Saturday, October 09, 2010

You Can't Please All The Gays All The Time (Though They Might Like To Have A Go)

Well, horrors! Just find a tree and a rope and string Vince Vaughn and the Universal board up:

A TOP Hollywood studio agreed to recut a movie trailer overnight after a string of gay celebrities complained that it featured a joke that was insulting to homosexuals... The trailer for The Dilemma opened with star Vince Vaughn making a joke to a group of businessmen. “Ladies and gentlemen, electric cars are gay,” Vaughn said. “I mean, not homosexual gay, but my-parents-are-chaperoning-the-dance gay.”

The incident attracted the attention of gay US celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres and CNN host Anderson Cooper, who said earlier this week that the trailer reminded him of school bullying. “We’ve got to do something to make those words unacceptable,” Cooper said.
Quite right, Coop. If the phrase 'that's so gay' isn't nagged and beaten out of children - who coined and use the phrase in subconscious recognition of something they know instinctively isn't quite right - not as many of them can be protelytised, eh?

Further in the story, an indicator of the class strata in gaydom and the pro-homosexual slant of the media:

...executives at Universal Studios claimed to be bewildered by the controversy - alleging that they showed it to gay rights groups in advance...
Yes, but the groups they showed it to should have referred it up the line to their bosses for the final say.

Meanwhile, the use of the words 'claimed' and 'alleging' to infer lying on the part of the Universal execs. Ah, Media Bias 101.

-- Nick

Monday, October 04, 2010

Another Day In The Islamic World


Indian forces fought Kashmiri demonstrators in street battles Monday that killed 15 people -- including one police officer -- in the deadliest day in a summer of violence challenging Indian rule in the disputed territory.

It's rare in Egypt's pop culture to get a direct and frank look inside the minds of Egyptian women and what they really think of marriage and love. So a TV comedy became a startling voice in this conservative society's debate over the changing role of women. The show, "I Want to Get Married," makes a simple point, but one that resounded strongly: Women want to be an active part of the process of finding a life partner, not passive objects whose fate is to be decided by their mothers, fathers or suitors.

MILITANTS allegedly plotting attacks in Europe have a list of targets including Paris's Eiffel Tower and a hotel close to Berlin's Brandenburg Gate... the report released yesterday came in the wake of a US State Department travel alert urging Americans to be vigilant against the potential for terror attacks in Europe... Fox cited a senior western intelligence official as saying that the information about the target list was provided by "a German-Pakistani national interrogated at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan."

Fears of an Al Qaeda plot to massacre thousands in Britain appeared to heighten last night. The threat of a Mumbai-style machine gun assault is now rated so severe that the U.S. is warning its citizens they could be in danger if they travel to the UK. At the same time, Britons are being told by the Foreign Office that they could face ‘indiscriminate’ attack from Osama bin Laden-inspired fanatics if they travel to France or Germany.

At least three Muslim faith schools are forcing girls as young as 11 to wear face-covering veils with the blessing of Ofsted inspectors, it emerged yesterday.
One of the schools insists that fees are paid in cash and warns parents against speaking to the local education authority.

Italian police have arrested a Frenchman suspected of links to a network recruiting fighters for Afghanistan, a French official said Sunday... The official said the man is suspected of having fought in Afghanistan and belonging to a network for recruiting fighters... is 28 years old, of Algerian origin and suspected to be a member of al-Qaida.

A Muslim woman... was sacked for refusing to wear a headscarf at the estate agency where she worked. Ghazala Khan - a 31-year-old non-practising Muslim - was fired less than two weeks into her job at a company run by traditional Muslim businessman Masood Ghafoor simply because she refused to cover her hair. Mr Ghafoor told Miss Khan, who had nine years experience in the trade, that his wife and female relatives all wore full veils or burkas, telling her that her parents had given her 'far too much freedom'.

Islamic extremists killed a Christian lawyer, his wife and their five children in northwestern Pakistan this week for mounting a legal challenge against a Muslim who was charging a Christian exorbitant interest... The victim and his wife... along with their five children ages 6 to 17, had been shot to death...
-- Nick

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Attack of the Morons

If that's your first thought...

Guests at a new hotel in Las Vegas have complained of receiving severe burns from a 'death ray' of sunlight caused by the unique design of the building. Due to the concave shape of the Vdara hotel, the strong Nevada sun reflects off its all-glass front and directly onto sections of the swimming pool area below.

The result has left some guests with burns from the powerful rays and even plastic bags have been recorded as melting in the heat.

Chicago attorney Bill Pintas felt the power of the dangerous ray first hand last week.

'It felt like I had a chemical burn. I couldn't imagine why my head was burning,' he said. 'Within 30 seconds, the back of my legs were burning. My first though was, 'Jesus, they destroyed the ozone layer!'
The attorney's second thought was how much he could sue for.

-- Nick

One Issue Party

I always imagined 'women's issues' would at least include subjects like family, relationships, children.

Silly me:

Women, it appears, according to, are interested only in the rights of homosexuals.

