- I can't swim this week, the pool at the fitness center I go to is down for maintenance all week. I have been running instead my knees have a limited half-life.
- Taiwan is pissed off at Downer. Australia has adopted and followed the one-China, two-systems foreign policy toward China and Taiwan.
- Went and saw a mates band on saturday night, they are Evenout. They are a tight band with good hard rock music. Very listenable. They have a distribution deal now and their CD is going to be out in record stores soon. Good luck to him. He is a nice fellow and deserves success.
Hackers and Java
It seems that article by Paul Graham stirred up some responses by Java devotees. Since I spend 90% of my time working in Java I reckon I might know a thing or two about it. First I am not a hacker, I am certainly not that uber-cool, I don't deliberately try l33t coding projects or anything of that nature. I am a software developer who creates business solutions. I am also good enough at what I do to have had patches accepted by opensource projects. I wouldn't know how to be a hacker anyway as I am not sure what being "a hacker" entails.
Why do I use Java? This is the answer. The business value inherent in that repository is awesome. One of our projects has 24 libraries in it, of those, only four are not jakarta projects. Those four are JDOM, Webtest, JFreeChart and junit. For web applications the servlet containers make it trivial to hook a java application to apache. Though this wasn't always the way, configuration of mod_webapp or mod_jk was painful in the Tomcat 3.x days.
The other reason is the number of mature frameworks such as turbine, tapestry ... etc, also the ORM libraries such as torque, spring, hibernate etc. Many of the java opensource projects directly attack issues that arise from large scale deployments. This has a tonne of benefit for the medium and smaller projects and deployments.
Australian Electoral Season
The phony electoral campaign has ended, Howard has called for an election on October 9th. There are many issues remaining but it seems Howard is running on "loyalty". Which is asinine. I have no idea why a polity is supposed to be loyal to a politician. They are pandering populists at their best and despots at their worst. One of the issues to be cleaned up and justified is Hicks and Habib. From SMH letters;
We read Helen Irving's piece on the sanctity of legal constitutions and justice ("Bali bombing convictions showed lack of constitutional fortitude", Herald, August 27), as we watch David Hicks being wheeled before a trumped-up tribunal.
We are reduced to the irony that much-maligned Indonesia - always patronised, always portrayed as corrupt, inept and fuzzy-headed - is actually upholding a higher standard of justice than that practised by the US and Australia for that matter.
It seems George Bush and John Howard have far more faith in their executive powers, and their ability to manipulate the institutions of constitutional democracy, than to trust those trumpeted institutions to dispense natural justice in their own right.
David Cumming, Mosman, August 27.
The arbitrariness of Executive power is rife. When executive power becomes arbitrary, it is tyranny. The prisoners being held without trial and without charge in Guantanamo Bay are feeling the tyrannical hand of the US Executive. Another writer to the editor laments the loss of the principle that Australian liberties don't end at the Australian shore. A topic that I have raised in past diaries;
As an Australian who has worked overseas I find it threatening and the sign of a weak Australian Government that our so-called leaders are no longer prepared to protect Australians abroad.
The Hicks and Habib cases being prepared for a US military court are ones that every Australian should be concerned about. Australians abroad should be concerned that our democratically elected Government, who relies upon our votes as a basis for their power, are not willing to support you should you get into trouble.
Hicks and Habib are extreme examples of Australians going abroad and getting into trouble. However, isn't this just an issue of scale?
I vote, pay my taxes and I want to live in a country where I know the Government will support me as an Australian citizen and will not sell me out for the benefit of appearances with another country.
Ted McDonnell, Jindabyne, August 27.
As an Australian overseas and under the jurisdiction of the US government, I too am concerned that the Howard government has shown no effort to hold the US to the standards of justice an Australian would receive in Australia. All it takes is for me to be wrongly accused of terrorism by the US government and I may find myself in the same situation as Hicks or Habib.
The Bill of Rights is a remarkable piece of constitutional legislation. It pertains to all under the jurisdiction of the US government, not just citizens or when it is convenient to the White House. The Bill of Rights are protections against the arbitrariness of government and a bulwark against tyranny. If they are not being adhered to, the reality is the government is practicing tyranny.
Vietnam And the US Presidential Election
Enough of the Vietnam angle. I am sick of it, I consider it to have nothing to do with the election. Kerry obviously served with greater distinction than Bush so I don't see this as anything worthy of ongoing mass media scrutiny. I was born in 1971, nine months after my father came back from Vietnam. I am an agent orange baby who was fortunately born without any defects, but that is the limit of my involvement and interest in Vietnam.
Many of the angles that the op-ed writers have been taking on the Vietnam issue is that America is still divided over Vietnam, but anyone under the age of thirty five is too young to have been "divided" by Vietnam. It is hard not view the Swift Boat furore as baby boomers fighting over who has control of the remote at the old people's home.
Australia Buys Cruise Missiles
Australia is procuring cruise missiles that can be launched from F18 and P3C aircraft. This is to try and salvage some projection power that will be lost when the F111 is retired in 2010. Even with the extra 400 kilometres of distance the cruise missiles will add to Australia's punch it will still not make up for the F111's range and firepower.
It appears I may have dropped off the Australian electoral rolls and may not be able to get back on them until I live in Australia again. The rules to be put back on the electoral roll are;
- You are 17 years of age or older; and
- You are an Australian citizen, or a British subject who was on a Commonwealth Electoral Roll on 25 January 1984; and
- You departed Australia within the last 3 years and intend to return within 6 years of your date of departure from Australia.
Voting is non-compulsory for Australians living overseas, and the last election I didn't vote as I wasn't aware enough of the situation in Australia to give an informed vote. It appears if you don't vote you can be removed from the electoral rolls. When I search on my name I don't appear in the electoral roll. An out appears to be if I claim to want to return to Australia within six years. I can fill out a form to be put back on the roll. From the AEC site;
There is no provision under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 for an "expatriate roll". Electors absent from Australia who intend to return within 6 years, may remain enrolled for the address for which they were last entitled to be enrolled. Similar provisions apply to electors who enrol from outside Australia.
Will send that form in pronto. It does raise the question on how out of date the 1918 legislation is. Currently the Australian Diaspora consists of 1 million Australians, or 5% of the population. This is a large number of Australians that are jammed into their old electorates from when they left. This is also a large number of Australians that do not have representatives directly representing their interests.
It is time to treat this rotating and amorphous diaspora as a separate political entity and give the diaspora its own electorates that are outside of the Australian continent. That way Australians in the diaspora can have representatives for North America, Europe, Britain, Greece, North Asia and South East Asia representing their interests in the Australian parliament. The definition of Australian does not need be simply those that have their boot heels on the Australian continent.
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