Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Rabbit Proof Firewall

A couple of things have been bugging us lately dear viewers, but since we promised to use our blogging powers for niceness and not evil (opinionated grandstanding), we debated whether to post this one.

What could possibly be bugging us you ask? Well, admittedly we’re fairly unwound these days, so it takes more than it used to make us cranky, but please bear with us, because these things concern our beloved Oz and the continuing erosion of your (Ozwegians that is) civil rights; already a slippery slope. And we say your civil rights, because we’re over here in Thailand, where we have no rights.

Firstly, internet filtering. If any of you care one little bit about censorship, freedom of information, and freedom of speech, you will realise that the Australian government’s imminent implementation of an ISP-based content filtering system is not just something you should be wary of, its something, as Australians, you should be ashamed of. We certainly are.

Australia Introduces Web Filters
Joining China and Iran, Australia to Filter Internet.

These are the global headlines.

It is important that all Australians, particularly young children, are protected from this material.

This is the spin. This has always been the spin. The whale-sized herring used as justification, and trotted out for years by the nanny-state mongerers, the religious right and the loony left.

In fact, we were surprised to discover recently its not just China and Iran who practise content filtering. For example, this innocuous little site is blocked not only by The Great Firewall Of China, but also Malaysia. We tried accessing it from all over the country, using various service providers, but the site consistently times out. Cross the border into Thailand however, and up it pops. Spooky.

On a related topic, there are also vested commercial interests who would like to serve you up the internet like Pay TV. That is, you only get to see the bits you pay for. Would you like the MSN subscription with the optional Facebook upgrade pack? Or how about the Google and YouTube subscription? Oh, and this month we’re offering Wikipedia for an extra $2.95 per month. Tragically, we get the feeling that a lot of people, especially the younger generation (we’re really showing our age now) couldn’t give a damn. Many of these kids have been bombarded with advertising since birth; utterly brainwashed and lacking the capacity to discern reality from spin.

We owe it to our children to improve the filter between their ears that will help them know whom to trust, how to click the "back button" to avoid inappropriate content and how to enjoy the wonders of the Internet, safely and privately. Internet safety education is key to this, and should be mandated, not filtering. Parry Aftab, Executive

The second, and admittedly far less serious issue, is something for our beloved Qld viewers to ponder. After spending the year riding through some of the world’s worst traffic and braving some of the world’s most idiotic drivers, we’ve got one thing to say to you lot back at home. You are so under the thumb. You are so over-policed, over-regulated and over-health-and-safetied it boggles the mind.

Speed is cited as a contributing factor in 5% of all accidents on Qld roads. The biggest factors, with a combined total of 61%, are Alcohol, Inexperience and Inattention. And yet, apart from the odd RBT, the only real focus on accident prevention is speed cameras (usually hidden), and cops with speed guns (always hidden).

These statistics are publicly available. We’ve been aware of them for years. We’ve bitched about them for years. But the reason we’re all hot and bothered about this today is that we’ve just heard the Qld government will be introducing point to point speed cameras in 2010.

Seriously you guys, in the Not Too Distant Future all these decisions will be out of your hands. Your cars will be externally speed-limited, governed according to whatever traffic zone you’re passing through. Unlikely you say? Bollocks. The technology is very straightforward, and was trialled years ago to improve the efficiency of long-haul trucks traversing the outback.

Do you really want to be reduced to automatons? Because your dipstick representatives, with their scheming Sir Humphries, will just keep chip chipping away, until the morning you wake up and its too late. Why don’t you just swap your Pajeros for the train now? Oh, sorry. Bad joke. Qld Rail that is.

For us, these issues reflect all that is wrong with Australia. Time and again, legislation is passed which is designed to satisfy the do-gooders, vocal minorities and those in power with personal agendas, and then sold to the public by their spin doctors. As a result, the law is no longer a framework designed to protect you and around which to build your life, it is instead a framework designed to imprison you.

Sigh... but anyway...

To end on a positive note, we saw the best piece of television in a long time recently, which exposed the Australian mainstream media for the bunch of dolts we’d always suspected them of being. And because its plainly obvious that most metropolitan water supplies are doused with Mogadon, it gladdened our hearts to think that there are still pockets of the country left where this isn’t the case.

Kind of a downer of a post at Christmas admittedly, but if its any consolation here’s a photo of us when we weren’t cranky in the least.

Have a great Christmas everybody. We miss you all.

1 comment:

  1. Thursday 31 st December 2009
    Happy New Year to the both of you .
    Havn't been looking at this blog, been awaiting for another email from Luke , the last from a Takeaway some where!!.
    I agree with what you say BUT, whats happened to the holidays and triping??? Must read the past blog and try and catch up . LLove to you both and stay safe in 2010. Love N