Friday, December 30, 2005


Especially when that Russian is Vladimir Putin, who's suddenly all chummy with former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder:
Apart from Adolf Hitler, Gerhard Schröder is Germany’s most repulsive chancellor ever. During his seven years in office – which ended last month – the Socialist politician forged Berlin into an alliance with France, where his friend, the French crook Jack Chirac, is in charge, and with Russia, through his friendship with former KGB chief Vladimir Putin. A compulsive America-basher, Schröder did tremendous harm to the Atlantic Alliance. We now know why. Barely three weeks after his resignation on November 22 it turns out that Herr Schröder’s private pension scheme is a lucrative job on the Kremlin’s payroll. Last Friday the former German chancellor was appointed foreign policy advisor of Gazprom, the Russian state-owned oil and gas company, and chairman of the board of commissioners of NEGP, the Russian-controlled consortium that is building a gas pipeline from Siberia to Germany.

NEGP (North European Gas Pipeline Company) is a joint venture of Gazprom (for 51%) and two German companies, E.ON and BASF (each for 24.5%). The bilateral gas agreements between Germany and Russia were signed by Schröder last September 8, just 10 days before the German general election, which he lost. Schröder’s last visit to Putin dates from October, when he surprised some German journalists by mysteriously declaring: “Who says that this is going to be my last visit here?”

In a plan reminiscent of the Stalin-Hitler pact to rip off Poland, Putin and Schröder agreed to build the NEGP pipeline on the Baltic seabed rather than through Poland, despite the far greater expense. The plan has infuriated Central European and Baltic countries. They realize that the Baltic Sea route allows Russia to cut off gas to Central and Eastern Europe while still delivering to Germany. The pipeline, which should be ready by 2010, will allow Moscow to demand the same price for oil and gas from its former satellites as from the Germans, thereby putting the squeeze on countries that, according to Putin, are gravitating too much toward the West.
Nah, the Russians would never do something like that. Or would they?
Russian energy giant Gazprom has renewed a threat to cut off gas supplies to Ukraine - but says it will not hit deliveries to Western Europe.

Moscow and Kiev are holding talks over Gazprom's decision to quadruple prices.

Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko called for the price to be frozen until 10 January while talks continue, but Gazprom reportedly rejected the offer.

State-owned Gazprom is threatening to cut off Ukraine's gas at 0700GMT on Sunday if there is no breakthrough.
Yep, Putin and Schröder, what a team. Brings back memories, don't it?


Sisters Princess and Yeah Yeah Gbdeah are very unhappy about their treatment since arriving in Australia:
The sisters told the Herald yesterday that a case worker from the Australian Centre for Languages, a company privately contracted by the Department of Immigration, presented them with a 12-month lease which the two sisters did not want to sign because they were afraid and unfamiliar with the area.

In response, they say, the case worker told them they would not be given any food vouchers.

The only food in the cupboard was a packet of rice and some oil. In the fridge was an apple. They had nothing else to eat for five days.

Another refugee, Caroline Nykango, 30, from Sudan, was with the women and did sign the lease. In return, she was given a $50 voucher but having never been to a supermarket before, she had no idea how to use it.

The women also said they had no toiletries or sanitary products.


"I felt Africa is better than here because we had no one to talk to - no one to show us anything."

Princess, who had hoped to come to Australia to study nursing, said she was now sad and discouraged. She has been separated from her four-year-old daughter, who remains in Africa, and the rest of her family.

"When we knew we were coming we were so happy, this place we were going to was going to be so nice, so peaceful and when you are there you have no problems - when you are there you have a new life. But now my impression of Australia is very bad … I spend the whole day sleeping."
One apple between two women over five days, it must have felt just like home. Seriously, if these women have suffered so much at home in Liberia, but think it would be better there, off you go. I mean really, they've only been here a week and already it's gimme, gimme, gimme.


Federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane:
"By working together particularly with developing countries like China and India, we are going to make a far bigger impact on greenhouse gas reduction than a diplomatic protocol that has already failed which is the case with Kyoto," he said.
Labor's Anthony Albanese:
"The minister is completely wrong, Kyoto has moved from strength to strength."
One of these guys has his head up his arse.

Thursday, December 29, 2005


This poster is part of a campaign – partly publicly funded – celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Austrian republic and the 10th anniversary of its EU membership. Exactly what a shot of a female crotch adorned with the EU flag has to do with the Austrian celebration I can't imagine.

The poster of three naked people pretending to be Jacques Chirac, HRH Queen Elizabeth and George Bush having sex also has me stumped. I mean, what is the point?

Actually, I think the point is, Europe is fucked.

Via: EU Observer

Update: Paul Belien at The Brussels Journal has more:
European citizens do not like the European Union. In an effort to make the EU more sexy the Austrian authorities decided to subsidize a publicity campaign with a series of 150 posters. 75 artists from various places in Europe were asked to each make two posters, but some of them apparently took the request to present the EU in a sexy fashion too literally. In addition to the one depicted here there is a poster which shows two naked women and one naked man in a sexual pose. The man is wearing a mask with the features of the French President Chirac and the women are masked as Queen Elizabeth of Britain and… the American President W. Bush (one may wonder what he has to do with the EU and why Europeans are meant to see him as a woman).
Belien includes a range of politicians' opinions on the posters and supplies all the appropriate links so you'll want to read the whole thing.

Update II: The Sydney Morning Herald offers this:
Spoof posters displayed across Vienna depicting the Queen having sex with the US and French presidents are causing embarrassment just days ahead of Austria taking over the European Union presidency.


Part of a series called euroPART and created by artists from all 25 member countries of the EU, the posters were meant to "reflect on the different social, historical and political developments in Europe", said the art project 25peaces, which commissioned the posters.
That the posters are part of Austria's national celebration is not mentioned.

Update III: The ABC arts blog Articulate also offers a bit of selective coverage by focussing on right-wing reaction:
One right-wing politician described the posters as "group sex fantasies" while another said they "were not good for Europe."
If you follow the Brussels Journal link above you'll note that politicians from the left and the right have condemned the posters. Articulate does not mention that the posters are part of an Austrian national celebration.


In the rapidly growing blogging sea I am, and always will be, a minnow. I blog as a hobby and don't write particularly well. My academic credentials aren't much – a BA from a party school in the University of Texas system. I am an "average" Australian family guy with no claim to fame. I'm definitely not in the same league as a high-powered man like Christopher Sheil.

Sheil is, just in case you don't know, one of the crew of lefties at Larvatus Prodeo. Like most of the LPers he's well educated, and is also very well connected. He's an opinionated, self-confident, take charge guy.
Sheil is, however, notoriously thin skinned: he is particulaly sensitive to critical comments from certain RWDBs. In the course of updating the post immediately below, I discovered that Sheil is possibly even more sensitive to criticism than I imagined. You see, a link I placed in a Sheil thread at LP has gone "dead". Is this merely an amazing cosmic coincidence or did someone at LP purposely disable the link? Read on and come to your own conclusion.

For one thing, the now dead link – it worked fine when posted – is to a known Sheil nemesis. Sheil's almost immediate reaction was to kill any interest in the link by opening – within three hours of the link being placed – a new thread on the same subject. This new thread neither mentions nor links to the old. A subsequent Mark Bahnisch post on the same subject mentions and links to the second Sheil post but ignores the first. A purely circumstantial case seems to be building does it not?

