Hey you!!   28/6/2006

Reckon they’d call a beer a beer at the Casa D’Ice in North Versailles, Pennsylvania. Its signs are attracting much attention.

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Out of consensus   

Isn’t there supposed to be consensus among elite scientists about the threat of manmade global warming and the necessity of the Kyoto Protocol.
These 50 or so scientific experts are a disagreeable bunch.
They include Dr. G. Cornelis van Kooten, professor and Canada Research Chair in environmental studies and climate change, Dept. of Economics, University of Victoria; Dr. Richard S. Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan professor of meteorology, Dept. of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Dr. Ian Plimer, professor of geology, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide; emeritus professor of earth sciences, University of Melbourne, Australia;
and Mr. William Kininmonth, Australasian Climate Research, former Head National Climate Centre, Australian Bureau of Meteorology; former Australian delegate to World Meteorological Organization Commission for Climatology, Scientific and Technical Review.
They’re doing their best to get the new Canadian Prime Minister to dip his toe into the rational end of the policy pool.

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Friendly smoke-filled skies   

In one of my periodic bouts of abstinence, I’ve been off the gaspers for a fortnight and may keep it that way indefinitely. But I detest wowsers and would never make life hard for anyone who savours a durry.
So, all power to this free marketer’s elbow. Bet the neo-puritans try to cause him grief.

BERLIN – A German businessman has founded an airline dedicated to smokers.

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Gore blimey it’s cold   

Tim Blair in The Bulletin this week wickedly points out that when Al Gore starts banging on about global warming the world turns cold.

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Guilty parties   

One can only hope that certain legal grubs and do-gooders in Western Australia feel something approximating guilt today.
The Australian’s newsprint report of the Perth murder-rape of eight-year-old Sofia Rodrigez-Urrutia-Shu contains information that suggests the little girl could still be with us had justice and common sense been permitted to prevail.
The report says (unavailable so far online) that the man charged with Sofia’s murder had sexual assault charges against another eight-year-old dropped in 2004 because his record of interview was deemed inadmissable.
The bloody-handed clods who decided this concluded that the accused’s confession was secured after hours of (wait for it, the morally bereft’s favourite word) “inappropriate” and aggressive questioning by detectives. Two detectives were disciplined and two were — as you’d expect in nanny-state WA — “verbally counselled”.
Can any WA readers identify those responsible for the earlier decision?

UPDATE:
Here’s why the department of public prosecutions dropped the case. Another reason why law schools should be closed until common sense returns to the legal industry.

They had sworn at him and told him his initial answers were “an absolute load of crap”.

Twenty years ago in a regional city north of here in which I was working, a monster crawled through a kid’s bedroom window in the early hours, dragged her outside and molested her. The cops caught the bastard within a few hours and when they locked him up, rang the kid’s dad and offered him five minutes alone in the cell with the prick. He used the time fruitfully. And the magistrate, the defence counsel and half the town knew.
Nowadays, the cops would be sacked and the father charged with assault.
Great society the lawyers — through their union delegates, the politicians — have given us, eh?

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Gout; how unkewel!   27/6/2006

Hell in a knuckle, that’s gout. Haven’t had it in a few years — touch wood — but it’s a condition I’d wish on my worst enemies. It’s bad enough putting up with the excrutiating agony but arseholes, usually types partial to vegetarianism and latte who seem to find humour in others’ burning-jointed discomfort, make it even worse.
I always found relief in a stomach liner-burning drug called Indicin. One pill and within minutes the pain would be gone. So didn’t the Socceroos’ medico pack some Indicin? Or was he like my sawbones who wouldn’t prescribe the drug because of side effects? That is, my ex-sawbones.

The sight of Harry Kewell arriving on crutches was hard enough to believe – the reason was even harder.
Australia’s finest footballer was ruled out of its biggest match by gout.

