Poor Reverend Ken Hutcherson.
On May 1st his ill conceived, and highly illegal, stock manipulation conspiracy was to show Microsoft not to mess with His (Hutcherson's) will.
Then on April 27th when Microsoft announced their quarterly financial results they also announced significant investment in new business areas to remain competitive in key markets. After the announcement, Microsoft shares tumbled 10%, their largest drop since 2000. It's so hard to take credit for illegally depressing the Microsoft stock price when it's already falling well before the date you set for your conspiracy, and even harder when the date you set for your cunning plan is the single rally in the stock's long price slide.
I have been waiting to see some announcement from the good Reverend on the fruits of his scheme. May 1st has come and gone and there hasn't been a peep from him. Still, I can understand why. What are his alternatives? He can either claim victory and take credit for the drop in Microsoft's stock price, which would be entirely in character, or he can sit tight and pretend that he never said anything and that he doesn't pay attention to the calendar.
As far as I can see, everything he attempts is either a non-event or a debacle. He announces grandiose plans to trumpets and Stepford-like Hallelullias and in the end there is nothing but a sullen silence blooming with the flowers of his own hubris. Of all the overweaning, self-important, bloviating, upstart, nincompoops in this world, the good reverend is in a class all his own.
Oh, I'll grant that his little dance with Microsoft over HB1515 last year was an invigorating piece of self-promoting theatre. It is a pity for him that it's ultimate effect was the restatement of support from Microsoft and many other companies for HB 2661 and it's subsequent passage into law.
Perhaps someone should introduce the Reverend to Game Theory.
Sunday, April 30, 2006
Poor Reverend Ken Hutcherson.
Saturday, April 29, 2006
The hypocritical and only occasionally thieving Tim Eyman is telling supporters that the R-65 petition drive is behind. From The Advocate:
Tim Eyman sent the e-mail to supporters and the media on Wednesday, saying that only 8,718 signatures have been gathered. He needs 112,440 valid voter signatures by June 7 to get Referendum 65 on the November ballot.
"It's gut-check time," Eyman said in a telephone interview. "Do we really want this thing on the ballot? Yes or no."
If these are accurate numbers it looks to me like the answer from the people of Washington State is a clear no. However I'm glad to see that opponents of Mr Eyman's opportunistic and $elf-intere$ted petition drive are wisely keeping their powder dry:
"I'm very suspicious that it's a political ploy," said state Democratic representative Ed Murray of Seattle, who sponsored the gay civil rights bill and is one of four openly gay lawmakers in the legislature.Mr Eyman, we all know, is possessed of a kind of amoral animal cunning that can't be confused with smarts. That doesn't mean that he is out of surprises for weary Washington State residents and voters.
Murray said that while he finds it curious that Eyman would send a mass e-mail signaling possible failure, he does hope that in fact people are refusing to sign the petitions. "I would hope his traditionally libertarian, antitax group doesn't want any part of this antigay effort or this effort to use the referendum process to bash gays," he said.
Eyman acknowledged that this is the first time he has sent an e-mail with preliminary signature counts, but he insisted it isn't a political trick. "I think we're going to be scraping by the skin of our teeth," he said. "They assume we're smarter than we are. That's not the case."
Eyman said the campaign for the referendum has raised more than $13,000, with most of the money coming from Eyman and cosponsors Mike and Jack Fagan, but needed more money.With most of the money coming out of their own pockets, it's hard to see this issue as supported by a groundswell of grassroots political activism. Instead, it looks much more like the self interested seed money that it is.
"I continue to believe that people want to have a chance to vote on this," he said. "Just because the signature drive lacks oomph doesn't really indicate anything about the issue itself or how people would vote on it."What? Was he high when he said that? The whole premise of the initiative process, and indeed of Mr Eyman's ignoble and parasitic existence on it's back, is that a petition signature drive is an absolute barometer of how people react to and would vote on the issue itself.
I think that the fair minded people of Washington State are saying a clear "No, thank you" to Referendum 65. What I continue to believe is this; that when the filing deadline comes on June 7th we will be able to say:
Sunday, April 23, 2006
Hat tip to TV Squad for bringing this to our attention ...
Our good friend Scotty has resigned from his post as White House Press Secretary, this we know. One possible candidate to replace Scotty is a delight for any blogger to contemplate.
Yes, it's Tony Snow the weekend anchor and political analyst from FOX News. When you've been part of the propaganda arm of the Administration from the beginning, the cross-over is s-o-o-o much easier.
What delights me is that every announcement and press conference he would do for the Bush Administration would be...
