Monday, January 16, 2006


Geoff Gallop, citing depression as the reason, has resigned from Parliament.

Gallop always impressed as too nice for politics; here's hoping he makes a full and speedy recovery.

Sunday, January 15, 2006


Is it just me or is this pretty sloppy reporting under the headline "Diver attacked by shark at Perth beach"?
A 52-year-old diver is recovering in a Perth hospital after being attacked by what is believed to be a white shark.

He was bitten on the elbow while scuba diving about three nautical miles off popular City Beach.
The attack took place three miles out to sea, not at a beach. Wouldn't want to scare any beachgoers unnecessarily, now would we?


The Mohammed cartoons controversy continues to rage in Denmark and has now spread to Norway:
On Tuesday the Christian newspaper Magazinet published 12 cartoons depicting the Muslim prophet Muhammad. Magazinet did so to support the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten that published the cartoons [see them here] last September, but has since received terrorist threats and huge international criticism, including pressure from organisations such as the United Nations and the European Union. Now Magazinet has received threats via e-mail from around the world.
The cartoons were withdrawn.

A group of Danish Muslim leaders is currently touring the Muslim world distributing a report on the cartoons. This report contains a few embellishments:
The report contains 15 pictures instead of 12. The first of the three additional pictures, which are of dismal quality, shows Muhammad as a pedophile deamon [see it here], the second shows the prophet with a pigsnout [here] and the third depicts a praying Muslim being raped by a dog [here].
The source of these additions is unclear:
Akhmad Akkari, spokesman of the 21 Danish Muslim organizations which organized the tour, explained that the three drawings had been added to “give an insight in how hateful the atmosphere in Denmark is towards Muslims.” Akkari claimed he does not know the origin of the three pictures. He said they had been sent anonymously to Danish Muslims. However, when Ekstra Bladet asked if it could talk to these Muslims, Akkari refused to reveal their identity.
This controversy is nowhere near finished yet.


These guys are sounding more and more like terrorists:
A hardline environmental group has promised not to attack Japan's whaling fleet if Australia takes the Japanese to court to try to stop the annual slaughter.

Sea Shepherd, which has promised to "shut down" the whaling ship Nisshin Maru, today said it would give Australia and New Zealand two days to announce a legal challenge against Japan.
Sea Shepherd wants to legitimize its efforts by getting Australia or New Zealand involved. The PM isn't likely to go for it.

Update: Greenpeace activists try to disrupt whaling by placing themselves between the whales and Japanese harpooners. This is, of course, risky. An activist has now been struck and knocked into the water by a harpoon rope. It is probably inevitable that a Greenpeacer will eventually be harpooned. That'll be when the blubber really hits the fan.

Saturday, January 14, 2006


The South African Gay and Lesbian Alliance, unhappy with a question about sexual activity asked of prospective donors, plans to flood the country's blood services with the blood of gay men:
The Alliance claims members have already donated 120 units of blood.

It aims to flood the blood services with 70,000 units.

Alliance spokesman Juan Uys describes the question as "humiliating, offensive and an insult to gay men". He says all blood should be treated equally.
The question is there for a reason; the Australian Red Cross Blood Service must ask a similar question as it won't accept blood from a man who has engaged in male to male sex within the past 12 months. Interestingly, blood from anyone who has had a root canal within the past week also isn't accepted.

I really can't see what the ruckus is about or the point of putting pressure on screening services. Wouldn't the members of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance feel just a tad guilty if a member's blood turned out to HIV infected and slipped through the screening process?

Update:The linked BBC story also notes:
It is not the first time that the SANBS has been hit by controversy.

Last year it was forced to change its screening procedures when it was revealed that they destroyed blood donated by black people, because it claimed they were at a high risk of HIV infection.

It emerged that President Thabo Mbeki's blood was destroyed because he was black and because his doctor had refused to complete the personal history questionnaire used to screen donors.
If the SANBS's standard operating procedure was to destroy the blood from black donors then Mbeki's refusal to complete the questionnaire was irrelevant. I did a bit of checking and came up with this from a South African source:
At a presidential visit to a blood donation site, President Thabo Mbeki's blood was not used because he asked that he not have to fill in the questionnaire asking for personal details and a medical history.

Newspaper reports subsequently exposed the service's previous policy of rating blood from races other than white as a higher risk, which emerged in a labour hearing of an SANBS staff member. Discussions followed between the health department and SANBS about its discrimination against black donors.
The policy has changed as directed by the South African government.


In a move that should infuriate lefties, but won't, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has scoffed at the UN:
"Why are you hurting the reputation of international bodies? Why are you employing the Security Council? Is it your device to use?" the President told a news conference in Tehran.

"Doesn't that endanger world security? Doesn't unilateralism endanger security?"
He continues to insist that Iran doesn't want the bomb. Hey, maybe we should give him the benefit of the doubt. I mean, he's always seemed like a pretty reasonable guy.


Not long after the Cronulla violence the ABC ominously reported, under the headline "Sydney travel warnings have little impact" (my bold):
Tourism Australia says travel warnings advising tourists not to visit Sydney beaches have had no noticeable effect on the industry.

The Cronulla riots have prompted Britain, Canada and Indonesia to issue the advisories, which warn of the possibility of racist violence.
The wording of this is iffy: a travel advisory is not the same as a travel warning. There were no travel warnings from any of the countries listed. The British advisory made mention of Cronulla as follows (my bold):
Since 11 December 2005, there have been sporadic outbreaks of racially motivated violence in Cronulla, Maroubra, Brighton-le-Sands and other areas of south west Sydney. You should monitor the situation, and exercise caution if visiting these areas – particularly on the local beaches, or at night.
The Canadian advisory had nothing to say about Cronulla or racist violence. There was no Indonesian travel advisory, not online anyway.

