Thursday, December 30, 2010

Psychiatrist unhinged

Regular The Drum Unhinged contributor psychiatrist Ted Tietze today unleashes a 2,696 word piece titled What really lies behind refugee policy, the main point of which is that the governments of developed countries are demonising refugees so as to pander to economic elites while simultaneously distracting the lower classes by diverting their attention away from the social and economic problems they would otherwise be incensed by.

Now considering that he has written for Leftist-collective blog Larvatus Prodeo, links in his blogroll to Antony Loewenstein and is currently re-reading Karl Marx's Capital (probably for the umpteenth time), it's hardly surprising that Tietze is a deluded fringe-Leftist. It's also unsurprising that the ABC continues to publish his drivel.

Bigpond email scam

Only minutes ago received this email:
ATTN: BIGPOND Account User,

This message is from admin messaging center for all e-mail account
BIGPOND owners.

We are currently upgrading our data base and e-mail account. We are
deleting all unused e-mail account, creating more space for new accounts. To
complete upgrading of your account, you are requested to provide details
below immediately:





Contact address:

You can also check your e-mail address by logging into your account via, Failure to provide the above details we shall
deactivate your online Account with us. Make sure you use your valid
information requested above, A confirmation code will be sent to you.

Warning! Account holders that their account within seven days of receipt of
the update to this alert is to lose his/her account permanently.

Warning Code: BIGPOND2G99AAJ Thank you, Welcome to WebMail /
Email Webmaster.

Webmail Support
Jeez, the writer of that nonsense makes me look like a master-punctuator. By the way, the from address:
Definitely looks like a genuine Bigpond email.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Caucasian-faced, English-speaking Philippinos teach English via South Korean robots

The brave new world of education:
Almost 30 robots have started teaching English to youngsters in a South Korean city in a pilot project designed to nurture the nascent robot industry.

Engkey, a white, egg-shaped robot developed by the Korea Institute of Science of Technology (KIST), began taking classes on Monday at 21 elementary schools in the southeastern city of Daegu.

The 29 robots, about one metre high with a TV display panel for a face, wheeled around the classroom while speaking to the students, reading books to them and dancing to music by moving their head and arms.

The robots, which display an avatar face of a Caucasian woman, are controlled remotely by teachers of English in the Philippines - who can see and hear the children via a remote control system.

Cameras detect the Filipino teachers' facial expressions and instantly reflect them on the avatar's face, said Sagong Seong-Dae, a senior scientist at KIST.
Just imagine if Koreans were learning English from Australians, or even worse, Kiwis.

Soviet super-warriors

Soviet attempts to create an "invincible human being, insensitive to pain, resistant and indifferent about the quality of food they eat" through crossing humans with apes, ordered by Stalin, didn't go to plan:
Mr Ivanov was highly regarded. He had established his reputation under the Tsar when in 1901 he established the world's first centre for the artificial insemination of racehorses.

Mr Ivanov's ideas were music to the ears of Soviet planners and in 1926 he was dispatched to West Africa with $200,000 to conduct his first experiment in impregnating chimpanzees.

Meanwhile, a centre for the experiments was set up in Georgia - Stalin's birthplace - for the apes to be raised.

Mr Ivanov's experiments, unsurprisingly from what we now know, were a total failure. He returned to the Soviet Union, only to see experiments in Georgia to use monkey sperm in human volunteers similarly fail.

A final attempt to persuade a Cuban heiress to lend some of her monkeys for further experiments reached American ears, with the New York Times reporting on the story, and she dropped the idea amid the uproar.
The likely reward for super-warrior mums: a quiet disappearance.

The true spirit of Australia

On Boxing Day, while motorcycling through the southwest of Western Australia, I pulled over for a few minutes to have a smoke and stretch my legs. While standing there relaxing I noticed a woman of advancing years walking purposely toward me. Upon reaching me she held out her hand and asked "Would you like a slice of homemade Christmas cake?" Totally surprised by this act of kindness I managed to stammer, "That would be lovely, thank you."

The good Samaritan handed me the slice of cake, turned around, headed back to her vehicle (towing a caravan), got in and unceremoniously drove away, her partner waving from the window.

This unsolicited act of kindness renewed my belief that Australians are without a doubt some of the kindest, friendliest people on Earth. The cake was lovely, by the way.

Can't write; still trying

Reluctant author Julian Assange:
"I don't want to write this book, but I have to."
A staunch Assange supporter can't write, but continues to try to:
CNN hearts Bush admin peeps over Wikileaks
Maybe there's a deep and meaningful message in there I'm too dumb to find.

Wired flays Salon's Glenn Greenwald

Salon ranter Glenn Greenwald the other day produced a mammoth posted describing "[t]he worsening journalistic disgrace at Wired" and alleging all sorts of nefarious conduct on the part of Wired senior editor Kevin Poulsen – this relates to the arrest and detention of alleged Wikileaks leaker PFC Bradley Manning. Both Poulsen and Wired's editor-in-chief Evan Hansen have now responded to Greenwald, who continues to look the partisan idiot.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Super model narrowly escapes death

It's a slow news day in Western Australia:
Model Megan Gale has described a frightening brush with death in Perth on Christmas Day, and issued a timely warning to stay safe during the festive season.

The DJs ambassador said she was almost the victim of a potentially life-threatening crash, when another car failed to give way at an intersection and missed her vehicle "by inches''.
With the way West Australians drive misses by inches aren't newsworthy. The non-story did give an excuse to post a sexy photo of Gale in a bikini, however.

Monday, December 27, 2010


Middle-east nuclear proliferation not a problem

Israel's covert 2007 air-attack on Syria did not elicit loud public complaints because the leveled site was a covert nuclear facility established in violation of Syria's commitments under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Yet a Middle-east "expert" complains that Israel's service to the world in destroying Syria's covert nuclear program was "irresponsible and criminal". Israel must be condemned not matter what.

This post requested by Dan Fan.

Yet more cheap opinion from the ABC

Insanity at the ABC, which today publishes utter nonsense concerning the fate of alleged Wikileaks leaker PFC Bradley Manning. The Unleashed article is jointly written by "retired diplomat" Bruce Haigh and "lawyer and human rights activist" Kellie Tranter, who claim:
Reports confirm that [Manning] is being held in solitary confinement; that he only has one hour outside his cell a day; is on suicide watch and has no access to news.
Manning is not in solitary confinement rather being held in a single-person cell and has daily access to television. After this poor start the article doesn't improve:
The fear is that the US will apply a range of methods, including coercive pressure, such as water boarding and/or blandishments such as a promise of sentence reduction or waiver, in order to extract a confession from Manning that Assange set him up as his agent of supply. The United States has applied this type of pressure in the not too distant past in order to extract ‘confessions’. Will we see a repeat with Manning?
Manning isn't remotely likely to be water boarded and has not been subjected to any abuses other than the "harsh" confinement regime typically found at military confinement facilities. But, the evil American empire has a history that must be considered:
The problem with any US “investigation” like this - for which “witch hunt” may be a more accurate description - is the patterns of behaviour to be found in recent American history.

