Sad tidings   30/1/2004

Prolific Tasmanian global warming sceptic John Daly has died. He will be sadly missed.

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Odd stuff   

Richard Ackland wobbles right off the track in mounting an irrelevent attack on the Hutton finding that the BBC aired untruths about the British government and was less than eager to admit it.
Employing the “whitewash” slur because the Hutton inquiry followed its terms of reference and didn’t take on the monumentous, impossible task of testing the veracity of UK intelligence, Ackland pulls out a straw-like man to bolster his case. Buggered if I know what his editor must have been thinking:

Rod Liddle, a London newspaper columnist, made an interesting point yesterday which was reported in The Guardian. “Multifarious law lords have been asked to investigate the government over the years, and if anyone can name one where the government has not been exonerated pretty much entirely I would be interested. It happened back in 1963 with Lord Denning and Profumo and it’s the same again.”
Liddle was a former editor at the Today program on BBC radio, where Gilligan made his claim that the Government “sexed up” the intelligence report on Iraq. He’s also been one of Gilligan’s biggest supporters in the British media.

To borrow a phrase from the aforementioned Profumo era: Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he?

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Dying trade   

What an awful fate.

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Poodle kicker   

Remind me not to leave up Ann Coulter’s dunny seat. Dissolute men get her cranky.
Kerry is like some character in a Balzac novel, an adventurer twirling the end of his mustache and preying on rich women. This low-born poseur with his threadbare pseudo-Brahmin family bought a political career with one rich woman’s money, dumped her, and made off with another heiress to enable him to run for president. If Democrats want to talk about middle-class tax cuts, couldn’t they nominate someone who hasn’t been a poodle to rich women for the past 33 years?
Ouch!

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McDerelict   29/1/2004

Now look what the obesity epidemic scare has brought.
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Class act   28/1/2004

Hee-hee, PM John Howard’s again got the chalkies yelping like a 60s schoolboy after a caning.
A teacher’s union rep whined that Howard’s latest wedgie on the nation’s woeful school standards was divisive and hurtful.
Teachers had abused their positions by using classrooms as a forum to attack the government over the war in Iraq, Howard told a Sydney radio station.
“The teacher unions a year ago encouraged teachers to discuss the war on Iraq in the classroom – that was code for attacking the government’s position,” he told Sydney radio 2GB.
The PM also blasted politically correct dills in the Queensland education department for trying to replace traditional Christmas ceremonies with end-of-year holiday observations.
He knows he’s on a winner and boy, is that gunna bring some spleen from left field.

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Lacker blows it   27/1/2004

Australian Opposition Leader Mark Latham buggered up big time this morning with us Victorians.
3AW’s top-rating breakfast yakkers, Ross Stephenson and John Burns, wanted to grill him about his hare-brained, nanny state plan to put parents of wayward kids through the court system. Lacker’s office told the Melbourne duo that he was speaking only to Sydney’s top radio rater John Laws this morning.
You want to get up a Victorian’s goat? Play Sydney gringo favourite to the inferiority complected Mexican.
The announcers had a fine old chuckle over Lacker’s political naivete and later his office called back to say he’d be available at 8.50am. Told the breakfast boys finished at 8.30, the Lacker lackey demanded to know who would be on at that time.
The incumbent at that hour is the biggest ego in Melbourne radio, Neil Mitchell, and it seems he is mightily pissed off that: 1) he wasn’t approached first, and 2) Lacker’s staff haven’t got his program schedule etched deeply into their broadly scattered consciousness.
Oh, and the talkback response to Lacker’s bad-mums-in-the-dock scheme suggests it has gone down like a fart at a funeral.

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Caught and bowled   26/1/2004

Tim Blair deftly takes apart my namesake Geoff Slattery for an appaling metaphor that suggests Australia has lost the confidence and flair personified by David Hookes’ memorable Centenary Test swashbuckle.
Slattery:
As a country, we are more inclined to protect our wicket, to go for the draw, rather than seek the victory. We’re not after the glorious outcome, we’re content to rejoice in mediocrity. We don’t think big any more.
As Blair points out, whether it’s failing to settle on a UN-approved draw in Iraq or boldly penetrating the outfield of free trade, mediocre is hardly the apt description of Australia’s present play.
Glenn Milne, in The Australian today (server troubles again, no link), produces a survey that show a most bouyant national mood.
Seven hundred respondents in marginal seats were asked by pollster Crosby Textor whether a series of emotions described how they feel about living in Australia at the moment. The research found:
93 per cent associate living in Australia with happiness;
89 per cent associate living in Australia with opportunity;
86 per cent associate living in Australia with confidence; and
84 per cent associate living in Australia with success;

