Sunday, May 28, 2006

No Soup For You

Michael Schumacher has pulled one stunt too many:

...dramatically stripped of pole position and banished to last on the grid for tonight's (AEST) Monaco Formula One Grand Prix. The FIA, motor racing's world governing body, said in a statement that the seven-time world champion had deliberately stopped his car on the track at the penultimate Rascasse corner in the closing seconds of qualifying, preventing rivals from setting a faster time.
I've never really had much time for the arrogant Schumacher, no matter how good a driver he's supposed to be. Neither has Jacques Villeneuve:

"It is unacceptable. It shows that every time in the past that he has done something like that and people have given him the benefit of the doubt – that makes it obvious."
I was going to toast Schumacher with this cocktail (warning - adult language) - but Nora won't let me.

So may I suggest:


2 oz tequila
6 oz limeade
1 slice lime

Combine tequila, limeade and ice in a highball glass. Squeeze lime juice from the slice into mixture and then drop the rind in the glass as well. Stir and serve.
Serve in "Highball Glass "
also from

-- Nick

100 Points Of Identification

WESTPAC wants the leaders of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils to prove they were legally elected before it lets new executives access the organisation's bank accounts:

With five of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils' nine state bodies rebelling against the new eight-member board and insisting on fresh elections, the bank is demanding clarification about who is actually in charge.

"We would like a copy of the minutes giving confirmation of the members elected and therefore their authority to appoint signatories to bank accounts," says a letter from the bank dated May 22 and marked "urgent action required".
Westpac only found out AFIC was in disarray from the media. The letter read in part:

"It has come to our attention from newspaper media ... that the elections that were held end of April 06 for new AFIC board members may be in dispute."
Westpac might not have found out at all. AFIC was trying to stop The Australian from publishing stories about them, but:

Yesterday, AFIC failed in a bid in the Victorian Supreme Court to gag The Australian from publishing stories about the organisation after winning an interim injunction last week.
One dares say the bank would like AFIC's first action to be a deposit - they're almost a quarter of a million dollars overdrawn, despite deriving an income from: on land that houses its five Muslim schools across the country.
plus a very nice annual handout from the public purse:

Malek Fahd, AFIC's largest school in western Sydney, receives $11 million a year in public funds, more than any other private school in NSW.
Eleven million dollars a year.

I'd be interested to know if any other private school in the entire country gets that sort of ride on the public dime.

I also wonder if the private school/religious organisation haters on the Left, particularly NSW Labor MP Ian West or Federal Labor MP Warren Snowdon, will jump up and down over this with the same enthusiasm with which they have attacked the Hillsong Christian Church over a variety of grants for work in the community in spite of no impropriety being proven).

One thinks not.

-- Nick

Truth In Advertising?

You're a filthy, promiscuous whore. Now buy our product.

Oh, sorry. The voiceover in the Kotex 'U' TV ads actually says:

Skanky ho eyeshadow. Blue.
I think I'll shower at home. Green.
You are so dumped. Pink.
Really twisted colours.
That's so U. defines 'skanky" as:

1. A rhythmic dance performed to reggae or ska music, characterized by bending forward, raising the knees, and extending the hands.
2. Disgusting or vulgar matter; filth.
3. One who is digustingly foul or filthy and often considered sexually promiscuous. Used especially of a woman or girl.
and 'ho' as:

Slang. A prostitute. [African American Vernacular English, alteration of whore.]
I first encountered 'skanky ho' as a female term of endearment a few years ago when a university educated workmate in her early 30s opened a phone call to an acquaintance with 'How ya goin', ya skanky ho?'

When she finished the call, I asked her if she realised what she'd just called her friend, as well as vitually yelling throughout the office. She had no idea what it meant beforehand and couldn't care less afterwards. It was what all the trendy gal pals were calling each other.

Only a few years on and what would once have been fighting words even between a pair of King's Cross streetwalkers is tres amusant in the ad copy game and acceptable language in commercials that, extrapolating from the advertiser's own on-line promotional material, are aimed at an audience potentially as young as eight-years-old.

I'm guessing Kotex, which is owned by Kimberly-Clark, isn't referring to ska dancing prostitutes so I'll stick with my original translation.

I'm also guessing Kimberly-Clark and their agency thought they were being so hip, 'now' and relevant with their TVCs promoting tampons in coloured wrappers.

Perhaps that's why after 'showing it like it is' across the three ads - going out dressed like a two-dollar hooker, leaping out of bed in horror at the freak you've just woken up next to ('It seemed like a good idea at the time! Orange.'), realising the place you crashed in is a sleazy pigsty and scrawling a message on the mirror to make sure he realises it was only a one-night stand - Kimberly-Clark includes on their website a caring, informative brochure, amusingly entitled Life Education, that warns girls:

If you've had sex even once in the last month or so, there might be a chance that you're pregnant. See your doctor or family planning clinic as soon as possible.
You might also want to stop modelling your life on Kotex ads and your slut mates and try getting an idea.

-- Nick

You can view the Eye Shadow Blue ad on Kotex's appallingly clunky Flash website.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Girl Power

Tell us something we didn't already know:

POPULAR fictional characters such as Harry Potter's Hermione could be contributing to an increase in violence among girls, a leading US expert said.

