Bread for circuses   30/4/2005

Melbourne has the MCG, Telstra Dome, Melbourne Stadium, Laver Arena and Olympic Park (the last done up a few years ago at a cost of millions to taxpayers so a few thousand fans could watch Melbourne Storm rugby league games).
So the festering Bracks Government, justifiably under fire for taking the Feds GST money while retaining its own myriad state taxes, has announced it will build a $100m stadium — seating a miserly 20,000 spectators — for league and soccer games.
Fantastic! a $100m facility to house Greek v Macedonian riots. A great asset for the people of say, Ballarat, Geelong, Mildura and Warrnambool.
Reckon it might be a big thankayou for all those ethnic branch stacks over the years?
Of course, much of the funding for this monument to rotten government will come from the newly increased tax on poker machines. And who’ll pay for that? Oh, just the poor suckers in the underclass suburbs and regions who are addicted to the infernal thieving contraptions. You know, the people who when they had jobs were working class and voted Labor. They still vote Labor but you can bet your boots they won’t have the readies to attend league and soccer matches in Bracks Stadium.
I guess with an emerging dumbed-down generation, courtesy of modern Labor education policies, it’s a stretch to expect the majority of Victorians to imagine life without so many unnecessary government handouts and promises.
We can only hope a few with powers of persuasion can convince their contempories that anyone can do a lot more with money in their own pockets instead of giving it unnecessarily to self-serving arseholes in government.
Failing that realisation, one can only hope that Federal Treasurer Costello — well and truly pissed off at Howard’s announcement he’s not stepping down — will vent his spleen on Premier Tax and turn off the GST tap until unnecessary state taxes are removed.

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Things got done   

Andrew Bolt concedes that Joh was an old crook. But Bolt reminds us that Joh came from a generation of “can-do” premiers. These individualists, drawn from the Greatest Generation, stood a world apart from the tax-clutching, simpering, spin-doctoring, do-nothing dreaders of the “inappropriate” that hold state power now.
It’s like wishing you were in a nightmare when the TV news comes on and you are reminded that that dumbest of Ballarat-graduate school teachers, Steve Bracks, is premier of your state.
Bolta:
The old breed built us power stations and dams. The new is too feeble, too hamstrung by restrictions, too henpecked by gotcha journalists, too harassed by activists or too enthralled by green mysticism and the fate of the orange-bellied parrot to dare do the same.
Result: every mainland state is running short of electricity or water, or — in the case of Victoria and Queensland, both.

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Dworkin the dork   

In a eulogy to grizzling old hag, Andrea Dworkin, angry yapster Helen Razor has gone into bat for a threatened species: Ugly, humourless, 70s-style feminists.

If one uses pop culture as an index, it seems that today’s Miss likes to collect disposable men, durable money and shoes of unreasonable value. The popular post-modern Mademoiselle is petty, phobic and sustained only by her connection to other shallow and hung-up women. The new sisterhood is one entirely staffed by petty princesses with credit.

Who do you reckon missed out on an invitation to somewhere?

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One owner, infallible performance   

Driven by a little old man who used it only to go to church er, every day.
ROME (Reuters) – A second hand car once said to be registered in the name of Joseph Kardinal Ratzinger — the new Pope Benedict – is up for sale on eBay and the sky seems to be the limit when it comes to bidding.

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Cheeershh, Einstein   

Bewdy! I’m gonna go out tonight and get shitfa . . . er, smart.
Drinking alcohol boosts the growth of new nerve cells in the brain, research suggests.

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Vote early, vote often   

Over at Free Republic they’re collecting votes for the Faux News Awards.
The nominating criteria was: “A news reporter, editor, commentator, producer, executive or organization who has lied, fabricated, tried to dupe the public or stretched the truth so far that the truth is unrecognizable and called it news.”
There will be ten winners announced. The nine also-rans will be awarded a framed Sixty Minutes faux Bush National Guard document. The first place winner will be awarded the Buckhead, a hand sculpted statue commemorating the bodgy document.
The nominees range from CBS with its 1973 Word document to the Associated Press and Reuters for rushing to publish without verification a propaganda hoax complete with photo that an American soldier had been taken prisoner in Iraq. The ‘soldier’ turned out to be a toy doll.

