Wretched and hungry   25/11/2004

It’s so cruel. But jeez, it’s fun ain’t it?
The re-election of President Bush is prompting the exodus among Left leaning citizens who fear they’ll soon be required to hunt, pray and agree with Bill O’ Reilly.
Canadian border farmers say its not uncommon to see dozens of sociology professors, animal rights activists and Unitarians crossing their fields at night.
I went out to milk the cows the other day, and there was a Hollywood producer huddled in the barn,” said Manitoba farmer Red Greenfield, whose acreage borders North Dakota. The producer was cold, exhausted and hungry. He asked me if I could spare a latte and some free-range chicken.

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More firepower uncovered   

Wonder if this will make the nightly news services?
Mass weapons of destruction have been discovered in Fallujah, according to US-unfriendly agency, Reuters.
NEAR FALLUJA, Iraq (Reuters) – Arab militants and insurgents who ruled the volatile city of Falluja before a U.S.-led offensive this month had enough weapons to take over all of Iraq, Marine officers said on Wednesday.
“We found enough weapons in Falluja for the insurgency to take over the whole country,” Lieutenant Colonel Dan Wilson told a news conference at a U.S. base near the western city.

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Wait, there’s more   23/11/2004

Maybe this haul wouldn’t cause mass destruction, but it would make a bloody big hole in the ground.
During their patrol, Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 8th Field Artillery Regiment discovered huge stockpiles of weapons and munitions, including: an anti-aircraft gun, 15,000 anti-aircraft rounds, 4,600 hand grenades, 144 VOG-17M anti-personnel grenade launchers, 25 SA-7 surface-to-air missiles, 44 SA-7 battery packs, 20 guided missile packs, 21 120mm mortar rounds, two 120mm mortar tubes, 10 122mm rockets, six 152mm artillery rounds and two 57mm artillery rounds.
Soldiers also discovered a building full of explosive-making materials. The three-acre site is secure and still under investigation with more weapons and munitions discoveries expected, Task Force Olympia officials said.

Wonder if this will be all over the news services tonight?

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Four sleeps to odyssey (or agony)   

Blogging is light this week during the countdown to the Great Victorian Bike Ride. Having a rest day today but have been averaging 60km training rides most days over the past week. The main physical difficulty is a numbing of the fingers and toes after about 40km. My circulation has never exactly pumped — an inherent trait — so I’m keen for any advice to improve the situation. GVBR veterans say it’s much easier riding in a group than training solo and that’s a relief. Packing for the ride is a challenge. Each participant is restricted to 20km of baggage including tent, sleeping bag, mattress, eating utensils and clothing, so there won’t be too many wardrobe changes.
Off now to pick up odds and ends for the backpack. Any tips on easing the riding experience or lightening the load greatly appreciated.

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Child abusers   18/11/2004

Are British education bureaucrats — whose influence extends to our marxist teacher teachers — stupid, evil or just looking after themselves?
Look at their latest effort to ensure the next generation of young Poms will be the worst educated yet.

The science that all pupils study from the age of 14 is to focus more on “lifestyles”, general knowledge and opinion and less on chemistry, biology and physics, says the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.

It would seem the educationalists believe that structured science courses are a throwback to dead white male pedagogery and junk science to physical truth is just relative. The widespread acceptance of the thoroughly unproven manmade global warming theory suggests this approach is well-entrenched already.
You have to wonder whether the marxist education policy makers are determined to create a dumb, lumpen proletariat class that will rise in anger at a state that failed to equip them with the basics of learning?
Or are they just selfish bastards who don’t want an intellectually superior (and that wouldn’t be hard to achieve) emerging generation to throw them from cosy sinecures in government and academia?
Whatever, Britain’s leaders must act quickly and decisively if they want to retain an enlightened population.
And Australia’s leaders must ensure that these nihilist pommy bastards have no more influence whatsoever on the education of our young. If it means wholesale sacking in government and universities so be it.
The dumbing down has to stop.

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Terror suspect   

This is a bit of a worry.
A Melbourne man accused of travelling overseas to receive funds from the al-Qaeda terrorist network has been charged with terrorism offences.
Australian Federal Police (AFP) arrested the 31-year-old today at his home in Werribee, in Melbourne’s south-west, seizing documents and computer equipment.