Take this premeptive strike on commenter Evil – who the LPers found so difficult to refute he was eventually banned – as another example of Sheil's sensitivity:
OK, you get one comment Evil. Any repetition and you’re deleted, with relish, ol’ buddy.
Sheil's reaction to my rather bland initial comment is also worth noting:
Ah, Mr Beck. You live under a rock, I believe?
Since personal attacks seemed to be the go, I responded in kind. Sheil reacted by stealthily deleting at least one of my comments. Sheil is also known to have stealthily corrected his blog after being caught making silly errors. These same errors appeared in comments at a sympathetic lefty blog and were also stealthily corrected. The link to this thread is also, coincidentally, dead. Anyway, when it became obvious to Sheil he'd lost control of the LP thread he shut it down.

In case you're wondering, no, I haven't emailed Mark Bahnisch about the dead link; it would be pointless: I emailed Bahnisch about Sheil deleting my comments and he didn't want to know about it, so I figured, why bother?

Another example of lefty insecurity and intolerance or simply a coincidence? You decide.

Update: Thanks to Tim Blair for again linking to me. Larvatus Prodeo has opened a general discussion thread in which I've suggested the mysterious dead link as a topic of conversation. Please take the time to drop in at LP and leave a comment. I'm sure Mark Bahnisch will appreciate the traffic.
Update II: My comment at LP has proved, so far, to be more of a conversation ender than starter. Funny that.

Update III: The LPers have had ample opportunity to account for the link that went dead but choose, for whatever reason, to remain mute. Maybe they think it's no big deal. Maybe, deep down, they're not the free speech advocates they claim to be. Maybe they're so far above a guy like me they just can't be bothered. Who knows? But, no matter how you look at it, the situation reflects badly on them.

Update IV: Recent developments are here.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Sensible Democrats are worried that all the hoopla about spying on terrorist suspects, and the supposedly civil-rights-violating Patriot Act, will help Republicans:
"I think when you suggest that civil liberties are just as much at risk today as the country is from terrorism, you've gone too far if you leave that impression. I don't believe that's true," said Michael O'Hanlon, a national-security analyst at the Brookings Institution who advises Democrats on defense issues.

"I get nervous when I see the Democrats playing this [civil liberties] issue out too far. They had better be careful about the politics of it," said Mr. O'Hanlon, who says the Patriot Act is "good legislation."

"The Republicans still hold the advantage on every national-security issue we tested," said Mark Penn, a Democratic pollster and former adviser to President Clinton, who co-authored a Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) memo on the party's national-security weaknesses.

Nervousness among Democrats intensified earlier this month after Democrats led a filibuster against the Patriot Act that threatened to block the measure, followed by a victory cry from Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, who declared at a party rally, "We killed the Patriot Act."

These Democrats say attacks on anti-terrorist intelligence programs will deepen mistrust of their ability to protect the nation's security, a weakness that led in part to the defeat of Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic presidential nominee, last year.
Let's hope killing the Patriot Act doesn't get any Americans killed.

Update: The lefty super-brains at Larvatus Prodeo are still desperately hoping something will come of the Bush ordered NSA intercepts. Chris Sheil started the impeachment ball rolling with this post:
Tim has a post on the NYT's report that Bush signed an order allowing the NSA to spy on US citizens without a warrant, concluding that it "seems impossible for the president to avoid impeachment".
Sheil effectively shut down this thread by opening a separate thread within three hours of this comment from me:
If cs’s track record is any guide, the 28th Amendment will repeal the 22nd and Bush will be elected to a third term.
Sheil's second post was less dramatic:
As the wingnuts are edgy on this one, in trying to follow the story, I'm not predicting, or even salivating. Nor am I overlooking the killing and torturing and mangling of syntax under the Bush administration. In following the story, I'm, err, just following the story, wondering if this is a big or little trip, and what difference, if any, having a constitution with a bill of rights makes.
LP's blog-daddy, Mark Bahnisch, has now posted this:
It's clear now why the Bushies didn't go to the FISA Court for prospective or even retrospective validation of warrants. They weren't spying on known terrorists, they were potentially spying on everyone.
To which Sheil comments:
There seems no question he broke the law, and the defence is relying on implicit war overides, which will be subject to congressional adjudication in the hands of GOP majorities. Who knows where or where not the thing might go. The lockjaw discovery, the ’smoking gun’ if you will, it seems to me, is whether legal wiretaps have been applied for using evidence gained through illegal wiretaps - implicitly a confession of ‘rigging’ that would make the court, or the president, untenable, in theory at least.
It's a festival of wishful thinking with a bit of Sheil special spelling thrown in for comedy relief.

Editing note – corrected "within two hours" to "within three hours".


There are conflicting reports about an incident at a Baghdad jail. All reports agree that at least one prisoner seized a guard's weapon and then opened fire. The reported death toll varies considerably from source to source.

What's interesting about the reporting is the inclusion of this paragraph, apparently originating with Reuters and picked up by the ABC, Sydney Morning Herald and the Age:
Up to six guards were killed, one police source said, before security forces began firing into the unarmed prisoners.
Considering the confusion as to exactly what happened and the fact that at least one of the prisoners was armed, it isn't really fair to make it sound like guards indiscriminately fired on poor old unarmed prisoners. This is just one more example of the relentless lefty bias we're subjected to every day.

Reports from The Australian, The Daily Telegraph and AFP do not include the unarmed prisoners crapola.


A lefty provides a very entertaining and handy guide on how not to pick a new housemate:
Normally I wouldn't 'blog' about housemates, but as this one only lasted twenty minutes I feel its probably ok. Our last housemate only lasted two weeks, but I can't be bothered going there. Suffice to say, that a 52 year old woman should have learnt by now that if she is going to loudly and cantankerously demand respect, she'd do well to show some. She's the second person I've come across in as many months who has demanded respect but has not really been able to demonstrate it. - ( and so I am building up a theory.)

But that was then and this was yesterday- enter Carl, a 48 year old truck driver. He had grown up in one of those horrible Catholic orphanages in Queensland, but said that he hadn't been 'touched'.

He said an awful lot in the two and half hours that I 'interviewed' him. We covered quite the spectrum. I had made the mistake of asking Carl what star sign he was. He took this as some sort of 'come on' and proceeded to tell me how he had come into the 'new age', which went on for some time and was a miraculous tale indeed.
Read on; someone needs to take a long hard look at herself.


Australia's jailed terror suspects are upset at not being able to take part in traditional Muslim Christmas festivities:
Although the men are Muslim, spending this time of year in jail was nonetheless difficult as they see Christmas as a traditional time for celebration with family...

"They have got a great reverence for the Christian religion."
Sure they do.

Their lawyer even brought up GITMO in an attempt to generate sympathy for his clients:
"They're in solitary confinement... they're wearing Guantanamo Bay orange, they're shackled in the same way Guantanamo Bay people were."
The least their jailers should have done is dress them in festive green and red, and flush a Koran or two.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


News from left field and beyond:
The Gary Glitter Cup is awarded – Blair, Cheney and Rumsfeld are evil.

Australians pissed with Uncle Sam? – get drunk with your favourite national symbol, relive the dreadful 2004 US election and more. Fucking Bush, anyway.

That was the year that was – did I mention I have a book coming out?

Nothing worth remembering happened in Australia in the 1950s – move on, nothing to see here.

King George the Bush issues heaps of "illegal spy warrants" – he's going to be impeached, I hope, I hope, I hope... oh darn.

I have a ball named Silas; I gave Silas a dog for Christmas – while I'm away you can leave uncensored comments at my blog.

