC Enforcement” under the Obama administration.

It looks like investing in Obama was a good bet for Goldman. Their stock value increased from $53.31 a share when Obama was elected to about $187.32 today. And they’ve skated through the financial crisis (which some people think they deliberately  created) and hold many powerful positions in the Obama administration.

Other high level financial positions held in the Obama administration by former Goldman Sachs executives are Neel Kashkari, heading the TARP bailout; Mark  Patterson, Chief of Staff for Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner; Gary Gensler, top executive at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission; and finally Goldman has its top lobbyist, Michael Paese, Rep. Barney Frank’s top aide, who is the chair of the House Financial Services Committee. (source)

This is one of the inescapable downsides of capitalism. The people with the money buy the power. They also buy the media which, in turns, indoctrinates people with a belief in how great capitalism is.

Go back to sleep, America. Goldman Sachs is in control.

How Twitter Saved Me $2000

A lesson in the power of having a network for those people who still snort when you mention Twitter (who are, I’m sure, the same people who still snort when you mention climate change).

About a year ago, I dropped my Macbook Pro – twice. Both times I was traveling and the shoulder bag I had it in slipped off of my shoulder while I was wheeling several suitcases around France. The result of the drops was pretty severe damage to the case of the Macbook. It still worked fine, it was just dinged up pretty badly. Until recently. A few weeks ago, I stopped being able to shut the case properly and then the piece of plastic that holds the screen in the lid cracked and broke.

I knew it was time for a new Macbook case.

So, I emailed photos to a couple of local Macbook repair places.

The folks at Next Byte were completely useless. All they could tell me was “you’ll have to bring it in for us to look at it”. If I had time to bring it in, I wouldnt have bothered sending photos, you useless morons.

The folks at The Mac Doctors in Annerley, were, as always, very polite, friendly and helpful. They emailed me back a quote – $2500 – and explained why it would cost so much (the screen comes with the case, no way around it) and suggested I’d probably be better off buying a new Macbook.

Instead, I posted a question on Twitter: “Does anyone have a dead Macbook Pro 17″ they’d be willing to sell me?”

Within an hour I had three “yes” replies. Adrian Lynch was the first and after a quick phone call, we’d negotiated a deal. I put the money in his account and had a courier pick up his dead machine (he’d drown his keyboard in wine).

Yesterday, when his dead unit turned up at my place, I took it into The Mac Doctors and today I picked up my perfectly good Macbook Pro – my drive and motherboard stuffed into Adrian’s old case and screen.

Total cost, including his unit, the courier and the hatchet job?

A little less than $500.

The power of Twitter.

The Golden Rule and Geeks Who Care

I just watched this recent TED video of religious historian and author Karen Armstrong talking about the importance of the Golden Rule and how we need to re-engineer a world based on compassion. It’s excellent and I highly recommend it.

Speaking of compassion, I’m re-launching my charity “Geeks Who Care” in Brisbane this month and I’m hoping some people will join us for the first Brisbane catch-up. The idea of GWC (which I tried to get off the ground just before I left Melbourne in 2008) is that geeks have a special skill-set that I think can be used to improve people’s lives in ways that mere mortals cannot. We know how to make the interwebs work, how to promote things via social networking, how to build websites, make podcasts, refurb PCs, build mesh networks, etc. I want to see geeks doing more when they get together than just nerding out about new tech. We need to be giving back to the society that let’s us be geeks in the first place. So, anyway, details of the Brisbane meeting are here (yes it’s a Facebook page) and if anyone wants to gets stuff started in other cities, go for your life. Let’s share idea and learnings as we go.

GDay World 394 – Rebecca from @GayMarriageAus

I was an early follower of @GayMarriageAus because I’m a big supporter of gay marriage rights. I was delightfully surprised, though, to find out that the person behind it is a 17 year old high school student, Rebecca. I chatted with her recently about why she’s supporting gay rights.

We also talked about The Australian Sex Party (who will be guests on the show in coming weeks) and the current legislation in Australia pertaining to gay rights.

