Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Museum tackles climate change deniers

In announcing the awarding of the $10,000 Eureka Prize for science writing to sole entrant ABC reporter Sarah Clarke the Australian Museum delivers a climate change polemic. Oh, for the good old days when museums concentrated on the past rather than trying to predict the future.

'Brutal' Jew lashing as bad as death by stoning

Upon conviction by a rabbinic court of performing for a mixed male and female audience singer Erez Yechiel received 39 "lashes" with a leather "whip". Video shows Yerchiel – in the reflection in the glass cabinet door at the right – receiving "lashes" unlikely to draw so much as whimper from a three-year-old girl. Yet Antony Loewenstein would have us believe that an obviously symbolic punishment, to which Yechiel voluntarily submitted, is the equal of death by stoning.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Melbourne chainsaw dismembering

No doubt able to afford sex with the most attractive and eager to please call girls Melbourne businessman Herman Rockefeller preferred seamy swingers. Bad move:

Mario Schembri, 58, and Bernadette Denny, 42, responded to a swingers advertisement written by Mr Rockefeller late last year.

The court has heard they attacked the 52-year-old businessman when he arrived at their Hadfield home in January for a second time without a partner and demanded sex.

Schembri told police he hit Mr Rockefeller "harder than he'd ever hit anyone".

After his death, the couple made trips to Bunnings and Safeway, where they bought an electric chainsaw, plastic sheeting, overalls, bleach and face masks.

Schembri dismembered Mr Rockefeller's body and tried to burn the remains in a 44-gallon drum at a friend's house in Glenroy.

Hmm, I wonder if dismembering a body voids a chainsaw's warranty.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Shocking police trick

West Australian police have fun with Tasers:

A West Australian police officer is being investigated for allegedly tasering two men at a social gathering as a party trick.

It is alleged the incident occurred on July 23, when the woman, an officer at Carnarvon in WA's Gascoyne region, visited her boyfriend at the party while on duty.

Police say her boyfriend and another man both asked to be shocked with her Taser, and she complied.

And down south in Rockingham:

It has now been more than three weeks since the inquiry was set up after a complaint that officers had used the tasers to “drive-stun” junior officers by discharging the gun while in contact with the bodies of new recruits.

Another allegation was that officers had been using the tasers on female colleagues.

Distribute a new "toy" and the kiddies will play with it.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

ABC bias confirmed

Gavin Atkins provides numbers that back up my contention (back in December 2009) that the ABC is infused with left-wing bias. Opinion isn't news no matter how it's tarted up.

How to write like a leftard

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wikileaks' founder's alleged sexual impropriety still being investigated

The latest from Sweden:

Leif Silbersky, one of Sweden's most high profile defence lawyers, has been hired by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange ahead of a looming decision by prosecutors.

"I can confirm that I will represent him," Silbersky told the Aftonbladet daily.

Swedish prosecutors on Friday night issued an arrest warrant for 39-year-old Assange over an allegation of rape but then abruptly withdrew it on Saturday.

Authorities are still, however, investigating a separate claim of molestation against the former hacker.

And there's also this:

Wikileaks leader Julian Assange implied that the rape and molestation charges against him in Sweden were part of a global conspiracy. But a fringe-left accuser identified in the Swedish media hardly seems like a CIA plant.

It's not apparent exactly how the founder of a not-for-profit organisation with no day job can afford first class legal representation.

Six million dead Jews: Don't blame Hitler

Following my post the other day on Israel's alleged employment of Nazi scientists and those striving to rewrite German history, someone commenting as Shraga Elam chimes in:

If I were you, I wouldn’t be so keen to demonstrate my ignorance. FYI no Hitler’s written order for the Judeocide was ever found and one doesn’t have to be a Holocaust denier to see no direct involvement of this Nazi criminal in the industrial extermination of Jews. For over 30 years there is an ongoing discussion among very respected historians trying to find an explanation to this rather strange situation.

Even if Hitler did not order the extermination of Europe's Jews he would still have been held to account: it could not have escaped his notice that millions of Jews, and other "undesirables" were rounded up, interred and ended up dead. Elam nonetheless argues that Hitler is innocent as he had "no direct involvement" in the "industrial extermination of Jews." Ignorance, even if proven, does not absolve Hitler of responsibility for the actions of the German state under his leadership.