That Narnia "Lord of the Potter capitalist maelstrom" stuff is crap – the monsters gave me nightmares.

The LGF anti-idiotarians are idiots – Daniel Pipes is "a patronizing little shit" no matter what you say about me, nyah, nyah.

A terrorist murderer name Mohammaed – go figure – is released from prison after serving 19 years – it was not a trade; he payed his debt to society.

Lefties are Australia's elite: ‘thoughtful, literate people with a tertiary education’ – I keep my finger on the American pulse by reading Doonesbury.


Tony Grayling of the Institute of Public Policy Research on a study revealing only Britain and Sweden are likely to meet emissions targets:
"It would be a disaster if the EU didn't meet its Kyoto commitments."
Europe, a disaster waiting to happen.

Update: Those loony Europeans have also contributed to disaster abroad:
The 2500-strong French peacekeeping force sent to Rwanda by Mitterrand is accused not only of failing to stop the genocide, but also of actively participating in it.
The French peacekeepers were only going with the flow – it was either that or they'd have to fight.

Via: The Currency Lad.

Monday, December 26, 2005


An Indonesian maid in Saudi Arabia is taken to hospital by her employer where doctors amputate gangrenous fingers and toes. The maid accuses her employer of holding her captive and torturing her. The maid retracts her allegations of captivity and torture but the employer eventually confesses to beating her and receives 35 lashes. The maid has now been convicted of falsely accusing her employer and will receive 79 lashes. The maid's lawyer is hopeful things will work out for the best:
“We have made our appeal to the court and we trust in the Saudi court system and have confidence in it.”
Is this guy optimistic or delusional?


But it's local news media doing the warning and not, as reported, foreign governments.

The Age a few days back:
Britain, Canada and Indonesia are warning their residents about the risks of travelling to Sydney following outbreaks of race related violence.
The ABC today:
The Cronulla riots have prompted Britain, Canada and Indonesia to issue the advisories, which warn of the possibility of racist violence.
As previously noted, this is bullshit: the British advisory suggests post-Cronulla beachgoers stay alert, the Canadian advisory says nothing at all and the Indonesian advisory, if it exists, is so well hidden I can't find it. So much for MSM research.


It's hard to resist the temptation to speculate about culprits when you read something like this:
Dozens of shoppers in Russia's second city of St Petersburg have been treated by doctors after breathing in a mystery gas in a trading centre, emergency workers said.

A spokesman for the Emergencies Ministry said 70 people had appealed for help after smelling the gas.

Unexplained canisters had been found in two other shops of the Maksidom chain, and the shops had been evacuated.

Russian media reported the containers had been set up with timing mechanisms to go off as time-bombs.
Who would want to kill innocent Russian shoppers?


Earlier today while making my regular round of Australia's online newspapers I came across an Age article titled "Japanese whalers accused of butchery". The article featured Greens Senator Bob Brown raving about Japanese whalers being D grade butchers – as I remember it Brown was responding to someone connected with Japanese whalers characterizing Greenpeace's anti-whaling activities as a D grade publicity stunt. The article also had Brown saying something about the killing of whales being repulsive because they are warm-blooded animals.

I immediately started looking for images of cute little lambs and calves to attach to a post lampooning Brown's comments. After finding images of appropriately cute little critters I returned to the butchery article only to find it radically changed. The article that had started:
Greens leader Bob Brown has accused Japanese whalers of being D-grade butchers masquerading as scientists. Senator Brown said Japan's ...
Now reads:
Greenpeace has defended its anti-whaling tactics in the Southern Ocean after several days of close quarters sparring with a Japanese whaling fleet.
And Brown's butchery comment has been removed:
"The issue of sound management and sustainability of whale stocks are far too important to be sidetracked by a D grade public relations campaign," Dr Hatanaka said.

Greens Senator Bob Brown responded saying Greenpeace protesters had in fact demonstrated A grade courage.

"Their protest has succeeded in drawing worldwide attention to the Japanese slaughter of these beautiful warm-blooded and defenceless mammals," he said.

"Their ship the Keiko Maru was too ashamed to put into Hobart on Christmas Eve."
Now I know the amazing morphing article isn't my imagination because a Google News search yields this – the original title is embedded in its address but the link takes you to the replacement. A search of the Age's archive using keywords from the original title, "Japanese whalers accused of butchery", does not bring up the original article, indicating that it no longer exists. Interestingly, both the replacement article and the original show the exact same posting time, 3:29 PM. That's impossible unless the original was online for less than a minute before being replaced.

There's something funny going on at the Age; it'll be interesting to see what they have to say in response to the email I sent them.

Update: The Google News search (above) now links to an article in The Advertiser that has the same opening as the original in the Age but with an interesting omission of its own:
GREENS leader Bob Brown has accused Japanese whalers of being D-grade butchers masquerading as scientists.

Senator Brown said yesterday Japan's Institute of Cetacean Research called Greenpeace's anti-whaling protest D-grade public relations, when, in fact, Greenpeace protesters had demonstrated A-grade courage.

"Their protest has succeeded in drawing worldwide attention to the Japanese slaughter of these . . . defenceless mammals," he said. Senator Brown said whaling in the name of science was a shameful abuse and an affront to science.
Someone must have realised how silly it is to say "warm-blooded and defenceless mammals".


The situation quickly spiraled out of control at a Christmas day muliticultural Sydney beach festival organised by Blacktown community worker Jamal Daoud when a group of about 10 "Anglos" menaced festival goers:
"One of them said something racist but we could not quite make it out."
Thank God police where Johnny-on-the-spot to prevent further sinister mutterings.


As we all know, it can be really hectic getting everything done that needs to be done for Christmas. Tim Lambert has therefore decided to get in early for Christmas 2006:
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all my readers.

Post Date: Monday, Dec 26th, 2005 at 2:00 am
Is this guy organised, or what? (Link – copy and paste: )

Sunday, December 25, 2005


Here's hoping you and yours have a great Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2005


Hangover researcher Edzard Ernst has some timely advice for holiday revellers:
“A hangover is nature’s way of saying alcohol is bad for you, the most effective way to avoid the symptoms of a hangover is to practice abstinence and moderation.”
Science marches on.

Friday, December 23, 2005


Osama bin Laden can't be reached for comment but probably doesn't approve of niece and aspiring actress Wafah Dufour's publicity photo for GQ – there's no AK-47 in the shot.


Journalist and author Antony Loewenstein:
It is imperative that journalists remember their first duty - to tell the truth.
Journalist and author Antony Loewenstein mangles the truth in the post immediately prior to the one above:
It seems that even military men with an establishment pedigree are questioning current deployments in the Middle East... Fighting wars of "liberation" must be taking its toll.
Unfortunately, the articles Angry Ant links to have nothing to do with military men questioning any current deployments to anywhere.

Earlier in the week Loewenstein had this to say about Bush's attempt to get the New York Times not to run the NSA intercept story:
We now learn, furthermore, that Bush himself called the Times publisher and executive editor to the White House and begged them not to run the story. They clearly refused but questions remain.
Since when do fascists beg? Probably since Loewenstein started making shit up and reporting it as news.

Update: Ant explains the "questioning current deployments" post:
Tongue. In. Cheek.
Get. A. Sense. Of. Humour.
Though, hey, it's possible.
Let's see, where's the humour in his post? The Australian Defence Force? War fighting? The son of a prominent former general getting discharged due to misconduct?

Not. Fucking. Funny.



Got hair growing in hard to reach places? Too embarrassed to seek the assistance of friends or relatives. Problem solved! It's the perfect gift for that hard to please wife or girlfriend.

