Monday, December 26, 2011

Three Demerit Points and a Defect

Driving along Anzac Parade, Kensington this afternoon I was stopped at the lights when a marked police car pulled up alongside. Waiting for the lights to change I turned to check out the driver. A middle aged police officer, with his mobile phone held against his ear.

I would have taken a photo of it except the Roads and Maritime Services (formerly Roads and Traffic Authority) website notes:
It is illegal to drive or ride a vehicle while using a hand-held mobile phone. The penalty is a significant fine and three demerit points.

This means that talking, sending or receiving text messages, playing games or taking photos are illegal when using a hand-held phone. It is also illegal to perform these activities when your vehicle is stopped but not parked, for example when you are waiting at traffic lights.
Right officer?

When he drove off, roughly 10kmh above the posted speed limit, I also watched him change lane without indicating. Oh and one of his brake lights wasn't working. But here's the thing. I'm not calling for this Officer to be pulled up, so to speak.

1) Police obviously think Mobile phone rules are silly too. There is also good research which suggests laws banning handheld mobile phone use whilst driving do not reduce accidents compared to handsfree use.

2) The obsession with speed enforcement is ridiculous. It was a three lane dual-carriageway road (Anzac Parade) and he was travelling only slightly quicker than the prevailing speed (everybody else slowed down when they saw the police car). His 70kmh in a 60 zone was harmless. I'm sure plenty of people have been booked on that section of road for 'lesser' offences.

3) Like a number of people who've probably received a defect notice and fine, he would have had no idea the brakelight was out.

Having said that, I do hope the officer concerned has never and will never book any driver for anything, ever.

Clown Shoes

There were scuffles in the USA by sad losers who would get in a physical confrontation over sneakers. Stories reported shoppers fighting and arrests being made.
Scuffles broke out and police were brought in to quell unrest that nearly turned into riots across the United States on Friday following the release of Nike's new Air Jordan basketball shoes — a retro model of one of the most popular Air Jordans ever made.
It's unclear whether it was the 1% or the 99% involved.
In Georgia, officers said they had to break a car window to get two toddlers out after a woman went in after the shoes. They said she was taken into custody when she returned to the car.
No sneakers for you.
A new edition has been launched each year, and release dates had to be moved to the weekends at some points to keep kids from skipping school to get a pair.
Hey, they'll need some good footwear for their fried chicken career.

But here's where it gets interesting.
The disbelief over unruly crowds fighting and being pepper sprayed over Air Jordan Concords turned to mourning when it was reported on social media and blogs that a young man, 18-year-old Tyreek Amir Jacobs, had been killed for the coveted shoes.
Never happened.
"Nothing like that has happened here, and I hope we would know," said one Montgomery County police official. While media outlets in the district reported on disturbances around the area, none ended fatally. Still, as of this writing, some 12,000 people were participating in no less than eight Facebook groups about Jacobs' killing.
Next time you hear an unemployed 'journalist' sneering about the unmatched power of the Internet and blogs over the established media which won't employ him, consider this example, of a lie (or mistake) spreading like wildfire. People will have lost interest by the time the corrections are issued.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Be kind to animals while saving the environment: eat meat

It turns out that the ethical high ground is occupied not by anti-meat progressives but rather by steak-lovers:
Published figures suggest that, in Australia, producing wheat and other grains results in:
  • at least 25 times more sentient animals being killed per kilogram of useable protein
  • more environmental damage, and
  • a great deal more animal cruelty than does farming red meat.
The article, by an academic unaffiliated with meat producers, is well worth reading – and you might want to refer sanctimonious veggie-eating friends to it for enlightenment.

Going Down

A North Korean escalator has become something of a shrine as possibly the last escalator Kim Jong-Il rode.

Countries which have freedom tend to have much cooler escalators.

Waiting for Leunig's attempt

In today's SMH, a letter urging more respect for Dear Leader.
Derisive and insulting cartoons and articles about the recently deceased leader of a volatile and unpredictable nuclear-armed country of 35 million people like North Korea are in poor taste, politically unwise and potentially dangerous.

