Tuesday, February 28, 2006


If you aren't a regular visitor to Clear and Present you're probably not as well-informed as you should be. For example, there's this:
Gov. Rod Blagojevich named to his hate crimes commission a representative of the Nation of Islam, even though its leader, Louis Farrakhan, has been accused of anti-Semitic, anti-white and anti-gay speech.

Sister Claudette Marie Muhammad, chief of protocol for the Nation of Islam, is among appointees to The Governor's Commission on Discrimination and Hate Crimes.

Another member of the commission, Lonnie Nasatir, Midwest regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, said having a representative of the Nation of Islam on the commission raises eyebrows. The ADL has Farrakhan quotations on its Web site, www.ADL.org, under the heading "extremism."

"I'm not judging her," Nasatir said Thursday. "All I can judge is the institution from which she is being sent. That's a cause for concern, I think, on a commission to eradicate hate and discrimination."
And this:
A virulently anti-Semitic film about the Iraq war has provoked a storm of protest in Germany after it sold out to cheering audiences from the country's 2.5 million-strong Turkish community.

Valley of the Wolves, by the Turkish director Serdan Akar, shows crazed American GIs massacring innocent guests at a wedding party and scenes in which a Jewish surgeon removes organs from Iraqi prisoners in a style reminiscent of the Nazi death camp doctor Joseph Mengele.

Bavaria's interior minister admitted last week that he had dispatched intelligence service agents to cinemas showing the film to "gauge" audience reaction and identify potential radicals.

Edmund Stoiber, the state's conservative prime minister, has appealed to cinema operators to remove what he described as "this racist and anti-Western hate film" from their programmes.
Click the link, take a look around and then bookmark the site.


Without the treatment he needs, 80 year-old Jim Hill has gone from active to bedridden. He can no longer get the intravenous immune globulin (IVIG) he needs because the government has reduced the amount it is willing to pay for the infusions, apparently to a figure below the treatment's cost – $50,000 a year, or more. Approximately 10,000 elderly patients are in the same situation.

Is it worth $500 million a year to improve the quality of life of 10,000 elderly Americans?

Sadly, no.


Spot the difference in these two news items.

The Reuters original in whole:
Maoists rebels set off a land mine under a truck on Tuesday in central India, killing 50 people who belonged to a government-sponsored anti-Maoist group, police said.

The incident comes on the eve of a visit by U.S. President George W. Bush.

"Maoists set off a land mine in Darmagura area in Dantewada district, killing 50 people. The details of injured persons are awaited," senior police officer S.K Paswan told Reuters.

Darmagura, 500 km (300 miles) south of the state capital, Raipur, is a stronghold of Maoists who claim to [be] fighting for the rights of peasants and landless laborers.
The ABC version:
Darmagura, 500 kilometres south of the state capital Raipur, is a stronghold of Maoists, who fight for the rights of peasants and landless labourers.
Now, are we all clear on what's going on here?

Update: The ABC edited the story to reflect its institutional bias; at least it wasn't making stuff up.


What's the strategy for impotent, hate-filled Australian lefties? Watch TV.


Despite just 12% of Europeans favouring the construction of new nuclear power-stations, Lithuania plans to build one. The Lituanians are worried about their future energy vulnerability, what with the new Russian-German gas pipeline intentionally bypassing Baltic states. An unnamed Lithuanian diplomat explains:
"Of course, we are still hoping to be included in the pipeline, but we shall have to wait and see," the contact indicated.

He added that the Baltics' energy "vulnerability" is not well understood by the commission and other EU states.
This is, of course a diplomatic game: the Russian-German pipeline was routed around the Baltic states because Baltic energy vulnerability is understood all too well by the big boys wanting to dominate Europe. Let's see who blinks first.


EU foreign ministers have issued a statement on those cartoons; the statement starting off:
"The [EU] council acknowledges and regrets that these cartoons were considered offensive and distressing by Muslims across the world."
The original statement, modified under pressure from the Dutch, stated:
... that the EU regretted "that these cartoons caused offence."
The feisty Czechs, victims of past European appeasement, objected to any use of the word "regret". Experience is the best teacher.


Brussels Journal has posted a speech by, and interview with, former Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky. Bokovsky views the EU as strikingly similar to the Soviet Union:
It is no accident that the European Parliament, for example, reminds me of the Supreme Soviet. It looks like the Supreme Soviet because it was designed like it. Similary, when you look at the European Commission it looks like the Politburo. I mean it does so exactly, except for the fact that the Commission now has 25 members and the Politburo usually had 13 or 15 members. Apart from that they are exactly the same, unaccountable to anyone, not directly elected by anyone at all. When you look into all this bizarre activity of the European Union with its 80,000 pages of regulations it looks like Gosplan. We used to have an organisation which was planning everything in the economy, to the last nut and bolt, five years in advance. Exactly the same thing is happening in the EU. When you look at the type of EU corruption, it is exactly the Soviet type of corruption, going from top to bottom rather than going from bottom to top.

If you go through all the structures and features of this emerging European monster you will notice that it more and more resembles the Soviet Union.
Okay, everybody grab your torches and pitchforks; we're going to kill that thing.


George Galloway responds to a question, from a reporter for the Algerian newspaper El Khabar, about his personal position on those cartoons:
Personally, I condemn these barbaric and evil acts. Today, the objective of the Western states is to control the oil of the Muslims whatever the price. In fact, the cartoons published in Denmark did not surprise me because the Western states have been waging fierce attacks against Islam for years. These began by humiliation, insults and then occupation. Today they reached the point of ridiculing the prophet. This incident is worse than the 11 September attacks in the US and the 7/7 incidents in London. Therefore, today it is the right of Muslims to express their anger and to defend their right and faith.
Galloway obviously subscribes to the notion that the cartoonist's pen is mightier than the sword. I don't know, if the objective is control of Muslim oil at any cost, western leaders might want to consider a strategy a tad more direct than cartoons and just kill the Muslims and take the oil.

Monday, February 27, 2006


An Australian academic has been nominated for a Koufax Award in the Best Single Issue Blog category. So, which of his many issues are we talking about here?


So, who should be paid more, people who produce shit or those who help take it away?
A recent job posting at the City University of New York offered a position in teaching literature, rhetoric and composition. The instructor (not professor) had to publish and carry a full load of teaching, which includes grading papers and consulting with students after class. Candidates had to have a “doctorate from an accredited university” and “demonstrated excellence in teaching.”? The salary started at $35,031

Another job posting offered a position that required a bit less education:?plumber. The qualified candidate had to know how to repair pipes and have five years of experience. The salary began at $77,483.
Question answered.


An expert on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict gives his take on the Hamas election victory:
Hamas is a proscribed terrorist group in many Western countries and has carried out attacks against Israeli civilians. Its charter specifically refers to the destruction of Israel and the implementation of an Islamic State under sharia law. There is no need to romanticise the organisation but neither is it helpful to demonise a democratically-elected government...

Western, embedded, self-appointed terror 'experts' chose to interpret the win as confirmation that the Palestinians are committed to the eradication of Israel. It is nothing of the sort.
Further expert opinion is that Hamas's new prime minister should be taken at his word:
... it’s important to begin negotiations based on his comments that Hamas is willing to establish an independent Palestinian state if Israel withdraws to 1967 borders.
The reality:
Two Hamas lawmakers on Sunday dismissed any future peace talks with Israel, calling past negotiations "a failed experiment" and said Arab nations had rejected U.S. pressure to force the militant Palestinian movement to moderate.

Hamas leaders Mahmoud Zahar and Saeed Syiam made the comments during a gathering of Arab parliamentarians on the Jordanian shore of the Dead Sea.

