Friday, September 30, 2005

Ride 'Em Cowboys

For those us of north of the great continental divide known as the Queensland border, there is only one topic on the lips of anyone vaguely interested in sport - the rugby league grand final between the North Queensland Cowboys and the West Tigers.

In addition to a case of blatant parochialism, I also wholeheartedly approve of the dapper young chaps' dress for the occasion of the player's breakfast.

The idea of all dressing formally for such an important event to me suggests the team takes a professional and single-minded approach to the game. Perhaps the psychological edge that will win them the game on Sunday.

So, a cocktail to celebrate - and it's one of my personal favourites

Cocksucking Cowboy
1 oz butterscotch schnapps
1/2 oz irish cream

Directions: Layer in a shot glass

-- Nora

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Of Course, By Crackdown, We Mean...

A stunning round-up of Britain's efforts to 'tackle' Islamic terrorism since 7/7 is made by Andrew C. McCarthy of National Review Online here.

But don't get your hopes up that British PM Tony Blair's tough talking after the London bombings is going to reap positive results.

McCarthy's round-up includes such gems as:

Advisers appointed by Tony Blair after the London bombings are proposing to scrap the Jewish Holocaust Memorial Day because it is regarded as offensive to Muslims...

...Blair's extremism tacklers will also lodge objection to the prime minister's proposal to ban the noxious Hizb ut-Tahrir organization...

... (and) are moving toward approval of a visa allowing the reentry of Shiekh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an influential Mulsim Brotherhood cleric (and a trustee of the Oxford University Center for Islamic Studies) who supports suicide bombers in Iraq and Israel, the stoning of homosexuals, wife-beating, female genital mutilation, and other charming aspects of the Islamist agenda.

Getting tough Pommie style? Sheesh...

-- Nick

Fun and Games

Who thought politics could be so much fun?

The marvellous Mr Blair (Tim, that is, not Tony) has developed Latham The Boardgame.

Those not familiar with the Troubled former leader of the opposition, Mark Latham is the one who has been has been giving a Headache to a lot of his former Labor Party colleagues. Except Peter Beattie who has a Monopoly on Sorry.

Ah, The Game Of Life - well it is for numero Uno.

-- Nora

Educating Jean

The Jean of the title is Jean Walker from the Tasmanian Education Union who is rather indignant at suggestions that Australia's education curriculum has been dumbed down by social engineering, elitist, misanthropic academics who enjoy experimenting on Australia's youth.

Ms Walker says both men are sadly out of touch, living in a 1950s time warp and simply "teacher bashing again".

The two men Ms Walker refers to are Federal Education Minister Dr Brendan Nelson and Catholic archbishop George Pell.

It seems it is Ms Walker who is sadly out of touch herself with news of an international study which suggests Australian students are falling behind their international counterparts.

The ABC is scant on the details but does have this quote:

Dr Nelson says Tasmanian students in particular are struggling in mathematics...

And that's a surprise since two heads are better than one.

-- Nora

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Zoo Keepers Replicate Original Kinsey Study

Zoo keepers at Central Park Zoo have found that if you confine animals of the same gender for an extended period, ultimately they'll start having sex with one another. Not surprisingly, homosexual prostlytists applauded this finding.

Sounds a lot like the original Kinsey Report On Human Sexuality which claimed 10 per cent of people were homosexual but fail to mention that the study subjects contained a substantial and statistically skewing number of prisoners and soldiers whose homosexual activity had taken place during active service in WWII (ie during periods of isolation and severe stress).

But the Central Park Zoo people have found that once you return the environment to normal, behaviour becomes normal too.

Surprise, surprise.

-- Nick

Here's The Skinny

Those bright, intelligent and insightful beings - super models and socialites - share their insights on that most important of world events - Kate Moss' cocaine addiction:

"It is kind of a bummer" - Nicky Hilton

"It really makes me sad" - Kimberley Stewart (daughter of Rod)

"She is my friend, everybody is being bad to her" - Naomi Campbell

But let's not make too much fun of Naomi, she's doing something really important like take part in a program run by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Colombia.


To make the world "a safe environment for models"

Ah, isn't that nice?

-- Nora

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Mistaken Identity

A Sydney man, David Turbit, put in a maximum security prison for a month after a paperwork bungle is suing for a cool $250,000.

"I was being held illegally in maximum security and they assumed I was a criminal."

They assume correctly.

Turbit wasn't picked from the community at random. He was in the system having served nine months of periodic detention in late 2001 after being convicted of driving while he was disqualified.

I'm sure there is a lesson here...

-- Nora

We Hate Democracy

Anti-peace in Iraq protesters converged on London and Washington yesterday to show their support for Al Qaida.

Michelle Malkin carries photos of the event here while the report quotes that vile socialist and member of the British parliament George Galloway:

"This is not a clash of civilisations, not a war between people of the West and East, not a war between Christianity and Islam; George Bush does not represent any civilization," he said to cheers.