-- Nick

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Question of Child Abuse

AAP reports:

Detention centre 'ripe for child sex abuse'

REFUGEE advocates say both the immigration department and the minister knew there was a risk of child sex abuse occurring at detention centres housing cross-cultural families.
So there's a greater risk of child abuse from mixing cultures? Or just from mixing the cultural groups held at the centre?

More importantly, if these cultures can be predicted to abuse children, why are we importing them?

-- Nick

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Suicide By Multiculturalism

The risks of liberal 'compassion':

When police arrested a suspected al-Qaida cell in Norway last month they turned up the makings of a bomb lab... the suspected plot... was one of three planned attacks on the West hatched in the rugged mountains of northwest Pakistan by some of al-Qaida's most senior leaders. The other plots targeted the bustling New York subway and a shopping mall in Manchester, England...

Authorities say the ringleader of the Norwegian plot is 39-year-old Mikael Davud, an Uighur who came to Norway in 1999 as part of a U.N. refugee program and then became a Norwegian citizen eight years later. Uighurs, a largely Muslim ethnic group in China, claim oppression at the hands of authorities there.
Perhaps he was feeling oppressed in Norway too but one would wonder why - the Norwegeians made no demands of him, not even to assimilate in the slightest:

Despite his citizenship and longtime Norwegian residence, Davud speaks very little Norwegian or English...
Meanwhile, it's no good trying to please them. Give them a little and they'll just shove for more:

...outlets of popular French fast food chain Quick are serving burgers it says respect Islamic dietary law. And while many Muslims are delighted, the powerful main Paris Mosque complained Thursday that Quick's criteria aren't all-encompassing enough, and that the operation is meaningless.

Quick's meat is certified as halal, but Cheikh Al Sid Cheikh, assistant to the rector of the Paris Mosque, said the burger chain should have had the other ingredients checked as well, from its mustard to buns to fries. "The rest must be validated too, or else there's no point," he told The Associated Press.

-- Nick

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What's "With" All The Inverted Commas

Why the preponderence of "inverted commas" in this Agence France Presses "report"?

Afghan couple 'stoned to death' over love affair... The 23-year-old woman and 28-year-old man were killed because "they had an affair," said Mohammad Ayob, the governor of Imam Sahib district... Earlier this month, the Taliban publicly flogged and then killed a pregnant widow for alleged "adultery" in western Badghis province... In regions that have come under Taliban control as the war drags towards the end of its ninth year, rough justice is meted out in the same manner, and includes execution of people accused of "spying" for foreign forces.
Are AFP's "sub-editors" calling into doubt the "truthfulness" of their own "correspondents"?

Or do they simply feel urged to report on actual events by some kind of genetic memory of what it was like to once have been journalists but equally compelled by the dhimmitude of political correctness to infer uncertainty with regard to Islamic atrocities?

-- Nick

Sunday, May 09, 2010


If you can't see what's wrong with the introduction to this story:

Man wrongly convicted of murder welcomes review
By Darren Cartwright From: AAP May 09, 2010 5:40PM

WRONGLY convicted murderer Graham Stafford says he is open to being interviewed for the review into the investigation of the 1991 brutal slaying of school girl Leanne Holland.

Mr Stafford was jailed for life in 1992 for the murder of the 12-year-old, but the Court of Appeal last December quashed his conviction...
There's not much point in me explaining it to you.

Or to Darren Cartwright and the sub-editors.

-- Nick

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Misunderstanding The Global Economy

It's a story dating back over a year but it's worth shining a light on. In February 2008, Eveready-Energizer protected its profits by putting a small importer out of business:

The Federal Court has ordered the forfeiture and consequential destruction of approximately 150,000 parallel-imported Energizer batteries seized by the Australian Customs Service.

The importers, Contrade Pty Ltd, its director George Condos, and four other companies were found to have infringed on the trademark registrations owned by Energizer Australia.

According to Energizer, the companies traded on the mistaken belief that parallel imports were legal.
Energizer's legal gun hoped bankrupting the 2000-founded importer of toiletries, personal care and battery products would warn off the other corner stores and wholesalers they're breathing down the necks of:

John Carroll, a lawyer who manages Energizer Australia’s monitoring and compliance program, said the court order should give concern to all parallel importers.

“The actions of these companies not only jeopardizes Energizer’s reputation as a supplier of quality and safe batteries in Australia, but also threatens consumer safety and faith in the brand...
Since the batteries involved were parallel imports - not counterfeits - what is Mr Carroll saying? Is he suggesting that Energizer's products as sold overseas are unsafe and unreliable?

Well, his words hint at it to add a little scare for anyone thinking of paying half the price of Australian batteries for parallel imported genuine Japanese-made Energizer batteries. But they're really only unsafe for the corporation's profits and they'll nail you for it, as his following statement makes clear:

“The unauthorised importation and resale of Eveready and Energizer branded batteries for which Energizer Australia Pty Ltd owns the trademarks is an illegal practice and importers face civil and criminal proceedings.”
It's not really about protecting trademarks or intellectual property, it's about protecting the extortionate extra profits companies can make in particular territories. For instance, software maker Adobe:

In Australia, CS5 Master Collection will cost AU$4344 for the full edition, and AU$1503 for the upgrade edition. In the US, the same software will cost US$2599 (AU$2816.45) for the full edition — more than AU$1500 less. The upgrade edition will cost US$899 (AU$974.22) — more than AU$500 less.
Adobe doesn't just apply the 'Australia Tax', it has a European one too, as applied to the 2088 edition of this software:

IF YOU WERE THINKING about popping along to your local computer superstore to pick up a copy of Adobe's Creative Suite 4 Master Collection on its release date of November 14th, you might just want to reconsider. Because Adobe's insane pricing policy means that it would be cheaper to fly from London to New York, grab a copy of the software, spend the night in a hotel, and fly back to London the next day!