Speaking to The Associated Press on the sidelines of the conference, Zahar asserted that Hamas' recent upset victory in last month's legislative elections strengthened its hardline stand.

"We don't consider the Israeli enemy a partner. By winning the elections, we defeated Israel," he said. "Why should we recognize Israel? Pressure is coming from the United States on us, not from Arab countries."

He said negotiations between the previous Palestinian government and Israel "a failed experience that would not be repeated."
You're an expert if you say you are, right?

Sunday, February 26, 2006


No-one knows for sure what caused Russians' salt buying frenzy but there is plenty of speculation:
Nikolay is an elderly man carrying his shopping bags of cabbages. He has his theory.

"Zionists have triggered this crisis," he says. "They've taken over the country and are now trying to arrange a salt crisis like they did before perestroika, when there were shortages of tobacco and washing powder. They do it all deliberately."
There is no limit to the reach of the Zionist octopus's tentacles.


California's sea otter population is declining because of a disease spread by cat crap:
Toxoplasma gondii can only reproduce in cats, which shed the parasites in their feces. Although cats will only shed new parasites once in a lifetime, millions come out at once.
The parasites are tiny, mysterious, and tough, said Pat Conrad of the University of California at Davis. They can invade an organism and stay dormant for years. When the opportunity presents itself, they will emerge from their dormant form and attack the animal's brain.

Cat owners should try to keep their kitties indoors and to properly dispose of kitty litter at a landfill to reduce the risk of spreading parasites, Conrad said. She also notes that eco-friendly, flushable kitty litter may contribute to the problem since sewage treatment systems do not effectively eliminate the parasite from wastewater.
If you don't have a cat, good on ya; throttle the neighbours cat.


Al Qaeda has announced it will continue to attack Saudi oil infrastructure following the recent, apparently inept, foiled attack. Whereas it's highly likely one of these attacks will eventually succeed, it could be that ruthless Saudi counter-terrorism tactics are depriving al Qaeda of cannon fodder:
Saudi security forces have largely had al-Qaida's branch in the kingdom on the run over the past year, arresting hundreds of suspects. They killed or captured all but one of the top 26 militants on a most-wanted list issued in December 2003, then did the same with 10 of the 15 on a second list issued in June.
List 'em and kill 'em; now there's a tactic to warm your heart.


Kofi Annan's speech to the Doha meeting of the Alliance of Civilizations has been interpreted as a call to replace talk with action. In reality, it's nothing more than a call for a group hug:
"Lofty ideas alone are not enough ... We need to develop sobering, but equally compelling counter-narratives of our own."

"I very much hope that you can come up with specific, concrete suggestions for ways of carrying dialogue forward so that it can really catch the popular imagination; so that we are not just a nice group of people agreeing with each other, but people with a message that can echo around the world."

Let's talk about being nice. Well Kofi, talking about being nice isn't going to get the job done.


Resident Larvatus Prodeo comic Phil Gomes had such success with the the-Prime Minister-is-a-rodent theme, he's reprised it. Gomes is all a-lather about the coming publication of The Howard Factor:
Brad Norington in today's Australian gives us the heads up on the News Limited circle jerk that's coming our way on Monday.
LP commenters then launch a preemptive "we hate Howard because... well, because we hate Howard" circle jerk of their own. Now there's something refreshingly different.

Update: LP blog-daddy Mark Bahnisch does some "what if?" humour:
He’s a good politician, but there are others, and he’s quite capable of stuffups, and not unbeatable (if we had a decent opposition). How would he have been remembered if he’d been the first one term PM in 90 years if a few votes had fallen differently in a few seats in 98 when he lost the 2PP to Labor?


A vacant block has sold for what is believed to be a record price per square metre:
An eastern suburbs businessman paid a stunning $3.52 million yesterday for a 120-square-metre slither of land overlooking Bondi Beach, smashing the reserve price by $1.32 million.
The block is reportedly 120 metres by 1 metre; sufficient slither room for a capitalist snake.

Saturday, February 25, 2006


As everyone who regularly visits Antony Loewenstein's blog will be well aware, he's writing a book for Melbourne University Publishing. Back in August 2005, Federal Labor MP Michael Danby, aware of Loewenstein's anti-Israel bias, made his thoughts known in a letter to the Australian Jewish News:
MUP should drop this whole disgusting project. If they proceed, I urge the Australian Jewish community, and particularly the Australian Jewish News, to treat it with dignified silence. That is our best response. If, God forbid, it is published, don't give them a dollar. Don't buy the book.
Angry Ant, predictably, sought to draw attention to himself and his book by having a big cry:
Why is a member of parliament trying to stop the publication of my book? What is he afraid of? History doesn't look kindly on such attitudes. And we all know what other historical individuals favoured this behaviour.
There was also boo-hoo-hooing about Danby's delayed response to a Loewenstein email:
...what, exactly, has taken him so long to respond?
Loewenstein later tried to milk this "controversy" for all it was worth, claiming bullying and censorship.

As a self-proclaimed free-speech advocate – the title of the first Loewenstein link above is, "Free Speech" – it then seems odd that Loewenstein has banned me from commenting at his blog and refuses to even answer my emails. What is he afraid of?

(Note: I have lodged three rather bland comments, none of which has made it past moderation.)


Head get cold while screaming around town on that high-powered superbike?

Problem solved.

Update: More stylin' European headwear – goose-step optional.

Friday, February 24, 2006


Elite lefty academic Tim Dunlop doesn't like the controversial new Tourism Australia TV ad meant to lure tourists to Australia:
The campaign is stupid not because it is offensive but because many people overseas won't understand it.
Dunlop's worried that the question, "So where the bloody hell are you?", at the end of the ad will so confound dumb foreigners that the Australians-are-friendly message and stunning visuals of the ad will both be lost, submerged in a sea of confusion. This is, of course, typical of the attitude of lefty elitists, especially when it comes to dumb Americans. (Incidentally, if foreigners are confused by the "bloody" bit in the TV ad, what are they going to make of this blurb on the online version? "WE'VE SWITCHED ON THE LIGHTS. TURNED UP THE VERDI. AND THE CHAMPAGNE'S ON BOARD." What the hell's a Verdi?)

Dunlop is also unhappy with Howard for daring to respond frankly to a silly question concerning the ad:
Asked if he was worried that the ads stereotyped Australians, Mr Howard disagreed, saying the purpose of the campaign was to attract people to Australia by reinforcing its attributes such as beaches and open hospitality.

"I think the idea that you shouldn't do that because of the stereotype is, with respect, a fairly elitist view," he said.
Ironically, Dunlop the elitist lefty elite, obviously unaware that an elite need not be elitist, then accuses Howard of being a dreaded elitist:
That goes close to being the dumbest thing he has ever said, a completely knee-jerk uttering of his favourite unsubstantiated smear. Can someone please ask him in what way that question was elitist.

And can someone then remind Mr Howard that when you are the prime minister who lives in a tax-payer funded mansion on the most expensive real estate in the country, support a stupid, inbred monarchy, and feel the urge to cough up tax dollars on a memorial service at the Opera House for the richest, deadest bloke in Australia you don't get to call other people elitist.
Maybe his dictionary broke.

Anyway, in my opinion, the ad's bloody damn good. Oh yeah, and Dunlop's just another hate filled, impotent lefty.

Update: Kim Beazley deems the ad offensive, to foreigners:
"It works in Australia when you get up and say "drink and drive, you're a bloody idiot", because we Australians have sort of integrated that expression."

