Thursday, October 28, 2010

Shoe throwing: Lefties fight like women

Perth religious school principal guilty of fraud

The principal of a Perth Muslim girl's school has been found guilty of inflating student numbers in order to fraudulently obtain government grants. A comment from the convicted principal's lawyer is outstanding:
It's ruined his college, it's ruined his school. He will not be able to open another school now, so what is he left with?
Such are the consequences of crime.

Anti-Jew Jew confronts Abbott, or maybe not

Superb writing at Fairfax's National Times on Israel's creeping racism:
It is just the latest sign in an ever-tightening noose around Arabs from the Zionist mainstream in the self-described Jewish nation.
That's from the increasingly confrontational anti-Israel activist Antony Loewenstein:
When I recently confronted Opposition Leader Tony Abbott over his blind backing for Israeli "democracy", he muttered something about the Middle East not being "perfect". But, I countered, what about Jewish-only settler roads in the West Bank? That was "bad", he acknowledged, before looking away nervously.
The post-book signing encounter with Abbott originally described as anything but confronting:
After, while signing books, I approached Abbott again and we talked for a few minutes about the conflict. He said he had visited Israel as a guest of the government and only been taken to where they wanted to show him. When I said that there were Jewish-only roads in the West Bank, he said that was “bad” and looked uncomfortable.
No doubt Loewenstein, with his narrow girly shoulders and little pot gut, would have been intimidated by the super-fit Abbott, who could easily snap the intrepid journalist's bird-like neck. Regardless, the issue of Jewish only roads remains contentious, Loewenstein's claim challenged way back in 2006:
TED LAPKIN: If I can point out that I haven't uttered the word anti-Semitism tonight. The only person who has been uttering it is Antony Loewenstein. You talk about factual errors - he talks about Jewish only roads. That's one of the errors that he makes in the book. What you have in the West Bank are roads that are limited to Israelis and Arab Israelis can use them and the reason why they were built is because Israelis driving through the West Bank were subjected to gunfire and sniping attacks and so to portray this as some kind of apartheid when, in essence, these roads were built after many Israelis, including Israeli rabs who were using, them were shot to death using the regular road system I think is just absurd and it's factually incorrect. These are not Jewish only roads. They are roads that are limited to Israelis for security reasons.

ANTONY LOEWENSTEIN: Exactly. This is the thing - everything is for security. In other words, when there is a town which is cordoned off, it's for security. When there are roads only for Israelis, it is for security. My point is, this kind of rhetoric is always used to justify security measures, which in reality means that the Palestinian people don't actually have...

TED LAPKIN: Do you concede your error that these are not Jewish only roads.


TED LAPKIN: I'm sorry but you are mistaken.


TED LAPKIN: Israeli Arabs use them all the time.
Loewenstein, presented by the ABC, Fairfax and other sites as an Israel expert, should either substantiate his claims or retract them.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Shoe thrower discredits himself and the Left

Pure Poison's Andrew Bolt obsessive Jeremy Sear takes exception to a Bolt post on the idiot who threw a shoe at former Prime Minister John Howard, the Bolt post titled "Shoeless idiot demonstrates failures of the Left", Sear insisting that the lame shoe-toss discredited not the whole of the Left but only the tosser.

Yet in today's Age is this from University of Sydney media and communications student Michael Koziol:
Howard-hating almost became a professional sport among the Australian left during his tenure, buoyed by a combination of class-warfare, perceived racism and dismay over his repeated re-election. And that was understandable at the time – you're allowed to hate the government's policies, and you're allowed to hate the Prime Minister.

But Howard isn't the prime minister or in government – indeed, he hasn't been for three years. He is still relevant insofar as he is qualified to make comment, but the fact he still inspires such passionate loathing just demonstrates a failure of the left to move on.
Hating and violence are specialties of the Left.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


The tragedy of eastern Europeans trapped between the monstrously evil pincers of Nazism and communism:
Between 1933 and 1945, fourteen million people died there, not in combat but because someone made a deliberate decision to murder them.

The 1901 internet

Amateur analyst

In a brief radio interview "Anthony" Loewenstein claims to be a military/strategic analyst:
The truth is that... umh... many analysts, and I put myself in this category, would say that the supposed fear of Iran is utterly misplaced.
This from a guy who struggles to write a comprehensible sentence.

By the way, I'm snowed under with real world work at the moment and find it convenient to blog the lunacy Loewenstein consistently serves up.


Monday, October 25, 2010

ABC opinion: Biased and cheap

The ABC frequently publishes screeds by everyone's favourite semi-literate Australian "journalist" Antony Loewenstein, his latest piece another poorly written and deeply muddled classic which starts off talking about Darfur and abruptly segues to events in Sri Lanka:
A Western journalist visits the Sudanese capital Khartoum to interview President Omar al-Bashir. The reporter, after calling him "controversial" due to his "bloody" record in fighting terrorism, gives the leader a platform to explain his views and tactics. The only other voice featured in the piece is a commentator who backs the government wholeheartedly. The fact that Bashir has been charged in 2010 by the International Criminal Court for genocide in Darfur is glossed over in the story.