Girls had traditionally learned to suppress violent tendencies but now get mixed messages about how they should behave, renowned US psychologist Professor James Garbarino, who has advised the FBI, said. "We are seeing a general increase in normal aggression and an increase in criminal violence," Professor Garbarino told The Daily Telegraph.

"It used to be very rare for women to participate in armed robbery. It used to be very rare to see female gang members behaving in a violent way and that is more common now."
How astute of those who've been experimenting on society for so long to finally notice the damage they're doing:

Some studies had shown in some circumstances that girls now display a greater tendency than boys to be aggressive, particularly when they can do so in an anonymous way such as in a gang.
No surprise that Garbarino is touting a book, See Jane Hit: Why Girls Are Growing More Violent and What We Can Do About It.

Which includes staying away from Harry Potter flicks, apparently:

He pointed to characters such as Hermione, who is the "perfect daughter" but in the third Potter movie punches Harry's enemy Malfoy.

"Afterwards she says 'Boy, that felt good' and she is cheered on by her friends," Professor Garbarino told the Parenting Imperatives II conference. "To tell a girl after seeing that movie that girls don't hit is preposterous. Girls hit, it feels good and people appreciate it - that's the message."
Garbarino must have missed Thelma And Louise. He also notes that the 'good news that more girls were active in sport had produced side effects and unanticipated consequences':

He said traditionally boys playing contact sports had been taught how to be aggressive without crossing the line into violence. They had been taught to then back off, shake hands and be friends. But girls found this more difficult.

"I think it's mostly because girls have not had this taught to them," Professor Garbarino said.
I'm reminded of a female boxer and equity feminist of some years ago who said the most important thing she'd learned from the sport was how to compete without rancour and leave animosity in the ring.

Outside the ring, they've been beefing up girls' engines for years but forgetting to upgrade the brakes.

The feminist marketing message of Girls Can Do Anything might have led many women to rewarding careers (although one notices the ad pitch is always up to working in white collar professions, not down to digging ditches and driving garbage trucks) but many others haven't been raised up to the mythical heights of joyous equality, they've simply been taught to squander whatever claim to moral superiority they may have once inherited and behave as badly as those the feminists despise:

Earlier this year two 14-year-old girls from Liverpool were accused of murdering taxi driver Youbert Hormozi. And in London, 16-year-old Chelsea O'Mahoney was jailed for eight years for her role in an orgy of violence by a gang known as "happy slappers", responsible for attacks on eight people, including a barman beaten to death.
It's all a bit like Communism really - all that equality sounds great in theory, Comrade Sister, but instead of raising everyone to the same level, it lowers them.

-- Nick

Child Abuse

First the lunatics took over the asylum.

Now they're taking over childcare centres:

A COUNCIL-run childcare centre is teaching toddlers that gay, lesbian and "transgender" parents are normal in a bid to "challenge the perception" of young children about sexuality. The Tillman Park Children's Centre in Tempe - which receives council and government funding - has devised the gay-friendly curriculum for children aged six weeks to six years.

Marrickville Mayor Sam Byrne said the centre had "successfully adopted several strategies to encompass lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and inter-sex issues". These included ensuring images were reflective of "diverse families" and "actively affirming the identity of lesbian and gay families". He said the centre challenged "children's perception of what is 'normal' gender and sexual identity".

The centre uses controversial Learn to Include books, which feature Jed and his Dads and The Rainbow Cubby House.
The push to turn a pathology into normality is explained further:

Psychologist Lorraine Corne said yesterday it is essential the concept of gay and lesbians was introduced to young children in a proper way.

"You would introduce the concept like you would introduce the concept of sex," she said. "It would be done at a level that they understand. It could be as simple as some people have a father and a mother and some people have two mothers and some have two fathers.
Ms Corne must have become a psychologist because she flunked medicine. You can only have one mother and one father. You can, however, have a mother or father with a pathology who chooses to live with a similarly pathological co-dependent, much in the same way addicts are attracted to one another so they can share their disorder.

"It would have to be put in a very simplistic way otherwise it is beyond their comprehension and it would go above their heads," Ms Corne said.
Because they're six weeks to six years old.

Think about it. Ms Corne and the Mayor of Marickville is advocating brainwashing pre-schoolers into thinking a mental disorder is normal.

It's something that has been going on for years, ever since the American Psychiatric Association allowed itself to be bullied and pressured into toeing the line:

Homosexual militants achieved a significant victory in 1973 when they succeeded in terrorizing the American Psychiatric Association (APA) into removing homosexuality as a mental disorder from the APA’s Diagnostic And Statistical Manual On Mental Disorders (DSM). Homosexuals had lobbied the APA since 1971 and began disrupting APA meetings, grabbing microphones and shouting down any psychiatrist who considered homosexuality to be a mental disorder. The tactics of 60s anti-war protesters worked. The APA caved and homosexuals have used this victory to proclaim that homosexual behavior is normal.
The APA gave way after many earlier years of shonky studies supported by the fledgling homosexual lobby, including the Kinsey Report and Evelyn Hooker's 1957 The Adjustment of the Male Overt Homosexual:

...the most frequently cited scientific source for the argument that homosexuality is not a pathology, that homosexuals are as free from mental disorder as heterosexuals.

