Sunday, July 31, 2005

"Luke - I Am Your Father..."

Perhaps it was the Champagne Cocktails consumed last night that offered a moment of clarity regarding news that the News Limited heir apparent apparently doesn't want the top job.

NEWS Corporation deputy chief operating officer Lachlan Murdoch has resigned his position as one of the world's most powerful media executives and will move from New York to Australia.

News chairman and chief executive Rupert Murdoch announced last night that his eldest son had decided to resign from his executive roles


Although we concur with Murdoch junior's wish to live in Australia (who wouldn't), we believe there's a major likelihood young Luke will return to the dark side and this move is more strategic than personal. After all, News Corp is locked out of further expansion in Australia by media ownership laws. What better way of getting hold of more assets than by saying you're not a part of a company which already has too much?

Besides, it's a good time for Lachie to be buzzing around the Aussie corridors of power - with the Federal Coalition now with a majority in both Houses of Parliament it would seem to be the ideal time to review cross media and foreign media ownership rules.

There is still a lot of resentment locally that Rupe cast off his Australian citizenship to enable his US media expansion, and we've been expecting a King Lear type implosion as competing family members (ex-wife, new wife and the passel of kiddies) fight for the reigns of the kingdom even before the patriach's body has cooled.

We suspect young Lachlan will go back to the media business in Australia (the smart money's on technology, the One.Tel debacle not withstanding) and build a multi-billion dollar company, perhaps around media and content sharing across electronic platforms, thus providing the means by which News Corp can create a further stranglehold on world media.

-- Nick and Nora

Friday, July 29, 2005

Meet The Whiteadders

P'shaw! What's the world coming to? And I'm not referring to quoting from the Gold Coast Bulletin twice in a row.

What kind of pathetic over-governed Wimpocracy are we living in when a pair of toy cuffs, the like of which all aspiring junior detectives owned during my childhood and which a genuine criminal such as Bobby 'Killer' Krantz (don't ask) would sneer at, are reason to convict - yes convict! - an amorous young buck?

Young buck? Ooh! That sounds like...

Kinky sex toy cuffed by court

MATT Sellwood was having a fun night fooling around in the back of his car with his girl, but the 19-year-old had no idea a set of pink fluffy handcuffs would bring his evening to an unexpected climax.

In fact, Sellwood almost ended up getting cuffed by a lot less desirable participant and quickly learned Queensland Police Service handcuffs do not have fluff, but keys.

After playing with the novelty cuffs in his car with his girlfriend, he hooked them on his jeans and walked through the Broadwater car park, where police were keeping an eye on Saturday night hoons on July 9.

When questioned by officers, he said the cuffs were his latest 'fashion accessory' and that he bought them from a sex shop.

Sellwood was then charged with possessing a restricted item and police gave him a notice to appear in court.

Yesterday at Southport Magistrates Court he pleaded guilty to the charge, telling Magistrate Ron Kilner he did not know the handcuffs were illegal.

"I bought them at Sexpo," he said.

Mr Kilner convicted him of the offence but ordered no further punishment and told him he was free to go.

Outside court, Sellwood, from Brisbane, warned others to keep their cuffs behind closed doors.

"I didn't know I couldn't have them," he said.

"They are pretty harmless, if someone puts them on you, you can unlock it yourself. There's no key, just a latch to undo them."

Handcuffs could be bought in sex shops for less than $20 and came in a variety of colours, even leopard print.

Sellwood said they had been a hit with his girlfriend.

"We had just been playing around with them in the car," he said.

"Next time I'll keep them in the bedroom."

Gold Coast solicitor Cameron Browne said it did not matter if handcuffs were kept in public or in private, they were still illegal under the Weapons Act.

"Unfortunately it's possible a kinky game can put an undesirable kink in a person's criminal record," he said.

"Simply possessing the items can amount to an offence."

He said many people ended up on hand-cuff charges when police raided their homes for other reasons and came across the bedroom toys.

"Over the years I've seen a number of people charged with possession of items they were unaware were illegal," said Mr Browne, "even in the privacy of your own home or bedroom.

"Having fluff on the handcuffs doesn't entitle a person to a defence under the law."

Sellwood said he thought being charged over a set of fluffy cuffs was 'pathetic'.

He said although the toys had been confiscated, he had bought some replacements.

"I don't care what anyone says, my girlfriend loves them," he said.

One sympathises with the young Mr Sellwood. This truly is pathetic.

One's only criticism is that perhaps he and his young lady shouldn't have been mucking about thus in as public a carpark as the location mentioned. Some Hinterland lay-bys are much more private.

Oops, what a giveaway...

-- Nick

No comment.

-- Nora

Double-Plus Bad

Imagine this - it's 1984 and you're a smoker being told by some harpie of a workmate that you ought to take that filthy cigarette outside.

Fast forward to 2005 and imagine you enjoy a drink or two.

