Busy times   26/9/2005

Apologies to racing and trivia buffs who flock here in droves of a Saturday to tap into Charles Murton’s neddy tips and puzzlers. I was a bit occupied on Saturday morning and missed Charles emailed tips by just a few minutes. For the better really, although the selection, Cross Bar, ran a place for a 10c return on the dollar and that’s a tough way to make a living.
Charles provides answers for last week’s presidential poser:
The answers to the presidential quiz have all been given. There will be
another one for the Christmas issue of Slatts News. Congratulations to CB,
Bernie and Thersites.
I thought Gerald Ford would be easy: he was the most recent president never
to be elected, and the most distant from election. The others, after all,
were vice presidents, but Ford was not even that. He became vice president on the resignation of Spiro Agnew, and then president after the press bullied
and hounded Richard Nixon into resigning.
Suddenly the president was a man who Lyndon Johnson had described as being incapable of farting and chewing gum at the same time. Gerald Ford did try to get elected, but was beaten by Carter, in one of the worst, and one of the
most far-reaching, mistakes that the American voters have ever made.
This week.things are so bad that the Swans have become the ‘Melbourne team.’
Funny how the hypocrites at the AFL destroyed the old South Melbourne (even their home ground has been wiped off the face of the earth), and now those same hypocrites are trying to promote the ‘Sydney Swans’ as a club which hasn’t won the premiership since 1933.
In the 1990s the Western Bulldogs played in a preliminary final against
Adelaide. Charlie Sutton, the great Footscray premiership captain-coach, was
interviewed after the game. Despite the incessant promptings of the AFL
zombie conducting the interview, Charlie insisted on referring to the two
teams as ‘Footscray’ and ‘the other mob.’
It was probably the greatest VFL interview in AFL history, and a moment to be treasured.
This week’s questions:
1) What was Ron Clegg’s day job?
2) Who was captain-coach of the 1933 premiership side, and from where
was he recruited?
3) Who is the only VFL coach with a perfect premiership coaching record,
i.e. for every season that he coached, his team won the VFL premiership?
I know most of the players’ numbers (Slatts News September 10) but am still
tracing a few. Anybody care to contribute?

Finally: South Melbourne to win. WCE looked arrogant during the procession
yesterday, and you should never go into a grand final thinking that you are
going to win.
And it would be a great moment for Roosy.

UPDATE:
Yes, the Swans did win, in a thriller. I’m keen to blog about the game and another AFL issue, but don’t have the time. I’m off to the hospital in a few minutes to have a cataract removed. Not sure what the post-op restrictions on eye use are but hopefully I’ll be readin and writin with less strain from now on.

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Kids on the block   24/9/2005

A colleague who lives in the nearby coastal town of Jan Juc tells how neighbourhood traffic was slowed on Thursday by a couple of brothers taking over the street to hit tennis balls back and forth. No big deal, for most of their young lives they’ve hit the street to belt cricket balls, kick the footy or ride skateboards. It’s just that neighbours get to witness a superior form of child’s play when the bros are this fella and his yunka.
Here’s some background on an ordinary mob capable of extraordinary feats.
Reassuring, isn’t it? Greg “Somerset” Baum lives up to his nickname.
Of course, there’s another of the famous clan going around for Sydney today in the Grand Final. And in the absence of tipster Charles’ weekly selection thus far, I’m having a sports bet on Luke Ablett for the Norm Smith Medal for best on the ground in the big match.
With no Victorian teams contesting the game, I’m going for the former South Melbourne (Sydney) to take out the premiership. For no other reason than this bloke’s refreshing approach.
Confronted recently at the saltmine with eight pages of profiles, stats, blindingly complicated graphics and pretentious analysis complete with Lord of the Rings metaphor (good one, Gerard Whately) all dedicated to a couple of football matches, I was tempted to run from the building screaming “Fewgawdsakes, it’s only 36 blokes chasing a pigskin around a paddock and despite the opinion of some over-quoted Pommie soccer obsessive, it is not a matter more important than life or death”.
Then I read about Paul Roos’ attitude to the game:
Not like his coaches, who would wake up after two decades in the job to find their children had grown up, their wife was leading a separate life and they did not know the name of the family dog, needed it. Roos polled his family before taking the job and routinely delegates tasks to one of his assistants so he can play with his sons Dylan, 11, and Tyler, 9.
Roos does not need it in that gnawing, obsessive way that turns reasonable men into snarling lunatics. He does have a breaking point. Last year, after a defeat by West Coast, Roos gave his players a fearsome spray. Then, guilt-ridden, he called the group together on Monday to explain what he was trying to say. Ron Barassi would rather have eaten crushed glass than his own words.

