Sunday, September 30, 2007

Bring Back The Wagging Finger!

Western Australia State School Teachers Union vice-president Anne Gisborne notes:

... violence among young girls had been rising for five years and unruly students were getting younger... She said families' resistance to deal with out-of-control children meant behavioural problems went untreated and got worse when students left school.
Perhaps the behavioural problems start with overindulgent, paranoid parents depriving their infants (and themselves) of sleep:

The survey found that babies in the 1960s and '70s woke only twice in the night and took just 20 minutes to settle, whereas today's babies wake up at least three times a night and take 33 minutes to settle. Even getting them to sleep in the evening has become harder. It now takes 56 minutes compared to 28. This was attributed to methods used. In the old days, babies were put in their cots and left to drift off. These days parents cuddle their babies until they fall asleep.
Back in school, 'peak parent group' the WA Council of State School Organisations called for:

... more teacher powers to tackle violence.
and President Rob Fry said:

"We have to bring back some strong rules."

But wait:

"I'm not advocating bringing back the cane. But the department needs to somehow put in more support behind teachers so they know that they are protected when taking appropriate action."
Yes, they do, somehow, don't they?

-- Nick

Go Home And Go To Bed

It's not often one finds oneself agreeing with the nannies of the Australian Medical Association but:

The Australian Medical Association Queensland has called for a blanket ban on any pubs opening before 10am. "Anyone who needs to start drinking that early in the morning would seem to have an alcohol-related problem and our view is that they should be seeking assistance," president-elect Dr Chris Davis said.
Not surprisingly, Davis' viewpoint on a a review of Queensland pub opening hours has drawn predictable reactions in comments from readers who trumpet the 24/7 nature of modern life and demand their right to a beer at 7am. There's also the standard:

Until Brisbane wakes up to the fact that the rest of the world is running 24/7 - it will never get the 'Worldly' recognition it is looking for.
Of course, the rest of the world does not run 24/7. Nightclubs in Los Angeles and many other 'worldly' places around the world close at 2am and no one has a problem with it.

One is a bit fed up with so-called 'adults' whinging like kids because they can't have everything they want at any time they want it while closing their eyes to the damage their demands for constant indulgence is causing:

"I'm not sure it can get much worse," said Mr Evans, describing the behaviour of people within city centres on Friday and Saturday nights... Government studies show that 44 per cent of violent crimes are alcohol-related and that 70 per cent of weekend hospital admissions are linked to drinking. [1]

VIOLENT crime in Scotland has risen by 40 per cent in a year, according to new figures published today. Most of the increase was due to an increase in "minor" assaults carried out by people under the influence of alcohol. [2]

Rapes and serious assaults will soar if pubs are allowed to open longer, said the Council of Her Majesty's Circuit Judges, which represents 600 judges. The judges' report stated: "Those who routinely see the consequences of drink-fuelled violence in offences of rape, grievous bodily harm and worse on a daily basis are in no doubt that an escalation of offences of this nature will inevitably be caused by the relaxation of liquor licensing which the government has now authorised." [3]
The latter cited article is well worth reading in full, containing the following quote that could as well apply to Australia as Britain:

Judge Charles Harris QC said... "Continental-style drinking requires continental-style people - people who sit quietly chatting away at cafe tables." He said British drinking involved "standing up, shouting at each other in crowded bars, trying to consume gallons of beer at a time".
-- Nick

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Climate Cop Out

It's hard to imagine anyone less qualified but more eager to voice an opinion on global warming than an actor but a cop gives it a go:

THE Federal Government has left Australia unprepared for global turmoil caused by climate change, which the nation's top police officer has called this century's greatest security risk, Labor said today. Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty said water and food shortages caused by global warming could have disastrous implications, particularly for border security.
Keelty continues:

"Even if only some, if not all, of this occurs, climate change is going to be the security issue of the 21st century. It's not difficult to see the policing implications that might arise in the not-too-distant future."
Actually, Micky-boy, this is the security issue of the 21st century but you're standing around with your eyes closed and hands over your ears muttering 'it's not real, it's not real...'.

-- Nick

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Another Reason To Migrate

British composer Gustav Holst quite possibly wouldn't have approved:

Neither might Diana, Princess of Wales.

'We wish England was Australia' is, in fact, I Vow To Thee, My Country, one of Diana's favourite hymns, performed at her wedding and funeral.