From the Gold Coast Bulletin (only archived via News (I'm Rupert Murdoch And I'll Make You Pay For It) Text so reproduced here in full:

Drink parties out as liquor laws kick in

HENS' and bucks' nights and even the office Christmas party could be a thing of the past under tough new licensing laws being imposed upon pubs and clubs to stop binge-drinking.

Under new self-regulation laws introduced by the Beattie Government last month, licensees face fines of up to $7500 if they advertise cheap drink promotions for organised groups.

No advertising of alcohol packages is permitted under the new licensing code, putting an end to organised discounted drinks at parties.

Nightclub insiders say some operators only provide cheap drinks to partygoers through the spoken word.

Liberal MP Jann Stuckey said yesterday that pub and club operators were at 'sixes and sevens' over what they could and couldn't do for organised partygoers.

"The problem is that Liquor Licensing is a toothless tiger and nobody within the industry knows what is legal these days and what is not," she said.

"The minister needs to implement measures that can be enforced, but this voluntary code has no regulatory teeth and will be ignored by the cowboy operators who will continue to do the wrong thing when it comes to responsible serving of alcohol.

"The industry says the new laws are contradictory and it has grey areas, including whether they can or cannot provide drink packages for hens' nights or Christmas parties."

Surfers Paradise Licensed Venues Association president Jim Bell said the law was now clear that there could be no advertising of alcohol packages inside venues.

"It's a $7500 fine if licensees put anything in writing," he said.

As a result of the new, tougher laws, scores of Gold Coast licensees have already begun to shun organised drink sessions, such as bucks' parties.

Some race clubs have banned bucks' parties and hens' gatherings because they can't keep the patrons under control.

Ms Stuckey said penalties had been in place for years but there had been no prosecutions during 2003-04 and only five from July 2004 through to February this year.

Liquor Licensing Minister Margaret Keech said tough new liquor regulations had been enacted, including advertising bans, lockouts, mandatory responsible service of alcohol requirements and closed-circuit television.

"Our Queensland model with its own enforcement and compliance inspectors is the envy of liquor regulators in interstate jurisdictions," she said.

"If Ms Stuckey had done her research, she would know that the code of practice, launched only last week, is the result of 18 months' consultation with liquor industry peak bodies and key stakeholders from across the hospitality industry.

"The division is hardly a 'toothless tiger'. I don't think the licensees who over the past year have been shut down or had their trading hours reduced would think that either.

"Liquor compliance officers conducted 10,421 investigations across the state during 2004-05. As a result, 2526 enforcement actions were undertaken 946 infringement notices were issued totalling almost $360,000 in fines."

Ms Keech said the 'cowboy operators' referred to by Ms Stuckey exposed themselves to fines of up to $7500 per offence for irresponsible service of alcohol practices or the promotion of binge or dangerous consumption practices.

"These people will be shown no mercy if they break the law," she said.

Hmm, hate to be a drinker in 2020.

Take that back - hope to still be a drinker in 2020...

-- Nick

Deceive. Inveigle. Obfuscate.

Muslim Scholars Condemn Terror, apparently.
The Associated Press and CBS evidently need to read this.

Hat Tip: Mad Dog Vinnie (happy anniversary, old chum!)

-- Nick

The Odd Couple

We're feeling in a little bit of an odd mood here at The Thin Man Returns.

A round up of the world of bizzare reveals:

Wallabies takes team-building too far and consider cannibalism; fears held for prop Matt Dunning.

Hey, nice extractors wink, wink...

Kennedy questions Roberts on civil rights. We uphold Mary-Jo Kopeckne's rights.

Jesus, son of God, eats whatever he damn well pleases; Ray Chesterton is an idiot

After all of that, I think we need a drink.

Please join Nicky and I as we enjoy a 1960s cocktail and a weekend spent in the company of Mrs Peel and John Steed.


Champagne Cocktail
1 lump of sugar
angostura bitters
1 measure of brandy
small glass of cointreau or orange curacuo
1 bottle of champagne

Put a lump of sugar into which a good dash of agostura bitters has been shaken in the bottom of each glass. Then pour a small quantity of cointreau or curacao and brandy into each glass. And top up with well-chilled champagne. Actually we prefer non-French, genuine Australian 'sparkling wine'. Makes 6-8 cocktails.

Bottoms up!!

-- Nick and Nora

Careful He Might Hear You

Some of our nice new neighbours refer to people from the wrong side of political track as moon bats. Charmingly descriptive though it is, it is not entirely accurate.

There are some lovely but completely naive people out there who really have no clue.

I submit into evidence this e-mail conversation I had with Person A (not their real name nor their nom-de-'Net) on another web site, in another online universe.

You may be interested in 'eavesdropping' on our discussion about the importance of addressing the real issues of Islamofascism and the lessons we might learn from history.

SUBJECT: Re: Link...