And in bad news for the angry haters of the mainstream:
84 per cent do not associate living in Australia with “shame”;
78 per cent do not associate living in Australia with “anger”;
73 per cent do not associate living in Australia with “being worried”;
67 per cent do not associate living in Australia with “indifference”; and
61 per cent do not associate living in Australia with “frustration:.

“Australians are overwhelmingly positive about living here,” says pollster Mark Textor. “They are far from the embarrassed and uneasy people that many self-appointed social and media commentators would have us believe. Australians may have had enough of being talked down to, or told that they have to feel guilty or bad. This research shows Australians feel happy, proud and optimistic.”

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Green lies   24/1/2004

Christopher Pearson, in a well-researched piece in The Australian today, reveals how lying, elitist greens and bureaucrats have condemned millions of third worlders to death. As anyone who has honestly investigated manmade global warming claims can testify, greens and publicly funded beneficaries of bullshit are still at it.

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Corindhap pub   23/1/2004

An aimless drive in the country yesterday delivered me to the hamlet of Corindhap, about 70km northwest of Geelong.
Once considered the richest goldfield outside of Ballarat, Corindhap’s only public relic from its hey-day is the Break-of-Day Hotel, a grand old boozer from the 1860s.
It’s a welcoming place with the original bar still standing and the walls holding all manner of curious collectables gleaned by the owners over the years.
Axes, arrows and a cat-o-eight tails hang above the bar, along with musical instruments, miners gear and in the dining room, a delightful collection of 1890s “feelthy” pictures.
Suspended proudly from the bar-room ceiling is Marlon Lambo:

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Crones groan   22/1/2004

Today must be Australia Day for Old Bags All Spleened Up.
First we have spear carrier Robyn Nevin bitching that Australians celebrate their sporting stars but are less enthusiastic about their artists.
The Age (can’t find a link) reports Nevin asking: “Why is it appropriate for these athletes to perform as elites and for the nation to celebrate them, led by our genuinely enthusiastic Prime Minister, if it is not similarly appropriate that our artists perform as elites, be seriously celebrated and funded, so that we might produce artists of the same level of excellence.”
Perhaps if the artists turned some of the billions that taxpayers annually tip into the Australia Council, the ABC, state theatres, opera companies, orchestras, galleries, arts colleges and film subsidies into something that people might wish to view or hear, they might get the acclaim Nevin claims is their due.
But first her precious artists — I presume she’s on about those on government handouts — might have to copy the athletes and became world beaters.
Then they might join the ranks who contradict Nevin’s stupid point anyway; artists like Nicole Kidman, Barry Humphries, Clive James, Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Naomi Watts, that Booker Prize winner formerly known as Dirty Pierre, David Williamson, Joan Sutherland, Brett Whiteley, Baz Luhrman … the list goes on … who are seriously celebrated and funded. Mind you, they are funded by people paying to see their art.
Somehow, I don’t think market-approved art is a priority for anyone who uses the word appropriate twice in one sentence.

Then we have perennial grizzle guts Germaine Greer delivering her familiar hate spiel against Australians. Germs does generalisation superbly. Research is such a bore.
For the vast majority, life in Australia is neither urban nor rural but suburban. The reality is not Uluru or the Sydney Opera House but endless, ever-expanding replications of Ramsay Street that spread out as rapidly as oil stains on water, further and further from the tiny central business districts of the state capitals.
Each street has a nature strip; each bungalow faces the same way, has a backyard and a front garden, all fenced, low at the front, high at the back. Somewhere nearby there’ll be a shopping centre with fast-food outlets and a supermarket.