Who knows what kind of credibility they can regain by taking this cunning "Truth in Advertising" path?
Saturday, April 22, 2006
What many around the world already knew in 2000, is beginning to dawn on Americans in this increasingly grim 2006. The Office of President of the United States is not in good hands.
Bringing an historical perspective to the fray is an excellent article in Rolling Stone by Sean Wilentz which begins:
George W. Bush's presidency appears headed for colossal historical disgrace. Barring a cataclysmic event on the order of the terrorist attacks of September 11th, after which the public might rally around the White House once again, there seems to be little the administration can do to avoid being ranked on the lowest tier of U.S. presidents. And that may be the best-case scenario. Many historians are now wondering whether Bush, in fact, will be remembered as the very worst president in all of American history.
And for all you fiscal conservatives who think it is all about the numbers:
The monster deficits, caused by increased federal spending combined with the reduction of revenue resulting from the tax cuts, have also placed Bush's administration in a historic class of its own with respect to government borrowing. According to the Treasury Department, the forty-two presidents who held office between 1789 and 2000 borrowed a combined total of $1.01 trillion from foreign governments and financial institutions. But between 2001 and 2005 alone, the Bush White House borrowed $1.05 trillion, more than all of the previous presidencies combined. Having inherited the largest federal surplus in American history in 2001, he has turned it into the largest deficit ever -- with an even higher deficit, $423 billion, forecast for fiscal year 2006.
If you want to understand how the historical legacy of the current President of the United States is shaping up, I recommend that you read the whole article.
With all the talk about leaks of classified and secret information here in the US, and exposure of the double standard that the Bush Administration is employing in investigating and prosecuting them, I'm reminded of another security leak that had far reaching implications for Australian History and Politics.
Of course I am referring to the leaking of classified material to the Soviet Union by Christopher John Boyce which was depicted in the film "The Falcon and the Snowman". But it isn't the material Boyce leaked to the Soviet Union that interests me. Instead, it is his reasons for deciding to become a spy. As Boyce himself stated in a rare interview he gave to 60 Minutes' Ray Martin on May 23rd, 1982:
In the interview Boyce goes on to provide some details of how the the CIA destabilized the Whitlam Labor Government and infiltrated and manipulated the Australian Trade Union movement. Boyce makes several reference to then Governor General Sir John Kerr including this one:
RAY MARTIN: Only the Russians know exactly what secrets Christopher Boyce gave them. But the CIA calls what he did the most damaging act of espionage in decades. Boyce says that what finally turned him into a spy was America's deception of Australia.
CHRISTOPHER BOYCE: My Government was deceiving an ally, perhaps had been an ally for two world wars, English speaking parliamentary democracy. I thought it was indicative of to what my country had sunk to.
There is also and excellent radio documentary called "The CIA in Australia" produced for "Watching Brief" by Public Radio News Services in October and November 1986. If you want a grounding in CIA activities in Australia I recommend the transcripts of this series as a fascinating read. In one of the episodes, former CIA agent Ralph McGehee gives his view on whether the CIA were involved in the fall of the Whitlam Government:
CHRISTOPHER BOYCE: There was references to your Governor-General by the Central Intelligence [Agency] residents there at TRW in the Rylite project. They called Mr Kerr "Our man Kerr."
RAY MARTIN: Just two days before a Federal Parliamentary debate was due on the American satellite bases, a CIA telex arrived in Canberra. It warned that Prime Minister Whitlam was in danger of blowing the lid off Pine Gap. The next day, the Whitlam Labor Government was dismissed.
Tony Douglas: Over the years there have been many reports linking CIA activities with the downfall of the Whitlam government. Does Ralph McGehee think they were involved?
Ralph McGehee: Well, my views are as though what's the problem? I mean, we had a whole series of agency spokesmen said, 'oh, yes, there was an agency role in the overthrow of the Whitlam government'. I just don't know why Australians can't accept that.
I did just a little bit of research before I came out and you had Ray Cline, a former Deputy Director of the CIA, saying 'when Whitlam came to power there was a period of turbulence and the CIA will go so far as to provide information to people who will bring it to the surface in Australia, say a Whitlam error which they were willing to pump into the system so it may be to his damage and we may provide a particular piece of information to the Australian intelligence services so that they make use of it'.
And then the CIA National Intelligence Daily said, 'some of the most incriminating evidence in that period against the ministers in the Whitlam government may have been fabricated.' This is but as strong as you get to say so. It is quite obvious that information was being leaked about ministers Rex O'Connor and Jim Cairns and some of it was being forged which is a standard CIA process.