On 27 December I sent the following email to ABC News Online:
ABC News Online recently ran a news item stating in part:

"Tourism Australia says travel warnings advising tourists not to visit Sydney beaches have had no noticeable effect on the industry.

"The Cronulla riots have prompted Britain, Canada and Indonesia to issue the advisories, which warn of the possibility of racist violence."

I have searched online but cannot find any such advisories from the countries named. Please provide additional information regarding these travel advisories.
ABC staff didn't respond straight away, what with Australia pretty much shutting down for the holidays, but eventually did, advising that the advisories were available online at the British Department of Foreign Affairs site and at the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs site. Yes, the advisories were available but, as noted above, do not match up with the ABC's reporting. The email from ABC staff did not comment on the Indonesian advisory.

It was probably a slow news day so someone just made some stuff up.


James McCloskey, reacts to DNA test results:
"This particular truth feels like a kick in the stomach."
If that's how McCloskey reacts to test results showing Roger Coleman was indeed guilty of the murder for which he was executed, just imagine how he would have reacted to news Coleman was innocent. Guess that champagne will have to stay in the fridge.

Friday, January 13, 2006


That's how Larvatus Prodeo's blog-daddy Mark Bahnisch describes Christopher Sheil. While Bahnisch might think Sheil prominent he obviously doesn't think Sheil capable of defending himself against us mean old RWDBs.

More on that later; first let’s take a look at what makes Sheil such a blogging colossus. His fabulously successful blog, Back Pages, ran for a year before he shut it down. In July 2005 he joined the Larvatus Prodeo collective, where he has authored 61 posts, or roughly two a week – a pretty heavy workload for a lefty.

Since his prominence isn’t quantity based, it must have something to do with quality. Hardly, though he is entertaining, as only smarter-than-thou lefties can be. His most recent post is about what he’s reading while lounging around on the holidays – 43 comments. The two posts immediately prior to that are about his hope that Bush will be impeached over the NSA intercepts – 59 and 44 comments. The post before that is about, er, I don’t know what; it bears the title "I will love you forever" – no-one else could figure it out either, 6 comments. Before that was a post on Lucinda Williams – 15 comments. Finally, as I’m certain you’re getting the idea, he tried to post like an RWDB – another ripper, 8 comments. (His LP archive is here if you’d like to have a closer look at his stuff. He averages a stellar 38 comments per post but this is skewed a bit by 4 older posts that got a total of 765 comments – these are the only posts garnering over 100 comments each. These comments figures have been included only as a guide to the size of Sheil’s readership, which as he has stated, is what blogging is all about.)

Sheil is obviously coasting; either that or he's over the hill. Regardless, he's the biggest name LP has and, considering the wordy lefty crapola they're trying to sell, Mark Bahnisch is keen to keep him. That's why Sheil has free reign to insult and incite fellow commenters with impunity. It also explains why Bahnisch won't discuss Sheil’s stealthy deletion of comments. And it's why Bahnisch hasn’t pursued the matter of link tampering – he's still playing dumb, telling me yesterday in emails he doesn't understand what the problem is.

Enough of that. LPer Phil Gomes, in another of his feeble attempts at intentional humour, has a post about John Howard titled “He looks like a beaver on acid”. I think making fun of the Prime Minister's looks as the topic of a thread is about as petty as it gets but, because I’ve had a number of run-ins with the LPers recently, was determined to stay out of it. But when Sheil made this comment:
I never said he looked like a beaver on acid. Rather, I tried to defend beavers. If you must know, I think he looks more like a rodent on the toilet.
Followed by this from FaceLift:
I hope your Caustic Sarcasm doesn’t come back to burn you.
I, well, sort of lost control and posted this:
Contrary to popular belief the beaver is not the largest rodent.
Bahnisch immediately deleted the comment – he must have been watching like a hawk because by the time I checked that the comment was up and then refreshed the page it was gone:
On the grounds that it was gratuitously and personally offensive to another commenter. To be more precise, it was about their personal appearance, with a link to a photo.
According to Bahnisch it’s Okay to ridicule the Prime Minister’s looks because he's a public figure but it’s not Okay to post a link to a public photo of one of his bloggers. In any event, I wasn't insinuating that Sheil looks like a rodent: it's more his behaviour that concerns me. (As an aside, when evil RWDB James Waterton observed that Sheil looks like Kamahl, or maybe Paul Simon, Bahnisch took this as an insult – scroll down to comments.)

Back at LP, Bahnisch then has a full-on cry about how mean us snarky RWDBs have been to his boy Christopher and to lefty bloggers in general. Here’s part of his boo hoo hooing:
… cs is one of the most prominent if not the most prominent lefty bloggers. For some reason, certain righty bloggers seem to take some sort of delight in pointless and personal insults against him, a practice that is obnoxious and also is frequently directed by the same mob at others - Margo Kingston and Antony Lowenstein in particular. If you want to get a sense of what I mean, have a read of this comments thread. You might like to note the refrain that “lefty chicks are ugly” and all sorts of vulgar sexual innuendo. Why these people take pleasure in making these sort of comments, I can’t understand.
This is from the same guy who recently suggested I needed to relax and lighten up but at the same time threatened payback when leftists get their hands on the reins of power – as if that's likely to happen, ever. But I am honoured that he obviously ranks me up there with Australia's most famous stalker, Tim Blair.

