Tuesday, May 31, 2011


An interesting setback for nuclear power advocates:

BERLIN (AFP) – Germany on Monday became the first major industrialised power to agree an end to nuclear power in the wake of the disaster in Japan, with a phase-out to be completed by 2022.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said the decision, hammered out by her centre-right coalition overnight, marked the start of a "fundamental" rethink of energy policy in the world's number four economy.

"We want the electricity of the future to be safer and at the same time reliable and affordable," Merkel told reporters as she accepted the findings of an expert commission on nuclear power she appointed in March in response to the crisis at Japan's Fukushima plant.

"That means we must have a new approach to the supply network, energy efficiency, renewable energy and also long-term monitoring of the process," said Merkel, whose popularity had suffered over her previous pro-nuclear stance.

The commission found that it would be viable within a decade for Germany to mothball all 17 of its nuclear reactors, eight of which are currently off the electricity grid.

So where will this safe, reliable and affordable electricity come from? Windmills on every strasse? Solar panels on top of every haus? Nein.

Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen:

"We assure that the electricity supply will be ensured at all times and for all users," he pledged.

The government must now determine how it can make up the difference with renewable energy sources, natural gas and coal-fired plants.

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What Happens in Libya...

Possible understatement of the year:
A Libyan student who sexually assaulted seven girls and women in Melbourne has been jailed for more than five years.

Almahde Ahmad Atagore, 28, had been in Australia only a month and was having trouble adapting to the Australian culture when he committed the attacks, a court heard.

Atagore, who is a Muslim, was upset and sexually aroused at the way women in Australia dressed and behaved, the Victorian County Court heard today.
Here's some more cultural nuance:
His youngest victim was just 13.
The whole 13 year old thing sounds vaguely familiar. The Holy Prophet Mohammed married Aisha when she was 6-years-old and consummated his marriage with her when she was 9. FYI, he was 54 years old at the time.

Must be a cultural thing.

This was followed by more understatement and a breathtaking display of political correctness:
Sentencing Atagore, Judge Margaret Rizkalla said she accepted there was a link between the cultural issues, along with Atagore's depression, and the offences. "It seems you were very ill prepared to deal with cultural differences," she said.
A point apparently missed by whomever gave him a visa to study here.

Update: Professor Bunyip points out that the judge has form.

Opposites Attract

A letter to the editor in today's Australian:
Thanks for the photo of Cate Blanchett's home. Now go ahead and publish photos of the homes of the billionaire mining magnets [sic] such as Clive Palmer and Gina Rinehart.
The mining (ahem) magnates' wealth is immaterial. They are not the ones calling for a tax on other people. Cate Blanchett (worth around $53M) is.

Moreover, whilst it's trendy to complain about 'fat cat' mining companies raping the Earth and laughing all the way to the bank, it's easy to ignore the huge commercial risks they take searching for minerals. Plenty of mining companies go broke.


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Yes but...

The new pro carbon dioxide tax "Just Say Yes" campaign, is a great start for the Australian chapter of the Film Actor Guild (FAG).

They have already embarrassed themselves.

What really irks me, is the smug suggestion 8 seconds into the clip, that solar and wind generation produces clean energy "that never runs out".

Except at night, or when the wind isn't blowing.

Solar and wind advocates never want to discuss that. They don't need to, as long as there is eeeeevil coal powered baseload generation ensuring that 'somehow' the lights still come on at night.

Of course you can also use batteries to provide power when the solar/wind generators are idle. You know, those batteries filled with lead acid and other delightful ingredients that need to be disposed of.

At best, solar and wind energy is either unreliable or unclean.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Nobel Cause

A letter to the SMH:
David Hicks shouldn't be too troubled by being labelled a ''terrorist'' (Letters, May 25) because it is generally a short-term arrangement. Yasser Arafat was a terrorist who went on to win a Nobel peace prize, Menachem Begin was a terrorist who would be prime minister of Israel, and Nelson Mandela was a terrorist who went on to become one of the most admired men in the world. Being called a terrorist just means you will be reclassified as a hero at a later date.

Andrew Worssam Bondi
Arafat was no Mandela. I'd say the Nobel Prize has jumped the shark. Let me now state for the record, that should I win one, I'll be handing it back until they posthumously strip Arafat of his. One can only hope others more deserving of the prize than me, adopt a similar stand in the future.

I should disclose that Worssam doesn't like me very much. A few months ago, he sent this letter to the editor of my local newspaper:
It seems barely a month goes by without some provocative hate filled letter by Daniel Lewis of Rushcutters Bay appearing unchallenged in the Courier or Sydney Morning Herald. Daniel’s favourite topic seems to be Muslim baiting and/or apologizing for Israel. In his world, Muslims are part of the same amorphous threat. They exist to kill us all. One only has to swap the words’ Jew’ and “Muslim’ in his missives to see who offensive his writings are. Contrast his rantings with the reasoned arguments of Greens’ member Sam Bauers on the same page. The lunatic fringe is alive and well in the Eastern Suburbs.
Andrew Worssam, Bondi
The following week, he would have read this:
Andrew Worssam (Wentworth Courier, Letters 23/3) disgracefully attempts to smear me, claiming one need only swap the words “Jew” and “Muslim” to see how “offensive” my letters are. Let's see.

"19 Jews hijacked aircraft and flew them into the World Trade Centre". "Militant Jews released video of them sawing the heads off journalists". "Jewish rabbis condemned a 16 year old gay man to be stoned to death". "A Supreme Court Jury convicted three Jewish men for conspiring to plan a suicide terrorist attack on Holsworthy Army Base".

Gosh, I totally see Worssam’s point. It's nothing to do with Islam at all.

Daniel Lewis
I'm sure I ruined his breakfast.

Give Beheading a Chance

Antony Loewenstein tweets:
Thomas Friedman lectures #Palestinians to protest non-violently...which is what they've been doing for years.
Uh huh.

Here's some photos of a recent non-violent Palestinian "protest" in the town of Itamar.

They were Israeil children, murdered while they slept for no other reason than they were Jewish. A large percentage of the Palestinian population applauded the attack.

Antony of course ignores this, convinced that the Palestinians are really the victims, merely throw shoes as a 'symbolic protest' and just want peace.


Have a look at these photos and try to explain why on Earth Israel wouldn't be doing everything possible to try and keep the Palestinians under control. To do anything else would be grossly irresponsible. Unfortunately there are a lot of people who believe that Israel has no right to defend itself against an ideology which worships child-killers and names football stadiums after them.

Peaceful protest? My arse.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Experienced reporter mistakes Onion satire for real news

Investigative reporter Antony Loewenstein links to an Onion "article" as if genuine. High speed copying and pasting does have its drawbacks.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Hybrids unpopular

What with everyone other than ignorant, die-hard climate change deniers fretting over their carbon footprint, the popularity of hybrid vehicles has skyrocketed, right? Wrong.
Ten years after the petrol-electric vehicles made it on to the Australian market, sales continue to languish. Soaring petrol prices have had no discernible impact on take-up.

For the year to the end of April, there have been 322,678 sales nationwide, of which 2594 - just 0.8 per cent - were for hybrids.

Only about a quarter of those were bought privately, the rest going to government bodies and commercial fleets.
SUV sales continue to boom, however.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Leftist's imagination runs wild

In September 2010 The Australian makes its anti-Greens position known:
We believe [Bob Brown] and his Green colleagues are hypocrites; that they are bad for the nation; and that they should be destroyed at the ballot box.
In Crikey blogger Jeremy Sear's fevered Leftist brain this simple statement of opposition morphs into something far more sinister: a campaign by News Ltd., a "media organisation that publicly declared it wanted to destroy" the Greens.

News Ltd made no such declaration.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Humanity on trial

The best and the brightest sue on behalf of Mother Nature:
Around 20 Nobel prize winners will preside over a mock courtroom in Stockholm on Tuesday, with the Planet Earth and humanity on opposing sides of the case, as part of a symposium to highlight global sustainability.
No doubt the capricious natural disaster-induced death of millions of humans and non-humans will be ignored.