Michael Scott South Hobart
Why? It's not as though they were cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. Now that would be dangerous.

I can't believe that there are calls to limit our free speech so as to avoid upsetting dictatorships which deny it to their own people.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Bullshit Disgorgement Syndrome

An anti-Israel activist advocates broadening of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign:
It is certainly a worthwhile exercise to find out if any Iranian/Syrian or other repressive regimes have direct connections to businesses in Australia. They are most certainly legitimate targets of BDS.
Yet this very same activist, a keen supporter of the boycotting of Israel owned Max Brenner shops, overtly supports the Iranian regime through regular appearances on government controlled propaganda outlet Press TV (see here, here, here, here and here).



Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Videotaping this crime spree is the best idea we ever had!

Nothing says bad-ass quite like skinny jeans and oversize baseball caps.

Comments below the video helpfully mention the kids' parents contact details.

Brotherly Love

How a man died after trying to prevent his drug-dealing brother from being convicted.

NSAE (Not Safe After Eating)

Monday, December 19, 2011


Antony Loewenstein, who previously said we should "spare the celebration over Bin Laden's death" feels otherwise about celebrating Christopher Hitchens' death.
Enough with the praise, Hitchens loved the smell of dead Muslim flesh in the morning
Here's a Loewenstein headline a year ago:
Hitchens loves the smell of Muslim death in the morning
Poor Antony who can't even remember his own work, must be terribly jealous of Hitchens' writing ability.

Antony's Father threatened to destroy his family with a letter published in today's Australian, or "Murdoch's Australian" as Antony would call it, praising The Oz.
From despair at the perception The Australian only publishes what might be described as pro-Israel pieces, your newspaper is to be commended for publishing John Lyons's articles dealing with how the Israelis treat Palestinian minors.

If there is to be any sort of resolution of this Israel-Palestinian conflict, the world needs to know what is actually happening on the ground in the region.

Jeff Loewenstein, Melbourne, Vic
I'm pretty sure he's never commented on his own kid's blog. Then again, Antony may have just censored it.


Too much RBT is not enough

Perth's rambunctious youngsters worry Police Minister Rob Johnson:
Unfortunately, we have seen an escalation of particularly younger people, growing more violent and obviously it's something that really concerns us so we need to put strategies in place.
Perhaps Minister Johnson should scrap his plan to breath test 1 million WA motorists, instead allocating police manpower to the streets so that those wanting a night out have less fear they will be assaulted or have a body part bitten off.

Protecting morons

Three West Australians required medical treatment after intentionally burning themselves with promotional Jack Daniels meat branding irons. The all too predictable response:
Health advocates are now demanding legislation that stops "reckless" alcohol marketing.
A treating cosmetic surgeon worries that a You Tube demonstration of the branding iron in use encourages copycat self-harming, but only for those wanting 15 minutes of fame as fucking morons.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Clayton's Book

Antony Loewenstein:
This is an area covered throughout the recently released book, On Utoya, and my contribution covers how the Norway killer Anders Breivik rather loved Israel in his manifesto.
It's not a book.

It's a downloadable file. You would think an (ahem) best-selling author like Antony would know the difference. The 'e-book' (sounds more impressive than PDF or Text File) has not a single review on, presumably as this would involve actually reading the thing. According to Antony, it seems paranoid schizophrenics such as Anders Behring Breivik are representative of growing opinion. Or something.

Elsewhere, Loewenstein tries to drum up some publicity for a Palestinian film. Memo Antony: If you're going to promote a film, do try and get its name right.
Stepping Stones, a film made in the occupied Palestinian town of Hebron
It's called "Sleeping in Cinema" "Sleeping on Stones" and hasn't yet been "made". They are trying to raise funds:

Seven hundred and fifty grand? Must be expensive constantly replacing the talent when they blow themselves up.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Wait until they find out he's Jewish

The trailer for Sascha Baron Cohen's next movie has just been released. It features some of Megan Fox's finest method acting.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sharia Morning Herald

An article in today's SMH reports on Muslim discomfort with the slow uptake of Sharia within the mainstream legal system.
Australia's Muslims would not move towards a parallel legal system if some Islamic practices were better integrated into the existing legal framework, a University of Sydney academic said.
Muslims won't implement their own set of laws? Isn't that nice of them. Needless to say, the SMH doesn't offer any critique of Sharia.

