The Guardian 17 August, 2005

Dingo bytes

Washington’s man in the Ukraine, President Viktor Yushchenko, not only faces the growing anger of the populace over the country’s worsening economic crisis, but is also being condemned for privatising the symbols of the so-called "orange revolution", the US-bankrolled campaign that saw him come to office seven months ago. The new owner of the copyright for the symbols is none other than his son, a university student who gets around in a BMW and has a personal bodyguard and fancy digs in the middle of Kiev. The orange slogans and symbols are real money makers, being reproduced on t-shirts, hats and other fashion items as well as sporting goods. Nepotism comes with the capitalist territory.

It’s the technology, stupid, dept. Internet search engine Google has been told by the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation to remove an aerial photo of the Lucas Heights reactor from its "Google Earth" program. The satellite from where the images come allows anyone with a computer anywhere in the world to zoom in on any site. They can superficially censor sites but the technology will always be leaps and bounds ahead of any attempt to rein it in. And like the idiocy of building a cement wall around Parliament House in Canberra, if anyone was actually intent on causing damage do you think they’d have trouble finding the country’s only nuclear reactor?

The privatisation of the military is chugging along apace with the maintenance of the Air Force’s F111s to be contracted out to a private company. The contract would go beyond the planned 2010 withdrawal of the aircraft from service, meaning that Air Force aircraft maintenance would remain in private hands. Next they’ll be contracting mercenary pilots to fly them.

So that’s why they didn’t sign the Kyoto agreement: the Howard government denies that global warming exists and that burning coal releases greenhouse gases. Their position was exposed last week in court defending the approval of two new coalmines in Queensland. Who said "flat earth society"?

CAPITALIST HOGS OF THE WEEK 1 & 2: ARE Katie Lahey and John Ralph. The takeover of public services and assets is both overt and insidious. Lahey is chief executive of the Business Council of Australia alongside former Western Mining Company head Hugh Morgan, who is president of the Business Council. Lahey, who says she works quite happily with the parasitic and fascist-minded Morgan, has also been chief executive of such public bodies as the Victorian Tourism Commission and the Sydney City Council. Ralph is a Christian fundamentalist — a member of the Catholic Lay Order and the Equestrian Knights of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. He is also the deputy chairman of Telstra and the former head of mining corporation CRA, which is now Rio Tinto.

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