Saturday, October 30
The Aussie punters (and the bookies) had the Australian election picked, so let's hope they're on form again:
Big Aussie bets on Bush: CentrebetThe spread in Australia was much wider, at $1.16 for Howard and $4.50 for Latham, but I'll still read this as a good sign.
WHEN it comes to punting on the United States election, the big money in Australia is on George W. Bush.
Online bookmaker Centrebet said after its $1.9 million turnover on the Australian election, mainly local punters had now broken through the $500,000 barrier on the November 2 US poll.
The biggest bets so far had come from Australian punters, Centrebet said, with two of $50,000 and another of $30,000 – all on Mr Bush.
Mr Bush was at $1.45 and Democrat challenger John Kerry $2.50, the bookie said today.
Centrebet said unlike most elections it was finding the US poll hard to predict because little money was being wagered by Americans, who were not familiar with the online agency.
(Hat tip to commenter JPB over at, uh, yes, Tim Blair)
Friday, October 29
Via Tim Blair, this piece from the New York Times of the Southern Hemisphere:
Trailer trash: fightin' mad, want DubyaIt does get rather better from there, fortunately, with a decent explanation of the Jacksonian tradition. But the sub-editor who wrote that headline either (a) has a very fine-honed sense of irony or (b) is a complete idiot. And I know where my money would be.
One particularly overlooked group will keep the White House Republican next week, writes Peter Hartcher.
On the face of it, it seems ridiculous that George Bush should have any chance of re-election next week. He is the first president to oversee a net loss of jobs in the US economy since the Great Depression. He has led his country into the most controversial war since Vietnam.
With the American election cycle now nearing the end of its fourth year, it's worth taking a look at how one other country* handles this sort of thing:
PM set to announce electionI repeat: Six weeks would be a longer-than-usual campaign and it would be the first time since 1984 that a federal campaign would run for that long.
Sunday, August 29, 2004. 12:05pm (AEST)
Prime Minister John Howard has left Government House after discussing the date for the federal election with the Governor-General, Michael Jeffery.
The election is likely to be held on Saturday October 9, six weeks from yesterday.
Mr Howard will hold a press conference at 1:00pm (AEST) and Labor leader Mark Latham will respond soon after that.
Six weeks would be a longer-than-usual campaign and it would be the first time since 1984 that a federal campaign would run for that long.
The election is likely to be fought on the domestic front - families, the economy, health, education, environment and truth in government.
But Australia's role in Iraq will also be a major issue.
The Labor Party needs to win eight seats from the Coalition for the Howard Government to lose its majority.
It will be a tightly fought election, with recent opinion poll results showing little difference between the major parties.
* Cough cough.
The distribution of votes for the Fishing Party in Queensland has handed a fouth Senate seat in that state to the National Party, who together with the Liberal Party* form the Coalition, which is John Howard's party, i.e. the good guys.
You've got to love Australian politics.
* Which is, of course, the conservative party in Australia.
Thursday, October 14
Richard Dawkins is a moonbat of the first order. And the editors of the Guardian are insane.
Tuesday, October 12
Team America doesn't open here until December 2. The Incredibles December 26. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow not until February 3.
From today's The Age:
Labor has not had the moral imagination to respond to the conservatives' radical agenda.The conservatives' radical agenda? Well, in this day when the radicals have become reactionary, that's might not be as silly as it sounds.
The article is the usual pathetic whining of the losing left - the author "lectures in sociology at the University of Melbourne", which should tell you all you need to know.
This item from the same paper, titled "Face it: Latham has failed", is rather more in touch with reality.
This from the official blog of the Australian Greens:
Right back atcha, guys!
Submitted by Virginia. on 11-10-2004 10:42 PM, in the category
Apologies for the fact that idiots exist.
Obviously the re-election of the Liberal Party has given some of our redneck pals the guts to come out of the woodwork. Apologies to people who attempted to read and/or post to the comments section of the blog today, and found themselves redirected to boring (and badly-designed) right-wingery.
As I'm sure you know, a redirect script is a terribly impressive and complicated thing to program, and makes you look really cool.
Anyway, comments are off until I can put aside my election hangover for long enough to deal with the minor problem it presents - I guess this is just practice for life under our newly-minted undemocratic democracy.
One of the things I've most been looking forward to once the elections are over and Howard and Bush have been returned to office with increased majorities is the complete screaming meltdown of the left.
Still three weeks to go for the American and global meltdown, but here in Australia it is already under way. WhackingDay has the goods.
Sunday, October 10
With 8.35% of the primary vote and 4.39% of the two-party preferred vote counted, the Australian Electoral Commission is calling 6 seats for Labor, 14 for Liberal, 5 for National (so 19 for Howard's Coalition) and 2 Independent.
There was a strong early swing against Labor due to the forestry workers in Tasmania, and it looks like the Coalition has picked up one, possibly two seats there.
9.34% primary, 4.81% preferred counted.
7:20 PM: Click!
11.98% primary, 5.96% preferred counted
So that's 33 for Howard, 12 for Latham.
Well, early days, early days.
My DNS server isn't responding. Wah?
