Remarks of Senator Barack Obama, “The American Promise
Democratic National Convention, August 28, 2008
Denver, Colorado


Watcching Brief; Julian BurnsideIn our final show of the year, we were joined by Julian Burnside in The Mess Room to discuss his latest book, Watching Brief: Reflections on Human Rights, Law and Justice (Scribe) wherein he has compiled personal essays, journalism of a time and place, and various cases that have a modern bearing on the way we interpret law and justice. Although edited back, some of the journalism suffers from labouring over the same territory — often these are the points on which Burnside is resolutely opposed — such as asylum seekers incorrectly referred to as “illegal immigrants” and held without charge in detention centres for an indefinite period of time. Here, here.

Listen here (16.4 mbs, 16 mins 55 secs)


The G-train is back:

After several phone conversations with Gehrig, 31, in Sweden, Lyon decided to give him another chance and selected him with pick 57.

Meanwhile, we have a new PM:

Before he enjoyed a meat pie and a VB, Matt wrote:

As Paul Keating once advised, if you change the government, the country changes. And, for all the talk of me-tooism throughout this campaign, so too will Australia change in the coming months and years. While economic conservatism and reform will remain the policy areas of greatest bipartisan agreement in modern Australian politics, Rudd’s Labor will inevitably be a more or less socially progressive party of the centre-left where Howard’s was a socially conservative party of the right. The similarities are superficial: the country will change. To what extent, however, only time will tell.

So much for my prediction that we wouldn’t know the result until Monday.

Nick XenophonOh, the thrill of the vote.

I trundled into the Melbourne CBD today, which is what one has to do when one doesn’t update their details on the electoral role. After being politely asked by the Liberal hawker if I was lodging my interstate vote I hopped into the confines of my ballot box with my small green slip of voting power and a ream of pulp paper Jack Kerouac would be happy to run through his typewriter. Not giving anything away about my vote, but… 1, 2, 3… all the way to 46!

That’s right, I voted for a giraffe and a well-matched tie.

Nick ParkinMatthew Clayfield

Come one! Come all! Cynics alike. Get an all-access pass to see full-frontal journalism over at electiontracker.net. Follow the crazy antics of Nick and Matt as they hop from one marginal seat to the next until the music stops and there are no seats left. Forget J-Ho! Forget K-0-7! These boys are fresh-faced and ready to serve. Matt has already promised to slip some cricket metaphors into discussion of key economic reform. Is the doosra fair trade or free trade? Meanwhile, Nick is all over K-Rudd, who is all over J-Ho and P-Co’s promise racket:

“Mr Howard has already concluded his retirement plan and that’s why there is no plan for this country’s future,” he said today.

Indeed, Rudd mentioned this particular scenario six times in his 15-minute press conference

And, when you think about it, it’s a scare campaign that may actually have some traction.

Howard can say he’ll stick to his promises, as he almost certainly will in response. But because Howard’s retiring, how can voters rely on this promise to keep promises?

In the end, it’s just another promise really. And because Howard is retiring, he doesn’t need to keep this promise to keep promises either.

It’s a scare campaign with an endless spiral of scare.

Indeed, it may be the perfect scare campaign. Expect to hear a lot more about it in future.

All this energy, and good-looking too. Get out of town! The boys will be back in ol’ Melbourne town Friday night. So please, ladies, behave, or else… follow the trail.

Deer Hunting with JesusAs part of The Mess Room I interviewed American author Joe Bageant (joebageant.com). This was my first author interview, and as such I was quite nervous, but was lucky enough to have Joe, who is a gent, seasoned at the ol’ radio interview, and had plenty to say about the book (which might be considered a polemic if he took sides!) and the state of that great big grandaddy, the US of A.

Listen to interview (70.9 megabytes, 29 mins 32 secs)





The opening paragraph from Deer Hunting with Jesus:

Faced with working-class life in towns such as Winchester, see only one solution: beer. So I sit here at Burt’s Tavern watching fat Pootie in a T-shirt that reads: ONE MILLION BATTERED WOMEN IN THIS COUNTRY AND I’VE BEEN EATING MINE PLAIN! That this is not considered especially offensive says all you need to know about cultural and gender sensitivity around here. And the fact that Pootie votes, owns guns, and is allowed to purchase hard liquor is something we should all probably be afraid to contemplate. Thankfully, even cheap American beer is a palliative for anxious thought tonight. Then too, beer is educational and stimulates contemplation. I call it my “learning through drinking” program. Here are some things I have learned at Burt’s Tavern:

1. Never shack up with a divorced woman who is two house payments behind
and swears you are the best sex she ever had.
2. Never eat cocktail weenies out of the urinal, no matter how big the bet gets.

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