Monday, December 31, 2007

Repent At Leisure

Absolutely, completely, utterly hilarious:

EVERY Australian with an internet connection could soon have their web content automatically censored.

..."Labor is committed to introducing mandatory ISP filtering." Senator Conroy said the Australian Communications and Media Authority would prepare a "blacklist" of unsuitable sites. It is unclear exactly what will be deemed inappropriate material.
As Nora noted back in August, before the overthrow of the oppressive, free-speech hating Howard regime:

No one, not even the Prime Minister, as Mr Syvret admits, is calling for filters to be mandatory, just made available at either the PC or server level for any one who feels the need to install them.
But now Labor is in, they're showing their true dictatorial colours and the reaction is, well I'll say it again, hilarious:

Online civil libertarians yesterday warned the freedom of the internet was at stake, while internet providers were concerned the new measures could slow the internet in Australia to a crawl. They said it was a measure usually associated with oppressive regimes (emphasis added)...
Should have thought of that last month, mugs.

-- Nick

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Another Reason To Complain

No matter how much some quarters hoped for defeat:

Baghdad will mark the first anniversary of Saddam Hussein’s execution on Sunday as a city transformed... It has regained a sense of security unimaginable when President George W Bush ordered a surge of troops in Baghdad a year ago... “We like to live in peace... we appreciate the Americans.”
-- Nick

Bad Boy

Government has shock revelation - boys are different to girls - and gives surprising anti-PC advice:

Nursery staff are told in official advice to resist their "natural instinct" to stop under-fives playing with weapons in games with other toddlers. A new document issued by the Department for Children, Schools and Families said children should be encouraged to take part in play which "involves more action".
Teachers have unsurprising response:

...condemned the advice, warning that toy guns "symbolise aggression".
Meanwhile:

There is continuing concern over the gap in standards between boys and girls, which has failed to narrow in recent years. Boys lag behind at every age, and a report published earlier this year warned that inability to read and write properly at primary school was fuelling an "anti-education culture" which became more pronounced as boys progressed through the system. The new guidance aims for improvement by "creating the right conditions for boys' learning" before they start formal primary education.
But teachers may be offended by the suggestion that:

"Sometimes practitioners find the chosen play of boys more difficult to understand and value than that of girls..."
-- Nick

Conflicting Reports

News Limited headline and pointer:

Bhutto died 'bumping her head'

AN aide to slain Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto has called the government's claim she died bumping her head on her car's sun roof a "pack of lies."
Description in the Agence France Presse story subbed and published by News Limited:

Interior ministry spokesman Javed Cheema said earlier that the post-mortem on the populist opposition leader found her mortal wound came when she tried to duck after the bomber attacked. He said the bomber fired at her but missed, and that her critical injury came when she hit the lever of the sunroof of the car she was in, as she waved to supporters after a campaign rally on Thursday. "The lever struck near her right ear and fractured her skull,'' Cheema said.

UK Telegraph headline and description:

Row breaks out over Benazir Bhutto's death

...the country's Interior Ministry claimed she had died from hitting her vehicle's sunroof when she tried to duck after a suicide attack... Brigadier Javed Cheema, a ministry spokesman, said Miss Bhutto had died from a head wound she sustained when she smashed against the sunroof's lever as she tried to shelter inside the car. "The lever struck near her right ear and fractured her skull," Mr Cheema said.
Despite the News Limited headline's use of single quotes, an actual quotation saying Bhutto 'bumped' her head is not to be found. Just supposing for a second that Brigadier Cheema is correct, the Telegraph's use of 'smashed against' is the appropriate description of the force needed to inflict a fatal wound.

The question is what News Limited and AFP hopes to achieve by ridiculing Cheeva's statement with their choice of words and use of misleading quotation marks, even if later evidence proves this, as other conflicting descriptions of the event, incorrect?

-- Nick

Risk Of Crime

Kerobakan jail inmate and condemned Bali drug mule Scott Rush received 'some novels, a couple of his boyhood favourite Mad magazines, new cotton shorts, thongs, fresh fruit and sweets' from his parents for Christmas.

"He didn't get a stereo or anything of that nature – nothing of the material type likely to be pilfered," (his father Lee) Rush said.
Indeed, attractive material possessions are likely to be stolen by drug addicts looking to pay for their next fix.

-- Nick

Friday, December 28, 2007

Not Fair When You Do It

Just as the Australia Labor Party enjoys campaign support worth millions of dollars from unions and other groups, so does the British Labour Party.

But what happens when the other side works up some support?

The campaign work by Vote-Ok is far more sophisticated than the effort launched at the 2005 election, which will cause concern to the Labour and Liberal Democrats. The Tories already have a £2 million fund to help their candidates in marginal seats. The fund is directed by Lord Ashcroft, who is in charge of campaigning at party headquarters.

The Ashcroft operation has led to demands from many Labour MPs for a cap on campaign spending (emphasis added) in constituencies in between elections, even though the unions pump millions of pounds into Labour seats each year.
-- Nick

Seeking For Further Amusement?

San Francisco Zoo tiger mauling incident may be more Albert And The Lion than 'tragic accident':

Investigators found blood and a shoe inside the tiger enclosure... suggesting that one of the victims may have placed a leg or board over the edge of a 15-feet-wide protective moat to aid the tiger's escape. The paper also reported that 'pinecones and sticks that were found in the moat might have been thrown at the animal'.
-- Nick

Hicks Plans Non-Apology

Deadbeat dad's dad sums up family attitude:

"There'll be some sort of apology I suppose for what he's supposed to have done and what people believed he's done - he'll cover that side of it," Mr (Terry) Hicks said.
-- Nick

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Caught In The Net

Hilarious:

Australia to get net censorship
Wasn't it John Howard who was going to censor the Internet?

-- Nick

Serious Enough For You Now?

If only the cops had bothered to go deal with a small crime:

Resident Robert Henry called police about 9pm to complain about a trail bike rider riding up and down the street without headlights or a helmet. "They sounded a bit disinterested, really," he said. (emphasis added)
...they mightn't have been having to deal with a serious crime:

... police were called to a disturbance there shortly after midnight. A 17-year-old male... was found in the front yard with severe stab wounds to his chest. Ambulance officers tried to revive him but he died at the scene.
Of course, zero tolerance wastes already scarce resources.

-- Nick

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Hyberbole

Shock:

SIX people are dead after a horror start to the nation's Christmas holiday road toll. Victoria and NSW each recorded two road fatalities, with one each in Queensland and Western Australia.
Fact: The average number of road deaths in Australia on a Friday is 5.3.

One supposes 'Six people are dead after a statistically average start to the nation's Christmas holiday road toll' wouldn't cut the same mustard.

-- Nick

Thursday, December 20, 2007

"...government by judicial aristocracy"

Interesting, if lightweight and editorialising, interview with US Justice Antonin Scalia in the UK Telegraph, with lessons for Australia:

"I don't think that judges should do anything but interpret the meaning of texts that have been democratically adopted and give them the meaning they bore when the people adopted them," he told me. "But what I have noticed increasingly in recent years is that judges - not just in my country, but internationally - have taken on this function of being moral arbiters for the world."
-- Nick

Not With A Bang

Is it any wonder attendance is falling off?

The Archbishop of Canterbury said yesterday that the Christmas story of the Three Wise Men was nothing but a 'legend'. Dr Rowan Williams has claimed there was little evidence that the Magi even existed and there was certainly nothing to prove there were three of them or that they were kings.
With friends like these, who needs enemies?

In a final blow to the traditional nativity story, Dr Williams concluded that Jesus was probably not born in December at all. He said: "Christmas was when it was because it fitted well with the winter festival."
Well d'uh, Rowan.

Y'know, pal, an apologist argues in defence of something. He doesn't say sorry.

-- Nick

What's In A Name?

Mohammed will soon be the most popular name in England and Wales:

The high birth rate among Muslim families mean the name is set to overtake the current favourite name for baby boys, Jack.
But whatever you do, don't use it to name your teddy bear.