If you want to support independent media and this show, please click on the link below to learn how you can become part of the TPN500!
TPN 500

The Podcast Network is supported by:

neo.org – a social network with a purpose – to transform the world by enabling people to transform themselves

and

our first TPN Patron – Tony Kynaston.

More Mormon Spin

Oh no, Mormons aren’t trying to deny a minority group their basic rights. It’s the MORMONS that are a minority group who are being attacked. In fact, they are just like the African-Americans who lived in the South during the civil rights movement.

The fucking BALLS on these people!

Oh sure – they commanded their brainwashed hoards to spend millions promoting fear and lies in the lead up to the Prop 8 vote – but that’s just because they are a small, attacked minority.

Sure – in 1997 Time Magazine called them one of the wealthiest churches in the world per capita – but you can still be uber-rich and be a persecuted minority…. can’t you?

Sure – in 1967, Mormon Apostle (and later church President) Ezra Taft Benson, said “the Negroes” fighting for civil rights were getting their “planning, direction, and leadership… from the Communists”.

Sure – in 1954, one of the LDS “elders” tried to justify segregation, saying “I think the Lord segregated the Negro and who is man to change that segregation? It reminds me of the scripture on marriage, “what God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Only here we have the reverse of the thing — what God hath separated, let not man bring together again.”

Read some of the speeches of Mormon leaders during the civil rights battles and then compare them to this most recent speech about the gay rights movement and you’ll see the VERY SAME RHETORIC being used. “It’s God’s Law”, “It’s always been this way”, etc etc. It’s a disgrace and any Mormon who doesn’t have the integrity to do what Todd Whitaker did, deserves our contempt.

Debating Americans About Healthcare

Here’s a transcript of a chat I’ve been having on a Facebook thread belonging to an American conservative. I think it’s a demonstration of a) how little some Americans have actually thought through this issue and b) how little some Americans are able/willing to hold an intelligent debate about the subject. They would prefer to rant, bully and abuse. It’s the typical response I’m used to when discussing religion with similar people. When they can’t put forward an intelligent argument, they just attack like rabid dogs.

Original post:

The Battle for your health care Tuesday, 10/13 ~ Everett Wilkinson ~~ Contact Senate Finance Committee
By Everett Wilkinson October 13, 2009, 1:19am

The battle for your health care is going to be fought on Tuesday. We need to melt the phone lines and stop the takeover of our health care.

1. Please contact every member of the Senate Finance Committee
2. Send 2 free faxes at: http://www.gotfreefax.com
3. Send emails to your representatives: http://www.capwiz.com/freedomworks/issues/alert/?alertid=14115176-

No, Mandates For Insurance-
No, Penalties For Not Buying Insurance-
No, Government Option-
Yes, Tort Reform-
Yes, Take Care of Abuse-
Yes, Free Markets

Pass this on to your friends. I cannot stress the importance of action. We need everyone to make calls, emails and faxes. If you are near a Senate office, please visit it today!

Comments:

Cameron Reilly

you don’t HAVE any health care yet to “take over”. Catch up to the rest of the civilised world and stop being so backwards.
Yesterday at 11:58pm · Delete
Richard Yadon

Richard Yadon

This is a bad bill all the way around. It will not improve health care quality and will actually raise the cost of health care.
13 hours ago
Art Collins

Art Collins

We have a very GOOD healthcare system. There are some areas that need to be improved, but not replaced by Socialized Medicine. Anyone who thinks otherwise, needs to pack up and move out.
13 hours ago
Christine Steele Gates

Christine Steele Gates

We have a mostly free market system that could use MORE free market, not less. Gov’t over-involvement will limit competition and limit innovation. NO THANKS!!!

3 cheap reforms needed to the current system:
1) Tort reform (loser-pays)
2) Legalize interstate medical insurance salesRead More
3) End employment-base group insurance

These 3 ideas are no-cost to the taxpayer. We can’t afford $900 billion with 10% unemployment and a seriously declining dollar. We can’t trust this government either.