But Mr Beazley's told 3BA that the people the ads are aimed at overseas are likely to be offended by the phrase.
If they're offended by the phrase they'll be offended by Australians: best they stay home.

Update II: Larvatus prodeo commenter anthony does his bit for Australian tourism:
“Where the bloody hell are you?”

Abducted and about to be done in by one of our many backpacker killers no doubt.
Always the optimists these lefties.

Update III: Anonymous lefty isn't offended by "bloody hell":
No, what bothers me is that the slogan makes us sound like absolute cunting losers.
Like that line makes him a winner.

Update IV: Libidinous lefty Mark Bahnisch provides a concise summary of the ad:
The ad shows a cute chick in a small bikini on a North Queensland beach.
No, this is a small bikini.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


Here's a new angle on the Danish cartoon brouhaha:
Ever since the US began its so-called war on terror billions of dollars of investments belonging to Arabs and Muslims have fled the US economy. The main beneficiaries of this capital flight have been European countries.

In addition, billions of euros in contracts for goods and services that previously went to the US were diverted to the EU.

A consumer boycott of American products began and still remains until today with varying degrees of effectiveness.

Given all this, it is rather odd that the EU countries insist on their right to insult Muslims around the world with their defiant defense of the Danish newspaper that published those cartoons denigrating the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Those uppity Europeans just refuse to stay bought.

Note: The link above, originally dead as posted, is now correct. It was slack of me not to test the link in the last post before I went to bed.


For Republicans:
By objecting to virtually every initiative and proposal of the Bush administration and congressional Republican majority, Democrats are undermining their party's chances of regaining the majority this fall, the John Zogby poll of 1,039 likely voters suggests.
Dean will sort it out for them.


Antony Loewenstein recently posted – without elaboration – this excerpt from a Counterpunch, er... item:
I was startled to hear Prime Minister John Howard of Australia exclaim in a BBC interview last night that he could not understand why pictures of starving Jewish interns of Bergen Belsen, Dachau, and Auschwitz had been aired, yet again, by an Australian TV station a few days ago. “I don’t understand what news value there is any longer in showing more pictures of starving Jews, tortured in these prison camps.” He added that the airing at this time was all the more disturbing that “people involved in abusing the Jewish concentration camp interns had been prosecuted and some had even gone to jail” and wondered who benefited from the re-airing of photos that had shocked the civilized world. Mr. Howard was also shocked, but shocked that the photos had been published “unnecessarily”, not revolted at the humiliating, disgraceful, vile acts that they depicted.
Commenters then engaged in a spirited debate about the authenticity of the Howard quote. The dispute being resolved only when Ant posted this in comments:
People, people.
The BBC reference was a joke, a reference to make a larger point. Satire, in fact.
While the Counterpunch item does contain much that's funny, all unintentionally so, not one of the commenters was willing to wade through the hyperbolic bullshit as far as paragraph six, which explains:
Now I know that none of you were fooled by the artifice that I used in the first paragraph above: substituting the word "Jewish" for "Iraqi."
Not even Ant's regulars can be bothered reading the trash he links to. Now, that's funny.


The "secret" revealed.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Got lots of money and no sense? Buy a Ferrari Enzo and let some guy you know only by his first name be the designated driver:
Authorities said Eriksson said he was a passenger in the Ferrari, which he said was being driven by a German acquaintance he knew only as Dietrich.

One witness told deputies that the Ferrari appeared to be racing with a Mercedes-Benz SLR northbound along the coastal highway when the accident occurred about 6 a.m. west of Decker Road.

"It took out the pole, and part of the car went another 600 feet," Sheriff's Sgt. Philip Brooks said. "There were 1,200 feet of debris out there."

Eriksson told authorities that "Dietrich" ran up a hill toward the canyon road and disappeared.
Or maybe just make the whole Dietrich thing up because you're embarrassed at having written off a $1 million car while drunk.


A few days back, NASA climate scientist James E. Hansen accused the Bush administration – in particular, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – of muzzling global warming researchers:
"It seems more like Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union than the United States."
No doubt many lefty science types sacrificed their lives spiriting this past the NOAA censors:
The strongest hurricanes in the present climate may be upstaged by even more intense hurricanes over the next century as the earth's climate is warmed by increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Although we cannot say at present whether more or fewer hurricane will occur in the future with global warming, the hurricanes that do occur near the end of the 21st century are expected to be stronger and have significantly more intense rainfall than under present day climate conditions. This expectation... is based on an anticipated enhancement of energy available to the storms due to higher tropical sea surface temperatures.
As it turns out, the global-warming-causes-more-and-stronger-cyclones schtick is just that:
Climate change can't be blamed for any of the events that made the past tropical cyclone season the worst in recent times, a report by a group of international experts says.
Lefties aren't too good at that fact from fiction differentiation stuff.


How does Australia's most prominent lefty blogger react to news that Australia and the Clinton Foundation have formed a partnership to fight HIV/AIDS? Negatively, of course:
You had to hear it. It wasn't just that the content went well beyond the set speech in its honeyed recall of the sunny days that the Howard government shared with the Clinton administration; it was the voice. Listening to Dolly's lathering obsequiousness, my breakfast milk curdled. "Thank you foreign minister", said Bill in perfect reply, "I'm looking forward to your memoirs."
That's the whole post; the life saving potential of the partnership doesn't even get passing mention. Just as with cartoon preoccupied Muslims, this guy has allowed hate and impotence to take over his brain.

Update: He may be a deep thinker but he still can't spell: the notoriously difficult "kerfuffle" comes out "kaffufle". I'm betting alcahall.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Europeans shouldn't worry about rising sea levels killing them, not when they're already drowning in alcohol:
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Europeans drink twice as much as people on other continents, with an alcohol-related annual death toll of over 600,000.
Perhaps conscious of the bleak social and economic future confronting them, European kiddies are getting right into the booze:
Teenagers, and in particular young girls, across the whole bloc drink large amounts of alcohol several times a month, and the average age for the first drink has fallen from 15 years for the parent generation to 11.8 years for the teenagers of today.
Drinking will be even more hazardous to the health of Europeans once sharia law is enacted.


The Terrafugia, a car that transforms into a light aircraft.


Lefty Mark Bahnisch has no idea why Labour thinkers have no new ideas:
...does anyone have any idea when Labor figures will stop saying we can't just wait for the government to fail, we must have ideas and actually do the somewhat harder work of having some… well, ideas?
Lefties with ideas; how fucking amazing would that be?


Manouchehr Mottaki, Iran's foreign minister, denies that President Ahmadinejad wants Israel "wiped off the map":
"Nobody can remove a country from the map. This is a misunderstanding in Europe of what our president mentioned."
Yep, it's the Jews he wants wiped off the map.

Via Clear and Present.

Monday, February 20, 2006


The kiddies at Southside Middle School are a rowdy bunch, with it alleged by local residents that:
• Parents are being cursed and threatened.

• Young children are being exposed to foul language.

• Students are routinely urinating in public.

• A male student is repeatedly dropping his pants.

• Couples are being sexually explicit.

• Sidewalks and crosswalks are being blocked.

• Parents and children are being pelted with iceballs.
The police response, though truthful, is less than encouraging:
Sgt. Kevin Kincaid, supervisor of the community policing unit, said police will try to identify children creating the trouble and work with their parents. Unfortunately, he said, many of the parents may not care.
The caring stops when the sex is finished.


Anita Epolito lost her job for refusing to submit to an employer mandated urine test that would have revealed after hours recreational drug use:
"It was unbelievable, because I truly believed that what you did after 5 o'clock had nothing to do with your job," said Epolito, then a 15-year employee at Weyco Inc., a health benefits administrator in Okemos, Mich.