Such assertions have not only found their way into standard psychology textbooks but have also provided a scientific basis for decisions in major court cases involving the legality of state sodomy laws and prohibitions against homosexual employment in certain state and local agencies (e.g., schools, police departments). Indeed, when the American Psychiatric Association debated the issue of homosexuality in 1973, Evelyn Hooker's work was Exhibit A for those who wanted to remove homosexuality from the group's list of mental disorders.

For many commentators and activists, the Hooker study effectively ended the debate over whether or not homosexuals were in any way abnormal in their relationships with each other and with the community at large. Today many Americans have accepted the idea that homosexuality is "normal" and "healthy" without realizing that such an opinion is derived in large measure from a single study -- one conducted by a UCLA professor whose previous laboratory subjects had been rats.
The fraudulant Alfred Kinsey was also unqualified for his task - he was a zoologist, specialising in the gall wasp.

Both Kinsey and Hooker deliberately selected homosexuals to take part in their studies, Kinsey by trawling Los Angeles gay bars and extensively interviewing child sexual molestors while ostensibly sampling a random cross-section of society, and Hooker, also actively moving among the LA homosexual community, by seeking to:

...prove that homosexuals could function as normal human beings. As she herself said, "How could my hypothesis have been anything else? I'd seen these men and saw nothing psychopathological in their behavior."
Meanwhile, back at The Tillman Park Children's Centre:

Marika Kontellis, whose three-year-old daughter Jasmin attends the centre, said although she was in a heterosexual relationship she had no issue with the material being taught. She said she could understand how some families might find the topics confronting or uncomfortable "but for us it is important to know that families come in different shapes and sizes and that's okay and that's good".

-- Nick

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Quote Unquote

If the intro reads:

RESULTS of tests carried out on a Melbourne university building at the centre of a brain tumour scare have shown radiation levels to be safe and within national standards.
Why does the headline read:

RMIT radiation levels 'safe'
Just asking.

-- Nick

Strummer Dumber

It took decades and probably billions of dollars around the world to turn drink-driving from a dangerous regular habit to a socially unacceptable practice.

But former Australian Crawl guitarist Simon Binks has managed to turn the tide:

...Binks has been awarded $330,000 by a Sydney court after suffering brain damage in a car accident.

Binks was almost three times over the drink-driving limit when he hit a power pole in his Mercedes-Benz in July 1995.

He sued North Sydney Council in the NSW Supreme Court for negligence, claiming the council was liable for the crash because road works in the vicinity were not properly lit or sign-posted.

Justice Clifton Hoeben today found in his favour, saying the council had breached its duty of care.

"The combination of the configuration of the road works with the inadequate signage created a confusing and ambiguous situation," he said. "Confusion in the mind of a motorist could lead to serious injury or death."
So could too much booze.


Binks, 49, claimed the accident left him brain damaged and unable to make a normal living.
The guy was frickin' rock musician. Normal living?

-- Nick

Sunday, May 21, 2006

One Law For Them

Glancing through the latest celebrity gossip one is rather bemused by the necessity to invent new laws to prevent stupid people from doing stupid and harmful things.

While in favour of maximum personal responsibility and minimum government intervention, two new laws designed to impose commonsense demonstrates the need to keep Hollywood types on a short leash.

Exhibit A:
Warbling pop tart Britney Spears will have more than a perfume and a half hearted singing career to her name, after California politicians introduced a bill forcing parents to face child car seats backwards if they are less than one year old.

The dumb blonde was photographed with her eight-month-old son, Sean Preston, slumped in a forward-facing seat a few months after being photographed driving off with the child on her lap.

Exhibit B:
Hyperactive midget Tom Cruise lends his name to a law introduced to ban selling ultrasound machines to anyone but licensed medical professionals, after he bought one for fiancee Katie Holmes.

So, accepting that idiot celebities need laws to tell them to do things that people who actually use their brains for independent thought already take for granted, what other laws should we have?

The Susan Sarandon Law
Actors should be seen and not heard except for promoting their next movie.

Penalty for straying on to subjects they're not qualified to talk about: 10 years no red carpet photography and interviews.

The Charlie Sheen Law
A law to stop any person denying the absolutely bleeding obvious in favour of a convoluted conspriacy theory to fit personal biases.

Penalty: 5 years watching Major League II in an a continuous loop until permanent catatonia ensues.

The Jude Law
Philandering movie stars caught cheating on the person with whom they had conspired to cheat on someone else will be sentenced 15 years hard labour as Rosie O'Donnell's full time semi-naked house boy.

Any other laws you'd like to see enacted? Just drop us a line.

In the meantime enjoy:

Straight Law
1 1/2 oz dry sherry
3/4 oz gin
Stir ingredients with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and serve.

-- Nora

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Rex Hunt, Human

Rex Hunt apologises profusely as a newspaper reveals a dirty secret:

MELBOURNE football broadcaster Rex Hunt yesterday told of his shame and sorrow after revealing to his family that he paid women for sex.

