Worth linking   31/10/2004

The Horserace Blog takes what it considers the most reputable presidential opinion polls and knocks them together to come up with the trends. The author knows his stuff and takes pains to play it straight down the middle.
His present summary:
Nationwide
Bush: 49.57%
Kerry: 46.28%
MOE: +/- 0.9%
(Respondents: 8,954; Polls Used: ABC News, Fox News, LA Times, Gallup, Newsweek, Battleground)
Based on these results, we can be 99.9997% confident that Bush presently has a lead.
Present Probability that Bush will win the Electoral College: 96.36% (This is the probability that Bush wins FL and IA and WI or OH. Thus, we can be 96.36% confident that Bush would receive a minimum of either 271 EVs or 281 EVs).
Evaluation: Bush looks to be in very strong shape in IA and FL. At this point, his numbers are inching closer and closer to 50%. His numbers in Ohio are coming back to their levels from mid-October. I believe this is due mostly to bad polls replacing good polls and then being replaced in turn by good polls. He still likely retains a lead in WI, but the Mason-Dixon numbers are somewhat unsettling (though they are mitigated by the MN numbers, which in this post are skewed by an outlying survey from St. Cloud State).

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Antique treats   

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It’s not just the hills and head winds reminding me of advancing years as preparations continue for next month’s Great Victorian Bike Ride. This sign on the wall of a long-abandoned milkbar in East Geelong sparked my curiosity yesterday. I can remember when icecream wafers were sixpence (6d) and little icecream cones were threepence (3d) but for the life of me I’ve never heard of a kelvee, either milk or cream. Can any ancients who scan this blog elucidate?
The training is advancing satisfactorily and I’ve been conquering a few of the steeper inclines in these parts. I’ll need to as I understand some of the climbs through the Otways are absolute gut-busters. I’m having a bike-free day today but on Tuesday intend to get the train to Melbourne and ride the 75km home. Should give an idea of stamina status.

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Blood brothers   

Osama bin Laden’s been inspired by fellow steaming pile of human putrecine, Michael Moore.
Moore in Farenheit 9/11: Mr. Bush just sat there, and continued to read “My Pet Goat” with the children.
[the time is measured on a clock in the corner of the screen] Nearly seven minutes passed with nobody doing anything.

Bin Laden in the latest video aired on Al Jazeera: It appeared to him (Bush) that a little girl’s talk about her goat and its butting was more important than the planes and their butting of the skyscrapers

It appears that bin Laden’s contribution has only helped the re-election chances of his arch enemy:
President Bush has opened a six-point lead over John Kerry in the first opinion poll to include sampling taken after the new Osama bin Laden videotape was broadcast on Friday night.
The Newsweek poll published yesterday, only three days before the presidential election, put Mr Bush on 50 per cent and Mr Kerry on 44 per cent. A similar poll conducted a week earlier gave the president 48 per cent to his Democratic challenger’s 46 per cent.

Oh, the delicious irony of it all. Bin Laden parrots Moore’s imbecilic assumptions which leads to Bush holding onto power. Well done, fellas.
Michael Moore lied, Kerry’s chances died!

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Bush to win   30/10/2004

You don’t see too many bookies with the arse out of their daks so I’m inclined to follow the judgement of ticket scribblers.
Centrebet has Bush odds-on at $1.65 to win the presidential election with Kerry paying $2.10.
I know the polls claim it’s too close to call but I’m a sceptic on polls, especially since the Australian election when the majority of pollsters had it much closer than what eventuated.
Media wants it close to generate more media consumption; the pollsters rely on media for their quid so they give the client what it wants.
I’m tipping a significant win for Bush mainly because Kerry is a blatant phoney who must have the worst team of advisers since Elvis’ fitness and diet squad.
If I’m wrong, I’ll take consolation from the fact that Hillary Clinton will never lead the free world and harridan government will be restricted to New Zealand.

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Kerry’s eyebrows singed?   28/10/2004

John Kerry’s big late-campaign bombshell revealing Bush’s “blunder” in allowing hundreds of tonnes of Saddam’s explosives to disappear could well be a fizzer.
The Washington Times and reportedly MSNBC claim that Russian special forces troops moved the explosives and related goods out of Iraq and into Syria in the weeks before the March 2003 U.S. military operation.
John A. Shaw, the deputy undersecretary of defense for international technology security, said in an interview that he believes the Russian troops, working with Iraqi intelligence, “almost certainly” removed the high-explosive material that went missing from the Al-Qaqaa facility, south of Baghdad.
“The Russians brought in, just before the war got started, a whole series of military units,” Mr. Shaw said. “Their main job was to shred all evidence of any of the contractual arrangements they had with the Iraqis. The others were transportation units.”