She took her case to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission but learned that in Michigan, as in 19 other states, her employer had the right to dismiss her for off-duty activity.
The drug? Nicotine.

Sunday, February 19, 2006


In his latest post Antony Loewenstein begs for donations:
Since launching this new site, my monthly costs have slightly increased. As you’ll see, I’m featuring a Donate button. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. I’m not a journalist for the financial rewards…but I really enjoy eating crunchy, fresh vegetables.
We can only hope he has his mentor's financial sense. The Donate button is impossible to miss; it's the most prominent feature on the page. Whether he's a journalist is debatable... bullshit, he's no more a journalist than I am and if he ever rises above the level of partisan hack I'll be absolutely fucking amazed.

One could work out Loewenstein's no journalist by reading damn near any of his posts. Here's a classic of stupidity or slackness, or both, from earlier today – unedited, so no-one can accuse me of manipulation. Be warned: that rambling introductory sentence is near mesmerizing.
While the Bush administration acknowledges that key indicators of the Iraqi economy were better performing before the war and the British government pleads for the public to understand the “ethical” British army - note the Defence Secretary’s concern, and palpable anger, at having to deal with “human rights standards” - perhaps the most intriguing piece of news in the last week is this:

The European Jewish Congress (EJC) is set to file a complaint in the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for incitement to genocide, EJC president Pierre Besnainou told Haaretz.

This is a truly bizarre idea. Ahmadinejad’s statements on Israel and the Holocaust are both unacceptable and sinister, but for the Jewish community to attempt to isolate a leader of a country that has not launched a war of aggression against any nation, while the US-occupation of Iraq has claimed the lives of untold thousands, shows the priorities of European Zionists. Perhaps the EJC should consider the words of any number of commentators inciting hatred and discrimination against Islam and Muslims. But why should they worry, it’s only Muslims being targeted?
It's not bizarre to want Ahmadinejad charged with incitement to genocide because that's exactly what he preaches:
President Ahmadinejad's speech to the Iranian student organization Union of Islamic Students Association's "World Without Zionism" conference last week stating, "Very soon, this stain of disgrace [i.e. Israel] will vanish from the center of the Islamic world".
Ant is obviously unaware of Ahmadinejad's anti-Israel rants as the link in his post is to an article about Holocaust denying Iranian officials – Ahmadinejad isn't even mentioned. What is bizarre is that Ant thinks the EJC shouldn't worry about the very real threat posed by Islam and Muslims, who, by the way, are doing a fine job inciting hatred without any outside help.

Maybe Loewenstein will luck out and someone will hit that button and donate him a brain. Hey, there is a largish blogging rodent whose brain wouldn't be missed, and has hardly been used.

Update: Here's "journalist" Loewenstein on the recent Packer memorial service:
Rich Australians deserve sympathy and a tax-payer funded funeral. Really.
Commenter captain observing:
Antony, it was a memorial service, not a funeral. I am surprised you didn’t know the difference. Really.
Soon thereafter I lodged the following comment:
Antony, it was a memorial service, not a funeral. I am surprised you didn’t know the difference.

I'm not.
Upon lodging the comment I received notification it was awaiting moderation but it never appeared and was obviously rejected. I've emailed Angry Ant twice asking why the comment was rejected:
Yesterday I lodged a two-word comment in the Congrats Kerry thread at your blog. The comment did not make it past moderation. I can't see that the comment violates your comment policy: would you care to elaborate on your rejection of the comment?
I'm guessing he hasn't responded because he's a very busy man – trying to extract his head from his arse would be a full-time job in itself.

Update II: In News bytes Loewenstein attempts pithy commentary:
The Murdoch press offers a textbook case of inaccurate reporting on Latin America. Note how every issue is framed around problems for the US, rather than potential benefits for the Latin American people.
The linked article's title is "Chavez the joker not funny for Bush"; it's about, as the title indicates, the problems Chavez is causing for the US. Duh. Ant really should point out some of the "inaccuracies".

News byte two:
Russia’s chief rabbi condemns the country’s gay pride march. “Sexual perversions” have no right to exist, he said. When an Islamic leader makes such statements, they are rightly condemned, but when a Jew is equally offensive, little outcry is heard.
The rabbi said no such thing: here's the quote, in context:
Rabbi Lazar on Thursday said that anything promoting what he called “sexual perversions” does not have the right to exist.

“I would like to assure you, that the parade of homosexuals it is not less offensive to the feelings of believers than any caricatures in newspapers.”
Another duh for Ant.

News byte three:
Israel’s army chief warns the world that Hamas cannot be trusted and negotiations are futile. If Hamas made similar comments about Israel, they would be accused of not “being serious about peace.”
Ant is sort of close to right on this one: here's the intro to the linked article:
Hamas should be tested not by its declarations to the world, but rather, by what it says behind the scenes, Chief of Staff Dan Halutz warned Sunday during a government meeting called to discuss Israel's response to the terror group's election win.
Close ain't good enough; another duh.

News byte four:
The University of Louisville’s McConnell Center has decided the 10 worst US Presidential “blunders“. The Iran/Contra affair and escalation of the Vietnam war is described as a “blunder”, not a crime.
Since the title of the article is "And the top 10 worst presidential blunders are...", it's about, naturally, presidential errors. Ant should look for a story about presidential crimes, not criticize the article for staying on the topic nominated in its title. Drum roll... duh.

And, saving the best for last:
Our Dear Leader lashes out at “jihad” Muslims. Little Johnny wants to tell Australians that “zealous multiculturalism” is a problem. Of course, Howard would prefer an Australia with few or no Muslims, but he can’t say this in public. Instead, he damns Islam because of a tiny number of Islamists. Maybe he could next inform Australians of the dangers of Zionism, an ideology that has advocated ethnic cleansing.
Howard doesn't lash out or damn Muslims. In any event, under Howard the Australian Arab population – presumably mostly Muslim – has actually increased:
Paul Keating had left office in 1996 with Arabs accounting for 7.7 per cent of our immigration intake. Howard lifted their share to a record 10.5 per cent in 2004-05.
In striving to be a journalist Ant has set himself a goal he will never reach.


The multiple trailer rig known as a road train is a common sight on the roads of rural Australia. With one truck – called a prime mover in Australia – pulling very heavy loads, road trains are very efficient users of fuel. Over the weekend a new road train world record was set by 70 year-old Queensland truckie John Atkinson at the wheel of a 600-hp Mack Titan prime mover attached to a 120 trailer, 1,300 ton load that stretched back 1.7km. Quite a show of fuel use efficiency even though the fuel used in the record attempt was wasted pulling a load that travelled only 100 meters. But, the fuel gulped by the Mack Titan is only a small part of the fuel wastage story:
"There were helicopters in the sky and cars everywhere and this is probably the biggest thing that ever happened to Clifton."

More than 5000 truck drivers descended on the small town to lend their expertise and trailers.

"We had truckies and tourists from every state and territory and even some from New Zealand," Mr Richards said.
Apparently a good time was had by all and funds raised by the stunt will go to the Vanessa Memorial Cancer Fund. So, overall, it sounds like fuel well wasted. But, and I'm just guessing here, I'll bet lefties are unimpressed.

The UK also has a fuel wastage story worth noting, this one a result of unintended consequences:
As campaigners cheer a total smoking ban, there are fears sending smokers outside will lead to a huge increase in greenhouse gas-emitting patio heaters.

Labour MP Stephen Pound said when he visited Ireland recently - where a smoking ban is already in force - pub gardens were "covered" in the heaters.