Perhaps Mr Galloway would like to repeat that, Theo Van Gogh style, while they're sawing his head off.

Galloway was at the Washington protests alongside star of the show Cindy Sheehan. It seems somehow very appropriate that the Left in the United States has rallied around an obviously mentally disturbed person. It happens a bit here in Australia too - Mark Latham, anyone?

Protest crowd numbers on both sides of the Atlantic were predictably disputed by organisers and independent observers.

In the US, the protest allegedly included recent war vets:

Among the demonstrators were some 40 former U.S. soldiers recently returned from Iraq, holding up signs saying "Bring Them Home Now!" and wearing their desert camouflage uniforms.

"This is all new to me. I've never participated in something like this," said John McNamara, 25, who served six months as an army truck driver in Iraq.

"I took part in some destruction in the Middle East and I feel bad about that," said McNamara, who flew from Los Angeles for the event. "Being here won't make up for it but it might make me feel a little better about it."

Who knows, perhaps in 30 years time McNamara will be running for President on a Democrat ticket. Wonder if he got any video footage of himself during his tour of duty?

-- Nick

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Stupidity In The News

None So Blind

Proposed anti-terrorism laws are 'unjustified' according to those who know better - because they target the people who are actually most likely to be terrorists:

"...Patrick Emerton of the Monash University law faculty (said): "At this stage, new proposals simply haven't been justified."

... Mr Emerton believes this will lead to more checks of Muslims. "All the evidence so far is that they particularly target Islamic and Arab Australians," he said.

Mr Emerton says the plan would impinge on rights and freedoms.

Mr Emerton has nothing to say about the rights and freedoms of ordinary people not to be blown limb from limb.

At least one person recognises where the threat lies.

It's Not Our Fault We're Making Out Like Bandits

Suggestions that profiteers' partners pay some of the money back is just 'a deflection tactic'.

Virtual Kerb Crawlers

The Internet continues to be a dangerous place as 'Young men are being lured into blind dates with women through internet chatrooms, only to be kidnapped and robbed at knifepoint by a gang'.

No mention by journalist Elizabeth Gosch that the victims thought they were going to meet prostitutes, service providers of such varied commitment to customer relationship management that the chance of being robbed has been a risk for 'johns' since the world's oldest profession began.

Kidnapper May Get To Keep Child

The supposedly dead mother of Angelina Jolie's unfortunate fashion accessory may be alive.

Call Costs

Vodafone admits to duping customers

-- Nick

Friday, September 23, 2005

Wanted: A Good Woman

Attention single ladies aged between 25-38 and live in (or who are willing to move to) Queensland, Australia:

Have you ever wondered where all the good men have gone? You know the type:
Gainfully employed in a stable job
Home owner
A great dancer
And Straight

Well, you'll find him here. Jai is naturally upset at the story on the silly little 'current affairs' show Today Tonight which proclaimed that there is a 'man drought'.

Although Jai is listed on our blogroll as one of Nick's shadowy acquaintances, we can certainly vouch to his qualities as listed above.

The photograph on his blog, however doesn't do him justice.

Ladies, if you are interested in knowing more about this absolute catch, leave a message here and we'll arrange for particulars to be exchanged.

Ah L'Amour, L'Amour, Toujour L'Amour

In the meantime, at Nick and Nora's home for the lovelorn, mingle with the crowd and enjoy our complementary cocktail:

Love Potion

--1 shot Peach Schnapps
--1 shot Rum
--1 shot Vodka
--1 shot Blue Curacao
--1 splash Lime Juice
--1 splash Cranberry Juice

Directions: Mix the ingredients in the glassware of your choice, swig it down and be schmoove!

-- Nora

Pissed Off

Fascinating Perth university study reveals that most people who think their drink has been spiked are actually blind drunk and have often also been taking drugs themselves.

No surprise that out of the 97 study subjects presenting to hospital for suspected spiking, most were females under 25 and the average - that's average - BAC was 0.2, four times the legal driving limit in Australia.

But were they the victims of nasty predators hoping to render them insensible and have their wicked way?

No - they were simply 'empowered' 21st century girls out binge drinking and well trained to look for someone else to blame for their abject stupidity.

Being a good 21st century doctor, study leader Dr Mark Little enables their continued infantilism by letting them off the hook:

"It's possible someone had bought them drinks with a much higher alcohol content than they expected, presumably with the aim of getting them drunk."

More likely they were just following the example of the Gold Coast Bulletin Go Girls (more on them another day).

-- Nick

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Public Decency Is Prudent

One of my new chums, Caz, writes an impassioned essay advocating the blog.

“Professional journalists” no longer have dibs on the provision of public content; no longer have a monopoly; no longer have automatic credibility and authority; no longer have authenticity and immediacy; no longer have the only opinions worth reading; they no longer get to be the only wearers of the legitimacy tag.