This piece would be rightly called propaganda, the lack of enquiry revealing an inability to understand the reasons Bashir wanted to speak to a Westerner. Bashir is undoubtedly a legitimate person to interview but the skill is painting an entire picture of the people suffering under his rule, not least the minorities and those in Darfur.

Sadly, The Australian's Rowan Callick was easily seduced by the allure of an exclusive chat with Sri Lanka's Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and this week published a number of articles from his lightning visit. His trip was "not paid for by the Sri Lanka government or by anybody in any way associated with Sri Lanka", Callick told me but it appears he engaged with nobody other than officials while in the country.
The rest of Loewenstein's piece elaborates on the supposedly one-eyed nature of Callick's articles, with particular emphasis on the simultaneously "inaccurate" yet "excessive" understanding of terrorism expert Rohan Gunaratna:
Gunaratna's understanding of Asia's Islamist threat has often be inaccurate and excessive and his use of unsourced and unproven intelligence leaves open the possibility of distortions. A number of terrorism experts told me that very few, if any, serious terrorism experts take his claims seriously.
Yeah right, as if Loewenstein has actually spoken with any of these unnamed "terrorism experts", or any relevant sources, for that matter. No matter, Loewenstein soldiers on, mixing metaphors in irrelevantly dragging Israel into the discussion:
Despite [The Australian] featuring stories over the last years about the Sri Lankan government's Israeli-style blitzkrieg on the Tamil population, this is utterly irrelevant to the impression this week's stories have falsely created in the public mind. Letters to The Australian in the last days show readers are outraged that 70 per cent of Tamil refugees granted protection are supposedly returning to Sri Lanka within a year of arriving here. Yet there is no documented evidence that this is true.
There is also no documented evidence supporting anything Loewenstein says, and unlike Callick he has interviewed no relevant sources, the intrepid Lefty's attack on Gunaratna continuing:
I asked Callick about his use of Gunaratna and the questions around his credibility. He responded that his "views are often interesting and well informed. That he has a close connection to governments does not necessarily undermine those elements."

It would be like solely using a former Israeli intelligence officer and expecting him to speak frankly and honestly about the role of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.

His former association would cloud his view unavoidably.
As if Loewenstein's close association with the anti-government Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice doesn't "cloud his views unavoidably".

And finally, Loewenstein, frequent misuser of the term "by definition", drops this clanger:
Gunaratna told me via email that he had "no financial relationship whatsoever" with the Sri Lankan intelligence services or the Sri Lankan government. He railed against "disinformation produced by the LTTE front and sympathetic organisations overseas including in Australia". The implication was that any allegation of government-led war crimes by Tamils was suspect by definition despite the overwhelming eyewitness testimony of Sri Lanka forces firing on hospitals and civilian areas during the war.
Publishing such tripe from opinionated but uniformed sources like Loewenstein does nothing for the ABC's credibility.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

The case for Australia's military presence in Afghanistan: Must see video

Author and Australian army wife Kay Danes persuasively argues for Australia's continued presence in Afghanistan – pick up her segment at 26:30. It's must see viewing for all Australians.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Guantanamo human experimentation conspiracy theorist refuses to admit to bogus claims

As noted the other day, Truthout published a bogus report claiming a Paul Wolfowitz directive paved the way for involuntary experimentation on Gitmo detainees. Report coauthor Jeffrey Kaye addressing criticisms with a wordy and misleading response:
You are most mistaken about what you feel was ignored. We specifically addressed the prisoner of war prohibition. In earlier and much longer drafts, we had a mention and link to the 1983 version of the document, signed by Weinberger, but cut it along with a lot of other interesting material, for sake of length. Nevertheless, you appear to have missed our whole discussion of this in the article, where we note that the reference to prisoners other than POW was linked to the Bush administration taking POW status away from the Taliban and Al Qaeda, and how the HHS definition of prisoner allowed wiggle room for the use of experimentation on "prisoners" that would otherwise be denied for use on POWs.

Furthermore, you mention the provision of the need for informed consent in section 4.1 of the Wolfowitz directive. True enough, but you fail to mention that that provision can be WAIVED, per section 4.2.2, by the heads of the various DOD components, without need for consent by the subject or their legal representative. This is totally different from the Weinberger directive, which makes no such waiver, and in fact states (Section 2 (e) of the 1983 doc) that no human subject research can even be initiated without all necessary approvals and informed consent of the subject.

You furthermore ignore the entire history of the lax oversight of the human subject protections that we briefly enumerated, the statements of experts in the field we offered, and the accounts of government sources in the article that specifically linked the Wolfowitz directive to a secret experimental program at Guantanamo.

In summary, your account of our article is incomplete and misleading. I urge you to read it again, and I would be happy to argue or discuss the finer points or differences you might have.
Note that Kaye refers to section 4.2.2 as allowing the right of consent to be waived but does not quote from the section. That's because section 4.2.2 in no way allows experimental interrogation:
4.2.2. Consistent with 10 U.S.C. 980(b) (reference (b)), the requirement for prior informed consent under paragraph 4.2. or subparagraph 4.2.1. may be waived by the Head of a DoD Component with respect to a specific research project to advance the development of a medical product necessary to the Armed Forces if the research project may directly benefit the subject and is carried out in accordance with all other applicable laws and regulations, including 21 CFR 50.24 (reference (j)).
The Truthout report is bogus; that's all there is to it.