And yeah, I know it’s from his Dutch background, but really, what better name for an Aussie Rules hero than Roos?

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They’re fixing a hole . . .   22/9/2005

Now we know how many holes it takes to make McCartney fall . . .

Paul McCartney has fallen down a trapdoor while performing in the US.
The former Beatle was performing at the Tampa St Pete Times Forum as part of his current world tour, says NME.com.
Witnesses say that McCartney was walking across the stage to where a piano was supposed to appear from a hole, when the accident happened.
He fell, slightly hurting his arm and back, before being assisted by stage crew.
McCartney said: “There’s a big hole in the stage and I just fell into it. A word to the stage crew, I want a big fence around here tomorrow. Think we ought to put a picket fence around it? A little picket fence! It will look nice.”

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Spill Bill   21/9/2005

Very inscrutable:
A Chinese company is honoring ex-president Bill Clinton by naming a new line of condoms after him – along with a companion line of condoms that will be named after his ex-girlfriend, Monica Lewinsky.
Reports Britain’s Sky News: The Guangzhou Haokian Bio-science company has registered their names as trademarks for the contraceptives.
The condoms will display Chinese spellings: Kelitun and Laiwensiji.

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Tide turns   

The empire fights back and the usurpers aren’t happy.
Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) September 20, 2005 –- Liberals all over the country are up in arms over a new children’s book that portrays cartoon versions of left-wing icons Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy taxing and regulating a lemonade stand.

DeBrecht asserts that no liberals have protested the presence of books such as “Rainbow Fish” (where a fish is hectored into giving away his beautiful scales so that all the fish look the same) and “King & King” (where two princes marry each other and adopt a little girl) in classrooms.
“Evidently liberals oppose parents who believe in traditional values having a book that will help them teach those values to their children,” says DeBrecht. “But, then again, liberals oppose anything that supports religion, traditional families, and the free market. Those institutions are obstacles to their goals of eliminating personal responsibility and establishing a welfare state.”
“Help! Mom! There Are Liberals Under My Bed” — which features full-color illustrations by award winning artist Jim Hummel — tells of two brothers who open a lemonade stand. Their plans to save up their hard earned profits to buy a swing set go awry when a Ted Kennedy character taxes away their profits and a pants-suit clad Hillary Clinton look-alike outlaws sugary drinks

Just another step in the long march towards eliminating busybody, latter-day wowsers from public influence.
Signs of this new wave of irreverent common sense emerged in Brisbane last week when some oh-so-predicatable feminazis went out a-killjoying.
The shutting down of the Blokesworld Live event in Brisbane on the weekend was a victory for women, a female lobby group said today.
Blokesworld Live had billed itself as the “ultimate weekend for the bloke of the species”.
It was to have featured lingerie pillow fighting championships, topless bullfighting, aerobics “Bloke Style”, national trailer reversing championships, the Australian beer games, Guinness World Record meat tray, lawnmower races and the Flirtmodel dancers.

However, authorities left the door open for another Blokesworld Live by disallowing the event on technicalities.
Brisbane City Council late on Friday refused to issue an entertainment licence because of concerns over public health and safety issues and the adequate notification of neighbours about the nature of the event.