-- Nick

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Look Back In Anger

Everyone who said that an official apology to the Aboriginal so-called 'stolen generation' was akin to a signature on a blank cheque book has been proven correct.

While the Federal Government has attempted to sidestep the issue of compensation for the Stolen Generations, Aboriginal academics Boni Robertson and Gracelyn Smallwood yesterday upped the ante, saying it should be much higher than the $1 billion suggested by lawyer Michael Mansell.

Professor Robertson said $1billion was "really quite minimal" and "just a starting point", while Ms Smallwood said it would be "very generous to the Government" and should be double or triple that amount.

"It's very simple," Ms Smallwood told The Australian. "You can't just apologise, you've got to mean it and the only way to prove that is through compensation. You can't reconcile without it."
The last sentence is just bollocks - 'you were mean to me in primary school - the only way you can prove you're sorry is give me pots of money'.

But the anger of the 'stolen generation' is real enough to ask why it has continued through out these peoples' adult lives.

The clue is in Piers Ackerman's column today:

Mrs Lowitja (formerly Lois) O'Donoghue, a patron of the Stolen Generations Alliance (along with former prime minister Malcolm Fraser) was not stolen and nor was the late Charles Perkins, who was also hailed as a representative of this near mythical group.

Ms O'Donoghue used to claim she had been stolen but admitted to my colleague

Andrew Bolt six years ago that her white father had dumped first his eldest two children, Eileen and Geoff, at a missionary-run home for abandoned and sick Aboriginal children in Quorn, South Australia, and come back years later with three more, including Lois, who never saw him again.

"He wanted to move on," Ms O'Donoghue told Bolt.
It would seem that the 'stolen generation' suffers from misdirected anger.

They are angry and justifiably so but the reason is that many (if not most) of these people were actually abandoned by their parents.

And for anyone it is a devastating realisation to believe (rightly or wrongly) that your parents don't want you.

Unfortunately, compounding this psychological distress is years of increased intervention of government agencies to create crippling welfare dependence.

Done to help make up for the unfashionable concept of integration of previous generations, this unwittingly lead to the emotional transference from actual parents to the state as parent.

This has resulted in demand for the Government (and by extension the entire non-aboriginal Australian population) to apologise and to make amends.

What the 'stolen generation' actually needs is to be angry at their parents for abandoning them and not giving them the best possible start to life.

Sadly, these people are either dead, unknown or in some cases the 'stolen generation' cannot bear the fact that their own parents were to blame, so the anger of these people has been transferred to another parent - the Australian taxpayer.

However, as a counsellor will tell you, a person cannot begin to receive emotional/psychological healing until they acknowledge the facts and unconditionally forgive the other party.

What is means for those of us (taxpayers) looking down the barrel of a $1 billion-plus punishment is that no exquisitely expressed apology will be enough. $1 billion will not be enough.

The 'stolen generation' really want to rail at their parents who abandoned them but they cannot.

Unfortunately that means many more generations of Aboriginal children will suffer as the young gang rape victim, because of this misdirected rage and misplaced welfare dependence that leaves people in these communities in a physical and psychological infantilised state.

-- Nora

Sunday, December 16, 2007

I Don't Want A Goat For Christmas

The new colonialism:

Despite the impression given by Western NGOs and charities, the developing world is not a giant HIV-infested countryside, and the people who live there aspire to more than animal rearing, sex education and subsistence farming.
-- Nick

Who Do They Think They Are?

We all know what happened last time a group of scientists signed a letter together. What do you think will happen this time:

In stark contrast to the often repeated assertion that the science of climate change is "settled," significant new peer-reviewed research has cast even more doubt on the hypothesis of dangerous human-caused global warming. But because IPCC working groups were generally instructed to consider work published only through May, 2005, these important findings are not included in their reports...
For a start, they'll be shut out of conferences and villified.

-- Nick

Crazy Diarrhea

If you know anyone who's not Chinese and has had Chinese symbols tattooed on themselves, you might like to show them this:

...the characters have nothing to do with the English alphabet, yet many tattoo shops consider this template as a valid translation tool...
Or you might just prefer to get brighter friends.

-- Nick

I Suppose A Root Is Out Of The Question

You wouldn't want to be a female trying to resist the sexual advances of WA's Labor Government:

ALAN Carpenter wants to blow away restrictions to WA's shop trading hours... he would introduce new laws to deregulate shopping hours if Labor won a third term of government... Mr Carpenter believes that by the time of the election -- probably in 14 months -- enough time will have passed to move on from the 2005 referendum result, which said "no" to extended shopping hours... Mr Carpenter said he believed West Australians wanted seven-day-a-week trading. He said that in 2005 the wording of the referendum question was to blame for the "no" vote. "I think the opposition (to deregulated shopping hours) was around the structure of the question,' he said. "I think the question evoked the negative response more than the issue."
What part of the word 'no' does Carpenter and his ilk not understand?

-- Nick

Update: Britain's Chief Rabbi: "I think that's one reason why the deregulation of Sunday was a mistake. It gave us one day in seven where who you are is not determined by how much you spend."

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Vale Clem, Public Servant

Vale Clem Jones who has died at the age of 89 and achieved a heck of a lot for Brisbane, including:

He was curator at the Gabba cricket ground - which has a stand in his name - during his time as lord mayor.
But more importantly in terms of Brisbane being such an attractive city:

Under his stewardship, the city bought properties to build underground car parks, which were then topped with public parks and gardens.
The new.com.au story makes something of the fact that:

...Dr Jones also closed the city's large tram and trolley-bus network, replacing them with buses, a move which attracted widespread controversy.
...and Labor has indeed occasionally been shortsighted regarding transport in Brisbane - they opposed Joh Bjelke-Petersons's vision of a three or four lane South-East Freeway - but many cities all over the world got rid of their trams and trolley-buses, thinking the unconstricted motor-bus was the only way of the future.

Thanks for a great city, Clem.

-- Nick

Well Qualified For The Job

There's a wicked irony in this:

PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd will come face to face with indigenous leaders today as he prepares to deal personally with the "challenges" confronting the Commonwealth intervention in Northern Territory communities amid the growing outrage over the gang-rape of a 10-year-old Aboriginal girl on Cape York.
Rudd was Queensland Premier Wayne Goss's chief of staff when the State government shredded evidence of another Aboriginal child gang rape and cover-up:

A YOUNG Aboriginal woman has confirmed claims by several former staff members of a Brisbane youth detention centre that she was gang-raped while being held in the centre as a 14-year-old. The woman, now in her mid-twenties, said she was gang-raped twice on a supervised outing from the John Oxley Youth Detention Centre in the late 1980s. Former members of staff at the centre also have claimed the matter was "swept under the carpet" and "hushed up".
Further:

THE former Children's Court magistrate who conducted the aborted 1989 inquiry into the John Oxley Youth Detention Centre was told of claims that a 14-year-old Aboriginal girl in care was gang-raped. But the inquiry by former magistrate Noel Heiner was terminated by the Goss government whose cabinet directed that all of Mr Heiner's materials be shredded in 1990.

Allegations that the centre's management knew of the rape, for that it had been covered up for 12 years, were raised in The Courier-Mail on Saturday.

A former centre youth worker... When asked if he had volunteered information about the rape claim or had been questioned about it, the man said; "He (Mr Heiner) asked...he knew about it already." The man said everyone in the centre knew about the rape allegation.

A former minister in the Goss cabinet, Pat Comben said on television in 1999 that "in broad terms" the cabinet had been aware that the shredded documents had contained information about child abuse.
One supposes Rudd is well qualified for dealing with the latest cover-up in The Midnight State.

-- Nick

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Bipolar Response

Reports News.com.au:

PEOPLE with mental illness are three times more likely to smoke, and experts say not enough is being done to help this vulnerable group quit.

A new Access Economics report shows almost 1.3 million Australians with a mental illness are smokers, costing $33 billion a year.

SANE Australia, which commissioned the report, is calling for urgent action to introduce quit smoking programs and supports for people with a mental illness.

Executive director Barbara Hocking said smokers with a mental illness paid about $2.8 billion every year in tobacco taxes, but there was little evidence of equitable funding and few programs to help the large numbers who wanted to quit.