Bahnisch also has a sad in another thread about the attention LP's getting from RWDBs, noting that I'm obsessed. Well, if linking to LP in 6 out of 30 posts means I'm obsessed then I'm obsessed. I must admit being really pissed off that one of the LPers would stoop so low as to disable a link and therefore deciding to put more pressure on them to see how they react. And really, they haven't reacted all that well, have they? Surely 20 very intelligent lefties should be able to handle one obsessive, gutless, trash-writing RWDB.

Now that I've overviewed the situation you might want to take a closer look at the confrontation as it develops, unfolds and concludes. This will show you how insecure the LPers are and how their decision making has been affected. Take note of Bahnisch's refusal to discuss the matter in a public forum even though he was willing to discuss it by email. Also note that Bahnisch issued an ultimatum that I refused to agree to and that this should have resulted in me being banned from commenting but has resulted instead in my comments being moderated. Bahnisch didn't ban me because he knew it would make him look silly – Sheil has been a lot more snarky and abusive than I have and has suffered no consequences whatever. (I challenged Bahnisch to compare Sheil's comments to mine to see who's more abusive – if I'm the bad boy Bahnisch alleges, he should put my comments out there for everyone to judge.) Anyway, when Bahnisch had had enough, the thread was shut down. Free speech definitely isn't tops on the lefty agenda; unintentional humour is.


My apologies for not posting anything new recently; there has been some sort of network problem over the last 24 hours. Comments worked fine but blogger wouldn't let me in. Everything seems to be working fine now. Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


Lefty collectivist blogger Paul Norton has compiled statistics on the gender of contributors to Quadrant. Suffice to say, most of the contributors are men. Norton attributes this to:
I think the simplest explanation is that the Australian intellectual Right, in style, content and priorities, is not attractive to intelligent women, and has not done the necessary intellectual heavy lifting to be able to contribute something of merit, which engages with women's concerns and experiences, to debates on issues of gender, family and sexuality.

This is a subset of the wider issue of the absence from Australian political debate of an authentic democratic conservative discourse on these issues, and the hegemony within the Right of authoritarian revanchist reactionary discourses.

I did some gender equity research of my own and I bet it took a lot less time and effort than Norton's. I went to the Larvatus Prodeo collective's homepage from which I was able to quickly work out that less than 20% of LP's posts were written by women – the posts of several authors whose gender wasn't immediately obvious were included as women; Christopher Sheil was given the benefit of the doubt and included as a male. There was no need for Norton to stray from home in his search for gender bias.

I think the simplest explanation is that the LP males are closet oppressors of females. Stealthy sexist pigs!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Paul Watson, captain of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's ship Farley Mowat, is leading the assault on Japanese whalers in the Southern Ocean. Watson sees himself as something of a modern day privateer:
Watson said he ordered the supply ship [Oriental Bluebird] to leave the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary as it was waiting to rendezvous with the whaling factory ship Nisshin Maru.

"I informed the Oriental Bluebird that I was acting under the authority of the United Nations World Charter for Nature to uphold international conservation regulations prohibiting the slaughter of whales in the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary.

"When they refused, we backed up the message by slamming our starboard hull against their starboard hull."
Despite the Farley Mowat being equipped with a steel blade designed to rip open "enemy" vessels the Oriental Bluebird was pretty much undamaged.

Such an attack on a tanker is totally inexcusable as it could have caused large loss of life as well as releasing a large quantity of fuel oil in a whale sanctuary. But, these Sea Shepherd clowns are operating with the full authority of the UN, right?

The Japanese are, and rightly so, outraged and are contemplating sending aircraft into the area. Greens Senator Bob Brown is, as expected, outraged that the Howard Government might assist the Japanese government in its totally irresponsible efforts to protect Japanese interests:
"It is bad enough that our government is sitting on its hands and leaving Greenpeace to defend Australia's interests in saving the whales. But to facilitate armed Japanese intervention by giving Tokyo the use of Australian airspace and airports like Hobart or Perth would bring the house down," Senator Brown said.
Whales are more important than anything.


It'll be interesting to see how the left reacts to this news out of Asia:
More than 10m female births in India may have been lost to abortion and sex selection in the past 20 years, according to medical research.

Researchers in India and Canada for the Lancet journal said prenatal selection and selective abortion was causing the loss of 500,000 girls a year.
I mean, it's just women being in control of their bodies, right?

Update: If you needed convincing that the left is evil and dangerous, this should do it:
Do I think it’s better for a girl to never be born than to be born into a society that treats her as less than human? Yes.
Until women are valued equally they shouldn't be allowed to be born.

Monday, January 09, 2006


Antony Loewenstein, outspoken supporter of the thugs killing coalition forces in Iraq, links to a New York Times article condemning the US military's alleged refusal to provide the best available body armour:
"A secret Pentagon study has found that as many as 80 percent of the marines who have been killed in Iraq from wounds to the upper body could have survived if they had had extra body armour. Such armour has been available since 2003, but until recently the Pentagon has largely declined to supply it to troops despite calls from the field for additional protection, according to military officials."
Loewenstein observing:
These figures are devastating and prove, not unlike Vietnam, that soldiers are expendable.
Angry Ant couldn't give a damn about the body armour issue: he's on a points scoring mission here, just as he was with his recent condemnation of David H Brooks, a supplier of body armour used by US forces, for "the misery his job actually creates".

The coalition body count can't get high enough, soon enough for bloodthirsty Lowy.



