Sunday, January 31, 2010

'Ordinary Courage', extraordinary bulls**t

Remember the human shields determined to thwart Saddam Hussein's forced removal from power? Australian Donna Mulhearn did very little actual shielding but did firmly establish her leftist credentials by telling everyone she was a 'human shield" and has now written a book about her experiences as a would be protector of despots. It will interesting to see if see her memoirs include her observations of civilian-killing American soldiers:

Mulhearn said she witnessed “the deliberate targeting of civilians by US snipers. I saw dozens of bodies of women and children that had been shot and killed by US forces. I also witnessed US forces refusing the delivery of medical aid and food to people who were wounded and starving.

“The US forces closed Fallujah city hospital so that it was only used to treat American soldiers. As a result, hundreds died due to lack of medical facilities. There were so many deaths that the people had to dig up the local football ground and convert it to a cemetery.

“The second siege on Fallujah [last November] was much worse. It flattened the entire city and it has never recovered.”

Mulhearn's book, "Ordinary Courage", to be launched by "journalist and author Antony Loewenstein", is praised by John Pilger:

In this powerful memoir, Donna Mulhearn’s courage and principles stand in damning contrast to the lies told in our name. I salute her.

As if Mulhearn wasn't lying in claiming she witnessed American snipers deliberate killing women and children. And does she or her publisher seriously think Loewenstein launching her book will do anything to enhance her credibility?

If Mulhearn and her human shield colleagues had done their jobs they'd have died protecting Saddam and his bloodthirsty mates but that didn't happen, now did it? It was a double fail for the human shields.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The internet: A great place to meet people

With the presumed murder of Melbourne businessman Herman Rockefeller -- remains are being tested to confirm identity -- it looks like Victoria has something of a violent crime problem. And this is shaping up as a doozy, with police investigating the possibility Rockefeller met those charged with his murder "through a swinger's website." According to the accuseds' neighbours, police had asked questions about a non-traditional barbecue:

The homicide guy came and asked us whether or not we saw any burning or smelt any burning on Australia Day.

Yep, this looks to be an especially lurid, and probably totally senseless, crime. But with a dead millionaire, hints at sexual shenanigans and the possibility of a dismembered and cremated corpse there will be intense public interest. By the way, it is always ominous when one of the accused is described as "a good girl".

The 'cost' of living in sin

Irregular Asian Correspondent contributor Melbourne Lefty at his personal blog notes that Australia's gay marriage ban is not only bigoted, it "costs Australia over $700 million". The $700 million plus figure is arrived at by multiplying the number of gay couples who would likely marry if the gay marriage ban was lifted times the average $28,000 cost of a marriage. This figure is totally bogus in that unless that "unspent" money is being sent overseas or is stashed in mattresses it's still in the Australian economy even though it isn't being spent on marriage related expenses. Surely gay couples aspire to own the same goodies as straight couples and will spend money not spent on marriage on big screen TVs, leather lounge suites and the like.

But lets assume Lefty's correct that marriages unrealised "cost Australia". There would likely be at least 500,000 Australian couples living in de facto relationships, where marriage vows have not been ceremoniously formalised. A half million multiplied by an average $28,000 marriage expense yields a $14 billion cost to Australia. And unless he's recently married without making it public Lefty continues to live in a de facto relationship, to the cost of the economy. The guy obviously has no intention of sharing his wealth.

It is interesting, however, that a staunch leftist demands that gays be allowed to marry but on the other hand would argue that marriage is an outdated institution and has himself decided not to commit formally. The lefty universe is indeed a place of contradictions.

Now just so that no one can accuse me of being an anti-gay bigot, I'm all for homosexuals, both males and females, having the right to enter into relationships with the same legal status as marriage but object to such relationships being called marriage: marriage is a contractual relationship between a man and a woman. Truth be known, I reckon this gay marriage kerfuffle is really about redefining the definition of marriage.


Friday, January 29, 2010

Swimwear record attempt trial run

Blessed with more than its fair share of beauties Perth will in April attempt a world record for the number of bather-clad women in one spot. Today was the day for a trial run. Perth Now has a photo-gallery.

Science fight: G-spot controversy

Scientists claim to know with reasonable certainty what's happening with climate over the 510,072,000 km² of the Earths surface but cannot agree on the topography of the vagina: British researchers say the G-spot is likely a myth, French experts countering that the British know nothing about sex.

There are a handful of subjects - among them cricket, the weather and the art of downing pints through a funnel - on which the French deign to allow the English a degree of authority. Sex, however, is not one of them.

Today, just three weeks after scientists at King's College London declared that the elusive G-spot may be a myth, a group of gynaecologists gathered in Paris to launch a counter-attack on what they called a "totalitarian" approach to female sexuality.

Denouncing the study carried out last year by British researchers as fundamentally flawed, the French scientists insisted the fabled erogenous zone did exist in many women – around 60% according to Sylvain Mimoun, the organiser of the conference.

The French researchers declaring that the G-spot is rather elusive and does not exist in all women as a "magic button". Should volunteers be required to assit with future research I hereby volunteer.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Impossible mission: Turn a Ford into a Ferrari

The government's school rating website, My School, is up and running after a few initial problems. Armed with the information the website provides Ms Gillard, the Federal Education minister, hopes parents will challenge both teachers and school administrators deemed to be under-performing:

Following a briefing on the website yesterday, Ms Gillard told the Herald the Government welcomed the fact that the website would empower parents to badger school staff to lift standards. ''We would expect parents to have robust conversations with teachers and principals,'' she said.

Ms Gillard said teachers were already trained to deal with complaints on parent-teacher nights. Now, parents would be armed with even more information with which to complain.

''This should put pressure on people,'' Ms Gillard said.

On the other hand, Ms Gillard reckons some schools need help:

We're going to shine a light on some schools that need a helping hand and we are ready to work in partnership with those schools with new money and new programs.

Cool, teachers who are doing their best, often in very difficult circumstances, can expect to be badgered at the same time the government is increasing funding to help overcome problems beyond their control. That's going to make teachers, already working in a low status occupation, feel absolutely fantastic.

There's no getting around the obvious: even the most competent and highly motivated teacher cannot turn an ordinary, or less than ordinary, student into a high-achiever. Ultimately, the responsibility for student achievement rests with the student, not with the teacher.

An expert mechanic can optimise the performance of a vehicle but cannot turn a Ford into a Ferrari. So it is with teachers.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

There's a reason why surface sailors call submarines 'death tubes'

Hunter-killer submarines are probably the most feared of naval vessels. A very effective submarine service recruiting poster from the 1970s featured an aircraft carrier with superimposed cross-hairs with the caption "Which end of the periscope would you rather be on?"

Then again, serving on submarines is hazardous work and it's not exactly confidence inspiring when the boat on which you serve is beset by technical problems:

Defence Minister John Faulkner has admitted major problems with Australia's $6 billion fleet of Collins Class submarines have left only two of the six vessels currently operational.

In a frank speech delivered to an international navy conference in Sydney, Senator Faulkner said there were serious problems with the submarines arising from the design and manufacturing process.

Imagine cruising around underwater in a craft you know is flawed. Every creak and groan of the hull as it compresses under increasing pressure would be a worry. It's time to junk the whole fleet and buy subs that inspire fear amongst the enemy rather than the crews that man them.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Why I'm not a politician

If asked for the general sex advice I'd give to young women, my answer would be simple: Think long and hard before allowing any man to probe you internally, you don't know where that thing's been. (Long and hard. Hah.)

Tony Abbot gives much milder advice and cops it from the Left:

Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard says comments by Tony Abbott that women should think carefully before losing their virginity will "confirm their worst fears" about the Opposition Leader.

This is complete bulls**t from Gillard: everyone's worst fear is another Speedos moment.

Only 'dickheads' like Australia's national anthem

A fitting Australia Day post from Gavin Atkins, who links to multiple versions of Advance Australia Fair. Bob Ellis, on the other hand, hates the Australian anthem:

We give way to untruth every time we stand for it. We give way to untruth every time we sing it. We are not stirred when we hear it at the Olympic Games. We feel vaguely shamed by it, as the Canadians, French and Finnish are not by theirs.