Cost/Benefit Analysis

Andrew Bolt notes the demands placed on Australia in order to allow Muslims to 'fit in' and asks:
At such a price, is Muslim immigration worth the hassle?
To be fair, you need to consider all the benefits that it offers.

Feel free to list them in comments.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Kudos for Serco-run prison

International government services provider Serco, a frequent target of privatisation critic Antony Loewenstein, has received a glowing report for its operation of the Acacia prison, Western Australia's only privately run prison:
In a report of his scheduled inspection tabled in State Parliament today, Inspector Neil Morgan said Acacia was delivering quality services, meeting high accountability standards and providing value for money to taxpayers.

He said Acacia's performance had clearly improved since it took over the running of the prison from AIMS five years ago, and it was at least equal to the best public sector prisons in WA and "in many respects it is superior".

Mr Morgan said Acacia's performance was all the more impressive given its capacity had jumped from 758 prisoners to 1000 since 2007.
But because this superior performance is contrary to Loewenstein's "privatised services are evil" scenario it's highly unlikely he'll mention it at his blog of doom.

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Is James actually Jeremy?

On MTR radio this morning Andrew Bolt fielded a call from "James in Reservoir", who Bolt almost immediately identifies not as "James" but rather as "Jeremy". Could it be that Crikey blogger Jeremy Sear – aka Jeff, aka anonymous – has again opted to challenge Bolt using an assumed name?

Considering this lame non-denial from Jeremy it is indeed possible:
“Andrew Bolt seemed to think a talkback caller named “James from Reservoir” was actually called “Jeremy”. I’m guessing he meant you, though not sure.”

LOL. I’ll have a listen. I’M EVERYWHERE.
Not "everywhere", just everywhere Bolt is, obsessing over every word he speaks and writes.

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Dishonesty about Sharia

Via The Australian:
THE nation's peak Muslim group is using the Gillard government's re-embracing of multiculturalism to push for the introduction of sharia in Australia, but it says it would be a more moderate variety of Islamic law that fits with Australian values.
Let me guess. They wouldn't chop off hands and heads until Australian society felt it was ready for that.

According to Australian Federation of Islamic Councils' President, Ikebal Adam Patel:
"It is important for someone who is Muslim or a practising Jew that aspects of our religion which can be incorporated within the greater legal system are introduced.
Excuse me? Practicing Jews aren't trying to forcibly impose their religion on others. Considering that Muslims today represent the number one Jew-murderers since the Second World War, I'd say it's a bit of Chutzpah for the Islamic Sharia Advocates to be invoking the Jewish community as an argument for the spread of their own misogynistic, backward 7th Century practices, which amongst other things would see Jewish people convert or die.

This is followed by an question of how the Muslim community views their successful integration to date:
"Muslims are required to have social integration with the majority of people in Australia: what does this really mean? Should Muslims remove the hijab, dress like others, drink alcohol and go to the pub to demonstrate they have actually integrated?"
Yes. Because everyone knows, to be a true Australian, you need to be an alcohol drinking slut.

It is not 'us' who are ostracising Muslims. It is Muslim political and religious leaders who are actively creating enclaves and spreading fear about integration with non-Muslims.

Update: Ikebal Patel was on the phone to MTR Radio for an on-air video until he heard he'd be speaking to Andrew Bolt. He refused the interview and hung up.

I guess you can only fool some people...


Monday, May 16, 2011

Bolt obsession claims new victim

Dave Gaukroger, usually the more measured half of the Dave and Jeremy Pure Poison duo, today goes all Jeremy Sear hysterical over a straightforward Andrew Bolt post in which the conservative commentator describes the arrest of IMF chief and potential French presidential candidate Dominique Strauss-Kahn on sex assault charges as "embarrassing .. and rather career ending." Bolt obviously is referring to likely embarrassment for both the IMF and France, also noting that Strauss-Kahn's IMF and political careers are likely finished.

Gaukroger reads Bolt's simple post quite differently, however:
I beg your pardon? Embarrassing? That’s your first response? A man has been accused of a violent sexual assault and you label it embarrassing?

Perhaps Andrew didn’t feel that his first comment was dismissive enough, because he followed up with:
It’s astonishing how the urge to procreate can so overwhelm the survival instinct.
This, from a man who sneeringly refers to those he views as ideological opponents as barbarians.

Sexual assault is not about procreation, and it’s not an embarrassment. To treat the subject in such a glib manner is astounding. Sexual assault is still grossly underreported throughout he world, offhand snark like that published by Bolt is one of the reasons that women often feel too afraid or ashamed to report their experiences.

The charges against Strauss-Kahn, which he has plead not guilty to, are serious ones. Before innocence or guilt is tested in a court of law it’s fair to say that both of the people involved in this incident have had their lives irrevocably changed for the worst. The decision to mock the situation is one that is unfathomable to me.
Jeez, all that righteous Lefty indignation over nothing.

Undergraduate Humour

Nadia Rao, whose previous achievements include recognising:
Bolt is a dolt. It's true because it rhymes..
this week turned up the heat on Twitter:
The #boltreport - dumbing down the dumbest of the bumb.[sic]
One of the first things you should know about trolling on the Internet, is that if you are going to call someone stupid, you should check your spelling. I called Ms Rao on it. Her response is outstanding:
Dumb is spelt correctly, bumb ass. I have an English degree. What are your academic qualifications?
Presumably her English studies are also where she learned that rhyming equals truth.


Bolt Love

The Bolt Report launched another hatefest on Twitter, which like last week, mainly consisted of a single quite lame gag being retweeted for up to ten hours, until someone could up with another equally lame gag to replace it. This week's wit:
I love the giant word BOLT across the back of the set at #boltreport. Nice of them to give us such sensible advice. #runaway

Retweeted by KarenEap and 67 others
That is, at least 67 people who couldn't come up with their own schtick.

A later, even more lame comment sums up the problem:
I haven't seen the show but shouldn't it be called 'The DOLT Report?
When you've finished rolling all over the floor laughing at this genius, consider something.

He hasn't. Seen. The Show. But why should that stop the bolt-haters obsessing over the program? Having reviewed nearly the whole #boltreport twitter stream, there is almost no discussion whatosever about the content. Only about the host. This is from the same side which always has a big sook about what they call "ad hominem" attacks, demanding you "play the ball, not the man" etc. Boy can they dish it out though.

Whilst Q&A has its own fair share of twitter idiots, at least you could tell what's on the show without watching it, just from the adjacent twitter commentary. In Bolt's case, his haters have ensured the only thing you'd learn is that a man names Bolt hosts the show, and he's worse than Hitler. Really.

This is the same side of politics which is demanding a more "civilised discourse" in politics. Which went nuts when Tony Abbott was within a few hundred feet of a man holding a sign calling Julia Gillard a bitch, yet doesn't seem to have a problem that Julia Gillard's twitter account is following "Bolt is a Cunt".


Wanker bin Readin

Further to the New York Post's fabulous front page,

Darryl Mason has accused Tim Blair of plagiarism.
When Daily Telegraph journalist Tim Blair isn't too busy thrillingly pointing out basic typos in independent media (with a fraction of the editorial staff of his own newspaper), he apparently borrows headlines from the New York Post, without credit.
UPDATE : A few hours after the above was posted, Blair acknowledges this remarkable coincidence : "Not for the first time, me and (NY Post editor) Col Allan are on the same wavelength."

So Blair, according to his own post, checked the reaction of New York Times to the alleged discovery of a Bin Laden hideout 'porn stash' but didn't bother to see what his mate, and fellow Murdoch employee, Col Allan, had come up with on such a dream Osama tabloid story? That sounds realistic.
Yes. I mean, when news like that breaks a senior editor at a newspaper wouldn't have better things to do than trawl the blogs and ring old mates to swap notes on the printed edition.

Plagiarism is a huge call and one I suspect might end very badly for Mason.

