John Howard, the racist, short-sighted bastard whom I clearly recall speaking out against Asian immigrants in the 1980's, has lost. The slightly-right Liberal Party has been replaced with the slightly-left Labor Party (which, in American terms, translates to the liberal party being replaced by the hippy communist unions welfare state liberal party). More than this, John Howard lost his seat, the first PM to do this since 1929.
Kevin Rudd, the new PM speaks fluent Mandarin. In fact he was a diplomat in Stockholm and Beijing for seven years. Diplomat ... you know, as in diplomacy. What is this strange and foreign concept, di-plo-ma-cy?
Rudd also promises to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, leaving the USA as the only major country that refuses to sign on. And, hey, maybe it is too late, but at least Australians aren't sticking their head in the sand like so many Americans and refusing to believe in global warming (or evolution, for that matter).
The Labor Party also has a female deputy leader, which may not mean we're quite as progressive as New Zealand or India or Ol' Blighty, but at least we're
In bizarro (old) news that tells of how removed from Australian politics I have become, I only just found out that the representative for my old seat, Kingsford-Smith, has been Peter Garrett, lead singer of Midnight Oil, for the last three years.
I am completely delighted by all this news.
More so because, having filed for US citizenship in September, I was not allowed to vote in the Australian election (voting in a foreign election would void my citizenship application). This puts me in the surprisingly uncomfortable position of being unable to vote in any election for the first time since I turned 18. Since there is a massive backlog of citizenship applications, I won't be able to vote in the US election next year either (hell, the BCIS haven't even cashed the $675 check I sent them, a sure sign they're in trouble). I sort of feel as though my human rights have been infringed.
In personal news, Mum got out of the psych ward last week. She still sounds a bit high to me, but ... what can I do?
Since I haven't blogged in forever, here are a bunch of links and random trivia.
- I uploaded a few photos from my high school days to Facebook
- Footime™ Page/Score Turner. Want.
- Kindle: Amazon's New Wireless Reading Device. Also want.
- Yogi Berra - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "He picked up his more famous nickname from a friend who said he resembled a Hindu holy man (yogi) they had seen in a movie, whenever Berra sat around with arms and legs crossed waiting to bat, or while looking sad after a losing game. Years later, the Hanna-Barbera cartoon character Yogi Bear was named after Berra, something Berra did not appreciate after he started being periodically addressed as 'Yogi Bear.'"
- Arlen Specter: My Favorite Republican. I can't remember if I've mentioned this on here, but Arlen Specter is without a doubt my favorite Republican. In my imagination, he once dealt with the Devil, but in a strange twist of fate, the details of which I am still trying to fathom, he was able to win his soul back after a bout with cancer. Now brimming with sense, morality, and conscience, he is devoted to restoring hope and dignity to conservatives everywhere. Respect. And he's funny, too. In a funny old man kinda way.
- The Life and Death of Jesse James - Josh Olson. This is one of the best things I've read on the internet all year. Extra-good if you're a fan of Harlan Ellison.
- Many Eyes: word tree visualization of Gonzales' testimony
- This article makes a big deal abut the number of American cities on the "most unaffordable" list. I think the number of Australian cities is more remarkable. Having lived in Sydney, I could almost take on San Francisco (except for the earthquakes).
- Apparently the guy who played Omar, the baddest superhero motherfucker on The Wire, is Saul Williams' brother.
- No Sanctuary - Tanner (Melissa Dunphy) dispels the shadows near the church ruins.
- Interactive map of Philadelphia shootings
- Sean C. Adams has a website
- The other day, I saw my cello teacher conduct Helen Keller: the Ballet. The music was great.
- Jackson Pollock. Wonderful diversion. Really, it's not what you think; go there.
- Toychestra: crazy music.