Shocking electric bills

Victorians would have welcomed some of that fabled global warming over winter:
As the mercury plunged to an average winter temperature of 9.5 degrees and the city experienced its wettest winter in eight years, energy use soared.

Many households have experienced winter bill increases far in excess of the annual median electricity price rise in Victoria of 10-11 per cent.
But worse – much worse – lies ahead:
The current conservative forecast is for a 100 per cent (electricity price) increase over the next five years.

And that is a conservative estimate.
Maybe it's time to start stockpiling candles.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Guantanamo detainees human guinea pigs?

Startling revelations in a 3,200 word investigative report by Jason Leopold and Jeffrey Kaye into human experimentation at Guantanamo's Camp X-ray:
In 2002, as the Bush administration was turning to torture and other brutal techniques for interrogating "war on terror" detainees, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz loosened rules against human experimentation, an apparent recognition of legal problems regarding the novel strategies for extracting and evaluating information from the prisoners.

Wolfowitz issued his little-known directive on March 25, 2002, about a month after President George W. Bush stripped the detainees of traditional prisoner-of-war protections under the Geneva Conventions. Bush labeled them "unlawful enemy combatants" and authorized the CIA and the Department of Defense (DoD) to undertake brutal interrogations.

Despite its title - "Protection of Human Subjects and Adherence to Ethical Standards in DoD-Supported Research" - the Wolfowitz directive weakened protections that had been in place for decades by limiting the safeguards to "prisoners of war."
The Wolofwitz directive addresses experimentation on POWs as follows:
4.4.2. The involvement of prisoners of war as human subjects of research is prohibited.
This is essentially the same as Casper Weinberger's superseded 1983 directive which reads:
The use of prisoners of war as human subjects of research is prohibited.
Which explains why Leopold and Kaye neither quote from nor link to Weinberger's superseded directive – that is, the old and new directives are essentially the same as regards prisoners of war.

Also, Leopold and Kaye ignore the following provision in the Wolfowitz directive specifically offering protections to prisoners, as opposed to prisoners of war:
4.4.1. Research supported or conducted by the Department of Defense that affects vulnerable classes of subjects shall meet the additional protections of 45 CFR Part 46, Subparts B, C, and D (reference (f)) (e.g., fetuses, pregnant women, human in vitro fertilization, prisoners, or children). For purposes of this paragraph, actions authorizing or requiring any action by an official of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) with respect to any requirements of reference (f) shall be under the authority of the Director, Defense Research and Engineering.
And a further protection ignored by Leopold and Kaye:
4.2. Informed Consent. In general, as required by reference (b), no DoD Component may conduct or use appropriated funds to support research involving a human being as an experimental subject without the prior informed consent of the subject.
Thus is the Truthout investigative report shown to be a complete and total load of crap. Which makes me wonder why Google references Truthout as a news source when it is anything but.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Multiculturalism still a bad idea

German opposition leader Angela Merkel in 2004:
"[T]he idea of a multicultural society cannot succeed. It is prone to failure from the start. Multiculturalism is not integration."
Chancellor Merkel on Saturday:
"And of course, the approach [to build] a multicultural [society] and to live side-by-side and to enjoy each other... has failed, utterly failed."

In her speech, the chancellor specifically referred to recent comments by German President Christian Wulff who said that Islam was "part of Germany" like Christianity and Judaism.

While acknowledging that this was the case, Mrs Merkel stressed that immigrants living in Germany needed to do more to integrate, including learning to speak German.

"Anyone who does not immediately speak German", she said, "is not welcome".
Raus! Macht schnell!

Bureaucratic mumbo jumbo

The Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population & Communities is searching for a Senior Knowledge Leader – $200,000+ remuneration plus 15.4% super – with the following skills:
Potential applicants should have significant leadership experience in the broad area of knowledge management, and an understanding of government and policy development. Excellent systems thinking, strategic nous, technical understanding and stakeholder relations skills are essential. Senior individuals with business improvement and research backgrounds with a very good understanding of the enabling role of technology and a record of influencing peers and senior managers are encouraged to apply for this role.

The role is designed to attract the most influential, talented and innovative people interested in improving environment and heritage outcomes.
Only those able to communicate in meaningless bureaucratic jargon need apply.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

An idiots only mystery

New York artist Sally Davies' photos of a six month old McDonald's Happy Meal that refuses to rot is the talk of the internet at the moment – The Age publishing two articles (here and here) on the supposed mystery. Actually, according to the title of one of the articles – "The Happy Meal that even bacteria reject" – there is no mystery: McDonald's food is so crappy it's unfit even for bacteria, much less suitable for humans. According to Ms Davies fast food consumers who have seen her photos "are afraid and are wondering what they eat."

In reality Ms Davies, an organic fruit and veggies fancier, has merely rediscovered preservation through dehydration, a spoilage-averting technique dating back to prehistoric times. This method is well known to anyone who discovers while cleaner his car's interior a still recognisable months old French fry or two under the seat.

Electric car range extender

The Mitsubishi i-MiEV now comes complete with a unique range extending innovation, an extra-long power cord. There appears to be no on-board storage for the cord, however.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Show us your bowls

Hot Perth babes show us a whole 'nother side to lawn bowls.