Or, if you'd like to help someone you love look years younger, try this wonder cream.

Thursday, December 22, 2005


Saddam Hussein again used his trial as an opportunity to grandstand, today claiming he has been tortured:
"I want to say yes we were beaten up ... we were beaten up by Americans and we were tortured, every one of us."

"This man when he gets up, he has to hold the railing because he was beaten badly by rifle butts on his back."
Jeez, I'd be disappointed if old Saddam hadn't been smacked around at least a bit.

Saddam should have shut up at this point but megalomaniacs just don't know when to stop:
"When I hear that any Iraqi has been hurt it hurts me too."

"The wrongs that were done to those people were wrong and, according to law, those who did it should get what they deserve."
The prosecution can now rest its case... and buy some rope.

Update: realizing he will soon meet his maker, Saddam continues to discover his underlying faith in Allah:
After greeting the court with a traditional "Peace be upon you," he sat quietly in the defendants' area and appeared to pay close attention to the proceedings, at times taking notes.

Later on, Saddam, interrupting al-Haidari, asked the judge if the court could take a break for prayer. Though the witness agreed, the judge ordered the trial to continue. About 10 minutes later, Saddam swung his chair to the left, closed his eyes and repeatedly bowed his head in what appeared to be about a minute-long prayer, the first time he has done that in court.
Saddam may be an evil old man but he's not stupid:
The trial’s chief prosecutor said that if American-led multinational forces were abusing the former Iraqi leader, he would be transferred into the custody of Iraqi troops.

“Yes I have been beaten, everywhere on my body. The marks are still there,” Saddam told the court without saying who allegedly beat him. “And I’m not complaining about the Americans because I can poke their eyes with my own hands.


That the left opposes nuclear power is, of course, well known. Here are representative statements from two high profile green politicians on the future of nuclear power in Australia:
Peter Garrett:

Such is the knee-jerk willingness by some to assume nuclear is a viable and safe energy option that when I recently said that climate change is one of the critical issues we face and that open debate about all aspects of the energy question, including the pros and cons of nuclear energy, was to be welcomed, I too was portrayed in some quarters as opening the door on nukes. I wasn't - and I said so.

To repeat, I do not think nuclear power, still beset with insurmountable problems of risk particularly in waste storage, is the solution to global warming problems. But we do need a vigorous debate about how to respond to climate change - with all options subject to the same scrutiny and charged with the same requirements of producing energy that is clean, safer and sustainable.

Bob Brown:

The Prime Minister will grant the Nelson-Macfarlane request for a $1 million nuclear Australia study plan, Greens Senator Bob Brown said today.

"This is ready-set-go nuclear Australia. The plan is Mr Howard's
$1 million dog whistle for getting nuclear power up and greatly expanding uranium mining in Australia," Senator Brown said.

"The Nelson plan ignores two huge problems: the increasing risk of nuclear terrorism in an age of handbag sized nuclear bombs, and storing high level waste which Nelson shrugs off, irresponsibly, as 'that will be a matter for the (state) governments of the day'. Nuclear power is not the answer to global warming and the $1 million should go to solar power development and to making Australia energy efficient." Senator Brown said.
Fortunately, at least some scientists are willing to look at the pros and cons:
A new study by a group of Melbourne scientists endorses the use of nuclear energy and attacks some of the data used by anti-nuclear campaigners.

The scientists from the University of Melbourne say their research shows that the benefits of nuclear energy have been underestimated and concerns about nuclear waste overplayed.
You mean the left's anti-nuclear scare-mongering campaign isn't reality based? Shocking.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


Lefty Australian academic Tim "fact-check boy" Lambert is a self-styled "fact cop": the Lancet Iraq study is his speciality – perhaps obsession is more accurate; he's up to 71 posts. He is, without a doubt, a stickler for detail, especially when it comes to numbers.

Lambert has another well known obsession: Tim Blair. So, it's no suprise that Lambert recently focussed his finely honed fact-checking skills on the hopelessly misinformed Blair (copy and paste
I wrote earlier about a particularly dumb argument against global warming–the argument that an unusually cold day shows that global warming just isn’t happening. Well, there doesn’t seem to be an argument dumb enough that someone can’t make it dumber. Take it away, Tim Blair:

Comical protest news from Montreal:

Thousands of people ignored frigid temperatures to lead a worldwide day of protest against global warming.

Was it unusually cold that day in Montreal? Well, no. December 3 was slightly warmer than the average December day in Montreal.

Wait, there’s more!

Global warming protests cure global warming. Further scientific evidence of this phenomenon from Montreal, which lately was host to 10,000 global warm-mongers:

Record snowfall overnight forced the cancellation of 200 flights at Montreal airport, school closures and caused havoc on roads.

More than 41 centimetres of snow fell on Friday, Andre Cantin, a spokesperson for Canada’s meteorological service said.

The storm will go down in history as one of the biggest snowfalls in a single day in Montreal in December, beating a record of 37.8 centimetres (15 inches) on December 27, 1969.

As it happens, December 16, the day of the snowstorm, was also warmer than average for December. Oops.
Well, it just goes to show you it's not a good idea to go to the blog of a Bulletin news editor with a sick sense of humour if you're looking for factual science. If Lambert had a sense of humour he'd see that the main point of Blair's posts was to draw humour from what he saw as incongruous events.

But, enough about Blair, let's take a look at the sleight of hand Lambert uses in his pathetic attempt to discredit Blair. Lambert notes that December 3rd, the day of the protest Blair poked fun at, was warmer than the average for December: the average temperature for December is -6.6, whereas the average temperature for the day of the protest was -4.9. This is, however, meaningless because the 3rd is very early in a month that gradually gets colder. (For illustration the average temperatures for Nov, Dec, and Jan are 1.6, -6.6 and -10.4 respectively.) Thus, it is only reasonable to expect that a day early in December will, on average, be warmer than the average for the month.

If Lambert wanted to discredit Blair he should have looked at the average temperature for the day of the protest to see how it compared to the average. The best I can figure the 50 year average temperature for Dec 3rd is, at -3.86 degress, significantly warmer than the -4.9 day Blair poked fun at. So, Blair got it right after all.

But there's more. Lambert makes the following observation in comments:
Blair was trying to make a joke about how the global warming conference made it colder because he thought all the snow meant that it had been extra cold. Except that as any Canadian will tell you, you get less snow when it’s really cold. So, you know, the joke didn’t actually work.
Is that right? Here are the temperature and snowfall figures for Montreal's main snowfall months:
Nov 1.6------22.6cm
Dec -6.6-----48.5
Jan -10.4-----49.6
Feb -8.9-----43.8
Mar -2.4-----35
The colder the month, the greater the snowfall. So, you know, the joke's on Lambert. Too bad he won't see the humour in this.

In an earlier post Lambert suggested readers visit Blair's blog to view some supposedly silly comments but warned (copy and paste ):
Read the comments and marvel (but don’t disagree because you will be banned).
It's really funny that Lambert is critical of Blair's comments policy because Lambert bounces my links, has stealthily removed some of my comments, frequently disemvowels my comments, repeatedly calls me a troll and replaced my site link with this.

But, there's even more. In the thread about temperature and snowfall discussed at top Scott Church comments:
..Blair has a long history of being abusive toward those who point out his scientific errors, including threatening to pursue lawsuits at times. The one specific example I have was when he threatened Tim with some sort of legal action for having written about some of his errors at an earlier post here. I still have to find which post it was that discussed this incident. Tim, can you refresh my memory?
Blair threatened Lambert with a lawsuit because he corrected some of Blair's mistakes? Lambert really should clear this up but isn't about to because he's gutless. The fact that he's running scared from a puny little hobby-blogger like me proves it.