There is a record of secret support for less than salubrious regimes with undeclared involvement for example in the overthrow of Chilean president Allende, secret support for drug running Panamanian president General Noriega, the corrupt Marcos family in the Phillipines, Ngo Dinh Diem, General Thieu and Air Vice Marshall Ky in South Vietnam and more recently Karzai in Afghanistan: a further quick sampling would highlight the McCarthy witch hunt of “communists” in the 1950s, the Gulf of Tonkin incident staged to justify the war in Vietnam, the invasion of Afghanistan that hinged on blaming the government for 9/11, and assertions about non-existent “weapons of mass destruction” to justify the invasion of Iraq.
There's also a geographical problem for Manning:
Virginia is the headquarters of the Pentagon, Central Intelligence Agency and Department of Homeland Security. Assange’s lawyer, Mark Stephens, has warned that the US has convened a secret federal grand jury. Will a grand jury include people employed by or with family connections to the US national security apparatus? The death penalty is a feature of Virginian law. The stage is set.
The Department of Homeland Security is headquartered in Washington, D.C.. And since Manning is being held in relation to possible federal charges, he is unlikely to be subject to Virginia law.

None of this relevant, of course, which explains why Haigh and Tranter's Leftist screed contains nary a link. Why does Australia's national broadcaster publish such crap?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Lame joker

Ever hear a joke so funny that you keep repeating it to anyone who'll listen? We'll, here's an internet joker who tells a Dr Who joke not once, not twice, but three times.

The only funny thing about it is that the joker is in his mid-30s and LOVES Dr Who.

Stung, twice

Motorists beware:
Police say they will hide behind bushes with speed cameras and use any other tactic they can to catch law-breaking motorists in one of the biggest festive season road blitzes in WA's history.
The traditional post-Christmas Perth exodus began today with heavy traffic headed south. During a round trip to Margaret River the traffic flowed smoothly and briskly; I didn't see a single notable act of behind-the-wheel stupidity. I also saw nary a police vehicle, speed trap, or officer, for that matter. A job well done, I say – it's not like I was speeding, but in over four hours of open road driving I did lots of overtaking and wasn't passed once.

I did get stung however. A bee stung me on the small strip of exposed skin between my helmet and jacket collar – an unlucky hit as this was the only part of my body not covered. A few minutes later another bee zoomed through the tiny gap between my left riding glove and jacket cuff and stung me on the forearm. These minor inconveniences did not detract from a day of joyous high-speed motorcycling, however. Yeeha!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Daily Kos repeats pathetically inaccurate rumours

Joan Carter at the Daily Kos, a source linked by Google News, reports on the dreadful plight of alleged Wikileaks leaker PFC Bradley Manning. Rather than do some basic research Carter instead links to a wildly inaccurate Salon piece by Glenn Greenwald (dated 15 December). Had Carter bothered to expend a little effort she would have found an online report by Manning's lawyer, David Coombs, describing "A Typical Day for PFC Bradley Manning" at the Quantico brig (dated 18 December).

Then again, had Carter gotten the facts right her Lefty readers would be disappointed. So maybe she intentionally failed to report accurately. Carter's either incompetent or not to be trusted.

Lawyer says "high-powered legal representation" an unfair advantage

The "revenge" photos of nude St Kilda players released onto the internet by a disgruntled 17 year-old were published only after the AFL made a determined effort to placate the girl, or so says league boss Andrew Demetriou:
Mr Demetriou said the league has meet with the girl at least 20 times since April.

"We've also provided her with counselling services, support services, certainly accommodation," he told Fairfax Radio.

"We've offered her assistance to provide counselling, offered assistance to her parents.
With the girl threatening to release more photos, St Kilda management had no choice other than legal action. Unfair screams Melbourne barrister Jeremy Sear:
I suppose [St Kilda is] banking on being able to run her into the ground with the significant funds at their disposal – certainly they’re not skimping on the high-powered legal representation. Big football club vs 17 year old nobody: what kind of a fair fight is that?

Seriously, St Kilda and the AFL are in trouble here because of the allegations that their players abused and took advantage of a teenage girl. Do they really think upping the ante and crushing her as thoroughly as they can will improve their image?
Yeah, like posting compromising, alleged stolen photos of players not accused of "abusing" or "taking advantage" of the lass is fighting fair – as far as I know no player has been publicly accused of any impropriety in relation to the girl.

And what's with the complaint about St Kilda hiring "high-powered legal representation"? Surely barrister Jeremy would advise anyone pursuing legal action to hire the most competent representation available. Nah, do the right thing and go for the low-powered representation. Hey, here's a thought, perhaps Jeremy could offer the girl some legal advice to, you know, put her mind at ease.

Anyway, it was, coincidentally 17 years ago that a jury awarded $350,000 to rugby player Andrew Ettingshausen for an unauthorised nude photo that may, or may not, have shown his penis. Yikes!

It'll be really interesting to see how this stoush works out.

Update: The girl and St Kilda have reached an agreement:
The 17-year-old, who cannot be named, appeared five minutes late to today's hearing in Melbourne's Federal Court.

Her lawyer told the court his client is a vulnerable child who is estranged from her parents and only received legal advice for the first time this afternoon.

Lawyers for the St Kilda Football Club were also present, and the parties have agreed all images allegedly taken from Gilbert's computer will be destroyed, except for one copy to be kept on a USB stick at the court.
Rest easy, Jeremy.

Update II: Jeremy should be aware that wealth is no guarantee of legal success. Earlier this year a solitary individual, paying his own way, took on the multi-million dollar media company for whom Sear writes and beat them like a rented mule. Booyah!

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dog smarter than many teenagers

Behold a dog with a 1,022 word working vocabulary. And unlike human students, the dog is keen to learn. Perhaps Antony Loewenstein should considering hiring the mutt as a tutor. Get the ball. See Sally run. And so on.

Show us the money trail

Postfinance spokesman Alex Josty on the early December forced closure of Julian Assange's Swiss bank account:
That's his money, he will get his money back. We just close the account.
According to the AP report, Assange's lawyers claimed that in the short time the account was active €31,000 (AU$41,950) had accumulated.

It is unclear, however, who that money actually belongs to and what it can be used for. Where did the money come from? Was the money donated to Assange or to Wikileaks? Is Wikileaks a functioning non-profit enterprise, a charitable organisation or a company? What is the organisation's tax status? Is Assange paid a wage, a salary, fees or can he dip into accumulated funds at his discretion? What is Assange's status with the Australian Tax Office?

For the sake of transparency Wikileaks must reveal its books and give a proper accounting of this money flow. Don't hold your breath.

Update: Assange is awarded free membership in the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance after his credit card was supposedly canceled. So Assange can travel all around the planet, afford accommodation, secure the best lawyers and feed himself but is unable to pay union dues. Right.

Update II: Professional musician and academic Mark Levine, who uses his MacBook Pro "10 or more hours a day", demands an Apple boycott after iTunes withdraws a Wikileaks app. Seriously, get a life, geek.

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Anti-capitalist Julian Assange incapable of rape

Fringe-Leftist Jacinda Woodhead, an associate editor at fringe-Left literary journal Overland, gives her take on the sticky legal situation confronting Julian Assange:
The problem, as I see it, can be summarised like so:

1. Rape is a crime of capitalism. It’s about power and dominance, and capitalism takes people’s power away. It is systemic.

2. The state will do anything to hide its secrets – even using women as a political tool.

3. WikiLeaks has done outstanding work; this is separate to the individual behaviours of Julian Assange.

4. Just because you’re a woman, it doesn’t make you a feminist.

5. The state currently has no interest in protecting women’s rights.

6. We want a justice system that works for the people.

7. Women are being used, as usual, for political purposes.
Interestingly, the aptly named Woodhead starts off her passionate, opinion-laden piece:
Let me begin with my position: I have no opinion on the allegations regarding Julian Assange.
But soon adds:
People are afraid of rape. People have been hurt by rape. But these charges against Assange are not about rape.
Yep, the evil American empire is the real worry, so to Hell with the sexual impropriety allegations:
Even those who feel that Assange’s sentencing will be a win for women everywhere and change the tide of rape convictions forever must realise that Sweden intends to hold Assange until the US determines what they can charge him with.
Jeez, the geeks' Messiah could end up in one of those notorious American prisons. Too bad, I say.