Welcome home

Jeez, immediately on returning home from Asian Correspondent one of my Lefty groupies welcomes me back:
Of all the attempts you've made over the years to get Tim Blair to slip his miserable half-inch up your daggy Septic quoit, this is surely the most blatant.
What is it with the Left and gayness hate?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Superfluous pockets

A titillating but fully clothed view of Swedish babe Caroline Ljung out for a night on the town.

ABC News: Publicly funded Left-wing spin

Leftoid Michael Brull at ABC News site The Drum Unleashed:

Today, Israel bars entry to prominent Jewish intellectuals like Norman Finkelstein, Noam Chomsky and Richard Falk. The other day, it quietly deported Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Corrigan-Maguire. Other than Gideon Levy’s brave voice of dissent, it largely passed here, and there, unnoticed - like when Israel’s occupation soldiers shot her at a non-violent protest.

The deportation of Mairead Corrigan-Maguire was hardly "quiet" with hundreds of news stories on the subject. And was she actually "shot" by Israeli soldiers? Corrigan-Maguire claims to have been hit in the back of the thigh by a rubber bullet but the nasty bruising isn't shown. The video of the shooting shows nothing concrete, featuring instead a young male apparently providing first aid while Corrigan-Maguire is seated facing the camera throughout – there's no way she was receiving treatment to an unseen wound on the back of her leg.

Such Left-wing nonsense is typical of stories at Unleashed. Australian taxpayers shouldn't be paying for a public discussion former that is anything but "robust community debate".

Update: Publicly funded entities should stick to straight news, leaving opinion and "analysis" to blogs and niche-filling commercial sites.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chinese condoms possibly unsafe

Sweden has banned the sale of Chinese PutOn brand condoms citing falsified claims of EU certification:

"No freestanding organisation has examined the product, so no one knows if the condoms comply with standards. It is serious from a public health standpoint," said investigator Gert Bruse to the TT news agency.

According to vendor information on the internet, PutOn is sold both in three-packs and together with a vibrator ring, the latter marketed under the product name RockOn. Both products are available for sale in VendOn vending machines, which stock one or both products.

The agency's decision to issue a sales ban on PutOn products applies whether they are sold separately or in combination with another product.

In short, put on a PutOn and you're possibly running the risk of winning a free baby.

Sodomy more satisfying?

A report at Slate that women who engage in anal sex have more orgasms than do the more conventionally inclined:

Since 1992, the percentage of women aged 20-24 who say they've tried anal sex has doubled to 40 percent. The percentage of women aged 20-39 who say they've done it in the past year has doubled to more than 20 percent. And 94 percent of women who received anal sex in their last encounter said they reached orgasm—a higher rate of orgasm than was reported by women who had vaginal intercourse or received oral sex.

Hmm, I perhaps need to research this.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Junk habit

An Australian advertisement likening parents buying "junk" food to injecting children with heroin is taking a beating, and rightly so:

Director of the Public Health Advocacy Institute, Professor Mike Daube, says childhood obesity is a massive problem in Australia, where 25 per cent of kids are now considered obese.

But he says the ad is over the top.

"This ad puts all the emphasis on kids. Then it puts all the blame on parents instead of people writing junk food [ads]. And then just for good measure it shows you how to inject heroin," he said.

"So I'm not a fan of the ad. I admire anybody who has concerns about the obesity problem which is very real, but I don't think this ad is the way to deal with it."

It is a view shared by nutritionist Dr Rosemary Stanton.

"Heroin is dangerous, even in a small dose. And junk food isn't dangerous in a small dose," she said.

"But I do think that we need to make parents aware that it's not safe to give their kids so much junk food [to eat]. And they currently aren't aware of that."

An occasional meal of junk food isn't going to hurt anyone.

ABC News: 'Cheap' opinions masquerading as 'analysis'

In a December 2009 article at Quadrant I wrote:

With the introduction of The Drum the Australian Broadcasting Corporation has established a significant “new media” presence with an interactive site offering “analysis and views on the issues of the day”. The aim is to tap into the huge online audience looking for something more than straight, dry news reporting.

Like Huffington Post and Asian Correspondent (the obligatory plug for the site I write for), The Drum offers easy access to literally hundreds of articles written by a multitude of writers. All of these sites do provide news and “analysis” but much, perhaps most, of their content is actually opinion, many of the authors -- me included -- possessing no special knowledge of their subject matter.

The Drum evolved from and subsumed its predecessor Unleashed, which is now The Drum – Unleashed. Unleashed publishes contributions from a diverse range of writers, typing ability the site’s only apparent publication criterion. Thus Unleashed publishes numerous opinion pieces by non-authority writers, many of them Leftists. The perfect example is the 11 opinion article archive of Antony Loewenstein – an authority on nothing -– on topics ranging from Robert Mugabe to the likelihood of an attack on Iran to the Beijing Olympics.

My view was bolstered by former ABC journalist Chris Masters, who argued that ABC News was opting for opinion as a "cheap" replacement for high priced investigative journalism:

In the last decades within the news industry there has been a great deal of concern about the rise of commentary displacing conventional news reporting. Sometimes it is difficult to see a distinction in an article between commentary and reporting. And why has this happened? I don't see it as a result of public demand but more because it is cheap. It is easier to allow a shock jock to do your thinking for you. It is easier for a reporter to belt off 700 words without conducting a single interview. It is cheaper for a network to hire a bombastic commentator and give him a studio and call it current affairs. It is not brave opinion. It is cheap.