Very true.

But the mainstream media is still good for a laugh, particularly the unintended ones.

Like this story from today's News web site.

Despite admitting he personally would not be seen starkers, Mayor Ray Duffy believes the nude beach is needed to "keep abreast of the times" and boost tourism.

"It is the year 2005 – Queensland is the only state in Australia with these (public decency) laws.

"They are from the Joh (Bjelke-Petersen) era ... they are old and prudent."

Prudent? Yes they are.

Sunburned tits and tushes? Ouch!

One suspects either Mayor Duffy or journalist Jade Bilowol meant to say 'prudish'.

-- Nora


Victoria at FutureMD paid us a visit and offered this interesting and thoughtful link about 1930s Hollywood glamour.

Very well done.

Just as an aside, although a lot of these ladies don't make Victoria's list, you'll see the epitome of 1930s style, sophistication and verbal sparring from the stars of The Women. A must-see for any film lover.

-- Nora

Pell Spells Out The Issues

Catholic archibishop George Pell, clearly articulates the issues facing the next generation thanks to our friends the social engineers in the education industry.

He makes the link between 'critical literacy', literary and moral relativism and radicalisation of beliefs:

"My generation has had the benefit of learning from the tradition, and thus we can critique it. To give youngsters all critique and no foundation leaves them rudderless," he said.

"School syllabuses or university courses in which great works of literature and the study of history are dismissed as 'elitist' or relevant only to the 'dominant ethnic and social group' dismantle the sense of an objective reality in young people," he said.

Read all of it.

Note to non-religious types: You'd be well advised to read this too, not to get sermon but to get up to speed on what's going wrong with society.

-- Nick and Nora

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Weapons of Mass Traction

Of course, no one on the Left was fooled into thinking Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. It was only George Bush and the intelligence agencies of any country they don't support.

Oh - and SUV-haters The Detroit Project, headed by Chevy Suburban enthusiast Arianna Huffington:

The goal of the "Detroit Project" is "not to demonize people who drive SUVs," said co-founder Lawrence Bender, a movie producer whose credits include “Pulp Fiction” and “Good Will Hunting."

"Rather," Bender said in a statement, "we want to point out how our driving habits at home are fueling oil money ... to Iraq, where Saddam Hussein invests the profits in weapons of mass destruction."

-- Nick

Friday, September 16, 2005

Short Fuse

One of Nick's Shadowy Acquaintances, Jai Normosone has been busy on his blog recently (ie he's blogged three times during September...).

However, it has certainly been worth the wait.

No one is as amusing Jai when he has his dander up.

His take on the news is first rate, while another post about a controversial new inner-Sydney high school exam is as dreadfully politically incorrect as it is hilarious. For US readers, I'm sure you can substitute South Central LA for Bankstown equally well.

Also Mr Mark Latham has let loose with explosive revelations in his new book The Latham Diaries, so we though this would be an appropriate cocktail:


1 oz cognac
1/2 oz Cointreau® orange liqueur
1 - 2 dashes bitters
1 part Deva® absinthe

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass

-- Nora

Show Of Force

Next time you are talking to any misguided souls who claim that the only reason we have terrorists is because the coalition is in Iraq - just point them to this:

TERRORIST leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has called on insurgent groups in Iraq to attack the Shi'ite community, with the aim of inciting civil war...

...Zarqawi urged the Sunnis to "wake up from your slumber" and join the fight.

In other words the so-called insurgency against occupying forces is in fact a genocidal campaign against people of the same religion.

-- Nora

UPDATE: From someone who should know: Iraq not slipping into civil war.

Less Than Appealing

The New South Wales Court of Appeal has dramatically reduced the jail sentences given to five men convicted of gang rape.


-- Nora

That Pot And The Kettle Again

The report bills it as:

...a case that should put award-winning journalist Anne Delaney back on air with her former employer Media Watch - but this time as fodder, rather than the facilitator of debate.

But it most probably won't. While the ABC media 'watchdog' show likes to take others to task for offences similiar to Delaney's, it rarely savages its own.

Delaney was arrested for conducting an illegal interview with a child killer and is alleged to have lied about a friendship with the murderer, Louise Julie MacPhee, on an official application to visit.

Once again though, one must feel a little sympathy for the journalist - being taught to lie about relationships with people to get access to information is part of the standard shop-floor training.

But only a little...

-- Nick

Thursday, September 15, 2005


Of course, the most significant event in one's diary is the coming Monday's International Talk Like A Pirate Day.

However, one was somewhat dismayed to take the Pirate Name Test and emerge as Calico Jack Flint.


-- Nick

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

My Career Goes Bung

One of my pet peeves are women who want special treatment simply because of their gender.

Employment quotas for instance, are abhorrent. My achievements are as a result of my hard work, not from someone doing me a favour.