PERSON A: Crusades, etc.
Sorry I didn't get back to you on this sooner--I've got a lot of thoughts on it, and it's been tough to distill anything into a remotely brief response.

NORA: You are certainly right there!

PERSON A: On the Ottomans in the 15th century: that's exactly what I was thinking of when I threw in those qualifiers about times and places. Historical periodization typically ends the Middle Ages in 1500, so the real effects of the rise of the Ottoman Empire are post-medieval. I'd forgotten that there were battles as far west as Italy; typically, historians cite the major push toward Vienna as the westernmost extent of Ottoman expansion.

NORA: Okay.

PERSON A: It's funny that you mentioned Tom Madden, because his work is one of the sources I'm drawing on. I assume from phrases in your post that you're drawing from article in "Christianity Today," which is basically his quick history of the Crusades (which is what pulls us into the Middle Ages, before the rise of the Ottomans).

NORA: Yep I did - it was a link I followed after reading the film review on Kingdom of Heaven (if you're a film lover, the CT reviews are some of the best).

PERSON A: If you haven't already, though, take a look at this guest column he wrote for the National Review. I could be misinterpreting it, but what I took away from this article and from hearing him speak on the subject is that he doesn't think the Crusades had a direct bearing on the current political situation--the rhetoric of "crusade" has been adopted, but the roots are later, in the 19th and 20th centuries. This is why my post distinguished between what would be interesting (medieval history) and what would be useful (more recent history).

NORA:I've just read the column and have to answer a qualified yes on that one.

Yes, Tom is quite right in the respect you mention, however the extremist Muslims (hereby called Islamicists for expediency) have used the term Crusaders as a catchall for the west (along with all Jews/Israelis as Zionists) that forms the link between events more than half a millennium ago and today.

Sadly misguided souls who are mere foot soldiers (like the London bombers) are being told that what they are doing is liberating their lands from the infidels. The catch is it's not just Palestine, Iraq, Afganistan and Saudi Arabia (the popularly named countries in Al Q'aida dispatches). It is, in fact, the entire world.

Vulnerable Muslims are being told that there is a historical Islamic link to all the countries in the world and that action taken against the crusaders and the zionists is a right and legitimate form of action for a Muslim to take.

Before you think I'm mad - an example is here - Long story short. The Australian Mufti claims the Australian Aborigines were in fact Afghans who had mosques built all over the place until that pesky Captain Cook claimed Australia for England and the place was settled by Europeans in 1788. To explain the lack of mosques he says the English destroyed them all.

Ludicrous I hope you will agree (a brief Australian history: the Australian Aborigines are believed to have arrived via a land bridge through Indonesia about 50,000 years ago. Before Arthur Phillip there was no attempt at other external settlement but there is evidence that a single Dutch ship was shipwrecked in western Australia in the 17th century. Any date palms, camels and aborigines with Arab sounding names indeed come from Afghans who arrived in Australia in the 19th century to help explore the country's interior).

(For America)

PERSON A: The reason it's taken me so long to respond, though, is that I was pretty surprised by both of Tom's columns. I have no training in Crusade history and am reluctant to take on someone who does, but I think some historians would question Tom's argument that the Crusades were a defensive action.

NORA: Why? Christianity was well settled in the Middle East by the time Islam was formed in 610AD (A fact forgotten by many people is the indigenous Iraqis, the Assyrians, are still today nominally Christian) so the arrival of Islam by force to those areas is by definition an invasion and action to repel is defensive.

PERSON A: The Byzantine emperor who requested European aid against "Islam" (Alexius Comnenus) wanted mercenaries to help him take back land in Asia Minor lost to the Seljuk Turks. He had no interest in retaking the Holy Land and gave no military support to the European campaigns to do so (though he did support Crusader armies as they went through Turkey on the way there).

NORA: Like any leader he was simply concerned with his patch. Naturally survival (personal or political) is going to trump an ideological or religious-inspired aim like preserving the Holy Land.

PERSON A: It's hard, IMHO, to argue that the Crusades began as a Christian defense against Islam when the Christian emperor who was directly affected the expansion of a Muslim power did not share the Crusaders' military goal.

NORA: It's easy when the call for the liberation of the Holy Land came from Pope Urban II.

PERSON A: To the best of my knowledge, other historians across the board see the period from 1000 - 1500 as a period in which Christian Europe expanded aggressively, into both Muslim areas in Iberia and Italy, and into pagan areas in eastern Europe and the Baltic. Also to the best of my knowledge, Europe was not under direct threat of invasion from any of those regions. European expansion into Muslim Spain and Italy actually preceded the Crusades to the east, and so they were not in response to any immediate Muslim threats or victories. And by about 1350, Latin Christendom had about doubled in size from around 950.

