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.

Tough Talk But Crims Still Walk

A SENIOR Brisbane judge yesterday vowed:

...to get tough on callous reoffenders who disregard their fellow citizens. District Court judge Helen O'Sullivan said she had finally lost patience with criminals who ignored judges' warnings and community obligations, saying recalcitrant offenders could expect the hard hand of the law in her court...
Then she let another one go, ignoring Crown prosecutors' arguments that a violent offender be jailed for breaching his correction order and ordering the man to undertake 180 hours' community service.

Meanwhile, a gang of young thugs on a rampage of assault and robbery in Adelaide are also repeat offenders allowed to walk again and again:

Many of the offences have been committed while gang members are on bail or serving suspended sentences.
-- Nick

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Solar Flares

Nicky and I were travelling home this evening behind an old Suzuki sedan sporting the sticker "Solar, Not Nuclear".

Which raises the question: Why?

Solar's proponents try to point out that solar is 'safer' than nuclear power.

If that's the case, how come solar energy has killed more people than any use of nuclear power?

-- Nora

Monday, October 01, 2007

Who Do You Say That I Am?

Kevin Rudd is asked a simple question and can't give a simple answer:

Question: Mr Rudd, do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God?

Rudd: Well, I’m a - I’m a, a person who attends church regularly.
It should be simple because every time Rudd finds himself in front of a Christian audience he can't call himself Christian enough.

However, when he finds himself in front of camera from SBS television he can't back away from the questioner quickly enough. Watch the clip - the question, answer and money shot are in the last 10 seconds.

And this fake wants to be our Prime Minister.

God help us.

Literally.

-- Nick

via Andrew Bolt

Lois Maxwell

Though her love for Bond was unrequited, the whole world loved Moneypenny.

-- Nick and Nora