The lyrics started life as a 1908 poem by diplomat Cecil Spring-Rice. The tune is a hymnal called Thaxted which Holst adapted from a section of the Jupiter movement in his 1914-16 composition The Planets Suite.

I Vow To Thee, My Country is now a patriotic staple of Armistice Day and regularly arouses the ire of milksop Anglican dhimmis such as The Bishop of Hulme, the Rt Rev Stephen Lowe, who:

... said the hymn's popularity was a symptom of a "dangerous" increase in English nationalism which had parallels with the rise of Nazism. Its associations with the British empire were also questionable in a multi-faith, multi-cultural society.
Holst probably wouldn't have approved of the Right Rev Steve either.

And one can imagine knee-jerk feminists might choke on hearing Holst's requirement for performances of The Planets that:

For "Neptune", two three-part women's choruses, located in an adjoining room which is to be screened from the audience, are required.
Why? Not because Holst was a misogynist but because he was a musical visionary:

"Neptune" was the first piece of music to have a fade-out ending. Holst stipulates that the women's choruses are "to be placed in an adjoining room, the door of which is to be left open until the last bar of the piece, when it is to be slowly and silently closed", and that the final bar (scored for choruses alone) is "to be repeated until the sound is lost in the distance".

Although commonplace today, the effect bewitched audiences in the era before widespread recorded sound - after the initial 1918 run-through, Holst's daughter Imogen (in addition to watching the charwomen dancing in the aisles during "Jupiter") remarked that the ending was "unforgettable, with its hidden chorus of women's voices growing fainter and fainter... until the imagination knew no difference between sound and silence".
-- Nick

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Zero Sum Game

ANNA Bligh has received a stunning reception from Queenslanders, with one in three voters believing she will be a better Premier than her predecessor, Peter Beattie.
Well, that's not hard when you're starting from a base line of zero.

Ground Zero
3/4 oz Vodka
3/4 oz Bourbon
3/4 oz Peppermint Schnapps
1/2 oz Kahlua Coffee Liqueur
Layer each liqueur in a shot glass.
-- Nora

God Bless 'Em, Marge, They're Not That Bright

al-Reuters and a pack of 'staff writers' at News Ltd expose a 'bizarre' George Bush gaffe, claiming he suddenly said at a White House press conference that Nelson Mandela was dead.

What they say he said:

"I heard somebody say, 'Where's Mandela?'," he said. "Well, Mandela's dead because Saddam Hussein killed all the Mandelas."
What he actually said:

Part of the reason why there is not this instant democracy in Iraq is because people are still recovering from Saddam Hussein’s brutal rule. I thought an interesting comment was made when somebody said to me, I heard somebody say, where’s Mandela? Well, Mandela is dead, because Saddam Hussein killed all the Mandelas. He was a brutal tyrant that divided people up and split families, and people are recovering from this.
So Bush was saying there are no inspirational leaders of the type of Nelson Mandela rising up to lead the Iraqi people because Saddam killed all the 'Mandelas'.

And the media - and quite a few subtlety-challenged Lefties - are thinking he either literally meant 'Nelson Mandela's dead' or they're deliberately going: 'Look, look... isn't George Bush stoopid!!'

Either way, it looks bad for the media - they're either stupid or mean or both. Probably the latter.

And News Ltd's sub-editors further expose their own lack of mental faculty and the juvenile manner with which they routinely conduct business with this sub-head:

Saddam killed all the Mandelas, says Bush
Um, what? asks pretty much everyone else
Perhaps it should read:

Saddam killed all the Mandelas, says Bush
I glued my head to my shoulder, says journalist
Apologies to Ralph Wiggum.

-- Nick

(via Tim Blair)

The London Daily Mail's David Gardner realises he's been caught and tries to save face by criticising Bush's analogy. However the only thing 'tortuous' about the report is Gardner's squirming.

The Nine Network's Robert Penfold ended the day on the 6pm News spinning the story for all he was worth with a report the awkward editing of which recalled perfectly Judge And Jury, an episode Frontline, the ABC's savage 1990s satire on TV current affairs shows.

In that episode, fictional journalist Brooke Vandenberg realises a priest accused of rape sounds too convincing when he protests his innocence during an interview and she has the video editor insert a pause and cutaway shot that suggests hesitation and a guilty conscience. (The priest's reputation is ruined though it transpires he is innocent and his accuser is mentally unbalanced.)