"Smoking is a huge physical and financial burden for people with a mental illness and our research has shown very clearly how much it's costing us to do nothing," Ms Hocking said.

"While quit programs have successfully reduced smoking rates generally, people with a mental illness have been largely ignored - with a few notable exceptions - despite evidence they respond well to targeted campaigns."
Surely it would be better for the sufferers and the community as a whole if more money was put into funding the treatment of mental illness up to and including building full-time residential facilities.

-- Nora

What's He On?

Victorian drug education group VIVAIDS chief Damon Brogan says police shouldn't raid traditionally drug-laden rave parties because:

"Confronted with such a police presence, some individuals are tempted to unwisely consume all their drugs in one go, rather than throw them away or risk arrest," Mr Brogan said. "If police operations are increasing the risk of death and harm in the community, perhaps it is time to rethink."
Perhaps it is time for the Victorian government to rethink the $800,000 in funding it provides to VIVAIDS each year.

-- Nick

Does Not Compute

It now costs more than half a million dollars to raise two children - or, rather, Australian parents spend half a million on a pair of kids - but, according to the AMP study:

...it is no more expensive today than it was five years ago... "...it has been good economic times for families," Ms Harding said. "I think over the last five years there has been substantial income increases (emphasis added) so the costs of children have kept pace with that."
But, of course, 'working families' were never worse off than during the Howard years.

-- Nick

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Preaching To The Choir

A former accountant, now an invalid who can't get out of the house much, looks at all the conspiracy theories seething on the internet and selects one that floats his boat to the extent that he hacks out a 'book'.

The book, Cover Up Of A Royal Murder by Redcliffe man John Morgan, investigates the Paget report into Diana's death and alleges it was not an accident, but murder.
An old millionaire, bitter and delusional since his vaulting ambition to be a tenuous part of British royalty has been foiled, and who refuses to accept that his son was killed by accident by his own drunken employee, latches onto the 'book' and pays for its publication:

Mr al-Fayed is convinced that Mr Morgan's book is an accurate report of what really happened...
Can't wait to see the quality of Mr Morgan's 'investigative journalism'.

-- Nick

Monday, December 03, 2007

Just Too Precious

And a bit too late:

A BRITISH children's author who called one of his characters Mohammed the Mole to promote multiculturalism has renamed him Morgan so as not to offend Muslims.
Off with his head!

-- Nora

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Bumpy Road Ahead For The Law

Welcome to Queensland, where you can torture a disabled kid and walk free from court, posing and strutting in front of the media, with no conviction recorded:

District Court Judge Milton Griffin described the assault... as "cowardice in the extreme" but failed to record convictions... said it was entirely inappropriate and manifestly inadequate to issue a caution to the two girls... before placing them on 12-month probation orders "to protect society in the future".


...but drive a car months after taking a single drag of marijuana and you'll be fined over $1000 and be suspended from driving for up to three months for a first offence.

Random drug driving tests introduced on December 1 enable police to swab test drivers for marijuana and methamphetamines such as ecstasy and ice.

The flaw in the law is that a driver can return a positive test for marijuana up to 12 weeks after smoking, long after the intoxicating effects of the drug are gone - about 11 weeks and 5 or 6 days, in fact.

It should provide a field day for lawyers who will argue that their clients were not intoxicated or - better still - that they are the unfortunate victims of passive dope smoking.

Ones personal argument against penalising drivers who have used illegal drugs weeks earlier is simply that the premise for testing and arresting in such cases is dishonest. A driver who is subject to a technical sobriety test should be tested for sobriety.

If the government wants to control illegal drugs with random tests, it should not hide behind other excuses and it should clarify what rights - if any - we have at all once we get behind the wheel of a car.

-- Nick

Tourism Horror

Surprise:

French rude and their hotels smell
I'm shocked.

-- Nick

Monday, November 26, 2007

Out Of The Mouth Of Babes

An unsolicited analysis of the weekend's election results courtesy of Charlotte, aged eight almost nine:

Out-going Prime Minister John Howard:

"Mr Howard is sad because he lost his job. He was a good Prime Minister. He was great."

And on in-coming Prime Minister Kevin Rudd

"I wrote his name jagged because he's bad. I think he's terrible and sneaky."

The children are our future.

-- Aunty Nora

Howard PM (Post Mortem)

The ungracious leftie Lorax, from Andrew Bolt's blog asks: So Howard Huggers, why was the swing so big? Why did Rudd win in a landslide despite good economic times?Why did Rudd win in a landslide despite good economic times?

Here is my response:

Well, my gut reaction was that people are stupid, then I appreciated your question did deserve serious consideration.

In fact I'm still asking myself that question (as are the dozen or so people I spoke to today).

I would suggest that it is reform fatigue which is the reason the Liberals didn't get in 1993 with the revolutionary GST.

They were in shell shock: floating the Australian dollar, the beginning of the liberalisation of industrial relations laws, the deregulation of the banking industry brought in during the Hawke-Keating Government.

Although Work Choices was little more than the codification of the unofficial practice of many business (I would suggest the reform-minded Keating would have proposed something similar) the unions, battling their increasing irrelevance in a period in which economic indicators are good, mounted an effective scare campaign, spending $30 million of their members' money.

Some leftist commentators have called Howard's defeat a 'moral victory' - that a strong economy is not the be all and end all.

On this point they are only half right. For the federal government a strong economy and strong foreign affairs policy are the only things they should be concerned about.

Issues such as education, health and infrastructure are the responsibility of the states - well, it would be if they hadn't so royally stuffed them up.

To sum up a long story short - the people didn't have the ticker for reform and have taken the easy way out and voted for a mob who promise only mindless platitudes such as 'education revolution', 'computers for kiddies' and the 'Kyoto cure'.

-- Nora

Question Time In Parliament

Now the truth can no longer harm Kevin Rudd's political ambition to become Prime Minister, perhaps the media would like to ask some hard questions of him.

Let's start, perhaps, with his role in covering up child abuse:

Former Opposition leader Simon Crean said: "You cannot have people in authority who have covered up for child sex abuse. It is as simple as that''.

And it is. But what can be said about an Opposition Leader (Rudd) who may have been complicit in the illegal shredding of evidence?
-- Nick

Saturday, November 24, 2007

We're Off To Tim's...

Live Aussie blogging comments on the Federal Election at Tim Blair's place.

A Fairer Australia

Union tactics:

Four young (liberal) campaigners, who had started to erect posters on the school fence, were approached just before 10pm by two men who allegedly started to tear the posters down using a knife. One of the men then (punched a campaigner) twice in the chest and shoulder (and another campaigner) was punched in the back of the neck. The two offenders then fled the scene...
Meanwhile, copying the tactics of their spiritual parent, the US left's moveon.org:

The political group GetUp!'s howshouldivote website asks participants to answer 20 questions and sends them an email or text message listing in order the candidates whose policies most match their answers... no matter how the questions were answered, the website never recommended voting for a Coalition candidate.
-- Nick

No Encouragement Necessary

A company with the Australian rights to trashy porn series Girls Gone Wild intends to run a booze cruise for 18 and 19 year old Schoolies to 'a secret island north of Surfers Paradise' and 'maybe' film 'a bit of nudity'.

Asked what they thought of the company's plans to charge adults $70 each for a half-day outing at which alcohol is served then film those who have no self-control, three female Schoolies, solicited by The Daily Telegraph to pose for photographs in their bikinis, described it as 'scary', 'disturbing', 'sick' and 'a bit like paedophilia'.

They then went back to pouring vodka down each others throats with funnels and flashing their tits from high rise balconies.

-- Nick

Friday, November 23, 2007

Every Vote Counts

Well it's that time on the social calendar when good friends gather together for a drink or two.

No, it's not Christmas - it's the Australian Federal Election and to make the evening's commentary more enjoyable and memorable (or not as the case may be), Nick and Nora (along with friends near and far - [Hi Neto!]) will be enjoying the:

Federal Election Drinking Game

There is a number of different ways to enjoy this game. It depends on your mood, but rest assured, regardless of the choice, you're guaranteed plenty of elbow exercise

Each person should do one (or more) of the following:

Have a drink at the ready to start at beginning of television news.