Hmmm, our street has high fence, low hedge, no fence, medium fence, trees instead of fence, high fence…Bloody unaustralian street!
Seems the ancient bat is a stranger to sparrow’s fart.
Australians might refer to rush hour, but there is never any rush. Even at 11am on a weekday you’ll feel no bustle. In what should be the swankiest streets, you will find shops with designer names and nothing in them, alongside pawnshops and outlets for cheap imports, T-shirts, jeans and plastic homewares.
How much sense can you expect from someone who thinks 11am is rush hour?
The female unique is awake to you pretend car makers in Elizabeth.
Most of the manufactured goods on sale anywhere in Australia are made somewhere in Asia, including Australia’s own car, the Holden.
I ran this through my new waffle translator but still could not make sense of it:
The one and only Australian software millionaire has said that if Australians take a lead in the IT revolution, the myth of Australian prosperity will explode, while the very people who could do it are walking away.
It’s pathetic to the very end:
I was 12 years old when I decided that I had to get out of Australia if my life was to begin. I had been bored ever since I could remember.
Well, she’s turned that right around.

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Unfair cop   

Richard Littlejohn wondered in print, partly in jest, why police officers should be required to declare their sexual orientation to ensure that 10 per cent of all recruits are gay, lesbian or bisexual.
Why not foot fetishists, rubber enthusiasts and gerbil fanciers, too? Littlejohn speculated.
He also congratulated Inspector Paul Cahill on his MBE.
But Littlejohn wondered what it was which marked Cahill out for a gong among hundreds of other dedicated police inspectors, other than his predilection for same-sex sex.
Turds in the oscillator time. Littlejohn expands:
But according to Inspector Cahill, that puts me right up there with the Soho nail-bomber. He accuses me of not only stirring up hatred against gay police officers but the gay community as a whole.
The GPA has also reported me to the Commission for Racial Equality — though what’s it’s got to do with race is beyond me.
And Cahill is making threatening noises about getting my Sky TV show “reconsidered”, whatever that means.

Littlejohn points out that what’s really disturbing is that a man who can’t distinguish between someone gently taking the mickey in a newspaper column and a nutter planting a nail bomb in a crowded central London pub has risen to the rank of inspector, let alone been honoured by Her Maj.
And the gritty columnist has thrown down the guantlet:
The Fascist Left are trying to use the law to punish anyone who challenges them and have dreamed up a whole raft of “hate crimes” to enforce their pernicious doctrine.
There are some bad bastards out there, hell-bent on controlling every aspect of our lives, from what we eat and drink, to what we say and think.
They are intolerant, hectoring and bullying. And they must be stopped. We must not be cowed.

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Dead certainties   21/1/2004

The sure things in life visited a Finnish man last week.
But only he knew.
The tax official who croaked at his desk in Helsinki went unnoticed by colleagues for two days.
The man, a tax auditor in his 60s, died last Tuesday while checking tax returns.
But newspaper reports say no-one realised he was dead until Thursday.

At least the Finnish tax workers kept him away from the office kitchen. Unlike a Venezuelan man who has been arrested for keeping his grandmother’s body in the fridge.
The 65-year-old from Caracas told police he didn’t have enough money for a funeral and didn’t know what else to do.
He had tried to embalm the body of his grandmother who had died aged 103, reports Terra Noticias Populares.
But his efforts were unsuccessful and neighbours called the police after smelling the dead body.

He should have just taken her out for a drink, like a mob of Peruvian mourners.
A group of friends allegedly stole their pal’s body from a morgue and took it to their favourite bar in Peru to mourn it.
According to the newspaper Peru 21, the body of 47-year-old Olga Riva was stolen by her friends who took it to the bar, Viuda, in Junin, to pay their respects to their dead friend.
But a few hours into the wake, police arrived and took the body back to her family. Several of the friends were arrested.
A police spokesperson said: “Mrs Riva’s husband Felix knew exactly where the body was because he knew the friends had some kind of pact to say their last goodbyes over a couple of beers in their favourite bar.

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He did as I say…   

If there’s a 2004 award for unintended irony skin-saver Ted Kennedy should win hands down.
Kennedy gushed like a Chappaquiddick creek when his fellow Massachussetts Democrat John Kerry took out the Iowa primary. He referred to Kerry’s war time heroism when he rescued a fellow soldier under fire after the man was knocked overboard from a patrol boat he was commanding.

“John Kerry turned that boat around and went back and took the risk to his own life and brought that man to safety,” Senator Kennedy hollers. “John didn’t leave him behind that night and he’ll not leave the children of America behind.”

He didn’t leave Mary Jo Kopechne behind, either.

