On the upside   30/1/2006

Hamas murders mothers and babies, turns its own kids into suicide bombers and wants to commit genocide on inhabitants of a democratically elected state.
But hey, says the US presidency’s version of Gough Whitlam — its worst incumbent — Hamas ain’t all bad.
At least it’s not corrupt, says Jimmy Carter.
When asked by the media for his thoughts on the Hamas triumph in the Palestinian parliamentary elections, former President Jimmy Carter replied that while they have a terrorist past, at least they’re not corrupt.

Yep, and Ivan Milat paid his bills.

UPDATE:
Although Hamas’ books may past muster, esteemed commentator Melanie Phillips has no doubts the leopard is not about to don stripes.

The organisation’s own words:

Hamas has been looking forward to implement Allah’s promise whatever time it might take. The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him…
In order to face the usurpation of Palestine by the Jews, we have no escape from raising the banner of Jihad.

These are going to be difficult times for the lazy western left who’ve sided with Islam militants on the grounds of “the enemy of my enemy . . .”
It’s going to be a tad uncomfortable in certain chardonnay salons to be a supporter of Israel’s annihilation.
But if Phillips is correct, and I’ll bow to her wisdom in these matters, that’s exactly what Hamas appeasers will stand for.
Not that it’s going to happen. Hamas wants to live in the 7th century? Israel will blow them back there.

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Courageous   

This woman is far gutsier than her co-religionist, male “moderates”.
THE nation’s most senior Islamic woman has attacked Muslim religious leaders who condone “wife-beating” and other forms of domestic violence.
Aziza Abdel-Halim, the only one of three female members of the Prime Minister’s Muslim Advisory Council, has warned that Islamic women are being “put down” by imams in hardline and moderate circles and their rights ignored.

That deafening silence? Hmmm, could it be the Australian lefty sisterhood preoccupied with the hunt for other enemies of their enemy.
Doubt very much whether this mob of loons will make a noise on behalf of Ms Abdel-Halim.

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Costagate!   

Quite a news story this weekend in the home town. The most powerful man in town, Geelong Football Club supremo and exceptionally wealthy fruit and vegie king Frank Costa has admitted to The Age that he and his well-heeled business coterie have been tipping funds into the campaign budgets of city councillors.
Two of the three councillors are active ALP right wing faction members.
Yep, certainly a huge story for a regional city and you’d expect it to be of more than passing interest to compulsive Labor commentator, Andrew Landeryou. Yet Landers considers it a fizzer and worthy only of a springboard for his daily attack on The Age and its personnel.

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Nemo, meet Goofy   29/1/2006

Apple founder Steve Jobs, who has just sold Pixar to Disney and taken a seat on the entertainment giant’s board, was born to a single mother.
I wonder if he’s ever had a letter from some 60-something chancer claiming “I-podded your mother”.

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Denial of knowledge   27/1/2006

The Australian today persuasively endorses the Prime Minister’s Australia Day call for a return to factual history teaching in the nation’s school.
Thanks to the way a generation has been taught, or rather not taught, history at school, young Australians are growing up completely clueless about how their country came to be the prosperous democracy they are proud of. As the Prime Minister warned yesterday, less than a quarter of senior school students study any history at all, and far fewer learn anything about their own country’s past.

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Good times ahead   25/1/2006

Sour-puss lefties at the BBC must have been horribly cheesed at this response to a poll the corporation ran on international confidence:
Iraqis and Afghans are among the most optimistic people in the world when it comes to their economic future, a new survey for the BBC suggests.

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Aw jeez . . .   

OK, all right, I’m a big old softie. But I defy the hardest-hearted bastard among you not to get a lump over this:

Real-life Lassie saves the day

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Cruel and unusual?   23/1/2006

The ABC is finally getting tough with one of its over-the-top leftie commentators.
Yeah, tough as in a whipping with a dead budgie’s wing.

The summertime presenter of the ABC Radio National’s breakfast program, Stephen Crittenden, has been told he made serious editorial lapses during an interview with Hicks’ US military lawyer, Major Michael Mori, last month.
In the interview, Crittenden asked the leading question that “if David Hicks is released, will it in fact be a very dramatic illustration that the only reason he’s been in Guantanamo Bay over these past four years is because of the bloody-mindedness of the Australian Government?”