Commenter Elam also argues that journalist Elam can't be a "fruitcake" because in 2004 he won a Gold Walkely as one of a team of five reporting on financial matters. Unfortunately for Elam his shared  Gold Walkley has nothing to do with Germany's attempted extermination of Europe's Jews and is totally irrelevant to matters under discussion.

One of the main components of fruitcakes? Nuts.


72 hour Afghanistan expert

P.J. O'Rourke reprises Holidays in Hell after spending 72 hours in Afghanistan:

As all good reporters do, I prepared for my assignment with extensive research. I went to an Afghan restaurant in Prague. Getting a foretaste—as it were—of my subject, I asked the restaurant’s owner (an actual Afghan), “So what’s up with Afghanistan?”

He said, “Americans must understand that Afghanistan is a country of honor. The honor of an Afghan is in his gun, his land, and his women. You take a man’s honor if you take his gun, his land or his women.”

And the same goes for where I live in New Hampshire. I inquired whether exceptions could be made, on the third point of honor, for ex-wives.

“Oh yes,” he said.

Do yourself a favour by reading the whole thing.

Greens: The wankers' choice

The Chasers team offer a spot-on profile of Green voters – link shamelessly stolen from Tim Blair.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Assange still stands accused of sexual molestation

In comments to an earlier post a disgruntled reader demands an update to the Julian Assange alleged sex impropriety saga:

The prosecutors have dropped the accusation and a complaint against them has been made. Why hasn't this post been updated?

As far as I can tell, this is the latest:

Wikileaks' founder Julian Assange is still suspected of molestation, prosecutors in Stockholm have said. Meanwhile, chief prosecutor Eva Finné has rejected criticism of the original warrant for Assange’s arrest.

"This concerns two separate reports from two women,” said Karin Rosander, spokeswoman for the Prosecutor General’s Office.

Chief Prosecutor Eva Finné said she had not yet decided how to proceed:

“I am going to look thoroughly at this and take a view on the question of how to classify the complaints in the coming days. I have not ordered for Assange to be questioned.”

The two women making the allegations, believed to be Swedish, approached police separately, one in Stockholm and one in an unnamed Swedish city.

Naturally Assange's supporters want to discredit these two women.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Election 2010: Let there be blood

The Labor post-election bloodletting has begun with the party looking to blame anyone, everyone, other than Julia Gillard, the party's only hope of clinging to power.

Yes, it was a disasterous Labor campaign run in latter days by none other than Gillard herself:

She made the announcement, a risky move in itself. ''I think it's time for me to make sure that the real Julia is well and truly on display, so I'm going to step up and take personal charge of what we do in the campaign from this point,'' Gillard said.

And so it was that even the Labor faithful rejected Gillard, as is clearly evident in the poor turnout for her election night address.

Wikileaks' founder's sexual impropriety accusers accused of lying

Julian Assange spring-boarded to fame as the front-man for Wikileaks afer the release of Afghanistan war documents obtained and divulged by someone else, taking no risks himself. He has no claim to fame yet the left reveres Assange as a modern day Robin Hood. Thus it is not at all surprising that claims of Assange's alleged sexual improprieties have been rejected out of hand as CIA or Pentagon concoctions despite the total lack of evidence of a frame-up.

It is astounding that lefties, always seemingly concerned with the plight of women in a male dominated world, are so quick to presume the alleged victims of Assange's alleged sexual molestation are liars. For shame.

Ugly Australians

Muslim identity Irfan Yusuf is repulsed by ordinary Australians he finds "alien and ugly looking creatures" presumed to be Tony Abbott supporters. This is somewhat paradoxical in that Yusuf's visage is widely purported to rid rats, scare off marauding crows and be posted on the outside of numerous parents' doors as a means of insuring their children steer clear of the master bedroom while they're having sex.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Election 2010: Australia's dumb-arses get the government they deserve

An uber-intelligent lefty accounts for the coalition resurgence:

Simple people requires simple messages and [Tony Abbott] is a master at delivering that. The implication is of course that the vast majority of Australians are simple folk who are more keen to own a Plasma TV than be a responsible citizen.

In reality the simpletons voted Greens.

