Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A Blow For Democracy

In Britain, a simpering fascist gets ready to remove the last tool parents have to prevent their children growing into anti-social criminals:

The Children's Commissioner for England is preparing a dossier for the United Nations to back his case that parents who smack their children are abusing their human rights. Prof Sir Al Aynsley-Green says parents must be banned outright from smacking.
Aynsley-Green does not believe in democracy:

The dossier comes after a poll found most parents believed smacking was an acceptable way to discipline children.
Meanwhile, the British method of dealing with increased youth offending is to jail fewer youths:

Courts are being urged to send fewer young offenders to prison because youth jails are close to bursting point.
-- Nick

You Wish

Elton John, between vomits:

Asked what he would like to say to Mr Howard about his views on gay marriage, Sir Elton replied: "Up Yours".
Shut up and sing, clown.

-- Nick

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Girly Man Wants To See You Sweat

The Greens want the Queensland Government to legislate to make you uncomfortable this summer:

Queensland Greens spokesperson on climate change Drew Hutton has called on Premier Peter Beattie to act now to prevent the uncontrolled use of air conditioners from disrupting power supplies, especially in the state’s south-east, and forcing the building of more coal-fired power stations.
It's precisely because of slavish Labor fears of upsetting the Greens that coal-rich Queensland hasn't commissioned a new power station in almost two decades and now experiences annual power shortages to match the anti-dam Green-inspired water shortages.

Greens spokesmanperson Drew Hutton realises his desire to make you sweat and needlessly lose sleep will upset you.

Perhaps that's why he offers these contact details on his press release:

Contact: Drew Hutton 0429 487 110 (my wife’s mobile)
-- Nick

You Are The Weakest Link. Goodbye...

Michael Novak nails the media's role in modern warfare:

The main strategic aim of war today is to dominate the mind of the enemy's public, and then ultimately to dominate the mind of that public's leaders... At what moment did the war in Vietnam come to an end? At that precise moment when America's leaders decided that they could not resist the unrelenting storyline of the enemy, which had long prevailed in their own press. The press surrendered first, then the leaders of the nation... the Cold War ended not in an explosion of unprecedented violence, but rather at the precise moment when the Soviet elites no longer believed their own storyline... (and) in Iraq... the weakest link in the ability of the United States to sustain military operations overseas... is the U.S. media.
-- Nick

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Misrepresented Statistics Tell No Tales

Federal Deputy Opposition Leader and spokeswoman for education, training, science and research Jenny Macklin offers to 'throw some numbers at you' in an op-ed piece in The Daily Telegraph:

There is no doubt that violence against women is a major issue. Let me throw some numbers at you: 57 per cent of Australian women have experienced at least one incident of violence in their lifetime.

Two out of three women who experienced violence said their children had also witnessed the violence. Finally, 77 people die each year on average from domestic violence-related causes in Australia.

We need a national plan of teaching respect and responsibility in our schools so we can get serious about wiping out violence against women.
And notes:

The AFL has begun a program, Respect and Responsibility, to tackle violence. Andrew Demetriou and the AFL have been active with White Ribbon Day and encouraging healthy attitudes to women. The role people like Goodes play in their communities is invaluable but we need to support these young role models.

I know my Dad has been a great role model for my sons. Together with our football heroes, all our fathers, our husbands and sons need to be front and centre teaching respect so we can get serious about saving 77 lives every year.
It's a relatively gentle, encouraging piece of writing, not strident or chiding as often are calls on men to fight against domestic violence.

But a closer look at Mackin's words reveal a despicable dishonesty in which she misrepresents the statistics. Let's look again with some added emphasis:

...no doubt that violence against women is a major issue... 57 per cent of Australian women have experienced at least one incident of violence... Two out of three women who experienced violence said their children had also witnessed the violence... 77 people die each year on average from domestic violence-related causes in Australia... get serious about wiping out violence against women... get serious about saving 77 lives every year..."
We are left in no doubt the issue is violence against women. However, when it comes to the fatality figures, Macklin switches to gender neutral.

This is because up to 22 of those dead people were male:

"During the nine years between 1989 and 1998 an average of 55 women aged 15 and over were killed by their male intimate partners each year."
These figures come from 1999 research by the Australian Institute of Criminology.

Fifty-five plus 22 equals 77. And, as the AIC report points out, where males are killed by their intimate partner, in 84% of cases the killer is female. That's 18 of our 22 dead men, with the remaining four presumably killed by homosexual partners.

