November 2004

Dateline 2004

Submitted by Rick Eyre on November 30 2004, 10:46 am

Dateline, the SBS weekly international current affairs program, concluded its 2004 season last Wednesday, having celebrated its 20th anniversary in October. Dateline has proven time and again that it is the outstanding current affairs show on Australian television these days, with a focus on events (especially in the Asia-Pacific region) and perspective that commercial television can't come within cooee of.

Impeachment watch

Submitted by Rick Eyre on November 28 2004, 1:18 am

Tony Blair, 1974 Oxford undergraduateInteresting email arrived on the ImpeachBlair mailing list on Wednesday, and I quote:

Dear Supporter,

We apologise if you have experienced difficulties visiting the website. It was removed yesterday without warning by the hosting company.


Submitted by Rick Eyre on November 26 2004, 2:18 pm

It means absolutely zippo to us here in Australia, unless we watch the NFL double-header on Fox Sports on Friday morning. Thanksgiving does, however, have parallels with our own Australia Day - the celebration of a hostile, and ultimately successful, invasion by foreign forces.

Religion, politics, and the Global Village Idiot

Submitted by Rick Eyre on November 26 2004, 9:17 am

Alexander Downer, Australia's foreign minister for the past eight years and a certified Global Village Idiot, has made this country an international laughingstock yet again.

Downer has named ten religious figures to represent Australia in a delegation to Indonesia next month for a summit on Islamic terrorism. The Mufti of Australia, Sheikh Taj el-Din al Hilaly, is not among the ten.

Rather not report it

Submitted by Rick Eyre on November 25 2004, 9:13 am

The news of Dan ("Ted Baxter") Rather's impending retirement from the CBS Evening News has been headline news in itself, especially coming so soon after the botched report of GWB's national guard dodge. This coming less than a week before the retirement of Tom ("Ted Baxter") Brokaw from the NBC Nightly News. Peter ("Ted Baxter") Jennings continues to hold the fort at ABC The World Tonight. I hope Walter ("Walter Cronkite") Cronkite is enjoying his retirement.

OK I\'ve changed the format again

Submitted by Rick Eyre on November 25 2004, 3:38 am

I've finally decided to retire Jabberbot (in the guise of my Jabber account with the UNESCO server in Kazakhstan) from blog duty. Press releases from Greenpeace, WWF, Human Rights Watch and ICG will appear in RSS feeds posted in the appropriate places on this website.

Jabber, in case I haven't mentioned it already, is the open source instant messaging format of the future (if not the present), but the XMPP protocol has potential way above and beyond that. Trust me on this.

Hacienda Luisita massacre: Filipino police kill 14

Submitted by Rick Eyre on November 22 2004, 1:52 pm

We haven't heard much about this in the international media. Filipino police and army dispersal officers opened fire on a demonstration of striking sugarcane farmers and mill workers at Hacienda Luisita, near Tarlac City, last Tuesday. Fourteen people were killed and at least 35 others shot and wounded.

The Central Azucarrera de Tarlac Labor Union and United Luisita Workers Union issued a joint press release on Friday condemning the massacre and calling for international support.