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They’re off!!   

Saturday’s rolled around again and that means one thing — the neddies.
A careful browse of the form guide suggests that master trainer Lee Freedman has a good thing going in the So Called Handicap today (R7) at Sandown Park — Hillside.
Reef Beach won two starts back on this track and has a handy 3kg claim on the weights.
I’m having $10 each way if it’s paying more than $2 for the place. If not, I’ll plonk the lot on the nose.
Tipster Chas is going for an early winner with King’s Champ no 6, 2 units each way at Sandown in race 1 (12.20pm) .
Chas has a corker of a puzzler for today.
For its first 13 runnings (1956 – 1968) the STC Golden Slipper Stakes was almost entirely won by New South Wales two year olds. The two exceptions were both South Australians: Pago Pago in 1963, whose meteoric racing career was confined to two year old events (he retired unbeaten after the Golden Slipper), and Bart Cummings’ outstanding filly Storm Queen, in 1968.
A series of Victorian two year olds such as Star of Heaven and Munich made the journey to Rosehill with inflated reputations, and returned with those reputations shot to pieces. This all changed in 1969, when Vain was sent out at good odds of 9/2 (mainly because he was a Victorian), and recorded one of the most extraordinary wins in Slipper history.
Even the NSW crowds could see he was an outstanding champion. It was thought that the AJC Sires’ Produce Stakes would be a near-walkover, but Vain, starting this time at 6/1 on, was beaten by Beau Babylon, a 33/1 bolter. The crowd was stunned, and it was one of only two times in his career that Vain did not win: he eventually retired with a record of 14 starts, 12 wins, and 2 seconds.
It was one of the biggest boilovers in Australian racing history, and
yet on that same April afternoon an equally unexpected sporting
occurrence (not racing) took place in Australia. If a punter with second sight had asked a bookie to quote on the double “Vain to lose, and ….”, even the most tight-fisted bookmaker might have offered ten thousand to
one.
What was the OTHER boilover that took place on that memorable day?

Last week’s answers:

Second in the Caulfield Cup, W.S. Cox Plate, and Melbourne Cup: Igloo (1971) Second in the Caulfield Cup, Moonee Valley Cup, and Melbourne Cup: Ziema (1965)
Ziema was beaten by less than a centimetre in the Melbourne Cup, by Light Fingers. It would have been heart-breaking for the South
Australian couple who owned him (the photo took ages, as they sometimes did in those days). Owners rarely get a second chance at that level, but in this case the couple had a quite promising three year old called Galilee spelling in a paddock back home.

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Changing times   29/4/2005

When young and naive, like many of my generation, I was a passionate leftie. Yeah, the rich should pay, the gummint should provide everything and the US was home to Satan on earth. And the touchstone for us commo-favouring baby boomers was the Vietnam War. After all, it was all about the noble peasants rising against their corrupt warlords and the running dogs of US imperialism. It was, wasn’t it? Wasn’t it?
Um, perhaps it wasn’t, as this incisive piece by Quynh Dao explains on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the fall of Saigonon.

At the time Greene wrote, thousands of people in the north were slaughtered in the so-called land-reform campaign initiated by Ho Chi Minh under the directives of Chinese advisers. Greene was happy to ignore that campaign.
Noam Chomsky, the leading anti-war intellectual, vowed “to speak the truth and to expose lies” as a reason for his pro-Vietnamese communist stand. As he made this passionate avowal, North Vietnamese poet Nguyen Chi Thien was imprisoned for doing just that, writing the truth about the communists. Nguyen was imprisoned for 27 years.

Oh well, we’re all entitled to be young and foolish. As long as the latter characteristic changes with the former.