She continues to offer helpful advice on how Australians can be more culturally sensitive:
"I also think to not do anything about it at all, to dismiss this whole argument, is actually pushing the community towards setting up a parallel legal system."
In other words, this is going to happen whether we like it or not so we might as well help it along.



Monday, December 12, 2011

Shocker: Real Estate Agents Lie.

In today's SMH:
YOUR Domain section (4/12) quotes two properties that were passed in where the seller's reserve price was not met. For the first, the ''asking price'' quoted by the agent was $680,000-$750,000, yet an offer of $700,000 was turned down because it ''did not meet the reserve of $759,000 and the house remains on the market''.

The second property's asking price was $1.2 million-$1.3 million and drew nothing but a vendor bid of $1,230,000. ''A later offer was received but did not meet the reserve of $1,325,000.''

Just what is an asking price if not the range within which the seller hopes to sell, and the buyer can estimate if they have a chance of buying, depending on whether anyone else is desperate enough to offer more? Is this another agent ruse to lure the buyer and then upsell? Why is there not an underbidding penalty if the reserve is higher than the ''asking price'', which is obviously set by the agent in consultation with the vendor as a presumably realistic expectation? Agents in both cases are quoted as warning the crowd about the potentially ugly ''auction after an auction'' scenario and one has to ask whose purpose this farcical procedure is serving.
There are in fact already laws against much of this, however prosecutions are virtually non-existent and real estate agents act with impunity.

When existing laws don't work, why do governments believe more laws are the answer?

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Crikey media analyst Jeremy Sear is obsessed by someone anonymously posting items and updates on Wikipedia. Apparently this is a bad thing, although Jeremy himself has an extensive history of anonymous online activity.

There is a slight problem with Jeremy's post, however: Jeremy decided to illustrate his paranoid piece with three cartoons simply lifted from the website of a US artist. No attribution, no credit, no payment, no nothing.

Reader Nick calls him on it:
Um, speaking of references and attribution, shouldn’t you at have given attribution to the author of the cartoons you are using in this article? Looking at XKCD’s website, these images are not free for use by commercial organisations.
Jeremy testily replies:
Well, I linked straight to them on xkcd. I’ve now added a reference underneath describing what they are, although I suspect that it’s kind of redundant. If you have other suggestions on that off-topic subject, please send them via email.
Here’s a suggestion, although it shouldn’t be necessary for a lawyer who fancies himself to be an expert on intellectual property (with a special interest in copyright): how about not pinching the work of others in the first place? Or if that’s too much trouble, you could always read the artist’s website, which clearly states:
You are welcome to reprint occasional comics pretty much anywhere (presentations, papers, blogs with ads, etc). If you're not outright merchandizing, you're probably fine. Just be sure to attribute the comic to
Rather than do a little research Jeremy just takes what he wants and hopes for the best.

Strangely, Jeremy is not at all understanding when his work is borrowed:
Copyright in this image is owned by me. No-one is entitled to reproduce it without my express permission.

Although, of course, I didn't need to actually write those words. They go without saying. Because - as most people with even the most basic understanding of copyright are aware - copyright exists from the moment the work is created. It doesn't need to be registered. It doesn't need to be announced. It doesn't need a little "c" in a circle stuck on it. Simply, the copyright in the image automatically belongs to the person who created it, immediately. And it continues to do so for a fairly long time. Works don't enter the "public domain" until seventy years after the death of person who created the work or, if the work is published anonymously, seventy years after it is published.

Theft of such an image is, of course, covered by the Copyright Act 1968. Those who claim their theft is "fair use" might want to read sections 40-42 of the Act. Simply copying a photograph of someone's cat is extremely unlikely to qualify as "fair dealing for purpose of research or study" (s40), "fair dealing for purpose of criticism or review" (s41) or "fair dealing for purpose of reporting news" (s42).