Update: lawyer Irfan Yusuf is uncomfortable mingling with the uncouth:

I have my computer with me at McDonalds in Mackay city, taking advantage of their free internet connection. I'm surrounded by alien and ugly looking creatures with tattoos running up and down their arms. But I needn't worry about them reading what I type. It's likely they cannot read.

OK that's a little slack. 95% of them cannot read. And their English vocabulary is generally limited to words consisting of no more than four letters.

A large number of these people would have voted for the Liberal National Party (LNP). You have to wonder about people who would vote for a party whose name makes it sound more like a New Zealand soft drink than a serious political choice.

I'm told such people don't by any means represent the majority of people in this fine city. I won't be staying here long enough to find out if this is true.

Surely Irfan must know that those on society's bottom rungs are almost certain to vote Labor.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Election 2010: Computer simulation

There's no need to bother with political experts' long-winded but clueless analysis of the election campaign when an animation explains it all in less than two minutes.

Election 2010: Exit polls forecast narrow Labor victory

The polls are still open in Western Australia but are closed in the east with the Sydney Morning Herald already forecasting a Labor victory. I am taking Tim Blair's advice to imbibe "democracy fluids", so if posts here are even weirder than usual you'll know why.

Election 2010: Desperate Gillard lies under pressure

Prime Minister Gillard's final press conference of the election campaign has drawn little attention but is worth noting. The best report on Gillard's outrageous scare-mongering is, oddly, in The Age:

If proof were needed that Julia Gillard is getting rattled about the possibility she could be in opposition tomorrow, her last media conference before polling day provided it.

It was, it turned out, one of the shortest media conferences of the five-week campaign.

The reason? The media turned nasty, accusing the PM of becoming so desperate she had deliberately ''verballed'' her opponent, Tony Abbott.

Ms Gillard's press secretary became so alarmed that by questions seven and eight he was calling ''Last question''. By question 10, Ms Gillard's most disastrous performance of the entire campaign was over.

Standing before the cameras at the unfortunately named Confoil food packaging factory in western Sydney, Ms Gillard launched into her now-familiar line that there was a ''real risk'' Australia could wake up tomorrow and find itself with a PM named Tony Abbott. He would, she recited, rip apart everything from the health system to the schools and apprenticeships and put an end to the national broadband network.

And then she lifted her rhetoric to new heights about her contention that Mr Abbott had a secret plan to reintroduce WorkChoices. Why, she said, he would introduce WorkChoices ''by Monday''.

The press contingent was unimpressed:

''Prime Minister, what does it say about your level of confidence in your positive plan for the future that you've just outlined that you've spent the day wandering around verbalising Tony Abbott?'' she was asked.

The PM returned to the safety of re-outlining her plan for the future and utterly avoiding the question, to protests from the media.

She was then asked whether she was embarking on a fear campaign because she was panicking about the polls.

It got worse. Before long, a reporter demanded to know whether the claim that WorkChoices would be back on Monday was ''an outright lie''.

The press conference was apparently streamed by ABC News 24 yet a clip of less than less than two minutes, in which Gillard ominously asserts that an Abbott victory on Saturday will result in a return of Work Choices on Monday, is all that's available. Nah, the ABC isn't taking sides.

BBC Panorama reports on the real events on board the Mavi Marmara

Respected broadcast journalist and terrorism authority Jane Corbin's investigative report on the Mavi Marmara incident for BBC Panorama displeases a truly shoddy "journalist:

It’s pretty shoddy work with the “journalist” getting all excited when shown Israeli commandos in action and suggesting that defending a boat in international waters is akin to terrorism.

Watch the program to see if you can find where Corbin suggests "defending a boat in international waters is akin to terrorism."


Election 2010: Kevinvisible

The former Prime Minister does the team Labor thing by sending the media on a wild goose chase:

Mr Rudd avoided waiting media by voting at a different polling booth to the one his staff had told journalists to wait at.

Thus Rudd needn't dodge pesky journalists asking who he voted for.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bike helmet brouhaha

Academics fail to reach the all important consensus on the need for the compulsory wearing of bike helmets:

The [professor] behind the push to make bike helmets compulsory more than 20 years ago has hit back at a pair of academics from Sydney University who are now calling for the laws to be overturned.

The testimony of a bike-riding, crash-prone geezer is offered as proof of the need for helmets:

Rob Rodgers, 60, from Carindale in Brisbane's east rides to and from work every day.