Chug at the phrase: "The polls have closed" or a variation thereof

[A] Select an issue and keywords associated with it:
1. Industrial Relations (Unions, Workchoices, AWAs)
2. The Economy (interest rates, employment, economic management/conservative)
3. Social Issues (health, education, childcare, school fees)
4. Environment (climate change, Kyoto, drought, clean coal, nuclear)

Whenever one of the key phrases associated with your issue arises in commentary - take a sip (or a chug for the more adventurous).

A double chuck if the commentary refers to your seat.

[B] Select a TV commentator's cliched catch phrase:
1. Bellwether Seat
2. Too Close To Call
3. Heartland
4. Line Ball

And, you know the drill.

[C] But it's not all drinking you know. Every time key personnel appears on screen or is mentioned in commentary you must do the following:
Kevin Rudd: Stick your finger in your ear and say "Zob, zob, zob"

Peter Garrett: Pretend you've been struck by 240 volts and sing: "US Forces give the nod."

Pauline Hanson: Call out, "Please, exploin?"

John Howard: Fluff up your eyebrows and say, "My fellow Australians"

Peter Costello: Smirk enigmatically.

Bob Brown: Sing out: "Every Man I Love is Either Married, Gay, or Dead"

What To Drink
If you want to be perfectly conventional, beer or wine is acceptable.

However, if you're looking for a little more zing, select the following recipes, although for the truly bipartisan you'll have to have one of each:

Labor Supporters:
Union League Cocktail
1 1/2 oz. Gin
1 oz. Ruby Port
Dashes Orange Bitters
Orange Peel
Combine gin, ruby port and orange bitters in a shaker filled with ice, shake and strain into a chilled martini or cocktail glass.

Liberal Party Supporters:
The Daiquiri Liberal
1 oz white rum
1/2 oz sweet vermouth
1 dash Amer Picon orange bitters
Stir all ingredients in a mixing glass half-filled with ice cubes. Strain into a cocktail glass, and serve.

National Party Supporters
National Cocktail
2 oz rum
3 dashes apricot brandy
1/2 oz pineapple juice
3 dashes lime juice
Pour the rum, apricot brandy, pineapple juice and lime juice into a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice cubes. Shake well, strain into a cocktail glass, and serve.

Democrats Party Supporters
Suffering Bastard
1.5 Ounces Dark Rum -
1 Ounce Light Rum -
.5 Ounce Creme de Noyaux -
.5 Ounce Triple Sec -
1.5 Ounces Lime Juice
Shake with ice and strain into a highball glass

Pauline Hanson/One Nation Supporters
Red Head On The Moon
1 tsp DeKuyper Sour Apple Pucker Schnapps
1 dash Cranberry Juice
1 tsp Melon liqueur
1 tsp Sweet & Sour Mix
1/4 oz. Vodka
Layer in a shot glass.

The Greens Supporter
Green Goblin
1 oz vodka
1 oz peach schnapps
1 oz DeKuyper Sour Apple Pucker schnapps
1 oz coconut rum
1 oz sweet and sour mix
Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice cubes. Shake well and pour over ice cubes in an old-fashioned glass. Serve with a lime wedge.

Family First
Keep Sober
1/2 measure grenadine
1/2 measure lemon syrup
3 measures tonic water
soda water to top up
Shake the ingredients well with ice and strain into a tumbler.
Top up with soda water. Add ice cubes if liked.

By the end of counting you're guaranteed to either be entertained, drunk or comatose.

And that's a core promise.

-- Nora

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Perspicacious Pop-Up

The things that pop-up while you're reading the news:



-- Nick

Bottom Of The Barrel

Left-leaning types are quick to accuse conservatives of 'dog whistling' - the use of 'seemingly innocuous words to convey sinister purposes' - and they're sure conservative voters are stupid enough to fall for this evil mind-control:

Dr Hamilton said words and phrases commonly used in dog-whistling included "Australian values", "the thought police", "the black armband view of history", "practical reconciliation", "border protection" and "be alert, but not alarmed". All are among Prime Minister John Howard's favoured language to appeal to his so-called battlers.
Well, here's an example of dog whistling from the left - from the mainstream media - that really takes the cake.

It's the use of a foreign rape victim in an attempt to influence domestic politics by whipping up anti-government sentiment just prior to the Federal election:

Politicians have refused to stand up for a gang rape victim sentenced to 200 lashes in Saudi Arabia... The US and Australian governments have effectively abandoned the woman, who was raped 14 times by seven men.

The Australian Government has... failed to make any official statement. A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed to NEWS.com.au that Minister Alexander Downer has not made a formal comment on the affair.

The politicians’ silence doesn’t stop us from speaking out for her. Today we are collecting your comments and views in a petition that we will present to the Saudi embassy in Canberra.

Please post your comments below, with your full name and address.
And, having been whistled, the dogs have come running in comments:

"Why the Government is not responding is beyond me. May be they are too busy with the elections."

"Shame on you Australia"

"What is wrong with our Government."

"This is a disgrace. I find it appalling that my own government could say nothing!"
The story is not new and the Australian media is only covering it here as a follow-up to the US media using it to bash Bush.

-- Nick

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Rats!

Freaky:

Heather Mills McCartney has urged people to drink milk from rats and dogs to help save the planet.
-- Nick

Monday, November 19, 2007

Kreepy Kev

An interesting observation by a friend after being in Brisbane on the day of the Labor election launch.

She found herself in a bank queue commiserating with a young woman on disrupted traffic conditions around town. "It all Kevin Rudd's fault," they joked together.

Suddenly, the woman looked cautiously around her then, lowering her voice, she leaned in and whispered: "I really shouldn't say this, but I don't like him. He's kind of creepy..."

'I really shouldn't say this'? Why not? Because it goes against the groupthink?

-- Nick

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Monkey See

This on the front page of News.com.au:
... along with this:

POPULAR singer Missy Higgins ... has appeared on the front cover of a national lesbian magazine, telling readers that she is not straight and believes sexuality is a "fluid thing".
...along with this:

SINGAPORE has lifted a ban on an Xbox video game... The futuristic space adventure video console game made by Microsoft was banned on Thursday because it contained what the Board of Film Censors described as a "a scene of lesbian intimacy".
(The game has been cleared for viewers 18 and over; in Australia it is fit for 15 years olds; in the UK for 12 year olds.)

No wonder we get to this:



...and this:

Child psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg said there had been a rise in sexual practices among teens copied from internet pornography, and leavers' (schoolies') celebrations were no exception. "Things like group sex have become quite popular and that would simply not have happened a couple of years ago,'' Dr Carr-Gregg said.
I've said it before and I'll say it again - it's all about context. There's nothing wrong with pornography in its non-violent forms as long as it's restricted to adults.

But when we're bathing children in it and their pop culture role models are spruiking 'sexual fluidity' in public, well... ah, figure it out for yourself.

-- Nick

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Celebrating Four Decades Of Drivel

British Labour has announced 7.5 million training places to improve the skills of the workforce. Half the places are to improve numeracy and literacy.

Simon Heffer notes the indictment of an education system nearly identical to Australia's:

This is where the Marxist drivel taught in teacher training colleges for the past 40 years or so has got us.
Ouch!

-- Nick

End Justifies Means

Labor's media cronies are - incredibly - still trying to sell a vicious con job as the truth. The Herald-Sun's Peter Jean and Ellen Whinnett:

PRIME Minister John Howard has been forced to come to the defence of Tony Abbott after the Health Minister appeared to publicly acknowledge that the Government's WorkChoices laws had stripped protections from workers. Excerpts from an amateur video taken at a community function early this week featured comments from Mr Abbott, a former workplace relations minister, on the effects of the controversial laws.
What Labor did to the footage has already been revealed as nothing short of a dirty little fit-up:

This video, which Labor gave to the ABC, was doctored, removing some qualifications Abbott gave and splicing two quotes together...
Here's what Abbott was seen on the ABC saying:

I accept that certain protections, in inverted commas, are not what they were. I accept that that has largely gone. I accept that.
Here's what he actually said:

I accept that certain “protections” - in inverted commas - are not what they were. That whole raft of regulation expressed in awards that sometimes ran into hundreds, even thousands of pages, I accept that that has largely gone. I accept that. I accept that the Industrial Relations Commission doesn’t have the same power to reach into the nook and cranny of every business that it used to have. I accept that.