NORA: An interesting perspective…

And to expand on my previous brief remark - by the year 200 A.D., Christian communities existed throughout the Middle East and Turkey, and there were several in Greece and Italy as well. By the third century it was the official religion of Rome. By the end of 7th Century Christianity had spread right across western Europe.

So therefore it can be legitimately argued (as I believe Tom Madden is) that rather than the period of 1000-1500AD being an expansive aggression into Islamic land by Christian Europe that it is a defensive action to recapture lands that were previously Christian.

PERSON A: If we posit that the Crusades were a "defensive" action in response to the expansion of Muslim powers in the 11th century, then we've pretty much opened the door to argue that the rise of the Ottoman Turks in the 14th century was a defensive action against the spread of European culture.

NORA: Yes indeed, which as all history does, brings us back full circle to present times (ah, who said history doesn’t repeat itself).

It can be argued (and Daniel Pipes has been doing a fabulous job for years) that today’s Islamic insurgency is a ‘defensive action against the spread of European (now focused on America’s military, social and cultural dominance) culture.

PERSON A: I've got to wrap this up, but the final quick point to make is that I categorically disagree with lumping the various independent and sometimes mutually hostile Muslim powers all together into the umbrella of "Islam."

NORA: I’m not sure how to answer that one, so I might have to start with a question.

What do you mean when you say you disagree with lumping the various independent and sometimes mutually hostile Muslim powers all together into the umbrella of "Islam”?

Islam is the religion practiced by all Muslims. According to there is no difference of opinion amongst Muslim schools that the religion of Allah is Islam. This is also an excellent primer written from a Muslim perspective about the essential difference between Sunnis and Shi’ites who I presume you mean by mutually hostile Muslim powers.

PERSON A: I can't even *begin* to get into the problems inherent with that. Jeez.

NORA: Yet people don't seem to have that problem lumping together all Christian denominations…

PERSON A: Obviously, there are limits to the nuances one can do in short columns, but

NORA: Nuances? - You’ve not been taking lessons from John Kerry have you? ;-)

PERSON A:If you're going to look at the complexities within Christian civilization, then you shouldn't simplify Islamic civilization that much.

NORA: Believe me, I’m expanding my knowledge all the time.

PERSON A: Tom's a brilliant scholar and you'll never hear me say otherwise, but...let's just say I'm surprised about how he framed these issues.

NORA: I’m still not sure why you’re surprised at Tom’s perspective. As Tom has said, medieval history is still an active area of study.

PERSON A: Again, sorry it took so long to answer--like I said, it's taken forever to cut down into something manageable

NORA: Likewise I apologise for the length of this reply but I believe such a fulsome and thoughtful e-mail as yours deserved the courtesy of an equally full response.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Sideshow Alley

Already, PC thinking in the media is beginning to dull the anger over the London terrorist attacks as people become distracted by the Jean Charles de Menezes sideshow.

The Gold Coast Bulletin frontpaged "Executed for wearing an overcoat" in it's usual hysterical style. The ABC predictably gives great play to Menezes parents desire to sue the police. Maybe they should sue Al Qaida instead, I hear they have more money.

But even the normally reliable Mark Steyn runs off track over 'killer cops'.

"...if summary extrajudicial execution was so urgent, why did the surveillance team let him take a bus ride before eventually cornering him in the Tube?"

It was a surveillance operation, Mark. Sometimes you follow someone for quite a while before something they do turns the situation into an emergency.

Thankfully Steyn gives the real war a gee-along at the end:

"...a narrow, reactive law-enforcement approach to terrorism will always penalise the populace more than the terrorists. You win this war militarily (in the badlands of Pakistan and elsewhere) and culturally (which is a much tougher battle)."

Unfortunately, all this verbiage over a mistake - a dreadful mistake to be sure but still a mistake - distracts us from the real issue.

Focus, people, focus. It's about Islamic terrorism.

-- Nick

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

News: Excessive drinking causes ugliness

I spotted this little item on today's site.

Men who star in alcohol ads that target women should be "balding" and "paunchy" rather than "attractive and desirable", according to guidance issued by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

It seems in Europe you can't have good looking male eyecandy in booze ads any more and I rather think that's a shame. What's wrong with looking at something pretty while waiting for Nick to arrive at the nightclub?

While Nicky might suggest that it is another example of running down the male of the species, I rather think it is another pointer to excess politically correctness and of drinks in silly, excessively sweet and childish flavours of Passionfruit, Melon, Watermelon, Raspberry, Blueberry, Cranberry, Grapefruit, Guava, Lemon, Mango, Orange, Pineapple, Blueberry, Mulberry, Cool Lime, Strawberry, Peach.

-- Nora

Do Drop By

We've just had a visit from the very nice Mr Blair.

We learned, through connections that indeed he was on a secret Hydrocarbon-Entertainment mission.

I sharn't give any more away until Mr Blair is ready to share but I will give the curious a little clue. It's on the Gold Coast in October.