Try severed bird flu infected fowl heads:
The children may have been infected while playing with the severed heads of diseased fowl. The children reportedly tossed the heads like balls inside their home.
Not only will the kids be kept busy, they won't require babysitting in the future.


Greens Senator Bob Brown wants John Howard to prevent further Japanese criminal activity:
"The Japanese are not going to break international sea laws if there's another government looking on," he said.

"It's time John Howard got the gumption that this nation wants in our Antarctic waters to monitor the Japanese whaling slaughter and their breach of international sea-faring laws."
Funny how Brown has changed his tune since screaming at Bush, "We are not a sheriff". When it comes to policing, whales are more important than people, right? Let the Iraqis sort things out for themselves survival of the fittest style.

Sunday, January 08, 2006


Imam Ahmed on the horrible pain inflicted on Danish Muslims by these cartoons:
"We are being mentally tortured. The cartoons are an insult against Islam, an attempt by right-wing forces in this country to get a rise out of the Muslim community and so portray us as against Danish values."
Well, the right-wing plan worked like a charm – Danish Muslims have shown they don't want non-Muslim Danes speaking freely about Islam. Fortunately for all parties concerned, Denmark's long-suffering Muslims can escape the Nordic gulag, if the pain gets too great, by simply buying a one-way ticket out.

Dan Bilefsky, author of the New York Times article, also thinks free speech is overrated:
The publication of the cartoons in late September has provoked a fierce national debate over whether Denmark's famously liberal laws on free speech have gone too far.
Too much free speech, eh?

For more reliable reporting on the long running Danish cartoon controversy try The Brussels Journal here, here and here – the last link has an attached list of previous posts on the topic.


A serious Howard hater brings us news of a new opinion poll:
It's a totally fair and balanced poll where a global leader is pitted against those of a similar status and not altogether dissimilar personalities. The readers nominate their candidates and then decide from that whittled down list of undemocratic rogues. It's democracy in action, and 100% accurate. It's also filled with the kind of analysis that's usually seen in The Australian when Dennis Shanahan succinctly breaks down any Newspoll that accidentally shows Labor in the lead.

Like the plucky little Aussie battler he is, Howard came through in the end... he streeted the field by polling 611 votes to that of the second place CIA's 115.
The CIA is a "global leader" with a personality? Howard's worse than Ahmadinejad? I think the post was meant to be funny but, what with lefties being humourless and all, it's hard to know for sure.

Update: The post was meant to be funny, but we on the right aren't smart enough to get it:
Do you RWDB guys even attempt to read between the lines? Taking the piss doesn’t appear to be in your lexicon. Read it carefully again, SLOWLY, and not out loud like you usually do. If you want I’ll capitalise the important bits. Either that or I’ll provide the post in picture book form with text like Cat in the Hat.


Playing chicken with the Japanese can be dangerous:
Tensions have peaked in the Southern Ocean with the collision of a Greenpeace boat with a factory ship belonging to a Japanese whaling fleet.

Greenpeace expedition leader Shane Rattenbury says the Arctic Sunrise was carrying 25 people when it was hit from behind by the Nishan Maru.
The Greenpeacers say the Japanese rammed them deliberately; the Japanese blame the Greenpeacers. The main thing is, none of the Greenpeace ass-holes were injured.


Movie critic Gene Shalit didn't much care for the nature of the homosexual relationship around which Brokeback Mountain revolves and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation – another of the lefty "anti" groups – doesn't much like Shalit:
The veteran Today show critic has been taken to task by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation over his negative review of the gay cowboy western, in which he referred to Jake Gyllenhaal's character, Jack, as a "sexual predator" who "tracks Ennis down and coaxes him into sporadic trysts."

GLAAD demanded an apology from both Shalit and NBC News and urged supporters to contact the network and complain.
The thing is, in giving his interpretation Shalit is exercising his right to freedom of expression.

Friday, January 06, 2006


The left embraced and promoted the Lancet Iraq study purporting to show a massive death toll directly attributable to the coalition invasion. The results of a new study by the International Rescue Committee make the US's death-dealing efforts in Iraq look downright puny:
The conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo has been the most deadly since the second world war, a new study estimates, with nearly 4 million people having died as a result of the widespread violence and instability.

It is the worst humanitarian crisis in the past 60 years, says Richard Brennan, the IRC’s health director. “In terms of absolute numbers,” he says, “there’s nothing that comes close.”
Since the US isn't a major player in the Congo I'm betting the left will pretty much ignore these horrific figures.

Update: Update: Lancet obsessed – 71 posts – academic Tim Lambert ignores the New Scientist article on the IRC Lancet-published study (linked above) in favour of a New Scientist article on another topic dear to him, sock puppets – to access, copy and paste . The man has his priorities sorted.

Update II: It is pointed out in comments that this is not a new study: it is an old study with newly revised figures.


Lefty computing lecturer Tim Lambert thinks Professor of Geology Ian Plimer has produced a silly, deliberately misleading article on global warming for The Australian – Lambert's scared of me for some reason and bounces my links; copy and paste . It's obvious from the tone and content of Lambert's post that he has no respect for Plimer or his position on global warming.

In attempting to research Lambert's qualifications as self-appointed global warming fact-checker I ended up at his University of New South Wales "personal page". His qualification aren't stated so I clicked on the link to his "offical page" and got this:
You were looking for the file
which could not be located by this webserver.
Similarly, the link to a photo of Lambert in a gown – I'm thinking maybe something by Chanel – didn't take me where it should have: I ended up at his blog. If such stuff ups are any indication, UNSW's School of Computer Science and Engineering has a few problems.