That's the reason why I uncharacteristically blew my top yesterday evening( much to Nicky's surprise) when former chief magistrate Di Fingleton returned to the bench and made the following astounding statements:

"I was not to know it would be so famously, as the recipient of one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in the history of the Queensland and Australian legal systems."

and this:

Ms Fingleton paid tribute to state Attorney-General Linda Lavarch for negotiating her return - "It took two women in the end to pull it all together" - but warned her fellow female legal figures to be cautious when making potentially difficult decisions and to remain alert.

The former chief magistrate faced trial and was convicted of threatening a witness against her in a workplace bullying matter.

Ms Fingleton served part of her custodial sentence before being freed after it was determined that she should not have been prosecuted because, as a magistrate, she had immunity from prosecution.

After threatening to sue left, right and centre, Ms Fingleton was mollified by a settlement worth almost half a million dollars and a cushy job as a magistrate in Caboolture, just north of Brisbane.

My issues with Ms Fingleton are these:

1. She was not the recipient of one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in the history of the Queensland and Australian legal systems.

Ms Fingleton has not been cleared of threatening another magistrate, she got out on a technicality which, if she had been any good at her job in the first place, she would have known about.

Claiming it is one of the greatest miscarriages of justice is hyperbole to a disgusting degree.

2. Ms Fingleton also warned her fellow female legal figures to be cautious when making potentially difficult decisions and to remain alert

Why? Because we're women and can't handle the 'stwess'? No, this is not a gender or discrimination matter. Fingleton proved to be a bully and ignorant of the law that she is supposed to administer.

What is a woman who admits is 'moved to tears easily' doing as a judge for crying out loud?

I'm sick and tired of the Baby Boomer feminist who bursts into tears and bleats discrimination when it is proved that she's personally not up to the job.

There's a generation of women who don't want any Man-Hating-I-Am-Woman-Hear-Me-Roar-Bra-Burning-Take-Back-The-Night-Germaine-Greer-Quota-Emily's-List-Gender-Neutral-PC crap.

Step aside Ms Fingleton, you're getting in our way.

-- Nora

Monday, September 12, 2005

The Best Journalist You've Never Heard Of

Hi name is Alvaro. I don't know what he does for a day job, but for the past two weeks he has been a 'photojournalist' in New Orleans.

His moving pictures and stories are here. Look at all of them.

-- Nora

UPDATE: :-( Sorry about that folks, it seems like the slideshow has been moved. I'll let you know if I learn it has been reposted.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Pot, Meet Kettle

Canadian canary Celine Dion whinges about how it took about a week for meaningful aid to reach hurricane hit New Orleans yet it takes two weeks for her and her Hollywood cronies to get their act together to stage a benefit.

Also, from Tim Blair's site we learn that Americans have already donated more than $600,000 million.

So, let me see if I can get this straight: Aid gets to hurricane victims in a shorter amount of time than a bunch on entertainers can converge on one area for a fundraising concert AND they are soliciting money from ordinary Americans who have already given more than half a billion dollars.

As a quick aside, I'd donate money to hear Sean Penn sing the Split Enz classic Six Months In a Leaky Boat.

So, on a quick check, let's find out which celebs have opened their own wallets...

Congratulations to John Grisham, the largest single celebrity donor we've read about with his gift of $5 million.

I don't hear anything from Barbra Streisand, Matt Damon, Susan Sarandon or Tim Robbins but perhaps others could enlighten me.

-- Nora

No News Is Good News

How to take good news:

Officials say the final death toll from Hurricane Katrina may be lower than initially feared...
US Army engineers say that the putrid floodwaters clogging the wrecked city will be pumped out by early next month. That is nearly two months earlier than expected.

And turn it into a bad news attack on Bush.

Mark Steyn has more to say about New Orleans and the pathological hatred of the Left/MSM here.

-- Nick

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Making Sense Of Censorship

Regular visitors to Tim Blair's site will know that Nicky and I have been been somewhat bemused by the antics at left-leaning blog Margo Kingston's Web Diary.

We have always been advocates of healthy debate. Indeed it is the cornerstone of every democracy, yet the Web Diarists' desire to build a "professional on-line publication in the developing world of the new media" involves censoring each and every post. It is an issue we raised last weekend.

While the 'argy-bargy' between Margolians and Blairistans continues to provide some marvellous sport, it is timely to remind ourselves to seek out the quiet voice that cuts through the clutter to beautifully articulate a timeless truth.

This time you'll find it at Nilknarf's place.

-- Nora

Wake Up, Jeff!

Media commentator Brent Bozell makes some sharp comments on corporate responsibility for sleaze on TV:

Even though blame for increasingly offensive TV programming is properly assigned to producers, writers, networks, and even viewers, sponsors bankroll shows with graphic sexual content, foul language and violence, and therefore also share responsibility. Without the advertising dollars, the raunch would never air.

His piece calls to mind the opening this week of Wiggles World at Gold Coast 'family' fun park Dreamworld.