He says he is in favour of wearing a helmet.

"I'm personally in favour of them because I wouldn't be here if I wasn't wearing one several times in the last 10 years," he said.

Mr Rodgers says he remembers his first accident well. It was on the day of the 2002 Bali bombings - October 12.

"I came off my bike head first at about 40 kilometres an hour in under a couple of seconds," he said.

"I went from on the bike head first straight into the road and my helmet ended up in about six or seven pieces.

"Then it was about December 6 last year where I had another one where I hit my head pretty badly.

"Certainly the one side of my head, judging by the damage to the helmet, would have been severely rubbed away if I wasn't wearing one."

Good point, adults shouldn't be allowed to make their own helmet-donning decisions when it's possible their heads could be "severly rubbed".

Israel's Nazi scientists

As is common amongst fringe leftists Antony Loewenstein is a conspiracy theorist:

Zionist “pragmatism” in action, as evidence grows that Israel used Nazi scientists in the 1960s to assist in its development of a nuclear program.

Loewenstein's link is to a post by anti-Israel Swiss journalist Shraga Elam, presumably the same Shraga Elam cited by infamous "historian" David Irving as writing:

I find it a real pity that a brilliant researcher like yourself got mixed up with this stuff of the so called "Auschwitz-denial", because I agree with you completely that Hitler was no part of the project Auschwitz. According to my theory, it was even part of a plan of Himmler against Hitler, just as is quiet good proven in the case of the destruction of the Hungarian Jewry in 1944.

Thus Loewenstein aligns himself with the fruitcakes who think Hitler is grossly misunderstood while Zionists are inherently evil. No wonder Loewenstein's something of a darling of the leftist media.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Detention facility conditions slammed

In the late 1970s I resided part-time in employer-provided accommodation in the remote northwest of Western Australia. The quarters were primitive at best: unair-conditioned, tiny, no swimming pool or other amenities and communal toilets and showers. There was no point in complaining because the employer wasn't about to upgrade facilities.

Facilities at the Leonora asylum seeker detention camp are the equal of, or better than, those endured by many outback workers but are apparently not good enough for asylum seekers, many of whom spent days at sea on cramped, often rickety vessels:

A refugee activist group has labelled conditions at the Leonora detention centre in Western Australia's Goldfields as appalling.

The main problem is the treatment of children:

Mothers cannot cook for their children, prison guards are watching their children all the time, intervening in the parental relationships with their children.

The conditions out in this camp are such that we have children living in a prison camp, not prison like conditions, these children are imprisoned.

These poor imprisoned children are also forced to attend a public school specifically upgraded to cater to their needs.

Toughen up, princesses.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Taliban: Killers of women and children

The United Nations reports on the rapidly rising Afghan casualty count:

Of the total number of casualties [over the first six months of 2010], 2,477 were attributed to anti-government elements (AGEs), representing 76 per cent of all casualties, up 53 per cent from 2009, while 386 were attributed to pro-government forces (PGF) activities, representing 12 per cent of all casualties, down from 30 per cent in 2009.

The number of children killed or injured has risen 55 per cent, along with 6 per cent more women, over the same period last year, the report found.

“Afghan children and women are increasingly bearing the brunt of this conflict. They are being killed and injured in their homes and communities in greater numbers than ever before,” said Mr. de Mistura.

The report also noted a 30 per cent drop in the number of casualties attributed to PGF during the reporting period, which it said is driven by a 64 per cent decline in deaths and injuries caused by aerial attacks.

The two main reasons for the rise:

First, anti-government elements used a greater number of larger and more sophisticated improvised explosive devices (IEDs) throughout the country. Secondly, the number of civilians assassinated and executed by AGEs rose by more than 95 per cent and included public executions of children.

The Taliban killing the defenseless predates the U.S. post-911 intervention in Afghanistan and continues today. Yet there are those who insist Afghans would sort things out for themselves if only the U.S. led International Security Assistance Force abandoned its mission. Nope, the religious freaks with guns would be straight back in charge.