Macklin's choice of words is the giveaway - she plainly seeks to pump up her case by combining the male victims with female. For those men, it's a posthumous spit in the eye.

It's so easy to turn any dispute over domestic violence figures to an 'us versus them' argument in which each side battles to make out the other is worse. That's idiotic.

The sad fact is that non-fatal domestic violence is equally perpetrated by both men and women. A University of Melbourne La Trobe University study reveals:

Men and women report approximately equal rates of being assaulted by their partner...
The imbalance in results when these assaults become fatal may be a reflection of the generally greater physical strength of men, although it's worth pointing out a Monash University study's findings show how violent women level the playing field in the non-fatal arena:

Women were more likely than men... to have been injured by being hit by their partner or by hitting against something and to suffer bruising and inflammation, especially to the head. Men were more likely to be admitted to hospital indicating their injuries were probably more severe. They far more frequently than women were lacerated or punctured by knives, especially to the head and arms. The hit by a partner of object category was of equal proportions for men and women and this for men usually comprised being hit by cars, ashtrays, footwear, etc.
As for Macklin, deliberate distortion or misrepresentation of statistics doesn't do the cause any good. An injection of honesty might do better.

-- Nick

Monday, November 20, 2006

Drunk, Disorderly And Stupid

Journalists, usually so quick to judge and editorialise, see nothing wrong with this:

THE warning "Don't bother, I'm not drunk yet", printed on the tight white T-shirts of two young girls celebrating Schoolies' Week on the Gold Coast this year seemed to have little effect on the drooling, eager boys around them.

With outstretched hands trying to touch the young girls' breasts and bottoms, the mottos the boys wore on their T-shirts - such as "Plastered" and "Good Evening Bitches" - were perhaps a fairer representation of their true intentions.
And "Don't bother, I'm not drunk yet" isn't a fair representation of the girls' intentions? The young 'ladies' note a significant event in the making:

"We are sober. It's unusual I guess, but we are pacing ourselves and playing it cool," Brisbane girl Lejla Becirbasic said as she and her cousin Zejna Vojic brushed off the male attention sparked by their cautionary T-shirts. "Well, at least for tonight."

The caption for the accompanying photo notes that Ms Becirbasic is 17. It is illegal for her to consume alcohol outside the family home. And by her own admission, it is unusual for her to be sober.

Mr and Mrs Becirbasic, you must be so proud.

Meanwhile, in other stupid bint news:

RAILCORP in New South Wales has launched two internal investigations into a smear campaign against a young female employee, with nude pictures of her circulated after she was promoted. RailCorp last night confirmed it was investigating how the photograph of transport security adviser Kimberleigh Kamstra ended up being emailed to the computer of a colleague. Ms Kamstra is said to be distraught at the circulation of the photograph...
Indeed. For how did a colleague come into the possession of such a personal and private item?

...which she sent to People magazine when she was 23, almost two years ago.
One should forgive her youthful indiscretion, a lifetime ago.

Transport security adviser?

Stay off RailCorp trains. That's my advice.

-- Nick

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Words On Pegs

A call to get rid of displays and clutter on classroom walls so children can concentrate on learning receives a predictable response:

The advice was dismissed as "absolute garbage" by the National Association of Head Teachers. David Fann, the chairman of its primary committee, said children needed to be stimulated at school. "We make our classrooms bright and stimulating and even have words hanging down off pegs on fishing wire."
Perhaps that why 20 per cent of his students go on to high school:

...unable to read well enough.
-- Nick

But To Violence Against Men...

Nice to see an ad on subscription TV's W-Channel for the Federal Government's 'Violence Against Women, Australia Says No' campaign followed immediately by a promo for one of W's 'Telenovella' soaps in which the character played by Bo Derek whacks an unsuspecting bloke across the knee with a baseball bat, apparently as punishment for cheating on her.

Sort of puts the whole thing in perspective, doesn't it?

-- Nick


No real surprise that this story:

MASS murderer Martin Bryant has been moved out of a maximum security prison into a lower security psychiatric unit. The Tasmanian Government has refused to confirm or deny the transfer of Australia's most notorious murderer. Bryant, now 36, shot 35 people dead and wounded many others at Port Arthur in 1996.
... is published on 'National Buy A Gun Day'.

