Monday, January 31, 2011

Lefty southpaw Obama can't throw a baseball

African Americans and southpaws are way overrepresented in professional sports in America, so it's natural to assume a black American left-hander should be able to throw a baseball, right? Wrongo.

It's the double negative Lefty southpaw thing that prevents Obama throwing properly.

Bolt Seared, again

Andrew Bolt yesterday noted that even though the Gillard government now has more asylum seeker children in detention than ever under John Howard, the Left "says almost nothing against Julia Gillard":
It was Howard’s alleged barbarity to asylum seekers in particular that earned him the foulest abuse from people who showed none of the compassion they demanded from him. You know them and their kind, and how they luxuriated in abusing Howard.

“A man with the heart of a caraway seed,’’ jeered Mike Seccombe of the Sydney Morning Herald…

A “cold-hearted prick’’, said footballer Michael Long…

(He has) “bloodless lips of string’’, added Herald Sun columnist Jill

“Unflushable turd,” sniggered author Mungo MacCallum.

The then Labor president Carmen Lawrence even endorsed a Rock Against Howard CD with tracks such as John Howard is a Filthy Slut.
Pure Poison's number one Bolt obsessive begs to differ, producing this nastiness directed at Gillard:
Refugee advocate Pamela Curr said the Gillard government was “no better than the last”.
Jeez, it's no wonder Bolt takes no notice of the PP boyz (and Sear in particular) – not only is Curr's observation tepid, the last government was the Rudd government, not the Howard government.

Anyway, Sear sees evil just about everywhere he looks, even refusing to shop at furniture giant Ikea, which he describes as "my idea of hell", fearing that he will enter the store never to emerge.

Really, it's hard to take his incessant whining seriously.

Update A number of Pure Poison posts, including the one linked above, have gone missing. Shenanigans or technical issues? Stay tuned. (By the way, the cached post linked above, while it lasts, is here.)

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Eligible flood payment recipients "low-lifes"

Treasurer Wayne Swan is unhappy that eligible flood-affected Queensland "millionaires" have "claimed emergency flood aid when they did not really need it."
"If there are people who have been eligible for the levy [payment] who haven't required it and have gone in and claimed it, I think they are simply low-life," he said.
Why shouldn't all eligible persons claim the payment?

Three year sentence for taunting

Perth anti-semite Brendon O'Connell has been awarded a three year prison term for hatefully taunting a young Jew. O'Connell's courtroom antics clearly worked against him:
During the trial, O'Connell refused to acknowledge Judge Wisbey when he entered the court and, instead, rose to bow to the jury.

Judge Wisbey said O'Connell showed no remorse and his behaviour "was that of a bully".
In my opinion anything more harsh than a significant fine is inappropriate in the circumstances; many would persuasively argue that the free speech quashing precedent set by this decision is a dangerous infringement of personal liberty.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Diggin' My Potatoes

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Good lawyer needed

In 2009 activist Brendon O'Connell encountered and hassled two young Jews observing a pro-Palestinian rally, O'Connell unwisely videoing the incident and posting it online. O'Connell was subsequently charged , tried and Friday found guilty of six racial hatred offences.

O'Connell, representing himself, made a number of tactical errors during the trial:
In a highly unusual move, on the first day of the trial instead of using his opening address to outline his defence O’Connell made a speech declaring the court unlawful, backing his argument by citing the constitution of Australia, the Westminster division of powers, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Judiciary act of 1903 among others.

He then said he wished to “indict the jury so they become a grand jury,” and put Judge John Wisbey on trial for treason.

Judge Wisbey ordered the trial continue.

O’Connell’s defence centred on his argument Judaism was not a race but a religion.

He made several wild assertions in court, including that "Jews rule the world," and at one point suggested Israel is planning to invade Australia.
At the conclusion of his video O'Connell tell one his victims to "get a good Jewish lawyer”. O'Connell would have done well to take the advice himself.

Friday, January 28, 2011

The flood levy debate

Australia's Bureau of Meteorology provides a succinct summary of an ongoing problem:
Floods are a fact of life in a Queensland summer.
The government's one-off levy, while well intended, does nothing to address Queensland's massive flood problem. And with the cyclone season running to April, and a continuing La Niña, it's entirely possible Queensland will soon again experience flooding. In any event, Queensland will again eventually experience catastrophic flooding. What then, another levy?

Contrary to what progressives insist, it is not the federal government's responsibility to assist those who choose to live in disaster prone areas. Rather, it is up to the state of Queensland and local governments to act to prevent, or at least mitigate, the chronic flooding problem: building restrictions can be introduced; dams built; and levees constructed.

As it stands Queenslanders are choosing to live in areas prone to flooding secure in the knowledge that those who live elsewhere will bail them out when history inevitably repeats itself.

Update Cyclone Bianca, another disaster in the making.

Update II Cyclone Anthony menaces Queensland

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Venezuela's creeping dictatorship

The corrupt and incompetent Chavez government hasn't delivered on populist promises of housing for all Venezuelans:
There is a shortage of two million homes in this South American country of nearly 29 million people, according to the Venezuelan Builders' Association.
So rather than do something constructive Chavez goes for the Robert Mugabe distract-the-masses-ploy by seizing private farms. The results parallel the Zimbabwe model:
The national farming union Fedenaga said it has already seen a drop from 70 percent to 45 percent in banana production in the region, and has predicted beef production will drop by 30 percent and dairy by four percent as the seizures continue.
The Guardian reports that Chavez has also urged the less fortunate to "occupy" the land of the better off, with the poor seizing the opportunity.

Chavez's socialist experiment will eventually end, as do all such social engineering projects, badly. Somewhat ironically, in the right margin of the article is an advert for the Guardian bookshop which unsurprisingly features Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm's How to Change the World as the number one seller. The book, featuring on its cover the famous shot of Che, should really be titled How to Fuck the World.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Numbers doctored

Peter Hartcher pens "the most pretentious line of the week":
If the ancient Greeks had developed Facebook they would have recognised that it addresses the innate human need for thymos.
While not pretentious, the following line – by Dr Gideon Polya, commenting on an article on the Australian of the year (scroll down to the first comment) – must surely be in the running for the WTF outright stupidity award:
Thus on US-dominated Spaceship Earth, avoidable deaths from deprivation total about 20 million annually; post-1950 avoidable deaths in US-occupied countries total about 90 million; in Iraq (1990-2011) and Afghanistan (2001-2011), violent deaths and non-violent deaths from war-imposed deprivation total 4.4 million and 4.9 million, respectively, under-5 infant deaths total 2.0 million and 2.6 million, respectively, and refugees total 5-6 million and 3-4 million, respectively).
Both lines are at the Sydney Morning Herald site. Funny that.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sockpuppet worn

Cluey readers will recognise the title of this post as the same as that of the infamous 1 March 2009 Ant Rogenous authored, and quickly flushed, Pure Poison post accusing Tim Blair of sockpuppetry. My choice of that title for this post will soon become obvious.

Just to refresh everyone's memory, and bring the uninitiated up to speed, the pseudonymous Rogenous (somewhat ironically) accused Tim Blair of posting at his and other sites using a pseudonym. Rogenous also had suspicions about Blair's possible involvement in "all those other creepy anonymous comments at [Beck's] blog":
How many of them has Blair authored? Clearly he can't be trusted where handles are concerned.
The PP boyz were initially ecstatic that their behind the scenes sleuthing had "caught Blair out" but their joy soon turned to panic when it became apparent they had way overplayed their hand.

Anyway, it now looks like PP boy Jeremy Sear has been caught sockpuppeting, anonymously commenting here in support of himself:
Why is this site so obsessed with this Sear guy? Three Sear-devoted posts in three days? A minute by minute breakdown of a podcast?