So, has Crittenden been placed on a warning, or fined, or been suspended for his outrageous, untrue, offensive remarks?
Er no. According to ABC retiring managing director Russell Balding, Crittenden has been dealt with according to the ABC agenda.
He has been, wait for it, ”counselled” for, you’ll never guess, “inappropriate” comments.
I’ve said it before. I will not rest easy until that frigging weasel word — inafriggingppropriate — becomes a badge of gutless shame for every valueless tool who deigns to use it. It is my mission.

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   22/1/2006

Remember those “racist” riots in Cronulla, Sydney last month?
All over the news for weeks and still getting references by opinionistas and politicians.
Well the Herald Sun, obviously trying to lift Melbourne into the big A racist league, has come up with its own version of racial violence, supposedly at an outer northern suburbs swimming pool.
It’s obviously crap because no other media has touched the “story” after going ballistic about Cronulla last month.
Online, no Fairfax reports on it; nothing from the ABC; or from Seven or Nine. Just the Herald Sun.
What’s that? I don’t know anything about media reporting of racist violence.
It’s not racism if perpetuated by non-whites or non-Anglo Celts?
Silly me.

One witness, Alex, said families had recoiled in horror at the bashings.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Alex said.
“I thought, ‘Not another Cronulla’.
“There seemed to be dozens of people involved, with most wading into the staff and people trying to help them.
“They all appeared to be Middle-Eastern youths.
“It was very upsetting and scary. There were hysterical children everywhere.”

UPDATE:
Hmmm, seems my attempt to satirise “serious” media’s unbalanced reporting of racist violence missed the mark with some readers.
A commenter here suggests I’ve gone to the pack and another commenter at Blair’s says I’m sceptical of the report.
My point, apparently confusing, was that only one media outlet covered an attack by youths of middle eastern appearance on the staff of a public facility, yet a month earlier when the attackers were of Anglo-Celt origin there was saturation coverage.
Playing it straight from now on. I’ll leave the comedy to Blair.

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Phewww!!!   

Stepping out the back door today is like walking into a baker’s oven.
It’s about 40 degrees with a scorching north-westerly ready to whip any errant spark into an inferno.
The town of Tyrendarra, about 250 km west of here, is under threat, with some residents choosing to evacuate, and a large fire is still burning out of control in Gippsland.
A fire in the Brisbane Ranges, about 30 kilometres from here, was brought under control last night. This wind, though, could well flare it up again.
The ABC is proving it that when it gets away from politics and culture, it can be of great benefit to the nation. Local radio 774 has turned over all programming to bushfire coverage. Online coverage, however, appears to be logjammed.
Relief is in sight, thankfully. The Bureau reports:
A cold front moving from the Bight will reach the southwest early this afternoon then extend across most southern and western parts of Victoria during theremainder of the day and tonight.

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Dowdy spinster on way   

Just what we need. Another minor Merrikun celebrity dropping in to tell us what fools we are. Michael Douglas’ ex is paying us a visit.

Yet in an interview with Review ahead of a trip to Australia to promote her new book, Dowd says she spent her first couple of years as a columnist “curled up on the floor crying” and visiting a host of alternative therapists (a naturopath, acupuncturist and nutritionist). “It was hard for me to get used to that level of combat,” admits the woman who has been christened “the flame-haired flame thrower”.
But wait, she has a mission to perform:

She visited this country during the first Bush era with vice-president Dan Quayle. “Right place, wrong guy,” she says with a laugh. This time she plans to track down an Aussie bloke she had a crush on when she was 20.

Oooizzittt??? Please, let it be Bob Ellis. Richard Neville? Kim Beazley? Billy Thorpe? Molly Meldrum would be great.