I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of people independently came up with that headline. "Osama bin Chokin' al-Chicken" and "Tissue Bin Laden" just doesn't have the same ring to it.

Meanwhile, Antony Loewenstein, a man who has sent subeditors off on stress leave has posted another of his lengthy editorials about this. Wordcount: Zero. Antony bin Writin'!

Elswehere, the sub-literate Loewenstein inadvertently accuses Wikileaks of human rights abuses:
Human rights at stake, says Amnesty, and Wikileaks helped
Amnesty International should write a report on whomever edited Loewenstein's books.

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Meet interesting people. And cook for them.

Via Andrew Bolt, an Australian Defence Force recruitment video from twenty years ago.

Via the Australian Defence Force, today's version:
Well, the reason I joined the Navy was I was out of work for a small amount of time due to the kitchen I was working in...So my Mother said to me "maybe you should join the Navy" cause other people in my family had done it. So I thought "why not?"
She must be good at her job too. Check out the fattie who appears at 47 secs.

I'm not naive enough to assume that militaries in non-conscription countries won't attract their fair share of down-and-out recruits. But this is just sad.

While Australia's military try to feed off Masterchef hype, the Americans are betting their national security on So You Think You Can Dance.

Not a good look...

(Read Update at the bottom)

The Tele reports:
TONY Abbott missed the key economic vote of the new Parliament - the $42 billion fiscal stimulus package - because he fell asleep after a night of drinking witnessed by MPs from both sides of Parliament.
Then again:
He had helped with bushfire recovery efforts on the Central Coast four nights earlier and had not caught up on sleep.

"I don't get a lot of sleep in Canberra. By the time you get to bed, it's usually after 11 and I usually get up at five or earlier,'' he said.

"If you start off the week tired, it's very hard to catch up.''
Staying up all night to complete the budget reply speech wouldn't have helped either.

But when you know how hard your opponents (including within your own party) are trying to slime you, you need to try harder not to give them satisfaction. A night on the turps with colleagues doesn't help.

Update: Wow. I need to stop following Twitter.

Someone in comments has very unkindly pointed out this incident took place two years ago (and clearly Abbott has cleaned up his act since).

I was referred to this article by a rapid number of retweets today of a comment linking to the above post. I thought it was news. Clearly they haven't forgotten about it. The rest of you are welcome to forget all about this post.

(Memo Antony Loewenstein: This is how you deal with screwing something up. Yes, I could have deleted this post and comments to it).


Darryl Mason refers to that video:
Australian climate scientists fight back.

Be afraid. It's almost as terrifying as this gangster violence.

Mason acknowledges
A rap was probably a better choice than interpretative dance
Well, yes.

I'm waiting for someone to take the Instrumental Version of the "Climate Scientists" rap and do something useful with it.

Poor Bastards...

Further to Tony Abbott's budget reply speech, comes these letters in the Sydney Morning Herald.
Spare us bleatings of $153,000-a-year 'battlers'

I was concerned to read that the Hadfield family, whose household income of $153,000 puts them well and truly in the wealthiest 20 per cent of Australian households, struggle to pay their bills ('''Rich' family struggles to meet living costs'', May 12).

Perhaps, like indigenous Australians in the Northern Territory, they should be put on income management until they are able to function without welfare.
Advertisement: Story continues below

Bronislava Lee

Households living on $150,000-plus a year are, in fact, upper, not middle class. Just 40,000, or 3 per cent, of Australia's 8 million households fall into this bracket. Average annual earnings are about $65,000, and there are many more wage earners on minimum wages near $30,000 than at the high end of the McMansion or gentrified inner-city market.

The federal budget ''hits'' on the ''new rich'' are a feather duster when compared with other candidates, like means-tested childcare rebates and pharmaceutical benefits, and tax concessions on superannuation and capital gains, none of which found their way into the budget.

On fairness and equity grounds, the $150,000-plus club are doing very well. Yes, in Sydney, with its supercharged housing market, there is some discomfort with mortgage levels and the prospect of future rising interest rates for these households. But it is nothing compared to the struggle of households with minimum to average weekly earnings, whose rental or mortgage housing costs, utilities, food and transport bills consume massive proportions of the available funds.

This budget does little to transform the economic and social well-being of Australians. However, it's a bit rich for the new rich to make out they are doing it tough or shouldn't be paying a fairer share.

Gary Moore

Couples on $150,000 a year may not be rich, but they are not battlers. People in the middle shouldn't expect middle-class welfare. Those of us lucky enough to have a reasonable income need to understand that government handouts should be reserved for the genuinely needy. I exclude essential services such as public health, education, disability and aged care from this category.

Janet McNeill
Note where the authors of the letters live. Newtown, in the Greens voting seat of Balmain, Leichhardt, which would have gone to the Greens had they focused more on their own electorate rather than trying to boycott the Jewish state, and Redfern, a perpetual disaster which recently re-elected political disaster Tanya Plibersek.

The sneering inner-city green-left can't stand the idea that some Australians would like to have a small backyard, drive a car and be able to spend their own hard-earned money rather than have it ripped from them by an incompetent government.

Geez the latte shops would be doing a good trade around there...

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Moore's Lore

Tim Blair has reported on Clover Moore's crusade against parking spaces.
Under a plan before Sydney Council, every new apartment will get its own bicycle locker, yet only one in six will have a car space.
Good luck doing the grocery shopping on your bicycle.

What do these bicycle riders do when it's raining? Catch public transport? Oh, that's right. Sydney hasn't really got any. Well, not until Clover puts in her magical fairy-powered trams.

It's well and good for luvvie politicians to insist we should stop using cars. However until there is a viable alternative means for getting around, it's just stupid.

Moreover, now that councils spend their forecast fines revenue before they've earned it, they've become addicted to parking fines, like heroin. No cars means no fines. No fines revenue, means no sponsoring worthless wastes of money.

Rates, Roads and Rubbish, Clover.


Funny Left

Andrew Bolt gets a special mention in this truly embarrassing video, featuring "real" climate scientists.

Truly lame. Bolt pointed out that your tax dollars paid for it.

I previously pointed out the total absence of wit amongst Bolt's largest critics.

It's interesting that the "climate scientists" in the video sneer that Bolt's work isn't 'peer reviewed' whereas theirs is.

Peer Schmeer.

Bolt's work is carefully reviewed by a large horde of hostile, motivated and obsessive opponents.

In any case, the fundamental argument of the video, that "climate change is real" is not in dispute.

Climate changes. We get it. It's called "Weather" by most people.

What is in dispute is:
a) Man's direct responsibility for this phenomena, and
b) Man's ability to control it.

Additional to that, is the question of whether Australia's total carbon emissions make any significant difference globally, which might justify taxing us back to the pre-industrial era in an otherwise futile gesture.

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Vast Zionist Empire Grows

Bestselling Author Antony Loewenstein writes:
This is so desperate it’s comical. Those backing Jewish colonies who live in the Zionist Diaspora want nothing more than no debate over the growing numbers of young Jews turning away from Israeli occupation policies.
"Jewish colonies who live in the Zionist diaspora?"

Where are these colonies? Bondi? Toorak? Walgett? Run and hide, people!

Every single time Antony Loewestein complains about a lack of debate, he should reflect on what he does to comments on his blog (delete them without a trace) and how he responds to his critics (he doesn't).

His post has a typically hate-filled sneer against Ted Lapkin:
American Ted Lapkin (who used to work for the Zionist lobby AIJAC and now lurks with a right-wing think-tank)
Lurks? I think Antony will find the word is 'employed'. Something with which Antony is not very familiar

Antony doesn't like Ted Lapkin, who when they appeared on TV together, showed Antony as both clueless and dishonest.

Lapkin pointed out basic (and terribly embarrassing) errors in Loewenstein's book. Antony, as always scoffed at the idea he could be wrong and instead thought such criticism was part of a smear campaign, rather than basic fact-checking. It's all an eeeeevil Zionist conspiracy in his mind.
TONY JONES: Let me bring Mr Lapkin back in here. You've read Antony Loewenstein's thesis. You've actually read his book, My Israel Question.