Did he reject your advances or something? [What's with the homosexuality allusion" Is it meant to be an insult? - Ed.]

No, seriously, I thought he was just some blogging lawyer but from your coverage he and Loewenstein must be a lot more important in Australia than I'd assumed.

Anyway, good to find this site. Keep up the good work!
Can I prove Sear lodged that comment? No. Was it Sear? Almost certainly.

Here's the almost proof: at the time that comment was lodged, someone using Sear's personal Wordpress blog was the only person recorded as logged in to this site:

The comment was lodged at 7:44am Melbourne time, with the log in above commencing at 7:23:30am and lasting for 22 minutes and 36 seconds.

As you can see, it's a virtual certainty that Jeremy lodged that comment. But why would Jeremy lodge such a comment anonymously? Well, those who know Jeremy know that he's especially thin-skinned and glass-jawed and knew he'd be ridiculed forever had he commented here with the same old Jeremy lameness. Also, Jeremy refuses to mention me by name or refer to my blog so it would be mighty embarrassing to admit that he not only reads my posts but comments.

In the cosmic scheme of things this "anonymous" comment is of no importance whatsoever. If it was Jeremy's comment and he's too cowardly to own up to it, it does yet again reveal a lot about the Left's values and priorities, however.

Update Jeremy's latest post titled Me, elsewhere fails to mention his appearance here. He's ever so modest.

Update II Since Jeremy has gone mute, here are the particulars of whoever it was visited RWDB via his personal blog's admin page.

ABC newsflash: Aspartame a "biochemical warfare agent"

Psychologist Lydia Jade Turner, managing director of BodyMatters Australasia, a for-profit organisation that provides services for those with eating disorders (including fatties), attacks the competition:
This week marks the start of ‘Healthy Weight Week,’ brought to you by the Dieticians Association of Australia (DAA).

With the DAA claiming that 61 per cent of Australian adults and 25 per cent of Australian children are either overweight or obese, many people would think this is a great initiative. So why are a growing number of health professionals opposed to this campaign?
None of the "growing number of health professionals opposed" to healthy eating is nominated, however. Turner goes on to slam obesity researchers whose work is funded by "Big Pharma":
The reality is that obesity research is riddled with conflicts of interest.
Obviously science ain't science when it's corporately funded. But science, or reality, isn't exactly Turner's forte:
The DAA’s Healthy Weight Week recommendations advise us to swap soft drink for diet versions. Do they seriously believe that putting aspartame - a chemical previously listed by The Pentagon as a biochemical warfare agent - into one’s body is healthier than real sugar?
Instead of the fat turning to discredited "obesity experts" who poison their clients with sweeteners of mass destruction Turner offers this feel-good-about-yourself advice:
[Health At Every Size] acknowledges that our bodies are continually communicating with us. Whether you are constipated, hungry, or satiated, it helps to stop and listen. Intuitive eating teaches us to reconnect with our internal signals. If you eat highly-processed foods regularly, chances are you aren’t going to feel very well. Listening to our bodies is a skill.

HAES also encourages people to engage in physical movement that is pleasurable to them, instead of obsessively counting their steps with a pedometer or seeing exercise as punishment. Respecting body diversity and seeing health as an ongoing multi-faceted process will help to end the war against our bodies. Every day we can feel good about the fact that we have respected our bodies through health-giving activities, instead of hating ourselves for not reaching that number on the scales. After all, how can you truly nourish something you hate?
And aren't we lucky that Turner's BodyMatters Australasia just happens to offer a multi-faceted counseling and treatment service that can either help you lose weight or make you feel good about your body, or both.

I do have one question, however: what the hell is this self-promotional nonsense doing at the ABC News site?

Update A civil comment asking about the nature of Turner's business, health professionals opposing Healthy Weight Week and the toxicity of aspartame has not made it through moderation. My first ever comment at the site and it's blocked. I am shocked.

Update II My comment has suddenly appeared:

Ms Turner,

You do provide for-fee services and treatment for overweight individuals, do you not?

Please provide the names of health care professionals other than yourself, and possibly your partner, who oppose "Healthy Weight Week".

Also, please back up your claim that aspartame is, or ever was, a "biochemical warfare agent".
It'll be interesting to see if/how Turner responds.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Julian Assange movie ready for release

In order to take advantage of the massive media hype surrounding Julian "The Most Dangerous Man in the World" Assange, a movie detailing his exploits is about to be released. One reason the movie was shot so quickly is that very few sets and actors were required: much of the movie takes place in the bedroom of his mother's house, with only two characters, and the rest in the Left's imagination.

The part of Assange's mother is played by a whisky fruitcake with Tilda Swinton, cast for her striking physical resemblance, playing Julian. Exclusive shots of Swinton as Assange showing his career trajectory: geek; righteous warrior; divinity; and seducer. It should be very entertaining.

An early morning visit from Jeremy Sear

It looks like Pure Poison blogger Jeremy Sear dropped in this morning to leave an anonymous comment:
Why is this site so obsessed with this Sear guy? Three Sear-devoted posts in three days? A minute by minute breakdown of a podcast?

Did he reject your advances or something?

No, seriously, I thought he was just some blogging lawyer but from your coverage he and Loewenstein must be a lot more important in Australia than I'd assumed.

Anyway, good to find this site. Keep up the good work!
Yep, the comment may be anonymous but it has Sear written all over it: it was posted at 4:44 am WAST (7:44 in Melbourne); it contains thinly disguised distracters such as "this Sear guy" and "good to find this site"; and it's Sear's writing style.

So, at 5:31:57 this morning I sent Sear an email asking if he posted the comment. It's now 10 hours later and he still hasn't responded. I'm assuming he would have denied making the comment if it wasn't him.

Given Blogger's limitations I can't prove that Sear left that comment but the evidence is pointing that way so I' going to ask him again if he visited RWDB this morning and commented. Come on Jeremy, I'm curious, Yes or No?

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And so begins the anti-Australia Day ranting

It's no surprise that Lefty Michael Brull is anti-Australia Day, or that the ABC gives him space to voice his views:
I won’t celebrate Australia Day this year. I don’t know if I ever have. I know this will make some people angry.
Angered that Brull doesn't celebrate Australia Day? Really Michael, no-one cares.

Had Brull let it go at the usual anti-Australia Day patriots-are-ignorant-red-necks and Europeans-stole-the-continent rhetoric hardly anyone would have taken notice. Instead Brull makes inflammatory points about "many people apparently consider the blonde, tanned type as Aussies" and "Australians with blonde hair and tans" wearing t-shirts "saying things like those who don’t love Australia should leave it". The dark-haired Brull obviously suffers from blonde envy.

At the end of his opinion piece Brull veers off on a tangent by employing the customary Australian Leftist tactic of drawing Andrew Bolt into the discussion – as Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck are red flags to the American Left, so it is with Bolt in Australia:
One of Australia’s most prominent conservative writers, who I imagine would consider himself rather patriotic is Andrew Bolt. Seeking to demonstrate his literary sophistication, he listed his favourite conservative authors, beginning with Christian anarchist Leo Tolstoy. As my opposition to patriotism may seem extreme to some, it may be worth recalling what Bolt’s favourite “conservative” author once had to say on the subject...
Brull is wrong, of course: Bolt does not list his "favourite" conservative authors but rather "Great conservative authors of the past two centuries".

Anyway, it's good to see that either Brull is taking remedial English classes or the ABC is providing editorial support.