Coalition for Gun Control activist and leftie lawyer Roland Browne probably suggested the story idea yesterday when he took part in this story:

A SHOOTERS' rights group has called for tomorrow to be national 'buy a gun' day, drawing strong opposition from gun control lobbyists.
Browne is credited with helping to 'script' the 1996 Port Arthur Massacre for killer Martin Bryant with two media comments prior to the event that there was, indeed, bound to be a massacre in Tasmania. Browne was also called in by the police after the event to help brief the media:

...when journalists from the ABC attended at Police Headquarters in Hobart to obtain information about the shootings at Port Arthur they were surprised to find that they were not the first to arrive at the Media Liaison Office. Mr Roland Browne, the spokesperson for Gun Control in Tasmania had arrived before them. The only person in a position to inform Roland Browne of the need to be at the Police Headquarters Media Office, prior to the media, would have been the Media Liaison Officer Geoff Easton...
While we're bringing people together, we may as well mention Browne's fellow anti-gun nut Rebecca Peters, who was head of the Coalition for Gun Control back in 1996, is now Director of the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) and:

Prior to her work with IANSA... worked for the Open Society Institute, a private foundation funded by George Soros.
Soros is a billionaire socialist who funds the US Democrats and actions such as:

Hamilton –v- Accu-Tek wherein various gun manufacturers were absurdly held legally responsible for the illegal activities of someone who had illegally obtained firearms. This in a case where there was no firearm recovered to show a nexus to any of the manufacturers. As you might expect the litigation was very expensive, the Plaintiff’s representative stated that the matter would not have proceeded without the funding of the Soros Foundation.
-- Nick

Drink Up, Kids

Schoolies begins and News Limited continues its casual endorsement of illegal underage drinking:

For years Danielle Papazafiropoulos and Ashley Orford, both 17 and (as of Thursday) former Miami High School students, had saved themselves for the next 10 days. "I haven't come in to Schoolies the previous years because I didn't want to spoil it," Danielle said.

Neither knew where they would get alcohol from for tonight, the traditional start of the festival, or even if they would drink at all.

"I don't want to get trashed either, I mean fair game for all the other kids that do but I want to remember it," Sophie said.
...despite all the evidence that we now have a generation of minors who are binge drinking alcoholics even before they're legally old enough to buy the stuff.

Reporter Michael Wray pays lip service to the law toward the end of the story:

Schoolies also have been warned that under-aged drinkers and those who supply them will be charged.

-- Nick

Indecent ObsessionUPDATE: Schoolies begins and the Gold Coast Bulletin continues its creepy obsession with minor females, posting a photo on the front page of its website of a pair of bikini-clad schoolgirls, one of whom is nearly jumping out of her top.

The newspaper pays lip service to protecting girls from sexual predators with a story about fencing off parts of Surfers Paradise for next year's mass underage booze-up:

In another option being canvassed, a fence could be put around the beach and Esplanade precinct, with schoolies admitted to the enclosed section after presenting their registration wristbands. A fenced enclosure would create a physical barrier between the teenage event and the ordinary operations of Surfers, and also end the unwanted mixing of schoolies and older gatecrashers, known as 'toolies'.
That prospect gets the seal of approval from the only people who matter, 17 year old girls:

(Emmanuel College's Laura) Priest said she would feel safer from the unwanted advances of older men.
But the fact that it's proposed for next year creates an irony lost on another of the children:

Nerang State High School graduate James Walker... said a fence would also have benefits for the guys. "It would stop the toolies coming in so there would be more girls for us," he said.
Newsflash, Einstein - next year, you're a toolie.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Weekend Assignment

A round-up of interesting reading and good writing for the weekend...

From Mark Steyn, his 2001 Remembrance Day piece:

Citizenship is about allegiance. We benefit from our rights as citizens of the state and in return we accept our duties as citizens of the state.
From Thomas Sowell, who asks Where Is The West?:

The achievements of western civilization are buried in histories that portray every human sin found here as if they were peculiarities of the west.

The classic example is slavery, which existed all over the world for thousands of years and yet is incessantly depicted as if it was a peculiarity of Europeans enslaving Africans. Barbary pirates alone brought twice as many enslaved Europeans to North Africa as there were Africans brought in bondage to the United States and the American colonies from which it was formed.