"It was an arrangement for money for sexual favours and as far as I'm concerned that was it," he said. "I am deeply ashamed and sorry that I have hurt my wife and children and close friends. The fact is, Lynne and I love each other very, very much ... and I stuffed up. The buck stops with me."

Melbourne's top football broadcaster sat with his wife of 34 years and told the Herald Sun of the sex-for-money "arrangements" involving three women going back to the early 1990s.
Hunt was actually blackmailed - he paid $50,000 hush money to one of the women:

Of the most recent arrangement, involving a Melbourne beautician, Hunt said: "I had a confidential arrangement with a woman whereby I paid her money in exchange for sexual favours." He said he had agreed to end the relationship, which started in 1997, with a cash payment to protect Lynne.

Hunt... would not reveal how much, but the Herald Sun believes it was $50,000 cash. "I paid money thinking that I would get confidentiality so that I could protect my wife from my wrongdoings," he said. "The arrangement was mutually and satisfactorily finalised between my wife and myself with the woman 14 months ago. The finalisation included a confidentiality clause and a final payment to say that the arrangement is over. I signed that agreement through my stupidity, on the love of my wife and children."

Hunt said he thought then that he and Lynne had "dealt with this problem and moved on".
But that didn't stop the noble men and women of the Fouth Estate:

But rumours have been circulating about Hunt's activities, and in response to an investigation by the Herald Sun he decided to confirm he had led a secret life.
Hunt is contrite and open:

"I'm a man. I'm a family man. You reckon I'm proud of this? No, I'm not. "You reckon I love my wife? Yes, I do."
But the crux of the story is hinted at in paragraph six:

"For private reasons between Lynne and I, I was desperate for physical contact," he said.
and revealed for those who read far enough down this long sorry (for the media) tale:

Hunt also spoke of the dark times of his wife's battle with bi-polar depression.

"I tell you what, I sit there when my wife is at her lowest. I cuddle her and I stop her from crying and I bloody well look after her. And when she's well, I get out there to the Brownlow (medal count) and we are fantastic."

...Hunt met Lynne in 1968, when she was 18. He was 19 and about to start his second season with the Tigers. They married four years later.
Teen onset bi-polar disorder turns ordinary people into monsters and their unsuspecting partners into despairing creatures who yearn for the simple human comfort of a loving embrace - or even something vaguely approximating it - without the risk of it suddenly turning into a nightlong horror of abuse and yelling.

I should know. But, for me, it was a lifetime (and another marriage) ago.

For Rex Hunt, it is his life today as it was yesterday and the day before and, God bless him, he is a good man, in spite of and revealed by his own words...

"Did I commit a moral atrocity? My bloody oath I did. But I've always faced the problems that I've had. And we're not bad people. I'm a bad person. My wife is the most beautiful person and I won't hurt her any more. This has come back to haunt us."
...and inordinately patient too for hanging in and, after near 40 years, still being able to see the woman he loves behind the creature she becomes.

-- Nick

Update: My hush money analysis of the first story is confirmed: As part of the deal, the woman handed over two notes and a tape of a telephone conversation.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Girls Can Do Anything

Gender equity in action:

A TEENAGER has died after she was dragged unconscious by the heels into a Perth hospital and abandoned by friends following a night of alleged drinking and drug-taking.

The comatose 17-year-old girl was dropped at Armadale hospital's emergency department on Saturday after she apparently drank alcohol, smoked cannabis and sniffed butane gas at a party in south-east suburban Kelmscott, police said.
-- Nick

Court Jester

Susan Sarandon. Actress. Star of Thelma And Louise:

An Arkansas waitress and a housewife shoot a rapist and take off in a '66 Thunderbird (Internet Movie Database plot outline) Emphasis added

Louise kills a man who threatens to rape Thelma. (Internet Movie Database plot summary) Emphasis added

"When Thelma and Louise lock up the policeman in the trunk they shoot two air holes in the lid. (Movie Mistakes)
Susan Sarandon. Peace activist. Anti gun supporter.


-- Nick

Monday, May 15, 2006

I Don't Know If It's Cloudy Or Bright...

The print media really doesn't like Today Tonight much, does it:

TV stars cleared of charges
From: By staff writers and wires May 15, 2006

The charges against Channel 7 news director Stephen Carey, Today Tonight executive producer Craig McPherson, and former Sunday Herald-Sun editor Alan Howe were upheld by Magistrate Lisa Hannan today... But a number of Seven stars including David Koch, Melissa Doyle and Naomi Robson were cleared of criminal charges stemming from the story they aired about a boy who divorced his parents.

And here I was thinking these Equity members were supposed to be journalists.

-- Nick

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mass Communications

Forgive us readers, for we have sinned. It has been almost one week since our last update.

In the virtual confessional this week are Irish Catholic priests:

Irish communications regulator ComReg has spoken to three churches in central Ireland to warn them that their unlicensed transmission of daily and Sunday services might be creating problems for airliners as they flew overhead.