Update: Imperial fantacist and self-proclaimed Taliban supporter Antony Loewenstein seeks to discredit a young Afghan woman whose nose and ears were chopped off by linking to an article saying there's no proof it was done by Afghanistan's former and would be rulers.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Ramadan problem

Ramadan, the ninth month in the Islamic calendar moves backwards by some 11 days through the year in the internationally recognised Gregorian calendar so by 2017 the 30 days of Ramadan, a month of sunrise to sunset fasting, will be from May 27 to June 25. This will create minor problems for any Muslims living in the far north, those living in Murmansk, for example, unable to eat for the entire period of Ramadan because the sun never sets. No doubt god will provide some miracle for any Muslims so affected.

Electric roads

A U.S. team is using grant money to design and construct electricity-generating solar panel-surfaced roads. It's a great idea provided the technical obstacles are surmountable.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Greedy doctors

The demand for private obstetrical services is falling off due to rising costs. Rather than increase demand by lowering fees, "baby catchers" are demanding more government money according to The Age:

A spokeswoman for Health Minister Nicola Roxon rejected the call, saying obstetricians could reduce their fees to reflect increases to Medicare rebates for 15 obstetric services this year.

''[These increases] are costing $157.6 million over four years. For example, the Medicare rebate for a private delivery increased by 30 per cent from January 1, 2010, so there is no justification for doctors not to reduce their fees,'' she said.

The spokeswoman said private fees had risen 267 per cent over the past five years, with the top 10 per cent of obstetricians earning $1.1 million from Medicare last year, thanks in large part to the safety net.

There is no justification for doctors being so highly paid.

Hi, we're with the government and we're here to make your house unsafe

The federal government's incompetently managed home insulation scheme brought house fires and electrocutions. The West Australian government's smoke alarm and earth leakage circuit breakers installation program – meant to be life-savers – is, like the federal scheme, a killer:

The Department of Housing was investigated by the Auditor General after the electrocution death of a three-year-old Roebourne boy in State housing home in September last year.

The boy was electrocuted after he crawled into a hole in a wall and touched a wet extension cord while playing hide-and-seek during a family birthday party at the squalid Department of Housing duplex.

The Auditor General's report, tabled in Parliament today, found the Department had unreliable property information, inadequate monitoring and oversight of retrofit programs and weaknesses in property management inspection programs.

The road to Hell...


Monday, August 09, 2010

Election 2010: Gillard's nonsensical teacher performance payments

The Prime Minister today offered schools and teachers incentive payments for improving student performance. If Ms Gillard was serious about improving achievement she would instead offer incentive payments directly to students, who might then attempt to achieve to their potential.

Apology not good enough

Stephen Mitchell, Deputy Director and Head of News Programmes at BBC News has issued an apology to the University of East Anglia for an assertion by John Humphrys that researchers had "distorted the debate about global warming to make the threat seem even more serious than they believed it to be". The apology in the form of a letter was addressed to Professor Trevor Davies who commented: “I am grateful to Mr Mitchell for this careful and considered letter. UEA is pleased to accept the BBC’s apology.”

Not good enough for Tim Lambert, one of Scienceblogs.com crew of very iffy "science" bloggers who complains "it has taken over nine months to make this simple correction, for which, surely, there is no excuse."

Then surely there is no excuse for Lambert's refusing to correct numerous errors, misrepresentations and out right lies going back not months but years. Lambert's history of ethical issues is near legendary.


Sunday, August 08, 2010

Western Australia's hottest models

Hit the link to view a photo gallery of WA's emerging modelling talent.

Assassination suspects arrested

A presidential assassination attempt appears to have been preempted:

Indonesian police have arrested two Islamist militants suspected of planning to attack President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono during a visit to West Java, the president's spokesman said on Sunday.

The two were arrested at a house near Bandung on Saturday, said presidential spokesman Julian Pasha.

Police found large amounts of chemicals in the house that the two men had rented, but it was not clear whether the chemicals could be used for making bombs.

Jeez, Indonesian Christians are just downright boring.

White man's burden: Guilt

Eric Kaufman reviews Pascal Bruckner's The Tyranny of Guilt: An Essay on Western Masochism:

According to Pascal Bruckner, we in the west suffer from neurotic guilt, a condition imposed upon us by the high priests of the left. This secular clerisy are heirs to the Christian tradition of original sin, which universalised guilt by claiming that humans are fallen and must redeem themselves. Nietzsche denounced Christian guilt as a psychic evil which forces man’s will to power in on himself. Pascal Bruckner is a latter-day Nietzschean who gives no quarter when it comes to excoriating our new moral elite.