Update There was an interesting crowd shot yesterday during the televised cricket match: a decidedly dark-skinned fan with an Australian flag attached to his turban. What would Brull make of that?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Assange lawyer threatens Palin legal action

Robert Stary, Julain Assange's Australian lawyer, fears for his employer's safety:
We've been troubled by the sort of rhetoric that has come out of various commentators and principally Republican politicians — Sarah Palin and the like — saying Mr. Assange should be executed, assassinated.
Legal action is a distinct possibility:
Certainly if Sarah Palin or any of those other politicians come to Australia, for whatever purpose, then we can initiate a private prosecution, and that's what we intend to do.
So what exactly did Palin threaten?
On her Facebook page, Palin suggests that Assange should be "pursued with the same urgency as al-Qaida and Taliban leaders."
Considering that Palin is almost single-handedly responsible for the rising tide of American violence that veiled threat cannot be taken lightly.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Pure Poison podcast pure crap

Come on people, the reaction to the latest Pure Poison Bolt-cast, er, podcast, is less than robust with only one comment so far. Now it seems only fair that since Dave and Jeremy put so much effort into their broadcasts, people could at least take notice. Then again, it is just a bit off-putting that Australia's own Colbert and Stewart do so much giggling, chortling and guffawing at their own little jokes.

Here's the summary for those who have actual lives and/or can't be bothered listening to 45 minutes of "piss-taking" from the PP boyz.

Dave Gaukroger introduces co-host Jeremy Sear as possessing a voice like a combination of Barry White, Kelsey Grammer and James Earl Jones. Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone is closer to the mark.

The next four minutes are devoted to an article by Imre Salusinszky. The bottom line: the PP boyz don't get it.

An Andrew Bolt segment – Jeremy: "let's get [Bolt] out of the way so we don't have to talk about him anymore" as if Bolt isn't ever-present in their minds – follows. Dave assures Jeremy that Robyn Williams is right and Bolt wrong in that sea level can indeed rise by 100 metres. Dave is wrong, of course: a 100 metre sea level rise is impossible.

Next is's "verballing" of Bob Brown. This relates to a embedded link reading: "Bob Brown: 'Coal miners caused floods'". The teaser link was wrong and should have read: "Bob Brown: Coal miners 'caused' floods". BFD.

Greens die-hard Jeremy insists that Senator Brown was right in that burning coal raise increases atmospheric CO2, which raises temperatures which puts more "precipitation" in the air, this increased precipitation apparently leading to increased cloud and thus more rain over Queensland.

David Penberthy is next to suffer an attack from the two giggling, pubescent idiots for daring to mention Pauline Hanson and Bob Brown in the same opinion piece. Penberthy, habitually referred to as "Penbo" by Jeremy, is evil personified because he was for a number of years the editor of the... wait for it... Daily Telegraph.

The "hysterical" reaction to looters in Queensland comes up next. Dave and Jeremy agree that that press coverage of looting was a massive over-reaction. This despite the press coverage actually being quite muted.

Jeez, we're only 21 minutes in to a 45 minute broadcast; are these two enlightened yuksters going to address anything interesting? Not likely; Wivenhoe Dam is next on the agenda, the two Lefty dullards concluding that big rains produce big floods. Not everyone agrees with this simplistic analysis, however.

With the PP boyz involved in a protracted discussion of the government's spending priorities and land prices I drifted off, making a trip to the fridge for a beer, only taking notice again when Viagra use by soldiers came up at 35:30.

Jeremy reckons it's hilarious that "they're using too much of it in Afghanistan", when the cited article only mentions Afghanistan in passing:
Australian soldiers who are entitled to taxpayer-funded Viagra pills have been warned about the dangers of erectile dysfunction drugs and told they can have just four tablets a month.

Defence personnel, including those on active duty in places such as Afghanistan, have also been informed they must be medically assessed as suffering from sexual performance problems before the pills will be prescribed to them.
The podcast concludes with a look at U.S. politics, the PP boyz agreeing that Fox News is evil.

Pure Poison podcasts are definitely worth listening to, but only for confirmed Leftists, and by right-wingers who are entertained by cringe-worthy Lefty lameness. Actually, it's surprising Dave and Jeremy elicited that single comment.

Update A disappointed Jeremy asks PP readers:
What, did nobody listen to the podcast?

Muddled thinker

Dr Ben Spies-Butcher, one of the "thinkers" – no really, that's what they're called – at the Centre for Policy Development, a Leftist think tank, has a rambling 1,490 piece at The Drum Unleashed on the costs of population ageing, the point of which seems to be – it is difficult to be certain – that raising taxes is the simple and painless solution to the problems associated with an ageing population.

It's surprising that the highly educated, uber-intelligent Spies-Butcher, amongst whose esteemed colleagues are notable Lefty thinkers John Quiggin, Mark Bahnisch and former Policy Coordinator of the now defunct New Matilda Miriam Lyons, can produce an "analysis" piece containing this bit of fluff:
Sensible debate is too often muddled by a political commitment to small government that can lead to less transparent, less equitable and less efficient outcomes.
As if that from Spies-Butcher is sensible. And there's also this:
Raising taxes to pay for expanded public spending, particularly on health, the main component of the ageing budget, is widely supported.
The report Spies-Butcher links to does indicate that Australians want more spent on health but notes this contradiction:
While most respondents have a preference for increased spending on public services, 60% of them also think it is more important for the government to lower taxes for economic growth than to set taxes high enough for essential services.
So Spies-Butcher is less than honest in saying that Australians are happy to pay increased taxes for health care.

Also, the poorly written and woefully argued opinion piece is followed by this bit of Lefty tank tank promotional crapola:
At the start of a new year, thinkers from the Centre for Policy Development and contributors to their recent publication, More Than Luck: Ideas Australia needs now ask how might we expect the shrill tone of the national conversation to change? What policy resolutions might our elected representatives make for 2011? This series presents ideas for citizens who want to see fundamental changes to how the country is run and a to-do-list for politicians who want to look beyond the polls or the next election cycle to tackle the future before it tackles us.
As far as I can tell, the shrill demands for fundamental change emanate from the deep thinkers on the Left for whom government cannot be big enough.

Journalist ignored

A Crikey recruit has a rush of blood to the brain:
Also, it hadn’t clicked that, unlike when I was just some guy with a blog, I can now actually ring the subject of a piece and say “it’s Jeremy from Crikey” and they’ll answer the phone.
Somewhat later reality strikes:
Marika [Dobbin, the Age] didn’t return calls from Crikey.
Jeremy who, from where?

Update An even higher profile Australian journalist suffers rejection:
Tried to speak with Orhan Pamuk directly tonight here in Jaipur, India about his Galle position. He refused to speak/say anything.
It's hard to talk while laughing.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Google search too hard for Crikey "journalist" Jeremy Sear

Yesterday I noted that PP boy Dave Gaukroger had erred in not questioning ABC science reporter Robyn Williams' incorrect admission – under pressure – that global warming could produce a 100 metre sea level rise – "there isn't enough water on Earth to raise sea level by 100 metres."

Gaukroger's Pure Poison partner Jeremy Sear today researched the possibility of a 100 metre sea level rise by posting this in the Pure Poison comments thread:
[Andrew] Bolt doesn’t make this point, but is there actually enough water on Earth to raise global sea levels by 100 metres?
Hey Jeremy, try Google rather than getting Pure Poison's commenters to do your research for you.

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More bull from Brull

ABC News via its The Drum appendage today publishes the 10th post since May 2010 by self-appointed Israel/Palestine expert Michael Brull. Brull's claims to authority, as touted by the ABC:
Michael Brull has a featured blog at Independent Australian Jewish Voices, and is involved in Stop The Intervention Collective Sydney (STICS).
Yet Brull's most recent post at IAJV (like STICS a less than impartial activist organisation) is dated 19 September 2009 and is, in any event, hardly proof of expertise.