The Wiggles are, of course, the internationally successful entertainers targeted at pre-schoolers.

And Dreamworld is also the home of the Australian version of Big Brother.

Visit the Dreamworld web site and, on the Shows and Attractions drop-down menu, you'll find Big Brother sandwiched between Wiggles World and Nick Central (another section of the park aimed at young children and based on themes from the Nickolodeon Channel); visit the theme park itself while BB is running and you'll see signs warning that if you and your children go look at the monkeys in the house, the park isn't responsible for their foul language and behaviour.

I've felt for a long time that it's highly inappropriate for what aspires to be a family theme park to host a TV show the premise of which is to encourage increasingly poor behaviour with an emphasis on sexual activity and sexualised nudity.

With the arrival of Wiggles World, they've gone from encouraging seven year olds to rub shoulders with the animals in the BB zoo (children of which age are regulars at the BB eviction night live events) to getting pre-schoolers in on the act too.

But Dreamworld has been in the gutter with Big Brother for five seasons now so perhaps it's only to be expected of them.

But The Wiggles? Well, they should be ashamed of themselves. They've taken a wholesome product and dropped it if not actually in the sewer then right next to a ruptured main. Whatever they get splashed with, they deserve it.

If you'd like to let The Wiggles know what you think of their new housemates, you can contact them here.

-- Nick

One Law For The Bitch...

In an update to our earlier blog on the teacher who lured children into a group sex session, the female paedophile involved has felt the full weight of the law - though, of course, the law is undernourished and sexist.

Sarah Jayne Vercoe, 25, received a jail sentence of a mere two years on:

...14 charges arising from a two-month sexual relationship with a 15-year-old student she had met at a peer support camp.

The boy ended their relationship in January and Vercoe then went on to abuse four other boys – aged 14, 15 and two aged 16 – in one night in April.

She took the boys to her home while her husband was away.

Vercoe had agreed to give the boys a lift home after a basketball game, but instead she bought them alcohol before engaging in sex, or various sex acts, with them.

Tasmanian Supreme Court Justice Shan Tennent made the observation:
"It is hard to understand how a person such as you who is, on the surface clever, bright and attractive, could have exercised so little even common sense and act as you did."

and went on to make the same note every judge, magistrate, defense lawyer and journalist makes in all cases of female paedophiles preying on boys:
The boys involved were "not wholly unwilling"

Fortunately, family and others saw the situation for what it is:

Outside the court, the boys' families and sex abuse campaigners criticised the sentence, saying it was too lenient.

A spokesman for the families of the boys, who cannot be named for legal reasons, also said the boys had become withdrawn and were undergoing counselling.

"It is unbelievable that she will be out in two years. Does that send the right message to someone who is in a position of trust?" the spokesman said.

"The perception out in the big world is that they are boys and they should be grinning, but that's far from the truth."

One of the boys' mothers added tearfully: "I also thought it was very sexist mentioning that she was pretty and intelligent woman... if that was a male perpetrator would she say the same thing?"

No they wouldn't. But perhaps Justice Tennent thinks it'll all have a happy ending, just like rapist Mary Kay Letourneau and her victim Vili Fualaau.

-- Nick

Friday, September 09, 2005

If The Blog's A Rockin'...

Nicky and I can't guarantee we'll be doing much blogging this weekend.

We might be otherwise occupied.

Screaming Orgasm
1 oz vodka
1 1/2 oz Bailey's Irish cream
1/2 oz Kahlua coffee liqueur
Pour first vodka, then Bailey's, then Kahlua into a cocktail glass over crushed ice. Stir.

Caution: use only high quality vodka. Cheap vodka can cause the Bailey's to curdle. Test your brand of vodka by mixing 1 Tsp each of vodka and Bailey's first.

-- Nora

An Open Letter To Ameer Ali

Dear Dr Ali,
I read the newspaper report today in which you criticised the Australian Federal Government's new anti-terrorist measures.

You said, and I quote:

I think it could be counterproductive and undemocratic if incitement was conflated to incorporate any form of political dissent.

This quote is particularly ironic since one of the 'rights to dissent' you are seeking is vociferious support for so-called insurgents who are seeking to destablised a legitimate, democratically elected government in Iraq.

Need I remind you that before the liberation of Iraq from Saddam Hussein and the Baathist Party there was no democracy and no political dissent?

Need I remind you that you are (at the very least) an Australian resident by which you are endowed certain rights and civil liberties? By the same token you are obliged to meet particular responsibilities, the foremost of which is respect for the country in which you reside, its offices, its history and tradition.

If indeed you are a citizen, need I remind you of the oath of citizenship to which you pledged your allegiance?

To expect the right to support the murder of Australian troops who are conducting the orders of the legitimate government is outrageous in the extreme.

You say: "It's clear now the input of Muslims is irrelevant to the Government."