TED LAPKIN: Correct.

TONY JONES: How do you respond to it coming from a young Australian Jewish person?

TED LAPKIN: Well, I think that it is a far-left anti-Zionist book. It's rife with factual errors, beginning with the map that appears on page nine of the preface even before you get into the meat of the book. If you look at that map, Antony Loewenstein has Lebanon placed midway between Tel Aviv and Haifa, so he suffers from some geographical confusion. But even worse are the factual errors and the factual confusion that really renders the book a piece of very shoddy scholarship at best.

ANTONY LOEWENSTEIN: It is interesting how I was expecting this kind of response. This is exactly the kind of response that Mearsheimer and Walt got in the US. They were accused of being extreme. They were accused of making factual errors. They were accused of being anti-Israel, anti-Zionist, anti-Semitic. This is the kind of tactics that we expect. The reality is that my book, My Israel Question simply is asking a question: is the Australian Jewish community happy to accept a Jewish state in the Middle East which conducts itself, especially since 1967 when the occupation began of the West Bank and Gaza, in a way that has Jewish only roads, a wall that essentially does not allow children to get from one part of the country to another, a situation where there is bombardment from the air of civilian infrastructure, a situation where the Israeli state is more than happy to allow olive groves from settlers to destroy them? I mean, I was in Israel last year and in Palestine last year, in the West Bank and Israel proper. If you go to a town like Hebron, which is of religious significance to both Islam and also for Judaism, there's a situation where you see literally Palestinians are not actually allowed to leave their own house. They are actually told they have to leave their house another way. This is an Israeli Army directive. You have roughly 1,000 Jewish settlers who are extremists and over 100,000 Palestinians living there. That kind of dynamic and that kind of apartheid is something the world needs to understand.

TONY JONES: OK. Ted Lapkin, it's a really fundamental critique of the Jewish state from beginning to end with an historical context. What's your response?

TED LAPKIN: If I can point out that I haven't uttered the word anti-Semitism tonight. The only person who has been uttering it is Antony Loewenstein. You talk about factual errors - he talks about Jewish only roads. That's one of the errors that he makes in the book. What you have in the West Bank are roads that are limited to Israelis and Arab Israelis can use them and the reason why they were built is because Israelis driving through the West Bank were subjected to gunfire and sniping attacks and so to portray this as some kind of apartheid when, in essence, these roads were built after many Israelis, including Israeli rabs who were using, them were shot to death using the regular road system I think is just absurd and it's factually incorrect. These are not Jewish only roads. They are roads that are limited to Israelis for security reasons.

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

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


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


TED LAPKIN: Israeli Arabs use them all the time.
Antony stopped short of adding "Nyah nyah ya boo, sucks to you". Such a scholar...

The man is a hypocrite and a truly awful writer.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I saw it online. It must be true!

Darryl Mason can't believe that the:
Australian Citizenship Test website uses a photo from the very unAustralian Cronulla Riots of 2005 to illustrate a story about the importance of Australian values.

Except it doesn't.

The photo actually appears on a privately owned website - http://www.australiantest.com which seems to be nothing more than an attempt to make money off would-be immigrants to this country by selling them a 'training kit'.

There should have been a few subtle hints that this wasn't an 'official' website.
1) The presence of a photo featuring a man's t-shirt stating "No Lebs". I mean, sure, the PM's office has done some stupid things online lately, but this?

2) The URL - Australiantest.com and the Wordpress website which follows, don't exactly scream "Australian Government". Certainly not like, say, www.citizenship.gov.au/learn/cit_test/ located with a 2 second Google search for "Australia immigration test".

How could any sensible person reach the conclusion that Mason did?

Mason previously wrote:
Fact-checking, like spell-checking, has never been a priority for Bolt in his rush to get out his latest conspiracy soaked rantings

This goes beyond gullibility. Are the Left really that stupid?

Update: Yes. Yes they are. Darryl sends the following message:
Nowhere in that blog post did I say it was an 'official' or Gillard gov. website. I don't expect an apology, just a correction.
How about neither?

You don't need to specify "The Official, genuine 100 percent Julia Gillard approved Citizenship test website". The inference was quite clear.

In an update to his own post, Darryl claims:
Where above do I claim that photo was posted on an 'official' site? Nowhere. I called it the Australian Citizenship Test website, which is what it calls itself
So if I set up a website, maybe on Blogger, and called it the Australian Immigration Department, I guess you'd have to refer to it as that. You know, because that's what it calls itself.

Sorry. It was a worthless website and a non-story. The only way you could possibly think otherwise, is if you were... What's that word?


Drum Beaten

Gavin Atkins lays down a simple challenge for The Drum and its supporters.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011


As the Left continue their ceaseless hate campaign against Andrew Bolt, this tweet is being furiously retweeted by an ideological echo chamber.
HAHAHAHA BEST AND MOST ACCURATE URL EVER. http://today.ninemsn.com.au/meettheteam/459065/racist-fuckwit
The link goes to Andrew Bolt's profile page on that website.

Isn't it always the Lefties who are having a big sook about "ad hominem" attacks? Or are they only forbidden when its one of their own on the receiving end. Boy they can dish it out.

But is this even genuine? No.

Due to a quirk in their website, if you write anything at the end of the URL, you'll get to the same page.

For example:



The fact it's not a real URL or some stunning prank, won't make a difference though. As Winston Churchill said: "A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on."

Feel free to suggest your own links in comments.


Truth in Advertising

Michelle Nicol, who describes herself thus:
Independent digital strategist & digital communities advisor; RushCrowder; recycle, reduce, reuse fan; rock chick; footy chick; good sort. And I love Elvis.
has a lot of time on her hands. She has been sending letters to every advertiser whose commercials appeared during the first episode of the Bolt Report on Channel Ten last Sunday.

She has tweeted this remarkable claim:
Today iPrimus apologised to me for their TVCs appearing on the #boltreport, and stated they have no association with the program's views.
This was followed by several more tweets:
I've written to 5 of them, and 3 have said they are pulling out. They were bonus spots, not scheduled or requested by the advertisers.
Anyone familiar with advertising will know there is a difference between "pulling out" and declining an offer, the former signifying regret as opposed to simply not being interested in paying for further media after receiving a freebie or discounted placement - very likely in a brand new, untested show.

I believe Michelle Nicol is dishonestly trying to infer advertiser discontent with Andrew Bolt. I suspected the letter (if any) she received from iPrimus was simply a polite PR response which would have indicated (quite correctly) that they are not responsible for any program's views. It would have probably included customer retention boilerplate to the effect they were sorry if she had been offended, even though it's really nothing to do with them.

In addition to harassing businesses, Nicol is running a smear campaign and trying to mislead people into believing the advertisers are shocked. Like minded Bolt-haters immediately retweeted her tweets, spreading the smear.

So I tweeted a simple, polite request to see exactly what was said.

Her reply was charming. (Click to embiggen)

I ask for simple proof, and get told to "piss off". She then insists I have to take her wild claims completely at face value, before covering her ears and refusing to listen.


Noting that Michelle Nicol is furiously tweeting her anti-Bolt activities, completely unsubstantiated to date, I repeat my challenge to her. Post your letter (I suspect it's libelous) and their response. Or retract your claims. An Independent digital strategist & digital communities advisor should have no difficulty doing so.

Update 1: The excuses get better.
@ I haven't evaded or denied anything, that's all in your head. I'm simply not going to post someone else's mail.
How convenient. It's probably been classified Top-Secret-Bullshit. So I asked her to simply post her own letter then. No go:
Michelle Nicol
@DanLew4U No thanks, I've got "way too much time on my hands" to bother wasting another second on your nonsense claims.
Uh huh. After half an hour of arguing the point. Poor dear is too busy, probably from writing to all those advertisers all day. So I called her on it again. Her reply:
Truly dude, your bully boy behaviour is not winning me over.
Evade, evade, evade...