Their songs enlarge them. Ours makes us feel, however slightly, like dickheads.

But the French have an anthem they can be proud of.

Let's go children of the fatherland, The day of glory has arrived! Against us tyranny's Bloody flag is raised! (repeat) In the countryside, do you hear The roaring of these fierce soldiers? They come right to our arms To slit the throats of our sons, our friends! Grab your weapons, citizens! Form your batallions! Let us march! Let us march! May impure blood Water our fields!

That's 100 percent reality based, of course, whereas Australia's anthem is a pack of lies:

Every one of the first six lines rings false. We are not young. We are not free. Our soil is not golden. Wealth does not come from toil here, but from birth or short-selling or real estate. And though we are 'girt by sea' so are all islands, and we are an island, and this is scarcely worth noting. And our land does not 'abound with precious gifts', it is two-thirds desert. Unless you count uranium I suppose, and the immensity of coal that is currently choking the planet, it does not abound, it is a desert waste.

The very first line, 'Australians all, let us rejoice', rings as false as 'I did but see her passing by' or 'tough but humane'. In real life you rejoice or you do not, you cannot be asked to rejoice. You can be asked to give thanks, for that is a form of words. You can be asked to bow your head in prayer. You cannot be asked to rejoice, for that is a spontaneous emotion, and you have it or not.

When Mrs Thatcher said 'I say unto you: rejoice' at the end of the needless Falklands War, she was as falsely tuned as we are when we are called upon to fill with joy at the thought of the oldest and driest land with one of the cruellest colonial histories, of poisoned flour and stolen children, and not one Indigenous person or immigrant Vietnamese, or Sudanese, or Palestinian in our Senate or House of Representatives, and give vent to our pleasured excitement. This is a problem to work on, not a victory to rejoice in.

And on and on Ellis goes, bitching and moaning about everything from BHP Billiton to the treatment of boat people. It's amazing how lefties can get so upset over nothing, seeing significance where there is none.

Anyway, today shouldn't be about whining; it's a day to reflect on life in Australia, good and bad, where we've been and where we're going. Right now I'm going to pop the top on an ice cold beer and count my blessings.

Whisky win shocks judges

Kavalan came out tops in a blind taste test of whisky staged in Scotland. A judge's reaction: "Oh.My.God."

Kavalan is, you see, distilled in Taiwan.

Equal opportunity racism

Eight men have been arrested following an overnight "race attack" on two Indian students in Melbourne. Though neither victim was seriously injured in the attack, one of the men requires surgery to repair a damaged ear.

The assailants are not your typical "rednecks":

The offenders were described as being of Asian appearance.

It's good to see that whites don't have a monopoly on hateful stupidity.

Monday, January 25, 2010

But judge, she said she was 16

Young Socceroos skipper Sebastian Ryall and another 20 year-old are accused of having sex -- or rather having oral sex performed on them -- by different 13 year-old girls. The accused insist that the girls claimed to be 16.

Females lying about sexual matters: amazing.

Australian navy blamed for not anticipating arson

Asylum seekers on board SIEV 36 emptied a large quantity of petrol below decks and then intentionally ignited it, causing an explosion and fire that killed five people. Quite naturally, the Royal Australian Navy is deemed to be responsible:

Asylum seekers "blown off" a sabotaged boat could have survived had the Navy followed stricter safety precautions, an inquest has heard.

Yes, and the asylum seekers would have survived had they not created a petrol-fueled inferno. As if RAN personnel had any reason to think anyone would be stupid enough to create a disaster at sea. And if those on board the SIEV 36 really wanted to die why didn't they jump into the ocean?

Certainly RAN staff could have taken better precautions but the fire and resulting deaths are not their responsibility and they shouldn't be made to wear it.

Patriotism is code for racism

Without so much as a glance at the calendar it's obvious Australia Day is near -- the antipodean internet is flooded with leftist missives designating anyone expressing patriotic love of country, or even daring to display the flag, as racist. These same lefties, who see 9/11 as a reaction to "root causes", fail to acknowledge the possibility of a cause and effect relationship underpinning the rednecks' loud and forceful declaration of love of country.

Thus there's this from the ABC's Marieke Hardy:

Long before a handful of excitable Alan Jones fans took a nice day out at Cronulla beach a little too far, the term "patriot" began being less a term of misty-eyed endearment and more like the sort of thing a footsoldier of White Australia might use as a pseudonym on an internet dating site. Chin-jutty bullish types everywhere justified "F-ck Off We're Full" t-shirts by claiming simple adoration of way of life was to blame. "It's alright mate, I love my country. I'm a patriot," they'd smilingly and patiently explain to anyone who dared challenge them.

Would it be acceptable to the public if these same people got about in a hat that read "I HATE CHINKS" or "STOP THE IMMIGRATION EXPLOSION: STAB AN INDIAN TODAY?" It really does start to seem increasingly possible, particularly if said clothing items were a) "just a joke", b) worn on Australia Day, and/or c) proudly paraded in the name of patriotism. It's become a dirty word, the sort used to disguise a panoply of offences, including race-related violence, scare campaigns, and the kind of jokes even Mahatma Coat might baulk at for being "a little bit too racist". Southern cross tattoos and "We Grew Here/You Flew Here"-type accessories are not merely a fashion statement, they're a way of saying f-ck you to a society where the term "politically correct" is constantly - and incorrectly - equated with being humourless.

For Hardy it is inconceivable that the "Alan Jones fans" might have had legitimate gripes about the behaviour of a particular minority which revels in being non-Australian. Nope, white Australians hate people of colour just because they're different.

Similarly, the ABC's Jonathan Green yearns for the unpatriotic past:

For most of my life expressions of national pride were seen as gauche and unfortunate embarrassments. We used to look at the rampant flag waving of Americans and raise a sardonic eyebrow. We'd happily admit to our Australianism but in a quietly understated way.

That's no longer the fashion for many in our community, no longer the fashion in particular among that vocal, demanding common denominator who seem to be the trend setting cohort in our culture, the populist mass whose fickle political preferences and aggressive self assertion make them the target market in much of the national discussion.

Both Green and Hardy lament that so called "average" Australians now embrace patriotism. If Green and Hardy weren't blinded by their own prejudices they'd realise that the masses are reacting to an Australia they perceive to be changing, and not for the better. And who's to say they're wrong?

Consumers buying too many environmentally friendly shopping bags

For years activists have been kicking up a fuss about plastic shopping bags, billions of which either end up as landfill or are discarded into the environment where they become lodged in the blowholes of baby dolphins and in the digestive tracts of everything from echidnas to albatrosses, killing them in the millions. It is truly amazing that any Australian wildlife has managed to survive this plastic onslaught.

Hence the growing popularity of green reusable shopping bags amongst consumers wanting to be seen to do the "right thing" by the environment. Unfortunately, this solution to the bag problem looks to be a bigger problem than the problem it fixes.

According to environmental activists, consumers are buying way too many of the so called green bags, which inevitably means that some of the bags, which unlike flimsy disposable bags are virtually indestructible, are ending up as landfill. Employing the impeccable logic for which lefty activists are renowned this problem is blamed not on the people who buy and discard the bags but rather on "profiteering" supermarket chains:

Coles and Woolworths are profiteering from the popularity of so-called eco-friendly bags, the Clean Up Australia Day founder said. He accused the supermarket chains, which together have sold almost 20 million reusable bags, of ''trading off the green potential" of the now ubiquitous products rather than encouraging shoppers to cut consumption.

"They haven't partnered with the community, which they should have done to get it to change behaviour instead of just shovelling [the bags] out the door as quick as they can, selling them like a string of sausages."

Thus for the first time in recorded history selling a universally available low-cost product is profiteering.

Anyway, the green bags are environmentally friendly but only if used repeatedly:

A report last year by the Sustainable Packaging Alliance, commissioned by Woolworths, found reusable bags have a lower environmental toll than single-use bags, but only when used 104 times - or once a week over two years. The impact on global warming of a reusable polypropylene bag used only 52 times is worse than a standard plastic shopping bag.