Yes you read that right. At today's exchange rate, the full suite of design programmes is a full £1,358 more expensive to purchase in the UK than it is for our colonial cousins in the USA. And we found flights from Gatwick to JFK in New York for £318 each way, so you could skip the hotel and save yourself a small fortune.
And they wonder why people buy grey imports or seek out illegal copies of software...

As one commenter put it:

The way Adobe extract money from customers makes Apple look well behaved. No wonder Apple won't play nice with Adobe. There's only enough room for one bully.
-- Nick

Religion of Oppression

A 26 year old Muslim woman in Italy has been fined for wearing a burqa against national and local laws.

Her husband's reaction would cause bloody murder if his words came from the mouth of a Christian male:

Unemployed Ben Salah Braim, 36, said: " Amel will have to stay indoors.

"I can't have other men looking at her... she will have to stay inside night and day. There is nothing I can do."
You could try dragging yourself out of the seventh century.

And Western feminists could do with standing up on their hind legs against these woman-haters before they're dragged back there.

-- Nick

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Who's The Victim?

Ultimately, a Supreme Court Judge decides that the only person to face punishment for Dianne Brimble's death is Dianne Brimble herself and the real victim was the man who gave her an illegal drug:

Supreme Court Justice Roderick Howie... described the supply as a "social" or consensual one... (and) "must be on the absolute lowest range of such offences".

Justice Howie... said Ms Brimble's death had impacted greatly upon Mr Wilhelm, with evidence tendered revealing he had "an acute mental illness" as a result of depression and anxiety... "No punishment I can give will be anything like the punishment he has suffered over the years," Justice Howie said. He said he hoped Mr Wilhelm could now get on with his life.
If Mrs Brimble had been loaned an unlicensed air gun and accidentally killed or maimed herself with it, the gun's owner would be punished for the supply of an illegal weapon, despite an air gun being on the lowest range of such weapons.

What's so different about supplying illegal drugs? Are they not a loaded weapon?

And why has it been impossible to get some sort of justice in the Brimble case?

-- Nick

Monday, April 26, 2010

Why Not A Blanket 40kmh Limit Then?

Governments love to 'consult' before acting. That way they can say 'you were asked'. Not that they had any intention of listening.

The Queensland Government is currently holding a community consultation into 'the road safety benefits of fixed speed cameras'. The introduction page contains this gem:

A study of an existing fixed speed camera program has provided evidence of safety benefits. An evaluation of the fixed speed cameras placed in the Victorian Domain Tunnel found that both the number of drivers speeding and the average speed of vehicles in the tunnel fell.
Seeking further information, one goes to the Issues Paper - or rather searches it out since there is no direct link to the paper - and finds the introduction simply paraphrases the Issues Paper:

A study of an existing fixed speed camera program has provided evidence of safety benefits. Victoria placed fixed speed cameras in two tunnels. The first tunnel, the Domain Tunnel, opened to traffic in April 2000, with enforcement starting in mid-September. An evaluation of these cameras found that both the number of drivers speeding and the average speed of vehicles in the tunnel fell.
How is this 'evidence of safety benefits'? Were there reductions in crashes?

One can safely assume there is no evidence of crash reduction for, in there was, it would be trumpeted. The 'evidence of safety benefits' is simply a self-seeking assertion from a government that wishes to install money-making machines.

Meanwhile, in speed-camera crazy Britain, the UK Daily Mail reports:

Britain's booming speed camera network is at the centre of a giant 'scam' aimed at making 'buckets of money' for the Government, the boss of a leading supplier of the devices has admitted. The sensational confession was made by the chief executive of Tele-Traffic, which supplies cameras to virtually every police force in Britain. His unguarded comments (were) made to an undercover reporter posing as a prospective buyer of speed cameras...
...while councils are no longer happy to pay for speed camera upkeep now they're denied a place at the trough:

Towns all over the country are joining the rush to get rid of fixed speed cameras... Tory-run Swindon Borough Council became the first to ditch the yellow boxes after councillor Peter Greenhalgh objected to central Government receiving all the cash from fines while Swindon council pays £320,000 a year for the cameras' upkeep.
...and they're suddenly willing to admit the evidence for them doesn't stack up:

Mr Greenhalgh said the fact that 70 people were killed on Swindon's streets in 2007-08 was proof that speed cameras were not making roads safer.
It's not just councils that are suddenly backing away from fixed speed cameras now they're no longer getting kickbacks from central government. It's even the police:

Some 1,227,000 fines were handed out in 2008, earning more than £73 million for the Government – or more than £201,000 a day. In comparison, 713,000 fines were handed out in 1997.