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Class war continues   

Kevin Donnelly in The Australian provides powerful evidence in support of PM John Howard’s assertion that state schools are values-neutral zones saturated with political correctness.
And why are so many parents turning their backs on public schools? One reason is that the teachers unions are their own worst enemies. Instead of advocating high standards, school accountability and a balanced curriculum, unions promote an ideologically driven, dumbed-down view of education.
Take the unions’ response to the Iraq war. Not only did unions across Australia vehemently argue against our troops’ involvement, but teachers were told that they, in the words of the NSW Teachers Federation, should “take action in your workplace and community” and “support students who take an anti-war stance”.

And who does Donnelly use to support his view that education departments have been captured by marxist no-nothings? Why Australia’s best-known teacher, former Victorian Premier Joan Kirner whose Socialist Left program brought the government to the verge of bankruptcy in the early 90s.
Joan’s view:
Education has to be reshaped “so that it is part of the socialist struggle for equality, participation and social change, rather than an instrument of the capitalist system”.
All the same, Howard’s not entirely correct. There are plenty of rabid faux lefties in the private schools.
Last year my then-Year 12 son came home from an international studies forum at his Catholic college which was addressed by what sounded like a Pilger clone who taught at Melbourne’s Scotch College. This dropkick gave the kids the usual moronic spiel about Bush war-mongering, Howard the arse-licker, it’s all about oil, the Arabs rising against us because we have subjected them to oppression and poverty… blah, blah. I complained about the lack of balance to my kid’s international studies teacher who claimed the visiting “expert” was “tongue-in-cheek” a lot of the time. I told him I couldn’t give a stuff if the Scotch commie had his tongue up his nose, I just expected international studies classes to canvass both or all sides of political issues. Silence down the line. Seems plenty of teachers are like ABC lefties – they’re so stupidly convinced of the correctness of their position, they can’t comprehend there might be an alternative view.
Meanwhile, a teacher called 3AW this morning to opine that in some state secondary schools, up to 80 per cent of teachers sent their kids to private schools.

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School’s in   20/1/2004

John Howard has fired the first volley in the education phase of this year’s election campaign. And he’s on a winner if the confused hyperbolic response from defenders of the state education shambles is any indication.
Howard says parents are moving their children out of government schools because the state system is “too politically correct and too values-neutral”.

“Some schools think you offend people by having nativity plays,” Mr Howard said. “I think that it’s a reflection of the extent to which political correctness overtook this country, particularly through the teaching unions, which I think are a bit out of step.
“People are looking increasingly to send their kids to independent schools for a combination of reasons. For some of them, it’s to do with the values-driven thing; they feel that government schools have become too politically correct and too values-neutral.”

Howard indicated to The Australian (server appeards to be down at News.com) he backed commonsense calls to publish tables ranking schools by performance, a move bitterly opposed by the Marxist-led teacher unions and their lackeys in the ALP.

“The more information parents have about schools and their performances the better,” he said. “My judgement is that the envy line that (the ALP) ran at the last election fell on its face very badly.”

Expect “envy line” to get plenty of airings in the next few months.

Predictably, ACTU president and former teacher Sharon Burrow opposed rankings. Can’t have teachers accountable, can we?
Although it’s probably a good thing Burrow is in the union office and not teaching clear thinking:
“It isn’t the league tables that matters (nor singular and plural, it seems), she said. “Results matter. It is absolutely of equal importance that every child is given the opportunity to do their very best.”
She then went on to waffle about paid maternity leave, pre-emptive strikes and other issues that have nothing to do with abysmal literacy and numeracy standards in our schools.
University tutor Aaron Oakley has depressing news from academia on lamentable English standards.

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Cricketer critical   19/1/2004

Australian cricket legend David Hookes is in a coma after getting bashed outside a Melbourne pub last night.
Hookes was clinically dead for about 30 minutes and it is feared he has suffered brain damage.
A 21-year-old St Albans crowd controller has been bailed in Melbourne Magistrates Court on a charge of assault.
UPDATE:
Gerard Healy, Hookes’ on-air partner on 3AW’s nightly sports show, announced at 7.30pm that the former Test star had died.
Surely there won’t be bail for a manslaughter charge.
UPDATE, TUESDAY:
3AW has broadcast that Zdravko Micevic, the bouncer and amateur boxer charged with assaulting Hookes on Sunday night was already on bail for an assault at another suburban hotel.
So far, police have not indicated whether other charges will be laid in relation to Sunday night’s attack now that Hookes has died.
When The Age forgets social and political issues and concentrates on news, it does it exceptionally well.
UPDATE:
A fine tribute to a likeable neighbour by colleague and Tony the Teacher’s fellow Demons tragic Scott Morton.