It's hard to believe that very many of the green bags will be used more than 100 times. And anyone keeping bags that long will probably want to launder them at least once, thus increasing their environmental impact. Gee, it looks like those cheap disposable bags aren't so bad after all.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Amazing animations

If you enjoy cutting edge animation click the link to view a compilation of animated shorts. You won't be disappointed.

Canada tightens airport security

Transport Canada reserves the right to seriously embarrass any and all passengers; especially those with entertainment potential.


Via Theo Spark

Great tits and superior sperm

Nature has simplified things for females looking for the most fertile mate: pick the one that's most showy. The most fertile aren't necessarily the best lovers, however.

Anti-Israel Jew receives 'hate mail'

Relentless self-promoter Antony Loewenstein has, according to him, received many death threats. None of these threatening missives has ever been published, however, casting serious doubt on their existence. To add some spice to his moribund blog he today publishes what he describes as "hate mail". The most hateful part of this hateful message of hate:

You make me sad, almost to the point of despair, but at the same time, I am sorry, but you also disgust me.

Paradoxically Loewenstein can simultaneously inspire sadness, despair, disgust and laughter. What a rare talent. If only it was intentional.



Wardrobe malfunction: spandex stretches only so far

In a triumph of positive thinking millions of male viewers' wishes come true as a spandex jumpsuit is stretched beyond its breaking point.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Headline news from Sweden: Cartwheels in underwear leave schoolgirl with frostbite

It's not what you think:

A schoolgirl in northern Sweden is recovering from frostbite injuries to her fingers and toes after turning cartwheels in the snow in her underwear as part of a day of events organized by her high school's student union.

It was so cold her lips froze together.

Desperate Australian housewives

Young Aussie women want more sex:

About 85 per cent of women in their 30s said they wanted more sex compared to 75 per cent of men in that age group.

Okay ladies, I'm willing to oblige should you want to get it on with an older, very experienced stud.

Whale meat tasty but toxic

Rather than chasing the Japanese whaling fleet around the Antarctic Paul Watson and his merry band of rancid butter-tossing sea hippies could get immediate results by simply funding an ad campaign emphasising the dangers of eating cetaceans:

Levels of mercury in hair samples of residents of Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture, are about 10 times the nationwide average, possibly due to consumption of whale meat with a high concentration of mercury, one of the researchers who conducted the study said Thursday.

Hair samples were collected from 30 men and 20 women living in the whaling town, whose population is about 3,400, December 2007 and July 2008 for testing, said Tetsuya Endo, an associate professor at Health Sciences University of Hokkaido.

"It's necessary to conduct more detailed research on their health conditions and the current status of contamination," he said. "We should also make efforts to curb consumption of whale meat, which is highly contaminated with mercury."

But a simple ad campaign in Japan would involve neither adventure nor glory. Much better to be the centre of attention.



Teenager clocked at 91kmh over speed limit

Jonathan Green the other day pulled a typically leftist blame shifting maneuver in placing at least partial responsibility for a tragic car crash on Ford for producing the high-performance car driven by a 19-year-old. One of Green's main points is that hooning around in less powerful cars is unlikely:

Five kids in a beige Corolla hatch probably won't get the same buzz from sticking their heads out of the window at speed. Some subtle edge would be lacking.

Perhaps Green's point is valid after all:

A 19-year-old P-plate driver has been caught allegedly doing 191km/h - 91km/h above the speed limit - south of Sydney.

Police say a radar check showed he was driving at 191km/h in a 100km/h zone on the F6 at Helensburgh early on Friday afternoon with four passengers on a provisional licence that restricted him to 90km/h.

The car? A 2004 Mercedes C200 Kompressor with a 1.8 litre 4 cylinder motor capable of rocketing from 0 -100 km/h in around 9 seconds, compared to around 10 seconds for a Corolla. Green is full of it.



Humans killing off Australia's animals and changing climate for 50,000 years

It is the accepted wisdom that primitive peoples lived in harmony with nature and that only modern man over-exploits the environment. This is bunkum, of course: ancient humans exploited natural resources without any regard for the environmental consequences whatsoever. Primitive peoples might well have had a close spiritual link to nature but they definitely did not make conscious decisions to conserve natural resources by limiting their harvests - if they needed food and game was available, they killed and ate it without considering the number of animals remaining. To think it otherwise is extremely naive.

It is therefore no surprise that researchers are amassing evidence that Australia's once abundant megafauna was killed off by humans. It's also no surprise that any evidence contradicting the notion of the noble savage is controversial - primitive peoples are just like us when it comes to exploitation, only less efficient. Those with an interest in preserving the myth of primitive cultures communing and living in harmony with nature will refuse to accept that the main concern was survival, not conservation.

But there is an alternative explanation for the disappearance of megafauna:

Disruption to the ecology of the Australian landscape caused by the burning practices of the continent’s first inhabitants probably led to the extinction of megafauna 50,000 years ago, according to new research.

The megafauna across Australia became extinct shortly after human arrival on the continent but at a time when climate records show there was no significant or consistent change across the continent. This suggests that humans played a role in the extinction but a specific human cause has never been pinpointed.

However, a research team including Dr John Magee and Dr Michael Gagan from ANU have suggested that an abrupt ecological change in food sources at 50,000 years ago was caused by burning practices of the continent’s first inhabitants.


In October 2004 and January 2005, the same joint research team published papers in the research journal Geology, suggesting that the same burning-induced ecosystem change 50,000 years ago triggered the failure of the annual Australian monsoon over the interior by altering the flora enough to decrease the exchange of water vapour between the biosphere and atmosphere.

Lake Eyre, formerly a deep-water lake in Australia's interior that was filled by regular monsoon rains about 60,000 years ago, is now a huge salt flat only occasionally covered by ephemeral floods, as in 1974.

If anything, modern humans take much better care of the environment than did our ancestors.


Friday, January 22, 2010

Australia Day controversy

Is Australia Day the one day of the year when we should be especially proud of who we are or should we hang our heads in shame? I say stand tall and be proud to be lucky enough to live in Australia.

Solving the drunken children problem

This will come as no surprise to any West Australian who pays the slightest attention to what goes on around him:

“Alcohol use among young people is an enormous problem,”  [Public Health Association president Professor Mike] Daube said.

Professor Daube's solution:

He called for the prices of booze to be increased to make it harder for children to obtain alcohol.

It's not enough that drinking is illegal for children, so everyone, including the parents from whom child drinkers obtain their money -- keep an eye on your purse, mum -- will have to pay more for alcohol.

The majority of responsible drinkers should not be penalised in order to protect an irresponsible minority. The next thing we know the government will attempt to keep undesirable content out of the hands of kids by raising the price of internet access. It it works for booze, it should work for porn.

'Jesus guns' and Biblical madness

The Trijicon rifle sight "scandal" is the first really big much-ado-about-nothing story of 2010. The mainstream media is trying to whip up hysteria with reports on "Jesus guns", "biblical weapons", "rifles boast biblical citations", "Jesus scopes" and the like. All of this because Trijicon sights bear encoded references to bible verses, these cryptic references causing the easily offended to be offended. Stop the presses!

So cryptic are the messages that even though Trijicon has been using them for years, no one has noticed. Now that someone has noticed various militaries are in a mad scramble to do something about it lest non-Christians - Muslims in particular - get their knickers in a knot. Thus the inscriptions will be removed. Good, this will preclude anyone killed by a gun mounting one of the sights departing this Earth thinking he was killed by a Christian crusader.

Removing the inscription is a step in the right direction but it doesn't go nearly far enough: Christian symbolism is rife amongst western forces in Afghanistan. New Zealand will fix its Trijicon sights but what about its flag, which, like the Australian and UK flags, contains the superimposed crosses of Saint George, Saint Andrew and Saint Patrick. Surely these overtly Christian symbols, as opposed to covert biblical references, should be removed so as not to offend Muslims. But their respective coats of arms will also need to be tidied up: all feature Maltese crosses.

And then there are the Danes, whose flag is dominated by a whopping great cross, with the country's coat of arms also bearing a cross. Surely this must motivate the Taliban to kill Danes extra-dead.

This kerfuffle again shows Muslims that they should get upset about even imagined slights and insults.

Meanwhile, the US-based Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) has called on Robert Gates, the US defence secretary, to withdraw the equipment immediately from combat.