Britain's greenhouse gas emissions are already up by 380,000 tonnes a year due to such devices, it is claimed.
This problem should be self-limiting: keep using those greenhouse gas emitting patio heaters and the climate will get warmer, making the further use of the heaters unnecessary. Unless, that is, global warming causes global cooling. Hey, if we're going to reach that zero emissions goal, we're going to have to extinguish all the greenhouse gas emitting life on Earth anyway, so we might as well get with the program.


Articulate, the ABC arts blog, whose contributors are always keen to work an anti-Bush angle into its offerings, has this from author Stephen King:
"I have serious problem with the current administration and with the idea that we have an ongoing war on terrorism that's open-ended, and that any time the administration has problems with anybody that opposes their agenda all they have to do is wave that bloody 9-11 shirt and everybody's going to fall back into line."
King should blame al Qaeda, not Bush, for the protracted war we're now engaged in:
Scotland Yard anti-terror chief Peter Clarke has said the belief that the threat posed by al-Qaeda may be over in a decade is "hopelessly optimistic".

Mr Clarke, the Met's deputy assistant commissioner, added that one expert had suggested that al-Qaeda has a 50-year strategy worked out.
This war has been going off and on since the 7th century and is going to get a lot more deadly before it's over.

Saturday, February 18, 2006


Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary-general of the 57 member nation Organization of the Islamic Conference, has come up with a five-point plan to defuse the cartoon controversy:
The five points include the adoption by the EU of necessary legislative measures through the European Parliament against Islamophobia and making joint efforts by the EU and the OIC to adopt a UN resolution on the lines of existing UN Resolution 60/150 (combating defamation of religions), which should prohibit defamation of all prophets and faiths.
As if the already way over-governed Europeans need foreign governments legislating for them. If the plan goes ahead the Europeans can be counted on to police themselves but who's going to police the Islamic world? Hey, here's an idea: if the UN seriously wants to eliminate religion based hate speech, it should ban the Koran .


The Japanese series Saiyuki – Journey to the West – is based on an old Chinese story of the adventures of a Buddhist priest (monk, corrupted to monkey?) and his companions travelling to India in search of holy scriptures. Some of the filming was done on location in Australia. It's a remake of the cult classic – in Australia, anyway – Monkey, which was complete crap, making it a real hoot to watch. The original crap magic dervied from the show's low production values and ludicrous special effects and would be hard to recapture. Producers are therefore trying an alternative crap strategy: in the updated version Monkey is a "punk rocker, yelling about love".

Friday, February 17, 2006


Climate Change on the Millennial Timescale, a report by the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, predicts catstrophic climate change over the coming 1,000 years. Fortunately, the report notes a simple fix:
The solution, the team says, is to reduce emissions to zero by 2200.
Right, all we need do to achieve the zero emissions goal is to turn the Earth into a totally dead planet, you know, like we're well on the way to doing.

Thursday, February 16, 2006


Australia's ambassador to the UN has returned home and now that he's back he's calling it like it is:
Mr Dauth said that while bodies such as the UN's food program and children's fund UNICEF were working, the General Assembly was not.

"The General Assembly is defunct," Mr Dauth told ABC radio.

"No debate there carries with it any practical action or decision or agreement or compromise.

"The evidence at the UN in the last year has been pretty bleak on WMD, on arms control," Mr Dauth said.

"We had the nuclear non-proliferation treaty review conference in May that failed to come up with an agenda - a month of negotiations that failed to come up with an agenda.

"We had the summit in September that despite vigorous negotiation, most of which I chaired, achieved nothing - not a single reference in the outcome document on issues relating to arms control and proliferation.

"That is an indictment of a global inter-governmental negotiating process that has gone badly wrong in New York.
Thanks to Mr Dauth for confirming what we already knew.


The Associated Students of the University of Washington recently proposed that a memorial be erected in honour of UW alumnus Col. Gregory "Pappy" Boynington so that "all who come here in future years will know that the University of Washington produced one of this country’s bravest men, and that we as a community hold this fact in the highest esteem" and because Boyington is "a prime example of the excellence that this university represents and strives to impart upon its students..."

The resolution states in part:
WHEREAS Col. Gregory Boyington who as a student at the University of Washington from 1930 to 1934, was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, served as an ROTC cadet, and represented this university as a swimmer and wrestler and held the Pacific Northwest Intercollegiate middleweight wrestling title before he graduated in 1934 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering with a 2nd Lieutenant's Commission in the Coast Artillery Corps, served as a combat pilot in the 1st Squadron, American Volunteer Group (the "Flying Tigers of China") and served subsequently as a Marine Corps combat pilot in the Pacific Theatre as Commander, Marine Fighting Squadron 214 ("The Black Sheep Squadron") from 12 September 1943 to 3 January 1944, during which time he was awarded the Navy Cross, America's second highest combat decoration, and the Medal of Honor, America’s highest combat decoration, whose citation which was signed by Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt in March 1944 which reads:

For extraordinary heroism above and beyond the call of duty as Commanding Officer of Marine Fighting Squadron TWO FOURTEEN in action against enemy Japanese forces in Central Solomons Area from 12 September 1943 to 3 January 1944. Consistently outnumbered throughout successive hazardous flights over heavily defended hostile territory, Major Boyington struck at the enemy with daring and courageous persistence, leading his squadron into combat with devastating results to Japanese shipping, shore installations and aerial forces. Resolute in his efforts to inflict crippling damage on the enemy, Major Boyington led a formation of twenty-four fighters over Kahili on 17 October and, persistently circling the airdrome where sixty hostile aircraft were grounded, boldly challenged the Japanese to send up planes. Under his brilliant command, our fighters shot down twenty enemy craft in the ensuing action without the loss of a single ship. A superb airman and determined fighter against overwhelming odds, Major Boyington personally destroyed 26 of the many Japanese planes shot down by his squadron and by his forceful leadership developed the combat readiness in his command which was a distinctive factor in the Allied aerial achievements in this vitally strategic area.

and, Col. Boyington was shot down on 3 January 1944 and then spent twenty months in a Japanese Prisoner of War camp before repatriation on 29 August 1945...
Now I'm sure you can all see where this is going; here's the quick summary of the Student Senate meeting at which the resolution was considered:
Andrew Everett, sponsor of the legislation, summarized the resolution. He said he wasn’t interested in a large statue, but rather something on a small scale.

Jono Hanks asked why Andrew Everett was interested in honoring this particular alumnus.

Jill Edwards questioned whether it was appropriate to honor a person who killed other people. She said she didn’t believe a member of the Marine Corps was an example of the sort of person UW wanted to produce.

Ashley Miller commented that many monuments at UW already commemorate rich white men.

Jon Lee said he didn’t want to see a campus inundated with memorials. He said he feared this would open the invitation to multiple other memorials.

Deidre Lockman moved to strike the quote from President Roosevelt. Seconded. Objection. She said the resolution focused more heavily on the negative aspects of war and should instead focus on more positive aspects such as the awarding of the Medal of Honor.

Travis Grandy moved to amend the amendment to restore “whose citation was signed by pres. Franklin D Roosevelt in March 1944”. Seconded. Passed without objection.

Shawn Fisher said he thought the quote was unnecessary and reflected badly on the resolution.

Alex Kerchner said the issue was clear cut and that it didn’t make any sense to commend Colonel Boyington for his Medal of Honor, and yet remove the reason it was awarded.

Debate was closed on the resolution.

Division was called on the resolution.

The vote was tied 45-45-10

Alex Kim noted that in the case of a tie, the Senate Chair cast the tiebreaking vote.