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Teaching targeted   17/1/2004

The dumbing down of subsequent generations by left-led boomer teachers is a national disgrace and bodes ill for this country’s future.
Anyone who doubts that 20-somethings have been disgracefully short-changed in their education has not subedited the copy of the average cadet journalist.
Not all, but many, have no comprehension of punctuation, make the most basic of spelling errors and mix their tenses unashamedly. And this is after 12 years of schooling and three or four years of university, majoring in journalism. If you can get a degree in journalism without being able to spell, I’d be wary of anything built by that university’s engineers.
Worse though is that value-free indocrination and the lack of real general knowledge has left them without the ability to gauge the newsworthiness of stories. Consequently, the flashy, trite and inconsequential as exemplified by celebrity fixation is what most consider to be news.
Well, one of the few decent lawyers left in Melbourne, Angry Anderson, has had a gutful and he’s not gunna take it anymore.
For a conservative, Ando’s come up with a most radical cure for the education malaise in Australia. His case is argued well and I hope his scheme can get legs. If only to get up the noses of marxists who have done their best to create a generation of idiots — DIY lumpen proletariat, if you like.
Excerpt:
Having the benefit of private secondary schooling, I was not exposed to state school Economics. While my school was teaching the relationship between inflation and interest rates, one of my state school friends spent an entire semester discussing supply and demand in the context of the cigarette market.
History, perhaps the best example, has moved from a study of the rise of Western civilisation to a condemnation of it. Anyone who wonders why some migrant children from non-Western backgrounds develop such a hostility towards their new home should consider the effect on them of being lectured on the West’s legacy of evil and exploitation of romanticised tribal, Oriental and Islamic cultures. Don’t expect any recognition of the simple fact that the West is the source of the very values of tolerance, liberalism and human rights which the teacher unions claim to promote. Negative judgements of non-Western cultures are taboo, but of Western culture they are mandatory.

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Keep the presses rolling   

You’re at the wrong place if you’re looking for serious announcements of consequence.
Three men were exposed as thorough idiots when they streaked through a Spokane restaurant as a thief drove off in their getaway car with their clothing inside.

Seventeen firefighters have quit their jobs because a female colleague discussed her pornography career while at work in the fire station. Captain Herb Collier, one of those who resigned, said: “We feel pretty strongly that there needs to be a separation between the pornography and the fire service.”

Prison guards who handed back a gun to a convicted bank robber on his release from jail have come under fire after he allegedly used it to carry out another robbery. Apologising for the mistake, prison spokesman Werner Schwenzer said: “We don’t know how this could have happened.”

And finally, one of the great mysteries of the 20th century is solved.

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glorious era   15/1/2004

Sandy Gray’s wonderful site pays homage to the golden days of radio with a plethora of pix, memorabilia and reminiscenses from our old local AM station 3GL.
Sandy’s father, Reg, ran the station for decades before his death in 1980 and 3GL and staff became as much a part of the city’s fabric as Corio Bay and the You Yangs ranges.
Geelong lost an institution when the station closed in 1990 and FM outfit K-ROCK started up, sounding like every other try-hard, soulless, rumble-voiced pop station on the globe.
At the station’s peak before television in the 50s it was said that if something in Geelong wasn’t broadcast on 3GL it didn’t happen. On the site you can even listen to a Sabre jet breaking the sound barrier at Avalon Airfield.

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This shows the setup used for describing sporting events such as the Melbourne To Warrnambool cycling event. It was pioneered by Jack Matthews using ex world war two transceivers to broadcast live whilst travelling beside the sportsmen. Two cars were typically used one with the lead bunch and one with the scratchmen. Besides providing exciting up to the second description to listeners, the cars and their crews often provided accuracte and vital information to the contestants. Information not available prior to the technology being introduced by 3GL. A similar technique was used for the famous Head of the River race whan it was on the Barwon River. (In fact a key reason for holding the Head of the River permanently in on the Barwon was an assurance hat it would be described live to air by 3GL)

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