"Having biblical references on military equipment violates the basic ideals and values our country was founded upon," Haris Tarin, MPAC Washington director, said in a statement.

"Worse still, it provides propaganda ammo to extremists who claim there is a 'Crusader war against Islam' by the United States."

Yeah right, like people who go on a rioting rampage over cartoons or false rumors of a Koran being disrespected aren't always going to find something to be upset about regardless.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Worst sporting costumes ever

The video immediately below shows Australians Danielle O'Brien and Greg Merriman performing in costumes designed in colaboration with Aborigines. Below that is an "Aboriginal" dance by grotesquely costumed Russian world champs Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin, who claim the costumes are authentic. They aren't. 

Indigenous Australians are unimpressed:

'I am offended by the performance and so are our other councillors,'' said Bev Manton, chair of the NSW Land Council yesterday. ''Aboriginal people for very good reason are sensitive about their cultural objects and icons being co-opted by non-Aboriginal people - whether they are from Australia or Russia."

Bev Manton is perhaps overreacting just a tad. Regardless, Domnina and Shabalin deserve credit for having the guts to perform wearing costumes that would get 10 year-olds laughed off the street on Halloween.


Israel WMD attack on Gaza

Israelis, always looking for new ways to kill Palestinians, are accused of launching an unprovoked waters of mass destruction attack on Gaza:

Israel has opened the floodgates of one of its dams in the eastern part of the Gaza Strip, flooding Palestinian houses and causing severe damage.

The Israeli authorities opened the dam's floodgates without any prior warning or coordination with local authorities in Gaza, stunning the residents of the area, the Press TV correspondent in Gaza reported late on Monday.

Israeli authorities deny opening any floodgates, attributing the disaster to an act of Allah - heavy rain preceding the flood. There was flooding in many parts of the area, including the Sinai, with Egyptian authorities able to resist the urge to blame Israel.

As expected, Antony Loewenstein accuses Israel of intentionally flooding Gaza. Loewenstein is continually critical of journalists who write about events not observed first hand, those, for example, who write about Gaza from the comfort of their Jerusalem hotel rooms. Yet here we have him passing comment on events thousands of kilometers away. But it doesn't really make any difference where he does his writing; he still wouldn't get it right.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Haitian orphans rescued

When Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell heard about a group of Haitian orphans in dire straits he chartered a plane and flew unannounced into Port au Prince. For six hours he cajoled and bullied Haitian officials, eventually convincing them to allow the children to depart. At this point Rendell was confronted with a huge problem: his chartered plane had been ordered out of the congested Port au Prince airport. The U.S. Air Force told Rendell a C-17 flying back to the states would drop the 50 plus orphans in Orlando. Mission accomplished.

American soldiers brainwashed

The U.S. constitution mandates the separation of church and state, thus proscribing the state's promotion of any particular religion. It is thus shocking to learn that some military rifle sights are inscribed with overtly Christian messges such as "2COR4:6" and "JN8:12", the former referring to the biblical verse "For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness', made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ" and the latter to John 8:12: "When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."'

It would be alright, however, if the sights were inscribed ELADINJ -- eat lead and die Islamist nut-jobs.

Al Qaeda striving for India - Pakistan war

Figuring that chaos will work in its favour, al Qaeda strives to destabilise the sub-continent:

Al-Qaeda is seeking to de-stabilise the entire South Asia region and could trigger a war between nuclear-armed Pakistan and India, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates told reporters on Wednesday.

Groups under Al-Qaeda's "syndicate" in Afghanistan and Pakistan are trying "to destabilise not just Afghanistan, not just Pakistan, but potentially the whole region by provoking a conflict perhaps between India and Pakistan through some provocative act," Gates said during a visit to New Delhi.

"It's important to recognise the magnitude of the threat that the entire region faces," he said following talks with his Indian counterpart, A.K. Antony.

If India and Pakistan engage in a nuclear exchange there will be no winners but Pakistan will almost certainly be a loser.

America must learn to mind its business

Everyone's favourite America-hating Leftard, whose most strenuous work to date has been a couple of book reviews, is highly critical of relief efforts 15,000 kilometers away in Haiti.

The devastation in Haiti is heart-breaking but most of the Western media is missing the key reason behind the chaos; the militarisation of humanitarian aid.

Yep, the f**king egomaniacal Americans went charging into Haiti elbowing out of the way the U.N., the European Union, China and a multitude of others who had volunteered to take charge of relief efforts. There are also any number of relief agencies that could have run the show but, oh no, those f**king Yanks put their military in charge and now the relief effort is FUBAR. I mean, anyone with an ounce of sense could easily solve the piddling logistical problems presented by funnelling thousands of tons of aid through a single third world airport. The f**king incompetent Yanks should mind their own business in future.

Brown wins in Massachusetts

Republican Scott Brown has beaten Martha Coakley for Edward Kennedy's vacant Massachusetts Senate seat. Consensus has it that voters were voting against Democrats and Obama in particular as much as they were voting for Brown. The Democratic Party has gotten itself into diabolical strife after controlling government for only one year. Well done Leftards!

Blame the car, not the driver

The Ford Falcon GTHO Phase III was the kick-arse performance car of the 1970s. Pretty much a race car civilized a bit for the street, it could rocket to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds. The car did not have mass appeal, however, and was produced in limited numbers.

Cars have come a long way since then: with better suspensions and tyres cars handle much better; and evolving engine technology now enables even small four cylinder motors to produce huge amounts of power. For example: the GTHO's 5.7 litre V8 produced approximately 285 kw compared to the 195 kw produced by a 2.5 litre 4 cylinder Subaru WRX. The Subaru is also quicker, going from standstill to 100 km/h in 5.3 seconds. The on average performance of today's cars is streets ahead of those back in the 1970s, and improving every year. And because tyres and suspensions are much improved it's now much easier to keep cars under control.

Many people object to the mass availability of high performance cars, the ABC's Jonathan Green putting much of the blame for the tragic crash that killed five people at Mill Park on the Ford XR6 driven by 19-year-old probationary driver Steven Johnstone. Green is not at all happy with the media's coverage of the crash:

The National Rifle Association defence has been getting a fair trot in recent days as the tabloids run and run with last weekend's quintuple road death in Melbourne's north.

Cars don't kill, apparently. People do.

As is the case with handguns, most would agree that it's more normally a combination of the two.

Still, it suits the tabloid agenda of serial unease at youthful exuberance to run the line that the kids are basically to blame, not the gleaming, throbbing, high octane machines they drive.

Watch the story sequence over this week, with the slow drip of prejudicial evidence ranged against the dead driver: the speeding prior, the suggestion that alcohol might be involved, while all the while the papers and TV news wring out the tearful grief of the families and friends.

No mention of the Ford XR6 in question, which might have the odd prior itself.

Having shifted blame from the driver to the car, Green makes this paradoxical observation:

The XR6 Turbo is probably the fastest Australian performance car. It can move from 0-100km/h in 5.1 seconds and race a quarter mile in 13.4 seconds.

If you've got a car that can do that, and you're on a straight stretch of road in the early hours ... what are you going to do? Honestly? Floor it. That's why it's there. And if your car rattled apart over 80 rather than slipping throatily into second, would that not make you somewhat safer?

There's a strong element of blame shifting or denial in all this surely. Conspiracy theorists might suggest that a media that earns good weekly money from the auto industry is hardly likely to take it to task. It's probably closer to the truth to say that the media shape these events, not as reflections of any objective reality in all its facets, but as reflections of their own needs and prejudices. In their hands this early morning tragedy becomes just another story of wild adolescence beaten up with a dash of road toll crisis (never mind that our roads are safer than they have ever been).

Hang on, in Australia a 19-year-old is an adult, not an adolescent. And despite the ever increasing number of young adults driving high performance cars, our "roads are safer than they have ever been." If the cars are at fault, you'd reckon the number of young adults killed would skyrocket.

Green's article is classic Lefty blame shifting. The Mill Park accident was, like most such tragedies, the result of a very unfortunate sequence of events, not least of which was some very poor decision making. With the revelation that the driver, with a blood alcohol reading of .19, was almost four times over the limit, perhaps Green will now shift some of the blame to alcohol producers.

