The value of BHP in relation to the universe, christianity and moon pies.

If I had 1 cent for every year since Christ I would have $2.00.
Enough to buy 1 moon pie.
If I had 1 cent for every year since the formation of the earth I would have $45.4 million.
Enough to buy around 23 million moon pies.
If I had 1 cent for every year since the first appearance of stars I would have $137.5 million.
Enough to buy 68.75 million moon pies. Or, enough to buy 229,166 years membership at a pretty decent gym.
If I had 1 cent for every year that the most pessimistic of physicists give for the likely time that stars can be expect to be present in our universe I would have $290 million: an amount roughly equal to that which a good pair of divorce lawyers could make from the Demi Moore Ashton Kutcher split.
If I had the profit from BHP for 2011 I would have $22.48 million.
That’s enough to buy 77 universes and $119 million worth of moon pies (just under 60 million of them).

Here’s a graph!

Sir Garfiled Barwick’s Conjugal Rights Problem and other comments on the Matrimonial Causes Act of 1959

“The procedure for an order for restitution of conjugal rights is an ecclesiastical procedure designed to protect marriage and to secure reconciliation of estranged parties. Indeed, according to ecclesiastical rules it was enforceable by attachment of the disobedient respondent. When the possibility of dissolution for disobedience was substituted for other means of enforcement of an order for restitution of conjugal rights, the way was opened, and in many cases taken, to an early, and in the minds of some a too easy, dissolution of marriage.” (Sir Garfield Barwick, speech made to the house of representatives 14 May 1959)

This is one of the many problems that Sir Garfield Barwick sought to resolve through his matrimonial causes bill of 1959. Rather than requiring ‘attachment of the disobedient respondant’ he sought to require one years disobedience of an order for the ‘restitution of conjugal rights. This new method would prevent couples deciding to get and then disobey such an order as an easy way to get a divorce.
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What’s so wrong with people painting their face brown?

Chris Lilley’s new show features him playing a black kid from America. He plays the part with his face painted brown.  Some believe that this is courting controversy, undoubtedly, given the Hey Hey Saturday Blackface performance of a couple of years ago, it is.

I am not sure what the problem is with people painting their faces brown. Is it because racism mistakes correlation for cause, i.e. a racist position concludes that because certain acts have a correlation with certain genetically determined signs those acts are caused by those genetically determined signs? Playing out that correlation could then be seen to be reinforcing that mistake.

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Are there ALP votes in dole bludger bashing?

Proving herself unpersuasive on ‘the dignity of work’, Gillard is hoping to become more convincing by amping up the fear of god and rank destitution in Australia’s work culture.

But, is this just an electoral strategy akin in political dexterity to the running of NSW pre-selections on the basis of ‘proximity to carpentry’ reported by Mark Latham.



“…this deadly form of promotion…”

In the course of arguing in favour of the latest batch of restrictions to the sale of tobacco David Hill pointed out the dangerous nature of colourful advertising.

“Make no mistake: a cigarette pack is more than just a harmless container. As other forms of tobacco advertising have been banned, cigarette packaging has become the industry’s primary vehicle for appealing to potential smokers, particularly our children. Through the clever application of colour, illustration and design, companies are able to create a point of difference for their carcinogenic products.

The proposed plain packaging legislation will end this deadly form of promotion and make significant inroads into reducing rates of smoking initiation and consumption, thereby saving some of the 15,000-plus lives lost in Australia every year to tobacco.”

So, to recap, the argument is: by creating symbolic differences, cleverly, between cigarettes, tobacco companies are killing people.

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An Alternate rendering of UN Resolution 1973: “If Gaddafi resists garrotting by rebels, security council members may bomb the shit out of him.”

In today’s Age Gareth Evans has sought to correct what he believes is a false assertion by pointing out that the military intervention authorised by the UN is strictly limited.  Such limitations, according to Evans, mean that action by security council members aimed at killing Gaddafi are strictly forbidden. But a qualification is missing here. It is only forbidden if Gaddafi doesn’t use force to preserve his life. If Gaddafi willingly succumbs to the desires of the rebels to kill him there is no need to kill him, but if he resists the rebels with violent force then the UN has mandated that security council members can ‘use all necessary measures’ to make him comply.

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‘the left’, whatever it is, is not democratic?

I read this piece on the overland blog and the comments flowing from it and was taken by a suggestion that seemed to get a lot of coverage.

Specifically, I was interested in the early contributions regarding the thought that talk about the justness of a No Fly Zone intervention in Libya is in some way disingenuous because of the inability of ‘the left’ to force things to happen. That is, those comments that engaged with the following suggestion in Jacinda’s piece:

“In any case, the urgency of this debate is fraudulent, because the Left is, for all intents and purposes, incapable of determining the behaviour of western governments. If we can’t end the war in Afghanistan, we certainly can’t force the government to go to war if it doesn’t want to.”

I am interested in this because of the implications this seems to have as to what ‘the left’ is. Whatever it may be in total, this idea seem to imply that ‘the left’ is not democratic. This is surprising given the common association of democracy with ‘the left’.

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Two Views on the Beautiful

Sarah recently posted a facebook thing that gave voice to a view of the beautiful. I am calling that view ‘grunge’. In contrast to that view I offer the operatic. Below is the graphic Sarah used to convey the opinion I am calling ‘grunge’ and two quotes, one from Karen Blixen and the other from Dostoevsky, that I am associating with the operatic view. The first view, grunge, suggests that what is claimed to be beautiful is in actual fact not beautiful but shit, the proclamation of beauty is just a lie. The second view, basically says: ‘isn’t shit beautiful.’ This is noteworthy because the view that Sarah put forward stands in contrast to her poetry work which accords with the second view.

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A letter to one of Julia’s Staffers

I sent the following letter to one of Julia Gillard’s staffers after reading an extract from her speech to Howe’s boys. This is the letter.

The Office of Her Majesty,
The Prime Minister of Australia,
Our Virgin Queen,
Ms Julia Gillard.

To whom it may concern,

I was confused by a couple of section’s of Prime Minister Gillard’s speech at the AWU national conference this week relating to the core principles of the Labor party. Would you be able to assist me?

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A Voice for the Voiceless (me pretending to be a trolley)

Life as a trolley is hard. As hard as it gets. Boredom and hard work. That’s all there is.

The life of a trolley is simple. We wait until we are called up and then we carry the things that the humans want. With no ability to move by ourselves we are pushed around as we carry the things that the humans want.

We wait in our docks in flocks with our comrades, terrified into silence. Who knows what horrors we might suffer if a human heard us ask for some simple care. When we lose the embrace of our brothers and sisters and have our backs exposed to the world we find our first entertainments. Here we enjoy the fear of possible withdrawal from our safety in numbers and the hope that we may find protection from such a terror when one of us inserted by the humans through our back and into our embrace.

If we are taken we are driven to our familiar service locations. For most of us, perhaps the lucky ones, we will only know this location, our flock and the scrap yard that is our ultimate doom.

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