Over the years, I have published various email addresses from the @mavetju.org domain in my weblog. They have been harvested by spammers. In this article, I published a From and a Reply-To field which don't exist as an email address: email@example.com. It also published a Message-id: UHUh4a7dWj6_CpI3ZmfY@mavetju.org.
Imagine my surprise when I found two emails from Clive Palmer, the head of the Palmer United Party, in my mailbox:
Subject: A Message From Clive Palmer
Subject: A Message From Clive Palmer
Looks like he got his list of email addresses from a dubious source!
Last Thursday a bill got voted down in the New South Wales Upper House. This happens a lot, for various reasons.
The bill, a limitation for not allowing mining to happen within a kilometer from catchment areas, rivers and agricultural areas, was put forward by Lee Rhiannon of the NSW Greens.
As usual, Labour voted against it, the Coalition voted in favour of it and it was up to the votes of Fred Nile (CDP) and two people from the Shooters party. The reason for Fred Nile gave for not supporting the bill was:
"That is why I cannot support this bill. It is not because of the content; it is because the bill will give the Greens greater ability to blow their trumpets and claim a great victory in this State, and give them further political oxygen. During my time in this Parliament I have been working hard to deny political oxygen to the Greens." Fred Nile - 4 May 2009 Parliament of New South Wales, Hansard & Papers, Legislative Council, 4 June 2009
Dude! You're in the NSW Upper House to decide what is best for the people from NSW who elected you, not for playing sad games against people who are sitting in the same room as you are in but who actually are doing what the people who elected them expect from them! You are a sad sad puppy and you will be judged for that.
Yesterday New South Wales held its local council elections and Naomi was running in it as the Sutherland Shire Council (SSC) candidate for the Greens. The SSC has 15 positions, the area is split in five wards so there are 3 positions per ward. Naomi ran for ward A, Cronulla and Wooloware. Knowing the demographic and the voting history of the area, it was clear that at least one Liberal would get in, and one Shire Watch Independent. So she had, tied with the Labour guy, a fifty/fifty percent chance of getting in (At least that were the predictions)
The weekend before the election we had planned to do the letterboxing, but Mother Nature decided that it was the weekend for greening up the gardens and filling up the dams... Instead of a team of ten to fifteen people doing that for the whole area in one day, we ended up with a team of four doing that during the rest of the week (Specially thanks to Colin for his six-thousand kilometer walk through the voting area to do a huge chunk of this letterboxing!).
The parties represented in the SSC local elections were Labour, The Greens, Shire Watch, Community First, Australia First and a hand full of independents. Yes, the Liberals were not running in the electorate, there was too much infighting in their party here so they didn't endorse any of the candidates. So the "Liberals" ran as independents, which gave it an interesting new turn: You have partyless independents and Liberal independents.
The people running for the SSC local elections were Naomi Waizer for the Greens, Carl Provan for Shire Watch (who has been mayor for the SSC), Scott Docherty for Labour (who has been in the SSC and says to be voting for green policies), Kevin Schreiber of the Liberal independents ("Putting the shire first" (but printing his A-frames outside the Shire) and well known for his connections with developers), Marie Simone as an independent (her slogan was "a GENUINE local independent", where GENUINE was pointing to local (A-frames printed outside the shire too) but not to independent since she always sits at the SSC meetings between two liberals), John Newton of Australia First (which thrives on racism and intolerance) and George Capsis of Community First (a baptist church priest who drives around in a ute). Yes, that are seven parties going for three seats.
The voting day came, all the polling booths were manned and Mother Nature decided to make it the hottest day of the year... 10 hours in the baking sun is not my idea of a good time, but since I don't have the right (hahahaha, you don't have rights in Australia, everything is either compulsory or forbidden) to vote here I have to find other ways to help the people here to chose the right party. 10 hours in the baking sun wasn't a good idea for the Australian First guy too, who in the afternoon started to announce his party as "Australian Families First" and "Family First".
Despite the compulsory voting here in Australia, less than 70% of the 31 thousand people registered to vote, raising about AU$ 500 thousand in fines for people who didn't show up. Compulsory voting is still a horrible idea for me, since you end up with people coming to the booths telling me "I have no idea who to vote for" and "I don't know anything about their policies". You shouldn't be allowed to vote unless you know who you want to vote for and why you want to vote for them. Everybody else should be banned and be fined if they show up anyway! </rant>
The counting-of-the-votes system is tricky: To get in you need at least 25% of the votes. If there aren't three people with that, the votes for the smallest party get redistributed according to the preferences on the ballot paper (at federal elections it is according to party preferences, but not at council elections). Any party which gets over the 25% after that gets a seat. Repeat until you have three seats filled.
The outcome: The Liberal independent got in, he has 25.2% of the votes. And then it gets murky: Shire Watch got 21.3%, so it probably gets in too. Both Labour and The Greens got 14.0% (told you it was a 50% chance she got in), but due to the preference deals that Labour has made with Community First he will probably get in. The final result won't be there until Tuesday this week.
Thanks to all the voters and volunteers who helped making this election a great one for the Greens. It put them on the map on the SSC as a party which is ready to take over.
Everybody else who is complaining about the same-old-same-old SSC: You had your chance because putting in Naomi Waizer of The Greens and George Capsis of Community First would have shaken up the SSC pretty nicely!