Read the whole thing.  

How to blog like a pro

Since I'm a mere hobby blogger with a modest audience there's no point in me giving any blogging tips, so the following ideas have been lifted from someone who writes for a living.

First, find someone else's work either worthy of criticism or of further dissemination.

Second, isolate a catchy excerpt – 1,862 words out of 3,000 will do.

Third, include a link to an irrelevant or tangentially related article (or two).

Fourth, add 36 finely crafted words of your own.

Voilà, you're a professional blogger; interview requests and writing gig offers will now pour in.

Quote-mining Abbott

Hoping to embarrass Tony Abbott, Sydney Morning Herald society and culture contributor Mike Carlton recycles "four Abbott quotes from yesteryear." Number three on the list is this gem:

''Climate change is absolute crap.'' October 2009.

The incorrect date notwithstanding – it was actually September 2009 – that's not what Abbott said, as even a cursory check would have revealed. Here's the quote as originally reported:

The argument [on climate change] is absolute crap. However, the politics of this are tough for us. Eighty per cent of people believe climate change is a real and present danger.

Isolated from context it's impossible to know exactly what point Abbott was making: he could have been trying to make the point that the Liberals arguing about climate change was divisive.

And since we're on the topic of journalists seeking to embarrass Abbott with past utterances, Laurie Oakes deserves special mention for bringing up the distant past:

A fascinating piece of audio went up on the web recently - a radio interview given by Abbott in 1979 when he was president of the Sydney University Students' Representative Council.

The young Abbott calls for cuts in education funding, on the grounds that this would force universities to crack down on what he calls "trivial" and "ideological" courses, especially in the arts and economics faculties.

Abbott the student politician also says he would like to see overall numbers at university reduced.

And he tells the interviewer: "While I think men and women are equal, they are also different and I think it's inevitable and I don't think it's a bad thing at all that we always have, say, more women doing things like physiotherapy and an enormous number of women simply doing housework."

Abbott would argue that his views have changed over time. He told me just last week: "That's what people do when they are mature. They are capable of growing and changing in response to changing circumstances."

And he is right, of course. But, as the poet says, the child is father of the man.

Nope, none of us has changed our views over the last 30 odd years.

Stabby and Leaky

The Prime Minister and her predecessor with fitting theme music:

Working like a dog and enjoying every minute

Kelpie Farmcote Sam, trained to work sheep, goats and cattle, sold at auction for AU$8,600 (US$7,900). If only I enjoyed my job as much as Sam enjoys his.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

David Jones sex-harrassment claimant launches preemptive media strike

Kristy Fraser-Kirk's publicist – all 27-year-old aspiring multi-millionaire former junior executives need one – has attacked an article in tomorrow's Sunday Telegraph, alleging that the newspaper wants to ""smear her by snidely implying that she is a serial complainer." This refers to revelations that Fraser-Kirk had, in an earlier job, lodged "a complaint against a "superior" whom she claimed was 'invading my personal space'".

With a AU$37 million (US$34 million) civil action pending Fraser-Kirk and her, err, associates don't want her brand damaged by any suggestions she's overly sensitive.

Gillard and Rudd meet face-to-face, kinda

Probably concerned at what might happen at the first personal meeting of the current and former PM, reporters were not allowed to attend. The meeting was apparently friendly, however, with the two even sharing a laugh, although "the Prime Minister and Kevin Rudd did not make eye contact."

Yeah well, it's understandable that stabby and leaky are gaze avoiders.

Visiting academic demands disability hate crime law

University of Toledo sociologist Dr Mark Sherry says research reveals that thousands of disabled Australians are victims of hate crime. Brisbane cerebral palsy sufferer Byron Albury copping horrid abuse from neighbours, for example:

They'd leave abusive notes in our mailbox; they'd abuse us for parking maxi taxis [that were] dropping off in front of their property or picking up in front of their property because of their size.

We tried to resolve this like rational people and they just weren't interested, basically.

We got comments from them like 'you've devalued the property, [it was] bad enough that nobody told us that you lived here, because if [we had known] you lived here we wouldn't buy the property'.

Yes, unneighbourly intolerance definitely warrants a legislative remedy.