And here’s the surest sign the tide is turning against gender obsessed sadsacks:

Renee Eaves, who is the managing director of Flirtmodels, also blamed the protesters for the ban, labelling them “misinformed annoying females”.
She said the action by the Brisbane City Council was “bizarre”.
“Anyone can find a loophole in anything if you want to and the council felt so much pressure from these feminist groups they just managed to find a loophole,” she said.

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Capital sport   20/9/2005

The Latham Diaries get really ridiculous when touching on the in-and- out stuff which is understandably rife in boring Canberra.
Lacker actually is quite funny when referring to rumours of himself and — fewgawdzakes, John Howard — getting a little extra-curricular nooky:
“Anyway, imagine Howard throwing his leg over someone – it’s unbelievable. The Canberra rumour mill is insane. For years Howard has had to put up with rumours about Pru Goward, just like I’ve copped them about her daughter, Penny Fischer. Is that what they mean by generational change?”

This one snuck up on me in the Oz this morning, resulting in the expectoration of tea and toast across the kitchen:
Mark Latham refers to an alleged affair between Johnny and Pru. Surely that would be Missionary Impossible.
Patrick Elmes
Naremburn, NSW

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Bias watch   19/9/2005

This has got a few commentators antsy over at Free Republic:
In a blockbuster radio segment, Matt Drudge reminded a caller who sounded suspicously like Cinday Sheehan that 795 Americans — mostly poor, black and elderly– died in Chicago in 1995 (on Clinton’s wacth)during a heatwave because they were to poor to have air conditioning.

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Fatherly love   

Nothing pleases a dad more than when that brilliant, beautiful young woman who’s his daughter stands up for him in public.
Right now, I reckon Kim Beazley’s a pretty chuffed bloke.

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Member of good standing   18/9/2005

Put your hands together for the newest member of the Observation Deck stable, Bunny Champers. And when they’re firmly clasped, round-arm him over the back of the head. Billy Bunter meets Bazza McKenzie to form the go-to bloke when you’ve got a cosy think-tank to punch a hole in.

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Bewdy Bob   

Don’t know if Bob Hawke intended it, but he’s certainly shored up Kim Beazley’s position as ALP leader. The Sunday Age reveals that Hawke has described his former protege, Beazley, as not “a good Leader of the Opposition”.
In a week in which the nation has been repulsed by the anger, malice and madness of former leader Mark Latham, Hawke disparages Beazley as lacking the “tough, nasty streak” to be effective in the top job.
Yeah, Bob, the last thing Australians want is a Labor leader who’s jovial, capable, trustworthy and a bit of a dag. They’ve already got a Prime Minister like that who just keeps winning elections.
Beazley’s like a pair of solid boots: they take a while to get used to, and they’re not very fashionable. But eventually you get really comfortable with them and you can’t imagine putting on anything else.

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Loss avoided   17/9/2005

If you’ve come to this site for Charles Murton’s racing tip, you’ve saved your money. I had to go out for a couple of hours to attend to my recuperating father’s needs and by the time I got back, Charles’ selection had raced and not placed. I’ll have a gander at the form down the program and in the next hour post my own selection.
For those who have kindly offered best wishes for the old man, I’m pleased to say he is out of hospital and in a rehabilitation program at the McKellar Centre in North Geelong. He is in a new, comfortable wing and meeting the challenges of one-leggedness with a positive approach. It’s hard to imagine that just a fortnight ago, he wasn’t expected to last the night. Seems you earn pretty formidable bounce-back stripes by traversing the Kokoda Track at 20 with a 70 pound pack and snipers at every bend.
With all resident Victorian teams out of the footy finals, Melbournite Charles today eschews his weekly footy trivia poser for a subject we’re bound to hear much more of in the next three years, the American presidency. Off the bat, I can answer two, and one of them I’m not 100pc positive about.