On National Nine News, real journalist Robert Penfold's report similarly appears to distort the timeline at the White House conference by interrupting Bush's comment after 'I heard somebody say, where’s Mandela? Well, Mandela is dead...' to insert a cutaway shot of two men in the audience looking incredulous, accompanied by Penfold's voiceover suggesting 'even the President's aides couldn't believe their ears'.

Penfold then continued (and I paraphrase) that Bush was later forced to backtrack to clarify himself and the video dropped back in on Bush speaking with the 'Saddam Hussein killed all the Mandelas' portion of what, in reality, was two short sentences spoken one immediately after the other but which had been dismantled and reconstructed to look like the 'gaffe' the media wanted it to be and an awkward attempt by Bush to explain himself.

It would be interesting to see the raw footage containing Penfold's 'incredulous aides' cutaway. Odds are the men's reaction is not even to that portion of the conference.

Postscript: Interesting to see that episodes of Frontline are studied for the NSW HSC.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Must We Marry?

When I was a child in the late 1970s, there was a TVC from the Christian Television Association which was very striking.

It was set in the Logan's Run-style future.

A young Christian couple were in front of a magistrate to ask for a lifelong marriage licence.

The judge asks, why?'. No one stays together any more so marriage licences are set to expire after seven years.

The couple explain that God has designed marriage to be for a lifetime.

The judge proposes a compromise, he will grant the marriage licence but have it set so it is automatically renewed.

The scenario is amusing.

Until you find that an expiring marriage licence has already been proposed.

-- Nora

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Lingua Franca

In 280 years we'll all be speaking English:

LINGUISTS alarmed at the unceasing extinction of many indigenous languages identified five global "hot spots" overnight where the problem is worst, led by northern Australia and a region of South America.

The linguists are part of the Enduring Voices project that seeks to document and revitalise languages slipping toward oblivion, often spoken by indigenous peoples like Australia's aborigines whose cultures were trampled by settlers.

David Harrison of Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, the project's co-director, said there are 6992 recognised distinct languages worldwide.

He said on average one language vanishes every two weeks, often as its last elderly speakers perish.
Or Spanish.

-- Nick

When Children Become Mere Fashion Accessories

The woman said she enjoyed some aspects of the pregnancy, such as decorating the girls' nursery, but other parts were distressing, including purchasing a pram.
Finish your breakfast as the rest of the story may disgust you.

-- Nora

UPDATE: The story becomes more ridiculous.

The woman, who yesterday described her experience thus:

"It was like the last frontier of acceptance to spend hundreds of dollars on a pram," she said.
And who requested a general anaesthetic for the implantation procedure is, in today's article, described by her partner:

"My observation is that (the twins' birth mother) was one of the most confident and centred people that I have met," she said.
Really? Her testimony yesterday belies that.

And now the coup de grace:

"I find (now) that she doesn't have the same ability to love that she used to and the same capacity to, I guess, embrace differences and issues as a couple or as a team.''

She said the pair lost their lives functioning as a couple, becoming mired in everyday tasks associated with raising two children.
Diddums. You want normal - you've got it.

-- Nora

Monday, September 17, 2007

A Little Bit Of Pixie Dust

Oh poor little 'Peta' Pan, 26 years old and not a grown up yet.

It's a little sad and pathetic don't you think?

Sadly Lucy Carne's self-indulgent twaddle is another reason why the voting and drinking age should be raised to 30. Perhaps then we might get some adult writing.

-- Nora

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Friday, September 14, 2007

A Rose By Any Other Name...

... would still be a rose in English:

A Czech speedway driver knocked unconscious in a crash in the UK stunned ambulance drivers when he woke up speaking perfect English.

Peter Waite, the promoter for Kus's team, the Berwick Bandits, told the Daily Mail: "I couldn't believe what I was hearing.

"It was in a really clear English accent, no dialect or anything. Whatever happened in the crash must have rearranged things in his head.