Update 2: Oh this gets better and better. Referring to this blog, she writes:
@nadiarao Also, just did some forensics. Seems porn sites drive what little traffic there is to his site.
Well I don't know how much traffic this blog gets (clearly her "forensics" didn't extend to reading any of it and noting that I'm only a guest here). But I'm surprised she found the time to go looking. You know, what with being so busy and everything. Clearly too busy to post a simple letter which would show she isn't a liar and a fraud.

Update 3: Professor Bunyip has his own advice on the boycott attempt, known as "Operation Bolt-Cutter". The 18 year olds running marketing at some of these companies should read it.

Personally, I can't understand why any company would worry about their advertising upsetting people who claim they aren't watching. I also wonder whether the silence-Bolt campaign will be asking people to pull their advertising from the Melbourne Herald Sun. Good luck with that. This is the best PR Bolt could hope for. Talk about an own goal for the critics...


Loewenstein: Non-Jewish Leftists also think he's an idiot.

Writing in The Australian, Nick Dyrenfurth notes:
Perhaps the most disturbing local contribution came from another Drum regular, anti-Israel activist Antony Loewenstein, who announced that "the West has much to learn". Bin Laden's "[terrorist] tactics were abhorrent and failed to attract huge numbers of followers" Loewenstein surmised, nonetheless the West's subjugation of Muslims meant that the "arguments for his organisation's force have only strengthened since 9/11".

In other words, Osama was a nasty piece of work but fighting the good fight against imperialist crusaders. (Never mind that the majority of al-Qa'ida's victims have been Muslim.) Loewenstein concluded by offering a paean of praise: "Bin Laden died a man who profoundly changed the landscape of the world."

Well, yes, he certainly changed Lower Manhattan's landscape.
Loewenstein believes
Not all resistance to Western occupation is terrorism
and he has also stated that Osama bin Laden's death constitutes "murder".

Being an incompetent writer and a dishonest propagandist is one thing. Advocating for people directly responsible for the death of Australians (and many other innocents) is another. The man is a disgrace. As is any media which give him space to fuel his ego.

But he's good enough for 'Our ABC'.


Julia Heart Bolta

I previously noted the delightful Twitter comments being aimed at Andrew Bolt about his new TV show, by people who mostly claimed not to have actually watched it (hey, why should that stop them having an opinion on it?)

Someone has even set up a Twitter account named @BoltIsACunt. No big deal and it only has 11 followers. Although one certainly stands out. (Click to embiggen).

Someone at the Prime Minister's Office has a lot of explaining to do.

Someone at Jonathan Green's Crikey office probably needn't bother.

Update:Gavin Atkins notes that the Prime Minister also follows @Faggotface.

The PM has 99,285 people following her but is only following 56,245 people. So it's not the case that she is simply following people back, to be polite. Similarly, I know that merely following a person doesn't imply approval. For example, it's entirely understandable that the PM would follow her political opponents, and potentially enemies of this country, as an information gathering exercise. There can't possibly be any benefit to following these two accounts though. Seriously, what is going on at the PM's Office?

Update 2: Anonymous comments to this post smell a grand conspiracy!
Bolt aside, this is a pretty sick setup of the PM.

I'll warrant, once they were followed they changed their username/profile settings.
Nice try. Except @BoltIsACunt's very first tweet, said exactly that about Bolt.

Apparently it is inconceivable to consider that:
a) There actually are people who hate Andrew Bolt and would say that, and
b) The Prime Minister would ever do something wrong, incompetent, embarrassing...

No. It's all a conspiracy. I await my cheque, for my small part.

Others suggest it's all a big accident:
Gillard's choice of followers is probably done by a computer program - recall this story about Kevin Rudd following porn accounts.
When that happened, the technology was blamed for automatically selecting accounts to follow. Fair enough. But the second time it happens...

The PM's Office has been following the account since 1 November, when they would have received this tweet:
Thanks @JuliaGillard for following! You are totes not a cunt (but I am aware that your genitalia could be crudely called that).

Update 3: It's been almost 2 days since I posted this. Since then, Andrew Bolt has noticed it too, briefly mentioning it on one of Australia's most popular blogs. However the PM still 'follows' the aforesaid Twitter account. Maybe she hasn't been briefed yet? I wonder how much taxpayer money is going to the PM's media monitoring agencies.

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Monday, May 09, 2011

Building Bridges

NSW Police Force reports:
Police and school students in Sydney’s south-west have taken part in an innovative program aimed at breaking down cultural stereotypes and bolstering community relations.

The Stand Tall Project aims to promote harmony between police and Muslim youths in the Bankstown area by dismantling ethnic and religious typecasts and improving communication.

Thirty-four high school students were mentored by 16 officers from Bankstown Local Area Command during the three-day program held in March and April this year.

The program included in-depth discussions on how police and local youths perceive each other, as well as domestic violence, road safety and career development.

Police and students also competed in a friendly indoor soccer match, 10-pin bowling and laser skirmish, and visited Luna Park.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in South-Western Sydney:
Police are appealing for public assistance after two shop attendants were assaulted during a robbery at a convenience store in Sydney’s west last night.

About 10pm, approximately 10 men and youths entered the store on Cumberland Road, Auburn, and took a number of items from the shelves before running towards the exit.

As they were leaving a 23-year-old male employee was punched to the head. A 50-year-old female employee who was attempting to stop them was also assaulted.

The men and youths then ran from the store with two of them leaving on pushbikes.

Police and emergency services were notified and attended a short time later.

NSW Ambulance Paramedics treated the man and woman for minor injuries.

Officers attached to Flemington Local Area Command attended, established a crime scene and canvassed the area.

The men are all described as being of Middle Eastern/Mediterranean appearance and aged between 17 and 21 years.
Nothing a bit more laser-tag and bowling wouldn't fix...

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Not All Muslims Kill Christians, Firebomb Church

Clashes between Muslims and Christians in the Egyptian capital have left eight dead and more than 100 injured, and a church was set on fire.
Clearly this is because of the Israeli treatment of Palestinians. I mean, isn't that the root cause of all Muslim grievances?


Raw Nerve Touched...

The Premiere of Andrew Bolt's new Sunday program - The Bolt Report has certain groups seething.

Highlights from Twitter:

Nadia Rao:
Bolt is a dolt. It's true because it rhymes..
Did not watch the #boltreport. Will continue not to watch it. Because nauseating bigotry mix well with my Sunday morning muesli.
Julia Watkins:
163 000 people watched the Bolt Report and 123 000 watched the encore screening. Why Australia. Please tell me why.
Antony Loewenstein: "
#Murdoch must be so proud http://bit.ly/mNsxFA #boltreport"
Sour grapes, anyone? What do you think Antony would do, for his own show? He links to a negative review in (surprise surprise) the Fairfax press.

(Update: Yes, Murdoch would be proud at the ratings, which matter more than the opinion of a Fairfax competitor. Suck it, Antony.)

Ad Roq:
Andrew Bolt has a great sounding voice for newspapers #BoltReport
Keith Walker:
Bolt Report - a load of self-serving crap!!! Andrew Bolt - a dud!!!
Tony Lee:
Andrew reads the autocue in a sing song voice, but I can't see past the slime he's spewing at my screen.
Flemish Dog:
"bolt will be the first against the wall when the revolution comes "
There was another comment by Declan Fey:
"Can't believe they went with #boltreport name for the show instead of The Amazing Racist."
which was retweeted many dozens of times over the course of an entire day.

In any case, the title of The Amazing Racist has already been taken by an American comic with a lot more balls than The Chaser.

Presumably nobody could come up with anything more witty.

It took nearly an entire day for this one to appear:
I assume that someone has already thought to refer to the #boltreport as "The Vagina Monologue?"
Other hilarious plays on the title followed a similar theme: "Are we strapped in folks? The Cunt Report starts on Sunday"

Someone has even set up a Twitter account for no other reason than to make similar hilarious 'jokes'.