How many schools and colleges are going to teach that, going against political correctness and undermining white guilt? How many people have any inkling that it was precisely western civilization which eventually turned against slavery and began stamping it out when non-western societies still saw nothing wrong with it?
And from Ann Coulter, who brings perspective to the Democrat victory in the US mid-term elections:

In fact, if the Democrats' pathetic gains in a sixth-year election are a statement about the war in Iraq, Americans must love the war! As Roll Call put it back when Clinton was president: "Simply put, the party controlling the White House nearly always loses House seats in midterm elections" -- especially in the sixth year.

In Franklin D. Roosevelt's sixth year in 1938, Democrats lost 71 seats in the House and six in the Senate. In Dwight Eisenhower's sixth year in 1958, Republicans lost 47 House seats, 13 in the Senate. In John F. Kennedy/Lyndon Johnson's sixth year, Democrats lost 47 seats in the House and three in the Senate. In Richard Nixon/Gerald Ford's sixth year in office in 1974, Republicans lost 43 House seats and three Senate seats. Even America's greatest president, Ronald Reagan, lost five House seats and eight Senate seats in his sixth year in office...

During eight years of Clinton -- the man Democrats tell us was the greatest campaigner ever, a political genius, a heartthrob, Elvis! -- Republicans picked up a total of 49 House seats and nine Senate seats in two midterm elections. Also, when Clinton won the presidency in 1992, his party actually lost 10 seats in the House -- only the second time in the 20th century that a party won the White House but lost seats in the House.
-- Nick

Hard Labor

Around Australia, the Labor Party is having some sort of cosmic meltdown:

THE scandal surrounding sacked New South Wales Aboriginal affairs minister Milton Orkopoulos has widened, with one of his party workers believed to be under investigation for alleged child sexual assault.

(Former premier Brian) Burke resigned from the Labor Party yesterday after WA Premier Alan Carpenter issued an ultimation: either he goes, or I do. (Small Business Minister Norm) Marlborough was sacked from the ministry and has indicated he will resign from Parliament, prompting a by-election for the safe Labor seat of Peel, likely to be in December.

Something has gone seriously wrong with former NSW Premier Bob Carr, who in one astonishing TV interview last night destroyed whatever was left of his future as a serious political player. There may be some personal factors at play in the remarkable decline of Carr’s reason, so I will not speculate too much. But in an utterly bizarre performance on Lateline he revealed himself as a man now unhinged by Leftist conspiracy theories and a psychedelic hatred of George Bush, and all while in the grip of a messianic belief in global warming catastrophism.

FORMER Queensland tourism and racing minister Merri Rose has been charged by the state's Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) with threatening a public servant while attempting to secure a job.

QUEENSLAND corruption investigators examining a secret loan of $300,000 by a mining magnate to a cabinet minister have discovered that it has not been the subject of normal repayments in the five years since it was first provided. Investigators are closing in on the assets and financial history of the three adult children of former industrial relations minister Gordon Nuttall as the Beattie Government yesterday raised the prospect of criminal charges.
With Labor in power at state level all round Australia, which will be the first state to fall?

-- Nick

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Hurricane Glass

Well, despite the dire prediction of 'global warmening' doomsayers, 2006 didn't hail the beginning of even worse hurricanes around the world.

So what happened?

Perhaps they moved to Saturn:

NASA'S Cassini spacecraft has pinpointed a hurricane-like storm swirling at Saturn's south pole, marking the first time such a system has been spotted on another planet, the US space agency said.

It measures approximately 8047 km wide, or two-thirds Earth's diameter.
That's worth pondering further over a cocktail.

20 ml Vodka
30 ml White Wine
10 ml Water
10 ml Runny Honey
Shake with ice and strain to a chilled cocktail glass.
-- Nora

Affirmative (Action) Defence

A good reason why subsidies and funding programs should not be race based:

A YOUNG woman who claimed government funding by faking Aboriginality has been released on a two-year community-based order...

... (Emma Louise) Tatnall, of Bendigo, admitted that he had helped to make false claims totalling $11,430 through the Aboriginal Tutorial Assistance Scheme...

... Tatnall also claimed she was Aboriginal in an application for an indigenous cadetship.

A cadetship was found for her and the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations provided $15,400.

Of that, $12,000 was to go to Tatnall.
-- Nora

Who Needs Jayant Patel?

Around 500 people die in Australia each year as a result of gunshot wounds (mostly suicides). Just over 1600 died in 2005 in road traffic accidents.