"Before his crash Matej's use of the English language was broken, to put it mildly...
But, alas:

Unfortunately, the speedway driver's new found skills didn’t last and he remembers nothing of the accident or the following two days. He is now keen pursue studies in English.
Quel dommage!
English Rose
3/4 oz apricot brandy
1 1/2 oz gin
3/4 oz dry vermouth
1 tsp grenadine syrup
1/4 tsp lemon juice
1 cherry
Rub rim of cocktail glass with lemon juice and dip rim of glass in powdered sugar. Shake all ingredients (except cherry) with ice and strain into sugar-rimmed glass. Top with the cherry and serve.
-- Nora

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Buyer's Remorse?

A US state supreme court has ruled against a woman who had brought a malpractice suit against her doctor for not telling her she was carrying "a complete, unique, irreplaceable human being" before performing an abortion.
An abortion that the woman herself requested.


-- Nora

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Cheaper By The Dozen

A heinous crime:

Neil Herron... said he would be continuing the fight to clear the name of the late Steve Thoburn, who was convicted in 2001 for selling bananas by the pound.
-- Nick

The Gaia Bomb

If they throw a war, how much are the carbon offsets?

"The main destruction is inflicted by an ultrasonic shockwave and an incredibly high temperature," the reports said. "All that is alive merely evaporates."

Rukshin said: "At the same time, I want to stress that the action of this weapon does not contaminate the environment, in contrast to a nuclear one."
-- Nick

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Putting Away Childish Things

Powerful parenting advice from author Tony Woodlief in the Wall Street Journal:

While some mothers and fathers stubbornly cling to the utopian beliefs of their childless years, the vision of humans as inherently sinful and selfish resonates with many of us who are parents. Nobody who's stood between a toddler and the last cookie should still harbor a belief in the inherent virtue of mankind. An afternoon at the playground is apt to make one toss out the idealist Rousseau ("man is a compassionate and sensible being") in favor of the more realistic Hobbes ("all mankind [is in] a perpetual and restless desire for power").
Go. Read the whole thing.

If you're a parent you'll find it liberating. If you're contemplating parenthood you'll see a road map.

Hat tip: Hot Air

-- Nora

Follow The Leader

In addition to a change of Queensland Premier, could a change of Federal leadership be in the offing?

It would be a bizarre choice for the Liberals to dump Howard on the eve of an election, no matter how much the media is pushing for a change in government, but these are bizarre times we live in.

Links include commentary from various perspectives.

-- Nora

Blow Up The Pokies

Kevin Rudd is such a good man, he's even willing to criticise his Labor buddies if he sees an injustice:

...has criticised state Labor governments for hurting Australian families with their over-reliance on poker machine taxes, vowing to come up with solutions to wean states off the addiction if he wins the federal election.
However, even can't avoid the absolutely bleeding obvious:

Mr Rudd... as chief of staff to former Queensland premier Wayne Goss oversaw the introduction of poker machines in Queensland clubs from 1989
The state of Queensland is completely addicted to the drug Rudd pushed on us, yet he has the affrontery to say now:

"I hate poker machines and I know something of their impact on families."
Sure you know something about their impact, you were the pusher who sold them to us.

-- Nick

Monday, September 10, 2007

Peter Beattie Resigns

Mr Peter "I'm so sorry" Beattie has resigned.

No big news there, it was Queensland's worst kept secret.

Public reax is funny though.

It’s time to celebrate, you know when Labor appoints a woman to the premiership, the conservatives will win the next election.

Champagne Cocktail
Tbs of brandy
Tsp of sugar
Dash of bitters
Top with champagne
Serve in a cocktail saucer
-- Nora

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Journalist Attends Different March journalist Lincoln Archer sees 'A victory for the protesters' at Saturday's anti-everything APEC march:

The situation could have gotten ugly. The massively overwhelming police presence on the day could have been interpreted as intimidation and a red rag to a bull if people had been looking for trouble. But essentially there was no trouble. It was a peaceful protest.
Indeed - in the face of massive police provocation, it was a peaceful protest. No one went looking for trouble.

Must have been a different march to the one attended by NSW Chief Inspector Mark Death and Constable Michael Nolan:

A 40-year-old man threw a dart that lodged in a policeman's skull and swung wildly at other officers with a metal pole, striking one of them in the head, a Sydney court has heard. Gavin Begbie, of Pimlico in northern NSW, is facing a total of 13 charges arising out of demonstrations yesterday in Sydney against the APEC leaders' summit. He was one of 18 people arrested during the protests organised by the Stop Bush Coalition... The court was told both Insp Death and Const Nolan were taken to hospital. Const Nolan... required four stitches.
-- Nick

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Enemy Issues Statement

Osama bin Laden in making his first public statement in three years has a solution to ending the war on terror:

Give in.