Over at Pure Poison, they insisted they weren't going to watch it. Yeah right.

Following the previously created gynaecological theme, comes this summary of the Left's Telepathic Tivo:
@gibbomeister: The #boltreport seems to have thrown sand into a few left-wing vaginas. They all say they didn't watch but still know it was crap. #auspol
Update 2: Via comments, a mini-review in comments at the Age's article:
"I have a close relative who is a journalist and he speaks of ballance [sic] and ethics in reporting, Bolt couldn't spell the words let alone get them into a sentence, the man is a clown.
No. Bolt couldn't spell ballance.

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Media Honours

Professor Bunyip reports a possible case of Islamic Honour Killing, which seems to have been completely missed by the Australian media.

As always, it's important to note that not all Muslims would kill their child rather than have it change religion.

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Sunday, May 08, 2011

Osama's last moments...

Saturday, May 07, 2011

News that Matters

Syrian security forces shot dead at least 26 protesters on Friday as thousands rallied on a Day of Defiance against the Syrian regime.
Most people wouldn't have noticed. Now imagine if, say, Israel had punched a protester in the mouth. Or America had shot Osama bin Laden's Wife in the face.

Dan Gillerman summed it up:
Every single day, Muslims are killed by Muslims. You do not see a single Muslim leader get up and say, “Enough is enough.”

It’s nearly as if we live in a world where if Christians kill Muslims, it’s a crusade. If Jews kill Muslims, it’s a massacre. And when Muslims kill Muslims, it’s the Weather Channel. Nobody cares.

Immoral Equivalence

This letter appears in today's SMH:
If SEAL Team 6 isn't busy we have a couple of ''terrorists'' we need them to deal with, Paul Keating, the Barangaroo vandal, and Clover ''Cycle Track'' Moore. They are doing more damage to Sydney than Bin Laden could ever have done.

I don't think the long-suffering citizens will object to photos being released either.

Michael Stanbridge Bonnet Bay
My thoughts on Clover Moore, her dishonesty and incompetence should be apparent from this earlier post. Similarly, I'd be happy if we never heard another word from Paul Keating (or Malcolm Fraser, but that's a different story).

But to compare them to Osama bin Laden, or for that matter any other terrorist is just disgraceful. The Fairfax press have form, frequently failing to identify terrorists as that, preferring more flowery euphemisms such as 'militant' or 'fighter', to describe people who deliberately murder unarmed civilian non-combatants. Particularly where the victims are Jewish. No doubt the Fairfax mindset believes the myth that 'one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter' and seem to forget which side they should be on.

By printing that letter, the SMH have demonstrated an inability to discern good from evil.

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What a Croc

Via the excellent Northern Territory News, comes a classic story of Australian mateship.
Howard Springs man, Kevin Eccles, 59, said he knew that if the two-and-a-half metre croc dragged him into the South Alligator River he was a dead man.

"I was not letting go," Mr Eccles said. "There was no way I was going into the water, he would really have me then." Sitting in his bed at Darwin Private Hospital Mr Eccles said he knew he was lucky to survive.

He and his mate Darrel Briscoe were in their tinnie at the mouth of One Tree Creek off South Alligator River in Arnhem Land on Saturday night when the croc launched itself from the water and grabbed him in its jaws.

"There was no warning, no nothing, not even a splash," Mr Eccles said.

"He pulled me right out of the seat of the boat."

The croc had locked its jaws on Mr Eccles's right shoulder.

The 184cm fisherman said that he managed to wedge his knees under the gunnel of the boat and grip the edge with his right hand. He then used his left hand to feel for the croc's eyes.

He thinks he poked the crocodile in an eyeball because it suddenly released him, causing him to fall back on to his mate.

Amazingly, Mr Briscoe slept through the entire struggle in the 4.5m Quintrex Hornet boat. "I told him that a crocodile's got me, then he started yelling because he thought I said the crocodile was in the boat."

When they were sure the croc was gone Mr Briscoe got out a first-aid kit and squirted a whole tube of antiseptic over his friend's chest and bandaged the wounds.

They then began a seven-hour journey in a tinnie and a car to get themselves to Royal Darwin Hospital.


Friday, May 06, 2011

Clover pulls the wool over...

It's no secret that Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore hates cars. Her barely used bike-lanes have completely screwed Sydney traffic (and parking). Her previous achievement, William St Sydney, taunts me daily. Clover's plan was for it to be a "Boulevard" of cafes, trendy shops and glamorous fashion. She would achieve this by removing two lanes of traffic and widening the footpath.

Nobody is walking on those footpaths. Nobody. It was a total failure and stands as a monument to incompetence.

In the real world, stuffing something up so badly would usually ensure a person was never given responsibility for anything ever again, if they kept their job. In NSW Government however, incompetence has never been an obstacle to promotion. So Clover then went on to 'fix' Kings Cross. Translation: Millions spent and nothing achieved.

And then the bike lanes...

In today's Daily Telegraph, Clover announces another grand plan. This time, to get rid of cars on George St (one of Sydney's main CBD streets) and replace it with "Light Rail". You know, trams. Like the trams which ran on Sydney's roads 50 years ago, but were removed because they were unsuitable to our roads and the overhead powerlines were ugly.

But these trams are better. Check out the "artist's illustration" (Click to embiggen).

Notice anything missing?

Clover Moore - how are your 180 Million Dollar wonder-trams going to be powered?

Maybe she can get Fred Flintstone to be a consultant.

Extra stupidity:
"We want to open up a network of vibrant lanes and small plazas that encourage shops, bars and other small businesses to thrive.""
If Moore prevents motor vehicles getting near them, how are all those trendy bars and shops going to have goods delivered? By bike? That handsome bloke in the picture, pushing the upright trolley is going to be a busy boy...

Perhaps Ms Moore can produce another video and triumphantly boast that her new tramline was so successful it resulted in the spontaneous construction of a Queen Victoria Building and a Town Hall.

As for her other "promise":
Lord Mayor Clover Moore yesterday promised the changes would make it easier for motorists who had to drive through the city.
Good grief.


Blair Which Project

The ABC announces:

Congratulations to Tim Blair who took the prize.

Tim's entry correctly identified that cross country winter Olympian Ben Sim often ate caviar while training in Russia, that Frank Madrid has found Lady Finger bananas are good substitutes for Plantains and that Willow suggests sowing broadbeans in double rows with a handful of lime in the soil.

His plea for a night of relaxed dining away from the pressures of family weren't unique, but it was Tim's connection with our Feast campaign that got him across the line:

666's Feast has been inspiring my cooking recently. My fig jam was produced the day after yours! I've continued the preserved food theme with green tomato relish, fig and ginger jam, quince paste and quince jelly, all homegrown! Delicious is eagerly awaited in our household each month, recipes to try and restaurants to dream about!

Congratulations Tim, and enjoy your meal on us and Delicious magazine.

Yeah. I don't think it's the same guy.


The Left Brain

Sometimes, people can be so open-minded, their brain falls out.

Hat tip: Some guy who has a bit of a crush on her.

The only thing we have to fear...

In Doug Cameron's speech on the future of the Australian Labor Party, he said:
In the next year or so, overcoming the politics of fear and disinformation on climate change and mining taxation will be fundamental to the short term political future of the Party.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard, trying to promote her Carbon Dioxide tax accused Tony Abbot similarly:
"All of these figures have been made up by the leader of the opposition in pursuit of his fear campaign," Ms Gillard responded.
Excuse me?

Complaining about a new tax, which Ms Gillard said she wouldn't introduce, and which hasn't been properly costed (nor proven to have any real effect) is not a fear campaign.

Telling kids that the world will end. Now that's a fear campaign. And it's already contributing to mental illness in youth, with young kids feeling guilty for daring to sit with the lights on.
Last year a 17-year-old boy in Melbourne became the world's first person to be diagnosed with "climate change delusion".

Dr Robert Salo at the Royal Children's Hospital reported that his patient believed his water consumption would deplete water supplies, leading to the deaths of millions of people, and that he had internet research to prove this.