Lambert's research focusses is in three areas: algorithms for the triangulation of planar straight line graphs; algorithms for 3d convex hulss; and, virtual reality. The latter explaining his detachment from non-virtual reality.

A quick Google led me to Wikipedia, the entry confirming Lambert's status as self-appointed fact-checker of international repute. But there's nothing about any qualifications related to the study of global warming. Interestingly, Wikipedia does not have an entry for Ian Plimer: maybe Lambert's right about this guy.

Despite not having a Wikipedia entry Plimer is something more than your garden variety academic:
Ian Plimer is the Professor of Geology at The University of Melbourne. He was formerly Professor at the Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich and at the University of Newcastle. He won the Leopold von Buch Medal for Science and has thrice won the Eureka Prize, the latest of which was for his book A Short History of Planet Earth. Professor Plimer has published over 120 scientific papers and books and 6 books for the lay person on topics raging from religious fundamentalism to mining history. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, a Fellow of the Geological Society of London, member of numerous professional organisations and serves on many national and international scientific commissions. He is currently edits the Academic Press Encyclopaedia of Geology, is filming a BBC natural science program and continues his weekly ABC regional radio broadcasts. He is a director of a UK and Australian listed public companies.
Fact-check boy reckons Plimer is silly. The real problem is Plimer knows what he's talking about but, horror of horrors, he's not a lefty. And anyway, who's Lambert to allege silliness when he continues to block my links to his blog, tampers with my comments at his blog and has even stealthily removed some of my comments – he's from the same academic lefty free speech crushing mold as Chris Sheil.

Oh yeah, almost forgot, Lambert has a go at Tim Blair as well:
Meanwhile, Tim Blair has continued to tout his law that “global warming protests invariably result in local colding“. He apparently generalized this “law” from the case of Montreal where global warming protests were followed by a snowstorm on Dec 16 where it was warmer that the average for Dec 16. Oddly enough, Melbourne’s walk against warming was followed by Melbourne’s warmest December ever recorded, while Sydney’s walk against warming was only followed by Sydney’s second warmest December ever recorded and hottest New Year’s day. Not to worry, Blair counted this as an example of his law as well.
If Lambert had any sense at all he'd realize the record heat accompanying these marches does not violate Blair's "inverse law of global warm-mongering": everything in the southern hemisphere is inverted. Thus, the inversion is inverted, with anti-warming marches producing heat.


As noted earlier, it has been suggested that Australia introduce compulsory national service. The proposal comes from an unlikely source, New South Wales Young Labor.

The elightened lefties at Larvatus Prodeo – where well-informed lefty elites discuss matters of import – were quick to, typically, over-react:
Cameron Riley: More mindless knee-jerk populist nationalism.

I am opposed to conscription. The most immoral form of coercion possible is when the state forces a person to take another’s life.

Paul Norton: Kind of reminds me of my first Orientation Week as a mature age student at Griffith in 1992, when the entire AWU faction was running the Labor Club stall fully dressed in suits and ties on a very humid February day in Brisbane. Even the Liberals didn’t see the need to go beyond smart casual.

Ryan: In this day and age? No way would the masses ever accept it.

I would simply refuse - without the slightest fear of consequence - as I know the rest of Australia would be with me.
This mindless knee-jerk negativity occurred before commenters were aware that the national service proposal allowed for community service in lieu of military service – poster Phil Gomes, apparently too busy, or lazy, to check this story out, hadn't posted any links to news sources that could have fleshed out the details.

Lefties aren't happy unless they're having a whine about something, even if that something is their fellow lefties.


Or so reports The Australian:
AUSTRALIAN soldiers are being forced to use sub-standard equipment because they're discouraged from making complaints, a report has found.
The article does not cite any of the supposedly inferior equipment. This is irresponsible reporting: are we talking minor items of equipment like screwdrivers and can-openers or critical equipment like protective gear? The article also mentions recent procurement irregularities but as far as I'm aware, none of that gear is substandard.

Don't get me wrong, our soldiers deserve the best equipment the government can afford to provide but this sensationalist article doesn't prove they're not getting it.

Thursday, January 05, 2006


The 2006 hajj hasn't started yet but there's already been a disaster:
Twenty-three Muslim pilgrims were killed and scores more wounded in the Saudi holy city of Mecca when a building collapsed in the latest tragedy to hit the annual hajj, a witness said.
Past disasters are detailed here.


As proposed by the left, it would be a kinder, gentler national service based on a Swedish model:
"The community service could take many forms, from being an army cadet to helping with chores at the local retirement village. It could be helping community groups or churches or charities."
The proposers are certainly right about one thing:
"You can learn more from working in the community than you can behind a desk in a class."
You can learn more while asleep that you can behind a desk at school.


Five foot six inch super-blogger Markos Moulitsas Zuniga:
“Everybody says I'm an asshole, and they're right, I am.”
He's a big Dean supporter and an up and coming Democratic strategist. It looks like Republicans could be running the show for quite some time yet.


There's no way humans caused this:
A rapid rise in global temperature 55 million years ago caused major disruption to ocean currents, new research shows.

The time in question was an extraordinary epoch in Earth history - the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), when the global average temperature rose by anything between four and seven Celsius in a few thousand years.

The reason why temperatures shot up during the PETM are unclear...
History repeats itself.


Journalist and author Antony Loewenstein:
Unsure what threatens the Western way of life? Clueless columnist Mark Steyn has all the answers: "The progressive agenda - lavish social welfare, abortion, secularism, multiculturalism - is collectively the real suicide bomb."