1) Who was the youngest president in United States history?
2) Who were the only United States presidents who were never elected to
the office?
3) Who did Richard M. Nixon describe as “the most devious politician I
have ever met”?
4) What was John Kennedy’s planned destination on the day of his
assassination?
5) Which president a few years living and working in Australia?
6) What did the “S.” in Harry S. Truman stand for?
7) What was Eleanor Roosevelt’s maiden name?
8) Which twentieth century president took the oath of office standing in
a nightshirt in the kitchen of his parents’ farmhouse?
9) Which presidents had the following mottos for their time in office:
The Great Society
The Four Freedoms
The New Frontier
10) Who said, “The chief business of the American people is business”?
Who said, and about whom:
11) “He may be a son of a bitch, but he’s OUR son of a bitch.”
12) “I’d rather have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside
pissing in.”
13) Who was the only president in the past 150 years where the sole
political position that he ever held was the presidency?
14) Which president in office, when challenged about his mediocre college
scores, replied “Yes.I didn’t work as hard as I should have at college.
Sometimes I lie awake at night, and wonder, if I had only spent more time
studying, how high might I have risen?”
Answers to last week in the special Grand Final edition. I hope St Kilda beat
South Melbourne in tonight’s ‘Lake Premiership.’

UPDATE:
Studious perusal of the oat-burners’ guide brings me to this prognostication for the eighth race at Caulfield today, starting at 4.50pm:
A box trifecta involving (3) Leone Chiara, (5) Aussie Loti and (11) Umber. I backed Aussie Loti last week when it paid $22.50 for the win. Won’t get those odds again.

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Er, you were saying?   16/9/2005

Oh dear, words can return to haunt the ablest of commentators. Huge cups of cringe would have washed down breakfast this morning for biographers Craig McGregor, Barry Donovan, Michael Duffy and Margaret Simons when they read their words on Mad Lacker splashed across The Australian’s opinion page.
My favourite’s from McGregor whose Niagara-like gush two days after the last election must have today produced cheeks as red as a Swan’s knicks.
Latham has confirmed his position as the alternative prime minister of the nation. He has unified the ALP, he has given it heart, and even more importantly he has given it direction. The days of convergence in national politics are over . . . and not before time. There is no way that the ALP would now consider a new leader. . . Like his mentor, Latham represents an energetic new force in Australian politics . . . I’ve thought for some time that Latham will be prime minister of Australia. I asked him once, indirectly, about that and he replied, after a moment’s hesitation: “I’m a sticker and a pusher.” It will be what we need.

Seriously though, how did a supposedly rigorous media and responsible party leadership let him get that far? Many of us who don’t pay a great deal of attention to Labor machine apparatchiks from NSW had him summed up years ago: Obsessed with power and politics, narcissistic to a fault, spontaneously violent and a disordered thinker with serious health problems.
Traits that would trigger alarm bells in any commonsense appraisal. That, of course, is a quality that you don’t expect to find too much of in Canberra. The Latham eruption, if nothing else, shows how hopeless those who fuelled it — the media and party leaders — are at judging character.

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Natural born idiots   15/9/2005

For your enjoyment, the 2005 Darwin Awards which honour the least evolved among us. Although I don’t think No.4 belongs there.

Here then, are the glorious winners:

1. When his 38-caliber revolver failed to fire at his intended victim
during a hold-up in Long Beach, California, would-be robber James Elliot
did something that can only inspire wonder. He peered down the barrel
and tried the trigger again. This time it worked…..
And now, the honorable mentions:

2. The chef at a hotel in Switzerland lost a finger in a meat-cutting
machine and, after a little hopping around, submitted a claim to his
insurance company. The company expecting negligence sent out one of its
men to have a look for himself. He tried the machine and lost a finger.
The chef’s claim was approved.

3. A man who shoveled snow for an hour to clear a space for his car
during a blizzard in Chicago returned with his vehicle to find a woman
had taken the space. Understandably, he shot her.

4. After stopping for drinks at an illegal bar, a Zimbabwean bus driver
found that the 20 mental patients he was supposed to be transporting
from Harare to Bulawayo had escaped. Not wanting to admit his
incompetence, the driver went to a nearby bus stop and offered everyone
waiting there a free ride. He then delivered the passengers to the
mental hospital, telling the staff that the patients were very excitable
and prone to bizarre fantasies. The deception wasn’t discovered for 3
days.