Update: Lou Minatti has suggested that Lambert either apologize to Blair or retract his allegations (scroll to #37 at ) . Minatti also provides a link to the daily average December temperature for Montreal.
Update II: In a desperate attempt to sidetrack discussion, Lambert expresses concern about the sexual preferences of Blair's readers (see # 42 at ):
Since Tim Blair did not say that Dec 3 was warmer than the average Dec 3 in Montreal, you cannot say that he was right to say that. And since I didn’t say that Dec 3 was colder than the average Dec 3 in Montreal you can’t say that I was wrong to say that. Hope that clears things up for you.

And umm, it’s nice that you consider yourself to be one of Tim Blair’s groupies but I have some bad news for you—I’m informed that Blair is straight.
Jeez, for all I know Blair and all of his readers are flaming queens but what the Hell does that have to do with anything? I mean, who cares? And, is it just me or is Lambert making less sense than usual.


It sounds like the Cronulla violence has prompted foreign governments to advise tourists to stay away from Australia:
Foreign nations have issued travel advisories against Australia in the wake of the recent Sydney race riots ...
If there was anything to this, the countries involved and the warnings themselves would have been included. So, lets follow the provided link and see what The Age had to say:
Britain, Canada and Indonesia are warning their residents about the risks of travelling to Sydney following outbreaks of race related violence.

The British warning mentions recent "sporadic outbreaks of racially motivated violence in Cronulla, Maroubra, Brighton-le-Sands'' and "areas of south-west Sydney''.
Hmm, why the little snippets of quotes from the British advisory and nothing from the Canadian and Indonesian advisories? It didn't take long to figure out what's going on here.

The relevant section from the British travel advisory (my bold):
Since 11 December 2005, there have been sporadic outbreaks of racially motivated violence in Cronulla, Maroubra, Brighton-le-Sands and other areas of south west Sydney. You should monitor the situation, and exercise caution if visiting these areas – particularly on the local beaches, or at night.

Be particularly careful with personal possessions and travel documents in popular tourist destinations such as Sydney, Cairns, the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast. Robberies of safe deposit facilities at cheaper hotels and hostels are not uncommon. Unattended vehicles and identifiable hire cars can also be targets. Particular care should also be taken when walking in areas such as the Kings Cross district of Sydney and downtown George Street. Take care when you are withdrawing cash from cash machines. As with most cities in the world, care should be taken with important documents, belongings and personal items. Avoid carrying everything in one bag. Remain vigilant for petty crime anywhere.
The advisory also discusses the terror threat:
You should be aware of the threat from terrorism in Australia. Attacks could be indiscriminate and against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.

On 3 November 2005, the Australian government introduced an urgent amendment to the country's counter-terrorism legislation, in response to an assessment by Australian intelligence agencies that a terrorist attack in Australia is feasible and could well occur. Subsequently on 8 November 2005, the Australian police arrested 16 people in Sydney and Melbourne in a counter-terrorism operation designed to disrupt preparations for a terrorist attack.
British visitors to Australia are advised to be alert in general. Sydney beach violence is the least of their worries.

Foreign Affairs Canada has issued no Travel Warning for Australia but there is a Travel Report, which states, in part (my bold):
Most Canadian visitors to Australia do not experience problems. Violent crime is low. However, foreigners are targets for pickpockets and purse snatchers, especially at airports. Vehicle break-ins are common. All travellers should exercise caution in the more popular tourist areas (e.g., St. Kilda in Melbourne; Kings Cross, downtown George Street, Darling Harbour, Bondi Beach and the Rocks areas in Sydney; Cairns and the Gold Coast in Queensland). Hitchhiking should be avoided at all times, and women should not travel alone after dark.

Violent attacks on backpackers occur. Travellers, especially backpackers, should ensure that their personal belongings are secure, particularly in crowded places. Robberies of safe-deposit facilities are common at inexpensive hotels and hostels. The emergency number for police, ambulance, and fire services is 000.
Again, big deal. As for any Indonesian travel advisory, if one has been issued it's damned hard to find.

The Age's reporting on this is either intentionally slanted or irresponsible and half-arsed. (Actually, having reconsidered that last sentence, it's both.)

As for journalist and author Lowenstein, he continues to link to any old crap that makes Australia look bad. Let's hope he put more effort into researching the material for his upcoming books. Nah, he hasn't got it in him.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Apparently it's very common for children to mutilate Barbie dolls:
Barbie, that plastic icon of girlhood fantasy play, is routinely tortured by children, research has found.

The methods of mutilation are varied and creative, ranging from scalping to decapitation, burning, breaking and even microwaving, according to academics from the University of Bath.
Psychologists studying this phenomenon have, of course, found this to be more than just kids being kids:
“You might expect little girls to love their Barbie and expect an imaginary love in return. Instead girls feel violence and hatred towards their Barbie,” Agnes Nairn, one of the researchers, said.

“The children never talked of one single, special Barbie. The girls almost always talked about having a box full of Barbies. So to them Barbie has come to symbolise excess. Barbies are not special; they are disposable, and are thrown away and rejected,” Dr Nairn said.

She added: “On a deeper level Barbie has become inanimate. She has lost any individual warmth that she might have possessed if she were perceived as a singular person. This may go some way towards explaining the violence and torture.”
Okay, enough of the psycho-babble, why are kiddies torturing their barbies?
“The children we were talking to were aged 7 to 11, whereas the right age for having a Barbie seems now to be 4, even though Barbie doesn’t exactly look like it is aimed at four-year-olds,” Dr Nairn added. She and her colleagues Christine Griffin and Patricia Gaya Wicks concluded that, while adults may find a child’s delight in breaking, mutilating and torturing their dolls to be disturbing, from the child’s point of view they were simply being imaginative in disposing of an excessive commodity, in the same way as one might crush cans for recycling.
I wonder how much it cost to work out that astonishing revelation? Better yet, why would anyone give a damn why kids mutiliate Barbies?

Update: It's good to see a lefty blogger who finds humour in Suicide-Bomber Barbie. Wonder if she'd see the humour in a GI Joe doll holding Osama's severed balls?

Anybody got any idea what became of poor Cody.


The ABC reports that a group of high profile Australians has signed a letter urging that more be done to fight racism:
Prominent barrister and refugee advocate Julian Burnside QC is a signatory and says Australia's political leaders should have been quicker to denounce racial elements of the violence.
"It becomes a law and order issue but the underlying problem is a failure on behalf of key leaders I think to set an example and to make it absolutely clear that racial hatred is not something Australia tolerates," he said.

"There's not much point denouncing the violence if you don't denounce the underlying cause."
There's also no point in denouncing the cause if you've got the cause wrong. Prominent lefties should set an example by shutting the fuck up.