Update: Click the link above and browse the comments, some of which make Woodhead seem almost sane by comparison. Lefties obviously have plenty of time to give to typing utter crap. Jeez, just imagine the electricity saved, and carbon dioxide, if these brainiacs had jobs.

Note: Dud Overland link fixed.

Fans out of control

Click to read a classic – both funny and succinct, even terse – rebuff of a letter of complaint.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Australia's copy and paste king

Sydney Morning Herald journalist Lenore Taylor cops heavy criticism from independent "journalist" Antony Loewenstein – pardon me while I take a moment to control the vomit rising in my throat – who accuses Taylor of regurgitating the official Israeli position with what amounts to "stenography". Oddly enough, Loewenstein's home page currently displays posts totaling 5,306 words, including post titles, of which 4,658 words were written by others. In other words, 88% of Loewenstein's current blogging output is copied and pasted, a task much easier than stenography. The guy is a joke.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Wikileaks: the Jews of the internet

Julian Assange, the internet geeks' Messiah, is his own worst enemy:
All sorts of abusive statements were made against the Jewish people in the 1950s and before. I'm not the Jewish people, but the people who believe in freedom of speech and accountability [are in the same position].
Assange is a self-promoting flash in the pan with no claim to fame. Keep talking, Julian.

Can't argue your case? Go for name-calling

A rather colourful post from Andrew Bolt-obsessive Jeremy Sear, Pure Poison's sole remaining foundation member. Rather than simply argue his lame case, Sear opts for the smear, attacking both Bolt and his commenters, who he derides as "concern trolls over at News Ltd’s blog of shame". Also featuring: "nasty, selfish, destructive"; "inhumane"; "cynically mis-informed and partisan sheep"; "garbage, and the logic of the bully and the thug"; "noisiest mouthpieces"; and "spiteful idiots ".

What is it with the Left and name-calling?

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Incompetence noted

Moving at lightning speed copying and pasting the work of others, Antony Loewenstein doesn't have time to spell check the short self-written titles and blurbs he attaches to the work he pirates, so we end up with this:
Don’t blame Wikileaks for our incompetance
The irony of this error will no doubt escape Loewenstein, who should avoid big, difficult-to-spell words like "incompetence" unless he's doing a self-appraisal.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Women haters: Assange and his supporters

An epiphany at the Guardian:
It is impossible to make judgments about what happened in private circumstances: that will be for the Swedish courts eventually to decide. But it is wrong that the notion that the allegations are simply a conspiracy or smear should go unexamined. Having been given access to the relevant Swedish police papers – including the womens' claims and Assange's rebuttal – we have felt it right to present a brief summary of the nature of the complaints, together with Assange's response. It is unusual for a sex offence case to be presented outside of the judicial process in such a manner, but then it is unheard of for a defendant, his legal team and supporters to so vehemently and publicly attack women at the heart of a rape case.
Assange should voluntarily return to Sweden to defend himself; we should accept nothing less from a defender of openness and honesty. Don't hold your breath.

Update: A dullard accuses the Guardian of smearing Assange.

Stockholm bomber farewelled

The death of alleged suicide bomber Taymour Abdulwahabn is not mourned by his father-in-law:
We did not know and were not aware of his criminal plans. We feel no sorrow. We are not sad about his death. Quite the opposite.

My daughter Mona has been tricked into living with him. She did not know her husband was a criminal, or about his hidden and open intentions. I count his departure as the door to freedom for my daughter. Now she can be free from the brainwashing of terrorism.

With his action, he denies all the good he has received from Sweden, Sweden which took us in [and] has given us what no Arab or Muslim country has given us.
Nicely put.

Meat pie

Update: Granny bodies aren't always suitable for advertising:
Air New Zealand is removing a billboard in Nelson with the tagline "Fares lower than your grandma's boobs" after it sparked complaints that it is tacky, ageist and disrespectful to women.
There's no fighting gravity.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I'm Julian Assange and I know where you live. Wanna get naked?

In the digital age information is, more than ever, accessible and empowering. Thus it is surprising that lawyer Jeremy Sear decries the release of information revealing of Julian Assange's courting activities:
Shame on Gawker for going all News of the World and publishing a personal email exchange between Julian Assange and a girl in whom he was interested many years ago.
Is Julain Assange a creep, a socially inept geek or a sexual predator? You decide.


Young Victorian of the Year 2009 Thom Woodroofe insists that schools must take "education to where the students are" by embracing "iPod & iPhone technology in the classroom" because traditional education is... Oh My God!... "boring".

Yes, only by making education interesting and entertaining will students be properly prepared for the always wonderfully interesting and entertaining world of work.


Pure Poison's puerile pontifications

Chuckling chums Jeremy & Dave stammer and weave through an analysis of Christmas Island-related media in this week's Pure Poison podcast – “Amazing how a bit of tragedy can light things up!" Ha ha! Jeremy’s halting summary of David Marr’s Sydney Morning Herald piece (“he’s just asking a question”) is more evasive and disingenuous than you’d ever expect, even for him. His anxious delivery betrays that he knows he’s lying.

Jeremy and Dave, the dynamic duo of intellectual dishonesty debunking, have another epic fail in accepting as factual a "great" but unspecified article describing the incarceration conditions of alleged Wikileaks source Bradley Manning, supposedly locked up in solitary confinement "without any human contact" for 23 hours a day, "medicated with anti-depressants and things to stop him going nuts" and with "no stimulus" available to him whatsoever. Yet the U.S. Army says Manning is, like other "maximum security" prisoners, held in a single cell rather than solitary confinement, allowed to converse with other prisoners and to have visitors, and has limited access to a TV.

PP boys Jeremy and Dave would do well to put more effort into verifying their material rather than trying to sound "sexy" on the internet.

Update: Manning, jailed in a manner fitting his alleged crimes, is "being tortured".

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Friday, December 17, 2010

Carbon credit scam

HFC-23, a super-potent greenhouse gas, is a byproduct of refrigerant HCFC-22 production. Although HFC-23 has little industrial value, it is nonetheless valuable to the Indian and Chinese refrigerant manufacturers handsomely rewarded, under the terms of the Kyoto protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), for capturing and incinerating HFC-23:
As a result, the "waste gas" HFC-23 has become much more profitable to refrigerant factories than HCFC-22 itself. Watchdog groups like the London-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) say the compensation system ends up providing a strong incentive to overproduce HCFC-22, using methods that maximise the output of HFC-23.
With the carbon credits worth an estimated 100 times the cost of disposal, refrigerant manufacturers have discovered a nice little "green" money maker.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Columnist's resignation demanded

Greens Senator Bob Brown demands that Herald Sun columnist and blogger Andrew Bolt keep his opinions to himself:
Dear [ Herald Sun] Editor,

Andrew Bolt has blood on his hands. He stridently insisted on the invasion and killings in Iraq which led to millions fleeing. Some of those millions ended up in the ocean off Christmas Island on Wednesday.