Disability hate crimes are not unique to Australia, however, as noted in the description of Dr Sherry's new book Disability Hate Crimes: Does Anyone Really Hate Disabled People?: "Disability hate crimes are a global problem."

So huge is the global problem that Sherry wrote a book about it, running to an astounding 160 pages – US$55.96 in hardcover at Amazon or AU$71.95 as a download at Angus and Robertson.

Interestingly, a former Adult Guardian is unaware of the huge disability hate problem. Visiting expert Sherry attributed this to "ignorance".

Ignorance? Real ignorance is coming to Australia and telling the locals their country should be more like the United States.

Supertanker sink attempt fails

The discovery of explosives residue on the heavily dented hull of a Japanese oil-tanker confirms that the ship was "attacked by a boat loaded with explosives" while navigating the Strait of Hormuz. An al Qaeda affiliated group had earlier claimed credit for what appears to be a failed suicide attack.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Election 2010: Bright young intellectual voices his opinions

Freelance journalist Austin G. Mackell – his self-penned, semi-literate bio is here – interviews "one of Australia's brightest and most critical young intellectuals", "Anthony" Loewenstein. No kidding, it's a fitting sequel to Dumb and Dumber. And is it just me, or does Loewenstein look like an extra in a low budget vampire flick?

Muslim school director 'brutally stabbed'

Muslim Ladies College of Australia director Anwar Sayed, currently facing trial for allegedly fraudulently obtaining "up to $752,000" in government grants by overstating students numbers yesterday claimed to have received written and telephone death threats. Just coincidentally (wink, wink; nudge, nudge) today Mark Trowell, QC, told the judge his client was unable to attend court as he had been "brutally stabbed in the chest and face.''

This was later revised to a claim Mr Sayed had been "slashed'' rather than stabbed.

Here's the latest version:

Police said they did not believe a weapon was used in the attack and Murdoch detectives were investigating what they described as a  "minor assault between motorists".

Next we'll be told that Mr Sayed broke a nail while donning the seat-belt in his Mercedes.

Corrupt vehicle inspector really likes women

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Christopher Hitchens on cancer, his

Vanity Fair contributing editor Christopher Hitchens' "must read" first reactions to discovering he has cancer.

Election 2010: Liberals oppose Labor's Internet filter

Good news for Internet users:

Opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey says the Coalition will not back the Government's proposed internet filter.

The Government announced the filter two years ago as part of its cyber safety program to protect children from pornography and offensive material.

The plan has been criticised by internet users who claim it will slow download speeds and lead to unwarranted censorship.

The unpopular filter proposal is already on hold while undergoing independent review. Best to kill it now.

Rudd as lame as ever (Update: Super-Rudd to the rescue)

The former Prime Minister is in negative campaigning mode:

I honestly do not believe that [Tony Abbott] is up to the job of being prime minister of Australia.

Rudd's opinion on who should be Prime Minister is irrelevant; he thought he was up to the job but wasn't.

Update: Rudd's colossal ego was on display today when he announced he would save the day for Labor by joining the campaign. During the 5 1/2 minute video clip Rudd mentions Gillard only twice while positioning himself as the man to defeat Abbott, using "I" an astonishing 30 times. He also effectively takes credits for "our team" implementing policies Abbott supposedly wants to tear down. The Labor party is a mob of self-aggrandising back-stabbers.


Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Europe rejects asylum seekers

Enlightened Europeans set an example for handling asylum seekers:

Italy's "push-back" pact with Libya to send migrants picked up at sea to detention centres in the north African country instituted last year has produced an extraordinary drop in the number of migrants apprehended irregularly crossing the EU border - whether by land or sea.

The Howard government's "Pacific solution" was ahead of its time.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

The Internet: A great source of disinformation

It is argued that the Internet is dumbing us down by providing mountains of dubious information to be gobbled up by the less-than-discerning. An example is Scienceblogs.com, providing science that is nowhere near as scientific as the site's name leads readers to believe.

Then there are news, analysis and commentary providers such as Crikey, which publish utter drivel like this "examination" of privatisation, a mish-mash of poorly written, inadequately researched assumptions and opinions. For example:

Ageing infrastructure and a lack of government willingness to publicly invest almost guarantee the welcoming arms of corporations with the public interest far from their priority.

I think I know what the author's point is but can't be certain.