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Judicial jokes   

Some learned friends in blogdom have bagged my ongoing hostility towards bottom-feeding lawyers and my tongue-in-cheek contention that the law schools should be closed down for 10 years and lawyers banned from entering parliament.

If you don’t believe that many in the litigation racket are completely out of touch with community values consider that those responsible for these sentences were once lawyers.
I rest my case.

A FORMER police prosecutor-turned top barrister who killed a cyclist with his car and fled the scene after a lunch in the Barossa Valley escaped with a $3100 fine yesterday.

A driver who rammed a speed camera car when he realised he had been snapped speeding was today given a one-year jail term.

A SCHOOLGIRL who punched her baby to death minutes after she secretly gave birth in her bedroom has avoided a jail sentence.

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Shock, horror!!   27/4/2005

Good Lord! A US newspaper has sacked two journalists for . . . drinking!!!

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Legal dreaming   26/4/2005

Now, if we could just get something like this Bill up in Australia with the aim of forcing individuals to take responsibility for their own actions. And to re-establish “Enter at own risk” as a defence in law.
Of course for this to happen politicians would have to upset their mates in the most protected and corrupt union in the nation — the legal fraternity.
Ain’t gonna happen.

The US House of Representatives has voted 276-139 for a bill that would prevent lawsuits against the food industry for making people fat.
The so-called Cheeseburger Bill bans frivolous lawsuits against producers and sellers of food and non-alcoholic drinks arising from obesity claims.

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Celebs site   25/4/2005

This will be interesting. Stove-dancing political commentator Arianna Huffington plans a group blog featuring the thoughts of various, mainly lefty, celebrity commentators.
Among those signed up to contribute are Walter Cronkite, David Mamet, Nora Ephron, Warren Beatty, James Fallows, Vernon E. Jordan Jr., Maggie Gyllenhaal, Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., Diane Keaton, Norman Mailer and Mortimer B. Zuckerman.

UPDATE:
Here’s a sample of what we can expect from one of the moonbats on Huffington’s guest list:
Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, star of a new flick about the aftermath of 9/11, believes the United States “is responsible in some way” for the devastating terror attacks.

Commenting will resemble shooting fish in a barrel.

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Heroes Day   

Anzac Day is shaping as a far more important occasion for emerging generations than Australia Day. That’s probably got something to do with lefty educators brainwashing them with “invasion day” tripe.
As I usually do this time of year, on Friday I had the honour of lunching with remnants of the 2/14th Battalion, who fought heroically in the Middle East before coming home to take up the campaign against invading Japanese in 1942. (Thanks to Richard McEnroe for the link).
Fantastic fellas, all in their 80s and 90s now, they’re more comfortable bulldusting about their off-duty pranks than discussing their courage and skill under fierce, numerically superior firepower.
What concerns me is that Australia will wait, like we have with the original Anzacs, until these grand old soldiers have faded away before we make their story common currency.
We should do everything we can in the next decade to have the Battle for Australia as well-known to following generations as the tragedy at Gallipoli. And if you ever come across an ex-Kokoda Digger, ask him about it. It’s a wonderful story that includes lambs to the slaughter (the 39th Battalion); the just-in-time arrival of the cavalry (the 2/14th relief of the 39th); utter guts and determination (39th survivors’ willingness to fight on with the 2/14th); brilliant fighting strategy (outnumbered 5/1, the Australians over-extended the Japanese supply line with a fighting strategic withdrawal back along the track, before hounding them back to the north coast); and typical Aussie contempt for incompetent authority (the Diggers’ eternal detestation of lickspittle General Blamey who accused them of “running like rabbits”.
Buggered if I know why someone hasn’t made a movie of it yet.
Yes, I’m biased. The old man, who used a bodgy name to sign up when he was 17, is a 2/14th veteran and the bond these blokes share transcends the generations.
Several 2/14 veterans spoke to Hawthorn AFL footballers earlier this year before the Hawks embarked on their “team bonding” exercise on the Kokoda Track.
The old Diggers were delighted with the respect and attention they received from young guys who can sometimes let egos eclipse more serious matters.
George Woodward, a lifelong St Kilda supporter, was most impressed that former Saint and erstwhile football lair Peter Everitt was one thoroughly interested in what the young Diggers endured 63 years ago.