Andrew Bolt’s call, while bodies were still in the ocean, for Julia Gillard’s resignation (but the Labor Party opposed the war in Iraq) lacked human decency. He should resign.
Senator Brown is apparently unaware that, like Bolt, 2010 Nobel peace prize-winner Liu Xiaobo staunchly supported the Iraq war. Like Brown a dimwitted Lefty, Antony Loewenstein misreads Brown's resignation demand, blogging "Greens demand Murdoch hack get a clue and fired".

The cluelessness of the Left is stupefyingly entertaining.

Jews warned of southern anti-semitism

No, not the redneck-rich American south but rather immigrant-rich southern Sweden:
A US-based Jewish group has issued a travel warning urging Jews to exercise "extreme caution" when traveling in southern Sweden.

“We reluctantly are issuing this advisory because religious Jews and other members of the Jewish community there have been subject to anti-Semitic taunts and harassment,” said Dr. Shimon Samuels, Director of International Relations with the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Centre, in a statement.

“There have been dozens of incidents reported to the authorities but have not resulted in arrests or convictions for hate crimes.”
Irrational Jew haters are everywhere.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Blogging lawyer exceeds brief

Crikey's Pure Poison's raison d'être is exposing "intellectual dishonesty" in the media yet today Jeremy Sear injects the Australian blog into American politics, referring to the rejection of a bill as "political bastardry". In fact, Time magazine and a dissenting Republican have explained the issues with the bill.

Lawyer Jeremy should adhere to his brief by staying out of U.S. politics, a topic about which he knows very little.

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Assange: No conspiracy, just spurned women making bogus charges

Julian Assange's lawyer in Sweden, Bjorn Hurtig, having read court documents, knows what's behind the allegations of sexual impropriety and it's certainly not political pressure from the United States, or any other country:
Hurtig told the Mail on Sunday: "From what I have read, it is clear that the women are lying and that they had an agenda when they went to the police, which had nothing to do with a crime having taken place.

"It was, I believe, more about jealousy and disappointment on their part. I can prove that at least one of them had very big expectations for something to happen with Julian."
Hurtig admits that there is no evidence of a "conspiracy" to get his client. A Swedish legal scholar agrees:
Hans Eklund, a law professor in criminal law at Uppsala University, believes much of the speculation about supposed ulterior motives on the part of the Swedish prosecutor likely comes from a misunderstanding of the Swedish legal system.

“There is no political conspiracy in the way the judiciary has handled this case,” Eklund told The Local.

“That’s totally absurd, just ridiculous. Something taken from thin air.”
It is thus clear that Hurtig is attempting to smear Assange's accusers, as so often happens in such cases – women aiming for revenge have made bogus allegations.

Wikileaks, Assange and his lawyer, women haters the lot of them.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Solar panel complaints escalate

West Australian residential solar panel owners are disillusioned:
State-owned electricity retailer Synergy has warned customers to lower their expectations about the financial benefits of solar panel installations amid a wave of complaints about the systems under-delivering.

Amid figures which reveal that solar panel installations were among the biggest sources of annoyance for Synergy customers, the utility said many people held unrealistic beliefs about how much money the systems could make.

It comes as record numbers of people in WA take up generous State and Federal incentives to have the devices installed, many hoping to cover the cost of their power and sell surplus generated power back into the grid.

Synergy spokesman Andrew Gaspar said the number of installations had risen from a handful a month to about 600 a week, with almost 30,000 homes having solar panels for power on their roofs compared to just 1000 in July 2008.
Caveat emptor.

High-priced sex toys

A West Australian couple is producing ultra-exclusive gem and pearl-encrusted precious metal sex toys. The $1 million vibrator is no mere sex toy, however, designed as it is to appeal to those with deep pockets and an interest in "erotica and art – not the tawdry end of the adult market."

Despite the $1 million price tag the vibrator has the unmistakably fishy scent of tawdry sex to it.


Over, one of wordsmith Antony Loewenstein's favourite misused words.

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Clinging to Julian Assange's coat-tails

Hoping to increase book sales and raise his profile, Antony Loewenstein organises a rally to help save Julian Assange from possible sex charges:
Spokesperson Antony Loewenstein, an independent journalist and author of My Israel Question and The Blogging Revolution, says that the Australian government has failed in its responsibilities towards Australian citizen Julian Assange.
“The Gillard government should be praising the bravery of an individual who dares reveal the realities of international diplomacy.
“The public has a right to know why we are in Afghanistan, why we support Israel, how the US views us and which ministers are relying information to Washington.”
Despite Assange being held in the U.K. in relation to a warrant from Sweden, Loewenstein and anyone stupid enough to join him "will march on the U.S. consulate to demand":
* Julian Assange is afforded all legal rights and released from custody.
* Governments recognise Wikileaks as enjoying the same freedoms as all other media outlets.
* The Australian Government retracts all statements and threats which have shown their utter disregard for the public’s right to know what governments are doing.
Idiots of a feather...

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Bolt-lust shows no sign of waning

PP boy Jeremy Sear’s obsession with Andrew Bolt has now lasted almost twice as long as his first marriage, and shows no sign of ending. Yet way back in February 2005, Sear promised:
I think this is enough Andrew Bolt for a while. ... It was a brief fling, but I'm bored with him now.

From now on, Andrew Bolt-related posts only when I'm desperate for material.
Over the 95 weeks it has been online, Crikey's Pure Poison has produced a cult-like 363 Bolt-posts, 131 of them authored by a "desperate for material" Jeremy. One more year and Jeremy’s “brief fling” will be longer than World War Two.

His mate at Crikey, Dave Gaukroger, is only a novice Bolt-luster, but he shares Jeremy’s gift for stupid. In a recent Tweet, Dave sarcastically wrote that the Daily Telegraph’s “accuracy” was his favourite thing about the newspaper. But Dave’s Tweet was inaccurate. He blames the Daily Telegraph for those bogus naked Pauline Hanson photographs. That was the Sunday Telegraph.

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Stockholm jihadi gutless

An inept suicide bomber attempting to take out Swedes fails miserably:
A man who arrived on the scene before the police arrived told the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper that the dead man had a large wound in his abdomen.

“It looked like the man was carrying something that exploded on his stomach. He didn’t have any injuries to his face or his body and the stores nearby weren’t damaged. All the windows were whole,” the witness told DN.
It appears that much of the small blast was absorbed by an intact bag of nails found at the scene. Gutless idiot nailed himself.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Borrowing easier than writing

A massive 2,502 word pro-Wikileaks post today from Antony Loewenstein. Not unexpectedly journalist Loewenstien wrote only 124 of those words, the other 2,378 "borrowed" from four commercial sources employing actual journalists. There is no such thing as Copyright in Loewy-land.

Nerds on speed bitch-fest

This week’s highlight from the Pure Poison Podcast: Dave Gaukroger thinks that “wan” is pronounced “waaan”. Wrong. “Waaan” is the sound co-host Jeremy Sear makes whenever he gets bitch-slapped online, which is all the time.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Suicidal bombers

It could just be that most suicide bombers are simply suicidal.

Scott Bridges ignores his greatest achievement

Al Jazeera recruit Scott Bridges at his personal blog:
I've blogged since 2003 in various places such as Crikey's Pure Poison and Back In A Bit, and the group blog Groupthink.
But for some reason Bridges fails to mention the blog he spent "literally thousands of hours... building, maintaining, moderating and writing", enlightened Lefty site Grods. Funny that.

Bromance revealed

The Drum, ABC News's cheap opinion arm, today publishes more drivel from "political analyst" Antony Loewenstein, who can't make it past the second paragraph before screwing up:
Who can now say that the WikiLeaks cables detail no new information?