However, there has been a sharp drop in fines from fixed cameras, as opposed to mobile police units, since police and local authority partnership(s) could no longer keep the cash. (emphasis added)
The same report from the UK Telegraph also highlights the objections of road safety campaigners to the wide spread of fixed speed cameras that Queensland, and indeed all money-hungry Australian state governments would like to impose here:

Road safety campaigners last night said motorists had been "hunted" for profit while the huge revenues have done little to improve conditions on the roads or driver behaviour.

Jennifer Dunn, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Motorists have paid a fortune in speeding fines over the last decade and there is no real sign that the system has succeeded in changing people’s behaviour. It is clear that speeding fines are more about raking in cash than making the roads safer, and as a result they have given the law a bad name. It doesn’t help anyone to have a situation where motorists feel like they are being hunted for profit rather than protected by the forces of law and order.”

...Prior to April 2007, funds from roadside cameras went so-called safety camera partnerships to be ploughed back in to road safety. It led to accusations of the system being used as a money generator with more and more cameras being bought to target more and more motorists.

Last year MPs heard that there was a surge in the use of the national safety camera programme between 2001 and 2007, with the total number of sites increasing from 1,672 to 4,737. But the latest figures show that in 2006, there were 1.6 million fines from fixed cameras but by 2008 that figure had fallen by a third to 1.02 million.

Claire Armstrong, co-founder of Safe Speed, said: "We will end up with a billion pounds in speeding fines.

"You should never measure safe driving by miles per hour (emphasis added). To run the whole of road safety to the tune of nearly £1 billion is doing nothing for road safety.

"It is not going to be improved just by purely sticking up a few cameras and taking police off the roads and it does nothing for the relationship between the public and the police."

-- Nick

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Titillation Before Truth

It's no surprise whatsoever that the media is making a meal of this:

A TASMANIAN man bashed and choked his girlfriend until she blacked out after he tried to leave the scene where she engaged him in a threesome.

The Supreme Court in Burnie heard the woman brought her female friend along on a camping trip last April and confessed to her partner... that she was bisexual. She plied (him) with alcohol to make him "more receptive" to the notion of a threesome.

The court heard the three engaged in some "mild intimacy" but, as the two women became more involved with each other, (he) decided to leave. He drove off but, drunk, crashed into bushes. His partner ran after him and tried to take the car keys from him.

By this stage others in the camping area were looking on. As the woman again grabbed at the keys, (he) slapped her and pushed her to the ground.
It makes a pretty story from the media's point of view, the chance to indulge in a tale that is both titillating ('ooh, a threesome!'), sure to provoke asinine comment:

DLB of Sydney Posted at 9:18 AM Today
every mans fantasy (except this bloke's) coming true.
... and moral in the prudish PC way in that the man concerned got his come-uppance for not falling in with the crowd.

The court case relating to this took place on March 19. It took five days for the Australian media to widely report - way to go, newshounds! - and less than 24 hours to go global.

Now let's look at STATE OF TASMANIA v (ACCUSED) 19 MARCH 2010 COMMENTS ON PASSING SENTENCE, but don't bother clicking on the link because here are the judge's comments in full:

You have pleaded guilty to two counts of assault which relate to one event in April last year. The complainant is a woman with whom you were then in a domestic relationship. That relationship has continued and you have since become engaged to marry.

The complainant has a child by another relationship, whilst you have two. The children were living with you and there are no children of you both. You were camping with your children and a number of other people, including teenagers and children. The complainant had made arrangements with a female friend of hers to travel up from Hobart to join you. During the evening it was revealed for the first time to you, so I am told, that the complainant was bisexual and she intended to engage in sexual activity with her female friend. Apparently the complainant plied you with alcohol to make you more receptive to this notion, and at one stage the three of you were engaged in mild intimacy. In any event, matters reached the stage where the sexual encounter between the two females appeared imminent, at which point you got in your car and attempted to leave the camping area. You travelled a short distance before crashing into some bushes. The complainant and a young man tried to take the keys from you, but you managed to restart the car and drove off again. Shortly after, you stopped and the complainant made a further attempt to retrieve the keys. It was at this point that you assaulted her. You first pushed her to the ground and slapped her about the face. Shortly after when she tried to run away, you punched her in the head, chest and back. You both ended up in her car where you put your hands around her neck and choked her. She appeared to lose consciousness for a time and you maintained an aggressive and uncaring attitude when others were trying to help her. Police attended and you were arrested. You spent the rest of that night and most of the next day in custody.

The complainant suffered some bruising and a sore neck but has fully recovered. She has been reluctant to see the matter pursued. I am told, and I accept, that there was no violence in this relationship, nor has there been since. I am also told that you do not frequently drink alcohol and that you were heavily intoxicated on this occasion due to the complainant's actions. You have no recollection of the events at all. Whilst this may serve to explain your conduct, it does not excuse it. Health problems impede your chances of work and you are on benefits.