And we are cheating ourselves. The rise of commentary and surrender of values such as fairness, balance and objectivity is our own form of self-harm. Reporters have become fixated on what to think rather than how to think. They are discarding even basic tools for information discovery like the telephone while pretending to sharpen analytical powers over information generated by others.

Opinion without fact is next to useless. The problem is not opinion per se but an absence of research. I have a suggestion. For the sake of public health perhaps we should require columnists to identify their research. Just like the one, two or three star energy ratings you see on appliances there could be small telephone icons beside a column to identify how many calls were made.

The reality of this situation has finally dawned on Crikey publisher Eric Beecher:

Mr Beecher -- whose purchase of Crikey in 2005 turned the activist online publisher into a forum for more measured commentary in recent times -- criticised the ABC's opinion site The Drum as "seriously and dangerously" compromising the ABC's editorial integrity by running "wacky" personal opinions that were "mainly from the Left". The criticism was dismissed as "self-serving" and "inaccurate" by Bruce Belsham, editor of

A classic example of ABC opinion masquerading as analysis is a The Drum article by far-Leftist Jeff Sparrow demanding that Australian forces be brought home from Afghanistan, now. A well researched Afghanistan piece by Masters back in August on the other hand argues that Australian soldiers are indeed making a difference, however:

In June when I revisited the transformed Tarin Kowt hospital Dr Noor told me twice as many people in Uruzgan now access healthcare. Nearby is the new boys school. The Dutch Provincial Reconstruction Team head Jennes de Mol told me 50,000 more students now receive education.

Outside Tarin Kowt there is also progress. Colonel Stuart Yeaman commanded Reconstruction Task Force 4, which deployed in the summer of 2008. By then the coalition was shifting to a "population centric" approach, which meant excluding the Taliban by protecting communities.

The soldiers had come to term previous raids on the Taliban as like "Jim's Mowing". You go out there, cut them down, return to your base and they grow again. The reconstruction teams, now with a better balance of force protection, stayed on location, drilling wells, building clinics, schools, bazaars, bridges and interacting with the community.

So when visiting The Drum beware the surfeit of cheap opinion masquerading as analysis: opinions are like assholes; everybody has one and they all stink.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Astrology nuts, numerology Okay

Always on the lookout for a reason to take Rupert Murdoch's media outlets to task – he's right-wing, you know – Crikey's Pure Poison buckets for daring to publish a story about astrology-believing Australian couples opting to marry on 10/10/10. A similar story at the Left-wing Age a few days earlier noting the numerological marriage significance of 10/10/10 is ignored, however.

This renders the Pure Poison manifesto absurd, of course:

We expose the intellectual dishonesty, the flimsy arguments and the distorted data wherever they appear in the mainstream media. We challenge the punditocracy, and provide an alternative forum for discussing the day’s events. We welcome debate about politics and society, but constructive debate needs to be based on reason and facts. We’re doing our bit to hold the opinion-makers to these standards.

Thus are the Pure Poison boyz again shown to be intellectually dishonest.

Feeling depressed, ladies? Get some semen in ya

Human semen is a rich stew of mood elevating chemicals and other well-being enhancers that readily absorb through vaginal walls. Semen is also 100 percent natural but may be addictive. The potential for HIV infection, though slight for most heterosexuals, must be borne in mind when seeking seminal mood improvement, however.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

True Grit (2010)

Joel and Ethan Coen (Miller's Crossing, No Country For Old Men, Fargo, Burn After Reading, Blood Simple and other greats) are right now putting the finishing touches to their remake of the classic True Grit. It looks like a beauty. (The trailer is HD; watch it full screen.)

'It's not ours so we can rev it pretty hard'

Ride along as V8 Supercars series leader James Courtney laps Bathurst in an off-the-showroom-floor supercharged Ford Falcon FPV GT powered by a new Coyote 5.0-litre V8. Yeehaa!

Friday, October 08, 2010

The movie that best portrays Australia and Australians

According to Australians, The Castle is the movie to watch for anyone wanting to know what Australia is all about:

Australians have applied "the law of bloody commonsense" to vote Darryl Kerrigan as the film character that most represents who we are as a nation.

Over one third of people (37 per cent) believe The Castle - the 1997 film about a working class Melbourne family's fight to save their home - best represents the real Australia, according to a nationwide survey released on Wednesday.

Darryl Kerrigan, the movie's working class patriarch played by Michael Caton, was the favourite Aussie film character for 23 per cent of the 1003 people surveyed.

Crocodile Dundee, played by Paul Hogan, won 21 per cent of the vote while Muriel (Toni Collette) from Muriel's Wedding came third with 17 per cent.

It's good to see that the cliched blockbuster Australia wasn't in the running.

The funniest ever two seconds of video

Hit the video link below to watch a best-selling Australian author – best-selling status does not prevent the interviewer getting his name wrong – shift into his serious interview mode. The interview runs for 2:44 but the best bit is the two seconds at the start, when the interviewer says, "Okay, here we go."