Copyright is indeed a complex and evolving area of the law, but as it relates to photographs, it's well-established - certainly as to the question of whether people can just take others' photographs and reproduce them, particularly where the owner has notified that person, declared ownership in the photographs and requested that those photographs be removed. (The answer is, "no".)

If you happen to be stealing any works of mine, text or images, (and I know of at least one person who is), please stop it immediately.
Quite the little ranter is Jeremy.

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Friday, December 09, 2011

Hypocrite lawyer

Crikey media analyst and lawyer Jeremy Sear had a big sad back in August over the Herald Sun's exposing of a public employee's Twittering:
I’m just glad we have a prominent tabloid digging through private citizens’ online opinions in order to find people who should be silenced, punished and thrown on the dole. That’s what free speech and freedom of the press are all about.
But just the other day Jeremy objected to journalist Miranda Devine listing private citizen correllio as someone she follows.

Jeremy has, since becoming a Crikey-paid professional blogger, gone all respectable and sanctimonious, losing his past appreciation for crude language, here applied to Andrew Bolt:
What a horridly opportunistic, cheap little low-life cunt.
And here's a Jeremy-approved  Tim Blair and Andrew Bolt post tagged "cunts".

Now that's some classy hypocrisy, no?

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Thursday, December 08, 2011

Counting to two too difficult

A classic title for a blog post:
When the dark PR arts are designed for only one thing; denial and money
And, what's the deal with the semicolon?


Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Just in Time for Diarrhoea Season

Antony Loewenstein's second book (which he describes as a "bestseller") has been released in India. Can't wait to see Bollywood's adaptation of it...

Antony writes:
I hope at least one billion Indians take a read
India has the largest illiterate population of any nation on earth, so there's definitely a market for it.


Monday, December 05, 2011

Greens are Officially Something or Other....

The Greens have abandoned "official support" for an antisemitic boycott of Israel.
At a State Council meeting yesterday, which was not open to the media, every local Greens group voted to support a revised motion which recognises the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign as a legitimate political tactic, but to abandon it as an official party position.
Rather like suicide bombing, I suppose.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Can't Write, Can't Count

Antony Loewenstein sneers at a journalist with a real job:
Another week and another column by a Melbourne Herald Sun editor Alan Howe on just how dysfunctional is the Middle East, Arabs, Muslims, Palestinians, Islamists etc

Yes, this is what countless Zionist lobby trips to Israel do to a Murdoch man.

Let's find out. Step one, contact Mr Howe via email and ask:
I would be grateful if you could please advise:

1) How many times you have travelled to Israel.
2) How many times your trip was sponsored by (take your pick) the Jewish Community, the Zionist Lobby, the Vast Zionist conspiracy etc.
Here is his response to me merely a few minutes later:
I’ve been to Israel on three occasions: Twice with the Australian-Israeli Cultural Exchange, and once privately.
Certainly not countless and definitely at least two more trips than Loewenstein had taken before writing his first (ahem) besteller about Israel.

You would think that a man now styling himself as an "investigative journalist" (albeit unemployed) might try to find this out. But no, Howe notes:
To the best of my knowledge, I have never met Loewenstein, nor ever spoken to him, nor ever emailed him.

I wouldn’t know the man if he turned in my soup.
Such are his investigative skills that Loewenstein doesn't need to ask any questions to discover that Howe has been gotten to by the eeevil Zionists.

Loewenstein is incapable of even considering that one can identify how dysfunctional the Arab/Muslim world is, simply by looking at it.