Normally instances of domestic violence are treated seriously as a breach of the trust in the relationship. Prevalence is another relevant factor, and it must be noted that the events were witnessed or heard by a number of children and young persons. However, there are unusual features of this case. You became angry and frustrated when attempting to remove yourself from the situation. The violence occurred when you were attempting to leave the scene, rather than as an immediate reaction to the complainant's conduct. There is a relevant prior matter involving police but that is of considerable age and appears to have been relatively minor. I accept that you are remorseful and that there is little likelihood of repetition. Nonetheless the assaults remain serious matters. They were persisted in for some time. Far more serious injury could have resulted and the whole incident was no doubt stressful for the witnesses. As a matter of principle, the forgiveness of the victim is of some relevance, but of no great weight. The seriousness of the matter needs to be marked in the sentence.

You are convicted of the two counts and sentenced to a total of three months' imprisonment, the execution of which is wholly suspended on condition you be of good behaviour for a period of two years. You will also have to pay the victims of crime compensation levy of $100 within 28 days.

What are we to make of this?

In the first instance, the couple have reconciled and even become engaged since the offence took place and in that one sincerely wishes them - and their blended family of three children - the very best of luck and happiness.

But the deed is done and bears examination, thought not for the sake of the individuals involved who might best benefit from being left alone, but for the way in which it reflects on the media's drooling, salacious nature and the way it mocks the fallability of ordinary people but celebrates genuine corruption, and also to highlight the gross hypocrisy of society at large.

Even a cursory scan of the sentencing comments reveals:

1. The proposal appears actually to have been of a lesbian encounter, not a threesome.

2. It was a family camping trip with their 3 children and other children in close proximity.

3. A reluctant participant who does not drink frequently was plied with alcohol.

4. Made drunk, the reluctant participant permits 'mild intimacy', a description that infers probably little more than kissing and touching outside clothing.

5. The judge comments: '...matters reached the stage where the sexual encounter between the two females appeared imminent' and the man attempted to leave. This suggests he was not really invited to the party, he was a 'third wheel' who wanted out.

6. He only drove drunk (a modern cardinal sin) because he'd been got drunk to faciliate his acceptance of something he didn't want to do.

7. He did not assault his wife (the penultimate modern cardinal sin) directly for her actions in respect to the other woman but in anger and frustration at the final act of emasculation, her attempts to 'protect him from himself' as he tried to flee what must have been a humiliating situation.

Frankly, I believe this man deserves some sympathy rather than the bagging he's been getting, and both he and his partner deserves support for having the faith in their relationship and commitment to it to move on together. And whatever way they have have come to terms with what happened, I wish them all the best in the world.

More than that, I offer them this from today's

... in which the standfirsts suggest he is the 'same man' as the perpetrator of a number of Sydney sexual assaults.

That linkage between his case and the Sydney case is likely worth a reasonable number of dollars in defamation.

Incidentally, to many commenters on this story at various news sites around the world today, I suggest imagining it was the male getting the female drunk for an unwanted sex act and seeing how you feel. And if she physically attacked him? Who do you think would be facing charges?

-- Nick

Footnote: I have edited out the name of the man concerned in this case for a number of reasons, not least of which is I believe he - and his wife-to-be - deserve a break.

The media doesn't.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Gruesome Deaths? Tits!!!

Just what is it with Rupert Murdoch and his pervy sub-editors?

There's a time and a place for pictures of girls getting their gear off.

To illustrate a story about decapitations and drug gang warfare is not it.

Nowhere in the story is there any connection to, as the punctuation-challenged photo caption states:

Hundreds of US students enjoying their spring break, have fun in the swimming pool of a hotel in Acapulco.
Well, ok, there is a link - two of the 25 dead were in Acapulco. However, other victims/dead perps were up to a hundred miles away.

One is reminded of a print report several or more years ago of multiple deaths caused by a heatwave in France. The Murdoch newspaper illustrated it with a photo of a pretty French girl on the beach in a bikini.

Do all you people like working for this sick trash? What do you think of the sub-editors who see a story about decapitation and illustrate it with photos of topless girls?

-- Nick

Reading The (Road) Signs


Back in November, one predicted with regard to suggestions the Queensland driver blood alcohol limit should be zero:

...(when,)after a wide ranging and vigorous debate /sarc, the Bligh Labor government reduces the limit to .02 instead of zero... It's part of the softening up so the populace will accept a smaller excrement sandwich that they'll be grateful for it not being bigger.
Now this in the Queensland Sunday Mail:

QUEENSLAND will consider a new blood alcohol limit for motorists as low as .02 in a bid to cut the state's horrific road toll. A Drink Driving in Queensland discussion paper, to be released today, looks at the possibility of lowering the general alcohol limit from .05.
Quite aside from the fact that the 'horrific' road toll has been trending down for years even based on the statistically dishonest raw figures, one significantly telling aspect of the Courier Mail/Sunday Mail's spruiking for Anna Bligh's Labor Government is a shift in the equally dishonest selective cherry picking of evidence to support its case:

Norway and Sweden have the lowest road toll rates in the world and both have a blood alcohol limit of .02. The Scandinavian countries have four road deaths per 100,000 population – Queensland has eight.
Bligh is trying to whitewash the mistake made by her Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson back in November when he cited Sweden and Denmark as the poster children for low BACs for drivers and low road tolls. As I noted then:

Mr Atkinson said Australia could look to Scandinavia, which had far lower road tolls per head of population than Australia. The alcohol limit in Sweden is .02 and in Denmark .05. Their road toll deaths per 100,000 were four, Mr Atkinson said, compared to eight in Queensland.