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Courage   24/4/2005

Perhaps this might change some minds.

TRAUNSTEIN, Germany — Blinds drawn, windows closed, Joseph Ratzinger huddled with his father and older brother around a radio and listened to Allied radio broadcasts, volume on low.
It was a small and risky act of defiance in this conservative Bavarian village deep inside Adolf Hitler’s Germany. But the father wanted his sons to know the truth about the Nazis and World War II, says Georg Ratzinger, who like his brother drew strength from the Catholic Church.

But then some minds are so warped you’d never get a straight thought from them again.

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Standard dropped   23/4/2005

Seems senility has crept into the Senior Service.
The Sun reports that the Royal Navy has banned 12 warships from flying the English flag to commemorate St George’s Day today in case it upsets the Turks.
Fortunately, one of the few prominent Poms of recent decades to show any guts has gone into bat for the national standard.
Cricket legend Ian “Beefy” Botham took a petition to 10 Downing Street calling for St George’s Day to be a national holiday.
Half a million people had signed their names to the plea.
Botham said: “Why shouldn’t it be a national holiday? Our heritage is being eroded.
“Large numbers of people do not know anything about St George and yet we see the flag raised at cricket and football grounds.
“My message is people should be proud to be English, supporting the patron saint and English products.”

UPDATE:
Is it any wonder British authorities are acting deranged? The nation’s academics have gone loony.
A leading union voted yesterday to boycott two Israeli universities which it accused of being complicit in the abuse of Palestinians in the occupied territories.
The Association of University Teachers voted to sever links with Haifa and Bar-Ilan universities, and said it would consider boycotting a third.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews called the vote “blinkered, irresponsible and dangerous”.

And anti-semitic?

Last night the deputy Israeli ambassador in London, Zvi Ravner, told the Guardian that he was amazed and disturbed by the AUT’s decision.
“Are they really intending to boycott the Palestinians and the Israeli Arabs who study and work in these institutions, or are they really calling for a boycott of Jews?” he asked.
“The last time that Jews were boycotted in universities was in 1930s Germany.”

UPDATE:
AUT members have given an understandable response:
The decision by Britain’s 40,000 member Association of University Teachers (AUT) to boycott two Israeli universities on Friday has ignited scathing condemnation from Jewish communities worldwide and has prompted the immediate resignation of Jewish academics from the AUT.

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Monster   

This guy makes Jim Jones, Charles Manson and Jack the Ripper look like sane, balanced individuals.
Marcus Wesson, 58, stands accused of killing nine of his children, including seven he sired with his own daughters and nieces. He is also charged with molestation and rape. The murder victims, ranging in age from 1 to 25, were discovered in the family’s home March 12, 2004, after a standoff with police over a custody issue. Each had been shot once through the eye and piled in a back bedroom ringed with antique coffins.

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Wanted: Beverley Hills hovel   

Does a bear shit in the woods? Of course.
In fact about the only thing more certain is the stupidity of most Hollywood celebrities.
Such as Drew Barrymore who took a dump in the forest and rated it an “awesome” experience.
And she’s got her fellow idiot mummer, Cameron Diaz, jealous.
CNSNews.com reports that a new MTV series features Hollywood celebrities praising the developing world’s primitive lifestyles as earth-friendly — despite those poor nations’ high infant mortality rates and short life expectancies.
The eco-tourism show, called “Trippin’,” premiered on March 28 and was heavily promoted in the runup to Earth Day. The show encourages environmental awareness and lauds traditional tribal lifestyles, which lack running water, electricity and other basic infrastructure.
The MTV series features Diaz and a rotating crew of “her close, personal friends [who] think globally and act globally.” They tour developing nations, including Nepal, Bhutan, Tanzania, Honduras and visit remote villages in Chile.
Barrymore, who reportedly earns $15 million a film, told MTV viewers in one episode that after spending time in a primitive, electricity-free Chilean village, “I aspire to be like them more.”
Barrymore, apparently enthralled by the lack of a modern sanitary facilities, gleefully bragged, “I took a poo in the woods hunched over like an animal. It was awesome.”
The 32-year-old Diaz, who earns a reported $20-million a movie, boasted that the cow-dung slathered walls of a Nepalese village hut were “beautiful” and “inspiring,” and she called the primitive practice of “pounding mud” with sticks to construct a building foundation “the coolest thing.”
Diaz also criticized the lifestyles of many Americans after visiting an indigenous village in Chile. “It’s kinda gotten out of hand how much convenience we think we need,” she said.
She’s also looking forward to a crap under the trees.
“I am so jealous right now, I am going — I am going to the woods tomorrow,” Diaz said.