-- Nora

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Well, it's news to me...

The Brisbane Sunday Mail and Queensland University of Technology advertising researcher Stephen Dann have suddenly realised that 'there were double standards in the portrayal of men and women' on television and in advertising.

This is news not because it's new information. As someone noted recently, much news of this kind finds its way into the MSM because it's new to them.

Many other people have realised for years that, as Dann expounds:

"There's a mistaken belief that if you portray men negatively, it is somehow equality because that's how women were treated for so long.

"In sitcoms and in advertising men are often being used as the dumb, laughing stock character with a smart wife or girlfriend.

"Shows like Everybody Loves Raymond are typical. If you believe in equality, it's annoying for both men and women. It's offensive and demeaning."

Advertising Standards Bureau chairman Robert Koltai then goes on to be offensive and demeaning with his comment regarding the ASB's dismissal of complaints against a Voodoo stockings campaign in which a woman has a wardrobe full of men wearing only jeans who are lined up similarly to clothes on hangers.

"The creativity behind this ad clearly intends to depict a tongue-in-cheek view of the well-accepted right of a woman to be in control of her choice and her 'accessories'." (My emphasis)

One would like to see Mr Koltai turned into an accessory. Perhaps a smart little handbag.

-- Nick

The Twisty Turny Thing

Channel 9's Sixty Minutes report (Sunday 24 July) on the vicious attitude of radical Muslims towards the people of the Western countries which welcomed them is sure to further inflame the passions of ordinary people who realise the obscenity and danger to which extreme multiculturalism has exposed us.

But after inciting tensions, be prepared for another Sixty Minutes report in a few weeks wagging the finger at us for being racist.

-- Nick

So there

In response to this:

one felt compelled to produce this:

So there.

-- Nick

Friday, July 22, 2005

Cocktail of the week

In honour of the international praise being heaped upon our Prime Minister John Howard for his forthright and logical response to the myoptic 'it's all about Iraq' media questions, we decided on this rather patriotic cocktail:

The Great Barrier Reef

60 ml Gin
30 ml Contreau
Dash Angostura Bitters
2 scoops Vanilla Ice-cream
Dash Blue Curacao

Pour all ingredients into a shaker, shake, then pour into a highball glass.

Mr Howard: The objective evidence is that Australia was a terrorist target long before the operation in Iraq, and indeed all the evidence, as distinct from the suppositions, suggest to me that this is about hatred of a way of life, this is about the perverted use of the principles of a great world religion that at its root preaches peace and cooperation, and I think we lose sight of the challenge we have if we allow ourselves to see these attacks in the context of particular circumstances, rather than the abuse through a perverted ideology of people and their murder.

Mr Blair: I agree 100% with that.

So do we.

-- Nora

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Everybody Needs Good Neighbours

Nicky and I have been made to feel very welcome as 'new kids on the Blog'.

While we haven't had a chance to meet all of the neighbours and we've still more work to do before we have an official housewarming party, I thought I'd fling open the doors and invite everyone around for a drink.

Today's libation is:
Winter Sparkler

1 lemon
1 lime
1 cup southern comfort
1 cup peach schnapps
2 750 ml brut Champagne
3 peaches
30 whole cloves
ice block

Place ice in punch bowl. Squeeze juice of lime and lemon. Add peach schnapps and southern comfort then stir. Pierce peach skin with cloves then add to bowl. Pour champagne and stir gently. Serve in punch glasses (Makes 25 servings).

Drink up, there's enough for everyone. And remember - women and children first, boys!

Some of the nice people we've met are: Tim Blair, Special Sauce, JF Beck and Leigh at House of Wheels.

If you haven't introduced yourself to these fine folk, please don't be shy.

-- Nora

The Evil That Men Do

A very insightful column by The Australian writer Tim Sheridan yesterday raised the point that the war on terror is one is ideology rather than physcial territorial gains.

But the key ingredient is missing in most analysis. The key is ideology. Because most Western intellectuals and commentators are infused with a sort of postmodern moral relativism, they find it exceptionally difficult to come to grips with an absolute and evil ideology.

There is an extreme distaste, especially among academics, for even using terms such as good and evil. Extreme behaviour is much more comfortably dealt with if it is explained away by sociology, or even psychological dysfunction, than if it is a logical outcome of a coherent ideology.

And this:

The war on terror is going to be with us for a long time. The underlying challenge is neither religious nor sociological but ideological. Ideologies answer basic human needs - the need to know right from wrong, the need to feel part of a functioning group, the need to feel that life has a purpose.

In the end, you can't beat something with nothing. Whether the West has the ideological strength to respond to a deadly challenge was a question the communists and the Nazis both asked, and al-Qa'ida and its fellow travellers ask it today.

This is where I take a different perspective to the erudite Mr Sheridan. Sadly this war is as much a religous war as it is an ideological one.