Now you know.
Steyn is clueless? He's smart enough to anticipate an idiot like Loewenstein by referring to him in the column's title:
It's the Demography, Stupid
Angry Ant has no idea what the question is, much less the answer.

Editing note – post in haste and misspell Steyn. Corrected

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


At last count 66 Australians have died in road crashes over the holiday period. Opportunistic road safety Nazis are trying to use the death toll to maximum advantage even though the overall road toll has steadily declined for years.

David Healy, general manager of Victoria's Transport Accident Commission, wants alcohol interlock devices to be standard equipment in all cars. He does make some valid points about the overall age of Australia's car fleet and risk taking by young male drivers.

Professor Raphael Grzebieta of the Australasian College of Road Safety uses the 66 deaths as an excuse to go nuts, goaded by the ABC's Maxine McKew. Here are but two examples of the insanity:
MAXINE McKEW: Tell me, do you think we're stalled on this issue because we're almost numbed, if you like, by the figures or we take no notice of them? Historically, I know the road toll figures are lower, I mean New South Wales averages I think around 540 road deaths a year, Victoria about 340. But they're still huge numbers, aren't they?

PROF RAPHAEL GRZEBIETA: It's enormous. When you think about it, it's five deaths a day in Australia. If you were to present those sorts of numbers in terms of a war or in terms of some sort of - like, aircraft crashing or trains crashing or something like that, then you would have an inquiry, there'd be demand that we withdraw from that war.

MAXINE McKEW: Is your bottom line that you want to see those safety features mandated?


MAXINE McKEW: In the way that seatbelts were 30 years ago?

PROF RAPHAEL GRZEBIETA: Well, you think about it. In 1970 when we introduced seatbelts, it was quite a radical decision. If we introduce electronic stability control tomorrow, if we legislated for that, made it compulsory for every single vehicle that we now manufacture today, then we would start to save probably about 30, 40, 50 per cent. That's the sort of numbers of fatalities that they're seeing overseas in USA and in Europe being reduced.

So we shouldn't shy away from some of this legislation. We're not doing it in other areas like occupational health and safety or in the area of anti-terrorism laws. We should be introducing laws into our legislation so that it safeguards people on roads, and in vehicles.
Only a lefty academic could work war and anti-terror laws into a road safety discussion. Read the whole interview and contemplate how much the ultra-safe car of the future is going to cost.

Update: The professor has been pitching idiotic safety features since at least last March. Why is no-one listening?


Once upon a time it was common to hear "only in America" as preface to a story like this. Now it's more correctly, "only in France":
FRENCH President Jacques Chirac has vowed to bring to justice a gang that terrorised hundreds of train passengers in a long rampage of violence, robbery and sexual assault on New Year's Day.

The two hour criminal frenzy by between 20 and 30 youths was "totally unacceptable," he saidr.

"Those guilty will be found and punished as they deserve."
If the police weren't inept the thugs would have been arrested on the spot:
Train staff alerted police, and the train pulled into a station to wait.

The three officers who initially turned up had to wait for reinforcements before boarding, during which time the youths continued to cause trouble.

The train then resumed its journey with a heavy police presence aboard but, just before Marseille, the youths pulled the emergency stop and escaped by running along the tracks.
On second thought the police probably didn't want to catch the rambunctious kiddies; if they'd been caught there probably would have been a replay of the disaffected-Muslim-youth-car-burning rampage:
Only three - two 19-year-old Moroccans and a minor, all living in France - were arrested.
Wonder how many of them are named Mohammed?


Iranian political analyst Hosein Rouyvaran describes the extremely successful 1940s German disinfection program that inspired Iranian scientists:
For hygienic reasons, they used to burn the bodies of those who died of typhus or contagious diseases. This means the crematoria were used for hygienic, not political, purposes, and even this was not systematically. That's one thing. The crematoria... The gas chambers were for disinfecting the clothes and the possessions of the prisoners. This too was done for hygienic reasons.
Iranian operatives are hard at work obtaining the necessary materials for the planned super-disinfectant:
The Iranian government has been successfully scouring Europe for the sophisticated equipment needed to develop a nuclear bomb, according to the latest western intelligence assessment of the country's weapons programmes.
Owing to scientific advances the Iranian disinfection program will be much more efficient than its German predecessor: those requring disinfection won't need to be transported to a disinfection facility; the disinfectant will be delivered to them:
The next generation of the Shahab ("shooting star" in Persian) should be capable of reaching Austria and Italy.
Ain't it great the Iranians are equipping themselves to handle a European infestation needing to be snuffed out. What are neighbours for, eh?

But this seems like overkill if it's meant to be used on bird flu. Maybe in a pinch it could be used to solve the region's annoying pig and monkey problem.


There are few details at the moment but since he died in his hotel room on the Gold Coast it's probably safe to assume he was here on holiday.

Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, reported to be in his mid-60s, will be succeeded by his brother Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Those close to her knew her as Juanita Dale Slusher; to everyone else she was Candy Barr, possibly the most famous Texan of the 1950s and early 60s. At 16 she starred in the stag film Smart Alec, according to legend performing at gunpoint. At the height of her popularity, she earned $2,000 a week as an exotic dancer. She had connections to Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby and was reputed to have been the lover of notorious gangster Mickey Cohen. She trained Joan Collins for her role as an exotic dancer in the film "Seven Thieves," receiving credit as a technical advisor. She was stunningly attractive; at 5'4" measuring in at 38-22-36. She spent time in jail for marijuana possession but later in life wrote religious poetry. She last performed in the 1960s. She died of pneumonia over the weekend in Edna, her hometown.