Alex Kim voted nay. The resolution failed.
There's the proof yet again; universities are full of fuckwits.

Via the indispensable Clear and Present.

Student Senate Chair Alex Kim can be contacted at asuwssch@u.washington.edu

Update: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports:
The student government of the University of Washington has come under attack from talk radio and the Internet after recently deciding not to support the creation of a campus memorial to alumnus and World War II veteran Col. Gregory "Pappy" Boyington.

Some students say they have received scores of angry e-mails and phone calls -- some from as far away as Texas, Georgia and New York.

The students say their comments in last week's student senate meeting were taken out of context and that the minutes posted online -- and passed on through e-mails and blogs -- did not reflect the nature of the meeting.

Two students whose comments have been much criticized said that the minutes posted on the Internet didn't accurately reflect what happened.

UW sophomore Jill Edwards, who in the minutes questioned if a member of the Marine Corps was an example of the type of person the UW would want to produce, said she did not mean to offend anyone with her comments, but instead was trying to start a discussion among students who might be afraid to question a World War II vet.

"Obviously he is a great man, and I'm very proud he's an alumnus," she said. "I don't want to feel like we're trying to impose an ideal of achievement on the UW."

UW senior Ashley Miller has also been derided for her comment, according to the minutes, that the university already has monuments that commemorate rich white men. She said her comments were made as part of a general discussion about memorials on campus, not about Boyington specifically.
Yep, fuckwits. Oh yeah, they've now received emails from as far away as Australia.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


A German law allowing the shooting down of hijacked aircraft has been ruled unconstitutional:
The German law had been intended as a last resort when all other attempts to resolve such a situation had been exhausted. The federal government, not the military, would have had the final say.

However, critics argued that the government had no right to kill those on the plane to try to save the lives of others.

Germany's constitutional court president Hans-Juergen Papier ruled that: "The protection of the right to human dignity is strict and an infringement is not permissible."
Gee, if I was held hostage I'd rather be killed as part of a noble effort to save lives rather than ride a hijacked plane into a city centre, possibly playing an incidental role in the murder of thousands.


Antony Loewenstein in the one post:
... US support for Israel is at one of its highest points ever...

... arrogant Zionism is just another example of why the Israel-first ideology is in such trouble.
Angry Ant protégé, 19 year-old Luke Skinner:
Recently a video was released showing the horrible work-over given to 4 Iraqi teenagers who had been involved in stone-throwing riots. They were beaten senseless in a fashion beyond the terms “human rights abuse” or “war crimes”— by 8 professional, trained and fully clad UK soldiers. (see this ARTICLE)

These violent aggrevated bashings were not crimes related to “war” but rather were crimes related to egotistic “Thug Culture”- the us versus them theory. The “look tough in front of your mates” culture. The culture where peopl humiliate others to make them selves feel bigger.

The same culture responsible for gang-rape on the streets of New York, racial bashings in Cronulla, or the abduction of innocent people from the streets of Baghdad for money

*hey, if the insurgents can do it, why don’t we?*.

The same kind of attitude “popular” high-school boys have when surrouning an a-grade student with glasses. This culture of egotism and masculine competitiveness runs strong in the US military and even has hold in the Australian Defence Forces (though not in the highly professional SAS).

In the UK military until recently this kind of culture was thought to be isolated while the majority forces were considered professional, polite and efficient. Recently the true extent of this culture within the British armed forces has come to light through the “Prisoner Abuse Scandal” and now through this shocking, degrading video.

Lets pray the military men can stamp this out of their culture before it gets any worse for those who aren’t involved.
Another lefty journalist and author in the making.


It's nowhere near the end of the financial year but Australia's Film Finance Corporation has already spent this year's budget and won't be helping to fund any more locally produced movies until after 1 July. The arty-farty set is worried, not least because it's feared new board members will be "obsessed with keeping a balanced budget". Golly.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Michael Leunig is desperate to distract attention away from the real issue posed by the cartoon above, that is, that the cartoon is seen, at least by some, as sufficiently anti-Holocaust to warrant inclusion in Iran's biggest-selling newspaper Hamshahri's Holocaust cartoon competition. Here's an exchange earlier today at the ABC's The World Today:
JEAN KENNEDY: But Mr Leunig says the anti-war cartoon he drew in 2002 depicting the Auschwitz concentration camp, and which The Age refused to publish, was sent in by someone pretending to be him.

MICHAEL LEUNIG: Oh, it was a sort of a formal little thing saying hello, my name is Michael Leunig, here is this cartoon which cannot be published in my own country, I want to submit it.

JEAN KENNEDY: He says he contacted the Iranian newspaper's website last night and asked that it be removed. The paper agreed and issued an apology.

But Mr Leunig has told Melbourne ABC presenter Jon Faine that the incident is the latest in a series of controversies he's become embroiled in over his anti-war stance.

MICHAEL LEUNIG: You know, I've been set up, horribly, maliciously, and to me it denotes what it means to stand up against this conflict and this warlike sort of state the world is in and, you know, it's difficult to take that stance in the public arena.

JON FAINE: Do you think you might know who's behind the hoax? Don't name anybody, but have you got in your mind any theories?

MICHAEL LEUNIG: Um, yes I've had a few emails recently, kind of anonymous emails, you know, taunting me to enter this competition, saying come on, you'd be a natural, said one of them. You know, these taunts come at me all the time and, look, it could be any number of people.

There are a number of columnists and bloggers who have been particularly hateful to me for quite a long time and have suggested all sorts of hurtful and hateful things towards me. And you know, the mind jumps towards all these kinds of people. But I must refrain from imagining anybody in particular. It could be, it could be a kid.

JEAN KENNEDY: The Age newspaper says it's seeking legal advice on Mr Leunig's behalf.

The Communication's Director at The Age is Nigel Henham.

NIGEL HENHAM: Well The Age is absolutely appalled, as is Michael Leunig, that someone would choose to fraudulently use some of his work, and also represent his words that are simply not his. This is a serious hoax, someone has acted fraudulently, and we are quite appalled by it, quite frankly.
None of the hyperbolic bullshit above can change the fact that the cartoon could easily be interpreted as equating Israeli treatment of Palestinians with Nazi treatment of Jews. Leunig can say what he likes, the cartoon speaks for itself.


The Czech Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda wants the EU to consider financial support for Denmark as a counter to the Islamic boycott:
"One of the concrete forms of our support could be a financial compensation from the EU for a negative impact on exports and trade of Danish products."
In related news, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has spoken out on the cartoon controversy in an interview in – this is surely no coincidence – the Jyllands-Posten:
"We are in favour of a dialogue, but that does not mean that we will give up on the values that are non-negotiable."
Now we'll have to wait and see if Europeans hold their nerve.

The same EUObserver article also mentions another controversial cartoon:
Meanwhile, Australian cartoonist Michael Leunig has published the first holocaust cartoon on an Iranian website asking the question "what is the limit of western freedom of expression?"
It would be interesting to hear from Leunig on the death threats he's received from offended Jews.

Monday, February 13, 2006


Those seeking to restrict our freedom of expression are pissing on us and some of us are pissed off about it.


Mainstream "moderate" Muslims aren't involved in the anti-Danish cartoon protests, right? Then where are the crowds coming from?
In one of the largest protests to date, more than 50,000 people shouting anti-Danish slogans rallied in the southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakir yesterday following a call by Islamic groups.