I say your input is irrelevant if you do not respect the laws of the country in which you reside.

You claim to fear that free speech is at risk under these measures yet any free speech which questions the motiviations of certain Muslims is immediately quelled as racist.

Australians welcome people who come to this land to contribute to the 'common wealth' of this country and who participate fully and actively in all areas of life.

Sir, I have one piece of advice for you. If you do not respect our system of government (even if you do not like the government of the day), common law and civil rights, then leave.

Take the advice of a fellow cleric. Get out. Leave. Piss Off.

-- Nora

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Muslim Cleric Has Good Idea

A radical Muslim cleric who has recently been barred from returning to Britain has urged all Muslims to leave the country.

Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

-- Nora

Gonna Put A Spell On You

Finding ourselves in the mood for some outrage television, we decided to watch A Current Affair this evening, particularly their report on teachers' inability to spell.

Ray Mate revealed that 85% of teachers cannot spell while Brendan Nelson sheeted home the blame to educational ideologues and state education ministers (while doing an excellent impersonation of a beanheaded animatronic character - not a good look, Bren).

If anyone thinks illiterate teachers are news, they should talk to a chum of ours, who prior to photographing a classroom in the early 1990s suggested the teacher might like to correct "the misspelling" she had written on the blackboard. The teacher asked: "What misspelling?"

When the error was pointed out to her, she corrected it huffily, complaining: "I must have been in a hurry."

Being in a hurry is no excuse for sloppiness. You can either spell or you can't. She couldn't spell back then and neither can 85% of her compatriots today.

However, why should we blame them? They are, after all, products of... The Education System.

-- Nick

Beech, Beach, Bitch

At least the driver's okay but...

Authorities had been combing rugged bushland for the driver after his burning Mercedes-Benz was found over a drop near Lower Beachmont Road at Beachmont last night.

...AAP should appreciate that while the Gold Coast has a lot of beaches, the hinterland disctrict is BEECHmont on account of the trees.

-- Nick and Nora

Female Paedophile Has Low Self-Esteem

Maybe because she's Tasmanian.

(Sarah Jayne) Vercoe had sex with the boys in a period between December last year and April this year.

Her defence counsel had told the court that personal troubles led to the offences.

When she's released from jail, will she be hounded from her home?

-- Nick and Nora

People Are Forensically Aware

There. Don't say you've not been warned.

According to New Scientist magazine, criminals are getting a helping hand from television police programs that reveal the secrets of forensic science.

Among examples cited by the article was an increasing use of plastic gloves by burglars, and a practice reported by police in northern England in which car thieves leave cigarette butts picked up from the street inside vehicles, hoping to lay a trail of false DNA evidence.

Who said TV wasn't educational?

-- Nora

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Allah's Greatest Hits

This little news item caught my eye today:

THE leader of the nation's first Muslim political party says all Australians should be living under Islamic law dictated by the Koran.

Isn't that nice? Who are these people again?

Ah yes, The Best Party of Allah in Australia.

Just listen to what president Kurt Kennedy has to say:

"Just as you see there is sufficient Greeks electing Greek MPs (eg Sophie Panopoulos, Peter Georgiou) and Chinese electing Chinese MPs (eg Penny Wong), you will not have any difficulty imagining one day, the BEST PARTY will control the majority in Parliament House", Mr. Kennedy forecasts.

Something to look forward to I'm sure.

The Best Party of Allah - reminds me of a bad Baby Boomer compilation album...

Coming soon - The Best of Allah Party hits.

Let’s party like its 699

Get your CD today of all your favourite party mixes of such classics as:

Boom Boom - John Lee Hooker
Whole Lotta Stoning Going On - Little Richard
Exodus - Eddie Harris
He Will Break Your Legs - Jerry Butler

But that’s not all, buy now and you’ll also receive a bonus CD with these faves:

Evil Woman - ELO
Two Out Of Three (Wives) Ain’t Bad - Meatloaf
Black Burqa Betty - Ram Jam.

Don’t delay, buy today!

Any other songs you'd like to see in this unlimited set? Leave a comment and let me know.

-- Nora

Now this Best Party of Allah is really swinging! Thank you to Leigh, who has come up with a second CD set. What a playlist!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Newsflash: Journalists Can't Be Trusted

Journalists always seem to get offended when ordinary folk tell them they can't be trusted but it is case proved by 'Journalist 1' and 'Journalist 2' (note, links are PDFs) in the sordid case of Sydney's Daily Telegraph and the John Brogden Affair.

Gee, if journalists can't even trust journalists who can anyone trust?

-- Nick and Nora

Sean's Penn-sive

We've stayed away from commenting on Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath in New Orleans (go to Michelle Malkin for the news) but we couldn't resist this story:

EFFORTS by Hollywood actor Sean Penn to aid New Orleans victims stranded by Hurricane Katrina foundered badly overnight, when the boat he was piloting to launch a rescue attempt sprang a leak.