The terms good and evil are unequivocal and outside of their use in the realm of rhetoric they are the domain of religion.

Good and evil are not merely words or states of mind they are entities. Our non-religious friends may be disquieted by the notion but it is apparent that our enemy no such qualms.

So while it is necessary and right that we physically fight terrorism in its nest in Afganistan and Iraq, as well as in our backyards (as darling Nicky has said so eloquently just a couple of days ago), the war must also be fought on another front.

So has it really come down to a 'crusade'? Christians against Muslims?

No. Despite the outward manifestation of evil evident in the deaths of more than 100 people this week, for those who are Christian, the theatre of war is where true good and evil resides.

As St Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus (Ephesians Chapter 6 v12):
For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

The evil that is done in the name of the religion of Islam must be stopped. These poor misguided fools believe their eternal reward is endless sex with comely virgins.

Even those who are not at all religious would agree that is ludicrious.

So shouldn't it be time for those who call themselves Christians to do as the Bible says and take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand?

Those who are practicing evil are not pulling their punches, neither should we.

-- Nora

Why Not Say What You Really Think

Jonah Goldberg makes some excellent points about the reticence of ordinary Muslims in roundly condemning the London terrorism in the name of Islam:

"The scandal wasn't that there was a "backlash" against the Muslim community. It is that there wasn't more of a backlash within the Muslim community. We now know that the attackers were British born and raised Muslims. Yet there's precious little evidence that the Muslim community is eager to turn on the enemy within with any admirable enthusiasm."

However, in giving the terrorists credit for:

"...the fact that the city was pleasantly empty was perhaps the best proof that the "7/7" murderers had some of their intended effect. This was a Friday in a normally bustling city, and many Londoners simply opted to wait until Monday before trying the bus or subway again."

he appears to have missed the request by British authorities late on the day of the bombings for central London workers to stay home on the Friday so investigators could do their work.

Kathleen Parker also makes some similar points.

-- Nick

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Mr Death Comes About The Reaping

Britons are currently askance at how they came to possess homegrown Islamofascist terrorists and suicide bombers.

However, these types have had fertile soil in which to grow, nourished by a very particular fertiliser.

The saying goes that 'the path to hell is paved with good intentions' and so it is that multiculturalism as an ideology of the West sprouted from attempts to combat the scourge of racism.

No intelligent person can possibly deny that it is inherently unjust to judge another person on the basis of their race (unless, of course, they are French).

However, this was extended over time - rather like the dripping of water on the stone or the raising of the temperature of the water around the frog - to grow first to tolerance of all aspects of behaviour and belief of alien cultures then to mandated embracing of everything from the most benign to the utterly repugant of things and people different.

Multiculturalism in itself is not evil, in fact it is a natural evolution of things. It has brought us the gloriously mongrel culture which is the now astounded - to borrow a phrase of their own: gobsmacked - British and created a culture which calls itself Australian and enjoys everything from line dancing to souvlaki.

It was my own dear Nora who coined the phrase 'Austrralians are multicultural through their stomachs', an observation based on the way in which immigrant influxes have won the heart of a people which once endorsed the White Australia policy by introducing them first to their traditional foods and then to their sons and daughters.

But what must be highlighted is that their Australian born sons and daughters were Australian, often with parents' blessings, sometimes defiantly so in the face of parents' dismay at the loss of values held dear 'in the old country'.

The society around them encouraged their assimilation into a unified whole, demanding adoption of established common values at the same time as growing stronger from the positive aspects of different cultures which had the intrinsic worth to survive the mill of assimilation.

Thus, judging people for who they are, not what they are has become part of being Australian; mutilating the genitals of young women has not.

However, in the morally relativistic world of ideological multiculturalism, the very governments of Australia and the rest of the Western world have deemed it acceptable - nay, preferable - that one clings to one's cultural 'identity', mores and practices as a drowning man to a straw despite the fact that one is already in the lifeboat that is the country one has emigrated to.

As a result, one ultimately garners at the thin but no less distasteful end of the wedge, Lebanese youths in Australia who think it is fine sport to gang rape white Australian girls and, at the fatally extreme, the born and bred Yorkshire lad who catches a one way to London to blow himself up in the belief that mass murder of his infidel fellow countrymen will be rewarded in some perverse vision of heaven.

Monoculturalism got, to borrow a phrase from my East Side friend Bugsy, 'a bad rap' when the fledgling PC movement determined that it represented racism.

However, monoculturalism is a societal recognition of a behaviour naturally instilled in us - the fear of the different.

And the different is to be feared for good reason until it has proven itself not to be apt to poison, burn or sting us. Or blow itself to pieces two feet away.

By ignoring, willfully, dreadfully so, the fear of the different, we have planted and tended the growth of terror in our midst.

The sudden rising of 'homegrown' terrorists whose values are completely alien to what we thought represented those of our entire community is the beginning of the end play of multiculturalism unleashed.