It was only last week that ABC TV’s 7.30 Report featured a story with supposed foreign affairs experts, including the Lowy Institute’s Michael Fullilove, who largely dismissed the significance of the document dump. Within a few days these men were all proven wrong.

Now we know Labor powerbroker Mark Arbib sends confidential information to the Americans. He’s not alone.
At least the three "foreign affairs experts" featured on the 7:30 Report possess foreign affairs expertise whereas Loewenstein does not. The experts were not proven wrong as Lowenstein claims, two of them agreeing that the Wikileaks leaks are significant, with Michael Fullilove restating the obvious:
A lot of the news that is breaking is things that we sort of knew anyway. We knew that Gulf States don't trust Iran. We knew that China doesn't like Google.
Loewenstein also comes up short on his claim that Mark Arbib leaked "confidential information to the Amercians", the linked article indicating nothing of the sort.

True to form, Loewenstein's article is full of rash judgments and language mangling:
The fact that the US had followed the rise of Julia Gillard and approved her views on the American alliance, Afghanistan and Israeli aggression is worrying though unsurprising.

It’s extremely rare that a leader rises who hasn’t received American approval or extensive years of obedience grooming. Former Labor leader Mark Latham was loathed by the US because he publicly expressed scepticism about the US alliance, the war in Iraq and then-president George W Bush.
Right, as if Latham was ever going to be Prime Minister no matter what the U.S. thought about him.

And finally, Loewenstein republishes the article at his blog giving it the rather cryptic title "Wikileaks exposes the bromance between journalists and politics". Jeez, it's no wonder the guy's a best selling author and a regular at Fairfax and the ABC.

Update: Loewenstein not only can't write, he can't count, estimating the crowd at today's "big" Sydney pro-Assange rally as 2,000, whereas AAP estimates more than 500 and the Sydney Morning Herald counts fewer than 800. Jeez, Sydney seems to have a shortage of unemployed Lefties with time to kill. Then again, no one in even close to their right mind would willingly suffer Loewenstein's endless adolescent bagpipe-like dronings.


Thursday, December 09, 2010

Wikileaks front man entitled to a free pass on sex charges

Julian Assange, co-founder of Wikeleaks, has been arrested not for his whistle-blowing activities but rather so that he can be questioned in relation to alleged sex offences:
The charges against Assange stem from a visit that the nomadic former computer hacker made to Sweden to give a seminar in August.

When Assange appeared before a London court following his arrest on Tuesday, Gemma Lindfield, representing the Swedish authorities, told the judge that Assange was wanted in connection with four allegations made by two women.

She told the court the first complainant, identified only as Miss A, said she was victim of "unlawful coercion" on the night of August 14th this year in Stockholm.

The court heard Assange is accused of using his body weight to hold her down in a sexual manner.

The second charge alleged Assange "sexually molested" Miss A by having sex with her without a condom when it was her "express wish" one should be used.

The third charge claimed Assange "deliberately molested" Miss A on August 18th "in a way designed to violate her sexual integrity."

The fourth charge accused Assange of having sex with a second woman, Miss W, on August 17th without a condom while she was asleep at her Stockholm home.
According to Assange's supporters he should, because he is seen as a modern day Ned Kelly, get a free pass. WTF?

Personal secrets to stay secret

Antony Loewenstein, free speech advocate and staunch Wikileaks supporter, balks at the idea of revealing his personal secrets, book contract details, for example. In fact, Loewenstein is anything but a promoter of free speech, refusing to post dissenting comments at his blog; also declining to reveal sales figures for his "best-selling" My Israel Question.

Loewenstein is a first class hypocrite, but anyone familiar with his drivel already knew that.

Too good to be true

Desperate for a love, a Perth widow "meets" her dream man, a self-proclaimed multi-millionaire businessman, at an internet dating site, and is bilked out of a small fortune. It isn't clear exactly why the woman expected that a rich, desirable man would resort to trolling for a wife on the internet. Fools and their money...

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Anti-Assange conspiracy imagined

A decidedly strange tweet from Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young:
Would the govt be talking about passports & charges if The [Australian] had got their hands on the leaks given to WikiLeaks first? I think not.
The senator's ill-informed comment ignores that the Wall Street Journal, a stablemate of the Australian, was offered the Wikileaks document dump but declined to participate.

Senator Hanson-Young apparently thinks that Rupert Murdoch and the Gillard government are participants in a massive anti-Assange conspiracy. All one need do is throw out the suggestion and Leftists start imagining right-wingers subverting Australian democracy. Check under your beds Lefties; right-wing conspirators are everywhere.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Wikileaks and Assange: women haters?

Wikileaks and Julian Assange's lawyer liken Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny and the women pursuing charges as persecutors of an innocent. Perhaps it's time for Assange to clear the air by voluntarily turning himself in and returning to Sweden, where he once sought refuge. Smearing Assange's accusers just ain't gonna cut it as a defense.

Meanwhile, prosecutor Marianne Ny denies she has been pressured to pursue Assange.

Solar power overload

The pace of residential solar cell installations, currently running at some 2,500 per month, provokes anxiety:
West Australians are signing up to sell excess power from home solar panels at such a rapid rate that there are fears they could overload the grid and cause power surges that destroy household appliances.
The law of unintended consequences in action.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

BMW stands by its products

In April I lashed out by buying a BMW Streetguard motorcycle jacket from Procycles Hornsby. The jacket is a delight to wear in cooler conditions and proved to be totally rain-proof. Unfortunately, one of the jacket's waterproof zippers failed in November so I posted it back to Procycles, which soon thereafter notified me that a replacement jacket has been sent to me no questions asked.

If you're in the market for the highest quality motorcycle apparel I suggest you try Procycles range of BMW products – Procycles also stocks KTM and Triumph gear.

"Scientist" Tim Lambert's war on reality

UNSW computer technician Tim Lambert, renowned for posting erroneous, uncorrected bullshit, finds numerous "errors" in a Brian Dunning Skeptoid podcast and, of course, expects a correction. Supporting Lambert is the notoriously wrong "Bug Girl". What is it with scientists and their war on reality?

Hypocrite lawyer

Jeremy Sear and Dave Gaukroger, the Gilmore Girls of the internet, enjoy a high-pitched conversation. One topic is defamation, and how bad it is when people who Jeremy doesn’t
like take legal action.

But Jeremy doesn’t mention how often he himself takes – or threatens to take – legal action. By my count at least three different bloggers have at one time or another received a legal threat from Sear, who rarely backs up his threats with any actual writs.

As the Gilmore Girls say, it has a "chilling effect" on free speech.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Sweden supreme court rules Assange arrest warrant vaild

Julian Assange's mum refuses to believe her son is guilty of alleged sex crimes but Sweden's supreme court has ruled the international arrest warrant valid. Will Assange yet stand trial or will he end up with a bullet to the brain? Stay tuned.

The ABC again publishes semi-literate "cheap" opinion rather than pay for knowledgeable commentary

The Wikileaks document dump elicits a language-mangling frenzy from Antony Loewenstein, who sees the documents as providing a "litany of information". Another Loewenstein clanger refers to the "utterly spinelessness" of Amazon for shutting down the Wikileaks site.

It's no wonder then that the ABC has published Loewenstein's superficial and less than lucid analysis of the impact of the Wikileaks release, in which he refers to the "litany of documents that prove Israel and the US looking to spy on Palestinian officials and gather information such as frequent flyer and credit card numbers."