Anyway, Brull's The Drum article is nothing more than an anti-Israel opinion piece all tarted up to appear as well-researched. Brull starts off:
We now have even more proof, yet another smoking gun: Israel is deliberately starving the population of Gaza.
Starving? No, not really:
It is true children are not starving to death. There is no “humanitarian crisis”. But Palestinian's are suffering nonetheless:As a brief snapshot, I previously noted that some 66 per cent of babies have anaemia, as do 35 per cent of pregnant women in Gaza.
Brull should spare a thought for the plight of Indians, with 40-80% of pregnant women and 75% of children anemic.

According to Brull the stated rationale for the blockade, the firing of rockets and mortars from Gaza into Israel is bogus because the blockade is being maintained "even when no rockets have been fired". Wrong. As of 19 January:
So far this month, about 35 rockets and mortar shells have been fired into Israel from Gaza. Israel has indicated that it would invade again, as it did two years ago, if the attacks did not stop, or at least become much less frequent.
What exactly is the ABC trying to accomplish by publishing such tripe? (That's a rhetorical question, the answer to which we all know.)

KKK day must be removed from the calendar

Using Columbus Day as an example of overt racism, Antony Loewenstein implores Australians to eliminate similar (but un-nominated) "racist holidays". Loewenstein posted this from Jaipur, India where he's acting, as do all Australians traveling abroad, as an international ambassador for his country.

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Smugly superior

Singaporean officialdom doesn't respect the neighbours much:
Singapore-specific [leaked] cables have shown that diplomats and officials of this tiny but prosperous city state have scant regard for leaders of neighboring countries and have insulted their neighbors with disparaging remarks.
Amongst the many disparaging remarks:
Tommy Koh, a senior diplomat of Singapore, took pot shots at Japan and said that Japan was “the big fat loser” in the larger strategic matrix as China’s relations with ASEAN nations continued to improve. This is not insulting had Koh stopped at that only. However, the Singaporean diplomat blabbed on and blamed Japan’s “stupidity, bad leadership, and lack of vision.” Koh dragged in the Indians as well and called India “stupid” for being “half-in, half-out” of ASEAN.
Jeez, Singapore creates an island of economic success and straight away gets a head swell.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

PP boy Dave Gaukroger fails again

Crikey, another epic fail for Pure Poison blogger Dave Gaukroger who today takes Andrew Bolt to task for his ignorance of physics. Bolt is correct when saying that a 100 metre sea level rise over 100 years averages out to one metre per year but errs in apparently assuming that sea level rise will follow a linear progression.

PP boy Gaukroger, obviously desperate to fault Bolt for something, anything, points out that Bolt is wrong in that sea level rise will likely accelerate over time and will not progress linearly. But Gaukroger royally screws up in not doing his research: there isn't enough water on Earth to raise sea level by 100 metres. Thus ABC science guy Robyn Willams – the target of Bolt's post – is wrong in agreeing that sea level might rise by 100 metres – it's impossible. And Gaukroger has wasted his time, and that of his readers, in attacking Bolt rather than Williams the scare-mongerer. Gaukroger's graphs are quite pretty, however.

Taser animal torturer

The new Wildlife Taser is designed to safely and effectively but temporarily subdue large animals likely to threaten "wildlife managers, field biologists and zoo caretakers". Good news for animals that might otherwise be permanently subdued by bullet, right? Not even:
My worry? That this weapon, despite its high (almost $2000) price tag, could encourage a new breed of ugly, empty-headed tourist behavior: will people approach animals they should keep away from knowing that if they have an animal-felling Taser they can get away with it?

Given the way regular Tasers have been misused - with their use sometimes a first resort and then being used to deliver repeated stun shocks to boot - it's hard to see how this hardware could encourage a better relationship between people and animals.
Hey Hank, I stole me one of them Bear Tasers; what say we go find a grizzly and see if she works.

Nah Caleb, we's gonna test it out on a real beast: the mother-in-law.


A Taser might prove useful when a deer smashes its way into your lounge room.

Hybrids not about fuel economy

The upcoming Melbourne F1 grand prix will feature a novelty race with non-professionals driving a fleet of Lexus CT200h petrol-electric hybrids. Driven hard, the Lexus's will likely gulp down fuel in greater quantities than would high-performance cars driven at the same speed.

Lexus mouthpiece Peter Evans says excessive fuel consumption isn't a problem:
Our hybrid drivetrain has never been about fuel savings.

We've never been about pure economy, that's Toyota's area, you've got us confused with the other brand. We do performance hybrids. We don't see a juxtaposition between racing and hybrid at all
Not about saving fuel, eh? Then why does Lexus online say this about its hybrids?
A hybrid vehicle uses different power sources to operate more efficiently. Lexus has spent years developing its hybrid technology to create Lexus Hybrid Drive, the most advanced hybrid technology available.

Combining a petrol engine with electric motor(s), Lexus Hybrid Drive delivers a smooth powerful ride with low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
The key here is to drive like an 80 year old woman if you want to save the planet from behind the wheel of a hybrid.

Poor spelling no hindrance to writing success

Despite authoring two best-sellers (more on that down the page) Antony Loewenstein's name is frequently misspelled – Antony as Anthony and Loewenstein as Lowenstein. Such mistakes are understandable. There is no excuse, however, for Loewenstein's repeated misspelling of his idol Naomi Klein, which habitually comes out "Noami".

Rather ironically Loewenstein's most recent "Noami" Klein post immediately follows one advising his readers he is a "guest" of the Jaipur Literature Festival. The festival website offers this bio:
Antony Loewenstein is a Sydney independent journalist, author and blogger. He has two best-selling books, My Israel Question (2009) and The Blogging Revolution (2008), and has written for the Guardian, Sydney Morning Herald, Haaretz, The Nation, Huffington Post and many others.
Saying that Loewenstein "has written for" those publications implies that he was employed by them as a writer or was contracted to contribute pieces on nominated subjects. On the available evidence this is incorrect.

Also, The Blogging Revolution has never before been claimed to be a best-seller and, as the sales figures for My Israel Question aren't publicly available, its best-seller status is debatable.


Noami in the linked post now reads Naomi. No note of the correction, however.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tim Newman

If you aren't reading the always entertaining and often informative White Sun of the Desert you're missing out. So read it.

Senator Brown challenged to "put up" or "shut up" on the cause of the Queensland floods

In keeping with its mission to attack and embarrass News Limited outlets at every opportunity, Crikey, via the Pure Poison blog, the other day announced in a post by PP boy Dave Gaukroger "News verbals Bob Brown", the point of the post being that had misquoted Greens Senator Bob Brown in an online "headline" reading "Coal miners caused floods".

Gaukroger couldn't find that particular quote, however.
That’s a pretty explosive quote, even for Bob Brown, so I quickly read the story to get some context. Strangely, the quote was nowhere to be found.
Gaukroger is indeed correct that Brown did not utter those words in that sequence, but as is so often the case with Crikey, and Pure Poison in particular, the facts are subtly manipulated: the piece is not linked; did not present the story as a headline but rather as one of many "teaser" links on its homepage, hence Gaukroger needing to enlarge the "headline" in his screen grab; Gaukroger does not quote what Brown actually said in public; and Gaukroger ignores that Brown does say that coal mined in Australia causes global warming and that global warming in turn caused the floods.