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Banner mystery   19/1/2006

Anyone else as suspicious as me about that banner carried above the boat the alleged West Papuan asylum seekers sailed on to Cape York yesterday?
Damned if I can find a jpg of the benner, although it was on the front page of The Australian today.
My sceptical juices were set flowing by the accompanying article by Ian Gerard which declared the banner “crudely worded”.
If by “crudely worded” Gerard means an illiterate, slogan-daubed rough and ready piece of graffiti, he couldn’t me more off the mark.
It reads: “Save West Papua people soul from genocide intimidation and terorist from military government of Indonesian. Also we West Papuan need freedom peace love and justice in our home land.”
It is several metres long, appears to be hand-painted and is composed in four neat lines that would do credit to a signwriter. Apart from lack of commas and no apostrophe-s for people’s, it has only one literal mistake (terorist, when probably terrorism is intended). Oops, as a commenter pointed out, there is another literal — Goverment; the sceptic in me says an English speaker is more likely to make that blue than other language users.
Most interestingly, the typography is in a style that could easily come from a Western educated graphics student: A style that presents standard X-height lower case letters as capitals and lower case letters with ascenders and descenders as lower case. Quite hip lettering.
The banner wouldn’t surprise anyone if it appeared on an Australian university building; but on a primitive craft carrying a group of young families from the wilds of West Papua? Doubts prevail.
So who made the banner? And did they aid and abet the claimed asylum seekers?

UPDATE:
Damnitt!! I’ve just spent an hour going through every web-linked news story on the landing and not one carries the picture in question. Yet it was all over the late TV news Wednesday and front page of The Australian yesterday. The banner image clearly differentiates this from other stories about boat people. “Find your point of difference” is pinned to newsrooms across the country. So why has this image apparently vaporised?

boat

UPDATE 2:

Thanks to Andrew Landeryou, we now have a pic of the boat and banner. As I was writing from memory I was a tad out of whack above in describing the lettering. But I think anyone who knows about graphics would agree this does not look anything like the work of Papuans. So, it would appear, as Steve Cooper suggests below in comments, that the whole affair was a set-up.
Steve asks:
So is someone going to arrest the concerned locals and charge them with people smuggling or what? And are we now to become the base for yet another bunch of malcontents who want us to help foment a war against their homeland, operating from a base here?

And I ask: Is any media going to have a dig behind the scenes? they could start with Geens senator Kerry Nettle who seems to be on the news every day, all concerned and tilty-headed about “activists”.

UPDATE 3:

How about this sign photographed at a protest rally in Darwin? Waddyareckon, Dave? Oh, the delightful irony: the pic was originally posted at lefty rabbit-burrow, indymedia. Thanks to Evil Pundit.

pic

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Shampoos with Solvol   17/1/2006

They breed ‘em tough in Victoria’s Western District.
And the toughest of ‘em hail from a weird area called the Stony Rises:
POMBORNEIT cricketer Grant Place shrugged off a potentially fatal snake bite to take a hat-trick only two days later in his first bowling spell at the elite level of the South-West association competition.
The 15-year-old spent Thursday night in hospital recovering from the brown snake attack.
On Saturday he dismissed three division one senior batsmen in three consecutive balls.
Place said he was mowing grass around the Pomborneit cricket nets on Thursday night before training when the snake struck.
“I never even saw it,” he said.
“I was mowing around the nets and didn’t feel it either. About an hour later my ankle swelled up a bit just above my Rossi boot.
“When I had a look there (were) two puncture marks there.”
Place said he rushed home where his mother, Jo, a nurse, agreed the marks looked like a snake bite.

FOR THOSE WHO ARRIVED LATE:
This is what Solvol stood for:

solvol

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Stooged   

The New York Times’ credibility takes another mauling:
The story it accompanies is about the apparently failed attempt to take out al Qaeda’s #2 man al Zawahiri, with a missile attack from a Predator drone.
“How sad!” readers are encouraged to think. “These poor people are on the receiving end of awful weapons used by the clumsy minions of Bush. And all to no avail. Isn’t it terrible? Why must America do such horrible misdeeds? Bush must go!”
The only problem is that the long cylindrical item with a conical tip pictured with the boy and the man is not a missile at all. It is an old artillery shell. Not something that would have been fired from a Predator. Indeed, something that must have been found elsewhere and posed with the ruins and the little boy as a means at pulling of the heartstrings of the gullible readers of the New York Times.

From a brilliant new Aussie site, NewsBump, which invites readers to rate the news.

Hat-tip to Landers.