A word to the wise: Be careful when surfing.

Election 2010: Political analysis – major parties 'douchebags'

Political analyst Jeremy Sear, tasked by Crikey with exposing "the intellectual dishonesty, the flimsy arguments and the distorted data wherever they appear in the mainstream media", is a Greens supporter who thought the first televised debate a waste of time, yet wants additional televised debating, preferably including Greens supremo Bob Brown.

Both big parties are spectacular hypocrites, and this is illustrated again this week with the proposing of another debate (despite earlier refusal) by Labor, and the refusal of same (despite earlier pleas) by the Liberals.

From which he concludes:

Both sides are clearly hypocritical douchebags...

Jeremy is also riled by the ABC's alleged anti-left bias in reporting Gillard’s challenge ‘a sign of desperation’.

The ABC is simply reporting Liberal opinion that Gillard's request for a second debate is a sign of desperation – hence the quotes indicating that "a sign of desperation" is not the ABC's opinion. Also, the text of the story makes it clear that the ABC is reporting various Liberals' take on Gillard's new debate challenge.

Regardless, whereas calling the major parties "douchebags" might be perceived by Jeremy's fellow fringe leftists as daring, it's hardly the standard of analysis expected of a news and commentary site with mainstream aspirations, plumbing, as it does, depths never approached by Australia's mainstream right-wing pundits.

Election 2010: Politics of hate

Tim Blair on the ALP's chaotic campaign:

They just can’t help themselves. Given the choice between government and a face-scratching all-in bitch fight, Labor chooses the brawl every time.

If the bitching and back-stabbing continue Gillard's a goner.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Election 2010: The 'real' Gillard no better than the old Gillard

Australian Labor supporters can now breath easy, secure in the knowledge that the "real" Julia Gillard, rather than whoever it was that was campaigning as Prime Minister, is now on show. First up from the new and improved Prime Minister: refusing to answer questions about her supposed failure to consult prior to proclaiming the widely criticised citizens' climate change gab-fest. The more things change, the more they remain the same.

Sexual harrassment more grave than death

The family of a West Australian Aboriginal man who died while being transported in a van with broken air-conditioning has protested that an AU$3.2 million (US$2.th9 million) compensation payout is inadequate. They could well have a case considering that David Jones is being sued for AU$37 million (US$33.7 million) by a female former employee who alleges former chief executive Mark McInnes sexually harrassed her.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Wikileaks paradox

Operating from the shadows, staffed by unknown activists, releasing documents obtained by unnamed persons, Wikileaks aims for governmental transparency. Kinda ironic, ain't it.

And does Wikileaks release all significant documents it obtains, or just those furthering its agenda?

Australian journalist makes it big

Seeking expert opinion on the Wikileaks release of secret U.S. war related documents al Jazeera sought input from Australia's own Middle East authority Antony Loewenstein. The 23-minute segment features Loewenstein (at 8:40 in) for all of 14 seconds. In that time Loewenstein related everything he knows about everything.

Election 2010: Rudd accused of being double agent

Kevin Rudd, referred to by former Labor leader Mark Latham as a "snake" known to be the source of past leaks, is today accused of being something of a Liberal Party secret agent:

Kevin Rudd was used as a double agent by the Howard government to leak information damaging to his enemies within the Labor Party.

Former foreign minister Alexander Downer has claimed Mr Rudd, at the time an ambitious backbencher, would seize on information given to him about his Labor rivals - and regularly feed it to the media.

"We used him mercilessly to embarrass (Labor's then foreign-affairs spokesman) Laurie Brereton," Mr Downer told The Sunday Telegraph. "We would give Rudd information to use against Brereton, and he would use it."

Downer is now frantically back-pedalling:

"The interpretation placed on my comments to the Sunday Telegraph is wrong," he said.

"Kevin Rudd was not used by me or other members of the Liberal Party as a so-called 'double agent' to leak material against other members of the Labor Party."

Mr Downer says the journalist who wrote the story has "created a more controversial story than my comments warranted".

Downer does not claim to be misquoted, however, so where's the misinterpretation?

Also in The Daily Telegraph is an article revealing the real Kevin Rudd. As is so often the case, reality ain't pretty.

Update: In response to Alexander Downer's protests of misinterpretation the Sunday Telegraph has releaed a full transcript of the interview.