Monday, December 31, 2007

Repent At Leisure

Absolutely, completely, utterly hilarious:

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

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

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

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

-- Nick

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Another Reason To Complain

No matter how much some quarters hoped for defeat:

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

Bad Boy

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

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

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

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

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

Conflicting Reports

News Limited headline and pointer:

Bhutto died 'bumping her head'

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

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

UK Telegraph headline and description:

Row breaks out over Benazir Bhutto's death

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

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

-- Nick

Risk Of Crime

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

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

-- Nick

Friday, December 28, 2007

Not Fair When You Do It

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

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

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

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

Seeking For Further Amusement?

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

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

Hicks Plans Non-Apology

Deadbeat dad's dad sums up family attitude:

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

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Caught In The Net


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

-- Nick

Serious Enough For You Now?

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

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

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

-- Nick

Saturday, December 22, 2007



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

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

-- Nick

Thursday, December 20, 2007

"...government by judicial aristocracy"

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

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

Not With A Bang

Is it any wonder attendance is falling off?

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

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

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

-- Nick

What's In A Name?

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

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

-- Nick

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Look Back In Anger

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

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

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

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

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

The clue is in Piers Ackerman's column today:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-- Nora

Sunday, December 16, 2007

I Don't Want A Goat For Christmas

The new colonialism:

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

Who Do They Think They Are?

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

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

-- Nick

Crazy Diarrhea

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

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

-- Nick

I Suppose A Root Is Out Of The Question

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

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

-- Nick

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

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Vale Clem, Public Servant

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

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

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

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

Thanks for a great city, Clem.

-- Nick

Well Qualified For The Job

There's a wicked irony in this:

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

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

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

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

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

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

-- Nick

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Bipolar Response


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

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

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

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

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

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

-- Nora

What's He On?

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

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

-- Nick

Does Not Compute

It now costs more than half a million dollars to raise two children - or, rather, Australian parents spend half a million on a pair of kids - but, according to the AMP study: is no more expensive today than it was five years ago... " has been good economic times for families," Ms Harding said. "I think over the last five years there has been substantial income increases (emphasis added) so the costs of children have kept pace with that."
But, of course, 'working families' were never worse off than during the Howard years.

-- Nick

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Preaching To The Choir

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

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

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

-- Nick

Monday, December 03, 2007

Just Too Precious

And a bit too late:

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

-- Nora

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Bumpy Road Ahead For The Law

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-- Nick

Tourism Horror


French rude and their hotels smell
I'm shocked.

-- Nick