Pete Bethune claims Sea Shepherd leader Paul Watson is a self-promoting liar

One time skipper of the ill-fated Ady Gil - rundown at sea by a Japanese whaler - and former feted Sea Shepherd member Paul Bethune has broken ranks with the whale huggers, accusing Paul Watson of lying about the sinking of the Ady Gil, which Bethune claims was scuttled.

But that isn't the most interesting part of Bethune's tale of lying and betrayal: he also claims Watson knew that the Ady Gil was equipped with a bow and arrow (for injecting poison into whale carcasses) and further alleges that Watson fabricated the 2008 incident in which he claims an unseen Japanese sniper shot him in the chest. Here's Watson's response to shooting skepticism:

Captain's note: We in fact did produce the bullet. It is pictured on our website. We asked the Australian police to take a look at it and they refused. But if Shallhorn believes it was a piece of shrapnel, why would he scoff at the bullet proof vest that saved my life. The ship's doctor examined the bruising left by the bullet. There is a hole in my suit and vest that was not there only a few moments earlier as can be seen in the film.

The Sea Shepherd video does not show "a hole in [Watson's] suit and vest that was not there only a few moments earlier".

And had Watson actually been shot wouldn't he have pursued attempted murder charges despite a claimed rebuff from Australian authorities? Jeez, it seems that attempted murder on the high seas would merit referral to the United Nations or perhaps, at the very least, an investigation by Japanese authorities. The "bullet" could have even been turned over to independent experts for analysis. Nope, the story was reported by Sea Shepherd, picked up by sympathetic news outlets and to this day remains uninvestigated and unsubstantiated.

By the way, the real life Ady Gil, who donated the money to Sea Shepherd for the purchase of the ill-fated trimaran, knows who he trusts:

"Pete [Bethune] is a credible kind of a guy, so he was asked to open hatches to make sure that it does sink," Mr Gil said.

It ain't looking good for Sea Shepherd "admiral" Paul Watson.

Editing note: The post's title originally referred incorrectly to Paul Bethune.

Seven minutes of comedy chaos

In the 1940s Warner Brothers, and particularly supervisor/director Robert Clampett, produced high quality cartoons intended for an adult audience. Bugs Bunny Get the Boid is a classic. Click that link and enjoy.


Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Sustainability supercedes diversity as the cause celebre

Taser use reasonable

Contrary to what lurid "news" reports would have you believe, the West Australian Corruption and Crime Commission investigation into Taser use finds that the pacification devices are not misused in general:

The CCC report found the majority of taser use by police was reasonable and they were effective weapons.

Hands up everyone who'd like to be a police officer.

Twitter dangerous

In something of a natural sequence a Leftist journalist tweets, protects her tweets and then deletes her account. Good judgement prevails.


Bolivian President Evo Morales takes out an oppostion player during a "friendly" soccer match. Lefties are always ready to deploy violence, especially when least expected.

Atheist finds religion

Famed American attorney Alan Dershowitz has squared off against London-based Australian-born Geoffrey Robertson QC, Dershowitz arguing against the proposition that the Pope should be brought to trial for crimes against humanity owing to numerous sexual assaults commited by priests. Robertson's strategy was to monopolise the floor:

The chairman tried warning gestures, civil glances and banged his glass on an empty Schweppes bottle. Nothing worked. Robertson had things to say and could not be stopped. His adversary, Alan Dershowitz, provoked warm applause with his first words: "What I want to do in the time I've been allotted for my remarks …''

The audience wasn't cooperative either:

But the really dangerous stuff came from the floor. That elegant old leftie Tariq Ali ("What we can learn from terrorists") sat aghast as a man on microphone 2 confessed to cheering as the twin towers came down. "At last," said this voice in the dark, "someone was serving it up to them." In a suddenly silent opera theatre one person applauded.

Dershowitz the next night appeared before a better-behaved crowd at Sydney’s Central synagogue:

In a dialogue with The Sydney Morning Herald’s chief reporter Peter Hartcher, Dershowitz spoke to the 2000 capacity audience on issues including the death penalty, the cost of justice, J-Street and the Goldstone Report, his support for Israel, his favourite US politicians, Archbishop Tutu, his childhood, Iran. the mosque at Ground Zero and a job offer from Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.

The enthralled audience sat glued to their seats as Hartcher took them on a journey spanning Dershowitz’s amazing career.

Staunch Zionist Dershowitz pulled no punches:

Iran was his next in his sights. Dershowitz said that the Israeli red line…a line which if crossed by Iran would invoke an attack…is six months ahead of America’s and he advocated a three day war by the U.S. to knock out Iran’s nuclear infrastructure in order to maintain peace in a region threatened by Iran’s nuclear capability.

The prospect of a pre-emptive strike on Iran eliciting a negative response from Antony Loewenstein:

With 2000 people hearing Dershowitz at this venue and no doubt many of them Jews who love the idea of a Zionist who speaks about glorious Israeli democracy, occupation and bombing Iran, my religion is sick, perhaps beyond repair.

So, provoked by Dershowitz, atheist Loewenstein suddenly dons a yarmulke, signs up for Hebrew lessons and begins to observe the significant holy days that up until now have meant nothing. As if.