"I knew it was sort of a gray area but I didn't know we were breaking the law," Father Brendan Quinlan, a Dublin parish priest, told the Irish Independent.
In the virtual sin bin is the ABC:

ANNE Sargeant, Australia's most experienced netball commentator, has been sacked by the ABC because she claims it believes she is too old for television.
And here is today's cocktail A Phone Call To God.

But don't have too many and land in hospital, because around the country it seems that possessing written communication from the Almighty is banned.

Phone Call To God
2 oz Vodka
2 oz Triple Sec
2 oz Southern Comfort
1 oz Brandy
1 oz Amaretto
1 oz Peach Schnapps
1 oz Apple Schnapps
2 oz Orange Juice
2 oz Cranberry Juice
1 splash(es) Club Soda and Lime Juice
Serve in a tall glass

-- Nora

Nobody Expects The Spanish Inquisition!

Thought this was a laugh - we had a networked laptop suddenly stop seeing the Internet (that wasn't funny and still isn't but the laptop isn't the point) and one went Googling to try to find answers.

"This connection has limited or no connectivity," said Windows XP, "Cannot renew IP address." So one Googled away and turned up, among the many other people who have fretted the meaning behind those phrases, one KevinD81.

Young Kev, it appears, was a student at Genesee Community College at Batavia in New York, and still maintains a home page there. Let him tell you a little about himself:

I'm a 24-year-old grad student from Batavia, NY. I'm currently pursuing a MA in English at UB. In Spring 2003, I graduated from Geneseo. I majored in English, minored in computer science and worked as a copy editor on the college paper, The Lamron, where I made a lot of great friendships and memories. From July '03 to June '04 I worked as a reporter and copy editor for a small local paper and this summer became a correspondent with my hometown Daily News. Currently, I work as a Graduate Assistant with News Services at UB reporting on campus events for The Reporter. As far as my interests are concerned, I like books and movies an inordinate amount and I enjoy hanging out with my friends whenever I get the chance--some of whom appear in the image below! If you want to know more about me I suggest reading my LiveJournal!
Despite recently posting this:

Conan! Sondheim! Oh my!

Friday night Josh and I went to a musical version of “Clue” (yes, the board game) at GCC. He called about it about 20 minutes before the show started, so it was a bit of a whirlwind to get out the door in time... Saturday. Who did I see perform? Just CONAN O’BRIEN, that’s who!
Kevin appears to be heterosexual, he likes a range of progressive music, asks a lot of questions on the web about computers, is registered as an editor of Wikipedia and is a Democrat.

He is also, apparently, a thief.

Here's part of what he posted to a computer users group in August 2004:

kevind8108-22-2004, 09:05 AM
...I was accessing the Internet thru someone else's wireless connection last night, but then suddenly around 4 a.m. (and still this morning) I can no longer get online thru the connection. I get a message that says I have "limited or no connectivity" and when I try and repair the problem it says "cannot complete the following action: Renewing your IP address" Does this mean the other computer has blocked me somehow, or that it's simply shut off (though if the computer with the wireless broadcaster was off, it wouldn't pop up when I searched for connections yet, right?)

I am running Win XP SP2 and am using its connection software. Thanks for the help! I am new to this!

PS: If I am being blocked, is there a way to get around it?
The other users told Kev what to do pretty quickly:

Either you are a troll, or just not aware of what is legal and what isn't.
The Post Scriptum in your post makes me think the first option is correct, and in that case, go fornicate yourself.

On the off-chance that you just aren't aware that you are committing a felony, I'd advise you to read this post ( , and then read
this post ( afterwards.

If you are being blocked chances they found you leeching and corrected the problem. The way to get around it is pay for your own access.


beakmyn11-16-2004, 05:13 AM
kevind81 The host name is:

It appears that this thief was using a Road Runner account in Rochester, NY based on his initial registration. Details available for appropriate LE agencies.

Ooh, a local boy. I've got my pitchfork and club I'm going Troll hunting!

BTW, here bluefrog is cheap local dialup account so that's less then fruitful but the RoadRunner IP stays for quite some time.

[edit] The internet is a wonderful thing:
Google for kevind81 ( Pictures too. Coincendence? I think not.

little pervert! Newsgroup post ( et&rnum=8&prev=/ lr%3D%26sa%3DN%26tab%3Dwg)
Ah, justice is swift and sure on the Internet but it is uncertain whather any of this touches young Kev. The on-line test he took that described him as an Old School Democrat noted:

The Democratic ideal is best summarized by the Four Freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.
And free Internet access too, it appears.

Ah, Kev! You're surely on your way to a golden career in America's mainstream media.

-- Nick

Saturday, May 13, 2006

A Few Drinks With Mates

Ethnic youth gangs have critically injured two of their own in clashes in a Queensland playground:

A SUBURBAN park has become a battleground for warring gangs of youths, leaving locals fearing for their safety and forcing the council to impose a curfew.

In the latest incident, on Thursday night, a gang fight in the shadows of its children's playground left three men injured, two critically.

Police last night charged eight males aged between 15 and 18 with two counts each of attempted murder, grievous bodily harm with intent, assault occasioning bodily harm while armed, and armed robbery.