19.10% primary, 9.49% preferred vote counted.
They've taken one of the Tassie seats off the Libs and put it back in "doubtful", though.
7:33 PM And remember, it's not just Australia that's voting today. Afghanistan is going to the polls too. Thanks to, well, you know.
20.37% of the primary and 10.39% of two-party-preffered votes counted.
And remember, the Liberals and the Nationals are in coalition, so it's 55 for Howard and 32 for Latham.
How do they count these things so fast? It's not like they're particularly simple, and they're not computer-based or punched cards.
26.57% of the primary and 14.44% of the preferred vote has been counted.
28.67% of the primary and 15.65% of the preferred vote counted.
The Coalition has 62 of the 76 seats it needs for a victory, and there are still 44 seats in question. I think it's a pretty safe call for a fourth term for John Howard.
But I'll be back in five minutes anyway.
31.83% primary and 18.47% preferred counted.
Labor 40 (yep, they went backwards)
Looks like a national swing of around 2% to the Coalition, so they will likely be returned with an increased majority.
Not only have I lost the CD cases for my original Sims collection - which have the license keys on them - but I've lost the file I created that I put all my license keys in. Poot. Oh, no change on the election in the last five minutes.
Not much movement now, as the marginal seats won't be called for one side or the other until a lot more votes have been counted. Labor has picked up 1, with 38 remaining undecided.
However, the Coalition need only 9 of those 38 to win, whereas Labor would need 34. I'm seeing the Coalition picking up an extra 5, maybe 7, seats compared to last time. (And they already had an 81-65 majority.)
While we wait for something to happen (like the votes coming in from Western Australia), the ABC is predicting 85 seats for the Coalition (up 4) and 62 for Labor (down 3).
Mark Latham has conceded. John Howard is once again Prime Minister of Australia.
Well, today is voting day here in Oz. Voting doesn't finish for a few hours yet, due to Perth, which is always running late. And so, in a few hours, we will know.
Are we in for a fourth term of John Howard's decent and sensible (if unremarkable) leadership? Or will I spend the next four years apologising for my government?
I plan to go to sleep tonight without checking anything anywhere, and then tomorrow morning I'll take a look at Tim Blair's site. And spend the day re-installing my Linux box, either way.
My Windows box seems to... Work. Yes, I have it booting to a RAID-5 volume. Writing to RAID-5 is rather slow - the benchmark I ran only gave me 12MB/s. But reading from it, I sustained just on 100MB/s, which is all you're going to get from a standard PCI slot. Overall, not unhappy, once I got the BIOS and the drivers sorted out. (Yes, the drivers were also immensely sucky.)
Friday, October 08
Near my house there are two large plastic signs telling me I should Vote Greens - which someone has thoughtfully nailed to a couple of trees. The trees were not available for comment at time of publication.
Don't miss their 40-point plan for new and increased taxes. including a 33% surcharge (on top of the current top marginal rate of around 50%) for people-who-earn-more-than-is-good-for-them. And the plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by - wait for it - 100%. Which means that all those cuddly animals will have to go - after all, we can't have them breathing, now can we?
I've touched on Bob Brown's insane policies before. This is what Slatts has to say:
They are political extremists whose policies borrow equally from the textbooks of Hitler and Stalin.* Okay: Green on the outside and red on the inside.**
Of course, Australians are too sensible to put up with totalitarianism and should the Greens achieve any measure of power it would be short-lived.
But remember Whitlam. Much damage can be achieved in a short time by ideologues and their useful idiots.
** And I won't mention that the leader of the Australian Greens is Bob Brown.
Wednesday, October 06
Lately I've been growing more comfortable that George Bush will be re-elected and John Kerry banished howling into the outer darkness, and that all will be right and proper in America again. Not that I'm a huge fan of most of Bush's policies, but I strongly agree with his foreign policy, and have nothing but contempt for Kerry. If the Democrats had nominated Lieberman, it would be a very different story, but that didn't happen in this universe.
Here in Australia I haven't been nearly as comfortable, with Mark Latham, a character nearly as contemptible as Kerry, stubbornly refusing to self-destruct. Until this week, when he signed on to the Green's tree-hugging policies to secure their preferences (Australia uses a preferential voting system, where votes for a losing candidate are directed to one of the other candidates, until only two are left).
Unfortunately for Latham, the traditional constituency of his Labor Party is, well, workers. Including forestry workers. And the trade unions are very influential in the Labor Party as well. And Latham just pissed them off royally. Smart money says his greenie-grabbing tactics have scuttled his ship.
Which smart money? This smart money. Click on "Elections" in the left-hand menu.
A dollar bet on the Coalition (John Howard, the good guys) would return just $1.16 for a win (at 10 AM Wednesday October 6, just three days before the election). A dollar on Labor would return $4.50.
By comparison, a dollar on George Bush returns $1.50, against $2.40 for Kerry.
Tim Blair has more.
Tuesday, October 05
SpaceShipOne has landed safely after a second successful flight to the edge of space in under a week.
Scaled Composites, led by Burt Rutan, has done it!
Transterrestrial Musings was live-blogging the event.
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