Gang rape threatened

Zambian politician Chris Chalwe tells an annoying female to shut up or else:

"We are going to gang rape [Edith] Nawakwi if she continues attacking the President."

Chalwe wasn't fooling around, he's already charged with beating uncooperative journalists.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Avatar causes brain explosion

Stick with porn, it's safer:

A 42-year-old Taiwanese man with a history of high blood pressure has died of a stroke likely triggered by over-excitement from watching the blockbuster Avatar in 3D, a doctor says.

This is apparently the first death directly attributable to the movie. It won't be the last -- Avatar viewers are coming out of theatres depressed and suicidal. Many viewers asserting that imagining they are Na'vi makes them blue.

Update: Since there were other things I needed to do at the time this was originally posted in haste. I have therefore edited it slightly and added a link.

It's impossible to predict when you might need money at 3:00 AM in the middle of nowhere

Laverton is, for all practical purposes, out in the middle of nowhere. It is therefore difficult to understand what anyone would need money for in the middle of the night. Other than the pub its hard to imagine there's much in the way of nightlife. There is nonetheless a pressing need for 24 hour cash access:

[Shire president Patrick] Hill says having an automatic teller machine could lessen the need for people to turn to money lenders.

"There is a need for cash to buy their goods and so obviously they go to people who've got cash to give them," he said.

"Out of what's happened over the past few days I think there's a big need in town, maybe even Centrelink could look at some kind of a cash outlet for the people who receive these Centrelink payments in town."

Mr Hill says there is a need for a 24-hour ATM in town.

Oddly, I have never had the need to use an ATM in the middle of the night or to resort to a money lender. What the Hell is wrong with me?

Sri Lankan panties a turn off

The second of the No Blood For Panties videos shows a young male watching his sexy girlfriend removing her panties at eye level mere centimeters from his face. Rather than concentrate on the delectable prize being offered to him, the politically correct young male instead notes that the young woman's panties were made in Sri Lanka, that notorious abuser of human rights. The political insensitivity of his girlfriend, evidenced by her pantie choice, so traumatises the hunk that he is unable to perform. Naturally, the young couple must seek counselling. She eventually sees the light, of course.

The premise of the video is unrealistic: no sane male is going to pay any attention to where his woman's panties are made. Realistically, males couldn't care less what adorns female underwear - swastikas, likenesses of Stalin, bunny rabbits. All they care about is getting those panties off and out of the way.

Lack of solidarity prompts cancellation of Islamic Solidarity Games

The Islamic Solidarity Games 2009, already postponed once due to a simmering disagreement between Iran and Arab states, have been cancelled. The cancellation isn't due to worries about unrest in host country Iran, or to any of the multitude of issues that might be of concern: Iran's nuclear ambitions; meddling in regional affairs; border disputes; terrorism sponsorship; and the like. Rather, the Arab states, led by Saudi Arabia, refuse to participate owing to a matter of semantics -- Iran insists on naming the body of water to its south the Persian Gulf, whereas the Arab states call it the Arabian Gulf. This might be no big deal except that Iran has inscribed "Persian Gulf" on the games' medals and other paraphernalia.

Damn it, I was so looking forward to the floor routines of the suicide bombing events, where contestants only have one chance to get it right.

Please help, pirates are attacking us!

Callous anti-piracy forces off Somalia refuse to respond to a Mayday:

Armed pirates from Haradhere put to sea in skiffs and surrounded the tanker while the hostage-takers in return threatened to blow up the ship. At one point the pirates holding the vessel and its crew of 28 sought the help of the EU’s anti-piracy fleet in desperation as they came under attack from rival Somali gangs.

“We didn’t respond of course,” said Commander John Harbour, spokesman of the EU fleet.

The tanker and its crew were subsequently released, after a $7 million ransom was delivered. The squabble over the cash has moved onshore, with gun-battles raging.

Pirates don't seem to be into sharing. Maybe some counselling would help.

Update: Somali pirates are not alone in making idiotic calls for emergency assistance. Help! This crossword is too hard.

Monday, January 18, 2010

69 year age difference no hindrance to marriage

A Saudi father justifies his 11 year-old daughter's arranged marriage to an 80 year-old:

I don't care about her age. Her health and her body build make her fit for marriage. I also don't care what her mother thinks.

Yeah, that little kid has quite a rack and like most girls her age is really limber.

Haiti descends into violence, security forces required

With anarchy reigning in Port au Prince it's no wonder everyone with any sense yearns for a Marine presence:

We haven't seen the US troops much beyond the airport, so that element of security has not fanned out and it has not been established.

And in the absence of that security, people create their own. And it's not really security - it's insecurity - and it cannot go on too much longer.

Yet the Left condemns the United States for refusing to send aid workers into a world of chaos.

Dumb parents produce dumb children

A study in South Australia shows that students from low socioeconomic areas have the "lowest education outcomes and poorest achievement". It's been a while since I read The Bell Curve but if I recall correctly its authors postulate that lower socioeconomic status (SES) parents are generally less intelligent than higher SES parents and tend to spawn less intelligent children. If this is true, as common sense would seem to indicate, then these lower SES students' achievement will always be hindered by their limited intelligence. In short, there is no educational strategy that will lift these students to the level of their higher SES peers.

Now I'm definitely no authority on this but it does seem only logical that less intelligent parents beget less intelligent children. And when you factor in the likeliy deficient parenting skills of lower SES parents it seems probable that no amount of effort on the part of educators is going to raise these children to the desired level of performance. Thus it seems that demands for more money to be spent educating the disadvantaged are misguided -- no amount of money and effort can overcome the genetic and environmental factors conspiring against lower SES children.

Hugo Chavez saves Haiti

Not many people realise that a Venuzelan plane carrying relief supplies was one of the first to land in Haiti after the earthquake. This is no big deal, however, since the two countries are in the same general neighbourhood. To supplement this trifling initial effort Chavez has promised to supply whatever Haiti needs in the way of liquid fuels for electricity generation and road transport. It's really thoughtful of Chavez to help Haiti with electricity generation while Venezuelans are experiencing blackouts. What a guy - always putting other people first.

With Venezuelans among the first on the scene with a whole plane full of goodies - maracas, RPGs and AK-47s - Chavez is slamming the U.S. aid effort:

"I read that 3,000 soldiers are arriving, Marines armed as if they were going to war. There is not a shortage of guns there, my God. Doctors, medicine, fuel, field hospitals, that's what the United States should send," Chavez said on his weekly television show. "They are occupying Haiti undercover."

"On top of that, you don't see them in the streets. Are they picking up bodies? ... Are they looking for the injured? You don't see them. I haven't seen them. Where are they?"

Well, as it seems the U.S. is sending the wrong kind of aid, the Yanks should turn around and go home. Chavez is doing such an outstanding job running Venezuela (into the ground) he shouldn't have any problem sorting out Haiti.

Bad move

An Australian woman converts to Islam, later marrying a Yemeni. The family moves from Australia to Saudi Arabia. (Know where this is going, don't you?) The husband beats her up. They are divorced. He manipulates Saudi bureaucratic processes to maintain control over her. She is eventually deported back to Australia, the husband retaining custody of the three children he fathered.

You gotta feel for this woman, although she does appear to have made a few very iffy choices.


Early last December it became obvious the IPCC had erred in warning that Himilayan glaciers might melt by 2035. As with any bureaucracy the IPCC immediately stonewalled:

When asked how this "error" could have happened, RK Pachauri, the Indian scientist who heads the IPCC, said: "I don't have anything to add on glaciers."

The error happened because the IPCC relied on dubious sources:

Murari Lal, a climate expert who was one of the leading authors of the 2007 IPCC report, denied it had its facts wrong about melting Himalayan glaciers.

But he admitted the report relied on non-peer reviewed - or 'unpublished' - documents when assessing the status of the glaciers.

A new study contradicting the IPPC glacier melt prediction was not exactly well received:

Mr Pachauri dismissed the study as "voodoo science" and said the IPCC was a "sober body" whose work was verified by governments.