Locals said mobs of youths took up residence in the park on Bennett Drive at Regents Park in Logan on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. They carried samurai swords and fought into the early hours as they worked through up to seven crates of beer each evening.

One of those involved in Thursday's brawl, who only wanted to be known as Cameron, said about 40 youths of Cambodian descent had swarmed the area late on Thursday night... He claimed the raid was the result of conflicts between local Lebanese and Cambodian Australians.
Sound like they're so blase about it all, they were stopping every now and again for a reviving ale.

Locals are less calm about it:

Most of the neighbours interviewed on Friday said they feared for their safety, but had given up complaining to the council about the issue.
But their local representative, Regents Park councillor Cherie Dalley, thinks they're making too much fuss:

"It's sad people feel like they're being forced out of their homes (but) these are isolated incidents," she said. "I think it's just one of those things."
Move in next door then.

-- Nick

Flirting With Crime

The Brisbane Courier-Mail goes soft this weekend on a convicted rapist-murderer because it's got an exclusive interview with the killer's celebrity brother:

RUGBY League great Mal Meninga has broken years of silence over his jailed younger brother, Bevan, to reveal he will sponsor the convicted murderer for parole.

In a candid interview with today's Qweekend magazine, Queensland's new State of Origin coach tells how he has regularly visited his brother in jail since his return to Brisbane 18 months ago.
But in recalling the case in it's on-line promotion, the newspaper goes easy on the detail of what was described as the time as vicious rape and stabbing:

Bevan Meninga was aged 19 when he was convicted in 1992 of the murder of Sunshine Coast teenager Cheree Richardson.
then seeks to deflect from the 19 year old's criminality by drawing attention to the political capital the Queensland Liberal Party attempted to gain from the matter:

The case became a political football when it emerged the crime had been committed while the young man was on parole following his early release from jail on assault and other offences, also involving a woman.
This is a reference to 1992 State election campaign ads:

Queensland Liberals, Bevan Meninga Advertisement, 1992:
Cherie Richardson was murdered. Under Labor's early release system Cherie's murderer had been freed after serving only 14 months of a four-year sentence. Labor has the blood of these victims on its hands. The Bevan Meningas of this world will serve their full term.
The campaign backfired and the ads were withdrawn after complaints by Cheree Richardson's parents.

But the political fuss is a sidenote and a handy distraction for the Courier-Mail.

The Cheree Richardson-Bevan Meninga case is surprisingly almost invisible on the Internet. Searches turn up very little outside a handful of comments on the political aftermath. I turned to a search of Newstext to try to recall the exact details of the case but Newstext searches only go back 10 years.

However, more recent news of Bevan Meninga's life behind bars turns up a 2000 description of him as:

Convicted killer and rapist Bevan Meninga... his life sentence for a horrific attack on a woman, 19.
No such descriptive terms now admired celebrity brother Mal has chosen to re-own the brother one recalls he once publicly disowned:

Without condoning what his brother had done, Mal Meninga says he stood by him for the sake of their mother, Leona.

"It was more standing by her, really. It was a shocking thing for her to go through," he tells Qweekend.

"The media attention it had, and then the publicity some of the politicians tried to get out of it was terrible."
Mal's brother has actually generated more than his share of attention while in prison. The above Newstext excerpt in full reads:

CONVICTED killer and rapist Bevan Meninga, pictured, wanted $200,000 compensation for stress after witnessing a violent prison murder while serving his life sentence for a horrific attack on a woman, 19.

Meninga, 25, the brother of rugby league coach Mal Meninga, watched five inmates at Sir David Longland Centre murder Bart Hans Vosmaer in a jail gym in March 1993. Vosmaer was beaten with iron bars and had 20kg weight plates dropped on his head.

Prisons Service barrister Kay Philipson told Brisbane District Court Meninga was claiming post-traumatic stress disorder after witnessing a murder "when in fact he had committed the very same offence" less than two years before. Judge Gary Forno dismissed what he said was "a most unusual" case.
Meninga wanted $200,000 of Queensland taxpayers' money to soothe his upset. The inmate had made front page headlines before - at a time when hyberbolic descriptions were not avoided - for getting plenty of soothin':

Prison officer resigns over her love for vicious sex murder

COURIER-MAIL, 06-06-1997, ... Pg: 001, 585 words, NEWS

A FEMALE prison officer has resigned over a secret relationship with murderer and rapist Bevan Meninga. Moreton Prison guard Tracey Billinghurst plans to marry Meninga, the younger brother of former Australian rugby league captain Mal Meninga.
Bevan Meninga is not a candidate for parole under any circumstances. He is a violent sex criminal and killer whose previous use of parole was as a further opportunity to seek victims.

Yet here is the Courier-Mail going easy for the sake of a celebrity flirt piece.

However, on the newspaper's online Queensland News page today, they breathlessly report on another violent sex criminal's sentence cut from eight years to six years:

Click to view full size screen grab
Sexual predator wins reprieve

Mark Oberhardt, May 13, 2006

A SERIAL sexual offender yesterday had his sentence for assault with intent to rape reduced on appeal, despite a history of offences against women dating back 18 years.

with a fabulous piece of what must surely be unintentionally ironic juxtapositioning.