Rather than link to the original piece which would allow readers to see what Brown actually said, Gaukroger instead links to Brown's media release, which clearly lays the blame anyway:
"It is unfair that the cost [of the floods] is put on all taxpayers, not the culprits," Senator Brown said.

"Burning coal is a major cause of global warming. This industry, which is 75% owned outside Australia, should help pay the cost of the predicted more severe and more frequent floods, droughts and bushfires in coming decades. As well, 700,000 seaside properties in Australia face rising sea levels."
For Gaukroger the really big error here is that "misquoted" Brown rather than Brown's bogus claim to a scientific underpinning for his contention that global warming "caused" Queenland's flooding:
"Scientists agree that current floods come from record-high temperatures of Australian oceans this season."
Senator Brown is wrong, of course: scientists do not agree that human induced warming "caused" the floods:
"It's a natural phenomena. We have no strong reason at the moment for saying this La Nina is any stronger than it would be even without humans," said Neville Nicholls of Monash University in Melbourne and president of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society.
Now whereas some scientists might be willing to "link" the floods to climate change I challenge Senator Brown to provide a list of recognised climate scientists who agree that coal mined in Australia caused Queensland's floods. If he can't do that he should publicly retract his assertion.

By the way, here's what Brown said in public, as quoted by
"It's the single biggest cause - burning coal - for climate change and it must take its major share of responsibility for the weather events we are seeing unfolding now," he said in Hobart today.

"We know that the oceans around Australia are at record high temperatures, and that's causing the moisture in the air which is leading to these catastrophic floods.

"It is costing billions of dollars, besides the pain, the anguish, the loss of life, the destruction and it should not be left to ordinary taxpayers to bear the full brunt of that."
Senator Brown elaborates in an ABC radio interview, here.


PP boy Jeremy Sear cryptically attempts to make a point concerning the foreign ownership of Australia's coal mining operations:
The problem with multinationals is not who’s behind them, but where they continue to be based, and what that means in respect of the goods they mine and the money they make.
Say what?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Cause and effect

Do you buy this line of argument?
Manufacturers of high performance vehicles are making us exceed the speed limit.
Alcohol manufacturers are making us drink to excess.
Or this from the Sydney Morning Herald?
Junk food companies are making customers fat, then selling them the cure, health experts claim.
Wrong. Those who over-consume calorific foods are making themselves fat.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

WA drivers the worst?

Motor Trade Association of WA chief executive Stephen Moir is unimpressed with WA drivers:
Mr Moir said a culture of selfishness had developed. Motorists treated the roads as their personal territory and appeared to do extraordinary things to keep that space.

"Issues like hogging the right-hand lane, poor overtaking and failing to merge in an orderly fashion are prime examples," Mr Moir said.

"I drive in every State on a regular basis and I've noticed a distinct trend in WA in terms of the aggression and selfishness of drivers."Not traveling interstate for years I can't comment on how WA drivers compare to those in the rest of Australia. But as Mr Moir says, WA drivers are plenty aggressive.
Not traveling interstate for many years it's impossible for me to compare WA drivers to those in the rest of Australia. That said, WA drivers aren't that bad, provided you know the unwritten road rules.

First up, don't panic when drivers on cross streets scream up to stop signs, their vehicles stopping before the rear wheels cross the white line. They were merely testing your reflexes.

Don't worry when the following vehicle gets so close that its headlights aren't visible in your mirror: drafting increases fuel efficiency.

Finally, wouldn't you throw an empty stubby at someone who rudely tooted you simply for missing a red light – important text messages must be answered, immediately.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Andrew Bolt wrong

Andrew Bolt reports that Israel's worst ever – at least in recorded memory – bush fires were caused by a friend of the environment burning used toilet paper so as to not despoil nature. This has to be wrong: true friends of the environment don't use toilet paper, they use leaves, grass, twigs or bare fingers to wipe after doing their business.

Huge turnout for Sydney Wikileaks rally

Lots of Leftists lofting banners and costumed protesters at today's Sydney Wikileaks rally. The general public – those gainfully employed and with real lives – took no notice, however.

Antony Loewenstein was, of course, a keynote speaker. What better reason to stay home and mow the lawn?


Lowenstein [sic] speaks truth to power:
The key issue is - what is Wikileaks telling us about the world? What are the documents Wikileaks is releasing saying to us about how our governments behave? And what is says is very, very clear - confirming in some way what many of us might have thought before - governments, our governments who we elect lie to us all the time. There is a litany of examples - the middle east, Africa, Asia, Australia - governments say one thing, journalists repeat that lie and Wikileaks says something else. And you would think - and you'd be wrong - that the journalists themselves who write those kind of lies and repeat the government policy over the years and who have been wrong would come out and say mea culpa. That has not happened.
Right, as if Loewenstein has admitted to any of his manifold errors, ever.

Great Barrier Reef threatened

Episodic flooding is the norm in Queensland, with deluges predating anthropogenic global warming, these natural events having the potential to ravage the Great Barrier Reef:
This week there are reports that the Great Barrier Reef is threatened as plumes of dirty flood water from the Burdekin, Fitzroy and Burnett rivers expand into the ocean. Underwater visibility has dropped from 50 metres to 1 metre in affected areas, according to the New Zealand Herald. The inundation of silt threatens to clog the delicate corals, while the drop in salinity may also be problematic for the stenohaline organisms.

But the greatest source of coral mortality may come from an explosion in the coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish population, Katharina Fabricius at the Australian Institute of Marine Science told the New Zealand Herald.

Ominously, three previously observed outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish have coincided with large floods in the Burdekin river, Fabricius said.
Ain't Mother Nature a bitch?

Julian Assange: perpetual victim of injustice

Already in 1996 Assange the geeky loner saw himself as above the law:
But as Judge Ross concluded his sentence, Assange spoke up, declaring: ''Your honour, I feel a great misjustice has been done.

''I would like to record the fact that you have been misled by the prosecution in terms of the charges … and a number of other matters.''

His outburst was rebuffed by Judge Ross, who told Assange he ''would be well advised'' to sit down behind his lawyer and keep quiet.

''No, you have pleaded guilty, the proceedings are over.''
Little wonder then that Assange is resisting extradition to Sweden.

Save the wolves - kill the hunters

Environmental activists in Sweden have taken violent rhetoric to a whole new level, making the urgings of Sarah Palin and Tea Partiers seem quaint by comparison. Anti-wolf hunt Leftists wearing T-shirts emblazoned DIE WOLF H8TR DIE are shown in a photo with one holding a rifle standing with his foot on a colleague made up to look like a dead hunter shot in the head. Police are taking the call to violence seriously.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Assange and Wikileaks face new legal problem

A Florida man is suing Julian Assange and Wikileaks for US$150 million for "emotional destress". This lawsuit has little chance of success but is likely the first of many.

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Queensland looting reaction "hysterical" and "psychotic"

Queensland police and public officials have reminded would be looters that anyone convicted of looting faces double the penalty for normal stealing offences – up to ten years in jail.
LNP shadow attorney-general Jarrod Bleijie has called for looters to be named and shamed, and ordered to perform public clean-ups.

"Its bad enough that flood-hit Queenslanders have to contend with the heartache of their losses," Mr Bleijie said.

"No one needs to suffer the double whammy of having valuables stolen."
Looting can also have deadly consequences in that people will be very reluctant to leave their homes unoccupied if there is a history of looting that makes them fear their unattended valuables will be stolen. The harsh penalties and public revulsion are therefore understandable.