The hypocrisy from Loewenstein is mind boggling. Here he is in his "best seller" My Israel Question (second edition, page 36):

Zionism is not Judaism. Dliberately associating the two is a dishonest method of silencing anyone who may disagree with either.

Thus does Loewenstein condemn his own dishonesty.

And just to round things out nicely there's this from Loewenstein's just updated bio:

His 2010 ABC Radio National feature documentary, A Different Kind of Jew, was a finalist in the UN Media Peace Awards.

Notwithstanding that it could be argued that Loewenstein is no Jew, he has been nomiated for an award not by the United Nations, but rather by the United Nations Association of Australia. The poor guy gets very little right; no wonder he's such a darling of the Left.


Monday, October 04, 2010

Russian workers flee Iran

Already miffed at Russia's refusal to abide by a done deal for advanced surface-to-air missiles, Iran apparently suspects Russian workers of introducing the Stuxnet worm into nuclear control systems:

One of the Russian nuclear staffers, questioned in Moscow Sunday, Oct. 3 by Western sources, confirmed that many of his Russian colleagues had decided to leave with their families after team members were detained for questioning at the beginning of last week.

According to our sources, these detentions were the source of the announcement Saturday, Oct. 2, by Iranian Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi that several "nuclear spies" had been captured.

This report has yet to be independently confirmed.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Media war: New vs old; Left vs right

With my one year stint at Asian Correspondent about to end I'd like to thank the powers that be at AC for exercising minimal control over my writing: I've been asked only a few times to tone down the more personal attack pieces and have never been told what to write. It is with mixed feelings that I am about to return to my old blogspot blog, having helped establish AC as a new media powerhouse. WTF!?

In parting I can't resist the urge for one more shot at the Left, however. Former independent and later News Ltd blogger Tim Dunlop's two most recent The Drum articles for the ABC (here and here) are critical of the right wing media – that is, News Ltd – with the latter a direct attack on The Australian. Dunlop's byline: "Tim Dunlop writes fortnightly for The Drum. You can follow him on Twitter." True as far as it goes, but Dunlop also has a new personal blog and writes for Left-wing site Crikey.

Thus it is therefore hypocritical of Crikey blogger Jeremy Sear to again whine about a lack of full disclosure by News Ltd:

And again, no disclaimers on either piece like “News Ltd is in vigorous competition with the ABC in a number of areas” – which conflict of interest, since it’s not obvious to all their readers that, despite News not running its own free-to-air TV channel, they have commercial interests in damaging the ABC, would not be an unreasonable point to make clear.

Of course it is also perfectly reasonable to expect that both Sear and Dunlop would disclose that they are employed by companies in competition with News Ltd, with both, but especially Sear, strident News Ltd attackers.

The Crikey/Pure Poison home page shows the 10 most recent posts. Of these, one is a farewell from Tobias Ziegler, three are open/weekend threads and the remaining six posts attack News Ltd, five of them written by Sear. And in this Pure Poison post Sear links to his personal blog which in turns links to Dunlop's most recent The Drum post.

The Crikey/Pure Poison mob are the consummate incestuous Lefty hypocrites.

Update: A parting shot at Antony "countless" Loewenstein, currently inflicting his transcendental pseudo-Jewish dumbness on "countless" Indonesians.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Lucidity not required

Both the ABC and Fairfax today publish rambling unsubstantiated opinion pieces by semi-literate blogger Antony Loewenstein. Loewenstein's ABC piece offering this gem of wisdom:

Most Western journalists, based in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, looked for any signs from the government of Benjamin Netanyahu that would appease the perceived outrage of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas who claimed he would walk out of US-backed talks if colonies continued construction.

This from a "journalist" who blogs from the spare bedroom of his parents' house in Australia.

ABC pulls MP Pyne attack piece, apologises

The ABC's news analysis – read, Left-wing opinion – site The Drum has apologised, via editor Jonathan Green, to Liberal MP Christopher Pyne for an attack piece by staff writer Marieke Hardy first published on Monday. The Hardy piece has also been deleted. (Scroll down to read Hardy's piece retrieved in whole from Google cache and preserved for posterity before it disappears down the memory hole.)

Anyway, Green is something of an apology specialist having taken on board, during his tenure at Crikey the notorious Pure Poison crew (aka PP boyz), Green in March 2009 apologising to Andrew Bolt. That apology later followed with an apparently legal action-induced apology to Tim Blair.

In the latest apology Green notes an error in judgement on his part:

Mistakes happen in daily publishing. Sometimes things see the light of day that on reflection ought more properly have been cut, re-written or dropped altogether. I take the view that while it’s regrettable to make the error in the first place, it’s never too late to both apologise and do what you can to correct the situation.

Strangely, Green does not seem to learn from his errors; his editorial judgement is not improving. It's no wonder then that he moved from Crikey to the ABC.

Marieke Hardy writes in The Drum on Monday, 27 September 2010:

I have had a great deal of time lately to think about Liberal MP Christopher Pyne. It was his appearance on last week's Q and A that really cemented the process ("But... but... you didn't cut Chris Bowen off mid-sentence," he bleated to Tony Jones in his shrill little voice, causing a nation to, as one, silently pray for him to get attacked by a large and libidinous dog on his walk home), which led me to hold a few fact-finding conversations with various 'demographics' as I take my role as ABC opinion holder/commentator/taste-maker intensely seriously which you would probably be able to tell by my many searing political insights over the previous nine months.