-- Nick

Sunday, May 07, 2006

In A Pickle

A good friend once told us of a maiden aunt serving as nurse during World War Two whose waterbag was much favoured by her colleagues as it always appeared to provide sweeter water than theirs.

Then one day she rinsed it out and discovered the remains of the tropical frog that had hopped in and croaked in there.

Not half as bad as this:

Hungarian builders who drank their way to the bottom of a huge barrel of rum while renovating a house got a nasty surprise when a pickled corpse tumbled out of the empty barrel, a police magazine website reported... said the body of the man had been shipped back from Jamaica 20 years ago by his wife in the barrel of rum in order to avoid the cost and paperwork of an official return. ...workers said the rum in the 300-litre barrel had a "special taste" so they even decanted a few bottles of the liquor to take home.
Now here's recipe for a Zombie:

20ml Light Rum
20ml Golden Rum
20ml Jamaican Rum
20ml OP Rum
Fresh lime juice
Fresh passionfruit juice
Fresh pineapple juice
Sugar syrup

Pour the first 3 rums into a cocktail shaker and add a large dash of lime juice. Add 2 large dashes of both other juices and a dash of sugar syrup to taste. Shake sharply and pour into a highball glass filled with ice. Float the OP rum on top.
-- Nick

A Schoolboy Coming Home

More celebrity deaths in Australia - the passing of singer-songwriter Grant McLennan of The Go-Betweens:

Described by a Village Voice critic as "the greatest songwriting partnership working today," McLennan and partner Robert Forster produced hit singles Cattle and Cane and Streets of Your Town, before disbanding in 1989.
The Go-Betweens were a Brisbane band at a time (1977) when it was not only unfashionable to be from Brisbane but not even permitted by the snobbish musical elites of Sydney and Melbourne who demanded groups migrate to their cities to be worthy of a recording contract.

Wikipedia notes Princess Caroline of Monaco and Bono and The Edge of U2 as among The Go-Betweens' fans.

Locally - at least in their home town - we've recently been treated to an airing of the sweet-sounding but lyrically ironic Streets of Your Town sanitised as the musical hook for TV commercials for the new-look Courier-Mail newspaper.

-- Nick

Richard Carleton: A Man And His Ego

Veteran television journalist Richard Carleton died today as he lived - asking rude, obnoxious and inappropriate questions.

Carleton spent his entire career following two different types of story - one which put him as the star of the piece; the other, a grubby manipulative foot-in-the-door style of report which cared more about sensation than truth.
As one might guess, Nicky and I were not fans of the recently departed, but since my mother taught me that one ought not speak ill of the dead, I shall let others say it for me.

Let's take a look at Carleton's greatest hits:

"The Nine Network’s $500,000-a-year chief media whore (Richard Carleton) lied about the purpose of the interview in order to ambush his victim. Archbishop Pell had no knowledge of David Ridsdale’s accusations and no idea that their examination would be the central object of the interview."

"Chutzpah is an apt term in reference to 60 Minutes reporter Richard Carleton. In the absence of a precise translation of that venerable Yiddish word, a cross between "nerve" and "gall" will have to suffice. That this applies to Mr Carleton will not be news to anyone who follows his reports. His trademark – a braggart, confrontational style of reportage and interviewing – has variously angered and perturbed others. For instance, following a much-criticised trip to East Timor in 1999, both Foreign Affairs Minister, Alexander Downer, and his opposite number, Laurie Brereton, criticised Mr Carleton for stirring up tensions that they said could lead to attacks against Australians."

"Even the police apparently cowed. Houses in Liquica, where 60 Minutes reporter Richard Carleton provoked militias this week, were burning. A church has been attacked in Becora. The list of trouble spots seems endless."
There are more stories which reveal Carleton's perfidy - these are but a few.

Like many bully boys, he could dish it out but he couldn't take it.

He sues Media Watch when they reveal that he plagiarised whole sections of a 60 Minutes report from a BBC documentary.

But in his defence:

"Not misleading in any meaningful way, sir," said Carleton. "I would be enhancing the viewers' understanding of what happened in Srebrenica by showing ... that footage ... that is in the technical meaning of the word ... misleading."

Tobin suggested the scene also fitted the "technical meaning, perhaps, of the word lie".

Carleton denied it. But after Tobin raised with him a hypothetical situation in which a TV show sought to portray the survivors of a sinking boat "as if it were people throwing their children overboard", Carleton conceded that "in so far as that misleading is taken to mean lying, yes, I lied".
Maybe this from Carleton's own biography on the 60 Minutes web site is the most telling of all:

Richard Carleton is a reporter not so much interested in winning friends but influencing people.
The words say volumes.

It is perhaps appropriate to let a dignitary have the final word as we lay the memory of one man's shoddy journalism to rest.

From former Prime Minister Paul Keating on Richard Carleton joining Channel 9 in 1987:

"You (Richard Carleton) had an important place in Australian society on the ABC and you gave it up to be a pop star...with a big cheque...and now you're on to this sort of stuff. That shows what a 24 carat pissant you are, Richard, that's for sure."