Melbourne gamer, barrister, serial litigation-threatener, perpetual whiner and part-time online vigilante Jeremy Sear can't grasp the seriousness of looting, however, deeming the reaction of Queenslanders a "hysterical" and "psychotic" overreaction. In fact, looting can be a good thing:
If their house has been destroyed by flood already, does it make much difference that someone’s stolen their video-camera? Particularly if that means it can be claimed on insurance as theft rather than just damage by rising water?
Cool, looting is a public service, provided the victims can afford theft insurance.

Editing note: Looting typo in title corrected. (Jeez, getting that right was a struggle.)

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

"Forced" Queensland flood rescue

An interesting choice of words at Fairfax:
Queensland mining giant Clive Palmer was forced to use his private helicopter to pluck up to 60 people from treacherous floodwaters in and around his horse stud in south-east Queensland.
Palmer didn't want to waste the fuel but the armed pilot was adamant.

Drama king seeks drama queen

One conclusion of a dating "expert" who studied the online profile of an unnamed relationship-seeker:
He's going to deter all good-quality women away — he's going to attract the diva-drama bitches.
The man looking for, er, love? The king of drama Julian "don't-send-me-to-America, they'll-give-me-the-chair" Assange.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Lefty stealthily rewrites history

Gamer, lawyer and serial litigation-threatener Jeremy Sear earlier today had a big whine about the manufacturer of Sudafed changing the formulation, substituting the less-potent phenylephedrine for pseudoephedrine while leaving the product name the same. So what did Jeremy do when he discovered that phenylephedrine and pseudoephedrine products have distinct names? Rather than admit his error he went back and edited his post to make it appear that he was aware of the distinction all along. (The cache - while it lasts – of Jeremy's original post is here and the update here.)

This is indicative of the Left's unwillingness to own up to errors no matter how small. Also, pseudoephedrine products are still available but now require a prescription, this prescription requirement arising because chemists – in Western Australia, anyway – were unwilling to stock pseudoephedrine products on open shelves because doing so made them a burglary target.


Spoke with a chemist today who insists that traditional Sudafed is available Australia-wide in small quantities without a prescription. He suggested that there is no point in buying expensive combination products (sold as cold tablets) because pseudoephedrine is the only active ingredient that actually works. Anyone experiencing insomnia as a result of taking Sudafed can buy an anti-histamine such as phenergan to help them sleep. The anti-histamine will also help dry up a runny nose if that's a problem.

So it looks like Jeremy's big Suda-sad was over nothing. Typical.


Palin finished?

Post Tucson crystal ball gazing from Bob Ellis at The Drum:
Palin, who may be guilty of ‘encouraging a terrorist act’ is politically finished I would think now, and Donald Trump the automatic Republican front-runner, closely followed by his hair. And Fox News, which has done its fair share of enflaming domestic terrorists with its Tea Party war cries and yodellings, may lose some sponsorship and a lot of audience, fast.
Predicting the future is risky business and Ellis is almost certainly wrong: if anything the seemingly endless stream of anti-right rants – many, like Ellis's, Loughner-like – will eventually produce a backlash that will increase support for the right. Good work Bob, keep it coming – read the whole thing, it's nutty as.


Biologist PZ Myers' immediate reaction to news of the shooting, and I do mean immediate – it wasn't yet known that Congresswoman Giffords had survived being shot:
I'll take a wild guess here. The scumbag who committed this crime has been caught; I'll bet he'll turn out to be a Teabagger who listens to a lot of AM talk radio.
The Tea Party connection didn't pan out so Myers changed tack:
What we have here is an attempted assassination of a politician by an insane crank at a political event, in a state where the political discourse has been an unrelenting howl of eliminationist rhetoric and characterization of anyone to the left of Genghis Khan as a traitor and enemy of the state…and now, when six (including a nine year old girl) lie dead and another fourteen are wounded, now suddenly we're concerned that it is rude and politicizing a tragedy to point out that the right wing has produced a toxic atmosphere that pollutes our politics with hatred and the rhetoric of violence?

Screw that. Now is the time to politicize the hell out of this situation. The people who are complaining are a mix of lefty marshmallows whose first reaction to the fulfillment of right-wing fantasies by a lunatic is to drop to their knees and beg forgiveness for thinking ill of people who paint bullseyes on their political opponents, and right wing cowards who are racing to their usual tactic of attacking their critics to shame them into silence. This is NOT the time to back down and suddenly find it embarrassing to point out that right-wing pundits make a living as professional goads to insanity.
Myers' attempt to score points off a tragedy is truly grotesque. As Tim Blair says, Myers is an idiot, the ever-so-smart scientist still trying to link Loughner to the right. It would be a good idea to wait until there's some evidence, any evidence.

Spelling error: it's Loughner, not Laughner. Corrected.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Wikileaks' business model flawed

Wikileaks is bleeding cash:
Mr Assange told Swiss newspapers Tribune de Geneve and 24 Heures personal pressure placed on him "reinforces my determination".

"But from a financial point of view, it's another matter," he said.

"We have been losing more than 600,000 francs ($620,053) a week since the start of the publication of the diplomatic cables.

"To continue our business, we would need to find a way or other to get this money back."
The photo attached to the story shows not the confident whistle-blower we all know and love but rather a dejected Assange holding a begging-cup. It was perhaps unwise of Assange to start a business dependent on donations.

The ABC describes Congresswoman's shooter as a "radical conservative"

Jared Loughner's Tucson shooting rampage was the first topic of discussion on The Drum on the ABC Monday night, host Tim Palmer introducing the topic by referring to "vitriolic political discourse" and "Sarah Palin's infamous campaign crosshairs map". A clip of serial ranter Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik – a Democrat – condemning the state of political discourse then follows. Not satisfied that the point was made, host Palmer notes that the shooter held "right-wing beliefs", moments later describing Loughner as a "radical conservative".

It's outrageous that Australia's national broadcaster – our ABC – continually pumps out anti-right propaganda. If the ABC had a significant audience it would be a real worry.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Can males be friends with females?

The very clever ad below prompted a wide-ranging discussion concerning male-female relationships, one side arguing that it is impossible for a heterosexual male to be friends with an attractive female: no matter the superficial appearances, the male, no matter how friendly he seems, will take advantage of any opportunity to take the "friendship" to the next level.

The opposing camp argues that this is absurd, with males able to control their urges.

The argument rages.

Editing note: the spelling of friends, originally freinds, has been corrected. Duh.

More than just crosshairs

The crosshairs used on Sara Palin's targeted opposition graphic have always seemed, well, odd, looking like no crosshairs I've ever seen. You see, as a good ol' boy from Texas I've owned many a gun and have spent lots of time peering through rifle scopes and was stumped as to why stylized crosshairs were used instead of something more conventional, and there are many options to chose from. After hours of thinking and researching I've got it all worked out.

The crosshairs actually have multiple levels of meaning. The crosshairs are obviously crosshairs: a call for a "second amendment solution" to the problem represented by those opposing the Tea Party agenda. Thus was Jared Loughner incited to attempt the assassination of Congresswoman Giffords.

The crosshairs also invite the military to act in the national interest by taking out the un-patriotic opposition. Proof of this is readily seen in the crosshairs' uncanny resemblance to the U.S. Army's symbol for the point of impact of laser guided weapons. Giffords is lucky to have been hit in the head by only a bullet and not by a laser-targeted missile.

The U.S. Air Force was also invited to get involved, the crosshairs representing ground zero for a precision, low-collateral-damage air strike.

And finally, the conclusive proof: the crosshairs' vertical and horizontal bars represent the letters R and D in semaphore, R standing for "remove" and D for "Democrats". Had Loughner's military co-conspirators not developed cold feet, Sarah Palin might now be running the country following the forced removal of Obama.