A tasteful but not work-safe photo gallery is here.

They don't make characters like Candy anymore, and haven't for quite some time. Rest in peace.


Take care of your feet and spend five years in jail:
A 28-year-old man has been sentenced to more than five years jail in the Northern Territory for breaking his wife's jaw during a drunken argument.

Albert Miller pleaded guilty in the Northern Territory Supreme Court to causing his wife grievous harm during the assault, which occurred in their home in the community of Lajamanu, south-west of Katherine.

During the attack, Miller stopped to put on his steel capped boots before he kicked his wife in the head.

The court heard Miller had previous convictions for assaulting his wife and had also been convicted in the Magistrates Court for assaulting her again after this incident.
While the argument time-out was called the wife put in her mouthguard; at least she still has her teeth.


There have been a couple of recent posts at Larvatus Prodeo – the home of deep and meaningful lefty discussion – concerning Mifepristone (formerly RU-486), a pregnancy terminating drug widely used abroad. It was argued that politicians, not being health care professionals, were not qualified to discuss the possible adverse health effects of the drug: Australia's parliamentarians' main concerns are scoring political points and controlling women's lives. (The LP posts are here and here.)

LP blog-daddy Mark Bahnisch summarizes:
There are some very serious issues generally, aside from this specific issue, about the increasing willingness to totally disregard expertise in favour of politics...
Naturally, committed leftists that they are, the LP crew is pro-abortion. So, it comes as no surprise they're unhappy with a Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences study linking abortion to depression – New Zealand is a pretty backward place to be sure but I'm going to give the Kiwis the benefit of the doubt on this in assuming the study was conducted by experts.

Study leader Professor David Fergusson, a psychologist and advocate of choice, interviewed earlier today on the ABC's AM, said he was surprised at the study's findings. He comes across as open and honest in noting:
This is probably about the best study that's been done on this topic, but it is not without limitations.
LPer Paul Norton PhD is totally unimpressed, posting a 550 word attack totally disregarding Fergusson's expertise in favour of politics:
I don't have time to do justice to these issues, but it would be the mother of all over-interpretations to conclude that the New Zealand study demonstrates a causal connection between the medical procedure of abortion and subsequent mental health problems.
550 words aren't enough to do this justice? Jeez, lefties must love to type.

Oh yeah, almost forgot, here's where Norton derives his expertise on the psychology of abortion:
He has a B.Sc. (Hons.) in Environmental Science, and did his Ph.D. on the relationship between the environmental and labour movements in the period of the Hawke and Keating Federal Labor Governments.
But, being a super-brained LPer he is no doubt well acquainted with mental health issues.

Update: The Currency Lad has more on the study linking depression to abortion. It's well worth reading, as always.

Update II: The discussion at LP has developed along lefty lines. Take weathergirl's comment as representative:
I speak as someone who had an abortion in my late teens and who was subsequently clinically depressed. I’m certain that the two incidents are not related, only insofar as the scenarios Paul outlines above. I felt nothing but relief when undergoing abortion–the surgeon, in Townsville where I had it, even allowed me to take a peek when he scanned the bunch of cells he was about to remove. I did not for a moment wrestle with any moral question, any more than those sitting down to eat a steak from a sentient animal do. (Although a meat-eater, I find the latter more morally troubling.)

Had I not been an impoverished student, in a relationship with a (suddenly) unsupportive man, in a culture that offers little hope or prospects or support for single young mothers, then, perhaps things would have been different. Of course it was a tough decision—no woman takes such an operation lightly. But I’ve never regretted it...
The removal of that clump of unwanted cells reduced to the level of video gaming. As for her depression, how can she be sure it wasn't a result of the abortion? Regardless, if weathergirl had been a bit more selecive in chosing her partners, and had been responsible enough to take precautions, she wouldn't have needed an abortion in the first place. But, lefties aren't into the personal responsibility stuff.

Monday, January 02, 2006


I probably shouldn't admit it but I really enjoy smoking. Yeah, I know it's bad for me, makes me stink and makes other people sick and contributes to global warming, but I enjoy it. Now it emerges I'm costing taxpayers money:
New figures show smoking is responsible for almost 300,000 hospital visits each year, at a cost of almost $700 million.
The best I can figure that leaves the government over $4 billion in front:
Revenue attributable to tobacco products collected by the Australian Tax Office’s (ATO’s) Excise Business Line (EBL) in 2000–01 totalled A$4.8 billion, ($5.09 billion estimated for 2003-04) which accounted for 24 per cent of total excise collections in that year.
I blame Kerry Packer.

Sunday, January 01, 2006


In a close vote, the Waverly council voted down a proposal that the Australian flag be flown over a Bondi beach pavilion:
...Greens councillor George Copeland said the flag had been used in the recent race riots as "a symbol around which to perpetrate racial violence".
The insidious impact of flags flown at schools around the coutry is too frightening to contemplate.

Update: The council cites financial and heritage considerations as the determining factors in the decision against flying the flag. Hmm.


The Sydney Morning Herald accounts for Sydney's largely peaceful New Year's celebrations:
Sydney ushered in the new year under the cloak of an immense security crackdown, as police tried to keep a lid on simmering community tensions.
Cloak? Crackdown? All the SMH editors must be either hungover or on holiday.

Update: Dubbo obviously isn't cloaked in a crackdown:
Four youths have been arrested following an alleged mob attack on two police officers at Dubbo, in central western NSW.