Come on, they’re sending themselves up aren’t they? Aren’t they?

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Equine advice   

Tipster Chas is in form and he’s got a doozy of a racing poser this week. I might have the time in the days ahead to come up with the correct answer. On the other hand I’d be delighted if a reader could beat me to the solution.
Here’s Chas:
A win at last! It was a great relief. With the election of B16 (modern SMS shorthand) there must have been a lot of excitement in the racing community this week; turf people in Britain and its dominions being predominately of Roman Catholic background. Nevertheless, the ABC are horrified that the Vatican appear to have elected a Catholic as its new pope. There’s just no pleasing some people.
Last week’s answer: Battle Heights (1974). It was a closely-packed field on the turn, but his acceleration in the straight was awesome. Even Bernborough would have applauded.
To win the Cups Double and the Cox Plate is the mark of a mighty
galloper…Rising Fast (1954) is the only horse to have won the treble in the same spring, and the only other horse to have done it at all was Might and Power (1997 – 98), who won the Cox Plate a year after winning the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.
But a few inches – or a few lengths – can make a tragic difference in horse racing history.
Who was the only horse to run SECOND in all three – and all in the same spring as well?
I might as well throw in a corollary question: when I started going to the races the Moonee Valley Cup was worth more than the Cox Plate. It was a much older race than the WFA event, and the Cox Plate only gained its super-high prize money status in the 1970s.
Who was the only horse to run SECOND in all three Melbourne spring cups – and again, all in the same spring?
It was only a few days ago that the Titanic sank – this was in 1912 of course. It was a dreadful tragedy, as shocking in its day as the attack on the New York World Centre. So I’m going for Titanic Jack this week – Caulfield, R6 3.20pm No 1 one unit each way.

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Haters grasp at straws   20/4/2005

The hating class looks more and more demented as it desperately searches for issues to belt the Federal Government about the head with.
Last week, they were trying to make Alexander Downer somehow responsible for pedophile attacks on a couple of Australian kids in Bali hotels.
Yesterday civil libertarian dingbats accused the government of “exporting capital punishment” for allowing the Indonesian government to exercise its rights and responsibilities by arresting nine Australians for smuggling heroin on Indonesian soil.
This morning talkback blowhard Neil Mitchell was bashing the Feds because a road at Gallipoli built by the Turkish government was not up to Australian standards.
But for desperation in the blame game, not to mention offensive patronisation of the vast majority of Australian families, it’s hard to toss Catholic Welfare Australian CEO Frank Quinlan who claims the Feds’ $3000 “baby bonus” is causing domestic violence.

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Tickets please   18/4/2005

The Wog Blogger recently listed 14 favourite Australian movies. I agree wholeheartedly with the inclusion of Malcolm, a delightful story about a simple young bloke with an obsession about Melbourne trams.
Over the weekend life aped art and a 15-year-old Melbourne kid was charged with stealing a tram.
He was arrested in Hawthorn last night after allegedly stealing the new low-floor Citadis tram from its depot in Southbank and driving it for up to 30 kilometres. Along the way he picked up passengers and even got out and used a pole device for moving the power connectors so he could change routes.

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