Now you're probably wondering why it is that a conservative is spilling the beans on Palin's conspiracy to overthrow, or at least seriously damage, the U.S. government. Truth be known, I've never cared for Palin and would be much more comfortable with her limiting herself to the God, biology and genetics-ordained roles of wife and mother.


Seldom-wrong Melbourne barrister Jeremy Sear supports my conspiracy theory by uncovering a heretofore unknown Palin demand that Giffords be “put in the crosshairs”. Before we know it, the U.S. of A. will be North America's Pakistan.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Easy meat

Former British home secretary Jack Straw is in deep strife for saying that some Pakistani men "target vulnerable white girls" who they see as "easy meat". Mohammed Shafiq from the Ramadhan Foundation denounces Straw for suggesting that there is an "ingrained" problem within the Pakistani community. Yet Shafiq, in the video clip accessed via the link above, says that white girls are "less valuable and do have less morals than their own daughters and their own sisters" and that if an "Asian girl or Muslim" was targeted "their would be huge uproar in the community." Thus as Straw said, white girls are viewed as "easy meat."

Activists assaulted, almost

The lurid headline Sea Shepherd Repels Assaults from the Yushin Maru No. 2 and the Yushin Maru No. 3 is followed by this description of a non-event:
Anticipating that the whalers might attack a stationary Gojira, the Steve Irwin readied a Delta boat. Upon orders from Captain Paul Watson, the Delta crew set out to turn the approaching whaler away. The Delta crew headed towards the harpooner at full speed getting ready to deploy a prop fouler. This caused the whaling vessel to make an abrupt turn to port. The Delta pursued the fleeing Yushin Maru No. 2 for 11 miles delivering a dozen stink bombs onto the deck of the whaler before returning back to the Steve Irwin.

Meanwhile, pilot Chris Aultman had landed his helicopter on the Bob Barker some 75 miles to the south along the ice edge of the Ross Sea. The Yushin Maru No. 2 made a move to push through the ice to approach the Bob Barker with the objective of turning their water cannon onto the helicopter. Aultman was able to get his helicopter airborne before the harpooner closed in. The Bob Barker then turned to confront the whaler, causing the whaler to turn and flee back through the ice.
The only aggression was from the SS vigilantes.

Loony leadership lampooned

The video below was placed at North Korea's You Tube page by hackers – it's in Korean but no translation is required.

Tea Party linked to Congresswoman shooting

Paul Krugman strongly suspects that the Tea Party movement, or at least the "climate of hate" it cultivated, is behind the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Arizona) and 11 others in Tucson:
And for those wondering why a Blue Dog Democrat, the kind Republicans might be able to work with, might be a target, the answer is that she’s a Democrat who survived what was otherwise a GOP sweep in Arizona, precisely because the Republicans nominated a Tea Party activist. (Her father says that “the whole Tea Party” was her enemy.) And yes, she was on Sarah Palin’s infamous “crosshairs” list.
Krugman has closed comments on the post because "crazies are coming out in force, and it’s all too likely to turn into a flame war." Gee, put up a crazy post and draw crazy comments. Funny that.


The alleged shooter's politics are uncertain.

Update II

The uber-intelligent, highly educated Larvatus Prodeo Lefty-collective brains trust does not doubt that even if they did not pull the trigger Sarah Palin and the Tea Party are responsible for the Tucson "terrorism" atrocity.

Update III

Keith "over-the-top" Olbermann lays nine minutes of blame on every right-winger – from Plain to Bill O'Reilly – who's ever made a politically linked gun metaphor. Maybe Olbermann should start a campaign aiming to ban the explicit bloodletting in just about every popular video game. I mean, just think what all that violence is doing to young, impressionable minds.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Saturday, January 08, 2011


Gamer and serial litigation-threatener Jeremy Sear launches a rival AFL:
We (me and various other people behind the scenes) have created The Australian Family Lobby …

Please email the AFL at if you’d like to share what family means to you.
Someone should also email intellectual property specialist Jeremy to share what copyright means. There is already an AFL, and they take copyright very seriously indeed:
You may not use these trade marks or the names 'Telstra Corporation Limited', 'Telstra Corporation' or 'Telstra' or the name of any of Telstra’s related companies or the names 'Australian Football League', 'AFL’ or the names of any of the AFL Clubs.
Despite living in Melbourne, home of the real AFL, Jeremy seems never to have heard of this small sporting organisation. Maybe they’ll retaliate by publishing a picture of his cat.

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Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Spelling too hard

Navy fires one of the boys

Captain Owen Honors pays a high price for those "crass" videos:
The raunchy, ribald antics that cost Capt. Owen P. Honors his command have a long history in the U.S. Navy, where leaders have routinely tolerated such behavior in the name of maintaining morale at sea.

But the Navy fired Honors on Tuesday, two days after a series of videos he made in 2006 and 2007 surfaced on the Internet, removing him from the helm of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise just weeks before it was to head to the war in Afghanistan. Honors made the videos when he was the ship's executive officer, or second in command.

"While Capt. Honors's performance as commanding officer of the USS Enterprise has been without incident, his profound lack of good judgment and professionalism while previously serving as executive officer on Enterprise calls into question his character and completely undermines his credibility to serve effectively in command," said Adm. John C. Harvey Jr., commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command.
There could yet be further fallout:
Harvey will lead a broader investigation into whether other senior Navy officials knew about the four-year-old videos, which aired on the ship's closed-circuit television, and why they failed to take disciplinary action against Honors. The probe is likely to focus on whether Rear Adm. Lawrence Rice, who was captain of the ship in 2007, and his immediate commander, now-retired Rear Adm. Raymond A. Spicer, had seen the videos or received complaints about them.
Whether or not Rice knew of the videos is irrelevant: as the then commanding officer of the Enterprise he should have known what his XO was up to. Thus Rice's head too must roll.

The real problem here is not quite what it seems, however. Honors was well liked by his crew, no mean feat for a second in command, often tasked with with being an "ass-hole" in lieu of the captain – Honors managed to exercise his command responsibilities while remaining "one of the boys". In today's Navy this is unforgivable.

Kiss provokes death threats

Fans shocked by photos of Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber kissing have threatened death, most of the ire directed at Gomez. Come on people, it's 2011; lesbian relationships are totally acceptable.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Shop online to save big bucks

Canny Australian shoppers are buying online to save heaps by importing from overseas. Local retailers argue that the GST exemption for imported goods (GST is applied only when the cost of goods plus postage exceeds AU$1,000.00) seriously disadvantages them. In reality the problem isn't the GST exemption, it's the extreme price differential.

Just one example will suffice. Ray Ban 3025 aviator sunglasses costing US$88.99 in the U.S. are AU$259.00 in Australia. Add in expedited air shipment and you'll still save more than $100.00 by importing.

Sure there are pitfalls – ordering clothing that doesn't fit, for example – but buying from reputable overseas suppliers is a great way to get what you want at the best price.

Holocaust 2011

Genocidal gassing begins with the tear gas induced death of a single protester:
How Israel gasses Palestinian protestors and sometimes kills them. No historical irony here at all.
No prizes for guessing the author of that idiocy.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Suicide bomber a "normal Muslim"

The wife of Stockholm suicide bomber Taimour Abdulwahab had no idea what was afoot:
Taimour was a normal person, a normal Muslim. There were no alarm bells.
That a man regarded as a normal Muslim blew himself up in attempting to kills innocents sets off my alarm bells.

"Gay" XO videos

The former second in command of the USS Enterprise, and now its captain, is in deep strife for producing politically incorrect videos:
The videos resemble something a college fraternity could have put together as a joke and posted on YouTube. There are scenes showing women showering together, frequent sexual references and a number of antigay slurs and vulgarities.