The mob allegedly attacked about 2am (AEDT) today after the detectives stopped a car suspected of having been stolen in West Dubbo.
But was this a racially motivated attack?

Update II: Dubbo is about to be cloaked in a crackdown. And, yes, it's a race thing:
Police in Dubbo have called on extra resources from around New South Wales to prevent a second night of violence in a public housing estate.

Police say 200 people were involved in a riot in the Gordon Estate, which left one policeman in hospital with a suspected broken jaw.

Detective Inspector Michael Willing says the Aboriginal liaison officer is working with residents.
No word yet on the number of indigenous supremacists involved.


Regular readers – stop laughing, there are a few – will be aware that a few days back I had a go at a group of lefties blogging collectively as Larvatus Prodeo. Whereas I didn't actually accuse anyone at LP of doing anything, I did present evidence that suggests someone at LP manipulated one of my comments so as to kill a link that might embarrass Christopher Sheil, the originator of the LP thread.

At this point, neither Sheil nor anyone else at LP has seen fit to respond. It appears the strategy is to wait silently in hope that the problem will go away. This just isn't good enough. But, if you take Sheil's near-superstar lefty status into consideration it's understandable: it certainly wouldn't look good for Sheil, or LP, if "stealthy comment-manipulator" were to end up appended to Sheil's bio, now would it?

Mark Bahnisch – LP's founder – or Sheil should have offered some explanation as to why that link went dead. Since that hasn't happened, the credibility of the whole LP crew is open to question. Hey, one of the LPers could have "fallen on his sword" for the greater good by, you know, fessing up to disabling the link, guilty or not.

So, I hear you ask, where does the missing "f" in the title enter into this story? Glad you asked.

Earlier today I went to the LP page containing the now dead link to have a look around. While in the page I right-clicked on View Page Source – please cut me some slack if I don't get all of the computer-nerd terminology right when describing this; I'm no computer expert – which opened a new window showing what looks to me like the page's content and formatting. Anyway, I found my comment containing the now dead link, with the link shown as follows (truncated so it doesn't show as a link):
I then compared the dead link to the link I actually posted at LP, which was:
The crucial difference is the "f" in the original that's now missing from the link at LP. With that "f" missing the link still appears to be active at LP but isn't. So, now you're thinking, big fricking deal, that "f" was simply left out when the comment was assembled. Nope, impossible.

Being the lazy computer non-nerd that I am, I always assemble comments for other sites – except Tim Blair, who uses the somewhat strange but functional Pmcode – in a Blogger Create page. The format buttons do the formatting for me and I then just copy what I've assembled and paste it in as my comment. It saves me typing out the codes. I've used this method to create thousands of links here at the blog and when commenting elsewhere and have found it to be absolutely reliable. So, I'm certain the link was correctly formatted and working when placed at LP.

Further, while the link with the "f" missing appears to be a live link at LP it doesn't appear to be a live link in Blogger's Create window in compose mode. I would have noticed straight away when assembling the post that the link was dead. (I switch back and forth between Html and Compose modes while assembling posts and comments.)

I also tested the link after it was placed to make sure it worked. I do this habitually because, in my opinion, posting a dead link, if not corrected, reflects sloppiness on the part of the poster. I also made sure to check this particular link because I felt it gave Sheil a pretty good zinging.

Finally, after I placed the link at LP, Sheil made a comment that clearly indicates he had followed the link. The link had to be working for Sheil to follow it.

It's time for Messrs Bahnisch and Sheil to explain what the "f" happened to that "f" – if it wasn't stealthily removed by someone, where did it go? And, if it was removed, who removed it? (Persistent son-of-a-bitch, ain't I?)

Editing note: For the sake of brevity, Sheil's bio – from his blog, Back Pages – has been removed; it can be accessed by following the "bio" link, above.

Update: Mark Bahnisch finally condescends to respond in comments:
Haven't got a clue what you're upset about, JF. There's an "f" missing from a link? People stuff links up all the time - I do too. If it was a link to Tim Blair's, people could have always found it from Tim's front page - the link is on the LP blogroll for everyone's convenience.
Let's look more closely at this diversionary comment:
Haven't got a clue what you're upset about, JF.
Funny, I don't feel upset but thanks for the concern. If anything, I'm pleased that Bahnisch continues to refuse to address the comment tampering issue.
There's an "f" missing from a link?
Well, duh.
People stuff links up all the time - I do too.
It's nice to know even PhDs stuff up links but that's irrelevant because the link worked when posted.
If it was a link to Tim Blair's, people could have always found it from Tim's front page - the link is on the LP blogroll for everyone's convenience.
Jeez, did this guy bother to read my post? The link wasn't to Tim Blair it was to a Tim Blair post. It can be found via his home page only by doing a search but you'd have to know what you're searching for – with the link disabled in the way it is it's impossible to work out the link is to a Tim Blair post unless you go to the trouble of viewing the page's source code (funny how that worked out).

C'mon Bahnisch, this is the same sort of weak-arsed crap you gave me when I emailed you about Sheil's stealthy deletion of comments – you're obviously shit-scared of the guy for some reason, or maybe it's a case of misplaced loyalty. Regardless, it's just not good enough. You can, of course, confirm that you've spoken to your LP colleagues, all of whom have denied tampering with the now dead link, right?


Welcome to 2006, which will see the continued improvement of the human condition. Overall, people everywhere will live longer and better than ever before. Sure there are problems to overcome but it's within out capacity to solve these problems and we will, despite – not because of – all of the distracting doom-and-gloom-mongering from the left.

Enjoy yourself but behave, and when you laugh at lefties don't point, it's not nice.