5. An American teenager was in the hospital recovering from serious head
wounds received from an oncoming train. When asked how he received the
injuries, the lad told police that he was simply trying to see how close
he could get his head to a moving train before he was hit.

6. A man walked into a Louisiana Circle-K, put a $20 bill on the
counter, and asked for change. When the clerk opened the cash drawer,
the man pulled a gun and asked for all the cash in the register, which
the clerk promptly provided. The man took the cash from the clerk and
fled, leaving the $20 bill on the counter. The total amount of cash he
got from the drawer…$15. (If someone points a gun at you and gives you
money, is a crime committed?)

7. Seems an Arkansas guy wanted some beer pretty badly. He decided that
he’d just throw a cinderblock through a liquor store window, grab some
booze, and run. So he lifted the cinderblock and heaved it over his head
at the window. The cinderblock bounced back and hit the would-be thief
on the head, knocking him unconscious. The liquor store window was made
of Plexiglas. The whole event was caught on videotape.

8. As a female shopper exited a New York convenience store, a man
grabbed her purse and ran. The clerk called 911 immediately, and the
woman was able to give them a detailed description of the snatcher.
Within minutes, the police apprehended the snatcher. They put him in the
car and drove back to the store. The thief was then taken out of the car
and told to stand there for a positive ID. To which he replied, “Yes,
officer, that’s her. That’s the lady I stole the purse from.”

9. The Ann Arbor News crime column reported that a man walked into a
Burger King in Ypsilanti, Michigan, at 5 a.m., flashed a gun, and
demanded cash. The clerk turned him down because he said he couldn’t
open the cash register without a food order. When the man ordered onion
rings, the clerk said they weren’t available for breakfast. The man,
frustrated, walked away.

A 5-STAR STUPIDITY AWARD WINNER!

10. When a man attempted to siphon gasoline from a motor home parked on
a Seattle street, he got much more than he bargained for. Police arrived
at the scene to find a very sick man curled up next to a motor home near
spilled sewage. A police spokesman said that the man admitted to trying
to steal gasoline and plugged his siphon hose into the motor home’s
sewage tank by mistake. The owner of the vehicle declined to press
charges, saying that it was the best laugh he’d ever had.

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Bull ants   14/9/2005

That wailing and gnashing of teeth? That’s the Oz lefty commentariat reacting to La Albrechtsen’s savaging of their insubstantial, irrelevant pamphleteering.
She winds up her piece with a killer quote:
Dennis Glover talks of the “triumph of nasty right-wing populism, which cheapens our democracy”. David Marr calls us “right-wing thugs”. These writers refuse to believe Australians can freely and rationally choose a conservative government. They still have not worked out that voters view tired old leftist policies much the same way Edward O. Wilson, an expert on ants, described Marxism: “Wonderful theory. Wrong species.”

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Interfering with kids   

It must be so embarrassing to be a meddling social engineer with your double standards and stupidity so frequently hung out for public viewing.
WHEN it comes to footy, it’s OK for girls to play with boys. But when it comes to netball, the two sexes should not mix.
That is the conclusion of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, which has granted an exemption from anti-discrimination laws to Netball Victoria to ban boys aged 12 and 13 from mixed competitions with girls.
Last year the same tribunal ruled that girls up to 14 should be allowed on the same football ovals as boys.

You’ve gotta ask: What sort of society has State-enforced gender rules for child’s play?
I’d say one with too many busybodies having nothing worthwhile to do.