But in the end, the best protection for the worker who feels he or she might be under pressure at his job is the chance of another job, the chance of a better job. That is the best protection. Not going off to some judge or Industrial Commission that might order your employer, who you don’t like and he doesn’t like you, to keep you in an unhappy partnership forever.

So that is the best protection that we can give people, the protection of an abundance of jobs, the protection of an economy which is crying out for more workers. That is the best protection and I think that has been delivered in spades locally and nationally.
-- Nick

Not Playing The Race Card

Everyone knows it's not racist if it's whites you're attacking:

Maori nationalists called on the government in Wellington to limit the number of migrants from Britain. They accused the government of running a secret campaign to prevent the "browning of New Zealand" by encouraging large numbers of white immigrants so that they outnumber those of Pacific and Asian origin who would align themselves with the Maori minority...

Tariana Turia, the founder and co-leader of the Maori Party which holds four seats in parliament, said: "What we are talking about is the number of people coming into this country and what that means for Maori political representation. The prediction is that we are going to see a considerable browning of New Zealand with Maori, Pacific islanders and Asians, and maybe this is the way the government combats it.

"We aren't playing the race card because we are not talking about Asian immigration." (Emphasis added)
-- Nick

Guilt By Association

Women have a special, protected role under Islam:

A Saudi woman has been sentenced to 200 lashes and six months in prison after she was the victim of a gang rape. The ... 19-year-old Shia woman ... was in the car of a man who was not a relative at the time of the attack, which contravened strict Saudi laws on segregation..."
But men pay for their crimes too:

... a group of seven Sunni men kidnapped them and raped them both (emphasis added)... The former boyfriend was also sentenced to 90 lashes for being with her in private.
-- Nick

1972 Redux

Not all journalists have their eyes closed to the disaster of a looming Rudd Government.

The Courier-Mail's Des Houghton knows.

And remembers.

Democracy will be quietly dispensed with in favour of rule by a distant bureaucratic tyranny.

Rudd says he will set up no fewer than 67 taskforces, committees and departments, plus 96 policy review teams. This will create an immense and overpowering government sustained by a parasitic class of government employees.

Industry and individual effort will be stifled.

Rudd showed us his style as the director-general of cabinet in the Goss Labor government.

Even cabinet ministers were prevented from speaking unless they had clearance from Kevin.
Does anyone have the sense that Kevin Rudd will be another Gough Whitlam? (And the comparison is not meant kindly)

-- Nora

Foto Fun

Sometimes it's not so bad getting stopped at traffic lights. It gives one a chance to snap a gem like this:

Public Edukayshun, Australia's Fewcher

One of the ubiquitous Australian Education Union signs spruiking 'Public Education, Australia's Future' was affixed to a fence further along the road. If only it had been close enough to get in shot, the irony would have been complete. As it is, one had to make do with insetting a copy.

Click for a larger size - and if you don't get it, perhaps you went to a public school.

Then there's Kev, snapped at the Melbourne Cup, pretending to be a genuine bloke:

Kevin Rudd (left) and a blow-up sex doll

... but really only demonstrating his expected future role with the unions.

-- Nick

Friday, November 16, 2007

Fool Brittania

The UK Telegraph asks why so many Britons are leaving their country. The answers make you want to cry.

Maybe it's because of this and this and this and this and this:

Under legislation introduced by Labour in 1998, parents can ballot to get rid of existing grammar schools (schools that cater to brighter students) but cannot set up a new one.
-- Nick

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A Chicken In Every Pot

A thought about KRudd's announcement that by 1990 no Australia child will... sorry wrong Labor bloke. That every Australian high school child will have their own computer.

It's an announcement that will have the IT department in every school shuddering in fear: Lap tops, lots of laptops. Lots of stealable lap tops. Networks that need to be built and maintained, software to be purchased and maintained, hardware to be maintained in a rapidly superceded market.

The fact of the matter is school children already have very good access to computers and don't need to be lumbered with aging hardware and schools don't need to be lumbered with trouble shooting virus infested hard drives.

Andrew Bolt's commenters have additional reasons why Kev's idea is a dud.

-- Nora

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

International Sign Of Distress

Google runs a doodle competition for school kids to mark Australia Day 2008. Some junior PC victims include an Aboriginal flag in their design.

But there's a problem.

-- Nick and Nora

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Attack Of The Killer Bundits!

Cripes!

JUST weeks after New Delhi's deputy mayor toppled to his death fending off a pack of monkeys, the animals have gone back on the attack.

One woman was seriously hurt and two dozen other people were given first aid after monkeys rampaged through a neighbourhood in east Delhi over the weekend, media reports said.
-- Nick(!)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Suffer The Children

A female teacher sexually abuses a female student:

Prosecutor Tony Elliott said the case was unusual because it involved two females...
No, it's not:

A leading woman tennis coach has been convicted of molesting one of her 13-year-old students. Claire Lyte, 29, a former Wimbledon competitor, had been accused of embarking on a torrid lesbian affair with the schoolgirl player.
Interesting that in both cases, the abuse is referred to as 'an affair'. It's not; it's abuse, both sexual and of trust.

In the second case, the girl's mother joined in harming her daughter for ambition's sake:

The jury had heard how the victim's mother found Lyte and her daughter having sex in the teenager's bedroom, but did not report the incident to the police for more than six months because she did not want to harm her daughter's tennis career.
Meanwhile, more child abuse:

AL-QAEDA is actively "grooming" children and young people to carry out attacks in Britain, the head of the country's domestic intelligence service says... “This year, we have seen individuals as young as 15 and 16 implicated in terrorist-related activity.”
-- Nick

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Repentance Not Required

From the UK Telegraph, linking to their obituary:



So why exactly should Brigadier-General Tibbets have repented?

-- Nick

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Show Us Your Knickers

Victorian moves to follow US trends and ban the wearing of baggy pants that droop so low they expose underwear have met with predictable derision from predictable quarters.

Youth psychologist Michael Carr-Greg, who believes the best way to deal with the problems of youth is to let them sleep in, said the proposal was irrational and demonised young people by suggesting baggy pants indicated those more likely to engage in criminal behaviour.

Since those youths wearing the clothing style are frequently doing so in emulation of gangsta rappers whose 'songs' glorify crimes ranging from graffiti vandalism to rape and murder (and indeed the saggy style emerged from US prisons where ill-fitting clothing combined with disallowal of belts), it's probably not too far a stretch to say the two - mode of dress and criminal rap sheet - are connected.

But I digress - the interesting point of the news.com.au story is in a trend emerging in comments by those who support such a ban:

"If that is what it takes to get these people dressing and acting with more decency and respect, they (the bans) should be encouraged," she said.
...and:

"We've let the standards drop so far that no one is pulling up people who are doing the wrong thing," he said.
Is the worm turning against the west's corrosive cult of individualism at any cost? We'll see.

In the meantime, it seems a pity that another explanation for the origin of the saggy, baggy pants style turns out to be an urban legend although one suspects jailhouse queens would find it convenient.

-- Nick

Incorrect Footwear Causes Fatal Slip Up

Unfortunate:

The burglar bled to death in the man's frontyard after he tripped and slashed his throat while he climbed through a bedroom window.
-- Nick

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Ruddles Greatest Hits

Beatles sing-along! See if you can figure out all the songs or scroll to the end for help!

-- Nick

Magistrate Senses Distress

A graffiti vandal who flies interstate with his mates to deface trains punches a rail cop who is arresting him. His kit includes cans of spray paint and videos of them vandalising trains. He is 18. In the eyes of society he is an adult.