The Danish BAC is the same as Queensland's. Their experience plainly indicates factors other than the BAC affect the road toll.
They also continue to support their case by comparing apples with oranges in counting the death rate per 100,000 of population instead of per 100,000 kilometres driven.

The dishonesty of politicians is not surprising. Neither one supposes is the dishonesty of journalists from the Courier and Sunday Mail who pretend they're reporting news when they're just acting as the media wing of State Parliament.

-- Nick

Friday, March 05, 2010

All A Terrible Misunderstanding

When you unhitch a whole section of society from any behavioural and moral anchor points, of course they'll follow their 'better' nature, won't they?

One development that the 1970s sisterhood would not have dreamed of in their worst nightmares is the explosion of “raunch culture”.
Maybe not.

It must be the fault of conservatives:

Engle is convinced by arguments that this rash female self-objectification is a consequence of the feminist movement – the aim of 1970s feminism to free women from oppression became muddled with Thatcherite ideals of personal freedom.
Nasty personal freedom. It perverted the purity of feminism:

“Feminism never argued women should be free to do whatever we want including getting our tits out in the newspapers,” she says.
Really? It was to be freedom from oppression with oppression? What about 'Girls Can Do Anything'?

“I think it’s the most unbelievable and terrible misunderstanding.”
Only only your part, dear.

-- Nick

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Restaurant Review

The wife and I haven't been married long, just four years, got a two year old daughter.

We had dinner the other night at an expensive hotel restaurant while staying at a flashy hotel. We'd pigged out at breakfast so we skipped the entree so the wife could have a big overpriced slab of meat while I had fish. Then we shared a dessert so we didn't look like pigs. It was beaut.

The restaurant was fantastic but I almost barfed up at the view outside - the restaurant overlooked the hotel pool and some guest was going for a swim. Wouldn't have been too bad if she'd been young and horny, I'd have got off on perving at her, but let's just say I was glad I'd had time to digest. I mean, she wasn't that bad, it was just something you don't need to see while dining.

Will go there again when next in town. Maybe a 19 year old will go for a swim.

But seriously:

The only thing that is odd about this fine dining restaurant is that the hotel pool is your view from the windows and yes at 9 pm, a guest had a swim, now if he had been young and yummy, I would have enjoyed the free look, lets just say I was glad I had eaten, oh, he wasn't that bad, its just something you don't need to see while dining.
And if you can't see what's wrong with that, there's no point in one trying to explain it to you.


Monday, February 08, 2010

Toughen Up

UK Telegraph columnist Melanie Phillips nails it on a subject that's been on my mind for quite some time:

...Campbell is reflecting the fact that it is only by emoting in public that so many people today believe you have any heart at all. We saw this most spectacularly over the death of Princess Diana, when an ugly public mood threatened the Queen and the Royal Family because of the perception that they were cold and heartless from the absence of public displays of their grief. It was only when the Queen let people glimpse signs of royal sorrow that this danger was defused.

This general attitude has its roots in the therapy culture, which tells us that it is bad for the individual to repress emotion. That doctrine has now developed into the belief that anyone who fails to display emotion is a bad individual. It has produced a culture in which genuine emotion, which is almost always private, is deemed not to exist, while inappropriate or vicarious emotion, or sentimentality, is mistaken for the real thing.

This has the pernicious effect not only of devaluing real feelings such as grief, but elevating histrionics such as self-pity and narcissism. Hence the obsession in our society with 'self-esteem'.

One result of exchanging the stiff upper lip for the trembling lower one is that people become less able to cope with the vicissitudes of life.
Branding the modern practice as 'our culture of emotional incontinence', Phillips goes on to quote the octogenarian Duchess of Devonshire about the generation that lived through World War 2:

As she said, grief was just part of life - people mourned and then got on with their lives. They didn't go on about it and need counselling; nor did they wear their grief like a badge of honour, or as their entry ticket to the human race. To that generation, not just grief but other emotions such as fear were both private and restrained. To be otherwise would have demoralised others and courted defeat or disaster.
Today's behaviour in parading in public ones private griefs is, indeed, something that weakens us. It is yet another symptom of the softening nature of Western society that may see it overrun by more resilient cultures before the end of the current century.

-- Nick

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Just Because I Come From The Land Of Plenty

Larrikin Records Management are today rubbing their hands with glee over today's court ruling that said the flute riff from Men At Work's iconic song Land Down Under is from the folk tune Kookaburra to which they hold the rights.

While the ruling itself wasn't unexpected - anyone who was aware of the story when it broke in 2008, was expecting it.

The song's author penned it for a Girls Guide jamboree in 1934, she then bequeathed the song to the South Australian State Library a year before her death in 1988 and in 2000 Larrikin picked up the rights back dated to 1990 (still not sure how that works).