Governments verifying science, now isn't that encouraging. This all starting to look, well, very unscientific. So the IPCC now has no choice but to admit the error:

Murari Lal, who oversaw the chapter on Himalayan glaciers in the 2007 IPCC report, said on the weekend he was considering recommending that the claim about glaciers be dropped.

Even though Lal was the man in charge he's not to blame for the screw-up:

Professor Lal admits he knows little about glaciers.

I could use a few extra bucks, maybe the IPCC will pay me to write a chapter in its next report.

By the way, Tim Blair has a nice little round-up on this story. Go here.






Somali pirate ransom squabble

Criminals falling out over the apportioning of ill gotten gains is often seen in movies. It also happens in real life:

Rival Somali pirate gangs fired shots at each other on Sunday in a dispute over how to split any ransom for a hijacked Greek-flagged oil tanker with two million barrels of crude oil aboard.

Pirates from the semi-autonomous northern region of Puntland, who seized the Maran Centaurus in November, say they do not want to a share the spoils with pirate gangs in the pirate haven of Haradheere, where the vessel is moored.

But the tanker and its 28 hostages are now under the control of gunmen from Haradheere. The pirates from Puntland, aboard speedboats nearby, are threatening to set fire to the tanker if they miss out on any payment.

"We have risked our lives in hijacking the ship. These Haradheere men cannot deprive us of our rights," a pirate called Aden said.

"If need be, we shall start a fire as soon as the ransom is about to arrive."

Pirates have rights. Who knew?

Ransoms are usually divided between the hijackers - with bigger shares going to those who first boarded the vessel - people who have invested in the pirate ventures, those who guard moored ships and local communities onshore.

There is even a small pirate "stock exchange" in Haradheere where a Somalis can contribute money or weapons to the sea gangs in return for a dividend when ransoms are paid. In Puntland, by contrast, the authorities have pledged to crack down on piracy.

"The argument started after men from Puntland who hijacked the ship refused a ransom share for Haradheere pirates. Now hundreds of well-armed and angry pirates have gone onto the ship," pirate Hassan said.

Angry pirates? That can't be good. Let's hope these thugs don't totally lose their cool and do something stupid like firing an RPG into two millions barrels of crude. Get back on task and start killing your rivals.



Sunday, January 17, 2010

Government assumes role as parent

Having paid couples to procreate, the government is now going to help parent the children:

Family mentors will be sent into the homes of Victorian parents who are struggling to cope with bringing up their children, Community Services Minister Lisa Neville has announced.

Under the program, the "super nannies" will teach some of Victoria's most vulnerable families healthy food preparation, safe sleeping arrangements for babies and establishing routines, Ms Neville said.

"We understand Victorians are concerned about the future of their children and that is why we are trialling this initiative of family mentors working with vulnerable families," Ms Neville said.

"Becoming a parent is a difficult and confusing time for everyone, but some mums and dads need some extra help."

I'm not at all confused about why people who will be terrible parents have children: they're doing it in a short-sighted grab for cash. Duh.

Australia over-rated

Fellow AC blogger Priscilla Lorenzo (GreenFudge) gets it wrong:

The Arab emirate of Qatar has the highest per-capita level of greenhouse gas emissions in the world. It sometimes shares this dubious honor with Australia, another big exporter of natural gas.

Antipodean carbon emitters are doing their best but our per capita emissions are nowhere near those of Qatar. It is ever so thoughtful of Priscilla to bestow this "dubious honor" on us but we are undeserving and cannot accept the award. Thanks anyway.

Hot as Hell

Don't you just absolutely hate it when it's oppressively hot and some idiot hits you with this conversation starter. "Hot enough for ya?"

Nah, I won't be happy until my feet burst into flames walking from the carpark to the beach. Moron.

Then there are those who, when it's cool and we're getting life-giving rain, recite the sun-worshipper's mantra: "I can't wait for summer!" Yeah, I can hardly wait for summer, when, if the car has been parked in the sun, asbestos gloves must be donned before grabbing the steering wheel.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology it's currently 42º C (107.6º F), which should be hot enough for anyone. Luckily the humidity is low so it's not really unpleasant. Working up a sweat when it's hot and dry is actually quite invigorating, sort of like being in a huge outdoor sauna. But it looks like there will be no sea breeze today so it's going to be quite warm overnight which means it'll be time to get the fan cranking - I have air-conditioning but with the cost of electricity it's too expensive to run except in emergencies. Then there's always a cold shower or a quick trip to the beach for a cool down.

The poor dogs, unable to sweat, are really dragging at the moment. They're collapsed in the shade and aren't taking any notice of the yahoos running around in the street trying to induce sunstroke.

Funny how fair-skinned Australians strip off as many clothes as possible when it's hot while darker-skinned people, Middle Easterners for example, aim to expose as little skin as possible to the sun. Mad dogs and Englishmen...

Anyway, there's no sense in complaining; since the world appears to be warming we might as well make the most of it. I might make the most of it by stripping off every stitch; no doubt my loved ones will be pleased. By the way, if you've never done it, there's nothing quite like sitting in a leather recliner when naked, hot and sweaty. My family has threatened to burn the chair but I don't think they'll actually do it. But if it gets much hotter there's a good chance the furniture will spontaneously combust, with me in it - I'm told I'm really hot, for my age.

Sea Sheriff

Tired of screwing around, Japanese whalers have deployed a mystery "weapon":

Some of the crew aboard the Shonan Maru No. 2 were also wearing cylinders on their backs attached to (as yet unidentified) hand-held devices resembling weapons.

I'm not a religious man but just muttered a short prayer hoping those cylinders are attached to flame throwers. A rancid butter-tosser getting toasted would be great entertainment.

The Bob Barker has been chasing the Sonan Maru 2, trying to get it to stop so its captain can be arrested:

Said Captain Paul Watson, President and Founder of Sea Shepherd, "Captain Pete Bethune had little choice but to attempt to serve the arrest warrant himself. Down here at the edge of nowhere, without back up from his government, he found he was the only sheriff in town. A captain of a ship that has been sunk by another captain has the authority to bring his attacker to justice. Captain Bethune has been attempting to do just that."

Yeah, is the New Zealand government useless, or what? I mean, nothing should take priority over arresting the captain of a ship that steamed into a vessel hazarded by its skipper. Just imagine how angry Watson is going to be when he learns the Kiwis, instead of running to his aid, are helping Haitians. Whales! We must save the whales!

And isn't it just a bit odd that in 2008 Watson had a big cry to the media about being "shot" in the chest but didn't demand government intervention and certainly didn't try to citizen's arrest anyone. You know, I'm certainly not in favour of harpooning whales but there's no way I can support Sea Shepherd: no cause led by an ego-maniacal liar is worth supporting.

Desperate Haitians stealing from one another

Traumatised and desperate, Haitians are fighting amongst themselves trying to secure life's essentials, "T-shirts, bags, toys and any other items they can find in destroyed houses and shops." As an alternative they could perhaps put more effort into trying to figure out what to do with the rations being air-dropped to them:

About 10 US helicopters have flown over Port-au-Prince, landing in open spaces to throw out boxes of water-bottles and ready-to-eat meals.

However most Haitians appeared clueless about what to do with the food packages, witnesses said.

Tear them open and eat the food inside. Fortunately the water bottles are labelled with illustrated instructions.

Next will come complaints that the MREs do not appeal to Haitians' tastes: surely the U.S. can supply better tasting food. And what's the deal with supplying meals high in calories and low in fibre? Just imagine the whining from the Left when Haitians end up overweight and chronically constipated.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

New Orleans all over again

Just as the U.S, federal government should not have been responsible for saving New Orleans from an incompetent Louisiana, it is not obliged to rescue Haiti from its earthquake crisis. Leftist Patrick Cockburn sees it differently, however:

The US-run aid effort for Haiti is beginning to look chillingly similar to the criminally slow and disorganized US government support for New Orleans after it was devastated by hurricane Katrina in 2005. Four years ago President Bush was famously mute and detached when the levies broke in Louisiana. By way of contrast President Obama was promising Haitians that everything would be done for survivors within hours of the calamity.   