Monday, December 19, 2005


Chris Sheil practically oozes smarter-than-thou superiority and obviously took great satisfaction from this little dig in a Larvatus Prodeo post ostensibly about Bush's illegal ordering of NSA intercepts:
Nor am I overlooking the killing and torturing and mangling of syntax under the Bush administration.
Fair enough, Bush has been known to mangelate the language. But not even Sheil's perfect – here's a later comment in the same thread:
The story here - or ‘non-story’ if you are a RWDB - is what explains Bush why apparently placed himself above the law, despite no apparent shortcomings in terms of timing, convenience etc in that law?
Obviously unaware of the errors in the comment above – or maybe he just doesn't care because he's dealing with those less well-educated than himself – Sheil couldn't resist making an unnecessarily nasty comment to fellow commenter joc c:
Get back to you Joe, as soon as I find “Froeign policy” in the dictionary. I love doing what you command, as you will know. Let me guess. Do you mean as in, like, “froeign the law overboard”? Good question. How fra can King George froe? How fra can you froe? Fra free’s a jolly good froeer, and so fray all of us. Hip hip … hofray!
This is pretty rich considering Sheil's recent brush with spelling infamy. I mean really, a self-proclaimed writer of essays should be able to spell "cretin" correctly now shouldn't he?

But, there's more: after being caught out misspelling cretin at his blog, Sheil stealthily corrected all of the misspellings. Not only that, Sheil's misspellings in a thread at the Daily Flute were also quietly corrected. But wait, there's more: when I clicked on the link to the Daily Flute thread this is what came up:
You are probably a spammer or have come from a site that is dodgy mate. Like a poker parlour, or Tim Blair. If you are not send an email to news at dailyflute dot com and beg for forgiveness.

Details I need in the email:
Pathetic or sad, or both?


At first glance Antony Loewenstein appears to be sympathetic to the plight of Iraqis. He's even gone so far as to announce his support for Iraqi "insurgents" – in a post titled Fighting for their own land:
An insurgency against foreign occupation should not surprise the West (though we now learn that the US has a new recipe for "Iraq victory".) Indeed, resistance to occupation is both expected and necessary.
Today Angry Ant reveals he really couldn't care less about freedom and democracy for the Iraqi people. The only result coming out of Iraq Ant's concerned about is the defeat of the US:
Wishing the US lose in Iraq is vital, for political reasons. And it already has, so that's a good thing.

Supporting the insurgency is different. It's often brutal and vile - something I don't support - but resistance to occupation is necessary, justified and legal.

Since when was resistance to occupation pretty, anyway?
Ant obviously isn't bothered – actually, he's probably secretly delighted – that over 2,000 coalition forces have been killed in the little points scoring exercise in Iraq.

And what about the thousands of Iraqis killed and terrorized by insurgents along the way? Hey, insurgencies can be ugly. Eggs... omelette.

But what about the fate of Iraq and Iraqis – and the broader Middle East and the rest of the world for that matter – if the US is defeated? Maybe once the US is off the scene the Sunni, Shia and Kurds will get together for a group hug and live happily ever after. It could be that Zarqawi and his band of not so merry men will declare "mission accomplished" and retire to caves in eastern Afghanistan where they'll joyfully busy themselves making babies for the rest of their days. Or it could be the world will witness a blood-letting like none seen before (not since Mao made his long overdue departure from this Earth, anyway).

It's also possible that once Uncle Sam is no longer walking the Iraq beat the whole region will descend into chaos. If so, the price of oil is bound to skyrocket, adversely affecting the whole of the developed world but devastating the developing world. Regardless, it's not a problem, so long as the US is defeated.

The bottom line is this: deep down inside lefties admire the power that comes from the barrel of a gun and aren't concerned one little bit about how many people are killed – innocents or otherwise – just so long as the desired ends are achieved.

Update: Loewenstein continues to hammer away at the US, noting:
Massive support for the growing insurgency...
He has, of course, ignored reports that Sunnis in Anbar province are prepared to come on board with the US. It's also unlikely he'll mention this:
So much for the popularly peddled view that anti-Americanism in the Muslim world is so pervasive and deep-rooted it might take generations to alter. A new poll from Pakistan, a critical front-line in the war on terror, paints a very different picture--by revealing a sea-change in public opinion in recent months.

Long a stronghold for Islamic extremists and the world's second-most populous Muslim nation, Pakistanis now hold a more favorable opinion of the U.S. than at any time since 9/11, while support for al Qaeda in its home base has dropped to its lowest level since then. The direct cause for this dramatic shift in Muslim opinion is clear: American humanitarian assistance for Pakistani victims of the Oct. 8 earthquake that killed 87,000. The U.S. pledged $510 million for earthquake relief in Pakistan and American soldiers are playing a prominent role in rescuing victims from remote mountainous villages.
US up, al Qaeda down; a double disappointment for lefties.

Update II: Here are three of the "MOST WANTED" corporate criminals, and their crimes, from a list Angry Ant links to:

Human Rights Abuses: contracting with known violators of human rights, enabling house demolition, supplying equipment that kills Palestinian civilians and American peace activists.


Human Rights Abuses: violent killings, kidnap and torture, water privatization, health violations, and discriminatory practices.


Human Rights Abuses: worker rights violations, labor discrimination, union busting.
Of the 14 listed companies, most are US based. Global Exchange the compiler and publisher of the list suggests that readers use the provided addresses and phone numbers to contact company CEOs to express disapproval. Oddly, the contact details for Nestle, based in Switzerland, are for Nestle USA. It's an anti-American thing.


Sunday, December 18, 2005


Chris Sheil, one of the resident lefty super-brains at Larvatus Prodeo, quickly reacted to Bush's ordering of "illegal" NSA intercepts with a prediction the Chimpster would resign to avoid impeachment:
It’s a bit wild imagining scenarios. After, say, a 12 month media and inquiry dog-fight, punctuated by unprecedented mid-term anti-GOP swings, President George waves good-bye with a victory sign from the helicopter, having quit to stave off the inevitable, and holding his full pardon from President Cheney. A prize should be offered for the best essay on: ‘And what happens then?’
He's now not so sure:
As the wingnuts are edgy on this one, in trying to follow the story, I'm not predicting, or even salivating. Nor am I overlooking the killing and torturing and mangling of syntax under the Bush administration. I'm just following the story, wondering if this is a big or little trip, and what difference, if any, having a constitution with a bill of rights makes.
Actually, I think it's Sheil who's edgy, probably after reflecting on his powerful kiss of death.


Those Iraqis recently referred to by the President as rejectionists have thought things over and decided to cooperate with the US:
Key Sunni Muslim leaders in Iraq's violent Anbar province have concluded that their interests lie in cooperating with the United States, and they are seeking to extend a temporary truce honored by most insurgent groups for last week's elections.
Free elections that met international standards and now this; what are the Democrats going to whine about now?

As Mark Steyn observes, they'll have to find something:
Well, that old Iraqi quagmire just keeps getting worse and worse, if only for the Democratic Party. What was the straw they were clutching at back in January? Oh, yeah, sure, gazillions of Kurds and Shiites might have gone to the polls, but where were the Sunni? As some of us said at the time, the Sunni'll come out tomorrow. And so they did. On Thursday, they voted in record numbers, leaving Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the Democrats frantically scrambling for another disaffected Iraqi minority group they could use as proof that the whole crazy neocon war-for-oil scam was a bust.

Unfortunately, there don't seem to be any disaffected Iraqi minority groups left. Oh, wait, there's Ahmed at 37 Sword of the Infidel Slayer Gardens in Ramadi. Apparently, he's still rejecting the new constitution. Maybe, if we're lucky, he's got a brother who's mildly irked. Whoops, sorry, they just went off to vote, too.
If only someone could come up with evidence Bush had ordered the NSA to illegally spy on US citizens... We'll see.

Update: Jeff S in comments:
If the Democrats want a new oppressed minority in Iraq, they can always support Hussein. Hell, Ramsey Clarke is already in place!