The magistrate bails him:

(She) said the alleged offences had a social and financial impact but (the accused) was young and vulnerable. "It is sensible to form the view he is likely to have experienced quite a deal of distress . . . as a result of his overnight stay (in custody)."
Home and business owners experience 'quite a deal of distress' when their property is attacked and defaced; rate and taxpayers experience 'quite a deal of distress' at the millions of their dollars it costs to clean up afterwards; police experience 'quite a deal of distress' as mature organised crime gangs start adopting junior organised crime gangs - graffiti 'crews' - to distribute drugs and commit break-ins; even graffiti vandals' own girlfriends experience 'quite a deal of distress' when they are raped as punishment for their boyfriends tagging in others' 'territory'.

-- Nick

Contrast And Compare

'Crazy' John Ilhan, the entrepreneur who died at the age of 42 this week, was a good Australian and a dearly loved husband:

Mr Ilhan, whose mobile phone retail chain built his fortune to an estimated $310m, gave millions to charity and sponsored many sports... Mrs Ilhan described her husband as the family's "inspiration and rock". "He loved his family more than anything. We always came first. I will remember we were true soulmates – he always knew what I was thinking."
At his funeral:

In keeping with Muslim tradition, (Ilhan's widow and their three daughters) and other women were asked to move away from the coffin so prayers could begin.
Mr Ilhan's son - being male - would have been allowed to stay.

Mrs Ilhan would likely also not have been allowed graveside at the burial of her husband.

One hopes to see some discussion of this in the mainstream media in weeks to come.

-- Nick

Update: Obfuscation redux. Subtle. 'Crazy John farewelled in style':

MOURNERS in their thousands, from close friends to complete strangers, bore tearful witness yesterday as Patricia Ilhan bid farewell to her soulmate. Shielded behind a pink headscarf and sunglasses, the widow of mobile phone millionaire John Ilhan led their three young daughters through the grieving throng to his casket.

Then, in keeping with Muslim tradition, they moved away so prayers could begin. (Emphasis added)

Friday, October 26, 2007

We Will Remember Them

Australians like to think themselves as rough, tough and resilient - ready to champion a fair go accompanied with an inate sense of justice.

Obviously not everyone judging by some of the disgusting, hate-filled comments about the death of SAS Trooper Matthew Locke.

Fortunately not everyone feels the same.

Nick and I offer our sincere condolences to Locke's family and to his brothers in arms serving in the Australian Defence Forces across the globe.

Warrior
0.5 oz Brandy
0.5 tsp Sambuca
0.5 tsp Triple sec
1.0 oz Sweet Vermouth
1.0 oz Dry Vermouth
Mix together with crushed ice in a glass and garnish with mint leaves

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Food, Glorious Food!

When do you reckon was the last time Wayne Swan had to worry about his grocery bill?

Probably about the same time as his millionaire mate Kev.

-- Nick

Life Under Labor, Part 2...

The story continues...

LIFEUNDERLABOR2

Click the image for full size!

-- Nick

Period Pain

Grammartarian Lynne Truss admits she has to be cruel to be kind:

In my worst moments, I think the biggest effect of Eats, Shoots & Leaves was to kill the happiness of people who had previously skipped through life, unaware of all the atrocities lurking in the world around them.

Sometimes I even witnessed this life-ruining at first-hand – when, while promoting the book, I would go out with film crews to find misplaced apostrophes on high streets.

At the start of each filming day, the assigned jobbing cameraman would have only a vague idea of the reason he was there ("Like a comma, right?"), but by the end, he would be saying, "Oh, there's a bad one! There's a really bad one!"

This was pleasing, obviously; but also worrying.

Would this nice man go home later to his wife and children – to all outward appearance, the same person, but oh-so changed in this one regard? It is not really a kindness, therefore, to show a child the difference between "The girls like spaghetti" and "The girl's like spaghetti". There is nothing humanitarian about it.

My excuse is that I am willing to sacrifice the future mental wellbeing of a few kiddies for the sake of a greater good: for the sake of continuing to celebrate the beauty of the printed word.
-- Nora

Questions Asked

Australia's looming pick for Prime Minister is questioned overseas:

"The question is whether a man with so little savvy for the cameras is fit to hold his nation's highest office."
The Washington Post columnist described Rudd's caught on camera earwax pick-and-eat snack as a "stomach-turning display".

No wonder teenagers love him.

Well, not all of them.

-- Nick

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Kill The Monster!

Welcome to Gattaca:

SHORT men are more likely to be sexually attracted to children than their taller peers, according to a new Canadian study of the biological roots of pedophilia... The same scientific team previously found that pedophiles "have lower IQs, are three times more likely to be left-handed, failed school grades significantly more frequently, and suffered more head injuries as children."
Quick - better arrest that stupid left-handed short guy before he molests your kids. In fact, why not just put them down as soon as it's obvious they're not going to be 'tall enough'?

Meanwhile, the leader of the team of would-be eugenicists who came up with the findings still wants his pound of flesh:

"This research does not mean that pedophiles are not criminally responsible for their behavior," said lead researcher James Cantor. "But the discovery of biological markers for pedophilia has important implications for future study and possibly treatment."
Make up your mind - are paedophiles criminals or biologically ill? Do we wish to punish or treat, imprison or hospitalise?

-- Nick

Which Prime Minister Will You Pick?

Kevin Rudd picks himself:

...the now Leader of the Opposition was still on the backbench. Thinking himself invisible while his colleague Anthony Albanese holds the floor at the dispatch box, Mr Rudd absent-mindedly picks his ear. Harmless enough - until the Member for Griffith then sticks the same finger in his mouth.




-- Nick

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Round-Up

When law-abiding gun owners are routinely villified by the media, how the hell did this one sneak through, even with its askance 'gosh, they're just ordinary folks!' attitude and 'gun nut' headline?

Peace protestors injure a man while illegally storming a building. Assault is led by The Greens and The Australian Democrats.

U2 to build momument to themselves.

Tragic though it is, this incident is billed as a 'Gold Coast top local story' because?

British engineer just smiles and nods during a case of mistaken identity.

-- Nick

Protected Species

When a youth club being built on the Gold Coast was hit by graffiti vandals a few weeks ago, a number of local youngsters reported their criminal peers to police.

Their actions earned praise from leaders of the club project and the local councillor and produced the Quote of the Week in the Gold Coast Sun (17 October 2007 - no on-line version available):

Senior Sergeant Murray Underwood said police would pursue the lead but would be limited in their options. "We will be looking into it but unfortunately they're juveniles so they're very much protected," he said.
That's why bikie gangs are:

...recruiting children to fence stolen property.
Ah, Queensland's glorious Gold Coast - graffiti and fencing one day; drug running and murder for hire the next:

Veteran investigative crime journalist Bob Bottom - who also gave evidence at the Brisbane hearings - also backed the introduction of RICO laws and telephone taps. He said the Gold Coast was a crime centre in Australia in much the same way that US gangsters flocked to Florida from where they ran vast criminal networks.
-- Nick

Update: Protected all right:

Five boys who stoned a father to death as he played cricket with his son have been imprisoned for two years each.
Not Karachi or Morocco but in Kent.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Live Long And Prosper

Every guy would like to restore a classic vehicle. Some are more expensive than others:

The Avro Vulcan XH558 was the last of the model to fly in 1993 when it was retired to an airfield in Bruntingthorpe, Leics. After a £6 million restoration project it was returned to flight. The 645mph monster flew for about 20 minutes burning fuel worth more than £1,000.
-- Nick

Thin Blue Line

In honour of our hard working men and women in blue - thanks Skip - this cocktail's for you:

Thin Blue Line

1 part Vodka
1 part Triple sec
5 drops Blue curaƧao

Pour in the triple sec then the vodka on top. Then, with a straw, add the blue curacao to create a thin blue line between the two layers.
-- Nick and Nora

(via Cocktails UK)

Enabling Crime

A 16-year-old boy is shot dead in Sheffield, England:

Douglas Johnson, an advice worker (Is that a real job? - Ed), said: "This is what happens when drug dealing activity goes on. Kids get involved and start playing with guns." As well as being the 11th teenager to be shot dead in Britain this year, Jonathan is the 53rd to be murdered. Most have been knifed, but the growing number of gun deaths has alarmed police.
No wonder it's alarmed police (or rather their political masters) - the knee-jerk, PC banning of all guns in England was supposed to end gun crime.