And if the Russians came across any WMDs — well they’d just hand those over, wouldn’t they? Wouldn’t they?

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Ominous   

Shudder time:

In the last week before the election, ABCNEWS is holding a videotaped message from a purported al Qaeda terrorist warning of a new attack on America, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.
The terrorist claims on tape the next attack will dwarf 9/11. “The streets will run with blood,” and “America will mourn in silence” because they will be unable to count the number of the dead. Further claims: America has brought this on itself for electing George Bush who has made war on Islam by destroying the Taliban and making war on Al Qaeda.
ABCNEWS strongly denies holding the tape back from broadcast over political concerns during the last days of the election.

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Give it up   

Fresh from the Middle East:

Doctors in Ramallah fighting for Arafat’s life

Stop that fighting, quacks.

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Gold medal reporting   

The Australian’s man in the Middle East, Nicolas Rothwell, is doing sterling work. His backgrounder on Sharon’s withdrawal from Gaza brings clarity to a murky, complex situation that too often is portrayed according to the commentator’s ignorance and/or ideology.
With the American elections imminent, the moment for a new chapter in Middle East peacemaking is at hand. An ideal script would see Israel and the Palestinians edging towards some kind of territorial compromise, perhaps one similar in part to the peace deal the Clinton White House thought it had struck between PLO chief Yasser Arafat and the government of Israeli Labour prime minister Ehud Barak. This would pave the way for a Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza — the old dream reborn.
But for this to happen, Arab governments will need to engage with Israel, and Israel’s psychological centre of gravity will need to shift. The atmospherics could hardly be worse.

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Single fault   27/10/2004

The REAL reason why Clijsters and Hewitt separated….
Courtesy of Dave Dawson.

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Grilling   25/10/2004

John Hawkins constructs an interview with Ann Coulter. Warning, it’s splutter coffee over the keyboard stuff. His subject’s short take on several prominents:
- John Kerry: 30 years later he’s still shooting himself in the foot.
- Teresa Heinz Kerry: To be first lady, first you have to be a lady.
- John Edwards: Jury’s still out – expect a huge settlement.
- Max Cleland: At least he earned his medals.
- Dan Rather: A space alien — and I have the Microsoft documents from the fifties that prove it!

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Saddle sore   

Blogging from here will be reduced in the next month while every effort is made to get strong in the leg and weak (weaker) in the head.
In a moment of thorough foolishness or momentous optimism I agreed last week to accompany an old pal and 6000 other pedal pushers on the annual Great Victorian Bike Ride.
Over 10 days cyclists of all description will treadle through western Victoria, over the Otway Ranges and along the Great Ocean Road from the historical former whaling port of Port Fairy to my home city Geelong.
Our first stop-over is the little town of Koroit, centred on a potato growing district with many inhabitants of Irish descent. We’ll be there on a Saturday night so music, laughter and not a few poteens are assured.
The next day we head down to the coast and along the Great Ocean Road to the stunning coastscape around Port Campbell.
Back inland the next day through the undulating lush volcanic plains of southwest Victoria to historic Camperdown.
Tough riding awaits as we head to Colac and then up the Otways to Gellibrand and a walk in the treetops at OtwayFly.
More climbing next day before we plummet to the coast for a welcome overnight and rest day at my favourite Great Ocean Road town, Apollo Bay.
Then it’s along the cliff-hugging section of road to the lighthouse dominated village of Aireys Inlet.
On the penultimate day we pass through Anglesea, Torquay and Barwon Heads for our final night’s camping at Queenscliff.From there it’s only a relatively short pedal along the Bellarine Highway to home.
Daily stages range from 45 kilometres to 102km and feature some formidably steep stretches. As my daily riding limit has been around the 50km mark, I must spend the next month extending my riding capacity.
Experienced Great Bike Riders enthuse about the fun and camaradarie experienced on these rides, so I’m hoping for an enjoyable time. And a lift in fitness.
A few big names will join the ride and I reckon if I get on to this charity fund-raising rider’s back wheel the view should inspire me over the hardest climbs.

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Sucker punch   20/10/2004

Sean Penn’s got the Mr Hankys.