According to the last Arab Human Development Report:
One in five Arabs still live on less than $2 a day. And, over the past 20 years, growth in income per head, at an annual rate of 0.5%, was lower than anywhere else in the world except sub-Saharan Africa. At this rate, says the report, it will take the average Arab 140 years to double his income, a target that some regions are set to reach in less than ten years. Stagnant growth, together with a fast-rising population, means vanishing jobs. Around 12m people, or 15% of the labour force, are already unemployed, and on present trends the number could rise to 25m by 2010.
And that's just the good news! The Report's Chief Author: Nader Fergany, an Egyptian sociologist. Clearly also the recipient of free trips to Israel, right Antony? It continues:
Adult illiteracy rates have declined but are still very high: 65m adults are illiterate, almost two-thirds of them women. Some 10m children still have no schooling at all....
Investment in research and development is less than one-seventh of the world average. Only 0.6% of the population uses the Internet, and 1.2% have personal computers.

Another, no less grave, result is the dearth of creativity. The report comments sadly on the severe shortage of new writing, and, for instance, the decline in the film industry. Nor are foreign books much translated: in the 1,000 years since the reign of the Caliph Mamoun, say the authors, the Arabs have translated as many books as Spain translates in one year. ...
even though women's literacy rates have trebled in the past 30 years, one in every two Arab women still can neither read nor write. Their participation in their countries' political and economic life is the lowest in the world....
Of course you'd have to be a "Murdoch Man" having been on "countless Zionist lobby trips to Israel" to notice any of this.

Update: Thanks Tim Blair for the link which reminded me of your definitive takedown of Antony Loewenstein.


Saturday, December 03, 2011

It's in a movie so it's Okay

Barrister Jeremy Sear employs the Mean Girls defense, a variation of the apocryphal Johnnie Cochran Chewbaca defense, in hope of exonerating the Triple J presenters who sledged Julia Gillard and her partner. According to Jeremy, it's Okay to call the Prime Minitser a whore because a character in a movie referred to another character as a whore.

Given his logic, Jeremy's status in the legal fraternity is understandable.

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Crikey, that's crap

Crikey follows up its less than informative initial investigative detention centre report with two more efforts (here and here), the three totaling over 3,300 precisely chosen words. Just a few of the revelations in the two latest pieces:
  • The road from Broome to Derby passes through a "surprisingly green desert". (It's green because it's not a desert, moron.)
  • The Willare roadhouse near Derby has a bain marie that "looks like it has survived the apocalypse".
  • Curtin detainees who have access to TV, the internet and telephones were "pleased to see a friendly face and hear news from the outside world." No doubt detainees were entranced by the tale of the Willare roadhouse bain marie.
  • It's hot in the Kimberley.
  • The Curtin gate guard wears "khaki shorts, shirt and felt khaki hat".
  • The gate guard communicates with management via a walkie-talkie.
  • "The Serco contract with the Australian government" was "recently revealed with colleague Paul Farrell in New Matilda". (Paul Farrell is quite the hunk.)
  • "Expansion plans appear imminent, with empty spaces for more compounds on the way." Yep, empty spaces say lots about imminent expansion plans.
  • FIFO stands for "fit in or f-ck pff".
  • "When they arrived on Christmas Island, volunteers taught [detainees] about the White Australia policy, Ned Kelly, multiculturalism, Australia Day, the Stolen Generations and the Kevin Rudd apology to indigenous people." (And how to field-strip, clean and reassemble an AK-47.)
  • Asylum seekers are "dubbed the 'Sandpit'".
  • Christmas Island is an "Australian satellite".
  • Like Australia as a whole, it's multi-cultural.
  • Only Virgin flies to Christmas Island.
  • An unknown number of Serco staff can neither read nor write, giving them much in common with the author of this Crikey tripe.
  • A Christmas Island hill has a "vista" that's "expansive and revealing".
  • Sister Joan Kelleher, is "seeing" some of the male detainees.
  • "Although Sally said there were problems, she said Serco was an essential partner because the public service simply wasn’t capable of handling security, “intel gathering” and other services unless “we hire many more people”. The part about the public service hiring more people makes no sense at all. Anyway, Sally is the "head case manager" which explains why she was speaking with the Crikey head-case who wrote this tripe.
  • Detainee Mohammed – not his real name – takes "six different anti-depressants daily". That little "fact" is as real as Mohammed's name.
Jeez, with revelations like this it's no surprise Crikey is a giant amongst Australia's media outlets.

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