The guy can't master the use of "litany" yet he's frequently published as providing "analysis". That's out ABC, sourcing cheap opinion rather than knowledgeable commentary.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ecuador offers Assange refuge

Sweden, recently touted as a possible home base for Wikileaks, has condemned the release of confidential diplomatic communications as making the world "less safe". There's also the little matter of Swedish prosecutors issuing an international warrant for the arrest of Wikileaks' attention-seeking founder Julian Assange, prosecutors aiming to make the world's women safe from the alleged predations of the allegedly safe sex-shunning former hacker.

Never fear Lefties, a "progressive" state has offered Assange refuge:
An Ecuadorean minister has offered residence in his country to Julian Assange, the reclusive founder of WikiLeaks, without conditions.

"We are ready to give him residence in Ecuador, with no problems and no conditions," Kintto Lucas, the deputy foreign minister, told the website Ecuadorinmediato on Monday.

"We are going to invite him to come to Ecuador so he can freely present the information he possesses and all the documentation, not just over the internet but in a variety of public forums."
Now there's a match made in heaven if ever there was one.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sea Shepherd reveals new artificial reef

Sea Shepherd has unveiled an AU$4 million vessel destined to join the Ady Gil as a home for marine life at the bottom of the Southern Ocean. Paul Watson and comrades are to be applauded.

Quiggin wrong

Professor John Quiggin mentioned in September a post he’d written in 2007, in which he predicted that “the Liberal Party will never win another federal election”. Said the egomaniac: “It still looks as if I might be right.”

But Professor Quiggin didn’t link to that initial post. That’s probably because he got everything wrong. Some excerpts:
“The Liberal and National parties are in such dire straits that they can’t continue as they are. They haven’t got enough support, parliamentary representation or ideas for one party, let alone two.”

“It would be better for the conservatives to start a completely new party, leaving their toxic existing structures to collapse.”

“The picture at the State level is far worse. The conservatives haven’t won a state or territory election this century …”

“Of course, things could go badly wrong for Rudd or for one of the state governments. But if they don’t, it’s hard to see the Libs getting back in anywhere before the next NSW election due in 2011 …”
Hopefully Quiggin's understanding of economics, his specialty, is better than his understanding of politics.

Commenters Seared

Following the poor showing of both the ALP and his beloved Greens in Victoria over the weekend, enlightened lefty Jeremy Sear issues an invitation at Pure Poison:
Celebrate, commiserate. Gloat or remonstrate. Get it out of your system.
So readers respond. After all, that’s what Jeremy asked for.

But then in comments he attacks and abuses them, whining about “spiteful rightwingers”, “fatuous” theories, “trolls”, “shit analysis”, “asinine advice” and people “projecting their hatred”.

Um, Jeremy. That would be you.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Overland literary journal publishes semi-literate nonsense

Overland, "the most radical of Australia’s long-standing literary and cultural magazines", today publishes "The greatest irony of Western policy", which starts off:
After the US mid-term elections, President Barack Obama is severely weakened by the rise of the Republicans. His unwillingness or inability to pursue true justice and peace in the Middle East will only be worsened.
Thus are we informed of the nonsensical proposition that President Obama's "unwillingness or inability" to pursue Middle East peace will not increase, it will "worsen". You guessed it, this mangling of both thought and language can only come from independent journalist Antony Loewenstein.

The article gets no better following the introduction:
Tragically, despite the soaring rhetoric including the recent speech to the Muslim world in Indonesia, Obama’s presidency has been notable for its continuation of previous administration policies. Relations with the Muslim world remain dire because occupation has only deepened in places such as Pakistan, Yemen and Afghanistan. For example, drone attacks have killed more civilians in Pakistan since Obama assumed office.
The greatest irony of Western policy towards the Middle East is its shortsightedness.
Policy towards? Why not straightforwardly write "Shortsightedness is the greatest irony of Western Middle East policy."?

Yet Loewenstein's article draws this comment at Overland:
What a succinct, compelling and chilling analysis of the impact and the consequences of western policy in the Middle East that would rarely, if ever, see the light of day in mainstream media. Indeed mainstream media are a huge part of the problem. Thanks Antony, thanks Overland.
Overland's claims to have published "‘culture that matters … since 1954" but in 2010 publishes semi-literate, irrelevant nonsense by Antony Loewenstein. Overland must be desperate.

Update: Loewenstein's factually challenged Monday Crikey article "Australian troops involved in covert and deadly operations for the US" draws savage responses from both Neil James, Executive Director, Australia Defence Association and Professor Douglas Kirsner, School of International & Political Studies, Deakin University. (Click the link and scroll down.)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"Animal drug" for executing animalistic humans

The ABC reports on a change of drugs for U.S. lethal injections:
A United States judge has approved a drug normally used to euthanise animals for use in capital punishment in Oklahoma.
The drug, pentobarbital, is indeed used to euthanise animals but has other uses:
Pentobarbital has also been used for physician-assisted suicide. It is used in the US state of Oregon for this purpose, and is also used by the Swiss euthanasia group Dignitas. Pentobarbital was also used for this purpose in the Northern Territory of Australia, prior to euthanasia becoming illegal in that region.

In the Netherlands, a pentobarbital elixir is used for physician-assisted suicide (an alternative to euthanasia for patients who wish to take the barbiturate needed for the lethal cocktail themselves, instead of having it administered intravenously, in which case thiopental is used). Pentobarbital has no current therapeutic use in the Netherlands, and is only used for this purpose.

Typically, when orally ingested for euthanasia purposes, an antiemetic drug is swallowed approximately 30 minutes before the lethal overdose of pentobarbital. This is done because large concentrated doses of pentobarbital may cause vomiting.

In this role, pentobarbital is highly sought after by people wishing to end their lives but not allowed to do so under their country's laws. It is therefore often smuggled across borders from countries where it is still available over-the-counter such as Mexico, or purchased through illegal mail orders.
Pentobarbital is used by those promoting and seeking a painless exit, so it is also suitable for executing those deemed to be deserving of elimination.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Seventh century education for Muslim students

As is this is a surprise:
BBC Panorama found that more than 40 Saudi Students' Schools and Clubs are teaching the official Saudi national curriculum to about 5,000 pupils.

One text book shows how the hands and feet of thieves are chopped off.

The Saudi government said it had no official ties to the part-time schools and clubs and did not endorse them.

However, a building in west London where Panorama obtained one of the text books is owned by the Saudi government.
One of the text books asks children to list the "reprehensible" qualities of Jewish people. A text for younger children asks what happens to someone who dies who is not a believer in Islam - the answer given in the text book is "hellfire".

Another text describes the punishment for gay sex as death and states a difference of opinion about whether it should be carried out by stoning, burning with fire or throwing the person over a cliff.
The appropriate punishment for gay homosexuals is, or course, stoning, burning with fire and throwing the offender over a a cliff.

Hitchens interview

Despite cancer and chemo Christopher Hitchens is almost as combative as ever. Read the whole thing.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The kiddie-enticing taste of spirits

As we all know, spirits have a taste (plus the delightful mouth and throat-searing) children can't resist. It is therefore shocking to learn that Jim Beam and Bundaberg are offering Australian children alcohol-flavoured but alcohol-free fudge this Christmas:
Public health campaigners have accused alcohol companies of using devious methods to bolster brand recognition among young people in a bid to get around bans on advertising to children. Research shows that the earlier children are exposed to alcohol advertising the more likely they are to drink at harmful levels later in life.
Worse still, duped children will grow obese in their futile efforts to consume enough alcohol–free fudge to get even slightly tipsy. Jeez, and to think alcohol-rich vanilla essence isn't restricted to sale at bottle shops.