Jim Flynn, who was associated with elements who were involved with the Nugan-Hand bank, he said that he was involved in manufacturing the cables and leaking them to the press. Now he would not be a very credible source except that he worked for Nugan-Hand. Admiral Bobby Inman, former Deputy Director of the National Security Agency and Deputy Director of the CIA, said on two occasions that he expressed deep concern that investigations of Nugan-Hand would lead to disclosure of a range of dirty tricks played against the Whitlam government.
You have the statements by Christopher Boyce who was in a relay point for information from the CIA and in his trial he said that 'if you think what the agency did in Chile was bad, in which they did spent 80 million dollars overturning the government of Chile there, the Allende government, you should see what they are doing in Australia'.
On the Shackley Cable, which was a virtual ultimatum to the head of ASIO to do something about the Whitlam government, it is sort of prima facie evidence of CIA interference in the Whitlam government. This was on November 10. On November 11, Governor-General John Kerr dismissed the Whitlam government on a parliamentary technicality. John Kerr earlier had been the founder of Law Asia, a CIA-front organisation.
History tells us that a country can tell a lot about how they are regarded, how important they are, and what is in store for them by looking carefully at their Ambassador from the United States.
Tony Douglas: In early 1973 the United States appointed Marshall Green as ambassador to Australia. His appointment was a sign of US uneasiness over the election of the Labor government. By the time of Green's departure, in September 1975, many in the Labor party felt similarly unease over the role played by the master diplomat in destabilising the Whitlam government. One who saw the early signs was Joan Coxsedge, now a Victorian Labor MP, who in 1973 formed the Committee for the Abolition of Political Police.
Joan Coxsedge: Well, I think it's important for people to understand that Green wasn't just any old ambassador. First of all, he was the first career diplomat that we had in this country unlike the sort of calibre person we normally get who are rewarded for kicking in money to the Republican or Democratic parties. He was a very very senior man indeed. In fact, he was mentioned in the Pentagon papers as being a high-level policy maker for America in Southeast Asia and he had known CIA connections. So, quite obviously, the alarm bells rang back in Washington with the election of a Labor government. They were worried about policies that we had to close down the bases to exert more independence generally on our economy and they wanted somebody to not only monitor, I suggest, to lead a destabilisation of the elected government. God knows he had plenty of experience, he had been involved in quite a few coups in Southeast Asia including the very bloody one in Indonesia.
It makes you see the otherwise insulting appointment of Yet Another Bush Crony as the US Ambassador to Australia in a more thoughtful light, doesn't it?
Reviewing history and recalling the 13 month absence of a US Ambassador in Australia brings up some very unpleasant thoughts. Australia either wasn't important enough or unpredictable enough to require an ambassador.
That raises the question of whether it is because Australia is "such a good ally" or whether the Australian intelligence services, whose allegiance has historically been to their US counterparts, and the Virginia Farmboys have finally got the manipulation of Australian internal affairs down to an invisible science.
History will tell.
Sunday, April 02, 2006
I'm grateful to GayWheels.com for doing the spadework on this issue. It is bad enough that Lesbian and Gay employees don't get Domestic Partner benefits from some vehicle makers, but when those same companies specifically target Gay and Lesbian buying power the hypocrisy is acute. GayWheels.com is on BMWs case.
Thankfully I'm not a BMW fan, their cars are too heavy and stodgy for my driving style. To this I'm sure He Who Must Be Obeyed ("La-La-La-Not-Looking-La-La-La") would attest.
When you make your next motor vehicle purchase, please take a moment to check that the company you are considering buying from offers their lesbian and gay employees Domestic Partner Benefits in your country.
If they don't offer these benefits, tell the salesperson that you are working with how important this criteria is in your buying decision.
From here you have three choices:
- Walk away. Tell them, verbally and in writing, why they are losing your business and that you will be buying from a vehicle from a company that is already gay-friendly.
- Push until it hurts. Get the contact information for their Sales and Human Resources departments for their corporate office and your local dealership, and tell them that you would be ready to buy from them if they offered domestic partner benefits to their lesbian and gay employees. Set a time limit and ask them for a written commitment to change their policies.
- Reward their discrimination against lesbians and gays by taking no action and giving them your money anyway.
Gay friendly companies in the US:
- Aston Martin
- Land Rover
I've sent a letter to the manufacturer of my current vehicle letting them know my position on this issue. I've told them I won't buy another one of their vehicles until I see a written commitment that they are providing SSDP benefits to their employees.
What about you?