The rhetoric from Washington has been very different during these two disasters, but the outcome may be much the same. In both cases very little aid arrived at the time it was most needed and, in the case of Port-au-Prince, when people trapped under collapsed buildings were still alive. When foreign rescue teams with heavy lifting gear does come it will be too late. No wonder enraged Haitians are building roadblocks out of rocks and dead bodies.   

In New Orleans and Port-au-Prince there is the same official terror of looting by local people so the first outside help to arrive is in the shape of armed troops. The US currently has 3,500 soldiers, 2,200 Marines and 300 medical personnel on their way to Haiti.  

Who would Cockburn suggest the U.S, send in to distribute aid? The Boy Scouts, or perhaps some Brownies, would fare well against machete wielding thugs.

Obama less popular than Charles Manson (and less competent)

Guardian columnist Gary Younge writes of Obama: "Even Charles Manson could beat him now".

Younge then proceeds to analyse what's gone wrong. I have no idea what Younge writes - there's no need to read his article; the problem is obvious: Obama isn't up to the job. Then again, try to think of an American politician who is.

George Galloway: Gaza grub gone

George Galloway, British parliamentarian and VIP, quite naturally stays at only the best hotels, as he did when he visited Gaza earlier this month. Poor old George was somewhat dismayed to discover that due to Israel's blockade the hotel's kitchen's cupboards were completely bare, without so much as a scrap of sustenance for starving guests. No breakfast; no lunch; no food.

Perhaps George should have taken to the streets where there are multiple food vendors to choose from - falafel and gelato, yum! But it's unlikely he'd venture into the street; the adoring throng wanting to constantly hug and kiss him are just sooo embarrassing for a limelight-avoider like George. Instead he's been hanging around Gaza's rubbish dumps watching women and children scavenge for food.

George also reckons Egyptian police launched an unprovoked attack on civilians protesting at the closed border to Gaza. George, interviewed by phone, wouldn't have noticed that at the same moment he's describing this unprovoked attack the background video shows the peaceful civilians launching rocks and good-sized chunks of concrete at police across the border. The police eventually retaliate.

The moral of this story? Don't believe anything Galloway says about anything, ever.


Sea Shepherd challenges Rudd to stop whalers

Sea Shepherd supremo Paul Watson demands that the Australian government do as promised by immediately launching legal action to stop whaling. Watson is sick and tired of chasing after Japanese whale killers, throwing bottles of rancid butter, attempting to tangle rudders and propellers, giving steel enemas, getting shot in the chest and the like, much preferring to get a real job, buy that little suburban cottage and fade into obscurity.

We don’t like coming down here; we don’t enjoy sacrificing our Christmas holidays and being separated from our families. We are volunteers receiving no financial benefits in exchange for risking our lives, health, and freedoms.

No financial benefits? Just imagine paying the porker's food bill. And don't you just hate it when a person taking a calculated risk tells you how he's putting his life in danger. Feeding Paul Watson's fame-craving ego is the whole point of Sea Shepherd.

Authorities stop Mr Gay China pageant

An appropriately gay reaction from one of the contestants on being told the show would not go on:

I'm about to cry,

One of the judges thinks he knows what prompted authoritites to act:

In my opinion, I believe it had something to do with the issue of homosexuality.

Do ya think? It could be an overreaction from powerful people who have doubts about their own sexuality and therefore find gays threatening.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Allah an Egypt soccer supporter?

A superstitious soccer coach seeks outside intervention:

Egypt coach Hassan Shehata wants only players who observe Islam, and says team selection is based equally on religious piety and skill.

Shehata's comments, published in Egyptian newspapers, show how sports and religion are increasingly mixing in the overwhelmingly Muslim nation of some 80 million.

The intrusion of religion into sports is part of the country's gradual movement toward religious conservatism over the last few decades, with more people praying at mosques, most women adopting the Islamic veil in public, and diminishing tolerance for secular Muslims or minority Christians.

The ploy ain't working:

Egypt last qualified for the World Cup in 1990.

Allah bestows his blessings on those with foot-skills, which explains why no predominantly Muslim country has ever won the World Cup. More time practicing; less than praying should improve on-field perfromance. Sure the less than pious will end up in Hell, but everything in life has trade-offs.

Weight Watchers meeting moved to basement

How do you know you have a weight problem? When the floor collapses:

The floor of a Weight Watchers clinic in Växjö in south central Sweden collapsed on Wednesday night beneath a group of about 20 participants in the weight-loss programme.

Now for the funny part:

No one was injured in the incident, the cause of which is still under investigation.


Bad example set: Top traffic cop ticketed

It's probably tempting fate to say this but I've been driving in WA for over 30 years without a single traffic violation. I am a pretty careful driver but must admit to always pushing the speed limit at least a bit. I have been pretty lucky but what's really important is that I seldom drive roads I'm not familiar with. It's on unfamiliar roads where it's easy to miss a change of speed limit and get nabbed, usually by an automated camera.

Police have twice pulled me over for speeding. Both times the officer noted that I was from outside the area, told me to slow down and let me go without so much as a written warning. Speed cameras don't lecture or cut speeders any slack, they just click away, offenders often unaware of their infraction until days later when the notice arrives in the mail. And so it was with Victoria's top traffic cop Ken Lay when driving through unfamiliar territory:

Mr Lay was driving a Victoria Police work car as he returned from talks with police officers on the NSW border town of Barham.

He said he was driving alone and "a couple of hours down the road" had slowed to go through the town, but did not notice the speed limit.

In hindsight, Mr Lay said he should have taken a break from driving to stop fatigue setting in.

When he received the penalty notice in mid-November,
he could not remember driving through the town.

So for around six weeks Lay was unaware that he had, for the first time in 35 years, been caught speeding. Gee, that's six weeks in which the much touted deterrent effect of speed cameras didn't apply. I don't care what anyone says, being pulled over by the cops, or even seeing someone get pulled over, is much more effective at getting drivers to slow down than are speed cameras cranking out relatively painless fines. But given the revenue stream they generate speed cameras are obviously more cost effective than police officers who can let people off with warnings.

Anyway, Lay is taking quite a bit of heat for waiting until now, after the Christmas speeding blitz is finished, to announce his ticket.

Former U.N. Iraq weapons inspector charged with online sex offences, again

Former U.S. Marine and UNSCOMM weapons inspector and more recently U.S. Middle East policy critic, Scott Ritter, has been charged with taking a 15-year-old girl on an online WMD inspection tour - in this instance WMD standing for web-cam masturbation demonstration. Unfortunately for Ritter his alleged lewd act was performed not for a young female but rather an adult male police officer trolling for online perverts. Ritter has had other brushes with the law:

A press release issued in November by the Barrett Township police noted that the incident wasn't the first time Ritter had been arrested on similar charges, but that he had not been formally charged.

Ritter was reportedly charged in a June 2001 sex sting in New York, but the case was dismissed. He had been charged with attempted child endangerment after arranging to meet a person he thought was a 16-year-old girl at a fast-food restaurant. The girl was actually an undercover police officer.

The New York Post reported Ritter was caught in a similar case in April 2001 involving a 14-year-old girl, but he was never charged.

If convicted Ritter could face a multi-year stint in prison. 

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haiti just like New Orleans only totally different

In a live satellite report from Haiti on Channel 9 news this evening the on-the-scene reporter noted that the United States will urgently rush aid to the area because Obama doesn't want another New Orleans. Sounds good to me; one Louisiana is more than enough.

Cash draws al-Qaeda, commie rebels and African despots into three-way deal

For Asian Correspondent readers who might be unaware, Blair's Law is  the ongoing process by which the world's multiple idiocies are becoming one giant, useless force. The classic example had been Leftists who supported 9/11 as a reap what ye sow payback by al-Qaeda. A recent teaming up is a better example still.

It seems that a sort of triangular trade has developed amongst Leftist FARC rebels in South America who export cocaine to Africa's tin pot despots where al-Qaeda takes the cocaine and distributes it via its international network through North Africa into Europe. There are, of course, huge profits to be made, the money financing all sort of nefarious activities, including terrorism.

To facilitate transport of the tons of cocaine required to meet an apparently insatiable demand, a fleet of aircraft, ranging from small corporate style aircraft all the way to Boeing 727s, is at this very moment transporting cocaine, cash and weaponry back and forth between South America and Africa. This massive criminal scheme was first detected in 2008 but was pretty much ignored because the various government agencies didn't realise the scale of the operation.