Al Jazeera hires Australian Photoshop expert

Jack of all trades, master of none, Scott "the editor" Bridges now works for al Jazeera. So, was the Arab network looking for someone who could subtly Photoshop a Pepsi bottle into a penis, or did they want someone who could find sexual humour in the oddest places? Hey, maybe they just needed someone experienced with filth to clean toilets.

It's like a comedy of errors

Not finding much in the way of Internet entertainment this weekend? Try the Pure Poison podcast featuring Dave Gaukroger and Jeremy Sear. There is much laughing and carry-on, this I suspect is related to hormonal disturbances as the two young Lefty bloggers fast approach puberty – listen in awe to Jeremy's voice, which will begin to masculinise any day now.

Update: For more Leftard fun, check out this Pure Poison post by an astonished Sear, who can't believe a possibly inappropriate comment slipped past Andrew Bolt's moderators. Then again, Sear is well acquainted with inappropriate comments, having himself stealthily deleted one of his comments questioning hottie Amanda Beard's female equipment.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Watering bitumen

As a motorcyclist I'm acutely aware of the huge quantities of water wasted on lawns – water that fruitlessly ends up on pavement and on me as I ride past. With a strong easterly over the past few days, huge quantities of water ends up blown into the streets. Then there's the local council's park watering with large mis-aimed sprinklers active most mornings, directing huge quantities of water many meters out onto the bitumen making it impossible for passing vehicles not to get drenched. It's a cruel joke that precious water is being so wasted.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Over-zealous government intervention

A must read 1997 Economist article on government meddling in matters that are none of its concern.

In intervening years the meddling has only intensified.

Ady Gil sinking

Maritime New Zealand decides that the masters of the Shona Maru II and Ady Gil are equally responsible for the collision:
A Japanese whaler did not deliberately ram and sink a Sea Shepherd protest boat during a high-seas confrontation in Antarctic waters early this year, New Zealand investigators found Thursday.

There was no evidence either the whaler Shonan Maru II or Sea Shepherd's Ady Gil deliberately caused the January 6 collision, which sheared the bow off the militant environmental group's hi-tech trimaran, Maritime New Zealand said.

Instead, the government agency blamed poor seamanship on both sides for the accident, which occurred as Sea Shepherd boats harassed Japanese harpooners in a campaign to prevent whaling in Antarctic waters.

"(It) appears to have resulted from a failure by both masters and the crew of both vessels to appreciate and react appropriately to the potential for the collision," the inquiry found.

But had Sea Shepherd vessels not been pursuing and harassing the whaling fleet there could have been no collision. Thus the ultimate responsibility for the collision must rest with Ady Gil master Paul Bethune.

Airborne activist pepper-sprayed

Or so this blog post intimates:
Pepper-sprayed for being a peace activist over Palestine
That's noted language-mangler Antony Loewenstein, who's also innumerate:
I spoke to countless union officials and leaders across the country and most refused to talk on the record about these matters, the AWU and Howes.
Oddly, the Australian population is countable as is the number of union members, much less their "officials and leaders" – keeping count is too much to ask, as is accuracy:
Crikey Ed: This story originally cited national occupational health and safety unit director Dr Yossi Berger in Victoria in relation to Zionist advocacy conducted in the AWU; this reference has now been removed due to inaccuracy.
A great big "FAIL" for Loewenstein's foray into investigative reporting.

Anyone paying Loewenstein anything for his writing is paying too much.

Lamborghini "hoon" acquitted

A Perth mechanic admits to driving a client's Lamborghini at 130km/h in a 90km/h zone and is still acquitted of speeding:
Magistrate Michael Wheeler admitted to being a Top Gear (UK motoring show) tragic and knowing all about the vehicle he described as a super car.

Mr Wheeler said it was named the Top Gear dream car of the year in 2006 and host Jeremy Clarkson “went out and bought one”.

“This particular model was used by the Italian police on the country’s autostrada’s (freeway system),” he said.

"With no disrespect to the Ford Falcon (the police were driving), it could not cut the mustard with the Lamborghini," he said.

Mr Wheeler said he did not have a problem with the officers' honesty or integrity but there where issues with their accuracy.

He said the police pursuit vehicle was simply too far behind to accurately measure how fast the Lamborghini was travelling.

“The officers proceeded gallantly and fruitlessly in pursuit. They were simply too far back to do a valid speed check and never got up to a constant velocity," he said.
Thus the magistrate did not accept that the Lamborghini was clocked at 160km/h. The accused was awarded $18,000 in costs.

The owner of the car – confiscated under anti-hoon laws for 28 days – is contemplating what to do next.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Never ending government responsibility

Kiddies don't know how to swim? It's not a parental problem, it's our problem:
It should be the responsibility of the Australian Government to ensure that every child in Australia has these vital swimming and safety skills.
Exactly what parents are responsible for is uncertain.

Update: A suggested pre-emptive strike on drink driving:
The Social Democrats have proposed that all new cars sold in Sweden be equipped with ignition locks to prevent a vehicle from starting if the driver is intoxicated.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wally willy worry

(Walter) Jeremy Sear is worried that "poorly educated, semi-fluent morons" employed by the Transport Security Administration might touch his penis in the course of a security search should he travel by air to the United States:
What other country offers travelers such an intimate “service” for free the minute they get off the plane? What other country is so excitingly dominant that it doesn’t care whether we consent or not? What other country shows everyone, regardless of gender, age, in such a physical way that it’s not just what’s on their outside that counts?
Sear, an attention-to-detail barrister, ignores that U.S. body searches are required only of those who decline body scans, which is also the case at Holland's Schiphol airport:
Is use of the security scan mandatory?

No, passengers are allowed to refuse to go through the security scan. In such cases, passengers are searched in full.
If Sear's brain is any indication of penis size, his willy worry is understandable.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Lifestyle policed

Proposed lifestyle fascism in Sweden:
Future residents of a new "climate-neutral" Stockholm city district should face stringent regulations when it comes to their lifestyle and exercise habits, a number of governing Stockholm politicans have proposed.

Demands on prospective residents of the Royal Seaport (Norra Djurgårdsstaden) would include sorting waste, engaging in healthy eating habits, using public transportation or cycling, buying eco-friendly brands, exercising, participating in carpools and socialising with neighbours, newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN) wrote on Tuesday.

Special courses would also be offered so residents could learn the latest in green-living techniques.
What, no requirement that residents are cat-owning Prius drivers?

Monday, November 08, 2010

Teenage target

Crikey targets a teenage McDonald's employee's youthful appearance with Pure Poison's Jeremy Sear adding insult to injury by making fun of the lad's name:
This might just be an ex-young-looking-teenager speaking, but it seems to me that Daniel Gooley, the McDonald’s employee (who is therefore at least 14), might already be struggling with issues relating to his not particularly mature physical appearance. (Also his surname.)
Lefties are ever so thoughtful.

Less work, more pay

West Australian Education Department director-general Sharyn O'Neill recently received a pay rise of roughly $50,000.00 taking her salary to well above $400,000.00. This pay increase coming in spite of a significant decrease in responsibility, with TAFE management now under control of the newly established Department of Training and Workforce Development.

In Western Australia's booming economy less work warrants more pay, at least for the state's top bureaucrats.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Travis Bickle's brother Nick

The Bickle family appears to have a thing for guns:
A Navy SEAL and two other men have been charged with smuggling illegal firearms, including AK-47 assault rifles, from Iraq and Afghanistan and then selling them to an undercover federal agent, the U.S. attorney's office in Las Vegas announced Thursday.