Werribee is about 30km north of here, too close for my liking.

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Real punting   17/11/2004

Throwing all your resources into a hole in the ground in pretty much Godforsaken country is my idea of a gamble. So I sympathise with the risk-takers of Coober Pedy who met recently to oppose nanny state-controlled gambling.
From my favourite news outlet between Pt Augusta and Alice Springs.
Cr Boro Rapaic, a self-confessed former gambler years ago when opal was plentiful, said that he wanted to rid Coober Pedy of poker machines. He said that in the old days the money won in local (illegal) card games was recirculated in the town, but revenue from poker machines went out of the town. He said that no committees of local clubs allowed poker machines to be placed in their clubrooms.

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Where’s Dad and the sheep?   

Oh, those Kiwis and their pets, they’re unstoppable.
Kura “Kat” Tumanako said she started breastfeeding the pup after her own baby stopped taking her milk. Her nipples were too big for the baby and she had to pour her milk away.

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Rationale   

Finally, some lateral thinking associated with climate change.
The recent surge in levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, which made front-page headlines around the world last month, may have been caused in part by smouldering peat bogs in Borneo.
This is the claim of a UK expert on the bogs, who says that further fires will accelerate global warming. “Burning peat could be a major contributor to the as yet unexplained accelerating build-up of CO2 in the atmosphere since 1998,” says Jack Rieley of the University of Nottingham in the UK. His warning comes as peat bogs in Indonesia began burning again last month.

Then there’s volcanic activity, earthquakes, forest fires and the urban heat shield expansion. But they’re not as sexy as evil, capitalist polluters, are they? Who incidentally aren’t as heavy polluters as the commo Chinese who aren’t expected to decrease emissions. Strange world.

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Religious sensitivity   

You know how those who oppose the war on terror and lean to the left like you to think they are the intelligent people, you know, the intellectually superior types. They’re always writing knowledgeable letters to the paper and giving you the benefit of their opinion even if by doing so they reveal they are utter dills. People like Patty Sommer who wrote to the Wisconsin State Journal (courtesy James Taranto), thus removing any doubt she was a fully paid-up member of Moorons Inc.

Your front-page photo of the soldier with the rosary hanging off his or her gun shocked and appalled me. I have been against the war in Iraq from the get-go, but I don’t think anyone in this country has ever tried to justify it on religious grounds. The image just gives fodder to those who would characterize this war as another Christian crusade against Muslims.
While I hesitate to criticize our troops, that soldier should not have displayed a religious symbol on his or her weapon. Certainly his or her commanding officer should not have allowed it. Absolutely, the Wisconsin State Journal should not have published it. As an American, I am disgusted. As a Catholic, I am outraged and offended. My religion has nothing to do with President Bush’s war.

Consider the arrogant stupidity of that last sentence.

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Wild ride   

I put in about 60km yesterday in preparation for the Great Victorian Bike Ride which is less than a fortnight away. It’s getting easier and with a change of mountain bike tyres from knobbies to slicks the riding should become even less of a trial. Peripatetic pedalling took me to wildlife sanctuary Serendip at Lara where excellent work is done exhibiting and breeding up stocks of threatened native bird species.
Recent heavy rains have freshened up lagoons and water courses and springtime avian activity was pretty intense.

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This little camouflage expert is the bush thick-knee or curlew. It’s quite visible in the noonday sun, but come back when it’s shady and you wouldn’t notice him.

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Here’s the great Australian bustard. When he gets randy he fluffs up around the throat like he’s wearing a feather boa and makes a horrible noise. Comes across as a right silly bustard, in fact.

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Gets the yolk   15/11/2004

Hoodathunkit? Old Snakehead has a sense of humour and a degree of self-deprecation after all.

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Carville cracks an egg on his forehead overnight on Meet the Press to demonstrate he’s got egg on his face after his projection of the outcome of the U.S. presidential election was wrong.