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Brutes   

Oh no, those awful Japanese know no bounds.
Now they’re planning to wound Mother Earth.
Please, Greenpeace, to the rescue!

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Poor widdle whales   

Shouldn’t worthy media aim for an independent view of matters and eschew coverage from one side only?
So how come all the news agencies and networks are covering the Greenpeace-Japanese whalers contretemps with information from only the anti-whalers?
Sure, the linked article precedes with “Greenpeace said in a statement” (how the hell do you say something unless it’s in a statement?), but nowhere is there a direct comment from Japan or the whalers, just old positional background.
It’s no defence to claim the other side won’t co-operate. Unless you’ve got both sides, it’s not a balanced news story. Sure, the agencies and networks can run the one-sided stuff, but they should be at pains to stress it’s all from Greenpeace’s viewpoint. The media — particularly the free-to-air commercial TV news channels — is failing to do that. Yes, it’s colourful footage and it’s conflict and all the other desirable ingredients from Making the News 201. But it’s not balanced. And that reflects on many who populate the media these days.

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Eats his road kill, too   16/1/2006

This would-be governor profiled in Newsmax’s Left Coast Report makes Arnie look like a big girl’s blouse:
Ted Nugent is no Bruce Springsteen, politically speaking.
The Motor City Madman is a conservative and four-time National Rifle Association director.
Not content with merely playing his music and starring in the OLN network’s reality show “Wanted: Ted or Alive,” Nugent tells the New York Daily News that the Michigan governor’s mansion is in his sights.
His public statements are, shall we say, unconventional for a candidate.
About the job performance of current Democrat Governor Jennifer Granholm, Nugent says she “is not doing an ugly job, but as the perfect woman, she is scrotumless.”
Regarding the welfare system, Nugent doesn’t have affection for “the pimps and whores and welfare brats who think they’ve got the right to my [money] because Jesse Jackson represents [them].”
On U.S. poverty, Nugent says that “the average person who qualifies under the poverty level in America has [bleep]ing cell phones and Tommy Hilfiger clothes! And bling-bling! I’ve seen them … gold and jewelry and crack and meth! This is poverty?”
As to New York undercover cops, Nugent shares that “they wave and show me their guns. I consider us blood brothers.”
The Left Coast Report relays that concerning the right to defend oneself and the Second Amendment, Nugent reveals, “I go for walks late at night in high-crime districts, and just hope.”

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Groan, moan   

Boy, am I paying for an indulgent Christmas-New Year. Caught some bug last week and have been poleaxed with extreme nausea, skitters and now an irritating dry cough. Apparently it’s a virus doing the rounds and I’ve reached that wonderful stage where you actually feel better than 12 hours earlier. I mean, you still feel like shit, but the coffin is no longer such an obvious destination.

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Author of renown   12/1/2006

Howie Carr might be the biggest mouth on Boston talk radio but somehow I don’t think Teddy Kennedy tunes in.
Here’s Howie on Kennedy’s new kids book which features a dog ironically named Splash:
Here are a few suggestions from me and some of my listeners, with apologies to the authors of the originals:
Make Way for Gin Blossoms. Willy Wonka and the Vodka Factory. Frosty the Bad Ice Cube. The Little Oldsmobile that Couldn’t. Me and My Air Pocket. Heather Has Two Toddies. Through the Drinking Glass. Teddy Kennedy and the Goblet of Firewater. Booze Clues. Where in the World is Mary Jo?

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Green is good. Er, not always   

Plant more trees and you’ll combat the greenhouse effect, right? Er no, you’ll probably contribute to it, according to this report.
LONDON (Reuters) – German scientists have discovered a new source of methane, a greenhouse gas that is second only to carbon dioxide in its impact on climate change.
The culprits are plants.
They produce about 10 to 30 percent of the annual methane found in the atmosphere, according to researchers at the Max-Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, Germany.
The scientists measured the amount of methane released by plants in controlled experiments. They found it increases with rising temperatures and exposure to sunlight.

What with global warming causing global cooling
and dire predictions of islands sinking and coasts washing away failing to eventuate, life just gets tougher for greenhouse fundamentalists. Have faith, true believers.

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