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Phull of it   

John Howard is a hater. So says Phillip Adams, who bases this conclusion on the say-so of unnamed cabinet “leaks” with some silly story about someone having coffee with John Hewson (remember him?). The Phat Phool makes the accusation today while trying to wriggle out of the embarrassment heaped on him last week by former Arts Minister Barry Cohen who pointed out that Adams’ pique about Howard government board appointments was a tad hypocritical in that Phatty sat on more Labor boards than a builders union shop steward. Adams can’t even claim that when Howard came to power the PM relieved him of his Labor appointments. Oh no, mindful of Howard’s “vengefulness” — a trait Adams fails to exemplify — Phatty says he quit before he was shoved.
Don’t you just love it? Adams is revealed as a hypocritical ignoramus, so what does he do? Dumb lefty fallback position: “Doesn’t matter, Howard’s a bastard! Worse, he’s a hater! He is, I tell you he is . . . This bloke said . . .”

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Phew, says FIFA   

Imagine it. A nation of 20 million in which soccer is the fourth most popular football code dishes it up to a land of 60 million where football has eclipsed catholicism as the national religion. Hey, this is not going according to the FIFA script. And the euro-cheats thank Pele that an otherwise impeccable Aussie player turns into a momentary stumble bum and gives them a last-minute opportunity for plot-saving mendacity.
Socceroo fans, feel our Collingwoodness.

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Another split   26/6/2006

Yet another schism in the US left. Robert Scheer in “progressive” mag The Nation:

How do you triangulate among death, hypocrisy and stupidity? Not at all logically, which is why Hillary Clinton’s dissembling on Iraq has become a fatal embarrassment not only for her but for anyone who hopes she can provide progressive leadership for the nation. If she has still not found the courage to reverse course on this disastrous war, why assume that as President she would behave any differently?

More than anything else, Clinton’s a politician. She knows that a politician who sells out sacrifice and soldiers ain’t going anywhere.

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Can you keep a secret?   

Dust-up in the Left-blog Daily Kos camp over Markos Moulitsas’ attempt to hush up something damaging to his holier-than-everyone self-opinion.
Back in 2000, according to the S.E.C., a shaky software company reportedly paid Armstrong to post upbeat messages about its stock on a financial web site. The case has been closed; Armstrong is apparently not at liberty to discuss it. This episode is just the sort of thing the Right would love to use to disparage progressive media, so Markos recently shot off an e-mail about it to the cream of the liberal blogosphere. As Brooks puts it, “The Kingpin declared he would ‘go on the offensive’ in a ‘couple of months,’ but in the meantime, a code of omertà was in order. ‘It would make my life easier if we can confine the story,’ he wrote. ‘If any of us blog on this right now, we fuel the story. Let’s starve it of oxygen.’”

The letter’s here. Here’s the critical par:

My request to you guys is that you ignore this for now. It would make my life easier if we can confine the story. Then, once Jerome can speak and defend himself, then I’ll go on the offensive (which is when I would file any lawsuits) and anyone can pile on. If any of us blog on this right now, we fuel the story. Let’s starve it of oxygen. And without the “he said, she said” element to the story, you know political journalists are paralyzed into inaction.
Thanks, markos

Yeah, thanks Markos

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Nanny-state ninnies   

Decades of covering local government as a reporter and sub-editor has convinced me that the majority of councillors are self-serving, egotistical (entirely without justification) dills with a penchant for pushing people around.
Once, decent people ran councils. But that was back when they kept rates to a minimum and concentrated energies on roads, rubbish and public dunnies. If the community wanted something, say a local swimming pool, the council encouraged them to raise half the cash and then went to state or federal government for a dollar for dollar grant.
Now, councils are awash with political aspirants, developers’ lackies and petty tyrants. All manipulated and advised by cynical shiny arses always on the lookout for ways to inflate their importance and salaries.
It’s the little Hitlers in local government that have jammed the gullet this morning. Neil Mitchell on 3AW reported that the City of Monash in suburban Melbourne had introduced bylaws prohibiting smoking at sports grounds or within 10 metres of a playground.
The acting mayor, a child-care centre operator, (wonder how many decisions he excuses himself from?) claims he’s just doing it for the kiddies.
The gall of this tinpot town hall tool and his backroom social engineers assuming control of the use of what is a legal product is infuriating.
Worse is that the dickhead acting mayor is quite nonchalant that the bylaw would be near impossible to police and have little chance of standing up in court. But then nanny-state nincompoops have never let practicalities interfere with their zealous missions.
Residents of Monash have my pity.