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Fresh angle   13/9/2005

Ben Stein explodes one of several recently-minted myths:
Third, the networks and newspapers have been quick to cry racism because so many of the victims were black. This is total nonsense. New Orleans is a mostly black city. Obviously, most of the victims of the storm would be black. No one has been able to point to a single instance in which black victims were mistreated because of their race by whites. In fact, just the opposite has happened. The whole story is of rescues and salvation by people of all races aimed at people of all races. In a gesture never seen before, the whole heart of the nation has taken in poor, bereft black families and sheltered them absolutely without regard to race. This is a mirror of the basic goodness of Americans and the disappearance of racism as an acceptable action basis of American life. It is also a measure of the total absence of racism in the heart of George W. Bush. The media may play this as a story of race versus race, but that is pure incendiary fantasy, and dangerous nonsense.

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It’s not fair   

This blame game is never-ending:
New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin today blamed President George Bush for the lower-than-expected number of bodies discovered in the receding flood waters, and said it’s part of a White House campaign “to prevent black people from getting what they deserve.”

Heh-heh!

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Oils ain’t cheap   

Sure as a dropped slice of toast will land buttered side down, people who whine for cuts in fuel taxes will in the next breath demand more government services.
James Morrow argues that high petrol prices aren’t such a bad thing. I suppose anything that gets this ageing, creaking carcass on to a bike can’t be an entirely undesirable state of affairs.
The reasons petrol is getting more expensive don’t require a summit meeting to discern. Indeed, during the short to medium term, rising prices are a natural – and potentially very good – thing.

UPDATE:
And this is one reason why rising prices are seen as a good thing.

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Student abuse   12/9/2005

I should be cynical about plans by Victoria’s Marxist education bureaucrats to make senior English so easy that an illiterate could not fail (oops, sorry, that should be “have delayed success”) the course. For if Victorian schools keep churning out English graduates who can’t tell an adjective from their arsehole, there’ll be a dearth of suitably qualified sub-editors and old hacks will be drawing salaries into their dotage.
But the idealist in me is outraged that a section of my generation, in the name of discredited postmodern mumbo-jumbo, is denying the next generation the basic tools to unearth knowledge.
Sure, the smart, the privileged and the well-assisted will achieve literacy despite the efforts of education department buffoons. But what about the plodders, the kids from impoverished backgrounds and those whose parents are illiterate or have poor English? Are they destined for the underclass scrapheap? Whatever happened to the egalitarian society that humanities Marxists are always claiming is under seige by the Howard Government? Hmmm, it’s only a short hop from underclass to lumpen proletariat, which as any commo knows, is an essential element in the uprising against the filthy capitalist ruling class.

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Dealing deftly with hate   

Remiss of me not to have announced sooner that the brilliant Bill Whittle has essayed persuasively on people and recent events. Put aside 20 minutes and enjoy. Then send it to a lefty. Whittle on irrationals who, when they’ve exhausted their ration of meaningless dogmatic rhetoric, revert to the old reliable “racist” slur:
Only a few minutes ago, I had the delightful opportunity to read the comment of a fellow who said he wished that white, middle-class, racist, conservative cocksuckers like myself could have been herded into the Superdome Concentration Camp to see how much we like it. Absent, of course, was the fundamental truth of what he plainly does not have the eyes or the imagination to see, namely, that if the Superdome had been filled with white, middle-class, racist, conservative cocksuckers like myself, it would not have been a refinery of horror, but rather a citadel of hope and order and restraint and compassion.
That has nothing to do with me being white. If the blacks and Hispanics and Jews and gays that I work with and associate with were there with me, it would have been that much better. That’s because the people I associate with – my Tribe – consists not of blacks and whites and gays and Hispanics and Asians, but of individuals who do not rape, murder, or steal. My Tribe consists of people who know that sometimes bad things happen, and that these are an opportunity to show ourselves what we are made of. My people go into burning buildings. My Tribe consists of organizers and self-starters, proud and self-reliant people who do not need to be told what to do in a crisis. My Tribe is not fearless; they are something better. They are courageous. My Tribe is honorable, and decent, and kind, and inventive. My Tribe knows how to give orders, and how to follow them. My Tribe knows enough about how the world works to figure out ways to boil water, ration food, repair structures, build and maintain makeshift latrines, and care for the wounded and the dead with respect and compassion.

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