The SEAL, Nicholas Bickle, 33, is assigned to a SEAL team based in Coronado, Calif. He was arrested Wednesday and scheduled for federal court arraignment in San Diego on Friday.
Like Travis, Nick also has a Hollywood connection:
Perhaps most bizarrely, Bickle appears to have been working on the latest Michael Bay action flick. One of the ATF agents investigating Bickle found “photos taken on the Chicago set of ‘Transformers 3,’ which included an individual who appeared to be Bickle. Further, Bickle’s cellphone location and bank debit records correspond with the filming of ‘Transformers 3’”.
Maybe he was selling guns to those anticipating an extraterrestrial invasion.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Emails overwhelm

Whereas in the recent past writing a memo was something of a chore, anyone can now dash off an email, these often irrelevant missives cluttering up in-boxes and decreasing productivity. So absurd is the practice that workers now find themselves wasting time answering emails from co-workers who work at nearby desks, addressing in writing issues that could have been quickly resolved person to person.

Crikey rewrites history: insulation debacle a success

Crikey blogger Pollytics crunches the insulation scheme house fire numbers and comes up with a startling revelation:
That makes the insulation program around 8 times safer in terms of fire incidents compared to the state of the industry before the program. Even if we take the best absolute possible estimates of what went on before the program – say, 80 fires per year off 75 thousand installs – the program is still 7 times safer in terms of fire incidents than what occurred before the program.
This finding is just somewhat at variance with the Auditor - General's scathing report detailing the scheme's numerous shortcomings:
21. The $2.8 billion Home Insulation Program (HIP) was the major component of the Government’s $3.9 billion Energy Efficient Homes Package (EEHP) announced on 3 February 2009. Proposals for EEHP were developed with a sense of urgency by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) with limited consultation with the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA)16. HIP was designed to generate economic stimulus and jobs for lower skilled workers in the housing and construction industry, which was expected to be adversely affected by an economic downturn flowing from the global financial crisis. A secondary but important objective was to improve the energy efficiency of 2.7 million Australian homes and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

22. Under HIP, some 1.1 million roofs have been insulated at a cost of $1.45 billion. Due to a range of design and implementation matters associated with the program, as at March 2010, of the 13 808 roof inspections conducted, around 29 per cent17 had identified installations with some level of deficiency, ranging from minor quality issues to serious safety concerns. In addition, there have been cases of potential fraud identified. These deficiencies in the delivery of the program have meant that the Government decided to implement further measures to check and rectify the standard of installations. These new measures include the Foil Insulation Safety Program (FISP) and the Home Insulation Safety Program (HISP), which are expected to cost $424 million. In addition, the Government has committed to industry assistance programs18 expected to total approximately $56 million. The remainder of HIP’s budget will be used for activities undertaken post‐closure of the program, including the remediation and assistance programs, and any surplus funds will be returned to the budget.

23. The program was developed in a very short period of time between 3 February 2009 and 30 June 2009 as a stimulus measure to respond to the global financial crisis. In terms of outcomes, it has been estimated that between 6000 to 10 000 jobs have been created. While, clearly, the creation of these jobs was an important outcome in the face of the downturn in the economy, these jobs were shorter‐lived than intended due to the early closure of the program. There have also been energy efficiency benefits but these are likely to be less than anticipated due to the deficiencies in a significant number of installations.

24. In large measure, the focus by the department on the stimulus objective overrode risk management practices that should have been expected given the inherent program risks. Rather, the department intended to rely heavily on its compliance and audit program to address some of the risks identified, but the significant delay in implementing this element of the program meant that these risks were not adequately addressed. As time passed, the department realised that greater emphasis should have been given to program risk mitigation strategies, particularly those concerning installer registration requirements and compliance with quality and safety standards.
By November 2009, the volume of claims and increasing number of installations identified with quality, safety and potential fraud issues, overwhelmed the department and it was unable to recover the situation. There were insufficient measures to deliver quality installations and, when the volume of issues requiring attention by the department increased, the department had neither the systems nor capacity to deal with this effectively. The lack of experience within DEWHA in project management and in implementing a program of this kind were contributing

25. Overall HIP has been a costly program for the outcomes achieved, including substantial remediation costs. There still remains a range of safety concerns and coronial inquiries are yet to be completed in relation to the four fatalities associated with installations under the program. The fallout from the program has caused serious inconvenience to many householders, reputational damage to the insulation industry, and financial difficulties for many Australian manufacturers and installers. It has also harmed the reputation of the Australian Public Service for effective service delivery. This experience underlines very starkly just how critical sound program design and implementation practices are to achieving policy outcomes. There are important lessons here for those agencies with policy implementation responsibilities but also those responsible for policy development.
The insulationscheme was an unmitigated disaster and that's that.

If at first you don't succeed...

It looks like Melbourne barrister Jeremy Sear and significant other Keri James will take the plunge in 2011. Jeremy does have a thing for tarts.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Lefties carrying placards

The 100 best signs at the rally for sanity. The good thing about reading them is you don't have to listen to the Lefties carrying them.

Science lies

Despite its paramount importance to human well-being, it turns out that medical research is a pyramid of lies and exaggerations, the root of the problem grounded in the venerated peer review process:
Though scientists and science journalists are constantly talking up the value of the peer-review process, researchers admit among themselves that biased, erroneous, and even blatantly fraudulent studies easily slip through it. Nature, the grande dame of science journals, stated in a 2006 editorial, “Scientists understand that peer review per se provides only a minimal assurance of quality, and that the public conception of peer review as a stamp of authentication is far from the truth.” What’s more, the peer-review process often pressures researchers to shy away from striking out in genuinely new directions, and instead to build on the findings of their colleagues (that is, their potential reviewers) in ways that only seem like breakthroughs—as with the exciting-sounding gene linkages (autism genes identified!) and nutritional findings (olive oil lowers blood pressure!) that are really just dubious and conflicting variations on a theme.

Most journal editors don’t even claim to protect against the problems that plague these studies. University and government research overseers rarely step in to directly enforce research quality, and when they do, the science community goes ballistic over the outside interference. The ultimate protection against research error and bias is supposed to come from the way scientists constantly retest each other’s results—except they don’t. Only the most prominent findings are likely to be put to the test, because there’s likely to be publication payoff in firming up the proof, or contradicting it.
Could such issues extend to less critical areas; climate science, for example. You betcha.

Via reader minicapt.

Crikey sub-contractors discover real world sub-contracting

An almost exposé today at Crikey with two freelance journalists discovering that sub-contracting, under essentially the same terms which they're paid to write for Crikey, is widespread in the commercial provision of services, including the management of asylum seeker detention facilities. Whereas it's hinted that contracting and sub-contracting is somehow inappropriate in the provision of government services, the two journalists completely overlook the dubious nature of their employment by Crikey, which is apparently unwilling to put them on the payroll.

Update: One of the freelance journalists above makes a 15 second contribution to al Jazeera's Listening Post – pick it up at the 8:00 mark.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Shoe throwing: Lefties fight like women

Perth religious school principal guilty of fraud

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

Anti-Jew Jew confronts Abbott, or maybe not

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

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

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


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


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


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Shoe thrower discredits himself and the Left

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


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

The 1901 internet

Amateur analyst

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

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


Monday, October 25, 2010

ABC opinion: Biased and cheap

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

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

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

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

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

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