He had attempted to stop drinking and checked for leaking taps to prevent the catastrophe.
Advertisement: Story continues below

The boy had a major depressive disorder with delusions specifically relating to climate change.
There are many more people with delusions specifically relating to climate change. They just haven't been diagnosed yet.

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Thursday, May 05, 2011

Get a job. Or not.

The Tele reports:
More than 60 per cent of refugees to Australia have failed to get a job after five years, according to a damning Federal Government report into the humanitarian settlement program.

The greatest unemployment rate was recorded among new arrivals from Iraq and Afghanistan, with less than one in 10 finding full-time work and 93.7 per cent of households receiving Centrelink payments.

The statistics are contained in a Department of Immigration and Citizenship report released last Friday under the cover of the royal wedding.
Wouldn't want to spoil Wills and Kate's big day...

The problem is not that these people are unemployed. Rather, it is that they are unemployable.

More than 60 per cent of those people without jobs had a poor command of English.
Can you blame them? Why bother learning a new language, when you can get handouts each week with no effort. Wait till the folks back home hear about this scam! It is unhelpful that our welfare agencies are frequently multilingual.

From day one, in a new country, you should be learning the language and the culture. Any immigrant who isn't interested, should be shown the door. I believe immigration is critical to the future of this country. However we should be attracting the right kind of immigrant, and actively repelling the wrong kind. There's something very wrong with the system when people who are completely unlikely to get a job or contribute to the country in any way (other than pleasing Australia's craziest refugee tragic Marilyn Shepherd), have an easier time gaining admission than motivated, educated professionals.


Drum Readers Get Greedy...

Ted Lapkin in ABC's The Drum:
But as it turned out, there was real poetic justice to the way bin Laden was finally delivered into the clutches of the grim reaper. In the end, the death visited upon him by the United States was up close and personal. A team of Navy SEALs found him, fixed him and killed him in a face-to-face. In a flawlessly implemented special operations raid, the world’s best finally settled the score with the world’s worst.

Of course, the habitual Leftwing critics of America will affect outrage over reportage indicating that in his final moments bin Laden might not have been wielding a weapon. Cries of “murder” and “extrajudicial execution” are sure to crop up as night follows day.

But this was a raid deep into hostile territory on the headquarters of a deadly terrorist movement. It was war, not a police sobriety checkpoint. To anyone who’s experienced infantry combat first hand, such chairborne ranger critiques are the stuff of amateur hour.
Dismayed comments follow:
I object to the repeated appearance of Hard Right ideologues in The Drum Opinion, when contributors of the standing of Noam Chomsky or John Pilger or Robert Fisk (or even Michael Moore) are never invited to appear.
What? Loewenstein's not good enough?

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Brain at Half-Mast

Antony Loewenstein's headline:
Jews fearful of other Jews not saluting Zionist flag nightly
The Zionists have a flag now? What does it look like?

He continues to complain:
Here’s yet another tale of dissenting Jewish opinion being quashed by a Zionist establishment that simply won’t tolerate any criticism of glorious Israel
Unlike, say, criticism of Antony's work, such as a comment to his blog.

We all know where they end up, don't we Antony?

Elsehwere, Loewenstein boasts:
Back in November I broke a story that detailed covert Australian missions across the Middle East, mostly off the books and often skirting legality.
I suppose it's easy to "break" a story if you don't mind breaking the truth as well. Accusing Australian soldiers of acting illegally is a big call. One I doubt our brave blogger would make to any digger's face.

His claims then, drew a savage response from people who actually knew what they were talking about. Naturally Loewenstein never responded to his critics. He never does. They're just big bad meanies or members of the eeeevil Zionist opiniony crushy machine.

I'll repost it here in full. Unlike Loewenstein, when I cut and paste a huge extract of text, I can actually add something to it, other than a sneering headline. Maybe I can be a best-selling author one day?
Neil James, Executive Director, Australia Defence Association, writes: Re. “Elite Oz soldiers in covert operations for top-secret Alliance Base” (yesterday, item 1). As the independent, non-partisan, national public-interest watchdog for defence and wider national security issues, can we point out that the article by Antony Loewenstein in yesterday’s Crikey suffered two substantial and serious flaws that surely should have been challenged and corrected during the Crikey editorial process. Or else the whole article should have been spiked as crap, not journalism, or even as reasonable comment in public debate.

First, the article was merely a mixture of undergraduate-level urban rumours, historical myth (especially about the Phoenix Program during the Vietnam War) and left-wing conspiracy theory, flavoured by numerous factual mistakes, misrepresentations and misunderstandings about our defence force, its compliance with international law and, indeed, the way Australia actually works as a democracy ruled by law.

Even the two Australian sources cited, such as an equally fact-free, six-year old, long-discredited Brian Toohey article in the Australian Financial Review, and a more recent but also unbalanced and quite factually erroneous article by Sally Neighbour in The Monthly, provided no actual basis for the specific and general claims made. Journalists quoting other mistaken journalists is not substantiation.

Second, everyone is free to write such tripe but it was plainly very irresponsible of Crikey to publish it. Our soldiers are deployed in Afghanistan fighting a UN-endorsed war at the lawful direction of our elected government, and on our behalf. It is unfair at best for any Australian to make their job harder or more dangerous by writing or publishing biased nonsense that can be so easily misused in Al Qa’eda propaganda. There is no excuse to betray the men and women of our defence force by such stupid, thoughtless and irresponsible claims. If you disagree with the war in Afghanistan, argue with our government (using facts), not endanger our troops (by wild claims).

Let us also be clear here about what Crikey has boldly stated. “Crikey understands Australia has been engaged in such behaviour [alleged assassinations contrary to the Laws of Armed Conflict] in the past decade in the Middle East, leaving Canberra and its officials open to potential charges of war crimes and prosecution in an [sic] international criminal court”.

Previous Ministers for Defence and the current Chief of Defence Force have pointed out on several previous occasions — when journalists have made incorrect claims about “assassinations” — that the ADF, including its Special Forces, have not and do not ever assassinate anybody. They do not even deliberately kill anyone, except in battle, and where authorised by Australian rules-of-engagement grounded in the Laws of Armed Conflict and the ethics of a professional defence force made up of fellow Australians.

Similar denials have been made by Ministers responsible for ASIS. No journalist, or polemicist, has ever been able to back up such a claim with a single substantiated fact. Furthermore, as in this case, every journalist’s sole defence when challenged to prove it has been merely to cite older unsubstantiated claims by other unprofessional journalists or ideologues.

Then there is the determined lack of balance that permeated the article. The numerous denials by the Ministers and CDF are not even mentioned. No military or intelligence historian was cited either. The only two academic experts consulted, a defence finance expert and a lawyer who does not specialise in LOAC, naturally commented on a hypothetical basis only (and I suspect were not quoted accurately anyway). Both made the unsurprising qualified observation that, if true, such acts would be illegal.

Neither, however, offered any confirmation of the wild claims made or that they considered such claims might or could be true. Moreover, neither the ADA as the relevant public-interest watchdog, or the Australian Institute of Professional Intelligence Officers as the relevant professional body, were asked for an opinion. Antony has consulted us before so the omission this time is puzzling if one assumes he approached the topic objectively.

And just in case someone claims that the ADA is somehow biased, may I point out our extensive record of condemning the use of torture, rendition and assassination in the UN-endorsed international campaign against Islamist terrorism (usually referred to incorrectly by polemicists as the supposed “war on terror”).
And more...
Professor Douglas Kirsner, School of International & Political Studies, Deakin University, writes:

Antony Loewenstein suspects that Australian SAS soldiers are committing war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. His evidence: a six year old article by Brian Toohey claiming that Australian soldiers are being clandestinely trained in assassination preparations, and, Loewenstein says with no evidence, that it’s gone beyond that. He makes allusions to US Phoenix operation during Vietnam and to such operations being carried out currently by the US, through Wikileaks. So what has this to do with Australia?