CAIRO, Egypt - Osama bin Laden appeared for the first time in three years in a video Friday released ahead of the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, telling Americans they should convert to Islam if they want the war in Iraq to end.
Is there anyone out there who still doubts that this is a war that the Islamic religion as declared on the rest of the world?

-- Nora


Guess who's railing against America, globalisation, capitalism, failure to sign the Kyoto agreement.

An APEC protestor?

No. It's Osama-baby thus proving that radical Islam and the left have more in common than anyone thought. Tim Blair describes it as Blair's Law writ large.


The question was posed: Is there anyone out there who still doubts that this is a war that the Islamic religion as declared on the rest of the world?

Count amongst the believers, Mohamed el-Sayed, of the Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo:

bin Laden's words are proof the West cannot appease al-Qaeda by withdrawing from Iraq. "The message is much more threatening this time," he said. "It uses iconic language that suggests: 'The only way to get peace is to convert to Islam.' He's in a state of constant, unending war until he Islamises the world."

Style guru Manolo The Shoe Blogger offers some fashion advice for Osama bin Metrosexual.

Spring Sprung; Grass Riz

Spring is here, the sun is out after a few days of welcome rain, so Nicky and I are spending the weekend in the garden making over a few old gardens and remulching the beds.

We'll celebrate our hard work afterwards with a glass or two of:

Spring Feeling
1 oz gin
1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
1 tbsp lemon juice
Shake all ingredients with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and serve.
-- Nora

A Bunch Of Utter Tits

One was standing in a supermarket queue behind a woman covered head to toe in a black bag the other day, wondering where Australian feminists were.

Oh, they're here:

Left-leaning feminists say the failure of (70% of) mothers to (breastfeed) is the fault of an unsympathetic male-dominated society.
-- Nick

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Now Who's The Dope

Interesting post on JF Beck's site and I'm have a little fun with commenter Perry.

-- Nora

It's Not Easy Being Green. If You're Poor.

More proof that the environmental movement is based on racism:

When David Cameron flew to India to open a JCB factory for a party donor, green-thinking supporters could rest assured that his visit would be carbon neutral. “We are offsetting all our emissions through Climate Care,” the Tory leader wrote on his blog. “As well as planting trees, they also invest in renewable energy projects in the developing world.”

Somewhere in the Indian countryside, a farmer is about to repay Mr Cameron’s debt to the planet. Climate Care’s latest enterprise is to provide “treadle pumps” to poor rural families so they can get water on to their land without using diesel power. The pumps are worked by stepping on pedals. If a peasant treads for two hours a day, it will take at least three years to offset the CO2 from Mr Cameron’s return flight to India.
Andrew Bolt has public reaction here.

-- Nora

Hard To Shock

On-line, the Daily Telegraph story is headed:

Qantas embarrassment: Steward 'gave boy, 15, his number'
while the story refers to:

...yet another embarrassing incident involving Qantas staff...
What is alleged is that:

...the attendant had first asked for his phone number and when the boy refused, offered his own... (the boy's mother) said the attendant asked if the boy had an account with the internet chat forum Bebo and whether he would like to chat online.
Doesn't sound like 'an embarrassing incident' to me. Sounds like a homosexual paedophile attempting to 'groom' a victim.

-- Nick

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Table For Two

Courier-Mail columnist Dr Karen Brooks latest column is headlined Why do we try so hard to be 'sexy'?

The answer to the question posed in Dr Brooks headline is quite simple.

In this day and age sex is seen as a commodity, not something freely shared between two people for their mutual enjoyment.

We're also supposed to celebrate sex and sexiness in public now - just look at the reaction by commenters in the Californication thread on as an example.

Unfortunately the result is a most miserable form of competition in which, for the purposes of being daring/shocking, misleads, diverts and eventually disillusions: "Why did he/she leave me? Was I not sexy enough?"

Sex appeal is not in the shape of the body, the volume of hair or in the clothes, or lack thereof. True sexiness is an attitude.

And when tailored and honed for that one special individual it's a much more lasting and enjoyable affair de coeur which just happens to include the body and the brains as well.

-- Nora