If Al Gore's speech to the 7th Jeddah Economic Forum is any guide, Democrats are so desperate for powerful allies they're willing to suck up to those who would kill us:
“The 21st century has to be a century of renewal, and our ability to overcome these kinds of cycles of disrespect and violence is the key to making it a century of renewal,” he said, alluding, like many other speakers at the forum, to the recent controversy that erupted over caricatures of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

Commenting on the negative Saudi image in America and the treatment meted out to Saudi nationals and Muslims in the US after the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, he said that he and his Democratic Party colleagues have always opposed illegal detentions of Arabs and other people in the United States.

“Unfortunately there have been terrible abuses and it’s wrong,” said Gore, adding that there were people even in the current Republican administration who have worked to protect the human and civil rights guaranteed in the US Constitution, and to expose abuses that have occurred following the Sept. 11 attacks. He also criticized the thoughtless manner in which visas for Arabs are now handled.
This is quite a departure from item number eight on the list of the Top 10 Reasons Why Al Gore Would Be a Better Wartime President Than George W. Bush (originally published soon after 9/11 at Democrats.com, the link for which is dead):
Al Gore would not be publicly battling with Israel. With the help of Joe Lieberman, Gore would be working constructively with Israel to improve Israel’s security while making progress towards a Palestinian state that would not threaten Israel. Gore would not be holding back on criticising terrorist-coddling countries like Saudi Arabia, which have allowed millions of dollars to flow to Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda.
Here's a scary thought for you: President Gore.

Sunday, February 12, 2006


The ABC News Online (Australia) homepage currently displays the following teaser for its arts blog Articulate:
Berlin festival action
Actor Sigourney Weaver tells Articulate that the US is in a "really weird macho phase right now".
Clicking the link takes you a provocatively titled post – Berlinale, Day 3: Sigourney Weaver slams ‘macho America’ – by Sean Rubinsztein-Dunlop. Here's the "macho America" quote in the context of the interview:
So does the lack of female roles reflect a tendency in society, or are producers just conservative?

It’s hard to say. For instance, I think Hillary Clinton would make a very good president - I think the reason she’ll lose is because she’s a woman and because she was the first lady, and that’s a shame. America’s in a really weird macho phase right now and I think that’s one reason why all these smaller, more delicate movies like Brokeback Mountain are important. The fact that they’re so popular is sending a nice message. Of course, our president still hasn’t bothered to see Brokeback but he will be continued [sic] to be asked about it, I’m sure.
Bush hasn't seen Brokeback Mountain? The man's prioities are fucked.


Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, co-chair of John Kerry's presidential campaign, thinks the Chimpster is snubbing him:
Nearly 7 1/2 months after taking office, Villaraigosa said Friday that he still has not succeeded in speaking or meeting with President Bush.

Villaraigosa said that his office contacted the White House on two occasions last summer to set up meetings with Bush when the mayor was traveling to Washington, but that the White House turned down both.
The White House sees things differently:
Dana Perino, a White House press secretary, said the White House had received two requests from the mayor for a meeting: one in a letter, the other in an e-mail.

"Because of scheduling reasons, the mayor was offered meetings with top officials, and those offers were kindly declined" by the mayor's office, Perino said.
No meetings with lackeys for the mayor of LA.

Saturday, February 11, 2006


The cartoon above, titled "Muhammedan self-censorship", appeared on the website of the Swedish Democrats' SD-Kuriren newspaper. The operative word here is appeared; the site was shut down under pressure from the Swedish government. Hell, why not just run up a white flag?

Via the indispensable Watch.

Update: The Marlette cartoon below was originally, inadvertently and briefly, published in 2002 on the website of the Tallahassee Democrat after being rejected for inclusion in the paper's print edition. Marlette has refused to apologise. The cartoon was withdrawn but not because of pressure from the government. (Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh also drove a Ryder rental truck.)


Muslim intellectual Tariq Ramadan on the reaction to those controversial cartoons:
Muslims are asking for more respect, not more censorship.
Yeah well, if it's respect Muslim are after, violence, arson attacks and death threats aren't going to get it.

Theodore Dalrymple argues that Islam is, quite rightly, not respected in the west; the best minority Muslim populations can hope for is tolerance:
We do not, most of us, respect Islam any more than we respect people who speak in tongues. What we respect is the right of Muslims to practise their religion in perfect peace, in so far as it does not conflict with our laws. We also hope that we can find common ground with them in many other aspects of human existence: in business, in the professions, in literature and so forth. Tolerance is not a matter of respecting what is tolerated — if it were, tolerance would hardly be necessary. Tolerance is the willing, conscious suppression of distaste or disdain for other people’s ideas, habits and tastes for the sake of a wider social peace.

Surely Muslims in this country and elsewhere know perfectly well that we, most of us, do not respect their religion, in the sense of according it high intellectual, moral or artistic status in the modern world (the past is another matter, as a visit to the Victoria & Albert Museum, for example, will quickly confirm). Some among them find this intolerable, and therefore demand the kind of respect that young men of Jamaican descent and criminal propensities demand, knowing full well that such respect is indistinguishable from fear.

Again, you would not have to be a very acute psychologist to detect the fear in Mr Straw’s craven remarks, in the abject apologies of the Danes (who have nothing to apologise for) and in the statements emanating from the American government. Our government evidently finds it easier, or more politically expedient, to bomb distant countries than to face up to thugs a few hundred yards away.

The reaction of Britain and the United States will have taught Muslim extremists that if they are thuggish enough, they can intimidate powerful states, and that professions of belief in freedom of expression are hollow; in other words, that the terrorist tactics of the weak can impose censorship on the strong. Muslim extremists will have come to the not altogether mistaken conclusion that the men who control Western governments don’t believe in anything strongly enough to risk their own skins; in short, that they are decadent.
Fear is the way to shut people up.


One disadvantage of living in the bush is the limited range of products available at locals shops – Havarti cheese was the only Danish product I could find. Fortunately, I had to drive to Perth this morning and took a few minutes to have a look around in "gourmet" shops. While it's not like the few things I bought is going to do anything to counter the Islamic boycott of Danish products, if we all sought out and bought a few Danish imports it certainly couldn't hurt.

I bought: Anthon Berg dark chocolate covered brandied apricots; three kinds of cheese, including a triple cream blue that should be interesting; butter; and an organic spreadable butter blend. The satisfaction I got from buying the stuff made it well worth the premium price paid.

Any suggestions of Danish products worth buying would be much appreciated.

Update: The Carlsberg beer sold in Australia is brewed by Independent Breweries (NZ) Ltd, Auckland, so if you buy it you're also supporting those crazy cartoon publishing Kiwis.


Voodoo believer Myrlene Severe's shopping trip to Haiti has landed her in jail:
A Haitian national who packed a skull in her suitcase on a flight to Florida's Fort Lauderdale airport in the US has been charged with "smuggling a human head".
The head, meant to ward of evil spirits, obviously doesn't work on live customs men.

Speaking of non-functional heads, there's this guy.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


Lefty intellectual Mark Bahnisch:
Far from being a liberal nation where rights are respected, Denmark is home to xenophobic movements with significant political clout.
As anyone who regularly visits Bahnisch's blog will be aware, he's not a keen supporter of free of speech.

The Brussels Journal's Paul Belien sees things differently to Bahnisch:
The Danish cartoons were not published in a Muslim paper. They were printed in a privately-owned, regional newspaper in rural Denmark, addressing Danish subscribers, to illustrate an article about the freedom of expression in a multicultural society with a Muslim minority within its borders. The article and the cartoons were initiated by the complaint of a Danish author that he could not find an artist to illustrate a book about Muhammad. European media republishing the cartoons did so, not to insult Muslims but simply to inform their European readers and to allow them to make up their own minds about how “insulting” these drawings really are. The Brussels Journal, too, is not a website addressing the Muslim world, it is a European website, as its name indicates, about European (mostly EU) affairs. Saudis and other Muslims are welcome to read it, but not to tell us what to do or not to do. However, what did we receive in our mailbox during the past week from so-called adherents of “the religion of peace”? Death threats, pictures of burned bodies, and warnings to shut up about the cartoon case.
Europe may not be doomed but it does seem to be sleepwalking toward the abyss.