The evidence is nothing but the usual Loewenstein conspiracy theory innuendo. “Unspoken and unasked”, Australian soldiers are involved in “preparations for assassinations”. When Crikey (i.e., Loewenstein) contacted national security reporters, they knew nothing about it. Sounds sinister? Sally Neighbour’s Monthly cover story mentioned little about illegal activities. (Still more sinister — what are they hiding?). Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s Mark Thomson knew nothing about it and thought it a silly idea anyway. (It must be true then). Ben Saul from the University of Sydney knew nothing of any such activities of Alliance Base. (Therefore true) If it were true, then that would be bad, etc., etc.

There is a credibility gap here, but it lies with Loewenstein and Crikey. This appalling investigative journalism is not even fit for your rumour bin. Israel-obsessed Loewenstein has crossed the line with outrageous allegations about our defence forces, based only upon innuendo and far-left conspiracy theories.
Ordinarily, getting caught-out inventing facts and making the most basic errors on a regular basis, would be the end of a journalist's career. Loewenstein's career never really started.

Antony would be able to produce his next (ahem) bestseller simply by compiling all his errors to date. Nobody should take him seriously.

But he's good enough for Our ABC...

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Dear Westpac...

You suck.

I determined that several weeks ago and it was well and truly confirmed yesterday.

My opinion has nothing to do with this, which is probably causing others to form similar views.

I ended up at Westpac after the Commonwealth Bank stuffed up. Where next? The ads all say NAB, but I'm rather unexcited about the Sharia Bank.

The Rambo Within

But this triumphant new era in situationally-unified American bloodlust does not belong to the President alone; we must also cite Congress's born-again waterboarders like Nancy Pelosi and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, and their newfound enthusiasm for what (at least until 9pm Sunday) they would have once considered illegal military murder squads. Neither can we forget the watchdogs of America's press, who have shown unprecedented ethical flexibility in shedding their long-held Gandhi moralism and embracing their inner Rambo.


Annoying Osama for Fun and Profit

The Australian reports:
"If a ball went into bin Laden's compound the children would not be allowed to get it," said local ice cream vendor Tanvir Ahmed. "They were given money instead; 100-150 rupees ($2-$3) per ball."
A middle class person in Pakistan earns around $5 a day on average.

It's pretty safe to assume the 'residents' of the compound didn't want trouble, or to attract any attention by say, shooting a greedy kid in the face.

Bin Laden with Stupidity

A friend in Melbourne took this photo before helping her neighbour, an elderly nun from the convent, remove this graffiti from her wheelie-bin.

I'm omitting the photo of the other side, as it identifies her address and includes a link to a 9/11 Truther website.

You know you're on the winning side when you have to make your point through vandalism.

Views such as this belong in the bin. Not outside it.

Moron Equivalence

Further to Osama Bin Laden's death, the Parade of Pussies continues in today's SMH:
I wonder when and if Dick Cheney will ever be brought to account for his numerous crimes against humanity, which were just as appalling and evil.

Adrian Bain St Leonards
If we now live in a world where it is considered legitimate for one country's armed forces to enter another country and assassinate someone they do not like, then the world just became much more dangerous. This clear violation of international law shows the Americans to be no better than the criminals they claim to be against.

Faiza Khan Revesby Heights

Some people find it impossible to distinguish Good from Evil.

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Wednesday, May 04, 2011

File this...

Antony Loewenstein:
Not all resistance to Western occupation is terrorism

And nowhere is that clearer in Afghanistan, where the Taliban, as vile as it often is, is not the same as Al-Qaeda (or Hamas or Hizbollah or Iran). Our political and media classes have largely failed post 9/11 to even try to understand Islamism or resistance
Oh do explain it to us, Antony.

This is not the first time Antony Loewenstein has sided with the enemy.

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You Iranian...

War on pointy sticks

Another letter in the SMH:
Both Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott have applauded the death of Osama bin Laden as a significant milestone in ''the war on terror''. They may be interested to know that the Obama administration formally abandoned this neo-conservative Bush-ism over 12 months ago and Obama himself rarely used it after coming to office.

Anne Ackroyd Melba (ACT)

We all know the media's total inability to recognise, let alone name the common trait between suicide bombers, headchoppers, plane hijackers, shooters and others who yell "Allah Akhbar" before killing innocents.

But quite frankly, "War on Terror" was itself a useless name for the conflict, albeit for different reasons than those Ms Ackroyd believes.

WWII wasn't a war against planes, or a war against submarines. It was a war against the Japanese and the Germans.

How can we fight an enemy when we can't even name them?


I wonder where that fish could be...

Further to yesterday's SMH Pussy Parade, today they printed a far more sensible letter:
I'm not sure if Nathan Lee (Letters, May 3) is kidding, with his insistence that ''There should have been a fair trial and proper court process'' of Osama bin Laden. Assuming he is serious, it's just embarrassing to see how little stomach people seem to have. Does Mr Lee realise that bin Laden would have been firing an automatic weapon at the time he was shot? Perhaps the US soldiers should have read him his rights instead? As far as I'm concerned, a bullet to the head was too kind, and I feel sorry for the fish now feasting on him.

Daniel Lewis Rushcutters Bay

Gavin Atkins noted that whereas traditionally fish feed seals, on this occasion it's the other way around.

Live from Ground Zero

A friend of mine, Dave, an Aussie working in New York emailed:
I went down on Sunday night. I would describe the scene as the bulk of people there to see what was going on - leading to the situation where the bulk of people there were looking at a bunch of people looking around to see what was going on.

Notwithstanding that, it was a spontaneous outpouring of positive emotion
I would have brought a megaphone and lead the crowd in a tearjerking rendition of this famous American hymn.

Update: Dave advises "that got sung too".


Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Left Appalled Easily

In today's Age:
I CAN'T help but feel uneasy about the images of flag-waving ''patriots'' standing and cheering outside the White House on the announcement of the death of Osama bin Laden. Change the colours of the flag. Change the location the photo is taken.

Are we (the people of the West) really any different to the people of the Middle East? The same ones who are hellbent on destroying our ''way of life''?

Justice must be served and it appears as though this has happened. However, the killing of a man, no matter how heinous his crimes, should not be cheered.

Let us remember, respect and honour the victims.

Chris Malcher, Boronia
Are we any different? Why yes, we are.

I would remind him that the Americans (and I) are cheering the death of a mass murderer.

Quite a contrast from the Islamists who cheered when a skyscraper full of office workers was levelled or the Palestinians who danced in the streets (literally) on both 9/11 and plenty of time since, such as when an Israeli child's throat was slit while she sleeps. The moral equivalence displayed by Mr Malcher suggests there is no difference between good and evil.

According to another letter writer:
Fear for the future

BIN Laden was responsible for the most despicable act of terrorism in our lifetime.

But I am appalled that Julia Gillard and John Howard are condoning what is, essentially, his murder and that Barack Obama characterises his death as an ''achievement''.

His death will make him the ultimate martyr and his followers will simply seek revenge. We should all be afraid of what the future holds.

Alison McLeod, Richmond
Uh oh. Osama bin Laden is dead. Now he's going to be really mad!

Pussy of the Year award however has to go to Nathan Lee, who writes in the SMH:
I am appalled at the joy our leaders are expressing at the death of Osama bin Laden. There should have been a fair trial and proper court process with life imprisonment (as with our legal system). The death penalty, whether by trial or sniper fire, is something all should oppose, even for the most vile, lest we stoop to their level.

Nathan Lee Surry Hills
Does Mr Lee realise that Bin Laden would have been firing an automatic weapon at the time he was shot? Perhaps the US soldiers should have read him his rights instead? Good grief.

As far as I'm concerned, a bullet to the head was too kind and I feel sorry for the fish currently feasting on him.

Tim Blair noted a contrast between Fairfax and News Ltd. I guess Fairfax are just trying not to upset their easily appalled readership.

Fairfax readers need to Harden the F##k up.