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Hard times   25/6/2006

As they say, you don’t have to be dead to be stiff:

A MAN has won more than $400,000 in a lawsuit for a penile implant that gave him an erection for 10 years.
Charles “Chick” Lennon, 68, of Providence, Rhode Island, received the steel and plastic implant in 1996, about two years before Viagra went on the market.

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Phooling no one   

The Australian arrives here every day so I don’t know how I missed this letter. It’s from Barry Cohen, who served in an era when the terms “good bloke” and “Labor politician” were not mutually exclusive. The former phrase of course, could never be used about Cohen’s one time leader, the insufferable, boorish worst-PM-Australia’s-ever- had Whitlam.
Cohen exposes Phill the Phool for the hypocrite he is.
Note the parting stiletto jab. Guaranteed to be quoted far and wide across the land, giving luvvies the horrors.

The man for the job
June 23, 2006
AS the “Tsar of all the Arts” (1983-87) it was my joyous duty to appoint people to the numerous boards and commissions of national cultural institutions. The most important criteria being that they were qualified to do the job. If they also were not openly antagonistic to the Labor Party so much the better.
Therefore, when the current Tsar, senator Rod Kemp, announced that he had appointed former associate professor of English at Newcastle University, Imre Salusinszky, chairman of the literature board of the Australia Council, I wrote to congratulate him.
It appears that Phillip Adams (Opinion, 20/6) has a somewhat different view about “political appointments”, particularly if they have accused the ABC of left-wing bias. Imre is not alone in that regard. What I don’t recall is Phillip objecting to my appointing Morris West as chairman of the National Library, Donald Horne as chairman of the Australia Council, Gough Whitlam as chairman of the National Gallery and a certain Phillip Adams as chairman of the Australian Film Commission. I was very proud of my appointments. Still am. Phillip, however, is apoplectic at the appointment of someone of a different hue.
I wonder whether Phillip would have been appointed to the Powerhouse Museum, the Adelaide Festival, the National Museum of Australia, Centenary of Federation, the National Australia Day Council, the Commission for the Future, the Victorian Arts Council, the Australian Children’s Television Foundation and the Film, Radio and Television Board if he had been a life-long supporter of a right-wing political party? I doubt it.
Oh, by the way, Phillip, of course the ABC has a left-wing bias. Why the hell do you think we love it?
Barry Cohen
Bungendore, NSW

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Oh, great sacrificial leader   23/6/2006

What a hero!!BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Saddam Hussein ended a brief hunger strike after missing just one meal in his U.S.-run prison, a U.S. military spokesman said Friday.
The former Iraqi leader had refused lunch Thursday in protest at the killing of one of his lawyers by gunmen, but the spokesman said he ate his evening meal.

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Remember the alimony   

As his supporters holler:
YEEEHAAAAAWHOOOOOO!!!!!

Kinky Friedman has collected enough petitions to get into the ballot for the Texas governership.
“The people of Texas have spoken — they’re ready for change,” Friedman said. “They’re sick and tired of politics as usual, and they’re ready to elect an independent candidate in November.”

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WDMs found! WTF!!   22/6/2006

Oops!
This just in:
WASHINGTON — The United States has found 500 chemical weapons in Iraq since 2003, and more weapons of mass destruction are likely to be uncovered, two Republican lawmakers said Wednesday.

Yet more:
“Since 2003, coalition forces have recovered approximately 500 weapons munitions which contain degraded mustard or sarin nerve agent. Despite many efforts to locate and destroy Iraq’s pre-Gulf War chemical munitions, filled and unfilled pre-Gulf War chemical munitions are assessed to still exist.”
Doesn’t appear to be enough known yet to prove anything conclusively, but it looks like there’s a story there.

UPDATE:
The Washington Post has reported it. Mainly to poo-poo it, saying they were old and their blister packs didn’t work. But they were at some stage weapons of mass destruction; they were in Saddam’s keeping; he lied about not having them; and no one’s come out yet and proven they are incapable of mass destruction.
On the cool towel and a lie down side, the White House doesn’t appear too excited about this discovery.