Or so claims the Sydney Morning Herald in a story about an anti-racism rally:
About one thousand people are rallying at Sydney's Town Hall calling for peace and condemning race-fuelled violence sweeping the city.
That's just a little bit of lefty sensationalism to draw attention to the cause.

Here's what Osmond Chiu, 19, the National Union of Students anti-racism officer and organiser of the rally, had to say:
"The riots have drawn attention to the racism in this country."

"I am shocked and appalled by what's been happening, I never fathomed anything of this scale, that such violent racist clashes, could happen here."

"John Howard, the leader of our country, has denied that racism played a part in the week's violence."

"He needs to admit that racism played a big part in what happened."
So, here we have a 19 year old student pontificating on the cause(s) of the Cronulla violence and condemning Australians as racists with the Prime Minister racist number one. I mean, how can anyone take this guy seriously when his name reminds one of a Donny and Marie lolly. (Beck, you racist!)

The left really is – surprise, surprise – going way over the top with this "Australians are racists" pitch. Screaming it again and again ain't gonna make it so. Sure some Australians are racists but overall Australians are a lot more tolerant and accepting of "ethnics" than many ethnics are of mainstream Australians.

In my experience, Australians are amazingly tolerant and accepting of anyone – either native or foreign-born – who "has a go" but feel no sympathy for anyone who not only won't have a go but also refuses to make the personal compromises necessary for integration into the mainstream. Thus, Australians have no sympathy for those with a face full of piercings who complain they can't get a job. So, mainstream Australians aren't going to buy the argument that the actions of young Lebanese-Muslim thugs should be excused because they're merely reacting to rejection: if these hoons want to be accepted they're going to have adjust their behaviour and try to fit in.

The young hooligans pushed and they pushed until they pushed things too far and the local community reacted. Unfortunately, a few opportunistic racists where on hand to foment violence, especially amongst those who had been drinking. The problem isn't one of race but rather one of expectations. The community expects Lebanese youths to accommodate to it; the Lebanese youths expect it the other way round.

Update: The ABC estimates the rally crowd at 2,000. Here are representative quotes from attendees:
"We're actually seeing a miniature civil war, you know a turf war."

"People are not willing to admit that this is about racism."

"I've just come back from overseas and I'm fed up with a country full of racism."

"We need no anti-terror law, we need the anti-racism law."
What a bunch of dumb-arses.

Update: The Currency Lad and Evil have also posted on the rally.

Saturday, December 17, 2005


Just so you know, I've lived in Australia for coming up on 30 years – all of that time in Western Australia – and, while I can claim to have a good understanding of Australia and Australians, I can't claim any special understanding of events over east. Anyway, here are some links to help you stay informed:

Sydneysiders Tim Blair and Romeo Mike are both updating regularly.

Evil Pundit reports that all is not well amongst lefties organising Sunday's "United Against Racism" rally:
So a left-wing pacifist gets banned from a left-wing forum for expressing concern about the use of aggressive language in left-wing propaganda.
The ABC reports that Cronulla beach is almost empty and local businesses relying on beachgoer trade are really suffering.

The Weekend Australian has an overview:
Long before race riots broke out last weekend, trouble was brewing on Sydney beaches. Lifesavers who volunteer at North Cronulla - that gorgeous beach in Sydney's south that was the setting for Puberty Blues - have been complaining for years about a weekend invasion.

They don't mean by other freckled Anglo-Saxon sunseekers. It's the "young men of Middle Eastern appearance", the Arabs, predominantly from Lebanon, who arrive, en masse, in hotted-up cars, who rile them. These men - most of them still in their late teens or early 20s, who are Australian-born to Lebanese parents, often Muslim - come from the working-class western and southwestern suburbs, which have no beaches of their own.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Muslim, Christian and Jewish leaders have denounced the violence while blaming radio 2GB for raising tensions – a Sydney shock-jock has apologized for comments about inbreeding within the Lebanese Muslim community. (I know nothing about marriage within Australia's Lebanese Muslim community and can't comment but the Muslim inbreeding "problem" has recently been raised in the UK.)

Update: Perth Muslims have been asked to stay away from some beaches:
Police are monitoring for any signs of violence stemming from a series of racist text messages calling for Australians to gather at Mullaloo and Scarborough beaches.

The head of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, Ameer Ali, says he has asked Muslim parents not to go to the two beaches until the situation calms down.
Update II: The SMH has a very interesting article attributing the Lebanese youth "problem" to rebellion arising from rejection. Joseph Wakim of the Australian Arabic Council sums up the situation:
"They become like mini-terrorists and the deeper they go, the harder it is to reform them."
It sounds like the police had better be prepared.

Friday, December 16, 2005


Let's see, with US$1.25 million you could buy one of these or one of these and get $1,180,000 change. I can't afford either so there's no point in thinking about it.


The orphans will be sent to orphan villages instead:
Federal Minister for Social Welfare Zubaida Jalal told the National Assembly during question hour here yesterday,”We have decided to look after the thousands of orphans. We have imposed a complete ban on adoption of these children.”

She said: “The government has planned to establish children’s villages in Azad Kashmir and the North Western Frontier Province.”
The government was reacting to reports that at least one orphan had already been consigned to a fate far worse than death – growing up in Hollywood parented by a flake:
The move followed the National Assembly’s criticism of Angeline Jolie’s [sic] adoption of an orphan.
Apparently Jolie did not adopt a Pakistani earthquake orphan; just the rumour was enough to scare the government into action.


It looks like NSW police could have their hands full this weekend:
Police in New South Wales are urging people to avoid some beaches this weekend, with the expectation of more ethnic violence in Sydney and other parts of the coast.

Police Commissioner Ken Moroney says intelligence suggests many people are planning to bring weapons, including guns and baseball bats, to beaches to continue fighting.

"The beaches that I mentioned specifically were Cronulla, Wollongong, Newcastle - in particular Nobby's Beach - the eastern beaches of Sydney, and more particularly Maroubra and Bondi, and Terrigal on the central coast," he said.
A large number of non-locals are going to be disappointed if they can't get to the beach:
Police are investigating reports that interstate recruits ready to join in fresh racially motivated violence are arriving in Sydney by the bus and carload. The Australian reported today youths and ethnic "lions" from Melbourne are believed to be heading north intent on creating more mayhem. New South Wales police have called the reports "unconfirmed rumours" but said they are being investigated.

Expectations among the young Lebanese community in western Sydney that further trouble will develop over the weekend comes despite calls from their religious leaders, police and politicians for both sides to calm down.

One 22-year-old ethnic Lebanese man yesterday told The Australian he and his friends were ready for a turf war. "The boys reckon it'll be like a scene out of Braveheart," he said.

Sources within the Lebanese community said three busloads of young men from Melbourne - Lebanese, Serbians, Italians and Greeks - and more than 30 carloads were expected to arrive in Sydney today and tomorrow.

"I've talked to a few mates in Melbourne and I know that some of my other buddies have too," said a 29-year-old Lebanese man from Lidcombe, in Sydney's west.

No doubt they'll find something to do to amuse themselves.

In related news, a group of entertainers staged a "hey, look at us" moment at Coogee beach:
Some of Australia's most famous entertainers have gathered together to call for an end to the prejudice that led to violence across Sydney this week.

Cate Blanchett, Jimmy Barnes, Mario Fenech, Claudia Karvan and local federal MP Peter Garrett launched the 'Wave of Respect' campaign at Coogee Beach this afternoon.

Actor Bryan Brown says Australia has problems that it has to deal with.