Instead, 11 years later, children shoot each in drive-bys on their push bikes.

Meanwhile, another London Telegraph journalist notes:

It's Victorian England in reverse: the super-rich work long hours, toiling into the night in sweatshop city offices. They are under-nourished and scrawny, cycle to work, breed lots of children and are obsessed with their offspring's education, pushing them to study until their eyes ache. The super-poor, meanwhile, lead the life of the rentier. They sit around all day with little to do except eat cakes, growing larger and larger, alternately ignoring and indulging their children, and allowing them to roam their estate waving guns.
... and makes the un-PC observation:

If these children have no future except handouts, it is likely that they are going to look for stimulation and respect from other quarters... More than 60 years of welfare have forced generations of families into dependency and taken away a sense of responsibility. The welfare system has become a trap rather than a safety net...
-- Nick

Angelina Has No Clothes...

For the lack of anything else on the box last weekend, Nora and I found ourselves watching Mr And Mrs Smith. Even live fishing or darts would have been better.

Nonetheless, during the course of the action, one observed that Angelina Jolie, for all her acclaim, is no beauty. In fact, she has one of the most ordinary profiles around.

Now this:

“Angelina Jolie is sort of amazing because everyone thinks she’s like this great beauty. And I’m not saying she’s an unattractive woman, but she’s not beauty, by any stretch of the imagination.”
Indeed.

-- Nick

Double Jeopardy

It's an understandable reaction but at least one of the parents of the children who found Sydney's 'kid in a suitcase' needs to throttle back lest they traumatise their children even more than the event itself:

"Our kids all play here every afternoon. They go fishing every day so it's a frightening thing." (She) has been forced to rethink her son's once carefree visits to the local park... "Now this has happened I don't want my son walking home from school on his own, you just never know."
The resilience of children - and even adults - is greater than our 'wrap everything in cotton wool' society has led us to believe and the 12 year old boy in this event might be better served being allowed to deal with it in his own time and space rather than being barred from going fishing with his mates and walked home from school.

The fact that the found body had been in the suitcase for some days without a child being reported missing suggests complicity by the dead child's mother or father or both rather than a killer stalking the area. Drugs are also highly likely to be involved:

"It's putrid," (said one local) of much of the neighbourhood. "The area is full of drugs and drug dealers."
But don't they know drug taking is a victimless crime? /sarcasm

-- Nick

Update: House raided; one of three children apparently missing; not reported:

One local said the youngest boy, believed to be aged about two, had not been seen in recent weeks. "There was always the three of them. Then only two, the older two," he said. "We just thought (he was with the Department of Community Services)." (Emphasis added)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Duh...

Surprise. Not:

Parents are creating a generation of yobs by failing to teach children good manners at a young age, researchers warn today. Infants are "naturally" aggressive and must be taught to control their emotions...
-- Nick

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Life Under Labor

A gripping new series coming soon...

Click the image for full size!

-- Nick

Six Weeks To Hell?

Powerful, powerful commentary on Kevin Rudd:

...my initial admiration for Rudd, the man, has diminished over the past nine months until I have the gravest concerns about his fitness to head a political party, let alone run this nation.

My main concerns about his character relate to what I perceive to be an unalloyed ruthlessness, a lack of his loyalty to anything but his own short-term political ambitions and his projection of a carefully constructed image that has little or nothing to do with Rudd the man.
If you're in any doubt which way you'll be voting in six weeks, click on the links and read the whole article.

In fact, if you don't doubt you'll vote Labor, read it - it may be your last chance to make a truly informed decision.

And if you choose not to read the whole thing, then know this:

It is, however, Rudd's consistent refusal to address grave concerns about the so-called Heiner Affair which bring so many of the question marks about his character together in my mind.

Last week, Peter Coyne, the former manager of the dysfunctional youth detention centre at the heart of the child sex abuse and document shredding scandal, told The Australian that concerns about Rudd's possible role in the destruction of material known to be wanted as evidence were first made in the early 1990s.

According to the reporter, Coyne said the worries were raised at a meeting with two union officials looking after his (Rudd's) interests, but "only in the sense that he was ruining the (Queensland) public service".

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Just A Little Padding

An interesting piece in light of the sacking of an Indian doctor in Queensland for faking parts of his resume:

Corporate India is under attack and this time, the attack is from within. Much to their horror, companies are discovering a large number of their workforce has made its way in on the back of forged documents for experience and other qualifications.
The sacked doctor was Mohammed Ali, an associate of terror suspect Mohamed Haneef.

-- Nick

The Kiss Of Death Penalty

Joe Hildebrand on Labor's opposition to snuffing mass murderers:

McClelland, the ALP’s foreign affairs spokesman, came out saying that he wanted to spare the lives of all the Bali bombers, which surprisingly upset some of their victims’ families. This prompted Kevin Rudd to come out and say that he too was generally opposed to capital punishment, although in McClelland’s case he was prepared to make an exception.
Hildebrand also observes vital differences between Labor and the Coalition:

...on global warming. The Coalition’s response is “No, it isn’t” and Labor’s position is “More broadband”.
-- Nick

Nothing To Declare

Even as Kevin Rudd seeks to become Prime Minister of Australia, his Labor party pals in his home state of Queensland turn out to be even more corrupt than previously thought:

FORMER State Government minister Gordon Nuttall apparently received $100,000 more in alleged corrupt payments than investigators had previously thought.

New evidence also points to the possibility of a third person being involved in the affair, over which the former health minister was charged earlier this year with 35 counts of receiving almost $300,000 in secret commissions from mining magnate Ken Talbot.

The Courier-Mail can also reveal Premier Anna Bligh recently provided new documents to the Crime and Misconduct Commission - despite her predecessor, Peter Beattie, saying in February there was "nothing" left to provide to investigators.
Third person, eh? Nothing left to provide, eh?

-- Nick

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Maccas Made Me Do It

Australian National University population health researcher Richard Eckersley warns 'health problems of the current generation of adolescents, particularly mental illness, were likely to cause even more pressure on health care once they grow up' and, as reported by News.com.au, blames 'increased stress, more time spent in front of the computer or television and changes in diet'.

No mention of adolescents' increasing use of illegal drugs that is frying their brains.

-- Nick

A Punishing Point Of View

Buried in the middle of a pitch for Kevin Rudd on a completely different topic, journalist Samantha Maiden quotes Cardinal George Pell making an astute, if politically incorrect observation (not to mention against Roman Catholic policy):

"I think that this, capital punishment, is one of those issues ... where public opinion is quite at variance with elite opinion. I suspect, and I might be wrong, that there is clear majority approval in Australia for capital punishment in certain circumstances."
Zing!

Pell is no stranger to calling a spade a spade:

... told an American audience the Koran is punctuated with "invocations to violence"... In a speech to leading Catholic businesses in the United States, Dr Pell said the September 11 terrorist attacks had been his wake-up call to understand Islam better. He said there were inconsistencies in claims that Islam was a faith of peace with those that suggested the Koran legitimised the killings of non-Muslims... "In my own reading of the Koran, I began to note down invocations to violence. There are so many of them, however, that I abandoned this exercise after 50 or 60 or 70 pages," he said.
-- Nick

Somethin' That He Never Done

Sports star pleads guilty in court to shoplifting but can't quite cough up to the rest of us:

"I think the verdict shows I was maybe in the wrong place at the wrong time, and I did something stupid,"
In yet another example of how the judiciary doesn't get it either, no conviction is recorded:

Judge Fleur Kingham... did not record a conviction against Fenech, taking note of his frequent overseas travel in his role as a boxing trainer and promoter.
...despite the fact that the crime was denied was two years before security footage prompted a belated admission of guilt.