But instead of a college joke or an amateur YouTube production, the videos — created about four years ago and now becoming public — appear to be the work of a man who is currently the commanding officer of the Navy’s nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Enterprise, based in Norfolk and weeks away from deploying. The man, Capt. Owen Honors, reportedly not only orchestrated the making of the raunchy videos, but also starred in them and filmed them aboard the Enterprise with government equipment while the carrier was deployed during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The videos, are variously described as "raunchy", "lewd" "sex" videos and "raunchy lesbian shower videos", the latter description by Gawker, which cautions potential viewers:
Warning: they are boring.
Hmm, boring yet raunchy lesbian shower videos. Impossible. In fact, the videos are pretty much "gay" – as in lame – and not at all what you'd expect from all the hype. Decide for yourself whether the uproar is warranted.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

An intimate conversation: Dr Helen Caldicott interviews Antony Loewenstein

There is no better way to start off the new year than listening to Lefty wackos talk for an hour, so grab a cold drink – preferably one containing lots of ethanol – lean back, put your feet up, click the link and marvel at the "truths" revealed as Dr Helen Caldicott interviews non-authority (pick a subject, any subject) Antony Loewenstein.

It's hilarity from the start, Caldicott introducing Loewenstein as a renowned international journalist and the media spokesman for the campaign to defend Wikileaks, a heretofore unheard of group. Caldicott then trendily describes Wikileaks revealations – in hip, 1960s lingo – as "major, major big". The next notably laughable moment comes as Caldicott wishes for a Wikileaks clarification of what really happened on 9/11:
Caldicott: You know what occurred to me the other day as I was pondering this whole thing, Antony? What is some of the, uh, cables start revealing, uh, the truth about government thinking about 9/11?

Loewenstein: Well that's a veryinteresting question. Uh, yes, most of the documents that have been released are generally for the last two or three years but some of the documents go back to 1966. There's a little bit of stuff about, um, Indonesia and East Timor and the 70s. Thus far at least, and we say only 1% of documents have been released, there may well be stuff about 9/11. There may well be stuff about the Iraq war. Many people I know are interested to find out the intimate details about the run up to the Iraq war, the Afghan war and, potentially, which many of us fear, another war, a war against Iran.

Caldicott: Well, I mean, if 9/11 documents were released that would put the cat amongst the pigeons so to speak. I mean, there's a huge amount that we don't know.

Loewenstein: Absolutely.

Caldicott: And that was covered up and could have huge political ramifications in the United States.
Caldicott then asks her guest to give some background on Julian Assange. Loewenstein provides a summary gleaned from Wikipedia but does reveal that he was invited to sit on on the Wikileaks' board but this "never got off the ground". Assange is obviously smarter than we thought.

Anyway, I stopped listening at 15:00 with 44:00 minutes remaining – there was something important needed doing but I can't remember what it was. If anyone can be bothered listening to the whole thing please post in comments anything important I missed.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Depleted uranium, again

An almost damning report in the Guardian:
A study examining the causes of a dramatic spike in birth defects in the Iraqi city of Falluja has for the first time concluded that genetic damage could have been caused by weaponry used in US assaults that took place six years ago.

The research, which will be published next week, confirms earlier estimates revealed by the Guardian of a major, unexplained rise in cancers and chronic neural-tube, cardiac and skeletal defects in newborns. The authors found that malformations are close to 11 times higher than normal rates, and rose to unprecedented levels in the first half of this year – a period that had not been surveyed in earlier reports.
Author Martin Chulov then speculates about likely speculation:
The findings are likely to prompt further speculation that the defects were caused by depleted uranium rounds, which were heavily used in two large battles in the city in April and November 2004. The rounds, which contain ionising radiation, are a core component of the armouries of numerous militaries and militias.

Their effects have long been called into question, with some scientists claiming they leave behind a toxic residue, caused when the round – either from an assault rifle or artillery piece – bursts through its target. However, no evidence has yet been established that proves this, and some researchers instead claim that depleted uranium has been demonstrably proven not to be a contaminant.
Chulov has no idea what he's talking about. Depleted uranium ordnance is specifically designed to penetrate the armour of armoured vehicles whereas there were few if any tanks or other armoured vehicles in Falluja. Depleted uranium rounds were fired from neither assault rifles nor artillery. The fighting was not a set piece military battle but rather involved U.S. forces against insurgents.

Regardless, the study does not in any way link munitions to the alleged increase in birth abnormalities. There's also a small problem with one of the report's author's, Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, who in late 2009 speculated:
Who cares more for Afghans' safety? Do Afghans themselves care more, or do the U.S. and European occupiers care more? Many mainstream media would have you believe that the occupiers care more. For example, see the December 17th story on the BBC, at

Can anyone really claim that French and Polish lives mattered more to their Nazi occupiers than to the occupied French and Polish themselves? The absurdity of such claims should be quickly apparent. But is it really apparent, when the U.S. and Europeans are doing the occupying?

Today's BBC reports on an Afghan "market bombing" that was presumably being carried out by a motorbike carrying two men, heading straight toward a crowded market. The "two men" who supposedly were carrying out the bombing and their affiliations are not known.

The first question that arises in my mind is: who benefits from chaos and outright murder of Afghan (or Iraqi for that matter) populations? Do Afghans benefit, or do the military occupiers benefit? Does anyone wonder how occupations perpetually justify themselves as a police force trying to create "law and order" among ungrateful native populations?
Savabieasfahani continuing:
Stories that claim the occupation forces to be the champions of humanity, or angels bringing only safety to the occupied population, are not uncommon. Many similar stories are delivered to the U.S. public about Israel. How can you expect us to believe that soldiers occupying Palestine are there to stop "the violence" and establish democracy?

From Iraq to Afghanistan to Palestine, chaos and disorder serves the occupation forces. Those who perpetuate chaos and disorder are more likely to be connected to the occupation than they are to the local unarmed civilians.

Have occupation forces really conducted bombings and blamed "the natives" for it? The answer is yes.
Now this does not discredit the Falluja report as biased hogwash but it does show that Savabieasfahani is not an unbiased reporter; this is especially so when the report is heavily speculative and woefully short of facts.

Captain Paul Watson versus Japanese whaling fleet

Sea Shepherd claims early success:
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s fleet has found the illegal Japanese whaling vessels on the last day of the calendar year. In the vastness of the Southern Ocean, Sea Shepherd’s ships have now found the Japanese fleet before they even began killing whales. This is a momentous victory for the whales and precisely how Sea Shepherd’s President and Founder Captain Paul Watson had hoped to ring in the New Year.
It's also a momentous PR success for Watson, whose name appears six more times in the piece:
Captain Watson was able to...

Captain Watson figured...

Captain Watson decided...

Captain Watson deduced...

Captain Watson instructed...

Captain Watson took the Steve Irwin east...
Everyone who donated to Sea Shepherd can be proud that Paul Watson is using their money to feed his enormous, publicity seeking ego.

Update: Yep, it's the Captain Paul Watson Show with whales merely supporting characters.

Update II: The latest from the SS vigilantes:
Dancing with Death Machines at the Bottom of the World

“What an awesome way to begin the New Year,” said captain of the Gojira Locky MacLean of Canada. “Our three vessels dancing dangerously through the ice packs locked in confrontation with the three harpoon ships of the Japanese whaling fleet. It was both deadly and beautiful. Deadly because of the ice and the hostility of the whalers and beautiful because of the ice, and the fact that these three killer ships are not killing whales while clashing with us.”
You gotta love it when an adventurer puts so much emphasis on the deadly danger he's facing on behalf of whales.