It is not at all the sunshine and rainbows envisaged by its naive perpetrators, who while they were telling us we could live in harmony with all creeds, forgot to tell or even ask the other creeds.

It is more like a bloody hell into which Europe as a whole may soon find itself descending.

-- Nick

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Making Sense of No(n) Sense

In the aftermath of the terrible events in London, we try to make sense of those who are driven to mass murder.

It's not an easy task - especially if the motivations are so alien from ones own.

The Director of the Chicago Project on Suicide Terrorism, Professor Robert Pape, has studied every single suicide attack in the world between 1980 and 2003 and has come to some 'worrying conclusions' about the way in which Western democracies are pursuing the fight against terrorists.

Worrying indeed as the crux of his argument is something like this: "All Muslims are not terrorists". So far so good.

"In fact the most radical and fundamentalist of them are in Iran and the Sudan and no jahist terrorist has ever come from there." Okaaaaay.

Therefore: "(T)he strategic logic which holds these attacks together is not religion but a specific strategic goal - to compel the United States and other Western states with forces on the Arabian peninsula to pull those forces out."

Right. Just give in, give the terrorists what they want - pull out of Iraq, Afganistan and Saudi Arabia and everything will be peachy keen because the Islamic religion is not the driving force. Indeedy.

"The occupations where there was a religious difference between the foreign occupier and the local community - those are the ones that have escalated to suicide terrorism," says the good professor. "Once you have the physical presence of foreign combat forces plus a religious difference, that allows the terrorist leaders to demonise the occupier in an especially stark way."

I'm sure it was the geopolitical struggle of Arabs that compelled four young Englishmen to lose their heads (literally).

No, according to distressed friends and family, they were quite happy-go-lucky, normal chappies who developed a newfound devotion to Islam in the 18 months prior.

If religion has little to do with the action of these suicide bombers then why:
1. Did the notion to blow themselves to pieces come only after they became 'devoutly religious'? And
2. Have Al Q'aida hit countries where there is no 'foreign occupation' such as Turkey, Morocco, Bali to name a few?

While possessing many skills - cocktail drinking amongst them - a professor I am not, so I do have to wonder why such plain observations are beyond such a man of learning.

Obviously not all Muslims are terrorists, but in this case all terrorists are Muslim and we should not be afraid to say so. I especially like the common sense approach of Tony Blankley and Michelle Malkin.

Sadly, I fear the equivocation of the Islamic community whose response to the carnage has been muted at best. Is it that they secretly cheer the actions of those who do what they dare not in pursuit of one world united under Allah?

-- Nora

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Hit and Myth

Weird Internet story of the week discovered by Nora and me comes from the media navel-gazing site Crikey.

The long and short of it is many Muslims are being hoodwinked by an Internet hoax in which it is claimed a girl was transformed into an animal after having thrown the Koran on the ground. Circulating with it is a picture which sort of looks like a hairy, arthritic Kate Moss.

However, rather than the 'mighty power of Allah', it is in fact the work of a very cross Patricia Piccinini who takes umbrage at the unauthorised use of her 2003 artwork The Leather Landscape which is supposed to be 'about genetic engineering and our evolutionary links to animals'.

At least in our part of the world, belief that an 18-year-old girl could be turned into a strange looking creature after throwing a book on the ground would be confined between the start and finishing times of that week's episode of Charmed.

We would imagine that only an utter dullard would believe in something like this as fact.

Perhaps reducing their people to dullards quite suits the Islamic elite...

-- Nick

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Morning Assault

With much more significant events going on, it seems a little irrelevant to pass comment on as relatively insignificant a transgression as the one I am about to highlight. However, it caught my eye and one feels obliged to speak one's mind.

In contrast to the recent series of auto parts store Repco's TV commercials showing couples who actually support each others interests - much like Nora and me - a new commercial for Morning Fresh dishwasher detergent is somewhat depressing.

On discovering a chrome car part and a pre-metric spanner in the dishwasher, the Morning Fresh wife's response is to strike her husband fulsomely on the head with the aforementioned tool. The accompanying sound effect, though provided perhaps too much ring for a metal object tightly grasped being bludgeoned across a person's forehead, is a rather accurate aural represention of the on-screen action.

The response of the husband at receiving the blow is to blink and comment: "Fair enough."

Just a thought - would a modern advertising agency pitch a concept in which a husband petulantly struck his wife with a blunt object and the wife's reaction was to say it was her own fault? And would the manufacturers of the product have accepted it?

Not to labour the point (but I will), why is violence by women against men comedic and violence by men against women a crime?

-- Nick

And I thought it was nice to see a man confidently using a dishwasher...

-- Nora

Only the Strong Shall Survive

One was distinctly heartened by the mostly defiant if not occasionally cheerful reactions of survivors and witnesses to the recent London terror bombings.