Eight years later the publisher takes legal action after the similarity was observed on a TV quiz show.

And Larrikin lawyer Adam Simpson is salvating at amount of money he reckons his client (and no doubt Simpson is in for a share too):

Larrikin Music's lawyer Adam Simpson says EMI and Down Under may be forced to hand over as much as 60 per cent of their earnings from the international hit record.

"It's a big win for the underdog," Mr Simpson told reporters outside the court.

When asked how much Larrikin would be looking for, he replied: "Obviously, the more the better but it depends - anything from what we've claimed, which is between 40 and 60, and what they've suggested which is considerably less."
Frankly Larrikin should entitled to exactly nothing.

What loss exactly are they suing for?

Did generations of school children sing Kookaburra less because of Land Down Under? Obviously not.

If the judge awards more than token damages (keep in mind it took Larrikin eight years to discover their 'loss' and would never have known if not for a TV show), then Australian songwriters (who are not millionaires by any stretch) will be the big losers.

-- Nora

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Dancing With You In The Summer Rain

It's raining! And windy! With huge swells!

Well, the trip to the beach is cancelled for this weekend.

But it's never too wet for cocktails.

Purple Rain
1/2 shot grenadine
1/2 shot peach schnapps
1/2 shot white rum
3 measures lemonade
3 measures sweet & sour mix
1/2 shot Blue Curacao

Fill a collins glass 3/4 full with ice. Add grenadine and peach schapps and white rum into glass. Then fill with sweet and sour and lemonade. Drizzle around the edge of the glass with Blue curacao.
-- Nora

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Still Planning How To React

It's discrimination!

Haiti's voodoo high priest has claimed believers have been discriminated against by evangelical Christians who are monopolising aid sent to the earthquake-stricken country. At the weekend hundreds of voodoo houngans, or priests, gathered in the northern town of Gonaives to plan how to react to the earthquake that left an estimated 200,000 people dead on Jan 12.
Dateline on the story:

By Nick Allen in Port-au-Prince
Published: 7:00AM GMT 01 Feb 2010
Maybe if you were quicker off the blocks, my Sorbonne-educated friend.

-- Nick

No Stranger To The Courts

A really good way to win people over to your point of view is to sue them:

RUGBY league international and gay activist Ian Roberts has joined legal action against the Nine Network over a controversial skit on the NRL Footy Show... Mr Roberts said he was offended by the sketch which he says vilifies gay men.
Then again, bullying has worked before.

-- Nick

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Only In Britain (And America)

UK Telegraph columnist Christopher Howse writes on the 'row' - a rather mild word for a dispute in which Muslims have burned down churches - over Borneo Christians using the word Allah for God, as they have 'from time immemorial':

Two-thirds of Malaysians are Muslims and about 10 per cent of them Christians. Malaysian political life is a little different from that in Britain. The leader of the opposition, for example, is facing trial on charges of "sodomy", a ploy used by the government before.
Malaysian political life certainly is a little different from that in Britain where a Daily Mail journalist can ask without the slightest hint of irony of a senior member of the ruling Labour Party: he ever going to marry his boyfriend, about whom he never speaks?
... as if it is quite natural.

Meanwhile, Telegraph Religious Affairs Correspondent Jonathan Wynne-Jones breaks the news that:

A senior adviser to the Queen has met secretly with the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales to express concern over the Pope's offer for disaffected Anglicans to convert to Rome. In a highly unusual step, Earl Peel, the Lord Chamberlain, asked Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster, to meet him following Pope Benedict XVI's decree.
He writes:

The Archbishop reassured Lord Peel that Pope Benedict had only issued the decree in response to the requests of traditionalist Anglicans disillusioned with the liberal direction of their Church.

He stressed that it had not been intended as a hostile act or to in any way destabilise the Church of England, which has been engulfed in rows over women bishops and gay clergy.
And recalls that:

Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said that at the time that it had been viewed as "a dawn raid on the Anglican communion".
Meanwhile, Williams lectures capitalists in New York:

Giving a lesson at Trinity Wall Street Episcopal Church... Dr Rowan Williams attacked what he called the "straw man" of self-interest and the way in which rich countries disregarded poor ones... "We live in a world that's broken in the sense that a very large part of our world, notably Africa, feels, with a good deal of justification, that the rest of the world has more or less stopped thinking about it."
Williams is, it appears, another man on whom the irony of his own words is lost.

If Africans believe 'the rest of the world has more or less stopped thinking about' them, it is because they have been abandoned by the west to corrupt governments and radical Islam - the former which pocket the profits of capitalism while their people go hungry and the latter which drive out capitalist western ventures that could free their countries from poverty - and have been alienated by Williams' own liberally-enthralled church and its American cousin to the extent that they are about to break away from the Anglican community.

-- Nick

Love At First Write

I love Mark Steyn.

-- Nora

Me too.

-- Nick

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Not-So Naked Truth

Much of this week's news column inches and minutes was taken up by breathlessly reporting Tony Abbott's new campaign policy to have mandatory chastity belts on females aged 12-60.

You didn't read about that? Not surprising, because it's not true.