Doctors demand gun control (15.5) and wag their fingers at us about road safety - and themselves kill around 18,000 Australians every year.

Now it's revealed they're screwing up 20 per cent of procedures in hospitals:

ONE in five people who undergoes surgery in Australian hospitals will require a second operation to fix complications caused by infections, medical errors and the poor quality of the new generation of hip and knee prostheses. Preventable medical problems were costing billions of dollars, driving up the cost of private health insurance and placing patients' lives at risk...
It was Dr Ross Wilson who revealed the 18,000 figure way back in 1995. Now Canberra Hospital's director of infectious diseases Peter Collignon is having a go at his sloppy colleagues:

"Doctors often justify it by saying, 'Well, there are sick patients in hospitals, so of course there are going to be infections'."
then draws one of the same parallels as above and raises an interesting point:

Professor Collignon said hospital-acquired infections caused significantly more deaths than road accidents. "When someone dies in a road accident, there's a thorough investigation that looks at what went wrong, but we don't do that for infection deaths."
Why not?

-- Nick

UPDATE: Ironically, the medical profession actually contributes to the road toll.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Just Get Over It, Will You?

Come on, guys - homosexuals are just like everyone else, they're not constantly sizing up every man they see:

"There is no 'gay' gay nightspot in Darwin, which makes the cruising that much more of a challenge - or pleasure - at Throb, where the drop-dead gorgeous bloke with the square jaw and winning smile may or may not drop his girlfriend home before coming back for you."
They don't just think about sex, you know:

With all the Paul Hogan wannabes running around... It's hard not to arouse a johnson...
Honestly, you're such homophobes.

-- Nick

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Ticket To Stockholm

Some would call it forgiveness:

ONE of the victims of the gang rapes that shocked Sydney is leading a secret double life - with a Muslim boyfriend. The woman known as Miss D, who was raped by the gang led by Bilal Skaf, has fallen in love with a Muslim man - but he and his family do not know her history.
I suspect it's a pathology:

The women in his family, including his mother, have sympathy with the fundamentalist views of Sheik Taj al-Din al-Hilaly about blaming women for inciting rape.

Miss D's mother yesterday said of one emotional occasion at the family's house. She and Miss D were sitting in the loungeroom chatting with the man's mother, who wears a hijab, and his sisters, who wear tight, skimpy Western clothes.

Someone among the Muslim women brought up the subject of the gang rapes. "They don't know who we are but the women in his family said the girls deserved it," Miss D's mother revealed. "My daughter walked out crying of course but they didn't work it out. They didn't see it. She should have just told them but she hasn't."
She was raped by 14 men. The young woman is in a state of denial:

Her mother said Miss D was still unable to discuss the detail of the rape, even with her. "She has never spoken to me about what happened. From that, I can see how much damage was done," said her mother. "It hurts me to see her like that, it breaks my heart."
and her selection of boyfriend stems from her inability to comprehend what happened to her and its motivation.

The poor girl should listen to her boyfriend's mother and sisters and, unkind as it sounds, get a clue.

-- Nick

Shut Up And Sing

Where do entertainers get off on thinking they're entitled to lecture people?

Bono, during the U2 classic Sunday Bloody Sunday, said Hicks should be released from the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba, where he has been since 2001. “We call for David Hicks to be brought back to Australia,” he said.

The Irish rock star may have the opportunity to discuss the matter with Prime Minister John Howard. He has already said he wants to talk to Mr Howard about boosting Australia's aid to poor countries.
Get stuffed, Bono.

If I was doing work for a company and demanded to see the CEO to lecture him about how he ran the business, I'd be thrown out quick smart.

-- Nick

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Swingin' Time In Baghdad

FORMER Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein has been sentenced to death by hanging after being found guilty of crimes against humanity at his trial in Baghdad.
That's worth celebrating with a drink:

Hang Man's Joke
1 part Vodka
3 parts Coke
3 parts Strawberry Juice
-- Nora

Speed Stunt Smoothes The Way For Lucas

Bingo. Queensland is to get its first fixed speed cameras - and the announcement, if not the execution, falls perfectly in the time frame one predicted at the end of last year.

Brisbane Sunday Mail journalists kindly provided the platform for State Transport Minister Paul Lucas to make the announcement after:

... reviewing the results of a Sunday Mail investigation which found motorists defying speed limits at notorious Brisbane black spots last week.
Lucas suggested:

... motorists would support the introduction of the cameras.
and no doubt polls, like the one running on-line at the Sunday Mail's website, and letters to the editor will support Lucas's view as government shills get out there and pump up the righteousness of the cause.

