Week ending 24.08.07

Ken Rudd in stripbar

KEVIN Rudd has apologised for visiting a New York strip club during a drunken night out while representing Australia at the UN, hinting that Foreign Minister Alexander Downer could be behind a political smear campaign.

Mr Rudd said he expected to take a hammering in the polls after embarrassing revelations yesterday of his behaviour in September 2003 while Opposition foreign affairs spokesman.

This morning,  Prime Minister John Howard refused to be drawn on the controversy, and a leading pollster said the fuss over Mr Rudd’s visit to the club is a “sideshow” that wouldn’t have a lasting impact.

Speaking in Sydney after launching a new parenting DVD, Mr Howard declined to answer questions on whether the story had been leaked from within his government.

“I’ve got something to say about Mr Rudd. I think his economic policies will be bad for unemployment, they’ll be bad for the future of this country. As for that other issue referred to, I’ve got nothing to say about it. I don’t intend to go there and I won’t be making any comment on it,” Mr Howard said.

Mr Rudd, an active Christian, visited the Scores “gentlemen’s club” in Manhattan with Labor backbencher Warren Snowdon and New York Post editor Col Allan during a taxpayer-funded trip to the UN.

A Labor frontbencher yesterday said he believed Mr Downer was behind the story because of an interjection uttered by the Foreign Minister in parliament recently. “We know all about you and Col Allan in New York,” Mr Downer exclaimed to the Opposition Leader during question time about three months ago in an aside unreported by Hansard.

Mr Rudd was full of remorse yesterday, describing it as a foolish mistake, and claiming he had had too much to drink and could not remember much of his visit to the club. He said neither he nor Mr Snowdon had a “completely clear recollection” of whether semi-naked women were in the club or what they were doing.

I fail to see what the problem is here. Mr Rudd went to a strip bar….so? He at no point claimed that he did not go.

Also, he has admitted to being drink, again, so what. Who has not been drunk before? Perhaps a man in his position could have been a little more discreet but being drunk is not a crime.

Rudd has not lied to anyone and has not tried to conceal his indiscretions, so what is the problem?

Australian censorship

The Federal Government recently announced that it would press ahead with new censorship laws to ban publications, films and computer games that “advocate” terrorism, which includes “praising” terrorism where there is mere “risk” that such praise “might” lead to terrorism. Most of the states have refused to support the changes, although New South Wales and South Australia have signed up. Now a Senate committee has endorsed the proposals with little objection, despite serious concerns by community and religious groups, writers, artists, libraries, academics and lawyers.

The law could potentially ban works of non-fiction and fiction alike, including themes of resistance in films such as Spartacus, Braveheart, Malcolm X, Lawrence of Arabia, Star Wars, Robin Hood, V for Vendetta, Pan’s Labyrinth or Fight Club. It could also ban films that seem to glorify terrorism or provide details on its commission, such as Munich and Die Hard.

Australia’s definition of terrorism is so broad that it even covers military force in armed conflicts, including by Australian troops fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001 and Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in 2003. Books or films that deal with Australian military actions overseas, from Breaker Morant to Gallipoli, could be taken off the shelves.

MOST democratic governments would be deeply worried that the maladministration of bad laws would corrode the rule of law and threaten the freedoms of their people. It might be expected that the treatment of Dr Mohamed Haneef in recent weeks would give Australian governments reason to pause before rushing headlong into passing yet more anti-terrorism laws, when they seem unable properly to administer the existing ones.

Source: http://www.theage.com.au/news/opinion/silencing-even-good-sense/2007/08/19/1187462081025.html

Sam’s article

A friend of mine has a political website called LyingRodent.com, check it out.

And finally….

Second life property

The design of Second Life means that players, or rather residents, can make and sell goods in exchange for the world’s currency, the Linden Dollar, which has an exchange rate with the US dollar. Currently $1 will buy about 240 Linden Dollars.

And commerce is booming, with transactions worth about $1.5m in real money taking place every day.

Real firms are clamouring to get involved with more than 100 big brand names having a presence – from Coca-Cola and Microsoft to BMW and the fashion designer Jean-Paul Gautier – as well as thousands of smaller traders.

But when they do get on board, some are finding that their intellectual property (IP) – typically brands and content they own – are already there.

So perhaps it is inevitable that one of Second Life’s newest residents is a UK law firm.

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6938954.stm

It was only a matter of time before people started suing other players inside this virtual world. However there is one small setback that I almost shudder to mention to those that might employ the services of a virtual lawyer, there is no virtual judge.

How are you going to be punished? Will you go to virtual jail?

That is what happens when big business gets in the way of gaming.

Happy reading


~ by jeditopcat on 8 November, 2008.

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