This is how he ended a letter to film-makers Matt Stone and Trey Parker who parodied Penn’s anti-war views in their new movie Team America: World Police.

It’s all well to joke about me or whomever you choose. Not so well, to encourage irresponsibility that will ultimately lead to the disembowelment, mutilation, exploitation, and death of innocent people throughout the world. The vote matters to them. No one’s ignorance, indcluding a couple of hip cross-dressers, is an excuse.
All best, and a sincere fuck you,
Sean Penn.

Stone and Parker thanked Penn for vociferously objecting to the movie because it’s given it the sort of publicity money can’t buy.
Parker says: “There isn’t anything he could have done to help us more. Like, he helped the movie so much. Like, he released this letter and it gets picked up all over.”

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differing stories   19/10/2004

Discrepancies between newsprint reports and the online version usually mean hell is being paid somewhere.
The Australian reported today on its front page that an Australian journalist held captive by Iraqi insurgents for less than 24 hours over the weekend had been released unharmed.
John Martinkus, a veteran freelancer who was compiling a report for SBS’s Dateline program, was seized outside his Baghdad hotel about 5pm on Saturday Australian time (10am Baghdad time).
SBS is a government funded broadcaster, ie taxpayers were footing the bill for Martinkus’ Baghdad exploits.
The paper quoted Martinkus:
“I was well treated . . . I was not hurt and (was) treated with respect once they established my credentials as an independent journalist who did not support the occupation.”
This quote does not appear in The Australian’s online report.
Perhaps a horde of taxpayers pointed out to The Australian that a reporter can hardly claim to be independent if he is barracking for the other side.
The same point should be made to the news director at SBS.
Damien Parer would be spinning in his grave.

UPDATE:
Great judge of character this “journalist”:“These guys … (are) not stupid. They’re fighting a war but they’re not savages. They’re not actually just killing people willy-nilly. They talk to you, they think about things,” Martinkus told reporters at Melbourne airport.
“(From their perspective) there was a reason to kill (British hostage Ken) Bigley, there was a reason to kill the Americans; there was not a reason to kill me — luckily I managed to convince them of that,” he said.

What do you call barbarians who go around cutting innocents’ throats, blowing up kids and raping women if they dare to demand equality, if not savages? Thinkers and rational dispatchers, Martinkus suggests.
Imagine reports he’d make from Berlin, 1943: “Mr Hitler is a deep thinker and from his perspective there is a reason to exterminate the Jewish population, fortunately there was no reason to exterminate me.”
Martinkus would be better to keep his mouth shut and have people only suspect he’s an arsehole. Instead he yaps off and removes any doubt.

UPDATE:
For a tribute to a great mind prepared to dig for the truth in Iraq and Afghanistan, go here.
Completely absent, even now, is any concentrated effort to tell the story of the almighty exertions being expended to rebuild civil society in the still troubled but increasingly hopeful sovereign nations of Iraq and Afghanistan. Not even an end of bulletin ‘feel-good’ segment is devoted to showcasing the improved opportunities, reconstituted schools, modernised infrastructure and heartening work-in-progress that is a liberated nation’s emerging rule of law.

Instead, we have the disgusting Martinkus’ sympathy for barbarians.

UPDATE III:
Foreign Affairs Minister, Alexander Downer just told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell that Martinkus’ statement was the most appalling thing he’d ever heard an Australian say about an Iraq matter.
Andrew Murphy has the final say on the letters page of The Australian today:

JOHN Martinkus claims that his terrorist kidnappers were somehow sophisticated because they decided not to saw his head off as they had done with Ken Bigley. Why do you reckon that is John? Does the term “useful idiot” spring to mind?
Andrew Murphy
Kangaroo Point, Qld

I wonder if the ever-charming Jockman is still defending this journalistic tool.

UPDATE IV:
Arthur Chrenkoff, who probably knows more than any other Australian-based commentator about what’s going on in Iraq, gives Martinkus the backhander he deserves.
By the way, my comments function is not working for me, so I’ll paraphrase the last reply to the pathetic Jockstrap:
I suggested he show some spine and admit he was wrong after I pointed out the times of my post showed I couldn’t have been “parroting” Bolt. It was on many other times that I copied Bolt he was referring too, he claimed. Why on earth would he accuse me of “parroting” Bolt in this post if he wasn’t accusing me of copying his comments about this incident. As to his claim of me copying Bolt’s work on many occasions, I did a check. Bolt’s name appears in one post of mine in the past six months and four times all up. Phillip Adams and Margo Kingston get more of a run. Am I “parroting” them. Joxstrap is a weak little lurker who’s still smarting from the shellacking his beloved socialists copped on October 9 and all he can do is lash out at one and all like an angry brat. And he won’t answer Murph’s question.