-- Nora

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Out Now On PS2...

Islamic terrorists are hacking Western video games to make themselves the heroes and US troops the villains:

Tech-savvy militants from al Qaeda and other groups have modified video war games so that US troops play the role of bad guys in running gunfights against heavily armed Islamic radical heroes, US Defence Department official and contractors told the US Congress.

One of the latest video games modified by militants is the popular Battlefield 2 from leading video game publisher Electronic Arts.

Electronic Arts spokesman Jeff Brown said enthusiasts often wrote software modifications, known as "mods," to video games.

"Millions of people create mods on games around the world," he said. "We have absolutely no control over them. It's like drawing a moustache on a picture."
But do they make Lara Croft wear a burka?

-- Nick

Growth Industry

Queensland is experiencing a poker machine explosion:

More than 100 poker machines a month are being added to pubs and clubs across Queensland. New figures show the number of pokies in the state has topped 40,000... At the end of February, there were 40,171 machines in Queensland, up 539 from 39,632 last September. This does not include poker machines in the state's four casinos... Queensland now had more poker machines per head of population than Victoria.
Welfare groups are understandably concerned at the thought of more pokies fuelling gambling addictions. I've commented on the Government's reasons for boosting poker machine numbers before.

Defying logic as usual on this topic, State Treasurer Anna Bligh said:

"... the Government was putting significant resources into combating problem gambling. Almost $300 million had been paid to community groups under the Gambling Community Benefit Fund."
The Government is putting significant resources in? Not really - the Gambling Community Benefit Fund is a kickback paid by gambling venues to be allowed to operate.

It's the height of irony that some of these funds may be used to fight the impact of problem gambling.


The Government expects to collect $527 million in gaming machine tax next financial year...
If the operators can afford all those millions in tax and 'donations', just how much are they making?

-- Nick

Friday, May 05, 2006

Walk And Chew Gum

Four students at Townsville's James Cook University face expulsion after allegedly posting a sex video featuring a female student on an internal campus website:

It is understood the video was recorded last year by one of the men, who was in a relationship with the woman at the time... JCU took immediate action and had provided counselling for the woman.
Perhaps they could also provide a brain for her - she has sex in front of a camera with a 'boyfriend' and is then surprised when said exploit ends up on the net.

What's she studying? Humanities?


The four teenagers will face disciplinary action... Three of them have been evicted from their college accommodation while investigations continue.
Funny really - have sex in front of a camera and you'd get to stay in the Big Brother house.

-- Nick

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Let's Blow This Pop Stand

Terrorists planning to blow up Australian restaurants?

I suppose that's one way to complain about the service.

-- Nora

Monday, May 01, 2006

Virtual Immunity

An otherwise perfectly normal and very good friend of our acquaintance suffers a dreadful affliction - she is addicted to Big Brother.

The salacious peep show is now is its sixth season and, because we have been over to dinner at our friend's home twice in the past week, we have seen the show twice - which is twice more than we've ever seen in the previous five years.

Additionally, it's hard to miss the prominence being given to the program by News Ltd on its web site and throughout its newspapers. No surprise there - it was, after all, Rupert Murdoch who invented the Page Three Girl.

The general fuss over contestant David Graham, the homosexual farmer who chose to 'come out' on national television, does not go unnoticed.

Neither does the fact that he failed tonight to garner a single vote for eviction from his 'housemates'.

Prediction - Graham will remain virtually immune from eviction until well into the season.

Reason - woe betide the contestant who picks the gay to go.

Better anything than face the certain wrath of slavishly conforming housemates and viewers alike who are certain to instantly accuse anyone - especially a male - of gay bashing.

-- Nick

Red, Racy And Ravishing

All elegance and refinement Nick and I may be, but we do have our playful side.

Following an invitation from the ever-so-nice Mr Tim Blair to join in something called a nite cruise at the home of the very funny Iowahawk, we decided to join in with Nicky's own little hot rod.

We don't advocate drink driving, natch, but once the keys are hung up for the day, this Hot Rod will keep the rev limiter ticking:

Hot Rod
1 oz gin
1 oz pineapple juice
1 oz cranberry juice
Stir ingredients together in a highball glass with some ice cubes. Garnish with pineapple, and serve.
-- Nora

PS - I do resent Nick calling my Peugeot 206 anaemic.

Prayers And Miracles

The trapped miners in Tasmania still need both.

TWO Tasmanian gold miners have survived five days trapped in a cage nearly a kilometre underground in what their families and colleagues say is nothing short of a miracle.

The news that Todd Russell, 35, and Brant Webb, 37, survived the rockfall that killed their mate at the Beaconsfield Gold Mine swept through the small town near Launceston just before 7pm (AEST) last night.

Locals erupted in cheers and applause as family members rushed to the mine site to join hundreds of people who had gathered there, many vowing not to leave until the men draw breath on the surface.

Last night, just 12 metres separated the men from their rescuers, who were digging a second tunnel to get them out.

But progress will now be slow because they are too close to use explosives which could injure the pair, or trigger another rockfall.
-- Nora