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Blatant   

With the appointment of Keith Windschuttle to the ABC board the usual suspects, who howl the historian is a rightwing fascist baby eater, have declared that leftwing bias in the corporation is a myth.
Or worse, that the dreaded commercial networks are prejudiced the other way, therefore the ABC is only providing balance.
ABC apologists would have difficulty dismissing the bias in the 10am news bulletin on ABC station 774 in Melbourne this morning.
The report was on the fatal shooting of an Iraqi politician’s security guard by Australian soldiers in Baghdad.
For domestic comment Auntie’s apparatchiks went to Labor leader Kim Beasley who in slightly fewer than 1000 words said it demonstrated the need to bring the troops home.
They then crossed to the Greens head, Bob Brown, who said pretty much the same thing. In not as many words.
Then it was on to the next item.
Any journalist in a commercial newsroom who reported comment from only one side on a volatile issue like this would expect to have his/her backside kicked for incompetence or worse.
Not so at the ABC it seems. They call it balance there.

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Reality shocks   21/6/2006

Everyone gets a run here. So here’s the grizzles of a sad old bag.

Linda Hirshman, a feminist US writer on cultural issues, has told the world why she thinks staying at home with the children is an occupation “not worthy of the full time and talents of intelligent and educated human beings.”
Writing in the November 2005 edition of the American Prospect, Hirshman admitted that the real intention of the feminist movement was not “equality”, but to destroy what she calls “the unreconstructed family” of a husband and wife rearing children. She writes that the goal was to see as many women as possible abandoning family life for high-level professions and politics.
Hirshman, a committed radical, was a member in the 1970s of the feminist lobby, the National Organization for Women (NOW), a donor to the pro-abortion political organization, EMILY’s List, and a professor of women’s studies.
But, she complains, the movement has “stalled”; while the “public world has changed…private lives have hardly budged.” Childrearing is still seen by both men and women to be the natural purview of women. She writes of her “shock” to discover that among those professional women whom she called the “logical heirs of feminism”, large numbers were leaving their careers to opt for childrearing.

One of these days Hirshman may realise — like a kid that finally understands there’s no Santa — that maybe she was just wrong.

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New terms needed   

Modern socialists — lefties — play footsie with Islam extremists who would kill gays, subjugate women and stone adulterers. Libertarians who stand for minimalist government are branded extreme right along with neo-nazis who need a terrifying all-encompassing government.
Seems the words left and right are redundant as political identifiers.
Here’s a case to advance that point:

The political right is gaining ground within France’s Jewish community with more than 40 percent of French Jews supporting a right-wing party, according to the results of an opinion poll published Monday by the daily newspaper “Le Figaro”.

According to Le Figaro, feelings of insecurity, the failure of integration within the immigrant community and last year’s riots in Paris’ suburbs are the main reasons of the change within the Jewish community.

In the recent past, European Jews were expected to side mainly with leftish parties, if for no other reason than to distance themselves from the right and past horrors in that camp.
Now they find greater threats to their individual and ethnic wellbeing from the extreme Islam-cuddling left than from the rational right.

“Before the left was the large majority, but today, because of the anti-Semitism, an important part of the young Jews turned to the right,” he added.

Irony enough to build battleships!

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We’re all just wild about Harry   

Harry Kewell is free to play for the Socceroos against Croatia. All Aussies are rejoicing.
We’re particularly happy at the saltmine from where our soccer scribe Johnny Didulica emerged to forge a Houdini for Harry.
As John, a Geelong lawyer, describes in the Geelong Advertiser (link lasts only a day) today, he helped organise Harry’s defence.
Didulica, the CEO of Australian Professional Footballers’ Association, said he spoke to Kewell’s management and the Football Federation of Australia when they learned of the report on Monday.
“We discussed the charges and the best way to deal with the charges and come up with a strategy and obviously it’s been successful,” Didulica said last night from Germany.
“It was all done by written submission.”

Let’s hope this splendid outcome doesn’t wreak havoc on the Didulicas’ suburban Geelong homefront.
John’s brother, Joey, is goalkeeper for Croatia and would not have been overly bothered had Harry been suspended.

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