Update: I got into this video about Steve the National Socialist supporting Australia First NSW. At the third booth in Cronulla you see the group I'm handing out in. And the old guy in blue who he is talking to is the guy who got mentioned earlier in this write-up.
Posted on 2008-03-07 19:00:09, modified on 2008-03-07 19:00:00
This evening I was walking through Cronulla with Hanorah in a sling while passing the restaurant Sombreros. It's a Mexican food restaurant and they have great sangria.
Only, today there was a huge group of people outside with flags and handing out leaflets. The story goes that one of the workers in the restaurant was sacked because he had to undergo cancer treatment. Oh, and he was on a 457 Business Workers visa.
Such a visa is for employers (i.e. the restaurant) to bring employees (i.e. the worker) into the country (i.e. Australia). It's not cheap and not a choice you make easily. So why did they decide to sack him so easily once he wasn't available? Questions questions questions, but no answers.
Anyway, on the way back I walked past them again and there was a woman standing in front of them with a sign saying "457 bludger wants taxpayers to pay". "457" refers to the visa, "bludger" to a lazy person, "taxpayers" to everbody who pays taxes and "to pay" probably relating to the medical treatment. Fair enough, Australia has a kind of socialistic medical system which gives everybody who is legally in the country access to it.
I exchanged some words with her and she said it wasn't her sign, it was made by the people inside the restaurant. So I asked her if she agreed with it, because if she didn't she shouldn't hold it up. She said that the people inside the restaurant made her do it. So I asked her again if she agreed with it, and I told her that if I was asked to hold up a sign I didn't agree with, that I wouldn't do it. My own pride above that of my employer.
So she started a tyrade about how her tax-money would be used for this. I said that I paid taxes too. She packed her sign and went inside. And I went on with my walk, knowing that she wouldn't change her mind, but at least she was off the street.
From the people protesting outside I heard that she was the owner of the place...
Too bad of the sangria, but the Mexican restaurant El Sol Tortillaria on the Kingsway is now my restaurant of choice for Mexican food in Cronulla.
If you see this Mystery trader bets market will crash by a third:
An anonymous investor has placed a bet on an index of Europe's top 50 stocks falling by a third by the end of September, as world equity markets plunged for a third day and volatility hit a three-year high.
The mystery investor has bought put option contracts on the DJ Eurostoxx 50 index that will result in a profit if it plunges to 2,800 or below by the end of September. Based on the 2,800 strike price, the position covers a notional #6.9bn, and potentially even more using a market price of about 4,100 when the trades were done on Tuesday and Wednesday.
and you know this APEC and Australia:
In 2007 the Australian Government will host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.
APEC is an inter-governmental forum facilitating economic growth and prosperity, cooperation, trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region, and operates on the basis of non-binding commitments, open dialogue and equal respect for the views of all participants regardless of the size of their economy.Established as an Australian initiative in 1989, when Canberra hosted the first informal dialogue with 12 members, the forum has since grown to include 21 member economies and over 100 formal and informal dialogues and meetings annually. The 21 APEC members, referred to as 'Member Economies', are Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Canada; Chile; People's Republic of China; Hong Kong, China; Indonesia; Japan; Republic of Korea; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Peru; Republic of the Philippines; The Russian Federation; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; United States and Viet Nam.
Sydney is a truly global city with extensive experience in hosting major international events. From 2 - 9 September Sydney will once again be on show when leaders and ministers from the 21 APEC economies come to Sydney for a series of meetings. It will be the most significant gathering of world leaders Australia has ever hosted.
Then it's not so difficult to put one and one together. Ban the APEC 2007 :-)
Now where did I leave my tin-foil hat?
Labour: We will employ 600 extra police men and women.
Liberals: We will employ 700 extra police men and women.
Labour: We will employ 750 extra police men and women.
Liberals: We will employ 800 extra police men and women.
Labour: We will employ 850 extra police men and women and we will give them a water cannon!
Liberals: We will employ 850 extra police men and women and we will give them two water cannons!
Going once... going twice...
Prime Minister John Howard has accused the ABC of running a "politically correct agenda" ...
Getting to hear that kind of accusation from our PM really makes me wonder in what dreamworld he's living in.
March 22nd, 2003. Naomi has just become a member of The Greens, the major minor party in Australia and volunteered for handing out pamphlets at the polling booth. And asked if I could help her in the first hours with it.
Of course, no problem. On the Friday morning before, I thought it would be somewhere in Cronulla. On Friday afternoon, I knew it would be somewhere in Sutherland. On Saturday morning we found out it was as far west of Sutherland as possible: Wattle Grove. A beautiful area, surrounded by bush. Occupied by the Australian military forces. We were in the middle of a military suburb, with names like Infantry Road and ANZAC Street. *gulp* You have to be brave as a No War party to go there... Or very new to things.
When we arrived at the polling booth (five past eight, it was further than we expected). We were greeted by an overwhelming amount of Labour and Liberal posters. Here we came with our two A-frame stands. But, it all turned out nice:
Because the whole day went a little bit different than I expected (I expected Naomi to be in the neighbourhood, then somewhere in Sutherland which would be easy to do by train and in the end about two hours away by train from where we live) I didn't make any pictures. But I got a nice t-shirt out of it!
The result for our Menai-region was as follows (the first goal was to get at least 4% in all regions)
Thanks to the friendliness of the people at the polling booth, the ones from the Labour and Liberal party and the people voting, we had a great day!