Lucas and Police Minister Judy Spence trot out the same old cliches and misleading stats throughout the announcement, none more grievous than:

"Sadly, the most alarming statistic during this period (the month of September) was our road toll," (Spence) said. "Already this year 271 people have been killed on our roads."
Indeed, according to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, Queensland did have an increased fatality count in September and the total number of road deaths nationally in September 2006 was a 3.7% increase over the September 2005 figure. However:

The number of road deaths in 2006 to the end of September is 1,196 - this is a 1.3% decrease from the same 9 month period in 2005.
And comparing September this year to September last year is statistical silliness. The toll may be up, it may be down. The value lies in trends over many years, not just five or 10 but 20 or 30.

And when one looks at the national road toll, it is a miracle of safety compared to its horrendous peak in 1970.

Additionally, measuring the road toll in fatalties alone is the kind of stupidity only a journalist would sponsor.

Measured in the more telling deaths per kilometres travelled, our road toll is surprisingly low considering massive increases in vehicle movements over the years, coupled with the fact that Australian drivers are poorly trained for the task by the likes of Lucas's department and appallingly ill-behaved on the road.

But the raw figures make better headlines for journalists and politicians alike - and mean more dollars for government in The Cash-Strapped Catch-Up State of Queensland.

-- Nick

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Promises, Promises

Hilaly offers to tape shut his mouth.

So how soon can we we take him up on his offer?

Lay Down and Shut Up
1/2 oz chartreuse
1/2 oz cinnamon schnapps
1/2 oz kahlua
1 splash cream
Shake over ice, strain and pour into a shot glass.
-- Nora

Right right?

Amazing admissions from a Left-leaning British 'think tank', The Institute for Public Policy Research:

Its report is implicitly critical of Labour policy, which has encouraged both parents to go out to work, leaving children "home alone" or in the company of other teenagers who lead them astray.

Patricia Hewitt, a former deputy director of the institute and now the health secretary, admitted recently that the Government had undervalued mothers who remained at home, saying the Labour Party had mistakenly given the perception that it was better if all women got jobs.
Now they're adopting right-wing thinking on the issue, maybe common sense will get some attention at last.

The admissions come as part of the discovery that Britain has among the worst behaved teenagers in Europe:

According to the report, which is to be published in full on Monday and is based on a series of studies conducted in recent years, the UK was at, or close to, the top on a number of indicators of bad behaviour for teenagers. These included drugs, drink, violence and promiscuity.

Fifteen-year-olds were drunk more often, involved in more fights and more likely to have had sex, compared with children in Germany, France and Italy.

One study suggested that in 2003, 38 per cent of 15-year-olds in Britain had tried cannabis, as opposed to just seven per cent in Sweden.
A core finding should signal a warning to parents everywhere:

Whereas 45 per cent of 15-year-old boys in England and 59 per cent in Scotland spent most evenings with friends, in France that figure was just 17 per cent. In Italy 93 per cent of teenagers ate with their families, compared with 64 per cent in the UK.

Mr Pearce said the figures pointed to "increasing disconnection" between children and adults, with youngsters learning how to behave from each other, which damages their "life chances."
Where are your kids tonight?

-- Nick

One, Two, Three

Some people collect baseball cards, some collect phone cards.

Keith Hamer collects TV test cards:

As an 11-year-old... When the test card appeared accompanied by its incidental music, Mr Hamer was seduced. He set up a tape recorder he had been given for his birthday and began recording the music — and didn't stop until the card was taken off air 20 years later.

As a result, he has 3,500 pieces of accompanying music and stills of every test card produced. His knowledge is so vast that the BBC consults him when making dramas set in the 1950s, 60s, or 70s, not just to get the right test card, but also the correct accompanying music.

Australians will possibly recognise 'Test Card Girl' Carol Hersee.

-- Nick

Integrate Or Die

You've got to feel as sorry for this poor bastard:

Mr Riaz, a factory worker, died at 8.33am, having sustained 60 per cent burns in the blaze at the family’s end-of-terrace home in Accrington, Lancs.
as for his wife and four daughters:

...Caneze, 39, a community worker, and sisters, Sayrah, 16, Sophia, 13, Alisha, 10, and Hannah, three, (who) perished in the fireball that engulfed their home...
and the family's sole survivor:

Adam Riaz, 17, (who) received the news as he lay seriously ill in a hospital bed with leukaemia.
The gut kicker:

Detectives then confirmed to him the fact that his father, Mohammed, 49, had been the sole suspect in their hunt for the arsonist.
Why sorry for a man who killed his family?