12 hours ago
Damon Dean

Damon Dean

This is likely the decisive moment for action. Today will tell if we become a socialist state, or remain a republic!
10 hours ago
Cameron Reilly

Cameron Reilly

Art, according to WHICH metric does the USA have a “good healthcare system”? Which country are you comparing the USA to? Zimbabwe?

Damon, what a load of nonsense. Is Australia a “socialist state”? No. Yet we have far superior healthcare to the USA. And nobody in Australia would swap our system for your system. You folks need to pull your heads out.

6 hours ago · Delete
Joanne Davis

Joanne Davis

Australian population update: According to an Australian Bureau of Statistics report in early June 2009, the Australian population had hit 21.6 million by the end of 2008.

U.S. Population 304,059,724 – Jul 2008 — 304,059,724 vs 21,600,000

Cameron – there is a “slight” difference in total population; Australia does not have “land borders’ with illegals flowing into your country.Read More

This health care insurance/care bill that they are trying to RAM through against the majority of American’s wishes, will reduce care, cost more and they absolutely, in “their own words” are trying to force the US into a “single payer system” run by the Federal Gov’t. Single payer is filled with corruption, cost over-runs (Medicare and Medicaid). Our Gov’t states if this bill passes they will fix the corruption? If that is true, then they should have fixed the corruption long ago.

NO THANKS!

4 hours ago
Cameron Reilly

Cameron Reilly

Joanne, what does population size have to do with it?

What data do you have that says the majority of Americans are against it? Wasn’t Obama voted in BY the majority of Americans on a platform for change?

And single payer is NONE of those things you are suggesting. In Australia we have had a single payer system for 35 years and nobody complains about it. It works. Read More

While I’ll agree that the US govt is corrupt, that’s got nothing to do with single payer healthcare. On the contrary – it’s the corruption in your system that’s trying to spin single payer healthcare as bad.

I would love to see those Americans who are against improving healthcare to compare the US system with Australia and tell me what’s so wrong with our system.

2 hours ago · Delete
Marcus McConkey

Marcus McConkey

Delete/block the troll Obama operative Cameron.
2 hours ago
Penny Baird Mercer

Penny Baird Mercer

It ain’t over till it’s over! We lost this battle, but we knew we would. Remember the ALAMO! Keep fighting!
about an hour ago
Cameron Reilly

Cameron Reilly

Marcus’ comment basically sums up the lack of intelligent debate some people can put up for this topic. If I put forward a different argument, I’m a “troll” or an “operative” (which is amusing considering I’m a) an Aussie and b) a vociferous Obama critic) and should be blocked.
about an hour ago · Delete
Marcus McConkey

Marcus McConkey

Cameron, it really comes down to (IMO) no one cares or should care what a non-voting, non-U.S. citizen THINKS, let alone ignorantly articulates here. It’s called “civilizational confidence”. Look into it, Australia will benefit.

WHO cares what you think of Obama, or the latest rounds of still unreleased healthcare legislation? Stick to what you know and can quantify with some actual experience. You’ve probably never set foot in a U.S. hospital, but again, NO ONE CARES IF YOU HAVE.

Joanne has gone to great lengths to share the ramifications of the last published healthcare legislation (which most of us here actually read and now understand) and you jump in here like an imbecile looking for attention. That’s what TROLLS do. Read More

We don’t have the time or the inclination to educate you.

24 minutes ago
Cameron Reilly

Cameron Reilly

Marcus, again, your venomous attacks don’t do you any favours. Are you completely unable to engage is intelligent dialogue?

Perhaps if some Americans, such as yourself, took the time to actually educate yourself about what citizens of other countries, who already HAVE a single payer healthcare system, think about such systems, you might cure Read Moreyourself of your delusional attitudes towards the Obama legislation. Despite Joanne’s analysis of the theoretical ramifactions, there are 100 million people living in democratic, capitalist countries, such as Australia, Canada and the UK, who actually live quite happily under a single payer healthcare system and have for decades. If American’s current approach is to superior to a single payer system, you might ask why the people of these other countries aren’t demanding changes to THEIR healthcare system.