However, one tube train survivor's response left one in no doubt that his PC peevishness had also survived intact.

This besuited and watery-eyed wimp bleated and moaned his way through a litany of complaints about how emergency response was quick enough.

One thought at the time that the 'gentleman', whose appearance was disturbingly alike that of former Australian Prime Minister Paul 'The Undertaker' Keating, might not appreciate just how much else was going on in the immediate area.

But when asked if he had an opinion on who might have been to blame for the blasts, he revealed his true self with the following (approximate) response: "Oh, I'm a barrister - I couldn't possibly attribute blame without being in possession of more facts and weighing up the evidence."

Having been so quick to blame his own people for not rescuing him quickly enough for his own tastes, he was exceedly speedy in suddenly wishing to apply rules of fairness to the miserable bottom feeders who perpetrated this heinous crime.

Lest one feel tempted to inveigh against yours truly with suggestions that I am being less than sympathetic with a man who was obviously, if only to a point, in shock at witnessing scenes of carnage, I can assure you that I have indeed attended events which left human beings looking like poorly butchered meat.

I can clearly recall the look on the face of a deceased young woman the front of whose torso had been torn off in a road traffic accident and whose similarly defunct child lay on the road beside her. However, it does not haunt my dreams.

My reaction, after successfully keeping my lunch down, was to finish my work at the scene then return to my workplace and get on with what was expected of me. One must confess, however, that after 'knocking off', one had a few stiff drinks, as did this rather eloquent chap in London (language warning).

Thank goodness there were many more like him this week than like our barrister friend.

Jumping to the legal defence of criminals immediately after one has personally fallen victim to their criminality highlights a major aspect of the malaise afflicting liberal Western thinking.

Other recommended reading on such matters includes this incisive piece from Mark Steyn of The Daily Telegraph and observations from Mona Charen.

-- Nick

Absolut Victory

Certainly without making light of the tragic events in London on Thursday, I think it is time to charge our glasses and salute the brave and resolute citizens of London, their heroic emergency services and most of all to victory over evil and faceless terrorists.

And so to:
Absolut Victory
60ml Vodka
Tonic Water
Crushed Ice

Mix in a tall glass and read this piece from a blogger with the admittedly dark name of "Mad Dog Vinnie".

Never has a righteously angry blog sounded so eloquent.

-- Nora

Thursday, July 07, 2005

State of Origin cocktail

Yes, I know we usually save the heavy lifting to Fridays but Nick and I believe it's never to early to celebrate a special event - like the third State of Origin.

We salute the brave men in maroon with the closest cocktail I could find:

Maroon Passion (with apologies to Cocktail Times' Purple Passion)
30ml Vodka
30ml Grape Juice
30ml Grapefruit Juice
1/2 tsp Superfine Sugar

I hear beer is popular to drink while watching these games but I wouldn't know.

-- Nora

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

A must read from Aiden Hartley

Please do check out this fabulous op-ed piece which ran in The Australian newspaper on Monday. Mr Hartley makes some very salient points about the Live8 lovefest and its proposed efficacy for the poor and starving in Afria

Sourced from England's The Spectator -

A couple of tidbits:

"Africa's leaders cannot wait for the G8 leaders - hectored by rock star Bob and his Live 8 concerts into bracelet-wearing submission - to double aid and forgive the continent's debts.

"They know that such acts of generosity will finance their future purchases of very swish, customised Mercedes-Benz cars, while 315 million poor Africans stay without shoes and Western taxpayers get by with Hondas."


"Charities are ideological museums stuffed with socialists and anti-globalisation activists. They loathe private enterprise. I sometimes wonder if they would prefer to see Africans stay poor so that aid workers could carry on doing good works for them."

Well done, Nicky and I couldn't have said it better ourselves.

-- Nora

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Happy Friday

To celebrate Friday and as well as surviving the 1-in-a-1000 year storm here in our home town of the Gold Coast, Nicky and I are going to toast the occasion with a Storm Cloud.

Stay a while and join us:

Storm Cloud

30ml Kahlua
15ml Rum
2 Drops Cream

Hand swirl over ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail, pony or shot glass. Drop cream into the middle of the shot.

Springtime for Hitler

Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it.

That's the sad truth vividly revealed in this story on the News Limited web site.

It seems that a group of Singaporean teens at a leadership camp have adopted Adolf Hitler has their mascot and according to one girl, Hitler 'was very good although he was evil'.

Their competitors named their teams after more laudable role models including General Douglas MacArthur.

What is disturbing is that these children are taught nothing about history and see the world through a superficial pop culture lens. They do not realise that Hitler had a pact with Japan which invaded and brutally treated the locals and the handful of British, Australian and US troops stationed there.

Funnily enough, I don't believe Hitler would be impressed at the 'honour'. After all I've never seen a blue-eyed, blonde Aryan Singaporean.

-- Nora