Opinions on Christopher Pyne seem to vary, from "I despise his crinkly hair"* to "Seriously cannot watch Christopher Pyne. Parseltongue on television gives me the creeps"** to "When Chris Pyne says 'Kumbaya' I taste a little vomit in my mouth"***. It seems that nobody in the whole of Australia likes him. Which leads me to presume that perhaps there is nobody in the entire world who is loathed by Australia more than Christopher Pyne and that's why I took it upon myself to conduct the following experiments.

1. Does Australia despise Kyle Sandilands more than Christopher Pyne?

It's getting kind of tedious hating on Kyle Sandilands these days. I mean, when someone loudly announces to a table of dinner party companions: "You know who I just abhor? That fat-headed beard man from the radio," it's hardly bound to make waves socially. Every few months or so Kyle will say something about fat chicks or rape victims and everyone will fall over themselves trying to say how much they detest him, but it's not necessarily interesting. You want to be controversial? Try telling a crowded bar that Hamish and Andy suck. Those two are like the untouchable twin Jesus brothers.

VERDICT: Australia hates Christopher Pyne more than we hate Kyle Sandilands.

2. Does Australia despise India more than Christopher Pyne?

Boo! Hiss! The brown people ruined our special sporting event and went to the toilet in our athlete's sinks! Let's lynch 'em! And so forth.

My favourite thing about the Commonwealth Games crisis in India was yesterday reading the hugely dramatic sentence, "England's hockey and lawn bowls teams were whisked off to five-star hotels where they will stay until next week," in the Sun Herald. Five-star hotel for a lawn bowls team? Shouldn't they all be in those Formula 1 buildings where you have to sit in a plastic chair in the shower?

Anyway, despite all the chaos and filth and occasional bout of shitting in sinks India seems to have redeemed itself with the industrial cleaning hoses and help from the New Zealand chef de mission Dave Currie who seems to be single-handedly in there himself with a bottle of Draino and a Brill-o-pad. Let's all look forward to a jolly, incident-free Games shall we?

VERDICT: Australia hates Christopher Pyne more than we hate India.

3. Does Australia despise Brendan Fevola more than Christopher Pyne?

Fevola, the recently benched AFL player whose name is usually preceded with the words 'Disgraced footballer' 'Deranged drunkard' or 'Complete twazzock who made such a stark raving idiot of himself at last year's Brownlow Medal count even Brynne Gordon was embarrassed on his behalf', lately made the front pages by allegedly showing his flaccid penis to 'a mother of four' which seems a misguided exercise as she's clearly seen at least one in her life on a previous occasion. It's difficult, though, to hate someone who is so thick they probably eat their own hair gel. He's just like a misguided Labrador, isn't he? The li'l penis-flashing scamp.

VERDICT: Australia hates Christopher Pyne more than we hate Brendan Fevola.

4. Does Australia despise Kanye West more than Christopher Pyne?

Look, the truth is I'm probably stretching things for the sake of my otherwise watertight and wholly structured journalistic argument here. Nobody hates anybody in the whole world more than they hate Kanye West. He is a legitimate douchebag. Christopher Pyne is a douchebag in many ways, but those ways are more suburban and fey than innate. I'm happy to be argued out of this when Christopher Pyne shoves Julie Bishop out of the way during a lengthy Question Time and trills in that aforementioned cadence "Listen Julie, Imma let you finish... but Rob Oakeshott's decision speech was one of the greatest of all time" and everybody tries to collectively kick him in the nuts.

VERDICT: Australia hates Kanye West probably just as much as we hate Christopher Pyne.

And what can we draw from this? Firstly that Christopher Pyne should probably release a hit single soon or flash a mother if he's going to survive another year in politics without people simply walking up to him on the street and swatting him with a dirty glove. Still, I'm yet to explore part two of this particular experiment which involves Lara Bingle, Matthew Newton, and the family of missing toddler Keisha Abrahams. So there's hope for you yet Christopher Pyne! I say this with affection, mind.

* My father, who very rarely has an unkind word to say about anybody's follicular challenges, be they comedic or otherwise. Interesting side note: Michael Kroger also has crinkly hair.

** My friend Benjamin Law. At first I thought he was calling Christopher Pyne 'parsley tongue' which I found very droll. "He does sound like he's talking through a mouthful of parsley," I chuckled to myself, "what a strange and clever analogy". Then I googled the term and realised Ben was making a Harry Potter joke. Less left-of-centre, but equally as amusing.

*** Someone on Twitter who calls himself Abe Frellman and clearly suffered through CP's appearance on Insiders yesterday morning. Send your fruit baskets of condolences to the appropriate address.

Marieke Hardy is a writer and regular panelist on the ABC's First Tuesday Book Club.

Fremantle Dockers become Fremantle Sergeants

Hoping to spark greater interest in the footy club the Fremantle Dockers today  "launched a bold new look for the club, unveiling a new logo and new home and clash guernseys" with a sergeant's chevrons replacing the passé anchor. Bold, really bold.