Penn had planned to rescue children waylaid by Katrina's flood waters, but apparently forgot to plug a hole in the bottom of the vessel, which began taking water within seconds of its launch.

Self-aggrandizing prat.

He should have just given a generous donation instead. It's another reason why entertainers should just 'Shut up and sing'.

-- Nora

In light of new information, Tim Blair feels obliged to unreservedly withdraw his mockery of the former Mr Madonna.

We do not.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Margo, Welcome To The Real World

Ah, the Internet - the universal library, entertainment centre and meeting place.

One of the aspects of the world wide web which has made the medium the fastest growing is the opportunity to share information, thoughts and opinion without censorship, at least outside those countries (usually with title of the "Peoples Democratic Republic of ...") whose governments actively control speech.

No wonder the Internet has governments everywhere rather concerned - and media moguls such as Rupert Murdoch trying desperately to figure out how to make people pay for all this 'free' speech.

Particularly since the advent of WYSIWYG editors, publishing on the Internet, through blogs, is now available to anyone with a modicum of familiarity with word processing programs.

It also has an etiquette all of its own, in which fools who persist in foolish behaviour often find themselves either flamed or even more mercilessly lampooned.

Such is the case with former Sydney Morning Herald journalist Margo Kingston. Arguably one of the first MSM bloggers in Australia, her Fairfax sponsored Web Diary has been online since 2000.

Filled with all of the airy fairy, leftie nonsense that tends to inhabit the rarefied atmosphere of newsrooms and universities, Margo sadly believes the rules that apply to newspapers also applies equally to the Internet. One such rule is supplying a real name to letters to the editor, or in this case, comments to main posts.

Coming from a newspaper background Margo and her team of 16 technical and administrative staff (sorry, team. Staff infers a class-based hierarchy) fail to see the fundamental difference in this medium.

Blogging and commenting on blogs requires a level of bravery. Expect your preconceptions to be challenged - perhaps pleasantly, perhaps not so. In this land your commenters have equal rights - either directly through comments or through 'Watch' sites such as MooreWatch.

The pseudonyms on the web are used for the very same reason why 19th century authors Ellis, Currer and Acton Bell (better known as Elizabeth, Charlotte and Anne Bronte) and George Eliot (lesser known by her real name Mary Ann Evans) employed them - to prevent preconceptions (in their case based on gender) detracting from their message.

This is a part of the Internet that Margo still struggles with. This from her most recent post:

When the technical people sent their design for the Webdiary page, I was horrified that they'd included my email address. I'd got a silent home number after receiving hate snail mail and abusive phone calls while covering the Wik legislation and Pauline Hanson's 1998 federal election campaign, and the last thing I wanted was to invite an onslaught. Get used to it, Tom said. Interactivity is the future.

The first entry began: "Welcome to my Canberra diary. I'm allowed to say what I think whenever I like, and lucky you can interact if you like. The downside for this indulgence is that all the words stay forever so I can be judged for my sins." (Welcome to my diary...and now for the GST)

It's ironic, thinking back, that I was so loathe to encourage reader feedback. My experience covering Pauline Hanson had convinced me that was something very wrong with the relationship between journalists and the public they supposedly served. When would the media address our endemic disconnect with the people? And how could we do it?

Webdiary was my answer. Far from an onslaught of hate mail, interesting emails, on the topic I'd written about, other topics and the idea of interaction between journalist and reader, started rolling in. Most were so good I made the decision that would transform the page, to publish them as a matter of course.

A big plus for readers was that they could talk one on one with a journalist.

While this may have been news to journalists - that there were actually readers out there who are intelligent, thinking people - it certainly isn't to Netizens who have been engaging in lively debate on a variety of topics via message boards for the better part of a decade.

Another rule of the Internet is that you don't censor debate. By all means delete abusive posts, ban offenders or switch off the comments function altogether if you must, however the concept is not about getting the last word in. Free speech is enhanced when it is free flowing and uncensored.

9. I reserve the right to edit contributions.

Also, expect to be lampooned if you take yourself seriously. Bloggers have a great sense of humour. For instance, my favourite Margo Kingston resides here.

And certainly don't expect to make money out of blogging, in this world your opinion has the same monetary value as any other individual, whether or not you are a senior journalist.

For the majority of us here, the opportunity to share information, debate, a joke and camaraderie is payment enough - heck we'll even supply our own computer, Internet connection and formatting ability.

-- Nora

The reason why Nick and Nora's Cocktail of the Week is two days late is I've been beset by the flu and not been up to drinking more than H20. Alas!

But here is something appropriate for today's post...

Fondling Fool Recipe

1/2 oz. Triple Sec
1 1/2 oz. Brandy
1 oz. Madeira
Mixing Instruction
Pour the brandy, madeira wine and triple sec into a mixing glass half-filled with ice. Stir well. Strain into a cocktail glass, and serve.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

News From Queens Land

In the 1970s, a British Sunday newspaper magazine revealed a scandal in which US Mormons were allegedly doing the rounds of often disused English country churches and buying old registers of Births, Marriages and Deaths.