Meanwhile, a lawyer thinks not getting violent when you're nicked is cause to be cut some slack:

Mr Di Carlo noted that Fenech did not "throw phones" or behave in a "distressing manner" when arrested by police.
-- Nick

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

But It Must Be True...

101 reasons why you shouldn't believe anything you read/hear/see in the news, including the classic:

9. Associated Press (AP) (2005). Fell for hoax and phony photo. The AP ran a story, with a photo, about a soldier held hostage in Iraq. The photo turned out to be that of an action figure doll (emphasis added); there was no such soldier.
Click on the link, scroll down a bit and enjoy!

-- Nick

An Indecent Obsession

Paedophile rapes child, walks on a suspended sentence.

Newspaper reports sympathetically:

Pleading guilty to six counts of indecent treatment of a boy under the age of 14, plus 20 counts of indecent treatment of a boy under the age of 17, King then had to sit in the court dock on tenterhooks for almost three hours as her lawyer Tony Kimmins argued why she should not go to jail.
And why not?

Judge Trafford-Walker stressed the reprieve was only because of so many "exceptional circumstances" including King's early admission of guilt, her remorse and otherwise good character, her "emotional immaturity" at the time of the offences, her current advanced age and physical disabilities.
And perhaps the fact that the perpetrator is female, an attribute that elicits beneficially unequal treatment by the judiciary and a nudge, nudge, wink, wink attitude of 'lucky lad' from the media.

Her victim suffered depression, altered moods and a tendency to self-harm. His abuser - credited for 'an early admission of guilt' - hid her crime for 30 years until her victim finally outed her.

-- Nick

Slow Boiled Frog

The push for Sharia law in the UK continues apace:

Muslim medical students are refusing to attend lectures or answer exam questions on alcohol-related or sexually transmitted diseases because they claim it offends their religious beliefs. Some trainee doctors say learning to treat the diseases conflicts with their faith, which states that Muslims should not drink alcohol and rejects sexual promiscuity. (Some) have even refused to treat patients of the opposite sex.

...Sainsbury’s is permitting Muslim checkout operators to refuse to handle customers’ alcohol purchases on religious grounds... Sainsbury’s is also allowing its Muslim pharmacists to refuse to sell the morning-after pill...
And so it goes.

-- Nick

(via Little Green Footballs)

Predictable

Meanwhile, in local news:

LESS than three weeks after resigning as Gold Coast deputy mayor, David Power is on the payroll of a major developer.
After resigning?

-- Nick

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Exposed: How TV Current Affairs Shows Are Ripping YOU Off

On Nick and Nora's passionate affair, we expose the hypocrisy of one of Australia's leading television networks with an insider's view of how news and controversy are manufactured - all in the name of ratings.

Hello, I'm Nora Charles.

Tonight, an exclusive look at how an industry's integrity is for sale by journalists whose own code of ethics state that no commercial consideration should influence their work.

This show, Today Tonight and others like it, fleece advertisers of hundreds of thousands of dollars each night by holding you, the television viewer, hostage with stories on snake-oil weight loss cures, hysterical panic stories and, at times, downright lies.

And all for the lucrative ratings that determine the price paid by advertisers.

"Shows like Today Tonight are particularly notorious in using these tricks," says Nick Charles, one time journalist and now media commentator.

"They deliberately play on people's mistrust, fears and greed to maximise profits. In fact, it would be fair to say that current affairs shows have deliberately ruined lives in the quest for sensationalism and money."
When Australian rock legend Angry Anderson wanted to raise awareness of a fund raising rock concert tonight, he faked the ambush of members of bands The Choir Boys, The Angels and The Party Boys.

"Oh look - you can see here that all of this has been pre-arranged," says Nick. "What are the chances of all the members of The Angels just casually walking down the street?

"It might seem like a little bit of harmless fun but, once again, it shows how Today Tonight deliberately misleads the public."
And it gets worse.

Companies regularly approach Today Tonight for publicity and receive air time worth tens of thousands of dollars for free, for goods and services which may or may not work.

"Many journalists will do this kind of advertorial type of story and claim that it has news value, but in reality the news value of the free publicity is spurious," says Nick.

"News value is often limited to how well the company's publicist has pitched the story to the presenter or the researchers. They don't do any of their own independent research for stories."
In fact a Today Tonight journalist was 'bought' today by publicists for the company Etech Group who are targeting one of the most vulnerable groups in society - middle class parents with teenage children.

"That was an out and out plug for a company product," said Nick, "I'm not saying the reporter, in this case, was offered, say, free software for running the story, but in many cases journalists receive what's known as payola, bribes in effect, to promote and publicise a product or event. The payola takes the form of free product, free tickets to events, stuff like that.

"These people wield significant influence."
And what happens if companies don't play by Today Tonight's rules?

"Some of these reporters - personally I think it's a misnomer to call them 'journalists' - will go as far as to demand payola in exchange for favourable coverage," says Nick.

"If the organisation doesn't come across, then they don't get the coverage."
But it's not always personal gain which motivates these parasites.

"One of the worst things you can do, from a public perception point of view, is not play ball with these people," says Nick.

"If you refuse an interview, no matter how rude the reporter or inconvenient the timing, they will quite happily spread lies and deliberate misinformation.

"The worst thing of all is there is no real remediation or redress if a show like Today Tonight has it in for you. Network lawyers are held on retainer and these organisations will quite happily spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees.

"If you're an ordinary Aussie there is very little you can do to stop them."
When Today Tonight made the claim on Wednesday night that Sydney church Hillsong was 'stacking' Australian Idol, they offered no evidence except that up to half of the contestants go to church - not to Hillsong specifically but to any number of churches around the country.

Surely not surprising when, according to the latest census, 64% of Australians call themselves Christian and that Christians sing at church on a regular basis.

"It's very interesting that Today Tonight tends pick on Hillsong," says Nick. "It's not the first time they've done it.

"What they failed to point out in their story was that other Australian Idol contestants benefit from the support of their communities and social groups to generate interest and votes on the show.

"Last year an Australian Idol contestant from Albury-Wodonga had the local pub raising money to pay for phone votes. Today Tonight didn't do an expose on that."
But the show's producers, including host Anna Corin, were stung by the response of Hillsong that issued a one-line statement saying the church didn't endorse any singers and wished all the contestants the best.

They also endured the derision of Australian Idol fans:

"I think they should stick to uncovering the dangers of old microwaves, food additives and the latest plastic surgery bungles instead."

"LOL Grape, they just keep re-hashing the same pathetic stories over and over."

"Yea i saw the last bit of this add today...ITS SO FREAKING LAME sirsly Today Tonight have nothing better to do with there lives =.=*"
And rehash they do, finding two disaffected former members of the church to back their claim.

But our media insider smells a rat.

"The couple said that Hillsong kept asking them to 'do things', but they didn't specify what. Surely as a real journalist that's the question to be asking, but they don't. It's likely that the answer doesn't meet their agenda, which is to knock the church," Nick says.

"It's also quite possible that the couple are little more than volunteer 'cast members' - you only have to look at these shows' web sites to see how they advertise for people with an axe to grind to come and tell their story on air or pretend they're ordinary members of the public reacting to events or talking about their experiences with some of the payola products we mentioned earlier.

"Anyway, as I said before, so what if Hillsong ends every service by saying 'don't forget to vote for so and so'? That's what everyone else does, Today Tonight included whenever it runs a thinly veiled promo for network shows like Dancing With The Stars.

"The real question is why Today Tonight and A Current Affair too, are against a church the young congregation of which is more likely than the average population to be happy, not on drugs, not getting drunk every weekend, not sexually promiscuous and more likely to be caring, socially active people.

"These powerful, multi-million dollar media outlets are trying to portray Hillsong as a cult, when it is nothing of the sort - it's just a large, active Christian church."
Speaking of questions to be asking, maybe someone needs to ask these reporters and producers what their interest is in steering young people away from positive behaviour.

Perhaps they're after a 'good' story.

Or perhaps their interest is a little more unnatural.

-- Nora Charles reporting

UPDATE: Hillsong toys with Today Tonight, hinting that it could take legal action against the show.