Monday, February 06, 2006


While renovating his home, Englishman Barney Broom came across a large jar containing what appears to be a model of an infant alien suspended in liquid. Barney contacted the Sci Fi Channel, which called in science fiction literature expert Professor Adam Roberts to examine the "creature". The professor's conclusions:
"The easy thing to do is dismiss it all and say it's a hoax. It may be or may not be," said Prof Roberts. "The fact that it was found near a US air base suggests there may be a military component to it."

A spokeswoman for the US air force said it had never made such models of an alien, the figure was not government property and the serial number could mean it had been catalogued by a museum. "It's a hoax," the spokeswoman said.

Prof Roberts admitted it could be a film prop dating from the 1960s, but said he was not surprised at US denials: "That is the US air force line. They deny these alien encounters. It is quite possible they concoct stories to cover up for more nefarious activities."
It's also possible the air force denies alien encounters because there haven't been any.


Scientists warn that The Devil's Hole Pupfish is nearing extinction, having encountered an enemy with which it cannot cope:
In a tragedy that was not publicly announced, scientists two years ago accidentally killed 80 of the iridescent blue fish — about one-third of the population at the time.


It's no surprise Antony Loewenstein finds fault with the pro-western message in the graphic above:
"The sheer ignorance of the message needs little explanation. To many around the world, the Western legacy isn't quite so benign, instead often filled with exploitation, invasion and colonisation."
Loewenstein commenter Progressive Atheist sees evil symbolism in the Danish flag:
"I've only just noticed that the Danish flag is a sideways Christian cross on a blood-red background, subliminally suggesting that Denmark is still carrying on the crusades."
Idiot bloggers attract idiot commenters.


Protester Mawli Abdul Qahar Abu Israra explains why those controversial cartoons were published:
"They want to know whether Muslims are extremists or not. Death to them and to their newspapers."


According to the RSPCA's Dr Rick Butler the vet is the place to go if you're looking to hook-up with a chick... if you're a lesbian:
"One statistic says people meet their partners at the vets, their problem is all the people they seem to meet at the vets are women."
Maybe that just didn't come out right.

Saturday, February 04, 2006


Northern Territory police are yet to decide if charges will be laid against a group of youths that went cane toad shooting and accidentally shot one of their own. Senior Sergeant Craig Ryan sums up:
"And to be thinking about shooting cane toads, there are much better ways of dealing with cane toads than to shoot them."
If you want to get up close and personal with Buffo marinus, cane toad cricket and golf are the go.

Correction: Originally posted as SHOOTING NO SOLUTION TO CAN TOAD PROBLEM. Duh


First the EU gives up on it Cuban diplomatic effort (see post below), then the IAEA decides to report Iran to the Security Council:
The UN nuclear watchdog has voted to report Iran to the Security Council over suspicions it plans to build atomic weapons, and Tehran responded it would start enriching uranium fuel that can be used in bombs.
Wonder if this has been stalled out long enough for Iran to make significant progress toward building an Islamic bomb?


The futility of trying to facilitate change in Cuba through diplomacy has finally been acknowledged by the EU:
MEPs on Thursday (2 February) adopted a resolution denouncing the lack of respect for human rights on Cuba.

The resolution, adopted with 560 votes in favour and 30 against, states that so far the political dialogue with Cuba has not led to greater freedom on the island or improved bilateral relations, and says EU member states should "act accordingly".
It's no surprise to see who opposed the resolution:
German communist MEP Willy Meyer, one of the minority voices that spoke against the condemnatory resolution on Thursday, defended Cuba on grounds of the regime’s solidarity with poor countries and its social achievements, arguing that the EU should not run errands for the US.

Also the Spanish socialist MEP Miguel Angel Martinez, member of the group Friends of Cuba, defended Cuba.

Mr Martinez said the resolution was flawed and lacking in reference to Guantanamo (US prison camp in a US military base on Cuba), "the worst violation of human rights on the island," he said.
Right, as if the tiny number of inmates at GITMO can be compared to the whole population of Cuba being held captive.


Bob Waites, Assistant Commissioner of the New South Wales police, has revealed that the following order was issued at 10:45 PM on December 11, 2005, following the initial violence at Cronulla:
"Cars of Middle Eastern persons are not to be approached, just advise … registration number and location."
Much of the police radio traffic is unavailable for scrutiny due to a unique communications fault:
A technical failure meant that two of nine police radio channels were not recorded on the nights of December 11 and 12, when revenge attacks occurred. The digital recording system had been installed for the Olympics, and its only known failure had been on these two nights.
The public has been assured that the technical fault will not hinder police investigations:
Police said last night that the radio glitch was not a major problem. While car registration numbers of possible revenge attackers were not on tape, phone operators had taken them down by hand. They had 200 registration numbers from the nights of December 11 and 12, and none had been lost.

The head of Strike Force Enoggera, Superintendent Ken McKay, said he was sick of the investigation into the revenge attacks being politicised and he promised there would be arrests.
Lots of arrests will do doubt occur soon.

Meanwhile, overnight:
About midnight two groups of males had an altercation in Bondi before one of the groups left the scene.

A short time later, those males described as Middle Eastern or Mediterranean appearance returned to the scene in two vehicles and again attacked members of the other groups, this time with knives and bottles, before driving away.

As a result six males, aged in their late teens and early twenties have suffered multiple wounds to their necks, legs, backs and arms.
The perpetrators will be arrested soon, right?

In tangentially related news:
The rape gang ringleader Bilal Skaf could be a free man when he is 41 after the High Court upheld a ruling that he was not in the worst category of rapists.

Skaf, now 24, was originally jailed for up to 55 years for a number of attacks in south-west Sydney, but a series of appeals has cut his sentence to a minimum of 22 years, with a parole date of February 2023.
There's more on Skaf and the Sydney rapes here and here.

Update: Two men have been arrested over the multiple stabbings.

Friday, February 03, 2006


Wisconsin legislators, miffed at the prospect of state funded prisoner gender reassignment treatment and surgery, passed the Inmate Sex Change Prevention Act. Naturally, lefties are unhappy:
The American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal, an Atlanta-based group that aims to protect the rights of homosexual, bisexual and transgender people, have filed suit in federal court in Milwaukee, hoping to have the law declared unconstitutional.
Just imagine how popular an inmate receiving hormone therapy would be:
Men who receive female hormones grow breasts, develop more feminine features, and have less facial and chest hair.
Jeez, this conjures up some truly frightening mental images.


The Brussels Journal's Hjörtur Gudmundsson reports on the still escalating Danish cartoon controversy:
Yesterday (Thursday) Mullah Krekar, the alleged leader of the Islamist group Ansar al-Islam who has been living in Norway as a refugee since 1991, said that the publication of the Muhammad cartoons was a declaration of war. “The war has begun,” he told Norwegian journalists. Mr Krekar said Muslims in Norway are preparing to fight. “It does not matter if the governments of Norway and Denmark apologize, the war is on.”
Many would prefer to appease those threatening violence, but not French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy:
“Freedom of expression is not an issue for negotiation and I see no reason to give one religion a special treatment."
Yep, sometimes you just have to stand your ground.

The Brussels Journal continues to provide comprehensive coverage of the cartoon controversy, so click the link and stay informed.