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Crazy brave   

Here’s one Arab woman on a suicide mission who didn’t intend taking victims with her.
JEDDAH, 15 November 2004 — Police in Bahrain arrested a woman on Friday for disguising herself as a man and trying to deliver the Friday sermon at one of the largest mosques in the island state, Asharq Al-Awsat reported yesterday. “The 40-year-old woman, who had put on an artificial beard and mustache and was wearing full male dress, took her place in the first row of the mosque packed with 7,000 worshippers, and intended to deliver the sermon before the prayer,” the paper said quoting Sheikh Adnan Al-Qattan, the mosque’s imam.

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Slatts introducing Slatz   

My brother, Peter, has the best gig in the Pacific pond. He’s the house boy, mum-raj, domestic engineer and tropical Lileks all rolled into one on glorious Tonga. His lovely spouse has been posted there with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and he has the onerous task of caring for their tot, supervising the servants and guarding the banana crop. His demanding regimen permits him just enough time to service a blog loaded with pictures from their new island home. Please add him to the blogroll. It’ll keep him interested and we’ll get lots of little niece pictures.

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Yes, it happens   14/11/2004

By any stretch, this is NEWS!!

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Pot. Kettle. Black.   

Here’s some fighting words on bloggers’ US election coverage:
”One of the verdicts rendered by election night 2004 is that, given their lack of expertise, standards and, yes, humility, the chances of the bloggers replacing mainstream journalism are about as good as the parasite replacing the dog it fastens on.”
Hmmm, it’s the opinion of a hack who once worked for that paragon of truthful, accurate reporting, CBS. You know, CBS, the network that bases ultra-damaging political claims on documents produced in 1972. Documents produced with Microsoft Word, fer gawdzakes.
His name is Eric Engberg and his journalistic bias prompted Bernard Goldberg’s stunning expose, ”Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News.”
Noel Shepherd paints the picture:
To refresh everybody’s memory, in February of 1996, Mr. Engberg was interviewing Steve Forbes on a CBS Evening News segment called, ”Reality Check.” Mr. Forbes at the time was running for president, and advocating a flat tax. In an apparent effort to discredit Mr. Forbes, Mr. Engberg used extraordinarily inflammatory words like ”wacky,” ”scheme,” and ”elixir” to describe the candidate’s fiscal plan. Additionally, Mr. Engberg had cut-ins of three different liberal economists’ opinions of this tax proposal without the balance of a conservative viewpoint while– apparently counter to the edicts of his bosses–never identifying their political leanings.

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They’re so vain   

There’s a dreadful sickness abroad and Bill Dunn has identified the carriers.
It’s the “Look at Me” Generation.
People today are not only self-centered and vain, but they now insist that everyone else must pay attention. There were no “reality” programs on TV back in the ’70s. If you made a fool of yourself back then, you hid and hoped no one saw you.
Nowadays, people eat bugs, get stranded in the jungle, sing off-key, and endure Donald Trump’s insults in front of millions of television viewers. And they do it willingly! They want people to see them do that stuff.

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Hello cockie!   

A Sydney bloke has brought a ring of authenticity to the term budgie smugglers for describing jockettes or brief swimming togs.
He has been charged after allegedly trying to smuggle parrot eggs out of Australia in his underpants.
The 50-year-old man, from Lurnea in Sydney’s south, was about to board a flight to Zurich on Friday when he was detained by Customs Service officers at Sydney Airport for a search.
Officers allegedly found 23 eggs hidden in his underpants.

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Young rationals   

This poll by the Australian Democrats of young Australians’ attitude to national issue will disappoint already despondent ageing baby boomer radicals. The survey found that 58 per cent of 15-20 year olds supported mandatory detention and that support for a republic had dropped from 69 per cent in 2001 to 58 per cent. Of the latter, 75 per cent favoured direct election of a president.

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Mates rates   13/11/2004

State Labor government have been awash with funds since the feds introduced the Goods and Services Tax. Yet hospitals are failing, roadworks have to be funded by tolls, power interruptions are regular in some states and the NSW rail system is in crisis.
So where’s the money gone? As I pointed out some time ago, much of it to the state governments’ mates in the public service unions.
Coppers, nurses, teachers and other shiney arses regularly get rises that amount to more than 5 per cent p.a. Yet wage slaves in the private sector are doing well if they can achieve a three per cent annual increment.
It’s a situation that can’t continue indefinitely and it appears the chickens have finally come home to roost.

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