Nor was it true that Abbott wanted...lemme see how The Australian put it?

Tony Abbott warns women against sex before marriage

Err, no he didn't. Here is what he did say in the Australian Women's Weekly (published monthly):

“I would say to my daughters, if they were to ask me this question, I would say … it is the greatest gift that you can give someone, the ultimate gift of giving and don’t give it to someone lightly, that is what I would say.”
So why the deliberate misreporting by the mainstream media?

There a few brief reasons:

1. The media have an unhealthy obsession with sex or perhaps that should be an obsession with unhealthy sex.

Don't think so? Just take a look at what greets breakfast readers at News Limited's portal this morning. While the story itself might be valid. The photo used is not one taken at the event and has no legitimate reason for being there other than titillation.

Titillation is not news.

2. It foments controversy which then feeds into several days of news.

It's an old trick. Print something that you know (or suspect) of being a lie and then appear magnanimous in allowing the person you've misrepresented (or defamed) the 'right' of reply.

Politicians use the same trick as well:

Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard says comments by Tony Abbott that women should think carefully before losing their virginity will "confirm their worst fears" about the Opposition Leader.
What fears would they be Julia? Ah yes:

3. The media has an anti-religious bias - particularly anti-Catholic and anti-Christian.

Just take a look at religious reporting.

If it's bad stuff such as 'paedophile priests' and 'avaricious evangelicals' then mention of religious affiliation is front and centre. If it's about charity work, the focus is on the individuals and not the faith that motivates them.

The reason is simple as it is transparent. 'Godbotherers' get their worldview from something other than the media.

This is a threat because most journalists believe that they the only ones worthy of being information oracles. As the journalist's own union says:

Journalists describe society to itself. They convey information, ideas and opinions, a privileged role.
A privileged role indeed and one for which there is no recognised independent accountability - journalists police their own.

In the 13 years I worked as a print journalist (and union member) I know no one who was fined or thrown out of the union for unethical behaviour but I heard about plenty of such unsavoury behaviour and witnessed a few.

The censures which did occur were always done with a wink and a nod as if to say 'don't worry mate, this is all for show'.

If there is any good news that comes from this appalling piece of 'professional' gossip mongering is that people don't seem to be buying it.

Take a look at the comments on Andrew Bolt's column piece about this disgraceful affair.

If, as Jill Singer in the Herald Sun writes:

... it's kind of creepy for a prominent male politician to be rummaging around inside the underwear of young girls in search of political inspiration.
Then it is equally creepy for journalists to be rummaging around inside the underwear of young girls in search of newsworthy inspiration.

-- Nora

Think I was too harsh?

“I learned to slice and dice anyone who deliberately fed out misleading information, or who spoke to others and not me,” she says.

If a backbencher refused to leak information to her about party meetings, she never mentioned that MP’s name in a story again - “unless they had done something wrong, of course”.

Another confession: “As a journalist I lied often, usually about my sources, but about other things, too. Journalists can and do get away with lying; politicians and staff can’t. Nor should they.”
Read the context and the whole thing here.

Even ABC journalist Barrie Cassidy appears to agree:

In Cassidy’s opinion, the media tactics—which he says are unfair—of homing in on any socially conservative comments Abbott makes, could force the Liberal leader to stop speaking candidly about social issues.

“Look, it’s not fair, in a sense, to Tony Abbott.

“He is asked constantly about these issues whereas Kevin Rudd, for example, is not.

“Kevin Rudd hasn’t been asked the question, ‘What would be your advice to your daughters?’ And would his advice be any different any way? What would he say, ‘No, take a cavalier attitude, go for your life?’ I doubt it.”

Cassidy said Tony Abbott has complained about this treatment, “but it doesn’t seem to make any difference”.

“We admire him for his candor. Well, certainly in the media we like him for his candor, and it would be a pity if he suddenly, as a result of this experience, pulled his head in and we didn’t get the same Tony Abbott,” he said.

“He will be verballed and the media is on to this sort of angle that they want, that he’s a social conservative who wants to impose all of those attitudes on to the rest of the community.

“That seems to be their mindset and he was really badly treated over the Women’s Weekly article. He didn’t say anything of the kind, based on Julia Gillard’s responses to it,” Cassidy said.
If only other journalists were equally candid about the corrupt practices in their own profession.

Friday, January 29, 2010

It's Back!

After a superlong hiatus, Nick and Nora's Nifty Knick Knacks is back with new entries, a new pointer and a new image of Mr and Mrs Charles.

Take a look at our fabulous vintage magazine advertisements, souvenirs of Gold Coast buildings that they've already torn down and debate whether the original or director's cut of Blade Runner is the best.

To celebrate, let's start with a cocktail!

Old Fashioned Cocktail

Prepare and serve in Glass No. 5
1 lump cube sugar
1 or 2 dashes Cocktail Bitters
1 dash seltzer
Muddle sugar until dissolved
1 jigger Rye, Bourbon or Scotch Whiskey
Cube of ice

Garnish with twist of lemon peel, 1 slice of orange, 1 maraschino cherry. Serve with highball spoon.
-- Nora Charles