Blanchett says she is against violence and racism.
Probably the best this bunch can hope to get from the troublemakers is the "Finger of Disrespect". Actually, that's the best they'll get from me.


Antony Loewenstein condemns those who demonize "an entire ethnic group – people of Middle Eastern appearance" but in the same post demonizes Australia as a racist nation. Angry Ant varies the "Australians are racists" theme in a recent post by including the evil Jews:
Australia is not a racist country but the greatest place on Earth, says John Howard. And the fairy godmother is Jewish.
As usual it's impossible to work out exactly what Loewenstein's point is.



Abdul Benbrika, who apparently used his spare – I'm just guessing here but I'll bet he had lots of it – time productively:
The Melbourne Magistrates Court has been told Taha was present during a conversation with the group's alleged leader Abdul Benbrika and other men when one of the men was recorded discussing grabbing members of the police and quietly slaughtering them.

The prosecutor alleged Merhi suggested a guide to making and using explosives might have been useful for the Jemaah Islamiah group and that Taha was present when members of the group suggested slaughtering police.

The court was also told Benbrika and Merhi were recorded discussing killing innocent families at the football in revenge for Prime Minister John Howard killing innocent Muslim families.
Really, does anyone with any sense object to people like these being disappeared – rendered, if you prefer – to some dark hole somewhere?


A meeting of community leaders has resulted in a proposal that Cronulla's beaches be divided into sections:
Sunbathers, soccer players and surfers could each be allocated an area on the southern Sydney beach to reduce the chance of arguments and conflict over who controls the sand.

Muslim and Lebanese "marshalls" and elders might also be sent from the western suburbs to patrol the area and sanction troublemaking young men visiting the beach.

"The Mayor and Mr Baird have been looking at dividing beaches into areas for sport or for sunbaking or whatever," MacPherson said. "It's very early days but these are ways of avoiding confrontations on the beach."

Nada Roude, spokeswoman for the Islamic Council of NSW, said: "It's just better management. If we can get a grip on what are the factors that have led to these unfortunate events ... then I think we are better able to understand which solutions will bring people to harmony."
If the violence is racially motivated as so many have claimed, this isn't going to help. Maybe it would be more appropriate to have "taunting" and "no taunting" sections.


A total of 19 arrests were made overnight, with a molotov cocktail thrown at police. A number of molotov cocktails and stockpiled stones were found.

Romeo Mike, blogging from Sydney, has a short summary of events.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


Keith Windschuttle takes issue with the notion the Cronulla violence was racially motivated:
IT was inevitable, given the prevailing mind-set within government and the media, that Sydney's beachside violence this week would be called race riots. The NSW Premier, his ministers and many newspaper headlines all used the term. However, a more ungainly but nonetheless more accurate description would have been multicultural riots. For the doctrine of multiculturalism is really to blame.

The tensions that exploded this week were defined into existence by multiculturalist policies and ideas. It wasn't the youths at Cronulla beach who decided that all Lebanese constitute an ethnic group. That was done for them by politicians, bureaucrats and academics in the name of constructing ethnic communities. Those youths certainly can be blamed for trying to beat up a few outnumbered innocents but not for responding to people as ethnics in the first place.
Windschuttle, already much reviled by the left for, amongst others things, The Fabrication of Aboriginal History, is going to stir up the lefties with this opinion piece.


Go here and complete an anonymous e-card telling someone, anyone, they have the STD of your choice; all you need is their email address. Perfect for those you once loved but now hate.

Naturally, I expect my readers to be sensible enough not to to send the hoax email described above. Really.


Well, sort of, indirectly:
A member of the parliamentary select committee on food and the environment yesterday called for emergency action to ban the artificial sweetener aspartame, used in 6,000 food, drink and medicinal products.

The Liberal Democrat MP Roger Williams said in an adjournment debate in the Commons that there was "compelling and reliable evidence for this carcinogenic substance to be banned from the UK food and drinks market altogether". In licensing aspartame for use, regulators around the world had failed in their main task of protecting the public, he told MPs.

Mr Williams highlighted new concerns about the additive's safety, raised by a recent Italian study that linked it to cancer in rats. He said the history of aspartame's licensing put "regulators and politicians to shame", with the likes of Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary and former head of Searle, the company that discovered the sweetener, "calling in his markers" to get it approved.
That explains the huge shipments of Equal to GITMO.

Update: Imagine what would happen to rats forced to eat this.


Cronulla continues to be quiet but there's action elsewhere. Follow the links.

The ABC:
Police are out in force. (See related stories on right of linked page.)

Police numbers in Sydney will triple in anticipation of weekend violence – this despite community peace talks.
The Australian has the most stories:
Churches attacked. (Related stories on right.)

Opinion piece by Keith Windschuttle in which he argues the violence results from multiculturalism, not racism.
The Age:
Public comment on the role of Talkback radio – Alan Jones – in fueling tensions. Sample: Alan Jones is one of Johnny Howard's henchman. (Hey, it is a lefty rag.)

Surf gang apologises for it's role in the violence.
The Daily Telegraph:
The original assault on lifesavers that led to the later violence. Excerpt: "There was some pushing and shoving and then another bloke ran up from behind and king hit him and then he was on the ground. That's when I ran up to help," he said. "They punched me and kept fighting."
Online Opinion: has a short opinion piece – well worth reading – on the "Lebanese 'problem'" by Dr Tanveer Ahmed.

Larvatus Prodeo (wordy – always use three big words when a small one would do – lefty group-blog with a decided smarter-than-thou tone):
Lays much of the blame on Aussie macho culture; mentions Howard wimpishness.

Australians are insular and ignorant.
John Quiggin (lefty economist):
Blames shock-jock Alan Jones; thinks violence is just like France.
Tim Dunlop (wordy lefty academic):
Attacks PM for failure to condemn racism.
Attacks Alan Jones.
Blames Cronulla violence on "alchohol, thuggishness, bullshit machismo, a sick and twisted sense of white priviledge based on a racist understanding of what it means to be Australian, and an equally racist anti-Australian mentality". We're all to blame, apparently.
Tim Lambert (lefty academic): too involved writing about Lancet Iraq study – he's up to 68 posts – to notice Cronulla. (It's now 69 Lancet Iraq posts. Lambert continues to bounce my links: copy and paste .)

Imagining Australia (leftish):
rejects the idea it's Bush's fault.
Glen Fuller (wordy lefty – if you leave a comment, be nice; he's easily distressed):
blames "'reactionary nationalism' and the heteronormative homo-social bonds between young males". Huh?
The Currency Lad (hard to categorize; always worth reading – scroll down and enjoy).

Tim Blair (even if you aren't an RWDB you're an idiot if you don't enjoy his writing):
has a roundup of his own.
Evil Pundit (an RWDB who gets straight to the point):
has a series of posts including two funny Cronulla photoshops – go have a look.
Professor Bunyip (succinct rightish academic):
a number of Cronulla related posts plus lots of other stuff well worth reading – scroll down and enjoy.
Romeo Mike (New South Wales based RWDB):
day-by-day posts that comprise an excellent running roundup (scroll down).
Andrew Norton (rightish): offers thoughtful comments.

Update: By linking to me, Tim Blair has brought me by far the most visits in a 24 hour period, ever. Thanks Tim, if I ever get to meet you, it's my shout. Thanks also to those who have taken the time to visit and have a look around.

I've tried to keep this roundup up-to-date but the amount of traffic seems to be making Blogger a bit sluggish so there will be no more additions. There have been overnight developments, however. For the latest, go here.