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Haunted by his own words   18/10/2004

When the cartoonists don’t have to explain you know a subject has been seared into the public consciousness. Kerry’s gone. And that’s no nuisance. It’s by Michael Ramirez and appeared — surprisingly — in the Left Coast’s favourite read, the LA Times.

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It’s gathering momentum.

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Bastards within   

THIS is downright scary. British intelligence has discovered that Al-Qaeda suspects have infiltrated the UK’s Territorial Army, giving the Islamic terrorist group potential access to military bases, explosives and fuel dumps.
Clearly, Defence’s screening of recruits is not up to the mark. No doubt because of restrictions on personal checks imposed by Labour’s loopy left.
Wonder if the bathtime avoiders at The Guardian have anything to say about this. They’re probably too busy interfering in US elections.

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There goes the Italian vote   

And they reckon George Bush is dumb:

All Italy is abuzzing today about a Kerry gaffe aired last night on HBO in Italy. As reported in today’s Corriere della Sera in Italy, Defense Minister Antonio Martino criticized John Kerry for an incredible remark that the conditions of the Iraqi Army were so bad that even the Italian Army could kick their a**es.

Just asking for a big ole nonna to kick his arse into Noo Joisey where Tony Soprano can finish the job.
Can’t wait to see what the Wog Blogger has to say.

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Damn Yankees   17/10/2004

You won’t see pix like this in The Guardian. Or not too many Australian papers for that matter. Couldn’t have the public seeing what utter bastards the Merrikuns are, could we?
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There’s a lot more here.

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Pommy imperialists   

Nothing gets a lefty frothing at the gob more than “imperialistic” interference in the affairs of another state.
So what do the bath-dodging socialist wankers at The Guardian do? They get a slab of addresses of US voters in a marginal county in Ohio and urge their readers to write to the Americans telling them to get out and vote. The smelly poms at The Guardian hope this will help get rid of Bush.
Dubious reasoning, methinks. I’d imagine an undecided Aussie voter would take most unkindly to some stinking Eurotrash telling him/her how to vote. Pretty sure an American would react the same way. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if this adventure turned some Democrats into Republicans.
Tim Blair’s got all the lines and links on the soap hiders’ nasty little plot. Much fun is being had at the expense of the grubby English trotskyists.

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Why should I take my medication, why?   

After a week of wailing and gnashing of teeth, some luvvies appear to be teetering on the precipice of madness. This from a selection of insane letters in today’s Sunday Age:
Howard the only winner
Come on losers, tell me who won anything? Will Tasmania win when the forests are all gone, and the state is a desert too poisonous to grow anything?
Will the CFMEU accept the pathetic $51 million for retraining and later rue the day they wanted to cut down an international treasure; will they care that they cosied up to the man who took us into an illegal massacre – or don’t Iraqi children count as much as a mortgage to you racist losers?
Will students think they have won when they have to pay $200,000 for a degree and be in debt for 40 years?
Did the elderly win with their pittance of $100 for the power bill? Can they get their teeth or dentures fixed or find a hospital bed without having to pay afortune for private care?
Do children really win when both parents have to work 100 hours a week to pay the mortgage? What if the last childcare workers are the pedophiles?
What about Aborigines, or don’t they matter when compared with a mortgage?
John Howard won; everyone else has lost: our institutions, our independence, our services, our environment.
Our media is now so spineless they censor stories that are inconvenient; allow publication of unsubstantiated lies; and never apologise, never follow up. Are you all so pathetically blinded to what you call Howard’s cleverness, or are you all just stupid?
With the murders of thousands of Iraqis brushed aside, the torture of children judged legal, the death of international law, we really are now the white trash of the Pacific.
Now, again, who won the election?
MARILYN SHEPHERD, Kew, SA

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Elvis rocks   16/10/2004

You little ripper!!! Elvstroem aka Elvis has led all the way to win the Caulfield Cup with 10 of my hard-earned riding him. Ka-ching, that’ll be $37, thank you. Last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Makybe Diva was just pipped for second and should now become firm favourite for back-to-back Cups. Oh, and Ka-ching, that’s another $28.70 for the quinella. I’m off to the pub-TAB to collect. Drink, anyone?

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