Because he never had a chance:

Mr Riaz, already with a reputation for being moody, apparently had spoken of feeling isolated from the rest of his family... he held low-paid jobs and centred his life on the local mosque (emphasis added)...

It emerged yesterday that he had become depressed both by Adam’s illness and the gradual disintegration of his arranged marriage.

Having mastered only a little English since coming to Lancashire with his British-born wife in the late 1980s, he felt isolated as she and the children became increasingly westernised.
Little English after more than a decade in England. No wonder when his life centred on his local mosque and the likes of Australian Mufti Sheik Taj Cat Meat al Hilaly - more than 20 years in Australia and refusing to learn the language - are running the show.

What kind of hope could Mohammed Riaz have when the thing that should help him - his faith and his church - encourages him to stand apart, deepening his sense of isolation and murderous, suicidal despair?

-- Nick

Friday, November 03, 2006

There's A Comedy Sketch In Here Somewhere

A Muslim in the north of England was prevented from getting on a bus because she would not lift her veil so the driver could check she was the person on the student bus pass:

The 22-year-old woman, who does not want to be identified, said yesterday that other passengers laughed when the driver refused to let her board.
She has magnanimously offered:

...to help the driver's employers... draw up guidelines for staff.
but transport company First Manchester says:

"We have investigated this incident thoroughly but found no complaint on our system."
One suggests they've already got it right.

-- Nick

Not Really Plenty Of Fish In The Sea


All seafood will run out in 2050, say scientists...
Good grief - what are we going to tell someone who's just broken up with their boyfriend or girlfriend?

-- Nick

Book 'Em, Danno

ABORTION pill doctor Caroline de Costa:

... revealed yesterday her Cairns home had been pelted with eggs before a confrontation with pro-life protesters this week.
She is about to release a book.

Television personality Jeannie Little revealed to A Current Affair the other night that she was raped many years ago and hates to talk about it.

She is about to release a biography.

Entertainer Debra Byrne has accused television personality Johnny Young of allowing sex, drugs and alcohol on the set of Young Talent Time and turning a blind eye to her sexual involvement as a 12 year old with a 24 year old crew member (although YTT didn't start airing until Byrne was 14).

She has just released her biography.

-- Nick

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

No Appearance, Your Worship

They're a phenomenon Tim Blair has dubbed 'men of no appearance'.

Here's the entire News.com.au / Daily Telegraph report:

Armed gang rob club
November 01, 2006 05:59am
Article from: AAP

A GANG of armed men robbed a western Sydney club last night.

A group of five or six men, believed to have been wearing hooded jackets and carrying a gun, allegedly entered the Regents Park club at around 11.10pm (AEDT) and ordered staff and patrons to the ground.

The men allegedly took cash and fled the scene on foot.

No one was injured.

Anyone who has information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Now here's the entire NSW Police media release:

Police appeal for information following armed robbery - Regents Park

1 November 2006

Police are appealing for witnesses following the alleged armed robbery of a club at Regents Park overnight.

About 11.10pm yesterday, witnesses will allege five to six males, believed to be wearing hooded jackets and wielding a firearm, entered the premises.

The men are believed to have threatened staff and patrons at the club, ordering them to lay on the ground, before demanding cash.

The men have stolen a sum of money from the premises before fleeing the scene on foot along Regent Street.

Police from Bankstown Local Area Command attended the scene, with assistance from the Forensic Armed Robbery Unit.

No injuries were sustained during the incident. Investigations are continuing.

Police are seeking five to six men, described as being of Middle Eastern/ Mediterranean appearance (emphasis added), and wearing hooded jackets.

Anyone who witnessed the incident or who has information that may assist police, is urged to contact Auburn Police on 02 9646-8699 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
The omission is part of a deliberate campaign in which Sydney papers such as the Tele and the SMH edit references to Middle Eastern/ Mediterranean appearance out of police reports - apparently, it 'hardly narrows it down and serves no purpose' - but leaves in white/ European.

Anything to keep the peace, eh?

-- Nick