The Telegraph report stated that the Anglican and other denomination churchgoers of times gone by were then being posthumously ‘converted’ to the Mormon religion and their details stored along with those of more legitimately recruited members in a vast nuclear-bomb proof repository beneath an American mountain. Among the reasons suggested for this was so that the Mormons could not only build up enough numbers to claim the status of one of the biggest religions in the world but also that, should the present civilisation be wiped out by nuclear war, future societies would find their records and wonder at the Mormon magnitude.

I must confess I’m working from memory here. The publication was either The Observer Magazine or the Sunday Telegraph Magazine.

But I was reminded of the report when reading a piece by Mark Steyn on more recent attempts by a special interest group to rewrite history even to the extent of recasting ordinary individuals in roles they did not play:

Major historical figures who built our country are discarded, but a minor 19th century magistrate has streets named after him and monuments erected to him at Toronto taxpayers’ expense because he “suffered a homophobic scandal”. That’s one way of putting it. In the course of investigating a rape case in which the victim claimed to have scratched the perpetrator in the old trouser department, Alexander Wood decided he needed to examine personally the distinguishing characteristics of extensive numbers of young men. On the basis of this very literal heavy-handedness, he’s been taken up as a “gay pioneer”, even though there’s no evidence he was. Nevertheless, the new memorial to him at the corner of Alexander and Church shows him inspecting the lunchbox of a fetching young lad.

Have these people no shame? Does their zealotry preclude no lie or fabrication to advance ‘the cause’?

For some in the homosexual community, it is too much. One of the greatest female thinkers of the 20th century, Camille Paglia, once bemoaned (I believe in her work Sexual Personae) the mainstreaming of homosexuality, positing that these one-time outlaws on the fringes of society were becoming just another whiny, needy middle-class group. And as Steyn notes:

I was at a big showbiz gathering the other day and got into a chat with a famous gay who suddenly embarked on a magnificent rant about how all these dreary political activists were completely ruining homosexuality. I wound up agreeing with him. “If Cole Porter came back today, he’d be straight,” I said.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

-- Nick

News From Queensland

The two most hated men in the Australian state of Queensland at the moment would be Bundaberg Hospital's Medical Services Director Darren Keating and Hospital Manager Peter Leck.

As evidence, a Brisbane Courier-Mail on-line survey which found most people (more than 40%) felt the two bureaucrats were most responsible for the collapse of the Morris enquiry into Bundaberg's hospital.

The enquiry has revealed gross mismanagement of the state health system which has contributed to the deaths and maiming of patients. But it was brought to a half prematurely when Keating and Leck complained to the Supreme Court that Commissioner Tony Morris was biased against them.

If he was, no wonder – these people entrusted with the lives of the sick and elderly even allowed an unlicensed sociopath, one Jayant Patel, to practice surgery and possibly murder at least 12 people. Then Keating and Leck’s workmates in head office gave Patel an airline ticket back to the US. Efforts to retrieve Patel have since proved fruitless.

The third most despised party amongst those singled out in the survey is State Premier Peter Beattie who some reports suggest may have grasped the straw of the Supreme Court’s judgement as a means of preventing further embarrassment to his government.

-- Nick

Disaster Disparity

One was going to comment on the disparity between TV and print media coverage of the crisis in New Orleans and that being provided by bloggers and others on the Internet. But then Mark Alexander said it first and so much better.

Alexander answers some of those who are attempting to make political mileage from the disaster and also addresses the mumbo-jumbo merchants who think Katrina is Gaia's Revenge:

Despite assertions about "global-warming hurricanes," renowned meteorologist Dr. William Gray, in a recent interview with Discover magazine (which has advocated the theory of human-induced global warming), begged to differ: "This human-induced global-warming grossly exaggerated. ... I'm not disputing there has been global warming. There was a lot of global warming in the 1930s and '40s, and then there was global cooling in the middle '40s to the early '70s. Nearly all of my colleagues who have been around 40 or 50 years are skeptical...about this global-warming thing. But no one asks us." Gray was described by Discover magazine's editors as one of "the world's most famous hurricane experts." But what do they know.

He also touches on the issue arising from Katrina likely to touch most people throughout the Western world, the rising price of oil:

On the topic of fossil fuel, OPEC oil topped $70/barrel this week, though it costs the money-grubbing cartel a mere $4/barrel to produce. (If memory serves, we liberated this region from tyranny twice in recent history, yet no offer of reduced oil prices to help alleviate our refining crisis has been forthcoming.) President Bush will surely be blamed for our high gas prices and our limited refining capabilities -- but those casting the blame are the same folks who have blocked construction of a single U.S. refinement facility since 1976.

-- Nick