So here we have communist rebels teaming up with self-interested despots of various stripes with Islamonutters as the bag men. Politics has nothing on cold hard cash when it comes to making strange bedfellows.

Mother-in-law murder has collateral damage

Yasuhisa Sugiura, 49, got in an argument with his mother-in-law at a bar - there is no better place for an argument with the mother-in-law - went and got a shotgun and blew her away but also shot and killed the two unfortunates working at the bar. He then killed himself. Contrary to what you might think, Sugiura was not a postal worker, he was employed by the city of Osaka. He did seem to have a mother-in-law induced anger management issue, or two. All married men have wanted to do a Sugiura at least once.

Children left unattended at restaurant

Go play on the slide, daddy will be back in a minute:

Police said the 36-year-old Inala man left three boys, aged three, five and six, on their own at a fast-food restaurant playground for more than an hour at the weekend while he allegedly went to the Forest Lake Shopping Centre.

It's not clear why this guy didn't do with his kids what many Australians do when they go shopping: turn the kids loose in the shops. K-Mart's toy section can hold a youngster's interest for quite a while, as can the confectionery aisles at Coles and Woolies. Then there's the always entertaining meat section where industrious kiddies can get the plastic wrap to make that neato popping sound it makes when punctured by busy little fingers. And nothing is more fun for a youngster than running up and down the aisles screaming his little head off eliciting lots of dirty looks from shoppers who don't dare reprimand the tyke out of fear an aggressively overprotective heavily tattooed parent might be lurking nearby. Yeah, this guy must be a shopping novice.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Blogs are like backsides: everybody has one and they all stink (except mine)

Even casual RWDB readers will be aware of my minor Antony Loewenstein obsession. Now whereas you might not find Loewenstein funny, I find him very entertaining; not dissimilar to one of those hilarious but cringe-provoking moments where, for example, an overbearing child vigorously pets a cat that, when pushed too far, mauls the crap out of her. Anyway, it's always interesting to see what Middle East "expert" Loewenstein has managed to screw up.

Today Ant is in fine form, his most recent effort another of his famous "Americans torture by crushing balls" posts.

There's also a post concerning Israel's allegedly inferior airport security, which confuses Israeli air traffic control problems (Israel is a very congested airspace) with airport security issues. Can you recall the most recent example of a plane flying out Israel being hijacked, bombed or otherwise interfered with?

Loewenstein, blogging from the spare bedroom of his parents' house in Australia, even has the chutzpah to criticise real journalists for reporting on the Middle East from Jerusalem, of all places.

The highlight of the day is, however, Loewenstein's New Matilda latest opinion piece introduced as follows:

While the rest of us toasted the New Year, correspondent Antony Loewenstein was in Cairo for the Gaza Freedom March

Yes, the personal sacrifices Ant makes in the interest of self-promotion are legion. He does, however, manage to work in "leading", his favourite word:

Mass protests in Cairo were eventually violently shut down by Egyptian officials and a leading declaration that outlined ways to isolate "apartheid Israel" and step up a global campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions was led by South African unionists.

Who knows what that even means -- Loewenstein certainly doesn't -- but who cares since his conclusion is equally cryptic:

Palestine is slowly gaining prominence as an issue that inspires and focusses worldwide civil society.

Loewenstein is living proof that blogging requires neither talent nor intelligence.

Chinese youth wastes time, grades suffer

The Beijing News quotes a young student lamenting a precipitous decline in his academic achievement:

In the past, when I was in middle school, I used to get grades that were good enough to enter a really good university.

It is because of the influence of heroin that I was only able to go to junior college.

The quote above has been edited with heroin replacing the grade-destroying influence actually cited by the student.

So, to what does this youngster attribute his performance decline?

  • alcohol

  • too much time spent watching the Beijing Olympics on TV

  • too much time watching TV in general

  • a demanding girlfriend/boyfriend

  • an American "muscle car" obsession

  • time devoted to his role as a Wikipedia editor

  • a growing addiction to body modification

  • environmental activism

  • masturbation

That last one is basically correct in that the young fellow spent way too much time looking at "pornography on the internet". Surely that would be great preparation for a career in gynaecology or perhaps proctology.

Update: Given the growing female shortage, internet porn will be the closest many Chinese males get to experiencing the real thing, although there is Roxxxy.

A beaver by any other name...

The editor of a Canadian magazine explains the need for a name change:

Market research showed us that younger Canadians and women were very very unlikely to ever buy a magazine called The Beaver no matter what it's about.

For whatever reasons, they are turned off by the name.

A number of alternative names were considered - vulva, mons veneris, pudendum and the rather obscure squirrel -- with editorial staff eventually opting for the boringly descriptive Canada's History.

Update: Canadian Leslie Nielsen spies a beaver:

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tamil security threat refugees must go elsewhere

Hands up all countries willing to take refugees Australia rejects:

Australia knew that ASIO had determined four Tamil asylum seekers from the Oceanic Viking were a threat to national security before they were transported to Christmas Island.

And Immigration Minister Chris Evans has today revealed the decision to bring them to an Australian-run detention centre anyway was largely as a result to honour an agreement with Indonesia to "manage the caseload."

Senator Evans has today confirmed there was a fifth Tamil being held by Immigration in the Australian detention who failed the security assessment test.

The revelation follows The Australian's exclusive report today that four of the Tamil asylum seekers rescued by the Oceanic Viking were a threat to national security.

Now what?

Private health care contributes to alcohol abuse rather than reducing it

There's nothing quite as relaxing as having a few beers in the afternoon. By a few I mean just enough to induce that carefree buzz but certainly not enough to cause wobbliness and uninhibited crap-talking. Most people can successfully manage their drinking but an unfortunate few cannot, consistently drinking much more than they should.

A friend of long standing -- actually, now a former friend -- has a serious alcohol management problem. Over many years her drinking has increased from merely problematic to the point where alcohol is the black hole at the centre of her continually shrinking universe. And strangely enough, this process was aided and abetted by the health professionals who were meant to help her overcome her problem.

Married female alcohol abusers are very much inclined to blame their drinking on the demands of husbands and children. They drink because their husband is uncaring, unsupportive or even abusive. Or they cannot cope with the demands placed on them by their children. Health care professionals not only listen, they jump on the bandwagon. These women do not have a drinking problem; they have a relationship problem. It is no wonder they drink when their husbands not only don't support them, they actively try to undermine them, brainwashing the children into thinking their mother is useless.

Certainly some husbands do drive their wives to drink but I have watched as a loving husband and three "normal" children were made the scapegoat for this particular woman's alcohol problem. And when the experts do finally realise they have been duped by an addict, it's not a problem: All she need do is find a new doctor supported by a different crew of experts and she'll have at least a few years in which to spin her tales of woe. This cycle can be repeated almost endlessly if she has private health insurance.

My former friend, in a show of intoxicated bravado, once showed me a printout of her health insurer's payments on her behalf: it came to some 35 pages. almost all of which was for alcohol related hospitalisation and psychiatric consultation. The total was just under AU$350,000 all up, with just under $300,000 of that amount incurred over the last five years, during which time she was transported by ambulance 27 times. Fall down and hurt yourself after drinking too much? No problem, just call an ambulance, your private health insurance will pay for it.

In fact, this poor woman's mental health had radically deteriorated over recent years, her drinking having forced her children and husband to abandon her. She was now totally alone save for the health care workers who profited from her addiction and the parasites who took the opportunity to "befriend" her. Thus she became ever more dependent on these health care professionals who are only too willing to be paid top dollar to look after what was by now a hopeless case.

I have no idea how many millions of dollars private health insurers are spending on hopelessly alcohol dependent members who are never going to get better under the current "treatment" regimen but I do know that the total must be huge. Why are the private health funds effectively paying to support alcohol abusers' addictions and delusions? These alcohol related expenditure are, of course, subsidised by health fund members like my myself who seldom require medical treatment. It is, in my opinion, a national scandal in which health care providers are paid to provde expensive but ineffective treatment.